Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 8, 2014

Too much Twitter leads to infidelity and divorce;  How to get your data from Windows XP to a new PC;  Five free apps that let you do more with Outlook 2013;  Government breaches at all-time high, press blunder under-reports by millions;  How to install Windows apps on Linux with CrossOver;  First look: Adobe Lightroom mobile for iPad;  A $200 3D printer? Meet the Micro;  Google TV to be rebooted as Android TV;  Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN;  Windows Firewall Console (free);  EverNote (free);  Australians set piracy record of Games of Thrones season premiere;  Supreme Court takes a pass on NSA surveillance case.

How to get your data from Windows XP to a new PC – With the Windows end-of-service deadline finally upon us, a lot of holdouts are hurriedly making the upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. Moving all your important files from Windows XP to your new computer may sound like just one more hassle. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that hard at all. Here are four simple options for transferring your data from Windows XP to a new PC without breaking a sweat.

Too much Twitter leads to infidelity and divorce, study shows – A University of Missouri study finds that active Twitter users are far more likely to experience Twitter-related conflict with their romantic partners.

Five free apps that let you do more with Outlook 2013 – You can install an app for Outlook 2013 by clicking on the Files menu and then clicking the Manage Apps button and following the prompts. Once you install an app, it will be invoked automatically when you compose or view a message — but only when appropriate. For example, an app that is designed to map addresses is typically invoked only when you open an email that contains an address. Apps are accessible via a link located just above the message body. Let’s take a look at five free Outlook 2013 available from the Office Store.

How to live tweet an event: 7 best practices – Forget the watercooler. Twitter’s become the place where people congregate to dispense with the old, “hey, did ya hear?” Except, instead of waiting until break time the next day, the conversation is always happening. For a brand, the middle of the action seems like a desirable place to be, and that is driving more brands to consider live tweeting important events. But before a brand dives into a live situation, there are a few things to remember. Here are tips for live tweeting a variety events, including conferences, pop culture events, and unanticipated news happenings.

How to install Windows apps on Linux with CrossOver (Gallery) – Summary: In this example, I’m installing Microsoft Office 2010 on Mint 16 using CrossOver Linux 13.1.2.

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Microsoft shows off next-gen Windows for connected cars – The concept looks like Windows for the car: There’s a Start screen, with common tasks that can be “pinned” to the car’s dashboard, while things the driver needs to know right away (such as an upcoming school zone) are displayed prominently. In Teixeira’s demo, users could select different views, such as climate control, or more information about the currently playing artist. In the demo, he swiped right to reveal service information, such as a 30,000-mile maintenance reminder, as well as an assessment of how efficiently he drove. And, of course, there are apps—which automakers and third-party companies alike are already pushing forward on.

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Amazon Dash wants to make buying groceries as easy as saying ‘cheese’ – Amazon Dash is about the size of a remote control, and it features both a microphone and a barcode scanner, which allows you to either speak the name of the item you need (say, “cheese”) or scan the barcodes for whatever you need. The Dash then sends your order to Amazon Fresh using its Wi-Fi connection: All you need to do is review the order on your smartphone, tablet, or computer to schedule your delivery and make the purchase official.

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Windows 8.1 Update is a mandatory update for Windows 8.1 users – Microsoft released Windows 8.1 in October 2013, and while it was recommended for all Windows 8 users, it was not a requirement to continue receiving support from the company. That won’t be the case for Windows 8,1 users when it comes to Tuesday’s release of Windows 8.1 Update as it will be delivered via Windows update. In a Microsoft Premier Field Engineering Platform blog post, the company flat out says that Windows 8.1 Update is a required download for Windows 8.1 users. The blog post states: Failure to install this Update will prevent Windows Update from patching your system with any future updates starting with Updates released in May 2014 (get busy!)

Raspberry Pi Compute Module shrinks to memory stick size – The wraps have been taken off the new Raspberry Pi compute module, and with it comes a new slimmed down size. The new unit is slimmed down enough to fit into a DDR2 memory slot you’d find in laptops, and is aimed at business and industrial users.

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First look: Adobe Lightroom mobile for iPad – Adobe’s pro photography editing software has come to the iPad: Take an in-depth tour of its features with Macworld contributor and photographer Jeff Carlson.

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Top tips for traveling with your smartphone – Before you book your next vacation, be sure to watch this travel episode of The Fix.

A $200 3D printer? Meet the Micro – The compact Micro topped its $50,000 Kickstarter funding goal 11 minutes after launching, and early-bird backers nabbed an especially great deal.

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iPad at Work: The essential guide for business users 2014 – Apple’s iPad is an impressive piece of technology. Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of it as a business tool.

Security:

Massive Security Bug In OpenSSL Could Affect A Huge Chunk Of The Internet – I saw a t-shirt one time. “I’m a bomb disposal technician,” it read. “If you see me running, try to keep up.” The same sort of idea can be applied to net security: when all the net security people you know are freaking out, it’s probably an okay time to worry. This afternoon, many of the net security people I know are freaking out. A very serious bug in OpenSSL — a cryptographic library that is used to secure a very, very large percentage of the Internet’s traffic — has just been discovered and publicly disclosed. It seems the bug has been in OpenSSL for 2+ years (since December 2011, OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f) before its publicly announced discovery today. Even worse, it appears that exploiting this bug leaves no trace in the server’s logs.

Government breaches at all-time high, press blunder under-reports by millions – This is one of those articles that spoils your faith in mankind. Not only are government security incidents fully into holy-cow territory, the press is reporting numbers three magnitudes too low because someone misread a chart and everyone else copied that report.

Scamming still works better than mobile malware: Symantec – With larger and more frequent data breaches, online scammers are able to rely on existing techniques, and have no need yet to move into the realm of mobile malware.

Few European ATMs upgraded to Windows 7 – A research report indicates that Europe is far behind the US in moving ATMs from Windows XP. Less than 1 percent of ATMs in Europe are running Windows 7.

6 ways the Internet of Things will transform enterprise security – Most enterprise security organizations are unlikely to have a spamming refrigerator on top of their list of things to worry about. But news earlier this year that an Internet-connected fridge was co-opted into a botnet that sent spam to tens of thousands of Internet users is sure to have piqued the interest of at least a few. If nothing, the incident showed how even a benign consumer appliance could pose a danger to enterprises if connected to the Internet without proper security protections. Here in no particular order are six ways the Internet of Things will affect enterprise security.

Company News:

Twitter Buys Cover, Android Lockscreen App – Twitter on Monday confirmed that it is acquiring the Android lockscreen app Cover for an undisclosed sum. Cover, which launched in October, learns the apps you use at different times of the day, and puts them on your lock screen for easy access. Cover first announced the acquisition in a Monday blog post that noted that the companies fit well together.

Movie studios sue Dotcom, Megaupload for copyright infringement – Six major U.S. movie studios have sued Megaupload, the Hong Kong company running the now defunct file-sharing website of the same name, and its founder Kim Dotcom for allegedly encouraging and profiting from copyright infringement. The civil suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria charges Megaupload and Dotcom, among others, of encouraging its users to upload infringing copies of popular entertainment content, including from the Hollywood studios.

After Raising $250 Million, Lyft Cuts Prices By Up To 20% In All Markets – Last week, Lyft announced that it had raised a massive $250 million round of funding as part of its effort to compete against other on-demand ride services. Now the company is going on the offensive against its competitors, with a price cut of up to 20 percent in all of its markets.

Microsoft’s $7.2BN Deal To Buy Nokia’s Devices Business Gets The Nod In China – Chinese regulators have approved Nokia’s planned sale of its devices business to Microsoft, taking the $7.2 billion deal one step closer to closing. Nokia said today it has received regulatory approval from the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China.

Press Releases:

American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) today announced the release of the StorTrends iDATA (Intelligent Data Analysis Tracking Application), a free software tool designed to provide an accurate assessment of IT infrastructure performance, capacity and throughput requirements. By measuring all of the necessary components of an IT infrastructure, the StorTrends iDATA tool can assess pain points in an environment before they become disruptive and provide the details needed to make informed storage decisions.

Wombat Security Technologies – (Wombat) today announced it is a key sponsor of a webinar to be presented by Enterprise Management’s Association (EMA) industry expert David Monahan on the rapidly growing Security Awareness and Training Market, to be held Tuesday, April 8 at 2:00pm EDT. In addition to its sponsorship role, Wombat’s input helped shape the questions behind the survey which was utilized to develop EMA’s report. Wombat has deep roots in the Security Awareness and Training Market, and is a recognized authority, having recently been named the Gold winner of the 2014 Global Excellence Awards in Tomorrow’s Technology Today for its Security Training Platform and Bronze winner in the New Product category for its CyberStrength® Security Awareness assessment product.

Games and Entertainment:

Australians set piracy record of Games of Thrones season premiere – In the wake of Games of Thrones airing the first episode of its fourth season in the US, data from TorrentFreak showed Australia downloaded the most pirated copies of the episode.

Alien Tribe 2 for iPad Does Justice to the 4x RTS Genre – Alien Tribe 2 is what real-time strategy fans call a 4x game, meaning the goal is to eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. Charming, right? You don’t have to be all tyrannical about it, though. In Alien Tribe 2 for iPadyou have to keep your civilization alive by colonizing new planets, building up defenses, and finding the resources you need to stay ahead of the bad guys.

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Xbox Live original TV content begins in June with six shows – Microsoft is getting into the content business in a much larger way than anyone originally understood, with six new shows on the way to the Xbox One. At a time where Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are all deep into their own unique content, Microsoft has quite the arsenal in mind for a global audience. This move further cements the Xbox One as a entertainment console that is capable of delivering a good gaming experience, as opposed to Sony who is set on delivering a high-end gaming console that also handles streaming content.

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Google TV to be rebooted as Android TV, with all new everything – Google TV has been gutted and re-imagined as Android TV in the hopes that it will do a better job infiltrating living rooms than its predecessor, but so far there’s little more than a leaked coat of paint to show how it has improved.

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Goat Simulator update incoming: multiplayer arrives in May – During GDC earlier this year, we went hands-on with the oddly popular Goat Simulator, giving a look at the gameplay in all its wonderful absurdity. For faithful players who are looking forward to the upcoming 1.1 update, take heart: multiplayer will be arriving with it, as well as a new map.

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Watch Dogs PC recommended specs include 8-core CPU and 8GB of RAM – There have been a couple very anticipated games announced for the PC and game consoles so far in 2014. One of the most anticipated games was Titanfall and it is now available for PC gamers. Another anticipated PC game is Watch Dogs. We already know a few of the minimum specs for Watch Dogs on the PC after they were tipped by the creative director of the game, Jonathan Morin.

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Off Topic (Sort of):

Trace the past with NY Public Library’s Open Access Maps Project – GPS can’t quite capture the beauty of historical maps. Thanks to the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division at the New York Public Library, 20,000 high-res maps are now available for download.

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Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN that destroys belief, study claims – A US computer scientist has released a study claiming to have found out why so many Americans are abandoning their religious faith and says it’s the internet’s fault. “Internet use decreases the chance of religious affiliation,” reports Allen Downey, professor of computer science at Olin school of engineering. Downey analyzed data from 20 years of polling by the National Opinion Research Center for its General Social Survey. He found that the number of people citing no religious belief increased from 8 to 18 per cent between 1990 and 2010, and argues the growth of internet use accounts for a large proportion of that.

Scientists apply physics to biology to create uncrackable encryption scheme – Is it possible to ensure online privacy and truly have secure digital communications? Scientists believe their new encryption scheme gives an “infinite number of choices for the secret encryption key shared between the sender and receiver” and therefore promises to be “so nearly unbreakable that it will be equally unwelcome to internet criminals and official eavesdroppers.”

Drone falls out of the sky and injures athlete – A triathlete suffered head injuries after an unmanned aerial vehicle fell out of the sky, with the pilot claiming the drone had been hacked.

StoreDot unveils ‘flash-battery’ capable of charging devices in just 30 seconds – For years, battery life has been the bane of a smartphone user’s existence. Lithium-ion batteries are notoriously inefficient, and frequent device use often leads to a decay of battery life over time. Nanotechnology company StoreDot is looking to change that: Today, they unveiled a new ‘flash-battery’ capable of charging a device to full capacity in just 30 seconds.

Money: The Unauthorised Biography, book review – Here’s what we think we know about money. In the beginning, there was barter. Barter got awkward after a while — you want a sheep, but your neighbour only has beans, and the neighbour who has a sheep only wants eggs — and so we moved to metal coins as universal units of value. From there, we moved to increasing levels of abstraction: gold-backed paper notes, then paper notes backed only by the full faith and credit of the issuing government, then numbers in cyberspace. ‘Wrong!’, says Felix Martin, the author of Money: The Unauthorised Biography and partner in the fixed income division at Liontrust Asset Management.

Something to think about:

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”

-     Abraham Lincoln

Today’s Free Downloads:

EverNote – EverNote for Windows is an intuitive note management application that offers you a single place for the organization, easy input and quick retrieval of all types of notes and clippings. With EverNote, you can conveniently capture and quickly find typed or handwritten memos; excerpts from Web pages, documents and emails; passwords, phone messages, and to do’s; brainstorms, sketches, camera phone snapshots; and more. EverNote provides a unique approach by storing all different types and formats of notes on an endless, virtual roll of paper. With this innovation, you can quickly find any note by sight – without having to open notes individually – either by a single click on any date in the Time Band, or by using EverNote’s handy Accelerator Scroller.

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Windows Firewall Console – The Windows Firewall Console helps users take control of their Window 8 Firewall and it also is a full replacement for TinyWall. It also has a very nice transparency eye candy look. This program also has a Windows Firewall Security Fix and is very Lightweight on your Computer System with Web Browser Security options. The user must first click the popup green shield icon for the Two Way Firewall Patch after that use the green shield to add each safe application. If you need to reset the firewall settings? Use the red shield and repeat the popup green shield icon button and green shield button process very simple. This 100% Freeware product has a better GUI than Tinywall 2.1 and gives the users the options to change the look & feel of there Security Software and does not mess up stuff like Tinywall 2.1 Firewall policy rules on Windows 7 Firewall or Host file locking conflicts with any Antivirus program including MSE or Windows 8 Defender.

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MyGodMode - Utility for accessing all 260+ Windows´ system management functions and customization options from a single place. MyGodMode integrates with desktop, start menu, quick start toolbar and context menu. The GodMode folder, also known as “All tasks”, allows all system management tools, usually spread in various places (control panel, computer management, administration tools etc) to be conveniently accessed from a single place, searchable, and it was originally intended to be available only to Microsoft developers.

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Free File Camouflage – Want to save a copy of your personal file on a USB Pendrive but you are worried that, in case of theft, someone will be able to access your data? With Free File Camouflage you can hide your files inside a JPEG image! The software can be used with the main interface or via the explorer “send to” context menu (the first time you only need to select a directory with some images). All the files are encrypted using AES and hidden inside an image.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Edward Snowden and journalist Laura Poitras awarded truth-telling prize – The 2014 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling was awarded Monday to Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras. The award, named for the Vietnam veteran who helped uncover the My Lai Massacre and later became an investigative journalist, is the latest honor bestowed upon the reporting efforts related to the Snowden files. Snowden, a former intelligence contractor and whistleblower, was awarded the prize based on his actions in exposing the extent of the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance. Poitras, a filmmaker and journalist, was awarded for her work in helping Snowden disclose the documents related to such government surveillance efforts. A celebrated documentary filmmaker and investigative reporter prior to her contact with Snowden, Poitras was the first to establish encrypted contact with Snowden. Her efforts ultimately led to the exposure of the NSA’s vast warrantless surveillance operation. Congress and the American public continue to debate how best to characterize Snowden, who is believed to be residing in Russia and faces criminal prosecution in the United States.

As gov’t discusses expanding digital searches, ACLU sounds caution – Late last month, we reported on new federal efforts to gain an expanded ability to conduct “remote access” searches under a warrant against a target computer whose location is unknown or outside of a given judicial district. The government’s proposed revisions to criminal rules will be discussed at an upcoming Department of Justice (DOJ) meeting later this month in New Orleans. Proposed rules to let one judge authorize “remote access” essentially anywhere. Federal agents have been known to use such tactics in past and ongoing cases: a Colorado federal magistrate judge approved sending malware to a suspect’s known e-mail address in 2012. But similar techniques have been rejected by other judges on Fourth Amendment grounds. If this rule revision were to be approved, it would standardize and expand federal agents’ ability to survey a suspect and to exfiltrate data from a target computer regardless of where it is. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a 21-page memorandum with comments and recommendation to the DOJ. Specifically, the ACLU fears “jurisdictional overreach,” which under the new rules would allow a magistrate judge in any district to impose a “remote access search warrant” in any other district. The memo is authored by Nathan Freed Wessler, Chris Soghoian, Alex Abdo, and Rita Cant, who are attorneys and fellows at the ACLU.

Supreme Court takes a pass on NSA surveillance case – The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a lawsuit challenging the U.S. National Security Agency’s collection of U.S. phone records filed by a conservative activist, despite a lower court’s ruling that the program may be illegal. The court, without comment, denied the request by activist and former federal prosecutor Larry Klayman, along with Charles and Mary Strange, to immediately hear their case against U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, NSA Director Keith Alexander, Verizon Communications and Roger Vinson, the judge who signed the order allowing the surveillance. Klayman had appealed the case directly to the Supreme Court after Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stayed his decision suspending the NSA program, pending appeal by the government. The case has generated significant attention, with Leon ruling in December that the NSA’s large-scale telephone records collection program likely violates the U.S. Constitution.

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8 Comments

Filed under Free Software Downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Latest Tech News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 8, 2014

  1. God Mode without a download:

  2. ltcnursejackie

    Bill,

    I see you post a lot about Windows 8 but you never seem to hit on the biggest issue with windows 8 and why so many people are not willing to go there. Windows 8 REQUIRES you to use a Microsoft Account to access the windows store and most everything else. (You can use a local account but you can’t download any apps or even run most of them).

    I don’t know about you but I will never allow my computer to be linked to Microsoft, not with their tract record of accounts hacked. If your Microsoft account gets hacked you can’t get into your own computer. You could also lose access to many files and other thing if Microsoft feels it violates their “standards” and since Microsoft doesn’t care about privacy, what is to stop them from searching your computer?

    How about a story about that?
    NJ

    • Hi ltcnursejackie,

      Agreed – “I will never allow my computer to be linked to Microsoft “. Which is why I run CurrPorts – a small app I use to control connections. Frankly, I don’t allow any connections (from any application), without an immediate legitimate need for a specific connection.

      As for this issue being the “biggest issue with windows 8 and why so many people are not willing to go there”, I’m surprised to hear that. Personally, I’ve yet to hear that reasoning as a primary “thumbs down” on Win 8. The GUI changes seem to hold center stage.

      I’m sorry that I don’t have the time available to address this issue – or any tech issue for that matter. But, I’ll keep an eye out for any reports that deal with this and post them.

      Best,

      Bill

      • Mal

        Hey Bill,

        As you know, I am a big fan of CurrPorts and always have it running when online. I also do not like any application connecting to the internet unless I know about it,and approve it. Recently, upon updating ZoneAlarm firewall, I noticed that some crap called Privacy Service was connecting to ZoneAlarm servers. It is supposed to only run when using Internet Explorer, which I never use to surf.

        But I had a solution. I have been using PeerBlock for some months now, an IP blocking utility. I added the ZoneAlarm servers to Peerblock, problem solved, no more connections to them.

        I highly recommend it.

        Cheers

        • Hey Mal,

          Yeah, we’re like 2 peas in a pod on this issue. Took a quick look at PeerBlock. Going to take it for a spin. Thanks mate. :)

          From the site – PeerBlock lets you control who your computer “talks to” on the Internet. By selecting appropriate lists of “known bad” computers, you can block communication with advertising or spyware oriented servers, computers monitoring your p2p activities, computers which have been “hacked”, even entire countries! They can’t get in to your computer, and your computer won’t try to send them anything either.

          And best of all, it’s free!