Monthly Archives: April 2012

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 24, 2012

Five apps for getting rid of aggravating crapware – If you buy new PCs from OEMs, you are probably all too familiar with the plague known as “crapware”: the useless applications that come installed with Windows. Crapware wastes space, often ties up your RAM and CPU power, and can be a pain to get rid of. Here are five tools to help you deal with it.

The Best Antivirus for 2012 – It’s that time of the year again. With May right around the corner, the model year for security products is unofficially over. That would make now a good time to see which security products really aced it this year. So put on your safety masks and head over to our roundup to find out.

Microsoft Launches SkyDrive ‘Fetch,’ Drag-and-Drop Features – On Monday, Microsoft added new features to its SkyDrive service, including a new “fetch” remote PC access service, new storage options, and the ability to access SkyDrive via iOS and Windows Phone smartphones.

Start again – Windows 8 beta users who miss the Windows 7 Start menu will find a useful utility in StartMenu7, which can replicate its look and feel.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

1 in 5 Macs has malware on it. Does yours? – One in every five Mac computers is harbouring some kind of malware, a new study from the experts at Sophos has revealed. Sophos has revealed a disturbingly high level of malware on Mac computers – with both Windows and Mac threats being discovered.

Comodo Unite – Previously known as EasyVPN, Comodo Unite (free) allows users to easily create a Virtual Private Network for a group of computers to share files and applications over an encrypted connection. Users can create secure, private networks with friends, family and work colleagues and share files, applications, and desktops. They can also collaborate online and chat over secure instant messaging sessions.

Iran oil terminal suffers malware attack – The Mehr news agency in Iran is reporting that the oil ministry and entire industry has been taken offline after suffering a malware attack.

New Version of WordPress Fixes Slew of Security Bugs – A new version of the WordPress software is available, and the update includes fixes for a number of security vulnerabilities, including a bug in components that are used to upload media to WordPress sites. Version 3.3.2 also has some other fixes for cross-site scripting and other flaws.

Java Exploits are the Most Reliable Vulns – Java exploits have been generally very reliable for attackers due to a low patch rate, Jason Jones, advanced security intelligence engineer at HP DVLabs told Jones noted that the Java vulnerabilities tend to have approximately an 80 percent success rate for infection. In contrast, with other technologies, the older vulnerability success rate is only approximately 13 percent.

Intel’s Ivy Bridge Processor: Leaner and Meaner – The 3rd Generation Intel Core Processor family reduces power use without sacrificing performance, and gives graphics a substantial upgrade.

Company News:

HP Certifies Ubuntu Linux – Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system, will be releasing version 12.04 Long Term Support (LTS) enterprise edition of the OS next week. The Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release will be noteworthy both for its cloud and virtualization features and also because it’s the first Ubuntu release that has broad certification on a series of HP ProLiant servers.

Microsoft, Facebook Strike $550 Million Patent Deal – Microsoft and Facebook agreed to a deal that will see Microsoft license or sell many of the patents it picked up from AOL to Facebook for $550 million in cash.

Facebook Now Totals 901 Million Users, Profits Slip – Facebook’s profits dipped from a year ago but revenue increased to $1.06 billion, as the company released an amended S-1 filing on Monday.

Amazon Targets Businesses with New AmazonSupply – Need a new Dremel? How about a new volumetric flask? Perhaps a chain hoist or some paper clips? Amazon’s new site may be just for you

Webopedia Daily:

Censorware –  A category of software that is also referred to as Internet blocking or Internet filtering software. Censorware limits the user’ access to content on the Internet. The term is often used pejoratively as it implies that certain Internet content is being censored from the user, not filtered. Libraries and schools commonly use this type of filtering software to restrict its users from accessing pornography.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google Should Stick It to the EU – Google goes out of its way to appease the various judicial systems worldwide to minimize the amount of copyrighted material it allows its own products to reproduce and distribute. YouTube is the source of most of the violations and Google has created filters and human systems to pull sketchy content. Some people think the company may actually go too far in this effort. Apparently, the people who feel that way are not in Germany. Instead of pulling the plug on content, perhaps Google should pull the plug on Germany.

Minivan Sized Meteor Explodes Over California – A rocky object weighing about 70 metric tons slams into the atmosphere at 33,500 miles per hour, shaking homes near the Sierra Nevada mountains west of San Francisco.

London Marathon website goof leaks 38,000 contact details – The home addresses and personal email details of some 38,000 participants in Sunday’s London Marathon were exposed for anyone to access on the race’s official website. Celebrities were amongst those who had their private details exposed by the glitch.

Eight Myths About Customer Collaboration – In today’s social media-driven world, the customer has more power than ever before, and that’s changing everything from the way products and services look, to how they feel, to how well they perform, to how quickly they are judged as a success or failure. Yet, while many companies understand that they need to focus on how they interact with their customers, others still behave as if they’re the wizard behind the curtain.

Security vs. convenience: Will users embrace the opt-in? – Patrick Lambert looks at Mozilla’s recent decision to make Flash and other plugins an opt-in feature for users instead of a default. Will users regard it as a nuisance or a safeguard?

Today’s Quote:

In politics, absurdity is not a handicap.”

–      Napoleon Bonaparte

Today’s Free Downloads:

TCC LE – If you’re frustrated by the limitations of the Windows command prompt, then TCC LE is the one command line tool you need. By adding thousands of features that Microsoft neglected, TCC LE makes the command line easy to use, providing more power and flexibility than you ever imagined.

Parted Magic – The Parted Magic OS employs core programs of GParted and Parted to handle partitioning tasks with ease, while featuring other useful programs (e.g. Partition Image, TestDisk, fdisk, sfdisk, dd, and ddrescue) and an excellent set of documentation to benefit the user.


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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 23, 2012

Free tool reveals all about Facebook app privacy – For those bewildered by the privacy issues surrounding Facebook apps – and let’s face it, who isn’t? – there’s a new FCC-endorsed service available to rate them. Research firm PrivacyChoice says its Privacyscore for Facebook makes clear which apps protect users’ privacy and which don’t, and tells users if they’ll be tracked, and by whom.

HijackThis – This sniffer/cleanup utility searches autorun items, processes, services, and the Windows registry for the kinds of entries and activities that hackers use to invade and infect your system.

The Danger of Tinkering with Windows Too Much – Windows works best when you leave it alone. Sometimes it’s best to resist the urge to tweak the operating system — especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t – If you’re looking for a way to get online anonymously and securely, then TorVPN is for you. It encrypts network activity and hides your IP addresses so you can stealthily browse without a worry in the world.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

New Tool ‘Gmail Meter’ Tells You About Your Email Use – The new Gmail Meter will tell you how many people sent you emails, how many you sent, and even how quickly you responded. It is a cool tool for monitoring your personal email metrics, although the idea of this data finding its way into your employer’s hands might scare you a little bit.

Tor-hidden online narcotics store, ‘The Farmer’s Market’, brought down in multinational sting – Eight men have been arrested for running a secret online store that sold more than $1 million worth of narcotics. It’s alleged that the gang hid its tracks by operating on the Tor network.

Don’t Lose the Internet in July! FBI Repeats DNSChanger Warning – The temporary fix that allows computers still infected with the malware to continue surfing the Internet is going to be shut down on July 9, the feds have warned again

More troubleshooting with Microsoft USB View and other USB utilities – Greg Shultz takes a closer look at USB troubleshooting and answers questions raised by readers.

Only 4% of IT staff trust users: free security toolkit now available – User education is of course a great idea, but we all know how hard it is to get the messages across in a clear and memorable way. Sophos launches a free education toolkit to help the poor IT guys who are responsible for user education.

Judge Refuses to Toss Anti-Poaching Case Against Apple, Google – Several top tech firms – including Apple, Google, and Intel – failed this week in their bid to have an anti-poaching antitrust case against them thrown out.

Company News:

Adobe’s Creative Cloud: All the Creative Software You’ll Ever Want – The creative-software giant is releasing all of its wares plus a bunch of new services as a $49.99-a-month smorgasbord.

Qualcomm: Demand for Snapdragon Outstripping Supply – The mobile chip maker is getting plenty of design wins for its 28nm, dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip but doesn’t have the foundry capacity to make enough of them.

10 Factors to Determine Microsoft’s Long-Term Success – There was once a time when Microsoft couldn’t be beaten in the technology market. But those days are long gone. Still, there are several factors at play that could determine the company’s chances of long-term success or failure.

HP, Microsoft Update Converged Data Center System – Hewlett-Packard on April 19 unveiled a slate of new data center products that integrate directly with Microsoft’s new System Center 2012, which was released to general availability on April 17.

Rumors Swirl of Smaller iPad, Which Jobs Detested – There’s a constantly spinning mill of rumors about Apple products, most of which turn out to be untrue. What’s unusual this week is that talk has revived of a smaller iPad model, an idea company founder Steve Jobs derided publicly a year before he died.

Webopedia Daily:

Burp – Slang term used to describe the resetting of any computer equipment to restore network functionality, such as the router. The term burp is also used to describe a router losing a packet (may also be called a network burp or hiccup).

Off Topic (Sort of):

A dope promotional item – It’s on practically every corner these days, even more than 7-11s, but it seems like you can’t walk two blocks without walking past a medical marijuana dispensary, at least in California.

Nokia’s Impending Doom – Does anyone think that sitting on Windows Phone OS forever is going to change anything? Will Nokia just continue to hang its hat on the OS when it is becoming more and more apparent that it has no buzz, no karma, or apps, for that matter? It has to drop this OS and go with the Android as fast as it can.

CISPA debate rages on in the US, what’s all the fuss about? – A new law being debated in the US is causing concern among privacy advocates. The law is designed to encourage information sharing to thwart cybercrime, yet even the White House is expressing concerns over the privacy implications of the bill.

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Black Boxes in All New Cars – Starting in 2015, all new commercial automobiles will be equipped with Event Data Recorders.

Billionaires Back Ambitious Asteroid-Mining Venture – A new venture backed by director James Cameron and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt seeks to accomplish something straight out of science fiction—the mining of asteroids for raw materials like iron and nickel.

Today’s Quote:

Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”

–     Sir Winston Churchill

Today’s Free Downloads:

Windows Repair – – 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.

USB Image Tool – USB Image Tool can create images of USB flash drives and MP3 players, that are mounted as USB drives. It allows you switch between images with different music styles on your MP3 Player or to make an exact backup image of your USB Stick.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 21, 2012

Never Be Productive Again: The 20 Best New Browser Games – Not to disparage last year’s list of HTML 5 games, or the previous year’s list of 22 flash games, but we really think we’ve outdone ourselves this time. These are weapons-grade timewasters. So go ahead, read on—if you can afford to lose the rest of your afternoon.

Add push-to-talk to your Android with Voxer – Miss the days of walkie-talkies being useful because people weren’t so far apart? This app will bring that same functionality to your Android or iPhone.

‘Child porn’ scareware hits Canada – The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has issued a warning about scammers who claim that a user’s PC is associated with child porn, and demand money to fix the problem. Victims receive a pop-up message from a national authority such as the FBI or RCMP warning that their PC has a virus and is sending out child pornography. They’re told to pay a fee of £100 or more via Ukash, Moneypak or Paysafecard to ‘unlock’ their machine.

Cellphones built to see through walls – Researchers at UT Dallas have designed an imager chip that allows mobile phones to see through walls and other objects.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to use a VHD to dual-boot Windows 8 on a Windows 7 PC – Summary: I wanted to try Windows 8 on my new Ultrabook, but I didn’t want to mess up a perfectly good Windows 7 installation with a beta OS. And then it struck me: I can boot Windows 8 from a virtual hard disk. So can you, following these simple steps.

Diablo III Beta Open To Barbarians (And Everyone Else) This Weekend – Last night, Blizzard announced that the game would be free for all this weekend as part of a stress-testing open beta. – Your photo all over Facebook? Naked? Malware campaign spammed out – SophosLabs is intercepting a spammed-out malware campaign, pretending to be an email about a revealing photo posted online of the recipient. The emails, which have a variety of subject lines and message bodies, arrive with an attached ZIP file ( which contains a Trojan horse.

Fake “Steam Cracker” steals user credentials – The individuals behind the scheme offer simple instructions for installing the software: disable your antivirus software and firewall, then replace the original steam.exe file with the downloaded, cracked one. The malware employs keylogging.

Fraudulent calls target US banks, another look at caller ID spoofing – A recent report has shown a large increase in the number of fraudulent phone calls attempting to voice phish customers of US banks.

Analysis: Flashback Spread Via Social Engineering, Then Java Exploits – Kaspersky Lab‘s latest analysis of the Mac OS X Flashback botnet reveals that the botnet’s malware was spread via drive-by downloads on hacked WordPress web sites. From September 2011 until February 2012, the Flashback creators distributed the trojan through compromised WordPress sites that prompted users to download various iterations of a fake Adobe Flash Player update that was, in actuality, the Mac trojan.

Company News:

Oracle lawyers attempt to stress creative value of Java – Technical intricacies are important in Oracle’s legal battle against Google over intellectual property, but conveying a creative value resonate more with the jury.

Apple, Google, others fail to dismiss ‘poaching’ antitrust suit – A U.S. District Judge has rejected calls to dismiss an antitrust suit, after allegations were made that Apple, Google, and others colluded not to ‘poach’ each others’ employees.

Verizon Combines 4G LTE, Private IP Network Services – Available in both managed and unmanaged options, the Private IP Wireless (LTE) offering can extend corporate applications to mobile workforces.

AMD Starts Shipping Trinity And Brazos 2.0 APUs To Manufacturers – After the company’s Radeon 7000 series beat Nvidia to market by quite a few months, it’s now beaten Intel to the CPU punch, too. With Ivy Bridge’s expected launch staring us square in the face, AMD has announced that its Trinity and Brazos 2.0 APUs have begun shipping out.

Webopedia Daily:

Diskless Workstation – A diskless workstation or PC on a local-area network (LAN) is a computer system that does not have its own disk. Instead, it stores files on a network file server. This type of system uses network booting to load the operating system, but it does contain its own main components including the CPU, RAM, video, sound and network adapter (see “workstation” for a description of common components).

Off Topic (Sort of):

In China, plagiarization is an established business model – Summary: Copying business ideas from both foreign and domestic firms has been standard operating procedure for Chinese Internet companies. But these borrowing practices could be losing their momentum.

Anonymous claims Pastebin censorship, creates alternative – The hacktivist group Anonymous has gotten so pissed off at Pastebin and its “censorship” plans that it has created its own alternative: AnonPaste. It’s currently in alpha though, so don’t expect much.

Linus Torvalds wins the Millennium Technology Prize – Linux Creator’s Linus Torvalds is one of two laureates for the Millennium Technology Prize. This award is close as technology has to a Nobel Prize.

Today’s Quote:

Love thy neighbour as yourself, but choose your neighbourhood.”

–    Louise Beal

Today’s Free Downloads:

AppRemover – AppRemover is a software application which enables you to uninstall security applications such as antivirus and antispyware from your computer. It completely removes applications and extraneous files left behind.

NirLauncher – NirLauncher is a package of more than 100 portable freeware utilities for Windows, all of them developed for NirSoft Web site during the last few years.


Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 20, 2012

Choose the best cheap tablet – There are some great tablets to be found for less than $300, but there’s also plenty of garbage. To make sense of it all, here are some tips for choosing a great low-cost tablet for your needs.

The Android App Elite – iPhone apps seem to get all the ink, but with more than 450,000 apps in Google Play, you need a place to start if you want to arm your Android smartphone with the best programs available. Check out our list of favorite apps in nine categories.

How to delete yourself from the Internet – You may not feel like the flotsam and jetsam that make up the facts of your life are important, but increasingly companies are using that dry data to make your every online step as indelible as if written in blood. Here’s how to take back your digital dignity.

How to Carry Any Operating System in Your Pocket – You never know when you might need to install your favorite operating system–and it takes only a few minutes to load it on a USB flash drive so that you can carry it with you wherever you go. Here’s how to do it.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Free and Simple Password Manager – The new and free Dashlane password manager handles all important tasks with a strong focus on ease of use. This elegant package impressively streamlines online shopping and even tracks your purchases.

Process Network Activity Monitor ProcNetMonitor – Many programs these days require an Internet connection for part or all of their functionality. Some check for updates online regularly, while others, like web browsers, use connections to display contents on the local computer system. While the majority of tools do that to provide functionality, some apps may use a computer’s Internet connection for malicious purposes. (recommended by Michael F.)

Fake jobs site owner filed tax returns with stolen identities – A 31-year-old that has set up a website offering the possibility for unemployed people to apply for non-existing jobs and has been using the collected applicants’ personal information to file fraudulent tax returns has been charged with identity theft, grand larceny and money laundering.

How cybercriminals are infecting networks – Research by Websense reveals the trifecta that is driving epidemic levels of data theft: 1) extremely effective social media lures.  2) evasive and hard-to-detect infiltration of malware.  3) sophisticated exfiltration of confidential data.

5 Affordable Alternatives to Microsoft Office – With any one of these productive software suites, your SOHO business will be just as productive as shops that use Microsoft Office. But shhh, don’t tell them how much money you saved

RAID Made Easy – Wondering what RAID is all about, and whether using it will benefit your business? This primer explains all.

Fedora 17 Beta Advances the Linux Desktop – Fedora 17 is a Beefy Miracle – full of server focused enhancements, like a complete OpenStack. It’s also one fine desktop Linux release.

How to Add Video Surveillance to Your Small Business – We look at the three main methods to wire your small business for video surveillance.

Company News:

RIM Looks Overseas as BlackBerry Use Drops in U.S. – BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is in a fight for its corporate life, with even once-reliable markets no longer a given for the company’s smartphones and back-end infrastructure services. However, emerging markets such as India and Indonesia may offer the lifeline RIM needs, according to several new reports.

New York Hits Sprint With $300 Million Tax Evasion Lawsuit – The state of New York filed a $300 million lawsuit against Sprint for tax evasion, accusing the carrier of intentionally failing to collect taxes on wireless calling plans.

Hulu racks up four more original shows – The video streaming service now has seven original shows it’s working on, including four new ones just announced with big name actors like Seth Meyers and Adrian Grenier.

Foursquare Sees Stars, Signs with Hollywood Talent Agency – In a rare move for a social media site, Foursquare has partnered with United Talent Agency to promote its presence in Hollywood.

Webopedia Daily:

Bootleg – Bootleg, as a general term, refers to the illegal distribution or sale of any goods. In software, music and video terminology it refers to any materials — such as a a program, song or movie — that is illegally distributed or sold without permission from the copyright or trademark owner. Bootleg can also refer to “copies” of software that are knowingly installed on more than one computer when the license prohibits more than one installation.

Off Topic (Sort of):

GPS Today: How We Got Where We are Now – It’s tough to believe, but in-car GPS navigation has already been around for more than a decade. Yet were it not for politics–and Einstein’s theory of relativity–we wouldn’t even have it in the first place. Resident gearhead Jamie Lendino takes a look back at the history of car navigation.

Ex-FBI cyberexpert: Potential for digital Pearl Harbor is real – Shawn Henry talks to CNET about why he left public service and joined a private-sector firm, and he predicts that we will see an attack on critical infrastructure that has physical consequences.

5 Reasons the CISPA Cybersecurity Bill Should Be Tossed – So long SOPA and PIPA, hello Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a law proposed last November to give the government new powers to secure networks and thwart copyright violators. It’s finally up for a vote later this month, sparking protests this week in what’s looking like another informational ramp-up to leverage public opinion against the bill’s passage.

3D Printer Lets You Print Your Own Prescription – Research being developed at the University of Glasgow could see the creation of medicine simplified, thanks to 3D printing.

Today’s Quote:

An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.”

–    John Buchan

Today’s Free Downloads:

Lunascape – Lunascape is the world’s first and only triple engine browser. It has been downloaded over 15 million times and it’s available globally in 11 languages. Try it yourself the new kind of speed and versatility. Lunascape is now compatible with the expanding array of Firefox add-ons in addition to the already supported Internet Explorer add-ons and Lunascape plug-ins, achieving the greatest degree of extensibility and flexibility among Web browsers. Transferring your add-ons from Firefox is very easy.

Zoner Photo Studio Free – Manage, edit, and share your photos faster and more easily than ever before! This free software is the new way to work on your pictures with less hassle and more fun than you’ve ever seen. It’s made for everyone, and will make you feel like a pro.


Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 19, 2012

Windows 8 Store gets first Metro Twitter app and more – A new Twitter app, a new game, and an update to existing blogging app have popped up in the Windows 8 Store.

How Google Drive will compare to Dropbox – It seems that the long-rumored Google Drive is finally going to show up. From what we know now about it at this point, here’s how will it compare to Dropbox and other popular cloud storage services.

Dr. Google misdiagnoses one out of four women – Women with health concerns are twice as likely to go online for advice than to ask a doctor, their friends, or even their mothers, especially with embarrassing symptoms.

New Bill in the UK wants internet to be censored from porn by default – A new Bill wants to protect children by requiring all users to opt-in if they want to access porn. This would create a system of censorship by default. Is this necessary when parents already have access to porn-management tools?

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

FCC’s Ruling that Google’s Wi-Fi Snooping is Legal Sets Horrible Precedent – Anyone looking for assurance that the privacy of their home wireless networks would be protected from snoopers by government regulators won’t find it in the Federal Communication Commission’s recent action against Google.

The Most Annoying Android Apps – Some of the most popular apps for Android devices access too much information, suck too much data, or use up all of your battery life. Here’s a list of apps to watch out for–and why.

Mozilla Blocks Java in Firefox for Some Mac Users – Mozilla this week began blocking outdated versions of a Java plug-in in Firefox for some Mac users after calling the threat posed by the Flashback malware “evident and imminent.”

New firewall safeguards against medical-device hacking – Researchers at Purdue and Princeton universities have created a prototype firewall to block hackers from interfering with wireless medical devices such as pacemakers, insulin-delivery systems and brain implants. The team had previously demonstrated how medical devices could be hacked, potentially leading to catastrophic consequences.

3 Web Resources for Books, Video and Web Forms – Voracious readers will love this free book exchange, plus a great video search site and an affordable way to make your own Web forms.

What is the Raspberry Pi? – The “$25 PC” project from The Raspberry Pi Foundation has turned out to be one of the most exciting and successful hardware launches of 2012. If you need to get up to speed on the RasPi, then this is the article for you.

Google Warns 20,000 Webmasters About ‘Weird Redirects’ – The head of Google’s Web spam team says that the company has pushed warning messages to some 20,000 Web site owners that their sites may be compromised and are performing “weird” redirections, possibly to malicious Web sites.

Trace Your Family Tree – Ever wonder where you come from? Explore your roots, build a family tree, and record life events important to you and your family with one of these great genealogy programs.

Company News:

Verizon Wireless to Sell Spectrum — If Cable Deal Is Approved – Verizon Wireless announced plans to sell off some of its coveted 700-MHz spectrum – provided its pending $3.6 billion purchase of spectrum from U.S. cable companies is approved by regulators.

How Oracle Hopes to Prove Its Case vs. Google – The long-awaited trial over whether Google infringed on Oracle’s Java patents and copyrights in its creation of Android has finally begun. The two IT giants have taken turns accusing each other of improprieties in the case, in which Oracle has asked for about $1 billion in damages. Here, eWEEK shows the evidence that Oracle is using to prove its point against Google.

IKEA Integrates Home Theater System into Uppleva Furniture Line – The Uppleva line will offer choices of HD LED TV sizes ranging from 24 to 46 inches. It will also include Wi-Fi, USB ports and space for game consoles.

Analyst: Intel Can’t Get No Respect – A fascination with the rapid growth of the smartphone and tablet markets has Wall Street underestimating Intel’s staying power, says longtime chip watcher Jon Peddie.

Red Hat Builds In-Memory Data Grid 6 for Java – Open Source Infinispan project grows up in first beta of upcoming commercial Java product.

Webopedia Daily:

Plastic Optical Fiber – Abbreviated as POF, plastic optical fiber is a type of optical fiber that uses polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) as the core material that allows the transmission of light. POF is often called consumer optical fiber as it is a low-cost optical fiber alternative that is easier to use than glass optical fiber. It sustains a data transfer speed of 2.5GB/s, which isn’t as fast as glass optical fiber, but is much faster than traditional copper wire.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Nanocopters, Smartbirds, and beyond: The coolest robot videos ever – ExtremeTech’s David Cardinal combed through over 100 videos in order to find the best examples of robotics technology online. He found some amazing ones, so sit back and get ready to be impressed.

Errors, Outliers Obscure Cybercrime Losses – Estimates of the extent of cyber crime are hopelessly overblown, two computer security researchers argue in an editorial from Sunday’s New York Times.

What recruiters see in the first six seconds of looking at your resume – A new study shows that job recruiters give resumes only a six-second perusal. Here’s what they look at.

Philips’ L Prize bulb is efficient, expensive, and available – LED bulbs have been making great strides, and Philips’ L Prize winner is the current king-of-the-hill, but $60 is a lot to pay for increased efficiency. This is an incredible piece of technology that will save you money in the long run (and will be a good deal cheaper soon).

Today’s Quote:

So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”

–     Peter Drucker

Today’s Free Downloads:

ForgetBox – ForgetBox is a handy utility that handles the heavy lifting of file transfers. The free version comes with a few limitations: Files are stored on the servers for only 24 hours after the recipient is notified of their availability. And recipients must wait 15 seconds before downloading the files.

DAEMON Tools Lite – With DAEMON Tools you can back up your physical CD/DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray discs into “virtual discs” or so called “disc image” files, which run directly on your hard drive.

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Paragon Virtualization Manager 12 Compact for FREE! – Save $29.95 On This 3 Day Giveaway

Virtualization is all the rage. With good reason – this very cool technology, if used correctly, has the power to control malware intrusion through the use of a ‘”virtual” environment, rather than operating in a “real” environment.

But, running in a virtual environment, provides an opportunity to do so much more than simply building a buffer between you and the bad guys. Program files, data files, and application directory structures can all be stored on a Virtual Disk Drive.

So, what can you do with Virtualization Manager 12 Compact? As it turns out – quite a lot. To avoid any confusion – this application is a “Virtualization Manager”. You must have virtualization software such as, Oracle VirtualBox 4, Microsoft Virtual PC, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, already installed.

Usage Scenarios – From the site:

Scenario 1: Use different operating systems on one computer.

Virtualization allows parallel use of several incompatible operating systems on one computer. You can run Windows, Linux, Mac OS X inside of virtual machine on one host machine.

Scenario 2: Continue using your old PC’s applications – enjoy your favorite applications in a virtual environment on your new computer.

When it’s time to upgrade to a new PC and operating system, you may find that some of your favorite applications haven’t been updated yet to work with it. Using Virtualization Manager 12 Compact, you can make a virtual clone of your old system before migrating to a new computer. Take advantage of an up-to-date powerful computer while still having access to favorite applications from the old computer.

If your old computer is corrupted but you have a backup image of your old system made with Paragon software – you can virtualize it using Virtualization Manager installed on your new PC.

Scenario 3: Safely evaluate new software.

New software can be unintentionally harmful to your computer. You can easily avoid negative system conflicts by creating a virtual clone of your current physical system using Virtualization Manager 12 Compact.

Try new software in a safe environment and decide whether it works and is exactly what you need before making it a permanent addition to your collection.  If changes made on a virtual machine were successful you can just migrate your updated system from virtual environment to your PC.

Scenario 4: Make a system bootable on different virtual environment.

Virtualization Manager makes your system bootable when migrating to new hardware by automatically injecting the required drivers in your operating system. If you unsuccessfully virtualized your system with a 3rd party tool and it became unbootable, the problem can be resolved with Virtualization Manager.

I have not tested this application extensively (just heard about this free offer this morning) – but, I have installed it and taken it for a quick run. Based on my initial impression I’ll give it high marks for ease of setup, and ease of use. The bottom line – a reasonably solid virtualization manager.

Here’s a quick run through:

In the following example I’ve chosen to create a virtual disk.


Clicking on this choice opens the “Create Virtual Disk Wizard” as shown below.


I’ve set the initial size at 5 GB using Microsoft Virtual PC. You can download Microsoft Virtual PC – here.


Done! How hard was that?


System requirements: Windows 7 (32/64-bit), Vista (32/64-bit), XP Professional (32/64-bit), XP Home.

Supported Virtual Machines: Oracle VirtualBox 4, Microsoft Virtual PC, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion.

This giveaway offer expires April 20th, 8 am (GMT-4).

How to get Paragon Virtualization Manager: Go to the Paragon Facebook page – click the like button – follow the instructions.

Here’s a sample of the process.


Special thanks to regular reader Delenn13 for the heads up on this free offer.


Filed under Giveaways, Hard Drive Cloning, Hard Drive Imaging, Software, Virtualization

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 18, 2012

You Got Hacked! What Now? – Somebody has taken over your email or maybe your social media accounts. All your friends are mad at you. How can you recover—and keep the problem from happening again?

Use Your Home Computer from Anywhere: A Comprehensive Guide to Remote Controlling Your PC – Here are three dead-simple ways to control your home computer from anywhere—your laptop, phone, or even a friend’s computer—as though you were sitting directly in front of it.

Google Says Snooping on Wi-Fi Networks Isn’t Illegal – The fallout from Google collecting private information such as email from people’s Wi-Fi networks several years ago just got worse. Google claims that it did nothing illegal by snooping on people’s private unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, including gathering emails, private passwords, and more.

Google faces fine for bypassing Apple’s Safari privacy settings – Only days after the FCC fined Google for impeding and hindering its investigation, the FTC is looking to fine the company for bypassing Safari users’ browser settings to set tracking code.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Five Free Programs Every Business Owner Should Use – From protecting your PCs from malware to managing all your human-resources needs, these apps work minor miracles without making you open your wallet.

An ‘Eazy’ Way to Guard Your Privacy – A new site called Priveazy aims to make protecting your data on Facebook and everywhere else simple and effective. It might well succeed.

Active fake AV spam campaigns hit Twitter – The messages are short (“a must see LINK”, “young girls are waiting LINK”) and are spewed from bot and compromised accounts. Both contain links to a .tk domain. Following the link in the first message lands victims on a page (detectoptimizersupervision(dot)info) serving the bogus Windows Antivirus 2012, which is currently detected by only 3 of the 42 AV solutions used by VirusTotal.

Malware disguised as new Instagram Android app – Instagram, the popular free photo sharing app for iOS devices, is now available for download for Android users on Google Play and Instagram’s website. Unfortunately, a rogue malicious version of it is also being pushed onto Russian Android users, offered from a webpage that mimics the legitimate one.

Spoiler Alert: Your TV Will Be Hacked – With rising popularity of Internet-enabled TVs, the usual array of attacks and exploits will soon be coming to a screen near you.

Is Apple REALLY family-friendly or does it just want you to think it is? – Could it really be so important to keep every cent that Apple has sent a team of lawyers to fight against refunding a few misleading in-app purchases made by little children?

Company News:

Portable encrypted Linux computing environment – SPYRUS announced a new version of Secure Pocket Drive that allows end users to build and distribute their own secure bootable Linux OS image. In addition to offering secure access to corporate networks, the Linux edition gives users the freedom to install and run their own applications and productivity software locally.

Yahoo Earnings Rise, but Revenue Treads Water – Yahoo reported Tuesday that its first-quarter profit came to US$286 million, up 28 percent from the same quarter last year, but the company’s total revenue revealed much more modest gains.

Google’s Page claims little knowledge about Android, Java license talks – Google CEO Larry Page evades questioning from Oracle’s legal team over how much knowledge he had in regards to discussions about Java licensing.

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

Webopedia Daily:

Macbuntu – Macbuntu is an open source operating system fork of the Linux-based Ubuntu OS that features a Mac OS X-inspired desktop shell. Macbuntu derives its Mac OS X look and feel from the Mac OS X Transformation Pack, which can also be used in other operating systems based on Debian / GTK to provide the same Mac OS X-inspired shell interface.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Bum Wines – Call them bum wines, street wines, fortified wines, wino wines, or twist-cap wines. Whatever you call these beverages for the economical drunkard, this page explores the top five. So curl up on a heating duct and enjoy….

Most parents secretly access teens’ Facebook accounts – AVG Technologies revealed that 60 percent of American parents surveyed admit to accessing teens’ Facebook accounts without their knowledge, with moms most likely to be the guilty party.

BlackBerry Still Beats Android on Security, Analysis Finds – RIM’s BlackBerry remains the clear leader in mobile security with market share leader Android lagging badly, a “strengths and weakness” analysis of the four big platforms has concluded.

Six lines your boss should never cross – A list of six ways you can tell if your boss has crossed the line of professional behavior. The employment experts at Allison & Taylor have offered some great tips for knowing whether your boss has crossed the line of professional behavior.

Groovy 1970s Consumer Tech – From the first PCs and video games to CB radios and 8-track tapes, the seventies saw the birth of lots of iconic technology.

Today’s Quote:

“The job of President is trying to persuade people to do what they should have had the common sense to do in the first place”

–    Harry Truman

Today’s Free Downloads:

TouchCursor – Once upon a time, computer keyboards did not have cursor keys. When text editor Vi needed a way for users to move the cursor, the solution was to remap the arrow keys to H, J, K and L on the keyboard. TouchCursor lets you use those same home row keys instead of cursor keys across your system.

Samsung Kies 2.3.0 – Managing content on your mobile is easy with Samsung’s Kies Air and Kies. Kies Air makes it simple to transfer media files, play content, music and more between your mobile device and a browser on the same wireless network.


Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News