Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 23, 2011

Top free troubleshooting tools for Windows – These seven handy tools help you diagnose and cure a wide range of Windows ills, and they’re all free for the downloading.

Five tips for faster Web browsing – If you’re wasting too much time waiting (and waiting and waiting) for Web pages to load, give these tips a try. You should see an immediate, noticeable boost in speed, making your browsing experience faster and more efficient.

A Newbie’s Guide to Linux – Getting started with Linux can be an intimidating task, particularly for people who have never tried any operating system besides Windows. In truth, however, very little about Linux is actually difficult to use. It’s simply a different OS, with its own approach to doing things. Once you learn your way around a Linux desktop, you’re likely to find that it’s no more challenging to work with than Windows or Mac OS.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Apple patches Pwn2Own flaw in massive Mac OS X update – Apple has shipped another Mac OS X mega-update with fixes for 54 security vulnerabilities, including one that was used to hijack an iPhone 4 device at this year’s CanSecWest Pwn2Own hacker challenge.

Firefox 4 released – Firefox 4 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux in more than 80 languages. Firefox 4 will also be available on Android and Maemo devices soon. Firefox 4 is the fastest Firefox yet, between two and six times faster than previous releases.

10 Ways Linux Is Making Life Better – Linux has long played a leading role in the world of servers, due in large part to its stability, security and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). What many don’t realize, however, is just how ubiquitous it’s becoming in other parts of life as well. Not only are distributions like Ubuntu helping Linux make great strides on the desktop, but the open source operating system is now quietly powering myriad innovations that many of us take for granted.

Facebook survey scam with a Firefox twist – The scam lures victims in with the classic offer to see who is checking out their profile. After having given the rogue application the permission to post stuff on its profile, the user is taken to a page where he is urged to download the Firefox browser and install a Firefox extension that will purportedly allow him to see who’s visiting his profile:

AT&T Buying T-Mobile: Don’t Panic, and Don’t Hold Your Breath – AT&T announced that is buying T-Mobile for $39 billion, but there are some hurdles to cross before the merger becomes a reality.

How secure is your browser? – Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek talks about research which clearly shows that browser security is alarmingly bad. Browsers and plug-ins are frequently outdated and easily attacked. Even though browser patching is very established and user awareness is growing, the basic data shows that roughly 70% of all BrowserCheck users were using a vulnerable browser.

Company News:


Google Funds Georgia Tech Internet Transparency Research – What if Internet users could click a button and determine whether their service was being artificially slowed down? Or if the government were censoring their content? In the name of Internet transparency, a team of Georgia Tech researchers will use a $1 million Google Research Focused Award to provide Internet users around the world with just those kinds of tools. (submitted by Michael F.)

IBM unveils new pre-engineered technology services model – IBM’s IT outsourcing services deliver a standardized approach that can reduce the time it takes to transform a client’s IT environment by more than 60 percent and potentially reduce costs by up to 50 percent.

Unlocked Dell Streak 5 Tablet for $99 with Laptop or Desktop Purchase – This Dell deal allows you to pick up a Dell Streak 5 tablet for $99 with the purchase of a desktop or notebook.

Cisco, Wi-Fi Alliance, and telecoms look to secure, simplify Wi-Fi hotspots – A new program called Wi-Fi CERTIFIED is aimed at simplifying global roaming across hotspots for mobile devices.

Off Topic (Sort of):


6 Reasons Assholes Are Healthier (According to Science) – We tend to think of calm, peaceful Zen master types as the healthiest and happiest people in the species. After all, that twice-divorced, douchebag stock broker getting red in the face as he screams insults into the phone will surely be dead of a heart attack before he’s 50, right? That may be wishful thinking. It turns out there’s a reason humans still cling to the behaviors that get us tagged as assholes. They might just make us healthier.

China plugging holes in ‘Great Firewall’ – China appears to be moving aggressively to plug holes in its “Great Firewall” censorship system, causing frustration for businesses and web users, foreign Internet companies and analysts said. Google’s email service Gmail has been heavily disrupted, as have several popular online services providing encryption software that many businesses and individuals depend on for web security and to get around the firewall. (submitted by Michael F.)

In this nuclear world, what is the meaning of ‘safe’? – Radiation is invisible, how do you know when you are in danger? How long will this danger persist? How can you reduce the hazard to yourself and family? What level of exposure is safe? How do you get access to vital information in time to prevent or minimize exposure? What are the potential risks of acute and chronic exposures? What are the related consequential damages of exposure? Whose information do you trust? How do you rebuild a healthy way of life in the aftermath of nuclear disaster?

8 Awesome Cases of Internet Vigilantism – Yet another unintended side effect of the web has been the birth of the Internet lynch mob. Now, everything from child abuse to bad customer service can get the online masses whipped into a frenzy of Old Testament-style vengeance. Whether this is good, bad, or downright terrifying, we’ll let you be the judge.

Today’s Quote:


Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows.”

–   David T. Wolf

Today’s Free Downloads:


Firefox Portable 4.0 – Portable Firefox is a fully functional package of Firefox optimized for use on a USB key drive. It has some specially-selected optimizations to make it perform faster and extend the life of your USB key as well as a specialized launcher that will allow most of your favorite extensions to work as you switch computers.

LibreOffice Productivity Suite – LibreOffice was developed to be a productivity suite that is compatible with other major office suites, and available on a variety of platforms. It is free software and therefore free to download, use and distribute.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 23, 2011

  1. Keith

    The Qualsys browser plugin is very slick and useful!

  2. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I couldn’t agree more about Qualys BrowserCheck. Shame it’s been disabled by FF4!

    Kind regards