Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 3, 2012

Five cool Windows 7 docks to sharpen up your desktop – I’m a big fan of the dock. Whether it’s on the Linux or the Mac desktop, a dock creates a cleaner look and makes it easier to access your programs. Here are five good docks for the Windows 7 environment. They all offer a clean style and easy configuration. Each one offers a free version, and some offer added features in a paid-for release.

The Best Free Software 2012 – The software industry has a long and respected history of offering free applications, not just as an incentive to buy a full version, but as valuable products unto themselves. Thing is, there is a lot of crapware on the market as well. Fortunately, PCMag’s experts are constantly combing through the latest and greatest free software for both Macs and PCs. Here are some of our favorites.

How to Tell if You’re Caught in the Giant Global Payments Credit Card Fraud - How to Tell if You’re Caught in the Global Payments Credit Card FraudFallout from the Global Payments fiasco that could affect potentially millions of credit cardholders continues. First, Visa over the weekend dropped the Atlanta-based credit card processor from its ranks as a partner “compliant” in accepted industry data security standards. However, it appears to be left to credit card-holding consumers to figure out their own potential exposure in the mess.

The price for free Android apps may be your privacy – In-app advertising receives the same permission set as the host app. Michael Kassner reviews what that controversial decision means to the user.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Police Are Using Phone Tracking as a Routine Tool – Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.

Who Uses Ubuntu Linux, and Why? Survey Offers New Insight – Today’s users are a global group who tap the free OS for a mix of business and home purposes, a recent survey suggests.

Potential first Android bootkit spotted – Security researchers of US-based NQ Mobile have recently discovered what might be the first Android bootkit. Dubbed DKFBootKit, the malware piggybacks malicious payloads into legitimate apps that require root privilege.

Mac Trojan infects machines via unpatched Java bug – According to F-Secure researchers, the latest variant of the malware – Flashback.K – is being distributed to Mac users through the misuse of one such vulnerability (CVE-2012-0507) that has already been patched in the Windows version of Java. The researchers advise Mac users to disable their Java client for the time being in order to avoid infection.

Internet Explorer Is Up, Every Other Browser Is Down – Browser share goes up and down, and usually there’s a mix of winners and losers. This month, though, the only browser gaining ground is IE–at the expense of all others.

Adobe Releases Malware Classifier Tool - Adobe has published a free tool that can help administrators and security researchers classify suspicious files as malicious or benign, using specific machine-learning algorithms. The tool is a command-line utility that Adobe officials hope will make binary classification a little easier.

Company News:

Dell Buys Wyse to Continue Evolution to ‘Not Really a PC Company’ – Michael Dell wants to change the perception of the Dell brand to extend beyond the PC market, and the acquisition of Wyse grows Dell’s portfolio to do just that.

Cook Tops Jobs as Highest-Rated Apple CEO – Apple’s new chief executive Tim Cook took the top spot in a survey of highest-rated CEOs compiled by jobs and career site Glassdoor. Cook received a 97 percent approval rating; by comparison, when Steve Jobs stepped down from the post in August 2011, his cumulative approval rating was 97 percent, though his rating between March 2010 and March 2011 was 95 percent.

Google, Oracle going to trial as settlement talks collapse – After trying to give an out-of-court settlement one last chance, it is definite that Google and Oracle will now go to trial.

Apple ‘extends’ European warranties: Complaints already flood in – Apple has modified its warranty policy after being fined $1.2 million by Italian authorities for “misleading” customers. But what’s changed, and why are many still angry?

Webopedia Daily:

Consumerization of IT – Consumerization of IT (“consumerization”) is a phrase used to describe the cycle of information technology (IT) emerging in the consumer market, then spreading to business and government organizations, largely because employees are using the popular “consumer market” technologies and devices at home and then introducing them in the workplace.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Priest’s PC Autoplays Gay Porn Slideshow to Congregation – Father Martin McVeigh was giving a talk to 26 parents and one 8-year-old kid when computer disaster struck. He connected his USB drive into a PC to start his Powerpoint presentation and, instead of the word of God, a hardcore gay porn slideshow started—thanks to Windows’ autoplay.

17 geeky YouTube channels worth checking out – Geeks love the Internet, so it’s not surprising that there are quite a lot of geeky YouTube channels catering to our crowd. Some of these YouTube channels offer high-quality free programs that are competitive with many shows found on cable channels. Here are 17 great geeky YouTube channels that you might want to check out.

EFF Files Brief Supporting Release of MegaUpload Data – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a brief on Friday asking a federal court to figure out a way to return data to MegaUpload users.

How to Remotely Control Your Digital Camera to Take Better Photos, Create Awesome Timelapse Videos, and More – Most cameras have a range of remote control capabilities that we don’t even realize exist. If you’ve ever wanted to take a nice self-portrait, dive into time-lapse photography, or just get a different perspective on your images, you can do all of it with a variety of wired and wireless options. Here’s how you can control your camera remotely to expand your photographic tool set without spending a bunch of money on accessories you don’t need.

The Art of Video Games on display at the Smithsonian – Eighty games from the last 40 years are featured in The Art of Video Games exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Get more details about the exhibit.

Today’s Quote:

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”

-     Sir Winston Churchill

Today’s Free Downloads:

FotoSketcher – If you imagine yourself using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator filters to change your photo into digital art, but don’t picture yourself paying for expensive software to do so, then free FotoSketcher–a fun, artistic, easy-to-learn photo editing program–is for you. But don’t let FotoSketcher’s price fool you into thinking it’s a basic program. On the contrary, this little freebie includes some pretty powerful tools, and the FotoSketcher filters especially are not only cheaper than Photoshop’s: They’re better.

WhoCrashed Free Home Edition 3.04 – WhoCrashed reveals the drivers responsible for crashing your computer. WhoCrashed shows the drivers which have been crashing your computer with a single click.

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2 Comments

Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 3, 2012

  1. John Bent

    Re: TODAY’S QUOTE:
    “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”
    – Sir Winston Churchill

    Fantastic quote; no wonder we won the war, with a little help from our friends of course.

    Kind regards
    John

    • Hi John,

      I read, on average, 3 books a week and I’ll often end up with nothing to read until I hit the Library again. When This happens, I always fall back on Winnie’s A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. I must have read these books 50+ times (so far). I’m absolutely enthralled by the way in which he manages word usage.

      My father was a huge fan, having worked in Oxford during the War – and, his love of Churchill rubbed off. I’m so glad it did.

      Best,

      Bill