Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 10, 2010

PCWorld Reviewers’ Favorite Files: August 2010 – August is a good month for get-togethers, and for getting things together. PCWorld’s reviewers felt the lure of file management utilities, PIMs, and spam blockers. One-trick ponies with one really slick trick–checking Gmail, converting files, or alerting us to Google’s ever-vigilant eye–also impressed us. As always, we’d love to see your take on these programs in their User Reviews.

Widespread Reporting of “Here you have” Virus – McAfee Labs is currently investigating a new threat commonly referred to as the “Here you have” virus due to the email subject line the worm uses during propagation. It looks like multiple variants may be spreading and may take some time to work through them all to paint a clearer picture. Here’s what we know thus far………

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Free browser tool scans for security problems, eases end user support – For any IT professional, a certain amount of friends and family technical support is part of the deal. In this blog post, IT pro Rick Vanover showcases a free tool to help us in that endeavor.

Confessions of a Windows 7 pirate – I’ve been hanging out with a bad crowd lately. In the interest of research, I’ve been digging into message boards and forums run by unabashed Windows enthusiasts who are intent on breaking Microsoft’s activation technology. Unfortunately, I succeeded.

Patch Tuesday heads-up: 9 bulletins, 13 Windows vulnerabilities – Microsoft’s September batch of security patches will include fixes for 13 documented vulnerabilities affecting Windows, Internet Information Services (IIS), and Microsoft Office.

Gmail phishing campaign is under way – Purportedly coming from the “Google Team”, the rather legitimate-looking message tries to make the users download and open the attached Gmail_access.html file, which when opened in a browser presents a very realistic, but fake version of the Gmail login page: If it looks realistic, it is because it loads certain graphic elements from the legitimate Gmail page, but a peek at the source code of the page reveals that the entered information gets sent to a script hosted on a domain registered in Serbia.

Linux: 10 reasons to make KDE 4.5 your desktop of choice – Despite a rocky start, KDE 4 has come out on top. Jack Wallen offers a stellar review of the vastly improved KDE 4.5.

Scammers target aspiring games beta testers – Scammers purportedly looking for beta testers for computer games have lately stepped up their efforts, says Sunbelt’s Christopher Boyd.

Company News:

PayPal fails to follow its own anti-phishing advice – PayPal credentials are one of the most sought after by phishers, so it stands to reason that the company would try to educate its users on Internet safety. And it does – by offering a can-you-spot-phishing? quiz. But what happens when PayPal itself doesn’t follow the advice it’s preaching?

Microsoft legal punch may change botnet battles forever – Senior Microsoft attorney Richard Boscovich says the company is expected to get a big win in its legal case against the operators of the Waledac botnet. With court backing and a novel use of a civil procedure, Microsoft appears to be close to obliterating the Waledac spam botnet, changing the way online criminal operations are defeated.

eBay wins legal battle over Craigslist stake – A Delaware judge ruled Thursday in favor of eBay in a legal battle with Craigslist over eBay’s stake in the online classifieds site. The ruling rescinded a move by Craigslist’s board that diluted eBay’s stake in the company from 28 percent to less than 25 percent and kept eBay from holding a director’s seat on the board.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Cracked: 5 Fictional Stories You Were Taught in History Class – Forget about Stephanie Meyer or JK Rowling or Stephen King–at the end of the day, they just write stories and make billions of dollars. No, the writers who really deserve a pat on the back are the ones who wrote completely fictional stories that, over time, were remembered as actual history. In fact, we bet in history class some of you were taught about…

iPhone 4 sales hurt more by carriers than antennas – Survey of cell phone users by Piper Jaffray finds some said antenna issues affected their decision whether to buy an iPhone 4, but more complained about the phone not being available on Verizon.

So, who’s still buying Netbooks? – The Netbook craze flamed out faster than most people anticipated, thanks partly to the emergence of touch-screen tablets earlier this year.

Cheerleaders Gone Wild clickjacking tempts Facebook users – Clickjacking attack hid behind content warning and antispam mechanism before posting your prurient interests to all of your friends

Today’s Quote:

“The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.”

–    James Baldwin

Today’s Free Downloads:

Google Alarm – Given the ubiquity of Google and its services–such as search, Google Maps, and Gmail–the company can gather an enormous amount of information about you. Google claims that the information is kept anonymous and can’t personally identify you, but many privacy advocates, such as the Electronic Privacy Information Center (, beg to differ. Firefox add-on Google Alarm can help.

Adblock Plus – If you’re bugged by Web ads, then Adblock Plus is for you. The well-designed Firefox add-on quickly and easily blocks the vast majority of online ads. The Adblock Plus add-on consists of two parts: a utility to block images, scripts, and Flash; and a subscription component that automatically updates its list of what to block.

Cloudmark DesktopOne Basic Stops Spam – Tired of getting e-mail from Nigerian strangers offering to help you claim several million dollars? Don’t want your inbox littered with offers to enlarge private body parts? Try Cloudmark DesktopOne Basic (free), which does an excellent job of killing spam before you ever read it. Even if you have a spam filter on your e-mail software, you’ll find it useful.

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