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

7 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 28, 2012

  1. drndark

    Reblogged this on drndark.

  2. Giving skydrive a shot Bill.
    I was never able to edit my docs using Google Drive. Looks like I can do that now with skydrive, so I’ll give that a try. Thanks!

  3. Hi Bill ~ I hope you’re keeping well

    Are you planning to test drive it? I’d be interested in knowing if it will run smoothly alongside my various other security software progs.
    [inc. MSE, Winpatrol & Threatfire which are always ‘on’]

    My instinct is to be a late [or non] adopter 🙂

  4. Rick J.

    Hi Bill,

    I’ve installed Exploit Shield and it seems to work although I’m not brave enough to test it against any live exploits. All I can say is that Threatfire seems to do just as well at blocking Java exploits just as long as the user doesn’t blindly click “allow” every time an alert pops up.

    So far the only drawback might be issues with false positives but it’s easy to exit Exploit Shield if this happens!

    As for other exploits that target Adobe Reader, MS Office and MS Media Player – I don’t use those so it’s not a problem. Flash Player is one that I do use so I’ll be keeping Exploit Shield installed for now.

    I’m also running EMET but apparently some of these Black Hole exploit kits can bypass it’s protection.

    It seems that there’s always a new threat doing the rounds!

    Take care out there…

    Rick J.

    • Hi Rick,

      Sorry for the late response – just got back from a few days away.

      Sad, isn’t it? For each step forward in security, we seem to take a step or two back. Hopefully, emerging technologies (like Exploit Shield), will help to reverse the playing field.