Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 12, 2013

Five PC clean-up utilities: Do they really work? – Vendors say their utilities can speed up everything from Windows XP to Windows 8. Plenty of these utilities look like scams—search for “improve system performance,” and you’ll see what I mean. So, to save you the trouble of finding the best clean-up utility yourself, we rounded up five free PC cleanup utilities for the purposes of this article: SlimWare Utilities’ SlimCleaner, Piriform’s CCleaner, COMODO System Utilities, Ashampoo WinOptimizer, and PC Booster Energizertech’s PC Booster.

Your Facebook Likes may reveal more than you probably like – Users’ expressions of approval on the social network can accurately predict private personality traits, including sexual orientation and intelligence, researchers say.

Add notes to Gmail messages in Firefox – Notes for Gmail has finally crossed over to Firefox. Learn how to keep your inbox more organized than ever before.

CISPA pits privacy against security: A closer look at the issues – The United States Congress is once again considering a bill that could forever change how we as individuals use the internet. Michael P. Kassner looks at what those changes are.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Tableau Software: Analytics for everyone, now free for students and teachers – Tableau Software recently announced that it would begin giving away its Tableau Desktop analytics software. Having spent some time with the tool, I can say that this could mark a turning point in the way students think about data.

Check memory usage for Firefox add-ons – Browser running slow lately? One of your add-on installs may be the culprit eating your performance. Here’s how to find out which one.

Distro deluge: Six imminent Linux releases previewed – A number of interesting new Linux releases are due out in the next few days or weeks. Here’s a quick overview of some of them.

Secure Password, Exposed Username: Still Recipe for Disaster – In each of the recent attacks on Evernote, Facebook, Twitter and others, the companies involved were quick to point out that passwords remained secure. But user information has a life of its own, and the effects of an attack on an individual can be felt long after the attack is over.

Get Organized: Tips for Managing Your Ebook Library – Are your virtual bookshelves as disorganized as your real ones? Here are some tips for a smarter system for categorizing your ebooks.

Roku 3 gets a redesigned interface, sleeker look (pictures) – The newly announced Roku 3 ($99) is the company’s flagship streaming-media box, with a completely redesigned user interface, a faster processer, and a neat new feature that lets you plug in headphones to the remote.

Google Glass: Expect widespread usage bans over privacy concerns – Google is about to unleash a rash of concerns generated by Google Glasses’ ability to take clandestine photos and videos.

Security:

HP, CERT Warn of Critical Hole in LaserJet Printers – Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Response Team is warning today that some printers manufactured by Hewlett-Packard, including 10 of its LaserJet Professional printers, have a security vulnerability that could allow an attacker to remotely access data.

Microsoft changes default Flash behavior in Windows 8 and RT – In a surprise reversal, Microsoft has changed the default behavior of Flash content on websites viewed using Internet Explorer in Windows 8 or Windows RT. Previously, sites had to be on a whitelist before Flash would work. The new behavior effectively turns the Compatibility View list into an exclusive blacklist of badly behaved sites.

Colin Powell’s Facebook Page Hacked With Anti-Bush Posts – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell woke up to a hacked Facebook page that had some colorful things to say about former President George W. Bush.

Apple, Facebook hackers hit car and candy companies too – After dozens of tech companies revealed they were cyberattacked last month, other businesses in different industries are saying they were also victims.

Consumers don’t trust banks with personal data – Banks top the list of organizations consumers trust least with their personal data, according to a survey of 2,000 UK consumers. Mobile phone operators and retailers also fare badly in the eyes of the consumer in a report from Avaya and Sabio.

China denies hacking, seeks truce before cyberwar – China’s foreign minster on Saturday called on nations to cooperate on Internet security, rather than wage cyberwarfare, as he denied accusations in a recent report that the country’s military was behind hacking attacks.

DIY Steam information harvesting tool sends out mass malicious invites – To use this tool successfully, all you need to enter is a working Steam Group URL, and it will proceed to fill in everything from associated user names, Steam IDs, service registration date, to installed games, average play time, last login time, and more. With this information in hand, the cyber crook is ready to approach the users with personalized spoofed mass invites to new games, patches, mods and other inviting offers, and serve them malicious links.

Company News:

Tripwire acquires nCircle to form new security giant – You’re going to be hearing the name Tripwire a lot more, and the name nCircle a lot less probably. Tripwire announced today that it is acquiring nCircle—making it one of the biggest companies in information security.

Microsoft Offering Students 6 Months Free Office 365, 20GB Storage – Microsoft is hoping to attract more students to its subscription-based Office 365 offering with a new promotion that will provide them with up to six months of free access.

Foursquare gunning for Yelp – CEO wants to spread the message that Foursquare is personalized local search — aka Yelp with better data.

Mozilla again rejects porting Firefox to iOS – Jay Sullivan, Mozilla’s vice president of product at Mozilla, told an audience at South by Southwest Interactive (SxSW) that the company is not building an iOS browser, and has no plans to. Sullivan’s comment was the strongest signal yet that Mozilla has no interest in drafting an iOS Firefox. But it wasn’t the first.

Apple readying new plan for cash pile, investor says – Apple is set to announce how it will reallocate its growing stash of cash, says a top executive at a New York-based investment firm.

Webopedia Daily:

Network security – A specialized field in computer networking that involves securing a computer network infrastructure. Network security is typically handled by a network administrator or system administrator who implements the security policy, network software and hardware needed to protect a network and the resources accessed through the network from unauthorized access and also ensure that employees have adequate access to the network and resources to work. A network security system typically relies on layers of protection and consists of multiple components including networking monitoring and security software in addition to hardware and appliances. All components work together to increase the overall security of the computer network.

Games and Entertainment:

Angry Birds cartoon to fly onto games and TV this weekend – The game-based cartoon series will debut this weekend, appearing on games, TV channels, and smart TVs.

Dad hacks Donkey Kong so daughter can save Mario – A dedicated dad stays up late burning the midnight oil so his 3-year-old daughter’s retro gaming wish can come true.

Leap Motion creator: It gives you Jedi powers – Leap CTO David Holz says it’s easy to be like Yoda with the forthcoming motion controller.

Why cross-platform gaming is Microsoft’s secret weapon – Microsoft has taken major heat for its recent reinvention efforts, but amid public lambasting of Windows 8 and the Surface tablets, a critical new development has largely been ignored: The company has both the hardware and software to dominate the four most important gaming screens in your life.

Comixology suspends Marvel giveaway – Digital comic book distributor slams the brakes on a time-limited giveaway of 700 Marvel digital comic books following overwhelming interest that crashed the company’s servers.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Even offline, retailers track your every move – The New York Times reports on Euclid Analytics, a company that sells WiFi antennas to retailers wanting to know more about customer shopping habits. By picking up signals that smartphones give off, even when you’re not using the phone, stores can get an idea for how many people enter the store, how long they stay, and where they browse. According to the Times, the three-year-old company already has 100 customers — Nordstroms and Home Depot among them — and has tracked 50 million devices in 4,000 locations.

Google Explains How Search Actually Works – Google wants users to know how sesarch actually happens, from the moment they type a query into the Search box on Google.com until the instant the results appear, ready for curious users to find just the information they are pursuing. That’s the idea behind a new Website, How Search Works, created by the search giant to explain the unexplainable in the complex process that occurs when a user begins looking for answers using Google’s search engine.

Sensors are now tracking office productivity – The Wall Street Journal reports that companies are equipping employees with sensors (from an ID badge, smartphone, or office furniture) to get a better sense of how employees work — how they move through the office, how they interact with coworkers.

Meet the ‘Corporate Enemies of the Internet’ for 2013 – Paris-based Reporters Without Borders names five companies as “digital mercenaries” that have decided to sell their surveillance technology to authoritarian regimes.

Infographic: LinkedIn Passes 1 Billion Endorsements – LinkedIn announced a new milestone for its endorsement feature — in less than six months, users have given out one billion endorsements for skills ranging from Visual C++ (the first endorsement) to water treatment (the billionth).

Today’s Quote:

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.”

–     Yogi Berra

Today’s Free Downloads:

Free Ringtone Maker 2.4.0.1079 – Free Ringtone Maker is an extremely simple and handy Windows software for making your own free ringtones. Make Your Own Ringtones in 3 Easy Steps.

OSForensics 2.0.1002 – Discover relevant forensic evidence faster. Find files quickly. Search within Files. Search for Emails. Recover Deleted Files. Uncover Recent Activity. Collect System Information. View Active Memory. Extract Logins and Passwords.

2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 12, 2013

  1. Thanks for another interesting addition.
    OSForensics is an interesting gem.