Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 5, 2011

Lifehacker Pack for Android: Our List of the Best Android Apps – Whether you’re an faithful Android user or you’ve just unboxed your first Android phone, there’s a wealth of free and cheap apps in the Android Market that can turn your device into a mobile powerhouse. Our second annual Lifehacker Pack for Android is stuffed full of apps to keep you connected to home, office and friends, or just help you stay entertained on the go.

The Best Free VPN Client: LogMeIn Hamachi – The Internet has been a boom for the connected workplace. You can now work anywhere, anytime, with anyone. And yet, how do you know all those connections are secure? You set up a Virtual Private Network. We have tested a bunch of the latest free VPN tools and LogMeIn Hamachi is our favorite.

Patch Tuesday heads-up: Critical IE update among 13 bulletins – Microsoft is planning a bumper Patch Tuesday for August — 13 bulletins with patches for 22 potentially dangerous security vulnerabilities. Two of the 13 bulletins are rated “critical,” Microsoft’s highest severity rating.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Why malware networks are beating antivirus software – This week I’m watching a gang of malware distributors preying on Windows users. How are traditional antivirus programs doing against this particular threat?

Germany Rules Facebook Facial Recognition for Photos Illegal – Germany is threatening Facebook with legal action over its biometric facial recognition technology, which allegedly violates the country’s privacy and data protection laws. European Union data-protection regulators started looking into the feature almost immediately after Facebook began rolling it out worldwide.

Five blatant security mistakes you should avoid when setting up a wireless access point – Bill Detwiler shows you how to avoid five blatant security mistakes when deploying a new wireless access point.

Cisco warranty CDs take users to malware site – Cisco has issued a warning about information packet and warranty CDs shipped to its own customers between December 2010 and August 2011, saying that they contain a reference to a third-party website known to be a malware repository. Once the CD is opened with a web browser, or if the OS configured to automatically open the inserted media, the user is automatically taken to the site in question.

“You look like you lost weight” Twitter scam – Direct Messages saying “You look like you lost weight in this video” are the latest approach used by cyber crooks to harvest Twitter login credentials, warns Twitter. The messages are sent from already compromised accounts, and contain a link that supposedly shows the video, but in lands user on a well-crafted bogus Twitter login page.

When hacking Chrome, it’s all about your data – Not only is Google’s Chrome OS hackable, the nature of the vulnerabilities highlights risks to your personal data, say security researchers at Black Hat.

Company News:

AMD bets on Bulldozer to take back the desktop – Starting this month, AMD will finally have a chip designed to go head-to-head with the fastest Core i5 and Core i7 Sandy Bridge processors. AMD has been working on Bulldozer for six years and it has a lot riding on the new chip design.

Amazon extends cloud access, enables “identity federation” for accessing it – Amazon Web Services has extended Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) to all AWS Regions, allowing enterprises to launch their Amazon VPC environments in the US East and West Coasts, Europe, Singapore, and Tokyo, and in multiple AWS Availability Zones within each Region.

Microsoft’s Smartphone Share Declines Again: Report – Microsoft saw its smartphone market share decline in the three-month period ending in June, according to research firm comScore. Specifically, the company saw its share decline from 7.5 percent to 5.8 percent, over a period when both archrivals Google and Apple experienced gains. Research In Motion also dipped, from 27.1 percent to 23.4 percent.

Microsoft offers $250,000 for security defense research – Redmond still says no to bug bounties, but offers a $200,000 first prize and $50,000 second prize instead for research in security defense.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Massive Hoax Bites Big Media – The media has given itself another black eye by falling for a fake press release and reporting that IE users are dumb. If there was ever any proof that today’s journalists rely too much on press releases for their source for stories, it’s the story that IE users are dumber than the average computer user who uses a different browser.

Time Warner CEO: Web porn eating our profits – He told AllThingsD: “One of the things going on with VOD is that there’s been fairly steady trends over some time period now for adult to go down, largely because there’s that kind of material available on the Internet for free. And that’s pretty high margin. That’s been not just this quarter, but going on for some time period.”

Converged PC + mobile utopia: How far away are we? – Today’s connected professionals carry too many devices. Make no mistake though, convergence is coming and it will have profound effects on both users and the tech industry.

Report: Teenagers ‘addicted’ to smartphones; Parents almost as bad – UK communications regulator says more smartphones were sold than regular phones, as 60% of British teenagers describe themselves as “highly addicted”.

Today’s Quote:

There are only two types of companies—those that know they’ve been compromised, and those that don’t know”

–     Michael Joseph Gross

Today’s Free Downloads:

HTTPS Everywhere – The free Firefox add-in HTTPS Everywhere helps protect against that threat and other privacy invaders by effectively encrypting information when you visit certain Web sites. A collaboration between the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Tor Project (which employs a network and free software to help protect people’s privacy), HTTPS Everywhere ensures that when you visit certain sites, all of your communications are encrypted and secure.

Unity – Unity 3 is a powerful, full-featured game design tool, and it’s free. Neither a “learn to program games” tool, nor something designed to produce only small games with simple behaviors and effects, Unity can be, and is, used to make top-flight games including “Batman: Streets of Gotham.”

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