Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 24, 2012

The Best Free Software of 2012 - It’s the fifth year of PCMag’s look at the best stuff you don’t have to pay for, and it’s our biggest list of great free software yet. This year, we’ve selected 273 apps in 40 categories.

Facebook Warns Users About Timeline Adware – In a video message from the Facebook Security group, the company said that a growing number of companies are fooling Facebook users into installing add-on software that can cover their Facebook account with adds, result in slower site performance and compromise user security.

Ubuntu 12.04 beta review – Summary: If you like Unity, Ubuntu Linux’s unique GNOME-based desktop, you’re going to love Canonical’s Ubuntu 12.04, Precise Pangolin.

Flash-based rogue AV targets users – In a recently discovered spam email campaign promoting fake AV, the links in the messages take users to one of over 300 compromised domains. Once users lands on the page, a JavaScript message warning about a “critical process activity” prepares them for a fake scan which immediately starts “running”. “The page uses Flash making it look more convincing with realistic icons, progress bars, and dialog boxes,” say the researchers.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

17 essential browser tools for Web developers – What are the most useful in-browser tools for Web designers and developers? Here’s what the pros recommend.

Hands On With Adobe Photoshop CS6 Beta – There are lots of good photo-editing packages out there, but Photoshop stands alone as the high-end tool of choice. Every serious photographer uses it. Although I’m sure Adobe’s lawyers hate it when we use the word “photoshopping,” Adobe’s marketing department is probably thrilled to have a product that is synonymous with photo editing. Check out Michael Muchmore’s hands on to find out why this application is so essential.

Megaupload users targeted with extortion scheme – The recent shutdown of the Megaupload file hosting service by the US authorities is being actively exploited by cyber crooks who are attempting to extort money from the service’s users, warns TorrentFreak. The users are being targeted with fake emails ostensibly sent by a German law firm by the name of “Dr. Kroner & Kollegen” that claims to represents Universal, Sony, EMI, Warner and Dreamworks.

Facebook privacy loophole allows profile stalking – A new Facebook privacy loophole has been discovered that allows you to stalk someone’s profile. The flaw is related to how Facebook treats deactivated accounts and needs to be fixed asap.

Mozilla Proposes Change to Handling of Subordinate CA Certificates – Mozilla is considering a change to the way that it handles certificates issued by externally operated sub-CAs in an effort to gain more control of how these CAs issue certificates and what those certificates can do.

Company News:

AMD Completes $334 Million Deal for SeaMicro – Advanced Micro Devices on Friday announced the completion of its acquisition of server maker Sea Micro, which will be folded into AMD as a new business unit called Data Center Server Solutions.

New Tivo has a half-terabyte capacity – Tivo, the DVR company that refuses to die, is apparently unleashing another model. Pre-orders are showing up for a new version of the company’s recording device, listed as model number TCD746500 under the Tivo Premiere brand, with an apparent 500 GB hard drive.

Seagate hits 1 terabit per square inch, 60TB hard drives on their way – Seagate has demonstrated the first terabit-per-square-inch hard drive. Initially this will result in 6TB 3.5-inch desktop drives and 2TB 2.5-inch laptop drives, but in the long term, Seagate is promising up to 60TB and 20TB respectively.

U.S. Sues AT&T Over Hearing-Impaired Call Service Fraud – AT&T is being sued by the government for allegedly turning a blind eye as scammers abused its calling service for the hearing impaired, then cashed in on the fraudulent calls, the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday.

Webopedia Daily:

Store and forward – A technique common in messaging services where a data transmission is sent from one device to a receiving device but first passes through a “message center”. The message center is typically a server that is used by the message service to store the transmitted message only until the receiving device can be located, and it then forwards the transmission to the intended recipient and deletes the message from the server. A common type of store-and-forward messaging is that used between mobile phones.

Off Topic (Sort of):

How to play Skyrim without a discrete GPU – LucidLogix has rolled out a utility dubbed “DynamiX” which allows 
certain high-performance games to be played on mainstream, low-end laptops and Ultrabooks equipped with only an integrated GPU. 

Lucid is currently offering a free trial version of “DynamiX” for those interested in trying out the utility on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Surviving the cashless cataclysm – You see, in a cashless society every single payment is digital, which means that every transaction must be confirmed by the bank or institution that governs your money. In turn this means that every move you make will be recorded in a huge database. Your bank will know where you get coffee in the morning, the route you take to work, and if there’s a vending machine at your office it might even know where you work. Likewise, your bank will know that you like to buy things on Amazon while you’re at work, that you enjoy watching X-rated movies when you’re on the road, and that you always leave it until the last moment to buy your wife a …..

Lost Phone Survey Makes No Sense – Everywhere you look today, there is a reference to the Lookout Mobile Security report that claims Americans lost $30 billion worth of smartphones in 2011. In fact, this survey says, on average, every American loses his or her phone once a year. Are you kidding me? This is complete rubbish and the media is lapping it up like a six-year-old devouring an ice cream sundae.

Experts Tell Senate: Government Networks Owned, Resistance Is Futile – Network security experts from across the U.S. government told a U.S. Senate Armed Services Subcommittee Tuesday that federal networks have been thoroughly penetrated by foreign spies, and that current perimeter-based defenses that attempt to curb intrusions are outdated and futile.

Today’s Quote:

Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”

-     Steve Jobs

Today’s Free Downloads:

Avira AntiVir Rescue System March 23, 2012 – The Avira AntiVir Rescue System a linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to repair a damaged system, to rescue data or to scan the system for virus infections.

Free Ringtone Maker 2.1.0.474 – Free Ringtone Maker is an extremely simple and handy Windows software for making your own free ringtones. Make Your Own Ringtones in 3 Easy Steps.

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8 Comments

Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 24, 2012

  1. Brian J McClary

    Bill – I am glad to have stumbled on your site. You have so much great information to read, and I have found to be really enjoyable. So much to read and so little time!

    Brian

  2. delenn13

    GGOTD is offering today:

    Game Giveaway of the Day – Race: Lost Roads

    Try yourself as a GT class racing cars pilot. 17 most famous courses of the world are waiting for you! The morning half-hour WarmUp is finished, and while Formula I racers are preparing to the main start, “special events” are held on the track. In Italy it’s “Renault-Spiders”, and in Austria it’s “Porsche” bolids. Realistic physics of this free racing lets you feel nuances of driving in various weather conditions.

    After driving cars is mastered you may take the risk and try your professionalism and guts in a championship, where a minor fault causes flying out off the track and loosing precious seconds and victory. Download free “Lost Roads Races” and receive an ocean of adrenalin!”

    It even has the Montreal and Indy race tracks. Guess I am gonna have to search for my X-Padder software as I just can’t get the hang of driving with my keyboard or mouse. Make sure you read the first comment as Wabbit is our resident game guru with some awesome reviews plus he offers other places for getting free or almost free games.

    Here is another free offer from BitsDuJour for today only:

    Photopus Standard PC Software with a 100% off Discount Coupon Code – Enjoy Powerful and Affordable Photo Editing

    “Photopus Standard is ideal for photo conversion, resizing, touch-ups, and special effects! With Photopus Standard, you’ll be able to apply your own signature style to hundreds of images in batch, saving the time and tedium of doing so manually. Take resizing and rotation, for example – with Photopus Standard, you can automatically resize to a number of presets, or automatically orient your photos as portrait or landscape. Then, use Photopus Standard to adjust brightness and contrast, sharpen, or add color balance touches to thousands of images at once.

    Need to convert a bunch of photos to a different image format quickly? Photopus Standard saves the day, with the ability to convert between over 90 different image formats. You can even use Photopus Standard to create multi-page PDF files from your images, for quick and easy distribution on a universal platform.

    There is no registration required; it comes “pre-registered”. This is not the pro..no RAW formatting or watermarking etc. But, hey, for free batching..can’t complain. They are offering their Pro for USD 9.95 ( Today only;usually USD 39.95 ) Special offer – Upgrade to Photopus Pro But then you notice..the 90 different image formats is only offered in the Pro.

    My opinion…Get the Standard Photopus(hate that name) for the batching and don’t get the pro(save 9.95) OR download IrfanView – Official Homepage – one of the most popular viewers worldwide and get it ALL for free all the time.

    @Phillip, I am still watching for any deals on Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware. Just haven’t seen anything yet.

  3. delenn13

    Was looking at this…”The Best Free Software of 2012 – It’s the fifth year of PCMag’s look at the best stuff you don’t have to pay for, and it’s our biggest list of great free software yet. This year, we’ve selected 273 apps in 40 categories”…..And found this in the comments.

    “30. DriverMax installs AVG toolbar, and changes your home page and default search engine to AVG without asking or warning. That renders it a slam dunk uninstall for me. Oh, and it doesn’t uninstall clean either. Run CCleaner registry tool several times after uninstall. What crapware!!”

    I couldn’t find SlimDrivers DriverUpdate – Update Drivers for Windows 7, XP, and Vista.

    Sometimes PCMag scares me as much as Cnet does. Oh, for the good old days..when both were trusted opinions.

    • Hey Delenn13,

      You might recall, I once pointed out that I rarely read user comments. The comment you’ve referred to is dead wrong. DriverMax (which I don’t recommend BTW – it’s too restrictive), does not install the AVG Toolbar without notice – I just finished testing it. Just one more example of a careless user badmouthing an application, because they don’t pay any attention to the install process.

      As well, using CCleaner as part of an uninstall process (as this user did) in an attempt to clean the Registry, just points out his lack of knowledge. Revo Uninstaller should have been the tool of choice – but, as an unaware user, I doubt that he’s plugged in.

      Best,

      Bill

      • delenn13

        My apologies…Yea, I know. I was gonna test it myself but I am in the coming out of one of my headaches and didn’t trust myself to not screw up my Driver Max Pro program from GOTD. see, what I mean…. “I am in the coming out of one of my headaches”…Totally incoherent sentencing. I probably won’t post anything else today unless I find anything really big. Can’t be trusted..

        • Hey Delenn13,

          No apologies necessary – you brought out a very important point. That’s a good thing.

          Critical, but inept users, often throw out BS comments and unfortunately, less aware users can be influenced.

          I’m sorry to hear the headaches are troubling you again. I can’t imagine how awful that must be.

          Get well. :)

          Best,

          Bill