Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 21, 2013

Government won’t release memos detailing suspect GPS tracking – When the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a Freedom of Information Act request for an explanation of how the FBI plans to use GPS tracking, the government responded by releasing two heavily redacted memos. Actual information on how the FBI and Justice Department interpret their latitude regarding the ruling isn’t being released.

Best Free Language Learning Apps – Learning a language requires huge investments in both time and money–unless you know where to find high-quality programs that are also free.

Geek 101: Beginners guide to IMAP vs. PoP – While many of the email users of the world are perfectly happy to use their browser based client with whatever the pre-defined rules are for their configuration, it’s important to remember that you have control over how your email travels. The two big methods of email delivery — POP and IMAP — allow you to make sure your email is available the way you want it.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to get started with Google AdWords – What if you built a website and nobody came? Simple answer: Start an ad campaign using Google AdWords. AdWords is a daunting and complex system, but it really isn’t that difficult to start using. Even with a budget of a dollar a day, the service is worth trying to see if you can generate traffic to your site. Here’s how to get started with AdWords in a matter of minutes with minimal fuss.

Kim Dotcom’s Mega Hits One Million Users within 24 Hours – Dotcom himself appears at a larger-than-life press conference to chat all things Mega (and recreate last year’s police raid on his mansion).

Mega users: If you’re hacked once, you’re hacked for life – Pessimists, or perhaps realists, in the security industry say that being hacked is a matter of when, not if. But if you’re a Mega user, do whatever you can to make sure you’re never hacked, because you can’t change your password and you can’t delete your account.

How to fix jerky YouTube video in Google Chrome – Lately I’ve noticed that whenever I play a YouTube video on my PC, it’s jerky. Choppy. Call it what you will—it’s really frustrating. After a little research into the issue, I discovered a fix—one that worked for me. Your mileage may vary, of course, because each system and situation is different, but it’s definitely worth a try if you’re plagued by the same choppy playback in Chrome. Do this…

SortMyBox tidies up messy Dropbox folders – Once you start sharing Dropbox folders with other people, they quickly become unmanageably messy: You, Jane, and John share a folder, and files quickly start popping up. Nobody wants to delete anything, in case one of the other users still needs those files. SortMyBox is a free online tool that might be able to help, but still requires some discipline to use.

Clean up that mess of an inbox – This free Web service helps Gmail and Yahoo Mail users better manage the e-mail subscriptions that litter their inboxes.

How to trick out your gaming PC with multiple graphics cards – The simplest way to make your PC games look better is to buy a better graphics card. If you already have the best graphics card money can buy, the next step is to install a duplicate and make them work together. Most savvy PC users have a machine with a discrete graphics card, but adding a second or even third card and running them together can lead to a big performance boost in demanding PC games.

Edit audio files in Windows with these five apps – Whether you have that killer recorded presentation you need to pare down to a succinct and to-the-point minute-long sound-bite, or whether you have more ambitious goals like creating music and voiceover tracks for training videos, website material, and other content, Windows plays host to numerous audio editors that truly get the job done. Out of all of the ones I have tried up to this point, here are a few that stood out as worthy and brought music to my ears.


Conficker worm reappears – Electronics accessory maker Hama has admitted that a 35mm photographic film scanner sold to German consumers over Christmas came with a software disk infected with the irrepressible Conficker worm. Reported earlier this month but only noticed by eagle-eyed reporters now, the report on Heise Security said that the slide scanner, sold through the Tchibo chain for about £50 (US$79) a shot, loaded the malware when the main executable was run.

Fake Plants vs Zombies and other Android games infiltrate Google Play store, make money for fraudsters – Is Google doing a good enough job of policing apps in the official Android app store? It seems not.

Comparative review: Opera leads in browser anti-phishing protection – According to the most recently released comparative review by, Opera leads competing browsers in anti-phishing protection. Should you make the switch? Not so fast!

Google expands encryption protection in Chrome browser – Google will beef up security in the next release of its Chrome browser (version 25) by encrypting all search queries sent from the software. Currently, only queries sent by searchers logged into a Google account are encrypted by Chrome.

Boutique babycare website hack – not just the Big Guys at risk – Even if you run a tiny website and don’t have much to hide, you (and your customers) are nevertheless at risk from criminals, like the apppositely named @JokerCracker, who openly gives his reason for hacking as, “It’s just a personal challenge.”

1 “terrific employee” + 1 thumb drive + 6,000 lost medical records = fired! – A woman called a “terrific employee” by her boss was fired after downloading 6,000 medical records onto a USB drive that she then lost. Whose fault is it, really? Perhaps if the company had technology in place to prevent the transmission of unencrypted records onto a USB device, the lamentable event wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

Company News:

Instagram Hits 90 Million Monthly Active Users – Instagram is starting to look like one of the best acquisitions ever. Less than six months after being bought by Facebook, the site has more than 90 million active users.

IBM to Deliver Solid Q4 2012 Earnings: Analyst – IBM is expected to deliver another solid quarter, driven by software, services and a rise in hardware, according to a preview from investment firm Sterne Agee.

Dell readies for a post-PC future with Android-powered stick computers – As they cast about for their new direction, the first in what is sure to be a long series of interesting possibilities is Project Ophelia, the first major corporate foray into the field of tiny personal computers. And it starts at $50.

Sony sells its US headquarters – Sony will sell its U.S. headquarters to raise US$685 million in cash, parting ways with an iconic New York building it has occupied for 20 years. The Japanese electronics manufacturer, which has sworn to return to profitability after a record loss last year, said it will move out of the Sony Tower within the next three years.

Webopedia Daily:

Textual harassment – Using a mobile phone to repeatedly send unsolicited text messages to another person. The text messages may be a form of sexual harassment, abuse or bullying via text. Victims of textual harassment can request their cellphone provider to block texts (and calls) coming from a specific number, but with the capability to text from computer, the perpetrator could still send harassing text messages to the victim’s mobile phone.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Australian govt rakes back $725 from eBay sellers on welfare – The Australian Department of Human Services has collected just AU$725 back in a trial to recoup money from Australians using eBay to supplement their welfare payments.

Is your landlord after your electronics? – A lease agreement for an apartment building in Houston has a clause that declares “no use of electronics in common areas.” Does this sound a little extreme?

Ten Oddball Job Interview Questions – In a recent slideshow, we revealed real-life bizarre behaviors of job candidates during interviews. Well, turnabout is fair play, isn’t it? With that in mind, Glassdoor, a career/recruitment community site, presents the following 10 oddball questions that corporate interviewers asked potential new hires.

Power to the people: Crowdsourcing in politics – Never before have political leaders been able to converse so immediately and directly with the unwashed masses (aside from handshaking and baby-kissing on the campaign trail). Today, elected officials and media outlets use social media accounts and interactive Web tools to solicit suggestions on important policy issues. So how has Internet crowdsourcing changed political discourse? Well, to start, there’s the little matter of a Death Star…

Cheap PCs are the present and future of Windows – A new slice of data highlights the incredible diversity of the PC ecosystem. Thousands of unique PC models are running Windows 8 and RT. What does it mean that the top slots on the sales charts are dominated by cheap, generic Windows notebooks?

Today’s Quote:

“It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one’s neighbor.”

–    Eric Hoffer

Today’s Free Downloads:

Rainmeter 2.5.1767 Beta – Rainmeter is a desktop customization platform. Through Rainmeter, you can enhance your Windows computer at home or work with skins.

Windows Essentials Codec Pack 4.4 – With Windows Essentials Codec Pack you should be able to play 99% of all movies and music files that you download off the internet, stay up to date with the latest Codecs with the Audio / Video Codec Update Service, and eliminate the many conflicts and error caused by using multiple codecs to decode the same file types.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 21, 2013

  1. Thanks again. I thought one of your recommendations warranted the creation of a YouTube tutorial
    Fixing a playback problem in Youtube

    • Fantastic Bob!!!

      A very easy to understand walk-through. Good advice on launching Task Manager – we must have the same DNA. 🙂

      I’ll reference this in tomorrow’s TNN, and link back to YouTube.

      Thanks for this.



  2. Michael Fisher

    Hi Bill. This Tech Thoughts [21st Jan] doesn’t appear in my Google Reader as per usual. Strange…

    • Michael Fisher

      But, now it’s there in Google Reader when I click on my subscription to your site [it wasn’t earlier] & It shows up as “unread” by me. This hasn’t happened for any of my other more than 100 subscriptions. I have never seen this behaviour before. Must be the drugs…

    • Hi Michael,

      Took a look at the Blog settings and nothing has changed. Took a look around the Net for a little info – no dice. Mostly gobbledygook (spelling?).

      Took a look at all my feeds (have a bunch I use for backup), including Reader. All updated properly.

      Not much help – sorry. 🙂



      But, I did notice that the AOL

      • Michael Fisher

        I reckon that Eric Schmidt has decided it’s payback time Bill. Watch your back 🙂

        P.S. Your AOL comment seems to be incomplete

        • Hi Michael,

          Nah, Eric’s a good lad. Ask Kim Jong-un. 🙂

          Sorry about that – was going to say that the AOL link to the RRS feed, appears to be no longer working.