Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 13, 2012

Take a free online course in Windows 8 basics – Windows 8: kind of confusing, right? There’s no Start button (unless you install a third-party replacement), no straightforward way to shut it down, no Windows Media Center (unless you download it separately). Perhaps worst of all, there’s no instruction manual. So how exactly are you supposed to learn your way around the new OS? One option: Lynda.com, a site that’s home to over 1,500 online training courses—including one just for Windows 8.

From Saucy Pics to Passwords: How to Share Sensitive Information Over the Internet – Here, we’ll walk through the easiest and most secure ways to share files, passwords, and other data with people you trust. There are countless other methods out there, but these are our favorites. The method you use to share data should depend on what you’re sending, how secure you want that material to be, and how willing you are to take proper security methods.

Get rid of useless Android apps – Installed a few too many apps and now you’re not sure what to clean out and what to keep? This app might help you.

25 Best Small Business Apps for 2012 – We have picked 25 small business apps–some of which are cloud services, others for mobile devices, and some of which are standard on-premise software installs. They represent a wide variety of software; what they all have in common are ways to enhance your business and your business success.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Nimbuzz Messenger makes staying in touch a breeze – The idea of an all-in-one chat and voice-over-IP application is appealing. After all, who wants to fire up a different application every time they need to reach a different contact in a different way? That’s why Nimbuzz Messenger (free) has a lot of appeal.

How to Stop Spies from Digging Up Your Personal Information – The spies in our lives aren’t like the ones in movies—they take the form of a suspicious lover, obsessive coworker, or jealous “friend.” While you can’t distrust everyone you meet and lead a happy life, you can protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. Here’s how to guard yourself from spies without slipping into a state of constant paranoia.

Young Facebook users are most vulnerable to security threats – A ZoneAlarm report examined the online activities of 600 children worldwide, aged between 10-15, who regularly use Facebook. Three activities in particular showed a positive correlation with the occurrence of security threats: children adding Facebook ‘friends’ that may be strangers, playing Facebook games that request access to private account information, and using Facebook late at night.

YouTube video ’21 Years’ records every day in the life of a boy – With nearly 5 million views, the newest overnight YouTube hit shows daily photos of Cory McLeod as he transforms from a tiny baby into a 21-year-old man.

Google Unveils $199 Acer C7 Chromebook – The new Chromebook is now available in the U.S. via Google Play and Best Buy for $200.

Microsoft moves to relegate Windows 7 to second-class status – To be clear, Microsoft will support Windows 7 through 2015, meaning that it’ll offer both security and non-security updates for free. Extended support, which provides free security updates but requires a subscription for other hotfixes, will continue through 2020. But when it comes to individual applications and services, Microsoft is starting to move on. Even Internet Explorer 10, which is already available on Windows 8, is only getting a preview version for Windows 7 this month, with no word on final availability.

Security:

12 scams of Christmas – With roughly three in ten (28%) American smartphone and/or tablet owners admitting they do not pay attention at all to app permissions and 36% paying attention but specifying they do not always do so, Cyber-Scrooge criminals are ready to pounce.

Fake AmEx alert leads to hard-to-detect malware – The latest bogus AmEx email to hit inboxes is a warning about an aborted transaction / terminated incoming transfer. Unfortunately, all of the links included in the email will take the worried user to one of many compromised websites hosting the Blackhole exploit kit. The kit then exploits an Adobe Reader and Acrobat vulnerability to drop an information-stealing Trojan onto the victim’s machine.

Firefox users slowest to update browser, Kaspersky Lab finds – Nearly one in four PC users run out-of-date or obsolete versions of the most popular browsers for a month or longer with Mozilla Firefox users the slowest to update their software, Kaspersky Lab has found.

Businesses admit to losing data through BYOD – Businesses are putting their corporate security at risk, with one in three organisations (33 per cent) allowing their staff unrestricted access to corporate resources from their personal smartphones,

SEC staffers leave computers open to cyber attack, report says – The agency was forced to hire a third-party firm and pay it at least $200,000 to determine if any breaches occurred.

Company News:

Windows head Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft – Steven Sinofsky, the executive in charge of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system and the driving force behind the new OS, is leaving the company, Microsoft announced late Monday.

Blizzard sued over security concerns, “deceptive upselling” – Blizzard, the developer of popular online games such as World of Warcraft and Diablo, has been hit with a class action lawsuit claiming that the company engages in “deceptive upselling” by not making it clear to the customers buying the games that they will also be required to buy the Blizzard Authenticator in order to keep their Battle.net accounts safe.

Voxbone Global DID Numbers Enhance Aculab Cloud Platform – Voxbone today announced it is providing international direct inward dial (DID) numbers to Aculab for Aculab Cloud, a true cloud-based platform that makes it easy for developers to create on-demand automated telephony applications that make, receive and interact with calls. Aculab selected Voxbone because the company’s VoxDID service enables Aculab to easily enhance its services with instant provisioning through Voxbone’s convenient application programming interface (API) solution. Voxbone maintains a supply of geographic and national phone numbers for incoming communications from more than 50 countries and 4,000 cities.

Kim Dotcom Secures New Zealand Domain for Mega Service – Kim Dotcom’s followup to Megaupload will live on a New Zealand domain, the beleaguered entrepreneur announced Monday.

AMD slashes prices of budget A-series and Athlon II processors – Beleaguered chipmaker AMD slashes prices of its budget processors by between four and 30 percent ahead of the holiday season.

MasterCard Launches Credit Card With Built-in LCD, Keyboard – MasterCard has decided that its strategy for competing with payment service upstarts lies in creating an innovative new card that is fully interactive.

Intel’s 60-core chip ships; elites like Hawking get it first – Intel’s first chip to integrate 60 processor cores is for high-performance computing applications — with a high-end price to match.

Webopedia Daily:

Natural Language – A human language. For example, English, French, and Chinese are natural languages. Computer languages, such as FORTRAN and C, are not. Probably the single most challenging problem in computer science is to develop computers that can understand natural languages. So far, the complete solution to this problem has proved elusive, although a great deal of progress has been made. Fourth-generation languages are the programming languages closest to natural languages.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Copyright and Planned Obsolescence: The Shady World of Repair Manuals – Tim Hicks is a 25-year-old Australian with an interesting hobby: He trawls the nooks and crannies of the internet looking for manufacturer service manuals and posts the PDFs online for free. Tim’s site now streams over 50 gigabytes of manuals every day. Or rather … it used to. In a recent strongly worded cease-and-desist letter, Toshiba’s lawyers forced Tim to remove manuals for over 300 Toshiba laptops. Tim’s many fans have expressed surprise at Toshiba’s onslaught – check out some of the Reddit commentary — and I’m outraged, too. Not just because of this specific case, but because of what it means for the lifetime of our devices, the future of repair and e-waste, and the abuse of copyright law as a weapon for planned obsolescence. (recommended by Michael F.)

Leadership lessons from Genghis Khan – While we’ll leave judgment about the larger historical implications of the Khan’s rule to the historians, several things will strike you as relevant to IT leaders.

The Malicious Safety OneCare Essential Defender: Straightening out Microsoft’s confusing security tools – When it comes to security, the folks in Redmond can go overboard with new products–or worse, new names for old products. What follows is a complete list of Microsoft programs, past and present, intended to help keep malware off your computer.

A Rainy Few Days for the Cloud – Between the Yahoo Fantasy Football outage and the shutdown of Google in China, the cloud has certainly seen sunnier days.

Duke Scientists Unveil ‘Flawless’ Invisibility Cloak – By reworking how the edges of their microwave-fooling cloak line up, researchers have designed an invisibility cloak that might even make Harry Potter proud.

Another U.S. general investigated for ‘inappropriate’ e-mails – Defense Department is reviewing thousands of pages of e-mails between the commander of forces in Afghanistan and a woman linked to Gen. David Petraeus’ resignation last week.

Today’s Quote:

To be willing to die for an idea is to set a rather high price on conjecture.”

–     Anatole France

Today’s Free Downloads:

UltraDefrag – This open-source defragmenting software has a long reputation for speedy work. The latest update lets users install over an existing portable package.

EasyBCD – EasyBCD is the ultimate bootloader modification tool created to give end users complete control over everything from that happens before and during Windows startup. With EasyBCD, adding Windows 8/7/Vista entries, legacy Windows entries, Linux, Mac OS X, BSD, and more to the boot menu is truly a one-click experience. It gives you the power to easily create and manage bootable USB devices, boot from ISO images or virtual hard disks, boot from network paths and usb devices, and much, much more.

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2 Comments

Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 13, 2012

  1. Some interesting stories Bill. I found the one about Blizzard especially interesting since I buy a few of their products.

    • Hey Acitodg,

      Like you, I’ve picked up a few Blizzard products over the years. Must admit though – not impressed with Diablo’s registration scheme.

      Best,

      Bill