Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 9, 2013

‘Privacy killer’ CISPA is coming back, whether you like it or not – Dubbed a “privacy killer” by online activists, love it or hate it, the cyber-security CISPA bill will likely be brought into law—whether it’s from the reintroduction of the bill by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, or President Obama issuing (yet another) executive order.

Windows 8: Put its hidden security features to work! – Lost among Windows 8’s many controversies are some useful security tools. Here’s how to leverage them to the max.

Top 10 Things Your Smartphone Sucks At (and How to Fix Them) – Sometimes, smartphones can be a boon for your personal productivity, but other times it’s amazing how much trouble they have performing simple tasks. Here are ten things your phone probably sucks at, and how to make it work better.

Share photos and accompanying audio with PhotoBlab – If Instagram and Vine had a baby, they’d name it PhotoBlab. This free iPhone app lets you create and share short photo slideshows with audio.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Box Offering 50GB of Free Storage to New Users – The popular cloud storage service Box is currently offering 50GB of space for free to new users who sign up for an account. The signup page says the giveaway is a “Dell Exclusive Offer,” though it doesn’t appear that you need to own a Dell computer or be a Dell employee to take advantage of the offer. Typically, you get just 5GB of space when you sign up for a free account.

Facebook redirection bug is now fixed but troubling – The temporary glitch, which affected users on Thursday afternoon, appeared to affect those who were logged into Facebook when they visited the third-party sites in question. Users reported being redirected to Facebook’s site and an error message that said, “An error occurred. Please try again later.”

Former Employee Charged With Accessing Thousands of Driver’s Licenses – A former Minnesota state employee was charged Thursday with misdemeanors for allegedly accessing thousands of driver’s licenses during a four-year period and storing 172 of them in an encrypted file. Ninety percent of victims in the data breach were women.

How Justin Bieber’s name is used by internet perverts – In response to an increased number of sexual blackmailers harassing and terrorising young girls online, the FBI has published tips to help young people better protect themselves. We also added a few more for good measure.

Anonymous reveals ample Fed access, FBI opens criminal investigation – Anonymous published a file revealing significant access to the Federal Reserve’s internal files and servers; amid accusations of inaction and non-transparency the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into Sunday’s bank hack.

Easily stream radio and podcasts with UberTalk – On the Web or from your iPhone or Android device, UberTalk gives you one-click access to thousands of radio shows and podcasts.

Google awards more prominent spot for third-party Drive apps – As other cloud storage services give more prominence to third-party apps, Google Drive is following suit.

Security:

Bogus cleaning apps on Google Play install backdoor on PCs – Malicious Android apps able to infect and set up a backdoor on PCs running pre-Windows 7 operating systems have been recently spotted by researchers of several security companies. Both Kaspersky Lab and McAfee spotted two fake “cleaner” apps by the name of “DroidCleaner” and “SuperClean,” offered by a developer named “Smart.Apps” on Google Play.

Bit9 hacked, used to inject malware into customers’ networks – Security vendor Bit9 has been hit by a serious security breach of its own network. Intruders broke into a core part of the company’s service and used its own trusted digital certificates to create pre-authorised malware.

Patch Tuesday: IE at risk of malware attacks; 57 flaws in total – In the latest round of monthly patches from Microsoft, users of Internet Explorer should jump ship for the next few days as all versions of the browser are at risk of malware attacks.

Emergency Adobe Flash Player Patches Fix Pair of Zero Days – Exploits targeting two previously unreported flaws in Flash Player prompted Adobe to release an emergency patch yesterday. One of the attacks is targeting aerospace and other manufacturing companies, and is being delivered via infected Microsoft Office documents. The other is being carried out over the Web targeting Firefox and Safari on Mac OS X.

Children turning into malicious code developers – In a world filled with laptops, tablets and smartphones, today’s children become digitally fluent far earlier than previous generations. Now, AVG has found evidence that pre-teens are writing malware designed to steal login details from online gamers, both young and old. (fear mongering to the max)

Twitter users hit with typo-squatting phishing campaign – In the wake of last week’s compromise of 250,000 Twitter accounts comes another threat to Twitter users: phishing messages – both DMs and tweets – that lure in the curious by asking “Did you see this pic of you?” Appended to the message is a bit.ly shortened link that leads to a changing subdomain on hecro.ru, from which the victims are redirected to one of a number of spoofed Twitter login pages located on typosquat-style domains such as tivtter.com, iftwtter.com and iwltter.com.

Company News:

LinkedIn shuts down would-be hook-up service – LinkedIn has shut off its API access to “Bang With Professionals,” a Web service that was intended to facilitate more, say, intimate connections among users of the business-oriented social networking site. The service was designed to allow LinkedIn users to anonymously search for people in their LinkedIn network who would be interested in meeting up for casual sex.

Microsoft Report Examines Socio-Economic Relationships to Malware Infections – Tired of all those malware and vulnerability reports that count how many of each have been reported to security companies? Well, Microsoft has taken a different tack in its latest Security Intelligence Report (SIR) by globally comparing regions’ relative security against socio-economic factors including the maturity of a national or regional cybersecurity policy.

Why MasterCard wanted Mu Sigma’s big data mojo – You can be forgiven for not thinking of the financial services and payment processing giant as a big data player. But after the company announced that it was investing in and partnering with Chicago’s Mu Sigma yesterday, it was a stark reminder that the company is — and has been — betting a lot of money on lines of business based on the concept.

Sprint drops Nextel name, posts loss, and eyes the future – Sprint Nextel posted another quarterly loss but reported progress toward becoming just plain Sprint, a company with more money and fewer networks, which it hopes to be by the end of this year.

Webopedia Daily:

Desktop virtualization – Desktop virtualization, often called client virtualization, is a virtualization technology used to separate a computer desktop environment from the physical computer. Desktop virtualization is considered a type of client-server computing model because the “virtualized” desktop is stored on a centralized, or remote, server and not the physical machine being virtualized. Desktop virtualization “virtualizes desktop computers” and these virtual desktop environments are “served” to users on the network. You interact with a virtual desktop in the same way you would use a physical desktop. Another benefit of desktop virtualization is that is lets you remotely log in to access your desktop from any location.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Forrester’s Top Tech Trends Point to Stagnation – The research firm has identified 15 top technology trends to watch, but they are all completely bogus

Eric Schmidt cashing out 42 percent of his Google stock – The former Google CEO is expected to sell off $2.51 billion of his holdings in the search giant, according to SEC documents.

The data black hole that could suck the life out of the internet economy – Data is the fuel of the internet economy – but what if it starts to run out? Inivisible web users and a data privacy black hole could cause web giants to rethink how they deal with customers, according to research.

Acai Berry fake news website operators fined millions of dollars by FTC – The firm behind fake websites such as “News 6 News Alerts,” “Health News Health Alerts,” or “Health 5 Beat Health News” has had to cease its deceptive operations after it was fined by the FTC.

The real way to free Wi-Fi – Unless you’ve been under a rock or don’t care about technology, you already know that The Washington Post story about free “Super Wi-Fi” was fundamentally wrong. There is, however, a realistic plan afoot to bring free Wi-Fi to many people: The Open Wireless Movement.

Today’s Quote:

“In politics, absurdity is not a handicap.”

–     Napoleon Bonaparte

Today’s Free Downloads:

Windows Firewall Control 3.9.0.0 – Windows Firewall Control is a small and easy to use application that runs in your system tray and provides quick access to the most frequent options used from Windows Firewall.

Don’t Sleep 2.99 – Don’t Sleep is a small portable program to prevent system shutdown, Standby, Hibernate, Turn Off and Restart. Don’t Sleep does not have to be installed and can be executed easily from the desktop, and can be carried on a small usb-stick or other memory device.

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