Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 6, 2012

Why You Should Start Using a VPN (and How to Choose the Best One for Your Needs) – You may know what a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is; you probably don’t use one. You really should be using a VPN, and even if you don’t think so now, at some point in the future you may consider it as important as your internet connection.

How Fast is Your Internet? Test it Now! – We’re teaming up with Speedtest.net to take the measure of all Internet service providers and reveal who’s the fastest in the land. Test your speed today, and everyday!

Five free recovery tools you can carry with you – Make sure your portable toolkit includes a reliable recovery solution. Here are five possibilities worth checking out. View on site

uTorrent Brings a Full BitTorrent Client to Android – Android: uTorrent, our favorite BitTorrent client for Windows and OS X, now has a full BitTorrent client for Android, so you can download torrents right to your phone no matter where you are.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

App Advisor shield Facebook users from data-hungry apps – Secure.me unveiled App Advisor, a solution protecting users from data-hungry apps. Secure.me has analyzed app activities of 50 million Facebook users and more than 500,000 apps to build the largest App Security Network in the world. This knowledge is integrated in App Advisor, making the data access and activities of apps completely transparent for everyone. The browser extension, available for Safari, Firefox and Chrome browsers, helps protect users’ personal data before it is shared via Facebook.

OpenSUSE 12.2 Linux finally arrives – It took longer than expected, but openSUSE 12.2 is now available. OpenSUSE, SUSE’s community Linux, may not be as sexy as Fedora, Mint, or Ubuntu, but it’s still a strong, popular Linux for both servers and desktops and it’s good to see the latest version finally arrive after months of delay.

Managing Routers Remotely – A new Android app, called mydlink, gives users some remote control over their mydlink-enabled routers and IP cameras via the cloud. Such control is a current trend in the networking space, and D-Link is on-board with one of the first offerings.

Five free tools for network diagramming – If you’re looking for a basic diagramming app that won’t cost you a dime, you’re in luck: There are several easy-to-use tools available for free.

Apple: We didn’t pass iPhone, iPad device IDs to FBI – Both the FBI and now Apple have come forward to state that they had no involvement the ongoing ‘UDID-gate,’ which led to more than 1 million iOS device codes leaking to the Web.

Qubes OS Release Enhances Security Via Domain Isolation – With the deluge of malware and advanced attacks continuing unabated, security approaches that sandbox applications or isolate processes are garnering increased attention. Researcher Joanna Rutkowska and Invisible Things Lab were the latest to go in that direction with the official release on Tuesday of the Qubes operating system.

With the rise of the Linux desktop, will viruses follow? – The Linux desktop is growing in popularity and many believe a growth in viruses will follow. Jack Wallen thinks that logic is flawed and explains why.

Surfing the World Wide Web, raw style – Marco Fioretti gets to the bottom of the “mysterious” Surfraw program and tells you what you can do with it to power-up your WWW research skills.

Security:

Microsoft puts Windows 8 users at risk with missing Flash update – Last month, Adobe released a batch of critical security updates for Flash Player. Those updates are available for every modern browser except one. Microsoft has yet to release the update for IE 10 in Windows 8, and may not do so until next month.

Facebook Timeline Eraser Chrome Plugins Dupe Tens of Thousands of Users – Nearly 100,000 Facebook users have been duped into installing third-party Chrome plugins over the past few weeks that have access to all of their data on every Web site they visit. According to research recently conducted by security firm Barracuda Networks, the unsuspecting users were tricked into thinking the plugins could block Timeline, a new profile feature Facebook first introduced at the end of 2011.

Hacker fears over net data plan – Privacy advocates say a government proposal to keep all of Australia’s internet and telephone information for two years would create a ”honey pot” for hackers and criminals. Victoria’s Privacy Commissioner warned a joint parliamentary committee yesterday that civil rights and privacy would never have a chance if governments always put national security above all other rights. (recommended by Mal C.)

Study shows hackers more focused on passwords than those who create them – The report highlighted the fact that Internet users are ignoring core precautions. The survey, conducted with 13,000 adults in 24 countries ranging in age from 18 to 64, shows 46% don’t use a password that combines phrases, letters, numbers, symbols and caps and lowercase – so-called complex passwords. In addition, that same group does not change their passwords frequently, a practice that dictates the shelf-life and long-term value of a password.

Apple issues Java update to tackle zero day – Apple has now released its own patches for OS X users, in order to tackle the Java zero-day vulnerabilities that were discovered at the end of last month. The security updates are available for Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion systems, due to there now being “an opportunity for security-in-depth hardening”. In Apple’s security bulletin, the company refers to Oracle’s own security alert for CVE-2012-4681, and recommends users apply either the Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 10 or Java for OS X 2012-005, depending on the user’s operating system. These patches will update Java to version 1.6.0_35, the equivalent of the latest version of Java 6.

Company News:

Panda Security launches new antivirus solutions – Panda Security launched Panda Antivirus Pro 2013, Panda Internet Security 2013 and Panda Global Protection 2013. All of the 2013 products deliver real-time protection against known and unknown threats by harnessing the knowledge and experience of millions of users through Panda’s unique cloud-based Collective Intelligence technology.

Nokia Lumia 920, 820 Boast Windows Phone 8, Camera Display Advances – With the two new smartphones, Nokia is emphasizing technologies related to the display, the camera and charging, as well as focusing on exclusive applications. In a demonstration, the camera technology in particular—which uses stabilization technology that allows the camera’s shutter to stay open longer and so offer brighter, crisper shots at night, without introducing blur from finite hand movements—was impressive. Nokia says the Lumia 920 can take shots that used to be reserved for stand-alone SLR cameras.

Amazon prepares to launch larger Kindle Fire, backlit e-ink Kindle Paperwhite – In the lead up to a press conference later today, details of Amazon’s refreshed Kindle line-up have started to leak. Most notably, there will be a Kindle Fire 2 and a new backlit e-ink Kindle.

Intel releases 3GHz Core i7 Mobile Extreme Edition processor – Summary: Intel bumps the performance of its top-end Core i7 Mobile Extreme Edition processor, finally breaking the 3GHz barrier – at the eye-watering price of $1,096.

Webopedia Daily:

OSI – Open System Interconnection – Short for Open System Interconnection, an ISO standard for worldwide communications that defines a networking framework for implementing protocols in seven layers. Control is passed from one layer to the next, starting at the application layer in one station, proceeding to the bottom layer, over the channel to the next station and back up the hierarchy.

Off Topic (Sort of):

US demand for security products to reach 21 billion by 2016 – The US and global markets for security products continue to grow rapidly, driven by high perceived threats, despite long-term downward trend in crime rates. As such, most markets for security products are expected to post solid gains through 2016, supported by the economic recovery and rebound in many types of building construction.

Cloud Computing: Americans Still Unclear on the Concept – When you think of the term “cloud,” do you think of pillows, drugs or even toilet paper? A survey of more than 1,000 American adults found that while the cloud is widely used, it is still misunderstood. Despite this confusion, 59 percent said they believe the “workplace of the future” will exist entirely in the cloud. Here are some of the verbatim responses some respondents came up with to describe “the cloud.”

The dangers of the Pentagon’s cloud – The Pentagon has bought into the cloud computing concept and is in the process of consolidating its servers and networks to adapt to it. Moving the military onto the cloud makes sense to Defense Department leaders for two reasons: cost and agility. Generals claim the transition to the cloud will provide a needed third capability, security. Cyber analysts, however, are not completely sold. (recommended by Michael F.)

Windows 8 and the Cloud – Microsoft SkyDrive has existed for about five years, but only with Windows 8 does this cloud-based storage solution become an integral part of Microsoft’s operating system strategy. And since Microsoft has taken to using the term “device cloud” to describe SkyDrive, you can bet there’s going to be an important mobile component to the service.

Will Linux Survive if Linus Torvalds Got Hit by a Bus? – As was the case in the beginning, Torvalds remains the leader of Linux and is responsible for maintaining the mainline kernel and pushing out its new leading-edge releases. One of the questions that has long been asked, and was asked again at the LinuxCon conference on Wednesday night, is the question of succession known as, “What if Linus gets hit by a bus?”

Today’s Quote:

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.”

–      Mark Twain

Today’s Free Downloads:

AVG LinkScanner – Verifies the safety of web pages you visit, and of links returned from web searches. AVG LinkScanner is up and running immediately from the moment of installation.

AVG AntiVirus Free Edition 2013 – With this free distribution version of the popular AVG Anti-Virus system, you will get a reliable tool for your computer protection against computer viruses.

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