Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 12, 2013

Top 10 Windows apps of 2012 – We’re back with our year-end look at the most popular products on the site in 2012. See which products reigned supreme on Download.com and in its 10 most popular software categories.

App shows what 10 years of drinking could do to your looks – Drinking Mirror app lets you upload a pic and see what your face might look like after 10 years of drinking at your current rate.

Infographic: How Tech-Savvy Are Kids? – With parents trying to distract children with digital games long enough to get them potty trained, it’s not hard to understand how younger generations are one-upping adults in all things technology. But just how tech-savvy are kids? Retail site Angiolotty did the research, and came up with a simple answer: Very.

Mozilla Firefox 18 – With a new compiler that promises 25 percent faster performance on JavaScript-powered Web sites, Firefox 18 also speeds startup time, scales images better, and improves tab switching.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

10 amazing apps for new iPhone owners – OK, they’re pretty awesome for existing iPhone owners, too. Best of all, most of them are free. Check my picks, then share your own.

Nitpicking The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim a Year Later – I’ve clocked another 71 hours in Skyrim‘s lovely winter wilds, which makes for a total of over 120. Time to nitpick a little, because I’ve said plenty of nice things already!

Google adds high-res photo zoom to Google+ – People now can immerse themselves in high-resolution photos posted on Google+ instead of seeing a blurry version when zoomed in all the way.

Google revs up Chrome, crushes bugs – Google on Thursday upgraded Chrome, improving the browser’s start-up performance and patching two dozen security vulnerabilities. The JavaScript performance boost was minor compared to Chrome 23, the version introduced nine weeks ago, but Google boasted that since October 2011, V8’s speed has improved by 26%. Coincidentally, rival Mozilla touted JavaScript enhancements this week too, claiming a new JIT (just in time) compiler improved Firefox 18’s speed by 25%.

$100 to Facebook message Mark Zuckerberg? Bargain! – Facebook is testing various methods to reduce spam. One of these is to charge large sums to those who message those with vast followings. It could be good value for some.

Android challenges the iPhone in every category – The new breed of Android devices exceeds the iPhone 5 in every way including hardware, operating system, and apps.

Windows 8 uncertainty blamed for decline in PC sales – For the first time in five years, PC shipments over the holiday shopping season were lower than the year before – and IDC is blaming Windows 8.

Security:

Spoofed Google Chrome update page serves malware – Malware peddlers are taking advantage of yesterday’s release of the latest version of Google Chrome and have already set up a spoofed page of the initial rollout page in order to deliver their malicious wares. The URL of the page has nothing to do with Google, and that’s something that will tip off the majority of the potential victims to the fact that downloading the offered malware is a bad idea.

Disable Java! Recent 0-day exploit is included in exploit kits – The Java zero-day that has recently been spotted being exploited in the wild has turned into big, big news as a number of popular exploit kits have been fitted with the exploit for it and there’s still no news from Oracle on when we could expect a fix.

How to Disable Java – Java is a handy, cross-platform language that’s been mightily abused by hackers. With the discovery of a new Java vulnerability that affects even the most up-to-date version, many experts advise everyone to simply disable Java. Here’s how.

Fake LinkedIn notifications lead to phishing and malware – LinkedIn users are once again targeted with a massive and widespread spam campaign that takes the form of a notification about a supposedly received message from a potential new connection:

Wiretapping law’s renewal dismays rights groups – A last-minute move by the U.S. Senate to renew a controversial wiretapping law, days before it was set to expire on Dec. 31, has dismayed privacy advocates, rights groups and lawmakers who have long opposed the measure.

Data breaches erode trust in business – Recurring data breaches over the past five years have undermined public trust in the ability of both private firms and Government organisations to safeguard personal information, according to Check Point. Despite this erosion of trust, and public demands for better data security, a significant number of people are still risking data breaches through unsafe computing practices in the workplace.

Company News:

Nokia to go big with smartphone cameras in 2013 – Nokia was practically invisible at CES, but hinted at exciting imaging developments in the months ahead. Two main categories define how good pictures will be: hardware choices, like using higher-end lenses that let in more light, and software algorithms that render clear, bright images with pop.

Angry Birds Maker Rovio Ends Year With 263M Active Users – The Finnish game developer on Friday boasted that “2012 was a milestone year for us.” The company said it logged more than a quarter billion (263 million) monthly active users in December. In addition, Rovio saw more than 1 billion downloads during the year, 30 million of which came during Christmas week alone.

EU Concerned About Google’s ‘Abuse’ of Search Power – While Google got away with a relative slap on the wrist from the Federal Trade Commission over its search practices, the web giant will apparently not get the same treatment from the Europeans.

Tumblr’s next step: Become a real business – Tumblr sits alongside the Internet elites in terms of audience, but the 5-year-old blogging medium has lagged far behind the likes of Facebook and Twitter in the money-making department. That could all change in 2013 as the social site pushes forward on a more aggressive strategy to get big brands to pay top dollar to reach its highly influential community.

Judge OKs $527 million Kodak patent sale – The final price is a lot less than the company wanted as it seeks to emerge from bankruptcy.

Webopedia Daily:

Predictive Merchandising – Also called automated merchandising or personalized product recommendations, in electronic commerce it is a search technology that integrates data and predictive analytics to generate site merchandising. While exact features of predictive merchandising services differ from vendor to vendor, there all have some common functions. Usually tracking tags are used in a merchant’s e-mail and on-site that capture and analyze key information at each point in the online shopping process. Web site visitor’s preferences are tracked and the system is able to analyze that data in order to automate product offers to other customers with similar behavior on the site. Other aspects of automated merchandising include cross-sell and up-sell of related products, the capability for shoppers to compare related products, and the ability to show returning customers products they previously showed an interest in.

Off Topic (Sort of):

How to Get Started With Google Analytics – Marketing is one of the great challenges for online businesses. How do you get people to view your Web pages? How do you get them to come back? What do your customers like the most about your product or service? How do you get them to buy? This is where analytics come into play.

Vancouver 1907 (video 6:19) – Early footage of Vancouver, B.C. (Canada) shot by U.S. filmmaker William Harbeck — who perished at the age of 44 filming the Titanic’s maiden voyage just under 5 years later.

White House shoots down petition to build Death Star – Obama Administration says construction of the universe’s ultimate weapon would be cost prohibitive and not in keeping with its policy of galactic peace.

Schmidt Was a ‘Rock Star’ in North Korea – Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, who on Thursday returned from a controversial trip to North Korea, was a “rock star” in the Asian nation, according to his travel mate, former New Mexico governor and U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson.

John McAfee brings his ‘Where’s Waldo’ act to Portland – After his deportation to the U.S., the peripatetic software millionaire says he’s had it with the sun — for now.

Today’s Quote:

“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.”

–     Unknown

Today’s Free Downloads:

xpy 1.2.7 – xpy is a small program which will disable the default threats of your Windows XP installation. Besides the classic antispy features, xpy closes recent security holes like the remote procure call (rpc) service and the distributed component object model (dcom).

Cloudfogger – Cloudfogger provides free file encryption for Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive and Others. You don’t have to worry about your privacy, your provider or lost devices any more. Cloudfogger secures your files and you’re in control, no matter where you keep your files. With Cloudfogger you keep control over who has access to your data.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 12, 2013

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