Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 5, 2013

Get Quick Settings on any Android – This useful app gives your Android phone some of Jelly Bean’s handier features, plus much more.

OpenOffice, Microsoft Security Essentials Among 10 Key Freeware Solutions – Freeware can fill the voids caused by budget constraints or legacy software and mitigate unintended consequences of newly implemented technologies—all without affecting the bottom line. Solutions like OpenOffice and Microsoft Security Essentials go a long way to provide office productivity and solid security to home and small-business users.

Facebook’s Home launcher for Android creates ‘Facebook Phone’ – Home turns Android devices’ home and lock screens into a social experience with photos and status updates from your friends. Its new user interface layer is called Cover Feed.

Facebook wrestles Google for control of your phone – The social-networking giant is inserting itself between consumers and Android, and that should make Google a little nervous.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to Set Up Your Own Private Cloud Storage Service in Five Minutes with OwnCloud – OwnCloud is free and open source software that operates as a very simple way to set up your own syncing, Dropbox-like cloud storage system on your own server or web site. It’s robust enough that it has replaced Dropbox for me in all except a few choice cases. It’s also quick and easy to set up, and doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge.

The Top Essential Hotkeys for Windows 8 – Making your computing life easier, one shortcut at a time. Whether you’re new to Windows 8 or a seasoned veteran, it’s always good to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Let’s face it: without a touch screen, Windows 8 can get a tad tedious to use. Here are the most essential Windows 8 shortcuts for accessing and working with the Charms menu, and system-wide.

Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up feds’ surveillance – Internal document from the Drug Enforcement Administration complains that messages sent with Apple’s encrypted chat service are “impossible to intercept,” even with a warrant.

It’s an ideal time to have Linux skills, SUSE exec says – Not only have those in IT generally faced better prospects, but the outlook for those with Linux skills has been even brighter. Year after year, surveys conducted by the Linux Foundation and others have found increasing demand for Linux know-how, as talent-hungry companies have struggled to fill such positions.

Tablet Sales Skyrocketing as the PC Approaches Extinction – According to a report released today by Gartner Research, PC sales will continue to decline steadily over the next five years, and sales of mobile devices will continue to see incredible growth. The report suggests that tablet and mobile phone sales will eclipse 2.6 billion units by 2017, rising nearly 30 percent from 1.85 billion units in 2012. Alongside the proliferation of mobile devices is the decline of desktop-based and notebook PCs. Gartner estimates 341 million PC units were sold in 2012. That number is expected to drop to 271 million by 2017. (271 million units = Extinction. American math.)

6 killer Mac features we’d love to see in Windows – Even if you’d never lay a finger on a Mac, you have to concede these Apple-designed features would rock on a PC.

Google releases full Google Glass explainer video – A video from the Web giant’s presentation at SXSW shows what it’s like to look through the lens of Google’s Project Glass.

Security:

US-CERT Current Activity – Microsoft Releases Advance Notification for April 2013 Security Bulletin – Microsoft has issued a Security Bulletin Advance Notification indicating that its April release will contain nine bulletins. These bulletins will have the severity rating of critical and important and will be for Microsoft Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, Server Software, and Security Software. These bulletins are scheduled for release on April 9, 2013. US-CERT will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Hack attack by Anonymous vandalizes North Korea’s Twitter and Flickr accounts – North Korea’s official Flickr and Twitter pages have been vandalized, with hacker collective Anonymous taking credit. The hackers also gained access to a North Korean music and book store and the country’s news and information site, both of which have both been taken down, The Next Web reports.

Scribd, “world’s largest online library,” admits to network intrusion, password breach – San Francisco-based document sharing site Scribd has admitted to a network intrusion. Scribd bills itself as The World’s Largest Online Library, and with a suggested 50 million users or more, it’s hardly surprising that the site has attracted the attention of cybercriminals.

Has your Hewlett-Packard ScanJet printer just tried to infect your PC with malware? – HP ScanJet printerComputer users are being warned to be on their guard, after cybercriminals spammed out an attack posing as emails from Hewlett-Packard ScanJet printers.

How Attackers Choose Which Vulnerabilities To Exploit – A look at how the bad guys choose their attack methods — and what you can do about it. Excerpted from “How Attackers Choose Which Vulnerabilities To Exploit”.

Company News:

Samsung to Launch 1,400 ‘Experience’ Stores Inside Best Buy – Samsung plans to roll out a chain of retail shops in the U.S. in partnership with Best Buy.

German court invalidates Apple slide-to-unlock patent – The Thursday ruling by Bundespatentgericht, Germany’s federal patent court, is a victory for Samsung Electronics and Motorola Mobility. Apple has sought injunctions prohibiting the sale of devices from both companies.

Blackberry to draw the blinds on music service in June – Less than two years after getting into the streaming music business, BlackBerry is getting out of it. The company formerly known as Research in Motion informed subscribers to its BBM Music service that it will be pulling the plug on the service on June 2.

OpenStack Grizzly Set to be the Foundation for Red Hat Enterprise Cloud Release – The OpenStack Grizzly (2013.1) open source cloud platform is out today, and enterprise Linux leader Red Hat is among its biggest backers.

HP Chairman Ray Lane steps down amid discontent over Autonomy – Lane will stay on HP’s board as a director but has given up his position as chairman, HP said Thursday. In addition, two of HP’s longest-serving board members have resigned their seats altogether. The news comes after some of HP’s largest shareholders tried to have Lane and other HP directors voted off the board at a meeting last month.

Webopedia Daily:

Android Renderscript Compute – Android Renderscript Compute is a computation platform ported to run directly on a mobile device graphics processing unit (GPU). It is included in the latest release of Jelly Bean (see “Android Codename”). Android Renderscript Compute automatically takes advantage of GPU computation resources whenever possible to improve graphics and image processing performance on a supported device.

Games and Entertainment:

LucasArts Hall of Fame: Our Favorite Games – With LucasArts shutting down, we asked PCMag analysts to write about their favorite games.

What I’m Playing: On magic, mechanics, and musical hotel management – The Other Brothers is a tongue-in-cheek homage to many of the platformers of yesteryear. The eponymous brothers (one short and squat, the other tall and lanky) are auto mechanics who must rescue the requisite distressed damsel from the mob, fighting through hordes of mafia goons, belligerent animals, ninjas, the occasional robotic menace… I haven’t sunk my teeth too deeply yet as it was only released today, but I must admit I’m smitten.

Thief looks great, but it may be too forgiving for diehard fans of the original games – In most regards, Eidos Montreal’s return to the classic Thief franchise is a welcome one, but it’s being modernized in ways that disregard some of what made the original series so strong—plus, it comes off a bit unbelievable in a time when stealth-action games have been elevated past a visual detection via light and darkness.

This DOS emulator brings your favorite classic games to the Raspberry Pi – Enter homebrew coder Patrick Aalto, who wants to bring classic PC gaming into today with the rpix86 DOS emulator for the Raspberry Pi. He created a virtual machine inside the operating environment (which the Raspberry Pi handles easily) that runs DOS within it. Just like that, presto—you’re back in 1995 playing games like Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Ultima Underworld, Mechwarrior, and other gems that modern-day gamers have only ever heard their parents talk about.

Game meant to be played in 2,000 years gets buried in desert – Jason Rohrer’s A Game for Someone is meant to be played in the distant future. But you could be the first to play it if you can dig it up in Nevada.

Off Topic (Sort of):

McDonald’s cashier job requires bachelor’s degree – A McDonald’s job listing for a cashier in Massachusetts demands a bachelor’s degree and two years experience. Previously, only people in managerial or corporate positions needed that kind of degree. (suggested by Michael F.)

Time-Lapse Video: A 3D-Printed Companion Cube – Prepare to be mesmerized by the process of printing an object on a 3D printer. We certainly were.

Roger Ebert’s Twenty Best Reviews – Roger Ebert was anything but your stereotypical snobbish film critic; he was a man who would review anything. He was also what some have called “a stealth feminist”, though perhaps he was less stealth than he appeared. Though he’s been praised for his amazing take-downs, Ebert also had a way to delicately lifting up movies that made you feel light inside to read about them. Here are some of his best reviews of the worst and best reviews of the best.

The Dark Side of Google Glass – As Google pushes the boundaries of innovation, is it tempting the fate of its motto “Don’t be evil?” Find out the potential dark side of its latest hot project, Google Glass.

How Far Do You Run Playing Different Sports? – While watching sports, have you ever stopped (midway through a bowl of Cheetos) to wonder, “How far are those guys actually running?” It’s a common question, one that’s historically been subject mostly to guesswork, Thanks to some recent technological developments, though, we can now actually apply some data to it. So which of your heroes are putting in the hard yards?

Today’s Quote:

The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps.”

–      Benjamin Disraeli

Today’s Free Downloads:

HotShut 1.2 – Another simple but useful release from The Windows Club. HotShut is a free tiny app which lets you do something very simple. It lets you shutdown, restart, lock or logoff your Windows computer instantly from your taskbar notification area. No need to open the start menu anymore! HotShut sits silently your taskbar notification area offering you these 4 options to shutdown, restart, lock or logof your computer. Simply right-click and select your desired option.

Opera@USB 12.15 – A portable version of the popular Opera Web-Browser. Extract the file directly onto your USB Device or Harddisk. This is the international version with all languages.

AVG Antivirus Free for Android – AVG Antivirus for Smartphones & Tablets automatically detects harmful Apps & SMS. AVG Mobilation is a free security solution that protects your phone from viruses, malware, spyware & online exploitation in real-time.

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