Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 26, 2012

Best Windows security apps – Just because threats to your PC continue to mutate doesn’t mean that you must pay for your peace of mind. We’ve collected some of the top free security and privacy programs available that will keep your computer safer.

Best Windows utilities apps – The number of tools available to enhance Windows is enormous, so we’ve narrowed down a list of freeware essentials to get you going. We focus on seven key areas: defraggers, system cleaners, uninstallers, launchers and docks, and replacements for Notepad and Task Manager. “Essential extras” contains two must-have utilities that defy category and, for now, competition.

Benchmark Your Body: 8 Sites to Measure Your Fitness – Be it the speed at which we run, the power we output when we cycle, or simply the number of calories we burn, these sites will help you record it all, complete with graphs and charts to track your progress in the various activities you do to stay fit. Whatever your sports are, there’s sure to be one or more that will help you take your fitness to the next level. Pair them with your smartphone to get the most out of your workouts.

10 Ways to Customize Windows 8 – Microsoft’s operating system isn’t even fully released yet, but we’ve already got plenty to go on with Windows 8 Release Preview (and, if you’re a developer, Windows 8 RTM) to have a good idea about the many ways the new OS can be dolled up. In fact, one of the standout revelations of RTM was the new “tattoos” that can add personalized flourishes to your Start screen background.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

3 Reasons QWERTY phones are awesome – Sure, phones with keyboards are generally chunkier than their touchscreen-only counterparts, but in an age when people text more than talk, I’d say that physical keyboards are still pretty damn important. Here are three big reasons why you would want a phone with a QWERTY keyboard.

YouTube turns video editor once more, adds intros and outros – Taking another step into the world of professional video making, YouTube has added another new feature to the video-upload site.

Improve Your Media Center PC’s Power Management with Away Mode – Over the years I’ve remained a mostly steadfast fan of Windows Media Center, the baked-in software that turns your PC into an awesome companion for your TV. One area that’s always been a mystery, however, is power management. I don’t like letting my media center go to sleep because it (or the USB-connected tuner) sometimes fails to wake up properly, meaning my shows don’t get recorded. And I don’t like leaving it running 24/7 because that wastes a lot of power. Turns out Windows has a power setting that falls somewhere in between: Away Mode.

Windows 7 Forever! Why Windows 7 is the Next XP – We love Windows 7. With Windows XP reaching end of life for support in April 2014, the plan for most organizations is to upgrade — to Windows 7. But what do we actually love about Windows 7? Sometimes it’s easier to see its charms (no pun intended) when looking back from the newest OS. For me, Windows 8 has crystalized the five Windows 7 features I love most.

Researcher Raises Alarm Over Windows 8’s SmartScreen Filter – Windows 8, for those of you who don’t know, relies on something called SmartScreen Application Reputation to identify and warn users of potentially dangerous desktop apps. With SmartScreen providing an additional layer of security to Windows 8 users, they will have a lot less to worry about, right? Wrong, according to Canadian security researcher Nadim Kobeissi, who has a serious issue with the way the feature works.

‘Assange to be ARRESTED’ – British police in document dissemination gaffe – Look out! Hot on the oh-dear-that-wasn’t-supposed-to-happen heels of the organisation which allowed a password-and-a-half to be broadcast on Polish TV…come the British police. A uniformed police officer at a recent Assange-oriented press briefing fell under the lens of a Press Association snapper. The officer was carrying a clipboard, and zooming in on the paper under the clip revealed a meaningful snippet of what looks like the hapless copper’s dutifully-taken meeting notes.

Security:

Think Of A New Password? Some Would Rather Clean A Toilet! – A recent Harris Interactive poll revealed that 38% of us would rather clean a toilet than come up with one more user name or password. On the surface, that’s amusing because it identifies the frustration we all feel dealing with multiple user names and passwords. However, peeling away the layers of the “onion” so to speak, reveals the basic reason so many of us are vulnerable to hacking of our computers and Internet website accounts…we hate to adopt good security practices.

Browser Updates Fix Bugs, Weaknesses – In recent updates, Apple released Safari 6.0, Google let Chrome 21 loose, and Mozilla tackled memory bugs and a phishing attack.

Malware on Macs: why you should care – Everybody knows Macs don’t suffer from malware, so how come the Flashback Trojan managed to infect half a million Macs?

357 arrested in massive cybercrime sting in Philippines – Police in the Philippines have arrested more than 350 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals in a massive sting operation against a phone-based account takeover scam

How PDFs can infect your computer via Adobe Reader vulnerabilities (video) – Something as simple as opening a PDF file can infect your computer, and potentially allow malicious hackers to gain access to your corporate network. Cybercriminals create boobytrapped PDF files, exploiting vulnerabilities in PDF reading software such as Adobe Reader, and either spam them out to unsuspecting victims or plant them on websites where they lie in wait for visitors.

Company News:

iPad Mini to launch in October, says report – The rumored iPad Mini will launch sometime in October, following a launch of the next iPhone on September 12, according to a report.

Kodak to Sell Film Business – Clawing its way out of Chapter 11, Kodak announced Thursday that part of its restructuring includes the sale of its long-time film business

ITC ruling leaves one patent on table in Apple-Motorola dispute – The U.S. International Trade Commission rules that Apple did not violate three Motorola patents, but it sends a fourth patent back to the judge to reconsider.

Consumer Watchdog Group Barks at Google’s FTC Settlement, Files Motion in Court – Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit consumer education and advocacy organization operating out of California, has filed a motion in U.S. District Court opposing Google’s $22.5 million settlement with with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this month. The organization isn’t happy with the fine amount, but just as important, it doesn’t believe Google should be able to deny any wrongdoing.

Webopedia Daily:

Last Known Good Configuration – In versions NT and later of the Windows operating system (OS), a copy of a system’s hardware configuration and driver settings taken from the system’s registry when the OS successfully boots. This copy is stored in case a subsequent boot process fails, and the OS can use the record of the Last Known Good configuration to perform a successful boot. If Windows detects a problem in the boot process, it will add the Last Known Good configuration option to the start up menu. This configuration record often comes in handy after the installation of new drivers or devices, which may cause system errors. Each time the OS successfully boots, it replaces the previous Last Known Good configuration record with the new one from the most recent successful boot.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Apple’s big win over Samsung — what does it mean? – If it stands, a jury’s one-sided decision will impact consumers, vendors and the entire tech industry. But for now, it’s a wait-and-see game.

Top evidence in Apple v. Samsung according to juror (pictures) – Review some of the evidence and other trial highlights that stuck out in the minds of the Apple v. Samsung jury.

Could a ‘Printable Gun’ Change the World? – The Wiki Weapon Project wants to ‘save and export human rights’ with digital schematics for a working plastic gun that could be reproduced by anybody with a 3D printer.

Three-Minute Tech: 4K resolution – Think you’re seeing it all? Not when it comes to digital video. The resolution of current digital video offerings still falls short of what 35mm film offers. To get closer to film quality, we have to pack in more pixels. High-definition as we know it is no longer good enough–get ready for 4K resolution.

Today’s Quote:

“Nobody believes the official spokesman… but everybody trusts an unidentified source.”

–      Ron Nesen

Today’s Free Downloads:

FrostWire – FrostWire is a peer-to-peer file sharing program for the Gnutella and BitTorrent protocols. FrostWire is written in Java, and is a fork of LimeWire, another popular Gnutella client.

Avira AntiVir Rescue System – The Avira AntiVir Rescue System a linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to repair a damaged system, to rescue data or to scan the system for virus infections.

Audacity 2.0.2 – 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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