Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 24, 2013

US government user data requests continue to rise, says Google – The US once again heads Google’s list of governments that request its user data – and nearly 70 percent of requests came without a warrant.

NYPD unveils radiation scanner to catch people with illegal guns – Despite being controversial, the city’s police plan to start using machines that can tell from a distance whether someone is carrying a concealed weapon. Using terahertz machines has been the subject of controversy among civil liberties groups. Not only can authorities “search” individuals without cause, but false positives can also lead to unjustified stops.

Catch Phone Thieves With Lookout Lock Cam – Mobile security firm Lookout on Wednesday began rolling out a new feature for its Android app intended to help users combat phone thieves and prying eyes. The new Lock Cam feature notifies you if anyone tries to access your device, whether it has been stolen or someone is simply trying to snoop on your phone behind your back. Lock Cam uses the front-facing camera on your device to silently take a photo of anyone who enters the wrong password three times into your lock screen.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Must-have apps for photography nuts – Want to get more out of your photography? Your tablet can be a valuable tool in the pursuit of picture perfection. A variety of apps are now available that can expand your camera’s features, and even replace your laptop completely, making it easier to shoot and edit. Whether you have an iPad, an Android tablet, or a Windows 8 tablet, here are our picks for the top 10 apps for photographers. We’ve picked out the best editing, cataloging, collaging, and shooting apps.

6 killer tools for safely managing your data trash – Forgotten downloads and temp files can add up fast, consuming drive space and compromising privacy. It’s time to rethink the Recycle Bin.

Gaming on Linux: A guide for sane people with limited patience – With a little know-how and some simple console commands, you can play PC games on Linux so smoothly that you’ll never need to boot into Windows again.

40+ Cool Ideas for your Raspberry PI Project – So my Raspberry Pi came a few months ago and I have been thinking of projects to use it for, I am still not 100% sure however I have made quite a big list of other projects for some inspiration, which I have included below. (suggested by Writerdood)

Turn a Raspberry Pi into a Personal VPN for Secure Browsing Anywhere You Go – Turn a Raspberry Pi into a Personal VPN for Secure Browsing Anywhere You GoThe tiny, inexpensive Raspberry Pi has a very low power consumption, which makes it a great always-on VPN (Virtual Private Network) server. With a VPN, you’ll get secure access to your home network when you’re on the go and can use it for secure web browsing when you’re on public networks. Here’s how to roll your own VPN with the Raspberry Pi.

Scientists store Shakespeare’s sonnets in DNA – Scientists say they’ve found a comparatively error-free way to store data in DNA, and have already used it to encode Shakespeare’s sonnets and MP3 music files.

How to prevent ‘zombie accounts’ from haunting your digital identity – Zombies are a pervasive cultural theme these days. We have no shortage of zombie-apocalypse movies and literature, and the United States military and the Center for Disease Control even offer tongue-in-cheek zombie-response plans. But there are other zombies that don’t get the attention they deserve—the zombie accounts you have lingering around the Internet.


PayPal Addresses Months-Old SQL Injection Vulnerability, Frozen Accounts – Researchers with Vulnerability Lab today announced mega payment processor PayPal has fixed a flaw on its site that allowed a remote user or a local user with low privileges to compromise a Web application using a blind SQL injection. The vulnerability was first reported to PayPal back in August, according to Softpedia, but the company waited until now to announce a fix.

Employees targeted with fake DocuSign “confidential message” – An email purportedly sent by the DocuSign Electronic Signature Service on behalf of the administrative departments of a wide variety of organizations and businesses is hitting the inboxes of their employees, Bitdefender warns.

Infected Site Spreading SMS Android Malware – The website of a popular watch retailer is reportedly redirecting users that visit the site on Android-based devices to a number of malicious domains serving up premium rate SMS malware. According to a WebRoot report, users that visit the unnamed watch-selling website in Bulgaria are redirected to any number of malicious domains, all controlled by one party, where they are prompted to download the malware in question.

Mega responds to security concerns; promises some changes – Representatives of newly launched file-storage and sharing service Mega addressed some of the concerns raised by security researchers in recent days about the site’s architecture and the implementation of its cryptographic features.

Most exploit kits originated in Russia, say researchers – In reviewing 26 commonly used exploit kits, SERT identified exploit code dating as far back as 2004, serving as evidence that old vulnerabilities continue to prove fruitful for cyber criminals. The fact that 58 percent of the vulnerabilities exploited are over two years old further supports SERT findings that the number of newly discovered and disclosed vulnerabilities has declined since 2010.

DNS attacks increase by 170% – While security organizations have focused their efforts and attention on the pre and post-phases of defense, attackers now launch prolonged attacks that last days or weeks. This has created a vulnerable blind-spot as defenders lack the capabilities and resources to mitigate attacks in the “during” phase which attackers can exploit to their advantage.

The arrival of the post-PC threat era – With the release of its 2012 Annual Roundup and Mobile Security reports, Trend Micro documents how cybercriminals have moved beyond the PC, targeting Android, social media and even the Mac OS X with new attacks. Key to this report is Trend Micro’s documentation of the growing mobile-threat environment and reporting–Android Malware accomplishing in 3 years what PC threats took 14 years to do. What is also concerning is that only 20% of Android device owners use a security app.

Password Cracker Targets Siemens S7 PLCs – This is the latest public blow to the security of SCADA and ICS devices. ICS-CERT recently released a report with some details on malware infections at a pair of power plants. In both cases, USB drives were used as the attack vector to infect control systems with malware.

Company News:

Facebook spent $4 million to lobby U.S. lawmakers in 2012 – The social network is spending millions to advance a pro-Facebook agenda in the nation’s capital. Cue the cynicism.

Kickstarter darling Pebble launches its smart watch – Pebble announced Wednesday that the Pebble smart watch has finally started shipping. The Silicon Valley startup that raised more than $10 million from almost 70,000 investors through the crowd financing website Kickstarter said that fewer than 500 units would be sent Wednesday to the first backers of the project.

Mozilla reveals first Firefox OS smartphones, available to buy in February – Mozilla has unveiled two Developer Preview smartphones that will act as a vanguard ahead of Firefox OS’s consumer release later this year. The phones are being developed by Geeksphone — a Spanish smartphone start-up — and Telefonica, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world (and also Spanish).

UK hits Sony with record fine for ‘avoidable’ PSN hack – Sony’s been fined nearly $400,000 in the UK for the security breach that led to the hacking of its PlayStation Network in April 2011.

Tim Cook Downplays Reports of iPhone Supply Constraints – Apple CEO Tim Cook today downplayed reports that Cupertino had slimmed down orders for iPhone components amidst sluggish demand.

Samsung Passes Apple as Biggest Chip Buyer in 2012 – Together, Samsung and Apple account for 15 percent of semiconductor consumption as orders from Nokia, PC makers drop sharply, Gartner reports.

Facebook Passes Google Maps to Become Top U.S. Mobile App – Facebook ended 2012 on a high note, overtaking Google Maps to become the No. 1 mobile app in terms of unique visitors in the U.S., according to new data from ComScore.

Webopedia Daily:

Microsoft Secure Boot – Microsoft Secure Boot is a component of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system that relies on the UEFI specification’s secure boot functionality to help prevent malicious software applications and “unauthorized” operating systems from loading during the system start-up process. While there is some concern that Microsoft Secure Boot will make it difficult to install Linux or other operating systems on a Windows 8 computer, the secure boot functionality in Windows 8 is primarily designed to protect users from rootkits and other low-level malware attacks by blocking unauthorized (non-signed) executables and drivers from being loaded during the boot process.

Off Topic (Sort of):

You call that Wifi? THIS is Wifi! – NASA Beams Mona Lisa to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at the Moon – The iconic image traveled nearly 240,000 miles in digital form from the Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging (NGSLR) station at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument on the spacecraft. By transmitting the image piggyback on laser pulses that are routinely sent to track LOLA’s position, the team achieved simultaneous laser communication and tracking. (suggested by Michael F.)

Air Force software turns warplanes into wireless routers in the sky – A software upgrade called Net-T effectively turns U.S. military aircraft into giant airborne wireless routers, allowing ground forces to share information with each other and with their allies overhead.

13 PC resellers accused of Windows piracy – Microsoft made the announcement on Tuesday as part of its latest anti-piracy campaign in China. The 13 resellers deal in PC brands including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo, Microsoft said in a statement.

An Evolutionary Irony – What it Neanderthals did not die out due to competition with humans, or lack of resources, or change of climate? What if they died out because of a disease they couldn’t cope with? A virus that just happened to crop up at the right time, and that humans had immunity to – or at least relative resistance – and Neanderthals did not.

Facebook Graph searches: Hooker hunger and other tidbits – A brilliant but disconcerting Tumblr blog captures the embarrassing side effects of a Facebook search engine that finds odd factoids hidden in plain sight.

140 Characters to Follow on Twitter – Twitter demands that you restrict your brilliance, pathos, wit, bon mots, kvetching, and self-promotion to 140 characters at a time. What some see as a limit, others see as a challenge. It’s the latter that we’re celebrating here.

Dvorak: The PC is Not Dead. Yet – Why do people continue to write that the PC is dead? (Even me!) Simply put it’s a cute meme that generalizes the fact that the desktop computer has reached a saturation point. Buying new PCs has finally evolved into the replacement market that was predicted for it back in the 1990’s. It was predicted to first be achieved in 1993 if I remember right. So it took 20 years longer than first anticipated.

Today’s Quote:

“People choose the paths that grant them the greatest rewards for the least amount of effort.”

–     David Shore, House M.D., Pilot, 2004

Today’s Free Downloads:

StudioLine Photo Basic – StudioLine Photo Basic is an easy-to-use yet powerful management and editing software for digital photos. Images can be imported from camera, scanner and all popular file formats.

Free Video call Recorder for Skype – Free Video Call Recorder for Skype is an absolutely free application for recording Skype calls without any limitations. It has a very simple interface.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 24, 2013

  1. “People choose the paths that grant them the greatest rewards for the least amount of effort.”
    Certainly sounds like our Government at work to me.
    Thanks. 🙂