Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 29, 2011

Convert Any File to Any File Type With Go2Convert – This free Web service does one thing and does it well: changing your file formats instantly with no hassles. Go2Convert is a handy little site that’s not much to look at but serves an incredibly useful function. Upload any file in practically any format, and it’ll let you convert it into something you can use.

Add hidden international desktop themes to Windows 7 – When you told Windows 7 that you were a resident of the U.S., the operating system hid the other international choices, but I don’t like having my choices arbitrarily limited. There is a relatively simple way to add them to your list of available themes in the Personalization section of the Control Panel and it starts with a search.

5 awesome Mozilla Firefox secrets (photos) – Firefox is packed with useful, built-in features you might have missed. Customize Firefox with these five helpful tips.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

HP Offers Up Six Free TouchPad Apps – HP is offering six of its paid TouchPad apps for free for a limited time. As detailed on the official HP Palm blog, the apps range from games to birdwatching and they are normally priced from $2 to $14.99. At this point, the promo codes only work in the U.S., but HP promised access for those in other countries soon. The U.S. access codes expire on August 31 at 11:59pm, but HP said a second six-pack of apps will be released in early September.

Google search results much cleaner than in 2010 – It used to be that among the first ten pages of search results for popular terms, up to 90 percent of the offered links would take the users to a malicious page serving malware. Now, the same sample contains only up to three malicious links, and the great majority of these links take users to pages offering fake AV.

Tips and tricks to improve your iPhone experience – A few simple tricks can make a big difference in how well your iPhone serves your needs. Calvin Sun shares some basic tips he’s discovered.

Madden NFL 12 – Madden NFL 12 gives you more control than ever over every aspect of the game, and makes subtle tweaks to make the game ever more realistic and enjoyable.

Troubleshoot Windows 7 drivers in more detail with Driverquery – In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, Greg Shultz introduces you to Driverquery and explains how it works when you’re troubleshooting.

Company News:

CSA releases Cloud Controls Matrix 1.2 – The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) launched revision 1.2 of the Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM), available for free. The CCM is designed to provide fundamental security principles to guide cloud vendors and to assist prospective cloud customers in assessing the overall security risk of a cloud provider.

RIM on the Edge: Without Innovation, BlackBerry Will Soon Be Irrelevant – Will the new QNX operating system be enough to save RIM’s BlackBerry in the smartphone OS wars? We hope so, but the company needs to act fast–and improve its hardware.

Quad-core Windows 8 tablets could come to developers this fall – A new report suggests that Microsoft is close to having a build of Windows 8 running on quad-core tablet hardware, and it may soon give away units to developers.

PBConnex: Full-disk encryption with pre-boot networking – PBConnex, an extension to SecureDoc, fully integrates network support within the pre-boot environment to make it significantly simpler to authenticate users, enforce access controls and manage end-point devices prior to the operating system loading – eliminating the user, deployment and system management headaches previously associated with endpoint encryption.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Paul Andrew Russell – A Flash of Fiction – I have just published my first ebook A Flash of Fiction with It contains six of the flash fiction pieces I have published in the past here on my blog. I just wanted to see if I could successfully put together, and correctly format, an ebook for people to download to their e-readers. It wasn’t a painless experience but it ultimately worked. I don’t feel like so much of a dinosaur now.

Readers’ Choice: Tablets and Ebook Readers – The Tablet and e-reader market is still pretty new, but our readers have used them long enough to find out which models stand out when it comes to reliability and quality.

IBM builds 120 Petabyte Cluster Out of 200,000 Hard Drives – If you are anything like me you have a few extra hard drives kicking around the house, and I always dream of building some kind of NAS solution to serve as my own personal cloud. IBM is doing something similar here, but it is using about 200,000 hard drives. What exactly can you do with a 120 Petabyte cluster? ExtremeTech’s Sebastian Anthony has the answers.

Minority Report facial recognition advertising has arrived – Facial recognition by store windows and posters, Minority Report-style, has now started slowly seeping into society. This technology, as it stands, has the ability to tailor digital displays to whoever stops and looks at an advertisement — or, with some clever camera positioning, even for people walking some distance away from the window.

Is Your Coworker a Criminal? – Who commits fraud in your company? He may be one of your hardest-working and most trusted colleagues, someone who is often stressed, rarely takes vacations, and protects his business unit from scrutiny while personally attending to the top vendors. That’s the profile of a typical fraudster produced by KPMG International, revealed in its study of global fraud.

Today’s Quote:

At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religous or political ideas.”

–     Aldous Huxley

Today’s Free Downloads:

WinSplit Revolution – Many of us have 24-inch monitors, and the challenge is how to use all of that screen space effectively. With WinSplit Revolution, you can make sure every inch of your monitor or monitors is displaying valuable information. It lets you use your number pad or hotkey to position windows and fine-tune window sizes.

Sizer – Sizer hooks into Windows so that you can right-click any window border to get a pop-up with preset window sizes. Click an entry and Sizer resizes the window. Using Sizer, I documented a large application over many weeks, always keeping my screen shots consistent. If you take screen shots for a living, you probably need Sizer.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 29, 2011

  1. Hi Bill,
    I just wanted to say thank you for the link to my ebook. 🙂

    • Hi Paul,

      Congrats on your first blockbuster!

      I’m doing the background work on Lulu at the moment (great concept!). I’ll be in touch shortly to get the lowdown on your experience so that I can include that in the article.