Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 8, 2012

What Should I Do to My Computer Before I Sell It? – I know I should securely wipe my hard drive before I sell it, but is there anything else I should do before I put it up on eBay? I want to make the transition as smooth as possible.

What’s All the Fuss About Evernote? Should I Be Using It? – It seems like everyone is always raving about Evernote, but I don’t really understand its appeal. Isn’t it just a notes app that other apps do better or simpler? What makes Evernote so great?

Improve your photo-viewing experience on Facebook with Chrome extension – Photo Zoom for Facebook is a Chrome extension that lets you view a larger version of images just by mousing over them. Hover over a zoomable image, which includes profile pictures and photos in photo albums but not thumbnails from shared news stories, and a pop-up window appears to the left or right of your cursor with a larger version of the image.

Find out what’s using all the space on your hard drive – Free disk-space analyzer WizTree quickly scans your drive and shows you the names and locations of your largest files, which can help if you’re trying to root out and delete “fat” data. Just download and install the tiny program (there’s also a portable version if you want to run it from, say, a flash drive), then click Scan. You won’t have to wait long. On my heavily used system with a mostly full, 750GB hard drive, WizTree finished its scan in about 12 seconds.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Surface Pro battery life: The high cost of Intel – Microsoft’s admission that its upcoming tablet would get about half the battery life of the Surface RT makes it clear that using Intel instead of ARM carries a high cost.

Microsoft’s DroidRage Twitter campaign goes painfully wrong – Someone in Microsoft public relations seem to think that encouraging Android FUD on Twitter would be a great way to win friends and influence others. Wrong!

Add Twitter back to Google results – Remember when you could see Twitter results on Google when you looked for something? Now you can add them back if you’re a Chrome user.

Review: YWriter is a distraction-free, free-of-charge organizing tool for writers – For the no-nonsense or low-budget author, Spacejock Software’s yWriter is a free alternative that dumps the theme-park visuals for a more conventional interface packed with practical features. yWriter is based around the novel structure: Each project is divided into chapters, and each chapter into scenes. Tabs specify characters, locations, items, pictures and other notes for quick, cross-indexed reference to story assets and other information. It is primarily aimed at producing novels and screenplays, but the format is flexible enough to track virtually any kind of creative endeavor, although it lacks the customizability and flexibility of Scrivener.

P2P storage: Can it beat the odds and take on the cloud? – In a world where IT is centralizing, some companies are trying to involve users by producing clouds based on peer-to-peer architectures. It’s not an easy trick to pull off.

Stallman slams Ubuntu, calls Amazon integration ‘spyware’ – Activist and free software guru Richard Stallman on Friday hammered Ubuntu for including what he termed spyware in new versions of the popular open-source operating system and urged GNU and Linuxusers to avoid the distribution. In a lengthy article posted to the Free Software Foundation’s website, Stallman decries the presence of an advertising search result pane in Ubuntu, which, he says, is a way to collect personal information from users

10 gifts for obscenely wealthy PC fanatics – Do you have a friend with more dollars than Bill Gates, and the good sense to be a rabid PC fanatic? Show him you care with a gift that laughs in the face of price-to-performance ratios.


How to report a computer crime: Fake anti-virus – If you unwittingly downloaded malware to your computer which masqueraded as anti-virus software would you just clean it up and carry on, or report it to the authorities?

PayPal phishing scams ramp up for holidays – ‘Tis the season to be careful. That should be no surprise. Given that the online holiday shopping season is peaking, cybercriminals would be expected to ramp up their efforts as well. But it might be a bit surprising—not to mention depressing for security evangelists—that one of the oldest and typical scams aimed at online buyers is still successful: PayPal email phishing.

Chrome Playing Hard to Get with Blackhole Exploit Kit – Google’s Chrome browser is something of a tough customer for the infamous and widely deployed Blackhole Exploit Kit, according to Blue Coat security researcher, Adnan Shukor.

Microsoft Fixing 11 Vulnerabilities for December Patch Tuesday – Microsoft announced today that it plans on shipping seven bulletins, five critical, two important, for the December edition of its monthly patch Tuesday security bulletin release cycle.

New Accounting System Hack Could Cause ‘Mayhem’ – Attacks against massive and proprietary enterprise accounting systems, in particular financial software such as SAP and Oracle, have been few and far between. That changed at this week’s Black Hat Abu Dhabi conference where a pair of researchers presented proof-of-concept code that could change the dynamic of the financially motivated attack landscape.

Metasploit Pro 4.5 released – Rapid7 released a new version of Metasploit Pro, which introduces advanced capabilities to simulate social engineering attacks. With Metasploit 4.5, security professionals can now gain visibility into their organization’s exposure to phishing attacks through user-based and technical threat vectors, and introduce the necessary controls to manage the risk.

Zitmo Trojan Variant Eurograbber Beats Two-Factor Authentication to Steal Millions – Online banking customers in Europe are falling victim by the thousands to a new banking Trojan that is infecting Android and BlackBerry devices and is capable of defeating two-factor authentication.

Human firewalls: Enterprise security of the future? – Gartner is incubating a concept called People Centric Security that loosens controls and relies on end-users to assume responsibilities for protecting IT systems and data.

Company News:

Another Apple touch-screen patent in trouble – After a second look, the U.S. patent office rules that all 20 claims included in an Apple patent covering interaction with touch-screen devices — a patent used in a suit against Motorola — are invalid. But the decision isn’t final.

RIM offers free BlackBerry 10 smartphone – Research in Motion Thursday introduced the BlackBerry 10 Ready Program to help prepare business customers for the launch of the next-generation OS on Jan. 30. Participants in the program can get a free BlackBerry 10-based smartphone.

Wall Street ratings firm casts doubt on NPD’s early Windows 8 sales data – Last month, a report by NPD suggested that Windows 8 was off to a disappointing start. But a leading credit-rating agency has publicly disputed that report, with an analysis that suggests external factors, including Hurricane Sandy, strongly affected early sales.

Microsoft launches 14 innovation centres in India – Microsoft is opening 14 new innovation centres at academic institutions across India this week that will be used to train students in using Microsoft technologies and aid local start-ups.

Verizon patent application for TV snooping tech rejected – The U.S. Patent Office has delivered a “non-final” rejection of a Verizon patent application for a controversial technology that would have served targeted ads to TV viewers based on what they might be doing or saying in front of their sets.

Intel says it remains committed to user-replaceable CPUs for “foreseeable future” – Not so fast, the chip giant says about rumors that it will abandon the LGA socket in the future.

Webopedia Daily:

eBay Alternative – The term eBay alternative is used when describing a non-eBay Web site that offers services similar to eBay, such as auction and fixed price listings and hosted storefronts, but it is also used when describing a marketplace that offers classified ads and other types of selling services. The sites that make up the vast and constantly growing list of eBay alternatives are loosely grouped into two categories; those that can offer online sellers a high Web site traffic number (which equates to a larger number of sales) and those that are smaller and serve fewer numbers of buyers and sellers on their site. In many instances, when referencing the first group, they may be referred to as viable eBay alternatives.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Negative Yelp post lands reviewer with $750K suit – A woman is so unhappy with the work of her contractor that she posts a scathing review on Yelp. The contractor claims he lost business because of it and is suing her.

The UN’s Internet power grab: An FAQ – The United Nations is not taking over the Internet. At least – not yet. But that’s the fear many have as talks take place in Dubia this week as the UN’s Telecommunication Union and delegates from around the world meet to decide whether it should have oversight or regulate the Internet. That has some big alarm bells ringing.

This Is Your Brain On Holiday Shopping – While shoppers, sure of the rationality of their purchasing behavior, might ignore the powerful influence that our senses have on our moods, desires and willingness to spend money — retailers are not. When you’re shopping, you’re the subject of a multi-pronged sensory campaign.

Ladies, hire someone online to (just) sleep with you – A Japanese Web site offers a man to share a woman’s bed (and no more) for a mere $364. The idea came from a TV series, in which a divorced woman has trouble sleeping alone.

Inside Logitech’s video labs for optical design, 3D prototyping – Let’s take a stroll through Logitech’s new video labs for optical and audio testing in Silicon Valley.

Today’s Quote:

“Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.”

–      George Carlin

Today’s Free Downloads:

Xfire – Xfire is a free utility that automatically keeps track of when and where gamers are playing PC games online and lets their friends join them easily. It works regardless of game type, server browser, or gaming service that a player is using.

Dr. Web LiveCD 6.0.2 – Dr.Web LiveCD will clean your computer of infected and suspicious files, help you copy important information to a removable data storage device or another computer, and then attempt to cure infected objects.


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