Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 11, 2013

Microsoft Outperforms Symantec in Antivirus Test – In the latest on-demand test from AV-Comparatives, quite a few products lost points due to false positives—erroneously identifying a valid program as malware. Symantec and Microsoft scored about the same based on detection of malware samples, but Symantec lost points due to false positives. There’s more to the story than that, though.

Manage your Android from a browser – This great utility lets you access your Android device remotely and without cables. It allows you to wirelessly transfer files, update contacts, manage ringtones, and more.

Become an Evernote power user: 10 must-know tips – An overflowing mess of notes is the enemy. Here’s how to attack stacks of content and get Evernote to do your bidding.

11 Uses for an Old PC – It’s weird, but you feel guilty with the whole idea of throwing it out. After all, it’s perfectly functional. When you first bought it, it was near state-of-the-art. If your new PC replaces one that’s really on its last legs, by all means, take it to a reputable electronics recycler. But it’s amazing how many users ditch perfectly good machines when they pick up a shiny new system. You can do plenty of things with an old PC besides sending it to the recycling heap. Let’s take a look at a few ways you might put that old system to work.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

ACLU Questions Whether IRS Is Reading Email Without a Warrant – The ACLU said today that the criminal division of the IRS “has long taken the position that the IRS can read your emails without a warrant.” The organization based its conclusion on 247 pages of records it received from the IRS via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The ACLU said it wanted to know if the IRS gets a warrant every time it reads someone’s email, text messages, and other private electronic communications.

Reddit co-founder sharpens knife for CISPA fight – Aiming to get the chiefs at Google, Facebook and Twitter on board against upcoming U.S. cybersecurity legislation, Alexis Ohanian calls them on the phone and gets some amusing results.

Five OS alternatives to Windows 8 and XP – XP’s end of life-support is in sight and not everybody wants Windows 8. So, what are your other choices?

Burner Brings Disposable Phone Numbers to Android for Private Calls, Texts, and More – Burner, an app for throwaway, disposable phone numbers that can be used for private calls and texts with anyone you might not want to have your real contact info, used to be iPhone only. Now the app is available for Android too, and both versions have new features like customizable voicemail greetings for each number and better notifications.

Google Map Maker arrives in UK – The United Kingdom’s denizens now can add detail such as paths and businesses to Google’s online maps service. But remember: it’s free labor for Google.

How to make the most of free Amazon business services – In this article, we’ll look at what the free tier offers you and on what terms, then take a closer peek at what’s possible or practical within those constraints. In the long run, any serious AWS user will want to take fuller advantage of what the Amazon cloud has to offer—but why not make the most of the free resources in the meantime? The free tier is a great way to find one’s legs with AWS, start some projects, and maybe even build a functional application or three.

Consumers Not Impressed With Facebook Home – According to Twitter data collected last week by analytics firm Salorix, the overall sentiment surrounding Facebook Home is mostly neutral or negative. Much of those feelings stemmed from apprehension about privacy issues raised by Facebook Home.

Create your VMware test lab using AutoLab – As of this writing, AutoLab version 1.1a is out. In general, AutoLab automates your lab setup. If you have access to VMware Workstation, VMware Player, or ESXi servers/clusters, then you can use AutoLab for free. I have mine running on VMware Workstation, which is running on a laptop with 16 GB of RAM. It is recommended you have at least 8 GB of RAM on whichever hardware you use. You can bring up different versions of vSphere (4.0 and up) as well. This is nice if you want to check out a new version, or if you need to test something on an older version.

Why Office 365 Makes Sense for Small Business – Office 365 offers productivity in the cloud, and it delivers compelling value for small businesses. We look at three reasons why it might be the right small business software for you.


The spammer who logged into my PC and installed Microsoft Office – It all began with an annoying text message sent to an Ars reader. Accompanied by a Microsoft Office logo, the message came from a Yahoo e-mail address and read, “Hi, Do u want Microsoft Office 2010. I Can Remotely Install in a Computer.” Spam text made a tempting offer—so I let the spammer take control of my PC. (suggested by Michael F.)

How to Disable In-App Purchases – Don’t let your kids accidentally rack up hundreds of dollars of in-app purchases while playing on your iPhone. Here’s how to disable it.

Microsoft Reportedly Adding Two-Factor Authentication to User Accounts – Microsoft reportedly will implement two-factor authentication on users’ accounts at some point down the line, according to reports this week.

Windows Defender Offline – Windows Defender Offline can help remove such hard to find malicious and potentially unwanted programs using definitions that recognize threats. Definitions are files that provide an encyclopedia of potential software threats. Because new threats appear daily, it’s important to always have the most up-to-date definitions installed in Windows Defender Offline. Armed with definition files, Windows Defender Offline can detect malicious and potentially unwanted software, and then notify you of the risks.

OK, so stick with Windows XP: But how big a risk do you run? – Some organisations intend to keep using Windows XP even in the post-apocalyptic world after Microsoft ends support in 12 months. It’s a calculated risk and one they should weigh up carefully.

Company News:

Bitcoin Bubble Bursting in Real Time on the Internet – It took decades for Tulipmania to peak and crash and years for the recent housing bubble to burst. But the meteoric, week-old bull market for Bitcoins appears poised to tank at a hyper-accelerated pace. Just a day after Bitcoin prices were reaching $266, per trading site Mt. Gox, the bubble showed signs of popping violently for the virtual currency.

Brian Foster Joins Damballa as CTO: Former Head of Products for McAfee to Lead Products and Research – Damballa, the experts in advanced threat protection, today announced that security industry veteran Brian Foster has joined the company as Chief Technology Officer. Foster brings over 25 years of security product management and development experience to his new role, where he will oversee product strategy, development and research.

Microsoft has no fast Windows fixes as PC sales crater – Microsoft can ride Windows 7 upgrades in the enterprise for a bit, but the dismal PC sales picture is worrisome for the company’s flagship OS—especially if it can’t get tablet and smartphone traction.

ManageEngine Project Management and ServiceDesk Combo Goes GA – With the project management module moving out of beta, IT administrators now have a production-level, integrated tool for managing large IT help desk projects and for collaborating with different teams and experts. A video tour of the ServiceDesk Plus project management module is available here.

Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs Stepping Down – Mozilla announced on Wednesday that CEO Gary Kovacs will step down later this year. Kovacs will remain on the company’s board of directors, and Mozilla is currently on the hunt for his successor.

Five months in: Windows 8’s market share finally surpasses desktop Linux – After gaining just 0.4% of the PC market in February, Windows 8 positively exploded in March, gaining another 0.5% of the market — an astronomical growth rate of almost 20%. This means that Windows 8 now commands no less than 3.1% of the PC market — a comfortable distance ahead of desktop Linux. Perhaps in an effort to escape the negative Windows 8 press, Microsoft is reportedly planning on merging Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 with Windows Blue.

Webopedia Daily:

SharePoint Online external sharing – File sharing in Office 365 (Microsoft Office) for small business and enterprise users is available using the SharePoint Online environment. The SharePoint Online external sharing capabilities enables an organization to share documents with vendors, business partners or customers. Your company can view, share, and collaborate on your SharePoint Online sites as external viewers. In SharePoint Online for enterprise the administrator allows sharing control for the whole company. Individual users within the company can then choose to activate the “external user invitation” feature. By default, sharing is turned off in SharePoint Online for small business. It can be turned on so the site owner can invite others to share documents via email.

Games and Entertainment:

Is It Worth It to Run Two Graphics Cards in My Gaming PC? – Using two (or more) video cards in tandem—known as “SLI” for NVIDIA cards and “Crossfire” for AMD cards—can get you better performance, sometimes even for less money than you’d spend on a comparable single card solution. However, whether it’s worth it is another story. Here’s what you need to know.

Cheetah Speed Returns to SimCity Ahead of June 11 Mac Release – Electronic Arts has re-enabled “cheetah speed” mode on SimCity, and provided details on when the troubled game will come to the Mac. In updates on SimCity’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts, EA said players will get a boost from “cheetah speed,” the fastest gameplay mode available in the Maxis/EA title.

Steam (for Android) – Valve’s mobile Steam app puts the service’s incredible game deals in the palm of your hand, but a few omissions keep it from snatching the high score.

Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour Hits Windows Phone 8 – Get ready for battle, Windows Phone 8 gamers. The mega popular first person shooter Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour is finally available for Microsoft’s new mobile OS.

CBS Also Threatens to Yank Broadcast Stations Over Aereo – CBS this week said it too would pull broadcast stations from the airwaves in New York should streaming startup Aereo be allowed to continue operations. Aereo, which is backed by IAC Chairman Barry Diller, manufactures tiny HDTV antennas and then stores the content they capture on remote servers. Aereo serves a single market – New York City – and provides access to NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, the CW, and other local channels. Users can record shows, and don’t need to purchase or install any equipment.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Essential gadgets for summer travels – It’s time to plan where you’re going for your summer vacation – and what devices to bring along.

Street View on steroids: Hyperlapse site creates ‘flipbook’ video of ANY journey from Google’s images – Google’s Street View has been given a video makeover by a Canadian firm who have used it to build videos of any journey. Known as Hyperlapses, the videos are crated using a series of still images, rather like a traditional paper flipbook. Users can enter any journey into the Hyperlapse site, and then see the results unfold as a video journey.

Researchers Look to Replace Passwords With ‘Passthoughts’ – With more and more companies succumbing to sophisticated hacks, the need for secure passwords has been a big topic of discussion lately. But how do you know if you’re safe? And how do you remember the different codes you’ve selected for sites across the Web? That might not be a problem in the future.

Survey: Nearly 50 Percent of Teens Own an iPhone – Though some claim that Apple’s mobile devices are losing their cool, the iPhone is actually gaining popularity among teenagers, according to a new study released by Piper Jaffray.

Today’s Quote:

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.”

–       Cullen Hightower

Today’s Free Downloads:

Wise Care 365 – Wise Care 365 is a bundle of important registry, disk, and other system utilities for your PC. Easy to use and effective, Wise Care 365 is the good solution to improve your PC’s performance.

Orbit Downloader – Orbit is a download accelerator and manager based on P2P techonology. Orbit Downloader supports HTTP / FTP / HTTPS / RTSP / MMS / RTMP protocols and provides a total solution to download rich media.

ServersCheck 10.1.3 – ServersCheck Monitoring was designed to be a tool running on Windows based systems for monitoring, reporting and alerting on network, servers and other IT systems availability.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 11, 2013

  1. Hello Bill,
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  2. delenn13

    Me..taking a break…

    Remember this one?


    Or this…

    Microsoft Windows 95 Launch Video – Start me Up – YouTube

    Or even better….

    Microsoft Windows 95 Sucks! – YouTube

    And now Windows has NO “Start Button”. It has come full circle…