Monthly Archives: February 2013

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 28, 2013

Panacea or pariah: Five PC cleanup utilities put to the test – To save you the trouble of finding the best cleaup utility yourself, we rounded up five free PC cleanup utilities for the purposes of this article: SlimWare Utilities’ SlimCleaner, Piriform’s CCleaner, COMODO System Utilities, Ashampoo WinOptimizer, and PCBooster. All of these utilities claim to be able to purge junk data from a system and improve performance, but they’re not all created equal.

How to check and configure your browser plugins – Patrick Lambert offers some basic tips on how to check web plugins in four major browsers.

Five enterprise-ready antivirus systems – In this edition of Five Apps, we take a look at five enterprise grade antivirus systems that fall just under that handful of major players. These five systems are among the myriad of systems available. The only requirement is that there is a centralized management console to manage and control the client-side software.

Student sets up video sting, allegedly catches teacher – Using two cell phones set to record video — to ensure all angles are covered — a high school student lies in wait to catch an alleged backpack thief. There is a surprise.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Wireless Connections Creep Into Everyday Things – A car that tells your insurance company how you’re driving. A bathroom scale that lets you chart your weight on the Web. And a meter that warns your air conditioner when electricity gets more expensive. Welcome to the next phase of the wireless revolution.

Urine sample app lets users detect diseases with iPhones – No, Uchek doesn’t involve peeing on a smartphone — but it does help people find out if they have diabetes, urinary tract infections, and more.

How to survive inevitable cloud failures – Most of my work is stored in SkyDrive. I coordinate story assignments with coworkers using Google Docs, and live the rest of my life in Gmail, Evernote, HipChat, and Pixlr. Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, let’s turn to the nasty. Several incidents during the past week drove home a bleak realization: Yes, the cloud is flexible and powerful and paradigm-shattering—but you just can’t rely on it completely.

eBay Just Gave Itself Permission to Robocall Users – Effective immediately for new members, and on March 26 for existing members, eBay has permission to send you robocalls and text messages for marketing and promotional reasons.

Photoshop touches down on some phones – When you want more than quick filters and fixes for your photos, Photoshop Touch for phone is your next stop.

Linus Torvalds speaks out with a Secure Boot plan – The ongoing “Secure Boot” saga has already caused no end of controversy in the Linux community over the past eighteen months or so, but the vitriol that’s been made apparent so far pales in comparison with that evident in a recent debate on the Linux kernel developer mailing list.

Pandora caps free mobile listening at 40 hours a month – Streaming radio service blames rising royalty costs to blame for the new limit on nonpaying listeners.

Expanded Gmail field trial brings calendar results to search – Participants in Google’s personalized search experience can now see results from Google Calendar.

What is LTE? – Think you have a pretty good understanding of LTE? This article takes a deep look into how LTE can be deployed, why LTE is easily deployable, how LTE works as a radio technology, the types of LTE, how LTE affects battery life, what carriers will do with LTE, and the future of 4G as a whole.


Rihanna sex video event scam spreads on Facebook – Be on your guard if you see any of your Facebook friends post a message about an alleged Rihanna sex video:

Researchers discover new global cyber-espionage campaign – Security researchers have identified an ongoing cyber-espionage campaign that compromised 59 computers belonging to government organizations, research institutes, think tanks and private companies from 23 countries in the past 10 days.

Security breaches remain undiscovered and unresolved for months – At RSA Conference 2013 in San Francisco, Solera Networks announced the results of the Ponemon Institute’s 2013 report, “The Post Breach Boom,” which revealed that organizations are unprepared to detect data breaches and contain them.

3 out of 4 infosec pros unsure they would spot a breach – The good news is that despite the erosion of IT professionals’ overall confidence, respondents from organizations that have deployed next generation firewalls (NGFW) and SIEM technologies are three-and-a-half times (3.5X) more confident in their ability to detect key breach indicators. The bad news is that an alarming 75 percent of respondents lack confidence in their ability to recognize key indicators of a breach.

RSA: Imperva Seeks Balance in the Data Protection Force – Imperva’s chief technology officer, Amichai Shulman, figures businesses are just going to have to learn to live with malware infections. The number and variety of devices on organizational networks are growing exponentially, giving attackers more points of entry than ever before, and it’s impossible for the white hats to keep up.

Company News:

Samsung Wallet to take on Passbook as Google dallies – Samsung is creating its own Wallet service that will let users store event tickets, boarding passes, coupons, and membership cards on their phones. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Apple already provides this kind of service, called Passbook, on the iPhone. Samsung’s version is eerily similar—there’s even a stack of multicolored tickets on the icon—and behaves in the same way.

PayPal Heading to Coinstar Machines – The next time you need to withdraw money from your PayPal account, you might be able to simply head over to your local Coinstar machine. Coinstar on Wednesday announced that it has begun rolling out PayPal functionality on select self-service coin-counting kiosks. The rollout began this month in Texas, Northern California, and Ohio and will continue at select kiosks throughout the year, Coinstar said.

Ubuntu Touch beats Firefox OS to win best of MWC from CNET – Our team judges Canonical’s new mobile OS to be the most exciting thing at Mobile World Congress, with Mozilla’s software as runner-up.

iPhone sales at Leap Wireless are half of what was forecast – The prepaid mobile carrier is having a tough time getting Apple’s smartphones off its hands.

Intel takes on ARM in low-cost Android tablet market – One of the first low-cost Android tablets with an Intel x86 processor was announced at Mobile World Congress, setting the stage for a long battle between the world’s largest chip maker and ARM, whose processors go into most tablets today.

Webopedia Daily:

openSUSE – An open source Linux operating system distribution developed and supported by the openSUSE Project. openSUSE is freely available for download, and the most recent “stable” release of openSUSE, openSUSE 12.2, debuted in September 2012 with new features like KDE 4.8, GNOME 3.4, GRUB 2 and XFCE 4.10. The openSUSE Project is sponsored by SUSE, which had been owned by Novell since 2003, but SUSE currently operates as a standalone business unit following The Attachmate Group’s acquisition of Novell in 2011. openSUSE branches also serve as the basis for SUSE Linux Enterprise releases.

Games and Entertainment:

Bad Piggies App Update Adds 30 Levels, New Time Trials – Rovio today catapulted a Bad Piggies app update to iOS and Android users, adding features that take the popular characters to new heights.

Real Racing 3 brings the horsepower, but the freemium model prevents perfection – Real Racing 3 is finally here and it definitely lives up to the hype. But in going with a freemium model, EA has put in time delays that make this otherwise excellent racer less than perfect.

Chrome Super Sync Sports Turns Gadgets Into Game Controllers – Google just launched another reason to be glued to your computer screen: Chrome Super Sync Sports. The Web application syncs any smartphone or tablet running the Chrome app with a corresponding computer, turning your device into a handheld controller.

Netflix Launches First-Ever ‘Flixies’ Awards – Netflix has debuted “The Flixies” awards, designed to celebrate “the ways you really watch Netflix

EA wants one user identity to rule them all – Electronic Arts (EA) is reportedly preparing to roll out a service that will enable gamers to employ a single user identity across multiple platforms.

Sony Discounts Gamers’ Favorite Titles of 2012 – If you missed out on some of the most popular games of 2012, then now might be the perfect opportunity to check them out. Sony on Tuesday announced the winners of its third-annual PSN Gamers’ Choice Awards, and is offering steep discounts on the best games of 2012.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Engineers use smartphone components to stream video from an eagle’s back – Smartphones, it seems, can do anything. So, when researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits were asked to come up with a camera that could be mounted on an eagle to get a literal bird’s-eye view of its life, they too turned to a cell phone. But you can’t exactly tape a smartphone to a bird’s back.

Brampton boy develops app for iPhone – Tanmay Bakshi is only 9, but he’s been programming and learning code since he was in senior kindergarten.

The first 3D-printed plastic car is as strong as steel and half the weight – Cars are big and heavy, and that means they use a lot of energy while traveling. It’s easy to understand why these behemoths have traditionally been so weighty, though: It takes countless parts to make a modern car, and it’s mostly made out of steel for structural stability. That’s all changing, however, now that large-scale 3D-printing is becoming a reality

Illegal music file sharing drops significantly since 2011 – The number of people using peer-to-peer (P2P) services to download music fell by 17% last year, compared to 2011. That’s according to the NPD Group’s Annual Music Study 2012, released yesterday.

Industrial sapphire might be your next smartphone display – Sapphire could someday be used in some smartphone displays instead of the toughened Gorilla Glass popular today. In this case, however, it would be man-made sapphire, not the rare blue gemstone that is taken from ground and used in jewelry.

Are Smartphones ‘Emasculating’? Google’s Brin Thinks So – ‘You’re standing around and just rubbing this featureless piece of glass,’ Sergey Brin tells TED crowd — but how that unmans a fellow wasn’t entirely clear.

Today’s Quote:

“The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”

–      Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s Free Downloads:

Clonezilla – You’re probably familiar with the popular proprietary commercial package Norton Ghost. Well, now there is an Open Source clone system (OCS) solution called Clonezilla with unicasting and multicasting! 64 bit only.

Cloudfogger – Cloudfogger provides free file encryption for Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive and Others. You don’t have to worry about your privacy, your provider or lost devices any more.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 27, 2013

Your SmartPhone Stores Every Keystroke You Ever Typed – There’s an application that can record every keystroke you’ve ever typed on your smartphone, even an iPhone. It’s not a sinister Trojan, or an evil keylogger. It’s simply the database that the phone draws on to supply AutoComplete results. You can’t dig in and see the keystrokes yourself, but at the RSA Conference security vendor StrikeForce Technologies demonstrated that external software can read back that database and thus read out every text or email you’ve sent and, more important, every password you’ve typed.

Privacy group: Google sharing too much personal info with developers – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the California Office of the Attorney General should investigate Google’s Wallet service for sharing app buyers’ personal information with app developers, a privacy group said. Reports this month that Google Wallet is sharing customer information with app developers is the latest in a long line of privacy violations, said Consumer Watchdog, a frequent critic of Google privacy practices.

Internet Explorer 10 lands on Windows 7 – After nearly two years of tinkering and testing, Microsoft has officially released Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7. Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 requires you to have at least Service Pack 1 installed. Microsoft offers direct downloads of the browser in 95 languages, though the company will automatically upgrade Windows 7 users to the new browser in the coming weeks via Windows Update.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google launches Facebook-like sign-in button – Google’s taking a leaf out of Facebook and Twitter’s book with the launch of Google+ Sign-In, which allows users to log into web sites using their Google+ credentials.

Home networking explained, Part 4: Wi-Fi vs. Internet – CNET editor Dong Ngo explains the difference between Wi-Fi and (wireless) Internet and answers frequently asked questions on connectivity matters.

Create a hardware encrypting USB with your own Linux OS – Secure Pocket Drive is a secure trusted endpoint that augments a worker’s desktop and provides a secure computing environment on the Internet or for cloud computing applications. The SPD Build Your Own Linux Program includes a set of unique SPD Linux Builder Utilities, which gives users the ability to create and manage their own personal, portable, and secure Linux operating environment.

Why do we blame games for real-world violence? – There’s little evidence that fantasy violence leads to real-world violence. Yet we continue to make that connection, as a new Harris Poll survey indicates.

Qualys FreeScan service expanded with vulnerability scanning and configuration auditing – Delivered via the QualysGuard Cloud Platform, FreeScan is used by organizations all over the world to quickly test online whether their computers, networks, web sites, and web applications are at risk from the latest threats.

Online cyber security career-simulation platform – LifeJourney, the new online career-simulation platform that lets students and jobseekers test-drive careers in cyber security and gain exposure to the skills they’ll need to achieve their dreams, premiered yesterday at RSA Conference 2013 in San Francisco. LifeJourney enables leading cyber security companies to become role models for millions of students and others interested in understanding careers across the industry. Using the LifeJourney platform, companies can showcase their star talent and transform their technologies into virtual experiences, “field trips,” that let someone live a day in the life of an actual cyber security professional.

Yahoo CEO’s Future: A Telecommuter Mutiny – CEO Marissa Mayer’s latest edict is a ridiculous ban on telework, despite the fact that she should be making Yahoo even more virtual, not less. It’s going to blow up in her face.


The FTC says identity theft retains its throne as No.1 consumer scourge – The Federal Trade Commission’s annual look at its Consumer Sentinel Network database of complaints found that 2012 was the first year the agency got more than 2 million complaints overall. And, has been true for the past 13 years, Identity theft was the top consumer complaint the commission received. Eighteen percent or 369,132 of 2012’s complaints were related to identity theft. Of those, more than 43% related to tax- or wage-related fraud, the agency stated.

Adobe patches Flash again as Firefox users are under attack – Adobe is urging users to update their Flash Player for the third time this month, as once again the company is aware of vulnerabilities being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks.

StopTheHacker Expands Antivirus Scanning for Websites – StopTheHacker is a service that scans your website for malware and precisely identifies the infection. You can use its information to edit out the exact malicious lines of code that were injected into your website’s files, but most users will rely on the product’s automated malware removal. At $20 per month for a daily scan, the service isn’t too expensive. Jensen pointed out that you might pay $100 per hour to have an expert remediate an infestation, and pay again if the problem happens again.

Traveling to a conference? 8 security tips to keep top of mind – Conference season 2013 is on. While events like these can be great for networking and mindsharing, there can be computer security dangers lurking about. We’ve pulled together 8 IT security tips to help you stay ahead of the game.

Corporate data loss hits highest levels since 2008 – Data loss attacks affected more than one billion people in the last five years and more than 60 percent of those incidents were the result of hacking, says The Data Loss Barometer report from KPMG that analyzed incidents since 2005 across industries, types of data loss and global regions. According to the report, data loss threats have risen substantially with the use of mobile devices for business purposes and personally identifiable information continues to be the top data loss type.

Stuxnet’s earliest known version sheds light on the worm’s development – Symantec researchers have discovered an older version of the infamous Stuxnet worm that caused the disruption at Iran’s nuclear facility in Natanz: Stuxnet 0.5. Stuxnet 0.5 is, as of now, the oldest Stuxnet version to be analyzed by security researchers, and this analysis shed some light on how the threat first came to be.

Company News:

Facing legal threats in Sweden, The Pirate Bay divides and multiplies – With Anti-piracy groups closing in on The Pirate Bay’s Swedish haven, the world’s most infamous file sharing site did what any good pirate would do: Cut and run for more welcoming shores. As of Tuesday, The Pirate Bay no longer relies on the Swedish Pirate Party for its Web hosting services. That duty has been handed off to the Pirate Parties of Norway and Spain.

Stonesoft updates its free advanced evasion testing tool – At RSA Conference 2013 in San Francisco, Stonesoft released Evader 2.01, an updated version of their advanced evasion software testing tool. Evader 2.01 provides organizations with a free tool that can be used to test their network’s ability to withstand advanced evasion techniques (AETs). It includes a new graphical user interface to improve usability and the tool supports multiple evasion techniques and can be used in any test environment.

HP’s Whitman: ‘We’re shifting resources from PCs to tablets’ – “The market moved very fast to tablets and smartphones, and we’ve got to now manage that transition,” says Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman.

Morpho’s software will soon bring high-end camera features to smartphones – Imaging technology once reserved for high end cameras might be coming to smartphones with new software from Japan’s Morpho. The company has developed an image stabilization system for high-definition video and a background defocus feature for smartphone cameras. Morpho has partnered with device makers and the features should be shipping on smartphones early next year.

CloudLock unveils Community Trust Rating – CloudLock unveiled the Community Trust Rating as part of its Cloud Information Security Suite at RSA Conference 2013.

China’s Tencent looking at U.S. opportunities for WeChat app – Chinese Internet giant Tencent is eyeing the U.S. mobile Internet market with its popular WeChat product, a messaging app that lets users send messages, voice recorded notes, and pictures to friends on the service.

Webopedia Daily:

Tax software – Tax software is defined as a type of computer software designed to help individuals or companies prepare for and file income, corporate and similar tax returns. Tax software streamlines the process of filing taxes by walking the user through tax forms and issues and also automatically calculates the individual’s or company’s tax obligations. Many personal tax software applications are now available in the traditional physical box software format (retail software) as well as in hosted online service (SaaS) formats.

Games and Entertainment:

Syder Arcade for Android: A unique spin on side-scrolling shooters – Syder Arcade’s unique gameplay makes it a worthwhile buy for fans of old-school, spaceship-themed side-scrolling shooters.

Console Wars 2013: Sony PS4 and its competitors – It’s not just Microsoft and Nintendo looking to take down the PlayStation this year.

Naughty Dog Launches Free-to-Play Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Version – Game maker Naughty Dog today released a free-to-play multiplayer version of its popular PlayStation 3 third-person shooter Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

Entertainment producers decry broadband data caps – Writers and producers of video content see the Web as a way to bypass the gatekeepers at large entertainment companies and market their products straight to their fans. However, data caps limit their ability to reach new audiences, representatives of the Writers Guild of America West and the YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diariessaid during a U.S. communications policy forum hosted by digital rights group Public Knowledge.

Zynga Boston team starts new mobile-gaming studio – The new studio, known as Proletariat, announced its upcoming title, Letter Rush, which will offer an arcade-like spin on word-find.

More of Telltale’s Walking Dead on the way soon – We may see more of the interactive zombie adventure serial earlier than anticipated.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Human hearing beats sound’s uncertainty limit, makes MP3s sound worse – Not Heisenberg’s, Fourier’s. Knowing how it’s beaten may help us encode music. (suggested by Michael F.)

Canada orbits suitcase-size camera to hunt asteroids – With its small telescope, the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite is looking for space rocks that could devastate our planet.

Android phone blasts into space aboard satellite – A 2010-vintage HTC Nexus One is the brains of a satellite launched into orbit Monday by the Indian Space Research Organization, dubbed STRaND-1. STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research, and Nanosatellite Demonstrator), which weighs around 8 pounds, is the brainchild of UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, which designed the satellite both as a way to gauge how consumer-grade electronics would perform in space and to demonstrate pulsed-plasma thruster use on similar “nanosatellites.”

Tech companies: Gay marriage ban is bad for business – Companies such as Apple, Facebook, eBay, and Intel will add their support in the legal fight against bans on same-sex marriage, Fortune reports.

100,000+ Americans demand legal right to unlock phone – On January 26, US citizens lost the right to unlock their mobile phones. On Thursday, a requisite number of disgruntled people had demanded that the administration examine the issue of giving them back that right.

The ‘sexiest meal’: what a character’s breakfast reveals about them – From James Bond’s boiled eggs to Queequeg’s beefsteak, the first bite of the day is one of literature’s less celebrated themes. (suggested by Michael F.)

The top 10 unintentionally worst company URLs – Everyone knows that if you are going to operate a business in today’s world you need a domain name. It is advisable to look at the domain name selected as other see it and not just as you think it looks. (suggested by Richard J.)

Feds strike a deal with alleged illegal streaming site operator – While it seems like the Department of Homeland Security is cracking down on all Internet pirates, it’s letting one alleged sports streaming site operator off the hook.

Today’s Quote:

“We plan, we toil, we suffer – in the hope of what? A camel load of idols’ eyes? The title deeds of Radio City? The empire of Asia? A trip to the moon? No, no, no, no. Simply to wake up just in time to smell coffee and bacon and eggs.”

–       J B Priestley

Today’s Free Downloads:

Wise Data Recovery – Have you ever deleted some useful files by mistake? Have you ever regretted to remove some files which you want to use later? Have you ever lost some private data as the consequence of a sudden PC crash? Let Wise Data Recovery help you!

Wise Registry Cleaner – Wise Registry Cleaner scans the Windows registry and finds incorrect or obsolete information in the registry. By fixing these obsolete information in Windows registry, your system will can work better and more quickly.

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How Solid Ink Technology Can Revolutionize Workplace Sustainability

Think you know ink? In this guest author article, you’ll get an introduction to an old “new” technology – Solid Ink.

imageAlthough Solid Ink technology is far from a brand-new concept – having been around since the early 1990s – it remains unique in its innovative printing method as one of the most economical and environmentally friendly techniques in the printer industry.

It is not only an increasingly viable and affordable option for businesses looking to improve the color output and professionalism of their business documents; it has the ability to significantly improve a company’s bottom line.

Developed by Xerox and brought to market in 1991, Solid Ink is now said to generate up to 90 per cent less printing waste than comparable color laser printers; resulting in a very attractive low total cost of ownership.

As a cartridge-free technology, there are no cartridges to dispose of from the workplace and subsequently, less packaging to feed to the landfills. But how does it work and how does it provide such a vibrant print output in comparison to a conventional laser or LED printer?

Solid Ink images are printed onto a rotating drum that is offset onto paper with just a single pass of the print engine. This imaging process ensures an almost-100 per cent ink-to-page transfer for normal printing.

Unlike toners that can spill and leak, causing wastage, not to mention smudge resulting in poorer quality print output, Solid Ink sticks are incredibly safe and clean, generating a miniscule amount of landfill waste in comparison with a typical color laser.

Businesses looking to minimize waste of valuable resources on printer maintenance should look to adopt a Solid Ink printer immediately. These only consist of three main assemblies – the print head, the print drum and the controller. With fewer parts to maintain and repair and its ability to last for up to 10,000 prints on average, these printers also use considerably less energy over the light cycle and reduce the energy consumption of color printers from over 75 per cent by an additional 42 per cent.

There is a myth that Solid Ink devices can take a long time to warm up, holding back print jobs that result in delays and workplace inefficiency. It is not however regarded an issue in the typical office environment, particularly where Solid Ink printers are left ‘idle’ in low-power modes rather than switched off entirely.

Many of Xerox’s uniquely-developed Solid Ink printers boast a patented Intelligent Ready power management function that learns and adapts to the unique print usage patterns of your particular workplace.

With a low entry price and greatly reduced cost per page Solid Ink printing technology is now the most environmentally friendly way of putting image to paper and can greatly reduce a business’s carbon footprint in line with government targets.

About the author

“How Solid Ink Technology Can Revolutionize Workplace Sustainability” is written by authorized Xerox supplier First Choice Business Systems, one of the UK’s leading providers of Solid Ink multifunctional printers and print production environments. It aims to maximize efficiency, cost control and organizational fit for customers across a breadth of industries.

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Filed under Digital Media, Green Living, Guest Writers

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 26, 2013

Facebook grapples with pages exploiting Newtown victims – Authorities ask the social network to take down intimidating posts and fraudulent tribute pages surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Get software directly from the vendor with a single click with DDownloads – It is tempting to compare DDownloads to Ninite, an online service that streamlines the installation of nearly 100 apps. What sets DDownloads apart is that has a larger selection of software (500 vs Ninite’s 94), and it gives you far more control over the installation because, by default, it does not automate app installation. This can be especially important if your PC has an SSD drive, in which case you may prefer to install applications somewhere other than the default location.

Ten ways to maximize your Google Drive – Google Drive has many options and features you might not be aware of. Here are ten tips to ensure you’re getting the best mileage out of it.

Supercharge your laptop with 6 powerful utilities – You’ve taken for granted all the tricks your desktop system has delivered on a daily basis, and now your new (and much more mobile) PC pales in comparison. But don’t resign yourself to choosing between a desktop behemoth and a finger-smudged smartphone. Below are a handful of utilities that can help get your laptop up to speed—and bring that new-computer smile back on your face.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

10 tips for coping with blue screen errors – Anyone who has ever experienced the notorious Windows Blue Screen of Death knows that finding a solution to the problem can be tricky. Fortunately, there are some relatively simple things you can do to help diagnose the problem.

Asus crosses smartphone, tablet to make PadFone Infinity, Fonepad – The PadFone Infinity is a slick Android handset running on a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm 800 processor. The phone boasts a unibody design and is composed largely of an aerospace-grade aluminum. It feels well built, and the PadFone Infinity’s rounded back helps the phone sit comfortably in your hand. The phone has a 5-inch 1920-by-1080p display and a 13-megapixel camera with an f2.0 aperture.

The Dark Side of Big Data: CSA Opens Peer Review Period for the “Top Ten Big Data and Privacy Challenges” Report – Big Data seems to be on the lips of every organization’s CXO these days. By exploiting Big Data, enterprises are able to gain valuable new insights into customer behavior via advanced analytics. However, what often gets lost amidst all the excitement are the very real and many security and privacy issues that go hand in hand with Big Data.

ICANN allows hundreds of new Internet domain suffixes – In the biggest expansion of Web address suffixes since “.com,” ICANN approves foreign language, brand name, regional, and generic monikers. Foreign languages will be the first to get new monikers, according to the Associated Press. Next, brand names like “.cadillac” will be rolled out, then regional addresses like “.vegas” will come next. Generic and the most proposed suffixes — such as “.app,” “.music,” and “.tech” — will come last because several groups have bid on the names and these groups have to come to an agreement before addresses can be registered.

Infographic: Facebook Logs 66.5M Oscar-Related Interactions – From Argo’s Best Picture win to Adele’s flawless performance of ‘Skyfall,’ last night’s Academy Awards ceremony provided a wealth of fodder for commentary on social networks.

China wants hacking allegations to stop – Following another allegation it directed a cyberattack on Germany, China voices concerns accusations against the country will increase the risk of conflict and deter nations from working together to safeguard the Internet.


Researchers Bypass Google Two-Factor Authentication – For some time, attackers had the ability to bypass Google’s two-step authentication system through access to users’ app-specific passwords, giving them full access to victims’ Google accounts, including Gmail. The vulnerability that enables this attack, discovered by researchers from DuoSecurity, has been patched by Google.

Samsung takes inspiration from Fort Knox for mobile security – The KNOX technology, to be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress here this week, means that Samsung smartphone and tablet users will soon be able to take advantage of a dual persona or containerization approach, where corporate and personal data are kept in separate spaces on the Android OS. Samsung said its new software is not a hypervisor, but runs in the BIOS (basic input output system) firmware of the Android OS with file system encryption, to protect against data leaks, viruses and malware.

The security threat of evasive malware – Lastline has released a new report that looks at how malware authors are able to exploit the limited visibility of automated malware analysis systems (sandboxes) and ensure that targeted attacks and zero day exploits remain successful. The use of stalling codes is resulting in a growing trend of evasive threats.

Windows XP and Firefox take 25-year lead in security flaws – Windows XP has had 453 while Firefox has had 433 vulnerabilities rated high and critical based on the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database and the second source for the statistics, the National Vulnerability Database from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). High-severity vulnerabilities mean attackers can potentially fully compromise the user’s machine.

Two More Java Zero Days Found by Polish Research Team – The seemingly endless list of critical zero day bugs found in Java grew longer today with news that one of the flaws fixed in Oracle’s recent patches for the product is under attack and when that bug is paired with another, separate vulnerability, the sandbox in the latest build of Java can be bypassed.

Shortage of infosec pros equals frequent and costly data breaches – (ISC)2 released the results of its sixth Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS). The study of more than 12,000 information security professionals worldwide (3,229 from the Europe/Middle East/Africa region) reveals that the global shortage of information security professionals is having a profound impact on the economy and is driven by a combination of business conditions, executives not fully understanding the need for security, and an inability to locate qualified information security professionals.

Company News:

Apple agrees refunds over in-app purchases – Parents whose children made in-app purchases inadvertently will receive a minimum $5 payout from Apple, which has settled a class action lawsuit.

ManageEngine Debuts Key Enhancements to Password Manager Pro at RSA Conference 2013 – Password Manager Pro’s new iPhone app lets IT security pros manage privileged passwords while on the go, while integrations with third-party apps streamline password management activities. ManageEngine will demonstrate Password Manager Pro along with the rest of its IT security solutions portfolio in booth 2641 at the event.

Atlantis Computing announces it more than tripled its customer base in 2012 and just surpassed the 200 customer milestone – The company has sold more than a quarter of a million licenses to date. Deployments range from 25 users to 100,000 users across all verticals, and more than 80% of its transactions were done via its channel partners. Atlantis Computing is privately held and funded by Cisco Systems, El Dorado Ventures and Partech International.

Atlantis Computing releases Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0. – Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0 lets Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View customers run persistent virtual desktops In-Memory using RAM as primary storage, making persistent virtual desktops cheaper and faster than physical PCs.

Secunia introduces a new enterprise class security solution to help small businesses with patch management – Secunia, the leading provider of IT security solutions that enable businesses and private individuals to manage and control vulnerability threats, today announced the availability of Secunia SmallBusiness (public beta). Secunia SmallBusiness is an intelligent, cloud-based patch management solution for up to 50 PCs. It protects small businesses against the threat posed by known software vulnerabilities – a growing threat which traditional antivirus technology does not provide adequate protection from.

Twitter to build app for new Firefox OS smartphones – Microblogging site says it will have an app available for the browser-based mobile operating system when handsets launch in the next couple of months.

Webopedia Daily:

Billing software – Software designed to handle time and billing tracking as well as invoicing customers for services and products. Billing software can track the hours worked by employees as well as expenses associated with projects or clients. Most time and billing software applications also create billing cycle reports to display information such as hours worked, expenses incurred, how much to bill clients, and which clients owe money for specific projects. Popular time and billing software tools include Sage Timeslips, Intuit QuickBooks Time and Billing Manager, Billing Tracker and kBilling.

Games and Entertainment:

Tomb Raider delivers gritty, gorgeous adventure – Straying from the series’ roots, the latest Tomb Raider is a gritty, disturbing take on the action-adventure genre. It’s beautifully crafted, both technically and narratively, but most of all, it’s just plain fun.

Crysis 3 serves up savage action in high definition – Crysis 3 is absolutely gorgeous, no matter what you play it on. I played on both Xbox 360 and a custom PC rig, and while the Xbox 360 version is a standout as a great example of lighting and diffused surfaces, the PC version is one of the most beautiful games released to date. This is par for the course of the Crysis franchise, but it’s a notable example because it looks amazing on even a mid-range gaming machine.

Crysis 3 System Requirements: Does Your PC Have the Chops to Play? – Games in the Crysis series have been notorious for hardcore system requirements. Can your current PC run the latest installment?

Metal Slug 2 for Android – The classic side-scrolling shoot-’em-up game Metal Slug 2 has officially been reborn as an Android mobile app.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Overcoming legacy thinking: Chromebooks in a Windows work world – The biggest barrier to Chromebooks adoption might be legacy thinking, not legacy systems.

‘Frozen’ atmospheric waves trigger extreme weather events – Another report has linked man-made climate change with extreme weather events around the world, including recent heat waves in the United States and Russia and the unprecedented Pakistan flood.

How the wireless industry will connect the next billion people – The CEOs of Nokia, Qtel, Bharti Airtel, and Mozilla discuss the challenges of getting Internet access to the rest of the world.

Physicist proposes to physicist in a physics paper – Two physicists have been together for seven years. It’s like the start of a joke. Instead, it’s the start of something beautiful — and, well, physic(s)al.

DDoS: terrorism or legitimate form of protest? – Some people seem to think that distributed denial of service attacks can be justified morally or ethically. Read this analysis to find out if that claim is supported or thoroughly debunked.

Today’s Quote:

“Some people can learn from the mistakes of others, while some people need to pee on the electric fence themselves.”

–      Unknown

Today’s Free Downloads:

Anvir Task Manager Free 7.5.1 – Task Manager Free is freeware utility software that gives users a comprehensive set of tools to put them in full control of their computer. It gives you detailed information about every process that is running, and about applications running automatically on Windows startup including all hidden applications.

VSO Downloader – Download videos from thousands of sites with fast download speed. Steaming content is automatically detected and downloaded extra fast. Convert downloaded videos to MP3, AVI, iPad, iPhone, Mp4, H264, Xvid. Compatible with any web browser.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 25, 2013

Firefox to begin blocking third-party cookies by default – Firefox is giving people concerned about their online privacy another reason to like the popular browser. It will begin blocking cookies from third-party advertisers in an upcoming release. While Firefox users can already use the Do Not Track extension to stave them off, the patch will allow the browser to do it by default. That means sites you’ve visited can leave cookies on your computer but ad networks that don’t already have one on your machine can’t.

Too many confusing apps? Prioritize programs with Should I Remove It? – Cleaning out and optimizing a PC can be less time consuming than reformatting. Should I Remove It? can make this troublesome chore a little easier by helping you know what you should keep and what you should remove.

Rumor: ‘Six Strikes’ Copyright Plan Starts Rolling Out Monday – Get caught sharing enough copyright content and you won’t have your Internet cut off, but you could have it throttled!

Antivirus Testing 101 – PCMag performs hands-on antivirus testing with live viruses and other malware, but our techniques necessarily aren’t the same as what the big independent labs use. Here’s a peek.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Hands on with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet – Aiming for a compromise between its 10.1-inch and 5.5-inch writing pad devices, Samsung unveils new S-Pen hardware.

Emporia Connect senior phones keeps loved ones in the know with remote access – The Emporia Connect isn’t just a run in the mill flip-phone for seniors. It also allows loved ones to remotely access and manage the handset’s calendars and contact information via a smartphone app.

The PC of 2023 is your smartphone and cloud – In ten years, what we refer to as Personal Computing will be radically different than what we experience today.

Microsoft’s next Windows Blue test build said to be a public preview – Microsoft’s Windows Blue operating system update may be on its way to a public, consumer preview in the next few months. And it might even be free, according to the latest scuttlebutt.

Android quitters fuel Windows Phone UK growth – Microsoft’s Windows Phone is picking up fans at the expense of rival operating systems such as Android, according to new smartphone sales figures.

PlayStation 4 vs. PC graphics: Can Sony even compete? – This so-called console is in fact a full-blown x86 PC at its multicored core. More interestingly, the specs indicate that unlike its predecessor—which was an absolute beast when it launched seven years back—the PlayStation 4 will likely lag behind cutting-edge gaming PCs from the very first day it hits the streets.

15 euro Nokia 105 is as cheap as it looks – The basic and dirt-cheap cell phone for emerging markets promises outstanding battery life for those who just want calls.

Free as a Thunderbird – If price or platform support are among your concerns when picking a desktop email client, then Mozilla Thunderbird is free and hard to beat. For those who need a desktop e-mail client and don’t need to work with an Exchange server, Thunderbird is decent, and Linux users can’t do better.

Sony’s waterproof Xperia Tablet Z is the thinnest, lightest 10-inch tablet yet – With its Xperia Tablet Z, Sony offers a thin, light, fully functional premium Android tablet that just so happens to be waterproof.


Another iPhone Passcode Bypass Vulnerability Discovered – It’s getting hard to keep track of all the bugs piling up for Apple’s iPhone. Now it seems a glitch in the iOS kernel of Apple’s much maligned iOS 6.1 is responsible for yet another passcode bypass vulnerability, the second to surface this month. Attackers can apparently access users’ photos, contacts and more by following a series of steps on an iPhone running iOS 6.1.

Security execs fret over BYOD and social; Outgunned anyway – Seventy eight percent of security pros see bring your own device (BYOD) policies as a big security risk. The problem: Security pros are outgunned, according to a survey.

HTC Settlement Could Alter Mobile Security and Privacy Landscape – HTC America’s settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Friday has the potential to revamp not only how hardware manufacturers handle the security and privacy of mobile devices, but how carriers do so, as well.

No, Iran didn’t really hack and down a foreign military spy drone – A report by the Islamic Republic News Agency has raised eyebrows, as it appeared to claim that Iranˈs Revolutionary Guard Corps had managed to hack and down a foreign spy drone. But did it really happen?

Drone hijacked by hackers from Texas college with $1,000 spoofer – Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin hacked and hijacked a drone in front of the dismayed Department of Homeland Security officials who had dared them $1,000 to do it.

Large gap exists between security focus, new tech – Survey reveals security professionals see higher risk from application vulnerabilities, malware, mobile devices and cloud, but do not prioritize manpower in tackling these threats within the enterprise.

Company News:

Global allies give Mozilla’s Firefox OS a mobile foothold – Partners backing the browser-based mobile OS include phone maker LG and 18 mobile network operators across the world. The first phones are due in the second quarter.

HP aims to launch low-power ‘Moonshot’ server next quarter – Hewlett-Packard’s first low-power server for hyperscale computing environments, developed under a project it calls Moonshot, will go on sale next quarter, CEO Meg Whitman said last week. Project Moonshot is an effort to build low-power servers based on alternatives to Intel’s Xeon processors for use in mega data centers like those operated by Facebook and Google.

Vuzix M100 hands-free smartphone display–a smaller, cheaper Google Glass – If you’d like to get your hands on a pair of Google’s Project Glass augmented reality glasses but you’d rather not drop the $1500 early adopter’s fee, Vuzix has a product for you. The M100 hands-free smartphone display from Vuzix is a smaller and cheaper wearable screen that can also do augmented reality. The company says it will be available this summer for under $500.

LG acquiring webOS from HP in smart TV push – HP’s mobile operating system webOS, which met an untimely demise thanks to the poor management show at the PC maker, will live on—in smart TVs and not in smartphones.

Lenovo unveils quad-core tablets running Android 4.2 – Lenovo has announced new 7-inch and 10-inch tablets with quad-core processors and Google’s latest Android 4.2 operating system, becoming one of the few companies to offer that version of the OS in tablets. The tablets will be available worldwide in the second half this year, though pricing was not immediately available.

Wireless carriers seek cross-border spectrum cooperation – Five leaders of network operators want better wireless regulations, promising better service for consumers but also hoping for better business for themselves.

Japan’s NTT Docomo plans to offer 112.5 mb/sec LTE speeds – NTT Docomo’s CEO, Kaoru Kato, said he plans to offer download speeds of 112.5 megabits per second to his company’s customers. The higher speeds should come shortly, he said. NTT Docomo is Japan’s largest wireless carrier by customer base. In comparison, Verizon and AT&T boasts speeds of 20 mb/sec on a good day and an uncluttered network. The speeds are more in the high single digits or low double digits.

Webopedia Daily:

Curated commerce – In electronic commerce (ecommerce) terminology, curated commerce refers to creating unique product lines that provide customers with a distinct collection not offered by other online retailers in a market. The demand for personalization in online shopping is a driving factor behind curated commerce. Retailers often use marketing tactics such as email marketing to show a selection of curated products to customers based on personal taste and purchase history with the retailer.

Off Topic (Sort of):

What Happened With Saturday’s NASCAR Crash Video? – It’s up! It’s down! It’s up again! Who’s pulling the strings with Nascar’s controversial crash video?

Sexist photo makes Facebook joke 200 times more popular, and prompts rape comments – A joke was shared yesterday on a Facebook Page that I help to moderate, about a drunk woman coming home after a night out with her friends, and trying to imitate a cuckoo clock to avoid waking her husband. It’s an old joke that I first heard decades ago, although then it was about a drunk husband trying to avoid waking his wife. So why were the genders in this old joke reversed? (suggested by Michael F.)

YouTube video of him burying cars gets snow plow driver fired – A snow plow driver nicknamed Dogg is in the doghouse of one Massachusetts city after filming himself burying cars with snow during a blizzard and having a good laugh about it.

Facebook turns a deaf ear to users aged over 99 – The social media behemoth apparently never assumed that a person with three digits worth of living to their credit would sign up to use its service.

The Onion deletes offensive tweet about child Oscar nominee – The humor publication seems to have gone too far with a tweet that directed a term many consider deeply offensive at Best Actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis.

Today’s Quote:

“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”

–       The Wizard of OZ

Today’s Free Downloads:

CDBurnerXP – CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.

Artweaver Free 3.1.4 – Artweaver lets you paint creatively with the help of a huge range of painting tools. You can create sketches from photos or just experiment with colors.

Comments Off on Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 25, 2013

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 24, 2013

The Best Free Web Apps of 2013 – Some of the best applications you’ll never have to buy are already available instantly for you to use—in your desktop browser. Here our 180 of our favorites.

100 Top Android Apps 0f 2013 – Careful readers will notice that this all looks quite familiar. That’s because we’ve been pruning and updating this list for over a year, trying to make sure it has a little something for everyone. While our tastes and yours may be different, we think our list is a good starting point. We do our best to keep it fresh and interesting enough that even the most experienced Android user will be able to find something worthwhile.

Secure your personal cloud information with BoxCryptor – Jack Wallen takes a look at BoxCryptor for BYOD tablets. This encryption software is optimized for securely connecting to cloud services, including Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, and Dropbox.

Apple v. Samsung: What are the most reliable smartphones on the market? – The latest report released by FixYa suggests that although Apple’s iPhone comes with a premium price tag, you do get what you pay for in terms of reliability.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

The Facebook mistakes people make after a date – Some people become so enamored after a date — especially a good first date — that they lose all sense of Facebook proportion. Now that Valentine’s is past, here are some guidelines for Facebook self-control.

Avoid Retyping A Document With Online OCR – I recently was faced with situation where I had a hardcopy of a typed document where there was no editable or electronic version available and I needed a way to access and edit the document without completely retyping it. I was able to take the hardcopy of the document, scan it to a PDF file, upload the PDF file to Online OCR where the text in the file was read and subsequently converted to an editable Microsoft Word document. What sold me on Online OCR was that Online OCR managed to convert the document and retain the formatting (fonts, table, etc…) to near perfection.

Samsung HomeSync is a Jelly Bean-powered Apple TV rival – The freshly-unveiled media streamer puts Android movies, TV and games on your television, and also lets you stream home movies from a Galaxy smart phone.

Google Glass Video Shows Off Translating, Directing, Photographing Alter-Brain – Google has released its second teaser video for Google Glass, the company’s futuristic augmented reality specs that may be slated for release later this year. While the first video tracked a New Yorker’s mundane errands through the city, the new clip is a dizzying, high-octane view of Glass’s functionality — as seen by skydivers, equestrians, catwalking fashion-mavens and ballerinas.

Does Google’s laptop shove Apple into Luddite land? – The Chromebook Pixel has two killer features that MacBooks don’t, says CNET’s Brooke Crothers. Maybe it’s time for Apple to rethink the MacBook concept.

Need Bitcoins? This ATM takes dollars and funds your account – New Hampshire entrepreneurs have created a dollar-converting anonymous Bitcoin ATM, which they hope to sell to bars, restaurants, and other retail locations nationwide.

The myth of the always-on cloud – Thoran Rodrigues advises caution when considering uptime claims for cloud services and software. Realistic expectations will lead to a better experience when moving to the cloud.

Rain start times appear on The Weather Channel for Android and BlackBerry 10 – While there are a ton of weather applications for mobile devices, the ability to know when the rain will start and stop is something that sets The Weather Channel apart.

Asus touts supercomputer-class Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan video card – Earlier this week, Nvidia rolled out its latest and greatest video card which it dubbed the GeForce GTX Titan.


Online Consumers Beware – Internet computer users have the usual security threats to deal with; including email based phishing, drive-by malware downloads, Facebook based malware, and malware transmitted by physical devices such as thumb drives. There is also another category of threat from which no anti-virus, anti-malware, or firewall will provide protection.

Malware masquerades as Mandiant report – Two different spear-phishing attacks were discovered last week using emails with malicious attachments that masqueraded as the Mandiant report, said Aviv Raff, the chief technology officer of security firm Seculert.

Hacker Slams ‘Flawed, Corrupt’ Cyber Laws – Jeremy Hammond is facing charges for his involvement in the hack of Stratfor. In late 2011, hackers claiming to be associated with Anonymous hacked Stratfor and published information about the company’s clientele, including credit card information. Stratfor subsequently shut down its website and promised free ID theft protection for its customers.

Zendesk hack a reminder of SaaS risk – While the data taken was not as valuable as credit card or bank account information, the theft does provide fodder for spam and phishing attacks. In addition, the break in reflects the security risk in the use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors, which can be less expensive than on-premise applications.

Japan gets a crash course in cybersecurity, from LOLcats to remote hacks, and viruses – National TV anchors struggle through explanations of the Tor anonymity network, while newspapers run detailed graphics on remote hacking software and the national police warn against using obscure online tools known as Syberian Post Offices. Japan is in the midst of a cybercrime fix.

Company News:

No more working from home for Yahoo employees, says report – “We need to be one Yahoo,” reads a memo reportedly sent to staff, so come June any existing work-from-home arrangements will be rendered null and void.

Google Planning 42-Acre “Bay View” Expansion to Googleplex – According to reports, employees at the new complex will be within 2.5 minutes of each other (walking speed) at all times

Rackspace cuts its cloud pricing; Race to bottom is on – Simply put, cloud infrastructure will be a buyer’s market as the table stakes will be low pricing largely on AWS’ terms.

Drobo integrates cloud storage option with SMB storage devices – New relationship with Barracuda Networks provides small businesses with basic file sharing and online backup options.

Webopedia Daily:

Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging – An emerging standard that extends Ethernet to support multimedia streaming. The Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging standard adds QoS (Quality of Service) features like time-synchronized low latency streaming services and bandwidth reservation to make it possible to carry audio and video signals on a standard Ethernet line. Development of the Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging standard is being conducted by the IEEE under a number of working specifications, including 802.1AVB, 802.1AS, 802.1Q, 802.1Qat and 1722. Once deployed, audio and video hardware components will be capable of being linked via Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging connections, enabling the concurrent transmission of network, audio and video signals.

Off Topic (Sort of):

iWatch interest reflects the lure of wearable computing – Amid speculation about an Apple iWatch, analysts forecast that the market for wearable computing devices will near half a billion units sales a year within the next five years. ABI Research forecasts the wearable computing device market will become the norm for many and grow to 485 million annual device shipments by 2018.

Weird Tech 2: 20 Weird and wonderful Twitter accounts – Want to follow some new Twitter peeps? We round up some strange and interesting accounts for you.

Video (2:00): Quadcopters play catch with a big stick – Quadcopters are definitely sweet geek toys, especially when the machines are capable of operating autonomously.

Infographic: College Students Need Food, Sleep, and Wi-Fi – Alongside textbooks, pizza, and shower shoes, wireless Internet access is at the top of the college-student-necessities list

Today’s Quote:

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

–      Oscar Wilde

Today’s Free Downloads:

Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) – The Secunia PSI is a free security tool designed with the sole purpose of helping you secure your computer against vulnerabilities in programs.

Freebie Notes 3.54 – Freebie Notes is a great little program for users who just want sticky notes with an alarm timer. You can customize the default parameters of electronic notes; their size, text, background and more.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 23, 2013

Steam Offering Free ‘Call of Duty’ Weekend Play – The newest Call of Duty installment is poised for a big Steam promotion this weekend. Gamers will have a chance over the next three days to try out Call of Duty: Black Ops II free of charge. Those who want to purchase a downloadable copy, meanwhile, will get a 33 percent discount to $40, or $54 for the Digital Deluxe Edition.

Facebook adds free calling to iOS app – The social network is giving even more of its mobile users a free way to reach friends through voice over IP.

NYPD creates special team to recover stolen Apple devices – The number of Apple products stolen in the Big Apple prompts city police to dedicate a team of officers for device recovery, according to the New York Post.

How to ask for tech help, 2013 edition – I first tackled this subject a few years ago, then updated it back in 2011. Given the recent batch of incomplete, incomprehensible, and/or inappropriate e-mail I’ve received, this seems like a good time for another update. If you want help, you need to go about it the right way. Here’s how to get the best possible results when you’re contacting me, an online forum, or a company’s tech-support department.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

CloudOn 4.0 brings virtual Microsoft Office to Android smartphones – CloudOn does the seemingly impossible. It hosts Microsoft Office in the cloud, then makes it available on your iPhone, iPad, or Android tablet.

Microsoft’s attempts to clarify Office licensing policies fall short – Microsoft’s new “no transfer” policy for Office 2013 has left some customers asking what happens if the original PC fails and needs replacement. A corporate blog post tries to “add clarity” to the issue, but what the company really needs to do is change the license terms themselves.

Microsoft’s Hotmail phase-out: What’s a user to do? – Microsoft is moving all of its Hotmail users to by this summer. Here’s what the hundreds of millions still using Hotmail need to know about the transition.

How to change the built-in PDF viewer in Firefox – Mozilla’s latest version of Firefox conveniently includes a built-in PDF viewer. If you prefer your own PDF viewer, here’s how to change it.

Songbird Desktop is much more than just a media player – Songbird Desktop is a media player that’s not chained to your desktop, despite its name. Although this free application for PC and Mac will organize you collection and playback audio and video files from your computer, it’s also a tool for discovering new music, learning more about your favorite artists, and connecting with friends.

Chromebook Pixel hands-on (photos) – The Chromebook Pixel has only been out a few hours and we’ve got our hands on one. Have a look at the very expensive, nicely designed laptop from Google.

Meet Manjaro Linux, a brand-new distro on the rise – Manjaro Linux, a brand-new contender that launched last August and has already sprinted up DistroWatch’s page-hit rankings to No. 15. Why all the interest? The project has released a few key updates this month. Here’s a rundown of some of the distro’s best features.

Watch YouTube videos in a floating window – Wish your phone had the split-screen multitasking feature that is available on the Samsung Galaxy Note II? Now you can grab some of that functionality for YouTube videos.

Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage Suffers Major Outage Over Expired SSL Certificate – Various news outlets reported late Friday that Microsoft’s public cloud storage service suffered a global outage due to a lapsed security certificate. Beginning around 4 p.m. EST, developers and other Azure customers began being blocked from accessing files.

Illinois lawmaker hastily pulls bill that would have stripped online anonymity – An Illinois state senator who earlier this month introduced a bill that would have required anonymous online posters to reveal their true identities is planning on pulling the bill after taking intense criticism from those opposed to it.


Police Investigating Coordinated Poker Bot Operation in Sweden – National operator Svenska Spel has suspended 14 accounts thought to have won at least $280k using illegal software. (suggested by Michael F.)

OAuth flaw allowed researcher full access to any Facebook account – A flaw in Facebook’s OAuth system that allows the communication between applications and users has enabled web application security specialist Nir Goldshlager to gain full control of any Facebook account. And the best part of the attack is that the stolen and thus used access tokens work until users change their passwords, which could mean for a very, very long time.

Chrome 25 Fixes Nine High-Risk Vulnerabilities – Google has fixed nine high-severity vulnerabilities in its Chrome browser, as well as a dozen other flaws with the release of Chrome 25. This release is one of the few for which the company did not pay out much in the way of bug bounties, only giving out $3,500.

Microsoft joins list of recently hacked companies – Microsoft joins a list of companies that have recently reported being hacked, including Facebook, Apple, Twitter, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Mobile phishing geared towards online banking users – When it comes to deploying phishing sites designed to trick mobile users, the great majority of cyber criminals opts for targeting those who engage in e-banking and e-commerce via their mobile devices.

Zendesk Compromised, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest Users Affected – In the wake of high-profile compromises of companies such as Facebook, the New York Times, Apple and others, officials at Zendesk, an online customer support provider, said that the company also had been compromised and the attackers had made off with the email addresses of customers of Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, all of which use Zendesk’s services.

Company News:

Best Buy to cut Windows 8 touchscreen PC prices by $100 – Best Buy is kicking off a limited time, $100 promotional discount for Windows 8 touchscreen laptops and desktops, starting this Sunday.

Coby MID4331 is an $83 4.3-inch Android tablet – Coby currently offer a number of Android-powered tablets for sale, including the 7-inch MID7065 which we discussed several months ago.

HTC settles FTC charges over device security – HTC America has agreed to send out a fix for potential security vulnerabilities in its handsets as part of an agreement with the FTC.

Court backs Einhorn bid to stop Apple proxy vote – Legal victory for hedge fund manager’s bid to force Apple to share more of its wealth with investors.

Google I/O registration opens to developers in March – With the pending releases of the Chromebook Pixel and Glass, Google I/O 2013 is going to be one of the hottest tickets in San Francisco.

Qualcomm’s RF360 puts 40 mobile bands onto a single chip – Qualcomm brings worldwide support for worldwide support for 2G, 3G, 4G LTE and LTE into a single chip.

Webopedia Daily:

Software-defined data center – SDDC – Software-defined data center (SDDC) is the phrase used to refer to a data center where all infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service. Control of the data center is automated by software – meaning hardware configuration is maintained through intelligent software systems. This is in contrast to traditional data centers where the infrastructure is typically defined by hardware and devices. The software-defined data center is considered by many to be the next step in the evolution of virtualization and cloud computing as it provides a solution to support both legacy enterprise applications and new cloud services.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The mystery of Google Street View’s blurred Brooklyn brownstone – Why would a whole residential building in Brooklyn be blurred on Google’s famed site? Do the residents have something to hide? Is a cast member from “Girls” visible?

Finally, Tattoos That Let You Control Objects with Your Mind – Science hasn’t been easy on the paranormal, routinely deflating fantastic claims by hucksters purporting psychic abilities. So wouldn’t it be ironic if scientists were on the verge of making paranormal-like abilities a reality?

NASA’s cold fusion tech could put a nuclear reactor in every home, car, and plane – The cold fusion dream lives on: NASA is developing cheap, clean, low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) technology that could eventually see cars, planes, and homes powered by small, safe nuclear reactors. (suggested by Michael F.)

Get lost in a stunning 320-gigapixel image of London – If you’ve never had a chance to visit London, zooming around the city in the world’s largest panoramic image might be the next best thing.

Today’s Quote:

“Be kind – Remember every one you meet is fighting a battle – everybody’s lonesome.”

–     Marion Parker

Today’s Free Downloads:

Windows 8 Codecs 1.45 – Windows 8 Codecs is an audio and video codec package for Windows 8. The installer will automatically remove most other popular codec releases from your computer before installing this concise yet comprehensive package.

VueMinder Calendar Lite – Are you looking for a free and easy-to-use calendar program to help you manage your schedule, remember key dates, or gain a competitive edge in the business world? Look no further, because VueMinder Calendar Lite is the solution.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 22, 2013

MP3 Rocket makes YouTube videos into MP3s – YouTube’s videos attract plenty of eyeballs, but your ears likely get plenty of enjoyment out of its contents, too. And if you’d like to turn those videos into audio files and save them, MP3 Rocket (free) makes it about as easy as it could be.

Dexpot makes virtual desktops feel like a native part of Windows – One or two 24-inch monitors afford plenty of room for a mission-critical application, plus several chat or email windows alongside. But if you’re a laptop user squeaking by with a single 15-inch monitor (or perhaps something even smaller), a virtual desktop might be the next best thing to an extra monitor. Dexpot (25 Euros, which is $33 on 2/21/12; free for personal use) is a great way to get yourself one. Or five.

Racist “McDonald’s” notice posted on Facebook is designed to generate calls of complaint to KFC – Is a branch of McDonald’s really charging African-Americans an extra $1.50? Of course not, but thousands of Facebook fans are spreading the story regardless. A quick internet search reveals that it’s actually the customer satisfaction number for KFC. If only common sense were more common, maybe chain letters and hoaxes like this wouldn’t spread so far and wide.

BlackBerry hands over PIN to Indian govt – Canadian phone maker is reported to have handed over PIN details of BlackBerry handsets in India, but the government will need unique identification numbers of the phones to monitor messages between users in the country and abroad.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

The complete guide to Windows Phone 8 settings – Learn the in’s and out’s of how to get the most from your Windows Phone 8 handset.

Cellphone unlocking petition hits 100,000 signatures – The US government will have to reconsider its decision to ban cellphone unlocking, after an online petition reached the necessary 100,000 signatures.

Nevada becomes first state to allow online gambling – The state’s governor signs a bill deeming Internet gaming legal; the law also allows Nevada to partner with other states.

RIAA slams Google as not doing enough to fight piracy – The trade group releases a report card on Google that claims the Web giant’s pledge to demote pirate sites “remains unfulfilled.”

Analysts see a wearable computer device (WCD) future – Wearable computing devices are expected to significantly increase in popularity over the next year. To be sure, with a wave of new devices set to hit the consumer market, wearable computing could soon become the norm for most people within five years.

Is Republic’s $19 cell phone service too good to be true? – Republic Wireless’s $19 wireless service is a steal. But is it too good to be true? In this edition of Ask Maggie, CNET’s Marguerite Reardon highlights why you get what you pay for with this service.

Answer Line: Why do I get so much spam? – Why are there so many unwanted, tricky, manipulative, annoying, dangerous, and often illegal email messages going around? Because unscrupulous people can make a tidy profit mailing Spam. In 2010, Gmail spam expert Brad Taylor told Wired that “It costs $3,000 to rent a botnet and send out 100 million messages. It takes only 30 Viagra orders to pay for that.”

Want to stop the phishers? Encryption and education is key – Targeted attacks are on the rise, which means it’s no longer enough to simply batten down the hatches and hope for the best.


NBC website serving malware – stay away! – According to HitmanPro, the website has been injected with malicious iFrames that lead to one of several compromised sites equipped with Java and PDF exploits. Visiting the NBC’s website is, for the time being, still dangerous, and even Facebook has moved to protect its users by not allowing the posting of the site’s URL.

Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest users hit by data breach – Data on an unknown number of Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest users is at risk after customer service software provider Zendesk was hacked.

Malicious URLs eclipsing botnets as malware distribution leader – McAfee Labs revealed that sophisticated attacks originally targeting the financial services industry are now increasingly directed at other critical sectors of the economy, while an emerging set of new tactics and technologies are being implemented to evade industry-standard security measures.

15 Common Internet Scams and How to Avoid Them – The Internet is a powerful resource that connects you to the rest of the world and helps you access knowledge in the blink of any eye. It can also, however, put you in the precarious position of sussing out legitimate offers versus complete cons. These 15 Internet scams are quite popular, but you can avoid falling victim to them by learning to recognize their common red flags.

Donald Trump has his Twitter hacked by “lowlives” – Quite how Trump’s account was compromised is unclear, but a reasonable guess would be that he had either chosen a weak, easy-to-guess password, or that he was using the same password in multiple places. Never a good idea. Multi-millionaire Trump stopped short of fellow celebrity Jeremy Clarkson, who vowed to kill the people who hacked his Twitter account earlier this week.

25% of DDoS attacks in 2013 will be application-based – Twenty-five percent of DDoS attacks that occur in 2013 will be application-based. During such incidents, attackers send out targeted commands to applications to tax the CPU and memory and make the application unavailable.

Oxford University blocks Google Docs because of phishing attacks.. for 2.5 hours – Flooded with phishing attacks, which staff and students were falling for, the IT team at Oxford University blocked access to Google Docs – hoping to wake up users to the threat. Would such a technique work in your organisation?

Company News:

Google announces $1299 touchscreen Chromebook Pixel – Would you pay $1299 for a laptop that only runs Web apps but has a high-quality, touchscreen display? Google sure hopes so. On Thursday the company announced the Chromebook Pixel, a pricey slab of hardware that runs Google’s Web-centric Chrome OS, but defies conventional Chromebook wisdom.

Skybox Security Continues Aggressive Push with Record Sales in 2012 – Company poised to take advantage of fast growth markets for network security management, vulnerability management, and threat management.

IBM makes big mobile push with MobileFirst – The effort pulls together a raft of IBM products and services, some recently acquired, under a new umbrella brand: MobileFirst. It’s aimed at a market that many view as ripe for expansion–helping business turn the proliferation of smartphones and tablets from a management headache into an advantage.

PayPal readies launch of mobile payments system in Europe – Payment processor unveils new hardware that will read credit and debit cards that use the Chip and PIN system, which is more prevalent in Europe.

Nielsen to Begin Counting Online Viewership – The company that measures television viewership will soon begin counting people who watch programming through broadband instead of a traditional broadcast or cable hook-up.

Social-media aggregator Memolane to shut down – Reflective service that organized user content from social networks into a timeline announces it is joining another company and will delete accounts tomorrow.

Nikon signs patent deal with Microsoft for Android-based cameras – Microsoft has convinced another device maker using Android as an embedded OS to pay it patent royalties.

Webopedia Daily:

Cloud backup service provider – A third-party entity that manages and distributes remote, cloud-based data backup services and solutions to customers from a central data center. Cloud backup providers enable customers to remotely access services using a secure client login application to back up files from the customer’s computers or data center to the online storage server using an encrypted connection. A cloud backup solution enables enterprises or individuals to store their data and computer files on the Internet using a storage service provider, rather than storing the data locally on a physical disk, such as a hard drive or tape backup.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The case for smartwatches – Smartwatches are only in their infancy, and some people are wondering what the fuss is all about. Lex Friedman argues that they represent technology worth getting excited about.

Firefox add-on: AddOmmmm – You won’t need it, since it totally doesn’t do anything useful. Plays weird meditational music, turns pages around 180 degrees and displays a lasagna with horse noises every 15 seconds. (suggested by Michael F.)

Video (1:00): A journey to the limits of space time – Black holes shape the growth and death of the stars around them via powerful gravitational pulses and explosive ejections of energy.

North Korea readies mobile Net service, but not for residents – A month after getting cell phone access, foreigners inside the country will soon get 3G mobile access to the Internet, a privilege not afforded to residents.

I miss removable batteries – No one is expected to use PCs anymore in this supposed post-PC world, but everyone is supposed to plug in all their post-PC devices into the USB ports of their no-longer-used PCs to charge.

Today’s Quote:

“There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction. The moment you are old enough to take the wheel, the responsibility lies with you.”

–     J. K. Rowling

Today’s Free Downloads:

USB Image Tool – USB Image Tool can create images of USB flash drives and MP3 players, that are mounted as USB drives. It allows you switch between images with different music styles on your MP3 Player or to make an exact backup image of your USB Stick. USB Image Tool works with any device, that implements the USB Mass Storage protocol. This includes flash drives, card readers and a lot of other devices, like digicams, cell phones and mobile music players.

Fresh Diagnose – Fresh Diagnose is an utility designed to analyze and benchmark your computer system. It can analyze and benchmark many kinds of hardware, such as CPU performance, hard disk performance and many more.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 21, 2013

Infographic: Identity Fraud Hit 1 Victim Every 3 Seconds in 2012 – Nearly 13 million U.S. adults were victims of identity fraud in 2012, an increase of more than one million victims over the past year, according to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research. Identity fraudsters stole more than $21 billion from 12.6 million victims in 2012, the highest amount since 2009, the research firm said in its 2013 Identity Fraud Report, released Wednesday. This equated to one incident of identify fraud every three seconds.

How to improve your chances of recovering a lost Android phone – Password-protecting your smartphone makes sense, as it prevents unauthorized users from accessing your data. But it can also work against you. Fortunately, Android 4.0 offers a solution in the form of lock-screen contact information, which will display the message of your choosing even on a passcode-protected device. Here’s how to set this up.

Know what to expect from the Windows 8 Recovery Drive – Greg Shultz shows you how to use the Windows 8 Recovery Drive and exactly what to expect if you should ever need it.

Google Drive Adds File Previews for Photos, Videos, and Documents – If you’re a heavy Google Docs user, you probably know how annoying it is to sift through a bunch of files looking for the right one. Starting today, you can preview documents, PDFs, photos, and videos in drive with just a right-click.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

State helps parents access dead child’s Facebook content – The Commonwealth of Virginia is correcting for privacy laws that make it hard for parents to get access to a deceased child’s digital content.

Police use Facebook to inform mother of her son’s death – Police in Georgia say they tried traditional methods to contact Anna Lamb-Creasey before resorting to Facebook. She doesn’t get the message for weeks, as it didn’t come from a friend.

White House warns of dangers posed by WikiLeaks, LulzSec, other ‘hacktivists’ – New Obama administration strategy says organizations such as WikiLeaks and hacking group LulzSec may conduct “economic espionage against U.S. companies.” (Who other than corrupt government is afraid of the sunshine?)

How to make Ubuntu Linux look like Windows 7 – Luckily, Linux is customizable—much, much more than Windows. In fact, if you’re having trouble with the transition (or plopping Ubuntu on a parent’s PC), you can tweak and tune the OS to feel pretty darned close to the Windows environment you’ve forsaken. I’ll go through two methods here. One adapts Ubuntu’s default Unity desktop to make it feel slightly more like Windows, while the other entails a bit more work and a different desktop interface entirely to create a truly Microsoft-like experience.

PlayStation 4 goes x86: 8-core CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a hard drive – Sony announced its next generation gaming system: The PlayStation 4. Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, kicked off the announcement by explaining that the PS4 is totally focused on games and gamers — a pleasant change of pace when compared to the multimedia focus the Xbox team has taken lately.

10 things you can do to boost your BYOD security – If you’re going to allow users to bring their own devices, find out what you can do to maintain security and be a happier you. These ten security recommendations will help you do both.

Tweet From Beyond the Grave With LivesOn – While zombies are all the rage, this might be taking it a bit too far. You can tweet from the womb, why not from beyond the grave? In a bizarre twist on the supernatural, social media is bridging the gap between the living and the deceased.


PayPal Credentials For Sale, Access Offered Via Proxy Server – An enterprising cybercriminal has opened an underground shop that peddles access to American PayPal accounts which are then accessible through an anonymous proxy service.

Twitter entreats users to use better passwords – Twitter is urging users once again to improve their passwords – both on Twitter and on other online services. Apart from the usual advice on using longer, more complex, and unique passwords for all websites they use, Twitter Director of Information Security Bob Lord entreats users not to click on suspicious links in Direct Messages, as they often lead to phishing sites that often look like Twitter’s login page.

How to filch explicit photos to fuel your revenge porn site – IsAnybodyDown’s owner apparently impersonated a woman to trick victims into sending him nude photos. Showing true monopolistic genius, he also seems to be running the photo-takedown service that promises to get those photos off his site – for a fee.

iOS Developer Site at Core of Facebook, Apple Watering Hole Attack – The missing link connecting the attacks against Apple, Facebook and possibly Twitter is a popular iOS mobile developers’ forum called iPhoneDevSDK which was discovered hosting malware in an apparent watering hole attack that has likely snared victims at hundreds of organizations beyond the big three.

Facebook, Apple hacks could affect anyone: Here’s what you can do – Reports suggest that both Facebook and Apple employees — and likely others, including Twitter — visited an infected website laden with malware, which exploited a vulnerability in Java. Now that the cause has been identified, here’s what you can do.

Company News:

Yahoo rolls out redesigned home page, hints at more changes – Yahoo’s home page got a dramatic facelift on Wednesday, a visual reminder of the site’s new direction under CEO Marissa Mayer. Mayer wants to usher in a new eraat the beleaguered company, and the site redesign that began rolling out for American users on Wednesday is a visible indication. The new look takes after popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter with an infinitely scrolling newsfeed.

Qualys CEO to address security in a hyperconnected world at RSA Conference 2013 – Qualys Chairman and CEO Philippe Courtot will examine the evolution of security in a hyperconnected world in his keynote at RSA Conference 2013. Courtot’s keynote, which will also feature John Pescatore, director of the SANS institute, will reveal research on the state of cyber threats caused by intelligent devices and outline the fundamental changes required to secure this new era.

FCC makes a move to lessen Wi-Fi congestion – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has taken the first step toward an expansion of the spectrum available for Wi-Fi, with the agency launching a rulemaking proceeding to open new parts of the 5GHz spectrum to unlicensed uses. The new spectrum could reduce congestion at Wi-Fi hotspots and allow speeds of up to 1 GBps, the FCC said. The FCC did not give a target date for the spectrum to be available for Wi-Fi.

Yammer to integrate Office Web Apps, SkyDrive Pro – Yammer plans to roll out an integration with the SkyDrive Pro cloud storage product and the Office Web Apps Web-hosted productivity application suite this summer.

Foxconn denies weak iPhone demand led to hiring freeze – Taiwanese contract manufacturer freezes hiring at its largest China plant in Shenzhen and slows down hiring at other factories, but it says the move is not due to weak iPhone 5 demand.

Red Hat’s Big Data strategy: A full stack approach – Open source vendor Red Hat announces a Big Data strategy that spans the full enterprise software stack, both in the public cloud and on-premise.

Webopedia Daily:

Apache Traffic Server – Apache Traffic Server is an open source extensible HTTP/1.1 compliant caching proxy server. Apache Traffic Server boasts caching capabilities that can improve response time while reducing server load and bandwidth needs by caching and reusing frequently requested web pages, images, and web service calls. It also offers “proxying” (see proxy server) to add keep-alive, filter or anonymize content requests, or add load balancing by adding a proxy layer. The Apache Traffic Server was formerly a commercial product, however, Yahoo! donated it to the Apache Foundation, and it is now an Apache TLP (Top level project). The version 3.0.0 Apache Traffic Server release (June 2011) can handle more than 200,000 requests per second.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Tesla publishes Model S driving logs that show The New York Times’ blatant lies – Following Elon Musk’s initial denouncement of The New York Times for publishing a fake review of the Tesla Model S electric car, he has now published the actual logs recorded by the car — and boy are they damning. In short, the NYT’s John Broder lied through his teeth to smear electric vehicles in general, and the Model S in specific. Tesla was onto something when they accused the NYT of lying.

Cracked: 21 Web Browser Features We Desperately Need – There are web browser plugins and settings that do everything from block ads to convert every page to Klingon. But they still don’t touch most common web annoyances. We asked you to show us what features would make browsing the web, truly tolerable.

How the FBI tracked Internet activist Aaron Swartz – A blogger has managed to obtain and publish once-classified FBI files that describe how the federal agency tracked and collected information about Internet activist Aaron Swartz.

US military introduces cyber soldier medal, signifies change in future of soldiering – The future of war requires that we give up romantic ideas of military service, a fact that the Pentagon openly embraced by announcing a new medal for drone pilots and “cyber warriors”.

Unfaithful fiancé exposed on Russia’s Google Street View – There’s one different between Yandex Maps and Google Maps: the faces of anyone caught there aren’t blurred, as one alleged philanderer discovers.

The mind-controlled bionic hand that also controls your mind – This week, a team of Swiss researchers announced that it will begin testing a new “sensing” bionic hand, one which looks to explode our ideas about the relationship between brain and machine. Now, it is the robots’ turn to speak.

Today’s Quote:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

–     Charles Darwin

Today’s Free Downloads:

Elpis: A Native Pandora Radio Client for Windows – Elpis is a free and open source Pandora client for Microsoft Windows. It was created to provide a simple, lightweight and seamless way to enjoy music through Pandora while freeing you from the confines of a web browser and integrating into the desktop.

ArsClip – ArsClip is a clipboard and snippet manager that automatically keeps track of items that are copied to the Windows clipboard. You can press a configurable hotkey and a small popup menu will appear, allowing you to select an item and quickly paste it into a program or document. There is no additional window to launch or button to press.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 20, 2013

Skype adds video messaging – Did you ever want to leave a message for a Skype buddy who just wasn’t there? Skype’s new video-messaging feature, now in a beta of sorts, is the interactive way to do it. Available today for users in the U.S., U.K., and other select countries (Skype isn’t listing them all,) video messaging sends a recording to friends who may be offline or on another call.

Top 10 Surefire Ways To Lose Your Data In 2013 – Global computer security company Symantec released an infographic illustrating the top 10 ways small businesses can lose their data or put it at risk. It’s a bit tongue in cheek, but it delivers some valuable tips on what not to do. It’s bad habits like these that often lead to large security breaches and loss of data.

Debunking five Windows 8 myths – The best thing about Windows 8 is that the OS gives users more options than ever. You can do with Windows 8 everything you could with previous versions, and then some. The learning curve for Windows 8 isn’t as daunting as some experts would have you believe.

Google Touts 99.7 Percent Reduction in Hacked Gmail Accounts – Google said it has reduced the number of compromised Gmail accounts by 99.7 percent since the number of these hijacking attempts peaked in 2011.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Office showdown: Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google Apps – Google and Microsoft each allow personal and business use of their online platform, as well as simultaneous logins to multiple accounts in different browser tabs. Beyond that, however, their platforms differ greatly in usability, functionality, and mobile support. Read on to discover the standout features and surprising weak points of each.

Connectify Hotspot turns your laptop into a hotspot – Your phone isn’t the only piece of equipment able to share an internet connection with other devices. Windows has been able to do this for years; the problem is getting it accomplished quickly, easily and wirelessly, especially on the go with a laptop system. Connectify Hotspot (two editions, various pricing) provides the tools to do precisely this, acting as a software router between whatever internet connection you provide and the other computers connected to your laptop.

12 great PC games even your grandmother could love – Sure, some games let us indulge our baser instincts, but plenty of other titles are innocent enough for impressionable youths yet complex and fun enough for experienced players to enjoy. These 12 games are just a handful of what’s out there, but they’re more than sufficient to help you introduce new players to your favorite pastime.

Get More From Your Games: A Beginner’s Guide to Graphics Settings – You’ve built a gaming PC and it’s time to start playing, but you’re thinking your games could look a bit better or run a bit smoother. You want to tweak your graphics settings, but you don’t know where to start. We’re here to help you out.

Mozilla debuts in-browser PDF, patches 13 Firefox bugs – Mozilla Tuesday released Firefox 19, adding a built-in PDF viewer to the browser. The integrated viewer was the one noticeable change to users, although Mozilla enhanced under-the-hood features as well for website developers, and added support for additional HTML5 standards. Firefox 19 also included patches for 13 security vulnerabilities, 10 pegged as “critical,” the company’s most severe threat ranking.

5 Things to Know About Nvidia GTX Titan – Nvidia released its latest graphics card to an eager gaming market yesterday. The GTX Titan is touted as the most powerful available. Get all of the details here and stay tuned for reviews of the new processor and some of the systems running it.

Review: Handy Backup is plain, powerful, and easy to use – Handy Backup is utilitarian in the best sense; it’s a backup program with a no-nonsense interface and a boatload of features. Despite its plain countenance, one of its iterations is sure to appeal to IT types and smart consumers. I looked at Handy Backup Free, which is… free.

Rackspace: How to create and destroy a VM – If you are still considering the first, basic steps of moving some part of your infrastructure to the cloud, this gallery will give you a quick view of Rackspace’s interface from sign-up to creating your first virtual machine.


Apple, Facebook, Twitter hacks said to hail from Eastern Europe – Investigators say the surge of malware attacks on U.S. companies may be coming from Eastern European cybercriminals rather than being Chinese state-sponsored espionage.

Delta Airlines spam delivers Citadel Trojan – The link included in the email leads to a compromised site where the ZIP archive – – is offered for download. The archive contains a screensaver file by the same name and it, in turn, contains the Trojan, which currently has a pretty low detection rate.

Anonymous hacks U.S. State Department and investment firm, leaks data – From the former they exfiltrated – and published – databases containing a treasure trove of personal information about their employees (names, birth dates, phone numbers, email addresses, home and work addresses, and so on).

Hackers Target Jeep Twitter Account – Chrysler’s Jeep brand is the latest company to fall prey to Twitter hackers. The @Jeep Twitter feed was defaced on Tuesday, its profile image replaced with that of the Cadillac logo, while its background photo was switched to a car bearing the McDonald’s logo.

The sophistication of risky apps, mobile misbehavior and spyware – McAfee Labs found that 75 percent of the malware-infected apps downloaded by McAfee Mobile Security users, who are apt to be more security conscious than the average consumer, were housed in the Google Play store, and that the average consumer has a one in six chance of downloading a risky app. Nearly 25 percent of the risky apps that contain malware also contain suspicious URLs, and 40 percent of malware families misbehave in more than one way.

Apple Also Targeted by Hackers, Company Reveals – Just days after Facebook revealed that its systems were “targeted in a sophisticated attack,” Apple has now made the rare admission that it too was the victim of hackers. The Cupertino tech giant’s computers were attacked by the same online miscreants who targeted Facebook. No data appears to have been stolen in the Apple hack.

Apple patches the Java hole its own developers fell into – eventually – Shortly after admitting that its own techies got infected thanks to a Java hole, Apple has pushed out a Java update for the rest of us. Apple, with this most recent update, seems to have washed its hands permanently of browser-based Java.

After Monday Twitter hack, Burger King reigns again – For one day, at least, Burger King didn’t have things its way. The fast-food chain saw its Twitter account fall victim to hackers on Monday, with Twitter ultimately suspending the account. By Monday evening, Burger King had been restored to its rightful place on the throne.

Company News:

Feed me: eBay rolls out new homepage to all users – The e-commerce giant unveils a site redesign that includes a feature, dubbed Feed, that curates a user’s favorite items on a personalized page and displays them in a setup similar to Pinterest.

Cisco puts a huge value on the ‘Internet of everything’ – The so-called “Internet of everything,” the rapidly approaching world where objects from refrigerators to factory robots can talk to people and other machines, will create a massive business opportunity worth US$14.4 trillion over the next decade, according to a new study from Cisco Systems.

HTC One looks great. But will anyone care? – CNET looks at the fundamental problem plaguing the company: the lack of marketing muscle. While HTC has had a history of showing off buzz-worthy products, dating back to the first Android smartphone in the G1 and the first 4G phone in the Evo 4G, the company has more recently shown a troubling trend: the tendency to get ignored in the marketplace.

Google stock hits new record, closes above $800 – Google’s stock closed at an all-time high of $806.85 today, becoming the first tech firm to pass the $800 mark and signaling that Wall Street approves of the company’s rumored move into retail stores. The stock has jumped 14 percent since the start of the year, more than double the Nasdaq’s 6.4 percent gain.

Webopedia Daily:

Hadoop Distributed File System – HDFS – The Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) is a sub-project of the Apache Hadoop project. This Apache Software Foundation project is designed to provide a fault-tolerant file system designed to run on commodity hardware. According to The Apache Software Foundation, the primary objective of HDFS is to store data reliably even in the presence of failures including NameNode failures, DataNode failures and network partitions. The NameNode is a single point of failure for the HDFS cluster and a DataNode stores data in the Hadoop file management system. HDFS uses a master/slave architecture in which one device (the master) controls one or more other devices (the slaves). The HDFS cluster consists of a single NameNode and a master server manages the file system namespace and regulates access to files.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Every Webpage Is Connected by 19 Clicks or Less – Hungarian physicist Albert-László Barabási recently discovered that of the roughly 1 trillion Web documents in existence — 14 billion-plus pages as well as every image, video, or other hosted file ever — most are linked to only a few other pages or documents. Barabási’s findings, published over the weekend in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, chalk the “small world after all” concept up to simple human nature. In the real and virtual worlds, people tend to group together into communities of like-mindedness.

Software update goes bad – International Space Station lost and then found – Even if you have everything from Plan B all the way to Plan Z just in case the A-plan fails, you’ll know that things can still go wrong. So spare a thought for NASA flight controllers, who lost contact with the ISS for a nerve-racking three hours during a recent software update.

Microsoft loses yet another fanboy – Microsoft lost one of the fanboys I happen to work with. This person is one of those guys that gets it on many levels. Not only is he incredibly intelligent, he’s also a brilliant bench technician. But when Microsoft started announcing their licensing terms for Office 2013 — he started asking me questions. The questions all began with “So Jack, talk to me about Linux.” And so I did. It didn’t take long after that before he had installed Ubuntu 12.10 over his Windows 7 installation and was happily working, sans Microsoft, without missing a beat.

Photoshop 1.0 source code now a museum artifact – The technocurious now can peruse the inner workings of Adobe’s first version of the famed image-editing software, written in Pascal and assembly code and released in 1990.

Dvorak: A Farewell to Compact Cameras – No matter what anyone says, phone cameras are still pinhole cameras. They should be used only in an emergency, when you don’t have a real camera handy. These cameras are also fit for people who wouldn’t normally own a real camera and probably will take very few pictures with the phone anyway. But this trend toward using smartphone cameras appears to be unstoppable. It will eventually decimate the market for compact cameras, leaving only the DSLRs and mirror-less versions of the DSLR.

Today’s Quote:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”

–     Upton Sinclair

Today’s Free Downloads: – Windows Repair – – Windows Repair is an all-in-one repair tool to help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including registry errors and file permissions as well as issues with Internet Explorer, Windows Update, Windows Firewall and more.

Microsoft Security Essentials – Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News