Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 20, 2010

PC World – 112 Best Free Downloads, Sites, and Services: The Full List – Here’s our entire collection of the best free downloads, sites, and services available today, sorted by category.

Netflix ready to take off, eh? Streaming movie service heads to Canada – If we use heat as a metaphor for access to streaming movies, Canada really IS the frozen north. No access to Hulu and Netflix means a hard life for film-hungry Canadians. Hulu will have to wait, but Netflix has announced it’s launching in Canada this fall.

Hacker arrested for spying on schoolgirls via their own webcams – A man has been arrested for spying on more than 150 girls in their bedrooms by hacking into their computers and using their webcams to watch them, provoking warnings that others will be doing the same thing. (submitted by Rod)

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Spy rootkit targets key Indian, Iranian systems – Sophisticated malicious software which infects critical infrastructure systems is spreading in the wild, according to security companies. Finnish security company F-Secure, which is in the process of analyzing the malware, told ZDNet UK that critical infrastructure in India and Iran had been affected.

Attackers Moving to Social Networks For Command and Control – Bot herders and the crimeware gangs behind banker Trojans have had a lot of success in the last few years with using bulletproof hosting providers as their main base of operations. But more and more, they’re finding that social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are offering even more fertile and convenient grounds for controlling their malicious creations.

Stuxnet – Just Another Virus? – Really goes at SCADA software – the maker of this software should be charged with terrorism. What is SCADA? SCADA controls industrial systems, power, water and other resources that could have a direct effect on human lives. (Go look at Bill Mullins Blog on Cyber Crimes and Terrorism) .

Proper Care and Feeding of Your HDTV, Phone, Camera, and More – Want to stretch your tech’s life? Here’s how to properly clean and care for your HDTV, smartphone, and digital camera.

Laptop Theft: Is Your SMB Prepared? – I’ve written a number of blogs recently on how to achieve better information security for small and mid-sized businesses. Among others, I made the recommendation that SMBs should protect laptops with full-disk encryption software and usesecure flash drives to protect the information carried on portable storage devices.

CAPTCHAs – breaking into the shadow economy – For many years, CAPTCHAs have proven very useful for many reputable, Web-based email and application service providers, including social networking sites and online auction sites, for the purpose of deterring automated registration. Nevertheless, cyber criminals have not ceased trying to defeat CAPTCHA-based protection.

Government Domains DNS Hijacked, Point To Adult Content – Security researchers warn that various domains in the .gov space had their DNS hijacked and are hosting pages that redirect users to adult websites. The hijacking seems to be part of a scheme to push FLVDirect adware.

Off Topic (Sort of):

27,000 Abandoned Gulf Oil Wells May Be Leaking – More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one – not industry, not government – is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows. (submitted by Dar)

The dumbest question Sophos has been asked this week – Sometimes we get asked some pretty odd questions. Find out about the unusual request we received from one YouTube user – and no, we won’t be helping them!

50 Places Linux is Running That You Might Not Expect – It was not long ago when Microsoft Windows had a tight stranglehold on the operating system market. In the last decade, though, the operating system market has begun to change. Linux is far more than just a fringe OS. In fact, it’s running in quite a few more places than you probably suspect. (submitted by Dar)

Cracked: The 6 Most Surprising Ways Alcohol Is Actually Good for You – Let’s be clear: Alcoholism will kill you dead. Drunk driving will kill you, and probably multiple children along the way. There are no medical benefits to chronic drunkenness. But for all the times booze gets us in trouble, every now and then it acts like a trusty sidekick, coming in to help us out of potentially embarrassing and life-threatening situations in ways we never thought possible.

Cracked: 8 Historic Symbols That Mean The Opposite of What You Think – If you want to motivate people, you don’t rely on logic and reasoning. No, what people need is a symbol. So what do you do if the real world doesn’t provide you with something people can rally around? You just make that shit up.

Today’s Quote:

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”

–    Steve Jobs

Today’s Free Downloads:

MP3tunes 1 – Music services geared toward untethered listening are enjoying increasing popularity thanks to the fact that cell phones are replacing standalone MP3 players for many people. MP3tunes is one of many solutions that has cropped up as a solution for on-the-go listening.

Firefox 4 Beta – Mozilla recently released the first beta version of Firefox 4, the next iteration of the world’s second most popular browser (after Internet Explorer). The new Firefox offers the usual under-the-hood tweaks you’d expect, such as improved security and better page rendering, and it also supports WebM, Google’s new open video standard project. But more important to the average user, Firefox 4 offers a refreshed layout and appearance.

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