Avast now protects your Android booty – A few months after it bought the Android security firm ITAgents, makers of Theft Aware, Avast releases a rebranded app with some cool new features. It won’t cost you a cent in gold, though: It’s 100 percent free.
Five versatile screen-capture apps for Windows – Screen captures aren’t just for tech writers anymore. If you support users, you probably need to capture screen shots occasionally. When needs are simple, you can probably get by with Print Screen and Windows Paint. If you’re using Windows 7, try Snipping Tool. But if you want serious control or more polish, you need something more powerful. Any of the following apps should fill most needs.
Christmas Lights – So you’ve set up your Christmas tree and covered it with ornaments; hung up your stockings with care; and installed hundreds of sparkly Christmas lights on your house (perhaps even a mechanical Santa). How about your computer? Don’t leave your trusty workhorse out of the holiday fun: This free Christmas Lights Windows 7 theme will decorate your desktop with beautifully photographed lights and add a few surprise sound effects.
Irish Regulators Order Facebook to Boost Privacy Protections – In response to an audit by Irish data protection officials, Facebook has agreed to be more transparent about its facial- recognition feature and how its European users’ data is used.
Firefox 9: Faster on PCs, all-new on tablets – Just in time for the holidays, Mozilla gives Firefox fans something new to play with: 30 percent speed gains on the PC, and a completely new skin for the app on Android.
10 plus must have Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets – Desktop Gadgets in Microsoft Windows 7 are more sophisticated and more useful than in previous versions of the operating system. Here are 10+ gadgets that should be in your desktop management portfolio.
Amazon Kindle Fire OS Update: 5 Fixes Outlined – Amazon released Wednesday yet another update to the software in its popular Kindle Fire tablet computer. The product, which has already shipped six million units, is only five weeks old but is already on its second software upgrade. This update, revision 6.2.1, addresses five problems that many Fire users found vexing.
How to Completely Erase a Hard Drive – Sometimes simply deleting files isn’t good enough. In this how-to video segment, PC World explains a number of simple techniques for permanently and securely removing sensitive data from old drives before recycling or disposing of them.
Fake eBay pages offering iPhone 4S for half the price – The pages themselves are almost perfect copies of the pages set up by legitimate sellers, and all the links except the “Buy It” button are linked back to legitimate eBay pages. The fake pages are hosted on domains that are followed by /www.ebay.ie/ in order to give an impression of legitimacy.
Chinese hackers infiltrated US Chamber of Commerce – According to several sources familiar with the investigation, it seems that the hackers have initially gained access by sending spear phishing emails rigged with malicious links to the Chamber’s employees. One (or more) of them must have followed the link and unknowingly installed the malware.
SDK advances face recognition for large surveillance systems – Neurotechnology announced VeriLook Surveillance 2.0, a SDK for biometric face identification using live video streams from single or multiple high-resolution digital surveillance cameras. It provides real-time identification of faces and can be used in a wide range of surveillance systems for retail and commercial areas, entrance monitoring and counting, automated time-attendance systems, law enforcement applications and transportation security.
Red Hat Grows Million-Dollar Linux Deals – For the quarter, Red Hat reported revenue of $290 million, which is a 23 percent year-over-year gain. Net income hit $38.2 million or $0.19 per share, up from $26 million or $0.13 per share last year. Moving forward, Red Hat provided fourth-quarter guidance for revenue to be in the range of approximately $289 million to $292 million. Growth is coming from multiple areas of the company and thanks in no small part to a large number of big deals.
Sony Sued For Preventing Playstation Network Users From Suing Sony – You may remember that Sony updated the PS3 Terms of Service in September to forbid users from filing class action lawsuits against Sony if they wanted to access the PlayStation Network service. Now a Northern California man may have filed a lawsuit against the very clause that forbids PlayStation Network users from filing lawsuits.
Exostar updates identity management solution – Exostar, whose cloud-based solutions enable secure business-to-business collaboration, announced it has expanded its Managed Access Gateway (MAG) identity management service offering to accept one-time password (OTP) hardware tokens.
Off Topic (Sort of):
Stunningly Stupid Tech Tricks of 2011 – At the end of each year, our eWEEK Labs analysts turn their gaze not only upon the products they tested that most impressed them by their quality, innovation or overall importance, but on the technology gaffes that left us scratching our heads. With that, we present our list of Stupid Tech Tricks of 2011.
LG Rolls Out Voice-Controlled TVs With a Magic Remote – Being first to the market is always important, and LG’s voice-controlled remote control is officially out of the gate.
You Know You Want It: Top 10 Tech Toys – There’s still time to make your favorite geek’s dreams come true this holiday (you are your own favorite geek, right?) Here are the best 10 toys and tools you know you want.
10 Surprising Rules for Leaders – In the wired world of business, one social-media authority suggests that professionals unplug, stop texting, and take a nap. Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence (McGraw-Hill/Available now), includes author Erik Qualman’s counterintuitive strategies for high achievers looking to distinguish themselves. Interestingly, many of his insights have little to do with technology; his view of meaningful connectivity has more to do with leadership by example and human interaction than Tweets and power apps.
“Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinions at all.”
– Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Today’s Free Downloads:
Comodo Firewall (64-bit version) – Comodo Firewall is an extremely effective protection tool for keeping yourself safe from Internet dangers. It blocks Trojans, hackers, and other threats–without charging you a penny.
Waterfox 9.0 – Waterfox is basically a 64-Bit version of Firefox. The Firefox source code is taken and compiled to run specifically for 64-Bit Windows computers. To make Waterfox stand out a bit more, it’s compiled with optimizations so that it will run more efficiently and faster than just compiling Firefox as a 64-Bit program.
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.