Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 11, 2011

Sandboxing to come in Avast 6 – The ability to run programs while blocking them from potentially damaging your computer will be made available to all 130 million Avast users when the program upgrades to version 6 soon. Check out editor Seth Rosenblatt’s take on the Avast 6 beta after using it for a week.

Internet Explorer 9: Hands On With the Release Candidate – The first release candidate for Internet Explorer 9 is here, five months after IE9 first went into public beta. IE9 is Microsoft’s attempt to bring support newer, more modern Web technology to its browser. If you haven’t used IE9 before, take a moment to read our prior review of the public beta.

Flash 10.2 arrives with more efficient video – Stage Video makes its debut for more power-efficient video on Flash. The new version also dovetails with IE9’s hardware acceleration.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Hacking attacks from China hit energy companies worldwide – Security researchers at McAfee have sounded an alarm for what is described as “coordinated covert and targeted cyberattacks” against global oil, energy, and petrochemical companies.

How to Buy a Netbook – Don’t give up on netbooks just yet. Netbook manufacturers are including more features, bigger screens and keyboards, and faster parts. We walk you through the latest trends and tell you what features really matter in a netbook.

Nasdaq Hackers After Sensitive Inside Information, Not System – The attackers who “repeatedly” breached Nasdaq OMX systems over the past year were most likely stealing insider information to use for financial trades, according to a security expert.

The Pitfalls of E-Book Buying: What to Look Out for Before You Purchase – Easy downloads and convenient storage are the chief lures of a virtual library, but ownership has some irritating downsides that require your attention before you hit the e-book purchase button.

Researchers To Hit Major Website In Drive-By At RSA – In a session on Wednesday entitled “Drive By Downloads: How to Avoid Getting a Cap Popped in Your App,” speakers Lars Ewe of Cenzic and Neil Daswani of Dasient will present a live download of a benign application onto a well-known website to show how easy it is to infect a legitimate site — and all of its visitors.

Canonical releases Component Catalog for Ubuntu & Linux – Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, has announced that it’s opening up its complete database of certified components for Ubuntu and Linux. That’s good news. It means Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) working on Ubuntu or Linux notebooks and PCs can much more quickly design systems that they can be sure will work with Linux and Ubuntu in particular.

Company News:


Rumors Resurface about Google, Facebook Buying Twitter – Google and Facebook allegedly discussed acquiring Twitter for $8 billion to $10 billion, a deal that would give either company a powerful social communications tool with 200 million users.

Sophos Unveils Management Platform to Secure Android, iPhones – Sophos announced Social Mobile Control, a mobile device management platform to manage and secure personal mobile devices like Android phones, iPhones and iPads.

Intel Resumes Chipset Shipments for PCs Not Affected by Flaw – Intel has resumed shipments of a chipset with a flawed design, but only for PCs that are not affected by the issue. Intel also says it will start shipping new chipsets in mid-February.

Activision Ditching ‘Guitar Hero’ Franchise – “Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011,” the company said in its fourth quarter earnings report.

Off Topic (Sort of):


5 Complaints About Modern Life (That Are Statistically B.S.) – In general, it’s easier to be negative. It’s easier for us at Cracked, because it’s easier to write jokes about terrible things than nice things. It’s easier for us as a generation, because to admit that the world isn’t that bad right now would be to admit that we have it easier than our grandparents did and that the world thus has the right to expect more from us. But as much as we like to joke about the sorry state of the world, the facts really don’t back us up.

NASA Snaps the First 360-degree Image of the Sun – A little more than four years ago, NASA launched a twin pair of spacecraft as part of their STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) mission. The crafts traveled in opposite directions along the Earth’s orbit en route to positions on opposite sides of the sun. This past Sunday the two crafts reached their respective destinations and—for the first time—captured a 360-degree view of our local celestial heavy.

Virtual Meeting Manners: Seven Sins of Video Conferencing – Video conferencing, web meetings and other telepresence technology is transforming the way companies do business. But just like in-person meetings, there are cultural mores that should be followed.

Is That a Computer in Your Sweater or Are You Just Glad To See Me? – Still in awe of the new smart phone or tablet you got for Christmas? Well, aren’t you just adorable with your little “handheld device”? But in the not-so-distant future, mobile tech won’t be something you hold in your hand, it’ll be sitting on your head, wrapped around your shoulders, and keeping your feet warm. Smart textiles or “soft computers” will combine the functionality of the gadgets in our pockets with the clothing on our bodies.

Today’s Quote:


Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.”

–   Oscar Wilde

Today’s Free Downloads:


Twelve Free Fonts Make Custom Valentines Easy – Feeling used by the merchandising nightmare that is Valentine’s Day? Fight back by surprising anyone and everyone in your personal entourage with some custom font love and a little valentine savvy. With PCWorld s free font downloads, a little novelty sourcing, and a few nights before the big day, you can set the table for a love banquet.

TeamViewer 6.0 – TeamViewer is an excellent screen-sharing and file-transfer app that can be used to facilitate business collaborations, remotely access a second computer, or help distraught relatives diagnose and cure computer problems. Along with being free for noncorporate use, it gives users precisely the tools they need to share screens securely, send files with a minimum of hassle, control access rights, and even flip which user has control.

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