Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 31, 2010

Windows Starter Kit: Image editors – Just as there’s more to productivity than Microsoft Office, there’s more to image editing than Photoshop. More, and free, too.

Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594 – Avast Free 5, an A-list freeware antivirus app, provides the same steadfast protection of well-known, pricier antivirus programs. Avast is remarkable for both its effectiveness and arguably providing the most complete free antivirus on the market.

Movie files run in QuickTime Player trigger malware download – Specifically crafted .mov files trigger the download of malware masquerading as a codec update and an installation file for another player when run in the latest (7.6.6) version of QuickTime Player, TrendLabs reports.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Researcher Reveals Major SSL and Browser Flaws – A security researcher has found a slew of fundamental problems with the way that modern browsers are designed and built, leading to serious questions about the security of these applications and the way that they handle SSL sessions.

Students finally wake up to Facebook privacy issues – College students do care about Facebook privacy, it turns out, and their use of the service’s privacy settings has skyrocketed between 2009 and 2010, according to two researchers.

Retr0Bright restores computer plastic to like-new condition – Although James Wages’ vintage Apple Macintosh SE/30 computer system worked, the external plastic had turned a dingy shade of yellow. Using a homemade solution of household chemicals, nicknamed “Retr0Bright,” Wages was able to restore the plastic on the computer, keyboard, and mouse to like-new condition.

Hacker Demos Remote Attacks Against ATMs – Using home-brewed software tools and exploiting a gaping security hole in the authentication mechanism used to update the firmware on automated teller machines (ATMs), a security researcher hacked into ATMs made by Triton and Tranax and planted a rootkit that dispensed cash on demand.

Microsoft rushes fix for Windows shortcut hole – Attackers exploiting a hole involving how Windows handles shortcut, or .lnk, files prompt Microsoft to rush out an emergency patch, well before its next scheduled Patch Tuesday.

Company News:

Apple improves App Store security – Following the recent hacking of its App Store, Apple instituted a new security measure that should prevent hijackers of accounts from purchasing anything from the store.

Internet Explorer 9 Beta to Arrive in September – Microsoft today disclosed that version nine of its Internet Explorer Web browser will have a beta release in September.

Report: RIM unveiling 9.7 inch Blackpad in November – Apparently, RIM is gearing up to unveil a tablet sometime in November and guess what? It actually will be called the Blackpad.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Lifehacker: A Primer for Taking Advantage of Your Computer Warranty When You Actually Need It – Reader Shin-GO’s laptop recently went on the fritz, so he put together this helpful primer for taking advantage of your hardware warranty when worst comes to worst.

Did Dell tech support display woman’s naked pics? – A woman calls Dell tech support to ask for help in locating pictures of herself on her computer. The pictures end up on a newly created Web site. She accuses the support representative of creating the site.

Congress May Double Penalties For Pot Brownies – A bill has just reached the floor of the Senate that would double penalties for any edible products combined with medical marijuana in California and the 13 other states that provide compassionate relief for patients. The worst part is that the bill was written and sponsored by Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic senator from California!

Say What? The Week’s Top Five IT Quotes – Privacy concerns over Google and the CIA; HP’s enterprise slate; why online gaming might help your career and more.

Today’s Quote:

“Charm is the quality in others that makes us more satisfied with ourselves.”

–    Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Today’s Free Downloads:

Giveaway of the Day – BookRoom 1.0 – BookRoom is a realistic, beautiful, downloadable desktop environment that allows you to read eBooks on Windows system. Take advantage of a growing number of e-Books while enjoying the convenience and features of BookRoom. The program is available for $29.90, but it will be free for our visitors as a time-limited offer.

Fast Image Resizer – This tool lets you quickly resize your photo’s for publishing on the Web, archiving or distributing. Can use dual and quad core processors to speed up conversion. Copies Exif image information from source. Customizable resize algorithm quality and JPEG quality.

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