Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 16, 2012

Best Free Windows Security Apps – Just because threats to your PC continue to mutate doesn’t mean that you must pay for your peace of mind. We’ve collected some of the top free security and privacy programs available that will keep your computer safer.

Disable Your Lost Phone – Our phones are valuable, but they’re easily replaced. The data on them, however, is often much more important. Thankfully, many of today’s most popular smartphones can be erased from afar if they’re misplaced or fall into the wrong hands. Here’s how to do it.

Create a secure Guest Account in Windows 7 – In certain situations, you may want to allow guest users access to a PC. Take the proper steps to ensure that the guest access you grant is secure.

10 Awesome Instagram Alternatives – Instagram was busy last week: The photo app finally hit Android and scooped up 5 million downloads in a matter of days, and then the company was then acquired by Facebook for a cool billion bucks. But it’s not the only way to add a cool retro look to your phone pictures; check out these worthy competitors.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

10 Google services you can live without – As Google expands its reach, many users are looking for alternatives to its services. Can you live without Gmail? How about YouTube? Check your needs against this list.

How to Not Spam Twitter: 5 Tips – Think you’re being a good business citizen on Twitter? As Twitter takes action against spammers, pay fresh attention to your tweeting habits.

FTC to Google – “We asked you nicely FIVE times, but now we are SERIOUS” – It looked as though Google had got away with its Street View WiFi data collection fiasco in the USA. Until last Friday, when the FTC issued a resounding-sounding Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against the search giant.

Fifth-Generation Wi-Fi Is Coming: Are You Ready for 802.11ac? – We re on the verge of the biggest change in wireless networking since 2007. Fifth-generation Wi-Fi technology promises to deliver faster-than-cable speed–without the cables.

Sony PlayStation Network Will Be Down for 13 Hours on Monday – The Sony PlayStation Network will be down for thirteen hours on Monday, although most of the downtime will take place during work hours.

Hack of Hyatt Twitter account by Acai Berry spammers is a warning for us all – Acai Berry spammers briefly take over Twitter account belonging to Hyatt Hotels. Is your company taking the security of its social media accounts seriously enough?

Android copyright trial starts today – The trial, in San Francisco federal court, is due to start this afternoon or tomorrow, after a deadline passed on Friday for the companies to reach a settlement.

Company News:

Microsoft Intros New Open Technologies Unit – Microsoft launches its new Microsoft Open Technologies subsidiary to focus on open source and open standards.

Skitter Quietly Launches TV Streaming over Broadband – Add another name to the list of companies trying to provide local television service via the Internet: Skitter.

Apple Fails to Reach Agreement With Australian Competition Regulator – Apple failed in a mediation session on Monday to reach agreement with Australia’s competition regulator on remedies for allegedly misleading consumers about the 4G capabilities of its latest iPad

Facebook Offers: Yet Another Social Deals Attempt – Facebook quietly announced Facebook Offers on Thursday, which allows someone who “likes” a business or brand to receive special deals

Webopedia Daily:

Last Known Good configuration – In versions NT and later of the Windows operating system (OS), a copy of a system’s hardware configuration and driver settings taken from the system’s registry when the OS successfully boots. This copy is stored in case a subsequent boot process fails, and the OS can use the record of the Last Known Good configuration to perform a successful boot. If Windows detects a problem in the boot process, it will add the Last Known Good configuration option to the start up menu.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Axis of Suppression: China, Facebook and Iran, Says Google’s Sergey Brin – Google might not exist today had dominant rivals like Facebook existed when Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin created the search powerhouse, says Brin.

What is an Ebook Worth? – This whole thing needs to be straightened out fast. The serious fly in the ointment for everyone seems to be that 99 cent and $2.99 price point books are flying off the shelves (as it were). Nobody can deal with that phenomenon, totally ignoring that in the distant past there was such a thing as a “dime novel,” which would be like the dollar novel today. So that makes sense to me.

The U.S. Government’s Top-Secret Town – In 1942, as part of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. government acquired 70,000 acres of land in Eastern Tennessee and established a secret town called Oak Ridge. The name chosen to keep outside speculation to a minimum, because Oak Ridge served a vital role for the development of the atomic bomb. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge office recently started to digitize its collection of archival photos and share them through Flickr; and this group of images from the 1940s are part of those recently released. (recommended by Michael F.)

The Digital Watch: A Brief History – Forty years ago this month, Hamilton introduced the world’s first commercial electronic digital wristwatch. It retailed for the pricey sum of $2,100.(It would go for about $11,400 today.) By the end of the 1970s, however, the price of the average digital watch dropped drastically; they would regularly retail for under $10 a piece. And in the 1980s, they became a novelty. You could even find them in cereal boxes as cheap giveaways.

Today’s Quote:

It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins”

–    China

Today’s Free Downloads:

Windows Repair Portable 1.7.0 – – Windows Repair is an all-in-one repair tool to help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including registry errors and file permissions as well as issues with Internet Explorer, Windows Update, Windows Firewall and more.

WinPatrol – WinPatrol takes snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to any changes that may occur without your knowledge. WinPatrol was the pioneer in using a heuristic behavioral approach to detecting attacks and violations of your computing environment.

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