Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 31, 2012

Five portable security apps you should carry on your USB drive – Security is one area where portable apps can make a big difference. But there are so many to choose from, it’s hard to piece together a collection of tools that best fit your needs. To that end, I want to introduce you to some portable security apps you might never have heard of. Even if you only take away one or two of these tools, your portable security toolkit will have improved significantly.

Turn Chrome’s New Tab Into a Stylish Clock and Weather Station – When you open a new tab in Google’s Chrome browser, you typically see thumbnails of your most-visited sites or a collection of Chrome apps. Those are handy options, to be sure, but there are other useful ways to take advantage of that “tab estate.” For example: Currently, a Chrome extension that displays a clock and weather forecast whenever you open a new tab. A rather sexy clock and weather forecast, too.

5 Online Privacy Intrusions You Don’t Know About, and Should – Governments, retailers, wireless carriers, and others collect and use your personal data in ways you may not be aware of. Here’s what you can do about it.

Automatically delete private data from Google Chrome – Not (only) for paranoids, the free browser add-on Click&Clean automatically removes sensitive private data from Google Chrome.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Facebook update aims to beautify its Photos service – Facebook has once again redesigned the look of its Photos service. This time, the company is attempting to beautify the look of Photos on your Timeline, as well as the Timeline of anyone’s profile you stumble upon. The new landing page is just an update of the old one: it has all of a Facebook user’s photos on one page, which Facebook friends can easily Like and comment on.

Google Upgrades Gmail Video Chat With Hangouts – The new video chat feature, based on Hangouts feature from Google+, will be available for phones and tablets as well as browsers.

Microsoft adds Facebook-friend tagging to Bing searches – Bing now lets you tag your Facebook friends while searching so you can ask directly about queries.

The New Kindle Fire: What We Know – According to reports, the new larger Fire will have a quad core processor, front-facing camera, micro USB port, and maybe even an HDMI-out port. The new Fire is also expected to have more design verve. Predictors say it will be lighter and thinner and shed its five-and-dime looks with a new casing made of metal instead of plastic.

The End of the iPod (Thank God!) – This will probably be the last year that the iPod means much to anyone. Its last vestige seems to be the cute little iPod wristwatch lash-up using the nano. However, as the iPod fades, I say good riddance. Its real legacy is that the entire country will now have to put up with a generation of half-deaf Americans.

Apple to Mountain Lion users: “Tell us who your friends are if you want to talk to us.” – When you use the keyboard dictation feature on your computer, the things you dictate will be recorded and sent to Apple to convert what you say into text. (recommended by Dave B.)

Where are the Safari security updates for Windows and Snow Leopard? – Apple released Safari 6 as part of its new Mac operating system, OS X Mountain Lion, as well as a version for Lion that fixes a whopping 121 security vulnerabilties. But what about Windows and Snow Leopard? It seems Apple is leaving users of them behind.

Web Browser Weaknesses Make Tracking Easy – Researcher kicks off effort to catalog all the ways that browsers and popular add-ons can be used to track users.

Ubisoft Updates DRM Following Malware Intrusion – Game publisher Ubisoft has already caught flack for its games’ digital rights management (DRM), which requires an Internet connection to play, but today the company felt some heat when its always-connected DRM opened some players to malware.


Fake Groupon discount emails carry malware – Cybercriminals have spammed out malware, attached to emails claiming to be related to discounts for offers on Groupon.

Email from disgruntled buyer leads to eBay phishing page – The website hosts a fake eBay login page. Once the victims enter their login credentials and press the “Sign In” button, they are redirected to the legitimate eBay website. Their credentials are forwarded to the phishers, who will then use them to hijack the victims’ eBay accounts and use them for their own malicious purposes.

“Almost every Android device is compromised” turns out to be only almost true – A security expert recently made an astonishing claim at a North American security event: one in three Android apps is malware-infected, and almost all devices are compromised. Sounds like terrible news for Android users – but is it true?

Millions of Mobile Phone Users’ Data Leaked in South Korea Scam – Two men have been arrested in South Korea for allegedly leaking the information of almost nine million of the nation’s mobile phone users, including details of the users’ monthly plans, according to a report issued by the Korea National Police Agency’s (KNPA) Cyber Terror Response Center (CTRC) over the weekend.

New Morto Strain Emerges With File Infection Capability – A new strain of the Morto worm has added a file infection capability in addition to its existing ability to compromise remote desktop connections, according to new research from Microsoft.

Expert: Huawei routers are riddled with vulnerabilities – German security researcher says the Chinese government doesn’t need to demand back doors on Huawei routers because there are already major holes in their firmware.

Company News:

Voxbone Network’s Superb Voice Quality Enables Lexifone to Launch Automated Phone-Translation Service – Voxbone today announced it is enabling Lexifone to launch a real-time language-translation service that combines Lexifone’s innovative automated phone-interpreter technology with the superb clarity of Voxbone’s voice services. The new Lexifone service, aimed at consumers and businesses, allows each party in a telephone call to speak and be heard in his or her chosen language. It is being launched worldwide after availability to selected users in closed beta trials for the past five months.

Microsoft’s radical new business plan is hidden in plain sight – Microsoft is reimagining its entire business model, and they’ve laid out the details for anyone to inspect. You just have to read between the boilerplate sections in the company’s most recent 10-K.

Opera usage surges to 200 million users a month – The latest State of the Mobile Web report released by the firm states that over 200 million mobile users across the globe are taking advantage of the Opera browsers on a monthly basis.

Facebook Spars With Advertiser Over Click Fraud Allegation – Facebook said Monday it has defenses in place to detect click fraud despite one company’s claim it detected suspicious clicks on its advertisements billed to it by the social-networking site.

Yahoo’s Levinsohn Leaves, as Expected, After Mayer Gets Top Job – Ross Levinsohn, who served as Yahoo’s interim CEO for about two months until the company hired former Google executive Marissa Mayer on July 16, will leave the company on Tuesday.

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):

The truth behind those Nigerian 419 scammers – Why would 419 scammers say they’re Nigerian, even if they are as American as apple pie? Michael Kassner provides some insight as to why.

A Guide to F**king Up in the Digital Age – Fair or not, your missteps will be remembered more clearly than your successes because negative emotion creates stronger, more accurate memories. This doesn’t provide a safe environment for the occasional slip up, and so we tend to try and be perfect. This is the wrong approach, and one that causes more mistakes than it prevents. In this post, we’re going to look at why that is and how you can actually screw up effectively.

Why do Music Labels Want Useless Weapons? – The RIAA knew SOPA and PIPA were useless, yet supported them anyway. Most music files are swapped offline. So why is the RIAA still asking ISPs to spy on us?

The Internet Is Disrupting Every Sector, But at Different Rates – Internet and cloud computing are having a significant impact on businesses in all sectors. Michael J. Miller offers key points from top tech executive-led panels at this year’s Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech 2012. As Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreessen puts it, “software eats the world,” meaning that software is changing all sorts of industries.

Mobile Security Is a No-Win Game When Cyber-Criminals Have the Upper Hand – Mobile security is at best a zero-sum game in which the bad guys are the only ones with a positive payoff potential. Corporate network and data security managers can only hope to keep cyber-crooks at bay.

Smart tricks to help stay focused – Each new school year brings new challenges — and new distractions. It’s harder than ever to stay focused on work or on studying, but there are old and new tricks to help keep our mind on the game.

Today’s Quote:

“People will forget what you do. People will forget what you say. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

–      Charlie Coffey

Today’s Free Downloads:

ManyCam – 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.

SlimCleaner – SlimCleaner is the world’s first software that lets you clean and optimize Windows systems using a crowd-sourced approach. SlimCleaner uses aggregated-cloud feedback to recommend optimal settings for programs, start-ups and services.

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