Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 31, 2011

CNET: Announcing the Top 11 Downloads of 2011 – Last year, we introduced our Top 10 Downloads of the Year lists, presenting the most popular Windows and Mac software on In 2011, we’ve taken the honors up the proverbial notch with the Top 11 Downloads of 2011, featuring the 11 most popular software apps each for the Windows and Mac platforms, along with the 11 most popular programs in each of the 11 most popular categories in Windows and in Mac.

The first five apps I install on a new Windows desktop – I occasionally replace my primary desktop computer or create a working Windows 7 virtual machine to use long-term (e.g., on my MacBook Air). Or I may need to reinstall Windows to my Windows laptop. In this article, I’m going to outline the first five tools I install on new Windows installations. Note that I’m not going to cover things like Microsoft Office, which is generally a given.

How to Install a CPU Cooler – A properly installed CPU cooler is essential to a stable system. We show you how to install CPU coolers on AMD and Intel processors to maximize cooling performance.

Three Security Tools You Can’t Go Online Without – You wouldn’t walk around with your stash of cash hanging out of a pocket. You wouldn’t park your car and leave it with the keys in and windows open. And you surely wouldn’t go mountain climbing in the snow wearing shorts and flip flops. Silly ideas? Perhaps, but going online without proper protection is just as silly.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Websites and Apps Vulnerable to Low-Bandwidth, Bot-Free Takedown – Hackers armed with a single machine and a minimal broadband connection can cripple Web servers, researchers disclosed Wednesday, putting uncounted websites and Web apps at risk from denial-of-service attacks. In a security advisory issued the same day, Microsoft, whose ASP .Net programming language is one of several affected by the flaw, promised to patch the vulnerability and offered customers ways to protect their servers until it releases an update.

Success: Verizon Wireless Drops $2 Convenience Fee – Let it never be said that the Internet can’t be used for good as well as evil. After a huge online backlash, Verizon Wireless has backed away from plans to begin charging a $2 “convenience fee” to customers for paying their bills online, or by the phone.

2011: The Year that Was, as Seen by Flickr – From the Arab Spring to the earthquake that rocked a nation to a royal wedding, Flickr members have captured images of monumental events and woven their own tales of the year.

How to Organize Your PC Cables – Your PC’s case is more than likely cluttered with cables. Check out our illustrated guide to minimizing cable clutter and making your desktop cleaner, cooler, and more stable.

Company News:

Apple has a good Christmas, then gets a lump of coal from Italy – The company was slapped with a 900,000 euro fine by the Italian government, who said that Apple wrongly encouraged customers in the country to purchase its AppleCare warranty service to extend support on their gadgets, despite the fact that Apple is required to provide two years of complimentary support as per Italy’s local laws.

Aqua Computing Shows Off World’s First Radeon 7970 Water Block – Did you read our write-up of the spiffy new AMD Radeon 7970 earlier this week and find yourself getting all hot and bothered at the thought of kick-ass custom rigs built around the beast? Well, one company can help you cool down. The new graphics cards aren’t even available in stores yet but that hasn’t stopped the Germany-based Aqua Computer from putting the AquagrATIx 7900 up for preorder.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Scientific American: Forgetting Is Key To A Healthy Mind – “The act of forgetting crafts and hones data in the brain as if carving a statue from a block of marble.” It’s a skill that shapes our very personalities. But we all vary in our ability to forget, for some it does not come easily.

Top 25 Dangerous Flaws Developers Blindly Build Into Apps – Most of these flaws are inadvertently introduced into software applications during the development process because the developers don’t understand security, are rushed for time or are just used to “the way the Web works” without thinking of security implications. We distill the basics of the top 25 most dangerous software errors.

The Entire Universe, One Picture, and One Year – If the story of our entire Universe’s history, from the last stages of inflation and the Big Bang up to the present day, were to be compressed into one calendar year, what would it look like? (Submitted by Michael F.)

Gaming Companies Quietly End Official Support for SOPA – With each revision, the list of SOPA supporters seems to be shrinking. In the most recent silent update, gaming companies seem to be the ones pulling back. Sony, EA, and Nintendo are no longer listed as supporters of the bill, but were on the list in November. None of the companies has acknowledged the change in position.

Today’s Quote:

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”

–     Bill Vaughn

Today’s Free Downloads:


HDClone Free Edition – The Free Edition of HDClone offers all necessary abilities to copy a complete hard disk onto another, larger hard disk. This can be utilized to migrate an existing installation to a new hard disk as well as for data rescue. The Free Edition is real freeware without obligation to buy and is intended for the short-term usage at no cost. But in case of more frequent usage, we recommend using one of the higher editions since they offer higher performance in the first line but also support a wider range of hardware as well as additional options which are optimized for regular or professional usage.

RoboForm2Go 7.6.9 – RoboForm2Go is a portable version of RoboForm – a secure password manager and form filler. Plug your USB key with RoboForm2Go on it into any computer, anywhere in the world.

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One response to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 31, 2011

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