Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 17, 2012

Think Your Phone Number on Facebook is Private? Not Likely – Facebook has a reverse lookup feature where users can lookup phone numbers to find people the number belongs to. Up until this week, that feature could be abused to look up thousands of numbers at once. But even after the fix, most users will be surprised to hear that Facebook can be used as a reverse lookup directory.

Verizon draws fire for monitoring app usage, browsing habits – “We’re able to view just everything that they do,” Verizon Wireless exec has boasted. Privacy groups say initiative — including linking databases showing whether customers own pets — may violate wiretap law.

Facebook said to let some companies see pages you like – The social network allows select marketers to look at their fans’ other interests to help plan advertising efforts, Adweek reports.

Citrix lets users access PCs and Macs from Kindle Fire – Citrix Systems has released an enhanced GoToMyPC app for Android devices allowing anyone with an Android phone or tablet, including Amazon’s Kindle Fire family, to access their Internet-connected Mac or PC over a mobile network.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to Create a Super Private BitTorrent Community for You and Your Friends – These are dark days for BitTorrent. Using it leaves you open to fake torrents, viruses, an ISP that throttles your connection, and media companies that snoop to see what you’re downloading. If you want to avoid all that, you can create an uber-private BitTorrent community that only you and your friends can access. Here’s how.

Microsoft Surface With Windows RT vs. Apple iPad: Specs Compared – Will the new Surface tablet finally be Microsoft’s iPad-killer? We stack up the numbers to see.

Five reasons to try the new Razor-qt Linux desktop – Particularly on older hardware, this lightweight contender can offer a speedy alternative. If you’re tired of the dominant desktop choices out there–and particularly if you have older hardware–Razor-qt could be a nice option to test out.

Firefox 16 – Firefox remains a browser to be reckoned with: its clean design, fast performance, and vanguard support for Web technologies shouldn’t be ignored. Web devs in particular should take notice.

Add useful tools to your Skype desktop app with Pamela Professional – If you’re a heavy user of Skype, or the owner of a small business, Pamela Professional a software app to get.

Most people want control of information collected by data brokers – As Congress examines how data brokers collect, aggregate and share consumers’ personal information, a new survey by TrustedID shows that most people are confused about how data brokers operate and want centralized control of how data brokers handle their personal information.

AT&T’s ‘Six-Strikes’ antipiracy policy launches in November, leaked documents say – AT&T is expected to be the first ISP to implement a new policy developed with U.S. content providers that involves sending several anti-piracy warnings, redirecting users’ browsing, and finally filing legal charges.

Free Parental Control Utilities – Parents want to make sure their kids aren’t misusing the Internet or getting bullied online, but tools to help keep watch can cost a bundle. Fortunately, a few good parental monitoring tools are available for free.

Areca offers SMBs a free backup solution for Windows and Linux – Backups can be problematic to keep running and costly to purchase or maintain. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools, including free solutions, for this specific purpose. One such free solution that is available for Windows and Linux is Areca Backup.

The Windows 8 UI: How do interface and usability experts rate all the changes? – Raluca Budiu, a user experience specialist for usability consultancy firm Nielsen Norman Group, has been running user experience tests with the Windows 8 preview releases to see how people deal with the new interface changes. Budiu says that users generally experience several pain points in Windows 8, most notably hunting around for traditional functionality that’s now hidden in pop-up sidebars.


Facebook beefs up security with new anti-virus partners – Facebook is stepping up its security focus to better protect users from malicious links and malware. The social networking giant on Tuesday announced seven new additions to the its Antivirus Marketplace. The new security partners include Avast, AVG, Avira, Kaspersky, Panda, Total Defense, and Webroot. Those companies join existing partners Microsoft, McAfee, Norton, TrendMicro, and Sophos to offer Facebook users desktop and mobile anti-virus software.

Warning! British Airways e-ticket receipt malware arriving in an inbox near you – Criminals are spamming out a malware via email, posing as an e-ticket from British Airways. Be on your guard – or risk ending up with an infected computer.

What “Do Not Track” Doesn’t Do – The “Do Not Track” setting available in most web browsers is a great option to have if you don’t want websites tracking your browsing history. However, as How-To Geek points out, “Do Not Track” provides a false sense of security because it doesn’t block as much as you’d think.

Kaspersy and Norton Earn AAA Protection Ratings – Dennis Labs has, for the first time, released a public report on their testing of eight significant security products; the results are quite interesting.

Can Your Trust Android Antimalware Rankings? – I’ve reviewed dozens of Android security apps for PCMag, and often wondered how much I can trust the rankings of independent testing labs’ Android security app tests. And here’s what I’ve come to conclude: about as much as you’d trust an advertisement.

Company News:

IObit Leads Software Utility Innovation With The Release of Advanced SystemCare 6 – Building on the core functions of previous versions, Advanced SystemCare 6 creates a safer online environment with improved online surfing protection that detects and prevents risky websites and other e-threats from harming the PC. Advanced SystemCare 6 also offers performance monitoring that allows users to watch the health of their PC in real-time. These tools are complimented by a next generation of internet boosting technology and a high-powered disk defragment engine, both designed to speed up system performance. Advanced SystemCare 6 is fully compatible with Windows 8, providing comprehensive protection for the latest version of Windows.

OpenStack Gets Integrated Into Red Hat – Red Hat leverages its existing platform tools as OpenStack solution matures. Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution isn’t just about the upstream project, though; it’s also about integration with Red Hat’s existing Linux platform tools.

Intel revenue drops on weak economy, poor sales – Intel Tuesday said its revenue and profit dropped during the third quarter of fiscal 2012 compared to the same period a year earlier, and blamed a tough economy for poor sales of its products.

Iomega launches new flagship network storage array – Iomega has a new network storage array that can house up to 48TB of data on your network.

Seagate unveils three new enterprise-class HDDs – Seagate announced three new enterprise-class hard disk drives optimized for traditional data centers and emerging cloud infrastructures. Perfect for cloud bulk data storage, the Seagate Enterprise Value HDD provides up to 3TB of storage in a low-power configuration that is perfect for efficiently and affordably storing the ever-growing amount of unstructured data typically stored in the cloud.

Foxconn Admits to Hiring Underage Interns – Foxconn, Apple’s manufacturing partner responsible for the iPhone, has admitted to hiring underage workers at its China factories.

Best Buy will match online prices this holiday season – Retailers are wary of “showrooming,” which refers to customers visiting brick-and-mortar retail outlets only for a hands-on look at merchandise, which they then buy cheaper online. To fight this, some retailers are offering discounts for buying in person and promoting sales staff expertise.

Webopedia Daily:

Flame (malware) – An extremely sophisticated strain of malware that shares similarities with Stuxnet, although Flame is much more massive in terms of complexity and size, at 30MB or larger when all modules have been installed vs. Stuxnet’s 500KB. Also known as Flamer or Skywiper, Flame was discovered by Kaspersky Lab following a significant increase in infected systems in Iran and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa over the past two years.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Has Apple lost its polish? – Flawed features, shattered secrecy and atypical apologies: meet the Apple of 2012 and beyond.

The good, bad and ugly history of Microsoft hardware – Microsoft built its identity on software development. Just refer to the name, and pay special attention to the “soft.” But throughout its storied history, the company has progressively become much more of a multi-discipline workshop, producing physical gear alongside ethereal software code.

Bizarre adverts gone viral: gallery – After release on social media, some odd advertising stunts manage to attract worldwide fame.

Infographic: Demand for IT networking professionals in US – Takeaway: Here’s an infographic that looks at what the future of tech holds in terms of in-demand skills.

How to detect and protect against workplace bullying – October is National Bullying Prevention Month. In honor of that and in an effort to further raise awareness about workplace bullying, we have a guest piece from Rakesh Malhotra, the founder of Five Global Values, a world-traveled, values-driven business leader who specializes in organization behavior.

Gary McKinnon saved from extradition after ten year fight – Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who has been fighting a high profile campaign for ten years to avoid extradition to the United States, has had his extradition blocked by the UK government.

Today’s Quote:

At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political ideas.”

–      Aldous Huxley

Today’s Free Downloads:

Wise Folder Hider 1.26 – Wise Folder Hider is a free file/folder hiding tool. User can use it to hide files and folders on local partitions or removable devices. The data can’t be accessed by other programs or on other operating systems such as DOS. The only way to access or unhide these data is to enter the valid password. However, this application is designed for home use only but not recommended for commercial settings which require stricter confidentiality.

VirusTotal Scanner 2.0 – is a free online scan service that analyzes suspicious files using 40+ Anti-virus applications. ‘VirusTotal Scanner’ is the desktop tool which helps you to quickly scan your file using VirusTotal without actually uploading the file.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

7 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 17, 2012

  1. Fred

    Kaspersy and Norton Earn AAA Protection Ratings
    Bill I noted that MSE was the worst of the AVs tested. I hope that is a wake-up call to Microsoft. One of the many things I’ve learned in my time here has been that these ratings tend to fluctuate year to year, so perhaps MS will fix this and MSE will be respectable once again.
    I will say that Kaspersky seems to have their act together. I do feel better with that free Kaspersky TDSS KILLER you told us about.

    As to the privacy issues as noted with Verizon, Facebook, etc. I would just recommend, if anyone hasn’t already, reading Orwell’s 1984, then you will know where we are now and where we are also headed.

    • Hi Fred,

      On the face of it, these types of AV tests appear to have value. But, as you point out – “these ratings tend to fluctuate year to year”. Very true.

      More to the point however, from my perspective, is the false sense of security generated by ranking AV applications which often leads to the old “my AV is better than yours.” But, as you know well, it’s user behavior which is the most important consideration in staying malware free.



  2. delenn13

    Microsoft Surface With Windows RT vs. Apple iPad: Specs Compared:

    I think the one who will win…….. is..the one who gets/finds the #bindersfullofwomen from either Mitt or Hugh Hefner.

  3. Scott DSR Creations

    Reblogged this on DSR tech and commented:
    This gut always has interesting and informative advice and links to articles. I let him do the work and then I am able to keep up with the latest tech news through the articles that he makes me aware of.!

    • Hey Delenn13,


      I watched the debate and I was more troubled by Mitt’s – gotta get her home so she can cook dinner for the family faux pas. This man is totally detached from reality, in my view. What a maroon!