Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 30, 2012

Is Facebook run by sociopaths? – A commentator on the Guardian suggests that “companies such as Facebook are the corporate world’s equivalent of sociopaths.” Might this be true?

How To Set Up Your Wireless Router for Gaming – Are your online gaming sessions plagued by frequent disconnects or the inability to hear other players during chat sessions when connected to the same private network? NAT restrictions may be the culprit. NAT is Network Address Translation, a technology that allows the one IP address Internet Service Providers give to a home account to be shared across all the devices in that home’s network. This means that all of those devices can connect to the Internet with help of a router.

Volumouse: Control the sound volume with a wheel mouse – Volumouse provides you a quick and easy way to control the sound volume on your system – simply by rolling the wheel of your wheel mouse. It allows you to define a set of rules for determining when the wheel will be used for changing the sound volume. For example: You can configure Volumouse to use your mouse wheel for volume control when the Alt key is hold down, when the left mouse button is down, when the mouse cursor is over the taskbar, and so on…

News Your Way: 10 News Magazine Apps for Your Tablet – These news aggregator apps designed for tablets–including Flipboard, Google Currents, and Pulse–help you discover, consolidate, and stay on top of the news.

After Megaupload: Who’s The Next Target? – Last week the United States Department of Justice charged Megaupload with more than $1 billion in damages, arrested its executives, and shut down the site. But there are lots of other sites doing essentially the same thing. PCMag’s Jeff Wilson predicts who might be next on the FBI’s hit list. Is your cloud-based storage service on there?

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google Spent Almost $2 Billion On 79 Acquisitions In 2011 – Google’s filed its 10-K with the SEC yesterday, and the numbers have revealed a staggering increase in the number of acquisitions the search giant made in 2011. Google closed the year by spending close to $2 billion on 79 separate acquisitions in 2011, a number that has grown significantly from the $1 billion it spent in 2010.

Mobile security app combines antivirus, web and app protection – McAfee announced a new version of its Mobile Security software, providing smartphone and tablet owners with more controls to preserve their privacy and protection against financial fraud, identity theft and viruses. Available now, McAfee Mobile Security 2.0 supports Google Android-based smartphones and tablets, including those running on Intel architecture as well as BlackBerry and Symbian smartphones.

5 Knock ‘Em Dead Google Gadgets – Helen Bradley shows you some Google Docs spreadsheet gadgets that add functionality to your worksheets and provide sophisticated tools for your small business website.

Fingerprint security for Mac OS X – AuthenTec announced a new fingerprint security solution – including an Eikon fingerprint sensor and TrueSuite identity management software – for Mac computers running Lion and Snow Leopard operating systems.

Top Apps for Travelers and Commuters – Trains, planes or automobiles — they get you places when not plagued with delays, cancellations and traffic. But your smartphone or tablet can lend a hand with a set of useful apps to help you navigate through unfamiliar airports and cities, avoid police speed traps on the road, and more. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

Need More Storage? Expand with External Drives – If your drive is running out of space you can just plug in an external drive to expand capacity. But, there are pros and cons to this approach that you should be aware of.

Company News:

Woot Selling 32GB HP TouchPad for $219.99 – The HP TouchPad is the Ron Paul of the tablet market; it is strangely popular, it can’t win, and it just won’t go away. HP’s slowly moving the webOS to its open-source future, but the process is taking months–months during which the OS will stagnate. Still, $200 isn’t bad for a lightweight Web browser you can take anywhere.

Apple’s Tim Cook Responds to Reports of Worker Abuse – Despite a phenomenal earnings report this week, Apple has taken a few rather brutal hits in the media related to the treatment of workers who assemble the iPhone and the iPad. In response, Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly sent out a long letter to his staff refuting claims that Apple might be insensitive to worker mistreatment at its factories.

Google Tells Android Developers to Stop Using the Menu Button – Google is telling Android developers to stop using the Menu button when building apps and move to the Action Bar, which was introduced with Android 3.0 Honeycomb.

AMD Revenues Hit by Supply and Demand Issues – It was a tough quarter for chip vendor AMD. AMD reported fourth quarter fiscal 2011 results late Tuesday that showed just how tough things have been. For the fourth quarter, AMD reported revenues of $1.69 billion for a two percent year-over-year gain. For the full year, AMD’s revenues came in at $6.57 billion, which is flat, year-over-year. For the fourth quarter, AMD suffered a net loss of $177 million and for the full year. Net Income was reported at $491 million.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Friday rant: Social media, leave me alone – There is a social networking site for everything that exists in this world. And I’m not kidding. All the pro-social media pundits tell us to examine the way we use the tools and that will help us decide which ones to concentrate on. The problem is, every tool one that comes down the pike is touted as the one you have to use to get your brand out.

Photos of the world from space – This TechRepublic gallery features images from the NASA on The Commons Flickr stream. There are photos from Apollo missions 4, 11, and 17, images of the Earth from the lunar surface, and more.

10 Photography Tips for Beginners – It’s easy to place the blame on the camera if your images aren’t as nice as some others you see online, but by following a few guidelines you can improve the quality of your photos—without having to shell out big bucks for a new camera. Keep these 10 easy tips in mind next time you head out to capture the world around you.

One policy, one Google experience, even more declarations of evil – As soon as you connect a device to the Internet, you are tracked, cataloged, and targeted with “appropriate” advertising. Is that really evil?

Today’s Quote:

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”

–     George Bernard Shaw

Today’s Free Downloads:

Better Explorer – Better Explorer looks and behaves the way Windows Explorer will in Windows 8–except that it runs in Windows 7. At the top of the file-finder window, Better Explorer adds options that behave much as the Ribbon at the top of Microsoft Word’s newest layout does, letting you more easily arrange, copy, move, and delete files.

XP-Antispy 3.98-2 – XP-AntiSpy is a little utility that let’s you disable some built-in update and authetication ‘features’ in Windows XP. This utility was successfully tested by lots of users, and was found to disable all the known ‘Suspicious’ Functions in Windows XP.


Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 30, 2012

  1. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Re: “Volumouse”.

    Could be useful for some, though not me. When someone comes up with “BSmouse”, they’ll really get my attention :).

    Kind regards

  2. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Re: “After Megaupload: Who’s The Next Target?

    Much as I am against piracy of any kind, I believe that closing down the whole site before anyone has been found guilty is exceeding authority on a huge scale. This kind of sledgehammer over-reaction will only confirm the views of those who believe there should be no control whatsoever over what is available on the internet. It certainly confirms my view that governments need to rethink the whole question on the basis of where we are now, both in terms of technology and people’s ability to have their voices heard.

    I can see the attraction of storing information in the cloud, but I always thought there were significant dangers inherent in it. This action has added a whole new dimension to that view.

    Kind regards

    • Hi John,

      Just another case of the blind leading the blind. Law enforcement agencies – and, I use that term advisedly (many are simply thugs in suits or uniforms), are no stranger to the sledgehammer approach. Consequences of this approach are rarely considered in setting out an overall strategy. Absolutely pathetic.

      You’ll note – I have never advocated the use of cloud services for storage. The risks, in my view, far outweigh the advantages. Megaupload is the most prominent example of the risks. There’ll be more to come, unfortunately.