Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 21, 2013

Google takes aim at Evernote with its new Keep app – After days of rumors fueled by buried code references and a logo, Google Keep launched Wednesday for those seeking an Evernote-esque service with Google Drive integration. You can create checklists, add photos, and take notes on the Google Keep website or by downloading Keep from the Google Play store.

Get started with Google Keep – We take a look at what you need to know to get started with Google’s new note-taking app Keep.

How to save Web stories for reading later on your Kindle – The new ‘Send to Kindle’ feature lets you archive PC browser content straight to your e-reader. Here’s how it works.

Android 4.1 Mini PC – Review – This product is essentially a computer that plugs into any HD television through its HDMI port. It supports Bluetooth, WiFi, USB connections, and even external 3G cards. It does require power (you have to plug it in). It’s very small and easily fits in a pocket, and yet it’s just as powerful as a top-end Android phone, running any of the Android applications available on Google Play. But, unlike a mobile device, it’s designed specifically for operation on a high definition television.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Make over your Facebook page – Give Facebook a near-complete makeover by using this free add-on for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and other browsers not named Internet Explorer.

How To Save and Print A List of Installed Programs On Your Computer – I recently experienced a situation where a person’s computer, that was several years old, required a complete factory restore. When asked, “What programs did they have installed on the computer?”, the person was at a loss. Following this occurrence, I started to wonder if there was an easy way to view, save or print the programs that we have installed on our computers?

Ready for a new Google Docs alternative? Meet open source OX Documents – As the free trial period for Microsoft Office 2013 draws to a close, it’s a pretty safe bet that more users than ever are thinking long and hard about whether or not to buy or subscribe. Unveiled on Wednesday by Open-Xchange, OX Documents will be a productivity suite that’s both open source and browser-based, thus combining a bit of each of those leading alternatives.

Why PCs, not smartphones, rule for social media – Forget everything you think you know about social networking. To get the most from Twitter and Facebook, you’ll need a PC.

10 Reasons Not to Let Your Preteen Have a Facebook Account – The brave new world of technology has expanded so far that even your grandmother may have an account on the social networking clearinghouse that is Facebook. The fact that your elderly relatives have adopted Facebook, however, doesn’t mean that your child is ready to tackle the social media giant. When your tween is pleading with you for permission to start a Facebook account and swearing that all of their friends have them, these are 10 of the reasons why you might want to stick to your guns and continue to ban the site for a few more years.

Convert video files for free with WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe – For a limited time, as part of an Easter promotion, Digiarty Software is offering its WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe absolutely free. It normally sells for $49.95. The program is designed to convert just about any kind of video file to just about any other kind of video format. Thus, you can turn an AVI into an MPEG, a Windows Media Video into an iPhone video, and so on.

Quick Tip: Add useful apps directly to Word 2013 – Microsoft Office 2013 has some new features you need to know about, including the ability to add apps.

Security:

Google enhances security for your website look-ups – Google has fully implemented a security feature that ensures a person looking up a website isn’t inadvertently directed to a fake one. Google said it is now checking the digital signatures on DNSSEC-formatted messages, an important step in ensuring correct DNS queries.

Apple iOS 6.1.3 fix contains another lock screen bypass flaw – The latest Apple iOS software fix, designed to fix a nasty bug in which unauthorized users could bypass the lock screen and access user data, contains yet another major flaw.

Microsoft: Hackers obtained high-profile Xbox Live accounts – Several high-profile Xbox Live accounts for former and current Microsoft employees were compromised by attackers using social engineering techniques, the company said late Tuesday.

A DHL delivery which is nothing but malware – Windows users warned of email attack – Have you received an email from DHL about a failed package delivery? Please remember to be on your guard. Cybercriminals are once again up to their old tricks.

Chinese IP address behind South Korea hacking: Report – Police are still investigating the cyberattack on Wednesday that affected broadcasters and banks in South Korea, but the country’s Communications Commission has revealed that the hacking originated from a Chinese IP address.

Exposed Devices Used as Botnet to Scan Internet – A controversial Internet scanning project has come under fire for illegally accessing and running code on remote machines. The Internet Census 2012 project, revealed Sunday in a post to Seclists.org, discovered 420,000 embedded devices accessible using default credentials. The unnamed researcher behind the project then used the devices as a botnet to scan most of the IPv4 address space.

Out-running the leopard: Dodging targeted attacks in cyber-space – It’s time to rethink your security options as internet attackers become smarter and more focused in who they attack – and how.

New adware Trojan circulating that targets Mac OS X systems – Trojan.Yontoo.1 is the most prominent of adware Trojans making the rounds that install a plugin that renders fraudulent ads on Web pages.

Company News:

Only 64,000 Wii U consoles sold in February: Is it time for Nintendo to leave the console market? – The Wii U hasn’t been doing particularly well in the market. It only sold roughly 57,000 units in January, and February isn’t much better. Last month, Nintendo’s latest console only sold an estimated 64,000 units. Considering that the Wii U launched just a few months ago, Grant explains that these numbers are cause for worry.

BlackBerry, UK government reject claims of failed BB10 security certification – Both BlackBerry and the U.K. government have denied reports that the new BB10 software has been rejected for use in sensitive government communications.

AT&T tempts landline users to move to wireless phone services with contract-free offer – AT&T Wednesday announced it now offers its Wireless Home Phone service contract-free for $20 per month, which includes unlimited, nationwide calling. If you already have AT&T wireless service, you can add your home phone to an existing Family Talk plan for an extra $10 per month.

T-Mobile’s non-subsidy strategy stops the $20/month carrier scam – US consumers buy subsidized phones because they are cheaper up front, but then the carrier makes that money back in increased monthly fees. However, when the phone is paid off, those monthly fees don’t change, and consumers are left paying extra for nothing.

Oracle’s Q3 falls short, revenue misses mark; Hardware systems tank again – Oracle’s fiscal third quarter misses on many fronts as revenue comes in way short of expectations. Hardware systems sales continue to fall.

Yahoo buying social recommendation engine Jybe – Yahoo is looking to some of its former employees for its latest acquisition, which beefs up the Internet company’s social media portfolio.

South Korea discount store chain starts mobile service – Home plus, a discount store chain owned by Britain’s Tesco, has become a mobile virtual network operator and is touting more affordable telco services.

Webopedia Daily:

Smart TV – Televisions that integrate the Internet and Web 2.0 features to provide a more interactive experience for users. Also known as connected TVs, Smart TVs provide features like Web browsing; video-on-demand and video streaming via services such as YouTube, Netflix and Hulu Plus; Internet radio from services like Pandora and Rhapsody; social networking from sites like Twitter and Facebook; apps and games and more. Smart TVs are also typically DLNA certified, enabling the sharing of movies, photos, music and similar multimedia content from other DLNA-compliant PCs, tablet computers, smartphones and similar devices.

Games and Entertainment:

Minecraft (version 1.5) – You start Minecraft empty-handed at the beginning of a peaceful day in a strange cube-based landscape. You can explore this world by running with the A-W-S-D keys, and you can punch the ground with a left-click. Everything else is a bit of a mystery, but as soon as you place your first block with a right-click as you build your home, you’ll realize the enormous opportunities that Minecraft offers you.

A trip to the Petting Zoo for iOS (pictures) – Conceptualized and designed by award-winning illustrator Christoph Niemann, Petting Zoo for iOS is a witty interactive picture book geared toward kids.

Valve’s Steam offers early access to beta games – Valve has rolled out a new Steam program that allows users to play games in beta status.

Microsoft’s Xbox 720 (Next): Always online, no second-hand games – Screenshots culled from a Durango software development kit (SDK) appear to validate earlier claims that Microsoft’s 720 (Next) console will require a persistent Internet connection and block second-hand games.

Ken Levine: BioShock Infinite Is Very Much a BioShock Game – BioShock Infinite creative lead Ken Levine says he’d “rather make stuff that has no value.” We cover that and more in the first of my two-part interview with the Irrational Games co-founder.

Off Topic (Sort of):

If Samsung’s Making a Smartwatch, Here Are Its Strengths and Weaknesses – Instead of letting the rumor mill do the talking, a Samsung executive has come right out and said it: The company is building its own smartwatch to compete with whatever Apple might be working on.

Twitter turns seven, releases greatest-hits video – On its seventh birthday, the social networking giant is celebrating surpassing 200 million active users, and 400 million daily tweets. Plus a long list of other accomplishments.

If email was invented today: Walled garden? – In an era of incompatible social networks, how would email evolve if it was invented today? Not too well, cautions a creator of the MIME protocol.

Teenage girl creates sustainable, renewable algae biofuel under her bed – In what is essentially a fancy science fair sponsored by Intel, over 1,700 high school seniors enter projects each year in order to not only be crowned the country’s maddest scientists, but a chance to win $100,000. This year, Sara Volz claimed that crown and a $100,000 four year scholarship, thanks to her efficient algae-based biofuel lab — that she created under her bed.

BP rewrote environmental record on Wikipedia – A British Petroleum representative allegedly rewrote 44 percent of the oil giant’s Wikipedia page, including the environmental sections. Some Wikipedia editors are crying foul.

Today’s Quote:

I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”

-      Kahlil Gibran

Today’s Free Downloads:

PhraseExpress 9.1.14 – No more typing common phrases again! Organize frequently used text snippets, expand abbreviations as you type, launch programs with text shortcuts, Auto-complete repetitive phrases, quick access to the Windows Clipboard History and correct spelling mistakes in any application.

Windows Firewall Control 3.9.1.2 – Windows Firewall Control is a small and easy to use application that runs in your system tray and provides quick access to the most frequent options used from Windows Firewall.

8 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 21, 2013

  1. Pingback: Jot Down Your Notes With the NEW Google Keep | What's On My PC

  2. delenn13

    Hi Bill,

    I have gotten today approximately 8 or 9 notifications/newsletters/alerts etc regarding Google Keep. I don’t see any tags, OCR, text formatting etc. but the media is treating this like “The Second Coming” or something close to it. NTM they usually bring up the fact that Google had and shut down Google Notebook(which I had experimented with at times) and the fact….that Google just shut down Google Reader. So why the hoopla? Why didn’t Google just UPDATE Notebook? I do use Google Doc…I meant Drive but sparingly because I don’t know when they will close that.

    Think I am going to stick with Evernote for now…. Bad enough I had to switch to Feedly this year as it is….I liked Google Reader. Just don’t feel like being burned again.

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Totally agree – cloud services – here today, gone tomorrow (just like real clouds : ) Nope, you won’t find me relying on any application that is cloud driven. The problems you describe are just too common.

      Tech journalism over the last few years has sunk to new depths. Tech articles today are primarily written by writers who have little long term experience and who see “everything” as the “second coming.” Worse, most of these “newbies” – which is in effect what they are – lack the courage to look at tech issues/news with a critical eye and, as a consequence, we are increasingly being served unmitigated pap. Sad. :(

      Best,

      Bill

  3. Regarding Windows Firewall Control, take a peek at Windows Firewall Notifier. It’s a free alternative. Been using it myself for a month or so. Works well.

  4. Bill,
    I recall reading somewhere on the site that Windows 8 support was coming soon. One thing I like about it is that most of the time it uses zero resources (RAM and CPU).