Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 4, 2013

Five Signs Your Android Device is Infected With Malware – We’ve written a lot about the dangers of Android malware, but how to diagnose an infested device is another issue. Today, the antivirus and security company Bitdefender released a list of five symptoms that might indicate a malware infection. Do any of these sound familiar?

Smartphone users tap Facebook obsessively – How addicted are we to Facebook? According to a new report, the answer is very: The average smartphone user checks Facebook on their phone at least 14 times a day.

Six ways to cope with flaky hotel Wi-Fi – During a recent trip I stayed at a hotel offering free Wi-Fi—always a nice perk. Just one problem: the network was terrible. The connection speed reminded me of my old dial-up modem, but without the consistency.

Free Opener can open almost any type of file you can think of – What do you use to open files? If you’re in the majority, your answer would be “depends on the file.” This is not the case with Free Opener. Free Opener claims to open over 80 different file formats—anything from Microsoft Office documents and PDF files, to image, video and music files, with many more in between.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google’s Quickoffice Now Available on iPhone, Android – Google this week released its Quickoffice app for Android and iPhone so users can edit Microsoft Office files on the go. “From Word to Excel to Powerpoint, you can make quick edits at the airport or from the back of a taxi and save and share everything in Google Drive,” Quickoffice Product Manager Mark Beaton boasted in a blog post.

Infographic: Skype Usage Tops 2 Billion Minutes a Day – It’s clear that users love Skype, but just how much time are we all spending on the Microsoft-owned video chat service? Skype on Tuesday morning announced the milestone on its blog, noting that 2 billion minutes is enough time to travel to the moon and back more than 225,000 times.

Court slams shut music locker ReDigi, says “first sale” doesn’t apply – ReDigi claims to offer a legal way for consumers to buy and sell iTunes tracks through its “music locker.” In a stern court ruling, a judge said the service amounts to widespread copyright infringement. The ruling is likely to force the service to shut down and also dims the prospect for a mainstream marketplace for used digital goods. (suggested by Aseem S.)

Doodad Offers International Prepaid SIM Cards for Affordable Data in 54 Countries – Doodad is a new service that lets you use your smartphone wherever you travel without fear of an expensive bill full of roaming charges waitying for you when you get back home. Just order one of their prepaid SIM cards for your device, load it up with as much data as you think you’ll need, and head to the airport.

How to fast-charge your iPhone or iPad using a standard USB port – Check out Asus Ai Charger. This free utility promises to charge iPhones, iPods, and iPads up to 50 percent faster using your PC’s existing USB ports. That’s a pretty lofty claim: software that can boost the effective power output of hardware? It sounds almost impossible, but I’m here to tell you: it works.

Manage and secure files with ShareFile Mobile on Android – ShareFile is a worthy entry into the cloud storage race. From the ShareFile Mobile app to the backend management tools, it’s a solid and well-implemented solution for mobile workers.

Installing OpenSuSE on my netbook – how I did it – A step-by-step screenshot walk-through of how I installed Linux on a system with UEFI BIOS and Secure Boot.

Coupon apps save time, money – Savvy shoppers are putting their smartphones to good use and downloading apps that can save them money. CNET’s Kara Tsuboi reports on the new popularity of coupon apps.

Where can you find a PC running Windows 7? – Some of my readers are complaining that they want to avoid Windows 8 but they can’t find Windows 7 PCs. Really? I just surveyed the market and found lots of Windows 7 choices. The secret is knowing where to look.


How to stop your friends’ Facebook apps from accessing your private information – Many internet users are wary of sharing their personal information willy-nilly with the world, but did you know that sometimes it’s your Facebook friends who might be unwittingly passing your private details on?

Clouds leak Amazon torrents of data – The security on Amazon’s cloud has come under question after it was revealed that customers have accidentally revealed confidential information including sales records and source code.

California Considers Pushing Data Disclosure Envelope Again – California, which set the standard for data breach notifications nationwide, is again seeking to set a precedent by becoming the first state in the nation to require companies upon request disclose to California consumers the data they’ve collected and to whom it was shared during the past year. They would be required to respond within 30 days and provide the report for free.

Firefox 20 Fixes 11 Critical Flaws, Adds Per-Tab Private Browsing – FirefoxMozilla has added a new privacy feature to Firefox that enables users to begin a new private browsing session in a separate tab while still running a normal session in other tabs. Firefox 20 also includes patches for 11 critical security vulnerabilities.

Organizations on Average Hit Every Three Minutes with Malware – A report released Wednesday indicates an organization on average experiences a malware-related event every three minutes, often involving business-related spear phishing and targeting technology companies.

Company News:

Twitter Adding App Download Links to Tweets – Twitter is taking a page from Facebook and integrating direct links to app downloads into tweets. Going forward, a tweet that includes a photo from Path, for example, might include a link to the Path app in the App Store or Google Play for those who do not already have Path installed.

The great browser shake-up of 2013 – In a jam-packed 24 hours, Google announces it is forking WebKit, and Samsung teams up with Mozilla to develop a new engine.

Rdio Tackles Movies, TV With Vdio – Music-streaming service Rdio stepped into the video space today with the launch of Vdio, which will let users buy, rent, and share movies and TV shows. At this point, Vdio is only open to Rdio Unlimited subscribers in the U.S. and U.K., who will get a $25 credit to explore the Vdio lineup. Rdio is extending the same offer to anyone who subscribes to the $9.99 per month Rdio Unlimited in the next 60 days.

Micron’s 320GB/sec Hybrid Memory Cube comes to market in 2013, threatens to finally kill DDR SDRAM – The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium, which consists of such silicon luminaries as Micron, Samsung, and IBM (but not Intel), has finally finished hammering out the Hybrid Memory Cube 1.0 standard. The HMC is a complete paradigm shift away from conventional DDR1/2/3 SDRAM, offering up to 15 times the performance of DDR3, while using 70% less energy.

Microsoft Updates SkyDrive for iOS Following Dispute With Apple – Microsoft today released a long-awaited update to its SkyDrive for iOS app, indicating that the software giant’s kerfuffle with Apple over in-app revenues has been resolved.

Intel, AMD detail new video technologies, cloud gaming, and upcoming GPUs – Intel and AMD spent much of last week detailing their plans for graphics architectures and capabilities in 2013. Cloud gaming and better CPU-GPU cross-communication were major features along with a new top-end GPU from AMD.

Webopedia Daily:

Office 365 file sharing on SkyDrive – Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium allows users to access and share documents and other files stored on SkyDrive. When you are signed in, Office 365 Home Premium saves your documents to SkyDrive by default so you can access the files from any Internet-connected device. Via SkyDrive, documents are automatically backed-up and you can share, collaborate and edit the files online. File sharing for business and enterprise editions of Office 365 is managed via SharePoint Online external sharing.

Games and Entertainment:

Disney Shutters LucasArts Game Studio – After almost 31 years producing video games, interactive entertainment studio LucasArts is shutting down. The move comes about five months after The Walt Disney Company acquired LucasFilm and LucasArts for $4.05 billion.

Is Sony’s Playstation 4 a “perfect” gaming PC? – Epic VP Mark Rein says Sony’s decision to incorporate off-the-shelf PC components in the Playstation 4 (PS4) is a good one for devs and gamers alike.

EA treading into social networking territory? – The game maker known for Medal of Honor and Mass Effects launches a social networking app that has nothing to do with games — instead it lets users share photos paired with music.

DragonBox+ for Android makes learning basic algebra fun – Named “Best Serious Game” at the 2013 International Mobile Gaming awards, DragonBox+ is an awesome example of a game-based learning app that can be used by either children or adults.

Block building, tower defense, and first-person mayhem in one game – Block Fortress mixes three different game genres resulting in some fun gameplay, but it might be a little too complicated for its own good.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Kinect-based system diagnoses depression with 90% accuracy – Computer scientists at the University of Southern California have used Microsoft’s Kinect sensor to detect, with 90% accuracy, whether you are depressed. All you have to do is sit down in front of Kinect, answer some questions from an on-screen virtual psychologist, and the clever software does the rest. The process is entirely automated, objective, and self-contained, meaning accurate testing could be carried out in complete privacy at home.

Cracked: 25 Invasions of Privacy We’ll Probably See Next – Like crew cuts and college sweaters, privacy is something of a relic of the past. We asked our readers to show us what George Orwell would’ve written about had he based his novel just a tad bit further in the future.

Here’s a sample.

UK businesses waste billions a year on tech investment – IT software provider SolarWinds released a new study today which examines what challenges IT staff face in small and medium businesses this year. Reaching out to 500 firms in the U.K. and Germany, the study found that although IT budgets have remained the same or increased over the last five years in 93 percent of SMBs, over 75 percent of firms are wasting money.

Bitcoin isn’t illegal because it isn’t real money – Mainstream sites and esteemed financial analysts are now weighing in on the Bitcoin matter. Instead of just providing yet another explanation of what Bitcoin is, though, analysts are now wondering why the pseudo currency has caught on, and why it’s not illegal. As it turns out, James explains, it’s not illegal because of that “pseudo” moniker. See why Bitcoin is a prime target for phishing.

Post-PC success comes from embracing humanity’s darker side – Smartphones and tablets cover the whole gamut of human experience, not just the nice stuff about unicorns and rainbows. Accepting that fact lets us all have better tools to support our lives.

Phablets are a passing phase – More than a billion smartphones and tablets are in use around the world, and research outfit Flurry has detected more than 2,000 unique device models so far. Rapid development has resulted in a multitude of form factors, from tiny smartphones to huge tablets, but it appears some of these form factors are just fads. One of the biggest fads, quite literally, seem to be phablets.

Today’s Quote:

Sometimes the mind, for reasons we don’t necessarily understand, just decides to go to the store for a quart of milk.”

–    Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider Northern Exposure

Today’s Free Downloads:

Soluto – Frustrated by your sluggish and unresponsive PC? Soluto is bringing an end to PC user frustration with transparency, killer technology, and your help.

Customize and alter your photos with PC Image Editor – You don’t need to be a highly skilled designer with a copy of Photoshop to make your photos sparkle. PC Image Editor is an easy-to-use program that will help you get the most out of your images.

FotoMix 9.2.2 – FotoMix is a versatile program that allows you to mix and manipulate different pictures, to create a wide variety of images. The result is so high in quality that it is almost impossible to tell if the photo has been manipulated. Once your creations are finished, you can print them, email them to friends or transfer them to T-shirts, mugs, calendars, etc. Make the most out of your photo collection! Play with it. Explore the possibilities. You will love it.

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