Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 23, 2013

Protect your car tech privacy with these six simple tips – Your car stores a lot of your personal information. Much in the same way that you think about protecting the personal data in your smartphone, PC, and social media, you should also think about the information stored in your ride. Listed below are a few ways to protect your private data and protect yourself when behind the wheel.

11 ways to trick Android into using less data – With expensive tiered data plans, it’s easy to hit your limit. Follow this guide to cut back on data usage (and avoid overage charges). With the proper configurations, you’ll find yourself using data at a much slower rate — so much so, perhaps, that you could even step down a tier.

5 tips to make your Facebook account safer – Help better safeguard your Facebook profile with these 5 quick tips.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Jive survey hints the work/life balance concept is dead – Think you’re having trouble managing your work priorities with your personal life? It’s not just you. Jive commissioned Harris Interactive to hone in on opinions of adults 18 and over across the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia between July 16 and July 18. When taken together, 91.3 percent of employed adults in these three nations admitted to working during personal time.

The Best Apps for Amazing Smartphone Videos – You can do far more with that video than just posting the raw footage on Facebook. There are two apps that can make your smartphone video shine. The best app for you depends on what type of footage you are recording and what you hope to achieve in your finished piece.

Who knew? Privacy is a concern for teenagers, study shows – The current generation of teenagers seems willing to share anything on social media, but cares more about privacy than you think, according to a recent Pew study. One in four teenagers have uninstalled a mobile app because they found out it was collecting personal information they didn’t want to share, said a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.

Facebook puts a stop to unwanted posts by mobile apps – The social network gives members more clarity and control over what gets posted to their Facebook account when signing in to third-party applications with Facebook Login.

Download Picks highlight the best all-around software on Download.com – A new award for the cream-of-the-crop software on Download.com lets you know which apps editors and users have rated the best in their respective categories.

Google Search Gets Improved Dictionary Definitions With Sample Sentences, Synonyms, Translations And Usage Stats – A small but cool update to Google Search: Google’s dictionary definitions – which you can invoke by using a query like “define crunch ” – now feature significantly more information about virtually every word in its catalog. This update, Google says, is meant to “give you more information about these words beyond just their definition.”

With Frontback, there are two sides to every iPhone photo – Simple and fun, the one-month-old iPhone application has already been downloaded 200,000 times and is striking a cord with tech celebs.

Don’t stop the music! Pandora ends 40-hour mobile limit – Six months after capping free mobile listening at 40 hours, Pandora is letting listeners keep the music going as long as they like without a fee, mostly because it’s found other ways to crimp how long you tune in.

Vicious cycle boosts use of browser-based ad blockers – Nearly one in four browsers are armed with an ad-blocking tool, reducing revenue at free-content websites, an Irish company said today. The popularity of ad blocking — driven by users’ frustrations with intrusive, distracting or just-plain-ugly-and-noisy ads — threatens the free-for-all model of the Internet, said PageFair, a company that’s helping content publishers audit the problem and try to stem some of the bloodletting.

Five mostly free apps for compressing archive files in Windows – There are some application gems out there for handling archives in Windows with great power and flexibility.

MakerBot’s new 3D scanner will run you $1,500 and ship in October – MakerBot, one of the largest and best-known companies in the world of 3D printing, has finally announced a release date (October 2013) and price ($1,500) for its highly-anticipated 3D scanner, the MakerBot Digitizer.

Xerox releases patch for scanning error issue – Xerox has issued the first software patch intended to fix a problem in some multi-function printers that causes characters to be incorrectly reproduced when scanned.

Curious’s Video Learning App Comes to the iPad – This YouTube rival emphasizes high-quality video and instructional content.

Security:

Researchers: Popular download management program has hidden DDoS component – Recent versions of Orbit Downloader, a popular Windows program for downloading embedded media content and other types of files from websites, turns computers into bots and uses them to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, according to security researchers. Starting with version 4.1.1.14 released in December, the Orbit Downloader program silently downloads and uses a DLL (Dynamic Link Library) component that has DDoS functionality, malware researchers from antivirus vendor ESET said Wednesday in a blog post.

Fake Malwarebytes Scammer Surveys Victims – The twitter account, @malwarebytesx, has posted heavily over the last couple days about Malwarebytes Anti-Malware being available (both legitimately and a cracked version) at a posted link. They even created a variation of our logo and got 51 people to follow them! The link leads to a blogspot page titled “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.75 Full + Serial” that is covered in our signage and provides a link to download “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware” with text and graphics directly from our own website.

Cisco patches serious vulnerabilities in Unified Communications Manager – Cisco Systems released new security patches for several versions of Unified Communications Manager (UCM) to address vulnerabilities that could allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands, modify system data or disrupt services.

German government denies Windows ‘back door’ claims – The German government doles out common-sense advice on using Windows 8 and TPM 2.0 chips in conjunction, but it’s distorted by some observers into wild claims of “back doors.”

Personal Information at Stake in Enterprise Mobile Apps – There have been several reports this year indicating that many popular, free apps and a surprising number of the most popular paid apps – either Android or iOS – are not good at safeguarding sensitive information. From contacts to calendars, an amazingly high percentage of app developers don’t seem concerned with protecting your sensitive information.

Company News:

Yahoo reclaims top web property spot from Google in ComScore US report – For the first time in over two years, Yahoo came in at number on on ComScore’s list of Top 50 US Web Properties. The list, which was just released today, is a bit of a surprise, as Yahoo hasn’t claimed the top position since May 2011. While initial speculation made it seem like the acquisition of Tumblr had something to do with this boost, that is not the case.

“Start menu” on Lenovo Windows 8 PCs will nag you to install apps – The devil is in the details. This isn’t a straightforward replacement of Microsoft’s iconic Start menu, which was left out of Windows 8 in favor of the touch-friendly Start screen. According to SweetLabs, Lenovo PCs “will include Pokki’s modern Start menu, app store, and game arcade out-of-the-box, all powered by SweetLabs’ dynamic app recommendation and distribution platform.”

Apple buys transit-app maker Embark – Apple has purchased another company that deals in local map data. This time it’s Embark, a company that specializes in public-transit information and directions.

Canonical Ubuntu Edge smartphone production still a possibility – Earlier today, we reported that Canonical’s Indiegogo campaign to fund an Ubuntu-based smartphone missed its crowdfunding goal by a mile. However, we’re now learning that Canonical has every intention of moving forward in another capacity, calling the campaign a success and noting that the $12.8 million they did manage to raise was the largest amount raised for a crowdfunding campaign ever.

Games and Entertainment:

Maingear Shift Super Stock Z87 ($8,000) – This incredibly expensive performance desktop packs premium components and water-cools them to deliver benchmark-destroying performance while remaining whisper quiet.

Goose Chase: Playing chicken in Sir, You Are Being Hunted – As the titular Sir (or Madam), you’re dropped into a procedurally generated world consisting of five islands. Each hosts a few of the 25 chunks of a failed experiment; you’ll need to collect and deliver these pieces to a pillar on the central island to get home. The murderous robots who occupy the island would prefer you didn’t, giving chase whenever you’re in sight. So you’ll be doing a lot of slinking, crouching in tall grass or hiding behind walls as they clink and clank about.

Xbox One launch game Ryse: Son of Rome includes microtransactions – Gamers interested in playing Ryse: Son of Rome can take comfort in the fact microtransactions are just a feature of multiplayer, not the single-player experience. But this does act as a reminder that developers/publishers are experimenting with offering incentives and shortcuts for spending money while you play, rather than just to purchase a game in the first place.

Good News / Bad News For Gamers in France – It’s often easy to forget that gaming is a world-wide phenomenon, not just a US one. Why shouldn’t people all over the world love gaming, right? While we at TGD often cover gaming in the American market, it’s interesting to see how the gaming market does all over the world.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The sleep-texting epidemic - Earlier this year, a Philadelphia doctor offered that teens were texting in their sleep. Now it seems the disease is spreading.

Google Street View visits the zoo – Google has gone to a lot of interesting places with Street View in recent months, but none might as odd and perhaps not-as-exciting than a zoo, a place we’ve all been to at least once when we were kids, but Google wants to bring the experience to your computer screen just in case you feel like taking a field trip during your lunch break, and provide with a zoo experience you might have never been through.

Geek Answers: What’s outside the universe? – Asking what’s outside the universe carries with it any number of implications and assumptions, each of which have to be addressed and, ultimately, deflected with conditional language. However, there’s no better or more convenient way to phrase the question, so we’ll go forward with it: What is outside the universe?

India overtakes Japan for 3rd largest Internet population – The country’s user base grew 31 percent on-year to 73.9 million, just behind China and the U.S., according to a ComScore study.

Police Use Instagram to Bust the Largest Gun Ring in NYC History – In total, police seized 254 guns including two semi-automatic Soviet-era rifles and a fully automatic MAC-11.

The Most Awesome Animation About Quantum Computers You Will Ever See – You might think the title is a little exaggerated, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Theoretical Physicists so far, it’s to be bold with my conjectures about reality.Welcome to the second installment of our series of animations about Quantum Information!

Researchers discover that the human foot is just like any other ape foot – Researchers at the University of Liverpool studies more than 25,000 steps made on a pressure-sensitive treadmill at the University’s Gait Lab. The results indicate that our feet are not the wonderful mechanisms of human genetic superiority but are closer those of great apes, the other humanoids on the planet.

Something to think about:

“The history of our race, and each individual’s experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.”

-    Mark Twain

Today’s Free Downloads:

AceMoney Lite 4.35 – AceMoney helps you organize and manage your personal finances quickly and easily. AceMoney is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Polish, Hungarian and Swedish, with more languages to come. It supports all the features required for home or even small-business accounting. With AceMoney you can manage multiple accounts of different types: checking, savings, credit cards, loans, debt accounts, etc.

WebSiteSniffer 1.35 – WebSiteSniffer is a packet sniffer tool that captures all Web site files downloaded by your Web browser while browsing the Internet, and stores them on your hard drive under the base folder that you choose. WebSiteSniffer allows you to choose which type of Web site files will be captured: HTML Files, Text Files, XML Files, CSS Files, Video/Audio Files, Images, Scripts, and Flash (.swf) files.

Image Tuner 4.2 – Image Tuner is free software for batch resizing, converting, watermarking and renaming your digital photos and images from and to JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF and GIF formats. The program will help you to prepare your digital photos to upload and publish them in the Internet or send via e-mail.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

UK court grants “limited injunction” to halt authorities’ access to seized data – On Thursday, an attorney representing David Miranda told reporters outside a London courtroom that her client had been granted a “limited injunction” to halt the British government’s access to digital data recently seized by local authorities.

White House Lies Underscore the NSA’s Indefensibility – “There is no spying on Americans.” That’s the official position, and White House spokesman Josh Earnest reiterated it on Wednesday, just a couple of hours after a new flurry of documents showing that they are most assuredly spying on Americans. The White House position is a flat out lie, and it’s not the only one they’ve told in the past few weeks about the NSA. President Obama’s press briefing on the matter centered on repeatedly claiming that the NSA surveillance is only carried out under intense, regular oversight from both Congress and the FISA courts.

Obama’s “outside experts” surveillance review panel has deep ties to gov’t – a new report published late Wednesday from ABC News reveals that four of the panelists have longstanding ties to government and intelligence infrastructure, leading some legal scholars outside government to question how independent it actually will be.

Kucinich: “Everybody Lies To Congress; Abolish NSA, Celebrate Snowden” – Kucinich, known for his strong stance on privacy and civil liberties, urged attendees at the premiere of a documentary on government and corporate abuse of digital data that it was unacceptable to allow the government to continue to destroy constitutional rights. “We have the CIA, the FBI, a dozen other intelligence infrastructures. Frankly — and I’m saying this with a lifetime’s experience in government here — it’s time to punch the NSA’s ticket here.”

Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA – Spooks’ own advice lays out exactly how this crypto wypto hypto thing works.

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