Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 20, 2013

Tracking the Boston manhunt – The search for the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings illustrates how Web sites and apps have changed news coverage.

Get your privacy ducks in a row with DuckDuckGo – DuckDuckGo isn’t new, and it won’t topple Google or Bing anytime soon, but it is the best search engine in regard to respecting user privacy. It’s refreshing to see a common-sense privacy policy that has all the settings tuned in your favor by default, and that alone is reason enough to give DuckDuckGo a shot.

Finally, an App That Lets You Grope Your Special Someone over the Internet – This one’s for all you long-distance lovaaaahs out there. Durex, purveyor of prophylactics, has rolled out Fundawear: The getup consists of his-and-hers unmentionables that connect to the Internet and are lined with sensors that deliver little touch-like zaps to various body parts.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Boston Explosion Spammer shifts to Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion – Yesterday recipients of the Malcovery Today’s Top Threat report were among the first to get a detailed analysis of the new spam campaign offering videos of the Boston Explosion. By mid-afternoon, we had already seen 80,000 copies of this spam! Today, our analysts have uncovered the newest update to the threat … more than 18,000 emails already received this morning with subjects related to the Texas Fertilizer Plant explosion. (suggested by Michael F.)

People Are Buying Boston Marathon Bombing Domain Names and Putting Them Up for Auction – Just as after 9/11 and the death of Osama bin Laden, you can now find web addresses related to this week’s unforgettable event on registrar auction sites. Go Daddy, the largest domain name registrar, tells TIME that on Monday it saw a 430% increase in registrations that included words such as Boston, marathon and bomb. The next day, that spiked to 555%.

WhatsApp Messenger lets you text for free with extra features (pictures) – WhatsApp Messenger has only a few more useful features than regular text-messaging apps, but makes it easy to add locations, voice memos, and other information with a simple in-app menu.

10 nifty Windows 8 apps — all free – Need help negotiating the corporate landscape? Want to track your network usage? Just looking for a fun little time-waster? These free apps for Windows 8 can help.

Track down a lost BlackBerry 10 device with BlackBerry Protect – One of the first things you should do on your brand-new BlackBerry 10 device after going through the initial setup process is to enable BlackBerry Protect. The free service offered by BlackBerry will allow you to locate a lost or stolen BlackBerry 10 device.

Apps That Make You More Productive (Updated) – Get the most work done in the least time with these seriously efficient apps.

The 13 Best Android Widgets for 2013 – Work faster and stay better-informed by adding these essential Android widgets to your homescreen.

Tech Minute: Wedding photographer for a day – Nothing will ever replace the formal photos from a wedding photographer. But for those silly dance floor pics or perhaps candid shots of cocktail hour, there are several new apps that make it easy for guests to act as amateur photographers. These apps let guests snap shots throughout the day and then share the special photos with the married couple.

FingerLink turns paper into touch screens – With just the swipe of a finger, Fujitsu’s FingerLink interface lets you scan paper documents and project graphics onto them.


Apple keeps Siri data for two years – Apple has confirmed that it keeps Siri-related data for up to two years after the information is anonymized.

New Android Trojan downloaded from Google Play by millions – Millions of Android users have been tricked into downloading a new Trojan masquerading a slew or legitimate apps directly from Google Play, warns Lookout researcher Marc Rogers. The newly discovered malware family has been dubbed BadNews, and it’s capable of harvesting and sending information about the device to its C&C server, send out fake news messages, and prompt users to install additional malicious applications such as the AlphaSMS premium rate SMS Trojan.

New version of Gozi financial malware bundles MBR rootkit – Researchers from security firm Trusteer have found a new variant of the Gozi banking Trojan program that infects a computer’s Master Boot Record (MBR) in order to achieve persistence.

Security certificate problem trips up Bing Web site – Using Microsoft’s search service over a secure network connection yielded serious warnings because of a security certificate problem Friday.

Beware of fake SourceForge site offering malicious downloads – Cyber crooks have been misusing the reputation of the popular online source code repository SourceForge ( and gave been pushing out malware from the domain registered in the US earlier this month.

Russian malware mines bitcoins via botnet, security firm warns – The malware, named “Fareit,” has been circulating on the Internet for at least six months and infects Windows computers. It has been modified to “mine” the virtual currency, said Dodi Glenn, director of AV Labs at ThreatTrack Security, which was spun off from GFI Software last month.

Company News:

Microsoft says small Windows touch devices are in the works – Microsoft may be busy making changes to the Windows technical requirements and licensing terms to pave the way for smaller Windows tablets. For the most part, however, the company has only hinted that sub 10-inch tablets could be in the works. That changed recently after the company came awfully close to confirming a 7-inch Windows tablet was on the way.

Microsoft’s Strong Quarter Leaves Critics in the Dust – Microsoft may be having the last laugh with Thursday’s report that the company enjoyed a strong uptick in sales and profits for the first three months of 2013.

Yahoo tries to freshen up, kills a bunch of products – Yahoo is doing some spring cleaning. The company announced it will shut down Yahoo Deals, SMS Alerts, and Mail and Messenger apps for feature phones at the end of April.

Dell confirms Blackstone drops takeover bid amid PC slump – The private equity firm also cites Dell’s “rapidly eroding financial profile” as part of its reason to withdraw from the takeover process.

Ouya says it has 10,000 developers – Ouya – which recently began shipping its Android-powered console to early Kickstarter backers – says it has signed on up to 10,000 game developers.

Report: Google Buying Provo Fiber Service for $1 – Residents of Provo, Utah got some good news this week when Google announced plans to buy a city-owned fiber-optic system and upgrade it to ultra-fast gigabit technology. But just how much does one pay for a city-wide fiber network? If you’re Google, the answer is $1, according to a new report from The Associated Press.

Webopedia Daily:

Thunderbolt – Intel’s Thunderbolt input/output (I/O) technology is designed to connect high-performance peripherals and HD video displays via a single port using two communications methods, or protocols, PCI Express for data transfer and DisplayPort for displays. Thunderbolt provides data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps, which is 20 times faster than the USB 2.0 standard and 12 times faster than FireWire 800. With Thunderbolt, you can also daisy-chain up to six devices, including a display, without the need for a hub, and also provides 10 watts of power to peripherals. Thunderbolt made its initial debut in the 2011 release of the MacBook Pro laptop series.

Games and Entertainment:

Hooked Up: It’s the best of celebrity tech. Exposed – I’m pretty juiced to announce an all-new show that you’ll be able to find right here on CNET called “Hooked Up.” It’s a partnership between CNET and CBS Television Distribution, and it will be a new weekly Web series that brings you today’s hottest stars and the technology that surrounds them. There’s never been a show that’s combined the two worlds of celebrity and technology, and we’re excited to bring it to you.

There’s a Legendary version of Skyrim coming to PC and consoles – At the beginning of this week Bethesda announced that they were done with Skyrim. The development team is leaving the game behind and moving on to their “biggest and best work yet.” In other words, the original game and three major DLC packs are all we are going to see from this Bethesda title.

Skulls of the Shogun is a fun, funny strategy game – Slay my foes, and then eat their skulls? Well, that’s hardly sporting. Or sanitary. But the horde of undead foes I’m facing in 17Bits’ Skulls of the Shogun certainly won’t hesitate to tap into the unparalleled power that a calcium-rich snack will offer, so it’s a case of getting them before they get us, really. And who doesn’t enjoy crushing the occasional skull?

Netflix kicks off latest original series ‘Hemlock Grove’ – All 13 episodes of Netflix’s newest original series are available for streaming starting Friday.

The 12 most frustrating PC games we can’t help but love – These games will drive you to the brink of madness—but you won’t be able to quit, no matter how hard you try.

Feet-on with Zombies, Run! 2 jogging game – Part RunKeeper, part “Walking Dead,” this unique app turns your everyday run into a virtual run-for-your-life adventure. But is it any fun?

Metro: Last Light requires a GeForce GTX Titan to run optimally – To play the game you only need a 2.2GHz dual core processor, 2GB RAM, Windows XP, and either a GeForce GTS 250 or Radeon 4000 DirectX 9 card. That’s a minimum though, and Deep Silver suggest you have at least Windows Vista, a 2.6GHz quad core chip, 4GB RAM, and a DirectX 11 graphics card like the GeForce GTX 580/660 Ti or Radeon HD 7870.

Android app hints at future Game Center-like feature – Speculation about a “Game Center for Android” picked up after Android Police found some clues to the new feature buried inside the recently released Google Glass companion app, My Glass. The new Google service is expected to have features such as the ability to challenge your friends, have in-game chats, track gaming achievements, and view leaderboards. Google was unavailable for comment at the time of this writing.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Breaking news on social media: Worse info, faster – The unfolding of breaking news on social media can create a dangerous well of misinformation. Time for some ground rules.

Man Uses Toddler to Steal Package from Front Door (video 2:07) – An Amazon package lasted 23 minutes at our Seattle home on April 5th, 2013 before Washington’s Father of the Year strolled up our block, noticed it sitting helplessly on the front doorstep, and casually unleashed his toddler from the stroller to retrieve the box. The kid hobbles to the front door, grabs it, and brings it back to Dad. They exit the crime scene doing a sweet stroller wheelie and a stolen box with dog vitamins tucked underneath it.

Survey: Internet users like targeted ads, free content – The survey shows that many Internet users understand that advertising pays for free content. Nearly 69 percent of respondents to the survey said free content like news, weather, and email is “extremely important” to the value of the Internet. More than 75 percent said they’d prefer ad-supported free content on the Web to paying for ad-free content. Just 9 percent said they’d prefer to pay for content.

The Scandalous History and Strange Physics of Donuts – Because food is comfortable and domestic we tend to forget that it’s also part of an ongoing scientific process of discovery. Even the humble doughnut has its own history that includes physics, technology, and competing claims of intellectual property.

Today’s Quote:

I have an existential map. It has ‘You are here’ written all over it.”

–      Steven Wright

Today’s Free Downloads:

BrowsingHistoryView 1.26 – BrowsingHistoryView is a handy and reliable application designed to view your browsing history from multiple browsers at once. The software includes in the report details such as: visit time, visit count, user profile and the web browser that was used to access that webpage. BrowsingHistoryView features support for the following web browsers: IE, Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

WirelessKeyView 1.65 – WirelessKeyView recovers all wireless network security keys/passwords (WEP/WPA) stored in your computer by the ‘Wireless Zero Configuration’ service of Windows XP and by the ‘WLAN AutoConfig’ service of Windows Vista.

Ghostery 2.9.4 – Ghostery sees the “invisible” web, detecting trackers, web bugs, pixels, and beacons placed on web pages by Facebook, Google Analytics, and over 1,000 other ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers – all companies interested in your activity. Ghostery allows you to block scripts from companies that you don’t trust, delete local shared objects, and even block images and iframes.


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