Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 3, 2013

Best Windows utilities apps – The number of tools available to enhance Windows is enormous, so we’ve narrowed down a list of freeware essentials to get you going. We focus on seven key areas: defraggers, system cleaners, uninstallers, launchers and docks, and replacements for Notepad and Task Manager. “Essential extras” contains two must-have utilities that defy category and, for now, competition.

Best Windows security apps – Just because threats to your PC continue to mutate doesn’t mean that you must pay for your peace of mind. We’ve collected some of the top free security and privacy programs available that will keep your computer safer.

DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones – Homeland Security’s specifications say drones must be able to detect whether a civilian is armed. Also specified: “signals interception” and “direction finding” for electronic surveillance.

Most Descriptive Listing of Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts – What most people do not know about Windows; and, especially Windows 8, is that nearly every type of function in Windows can be controlled directly from the keyboard via keyboard shortcuts.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Why teenagers are getting tired of Facebook – Facebook has become a social network that’s often too complicated, too risky, and, above all, too overrun by parents to give teens the type of digital freedom they crave.

Anatomy of a “feature” – what happens if a website grabs all your disk space? – HTML5 allows websites to save data on your hard disk for the next time you visit. Your browser is supposed to restrict how much disk space each website can use. But for most browsers, the restrictions simply don’t work.

Create a storefront in 60 seconds with Planet Soho – Designed for “the smallest of small businesses,” Soho Storefront officially launches next Tuesday as part of the company’s Soho VIP package, which includes business amenities like professional designed group emails, secure cloud storage, various documents and templates, and so on. All you do is sign into your Planet Soho account, click through to your storefront, then start adding products and services. If you have just one or two, it literally takes a matter of minutes to start selling.

Disable notification sounds – Tired of that Facebook tab luring you in with little beeping noises? Here’s how to silence those notification sounds.

Instagram fans await Polaroid Socialmatic Camera in 2014 – In the first quarter of 2014, you’ll be able to buy a Polaroid-branded instant digital camera that will let you shoot photos, apply Instagram filters, share them on Facebook and Instagram, and print your snapshot on Polaroid-style paper.

You’d Need 76 Work Days to Read All Your Privacy Policies Each Year – Need proof? A couple of Carnegie Mellon researchers recently published a paper suggesting that reading all of the privacy policies an average Internet user encounters in a year would take 76 work days. Imagine spending 15 work weeks punching the clock so you could keep up to date on how not to let Internet companies violate your privacy.

Tips for increasing the longevity of your Mac – If you have a new or used Mac then you likely would like to ensure it stays working for as long as possible.

Tech groups question new do-not-track bill – New federal legislation that would allow Internet users to tell companies to stop tracking them is unnecessary and could slow e-commerce growth, some tech groups said.


Evernote reports hack attack, tells users to reset passwords – The attacker gained access to Evernote accounts’ usernames, email addresses, and passwords. Although passwords are encrypted, the company “in an abundance of caution” is implementing a password reset, the company said in a blog post on Saturday. There is no evidence that the malicious hackers accessed user content nor that they obtained customers’ payment information, according to the company.

Mobile Device Safety: A Glimmer Of Hope? – An AVG Technologies study of 5,000 mobile device users indicated some improvement in the secure use of their smartphones and tablets. The study conducted in the UK, US, France, Germany and Brazil indicated that “fewer than 40 percent use their device for either online shopping (35 percent) or online banking (38 percent).” The bad news is that 40 percent of mobile users are still using their devices in this high-risk manner.

Dropbox denies a spam glut – Despite the complaints, Dropbox said it hasn’t been able to detect anything that the spam is out of the ordinary. “At this time, we have not seen anything to suggest this is a new issue, but remain vigilant given the recent wave of security incidents at other tech companies,” a Dropbox team member wrote in one of its forums.

Company News:

Google posts compression code Zopfli to speed downloads – Google is open-sourcing a new general purpose data compression library called Zopfli that can be used to speed up Web downloads. The Zopfli Compression Algorithm, which got its name from a Swiss bread recipe, is an implementation of the Deflate compression algorithm that creates a smaller output size compared to previous techniques

LG notches 10M worldwide sales of LTE-enabled smartphones – South Korean handset maker achieves milestone despite losing market share.

Western Digital claims HDD capacity doubled with nanotech breakthrough – Western Digital has announced what it said is a nanotechnology breakthrough that will allow the company to double data storage capacity on hard disk drives (HDD). The discovery was made by HGST Labs, a company owned by Western Digital (WD), using a technique called nanolithography, which is used to imprint patterns on the thin film of hard drive platters where data is to be stored.

Rumor: T-Mobile to move to no-contract model soon – The carrier will ditch contracts later this month, says a report from blog Tmo, which also offers tidbits about T-Mobile’s new marketing approach.

Webopedia Daily:

Internet meme – An Internet meme is a concept or idea that spreads “virally” from one person to another via the Internet. An Internet meme could be anything from an image to an email or video file, however the most common meme is an image of a person or animal with a funny or witty caption. The proliferation of social media has led to Internet memes spreading very quickly and reaching more people. Many Internet memes use humor and appeal largely to the adolescent and post-adolescent demographic: this demographic is much more likely to discover Internet memes, understand the humor behind them and be willing to forward it on to friends. One of the most famous Internet meme is “LOLcat” which features cute pictures of cats with witty or funny captions.

Games and Entertainment:

Hollywood cracking down on copyright infringement in apps – Hollywood is starting to hunt down mobile apps that contain infringing content and asking that they be removed from app stores. Content rights holders like NBC Universal, Marvel comics, Paramount, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, and Warner Bros. all have submitted requests to Google to take down apps from its Google Play Store that contain infringing content, according to a report by Reuters.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 to support 4K video (but not games) – Are you one of the very few who ran out and dropped a cool $20-$30,000 on a 4K resolution Ultra HD TV? Well, you may want to pick up the long-awaited PlayStation 4 when it finally launches.

Tech Sounds We Rarely Hear and Miss – They say sounds evoke memories. For many of you, these were the tech sounds you grew up with but rarely hear anymore. Here they are again.

Motion controls inch closer to reality – Motion controls on game consoles have created an opportunity for more novel user interfaces that are coming soon to a PC near you.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Microsoft brings interactive 3D desktop interface to life (video 1:02) – Now that we can navigate a computer screen through gestures, could a three-dimensional interface that recognizes gestures be far behind? According to Jinha Lee, who created a 3D desktop when he interned at Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group, the future could be closer than you think. (recommended by Michael F.)

Couple charged over alleged chip-and-dip assault – Police say they were called early Friday to a home in the community west of Peterborough, where there had already been 15 previously documented domestic disputes. When officers arrived at the scene of the disturbance just after 1 a.m., they found both people covered in chips and dip after apparently fighting over the last beer.

MIT panel ponders whether future networks can keep up – And it’s not just the proliferation of smartphones and tablets contributing to skyrocketing growth in the total number of network-connected devices, according to Mehta. The oft-cited phenomenon of the “Internet of things”—which refers to the growth of network connectivity in objects that weren’t previously online—means that there could be as many as 30 billion network devices installed worldwide by 2020.

Did CBS censor ‘Big Bang’ star Kaley Cuoco’s tweet? – “The Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco has found herself in the middle of a big media feud — all over a single tweet. According to The Wrap, who first broke the story, it all started when Cuoco tweeted out this paid endorsement for satellite-TV provider Dish’s new Hopper DVR to her 1.2 million Twitter followers. (suggested by Aseem S.)

Butt-dial to 911 spoils alleged drug deal – A suspected drug deal in Oregon goes awry when the alleged dealer accidentally dials 911 and the dispatcher listens in.

Today’s Quote:

“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”

–       Charles Wadsworth

Today’s Free Downloads:

BDtoAVCHD 1.8.5 – Tool to create AVCHD discs from Blu-Ray or HD MKV files. As output we get the folder structure ready to burn to a DVD5 or DVD9. The video is compressed to achieve the desired overall size of 4.7 GB or 8.5 GB with the highest possible quality.

Ghostery 2.9.1 – Ghostery sees the “invisible” web, detecting trackers, web bugs, pixels, and beacons placed on web pages by Facebook, Google Analytics, and over 1,000 other ad networks. Protect your privacy. See who’s tracking your web browsing and block them with Ghostery.

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