Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 10, 2013

Best apps for Windows 2012 – It’s early for the Metro/Modern UI ecosystem, but we’ve assembled our picks for the best apps for Windows 8 for 2012 in a separate collection. For the other 99% of us, we have our usual best apps for Windows, 2012 edition, presented here.

Move your bookmarks easily between computers – It’s a simple problem, but that doesn’t stop it from bedeviling some computer users: What do you do if you buy a new computer and want to easily move all your old bookmarks over to the new one? In this video how-to, we’ll show you two ways to export bookmarks and then upload them into a browser on your new machine.

Linux triumphant: Chrome OS resists cracking attempts – Google’s Linux-based operating system shrugs off attackers at the $3.14-million Pwnium cracking competition.

Stardock Makes Windows 8 Easier With ModernMix – Stardock is currently working on a Windows 8 application called ModernMix, that is a must have application for Windows 8. ModernMix is in Beta; however, it has been released for public use.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

In half-baked phone theft, thief slips, posts pot shot of self on victim’s Facebook page – Police say a Bronx man stole a woman’s cell phone then inadvertently posted to her Facebook page a picture of himself smoking pot. She had set her phone to automatically post all photos to the social network.

FTC Cracks Down on Text Message Spam – For once, some good news: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on some of the spam text messages people get on their phones. The government agency appears to be digging deep into any sort of text message scam it can find with continued hearings.

Join the cloud on your Android tablet with SpiderOak – SpiderOak is one of my all-time favorite cloud syncing tools. It’s not one of those cloud storage tools that limits you to a single, root directory and simply syncs a folder and its children. SpiderOak is a cloud storage solution that is all about flexibility. Part of that flexibility includes an easy-to-use, free tablet app

Google Glass: You’ll kiss your privacy goodbye, and not mind a bit – The search giant’s networked eyeglasses are creating quite a buzz. But how much do we really care about the privacy we’re giving away?

Two reasons Microsoft should fear Google Apps – As Microsoft continues to push Office 365, its subscription software-as-a-service offering, a new survey underscores Redmond’s diminishing hold on enterprise users. And the problem will only get worse as younger users enter the workplace, if a recent study at Princeton University is any indication.

U.K. data watchdog warns on BYOD risks – Bringing your own device to work may be beneficial to the worker, but what about when personal citizen data gets loaded on to such devices? British authorities are firing off the warning flares.

To speak or not to speak, that is the question – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has me exploring the feasibility of leaving the keyboard behind for my writing.

Security:

‘TurboTax’ Phishing Emails Delivering Zeus Trojan – Tax season is in full swing and cyber-criminals are sending out tax-related emails to infect unsuspecting taxpayers with the Zeus banking Trojan, according to AppRiver.

Patch Tuesday: Microsoft to fix four critical flaws, all versions of IE at risk again – Prepare your systems (and a strong pot of coffee): Patch Tuesday is on deck for another month. Microsoft will release patches for seven security vulnerabilities, four of them considered ‘critical.’

Social Networking Safety Tips – Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+,Pinterest and LinkedIn are powerful, Internet based tools that allow you to meet, interact and share with people around the world. However, with all these capabilities come risks, not to just you and your computer, but your family, friends and employer.

Apple finally adopts HTTPS for the App Store – here’s why it matters – Last year, a Googler named Dr. Elie Bursztein noticed that Apple’s App Store protocols were using HTTP where HTTPS would have been much better. Some time later, Apple has changed its ways. Paul Ducklin explains why it matters…

Size, Funding of Bank DDoS Attacks Grow in Third Phase – The resumption this week of distributed denial of service attacks against major U.S. banks brought not only more cost and disruption to financial institutions trying keep online services available, but it also raised new questions about the funding and true motives behind the attacks.

Company News:

Samsung, Google, Microsoft play politics – Tech companies are playing a power grab and increasingly turning to lobbyists for a competitive edge. Several developments this week show that being adept at politics can be just as effective in gaining ground on rivals as making better products or pressing patent lawsuits.

Mozilla says no plans to return to iOS – During a SXSW talk, the not-for-profit’s vice president of product says the organization won’t build a version of its Firefox browser for iOS devices until Apple changes its ways.

Samsung exec: Surface isn’t selling; Windows 8 no improvement – The president of Samsung’s memory-chip division describes Windows 8 as “no better than Vista.” Oh, and demand for Surface is “lackluster” as well, he says.

Microsoft’s Big Data strategy: Democratize, in-memory and the cloud – Microsoft wants to enable everyone to work with Big Data, using Excel, SQL Server, and current skill sets. With a solid stack, albeit one vulnerable in predictive analytics and mobility, can Microsoft become the McDonald’s of Big Data “insights?”

Webopedia Daily:

Google Wallet – A digital payment service from Google designed to make it easier for customers to make online and traditional in-store purchases. Google Wallet functions in two distinct ways: as a mobile payment service and as an online payment service. The Google Wallet mobile payment service is available for select Google Android-powered devices. It stores credit and debit card information and then facilitates transactions at stores using near-field communication (NFC), enabling payment by simply touching the mobile device to a store’s PayPass reader. Google Wallet’s online payment service functions separately from the mobile payment service and is designed to securely store customers’ credit and debit card information in order to simplify online purchases for customers.

Games and Entertainment:

After launch mess, EA pledges free game for SimCity players – The chief of Sims creator and EA subsidiary Maxis indicates that a few good things are coming to weary residents of SimCity, who’ve experienced disconnections, lengthy queues, and other woes since the game’s launch.

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever – It’s come down to this epic moment — in an industry that sometimes has more followers than leaders, these 20 titles changed video games forever.

Redefining the RPG with Shroud of the Avatar (and a million dollars) – Richard Garriott, who designed and created the Ultima franchise, is asking for a million dollars on Kickstarter to fund a new game titled Shroud of the Avatar.

Talking Digital Comics With ComiXology’s David Steinberger – ComiXology is changing how comics are read — and is now accepting submissions from independent writers and artists.

Rambo returns to the video game world – Some time back on TG, we reported on the development of a Rambo video game, and we were quite surprised at how much people were interested in reading about it.

Off Topic (Sort of):

AT&T’s Response to the Cell Phone Unlocking Controversy Insults Users – Apologies in advance for the rant, but AT&T’s response to the controversy over cell phone unlocking really gets under my skin.

Smart apps that learn and adapt to their users spur brave new tech world – A brand-new generation of smart apps may appear to be limited toys for geeks and productivity enthusiasts. In fact, they represent first steps toward the future of all human-machine interaction — a future in which we hold conversations with our computers and they get to know us, learn how to suggest things, solve some of our everyday problems and go out into the world doing chores on our behalf. This new category appears to contain far-flung and divergent capabilities. Generally, they have the ability to do one or more of the following….

Al Gore talks about uncertain ‘Future,’ spider goats at SXSW – “Our government has been hacked, and our constitution is the operating system,” Gore repeated throughout the panel. According to Gore, with the focus of any elected role now on fundraising and pleasing political backers at the top 1-percent of the population, it’s extremely difficult for politicians to pass laws that benefit the majority of their constituents.

‘Trek’ visions unite at Beam Me Up art expo – Creativity goes warp speed at a recent exhibit featuring 80 artists’ wonderful (and wacky) works dedicated to “Star Trek.”

Road Trippers: Rare Publicity Photos from 1939′s The Wizard of Oz – With Oz the Great and Powerful opening in theaters, TIME revisits the Yellow Brick Road with this gallery of vintage publicity stills featuring the cast of the beloved MGM classic

Today’s Quote:

“My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?”

–    Charles M. Schulz

Today’s Free Downloads:

Any GIF Animator – With this program you can create stunning GIF animations for your website, blog or forum profile. You can make cool animated avatars with no skills required. Just select any video file, or copy the link of YouTube video, and click “Convert”. The program will convert the source video into animated GIF format. If the source video is too big, you can trim and crop it. You can also edit such GIF parameters as framerate, width, height, dithering. You can adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation of the GIF. You can even put a text watermark onto your animation.

ZenKEY 2.4.10 – ZenKEY allows you to control all aspects of your computer via keystrokes. Using the configuration utility of the ZenKEY Wizard, you can create menus, each containing items which perform “actions”. You can “fire” these actions by clicking on the item or pressing a key-combination.

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2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 10, 2013

  1. delenn13

    Hey Bill,

    I am really enjoying the “Games and Entertainment ” section. 🙂 Would have really been upset if I was into the “Sims”.

    For a good read about On The Power And The Diminishing Returns Of “Indie” Games | Rock, Paper, Shotgun. “No amount of ‘indiewashing’ will ever stick for companies that have corporate jets. Indie is like pornography, it’s hard to specify what it is, but you know it when you see it.”