Monthly Archives: January 2013

EULAlyzer – A Free Tool To Help “Uncomplicate” End User License Agreements

imageI’ve always considered that reading a EULA (End User License Agreement), is sort of like reading the phone book; and who reads a phone book?

I must admit that I get bored and distracted when reading EULA text; especially since I’m forced to read reams of small text, in a small window, which requires me to scroll continuously. I suspect, I’m not alone in this, and that most people just skim over the text; or more to the point – don’t bother reading the EULA at all.

However, there’s a downside risk in not reading the EULA carefully. By not reading the EULA carefully, we may let ourselves in for some unwelcome, annoying, and potentially dangerous surprises.

One of the most important aspects of any software license agreement is, the information it provides concerning the intentions of the software, and whether there are additional components bundled with the main application.

Additional components that could potentially display pop-up ads, transmit personal identifiable information back to the developer, or use unique tracking identifiers.

Not all software applications contain these additional components of course, but you need to be aware of those that do when you are considering installing an application.

Software developers who choose to employ these tools (to gather information for example), are generally not underhanded, and in most cases there is full disclosure of their intent contained in the EULA. But here’s the rub – virtually no one reads EULAs.

EULAlyzer, a free application from BrightFort (formerly: Javacool Software), the SpywareBlaster developer, can make reading and analyzing license agreements, while not a pleasure, at least not as painful.

This free application quickly scans a EULA, and points out words, statements, and phrases, that you need to consider carefully. Results are rated by “Interest Level” and organized by category, so it’s easy to zero-in on the issue that concern you the most.

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Working similar to an anti-spyware program, EULAlyzer flags suspicious wording on a scale of 1 to 10 – based on how critical the disclosed information can be to your security, or privacy.

Let’s take a look at the license agreement for Piriform’s CCleaner.

You’ll note that there three areas of limited concern that have been flagged – as shown in the screen shot, below. Clicking on “Goto” icon will expand the related wording.

I’m very familiar with Piriform’s freeware applications – nevertheless, as is my habit, I read the EULA carefully.

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Let’s take a look at the license agreement for GOM Audio Player.

Again, EULAlyzer has flagged a number of issues – but, in this case, these are issues that I considered very carefully before installation this application.

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If you, like me, download freeware frequently, then you need to read the software license agreement carefully. EULAlyzer will make it easier for you to focus on the important aspects of the agreement.

There is no doubt that we could all use a little help in working our way through these wordy, but necessary agreements. The reality is, all software EULAs should be read carefully.

Fast facts:

Discover potentially hidden behavior about the software you’re going to install.

Pick up on things you missed when reading license agreements.

Keep a saved database of the license agreements you view.

Instant results – super-fast analysis in just a second.

EULAlyzer makes it simple to instantly identify highly interesting and important parts of license agreements, privacy policies, and other similar documents, including language that deals with:

Advertising

Tracking

Data Collection

Privacy-Related Concerns

Installation of Third-Party or Additional Software

Inclusion of External Agreements By Reference

Potentially Suspicious Clauses

and, much more…

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8.

Download at: Major Geeks

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Filed under Don't Get Scammed, downloads, Freeware, Software, Utilities

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 31, 2013

Browsers Beat Security Software in Phishing Protection Test – A report released today by Austin-based NSS Labs reveals a surprising result: your browser alone is most likely better at phishing protection than your security suite.

How to monitor and manage your PC from any smartphone or tablet – It’s 2013, and computing has entered a new age of mobility. If you’re still wasting time trudging over to your PCs to perform routine maintenance, check for software updates, and power down every night, you haven’t gotten with the program.

Dice Will Troll the Social Media Profiles of Prospective Employees – Launched today as a beta tool for recruiters already signed up to Dice, the tool combs through a candidate’s online social media presence in order to generate a comprehensive, and more personal, profile of the person a company is considering hiring. According to Dice, the service will scour up to 50 different social networks, including tech-centric sites like Stack Overflow and GitHub, as well as mainstream sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, essentially delivering the most detailed profile a recruiter could hope for, all in one place.

Bang with Friends sex app is on fire – Bang With Friends (BWF) is a sex app that allows users to anonymously hook up with their Facebook friends. And yes, this particular app is on fire as its popularity quickly increases. How does it work? Well, first you sign in with Facebook, pick the friends you want to “bang,” message each other, and then, voila!

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Faster, better, stronger: Get your PC in tip-top shape – With regular maintenance and a bit of effort, it’s possible to keep a Windows system relatively clean and performing at its peak. Some of the things we’re going to cover here may be second nature to long-time PC aficionados, but these tips should come in quite handy for casual users. At the very least they’ll help you keep your system clean, updated, and better protected from potential threats.

Governments increasingly strong-arm Twitter for data – Given that Twitter is based in San Francisco, California, it’s not surprising that most government requests for data originate in the US. In fact, during the second half of 2012, 81% of all information requests worldwide – that’s 815 requests – came from the US. Japan was a distant second, with a total of 62 requests. Brazil was third, with 34 requests. The UK asked for information 25 times.

Mozilla to Require ‘Click to Play’ on Firefox Plugins – Mozilla announced this week that it will require “Click to Play” for all third-party plugins on Firefox, except the most current version of Flash. What that means is that whenever you hit a third-party plugin via the Firefox browser, you will – by default – have to grant the browser permission to access it.

Comodo Firewall – It’s completely free, and it includes a wide range of features beyond the expected. Comodo’s 2013 edition has gotten a serious makeover, with top-to-bottom streamlining of its user interface.In addition to a brand-new interface, the latest version of Comodo Firewall has toned down the behavior blocking popups found in previous versions. It offers a wealth of bonus features including a hardened browser, sandboxing, and secure DNS lookup. Super-techie users will love it; ordinary folks may be a bit overwhelmed.

Fleksy Is an Alternative Keyboard Even the Blind Can Use - iOS: Fleksy is an alternative keyboard with unprecedented predictive text skills. You can type a word completely wrong and it’ll still figure out what you meant. That’s because Fleksy was designed with the blind in mind. The keyboard not only fixes your grievous typing errors, but speaks back the word to you so you know what it thinks you typed. The keyboard only consists of letters, however.

Five network management tools for admins – No matter what your level of expertise, and your network needs, one of these tools should make the gathering of information about your network a simple task. Whether you need a simple, ncurses-based tool, or a full-blown, full-featured GUI, you can find what you’re looking for and not have to spend a single penny.

Google Maps, Street View, and privacy: Try harder, Google - Google has seemingly been decent at maintaining the privacy of passers-by and license plates appearing in Google Maps Street View images, but how good is their privacy algorithm really? Questionable, according to my recent research.

Set up Windows 8 as a home server – Set up your PC as a home or small business server to save time, money and storage space while sharing your data across multiple PCs and mobile devices.

Security:

Hacker blackmailed 350 women into stripping on their webcams, FBI says – The FBI has arrested a 27-year-old man, who they claim hacked the accounts of Facebook users, and coerced hundreds of women into stripping while he watched via Skype.

New Ransomware Encrypts Victim Data – An unusual new strain of ransomware makes good on its threat, doing what the majority of other varieties only claim to do. The Trojan actually encrypts data on infected machines, effectively rendering certain files inaccessible to users on compromised computers in order to block removal.

How to fix the UPnP security holes – The US Department of Homeland Security is urging everyone to disable the common networking Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) protocol. This is being done because Rapid7 security researchers have found that tens of million devices worldwide are wide open to attack because of flaws in the network protocol and its implementations.

Google Offers Phone Notifications for Suspicious Activity, Here’s How to Enable Them – If a hacker gets access to your Gmail account, the results could be disastrous. Google has long notified users via email if their account passwords have been changed or there’s a suspicious login attempt, but now you can also set up phone alerts. You’ll find this recently added feature under your Accounts > Security page. To get the text message alerts, add your mobile phone number and just check the two notification boxes. You’ll get a one-time verification code on your phone to finish setting this up.

Printers join fray in network vulnerability landscape – Printers are not the typical paths cybercriminals take into corporate networks. Nevertheless, the devices have become a concern among experts who see them as an ignored weakness in network defenses. Andrew Howard, a U.K. mobile app developer, recently raised the issue of printer security by showing that a “quick, well-crafted Google search” could return 86,800 results for publicly accessible Hewlett-Packard printers.

Malware controls 620,000 phones, sends costly messages – A new discovered malware is potentially one of the most costly viruses yet discovered. Uncovered by NQ Mobile, the “Bill Shocker” (a.expense.Extension.a) virus has already impacted 620,000 users in China and poses a threat to unprotected Android devices worldwide.

New York Times breached by Chinese hackers over four months – Chinese hackers accessed e-mails of reporters and stole employee passwords, with the timing of attacks coinciding with an investigative report on the wealth of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s relatives.

Company News:

Fujitsu develops new data transfer protocol that is 30 times faster than TCP – There are two main data transfer protocols — Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP). If you only had to know one fact about each protocol, it’s that TCP is slower because it takes time to check for errors, and UDP is faster because it doesn’t check for errors as much. Obviously, as shown by both protocols, having to vigorously check for errors limits the speed of a transfer protocol, but Fujitsu has announced that it has found a way to add error-checking into a UDP-like protocol and keep the higher speed.

Goodbye Research In Motion, hello BlackBerry – Research In Motion is changing its name to BlackBerry, a move it hopes will signify a fresh start for the company. The surprise name change, which takes effect immediately, was announced by CEO Thorsten Heins at an event in New York to launch the company’s new BlackBerry 10 operating system and smartphones.

File-sharing site Mega fields 150 copyright infringement warnings – The file-sharing service Mega has fielded 150 copyright warnings since its recent launch as founder Kim Dotcom grows a risky new business while under indictment by U.S. prosecutors for running Megaupload.

Tumblr avoids porn label and adds mature rating to iOS app – After Apple pulled the 500px photo app from iTunes over a porn controversy, it seems Tumblr is doing what it can to avoid the same fate by adding a 17+ age warning to its iPhone and iPad app.

Webopedia Daily:

Server farm – Also referred to as server cluster, computer farm or ranch. A server farm is a group of networked servers that are housed in one location. A server farm streamlines internal processes by distributing the workload between the individual components of the farm and expedites computing processes by harnessing the power of multiple servers. The farms rely on load-balancing software that accomplishes such tasks as tracking demand for processing power from different machines, prioritizing the tasks and scheduling and rescheduling them depending on priority and demand that users put on the network. When one server in the farm fails, another can step in as a backup.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Who’s liable when a self-driving car self-crashes? – States ponder how to write regulations. Automakers offer suggestions on who’s not at fault (guess).

The case against Aaron Swartz: Why we should be concerned – Patrick Lambert looks as the charges facing Internet activist Aaron Swartz before his death. Why were the penalties so severe and how easy would it be for others to get in the same kind of legal trouble?

Physicists create world’s first multiverse of universes in the lab – Researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park and Towson University are reporting that they have created multiple universes inside a laboratory-created multiverse — a world first. Now, you should wonder if any of those universes are real, or are just some sort of simulation.

Check Out Facebook’s NFL Fan Loyalty Map – If you’re an NFL fan in Nassau County, chances are you support the New York Jets. The bad news is that the western tip of Long Island is the only strip of turf in the country where you make up the majority and you’re surrounded on all sides by a sea of Giants, Patriots, Steelers, and Eagles fans.

iPhone users pay highest phone bills – New data shows that 59 percent of iPhone users spend more than $100 per month on their carrier bill, while 56 percent of Windows phone users and 53 percent of Android users pay that much.

New Year’s Day was the biggest ever for Facebook – Users uploaded 600 million photos in one day — the most ever for the social network.

Today’s Quote:

“People will forget what you do. People will forget what you say. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

-      Charlie Coffey

Today’s Free Downloads:

ScanNow for UPnP – The free scanner checks whether your network-enabled devices might be vulnerable to attack through the UPnP protocol. Find out if you might be one of the millions of users at risk through these vulnerabilities and what steps you can take to reduce risk.

EASEUS Todo Backup Free Edition – Protect your PC with EASEUS Todo Backup Home by just a few quick steps. If you lose any files you like or need to go back to an earlier version, don’t worry, you can recover them in time.

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Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 30, 2013

Tor Browser Bundle lets you browse in anonymity – If you want to beef up and anonymize your Internet browsing experience as well, Tor Browser Bundle (free) is the way to go.  The Tor Browser Bundle is a portable, self-extracting package which contains a special version of Firefox, along with an application for connecting to Tor.

How to record calls on your smartphone – Whether you’re conducting an interview, hosting an important conference call, or trying to trick a criminal mastermind into revealing his plans for global domination, you’ll need a way to record your phone calls. If you have a smartphone, you’re in luck: There are apps for that. And even if your phone isn’t especially brainy, it can record any inbound call easily and at no cost.

Stay Secure With This Mobile Privacy Chart – Mobile devices seem so tidy and personal that people might forget that their phone or tablet is a target for attack. As part of their ongoing look at emerging mobile threats Trend Micro has released this handy chart of security tips for mobile users. It may look a little complicated, but it’s good advice.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Not ready for Office 2013? Here are five open alternatives – With numerous components and pricing plans, this cross-platform entry is surely Redmond’s broadest-reaching office product to date. Time will tell how well it does, but meanwhile there are plenty of alternatives for those who remain unconvinced. Here’s a small sampling of what’s available from the world of free and open source software.

Five great Android Wi-Fi calling apps – There are many reasons to enjoy Wi-Fi calling, from starting video chats with family far and wide, to giving your old phone a new lease on life as a Wi-Fi-only device in little Johnny’s hands. However you want to use it, you still need to know which apps are best.

How to enable two-factor authentication on popular sites – It may not be the perfect security solution, but two-factor authentication reduces the risks associated with common Web activities — from searching to social networking to online banking.

Get phone alerts for suspicious activity on your Google account – Are you often looking for the best way to protect your data online? Here’s another tip to help keep you up to speed with your Google account.

India pushes for wristwatch to ward off sexual violence – Following the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old and subsequent calls for better protection of Indian women, the government proposes a gadget that would alert police, send GPS coordinates.

HTML5 ‘turns web pages into computers': Berners-Lee – World Wide Web founder sees new horizons with HTML5, but warns against government overreach. In the BBC interview, he cautioned: “There are governments or large companies who would really like to control the web. They’d really like to determine exactly what websites you go to. There’s so much money in it.”

Security:

Researcher: UPnP flaws expose millions of networked devices to remote attacks – Tens of millions of network-enabled devices including routers, printers, media servers, IP cameras, smart TVs and more can be attacked over the Internet because of dangerous flaws in their implementation of the UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) protocol standard, security researchers from Rapid7 said Tuesday in a research paper.

Feds stumbling after Anonymous launches ‘Operation Last Resort’ – The U.S. Department of Justice still has two Federal websites down since Friday when Anonymous launched ‘Operation Last Resort’ demanding legal reform.

Bogus Windows 8 activators collect users’ private info – Unfortunately for the users who download them, these “activators” ask them to fill out a form with personal details and send an SMS message to a specific number in order to get the activation code. Needless to say, no code will be returned, and the users have just parted with private information and have spent money on the SMS.

Trojan stole over 16,000 Facebook credentials – The ‘PokerAgent’ Trojan targeted Zynga Poker, the most popular online poker site in the world. Zynga Poker hosts the Texas Hold’Em Poker App for Facebook. According to APPData, the game has more than 35 million active monthly users.

Ruby on Rails receives the third security patch in less than a month – Developers of the Ruby on Rails Web development framework released versions 3.0.20 and 2.3.16 of the software on Monday in order to address a critical remote code execution vulnerability. This is the third security update released in January for Ruby on Rails, an increasingly popular framework for developing Web applications using the Ruby programming language that was used to build websites like Hulu, GroupOn, GitHub, Scribd and others.

Company News:

ManageEngine Monitors Application Performance for Big Data and NoSQL – ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, today announced that its on-premise application performance monitoring solution, Applications Manager, supports NoSQL technologies that drive big data. Now, Applications Manager can monitor application performance and provide operational intelligence for the Apache Cassandra and the MongoDB NoSQL databases. The ManageEngine solution also continues its existing support for traditional relational databases such as Oracle, MySQL and memcached.

LG Electronics posts loss through EU price fixing fine – LG Electronics has posted a loss after being fined by Europe for price fixing.

Voxbone Forms Partner Program to Broaden Deployment – Voxbone today announced a new partnership program for VoIP solutions providers to ease customer deployments of international telephone and toll-free services via technical and marketing cooperation. AudioCodes, Matrix Telecom and REVE Systems are the first partners to join

Apple’s 128GB iPad: How much the bump really costs – Apple just announced its most expensive iPad yet. And as usual, what you’re paying is far, far more than what it costs Apple to make.

Michael Dell to use own money to seek majority control – report – The company founder is planning to kick in $500 million to $1 billion of his personal funds to try to get majority control of Dell, Bloomberg reports.

Webopedia Daily:

Cloud backup – Cloud backup, or cloud computer backup, refers to backing up data to a remote, cloud-based server. As a form of cloud storage, cloud backup data is stored in and accessible from multiple distributed and connected resources that comprise a cloud. Cloud backup solutions enable enterprises or individuals to store their data and computer files on the Internet using a storage service provider, rather than storing the data locally on a physical disk, such as a hard drive or tape backup. Cloud backup providers enable customers to remotely access the provider’s services using a secure client log in application to back up files from the customer’s computers or data center to the online storage server using an encrypted connection.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Man allegedly follows GPS directions to wrong house; shot dead – Friends say a man in his early 20s was picking up one more of their group to go skating, when his GPS took him to the wrong house and the home-owner allegedly shot him dead, later saying he feared a home invasion.

10 PC peripherals that push the limits of science and tech – Some of the examples in the following slides make sense as evolutionary steps forward. Others should surprise even the most active imaginations.

Want to unlock your phone? Fix the DMCA – The anti-circumvention provision of the DMCA has been stifling research, slowing innovation, and annoying consumers for more than a decade. So why does it still exist?

How self-loathing and Photoshop can make you a very sad person – Shirley Hornstein used her expert Photoshop skills to pretend she knew many famous people and to ingratiate herself in the Valley. Now, it seems, she’s decided to reveal why.

Today’s Quote:

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad.”

-     James Madison    (Father of the US Constitution)

Today’s Free Downloads:

LibreOffice Productivity Suite 3.6.5 – LibreOffice was developed to be a productivity suite that is compatible with other major office suites, and available on a variety of platforms.

Freemake Video Downloader – Download videos from YouTube, Hulu, Vevo, Facebook, MTV, ComedyCentral, Vimeo and 40+ sites, extract lossless audio, convert online videos to AVI, MKV, MP3, iPod, iPhone, PSP, Android with our free video downloader!

4 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

The Best Sites for Internet Radio

Radio – it’s not what it used to be. Guest writer, Jason Miner takes us on a tour of  Radio land and, I must admit – I was surprised by the volume of available choices. You might be as well.

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imageAs technologies for Internet bandwidth have allowed for improved streaming, many office personnel and home users are finding their favorite music in the form of Internet radio stations. While streaming music has been around for quite some time, the increased bandwidth supplied by the Internet has provided the means to stream higher quality music as opposed to the lower-quality WAV formats of yesterday.

Finding the best Internet radio site is completely up to the user. Although one person may find Pandora to be the ultimate site, others may have an affinity for Yahoo Music. Regardless of your preferred musical genre, there are sites-a-plenty for your entertainment needs.

1. Pandora – One of the most popular Internet radio stations online, Pandora is full of a great deal of music for all fans. Listening to streaming music is as easy as entering what you want to hear from the main page. Complete with artist and title, Pandora offers links to sites like iTunes and Amazon in order to buy your favorite music.

2. Shoutcast – Developed with Winamp in mind, Shoutcast can deliver a wide range of music for the popular MP3 player or straight from your web-browser. Radio stations can be viewed according to the most popular based on how many listeners are using it at that moment in time. Shoutcast also works for the Android version of Winamp.

3. Jango – Nearly as easy to use as Pandora, Jango is loaded with various genres of music. This site is free to sign up with and can base your login off of your Facebook profile. Music is available to purchase from the links to iTunes and Amazon.

4. Slacker – Although Slacker.com is more commercialized with image and banner advertisements than some of the others, the website does have a large selection of music for instant streaming. By signing up with Slacker.com for a low monthly fee, you are able to listen to exact tracks from a variety of soundtracks. However, the site is completely usable with a wide range of music for free.

5. Yahoo Music – Find radio stations all over the country in Yahoo Music. Many radio stations will have online broadcasts of the local content. Although not every radio station in the United States is present in Yahoo Music, a large variety of local stations are. Listen to radio stations from your home town, if it’s available on Yahoo.

6. Radio Tower – Like Yahoo Music, Radio Tower has a very large listing of various live online radio stations to choose from. While the site itself is extremely busy with banners and advertisements, you can find radio stations from all over the world and listen to music in your native tongue.

7. Local Stations – A great deal of local radio stations have online counterparts now-days. Whether the radio station advertises this or not, a search in your favorite engine can yield results relating to music from your local stations. You’d be surprised by how many local radio stations broadcast the content live on the website.

Internet radio can supply you with virtual on-demand music of your favorite bands, genres, or time periods. Some may discourage online entertainment of this nature for it takes away from the local radio stations in one’s area. However, many of these local radio stations have online broadcasting methods to ensure that their computer-based fans can still be within reach.

The Internet is shaping the way the future is looked at by the entertainment industries. We should embrace innovation and look forward to what can be developed next.

Author Bio:

Jason Miner, an expert freelance writer loves writing articles on different categories. He is approaching different bloggers to recognize each other’s efforts through “www.blogcarnival.com”. He can be contacted through e-mail at jasonminer8atgmaildotcom.

8 Comments

Filed under Audio Applications, Freeware, Guest Writers, Internet Radio

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 29, 2013

Eyes on the Stars (video 3:17) – On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. On board was physicist Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African American to enter space. But first, he was a kid with big dreams in Lake City, South Carolina. (suggested by Michael F.)

Roozz rents software in the cloud – Many of the titles on Roozz are available for free, but some are available for rental only. The prices, which are set in per-day, per-week, or even per-year fees, seem very affordable. Some titles cost 99 cents for a week, while others are less than $4 per day. Prices are determined by the software publishers, but Roozz says it has offered input on pricing, as this rental model is somewhat new.

Get a free shared workspace for your small business – Bitrix24 offers a free shared workspace for up to 12 users. It’s part file-sharing service, part chat client, part CRM tool, part project manager, part employee manager, and so on, all wrapped up in a familiar, Facebook-style interface.

How to activate Windows 8’s File History feature – One caveat, though: It’s not a full-system backup tool like Windows Backup; by default it preserves only those files in your Libraries: documents, music, photos, and other media. You can add other folders if you wish, but only by adding them to your Libraries.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Netherlands, Canada Say WhatsApp Still Violates Privacy Laws – Dutch and Canadian officials say the popular mobile text messaging app WhatsApp violates their countries’ privacy laws because it rifles through users’ contacts to find other devices hooked up to the service.

KeePass makes strong passwords and keeps them safe – If you adopt just one security tool this year, make it KeePass. This free and open-source password manager is available for Windows, with unofficial ports for iOS, Android, Linux, and Mac OS X. A secure, lengthy, completely random password goes a long way towards improving your security–and having a separate password for each and every website and service you use is the single most important thing you can do to keep secure.

Get your cheap Windows 8 upgrade now – Microsoft’s $39.99 Windows 8 upgrade special ends Thursday, so you may want to buy it now even if you don’t plan to install it yet.

Fake Twitter followers: An easy game, but not worth the risk – Buying followers is morally dubious, possibly dangerous and can tear down even the most trusted social media figures, yet it’s poised to continue to grow in the immediate future. But hey, it can get you friends, right?

Court: Government Need Not Justify Warrantless Data Requests – A Virginia appeals court on Friday denied a right-to-access order filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir and computer security researchers Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp. The denial confirms a lower court’s ruling that neither those individuals nor the public has the right to see the documents a court uses to justify its warrantless acquisition of information.

Google vows to push legal reforms to protect user privacy – “It’s important for law enforcement agencies to pursue illegal activity and keep the public safe,” wrote Google’s Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond. “We’re a law-abiding company, and we don’t want our services to be used in harmful ways. But it’s just as important that laws protect you against overly broad requests for your personal information.”

Twitter grants data requests by federal government 69 percent of the time – Twitter released new numbers showing that the social network complied with government data requests 69 percent of the time in the United States, as government requests for user information worldwide continue to rise. “All signs suggest that these government inquiries will continue to climb into the foreseeable future,” Twitter said.

FixTracking Shows You How to Browse Securely and Privately on Any Browser – We’ve mentioned plenty of helpful tools for keeping your browsing anonymous and secure, but it’s hard to remember every single one and figure out what’s right for your needs. DuckDuckGo’s FixTracking site explains all your options and shows you how to set everything up so you can browse without worry who may be tracking your activity.

Security:

Facebook Graph Search Mines Potentially Rich Data for Phishers, Attackers – So why are security and privacy experts nervous? There’s some serious horsepower behind Graph Search, and there are users whose interests aren’t as benign as finding friends of friends in a particular location who happen to like country music, fine wine and yoga.

U.S. DoD’s cybersecurity force to increase fivefold – The Pentagon is poised to start searching for more than 4,000 new employees for the Defense Department’s Cyber Command, in a bid to boost its cyber defensive and offensive capabilities. The news, shared with The Washington Post by department officials that wished to remain anonymous, is expected to be announced soon.

Bug makes Java’s latest anti-exploit defenses moot, claims researcher – Java’s new security settings, designed to block “drive-by” browser attacks, can be bypassed by hackers, a researcher announced Sunday.

Trojan uses anti-spam system to keep in touch with C&C servers – The latest innovation in this particular “field” has been spotted by Symantec researcher Takashi Katsuki, who recently discovered a Trojan that uses Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to keep the connection between malware and C&C servers alive and well. Ironically, the SPF is an email validation system designed to spot email spoofing and, therefore, spam.

48% of IT staff fear unauthorized access to virtual servers – Data security in visualized environments is often neglected by IT organizations, with 48% either reporting or suspecting unauthorized access to files on visualized servers, according to Varonis. The study, conducted at VM World conferences, suggests that there is a limited awareness of security matters when it comes to visualized servers, with 70% of respondents having little or no auditing in place on virtual servers.

Company News:

Kindle Fire Nabs 33 Percent of U.S. Android Tablet Market – The U.S. is dominating the Android tablet race, and consumers here seem particularly enamored with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, according to Localytics.

Newegg Crushes Patent Troll in Online ‘Shopping Cart’ Suit – Online retailer Newegg scored a major victory against a well-known patent troll last week, meaning Newegg will not have to hand over $2.5 million to Soverain Software.

Pinterest tests new look with bigger pins, restructured navigation – The addicting social-networking site is mixing things up a bit to make its pins even more gripping.

Google+ Tops Twitter as World’s No. 2 Social Network – Google+ has passed Twitter and YouTube to become the world’s second largest social network, beaten out only by Facebook, according to a U.K. market research firm.

Google sued by iPhone users in U.K. over Safari tracking – A new privacy battle against the Web giant is heating up in the U.K. as Apple users claim their Internet habits were illegally tracked on the Safari Web browser.

HP will jump on the Chromebook bandwagon: Report – Another week, another major PC vendor announcing that it’s planning a Chromebook offering of its own. Last week, it was Lenovo; this week, according to reports, it’s none other than HP.

Lenovo Downplays RIM Acquisition Report – PC giant Lenovo is downplaying a recent report that the company is looking to acquire BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.

Webopedia Daily:

High-level language – A programming language such as C, FORTRAN, or Pascal that enables a programmer to write programs that are more or less independent of a particular type of computer. Such languages are considered high-level because they are closer to human languages and further from machine languages. In contrast, assembly languages are considered low-level because they are very close to machine languages. The main advantage of high-level languages over low-level languages is that they are easier to read, write, and maintain. Ultimately, programs written in a high-level language must be translated into machine language by a compiler or interpreter.

Off Topic (Sort of):

1.8 gigapixel ARGUS-IS. World’s highest resolution video surveillance platform by DARPA – Where it will be used, however, with the war in Afghanistan apparently winding down, is another question entirely. Its efficacy in a military setting would be unsurpassed, but it’s easy to imagine how ARGUS could be used here at home in the US, too. (suggested by Michael F.)

Dvorak: Vine: 6 Seconds of Crap – I’m coining this era “the Instagram era” because it is marked by taking good things in life and making them crappy. Music mashups do this, Instagram does this, and in my opinion, even Twitter manages to do this, though it is debatable whether short posts are bad or good.

The Evolution of the BlackBerry – With BlackBerry 10 on the horizon, we take a look back at the long history of RIM’s hot handhelds.

Cracked: 6 Ridiculous Myths About the Middle Ages Everyone Believes – When you think of the Middle Ages, chances are you picture gallant knights sitting astride brilliant destriers galloping through a sea of plagues, ignorance, and filth. And you can hardly be blamed for that, when everything from the movies you watch to your high school history teacher (who was mainly the football coach) has told you that …

House panel demands answers regarding Swartz prosecution – Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder says committee has “many questions” about the Justice Department’s handling of prosecution of the Internet activist, who committed suicide earlier this month.

Today’s Quote:

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and thus clamorous to be led to safety – by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

-     H.L. Mencken 1880 –1956

Today’s Free Downloads:

Outlook on the Desktop – Outlook on the Desktop will place the Microsoft Outlook Calendaring system right on your desktop. The calendar object gets pinned to your desktop and stays there all the time in plain sight so you can always see what’s upcoming. Of course, the benefits don’t stop there.

FastStone Image Viewer – FastStone Image Viewer is a free image browser, viewer, converter and editor that supports all major graphic formats. Other features include a batch image converter / resizer, a Full Screen image viewer with Select-Zoom support, a clear magnifier and a slideshow with 150+ transitional effects.

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Midget Lesbian Porn, Trannies With Knives, and Other Assorted Spam Comments

There’s not much that’s funny about comment spam. Comment spam has the potential to be dangerous – if it’s allowed to be blindly posted. I’ve written a number of articles dealing with the hows/whys of comment spam in the past, so I won’t belabor the point. If you wish you can checkout – Comment Spam Is Dangerous BS!

Over and above the danger it may pose to Internet travellers, by its very nature, comment spam is a pain in the patootie for bloggers who have to deal with it. Here on this site – every morning I’m forced to deal with upwards of 300+ pieces of comment spam. This morning for example – 358. These numbers do not include the 200 or more spam comments, that will arrive throughout the day.

Not a big problem you might think – just hit “delete all spam.” Done – over with – on to the next thing. Except, the downside to the quick erase method is; some genuine comments that may have a link/attachment (which will trigger the spam filter), get lost in the flush.

Recently, for example, a reader made the point that I had not posted his previous comment and questioned, if I intended to handle his current comment in the same way. Since I do not filter genuine comments, I could only assume that this reader’s prior comment had fallen victim to the “flush it down the toilet” method. An apology, of course, was in order. So, a pain in the patootie? You bet.

Even so, hard as it is to imagine – there is a bit of a silver lining to comment spam. Sure, I had to dig deep to find it – but, I have to admit – there are those rare moments when I get my morning coffee up my nose, when the unintentional humor of a spam comment catches me unaware.

Now, I don’t mean any disrespect to those who consider Midget Lesbian Porn to be the height of eroticism …………………….. (no, I better not write what I really want to say). But, the following brought tears to my eyes – tears of laughter, that is.

Midget lesbian porn - dominican-republic-travelxxxxxx/ x
hflrzwnxko@vkukou.com

Lolita midget porn videos – dominican-republic-travelxxxxxx

Midget asian porn http://dominican-republic-travel-dealsxxx

Hard core midget porn pics, QzpMldJ.

All of the links actually resolve to – http:midgetporntube4u.com/?act=public_html/dominican-republic-travel-deals.net/&

Travelling to the site – if you’re running WOT – would pop up the following warning. Just a quick question for WOT though – why would “Child safety” be unrated?

image

But lets move on to the following. Both of these put a cramp in my sense of how to comment, in this post, gracefully. So, I’ll just say – WHAT?

Ticked off trannies with knives (referral link removed).

Penis enlargement bible free download (referral link removed).

But the best, the spam comments that leave me in stitches, are the Google Translate fails. One would think, that if a spammer went to all the trouble of writing a complex spam comment, he’d a least get it right.  Here’s a few recent examples.   Smile

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So you see – even comment spam has an upside. Sort of.   Smile

A quick note: In the 20 minutes it took to write this short piece, I’ve become the ungrateful recipient of another 118 spam comments. These guys just never give up.

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Filed under Comment Spam, Porn, WOT (Web of Trust)

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 28, 2013

Google rallies troops to restrict government access to cloud-based data – The tech giant is throwing its weight behind measures that would restrict governmental access to digital communication.

Facebook legal notice could get you cash, so don’t trash it – To settle a class action lawsuit (Angel Fraley v. Facebook) resulting from those allegations of unlawful use of its members’ content, the social network is proposing to pay $20 million into a fund to be used to pay members who appeared in the sponsored stories. If you received the legal notice from Facebook, you may be paid up to $10 as part of the settlement.

Pornographic video clips show up on Twitter’s Vine – Less than a week after Twitter unveiled Vine, the video-sharing app apparently has developed a porn problem. Released Thursday, the app for iPhone and iPod Touch lets anyone create and share six-second clips, but it also has become a popular venue for male genitalia and pornographic movies taped off TVs and laptops.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

CCleaner – CCleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure. Easy to use and a small, fast download. This powerhouse utility stays ahead of the game by learning what your computer needs and doesn’t. The latest update adds support for cleaning Internet Explorer 10 Metro.

Hands on with Swipp: Compare global opinions in real time – The latest contender in social networking emerged from stealth mode this week, offering yet another forum to share and compare opinions in a social stream of your acquaintances and the web at large. Swipp offers a graphical representation of its participants’ opinions about a variety of topics, such as a movie or a restaurant, a city or a celebrity. Your rating on a 10-point scale (+5 to -5) contributes to a graphical map of those opinions, which can also be sorted by gender, location and other factors.

China considers lifting games console ban – While consoles have been available on the black market, it’s been illegal to manufacture, sell or import them since 2000, thanks to concerns over the health of young people. Even the makers of mobile or PC games are required to include ‘anti-addiction’ features such as a built-in timer, and gamers are required to verify their name and age. Now, though, according to the China Daily newspaper, the policy’s being reconsidered.

BlackBerry 10 essentials: What you need to know – The launch of RIM’s new BlackBerry 10 handsets and operating system is just around the corner; here’s what you need to know.

Review: UnoDNS frees you to stream from other countries – All of the computers on my home network can enjoy the same content, and I didn’t have to install any software or flash my ADSL router with custom firmware for this to work. This is all thanks to innovative $5/month (eight-day free trial) service UnoDNS–and before you ask, no, it is not a VPN.

Security:

Can You Trust Your Browser With Your Passwords? – Having your Web browser remember your passwords and/or credit card details can be convenient, but it poses some security risks. How much of a risk depends on which browser you’re using, whether you sync with other devices, and whether you’re using any of the browser’s extra security features.

Facebook’s Graph Search raises concerns from security experts – Facebook’s new Graph Search has security experts warning people who use the social network to raise their privacy settings in order to avoid embarrassment or becoming victims of cybercriminals.

Anonymous hackers sentenced for denial-of-service attacks – A student at Northampton University and a man from south London have been jailed for taking part in an unsophisticated but effective 2010 DDoS rampage that reportedly cost PayPal £3.5 million ($5.6 million). One particular DDoS protest in December 2010, “Operation Payback,” severely disrupted PayPal after it refused to process payments from the campaigning Wikileaks website beloved of hacktivists, the court heard.

Anonymous re-hacks US Sentencing site into video game Asteroids – The U.S. Sentencing Commission website has been hacked again and a code distributed by Anonymous “Operation Last Resort” turns ussc.gov into a playable video game. Visitors enter the code, and then the website that sets guidelines for sentencing in United States Federal courts becomes “Asteroids.” Shooting away at the ussc.gov webpage reveals an image of Anonymous.

Pentagon to boost cybersecurity force numbers: report – Faced with rising cyberattack numbers and becoming the target of Anonymous heckling, the Pentagon has decided to boost its cybersecurity team.

Memories of the Slammer worm – ten years later – Ten years ago to the day, we published an FAQ about a computer worm called Slammer. It was aptly named. If you were in IT back in 2003, I’m sure you remember it well…

Company News:

Nokia Launching ‘Music+’ Subscription Service on Lumia Smartphones – According to a blog post from Nokia’s Ian Delaney today, the company is officially unveiling a new “Nokia Music+” service that basically serves as an add-on to the smartphones’ existing radio music capabilities.

China Mobile eyeing investment in five countries – Chinese telco has invited bids from consulting firms to do market research on opportunities in Germany, South Africa, Brazil, Portugal, and North Korea.

IBM relying on more cloud services, software to accelerate social business – IBM is putting its acquisition of Kenexa to the test with the introduction of new cloud and software services for its social business unit.

Webopedia Daily:

Private cloud – The phrase used to describe a cloud computing platform that is implemented within the corporate firewall, under the control of the IT department. A private cloud is designed to offer the same features and benefits of public cloud systems, but removes a number of objections to the cloud computing model including control over enterprise and customer data, worries about security, and issues connected to regulatory compliance.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The Bathroom of the Future – Bathrooms are getting cleaner, more water-efficient, and more tailored to you thanks to technologies like these.

MUG SHOTS: All Celebs – Without the aid of fancy lighting, makeup, and wardrobe, these works of mug shot art–taken by countless clerks, cops, and sheriff’s deputies nationwide–are likely the most candid photos of celebrities that you’ll ever see. (checkout Bill Gates!)

Dvorak: Next-Gen Gaming Consoles Are Waiting in the Wings. So What? – Too much effort is put into creating new video games gaming consoles while not enough effort is put into fixing essential software programs.

Why the One Laptop Per Child devices are white and green – The white case and bright green trim of One Laptop Per Child’s laptops have made them among the most recognizable in the world, but what’s the story behind the choice of colors? Last week, Nicholas Negroponte, former head of the OLPC project and co-founder of the MIT Media Lab, explained the backstory.

Apple wants to let you know when to buy new shoes – Recently published patent application describes an embedded sensor that would measure repetitive activity and indicate when a predetermined metric has been reached.

Today’s Quote:

“Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular – but one must take it simply because it is right.”

-    Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today’s Free Downloads:

GMER – GMER is an application that detects rootkits and allows you to monitor system functions including drivers loading, libraries loading, file functions, registry entries, TCP/IP connections and more.

Tweaking.com – svchost.exe Lookup Tool – Another tool I made for my fellow techs toolboxes and for users who need the extra information. With this tool you can see all currently running svchost.exe on the system and what service each one belongs to. As an added feature you can view detailed information about the service right from the program.

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Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News