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.

Security:

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.

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8 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 24, 2013

  1. Bill,

    You continue to spoil me… Thanks for the link back and mention.

    Rick

  2. Dave B.

    In RE: Rain start times appear on The Weather Channel for Android; Another thing that sets it apart is that the new version has a homepage that is a big giant advertisement, with a small after though to sticking the temp up in the corner. That and the child like interface resulted in it’s removal from my phone, it was my favorite weather app until this update.

    • Hi Dave,

      I’ve never seen an industry quite like this. The old truism “leave well enough alone” just doesn’t compute. 🙂

      Best,

      Bill

      • delenn13

        Hi Bill,

        So true. You should “never say Never” in the Tech World. You will end up eating crow.
        However….”New and improved” doesn’t always mean the best…

        • Hey Delenn13,

          I hear ya – wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to eat delicious crow. 🙂

          “New and improved doesn’t always mean the best” – couldn’t agree more. How often have you installed the new improved version only to find that at least some of the previous functionality has been crippled? Had 2 examples of that to deal with in the past month or so.

          Best,

          Bill