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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