Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 3, 2012

Is Facebook Sharing Your Face With the Cops? – A leading law professor has accused Facebook of helping law enforcement find criminals on the network using face recognition technology. What’s the real story?

Anonymous spies on FBI / UK Police hacking investigation conference call – A recording of a confidential conference call between the FBI and UK law enforcement officers at the Metropolitan Police has been released by Anonymous on the internet.

Firefox 10 Tested and Rated – In its latest iteration, Firefox remains a lean, fast, compatible, customizable browser that can hold its own against any competitor.

Mobile Data Security: 10 Tips to Avoid Prying Eyes at the U.S. Border – For organizations with compliance requirements, having confidential data out of their control for an extended period of time can have serious repercussions. These searches can also impact employee productivity while waiting for the search to complete. Below are some tips from the EFF on how to protect data privacy on electronic devices in case of a border search.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Spark: The first free-software, Linux tablet is on its way – Thanks to Android, Linux is well represented on tablets, but there hasn’t been a free software tablet, without any proprietary bits, until now. The Spark, which will be based on MeeGo and use KDE Plasma for its interface, will be the first free software tablet.

How to Prevent Thumb Drive Security Disasters – For such a small device, the plastic, handheld USB flash drive can cause big security headaches. Even if you have robust end-point security and establish rigid policies about employee use of these drives, employees still find a way to copy financial reports and business plans for use at home. While other security breaches are more traceable, a flash drive is more difficult to monitor, especially after the employee leaves work.

Let’s be honest, Facebook is a badly overpriced photo-sharing and gaming site – Facebook is about to launch one of the biggest tech IPOs ever. Don’t be fooled. Read 10 reasons why Facebook’s future is highly uncertain.

How to Buy a Wireless Router – Wireless networking might not sound so sexy and cool, but a wireless router is essential for connecting wireless devices throughout your home or office and for sharing Internet and other network resources, such as multimedia content, on your network. Our checklist helps you pick the best router for your needs.

FileVault 2 easily decrypted, warns Passware – Apple’s FileVault 2 whole-disk encryption can be unencrypted within an hour, according to encryption and password-recovery company Passware.

Over 1000 email addresses exposed by Metropolitan Police blunder – The victims – mostly of theft and criminal damage – were emailed on Monday as part of a survey into whether victims felt they were receiving a better service after the introduction of a single telephone number for an investigation unit in London .

Company News:

AMD to Integrate Third-Party IP Into Chips – AMD executives are looking to change the way their chips are designed to take greater advantage of their compute and graphics capabilities, and to integrate third-party intellectual property.

Panda Protects Endpoints in the Cloud – With Cloud Office Protection, Panda is setting its sights on organizations that have multiple locations to manage – such as retail or restaurant chains that might have three or four endpoints at hundreds of locations around the country, or companies with more than one office location as well as remote workers armed with laptops.

IBM buys Worklight, focuses on software to help manage BYOD trend – IBM showed it’s as concerned as most enterprises are about the so-called bring-in-your-own-devices trend by purchasing Worklight, a company that offers software for managing mobile devices

VeriSign admits it was hacked repeatedly in 2010, staff didn’t tell senior management – Internet giant VeriSign was admitted it was hacked repeatedly during 2010, but its IT staff only informed senior management in September 2011.

Apple’s record profits built on grinding employees into dust – then blowing them up – After unveiling profits that smashed expectations and broke revenue records, it’s been a big week for Apple, but a recent investigative report brings the company’s rosy report crashing back to earth.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Why Your MP3s Sound Bad – Neil Young made waves this week by attacking digital music and pining for the good old days of vinyl. Just how do MP3s compare to analog recordings? Is there really that big a difference between 128 Kbps, 256 Kbps, and so called lossless formats? PCMag’s resident audio expert, Jamie Lendino, sounds off. Check it out. It will change the way you buy music, and probably the way you listen to it, as well.

Coming to a War Near you Soon: A Swarm of Nano Quadrotors (video 1:43) – Experiments performed with a team of nano quadrotors at the GRASP Lab, University of Pennsylvania. (recommended by Michael F.)

Dvorak: The Worst Tech Awards Ever – As you can tell by John’s headline, he didn’t have a very good time at the Crunchies this year. To be fair, the Crunchies are sponsored by a bunch of our competitors, namely TechCrunch, GigaOM and VentureBeat, but if you read the piece you will see his complaints aren’t about professional rivalry. His issues are more about Silicon Valley insiderism and lack of proper perspective.

Welcome Home (cartoon) – Hey, let’s chat-talk a bit! I’ll start! Then you’ll start fixing your Mom’s computer. (recommended by Michael F.)

Lifehacker: The Wilderness Survival Skills Everyone Should Know – The key to surviving in the wilderness is preparation. But this post isn’t about stockpiling food or preparing for disasters at home (although both are a good idea). This is about the skills and tricks you can learn and remember now that will help save your life if your car breaks down in the woods, you’re lost while hiking, or a terrible disaster strands you in the wilderness.

Today’s Quote:

“Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it’s cowardice.”

–    George Jackson

Today’s Free Downloads:

Skype 5.8.0.154 – Skype is free and simple software that will enable you to make free calls anywhere in the world in minutes. Just download it, register, and within minutes you can plug in your PC headset and call your friends on Skype.

TSR Watermark Image 2.1.1.2 – TSR Watermark Image software, is a free program for personal use that can add digital watermarks to all your images, photos and pictures with the transparency you decide. The program can also resize the images before the digital watermark is added.

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2 Comments

Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 3, 2012

  1. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Re: Why Your MP3s sound bad.

    Neil Young’s comments struck a chord with me (pun intended :)). I just hope the argument doesn’t get too polarised, as so many others have.

    MP3s have done a huge amount for music proliferation. They also have their place in portable listening situations, like cassettes before them. Listening to uncompressed (CD) music on a component audio system is a completely different experience. There is no doubt to me that a well-recorded vinyl disc reproduced by a quality turntable, contains a “warmth” absent in CDs. Each medium has its place and none is better than the other in every respect. We have DSLR cameras as well as compacts and phones, so why should there be no musical equivalent?

    We are fortunate here in Scotland in having Linn, who have been supplying quality music playing systems since 1972. They also supply high end music recordings in CD, vinyl and download formats and boast no less than three premium quality web radio stations. I should point out that I have no connection with Linn and these are my own comments

    I’ve long been a fan of Neil Young, plus, like so many of our great singer-songwriters, he’s Canadian! Let’s hope his comments provoke a thoughtful response from the music industry.

    Kind regards
    John

    • Well John, you’re comment has made me sit up and listen (pun also intended 🙂 ). As an absolute non-audiophile, my initial reaction to this story was – who cares.

      It did however remind me of a substantial purchase back in the late 80s when I bought a Sony Walkman (not a rip-off), for each of my two children. If one wanted Dolby noise reduction back then (to get to the meat of the music) – one had to be prepared to pay the price.

      For myself, I bought a cheap Korean knockoff for $30 bucks (versus $200), which was entirely suitable – not perfect, but suitable none-the-less. See, having a tin ear can save money. 🙂

      Still, I do agree that compressed anything (audio, video, etc.) does not stay true to the original – it simply makes senses that it should be the case.

      Moreover, I can’t disagree with your observation “that a well-recorded vinyl disc reproduced by a quality turntable, contains a “warmth” absent in CDs”. Personal experience has shown me that.

      Finally, your comment – “Each medium has its place and none is better than the other in every respect. We have DSLR cameras as well as compacts and phones, so why should there be no musical equivalent?” uncovers the real issue. Amen to that.

      Best,

      Bill