Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 16, 2012

Browser-Based Games You Can Win Without Losing Your Job – A bit of distraction is a good way to become unstuck or gain new perspective on a work problem. Here are a few great games you can play for free, from the comfort of your browser, without installing anything (except Flash, which you probably already have). They’re safe in terms of content, and you can step away if needed. After a few minutes, you’ll be refreshed and ready to work again.

Avira Antivirus update wreaks havoc on millions of PCs – If you are a user of any of the paid versions of Avira’s various antivirus and security software and you have tried to update it/them in the last 24 hours, chances are that you’re now sitting before a crippled PC, wondering what happened. So what did happen? Well, it seems that the new update makes the AntiVirProActiv component – not present only in the company’s free offering – erroneously detect critical Windows processes as malware and automatically terminate them.

From Saucy Pics to Passwords: How to Share Sensitive Information Over the Internet – Here, we’ll walk through the easiest and most secure ways to share files, passwords, and other data with people you trust. There are countless other methods out there, but these are our favorites. The method you use to share data should depend on what you’re sending, how secure you want that material to be, and how willing you are to take proper security methods.

Firefox 13 Gets a Triple Shot of Speed Through Mozilla’s ‘Project Snappy’ – Improvements in three key areas promise to make Mozilla’s browser considerably faster.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to Quit Facebook Without Losing the Best Facebook Features – Here are a few free and easy-to-use alternative services that can help you stay social after quitting Facebook.

Pinterest scam toolkits widen the pool of potential scammers – Seemingly overnight, Pinterest gained massive momentum, making cyber scammers sit up and take notice, then jump right in. But the opportunities the site gives to those looking to make a quick buck are not open only to experienced scammers, but to novices as well, as Pinterest scam toolkits have been made available for sale.

Sophisticated bogus PayPal emails lead to phishing – PayPal users are currently being targeted with emails purportedly coming from the e-payment giant and asking for their help. The email contains a link that will supposedly take the users to PayPal’s login page, but unfortunately lands them on a spoofed one.

The 10 Best Wireless Routers – Networking Analyst Samara Lynn calls routers “the unsung heroes of the Internet.” Just think of where you’d be without one (no wireless access!). These ten routers offer the best balance of performance, ease of setup, manageability, feature set, and pricing.

Google Picasa 3.9 – As a standalone photo editing and organizing app, Picasa remains one of the best free options you can choose. Its face recognition, geo-tagging, effects, and text overlay tools are class-leading, as is the ease of using these them. Some have called into question Google’s continuation of Picasa as a desktop app, though, so you may have to get it while you can. One piece of evidence for this is the new Creative Kit, an online photo editor that bears a family resemblance to Picnik.

Wikipedia Warns Users About Malware Injecting Ads Into Its Pages – Visitors to Wikipedia who see advertisements on the site have most likely fallen victim to a browser-based malware infection, Wikimedia Foundation, the organization operating the website, said on Monday.

Company News:

Intel strengthens security of its Core vPro platform – Intel announced the availability of its 3rd Generation Intel Core vPro processor-based platforms for business and intelligent systems. New capabilities embed security at every layer, including the silicon, without compromising performance.

AMD Promises Performance Boost – Yesterday, AMD launched Trinity, its second-generation 32nm A-Series APU. The company claims that the new chip doubles the previous generation chip’s performance while maintaining the same level of power.

Prepaid Carrier Voyager Mobile Suffers Launch Day Attack – Prepaid wireless carrier Voyager Mobile is off to a rather inauspicious start. Its planned Tuesday launch was delayed thanks to a hack of its website.

Apple’s iCloud crash response only dents customer confidence – Apple’s iCloud has recovered from a 90 minute email outage. The outage wasn’t the primary concern: it was that Apple didn’t tell anyone of the problem until after it had been fixed.

Facebook Buys Lightbox Android Photo App – Facebook moved quickly – again – to address concerns that it wasn’t doing enough to satisfy mobile users, buying the developers of the Lightbox Android photo app.

Get ready for Microsoft’s coming UK price increase – Starting July 1, Microsoft’s raising substantially the prices it will be charging its UK business customers for software and services. Here’s what you need to know.

Webopedia Daily:

Monitoring Software – Software for monitoring the desktop and online activities of employees, family members, roommates or other users of a computer. Sometimes referred to as parental control software, monitoring software can quietly monitor and log PC and online activities or more actively filter content and block offensive websites from being accessed. It isn’t always easy to distinguish monitoring software from spyware, which is why at least one of the following criteria must be met in order for the installation of monitoring software to be considered legal:

     The owner of the software must also be the owner of the computer it is going to be installed on.

     The owner of the software must be the parent of a minor child.

     The owner of the software must have the consent of all users of the monitored computer.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Internet Hall of Fame, Part II: Honoring the Builders of World Wide Web – The Internet Society named 33 Hall of Fame inductees last month, grouped as Pioneers, Innovators and Global Connectors, who helped make the Internet what it is today. In Part I of this series, we took a look at the Pioneers and some Innovators. Here, we list Innovators and Global Connectors, including founder Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the basic infrastructure of the World Wide Web while at CERN.

Psystar Appeal Against Apple Denied by Supreme Court – The Supreme Court has denied the appeal of Psystar, the company that tried, and failed, to sell Apple’s Macintosh OS running on top of hardware it built itself.

Using Facebook’s Like button does not fall under ‘protected speech’ – Just when you thought the legal ramifications of Facebook usage couldn’t get more exhausting, here comes another bizarre twist. A judge rules that Facebook’s Like button is not “protected speech.”

Why Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is a schmuck – In order to avoid paying taxes on his multi-billion dollar IPO windfall, Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook, is renouncing his United States citizenship.

Today’s Quote:

If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon.”

–      George Aiken

Today’s Free Downloads:

Any Video Converter – You have to be careful what you name something. Free program Any Video Converter is a name that makes a bold promise. And darned if it doesn’t deliver. My rather large array of video files presented no problems for Any Video Converter, even the rarer types.

Freemake Video Converter – Freemake Video Converter’s specialties are converting to many formats, including AVI, MKV, and mobile formats like 3GP and MP4. It can also make files suitable for burning to a DVD or Blu-Ray, and even burn the files itself.

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