Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 5, 2013

Lock Screen Bypass Flaw Found in Samsung Androids – A vulnerability exists in Samsung devices running Android version 4.1.2 that could give unauthenticated users the ability to circumvent the screen lock and view the home screen, run apps, and reach out to contacts without successfully completing Android’s pattern lock, PIN, password or Face Unlock mechanisms.

Browsers Standing Up For User Privacy – Mozilla chief privacy officer Alex Fowler relayed a vivid anecdote last week during RSA Conference 2013 that illustrates the lengths third parties such as advertisers, data brokers and others who traffic in users’ online behavior will go to track you once you land on a website. Free Password Manager – Essentially a vault for all of your online passwords, PasswordBox sets itself apart from competitors with some innovative security features. To access your PasswordBox account you would need a Master Key that only you would know. Keys are placed under “Government-Level” encryption on the client side (your PC) before being sent off to PasswordBox. If your data is ever compromised, the thief would have no way of accessing it since PasswordBox would not have the needed decryption key.

The 13 Best Android Widgets for 2013 – Work faster and stay better-informed by adding these essential Android widgets to your homescreen.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Use a Google Voice phone number to keep your personal number private – Last year I shared three things you should know about Google Voice—basically a rundown of three cool ways to use the service. Here’s a fourth: Use it as a disposable phone number. One of the neat things about Google Voice is that you can route calls to that number to any/all of your existing numbers (home, office, cell phone, etc.).

Grayscale Tool for Chrome makes Web pages easier to read – Check out this Chrome extension that can help you focus on the reading material, while also saving you from eye strain.

The 100 Best iPad Apps – Our list of the top iPad apps is all new. Old favorites have been expunged to make room for the latest and greatest apps. All of these apps are designed specifically for the iPad and iPad mini, so there are no scaled-up iPhone apps here.

Microsoft sends cut-off notices to Office 365 preview users – Emails sent by Microsoft last week outline what happens when the previews expire and urge customers to subscribe to the paying versions of Office 365. Microsoft is sending out Office 365 Home Premium preview expiration warnings: Pay up or lose full functionality.

White House: It’s time to legalize cell phone unlocking – The Obama Administration is making its opinion about cell phone unlocking crystal clear in a new memo.

How to survive inevitable cloud failures – Sure, the cloud delivers awesome benefits like file synchronization, Netflix, and Gmail. But you’d be an idiot to rely on it completely. Here’s how to mitigate the biggest risks associated with the cloud.

Five ways to job hunt using Facebook – Would you use Facebook to job hunt? According to the 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey by recruiting and job site Jobvite, Facebook is emerging as a leading social network for job hunting. But job seekers aren’t the only ones turning to social media, recruiters are, too. According to the survey, 86 percent of recruiters say they seek out potential candidates’ social media profiles.

Best music and audio apps for Android – Whether you’re itching to hear a specific song or you want to sit back and let the app do the programming, we’ve got the music and audio apps for you.

Why Moore’s Law, not mobility, is killing the PC – While rumors of the PC’s demise are greatly exaggerated—an industry that moved more than 350 million units in 2012 is not “dead”—computers undoubtedly aren’t selling as quickly as they once did. Analysts forecast PC sales to far exceed tablet sales for the foreseeable future, but the growth rate for PC sales has utterly and completely flatlined. The big question, of course, is why?


Warning from “Mark Zurckerberg” leads to account hijacking – If you get an email sent by “Mark Zurckerberg”, saying your Facebook account might be permanently suspended because of violations of the social network’s Terms of Service, fight the urge to follow the offered link for “account verification.” The message is bogus, and the link will take you to a fake Facebook login web page set up for harvesting login credentials.

Prompted by Oracle Rejection, Researcher Finds Five New Java Sandbox Vulnerabilities – Giving a prolific bug hunter an excuse to go poking deeper into a potential security issue generally doesn’t end well or the vendor in question—in this case Oracle. Polish security firm Security Explorations, noteworthy for its Java security research, said today it reported five new vulnerabilities in Java SE 7 to Oracle. If combined, researcher Adam Gowdiak said, they can be used to gain a complete bypass of the Java sandbox.

Has Justin Bieber died in a car crash? No. But that doesn’t stop Facebook users spreading the “news” – Has Justin Bieber died in a car crash? No. But that doesn’t stop Facebook users spreading the “news.” Get your real news from real news websites. Don’t trust Google or your Facebook friends, as they may be sharing links and stories that simply aren’t true.

Blackhole outfitted with exploit for recently patched Java flaw – The exploit for the recently patched CVE-2013-0431 Java vulnerability has been added to the Blackhole exploit kit, Trend Micro researchers report. The fact was discovered through the analysis of the latest PayPal-themed spam run that leads to a page hosting the exploit kit.

Locked-down BlackBerry offers classified, personal use – Secusmart and BlackBerry show off technology that lets a secure phone be used for personal tasks, too, with minimum hassle. The German government is a fan.

Security is changing, organizations are unprepared – F5 Networks announced the findings of its 2013 RSA Security Trends Survey, which revealed that organizations are struggling to keep pace with the changing face of security. Respondents were RSA attendees with IT responsibilities over planning, management, oversight, or implementation of security.

Evernote shoots itself in foot over “never click on ‘reset password’ requests” advice – Evernote advice: Never click on ‘reset password’ requests in emails – instead go directly to the service. That’s a very sound piece of advice, because of the obvious threat – after millions of Evernote customers had their usernames and email addresses stolen – of phishing email attacks. But take a closer look at the email that Evernote has sent out, with the subject line “Evernote Security Notice: Service-wide Password Reset”:

Company News:

New trial for Apple v. Samsung possible as judge slashes damages – A new trial in the case of Apple v. Samsung is back on the table as the presiding judge slashes Apple’s award winnings by nearly half.

The Pirate Bay Moves to … North Korea? – In a strange move, The Pirate Bay will filter its operations through North Korea.

IBM takes cloud software, services to OpenStack – IBM announced today that its entire array of cloud software and services will be based on the open cloud architecture, allowing end-users and customers to buy various equipment from contributing members of the OpenStack software group without having to face tie-in with one particular vendor. OpenStack is open-source software and services designed for cloud computing services.

BlackBerry Apologizes, Woos Business and IT – BlackBerry today courted its core group of customers – business and IT professionals. The event kicked off with a round of mea culpas from BlackBerry heads.

Facebook served new lawsuit over bungled IPO – An early investor files a new case against the social network saying, “The defendants were unjustly enriched because they realized enormous profits and financial benefits from the IPO.”

Webopedia Daily:

Swivel chair interface – Swivel chair is a slang term for a common interface work-around that involves manually entering data into one system and then entering the same data into another system. The term is derived from the practice of the user turning from one system to another using a swivel chair. The swivel chair interface can be eliminated with better network management and unified interfaces and data integration.

Games and Entertainment:

Restart until you get it right – Rayman Jungle Run is an excellent single-touch control running game that keeps you on your toes as you try to collect all the coins (Lums) and attempt to complete perfect levels. Powered by the same UbiArt Framework engine that brought you Rayman Origins, Rayman Jungle Run features excellent graphics and a simplified control system for a great all-around game.

Bungie COO Pete Parsons discovers his Destiny – With Halo selling over 50 million copies worldwide and still going strong under the new guidance of 343 Industries, Bungie has teamed up with Activision for a new transmedia shooter franchise called Destiny. While not an MMO game, Destiny is being designed using new technology from NVIDIA and a new game engine from Bungie to craft an overarching story that allows individual players to pave their own way through this sci-fi shooter adventure.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Finally, an Open-World Pirate Game – Surprise! Ubisoft’s leaping straight to a numbered sequel with what’s it’s calling Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, a “vast” open-world pirate game.

Game of Thrones season 3 extended trailer lights the pyre – HBO has posted an extended version of a recent trailer teasing the upcoming season of its dramatic fantasy serial.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Need to lend your key? E-mail it, Fraunhofer says – The German research organization is showing technology that lets NFC-equipped smartphones unlock doors, and let one person effectively e-mail a key to another.

Samsung Galaxy S IV to Include Eye-Tracking Tech – The rumored tech will allow the user to scroll through Web pages with their eyes.

Surface tablets, big screen TVs will be good buys in March – New models are making room for price cuts on recent introductions, including Ivy Bridge laptops, tablets, HD TVs and PS3s, which may pique attention of bargain hunters.

Word Trumps All – After Web browsers Word is the most-used app on the planet; it’s still the platinum standard in word processing. Nothing else even comes close.

Pew: When it Comes to Politics, Twitter Is Nasty, Brutish, and Short – Reaction to U.S. politics on Twitter can swing liberal or conservative, but one attitude that dominates the microblogging platform is negativity, report finds

Today’s Quote:

“There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.”

–     Don Herold


Today’s Free Downloads:

Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) 5.2.1 – Consolidate as many diagnostic tools as possible into one bootable CD. This will create an ISO image which you can use to create a bootable CD with your favorite CD burning software.

GMER – GMER is an application that detects rootkits and allows you to monitor system functions including drivers loading, libraries loading, file functions, registry entries, TCP/IP connections and more.


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