Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 24, 2010

CNET: Utilities Starter Kit – The Utilities Starter Kit for Windows is a collection of some of the best freeware tools to replace and enhance core Windows tasks. Defraggers, system cleaners, uninstallers, Task Manager replacements, launchers, and disk space managers all have a place here.

The real deal when it comes to passwords – There are quite a number of articles on passwords these days. People are providing all kinds of advice on length, complexity and special characters. In this post, I want to provide some additional information that seems to be missing from some of these articles.

How to Spot Facebook Scams Like ‘Dislike’ – Looking at Sophos’ report on the Facebook “Dislike” button, which has reportedly spread virally through the social network, I noticed a pattern consistent with several other scams. Recognize these red flags, and you won’t be fooled again.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

What would persuade you to ditch Windows for Ubuntu 10.04? – Multi-touch, window graphics, cloud synchronisation, customisability, vast applications. Sounds like Windows, right? Wrong. Ubuntu has caught up and is ready to kick some serious arse.

User friendly showdown: Ubuntu 10.04 versus Windows 7 – I have written a lot about how user-friendly Linux has become. Naturally the nay-sayers have spoken loudly and insisted that Linux is far, far behind Windows in the user-friendliness category. So, I decided I wanted to figure out a way to test this argument to see which operating system was, in fact, more user friendly.

Lifehacker: Stress Test Your Hardware to Troubleshoot Problems and Keep Your Computer Stable – Gadget blog Tested explains how to stress test your computer’s most important hardware—and likely pain points in a buggy system—in order to diagnose and fix hardware problems that can commonly crop up in software errors and system crashes.

Complaints of Bogus iTunes Charges Go Back Weeks – Grousing about unauthorized charges to iTunes accounts appears to be a problem that’s been occurring for weeks, a survey of an Apple discussion forum revealed. “I found seven different iTunes charges in my email inbox yesterday totaling $291 for apps that I never purchased,” “JTurnerBurner” wrote in a forum on July 11.

Why Vulnerability Research Matters – It seems that any time there’s a high-profile incident in which a vulnerability is disclosed without a patch being available, there is an immediate and loud call from some corners to abolish the practice of vulnerability research.

Company News:

Motorola’s Android 2.2 Rollout: What a Mess – Motorola threatens websites hosting the Froyo update before it supplies the official version to impatient customers.

Google pays $10,000 to fix 10 high-risk Chrome flaws – The company released Google Chrome 5.0.375.127 with patches for 9 security holes and a workaround for a Windows kernel bug, paying $10,011 in rewards to the hackers who reported the issues.

Microsoft touts 300,000 Windows Phone 7 dev-tool downloads – Microsoft officials announced August 23 said there have been 300,000-plus downloads of the beta of the Windows Phone 7 developer tools to date.

Shut Down Bandwidth Hogs with Orion NetFlow Traffic Analyzer – SolarWinds Orion NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA) makes it easy to get a comprehensive view of network traffic, find bottlenecks, and shut down bandwidth hogs so you can resolve performance issues before they impact users. Download your free trial.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Does my book do more harm than good? – The first time I discussed writing a book about the shortcomings of computer security with one of my bosses, we were having lunch in a Chinese restaurant eating won ton soup. After describing the book’s contents, a look of concern washed over his face. “Some of what you know is very dangerous in the wrong hands.”

How to Write a Novel – The Process Defined (Alter your brain chemistry. Get some alcohol. Any kind will do, but hard liquor works best. If you forget the mixer, all the better. Screw the mixer, get something you can choke down on the rocks).

8 Foods You Didn’t Know Are Radioactive – Let’s just go ahead and beat the 10 o’clock news to the punch — frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done yet somewhere (or maybe it has?) — and get to the meat of the matter: Yes, that banana you’re eating is radioactive. (submitted by Dar)

Cracked: 7 Famous Works of Art With Bizarre Mistakes You Can’t Unsee – No one should be immune from criticism. Not even the great masters of the art world–they’re humans just like the rest of us. So please indulge us while we take a look at lauded works of genius created by artists far, far more talented than we are, and laugh at them.

Today’s Quote:

“There is no stigma attached to recognizing a bad decision in time to install a better one.”

–    Laurence J. Peter

Today’s Free Downloads:

Giveaway of the Day: FlipPowerpoint – FlipPowerpoint is your easy way to batch transform ordinary Microsoft Powerpoint Presentations into stunning booklets with amazing page-flipping animations and sound! Imagine being able to create digital magazines and catalogs that behave like actual paper books! (The program is available for $79.00, but it will be free for our visitors as a time-limited offer).

Free Casual Games to Play in Your Browser – A casual game can relax your nerves or stimulate your mind. These great games were winners and notables in Casual Gameplay Design Competition. Whether your tastes run to production sims, romantic journeys, or empire-building llamas, these games have an enjoyable way to while away minutes or hours.

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