Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 30, 2012

50 Best Websites 2012 – TIME’s annual salute to sites and services that keep you entertained and informed, save you time and money — and maybe even change your life

Open WebOS 1.0 arrives for those who dare to port – Hewlett-Packard made good on a promise to offer up the erstwhile mobile operating system to the open-source community.

No, You Can’t Have My Facebook Password – California has passed a law prohibiting companies and universities from demanding that applicants hand over their social media login credentials. But will that stop them?

Google Performs More Spring Cleaning for Lesser-Used Features – A number of changes are afoot, including the merging of storage across Google Drive and Picasa.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Website for think tank rejects browser do-not-track requests – The website for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) now tells visitors it will not honor their browsers’ do-not-track requests as a form of protest against the technology pushed by privacy groups and parts of the U.S. government.

Barnes & Noble’s New Nooks: The Cheap Tablet Wars Continue – The bookselling behemoth has announced a new 7″ tablet plus a 9″ model, both of which are featherweights compared to the competition.

Minecraft creator tells Microsoft to ‘stop trying to ruin the PC’ – The creator of the popular game Minecraft, Markus Persson, took to Twitter on Thursday to slam Microsoft over Windows 8. Persson’s critique is the latest to emerge from the gaming world, which is bad news for Microsoft, as the company seeks the support of software developers to ensure Windows 8’s success. With less than one month to go until the operating system’s release, the stakes are high.

Nook GlowLight e-reader price drops to $119 – Just ahead of Amazon shipping out its highly anticipated Kindle Paperwhite, the Nook GlowLight gets a price chop.

Solve the mystery of lost System Restore points – Earlier this week I received a terrific letter from reader George, who was having a problem with Windows’ System Restore on his Dell Desktop. Specifically, he noted that he was “losing” restore points, meaning they would disappear after he’d created them.

The US government resisted the Internet, instead of supporting it – President Obama claims the US government invented the Internet so companies could profit from it. In fact, the US government mandated support for a rival networking system, OSI, and tried to avoid adopting the Internet’s protocols

Poll: Windows 8 fans prefer Windows 7 – A poll finds that even hard-core Windows 8 early adopters would rather use Windows 7 by a two to one margin.

Company News:

Amazon to start selling wine? – A report suggests that in a matter of weeks Amazon will launch a wine marketplace. How very civilized.

RIM hits third consecutive loss as BlackBerry sales fall – A continued dropoff in BlackBerry sales is not surprising as the company prepares to deliver BlackBerry 10, its delayed next-generation OS that is now expected to come out in the first quarter of next year. RIM has struggled against the growing popularity of Apple’s iPhones and a vast array of smartphones based on Google’s Android OS.

Kodak to Stop Selling Inkjet Printers – Kodak said Friday that it plans to stop selling consumer inkjet printers and will eliminate 200 more jobs than previously projected as it requested more time to submit its framework for emerging from bankruptcy protection.

Court: Motorola can’t enforce injunction against Microsoft – Federal appeals court upholds judge’s order preventing Motorola from blocking the sale of Xbox and Windows software in Germany. Unveils NFC-Enabled Business Cards – The near field communication (NFC) cards carry a tiny microchip inside which, with a touch of the card to an NFC-enabled smartphone, can download your portfolio, play music or videos, load Web pages, maps, or apps, and save your contact information, among other features.

Webopedia Daily:

Chief River – A codename for Intel Ivy Bridge processors developed specifically for tablet, ultrabook and Mac laptop computers. Chief River processors are designed to succeed the “Huron River” Sandy Bridge processors used in earlier ultrabook models, and offer native support for USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. Additional requirements for Chief River ultrabooks include a minimum battery life of 5 hours, at least 16GB of SSD storage and the ability to “wake up” in less than seven seconds. Recommendations beyond the specified requirements include touch screen support, WiDi, GPS, an accelerometer, and an ambient light sensor (ALS) and proximity sensor.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Parallella: An ARM-powered “supercomputer” for the masses – 

Inspired by the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, the Adapteva team has set out to build an ARM-powered “supercomputer” for the masses in an attempt to democratize access to parallel computing.

Canada’s stimulus plan advertised on The Pirate Bay – Whoops. Perhaps an ad on a notorious piracy-oriented file-sharing site is not the best way to encourage Canadians to spend money. The government says it was all a mistake.

Group Turns 404 Error Pages Into Digital Posters for Missing Kids – A Brussels-based organization is asking that website owners display images of missing children on their 404 error pages.

Who’s Watching? 3-D TV Is No Hit with Viewers – Why 3-D television hasn’t become a national craze is a mystery to some in the industry, considering the wide acceptance of 3-D movies at theaters.

Today’s Quote:

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

–      Napoleon Bonaparte

Today’s Free Downloads:

SpywareBlaster – An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s especially true when it comes to spyware; wouldn’t you rather protect your system than spend hours trying to rid it of malicious visitors? SpywareBlaster is a simple program that provides protection from ActiveX-based software and unwanted cookies for both Firefox and Internet Explorer users.

My Lockbox – My Lockbox takes the built-in ability to hide folders in Windows a huge step further by adding password protection, drag-and-drop capability, hot keys, trusted apps list, notifications, skins, and more. My Lockbox Free protects one folder per system, and it has a banner ad. A premium upgrade protects an unlimited number of folders and eliminates the banner ads. We tried the free version.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 29, 2012

5 security apps for Android users – Cybercriminals are increasingly targeted Google’s Android operating system due to its popularity, so we spotlight 5 security apps that would help users in protecting their personal data and devices.

How to Opt Out of Facebook’s Newest Attempts to Track Everything You Do, Even Offline – We’ve known that Facebook is already tracking your every move online, but the data Facebook is using now isn’t just about browser cookies. Facebook is pairing what you buy offline with what you see online.

Collect network system information with Belarc Advisor and PhpSysInfo – The free applications Belarc Advisor and PhpSysInfo can get as much information about as many of your machines as you need.

Search ninja part 5: must-have, productivity-boosting Firefox add-ons – If you want to increase your productivity online and make the most of your Web browsing experience, then make sure these add-ons are a part of your Firefox install!

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

What’s the Meaning of This: Adobe Certificate Attack – The news yesterday that Adobe had been compromised and that the attackers were able to get valid Adobe signatures on a pair of malware utilities is one of the more worrisome and troubling stories in what has become a year of huge hacks and historic change in the security industry. Adobe was forthcoming with many of the details of the attack, but the ones that were omitted are the ones that really make a difference in this instance.

11 tech buzzwords that need to go away – Well, my friends, it’s time to take our language back. Herein lie the 11 most annoying tech expressions known to man. Remove them from your vocabulary immediately, and if you catch someone else using them, chastise and/or shame them (gently). Seriously, for the love of all things sacred, it’s time for these phrases to die.

California Joins Ban on Employers Demanding Social Media Access – California today joined two other states making it a crime for employers and colleges to ask applicants or workers for their social media login information in order to access their private Web sites. The new laws — one for companies and one for colleges — go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 2: Preview – Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) is shaping up to be a controversial release, with a solution for dual-booting with Windows 8 and a new online scope for Dash search providing Amazon shopping suggestions.

Amazing 3D effects created with open-source software [YouTube] – Tears of Steel is a 12-minute long movie, with effects you might expect to see in a Hollywood movie. When you watch a movie with life-like spaceships and robots, you immediately assume the filmmakers used super-expensive software to achieve such effects, but the whole thing was created usingBlender, a free open-source 3D content-creation suite. Watch and be amazed. Mind blowing, isn’t it?

Self-driving cars could bring a new world of hacking – Computerized, self-driving cars promise to remove human error and prevent accidents. Like any computer, however, such vehicles could be hacked. We take a closer look at the technology and its risks.


Internet Explorer Blocks More Malware Than Firefox, Chrome, Safari – It hasn’t been the best month for Internet Explorer given the recent zero-day attack, but the Microsoft browser got some good news today with a new test that shows it’s by far better at stopping malware than Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.

Valid Adobe Certificate Used to Sign Malicious Utilities Common in Targeted Attacks – Adobe announced today it was the victim of an APT-style attack after two malicious utilities commonly used in targeted attacks for privilege escalation and pivoting within a network were discovered signed by a valid Adobe digital certificate. Adobe said it will revoke the certificate next week.

Major U.S. banks still under DDoS attack – PNC Bank seems to be the latest target of the organized DDoS attacks agains major U.S. financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, U.S. Bancorp, New York Stock Exchange and others. In the week, the banks’ websites have been intermittently bombarded with a flood of requests that left their own customers unable to reach them and perform financial transactions via internet banking.

Adobe admits breach, will revoke compromised code signing certificate – Adobe has confirmed that one of their build servers that has access to the Adobe code signing infrastructure has been compromised, allowing attackers to digitally sign two malicious utilities with a valid Adobe code signing certificate.

Whether You Call It Modern Or Metro, Here Are Eight Security Tips For Windows 8 – Windows 8 a case of improved security, increased vigilance

Company News:

Microsoft invests in Klout; integrates data into Bing – Microsoft’s Bing team is teaming up with social-media vendor Klout in the name of social-influence and big data.

Mozilla’s Persona Web Authentication System Moves into Beta – Mozilla is trying to deal a two-fisted blow to the continued use of passwords as an online authenticator, as well as the practice using social media username-password combinations as a persistent login on other sites. Its Persona project has moved into its first beta release promising developers and website users a better and more private authentication experience.

Intel Disputes Reported Otellini Comments About Windows 8 – Intel CEO Paul Otellini told employees that Windows 8 is not ready for release, according to news reports. However, Intel calls the reports “unsubstantiated.”

IBM takes the stealthy route to cloud success – What’s better than one big brand-name cloud? 1,000 smaller ones all running on your technology — or so IBM thinks. If there’s any company that can pull this strategy off, it’s IBM.

Webopedia Daily:

Data Transfer Rate – The speed with which data can be transmitted from one device to another. Data rates are often measured in megabits (million bits) or megabytes (million bytes) per second. These are usually abbreviated as Mbps and MBps, respectively. Another term for data transfer rate is throughput.

Off Topic (Sort of):

How to Fight Your Online Addiction and Regain Control of Your Attention – How much time do you spend each day responding to email, checking Facebook, sending and reading Tweets, aimlessly surfing your favorite websites and buying things you don’t need? How much time, in other words, do you spend doing stuff online that doesn’t add much value in your life, or in anyone else’s? Too much, I’m going to guess.

Even Windows 8 early adopters prefer Windows 7 by two to one – A survey find that even hard-core Windows 8 fans prefer Windows 7 by a two to one margin.

Clear Your Sinuses in 20 Seconds with Your Tongue and Your Thumb – Blocked sinuses are no fun, especially when the problem frequently requires taking a pill. Redditor gymfork points to a clever acupressure method that can solve the problem in just 20 seconds:

How long will it be before iOS 6 Maps kills someone? – This is an epic failure on the part of Apple, and not just because a favorite application has been replaced with a dog. Rather, this may be a case of criminal negligence.

Today’s Quote:

When someone tells you something defies description, you can be pretty sure he’s going to have a go at it anyway.”

–     Clyde B. Aster

Today’s Free Downloads:

MiniBin – MiniBin is the free recycle bin for your system tray. Minibin may also come handy when you are hiding the recycle bin from your desktop or if you are using a replacement shell that provides a system tray but no usable or customizable recycle bin.

IObit SmartDefrag – IObit SmartDefrag helps defrag your hard drive most efficiently. With “Install it and forget it” feature, IObit SmartDefrag works automatically and quietly in the background on your PC, keeping your hard disk running at its speediest.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Crashed Hard Drive? Progressive Data Recovery Steps

This guest post is contributed by Grady Winston. Grady is an avid writer and Internet entrepreneur from Indianapolis. He has worked in the fields of technology, business, marketing, and advertising – implementing multiple creative projects and solutions for a range of clients.

imageTake a deep breath, your computer crashing isn’t the end.

When a computer freezes up, or worse yet crashes, it can send even the most seasoned computer user into a hair-pulling maniacal panic. For many beginner or inexperienced users, a crashed hard drive often means the loss of gigabytes upon gigabytes of music, pictures, movies, videos, documents, and just about any other type of important digital file imaginable.

While the temptation to throw your laptop across the room in frustration is understandable, it may be a tad melodramatic. Why? Because you’d be surprised just how easy it is to recover seemingly lost data yourself. Refrain from catapulting your computer across the room, take a nice deep breath, and let’s take a deeper look into the world of hard drive data recovery.

Recovering Hard Drive Data in Four Steps

1. Purchase a New Hard Drive – Just like when you total your car, when a hard drive crashes, it’s pretty much deemed useless in that it can’t be used again. But, just like you can usually still fish out your CD collection and glove box contents, you can recover the useful parts or data from the drive.

The first step in the “recovery” process requires understanding that you need a new hard drive. Take another deep breath, head to a local computer or electronics store, and pick up a compatible hard drive.

2. Configure a Master and a Slave Drive – Before you even think about recovering your crashed hard drive’s data you must configure both drives for data recovery. This involves installing your new hard drive as the primary (or “master”) hard drive, and the crashed hard drive as the secondary (or “slave”) drive. In a nutshell, setting up your new drive as the master drive tells your computer’s operating system to recognize it as the primary system drive. Keep in mind that this process can vary widely from OS to OS.

3. Recover Your Data – Now that you have correctly configured each hard drive you can recover data from the old drive. Since the crashed drive is the secondary drive, this is pretty much a drag and drop situation. Simply locate the files you want to recover and drag them over to the new hard drive and place them in the appropriate folder.

There are certain files that you may not be able to locate easily. Take Microsoft Outlook tools for example. If you’re looking to recover lots of email conversations you’ll probably need to use an Outlook recovery and repair tool. There are plenty of affordable tools that scan your Outlook files and recover lost or hidden files for you.

4. Hire a Data Recovery Specialist – Finally, if your data recovery efforts leave a lot to be desired, it may be time to call in the big guns. While hiring a data recovery specialist isn’t the cheapest solutions, it may be the fastest way to recover lost data.

Conclusion: A Final Word of Caution

Every time you try to recover data from a crashed hard drive, you run the risk of losing some data completely and forever. This isn’t a great feeling, but it happens to the best of us. This is where safe email and web surfing practices will go a long way to protect your data from being corrupted.

Protecting your data may also mean backing it up. Fortunately, affordable online backup and recovery tools are just a click away. The bottom line is that hard drives are fickle, mechanical devices that can go bad without a moment’s notice. Keep a tight grasp on your data and you can avoid data recovery nightmares like this one.


Filed under Guest Writers, Hard Drive Problems

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 28, 2012

ExploitShield appears to live up to its name – A brand-new security program looks like it puts a bullet in the head of many major software exploits, a complicated feat that could turn the world of computer security on its ear.

Microsoft SkyDrive: Your ultimate starter’s guide – It’s become incredibly easy to compute while you commute. Our laptops, tablets and even smartphones offer productivity functions ranging from excellent to serviceable, and pervasive broadband (hello 4G!) gives us the connectivity speeds we need to quickly summon up documents and data from the cloud. That’s how it works in theory, at least. Efficiently accessing all of your personal data in the cloud is rarely quite as simple as it sounds.

ACLU: Electronic surveillance by US agencies skyrocketing – U.S. law enforcement surveillance of email and other Internet communication has skyrocketed in the last two years, according to data obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The 5 Best 25-Cent Apps on Google Play – Google is celebrating its 25 Billionth Google Play download with a sale–just 25 cents per app. There are hundreds on sale, but Mark Hachman has picked five that would be bargains at five times the price. Keep in mind, the deal also applies to select movies, magazines, and games.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Rovio Releases Angry Birds Spinoff Bad Piggies – Have you ever wondered what the world of Angry Birds would be like from the sinister green piggies’ point of view? Now you can find out.

10 virtual appliances that can simplify your job – If you’ve never worked with virtual appliances, you owe it to yourself to check them out. Here are 10 good ones that will give you an idea of what they can do for you.

Windows 8: How to Set Up Windows To Go – Windows 8 running on a bootable USB storage device can be a boon for small businesses with telecommuters, contractors or temporary workers.

BlueStacks and AMD bring Android apps to Windows – AMD and Bluestacks have announced a partnership to bring Android apps to Windows 7 and 8 PCs and tablets.

Pages See Drop in ‘Likes’ Amidst Facebook Purge – Some administrators woke up to find that their Pages had lost thousands of “Likes” overnight, but it appears those “fans” were actually among the millions of fake accounts cluttering the social network.

ShortcutFoo: Master keyboard shortcuts in no time – If you find yourself reaching for the mouse too often, Web app ShortcutFoo ($5, free demo with feature limitations) can help you start using the keyboard for everything. ShortcutFoo’s Practice mode lets you gradually learn a group of shortcut keys. That’s right. Not just in Gmail, but in Photoshop, Microsoft Visual Studio, Eclipse, and more. So, put your mouse out of reach, and let your fingers do the talking.

Bring the Start button back to Windows 8 with $5 Start8 – Stardock yesterday started selling the $5 Start8, a tool that restores a Start button to the desktop of Windows 8.

Autographer camera has a mind all its own – Unique new wearable camera uses five sensors to determine when and what to snap as the day unfolds, producing shots “captured without intervention.”


Leading US banks targeted in DDoS attacks – A string of attacks against the websites of leading American banks may be tied to politically motivated hacktivism, according to reports.

Samsung fixes Galaxy S3 bug, researchers offer fix for other phones – Given the amount of information we all keep on our smartphones, it’s no wonder that the recently demonstrated Samsung Galaxy S3 remote data-wipe hack has ruffled quite a few feathers. The reset to the factory settings and complete wipe of the contents is achieved via a simple USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) code delivered to the device via a specially crafted webpage or QR code, pushed by NFC, or even via a remotely triggered call to the specially crafted webpage via WAP push messages. Samsung has pushed out a fix for the Galaxy S3 phones yesterday, but there is still no news on when the fixes for the other phones will be made available.

Chinese hackers linked to breach of control systems used in electric grids – Telvent tells customers that it’s discovered that attackers breached its internal firewall and security systems, implanted malicious software, and stolen project files linked to its smart grid product. Experts detected digital fingerprints implicating a Chinese hacking group.

Australian police disrupts sophisticated credit card fraud syndicate – A husband and wife were arrested today in Ryde, New South Wales, following what was dubbed as one of the most most serious identity crime investigations undertaken by the Australian Federal Police. Started in April 2011, the investigation has since lead to the shut down of two credit card and documents manufacturing facilities and to the seizure of some 15,000 fake credit cards, with an estimated potential fraud value of $37.5 million.

New Java flaw could hit 1 billion users – A new Java vulnerability has surfaced that apparently affects all Java runtimes and therefore puts close to a billion users at risk.

Company News:

Mozilla launches first beta version of ‘Persona’ website authentication system – Mozilla launched the first beta version of its browser-independent website authentication system, Persona, on Thursday and hopes to convince the Web developer community to give it a try.

AMD announces Trinity APUs: superb graphics, improved CPU – AMD is launching a new generation of A-series accelerated processing units, which include improved Piledriver CPU cores.

Free anti-virus and privacy app for Android, Sophos Mobile Security, now updated – Sophos has announced a new version of its free anti-virus app for Android, Sophos Mobile Security.

RIM developers impressed by BlackBerry 10: ‘I hope it’s not too late’ – BlackBerry app developers see turnaround for RIM, thanks to upcoming UI improvements and new development options.

Webopedia Daily:

Sneezer – An online marketing slang term coined by Charles Nicholls, founder of SeeWhy, to describe any customer that spreads your offers and promotions through social networks. Social networking sites make it incredibly easy for your “sneezer” customer to share promotions and positive word-of-mouth marketing about your business in a single click with his or her network of friends.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google Exec Detained in Brazil Over Controversial YouTube Video – A Google executive was detained in Brazil after the firm refused to remove a YouTube video that attacked a mayoral candidate, according to various reports.

Curiosity’s Roving Along an Ancient Riverbed! – Not even two months after landing on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover has already found good evidence that water once flowed within Gale Crater! And not just as a random occurrence either, but an honest-to-goodness stream… long-lived and possibly hip-deep, according to both rocks and researchers. (recommended by Michael F.)

Apple Dumped Google Maps due to Lack of Voice Navigation: Report – For Apple, the lack of voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions in Google Maps was the key reason the company chose to dump the Google service for its own Maps app in iOS 6, according to a published report.

Workers Are Addicted to Their iPads – With more than 84 million units sold, the iPad has joined the long line of successes from Apple, and owners are getting hooked on the device, according to a recent survey from Brainshark. In fact, they’re taking their iPads almost everywhere—even to the bathroom. Using the iPad is apparently a “clothing optional” activity as well.

Watch Hand Gestures to Find the Underlying Truth in a Conversation – Whether you’re giving a presentation, or you’re just talking with a group of people, chances are you use a wide variety of hand gestures to get your point across. According to Psychology Today, those hand gestures are often communicating a hidden story.

Best ways to clean an HDTV screen – It’s a bad idea to clean your HDTV screen with Windex. What should you use instead? Good question.

Today’s Quote:

A friend told me that each morning when we get up we have to decide whether we are going to save or savor the world. I don’t think that is the decision. It’s not an either-or, save or savor. We have to do both, save and savor the world.”

–       Kate Clinton

Today’s Free Downloads:

Any Video Converter Free 3.5.5 – Any Video Converter is an All-in-One video converting tool with easy-to-use graphical interface, fast converting speed and excellent video quality. It allows you to effortlessly convert video files between every format! It can convert almost all video formats including DivX, XviD, MOV, rm, rmvb, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, AVI to MPEG-4 movie format for PSP or other portable video device, MP4 player or smart phone. Any Video Converter makes it easy for anyone to enjoy any format video with your PSP, mobile phone or MP4 player.

AMD Overdrive 4.2.3 – The award-winning AMD OverDrive™ gives you complete control of your system. Personalize your experience in real time with easy-to-use screens designed for novice to expert users. AMD OverDrive™ allows user to tune parameters to help system stability, optimize performance, and control cooling/acoustic characteristics.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 27, 2012

How to Get Reliable Medical Information on the Internet Without Turning Into a Hypochondriac – Getting sick seems a lot more stressful now that we have the internet. You can research your symptoms, but inevitably you’ll fall down a rabbit hole of illnesses that are so unlikely, every search will turn up a life-threatening disease. It is possible to get reliable, useful information, vet it properly, and even get an expert opinion, all online. Here’s how.

You can now share Dropbox files with Facebook Groups – Facebook is rolling out a new feature that lets Facebook users share their Dropbox files with Facebook Groups.

Control Your Music With the Palm of Your Hand Using Flutter – A new app that relies on hand gestures is available for controlling your music. Called Flutter, this free Windows software lets you start and stop your music simply by showing the flat palm of your hand to your webcam.

A YouTube Downloader So Easy That Grandma Can Do It – YouTube Video MP3 Downloader has to be the easiest YouTube downloader yet. This FREE software gives you the ability to convert a YouTube video to MP3 (audio only) or to various video formats in six easy steps. As an added bonus, following the installation, you can turn YouTube Video MP3 Downloader into a portable app that can be carried on your flash drive.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Pornoogle: Yes, a search engine just for porn – ICM Registry, the folks behind all those helpful .xxx domains, says its next step is to create a search engine exclusively for porn. It is to launch tomorrow.

Gmail vs. Which offers the best email in the cloud? – How does Microsoft s new webmail service stand up against longtime favorite Gmail? The answer may surprise you.

Facebook trashes fake accounts, users, and likes – As the social network sweeps clean all bogus activity, page fan counts drop by the tens of thousands.

‘Cotton Candy’ Linux PC-on-a-stick ships at last – Priced at $199, this USB-sized device is now available in an early version aimed at developers.

Foursquare adds ‘Always On’ option to track friends – A new feature added to Foursquare Tuesday sends you an alert each time your friend checks in on the service.

Old Facebook posts haunt users – CNET’s Sumi Das talks to reporter Donna Tam about the privacy fears Facebook users are experiencing as the social network continues the worldwide rollout of its Timeline feature.


Facebook:How Much Of Your Personal Data Do They Have? – A recent Naked Security Sophos.Com article reported that Facebook was under pressure by the European Union to drop the facial recognition feature for it’s European customers. Why complain about this cool feature that uses facial recognition to “tag” photographs on Internet Facebook pages with the name of the person depicted? Because the EU has a strong privacy protection laws, and because it cares about the privacy and safety of its citizens…are any other countries out there watching and listening?

Easily Reveal Hidden Passwords In Any Browser – If you use autofill for your passwords in your browser of choice then you know it’s easy to forget what your password is. As it turns out, tech blog Digital Inspiration shows off how to easily reveal these passwords using the developer tools.

Samsung Fixes Remote Wipe Flaw in Galaxy S III Smartphones – Smartphone developer Samsung has reportedly fixed a flaw in one of its newest phones, the Galaxy S III, that allows attackers to remotely wipe the phone’s contents.

Cyber security, an Air Force punchline? – Many U.S. generals will openly admit to knowing little about one of the threats they all agree is one that is most dangerous to U.S. national security — cyber security. Yet, those same generals have used their lack of knowledge on the subject often as a punchline. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh stood up at the Air Force Association’s annual conference Sept. 18 and admitted he didn’t know what an IP address was. The comment drew plenty of laughter form the crowd of airmen and defense industry officials. (recommended by Michael F.)

“Watering hole” sites crucial to new cyber espionage campaign – RSA’s newly dubbed FirstWatch research team has recently presented their findings on a “water holing” campaign that they first spotted back in July. The approach consists of compromising websites the targets are likely to visit and equipping them with iframes pointing to servers hosting exploits for zero-days flaw.

Analysis of nearly 1.7 billion shortened URL links – Web of Trust (WOT) completed an analysis of nearly 1.7 billion shortened URL links and found that the URL shortening services are often used to drive traffic to suspicious websites. The research found that 8.7 percent of websites reached via the TinyURL service, and 5.0 percent of websites reached via, receive poor ratings for ‘trustworthiness’ and ‘child protection’ – as measured by WOT’s millions of crowd-sourced reputation scores.

5 (more) key cloud security issues – While there’s still plenty of room for cloud providers to improve, many aspects of cloud security must be the responsibility of the consumer.

Company News:

Intel CEO says Windows 8 bugs will sting consumers – Intel CEO tells employees Windows 8 will ship with bugs, but the OS can be fixed after it ships.

Facebook denies exposing people’s private messages as it faces French fury – The social network is being hauled up for questioning by French privacy officials over the alleged publication of old private messages on people’s timelines. However, the company says users are only seeing old wall posts.

The iOS 6 disaster: Apple bit off way more than it could chew – According to Ed Oswald, Apple shot for the stars with iOS 6 — but barely reached escape velocity. Can the company recover from the disaster that is iOS 6?

Cloud Security Alliance security as a service (SEcaas) working group completes IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCE – The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) today announced that its Security as a Service (SecaaS) Working Group has completed its peer review process and has published implementation guidance documents expanding upon their “Defined Categories of Service” document that was first made available in August of 2011. The Working Group’s Implementation Guidance now includes peer-reviewed documentation for each of the ten service categories that were defined in the previous version.

ManageEngine Manages Mobile Apps with Desktop Central – ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, today announced it supports mobile application management in the latest release of Desktop Central, its server and desktop management software. In addition to the expansion of its mobile device management capabilities, Desktop Central has also been enhanced with integrated chat and support for Apple iOS 6, Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

Webopedia Daily:

Data Transfer Rate – The speed with which data can be transmitted from one device to another. Data rates are often measured in megabits (million bits) or megabytes (million bytes) per second. These are usually abbreviated as Mbps and MBps, respectively. Another term for data transfer rate is throughput.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google Unveils Underwater Street View for Maps – Google unveils a new feature in its maps product that allows anyone to get a Street View-style look at the undersea world.

GoDaddy outage: Vulnerable networks are ticking bombs – The GoDaddy outage is the tip of iceberg for vulnerable networks from banks to infrastructure.

West Side Story, 55 years later – Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. A racially-charged retelling of Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story is set in the “blighted” West Side of 1950s Manhattan, the potent themes of star-crossed love and gang rivalry successfully translated from 16th century Italy to 20th century New York by book-writer Arthur Laurents and lyricist Steven Sondheim. The premiere was timely. One day before the curtain rose on West Side Story, America had witnessed a key event in its Civil Rights Movement with the forced integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. (recommended by Michael F.)

Connected devices to outnumber humans six to one by 2020 – New concepts such as embedded intelligence, automated machine-to-machine traffic, and the ‘Internet of Things’ are contributing to the growth in networked devices

Reduce earbud microphonics – In-ear headphones are prone to microphonics, the annoying rustling and thumping sounds caused by the cord. We’ll show you a couple of ways to help reduce microphonics from your in-ear headphones.

Today’s Quote:

Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It’s called ‘rain’.”

–     Michael McClary

Today’s Free Downloads:

Pinta 1.4 – Pinta is a free, open source drawing/editing program modeled after Paint.NET. Its goal is to provide users with a simple yet powerful way to draw and manipulate images on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Avira Free Antivirus 2013 – Avira AntiVir Personal FREE Antivirus was developed to be a reliable free antivirus solution, that constantly and rapidly scans your computer for malicious programs such as viruses, Trojans, backdoor programs, hoaxes, worms, dialers etc.

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Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 26, 2012

Rental computers spied on and photographed users, FTC claims – Seven rent-to-own companies and a software design firm have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they spied on consumers using computers that consumers rented from them, capturing screenshots of confidential and personal information, logging their computer keystrokes, and in some cases taking webcam pictures of people in their homes, all without notice to, or consent from, the consumers.

10 award-winning open source apps to try today – Among 125 honorees in this year’s InfoWorld Bossie awards are numerous gems for business use.

7 Ways to Embarrass Yourself on Facebook – If you want to put your best face[book] forward, don’t do these things.

How to prevent a botnet infection? – The research team at e-mail security provider Eleven, published five tips today to help users prevent a botnet infection on their computer.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Get a free domain name and Web hosting for one year – Ready to carve out a piece of the Web for your business? Google is offering a deal for a price that’s literally unbeatable.

Facebook stops asking users to rat out friends using fake names online – Facebook has wrapped up an experiment that entailed surveying people whether Friends are using pseudonyms, which is a violation of its long-standing real-names policy.

10 Tips and Tricks for iOS 6 – There are a lot of hidden (and not-so-hidden) goodies in Apple’s new mobile operating system that you should know about. Here are our ten favorites so far.

How to Find the Best TV Set Top Box and Ditch Cable Once and For All – Cable TV is a thing of the past. Nowadays downloading, streaming, and ripping your TV is the best way to watch, but not everyone wants a complicated home built media center. Here, we’re going to find the best out-of-the-box, streaming set-top box so you can watch your shows on demand and ditch cable once and for all.

What you need to know about BlackBerry 10 – Not sure what to make of BlackBerry 10? We answer your questions about Research In Motion’s upcoming OS update after Tuesday’s preview.

Election 2012: Fact-Checking the Candidates – Here are five places where voters can go when they just want the facts.

Windows 8 countdown: Windows Store apps at 2,000-plus – Microsoft at the moment has just over 2,000 apps in the Windows Store, a month before Windows 8 and Windows RT are set to launch.

ACLU sues to get U.S. agencies’ license plate tracking records – FBI, DHS, and other agencies have not complied with ACLU requests for information about use of surveillance system, civil liberties group alleges.


Bogus Facebook photo notification carries malware – A new Facebook-themed spam campaign is targeting the social network’s users, trying to trick them into opening the attached file.

‘Dirty USSD’ Hack Wipes Samsung Phones. Is Yours Vulnerable? – If you own a Samsung smartphone from a U.S. cell phone operator, you may want to avoid using the Internet until your carrier patches a pretty simple flaw that would let an attacker reset your phone.

US senator blames Iran for cyber attacks on banks – US Sen. Joe Lieberman says people in the know are tracing the attacks to the government’s cyber army and theorizes that the DDoSes are retaliation for economic sanctions and/or Stuxnet.

Malicious phpMyAdmin served from SourceForge mirror – A malicious version of the open source Web-based MySQL database administration tool phpMyAdmin has been discovered on one of the official mirror sites of SourceForge, the popular online code repositor.

New security hole found in multiple Java versions – The same team of Polish researchers who discovered a critical security hole in Oracle’s Java software say that they uncovered another such hole, which could be used to bypass the secure application “sandbox” on most recent versions of Java.

Company News:

Lytro Light Field Camera Headed to Major Retailers – Consumers will soon be able to get their hands on the much talked-about Lytro Light Field Camera at several large retailers. The camera, which captures images that you can focus after you’ve tripped the shutter, will be available in the U.S. through,, and beginning Oct. 9, Lytro announced Tuesday.

F-Secure Mobile Security protects Android TVs and set-top boxes – F-Secure launched a new version of F-Secure Mobile Security which features support for standard Android devices including TVs and set-top boxes. The new version also comes with a completely revamped user experience and a renewed commitment to family protection measures. The release arrives as Android threats intensify.

Toys R Us Sued Over Tabeo Children’s Tablet – Toys R Us is at the center of a Fuhu lawsuit over allegations of stolen tablet computer trade secrets.

Myspace Unveils Video Preview of Dramatic Redesign – Led by celebrity investor Justin Timberlake, Myspace showed off an impressive preview of its newly designed social network.

Intel ‘Clover Trail’ Atom Chips to Support Android, Linux – The chip maker angered the open-source community by saying that Clover Trail would not support Android or Linux, but Intel now says that support will come after Windows 8.

Webopedia Daily:

RF site survey – A process used to determine the number and placement of access points (AP) that provides adequate coverage throughout the facility. With wireless systems, it’s difficult to predict the propagation of radio waves and detect the presence of interfering signals without the use of test equipment. As a result, it’s often necessary to perform a RF site survey to fully understand the behavior of radio waves within a facility before installing wireless network access points. The ultimate goal of a RF site survey is to supply enough information to determine the number and placement of access points that provides adequate coverage throughout the facility.

Off Topic (Sort of):

How Many Photos Have Been Taken Ever? – Humans have taken a lot of pictures. Every snapshot, family photo, Polaroid and cell phone pic adds up. Using film industry statistics, digital photography estimates and numbers kept by producers of silver halide, an important chemical for analog film, researchers calculated the number of photographs ever taken. (recommended by Michael F.)

RIM’s BlackBerry 10: Why I still believe – BlackBerry 10 looks like the offspring of an Android and Microsoft Windows Phone one-night stand gone awry. But that’s ok because RIM still has assets worth pondering.

Most 5 year olds already use an Internet enabled device – Children as young as five have easy access to an internet enabled device. A One Poll study of 2,000 parents of children aged 5 to 15 also shows six parents in ten frequently let their child surf the web without any adult supervision. Incredibly, a quarter of children aged just five years old have been left alone while using the computer, as have 40 per cent of six year olds, and 51 per cent of seven year olds. Consequently, one in six parents have been shocked to discover their child had seen unsuitable content such as adult websites, content on eating disorders and social networks.

When tech innovations bite users in the butt – Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft have an obligation to make technical changes tolerable for those who pay the bills.

Infographic: Your dirty habits making you sick – Ion Swipes recently published an infographic that provided some disturbing statistics concerning germs at your home and workplace. One of the grossest stats is that 16% of cell phones have fecal matter on them. My guess is that these folks are leisurely or multitasking poopers, who either turn to Angry Birds or answer text messages during their toilet time.

Today’s Quote:

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

–     William Arthur Ward

Today’s Free Downloads:

Compare and synchronize PC files easily with FreeFileSync – As hard drives start to get bigger, it becomes more and more convenient to become digital packrats, stuffing files left, right and center into folders and assuming that they will be safe forever. But some of those files may be important, so what if your hard drive suddenly fails and you can’t access those important files anymore? It can and will happen. So that’s where backup and synchronization techniques come into play and one app that could help you out in this area is FreeFileSync (free).

D7 – Perform various PC maintenance or malware removal tasks with one tool. D7 is Command Central for techs. Foolish IT’s powerful suite of free system utilities is for pro PC technicians, Net Admins, and advanced users; not for beginners in any sense, unless they’re recently certified by Microsoft. It’s completely portable yet integrates a wide range of excellent third-party freeware utilities, including users’ own preferred tools. It can manage individual PCs or whole networks of machines.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 25, 2012

Get CyberLink PhotoDirector 2011 (Win) for free – A strong competitor to the likes of Adobe Photoshop Elements, this photography program normally sells for $100.

How to encrypt your cloud storage for free – Even if hackers break into your cloud account, your data can remain safe thanks to BoxCryptor, an easy-to-use encryption tool.

Facebook Allowing Users to Review Search History – In case you want to be reminded of who you were cyber stalking on Facebook, the social network will now allow you to review your search history.

Store Your Logins in Norton Identity Safe – Users of Symantec’s Norton line of security products have long had access to its password management tools. But you no longer need to be a paying Norton user to get access to Norton Identity Safe, a standalone product that makes password management a (relatively) easy task.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Twitter users may be victims of direct message malware – Security analysts say that suspicious direct messages from Twitter friends with links to Facebook, which have been popping up lately, could be malicious “backdoor trojans.”

Top Apple iPhone 5 Complaints – Why do people hate the iPhone 5? The top six complaints, plus a bonus!

How to Get Out of Your Mobile Phone Contract – Raise your hand if this applies to you: you want the new iPhone 5 but still have months, maybe even years, left on that pesky contract with your current mobile phone carrier. Fear not – we’ve listed a few ways to break your contract and move on. Check them out in our full story.

The Browser That Keeps Swimming – Dolphin Browser HD 8.8 strikes a fine balance between performance and speed, all while featuring an intuitive interface that supports voice- and gesture-based navigation. Check out our full review for more on this Editors’ Choice-winning Android browser.

Firefox Health Report Gives Your Browser a Check-Up – Internet users will soon be able to play doctor to their computer browser, with Mozilla’s integration of Firefox Health Report (FHR). According to Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation, the new feature will help users understand why their software runs differently than someone else’s, or how to make something run more efficiently.

Rumor: Apple Recruiting Googlers to Improve Maps App – While users eagerly wait for Google to, hopefully, bring its Maps app back to iOS devices , Apple is reportedly taking drastic measures to improve its own flawed map product.

Samsung raises jury misconduct in bid for new Apple trial – Samsung lists cases in which juror misconduct — introducing outside material to deliberations — led to a new trial. That’s after jury foreman revealed he discussed his patent experience with other jurors.


Ransomware – would you pay up? – Here’s a tale from the Australian outback about a ransomware demand. The victim was asked for $3000. He paid up. But would you? Should you? Or is there a better way?

Microsoft Windows Update emails try to steal your Gmail, Yahoo, AOL passwords – Beware any emails which claim to come from – it could be that you’re being targeted in an attack designed to steal your AOL, Gmail, Yahoo or Windows Live password.

Backdoor Trojan masquerading as KLM e-ticket – The latest of these attempts takes the form of an email supposedly sent by KLM. It looks pretty believable as it uses a legitimate KLM e-ticket layout, but the fake ticket is missing crucial information that is purportedly contained in the attachment (

Top words cybercriminals use in fake emails – The top words cybercriminals use create a sense of urgency, to trick unsuspecting recipients into downloading malicious files. The top word category used to evade traditional IT security defenses in email-based attacks relates to express shipping, according to FireEye.

New Hacker Collective Emerges in Response to Anti-Islamic Film – The incendiary YouTube video cited as the proximate cause of attacks on U.S. embassies on Sept. 11 has spawned a group calling itself the ‘Arab Electronic Army.’

How to recognize rogue online pharmacies – Crooks noticed the high earning potential of rogue online pharmacies from the very start, and the World Health Organization now estimates that more than 50 percent of prescriptions ordered online are counterfeit and either contain the wrong active ingredient or not enough of the active ingredient.

Company News:

TiVo, Verizon Settle Patent Spat for $250.4 Million – TiVo and Verizon settled a three-year patent lawsuit this week, forcing Verizon to pay upwards of $250 million.

DellKACE unveils appliance for improved endpoint security – Dell KACE unveiled the latest version of the Dell KACE K1000 Management Appliance, which includes expanded visibility into the network through support for new operating systems such as Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Ubuntu Linux and Mac OS X Mountain Lion.

Microsoft, HP Criticized for Using Offshore Accounts to Avoid U.S. Taxes – A U.S. Senate subcommittee is shining a light on activities of the two tech companies to shield profits in offshore accounts in order to avoid paying U.S. corporate income taxes.

Adobe Launches New HTML5-Centric Web Developer Suite – Adobe unveils “Edge Tools & Services” at its “Create the Web” event in San Francisco.

Microsoft faces EU fine over browser choice ‘error’ – Despite labeling the incident as a “technical error,” Microsoft is braced for another hefty fine from the EU after it failed to include the browser choice software in Windows.

Webopedia Daily:

Rogue Antivirus Software – Also called smitfraud, scareware, or rogue security software, this type of software is defined as malware – it is designed specifically to damage or disrupt a computer system. In this case, not only is the software going to disrupt your system, it’s going to try and trick you into making a purchase using your credit card. This specific type of malware appears to users in the form of a fake Windows warning on your computer system that reads you have a specific number of viruses on your computer (usually in the hundreds) and that this software has detected those viruses. To get rid of them you must download and purchase the full-version of the antivirus software. It’s important to remember that by purchasing the “claimed full version to remove the viruses” you will be submitting your personal information to unscrupulous persons and may also end up being a victim of credit card or identity fraud or theft.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Will Google Make Money Off the Self-Driving Car? – Why would Google bother to help design a self-driving car? To build the world’s best shopping cart, that’s why.

The Balkanization of the Internet – Censoring the Internet is like using a BB gun to rid the backyard of flies. It’s a joke.

Are printer companies gouging us on laser toner pricing? – Your monochrome laser printer is supposed to be stress-free: sturdy, reliable, less complicated than a color laser, and not as costly to run as a color inkjet. Unfortunately, however, you may be paying considerably more to keep your laser printer filled with toner these days than you did earlier in the printer’s life.

No more flight turbulence? – Admit it: just the thought of rough turbulence on a flight is making your stomach woozy and your heart beat a little faster. But don’t get too worked up (please, not on the blog!), the National Center for Atmospheric Research has developed a system that could make airplane turbulence a rare experience during takeoff and landing.

Study: Estonia, U.S. have most Internet freedom – Residents of Estonia have the most freedom to do what they want on the Internet, with the U.S. ranking second among 47 countries examined by a group that pushes for democratic freedoms worldwide.

Today’s Quote:

The middle of the road is where the white line is-and that’s the worst place to drive.”

–      Robert Frost

Today’s Free Downloads:

Wise Data Recovery 3.1.7 – Have you ever deleted some useful files by mistake? Have you ever regretted to remove some files which you want to use later? Have you ever lost some private data as the consequence of a sudden PC crash? Let Wise Data Recovery help you!

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.

MailStore Home 7.1 – Over the years, emails can become scattered among different computers, programs and mailboxes. With MailStore Home you can bring order into this chaos by creating a single central archive for all emails.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 24, 2012

Just how hackable is your digital life? – If a hacker wanted to ruin your life—whether by identity theft or by a simple Honan-esque data wipe—how difficult would that objective be to achieve? The answer is that it’s likely a lot easier than you think.

Scrub Sensitive Data From Your PC With Free PrivaZer – There are many files on your computer that contain hints as to where you’ve been surfing, what you’ve been writing, viewing, etc. It’s a staggering job to get rid of all of it by hand. Indeed, even experienced users usually opt to erase the hard drive and reinstall their operating system; it’s faster than doing it manually. Privazer is another, and far handier, option.

Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe – Facebook is dropping its controversial facial recognition feature, for European users at least, following a privacy backlash from users and regulators. But it may not be long before it returns.

Share one keyboard and mouse with multiple machines without a KVM – The Synergy open source application allows you to share a keyboard and mouse between Windows, Mac, and Linux computers and saves you the cost of a KVM.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

FortiClient Lite – Protect your PC against breaking cyber threats with free antivirus, parental Web control, and VPN.

Iran moves to block Google, plans its own private web – Iran is in the process of blocking access to Google search, Gmail and YouTube, saying it plans to introduce its own ‘domestic internet’.

Meetings in the cloud: The best software for online conferencing – Sharing a virtual desktop need not be a chore. We test four services that connect multiple people with common documents.

Nitro Pro 8: A feature rich and economical Adobe Acrobat alternative – Will Kelly reviews Nitro Pro 8, a third-party Windows application for creating and managing PDFs.

Apple’s Competitors Smell Blood in Water Over iOS 6 ‘Maps’ App – We’re speaking, of course, about the criticism that Apple’s taking for the less-than-accurate results sometimes provided by its new Maps application in iOS 6. The app, arguably worse than the Google Maps-driven app it was designed to replace, has even forced Apple to get on the horn and prepare a statement for those left befuddled by Apple’s new app.

Apple’s iPod Touch for the Win – At the much-anticipated iPhone 5 event, Apple also updated its iPod touch and iPod nano lineup. The iPhone 5 took center stage, but I think the iPod touch is an undervalued device that can extend Apple’s reach worldwide.

Logitech Washable Keyboard K310 – The Logitech Washable Keyboard K310 can handle a good soaking, but it’s more than just easy to clean, thanks to a stylish yet functional design. It isn’t just washable, it’s also waterproof, spill proof, and dust-resistant, making it ideal for clean-freaks and klutzes alike.

Tweet archiving may be available by year’s end – Twitter lovers who want to smoothly save their words of wisdom for posterity may soon be able to do so. That’s what the CEO of the microblogging company predicted at the Online News Association conference in San Francisco last week.

Install Windows 8 Enterprise for a free evaluation – Recently, Microsoft made a free 90-day evaluation copy of the final version of Windows 8 Enterprise available for download. While the MSDN Evaluation Center page lists the Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation as being for developers building Windows 8 apps and IT professionals interested in trying Windows 8 Enterprise on behalf of their organization, anyone can download it. In this post, I’ll show you how to download and install the free 90-day evaluation copy of the final version of Windows 8 Enterprise.


Twitter DMs from your friends can lead to Facebook video malware attack – Have you received a Twitter message from an online friend, suggesting you have been captured in a Facebook video? Beware – it could be a malware attack!

Savviest hackers hail from Eastern Europe, researchers say – Despite an increasing number of successful cyberattacks launched by East Asian hackers against companies and government institutions around the world in recent years, Eastern European cybercriminals remain a more sophisticated threat to the global Internet, security researchers say.

Would you open a sexy email sitting in your business inbox? – Imagine you are at work. You are rattling through your email. And in your inbox, sitting quietly, is a message with the word “sexy” in the title…

IBM: Sandboxing Works, Just Look at Adobe Reader – Sandbox technology, which is used to isolate processes in an application in an effort to minimize risk to the underlying operating system, is proving useful in reducing vulnerabilities, according to IBM. Adobe embraced sandbox technology over the past year. Its Adobe Reader X program implements a process sandbox for PDF in an effort to reduce the usage of Adobe’s technology as an attack vector. McFadden said IBM’s mid-year report shows a correlation between the adoption and release of Reader X and the sandbox and a decline in Adobe exploits.

Company News:

Motorola, Samsung Secure Patent Victory Over Apple – Motorola and Samsung secured a patent victory against Apple today when a German court found that the two firms did not infringe upon Cupertino’s multi-touch patent. As noted by Reuters, the technology is used on a variety of Android-based devices from Samsung and Motorola, which is now owned by Google.

Boeing to Expand In-Flight WiFi, Media Streaming – The systems will have the capability to provide in-flight use for cell phones, WiFi connectivity for passengers, Internet access using in-flight entertainment (IFE) and live television broadcasts, according to a company release.

Riot breaks out at troubled Apple supplier – Apple supplier Foxconn has been forced to shut down its Taiyuan factory in China after a riot involving 2,000 workers broke out late last night.

How Amazon Plans to Tackle a Lack of Tablet-Optimized Android Apps – Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets have a lot to offer that vanilla Android tablets don’t–lower prices and a larger media selection, for example–but a huge selection of tablet-optimized apps isn’t one of them. Still, Amazon has a few ideas on how to improve the situation.

Webopedia Daily:

SERP: search engine results page – Short for search engine results page, the Web page that a search engine returns with the results of its search. The major search engines typically display three kinds of listings on their SERPs. Listings that have been indexed by the search engine’s spider, listings that have been indexed into the search engine’s directory by a human, and listings that are paid to be listed by the search engine.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Calling All Keyboard Innovators – Microsoft recently showed off a new keyboard design that splits the spacebar in two. One segment serves as a normal spacebar while the other segment has the option to be a backspace key. This is probably the most revolutionary keyboard design change since the Dvorak keyboard designed by my namesake August Dvorak in the 1930s.

Anti-Muslim video and violence show the value of atheism – Imagine something that falls out of the sky and knocks you unconscious. When you come to, you’re lying on a mattress in the street and have no idea what happened but you’re still alive and life is random but good. It’s not a god in action — although that’s what an insurance company might say to get off the hook — it’s just luck. So why believe a god’s watching? This perfect reason for atheism actually happened in New York City on Wednesday.

Head-on Truck Crash (video 0:30) – When Russians get into accidents, they do it in style. (recommended by Michael F.)

Survey: PCs, Not Tablets, Dominate Small Biz App Use – A new survey from Newtek shows that despite the BYOD buzz, most small businesses are still tethered to their PCs.

Meet the Mozilla OS Developer Phone – The iPhone is raging, Android is still going strong, and Windows 8 at least has a shot at third place, but there is another mobile player you may not know about. Mozilla has been working on a mobile OS for years and it is almost ready for consumers–at least in China. It may take a while to get to U.S. shores, but’s Russell Holly has more details.

Today’s Quote:

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

–     Dante Alighieri

Today’s Free Downloads:

WinSCP 5.1.0 – WinSCP is an open source free SFTP client and FTP client for Windows. Legacy SCP protocol is also supported. Its main function is safe copying of files between a local and a remote computer.

Gmail Notifier + 3.6 – Gmail Notifier Plus is a small application used to monitor multiple Gmail and Google Apps Mail accounts from a single, compact point. With its slick, native look, GNP notifies you in a variety of ways of your new mail.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 23, 2012

FBI renews broad Internet surveillance push – The FBI is renewing its request for new Internet surveillance laws, saying technological advances hinder surveillance and warning that companies should be required to build in back doors for police.

The innocence of Android fans – For over two years I was seduced by the tremendous potential of Google’s Open Source mobile operating system. Until I finally realized many of Android’s redeeming features were perverted by the lies of false prophets.

Facebook still a haven for criminals – Facebook posting can lead to big trouble with the law. And despite all the publicity surrounding the issue, there are real-world examples every day.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Five Alternatives to Apple’s iOS 6 Maps – Apple Maps for iOS 6 causing you headaches? If you’re one of the afflicted, here’s a list of map app alternatives and workarounds to tide you over until either Apple rectifies these issues or Google releases (and Apple approves) a downloadable version of its iOS mapping tool.

Nestle Adds GPS Trackers to Candy Bars in UK Promotion – It’s akin to a golden ticket that finds you! Creepy or innovative? You make the call.

Girl makes Facebook party invite public, riot police called – A Dutch girl forgets to make a Facebook party invitation private. So 4,000 people turn up, and she has to flee her home.

How to dual-boot Windows 7 with Windows 8 – If you’re not sure if you want to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8, why not run both? Learn how to do it in a few simple steps.

Windows 8 makes ‘Windows’ make sense – Windows is about to undergo the biggest change it has ever attempted. Windows 8 isn’t the PC-centric product it has been since its inception. It is a multiplatform offering that goes farther than anything either Apple or Google has attempted. Recognize, too, that this isn’t a single-step move but a process, likely changing over the next decade, to get to a place we may not yet see clearly.

Wikipedia honcho caught in scandal quits, defends paid edits – High-placed editors at Wikipedia’s U.K. site were caught in a simmering paid-PR scandal. After news broke, one resignation and a little backpedaling has done little to solve the problem.

iPads (and tablets) in K12 – When will we get it together? – An interview with John Martellaro over at the Mac Observer got me thinking…why can’t we get this right?

The return of old school games – As the saying goes, everything old is new again, and this is especially true of gaming.


Microsoft fixes Windows 8 Flash bugs – Microsoft on Friday updated Flash on Windows 8 to protect IE10 users from attacks that may have started months ago. More than a week before, Microsoft had backed away from an earlier position that held it would not patch Flash until late October. Instead, the company promised to update the media player “shortly.”

Protect Your Assets: A Buying Guide to Office Security Systems – We talk frequently about cybersecurity, discussing how to protect your business’s data by using strong passwords, deploying antimalware utilities, and keeping your computers safe with the latest patches and updates. This time, the focus is on premises security, or protecting your business’s physical assets from burglary and vandalism.

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.

Cyber attackers target energy companies – Hackers using a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) named Mirage have been engaged in a systematic cyber espionage campaign against a Canadian energy company, a large oil firm in the Philippines and several other entities since at least this April, Dell’s SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit says.

Company News:

Apple wants ban on Samsung products, even more damages – As Apple asks for court order, Samsung complains that ‘patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners.’

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 runs Windows 8 Pro, includes keyboard for $799 – Microsoft wasn’t kidding when it said Windows 8 Pro tablets would cost as much as Ultrabooks.

Kickstarter Aims to Make Gadgets Less of a Gamble – The crowdfunding site wants to reduce the number of project meltdowns by banning product renderings, simulations and bulk sales.

Google’s Motorola goes after Apple maps in new ad – Motorola is rather amused by Apple’s maps problem. And what do you do when you’re amused? Like Samsung, you do an ad.

Webopedia Daily:

Siri – Siri is a built-in “intelligent assistant” that enables Apple iPhone 4S users to speak natural language voice commands in order to operate the smartphone and its apps. Users can speak commands — and receive audible confirmation from Siri — to send messages, place calls, set reminders, operate iTunes and more. Siri can work across multiple iPhone 4S apps as needed in order to accomplish its tasks. Siri also supports extended dictation, enabling users to have their words translated into text for use in e-mail and text messages, Facebook status updates, tweets, note-taking Web searching and similar operations.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The Jetsons Turns Fifty: How the Future Looked in 1962 – Hanna-Barbera’s iconic show has shaped our view of the future for half a century now.

The greatest metal albums of all time – Rolling Stone magazine recently conducted a poll for the greatest heavy metal albums of all time.

How to Use the Telephone, 1917 – Lesson for the internet: Good manners aids communication. (recommended by Michael F.)

The software that stops you smiling in New Jersey – Because the state has invested in facial recognition software, you can’t smile on your New Jersey driver’s license photo. The software is confused by smiling.

The CIA Burglar Who Went Rogue – Douglas Groat thought he understood the risks of his job – until he took on his own employer. (recommended by Michael F.)

Today’s Quote:

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny …’

–    Isaac Asimov

Today’s Free Downloads:

PicEdit 1.80 – PicEdit is a powerful, easy to operate, user-friendly image editing software, support a variety of graphic styles and a variety of effects processing.

YUMI – YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer), is the successor to MultibootISOs. It can be used to create a Multiboot USB Flash Drive containing multiple operating systems, antivirus utilities, disc cloning, diagnostic tools, and more.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 22, 2012

Safely send private information over the Internet – You should never, ever just email credit card numbers, passwords, or other private information. You don’t know how many servers the message will pass through between your computer and the recipient’s, or who has access to those servers. A truly private message must be encrypted before it leaves your computer, and remain encrypted until the recipient receives it. To complicate things further, you can’t assume that the recipient is any more tech savvy than that uncle who freaks out when you open a new tab on his browser. Here are two ways to safely send private information over the Internet.

Start or join a neighborhood social network with Nextdoor – Get in touch with the folks around the corner with Nextdoor, the social network that links neighbors and makes it easier to keep in touch with local people and events.

Discover how the Internet sees you with the Life Online Mirror – The Museum developed the online mirror with Cambridge University researchers. It uses a personality analysis system, used by academics and compared against a database of 6.5 million people gathered by researchers at the Cambridge University Psychometrics Centre. By comparing results with this database the tool claims that it can give you a scientifically accurate breakdown of your personality based upon your Internet behaviour.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Facebook Suspends Facial-Recognition Tool in Europe – Facebook today shut down its facial-recognition tool in Europe, based on recommendations by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC).

Twitter CEO: Soon, you can download all your tweets – During a keynote at the Online News Association conference, Dick Costolo addressed a popular user request — and explained Twitter’s ideas for a broader platform with more value.

Your searches on Facebook to show up in activity log – Along with what you read, post and Like, Facebook now tracks what you search.

YouTube Testing Interactive, Video Q&A Feature – YouTube has begun testing an interactive question-and-answer trivia-style video feature called Video Questions Editor.

Sophos update bug cripples businesses; customers affected – Sophos’ antivirus update bug may have overloaded systems administrators email inboxes, but it also had a knock-on effect for businesses and end-consumers around the globe.

Local search Field Test: Apple Maps vs. Google Maps – In part two of our Apple Maps app testing, we decided to perform local searches of landmarks and other locations and the results were clearly lopsided.

Fourandsix releases image-authenticator software – Is that police evidence photo legit? Does that photo truly show what happened? A startup has software that can help give an answer.

Automatically save Gmail attachments to Dropbox or another cloud service – is a free service that can upload Gmail attachments to Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or SkyDrive. Just install its browser plug-in (available for Chrome and Firefox), then link it with one or more of the aforementioned cloud services. (You’ll need to grant permission, a one-time process.)


Microsoft patches IE zero-day and Flash flaws in IE 10 – Microsoft has delivered on its promise and has issued a security update for Internet Explorer to address the zero-day memory-corruption vulnerability in versions 9 and earlier that is currently being exploited in attacks. The update also takes care of four privately disclosed vulnerabilities that are currently not being exploited. In addition to this, Microsoft has also released an update for Adobe Flash Player in Internet Explorer 10 on all supported editions of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, in order to close two vulnerabilities that could allow remote code execution.

Hotmail Limits Passwords to 16 Characters – Passwords, unfortunately, still are the main authentication mechanism on most Web sites, including all of the popular webmail services, such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo Mail. Many sites encourage users to pick complex and long passwords, so it’s surprising to see that Microsoft now has limited Hotmail passwords to no more than 16 characters. Even more surprising, however, is that Hotmail will accept the first 16 characters of an existing, longer password, indicating that the company may have been storing users’ passwords in plaintext.

Security experts hack and refresh US transit cards with Android app – The researchers say they have identified a flaw in the paper-electronic ticketing systems used on the San Francisco Muni and New Jersey PATH networks. They say the transit authorities haven’t been using the basic security functionality of the NXP chips used in the cards.

Disconnect Between Application Development and Security Getting Wider – There is a widening gulf between application developers and security decision makers inside the enterprise, and it’s starting to cost companies serious money.

Bromium secures computers by holding apps in isolation – New security software separates apps and their processes from the operating system to keep attacks at bay.

Company News:

Apple accused of ripping off famous Swiss clock design – Company could be in hot water for reportedly using a trademarked design it does not own the rights to as part of its iOS 6 clock app.

SUSE Manager update streamlines Linux management – SUSE released SUSE Manager 1.7 of its systems management solution for enterprise Linux environments. SUSE Manager’s capabilities help enterprises to comprehensively manage SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers with a single centralized solution.

Salesforce Extends SaaS Platform With Social Web Tools – Salesforce kicked off its annual Dreamforce user conference on Sept. 19 by introducing a series of new applications and services that allow businesses to mine the social Web for marketing data that they can use to communicate with consumers, customers and partners.

Ubuntu Linux adopts new UEFI boot problem approach – Windows 8 PCs will come with Microsoft’s UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) Secure Boot. This “feature” will make it much harder to boot Linux or other operating systems. Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, is going to take a new approach to address this problem.

Webopedia Daily:

Backup Software – Software designed to duplicate important data in the event of a hard drive failure, user error, disaster or accident. Software applications that handle the process of backing up and restoring files, folders, databases, hard drives, or entire network servers are also sometimes referred to as disaster recovery tools. Popular backup software tools include Norton Ghost, Symantec Backup Exec, Acronis True Image and TotalRecovery Pro. An alternative to standard backup software tools are online backup and recovery services that save your important data to a remote location in the cloud. Examples of cloud backup services include Carbonite, Mozy and IDrive.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Going blind? DRM will dim your world – Many of us will start losing our eyesight as we age. The digital world can help get round some of these physical impediments – but not if digital rights management and the like blocks our accessibility.

iPhone 5 launch: Over 1,000 people needlessly block Regent Street – Another iLaunch, another queue. For my sins, I was sent down there to check out what all the fuss was about and why exactly people had been waiting there for more than a week. Ultimately, I’m not sure I got an answer.

How Windows 8 will shake up the laptop market – Dozens of new laptops and tablets are coming with the Window 8 launch. Here’s what you need to know ahead of time.

Gen. Colin Powell stresses potential success, dangers of social media – Gen. Colin Powell argued the potential is there for the social enterprise, but you can’t have leaders that are terrified of it.

Today’s Quote:

Even on the highest throne in the world, we are still sitting on our ass.”

–     Michel de Montaigne

Today’s Free Downloads:

CDBurnerXP – CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free.

Dictionary .NET – Dictionary .NET is a tiny, easy and smart multilingual dictionary translating from/to 52 languages using Google´s services. Integrates Google Dictionary, Translate, Search, Suggest, Wikipedia 5-in-1 without installing them.

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