Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 6, 2011

What’s with all the angry people on the web? – First, people who would not normally confront anyone out of fear of getting their face rearranged, find that the freedom of anonymity and cyberspace releases their inner jackass. Behind the safety of their keyboards they become ten feet tall and bullet-proof.

Build Your Own Home Theater PC – Looking for a customized home theater PC? You can build exactly the HTPC you want—or almost any other kind of PC—in a dizzyingly short period of time by using a barebones kit. We walk you through it in our complete how-to.

Defrag and optimize your hard drive with the Windows defrag.exe command line tool – Bill Detwiler shows you how to defragment a hard drive from the Windows 7 command line, and use defrag.exe’s hidden “boot optimization” switch.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

See which apps are draining your Android device’s battery – If you spend a lot of your time on the move, you probably spend a lot of that time on your smartphone. So how do you figure out which apps will limit your mobile use of your Android device by draining its battery life?

5 little-known Gmail tips and tricks – Think you’ve mastered your Gmail? Here are five Gmail tips and tricks that you may not know about.

7 cloud services compared: How much control do you give up? – Just what rights do you grant (and give up) when you upload files to a cloud-based service?

How do you protect yourself from hacktivist groups? – Anonymous and LulzSec are two groups that have made a lot of news for security cracking activities. Avoiding compromise by groups like these may be a social, rather than technical, problem.

Sophisticated TDL-4 Botnet Has 4.5 Million Infected Zombies – Kaspersky researchers uncovered a sophisticated botnet that relies on rootkits, encryption and antivirus to be virtually “indestructible.”

Company News:

Google’s Path to Google+ Took 7 Years – The Google+ social network is the culmination of seven years of trial and error with over a dozen Google products and services

Dropbox update: Terms of Service are in flux – If you’re one of the 25 million people using Dropbox, expect an email from Dropbox management. Policies concerning you are changing.

Adobe Connect – Adobe Connect is the most capable, customizable web conferencing option available. While slightly more expensive than WebEx and GoToMeeting, Connect’s $10/month premium is compensated for many times over in scalability.

Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube? – It’s no secret that Hulu is on the block, but exactly who is looking to buy the online TV service has led to intense speculation. One day Microsoft is the hot candidate; the next day, it’s Yahoo. Now the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Google is the latest tech giant making overtures to the conglomerate.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Weep For the Well-Educated – Knowledge workers, also known as “the creative class” in the parlance of economist and social scientist Richard Florida, make their living by fostering innovation, resolving problems, and thinking strategically. Despite high engagement with their jobs, these highly-educated types have greater levels of stress than other workers. They struggle for work-life balance, and worry about getting job security – although Baseline has to wonder, really, who doesn’t deal with this kind of stuff?

Magnetic memory and logic could achieve ultimate energy efficiency – Future computers may rely on magnetic microprocessors that consume the least amount of energy allowed by the laws of physics, according to an analysis by University of California, Berkeley, electrical engineers. Today’s silicon-based microprocessor chips rely on electric currents, or moving electrons, that generate a lot of waste heat. But microprocessors employing nanometer-sized bar magnets – like tiny refrigerator magnets – for memory, logic and switching operations theoretically would require no moving electrons. (submitted by Michael F.)

Breaking the Nazi’s Enigma codes at Bletchley Park (photos) – Many say World War II would have lasted two more years if master British code breakers led by Alan Turing hadn’t solved the Germans’ secret cyphers.

Rare-earth metals not so rare after big Pacific find – China’s dominance of the production of rare-earth metals, which are used in everything from iPods and flat-screen TVs to missiles, could soon be at an end after Japanese researchers said they had found massive deposits of the minerals on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. (submitted by Michael F.)

Today’s Quote:

There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice.”

–     Mark Twain

Today’s Free Downloads:

FileToFolder – FileToFolder is an interesting bit of freeware that basically does one thing: it “folderizes” files, by which we mean it creates an individual folder for any file you apply it to. It keeps you from having to move up and down the directory, creating folders and moving files. It integrates with context menus in Windows, but you can also use its regular interface to process batches of files.

KeePass 2 Portable – KeePass 2 Portable is a completely portable version of KeePass Password Safe. Like the installed version, KeePass 2 Portable is open-source freeware that stores passwords securely in an encrypted database file that can be transferred between computers with ease. It can also print, import, and export password data and generate key files and random passwords. It accepts plug-ins that can enhance functionality in areas such as networking, backups, and compatibility with other applications.

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