Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 13, 2011

Six Windows 7 Nightmares (and How to Fix Them) – Here are ways out of six common Windows 7 disasters. I’ll tell you how to fix a PC that won’t boot, retrieve files from an inaccessible hard drive, stop frequent Blue Screens of Death, restore a forgotten administrator password, remove malware, and find a missing file.

Microsoft launches first preview build of IE 10 – Just like it did a year ago, Microsoft is using its Mix designer/developer show in Las Vegas this week to launch the first preview build of the next version of Internet Explorer (IE), IE 10. On April 12, Microsoft made available a developer preview of IE 10. It is available on the IE Test Drive site. Microsoft officials said to expect the company to offer new builds every 12 weeks. (With IE 9, it was every eight weeks.)

Seven Free Security Tools for Linux – One of the big advantages of using Linux is that its security tends to be so much better than that of the competing alternatives. That’s due in large part to the way Linux assigns permissions, but it’s also certainly true that the open source operating system is targeted by malware writers far less frequently than Windows is, in particular, simply because it’s less widely used and so much more diverse. The fact remains, however, that no operating system is perfectly secure.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Turbo-charged Opera 11 debuts – The latest stable version of Opera 11 debuted with a Turbo that’s four times faster, an expanded Speed Dial and some plug-in tweaks.

Dropbox: Insecure by Design? – Security researcher Derek Newton has discovered that authentication relies on a single, unchanging hash code that identifies the computer–that is, a steam of hexadecimal characters. Anybody who uncovers this hash, which is stored as plain text on the user’s hard disk, can sync a user’s Dropbox files on any computer, without a username or password prompt appearing. The user will be unaware of this third-party access, unless they check online to see what computers are accessing their account.

Independent Lab Tests Find Firewalls Fall Down on the Job – What the company found would likely startle any existing or potential customers: three of the six firewalls failed to stay operational when subjected to stability tests, five out of six didn’t handle what is known as the “Sneak ACK attack,” that would enable attackers to side-step the firewall itself. Finally, according to NSS Labs, the performance claims presented in the vendor datasheets “are generally grossly overstated.”

10 Must-Have Utilities for Small Networks – If you have a small network at your business or home, you need help, and lots of it. We’ve got that help for you. These ten downloads–some free – will make it much easier to manage your small network.

Personal info of 3.5 million Texans was accessible to public – The records of about three and a half million Texans were erroneously placed on the server with personally identifying information, and the Texas Comptroller’s office is sending letters beginning Wednesday, April 13, to notify them that their personal information was inadvertently disclosed on an agency server that was accessible to the public.

The Best Software for Learning a Language – Languages can be barriers to doing business in the global economy. Fortunately, though, there are plenty of language-learning apps that can bring down those walls. In this roundup, we locate the very best options, suitable for different needs and learning styles.

Company News:


HD video security on the iPad – To help you keep tabs on your home or office anytime, anywhere, Logitech introduced the Logitech Alert app for iPad which makes it easy to access your Logitech Alert digital video security system.

McAfee enhances its Network Security Platform – Together, McAfee and Reflex Systems will offer integrated virtual and physical security and management that enables customers to holistically monitor and understand security issues, easily apply best practices, and provide comprehensive reporting for compliance purposes across the current and next-generation data center infrastructure.

BlackBerry Launches Conferencing App For Enterprise Users – BlackBerry maker Research In Motion took a break from chasing consumer Apple iPhone and iPad sales to do what it does best: Ease the ills of enterprise workers. In its BlackBerry Beta Zone April 8, RIM introduced BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing, a free application that simplifies setting up, accepting and participating in conference calls.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus for Linux 4 released – includes ESET Remote Administrator, which provides IT administrators with a management console to control an entire network from a single screen — supporting tens or thousands of heterogeneous computers.

Off Topic (Sort of):


Mind-Boggling Photo Manipulations by Erik Johansson – While most people try to hide when they use Photoshop to brush up their pictures, here’s a young digital artist who quite obviously distorts images but does it so cleverly that we almost start believing in the amazing illusions he creates. Meet Erik Johansson, 24-year old computer engineering student from Sweden who’s believably warping reality. (suggested by an email from my buddy Mike Cranley)

US Police Increasingly Peeping at E-mail, Instant Messages – Law enforcement organizations are making tens of thousands of requests for private electronic information from companies such as Sprint, Facebook and AOL.

Man Claiming Facebook Ownership Unveils Alleged Zuckerberg Emails – A man claiming 84 percent ownership of Facebook has filed an amended complaint that contains what he says are emails from Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, admitting to the ownership deal.

Fear of death leads to rejection of evolution: study – Thoughts of death, more than age or religion, turn people away from evolution and toward the theory of intelligent design, a Canadian study reveals. Five separate tests examined the reactions from people with a wide range of backgrounds. The single most persuasive reason to grasp onto intelligent design was contemplating mortality.

Today’s Quote:


The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”

–    Albert Einstein

Today’s Free Downloads:


VLC – For several years, the free, third-party media player of choice for many video connoisseurs was the open-source VLC media player. That is still true, but this new version adds a pile of useful features.

Internet Explorer 10.0 Platform Preview – IE10 Platform Preview 1, available for download today is the first step in delivering the next wave of progress in native HTML5 support. Web sites and HTML5 run best when they run natively, on a browser optimized for the operating system on your device.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 13, 2011

  1. Michael Fisher

    re: Fear of death leads to rejection of evolution: study
    Hmmm. I’ve never understood why adults fear oblivion ~ that’s an absurd worry. My pet dog died when I was six. I didn’t think she had gone on to an afterlife ~ I knew that she had stopped working & couldn’t be fixed. I was happy she didn’t suffer. I assumed the same rules also applied to people


    Then my RCC parents, school & church screwed me up by giving me the big lie. According to them all the good people win a ticket to an eternal life in some weird place full of harps. It took me three years to figure out it was baloney.

    When I first realised that death calls on all creatures my big worry was what if my mum dies soon ? The thought of losing her raised all sorts of self-centred concerns about who would get my breakfast & see to it that I was happy. However being just a typical little boy my attention soon turned back to the important things in life ~ ice cream, girl-baiting & fart jokes 🙂

    • Hi Michael,

      I guess I was born with the “don’t believe the BS gene” – although, I do understand the attraction of believing in the hereafter. It’s just not my thing.

      As a boy, I think you had you’re priorities in order – ice cream, girl-baiting & fart jokes. 🙂



  2. I tried Opera and as far as the Turbo goes it only is suggested to be activated if you have a slow link. When I turned it on it said that my internet connection was too fast to benefit. Since I have the slowest DSL AT&T offers, I am not sure how useful it will be as a feature.

    I used Opera for a week but it had many problems with WordPress for me. To be fair, WP was also under attack that period of time so that might have had something to do with it as well. If Chrome doesn’t get built-in advertising opt-out in the next version I might change to Opera. It still seemed faster than the lastest edition of Firefox.