Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 6, 2013

The “Nuclear” Option for Total Facebook App Privacy – If you don’t have any interest in Facebook apps (and, let’s face it, many of them are suspect or just plain spammy), Facebook offers an option that works like a kill switch to keep Facebook apps and other websites from sharing or accessing your information: Turn off Platform.

Rush Limbaugh: iPad great tool in fighting global warming ‘hoax’ – After a 13-year-old boy calls in to say he has found proof in his local library that man-made global warming is a hoax, the famed radio host sends him an iPad, as its portability will prove useful in the boy’s crusade. (A drug addled, sexually perverted, borderline psychotic,  has an “educated” opinion on Science? – lol)

How to Score a $99 Apple iPhone – T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 pre-orders begin today, but is that your only option for a $99 iPhone? Some of you might not want to switch over to T-Mobile, however, because of concerns about T-Mobile’s network coverage or other reasons. In that case, what then? Here are some options to score a $99 iPhone.

My First Twelve Questions About Facebook Home – Some initial musings on Facebook’s custom Android interface, along with a few answers from Facebook.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Kik, WhatApp Are 2 Little Apps That Pose An Existential Threat To Facebook – Create personal profiles. Build networks of friends. Share photos, videos and music. That might sound precisely like Facebook, but hundreds of millions of tech-savvy young people have instead turned to a wave of smartphone-based messaging apps that are now sweeping across North America, Asia and Europe.

When will Microsoft pull the plug on yours? – In one year, Microsoft officially stops supporting Windows XP. How long until your current version of Windows or Office suffers the same fate?

Android Jelly Bean with an external Wi-Fi antenna – Most Android-powered PCs-on-a-stick lack an external antenna, meaning Wi-Fi connectivity can be significantly hampered. If you’re currently on the market for an Android-powered TV stick, the CX-803 II has just been announced. This device runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and boasts a cool little translucent green external Wi-Fi antenna, which should ensure significantly better Wi-Fi reception than most other sticks on the market.

Surprise, surprise: House committee to amend CISPA in secret, again – As is with most cases, “classified information” — the alternative buzzword for “national security” — is cited as the reason why the controversial “privacy killer” CISPA will be amended in secret. But it’s OK; it’s only people’s privacy at risk here. (Get involved – PUSH BACK! NOW!)

Google Fights FBI’s Secret National Security Letters – Google is reportedly pushing back on the FBI’s secret requests for data. Google is reportedly pushing back on the government’s request for data via secret National Security Letters (NSLs). As reported by Bloomberg, Google last week filed a “petition to set aside legal process” with a California district court. Given the sensitive nature of the data involved, Google requested and was granted the right to have the proceedings sealed, so the content of the filing is currently inaccessible.

Five Apps for better desktop publishing – Desktop publishing plays a huge role in crafting catchy advertisements, business cards, banners, billboards and more, going beyond the capabilities of the more plain text-centric word processor. Here are five desktop publishing apps that give Windows users the power to exercise their creativity effectively.

Help users get answers with Google tools – Sometimes, answers are a simple keyword search away. But often, they require a more proactive approach. Answering help inquiries is reactive, not proactive. In addition to a help desk system, you should proactively provide your users information online. Google provides at least four tools that can help you help your users: Google Docs, Google Sites, Blogger, and Google+.

10+ advanced formatting tips for Word users – You can waste a lot of time trying to get a document to look right. These power user tricks will help speed your formatting chores.

Ubuntu 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ drops Wubi in final beta – Wubi, which is short for Windows-based Ubuntu Installer, has long been a fixture in the Ubuntu world, offering users an easy way to install Ubuntu on the same disk partition as Windows. With this final beta version of Ubuntu 13.04, however, Wubi is no longer included. Whether Wubi is gone for good isn’t clear.

This New Camera Stabilizer Could Change Cinematography Forever – A new piece of filmmaking gear was just announced that could completely re-invent the complex process of camera stabilization. It’s currently being tested and endorsed by Vincent LaForet, who’s given us a little taste of what it’s capable of.

Security:

Ransomware scares victims with child sex abuse images – Like other ransomware attacks, a message appears claiming to come from the police that says that evidence gathered proves that the computer has been used to view pornography involving minors. Unlike most attacks, however, the warning message also includes images of the purported sexual abuse of children, along with the minors’ names, dates of birth and location.

Game of Thrones Torrents are Perfect for Delivering Malware – The popularity of Game of Thrones makes it an obvious choice to seed malware to unsuspecting BitTorrent users. Torrent Freak’s numbers speak for themselves: a million downloads in the less than a day and over 160,000 simultaneous downloading peers reported by OpenBitTorrent. The second episode in the season will air this weekend, and will surely draw just as many downloaders as well as some ne’er-do-wells.

Shylock Trojan Going Global with New Features, Resilient Infrastructure – The prolific, credential-stealing Shylock banking Trojan is growing increasingly sophisticated as its creators continue adding new modules and functionalities to the man-in-the-browser malware, according to a Symantec report.

Is security really dead? Perhaps it’s your lack of depth – There is a lot of talk in the security industry about how much everything sucks. While no individual solution is a silver bullet for solving your security woes, but we shouldn’t forget that an effective defense requires depth.

AMI Firmware Source Code, Private Key Leaked – Source code and a private signing key for firmware manufactured by a popular PC hardware maker American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) have been found on an open FTP server hosted in Taiwan.

Skype Malware Stealing Victims’ Processing Power to Mine Bitcoins – The attacks against Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and hack of Instawallet this week are the latest evidence, but now there is a piece of malware in circulation that is using Skype as a spreading mechanism and then using infected machines’ processing power to mine Bitcoins.

Company News:

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.

Amazon’s Bezos leads $5M investment in Business Insider – Jeff Bezos’ investment company pumps new cash into the news Web site, a deal that started with a dinner between the Amazon CEO and Business Insider’s Henry Blodget.

ITC judge rules Samsung infringed Apple’s text-selection patent – Things have taken a nasty turn for Samsung in its worldwide battle against Apple with a new ruling from the International Trade Commission.

Jolla Mobile launches Sailfish OS SDK – The smartphone market is quite well-established. As such, it will be somewhat difficult for another OS to realistically compete against Android, iOS, Blackberry and even Windows Phone. Nevertheless, despite the difficult market, Jolla Mobile continues to plug away on its new Sailfish operating system.

Zynga CEO to earn $1 as other execs chase big bonuses – The social game developer alters its compensation plan to help retain top executives — a problem for Zynga since it went public in late 2011.

Webopedia Daily:

Google Keep – A digital “scratchpad” note-taking application for the Android mobile operating system that serves as Google’s answer to Apple’s Notes app for Apple iOS mobile devices. Google Keep debuted in March 2013 via Google Play for devices running Android 4.0.3 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”) and later. Google Keep enables users to collect photos and notes, write down to-do lists, store voice recordings, organize notes and details, and more. Google Keep offers a streamlined and simplistic interface that makes it simple for users to access their stored content. One benefit that Google Keep offers over competing offerings is that all of its information is synced between Android devices while also being accessible by a PC or another device via Google Drive.

Games and Entertainment:

The game I’m playing all weekend: Vector – Available for Android and iOS, this stylish, parkour-inspired take on Mirror’s Edge provides tons of endless-runner fun. And it’s free!

Free Game Friday – This week’s collection of free games lets you play your city as a video game, pilot a swarm of bees and even lets you live a day in the life of Double Fine founder Tim Schafer. Truly, games make whatever you can imagine possible. Sorry, did that sound sarcastic enough?

Xbox tweets hint at ‘always on’ future – Don’t want a gaming console that requires a persistent Internet connection? “Deal with it,” says Microsoft Studio’s creative director.

Defiance‘s ‘Shadow War’ Really Is a Shadow War – My chief complaint with Defiance at this point is probably Shadow War, the game’s intriguing take on PvP, which can be a little like praying for rain in the Sahara.

Yes, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show on TV – It didn’t take Nostradamus to predict that the third season of Game of Thrones would be a big ratings winner, and it certainly was. So big, in fact, that the fourth season got the green light from the success of the first show of season three. It’s also gained another interesting distinction in the era of DVR and VOD in that it’s officially the most bootlegged show on TV.

11 fallen PC game studios: Gone but not forgotten – We say goodbye to LucasArts and 10 other developers that created some of history’s most influential PC games.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The Soviet Superplane Program That Rattled Area 51 – The Lun ekranoplan weighs 380 tons, has a 148-foot wingspan and can launch six anti-ship missiles from flight. Or rather, it could, before it was retired to a forlorn pier in southern Russia. Alternately described as an amphibious aircraft or a flying boat, the plane is a feat of engineering that has been reduced to a footnote in aviation history. Read on for a look inside this aging relic and the ambitious program that spawned it.

Cracked – The 28 Least Effective Public Service Announcements Possible.

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Why Are There So Few Resurrected Corpses in the United States? – Pat Robertson thinks that, but for the Ivy League and its intellectual snobbery, we’d have more people resurrected from the dead in America. He explained this while on the Christian Broadcasting Network Teusday answering a question from a viewer named “Ken,” who wanted to know why “amazing miracles (people raised from the dead, blind eyes open, lame people walking) happen with great frequency in places like Africa, and not here in the USA.” I think Robertson is answering the wrong question. Is America actually falling behind in the race to raise the dead? (suggested by Michael F.)

Electric undergarment fights sexual assault with shocks – Amid a rising tide of rapes and sexual assaults in India, three engineering students devise an electrified undergarment they hope will help protect women from attack.

SPIKED! Ice Tray – make some badass ice! – Add some edge to your drinks. Fred’s Spiked! ice tray looks like a leather spiked collar so you’ll get jaggy, pointed ice cubes that make a statement in your glass. Spiked! is molded from 100% pure food-safe silicone and packaged in clear, peggable, recyclable display boxes.

8 Iconic Film Props You Can Totally Try to Buy Right Now – Break out your checkbook and get ready to explain to your kids why they’re not going to college anymore; Julien’s Auction House is currently running its “Hollywood Legends 2013” live auction in Beverly Hills. You’ve got props and costumery from James Bond, Bruce Lee, and dozens of old-timey Hollywood classics. Here’s a taste of the best stuff you can put on your mantle.

Today’s Quote:

“Never marry someone who doesn’t love the movies you love. Sooner or later, that person will not love you.”

–    Roger Ebert

Today’s Free Downloads:

Right Click Enhancer 4.0 – Right Click Enhancer gives you power to control the ultimate right click menu everyone use every day. Right Click Enhancer allows you to edit your right click menu in the way you want. Now with help of this wonderful tool you can add some good stuff to your right click context menu.

xShredder 4.2.1.2 – xShredder for Microsoft Windows to protect your privacy! With xShredder you can destroy your sensitive files. Choose from simple destruction or shredding.

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