Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 17, 2011

Google’s ‘Me on the Web’ Tool Alerts You to Personal Data Leaks – The service allows users to create e-mail alerts when information is uncovered by Google’s search bot. Users can then use Me on the Web to remove personal information from Google.

New Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 Antimalware Engine Next Week – Microsoft is planning to kick up the antimalware engine powering a number of its security products up a notch in the week of June 20, 2011. According to the Redmond company, an update to the antimalware engine of such products as Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 is scheduled to drop at the start of next week. (submitted by Dave C.)

LulzSec, Anonymous and hacktivism: Crappy security has caught up with us – We’re pawns in this new game of Internet attack one-upmanship. You know it won’t end well. But we watch anyway as we realize that our security procedures have been a joke for years.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Chrome encrypts Gmail whether you want it or not – Google, which has found Gmail to be a target of hacking attempts from China, has modified Chrome so the browser always encrypts connections with the e-mail service. Google already changed Gmail to use encryption by default, a mode indicated by the “https” at the beginning of a browser address bar that means outsiders sniffing network traffic can’t read your e-mail. People could still get to the unencrypted version by typing “,” but no more, for Chrome.

Free web hosting is a boon to phishers – Sometimes it seems that every legitimate service offered online can be misused by phishers, scammers and cyber criminals in general. There are many such services on the Web, and among them is a free anonymous web hosting. And although the intentions of the people behind the service are honorable, the site has proven very handy for phishers.

How Bad Do We Really Have it? Bandwidth Caps Around the World – You’re paying for unlimited service so long as you, like many others, ignore the fine print that specifically tells you just how much unlimited service you’re going to get until your ISP gets pissy. Look, we can both agree that this practice is a complete joke, and it’s just one more way for your data providers to slowly squeeze the noose until we’re all paying $10 per picture we download on our mobile phones. But is it really that bad?

Apple Back-to-School Deal Ditches Free iPod Touch for Gift Card – Apple on Thursday unveiled its annual back-to-school discount, but students will no longer receive a free iPod touch with their Mac purchase. Apple is instead offering up a $100 software gift card.

Trojan goes after Bitcoins – Bitcoin – the digital currency that has lately become a point of contention between those that consider it a perfect way of handling payments online and those who said that its anonymous nature will be severely misused by criminals – has definitely caught the attention of said criminals.

Citigroup Hack Hit 360,000 Accounts – Citi broke down the number of compromised accounts on a state-by-state basis. The largest number of affected consumers were in California, with 80,454 accounts. That was followed by Texas with 44,134 and Illinois with 30,054.

LulzSec discloses 62,000+ random login credentials – As the latest prank, they made available for download a text document containing 62,000+ emails/passwords and encouraged Internet users to try and use them on various online services and social networks in order to hijack the accounts.

Company News:

Smarter Cloud on-a-Chip Goes Green – Today, server farms use Intel’s Xeon embedded processor, which can consume upward of 50 watts. But in its vision of future server farms, massively parallel single-chip cloud computers with sophisticated power management circuitry will consume as little as a half-watt per core.

RIM plots layoffs, cuts fiscal year earnings outlook; PlayBook a bright spot – RIM cuts its earnings and revenue outlook for the fiscal year and plans layoffs as it streamlines. Product delays are killing the company, but at least PlayBook sales are better than expected.

AutoCAD 2012 Makes Collaboration Even Easier – Simplifying software often means “dumbing it down,” but Autodesk has chosen another approach to simplification in AutoCAD 2012, one that leaves all of the software’s power and flexibility intact while making it more approachable than previous versions.

SAP Rolls Out BI Software for Small Business – Looking for insight into what’s going on in your business? SAP offers both beginner and advanced business intelligence tools designed for small business.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Anatomy Of A Computer Virus – An infographic dissecting the nature and ramifications of Stuxnet, the first weapon made entirely out of code. This was produced for Australian TV program HungryBeast on Australia’s ABC1.

Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency – A Twitter tantrum from the boss of the PR firm behind Duke Nukem Forever has cost his company their business with the game’s publisher.

The Indignity Of Industrial Tomatoes – Best piece you’ll ever read about tomatoes. Unless you’re a farmer from Florida. In which case you might want to go back to gassing those hard, perfectly round, nutrient-poor, taste-free, green orbs with ethylene to turn them red.

Cracked – The Lighter Side of the Dark Side: 5 Villains Who Were Good – Being a movie villain is not easy. Nobody respects your work, everyone loves your sworn enemy, and cheers if he straight up murders your ass. Of course, the villains deserve it, right? Well, actually Hollywood is littered with supposedly evil characters that, when you take a step back and ignore the cackling laughter and yellow teeth, were clearly the ones getting screwed over. Here are the so called bad guys who got the rawest deals of all.

Today’s Quote:

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.”

–     John Kenneth Galbraith

Today’s Free Downloads:

Guinness Glass Wallpaper – Does your computer seem a little jittery? Maybe it’s had too much coffee today. Set Guinness Glass as your wallpaper and watch the tension melt away. (Disclaimer: Your computer may not actually become more relaxed, but it will look great.)

Recuva – Recuva is a free-for-the-download utility that recovers deleted files from virtually any disk Windows can read. That means it lets you restore lost files from your hard disk, which probably uses the NTFS file system, or the FAT and exFAT systems used on USB sticks and most storage cards and music players. Recuva is effortless to use, with an attractive interface that you can navigate easily even when you’re distracted by the fear that you’ve lost precious data for ever.

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