Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 2, 2013

Mini Tasker – Android automation; Charge Your Phone Faster; 10 comparisons – Google Apps and Office 365; Disaster-proof your data backups; Introducing Malwarebytes Techbench; IE exploit publicly released – more attacks; The 23 Biggest Games of Fall 2013; 5 free tools to organize your thoughts; Access Xbox Live Gold for Free This Weekend.

Android automation made easy with Mini Tasker – Automating everything and anything will make your digital life better than ever. Not only is this application easy to use, but it’s also free. Here’s everything you need to know about Mini Tasker.

How to delete your Instagram account – Retro photos filters and square photos aren’t for everyone, and Instagram’s ties to Facebook might give the privacy-conscious pause, so you have plenty of reasons to want to leave Instagram. Here’s how to do just that.

No contract, no fee: Free (500MB) smartphone plan offered by FreedomPop – The company announced today that it’s launching a mobile phone service in which the entry-level package costs nothing and includes 500MB of data, 500 text messages, and 200 anytime voice minutes. Anything beyond that requires payment of usage fees. The company is calling this first offering a “beta” and will take signups at FreedomPop.com/phone.

30-Second Tech Trick: How to Charge Your Phone Faster – Here are three simple ways to speed up your re-up.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to automatically upload and share screenshots with Dropbox – The latest desktop version of Dropbox lets you automatically save screenshots to your Dropbox account and share it with ease.

10 comparisons between Google Apps and Office 365 – Google Apps and Office 365 are the leading contenders in the cloud-based business application space. Scott Matteson compares the two products.

Google adds search by image to Chrome browser - With the Stable version of Chrome 30, now available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Chrome Frame, users can right-click on an image and have Google search for it on its Web index, the company said Tuesday.

5 free tools to organize your thoughts – Web-based text outliners range from Notepad-like simplicity to sophisticated idea wranglers.

Samsung rigs benchmark scores to make Galaxy Note 3 seem faster – Samsung got caught artificially creating higher scores for the Galaxy Note 3 on benchmarks when apps are performing the tests in the hope of making the Note 3 look faster than its competitors.

Android tablets outsell iPads for the first time as smaller tablets rock the market – Android tablets are outselling iPads for the first time in history, according to a Sept. 27 ABI release. There are now more Android-based tablets in our hands, and they’re pulling in more revenues for retailers and manufacturers. In the first half of 2013, the two genera of tablet split the $12.7 billion-dollar market 50/50, with Android continuing to pull forward.

Windows 8 users now outnumber Mac addicts – It took 11 months, but Microsoft’s Windows 8 has passed Apple’s OS X in market share, according to StatCounter. StatCounter’s numbers for September show 7.46 percent market share for Windows 8, an increase of 0.44 percent over the previous month. That was enough to surpass Mac market share, which dropped 0.2 percentage points to 6.98 percent.

4 ways to disaster-proof your data backups – According the U.S. Small Business Administration, 25 percent of businesses never reopen after being hit by a disaster. But you can beat the odds by designing a backup plan that protects against worst-case scenarios. On the data storage front, having a single backup is not sufficient when the survival of your business hangs in the balance, so consider implementing at least two backup strategies.

Windows XP loses over 2% of OS share in September; Windows 8 makes slight gain – Windows XP lost over two percent of its worldwide OS market share in September 2013, according to Net Applications, while Windows 8 made a slight percentage gain in the same month.

Security:

Introducing Malwarebytes Techbench – Over the last several years, we’ve had techies asking for their own version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Allow me to introduce Malwarebytes Techbench. If you service computers for a living, this tool will make your day a little easier. Simply plug in the Malwarebytes Techbench USB stick, check a few boxes, and it detects and removes malware automatically. It will even install a copy of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware if you so choose.

Cost Per Cybercrime Victim Skyrockets – While the number of people who have been victims of cybercrime was on the decline this year, the cost per victim is up 50 percent, according to a new report from Symantec. The global price tag of consumer cybercrime has risen to a whopping $113 billion — enough to host the 2012 London Olympics almost 10 times, the firm said in its 2013 Norton Report.

IE exploit publicly released; could lead to more attacks – An exploit module for a flaw found in all versions of Internet Explorer has been added to the Metasploit penetration testing tool, which could lead to more attacks based on this security hole.

Half of all Aussies don’t think malware will affect them – The research might seem like Aussies are overconfident, but 90 percent actually have security software installed on their PC.

How Israel is rewriting the future of cybersecurity and creating the next Silicon Valley – If you’re looking for the rise the next Silicon Valley, the place to watch is the Negev region in Israel. Its new cybersecurity juggernaut is breaking new ground in public-private partnership.

Shutdown could test IT security at federal agencies – A government shutdown that lasts more than a few days could test the ability of federal agencies to protect their information systems against security threats.

Internet Explorer 6 Market Share Finally Falls Under 5% – The Internet Explorer 6 death watch continues, but the end is near. Microsoft’s ancient browser may still haunt web developers’ nightmares, but according to the latest data from Net Applications, its global market share has now finally dipped under 5 percent.

Company News:

Microsoft investors reportedly pushing for Bill Gates to step down – Bill Gates could have an interesting future ahead of him at Microsoft, if claims made by sources who spoke to Reuters are true. Said “people familiar with the matter”, three of the top twenty investors at Microsoft are lobbying the company’s board to have Bill Gates step down from his position as Microsoft’s chairman.

HP Raises the Bar on Mainstream Mobility – A cost-effective, secure, simple and flexible mobile broadband experience, HP Mobile Connect enables mobile workers to easily see account balances, monitor their mobile broadband usage and purchase additional services as needed. Available on select HP business tablets and notebooks with integrated Qualcomm GobiTM 3G and 4G technology, HP Mobile Connect allows users to purchase wireless broadband data within their country without being tied down by contracts, hot spots or set-up fees.

F-Secure’s Younited wants to combine Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive – F-Secure’s new cloud service is called Younited. It’s the company’s response to what it sees as a growing problem–having lots of files stored online across a number of different services. You may have files stored in Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, Picasa, Flickr, Facebook, Evernote, Office365, and the list goes on. Individually they may all be secure accounts, but there’s no one place where all your files are available.

Google near EU search antitrust settlement with extra concessions – Google has submitted a new set of proposed remedies in the hope of escaping EU antitrust censure, the vice president in charge of competition policy has reveled, now encompassing mobile and voice search in addition to traditional methods. Negotiations continued until the end of September, Joaquín Almunia told the European Parliament today, and while he would not detail the concessions, did say that they were much improved over the initial set of generally panned possibilities.

Games and Entertainment:

The 23 Biggest Games of Fall 2013 – Fall’s most anticipated PC, console and handheld video games (not including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One titles) are nearly here.

Access Xbox Live Gold for Free This Weekend – Attention, Xbox 360 players: Microsoft is offering one weekend of free Xbox Live Gold, in an effort to entice more gamers to subscribe to the top-tier experience. Mark your calendars for Oct. 4 through 6, when the entire Gold catalog of entertainment, apps, and multiplayer gaming will be available to anyone and everyone at no charge.

YouTube to Stream First-Ever Music Awards Show Nov. 3 - The online video-streaming giant on Monday announced plans to host its first-ever YouTube Music Awards on Nov. 3, “honoring the artists and songs that you have turned into hits over the past year.” The event will feature Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Arcade Fire along with some of YouTube’s biggest starts, like Lindsey Stirling and CDZA, who will perform from Seoul, Moscow, London, and Rio. The actual show will take place in New York City and be live-streamed online.

How to play Grand Theft Auto Online today – Rockstar unlocks access to Grand Theft Auto Online today. Here’s what you need to know to start playing.

Is downloadable game size increasing faster than broadband speeds? – Or: How will we survive in a world of 50GB game downloads?

GTA Online Plagued by Overloaded Servers – Grand Theft Auto Online launched this morning, but as you might expect when millions of gamers try to access the same network simultaneously, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Language of Facebook: Shopping, swearing – The largest ever linguistic study of Facebook postings concludes that we are all appalling cliches. Women talk about shopping, and men curse.

FCC says TracFone and other cell companies defrauded US program for the poor – The Federal Communications Commission yesterday accused five wireless service providers of obtaining duplicate payments from a federal fund for low-income consumers. The FCC wants the companies to repay the extra money and, in addition, to pay $14.4 million in fines.

Obama on HealthCare.gov bugs: Patience, even Apple has issues – Talking about reports of slow load times and bugs, President Obama refers to Apple’s experience after the debut of iOS 7.

At last! A Putin vs. Zombie Rasputin video game – “You don’t mess with Putin” is not a game for compromises. It is one for those who truly admire topless warriors.

President Obama forgets to renew SSL certificate – One of the SSL certificates used on barackobama.com, the President’s political campaign web site, has expired. Your browser will warn you not to visit the site now.

Something to think about:

I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I think: Be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There’s a vanity to candor that isn’t really worth it. Be kind.”

-      Richard Greenberg

Today’s Free Downloads:

ManyCam 3.1.59 – ManyCam is free live studio & webcam effects software. You can use your webcam with multiple chat applications at the same time, add webcam effects, use live audio and voice changer, draw over your video window and more.

Zoner Photo Studio Free 16 Build 3 – Manage, edit, and share your photos faster and more easily than ever before! This free software is the new way to work on your pictures with less hassle and more fun than you’ve ever seen. It’s made for everyone, and will make you feel like a pro.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

More NSA leaks to come, Guardian newspaper says – The British newspaper responsible for breaking many of the stories surrounding the government surveillance program known as Prism said that there are thousands of relevant documents that it has obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Of those documents, the majority of ones that should, and will, be published still remain, said Glenn Greenwald, a reporter for the paper who has been covering many of the leaks. “There are definitely huge new stories to come,” he said, adding that “there are still many specific revelations that I think will surprise most people, coming imminently.”

The Best From Glenn Greenwald’s AMA: The British Gov Lied, The NSA’s Vision, And What’s Coming Next – Today Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald took to Reddit to answer questions from that community regarding the NSA, Edward Snowden, and his current work breaking news concerning both. That is a taste. If you have time over lunch or a cocktail, I recommend the full suite of Greenwald’s answers.

SAP seeks an edge from NSA surveillance worries – SAP may build a second data center in Australia in order to meet customer demand for locally delivered cloud services in the wake of revelations over the National Security Agency’s Prism surveillance program. “When I talk to the public sector . . . it’s clear they will only consume cloud if we can guarantee their data stays here in Australia. And we are ready for that,” co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe told the Australian Financial Review in a report published Monday.

NSA encryption-defeating efforts will backfire, privacy advocates say – The U.S. National Security Agency’s efforts to defeat encryption will backfire by eroding trust in U.S.-based Internet services and in the agency’s own efforts to aid U.S. companies with cybersecurity, a group of privacy advocates said Tuesday. Many companies will see the NSA’s dual roles of code breaking and helping U.S. companies with cybersecurity as clashing, following news reports of the agency’s efforts to defeat online encryption, said Kevin Bankston, director of the Free Expression Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology.

NSA, intelligence workers ‘stretched to limit’ by shutdown, official says – The Director of Public Affairs for National Intelligence speaks of “greater risk” as civilian workers get sent home on furlough because of the budget impasse and resulting government shutdown.

3 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

3 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 2, 2013

  1. Thank you for such a comprehensive posting of the latest news in the tech world. You make my reading easier by keeping everything together in one central location. I am new to blogging and still getting used to it. Thank you again!