Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 2, 2012

Lock down your social media with essential security add-ons – Oversharing: It’s become standard operating procedure in our social-media-obsessed world. Still, there’s a difference between Facebooking embarrassing party photos or tweeting about your celebrity crush, and actually releasing critical private information to the Internet at large. Knowing your social media privacy settings can certainly keep your data safer, but a number of apps and services can help out, too.

Looking at cute animal photos makes you mentally sharp – Go ahead, take a break and watch this cute kitten video. Don’t worry, your boss will understand when you say that “viewing cute images improves behavioral performance on a non-motor speeded task.” If that doesn’t work, point your boss to this graph (though I take no responsibility in you getting fired because of your cute cat obsession):

Free USSD exploit blocker app – Avira released a free security app for Android phone users to protect them from remote USSD attacks. The Avira USSD Exploit Blocker app is available on Google Play. The USSD vulnerability was discovered by Dylan Reeve and was originally thought to affect just Samsung Galaxy phones, but it has since been confirmed to affect all Android phones running versions 4.0.x or lower. It works by using the special dial code, for example *#06# to display a phone’s IMEI number, which in turn can be manipulated via SMS, NFC beam or even a malicious website link to lock the phone’s SIM card, or factory-reset the phone and wipe out all its data.

Microsoft Overhauls MSN for Windows 8, IE10 – The revamped MSN will be available with the Oct. 26 launch of Windows 8 and IE10.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Gmail adds support for search inside message attachments – If you use Google’s webmail service, Gmail, you can now search attachments in your e-mail messages that are in formats from popular programs, such as Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office, and others.

Five handy network apps for your portable toolkit – From monitoring tools to full-blown servers, here are five good networking apps you can carry with you.

Get Organized: Online Last Will and Testament Forms – Are online forms and services for your final wishes legitimate? The latest edition in our Get Organized series explores several valid options for drafting, completing, and verifying a last will and testament – all without the aid of a lawyer.

Android accessibility options for vision and hearing impaired – Jack Wallen highlights some of the accessibility options available in the Samsung Galaxy S III and other devices with Android 4.0.

Four key new features in Linux 3.6 – Just a little more than two months after the release of version 3.5, Linux creator Linus Torvalds on Sunday unleashed the next new version of the Linux kernel. Ready for a quick rundown? Here are a few of the highlights.

Goodbrews Keeps Track of The Beer You Like, Suggests Brews You’d Love – If you’re a beer fan, you know there’s a wide world of craft brews that span styles, flavors, and brands. While most of us have one or two go-to brews we enjoy whenever they’re available, if you want to expand your horizons, Goodbrews is a service that makes it easy to tick off the beers you already like, and get recommendations and ratings for ones you might like.


White House confirms network breach, thwarted attack – The White House confirms a hacking attempt on an unclassified network, but shows that humans often remain the weak link in the security chain.

Tracking malware in the wild, Crocodile Hunter-style (video) – To coincide with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, here’s an affectionate spoof of the “Crocodile Hunter” TV shows – helping to raise the public’s understanding of web safety issues.

FDA Urged to More Rigorously Evaluate Medical Devices’ Security Risks – Lawmakers are urging the Food and Drug Administration to more thoroughly vet certain implantable medical devices for security, not just safety, risks. They include life-saving defibrillators, insulin pumps and pacemakers, which have been shown in recent years to be vulnerable to remote attacks.

Protect Your Texts – Small businesses looking for a turnkey mobile phone encryption product should check out KoolSpan TrustCall. It turns regular Android and Blackberry smartphones into “secure phones,” so third-parties can’t eavesdrop on voice calls and text messages.

Bogus Apple Store discount card offer attempts to steal users’ identities – Spam messages have been sent out by cybercriminals claiming to reward loyal Apple customers with $100 of credit to spend in-store if they just buy a $9 discount card.

DDoS attacks reach new level of sophistication – The DDoS attacks have been launched in the last week using the so-called itsoknoproblembro DDoS toolkit. The malicious actor(s) behind the attacks have used this potent tool in conjunction with sophisticated attack methods that clearly demonstrate knowledge of common DDoS mitigation methods.

Company News:

Samsung Strikes Back Against Apple: Files Patent Suit Against iPhone 5 In U.S. Court – As expected, Samsung has filed a lawsuit against Apple’s latest iPhone — the iPhone 5 — alleging the smartphone infringes patents it holds. Commenting on the action in a statement given to Reuters, Samsung said: “We have little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights.”

Microsoft bakes data protection into Exchange Server – The world of Microsoft messaging recently took over Orlando, Florida, for the Microsoft Exchange Conference 2012. MEC 2012 was the first conference Microsoft has hosted that’s completely dedicated to Exchange in 10 years, and it brought a lot of big news—especially around protecting and managing the sensitive data that passes through Exchange.

Voxbone Network’s International DID Numbers Extend Reach of Deutsche Telekom’s Developer Garden – Voxbone today announced it is providing international direct inward dial (DID) numbers to Deutsche Telekom (DT) for its Developer Garden, a recently relaunched portal and marketplace that enables developers to integrate DT services into their mobile and desktop applications and to buy and sell software components.

Oracle’s Ellison: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – Ellison’s keynote is slightly less bizzare than last year, but there’s still a moment of weirdness.

COLOGIX COMPLETES TORONTO EXPANSION IN 151 FRONT STREET DATA CENTER – The investment, which brings Cologix’s footprint to 30,000 SQF in 151 Front Street, and over 50,000 SQF in Toronto once the 905 King Street build is complete, is in response to the increasing customer demand for scalability and network density within the downtown carrier hotel and underlines Cologix’s commitment to the Toronto market.

Webopedia Daily:

Plasma TV – Plasma TV’s create a picture from a gas (plasma) filled with xenon and neon atoms and millions of electrically charged atoms and electrons, that collide when you turn the power on. The energy the collision releases increases the energy level in the plasma and the neon and xenon release photons of light (similar to the way neon lights work). Plasma TVs offer large viewing areas (up to 50 inches) but are very thin. While they offer excellent picture quality, they are quite expensive and are fast becoming the popular choice for HDTV.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Raspberry Pi and Beer: A match made in heaven – Bought a Raspberry Pi? Like beer? Then you have to check out this Pi-powered attempt to apply science to the dark art of brewing.

Half of U.S. adults now own a tablet or smartphone, Pew study finds – What’s more, the report found major shifts in the tablet market over the past year alone. While the iPad made up 81% of tablets owned in the U.S. in 2011, that number fell sharply to 52% in the more recent study. Counting the 21% of tablet owners with a Kindle Fire, Android-based devices now make up 48% of the market.

Internet freedom: Why we must throw off our online shackles – Each society and government wants to block access to something on the internet – but it’s becoming increasingly futile to try.

What in the name of all that is holy is going on in this video? – The title of this YouTube video is “Wierdest [sic] Chemical Reaction I have Ever Freaking Seen!!” And while we’ve seen some pretty amazing reactions in our day, we’re inclined to agree with that description. Why? Because writhing, peduncled, apparating blahrf-fest, that’s why. Oh — and it’s also deadly. (recommended by Michael F.)

Zuckerberg Meets With Russian Prime Minister Medvedev – Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg was in Russia on Monday and met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Police Suspect Teen’s Abduction Tweet Is Hoax – New Jersey police suspect that a teenage girl who claimed via Twitter to have been abducted from her home staged the whole affair and simply ran away from home.

Muggle party survival tips and tricks – If you dread attending social events that may not include chitchat about Dr. Who, Star Trek, or comics, Jessica Mills gives advice on surviving and possibly even enjoying Muggle parties.

Today’s Quote:

For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.”

–     Sir Thomas More

Today’s Free Downloads:

Spiceworks IT Desktop – Your network may be complicated and expensive but your IT management tools don’t need to be. Spiceworks IT Desktop is the only application that combines Network Inventory, Help Desk, Reporting, a built-in TFTP Server, Monitoring, Active Directory Management, and Troubleshooting in a single, easy-to-use interface.

AppRemover – AppRemover is a software application which enables you to uninstall security applications such as antivirus and antispyware from your computer. It completely removes applications and extraneous files left behind.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

3 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 2, 2012

  1. I bought a Plasma television five or six years ago, and I would definitely say it isn’t thinner than the LCDs of the same size I’ve purchased since then. It also runs a lot hotter and uses a lot more power. Overall, I’ve been very happy with it, but I think the richness – the color of the display – is better on the LCDs. This probably varies between models of the Plasma televisions, but I have to wonder if plasma isn’t becoming an older technology. Do you think plasma will eventually be phased out? The blurring and tracing issues that used to occur in the older LCDs doesn’t appear to be a problem anymore. They’re faster than the used to be, thinner, and probably cheaper than plasmas.

    Oh, and my comment on the “nasty competition” thread is still awaiting approval. Might be stuck in your spam folder or something.

    • Hey Writerdood,

      Bought an LED monitor a few weeks ago to replace a “dead” LCD monitor. For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference between an LED and an LCD – despite the hype. Other than the obvious – the LED is much thinner than the LCD.

      The Plasma “hot” issue is a considerable drawback. Spent some time viewing Plasma this past week and I must admit, I was taken aback at the heat generated by the screen. So yes, I’m leaning toward Plasma losing market share.