Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 31, 2012

How Secure Are You Online: The Checklist – Not all computer security is about tin foil hats and anonymous browsing. Everyone who uses a computer has a horse in the security race. For the purpose of this post, we’re breaking down online security into four essential parts: passwords, browsers, at-home Wi-Fi and networking, and browsing on public Wi-Fi. Within those categories we’ll give you a checklist of everything you should do, from the bare minimum to the tin-foil-hat best.

When Your PC is Likely Infected – Malware, once it has infected your PC, has a way of protecting itself. It may not want you to install a new antivirus program–or update your current one. So you need to scan your hard drive in a way that gets around the malware. The simplest way to do that is to do the scan outside of Windows.

Best remote tools for Android tablets – For any admin, having the ability to remote into machines at all times can be a blessing (and a curse). Tablets, especially those of the 4G variety, make this fairly easy. With the incredible portability and ever-growing speeds of tablet networking, these devices are great tools for admins when it comes to remote working. But with almost everything, there’s a caveat — with so many tools available, it’s hard to know which options are best. Let’s take a look at the remote solutions for the Android tablet platform that I’ve had the most success using.

Desktop wallpaper of Curiosity’s Mars images – In August 2012, NASA successfully landed a vehicle named Curiosity on the surface of Mars. The first images are starting to roll in to the NASA site and some of them make for some interesting otherworldly desktop wallpaper.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Five tools to tune up your typing skills – If your keyboard skills are a bit shaky (or nonexistent), these typing tools can help you become more proficient and productive.

Twitter’s Fake Followers: Influence For Sale – From Lady Gaga to Obama, paid tweets and inflated followings game online reputations and call the whole system into question.

Get more out of Gmail with Mail Labs features – Explore Google Mail Labs to add new capabilities or change how Google Mail works for the better.

Ineffective at small tasks means tablets have a long way to go – Patrick Gray shares his concerns that tablets have a long way to go before they are ready in the enterprise as a replacement device.

Scientists Warn of Brain Hacking Via BCI Gadgets – Captured electro-encephalography (EEG) signals from common consumer BCI devices can be mined to significantly increase the odds of guessing a user’s private information.

Google Adds Turn-by-Turn Bicycling Navigation to Maps Apps – Google today rolled out mobile, turn-by-turn voice-guided bicycling navigation in 10 countries.


Oracle releases out of cycle fixes for Java – Out of nowhere Oracle has released an emergency update to address the zero-day vulnerabilities being exploited by many different criminal groups. Surprisingly they included some previously unknown vulnerabilities that we can only assume may also have been in use in the wild.

AV-killing worm spreads via Facebook chat and IM clients – A rather industrious piece of malware that – among other things – paves the way for other malware by disabling AV solutions and software update modules has been spotted spreading via several Instant Messaging applications (ICQ, Skype, GTalk, Pidgin, MSN, YIM) and Facebook. The victims receive a message from an unknown user, offering a link to a funny or interesting video. If they follow it, the malware in question downloads automatically from the linked site and is executed.

How to Report Dangerous Websites – Why not actually do something about the fact that the site exists and other people can also stumble across it? In this type of situation I would suggest that you submit the site to multiple services which blacklist dangerous sites. Your submission may even lead to the site being taken off-line. (recommended by Michael F.)

Cross-platform Wirenet Trojan targets Mac and Linux users – Since Windows users constitute the majority of computer users around the world, most malware is designed to target that particular OS and software made for it. Still, every now and then, malware that eschews that oft trodden route turns up. Researchers from Russian security company Doctor Web have recently unearthed a password-stealing backdoor Trojan that targets specifically Linux and Mac OS X users.

Fake PayPal payment notifications carry malware – Millions of fake emails purportedly sent by PayPal have been hitting inboxes in the last few days, Webroot warns. The emails take the form of a notification about a received payment in the amount of $208, but does not say what the payment is for. Counting on the fact that the recipients will be curious about a payment that they weren’t expecting, the spammers offered an attachment that supposedly contains details about it. Unfortunately, the attached file is a backdoor Trojan, and the only positive thing about it is that it is currently detected by the majority of the most popular AV solutions out there.

Company News:

Galaxy S III Sales Spike After Patent Verdict – Customers seem to have rushed out to buy the Galaxy S III, even though it wasn’t affected by the patent case.

Nimbuzz To Bring Free Messaging To Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone Smartphones – In partnership with Nokia, Nimbuzz – one of the fastest-growing mobile instant messaging applications in the world – today announces it will bring its hit Nimbuzz Messenger app to all Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone smartphones. The new Nimbuzz Messenger features free SMS messaging, group instant messaging, picture sharing and more.

Apple rejects app for tracking U.S. drone strikes – Drone+, which tracks media reports of casualties and maps locations of drone strikes, was rejected by the App Store for “objectionable” content.

Tokyo Court: Samsung Didn’t Violate Apple Patent in Japan – A Tokyo court ruled Friday that Samsung did not infringe an Apple patent in a locally filed lawsuit, a minor victory for Samsung in the ongoing legal battles between the two companies.

Samsung goes all in with Windows 8 in new line of devices – Samsung unveiled a new line of Smart PCs and other devices today under the ATIV brand name, all ready to ship worldwide when Windows 8 launches in October. One thing that won’t be included is a rumored Start menu replacement utility.

Webopedia Daily:

Fedora – Fedora is a Linux operating system distribution developed and supported by the Fedora Project, an open source community formed in 2003 as a partnership between Red Hat and volunteer contributors. Red Hat Enterprise Linux branches for commercial use are based on Fedora, while the open source Fedora Linux OS itself is freely available for use and customization.

Off Topic (Sort of):

California to license self-driving cars – Californian senators have passed a bill that looks set to make the state the second in the US to approve self-driving cars on its roads.

Carlton Draught – Watch the official Carlton Draught “Beer Chase” TV ad (the full version). (recommended by Michael F.)

Infographic: Two thirds of Android users don’t pay for apps – Statista recently published an infographic by Online Publishers Association that compares the willingness of Android and iOS users to pay for apps. According to the graphic, Android devices make up almost 70% of global smartphone shipments, yet 66% of the Android users included in the survey haven’t paid anything for apps in the past year.

Bad Behavior in the Office Elevator – Behavior on office elevators is out of control, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. From physical confrontations to indecent exposure, employees reveal that anything is possible once those sliding doors are shut. (And you should hope that you never get stuck in an elevator with co-workers who’d do these sorts of things.) Here are five of the most outrageous highlights from the research.

Can you patent a hyperlink? Patent trolls sure think so – We are just starting to understand the implications of last week’s Apple/Samsung verdict, but the most immediate consequence seems to be a lot more appeals. Some of us in the tech industry are concerned about the verdict because of cases like that of Helferich Patent Licensing, a firm that owns that patent on the common hyperlink. Indeed, companies have paid the firm some $75 million to license the hyperlink.

Today’s Quote:

“If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside.”

–     Robert X. Cringely

Today’s Free Downloads:

Waterfox 15.0 – Waterfox is basically a 64-Bit version of Firefox. The Firefox source code is taken and compiled to run specifically for 64-Bit Windows computers.

Process Lasso – Process Lasso is a software that will improve system responsiveness and stability. Process Lasso is a unique new technology intended to automatically restrain running processes that are consuming too many CPU cycles.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

5 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 31, 2012

  1. Fred

    Bill, I was attempting to reply to this article you posted the link to:
    “The bigger question is, “Do you really need Java?” If you can get by without it, you should. That is true for any application that interfaces with the internet. Fewer programs means fewer vulnerabilities.”

    So I typed out my response and hit SUBMIT, nothing!!!
    Tried again and found out why it was not being submitted: REQUIRES JAVA

  2. Keith in Florence, Ky.

    Corrected link for 2nd article. Your blog is the *best* Bill.

  3. sysadminray

    Reblogged this on SysadminRay.