Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 27, 2012

Top 10 Clever Uses for Dropbox – Dropbox is an awesome service. You can back your files up to the cloud, sync them between computers, and share them with your friends. That’s not all it can do, though. Here are our top 10 favorite clever uses for our favorite file syncing program. If you don’t use Dropbox, don’t fret—you can do most of these things with any file syncer you want, whether it’s SkyDrive, Google Drive, Cubby, or something else.

Five Best Desktop Music Players – The best desktop audio players organize your playlists, help you keep your massive music collection easy to search, and even sync with mobile players, among other things, but which ones excel in all of those areas?

Dropbox Upgrades Security With Two-factor Authentication – The file-sharing utility Dropbox is now offering two-factor authentication, a system that makes it much harder for hackers to capture valid credentials for a person’s account.

Hurricane survival apps to keep you safe from the storm – Hear all those dire warnings and doomsday scenarios from the weather experts on TV when a hurricane is about to strike? What happens when the power is out or it’s time for a commercial? Now you can take matters literally into your own hands and do the tracking yourself.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Are the Feds Stalking You on Facebook? – Not to get paranoid, but we try to determine why a Bostonian discovered mystery Facebook logins from Washington, D.C., some 450 miles away.

YouTube Allegdly Testing New ‘Moodwall’ for Video Viewing – To better help users find videos that relate to the kinds of things they want to watch, YouTube appears to be testing out a new feature called the “Moodwall.” This element goes one step above YouTube’s standard channels and categories, as it allows users to now select a “vibe” or feeling that they want to try and achieve within the videos themselves – selections like “funny,” “gross,” “inspiring,” or “catchy,” to name a few.

iPad Mini Rumor Mill Heats Up – If you just can’t wait for a smaller Apple tablet to arrive on the scene, the latest rumor suggests you might be waiting longer than tech watchers first thought.

Windows 8 $15 Upgrade Offer: FAQs for Recent PC Buyers – Have you recently purchased a new computer? Here’s what you need to know about upgrading to Windows 8 at the discounted price.

16 Awesome Free Games – Looking for a little entertainment that won’t break the bank? From browser-based puzzlers to downloadable shoot-’em-ups, we have a free game that’s just right for you in our latest roundup.

USB Swiss Army Drives Lose Security, Prompting Refund – Swiss army knife maker Victorinox has decided to take the sting out of ditching support for the security software in its range of USB-knife drives by offering customers a full refund. In a message posted to Facebook but not apparently anywhere else, the company said customers unhappy with the ending of the security features on the company’s combined penknife/flash memory drives could send them back for a refund. “Ultimately, if you simply aren’t happy with the product based on this development and would like to return it, we understand,” read the announcement.

Apple Attempts to Remove All Trace of its Crappy Genius Ads from the Internet – Remember when we said Apple’s new marketing campaign was a “complete embarrassment”? Well apparently they agree with us. Apple has apparently removed all trace of its three genius ads from their website, and even the official YouTube channel. We can only hazard to guess that the company realized stereotyping its customers and clueless, needy, and panic stricken probably wasn’t the quickest way to their hearts, and cooler heads prevailed.


Java zero day allegedly spotted in the wild – FireEye’s Malware Intelligence Lab is making the claim that there is a new zero day vulnerability in the wild that affects the latest version of Java. Researcher Atif Mushtaq wrote on the company’s blog that he spotted the initial exploit on a domain that pointed to an IP address in China. A quick search showed that the server at this IP address had been responsible for serving other forms of malware in the past. At the time of writing, the server was either refusing or being non-responsive to browser requests, but it is still online.

iPhone SMS Bug Remains Threat – Security on the iPhone is heavily dependent on Apple’s ability to vet all third-party apps before users download them. But a French hacker claims he has found a flaw in the smartphone’s text messaging service that bypasses the safeguard. The hacker, who calls himself “pod2g” and is best known for jailbreaking iPhones, says the vulnerability could let an attacker send a message pretending to be from a bank, credit card company, or other trusted source.

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.

Saudi Aramco Restores Internal Network After Malware Attack – Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national energy company, said on Sunday it had repaired 30,000 workstations infected with a malicious virus earlier this month.

Company News:

Legal analysts suggest Apple-Samsung verdict may not be safe – Some experts poring over statements of Apple-Samsung jury members and details of their judgment suggest that the verdict could be overturned.

HP Losses Continue to Mount – HP reported its third quarter fiscal 2012 earnings late Wednesday, including a massive $8.9 billion dollar net earnings loss. For the quarter, HP reported net revenue of $29.7 billion, for a 5 percent year-over-year decline. HP’s decline is due to a number of factors, including a challenging macro-economic climate and a slowing PC business. Despite the challenges, CEO Meg Whitman pledged during the company’s earnings call that she is still on track to improving her company’s fortunes.

Samsung Wants Galaxy Tab Ban Lifted in the US After Apple Patent Verdict – Samsung Electronics asked a Californian court on Sunday to lift a preliminary ban on sales of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the U.S., after a jury found that Samsung does not infringe on an Apple design patent. Samsung also said it wants Apple to pay damages for lost sales.

Apple’s True Intentions Behind the Samsung Suit – It’s not all about the damages. Apple is using this high-profile trial to send the message to its competitors that, regardless of the outcome, it will go to great lengths to protect its intellectual property.

How RIM Can Be Saved: CEO Heins Speaks Out – With the future of his company very much in doubt, Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins sat down with eWEEK to talk about where RIM went wrong and what it’s now doing right. The BlackBerry experience was once so addictive it earned the smartphones a special nickname: CrackBerries. Can RIM get us hooked again?

Startup Branch Offers Place to Chat – Can another service find a fit in the crowded social networking world? Branch, still in beta, has backers who believe it has found a route. buys for $300M – IAC’s search business buys the content site for US$300 million in cash, noting that synergies between both companies will boost profitability of About and credibility of Ask.

Webopedia Daily:

Assistive Technology – Assistive technology (AT) is a generic term used to refer to a group of software or hardware devices by which people with disabilities can access computers. They can be specially developed and marketed devices or off-the-shelf products that have been modified. Assistive technology can include devices such as alternate keyboards and mice, voice recognition software, monitor magnification software, multiple switch joysticks, and text-to-speech communication aids.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The Internet in 1969 (video 1:57) – This is amazingly close, give or take some details. Considering anything resembling the Internet we know today was about 25 years in the future, this was remarkably prescient.

Darpa Has Seen the Future of Computing … And It’s Analog – Through its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), the DoD is funding a new program called UPSIDE, short for Unconventional Processing of Signals for Intelligent Data Exploitation. Basically, the program will investigate a brand-new way of doing computing without the digital processors that have come to define computing as we know it. The aim is to build computer chips that are a whole lot more power-efficient than today’s processors — even if they make mistakes every now and then. (recommended by Michael F.)

Canada Will Beat U.S. to Cashless Economy – Single-payer health care may make Canada a socialist pariah in the eyes of U.S. conservatives. But when it comes to keeping money flowing out of consumers’ pockets and into merchants’ coffers—a key characteristic of any thriving capitalist economy—Canada has its neighbor south of the border beat.

9 Android Products That Are Just Plain Weird – Google’s Android OS is the dominant smartphone OS in the country right now, but that isn’t the only product line it is tapping into these days. Last week, Nikon announced a camera that uses Android as its OS. Android will also run the in-flight entertainment system for the upcoming Boeing Dreamliner passenger planes. PCMag found some of the other bizarre place Android is showing up. Check them out here.

Women are teachable, c.1940s – Booklet that was intended to assist male bosses in supervising their new female employees at RCA plants.

Frankenstein Malware – the future of cyberwar, or just a catchy headline? – A paper on “Frankenware” presented at a recent USENIX conference offers to help you build new malware entirely out of code sequences which already appear on your victim’s computer. Bankrolled at least in part by the US Air Force, and openly touted by its authors as “a powerful tool for active defense (e.g., offensive cyber-operations),” this internet-era Modern Prometheus story has been widely covered in the technology media, often with a degree of admiration bordering on breathlessness.

Today’s Quote:

“There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.”

–     Bertrand Russell

Today’s Free Downloads:

Mousotron – Have you ever wondered how many mouse clicks and keypresses you make every day? Did you ever pause to think about how many miles your mouse cursor moves across the screen every week? If you’re curious about these numbers, look to free utility Mousotron for the answers.

Ezvid – Video editor designed to be a quick and easy solution to creating YouTube videos, can make a finished video or slideshow in less than five minutes. Ezvid supports JPG, PNG, GIF, and other still images, as well as all mainstream video formats including AVI, WMV, and MOV.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

3 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 27, 2012

  1. delenn13

    I know someone requested I keep an eye out for free/sales on Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.. I don’t recall ever seeing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware any lower than this amount it while you can….

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO Lifetime License PC Software with a 40% off Discount Coupon Code – World Class Malware Detection and Prevention!

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    Back to canning and reaping the benefits of my garden. Good things grow in Ontario….

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Terrific price for such a high quality app. Wouldn’t be without it on my machines. Thanks for that.

      Sounds like you’ve got some work ahead of you – but, deep in the Winter you’ll be munching on Summer’s goodies. How cool is that?



  2. Pingback: August 27, 2012 – Bill Mullins' Weblog – Tech Thoughts | Personal Tech Gadget Reviews