Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 23, 2012

A faster, easier, tree-saving way to share documents – It works like this: Using TagMyDoc’s tools, you add a QR code to, say, a Word or PowerPoint file. That document gets tagged and uploaded to TagMyDoc’s cloud storage, where it effectively becomes an on-demand file: Anyone who scans the code from your hardcopy immediately gets a copy.

Microsoft legalizes collection of user info from its free services – In a move that has not been noted by the great majority of Microsoft users, the Redmond giant has changed its Services Agreement on Friday in order to legalize the collection of all personal information and customer content that can be gathered from the consumers of its free Web-based products (Hotmail, Bing, Outlook email service, etc.), and to use it to improve its other services.

Windows 7 to Windows 8: The system’s biggest improvements – Here are 15 improvements to Windows that you’ll want to check out in Microsoft’s latest OS, including some new tools in the Modern UI. Some of these improvements have no corresponding feature in Windows 7. If they do, we’ll show you what they look like in Windows 7 and (for comparison) provide a screenshot showing how they are enhanced in Windows 8. Let’s dive in.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Free dual-engine malware scanner – The free Emsisoft Emergency Kit 3.0 can detect and remove malware by simply starting it directly from a USB stick or CD without the need for installation. The kit comes with a dual-engine scanner and utilizes almost 12 million signatures and runs as fast as a single scan engine due to the removal of redundant signatures. There are hourly updates which can be downloaded manually.

20 Best WordPress Plugins – There are over 15,000 WordPress plugins available, which can make it extremely difficult to discover beneficial additions to your website. Supercharge your WordPress blog with these 20 must-have plugins.

Seven apps making the most of HTML5 – Here’s a look at how seven powerful apps are implementing the HTML5 vision and how one high-profile detractor lost its love for the Web’s next big thing. All provide insights on how to make the most of HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS, while avoiding the hard truths of relying on Web technologies to deliver your treasured app to your users.

Amazon Web Services outage takes out popular websites again – Just five months after storms took down Amazon-powered sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Netflix, issues at Amazon’s Northern Virginia datacenter gave Amazon Web Services customers fits on Monday.

Skype for Windows 8 Launches Friday – One of the most compelling uses for a tablet is easy video calling, and today, the leading player in that space, Skype, announced that it will launch a version that works on the newest tablet platform around—Windows 8.

Hulu Plus App Coming to Windows 8 – Hulu today unveiled an updated Hulu Plus app for Windows 8

Ubuntu moves some Linux development inside – Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and its popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, announced in his blog that they’ll be working on some new features behind closed doors for the next release.

Security:

Over half of Brits have fallen victim to cyber crime, but most haven’t changed their online behaviour – 56% of adults in the UK have suffered from cyber crime, according to a recent survey by getsafeonline.org. But that doesn’t seem to have changed their online behaviour, with nearly three quarters of them not having changed the way they use the internet.

How Hotmail lets down its users security-wise compared to Gmail and Yahoo – With hacks of web mail accounts being worryingly common, you would imagine that any popular online email service would give its users a way to check if their account has recently been accessed from somewhere unusual, or at a time when you weren’t surfing, or from a device that you don’t own. Google and Yahoo, both arch-rivals of Hotmail, have just such a system. But where it it on Microsoft’s Hotmail service? Sadly, it doesn’t appear to exist.

Researcher Develops Patch for Java Zero-Day, Puts Pressure on Oracle to Deliver its Fix – A security researcher has submitted to Oracle a patch he said took him 30 minutes to produce that would repair a zero-day vulnerability currently exposed in Java SE. He hopes his actions will spur Oracle to issue an out-of-band patch for the sandbox-escape vulnerability, rather than wait for the February 2013 Critical Patch Update as Oracle earlier said it would.

Flashing on the Queen’s highway can reveal your identity - a cautionary tale – How cautious are you about identity theft? Are you a flasher or a hider? Here’s Sam’s cautionary tale…

Service Offers Cheap Access to Hacked Servers – An online service that sells fairly cheap access to compromised corporate machines creates a pay-to-play scenario for criminals seeking access to the networks of high-profile organizations, according to a Krebs on Security report.

Open-Redirect Vulnerability, Fake Government URLs Duping Users – Spammers have recently taken advantage of an open-redirect vulnerability to phish users and trick them into clicking through links that appear to be coming from government (.gov) URLs.

Company News:

Yahoo Reports Solid Quarter Under New CEO Mayer – Yahoo on Monday filed earnings for the first time under the full-time direction of new CEO Marissa Mayer, reporting a relatively flat third quarter in terms of revenue against the same period in 2011.

Iomega Launches New StorCenter Small Business NAS – New NAS hardware from Iomega gives small businesses a cloud-connected edge.

First application firewall for Google Apps - CloudLock launched CloudLock Apps Firewall, which helps enterprises discover, classify and enable trusted third party mobile and web apps that require access to users’ Google Apps accounts and data.

Ancestry.com to be Acquired for $1.6 Billion – Genealogy site Ancestry.com this morning announced that it has agreed to be acquired by an investor group led by European private-equity firm Permira in a deal valued at $1.6 billion.

Valve Opens Steam Mobile iOS App to All – A recent update to the Steam Mobile app for iOS officially opened the doors to all account holders

Report: Samsung Display terminates LCD contract with Apple – Samsung Display has terminated a contract to make LCD panels for Apple due to supply chain issues and financial strain, according to a news report published in The Korea Times on Monday.

Webopedia Daily:

Information Technology (IT) Director - The information technology director oversees the information technology strategy for an organization, developing and implementing the policies and goals for the IT department. The IT director analyzes the business requirements of different departments and conducts feasibility studies to determine the best use of technical resources. Technical investments may include a new information system or upgrades to hardware or software components. The IT director coordinates information systems managers and reports to the chief information officer.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Five Worst Companies for Customer Service - In honor of evil week, we’re switching up the Hive Five a little bit. Instead of picking the five best in a category, this week we want to talk about the five worst in a category, specifically customer service. Some companies excel at it, but others—specifically major companies—fail more often than they succeed. This week we’re going to look at five of the worst, and show you how to beat them and get the answers you need.

HackRF Jawbreaker Could Bring Low-Cost Wireless Hacking to the Masses – Generations of hobbyists hardware hackers have spent countless hours messing with piles of radio gear, happily tinkering away in garages and basements looking for new ways to connect to people around the world. Now, a researcher has put together a new radio called HackRF that is a kind of all-in-one hacker’s dream with functionality to intercept and reverse-engineer traffic from a wide range of frequencies and sources.

FTC: Companies should limit facial recognition in some cases – Web companies using facial recognition technology should avoid identifying anonymous images of consumers to someone who could not otherwise identify them, unless the companies have the consumers’ consent, a U.S. Federal Trade Commission report said.

Italy’s electric bike boom - Bikes in general are making a strong comeback in Italy, a country where biking as a form of personal transportation (instead of just recreation) lags behind many other European countries. But this year, for the first time since World War II, the country had more bike sales than car sales. And e-bikes, battery-powered bikes that assist with pedaling, are becoming increasingly popular in Italy, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Intel strives toward tiny chips to run wearable computers – If your memory needs a nudge, you may someday be able to wear a device the size of a brooch or a Bluetooth earpiece to record your daily activities and conversations. Then days or years later you can get a digital reminder of that important meeting or particularly beautiful sunset. Intel evangelist Manny Vara, in an interview Monday, said wearable computers may be two to five years away. Unlike some early attempts that were too bulky, these would be small, light and convenient.

Today’s Quote:

The best index to a person’s character is – how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and – how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

-      Abigail van Buren

Today’s Free Downloads:

DVDStyler 2.3.2 – DVDStyler is a cross-platform free DVD authoring application for the creation of professional-looking DVDs. It allows not only burning of video files on DVD that can be played practically on any standalone DVD player, but also creation of individually designed DVD menus.

Eye Pro 2.0 – EyePro is a handy PC application that regularly reminds you to take “Short Breaks for your Eyes” with many exciting, customizable and Innovative features. It is an innovative tool done under the guidance of eminent Eye Doctor.

2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 23, 2012

  1. Fred

    “Microsoft legalizes collection of user info from its free services”
    So MS says they will collect all content of emails. How nice of them. Many years ago I was told that Gates had designed a backdoor into Windows so that the government could spy on you without you knowing about it. Now I don’t know much but that sures sounds Orwellian to me, I don’t know that it is true but it wouldn’t surprise me. And this latest revelation sure would make it more likely.
    Bill do you think the average user will do anything about it, or even care?

    Fred

    • Hi Fred,

      No – MS didn’t design Windows with a back door – there was no need to do so. Cybercriminals have little difficulty penetrating a given Windows system and you can be sure that governments (all of them), have more than a few cybercriminals (consultants :) ) at the ready.

      As for collecting user info – the sheeple will continue to allow themselves to be abused by data miners and others. Sad – but true.

      Best,

      Bill