Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 7, 2013

How to protect yourself from debit-card fraud – How’s this for a phone call you don’t want on a Sunday night: Visa’s fraud unit, calling to ask whether you’re aware that $1,371 has been wired from your bank account via Western Union. Unfortunately, it’s far from a rare occurrence…

Screenhero Shares Your Screen with Others, Gives Each Person Their Own Mouse – Screenhero is remarkably good at handling who can do what at any given time: if one user is typing, it won’t let the other person change focus to a new window, for example. With a bit of communication between you and your partner, it should make collaborating a lot easier. Check out the video demo above to see it in action, or hit the link below to try it out for yourself.

Better performance with FancyCache – FancyCache by Romex Software is an interesting piece of software that uses the system’s internal memory to boost read and write speeds to disk drives. All I had to do was set the cache size, the drives that I wanted FancyCache to monitor, and then kicked back and let the software initialize and get to work. After installation and configuration, I noticed an appreciable difference in disk performance compared to before the addition of FancyCache.

Seven-Year Facebook Study Warns of ‘Silent Listeners’ – Facebook users are sharing less information publicly, yet continue to share countless bits of information with what one group of researchers has dubbed “silent listeners.”

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

EU to vote on porn ban, calls for Internet enforcement – In a severe threat to online freedoms in the region, the European Parliament is set to vote in the next week on “a ban on all forms of pornography in the media.”

10 rugged gadgets for surviving dirty, dangerous jobs – Read on to discover gear that is, for the most part, tested to military-grade standards. These cameras, laptops, tablets, and hard drives are tough enough to withstand everything from minor drops and spills to temperatures that make a Nor’easter seem balmy.

Ingenious battery adapter lets a phone control anything powered by AA batteries – The Bluetooth people have been on the hunt for new and cool uses of the popular radio technology, and they have certainly found one in Tethercell. Tethercell is an app-enabled battery adapter that lets you control and monitor AA battery-operated devices using your smartphone or tablet.

Microsoft restores transfer rights for retail Office 2013 copies – As part of its shift to a subscription model, Microsoft introduced a controversial “no transfer” restriction with Office 2013. Now, after an intense outcry from customers, the company has reversed course and agreed to allow users to transfer retail Office licenses between devices.

Comparison: Intel Core i5 vs i7 – There is a wealth of difference between Intel Core i5 vs Core i7 CPUs. We break it down and explain what it all means for your next desktop or laptop purchase.

More Lawmakers Promise Bills to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking – Reps. Anna Eshoo, Jason Chaffetz, Darrell Issa, and Jared Polis join Senate colleagues Ron Wyden and Patrick Leahy in calling for legislation that would make cell phone unlocking legal.

Microsoft to update its core Windows 8 apps well before ‘Blue’ – Microsoft may have refreshes of its Mail, Calendar, Music and Games apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT in its app store as soon as this month.

20 Cable Alternatives for Watching TV and Movies – These alternative avenues for watching movies, television shows, and even live TV will more than satisfy anyone ready to join the cord-cutting revolution.


99 percent of web apps vulnerable to attack – A new Cenzic report demonstrates that the overwhelming presence of web application vulnerabilities remains a constant problem, with an astounding 99 percent of applications tested revealing security risks, while additionally shedding light on pressing vulnerabilities within mobile application security.

BitInstant back online following breach, Bitcoin theft – BitInstant, one of the online Bitcoin exchange services, has been down and unaccessible from Thursday evening to Monday due to a “sophisticated attack,” which resulted in a loss of $12,480 in Bitcoins, but luckily no user data compromise.

Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, has had its Twitter hacked – Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, has had its official Twitter account compromised by hackers. The hackers have changed the firm’s avatar and are tweeting out a series of messages.

Identity theft on the rise this tax season – Tax-related identity theft is a continuing problem. In fact, the National Tax Advocate reports that the use of stolen Social Security numbers to collect fraudulent tax refunds increased more than 78 percent from 2011 to 2012, affecting nearly 450,000 individuals.

Bogus Delta receipt confirmation leads to malware – Once again, Delta Air Lines customers are being targeted with spoofed emails supposedly carrying their eTicket, and are urged to download and open the attached PDF file purportedly containing it, or to follow offered links to it.

Invisible iFrame drive-by malware attacks explained (video 4:18) – iFrames allow webmasters to embed the content of one webpage into another, seamlessly. What’s sneaky is that malicious hackers can make the embedded content invisible to the naked eye, by making the window zero by zero pixels in size. You can’t see the threat, but your web browser is still dragging it down.

Company News:

Apple Launches New $1,099 Education-Only iMac – With little fanfare, Apple this week launched a new version of its low-end iMac for educational institutions.

LinkedIn Data Breach Lawsuit Dismissed – The professional networking site LinkedIn won a class-action lawsuit before it even went to trial after a judge this week dismissed claims from two premium users who maintained the company failed to provide the level of data security outlined in its privacy policy.

Microsoft shows off big data, big-screen prototypes at research fair – Microsoft researchers are showing off some of the many big-data, machine-learning and natural-user-interface technologies under development.

Webopedia Daily:

Protocol – An agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two devices. The protocol determines the following – the type of error checking to be used – data compression method, if any – how the sending device will indicate that it has finished sending a message – how the receiving device will indicate that it has received a message. From a user’s point of view, the only interesting aspect about protocols is that your computer or device must support the right ones if you want to communicate with other computers. The protocol can be implemented either in hardware or in software.

Games and Entertainment:

Want to be Smarter? Play Games – Playing video games is typically considered to be a form of recreation. As it turns out, playing games might just also be helping humans to become more resilient in their everyday lives and with IT.

Create a vast stockpile of PC games without draining your wallet – The emerging “bundling” trend lets users stockpile great indie games for a fraction of their already low prices when sold separately. Some bundles even adopt a “pay what you want” model, assuring you of a PC packed with more games that you can finish in a year, for a very low price. Interested? Allow me to share my favorite sources of inexpensive but awesome PC games.

Running is fun on the yellow brick road – Temple Run Oz is enough of a departure from the original games to warrant spending your 99 cents for the new scenery, obstacles, and mini-games.

There’s Trouble Brewing in SimCity – Not everyone may like the sacrifices that have been made to make this version of the SimWorld.

RetroArch Emulates Nearly Every Classic Gaming Console on Android – We love retro gaming, and Android’s always been a great platform for emulating the classics but multiple emulators were required to get the job done. Now you can download RetroArch and emulate nearly every classic console in a single app.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria – In this gallery, I highlight some of the key points of interest in the new continent, Pandaria, so you know what to look for (and what you’re looking at) as you quest through its seven (and a half — more on that later) zones.

‘Iron Man 3’ Trailer Shows Off Advanced Tech, New Villains – Marvel on Tuesday released a new “Iron Man 3” trailer, exciting comic book geeks and tech nerds alike.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Study: Moore’s Law Really Works After All – But the Intel co-founder’s formula trails lesser-known Wright’s Law, researchers found.

Death of a fanboi salesman – Our industry is changing to one that behaves more like the academic world. There’s no place for allies and fanbois any more. Finally!

France increases its anti-piracy efforts as similar measures roll out in U.S. – If you think the newly instituted six-strikes agreement between entertainment companies and major U.S. Internet service providers is bad news, be glad you don’t live in France. Unlike U.S. anti-piracy measures, which are relatively toothless, Internet users in France face steep fines and up to a month of suspended Internet service for copyright infringement.

Court rules Kim Dotcom can sue New Zealand spy agency – Country’s attorney general had sought to have the agency excluded from the MegaUpload founder’s lawsuit.

Today’s Quote:

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.”

–     Anais Nin

Today’s Free Downloads:

FlashGot – FlashGot is the free add-on for Firefox and Thunderbird, meant to handle single and massive (“all” and “selection”) downloads with several external Download Managers.

StrokesPlus 2.6.8 – StrokesPlus is a mouse gesture recognition program that allows you to automate repetitive tasks by simply drawing a gesture with your mouse or performing mouse and/or keyboard modifiers to fire off an action sequence.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 7, 2013

  1. Richard J.

    Hi Bill,
    Re: Better performance with FancyCache – Looks good. Personally I tried DataRAMs product along with a couple of others but eventually went down the “create your own RAMdisk” route. There’s some details here if you’re interested but they leave out instructions to reboot after creating a RAMdisk before proceeding with the disk saving part!

    • Hi Richard,

      Very interesting – glad you pointed this out.

      Installed DataRAM at your suggestion sometime back – but, to this point I haven’t actually found an occasion to run with it.



  2. delenn13

    Hi Bill,

    Doesn’t the EU know that “The Internet is for Porn“?(Could be NSFW) What are they thinking?

    As a side note, we are going to see “Avenue Q” in April or May.

    Thanks for article on the bundles; I liked the Reddit one….Didn’t know about it.

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Just another bunch who know nothing about technology attempting to impose artificial rules on the ungovernable Internet. When will they ever learn?

      Though I might hear from you on the bundles. 🙂



      • delenn13

        Hey Bill,
        Yea, been a bit remiss for the past few months. Just things are crazy here and I don’t look for them to calm down any time soon. I haven’t had any time to play Dragon Age lately….

        • Hey Delenn13,

          Good to hear that things are keeping themselves together – as difficult as that might be in the circumstances. Keep your chin up. 🙂



  3. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Re: “How to protect yourself from debit-card fraud”.

    Anyone who thinks this can’t happen to them needs to think again. My own charge card has twice been replaced by my bank’s fraud department, due to suspected fraudulent access attempts. They have also contacted me several times to check transactions are by me. In most of the latter cases the amounts involved were small. This may seem over-zealous until you realise that fraudsters often start with a small amount, to check the validity of the account.

    Having your card cancelled and replaced may seem like an inconvenience, but nothing like the inconvenience of having your account compromised.

    By the way, there is another spate of PayPal phishing emails going the rounds. Quite professional and could easily fool the unwary.

    Kind regards