Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 5, 2010

Windows Explorer Explained: Choosing a Replacement – For the past week-plus I’ve taught you a few basic things about Windows Explorer. It’s a pretty important tool, and I hope you’ve found the lessons helpful.That said, let’s conclude by giving Explorer the heave-ho. Because, quite frankly, there are better file managers out there.

How to Fax From Your Computer – Although the fax has fallen out of fashion, it’s still a necessary form of communication for official documents and contracts. These days, many people lack a dedicated fax machine to send one quickly. Fortunately, PC software and services can step in to replace that aging device.

Google elevates PDF reading in Chrome 8 – Software to read Adobe’s Portable Document Format is built into Google’s new browser. Also included: 12 security fixes.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Twitter accounts spreading malicious code – Cybercriminals are exploiting Twitter to spread malware using festive-themed messages, according to PandaLabs. Using methods akin to black hat SEO techniques, hackers are taking advantage of trending topics to position malware distribution campaigns.

PayPal shuts out WikiLeaks – PayPal, the popular online payment service owned by eBay, has “permanently restricted” the account hitherto used in fund-raising efforts by WikiLeaks.

What is a Virtual Desktop, and Why Should You Care? – A virtual desktop means that a user’s desktop environment (the icons, wallpaper, windows, folders, toolbars, widgets, etc.) is stored remotely on a server, rather than on a local PC or other client computing device. Desktop virtualization software separates the desktop operating systems, applications and data from the hardware client, storing this “virtual desktop” on a remote server.

Search Engine Optimization: SEO Tips for Small Business – A few years ago, John W. Tuggle made about $19,000 annually giving private guitar lessons. He had to work another job, too, in order to bring in more money. Today, Tuggle makes $100,000 a year “and it just keeps going up,” he said. Plus, he no longer has to offer private lessons or work a second job, which gives him much more free time.

Cybergang infects all ATMs in Russian city – A group of fraudsters has been arrested in Yakutsk and Moscow for allegedly compromising all the ATMs in the city of Yakutsk – population: around 210,000 – in the Republic of Yakutia in the Russian Federation.

Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake targeted by German hackers – Two German youths have allegedly been using Trojans to hack into computer belonging to over 50 pop stars, looking primarily for unreleased music but also for personal information, documents, e-mails and intimate photos.

Company News:

 

Report: Groupon rejects Google’s offers – Google’s pursuit of red-hot social buying start-up Groupon may have come to an end. Citing two sources familiar with the talks, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Groupon, a fellow resident of Chicago, has decided to go it alone, passing up an offer to be acquired by Google for between $5 billion and $6 billion.

The Apple fear factor – The fear that Apple evokes in Silicon Valley is only getting worse. But as long as Apple continues to be absurdly successful, the condition will persist.

Dell Introduces Ultraportable With New Cooling System – The Dell Vostro V130 comes with Intel Core i3 or i5 processors, 4 GB of memory and a 13.3-inch screen. It weighs under 4 lbs. and prices starts at $429.

Microsoft Previews Silverlight 5 – The new version of Silverlight isn’t due out till later next year, but Microsoft’s preview was designed to convince developers the company is committed to the streaming media software.

Off Topic (Sort of):

 

U.S. chip manufacturing in the age of the iPad – Behind the fly-off-the-shelf popularity of products like Apple’s iPad and iPhone are hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs–mostly overseas. Is it possible to create more of those jobs here in the U.S. to combat chronically high levels of unemployment?

Holiday Thank You Gifts that Make an Impression – Instead of buying another mug at the Hallmark store or sending out another pre-printed card do it right. Opt for the personal touch and gifts that have meaning. Here’s our list of some of the most thoughtful and memorable appreciation gifts to give.

Amazon’s free-shipping secret – For those of you who are planning to do a lot of last-minute online shopping on Amazon.com this year, here’s a little tip. If you own or are considering purchasing an Amazon Prime membership ($79 for the year), which enables you to get free two-day shipping on a whole host of items in Amazon’s catalog, you can actually share your Prime membership with up to four “household” members. A lot of people don’t know about this option because it’s buried in the settings menu under “Your Account.”

Today’s Quote:

 

Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”

–    Friedrich Nietzsche

Today’s Free Downloads:

 

McAfee AVERT Stinger – Stinger is a stand-alone utility used to detect and remove specific viruses. It is not a substitute for full anti-virus protection, but rather a tool to assist administrators and users when dealing with an infected system. Stinger utilizes next generation scan engine technology, including process scanning, digitally signed DAT files, and scan performance optimizations.

FileMinimizer Pictures – Compress your photos without zipping and upload them 25x faster directly to your Facebook account.

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