Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 15, 2012

Google Plus bolsters photo, Hangout features – Google Plus got a grand total of 24 new features in an update released today, along with new mobile app versions for both Android and iOS devices. The Google Plus team, in an official blog post, particularly highlighted the platform’s new photo capabilities, which include 5GB of free cloud storage for full-size backups of pictures taken on Android devices and several improvements to the iOS app’s photo album interface.

How to disable all Facebook apps – Learn how to cut the cord to Facebook apps altogether, giving you more privacy, especially when browsing the Web.

The anti-gift gallery: What not to buy – Here’s a list of some of the season’s hottest gifts — and why you might want to consider NOT buying them.

Gmail wobbles again, the fourth time since last week – Gmail ran into technical difficulties again on Friday, the fourth such issue in a little over a week, and all happening after Google announced the elimination of its free Google Apps edition.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Users still have a casual attitude regarding security – A Siber Systems survey of over 700 adults from the United States, the U.K., Germany and other countries shows a significant disconnect between how individuals perceive online security and the measures they’re willing to take to protect their personal information. One key finding of the survey indicated that generational differences are involved in personal security—a result that has implications for Web site operators. While approximately 55% of those 45 and older believe the security of their personal information is their own responsibility, 58% of those under 45 believe it’s the responsibility of the online company or organization that has their information. Older adults—those over the age of 35—are also far more likely to use a password management software tool.

Review: MyShelf offers Evernote-like functionality, without the cloud – MyShelf Desktop is a free utility that emphasizes one principle: Keep your notes off the cloud, but sync them with your various computers and mobile devices. Vendor encomit UG offers Linux and Mac versions, as well as PC and mobile. I just wish it were easier to use.

It’s a ThinkPad! It’s a tablet! It’s a super laptop! – Lenono’s swivel-screen convertible has a lot going for it. Build quality is very good, and business-friendly features make it acceptable as a BYOD system.

After three years, Slax Linux is reborn with version 7.0 – There’s no denying 2012 has been a fruitful year for Linux distributions in general, but something about it has also seemed to favor the rebirth of distros we hadn’t heard from in years. Specifically, following three years without any new releases, Slax Linux on Monday graduated to version 7.0.

25 Windows Phone 8 tips – New to Windows Phone 8? Read our top 25 tips to help you get started and make the most of your new phone.

Why Microsoft redesigned Windows – New Windows chief Julie Larson-Green explains why the company felt the need to rethink the basic interface of its popular operating system.


Fake CitiBank credit card statement leads to malware – CitiBank customers are advised to tread carefully through their email inboxes as fake credit card statements sporting the bank’s name could be waiting for them. The emails contain “Your Citi Credit Card statement is ready to view online” in the subject line, and the attackers count on the large fake negative balance to make users follow the offered link, which will take them to a website hosting the Blackhole exploit kit.

Secuity firm warns of malware stealing bank data sent by SMS – Several malicious Android apps designed to steal mobile transaction authentication numbers (mTANs) sent by banks to their customers over SMS (Short Message Service) were found on Google Play by researchers from antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab.

New Trojan Recruits Mouse-Clicking PC Users to Do Its Dirty Work – FireEye researchers ID ‘Trojan Upclicker,’ malicious code that evades detection in AV vendors’ ‘sandbox’ environments by laying dormant until a mouse click activates it.

Mac users hit with fake installer and SMS fraud – Malicious installers of the Trojan.SMSSend malware family have, until now, targeted Windows users, but researchers from Russian security company Doctor Web have now unearthed a new variant aimed specifically at Mac users. This new variant mimics the behavior of previous ones. After getting downloaded and run by the victims who believe they are about to install legitimate software – in this case VKMusic 4 for Mac – the malware presents to them what seems to be a typical installation wizard.

Latest Mac malware adds to ‘troubling trend,’ says security expert – Apple has updated its XProtect definitions after a new malware variant appeared, targeting Russian social network users. One security expert says the increase in OS X-specific malware is “troubling.” However, the increase in Mac malware should not be overblown.

Many who use the cloud for work, don’t trust it for personal data – A survey by Lieberman Software revealed that half (51%) of IT experts whose job roles focus on the cloud don’t trust the cloud for any of their personal data such as contact lists, music, photos, or Webmail.

Company News:

Walmart selling latest 16GB Apple iPad with Retina Display for $399 in retail stores only – The iPad deal will be sweetened starting Monday, when it includes a $30 iTunes gift card.

Walmart selling iPhone 5 for $127 in stores, 4S for $47 – Walmart has put Apple’s two latest smartphones on sale just ahead of Christmas, trimming $72 off the iPhone 5, and about $41 off the iPhone 4S.

Google drops Exchange ActiveSync support for free email accounts – Google’s decision to restrict support for enterprise-class syncing is the latest move in a bid to move customers to its paid products and to push free Gmail users to its mobile apps.

Intuit aims to give small business spin to big data – Intuit’s master plan is to democratize big data, build new businesses and become an enabler for SMBs.

Microsoft offers business users ‘how to choose’ Windows tablet guidance – What criteria should business users use to evaluate which Windows 8 or Windows RT tablets they should buy? Here’s Microsoft’s guidance.

Webopedia Daily:

Storage Networking – The phrase storage networking, or storage network, is used to describe a high-speed network of shared storage devices. The storage network is used by IT departments to connect different types of storage devices with data servers for a larger network of users. As more storage devices are added to the storage network, they too will be accessible from any server in the larger network. Storage networking is a phrase most commonly associated with enterprises and data centers.

Off Topic (Sort of):

How to Destroy an Atheist in an Argument (video 1:27) – Ever had an argument or debate with an atheist and want to up your game? Or are you an atheist wanting to know tactics used by open minded folk? (recommended by Michael F.)

Dvorak: The Pope’s Not Fooling Anyone on Twitter – I’m getting fed up with publicists, secretaries, and personal assistants tweeting for notable figures. There are far too many instances of ghost tweeters who are employed just so people can keep some sort of virtual iron in the Twitter fire.

The chip industry’s looming 20-nanometer cliff – The semiconductor industry is facing its own cliff. Moore’s Law scaling has slowed down and the basic recipe that has served the industry for so long will reach the end of the road at 20nm. The theme of IEDM, an annual chip conference earlier this week, was what happens next.

1930s: Labatt Employee Drinking Songs Booklet – An interesting peek into early 20th century morale-building HR campaigns from one of Canada’s major beer brands.

Microsoft’s 13 biggest wins and fails of 2012 – From daring gambles to blundering stumbles, Microsoft had a very busy year. We give you highlights, lowlights, and awkward moments.

Today’s Quote:

“Most people believe that if you go in and try to micromanage a forest, it is possible to destroy the very thing that makes it a unique and special place. That’s just as true of the Net.”

–     Glen Raphael

Today’s Free Downloads:

Comodo Dragon – A Chromium technology-based Browser that offers you all of Chrome’s features PLUS the unparalleled level of security and privacy you only get from Comodo. Including a greater level of privacy than Chromium technology offers.

SlimCleaner – Crowd-sourced and cloud-based, SlimCleaner combines a powerful PC cleaning engine with a community of tech-expert users who provide real-time feedback about the apps and items on a PC.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 15, 2012

  1. delenn13

    Here is a soothing gentle version of What Child is This by Lindsey Stirling. Some of us may need this after yesterday. Glad I have joined her channel…She does a lot of classical and Gaming themes; such as Zelda, Skyrim..even from The Lord of the Rings.

    • Hey Delenn13,

      A beautiful recommendation – thank you. As for the recent tragedy – I cannot put into words the revulsion I feel for a government/legislators/ordinary citizens who, in supporting a paranoid population, allow this sort of catastrophe.



  2. delenn13

    Merry Christmas early. I don’t know how long these are up for….So hurry..

    I know, some people don’t like Ashampoo..But I love their Photo, screen cap(Snap) and Burning program. If you want something it is.

    (These versions will not work on MS8.)

    Ashampoo Free Software Giveaway for Christmas 2012

    With combined value of USD$124.95, all these five applications are :

    Ashampoo Burning Studio 2012 (worth $29.99) – burn your CD/DVD fast and simple.
    Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 (worth $39.99) – manage, edit, present and share your digital photos.
    Ashampoo Snap 5 (worth $9.99) – capture screenshots or videos on your desktop
    Ashampoo SlideshowStudio 2012 (worth $14.99) – create attractive slideshows and share them on the web
    Ashampoo WinOptimizer 2012 (worth $29.99) – an all-in-one software suite to optimize, maintain and tweak your system.

    Your personal Ashampoo® gift

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Totally agree – this annual software offering from Ashampoo is one of the best deals on the Net. It’s true that Ashampoo will solicit new business through the occasional email – those who consider this Spam, have never had to deal with SPAM. 🙂

      These applications are Windows 8 compatible – I ran all of these 12 months ago on Win 8 and, I just now installed and ran WinOptimizer 2012 (terrific little application, BTW).

      As always, I very much appreciate you keeping us in the loop.