Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 22, 2012

Want Security and Privacy? Turn Off Your Mobile Devices’ GPS – Security experts are making the strong argument to turn off mobile devices’ GPS functions unless really needed. GFI Software this week came out with a report that described how apps created by the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns as outreach to potential voters are designed to be able to capture GPS information related to the user’s device, among other personal information.

Virus Protection and a Whole Lot More – Daily Safety Check installs its own managed antivirus, a modified version of GFI VIPRE Antivirus 2012, but the service does more than just manage antivirus protection. It checks for security updates to Windows and 20-odd high-risk programs, automatically pushing patches to your system if necessary. It watches for hack attacks, both blocking them and sending you an email alert. And it keeps track of your hard drive’s health, alerting you if the drive shows signs of going bad.

Installing Windows 8 on your old PC could turn it into Greased Lightning – My ZDNet colleague and long-time friend Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols thinks that old PCs need Microsoft’s latest operating system upgrade like a hole in the head. I fervently disagree.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Password Resets on Email Key to Online Compromise – Think it’s difficult to take over someone’s personal identity? Not so much if you have the right information–like, say, an email address.

Three More Browser Shortcuts You Should Know – Recently I’ve offered up keyboard shortcuts for accessing browser downloads and instantly bookmarking any Web page. Useful stuff, to be sure, but there are even more browser shortcuts worth learning. Today it’s all about navigation — using your keyboard to work in and around your browser without reaching for the mouse. Learn to adopt these shortcuts and you’ll enjoy a faster, more productive browsing experience. These shortcuts work in all the major browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

How to Sell Your iPhone Safely – Getting ready to upgrade? Here’s how to safeguard the data on your old iPhone and where you can sell it.

Microsoft Starts Taking Orders for $14.99 Windows 8 Upgrade – Microsoft on Monday began taking orders for the $14.99 Windows 8 upgrade promised to customers who purchased a new Windows 7-powered PC in the last 11 weeks.

7 VPN Services You Should Know About – Protect your data and your identity no matter where you are connecting to the internet with one of these virtual private network services. Unlike corporate VPN clients, setting up and using a VPN service is hassle-free, since everything is taken care of. In many cases, there is no password required, making it truly a click-and-go experience. The prices are also reasonable, ranging from free to affordable, with monthly and annual subscriptions available. Some services even offer day-by-day plans.

Add a Snooze Button to Gmail With Snooze Your Email – This free Chrome extension offers the same basic features as a service that costs $50 per year. And it works with Yahoo, too.

Only a few hours remain to give your opinion on proposed UK “Snooper’s Charter” – Time is rapidly running out for people to submit their comments to the UK government, about draft legislation which could allow police and intelligence services to spy on who you have been emailing, and what websites you have been visiting. Here’s how to have your say.


Naked Prince Harry pics – be careful what you click on! – The internet seems to have caught fire after celeb gossip website TMZ posted what appeared to be images of Prince Harry caught playing “strip billiards” with a bunch of party girls in a Las Vegas hotel suite. There’s no doubt that Prince Harry is popular with young women, and even if the third-in-line to the British throne isn’t your cup of ginger-infused tea there are plenty of internet users who may feel tempted to see what all the fuss is about. If you’re one of those people, please be careful.

Mac malware Crisis can spread to different environments – Nearly a month ago a number of security companies have analyzed a new Mac Trojan that opens a backdoor into the affected computer and spies on the user by monitoring mouse coordinates, instant messenger apps, the built-in webcam and microphone, clipboard contents, pressed keys, calendar data and alerts, address book contents, URLs visited by the user, and other things. Symantec’s researchers have continued analyzing the file, and have recently discovered that the Windows version of the threat uses three methods to spread itself: to a removable disk drive, to a VMware virtual machine, and to a Windows Mobile device.

8 Simple Tips for Mac Security – It’s hard to deny that Macs are pretty darn secure. According to Sophos, there are four known viruses on OS X, compared to 80,000 on Windows. That said, Macs aren’t invincible by any means. We’ve put together some easy ways you can secure your Mac systems and personal data. They’re listed in order of paranoia—the first two are mandatory really, while the last few are tailored to the extremely security-conscious.

Israeli firms targeted by cyber extortionists – While Iranian systems seem mostly targeted with state-sponsored espionage malware, Israeli businesses and financial institutions mostly fear cyber extortionists. According to Haaretz’ Tamir Cohen, there has recently been a wave of successful extortion attempts. But not all the attackers manage to breach their targets’ internal systems – or need to, it seems.

Company News:

Everything Everywhere to Roll Out U.K.’s First 4G Network – U.K. regulators awarded highly coveted 4G spectrum to Everything Everywhere (EE), which will be the first provider to offer 4G service in the U.K.

Hulu Content May Change This Fall, Report Says – The video streaming site puts together a contingency plan in case the network partners are able to take full control.

10 Ways Apple Is Disappointing Its Customers – Not everyone–even some of Apple’s customers–is enamored with the company and its products. For some, Apple’s product line falls short. From the company’s outdated Mac Pro to its archaic policies that aim to keep customers blindly loyal, the iPhone maker has some work to do if it wants to truly satisfy all customers. Here we take a look at some of the issues.

Amazon Launches Glacier Cloud Storage Service – Amazon Web Services this week launched a low-cost storage service that is optimized for data archiving and backup. Amazon Glacier provides customers with data storage beginning at $0.01 per gigabyte per month, and charges for only the space that is used.

Google Denies Paying Bloggers in Android-Java Case – Oracle revealed that it has been paying Germany-based copyright specialist Florian Mueller as a tweeting and blogging consultant to explain its side of the story. The company alleged that Google also pays bloggers to advocate.

Webopedia Daily:

Grid Computing – A form of networking. Unlike conventional networks that focus on communication among devices, grid computing harnesses unused processing cycles of all computers in a network for solving problems too intensive for any stand-alone machine. A well-known grid computing project is the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) @Home project, in which PC users worldwide donate unused processor cycles to help the search for signs of extraterrestrial life by analyzing signals coming from outer space. The project relies on individual users to volunteer to allow the project to harness the unused processing power of the user’s computer. This method saves the project both money and resources.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Technology’s Dark Side: Devious Devices Designed to Harm You – From ATM skimmers that steal your money to hackable insulin pumps, technology does have a dark side. And the various forms of sneaky tech can have frightening consequences.

Are You Forwarding Hate Email As A Political Propaganda Tool? – Have you noticed that as the we ramp up for the U.S. Presidential election the hate email propaganda starts to roll in. I have been getting so much of it (mostly from personal acquaintances) that it actually makes me very uncomfortable and has me questioning the stability and IQ of our population. I sometimes feel like telling people who are into this method of brainwashing to go watch Fox TV for their daily dose of brainwashing, instead of trying to brainwash me and the thousands of others with these emails.

Want to Be a Great Leader? Start Reading – Even though global literacy rates are high (84%), people are reading less and less deeply. This trend is especially detrimental to those in leadership roles. As John Coleman explains, deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of great leaders, and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.

Metro: That’s Not My Name! – As most readers know, Microsoft has dropped the hipster name “Metro” from its new touch-centric Windows 8 offering. It’s now getting the kind of public thrashing Microsoft has never experienced, and it’s coming mainly from reviewers and columnists. Just wait until actual customers get hold of this upcoming turkey. I think the company wants to change the name because it’s a diminutive term for metrosexual and a mild insult to the androgynous generation of creepy look-alike couples. Other than that, it is plain stupid.

Early Warning – Published in 1915, Cleveland Moffett’s The Conquest of America imagined a German assault on the United States in 1921. Moffett had intended the novel as a warning of the importance of military preparedness, and it was quickly forgotten, but one passage would come to take on an eerie significance — an attack on Manhattan. (recommended by Michael F.)

Today’s Quote:

“You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.”

–     Sam Levenson

Today’s Free Downloads:

Windows 7 God Mode Tool – One of the secrets of Windows 7 that is undocumented by Microsoft is the secret option known as God Mode. GodMode is simply a hidden control panel that contains everything about Windows 7 configuration options and settings, all located in one place plus additional features that are not easily found in the ordinary Control Panel.

Audacity 2.0.2 RC4 – Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.


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