Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 5, 2013

Top 10 Windows apps of 2012 – We’re back with our year-end look at the most popular products on the site in 2012. See which products reigned supreme on Download.com and in its 10 most popular software categories.

The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013 – Get your bearings in the enormity of Google Play with this list of the 100 best apps for Android. With over 700,000 apps to choose from, finding which will work best for you can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve selected what we think are the best 100 and presented them here, for your perusal.

The 30 Best Facebook Apps – These thirty applications for Facebook should be enough to keep you engaged on the social network for hours, and many make it more useful than ever.

Library of Congress digs in to full archive of 170 billion tweets – It took four years to hit 21 billion tweets. Now Twitter users generate nearly half a billion a day, and the Library of Congress will be archiving and indexing all of them.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Facebook adds voice and chat to its Messenger apps – Facebook added a new feature to its Messenger apps for Android and iOS via an update on Friday: Voice messages and chat. Instead of typing messages or sending photos and smiley faces, now you can record and send quick voice messages.

Chicago Moving Employee Email, Apps to Microsoft Cloud – The city is planning to migrate 30,000 employees’ email and desktop apps, such as documents and spreadsheets, into Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud-based environment. The new strategy will reduce the cost per employee by nearly 80 percent, saving taxpayers $400,000 per year over the course of the city’s four-year contract with Microsoft.

Print Friendly for Chrome optimizes Web pages for printing – Google Chrome extension Print Friendly & PDF lets you print smarter. Specifically, it strips out the ads and other clutter, formats the page for optimal printing, then gives you the option of removing individual elements you might not want. Oh, and true to its name, it lets you bypass paper altogether and print those pages as nicely formatted PDFs instead.

The CuBox Pro: for $160, a tiny, open PC with 2GB of RAM – The fanless miniature computer is based on a Marvell Armada 510 SoC and includes an infrared receiver, gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, and a micro-SD slot. The 800MHz dual issue ARM PJ4 processor uses the latest 32-bit ARMv7 architecture and instruction set, SolidRun says. Capable of 1080p full HD output over HDMI, the device uses just 3 watts of power. It’s particularly suitable for use as a home media center, thin client, XBMC console, or even a simple, tiny desktop replacement machine, the company notes. Due to ship by the end of this month, the CuBox Pro comes with a 4GB microSD and Ubuntu preinstalled.

Linux Live USB Creator makes it easier to install Linux – Linux Live USB Creator (LiLi for short) aims to take the sting out of a newcomer’s introduction to the operating system by making it as easy as possible to get started. All you need is a USB stick with enough space—a minimum 2GB should do the trick—and five minutes of your time to install it. No user manual required.

EU: FTC decision on Google won’t affect our case – Google may have settled its issues in the U.S., but it still faces scrutiny in Europe over its search practices.

Game on: Sony won’t block used games – Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter argues that the issues related to blocking used games on the PlayStation 4 far outweigh the benefits, leaving Sony with no choice but to allow them.

Security:

Conficker targets photography lovers – People who bought a Hama-manufactured slide scanner from popular German retailer chain Tchibo in the weeks leading to Christmas are being warned about taking home more than they have bargained for. The appliances in question, which “reads” film negatives and reproduces the photos on a computer, have been found to contain the Conficker.B variant.

Could China blocking VPNs lead to spying on business? – The “Great Firewall of China,” designed to prevent its citizens from accessing some overseas content, has apparently undergone an upgrade. And some observers say this may not only be an effort to stop citizens from reading or viewing Western information, but also to spy on international corporations doing business in the country who encrypt their internal communications.

Denial-of-service attacks are expected to go mobile – Unless mobile device security is vastly improved, smartphones and tablets are expected to become a significant launching pad for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against corporate websites, a research firm says. The lack of security on the majority of mobile devices, coupled with the rising bandwidth and processing power, makes them a platform ripe for hackers to compromise, Javelin Strategy & Research says.

Detect and remove rootkits with GMER - You don’t want a rootkit infection. Any malware compromise is bad, but rootkits—by their very nature—are especially nasty. The irony is that you might have a rootkit infection right now and not know it. That’s sort of the point of a rootkit.

Company News:

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar Headed Out the Door – Boss of subscription-based streaming media joint venture of Fox, CBS, and NBC had long clashed with owners over distribution strategy and more.

RCA Android tablet packs dual digital TV tuners – An Android tablet that can receive both conventional and mobile digital TV transmissions will be among the gadgets unveiled at next week’s International CES in Las Vegas. The 8-inch RCA Mobile TV Tablet packs tuners for both the high-bandwidth ATSC digital signals typically received via a roof-top antenna, and for lower-bandwidth mobile ATSC broadcasts.

Apple could launch ‘iPhone Mini’ next year, analyst says – In its ongoing battle against Samsung, Apple may be forced to unveil a smaller, cheaper version of its flagship phone, says Strategy Analytics.

Webopedia Daily:

Application Virtualization – Also called application service virtualization. Application virtualization is layered on top of other virtualization technologies, such as storage virtualization or machine virtualization to allow computing resources to be distributed dynamically in real time. In standard computing, applications install their settings onto the host operating system, hard-coding the entire system to fit that application’s needs. With application virtualization, each application brings down its own set of configurations on-demand, and executes in a way so that it sees only its own settings. This leaves the host operating system and existing settings unaltered.

Off Topic (Sort of):

TIME’s Machine of the Year, 30 Years Later – We’ve reissued our famous 1982 issue in tablet form — and it’s a fascinating read. When TIME put together the issue, the PC revolution was still young. (The vast majority of homes didn’t yet have one.) But it wasn’t that young: The MITS Altair 8800, the first PC that mattered, came out in 1975. In 1977, it was followed by the Apple II, Commodore’s PET 2001 and Radio Shack’s TRS-80, the first truly consumery, ready-to-use machines. And another half-decade of evolution occurred before TIME commemorated the PC’s arrival so memorably.

Man Recovers Stolen iPhone With Oldest Internet Trick in the Book – A Brooklyn man reportedly recovered his stolen phone by posing as an attractive woman on hook-up site OKCupid and seducing the thief into meeting up.

Dvorak: Oh No, Smart Appliances! Again! – The idea of smart appliances first appeared in the 1990s as an excuse to exploit the Internet for some of the dumbest concepts ever. I used to ridicule these concepts back then and there is no reason to change my tack now.

Kobe Bryant Joins Twitter, Earns Small Town’s Worth of Followers – Basketball wunderkind Kobe Bryant today joined the micro-blogging site, garnering almost more than 230,000 followers within hours.

Toyota, Audi Prepping Self-Driving Cars – Toyota has released footage of its self-driving car in a sneak preview to a full presentation planned for next week at CES.

Today’s Quote:

“The human brain can only operate as fast as its slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. Naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”

-       Cliff Clavin from “Cheers”

Today’s Free Downloads:

NirLauncher 1.17.12 – NirLauncher is a package of more than 100 portable freeware utilities for Windows, all of them developed for NirSoft Web site during the last few years.

JShot 2.1.0.3 – JShot is a free and multiplatform screen capture and uploader application which allows you to capture and annotate a part of your screen and share it via the Internet in one step.

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8 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 5, 2013

  1. delenn13

    I have used GMER for years..quick and efficient.

    Awww, Cliffie…I so miss you and Norm too. What is funny I was watching New Year’s Eve 3 episodes of Cheers called “Strange Bedfellows”. Sam is dating a politician (Kate Mulgrew). YTEpisodes Open to the public now..Movies and TV episodes.. Nicely categorized and alphabetized. What I do…. is find what I want..then click on the “View YT” button, takes me to YT then I can pick what I want to do my magic with.

    Then..the magic ended…I woke up to a new year…

    OK, let me get this straight…Library of Congress(Government) has MY tweets and everyone else’s in the world(of course, it’s only for historical purposes)…they got wiretapping(that’s for the good of the people, also) for 5 more years… NTM Sony(my fav rootkit people which products are not allowed in my house for ANY reason) may or may not block used games… then…American ISP’s are going to archive their text messages???

    Why Congress’s Digital Archive For Text Messages Is Such A Bad Idea

    I think I am getting another headache… I am really scared to go to sleep. May wake up in “1984″. Oh, wait…

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Very nice link! Will have to spend some time bouncing around there.

      Talking about headaches – I am now a Flu statistic and it sucks. :)

      1984? I’ll leave that alone – except to say – Sydney Carton (A Tale of Two Cities) was right. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair….” He could easily have been describing the mess we call the Internet.

      Best,

      Bill

  2. I knew this would be a good year. Keep the good things coming. :)