Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 10, 2010

15 Windows Utilities You Can’t Live Without – Despite the move (real or hyped) towards Web-based applications, millions of us still use Windows PCs running actual software. These little gems of code will help you get the most out of your Windows system.

10 free Microsoft programs worth checking out – If you know where to look, you can find a variety of useful software – free from Microsoft.

Most Popular Firefox Add-Ons – Firefox aficionados love the browser’s customizability. All in all, these ten popular Firefox add-ons may add up to exactly what you want from a browser.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer Tweaks, Enlarges Your Superbar Thumbnails – Windows 7: Hailing from the camp of “software that does exactly what its name implies”, Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer fine-tunes the size, spacing, and margins of your Windows 7 Superbar previews.

Microsoft Ending Support for XP, Vista Variants – Microsoft has announced the impending end of support and ongoing updates for several popular Windows operating system variants, which means no further updates and — more importantly — security patches will be forthcoming. The affected operating systems include Windows Vista with no service packs installed, which loses support as of April 13; support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and all versions of Windows 2000 and Server 2000 ends as of July 13.

Google or Not, the Desktop PC Remains Relevant – A top Google exec claims that in three years desktop PCs will be “irrelevant.” But, he’s wrong and here’s why.

Scareware seen by 1 million surfers a day – Scams where surfers are greeted with messages telling them that their PC has a virus and demanding cash to disinfect the system are on the rise, according to experts. In fact, researchers at security firm McAfee claim that one million encounter these so-called scareware every day, with many of them falling for it.

Hackers Check Into Wyndham Hotels’ Network – For the second time in two years, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts says hackers managed to access its computer systems, stealing personal data including customer payment card data.

Oscar winners scareware attack warning – Surfers searching for information about the winners of the 2010 Oscars, announced on Sunday night, could be in for a nasty shock if they’re not careful. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of interest in the Oscars 2010 to rip off unwary surfers, security experts have warned.

Google Public Data Explorer launched – Google has launched a tool to help you find and visualise data about subjects such as unemployment rates, population and crime. For example, you can get statistics about minimum wages, mortality rates and the cost of living from countries and regions around the world and compare them against each other.

Off Topic:

An Iconography of Contagion: National Library of Medicine – Check out the National Library of Medicine’s wonderful new web exhibition “An Iconography of Contagion”–which explores the relationship between posters and public health, Curated by Friend-of-Morbid-Anatomy Michael Sappol, this is a characteristically smart, thoughtful, and visually rich exhibition. (submitted by Dar).

Are cell phones safe? Fact is we don’t know yet – The perception in the U.S. are that cell phones held close to the head are perfectly safe. Europe thinks differently and the U.S. National Cancer Institute says we need another decade of studies before we can rule anything out.

Why don’t we stop all this small talk? – Happy people know how to have deep conversations about their emotions with other people. They don’t just chit-chat.

A Word From the Wise – We are the United States of Deferred Maintenance. China is the People’s Republic of Deferred Gratification. They save, invest and build. We spend, borrow and patch. (submitted by Dar).

The Common Sense Guide to “Organic” and Other Food Labels – Everywhere you look, food is trying to impress you with how natural it is, but the message is vague and often misleading. What does “organic” actually mean? What separates “grass-fed” from “free range”? We’re separating real, meaningful labels from eco-hype.

Today’s Quote:

“Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation”.

–     Kin Hubbard

Today’s Free Downloads:

Rizone Security Restore – Rizone Security Restore returns your computer’s security settings to their defaults, undoing any changes. It’s useful if you’ve recovered your system from a virus attack but don’t know if the security settings were altered.

Windows Double Explorer – Windows Double Explorer provides two Explorer windows–each with a little more oomph than you get from Windows Explorer. Within each pane you can create multiple tabs for different directories.

GridMove – If you’re any type of multitasker, you can save a lot of hassle by viewing multiple windows at once. With just a few clicks or hotkeys, GridMove will resize and move windows to fit a customizable grid.

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