Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 22, 2012

Windows 8, the new XP – This new version of Windows is a disaster. Power users can’t wait to replace the UI, and businesses are avoiding it like the plague. I’m talking, of course, about Windows XP. Ah, how quickly we forget.

What are you agreeing to when you install Facebook Applications? – In a recent study of 50 million Facebook users and 500,000 Facebook applications, the following conclusions paint a different picture than what most people perceive about the apps they’ve come to love.

Norton Hotspot Privacy – Symantec has launched a new personal VPN service under its trusted Norton brand and the result is an easy-to-use VPN service that delivers consistent performance with no bandwidth requirements. Even though the field of VPN services is getting a little cluttered, Norton Hotspot Privacy stands apart from its competition because it’s one of the first products from a major security vendor. For a fairly affordable price tag, users can secure their network connections without any bandwidth limitations and for multiple devices.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Microsoft kicks off free Office 2013 upgrades – Microsoft on Friday launched an Office upgrade offer that gives customers who purchase the current Office 2010 a free copy of the upcoming Office 2013.

Video: Ubuntu Linux hits Google’s Nexus 7

 – It’s no secret that Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth wants the highly versatile Ubuntu loaded and running on mobile devices like tablets.

How to get a free Ivy League education online – Didn’t get into MIT? Student loans wouldn’t cover Yale? Was Stanford too far to commute? It’s never too late to get an Ivy League education—or take advantage of college courses at any number of universities from just about anywhere. And what’s even better: It’s often free. Universities everywhere are opening their virtual campuses to anyone with an Internet connection and motivation.

iPad Mini Buyer’s Guide: Your Guide to Your First Seven-Inch Tablet – Don’t get caught up in next week’s craze: There’s a lot to think about before you plunk down for a seven-inch Apple tablet.

Tweets from the spies: Tool checks for data use and leaks – In a demonstration last week at the Breakpoint security conference, Roelof Temmingh, who founded the company Paterva in South Africa, showed how his company’s application, called Maltego, can scoop up scattered online clues, quickly providing an insightful picture of individuals or organizations.

How to restore the classic Start menu with Pokki for Windows 8 – The latest in a lineup of Start menu replacements for Windows 8, Pokki is a free, fluid tool for users who crave more than the new Start screen. CEO says Windows 8 spells doom for Microsoft OS – Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 will mark “the end” of the computer industry’s dominant OS due to increasing competition and choice sparked by alternatives, CEO Marc Benioff predicted Friday.


Pacemaker hack can kill via laptop – Pacemakers from several manufacturers can be commanded to deliver a deadly, 830-volt shock from someone on a laptop up to 50 feet away, the result of poor software programming by medical device companies. The new research comes from Barnaby Jack of security vendor IOActive, known for his analysis of other medical equipment such as insulin-delivering devices.

Trend Micro’s Q3 threat report: Mobile malware surged from 30K to 175K – Mobile malware rates for Q3 grossly outpace predictions, according to Trend Micro’s latest report.

Popular Android apps under security scrutiny – You know that latest free app you downloaded? SSL flaws could leave you vulnerable to data theft.

Spammers find way to link .gov domains to scams – The .gov domain is reasonably trusted by users as being a safe place, but spammers have recently figured out how to make .gov URLs redirect to malicious content.

Company News:

Dart, Google’s attempt to outdo JavaScript, passes first milestone – The Internet giant has issued the first stable release of the programming language for Web apps. Also: a host of tools to help it gain a foothold.

White House Denies Networking Firm Huawei Cleared of Spying for China – No review has cleared Huawei or any other vendor supplying telecommunications equipment to U.S. firms of spying allegations, a White House official said.

Apple sued over deal locking iPhone to AT&T – Plaintiffs claim the company violated the Sherman Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act by not obtaining customers’ permission to have their iPhones locked to AT&T’s network.

BlackBerry Dropped by Booz Allen, Latest Example of RIM’s Struggle – Government adviser Booz Allen Hamilton is decommissioning its BlackBerry server and devices, suggesting that even regulated industries are no longer a sure bet for RIM.

Webopedia Daily:

Data Center Container – Also called a modular data center or data center-in-a-box. A data center container is a method of deploying data centers that is designed to add data center capacity and to reduce an organization’s cooling and power consumption costs. The container refers to a modular, portable self-contained environment that can be shipped and deployed. The container is portable, so it can be relocated or deployed in non-traditional data centers, such as urban spaces. A data center container is also faster to deploy than a traditional data center. An example of a container is HP’s Performance Optimized Datacenters, or PODs, a 40-foot shipping container with up to 22 racks of servers inside – pre-installed and ready to go. Container data centers have become popularized by vendors like Sun Microsystems and Rackable Systems and are considered to be a part of the modern data center.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Windows prelaunch paranoia: 17 years of gloom and doom – Everything is on the line with Windows 8 and Microsoft. It’s do or die, according to pundits. So goes the headline hyperbole. But here’s the zinger: Dire make-or-break predictions for the launch of the latest Windows, tying it to the failure of Microsoft itself, have also greeted the releases of Windows 7, Vista, XP, Windows 98, and Windows 95.

Kaspersky’s exploit-proof OS leaves security experts skeptical – Eugene Kaspersky, the $800-million Russian cybersecurity tycoon, is, by his own account, out to “save the world” with an exploit-proof operating system. In a blog post this week quickly picked up by news outlets around the world, Kaspersky confirmed rumors that Kaspersky Lab is “developing a secure operating system for protecting … industrial control systems used in industry/infrastructure.”

Why Microsoft Wants To Be Like Apple – Microsoft is developing competitive products to emulate Apple’s hardware, software, and services ecosystem.

Italian court acknowledges cell phone health hazard – The Supreme Court of Italy has found something that scientists have been unable to find since the introduction of the cell phone: a link to brain tumors. In a decision widely reported Friday, the justices upheld a lower court ruling that declared an Italian businessman could request worker’s compensation based on a disability he claims was caused by the removal of a tumor linked to cell phone use required by his job.

Today’s Quote:

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.”

–      George F. Will

Today’s Free Downloads:

Ashampoo ClipFinder HD 2.2.9 – ClipFinder HD is a like a 3D web browser. You just enter search words in the Search bar and the search results from up to 15 video portals are displayed as clip thumbnails in the 3D Video Wall.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit – The Emsisoft Emergency Kit contains a collection of programs that can be used without a software installation to scan and clean infected computers for malware.

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