Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 25, 2012

Skype 6 with improved social integration now available – New versions of Skype for Windows and OS X were released Wednesday by Microsoft. These latest versions add support for signing in through Facebook and Microsoft accounts. For subscribers to Microsoft’s services like Hotmail,, and Windows Live Messenger, the new Skype 6 will allow you to communicate with other subscribers of those services via instant messaging.

Google Drive Apps Added to Chrome Web Store – Google is making it easier to access its Drive cloud-storage service on the Chrome browser, bringing its Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations apps to the Chrome Web Store. Starting today, the programs – now known as Docs, Sheets, and Slides – are available in the Chrome store. Add them to your browser for one-click access whenever you open a new tab. Drawings, Forms, and Script apps are also available.

Wikipedia Revamps Mobile Site – The next time you load up Wikipedia on your mobile device it will be easier to read.

Windows 8 Security Solutions Certified by AV-Test – Windows 8 includes built-in antivirus protection, but most industry experts agree that you’ll want more. Which products are ready to protect your brand-new Windows 8 systems?

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Worst passwords of 2012 – Just in time for Halloween comes something that might scare anyone who spends a lot of time online: SplashData’s annual list of the most common passwords used on the Internet and posted by hackers. Users of any of these passwords are the most likely to be victims in future breaches.

Learn to use strong passwords – Passwords protect every part of your online life. If you don’t treat them properly, you’re exposing yourself to a whole mess of trouble.

How to avoid fake Download buttons – You know the old saying, “Look before you leap”? Let’s give that a modern-day twist: Look before you click. See that screenshot up top? It’s from popular daily-download site Giveaway of the Day. On the left, there’s a description of the day’s freebie. On the right, a big, tempting Download button. Obviously that’s what you click to get the software, right? Wrong.

Google’s Windows 8 Search App Lets Users Bypass Browser – Google has built an app for the new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system that lets users tap an app to access its services rather than obtaining them through a Web browser.

Pinterest pierces Top 50 most-visited sites list – Though Google still reigns as No. 1, a ComScore study shows that Pinterest joined other social networks for the most frequently visited sites in the U.S. for September.

Demystifying Microsoft’s Surface tablet hardware: When 32GB isn’t actually 32GB – With just 24 hours until Surface’s release on October 26, we finally have real-life data on battery life, screen resolution and quality, typing speed on the Touch Cover, and that all-important kickstand. Oh, we also found out that the 32GB Surface doesn’t actually have 32GB of storage; more like 20GB.


Beware of fake Facebook emails about offensive comment – If you receive an email seemingly sent by Facebook, sharing an offensive comment that has seemingly been left on your Wall by an unknown user, please don’t be tempted to follow the link. If you do, you’ll be redirected to a fake Facebook page hosting a malicious iFrame script that triggers the infamous Blackhole exploit kit, and if it finds a vulnerability to exploit, you will be automatically saddled with some or other malicious software.

Bogus MS “Windows license delivery” email leads to malware – A fake Microsoft email is doing rounds, tempting users to follow the offered link that “delivers” a license for the Windows OS. Experienced users will probably have a quick glance at the stark look of the email and immediately conclude that the email is fake, but inexperienced ones might believe that Microsoft delivers Windows licenses in this way and follow the link.

Bogus Twitter DMs lead to iPad scam, surveys and phishing – Yesterday’s unveiling of the iPad Mini has not lead to a decrease in desirability of its bigger version, and the offer of a free device is still a very effective lure employed by online scammers. The latest of these “Get a free iPad” starts with Direct Messages on Twitter asking users to check out a picture of themselves with an unnamed woman.

Spy agency’s cyber warning – ONE of Australia’s most secretive intelligence agencies, the Defence Signals Directorate, has emerged from the shadows to warn of the deepening threat of cyber espionage. In a four-minute video posted on its website, DSD warned that the threat of cyber attack for industry and government was a daily occurrence. (recommended by Mal C.)

How likely is a cyber ‘Pearl Harbor’? – Patrick Lambert considers a recent speech by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warning about cyberwar threats.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 experiences its biggest hack yet – A hacker group finds a secret set of codes that can decrypt the PlayStation 3’s Level 0 security layer — the holy grail of secrecy within Sony’s console.

Company News:

Mozilla Begins Firefox Social API Testing – Mozilla begins formal testing of new integration that could change how millions of users interact with the social web.

Zuckerberg touts mobile during Facebook’s earnings announcement – Mark Zuckerberg thinks mobile devices represent a big opportunity for Facebook to expand user engagement while bolstering the social networking company’s ad revenue.

Qualys extends QualysGuard Cloud Platform – Qualys announced that QualysGuard Vulnerability Management will now feature vulnerability prediction capabilities within a new dashboard and threat reports for zero-days and Microsoft Patch Tuesday Analysis. These reports provide security professionals with insight into zero-days and upcoming security patches along with exposure ratings, helping them plan and prioritize remediation of the associated vulnerabilities including Verisign’s iDefense exclusive zero-day vulnerabilities and global threats.

Entrust IdentityGuard delivers mobile smart credentials – To enable organizations to secure and leverage mobile devices in the wake of BYOD trends, Entrust extends its identity-based security platform with Entrust IdentityGuard Mobile Smart Credentials. Available for the iOS, Android and BlackBerry mobile platforms, Entrust transforms mobile devices into multipurpose digital identities for authenticated access to logical networks, cloud applications, physical facilities and building entrances.

Webopedia Daily:

Cloud Provisioning – The deployment of a company’s cloud computing strategy, which typically first involves selecting which applications and services will reside in the public cloud and which will remain on site behind the firewall or in the private cloud. Cloud provisioning also entails developing the processes for interfacing with the cloud’s applications and services as well as auditing and monitoring who accesses and utilizes the resources. The most common reference to cloud provisioning is when a company seeks to transition some or all of its existing applications to the cloud without having to significantly re-architect or re-engineer the applications.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Five tips for shooting great Halloween photos – Halloween is practically custom-made for photographers. You’ve got a perfect storm of colorful costumes, dramatic lighting, and creative decorations, all of which are screaming out (excuse the expression) to be captured by your camera. However, taking Halloween photos can be very challenging. Dim lighting is often the death of photos, and simply firing your flash to cut through the darkness can lead to rampant red-eye and overblown highlights. Fear not! Here are a few tricks for treating yourself to some excellent Halloween photos this year.

The Most Valuable Investing Lesson I Ever Learned – My father was never much of an investor, though he possessed all of the attributes of a potentially successful one. He grew up in a lower-middle-class family in Worcester, Mass., and never had much money to put aside as a young man. Just when he finally started earning a decent salary, he passed away suddenly. Even though he wasn’t an active stock market participant, he did make one, big investment that delivered an incalculable return for him and his family. And that particular investment, as we’ll soon learn, illustrates perfectly the incredible power of having a long-term outlook. (recommended by Michael F.)

Memoto is a wearable lifeblogging camera that captures your entire existence – With the increasing number of photos people are sharing on Instagram and Twitter, we all might as well start lifeblogging our entire lives. A group of Stockholm-based entrepreneurs believes this too, and they want make a seriously small, wearable camera called Memoto that will lifeblog your existence for you. The Memoto is a postage stamp-sized, five-megapixel camera that you can clip to yourself to capture a visual record of your entire day.

Ten Bizarre Excuses for Calling in Sick – Three out of 10 workers call in sick when they’re not actually ill, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. They do so because they don’t feel like going to work (cited by 34 percent of employees), want to relax (29 percent) or catch up on sleep (16 percent), or need to run errands (15 percent). And—how’s this for a coincidence?—they tend to call in sick more frequently around the approaching winter holiday season.

Google Street View treks into the Grand Canyon – Google announced Wednesday that the Grand Canyon would soon be coming to Google Maps Street View courtesy of Trekker, the search giant’s new backpack Street View camera. The company is gathering images from the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park, but did not say exactly when the images would go online. This is the first major task for Trekker after Google introduced the new Street View camera in June.

Canada prototypes lunar, planetary vehicles (pictures) – The Canadian Space Agency shows off small and large space rovers designed to scout locations on Mars or transport astronauts on the moon. Check out these otherworldly wheels.

Today’s Quote:

The best mirror is an old friend.”

–      George Herbert

Today’s Free Downloads:

Avira Free Antivirus 2013 – Detect and eliminate viruses, get free protection for home users.

Balabolka – Try a basic, clean, and free solution for converting text to speech.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

3 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 25, 2012

  1. Dave B.

    In RE: Windows 8 Security Solutions Certified by AV-Test; I found it rather amusing that Microsoft’s own Windows Defender (re badged Microsoft Security Essentials anti virus, which is included with Windows 8) was not on the list of compatible AV apps.

    Also this statement from the so called “experts”; “Windows 8 includes built-in antivirus protection, but most industry experts agree that you’ll want more” is nothing more than an advertisement for the products they did mention on their list. People have been using MSE for years to protect their Windows 7 and older computers, why all of a sudden is it not suitable for Windows 8?

    • Hi Dave,

      A head-shaker for sure. I’ve been running Windows Defender (rebranded MSE) on a Win 8 machine for more than a year with NO problems.

      Security Essentials has been running on my Win 7 machines since the initial release of MSE – again, NO problems.

      Too bloody many so called security “experts” (with little or no expertise), hanging around for my liking.



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