Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 6, 2013

You Got Hacked! What Now? – Somebody has taken over your email or maybe your social media accounts. Congratulations! You’ve been hacked. Here’s how you can recover–and keep the problem from happening again.

Five free desktop backup tools you may never have heard of – I’m not talking about applications with bells and whistles to suit every need. What I’m looking for are applications that can do one job and do it dependably. In my quest to find a backup tool to meet these needs, I came across five that could happily recommend. Let’s take a look at these tools and see which, if any, will do the job you need done.

Gmail Lite brings Gmail to your desktop via Pokki – Gmail Lite is almost perfect, but it is missing several crucial features: You cannot attach files; there is no in-email spellchecking; you cannot choose which email address to send from in case you own several, and (the most painful) the search feature doesn’t work. Nevertheless, Gmail Lite is an excellent client for most Gmail features, and its multiple-user support really seals the deal.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Encrypt data on your Android tablet with SSE – Universal Encryption App – Find out why Jack Wallen thinks SSE – Universal Encryption App could be a handy addition to your BYOD environment.

BBC iPlayer Headed to Windows Phones in the U.K. – The BBC’s iPlayer platform will soon be available on Windows Phone devices in the U.K., but it looks like those in the U.S. will be left out of the party.

Five reasons why Windows 8 has failed – The numbers are in and they don’t lie. Windows 8 market adoption numbers are well behind Microsoft’s greatest previous operating system failure, Vista.

Microsoft fined $733 million for ‘forgetting’ browser choice screen – The European Commission has slapped Microsoft with a €561 million fine for failing to do as it was told and make it easier for users to choose a different web browser.

E-book porn flourishes on Amazon’s Kindle – Platforms for e-book self-publishing like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing let amateur porn producers slap together adult picture books and sell them online with ease.

Meet 60GHz Wi-Fi, the insanely fast future of wireless networking – Get ready for a ridiculous boost in wireless networking speed. Two camps are competing to deliver wireless components that are at least seven times faster than today’s gigabit (IEEE 802.11ac) routers. By harnessing spectrum in the unlicensed 60GHz frequency band, these devices will be capable of offering more bandwidth than hardwired USB 3.0 connections.

Five ways to turn your phone into a killer camera companion – The good news is that you can essentially turn your phone into a photo assistant with little effort, thanks to the wide variety of apps available on Android and iOS. Whether you have a jelly bean, ice cream sandwich, or apple on your plate, your photo app folder is about to get a little more resourceful. Here are Photojojo’s top photography apps.

Report outlines FBI data requests to Google – Some thousand-plus Google users have been subject to FBI security information requests since 2009, the company said Tuesday. The data build on Google’s already existing tally of government data requests. The new figures look at the number of National Security Letters (NSLs)—information requests from the FBI or other executive branch agencies for conducting national security investigations—that Google has received since 2009.

Security:

Rogue Apache modules pushing iFrame injections which drive traffic to Blackhole exploit kit – The Blackhole exploit kit has received a lot of attention recently, and we have published several technical papers on it. The attention is warranted – the kit remains one of the most prevalent being used by criminals to infect users with malware. In this article I am going to take a look at some of the recent attacks against legitimate websites that are being used to drive unsuspecting user traffic to the Blackhole exploit sites.

Evernote Accelerating Two-Factor Authentication Rollout – Following a recent hack that forced Evernote to reset the passwords of its 50 million users, the company is pushing ahead with new security measures originally intended to launch later this year.

Evernote hack shows that passwords aren’t good enough – Unique passwords that are complex offer better protection than using your dog’s name or no password at all, but ultimately all passwords can be cracked or guessed, given enough time and effort.

Dell SecureWorks expands incident response services – Dell SecureWorks is expanding its incident response (IR) services to counter the growing severity and frequency of breaches. Many organizations aren’t equipped internally to plan for and respond to today’s increasingly sophisticated, targeted threats from cybercriminals, hackers and nation states.

USA is number one! (…for spam) – USA! USA! USA! is back on top as the world’s leading spam-relaying country. See what other countries top our ‘dirty dozen’ list and get the latest spam stats from SophosLabs.

Half of companies have lost a device with important data – Half of companies have lost a device with important company data on it, causing security implications for over a fifth of organizations, according to Varonis. 57% of employees believe that BYOD puts their personal data at risk as well. Despite these concerns, 86% of the workforce are obsessed with their devices.

Company News:

Report: Google Prepping YouTube Music-Streaming Service – Fortune today reported that Google-owned YouTube will run its music service separately from Google Music, where users can buy and store tracks via Google Play. Instead, YouTube’s future offering will allow anyone to listen to tracks for free, though subscription options for ad-free listening are likely.

The Pirate Bay admits to North Korean hosting hoax – You’ve got to hand it to the IT wizards at The Pirate Bay—they certainly know how to have fun with their infrastructure set-up. Echoing a prank from 2007, the Pirate Bay on Monday claimed the site was now being hosted in North Korea at that government’s invitation. News outlets soon reported the announcement, although many did so with a healthy dose of skepticism. That doubt was well founded, as the proclamation turned out to be a massive prank.

Nuance Brings Nina Voice Assistant to the Web – Nuance Communications has beaten Apple to the punch, announcing today that its Nina customer service app is available on the Web. Don’t expect to be able to verbally communicate commands to your computer, though. While Nina Web does support text-to-speech output, so she can speak answers to customers, the text-based virtual assistant simply presents a human-like virtual agent with which users can interact via text-chat.

Google Play celebrates its first birthday with special deals – It’s been a year since Google Play was born and to kick off the occasion, the Internet giant is offering a week of gift cards and discounts on music, movies, books, games, and more.

Best Buy ends trailblazing work-at-home program – The electronics retailer nixes its flex-work policy, a week after Yahoo ended its program, as it struggles to turn business around.

Microsoft winds down its anti-Google ad campaign – The company launched the “Scroogled” media blitz late last year, first bashing Google for its pay-to-play listings in Google Shopping, and then knocking Gmail for scanning user e-mails to display targeted ads. A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement that “while the ad portion of the consumer education campaign has finished its scheduled run, this important conversation about privacy continues.”

Webopedia Daily:

CPU – Central Processing Unit – Pronounced as separate letters, CPU is the abbreviation for central processing unit. Sometimes referred to simply as the central processor, but more commonly called processor, the CPU is the brains of the computer where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.

Games and Entertainment:

SimCity Players Overload Origin Servers – SimCity returned today after a 10-year hiatus, and gamers were eager to dig in, prompting delays on Electronic Arts’s Origin platform.

Skyrim update toughens up the monsters, fixes bugs – Bethesda Softworks has announced a major update to its most recent single-player, role-playing adventure game.

Star Wars Pinball impresses with 3D graphics – Whether you’re a fan of Star Wars or pinball or both, this game is a visual delight that’s worth its price.

Imangi Releases ‘Oz’ Version of Temple Run – Less than two months after Temple Run 2 hit app stores — and subsequently set a new record of 50 million downloads in 13 days — Imangi Studios has released a new version of the game based on Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful.

Retro gaming rap: Mario gets hard-core hip-hop makeover – What happens when you mix Mobb Deep and Mario? You get a jangly, hip-hoppy good time full of curse words and retro gaming sound effects.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google Gets Off Easy in Germany – Google must constantly put up with petty lawsuits from European bodies that don’t understand the search engine is only helping them.

It’s never a virus when people say it might be a virus – Check out this virus-related Venn diagram from those amusing folks at XKCD.

Vint Cerf Backs Anonymous Web Surfing – Vint Cerf is not convinced people should have to use their real names on the Internet.

‘Beer Goggles’ A Myth, Researchers Say – You’re going to have to come up with a better excuse for sleeping with that person whom you wish you’d never met. It seems that the old “beer goggles” excuse just won’t work. A new study by the U.K.’s Durham University questions the long-held belief that alcohol consumption makes a person drop their standards as to whom they’d drop their drawers for.

Today’s Quote:

“If ignorance were a crime, our jails would be full”

–       Unknown

Today’s Free Downloads:

SPAMfighter 7.6.30 – If you are looking for an Outlook or Outlook Express tool to remove spam and phishing emails from your inbox, look no further. SPAMfighter is the tool you are looking for. Simple, reliable and efficient.

USB Image Tool 1.61 – USB Image Tool can create images of USB flash drives and MP3 players, that are mounted as USB drives. It allows you switch between images with different music styles on your MP3 Player or to make an exact backup image of your USB Stick.

4 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 6, 2013

  1. Dave B.

    In re: ‘Beer Goggles’ A Myth, Researchers Say; Mythbusters tackled that one in 2008 and came up with a plausible result, so I guess it depends on who you believe (or how drunk you get?) 🙂

  2. Fred

    “Report outlines FBI data requests to Google”
    Bill,
    These are done without warrants, so there is no oversight. Quite chilling when you think about it. They “HATE US FOR OUR FREEDOMS” I think a past president said…

    Also I wanted to thank you, once again, for a tip, and this solved a knotty problem for a college student of my acquaintance, who was attempting to edit a video for a class and the software recommended by the school was NOT working. So I had saved the link you had given us to Any Video Converter Free and I passed it along to her, and, of course, it worked wonderfully and above all else EASILY and was clear and concise in its instructions. I tried to find the Tech Thought date you had given it to reply there but alas gave up. So here are some belated kudos.
    Best wishes, as always,
    Fred

    • Hi Fred,

      We need to ask – how good are these law enforcement types at catching the bad guys? As it turns out, despite the literal raping of fundamental rights and freedoms (essentially an open door policy into peoples’ lives), these perverted peepers absolutely suck at what they do. Hell, they can’t even keep their own sites safe from hackers.

      Glad to hear that Any Video Converter Free proved to be useful.

      Best,

      Bill