Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 27, 2012

Microsoft starts $40 Windows 8 upgrade sales – Microsoft on Friday opened its virtual store and began selling upgrades to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99, making good on a promise made last summer. The upgrade, which must be downloaded and installed via a utility called “Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant,” can be applied to Windows XP-, Vista-, and Windows 7-powered systems.

Ninite turns setting up a new computer into a quick, painless process – You begin using Ninite before you even download it, by picking the software you want to install from a list on the Ninite website. Once you’re done checking all of the boxes for the applications you’d like to install, click the big Get Installer button at the bottom of the page. Your computer will then download a tiny installer, customized according to your software choices. Run it, click “Yes” when Windows asks for Administrative permissions, and go have a cup of coffee (or lunch, depending on your Internet connection and software picks).

Yahoo will ignore Do Not Track for IE10 users – Microsoft’s decision to turn on Do Not Track by default in the next Internet Explorer — instead of leaving users to opt out — prompts Yahoo to ignore it.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

The fastest way to close all running programs in Windows – With just a handful of keystrokes you can shut down all active apps on your system via Task Manager’s Programs tab. Plus: power off your PC by pressing three keys.

Twitter hits half a billion tweets a day – In London, CEO Dick Costolo tells the audience at IAB Engage that the service now sees 500 million daily tweets, and confirms it’s experimenting with a “like” button, says V3.

For a beginner-friendly distro, try Linux Lite 1.0.0 – On the same day Microsoft’s widely trumpeted Windows 8 made its debut, so, too, did Linux Lite 1.0.0, a brand-new Ubuntu-based distribution targeted at Linux newcomers. “This distro was created for three reasons,” wrote Jerry Bezencon in the official announcement on Friday. “One, to show people just how easy it can be to use a Linux-based operating system–to dispel myths about how scary Linux operating systems are; two, to help create awareness about Linux-based operating systems; and three, to help promote this community.”

Jailbreaking Phones Still Legal, But Not Tablets – The Copyright Office this week renewed rules that make it legal to jailbreak a smartphone like the iPhone, but declined to extend those rules to tablets.

Microsoft releases SmartGlass app to Google Play store – Xbox 360 fans can use the new Android app to control and interact with the console.

Cubieboard is like a Raspberry Pi on steroids – As points out, the Cubieboard is a monster of a board with a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor as well as a separate Mali400 GPU. It also packs a whole gigabyte of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage to help it run Android, Ubuntu, or Linux distros.

Yes, Skyrim IS the ultimate game of the year

 – We’ve known for a long time that Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the ultimate game of the year – as the title shipped over 7 million copies to retailers within the first week of its release.

Tumblr takes a tumble, stumbles back to life – Tumblr is back online after an hours-long outage Friday morning. Just a week following its last outage, Tumblr on its Twitter account said it was “experiencing network problems” due to an issue with one of the site’s uplink providers. According to service monitoring site Down Right Now, the outage began shortly after 8 a.m. EDT on Friday.

Animate your Halloween décor – Learn how to bring your Halloween decorations to life with custom automation provided by a low-cost prop controller called a keybanger.


Millions of SSNs lifted from South Carolina database – Slipshod security at the state Department of Revenue leads to a massive security breach: 3.6 million Social Security numbers are stolen. The state’s population is approximately 4.7 million.

Windows 8 ramps up early malware detection – In Windows 8, Microsoft has greatly improved the operating system’s ability to detect malware before it has a chance to run, experts say. Windows 8 should also make it more difficult for people to unknowingly install malware in the first place.

Blackhole malware attack spread via ‘Your photos’ email – A malware attack has been spammed out widely via email to internet users, posing as a message about photos.

Security scare after airline boarding passes reveal how passengers will be screened – The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) already has a pretty poor record with security experts. The news this week that the agency was tipping its hand by encoding how it planned to conduct passenger screening in boarding passes isn’t helping that.

Company News:

Netflix stock rises on Microsoft acquisition rumor – An unconfirmed rumor that Microsoft seeks to acquire Netflix is what is said to have sent shares of the video-rental service up 13 percent today.

Apple Posts ‘Apology’ to Samsung on U.K. Website – Apple has posted its apology to Samsung on its U.K. website. Well, sort of.

AMD expected to unveil ARM-based server on Monday – AMD has called a press conference in San Francisco on Monday where it’s likely to announce plans for a SeaMicro server based on an upcoming 64-bit processor design from ARM.

Apple planning streaming music radio service – Apple is reportedly working on an Internet radio service, and there’s a reason people are referring to it as the “Pandora killer.”

Webopedia Daily:

Siphoning – In SEO, siphoning is a technique used to “steal” traffic that would normally be directed to another website in search engine results. Siphoning could be the fraudulent use of spyware or cybersquatting to steal the traffic, or it could refer to those who copy a webpage with the content slightly altered to direct the Web search engine to show results of another webpage.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Let’s Play “Blast the Headline”: So many news stories, so few accurate headlines – Over the past two days, news aggregators have been inundated with stories about Windows 8, as if it was recently discovered and we were all surprised by it. Most of the headlines are overly dramatic, trying to make more out of this so-so operating system than is needed. But it is what it is, so I want to go over various headlines that have appeared over the past two days and explain why they are foolish. It’s a little game I like to call “Blast the Headline.” Let’s get started:

Human ancestor ‘Lucy’ lived partly in trees – Australopithecus afarensis is known to have walked upright, but it’s been hotly disputed whether the famous Lucy and her kin spent a lot of time in the branches as well.

The Most Accurate Synopsis Ever For “The Wizard Of Oz”

Anthropologist: Apple is a religion – Dr. Kirsten Bell of the University of British Columbia suggests that Cupertino is the home of something resembling a faith-based organization.

Fact checking Tim Cook on 7-inch tablets and Microsoft’s Surface – The Apple CEO is engaged in his own campaign to highlight faults of competitors’ products in contrast to his unbridled delight in Apple’s products.

Today’s Quote:

Men have become the tools of their tools.”

–      Henry David Thoreau

Today’s Free Downloads:

TaskUnifier 3.0.3 Beta – TaskUnifier is a task management software based on the well-known GTD (getting things done) methodology. It will help you manage your tasks and therefore your time. TaskUnifier is free and open source.

PhotoRenamer 3.2 – PhotoRenamer renames your photos with the date and time you took the shot. Three default masks are available by default and you can add up to 40 customized masks to fit your particular needs.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 27, 2012

  1. Re: Yahoo forcing it’s will on people who don’t want to be tracked.

    I find it interesting that there’s no comments on their original blog post. I left a comment which is now awaiting moderation (not holding out any hope of that since, as I said, there were no comments listed on their blog):

    “The only interests you’re protecting are your own. There are people, such as myself, who don’t want to be tracked, and you’re ignoring our wishes. You are free to do so, but you should realize that’s only going to incite people to demand that government step in and force you and other advertisers to actually listen, rather than make up excuses to track us against our will.

    “If you seriously believe your policy is in the interests of your clients, then post it on your landing page instead of hidden away in a blog, and post a contact e-mail where people can pass along their comments on your policy.”

    It’s amazing to me that some companies are still stupid enough to believe that they can tell us they’re going to track us to protect us. Really? Microsoft is the bad guy here? No. Microsoft did the right thing – people specifically telling you that they want to be tracked is the right way to go.

    Sorry to vent on your blog, Bill, but at least it’ll get posted here instead of ‘moderated’ away to hide the outrage.

    I’m starting to think we need to organize a protest similar to the one against SOPA to send an undeniable message to companies that ignoring a do not track request is a bad, bad move. Or maybe we should just follow their lead, find out the CEO’s e-mail addresses and subscribe them to every mailing list possible – after all, they didn’t specifically state they didn’t want us doing that, so it must mean that they do (and even if they do state they don’t want us doing that, we have to do it to protect their rights, honest we do).

    I’m actually a little too p’d off to formulate coherent thoughts right now. How does a company operate when it can’t understand something so simple as the term “do not track”? Three words and they got confused? Do their shareholders know that’s too much for management to handle?