Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 11, 2012

Your hotel room can be hacked with a dry erase marker – Depending on what type of key system is used at the hotel you re staying in, it might be possible for someone with a dry erase marker to bypass the door key system and walk right in. The locks in question are used in more than four million rooms, found in 22,000 hotels around the world. Is your preferred hotel chain one of them? Perhaps. The manufacturer of the affected lock system has promised to fix it ASAP.

Save the Web’s best bits for later with Pocket – It works like this: You sign up for a free Pocket account, then add the Pocket bookmarklet to your browser. When you come across something you want to read later, just click that bookmarklet. Presto, you’re done!

Five hard disk cleaning and erasing tools – When it comes to disposing of old hard drives, simply erasing your files or reformatting the drive alone is not enough to ensure your privacy. In this age of rampant ID theft, it is more important than ever to ensure that your personal information is securely removed from all hard disks. That being the case, I decided to create a list of five utilities for securely erasing and formatting old hard drives.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Firefox browser in upgrade-downgrade confusion with version 16 – Firefox version 16.0 came out, but turned out to have a vulnerability, so it’s already been dropped. If you’ve already updated, however, 16.0 thinks it’s current and will tell you so. You need to downgrade to 15.0.1 – that may not be obvious, but it’s easy when you know how.

How to master VLC, the ultimate Windows media player for power users – Simply put, VLC is the power user’s media player of choice. Unfortunately, VLC’s deep array of powerful options can also be a bit intimidating at first glance. What do all those buttons and menus actually do? This guide will catch you up to speed on the basics, show you how to watch your favorite movies and Internet streams, and then close with some fun tips and tricks to help you get the most out of this free VLC player.

Infographic: Android vs. iOS when it comes to social apps – This infographic by Startapp provides various stats about Android and iOS to determine which one is more social.

iPad Mini Will Be Wi-Fi Only – A new report coming out of the U.K. indicates that the new iPad mini will only offer Wi-Fi connectivity.

5 tips for effective disaster recovery – David Mount, technical director at NetIQ, has highlighted 5 tips that will help businesses implement effective disaster recovery plans for their all important IT assets.

Sorry Android, Teens Love Apple Gadgets – For many teens, texting on an Apple iPhone is just as important as strutting around in an Abercrombie & Fitch sweater.


Windows XP is still Microsoft’s biggest security headache, but infections are rising on Windows 7 – The rate of infection ticked up for Windows 7 in the first half of 2012, but Windows XP, Microsoft’s legacy operating system, is still far and away the biggest security headache for Redmond.

Piracy is getting virusy – The underweb grows ever more slimy, Microsoft says, as downloads of pirated movies, music, software and other media increasingly come bearing malware.

“Mitt Romney almost president” – Fake CNN alert leads to Blackhole malware attack – In an attempt to cash in on the interest in the upcoming US presidential election, online criminals have begun circulating malicious emails pretending to be CNN news alerts about Mitt Romney pulling ahead in the polls.

US agencies seize 686 websites accused of selling fake drugs – Two U.S. agencies have seized 686 websites accused of selling counterfeit and illegal medicines as part of an international crackdown on online sales of fake drugs.

New updated Virus Removal Tool from Sophos now available – Sophos has just released an updated version of its free and very popular Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

Hacker is sentenced in NASA, Pentagon break-ins – Romanian national Manole Rzvan Cernaianu, known online as TinKode, received a two-year suspended prison sentence for hacking into computer systems owned by Oracle, NASA, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Defense and was ordered to pay damages totaling more than $120,000.

Company News:

Microsoft’s Ballmer Talks Hardware, ‘Fundamental Shift’ – Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer outlined a future in which the company will dabble in software and hardware “to deliver a broad spectrum of Windows PCs, tablets and phones.”

RSA helps thwart smash-and-grab credential theft – RSA Distributed Credential Protection is engineered to scramble, randomize and split secrets and authentication credentials into two separate locations. Designed to work alongside existing password protections, RSA Distributed Credential Protection is built to reduce the likelihood of successful “smash-and-grab” attacks on password servers that compromise customer, retail and financial portals every year, leaving millions of passwords and credentials at risk.

Leading US Auto Parts Supplier, Long Motor Corp, Revs Up Its Catalog Business with Magic xpa Application Platform – Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. (NASDAQ: MGIC), a global provider of software platforms for enterprise mobility, cloud applications, and business integration, announced today that Long Motor Corporation, a leader in the automotive parts industry, has selected Magic xpa Application Platform to build applications for its next-generation automotive parts catalog business.

Netgear Debuts ProSafe Next-Gen Edge M5300 Switches – Networking management and infrastructure specialist Netgear on Oct. 9 announced the launch of the ProSafe Next-Gen Edge M5300 series, a family of stackable managed Gigabit switches designed to satisfy 10-Gigabit Ethernet backbone requirements.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Type ‘Completely Wrong’ in Google Image Search, Find Romney – A search for the phrase “completely wrong” now yields pages upon pages full of photos of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

“Can you fix my Windows 95 computer?”: How to troll a tech support scammer – The Internet gets mad—and hilarious—in exposing an obnoxious tech-related scam. (recommended by Michael F.)

Make Way for Windows 8 – As the long-awaited release of Windows 8 draws near, I’m realizing that this “new” OS is actually a rehashing of old, failed ideas.

Are we allowed to mention cheaper is not always better? – IT in general becomes a better value with improving technology every single year, but that does not equate to cheaper being best.

11 Years of the Apple iPod – The Apple iPod will soon be 11 years old. Here, we take a look back at its history and influence over the last decade-plus.

Security industry needs a healthy job market – The information security industry is facing an inflationary spiral, which is both unsustainable and bad for the economy as the skills gap in information security continues to widen.

Thelonious Monk – Don’t Blame Me – Dissonant angular melodic lines … percussive rhythms … crystalline embellishments … sly comedy … outright genius …. the high priest of bebop. (recommended by Michael F.)

Today’s Quote:

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.”

–     Patrick Young

Today’s Free Downloads:

VLC media player 2.0.3 – VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network. It doesn’t need any external codec or program to work.

SoftPerfect Network Scanner 5.4.7 – SoftPerfect Network Scanner is a free multi-threaded IP, NetBIOS and SNMP scanner with a modern interface and several advanced features. It is intended for both system administrators and general users who are interested in computer security.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

5 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 11, 2012

  1. delenn13

    The Humble eBook Bundle

    Anyone who loves Sci fi should recognize at least 2 or 3 of those names. I am getting this just for 3 books(well worth it) and I am sure I will enjoy the rest too. I don’t have an ereader but I do use the Kindle for PC program/app from Amazon plus I use Calibre.I can’t make up my mind rather I want a tablet or an ereader…NTM, I need to wait a bit…so…Anyways..

    I have the hard copy of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi Gonna keep my fingers crossed for maybe the bonus of his latest book.. Redshirts. Any one who is a Star Trek fan knows all about the “Redshirts” and what happens to them.

    Then there is Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman – Awards and Honors He was nominated for an Academy Award and Emmy for Coraline. Also loved Sandman and American Gods.

    Plus Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow –

    Eight works of literary genius. Humble eBook Bundle features eight masterful works from a prodigious league of award-winning authors. Name your price and receive Pirate Cinema, Pump Six and Other Stories, Zoo City, Invasion: The Secret World Chronicle, Stranger Things Happen, and Magic for Beginners. Customers who beat the average will also receive Old Man’s War and the graphic novel Signal to Noise!

    Pay what you want. This collection of fantastic stories would typically cost around $52, but we’re letting you set the price!

    Compatible with computers and mobile devices. These books are available in multiple formats including PDF, MOBI, and ePub so they work great on your computer, eBook readers, and a wide array of mobile devices! Please note that this is the digital debut for some of these great titles, and if you’re having any viewing or usability issues, please let us know!

    Support charities and authors. Choose how your purchase is divided: to the authors, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. And if you like this promotion, a tip to the Humble Bundle would be greatly appreciated!

    The Humble eBook Bundle (pay what you want and help charity)

    What are you waiting for…Get your CC out…Run to Paypal….Get it! 🙂

    • Hey Delenn13,

      When you do make a purchase decision, go for a Tablet. Single purpose connected devices (ereaders), don’t make the cut in my view. Better that you should have the full capabilities of a Tablet.

      I use my Blackberry (with Kobo) for example, to read on public transit. And yet, at the same time, I can function free of office tethering to do most (but not all), of my daily work. Not bad for $250.

      Thanks for all the links – very interesting.



  2. delenn13

    Oops I screwed up Neil’s website URL.. Neil Gaiman – Awards and Honors

    It happens when you have been up since 2AM….