Monthly Archives: May 2012

Lookeen – An Outlook Search Add-on That’s FAST!

https://bizchange.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/overloaded-man.jpg?iact=hc&vpx=794&vpy=103&dur=2755&hovh=223&hovw=226&tx=79&ty=136&sig=104081718647520250308&ei=_Y3HT5z1Eef30gGv65itDw&page=14&tbnh=160&tbnw=162&start=450&ndsp=35&ved=1t:429,r:31,s:450,i:149Currently, there’s a BlackBerry commercial running here in Canada in which a young woman declares that she gets over 1,000 emails a day. I have to admit, that the 1,000+ emails that she purportedly receives daily, led me to do a little figuring. Truth in advertising and all that.

Assuming that each email takes one minute to read, that translates into 16+ hours devoted to just reading emails. Perhaps it takes less time than that but, even cutting the read time in half would result in a full 8 hour day devoted to just reading emails.

Riding this train of thought, led me to consider just how this young woman managed (assuming that what she claims is true), to handle the time constraints imposed by this massive volume of correspondence – assuming, that at least some of these emails would require an after the fact action plan.

How would she, for example, search for and find, relevant emails, attachments, appointments, tasks, notes and contacts in a rather extensive  email achieve? And, do so quickly and efficiently – no small task.

Coincidentally, at roughly the same time that I was putting myself through mental contortions in an attempt to break down the 1,000+ email claim, I was offered an opportunity to take Lookeen, an email search solution designed to integrate seamlessly into Microsoft Outlook, for a test ride.

Fast facts:

  • Massive increase of E-Mail search speed
  • Finds e-Mails, attachments, appointments, tasks, notes and contacts
  • Supports Exchange Server, Public Folder and external PST-archives
  • Integrated Desktop Search: Search in local and Network Files
  • For enterprises: Central Indexing reduces Server and Network Traffic
  • Over 500.000 installations worldwide
  • Installation in a few clicks

Following an easy installation, the application launches into a brief tutorial as illustrated in the following self-explanatory screen captures.

Step one.

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Step two.

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Step three.

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Step four.

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Step five.

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As shown in the following screen capture, you’ll note that Lookeen adds a simple, yet helpful, search box to Outlook.

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Did I mention FAST?

In the following quick search, the application pulled up 697 related items in three tenths of a second.

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In a more focused search, the application pulled up 79 related items in two tenths of a second.

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In this brief overview, I’ve barely touched on the functionality of this super little Outlook add-on. You can also expect the following:

Lookeen will search everywhere in your Outlook data.

Have every email at your fingertips – no matter how much data you have!

The integrated real-time-indexing enables you to search your local emails (PST), Exchange Server, Public Folder, your complete desktop, and even network files, all while Lookeen is indexing your files.

Lookeen will find every mail – even in the largest of archives.

Execute parallel searches for e-mails, attachments, appointments, tasks, notes and contacts.

Integrated Desktop search enables you to search in documents and PDFs.

Install and manage Lookeen in your enterprise with group policies (Lookeen Business Edition) and use the Lookeen Shared Index feature to reduce server traffic (Lookeen Enterprise Edition).

You can download Lookeen and try it for free for 14 days.

Download at: Lookeen.

As for the young woman’s claim of 1,000 emails a day? Yeah, sure.   Smile

A big “Thank You” to regular reader Lee Garber for taking the time to point me towards this application. Thanks Lee.

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Filed under downloads, Email, Integrated Solutions, Software Trial Versions, Utilities

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 31, 2012

Best Free Windows Security Apps – Just because threats to your PC continue to mutate doesn’t mean that you must pay for your peace of mind. We’ve collected some of the top free security and privacy programs available that will keep your computer safer

Drive your Android tablet to the cloud with Google Drive – Jack Wallen explains how to install and use Google Drive on an Android tablet.

The Flame Virus: Your FAQs Answered – Flame can sniff out information from input boxes, record audio from a connected microphone and take screenshots of applications that the virus deems important.

5 reasons everyone will be using Chrome OS in 3 years – The new Chromebooks and Chromeboxes may not have gotten much attention outside of tech circles, but Chrome OS will be everywhere…and soon.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Play Safe will limit the apps your child can access on Android – As a parent, I’ll admit to handing my smartphone over to one of my kids to keep them entertained from time to time. Who hasn’t? But, it’s impossible to trust your toddler to stay within a designated app and not explore. A new app, Play Safe, allows you to limit which apps your kids can access on your Android device.

Employers on track to get more nosey with employees’ social media lives – By 2015, 60% of employers are likely to be eavesdropping on our social media selves to make sure our e-blabbing isn’t poking security holes into their outfits, according to a recent report.

Phone-y Money: Why marketers are cramming digital wallets down our throats – Google wants to take a cut on the redemption of coupons and other offers that Google Wallet would deliver to the customer, much as the search company now takes a cut from click-throughs on its online ads. With this scheme, Google would get a fee every time it steered someone to buy something in a brick-and-mortar store. (recommended by Michael F.)

HDD Pricewatch: Higher prices are the new normal – HDD prices have dropped and stabilized since their highs of earlier this year, but they’re nowhere near what they used to be — and they probably aren’t going back anytime soon.

How Microsoft solves touch on the desktop – Windows 8 is going to feature touch controls prominently, but what does that mean for desktop users who are still focused on the keyboard and mouse? According to our esteemed managing editor, Sal Cangeloso, the solution might be simpler than you think.

Sophos: Anatomy of an Attack comes to San Diego, Santa Fe, Toronto and Indianapolis – For those of you who haven’t attended an Anatomy of an Attack event before, it is quite different than most IT security companies putting on a thinly veiled sales pitch. We kick off the morning sessions with your standard coffee, juice and light breakfast fare followed by a look at the threat landscape with a detailed run down of the who, what, why and how of modern threats.

Netflix to Delete Former Customers’ Viewing Histories – Netflix has agreed to delete former users’ video history and queue data within one year of the customer’s cancellation of service.

Company News:

Google Tablet Rumored To Be Announced June 27 – Google’s long-rumored tablet will be announced at the company’s I/O conference on June 27, according to unsubstantiated reports. Here’s the latest Google tablet rumor roundup:

Samsung, Sony Put the Kibosh on TV Discounts – Samsung and Sony now prevent stores from advertising or selling their TVs for less than the suggested retail price.

HP shuffles deck, promotes Bill Veghte to COO gig – Bill Veghte has been promoted to chief operating officer of HP with the hopes of further acceleration the company’s innovation and customer satisifaction strategies.

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Release Preview looks to hit on May 31 – Thanks to an accidental blog post, Microsoft officials may have tipped their hand that the Windows 8 Release Preview — the final public test build of Windows 8 — may hit a bit earlier than many expected.

Webopedia Daily:

Overwriting Virus – A type of computer virus that will copy its own code over the host computer system’s file data, which destroys the original program. After your computer system has been cleaned using an antivirus program, users will need to install the original program again.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Mozilla Thimble Teaches You HTML and CSS with a Side-by-Side HTML Editor – Thimble won’t teach you HTML directly—you’d still want to have something like Codeacademy on hand—but it’s a tool that makes learning a lot easier. Instead of having to type your code in a text editor and load the resulting file up in a browser, you can see all your changes in real time as you make them.

Play-A-Grill: Bling That Plays Music Through Your Teeth – Presenting the Play-A-Grill, a device that uses bone conduction to transmit sound from an MP3 player through the teeth.

Internet Traffic to Reach 1.3 Zettabytes by 2016 – If you’re not sure what a zettabyte is, then listen up. It’s equal to a million terabytes, a trillion gigabytes, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual bytes.

The History of Car GPS Navigation – GPS has hit the mainstream, but it wasn’t long ago that the concept of in-auto navigation didn’t even exist. Here’s how we got to where we are today.

Today’s Quote:

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”

-     Aesop

Today’s Free Downloads:

Dr. Web LiveCD 6.0.0 – Dr.Web LiveCD will clean your computer of infected and suspicious files, help you copy important information to a removable data storage device or another computer, and then attempt to cure infected objects.

Local Website Archive Lite 2012 – Local Website Archive offers a fast and easy way to store information from the web on your hard disk. Archived web pages and documents are stored in their original file format and can also be opened with associated applications or found by desktop search engines.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 30, 2012

Flame malware – The biggest? The baddest? A little perspective - Is Flame a big malware threat? Well, yes it is. But perhaps not in the way you think.

Top 374 keywords the U.S. government monitors – Summary: Three months on, the media mill continues to grind after EPIC releases a four-page list of words the U.S. government monitors social media for.

Secure Your Facebook Profile – The free secure.me service analyzes your Facebook profile and reports on any problems it finds, including too-public information and negative or harmful posts by you or your friends.

Nearly a Fifth of U.S. PCs Have No Virus Protection, McAfee Finds – A McAfee study of PCs around the world found that 17 percent had no antivirus protection, and the U.S. outpaced the average with 19 percent of PCs unprotected.

Save Gmail attachments to Google Drive with one click – With the Gmail Attachments to Drive extension for Google Chrome, you can add files to Google Drive directly from the Gmail messages they’re attached to.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to Use Microsoft Word as a Desktop Publishing Tool – Here are ten great tips for producing elaborate documents using Microsoft Word.

Free Wi-Fi: Friend or Foe? – Just about anywhere you go these days, you can find a free wireless connection for your laptop or smartphone. Coffee shops, grocery stores, dentist’s offices—these connections are everywhere. But not all wireless connections are created equal, and some may be actively dangerous.

Free Flamer removal tool from Bitdefender – Bitdefender released a tool to find and remove the most complex, dangerous spy tool yet discovered, the newly discovered Flamer attack toolkit. Flamer is not a single spy tool as such, but rather an entire toolbox at the command of attackers. In file size, it is the biggest attack tool yet. The sheer size of it means researchers will likely still be analyzing Flamer for weeks to discover all of its functions.

Flame Malware: Cybergeddon or Old News? – Over the holiday weekend the online news networks were abuzz with news of a “massive cyber threat” variously called Flame, Flamer, or sKyWIper. Researchers at Hungarian lab CrySyS stated, “sKyWIper is certainly the most sophisticated malware we encountered during our practice; arguably, it is the most complex malware ever found.” But is Flamer really such an amazingly advanced cyber-weapon? Some experts disagree, strongly.

‘Likejacking’: Spammers Hit Social Media – Largely exiled from e-mail, spammers are invading Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networks. (recommended by Bob S.)

Trojan spyware promoted as Steam keygen – Scouring the Web for “legitimate” key generators, or keygens, is a risky business at the best of times. We make it a point that whoever the source is must have irrefutable proof that their keygen among other keygens like it is the real deal. And what better place to look for irrefutable proof than on YouTube, right? Or maybe not.

OpenNIC – OpenNIC (a.k.a. “The OpenNIC Project”) is an organization of dedicated volunteers who run an alternative DNS network. OpenNIC is owned and operated by the OpenNIC community. Membership is open to all who share an interest in keeping DNS free for all users. Our goal is to provide you with quick and reliable DNS services and access to domains not administered by ICANN. OpenNIC provides resolution to all ICANN domains as well as OpenNIC’s own TLDs: .geek, .free, .bbs, .parody, .oss, .indy, .fur, .ing, .micro, .dyn and .gopher (recommended by Delenn13)

Company News:

Ahn Lab and ESET Lose AV-Test Certification – Every two months AV-Test.org reports on the effectiveness of twenty-odd antivirus products, testing under Windows XP and Windows 7 in alternate reports. In this latest test, three products didn’t manage to reach certification.

Cisco Remains Cagey About Software-Defined Networking Strategy – At a recent Cisco media briefing, executives of the network equipment giant hinted at new software approaches to be revealed at Cisco Live, but remained vague about what Software-Defined Networking technology they are developing.

Security Startup Vaultive Tackles Cloud-Based Encryption – Security startup Vaultive debuts this month with a product to remotely manage encryption of email data that enterprises may choose to keep in the Microsoft Office 365 cloud service.

Diablo 3 Being Called “Big Pineapple” in China to Dodge Sales Ban – Vendors on one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms are resorting to calling the hit PC game Diablo 3 “Big Pineapple,” which sounds similar in Mandarin Chinese, as a way to dodge the site’s censors. The site has banned the sale of the overseas product pending a review from government authorities.

Webopedia Daily:

Application Server – Also called an appserver, and application server is a program that handles all application operations between users and an organization’s backend business applications or databases. An application server is typically used for complex transaction-based applications. To support high-end needs, an application server has to have built-in redundancy, monitor for high-availability, high-performance distributed application services and support for complex database access.

Off Topic (Sort of):

U.K. Cookie Tracking Law Goes Into Effect – Over the weekend, the so-called “cookie law” went into effect in the U.K., which requires website owners to ask for permission before installing certain kinds of cookies on users’ machines.

TED Talk With William Noel: Revealing the lost codex of Archimedes – How do you read a two-thousand-year-old manuscript that has been erased, cut up, written on and painted over? With a powerful particle accelerator, of course! Ancient books curator William Noel tells the fascinating story behind the Archimedes palimpsest, a Byzantine prayer book containing previously-unknown original writings from ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes and others. (recommended by Michael F.)

Google’s search engine results are free speech and I don’t care – Think the United States government has a chance in hell of beating Google’s legal team? Think again.

Mozilla Webmaker Turns Web Users Into Coders – Mozilla launches a new program called Webmaker that aims to take plain old Web users and turn them into “developers” who will have a hand in building the next generation of Web experiences.

Why a Facebook phone doesn’t stand a chance – Perhaps Facebook is using the specter of developing its own handset as leverage against Apple to get its service integrated into iOS?

Today’s Quote:

“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.”

-     A. A. Milne

Today’s Free Downloads:

Toolwiz Care 2.0.0.2700 – Toolwiz Care is a free tool kit designed to speed up your slow PC. With a multi-functional optimization suite, this Windows system optimizer provides a collection of tools which includes System Checkup, System Cleanup, and System Speedup.

ZoneAlarm Free 10.2.47.0 – For basic, “no frills” firewall protection, ZoneAlarm is the popular first step for many home PC users. And it’s still FREE* for individual & non-profit use.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 29, 2012

Fill Your Mobile Security Toolbox – Smartphone malware attacks get a lot of attention, but you’re much more likely to lose your device than you are to contract a smartphone virus infection. And you’re just as vulnerable to other problems–such as phishing and spam–on a phone as you are on a PC. No need to panic, however: The following Android and iPhone security tools will help to protect your phone from all kinds of threats.

Making bogus bar codes: Just how hard is it? – First it was shoplifting, then it was ticket-switching, and now it’s bar code fraud. Just how easy is it to make a fraudulent UPC? Easier than you think.

Remove a Program That Lacks an Uninstaller – Before you try to manually remove a program, make sure there’s no uninstaller. Check the Start menu. If the Start menu contains a submenu for the unwanted program, there’s likely a link to the uninstaller there. You should also check Windows’ own list of uninstallers. Select Start (Start>Run in XP), type appwiz.cpl, and press ENTER. You’ll find all the uninstallers that Windows knows about in alphabetical order. If none of these pan out, you’re going to have to remove the program manually. Here’s how:

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Internet Defense League Crafts ‘Bat Signal’ for the Web – Several Internet groups are gearing up to battle SOPA-like legislation via the Internet Defense League, a new organization intended to protect the open Web. The League, spearheaded by Fight for the Future and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is putting together an Internet bat signal of sorts. When the group detects a threat to the Internet – most likely via objectionable legislation – it will send supporters a snippet of code they can add to their website in order to organize the masses in protest.

Anonymous India Calls for Non-violent Protests Against Censorship – The Indian arm of Anonymous is planning what it describes as non-violent protests against Internet censorship.

Which TV is right for you? – LED, LCD, and plasma: What’s the difference, and which is the best? We’ll give you the breakdown in this episode of Device & Conquer.

Windows Live Is…Dead – Microsoft seems to be doing away with the final remnants of a confusing and redundant brand name. In retrospect, it feels like Microsoft started readying “Windows Live” for retirement shortly after it introduced the concept. It long ago did away with the most bizarre examples, such Windows Live Search (now Bing) and Windows Live Hotmail (now just…Hotmail). The inessential Essentials were just stragglers.

Serco reports 123,000 US government employees’ personal information stolen – Serco, a large international government services provider, disclosed a compromise of its systems that may have led to 123,000 people’s Social Security Numbers and other sensitive details to be in the hands of criminals. A rather unusual way to celebrate Memorial Day for our dedicated government.

Experts Question the Need for a Facebook Smartphone – Mobile technology will play an important role for Facebook as it tries to find new sources of revenue, but building its own device doesn’t make much sense.

Scanning Negatives, Shooting the Moon, Fixing the Colors in a Photo – Have a question about digital photography? Send it to me. I reply to as many as I can–though given the quantity of e-mails that I get, I can’t promise a personal reply to each one. I round up the most interesting questions about once a month here in Digital Focus.

Company News:

Foxconn reportedly begins pilot production of Apple TV set – Chinese news sources report that the iPhone and iPad maker is preparing the production of an Apple-branded a television set.

GameStop Adds Android Tablets to 1,600 Stores – GameStop is expanding its Android tablet offerings, adding the tablets to more than 1,600 stores nationwide.

Intel Launches Identity as a Service in the Cloud, Leaves McAfee on the Ground – User identity authorization and access solutions are a standard foundation for information security in most enterprise organizations today. In the past, identity solutions have typically been tethered to on-premise deployments of software. Intel is now attempting to break free of that limitation with its Cloud SSO (Single Sign On) solution that delivers identity management as a cloud-based service.

LG unveils 5-inch HD LCD screen – Designed for “smart devices,” the new panel will feature a 440ppi pixel density, beating out the 330ppi Retina display found on Apple’s iPhone.

RIM loses another senior executive – Struggling handset maker’s chief legal officer resigns, it’s second high-level departure in a week.

Webopedia Daily:

Apple App Store – The Apple App Store is an online store for purchasing and downloading software applications and mobile apps for Apple computers and devices. The App Store initially debuted as an online app store for mobile devices powered by Apple’s iOS mobile operating store such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, but it has since expanded to also include a Mac App Store for purchasing applications for Mac OS X personal computers. The Mac App Store can only be accessed by PCs using Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Lion or a later version of Mac OS X.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Why We Lie – We like to believe that a few bad apples spoil the virtuous bunch. But research shows that everyone cheats a little—right up to the point where they lose their sense of integrity.

Cracked: The 13 Most Irresponsible Self Defense Gadgets Money Can Buy – We live in dangerous times. Well, not really. Actually, life in the 21st century is safer than ever before. This, however, doesn’t stop people from selling and buying overpriced and often useless self-defense products. While most of the stuff on the market will simply gather dust on your shelf/purse/man-bag that’s not actually a purse, some of these real products seem a hell of a lot more dangerous to the owner than the mugger.

Meet ‘Flame’, The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers – A massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation. The malware, discovered by Russia-based anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab, is an espionage toolkit that has been infecting targeted systems in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, the Israeli Occupied Territories and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa for at least two years. (recommended by Michael F.)

The Great Gatsby And The American Dream – “The phrase the American dream was invented to describe a failure, not a promise: Or rather, a broken promise, a dream that was continually faltering beneath rampant monopoly capitalism.” Fitzgerald, like few others, saw it coming.

Priest apologizes for using naughty words on Facebook – An apparently exasperated English priest posts sincerely sinful gems including words beginning with “f” and “p.” One of the faithful is not amused.

Today’s Quote:

“If you don’t run your own life, somebody else will.”

-     John Atkinson

Today’s Free Downloads:

Argus Boot Accelerator – Argus Boot Accelerator speeds up your boot process by managing your startup programs. Usually Windows would start all of them at the same time during the boot process, demanding data from your hard disk faster than it can deliver them. Argus Boot Accelerator will start them sequentially.

Kaspersky TDSSKiller 2.7.38.0 – Kaspersky Lab has developed the TDSSKiller utility that allows removing rootkits. A rootkit for Windows systems is a program that penetrates into the system and intercepts the system functions (Windows API).

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 28, 2012

Find Your Way for Free: Google Maps Navigation – If you’ve got an Android phone, you have free Google Maps Navigation. Get yourself a car mount and you’ll have a powerful GPS device too. With great features, like voice-activated address input, Google’s extensive POI database, and real-time traffic data, all for the unbeatable price of free.

Encipher.it Encrypts Email for Free – Stash this bit of code in your browser bookmarks, and you can use it to safeguard particularly sensitive messages.

Five trustworthy password recovery tools – There will come a time when you need to crack a password — and when that time comes, you’ll be glad you have a recovery tool available. Yes, there can be tricky ethics to deal with. But when you need to recover a password, sometimes there is no way around it. Get familiar with one (or more) of these tools so you won’t have to resort to reinstalling an OS when a simple cracker will solve the problem.

How FBI Entrapment Is Inventing ‘Terrorists’ – and Letting Bad Guys Off the Hook – In all these law enforcement schemes the alleged terrorists masterminds end up seeming, when the full story comes out, unable to terrorize their way out of a paper bag without law enforcement tutelage. (recommended by Michael F.)

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Easily forward calls and SMS on Android phones – Jack Wallen highlights two Android apps that allow you to easily forward calls and SMS — Simple Call Forwarding and SMS Forwarding.

The Best Mobile Security Apps – I’ve been reluctant to encourage the use of mobile security software. Security vendors have been issuing dire warnings for years, but I just haven’t seen the threat. Until now. Forget about transactions and account info, simply protecting your local files and email is reason enough to spend a few dollars for a security app.

Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive: which one is right for you? – If you’re a Windows user looking for free online storage, three services stand out from the rest. Although Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive are superficially similar, there are some big differences. Here’s what to look for.

Mobile App Standoff: Web App vs. Native App – For resources-strapped companies that want to get in the mobile app game, a Web app tuned for smartphones and tablets is a wise choice.

Use Free FoxIt Reader to Fill Out PDF Forms – If Adobe Reader isn’t getting the job done, this free substitute makes it easy to edit just about any PDF.

Gartner: Don’t Trust Cloud Provider to Protect Your Corporate Assets – Security remains a top concern for companies looking to deploy a cloud strategy.

Laptops, Desktops That Will Have Business Users Drooling – A mountain of PCs have rolled out in the last few weeks that boast features that business users need: speed, smarter cooling technologies, enterprise-grade security, etc. But you won’t find many users clamoring for such machines. Fortunately, there are systems available that have users wishing his or her IT manager would ship one their way.

Company News:

Facebook in ‘third attempt’ to build own smartphone – Facebook phone rumors are swirling again, with reports that the company’s been hiring smartphone engineers.

Apple Patents Reveal Plan for 3D Safari Browser – In a few years time, you could be browsing the web and more in 3D, according to Apple’s new Safari patent applications spotted by Patently Apple last week. The new patent applications detail a 3D version of Safari, which will allow users to stack bookmarks, e-mail, documents, and applications in a 3D manner.

Cisco Kills Off Cius Business Tablet – Cisco said it will discontinue its Cius tablet, doubling down on software instead.

Motorola Videos Show Android 4.0 on Droid RAZR – Promotions reveal new features in Motorola’s custom version of Ice Cream Sandwich, including shortcuts for text messaging and dialing, plus other handy additions.

LG Working on Retina-beating 5-inch Smartphone Display – LG Display has introduced a 5-inch full HD LCD panel for smartphone displays — the highest resolution mobile panel to date, the company said on Monday.

Webopedia Daily:

Siphoning – In SEO, siphoning is a technique used to “steal” traffic that would normally be directed to another website in search engine results. Siphoning could be the fraudulent use of spyware or cybersquatting to steal the traffic, or it could refer to those who copy a webpage with the content slightly altered to direct the Web search engine to show results of another webpage.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Six Piping Hot Raspberry Pi Alternatives – The appetizing Raspberry Pi isn’t the only option in single-board computing. Here are some tasty alternatives.

Do Personal Genomics Pass the Spit Test? – About a year ago, the personal genomics firm 23andMe had a sale: for no fee up front and a $9 per month, one-year subscription, it would map my genome and give me access to the results. Now, I understand the limits of genetic profiling, and I have to consider the chance that my genetic details could potentially be used against me. And yet, part of that genetic code makes me incredibly curious about the mysteries of nature that science is illuminating daily. I had to do it.

Inside the Magnavox Odyssey, the First Video Game Console – Magnavox’s 1972 settop box debuted so early that it didn’t even include a computer. Here’s a look at what makes this pioneer of home video games tick.

To Profile or Not to Profile? – A Debate between Sam Harris and Bruce Schneier. (recommended by Michael F.)

Earth took 10 million years to recover from mass extinction – The Earth’s greatest mass extinction, 250 million years ago, was so severe that it took 10 million years for the planet to recover.

Clueless users: 10 more tales of the absurd – User support may be stressful at times, but it can also be highly entertaining. Brien Posey shares another round of silly things his users have said and done.

Today’s Quote:

It’s true that we don’t know

What we’ve got until it’s gone,

But it’s also true that we don’t know

What we’ve been missing until it arrives.

Today’s Free Downloads:

Daminion – Daminion Standalone helps you tag and sort your photos. It lets you browse photos according to date taken, among many other metadata. The solid, sensible interface is similar to Adobe Bridge and Google Picasa. Daminion is a powerful, robust product, but it is clearly not aimed at home users and amateur photographers

Picasa – At its most basic, Picasa is a photo manager and viewer. Fire it up and you can browse through all of your photos, organized by folder, as well as by the year they were stored on your hard disk. It also has a full complement of editing tools, and lets you create CDs full of photos, as well as photo collages, screensavers, and posters.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 27, 2012

Toolwiz Time Freeze – Toolwiz Time Freeze is a free instant system protection tool to keep your system safe and always like new. It protects your system from any unwanted changes and malicious activity in low disk level. With a simple click, it puts your actual system under virtual protection on the fly and creates a virtual environment as a copy of the real system, on which you can evaluate applications, watch movies, and perform online activities. It provides higher-level security to computer protection, and greatly improves the efficiency of virtual system

How Facebook’s Timeline is like genital herpes – A film that spoofs the TV ads for Valtrex shows how Facebook’s Timeline tries to dominate your life. But you can manage it. No, really. You can.

MP3 Toolkit – MP3 Toolkit is simple and it works, letting you convert audio files to a number of different types, merge multiple files into one, clip files for ringtones or the like, edit tags, rip files from CD, and record using a microphone. There’s nothing spectacular about it, unless you’re impressed that it’s free.

Desktop Wallpaper: Memorial Day – Monday, May 28, 2012, is Memorial Day in the United States. A day we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Absinthe 2.0 Jailbreak Is What’s Wrong with iOS – A tireless collaborative effort by the iOS Jailbreak Dream Team (a group comprised of members from the Chronic-Dev Team and the iPhone Dev Team) has yielded Absinthe 2.0–a jailbreak utility for iOS 5.1.1. While some appreciate being able to break out of Apple’s “walled garden”, the fact that iOS devices can be rooted poses a significant security risk.

Facebook Promoting ‘Close Friends’ Lists – Facebook has begun prominently pushing a feature called “Close Friends,” that allows you to keep close tabs on well, your close friends. Facebook reportedly began promoting the feature this week.

Parents Get New Weapons in War Over Kids’ Phones – Thanks to social networks, bullying is no longer confined to the schoolyard; victims are potentially subject to harassment anytime, anywhere, and from any handheld device.

5 Hidden Gmail Tips and Tricks for Power Users – If you’ve mastered the Gmail basics and are looking to increase your Gmail prowess and productivity, here’s a look at five tips and tricks that will take you to the next level.

Tape Data Storage: An Enterprise IT Workhorse – After 60 years, tape storage continues, despite its naysayers, to more than hold its own throughout enterprise IT. The reasons? Its significant cost advantages, reliability and continued improvement in capacity, speed and ease of use. And now its role is expanding into big data, cloud and HPC operations. Here we set the record straight against the unfounded claims of tape’s obsolescence.

There’s trouble with three major Linux desktop application developers – An old myth is that the Linux desktop doesn’t have the applications most users need, but lately some companies that have long supported Linux are pulling back from the Linux desktop and that’s a worry.

Aged Windows XP Costs 5x More to Manage Than Windows 7 – Microsoft yesterday added ammunition to its increasingly aggressive battle to get users off the nearly-11-year-old Windows XP by citing a company-sponsored report that claims annual support costs for the older OS are more than five times that of Windows 7.

Company News:

BlackBerry maker RIM set to lay off 2,000 – report – Troubled BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is planning a major global restructuring that will include at least 2,000 layoffs worldwide, according to a report. Canada’s Globe and Mail cites “several people close to the company” in reporting the news about the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which, the Globe and Mail says, has about 16,500 employees globally.

Microsoft’s New TOS to Block Class Action Suits – Microsoft said late Friday that the company has begun changing its user agreements to prevent consumers from filing class-action lawsuits against the company.

Report: Facebook in Talks to Buy Browser-Maker Opera – A new report indicates that Facebook, fresh off its initial public offering, is in talks to acquire web browser maker Opera Software

Report: Groupon Entering Payments Business – Move over, Square, PayPal, Verifone, and all other mobile payments providers: Groupon wants a piece of the pie. According to a report on VentureBeat, Groupon is testing a mobile credit-card reader, much like others in the payments space. Its hook? A 1.8 percent transaction fee and a 15 cent per transaction charge for transactions processed through the terminal, substantially less than what its competitors charge.

Webopedia Daily:

Video Conferencing Software – Video conferencing and Web conferencing software applications enable both point-to-point (two-person) and multipoint (three or more participants) video conferences. In many ways a point-to-point videoconference is similar to a phone call with video of the other participant. Each participant has a video or Web camera, microphone and speakers mounted on his or her computer, and as the two participants speak to one another their voices are carried over the network and delivered to the other’s speakers. Whatever images appear in front of the video camera appear in a window on the other participant’s monitor.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Apocalypse-proof condos already sold out – You can survive the end of the world in this charming nuclear missile silo. The views aren’t great, but there won’t be anything to see outside anyway.

Online advertising: “I’ve seen the future, and it’s awful.” – Jon Kolko goes on an full-scale assault against online advertising in a post for the Austin Center for Design called Advertising Is The Problem. I am no fan of the advertising model myself, but Jon paints a post-apocolyptically grim picture of what’s to come. (recommended by Michael F.)

Apache OpenOffice. Windows Users Dominate Downloads – When Apache OpenOffice 3.4 was released last week — the first OpenOffice release under Apache – I “guessed” that it was likely a better fit for Windows and Mac users than for Linux users. As it turns out, after a week of availability, that’s exactly the case. The Apache OpenOffice project today announced that after a week of availability they have had over 1 million downloads.

Flashing headlights is your Constitutionally protected right – Florida police should no longer be able to ticket drivers who use their headlights to communicate with other drivers, even if it’s to warn them of an upcoming speed trap.

Street Light of the Future Would Provide Wi-Fi, Cell Coverage and More – Think of the V-Pole as a smart street light equipped with an LED light bulb and capable of providing Wi-Fi, improving cellphone service and charging electric cars.

Parent set up fake porn profile in revenge against school official – Frustrated by a school official who allegedly confiscated his son’s iPod, a man — since convicted of ID fraud — sets up a porn profile in the official’s name in attempt to shame him, a report says.

Today’s Quote:

“Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

-    Unknown

Today’s Free Downloads:

jGnash 2.9.0 – jGnash is a free personal finance manager with many of the same features as commercially-available software. It was created in order to make tracking your personal finances easy, but also provides the functionality required by advanced users.

Doc Scrubber 1.2 – Microsoft Word (.DOC) files can contain more than just text you see while editing them. Doc Scrubber lets you see that information, and scrub it from files before sending them to others.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 26, 2012

How to undelete files on Windows with Undela – Emptied the recycle bin by mistake and lost something you need to get back? This Windows utility might be able to help you.

Five reasons you should pay for your porn – Why should you pay for your porn instead of downloading it illegally? Because the consequences of doing so could be costly.

Flash and Lighting Tips From the Pros – Flash photos don’t have to be harshly lit–here’s what you need to know to get better photos when using your camera’s flash.

Mark your calendars for May 28th: 1st Annual B.I.T.E. Back Against Malware -  Please join DCT on May 28th for the first annual Beat Internet Threats Everywhere (B.I.T.E.) Day. A one day effort to take a BITE out of malware infections by significantly reducing infection rates and protect personal information throughout the world. Encourage your friends and family to participate by sharing this through Facebook, Twitter, and email or offer to help those who are less tech savy! (recommended by Hipockets)

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

8 Ways Microsoft Will Tweak Windows 8 – For those who haven’t been keeping a close eye on Windows 8′s development, here’s a rundown of how Microsoft will tweak Windows 8 before launch.

Want Freedom from Vendor Lock-in? Survey Says: Choose Open Source – More than 50 percent of software acquired in the next five years will be open source software, according to recent data.

Kaspersky to cut phisher lines before they hook you – In its upcoming 2013 suites, Russian security firm lays out a prevention plan to block phishers from reaching you.

New Jersey mayor charged with hacking opponents’ website – Felix Roque, the 55-year-old mayor of West New York, along with his 22-year-old son Joseph, allegedly hacked into the RecallRoque website and associated email system.

How Companies Buy Facebook Friends, Likes, and Buzz – How easy is it to get a Facebook botnet to do your bidding? All you need is cash, the right software, and a list of fake accounts. I did it in 10 minutes for less than $70.

The Best Social Networks for Kids Under 13 – We researched kid-friendly sites and then talked to kids to get a feel for the fun factor to collect four kid-approved sites.

Learn How to Start Your Own Online Business – Web tools and resources can teach you almost anything, including how to start your own online business. Are you ready to take The Challenge?

Company News:

Paypal to greatly increase in-store presence – The leader in alternative online payments has just announced that it struck a major partnership with some of the leading providers of in-store cash register systems, allowing consumers to use their PayPal account to pay for products from within a retail store.

Microsoft gives Flash a reprieve in IE10 – Adobe’s plug-in will be built directly into Windows 8′s browser, optimized for touch, security, and power efficiency, a source says. But it’s only a temporary move.

Rumor: Google, Asus Prepping 7-Inch Tablet for June Release – Digitimes, citing sources from the “upstream supply chain,” claimed on Thursday that shipments of the device will begin in June in preparation for a July launch. Google had originally planned to release its “entry-level” 7-inch tablet in May, but design and costs issues caused the project to be delayed until July for “minor adjustments,” according to the news outlet.

Microsoft objects to millions of Google search results – Google’s released a list of copyright-related take-down requests – and nearly half of them came from Microsoft, it says.

Webopedia Daily:

SEO Services – A service provider that utilizes the practice of search engine optimization to increase the amount of visitors to a Web site by obtaining high-ranking placements in the search results page of search engines (SERP). SEO services help to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found and ranked highly by the search engine. SEO service providers offer a wide range of packages and options for search engine optimization, ranging from one-time fees for smaller sites to monthly subscriptions for ongoing SEO efforts and support.

Off Topic (Sort of):

How Common Is Your Birthday? – The following table shows every day of the year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, along with a ranking based on how many babies were born in the United States on that date between 1973 and 1999. Jan. 1, for example, was the 364th most popular birthday for a baby during those years; only Dec. 25 and Feb. 29 were less popular. Sept. 16 was the most popular birthday.

Video – How To Tell You’re An Atheist – Philosopher Daniel Dennett was one of the stars of the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne and gave a brilliant and whimsical talk on defining the atheist. He is the uber-philospher of the mind and a great provocateur, though he was speaking to 4000 non believers at this convention.

Cracked: 5 Internet Annoyances That Are Way Older Than the Internet – Technology advances in a blur — a lot of us can’t remember what life was like before smartphones, let alone the Internet. As a result, we have a tendency to think that all of the annoyances that came with the Internet are also brand new to humanity. But they’re really not. Just as we’ve previously told you that hacking was invented way before the Internet and that fan fiction has been creeping people out for a thousand years, it turns out that those are not the only common online annoyances your great-great-grandfather might have been exposed to.

10 Dangerous Products You Might Have in Your Home – The recall earlier this month of a line of inflatable pool slides sold at Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us following the death of one woman and devastating injuries to two others highlights the stakes when it comes to product safety.

Today’s Quote:

My Father taught me how to be a man – and not by instilling in me a sense of machismo or an agenda of dominance. He taught me that a real man doesn’t take, he gives; he doesn’t use force, he uses logic; doesn’t play the role of trouble-maker, but rather, trouble-shooter; and most importantly, a real man is defined by what’s in his heart, not his pants.”

-      Kevin Smith

Today’s Free Downloads:

PC Tools AntiVirus Free Edition – With PC Tools AntiVirus Free Edition you are protected against the most nefarious cyber-threats attempting to gain access to your PC and personal information. Going online without protection against the latest fast-spreading virus and worms, such as Netsky, Mytob and MyDoom, can result in infections within minutes.

TweakNow PowerPack – TweakNow PowerPack is a fully-integrated suite of utilities that let you fine-tune every aspect of your computer’s operating system and Web browser.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 25, 2012

6 Essential Desktop Apps to Make Your Android Phone Device a Work or Play Powerhouse – Use these Android and PC software recommendations to work more efficiently, keep your phone safe, or interact more quickly with your multimedia files.

Find Android tablet apps – Unfortunately for Android tablet owners, finding great tablet-optimized software can be a struggle. Learn a few tips and tricks for quickly locating apps for Android tablets.

Play Civilization V (PC/Mac) for free this weekend – And if you decide you like ruling the world, you can buy the game outright for just $7.50.

10 Steps for Dealing With Dangerous Email – The good news is that there has been a “steep decline” in the volume of spam since 2010, according to Cisco. The bad news? Almost half of U.S. businesses that took part in a recent survey said they have experienced data breaches due to employees clicking on malicious emails. So what can business workers do to protect themselves against malicious and dangerous emails? We’ve assembled a checklist to help stop the next potential data breach.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Build your own open-source cloud with ownCloud 4 – So you like the idea of cloud-computing, but you don’t trust any of the cloud vendors? With ownCloud 4 you can build your own. OwnCloud is primarily as an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud service. With it you can store your files, folders, contacts, photo galleries, calendars and more on a server of your choosing. You can then access that storage from your mobile device, your desktop, or a Web browser. You can also sync your date with local devices and share your data either with the world at large or specific approved users.

How long would it take to crack your password? – Password policies are the enemy of security, the developer of a password analyzing tool concludes, while a vendor pushes it further to decree that password security is, basically, toast.

New SpyEye plugin takes control of crimeware victims’ webcam and microphone – Security researchers from Kaspersky have profiled a new SpyEye plugin known as flashcamcontrol.dll which takes control of the victim’s webcam and microphone. This latest development once again proves that cybercriminals are steps ahead of the security industry, and will continue to innovate in an attempt to increase their fraudulently obtained revenues.

SmartWhois – SmartWhois: The intelligent lookup tool. Enter a domain to do a whois lookup on it.

Windows 7 Files That Contain Icons – As you know, when creating a shortcut you have the opportunity to choose a custom icon. When you do, you’ll see a list of 300 icons that come from the shell32.dll file. However, this isn’t the only native Windows file that contains a whole set of icons. There are others.

Five Webmin modules that give you added power and control – Webmin is one of those administration tools that every IT pro should know backward and forward. It’s powerful, reliable, gives you a central location for all server administration tools, and it’s extendable. Tons of modules are available to enhance your Webmin installation. From access to CruiseControl to Zmailer, you will find a module for just about everything under the sun. Here are five modules that will help you take care of tasks that normally wouldn’t have Web-based configuration options.

Angry Birds malware – Firm fined £50,000 for profiting from fake Android apps – A firm has been fined £50,000 after Trojan versions of popular Android apps secretly sent expensive SMS messages to premium rate numbers. UK industry regulator PhonepayPlus uncovered that 1,391 mobile phone numbers in the UK had been stung by the scam, that targeted Android owners who downloaded Trojan horse versions of popular games such as “Angry Birds”, “Assassins Creed” and “Cut the Rope”.

Company News:

Fox Sues DISH Over DVR Commercial-Skipping Feature – Fox filed suit against DISH Network on Thursday, alleging that DISH’s latest DVR commercial-skipping feature was a violation of copyright law. In its suit, Fox called the “Primetime Anytime” service from DISH, which automatically records all four major networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, a “bootleg broadcast video-on-demand service”. A related “Auto Hop” feature tells the DVR to automatically skip the commercials.

Why Most of HP’s Layoffs Will Be on the Services Side – As HP changes emphasis, will it relinquish some of its global services business to IBM so it can focus on research and development and building new Converged Cloud systems? HP says it will let 27,000 employees go, just 8 percent of its work force. But it will stand as the largest layoff in the company’s 73-year history.

Nvidia ‘Kai’ Platform Could Challenge Apple iPad – Nvidia’s Tegra 3-based Kai platform will enable OEMs to make quad-core Android-running tablets that are priced at $199, according to company officials.

Yahoo launches Axis ‘browser’ and fumbles it disastrously – Yahoo, in a bid to outstep the controversy left by former chief executive Scott Thompson, launches a brand new browser. But in doing so, it fouls it up horribly and causes another stir.

Sony Brings Streaming Music Service to the Iphone – Sony on Friday released an iPhone app to access its streaming Music Unlimited service, part of its efforts to expand its online platforms to devices from rival manufacturers. The app allows users to listen to and manage playlists and channels. The service is already available on Android phones and PCs, as well as the company’s tablets, Walkman music players, home stereos and PlayStation game consoles.

Motorola Devices Infringe on Microsoft Patent, Munich Court Says – A Munich court today ruled that Android-based Motorola devices infringe on a Microsoft messaging patent. The patent in question covers “communicating multi-part messages between cellular devices using a standardized interface.”

Webopedia Daily:

DNSChanger – DNSChanger, also referred to as DNS Changer, is a type of malware used by hackers to change a user’s DNS server settings, replacing the ISP’s valid DNS servers with rogue DNS servers operated by the hacker or a third party. In November 2011 the U.S. FBI discovered a network of rogue DNS servers that were being sent traffic by computers infected with the DNSChanger malware. nThe FBI disabled these servers and replaced them with servers that would share valid DNS addresses.

Off Topic (Sort of):

How big is the cloud? – Amazon Web Services, Google, Dropbox.. ever wonder just how big the cloud is? ExtremeTech’s Sebastian Anthony did some investigation, and a lot of number crunching, and came up with some fascinating conclusions about the size of the cloud.

Proposed NY Ban on Anonymous Commenting So Stupid it Hurts – It’s always funny when clueless do-gooders try to put the Internet toothpaste back in the tube. This week we learned that New York lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban anonymous speech on the Internet. This is an idea that’s dumb on so many levels, it’s difficult to figure out where to start dissecting it.

Judge Orders Drug Evidence Suppressed in Warrantless GPS Tracking Case – A federal judge in Kentucky this week upheld a lower court’s decision to throw out crucial evidence in a drug case because the evidence was gathered with the help of a GPS tracking device that was installed without a warrant on the suspect’s vehicle.

How internet revenge by an ex-partner can lead to horrific violence – There are some truly horrific stories about how jilted boyfriends have used the internet to get their (sometimes violent) revenge on former partners. Are the authorities, and sites such as Craigslist, doing enough to protect us?

Nerdy Footwear Lets You Fly Your Geek Flag – KlearGear.com sold out the first run of Geek Sneaks in mere hours, but never fear, another batch of sneakers festooned in circuit boards and computer code arrives in August

China rules the mobile world with 1 billion users – The Far East country has officially reached more than 1 billion cell phone users — crowning it king of the mobile world.

Today’s Quote:

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.”

-     D. H. Lawrence

Today’s Free Downloads:

Sam & Max 104: Abe Lincoln Must Die – Sam & Max: Abe Lincoln Must Die is an old-school adventure games recast with crisp high-resolution graphics, challenging puzzles, and a quirky cast of characters that have made this oddball duo famous around the world. This is one of those games that are as much fun to watch as to play.

Botanicula – Botanicula is magical. Its beautiful world and creatures that fly, dance, and sing can baffle and amaze, and even make you laugh out loud. You play this game as a team of five plant and insectoid characters who adventure through the branches of a tree to save it from parasitic spider-like enemies.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 24, 2012

Amazon Appstore lets users take Android apps for a test drive – You can now test out more than 5,000 Android apps before you decide to hit the purchase button.

How to protect your smartphone from malicious QR codes – QR codes are a fun and interesting way to share information, but how do you know they’re safe? Symantec has a simple solution to help protect your Android or iOS device from malicious QR codes.

On the road? My seven tips for keeping hackers at bay – Hackers aren’t always miles away. They can be sitting next to you waiting for the chance to get into your device and onto your network.

VIA Takes On Raspberry Pi with $49 APC - VIA Technologies on Tuesday unveiled a tiny, caseless desktop computer called the APC 8750 that runs Android and has a low, low price that comes within spitting distance of the celebrated Raspberry Pi.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

FBI forms secretive Net-surveillance unit – CNET has learned that the FBI has formed a Domestic Communications Assistance Center to develop new electronic surveillance tech for intercepting Internet, wireless, and VoIP communications.

How to Build an Energy-Efficient and Quiet Gaming PC – Building a system that maximizes game performance is easy; doing it while keeping power consumption down is harder. Here’s how you can build your own, and make it whisper-quiet to boot.

Free Tool to Encrypt DNS Requests Released for Windows – A security company specializing in the Domain Name System has released a Windows version of a tool that encrypts DNS requests, which could be spied on

Malware Threat Level Hits 4-Year High - Malware circulating in cyberspace is on a pace to reach 100 million samples by year’s end, McAfee says in a quarterly threats report.

Anonymous attacks Justice Dept., nabbing 1.7GB of data - In a new hack into the U.S. Department of Justice’s Web site, Anonymous claims to have grabbed “lots of shiny things such as internal emails, and the entire database dump.”

Windows 8: 500 million by 2014 – Microsoft expects to see explosive growth with Windows 8. Because it will exist not only on traditional computers but also tablets, Microsoft is projects the new operating system will reach more than 500 million devices in its first year or so on the market.

Technology’s Perfect Storm Is Coming This Fall – This fall, the tech market will witness a perfect storm as three major technologies and industry forces converge to deliver a whole host of new products for consumers.

Five Android apps worth paying for – Many apps in the Google Play store are free, but if you limit yourself to free apps you’re missing out on some of the best that Android has to offer. Here are five apps that I bought myself and can personally recommend. Prices vary over time and by country, but none of them are currently over $4.

Best gaming graphic cards - A number of graphics cards at various price points that feature both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.

Company News:

Nokia shakes up Nokia World: ‘Less CES, more SXSW’ – The mobile company says that it will no longer hold a single, large-scale event each year. Instead, Nokia World will be made up of several smaller events.

VMware Acquires Desktop Management Company Wanova – VMware has acquired Wanova, a developer of software used to centralize and simplify image management on physical and virtual desktops, the company said Tuesday.

Sidecar App Lets You Share Data While on the Phone – A San Francisco-based startup called Sidecar is looking to make your phone calls a little smarter. The company on Tuesday launched the Sidecar app for iPhone and Android smartphones that lets users make free VoIP calls, as well as share live videos, photos, contact information, and location data.

Microsoft Takes Bing Streetside Offline in Germany After Privacy Complaints – Microsoft has taken its Google Street View-like service Bing Streetside offline in Germany after German citizens expressed their worries about how Microsoft handles requests for blurring of images, the company said on Tuesday.

‘Halo’ Developer Bungie’s Next Project: ‘Destiny’ – Bungie, the developers of the “Halo” series of games, plan to develop a multi-title series of games, known as “Destiny,” which will be published by Activision.

Webopedia Daily:

Best Practice – A business buzzword that describes a set of defined methods, processes, systems or practices used by a company or organization to meet performance and efficiency standards within their industry or organization. Best practices are guidelines which are used to obtain the most efficient and effective way of completing a task using repeatable and proven procedures.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Can Anonymous Be Stopped? – Over the years, one or two members have been arrested for this or that, but the core group prevails. And who knows the core group? One guy? A gal? A team? Putin? Blofeld? The Basque Separatists? Fired engineers from a think tank? Older guys? Kids? Twenty-somethings? Who? That’s the intriguing beauty of it. Nobody knows.

Lego for girls, this time hardware-hacker style – One hacker has her own idea of what a Lego set for girls should be. If 10,000 people agree with her, the toymaker could find itself producing her hacker-focused design.

Robotic pollution-aware fish released to the wild – There are now robots swimming alongside real fish. That is, at least in a specific area of the Spanish port of Gijon So if you happen to find yourself in that area anytime soon, know that if you look in the water what you’re seeing might be robotic creatures that are designed to test the water for pollutants.

MIT Scientists Figure Out How to Get Ketchup Out of the Bottle – In a boon for burger fans everywhere, impatiently tapping our ketchup bottles might be a thing of the past thanks to something called LiquiGlide.

9-year-old’s blog shames school into changing food – Martha Payne is disappointed by the food her school serves her. So she begins to write about it. Her blog gains the attention of TV chef Jamie Oliver. Just a few posts cause national uproar.

Today’s Quote:

A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe.’’

-      Pierre Berton

Today’s Free Downloads:

Comodo Firewall – Comodo’s free Firewall is your first layer of defense against viruses, worms, Trojans, hackers and all Internet threats. Comodo’s Firewall uses Default Deny Protection to prevent threats from occurring, rather than just detecting them when it’s already too late. Whenever an unknown piece of software is introduced to your system, Comodo Firewall cross-references it with a white-list of over 15 million trusted files and applications.

WildFire CD Ripper 4.0.4.0 – WildFire CD Ripper is pulling out the data (music) directly in digital format from an Audio CD; this kind of software is in general known as a CD Ripper or a CDDA utility.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 23, 2012

How to Troubleshoot Your PC: A Hypochondriac’s Guide – Does your PC act as though it’s about to die? Don’t panic! We explain why the most common problems happen and what to do about them.

10 little-known YouTube tips and tricks – Check out these 10 little-known tips and tricks that will have you using YouTube in a completely different way!

Google begins notifying users infected with DNS Changer – As the date set for the final shutdown of the infrastructure that keeps computers infected with the DNSChanger Trojan connected to the Internet is approaching at a fast pace, Google has decided to begin warning affected users that land on its search sites. The warning has already begun appearing to infected users. It comes in different languages.

Kaspersky denied iOS app: Apple buries its head in the security sand – Apple was in a Catch-22 situation, but ultimately denied Kaspersky’s request for an iOS anti-virus app. The refusal crucially shows how much in denial Apple is over its devices’ security.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Zombie Facebook Profiles Thrive: Robot Blondes Invade Social Network – Fake Facebook accounts are flourishing and the social network appears oblivious to the fraud. Want a generic account that Facebook hasn’t verified? They run from 6 to 20 cents apiece. If you want a PVA – a phone verified account for which Facebook has sent a code via text message to a phone, requiring a human to log into Facebook and enter that code — the prices start at $1.50 per account. And it’s not just Facebook; Twitter, G+, AOL, iTunes, Craigslist all have their own markets for faux personae.

Are Criminals Using Your Blog to Spread Malware? – Cyber-criminals are a sneaky lot. They often don’t bother to register new domains in order to set up their malicious sites. After all, it’s far easier to hack into yours.

Financial fraud drives most targeted attacks – Regardless of motivation, new variants of malware are being generated on a daily basis, often targeting multiple sites and organizations to increase the likelihood of an attack’s initial success and the potential for threats to spread quietly throughout an organization.

5 Steps for Great Action Photos – Summer is upon us, and that means we’ll be spending a lot more time outdoors, capturing photos of stuff–kids, friends, cars, planes, dogs–in action.

Password Protection Act of 2012 filed – A new bill is filed to prevent employers from asking employees and job candidates for their passwords to social networking sites.

A quick Word trick for typing text into a scanned document – Paper forms aren’t obsolete, not by any means. But if you want to use Word to fill them in, you can. A quick and easy trick renders most paper forms into an electronic file. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’ll work in a pinch.

Company News:

Sonetel to Give All Customers iNum Numbers From Voxbone – Voxbone announced today that Sonetel, a Swedish VoIP provider with users in more than 200 countries, has begun giving all of its subscribers free iNum numbers from Voxbone. The agreement to provide iNums expands Sonetel’s relationship with Voxbone, which has provided the certified reseller more than 17,000 geographical phone numbers since 2010.

Are You a Human’s User-Friendly Game-Based Security Solution Aims to Replace Distorted Text CAPTCHAs – Are You a Human, a Detroit-based company that designs simple games used to verify human interaction on websites, today announced its innovative game-based human authentication tool, PlayThru. Designed to replace distorted text CAPTCHAs as a means of human identification, PlayThru is a free, cloud-based solution and is already deployed on the websites of popular business-to-consumer companies such as Quicken Loans and Fathead. PlayThru integrates with multiple CMS platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, PHPBB, and vBulletin, as well as libraries for all popular code formats. The solution can be downloaded for free at www.areyouahuman.com

Google’s Motorola Purchase Complete, Dennis Woodside Named CEO – Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility is now complete, the search giant and now hardware maker detailed in a May 22 blog post. And while Google has said it will run Motorola as a separate business, that doesn’t mean all will remain as-is.

HP Will Lose PC Crown to Lenovo but Remain a Leader – Hewlett-Packard is likely to lose its title as the world’s top-selling PC maker to Lenovo during the second or third quarter of this year. Still, HP will generate larger profits than Lenovo, and both companies will execute well going forward, according to a May 21 report from Technology Business Research (TBR) analyst Ezra Gottheil, following HP’s Global Influencers Summit in Shanghai earlier this month.

Intuit Expands Small Business Products and Services – Intuit’s not just for small business accounting anymore. You can add social media and marketing tool to the list of tasks the company offers entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Webopedia Daily:

Vertical Industry Portal – Vortal – Vertical Industry Portal (vortal) is a portal website that provides information and resources for a particular industry. Vortals are the Internet’s way of catering to consumers’ focused-environment preferences. Vortals typically provide news, research and statistics, discussions, newsletters, online tools, and many other services that educate users about a specific industry.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Pocket Marvels: 40 Years of Handheld Computers – From the first pocket scientific calculator through ’80s organizers to today’s tablets, check out 15 ingenious devices that have driven the handheld computing revolution.

What is the best font to use in a resume? – Could the font you use in your resume really be that important? You bet it can.

Bredolab: Jail for man who masterminded botnet of 30 million computers – A man who was in command of a botnet of some 30 million computers worldwide has been sentenced to four years jail in Armenia. According to prosecutors, Georg Avanesov was earning 100,000 Euros (£80,000 or $125,000) a month from hit Bredolab botnet business.

Floating city for startups makes waves among entrepreneurs – Over one hundred startups have expressed interest in moving their operations to international waters, allowing foreign workers to stay close to Silicon Valley.

The science behind flesh-eating bacteria and its cure – Learn answers to common questions about necrotizing fasciitis, the infection that has taken Aimee Copeland’s leg and may claim her life.

Today’s Quote:

An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.”

-      Jef Mallett

Today’s Free Downloads:

SRS Audio Essentials – SRS sound enhancements add bass, depth, spaciousness, and clarity to just about any piece of music or video. These features are included with Windows Media Player, but if you use another player, you need SRS Audio Essentials, which adds WOW and TruBass to any player.

Nvidia Forceware for Windows – This is the first WHQL-certified driver from the R295 family of drivers. It is the recommended upgrade for all GeForce users, especially those playing the latest hot PC games like Battlefield 3, Diablo III, Mass Effect 3, or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

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