Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 27, 2011

The Back-Up Plan: We Examine 5 Cloud-Based Services – From Google’s Gmail and GoogleDocs to Microsoft’s Windows Live and Adobe’s, more and more personal computing is taking place in “the cloud.” PC users are increasingly growing accustomed to mobile computing from their smartphones and tablets – and cloud computing is an essential element in this growing mobile adaptation.

How to quickly access your network connections in Windows 7 and Vista – One small Windows XP feature I used to lean on frequently was “Connect To” — it provided easy access to a computer’s network connections right from the Start Menu. I also like being able to right-click on a connection icon in the system tray to access the same screen. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, however, neither of those options are available — so what’s the best way to open your network connections screen in a hurry?

Five tips for conserving PC power – Cutting back on the power your PC uses is a pretty simple task. All it takes is a little consciousness and the resolve to change a few basic procedures. Here are some of the easiest ways to reduce your power consumption and increase energy efficiency.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Untangle: Open Source Network Security Software – Take a look at how Untangle provides another layer of protection for your entire network, including PCs and mobile devices. We show you how.

10 Nagging Microsoft Windows Issues That Must Be Resolved Soon – Microsoft’s Windows 7 is being updated with Service Pack 1. But there is no way for a service pack to address all the issues that Microsoft needs to fix when it comes to fully restoring the credibility of its flagship operating system. Simply put, there are still many Windows-related problems that Microsoft must start to fix. Read on to find out what they are.

Before You Install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 – Microsoft is now offering Windows 7 users “Service Pack 1,” a bundle of security updates and minor feature improvements. If you’re thinking about installing this update, read on for a few caveats and tips that may change your mind. (submitted by Dar)

Report: Botnet Victim Population Grew More Than 600 Percent In 2010 – Of the top 10 largest botnets in 2010, six did not exist in 2009, Damballa says. Only one (Monkif) was present, ranked among the 10 largest botnets of 2009. The top 10 largest botnets in 2010 accounted for approximately 47 percent of all botnet compromised victims — down from 2009, when the top 10 botnets accounted for 81 percent of all victims.

Template resources for web design – Templates let you develop web sites that share a similar structure and graphic identity, quickly and without having to worry about accidentally deleting or changing elements. Ryan Boudreaux provides template resources and tips for using them.

Company News:


Apple Revamps MacBook Pros with New Chips, HD Cams, Thunderbolt – It’s rare that an entire line of MacBook Pros is updated all at once, but sometimes new technology warrants this occasion. Apple, as expected, announced updates to the MacBook Pro 13-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch. They all get Intel second-gen Core processors and all the technology associated with them, including dual- and quad-core versions.

Teeny Version of Firefox Squeezes onto Android Phones – Available as a free download for Nokia’s Maemo-based N900, and in the Android Market for 2.0 and above, the new beta release of Firefox takes a long time to start up, and occasionally stalls for a second or two, but it does offer a usable alternative to the default browser. It has its own pros and cons, of course.

Novell Broadens Linux for SAP Applications – New version of SUSE Enterprise Linux Server for SAP Applications, based on the firm’s SLES 11, now applies to all SAP workloads, expanding the corporate partnership.

Off Topic (Sort of):


Humour An Update is Available for Your Computer (submitted by Dar)

Say What? Top Five IT Quotes of the Week – A statue for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg? Steve Jobs damned with faint praise, LinkedIn access cut off in China and more

LROC Image Browser: Mosaic of the lunar nearside – The images that comprise this mosaic were collected over a two-week period in mid-December 2010. Resolution 145 metres/pixel. Zoom in & explore with a mouse click. (submitted by Michael F.)

Why aren’t more CEOs fired? – Despite an environment of record layoffs of workers, you don’t hear very often about a CEO being fired. Why is that?

Today’s Quote:


I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.”

–    Michel de Montaigne (1533 – 1592)

Today’s Free Downloads:


Avast 6 released – Avast takes the worry out of blocking suspicious programs from harming your system with a new AutoSandboxing feature in its latest major-point upgrade.

GOM Media Player – As various media players jockey for position to become your default setting for music and video streams, GOM Media Player’s support for a wide range of file formats has helped it stand out as a firm favorite.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 27, 2011

  1. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Very interesting article on Win7 SP1. My habit is to install all service packs immediately but, in future, I shall be far more wary.

    I managed to install the SP on my laptop eventually, but both the download and install took several hours. I was unable to install it on my PC and got the error 0×800f0a12. Some Googling led me to an article that said this was because Update could not identify the location of the system files to update. The suggested reasons for this were that the system location might have been changed, or the system files may have been cloned. In my case the first is not the case. I do, however, have a real-time backup in place using Paragon System Backup 2010. This takes regular system snapshots and backs them up to an external HD. Whether this is confusing Win Update I don’t know but, given the various comments about Sp1, I’m now in no rush to install it on my PC.

    BTW you will recall I also have Comodo Time Machine (making the sign of the cross as I type – challenging) installed. This is more of a roll-back feature than a backup, so not sure if it’s likely to be an issue.

    Kind regards

    • Hi John,

      Given all the horror stories that service packs generate, I’m not a fan of instant installs. I am a fan of OS re-installs, which I perform twice a year or so. Coincidentally, yesterday happened to be the OS re-install date on my principal home machine, and during the updating process, SP 1 installed flawlessly. However, I must admit, I always breath a sigh of relief when a service pack installs without raising issues.