Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 3, 2013

It’s 2013. Now Back Up Your Data! – The last time I gave a speech on security to a group of professionals, I asked how many had ever backed up the information on their personal computers. Only about a third had. Then I asked how many had backed up in the past month. It was less than 10 percent. This is a disaster waiting to happen

The Snoop State’s Still Alive and Well – The new year starts on a sour note after Obama extends government wireless wiretapping for another five years — and the public reacts with a big yawn.

The Best Cloud Storage Solutions – The ability to back up your data and store it in the cloud, then also automatically sync it across multiple devices, has radically changed the way we use computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices for both personal and business use. If you don’t have a cloud storage service in place, you need one—or maybe more than one.

Google, Yahoo accused of funding piracy – The University of Southern California releases a report critical of companies whose ads end up on sites accused of pirating music and movies.

Customize Windows 8’s boot screen with Boot UI Tuner – One thing you might have noticed about Windows 8 is its new boot loader (i.e. the screen that appears shortly after you start your PC). It has a graphical interface, which is nice, but it’s not great for anyone who prefers a dual- or multi-boot setup, and it also makes it a little harder to get to advanced boot options. Boot UI Tuner is a free utility that gives you greater control over Windows 8’s boot options.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Power through schedules with 21 Google Calendar tricks – Whether you’re a Calendar novice or a long-time user, you can start the new year with even greater control and productivity thanks to these must-known tips.

LockHunter (32-bit) – Take back control of your PC with this useful utility that lets you see which apps are blocking which files and frees them up to be deleted, renamed, or moved. LockHunter uses separate installers for 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

How to Install Internal Storage in Your Desktop – Running low on space? Want to upgrade your hard drive to something faster? You can change your desktop’s storage life in about ten minutes with these simple tips.

Get a high-quality ‘Read Aloud’ voice in Google Play Books – The standard reading voice in the Google Play Books app sounds like an 80’s robot. The high-quality voice sounds more like what we’ve come to expect from a robot in 2013. Here’s how to activate it.

The Frustrating Truth About Google’s Chromebook – The incredibly inexpensive and highly portable Google Chromebook only works if you don’t have to go anywhere with it.

Five things you should know about Google Analytics – Google Analytics is a free analysis service which measures website activity and performance. These five tips can help you get more out of it.

Will Your Scanner Work with Win 8? – Find out if your scanner will work with Windows 8, and, if it does, how to set it up for use with Microsoft’s new operating system.


Facebook Patches Webcam Snooping Vulnerability – Late last week the social networking giant Facebook patched a particularly voyeuristic security vulnerability in the platform that could have given malefactors the ability to remotely turn on the webcams of other users and post videos to their profiles, according to a Bloomberg News report.

Chrome Clickjacking Vulnerability Could Expose User Information on Google, Amazon – An apparent clickjacking, or UI redress vulnerability, in Google’s Chrome web browser could make it possible for attackers to glean users’ e-mail addresses, their first and last names and other information according to recent work done by an Italian researcher.

Energy Manufacturer Also Victimized by IE Zero Day in Watering Hole Attack – This week’s watering hole attack exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer was not limited to the influential Council on Foreign Relations site. A Metasploit contributor said an energy manufacturer’s website has been serving malware related to the attack since September.

Report: 94% of US hospitals suffered data breaches, and 45% had quintuplets – Competent healthcare providers are great at medical things. Securing electronic devices or health records? Not so much, the Ponemon Institute finds.

Company News:

Canonical unveils Ubuntu OS for phones, doubles as desktop OS – In a world dominated by iOS and junk-food-inspired Android operating systems, Canonical, developers of Ubuntu, feel there’s room for a mobile version of its user-friendly Linux distribution. However, rather than provide what is solely a mobile OS, Canonical boasts that this OS can actually plug into a PC and turn into a fully featured desktop operating system.

$79 GameStick wants to take on the $99 Ouya – A company known as GameStick has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise cash for a new Android-powered gaming device.

Google to settle FTC antitrust probe tomorrow, report says – The search giant will voluntarily change some of its business practices, which critics have called anti-competitive, Bloomberg reports.

Two months in: Windows 8 PC and tablet sales remain weak, slower adoption than Vista – It has now been two months since the release of Windows 8, and, much to the chagrin of Microsoft, adoption of the new OS remains weak. Retailers and Microsoft’s hardware partners are continuing to report slow sales of Windows 8 PCs. One report shows workplace adoption of Windows 8 to be almost nonexistent, compared to Windows 7′s rapid uptake. There is even growing evidence that Windows Vista enjoyed faster growth than Windows 8.

Polaroid opens Fotobar shops to print photos off mobile devices – The longtime photo giant takes a step into new territory by launching retail stores to print pictures from cell phones, including shots stored in apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Picasa.

Tobii plans to sell its PC eye-control add-on to developers from next week – Tobii Technology will soon start shipping a device that allows users to control a PC using their eyes. Developers will be able to buy the REX next week, and Tobii will make it more widely available in the second half of the year, the company said Wednesday. Tobii calls the REX a gaze interaction peripheral: it attaches to a PC’s display. The Swedish company said it is the first such device for the consumer market.

Webopedia Daily:

Tablet Commerce (t-commerce) – In ecommerce terminology, tablet commerce (t-commerce) is a mobile commerce strategy that focuses on designing and developing ecommerce websites and related processes to improve the browsing and shopping experience on tablet devices.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google Glass ready to roll out to developers, but why not save $1,500 and build your own? – Six months after their spectacular unveil, Google is about to send the first round of augmented reality Google Glass devices to developers. Developers will pay $1,500 for the privilege of receiving an early, prototype version of Google Glass, but the polished consumer version — due in 2014 — should be a lot cheaper.

Dvorak: Intel Has No Business in the TV Business – I’m stunned that Intel insists on pursuing a business it has no business being in: TV and programming distribution. Yes, that’s what this ultimate chip company hopes to do with its Intel TV push.

Don’t try this at home: Researchers use tDCS to release your brain’s strongest opioid painkillers – A team of international researchers headed up by the University of Michigan has used noninvasive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to release endogenous opioids — the human body’s most powerful, euphoria-inducing painkillers that are very similar to opiates such as morphine. This approach is significant because releasing these opioids is as simple as strapping a couple of damp sponges to your scalp and attaching a 9-volt battery.

Babies learn language while still in the womb – At just a few hours old, babies can tell the difference between their native language and a foreign one, showing that they start learning to distinguish the sounds of speech while still in the womb.

Today’s Quote:

“I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.”

–     Mark Twain

Today’s Free Downloads:

IncrediMail – IncrediMail 2 is a powerful, easy to use, feature-rich and fun email program. Better and smarter than ever before, IncrediMail 2 includes features such as a powerful and fast email search tool, taking less than a second for IncrediMail 2 to search through 10,000’s of emails.

SPAMfighter – If you are looking for an Outlook or Outlook Express tool to remove spam and phishing emails from your inbox, look no further. SPAMfighter is the tool you are looking for. Simple, reliable and efficient.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

7 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 3, 2013

  1. delenn13

    If you have been beaten senseless and lost the will to live, bitten by a rabid squirrel or some alien influence gives you the inclination to install IncrediMail, please take note:

    “Limitations: The application provides two installation modes. The Default one will change the user-defined homepage and the browser search engine. If you do not want any changes to be applied to your system, select the “Custom installation”. Lucky for you..they used to force the browser changes. This irked me too no end.

    If I get any emails using IncrediMail, I invoke my own version of “the Mallet of Loving Correction”(you will find yourself blocked) orginally from John Scalzi. John Scalzi brandishes the Mallet of Loving Correction

    Sorry, Bill. Can you tell this program upsets me?

    I do have recommends for free stationery and smilies, if you would like them. I ended up paying for all of the Smilies.But the free is good enough and all the stationery is free..even has music with some.

    PS I thought it was quite ironic that your next program was “SpamFighter”.

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Oh no!! Not another unethical/sleezy software developer.

      Given that the download page (I posted), makes it abundantly clear that – “The application provides two installation modes. The Default one will change the user-defined homepage and the browser search engine. If you do not want any changes to be applied to your system, select the “Custom installation” – I would think that would constitute sufficient notice as to the install process to select.

      Moreover, the developer makes it perfectly clear on its site – “With this download you also get the IncrediMail Toolbar. Use it to search the Internet easily and quickly, listen to your favorite radio stations, check weather forecasts, and more.” Hardly subterfuge.

      You have the right to be upset – justified or not (you calls ’em as you sees ’em). But, I don’t support your opinion. The developer, in this case, is not attempting to install a PUP without adequate notice. On top of which, it’s well past the time when Internet users removed their heads from their anal cavities and started paying attention.



      • delenn13

        Hey Bill,

        No problem. I just recall how long it took me to get rid of all that stuff when my aunt(70+) asked me to “fix” her computer. It was a nightmare.

        Where I get my free stationery if I have the need: Cloudeight Stationery for Windows Live, Windows Mail, Outlook Express, Outlook and Incredimail

        “Smileycons contains no adware, no spyware, no hijackers, no additional programs, no malware. Smileycons bundles nothing with it. You download Smileycons, you get only Smileycons……..Cloudeight takes a firm stance against spyware and adware. We respect your right to privacy and have been fighting adware and spyware for many years. We guarantee that none of our software contains any spyware or adware. Nor do we install any software bundles, browser hijackers, search engine exploits or any other kind of trick ware. We respect your privacy and your right to enjoy free software without worry.’ This goes for the stationery also…

        And for free Smilies:
        Smileycons® Free Smileys, Emoticons, and Animations For Your Email. Works with Windows Live Messenger and Smileys for Windows Vista

        • Hey Delenn13,

          I get where you’re coming from – belieeeeeve me. 🙂 But, here’s the thing – as a blogger, it’s important to point out (in this case), that the developer plays by the rules. The fact that the “rules”, if you like, are terribly inadequate is another issue – unfortunately. I think you know that I do not hesitate to shine the spotlight on those who play fast and loose. In this case, we don’t have a target.

          Awesome – what a fascinating site! Gonna spend lots of time there and, at Smiley’s as well. Thanks.



  2. delenn13

    Oh, and I am in a bad mood…5 more years of wiretapping..not one peep….

    • Hey Delenn13,

      It boggles the mind doesn’t it? What is wrong with people that they will allow their human rights and freedoms to be selectively taken away? Always under the pretense that somehow all of this relates to the WAR ON TERROR. What war? What terror? The only terror I see is – Americans arming themselves against fellow Americans. If that’s not terror; I don’t know what is.

      BTW, just got in from the Super Market, so yeah, I can dig the bad mood thing. Little old ladies (no disrespect intended to little old ladies), shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a grocery cart. They are unemotional killers behind a cart! 🙂



  3. delenn13

    Then, Bill, don’t ever go shopping in a grocery store in Florida close to a retirement area……It’s worse than the shark infested waters of the Atlantic. It’s a bloodbath feeding frenzy.

    I have been up since 2:30. Time for bed… I am soooo tired. And I see my neurologist tomorrow…Oh, joy.