Monthly Archives: November 2012

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 30, 2012

Hands On With the $20 Indian Android Tablet – The cheapest Android tablet I’ve ever seen costs $20, with a $2 per month unlimited data plan, and I’m holding it right now. It might not just change the tablet market. It might change the world.

Save files to Google Drive with Chrome add-on Save to Drive – Chrome extension Save to Drive adds a line to your right-click menu to save images and HTML5 video and audio files to Google Drive.

Keep it casual: 15 best Windows 8 gaming apps – Sometimes even a diehard dual-GPU gamer needs a break from crazy explosions and complicated MMO macros. Windows 8’s casual game selection can’t match the deep libraries that Android and Apple maintain, but even so the Windows Store holds a ton of finger-friendly titles.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to Set Up a Pinterest Business Page – Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter and Google+, social bookmarking site Pinterest has unveiled pages exclusively for businesses. If your company is new to Pinterest, you can sign up for a business account. If your business has an existing account, you can convert it. Pinterest’s new business accounts—which still look the same as personal pages—are free and display a verification badge, let you add buttons and widgets to your website, and include an updated set of terms of service.

Apple begins selling unlocked iPhone 5 in the U.S. – Now users don’t have to be tethered to a network when buying an iPhone 5, however they should be ready to shell out at least $649 for the unlocked model of this device.

Back up Gmail to a local drive – Charles Johnson has a “nagging worry” about all those important messages stored in Gmail. He asked if there’s a way to back them up locally to his hard drive.

Apple Gets $1 Out of Every $25 Spent on Gadgets – New survey by CouponCodes4U points to Apple’s share of U.S. consumer tech dollars getting even bigger over the past six months.

Senate panel to cops: You need search warrants for e-mail – Committee votes to update a 1986 privacy law despite warnings from one senator that his colleagues are “abdicating our duty if we do not examine the concerns raised by federal and state law enforcement.”

8 Tips to Save Printer Ink – Toner costs a bundle. Reduce your printing costs with these eight tips. Some are slam-dunks, though others have downsides or upfront costs.

You don’t really need a Start Menu in Windows 8 – Greg Shultz shows you several techniques you can use to launch your Desktop applications in Windows 8 that don’t involve a Start Menu.

Video: Winulator runs classic Windows games on Android – A developer by the name of Dan Aloni has coded an emulator that allows users to play classic Windows games (95 or 98) on Android devices.

Microsoft blasts IE haters with ironic IE hate site – An Internet troll sits in a dark room lit by the glow of lava lamps and multiple monitors and feverishly types rants against Microsoft’s latest version of Internet Explorer. “IE sucks,” he tweets with a smirk on his face. But this troll, ironically, is an actor playing the role of an Internet Explorer hater in a Microsoft ad campaing for IE called “The Browser You Loved to Hate.”


W32/VBNA-X worm spreads quickly through networks and removable media – A new particularly virulent version of the malware family known as W32/VBNA (also SillyFDC/Autorun) is spreading very quickly. It takes advantage of Windows Autorun and some very clever social engineering techniques to plant banking Trojans on victim computers.

Hackers steal and publish e-mails from U.N. nuclear agency – The IAEA confirms its servers were breached and a hacking group claims responsibility demanding an investigation into Israel’s alleged nuclear proliferation program.

Bogus Amazon account compromise notice leads to phishing – A phishing email impersonating Amazon is hitting users’ inboxes, trying to trick them into believing that various computers connected to their Amazon account and threatening account suspension unless they “confirm” their account information.

Anonymous declares war on Syrian government Web sites – Online hacktivist group blames Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the Internet blackout blanketing the country and vows retaliation.

Company News:

Dell’s ‘Sputnik’ Ubuntu Linux ultrabook: First in a new line? – Made possible through an internal skunkworks effort, the project aimed to create an Ubuntu-preloaded laptop targeting developers, in particular, with what Dell has called a “client to cloud” solution. By midsummer, Dell said the associated beta program was exceeding expectations, and today the resulting ultrabook officially launched in the U.S. and Canada.

RIM preps for BlackBerry 10 QWERTY smartphone – Step-by-step, RIM is getting developers ready for the Jan. 30 launch of BlackBerry 10, when the company will introduce one all-touch smartphone and one more traditional model with a QWERTY keyboard. RIM has already distributed 7,500 all-touch testing devices to developers; its latest move aims to ensure that applications can run on the QWERTY smartphone as well, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

Under new deal, Zynga less tied to Facebook – The two companies amend their agreement. Zynga will no longer have to show Facebook ads, use Facebook credits, or release games exclusively on the Facebook platform.

Amazon-Google cloud price war heats up – Google cuts its Cloud Storage pricing by 10 percent only a few days after slashing it by about 20 percent. The reduction comes a day after Amazon lowered its own pricing. Your move next, Amazon.

EU, U.S. antitrust officials to meet about Google investigations – The heads of separate probes into the Web giant’s business practices will meet next week in Europe, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Webopedia Daily:

Cytizenship – A slang term used to describe the feeling of belonging in cyberspace. For example, this could be owning real estate in cyberspace, such as a domain name. It is also used to describe interactions of people in cyberspace through blogs, chat rooms, instant messaging, discussion forums and other places where people can communicate online.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Your Digital Legacy: States Grapple with Protecting Our Data After We Die – Who is allowed to read through your e-mails — or update your Facebook page — when you die? In many states across the U.S., there are no clear answers to such basic legal questions

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.

Happy Birthday, Pong – Today is the official fortieth anniversary of Atari’s Pong, the videogame which introduced the world to videogames. (There were earlier ones, but Pong, which was created by Al Alcorn and Nolan Bushnell, was the first big hit.)

Wearable computers: The next generation – Think your tablet or smartphone is the utmost in personal computing? Soon you could be wearing your digital electronics — from shoes that can guide you to your destination to electronic tattoos that monitor physiological conditions.

Today’s Quote:

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

–      Charles Dickens

Today’s Free Downloads:

Cloudfogger – Cloudfogger provides free file encryption for Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive and Others. You don’t have to worry about your privacy, your provider or lost devices any more.

CurrPorts – CurrPorts displays the list of all currently opened TCP/IP and UDP ports on your local computer. For each port in the list, information about the process that opened the port is also displayed, including the process name, full path of the process and more.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 29, 2012

Turn Nook into an Android tablet – Just pop in a special microSD card or download the OS to your own card and you can transform your Nook Color or Nook Tablet into a full-blown Android tablet.

App Advisor – The free App Advisor browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari offers a reputation report for any Facebook app, even before you install it, with an option to get full details about that app’s possible privacy risks.

YouTube rolls out auto-captions for six European languages – Now people who speak German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Dutch can watch videos with automated captions.

How to Clean Up Your Online Presence and Make a Great First Impression – Odds are someone is searching the web for you right now, or at least has looked you up fairly recently. Do you know what they learned? Better yet, do you control the pages and profiles they visited? If not, it’s time to take your online reputation into your own hands instead of leaving it to Google. Here’s how.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google Street View Maps Ski Slopes, Expands in Arctic – Google today expanded its Street View program with the launch of the Canadian Arctic and a number of ski resorts around the world.

Linux Mint 14 released: It’s like Windows, but good – Following the release of Ubuntu 12.10, Linux Mint 14 Nadia is now available to download. It brings several under-the-hood tweaks, a new software manager, and an overhauled Cinnamon 1.6 desktop environment that makes Mint speedy and user friendly. Are you ready to make the switch?

The most rocking home entertainment tech of 2012 – HDTVs. Media streamers. Audio equipment coming out your ears. Take your play seriously with PCWorld’s top picks.

How to report a computer crime: Trolling – Bob Burls, a veteran computer crime investigator, explains how to report an internet troll to the authorities.

Cell Phone Users More Interested in Snapping Pics, Texting Than Calls – A new Pew Internet & American Life Project study points to cell phone photography and texting as more popular features than making phone calls.

How to tame messy Gmail replies – Much as I love Gmail, I don’t love how messy it can be. Messy interface, messy layout, and, sometimes, messy emails. Specifically, after a few messages go back and forth between you and someone else (that’s called a thread), you end up with a lengthy, cluttered, messy explosion of text.

Android security and optimization app – IObit released its Android security and optimization app – Advanced Mobile Care, designed for Android 2.2 and above. The app gives Android users a way to protect their smartphones from Android security and performance problems. Based on IObit’s anti-malware engine and their system tune-up technology, the app can remove malware and clean memory, cache and junk files to increase Android’s processing speed with one touch.

Fedora 18 Linux Rolls Spherical Cow Beta – Fedora 18 was originally scheduled to have its first beta release on October 2nd. Things fedorachange, bugs are found and now at long last Fedora 18 Beta is now available.

Splashtop comes to Ubuntu Linux with a speedy remote desktop option – On Wednesday, Splashtop announced the release of its remote desktop Streamer software for Ubuntu, giving users of Android and iOS Splashtop 2 client devices the ability to connect to a remote computer running Ubuntu to use Linux applications and access their data.

Play YouTube videos in VLC – Learn how to watch YouTube videos in VLC so you can skip ads, adjust playback speed, and multitask.


Phony Browser Updates Redirect Victims to Malware Sites, Scareware – Hackers are using malicious ads promising browser updates to drop malware on users’ machines. Using a mix of social engineering and a variation on scareware, attackers have been taking advantage of recent legitimate Firefox and Chrome updates to infect hundreds of machines in Europe and the United States.

Fake Windows 8 key generators lurk in the wild – Users who are eager to try out the new Windows 8 but are not keen on buying it should be careful if searching for bootlegged copies or purported key generators online, Trend Micro warns. The security company’s researchers have already unearthed two distinct pieces of malicious software posing as Windows 8 key generator apps, offered on a single website to Russian-speaking users.

Mobile browser vulnerability lets hackers steal cloud computing time – A novel technique based on MapReduce could let hackers hijack computing resources used by cloud-based mobile browsers and use them anonymously, according to security researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon.

Festive but fake UPS notification leads to fake AV – Fake UPS delivery notifications hit inboxes with regularity during the entire year, and usually don’t need “special effects” to trick users into downloading malware hidden in the attachment.

Researcher Owns Internal Network after Victim Opens Email – Security researcher Bogdan Calin found that he could remotely compromise the internal networks of users with default or weak router passwords merely by compelling them to open a legitimate looking email on their iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Company News:

Windows Blue: Microsoft’s plan to release a new version of Windows every year – This information stems from The Verge, which cites several anonymous sources who are “familiar with Microsoft’s plans.” According to these insiders, Blue will roll out mid-2013, and will be very cheap — or possibly even free, to ensure that “Windows Blue the next OS that everyone installs.” Exact details are still rather vague, but at the very least Blue will make “UI changes” to Windows 8.

Nokia Goes After BlackBerry Devices With Latest RIM Suit – The patent battle between Nokia and Research in Motion continued this week, with Nokia asking that a California court enforce a recent Swedish arbitration award that found RIM to be in violation of a Nokia patent agreement.

Google Acquires Retail Couponing Firm Incentive Targeting – In its announcement of the acquisition, Incentive Targeting said it will now have the resources to “continue the transformation of couponing from a way to give discounts to a way to build business.”

Microsoft: Google Users Getting ‘Scroogled’ on Search – Microsoft is once again going after Google and its search engine, but the software giant is now focusing on Google’s shopping results. Microsoft’s Bing team has launched a website, dubbed Scroogled, that takes Google to task for turning its shopping results into a commercial endeavor. “Google Shopping is nothing more than a list of targeted ads that unsuspecting customers assume are search results,” the Bing team said.

Google CEO Page said to meet with FTC – Google CEO Larry Page met with officials from the FTC this week in an attempt to convince regulators that the company hasn’t broken antitrust laws, reports say.

Critics pile on HP as Moody’s cuts rating – Hewlett-Packard faces a torrent of criticism after Moody’s cuts its long-term credit rating to three levels above junk.

Webopedia Daily:

Carbon Neutral – Carbon neutral, also called carbon neutrality is a term used to describe the action of organizations, businesses and individuals taking action to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as each put in to it. The overall goal of carbon neutrality is to achieve a zero carbon footprint. For example, a business may plant trees in different places around the world to offset the electricity the business uses. This practice is often called carbon offset or offsetting.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google didn’t buy a WiFi company today – but it should, and blanket the world with free WiFi – Today, a press release about Google purchasing a company dedicated to the installation and management of WiFi in public areas hit all over the web. It turns out this was completely bogus. Google isn’t buying a company to take over its installations and save us all from overpriced public WiFi, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

No, the U.S. Did Not Have a Plan to ‘Blow Up’ the Moon – A secret Pentagon plan was cooked up in the 1950s to scare the Soviets with a nuclear flash on the Moon, but breathless headlines are blowing it way out of proportion.

Trending: Baby Girl Named After Twitter’s Hashtag – Here we go again—some Twitter-obsessed person has apparently named a newborn girl “Hashtag” after the “#” symbol attached to trending topics on the microblogging service. The Facebook post announcing the birth of Hashtag Jameson was first spotted by Awkward Messages.

Stop worrying, and embrace RFID – As RFID use has increased in frequency in the developed world, there has been a non-trivial amount of pushback from luddites, the religious, and privacy advocates. According to Grant Brunner, RFID isn’t that scary, and we should embrace it.

Swedish town introduces light therapy to bus shelters – The local energy company says the lamps will be in place at 30 bus stops throughout the northern town of Umea.

Today’s Quote:

“The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.”

–      H. L. Mencken

Today’s Free Downloads:

Speccy – Speccy is an advanced System Information tool for your PC. At first glance, Speccy may seem like an application for system administrators and power users. It certainly is, but Speccy can also help normal users, in everyday computing life.

Soluto – Frustrated by your sluggish and unresponsive PC? Soluto is bringing an end to PC user frustration with transparency, killer technology, and your help.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 28, 2012

Proposed amendments to ECPA would make Orwell squirm – George Orwell wrote his famous book about Big Brother in 1948. What would he think about the Electronic Communications Privacy Act? Changes to the act are being voted on this week in the U.S. Senate.

Google Drive Gmail Integration Allows for 10GB Attachments – The Web giant on Tuesday announced that it is integrating its cloud storage service Google Drive into Gmail, a move that will let users insert and send files up to 10GB. To put it in perspective, that’s 400 times larger than what you can send as a traditional attachment, Google said.

10 killer Windows 8 business apps for real productivity – These productivity-packed Windows 8 apps keep you delegating, decision-making, and digging into nitty-gritty business details.

Instaquette: The Dos and Don’ts of Instagram – Are you one of the millions of people using Instagram? If so (and especially if you’re considering joining), read these 14 simple dos and don’ts.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Report declares antivirus software a waste of money for businesses – Reports questioning the protection offered by antivirus suites has become a staple theme among researchers in recent times and the study Assessing the Effectiveness of Anti-Virus Solutions, carried out for Imperva by the University of Tel Aviv, is another addition to that sobering collection. The team ran a collection of 82 new malware files through the VirusTotal system that checks files against around 40 different antivirus products, finding that the initial detection rate was a startling zero.

Spybot – Search & Destroy 2.0 is a Flop – Spybot was one of the first antispyware tools ever. It’s been dormant for a while. Now Spybot – Search & Destroy 2.0 promises to destroy “spyware, malware, adware and other malicious software.” In testing, it proved almost 100 percent ineffective.

How to lower your profile on Instagram – Learn how to use Instagram’s privacy settings to limit who can see your photos, block followers, and delete comments. Plus, discover a tool that lets you remove ghost followers in bulk.

Surprise! Nintendo’s got a $100 Wii Mini — for Canada – Hot on the heels of the Wii U’s debut, the diminutive device will arrive north of the border on December 7.

Google forcing reviewers to use real names – If you want to cheer or jeer for an app in the Google Play store, you’ll have to do it with your real name from now on. Search giant Google has started requiring that anyone who submits a review at its online app store use their Google+ identity, or if they don’t have one, set one up

Share files between your Android tablet and desktop with File Expert – There are many ways to transfer files between a desktop and a tablet, but a lot of them are too complicated or costly for most users. One of the simplest and most cost effective solution I’ve found is called File Expert.

Support trick: Automatically receive the IP addresses of remote computers – Marco Fioretti shares a little tip and script for an easy way to have the IP addresses of computers you support automatically sent to you.

Firefox 18 Beta Promises Speed Boost, Retina Support – Mozilla today released a beta version of Firefox 18 that promises speed improvements, support for Retina display screens, and more


Hardcoded account in Samsung printers provides backdoor for attackers – US-CERT has issued an alert warning users of Samsung printers and some Dell printers manufactured by Samsung about the presence of a hardcoded account that could allow remote attackers to access an affected device with administrative privileges. compromised, offered Trojanized version of analytics software – The official website of popular free web server analytics system Piwik has been compromised and made to serve a Trojanized version of the software that opens a backdoor on the systems on which is installed.

Hackers steal and publish e-mails from U.N. nuclear agency – The IAEA confirms its servers were breached and a hacking group claims responsibility demanding an investigation into Israel’s alleged nuclear proliferation program.

Fraud 101 for universities – “Colleges and universities are becoming more aware of the fraud threats they face, but there is still a lot of room for educating the educators,” says James Gifas, head of Treasury Solutions at RBS Citizens. “Education ranks as one of the top 5 industries in the country as far as number of reported cases of occupational fraud, and colleges – just like for-profit businesses – are at risk with the spread of cybercrime,”

Beyond antivirus software: Eclectic PC security tools for system-wide audits – Are you doing everything necessary to keep your PC safe? These utilities can fill in the gaps left by traditional antivirus software.

Company News:

Microsoft says it’s sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses so far – Tami Reller, the chief marketing and financial officer for Windows, announces the tally today during the Credit Suisse tech conference.

Report: Apple Fires Another Exec Over Maps Fiasco – The much-maligned Apple maps app has reportedly claimed another victim. According to Bloomberg, Cupertino fired another executive involved in creating the app. Richard Williamson, who has served as Apple’s senior director of iOS platform services, was fired by Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services at Apple, the news service said today.

Asus delays Taichi dual-screen ultrabooks – Asustek has delayed U.S. shipments for its dual-screen Taichi ultrabooks, which were available for order from retail sites like Amazon, Newegg and TigerDirect.

Google reaches settlement in haptic-feedback patent suit – The deal with Immersion settles a nearly year-old lawsuit originally filed against Motorola.

Apple hit with patent lawsuit over iPhone’s use of headphones – An apparent shell company files $3 million lawsuit over a 2008 patent covering an interface for sending and receiving audio signals from a phone.

Webopedia Daily:

Artificial Intelligence – The branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently, no computers exhibit full artificial intelligence (that is, are able to simulate human behavior). The greatest advances have occurred in the field of games playing. The best computer chess programs are now capable of beating humans. In May, 1997, an IBM super-computer called Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Gary Kasparov in a chess match.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Did You Fall for the Facebook Hoax? – If you are so addicted to Facebook that you honestly believe you are keeping up with your old high school chums by stalking their profile pages, then this column is not for you. (If that’s the case, though, you’re probably too busy “liking” your old lab partner’s photo of his dog to be reading this column anyway.) Also, if you actually copy and pasted the “copyright” message you saw your “friends” posting in a panic, then this column is not for you. Why? Because you should not be on the Internet.

Infographic: What is your preferred method of wasting time at work? – If you think the biggest time-waster at work is the Internet, you’d be wrong. Take a look at this infographic and see where productivity is most often lost.

Privacy professor to try to break Do Not Track logjam – Peter Swire is the W3C’s new co-chair for a contentious effort to create a standard that will let people tell Web sites not to track their online behavior.

Windows 8: Does its 1-month report card read pass or fail? – Microsoft’s new-look operating system is just a hair over one month old, so now is the perfect time to take stock of the software’s public reception.

Brain-Controlled Toy Helicopter Hits Kickstarter – The Puzzlebox Orbit brain-controlled helicopter turns learning into playtime and mental relaxation into flight school

Today’s Quote:

“The history of our race, and each individual’s experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.”

–    Mark Twain

Today’s Free Downloads:

Comodo Cleaning Essentials – Comodo Cleaning Essentials (CCE) is a set of computer security tools designed to help users identify and remove malware and unsafe processes from infected computers.

EasyBrake – Zoltan Nemeth’s EasyBrake is a free tool that converts just about any digital media format you can name into MKV or MP4 (MPEG-4) files using the HandBrake conversion engine. Among many other updates, the latest EasyBrake version uses less memory. However, the developer still recommends a fast multicore CPU and plenty of RAM for best performance, especially with longer videos.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 27, 2012

The 100 Best Products of 2012 – Around this time each year, the editors at PCWorld and TechHive gather to recognize the best new tech products—the hardware, software, gadgets, and devices that had the biggest impact on the world.

The Cheapskate’s Guide to Getting Free Stuff – Opportunity doesn’t favor the wealthy, it favors the resourceful. You can get free travel, entertainment, gadgets, and even internet access by knowing about a few simple tricks and services. This guide will point you in the right direction.

How to spot fake user reviews while shopping online – While the majority of those reviews do come from real users like yourself, who are passionate enough to share their opinions on a product, many of them could be fake, left by the vendors themselves to either promote their product or, in many cases, smear competitors.

Windows XP countdown clock ticks under 500 days – Windows XP has fewer than 500 days left to live, according to Microsoft and third-party countdown clocks. The 11-year-old operating system will exit support April 8, 2014, when Microsoft serves users with their final security updates.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Microsoft promises to support Surface RT for 4+ years – Microsoft will support its Surface RT tablet with updates, including security patches, until April 2017, or nearly four-and-a-half years after its launch. The support lifecycle for the Surface with Windows RT tablet is less than half the usual 10 years Microsoft allots its software products—including Windows 8—but is considerably longer than what Apple has given the first-generation iPad, which has already dropped off the Cupertino, Calif. company’s list.

With ‘Cinnarch,’ Arch Linux gets a sprinkle of Cinnamon – Hard on the heels of the news that the old GNOME 2 desktop is coming back by popular demand, the Cinnarch project late last week announced that its new Linux distribution combining Arch Linux with the alternative Cinnamon desktop environment has now reached beta.

More Facebook friends = more stress, poll finds – We all want more pals, but a Scottish survey suggests you should think twice before accepting your mom’s friend request.

Republic Wireless Tries to Disrupt Cozy Carriers – Wireless startup Republic Wireless is trying to break into the cell phone world with a $19/month plan. But there’s a catch: you have to use Wi-Fi a lot.

What’s the best file system for an external drive? – Cyberknight asked the Hard Drives, NAS Drives, Storage forum if a new flash drive should be formatted in FAT32 or NTFS.

Review: Kombustor shows how much your graphics hardware can take – Your clock-cooked Radeon may sneer at Skyrim on max settings, but those same speeds can make your computer crash and burn when playing Witcher II. This and other inconsistencies mean you need to go beyond FRAPS and your favorite game when looking at overclocked GPU stability. Hardware manufacturer MSI, creators of Afterburner, have conjured up a way to make your overachieving videocard sweat for a change. It’s a benchmark called Kombustor, and it’s aptly named.

Tumblr Now Among Top 10 Most Popular U.S. Sites – Tumblr is now among the internet’s elite, ranking alongside sites like Facebook, Google, and Twitter as one of the top 10 most trafficked websites in the U.S.


Don’t fall for the Facebook privacy notice hoax – Have you posted the notice to your Facebook timeline to proclaim your copyright ownership of all content? Have you seen others from your social network posting such a notice? If you haven’t already, don’t bother. It’s a hoax. It’s not even a new hoax. It’s a resurgence of an old hoax that many users fell for earlier this year when Facebook became a publicly-traded company

Nationwide customers notified of breach, PI theft – Nationwide, one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world, has been sending out letters to notify some of its clients about the compromise and potential compromise of their personal information following a recent breach.

DIY mass iFrame injecting Apache module sold online – The module is for sale for $1,000, and in order to incite buyers, the seller offers statistics that apparently prove that the ROI is good. The seller also reveals in the ad that the module has already been successfully use in a number of security incidents across the globe.

PASSTEAL Malware Lurking on File Sharing Sites – Variants of the PASSTEAL malware are propagating by masquerading as key generators for paid applications, popular e-books, and other software on file sharing services, according Alvin John Nieto, a threat response engineer at TrendMicro’s TrendLabs.

eBay patches two critical security flaws on US website – Two critical vulnerabilities in eBay’s US website ( have been closed by the company, preventing attackers from accessing and modifying one of its databases as well as steal eBay users’ login credentials, reports The H Security. The XSS flaw was first spotted by Indian security researcher Shubham Upadhyay, then shared with XSSed readers.

FBI Probing Social Media to Sniff Out Securities Fraud – The Federal Bureau of Investigation is turning to social media to track stock fraud, according to Reuters. Agents are probing Twitter and Facebook for details about insider trading in the $2 trillion hedge fund industry, the FBI told the wire service.

Company News:

Samsung sells 5M Galaxy Note II ‘phablets’ in two months – The combination smartphone-tablet Samsung Galaxy Note II has proven more popular than analysts had expected. Samsung has sold 5 million of the so-called “phablet” mobile devices worldwide in two months, the South Korean company said in a statement on Monday.

Red Hat Updates to OpenStack Folsom – Enterprise Linux vendor Red Hat is updating its cloud OpenStack cloud platform distribution in a new preview release.

Windows 8’s early uptake trumps Vista’s – Microsoft’s Windows 8 may be lagging far behind Windows 7 in its usage uptake, but it’s easily topping the low bar set by Windows Vista, according to data from Web metric firm Net Applications.

Cisco Buys Cloud-Networking Firm Meraki for $1.2 Billion – Cisco on Sunday announced its intention to acquire Meraki Inc. for $1.2 billion in an effort to continue building its cloud networking services.

Samsung’s audit prompts changes in factory labor policy – Samsung Electronics announced new measures to keep its suppliers in China compliant with labor laws after it completed a round of audits that found problems relating to overtime and the way penalties were carried out.

Webopedia Daily:

Decision Support System – Abbreviated DSS, the term refers to an interactive computerized system that gathers and presents data from a wide range of sources, typically for business purposes. DSS applications are systems and subsystems that help people make decisions based on data that is culled from a wide range of sources.

Off Topic (Sort of):

4 reasons to skip Black Friday next year – It really isn’t worth staying up all night to get a good deal on some tech devices, cameras and gadgets, and here’s why.

Dual-identity smartphones could separate work from play – Late next year, consumers will be able to buy smartphones that either come with native hypervisor software or use an app allowing them to run two interfaces on the phone: one for personal use, one for work. The technology could help address an issue that has cropped up with increasing frequency at work: Employees who bring their personal mobile devices to work and use them to communicate with clients and to access corporate data.

The Future of Retailing Is Search – The holiday shopping season began on Black Friday, is accelerated on Cyber Monday, and lasts through the days after Christmas, when many crummy gifts will be returned for cash or store credit. The month-long frenzy makes me question the point of it all. Is this the way we celebrate the birth of Christ? You’d think a family dinner would be enough.

Elon Musk’s Next Big Vision is a Mars Colony – SpaceX CEO has been making the rounds to drum up support for an audacious plan to establish a self-sufficient Martian settlement of up to 80,000 colonists.

Facebook removes pic, confuses elbow for breast – A cleverly taken image by a Web magazine is removed by Facebook’s censors, because they don’t look closely enough at what it really is.

Today’s Quote:

“Any war that requires the suspension of reason as a necessity for support is a bad war.”

–      Norman Mailer

Today’s Free Downloads: – Windows Repair Portable – – Windows Repair is an all-in-one repair tool to help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including registry errors and file permissions as well as issues with Internet Explorer, Windows Update, Windows Firewall and more.

Kaspersky Rescue Disk – Boot from the Kaspersky Rescue Disk to scan and remove threats from an infected computer without the risk of infecting other files or computers.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 26, 2012

Turbo-charge your browser with these top add-ons – Take browsers Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Opera to the next level with these 15 pro extensions that boost productivity, safety, and more.

2012 Holiday Game Guide – Which games are you going to buy for that special gamer on your list this holiday season? Our list can help.

The 10 Best Shopping Apps to Compare Prices – The latest price-comparison apps are ringing in some new features that will spread holiday cheer. There are apps to help the tech-deficient choose a gift for the tech-addicted, lighten the load of loyalty cards, predict prices and product releases to minimize buyer’s (and receiver’s) remorse, rate the environmental friendliness of a friendly gesture, and offer up rewards.

10 reasons to choose Ubuntu 12.10 over Windows 8 – Initial uptake of Windows 8 has been unenthusiastic, according to reports, and a full 80 percent of businesses will never adopt it, Gartner predicts. As a result, Microsoft’s big gamble may be desktop Linux’s big opportunity. So, now that Canonical has thrown down the gauntlet, let’s take a closer look at Ubuntu 12.10 to see how it compares with Windows 8 from a business user’s perspective.

Linux Mint 14 released: It’s like Windows 8, minus the bad bits – Following the release of Ubuntu 12.10, Linux Mint 14 Nadia is now available to download. It brings several under-the-hood tweaks, a new software manager, and an overhauled Cinnamon 1.6 desktop environment that makes Mint speedy and user friendly.

Quick Tip: Create a tile on the Windows 8 Start Screen – Sometimes you have to create a tile on the Windows 8 Start Screen manually.

Samsung’s Windows 8 Ativ convertible grossly misrepresents available storage – When a vendor tells you a device has 64GB of storage, you would expect to get just that. Sure there is a little overhead for system software. But 32GB? That is just wrong. Worse, it is just one example of a disturbing trend.

Cutting the Confusion of Microsoft’s End-of-Life Support for Surface RT – Four years? Five years? Hardware? Software? Microsoft’s support policies vary for its Surface RT

Desktop Wallpaper: Warm tropical beaches – Winter has been particularly harsh for many this season, so perhaps it is time to picture yourself on a warm tropical beach with this Desktop Wallpaper Photo Gallery.

How to unlock Android 4.2’s hidden Daydream ‘BeanFlinger’ – Android 4.2 Jelly Bean includes a new feature called Daydream. Daydream is nothing more than a different name for a screensaver, but for your Android device. You can choose from one of the five default Daydreams to start playing when your device is docked, charging, or both.

Are sub-$200 laptops too basic to be useful? – For one, you can’t play the latest games or run intense applications with these lightly configured laptops, and the machines are not the easiest to carry around. The laptops are adequate for basic Web surfing, word processing, or casual gaming; and one could replace an aging desktop or laptop at home.

Before you buy an expensive Bluetooth, AirPlay, or docking speaker, read this – Wireless single speakers systems are an attractive solution for a lot of buyers, but are there better-sounding alternatives?


Hacker selling $700 exploit that hijacks Yahoo email accounts – A hacker is selling a $700 zero-day exploit for Yahoo Mail that lets an attacker leverage a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability to steal cookies and hijack accounts.

Technology built into mannequins helping stores track customers – Facebook and Google aren’t the only companies with the ability to spy on you. Brick-and-mortar stores can too – thanks to some creepy technology.

Xtreme RAT malware targets US, UK, other governments – The hacker group that recently infected Israeli police computers with the Xtreme RAT malware has also targeted government institutions from the U.S., U.K., and other countries, according to researchers from antivirus vendor Trend Micro.

Share via email “Friends” spam via The Daily Mail leads to 419 scam – Spammers seem not to realise that Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey and Ross stopped being Friends years ago.

Company News:

Facebook Asking its Employees to ‘Droidfood’ Android – Propaganda posters and all, Facebook is pushing its employees to get more on board with Android.

Salesforce on Track to be a $3 Billion Company This Year –, which generated $788 million in revenues during its fiscal year 2013 third quarter, up 35 percent over the same period last year, expects to break the $3 billion revenue mark by the time the fiscal year ends in January.

Apple acquires use of Lightning trademark in Europe from Harley – The iPhone maker secures a partial transfer for the term it uses to describe its new device connector, according to the EU’s Trade Mark and Design Office.

Apple’s Futuristic Cupertino Headquarters Delayed – In the pursuit of perfection, the building’s planned completion date has been bumped to mid-2016, according to a report in Bloomberg News. Delays in submitting proposals to the city council pushed back the projected move-in date from 2015, although the main building’s design has not been changed.

Webopedia Daily:

Enterprise Whuffie – A slang term coined by Steve Gillmor to mean “the reputation of importance that employees would be able to acquire by becoming known as experts in different areas”. The reference originally appeared in Steve Gillmor’s eWeek column on Messaging and Collaboration that discusses Socialtext and the nature of relationships in enterprise social software.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Shoppers spent record $1B online on Black Friday – Bargain hunters’ spending leaps 26 percent over last year’s Black Friday, surpassing the $1 billion mark for the first time, ComScore reports.

Think you have a big screen TV? Check out these monster video walls – In honor of National Big Screen TV Day, aka Black Friday, we thought we’d share a couple massive screens unveiled by GE and by Stony Brook University that you can drool over.

Skyrim running 100 graphics mods looks almost next-gen – Any fan of the Elder Scrolls series knows that extensive modding communities quickly spring up around Bethesda’s games. Unreal is one such community member, and started what is perhaps one of the most impressive gaming mods to date. He managed to get Skyrim to simultaneously run 100 graphics mods, creating a gorgeous graphics package that makes it looks like a next-gen game.

iPad Mini Has More Than Smaller Size Going for It – To suggest that the iPad Mini is just a shrunken iPad isn’t exactly correct. It’s a hybrid tablet that’s smaller, thinner and lighter than other iPads, but that has the features such as a high-quality camera that records in high definition, and has LTE and global radios. We give you a closeup of it here.

Raspberry Pi hackathon set – Electronics distributor CPC is inviting entries for the first Raspberry Pi “hackathon,” a competition to see which individual or team can come up with the most interesting hacked innovation based on the famous ARM computer.

Today’s Quote:

“It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.”

–      William G. McAdoo

Today’s Free Downloads:

MailEnable Standard 6.72 – MailEnable Standard Edition provides robust SMTP, POP3 and web mail services for Microsoft Windows servers. Simple to install, with powerful administration software means that your mail server will be up and running quickly.

PicPick 3.2.0 – PicPick is an all-in-one graphic program that provides full-featured screen capture tool, intuitive image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair and even whiteboard.

Top Process Monitor 5.5 – Top Process Monitor is simple Sidebar gadget shows the top processes on your system – the processes that are consuming the most CPU, Memory (Working Set), IO (Bytes read/written) and others.

Comments Off on Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 26, 2012

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 25, 2012

Holiday themes for Windows – The winter holidays are upon us. Install these beautiful Windows themes from Microsoft to help you get in the spirit.

Google Maps’ Indoor Floor Plans Hit the Web – Previously Android-only, Google’s indoor mapping service on Google Maps is now available on the Web-based version of the app.

Watch FREE Movies and TV Shows On Your Android Phone or Tablet – One of the neat things with tablet computers (and smartphones) is that you can do just about anything with them; even stream videos, movies, TV etc… to the devices. The problem is that most services that stream movies and TV require a paid subscription.

Windows 8 apps store cracks 20,000, most of them free – Microsoft broke the 20,000 mark on Tuesday, according to Directions on Microsoft Windows app store watcher Wes Miller. Nearly 18,000, or 87 percent, of those apps are free, according to Miller. What must be heartening for Microsoft is the velocity at which apps are being added to its online market: some 500 new apps appear each day, according to The Next Web.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Thanksgiving Stats Are In: Mobile Shopping on the Rise – Amazon remains the most-visited Web retailer on Thanksgiving Day, though the stats miss out on mobile.

Android 4.2: A visual guide to what’s new – The second release to carry the “Jelly Bean” moniker, Android 4.2 is a relatively minor update to version 4.1, but the upgrade packs several significant new features along with plenty of subtle polish. Here’s a tour of the most noteworthy changes.

Earth Alerts – Track extreme weather and natural hazards around the world in real time with this top-rated freeware that’s loaded with meteorological data.

Scandinavia cracks down on Facebook’s unsolicited ads – Facebook could be taken to court by consumer organizations in the Nordic countries if it does not stop placing unsolicited advertisements in users’ news feeds. The social network is likely to break the European Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications by letting companies advertise directly in users’ news feeds, said Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman Gry Nergard on Friday.

NHL star retweets message wishing commissioner dead – In the midst of yet another labor dispute, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Dave Bolland sends out a retweet that he subsequently deems a mistake. Should there be consequences?

Sunrise will e-mail your daily agenda to you each morning – links to your Facebook, Google Calendar, LinkedIn, and Eventbrite accounts. Then, each morning you’ll receive an e-mail from Sunrise with a nice list of the day’s agenda — it even includes the weather forecast for the day.


Beware: Facebook Target “US$500 Voucher” Scam – Cyber criminals, set to take advantage of Internet shoppers during this holiday shopping season, have launched a Facebook-based survey scam. According to a Help Net Security article, a message is being propagated across Facebook where “users are lured in by friends’ messages saying “Thank you Target!” and offering a link to a page where they can supposedly claim a free $500 Target voucher. Who would say no to that?”

Symantec warns of malware targeting SQL databases – The company discovered the malware, called W32.Narilam, on November 15 but on Friday published a more detailed writeup by Shunichi Imano. Narilam is rated as a “low risk” by the company, but according to a map, the majority of infections are concentrated in Iran, with a few in the U.K., the continental U.S., and the state of Alaska.

Cybercriminals are increasingly abusing .eu domains in attacks – Cybercriminals are increasingly using .eu domain names in their attack campaigns, according to data from multiple security companies.

Company News:

Apple targets Galaxy Note 2, S3 Mini in latest court request – The Apple-Samsung patent war continues, as Apple answers Samsung’s midweek, iPad and iPod court filing with some additional paperwork of its own.

Nokia’s soon-to-be-ex camera chief heading to car company – Damian Dinning, head of imaging and photography for Nokia for nearly a decade, says he’ll be moving on to Land Rover Jaguar.

Nintendo’s Wii U Launch Titles: Not Good Enough? – Mario’s no Link, and is the general “wait and see” reception to Nintendo’s new console going to impact its sales?

Mobile app revenue set to break $30 billion – To-date revenues accumulated by the global mobile application market remains on track to break the $30 billion milestone by the end of 2012.

Webopedia Daily:

Narrowcast – To send data to a specific list of recipients. Cable television is an example of narrowcasting since the cable TV signals are sent only to homes that have subscribed to the cable service. In contrast, network TV uses a broadcast model in which the signals are transmitted everywhere and anyone with an antenna can receive them. The Internet uses both a broadcast and a narrowcast model. Most Web sites use a broadcast model since anyone with Internet access can view the sites. However, sites that require you to log-in before viewing content are based more on the narrowcast model. The various push technologies are another form for narrowcasting. Perhaps the best example of narrowcasting are e-mail lists where messages are sent only to individuals who subscribe to the list.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Get a grip: 18 winter gloves that work with smartphones, tablets – Conductive fabric lets you type, swipe and scroll on your capacitive touchscreen devices without exposing your digits. Escape winter’s chilly grip with these 18 touch-friendly options.

Tablet display shipments jump, top laptops in October – Tablets are on a tear. Shipments of tablets are catching up to laptops a lot faster than anticipated only a few months ago.

Cyber Monday shoppers ditch poorly performing sites – Cyber Monday can be a gold mine for an online merchant, but sometimes the opportunity is lost because their websites turn consumers away instead of welcoming them with a good user experience.

‘Gangnam Style’ slays Bieber, becomes most-watched vid – In less than five months the South Korean dance megasensation has overtaken Canada’s Tweentastic pop darling. Sorry Biebs.

Are the Beatles groovy again? – The entire Beatles catalog has just been remastered on LP, the Audiophiliac spins the vinyl and reports on the sound.

Today’s Quote:

“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”

–    Bertrand Russell

Today’s Free Downloads:

PrivaZer 1.5.0 – With PrivaZer you can master your security and freedom, free up disk space and keep your PC fit and secure. PrivaZer also shows you exactly what can still be recovered of your past activities on your home or work PC.

foobar2000 – foobar2000 is an advanced audio player for the Windows platform. Some of the basic features include ReplayGain support, low memory footprint and native support for several popular audio formats.

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Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 24, 2012

AdjustYourPrivacy Locks Down Your Entire Internet Life from One Page – You can adjust your settings for services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and other social networks, as well as opt out of people-finding services. It also has links to useful services like previously mentioned AccountKiller and HTTPS Everywhere, so you can really clean up your privacy. Whether you’re looking to clean up a few things here and there or commit internet suicide completely, it’s a great place to start.

Facebook Data Use Policy email sparks security fear amongst some users – Some people are so used to being bombarded with bogus and malicious emails claiming to come from the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter that they don’t believe the legitimate communications they receive any more.

Thanksgiving Day Instagram Pics Break Records – Instagram users were particularly excited to share their culinary adventures yesterday. Perusing some of the Instagram search sites, it appears that many of the Thanksgiving-themed images were either photos of the grub users were about to consume or shots of people with friends and family.

Stay safe holiday shopping online – Ready or not, holiday shopping season is upon us, and many of us will be buying gifts online. We’ve put together some tips to help get you safely through your shopping list.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Connect your WordPress blog to Facebook – Ryan Boudreaux gives you step-by-step instructions on how to use the SharePress plugin to connect your WordPress blog to Facebook for automatic updating.

Is the Internet down? Troubleshooting network issues – It could be the website that’s down, or the local computer that has some type of connectivity problem. Or, in some cases, it could be somewhere in between, and that’s where things become much harder to diagnose. Let’s look at a couple of tools and services that can be used for just that purpose.

Video: A closer look at Jolla’s Sailfish mobile OS – You may remember another OS known as MeeGo from a while back, which Intel and Nokia officially retired before it even hit the mobile market. And now elements of MeeGo are being resurrected, courtesy of Jolla’s Sailfish OS. According to Jolla, the operating system and accompanying UI is all about speed, multitasking and intuitive interaction.

Go Flex Satellite provides external storage for mobile devices – Derek Schauland reviews a handy device that can free up precious space on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Slingbox 350 review: An easy way to stream your TV content anywhere – Attention, couch potatoes: Forget “TV everywhere” apps. The Slingbox can stream live TV — and DVR recordings — to most smartphones, tablets, and PCs. If you’ve got a a Web connection, you can get your favorite TV programs, even in glorious high-def.

How to report a computer crime: Phishing attack – What would you do if you unwittingly became a victim of a phishing attack? Do you know how you’d go about reporting the phishing to the authorities?

Revisiting Windows 1.0: how Microsoft’s first desktop gracefully failed – Two years ago today, when Windows 1.0 celebrated its 25th birthday, we didn’t yet know what the future of Windows would hold. Now that Windows 8 is on the market, the original is more relevant than ever before. Today, Windows 1.0 turns 27, and despite the many ways computing has changed since its debut, the two operating systems have some surprising similarities.


Hacked Go Daddy sites infecting users with ransomware – Users are getting infected with ransomware thanks to criminals managing to hack the DNS records of Go Daddy hosted websites. That’s not welcome news for the world’s largest domain name registrar, especially so soon after the recent denial of service attack.

“Twitter is going to start charging” phishing scheme pops up – The goal of these scammy messages is to make users follow the link to a bogus Twitter login page. Once the login credentials are entered and submitted, they are sent to a remote server controlled by the scammers, who will be misusing them to hijack the victims’ Twitter accounts – and maybe other accounts as well if they have been careless enough to use the same password on them.

Digitally signed ransomware lurking in the wild – Trend Micro researchers have spotted two ransomware variants bearing the same (probably stolen) digital signature in order to fool users into running the files. Other than that, the malware acts like any other ransomware: it blocks the victims’ computer and shows messages that seem to come either from the FBI or the UK’s Police Central e-crime Unit.

Bogus Apple invoice leads to Blackhole, banking malware – If you receive an invoice seemingly coming from Apple that apparently shows that your credit card has been billed for $699.99 (or a similar preposterously huge amount of money) because you bought postcard, don’t click on any of the embedded links no matter how curious or alarmed you are.

Company News:

HP delivers server for Big Data – HP unveiled a server built to help clients operationalize Big Data, drive new business opportunities and save up to $1 million over three years.

It’s Oatmeal vs. Oatmeal in a new trademark suit – Ding ding, round two. Internet comic The Oatmeal is being sued by a greeting-card shop owner who claims the comic’s name infringes its Oatmeal Studios trademark.

Microsoft eyes augmented reality glasses – Microsoft appears to be working on an augmented reality headset of its own, similar to Google’s Project Glass. In a new patent application, the company describes a glasses-based system that overlays information onto the user’s view.

Webopedia Daily:

Application Virtualization – Also called application service virtualization. Application virtualization is layered on top of other virtualization technologies, such as storage virtualization or machine virtualization to allow computing resources to be distributed dynamically in real time. In standard computing, applications install their settings onto the host operating system, hard-coding the entire system to fit that application’s needs. With application virtualization, each application brings down its own set of configurations on-demand, and executes in a way so that it sees only its own settings. This leaves the host operating system and existing settings unaltered.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Your first glimpse of Walmart shoppers fighting over phones – There is no greater post-Thanksgiving tradition than witnessing what the craving for gadgets has done to humanity. Here’s some of the first footage of the Zombie Apocalypse, Walmart-style.

Put Together a Pet First Aid Kit – The weblog for the American Pet Center in NYC outlines a comprehensive dog first aid kit you can put together over time which includes a muzzle, nail trimmers, tweezers, a rectal thermometer, saline solution, an inflatable protective collar, bandages, hydrogen peroxide, and a few other items. Cat first aid kits are similar; the only real difference is in the muzzle and protective collar.

Northumberlandia, the Lady of the North: A supine land goddess makes her debut – Charles Jencks’s land sculpture is the largest human form on the planet and is meant for walking on. (recommended by Michael F.)

Life Goes On – A tombstone from “a well-known town in the north, Gateshead,” from Henry Sampson’s History of Advertising From the Earliest Times, 1875. (recommended by Michael F.)

Today’s Quote:

“The man who says he is willing to meet you halfway is usually a poor judge of distance.”

–      Laurence J. Peter

Today’s Free Downloads:

NeoDownloader Lite 2.9.3 – NeoDownloader Lite is a freeware bulk image downloader that will allow you to download and view thousands of pictures from any websites (including TGP sites).

USBDeview 2.18 – USBDeview is a small utility that lists all USB devices that currently connected to your computer, as well as all USB devices that you previously used.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 23, 2012

Lifehacker: The 50 Free Apps We’re Most Thankful For – We asked you which free apps you’re most thankful for, you offered hundreds of suggestions both classic and new. Here, we’ve taken your votes (and added a few of our own) and ranked our 50 apps using those votes as a guide. So without further ado, here are 50 free apps for your downloading feast.

10 Awesome Black Friday Deals for 2012 – If you’re just sobering up from a turkey hangover, never fear; we’ve rounded up some of the best online Black Friday tech deals so that you don’t even need get dressed to score big.

Thanksgiving Day Apps to Be Thankful For – Whether you’re hosting a houseful or are instead visiting friends and family this Thanksgiving, smartphone and tablet apps should be invited to the festivities. They can gather guests, temper travel, prep you for the parade, turn out a terrific turkey, follow football, and beat back Black Friday crowds.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? – Among free iPhone apps for learning or practicing a language, you can’t beat Duolingo, as long as you’re studying Spanish, French, German, or Portuguese (beta).

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Digital Photography Super Guide: How to Correct Your Photos – You could just share or print photos straight from your digital camera, but these corrections can get them looking a whole lot better.

Quickly view original photo while editing on Android 4.2 – A new feature in Android 4.2 allows you to quickly view the original photo while you edit it in the Gallery app. Here’s how.

A list of five handy apps for the Microsoft Surface – Brien Posey lists five apps that he has found to be very handy to have on his Microsoft Surface tablet.

Plasma vs. LCD vs. LED – For a long time, it was tough to call, but today’s rapidly evolving technologies have made it easier to crown a winner in the HDTV display wars.

Hulu Plus arrives on Wii U – On Tuesday, Hulu jumped on board with the Wii U and rolled out Hulu Plus on the console for its subscribers. Not only can you stream content from Hulu through the console app, you can also get more information about the show you’re watching—such as episode guides—on the Wii U’s GamePad. Or, you can watch shows directly on the GamePad as you carry it around your home.

Six Android apps you need now – Planning to pick up a new Android device over the holiday break? If so, you’ll probably want to break it in with a few killer apps. Here are six of the hottest available from Google Play today.

Mozilla quietly ceases Firefox 64-bit development – Mozilla engineering manager Benjamin Smedberg has asked developers to stop nightly builds for Firefox versions optimized to run on 64-bit versions of Windows. Claiming that 64-bit Firefox is a “constant source of misunderstanding and frustration,” the engineer wrote that the builds often crash, many plugins are not available in 64-bit versions, and hangs are more common due to a lack of coding which causes plugins to function incorrectly.


Fake Tesco free Christmas voucher offer leads to phishing – The link that the recipients are instructed to click on takes them to a spoofed Tesco Bank Online Banking login page, where users are asked first to enter their username, and then to share their password, telephone number, email address, email password, “Internet credit card 4 digit PIN” and CVV2 (Credit card Validation Value). Once all the data is entered and submitted, the victims are redirected to Tesco’s legitimate website, and the data is sent to the phishers, who will use it to hijack the victims’ Tesco online accounts and email accounts.

Trojanized Thanksgiving-themed screensavers lurking online – A screensaver named Thanksgiving Day.scr being currently offered for download is a prime example of how malware can be bundled up with seemingly innocuous software in order to fly under the users’ radar. Once run, the file does function as a screensaver, but it also silently connects to a website and tries to download a backdoor Trojan so that the malicious individuals behind the scheme can take remote control of the victims’ computer.

EU domain abuse, courtesy of the Blackhole exploit kit – Numerous .eu domains have been registered this month for the purposes of infecting computers with malware, via the Blackhole exploit kit. Security expert Fraser Howard takes a closer look.

Infographic: Holiday shopping safety – Remind your organization’s users to remain security conscious during the holiday shopping season with this infographic.

Fake Apple invoices lead to Black Hole that drains your bank account – A new round of spams proclaims you have been charged for a large purchase from Apple. All links lead to Black Hole infected webpages and tears in the end.

Company News:

Instagram Launches Badges to Promote Web Profiles – There’s a new tool to help you link to and advertise your Web profile: Instagram badges.

New line of Panda Security integrated perimeter security appliances – Panda Security launched Panda GateDefender Performa eSeries, its new, unified perimeter security device that protects against all types of threats. The solution is available in three different versions: compatible with virtualization engines, software only, and five different hardware models designed for organizations of every size.

Google adds Indoor Maps just in time for Black Friday – Google updated its Maps service for desktop browsers adding floor plans for over 10,000 indoor locations, just in time for Black Friday deal hunters and directionally challenged holiday travelers.

Vyatta Core 6.5 Open Source Network OS Now Out – Vyatta Core (VC) 6.5 was released this week marking the latest iteration of the company’s open source routing platform. The new release includes a policy-based routing engine for traffic prioritization. It also includes some interesting VPN features including a Virtual Tunnel Interface (VTI).

Xbox Mini may be in works – Microsoft’s strategy in creating an Xbox “Mini” is to broaden its beachhead in living rooms by offering an economically-priced device that would allow its owners to access some core entertainment services and “casual” gaming titles.

Webopedia Daily:

Virtualization – In computing, virtualization means to create a virtual version of a device or resource, such as a server, storage device, network or even an operating system where the framework divides the resource into one or more execution environments. Even something as simple as partitioning a hard drive is considered virtualization because you take one drive and partition it to create two separate hard drives. Devices, applications and human users are able to interact with the virtual resource as if it were a real single logical resource. The term virtualization has become somewhat of a buzzword, and as a result the term is now associated with a number of computing technologies including the following…….

Off Topic (Sort of):

The World’s 10 Best Places to Work – How would you like to work for a huge global company where the CEO hosts regular coffee sessions in which you can really speak your mind? Or another business that sets aside a week for volunteerism? Or a third that grants six-week sabbaticals to employees, during which it’s perfectly OK to do absolutely nothing? Believe it or not, these organizations exist–and they’re thriving.

Windows 8 Business Intentions Report – Deployment Plans, Driving Factors, Roadblocks, and Strategies report reveals key insights into who’s moving to Windows 8, who’s skipping it, and why. Free registration required.

Five Apple turkeys in 2012 – Like its stock price, Apple has had an up-and-down year. Despite giant strides such as the launch of the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, Apple’s stumbles stand out much more. Here are five of the biggest turkeys.

European Parliament: Stop the ITU taking over the Internet – The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) will attempt to revise international telecommunication regulations, which have not been updated since 1988. A resolution approved by an overwhelming majority of Members of the European Parliament on Thursday warned that some of the proposals presented ahead of WCIT could result in the ITU itself becoming “the ruling power of the Internet,” something the parliament is determined to prevent.

Today’s Quote:

“Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.”

–     Rick Cook

Today’s Free Downloads:

RipTunes YouTube to MP3 Converter – Convert over 20M YouTube to MP3 music and ringtones, download & play for free.

PDFCreator 1.6.0 – PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDF files from nearly any Windows application. Create PDFs from any program that is able to print.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 22, 2012

Holiday travel: How to keep your PC connected on the road – Weird cranberry sauce recipes, rambling stories from drunken uncles, and crowded freeways aren’t the only perils of traveling away from home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Finding a working Wi-Fi connection can be a pain even in these widely web-enabled times, and that holds true even if you’re walking around a major metropolitan area. Indeed, you can’t even be sure your relatives will have a wireless router.

How to Get Rid of a Virus (Even When Your Computer Won’t Boot) – So you’ve contracted a virus that’s taken over your computer, and you can’t even boot up to try and troubleshoot the problem. The solution: Create a rescue CD, boot into a safe environment, and rid your PC of any nefarious software while it sleeps. Here’s how to do it with minimal effort.

The FBI locked your computer? Watch out for new spins on ransomware – The FBI locks your computer. Can they do that? Or is it fake? How does one know? Michael Kassner asks an expert for help with the latest forms of ransomware.

How to spot bogus Black Friday deals – Black Friday can be a bargain hunter’s bonanza, but smart shoppers know the biggest over-hyped shopping day of the year can also be treacherous. Not only can things get downright nasty between shoppers fighting over low-priced toaster ovens, but retailers pull out dirty sales tricks you will want to avoid as well.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Skype updates Android app, adds support for popular tablets – Skype for Android 3.0 now supports the “most popular” Android tablets, including Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2, Google’s Nexus 7, Acer’s Iconia Tab, Asus’ Transformer Prime, Sony’s Tablet S and Motorola’s Xoom.

Seven fresh reasons to try Linux Mint 14 ‘Nadia’ – Just a month or so after the widely trumpeted release of Ubuntu 12.10 “Quantal Quetzal,” the Linux Mint project on Tuesday unveiled its own latest update, Linux Mint 14 “Nadia.” Linux Mint 14 is actually based on Canonical’s newly released Ubuntu 12.10. Ready for a quick run-down? Here are seven key new reasons you should give it a try.

Five of the better desktop ebook readers – Jack Wallen reveals his picks for desktop versions of ebook readers – one is bound to suit your needs.

Download and install the Windows 8 Media Center Pack for free – Greg Shultz explains how to download and install the free Windows 8 Media Center Pack in Windows 8 Pro, including some caveats.

Slaying the Cable Monster: Why HDMI Brands Don’t Matter – For the vast majority of HDTV owners, a $5 HDMI cable will provide the same performance as a $100 one.

Microsoft accidentally gifts pirates with free Windows 8 Pro license key – In an amusing twist that undoubtedly spells the end of some hapless manager’s career, Microsoft has accidentally gifted pirates with a free, fully-functioning Windows 8 license key.

U.S. denies hacking computers in the Élysée Palace – U.S. cyber spies have allegedly hacked a string of computers inside the official residence of the President of the French Republic during the last days of Sarkozy’s tenure and have stolen confidential information by using the Flame malware. The claim has been made on Tuesday by French paper L’Express.


With shopping scams on the rise, watch for these threats – Whether you’re trying to take advantage of online deals on Black Friday, or fighting the online “crowds” on Cyber Monday, your Web browser is a primary target for holiday cyber attacks.

Bogus Chase Paymentech notification carries malware – If you receive an email seemingly coming from payment processing company Chase Paymentech, think twice about opening the attachment it carries. The email purportedly delivers an electronic Merchant Billing Statement to the recipient. Unfortunately, the attached file is nothing of the sort, but a piece of information-stealing malware.

What’s the most coveted target for cyber attackers? – Despite repeated warnings, organizations are still failing to lock down the primary target of most cyber-attacks – privileged access points. Cyber-attackers continue to breach the corporate perimeter through common means – including phishing attacks, malware infected attachments, social media viruses, and other methods. Once inside, cyber-attackers infiltrate privileged access points to gain access to additional servers, databases and other high value systems.

Info about 0-day SCADA flaws offered for sale – Following in the footsteps of French Vupen Security, Malta-based start-up ReVuln has also decided to sell information about zero-day vulnerabilities to companies and governments instead of sharing it with the developers of the flawed software and hardware.

Attackers Had Access for Months in South Carolina Data Breach – Attackers had two months of unfettered access to South Carolina’s Department of Revenue systems in a classic targeted attack that began with a phishing email and ended with the loss of electronic tax return data, and payment card and personal information on 3.8 million filers, possibly dating back to 1998.

Company News:

NTSB to Ditch BlackBerrys, Cites ‘Unreliability’ – Struggling Research in Motion received another vote of no confidence this week with the news that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board plans to drop BlackBerry smartphones in favor of Apple’s iPhones.

AMD refutes Kaveri cancelation rumor, claims ‘big cores’ still a priority – AMD is hitting back at claims that it has canceled its next generation of mainstream desktop and laptop APUs; company spokespeople have stated that these parts remain on track.

Dell Curates a Cloud for Small Business Apps – Is choice overrated? Dell wants to help small businesses hit the ground running with a business app ecosystem that focuses on “best-of-breed” cloud apps.

Report: Microsoft Prepping ‘Xbox TV’ Set-Top Box – Microsoft reportedly plans to introduce a set-top box that is basically an Xbox 360 without the gaming option

Webopedia Daily:

Enterprise Storage – In data storage it is the phrase used to describe a centralized storage system used by a large business or organization to manage data. Enterprise storage also indicates processes for data sharing and connectivity. Enterprise storage is different from consumer or home computer storage in terms of the size of the storage system, the amount of data handled by the system, the number of users accessing the system, and also the technology used to create the storage system. Enterprise storage systems usually focus on providing the networking and management operations for data storage, backup, disaster recovery, and archiving.

Off Topic (Sort of):

LinkedIn endorsements: I’m not sure I approve – Social media can be very effective and very positive. But there’s a fine line between networks moving things forward and simply devaluing the currency – or even putting your reputation at risk.

FCC might make carriers say how well they performed in disasters – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission may seek to make carriers reveal how well their networks withstood major natural disasters so that consumers can compare rival providers.

World’s oldest original digital computer is turned back on after 61 years – The world’s oldest original still-working digital computer has been unveiled at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, the home of the United Kingdom’s Second World War encryption and codebreaking efforts, where, among other luminaries, Alan Turing and co famously broke the German Enigma cipher.

Battles over online information control to escalate – The year ahead will feature new and increasingly sophisticated means to capture and exploit user data, escalating battles over the control of online information and continuous threats to the U.S. supply chain from global sources.

NYC Turning 250 Payphones Into Touch-Screen Kiosks – New York has approved a plan to turn 250 city payphones into touch-screen information kiosks.

Today’s Quote:

“Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.”

–       W. Somerset Maugham

Today’s Free Downloads:

Wise Registry Cleaner 7.54 – Wise Registry Cleaner scans the Windows registry and finds incorrect or obsolete information in the registry. By fixing these obsolete information in Windows registry, your system will can work better and more quickly.

Sticky Password Free – Stay safe online and save time by letting Sticky Password fill in website forms and passwords automatically. Each license also includes the portable version and installs easily on your USB device or flash memory stick.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving tech support survival kit – 2012 edition – Thanksgiving is a time of year which sees “the techies” and “the non-techies” come together, and chances are that you being the techie, the non-techies will spot you and hunt you down — The Walking Dead style, albeit slower thanks to the tryptophan — in search of “help”. With this in mind, I’ve put together what I call a “Turkey Day” tech support survival kit. While I’ve called it a “Turkey Day” kit — I’m certain that it will work just as well at other times of year — this seems to be the time of year when the techie’s superhero skills are in greatest demand.

Firefox 17 arrives – 2365 bugs zapped, OS X Leopard left behind – The new version fixes an officially-listed 2365 bugs and covers six critical advisories. It also drops support for OS X Leopard and earlier.

Mobile maps showdown – Google has enjoyed a considerable head start on the mobile-mapping front, but Apple and Microsoft haven’t been idle. Both companies have licensed data from a number of services to flesh out their competing map offerings in an effort to bolster their respective phone platforms and chip away at Google’s dominance. Here’s a look at which mapping service offers the best features and functionality.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Senate bill to allow warrantless government access to your online services – In a dumbfounding display of politics at work, a U.S. Senate bill that, at one point, would have protected e-mail privacy has gone the opposite way, and would allow government surveillance of online services without a warrant if passed into law.

Mozilla tests Facebook integration with Firefox – Instead of keeping Facebook open in a separate tab, the new Facebook plug-in adds the notifications sidebar you normally see on the side of your Facebook page, so you can keep up with social news and browse the Web simultaneously. Your Facebook chats will also appear on the side of your browser.

From Win 8 to Win 7: How to downgrade your OS – You don’t have to stick with Windows 8 just because it came pre-loaded on your new PC. Here’s the full story on downgrading to Windows 7.

Transform your website with HTML5 Boilerplate – Ryan Boudreaux introduces a tool that will help you convert your website to HTML5. The template includes HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more files to help you move ahead.

Android tethering apps: 6 excellent options – Data tethering is built natively into Android. However, some carriers make that feature difficult to use — they’d rather have you pay extra to subscribe to their tethering services. As a result, your carrier may not approve of the use of these apps. (Apple definitely doesn’t approve; there are no tethering apps in the App Store.) With one of these six apps, though, you can harness your phone’s 3G/4G connection to quickly get your tablet or laptop online.

Pinterest Kicks Off 30 Days of Holiday Inspiration – Pinterest is getting into the holiday spirit with a new project, dubbed 30 Days of Pinspiration, which unveils a new series of holiday boards each day through the new year.

Western Digital boosts Black hard drive capacity to 4TB – Western Digital has had 4TB internal hard drives for a little while now, but the drives were suited for the enterprise. On Tuesday, WD announced that with its new 4TB Black drive, WD customers on the consumer level can now get a 4TB performance-based internal hard drive.

Boingo Wi-Finder (iPad) Helps You Avoid Rogue Networks – If you are on the hunt for a free Wi-Fi hotspot, Boingo’s free Wi-Finder app will help you find free wireless anywhere, even the ones not part of the Boingo network. The app’s Secure Me mode is a built-in VPN service to protect users from rogue networks.


Beware of scammy “Free $500 Target voucher” offers – With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the end-of-year holidays rapidly approaching and people’s minds being turned towards shopping and gift-giving, scammy offers for luxury goods and free gift cards are starting to target would-be online shoppers at a faster rate than usual. Facebook users are particularly easy targets, as Facebook scams often get unknowingly propagated and endorsed by the victims.

Why privacy matters: Video (16:03) – Privacy International asked lawyers, activists, researchers and hackers at Defcon 2012 about some of the debates that thrive at the intersection between law, technology and privacy. They also wanted to know why privacy matters to them, and what they thought the future of privacy looked like. This video is a result of those conversations.

Parents Worried About Web Firms Tracking Their Kids – According to a new Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project survey, more parents are stepping up to monitor their kids’ digital behavior.

Making sense of computer forensics – Alfonso Barreiro goes over the basics of computer forensics that all IT pros should know. Preparing your organization for the possibility of a legal investigation should be part of any security incident and response plan.

Experian defends database security practices in face of investigations – Data brokers are on the hot seat as the Irish regulators begin an investigation into Experian’s security methods and the US Congress demands more transparency into what’s collected and how it’s handled.

Company News:

Facebook says proposed European data protection fines could lead to court battles – The draft of the regulation proposes that companies that fail to adhere to the aforementioned laws as well as the ones regarding data breach notifications could be ordered to pay fines as high as 2% of their global revenue, Computerworld reports. Facebook insists that faced with this, companies will resort to starting court battles that could end up costing EU states quite a lot

HP Takes $8.8B Hit Over Alleged Autonomy Book-Cooking – Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday said it will take an $8.8 billion impairment charge related to what HP characterized as “willful” cooking of the books by former executives at Autonomy, the U.K.-based enterprise software company acquired by HP in October 2011 for $10 billion.

Color App Shutting Down Next Month – After a series of ups and downs, the company known as Color Labs has finally decided to shut down, bringing an end to a tumultuous Silicon Valley story.

HTC Scoffs at Talk of $6-8 Per Phone Apple Patent Deal – HTC this week denied that it will pay Apple $6-8 per phone as part of a recent patent settlement.

IBM Drops Lotus Brand, Takes Notes and Domino Forward – IBM has dropped the Lotus brand from its collaboration software products as it prepares to release a new version of Notes and Domino.

Webopedia Daily:

Amazon Silk – A split-architecture Web browser that taps into Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) cloud computing services to offer a faster, richer browsing experience. Amazon Silk made its debut on the Kindle Fire tablet computer, which utilizes Silk’s split browsing capabilities to take the processing load off of the Kindle Fire CPU for heavier browser processing tasks. These tasks are instead sent to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) cloud servers, which have the RAM and CPU to more efficiently handle heavier processing.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Ten things Linux and open source have to be thankful for – Linux and open source has a lot to be thankful for. Jack Wallen takes a moment to highlight ten things this community should give thanks for. You might be surprised at what you read!

Why can’t you just buy an iPad mini? – It’s a good thing Apple’s devices are so simple to use because their buying process is the polar opposite of simple.

Parody New York Times Twitter Account Restored – Twitter has restored a New York Times parody account one day after it was pulled amidst complaints from the paper.

Call of Duty and World of Warcraft double as language class – Mette-Ann Schepelern remembers when she first heard a curious sound coming from her son’s bedroom. Someone was speaking fluent English loudly, peppered with mysterious slang. To her surprise, it was her 9-year-old Danish son. Carl was playing World of Warcraft, a multiplayer online game with more than 10 million players and available in 11 languages, none of them Danish. To survive, players must communicate both out loud and through typed commands with others in their “guild,” or team.

The right to be forgotten: Between expectations and practice – The right to be forgotten is one of the elements of the new proposed regulation on data protection of the European Commission. The right allows people to ask for digitally held personal information to be deleted. The regulation is still to be adopted by the European Parliament.

‘The Hobbit’ at 48fps: Frame Rates Explained – Peter Jackson’s grand experiment with 48-frames-per-second digital footage is just the latest in a long line of filmmakers pushing the technological envelope in Hollywood

Today’s Quote:

Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn’t seem to be working.”

–      Anonymous

Today’s Free Downloads:

FXAA Post Process Injector – Originally developed by Nvidia’s Timothy Lottes, this tool has been embraced by the modding community and expanded to work with both Nvidia and ATI graphics cards. It provides a series of sliders and toggles in a small, tabbed window that allow control and implementation of video features not originally included with a game. In addition to AA, HDR, and Bloom, it also adjusts color, lighting and sharpness along with novelties like a sepiatone filter. Particularly popular with Skyrim and Battlefield 3 users.

Wise Folder Hider 1.29 – 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.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News