Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 9, 2013

Toolbar Cleaner removes unwanted browser toolbars, browser extensions, and start-up items – The Internet is one big playground with lots to install and play with, and we eventually forget that too many installations can slow down and eventually crash our system. One key to a smooth healthy running computer is to keep it as trim as possible, with as little bloatware as possible. Enter Toolbar Cleaner (free) to make that task really easy.

Free Twitter schedulers tell you the best times to tweet – The HootSuite and Buffer schedulers for Twitter suggest the times your followers are most likely to view, retweet, and otherwise respond to your tweets, while TweetDeck lets you schedule tweets manually, among other features.

Bitdefender Named Product of the Year by AV-Comparatives – Over the course of a year, Austrian testing lab AV-Comparatives puts antivirus and security suite products through a wide-ranging regimen of tests. The product that scores best overall in the year’s tests earns the title “Product of the Year.” Bitdefender took that honor this year, but the competition was tight.

10 Must-Have iPhone Apps – These ten iPhone apps are ones we recommend every iPhone owner download, install, and actually use. Each of the apps that made this list represents some slice of mobile computing or mobile entertainment that we feel should be utilized: productivity, organization, social networking and communication, and so on.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Microsoft to kill the Messenger on March 15 – The tech titan plans to migrate users of the instant messaging client to Skype, which it purchased in 2011.

Firefox 18 delivers a jolt of speed to Web apps and games – We’ve known for some time now that Firefox 18 would bring some significant speed improvements to Mozilla’s popular browser, and the final version—released today—made good on that promise officially. In fact, a new JavaScript compiler in the software is delivering performance improvements of up to 25 percent on Web apps and games, Mozilla says.

Kensington widget warns when iPhone goes walkabout – The Proximo key fob sounds an alarm if you get too far from your iPhone and can help you find your keys. The system also feature GPS tracking.

Eureka! A decent Windows 8 gaming tablet – It’s called the Razer Edge, and it’s powerful enough to give other Windows 8 tablets a run for their money.

5 Top Linux Computer Vendors for Small Business – Where does a hardworking small business owner go to find good Linux computers? Find out right here.

Most Popular Business Card Printing Site: Moo – If you’re getting your own business cards printed and you don’t have a ton of money or access to professional printers, there are great online services willing to help you out.

iPhone 5 comes to Walmart’s no-contract Straight Talk plan – Looking to lure customers by waiving the contract, the major retailer will begin selling prepaid iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 smartphones this week.

Netflix adds personalized profiles with recommendations for your entire household – Netflix is testing new multiuser personalized profiles for single accounts with a limited number of subscribers. The new functionality lets you create a profile for each member of your household, complete with personalized viewing recommendations and independent streaming queues. There are also parental controls for profiles for children under 12.

Security:

Firefox 18 released, fixes security issues – Mozilla released Firefox 18 that fixes several security and stability issues. Included in the update are twelve critical, seven high and one moderate security update.

Security experts stress urgency of patching Windows XML flaw – Happy Patch Tuesday! Microsoft is kicking off the year with seven new security bulletins. There are five rated as Important, and two rated as Critical—but one in particular that has security experts concerned. This critical XML bug affects every version of Windows in one way or another because XML is used by a wide range of operating system components.”

VPN app for iOS and Android – Private Communications announced its new personal VPN application for Android and iOS devices. A personal VPN app for Windows 8 phones and tablets will soon follow. The VPN app is a simple solution that encrypts data going into and out of your mobile device while using public Wi-Fi, protecting consumers from attackers in any hotspot.

Iran said to be responsible for cyberattacks on U.S. banks – The massive wave of DDoS attacks that hit U.S. banks recently was thought to have been done by a fringe hacker group, however government officials now believe it was the work of Iran.

Military IT dependence could result in fatal cyber attacks – This week, MPs on the Defence Select Committee have produced a report stating that the UK’s armed forces are now so dependent on IT that they could be ‘fatally compromised’ by cyber attacks. The report also questions the military’s contingency plans while urging the government to take more action to address the threat.

Cybercriminals mostly targeting LinkedIn, PayPal and Amazon – GFI Software released a collection of the most prevalent threat detections encountered last month. In December, GFI threat researchers found a handful of phony Google Play app markets hosting mobile Trojans as well as a number of spam email campaigns posing as messages from Amazon, PayPal and LinkedIn.

Adobe mends security holes in Flash, Reader, Acrobat – The software company releases an update designed to patch critical security holes in three of its products.

Company News:

Apple prepping a less-expensive iPhone, WSJ reports – again – Following Digitimes, of all places, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is working on a less-expensive iPhone and could launch it later this year — which is pretty much what the WSJ also reported…two years ago.

T-Mobile rips up contract on unlimited data plan – In another example of its push into prepaid, the carrier is offering its unlimited plan without a contract.

Private WiFi takes its VPN mobile – Private WiFi has been making a name for itself as a subscription VPN service on desktops. Private WiFi wraps your data in 128-bit encryption as it runs in the background of your phone or tablet. Based on the open-source OpenVPN, the service will block attacks on public, unsecure networks such as man-in-the-middle attacks, rogue networks, honeypots, ARP spoofing, sniffing, and session sidejacking.

Facebook invites media to event at HQ next week – The social-networking company provides no details about next Tuesday’s event, only the offer to “come and see what we’re building.”

Dish counters Sprint, makes $5B offer for Clearwire – Dish Network made an unsolicited bid to buy Clearwire for $5.15 billion, upping the ante for Sprint Nextel, which entered into an agreement last month to purchase the 50 percent of the wireless broadband provider it does not already own.

Webopedia Daily:

Linux on Windows – Linux on Windows refers to running the Linux open source operating system or native Linux applications on Windows computers. There are two general options for running Linux on Windows. One option is running Linux in a virtualized environment, while a second option is to run a version of the Linux kernel that has been ported to run on Windows. An example of the latter is andLinux, which uses the Cooperative Linux (coLinux) port of the Linux kernel to enable andLinux to freely run on Windows.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Kingston’s 1TB thumb drive packs massive storage capacity in tiny package – For anyone interested in fitting every digital music file you own onto one USB thumb drive, you are in luck. Kingston has just broken the thumb drive capacity limit, cramming 1TB of storage into its’ latest USB drive announced Monday. But before you get too excited, there are two things to consider. One, the price of this thumb drive will likely be $2000 or more. Second, this thumb drive is just as easy to lose, leave behind, and accidentally send through the washing machine as all your missing 265MB thumb drives.

When it comes to patient records, doctors guilty of the old copy-paste – A new study finds the majority of doctors copying potentially out-of-date information from previous notes and other documents and pasting them into patient progress reports.

T-Mobile CEO calls AT&T New York network ‘crap’ – CES may not be the phone show it once was, but that didn’t stop T-Mobile from making a few major mobile announcements at an event Tuesday evening, and talking some good ol’ smack.

BlueStacks teases tech that lets you play your Android games on your TV – Who needs a Wii U? BlueStacks mobile gaming technology could obviate the need for game consoles altogether.

Apple iPad Equivalent to 11th Largest U.S. Tech Company – Apple’s iPad lineup could stand alone as the 11th largest U.S. tech company, according to a Bernstein Research analyst.

Today’s Quote:

“Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a very dangerous enemy indeed.”

–     Anne Rice

Today’s Free Downloads:

CheckDiskGUI 1.18 – The CheckDiskGUI application was developed to be a Graphical User Interface for the command line utility CHKDSK. It can display the file system integrity status of hard disks and floppy disk and can fix logical file system errors. CHKDSK can also check the disk surface for physical errors or bad sectors, a task previously done by SCANDISK.

WinPrefetchView 1.15 – WinPrefetchView is a small utility that reads the Prefetch files stored in your system and display the information stored in them. By looking in these files, you can learn which files every application is using, and which files are loaded on Windows boot.

Maxthon 4 Beta – Maxthon Browser is a powerful tabbed browser built for all users. Besides basic browsing functionality, Maxthon Browser provides a rich set of features to improve your surfing experience. It can open multiple Web pages in just one window. This is the latest beta version for testing.

2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 9, 2013

  1. Dave B.

    In RE: Toolbar Cleaner; talk about irony, a toolbar/extension cleaner that tries to hijack your homepage and install a crap browser extension. Why am I not surprised?

    • Hey Dave,

      I want to laugh – but disgust gets in the way. I’ve worked with Mark in the past (over at MakeUseOf), so I’m not surprised to see this recommendation. It would seem more appropriate to condemn this piece of crap rather than “toot” its value. Jeeez!

      Best,

      Bill