Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 25, 2013

Attack of the killer smart watches – Rumors would have you believe that no fewer than four companies are readying smart watches for public consumption. Problem is, the public hasn’t asked for them.

How Google crushed the RSS industry – The real victims were companies that had planned to build RSS sync engines. Google stomped them out of business like Godzilla sweeping through Tokyo.

Facebook adds weather feature for eventgoers – Facebook is helping people know how to dress for an event, a new feature in its seemingly unending evolution that is puzzling because it offers users the chance to hop off the social networking site. Now when you set up an event on Facebook you can let guests know whether they should wear a jacket, sunglasses or snow boots thanks to an integration with the online weather service Weather Underground.

Swapping Windows 8 for three flavors of Linux on my netbook – I just bought a new Aspire One 725 and loaded it with Linux Mint, openSuSE and Fedora. Follow my adventures.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2013 – Every year, TIME recognizes those who exemplify the very best wit and wisdom Twitter has to offer. Here are the 140 feeds that inspire us to laugh, learn or shake our heads in wonderment.

Google Should Kill Chrome OS: 10 Reasons Why – Google’s Chrome operating system was supposed to be a true Windows killer. However, it’s proven to be a flop, and the only sensible thing to do is to kill it off.

Bills would require warrants for police to use GPS tracking – A group of U.S. lawmakers has introduced legislation that would require law enforcement agencies to get court-ordered search warrants before obtaining a suspect’s mobile phone location or GPS data, instead of using prosecution-issued subpoenas. Several privacy and civil liberties groups praised the introduction of the bill. Wyden and Chaffetz introduced similar bills in 2011, but that legislation did not pass.

What Microsoft Provides Law Enforcement: Not A Lot of Content – Microsoft this week joined the likes of Twitter and Google to disclose how many law enforcement requests it receives for user data and how many it fulfills. The key takeaway? It’s less than we thought.

The Basketball Tech Revolution – Shoes that track your vertical leap, “smart basketballs,” statistical analysis of game video—it’s all here.

Apple’s Wrongheaded, Dangerous Censorship of Satirical Sweatshop for iPad – Apple’s removal of the satirical iOS game Sweatshop from its App Store continues a dangerous precedent of censorship.


Forcing us to educate users on cybersecurity won’t work: Telstra – Trying to educate users on cybersecurity is like leading a horse to water, according to Telstra, and making such education a legal requirement isn’t going to solve the problem. (lol – talk about a self serving statement.)

McAfee warns of malware targeting point-of-sale systems – Dubbed vSkimmer, the Trojan-like malware is designed to infect Windows-based computers that have payment card readers attached to them, McAfee security researcher Chintan Shah said last week in a blog post. The malware was first detected by McAfee’s sensor network on February 13 and is currently being advertised on cybercriminal forums as being better than Dexter, a different POS malware program that was discovered back in December.

Web addresses put Indian govt at risk – Government’s technology department lists Web-based GMail and Yahoo accounts as e-mail correspondence, which a security player believes can expose the Indian government to a significant security vulnerability.

South Korea Attack Not From Chinese IP Address After All – It appears that the recent cyber-attacks against South Korean banks and television networks may not have originated in China, the country’s officials said Friday.

Indonesia to regulate online shopping – New laws will be introduced this year in the country to minimize fraud and build consumer trust in e-commerce, including the use of Indonesian domain names.

Company News:

Apple Acquires WiFiSLAM for its Indoor Location-Tracking Tech – And here you thought it was tricky enough to get the correct directions to your driving destination via the GPS-friendly app on your iPhone. Apple’s allegedly upping the ante in the world of location services by acquiring a company that could help give it more of a foothold in the relatively unexplored world of indoor mapping.

T-Mobile kills off the wireless contract – The wireless carrier today seems to have finally done away entirely with contracts for wireless customers, part of broader changes intended to make T-Mobile more competitive.

Indian player launches global SIM card – Jaxtr unveils a pre-paid SIM card which works on various phones ranging from Android, iPhone, Windows and BlackBerry and in over 200 countries.

Samsung: Sorry about that sexist show – In the wake of its slightly perturbing Galaxy S4 launch, Samsung accepts criticism of a South African presentation that featured, yes, swimsuited dancers.

Shutterfly sues Kodak over photo app, report says – The online photo site is looking to shut down an Eastman Kodak app that lets users create albums using Facebook photos, according to Reuters.

Webopedia Daily:

Gorilla Glass – An advanced alkali-aluminosilicate glass technology developed by Corning that is used in a variety of screens for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets as well as displays for PCs and TVs. The scratch- and impact-resistant qualities in Gorilla Glass, combined with its incredibly thin profile, enable it to protect device displays without adding significant weight or interfering with capacitive touch screens. The most recent development in Gorilla Glass was announced in early 2013. Gorilla Glass 3 with Native Damage Resistance offers “enhanced scratch resistance, reduced scratch visibility and better retained strength once a scratch does occur,” according to Corning. The first product to employ Gorilla Glass III, the Samsung Galaxy S4, became available in April 2013.

Games and Entertainment:

Wii U sales so poor retailers considering scaling back support – We’ve known for months now that sales of the Wii U have been pretty terrible. Figures for US sales in January totaled just 59,000 units. February saw that figure improve only slightly to 64,000 units. That’s in stark contrast to the launch in November and subsequent sales of 890,000 consoles before the end of 2012.

Blizzard Releases In-Game Footage for Diablo III on PS3 – It’s the (gaming) world’s worst-kept secret: The console port of Blizzard’s Diablo 3 to Sony’s PlayStation 3 (and ultimately, the PlayStation 4). Blizzard’s been teasing what the game might look and feel like since its official announcement last month, but it’s taken until now for eager demon-killers to get their hands on an actual video of Diablo 3 on a living room console. Unless, of course, you’re one of the many attendees at this year’s PAX East, where Blizzard is putting the game on full display.

Cable-Free HBO GO? 10 Shows to Watch – For years, HBO was the exclusive province of cable and satellite providers. Now, HBO’s chief executive has raised the possibility of freeing HBO’s services from the cable monopoly and offering them directly to consumers. We run down our 10 favorite shows on HBO, or 10 reasons you should be excited about the possibility of it actually going a la carte.

Game of Thrones on the eve of season three – We’re a week away from the debut of Game of Thrones on March 31, and you get the feeling the show’s probably going to be bigger than ever this time around.

The 10 Best Games to Play on a Mac – These 10 video games may convince you that your Mac deserves a place among other video game platforms.

Forget FPS games: Biting Elbows is an absolutely insane first person music video – We play video games in the first person all the time, but it’s not often you find a real video in the same format, aside from Doom the movie of course. Check out this music video done entirely in first person view and you’ll have a new standard with which to judge other music videos.

Scrooge McDuck will make a cane-wielding comeback in DuckTales Remastered – Today Capcom announced that Scrooge McDuck — the world’s richest duck — will return to gaming with DuckTales Remastered. The game, which is scheduled for Summer 2013, will be published by Capcom and developed by WayForward Technologies. It is slated for the Wii U, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

BioShock Infinite (trailer) – BioShock Infinite takes to the skies to the fictional floating city of Columbia in 1912.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Propose and cons: ‘Will you marry me’ meets social media – As if men don’t have enough to worry about, now they have to concoct proposals as a production, complete with cameramen, so that they can subsequently adorn Facebook and YouTube.

Stop the Cyborgs: The Anti-Google Glass Movement – At first, I thought this was a joke. People aren’t afraid of Web browsers, laptops, cameras, or voice recognition system; your phone can do all that right now. So why would anyone be afraid of glasses with those things built in? It doesn’t make sense to me, but it seems that people are genuinely afraid. And the product isn’t even available yet. I don’t think it will last, but Google has clearly hit a nerve.

ICANN’s CEO sees crucial times in efforts for a free Internet – Defenders of a free and open Internet are “facing a pretty dangerous time right now,” as countries that want censorship and control of the Internet push their agendas at the International Telecommunications Union and other forums, ICANN leader Fadi Chehadé said last week.

Liability Issues Will Plague the Future of Social Media – A lawsuit involving hate speech on Twitter begs for an international treaty governing freedom of speech. This highlights a rudimentary problem with the Internet: the lack of international treaties regarding material published on the Internet. I have personally advocated for this for over 15 years.

Do not attempt: Mixing alcohol with a Krypton laser – This eye-popping video shows how Scott Stevenson sets off fireworks with precisely aligned bottles of booze.

Today’s Quote:

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.”

–     John Gaule

Today’s Free Downloads:

SystemRescueCd 3.5.0 – SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. – Advanced System Tweaker 2.0.0 – – Advanced System Tweaker is a central hub for any kind of tweak or anything else that can be done via registry files, commands and vbscript files. 100 new tweaks!



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 25, 2013

  1. It’s amazing to read Ed Bott crucify Google over RSS issues when the same can be said for all the major players including Microsoft and Apple.
    Ed also can’t be expected to criticize what butters his bread.
    All corporations only answer to their stockholders and when something is no longer profitable the item is dropped. The ramifications aren’t the concern of the giant corporations.
    This certainly doesn’t mean that it’s right or something to be condoned but, it’s an unpleasant fact we all live with.

    • Hi Bob,

      Well said – couldn’t agree more. I think Bott went off half-cocked on this one.

      Surely, any enterprise is entitled to choose which products it will support in the marketplace.



  2. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Re: “Attack of the killer smart watches”.

    I don’t want one. Apart from anything else, at my age my arms would need to be about twice their current length for me to be able to read it. I suppose that I could get a pair of Google glasses to help; but wait! If I had the glasses I wouldn’t need the watch.

    Nope. Definitely don’t want one.

    Kind regards,

    • Hi John,

      lol!! I hear ya. 🙂

      Have to wonder though – if ANY of these writers are old enough to have read Dick Tracy in the newspaper comics. I doubt it – it seems most of them are in “shock and awe” at the prospect of a “smart watch.” What a laugh. 🙂