Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 14, 2013

Turn your flash drive into a portable PC survival kit – If you’re using your flash drive as a vehicle for simple file transfers, you’re missing out on one of the single-best roles one of these wee data buckets can fulfill. Indeed, hardcore enthusiasts know that simple flash drives are perfect portable repositories for all the software that can breathe life into an otherwise ailing PC.

10 superb free tools for all of your basic business needs – Below, you’ll find 10 superb pieces of software that can increase productivity without decreasing your bank account. We included options for most major business functions—from productivity to human resource management to the operating system itself—in an effort to create a front-to-back resource for getting your business up and running for the low, low cost of nada.

Apple is done, say teens – Future adults allegedly believe, according to research, that Apple isn’t cool any more. They’re more impressed by Samsung’s Galaxy and Microsoft’s Surface.

Review: Firefox 18 – Firefox offers clean design, fast performance, and constant improvements, the latest of which is a faster JavaScript engine.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Anonymous hacks MIT after Aaron Swartz’s suicide – Hacktivist group defaces university pages after the school promises a full investigation into MIT’s role in events leading up to the Internet activist taking his life.

Five Best Desktop Media Servers – Getting your music and movies from one computer to another computer across the house or across the world has never been easier. There are tons of apps designed to make the process simple and painless so you can watch movies on your smartphone when you’re out, or just listen to the music on your desktop downstairs in your upstairs bedroom. This week we asked you to name some of those great apps, and here are five of the best based on those nominations.

PC sales are in decline, and in an alarming way for the first time – So, if you’ve been astute and paying attention to what people are playing with on public transportation or at coffee shops, PC shipments slowing down a bit probably won’t come as much of a surprise. However, last quarter being the first time the industry experienced a year-on-year decline during the holiday season is an alarming trend for vendors, and perhaps a signal to begin shifting their focus on tablets and smartphones.

MIT to conduct internal probe in wake of Aaron Swartz’s suicide – University president says MIT will launch an investigation of the school’s role in the events that led up to the Internet activist taking his own life Friday.

Sharpen or Share Your Small Business Skills with SkillShare – Here’s a great Web resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to learn new skills. Or who want to share their knowledge with others. Learn anything – anywhere.

Ebook Glue Transforms Blogs Into Ebooks – The webapp takes an RSS feed, Atom feed, or URL and converts the blog into an ePub or Mobi file. You are prompted to download this file and also receive a link that you can send to friends. I tested it out with both Lifehacker and Root Simple, one of my favorite gardening and homesteading weblogs.

Security:

Microsoft to release an emergency security patch for Internet Explorer zero day flaw – Microsoft will be releasing an out-of-band patch for the recently-disclosed zero-day hole in Internet Explorer. Find out if you need the patch, and start getting ready now. This one really is critical.

Zero-Day paranoia and modern web browsing – Remote code execution is an end-user nightmare that can be stopped tomorrow, if we enact the appropriate technologies to prevent it.

Oracle releases software update to fix Java vulnerability – Emergency software update repairs vulnerability that could allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code. The update, which is available on Oracle’s Web site, fixes a critical vulnerability in Oracle’s Java 7 that could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code.

An inside look at Internet Explorer 10’s mysterious Flash whitelist – In Windows 8 and especially on Windows RT, your ability to run Flash programs hosted on the web depends on whether a site is included on Microsoft’s Compatibility View list. So what does it take to get added to that list? And what can you do if a favorite Flash-based site won’t work?

Foxit Reader security flaw reportedly allows attack – Foxit Reader, a PDF viewer application often used as an alternative to the more popular Adobe Reader, contains a critical vulnerability in its browser plug-in component that can be exploited by attackers to execute arbitrary code on computers.

Tokenless authentication comes to the cloud – Customers will be able to access cloud solutions, such as Google Apps, Office365 and Salesforce.com, through PasswordBank’s single-sign-on platform, using SMS messages for two-factor authentication. This partnership delivers business-grade security, without requiring users to carry a physical token at all times.

Company News:

BlackBerry 10: The underdog is coming after Windows Phone – Research in Motion has been all but counted out but the imminent launch of BlackBerry 10 may put them back in the smartphone game. Microsoft better be looking over its shoulder.

Apple reportedly cuts iPhone screen orders on weak demand – The Cupertino-based tech giant cut orders of the iPhone 5 screens by roughly 50 percent last month, a possible sign of sagging demand, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

Though absent impressive specs, the Asus Memo 172V ships in April for only $149 – Asus announces its Pad Memo ME172 to compete with the deluge of upcoming low-priced tablets.

HP Tops Lenovo in Weakening PC Market: IDC – Hewlett-Packard defended its position atop the global PC market during the fourth quarter, which disappointed but didn’t surprise, according to research firm IDC. Nearly 90 million PCs shipped during the holiday quarter, IDC reported. The figure represented a 6.4 percent drop from shipments a year earlier and was worse than the 4.4 percent decline IDC expected.

Webopedia Daily:

Targeted Tweets – Enhanced Twitter messages (“tweets”) that enable brands to reach specific people or audiences on Twitter without having to send the Tweet to all followers. Brands and advertisers can compose targeted Tweets using the enhanced Tweet box in ads.twitter.com. Targeted Tweets is a pay service offered by Twitter, however brands will only be required to pay when users engage.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Infographic: Twilight, Hunger Games Top Facebook 2012 Pop Culture Chatter – Facebook users are by no means professional entertainment critics, but their opinions seem to matter to popular culture. So what topped the Facebook collective’s movie and TV list in 2012?

With cable-cutting on the rise, so is mobile streaming live TV – Big, shiny HDTVs are generally among the major stars of CES, and this year is no exception. But in our always-connected lifestyle we’ll occasionally want to take our TV content with us—and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly attractive options.

Magnetic brain stimulation — what can it do for you? – Dumping up to 8000 amps into their coils and driving it home with more than a kilovolt, any of these machines would make one heck of a wireless phone charger. It should come as little surprise that they could have an effect on your brain. The question we must first demand be answered is — what exactly do they do?

Asteroid ‘Apophis’ Won’t Kill Us All in 2036 – The Apophis asteroid will miss its 2029 keyhole, which could have sent the asteroid flying into the Earth years later.

Today’s Quote:

“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”

–    Thomas A. Edison

Today’s Free Downloads:

Hotspot Shield 2.83 – Hotspot Shield creates a virtual private network (VPN) between your laptop and the wireless router. This impenetrable tunnel prevents snoopers and hackers from viewing anything you send over a wireless network.

Scribus 1.4.2 – Use Scribus to design and produce magazines, newsletters, print-advertising, brochures, calendars, and pretty much anything that requires text to look visually appealing on paper. Scribus is also a great tool for authoring PDF documents.

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8 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 14, 2013

  1. Been using my flash drive not just a backup for my important data but also for keeping my important apps.. nice list again Bill.

    Nhick

  2. thedailytechbyte

    Great list of resources. Thanks!

  3. Haha!
    “Five percent of the people think. Ten percent of the people think they think. And the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”

    Gotta love Thomas E! 😀

    I haven’t read everything. Just the first link but very informative! Again Sir, thank you!

    • Hi Sherry,

      I can’t help but wonder, if the stats (eighty-five percent would rather die than think), are as applicable today, as perhaps they were in Thomas E’s day. I suspect that they are. How sad.

      Thank you for visiting – and, taking the time to comment. 🙂

      Best,

      Bill

  4. hipockets

    Hey Bill – I don’t remember where I found this, but EyePro is a neat little utility that reminds you to take “”Short Breaks for your Eyes”. It is customizable and has several good features besides the reminders.

    I have a one track mind [ it’s usually on the wrong track! ] and when I’m at the computer I tend to forget about time. All too often my eyes complained about it.

    Did you know that most people blink 25% less when they are working on their computer? Tends to give you dry eyes.

    EyePro has helped a lot.

    Take a look at http://www.instantfundas.com/2013/01/list-of-online-malware-scanning-services.html .

    It lists five on line scanners, which many of us know about. The neat thing is that is also lists 11 standalones, some of which I did not know about.

    • Hey Hipockets,

      lol! Yep, kind of familiar with the lost track syndrome. EyePro (took a quick look) sounds ideal for we heavy users. So, rather than just provide a link in TNN, I’ve set this up for a full review. Might take as much as 2 weeks or so.

      The online scanners, on the other hand, I’ve linked to for tomorrow’s TTN column – let’s get that out fast. Even so, I’ve pumped this one into the system for a full review as well.

      You’ve been busy – thanks for all this. 🙂

      Best,

      Bill