Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 10, 2013

Microsoft fixes 9 flaws, Adobe 3 in April’s Tuesday update – As expected Microsoft released seven important and two critical fixes for Windows, Internet Explorer and other Microsoft products. Adobe followed suite releasing fixes for ColdFusion, Flash and Shockwave. Patch now!

How to control your PC with your Android phone – PCs and Android go together like Garfunkel and Oates, so seal the deal with these free remote control tools. Whether you want a media remote, a remote desktop client, or a way to stream media from your PC to your phone, this guide will teach you how to get set up with a secure, usable connection on the desktop side and connect with the best apps on the Android side.

Facebook Home Leaves Front Door Wide Open – If you add a PIN code lock to your phone, Facebook Home still gives you access to your Facebook account. In other words, if I add a PIN code lock to my phone—meaning no one should be able to do much of anything with my phone unless they know how to unlock it—it does nothing to prevent someone from adding text comments to Facebook, “liking” photos and status updates, and browsing through recent updates.

Edit Facebook photos online with Fly Photo Editor – With this Aviary-powered Chrome extension, there is no need to download Facebook photos before editing them.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

SmartDeblur restores blurred images, indulges CSI fantasies – We can relate to making blurred photos, which we normally then delete and forget about. But sometimes those blurry photos contain important information that we must retrieve. In these instances, it might be worth firing up the free SmartDeblur to see if it can work its magic on the picture.

How to Take Better Photos With Your Smartphone – Let’s be clear: A smartphone’s camera cannot fully replace a dedicated digital camera. But it’s probably pretty capable and, more often than not, it’s what you reach for first to snap a pic. Here’s how to up the quality of your cell phone images.

Five tricks for shooting eye-catching panoramas – Photojojo unveils its pro tips for shooting panoramic photos that are anything but the ordinary.

Five must-try cloud-based utilities – When you think of “the cloud” you typically think of tools like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Docs, UbuntuOne – most are sync and storage apps and services. However, the cloud is much more than that. There are tools and utilities to cover nearly every aspect of your daily business life. From combining accounts, to financial services, to backups, to note-taking tools, the cloud has you covered. But where do you begin to look for the right tools?

Key updates have arrived for Fuduntu and PCLinuxOS – The “News and Updates” section on tracking site DistroWatch is just as busy as ever. This week, two popular Linux distributions came out with significant updates that are particularly worth mentioning. One is Fuduntu, my current distro of choice, and the other is PCLinuxOS.

How to set up the ultimate home theater PC – Hooking up your computer to your TV can be as simple or as complex as you want. A basic setup lets you stream the occasional Web video, while a more advanced rig lets you access movie and music files from computers across your home network. But the most brag-worthy home theater PCs (HTPCs) include all the right elements: carefully chosen hardware, proper display settings, ergonomic accessories, and software that turns your PC into a set-top box.

Security:

Prepare for and respond to a lost or stolen smartphone – Protect the sensitive information on your smartphone by backing it up beforehand and contacting your carrier as quickly as possible after it goes missing.

Microsoft Passes Antivirus Test, But Just Barely – Microsoft hasn’t managed certification in the last two AV-Test reports and even suffered some below-zero scores in a test by Dennis Labs. Microsoft typically earns a high score for Usability, mediocre for Repair, and poor for Protection. With the new test configuration, the product attributes that used to fall under Usability now count for twice as much. Thanks to that change, Microsoft’s Windows Defender (shipped as part of Windows 8) managed to achieve AV-Test certification, with 11.5 points.

Ubisoft takes download service offline after breach – Ubisoft Entertainment said Wednesday it took its Uplay download service offline until it fixes an issue that reportedly allowed hackers to download games, including one yet to be released. Uplay is Ubisoft’s platform for buying and downloading the company’s games. Ubisoft said no personal information was compromised in the attack and that all other Uplay services would remain online.

Vudu video service resets customer passwords after hard drives theft – Walmart’s video service Vudu has reset its customers’ passwords after it found that hard drives were among items stolen from its office. The hard drives contained customer data including names, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, account activity, dates of birth, account passwords and the last four digits of some credit card numbers, the company said on Tuesday.

Securing Bitcoins: Barrage of attacks undermines value – Patrick Lambert looks into the tumultuous world of Bitcoins and recent threats to the virtual currency system.

The experts agree: Ban Facebook Home in your BYOD workplace – Social network’s new overlay for Android smartphones ‘would be the first thing I would block on my network,’ said one security adviser.

Company News:

Microsoft-Backed Group Targets Android – FairSearch says Google uses deceptive conduct to thwart mobile OSes that challenge Android. A watchdog group backed by Microsoft, Nokia, and others has filed a complaint with the European Commission that accuses Google of using deceptive conduct to thwart mobile operating systems that might challenge Android.

The Pirate Bay switches domain to Greenland – Fans of illegal movie downloads and/or walruses have reason to rejoice. Last night, the infamous file-sharing site The Pirate Bay switched its domain from Sweden’s .se to Greenland’s .gl extension. According to reporting by TorrentFreak, the move was made in anticipation of a potential domain seizure from Swedish authorities that would render the entire site inaccessible worldwide.

Google Launches Brand New Play Store – The Google Play store’s dramatic redesign was unveiled today after much anticipation. The new design attempts to brighten up the app store experience, improving usability, capability, and appearance all at once.

Infographic: Pandora Celebrates 200M Users – Pandora Radio today celebrates 200 million registered listeners — a milestone the company reached in less than eight years. A household name in the Internet radio business, Pandora’s growth was slow but steady, reaching 100 million in 2011, before doubling a year and a half later.

Bitcoins just topped $200 in real money – In the wake of the global economic trainwreck, people have started to lose faith in traditional banking systems. For your AM-radio listening uncle, this has meant investing in gold, which is trading near all-time highs. For experimental Web-enabled investors, this has meant placing money in the P2P virtual Bitcoin economy, which surpassed $200 for the first time on Tuesday.

Amazon Web Services and Google lower cloud pricing – Amazon Web Services (AWS) has lowered the cost of running Windows on its cloud, while Google announced a reduction on all Compute Engine pricing. Google has also expanded the number of virtual servers users can choose from and made its cloud more Euro friendly.

Meet Skydog, the cloud-powered wi-fi router – PowerCloud Systems, a company spun out of the famed PARC (Palo Alto Research Center)—birthplace of the etthernet, laser printing, and the graphical user interface—aims to upend the consumer networking market with a new cloud-managed Wi-Fi router. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday to bring its new Skydog Home Network Package (funding through May 14) to market.

Oracle rolls out new in-memory applications, scaled-down Big Data Appliance – While Oracle announced more than a dozen in-memory applications on Tuesday, the first three will be available in May, according to a spokeswoman. They are JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Sales Advisor, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Project Portfolio Management and Oracle SCM In-Memory Consumption Driven Planning.

Webopedia Daily:

In-memory database – A database that uses a system’s main memory for data storage rather than the disk-based storage typically utilized by traditional databases. In-memory databases, or IMDBs, are frequently employed in high-volume environments where response time is critical, as access times and database requests are typically considerably faster when system memory is used as opposed to disk storage, particularly hard drive storage. In-memory databases are also sometimes referred to as main memory database systems, or MMDBs, and have become more popular in recent years for handing High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Big Data applications. The distinction between traditional databases and in-memory databases has been blurred recently with the advent of hybrid databases, which support both in-memory and disk-based storage in order to maximize performance as well as reliability.

Games and Entertainment:

Batman: Arkham Origins Arrives Oct. 25 – This fall, Warner Bros. Games Montréal is taking players back to The Dark Knight’s beginnings with Batman: Arkham Origins, a prequel to the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City titles. Batman: Arkham Origins will be released for the Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. A companion game, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, will be sold for the Nintendo 3DS and Vita. Both versions go on sale Oct. 25.

Revisit Jurassic Park in blocky, non-3D Minecraft – It’s Jurassic Park fever. Just last week, the 3D remastered version of Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur classic hit theaters. But if that’s not enough childhood nostalgia for you, Josh Collin recreated the entire prehistoric amusement park in Minecraft for your virtual touring pleasure.

CBS joins Fox in considering subscription-only model – CBS CEO Leslie Moonves applauds News Corp. exec’s comments, telling the New York Times that the network was considering cutting its over-the-air signal in the New York area.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The Big Business of Buying Twitter Followers – As someone who plays the Twitter game honestly I find it more than a little annoying that people are now buying followers by the droves. In fact, it has become a big business. And Twitter makes it worse by promoting certain celebrities. The number of followers should reflect how many people want to follow that user.

The 25 Least Visited Countries in the World – Are you up for going on that unique trip that almost no one has done before you? The problem might just be finding the right destination. The least visited country in the world may not be the one you would think

XKCD.com – A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. (suggested by Michael F.)

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Google Glass not welcome In Casinos, Strip Clubs – Last June, this site wondered whether the potential to equip Google Glass with facial analytic software would enable poker players to gain a technological edge in determining whether or not you’re bluffing, leading casinos to ban the futuristic technology from their live poker rooms. Turns out casinos are already considering banning the headgear, but their concern is less about the still embryonic Google Glass’ future tech options than the ones it already offers. (suggested by Michael F.)

The Difference Between LCD, LED, Plasma, and OLED TVs – Flat-screen TVs have been around for a long time, but if you still aren’t quite sure what the difference between each kind is, this video will explain each type as fast as possible.

Today’s Quote:

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”

–      Sir Winston Churchill

Today’s Free Downloads:

Spotify – Any track you like, any time you like. Just search for it in Spotify, then play it. Any artist, any album, any genre – all available instantly. With Spotify, there are no limits to the amount of music you could listen to.

DarkWave Studio 4.1.7 – DarkWave Studio is a free, open source, Digital Audio Workstation for Windows. Featuring a modular Virtual Studio, Pattern Editor, Sequence Editor and Multitrack Hard Disk Recorder.

Avira AntiVir Rescue System – The Avira AntiVir Rescue System a Linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to repair a damaged system, to rescue data or to scan the system for virus infections.

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