Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 29, 2012

Fill Your Mobile Security Toolbox – Smartphone malware attacks get a lot of attention, but you’re much more likely to lose your device than you are to contract a smartphone virus infection. And you’re just as vulnerable to other problems–such as phishing and spam–on a phone as you are on a PC. No need to panic, however: The following Android and iPhone security tools will help to protect your phone from all kinds of threats.

Making bogus bar codes: Just how hard is it? – First it was shoplifting, then it was ticket-switching, and now it’s bar code fraud. Just how easy is it to make a fraudulent UPC? Easier than you think.

Remove a Program That Lacks an Uninstaller – Before you try to manually remove a program, make sure there’s no uninstaller. Check the Start menu. If the Start menu contains a submenu for the unwanted program, there’s likely a link to the uninstaller there. You should also check Windows’ own list of uninstallers. Select Start (Start>Run in XP), type appwiz.cpl, and press ENTER. You’ll find all the uninstallers that Windows knows about in alphabetical order. If none of these pan out, you’re going to have to remove the program manually. Here’s how:

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Internet Defense League Crafts ‘Bat Signal’ for the Web – Several Internet groups are gearing up to battle SOPA-like legislation via the Internet Defense League, a new organization intended to protect the open Web. The League, spearheaded by Fight for the Future and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is putting together an Internet bat signal of sorts. When the group detects a threat to the Internet – most likely via objectionable legislation – it will send supporters a snippet of code they can add to their website in order to organize the masses in protest.

Anonymous India Calls for Non-violent Protests Against Censorship – The Indian arm of Anonymous is planning what it describes as non-violent protests against Internet censorship.

Which TV is right for you? – LED, LCD, and plasma: What’s the difference, and which is the best? We’ll give you the breakdown in this episode of Device & Conquer.

Windows Live Is…Dead – Microsoft seems to be doing away with the final remnants of a confusing and redundant brand name. In retrospect, it feels like Microsoft started readying “Windows Live” for retirement shortly after it introduced the concept. It long ago did away with the most bizarre examples, such Windows Live Search (now Bing) and Windows Live Hotmail (now just…Hotmail). The inessential Essentials were just stragglers.

Serco reports 123,000 US government employees’ personal information stolen – Serco, a large international government services provider, disclosed a compromise of its systems that may have led to 123,000 people’s Social Security Numbers and other sensitive details to be in the hands of criminals. A rather unusual way to celebrate Memorial Day for our dedicated government.

Experts Question the Need for a Facebook Smartphone – Mobile technology will play an important role for Facebook as it tries to find new sources of revenue, but building its own device doesn’t make much sense.

Scanning Negatives, Shooting the Moon, Fixing the Colors in a Photo – Have a question about digital photography? Send it to me. I reply to as many as I can–though given the quantity of e-mails that I get, I can’t promise a personal reply to each one. I round up the most interesting questions about once a month here in Digital Focus.

Company News:

Foxconn reportedly begins pilot production of Apple TV set – Chinese news sources report that the iPhone and iPad maker is preparing the production of an Apple-branded a television set.

GameStop Adds Android Tablets to 1,600 Stores – GameStop is expanding its Android tablet offerings, adding the tablets to more than 1,600 stores nationwide.

Intel Launches Identity as a Service in the Cloud, Leaves McAfee on the Ground – User identity authorization and access solutions are a standard foundation for information security in most enterprise organizations today. In the past, identity solutions have typically been tethered to on-premise deployments of software. Intel is now attempting to break free of that limitation with its Cloud SSO (Single Sign On) solution that delivers identity management as a cloud-based service.

LG unveils 5-inch HD LCD screen – Designed for “smart devices,” the new panel will feature a 440ppi pixel density, beating out the 330ppi Retina display found on Apple’s iPhone.

RIM loses another senior executive – Struggling handset maker’s chief legal officer resigns, it’s second high-level departure in a week.

Webopedia Daily:

Apple App Store – The Apple App Store is an online store for purchasing and downloading software applications and mobile apps for Apple computers and devices. The App Store initially debuted as an online app store for mobile devices powered by Apple’s iOS mobile operating store such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, but it has since expanded to also include a Mac App Store for purchasing applications for Mac OS X personal computers. The Mac App Store can only be accessed by PCs using Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Lion or a later version of Mac OS X.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Why We Lie – We like to believe that a few bad apples spoil the virtuous bunch. But research shows that everyone cheats a little—right up to the point where they lose their sense of integrity.

Cracked: The 13 Most Irresponsible Self Defense Gadgets Money Can Buy – We live in dangerous times. Well, not really. Actually, life in the 21st century is safer than ever before. This, however, doesn’t stop people from selling and buying overpriced and often useless self-defense products. While most of the stuff on the market will simply gather dust on your shelf/purse/man-bag that’s not actually a purse, some of these real products seem a hell of a lot more dangerous to the owner than the mugger.

Meet ‘Flame’, The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers – A massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation. The malware, discovered by Russia-based anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab, is an espionage toolkit that has been infecting targeted systems in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, the Israeli Occupied Territories and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa for at least two years. (recommended by Michael F.)

The Great Gatsby And The American Dream – “The phrase the American dream was invented to describe a failure, not a promise: Or rather, a broken promise, a dream that was continually faltering beneath rampant monopoly capitalism.” Fitzgerald, like few others, saw it coming.

Priest apologizes for using naughty words on Facebook – An apparently exasperated English priest posts sincerely sinful gems including words beginning with “f” and “p.” One of the faithful is not amused.

Today’s Quote:

“If you don’t run your own life, somebody else will.”

–     John Atkinson

Today’s Free Downloads:

Argus Boot Accelerator – Argus Boot Accelerator speeds up your boot process by managing your startup programs. Usually Windows would start all of them at the same time during the boot process, demanding data from your hard disk faster than it can deliver them. Argus Boot Accelerator will start them sequentially.

Kaspersky TDSSKiller – Kaspersky Lab has developed the TDSSKiller utility that allows removing rootkits. A rootkit for Windows systems is a program that penetrates into the system and intercepts the system functions (Windows API).


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 29, 2012

  1. delenn13

    Hope everyone had a great holiday/weekend….

    The hubby is having minor surgery today so just have time to post this. Found this on the Toronto Sun Site. Looks to be interesting. I expect everyone to be versed and up to date with all info when I get back. Hell, Maybe I will even set up a TLD under .geek…depends on what is entailed..I just glanced through it.

    Welcome to Undernet-Toronto SUN Undernet..that brings back memories..haven’t been there in years.


    I don’t recall(but i have a memory that only works when it wants to) anyone posting anything about this here.

    Please discuss this.

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Apologies – just walked in the door. Hope the surgery went as planned.

      Some interesting stuff here so I’ll go further and put this up in tomorrow’s TNN.

      This is the same sort of thing you and I talked about earlier this year when Vic was on the warpath. Governments will never be successful in curbing freedom of expression.



      • delenn13

        Hi Bill,

        Thanks for the concern. He is OK…minus a bit of his stomach for a biopsy. We will see.

        Still haven;’t had the time to take it for a spin. Busy and the next 2 days..more of the same.

  2. Hi Bill

    “Argus Boot Accelerator” looks interesting. I haven’t downloaded it yet for my Win7 64-bit. Have you tried it?

    HERE’S the help page & it seems easy to use, but it doesn’t give any tips on which programs to move into the “Managed” top pane SEE PIC from the “Unmanaged” bottom pane. Nor can I see advice on the order to start the programs in & what delays to use.

    It looks like it may be more flexible than Soluto, but also maybe there’s a risk of screwing up the boot process. What do you think?

    • Hi Michael,

      Haven’t given this one a shot. Similar in many ways to a ton of like apps that have come and gone.

      I can understand how an app like this might be advantageous to a “regular” user – but, for someone like you???

      Sure, there was a time (when we ran with limited resources), that this type of app served a purpose. But, I think we’re long passed that point.

      As an old fashioned guy, I see no benefit in pre-loading apps at startup since it takes only seconds to load when needed. So, it’s long been my practice to eliminate unwanted startups using msconfig. It’s such a simple solution.

      As for screwing up the boot process – it’s not likely – but…



  3. Cheers Bill ~ Since I only have the cute little black Scotty dog, Threatfire & MSE in the startup I’ll pass on this doodad

  4. Hello, For everyone. Accidentally I found this site, and I like it very much. So + One more daily reader ;))