Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 14, 2012

End mind-numbing repetition with these 5 powerful PC automation tools – Once again, you find yourself sitting in front of your computer, eyes glazing over as you press the same sequence of buttons over and over to get something done. Whatever the task was, it probably wasn’t much fun. The good news is that you can code your way out of such busywork, even if you’re not a programmer. Here are five powerful automation tools that can help.

Infographic: The Dark Side of Teen Texting – Teenagers are texting fools, literally, as many expose themselves by sexting.

Make money blogging with five WordPress plugins - With over fifty-eight million blogs, WordPress is the single most widespread blogging platform in the world. What most people don’t realize is that WordPress can be used for much more than just blogging. Many small businesses have taken advantage of the open source platform to make it a means to sell both product and services. Though that might seem like a challenge, it’s not. With the right plugins, you can extend WordPress in such a way as to transform this blogging platform into a selling platform.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to stand out among birthday well-wishers on Facebook – Looking to add a little fun and excitement the next time you wish a friend a happy birthday on Facebook? Then it’s YouTube to the rescue.

Lifehacker: Most Popular Repurposing Tricks of 2012 – Getting a shiny new toy is great, but nothing beats the special thrill of realizing something you already have can do something incredible you never knew it could. That’s the magic behind repurposing tricks and hacks, and we’ve had many great ones over this last year. Here are the most popular from 2012.

Add a self-made Start button to the Windows 8 desktop – Greg Shultz shows you how to create the CLSID shortcut to the Apps screen and set it up like a Start button.

Microsoft: Come next February, Live Mesh will be dead – As of February 2013, Microsoft’s Live Mesh PC-sync service will be no more. SkyDrive is its replacement.

Answer Line: TrueCrypt vs. encrypted .zip files – When you open a file inside a .zip archive, both WinZip and 7-Zip will decompress and decrypt the file to a temporary folder. When you close the file, 7-Zip merely deletes it, leaving traces that can be recovered by people who don’t have your best interests at heart. WinZip securely wipes the temporary file–a much better solution. But TrueCrypt avoids the problem altogether, since the file remains only in the encrypted vault.

Netflix vs. Amazon Instant Video: Who Streams Supreme? – Netflix has regular subscribers that pay for for access to the service and nothing else. Amazon Instant Video users are really just Amazon Prime subscribers who enjoy two-day shipping and have discovered they can get some video content for free as well. It isn’t exactly like comparing apples to apples, and that is why Geek.com’s breakdown is so useful.

U.N. summit implodes as U.S., others spurn Internet treaty – Confab breaks down after U.S., Canada, and other democracies refuse to sign treaty that would hand a U.N. agency more authority over how the Net is managed.

Dvorak: Internet Treaty Thwarted. What to Expect Now? – A firestorm is brewing over the recent proposals from the United Nations-sponsored meetings regarding the new Internet treaty that the United States is refusing to sign. The treaty would entertain censorship, which we cannot tolerate despite the fact that the Internet is incredibly censored already. Let me quote some of the assertions made in the media about all this. Then I’ll try and explain what it all means.

Windows 8 password reset trick requires no third-party software – All it takes is ten minutes, a Windows 8 System Recovery disc or USB flash drive, and the patience to execute a few simple directives from the command prompt. The trick, as detailed by Jamal Naji, boils down to replacing the Ease of Access center application (utilman.exe) with another copy of the command prompt (cmd.exe).

Why, how and where to update your Windows 8 drivers – Is your hardware on the fritz after upgrading to Windows 8? Updating your drivers could fix the problem. We tell you how and where to find the most up-to-date drivers for your rig.

Hardware 2.0: Best CPUs and motherboards list (2012 edition) – We’re kicking off this series by looking at CPU and motherboards in three different price categories — extreme, mainstream, and budget, where we’re going to look at CPUs and motherboards ranging from an eye-watering $1,000 to a very reasonable $50.

Report: E-Reader Sales Plunge as Tablets Take Over – Sales of dedicated e-reading devices like the black-and-white Kindles are in an “alarmingly precipitous decline” this year after five years of rapid growth, research firm IHS iSuppli says.

Security:

Internet Explorer flaw allows attackers to track your mouse movements – An Internet Explorer vulnerability allows hackers to track mouse cursor movement anywhere on the screen, even if a given window is inactive, unfocused or minimised. It can also compromise the security of virtual keyboards and keypads, thereby thwarting their use against keyloggers.

Facebook voting is gone, but privacy issues just get worse – Facebook community voting is dead, making it even harder for users to influence the social network’s increasingly user-hostile privacy decisions.

Most security pros want more desktop privilege control – While 84% of those surveyed believe their organizations need better control of user privileges on company machines, nearly 40% of respondents reported that more than half of employees at their organizations have privileged accounts and another 5% are unsure how widely privileged accounts are used throughout their organizations.

Carly Rae Jepsen nude photos hacker suspect arrested – A man who is alleged to have stolen nude photographs from the computer of “Call Me Maybe” pop star Carly Rae Jepsen has been arrested.

Cyber-Disaster a ‘Whisker Away,’ RSA CEO Claims – RSA Security CEO Art Coviello each year takes a look back at what has transpired in security and then looks ahead at what the business might expect to see in the next 12 months. Coviello warns that we may be closer to catastrophe than we know. Check out his other predictions for 2013 in the world of IT security.

FBI Memo Shows Hackers Accessed Commercial HVAC Systems – An FBI memo says cyber intruders took advantage of weak credentialing in an industrial control system to gain control of a New Jersey air conditioning company’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.

Persistent Input Validation Zero Day Patched by PayPal – PayPal patched a zero-day vulnerability this week in its core content management system. Researchers at Vulnerability Laboratory in Germany reported the flaw in June and withheld disclosure of the details until this week when PayPal released a fix.

Company News:

Steam opens up Community Market for the sale of virtual goods – The basic concept behind the Community Market is that players will be able to sell their in-game items directly to other players. Valve will get a cut of the transaction, as will the publisher of the game, and then the player who’s selling the item gets to pocket the rest. Of course, the money is only available to the player’s Steam Wallet which makes it an even bigger revenue booster to Valve and, by extension, all other publishers on Steam.

Apple’s iPhone found to infringe Sony, Nokia patents – A federal jury in Delaware has found Apple’s iPhone infringes on three patents held by MobileMedia, a patent-holding company formed by Sony, Nokia and MPEG LA. The jury’s verdict in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware was announced on Thursday and came after a seven-day trial and just a day of deliberations.

Dell commits to open-source software for its future clouds – Dell will use the OpenStack cloud management and automation software for its public and private cloud products, the company has announced, in a sign of increasing support for the open-source project.

Dropbox Buys Audiogalaxy … for Music-Streaming Service? – Cloud-based media streaming could be in Dropbox’s future, following its acquisition of music service Audiogalaxy. Audiogalaxy announced the transaction on its blog, and said the companies will merge to “bring great new experiences,” though further details were not disclosed.

Twitter unveils new ad tools for better keyword matching – Advertisers now have several options for how to match promoted tweets to search terms, and can tie ads to trending topics.

Webopedia Daily:

SEM – Short for search engine marketing, SEM is often used to describe acts associated with researching, submitting and positioning a Web site within search engines to achieve maximum exposure of your Web site. SEM includes things such as search engine optimization, paid listings and other search-engine related services and functions that will increase exposure and traffic to your Web site.

Off Topic (Sort of):

5 cloud myths that will be debunked in 2013 – There are a lot of common misconceptions and myths related to cloud computing. Many think of the cloud as less secure and reliable than on premise solutions, when in reality the opposite is actually true. There is also a lot of talk that leads many in the industry to believe that all cloud services are the same. It’s time to start fresh in the new year, and that means busting some of the most common myths about the cloud.

Pinokio Lamp (Video 1:53) – Lamp is an exploration into the expressive and behavioural potentials of robotic computing. Customized computer code and electronic circuit design imbues Lamp with the ability to be aware of its environment, especially people, and to expresses a dynamic range of behaviour. As it negotiates its world, we the human audience can see that Lamp shares many traits possessed by animals, generating a range of emotional sympathies. (recommended by Michael F.)

What Is Big Data? – When someone says big data, what do you think of? Do you think of mainframes? Data warehouses? Do you think of Oracle Grids, Exadata, or Teradata clusters? Perhaps you think of Hadoop, MongoDB, Cassandra, or CouchDB? Or maybe it’s any NoSQL database? Or perhaps you think it’s just a giant mass of data in one place? In fact, the term is so overused, and I think intentionally so, that it’s almost meaningless. I want to address that problem here.

Google Maps for iOS message: What Google really meant to say – Google’s blog post on the Google Maps for iOS launch has a series of jabs in it. Here’s a between the lines reading.

Today’s Implausible Bill Clinton Picture – From an appearance at Dell World in (manifestly) Texas. (recommended by Michael F.)

Steve Jobs’ Career at Apple (2 minute video) – A quick look at Steve Jobs’ career at Apple, the company he co-founded with Steve Wozniak in 1976.

Today’s Quote:

“I’ve gone into hundreds of [fortune-teller's parlors], and have been told thousands of things, but nobody ever told me I was a policewoman getting ready to arrest her.”

-       New York City Detective

Today’s Free Downloads:

VSO Downloader 2.9.14.8 – Download videos from thousands of sites with fast download speed. Steaming content is automatically detected and downloaded extra fast. Convert downloaded videos to MP3, AVI, iPad, iPhone, Mp4, H264, Xvid. Compatible with any web browser.

Dropbox 1.6.5 Final – Dropbox is a useful tool that will enable you to instantly store your files online and share them. It can also synchronize the files from your offline directories and online storage.

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