Privacy backlash against CISPA cybersecurity bill gains traction – A petition to the White House asking the president to “stop” a controversial cybersecurity bill passes the 100,000 mark. The only problem: President Obama has already threatened to veto it.
Dropbox 2.0 – The Windows client for the popular online file-hosting and file-sharing service updates to version 2.0 with new sharing and notification features and a revamped interface.
Spy agencies to be granted access to US citizen finances – The financial data of American citizens is set to be open season for spy agencies as the fight against terrorism and cybercrime continues.
CEOs ask Obama for soft approach to cyberattacks – On Wednesday, President Obama and his security advisors met with leaders hailing from the technology, finance and energy industries to discuss how the government should respond to such risks. While corporate figures agreed that action had to be taken, they did request a flexible, “light touch” from the government when it comes to future legislation, according to Reuters.
Open-source and free software: Free, as in beer – The difference in reasons why people who create, manage, and develop open-source and free software, and why end users consume it is a major philosophical disconnect.
Convert Chrome tabs to a list to save memory and your sanity – With the OneTab extension for Chrome, you can better manage that clutter of open tabs, saving system memory in the process.
The ultimate Linux starter kit for small business – Linux machines can save your business cold, hard cash. Here’s how to pick the best OS and apps for yourself, your workers and your IT pros.
Google Reader Is Shutting Down; Here Are the Best Alternatives – Google announced today that it’ll be closing Google Reader’s doors on July 1st of this year, meaning you’ll need to find a new way to get your news fix. Here’s how to export all your feeds and put them into a new reader.
Google Glass: Everything You Need to Know – We’re just coming up on the one-year point since its unveiling, so it’s a great time to summarize everything we know about Google Glass; here are the key facts.
BleachBit offers free, comprehensive disk cleaning and privacy protection – There are so many system cleaners out there, you could pack a Start screen with them. They’re not all equally good, though, and some are have restrictions for business use. CCleaner and PC Decrapifier are among the best, but they are not completely free to use in a professional setting. Businesses wishing to use either of these have to pay up. If you’re a business user looking for a truly free system cleaner, one interesting option is open-source, cross-platform BleachBit
Know the Difference Between “To” and “CC” in an Email – You’d think email is old enough to be considered common sense by now, but it has a lot of basic etiquette rules that people just don’t follow. Productivity weblog GTD Times points out a simple one: knowing the difference between “To” and “CC.”
HDMI vs. DisplayPort: Which interface reigns supreme? – Both specs can handle high-def video and audio, so what’s the difference? And which is best for your next PC and display?
Netflix Finally Adds U.S. Facebook Integration – After overcoming a regulatory hurdle, Netflix announced today that U.S. users can now link their Facebook accounts to Netflix. The move means users can share what they’re watching on Netflix’s streaming service with their Facebook friends via new “Friends’ Favorites” and “Watched by your friends” rows on Netflix.
Facebook, Twitter called out for deleting photo metadata – Photographers turning to social networks like Facebook and Twitter to promote their work may be losing the legal rights to their photos because the sites are deleting the images’ metadata. The deletion of such data is a problem for professional photographers because the metadata often includes key information such as who owns the image’s copyright, the photographer’s name, captions and other descriptive data.
Anatomy of a problem – Bitcoin loses 25% in value due to a long-missed bug – Bitcoin is an algorithmic currency, backed not by printed banknotes or government assurances, but by a database of cryptographic proofs-of-work. That’s fancy talk for: find a block of data that produces a cryptographic hash with a specific bit pattern (this gets harder and harder as you lock more bits into the pattern); convince a majority of other participants you’ve come up with a solution; and add the new proof-of-work into a blockchain. (Don’t know what Bitcoin is? This will give you a good overview.)
New Google site aims to help webmasters of hacked sites – Google has launched a site for webmasters whose sites have been hacked, something that the company says happens thousands of times every day. The new site features articles and videos designed to help webmasters identify, diagnose and recover from hacks.
Published celeb credit reports came from government-mandated website – U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and socialite Kris Jenner are four additional victims of the hackers who set up a site and posted on it confidential personal and financial information of a slew of celebrities and politicians.
Adobe patches Flash again, but not the flaws exploited at Pwn2Own – What is missing from the update is a patch for the three zero-days (an overflow, a ASLR bypass technique and a IE9 sandbox memory corruption) that the team from Vupen security chained together to exploit Adobe Flash on IE 9 on Windows 7 at the Pwn2Own competition held last week at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver.
Microsoft to roll out fast Windows Store app patches – Microsoft will release security updates for applications in its Windows Store as those patches are available in order to speed up the updating process. The policy will apply to applications that are preinstalled on Windows 8 but updated through the Windows Store, such as Mail, wrote Mike Reavey, senior director of the Microsoft Security Response Center, part of the company’s Trustworthy Computing group.
As Z10 preorders start, BlackBerry nets huge order for new devices – In the same week that AT&T and Verizon begin preorders for the new BlackBerry Z10, BlackBerry reveals that it has received an order for a historic 1 million new devices.
Google yanks ad-blocker apps from Google Play – A handful of app developers receive notices from the Web giant saying that their ad-blocking software “interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorized manner.”
Amazon permanently drops prices on its 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD tablets – Amazon fired a shot at rival cheap tablet makers Wednesday by dropping the price of its Kindle Fire HD 8.9” to $269 and up. The permanent price drop applies to all versions of the 8.9-inch tablet. Here’s a summary of the price changes:
Defcad, the ‘Pirate Bay’ of 3D Printing, Seeks Funding – A group that garnered controversy last year for developing 3D printed gun parts is working on a new project – what it calls “the world’s first unblockable, open search engine for all 3D printable parts.”
Google I/O registration: Open and shut in 45 minutes – The show used to take days or weeks to sell out, but starting in 2011 it filled up in less than an hour and that’s been the routine since (we’re awaiting official word from Google on the exact sell-out time). This year’s show, which will accommodate 5,500 or so attendees, is slated for May 15-17 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Google Combines Android, Chrome Teams, Pichai Takes Over for Rubin – Google announced today that it will combine its Android and Chrome teams, and hand over control of the newly formed division to Sundar Pichai, current senior vice president of Chrome.
Dorkbot – A family of malware worms that typically spreads through instant messaging, USB removable drives, websites or social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Downloading and installing Dorkbot malware results in it opening a backdoor on infected computers, allowing for remote access and potentially turning the computer into a botnet. A new strain of Dorkbot targeting Skype users appeared in October 2012, with the Skype worm also installing ransomware in this case. The ransomware would threaten to lock a user out of being able to use their computer and demand a payment of several hundreds of dollars be made within a limited timeframe or have files on the computer deleted.
Games and Entertainment:
Why we should be thankful for $70 PS4 and Xbox 720 games – Get ready to pay more for video games. The PS4 and Xbox 720 are going to be big powerful machines, but taking advantage of that hardware is going to require some serious money. As the next generation of video game systems near launch, rumors of a price hike are bubbling to the surface.
Spotify reportedly launching free streaming music service overseas – It’s something of a full-circle move for Spotify, which launched its streaming service in Europe first before arriving in the US in 2011. Now the company is expanding its service to mobile device in Europe to match its US offerings, according to Bloomberg.
‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Kickstarter Quickly Top $1M – Three seasons and a movie? Cult TV favorite Veronica Mars may be getting the big screen treatment – if you pay up. The Veronica Mars Movie Project hit crowd-funding site Kickstarter this morning, and has received a flood of early support.
Off Topic (Sort of):
Infographic: The death of packaged software – While there are those who vow to hold on to their data and servers until someone pries their cold, dead fingers from them, there is no doubt that the cloud has become less of a fringe trend and more of a reality — certainly in the lives of consumers, and increasingly, by bits and pieces, in the everyday operations of organizations, small and large. The infographic below, courtesy of Engine Yard, rounds up some statistics that might surprise you.
A brief history of pi – Everybody knows the value of pi is 3.14…er, something, but how many people know where the ratio came from? Actually, the ratio came from nature—it’s the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter, and it was always there, just waiting to be discovered. But who discovered it? In honor of Pi Day, here’s a semi-brief history of how pi came to be known as 3.14(1592653589793238462643383279502884197169…and so on).
Calling BS on Jeff Gordon ‘Test Drive’ Prank – This whole stunt was staged and news outlets should be ashamed for not spotting the deceit. No modern American company would undertake a “practical joke” like this, putting the passenger in danger of not only an accident, but also a heart attack. Can you image what Pepsi lawyers would have said if the company actually tried to swing this for real?
How to Avoid Sounding Like an Idiot When Discussing Politics – We all know someone who loves to talk politics but sounds like a jerk every time they do. Talking about politics may be taboo for many of us but it doesn’t have to be. Discussing—not arguing—politics is important to broadening our horizons, cementing our opinions, or just understanding others. Here’s how to do it without frothing at the mouth, in an actual intelligent way.
Big eyes gave Neanderthals less room to think – Big eyes may be beautiful, but they could be what did for the Neanderthals, say University of Oxford scientists. Looking at data from 27,000–75,000-year-old fossils, mostly from Europe and the Near East, the team compared the skulls of 32 anatomically modern humans and 13 Neanderthals to examine brain size and organisation. And in some of these, they found, the Neanderthals had significantly larger eye sockets, and therefore eyes.
Without models and celebrities, how do you reinvent perfume? – As reported by Co.Design, one branding agency based in L.A. believes so. With the Internet explosion, businesses now have an instant medium to reach broader audiences, and no longer have to rely on attractive advertisements in print media or on television. So how can the web be used as an effective tool to entice consumers to buy?
“It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.”
– John Andrew Holmes
Today’s Free Downloads:
Random Password Generator 1.3 – Random Password Generator is developed to create powerful passwords which are not easy to be cracked. This smart and easy-to-use tool allows you to securely and easily manage your passwords and IDs with editable remark.
Microsoft Security Releases ISO Image March, 2013 – This DVD5 ISO image file contains the security updates for Windows released on Windows Update in February 2013. The image does not contain security updates for other Microsoft products. This DVD5 ISO image is intended for administrators that need to download multiple individual language versions of each security update and that do not use an automated solution such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). You can use this ISO image to download multiple updates in all languages at the same time.