Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 6, 2013

12 Security Resolutions for 2013 – Among your typical New Year’s resolutions—lose weight, stop smoking, be happier – you should consider making some pledges to better secure your digital life. You might even be healthier if you can prevent the stress of a digital disaster, like malware wiping out your PC, having your online accounts hacked, or becoming a victim of identity theft because of a phishing scam or data theft. With that in mind, here are some security resolutions you should consider for the new year.

Dad hires hit men to kill son’s video game characters – Some fathers are overbearing. Some, however, decide that enforcing parental law requires radical action. Such as hiring an assassin. It does seem extreme. But a certain Mr. Feng of China might offer mitigating circumstances. His son was allegedly being terribly disobedient and the assassins were hired merely to murder Feng Jr.’s video game character.

Google’s FTC Deal: What You Need to Know – Since mid-2011, the Federal Trade Commission has been investigating Google’s business to determine whether the company is manipulating its search results, using dirty tricks to crush rivals, and generally just being evil.

Skype disables People Hub in latest Windows Phone 8 release – Microsoft’s Skype has disabled People Hub in the latest version of its application for Windows Phone 8 because the feature has reportedly been causing issues with device stability.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google Restoring Maps Access on Windows Phones – Google said today that it is working to restore access to Google Maps on Windows Phone-based gadgets. The search giant blamed the blackout on a poor maps experience on Microsoft’s mobile platform.

Technology comes with lessons for parents – Technology can lead to trouble for teenagers if they aren’t careful, and for parents teaching their kids how to use their gadgets appropriately can be a difficult task. One thing that is clear is that the more communication between parent and child, the better. Two recent stories are proof of that. One makes you wonder what everyone involved was thinking and the other is a good example of a parent determined to make sure her son responsibly uses a new gadget.

Wise Care 365 Free – Free system care and cleaning utilities aren’t uncommon these days, so there are plenty of choices. WiseCleaner’s Wise Care 365 Free offers a PC Checkup, System Tune-up, Privacy Protector, and Wise Utilities. You can schedule cleaning and optimizing sessions and back up and restore your settings. Wise Care 365 Free’s job is to prevent unpleasant surprises by keeping your system clean and tight. Recent updates include improvements to the Startup Manager and full Windows 8 compatibility.

Six tips to know before converting your old electronics into cash – Don’t count on a Hawaiian vacation for your efforts, but depending on how much you hoard or how savvy you sell, the dollars could really add up.

Time Magazine: 10 Tech-Industry Predictions for 2013 – From new innovations, changes in the PC landscape and mobile technology transforming the way people work, learn, communicate and play, this should be a most interesting year in the world of technology.


Facebook won’t donate money for boy’s life-saving surgery after he saved his sister from rapist. Because it’s a hoax – Seriously – would Facebook really donate 45 cents every time someone shares a story about a boy saving his six-year-old sister from rape? Please don’t believe everything you read on Facebook.

Wayward security certificates raise question of SSL reliability – As consumers, we’ve been taught to trust the padlock icon that appears on the address bar of our browsers. We’re told it’s a sign our communication with a website is safe. But an incident this week involving Google and a Turkish security company belies that notion.

Brace for more attacks on industrial systems in 2013 – An increasing number of vulnerability researchers will focus their attention on industrial control systems (ICS) in the year to come, but so will cyber attackers, security experts believe.

Company News:

Windows laptop sales sink — but that’s just part of the problem – Windows 8 laptop sales are hardly on fire. Maybe the absence of the dirt-cheap netbook has something to do with that.

Apple could launch ‘iPhone Mini’ next year, analyst says – In its ongoing battle against Samsung, Apple may be forced to unveil a smaller, cheaper version of its flagship phone, says Strategy Analytics.

Dropped call: At CES, mobile’s biggies are conspicuous by their absence – Many of the big names in wireless continue to shy away from the Consumer Electronics Show, or limit their presence. That leaves an opening for the second-tier players.

Webopedia Daily:

Structured Data – Data can be designated as structured or unstructured data for classification within an organization. The term structured data refers to data that is identifiable because it is organized in a structure. The most common form of structured data — or structured data records (SDR) — is a database where specific information is stored based on a methodology of columns and rows. Structured data is also searchable by data type within content. Structured data is understood by computers and is also efficiently organized for human readers. In contrast, unstructured data has no identifiable structure.

Off Topic (Sort of):

20 biggest tech innovations of my lifetime that I actually use – If you were to make a list of the biggest tech innovations that you use personally, what might it include? Here’s my list.

Imagining Mars in life-filled days gone by – Using data from NASA, and plenty of imagination, a software engineer takes the red out of the Red Planet and shows what Mars might’ve looked like decked out in oceans and greenery.

Finally, a well-dressed Wal-Mart shopper! (Thanks Mike.)


NASA Puts Shuttle Facilities on Auction Block – It’s not the same as an eBay auction, but if you happen to have a bit of extra cash lying around and fancy yourself a launchpad for the space shuttle, or a 15,000-foot landing strip (presumably also for a space shuttle that you plan to send into orbit), then NASA is ready to entertain your bids.

What does the International Space Station sound like? – Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is beaming sounds from the ISS, including an original tune on guitar and the tones of a toilet starting.

On the Acoustics of Cocktail Parties – In 1958, acoustician William MacLean of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn answered a perennial question: How many guests can attend a cocktail party before it becomes too noisy for conversation? (recommended by Michael F.)

Today’s Quote:

“The spread of computers and the Internet will put jobs in two categories. People who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do.”

–      Marc Andreessen

Today’s Free Downloads:

Patch My PC – Patch My PC is a portable and reliable utility designed to check your system against the current version of Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Flash, Mozilla Firefox, Oracle Java, Apple Quicktime, and more!

HTTPNetworkSniffer 1.22 – HTTPNetworkSniffer is a packet sniffer tool that captures all HTTP requests/responses sent between the Web browser and the Web server and displays them in a simple table. You can easily select one or more HTTP information lines, and then export them to text/html/xml/csv file.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

16 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 6, 2013

  1. clas

    thanks bill, your comments are always spot on. we sometimes forget the simple things along with not knowing the complicated ones. i can tell that you care about security and have done your time with research and study. keep up the good work and help us all thru the tangled web of technology.

  2. Fred

    “12 Security Resolutions for 2013”
    I have a bookmarks or Favorites section on my browser, #1 is Bill Mullin’s Tech Thoughts. It is that important.
    So I’ve learned a lot here since May 2010 and am extremely cautious. However sometimes the BAD GUYS are WORKING with an otherwise legit company. This was my New Year’s Eve gift: somebody made a little transaction, a few dollars with the card, then when that went through even though it caught the attention of the card people they let that through then wham all over the world. Now I scan regularly update all the time, a fanatic on that point, (btw Kaspersky TDSS KILLER hasn’t updated since Nov 2 2012) but if you DO use your card in an online purchase that is the risk, that a shady character at the vendor will take your information sit on it for a a few weeks then they strike. Now I can’t PROVE that it was this one company but I sure do believe it.
    We may all have to go back to mail order the way this is going, and then again a relative got same problem only they cleaned her out by using card in a small diner and so on. Yet these people, if they are ever caught get very light sentences or fines compared to other crimes. But I can tell you that ID theft and now this just drains you and stresses you and if they would give HEAVY sentences MAYBE this wouldn’t’ be so prevalent.

    So Security is not just something you begrudgingly do but do so because it is IMPORTANT and you don’t realize how important until…

    Bill has helped me be much more secure in everything online but the fact is you can’t prevent everything.


    • Hi Fred,

      I’m sorry to hear of your troubles. A sad illustration of the intolerable state of Internet and system security.

      I’ve long made it a practice to load a prepaid Visa Card with sufficient funds (and no more), to complete a specific online purchase. Yes, it’s inconvenient – but………….

      As well, I do not use either my Debit Card, or a Credit Card, at small retailers. Small retailers (including local restaurants), generally are unaware of effective security protocols.

      I’ve covered both of these strategies some time ago – perhaps it’s time to review them again.



  3. delenn13

    Here’s some freebies… As always…IIRC, watch for toolbars and other unwanted stuff. I have had 1 of my headaches, so I can’t remember which ones had it.

    BDJ has a good one for free if you don’t already have 1AVCenter..This in one of the components.

    1AVShare (PC) 100% Discount Coupon Code

    “Using 1AVShare, you’ll never have any problems sharing files again! 1AVShare lets you publish your own website from your PC, allowing you, your friends, family, and coworkers to remotely access your images, documents, videos, music, anything – all over a secure connection, and with support for all of the major media file formats. Anyone with authorized access will be able to log into your machine to search, view, and download your files, and even upload their own!

    Once you install 1AVShare, you’ll have an embedded web server of your very own that resides entirely within the confines of your computer, protected by 128 bit security. Just configure user accounts for anyone that you want to have access to your files, and you’re good to go. All anyone needs in order to access your 1AVShare server is an internet browser, that’s it – no other software installation is required!”

    These must be activated before Jan 7th…So hurry..

    Giveaway!WinX DVD Ripper Platinum V7.0.0

    “Key features:

    Rip DVD to AVI, MP4, WMV, MPEG, MOV, FLV, Music, etc.
    Convert DVD to iPhone, iPad, Android, WP8, Surface, etc.
    Build in 350 profiles for all popular mobiles and tablets.
    Copy DVD full title/main content to MPEG2 file within 5 minutes.
    Clone DVD to ISO for burning or playing with VLC, DAPlayer.

    Please activate the software before Jan.7, 2013. Welcome to share the offer but please do not directly publish the code.”

    Also, on the right side of the page… FREE

    WinX DVD Author-this is good for beginners because it is basic…

    “Create home video DVD with chapter menu & subtitle (*.srt). Convert and burn MKV, M4V, MP4, FLV, MPEG, RM, RMVB, AVI, etc to DVD.”

    And this…WinX YouTube Downloader(I didn’t dl this as I have enough downloaders.)

    “The easiest to use online video downloader. Auto detect videos of any resolutions. Download YouTube videos in WebM, FLV or MP4 formats.”

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Sorry – all day in bed yesterday (flu) – so, some of this may now be outdated.



      • John Bent

        Hi Bill,

        Sorry to hear you’ve been suffering with the flu. From your description I’m guessing it’s more than “man flu”. We get free flu injections in the UK after reaching a certain age and I’ve always made a point of having it, although generally not great a taking medicine.

        So far We’ve managed to avoid flu proper, although have both had the low-level (but still unpleasant) cold that is doing the rounds here. I felt so in need of comfort a couple of weeks ago that I tried a mixture of dark rum and green ginger wine. Did nothing for the cold but, boy I felt better for a few hours afterwards :).

        Get well soon,

        • Hi John,

          We have a similar option re: the flu shot here (free in Ontario) – everyone is encouraged to get shot up (no age restrictions). Frankly though, I’ll take my chances without it. Big Pharmacy is on my hit list. 🙂

          Have to admit – a couple of stiff “belts” of the “water of life” helps put the flu thingy in proper perspective. 🙂



        • delenn13

          Lord knows..I am probably gonna regret asking this.. WTH is “man flu”?

  4. delenn13

    @both of you,

    When we were kids my mom used to make a mix of honey, lemon juice and whiskey. It worked. The honey was to “coat” the throat, lemon juice for the congestion…and the whiskey for the pain and to make you sleep.

    I keep some made up in the fridge now..of course it’s a bit heavy on the whiskey part. 🙂 It can be substituted for a sleeping pill also.

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Now why does that sound familiar? lol It did work – didn’t it?

      In fact, I’ve managed to bump-up the effectiveness of this old tonic by dispensing with the honey and lemon juice. 🙂