Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 4, 2012

Increase any PC’s performance with these 10 steps – There’s so much information out there about PC performance (especially on Windows machines), it’s difficult to be sure what’s right and what’s not so helpful. Here are 10 proven performance enhancements you can make to your computer, many of which are free.

Security tips to stay safe this summer – PandaLabs published its security tips for consumers to stay safe this summer and avoid falling victim to computer fraud. During the summer, people (especially children) have more spare time on their hands for using computers and connecting to the Internet more frequently, thus increasing the risk of falling victim to malicious code.

Windows Desktop wallpaper for Independence Day – A TechRepublic Photo Gallery of free patriotic images that you can pick and choose from for your own personalized Windows Desktop slideshow.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

EU court approves reselling used software licences – Companies can legitimately sell used software licences for downloadable software following a landmark decision from the European Court of Justice. The case means customers of software companies that no longer want to use the product could put the licence up for sale, providing they stop using their own copies. (recommended by Michael F.)

How Can I Prevent My ISP from Tracking My Every Move? – A lot of people probably assume that if you’re browsing anonymously it’s because you’re doing something illegal, but there’s plenty of content on the web you may not want to risk letting out in the open. Not only is it possible that it’ll be logged by your ISP, but with free-flowing data your activity is potentially open to anyone on your network. Protecting your activity is not just important because you want to avoid any tracking your ISP may employ, but more so because your private data can be compromised if you’re not careful.

The Best Free Mac Software – You don’t have to spend a lot of money to load your Macintosh with useful software. Many of the best productivity apps are entirely free. And, some are even available in the App Store. Here are 142 of our favorite free Mac apps.

How to Make Videos for Your Small Business – Learn how you can create great video content for your business. Helen Bradley explains everything you need to know.

Feds Crack Down on Data Brokers – Last month, for the first time ever, the Federal Trade Commission stepped in and spanked a data broker, in this case it was Spokeo, to the tune of an $800,000 fine for selling personal information to employers and job recruiters without taking steps to protect consumers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FTC also sent warning letters to six unidentified mobile app makers notifying them that their background screening apps may be violating federal statutes. The collecting of personal information is not at issue in these cases, it’s the use of that information for employment screening, housing, credit or other purposes that fall under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

3 Tips to Help SMBs Understand Data Recovery – Should your small business ever find itself stuck with a failed data storage device, don’t panic. These three data recovery tips can help you handle that unpleasant situation.


Malicious “Windows Live alert” email targets users – Windows Live account owners are currently being targeted with an email purportedly coming from the Hotmail Security Team, threatening them with an account suspension due to having exceeded their sending and receiving limit. The email instructs them to verify their account and “lift the suspension limit” by following an embedded link.

Need a Debit Card? Look for Debit Card Photos on Twitter – A Twitter account @NeedADebitCard is highlighting the dangers of sharing too much information on the Internet. Apparently, there are some people posting pictures of their debit and credit cards online. These images show the names, card numbers, expiration dates, and in some cases, the security code. There is enough information exposed, voluntarily by the card owners themselves, for anyone to commit fraud.

Utility bill scam steals personal information – The President of the United States is not going to pay your utility bill. Atmos Energy is warning customers about the latest version of a scam that promises federal stimulus money for utility bills in exchange for a customer’s personal information. The scam artist provides a bank routing number that supposedly has an account with funds to pay past due bills.

P2P Filesharing, Streaming Video Pose Risks to Business Networks – Employees are increasingly running peer-to-peer file sharing services and watching streaming video while at work, Palo Alto Networks found in its latest Application Usage and Risk Report.

Securing apps and avoiding an explosive breach – Recent research from Veracode shows that 84 percent of web applications from American public companies are at risk of being hacked, despite more stringent compliance requirements set by the SEC.

Company News:

‘iPad Mini’ Billed as a Nexus 7 Killer – It’s rumored Apple is prepping a smaller iPad for the holidays to take on Google’s new $199 tablet. Apple is reportedly prepping a smaller iPad due out before the holidays to take on tablets from competitors like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, Bloomberg reports.

Netflix Streaming Tops 1 Billion Hours in June – Netflix users streamed more than one billion hours of content online during June, the most in a single month ever.

Paragon Unveils External Drive Removal Solution for Smart TVs – Paragon UFSD 9.0 Embedded for Smart TVs supporting external storage devices performs the function of the “safely remove hardware” process on PCs

Nokia Suggests Google Nexus 7 Violates Patents – Nokia has suggested that Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet violates the phone maker’s patents.

Trend Micro Rebuts Hacker Claims About Corporate Break-in – Security firm Trend Micro is rebutting claims by a hacker about breaking into the Trend Micro network and installing a backdoor to unauthorized information as well as gaining access to Sykes, which runs support services for Trend Micro.

Webopedia Daily:

Google Hangouts – Google+ Hangouts is a free video chat service from Google that enables both one-on-one chats and group chats with up to ten people at a time. While somewhat similar to Skype, FaceTime and Facebook Video Chat, Google Hangouts focuses more on “face-to-face-to-face” group interaction as opposed to one-on-one video chats, and utilizes sophisticated technology to seamlessly switch the focus to the person currently chatting. Google Hangouts can be accessed via laptop and desktop computers as well as with Android mobile devices (Android “Gingerbread” v2.3 and later) and, in the near future, iOS-powered mobile devices.

Off Topic (Sort of):

YouTube Complaints! (Video 4:03) – All of your biggest YouTube complaints addressed here – humor. (recommended by Michael F.)

How to Photograph Fireworks – July 4th creates an opportunity for some fantastic photos, if you’re lucky enough to capture them. Take a little bit of time to configure your camera manually, though, and you’ll likely have better luck. Jim Fisher, PCMag’s camera analyst, has some great tips to help.

8,000+ mobile devices left at top U.S. airports – In the last year, travelers left behind 8,016 mobile devices at seven of the largest airports in the country, including: Chicago O’Hare, Denver International, San Francisco International, Charlotte Douglas, Miami International, Orlando International and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Of the seven airports surveyed, only one reported that they transfer their mobile devices over to the authorities.

You Could Be Better at Remembering Names, If Only You Gave a Shit – We all do it: we meet people, we forget their names, and then when we see them again, we say apologetically, “I’m sorry, I’m terrible with names? What’s yours again?” Except it seems the truth may be that we aren’t terrible with names—we just don’t care enough to remember them. Ouch.

Tablet Shipments to Surpass Notebooks by 2016 – In four years, your laptop could be as outdated as that bulky 8-track player gathering dust in your basement. Well, notebook computers may not become extinct by 2016, but they are expected to fall short – very short – of tablet PC sales before the end of the decade, according to a forecast report from NPD DisplaySearch.

Today’s Quote:

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”

Don Marquis

Today’s Free Downloads:

Free Grammar Checker: Ginger Basic – Not only is Ginger’s basic version free, but it doesn’t require Microsoft Word. It runs in the system tray and interfaces with Word, but also with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Outlook, and several other important applications. As you work, Ginger underlines words it thinks you should change, and you can right-click them to see why. You can also select a sentence (but not a paragraph) and hit F2 to have Ginger check the whole sentence.

HTMLcoder 3.3 – HTMLcoder is an easy to use utility that will help you create a webpage in minutes. If you create regular web news pages you might find this freeware of help.

ManyCam 3.0.80 – ManyCam is free live studio & webcam effects software. You can use your webcam with multiple chat applications at the same time, add webcam effects, use live audio and voice changer, draw over your video window and more.


Filed under Windows Tips and Tools

7 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 4, 2012

  1. Pingback: Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 4, 2012 | Bill Mullins' Weblog … | Top Internet Security

  2. Sunnyace

    Reblogged this on Sunnyace Reblog Collections and commented:
    Good Tips

  3. delenn13

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    Happy Fourth!

    20 Incredible Photographs of Fireworks Reflected in Water

    Thought this would be fittening..RIP, Andy!

    Rare vocal version of The Andy Griffith Show Theme Song

    “The Andy Griffith Show remains one of the most popular TV sitcoms in US television history. The infectious theme music (Instrumental with whistling solo) had lyrics most people never got to hear. Andy Griffith sings this catchy tune. Please comment and rate this video, especially if you enjoyed it. – The RARE original vinyl 45rpm EP record is available at Thursday’s Golden Goodies, the Internet source for vinyl lovers!”

    The Andy Griffith Show – original color closing credits
    “Opie and Andy return from the fishing hole in the original closing credits from the color episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, as seen here from an early 1980’s 16mm syndication print.”

  4. Gary Klingaman

    Bill: You comments on Google’s recent notice: “Google Shopping is becoming a commercial site”. WOW! I used to rely on Google Shopping to narrow down the cost of a product–Not any more! Can you suggest better alternatives?