Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 3, 2011

The top 10 Windows 7 desktop gadgets – Windows 7 gadgets offer added functionality and convenience in a variety of ways. Here are a few you may want to add to your desktop.

Firefox ‘Do Not Track’ Ready for Download Now – Adventuresome Firefox users who can’t wait to try out the “do not track” feature can do so now by grabbing a “nightly build” of the browser. Nightly builds are for testing purposes only, Mozilla warns, and aren’t as stable as beta releases.

Quick Tip: Speed up menus in Windows 7 – For some users, Microsoft Windows 7 can never go fast enough. There is always a tweak or registry edit that can squeeze more speed and performance out of the operating system. This Quick Tip shows you how to speed up the display of menu items in Windows 7 with a simple Registry edit.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

A Legal and Ethical Way to Find Free Music on the Web – Sites like are not violating copyright laws because all they do is scour the Internet and make available a link to material that is already online.

Square – Accept credit cards on your Android device with no contract, monthly fees, or merchant account required. Every user receives a free Square credit card reader in the mail. Within minutes of downloading the app, you’re ready to take payments. (submitted by Dar)

10 Windows annoyances (that Linux doesn’t have) – From disappearing resources to cumbersome printing to mysterious application crashes, Jack Wallen has a list of Windows beefs that he says are simply not an issue with Linux.

Fake Facebook Security page sending out phishing messages – Phishers have rolled out a new tactic to target Facebook users – they are misusing the name of legitimate Facebook Security page and sending out warnings about an imminent deactivation of the users’ account because of suspicious activity detected on it.

The Early Adopter’s Guide to 3D TV, Cameras, Camcorders, and Everything Else – Will the 3D footage from your Sony camcorder play on your Panasonic 3D TV? Should you wait for glasses-free 3D? We did some experimenting to find the answers to these and other 3D mysteries.

Multilingual PayPal phishing e-mails doing rounds – A recent report compiled by OpenDNS showed that 45 percent of all phishing attempts made in 2010 were targeting PayPal customers. It is no wonder then that we witness PayPal phishing attempts on an almost daily basis. The latest one – spotted by Avira – comes in two flavors: English and French.

New Contest To Promote Cyber Security Skills In Teens – Cyber security has been at the forefront of American politics in recent months following high profile cyber security attacks like the Stuxnet worm and Aurora attacks. Those attacks underscored growing concern over the future of cyber security in the U.S. and the lack of native cybersecurity talent. Now a new multi-state competition is seeking to encourage U.S. teens to develop the kinds of cyber security skills needed in the workforce.

Company News:


Panda Antivirus for Mac Corporate Edition released – Panda Security launched Antivirus for Mac Corporate Edition, a solution for companies operating with hybrid computing environments, delivering complete protection against all types of malware that affect Macintosh computers.

Dell Taps Ubuntu for Cloud Deployment – Dell partners with Canonical to make open-source cloud infrastructure available via Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.

New Toshiba Tablet Touts Android 3.0 – Toshiba is offering just a taste of its forthcoming tablet running Android 3.0, code-named “Honeycomb,” on its Website.

Off Topic (Sort of):


Valentine’s Day – So what if Hallmark created this to sell more cards. At heart we’re money grubbers as well. So send a VIDiGREET to the object of your desire. And make us rich. (submitted by Dar)

Private info on Facebook increasingly used in court – Making the content of your Facebook account private can thwart the social network’s plan to share as much information possible with advertisers, but may not keep out lawyers looking for material that will contradict your statements in a court of law.

Friend or Foe? Crows Never Forget a Face, It Seems – Crows and their relatives — among them ravens, magpies and jays — are renowned for their intelligence and for their ability to flourish in human-dominated landscapes. That ability may have to do with cross-species social skills. In the Seattle area, where rapid suburban growth has attracted a thriving crow population, researchers have found that the birds can recognize individual human faces. (submitted by Michael F.)

Cloud Storage Ahead: Proceed at Your Own Risk – Cloud data storage has advantages, but recent events illustrate that trusting all of your data to the cloud could be foolish.

Darkshell Botnets Targeting Chinese Manufacturers With DDoS Attacks – Researchers are tracking a new bot that originated in China and is being used by various associated botnets that are hammering away with DDoS attacks aimed at several dozen targets around the world, including a number of telecom companies and specialized manufacturers.

Today’s Quote:


The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Today’s Free Downloads:


Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer – Google’s free Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer extension for Chrome lets you click a link to a PDF, and the PDF loads in its own Chrome tab. You can save a copy of the PDF to your PC and to Google Docs. You can also view, save, and share PowerPoint presentations.

FastestChrome – The FastestChrome extension offers a grab-bag of enhancements to Chrome. For example, when you perform a Google search you’ll see links to related searches; and when you highlight text on a Web page, a bubble pops up that lets you get a summary of the text from Wikipedia.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

10 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 3, 2011

  1. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I like the sound (no pun intended) of as I have no time for illegal music file sharing. Quite apart from the security implications I think it is self-defeating as people are likely to be dissuaded from putting new music online. There are precedents for well-established (and wealthy) artists putting free music on line and I have no problem with that. It must be their decision, however, whether they get paid. Anything else is theft.

    Kind regards

    • Hi John,

      I couldn’t agree more. Theft, no matter how it may otherwise be painted, is theft. Variable morality is the secure harbour of the weak and spineless. Unfortunately, this seems to be in vogue at the moment.



  2. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I posted this comment yesterday and am not sure it got through, so here it is again. Sorry if I’m repeating myself.

    Re: “Windows Annoyances” I am hearing LOUD & CLEAR about mystery crashes.
    I’d had a problem with several programs failing to start in Win 7. As these included both browsers (IE and Firefox) plus ZoneAlarm and MalwareBytes, this was serious. Even more so as they would not start in Safe Mode either.
    In the absence of a suitable restore point I did a roll-back in Comodo Time Machine (something I’ve done a few times before without problems as you may recall). Everything seemed fine for a few hours until the browsers stopped working again. This time Windows would not even start in Safe (or any other) Mode, so now I’m screwed.
    First stop will be my Kaspersky rescue disk, which I’ve updated. Then – who knows? I do have backup iso images of the system but hope to avoid having to restore everything. Also, like the author of the article, I want to know what was responsible (Comodo? Failed Java update? Windows Update?).

    Wish me luck!

    Kind regards

    • Hi John,

      Your first got trapped by the Spam grinch. Mind you, I do check the Spam folder every few days, so I would have recovered it. Still, glad you resent.

      What you are describing is the ultimate computer disaster, but as a high level user, you have a chance at recovery. An average user would be “up the creek without a paddle”.

      After having gone through 2 similar episodes with Comodo Time Machine on board, I soon got rid of this troublemaker. Haven’t had the same experience since.

      Hopefully, you’ve managed to save what you can.



      • John Bent

        Hi Bill,

        I know others have spoken about problems with Comodo Time machine and I wonder if anyone has taken it up with Comodo themselves. I could understand if this was a program blagged from a dodgy site or by file-sharing but I think it is appalling if software from a major and otherwise well-respected company may be causing this kind of serious damage (allegedly). I suppose I should have heeded the warnings but I had found it useful several times.

        BTW I fired up Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 and got a message ” The initrd is too big”. I gather this is to do with available RAM but, as I have 4Gb and the machine is only 12 months old, I don’t understand that. There is no support for non-Kaspersky users so I’m relying on their forum (not holding my breath!). Luckily I’ve got the laptop but the missus is not too happy. Hey Ho.

        Kind regards

        • Hi John,

          I found Time Machine helpful initially, but after working through what proved to be 2 unrecoverable crashes needless to say it was bounced. Like you, I was more than surprised at the vitriolic comments regarding this application which Comodo, at least at that time, seemed to ignore.

          “The initrd is too big” – I took a quick trip around the Net on this, not that it was much help. Saw some references to “unplugging” external drives – not convinced that should be an issue.



  3. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I tried the Partition Wizard boot disk and again got a message that there was not enough memory. This together with the fact that some programs had previously not started, led me to suspect that the build-up of CTM snapshots was the culprit. I condensed CTM and, lo and behold, Widows fired up normally.

    I now need to decide how to deal with CTM; don’t like to be beaten. Anyway, for now, it’s back to normal.

    Kind regards

  4. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Coming from you that’s a great compliment. If only adding two and two always made four!

    Kind regards

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