Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 25, 2012

Save time with these three Chrome extensions – Navigate around and between Web pages without clicking, browse faster by loading your next pages automatically, and get a big preview of thumbnail images when you mouse over them.

3 Great High-End Smartphones with Cheap, No-Contract Wireless Service – Here are three of the best phones you can get without a traditional $70-and-up monthly bill. All three are also currently available on major wireless carriers at a higher monthly price, so consider these alternatives if you’re on an individual plan and want to save some cash by paying a little more up-front.

Online Privacy: Americans Want It, and They Want It Now. So Why Can’t They Get It? – A new survey by Truste claims 94 percent of people care deeply about online privacy. Unfortunately, none of them are in the online advertising industry. According to the survey, a whopping 94 percent of the 1000+ people surveyed consider privacy issues “really important” or “somewhat important,” and six out of ten are more concerned about it than they were a year ago. More than a third claim they’ve stopped visiting a Web site or doing business with a company because they were concerned for their privacy, and 83 percent are aware of behavioral (ie, targeted) ads, up from 70 percent last year.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Vodafone Germany Sued for Storing Customer’s Mobile Traffic Data – A customer in Germany is suing mobile operator Vodafone because it allegedly stores connection data without having any legal obligation to do so, the plaintiff’s lawyer said Monday. Lawsuits against other telecom operators will follow soon, he said.

Ouya will be as small as a Rubik’s Cube – The Android-based game console that has attracted so much attention will not look anything like your standard console. That is to say, it won’t be a big and bulky box that takes up space in your living room. Instead, as lead hardware designer Yves Behar said in a Kotaku interview, it will be much smaller.

Netgear Wi-Fi Booster Fills Mobile Dead Zones – The global networking company unveiled today the WiFi Booster for Mobile, a compact device that punches up your home Wi-Fi coverage, eliminating that obnoxious dead zone in your living room, which also happens to be your favorite spot to stream movies on your tablet. PCMag sister site reported that the device is expected to hit shelves in mid-August, for $39.99.

YouTube Asks Users to Post Real Names in Bid to Clean Up Comments – When a YouTube user now tries to comment on a video, a box pops up asking that person to start using their “full name” at the video sharing site. The “full name” is taken from the person’s Google+ account since Google requires the real name of someone signing up for a Google+ account.

So, yesterday someone asked me ‘What is DOS?’… – I remain convinced that a strong background in the tools and techniques you needed to use in the DOS days still have a place in our GUI-driven culture. Aside from obvious things, like using the command prompt to get extensive directory listings or deal with detailed network settings in reasonable ways, not being afraid to edit (or at least look at) system files, tweaking settings, and compiling and editing batch files are still worthwhile. The specific skills may be useless in this day and age, but the problem solving and mental engagement they encouraged are timeless, and of use in endeavors far beyond computers.


iPhone and iPad Security: 5 Often-Overlooked Settings – Take a few minutes now and enable these settings; you’ll be glad you did. Some of you may not even realize that these features exist and how easy they are to use. Let’s walk through the top five security settings for these devices.

Malware attack spread as email from your office’s HP scanner – In these high-tech times, scanners and photocopiers aren’t just dumb machines sitting in the corner of the office. They are usually connected to the corporate network, and – in some cases – can even email you at your desk to save you having to wear out your shoe leather. And it’s precisely this functionality that we have seen cybercriminals exploiting today, pretending that their malicious emails in fact come from an HP scanner inside your organisation.

Windows malware slips into Apple’s iOS App Store – It’s a low-threat malware package that won’t hurt iOS or MacOS but may pop Windows users who manage the app in their iTunes account.

New OSX/Crisis malware found for OS X 10.6 and 10.7 – While the mode of infection is currently unknown, this new threat has uniquenesses over past malware for OS X.

Sharp rise in SQL injections – FireHost revealed the latest statistical analysis of attacks successfully blocked by its servers. During the period of April to June 2012, web applications, databases and websites spread across 33 countries worldwide experienced a total of 17 million cyber attacks, of which more than two million were categorized as the most serious kind of attack, the Superfecta.

Managing the Google Threat – Google is a relationship of convenience for users, but people and organizations should understand that Google has made it clear they intend to own your data regardless of its legality or your desire for privacy. Google’s actions clearly show that it operates with impunity. From reading your emails and voicemails, collecting data from personal wireless networks, online book publishing without permission and use of third party applications, Google’s intent is demonstrated through their track record.

Company News:

Apple revamping iPod Touch – Apple is reportedly revamping its stalwart iPod Touch. The latest iteration of Cupertino’s popular media player will apparently include components from both the next-gen iPhone and existing iDevices like the iPhone 4S.

Google seeks campaign money by touting Net as prime info source – The company’s “Four Screens to Victory” effort makes the case that the TV screen is decreasing in importance for political campaigns as people surf Internet screens — phones, tablets, and PCs — for information on candidates and issues.

Apple: Samsung, you owe us $2.5B – Battling with Samsung in the U.S. over patent issues, Apple reckons that the amount of damages it’s due should come in at a cool $2.5 billion.

ManageEngine Applications Manager Gains Ruby on Rails Support – ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, today announced the immediate availability of Ruby on Rails support in its performance monitoring software package, Applications Manager. The move lets Applications Manager monitor applications running on Ruby on Rails environments as well as measure user satisfaction of critical web applications, capture transaction traces and view performance metrics of Ruby components.

Blackberry 10 to have voice control – The next version of RIM’s mobile operating system is getting a feature that might look familiar to iPhone owners. After years of believing that it didn’t need to follow in the footsteps of the iPhone or Android (because people obviously prefer mobile operating systems based on a 20-year-old platform), it looks like RIM is now going after the most talked-about feature of the iPhone – Siri.

4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook may debut this month – The new model tablet is expected to launch in Canada through Bell and possibly other Canadian carriers on July 31. Citing an internal document from Bell, blogging site MobileSyrup says the tablet will be priced at $549.95. The specs revealed by the document point to a 7-inch 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage.

EU Issues Warning to Suspected Disk Drive Cartel – The European Commission on Tuesday warned 13 optical disk drive suppliers that they may face a formal antitrust investigation for participating in a worldwide cartel. The Commission believes the companies have been engaged in bid rigging for at least five years. The companies in question supply optical disk drives, which read or write data on CDs and DVDs on PCs. According to the Commission, they are accused of rigging bidding events organized by two major original equipment manufacturers for optical disk drives to the detriment of consumers.

Webopedia Daily:

Connected TV – Another term for Smart TV, connected TVs are designed to provide a more immersive experience for television viewers by delivering interactive features such as Web browsing, social networking, video-on-demand and video streaming in addition to regular television content. Television manufacturers currently sell a wide variety of connected TVs, and users of existing non-connected TVs can add many of the connected features to their current TVs via connected TV-capable Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. Another option is to access free and premium connected TV content over the Web on desktop PCs, tablet computers, smartphones and similar devices.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Russia’s Top Cyber Sleuth Foils US Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals – “Kaspersky Lab isn’t just an antivirus company; it’s a leader in uncovering cyber-espionage. Heading such a firm would be a powerful position for anyone. But Kaspersky’s rise is particularly notable given his KGB-sponsored training. (recommended by Michael F.)

Post-PC Bunkum – Some pundits claim the PC is dead, but you should ignore those nuts. If something becomes a commodity, it doesn’t mean that it is going to disappear anytime soon. Rather, it means it has become ubiquitous. Do pundits understand this at all? Apparently not. To them, the PC is dead. They are very similar to the bicycle nuts who seriously think the car is dead and the vegans who think that bacon is dead. They have a skewed perspective. Unfortunately, it gets printed and distributed to the public as some sort of reality.

London Olympics: Five-Ring Circus Of White Elephants – “The siting of surface-to-air missiles in parks and on top of flats completes the city-under-martial-law look. It’s like stepping into a dystopian future in which Britain is run by a military junta headed by Ronald McDonald”

D.I.Y. Smart Glasses Translate Foreign Languages in Real-Time – The universal translator is such a ubiquitous presence on science fiction TV that it’s not surprising that someone would actually try and make one. Engineer Will Powell’s inspiration, however, wasn’t Star Trek or Doctor Who; it was Google’s Project Glass.

Why does the IT industry continue to listen to Gartner? – Another day, another provocative research report from Gartner, which has a long track record of spectacularly wrong predictions. I’ve collected some of their greatest hits. Er, misses.

Sleepless In America: A $32.4 Billion Business – We don’t get enough sleep. Or enough good-quality sleep. Or something like that. Something that makes us shell out for pills, medical devices, sleep consultants, special mattresses, noise-cancelling machines. What is our problem?

The computer technician who’s allergic to technology – Phil Inkly, 36, now lives in the woods because, he says, gadgets give him nosebleeds, blackouts, and many other unpleasant things.

Today’s Quote:

“Associate with well-mannered persons and your manners will improve. Run around with decent folk and your own decent instincts will be strengthened.”

–      Stanley Walker

Today’s Free Downloads:

Dropbox 1.5.9 Experimental – Dropbox is a useful tool that will enable you to instantly store your files online and share them. It can also synchronize the files from your offline directories and online storage. Latest beta.

Better Explorer – If you’re eager to get a sense of what Windows Explorer will look like in Windows 8–or simply want a different and more powerful alternative to Windows 7’s file management tool–consider this free project of the CodePlex open-source community.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 25, 2012

  1. Fred

    Bill I get an education here. There is so much fascinating information that I read and read, and I use the quotes in emails, hehehe people think, “WOW where do you find that one” what are also very good are the so-called, “off topic” articles. This Kaspersky story is just riveting, I would have NEVER read it save for you. Thanks. I do read with an eye to the basic premise of Tech Thoughts and this leaped out at me from the Kaspersky story:

    “If it encounters a suspicious program or a message it doesn’t recognize—and the user has opted to be part of the Kaspersky Security Network—it sends an encrypted sample of the virus to the company’s servers. The cloud-based system automatically checks the code against a “whitelist” of 300 million software objects it knows to be trustworthy, as well as a “blacklist” of 94 million known malicious objects. If the code can’t be found on either of these lists, the system analyzes the program’s behavior—looking at whether it’s designed to make unauthorized changes to the computer’s configuration options, for example, or whether it constantly pings a remote server.”

    The other day I was using, JOYOUSLY, the Bleachbit which you found for us and which gave me some peace of mind after finding out about the new HTML5 related spyware, when MSE popped up a little window about the Bleachbit saying, IIRC: “We do not recognize this…send it to us for examination” well my computer runs often at 100% of CPU usage and overheats so I couldn’t click send and had to click CANCEL and then shut the thing down. But I have rechecked the executable for Bleachbit with MBAM and SUPER and updated db of MSE and it always shows clean. That is the first time MSE has ever asked to have me send a file to them. What do you make of that? You always get me thinking Bill, and that is a GOOD thing.
    Best to you, as always,

    • Hi Fred,

      You have elected to be part of Microsoft’s MAPS service which automatically reports potential malware to Microsoft. You can elect not to be part of this service by changing the agreement in MSE’s “Settings”. I think this is of value to all of us – so, I’d advise leaving the settings as is.

      Good to hear you’re staying ahead of the game. 🙂