Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 22, 2011

7 Things You Need to Know About Google Music – Google just made its music cloud service, Google Music, available to all, and it’s mostly self-explanatory: You go to and start uploading or purchasing music that you can then listen to on your computer, or on your Android phone, Google TV, or iPhone. Just like iTunes, right? Well, not really.

Five alternatives to QuickBooks for business accounting – Every business can benefit from using proper accounting software. While QuickBooks (and its more lightweight sibling, Quicken) may rule the roost, that does not mean that they are the right choice for every organization. If you need an accounting package but want to look at alternatives to QuickBooks, here are five choices to consider.

Security Firm Lists ‘Dirty Dozen’ Unsafe Smartphones – Android phones fill the list of smartphones that are left vulnerable because of infrequent software upgrades, Bit9 researchers report.

10 things Android does really well – Takeaway: Android may have some room for improvement. But as Justin James points out, it also has some significant things going for it.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Gmail Gets a Dedicated iPhone App – The free, standalone Gmail app for iOS searches your entire email so much easier and faster than the pre-installed Mail app.

Mandriva’s Powerpack 2011 propels it back into the forefront of Linux distros – Jack Wallen takes the new Mandriva Powerpack 2011 distribution for a spin, curious to see a return to form after years of near-irrelevancy.

Is the Firefox 10 silent update feature a good thing? – Mozilla is planning to implement silent background updates in the upcoming version of Firefox 10, which could be very bad news on the security front, according to Philip Lieberman, CEO of Lieberman Software.

Can Microsoft cure PC makers of the crapware habit? – It’s easy for an OEM to screw up a new Windows PC. Just add enough trialware and throw in a few unnecessary programs, and the customer gets a miserable out-of-box experience.

Hacker Says Texas Town Used Three Character Password To Secure Internet Facing SCADA System – In an e-mail interview with Threatpost, the hacker who compromised software used to manage water infrastructure for South Houston, Texas, said the district had HMI (human machine interface) software used to manage water and sewage infrastructure accessible to the Internet and used a password that was just three characters long to protect the system, making it easy picking for a remote attack.

Fake e-ticket confirmation spam campaign – As the holiday season approaches, a lot of people are bound to travel in order to visit their loved ones, so fake e-ticket confirmation spam campaigns are to be expected. Symantec warns about a fake airline message currently being sent out to unsuspecting users.

Company News:

Senior management reshuffle to secure continued global expansion for Secunia – Strong sales and customer growth, solid earnings and ambitions to continue recent years’ international expansion is the reason behind some changes that Secunia, one of the fastest growing suppliers of vulnerability management solutions, is making to the company’s senior management.

Seagate wins $525 million from Western Digital – Western Digital has suffered a major hit as rival Seagate Technology wins an arbitration award worth $525 million, pending confidential arbitration action in Minnesota. Basically, the arbitration award is based upon claims by Seagate against Western Digital and a former Seagate employee. Seagate argues that the said individual allegedly misappropriated confidential information and trade secrets.

So Oracle – Are you Supporting Linux or Unix? – Oracle is in an interesting position. It is now a supporter of both Linux and Unix with their own Oracle Enterprise Linux and Solaris Unix operating systems. This past week, Oracle released Solaris 11 their first official Unix release and it made me wonder if the new Solaris is changing Oracle’s position on Linux.

Microsoft’s Gates to Testify in Novell Case – Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates will testify Nov. 21 in a federal antitrust lawsuit leveled against the software giant by open-source business software-maker Novell. Novell claims that Microsoft relied on illegal practices to crush WordPerfect, a rival to Microsoft Word.

Off Topic (Sort of):

E-Readers: Which One Is Best for Your Bookworm? – Does your gift recipient have a special focus on the written word or a broader interest that extends to downloading movies and music? We have a range of e-reader options to consider.

Does risk outweigh the benefits from the cloud? – To understand the risks involved it is important to understand that the cloud is not a single model. The cloud covers a wide spectrum of services and delivery models ranging from in-house virtual servers to software accessed by multiple organizations over the internet.

Turn smartphones into mobile security systems – StreetSafe is a mobile personal security system that combines wireless networks with GPS technologies and a safety network and database.

Black Friday Survival Guide: Use These 15 Apps to Find the Best Deals, Parking, and More – These 15 apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 can help you save money and time on your post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy.

Today’s Quote:

A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.”

–     Eric Hoffer

Today’s Free Downloads:

Blender – Blender (free) is pretty daunting to someone who’s never used 3D modeling or animation software. Blender is hard to get started and even harder to master, but once you have, you can render 3D in the same league as Maya and 3DStudio users.

Avast! Free Edition BETA – avast! Free Antivirus is perfect for people who send e-mails and surf popular websites. avast! is a package of applications that aim to protect your computer from a possible virus infection or other malware threat. This is a beta to preview the next version.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.


Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 22, 2011

  1. Dave B.

    In RE: Can Microsoft cure PC makers of the crapware habit?

    Tha author asks the question; “Now, three years later, I’m curious. Have OEMs cleaned up their act? Are today’s Windows PCs still a mess or do consumers have a fighting chance?”

    The answer is a resounding no! Most OEM PC’s are still filled to the gills with so much junk I’m surprised they run at all. Toshiba, Sony, and HP are still big offenders. Update apps, message apps so they can try to sell you more junk, a rediculous number of services for each OEM’s garbage. And don’t get me started on HP’s printer drivers, the bloat there is truly mind boggling. It can take an hour or more to clean up the mess, and then you have to hope there are no residual problems left behind to deal with. Even Dell, which used to be one of the cleanest of the OEM’s, is getting into the crapware game more and more.

    • Hey Dave,

      Straight from the horse’s mouth! Can’t get better info than that. Thanks.

      HP’s printer drivers are a disgrace – 35 minutes to install on an HP 1410, versus under 2 minutes to install Samsung drivers on a Samsung ML-1670.