Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 3, 2010

Top 10 Windows 7 desktop gadgets – Windows 7 gadgets offer added functionality and convenience in a variety of ways. Here are a few you may want to add to your desktop.

10 free and useful apps based on Firefox technology – Here are 10 useful desktop programs that run on the open-source Web browser’s native technology. All of these applications are free for you to download and use — and only one is a Web browser.

FBI Goes After ‘Scareware’ Scams – The FBI said late last week that it has filed federal indictments against an Ohio man and two foreign residents in a move meant to halt one of the largest “scareware” malware scams. According to the FBI’s statement, the alleged perpetrators, who operated out of Ukraine, “caused Internet users in more than 60 countries to purchase more than one million bogus software products, causing victims to lose more than $100 million.”

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Mozilla has released a feature-complete final test version of the Firefox 3.6.4 – The major new feature revolves around protection from out-of-date plug-ins. Browser plug-ins such as Adobe’s Flash Player or Microsoft’s Silverlight can cause security and stability problems if you aren’t using the latest version, so Mozilla has introduced a Crash Protection function.

10+ mistakes Linux newbies make – New desktop users can make plenty of mistakes (as can anyone). But knowing which mistakes to avoid, from the start, helps prevent a LOT of frustration. I’ve handled the topic of mistakes new Linux admins make, but never those of desktop users. Here are some of the most common Linux desktop mistakes I see new users make.

10 cool upcoming features in OpenOffice – The latest release of OpenOffice is right around the corner, and it promises to close the gap on a lot of features found in rival apps. Here’s what you have to look forward to.

Poll Results: Realistically, how fast should a PC boot? – The consensus answer from well over 3,000 respondents was actually not in the fastest category I thought it would be, which leads me to believe that there is a vocal and passionate minority who have a great need for speed when it comes to booting a PC.

Google Chrome OS Could Shake Up PC Market – Google plans to debut its Chrome operating system in the fourth quarter of this year, although the company has yet to provide an exact launch date

Microsoft to Google: You’re Not Exactly Safe Yourself – It looks like Microsoft isn’t too pleased with Tuesday’s rumors that Google will stop using Windows internally due to security vulnerabilities in the OS. Google reportedly will switch to more secure operating systems, including the Mac OS, Linux, and Google’s upcoming Chrome OS, according to the Financial Times.

Watch out for malware with those pretty Mac screensavers – Watch out for dangerous malware bundled with some free Mac screensavers. Read more to get the details on the threat and what it does.

Spyware Found on 3 Major Mac Download Sites – A spyware application that surreptitiously scans chat logs and hard drives of unsuspecting Mac users has found its way onto three of the more popular download sites, said security researchers.

SMS Blockers: The New Face of Ransomware – The scareware and rogue anti-virus epidemic that has been earning attackers millions of dollars for the last few years has spawned a devious new offspring: SMS blockers. This class of malware, which demands that users send SMS text messages to premium numbers, has recently taken off in huge numbers in Russia and parts of Asia, experts say.

Off Topic:

Steve Jobs proclaims the post-PC era has arrived – On Tuesday, Steve Jobs said we’ve reached the beginning of the post-PC era, while acknowledging PCs have “taken us a long way” and that the transition could be lengthy, and uncomfortable for some.

Is vigilante justice ever justified? – You cut in line. You shoplift toothpaste and crayons. Do you deserve to die for it? The question isn’t exactly rhetorical, since there are two recent actual bodies that show this is a real-world exercise.

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Body (With Modern Science) – We’d all like to be commuting to work in our hover cars and invading small countries with our own personal mechanisms, but sadly technology has failed to live up to our expectations, and no matter what Steve Jobs claims, the iPad is just not in the same league.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About You – The human body is a great, sweaty, fluid-filled machine, moving and mixing chemicals with precision and coordination, making everything from memories to mucus. Here we explore some of the complex, beautiful or just plain gross mysteries of how you function.

Today’s Quote:

“The key is to commit crimes so confusing that police feel too stupid to even write a crime report about them.”

–     Randy K. Milholland

Today’s Free Downloads:

Dmailer Backup – Dmailer Backup is a bit unusual for a backup program in that it won’t back up to an internal drive, only to external storage. If you think about it, you shouldn’t really be backing up to an internal drive anyway, as it’s subject to the same physical dangers–shock and electrical, mostly–as the rest of your system. The program also includes 2GB of free online storage.

Nuance PDF Reader – Nuance PDF Reader is a simple, straightforward free PDF reader with a twist–it does the best job of any PDF program I’ve tried at converting PDF files to Word, Excel or WordPerfect files. For that alone, this free program is well worth the download.

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