Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 7, 2013

Dad pays 14-year-old daughter $200 to quit Facebook – A father makes his 14-year-old daughter sign a contract that means for a mere $200 she will not be on Facebook for five months. He is paying in installments.

Journey to ‘Oz’ With New Google Chrome Experiment – The site, dubbed “Find Your Way to Oz,” takes users through the dusty Kansas circus inhabited by the Wizard before a tornado whisked him away to Oz. Compose a tune on the Music Box, or enable your webcam and snap some shots in the Photo Booth. When you’re ready, hop into a hot air balloon and navigate toward that menacing tornado approaching in the distance. You’ll be in Oz in no time.

Short on Valentine’s Day ideas? Here are 10 apps to help – Want to know if you are a good kisser? Or how about finding a quote to express your love? Have no clue what to do for Valentine’s Day? Here’s a guide to help get through the romantic holiday.

KeePass makes strong passwords and keeps them safe – If you adopt just one security tool this year, make it KeePass. This free and open-source password manager is available for Windows, with unofficial ports for iOS, Android, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Whitepaper: Security questions for your web hosting provider – Here are 10 questions you should be asking your hosting provider about features and services that will help to keep your site secure, covering general security practices, application security and operation of the site itself.

Google Maps 38 More Ski Resorts in U.S., Canada – With winter in full swing, Google this week bolstered its library of ski resort maps, helping skiers plan their trip to the mountains and find their way around the slopes once they get there. The Web giant on Wednesday added run and lift maps to Google Maps for 38 additional ski resorts across the U.S. and Canada.

EU wants to force firms to report cyberattacks – More than 40,000 companies across the EU could be forced to warn regulators if their systems are hacked, under new cybersecurity proposals to be published today. Firms involved in ‘critical infrastructure’ – including banks, search engine providers, cloud providers and hospitals – would be required to report to new national authorities to be set up in each member state, along with a a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).

The 5 Best External Hard Drives – With the need to back up an increasing amount of data, an external hard drive is a must-have. We take the angst out of your search with the top 5 best external hard drives on the market today.

5 Ubuntu alternatives worth checking out – Linux is a free and open-source desktop operating system, and is recognized as the third most popular desktop operating system in the world. Unlike OS X or Windows, there are many different versions — called distributions (or distros) — that all fall under the “Linux” umbrella.

Microsoft looking to release Office for Linux in 2014 – I sit here, basking in heavenly light and bathed in angelic chorus, because I know that 2014 will finally be the year of desktop Linux. How do I know this? Am I the messianic lovechild of Torvalds and Stallman? No — I know it because Microsoft is apparently going to release Office for Linux in 2014.

Ubuntu OS smartphones to hit stores in October – The open-source operating system for PCs and TVs is making its way to mobile. Look for the first phones to arrive in the fall.

Free Microsoft quick-start guides teach you the Office 2013 basics – Microsoft wants to help you get started using the new suite. Specifically, the company just unveiled a collection of Office 2013 Quick Start Guides, printable sheets packed with tips, shortcuts, screenshots, and other useful suite stuff.

Mozilla Updates to Firefox 18.0.2 For Facebook ‘Tickle’ – Mozilla is now out with Firefox 18.0.2, the second incremental update for Firefox 18 in the last two weeks. Firefox 18 was first released at the beginning of January and was followed a few weeks later with the 18.0.1update fixing 7 bugs. Apparently those 7 fixes were not enough.

Report: Xbox Next to block used games, require always-on Internet connection – According to sources who claim to have first-hand experience with the Xbox Next, the console won’t allow players to load used video games. The sources also claims that while the console focuses heavily on online functionality, games will continue to be sold in physical format. Another allleged downside? The 720 will supposedly require an Internet connection to function, with a updated version of Live said to be an integral part of the new system.

Security:

Nearly a third of all computers are infected with malware – PandaLabs released its annual security report which details an extremely interesting year of data theft, social networking attacks and cyber-warfare. The most devastating news? 31.98 percent of all computers scanned around the world had malware.

Researcher warns about critical flaw in D-Link routers – A security flaw in D-Link’s DIR-300 and DIR-600 routers could allow remote attackers to inject execute arbitrary shell commands via a simple POST request without being authenticated to the device or by tricking the routers’ owners into sending the request themselves, warns security researcher Michael Messner. According to the timeline he shared in his blog post, he notified D-Link about the existence of the flaw back in December 2012. The company responded a little less than two weeks ago, claiming that the problem is browser-related and that they are not planning on providing a fix.

Microsoft, Symantec Join Forces to Take Down Bamital Click-Fraud Botnet – Microsoft and Symantec have shut down a massive click fraud botnet known as Bamital, numerous variants of which have been in circulation since 2009 amassing several million dollars in fraudulent profit for the attackers as well as spreading more malware including scareware.

Cyberwar Name Game a Dangerous Play – The term “cyberwar” is the “zero day” of security jargon; it’s getting so that every bug is a zero day and every attack is hash-tagged cyberwar. Too much brainpower and bandwidth is being wasted on labels, while networks run at the whim of hackers, regardless of whether they live in Atlanta or Asia—and it’s forcing the cyberwar discourse down some nerve-racking paths.

Banking Trojan posing as Avast AV – A banking Trojan masquerading as the popular free AV solution from Avast has been spotted on computers of Brazilian users, reports Kaspersky Lab Expert Dmitry Bestuzhev. The malware is delivered via email, and among other things, it misuses the system tray icon of the aforementioned legitimate software.

Citadel Trojan Moves from Crime to Espionage – A team of attackers with a penchant for Shakespearian verse has used the popular cyber-crime program known as Citadel to infiltrate government offices in Poland and Japan as well as a number of companies in Denmark and Sweden, according to a report published by security firm McAfee.

Company News:

Microsoft ads attack Google over privacy – Microsoft has launched an aggressive PR campaign against Google, claiming users are being ‘scroogled’ by its privacy practices.

Apple Adds Self-Published Books to iTunes – The traditional book publishing industry is still coming to grips with the challenges presented by e-books and self publishing platforms. Now Apple is moving into the world of self publishing with a new section in iTunes called Breakout Books.

Dell Goes Private: What They’re Saying – Dell’s bold decision to go private wasn’t particularly shocking after rumors about the impending move surfaced a few weeks ago, but it’s a development that nevertheless has the potential to shake up the tech industry.

Study finds racial bias in ads displayed on Google searches – Google searches for racially associated names appear to produce ads results for those searches that reflect racial profiling, according to a recently released study by a Harvard University professor. Searches containing names associated with African-Americans were more likely to produce Google AdSense ads related to arrest background checks on search result pages, according to the study by the professor, Lantanya Sweeney.

Webopedia Daily:

Hyperscale – Hyperscale computing refers to the infrastructure and provisioning needed in distributed computing environments for effectively scaling from several servers to thousands of servers. Hyperscale computing is often employed in environments like cloud computing and big data and is commonly associated with platforms like Apache Hadoop.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Jeremy Clarkson’s P45 – Top Gear (video 3:15) – Jeremy Clarkson takes the smallest car in the world, the P45, for a test drive.

Silly yet lovable Canadians ad goes viral (video 1:30) – A new Molson Canadian television ad, portraying Canadians as silly yet lovable the world over, has gone viral with more than 1 million views since it was posted on YouTube on Sunday. The ad, titled simply, “Molson Canada — The Canadians,” is set for wider release this Monday on television.

The top 10 cracked ciphertexts from history – A cipher is a method for encrypting messages to keep them safe from prying eyes. Here’s our round-up of the top notable ciphertexts that have been cracked in the last five thousand years.

Filterless camera sensor tech from Panasonic might be a low-light breakthrough – Panasonic claims it has come up with a radical new way to redirect the light coming into a sensor so that nearly all of it can be used by the sensor. Instead of using an array of tiny microfilters in a traditional CFA, the new approach uses what Panasonic calls “micro color splitters” that diffract the light so that various combinations of wavelengths (colors) hit different photosites.

Walkie Talkies: Recycled phones embedded in fancy footwear – Recycled cell phones get a fashionable new lease on life as they’re embedded into the soles of high heels, Wellington boots, running shoes, and men’s dress shoes.

Today’s Quote:

“What some people mistake for the high cost of living is really the cost of high living.”

–     Doug Larson

Today’s Free Downloads:

Q-Dir Portable – Q-Dir makes your files and folder easy to manage. Fast and easy access to your hard disks, network folders, USB-Stiks, floppy disks and other storage devices.

NoScript – NoScript’s unique whitelist based pre-emptive script blocking approach prevents exploitation of security vulnerabilities (known and even not known yet!) with no loss of functionality.

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6 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 7, 2013

  1. Michael Fisher

    One word:- Moosehead 🙂

  2. NoScript is an excellent security add-on for those that are using Firefox.
    ScriptNo gives you that some type of protection for those that use the Chrome Browser : https://code.google.com/p/scriptno/