Monthly Archives: April 2013

4 Amazing Things Created By 3D Printing

In 1984 3D printing was born, and after some incredible advances in 3D printing technology over the past twenty years, we’re now at a point where we’re beginning to see some impressive results.

I have put together a list of some of the craziest, most impressive and potentially world-changing 3D printed objects that have so far been created by this mind-blowing technology – which is still only in its infancy.


1. Artificial blood vessels

Back in 2011 a research team at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany successfully overcome problems in tissue engineering when they printed working blood vessels.

There had been a number of research teams that tried to overcome the problems involved in providing artificial tissue with nutrients that need to arrive via capillary vessels, but these results from the German team are the most promising.

If creating working blood vessels wasn’t impressive enough, the technology could soon be used to help those patients on organ donation lists, and allow us to print fully working organs for transplant.

2. A gun

While an entire 3D printed gun hasn’t yet been made, technological advances have meant that certain parts of guns can be. Lower receivers, the parts of a gun that include the workings of the trigger and the magazine, have already been successfully printed and fitted by some 3D printing/gun enthusiasts – and it’s been causing quite a bit of controversy.

Should the technology improve to a point where additional gun parts can be manufactured (and the odds of that happening are pretty strong) then 3D printers could effectively kill a country’s gun control legislation, with individuals effectively able to create their own weapons at home – or at least, part of them.

3. A prosthetic jaw

In 2012 Belgium scientists created a 3D-printed jawbone for an 83-year-old woman after her jaw became badly infected. The standard 20-hour surgery required to reconstruct the jaw was deemed too dangerous considering the patients age, so something else had to be thought up…

While prosthetic jaws have been created before, the operation was the first ever to involve a 3D printed prosthetic. The prosthetic jaw was printed in layers from titanium powder before being covered in a ‘bioceramic’ coating.

4. Other 3D printers…

In 2007 RepRap Project (short for replicating rapid prototyper) – a company whose goal is to develop the world’s first self-replicating 3D printer – released Darwin, a 3D printer capable of printing almost all of its component parts.

RepRap Project hopes one day to be able to supply their 3D printers cheaply to people around the world, and to communities in need of materials normally associated with expensive industrial processes that they have no access to.

Exciting news for global development – these self-replicating 3D printer could well bring about a new industrial revolution in the 21st century.

This is an article by Rob Henry who is one of the directors at Ink Worldwide, which provides products like Epson, HP, Canon and Brother Ink and Toner throughout the UK. Rob has been with Ink Worldwide from the beginning and has played a major role in helping run and grow the company.


Filed under 3D Printing, Guest Writers, Printers

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 30, 2013

21 tips for supercharging your cloud storage – Enjoy offline access to essential files, get more gigabytes for free, and squeeze more productivity out of your cloud storage.

Twitter warns of more hacks, threats to come; issues media memo – The microblogging giant has warned news outlets that “these attacks will continue,” particularly against high profile media organizations.

BoxCryptor vs. DropSmack: The battle to secure Dropbox – Can DropSmack malware be stopped? Michael P. Kassner asks the creators of BoxCryptor if it is up to the task of securing the Dropbox file-synchronization service.

12 ways Windows 8 dominates the OS competition – Beyond the vilified modern UI lies a bounty of basic desktop functions that blow the competition out of the water. Seriously. Remember how hard Windows 7 rocked? All that awesome is still there in Windows 8, just buried beneath Live Tiles. Speaking of which, while we were all busy whining about those shifty squares, Microsoft snuck some handy functionality into the modern UI—aspects of which have no peers among Windows’ rivals.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Make a Movie With Your Smartphone – Smartphones have gone from showing movies to making them. Here are some of the accessories you’ll need to help your entry hit Cannes.

Troll admits to making death threats against children on Facebook – A 24-year-old UK man has admitted to posting threats on the Facebook tribute page of a teenager killed after being thrown from a truck. He told police he didn’t think anybody would take the threats seriously. He was very wrong.

Google Now available for iPhone and iPad – Google Now is one of the best features of the Android platform, and it is now available for iOS devices.

Your guide to Google Now on iOS – Until this release, Google Now was only available on Android devices, but as of Monday, it’s also available for iOS. So what is it and why should you care?

Quick Tip: Count and itemize files in Google Drive – You can quickly find out how many and what type of files are in a Google Drive folder with this little trick.

Here’s why Bitcoin is the future of money – Bitcoin may not last, but crypto-currency is here to stay. It’s only a matter of time before a government replaces paper with more traceable, secure digital money. But is that a good thing?

New Linux 3.9 kernel gets a boost and adds new features – The Linux 3.9 kernel brings with it an SSD caching, improved performance for multi-threaded network server apps and a host of other new perks.

How to install GNOME 3.8 on Ubuntu – If you want to try Ubuntu 13.04, but prefer a different desktop than Unity, Jack Wallen shows you how you can install the latest iteration of GNOME Shell (3.8) and why you should give it a try.

Wattwave brings power line technology into the smarter home – Smart homes are about to get a whole lot smarter with Wattwave power line technology from startup enModus. Wattwave runs on a low-cost, off-the-shelf 32-bit ARM microprocessor, with an analog subsystem coupling it to the mains. The analog subsystem was recently moved from a set of 350 discrete components to a semi-custom analog array chip — a more compact (7x7mm) and lower-cost ($2.50) solution.


How cybercriminals can target you on public networks – Mobile technology boosts a connected cafe culture – consumers feel safe and comfortable checking Facebook, sending and receiving emails, downloading pictures, shopping online, conducting mobile banking and even accessing sensitive documents over public Internet connections. Often, consumers are unaware of the severe cybercrime risks posed by these seemingly harmless tasks.

Hit by LivingSocial Hack? Get a Password Manager Now! – This past Friday, LivingSocial disclosed that an attacker gained access to over 50 million accounts. For users of the popular deals website, it’s scary—even though the financial information remained secure and the passwords remain encrypted. But a password manager can make future attacks less likely and less damaging.

Why changing your LivingSocial password won’t save you – LivingSocial revealed last week that it was the victim of a cyber attack that compromised the account details of its 50 million customers. To address the situation, LivingSocial sent a notice to customers, and reset users’ passwords to force people to create new ones. Don’t make the mistake of believing that changing your password is your only concern.

Would you let a spammer give you a root canal? Sure you would! – When someone contacts you entirely for their benefit, out of the blue, and pitches you a concept that is peculiar at best, and outright alarming at worst……you really do find yourself thinking, “Why? WHY? What can the sender POSSIBLY hope to get out of this?”

Company News:

IBM launches MessageSight, appliance aimed at M2M – The IBM MessageSight appliance is aimed at the auto industry, cities and states managing traffic, oil and gas and home appliances.

Infographic: 25 Years of Linksys Routers – Iconic networking company Linksys is celebrating its 25th birthday today. President and CEO Victor Tsao founded the company in 1988 with his wife in their home garage. Within five years, Linksys surpassed Intel, 3Com, and Netgear in the retail market as the top networking hardware manufacturer.

Yahoo continues to recast itself and debuts two new ad features – Aiming to make Yahoo more “personal, intuitive, and immersive,” CEO Marissa Mayer announces ad units that cater to users’ interests.

Leaked doc shows Foursquare’s big plans for your check-in data – Ads centered on location data seem like a no-brainer — so long as members keep checking in.

Microsoft’s Azure gets competitive with $1B in revenue – A jump in subscriptions to the software giant’s cloud computing software reveals that the company may be starting to edge into Amazon’s territory.

Webopedia Daily:

Offline Storage Table (OST) – An OST file, or offline storage table (.ost) file, is an offline Outlook Data File used by Microsoft Exchange Server that enables users to work with their messages and mail data even when access to the mail server isn’t available. OST files are used in two scenarios: with Microsoft Exchange Server’s Cached Exchange Mode and with the Outlook Connector for Windows Live Hotmail when accessing Hotmail mail. While a Microsoft Exchange Server user’s e-mails and other data items are normally saved directly on the mail server, OST files are an available option that enable a local copy of all the data to be stored on the user’s computer. These items are then automatically synched when access to the mail server is restored.

Games and Entertainment:

Microsoft Teases Immersive ‘IllumiRoom’ for Gamers – IllumiRoom brings a more immersive gaming experience right to your living room. IllumiRoom is described as “a proof-of-concept system that augments the area surrounding a television with projected visualizations to enhance traditional gaming experiences,” which means everything from extending gameplay to the borders of your living room to making it appear as though it’s snowing inside the house.

MLB brings live game streaming to YouTube, but not in U.S. – MLB offers two live games per day to fans in most countries around the world. But fans everywhere finally get access to thousands of hours of archive footage dating back 60 years.

The best action games for Android – Sometimes, you just need a quick game fix. And even if you have a high-powered gaming rig at home that’s raring to go, it won’t do you any good while you’re standing on a corner, waiting for a bus. That’s where mobile action games come in.

HuffPost Live Internet Shows Coming to Cable – The Huffington Post’s Internet video network has sealed a deal to bring its programming to cable television.

Game Dev Tycoon battles digital piracy with digital piracy – A new game called Game Dev Tycoon is forcing software pirates to take a long, hard look in the mirror. The game, which costs $8 on Windows, Mac, and Linux, lets players run their own game development studios. Players start off in their garages in the 1980s, and slowly become multimillion-dollar corporations.

‘All My Children,’ ‘One Live to Live’ Return on Hulu, iTunes – New episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” become available on Hulu and Hulu Plus.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Designing your digital legacy – We lead rich virtual lives on social networking sites like Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. So what happens when real life catches up, and our flesh-and-blood bodies succumb to mortality? For our virtual selves, at least, some concrete answers are available—ways to settle our digital affairs after death, while minimizing hassle and heartache for loved ones.

What is Amithings – Amithings is a service designed to store information based on seven principles which are standardization, organization, structure, centralization, security, reliability and completeness, in order to provide a perfect integration between the real world and the virtual world with minimum effort. We believe that its concepts are capable of causing a paradigm shift in how we create our virtual world and interact with him. Amithings is not “just another Internet project”, and you will soon find out why.

Cracked: 21 Mind-Blowing Facts That Will Put a Smile On Your Face – Contrary to what you might think following the last two weeks of news, the world isn’t completely full of doom and gloom. We asked our readers to come up with some of the happiest, least terrifying, most joy-inducing pieces of news they could find.


Courtesy – Cracked.

China’s unique PC buying trends revealed in survey – China took the title of world’s largest market for PCs in 2012, and a survey by IHS iSuppli revealed that computer buyers in the country had unique preferences compared to counterparts worldwide. The research firm said that last year a majority of PCs in China shipped without an operating system pre-installed, and a large chunk of laptops had a 14-inch screen. Desktops remained well and alive in China, with shipments equalling laptops in 2012.

Android’s two killer innovations since the iPhone 5 launch – Since Apple announced the iPhone 5 over 7 months ago, Android has made two big leaps forward. One came from Google and the other from a third party app.

SAP study: Brazil, China, Germany and India ‘most ready’ for M2M tech – A new international survey pinpoints where machine-to-machine technology has the best chance to enable smarter cities right now.

Today’s Quote:

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”

–      Thomas Jefferson

Today’s Free Downloads:

Data Crow 3.9.22 – Data Crow is the ultimate media cataloger and media organiser. Always wanted to manage all your collections in one product? You want a product you can customize to your needs? Your search ends here! Using Data Crow allows you to create a huge database containing all your collected items. You can use the excellent online services to retrieve the information instead of typing all the information yourself.

iSpy – iSpy uses your webcams and microphones to detect and record movement or sound and provides security, surveillance, monitoring and alerting services.

Free Ringtone Maker – Free Ringtone Maker is an extremely simple and handy Windows software for making your own free ringtones. Make Your Own Ringtones in 3 Easy Steps.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Website And Network Secure

imageEvery day, innocent websites are compromised by malicious hackers. Google identifies almost 10,000 malware-infected websites each day, and half of those are genuine websites belonging to legitimate companies. These companies haven’t done anything wrong, but they find themselves blacklisted by Google, and that’s only the edge of the brutal iceberg.

Hackers inject vicious malware into these sites to infect visitors. They confuse and lure users to dodgy websites and they break in and steal important and often sensitive customer information.

It’s a real and constant problem, but there are easy and simple steps you can take to guard against these attacks and keep your site, your network, and your customers safe and sound.

1. Use strong passwords, keep them secure and change them frequently

We all know that we should choose complex passwords, but sometimes laziness takes over and we slack off. This is a crucial mistake. Obviously, you want to choose exceptionally strong passwords for your server and website admin area, because a vulnerable password here is a free ticket for hackers to cripple your site and do untold amounts of damage.

It can be inconvenient to remember frequently changing passwords, but in the end, it’s a simple solution that can save a lot of headaches in the future. It’s also imperative that you enforce good password practices for your users.

Compromised user accounts are a special hell of their own. Demanding that minimum password requirements are met for registration will force users to make smart choices. Insist on eight characters, at least an uppercase letter and a number or special character. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth it.

Make sure that any passwords are stored as encrypted values. Ideally, you’ll use a one way hashing algorithm like SHA. This method means that during authentication, only encrypted values are ever compared. In a worst-case scenario, if someone hacks in and steals passwords, this will limit the damage.

They can’t decrypt them, and they will be reduced to attempting dictionary or brute force attacks, trying every single combination until a match comes up. It’s time consuming and computationally expensive and just not worth the effort for most people.

Your wireless network password should be seriously strong, and the network should be protected by Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) rather than WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). WEP encryption is brittle and hackable in minutes these days and should never be relied upon.

It’s also imperative to ensure that your PCs are well protected against viruses at all times to prevent password theft.

2. Be discreet with your error messages

Make sure your error messages aren’t giving away too much information. If your website requires a login, you should pay attention to how your error messages deliver the message that their login attempt has failed. A quick-and-simple, very generic message such as “incorrect login information” is your best bet.

It doesn’t tell the user if half the query is right (especially not which half!) When a hacker is attempting brute force attacks to gain access to usernames and passwords and the error message identifies one field as correct, that’s valuable information for him. He then knows that he’s halfway there and can concentrate all his attention and effort on the remaining field. Don’t make it easy for them!

3. Keep software up to date

Make sure that you’re consistently and quickly applying security updates to all of your software. From your personal PC’s virus protection, to your server operating system, and website software like content management systems, blogging, forums, and blogging platforms.

Hackers are quick to exploit any known holes and bugs, and you want to get there first. Sign up to the mailing lists and RSS feeds of all your software vendors. They’ll be the first to alert you to any security issues and their solutions. Find out and follow it up.

4. Limit Use of your Administrator Account

Keep your computer’s admin account for installing updates and software, or for reconfiguring the host when you have to. Don’t go online while logged into your admin account. Non-privileged user accounts are not just for guests and visitors: you should have one yourself for everyday use. If you browse the web and read your email with an admin account, you leave yourself open for an attacker to gain entry and access to your host.

5. Ask the experts

You don’t have to do it all on your own. There are good tools out there for monitoring your own website, but not everyone has the time or inclination to stay on top of security 24/7.

It’s possible to find monitoring services for very reasonable prices. These companies will check for malicious activity, give you an alert if your website shows up on a blacklist, scan your site for vulnerabilities, and be there for support and repairs if you do fall prey to a hack.

If you’re dealing with databases of sensitive customer information that are attached to your site, it’s probably worth it to get an expert in from the start, sweeping your code for bugs and building in extra lines of defense from the ground up. For small businesses, companies such as SiteLock and Stop the Hacker offer packages for under $100 a year.

This guest post was provided by Amanda Gareis on behalf of Drexel University Online. Drexel expanded into the online learning sector in 1996 and now offers its recognized curricula to a worldwide audience. Drexel Online offers degrees in Information Science, Information Technology, and Computing and Security Technology. The university also provides an Information Technology Career and Salary Guide resource for those looking to enter the industry.


Filed under Cyber Crime, Education, Guest Writers, Internet Safety

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 29, 2013

Stronger data privacy law may clash with law enforcement – Legislation expanding privacy for data stored in the cloud is heading to consideration by the U.S. senate, and while it enjoys general support of industry and senators, the U.S. Department of Justice has not endorsed or even addressed the measure.

Protect your privacy with these five applications – The Internet is not a riskless place. It is filled with sites that are bent on compromising your privacy. Many general retail sites track your shopping habits and Web browsing history. More questionable sites may attempt to install key loggers or other types of Trojans. Fortunately, there are a number of different utilities that you can use to help protect your privacy. This article outlines five such applications.

How to add Windows 8’s best desktop features to Windows 7 – Although you can tweak and tuck a few things to almost completely banish the interface formerly known as Metro from your Windows 8 life, you can also try another tactic: not upgrading at all. Many of Windows 8’s best under-the-hood improvements can be yours in Windows 7 with the help of a few handy-dandy applications. Having your cake and eating it too has never tasted so sweet.

RAM shortage looms – It is starting to look like the IT industry will face a serious RAM chip shortage. Despite the fact that Samsung spent about $24 billion in the past two years beefing up the world’s biggest maker of memory chips to meet demand, there is still not enough capacity. The problem is that even with the downturn, there are still shedloads of smartphones and other mobile toys that need piles of mobile DRAM.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google Glass kernel software goes public – Continuing a string of revelations about its high-tech spectacles, Google makes the software kernel underlying the devices — and the things they’ll eventually let you do — available for download.

Infographic: Shopping Made Easy on Mobile – Shopping has become an art form, based more in the science of bargains than the wild freedom of impulse buys. Before you even walk into a store, it’s likely you’ve already done some on-the-go research — perhaps in the parking lot of the department store or during a pre-shopping-spree lunch — deciding exactly what you want, where to find it, and how much costs.

How to grab a freeze-frame from a video – First, none of the techniques I describe below are likely to work with protected videos, such as Blu-ray discs. Second, grabbed frames seldom look as good as independently-photographed still photos. Video stills, especially of fast-moving action, contain a great deal of motion blur–which the brain doesn’t see when the frames speed by at 24 or 60 frames per second. They also tend to have lower resolutions. And finally, for best results, don’t try to grab a frame while the video is playing. Pause the video, find the right frame, and snap the picture.

Use the Recovery Drive Command Prompt to edit the registry or recover data – Access the Command Prompt from Windows 8’s Recovery Drive and use it to recover data. Greg Shultz shows you how it works.

Webinar: Windows 8 – love it, hate it, or ‘it’s complicated’ – In an hour-long ZDNet webinar to be held on May 16th at high noon, Ed Bott will explore Windows 8 implementation strategies for IT decision makers.

iTunes Turns 10: A Decade of Milestones – Apple celebrates ten years of iTunes this weekend. Here are the music service’s biggest milestones.

AT&T Digital Life Promises Whole Home Connectivity – At the heart of Digital Life is 24/7 home security, which customers will be able to customize to suit their needs. This includes security cameras, sensors placed throughout the home, and professional monitoring provided through AT&T. That’s nothing new though; the exciting part here is the wireless connectivity and remote access afforded, allowing customers to quickly and easily view live feeds of their home from mobile devices like the Apple iPad.

SMBs in India lose $2.67 billion in productivity – Non-technical employees in India lose 7.6 hours of productivity per week managing IT, incidentally, the highest productivity loss of all countries surveyed. Microsoft would like them to think that Office 365 is the solution.


Google tightens up Play Store policy, officially bans “off-market” updates – Google has made a number of changes to its Android Play Store ecosystem recently. There’s now a rudimentary anti-virus provided with the OS, a ban on ad blockers, and, most recently, an official policy on sneaky “off-market” updates…

China shuts down top video piracy Web site – Authorities shut down, one of the country’s top sites offering pirated content, and other video Web sites during the 13th World Intellectual Property Day last week.

Does Java 8 Delay Mean Oracle Finally Serious about Security? – It’s not quite the development freeze Microsoft underwent during the Trustworthy Computing push, but it’s a start for Oracle, which will delay the release of Java 8 until Q1 of next year, largely because the platform and browser plug-in is such a security disaster. This year has done nothing but reinforce that notion.

Hacking suspect arrested for ‘biggest cyberattack in history’ – Remember Spamhaus? The attack was apparently conducted not from a bedroom, but an antenna-equipped mobile van.

How to enable Family Safety features in Windows 8 – The Internet? Kind of a cesspool. And as the parent of kids who are now old enough to operate a Web browser, you can bet I’m keen on checking their activities and filtering out the inappropriate content. Thankfully, Windows 8 offers some solid tools for doing just that. (Windows 7 does, too, but Microsoft made them easier and more robust in the new version of the OS.)

Kaspersky founder warns nations face growing cyberattack threats – State-of-the-art cyberweapons are now powerful enough to severely disrupt nations and the organizations responsible for their critical infrastructure, Kaspersky Lab founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky says. As an illustration of his point, the number of malware samples analyzed by Kaspersky Lab rose from 700 per day in 2006 to 7,000 per day by 2011. Today, the number including polymorphic variants has reached 200,000 each day, enough to overwhelm the defenses of even well-defended firms.

Reported DDoS attacks up 200 percent – A new Akamai report provides insight into key global statistics including connection speeds, attack traffic, and network connectivity and availability, among many others.

Guardian Twitter Account Hacked by Syrian Activists – The Syrian Electronic Army struck again over the weekend, hitting another media organization’s Twitter account. The latest attack appears to be in retaliation against Twitter for suspending its account.

Company News:

Google spring cleaning claims Meebo Bar – Come June 6, the Meebo Bar publishing tool will get retired by Google, which says it plans to focus on projects like Google+ Sign-In and plug-ins. Meebo Bar is a JavaScript plug-in that sits at the bottom of Web pages and enables a lot of different social interaction and sharing features. Meebo also has mobile versions of its products. Google announced the news in a post today.

Moves, mistakes prove Jobs era at Apple over – Apple is clearly not Steve Jobs’ company any longer, analysts said this week, citing examples from Tuesday’s earning calls with Wall Street.

Activision’s salaries questioned – A key watchdog has bitten the rump of the boss of Activision claiming that his fat cat salary is a little too much. Activision is doing rather well but its supreme boss Bobby Kotick appears to be making more cash than seems reasonable. According to Bloomberg his total cash-and-prizes compensation jumped from $8.1 million in 2011 to $64.9 million in 2012.

Microsoft Wins Latest Round in Patent Royalty Fight With Motorola – Google’s Motorola was dealt a setback in its bid to land major royalty payments from Microsoft for sales of Windows and the Xbox.

Webopedia Daily:

Vertical application – A vertical application is any software application that supports a specific business process and targets a smaller number of users with specific skill sets and job responsibilities within an organization. Enterprise applications such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) are types of vertical applications. Vertical applications are often customized to meet the needs of industry-specific users. Vertical apps are also more complicated to use than horizontal apps, and because they need to integrate with other systems used in the organization, they may require IT assistance and deployment.

Games and Entertainment:

From Space to Living Room: EVE Online Getting TV Series – What does every massively multiplayer game need? Players? Check. A compelling storyline, plenty of features, and lots to do? Check. A dedicated user base, lots of updated content, and compelling expansions with new features to further trap players into additional months or years of gaming? Check. A dedicated television show? Whether you agree with that last one or not, it’s exactly where the ever-popular EVE Online franchise is now heading.

New Super Mario Forever 2012 – The diversity of the levels is very impressive. Game has also renewed graphics and much better scrolling in comparison to the original Mario. You will have to get through levels ranging from underwater caverns to levels filled with hot lava.

The future of the cloud: no further away than your nearest gamer – Summary: Steam shows us the many possibilities of a cloud-enabled environment.

Microsoft Sources Tease New Xbox Video, Achievement Features – DVR-like recording and cross-title achievements might be some of the new Xbox features Microsoft could show off in less than a month.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Kim Komando Explains PCs, Circa 1994 – In vintage video, one of techdom’s most durable personalities assures worried people that PCs are just as easy as a typewriter.

Man allegedly put GPS on woman’s car before burglary – A Kansas man stands accused of burglary. The owner of one home believes he used a very simple method of determining when she and her son were home — a GPS device on their cars.

Are Apple fans really more loyal? – Every survey seems to suggest that those who buy Apple products are more loyal to the brand than buyers of other brands. Does this also make them more forgiving?

Undercover cops’ devious new method to stop iPhone theft – Police in San Francisco decide on a new tactic to stop iPhone theft. Undercover officers are walking down streets offering to sell iPhones they claim are stolen. The idea is to kill the market for stolen phones.

The Internet Doesn’t Hurt People — People Do: ‘The New Digital Age’ – The rise of the Internet has been one of the most transformative developments in human history, at least comparable in impact to the advent of the printing press and the telegraph.

Today’s Quote:

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.”

–     Mark Twain

Today’s Free Downloads:

Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) 5.2.2 – Consolidate as many diagnostic tools as possible into one bootable CD.

NirLauncher – NirLauncher is a package of more than 100 portable freeware utilities for Windows, all of them developed for NirSoft Web site during the last few years.

SystemRescueCd – 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.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 28, 2013

Alert: Skype account hijack technique may affect all users – After six malicious takeovers of his Skype account, a frustrated security researcher has posted his attempts to get Skype’s help. Here’s how to protect yourself.

4 steps to reclaim your social media after a hack attack – Last week’s hacking of the Associated Press’ Twitter account is the latest in a number of high-profile social media hijackings. Eric Johnson, professor and director of the Center for Digital Strategies at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School, says that these types of hacks have become all too common. “Phishing is the most common method used to break into Twitter and steal credentials. They’re extremely simple hacks that can cause extreme havoc,” Johnson says. “It only takes one simple hack to create a world of problems. If you or your business falls victim to a social media hack, here are four things you should do to recover from it and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

New Android Phone? Check Out These 14 Essential Hints and Tips – Android is a powerful platform, but only for those who take full advantage of all its tricks. Here’s a guide to tricking out your phone.

A Portable Math Tool That Includes Many Calculators And Converters – Calculate/Convert everything with Calculatormatik. Nothing fancy, but does what it is suppose to… Definitely a keeper!

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Bitdefender Internet Security 2013 & Zemana Antilogger License Giveaway – I thought of making a come back with a security giveaway so here we go with Bitdefender Internet Security 2013 along with Zemana`s license, both would be valid for 1 year. 10 lucky winners would be selected and the winners will be announced on 11th May.

Gadgets You Must Have Right Now – These desirable devices are clamoring for a place on your shelf or in your pocket, and in your home.

Fedora 19 alpha offers a peek at what’s coming – It’s not intended for production use, of course. Rather, the alpha software is available purely for testing purposes. Still, if you want to take it for a whirl to see what’s coming in the final release due in July, it’s now available as a free download. Here are some of the highlights of what you’ll find.

Infographic: Social Media Battle of the Sexes – Many adults have given into the social media temptation and have signed up for Facebook or created a Twitter account. But not all men and women agree on where to spend their online time.

Cloud adoption growing, but how big depends on who you ask – Is cloud computing really catching on in the enterprise? Well, that depends on who you talk to, recent surveys have found. RightScale, a company that acts as a broker between end users and public cloud service providers, released the most recent results of its annual State of the Cloud report and found that about 75 percent of respondents surveyed were using the cloud in some capacity. But 70 percent of organizations using the cloud seems like a lot to some people, such as Forrester Research cloud guru James Staten.


Locked and loaded, online gamers draw phishing attackers – Online gamers have become rich targets for cybercriminals, according a report released this week by the Anti Phishing Work Group. Over the last two quarters of 2012, phishing attacks aimed at online gamers jumped from 2.7 percent in the September frame to 14.7 percent in the December quarter, the APWG said in its Phishing Activity Trends Report for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Checking-In: May Be Dangerous – Many people use Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, or other applications that allow announcements to be published on the Internet about where you are. Perhaps you do too. But did you know that criminals, both cyber and terrestrial, can take advantage of check-ins to do you harm?

Military Grooms New Officers for War in Cyberspace – The U.S. service academies are ramping up efforts to groom a new breed of cyberspace warriors to confront increasing threats to the nation’s military and civilian computer networks that control everything from electrical power grids to the banking system.

Budweiser’s intimate, dangerous way to make Facebook friends – The brewing company’s Brazilian arm creates cups, which, if you clink them together to say cheers, turn both parties into Facebook friends. Oh, how difficult.

Company News:

Microsoft Wins Latest Round in Motorola Patent Fight – Royalty payments set by a Seattle judge are far less than the billions Motorola wanted.

‘Wintel’ on the wane: Intel goes Google – Intel has been synonymous with Windows PCs seemingly forever. But it’s trying to change that in a hurry. Enter Google.

AT&T Will Automate Your Home and Keep It Safe, but It’ll Cost You – Some day, you’ll never have to worry about whether you left the lights on, the garage door open or the curling iron plugged in, because you’ll be able to control it all remotely by phone or tablet. AT&T is offering a taste of that future right now–as long as you buy a home security package to go with it. On Friday, the company is launching its Digital Life service, which combines home security with optional home automation.

Tesla Model S Set to Beat Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf in Q1 Sales – You might not think it at first, given the not-so-insignificant price difference between the vehicles, but Tesla Motors’ Model S luxury sedan is allegedly set to best its rivals, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, in first-quarter vehicle sales for the first time in the company’s history.

Webopedia Daily:

Composite applications – Applications that consist of pieces of other applications. Composite applications bring this information together in one place. For example, salespeople have disparate software applications that make it possible to do their jobs: software for contacts, ERP, a file system, and so on. May also be called custom applications, portals, Web applications, Web services, or complex applications.

Games and Entertainment:

Nintendo Just Made the Wii U a Whole Lot Speedier – Here it is, Wii U owners: the performance boost Nintendo promised earlier this year to remedy those crippling lag times when loading into or out of the main menu.

Console camera overload: This is what your TV will look like in 2014 – The next generation of gaming consoles aren’t just fighting for your time, they are also fighting for the space around, under, and on top of your television.

More Stephen King headed to TV with the help of JJ Abrams – We’re big fans of time travel stories here on TG, and Stephen King wrote one titled “11/22/63,” the fateful day when Kennedy was killed. Now it looks like 11/22/63 will also be headed to television, with the help of JJ Abrams’s production company, Bad Robot.

Epcot’s Spaceship Earth turned into huge, animated Monsters Inc. characters – If you’ve only been to Disney as a kid a long time ago and thought all of the technology was magical, think about how Disney must have advanced with the times now that it’s 2013 and we’re all carrying around little internet-connected computers in our pockets that we can control via yelling at them.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Coming soon: A Breathalyzer for pot and cocaine? – Scientists in Sweden believe they’ve made a breakthrough in creating a machine that police can use to detect high drivers.

Cracked: 5 Ridiculous Myths Everyone Believes About the Wild West – The Wild West, aka the Old West, was an astoundingly awesome period in American history that every person who has ever played Red Dead Redemption wants to emulate. Now, clearly pop culture has turned much of the true West into bullshit legend — there were never quick-draw artists who could shoot a six gun out of your hand with another six gun. But the basics were true, right? The lawlessness, the guns, the constant Indian attacks? Well … not exactly. Some common myths you probably still believe include …

Can design innovation make PCs cool again? – As tablets gobble up low-end PC sales, manufacturers are turning to slick industrial design to win mindshare—and luxury buyers.

Burner: Disposable Phone Numbers For Voice, SMS – Use your iPhone or Android phone like a disposable cell phone. For cheap you can buy a number (or multiple numbers) with voice time and SMS messages. If person-to-person anonymity is important, this app is for you.

Today’s Quote:

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”

–      Henry Van Dyke

Today’s Free Downloads:

WinHTTrack – WinHTTrack is a free, easy-to-use offline browser utility. It allows you to download a site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker – This programs enables you to tweak your Windows 7 taskbar. Reorder items within a tab group, close, minimize, change application ID and more.

VNC Password Recovery 1.5 – VNC Password Recovery is the FREE software to instantly recover VNC password stored by popular VNC Servers. It automatically detects the encrypted VNC password stored in the file system or registry by various VNC server applications.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 27, 2013

CISPA ‘dead’ in Senate, privacy concerns cited – The chairman of a key Senate committee cited “insufficient” privacy protections in the cybersecurity bill, recently passed by the House. A new report says the Senate is drafting separate bills.

Wolfram Alpha nerd-crunches your Facebook activity, turns your social life into data – Wolfram Alpha, the data-driven Google for math nerds, has created a free service that will analyze your Facebook activity and reinterpret it as visual graphs and interactable data points. For example, the service was able to devise that my average FB post length is 14.66 words, my top utilized significant word (excluding it, and, etc.) was “know,” and my most-liked post was a picture of a slice of pie I had last Thanksgiving.

Ccleaner – users’ top choice for keeping junk off their computers updates with optimized cleaning algorithms for Google Chrome and Windows 8. CCleaner’s simple and intuitive layout will appeal to users of all skill levels.

Google Drive gets automatic offline sync in Chrome – Chrome now supports automatic offline syncing for Google Drive, allowing you to read and edit any document, spreadsheet or presentation even when the Internet is down. To use this feature, you must Drive’s Chrome Web App installed, and you must enable offline access in the dialog box that appears.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Skype (preview version) is available on BlackBerry 10 – As expected, the Skype app is now officially available on BlackBerry OS version 10.1. Available now on BlackBerry World, the Skype app automatically adds your Skype contacts to your BlackBerry phone book when you sign in. Other features include the ability to send text messages and make calls to landlines and mobile phones for a fee.

E-signatures: The complete guide to paperless signing – Your best-laid plans of going paperless come to a screeching halt when you need to get someone’s signature on a document. That process typically involves printing the document, signing it yourself, faxing it to the other party, and waiting for them to print, sign, and fax it back—where it’s printed yet a third time and filed away in a cabinet forever. It’s an antiquated regimen. It’s busy work. But there is a better way.

How to Use Pinterest for Beginners – Everyone’s talking about Pinterest but not everyone ‘gets’ it. You will after following these seven steps to Pinterest fluency.

Google Glass rooted already–and it’s really easy – ChromeOS developer and hacker Liam McLoughlin told Twitter Thursday that not only has he figured out how to gain root access on Google Glass, the task is apparently pretty simple.

How to set up two-factor authentication for Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and more – It’s a security feature that could have stopped hackers at the gate before they seized control of the Associated Press Twitter account, and it’s something you should be using to protect your own online accounts, wherever it’s available.

How to test-drive Office 2013 free for six months – Fortunately, as you could with Office 2010, Microsoft allows you to “reset” your Office 2013 trial as many as five times, effectively giving you six months (more precisely, 180 days) of free usage. Although this option was really intended for IT administrators, there’s no reason you can’t use it with your own installed trial. As explained by the How-To Geek, the process requires a short and simple visit to a command line. Here’s the simplest way to go about it.

Ubuntu 13.04 Review: Linux for the average Joe or Jane – Hard core Linux fans won’t care for it, but for the average user the new Ubuntu desktop Linux has a lot to offer.


U.S. judge says FBI can’t hack crime suspect’s computer – A judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has denied FBI’s petition to install spying software on and using the built-in camera of an unidentified suspect’s computer in order to discover his or her identity and gather evidence of the crime from the computer’s hard drive, memory and storage.

US child abuse image suspect shielded from decrypting hard drives – The federal magistrate found that forced decryption would violate the computer scientist’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. It’s no triumph for the agents who fight child abuse, but it is a win for privacy and for curtailment of government power over our data.

LivingSocial confirms hacking; More than 50 million accounts affected – LivingSocial is the latest major online property to be hacked. Here are more details about what to do next from company leaders.

Google Joins FIDO Alliance Effort to Move Beyond Passwords – Google, which gradually has been moving its users away from using passwords as their main form of authentication for Web services, has joined a young organization whose goal is to phase out passwords and replace them with various forms of strong authentication.

Company News:

Google: No, app makers, you can’t skip the Play Store – An update to the Google Play Store contains mostly minor tweaks except for one security fix: apps are no longer allowed to bypass the Play Store when updating. This means you, Facebook.

Amazon in $250M probe by French tax authority – The French tax authority has yet to fully assess Amazon’s tax situation in the country, but the retail giant says it will contest the allegations.

Indian cybersecurity startup counts on being street smart, hands on – Saket Modi, 22-year-old co-founder of Delhi-based Lucideus Tech wants to help drive cybersecurity with the objective to inculcate a knowledge-based culture of safe use of Web spaces with a focus on practical training.

AOL shuts down music-related services – Employees from several AOL music-related services tweet the news that their division is closing down.

Webopedia Daily:

Bluetooth 4.0 – A new version of the Bluetooth wireless device-to-device technology that offers significantly lower power consumption than previous versions. Also referred to as Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth 4.0 achieves its reduced power consumption by enabling devices to remain paired, or connected to each other, without requiring a continual stream of data to be transferred between the devices.

Games and Entertainment:

Fieldrunners 2 is bigger and better than the original – With new maps and weapons, Fieldrunners 2 gives players even more tower-defense fun than its predecessor.

Reviews for the Star Trek video game are in – Several days ago, the reviews finally got out in the geek-o-sphere for the next Star Trek movie, and so far they’re pretty good.

Voxiebox might finally make 3D tabletop gaming a reality – Of all the iconic scenes from the original Star Wars movie, the one that resonated with me the most was the hologram monster chess match. Despite all our Wolf Blizter- and Tupac-related holographic advances, we are nowhere near virtual 3D Dungeons & Dragons board games. At the NY Tech Day expo, I saw something almost equally as cool—a 3D tabletop gaming rig called the Voxiebox. Voxon, the folks behind the Voxiebox, are calling their glasses-free 3D device the first-ever volumetric entertainment system.

The fastest Android gaming tablets – Which Android tablets provide the smoothest gaming experience? CNET Labs delves deep to find out.

Assassin’s Creed series turned into epic slasher movie saga – Follow in footsteps of several generations of assassins as a devout gamer crafts full-length movies from the various Assassin’s Creed video games.

Report: Xbox 720 (Next) powered by “core version” of Windows 8 – Last month, technical analyst Paul Thurrott accurately predicted that Microsoft’s long-awaited Xbox 720 (Next) console would debut on May 21. This week, Thurrott reported that the next-gen console is powered by a core version of Windows 8.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Future headlights turn rain invisible, we explain how in video – Intel has helped cook up some futuristic headlights that make rain seem to disappear. CNET UK’s Luke Westaway takes a closer look.

Old age is the killer app for Google Glass – Google Glass has a promissing future — although not in the markets that Google thinks it’s targetting: urban early tech adopters — they are a fickle bunch at best. Where Google Glass will make its mark and find a large and loyal customer base is in helping families and communities deal with the ravages of old age.

Free Software Foundation attacks DRM in HTML video – In cooperation with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others, the free-software organization calls on the W3C to keep DRM out of Web standards.

Twitter as local news station? Yes, please – Who needs Ron Burgundy when you can have a 24-7 feed of updates on the most interesting news and events happening around you?

Can you build a backyard theater on the cheap? – You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to enjoy open-air cinema. But you’ll still need brisk popcorn sales to cover some hardware costs.

Today’s Quote:

I’m not sure I want popular opinion on my side – I’ve noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts.”

–      Bethania McKenstry

Today’s Free Downloads:

WinPatrol 28 – WinPatrol takes snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to changes that occur without your knowledge. WinPatrol was the pioneer in using a heuristic behavioral approach to detecting attacks and violations.

Wise Youtube Downloader 1.11.49 – Wise YouTube Downloader is a free YouTube Video Downloader that can easily search and download YouTube videos so you can save them to your local computer or server.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 26, 2013

Yahoo Mail for Android is a simple, reliable client – Now optimized for tablets, Yahoo Mail is a fantastic e-mail client for Yahoo users. What’s more, the app’s text formatting tools set it apart from other mobile e-mail clients for Android.

The Best Antivirus for 2013 – The antivirus field is huge; I currently track over forty products. In a field that big there’s room for multiple winners. Three products share the Editors’ Choice honor for best overall antivirus: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2013, Norton AntiVirus (2013), and Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus 2013. Norton and Webroot tied for top score in my malware removal test, with 6.6 points. Bitdefender, with 6.4 points, wasn’t far behind.

Open Office docs right in your browser with Chrome Office Viewer – If you’re trying to run your business without spending money on Microsoft Office, you know the occasional hassles that go with being on the receiving end of Office documents. Google hopes to minimize that hassle with the Chrome Office Viewer extension, which makes it possible to view Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint slide decks right inside the Google Chrome browser. Just a click a link to any such file and presto, it opens.

It’s privacy vs. security as CISPA arrives in Senate – On Thursday, US News reported that CISPA “will almost certainly be shelved,” citing comments made by an unnamed representative of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. US News also quoted Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel with the ACLU, who said, “I think it’s dead for now. CISPA is too controversial, it’s too expansive, it’s just not the same sort of program contemplated by the Senate last year.” Richardson estimates it could take several months for new legislation to come to a vote.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Protect your privacy with these five applications – The Internet is not a riskless place. It is filled with sites that are bent on compromising your privacy. Many general retail sites track your shopping habits and Web browsing history. More questionable sites may attempt to install key loggers or other types of Trojans. Fortunately, there are a number of different utilities that you can use to help protect your privacy. This article outlines five such applications.

Judge rejects FBI’s bid to hack computer of suspect in attempted cyberheist – A federal court in Houston has rejected an FBI request for a warrant to hack into the computer of a suspect in an attempted cyberheist. In, a sometimes testy, 13-page ruling earlier this week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas characterized the government’s request as overly intrusive and infringing on Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search.

Civil rights coalition says EU data protection bill threatens citizens’ rights – Some of the proposed changes to Europe’s data protection laws would strip citizens of their privacy rights, a coalition of international civil liberties organizations said Thursday. The European Parliament is currently considering proposals from the European Commission for a complete overhaul of the E.U.’s data protection laws. The original laws date from 1995, the pre-Internet age, and are arguably in great need of an update.

Make Any LCD Monitor a Touch Screen With a $5 Sensor – Researchers at the University of Washington’s aptly named Ubiquitous Computing Lab can turn any LCD monitor in your house into a touchscreen, with nothing more than a $5 sensor that plugs into the wall and some clever software. The ultimate goal of the Ubiquitous Computing Lab, as the name suggests, is to find cheap and easy ways of making everything around us interactive.

Google Sees Spike in Government Requests to Remove Political Content – Government requests to remove content across Google products spiked sharply in the second half of 2012, particularly those that covered political content, the search giant revealed Thursday. Between July and December 2012, Google received 2,285 government requests to remove 24,179 pieces of content, up from the 1,811 requests made regarding 18,070 during the first half of 2012.

Hands On With the Churnalism Plagiarism Detector – Plagiarists, be warned. There’s a new browser tool called Churnalism that prowls the Web looking for blatant examples of cut-and-paste chicanery in news articles and other online content.

Ubuntu Server 13.04 released – Canonical today announced that Ubuntu Server 13.04 is available for download, featuring high-availability (HA) for OpenStack.

Put vector graphics in your Web pages with Pygal – Pygal is an open source program that allows you to create vector graphics for your website. Here is how to install it.

Senators stall vote on Internet sales tax for now – Supporters of the Marketplace Fairness Act still hope to vote on the bill on Friday or Saturday. The bill would allow states to collect sales tax on large Internet sellers that have no presence within their borders, curtailing the ability of Internet shoppers to avoid sales tax. Businesses with less than $1 million in annual Internet sales would be exempt from collecting the sales taxes.


Phishing attacks skyrocketing – A new phishing survey by the Anti-Phishing Working Group reveals that phishers are breaking into hosting providers with unprecedented success, using these facilities to launch mass phishing attacks.

Two-Factor Authentication Wouldn’t Have Prevented AP Twitter Hack – From the land of “if only…” If the Associated Press had set up two-factor authentication with its Twitter account, then pro-Syrian hackers would not have been able to hijack the account and wreak havoc. Nice and tidy idea, but in reality, no. While two-factor authentication is a powerful tool for securing user accounts, it cannot solve all problems.

Fake “New incoming fax” notification carries malware – Sophos researchers have spotted an active malicious spam campaign impersonating the DuoFax internet fax service, claiming that the recipient has received a fax.

35% of businesses experienced a DDoS attack in 2012 – Among the key findings from the survey, 35% of organizations experienced a disruptive DDoS attack in 2012. Of those surveyed, a staggering 39% of retailers and 41% of ecommerce businesses experienced an attack last year. Additionally, more than a quarter of respondents (26%) indicated a DDoS outage could cost between $50-100k per hour, further showcasing the need for a strategy around DDoS protection and mitigation.

Travelers to Israel can get their emails searched on entry – Travelers who enter Israel via the international Ben-Gurion Airport, especially those who aren’t Israeli citizens, can be asked by Shin Bet (the country’s security agency) officers to provide access to their email accounts in order to be allowed to enter the country. Israeli civil right advocates protest against the practice, saying that even though travelers have the legal right to decline the request for having their email searched, they will likely be denied permission to enter the country.

Company News:

AVG Technologies Surpasses 70 Million Downloads of AntiVirus FREE for Android – AVG Technologies, the provider of Internet and mobile security, privacy and optimization to 150 million active users, announced that its flagship mobile product, AVG AntiVirus FREE for Android has surpassed the 70 million download mark on Google Play, the first time this has been achieved by any security application.

Samsung delays launch of Knox Android security software until ‘later date’ – Samsung has pushed back the launch of its Knox security software for Galaxy Android smartphones until summer, according to a New York Times report that claims more testing is needed before Knox finds its way into people’s hands.

New York Times launches Google Glass app – The New York Times’ app for Google Glass offers basic features including news alerts and automated readings of article summaries.

T-Mobile USA agrees to come clean about ‘uncarrier’ service plans – T-Mobile USA’s “radical” service plans promising no annual contracts aren’t quite as radical as consumers might think, and the mobile operator will change its advertising and offer refunds in a settlement with the state of Washington.

Dell brings 4G LTE wireless connectivity to Windows 8 tablet – Dell is offering something that’s rare on Windows 8 tablets: 4G connectivity. As Apple iPad users know, the option for mobile broadband has been around for years.

Android notebooks? Yep, Intel says, and they’ll only cost $200 – Dadi Perlmutter, Intel’s chief product officer, also tells CNET that devices running Intel’s mainstream Core line of processors could sell for as low as $399 to $499.

Webopedia Daily:

Small business ERP – In ERP (enterprise resource planning) terminology, the phrase small business ERP is used to describe a lightweight business management software that is designed to meet the needs of a small business. ERP software integrates all facets of an operation, including development, manufacturing, sales and marketing. Small business ERP is typically a SaaS (software as a service) model and includes project management, financials, manufacturing, warehouse management, accounting, sales and business management.

Games and Entertainment:

Mobile game downloads expected to triple in the next five years – Game downloads for smartphones and tablets should triple in the next five years, a trend that will have a significant impact on console gaming. By 2017, the market for mobile games will reach 64.1 billion downloads more than three times what they were in 2012, when there were 21 billion downloads, according to a report released Thursday by Juniper Research in London.

EA announces more layoffs, said to be hundreds of workers – While going through an organizational restructure, the gaming company says it had to make “difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations.”

XCOM shooter rebranded as “The Bureau,” arrives in August – 2K Games is ready to lift the curtain on XCOM once again complete with a live-action trailer, a trio of screenshots, and best of all a release date. Newly titled and packaged, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is set to hit consoles and PC on August 20, 2013.

PS4’s DualShock controller gets up close and personal – Sony has released a new PlayStation 4 video teasing its upcoming DualShock controller.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Dvorak: Stop the Oversaturation of Connectivity – New York’s subway system is adding Wi-Fi connectivity to many stations and presumably the whole underground network will be equipped before long. The ubiquity of Wi-Fi in public places like this is a hazard that must be resisted.

10 stupid things people do in their data centers – Small missteps can turn into huge problems in the data center — and that can mean big trouble for your organization (and for you).

Cool, Geeky USB Gadgets – Looking for the most useful, beneficial gadgets to plug into your PC? Here are some of the absolute coolest accessories any geek would be happy to stick in a USB port.

19 of Hubble’s best views of the mysteries of space – First imagined in the 1940s, designed in the 1970s, and built in the 1980s, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched on April 25, 1990, and has explored our universe as never seen before.

Expand your utility belt with Underscore.js – The JavaScript library Underscore.js streamlines tasks and allows you to do more with fewer lines of code. Get a sense of what you can do with some of its 60+ functions.

The Asus FonePad is a well-built tablet, but a ridiculous phone concept – It won’t be released in the U.S., but the Asus FonePad is available to U.K. customers now. It’s a good 7-inch tablet, but you may want to use it as a phone only in private.

Today’s Quote:

For four-fifths of our history, our planet was populated by pond scum.”

(Apparently, this fellow has not been to the centres of power in Washington, Ottawa, London, …….)

–    J. W. Schopf

Today’s Free Downloads:

RAMDisk 4.1.0 RC24 – RAMDisk is Freeware (up to 4GB disk size). It creates a virtual RAM drive, or block of memory, which your computer treats as if it were a disk drive.

BlackBerry Link – For devices running BlackBerry 10 OS. With BlackBerry Link, you can manage and sync content between BlackBerry 10 devices and your computer.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 25, 2013

10 Essential Windows Apps for Novices – Setting up a new computer for a tech-challenged relative or friend? We explain what software you’ll want to install—without breaking the bank. But even before installing these essential applications, you should take a few actions. Make sure all Windows updates are installed. You should set the novice’s PC to install updates automatically. This way, they’ll often be protected against the latest malware outbreak or benefit from some performance improvement.

Take steps to secure what little online privacy you still have – While the very concept of privacy is rapidly evolving, you can protect yours with a combination of discretion and knowing how to use available privacy-protection tools.

U.S. gives big, secret push to Internet surveillance – Justice Department agreed to issue “2511 letters” immunizing AT&T and other companies participating in a cybersecurity program from criminal prosecution under the Wiretap Act, according to new documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. (Surrogate spies. Start using encryption, or better yet – Push Back. We’re in this mess precisely because YOU didn’t push back.)

The Yahoo app delivers your news visually – The latest version of the Yahoo app is great for browsing the latest news using either headlines or a visual layout. Personalization features let you connect your Facebook account and get stories that match your interests.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Senator rips self-regulatory do-not-track efforts – “I personally have long expressed skepticism about the ability, or the willingness, of companies to regulate themselves on behalf of consumers when it effects their bottom line,” said Rockefeller, sponsor of a bill that would create do-not-track regulations. “I do not believe that companies with business models based upon the collection and monetization of personal information will voluntarily stop these practices if it negatively affects their profit margins.”

MightyText – Free texting service MightyText actually manages to live up to its name. Once the mobile app is installed and you’re ready to use MightyText on your computer or tablet, you have to do a bit of tinkering with your browser’s settings if you’d like to receive notifications of new messages. But MightyText guides you through the process— which involves changing some security settings in Internet Explorer or installing a third-party add-on in Firefox—and it’s a one-time thing.

Microsoft issues new version of patch pulled on Patch Tuesday – Microsoft has issued a new version of a patch after an earlier version caused some users’ machines to suffer the blue screen of death.

Should you trust that report? Open-source tool can help – Aiming to help news consumers distinguish legitimate original content from repurposed or paid content, the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation on Tuesday launched “Churnalism,” an open-source Web tool and browser extension designed to identify reports that are essentially repackaged press releases or Wikipedia articles.

Enable offline cached pages in Google Canary – Canary is a developer and beta version of Google Chrome’s newest features. By allowing both versions of Chrome to run side-by-side, you can test out the newest features without sacrificing your stable version.

AP Twitter feed returns, minus many followers, after hacking – The Associated Press account is back up and tweeting after being offline for almost a whole day and having to reset its follower count.


Java Sandbox Bypass Discovered that Breaks Latest Update – Optimism and praise followed last week’s Java critical patch update. Oracle not only patched 42 vulnerabilities in the Java browser plug-in, but also added new code-signing restrictions and new prompts warning users when applets are potentially malicious. It took less than a week, however, to deflate any good will toward Java that resulted.

Beware Twitter “password check” sites – there are fakes, and there are fake fakes! – After a widely publicised hack or data breach, you’ll often find “password check” sites springing up. Some of them are legitimate, asking only for your email address and checking it against a list of known data dumps. But other “password check” sites are as bogus as they sound on the surface.

Microsoft Begs to Differ, Says Bing Stops Malware – It seems like only last week that we were telling you about a study from AV-Test which found that Bing delivered five times as many malicious websites as Google. First Yandex challenged the findings, and now Bing has finally piled on saying that their search service is as safe as any other search engine.

Online security: your two-factor authorization checklist – Two-factor authentication is becoming a common security feature for many online services you already use including Dropbox, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. It may be a little inconvenient to deal with two-factor authentication, but anyone who’s lost control of their Facebook or email account can tell you the extra security gain is worth the minor hassle. Here’s a quick look at how two-factor authentication currently works for the major online services you use every day.

Malware C&C Servers Found in 184 Countries – In an attempt to better evade detection, cybercriminals are increasingly configuring their command and control infrastructure in such a way that initial malware callbacks communicate with a server located in the same country as the newly infected machines.

Company News:

ZTE agrees to Android, Chrome patent licensing from Microsoft – Microsoft has inked an agreement with China’s ZTE for its Android and Chrome patent licensing program. Financial details of deal were not disclosed. But the agreement gives ZTE access to Microsoft patents covering phones, tablets, computers and other devices running Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems.

CSA Establishes New SMB Membership Level and Working Group – The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) today announced a new membership level and working group designed to benefit the rapidly growing needs of cloud computing among small and medium businesses (SMB). Launched today, the CSA SMB Membership and SMB Working Group, will focus on providing tailored guidance to SMBs and help cloud providers understand the requirements of this market.

Huawei ‘not interested’ in US anymore, shifts focus to Europe – Chinese telecom equipment maker is moving its focus from U.S. to Europe, seeing a stronger business case for the continent which it sees as a way to increase its presence in developing markets.

Samsung confirms limited supply of Galaxy S4, cites ‘overwhelming global demand’ – Overwhelming global demand may limit initial supplies of the Galaxy S4 smartphone, Samsung said Wednesday, while both Sprint and T-Mobile USA confirmed there would be delays.

Zynga launches Draw Something 2, kills four other games – The social gaming company shuts down The Ville, Empires and Allies, Dream Zoo, and Zynga City on Tencent, but Draw Something 2 goes live Wednesday night.

Webopedia Daily:

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning – ERP is short for enterprise resource planning. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business. ERP software integrates all facets of an operation, including development, manufacturing, sales and marketing.

Games and Entertainment:

11 killer games that will bring your PC to its knees – If your PC could sweat, it would be drenched after running any of the following games. Indeed, if you’re still using a mid-range PC, you’d best stick with Minesweeper and Facebook games because the titles in this slideshow will bring your machine to its breaking point.

Yahoo to feature 38-year ‘Saturday Night Live’ archive – Still haven’t stopped laughing at Amy Poehler’s rap with Sarah Palin? Yahoo users will soon be able to watch episodes from all 38 seasons of SNL, CEO Marissa Mayer announces.

Microsoft to announce next-gen Xbox on May 21 – Eight years after the first Xbox 360 units shipped, Microsoft will finally pull the curtains off its long-awaited successor on May 21. The company will hold a press event at 10 a.m. PDT at its Redmond headquarters that day that will be live-streamed on the Web on Xbox Live,, and Spike TV.

Razer Comms disrupts the VOIP arena with a free public beta – Comms has a very simple premise: tear down the walled gardens that keep PC gamers from communicating easily and effectively, without requiring them to Alt + Tab out of the action every time someone wants to send them an instant message or give them a call.

After almost 20 years, GPU benchmarking is moving past frames per second – For decades, FPS — frames per second — has been virtually the only metric of GPU performance. Now, that’s changing — and the new tools coming into vogue expose new aspects of relative GPU performance. How do these new frame latency measurements fit in with conventional testing?

Off Topic (Sort of):

Alexander Graham Bell’s voice captured from old recordings – Alexander Graham Bell is known for inventing the telephone; but for someone so associated with sound, it’s curious that no one living has actually ever heard the tenor of his voice. However, as of Wednesday, anyone can hear what he sounded like. New technology has brought a 128-year-old recording made by Bell back to life, according to Smithsonian magazine.

Print your own Yoda at home for $499: 3D printers become affordable – In the very near future, a desktop 3D printer may be greeted in the same way the desktop scanner was in our recent technological past: It’s not a piece of technology that all consumers will use, but it is something few would find out of place on someone else’s desk. Here are a number of consumer 3D printers coming your way.

The Google Glass genie can’t be shoved back in the bottle – Worried that Google Glass technology will fall into the hands of miscreants, ne’er-do-wells, perverts and criminals? I hate to break it to you, but when it comes to cameras, a goofy head-mounted device is the least you have to worry about.

Watch Three Years’ Worth of Action on the Sun – This week, the space agency shared a video which compresses three years’ worth of SDO sun-spotting into under three minutes. It’s a stunning look at our home star as it spins on its axis, its surface a cauldron of activity that is indistinguishable in the searing, white-hot picture the sun presents to the naked human eyes of rebellious and immediately regretful kindergartners.

US DOT: Auto makers should disable in-dash electronics when cars are moving – Automobile makers should prevent drivers from using their in-vehicle electronic devices to browse the Internet and send text messages while their vehicles are moving, the U.S. Department of Transportation has recommended. Auto makers should also lock out drivers in moving cars from reading text messages, viewing photographs, displaying scrolling text, and using video apps, the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended in voluntary guidelines released this week.

With revenue at stake, companies seek business-savvy tech workers – Financial concerns in the wake of the recession are causing companies to better align IT and business and this shift is changing what is expected from technology workers, say executives and staffing professionals. Business acumen is now on par with possessing stellar technical skills, with in-demand employees those who can contribute more than code to the company.

Today’s Quote:

Nine Great Quotes From Great Business Books – When we read a passage that really stands out, of course, we often highlight it. With that in mind, a site called Quartz has presented the following business and management quotes and passages from a list of the most “Recently Heavily Highlighted Passages” from, as designated by users of the online e-tailer’s Kindle e-reader software.

Today’s Free Downloads:

CCleaner Portable – CCleaner Portable is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure.

FrostWire – FrostWire is a peer-to-peer file sharing program for the Gnutella and BitTorrent protocols. FrostWire is written in Java, and is a fork of LimeWire, another popular Gnutella client.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 24, 2013

55% of net users use the same password for most, if not all, websites. When will they learn? – A study by Ofcom, the UK communications watchdog, has unearthed some appalling statistics which reveal just how badly the general public treat password security.

Forget online drives, sync directly with BitTorrent Sync – If you do not trust online storage drives for file syncing across your devices or are frustrated with storage limits, there is another player in town. BitTorrent has released a new alpha version of its Sync software, which supports syncing folders across the Internet without going through an intermediary like Dropbox, Cloud Drive, or iCloud.

The 21 worst tech habits—and how to break them – You bite your nails. Your house is a sty. You never signal before changing lanes, and when you finally reach your destination, you’re 30 minutes late. We all have bad habits in real life. Why can’t technology help cure them? While technology should help us break bad habits, all too often it makes things worse. Are you guilty of a bad tech habit? Here are 21 of the worst technology-oriented habits, plus potential fixes for all of them. (And we have a bonus at the end, on mending bad email habits.)

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google Fiber’s TV app lets users stream directly to an iPad – Similar to the same app for Android, the new iOS app doubles as a television remote and also lets users browse, select, record, and stream movies and shows.

Cut Down Search Time with These Search Shortcuts – Searching the web for information is a skill. Yes, you can enter a term into a search engine and find information, but that’s the blunt force method. By using a few simple tricks, the scalpel method, you can quickly and easily whittle down your results to get exactly the information you’re looking for.

Five things worth noting about Google Keep – Google Keep is Google’s new competitor to EverNote and Microsoft OneNote. Here are five interesting details about it.

Mozilla Firefox OS Developer Phones Sold Out – Developers were eager to get their hands on the new Firefox OS developer phones today. Spanish provider GeeksPhone sold out within hours of making them available. The online shop is currently shut down for maintenance, but according to TechCrunch, the dual devices were listed as “Out of stock” a few hours after going on sale.

Swype keyboard app exits beta, enters Google Play – The app monitors users’ activity to better understand their writing style and help predict when common words or phrases are at hand, saving input time.

The BlackBerry Q10 blends the best of old and new – The BlackBerry Q10 has arrived, bringing with it a modern OS, an excellent keyboard, and long battery life.


Australian police arrest alleged leader of LulzSec hacking group – Australian Federal Police arrest man who reportedly called himself the leader of the hacking group, which has been the target of recent prosecution after a brief hacking run in 2011.

AP Twitter Feed Hacked With Bogus Report of White House Attack – The hack, of course, comes just over a week after the Boston Marathon bombings, and one day after Canadian officials said they had thwarted a major attack on transportation systems there. The AP tweet got hundreds of re-tweets shortly after it was posted, though many immediately suggested that the feed had been hacked.

The Secunia Country Reports – the state of private PC security, country by country – The Secunia Country Reports provides insight into software security – more specifically, how much vulnerable software is present on private PCs in a number of different countries.

Boston Marathon Bombing Links May Hide Java-Based Exploits – My social media accounts and email inbox are full of links to stories about the horrific incident in Boston earlier this week. I am reading about the victims, the bystanders and first responders that rushed to help, and looking for updates on the investigation. It turns out I should be careful about what links I click on, as cyber-criminals have already started exploiting the tragedy for their own nefarious purposes, security experts told SecurityWatch.

Phone scammers call the wrong guy, get mad and trash PC – Have you ever received a call from someone with a heavy Indian accent from Microsoft saying your computer had errors or viruses? The purpose of these calls is to get an easy $299 (or whatever amount they choose) by scaring you into thinking there’s something really wrong with your computer and that they can fix it for you. These telephony scams have been going on for many years and scammers keep robbing innocent people sadly because their success ratio is still worth their time and effort.

Exploit for recently patched Java flaw added to CrimeBoss exploit kit – If you are still using Java, you insist on updating in manually and you haven’t gotten around to installing the latest Critical Patch Update released a week ago, you are advised to do it now, as an exploit for one of the vulnerabilities it patched has been incorporated into a popular exploit kit and is being actively used in the wild.

Remote users expose companies to cybercrime – Results of new remote access security research show half of companies with a remote workforce had their websites compromised in 2012, over a third had passwords hacked, and twice as many companies with remote users were victims of SQL injection attacks. (And, in other News – water is wet, …… )

Company News:

Telepathy One aims to compete with Google Glass with added intimacy – A smaller projector and a simple set of functions are part of a Japanese headset that hopes to be a social communication tool.

Microsoft signs patent deal with Chinese phone maker ZTE – The software giant says it now has patent deals with companies that make 80 percent of Andriod phones sold in the United States and a majority of those sold worldwide.

Cook promises ‘amazing’ Apple products in the fall – Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday that the company will announce some new products this fall but wouldn’t offer any specifics.

Facebook hires Web-based mobile-game developer team – The social network nabs the crew behind Spaceport, a company that focuses on cross-platform development.

Webopedia Daily:

Assortment intelligence – In electronic commerce (ecommerce) terminology, assortment intelligence refers to a set of tools and software used to help online retailers track a competitor’s inventory and product supply. The software, in real-time, uses artificial intelligence, data-mining, and image-recognition algorithms allowing retailers to view, compare and analyze the differences between inventory. Assortment intelligence reporting tools can then help a retailer determine what products competitors have — and do well on — and decide if they should add these products to an existing catalog.

Games and Entertainment:

Smart pajamas read your kids a bedtime story – Get ready to scan your children. The timeless onesie’s getting a digital upgrade with a set of jammies that link to stories and lullabies on a smart device.

What the ‘console-ification’ of PCs means for gamers – Traditionally, gamers have voluntary segregated themselves into two camps: console gamers and PC gamers. Hostility between the two runs irrationally deep, and rare is the gamer who’s willing to proclaim allegiance to both sides. Either you’re part of the Alliance, or you’re part of the Horde. But the times, they are a-changin’.

Temple Run – Passing time playing games with your smartphone or tablet requires applications that are quick to learn and fun. Temple Run’s excellent graphics and easy-yet-satisfying gameplay make it a good option for casual gamers. Temple Run comes as a free application, but payment is required for additional power-ups. Installation through the Google Play store completed quickly, and there were no log-ins required to play the game

Samsung Galaxy S4 has the fastest gaming graphics of any phone – With the latest version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 processor, the Galaxy S4 catapults itself to the top of the smartphone gaming heap.

Off Topic (Sort of):

3D-printed guns are inevitable – At the Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo, Defense Distributed’s Cody Wilson argued that politicians can’t stop innovation.

Anti-ogle goggles for the modest set – An ultra-Orthodox organization has developed a range of products to act as a first line of defense against the threat of seeing immodest women. Two semi-transparent stickers applied to the lenses of the user’s spectacles blur vision of anything beyond the range of a few meters and so diffuse immodestly dressed women to a harmless blot.

Groovy mantis shrimp – Just a rather brilliant info-cartoon. (suggested by Michael F.)

Video 3:26: This algorithm simulates evolution – A research team led by Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab has created a computer algorithm that simulates virtual creatures evolving their squishy, muscle-like features in order to teach themselves to walk.

Judge gives taxi-hailing apps in NYC the go-ahead – After a lawsuit put a yearlong e-hail pilot program on hold, taxi-hailing app startups like Uber, GetTaxi, and Hailo are now given a green light.

Hey, Word Geeks! Now There’s a Website for You – Quick, use autochthonous in a sentence. And before you ask, no, it’s not what a chthonous uses to drive to work. How about lorgnette or phrontistery? OK, it’s fair to say that none of these come up much in conversation, but hey, they’re there for a reason and it would be nice if we all took these and other friendless words out for a little fresh air every now and then. could actually make speaking well cool again.

Today’s Quote:

It’s pretty clear now that what looked like it might have been some kind of counterculture is, in reality, just the plain old chaos of undifferentiated weirdness.”

–      Jerry Garcia

Today’s Free Downloads:

Toolwiz Time Freeze – Toolwiz Time Freeze is a free instant system protection tool to keep your system safe and always like new. It protects your system from any unwanted changes and malicious activity in low disk level. With a simple click, it puts your actual system under virtual protection on the fly and creates a virtual environment as a copy of the real system, on which you can evaluate applications, watch movies, and perform online activities. It provides higher-level security to computer protection, and greatly improves the efficiency of virtual system

Malware Scene Investigator 1.25 – Malware Scene Investigator is a free tool to scan your system for unknown malware. It´s a heuristic scanner that locates undetected malware by searching for symptoms and modifications they cause. The scanner is extremely fast and provides a log file after the scanning process is completed. The program is very easy to use, does not require installation, and is completely free. Requires: Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0.

PrivaZer – PrivaZer allows you to: See exactly what can still be recovered of your past activities on your PC at home or at work. Clean in-depth unwanted traces of what you’ve done watched, downloaded, deleted, etc. and prevent recovery. Master your security & freedom. Free up disk space. Keep your PC fit and secure.

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Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 23, 2013

Companies obscuring breach risks with assurances of secured financial data – “No financial information was accessed.” Another hack, another vendor placating victims with this simple phrase that ignores the fact that hackers are actually stealing the data they want — password hashes and email addresses. The benefits of matching user accounts with re-used passwords can be a long-term fountain of gain as attacks take on many layers and play out over a number of years.

Microsoft to bring the Start button to Win 8, reports say – Microsoft appears ready to concede what virtually every critic, user, and analyst knows about Windows 8: the new OS needs the Start button back, badly. Heeding user feedback, Microsoft will bring back the iconic Start button later in 2013 with the release of Windows Blue, also known as Windows 8.1, The Verge reported Monday. The Verge’s claim adds to similar reports about the return of the Start button from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley and Windows watcher Paul Thurrott, all of whom cite anonymous sources inside or close to the company.

Home networking explained, part 6: Keep your network secure – If you were concerned after reading CNET’s recent report that most home routers can be easily hacked, I don’t blame you. The study did sound ominous, but the good news is that your network is likely far less susceptible than the report suggests. And more importantly, there are things you can do to make sure it’s secure. This post is part of an ongoing series. For the other parts, check out the related stories section.

One antivirus program is better than two – Running two antivirus programs simultaneously is a bit like mixing a fine, vintage Cabernet with breakfast cereal. Each is good on its own right, but the combination may have unpleasant effects. Before I explain why, let’s get some definitions out of the way.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

F-Secure, McAfee, Symantec Apps Ace Mobile Antivirus Test – F-Secure, McAfee, Symantec, and Trend Micro received 6.0 points for protection, the highest rating, because they literally detected 100 percent. The other seven products didn’t quite detect everything, but did well enough that their scores rounded to 100 percent.

12 ways Windows 8 dominates the competition – Don’t let all the Live Tile bashing fool you. Windows 8 is better than OS X, Linux and Chrome OS in a dozen crucial ways.

The dangers of CISPA – Even though it is expected that the Senate will reject the bill, privacy-minded individuals, organizations and hacker groups continue to raise awareness about the consequences the passing of such a bill would have for Internet users both in the U.S. and the rest of the world. But there is one smaller detail that should also raise the ire of users, and that’s that the last-minute amendment to the bill that would prohibit employers from legally asking their employees to share their social media passwords has been shot down and removed from the final version of the bill.

Wall Street tries to kybosh social networking privacy – Financial securities regulators are leading the charge against initiatives to prevent companies keeping tabs on employees’ social media accounts, stressing that the potential for abuse takes urgency over worker privacy. (Irony: spoken to by an economic sector that knows all about abuse.)

Coming soon to Linux: A lightweight KDE alternative – Choice has always been a hallmark of the desktop Linux world, where users can select not just the distribution they prefer but also the desktop environment, among virtually countless other features. The project, currently codenamed “KLyDE,” for “K Lightweight Desktop Environment,” aims to create a lightweight version of the popular KDE desktop.

Video: AllWinner (ARM) A10 boots Linux in just 1.2 seconds – A developer by the name of “threewater” has posted a video showcasing a device powered by the ARM-based AllWinner A10 booting Linux in just 1.2 seconds. As CNX Software notes, the actual boot is 0.85s, weighing in at 1.2 seconds with a Qt app.

Three quick ways to ease your transition to Windows 8 – For anyone brand new to Windows 8, anyone who’s already familiar with an earlier version of Windows, that tile-based interface can be startling, confusing, and ultimately very frustrating. Can you learn it? Sure. Should you have to? No. With a few simple steps, you can make your new Windows 8 PC much more familiar, both in look and operation.


XKCD cartoon reminds users to log out for better security – It’s disturbing just how many people seem to leave their computers permanently logged in to online services. Yes, an admin password can prevent a passer-by from installing a keylogger on your computer without your knowledge, but just what have you left your computer logged into from its desktop browser? Sometimes an XKCD cartoon can tell it better than words.

ACLU Asks FTC to Investigate Carriers’ Lack of Android Security Updates – The next shoe has fallen in an effort to force wireless carriers and handset makers to provide regular security updates to Android mobile devices. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint this week with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission accusing four leading carriers of deceptive business practices and knowingly selling defective phones to consumers and businesses.

108,000+ account details of Sims players leaked – NewSeaSims, a website where Sims players can download custom content for their characters, has suffered a breach which resulted in the compromise of registered users’ email addresses, username and passwords, Cyber War News reports. To make matters worse, a list containing the aforementioned details of some 108,000+ users has been leaked online by the hacker known as “Game Over,” who seems to be the person behind the hack which was executed some time last week.

New Malware Targeting the Dutch Through Twitter – Once a user stumbles upon a malicious page, the page injects Javascript (below) into the victim’s Twitter account page, which in turn swipes the user’s Twitter authentication token. With the token, the malware can contact Twitter’s API and post whatever it sees fit – or in this case – a boatload of Dutch spam.

Twitter plays cat-and-mouse with hackers of the Syrian Electronic Army – Twitter’s security team appears to be playing whack-a-mole with a group of hackers who have made a name for themselves hijacking the accounts of high profile media organisations.

Verizon data breach report: State-sponsored attacks surge – Espionage campaigns seek data that furthers national interests, such as military or classified information, economy-boosting plans, insider information or trade secrets, and technical resources such as source code.

World’s largest bitcoin exchange under DDoS attack – Mt.Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, has been downed earlier today by what appears to be a “strong DDoS attack”. The company has already employed Prolexic in order to minimize the impact of the DDoS attacks to which it is subjected.

Company News:

Microsoft Tackles Privacy With New Site, Commercial – While not offering specific illustrations of privacy holes in our daily online lives, the commercial is nevertheless effective in outlining the dicey new world of inadvertently sharing one’s activities and personal information online, without taking a direct shot at any one company, as it has in the past. Accompanying the commercial is a message from company stating: “The lines between public and private may never be perfect, but at Microsoft we are going to keep on trying, because your privacy is our priority.”

Reddit ‘Wrong’ on Marathon Bomber Crowd Sourcing – Reddit on Monday addressed the controversy surrounding the Internet sleuths who crowd sourced the search for the Boston Marathon bombers, admitting that the effort got out of hand.

Unity invites BlackBerry 10 game design with open beta – Unity’s tools can be used to create games simultaneously for a number of different platforms, including smartphones, PCs and game consoles. The open beta version of Unity’s Blackberry add-on will become available later this Spring, the company said in a blog post.

Report: Facebook Planning World’s ‘Most Advanced’ Data Center in Iowa – The Des Moines Register, citing two unnamed lawmakers familiar with the project, reported over the weekend that city leaders have already approved a 1.4 million-square-foot facility, which is expected to be completed in two $500 million phases. All told, however, the experts predicted the facility will cost Facebook $1.5 billion.

First Firefox OS phones arrive Tuesday for developers – Geeksphone begins selling two phones, the Keon and Peak, starting Tuesday. These lower-budget models are geared for programmers building Web apps for Mozilla’s open-source OS.

Reuters fires social media editor after Anonymous hacking probe – Matthew Keys says he was told his termination was related to his tweet activity during the Boston Marathon bomber manhunt, but that his federal indictment was not mentioned.

Lenovo tipped to buy IBM X86 business – Just as Lenovo started climbing the ladder to become a top PC seller when it picked up IBM’s PC business, it is now rumoured to be in early discussion about buying Big Blue’s x86 server business.

Webopedia Daily:

Curated commerce – In electronic commerce (ecommerce) terminology, curated commerce refers to creating unique product lines that provide customers with a distinct collection not offered by other online retailers in a market. The demand for personalization in online shopping is a driving factor behind curated commerce. Retailers often use marketing tactics such as email marketing to show a selection of curated products to customers based on personal taste and purchase history with the retailer.

Games and Entertainment:

Dead Island: Riptide: Rinse and repeat – Dead Island: Riptide probably should have been downloadable content. Even at its attractive price point ($50 on consoles, $40 on PC), there’s not much evolution from the original’s debut in 2011. After a less than engaging opening scene, you’re washed onto the shore of yet another tropical island. From there, it’s like you’re playing a bizarro carbon-copy of the first Dead Island game, replete with the same gory action that addicted gamers two years ago — but also with the same forehead-slapping bugs and inconsistencies.

Netflix doubling down on exclusive content – “If it’s not exclusive and on cable and other services, it’s pleasant to watch but it’s not reinforcing customers to stay with Netflix,” says CEO Reed Hastings.

BitTorrent partners with Cinedigm for first film promotion – BitTorrent’s evolution into a legitimate content-publishing platform continues, as the company once linked with movie piracy partners with indie film distributor Cinedigm to promote the new release “Arthur Newman.” Cinedigm is using BitTorrent to release the first seven minutes of the movie starring Emily Blunt and Colin Firth, which hits theaters April 26. The studio is also offering film stills and a trailer on the file-sharing protocol.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Dumped! by Google – One recent Thursday morning, I logged into my email and made an alarming discovery. Instead of opening my inbox, Google directed me to a notice: Account has been disabled . . . . In most cases, accounts are disabled if we believe you have violated either the Google Terms of Service, product-specific Terms of Service . . . . or product-specific policies . . . . it might be possible to regain access to your account.  The vagaries left me reeling. I read the terms and policies, but they offered few clues. Suggested by Michael F.)

Before the Web: the Internet in 1991 – Many of you know that the Web will turn 20 this year. I certainly do since, back in the day, I was the first person to write about this new thing called the WEB that would change everything about the Internet.

Happy birthday, Mosaic: 20 years of the graphical web browser – We take the web for granted today. But 20 years ago, the “WEB” was a mystery that only techie geeks knew about. Then along came the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Mosaic, the first popular graphical web browser, and everything changed.

Voice delivered by LED signals to enable underwater conversation – A Japanese company has developed a device enabling divers to “talk” underwater by converting their voices into blinking signals for transmission and back again, allowing them to hear each other.

Coolest Earth Day ride: The Sora electric superbike – Recently certified by the Canadian government, this slick ride can do 0 to 60 mph in four seconds and cruise around for 185 miles.

3D Printing Conference Hits the Big Apple – Organizers bill it as “the first business to business conference and expo to delve into the present and future impact of 3D printing.” It features talks and tutorials by key people in the field, and the latest 3D printers and related products will be demonstrated by exhibitors.

Today’s Quote:

“Wine can be a better teacher than ink, and banter is often better than books”

–    Stephen Fry, The Fry Chronicles

Today’s Free Downloads:

FotoMorph – An easy way to create professional morphing animations and Flash Rotation Banners. Using FotoMorph you can do everything a professional animator does to create photo animations.

MediaHuman Audio Converter – MediaHuman Audio Converter is a freeware application that helps you convert your music absolutely free in WMA, MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC, OGG, AIFF or Apple Loseless format.

TaskUnifier – TaskUnifier is a task management software based on the well-known GTD (getting things done) methodology. It will help you manage your tasks and therefore your time. TaskUnifier is free and open source.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News