Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 29, 2011

Free Microsoft programs worth checking out – If you know where to look, you can find a variety of useful software – free from Microsoft.

Shrink a hard drive volume in Windows 7 – Use the Disk Management Tool in Windows 7 to shrink a hard disk volume so you can add a new partition.

How Egypt Turned Off the Internet – Yesterday something unprecedented happened: Egypt turned off the internet. A nation of 80,000,000 instantly disconnected. So how’d they do it?

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Who’s watching you? Online fears revealed – Despite lingering concerns about the U.S. economic recovery, Americans worry more about having their online privacy violated (25%) than declaring bankruptcy (23%) or losing their job (22%). Research by Opera Software in the United States, Japan and Russia examines what people worry about online.

Screenshots: New features from LibreOffice 3.3 – The Document Foundations debuts its first full, stable (and free) release of the next generation of OpenOffice – LibreOffice 3.3.

SourceForge Site Compromised By Attackers – The recent rash of attacks against free and open source software projects continued this week with an attack that targeted SourceForge, the popular repository for open source projects. The attack compromised a number of separate systems, including the site’s CVS system.

Worrying increase in surveillance across Europe – A landmark EU-wide study of national privacy safeguards shows a decline in privacy protection across Europe and a steep increase in state surveillance over the lives of individuals. The study includes a rating for EU member states and accession candidate countries. This rating pits Britain and Ireland fighting over the bottom of the privacy league.

Spammers take advantage of the Facebook API bug? – It seems that high-profile accounts and Facebook pages might not be the only ones messed with by individuals taking advantage of the bug found in Facebook’s API.

Company News:


RSA Offers Authentication Manager Express – EMC’s security division has designed this risk-based on-demand authentication system to provide secure access to VPNs and online portals. The technology is aimed at the SMB market and is available through RSA’s channel partners and distributors.

Has Larry Page doomed Google? – Silicon Valley’s most successful 1-trick pony, Internet advertising firm Google, has a new CEO. If his track record is any guide, Larry Page has just doomed Google to a slow and painful death.

IE9 Release Candidate to be unveiled February 10 – Microsoft just sent out invitations to an event in San Francisco on February 10. According to the e-mail, the Internet Explorer team will “share some important news.”

Off Topic (Sort of):


How to wrestle with a home network and win – I sometimes wonder how the average consumer avoids going crazy when confronted with modern home networks. Things can get especially ugly when you add consumer-grade networking hardware and buggy firmware into the mix.

Take off those earbuds and pay attention – or face a fine? – By now, you’ve surely heard about the video of the woman who walked right into a shopping mall fountain because she was texting instead of paying attention to her surroundings.

A look inside the original Macintosh (photos) – Twenty-seven years ago this week, Apple unveiled its 128K wonder that changed personal computing.

Today’s Quote:


When ideas fail, words come in very handy.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Today’s Free Downloads:


Weather – Weather is an extension for Google Chrome. The Weather extension will automatically geolocate you, and display the closest city weather forecast. A browser icon indicates the daily forecast and temperature.

FlashCookiesView – Flash cookies, aka “super cookies,” can be used to track your browsing just like normal browser cookies. But Flash cookies will stick around even if you delete your regular browser cookies, and they can’t normally be viewed. The FlashCookiesView tool shines a light on these out-of-the-way files. The super cookies, known technically as local shared objects or LSOs, do have legit uses, such as saving your preferences for watching Flash videos on a particular site.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 29, 2011

  1. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Re: “Free Microsoft Programs Worth Checking Out”, I have downloaded as I have been looking for a replacement for Corel Paintshop Photo Pro X3. I have used Corel for a few years quite happily but this version, apart from its cumbersome name, just does not work for me (annoying since it is not cheap).
    The main problem I have is in finding a free program that will open Sony RAW (.arw) files for editing. I’ve tried the usual suspects such as Picasa, Gimp etc and look forward to seeing if meets my needs.
    Thanks for including this article.

    Kind regards

  2. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Nothing like a bit of piqueing on a cold and frosty morning (they can’t touch you for it).
    Very good of you to take the trouble, I’ve looked at the site and it directed me to where I can download a codec to view .arw files in Win Explorer. Whether I’ll be able to open them in for editing remains to be seen.
    Thanks for your help.

    Kind regards

  3. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    No luck with opening the Sony .arw files in, so I’ve opted to batch-convert, using Xnview, to .tif. This does not involve any loss of content and will open them for editing. Have only done one so far and found the software easy to use. It will even adjust curves, which is unusual in a free application. So far so good.

    Kind regards

    • Hi John,

      The first thing I did yesterday was look to see if I had reviewed an application that could handle RAW files, and sure enough came across an older review of Xnview and the conversion option. I was going to mention this (and I should have), but instead I was hopeful that a simpler alternative was available.

      Thanks for keeping me in the loop on this.



  4. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I now understand that there is a plugin available for to allow .arw files to be edited. Once I’ve had a chance to appraise it I’ll get back to you.

    Kind regards