Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 13, 2013

Suspicious Facebook ‘Likes’ Study Proves Nothing – The vested interest of Microsoft, a part-owner of Facebook, taints the study right off the bat. The entire study was conducted to convince marketers that Facebook advertising can be precisely targeted. Now you’ll find that the company will use this study, as well as manic clicking habits on the “like” button, to further target suckers for advertisements. My advice to users: do not click on anything. As bogus as this study is, there is some truth to it.

Android’s Biggest Security Threat: OS Fragmentation – Unless you bought the phone or tablet recently, odds are high that your Android device is running an outdated version of the operating system, exposing you to serious security risks.

Google rolls out initiative to help hacked sites – With its new informational series, the Web giant aims to answer questions about why a site was hacked, what malware may have been used, and how to wipe the site clean of bugs.

Tips for removing data from mobile devices – AVG released tips on how consumers can remove their personal data before they recycle or throw away their old smartphones. While the factory reset button seems like the logical place to start, numerous industry and security experts report that even after consumers carry out this exercise, personal information often remains. The following tips will help ensure private information is erased.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

EU votes to reject ‘porn ban’ proposals – The European Parliament opts not to adopt a pan-European ban on all forms of porn, including on the Web, at least for now. Such a vote has happened before, and it’s worth putting the “porn ban” into some context.

Avast! Free Antivirus 8 – Avast! Free Antivirus 8 is the latest of many antivirus programs to get a Windows 8 makeover. In addition to antivirus protection, you get patch management, Web reputation, and more.

Meet the Microsoft Office Luddites: Why power users won’t live in the cloud – A loyal band of Office power users insists they have no intention of ditching traditional software and joining the cloud any time soon. Call them Luddites, but their reasons are compelling.

Ubuntu Linux gets a new official flavor – Following hard on the heels of the release of Ubuntu 12.10 “Quantal Quetzal,” the new GNOME Remix version was created “to bring the best of GNOME to Ubuntu users,” in the words of its developers. Well, this week the new flavor was made an official part of the Ubuntu Linux family, giving it full access to infrastructure support, publicity, and other benefits from Canonical and the Ubuntu community.

Skype in hot water over failure to let French police eavesdrop – French telecom regulators have suggested that Skype could face charges for failing to register as a telecom and do all the things that French telecoms are supposed to do – for example, let French police eavesdrop on calls.

Prescription Google Glasses Expected This Year – Among the questions surrounding Google Glass is how it might work for those who currently wear glasses. Switch to contacts? Double up? Never fear. Google today said its glasses will be available in prescription form.

Teen smartphone ownership skyrockets in U.S. – A new Pew survey shows that 37 percent of all teenagers own a smartphone, and for many of them it’s their main way to access the Internet.

Google Now starts arriving in latest Chrome, Chrome OS – It’s not usable yet by the public, but Google has begun folding its smart notification system into its browser and its Chrome OS.

Microsoft has access issues with Hotmail, Outlook, SkyDrive services – The problems occurred Tuesday evening in the U.S. Microsoft posted a series of status updates for its Outlook and Hotmail services showing the issues in its online email were unresolved nearly four hours after they were first flagged.

Security:

Mega-hack of celebrities exposes social security numbers, credit reports, and more… – Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Paris Hilton and more public figures have had their personal information exposed on the internet. But who is behind it?

Equifax and Transunion say hackers stole celebrity credit reports – After the social security numbers, addresses and financial details of some of the USA’s top celebrities were posted online, top credit bureaus have come forward and acknowledged that fraudulent and unauthorized access to their records has taken place.

Zoosk asks users to reset passwords following mass leak – Online dating service Zoosk is urging some of its users to change their passwords following the leaking of a list of some 29 million passwords that seemingly contains theirs. According to password expert Jeremi Gosney, who cracked over 90 percent of the leaked MD5 hashes (which were, unfortunately, not salted), nearly 3,000 contained the word “zoosk” in a variety of predictable combinations such as “logmein2zoosk” and “ilovezoosk”.

Denial-of-service attack takes down JP Morgan Chase sites – Representative confirms to CNET that the attack is occurring, but can’t say how long the site has been down.

Microsoft’s latest patches address new USB hack – The software giant discovers a Windows vulnerability that lets attackers gain access to data in locked or logged-off computers with a USB thumb drive.

Who are the enemies of the Internet? – In their latest report on online surveillance, Reporters Without Borders have named Bahrain, China, Iran, Syria and Vietnam as “state enemies” of the Internet due of their continuous and intensive efforts at spying on journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders and political dissidents.

Raspberry Pi Foundation Fends Off DDoS Attack from Million Zombies – Attackers briefly knocked the website for the foundation behind the popular Raspberry Pi offline with a distributed denial of service attack late Tuesday.

Company News:

New Pinterest tool watches, analyzes your pins – The online bulletin board in November began encouraging businesses to start their own accounts and create boards so users can repin their products. The new analytics tool available today takes that a step further, letting websites see which products are being repinned the most and how much Web traffic is generated from Pinterest. The concept is the same as Google Analytics—it might not give companies much information about you as a person, but will tell brands how they’re being discovered and which images appeal to users.

AMD’s new laptop chips inspired by mobile devices, gaming consoles – As demand for PC processors plummets, Advanced Micro Devices has borrowed technologies from mobile devices and gaming consoles as a way to perk up sales for its latest A-series laptop processors that were introduced Tuesday.

Google snaps up object recognition startup DNNresearch – Google has acquired a research startup founded within the University of Toronto, whose work includes object recognition.

Seagate Ships Milestone 2 Billion Hard Disk Drives – It only took 34 years, but Seagate today became the first hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer to ship 2 billion drives

FCC Approves T-Mobile, MetroPCS Merger – The FCC approved the merger of T-Mobile and MetroPCS, finding that the deal will not adversely affect wireless competition and help expand 4G LTE across the U.S.

Webopedia Daily:

Hekaton – The codename for a Microsoft project that will provide support for mixing in-memory database tables with more traditional on-disk tables in the same database. These hybrid databases will be able to dynamically handle both in-memory and on-disk storage in the same database for optimal performance and reliability. Project Hekaton’s in-memory database technology will be featured in the next major release of Microsoft SQL Server, which is expected to officially debut sometime in 2015. The project gets its codename from the Greek word for 100 times, which is the peak performance improvement goal the company has set for Hekaton.

Games and Entertainment:

Activision’s Call of Duty does game microtransactions correctly – As more big-budget game publishers experiment with microtransactions, it’s no surprise that Activision is giving them a try with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on the Xbox 360. But players should put away their pitchforks. Compared to recent attempts by Electronic Arts to nickel and dime its customers in Dead Space 3 and Real Racing 3, Activision’s microtransactions for Call of Duty—or “Micro Items,” as the publisher calls them—seem pretty harmless.

Sporos for Android: A slow-paced puzzler – This challenging game doesn’t require fast reflexes like some other puzzlers. Rather, it asks you to slow down the pace and think strategically about its challenges.

Five highlights from the SXSW Gaming Expo – The South by Southwest Gaming Expo features an exciting blend of game developers, new hardware and accessories for mobile gaming, live game demos, and people dressed up as their favorite gaming characters. So it’s not difficult to spend some time there, as we did this weekend, without spotting some interesting stuff.

Preorders start for $1,000 Piston console – The gaming machine, a Steam Box built around Valve’s digital game distribution platform, can now be preordered from manufacturer Xi3.

Jerry Bruckheimer’s gaming company shuts down – Producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s instincts for hits are usually pretty strong. He’s the man behind such blockbusters as Top Gun, Armageddon, and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as the long running TV show CSI.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Twitter troll annoys boxer, boxer pays him a visit – There are times when a virtual insult enters reality, as boxer Curtis Woodhouse proves when he is so annoyed by a troll that he pays him a visit.

No end in sight to telework, survey finds – When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to end telecommuting at her company was followed soon afterwards by a similar move at Best Buy, it was tempting to think a new trend had been started, and that more firms would soon follow suit. That, however, doesn’t appear to be happening, according to the results of a new survey.

How to Blog: A Beginner’s Guide – To create a blog (noun!) and then go about blogging (verb!), here’s what you need to know.

DIY: Easy-to-make Instagram magnets – Photojojo shows you how to get your phone photos off the screen and into your home with these easy, DIY Instagram magnets.

At SXSW, 3D-printed guns get their turn in the spotlight, too – 3D printing’s capabilities in art, sculpture and toys have generated considerable buzz at South by Southwest Interactive over the past few days. But one Austin, Texas-based group has a more controversial application in mind: guns.

Today’s Quote:

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.”

–      Dale Carnegie

Today’s Free Downloads:

MediaPortal 1.3.0 – Media Portal turns your PC in a very advanced Multi MediaCenter / HTPC. It allows you to listen to your favorite music & radio, watch your videos and DVD’s, view, schedule and record live TV and much more.

Linkman Lite 8.80 – Integrating with the latest versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Opera browsers, Linkman gives you the power to efficiently organize as many links as your needs dictate!

2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 13, 2013

  1. I was amazed at the so called review of avast 8. Giving a program a bad mark because you have problems installing it on a totally infected computer isn’t the programs fault but the users stupidity for not making sure his computer doesn’t become infected in the first place. There are tools and free help available to clean up an infected computer and that should be done before you install any program including a new antivirus program.
    You should also remove all remnants of previously install Antivirus programs before installing a new one.
    The avast! Support forum is one of the places where free and competent help can always be obtained: http://forum.avast.com/
    Instruction for a trouble free installation of avast can also be obtained at:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TCCX0R7AAF2WOxAMQ_kcun2nNnCPFAk2P4RBzFXSgds/edit?usp=sharing

    • Hi Bob,

      I was shocked to see Rubenking make that comment as well – how amateurish! As you point out – it’s elementary to “clean up an infected computer …………. before you install any program including a new antivirus program.”

      Thanks for the balance of the info on avast!

      Best,

      Bill