Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 4, 2013

Infographic: How Attached Are We to Our PCs? – It’s hard to escape the Internet, but does anyone really want to? A new infographic reveals the truth behind America’s obsession with computers: Not really.

The guilty truth: There’s too much content – How is any fully-functioning human being supposed to keep up with everything they’re interested in, online and off? They can’t. And it’s having psychological consequences.

Make a free call using your iPhone – Here’s a video showing you how to use the Facebook iPhone app to make a free call from anywhere.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Email audio with Record and Email Pro – Jack Wallen takes a look at Record and Email Pro, a free app that allows you to easily record and send audio messages on your Android smartphone.

Turn Facebook friends into a radio station with EQuala – Using EQuala, you can create a personalized radio station based on the music your Facebook friends have been listening to, and control how much influence each person has over the tunes you hear.

An explanation of the Windows 8 Automatic Repair feature – Greg Shultz takes a look at the Automatic Repair from the Recovery Drive feature of Microsoft Windows 8.

Don’t you just love mobile apps? So do malicious code writers – There are some surprising numbers available that tell a dark story about mobile apps and what they can be doing on your device.

Is Cryptography Still Necessary? – Is cryptography becoming less important? At least one member of a panel at the RSA 2013 conference thinks so.

Five alternatives to Microsoft Office – Although Microsoft Office is one of the most popular productivity suites available, it is far from being the only choice available. Here are five alternatives to Microsoft Office that you might consider the next time you are looking to purchase an office suite.

ICANN publishes list of disputed domain names – ICANN has published a list of domain names that their owners, or applicants to new domain names, are disputing with others because of potential confusion among web users on grounds of similarity. The list, containing hundreds of domain name sets, has been put together by ICANN’s “string similarity review” for applications submitted as part of the new gTLD program.

Security:

Jailed hacker allowed into IT class, hacks prison computers – Nicholas Webber, serving five years for creating a hacker’s forum site, is somehow invited into an IT class in jail. The consequences are difficult.

Scammers use Google glasses as lure – Counting on the fact that users will be googling for information about them and ways to procure them, they have poisoned the search results for “free Google glasses” with links that take to survey scams.

CloudFlare Goes Out for an Hour, Takes 785,000 Sites Offline – In trying to thwart a DDOS attack, CloudFlare ends up crashing most of its routers

Evernote admits hack, fails to take its own advice – Cloud-based note-taking service Evernote has admitted it’s been hacked, threatening the personal information of its 50 million users.

Java zero-day malware ‘was signed with certificates stolen from security vendor’ – A new Java zero day shares traits with attacks on Hong Kong Amnesty International, researchers have found.

Bank of America says hackers lifted its data from a partner – Bank of America blames a data breach on another company that revealed internal emails related to monitoring of hacktivist groups including Anonymous. Email correspondence in the data suggests that TEKsystems was a contractor working for Bank of America and charged with monitoring public activity by hacker networks targeting the bank.

Company News:

Google Avoids ‘Link Tax’ in Germany, For Now – Google was handed a small victory in Germany this week when lawmakers there approved a bill that will allow the search giant to freely include headlines and snippets from German publishers on services like Google News. Using a larger portion of content, however, will require payment.

Bitcoin exchange teams with US banks to broaden service – The largest Bitcoin exchange in the world will have a presence in the U.S. starting this month, a move intended to make it easier for people in the U.S. and Canada to buy the virtual currency. The exchange, called Mt. Gox, is working with the U.S. startup CoinLab and Silicon Valley Bank to offer its trading services by March 31, says Peter Vessenes, CEO of CoinLab.

Microsoft Contemplates Updating Office on a Once Per Quarter Schedule – What we don’t know: Just what features (minor or major) Microsoft might pack into quarter updates of Office 2013’s client apps.

Seagate stopping production of 7,200rpm laptop hard drives at end of 2013 – As solid state drives appear in more and more laptops, the manufacturer will cease making the higher-performing drives.

Microsoft targets holidays for next Windows Phone update – Normally tight-lipped about product release plans, the software giant tips its hand in a job posting.

Webopedia Daily:

Wearable technology – Wearable technology (also called wearable gadgets) is a category of technology devices that can be worn by a consumer and often include tracking information related to health and fitness. Other wearable tech gadgets include devices that have small motion sensors to take photos and sync with your mobile devices. Examples of wearable tech include: CommBadge: a wearable Bluetooth personal communicator for iPhone and Android. Google Goggles: a downloadable image recognition application created by Google, used for searches based on images taken by handheld devices.

Games and Entertainment:

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag sails back to series’ roots – Assassin’s Creed III was a bit of a disappointment. It tried some new things that, in the end, made it feel less like past Assassin’s Creed titles and more like a deviation towards a new direction for the series as a whole. And that was scary. Thankfully, Assassin’s Creed IV, from what we’ve seen, seems to cleave closer to the original formula. It’s as though the developers recognize what made past Assassin’s Creed games so great and are working to build AC4 around those qualities.

Razer Game Booster shuts down processes that distract your PC from your game – For pruning that forest of running tasks, turn to Iobit’s Razer Game Booster (free). Game Booster examines your operating environment and selectively shuts down services and programs not directly related to the game you’re playing.

MoMA Exhibit Showcases Video Games as Modern Art – Take a walk through the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) new exhibit, though, and you’ll find yourself transported to an arcade where the vividly decorated cabinets are replaced with smooth walls, and the clink of quarters being dropped into a coin slot is a distant memory. MoMa’s Applied Design installation includes 14 video games, from Pac-Man to Portal.

Off Topic (Sort of):

30 years of PCWorld, 30 pivotal moments in PC history – Talk about longevity. Thirty years ago to this month, PCWorld published its very first print issue, a 310-page magazine loaded with essential news, reviews, and features about IBM PCs and compatible “clones.”

Study: Rude Web Comments Can Polarize Readers’ Perceptions – A study finds that those subjected to rude Web comments can become more polarized about the news article said comments are attached to.

11 adorable images from the dawn of the PC era – The PCWorld.com web domain was created on April 24, 1992, but our oldest retrievable online content is from 1998—and it’s so damn quaint, you’ll be wondering if our editors were creating web graphics in Paint, and fact-checking stories via Alta Vista searches. In the following 11 slides, I present some of the wackiest, most adorable images from PCWorld’s first few years of print publishing. Yes, all the images are real, and all the following products were really big deals back in the day.

BigDog Robot Can Now Hurl Cinder Blocks – If you thought the U.S. Army’s BigDog robot was scary before, then get a load of what it can do now.

Does telecommuting really hurt employee performance? – Academic research suggests that working more than one day a week away from the office, for jobs that require a lot of collaboration with colleagues, can cut into performance.

Today’s Quote:

“Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.”

–       Thomas H. Huxley

Today’s Free Downloads:

PicPick 3.2.3 – PicPick is an all-in-one graphic program that provides full-featured screen capture tool, intuitive image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair and even whiteboard.

Balabolka – Balabolka is a Text-To-Speech software application. All computer voices installed on your system are available to Balabolka. The on-screen text can be saved as a WAV or MP3 file.

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2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 4, 2013

  1. Lacey

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?

    I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.

    Any responses would be greatly appreciated.