Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 10, 2012

The Most Useful Apps You’ve Probably Forgotten – Technology moves fast. So fast, in fact, that great apps often get left in the dust if they don’t come out of the gates full-featured and ready for primetime.

How to decide: should you buy an iPad mini, a Kindle Fire HD, or a Nexus 7? – You might think the big decision is about which has the best hardware, but you’d be wrong. In fact, the big decisions are all about price and ecosystem.

Alert those nearby of a missing pet with Lost Petz – An iPhone app, Lost Petz, will alert you of nearby missing pets, or let you send alerts concerning your lost companion.

Quicken 2013 vs. Mint: Is Intuit’s free service better than its flagship software? – Both products deliver useful tools for tracking and planning your finances. One is free, but some would argue the other is less costly.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

JogoBox – Retro gamers will rejoice at this free client with access to a huge collection of abandoned titles. The JogoBox team essentially went out into the Internet and collected as many abandonware and browser games as they could find and stuck it all in once place — a simple yet brilliant idea!

Get five Android games for whatever price you want – And if you pay more than the average, you’ll get a sixth game. Plus, you get the desktop versions, too! It’s the latest Humble Bundle, with some proceeds going to charity.

Intel’s tiny desktop PC for DIYers coming this month – Online retailers will begin selling a 4.5-inch-wide Intel-branded desktop PC for do-it-yourselfers later this month. A couple of models will be available — both offering Windows 8 compatibility — in a few weeks on Amazon, Newegg, and other online retailers. Pricing is expected to be around $300.

Pinterest Secret Boards Keep Your Pinning Under Wraps – Pinterest is slowly rolling out a test allowing users to create three secret boards–perfect for keeping holiday gift ideas hidden.

Firefox turns 8 and gets a key security boost – Between Android and Firefox, this has been a big week for milestones in the world of free and open source software. First, on Monday, we had Android’s fifth birthday–accompanied by news that Google’s Linux-based mobile operating platform attained a market share of 75 percent of smartphone shipments for the third quarter. Then, on Friday, it was Firefox’s eighth birthday.

Mapping racist Tweets: where post-election hate came from – After Barack Obama won America’s 2012 Presidential election this week, a spate vile racist tweets hit Twitter. One data company tried to figure out where that hate was coming from.

IrfanView – IrfanView is one of the longest-serving and most popular freeware image editors available. Fast, compact, and flexible, IrfanView is also packed with features and extras, including TWAIN support, frames and borders, and slideshows, wallpaper, and screenshots. IrfanView plays music and videos, too; in fact, it’s long been prized for its ability to open a huge range of files. It’s also widely customizable, with lots of options.

Google confirms services blocked in China – Google confirmed a dropoff in traffic to its sites in China today, echoing an online report that the company’s services are being blocked there.

Windows 8’s least intuitive steps – Especially if you don’t have a touch screen, these Windows 8 quirks will drive you crazy. Here’s how to deal with them.


Out of date, vulnerable browsers put users at risk – Is your browser up to date? According to the results of a new survey from Kaspersky—a security software vendor—nearly a quarter of the browsers currently in use are out of date. Surfing the Web with a vulnerable browser is a recipe for disaster.

5 security issues to watch in Win 8 – Emerging fake antivirus, phishing scams, and signature-based security vulnerabilities are some issues identified on the latest Microsoft operating system.

HR departments at risk of malware infection after unemployment benefits email spammed out – Computer users, especially those working in the human resources departments of corporations, should be on their guard against a malware attack that is spammed out via email at the moment.

Ransomware threats are increasing, Symantec warns – With increasing ransomware activity in Europe, the U.S., and Canada, Symantec expects it to spread to regions such as Australia, as well. This observation comes the way of a recent white paper by the security vendor, titled Ransomware: A Growing Menace, which found limited ransomware activity in Australia, but expects it to grow in 2013.

Ransomware Scams Netting Criminals Up To $33,000 a Day – Ransomware pays. A lot. These extortion scams, in which infected computers are essentially locked down by malware and electronic payment is demanded for a supposed cure, can net the criminal behind the scam as much as $33,000 per day.

Tipsy Twitter apologises for password reset frenzy, but a real hack sparked it – While it did get a little tipsy with password-reset gusto, plenty of Twitter accounts were in fact hacked. Fingers of blame are pointed towards eastwards, with China watchers well-represented on the list of accounts hacked, but perpetrators of such attacks are tough to pin down.

Company News:

Netflix Dominates North American Streaming – Despite its troubles last year amidst a price hike, Netflix has seemingly rebounded, and users are tapping into the company’s streaming video service now more than ever, according to new stats.

AT&T deal slashes $100 off tablets with 2-year contract – AT&T is trying to entice tablet shoppers by offering $100 discounts with a two-year data contract. The deal includes Apple iPads and Android tablets and it’s available from both AT&T stores and online.

Priceline Acquires Kayak for $1.8 Billion – Online travel company Priceline announced Thursday that it is acquiring its younger rival for $1.8 billion in cash and equity, with expectations to close the deal by late in the first quarter of 2013.

Google’s free mobile internet aims to get ‘the next billion’ online – The company, which is trying to get ‘the next billion’ using its services, has begun offering a service in the Philippines called Free Zone, which lets people access websites on their featurephones for free as long as they get to the site via Google Search.

Webopedia Daily:

Dorkbot – A family of malware worms that typically spreads through instant messaging, USB removable drives, websites or social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Downloading and installing Dorkbot malware results in it opening a backdoor on infected computers, allowing for remote access and potentially turning the computer into a botnet. A new strain of Dorkbot targeting Skype users appeared in October 2012, with the Skype worm also installing ransomware in this case. The ransomware would threaten to lock a user out of being able to use their computer and demand a payment of several hundreds of dollars be made within a limited timeframe or have files on the computer deleted.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Curiosity Game Promotes Mindless Idiocy – What bothers me about this new smartphone puzzle is not the pointless activity itself, but the praise the developer is receiving. The more I read about this cube and the clicking, the more I realize that humanity has reached the end of the road. This is hardly different from the pigeons that were trained to peck and peck on a button to receive a piece of corn.

Video game sales crash again; industry faces changes – Retail video game sales in the United States fell by 25 percent to $755.5 million in October, making it the 11th straight month of year-over-year decline. Hardware sales fell by 37 percent, and software sales fell by 25 percent, despite the launch of big-name games like NBA 2K13, Resident Evil 6, and Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The only growth category was accessories, whose sales increased by 5 percent year-over-year.

NASA Testing Interplanetary Internet System – The Internet has become an integral part of people’s lives around the globe, but could the Web exist in space? Researchers at NASA, not content to remain fixed to an Earth-bound system, are pushing the boundaries of network communications by testing what could one day amount to an interplanetary Internet.

The business benefits of a big monitor – Earlier this year I extolled the business benefits of a second monitor. I still think there’s no better way to amp up your computing productivity. That said, a second monitor requires a sizable chunk of desk space, which isn’t always practical. Maybe you’d be better off with a single, larger monitor? With that in mind, I’ve been road-testing (make that desk-testing) an AOC I2757Fh, a desktop LCD with a whopping 27-inch diagonal size.

Consumers Want an iPad, Not Laptops, This Holiday Season – If you’re planning to go all out and buy someone a laptop or tablet this holiday season, but are still milling over which device to choose, then here’s some advice: go with a table.

Windows 8 is a one way street for consumer PC users – If you buy a Windows 8-powered HP consumer PC, or from any other PC vendor, you’ll get no help from them if you decide you’d rather have Windows 7. And Linux? Forget about it!

The era of Japanese consumer electronics giants is dead – Once venerable names in consumer electronics such as Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp have been besieged by competition from rivals in the U.S., South Korea and, increasingly, China.

Today’s Quote:

Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits.”

–      Dan Barker

Today’s Free Downloads:

ScreenSnag – ScreenSnag provides a quick and easy way to take a photo of your computer screen. Capture the entire screen, a region of the screen, a window, or an element on the window with a single hotkey or click.

PrivaZer 1.4.0 – 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.

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One response to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 10, 2012

  1. Pingback: Wallpaper of the Week (#95) « What's On My PC