Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 13, 2012

Hotspot Shield VPN for Android – If you’re willing to put up with some ads, Hotspot Shield VPN is a free app that aims to make your Wi-Fi connections secure and protect your privacy while online. It’s capable of optimizing data flow, providing you with a little more mileage when using 3G or 4G networks (depending on your unit), and further encrypts your sent data so that info and messages will not be intercepted by a third party. It also shields your IP address, so you can surf anonymously.

SkyRemote – Skype keeps proving useful for more than just Internet phone calls and video chat. Such as? Well, Scand’s free SkyRemote lets Skype users remotely view and control other Skype users’ desktops, and vice versa (much like a VPN) as long as both use Skype and have SkyRemote installed. It’s not a Skype Extra but a standalone Windows program.

How to pirate Windows 8 Metro apps, bypass in-app purchases, and more – The principal engineer for Nokia’s WP7 and WP8 devices has demonstrated, in rather frank detail, how to pirate Windows 8 Metro apps, how to bypass in-app purchases, and how to remove in-game ads. These hacks aren’t exactly easy, but Sebastian worries that they’re not exactly hard either.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

U.N. summit rejects U.S., Europe hands-off-the-Internet plea – Nigeria, Cuba, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia persuade a majority of summit delegates to support giving a United Nations agency a more “active” role in Internet governance.

Twitter Photos vs. Instagram: What’s the Difference? – Should you care that Instagram is no longer linked with Twitter? Do Twitter’s new filters get the job done? We take a look.

Google adjusts image search to avoid accidental porn hits – Starting Wednesday, searches conducted through the company’s image search engine will return a more conservative set of results on queries with ambiguous terms that might otherwise result in the display of pornographic images.

Ear candy! The best Windows 8 music apps – The touch-friendly modern UI at the core of Windows 8 looks and feels like no Windows that’s come before, but for music lovers, the question is how does it sound? This early into the life cycle of the Windows Store, the best music apps—as with any other genre—are going to be the ones that tap into services that were robust long before the first Live Tile crossed a desktop monitor. Here are some of the best music apps we’ve found for the Metro interface.

“Porn mode” gets real – Big changes to Firefox’s “porn mode” — the private-browsing feature that turns off recording cookies, history, and temporary files — landed today in the Firefox Nightly build. When it reaches the general public a few months from now in Firefox stable, the feature will allow you to run the private-browsing feature in a new window, without closing your regular instance of Firefox.

Linux 3.7 arrives, ARM developers rejoiceThe latest major Linux kernel release is here and it includes features that ARM developers and network administrators will love.

Google Maps returns to iOS as an app after Apple’s removal – After months-long absence due to Apple’s embarrassing removal of the feature from its mobile platform, Google’s maps returns as a stand-alone app.

Tagg the Pet Tracker – There are few things more valuable to pet owners than the safety and well being of their furry companions. That’s why Tagg the Pet Tracker ($99.95 direct, plus $7.95/month) seems like an indispensible gadget for pet lovers. If you can handle the up-front price and recurring service costs, the Tagg adds peace of mind with its GPS-enabled tracking service, as well as a nifty way to make sure your pets are getting enough exercise throughout the day.

BlackBerry 10 L-Series Smartphone Pics Leak Online – Photos of a smartphone that reportedly runs the new OS have been leaked online.

Social Video App Viddy Arrives on Android – The popular social video application Viddy on Wednesday officially launched on Android.

Surprise, Pope’s First Tweets Are About Jesus – Pope Benedict XVI addressed his more than 838,000 Twitter followers for the first time, posting five messages in the early morning hours.


Prevent malware attacks on social networks: 3 tips – Social networks like Facebook are fertile territory for cyber attacks. The nature of a social network is that it connects you with other people you ostensibly know and trust—so you’re more likely to open a message or click a link without thinking twice, which is a bad idea.

Facebook privacy control overhaul will remove ability to limit who can find us – Facebook’s most recent round of changes carry some good privacy tidings, including Privacy shortcuts from the main page drop-down menu, plus a new Request Removal tool for getting untagged (and telling the tagger why) in multiple photos. But it’s also a story of missed opportunities and privacy features being taken away.

Custom-made malware is infecting POS terminals – A new type of malware aimed at Point-of-Sale (POS) systems has been spotted on machines belonging to big-name retailers, hotels, restaurants, and parking providers located mostly in Northern America and Western Europe.

Researchers uncover Tor-powered Skynet botnet – The Trojan in question has DDoS and Bitcoin-mining capabilities, but it’s main function is to steal banking credentials. The botnet has obviously been flying under the radar for at least half a year, and possibly more, and its use of Tor for internal communication and the use of Hidden Services for protecting the backend infrastructure has made it practically impervious to takedowns.

Samsung Smart TV security hole allows hackers to watch you, change channels or plug in malware – Researchers have found a vulnerability in an unspecified model of a Samsung LED 3D TV that they exploited to get root access to the TV and any attached USB drives. The bug, which can be used to gain root access, affects multiple Samsung models and device generations, they say.

Three people arrested over “Police ransomware” computer attacks – British Police have arrested two men and a woman in connection with a spate of computer attacks that have held innocent internet users to ransom.

Company News:

Sprint reportedly in talks to buy out Clearwire – Sprint owns about 51 percent of Clearwire’s stock and is the main wholesale customer of its national WiMax network. Clearwire was formed in 2008 through a joint venture between Sprint and a predecessor of Clearwire, with investments from Google and several cable operators. But the relationship between the two companies has been complicated from the start.

IBM creates first cheap, commercially viable, electronic-photonic integrated chip – IBM has become the first company to integrate electrical and optical components on the same chip, using a standard 90nm semiconductor process. Where current interconnects are generally measured in gigabits per second, IBM’s new chip is already capable of shuttling data around at terabits per second, and should scale to peta- and exabit speeds.

Google, Microsoft ‘challenged’ vs. Apple, says Goldman Sachs – Google and Microsoft will face an increasingly dominant Apple in the coming years, a Goldman Sachs study says.

Microsoft steps up Surface RT tablet efforts – Sales of Microsoft’s Windows 8 RT tablet may be less-than-stellar, but Redmond remains determined to promote its flagship tablet in mainstream retail stores.

Webopedia Daily:

Ecommerce Remarketing – In email and online marketing, remarketing or ecommerce remarketing refers to the techniques, strategies and often the automated email systems used by marketers and online merchants to follow up with Web site visitors who do not make a desired action on the Web site­—usually it is when they abandon their shopping cart. Think of it like this: you market to bring a visitor to your website, and if he or she doesn’t make a purchase, you then use remarketing tactics to bring the visitor back to your website and convert him or her in to a paying customer. People often refer to ecommerce remarketing services as “conversion marketing” or “cart abandonment email marketing.”

Off Topic (Sort of):

Woman Tasered after trying to buy too many iPhones – A woman trying to buy too many iPhones at a New Hampshire Apple store and ends up being Tasered by police outside the store.

Avoid gift card gotchas this holiday season – While a Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express gift card can offer one huge benefit over cash—it can be used to shop online—it comes with several caveats that cash doesn’t carry. Before you give the gift of bank-issued gift cards, double-check the following.

Earth has a couple of ‘near’ missesOver the past couple of days, two asteroids ‘2012 XE54’ and ‘4179 Toutatis’ passed close to Earth.

Chasing Ice (Video 3:49) – Movie reveals largest iceberg break-up ever filmed. (recommended by Michael F.)

Why Apple TV Won’t Happen Any Time Soon – The TV and cable industries are a pit of vipers, and even Apple can’t tame them

Developing nations adopting social media quickly – As citizens in countries like Mexico, Brazil, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Russia, and India get access to the Internet, they join social networks at a high rate, according to a Pew report.

The irrepressible evolution of the PC mouse – A half-century old and still going strong, the mouse is an unstoppable force. Behold its bizarre, colorful, sometimes inscrutable visual history.

Today’s Quote:

“In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.”

–       Jacques Cousteau

Today’s Free Downloads:

Any Video Converter Free 3.5.8 – Any Video Converter is an All-in-One video converting tool with easy-to-use graphical interface, fast converting speed and excellent video quality.

Wise Care 365 – Wise Care 365 is a bundle of important registry, disk, and other system utilities for your PC. Easy to use and effective, Wise Care 365 is the good solution to improve your PC’s performance.


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