Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 6, 2010

Lifehacker: Top 10 External Hard Drive Tricks – So you’ve been computing for quite a few years now, and you’ve built a nice collection of hard drives, internal or external, collecting dust in the corner. Here’s how to put them to good use.

The Web’s Most Annoying Apps – They install themselves, marking their territory with icons. They flash distracting, trivial alerts on the screen in front of you. They demand that you install the latest update, and they won’t take no for an answer. When you give in and install the update, they make you restart. They nag you to upgrade to a paid version. They spam you. They beg you to sign up. They’re a pain in the browser.

Every week 57,000 fake Web addresses try to infect users – Every week, hackers are creating 57,000 new Web addresses which they position and index on leading search engines in the hope that unwary users will click them by mistake. Those who do, will see their computers infected or any data they enter on these pages fall into the hands of criminals. To do this, they use an average of 375 company brands and names of private institutions from all over the world, all of them instantly recognizable.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Wireless car hacking due to poor security – Research from the University of California San Diego and the University of Washington – and which concludes that modern cars are susceptible to wireless hacking – is the result of a security issues being ignored at the car electronics software design stage, say Fortify Software.

Canary tweaks tabs – Google adds a new labs feature to its bleeding-edge version of Chrome to make it easier for users to test features that are still in development, but ready for exploration.

FontViewOK: View all installed fonts on your PC – Some fonts are better suited for certain projects than others, but it’s not always easy to preview and compare fonts to make the best decision. FontViewOK is a lightweight font viewer that lets you do exactly that. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a great way to easily see what fonts look like in a variety of styles.

Blur the Background for Punchier Photos – Here’s how to use your image editor to change the depth of field in your photos after you take them. This is also an awesome trick for adding a sense of depth to your photos.

Frequently Asked Photo Questions for August – Dave answers questions about free high dynamic range software, formatting memory cards, selling photos online, and more.

Company News:

Microsoft Claims Silverlight Beats HTML5 – Silverlight will offer a richer Web experience than HTML5, Microsoft says — besides, the HTML5 spec isn’t stable yet.

Google is working to find its voice – Speech technology efforts are top of mind as Google seeks ways to improve the most natural computer input method of all. Google’s Mike Cohen won’t be satisfied until anyone who wants to talk to their computer can do so without laughing at the hideous translation or sighing in frustration.

Standards body slams AT&T neutrality claim – A few days after AT&T said its push toward “paid prioritization” of network traffic is backed by technical standards, the Internet’s primary standards body disagrees.

Google settles Buzz lawsuit for $8.5M – Internet privacy groups will be the beneficiary of the settlement, which came as the result of a lawsuit filed over Google’s maligned Buzz launch.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Michael Arrington: Blogging And Mass Psychomanipulation – If I ever write another book it will probably be about one of three topics. The first is the truth about how the press and journalism really works – the sausage making – to show just how much of a beautiful, subjective and chaotic mess it all is. The second idea is to talk about how perfect blogging is, with its constant feedback loop, as a training ground for mass psychology and manipulation.

Google’s Schmidt mocked in Times Square ads – Consumer Watchdog took its crusade against Google to new heights Thursday. The group’s Inside Google site produced two videos (hosted on YouTube, of course) depicting Schmidt as a creepy maniacal ice-cream truck driver handing out free ice cream to children while conducting full body scans in order to absorb private information through “Google Analytics.” They sort of have to be seen to be believed.

Latest Report on Flu Fatalities: A Shocking Fabrication – We have been telling you recently about phony data from the government. Here is another egregious example—and no one in the major media seems to know or care. (submitted by Dar)

Did E-mail and the Internet Kill the 9-5 Workday? – Have you checked your work e-mail today? If you’re like most employees in the United States and United Kingdom, the answer is yes despite the fact that it is not only the weekend, but an extended holiday weekend for most workers in the US. A day off is becoming an increasingly foreign concept as workers stay connected virtually 24/7.

Pigs Fly! Duke Nukem Forever To Ship in 2011 – To paraphrase Mark Twain, there are lies, damned lies, and Duke Nukem Forever stories. The game’s been vaporware for over a decade. Leaked screens and gameplay videos from so-called alpha versions occasionally emerge then fade in a muddle of half-baked theories, forum mockery, and fan dismay.

Today’s Quote:

“In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.”

–   Hubert H. Humphrey

Today’s Free Downloads:

Spiffy – Spiffy runs in the system tray and periodically checks up to five Gmail accounts, displaying alert boxes for new messages. When you click on the message text in an alert, Gmail launches in a new browser window.

Better Gmail 2 – Better Gmail 2 is a Firefox add-in that lets you customize Gmail, including letting you decide whether and how to show “Blind CCs,” what information the sidebar should display, how to display your messages, and more.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 6, 2010

  1. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Re: the Webs most annoying apps.

    Man, this brought back memories from the past. I absolutely hate crap that does these things. When installing stuff now, I pay close attention to each window that comes up, so I don’t inadvertently install some rubbish I don’t want.


    • Hey Mal,

      I had to laugh when I read that article, otherwise I might had had a hard time with the reminiscing. The only one of these I’m forced to use is iTunes, because of my iPod. I’d love to have a loooong chat with the guy who developed QuickTime, which is always a part of an iTunes update – what a piece of crap! Mind you, iTunes is not much better.