Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 20, 2012

Will you be more secure if you abandon Internet Explorer? – Switching browsers will protect you from the current Internet Explorer zero-day exploits, but it’s not a silver bullet security solution.

Web browser showdown: Chrome vs Firefox vs I.E. – Which browser is fastest, easiest to use, and offers the best security?

How to Buy Security Software – Security software is a must for any Internet-connected computer, be it PC or Mac. Some will choose the simplicity of an all-in-one suite, while others may prefer gathering best-of-breed products for each area of protection to build their own ad-hoc suite.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Fing-Network Tools (for Android) – Fing is a network discovery tool that finds devices connected to your network. It also features several networking utilities. Even though it’s free, its developers aren’t stingy with its feature set.

How to future-proof your hardware for Windows 8 – If you need to buy PC hardware today, you’ll do best to purchase gear that sings in harmony with Windows 8–even if you’re not planning an imminent upgrade to Microsoft’s new OS.

Inside the shadowy underground of Korean monitor sales – If you’re looking for a high-res desktop monitor with good image quality, you can buy a brand you’ve never heard of direct from Korea. But proceed with caution.

The first five apps I install on a new Windows desktop – When you set up a new Windows installation for yourself, which apps do you turn to first? Scott Lowe shares his work-oriented list of essential apps.

CCFinder An Able Helper For Finding Reusable Images Online – Journalists, bloggers, and designers will find desktop search engine CCFinder (free for basic service, $10 for Plus version) handy because it makes finding legally reusable images on the Internet quick and easy.

How to reinstall Windows 8 without losing your files and programs – Windows 8 makes the annual task of cleaning your PC and returning it to a speedy state easy with the new Refresh tool. Using a custom image and built-in Windows tools, Refresh becomes much more useful for enthusiasts by allowing you to setup your computer just the way you like it — with personalized settings and your favorite desktop (and Metro) apps — and return to that pristine state at any time!

Computers on a stick (finally) – Patrick Gray discusses the benefits to enterprise IT of “Windows To Go,” a new feature of Windows 8 that claims to allow a fully functioning copy of Window 8 to be placed on a USB stick and booted on any computer capable of running Windows.

Security:

Cyber criminals actively targeting financial institutions, warns FBI – Cyber criminals have been and are actively targeting employees of financial institutions with spam and phishing e-mails, warns the FBI-backed Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Their aim is to compromise the employees’ computers via information-stealing Trojans, keyloggers and Remote Access Tools (RATs) and then use the gleaned information to access the institutions’ internal networks and third party systems.

2+2 Member Reports $100K Stolen From Lock Poker Account – A high stakes online poker player has come forward on the popular poker forum 2+2 that he had over $100K stolen from his account at Lock Poker, the largest online poker skin on the Revolution Gaming Network. In total, it looks as though $54K alone was transferred to what we can only assume is the scammer’s account, while the rest was dumped to another player at high stakes Omaha at Lock. (recommended by Michael F.)

Pinterest users targeted with fake ad-pushing app – Pinterest, the extremely popular pinboard-style social photo sharing website, has launched official apps for Android, iPad and iPhone back in April, but that hasn’t stopped scammers and ad-pushers from pushing out some of their own. GFI researchers have recently spotted an app aimed at PC users called “Pin Photo Zoom” that supposedly helps Pinterest users zoom in on images:

German Government tells all users of Internet Explorer.. to stop NOW – The German government is clearly taking the latest critical security problem in Internet Explorer seriously, publicly urging all users to stop browsing the web with the Microsoft product until a patch is available.

Over 9 million PCs infected – ZeroAccess botnet uncovered – ZeroAccess is a hugely widespread malware threat that has plagued individuals and enterprises for years. It has evolved over time to cater for new architectures and new versions of Windows. And it can earn its creators in excess of $100,000 per day. Find out more in our new technical paper.

Virgin Mobile Customers Susceptible to Account Hack – Virgin Mobile customers beware: Your phone number is the key to your personal information.

Company News:

Cloud Security Alliance Identifies 17 Key Components for Effective Mobile Device Management of BYOD and Company-Owned Devices – The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Mobile Working Group today released Mobile Device Management: Key Components, V1.0, a research report identifying 17 key elements that are critical for organizations to consider for the full lifecycle security management of mobile devices. The whitepaper is one of six parts to the upcoming, “Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Mobile Computing” report, one of a number of important research items to be presented and discussed at the upcoming annual CSA Congress being held November 7-8 in Orlando.

The squeak of innovation: Western Digital launching helium-filled hard drives – Western Digital is building a new type of hard drive — an enclosure that’s hermetically sealed and filled with helium. What’re the benefits and challenges of doing so? Joel Hruska investigates.

Red Hat plans to do for OpenStack what it did for Linux – Red Hat transformed Linux from being a hobby operating system to being an enterprise operating system and now it has the same plan for the OpenStack cloud.

Microsoft: Google breached your privacy; use Bing – Microsoft’s latest campaign takes an almighty swipe at Google, after the search giant was found to have circumvented the privacy settings of Safari users across the Web earlier this year.

Webopedia Daily:

Bioinformatics – The application of computer technology to the management of biological information. Specifically, it is the science of developing computer databases and algorithms to facilitate and expedite biological research. Bioinformatics is being used largely in the field of human genome research by the Human Genome Project that has been determining the sequence of the entire human genome (about 3 billion base pairs) and is essential in using genomic information to understand diseases. It is also used largely for the identification of new molecular targets for drug discovery.

Off Topic (Sort of):

A Survey of Gorgeous Public Restrooms Around the World – All joking aside, public conveniences are an important part of our urban infrastructure. So much so that the Royal Institute of British Architects hosted a competition (appropriately named Flushed with Pride) to revive the Victorian tradition of the great British public toilet. They challenged the country’s best designers to come up with beautiful, practical alternatives to today’s lackluster loos that, as their site states, “are significantly blighted by poor design and poor maintenance, resulting in unsanitary facilities, anti-social behaviour, and vandalism.” (recommended by Michael F.)

NASA working on faster-than-light space travel, says warp drives are ‘plausible’ – Is humanity close to making interstellar spaceflight a possibility, even within some of our own lifetimes? It certainly seems so as new breakthroughs in warp drive designs warrant further investigation.

Headed for disallusionment? The cloud’s place in the hype cycle – Thoran Rodrigues charts the progress of the cloud by looking at Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.

How to Make Yourself Luckier – Like it or not, we’re all a little superstitious. It’s not necessarily a bad thing—research shows that leaving things to chance and luck can enhance performance, increase productivity, and reduce stress. As writer Eric Barker explains, being lucky isn’t completely beyond our control.

Today’s Quote:

He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.”

–     Douglas Adams

Today’s Free Downloads:

Pale Moon 15.1.1 – Why settle for a basic build of your Firefox browser on Windows Operating Systems when you can have one that performs 25% faster?

WinPatrol 25.6.2012.1 – WinPatrol takes snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to any changes that may occur without your knowledge. WinPatrol was the pioneer in using a heuristic behavioral approach to detecting attacks and violations of your computing environment.

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