Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 31, 2010

How to Watch Streaming Video Anywhere in the World – So you’re jetting off to a tropical island in uncharted waters. But how are you supposed to enjoy paradise when copyright laws put the international hammer down on Netflix? Winter travelers, meet your new best friends: Proxy and VPN services.

China Declares Skype Illegal – After having already banned Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the Chinese government has now decided to outlaw Skype, as well. The move, announced in the People’s Daily, means that all Internet phone services will now be considered illegal within the country, except for those offered by two state-operated telecom companies — China Unicom and China Telecom.

Mozilla exposes older user-account database – Security researcher finds partial database of user-account information on a public server. There was “minimal risk” to users, Mozilla believes.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

New Business Apps For Users Of Google’s Chrome Browser – The five Chrome add-ons reviewed here include one that automatically searches the Web for information about contacts in your Google contacts list and another that lets you create simple slide presentations for showing in a browser window and post them on the Web.

VA Doctors Used Unsecure Yahoo Calendar to Store Patient Data – In its monthly report to Congress, the Veteran Affairs Department listed a Yahoo calendar containing patient data among a number of data security lapses it dealt with.

Security 2010: The Year in Review – There was no single miscue or scandal in 2010 that adequately sums up all that’s transpired in the data security universe in 2010. That, as much as anything, illustrates just how prolific hackers and malware authors have become and why consumers and enterprises will need to be especially vigilant in the coming year.

Pew: 65 Percent of Web Users Have Paid for Online Content – Almost two-thirds of Internet users, or 65 percent, have paid to access or download online content, according to a Thursday study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Facebook is 2010’s Most-Searched Term, Hitwise Says – Facebook was the most-searched term in 2010 for the second year running, capturing 2.11 percent of U.S. searches, according to Wednesday data from Experian Hitwise.

Entrepreneur: Free E-mail Services For Your Small Business – I’ve tested the top free online e-mail products for small firms, plus Facebook’s new Messages service, which some are touting as a collaboration tool for small groups inside a small business. Here’s what’s new, what’s good and what’s bad for each…”

Top 10 Dumbest Tech Moves of 2010 – Among this year’s award winners: Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer, Mark Zuckerberg, Google, and the CIA

Company News:

A closer look at Steganos Privacy Suite – Steganos Privacy Suite (v.12) is a suite offering most Steganos privacy and encryption products bundled up together: Safe, Portable Safe, Crypt & Hide, Password Manager, Private Favorites, E-Mail Encryption, Trace Destructor and Shredder.

Vuze 4.5 – If you’re in the hunt for a BitTorrent client that does more than let you download large files, Vuze 4.5 (formerly known as Azureus) is a compelling application. Not only does it enable speedy downloads, it adds a slick interface, file transcoding, and remote control—features not found in competing clients such as BitTorrent 7.2 (Free, 3.5 stars), uTorrent, and Deluge.

Store Every Movie Made This Year on Your Phone (With Room to Spare) – IBM says it has made a significant leap forward in the viability of “Racetrack memory,” which has the potential to exponentially increase computing power.

A New, Simpler Way to Torrent – BitTorrent 7.2 features multi-OS support, an intuitive interface, swift downloads, and an apps center, but it could use better search results and visual polish.

Off Topic (Sort of):

A New Year’s Resolution for the Rich – …. in the meantime, the average net worth of the richest 1 percent of Americans has doubled (to $18.5 million), while that of the poorest 40 percent has fallen by 63 percent (to $2,200). Thirty years ago, top U.S. executives made about 50 times the salary of their average employees. In 2007, the average worker would have had to toil for 1,100 years to earn what his CEO brought home between Christmas in Aspen and Christmas on St. Barthes. (submitted by Michael F.)

The Top 30 World Universities in the World – For our purposes here in ranking universities, we considered the current state of the world economy. Most countries are still mired in a low period of employment and personal finances are strained. With this in mind, I used data compiled by QS Top Universities and combined the scores for employer reputation and the rankings generated by the tuition (adjusted for American dollars) to bring you the Top 30 World Universities. (submitted by Dar)

Beautiful photos from National Geographic – Here are some of the the winners and finalists of National Geographic’s 2010 photography contest, and there are some stunners. Go have a look, and be sure to look at everything, since some of the runners-up are, to me, as good or better than the winners. (submitted by Michael F.)

World’s Smallest Periodic Table Etched Onto a Single Hair – The University of Nottingham helped a professor celebrate by “etching” a copy of the periodic table of the elements onto a strand of his hair.

Today’s Quote:

I am no more humble than my talents require.”

–   Oscar Levant

Today’s Free Download:

Peace on Earth – I don’t normally think much of one-wallpaper Windows themes, but Peace on Earth is particularly nice. The single image is a beautifully rendered photograph of Earth from outer space, with North America smack in the middle. This is a simple little Windows 7 theme, and well worth the download.

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