Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 31, 2012

Google Search adds excellent Voice Search (pictures) – Google Search comes with access to Google apps and docs, well-known search capabilities, and new Voice Search that’s tough to beat.

How to report a computer crime: Unauthorised email account access – Well, there is no one size fits all solution – it depends on the individual circumstances and where you are in the world – but we’ve drawn up some scenarios that are typical of some of the crimes that any computer user, at home or work, might come across.

Obey the law, or else. California cracks down on app developers for privacy – Attorney General Kamala Harris is notifying mobile-app developers and companies that they must get in line with California law and post privacy notices for users or else face steep fines.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google Chrome Remote Desktop Graduates From Beta – Chrome Remote Desktop lets you remotely access other computers, or allow another user to access your computer securely over the Internet. The Web giant first launched a test version of the tool last year. As part of the transition out of beta, Google has also added some additional features to Chrome Remote Desktop, like a real-time audio feed on Windows. This feature lets you listen to MP3’s stored on your home computer while you’re away. The latest version also lets you copy and paste between your local and remote computers.

Auslogics Duplicate File Finder frees up hard drive space quickly – Duplicate file finders are a great way to free up precious hard drive space. Scanning your drive by file name, date, and content, these tools can point out files which appear more than once on your hard drive, thus helping you get rid of them swiftly. Sounds useful? Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is a quick, simple, and free option.

The smug tweeter posting Hurricane Sandy misinformation – For reasons that can only be his own, a man takes to the Twitter account @ComfortablySmug and posts scary misinformation about the hurricane. Stunningly, he is outed as a hedge fund analyst.

Dual booting Nook Tablets with Android Jelly Bean – If you own a Nook Tablet and want to dual-boot the device’s integrated operating system (Gingerbread) alongside a full-blown version of Jelly Bean, well, you might want to check out N2Acards, formally known as Nook2Android.

Soluto – Soluto is a free, easy-to-use PC utility that lets users perform an array of computer-related maintenance functions, but it’s only as useful as your Web connection.

-ROM, -R, +R, +RW? Understanding optical drive alphabet soup – I can’t blame anyone for being confused. We’ve got three types of optical discs (CDs, DVDs, and BDs), with five different capacities between them.

How to master Storage Spaces in Windows 8 – Windows 8 introduces Storage Spaces, a cool new feature that lets you create virtual data pools from your external storage drives.

Infographic: The generation gap in your office – Ever wondered what constitutes a baby boomer, gen x’er, or a millenial? This infographic breaks it down and shows what the near future will look like in the workplace.

Storage on the go: We test five fast portable hard drives – For system backup, archiving, or simply carrying around large data sets, 2.5-inch portable hard drives rule the roost. Competing flash drives are super portable and convenient, but they top out at 128GB; and at larger capacities, they cost a whopping buck per gigabyte. By comparison, each of the five portable hard drives we tested in this roundup cost about 10 cents per gigabyte—and some cost even less. All five units also feature USB 3.0 interfaces, making them considerably faster than previous-generation drives.

Gmail rolls out new pop-out window for composing emails – Google changes the design of its email service, incorporates photos into contacts and changes how replies are displayed.


Facebook tries cloaking probe into data leak involving 1 million accounts – Blogger who bought e-mail addresses for $5 told to keep discussions private. Facebook officials told a blogger to keep their discussions with him private as they investigate claims he acquired names and e-mail addresses belonging almost one million account holders for $5 through a publicly available service online.

Are you ready for International Kill A Zombie Day, 2012? – Forget trick-or-treating, use the excuse of Halloween to exterminate some zombie computers instead!

Israel Police pulled computers offline due to RAT infestation – Trend Micro researchers have managed to get their hands on the malware that caused the Israeli Police Department to pull all of its systems offline last Thursday, and the analysis revealed that it’s a so-called Remote Access Trojan (RAT).

Whodunnit? Conflicting accounts on ARAMCO hack underscore difficulty of attribution – A recent report suggests that the devastating cyber attack that wiped out thousands of computers belonging to Saudi Arabia’s national oil company was the work of a lone hacker – days after the US Secretary of Defense cited it as an example of a state sponsored attack. What do we really know?

Company News:

Secunia launches Secunia Vulnerability Intelligence Manager 4.0 – The Secunia VIM 4.0 is the latest evolutionary step in the technology Secunia has developed to help organizations handle vulnerabilities and protect business critical information and assets against potential attacks. Because it covers more than 40,000 software systems and applications, the VIM 4.0 solution provides the most comprehensive intelligence about software vulnerabilities available to organizations, ensuring that all security threats can be dealt with before the IT infrastructure is compromised by cybercriminals.

Ubuntu Linux’s Amazon integration gets a thumbs-down from the EFF – Plenty of customer “feedback” greeted both developments, but the Amazon partnership was recently brought back into the limelight by a statement of disapproval from none other than the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “It’s a major privacy problem if you can’t find things on your own computer without broadcasting what you’re looking for to the world,” wrote EFF Web developer Micah Lee in a blog post on Monday. “There are many reasons why you wouldn’t want any of these search queries to leave your computer.” It’s also not just Amazon that gets to see your data, Lee charges, but rather a number of third parties.

New Security-as-a-Service Implementation Report Provide Guidance for Deployment of Cloud-based SIEM – The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) today released the Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) guidance report as part of its Security as a Service (SecaaS) Implementation Guidance. The new report, prepared by the SecaaS Working Group, provides guidance for best practices on how to evaluate, architect, and deploy cloud-based SIEM services to both enterprise and cloud-based networks, infrastructure and applications.

ARM Launches New 64-Bit Processors – ARM announced two new 64-bit processors for phones, tablets, and especially servers.

EE Begins Rollout of U.K.’s First 4G Network – The U.K.’s Everything Everywhere (EE) 4G service launched today in 11 major cities, bringing superfast mobile service to the region for the first time.

Facebook stock: Let the insider selling begin – Shares of Facebook, still far below their IPO price, will likely face new pressure as insiders become free to sell hundreds of millions of pre-IPO shares.

Webopedia Daily:

Zombie – A computer that has been implanted with a daemon that puts it under the control of a malicious hacker without the knowledge of the computer owner. Zombies are used by malicious hackers to launch DoS attacks. The hacker sends commands to the zombie through an open port. On command, the zombie computer sends an enormous amount of packets of useless information to a targeted Web site in order to clog the site’s routers and keep legitimate users from gaining access to the site. The traffic sent to the Web site is confusing and therefore the computer receiving the data spends time and resources trying to understand the influx of data that has been transmitted by the zombies. Compared to programs such as viruses or worms that can eradicate or steal information, zombies are relatively benign as they temporarily cripple Web sites by flooding them with information and do not compromise the site’s data. Such prominent sites as Yahoo!, Amazon and were brought down in 2000 by zombie DoS attacks. Zombies are also referred to as zombie ants.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The Strange Anti-Obama Texts Blowing Up D.C. Area Cell Phones – The messages, from mysterious email addresses, attack the president on Medicare, abortion, and more. (recommended by Michael F.)

Tech skills: Is it getting harder to keep up? – Professional skills and experience are hard won from education, training and time in the industry. But it’s amazing how many people get by despite a fundamental lack of knowledge.

Watch: How to Save the Earth from Killer Asteroids by Using a Paintball Gun – What’s the best way to knock a killer asteroid off a collision course with Earth? Ding-ding if you said “paintball gun.”

ATM heist clears $1 million exploiting Citigroup e-payment flaw – Federal authorities said they uncovered an advanced bank heist that defrauded Citigroup of more than $1 million by exploiting a security loophole in the way it handles electronic payments.

The Story Behind The Famous FedEx Logo, And Why It Works – It isn’t what’s there; it’s what’s not there, argues Matthew May in The Laws of Subtraction. (recommended by Michael F.)

Sitting at your desk could be killing you – If your job requires a lot of sitting, you could be putting your health at danger. Here are some steps to avoid this

Today’s Quote:

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

–     Thomas A. Edison

Today’s Free Downloads:

Surf Anonymous Free – Surf Anonymous Free is the most advanced and reliable software for Internet users who want to ensure that their sessions and all online activities are secure and private. For instance, it is used to protect your sensitive data such as bank account information, private photos from being stolen and pried, or visit those websites, blogs and forums that once blocked you.

Funny Photo Maker 2.1.0 – Funny Photo Maker can easily turn your photos into and artistic, interesting or funny masterpiece without a complicated interface.

AVG Rescue CD (for USB stick) – A powerful must-have toolkit to assist with the rescue and repair of infected machines. This software provides essential utilities for system administrators and other IT professionals. This download is for portable USB drives.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

5 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 31, 2012

  1. A commentor on the The Amazon-Ubuntu link posted a link to a nice article that describes the Do Not Track woes all too well.

    It’s kind of sad when Microsoft is the good guy.

  2. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I installed Surf Anonymous Free, only to discover that the free version is valid for US ISPs only. Other countries need to purchase Surf Anonymous Free Pro (ie NOT free). I’ve uninstalled it and thought I’d save other “aliens” the bother.

    Shame though, it seemed like a useful application.

    Kind regards