Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 15, 2011

IE9 bump brings security fixes, new ‘About’ box – Microsoft’s first update to Internet Explorer 9 introduces security fixes to block drive-by downloads. It also tweaks the ‘About’ box to be more useful

Google Voice Search offers natural user input – A new feature, which lets desktop users search by voice the way mobile users already can, is a step closer to true natural user interface.

Steam Launches Free to Play Section – Free to play games are growing in popularity, and a new section on Steam aims to help gamers find new experiences for the low price of nothing at all.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

The first Chromebook Review: Samsung Series 5 – The first Chromebook, the Samung Series 5, is being shipped and while it’s not a great laptop, it is a very good one. Just don’t think of it as a full Windows laptop replacement. It’s not.

Microsoft patches 34 vulnerabilities – In today’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released 16 bulletins addressing 34 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, .NET, SQL, Visual Studio, Silverlight, VML and ISA. Nine of the bulletins are rated Critical, with seven rated as Important.

Oracle issues urgent Java updates – should you install them now, or simply uninstall Java? – Oracle has released Java 6 update 26 for Windows, Linux and Solaris. This update addresses 17 security vulnerabilities and one non-security-related bug. All 17 vulnerabilities allow remote code execution without authentication. We help you consider the correct course of action.

Malware activity hitting peaks of 10 million pieces per day – Virus and malware activity increased during the month of May, sporadically hitting peaks of more than 10 million pieces per day, according to AppRiver. Major news events, once again, became fodder for malware campaigns while large companies continued to be the target of attackers.

LulzSec targets US Senate and online game company – LulzSec has struck again over the weekend, and this time the targets were the official website of the US Senate and the Bethesda Softworks’ computer network.

EU Ministers Seek to Ban Creation of ‘hacking Tools’ – Ministers from all 27 countries of the European Union met on June 9 to discuss European Commission proposals for a directive on attacks against information systems. But in addition to approving the Commission’s text, the ministers extended the draft to include “the production and making available of tools for committing offenses”. This is problematic, as much legal and legitimate software could be put to criminal use by hackers.

Company News:

Starbucks Extends Smartphone Payment App to Android Devices – Starbucks has felt the caffeine buzz from its bar code-based mobile payment app for the iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones for several months. Beginning Wednesday, the app will be extended to include the Android platform.

First SIEM solution for smart grids – NitroSecurity announced new product capabilities to manage the security imperatives associated with smart grid deployments. NitroSecurity’s NitroView is already the only SIEM capable of providing real-time visibility across both the business and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks within energy utilities.

Nokia Wins Patent War with Apple–You’re Next, Android – Nokia has prevailed in its patent battle with Apple and demonstrated the strength of its patent portfolio.

Verizon Tries to Maintain Edge Over AT&T in Race to 4G – Verizon is expanding its LTE network to 19 new cities this week as AT&T prepares to heat up the 4G race.

Tech Humor from Julie Myers

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Off Topic (Sort of):

Seeking Address: Why Cyber Attacks Are So Difficult to Trace Back to Hackers – One common practice that attackers employ to evade detection is to break into poorly secured computers and use those hijacked systems as proxies through which they can launch and route attacks worldwide. Although such attacks are an international problem, there is no international response, which frustrates local law enforcement seeking cooperation from countries where these proxy servers typically reside.

10 most common iPhone passcodes – The conclusion is, once again, that people are predictable and don’t think much about security. But the fact that makes Amitay’s revelation extremely crucial is that if someone steals or finds a lost iPhone, he has a 15% chance of unlocking the device and accessing the data within before it gets wiped just by trying out the passwords on the aforementioned top 10 list.

Mobile Apps Live Fast, Die Young – Some smartphone users say they would give up coffee before missing out on the latest mobile apps, says a survey from MTV Networks. As one user puts it, “Apps are like Xanax in a phone.” But how do these small downloads gain popularity, and what’s the attention span of the app-buying public?

Think You Own Your LinkedIn Profile? Better Think Again – It’s natural for users of LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networking services to assume that their profiles are their own to use and modify over time as they see fit. After all, profiles like those feel much like extensions of ourselves; rather like the cars we drive or the homes we live in, they’re mostly nobody else’s business, right? Wrong — at least potentially.

7 Essential Tips for Women Entrepreneurs – What do women in business need to know in order to succeed and thrive? Here are seven pearls of wisdom that analyst Laurie McCabe gleaned from Dell’s Women Entrepreneur Network Global event.

Today’s Quote:

Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.”

–    Stephen Leacock

Today’s Free Downloads:

Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool 3.20 – The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool checks Windows computers for and helps remove infections by specific, prevalent malicious software; including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom.

TweakNow PowerPack 2011 3.3.0 – TweakNow PowerPack is a fully-integrated suite of utilities that let you fine-tune every aspect of your computer’s operating system and Web browser.

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