Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 21, 2010

Revealed! The top 50 passwords you should never use – Are you one of the many people who is using a dangerously easy-to-guess password? Maybe now’s the time to fix that before it’s too late. Find out the world’s worst passwords, and make sure that yours isn’t on the list.

Lifehacker: Five Best Virtual Machine Applications – Five Best Virtual Machine ApplicationsMost modern computers are powerful enough to run entire operating systems within your main operating systems, which means virtual machines are more commonplace today than ever. Here’s a look at the five most popular virtual machine applications.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Linux and Open Source: Best of 2010 – In 2010 we saw the usual upgrades to popular distributions and applications, big steps forward for Ubuntu, and all sorts of tips and how-tos from our writers. Below are some of the top posts of the year, based on a combination of discussions, views, and votes.

Bank of America Refuses Wikileaks Transactions – Wikileaks might soon be down to carrier pigeons and a giant, Scrooge McDuck-style vault to hold its donations, as the site recently learned that Bank of America is the latest company to block payments from going to founder Julian Assange’s beleaguered site.

Microsoft quietly shuts down Office Genuine Advantage program – Late last week, with no public announcement, Microsoft quietly retired one cog in its antipiracy machine. Office Genuine Advantage was officially shut down as of Thursday, December 16.

Microsoft Updates Free Security Essentials Software – Microsoft quietly released version 2.0 of its free Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) anti-malware product for consumers on Thursday. In fact, Microsoft did it so quietly that it didn’t even announce the release – not even by a quick blog post

Company News:


Yahoo’s Delicious Tries to Dodge Death – Yahoo is reportedly planning to kill a handful of services, with its bookmarking site Delicious actively seeking a new home outside the company.

rPath Video: “A Celebration of Thinking Differently” for Every IT Manager – rPath, the service factory for on-demand IT, today released a new video cartoon, “A Celebration of Thinking Differently,” on YouTube. The brief video invokes a change in thinking about what IT needs to do to survive in the enterprise cloud’s coming of age in 2011—a time of increased demand for speed and scale. In doing so, the video offers a lighthearted view of the “No More Images!” movement, which advocates shifting the focus from managing system images to managing the IT supply chain and image construction pipeline.

Best Buy Kills Return Fees Amid Poor Sales – Best Buy had previously charged a 15 percent restocking fee for notebook computers, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors, GPS devices and in-car video systems. A 10 percent restocking fee applied in most cases for Apple’s iPhone, but no longer.

LinkedIn for Android Hits Beta for Mobile Pros – LinkedIn for Android is somewhat baked, launched in beta. However, users must jump through hoops to test the fledgling application on their Android handsets.

Off Topic (Sort of):


Video: TR Dojo bloopers for 2010 – Watch Bill Detwiler, host of TR Dojo, flub his lines, growl at the camera, and even answer a support call while filming in this blooper reel from 2010.

Portrait of a Serial Refiller: Ink Refilling Saves Money, Creates Mess – Our intrepid refiller cuts his ink costs by over 90 percent with an InkTec refill kit–but are the savings worth the hassle?

10 Items I Would Hate to Lose in a Burglary – Having been burglarized once, this should be to some degree an easy subject to write about. First of all the idea that a stranger had been in my home and ransacked my house was disgusting and frankly sickening.

Study says computers more harmful to IQ than smoking marijuana – A study conducted in 2005 said that use of technology was more harmful to one’s IQ than smoking marijuana. And that was before the smartphones revolution!

Today’s Quote:


Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.”

–    Bertrand Russell

Today’s Free Downloads:


ASAP Utilities – Excel add-in ASAP Utilities piles so many features onto Excel, it can make you dizzy. You can convert text to uppercase, merge and import files, and much more. Jobs that you could already do get grouped logically into one place.

Search Commands – Microsoft Office 2007’s ribbon-based interface can get confusing. It’s easy to get lost, trying to remember which one has the feature you need right now. That’s where Search Commands comes in. Simply type a keyword into the field, and up come some likely commands.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

5 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 21, 2010

  1. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    Funny about MSE 2.0. I checked for an update via my current MSE installation and it said I had the latest version, which is not MSE 2.0. I wonder if this is because I use XP. Anyway, I’ll wait a while and if it doesn’t update auto, I will do it manually.

    • Hey Mal,

      You’re not alone in your confusion. Looking back at comments from my July/2010 article on the Beta of Version 2, it looks as if (like me), you installed this version. If so, then like me, you have not been updated – unless it was a silent update (occurring at the same time as the definition updates). A silent update is not impossible, and may well have occurred. Let’s give it a few more weeks, and we’ll see what happens.



  2. Bill, so glad to find your site. I am new to all of this and the infomation provided is or could be life saving, considering the investment. I have AVG 2011, Comodo, Spybot, Malware Anti-Malware installed on my laptop. What is your opinion on the level of security I have now? Thanks so much for the information you have provided. Dave

    • Hi Dave,

      Individually, the applications you’re running provide a good level of protection. However, if you’re currently allowing each of these applications to autostart at Windows bootup, I’m surprised you’ve not experiencing conflicts. Moreover, if all of these applications are running concurrently, you’re taking an unreasonable hit in both resource and memory usage. In other words, your system is operating at less than peak efficiency.

      Please read my article – Tips On A Layered Security Approach To Internet Safety, which will give some background on how to set up a layered security approach so that you can maximize operating capabilities.


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