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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