Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 14, 2013

What is CISPA, and what does it mean for you? FAQ – Dubbed as one of the most privacy infringing pieces of legislation ever to have hit the Capitol, what exactly is CISPA, and how does it affect you?

7 mobile apps that jump-start team collaboration – From conducting video meetings to coordinating to-do lists, these collaboration apps for iOS, Android and more will have your far-flung team working in sync in no time.

Sorry, PC Industry: You’ve Apparently Managed to Perfect the PC – It’s not just that people are stubbornly refusing to see newer versions of Windows as superior to older versions of Windows. Back in the 1990s and early years of this century, PC hardware was getting better at such a rapid clip that new PCs were often far better than the machine you’d bought two or three years earlier. Today, even a four- or five-year-old PC may still have more processing power, RAM and disk space than you need. And the industry is having trouble coming up with new features that large numbers of people find irresistible. (A balanced look at the realities behind the soft PC market. Not the usual BS on the fantastically stupid – “Death of the PC”).

CloudOn brings Microsoft Office to your Tablet Computer and Phone for FREE – Appears in today’s world of computing we are definitely moving away from the desktop form of computing to the more mobile form of computing, such as tablets and smartphones. In the end, no matter which direction we go, we still need to use the computer, whether it be in the form of desktop or tablet, to get our work done.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Boot discs explained: An overview of booting your PC from something other than your hard drive – When you boot your PC, it generally loads an operating system (such as Windows) from a hard drive or SSD. But you can bypass this process by booting from a specially-prepared CD, DVD, or flash drive. Why would you do this? Perhaps Windows is so messed up that it fails to boot on its own. Or you want to scan for malware in a clean environment. Or perhaps you just want to play with another operating system without bothering to install it.

3 minute video offers crash course on how Bitcoin works – The subject of Bitcoin pops up on occasion when you’re dealing with technology. The virtual currency is gaining traction with the computer-savvy crowd, but is still mostly unknown to the general public. You’ve probably heard that Bitcoins are worth a ton when converted to “real” currencies, but how much do you really know about how Bitcoin works? If only there was a handy 3 minute video to explain it…

Facebook Home panned by some early users – Facebook’s new Home launcher for Android phones isn’t getting a lot of love in some circles, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a whirl. The social networking behemoth released the offering Friday, but early users so far are giving it significantly more one-star ratings on Google Play than five-star ratings.

Suryl Guardian – Suryl Guardian can restore your suddenly wonky or malfunctioning Windows PC to a previously created stable “environment” with the click of a button. If that sounds a lot like the System Restore tool already built into your copy of Windows, you’re right. Suryl Guardian basically does what System Restore does; namely, rolls your system back when something’s messed up. So what do you get with Suryl Guardian? Two things: 1) It offers lots more than System Restore, like easy scheduling, kiosk mode, password protection, and other options; and 2) it’s way easier to use. Suryl Guardian is free to try for 30 days.

WeVideo for Android lets you edit videos while on the go – This mobile video editor is good for quick and dirty video edits while on the go, plus it can sync your content to the cloud.

Zuckerberg bores staff in new Home ad – In a quite stunning acting debut, Facebook’s CEO shows the virtues of Home and the difficulties of being a CEO. His employees aren’t impressed.

Wi-Fi, not storage, is the power hog, researchers say – Cloud service providers have previously drawn ire from environmentalists for not being transparent when it comes to the energy efficiency of their data centres. However, a new report from the University of Melbourne in Australia says that the real sustainability threat comes not from the growing demand for data centers to house cloud-ready infrastructure, but from the rising use of cellular and Wi-Fi networks to access cloud services.

Security:

Protecting Your Kids Online – “We all want the best for our children, including the ability to leverage technology. However, with technology come risks, risks that our children are often not aware of or prepared to deal with. As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure our children understand these risks and how to protect themselves.

Federal Aviation Administration says Android plane hijacking isn’t possible – “The FAA is aware that a German information technology consultant has alleged he has detected a security issue with the Honeywell NZ-2000 Flight Management System (FMS) using only a desktop computer … The described technique cannot engage or control the aircraft’s autopilot system using the FMS or prevent a pilot from overriding the autopilot. Therefore, a hacker cannot obtain ‘full control of an aircraft’ as the technology consultant has claimed.”

Huge attack on WordPress sites could spawn never-before-seen super botnet – Security analysts have detected an ongoing attack that uses a huge number of computers from across the Internet to commandeer servers that run the WordPress blogging application. The unknown people behind the highly distributed attack are using more than 90,000 IP addresses to brute-force crack administrative credentials of vulnerable WordPress systems, researchers from at least three Web hosting services reported. At least one company warned that the attackers may be in the process of building a “botnet” of infected computers that’s vastly stronger and more destructive than those available today.

China, U.S. to huddle on cyberspying issue – After meeting with China Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Secretary of State John Kerry says the countries have agreed to work toward cybersecurity for both nations.

Company News:

Intel releases Web-based app programming kit – The chipmaker is jumping on the HTML5 bandwagon — sort of. Its newly acquired AppMobi software lets programmers create Web apps that can be converted into native Android and iOS apps.

T-Mobile’s first day iPhone sales exceeds all expectations – T-Mobile was more than pleasantly surprised when it discovered that in almost all of its 3,000 stores across the nation, people were lining up in order to purchase an iPhone. It was the only major carrier to not sell the iPhone.

Ebooks represent nearly a quarter of 2012 publisher sales – The Association of American Publishers has published its 2012 revenue data, which shows that ebooks have grown steadily over the last decade and now represent nearly a quarter of US publishers’ sales at 22.55-percent. The industry saw a fairly large rise in revenue of 6-percent last year over 2011, and while the substantial number of ebook revenue has shown a steady increase in electronic books, there’s an indication that 2013 could see a slowing.

Uber Goes After Rivals, Embraces Ridesharing – App-based taxi service Uber has officially, if not reluctantly, entered the ridesharing business. After avoiding the informal ridesharing business for fear of regulatory scrutiny, Uber said today that it will start offering the service in regions where regulators have indicated that they approve of the practice.

Webopedia Daily:

Memory card – An electronic flash memory storage disk commonly used in consumer electronic devices such as digital cameras, MP3 players, mobile phones, and other small portable devices. Types of memory cards include PCMCIA, CompactFlash, SD Card, MiniSD, xD-Picture Card and others. Memory cards are usually read by connecting the device containing the card to your computer, or by using a USB card reader.

Games and Entertainment:

Things to think about when buying speakers – For starters, there’s speaker size and price, but room size is also a major factor. Also, do you listen to more music than movies?

Dark Souls sells over 2.3 million copies worldwide – Action-RPG Dark Souls has sold an estimated 2,367,000 copies worldwide, according to the executive director of “From Software” (Dark Soul’s publisher in Japan), Eiichi Nakajima. The sales have amazed From Software so much that it decided to launch an Xbox 360 version of the game in Japan. While the game was released for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 overseas, it was only limited to the PS3 in Japan.

A Dark Souls Fanatic’s Gut Reaction to Dark Souls II Footage – As someone who has poured at least 200 combined hours into Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, the preview footage has left me excited, relieved and also a little bit uneasy. Here are my gut reactions.

Will there be a prequel, along with a sequel, to the Shining? – Doctor Sleep is the next novel by Stephen King, which is set for release this September, and it’s the long awaited sequel to The Shining.

Off Topic (Sort of) – An all Cracked Sunday:

5 Common Misconceptions That Destroy Computers – Look, not everyone is a computer genius. I know that. The computer guy who hates you knows that. If you have a parent, grandparent, or child just getting into computers for the first time, do the world a favor and teach them these basic misconceptions before you end up getting the call to come over and ……

The 5 Creepiest Ways Major Companies Are Watching You – The information age has been steadily providing technology that is allowing corporations to get to know their customers better than their own families. How creepy you find this tends to depend on how old you are, and in fact we’re betting that the next generation won’t find anything weird about it.

The 26 Stupidest Invention Ideas (You’d Use Every Day) – A lot of idiotic patents make it all the way to production, and society ends up worse for it. We asked our readers to show us the idiotic patents that would actually help improve things.

22 Lies You’ve Probably Read Online (Revised for Accuracy) – The Internet is bullshit’s natural habitat. We asked you to take some of the more popular lies the Internet loves to tell, and vandalize them with the truth.

5 Major News Stories That Forgot to Tell You the Best Part – If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the Internet age, it’s that we lose interest in news stories long before they’ve run their course. And as we’ve written before, sometimes that means we miss the biggest details that never made the front page. More often than not, those missing details change everything we learned about the story in the first place.

5 Ways Video Games Are Saving Mankind – Far from being the harbingers of obesity, virginity, death, and destruction that many people (still) insist they are, video games have been shown to be beneficial in many surprising ways. We’ve documented this before, and we’re about to do it again, since science continues to find ways that video games are helping the species become better, stronger, and faster (figuratively, anyway).

Today’s Quote:

We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants. And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world.”

–      Mark Zuckerberg

Tonsils vs. Circumcision

Two little kids are in a hospital, lying on stretchers next to each other outside the operating room, the first surgeries of the day.

The first kid leans over and asks, “What are you in here for?”

The second kid says, “I’m getting my tonsils out, and I’m afraid.”

The first kid says, “You’ve got nothing to worry about. I had that done when I was four. They put you to sleep, and when you wake up they give you lots of Jell-O and ice cream. It’s a breeze.”

The second kid then asks, “What are you here for?”

The first kid says, “Circumcision.”

“Whoa!” the second kid replies, “Good luck, buddy. I had that done when I was born. Couldn’t walk for a year.”

Today’s Free Downloads:

The Godfather 0.85 – No more strange file names and endless search for “that song”. Rename,update Tags,restructure files on hard disk, create/merge play lists,encode-decode with LAME/Ogg Vorbis/MpcEnc, export/import to/from file, play, use freedb.org & allmusic.com, catalog them in a library.

Advanced Mobile Care for Android – Advanced Mobile Care is a veritable Swiss Army knife for Android tuning up. It gives Android users an excellent way to protect their smartphones from Android security and performance problems.

VirtualBox 4.2.12 – VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.

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8 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 14, 2013

  1. Thanks for another interesting issue.
    I was surprised to find out that Suryl Guardian doesn’t work on windows 8.
    I simply received a message that my OS is not supported.

    • Hi Bob,

      Hard to understand the lack of Win 8 support – raises questions as to competency (at least for me.)

      BTW, been running with avast! for a bit. So, with my usual unbiased perspective let me say this. 🙂

      I’m totally BLOWN AWAY! An impressive assortment of tools, coupled with the ability to tweak those tools to suit the users specific needs, brings avast! to the top of my AV recos.

      Now, if I can only find the time to write this up, all would be in balance in the Cosmos. 🙂

      Best,

      Bill

      • Hello Bill,
        Thanks for agreeing with my assessment of avast!. It’s kept me safe for the past 10 years.
        I just received the following from Henry Aguila from Surly (Surly Guardian) support and thought you might also like the information:

        “Hi Norbert,
        I would like to inform you that we do have Windows 8 on our road map. We should be releasing a compatible version as soon as service pack 1 is available. Thank you for taking the time to download our product. Our support team will contact you when Windows 8 is supported.

        Thank you and have a great day,

        Henry Aguila
        Support Manager

        I’ll let you know when the new version which supports Windows 8 is available and how well it works.
        Bob

        • Hi Bob,

          Couldn’t be happier being convinced – an outstanding app! 🙂

          Thanks for keeping me in the loop on Surly. Looking forward to your views on the app.

          Best,

          Bill

  2. HIPOCKETS

    As the monkey wrench said to the pipe, “Haven’t seen you around the old joint for a while!”

    Here’s a link in which you might be interested: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/standalone-on-demand-antivirus-scanners

    • Hey Hipockets 🙂

      I hear ya. Need to get back to the old routine – soon.

      I really like the guys over at the Windows Club – they put out some super stuff.

      Great link – thanks. BTW, I’ll post this into tomorrow’s TNN.

      Best,

      Bill

  3. Laurence

    Hi Bill, hope that you had a great weekend.
    CISPA, I jealously protective of my identity and privacy and online privacy is no different. The US governments already have more power than ever the current version of CISPA is more than adequate. I don’t need a big brother looking over my shoulder.

    Best regards,

    Laurence

    • Hi Laurence,

      Yeah, great weekend – thanks. Now, back to the salt mine. 🙂

      Couldn’t agree more – not a Big Brother, not a Big Mother,…………….

      Best,

      Bill