Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 15, 2013

Woman uses digital billboard to dump lover on Valentine’s – What sort of woman would hire a digital billboard specifically timed to inform her lover on Valentine’s that she had found someone else?

Bump turns your phone into universal thumb drive – The latest version of the hit app makes it possible to quickly and easily move any kind of file between an iPhone or Android phone and any computer — or vice versa.

Save to Dropbox from the Chrome right-click menu – Streamline the process of taking documents or images from the Web and uploading to your Dropbox account with this handy Google Chrome extension.

Facebook’s Graph Search bars adults snooping for minors – In an effort to quell privacy fears, the social network rolls out rules on how its search tool displays results for users under the age of 18.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to create your own animated GIFs the easy way – Tumblr in particular is jam-packed with these succinct visual snippets, which are often clever and comical. Those that strike just the right combination tend to go viral, and can end up being viewed by millions of people the world over. Not bad for a file format that is over two decades old.

Why does your company force you to use IE? – It is nearly impossible to hear the acronym “IE” in a workplace setting without somebody appending to it the word “sucks.” To be more genteel about it, older versions of Internet Explorer on corporate computers simply do not reflect the quality of modern browsers. So why does that massive corporation you work for make you use IE 8 or older in the first place?

Windows 7 users: Move to SP1 to continue receiving Microsoft support – Windows 7 RTM (release to manufacturing), with no service pack installed, will no longer be supported as of April 9, 2013, according to a February 14 post on the Microsoft Springboard Series blog. Support for specific Windows releases ends 24 months after the release of a new Service Pack, and Windows 7 SP1 was released in February 2011.

Skype breaks records, traffic grows by 44 percent – Microsoft’s call app increased its traffic in 2012 by twice the amount of all international phone carriers combined — it’s calls are now equal to one third of all global phone traffic.

Firefox adapts to Windows 8 touch-first interface – The Firefox Nightly version — the precursor to Aurora, beta, and final releases — now supports the touch-oriented, no-menu interface of Windows 8 formerly known as Metro, according to a tweet from Mozilla about the development.

Iceland works to block Internet porn – In an effort to ensure that children aren’t exposed to violent pornography, the Nordic nation is trying to enact laws that would ban all X-rated Web sites.

Security:

Banking apps not safe from OS vulnerabilities – Mobile banking apps rely on tools such as HTTPS and sandboxing to keep safe, but operating system vulnerabilities may render such measures useless anyway.

LA Times website redirected users to exploit kit for over six weeks – A sub-domain of Los Angeles Times’ website has been redirecting visitors to compromised websites hosting the latest version of the Blackhole exploit kit for over six weeks (since Dec. 23, 2012), says Brian Krebs, and estimates that some 325,000 visitors were exposed to the attack.

Adobe confirms zero-day exploit bypasses Adobe Reader sandbox – Adobe is working on a patch, but in the meantime users of Adobe Reader 11 are advised to enable the Protected View mode by choosing the “Files from potentially unsafe locations” option under the Edit > Preferences > Security (Enhanced) menu.

Unlock an iPhone without the passcode – harmless trick or computer crime? – A YouTube video showing you how to unlock an iPhone 5 without the passcode has racked up nearly 300,000 hits over the past two weeks. There are some caveats, though.

Reveton ransomware gang arrested by Spanish police – With assistance from Interpol and Europol, the Spanish police detained the suspects in Spain’s Costa del Sol: six Russians, two Ukrainians and two Georgians. Authorities estimate that this ransomware operation netted the group more than 1 million euros a year.

Company News:

Report: Dropbox prepping for IPO later this year – Dropbox could be filing an initial public offering this year, but will it follow in the beleaguered path of consumer tech brands such as Zynga or enterprise wins like Workday?

Google keeps Bing, Yahoo at bay in search business – Google is hanging onto its dominant share of the search market, while its competitors inch up and down. Google edged a bit further ahead in January, going from 66.7% of the search market in December to 67%, industry tracker comScore said. Microsoft Bing increased its market share by 0.2%, just 0.1% less than Google’s increase. However, Bing remains far behind its biggest rival, moving from just 16.3% to 16.5% in the same time frame.

Samsung unleashes REX phones, targets emerging markets – South Korean giant unveils four new REX-branded handsets in India, as it hopes to corner a portion of the 653 million entry-level mobile phones expected to ship this year.

AT&T wins ruling in price-fixing lawsuit against LCD panel makers – AT&T has won partial reinstatement of a price-fixing lawsuit against firms including AU Optronics and Samsung Display Co.

Webopedia Daily:

Android Beam – A feature that enables Google Android-based smartphones, tablets and similar mobile devices to share content with other near-field communication-capable devices by simply touching the devices together and pressing a button on the device sending the content. The Android Beam feature first appeared in the v4.1 “Ice Cream Sandwich” release of Google’s Android mobile operating system, which became available in late 2011. Android Beam relies on near-field communication (NFC) to “beam,” or transfer, photos, web pages and links, contact details, videos and more between devices. Android Beam can also be used for swipeless or contactless payments and funds transfers.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Meteorite flies over Russia, shakes an entire city – Take a look at some of the incredible videos captured by locals, both displaying the contrails streaking the sky and the subsequent shockwave from when the meteorite passed through the atmosphere.

The movie lover’s guide to enjoying Hulu Plus – Netflix is for movies, and Hulu Plus is for TV shows. By now, that cliché seems out of date. While Netflix offers some great television, Hulu Plus provides a digital paradise for both serious cinephiles and fans of entertaining trash. (Come to think of it, I’ve yet to meet a serious cinephile who doesn’t also love trash.)

Godless small things – The discovery of a microscopic world shook the foundations of theology and created modern demons. (suggested by Michael F.)

Google CFO: We want to fix ‘broken’ world – Patrick Pichette says technology can and should change a “broken” world for the better, and its engineers are constantly concocting “crazy ideas” to fix the problems seen around them.

A manifesto for the simple scribe – my 25 commandments for journalists – Former Guardian science editor, letters editor, arts editor and literary editor Tim Radford has condensed his journalistic experience into a handy set of rules for aspiring hacks

Today’s Quote:

“One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.”

-    Josh Billings

Today’s Free Downloads:

Samsung Kies – Kies Air makes it simple to transfer media files, play content, music and more between your mobile device and a browser on the same wireless network. Kies keeps your device firmware updated whenever you connect, and includes personal information management software to help manage private data such as contacts brought over through Microsoft Outlook.

TweetDeck – TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter and Facebook accounts. Like other Twitter applications it interfaces with the Twitter API to allow users to send and receive tweets and view profiles.

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2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 15, 2013

  1. Hello Bill,
    This is totally Off Topic but can you tell me if your of any relation to Kelly Mullins from Tech Smith ???
    Since I’ve been away on vacation and almost without any internet access, your daily news and her notice of a Tech Smith assignment wound up right next to each other.
    When one doesn’t have time on the net, coming back after a week sure leads to a lot of catch up.
    This is one of the pleasant ones.