Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 7, 2013

Best apps for Windows 8 2012 – Although it’s far too early to pick the long-term winners for Windows 8, we’ve spent enough time with the Surface RT and the desktop version to make our picks for the best Windows 8 apps of 2012.

10 things to try when applications won’t work with Windows 8 – If you have problems getting an app to run on Windows 8, all’s not lost. One of these strategies or workarounds may get the application running.

My suitcase landed where? Your phone knows – Globaltrac demoed a device at CES Unveiled that tracks your luggage in real time.

Five applications for easy password recovery – Few things in life are more frustrating than needing to open a file, but not being able to remember the password that will allow it. Thankfully, there are a variety of utilities designed to help crack forgotten passwords.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Zuckerberg faces €20,000 fine over Facebook’s anonymous accounts ban – Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is facing a €20,000 fine over the social networking site’s failure to offer German users anonymous accounts. According to The Guardian, the data protection commissioner of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein has written to Zuckerberg and to Facebook Ireland threatening the fine if Facebook continues to ban anonymous accounts.

Ubuntu on phones: 5 things you need to know – So, Canonical is bringing Ubuntu Linux to smartphones, but what does that really mean? I’ve seen a lot of confusion about this new offering, even from other Linux and device pros, so, here’s my quick guide to what’s what with Ubuntu on phones.

Using FreeNAS to build a DIY home server – We haven’t checked in with FreeNAS, the FreeBSD-based DIY NAS OS, in quite some time. The OS has been completely overhauled, plugin support has been added, and it now works with even more hardware.

Hey control freaks, has a home system for you – One application, dozens of ways to control, monitor, or protect your home, via Web dashboard or through smartphone apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.

Double-speed USB 3.0 to arrive next year – The first devices that take advantage of the new standard’s 10Gbps data-transfer speed should arrive in 2014. Too bad for Thunderbolt.

Whonix adds a layer of anonymity to your business tasks – There may be times when you need to do certain tasks over the web and be assured that no one can discover the address you’re using. For instance, you might need to transmit business information, transfer files, or more securely connect to your company network when overseas. If your task requires an anonymity that standard platforms cannot offer, Whonix may be the solution for you.

Amazon’s top selling laptop doesn’t run Windows or Mac OS, it runs Linux – According to Amazon, the number one selling laptop isn’t a Windows PC or a Mac, it’s the Samsung Chromebook, which runs Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS.

New Lego Mindstorms will bring better robotics to kids and grown-ups alike – The Lego Mindstorms EV3 platform replaces the Mindstorms NXT 2.0 line, which came out in 2009. Like previous Mindstorms kits, the EV3 line is based around what Lego calls a programmable brick that acts as the brains of your creations. The EV3 Intelligent brick, as it’s called, includes a number of new features, like an infrared sensor, new Linux-based firmware, a USB port, and an SD card slot.

Dacor bakes Android tablet into wall oven – Gourmet chefs can remotely control their high-tech oven with an Android app built into the unit.

Cobra’s under-the-hood radar detector is first of its kind – Cobra’s iRadar S-Series radar detector hides under the hood and communicates with your phone. I’m not the only one who thinks it’s cool—it’s one of this years’ CES Innovations Honorees.


Researchers Bypass Microsoft Fix It for IE Zero Day – Expect amped up pressure aimed in Microsoft’s direction for a patch for the Internet Explorer zero day that surfaced last week, now that researchers at Exodus Intelligence reported today they have developed a bypass for the Fix It that Microsoft released as a temporary mitigation.

Nvidia releases driver update to fix security exploit – Nvidia has quietly released a new set of drivers to patch up a security flaw found within the Display Driver service, which came to light via a U.K.-based researcher on Christmas day. If you happen to be an owner of a GeForce graphics processing unit (GPU), then the quiet release of the latest GeForce-based drivers is certainly worth a quick download.

DHS website falls victim to hacktivist intrusion – Hacktivist group NullCrew recently announced a succesful intrusion against a website in the DHS.GOV domain hierarchy. It looks as though the site was vulnerable to what’s known as a directory traversal vulnerability. DHS, of course, is the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Adobe to Patch Reader, Acrobat; Warns of ColdFusion Exploit – Adobe will release a round of patches on Tuesday for its Reader and Acrobat products, and also has issued a separate advisory that it is working on a update for a vulnerability in ColdFusion that the company said is currently being exploited.

Company News:

HTC Q4 profit, sales plunge amid holiday crush – Not even a flagship smartphone at Verizon Wireless could help its results, which continue their downward trajectory.

D-Link Creates Routers for Work and Play – Betting that people want networking gear for specialized uses, D-Link today announced several new routers designed for gaming, business, and travel. The company’s International CES lineup also includes a couple of new webcams for remote monitoring of homes and businesses.

Nvidia announces own ‘Shield’ gaming device at CES – Kicking off the Consumer Electronics Show, the chipmaker unwraps a new quad-core potable gaming console that bears its own name.

Lenovo and EMC to bring Network Attached Storage to SMBs – Lenovo and EMC have completed the formation of LenovoEMC Ltd, the joint venture with a wider strategic partnership in industry standard servers and networked storage solutions. Incorporating the core assets of EMC’s Iomega business, the new JV will bring co-branded network attached storage (NAS) solutions to distributed enterprise, remote branches, and small and medium businesses.

Webopedia Daily:

getUserMedia API – A new feature in the Google Chrome 21 browser that enables the browser to access a user’s webcam and microphone, directly through the browser and not through a third party plugin like Flash. The getUserMedia API is part of a larger effort to enable richer in-browser interactivity, known as WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications).

Off Topic (Sort of):

Two Teen Girls Poison Parents’ Milkshakes for Web Access – Perhaps we’ve missed an important generational transformation, but there’s something to be said for nostalgia when it comes to sneaking around parental decrees.

Apple makes the only tablets and phones worth stealing – There’s lots of talk about who’s on top of the mobile device pile. Whatever the sales over the past few quarters by the competition, if there were a thieves index, Apple iOS devices would be on top.

Winter CES 2013 hasn’t even started, but I’m already over it – A New Year begins, and with it goes the annual migration of the technorati to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Bring your comfy shoes, because that’s one big show floor, folks. Well, I ain’t going there. The first reason being is I have a day job, and the second is that CES is a waste of anyone’s time who is going there.

Google’s Eric Schmidt to fly to North Korea – Despite the objections of the U.S. State Department, Eric Schmidt plans to leave for North Korea tomorrow. Google’s executive chairman is in Beijing and scheduled to depart on a commercial flight for a four-day humanitarian mission to the reclusive country, according to an Associated Press report.

Telcos, emergency services battle Aussie bushfire season – Scorching summer temperatures in Australia have put telcos and emergency service organisations under the pump to keep services up and running.

Today’s Quote:

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.”

–     Blaise Pascal

Today’s Free Downloads:

Hotspot Shield – Maintain your anonymity and protect your privacy while accessing free Wi-Fi hotspots. Hotspot Shield VPN is the ultimate Internet security solution that secures your browsing session, detects and blocks malware, protects your privacy and allows you to access blocked sites. Hotspot Shield is available both as a free VPN and a paid Hotspot Shield Elite subscription.

Free Sound Recorder 9.5.1 – Free Sound Recorder is a perfect audio recorder to record your own voice, music or any other sound by working directly with your sound card. It supports the record input/source from a microphone, streaming audio from the Internet, external input devices (e.g. CDs, LP, music cassettes, phone line etc.) as well as other applications like Winamp, Media Player, etc. With built-in advanced audio record engine, the recorder produces high quality recordings.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

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

  1. Don Naphen

    Hi Bill; regarding Hotspot Shield .. tried it (free ver) and it worked very well in disguising my IP, as verified by Gibson Research Corp ( HOWEVER, that’s when the fun began. BSOD appeared on a regular basis, and I haven’t had one in years. Also on occasion, I’d get a DOS screen with a long list of fatal errors! I have no idea how this app interacts with my pc when not connected to the Internet, but it sure did a number on me when idling. Once I uninstalled the beast my problems went away. A shame really, because it had some nice features and was simple to get up and running.

    Best regards,

    • Hi Don,

      You’re right, it’s a great little program – so, I’m disappointed to hear that you had such a difficult time with Hotspot Shield.

      Depending on your requirements of course, you might give TunnelBear a try. It’s my favorite VPN by far and away.

      I’m a little late, but let me take this opportunity to wish you the very best in 2013. 🙂



  2. delenn13

    Hi Bill,

    I have been using HSS for a while. In fact, I ended up getting a deal and buying pro. So between HSS and ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy Software FREE Download – Enjoy your privacy and surf anonymously online and watch TV abroad USA, UK, Hulu,, iPlayer – Chris P.C. srl, I am pretty well set for the moment. But I added TunnelBear to my deskcuts.

    @Don, you didn’t say which OS. But if you use Win7, I got this little tip from Gizmo…How to Find Out What is Causing Problems on Your Windows 7 PC. It has come in handy a few times. Actually, I think I got this from several places but Giz’s was the one I deskcut.

    • Hey D’elenn13,

      The real issue on this one is how HSS installs and utilizes a specific Driver – which loads on system startup – Tap-Win32 Adapter. This driver has been known to cause issues. Best to simply unload the app and replace it with something like TunnellBear which does not install a driver and, which does not load at boot.