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

Security:

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.

Piwik.org 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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