Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 18, 2012

PCMag: The Top 100 Websites – Our annual look at the best of the Web features both undiscovered and classic sites that deserve some real estate on your bookmarks tab.

Micro PC showdown! (Yes, they live inside USB drives) – They’re incredibly small, but surprisingly powerful. We show you what these teeny-tiny computers are capable of and how well they perform.

Raspberry Pi Mini PC Gets Own App Store – The pint-sized Raspberry Pi computer now has its very own app store.

Find Wi-Fi on the Fly – If you’re on the hunt for a wireless connection, JiWire’s Wi-Fi Finder (for iPad) app will help you find all Wi-Fi hotspots, both paid and free, anywhere in the world. Unlike other competitors, you don’t need to be online to view the list.

YouTube Capture App Offers Quick Video Recording, Sharing – YouTube today launched a new app, dubbed Capture, that lets iPhone users quickly create and post videos to the Google-owned site.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to get started with DLNA – What the heck is DLNA and why you should care about it? I’ll keep this simple. If you have a lot of media stored on your PC—namely music, movies, and photos—DLNA makes it possible to stream that stuff to other devices in your house. TVs, Blu-ray players, media boxes, and even smartphones and tablets.

Securing a tablet for web browsing in six easy steps – Taking your tablet online can make you vulnerable to an assortment of internet dangers, including identity theft and hackers. This is especially true if you’re taking advantage of a public hotspot rather than your home network. Follow these simple steps to ensure safe and secure browsing no matter where you are.

Trick Siri into using Google – Tired of Apple Maps sending you on wild-goose chases? Tell Siri you’d rather get directions from Google Maps — no jailbreaking required.

Man who hacked Scarlett Johansson’s email gets a whopping ten years in prison – The crook who cracked into the email of numerous celebrities, including Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis, has been sent to prison. Is there anything the rest of us can learn from this?

Angry Birds Star Wars Lands on Facebook – Rovio released its uber-popular bird-slinging game Angry Birds Star Wars on Facebook, complete with new power-ups, tournaments, and full social integration.

A Tiny Stick for Connected TV – The tiny Roku Stick can turn your HDTV into a connected media hub without taking up any shelf space. Read our review to see how it fares compared with a Roku box.

16 of the most useful cloud management tools – Below is a list of 16 cloud management tools, broken up by category: cost tracking, automation and provisioning, and cloud management platform. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list, but rather an overview of some of the players.

Tricks to Organize and Share Photos – Knowing a few simple tricks for keeping your photos organized will save you oodles of time and work when you share them online.

Security:

Facebook users targeted with bogus Walmart gift card offer – The latest of this scams starts with a message saying “Hey friends, I got a $1000 Gift Card from WALMART as a Christmas Gift! Get it right away! According to Facecrooks, those who follow the link land on a page reiterating the gift card offer and enumerating the steps they have to go through in order to be eligible for the offer.

Instagram says it has right to sell your photos – In its first big policy shift since Facebook bought the photo-sharing site, Instagram claims the right to sell users’ photos without payment or notification. Oh, and there’s no way to opt out.

Phishers lure users in with fake Facebook security app – Unfortunately for those who fall for the “certified by Facebook” sign, the fake Facebook stock certificate image and the “insert confirmation code” trick, the Facebook username and password they submit to the site get sent directly to the scammers.

Cisco VoIP Phone Hacked, Turned into Listening Device – Network-enabled devices such as routers and printers are notoriously insecure and fully exploitable gateways leading attackers toward network resources. A researcher and PhD student at Columbia University recently added VoIP phones to the list of pressing concerns.

Carberp-in-the-Mobile found on Google Play – The CitMo components were packaged as mobile applications from Russian Sberbank and Alfa-Bank, and popular social network VKontakte. Once installed, the CitMo component would work quietly in the background. The researchers spotted the fake apps last Wednesday, informed Google about them, and the company removed then from the market on Thursday.

Ransomware demands survey completion instead of cash – Ransomware has replaced fake AV as the most high-profile and annoying malware targeting computer users around the world, and the approach is always the same: the owners of the blocked computer are urged to pay a fine because of their supposed illegal online behavior or asked to fork over money in order to get their hijacked files decrypted. But the malware peddlers behind one of the latest ransomware attacks have had a novel idea – instead of asking for money, they are urging users to complete a survey in order to get their computer unlocked.

Company News:

Instagram Updates Privacy Policies, Takes Heat for Twitter Talks – Instagram announced an update to its privacy policy and terms of service, which will take effect on Jan. 16, but the company is also under fire for not disclosing details about Twitter acquisition talks.

RIM launches invitation-only BlackBerry 10 evaluation program – RIM today announced the launch of a BlackBerry 10 Technical Preview program for 120 select customers. Organizations participating in the BlackBerry 10 Technical Preview are getting early access to the new BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 enterprise mobility management platform, as well as to a limited number of pre-production BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

Facebook to offer Snapchat-like ‘self-destructing’ message app, says report – The app would be very similar to Snapchat, which enables iPhone and Android users to swap photos privately and set a time frame limiting access to the content. The files are then deleted from the users’ phones and Snapchat’s servers. Among other uses, Snapchat app seems to be very popular with sexters swapping photos. A report from AllThingsD expects a similar Facebook app to surface within weeks.

Nielsen, Twitter Team Up for Social TV Ratings – Nielsen will team up with Twitter to deliver reports that monitor TV-related conversations on the micro-blogging site.

Hulu Plus Tops 3 Million Subscribers – Hulu announced today that it now has more than 3 million paying Hulu Plus customers, a number that has more than doubled since last year.

Webopedia Daily:

HortonWorks – An enterprise software firm that specializes in open source Apache Hadoop development and support. HortonWorks was launched in 2011 by Yahoo and Benchmark Capital, and its flagship product is Hortonworks Data Platform, which is powered by Apache Hadoop. Hortonworks Data Platform is designed as an open source platform that facilitates integrating Apache Hadoop with an enterprise’s existing data architectures. In late 2012, Hortonworks collaborated with Rackspace to provide an OpenStack-based Hadoop offering for the public and private cloud.

Off Topic (Sort of):

NRA’s Facebook page shuttered, Twitter activity halted – It looks like the National Rifle Association is backing away from social media as the U.S. grapples with the Newtown school massacre and gun control.

Cracking the gadget pricing code: Buy now or wait? – Is now the best time to buy a PC, tablet, camera or TV? Will prices hold steady, or are they primed to plummet? Industry experts weigh in.

Dvorak: Android Agitations – Don’t get me wrong, I like the fact that Google is keeping Android moving ahead. It’s also nice to know that, as a writer commenting on these products, owning the Google-branded products will keep me ahead of the curve. I’ve run into people operating on an Android 2.x. It’s embarrassing. But my point is that Google is out of control with the changes it is making to the interface and the functionality of its phones.

3,000-year-old murder solved – Egyptologists say they believe they’ve established the truth about the death of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses III 3,000 years ago. And, just as an ancient papyrus suggests, they say, conspirators murdered him by slitting his throat.

Infographic: Just How Big Is Amazon.com? – The beauty of Amazon.com is its utterly mass appeal, all packaged in an easy-to-navigate website. But what if the online retailer were actually a brick-and-mortar store?

Phones will soon have five senses, says IBM – IBM has released its annual set of predictions for the next five years – and says it expects computers and smartphones to see, smell, touch, taste and hear.

Today’s Quote:

“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”

-      Rod Serling

Today’s Free Downloads:

You should have Cain & Abel in your security toolbox – There’s a sort of cruel irony to passwords. The legitimate passwords people need to use to access crucial applications or data are often forgotten, and yet the bad guys seem to be able to crack passwords without breaking a sweat. Thankfully, there’s a free tool available that can help you in either of these cases—Cain & Abel.

Vuze 4.8.1.2 – Azureus, now called Vuze, implements the BitTorrent protocol using java language and comes bundled with many invaluable features for both beginners and advanced users.

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