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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