Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 21, 2012

Facebook ‘Shared Activity’ Plugin Offers Users More Control – Facebook unveiled a new plugin that provides users with more control over how their non-Facebook activity is shared on the social network.

Are you a candidate for a next-gen Wi-Fi router? – 802.11ac routers are insanely fast, but come with multiple caveats. We review the only five models available today.

Netgear’s NeoTV cracks $50 barrier for 1080p streaming – If you’re looking for a cheap streaming video player for the living room, Netgear would like your attention. The company has revamped its NeoTV line with a trio of new media-streaming boxes. Compared to Netgear’s previous-generation product line, the new NeoTVs offer lower prices, improved hardware, and support for HTML 5, which will enable the device to support new online video channels.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Where are we? Apple Maps mess – The new map app for iOS 6 is a whole lot of fun — unless you want to use it for directions. Or to find a bridge that looks crossable.

Yet another global cyber espionage campaign tied to China – A new cyber espionage campaign targeting energy and military companies and organizations has been unearthed by the researchers of Dell SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit Threat Intelligence. Dubbed Mirage after the highly persistent Remote Access Tool installed on the targeted machines, the campaign predictably starts with spear-phishing emails aimed at mid-level to senior-level executives. Once the recipients download and run the attachment, they are saddled with the Mirage RAT. The attacks have so far been aimed at an oil company in the Phillipines, a military organization in Taiwan, an energy company in Canada, and several as yet unidentified entities in Brazil, Israel, Egypt and Nigeria.

Why Do Not Track is worse than a miserable failure – As a consumer, you’d think that the meaning of “Do Not Track” is pretty clear. But the big data-collecting companies that are behind this standard seem intent on making sure it does nothing at all.

Upgrading an impossibly old system to Windows 8 – It runs Windows XP. It’s packed with hardware from 2004. And it looks patently absurd. Can it possibly run the new OS?

14 Essential Steps to Launching an Ecommerce Business – A newly minted ecommerce entrepreneur outlines the 14 critical steps you need to take to give your ecommerce business the best chance for success.

Review: Firefox 15 – Firefox 15 attacks a problem a lot of longtime users have experienced – excessive memory use by browser extensions. The new release also implements background updating similar to that used by Google Chrome, and adds a bunch of features for Web developers.

Security:

What to learn from the $10 million Subway POS hack – Two Romanian hackers will serve time for targeting Subway in a $10 million point-of-sale conspiracy involving 150 restaurants in 2011. It’s not just the hackers who are to blame, however; Subway’s sloppy business practices left the chain vulnerable. The hacking scheme exploited remote desktop software installed on the computers connected to the point-of-sale (POS) devices. Remote access software allows a third-party to access a PC or other device, usually for the purpose of updating, repairing, or otherwise monitoring said device.

Twitter messages lead to phishing AND malware – If you have received a private message from another Twitter telling you “lol ur famous now”, have followed it to a fake Facebook page requiring you to log into Twitter to see the video in question and have ultimately done what was asked of you, you are in danger of getting your account hijacked and malware installed on your computer, warns GFI’s Chris Boyd.

Fake debt payment notices deliver malware – Emails purportedly coming from PayPal’s Bill Me Later service have been hitting inboxes around the world, threatening to file charges against the users if they do not settle a bogus debt, warns MX Lab. The email is well designed and, at first glance, does seem like it might be legitimate, but the threatening tone and the lousy spelling should make recipients suspicious.

How-To Video: Securing Facebook – Bolster the security of your Facebook account in the second installment of our how-to video series.

Company News:

Samsung Going After iPhone 5 for Patent Infringement – Samsung this week announced that it will likely go after Apple’s new iPhone 5 for patent infringement.

Comodo updates its Endpoint Security Manager – Comodo released a new edition of Comodo Endpoint Security Manager designed to assist businesses with locking down and centrally managing their laptop, desktop and server endpoints with a minimum of administrative effort.

Google, Apple face patent suit over early wireless data technology – Apple and Google have both been sued for patent infringement by Unwired Planet, a company that holds many early patents for mobile and cloud computing.

Kickstarter addresses risk and bans project drawings – Emphasizing that the crowd-sourced funding platform isn’t a retail store, the company tightens rules for project creators, banning proposal renderings and requiring qualifications.

Webopedia Daily:

URL – Abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator (URL) it is the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. The first part of the URL is called a protocol identifier and it indicates what protocol to use, and the second part is called a resource name and it specifies the IP address or the domain name where the resource is located. The protocol identifier and the resource name are separated by a colon and two forward slashes. A URL is one type of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI); the generic term for all types of names and addresses that refer to objects on the World Wide Web. The term “Web address” is a synonym for a URL that uses the HTTP / HTTPS protocol. The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) was developed by Tim Berners-Lee in 1994 and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) URI working group. The URL format is specified in RFC 1738 Uniform Resource Locators (URL).

Off Topic (Sort of):

Video Conferencing Etiquette Needs a Makeover – A new survey from Radvision provides additional insights as to how the video conference has emerged as a favored communications tool. Putting a face on what would otherwise be a voice-only phone call certainly helps personalize a business encounter, according to survey participants. As for the right time and place to conduct a video conference? You may be surprised to learn that a significant number of young professionals have no reservations about holding these conferences in some odd places, including bathrooms.

9 Companies Microsoft Devoured or Sued Into Oblivion – The list of the most powerful tech companies in the world used to start with Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft was deemed so powerful that the government hounded it for years over anticompetitive practices and abuses of its monopoly position. Microsoft’s market position is different these days, but it is still interesting to look at the companies Microsoft sued or swallowed over its history.

IT departments warned: Evolve or die – Keeping the lights on is no longer enough: IT departments need to meet business demands or risk being demoted to a minor support role.

NFL teams look to stay in the game with fan-focused tech – To keep fans coming through the turnstiles instead of watching the game at home, National Football League teams are increasingly looking for technological ways to become more fan friendly. Erik Malinowski looks at how tech is improving the in-game experience at your local football stadium.

Today’s Quote:

Careful. We don’t want to learn from this.”

–      Bill Watterson “Calvin and Hobbes”

Today’s Free Downloads:

Toolwiz Care – Toolwiz Care is a free tool kit designed to speed up your slow PC. With a multi-functional optimization suite, this Windows system optimizer provides a collection of tools which includes System Checkup, System Cleanup, System Speedup, and 40+ powerful tools to enhance your PC performance, local and network security, and optimize the start-up procedure. Toolwiz team guarantees users that Toolwiz Care will stay free forever. This tool kit is designed for all levels of PC users from beginners to experts.

Zoom Player Free 8.5 RC 1 – Zoom Player is the most Powerful, Flexible and Customizable Media Player for the Windows PC platform. Using our powerful Smart Play technology, more Video, Audio and Image media formats play with less hassle, increased stability and better performance.

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