Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 23, 2012

Facebook alters privacy policy: Is your personal data now ‘fair game’? – Facebook is making changes to its privacy policy which will change the way you use the site. If you do not like the changes you have until tomorrow to comment. Or you can just delete your account.

10 free tools that IT pros love – There’s a world of freeware out there just waiting to make your life easier. Check out these top picks for techs.

Windows 8 Preview Beats Windows 7 in Most Performance Tests – Windows 8‘s Metro interface may be controversial, but it looks like few PC users will complain about the new operating system’s performance. The PCWorld Labs put the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 through a battery of tests and found it generally faster–sometimes a lot faster–than Windows 7.

10 things to consider before going mobile-only – Lately, it has become popular for people to ditch their desktop and notebook computers and move entirely to mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones. For some people this has worked out very well, while other people end up retreating back to their PCs. If you are considering this kind of switch for yourself, these 10 questions will help you decide if the move can work for you.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Should I put a solid-state drive (SSD) into my new PC? – The answer to this question depends on what you’re after – capacity or performance.

Five easy-to-use Linux encryption tools – Even a timid Linux user can handle encryption with the help of the right tool. Here are some good, user-friendly options.

Free and Cheap Software for Benchmarking Like a Pro – Gaming rigs and data-crunching workhorses alike need to be in top condition. Find out how your computer performs on intense, system-slamming tasks with these benchmarking programs.

Plan to reduce botnets launched – More than one in ten U.S. computers are infected by difficult-to-detect bots, which botmasters can use for anything from sending spam, to eavesdropping on network traffic, to stealing user passwords.

Can I Safely Open Suspected Spam? – I can’t promise that it’s always 100-percent safe, but with the right precautions, the chance of disaster becomes acceptable.

21 EBay Inventory Management and Online Selling Tools – We look at 21 eBay tools to help you manage your inventory, synchronize inventory on multiple sites and to make your eBay pages more appealing and easier to manage.

Expand Your Taskbar to a Second Monitor With Free Zbar – Zbar is a free, tiny, portable tool that puts a taskbar on your secondary monitor, and lets you pick different wallpapers for every monitor.

Photoshop CS6 Beta Is a Free Download Packed with Content-Aware Improvements, Video Editing, and More – Adobe has released a free public beta of Photoshop CS6. It comes packed with all the features of the potential retail program which include improvements to the handy content-aware system, an expanded video editing tool, and more.

Company News:

Google Wave Still Shutting Down April 30 – “Google Wave is now in read-only mode,” read part of a Google email sent to former Wave users. “You will be able to continue exporting individual waves using the existing PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off.”

Oracle Fusion Lays a Path to the Cloud and Profits – Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says moving applications to the cloud isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition for Oracle. He also says the competition, notably SAP and, isn’t offering the right cloud model.

Whitman to shareholders: ‘HP matters’ – HP CEO Meg Whitman told shareholders that the company still has many of the things that made it a winner. It’s just got to lose the flab and get back in the game.

Google hands over $5 credit to Wallet customers, report says – The company says that all the funds that were previously available on the prepaid card have been restored, following a security issue discovered last month.

Webopedia Daily:

Null character – A character that has all its bits set to 0. A null character, therefore, has a numeric value of 0, but it has a special meaning when interpreted as text. In some programming languages, notably C, a null character is used to mark the end of a character string. In database and spreadsheet applications, null characters are often used as padding and are displayed as spaces.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Voice analysis technology prevents phone scams – Nagoya University and Fujitsu developed the first technology to analyze phone conversations to automatically detect situations in which one party might “over trust” the other party. Specifically, this is the kind of situation in which an individual may have a diminished capacity to objectively evaluate an explanation being given by the other party.

10 Women Who Are Keeping Attackers at Bay – The most recognizable names in information security may be those of men. But there are plenty of female experts in the trenches, working to keep attackers out. These women have amassed enough expertise and knowledge that when they say something about information security, people listen.

Train Your Brain for Monk-Like Focus – We all struggle to maintain focus in our daily lives. Endless distractions keep our brains from focusing on a task as we struggle to get things done at work and complete projects around the house. But what’s actually happening in your brain when you’re lost in a project? And more importantly, how can you train to induce that focused state in yourself?

Corrupt call center workers selling your private information for pennies – An undercover investigation in India has uncovered that some call center workers have been selling confidential information on nearly 500,000 Britons.

Today’s Quote:

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

–    Albert Einstein

Today’s Free Downloads:

Windows 7 Codec Pack 4.0.2 – The Windows 7 Codec Pack supports almost every compression and file type used by modern video and audio files. The package is easy to install, while also offering advanced settings to the high end user: For simple installation select “Easy Installation”. For advanced installation options select “Expert Installation”.

System Monitor II 13.40 – System Monitor II is a great gadget for Vista and Windows 7. Mainly because it combines the most important hardware information in one highly configurable interface, and because its option to launch the task manager with a double-click.


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