Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 15, 2012

SkyDrive Web App Gets a Makeover, Android App Coming – All users of should see the new interface within 24 hours. As you might expect, the makeover has a similar aesthetic to the Windows 8 user interface (formerly known as “Metro”), with a big grid of colorful rectangles that represent files and folders. Users can also switch to a more traditional list view of their files.

Boost Google Drive productivity – Convert the text of an e-mail into a Google Docs file automatically, save storage space by deleting old file versions, download all your data in a ZIP file, limit file syncs, and learn the only keyboard shortcut you’ll ever have to remember.

Google+ Rolls Out Vanity URLs to Verified Users – Google has begun rolling out vanity URLs to a small group of verified users, allowing for easier search access of the profiles of Britney Spears, Toyota, and David Beckham.

New Facebook app Facedeals scans your face to offer you deals – Everyone loves a discount, especially if you get the money-off code sent straight to your phone without having to do anything. Well, that is, apart from allowing your face to be scanned.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Survey says: People do care about their privacy – Finally, someone asked users how important it was to remain private while online. Michael Kassner shares what the research team found, including some surprises.

Why you can’t live without Google Talk – Google Talk could be the stickiest Google App feature ever. David Politis explains why.

LogMeIn Hamachi – If you’re looking for a VPN (virtual private network) that’s easy to use and requires no hardware, LogMeIn Hamachi is definitely worth a look. It’s hosted–LogMeIn handles all the traffic control and network chores via its own Internet portal/service–and it works well for up to five PCs.

VoIP Buying Guide for Small Business – Ready to throw Ma Bell from the train? Allow us to lend you a hand. We discuss the pros and cons of VoIP, and offer a look at available options.

Malaysians Fight Internet Law Update With Web Blackout – Participants blackened their home screens to protest the amendment to Section 114A of the Evidence Act, which was revised in April. The changes place all responsibility on website owners for any defamatory comments posted on the site. The amendment says that anyone can bring legal or criminal action against social networkers, mobile device owners, and even Wi-Fi network service providers who post defamatory comments on any website.

Do Not Track: has Microsoft outwitted competitors Google and Facebook? – With a deft side step, Microsoft appears to have outflanked Do Not Track opponents, like Google and Facebook who depend on tracking for their advertising.

Saudi Arabia Objects to .gay, .wine and Many Other Proposed GTLDs – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia objected this week to a variety of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) ranging from .porn and .sexy to .wine and .bar and .bible, according to records of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

YTD Video Downloader – The name has changed, but the functionality remains the same. Save streaming videos for later viewing with this apt freeware app.


Kaspersky Wants Help Decrypting Gauss Malware – Think you have what it takes to crack the Gauss malware? Kaspersky Lab wants your help.

Elections Expected to Draw Hacktivist Attacks – Traditional news companies and other websites covering this year’s presidential election are preparing for a flood of web traffic over the coming months, and not just from political junkies. Politically motivated hacktivist attacks have become a top concern among companies providing election coverage online.

Mysterious Font Left by Malware Befuddles – Palida Narrow is a new font that the recently discovered Gauss malware installs on machines it infects. And as Dennis Fisher, writing on Kaspersky Lab’s Threatpost blog, noted late last week, “Researchers have been unable to figure out yet what the purpose of the font is, but … its presence on a PC is a good indicator of a Gauss infection.”

Company News:

Samsung Grows Lead Over Apple, Smartphones Now Majority of Sales – Samsung could barely keep up with demand for the Galaxy S III during the second quarter, according to Gartner. Samsung sold 90.4 million phones overall, more than half of which were smartphones, while the market sagged.

Sony Unveils Free Version of Vanguard Saga of Heroes – Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) today announced a free-to-play version of Vanguard Saga of Heroes, and unveiled new details about the next DC Universe Online DLC.

Oracle updates Java, supports OS X, claims full and timely updates for Apple users – Back in April, Apple came under fire for delaying an update to Java until the Flashplayer malware got loose. Let’s hope that’s a thing of the past, with Oracle publishing Java for OS X directly, and promising patches for OS X at the same time that they come out on Windows.

Bitcoin trading platform sued by members for $460,000 – Four Bitcoin users are suing the coin exchange for $460,000 USD, accusing the now frozen Bitcoin trading platform Bitcoinica for breach of contract and negligence.

UK Clears Facebook Acquisition of Instagram – The U.K Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has reviewed the anticipated acquisition of photo sharing service Instagram by Facebook and decided to approve the merger, an OFT spokesman said on Wednesday.

Webopedia Daily:

NTSC – Short for National Television System Committee. The NTSC is responsible for setting television and video standards in the United States (in Europe and the rest of the world, the dominant television standards are PAL and SECAM). The NTSC standard for television defines a composite video signal with a refresh rate of 60 half-frames (interlaced) per second. Each frame contains 525 lines and can contain 16 million different colors. The NTSC standard is incompatible with most computer video standards, which generally use RGB video signals. However, you can insert special video adapters into your computer that convert NTSC signals into computer video signals and vice versa.

Off Topic (Sort of):

A paper-based backup solution (not as stupid as it sounds) – If you’re holding off on buying a new hard drive until prices return to normal, here’s an idea: If you have a ream of A4/Letter paper and a high-resolution printer, an open-source Windows application lets you store up to 500KB — half a megabyte! — per side of paper. Called PaperBack, the app is basically a way of turning any file on your computer into a giant bitmap of data matrices — square barcodes that look similar to QR codes, but without the three “targets” around the edge. Each data matrix stores around 80 bytes of data, and with a 200 DPI printer you can squeeze 2400 matrices onto an A4 page, for a total of around 200 kilobytes. Pump the the DPI to 600 and the storage capacity of a double-sided sheet of paper jumps to 1 megabyte. (recommended by Michael F.)

Embarrassing Rich Kids of Instagram – The Tumblr called Rich Kids Of Instagram should have died a month ago when it went mainstream. Articles cropped up everywhere pointing out how it somewhat embarrasses rich kids who apparently like to brag about their personal unearned incomes. It all came to a head this week when Michael Dell’s kids shared their family’s travel plans on Instagram, posing a huge threat to their security.

For Back-to-School, In-Store Shopping Cheaper Than Online Buys – Online shopping is the greatest, right? You have instant access to everything you want and need, and don’t even have to get out of your pajamas. But despite the allure of the Internet, making a trip to the mall for back-to-school items might be your best bet if you’re looking to save money.

Trailer Provides Longer Look at New Star Trek Game – Paramount Pictures and Namco Bandai appeared at Gamescon in Germany today to show off a new trailer and screen shots for the upcoming Star Trek video game inspired by the 2009 Paramount film.

3D printed meat: It’s what’s for dinner – Peter Thiel’s philanthropic foundation gives up to $350,000 to a company named Modern Meadow, which plans to use 3D bioprinting to create an “edible prototype” that’s a meat replacement.

Today’s Quote:

“Under Capitalism, man exploits man; under Communism, it’s the other way around.”

–        John Kenneth Galbraith

Today’s Free Downloads:

Surf Anonymous Free – Surf Anonymous Free is the most advanced and reliable software for Internet users who want to ensure that their sessions and all online activities are secure and private. For instance, it is used to protect your sensitive data such as bank account information, private photos from being stolen and pried, or visit those websites, blogs and forums that once blocked you.

Google Translate for Android 2.5 – Translate text between more than 60 languages. Translate words and phrases between more than 60 languages using Google Translate for Android. For most languages, you can speak your phrases and hear the corresponding translations.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 15, 2012

  1. Dave B.

    In RE: New Facebook app Facedeals scans your face to offer you deals;

    That just has good idea written all over it doesn’t it…