Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 11, 2011

Public Fox – People can’t always be trusted to behave properly on computers that aren’t theirs (or, for that matter, on computers that are theirs). This clever Firefox add-on limits the browser’s ability to download files and perform other functions that may pose a risk to security or productivity. We can think of many places where this could be useful, from workplaces to libraries to teenagers’ bedrooms.

CopyTrans TuneSwift – It’s a testament to the general uselessness of iTunes that so many useful apps have popped up that address its shortcomings. WindSolutions has the CopyTrans suite of apps, and the latest addition to this suite is CopyTrans TuneSwift. This app allows you to back up, restore, and transfer entire iTunes media libraries.

New Service Helps Attackers Get Zeus Botnet Off the Ground – The inventiveness and avarice of the underground community knows few bounds and one of the latest bits of evidence of this is the creation of a new service designed to help newbies get their Zeus botnets up and running as quickly as possible.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

The Giffords Tragedy and Social Media – Most everyone in the wake of the Giffords shooting wants to “do the right thing” in their online behavior. But in this instance, social media and tragedy reveal monstrous behavior.

Cloud Computing Used to Hack Wireless Passwords – A German security researcher has shown how the massive computing power of Amazon’s EC2 cloud computers can crack wireless passwords in as little as six minutes.

Five tips for choosing the right Linux distribution – If you’re poised to give Linux a try, you’ll want to make sure you pick a distribution that suits your needs. Jack Wallen zeroes in on the key factors that should guide your choice.

With Autos At CES, Are Vehicle Hacks Far Behind? – Sometimes news events just come together in a way that opens a window – even if its a kind of cloudy window – onto the future. So it was this week, as stories about a coming generation of wired automobiles collided with some thought-provoking reports on the vulnerability of said cars to traditional kinds of wireless attacks.

The one security tool every Windows user should know about – Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is a simple but powerful configuration utility that allows you to harden applications that weren’t originally designed to take advantage of Windows security features. Here’s how it works.

RIM to filter Indonesia Web traffic – Research In Motion says it will comply with regulations that require it to block all pornography to Indonesian customers. It must start filtering content by January 21.

Three reasons to dump your cable provider: Boxee, Roku, Apple TV – I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t want to cut the cord with their cable provider and now it’s possible thanks to several inexpensive solutions like: Boxee, Roku and Apple TV.

Company News:


Verizon iPhone May Get Unlimited Data Plan – You may be able to get an unlimited data plan with your Verizon-powered iPhone later this month, according to the latest rumors. Verizon is widely expected to announce on Tuesday that Apple’s iPhone 4 is coming to its network before the end of January.

Philips uWand Remote to Bring Wii-Style Controls to TVs – Like the now-iconic Wii remote, Philips’ uWand contains accelerometers and a camera that communicates with an infrared sensor below the television. This allows users to point the remote like an air mouse while also flicking or twisting the remote to scroll through long lists of information. The uWand also detects pushing and pulling, which could be used to zoom in and out in a Web browser or 3D menu. For text input, the uWand has a full QWERTY keyboard on its back side.

Intel to pay NVIDIA $1.5 billion licensing fee – NVIDIA announced today that it has signed a new six-year cross-licensing agreement with Intel. For the future use of NVIDIA’s technology, Intel will pay NVIDIA an aggregate of $1.5 billion in licensing fees payable in five annual installments, beginning Jan. 18, 2011.

Off Topic (Sort of):


Battle of the Budgeting Tools: Manage Money Online and on the Go – Creating and following a budget will always require resolve and discipline, but a growing number of Websites promise all sorts of help.

The Day of the Password Is Done – People never have, and never will, use good security practices. After more than 30 years of working with networks and security, I’m ready to give up on trying to get the general public to do the right things to keep themselves safe. In a company, it’s a different matter. It’s a pain, but if you keep at it and enforce the rules, eventually you’ll get most of the people to do the right things most of the time. But people at home? It’s not going to happen.

Five simple tips that will improve your writing a thousand percent – Plenty has been written to help those who want their writing to be perfect (or at least not plagued with idiocies). Unfortunately, writing guidelines often descend into subjective battles between Strunk-and-White zealots and rebellious serial comma murderers. But like it or not — and plenty of people don’t like it at all — following a few best practices and being careful to avoid mistakes will make you a better communicator.

Today’s Quote:


Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as mediocre as possible.”

–     Margaret Mead

Today’s Free Downloads:


Auslogics Disk Defrag – Auslogics Disk Defrag combs through your hard disk, finding fragmented files, and then defragmenting them–storing all their parts contiguously to one another so that they can be opened more quickly. The program provides more options than Windows’ own defrag utility

PC Decrapifier – Buy any new PC, and you’ll find it full of “craplets”–software installed because the PC maker gets paid to put it there. These craplets slow down your PC startup and its general operation. The free PC De-Crapifier removes dozens of craplets automatically.

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One response to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 11, 2011

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