Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 18, 2013

Google Chrome: Best security tips for safer browsing – The browser offers unique sandboxing functions and privilege restrictions, and even updates itself in the background to help better protect you from hackers and malware. But like all browsers, Chrome is imperfect, and there are steps you can take to protect it from attack. Here’s how to get the most from Chrome’s built-in security features, and work around its security shortcomings.

FCC cracks down on campaign robocalls to cell phones – Two companies face fines of nearly $5 million for allegedly making millions of artificial voice messages without consumers’ prior consent.

Google scraps Chrome’s RSS extension along with Reader – Chrome’s best option for handling feeds already has met the same fate that will come to Google Reader. There are replacements, though.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Feedly picking up where Google Reader leaves off – Feedly is cleaning Google Reader’s plate. The reason? Feedly has made it simple for Google users to switch and retain all their Reader feeds and categories. You just sign into Feedly with your Google account credentials.

10 steps to animating clipart in PowerPoint – With a few basic skills, you can turn a piece of clipart into a purposeful message using animation. In this article, you’ll ungroup a clipart object and then animate individual pieces to create a simple spring scene. I’ve kept the example simple to keep you focused on the tools rather than the art. (This article includes instructions for PowerPoint 2003 through 2010.)

Android malware analysis tool – Bluebox Labs announced Dexter, a free tool to help researchers and enterprise security teams analyze applications for malware and vulnerabilities. The Dexter platform provides software architecture information presented through a web-based user interface.

Killing Comic Sans: 5 fonts that protect your dignity – Comic Sans has ruined graphic design for years, but now it’s time to stuff this ‘fun’ font into the shredder. Alternatives abound.

Small Business Data Backup Woes Persist: Survey – The survey of 1,012 IT decision makers, commissioned by cloud backup services provider Carbonite, unearthed some startling statistics on the state of data protection among small enterprises. Forty-five percent of respondents admitted that their organizations had suffered some form of data loss. Among the respondents who reported data loss, 54 percent said that a hardware failure was to blame. And recovering data to get their businesses back on track is turning out to be a pricey proposition for shop owners.

Two charged in theft of $40K from hacked Subway keypads – The pair allegedly sold point-of-sale terminals preloaded with remote desktop software to load value on Subway gift cards.


Infographic — Cloud Security – Ponemon Institute surveyed nearly 750 IT and IT security practitioners for the 2013 Security of Cloud Computing Users Study to see how cloud security has progressed over the past two years. The results: while security is improving, lingering doubts remain.

Flaw allows attack on Origin gamers, security researchers say – Users of Origin, the game distribution platform of Electronic Arts (EA), are vulnerable to remote code execution attacks through origin:// URLs, according to two security researchers. The vulnerability allows attackers to execute arbitrary code on Origin users’ computers by tricking them into visiting a malicious website or clicking on a specially crafted link, the researchers said. In most cases the attack will be automatic and require no user interaction, they said.

Seagate blog compromised, leads to Blackhole and malware – A blog of well-known hard disk drive manufacturer Seagate has been compromised to contain malicious iFrame injections that redirect users to websites hosting the Blackhole exploit kit, warns Sophos. Even though the compromise has been spotted late last month and Seagate has been informed of it, the company has still not reacted and cleaned the blog up.

‘NotCompatible’ Android malware showing rise in activity – The “NotCompatible” malware, designed to infect Android devices and turn them into unwitting Web proxies, is suddenly showing a sharp uptick in activity, according to mobile security vendor Lookout. The malware is essentially a simple network proxy, which pretends to be a system update in order to get unwitting users to install it. The idea seems to be gaining access to protected networks through victims’ infected Android devices.

Spam sources cluster in ‘Bad Neighborhoods,’ report says – Fewer than two dozen “bad neighborhoods” on the Internet are responsible for almost 50 percent of the world’s spam, according to a research report [PDF] released last week. Of the countries where spamming hosts were found, 20 percent were in India, said the study of more than 42,000 ISPs worldwide. India is followed by Vietnam and Brazil, both with a 7 percent share of spamming IP addresses.

Company News:

Apple Continues Android Offensive, Launches ‘Why iPhone’ Webpage – Apple’s latest site, also emailed to its customers, highlights 12 different reasons why the iPhone rocks.

Google’s Schmidt to Visit Myanmar to Promote Web Access – After traveling to North Korea in January to spread a message about Internet openness, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is now taking his crusade to Myanmar.

Linksys brand name survives as Belkins takes over from Cisco – Belkin completed its acquisition of Linksys on Friday and will keep the longtime home networking company’s brand, products and support channels. Cisco Systems agreed to sell Linksys to privately held Belkin in January for an undisclosed price. The move continued a shift by Cisco away from consumer products and toward large architectures for enterprises and service providers.

Apple Selling Refurbished 4th-Gen iPad, iPad Mini – Apple has started selling refurbished versions of its latest iPad lineup, which could help you save between $30-$50.

IBM Partners With Boston in Developing Smarter Cities Projects – The city of Boston, Boston University and Massachusetts are leveraging IBM software to improve operations and cut costs.

Webopedia Daily:

Enterprise cloud backup – Enterprise-grade cloud backup solutions typically add essential features such as archiving and disaster recovery to cloud backup solutions. Archiving features help to satisfy an enterprise’s legal requirements for data retention, and as part of a company’s disaster recovery plan, the remote, off-site storage provided by cloud backup helps ensure the data remains safe should the enterprise’s local data be jeopardized by a disaster such as a fire, flood, hacker attack or employee theft.

Games and Entertainment:

The Best PS3 Games – The PS4 is coming soon, but the PS3 is still a great console. Here are 10 reasons why.

Gears of War: Judgment: Old dog, new tricks – In Gears of War: Judgment a few new gameplay mechanics and some fresh faces add some longevity to a series that has just about run out of gas on Xbox 360.

Valve’s Steam Box: The plot thickens for PC-based game consoles – For a product that’s received so much attention from the technology press, it’s astounding how little we actually know about Valve’s Steam Box, the half-PC, half-console hardware concept that could potentially redefine the video gaming landscape.

Saints Row 4 August Release Date Confirmed, Preview Trailer Launched – The ever-crazy Saints Row series – which takes the normal, one-person-army motif of Grand Theft Auto-like games and injects it with an absurd amount of, well, absurdity – is getting its fourth official incarnation for consoles and the PC, but you’re going to have to wait a little bit before you can terrorize yet another city. According to publisher Deep Silver, Saints Row 4 is going to officially hit stores on August 20.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The Internet of Things Worth $14.4 Trillion – Cisco detailed its views on the IoT during its Editors Day event, parading out a Padmasree Warriorconga line of distinguished technologists and engineers to talk about the future connected world. “The value at stake of the Internet of Everything is $14.4 Trillion,” Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s president of Development and Sales, said during the event.

We Should Have Killed These Internet Pioneers Back In the 1990s – I am a newspaperman. Before my freelancing days, my business card had the name of my paper, and under that it said my own name, and then: “Staff Writer.” These days, I’m barely getting by as a freelancer, and my business card has a little graphic of a quill by my name. I often think about how different the media landscape would be if newspapers had invested in killing off the “Web content” people once they became a clear danger to journalism. (suggested by Michael F.)

White spaces networks are not “super” nor even Wi-Fi – The government is hoping that making a band of unlicensed spectrum available as part of the upcoming incentive auctions will help build a nationwide wireless network. Is that the best use of that spectrum? (suggested by Aseem S.)

Ask Alex: Tech Etiquette Tips You Can Use – Mastering the art of digital sarcasm; Can your dysfunctional Facebook friendship be salvaged?; The politics of interoffice online dating……

Ekso Bionics Offers a Way Out of the Wheelchair – Take the battery-powered Ekso bionic suit for an eye-opening walkabout.

Today’s Quote:

“Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.”

–    Terry Pratchett

Today’s Free Downloads:

Memtest86 4.2.0 – Memtest86 is a thorough, stand alone memory test for x86 architecture computers. BIOS based memory tests are a quick, cursory check and often miss many of the failures that are detected by Memtest86.

DropIt 5.5 – You can configure DropIt to do 8 different actions to your files and folders (Move, Copy, Compress, Extract, Rename, Open With, Delete and Exclude), filtering files by name, extension, location, size and/or date.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 18, 2013

  1. Why is it that with Google Reeder the recommend replacement is Freely when Google Currents is actually the replacement for Google Reader.The seem similar.

  2. my last comment had a misspelling it should be Feedly not Freelay.

  3. Oops did it again autocorrect misspelled freely ,Sorry a bought that.

    • Hey Keith,

      OK, got all that. 🙂

      Took a quick look at Currents. Seems it’s designed for mobiles – but, it looks very suitable.

      Thanks for the tip.



  4. Bill, thanks for the article on Chrome security. I recently started using Chrome as a third browser for java scripted sites that won’t work with my other two browsers. Since I’m a newby to Chrome, the article is very timely and helpful at this time. Keep up the great work.

    • Hi Paul,

      I use Chrome quite actively and I must admit, I’ve come to like its clean look. Not to shabby in the extension department either. 🙂