Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 2, 2013

Tune out, turn off on National Day of Unplugging – It sounds terrifying, but don’t worry, you won’t be alone. The National Day of Unplugging begins at sundown to encourage people to power down their devices and take a break from tech. It’s the ultimate challenge: see if you can last 24 hours without documenting your life on the Internet. If you eat a gorgeous meal without taking an Instagram photo, did it really exist? If you say something funny without being real-life retweeted, did anyone hear it?

Exclusive free giveaway of a popular weather app, YoWindow – Rated 4.5 stars by CNET, we are giving away a free copy of YoWindow Unlimited for PC or Mac for three days only. Watch the weather around the world from the comfort of your own home and never be caught in the rain without an umbrella again.

Barely Legal Teens: Apple iCloud E-mails with Naughty Phrases Deleted – According to several reports, Apple is silently filtering and deleting e-mails that contain certain phrases. I see two problems here, which both point to broader dilemmas with Apple as a company.

Android-x86 runs on your desktop PC – Andriod-x86 can best be described as an unofficial initiative to port Google’s popular mobile operating system to run on devices powered by Intel and AMD x86 processors, rather than RISC-based ARM chips. Recently, the Android-x86 team released a new build based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Brad Linder of Liliputing reports the new version is a little rough around the edges, but does let users run Android and even install a number of apps.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to Identify nameless music tracks – TuneUp, SongGenie, and Shazam promise to ID unknown songs, but when music-identification programs fail to name that tune, a little Internet sleuthing can help you fill in the missing information in your audio library.

Why IT security pros can be scarier than the ‘bad guys’ – I thought I harbored a healthy amount of paranoia before I went to this week’s RSA Conference for IT security professionals in San Francisco. But now I’m just plain scared—and not about hackers and phishers, the perennial bogeymen of the Internet underground. No, the people who scare me even more are the security professionals who work for big business. They want my online data, your online data, everyone’s online data. And they want it more than even the bad guys who make headlines.

Open any folder with the Windows-E keyboard shortcut – As regular Hassle-Free PC readers know, I love my keyboard shortcuts. And one of my favorites by far is the Windows key plus E (Win-E for short), which instantly opens Windows Explorer. (Aside: It always amazes me how many people don’t really know that Explorer exists. But it’s the go-to tool for finding and managing files. End of aside.)

Digital storage basics, Part 4: SSD explained – Do you know that there’s a garbage collection inside your SSD? It’s true! CNET editor Dong Ngo explains that and more. He also answers SSD-related questions.

How SSD power faults scramble your data – Flash SSDs are non-volatile, so what could go wrong when power fails? A great deal, even on high-end “enterprise” SSDs.

11 Tech Gadgets for Babies – New parents will go gaga over these gadgets, including a power-folding stroller, smart socks, self-warming bottles, and more.

FCC mulls options for reversing the cellphone unlocking ban – A petition to end the ban on unauthorized cell phone unlocking may have gotten some attention in high places. The Federal Communications Commission now plans to investigate whether the ban harms economic competitiveness, and what the executive branch’s options are for changing the law, TechCrunch reports.


New Java 0-day exploited in ongoing attacks – FireEye has detected yet another Java zero-day vulnerability being exploited in attacks in the wild. FireEye has notified Oracle about the flaw, so you can look forward to a new update – hopefully very soon! In the meantime, the researchers are advising users to disable Java.

How to Disable Java – Disable Java now! Java is a cross-platform language that’s been mightily abused by hackers. With new security bugs being discovered week after week, many experts advise everyone to simply disable Java. Here’s how.

Apple now blocks older versions of Adobe’s Flash player in Safari – A new security update from Apple blocks outdated versions of Adobe’s Flash plug-in, forcing users to nab the newest version.

Facebook fixes bug that leaked users’ phone numbers – Facebook said that when retrieving a user’s email address via graph API, app developers were receiving a 10-digit number once for every 1,000 users, more or less (mileage varies), instead of the properly formatted email address the documentation states that the field should return.

China Publicly Claims to Be the Victim of U.S. Cyberattacks – On Thursday the Chinese government, long considered the aggressor in highly publicized U.S. cyberattacks, publicly spoke about being the victim. Two of its military Web sites were attacked an average of 144,000 per month and two-thirds of those strikes came from the United States, according to a ministry spokesman.

Company News:

Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload saga takes another turn – FBI wins appeal in extradition case – The Kim Dotcom saga took yet another turn today when the New Zealand Court of Appeal knocked back one of the big fella’s earlier minivictories again US law enforcers.

Radware launches cloud-based DDoS attack mitigation system – At RSA Conference 2013 in San Francisco, Radware announced DefensePipe, an integrated and comprehensive solution to help mitigate volumetric DDoS attacks which threaten to saturate a customer’s Internet pipe, or the “outside line” that connects enterprises to the web.

BlackBerry 10 update shows improvements – The company BlackBerry listened to its users and issued an update to improve the device even before its U.S. launch.

Mark Shuttleworth: Serious people are saying Ubuntu is better than Windows 8 on tablets – The Ubuntu OS on smartphones and tablets has been grabbing headlines and gaining support quickly since the plans were formally unveiled at the beginning of 2013. ZDNet met the man behind Ubuntu to see what he had to say about the project.

Google CFO plays down Samsung conflict talk, touts Chromebook mojo – “I think that both Samsung and ourselves have benefited not only on the Android side but also on the Chrome side,” says Google CFO Patrick Pichette,

Webopedia Daily:

Enterprise Linux – Enterprise Linux is the term used to reference any distribution (distro) of the open source Linux operating system that is targeted to the commercial market — not to consumers — for use on corporate or small business servers, desktops, workstations and mobile deployments. Some of the different Enterprise Linux distributions include Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), CentOS, Oracle Enterprise Linux, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED).

Games and Entertainment:

Claim: Action games may boost reading skills – Action games may have been criticized over the years by those concerned over excessive violence, but a new study conducted by university researchers claims playing such games may actually boost reading skills.

AMD plans to sell an APU based on modified PlayStation 4 hardware – Chip maker AMD will sell a cut-down version of the custom chip it developed for the upcoming Sony PlayStation 4 gaming console. The accelerated processing unit (APU) from AMD won’t be quite as potent as the one destined for Sony’s console, but it will be very similar to the custom APU powering the PS4.

How gaming could help cure cancer – Amazon, Facebook and Google have teamed up with Cancer Research UK to design and develop a mobile game to accelerate cures for cancer.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Is Yahoo’s telework ban shortsighted or savvy? – Marissa Mayer’s decision to end telecommuting at Yahoo ignited a firestorm of criticism for the CEO, who has been accused of sending the company back to the digital dark ages by eliminating flexible work arrangements. Employee morale will plummet, Yahoo will lose key people, and Mayer’s efforts to enhance collaboration will backfire, critics predict. There’s plenty of research that seems to back up these dire predictions.

Police chief suspended for Facebook pic with gun-toting woman – A Pennsylvania police chief claims his Facebook account was hacked — which doesn’t entirely explain a picture of him displayed there. It features a fetching lady with a bare midriff and two guns.

The top 10 unsolved ciphertexts – For over 12 centuries an intense battle has been fought between the code-makers and the code-breakers. But despite decades of cryptanalysis, there are many ciphertexts which have gone unsolved, leaving us in mystery. Here’s our top ten list, can you solve them?

Smart bracelet glows with smartphone notifications – Turn off your ringer and get your smartphone alerts and notifications in a rainbow of colors with the Embrace+ smart bracelet.

Law firms seek victims of ‘bad robot surgery’ – Did your robot doctor mess up your insides? This lawsuit in the making sounds like a joke, but it’s real.

Today’s Quote:

“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”

–      Albert Einstein

Today’s Free Downloads:

Google Earth – Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others.

Run-Command 1.06 – Run-Command is a small windows program created as an alternative to the standard Windows Run-Dialog. In this program you will find a number of improvements e.g. the function run as administrator and add to favorites commands.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

3 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 2, 2013

  1. Hey Bill,

    I really appreciate you adding in some linux articles. Maybe you always did and I just never noticed them before. Although writing this I am on Windows (site day) I really love linux so far and use it as my main OS. I have found out the only real way to test it out is to dive right in. Booting off the CD only goes so far.

    Linux can be very frustrating at times because there is not the depth of answers to problems on the net but I am slowly figuring out how to tweak it to get it the way I want it.

    Anyway, thanks for throwing in the linux articles in.


    • Hey TeX,

      Yep, been referencing Linux since the beginning. Good to see someone (other than me) finds them useful. 🙂

      Good to hear that you’ve jumped in with both feet.



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