Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 6, 2011

Lifehacker: Most Popular How-To Guides of 2011 – We handle a lot of different topics throughout the year, and our how-to guides come in a wide range of sizes and subjects, but the goal is always the same: to make it easy for you to accomplish something awesome. Here’s a look back at our most popular how-to features of 2011.

Deserving Donationware, Part I: We Really Shouldn’t Call Them Free – I turn to the same software time and again. Some I did not have to pay for, thanks to the generosity of hard-working developers who share their creations for free, asking only for a donation from those who are willing and able. I looked through my Start menu and taskbar for those applications I take for granted all year long. If you’re already using these, now is a great time to support them or their causes. And if any are new to you, you’re in for a treat.

Try kismet for detecting hidden 802.11 wireless networks – Kismet is an open source tool similar to netstumbler, and it’s particularly good for discovering hidden wireless networks that might be adversely affecting your network.

Is Chrome More Popular than Firefox? – According to analytics firm StatCounter, Chrome passed Firefox for global market share in the month of November. Chrome came in at 25.69 percent while Firefox was used by 25.23 percent of users. Microsoft’s IE still dominates the Global share count, coming in at 40.63 percent globally for November. Looking just at the U.S., IE is still tops at 50.66 percent, Firefox is second at 20.09 percent and Chrome is at 17.3 percent.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Facebook chat worm continues to spread – A Facebook worm is spreading via the site’s chat system, infecting victims’ computers with malware.

Only U.S. customers targeted with Carrier IQ? – Even though most mobile phone manufacturers have denied installing the Carrier IQ software before delivering the devices, HTC and Samsung – along with the Carrier IQ company – have been hit with lawsuits filed by private citizens who are worried that the companies have been monitoring their private communications and have, thusly, violated the Federal Wiretap Act.

Printer Reliability and Satisfaction: Brother, Canon, and Epson Lead the Field – Our survey results show up-and-down results for many printer makers. Samsung received high marks for its printers’ reliability and copy speed, but poor ones for photo and graphics printing quality. Participating readers esteemed Xerox for its machines’ printing speed and network connectivity, but bashed it for their poor reliability. Only Canon, Brother, and Epson had especially strong showings in both reliability and feature satisfaction; and of those three, only Canon also graded high in service and support.

5 Tips for Using Apple’s Siri Without Annoying People – Apple iPhone 4S users can easily annoy people around them by talking to their handset when using the built-in assistant feature known as Siri. The nuisance can be even more of a problem than listening to someone have a regular phone conversation. That’s because when using Siri, you often need to speak unnaturally — adding punctuation, for example, when sending messages.

How to Google Like Google Googles – We tapped the company for some inside tips and tricks that can make you a Google Search, Gmail, and Maps power user.

Company News:

Sophos updates its endpoint protection – Sophos today announced the latest version of its endpoint security solution. Sophos Patch Assessment identifies, prioritizes and scans for critical threat-related security patches. It also enables scanning for Microsoft and third-party patches from vendors such as Adobe, Apple, Citrix, Microsoft, Skype and others. This is particularly important as the majority of today’s patches are not from Microsoft.

Next-generation firewall with integrated IPS – Sourcefire announced its Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) which combines IPS threat prevention, integrated application control and firewall capabilities in a high-performance security appliance. By combining NGIPS and NGFW, Sourcefire has created an enterprise firewall solution with enterprise visibility, adaptive security and threat protection.

Samsung Speeds Up the SSD – Looking to upgrade to an solid-state drive (SSD)? With the 830 Series, Samsung has come into its own, offering some of the fastest speeds you can find on the market. It’s our Editors’ Choice for lower capacity SSDs, and our detailed review explains why.

Nvidia Polishes 3D Gaming – Nvidia’s new 3D Vision 2 provides an easy, effective way to take your gaming to the next, well, dimension. The redesigned glasses and a lower price make the stereoscopic 3D kit more enticing than ever. To find out more, read our in depth review.

Apple Fails to Block Samsung Galaxy Device Distribution in U.S. – Apple has failed to have Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets banned in the United States, in a legal ruling that could have broad implications on the two companies’ worldwide battle.

Mozilla’s Google Deal is NOT Dead – From the ‘Don’t always believe what you read’ files: There has been some ‘confusion’ in recent days about the status of Mozilla’s relationship with Google. Some have speculated (incorrectly) that the deal is over, leaving Mozilla without its chief source of revenue. That’s simply not the case. Just ask Mozilla. They just released a new statement on the issue which will clear up some of the misconceptions.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Crapware is still a performance-sapping nuisance – Are PC makers finally getting the message that their customers don’t want crapware? A close look at three consumer PCs delivers a mixed answer.

WordPress to Bloggers: ‘You Deserve Better’ Than Google’s AdSense – Blogging and Web site hosting site has long prevented users from allowing third-party advertising on their sites, but the organization seems to have changed its mind. Partnering with Federated Media, the blogging platform will now let anyone with a publicly visible site that has a custom domain (a paid feature) apply to take part in a money-making program, WordAds. Applying doesn’t guarantee that the user will be chosen, however.

Four industries about to be transformed by the Internet – The Internet has had a powerful democratizing effect on modern society, and it’s far from finished in reshaping industries. Here are the next four.

Most despised corporate buzzwords – Do you have a particular buzzword that you hate? Here’s a whole list of them!

Today’s Quote:

“Experience suggests it doesn’t matter so much how you got here, as what you do after you arrive.”

–       Lois McMaster Bujold

Today’s Free Downloads:

Gpg4win – Nobody likes being snooped on. Fortunately, high-quality encryption software doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg–in fact, it doesn’t have to cost anything at all, as Gpg4win demonstrates. Gpg4win packs multiple utilities into one Windows installer; the results aren’t always pretty, but they get the job done.

FreeOTFE – FreeOTFE stands for “Free On The Fly Encryption.” The data on your disk is stored in an encrypted form, and FreeOTFE handles all read and write requests, so that the OS, applications, etc, operate normally. Speed impact is generally minimal and will probably not be noticed under most conditions.

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One response to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 6, 2011

  1. Pingback: The Best “Stay Safe On The Internet” App? – Your BRAIN! | Bill Mullins' Weblog – Tech Thoughts