Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 20, 2012

How to Supercharge Your PC With a RAM Disk – Want the speed of a solid-state drive without the expense? You might be able to set up a virtual hard drive in your PC by creating a RAM disk. Here’s how to do it.

Create one-click desktop shortcuts for Web sites in Chrome – Want quick access to your favorite sites or services on the Web? Here’s how to add a shortcut you can click from the desktop or taskbar.

Google’s Nexus 7 tablet gets an all-in-one toolkit – Google’s indigenously designed Nexus 7 tablet is all the rage for devs – much like Mountain View’s Android OS which allows the community to code a never-ending stream of hacks, mods and tweaks. Recently, an XDA dev known as “mskip” created a digital tool kit that will make it even easier for enthusiasts to tweak their Nexus 7 tablets.

Home networking explained, part 2: Optimizing your Wi-Fi network – There are a few ways to make sure you get the best out of your Wi-Fi network. With some, you just need to do a little bit of tweaking; with others, depending on your home, you might need to get extra equipment. Let’s start with the ways that probably won’t cost you anything, other than a little bit of time.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google Maps Expands Transit Info – The new version of Google Maps for Android includes public transport information for almost 500 cities around the world.

India Temporarily Restricts Use of SMS, Blocks Certain Websites – India has asked Internet service providers to block certain websites and restricted users from sending bulk SMSes for two weeks after threatening content caused panic across the country, official sources said. About 156 websites were blocked by Internet service providers (ISPs) at the instructions of the government over the weekend, in line with their license rules, said Rajesh Chharia, president of Internet Service Providers Association of India on Monday.

U.S. viewers watched 36.9 billion online videos in July – Millions of Americans watched billions of videos online in just one month, and their favorite platform was Google, followed by Facebook. They also watched nearly 10 billion video ads.

School cafeteria’s palm scanner is ‘mark of beast,’ says parent – An elementary school in Louisiana introduces a palm scanner to help kids pay more quickly for their lunch. Parents are seriously freaked. Seriously.

Infidelity at trade shows? It’s a concern, says a survey – A survey suggests that many worry something bad will happen at a trade show — with 66 percent afraid their partner could cheat.

Motorola files new patent claims against Apple – Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, has filed new patent claims against Apple. They include the assertion that Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, is based on Motorola technology.

The 20 Best Skyrim Mods (So Far) – Frustrated with Skyrim’s PC user interface? Bored with its one-dimensional artificial intelligence routines? Looking for dragons that actually put up a fight, or maybe the option to summon one yourself? These best-in-show mods are aimed squarely at you.

Five ways Windows 8 overhauls the PC – Windows 8 makes numerous and substantial changes to how we use computers. Here are the most important ones that you’ll have to get used to.

Security:

Shamoon Malware Steals Data, Overwrites MBR – A new piece of malware known as Shamoon that has the ability to destroy files on infected machines and overwrite the master boot record has researchers scratching their heads, wondering what the tool’s purpose might be and why the attackers behind it would destroy infected PCs. There are some indications that the malware could be related to Wiper, but researchers believe this is a red herring.

Financial Institutions Are Losing Clients As A Result Of A Single Fraud Attack – Third annual Guardian Analytics and Ponemon Institute ‘Business Banking Trust Study’ detects widespread fraud and loss of funds

Researcher Finds iPhone Bug Allows SMS Spoofing – The iPhone SMS app contains a quirky bug that could allow someone to send a user a text message that appears to come from any number that the sender specifies. The researcher who discovered the bug said that it could be used by attackers to spoof messages from a bank or credit card company and send the victim to a target site controlled by the attacker.

Company News:

Twitter announces API update, new rules for developers – Twitter has announced the upcoming release of the newest version of its API and a number of new and stricter rules that have left many developers of apps for its platform disgruntled.

Google Sweetens Bug Bounty Pot – Google officials say that they will be handing out bonuses on top of existing rewards to security researchers who report especially troublesome flaws as part of their bug bounty program.

Microsoft cures ‘hiccup’ that stopped Windows Phone apps installing – Developers can now resume publishing their apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace, after Microsoft fixes a problem with digital certificates.

Facebook’s IPO Disaster Raises Speculation About Zuckerberg’s Future – Talk has turned to whether a seasoned business person could better lead Facebook, while 28-year-old Zuckerberg, with his gray t-shirts and hoodies, could focus on the technology.

Fluke Networks adds remote analyzer capability to wireless LAN tools – Fluke Networks announced a new remote analysis capability for its portable WLAN tools, making them the first to enable both real-time troubleshooting and spectrum analysis of remote wireless networks.

Why is Apple scared to compete with Samsung? – When did Apple get so frightened of Android that it decided to try to sue the competition into the ground instead of competing with them in the marketplace?

Microsoft reorganizes its Server and Tools unit – Now that Windows Server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012 are starting to roll out to customers, Microsoft is making some org changes to the unit that built the products.

Webopedia Daily:

Faceosphere – A loosely used slang term to describe the emerging Facebook ecosystem of application developers, groups, bloggers, innovators and so on. Similar to the term blogosphere, faceosphere is used to describe the people and events connected both inside and outside of the popular social networking service, Facebook.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Bad assumptions about cloud computing and the Patriot Act – It’s a common — and dangerous — assumption that the Patriot Act gives the U.S. government unprecedented access to your data. But where the data lives with regard to physical location of the cloud, service provider, or its facilities does not limit the government’s access.

Hackers Backdoor the Human Brain – Lie detectors have been around for some time, but up until now, they required users to answer questions verbally. Researchers at the Useneix security conference have gone a step further. By measuring the brain’s P300 response, which occurs when you recognize something, researchers were able to glean where a person banked, where they lived, and even what their pin number might be just by showing them a series of images. It isn’t quite mind reading, but it is close.

Can Microsoft Fail? – Let’s get a few things straight. Even if Windows 8 is a huge dog and bombs the way Vista did, it will not matter. There is still nothing out there that can take Microsoft out of the game. Apple has the only other quality operating system out there, and it is proprietary and still more expensive.

Socially Savvy Despots – The seemingly limitless power of social media to connect disparate populations is undeniable. You can see it transforming the world on the streets of Cairo and on Kickstarter message boards. That said, there are some bad guys on social media, too. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez considered banning Twitter two years ago, but chose to join instead. Now he has three million followers. He isn’t alone, either. PCMag found some of the worst people to follow on earth. You also shouldn’t follow them on Twitter.

Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire – AGD Interactive has rescued this fading star from obscurity with a slick remake, keeping the golden age experience intact while elevating the visuals and user interface to relevancy once again.

Today’s Quote:

“The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool.”

–       Jane Wagner

Today’s Free Downloads:

FotoMix 9.0.2 – FotoMix is a versatile program that allows you to mix and manipulate different pictures, to create a wide variety of images.

Soluto – Frustrated by your sluggish and unresponsive PC? Soluto is bringing an end to PC user frustration with transparency, killer technology, and your help.

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