Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 18, 2011

ISP Copyright Alerts: Your Questions Answered – News that a coalition of copyright holders and ISPs would jointly go after subscribers downloading illegal files created quite the controversy last week. Many were concerned that their ISPs would be snooping on their online activity, while others threatened to drops ISPs that signed on for the new alert system. Readers had questions and tweets about the upcoming Copyright Alert System, and we went after the answers.

Computer Games: Better Than Sex? – A study draws the conclusion that women would rather play video games than bedroom ones.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

HandBrake – It happens to all of us. You have a DVD or a video file that you really like–maybe even paid good money to get–but the format restricts the ways you can use it. If you want to turn into a friendly format so that you can store it on your hard disk, make a backup to disc, or play on a mobile device, you’ll want HandBrake.

Best Voice Recognition Apps for Your Smartphone – Give your thumbs a rest: These eight apps let you search, make dinner reservations, update Facebook, or send a text — all by voice.

Vulnerable firmware could destabilize Internet-enabled technologies – Kill switches and backdoors inserted at the point of manufacture could act as a conduit for organized criminals or foreign states to access internet-enabled devices, according to Invictis. Specific vulnerabilities that are usually very hard to detect have been discovered in components used in some US systems, providing the first solid evidence that weak firmware exists in the US-China supply chain.

Wi-Fi hijackers cause download of trouble – THOUSANDS of Sydney households are placing their personal information at risk and inadvertently protecting fraudsters and users of child pornography by not securing their home Wi-Fi networks, a Fairfax investigation has shown. Nicolas Suzor, a law lecturer at Queensland University of Technology, said that if an unauthorised user illegally downloaded copyrighted material, it could be traced back to the network owner. ”It could be quite difficult to prove that it wasn’t in fact you,” Dr Suzor said. (submitted by Mal C.)

10 Google+ Tips for Beginners – You just got your hands on a Google+ invite–but what next? Check out these 10 tips to get you started on Google’s new social network.

iOS 4.3.4 Patches Jailbreak Exploit… And Is Immediately Jailbroken – iOS 4.3.4 was released on Friday, fixing the PDF exploit used by JailbreakMe. Less than 12 hours after its release, 4.3.4 was jailbroken.

Company News:

Leaked Website Hints at Microsoft Social Networking Site – A landing page for what appears to be a Microsoft social networking site was discovered on Thursday night, sparking rumors that it is building a social network to rival Google+.

Active Directory Change Reporter 7.0 released – NetWrix released Active Directory Change Reporter 7.0 which automates auditing of who changed what, when and where in Active Directory, Group Policy and MS Exchange, for security and compliance purposes (including GRC).

Adobe Issues Dev Challenge and Unleashes AIR 3, Flash 11 Betas – Adobe and Sony teamed up to sponsor a contest for developers to build Adobe AIR apps for upcoming Android-based Sony tablets. Adobe also launched betas of AIR 3 and Flash Player 11.

Dell Aims to Ease SMB Asset Management, License Compliance – The new Dell Kace M300 Asset Management Appliance, designed for small business from the ground up, automates repetitive and time-consuming small business IT tasks.

Short Story of the Week:

Paul Andrew Russell’s – Widow’s Wall

Pete Johnson tipped back his head and strained to separate the top of the sheer rock face from the grey skies high above him. His eyes watered as he stared at the distant point he knew he would be standing on in a few hours time. From his position at the foot of the thousand foot granite slab known as ‘Widow’s Wall’ he could see the many potential hand and foot holds he would need on his climb.

Hey Pete,” said his climbing partner Larry Haynes, as he joined him at the foot of the imposing slab of rock. “Today’s a good day to die, no?” Pete laughed.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Cracked: The 5 Weirdest Things That Control the Global Economy – The global economy is an insanely complex system of labor, money and goods all governed by laws to keep each facet in check. So it’d be pretty depressing if researchers discovered that the whole thing was actually the end result of a bunch of seemingly random bullshit, wouldn’t it? Answer: Yes it would be, and they did.

4 Stupid Tech Tricks, Tested – We test ridiculous-looking tricks for improving your car’s key fob range, boosting your HDTV’s over-the-air signal reception, and more.

Legal Streaming of Blu-ray Movies? UltraViolet is Coming – UltraViolet has been in the making for years, but there are very few people that have heard of it. In short, it is a way for content providers to offer customers access to cloud-based copies of all the media they buy without worrying about piracy. How does it work? And is there even room for such a service in a Post-NetFlix world? has the details.

10 tips for sharpening your logical thinking – Logical thinking helps you discern the truth, solve problems, and make good decisions — unless your logic is flawed. Here are a few principles that will help ensure correct reasoning.

Today’s Quote:

Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t.”

–    Pete Seeger

Today’s Free Downloads:

TrackMeNot Firefox Add-on Keeps Search Engine Data Profilers Confused – The free TrackMeNot Firefox add-on takes a unique and creative approach to protecting your privacy from search engines that can create profiles of you based on terms you search for. Rather than hiding your searches from them in some way, it takes the exact opposite tack: It inundates search engines with a blizzard of background searches from you, so that no practical profile can be built because there are too many random searches

Still Awesome After All These Years: Eight Excellent Free Downloads – Wine gets better with age. Men get more distinguished-looking. And some programs are like perennials, returning each year with fresh blooms and stronger stems. Indeed, think of some of the world’s best productivity tools and system utilities, and I’ll wager that some were “planted” at least five years ago–decades in computer years. Take a look at eight of these blossoming apps, all of which are more awesome than ever, and all of which are, amazingly, free.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 18, 2011

  1. Thank you for the mention, Bill. 🙂

  2. kenneth lunkins

    hi bill
    the problems i have been having with firefox are unreal. i went to ff5 and when i tried to deleted it kept
    rewritting itself right back, and now i can’t get any firefox to load on the desktop. my laptop seems to be working alright. but i need my bookmarks in ff yahoo fow school. the hours i spend tring to get it back almost cost me my summer classes. i using vista compaq,
    do you may know how i may get ff3.6…or 4.0 back?
    ken lunkins
    cleveland, ohio
    thank you