Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 7, 2011

Homeland Security moves forward with ‘pre-crime’ detection – An internal U.S. Department of Homeland Security document indicates that a controversial program designed to predict whether a person will commit a crime is already being tested on some members of the public, CNET has learned. If this sounds a bit like the Tom Cruise movie called “Minority Report,” or the CBS drama “Person of Interest,” it is. But where “Minority Report” author Philip K. Dick enlisted psychics to predict crimes, DHS is betting on algorithms: it’s building a “prototype screening facility” that it hopes will use factors such as ethnicity, gender, breathing, and heart rate to “detect cues indicative of mal-intent.”

Mozilla coaxing old-era Firefox 3.6 users to upgrade – A large swath of people using an older browser could climb aboard Mozilla’s rapid-release train when they’re prompted to upgrade starting today.

Facebook scammers exploit death of Steve Jobs – Just a few hours after Steve Jobs’ death, scammers had created a Facebook page called “R.I.P. Steve Jobs” which contained a malicious URL and a text claiming that 50 free iPads were being given away ‘in memory of Steve Jobs.’ The page gained five new fans every second and amassed more than 90,000 fans since late yesterday.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

SpyEye Trojan Targets Online Banking Security Systems – When the attack succeeds, thieves can gain access to a customer’s account and perform transactions without the customer’s knowledge.

5 Tips to Protect Your Kids Online – You baby-proofed the house and warned your kids about talking to strangers. What can you do along those lines to keep them safe in the modern online world?

Malware attacks up due to social media – 63 percent of more than 4,000 respondents in a new Ponemon Institute survey said that social media in the workplace represents a serious security risk — yet only 29 percent report having the necessary security controls in place to mitigate it.

Avira 12’s got new threads, install, and engines – The third of the big three free antivirus programs finally releases a major update, its first in years. Avira Free Antivirus 12, exclusively available on CNET Download.com today, gets a lot right yet still must play catch-up.

Top 5 SEO and Social Media Tools for Creating Web Content – Give your small business marketing efforts a boost with these free and affordable tools for creating optimized content for blogs, websites and social media networks.

Free: Adobe Edge Preview – Motion and Interaction Design for HTML5 – The latest version of Edge introduces interactive capabilities such as looping, hyperlinks, and greater animation control. Edge is a free web motion and interaction tool that uses web standards like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.

Apple Bets on the Death of T-Mobile – One of the most pernicious lies about the new iPhone 4Sis that it works “across all carriers.” (I saw that in the New York Times this morning.) That’s wrong. It doesn’t work on T-Mobile USA, making Apple now fully complicit in AT&T’s plan to destroy the smaller carrier so it can gobble up T-Mobile’s tasty, tasty spectrum.

Company News:

Google Launches First Chromebook Store in London – Google has moved forward with the next phase of its plan to directly compete with Apple for your computing cash by opening an actual Chrome laptop store in London. Dubbed the “Chrome Zone,” the store is designed to give consumers a hands-on sample of what cloud computing is like using a Google Chromebook.

GFI VIPRE Antivirus Business 5.0 released – GFI Software launched GFI VIPRE Antivirus Business 5.0 and GFI VIPRE Business Premium 5.0, the latest evolutions of the company’s flagship antivirus solutions.

HP Expands FlexNetwork Portfolio – Five months after it first unveiled its FlexNetwork architecture, HP announced new products to expand its lineup of networking technologies across the entire breadth of its offerings. Here’s a look.

Adobe Launches Creative Cloud Offering – Adobe announces the Adobe Creative Cloud, which will feature applications, services and community support for creative professionals to build apps using Adobe s tools in a cloud environment.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Sargastic Irrevalence: And In Other News – Do you ever wonder what else is going on in the world besides the little snippets you see on the internet news sites and the media networks? Sometimes I read the news, usually over a sandwich, and think that the world must be flat. Not geometrically, but more from an emotional standpoint. I’m not excited at all by what I’m seeing. I’d almost rather bury my head in a good fantasy, or play a video game.

Prehistoric kids left marks in caves (Video) – The researchers suspect that eight to 10 people, including four kids aged 7 or younger, were behind the ancient finger flutings. Children left marks in every chamber. One of them was apparently just 2 or 3 years old and may have been helped by a grown-up. “The most prolific of the children who made flutings was aged around 5 — and we are almost certain the child in question was a girl,” Cooney said. (submitted by Michael F.)

Trading Control for Convenience – We’re a nation of convenience junkies. Hooked to the point where microwaving a frozen pizza qualifies as a home-cooked meal. But while we’re apparently willing to sacrifice our health for convenience, does that willingness extend to giving up our control for technological convenience? Apparently Apple, Google and Facebook believe that to be the case.

World’s Most Powerful Telescope Begins Search for Origin of the Universe, Alien Life – The largest astronomical installation in the world is now operational. ALMA, or the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, is a vast radio telescope made out of 66 12- and 7-meter dish antennae situated 5,000m above sea level, in Chile.

Apple Bets on the Death of T-Mobile – One of the most pernicious lies about the new iPhone 4Sis that it works “across all carriers.” (I saw that in the New York Times this morning.) That’s wrong. It doesn’t work on T-Mobile USA, making Apple now fully complicit in AT&T’s plan to destroy the smaller carrier so it can gobble up T-Mobile’s tasty, tasty spectrum.

Today’s Quote:

Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new”

–     Steve Jobs

Today’s Free Downloads:

Opera 12.00.1085 Alpha – A full-featured Internet browser, Opera includes pop-up blocking, tabbed browsing, integrated searches, and advanced functions like Opera’s groundbreaking E-mail program, RSS Newsfeeds and IRC chat. This is the latest beta, alpha or snapshot.

WordWeb Free Version 6.7 – WordWeb is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows that can look up words in almost any program. It works off-line, but can also look up words in web references such as the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

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2 Comments

Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 7, 2011

  1. Fred

    Bill,
    What do you think? How likely is it that the average user may encounter such a malware?
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/virus-hits-drone-fleet/
    “Eventually, the technicians had to use a software tool called BCWipe to completely erase the GCS’ internal hard drives.”

    I’m guessing here Bill that BCWipe is out of the league of point & click guys, even those learning as fast as they can…
    Fred

    • Hi Fred,

      BCWipe, and similar utilities (here’s one my buddy Rick Robinette At What’s On My PC talked about just yesterday), are generally point and click simple.

      As for the chances of an average user running into the type of malware mentioned in the article – small, but not impossible. Most AVs do a good job of picking up keyloggers -still, there are some free applications, including SpyShelter Anti-Keylogger, worth considering. You can read my review of this freebie here – Download Free SpyShelter Anti-Keylogger

      As well, since keyloggers report back to the bad guys over the Internet, you can keep an eye on the open ports on your machine. Read my review on freebie tools here, for more info – Who’s Using Your Ports? Find Out With These Free Port Analyzers

      Bill