Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 18, 2013

Americans turn to Dr. Internet before doctor’s office – You can’t stop coughing. Your forehead feels perilously warm. Could it be a run-of-the-mill cold, or something more sinister? After furiously typing symptoms into Google and scouring WebMD for answers, the despair seeps in. Diagnosis: Tuberculosis. Prognosis: Almost certain death. Disclaimer: You are not a doctor.

MediaFire’s new Android app comes with 50 GB of free storage – Just like its desktop counterpart and iOS apps, MediaFire for Android comes with 50 GB of free storage. It lets you upload files using the built-in file browser or using a gallery view for photos and videos. Users can send files to other apps, view certain types of files directly within the app, and get links to their files for sharing with other users. There’s also a built-in camera for taking photos and videos and uploading them directly.

SSDs vs. hard drives vs. hybrids: Which storage tech is right for you? – In times past, choosing the best PC storage option required merely selecting the highest-capacity hard drive one could afford. If only life were still so simple! The fairly recent rise of solid-state drives and hybrid drives (which mix standard hard drives with solid-state memory) have significantly altered the storage landscape, creating a cornucopia of confusing options for the everyday consumer.

Playboy Fined for ‘Failing to Protect Children’ Online – U.K. regulators handed down a £100,000 fine against Playboy for “failing to protect children” from pornographic online material. According to competition regulator Ofcom, Playboy failed to adequately secure access to Playboy TV and Demand Adult. The sites “allowed users to access hardcore videos and images without having acceptable controls in place to check that users were aged 18 or over,” Ofcom said.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How Straight Talk’s TOS Makes Most iPhone Users Criminals – Are you tempted by Walmart and Straight Talk’s promotion of “unlimited” iPhone 5 service? Unfortunately, it’s too good to be true, and the situation is even worse than reported: almost every iPhone 5 user could be violating Straight Talk’s terms of service.

Bing Search Boosts Facebook Friends’ Integration – Microsoft today revealed an update to its Bing search engine that adds more information from Facebook friends — five times more content, according to the Bing blog.

Lawmaker: Mobile users should be able to delete data – The proposed bill would require mobile apps to give users notice of the information they collect and obtain consent before collecting personal data. In addition, the proposal would allow mobile app users to tell the developer they have stopped using the app and want data collection to stop. App developers would have to delete any personal data collected “to the extent practicable,” according to the text of the proposal.

Meet ‘Consort,’ a brand-new classic Linux desktop – There seems to be no end in sight to the enduring popularity of the classic GNOME 2 Linux desktop, and this week afforded yet more evidence. Following hard on the heels of the launch last week of the classically minded Fuduntu 2013.1, the SolusOS Linux project on Wednesday launched a new fork of GNOME Classic.

Who can buy Office 2013 for $9.95? – Microsoft today added Office 2013 to the Home Use Program (HUP), which lets employees of some companies and organizations buy the new suite for $9.95.

I’m real. Are you? It’s getting harder to tell on the Internet – Famous Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o’s “girl-friend” was a hoax. “Bob” held down several real-world jobs while out-sourcing his work to China. And, “Robin Sage” fooled top security officials until her creator revealed she was a fake. It’s getting harder than ever to say who’s really “real” on the Internet.

Want a fake Facebook girlfriend? Here’s how to get one – There’s nothing worse on Facebook than appearing to be unloved. So a Brazilian site offers to create a perfect, but entirely fake, girlfriend for you.


Bogus “Payroll Declined” emails deliver malware – A malicious email campaign impersonating the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) – a service offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that allows taxpayers to make tax payments either online or via telephone – has been recently spotted by GFI. With “Payroll Declined” in the subject line, the email’s goal is to spur recipients into verifying the reason behind this and to thoughtlessly follow the offered link.

Malware attack! “You have received a secure message” – SophosLabs is intercepting a widespread malware attack, spammed out via email, posing as a secure message. The emails, which have the subject line of “You have received a secure message”, attempt to trick recipients into opening an attached ZIP file. However, contained inside the ZIP file – – is a Trojan horse that Sophos products detect as Troj/Zbot-DPM.

Anonymous launches attack on Mexico’s Defense Department – Announcing its support of the Zapatista National Liberation Army, the hacking collective hit the government’s defense Web site with a DDoS shutdown.

Many Fed smartphones have zero password protection – In addition to password protection issues, 85 percent of Federal employees have downloaded an app to their personal smartphone or tablet, which opens a device to more risk for attacks. Security needs for mobile devices are apparent; according to a recent GAO report, malware attacks directed at mobile devices increased by 185 percent in less than a year.

Company News:

Instagram claims it’s not losing users – Instagram has started releasing its usage figures following reports that the photo sharing site was hemorrhaging users over privacy concerns.

Intel sales, profits slide for 2012, but data center business growing – Intel saw sales and profits drop in 2012, as the company was hit by a slide in demand for personal computers and its continued inability to make it big in the smartphone and tablet markets, but its data center business continued to grow. The world’s biggest chip maker reported revenue of $53.3 billion for the year, down 1.2 percent compared with 2011, and posted net income of $11 billion, down 15 percent.

Samsung’s secret weapon in the mobile wars: Tizen – Meet the next mobile operating system getting a broad swath of support from industry players such as Sprint Nextel, NTT Docomo, and Intel.

Graph Search augurs Age of Enlightenment for Facebook – The newly unveiled, and still very beta, Graph Search marks the start of the next major phase in Facebook’s history, and a path to Google-like revenue.

Intel prepares to use lasers, light to shuffle data between computers – Intel is taking the first steps to implement thin fiber optics that will use lasers and light as a faster way to move data inside computers, replacing the older and slower electrical wiring technology found in most computers today.

This Google patent application had us at ‘laser keyboard’ – Google applies for a patent that could let Project Glass project a keyboard onto your arm.

Webopedia Daily:

Tablet commerce (t-commerce) – In ecommerce terminology, tablet commerce (t-commerce) is a mobile commerce strategy that focuses on designing and developing ecommerce websites and related processes to improve the browsing and shopping experience on tablet devices.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google claims no donkey was harmed in Street View dustup – Google says no donkey was harmed in response to rampant rumors that one of Google’s Street View fleet flattened a mule on a dusty Botswana road. In a Google Lat Long blog post titled ” Never ass-ume” on Wednesday, Kei Kawai of Google Maps, tried to put the rumors to rest.

Dvorak: Beware of Chromebooks in the Classroom – Lenovo’s new ThinkPad X131e Chromebook is made for students but will end up distracting kids from learning about computing.

War of words continues over Cisco Linksys router access exploit – Stories of a vulnerability in Cisco Linksys consumer routers have been circulating in the past week. The stories have now turned into a low-key war of words.

What is 4K? Next-generation resolution explained – If you keep track of next-generation TV technology, you’re going to start hearing a lot more about 4K or Ultra HD. Here’s what it is and why it exists.

E-commerce will make the shopping mall a retail wasteland – There is a sickness in brick and mortar retail, and we need to understand what is causing it.

Party official in China fired after jilted lover posts details online – A Chinese Communist Party policy adviser is fired for leading an “improper lifestyle” after his former lover posts 120,000 words about their supposed affair. “I felt frisky” is merely one line.

Intel CEO: The PC is shape-shifting into a tablet – Intel’s CEO did his best to try to hammer home that the PC will do everything a tablet can do — and more.

Today’s Quote:

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

–    John Cassis

Today’s Free Downloads:

BleachBit 0.9.5 – BleachBit deletes unnecessary files to free valuable disk space, maintain privacy, and remove junk. Rid your system of old clutter including cache, cookies, Internet history, localizations, logs, temporary files, and broken shortcuts.

Tweak-SSD 1.0.6 – The original Tweak-SSD. Does not require any user knowledge when it comes to activating SSD related system tweaks. Compared to competitive products, Tweak-SSD does not require any user knowledge when it comes to activating SSD related system tweaks. The included wizard guides the user from one tweak to the other and suggests the best setting by intuitive red-green switch buttons, and an additional system status gauge visualizing the system’s optimization status.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 18, 2013

  1. My wife and I will be celebrating our 53 Anniversary on March 1.
    This is something I wrote for her some years ago:
    “A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.”
    The picture to go with that saying can be found at:

    We’ve done a lot of hand holding through the years and by now, our lives beat as one heart. Life hasn’t always been easy but God has always been good. I learned a long time ago that giving is always better than receiving. Usually, the more you’re willing to give, the more you wind up receiving.
    The secret is to give freely not expect anything in return.

    • Hi Bob,

      Congratulations to you and to your wife! Given the societal pressures that make it more difficult than ever for couples to stay together, that is a notable accomplishment.

      “The secret is to give freely not expect anything in return” – a perspective I wish I’d been exposed to much earlier on life’s journey.

      Tomorrow’s quote – “A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.” Thank you for that.

      Great pic, BTW.