Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 31, 2013

Browsers Beat Security Software in Phishing Protection Test – A report released today by Austin-based NSS Labs reveals a surprising result: your browser alone is most likely better at phishing protection than your security suite.

How to monitor and manage your PC from any smartphone or tablet – It’s 2013, and computing has entered a new age of mobility. If you’re still wasting time trudging over to your PCs to perform routine maintenance, check for software updates, and power down every night, you haven’t gotten with the program.

Dice Will Troll the Social Media Profiles of Prospective Employees – Launched today as a beta tool for recruiters already signed up to Dice, the tool combs through a candidate’s online social media presence in order to generate a comprehensive, and more personal, profile of the person a company is considering hiring. According to Dice, the service will scour up to 50 different social networks, including tech-centric sites like Stack Overflow and GitHub, as well as mainstream sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, essentially delivering the most detailed profile a recruiter could hope for, all in one place.

Bang with Friends sex app is on fire – Bang With Friends (BWF) is a sex app that allows users to anonymously hook up with their Facebook friends. And yes, this particular app is on fire as its popularity quickly increases. How does it work? Well, first you sign in with Facebook, pick the friends you want to “bang,” message each other, and then, voila!

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Faster, better, stronger: Get your PC in tip-top shape – With regular maintenance and a bit of effort, it’s possible to keep a Windows system relatively clean and performing at its peak. Some of the things we’re going to cover here may be second nature to long-time PC aficionados, but these tips should come in quite handy for casual users. At the very least they’ll help you keep your system clean, updated, and better protected from potential threats.

Governments increasingly strong-arm Twitter for data – Given that Twitter is based in San Francisco, California, it’s not surprising that most government requests for data originate in the US. In fact, during the second half of 2012, 81% of all information requests worldwide – that’s 815 requests – came from the US. Japan was a distant second, with a total of 62 requests. Brazil was third, with 34 requests. The UK asked for information 25 times.

Mozilla to Require ‘Click to Play’ on Firefox Plugins – Mozilla announced this week that it will require “Click to Play” for all third-party plugins on Firefox, except the most current version of Flash. What that means is that whenever you hit a third-party plugin via the Firefox browser, you will – by default – have to grant the browser permission to access it.

Comodo Firewall – It’s completely free, and it includes a wide range of features beyond the expected. Comodo’s 2013 edition has gotten a serious makeover, with top-to-bottom streamlining of its user interface.In addition to a brand-new interface, the latest version of Comodo Firewall has toned down the behavior blocking popups found in previous versions. It offers a wealth of bonus features including a hardened browser, sandboxing, and secure DNS lookup. Super-techie users will love it; ordinary folks may be a bit overwhelmed.

Fleksy Is an Alternative Keyboard Even the Blind Can Use – iOS: Fleksy is an alternative keyboard with unprecedented predictive text skills. You can type a word completely wrong and it’ll still figure out what you meant. That’s because Fleksy was designed with the blind in mind. The keyboard not only fixes your grievous typing errors, but speaks back the word to you so you know what it thinks you typed. The keyboard only consists of letters, however.

Five network management tools for admins – No matter what your level of expertise, and your network needs, one of these tools should make the gathering of information about your network a simple task. Whether you need a simple, ncurses-based tool, or a full-blown, full-featured GUI, you can find what you’re looking for and not have to spend a single penny.

Google Maps, Street View, and privacy: Try harder, Google – Google has seemingly been decent at maintaining the privacy of passers-by and license plates appearing in Google Maps Street View images, but how good is their privacy algorithm really? Questionable, according to my recent research.

Set up Windows 8 as a home server – Set up your PC as a home or small business server to save time, money and storage space while sharing your data across multiple PCs and mobile devices.


Hacker blackmailed 350 women into stripping on their webcams, FBI says – The FBI has arrested a 27-year-old man, who they claim hacked the accounts of Facebook users, and coerced hundreds of women into stripping while he watched via Skype.

New Ransomware Encrypts Victim Data – An unusual new strain of ransomware makes good on its threat, doing what the majority of other varieties only claim to do. The Trojan actually encrypts data on infected machines, effectively rendering certain files inaccessible to users on compromised computers in order to block removal.

How to fix the UPnP security holes – The US Department of Homeland Security is urging everyone to disable the common networking Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) protocol. This is being done because Rapid7 security researchers have found that tens of million devices worldwide are wide open to attack because of flaws in the network protocol and its implementations.

Google Offers Phone Notifications for Suspicious Activity, Here’s How to Enable Them – If a hacker gets access to your Gmail account, the results could be disastrous. Google has long notified users via email if their account passwords have been changed or there’s a suspicious login attempt, but now you can also set up phone alerts. You’ll find this recently added feature under your Accounts > Security page. To get the text message alerts, add your mobile phone number and just check the two notification boxes. You’ll get a one-time verification code on your phone to finish setting this up.

Printers join fray in network vulnerability landscape – Printers are not the typical paths cybercriminals take into corporate networks. Nevertheless, the devices have become a concern among experts who see them as an ignored weakness in network defenses. Andrew Howard, a U.K. mobile app developer, recently raised the issue of printer security by showing that a “quick, well-crafted Google search” could return 86,800 results for publicly accessible Hewlett-Packard printers.

Malware controls 620,000 phones, sends costly messages – A new discovered malware is potentially one of the most costly viruses yet discovered. Uncovered by NQ Mobile, the “Bill Shocker” (a.expense.Extension.a) virus has already impacted 620,000 users in China and poses a threat to unprotected Android devices worldwide.

New York Times breached by Chinese hackers over four months – Chinese hackers accessed e-mails of reporters and stole employee passwords, with the timing of attacks coinciding with an investigative report on the wealth of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s relatives.

Company News:

Fujitsu develops new data transfer protocol that is 30 times faster than TCP – There are two main data transfer protocols — Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP). If you only had to know one fact about each protocol, it’s that TCP is slower because it takes time to check for errors, and UDP is faster because it doesn’t check for errors as much. Obviously, as shown by both protocols, having to vigorously check for errors limits the speed of a transfer protocol, but Fujitsu has announced that it has found a way to add error-checking into a UDP-like protocol and keep the higher speed.

Goodbye Research In Motion, hello BlackBerry – Research In Motion is changing its name to BlackBerry, a move it hopes will signify a fresh start for the company. The surprise name change, which takes effect immediately, was announced by CEO Thorsten Heins at an event in New York to launch the company’s new BlackBerry 10 operating system and smartphones.

File-sharing site Mega fields 150 copyright infringement warnings – The file-sharing service Mega has fielded 150 copyright warnings since its recent launch as founder Kim Dotcom grows a risky new business while under indictment by U.S. prosecutors for running Megaupload.

Tumblr avoids porn label and adds mature rating to iOS app – After Apple pulled the 500px photo app from iTunes over a porn controversy, it seems Tumblr is doing what it can to avoid the same fate by adding a 17+ age warning to its iPhone and iPad app.

Webopedia Daily:

Server farm – Also referred to as server cluster, computer farm or ranch. A server farm is a group of networked servers that are housed in one location. A server farm streamlines internal processes by distributing the workload between the individual components of the farm and expedites computing processes by harnessing the power of multiple servers. The farms rely on load-balancing software that accomplishes such tasks as tracking demand for processing power from different machines, prioritizing the tasks and scheduling and rescheduling them depending on priority and demand that users put on the network. When one server in the farm fails, another can step in as a backup.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Who’s liable when a self-driving car self-crashes? – States ponder how to write regulations. Automakers offer suggestions on who’s not at fault (guess).

The case against Aaron Swartz: Why we should be concerned – Patrick Lambert looks as the charges facing Internet activist Aaron Swartz before his death. Why were the penalties so severe and how easy would it be for others to get in the same kind of legal trouble?

Physicists create world’s first multiverse of universes in the lab – Researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park and Towson University are reporting that they have created multiple universes inside a laboratory-created multiverse — a world first. Now, you should wonder if any of those universes are real, or are just some sort of simulation.

Check Out Facebook’s NFL Fan Loyalty Map – If you’re an NFL fan in Nassau County, chances are you support the New York Jets. The bad news is that the western tip of Long Island is the only strip of turf in the country where you make up the majority and you’re surrounded on all sides by a sea of Giants, Patriots, Steelers, and Eagles fans.

iPhone users pay highest phone bills – New data shows that 59 percent of iPhone users spend more than $100 per month on their carrier bill, while 56 percent of Windows phone users and 53 percent of Android users pay that much.

New Year’s Day was the biggest ever for Facebook – Users uploaded 600 million photos in one day — the most ever for the social network.

Today’s Quote:

“People will forget what you do. People will forget what you say. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

–      Charlie Coffey

Today’s Free Downloads:

ScanNow for UPnP – The free scanner checks whether your network-enabled devices might be vulnerable to attack through the UPnP protocol. Find out if you might be one of the millions of users at risk through these vulnerabilities and what steps you can take to reduce risk.

EASEUS Todo Backup Free Edition – Protect your PC with EASEUS Todo Backup Home by just a few quick steps. If you lose any files you like or need to go back to an earlier version, don’t worry, you can recover them in time.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

9 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 31, 2013

  1. delenn13

    Exclusive free giveaway of Cyberlink PhotoDirector 3 | Software Deals – CNET

    “Rated 4.5 stars by CNET, Cyberlink PhotoDirector 3 is an easy-to-use photography software for beginners and intermediate users alike. From the moment you import your photos – whether that be via your camera phone or an SD card, you can easily transform your photos into professional-looking photos in just a few clicks. Do you have facial blemishes you want to cover up? This software can do that for you and make those imperfections disappear – just like how they do it for celebrities in magazines. ….

    Best of all, it’s free for a limited time only. The product is normally priced at $149.95, but for 48 hours only, I’m bringing you an exclusive giveaway of Cyberlink PhotoDirector 3, so make sure you grab a free copy for yourself and see how this software can help you easily manage and edit your photos. Just a few housekeeping notes here — this product only works on a PC and as always, you need to submit your email address in order to receive the instructions and the license key. Once you receive this confirmation email, you will need to download the file and enter in the license key you received in that same email. It will then unlock the full features of Cyberlink PhotoDirector 3 for you.”


    (Not in a very good mood. Got letter from my job..After 6 yrs..SEE YA! No nothing..for both of us……Bleh!)

    • Wow Delenn13 – most unhappy news! I’m hopeful that both you and your hubby meet the minimums for UIC, or whatever the “Harper Government” calls it theses days.

      Not at all convinced that your employer has met the minimum standards re: notice etc. I know that you’ll put your investigator’s cap on for that. Let me know if I can help in any way.

      As for Cyberlink PhotoDirector 3 – a very good deal. Picked it up earlier today. A quick and relatively effortless DL.



    • John Bent

      Hi delenn13,

      What an appalling way for an employer to behave. They certainly seem to have fallen well short of the mark morally, even if not legally. I can’t believe you will not have some recourse in law. I wish you both well.

      With regard to Cyberlink, I received vs 1 and 2 free as a result of reviewing the beta versions, and have been very pleased with them. When v3 first came out, they offered it to me at a discount as a “valued customer”. Having been spoiled by using it free for so long I did not take them up on their offer. Now here this freebie comes along. They do say “all things come to he who waits”. Seems you’ve brought it true in this case, so thanks for that.

      Interestingly I note that the download link comes from TrialPay, whose blandishments I’ve resisted for years. Could I have unwittingly signed up for this in my haste? Only time will tell. In the meantime, thanks for the link.


      • delenn13

        @Bill and @John,

        Thanks for the concern. Things look pretty bleak here…As you can see from this video. State of Fort Erie – YouTube We have lost our hospital, the slot and horse track just in the past few years. Lots of factories and many small businesses have gone belly up since I moved here over the past 15 years. We had a 100 employee business close up last week. It went bankrupt in The States.

        With our health situations, we really couldn’t get a “real” job; so we had settled for a part timer subcontracting position at a newspaper that ended up getting bought up when The Toronto Star did. @Bill, I am sure, you living in Toronto you are familiar with the word “Sun”…all I am going to say….Think TV..LOL

        They just told us ALL (just in Fort Erie..not in Niagara falls..etc) that our services were no longer needed. IOW, we aren’t paying you 25 cents a paper…we would rather hire a kid and pay them 12 or less(now I am guessing the amount..but I know it’s mostly kids..) So it’s all about the money and the fact most of us are older, been there longer and did more papers..but we drove…

        Hopefully we can find something ….

        @John Glad you liked the program…I saw the TrialPay thingy..but it seems to just have something to do with Cnet and is Cnet..or I thought. Can’t keep up with name changes and buyouts etc.

        • Hey Delenn13,

          An extremely depressing video. Sadly, the images it depicts are representative of the difficulties facing many of the smaller communities in Ontario.

          There’s no consolation, I know, in recognizing that the difficulties you face, as a family, are being shared by millions of people across this country.

          It would be hard to argue, that there is not a plan afoot, hatched by the Harper Government, to continue to implement policies at the federal level, to drive down wages and to roll back long established workers’ rights. This government is, in effect, mirroring some of the worst employment practices now coming into use by a number of regressive U.S. states. An unconscionable practice by a government elected by less than 40% of eligible voters.

          You’re right of course, that “it’s all about the money.” I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it here – We need an “Arab Spring” in this country. It’s time we beat these bastards down.

          Take to social media – set up a site – get the issues that affect you, out. If you do so, and you need copy – you can count on me to contribute.

          In the meantime, good luck in your job search.



  2. I’ve always wondered how long it would take for someone to come up with an adult app for Facebook “friends”.
    I laughed when I read it. I can’t tell you what my wife said.

    • Come on Bob – ya gotta tell us. lol

      Kinda had the same response here as you – then I realized that I could die with a smile on my face. So, I reactivated my long dormant Facebook account. 🙂

      Man, I’m getting too old to deal with this type of technological “advance.” 🙂



  3. hipockets

    Bill, you might be interested personally in this 24 hour (Feb. 1) giveaway –