Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 31, 2011

Free Photofly Can Turn Your 2D Digital Photos into 3D Objects – Photofly 2, a free piece of software from Autodesk, the company behind the ancient and illustrious AutoCAD software, can stitch standard digital photos into accurate 3D models. You don’t need a fancy camera — a point-and-shoot is more than good enough — and by leveraging Autodesk’s cloud computing cluster, you don’t even need a powerful computer to use Photofly. 3D models can be created out of faces, static objects, interior rooms, and even external architecture. Best of all, though: Photofly 2 is free.

How to install Google’s Chrome OS – You don’t need a Chromebook to try Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS. Here’s how to give it a try today.

Screensaver LazySave Backs Up While Your PC Is Idle – In the world of modern computing, few things are as important as backing up, and few experiences are as jarring as realizing you’ve just lost a vast amount of work due to a hardware or software malfunction. But backing up can be time-consuming, and you may forget to do it. Even worse, you may set up an automated solution and find out at the moment of truth that it didn’t work right–you thought your files were being backed up, but they weren’t. With LazySave ($24, seven-day free trial), this will never happen.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

PBS website hit by hacktivists, its database leaked online – The group – which calls itself “Lulzsec” – has managed to breach the PBS servers and exfiltrate a large amount of data. Finally, to make the breach public and as embarrassing as possible for the broadcasting company, they published a fake news item saying that the famous (decesed) rapper Tupac Shakur is alive and living in New Zealand on the PBS website:

What Your Wireless Carrier Knows About You – Like a lot of cell phone users, you may be wondering just what your wireless company knows about you. Can it see what kinds of apps you’re running on your phone and where you go online while you’re out and about? Can it tell what types of phones and tablets are connected to their networks, and how much data they consume? The answer to these questions is “yes.”

Fake YouTube notifications doing rounds – With “YouTube Administration sent you a message: Illegal video warning” as the subject line, the fake pharma peddlers are trying to create a sense of urgency that will make the recipients less careful and make them click on the offered link instead of signing in to the service as they normally would.

UK developing cyber-weapons programme to counter cyber war threat – The UK is developing a cyber-weapons programme that will give ministers an attacking capability to help counter growing threats to national security from cyberspace, the Guardian has learned. Whitehall officials have revealed that the UK needs to have a new range of offensive options, and not just bolster defences around the country’s critical services and government departments, which regularly come under attack from hackers. (submitted by Michael F.)

Web Application Attack and Audit Framework 1.0 released – The Web Application Attack and Audit Framework’s (w3af) goal is to create a framework to find and exploit web application vulnerabilities that is easy to use and extend.

Chromebook for Business: Don’t Go There – Chromebooks, basically netbooks from Acer and Samsung, make their debut on June 15. And while Google is offering a hardware-as-a-service option for business, does it really make sense for commercial accounts? Here’s why corporate customers will turn up their noses at Chrome OS.

Poll: Should you really trust the cloud with your valuable data? – I am no Luddite when it comes to technology. If something comes along that makes sense and makes my life easier, I will adopt it as soon as it is practical. However, the people selling cloud computing and other web-based services have yet to convince me that the merits of their products and services outweigh the liabilities.

Company News:

Asus Demos Phone-Tablet Combo, Meego Netbook – Taiwan’s Asustek Computer has previewed a smartphone-tablet PC combo device that seeks to bring together the strengths of both devices.

Backdoor instructions for Allied Telesis switches leaked – A simple categorizing mistake has resulted in the publishing of an internal Allied Telesis document that reveals how to set up backdoor accounts for the company’s switches.

Nvidia touts quad-core Kal-El chip in Android tablet – Using a Honeycomb tablet, Nvidia shows a game it says needs all four cores of its Tegra mobile processor that’s due to ship later this year.

Sony set to revive PSN in Japan – The restoration in Japan and other Asian countries will begin tomorrow, allowing gamers to play titles from the PlayStation console. Qriocity will also become available again.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Why you might soon have a $100,000 jetpack – The idea of human beings flying around in the sky like Michael Jackson used to fly into concerts–via jetpack–might seem a trifle outlandish. However, those crafty souls at the Martin Aircraft Company have flapped one more wing toward the idea of your own personal, $100,000 jetpack, on which you can avoid traffic and soar into (or at least onto) your well-deserved corner office.

The 20 Best Gadgets of 2011: So Far – It’s been a good year for tech toys, and it’ll probably get better, but here are some of the best gadgets we’ve seen in the first half of 2011.

15 High-Tech Cooking Tools for BBQ Season – If grilling with the neighbors tends to turn into competitive smack-downs, you’ll need new ammo for your season opener. Embrace tech and science in the kitchen and leave your guests dumbfounded at your remarkable menu–and your gear.

Researcher’s strong signal on cell phone risk (Q&A) – CNET talks to a cancer researcher with the National Academy of Sciences who says more information on the health effects of cell phones is sorely needed and that we should err on the side of caution.

Today’s Quote:

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

–    Buddha

Today’s Free Downloads:

Paint.NET – Don’t let the Web-oriented name fool you: this is a powerful image-editing program, one stuffed with Photoshop-quality features like layers, special effects, and plug-ins. The just-released 3.5 version of Paint.NET adds an updated user interface, new effects, improved startup performance, and a long list of tweaks and fixes. Best of all, it’s absolutely free.

Soluto – Frustrated by your sluggish and unresponsive PC? Soluto is bringing an end to PC user frustration with transparency, killer technology, and your help.

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