Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 23, 2013

Five ways to hack a better Netflix experience – From better recommendations to integrating Rotten Tomatoes, get the most out of your Netflix subscription with these valuable tips and tricks.

Hone your IT skills with these five web apps – While IT folks are, of course, some of the smartest people on the planet, even we need to keep our skills sharp. There may even be skills we don’t currently have that might make us more useful or perhaps advance our career. I’ve assembled five web apps (with a bonus sixth selection!) that you can use to hone your IT skills as well as make yourself smarter in other business-related areas.

Twitter Beefs Up Embeddable Tweets – Twitter today gave its embeddable tweets a boost, allowing for the display of more information, from article summaries to re-tweet counts.

Five apps to make the BYOD transition easier – Takeaway: Jack Wallen suggests apps that will help make switching between home and office easier.

The Best Prepaid SIM Cards – Want to use an exotic foreign phone? Traveling to the United States? These prepaid GSM SIM cards might be the answer for you.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

15 Windows 8 Tips to Get You Started – Microsoft’s latest operating system can be quite intimidating, if not confusing. Here are some tips you’ll want to know to get the most out of Windows 8.

‘Facebook Envy’ Can Make You Dissatisfied With Life – Do you ever get jealous that your Facebook friends are out living more exciting, successful lives than you? You’re not alone. According to a new study out of Germany, viewing friends’ vacations, love lives, and work successes play out on Facebook can cause negative feelings and actually make people less satisfied with their own lives.

Turn a Raspberry Pi Into an XBMC Media Center in Under 30 Minutes – The best home theater PCs are small, quiet, and inexpensive—so the bite-size, $35 Raspberry Pi is the perfect choice. Here’s how to turn this little DIY board into a cheap, silent media center in just a half hour.

Kim Dotcom takes issue with critics taking issue with his new MEGA service – The party-time news of the past weekend was the launch of Kim Dotcom’s comeback file sharing service, Mega. Crypto critics have already taken issue with some aspects of Mega’s implementation, and Dotcom has taken issue right back at them…

Three Useful Tricks for Organizing Your Messy Windows Taskbar – The Start menu may be gone in Windows 8, but you don’t care—you’ve got a taskbar full of your most commonly used apps. Here are three tips to keeping your taskbar as organized and powerful as possible.

Sign Up for Elder Scrolls Online Beta Test Now – The Elder Scrolls Online is finally opening the doors to Tamriel for beta testing. Game maker ZeniMax Online Studios, in conjunction with Bethesda Softworks, announced Monday that fans can now officially sign up for the beta program, which will begin at a later, undisclosed date.

CPUBoss Helps You Pick the Right Processor for Your Next PC – It’s pretty similar to the advanced search engines you’d find on a site like Newegg, but with some handy additions. Not only can you view all the processors matching your search in an easy to read list sorted by price, type, and rating, but you can even filter by things like “performance per dollar” or “performance per watt,” or even compare two processors side-by-side.

Android dominates holiday sales, except in the U.S. and Japan – Android manufacturers, led by Samsung, held the number one spot for smartphone sales during the holidays across the world, except two key markets: the U.S. and Japan, where Apple is on top.

Security:

Skype becomes a malware minefield – Skype users should be careful when using the service these days. First CSIS researchers unearthed a campaign misusing Skype to replicate and spread the Shylock banking Trojan with a plugin called msg.gsm that, when it was first spotted five days ago, was detected by none of the AV solutions used by VirusTotal. Then this week Trend Micro researchers discovered highly dangerous worms also being propagated via Skype messages containing malicious links.

Twitter bug gives 3rd-party apps access to users’ Direct Messages – A Twitter bug allowed third-party applications to access Direct Messages of users who signed in to the apps by using their Twitter account, reported IOActive researcher Cesar Cerrudo. He discovered the flaw while testing a web application that was still under development, but which allowed users to sign in by using their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Backdoor Trojan disguised as flight confirmation email hits German internet users – German internet users should be on their guard today, after malware was widely spammed out posing as a flight confirmation from Lufthansa.

Storify shows Facebook privacy more illusion than fact – A dustup over the republication of private Facebook status updates on Storify points to how privacy on the social network is relative and users must remain vigilant to avoid getting burned. The online controversy started Friday when the business news site AGBeat reported that a person using Strorify’s Chrome browser extension or bookmarklet could essentially copy and paste private Facebook content.

Spam of the Day – “lovely girl seeks Skype contacts for welding machine hookup” – It’s easy to have too much of a good thing, let alone a bad thing. Nevertheless, despite seeing zillions of messages pouring into our spam collection every hour, we still find ourselves intrigued by the occasional message. We probably shouldn’t say anything that sounds even slightly positive about any of them, but sometimes it’s hard to resist thinking, “That’s got to be the Spam of the Day.”

Company News:

Rumor: Microsoft Enters Dell Buyout Talks – Microsoft is ‘in talks’ with Dell and a private equity firm to discuss investing $1 to $3 billion towards a leveraged buyout of the computer maker, CNBC reports. The talks are being led by Silver Lake Partners and include Dell CEO Michael Dell and a special committee representing Dell shareholders, CNBC reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed source. The news site said “a deal is expected to be reached by the end of the week.”

Intel to Shutter Motherboard Business, Reallocate Resources – Intel today announced that it will shutter its long-standing retail desktop motherboard business after the imminent rollout of 4th generation Intel Core processors (aka Haswell)

Google’s Q4 earnings: Signs of an arms race ahead? – Google’s fourth quarter and 2012 capital expenses may indicate an infrastructure arms race between it and Facebook, not to mention Amazon and others.

Microsoft Surface Pro Coming Feb. 9 – Microsoft today released more solid information on its anticipated Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro, including tech specs, pricing, and availability. Redmond also unveiled a new Surface with Windows RT configuration, as well as a few accessories.

Google boasts 4 billion hours of YouTube viewing per month – The company highlights YouTube numbers during its earnings call, including user views and ad revenues.

Webopedia Daily:

Eucalyptus – An open source cloud computing and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform for enabling private clouds. Eucalyptus takes a company’s existing IT infrastructure and adds a virtualization software layer with scalable, secure Web services that work together to create elastic pools with the ability to dynamically scale depending on the company’s needs.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Foil face-recognition cameras with Privacy Visor – These dorky goggles shine near-infrared light to confuse computer vision systems. Are they the shades of the future?

Infographic: Watching TV? You’re Probably Staring at Multiple Screens – Media consumption is now 90 percent screen-based, whether that’s watching Netflix on your Galaxy Note II, reading an e-book on a Kindle, or flipping through a magazine on your iPad. But the TV is still fighting for viewers’ attention, and most of us give in – with gadgets in tow.

How to participate in the open-government movement – In his first term, President Obama started to make good on his pledge to improve government transparency. But a truly open government depends on citizens actively ensuring that all public agencies share information and respond to feedback.

U.S. government invites hackers to work on ‘Civic Hacking Day’ – Agencies like NASA, Department of Labor, and the Census Bureau will give hackers access to data for a weekend in June in an effort to help the country’s communities.

Today’s Quote:

“In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’ I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.”

–     Stephen Jay Gould

Today’s Free Downloads:

Foto-Mosaik-Edda – With Foto-Mosaik-Edda you can create mosaic-pictures, which are composed of many small pictures (tiles), from your own photos.

Any Video Converter Free – Any Video Converter is an All-in-One video converting tool with easy-to-use graphical interface, fast converting speed and excellent video quality.

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2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 23, 2013

  1. Thanks for another great edition.
    My only comment to the “Open Government” movement was the following:
    “Today’s open Government includes every one except the people Government is supposed to represent.”