Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 14, 2011

Most Free Android Antivirus Apps Useless – Mobile security is getting a lot more attention these days, but how do you know all those free mobile security apps actually work? Turns out most don’t. The latest testing from shows that some apps detect just 10 percent of threats!

How To Lock Down Your Wireless Network – Securing your wireless network is a simple process that costs nothing and could save you from a disastrous network breach down the road.

SyncToy – This great Microsoft freebie lets you keep folders on different PCs automatically synchronized. It’s perfect for synchronizing a laptop and desktop across a home network.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Hacker group Anonymous threatens cyber attack if city evicts Occupy Toronto – The hacker group Anonymous is standing up for Toronto’s Occupy movement. In a video released on YouTube (see it below), the group threatens to launch a cyber attack on the city if officials interfere with the month-long demonstration. The video says Toronto will be “removed from the Internet” unless the city promises to leave the protesters alone.

Apple’s iPhone 4S Battery Troubles Now Joined By New Problems – Apple is facing new gripes that its iOS 5.0.1 update is causing more problems with the iPhone 4S including: microphone failures, Wi-Fi signal loss, and cellular network reception issues, according to reports.

TTC Shelbyville Technical Blog: Run VirtualBox on a webserver as a cloud OS – Want to run VirtualBox on a webserver for training or need to run VirtualBox remotely on a webserver? Need VirtualOSs in the cloud? Download PHPVirtualBox.

AeroFS – For years now, Dropbox has been pretty much the gold standard of cloud-based file sync. Such a simple concept is bound to have plenty of competition, and indeed, the market is swamped with companies vying to sync files between your networked computers and other devices. I’ve tested several of these (most recently, SugarSync) and so far, have always come away disappointed. AeroFS promises to change that, and may give Dropbox a real run for its money. Currently in free but closed beta, AeroFS is open to the first two thousand PCWorld readers to use a special invitation code.

Holiday Laptop Buying Guide: Making Sense of the Specifications – Shopping for a laptop, but unsure what all those features mean? Here are the most important laptop specs to consider.

Microsoft updates Bing Webmaster Tools – Microsoft Bing recently refreshed their Webmaster Tools after seeking feedback from the web master community. Have you tried them? Here are the major updates.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Essentially, everything that was true about the previous games’ eye-popping open-endedness remains true here. You may pigeonhole yourself into traditional CRPG categories if you like: It’s no challenge to set yourself up as a warrior, a wizard, or a pickpocketing miscreant, of either gender, of any of ten species, and with just the physical and facial characteristics you desire.

Company News:

Panasonic Unveils Cloud-Based Small Business Telephony – With the Panasonic Cloud Business Phone System, Panasonic aims to make feature-rich telephony available to small businesses at an affordable price and without the need for dedicated IT staff.

Juniper Hit by Router Flaw – Juniper has enjoy strong success in the service provider market over the years. That success has resulted in a global footprint for Juniper routers. This week, that global footprint was affected by a software error that caused Internet slowdowns and outages.

Report: Amazon to Sell $79 Kindles at a Loss – It’s been widely reported that Amazon is willing to lose $10 a pop for every Kindle Fire it makes and now it appears that the online retail giant may also be planning to sell its $79 Kindle ereaders at a loss.

RIAA: Google Refused to Remove MP3 Download App – Google has refused requests to remove MP3 Music Download Pro, an extremely popular Android app which allows users to download copyrighted music onto their phones, according to the RIAA.

Google Adds Apture For In-Page Search in Chrome – Google confirmed it acquired in-page search specialist Apture for an undisclosed sum, a move to bolster the company’s search experience in its Chrome Web browser.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Cracked: 24 Things Other Countries Suspect About Life in America – There are lots of pretty ridiculous stereotypes about America. Americans who have traveled outside of the country, or encountered a European on “holiday” (the five months of paid vacation that comes standard with every job in the European Union) know this. We asked you to show us what it might look like if those stereotypes were totally true (instead of only sort of true).

British Researchers Set Out to Build Charles Babbage’s Steam Computer – British researchers announced plans this week to finally build Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a gear-based proto-computer conceived of but never constructed by the 19th century inventor.

Measuring the black web: Is cybercrime as big as its foes fear? – BIG numbers and online crime go together. One well-worn assertion is that cybercrime revenues exceed those from the global trade in illegal drugs. It is hard to know what to make of these numbers. Online crooks, like their real-world brethren, do not file quarterly reports. In the absence of figures from the practitioners, experts tend to fall back on surveys of victims, often compiled by firms that sell security software. These have a whiff of self interest about them: they are the kind of studies that get press released but not peer reviewed.

Going VoIP-Only: Do You Still Need Cellular Voice Service? – Now that smartphones have Skype, Google Voice, and a dozen other mobile VoIP apps, why do consumers still need to pay monthly fees for voice service?

Today’s Quote:

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

–      Voltaire

Today’s Free Downloads:

Macrium Reflect Free – For free drive imaging, you can hardly beat Macrium Reflect Free Edition–as long as you don’t use dynamic (Windows software RAID) or GPT (Globally Unique IDentifier Partition Table) disks. Most users use basic and MBR disks, so Reflect Free Edition should do nicely where Windows won’t. Drive imaging means making a sector by sector copy of the data on your drive or partition and storing it in a single file.

Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Advanced Edition – Despite the long-winded moniker, BR2010FAE (pronounced by yours truly as Bur-Two-Ten-Fay, or Bur-Fay for short since I already know what year it is) is a very competent imaging/backup program with a number of useful features not commonly found in freebies. In fact, it’s a bit hard to believe that they give this thing away.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

14 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 14, 2011

  1. hi bill i found the articile about Babbage’s Steam Computer, very enlightening, after all these years of
    working with cpu code from back to the six’s, i never knew that he had not build the engine. i first heard of it
    in texts books and science fiction, and no where was it ever said that he never build it. that just goes to show you how we may be aware of something and not full
    know the facts of it.

  2. Darryl Gittins

    Rebuttal to the “Most Free Android Antivirus Apps Useless” article:

    “Update: A commenter questioned why Lookout Mobile Security wasn’t listed as they are apparently #1 on the Android Marketplace for anti-malware apps. I took a look and am now left wondering why most of the 10 on the test were even included. A check of the Android Marketplace (prompted by the commenter), reveals that the actual 10 most popular free Android antivirus apps are as follows (name followed by # installs):

    AVG Antivirus Free 10,000,000 – 50,000,000
    Lookout Mobile Security 10,000,000 – 50,000,000
    Antivirus Free (Creative Labs) 5,000,000 – 10,000,000
    ALYac Android 1,000,000 – 5,000,000
    NetQin Security & Antivirus 1,000,000 – 5,000,000
    Norton Mobile Security Lite 1,000,000 – 5,000,000
    Web Antivirus (Shiftworks) 100,000 – 500,000
    Super Security Standard 100,000 – 500,000
    Bitdefender Mobile Security (beta) 100,000 – 500,000
    Zoner Antivirus Free 100,000 – 500,000

    Only 2 of the top 10 most popular free Android antivirus apps were tested by, and one of those (Zoner) scored a respectable 80%. Of course, it’s not known how the other 8 of these most popular scanners would have performed as they weren’t included on the tests and so no conclusions can be drawn there. But certainly it’s questionable as to whether the test results are even representative of free Android antivirus, much less of “most” free Android antivirus apps if the most frequently used weren’t even included.”

  3. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I can get every link in today’s blog to work, except for the first one on free Android Antivirus applications. Is it just me or are there gremlins at work?

    Kind regards

  4. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Many thanks for that. It makes interesting reading although, apart from Zoner, it does not say which of the free programs they tested. I’m currently using AVG’s free virus checker so I’ll need to think about whether to pay for better protection. Difficult without all of the facts though.

    Kind regards

  5. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Having now read the report itself, I see that AVG is not one of those tested. I also note Darryl Gittens’s comments which cast a lot more light on the subject. I guess I’ll stick with AVG free for now until someone does a comprehensive test that is likely to help the majority of users.

    As usual, a can of worms. Why am I surprised?

    Kind regards

  6. Darryl Gittins

    I’m inclined to think that at least for now, the Android world is fairly safe from malware (at least when compared with Windows!), as Google does a fairly good job of monitoring the app store, but I run Lookout just the same. I’m not all that confident that it could actually protect from a serious zero day threat, but it has some other features that are also useful.

    • Hey Darryl,

      Yes, I’m with you on this. The sheer repetitiveness of Android malware attack news stories is just boring.

      As with any connective technology, exercising a little caution, and a little common sense, goes a long way.



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