Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 29, 2011

Not Even Security Managers Immune to FakeAV Infection – Can you believe it? As I sat down this morning to write this column, I got hit by a drive-by download of FakeAV. My computer is infected with pop-up warnings and file scans telling me I have security problems, and Internet Explorer has been hijacked to keep sending me to a website where I can “purchase the software.” Pop-ups are coming from my taskbar, showing up in the middle of the screen, and rifling through my files with a fake scan. My computer is being held for ransom.

Lifehacker: Top 10 Simple Privacy Tricks Everyone Should Use – Protecting your privacy on the internet these days seems like a hefty undertaking, but there are a few things you can do to protect your privacy with just the click of a button. Here are our favorite super-simple tricks.

New Malware Scanner Finds 5% of Windows PCs Infected – One in every 20 Windows PCs whose users turned to Microsoft for cleanup help were infected with malware, Microsoft said this week. The 420,000 copies of the tool that were downloaded in the first week of its availability cleaned malware or signs of exploitation from more than 20,000 Windows PCs, Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center (MMPC) reported Wednesday. That represented an infection rate of 4.8%.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Apps with dangerous permissions pulled from Chrome Web Store – The Android Market has already been found offering “trojanized” apps, and now the Chrome Web Store has been spotted offering two popular game extensions that request potentially dangerous permissions of users that want to install them. The apps in question are named Super Mario World and Super Mario 2 and are not manufactured by Nintendo.

Major weapons makers see networks breached by hackers – Hackers have broken into the computer systems of Lockheed Martin and other major U.S. weapons manufacturers, potentially gaining access to information about future weapons programs as well as military technology currently in use, according to a Reuters report.

Number Guru Provides Free Reverse Lookups – Have you ever received a call from a mystery number and wished you could figure out who was calling? A new service from called Number Guru lets you perform reverse phone number lookups–using a phone number to identify its source / owner. Best of all, it’s free.

Cloud Security: The 2 Biggest Lies – Survey after survey note that security is the biggest concern potential users have with respect to public cloud computing. Here, for example, is a survey from April 2010, indicating that 45 percent of respondents felt the risks of cloud computing outweigh its benefits. CA and the Ponemon Institute conducted a survey and found similar concerns. But they also found that deployment had occurred despite these worries. And similar surveys and results continue to be published, indicating the mistrust about security persists.

Patriot Act renewed despite warnings of ‘secret’ law – After senators reveal that Justice Department has a secret interpretation of controversial law, speculation turns to whether cell phone location records are being vacuumed up.

Six Great Experimental Features to Enable in Google Chrome’s Labs – Google Chrome is a favorite among power users in no small part due to its innovative experimental features (many of which are eventually integrated into the stable browser). For our final installment of the best of Google Labs, we’re taking a look at the best experimental, advanced features you can add to Google Chrome.

Company News:

Microsoft’s lucrative new revenue stream? Android – The irony’s enough to make your head explode: Microsoft makes more money from Android than it does Windows Phone. This according to Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, who says $5 from the purchase price of every HTC Android handset sold ends up in Microsoft’s pockets. Evidently, the terms of the patent licensing deal Microsoft negotiated with HTC over its Android offerings last April included some very lucrative royalties.

Hardware Vendor Offers Backdoor with Every Product – IT administrators know there’s nothing more frustrating than losing administrative access to your network equipment. But Allied Telesis, a Japan-based maker of switches, routers and other networking devices, has a fix: guaranteed backdoors for every product.

Microsoft to showcase new tablet OS next week? – Citing three anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported yesterday that the software giant will be discussing its plans for tablets at some point in the next week, though they weren’t certain where or when it would happen. Bloomberg’s sources told the publication that the tablet-friendly Windows version would be running on hardware boasting Nvidia’s ARM-based Tegra processor.

PayPal Sues Google for Stealing Mobile Payment Secrets – Google NFC Partner event PayPal has sued Google and two of its top execs, both former PayPal employees, for stealing trade secrets that helped the search company break into the multi-billion dollar mobile payments industry.

Off Topic (Sort of):

One Hundred Years Of The Indy 500 – Wonderful account of the first Indy 500 car race, held on 30 May 1911. Thrilling, horrifying, at times comical but compelling reading throughout. Features 40 daring drivers, dramatic crashes, confusion over the eventual winner.

Physics and the Immortality of the Soul – The topic of “Life after death” raises disreputable connotations of past-life regression and haunted houses, but there are a large number of people in the world who believe in some form of persistence of the individual soul after life ends. Clearly this is an important question, one of the most important ones we can possibly think of in terms of relevance to human life. If science has something to say about, we should all be interested in hearing.

Poach or Roast Sausages Before Grilling (and Other Expert BBQ Tips) – It’s barbecue season, and that means its time to review our grilling strategies. Esquire’s “Eat Like a Man Grilling Awards” rounds up some top tips from chefs, butchers, and enthusiasts, like this suggestion for cooking sausage for a crowd.

Giving to Charity by Managing Your E-Mail – A new service, GiveBackMail, introduced this week, promises to give 25 percent of its profit to charity if users will route their e-mail activities through its Web site. “The more you use e-mail, the more money you direct toward your charity,” said Rambod Yadegar, who founded the service with his brother, Sam. (submitted by Michael Fisher)

Today’s Quote:

Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.”

–     Nathaniel Branden

Today’s Free Downloads:

Advanced SystemCare Free 4.0.1 – Advanced SystemCare Free has a one-click approach to help protect, repair, clean, and optimize your PC. With over 20 MILLION downloads since 2006, this fantastic, award-winning, free PC repair software is a “must-have” tool for your computer.

Process Lasso – Process Lasso is a software that will improve system responsiveness and stability. Process Lasso is a unique new technology intended to automatically restrain running processes that are consuming too many CPU cycles.

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