Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 13, 2013

Microsoft pulls Patch Tuesday security fix – Microsoft recommends that users uninstall the patch, and warns that another issue with the security update may cause anti-virus programs cease to work correctly. The Redmond giant says that Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Windows Workstations and Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Windows Servers versions 6.0.4.1424 and 6.0.4.1611 may display an error message stating that licenses for the products are not valid, and so the software will cease to function.

Tech Your Children Will Love – It’s never too early to encourage your kids to enjoy and master technology. Here’s a list of 12 affordable, useful, and fun gadgets to get them started.

The five best tax-day freebies – Who says April 15 is all bad? Here’s your chance to score a free Android phone, a free massage, 25 free copies, and more.

Study: Anxiety and alcohol use linked to Facebook – College freshmen who report higher levels of anxiety and alcohol use are more likely to feel emotionally connected with the social networking site than those who don’t.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Mega Video Converter – The field of Internet video converters is not short on contenders, some good at what they do and others, not so much. Mega Video Converter (MVC) from Clip Extractor is a new challenger in a very competitive market. Thankfully, it is one of the good guys. We like Mega Video Converter for being fast, simple, and intuitive. Installation is quick and compact, only taking up about 20MB on your hard disk.

Quick tip: Launch a pop-up compose window in Gmail – Gmail’s new compose window opens up inside the browser window. If you prefer a separate, resizable window to compose your e-mail in, we’ll show you how you can launch one.

What Have You Used Reverse Image Search For? – Whether it’s with a tool like TinEye or plain old Google Image, reverse image searching can reveal all types of information about a photo or drawing. It’s even handy for hunting down scams online. All types of creative ways to utilize the service are out there, and we want to hear yours.

Microsoft brings 3D maps to Excel users – Microsoft has rolled out a new visualization feature for Excel called GeoFlow. It’s definitely pretty, and if you’re using Windows and trying to track activity over space and time, it might be useful, too. (suggested by Aseem S.)

LibreOffice update fixes more than 50 bugs – The Document Foundation yesterday released LibreOffice 3.6.6 for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. The 3.6 version is targeted at enterprises and individuals who prize stability over more advanced features.

Twitter launching music discovery app – Twitter dives into the streaming music scene with its own app, and Android users can try Chat Heads without Facebook Home. Also, Bridget Carey previews new gadgets, including a smart thermostat and a wireless charging case for the iPhone 5.

NYPD Equips Officers With Crime-Fighting Android App – The NYPD takes another, tech-powered leap forward with a new crime-fighting Android app.

GapSense To Help Competing Wireless Protocols Play Nicely Together – The wireless space is getting crowded. Wi-Fi signals, Bluetooth devices, ZigBee sensor nodes and other electronics and protocols claiming space in the air are causing dropped calls, wasted bandwidth and bad connections. Software developers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor are trying to alleviate that problem. (suggested by Aseem S.)

Apple’s iMessage, FaceTime hit with second outage this week – The company’s two major communication networks go down for the second time in the same week.

Security:

Bing delivers five times more malware than Google, but should you care? – Bing search supposedly serves up more malware sites than Google, but isn’t browser security performance a more important measure of security?

Data-Stealing Spyware Redpill Back, Targeting India – A form of spyware first seen in 2008 and known for siphoning away users’ bank account credentials, emails, screenshots and various other bits of information has surfaced again – this time targeting computer users in India.

Winnti Cyberespionage Campaign Targets Gaming Companies – A cybercrime gang has been running roughshod over the gaming industry for years using malware signed with valid digital certificates to steal source code and valuable in-game currency for a number of popular online games.

Company News:

BlackBerry: No, our Z10s aren’t coming back in ‘unusually high numbers’ – BlackBerry has rejected a claim that returns of its recently launched BlackBerry Z10 handset are running higher than usual.

BlackBerry Wants Investigation Into ‘False’ Analyst Report on Z10 – BlackBerry has asked U.S. and Canadian regulators to investigate what it considers to be a “false and misleading” analyst report about returns of its new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone.

Dish reportedly seeks merger with T-Mobile – T-Mobile’s parent, Deutsche Telekom, is also considering a separate deal with Sprint Nextel, according to Bloomberg.

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat matches home décor (video 1:00) – Honeywell takes on Nest with its own Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat that can be programmed with a smartphone app. Bridget Carey takes a look at the system and its screen, which can be set to match any room color.

$129 Asus Qube launches on April 23 – The Qube can best be described as a $129 set-top box powered by Google’s rapidly evolving television platform that runs a specially designed UI designed by the industry heavyweight itself.

Lawsuit could put kink in Microsoft’s push for cloud security – Two-factor authentication—which supplements a user’s password with a PIN or code generated by a local application or sent by a cloud provider to a user’s device, typically a cell phone—has been adopted by large cloud-service providers as a means of better securing online accounts. Now, a patent lawsuit filed by New Jersey-based StrikeForce challenges two-factor authentication technology used by PhoneFactor, a company acquired by Microsoft last October.

iGate CEO: Outsourcing does more good than harm – Indian outsourcing firm iGate defends itself and promises to create over 400 Canadian jobs as it gets involved in controversial foreign worker hiring practice involving the country’s biggest bank.

Intel factories signal Windows 8, PC doldrums – Intel isn’t churning out chips at the usual rate, reflecting the PC market’s downturn and the slow uptake of Windows 8, according to an analyst. Intel’s factory utilization is down around 60 percent, well below normal, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst for Phoenix based Tirias Research, in a phone interview.

Webopedia Daily:

Allocated memory – Is the amount of RAM allotted to different programs and applications. The amount of allocated memory is preset when you install your program and varies depending on how large the application is. Making sure that your computer has enough RAM will 1.) increase the ease at which the program processes the file 2.) cause less strain on your system and 3.) prevent your system from crashing.

Games and Entertainment:

Cable Companies Can Now Force You to Rent Set-Top Boxes For many customers, cable may be getting even more expensive. A new FCC ruling lets cable providers require customers to rent set-top boxes for their basic tiers (including local stations). With HD boxes running around $10 a month for each TV and using more power than the fridge, this might be the straw the breaks the cable subscriber’s back. Here are your other options.

Atop TV Sets, a Power Drain That Runs Nonstop – There are 160 million so-called set-top boxes in the United States, one for every two people, and that number is rising. Many homes now have one or more basic cable boxes as well as add-on DVRs, or digital video recorders, which use 40 percent more power than the set-top box. One high-definition DVR and one high-definition cable box use an average of 446 kilowatt hours a year, about 10 percent more than a 21-cubic-foot energy-efficient refrigerator, a recent study found.

Towns lets you build a fantasy city, one human corpse at a time – Who wants to be an adventurer, when you can be the NPC who owns the town the adventurers shop at? That’s the premise of “Towns,” and it’s a damn good one.

Get a Dr. Seuss e-book collection for $7.99 – Available for Kindle and iOS, this bundle from Oceanhouse Media features eight narrated, interactive Seuss stories.

Rockstar Games releases official Grand Theft Audio playlists on Spotify and iTunes – Rockstar Games has compiled playlists featuring music from the entire Grand Theft Auto series. Grand Theft Auto’s radio stations have always been an iconic part of the series, lending a concrete sense of place and time to a series that excels at creating exaggerated facsimiles of Americana. The playlists are “free” if you’ve got a Spotify account, though you’ll of course have to deal with the occasional advertisement.

The Most Amazing Video Game Continue Screens – The continue countdown screen was introduced to arcades in the 80s. It was a simple and effective way of getting players to fork over more money. When you fail, the screen comes up for a limited time with a countdown to insert additional coins or press a button. Most of these games’ continue screens were pretty basic—they used simple text or huge flashing numbers on a black background—but there were some really cool exceptions.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The visible brain has arrived — the consistency of Jell-O, as transparent and colorful as a child’s model, but vastly more useful – Scientists at Stanford University reported on Wednesday that they have made a whole mouse brain, and part of a human brain, transparent so that networks of neurons that receive and send information can be highlighted in stunning color and viewed in all their three-dimensional complexity without slicing up the organ.

Study: Listening to Certain Sounds Seems to Improve Sleep – Participants played “pink noise” that was synchronized to their brain rhythms slept more deeply and had increased memory retention.

Half-Human, Half Ape Ancestor Walked Pigeon-Toed – Two million years ago in South Africa, part-human and part-ape-like individuals existed — and now we know what they looked like and how they behaved: They had a primitive, pigeon-toed gait, human-like front teeth, ate mostly veggies and spent a lot of time swinging in the trees.

Jonathan Winters “The Stick” Apr 1964 Jack Paar – Just a stick – and woooooo there he goes. (Totally brilliant improv).

Carbon dating pinpoints Mayan calendar – Carbon-dating may help explain the workings of the Mayan calendar. CARBON-DATING of an ancient beam from a Guatemalan temple may help end a century-long debate about the Mayan calendar, anthropologists say.

Flight of the Butterflies – Official Theatrical Trailer – The monarch butterfly is a true marvel of nature. Weighing less than a penny, it makes one of the longest migrations on Earth across a continent to a place it has never known. Follow the monarchs’ perilous journey and join hundreds of millions of real butterflies in the remote mountain peaks of Mexico, with breathtaking cinematography from an award winning team including Oscar winner Peter Parks.

Researchers In Trouble For Not Disclosing Results Of Premature Infant Study To Parents – The researchers behind a large study on the effects of oxygen levels on premature infants have been reprimanded by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for failing to inform the parents of those children of the risks involved with the study. (suggested by Aseem S.)

Today’s Quote:

I believe that people would be alive today if there were a death penalty.”

–      Nancy Reagan

Today’s Free Downloads:

Avast! Free Edition – Avast! Free Antivirus is perfect for people who send e-mails and surf popular websites. avast! is a package of applications that aim to protect your computer from a possible virus infection or other malware threat.

PaperScan Free – PaperScan is a powerful scanning software with an OCR engine centered on one idea : making document acquisition an unparalleled easy task for anyone.

The Uniform Server – The Uniform Server is a WAMP package that allows you to run a server on any MS Windows OS based computer. It is small and mobile to download or move around and can also be used or setup as a production/live server.

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6 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 13, 2013

  1. For anyone who wants to install the free version of avast! from todays Free Download section, might benefit from the following video in order to prevent any problems with conflicts from other previous antivirus installs:

  2. re: Windows security update KB 2823324

    I wound up removing it since I had issues with my wifi connection and some windows services not starting up properly. I don’t run Kapsersky so it’s obviously affecting other things as well.

    • Hey RedNightHawk,

      That really SUCKS! I Had no idea this was so widespread. My previous understanding was that this issue was restricted to Brazil. So much for that idea. 🙂

      BTW, I’ll get back to you on that earlier.

      Best,

      Bill