Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 19, 2013

Secret way to zoom in closer on Google Maps – A simple edit to the URL for a Google Map can get you a closer look than what Google allows via its zoom-in button.

Antivirus Fails 1 in 500 PCs – The latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report reveals that PC users who lack up-to-date antivirus protection are 5.5 times more likely to get hit with a malware infection than those who correctly install and update such protection. Looked at from a different angle, though, the figures reveal a surprising conclusion: one in 500 PCs that do have up-to-date protection will get hit by malware regardless. It’s a sobering thought.

CISPA passes U.S. House: Death of the Fourth Amendment? – The controversial cybersecurity Bill has passed the U.S. House and is now on its way to the Senate chamber. Privacy groups believe this tramples on the Fourth Amendment.

Facebook gives U.S. users free calls in Messenger for Android – The social network now allows people in 24 countries to use its messaging app for Android to make phone calls without using minutes from their smartphone’s voice plan.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Free Clipboard Help+Spell adds a lot of power to your clipboard – You may recall developer Mouser from other hits such as Find and Run Robot, Snapshot Captor, and Web Link Captor. And indeed, Clipboard Help+Spell carries his distinctive style: comprehensive Options dialog, multiple interface layouts, and other niceties that add up to the feeling that if you just dig deep enough, you can get Clipboard Help+Spell to do just about anything.

Cool, Geeky USB Gadgets – Looking for the most useful gadgets to plug into your PC? Here are some of the coolest accessories any geek would be happy to stick in a USB port. From the Leap Motion Controller to the best microphone you can buy for podcasting, these are some of our favorites.

New Perk browser lets you rack up reward points for surfing – If you like to shop online, you may like Perk, which is a new browser that lets you rack up reward points for surfing, searching, and shopping online. Perk is based on the same technology underlying Google’s popular Chrome browser.

BlackBerry 10.1 update provides dozens of useful tweaks – It’s still not clear when the BlackBerry 10.1 update will be publicly released, but developers on the platform already received access to ‘Bundle 1485’ of the OS and began reporting several new features and improvements to look out for.

Leave a smaller PC footprint – In celebration of Earth Week, try four small, full-featured (and free!) software programs that don’t use much disk space or memory.

Google+ and Blogger cozy up with new comment system – Google isn’t backing down on its social network, Google+. Instead the search giant is ramping up integration with other services. Now, if you write a blog or regularly comment on one using Blogger, you can comment using Google+.


‘Magic’ Espionage Malware hits Thousands of UK Computers – Thousands of U.K. business computers have been infected by espionage malware using a custom protocol to communicate with its command and control servers. Researchers at Israeli security company Seculert added that the malware is still percolating with a number of capabilities yet to be deployed.

Snapchat sexting spam – how to stop messages from Honey Crush 9 and her friends – Many Snapchat users complain that they were sent photos from scantily-clad women with names such as “Honey.Crush9” inviting them to join them in a Skype conversation. Here’s what happened, and how to stop it from happening again.

WordPress attack highlights 30 million targets – The recent botnet attack on websites running WordPress hasn’t had much impact — yet. But with millions of vulnerable sites and a knowledge gap at the low end of the market, things could get much, much worse.

Warning! Hackers are exploiting Waco explosion news to spread malware – Once again, cybercriminals are leaping at the opportunity to take advantage of breaking news stories to spread malware.

Mozilla takes hard stance on protecting Web site certificates – After telecom giant TeliaSonera allegedly allowed authoritarian governments to snoop on their citizens, Mozilla contemplates whether or not to issue it a new root certificate.

Failed authentication frequently thwarts online shoppers – About half of online shoppers are “very frequently” or “frequently” prevented from buying online good and services because they can’t get their credentials to work at business websites, a study released Wednesday finds. Most of those authentication failures are due to forgotten passwords, user names, or answers to confirmation questions, such as “What was your mother’s maiden name?”

Company News:

Google’s revenue rises 31 percent, nudged by advertising gains – Total sales at the company were $13.97 billion for the quarter, which ended March 31, representing “a very strong start to 2013,” Google CEO Larry Page noted in the company’s earnings announcement. The revenue excludes the commissions and fees that Google pays to other sites that run its ads. Taking those into account, revenue for the quarter was $11.01 billion.

Microsoft fined $731m by EU in browser choice screw-up – Summary: EU authorities have hit Microsoft with yet another fine, after falling foul of previous antitrust commitments, showing that if you’re operating in Europe, you must abide by its rules.

Twitter, BBC America announce video partnership – The pair will offer the first “in-tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series,” according to a BBC America tweet.

Plummeting CPU sales drive down AMD revenue – Overall revenue for the quarter, ended March 30, was $1.09 billion, AMD said. It reported a net loss for the quarter of $146 million, or 19 cents per share, an improvement on its loss of $590 million, or 80 cents per share, a year earlier.

IBM reportedly in talks to sell server biz to Lenovo – Big Blue is seeking up to $6 billion for its x86 server business, and Lenovo is a top candidate as it does not pose a threat to other parts of IBM’s business.

Webopedia Daily:

Apache Pig – Apache Pig is a high-level procedural language platform developed to simplify querying large data sets in Apache Hadoop and MapReduce. Apache Pig features a “Pig Latin” language layer that enables SQL-like queries to be performed on distributed datasets within Hadoop applications. Pig originated as a Yahoo Research initiative for creating and executing map-reduce jobs on very large data sets. In 2007 Pig became an open source project of the Apache Software Foundation.

Games and Entertainment:

‘Cut the Rope: Time Travel’ Now Available – If you loved the addictive mobile game Cut the Rope, then it’s time for a new challenge with the OmNom monster. Developer ZeptoLap on Thursday released the latest installment of the franchise, Cut the Rope: Time Travel, which takes the game’s little green star OmNom back in time to feed his ancestors with candy.

‘Star Wars’ hits lightspeed: A new film every summer from 2015 – Hang onto your fur. There’s going to be a new “Star Wars” film in theaters every summer, with spin-offs in the years between episodes. “Star Wars” overload? Or bull’s-eyeing womp rats for Disney?

Harrison Ford storms out of ‘Kimmel,’ confronted by ‘Star Wars’ characters – Harrison Ford appears with Jimmy Kimmel. He agrees to take questions from the audience, but demands that none be about “Star Wars.” Trouble ensues.

YouTube beats Big Content rap – Attempts by Big Content to accuse YouTube of piracy have crashed into the iceberg which is the US legal system.

Iron Man 3 to Debut as a 4DX Film in Japan – 3D movies made a comeback in recent years, driven primarily by the $3 billion success of James Cameron’s Avatar. Now, a new dimension in film presentation may be about to take audiences into brand-new territory by targeting our other senses via something called 4DX.

Off Topic (Sort of):

What’s your obsolete tech really worth on eBay? – Looking for gold in that Commodore 64? Here’s what some signature hardware specimens of the last 40 years command in eBay auctions.

Google Glass and the Glasshole culture – Lifelogging augmented-reality devices are going to become commonly used technologies. But what are the cultural and sociological implications?

LG’s curved OLED TV wants to make flat screens obsolete – Now that flat, rectangular screens have become the norm for televisions, it’s hard to believe we were ever satisfied with the huge cube TVs of yesteryear. You might think it doesn’t get any better, but you’d be wrong.

The Windows 8 Revolt – Microsoft still has the chance to ditch Windows 8 and return to its tried-and-true operating system. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that will happen.

Ask Alex: Your Tech Etiquette Questions Answered – A better way to end your emails; texting during meals; sharing passwords with your partner? Alex Colon proffers his advice on the essential questions of living with modern technology.

Adobe shows off Photoshop camera shake-reduction tool – Adobe has released a video showing a tool intended for the next version of Photoshop. In the video, Adobe’s senior Photoshop product manager Zorana Gee shows a a new tool aimed at photographers called Shake Reduction.

Today’s Quote:

He who laughs, lasts!”

–      Mary Pettibone Poole

Today’s Free Downloads:

AceMoney Lite 4.34 – With AceMoney you can manage multiple accounts of different types: checking, savings, credit cards, loans, debt accounts, etc. You can even create your own specialized account types, such as cash allowances for the kids! AceMoney makes it a breeze to create and manage your budgets. The program has more than 100 pre-defined spending categories, and you can define your own. You can set up budget limits for every category and track the difference between actual and budgeted values.

LibreOffice Productivity Suite 4.0.3 RC1 – LibreOffice was developed to be a productivity suite that is compatible with other major office suites, and available on a variety of platforms. Beta test the next version.

Maxthon 4 – Maxthon Browser is a powerful tabbed browser built for all users. Besides basic browsing functionality, Maxthon Browser provides a rich set of features to improve your surfing experience. It can open multiple Web pages in just one window.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 19, 2013

  1. On Antivirus failures,
    It’s a well known fact that no antivirus program will ever protect your or my system 100% of the time.
    Since the virus always comes first and the protection isn’t available till the folks in the virus lab of your AV company discover how to block this new malware, any one of us can become infected.
    The first line of defense, should be a good offence. Getting into the habit of creating regularly scheduled Image Backups will prevent an infection or a harddrive failure from ever becoming a total disaster. It will simply be an annoyance that within a short time can be rectified.
    Always keep your AV and all of your programs updated and be ready for the unexpected. That way, you control the security of your system.