Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 13, 2013

Choose the Best Antivirus in 2013 – Quick, how many antivirus products can you name? Six? Seven? What if I told you PCMag has reviewed over 40? Yes, we put just about every antivirus product through rigorous testing to help you choose the one that will suit you best. We award the Editor’s Choice designation to those that we consider to be top-of-the-line in one way or another, but if your criteria are different from ours you can get details from our reviews of all of the available choices.

Spy agency ASIO wants powers to hack into personal computers – SPY agency ASIO wants to hack into Australians’ personal computers and commandeer their smartphones to transmit viruses to terrorists. (referred by Mal)

Internet activist Aaron Swartz commits suicide – The 26-year-old hacker and information activist had faced charges for his alleged role in making MIT academic journal articles public.

Tech VIPs, family take to Web with sorrow, anger over Swartz – Tim Berners-Lee and Lawrence Lessig are among those who express sorrow and/or anger at Aaron Swartz’s suicide. Swartz’s family announces memorial Web site, and also points finger at federal prosecutors and MIT.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Online petition seeks to make DDoS ‘legal form of protesting’ – The creator of the petition believes DDoS is “not any form of hacking in any way” and is a legitimate form of protest with the advance of the Internet. The creator of the petition is also requesting the US government to immediately release those jailed for DDoS attacks and have these crimes removed from their records.

Global Users Report Censorship Using Chinese App WeChat – Chinese company Tencent is under fire after reports that their popular messaging app WeChat is censoring certain words even when users are outside of China. The company is now saying that it was a “technical glitch,” but for a while it seemed as if the Great Firewall might have stretched past China’s borders.

How to Buy a Router – Are you still using the router that your Internet service provider gave you? If so, you might not be getting the best results possible. Routers that ISPs provide tend to be older models running custom firmware, and the download and upload speeds from these routers may not match the speeds you pay for. The situation is even worse if you rent your router from your ISP, because that’s money that could be better spent on more-glamorous gadgets.

High-tech homes: Fridges on Facebook and smart security – Sure, some of the home “innovations” we’ve seen at CES are a little laughable. Do we really need dancing robot vacuum cleaners or refrigerators that post Facebook updates? Maybe not. But home automation is becoming more capable and impressive, if only because we’re realizing these fantasy homes are finally possible.

The Best of CES – As another Consumer Electronics Show fades into the Las Vegas sunset, we take a look back at the most important products unveiled at this year’s show.

OLED and 4K at CES 2013: The fantasy and the reality (video) – According to most people’s eyeballs, OLED and Ultra HD sets produce a better-looking picture than you’ll see on any of today’s 1080p plasma or LCD sets. However, the picture quality of each type of set will blow your mind in a different way, and there are significant limitations for Ultra HD/4K sets in particular at this point.

Next in Motion-Controlled Gaming: Crotch Harnesses and Bungee Cords – Picture yourself playing a first-person shooter while strapped in an adult-sized baby bouncer that controlled your onscreen movement. I know, right?


It’s time to rewrite Java from scratch, security expert says – If the most recent security flaw in Java is a sign of anything, it’s that the time has come for Oracle to rewrite the programming language. That’s the view of Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst with Bitdefender, a Romanian-based maker of antivirus software, who estimates that as many as 100 million PCs are vulnerable to hacker attack because of the latest Java defect discovered this week.

Firefox’s PDF viewer may boost security by boring hackers – A built-in PDF viewer component based on JavaScript and HTML5 Web technologies has been added to the beta version of Firefox 19, Mozilla said Friday. The browser maker described the built-in PDF viewer as more secure and safer than proprietary PDF viewing plug-ins, like those installed by Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader. However, several security experts noted that it probably won’t be free of vulnerabilities.

Africa as Safe Havens for Cyber-Criminals – While the global nature of cyber-crime means the criminals can be anywhere, we tend to think of Eastern Europe and Russia as the hotbed of criminal activity. Trend Micro believes criminals will increasingly shift their operations over to Africa in 2013.

Company News:

CEO of beleaguered HP made $15.4M last year – Meg Whitman pulled in $15.4 million in compensation during fiscal 2012, with a base salary of just a single dollar but a performance-based bonus of $1.7 million.

Huawei preps octa-core ARM chip– Huawei is currently prepping an ARM-powered octa-core chip which it plans to bring to market during the second half of 2013. As the name suggests, the SoC is an 8-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor, which pairs four high-power CPU cores with four lower-power cores.

Microsoft Patent Tips ‘Inconspicuous Mode’ for Cell Phones – According to a patent application published today, Microsoft is working to build a function that could save movie-going smartphone users a lot of grief. “Inconspicuous mode,” as the application calls it, aims to lighten the device’s load by turning home screen text and images off while also lowering the backlighting to appear, well, inconspicuous.

Samsung postpones Windows RT tablet plans – Last summer the industry was expecting big things from Windows 8 and Windows RT, with Samsung touting a plan to bring its own Windows RT tablet to the US by October.

Webopedia Daily:

Searchandizing – The word is a combination of search and merchandizing. It is an electronic commerce term used to describe using your own site search to promote products when users search for certain keywords or phrases, akin to merchandizing a retail store for up-selling, cross-selling or promoting specific merchandise. Also called multi-faceted search.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Cracked: 5 Old Wives’ Tales About Health (Confirmed by Science) – On the list of the most important jobs of a mom, keeping your kids healthy comes in second only to making sure they don’t grow up into the type of person who would “accidentally” leak a sex tape. And if that means occasionally bluffing or passing along the same BS myths that were passed down by her mother before her, then by God, that’s what a mom does. But you might be surprised to find out that some of that motherly health advice that sounds suspiciously like superstitious nonsense now wasn’t so made up after all.

Cracked: The 5 Types of Sociopath Invented by the Internet – Most online idiots are extensions of stupidities we have in the real world: con artists, zealots, homophobes, and others who project more shitty internal problems than an IMAX colonoscopy. But some people evolved to exploit new niches of assholery in the online environment, like those worms that live in the human colon. Except we’d rather have the worms, because there are pills we can take to kill those.

Brown eyes are more ‘trustworthy’ than blue – Researchers at Charles University in the Czech Republic have determined that a person’s eye color may influence how trustworthy we think they are.

Scientist: Hawking is ‘brain in a vat’ – To celebrate Stephen Hawking’s 71st birthday, a fellow scientist suggests that perhaps it is the machines rather than the man who should be celebrated. She compares him to Darth Vader.

New Book Tells Inside Story of Atari – A new book based on nearly eight years of research and extensive interviews with former Atari employees tells the story of the iconic, pioneering U.S. video game company.

Today’s Quote:

“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.”

–     Jewish Proverb

Today’s Free Downloads:

Sumatra PDF – Sumatra PDF Portable enables you to read and modify any PDF according to your demands. This tool is the lightweight Sumatra PDF packaged as a portable app, so you can view PDF files on the go. You can place it on your USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive or a CD and use it on any computer, without leaving any personal information behind

Kaspersky Rescue Disk – Boot from the Kaspersky Rescue Disk to scan and remove threats from an infected computer without the risk of infecting other files or computers.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 13, 2013

  1. delenn13

    I wasn’t gonna post this because of the disclaimer from Adobe that said…”They clarified the issue, and stated categorically that the software was only for those who already owned CS2 licenses and certainly wasn’t to be regarded as freeware.” I attempt to not to step on peoples/companies toes if I can.

    However, that statement has been taken down according to Gizmo. Get Adobe CS2 Suite For Free? Not Officially. So it’s up to you if you want to let this post go through.

    Anyways….head to Adobe – CS2 Downloads and download Photoshop CS2, Acrobat 8, Illustrator, InDesign, Audition and more.

    This software is from 2005, so it may not run or you may need to run in compatibility mode. I have PS3 so I haven’t tried it.

    • Hey Delenn13,

      I’ve known about this since Monday – and declined to run with it. Still, glad you posted this. It gives me an opportunity to condemn a swath of popular tech websites whose writers wouldn’t know shit from shinola. Harsh? Not nearly harsh enough.

      I’ve never seen so much misinformation published as fact, in so many places, in my entire career – and that’s one very, very long time. From the start, there was no background checking of any kind that took place. No verification of any of the details – simply a copy and paste operation at even the most prestigious sites. Worse – there was no take-down of any of these articles (that I could see), when it became apparent that the initial report was incorrect.

      I did, however, read a retraction from the original poster who had the courage to say – “Hey, I made a mistake.” BTW, that was on Monday. One would think that might have led to some article take-downs – but no.

      This episode reaffirms the truism – “don’t believe everything you read – especially, on the Internet.”

      A disgusting herd mentality episode which essentially led to Adobe being blackmailed. So no – personally, I won’t participate.

      Not in the least impressive. A black eye, in my view, for the industry.

      And no, this isn’t a rant. It’s simple – I don’t compromise my ethics.



      • delenn13

        Hey Bill,

        Yea, it was Monday or Tuesday, I heard. I don’t have a clue how many newsletters/forums I saw offering it..right off the bat. I didn’t even know they took down the disclaimer since I wasn’t wasting my time checking on it. If Gizmo hadn’t posted his, I wouldn’t have posted it.

        For the record, I think Adobe is overpriced and snobbish(think they are elite). I own PS3 and it’s not even installed at the minute. It’s so slow to fire up. I can do a lot of the stuff I do with, Gimp, Twisted Brushes, PhotoFiltre, or PicPick..even Irfanview has filters and such.

        • Hey Delenn13,

          I hear ya loud and clear on the price of Adobe’s products. And, we agree – there is a certain sense of snobbishness associated with the use of their products. Have to also agree on your choice of Photo apps – have them all other than GIMP – can’t deal with the floating menus.

          Right again on Irfanview (my favorite – lots of plugins available). Most of my stuff is pretty simple and Irfanview does the job nicely.



  2. Mal

    Hey Bill
    Re: Spy agency ASIO wants powers to hack into personal computers
    I am so glad you posted this on the blog. Nobody can imagine how angry I was when I read that article. What makes it ok for the government to do this, yet it’s a crime for everyone else. Mind you, I am not condoning hacking in any way.
    The idea that spys would not be able to gather information from innocent people’s computers is pathetic. Of course they would. But they would never tell would they.
    I bet that if this comes into law here in Australia, other countries will jump straight on the bandwagon. And if it does become law, I will make it my personal mission to make sure they can NEVER access my machine. Because they have no right to, even if they say they do.

    • Hey Mal,

      I think that you can relax on this one – this is simply a lunatic/s floating an idea – a terrifying idea I’ll grant you. Any law, in any democracy, that would approach the limits as suggested here, would grossly violate virtually every tenet of long established civil liberties and, the legal tenets of property rights. Muck about with property rights, and you’ve taken the first steps to revolution. Fu*k up civil liberties and a government might survive – take a run at ownership and they’re going down – hard!!

      Your government, should they pursue this (they simply can’t be that stupid), would face punishments (no secrets to give away here – but I think you catch my drift 😉 ) which would literally bring Australia to it’s knees. The financial penalties incurred (by the one percenters) would be devastating. Political careers would go up in flames – and, the Troglodytes (the hangers on who suck up to these morons), would find themselves in the bushes on their ass.

      I have to say though – the push by your present government to override civil liberties is astonishing. Time to get rid of the Wicked Witch of the West.