Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 28, 2013

28 fantastically helpful online tools and utilities – These sites are handier than a pocket on a shirt – There’s a certain simple joy to be found in a good tool, and we present 28 fabulous online gadgets in this collection. These websites run the gamut, from custom font design to tech (and drink!) recipes to digital brainstorming tools. And they’re all free to use!

Smartphone OS Showdown – Android, BlackBerry, iOS, or Windows Phone? The phone, the features, and the apps you’ll get depend on your platform choice. Here’s a close look at the big four mobile operating systems.

Slideshow: Use System Image Recovery tool to restore your hard disk – Greg Shultz shows you how to use System Image Recovery tool from the Recovery Drive to restore your hard disk.

The “Other” Facebook inbox you didn’t know you had – Surprised, as in you have another inbox you didn’t know you had. According to Facebook, the Other folder is “where you’ll find messages and emails that have been filtered out of your inbox”—in other words, messages from people you probably don’t know.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to mute annoying email threads in Gmail – For users of Gmail, there’s a quick response that doesn’t require you to mark the email as spam or threaten the emailers with bodily harm. Yes, Gmail makes it easy to mute specific email threads and keep them out of your inbox.

Review: Freemake Video Downloader grabs any video with a URL – There are a lot of video downloaders out there, but few are as slick and easy on the eye as standalone utility Freemake Video Downloader v3.5. The program will download video from any site that you can snag a URL from—and if you’re using YouTube and Firefox, you can even download using a button that the program embeds below the video being viewed. Not bad for a free program.

Infographic: The next social trend is mobile video – Mobile video will represent 66% of global media traffic by 2017, which is up from 51% in 2012, according to this infographic from and sponsored by Uberflip. Find out which online video platform gets the most traffic, which two social networks are trying to dominate the video sharing market, and more by taking a look at this graphic.

How to set up public Wi-Fi at your business – Offering wireless Internet access for guests can open new doors for your business. For a cafe or restaurant, customers are more likely to stay longer, purchase more items, and return knowing they can use a Wi-Fi connection. For motels and hotels, Wi-Fi is one of travelers’ deciding factors when selecting where to stay. Offering guest wireless access from an otherwise private office can be beneficial too, as it provides outside associates, contractors, and other visitors with a reliable Internet connection.

Linux use in enterprises jumps again: survey – While overall server revenue grew at just 3.1 percent and Windows server revenue increased just 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 year-over-year, Linux experienced 12.7 percent year-over-year growth for the same period. Unix, meanwhile, was down 24.1 percent.

Business Backup: Nothing Personal – Business data demands more than personal users requires when it comes to backup, especially when the cloud’s involved.

WordWeb dictionary is a crossword-puzzle fan’s dream – There used to be a time when you would reach for the dictionary, knock the dust off it, then run your finger down the page while looking up a mysterious word. But these days, the concept of the print dictionary has fallen by the wayside with dictionary websites and modern desktop alternatives. Desktop program WordWeb can look up words in mere seconds, as well as provide you with plenty of useful related information.

Create Your Own Magazine With Flipboard 2.0 – Social news magazine Flipboard this week introduced Version 2.0, which includes more content, faster navigation, and the ability for users to create their own magazines.

Security:

Record-Breaking DDoS Attack Slows Web – Spam crusaders The Spamhaus Project have been battling massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that have reportedly resulted in a slowdown of the entire Web.

Could WikiLeaks, Not Spamhaus, Be the Target of Cyber Attacks? – I was sold on this bullcrap story until I looked into it. There is something very sketchy about this fight and it’s unclear to me which party is on the offensive. But if Cyberbunker is such a huge source of spam, aren’t there legitimate ways to shut it down? It’s been done before. If it turns out that this is really about WikiLeaks rather than spam, then we are being terribly misled by the media. So what else is new?

How Domain Name Servers Work – Computers and other network devices on the Internet use an IP address to route your request to the site you’re trying to reach. This is similar to dialing a phone number to connect to the person you’re trying to call. Thanks to DNS, though, you don’t have to keep your own address book of IP addresses. Instead, you just connect through a domain name server, also called a DNS server or name server, which manages a massive database that maps domain names to IP addresses.

U.S. and Russia–Not China–Lead List of Malicious Hosting Providers – China has become the go-to bogeyman behind every cyber attack or malware campaign, but if you’re looking for the most malicious hosting providers on the Web, you won’t find any of the top 10 in China. In fact, the United States and Russia have many more bad hosting providers in the top 20 than China does.

Three arrested for trying to cut undersea Internet cable – Attacks on the submarine cables running along the ocean floors carrying massive amounts of Internet traffic aren’t terribly uncommon. A series of the cables were severed for reasons unbeknownst back in 2008, for example, and again early last year, the latter of which cut off Internet service to various locations in Africa. Now three have been arrested for attempting to severe a cable feeding Internet to Alexandria.

Is uncovering digital vulnerabilities doing more harm than good? – A noted virtual-reality technologist and author views “security through obscurity” as the only true way security can exist. Michael P. Kassner looks at what this uniquely divergent viewpoint means.

British Security Agency Found Sending Passwords in Plain Text – It was revealed in the last week that those who apply for jobs through the GCHQ’s recruitment portal are emailed their password in plain text after filling out the forgotten password feature on the site. The GCHQ defended the security of its recruiting system this week by claiming it’s working to change it and that only a small number of their applicants are sent the emails.

Company News:

T-Mobile Cuts the Bulls**t, But Can it Win Customers? – T-Mobile’s raucous new CEO says he’s bringing simplicity and sanity to mobile phone plans. Here’s what he needs to do to win

Microsoft hires former Oracle exec to run North American sales – A former Oracle channel exec joins Microsoft to head up North American sales, while a veteran software development architect moves on to teaching cloud programming.

HP launches free service to secure mobile, Web apps – HP says it now has a free service called “Fortify My App” that lets anyone building mobile or Web applications upload code to the Fortify software-as-a-service and get a limited analysis about whether the code has specific vulnerabilities or design flaws.

MakerBot, Ouya Team Up for 3D-Printed Console Cases – Ouya and 3D printer company MakerBot have partnered to provide a 3D Printing Kit for game console owners to personalize their Ouya.

Webopedia Daily:

RAID – redundant array of independent disks – RAID is short for redundant array of independent (or inexpensive) disks.It is a category of disk drives that employ two or more drives in combination for fault tolerance and performance. RAID disk drives are used frequently on servers but aren’t generally necessary for personal computers. RAID allows you to store the same data redundantly (in multiple paces) in a balanced way to improve overall storage performance.

Games and Entertainment:

Temple Run Launches on Windows Phone 8 – The popular mobile game Temple Run is now available for Windows Phone 8 devices.

EA, Dice Unveil ‘Battlefield 4’ With 17-Minute Trailer – Electronic Arts introduced Battlefield 4 at this week’s 2013 Game Developers Conference with a 17-minute gameplay trailer.

Great Graphics for a Budget Price – The Nvidia GTX 650 Ti Boost graphics card offers substantial performance at a great price.

Fruit Ninja Developer Tips ‘Fish Out of Water’ Game – Looking for a new mobile game? Halfbrick, the studio behind Fruit Ninja, has unveiled the trailer for its newest game, Fish Out Of Water

Don’t like Excel? This spreadsheet-based RPG might change your mind – A lot of us buy into the cliché that accountants are boring and uncreative, but Cary Walkin has shown us how assumptions make an ass out of “u” and me. The Canadian accountant has created a full RPG game called Arena.Xlsm from scratch, and the cool part? You play it completely within Microsoft Excel. Version 1.0 is available for free, and you can download it for yourself.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Big Oil’s Wikipedia cleanup: A brand management experiment out of control – When BP was accused of improving its environmental record on Wikipedia Jimmy Wales stood by the oil giant’s practices on Wikipedia. That’s because unchecked image cleanup by Big Oil’s PR reps – with readers none the wiser – is standard operating procedure for the “Internet’s encyclopedia.”

Researchers create ultra-thin and flexible Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak – Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin have created a new, ultra-thin (0.15mm) invisibility cloak. If cloaks aren’t your thing, check out this invisibility cube.

A Needed Response (video 0:27) – To the Steubenville rapists…or any rapists out there. Real men treat everyone with respect.

Researchers create fiber network that operates at 99.7% speed of light, smashes speed and latency records – Researchers at the University of Southampton in England have produced optical fibers that can transfer data at 99.7% of the universe’s speed limit: The speed of light. The researchers have used these new optical fibers to transfer data at 73.7 terabits per second — roughly 10 terabytes per second, and some 1,000 times faster than today’s state-of-the-art 40-gigabit fiber optic links, and at much lower latency.

Join 1 million others in the biggest heart study ever – The Health eHeart Study wants to enroll one million people and gather more data about heart health than any research study has done before. Using smartphones to gather real-time health measures, they’re looking for patterns that might give advance warning of heart attack and predict the onset of irregular heart beats and stroke. Wall Street Journal reports.

Honest Trailers – Les Miserables – In honor of the movie musical Les Miserables – we decided to make a Musical Honest Trailer. Trust us, it sounds way better than Russell Crowe. (very funny).

Today’s Quote:

So, let us not be blind to our differences – but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.”

–     John F. Kennedy

Today’s Free Downloads:

Mail PassView 1.80 – Mail PassView is a small password-recovery tool that reveals the passwords and other account details for all popular email clients.

Microsoft Autoruns 11.50 – This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them.

Microsoft Process Monitor 3.04 – Process Monitor is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity.

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