Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 15, 2012

Best Windows utilities apps – The number of tools available to enhance Windows is enormous, so we’ve narrowed down a list of freeware essentials to get you going. We focus on seven key areas: defraggers, system cleaners, uninstallers, launchers and docks, and replacements for Notepad and Task Manager. “Essential extras” contains two must-have utilities that defy category and, for now, competition.

Ten basic steps to secure your PC and online accounts – The explosion of malware attacks and high-profile password and data breaches serve as confirmation that resourceful hackers are determined to break into your computer and online accounts. It’s time to pay attention to these issues and follow some basic steps to stay secure while using your PC and surfing the web.

Nexus 7 Selling Out at Key Retailers – The Nexus 7 is selling like hotcakes at various brick-and-mortar retail outlets in its first weekend of general release, with some retailers already reporting that the 7-inch Android tablet built by Google and Asus is out of stock. GameStop, Sam’s Club, and Staples were listing the device as out of stock as of Friday, while Office Depot appeared to still have a few Nexus 7 tablets on hand, according to a rundown of several Nexus 7 retailers compiled by Newsday.

Cure Sick Windows PCs with This New Linux ‘Fix-on-a-Stick’ – Armed with a Windows app and a custom version of Linux, these USB devices are designed to restore infected or bloated Windows PCs back to health.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to unlink Facebook from Skype – Having regrets about linking your Skype and Facebook accounts? Here’s how to sever the ties.

Olympics bans links to its site if you’re ‘derogatory’ – The rules of the London 2012 Olympics site seem to be somewhat odd, if not inanely unenforceable, if not otherwise objectionable.

Facebook launches calendar view for events – In addition to showing you all the events you’ve accepted, you can also see everything to which you’ve been invited. We all know Facebook’s reputation is for making people avoid real-life interaction, so hopefully this slight new tweak will help encourage more face-to-face get-togethers with people in your friend list.

Facebook Update Highlights Friends’ Engagements, Weddings – Facebook will add notifications about weddings, engagements, and other celebrations to the right-hand notification bar that normally houses alerts about birthdays.

America’s Army: The Game, the Graphic Novel and Now the Tablet App – If you’d told me a couple of weeks ago that I’d be meeting with representatives of the U.S. Army here at Comic-Con, I’d probably have been really, really confused. America’s Army began a decade ago as a video game that was part entertainment and part recruiting tool–and which became very popular. More recently, it became a graphic novel you can read in your browser. Now the apps let you download an ongoing comic series for free.

Twitter, Buddy Media Launch Age-Screening Feature for Marketers – Parental advisory just got a helpful push from Twitter this week, which launched an age-screening feature that will restrict access to certain brands deemed inappropriate for young users.

Google goes erotic with latest doodle – Honoring Gustav Klimt, the erotic Austrian painter, Google allows its logo to wrap itself around a couple wrapping themselves around each other.

Security:

Former Pentagon analyst: China has backdoors to 80% of telecoms – A former Pentagon analyst reports the Chinese government has “pervasive access” to about 80 percent of the world’s communications, and it is looking currently to nail down the remaining 20 percent.

A Look at the Worst Security Snafus of 2012 — So Far – Could things really be this bad? From the embarrassing hack of a conversation between the FBI and Scotland Yard to a plethora of data breaches, security snafus have ruled the first half of 2012. Here’s a look at some of the worst snafus month-by-month.

Three Steps to Avoid Getting Hacked Like Yahoo – By now you’ve probably heard that hackers were able to breach a Yahoo server and expose more than 450,000 account passwords. No server or network is impervious, but Yahoo’s negligence or incompetence made this attack possible.

Avast Free Antivirus – Avast continues to push the envelope of top-shelf free security features with hybrid update tech, file reputation analysis, and more. It’s independent benchmarks are a bit weak, but more than 150 million people trust Avast to keep them safe.

Company News:

Apple’s Green Flub Adds to Its Checkered Record – A misstep this week in regard to EPEAT participation reminds that Apple and environmentalists have clashed many times.

ARM chips may prompt x86 PC exodus – A number of Intel’s biggest customers and partners are reportedly “exploring” the use of RISC-based ARM chips that could ultimately find their way into future PCs and servers.

Google CEO Page ‘Recovering,’ Back in the Office – The mystery ailment that caused Larry Page to lose his voice and miss Google I/O hasn’t been identified, but chairman Eric Schmidt says Google’s CEO is recovering nicely.

iPad sales increase as PC shipments slow – Apple is projected to report record breaking sales of 20 million iPads during the just-concluded June quarter. According to Needham & Company analyst Charlie Wolf, it’s only a matter of time before iPad shipments exceed iPhone sales.

Facebook acquires mobile-bookmarking service Spool – Facebook has acquired Spool, a San Francisco-based startup that developed a mobile-bookmarking service. The small firm was all about mobile content consumption, an area Facebook wants to significantly improve in.

Hewlett Packard gets US patent for its see-through screen technology – Hewlett Packard which is better known by the initialization HP is one company that geeks must watch out for. See-through screens, which sci-fi movies are often filled with are the next hot thing that HP will get to the consumers. Hewlett Packard has been able to secure a US patent for this innovative and fiction-inspired technology. It means that in near future these kinds of see-through screens will revolutionize things like navigation and analysis.

Webopedia Daily:

SWIFT – Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – Short for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. SWIFT is the financial industry-owned co-operative supplying secure, standardized messaging services and interface software to 7,800 financial institutions in more than 200 countries. SWIFT’s worldwide community includes banks, broker/dealers and investment managers, as well as their market infrastructures in payments, securities, treasury and trade.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Is Twitter Passé? – I have noticed a decline in the usefulness of Twitter over the years. At one point near the beginning, I was one of the top 20 users with something like 10,000 followers. And the service was actually more useful then than it is now. With 10,000 followers, I’d mention something using a traceable link and perhaps 3,500 people would click have clicked it. Seldom was it less than a 1,000. Now I have over 85,000 followers, which is a blip on the radar as A-list movie celebrities have millions. When I tweet a traceable link, it will maybe get the attention of 500 people.

The 3D Hype Bubble Is Now Completely Busted – Nintendo’s cooling attitude toward glasses-free 3D signals a deep problem: Even once you remove the pesky glasses, the novelty of 3D wears off. That’s a pretty staggering admission from a company that put the term “3D” in the name of its handheld.

Brazilian prisoners generate electricity to reduce their sentences – A medium-security penitentiary in Santa Rita do Sapucai has come up with a unique proposal for the inmates to reduce their sentences simply by pedaling a stationary bike. Apart from getting into shape, the inmates pedal the stationary bike to generate renewable energy that is used to power ten street lights along the riverside promenade.

Flying drones getting smaller, smarter, cheaper, and scarier – Thank the development of smartphones — with their cheap sensors, abundant computing power, and numerous radios — for the growth of both hobby and military tiny drones.

Railway track complete with private train build by 80 year old grandfather – Shelling out £22,000 on building railway track in your own backyard might sound a bit crazy but it is true for one 80 year old grandfather of 12 grandchildren. Passionate about everything related to railways, Bill Barritt build this amazing 1.2 miles railway track in his 13 acres of land complete with a 25 feet long eight-passenger train imported from USA. According to Bill he can use this custom build railway track to get around his 13 acres of land and to give his grandchildren a joy ride sans any tickets of course.

Today’s Quote:

“The security mindset involves thinking about how things can be made to fail. It involves thinking like an attacker, an adversary or a criminal. You don’t have to exploit the vulnerabilities you find, but if you don’t see the world that way, you’ll never notice most security problems.”

–    Bruce Schneier – Chief Security Technology Officer, BT

Today’s Free Downloads:

Avira AntiVir Rescue System July 14, 2012 – The Avira AntiVir Rescue System a linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to repair a damaged system, to rescue data or to scan the system for virus infections.

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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