Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 9, 2012

Nook Simple Touch e-reader drops to $79 – Barnes & Noble is dropping the price of its Nook Simple Touch e-reader by about $20 starting tomorrow, with a new price tag of $79, the company said today. CNET Reviews gave it four out of five stars and called it a “major advancement” over its predecessor.

Watch streaming video better with these tips for power users – With so many streams on so many sites (and not so many full-featured standalone player apps), staying on top of the brave new world of streaming TV can be a pain. With that in mind, here are some quick tips and tricks for making your live video streaming experience less painful.

10 Apps for Holiday Cooking and Baking – With all of the stirring and dicing and rolling going on in your kitchen this holiday season, sometimes you long for a helping hand. These mobile apps can be your digital sous chef.

My Nexus S can’t keep up with Android, but I’m (mostly) not bitter – People love to complain about the fact that most Android devices don’t run the latest version. Be careful what you wish for.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Android’s Google Now services headed for Chrome, too – The all-purpose alert system isn’t just for Android. Google is building Google Now into Chrome as well, taking advantage of its notifications system.

Tubalr: Spotify and YouTube rolled into one – Create your personal YouTube radio and TV channel with Tubalr. Tubalr has been making a buzz among the Web community quite recently by bringing a service everyone has been asking for but has never been quite fulfilled until now.

Manage your Any.DO task app from Chrome – In a sea of task apps, Any.DO has managed to make a name for itself. With a clean and simple user interface, it’s easy to just get started with managing what you need to do, who you need to call, or what you need to buy. And with the addition of their extension for Chrome, you’ll be able to add items to your list with little effort or downtime from your other computer activities.

Nielsen: Social media sucking up most of our time – Americans, you are spending every waking minute of your life online—or at least a sizable portion of your days. Apparently, spending all this time socializing online makes us feel really good about life. Nielsen reports that 76 percent of users have positive feelings after checking in on social networking sites. (Another fun fact: a third of 18- to 34-year-olds are on social media sites while using the bathroom. Way to multitask, everyone.)

Presidential gadgets: What technology does Obama use? – The most tech-savvy U.S. president to date, Barack Obama uses the best devices and technology for the job, in and outside of the White House. Here’s a look at some of the devices, platforms and technology he uses to carry out his day-to-day presidential duties.

WCIT-12 leak shows Russia, China, others seek to define ‘government-controlled Internet’ – Leaked proposals from the U.N. WCIT-12 summit show Russia, China, and similar regimes are making a bid to define the Internet as a system of government-controlled networks.

Tech Buyers’ Guide 2012 – Can’t find that perfect something for the special geek in your life? Perhaps this whimsical tour of 100+ worthy high-tech goodies can provide some inspiration.

Security:

How to Make Your Own Security Toolkit – If you’re the designated tech expert in your family or circle of friends, anybody who suffers a virus attack will come to you for help. Helping needn’t be a chore, as long as you put the right collection of tools on a USB drive and keep it on your keychain.

Microsoft wants to hear about your Android malware problems.. so it can promote Windows Phones – Is this a cheap shot by Microsoft? Or are they right to highlight the malware problem on Android smartphones?

We’re all clueless about privacy, FTC is told at hearing – “Putting the industry who wants to track you in charge of opting out of tracking seems like putting the fox in the hen house,” said Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. “How could I as a consumer trust you to opt me out when your entire business model is based on tracking?”

Google Now Gets Even Creepier (and Why That’s a Good Thing) – Google Now, a virtual assistant that comes standard on the newest versions of Android, is digging ever deeper into users’ data in an attempt to be more useful.

Privacy in America continues to erode online, report says – Privacy in America is being transformed in many ways — the intersection of your personal identity and your online activity is one example. The Wall Street Journal has been looking at this issue, and in its latest report it says companies are increasingly connecting consumers’ real-life identities to where they hang out online.

Company News:

Goldman Highlights Microsoft’s Shrinking Market Share – Back in 2000, Microsoft’s operating systems ran on a whopping 97 percent of consumer computing devices, namely desktop and laptop PCs, the investment bank said in a Friday note to investors. This year? Goldman forecast Redmond’s share of that redefined market tumbling all the way down to 20 percent, with both Google and Apple surging past Microsoft as a result of the rapidly rising tide for smartphones and tablets.

Angry game dev slams Microsoft Windows RT – Paul Johnson of Rubicon says his company spent some $16,000 porting a flagship game (Great Big War) to Windows RT, which has thus far only generated $83 its first week on sale.

Amazon to sell new Kindle Fire tablets in GameStop stores – The gaming retailer sweetens the deal by throwing in a free $25 Amazon gift card with the purchase of any of the new Kindle Fires.

Apple hires former Windows Hacker away from Microsoft – According to a piece on Wired, Apple has hired Kristin Paget away from Microsoft to be part of Apple’s security team. Apple’s days of security by obscurity days are clearly over. In April it was revealed over 600,000 Macs were infected with malware. Apple added malware protection to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard starting in 2009 and Paget’s hiring is a great sign that the company is taking security seriously.

Apple’s U.S. Mac-making plan would create 200 jobs – report – CEO Tim Cook’s remark that Apple will invest $100 million in manufacturing Macs in the states will mean the creation of 200 jobs, some industry watchers say.

Dropbox lures Python creator away from Google – Dropbox might have just scored a major win against Google — at least as far as personnel goes. The cloud storage provider just hired Guido Van Rossum, creator of the Python programming language. Dropbox confirmed the news in a blog post on Friday, as founder and CEO Drew Houston explained that Python has played a major role at his company

Apple and Google making joint bid for Kodak patents? – A reported Apple-Google joint effort to procure Kodak’s patents could auger a somewhat less litigious atmosphere in the future.

Webopedia Daily:

Cloud Provisioning – The deployment of a company’s cloud computing strategy, which typically first involves selecting which applications and services will reside in the public cloud and which will remain on site behind the firewall or in the private cloud. Cloud provisioning also entails developing the processes for interfacing with the cloud’s applications and services as well as auditing and monitoring who accesses and utilizes the resources. The most common reference to cloud provisioning is when a company seeks to transition some or all of its existing applications to the cloud without having to significantly re-architect or re-engineer the applications.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Inside ARM: The British success story taking the chip world by storm – A row of large, empty Champagne bottles stretches across the back wall of the canteen at ARM’s headquarters in Cambridge. Each of these bottles marks another milestone for the chip designer — another processor released or patent awarded, with the chip model scribbled on the label alongside the names of Champagne’s great houses. The dozens of bottles are testament to the success of a British company in challenging the giants of Silicon Valley, all from an unremarkable industrial estate in the middle of England.

Futuristic handcuffs would administer shocks, drugs – A patent for next-generation handcuffs offers a future in which the detained can be zapped directly from their restraints, and even injected with a medication, sedative, irritant, paralytic, or other fine substance.

Best Buy sends five iPads in error, says ‘keep them’ – In an attack of holiday spirit, Best Buy admits it made a mistake in sending a customer five iPads instead of one. The company says the customer should give the extras to people in need.

Dvorak: Happy Prediction Season! – As we approach the end of 2012, lame tech predictions for 2013 and beyond are beginning to crop up. I like to ridicule these predictions whenever possible since they often tend to be crazy. When they are not crazy, they are generalities or actual insider information, which don’t qualify as a prediction at all.

Today’s Quote:

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.”

-      Shirley Temple

Today’s Free Downloads:

LibreOffice Productivity Suite 4.0.0. Beta 1 – LibreOffice was developed to be a productivity suite that is compatible with other major office suites, and available on a variety of platforms. Beta test the next version.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition – With Macrium Reflect Free Edition you’ll be able to easily make an accurate and reliable image of your HDD or individual partitions. Using this image you can restore the entire disk, partition or individual files and folders in the event of a partial or complete system loss.

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