Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 16, 2013

Get Norton AntiVirus 2013 (3 PCs) free after rebate – Widely praised as the best malware removal and prevention tool, it normally sells for around $50. Newegg has Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2013 for 3 PCs for free. That’s after paying $45 and redeeming a $45 mail-in rebate (PDF), which comes in the form of a prepaid debit card. (And, please, don’t tell me it’s “not really free.” That’s Symantec semantics, people.)

Security reporter hit by ‘swatting’ attack – A well-respected computer security reporter says he was the target of a con that sent an armed SWAT team to his front door. “Swatting” is what you do to a fly that’s buzzing around your head. But when that fly is respected security reporter Brian Krebs, swatting is what you do to him when you want to scare him and possibly cause him serious physical harm.

Why Do Chrome Extensions Need to Access All My Data? – Extensions are an amazing way to customize your Chrome experience, but some of them ask for a lot of data for no apparent reason. I talked with programmer Joe Flores and Meldium co-founder Boris Jabes to get insight into how permissions work, and see if it’s something you should be worried about or not.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Get your company started with Evernote for Business – If your staffers simply need a note-taking application, Evernote is an obvious choice—it’s the 800-pound gorilla, having grown in five years to 50 million users. But the program also offers an eclectic assortment of productivity features, and this is where its utility in business environments is much less obvious.

Enhance photos with sound – When sharing photos with your friends and family, why not add a sound effect or a voice caption to narrate what they’re looking at? In this Tech Minute, CNET’s Kara Tsuboi reports on two of her favorite smartphone apps that allow you to include sound with images.

Throw ideas against a virtual wall with Padlet – Web app Padlet calls itself a “multimedia friendly, free-form, real-time wiki.” Which is to say, it’s a blank canvas where you can throw ideas around with a virtual group. Each participant can post his or her thoughts, along with any files, photos, videos, and links that pertain to the discussion.

How to Share Your Wi-Fi Network with Friends, No Password Typing Required – If your friend wants to get on your Wi-Fi, you don’t have to share your (possibly long and confusing) password. Here’s how to generate a QR code containing your network password and have them log on in one snap.

After Reader, which Google services will be next to fall? – Whether you were a Google Reader fan or not, the key questions are: Which other Google services are on the chopping block? Which ones either see their popularity on a similar decline, or just aren’t profitable enough? Put another way: If Google is willing to kill its products, should we feel safe using them? The answer is complicated.

HBO and top Microsoft’s new Flash blacklist – The good news for anyone who uses Internet Explorer 10 is that Microsoft’s new blacklist for sites that use Adobe Flash content is small. Only a dozen sites made the “Dirty Dozen Flash Domains.” But one of them is a media giant and the other is a superstar of tech news.

Opinion: CISPA isn’t the evil, privacy-infringing legislation you think it is – A bill that would foster stronger cyber security by enabling government and private sector companies to share information is facing opposition from privacy and civil liberties groups. The controversy is misguided, though, and the legislation is a step in the right direction.

The eight-core era arrives – Samsung is set to start making its Exynos 5 Octa and other chipmakers aren’t far behind, even though few apps are designed to really take advantage of many-core processors. The real reason mobile chipmakers are pushing eight cores may simply be because they can.

Ubuntu Linux 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ hits beta 1 – Ubuntu 13.04 is now technically in beta, but the only variations with actual beta images to see are Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu Cloud, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu.

Telly is more than just a Vine clone – Social-video apps are more popular than ever, but with Telly you get more options and features than are currently available in other popular apps.


Reckless IT pros are missing security holes in non-Microsoft software – Secunia reports that only 14 percent of the vulnerabilities found in the 50 most popular programs last year were in Microsoft products while 86 percent were in third-party software.

New ZeuS-based modular rootkit offered to cybercriminals – Some plugins are already available – a DDoS module, a HOSTS File Modifier module, a Back Connect Hosts module (to allow cybercriminals to connect and abuse hosts behind a NAT), and a module to convert the malware-infected hosts into anonymization proxies. The price? Between $50 and $380. The bot with the rootkit functionality is sold for $1,500, and the buyer gets a user manual with it. The bot’s control panel is simple, and all the interactions with the admin panel are encrypted.

Researcher: Hackers can cause traffic jams by manipulating real-time traffic data – Hackers can influence real-time traffic-flow-analysis systems to make people drive into traffic jams or to keep roads clear in areas where a lot of people use Google or Waze navigation systems, a German researcher demonstrated at BlackHat Europe.

3G and 4G USB modems are a security threat, researcher says – The vast majority of 3G and 4G USB modems handed out by mobile operators to their customers are manufactured by a handful of companies and run insecure software, according to two security researchers from Russia.

Hacker swarm attacks dummy critical infrastructure honeypot – Fake industrial control systems set up test the vulnerability of internet connected critical national infrastructure came under sustained attack, with the majority of attacks originating in China.

Apple Fixes OS X Flaw That Allowed Java Apps to Run With Plugin Disabled – Apple on Thursday released a large batch of security fixes for its OS X operating system, one of which patches a flaw that allowed Java Web Start applications to run even when users had Java disabled in the browser. OS X 10.8.3 fixes 21 total vulnerabilities, and also includes a new version of the malware removal tool for Apple machines.

Ramnit Malware Back and Better at Avoiding Detection – The Ramnit malware family has been given a facelift with new anti-detection capabilities, a troubleshooting module, as well as enhanced encryption and malicious payloads.

Company News:

Belkin completes Linksys deal; looking towards tackling smarter homes – With new Linksys products promised to roll out this spring, Belkin’s focus for the unit is going to center around networking solutions for mobile devices and smart homes.

LogMeIn limits freeloaders to 10 PCs. So what? – A little over a week ago, LogMeIn Product Specialist Sean Keough announced a change to the company’s LogMeIn Free remote-access product: Instead of using it on unlimited PCs, customers would be limited to 10 PCs each.

Dropbox adds a Mailbox to build out mobile services portfolio – Dropbox’s purchase of Mailbox offers another glimpse at the cloud company’s evolving mobile strategy.

Coming soon: The Samsung Phone platform – Samsung’s roadmap to completely obscure the fact it uses Google’s OS is almost complete. Samsung Phone will be coming soon to a smartphone and tablet near you.

Facebook promotes Mike Schroepfer to CTO – A former VP of engineering at the social network, Schroepfer steps into the company’s empty chief technical officer position.

Webopedia Daily:

Cloud provisioning – The deployment of a company’s cloud computing strategy, which typically first involves selecting which applications and services will reside in the public cloud and which will remain on site behind the firewall or in the private cloud. Cloud provisioning also entails developing the processes for interfacing with the cloud’s applications and services as well as auditing and monitoring who accesses and utilizes the resources. The most common reference to cloud provisioning is when a company seeks to transition some or all of its existing applications to the cloud without having to significantly re-architect or re-engineer the applications.

Games and Entertainment:

What I’m Playing: Fishing with chainsaws and strolling through the forest after dark – Welcome to the weekend! Here’s a few of the mobile games I’ve been playing all week that I think are worth your time and money. Of course, hundreds of new games grace Google Play and the iOS App Store every week, so I’ve likely missed a few hidden gems.

Lego City: Undercover: The kid-friendly ‘GTA’ – If you don’t mind waiting for the game to load, Lego City: Undercover has a lot of fun packed inside, even if most of the gameplay is stuff you might have seen before.

Release of Ashton Kutcher’s Steve Jobs film pushed back – The film, starring Ashton Kutcher as late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, was originally set for release next month.

EA’s Real Racing 3 a hit despite ‘freemium’ gripes – The mobile racing simulator boasts more downloads in its first week than Real Racing and Real Racing 2 combined. Also, don’t expect a Real Racing 4 anytime soon; there are no plans for one.

Is Darth Vader the world’s favorite ‘Star Wars’ character? – It’s Light Side vs. Dark Side in Lucasfilm’s “This is Madness” tournament-bracket style competition to see who is the all-time favorite “Star Wars” character.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Erin Go Bragh! – It’s St. Paddy’s Day again, my Irish friends. While Ireland is most often recognized for its Guinness, Whiskey, Corned Beef, a distinctive style of folk dancing, leprechauns, drinking songs and firey Red-haired women, it’s also often overlooked as a source of some key developments in Science and Industry. Let’s take a look at the top contributions to tech from the Emerald Isle.

4D printing – the new frontier – Autodesk, academia and coming-of-age firms like Stratsys and Organovo are all collaborating on an incredible new dimension on creation with programable materials

Tattoo Body Map: What Your Bad Decision Says About You – Tattoos are reverse time machines: with time travel you can send a warning back to your younger self, with tattoos you send a mistake forward to your older self.

The Thrill is Gone: Why the Galaxy S4 is just another Android device – Nice hardware. But where’s the innovation? The disruption?

RSS inventor doesn’t see what all the fuss is about closing Google Reader – As far as Dave Winer, one of RSS’s creators, is concerned, Google turning off Google Reader isn’t a big deal. The potential for Google to control the news flow is what he finds worrisome.

Today’s Quote:

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”

–     Malcolm X

Today’s Free Downloads:

VirtualBox 4.2.10 – VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.

FotoMix 9.2.1 – FotoMix is a versatile program that allows you to mix and manipulate different pictures, to create a wide variety of images.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 16, 2013

  1. Michael Fisher

    Happy Irish Day Bill

    Re your Erin Go Bragh! link which mentions corned beef…

    I found this snippet in the corned beef Wiki :- “The 17th-century English and Irish industrial processes for corned beef did not distinguish between different cuts of beef beyond the tough and undesirable parts such as the beef necks and shanks. Rather, the grading was done by the weight of the cattle into “small beef”, “cargo beef”, and “best mess beef”, the former being the worst and the latter the best. Much of the undesirable portions and lower grades were traded to the French, while better parts were saved for English consumption…”

    Seems fair to me…

    • Thanks Michael. 🙂

      Love the “industrial processes” reference. In the 17th-century; processing food at the industrial level – wicked!! Often wondered just what grub tasted like back then.



  2. John

    Hi Bill,
    Have a very merry (as I’m sure you will) St Patrick’s day.