Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 22, 2013

Do Our Mobile Devices Turn Us Into Teenagers? – Do we become different people when we fire up our mobile devices? Could be. In fact, a significant share of users say they feel entitled to do pretty much whatever they want while on their smartphones or tablets, according to a recent survey from McCann Truth Central. If this sounds as if we’re acting like teenagers, well, that’s essentially the point of the report, “The Truth About Connected You.”

Intelligent Ringer adjusts your ringer volume based on ambient noise – Intelligent Ringer uses your Android phone’s microphone to determine the best volume setting for your device. Learn how to install and use this free app.

Six Android apps you’ll thank us for pointing out – These aren’t your basic apps; they are what we think are cool right now in Google Play. Check ’em out.

Infographic: Smartphone Damage 101 – More smartphones mean more opportunities for smartphone-related danger, be it damage, theft, or absentmindedness.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Social nets dominate US users’ time online, study reports – Americans are so fixated on social networks that they spend an average of 16 minutes out of every hour on them, according to a study by Experian Marketing Services. In the U.S., 27 percent of users’ time online is spent on forums and social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Experian said. Experian included both desktop and mobile users in its study.

Get Organized: 5 Handy Tricks in Microsoft Word – That pesky line in the middle of your document is back! And what’s up with all that unwanted formatting from pasted text? Learn how to fix these problems, as well as master three other productivity tricks in Microsoft Word.

Hack your Android like a pro: Rooting and ROMs explained – There are benefits to rooting your Android smartphone, but it can be a tricky world for beginners. Here are some tips.

Quick Tip: Add an Applications folder to the Windows 8 Desktop – With the help of a special code, add an applications folder to the Windows 8 Desktop that grants easy access to all programs.

Security:

CBS affiliates see Twitter accounts hijacked; Password security in focus – Two-factor authentication is in the spotlight again after the Twitter accounts for three CBS brands — 60 Minutes, 48 Hours and a Denver news affiliate — were hijacked and later suspended this weekend. The episodes add to a long list of media outlets and big companies that have been compromised in recent months.

‘BadNews’ Android Malware Briefly Bypasses Google Play Protections – BadNews isn’t unique because of its infection rate; Rather, because of the relatively creative tactics the malware employed in order to mess with users’ devices – and sustain itself on Google Play.

How Often Do You Forget Your Password? – A new study from the Ponemon Institute, sponsored by authentication vendor NokNok Labs, sheds some light on the current state of password use — and as it turns out, misuse. The study surveyed 1,900 people in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. Nearly half of the study’s respondents were unable to execute an online transaction due to some form of password authentication failure. Most of those failures were a result of users forgetting their passwords.

Study shows brainwaves could be security for wearable tech – With the next wave in consumer electronics expected to be smart bracelets, watches, and eyewear, experts are hopeful that thought-based authentication—which recent research shows is possible—could have a significant impact on the technology.

Hosting company Hostgator hacked, suspect arrested after being “rooted with his own rootkit” – A former system administrator from hosting company Hostgator has been arrested for hacking into his former employer’s network. There’s some poetic justice in how he was identified and connected with the crime…Paul Ducklin takes a look, and can’t help smiling.

Facial-recognition tech played no role in ID’ing bomb suspects – Despite images of the suspects at the scene and in official databases, the software could not put names to their faces, Boston’s police commissioner tells the Washington Post.

Company News:

Services seek money in social messaging as SMS declines – A large number of customers are migrating to free or cost-effective social messaging apps. In a new report that examines the findings of its Consumer Insights Survey, the independent telecom analyst firm reveals that 31 percent of respondents to the survey said that using social messaging services has led to a decrease in their SMS usage. Countries such as Australia, Brazil, China, and France have experienced the highest adverse impact on SMS, although respondents from Germany, Russia, and the U.S. stated that they had actually increased their use of SMS.

Twitter partners with Comedy Central to host laugh fest – Five-day festival will feature comedy legends and young comedians telling jokes through tweets and video clips on Vine, The New York Times reports.

Novell unveils Filr as a local alternative to Dropbox – Novell is preparing to release Filr, a new on-premise file sharing product for organisations that want some of the convenience of a Dropbox-like approach while keeping data management under internal control. A key attraction of Filr’s design is that it can sits on top of existing file stores managed through Active Directory policies, which means that employees access it from multiple devices as they would their home file directory.

After 9 years, Canonical stops offering Ubuntu on disc – I’ve already decided that the next PC I build won’t include an internal optical drive. I just don’t need one often enough anymore to warrant the cost or installation. I can instead rely on a USB optical drive I already own. And I think that’s the case for a lot of PC owners now. They either use hardware that has already dumped the optical drive (e.g. Ultrabooks), or won’t consider it a great loss if their next system doesn’t include one. Canonical is seeing that change, too.

NSA Building a Secure Version of OpenStack – The NSA (America’s super secret intelligence agency) is no stranger to open source software and apparently they aren’t strangers to OpenStack either.

Webopedia Daily:

Hekaton – The codename for a Microsoft project that will provide support for mixing in-memory database tables with more traditional on-disk tables in the same database. These hybrid databases will be able to dynamically handle both in-memory and on-disk storage in the same database for optimal performance and reliability. Project Hekaton’s in-memory database technology will be featured in the next major release of Microsoft SQL Server, which is expected to officially debut sometime in 2015. The project gets its codename from the Greek word for 100 times, which is the peak performance improvement goal the company has set for Hekaton.

Games and Entertainment:

Big SimCity Patch Arrives Monday: Is Version 2.0 Enough? – For those gamers who have all but given up on EA Maxis’ SimCity, is the big upcoming patch enough to woo them back?

Bethesda’s The Evil Within Teaser Trailer’s Clichés and Intriguing Bits – Nicely done, Bethesda. You got us to pay attention to something we otherwise might have tossed in the “yay, press release” bin.

The Swiss Army gaming tablet – Take a Windows 8 tablet. Add Nvidia graphics. Mix in a snap-on controller. Toss in a TV-friendly dock. Suddenly, what was a gaming PC in theory can become a console; step back, and a tablet becomes a gaming handheld. This is the promise that the Razer Edge provides: a Surface for the gaming set, if you will. It’s a novel idea that no one else has made tangible yet, and the Razer Edge stands alone in that regard.

New Video Combines Multi-Directional Treadmill Movement with Oculus Rift – Combined with a virtual reality interface, the Omni presents a compelling method of interaction that could allow gamers to immerse themselves into their experiences to an even greater degree – and perhaps shed a few calories in the process, especially for those planning to around the Far Cry 3 island all day long. But don’t take our word for it; Virtuix has released a new video that combines the Omni treadmill with the oft-talked-about Oculus Rift headset.

Off Topic (Sort of):

10 Jaw-Dropping Gigapixel Photos – Recently, British Telecom and partner 360Cities, which specializes in panoramic photos, shot 48,640 individual frames that were digitally collated into a single panorama. All told, the shot required 320 GB of data – the largest, most complex digital photo ever taken. But it might not be the best. We’ve found some, in fact, that we think are better. Click in the “Image” to explore each one.

Google’s Earth Day doodle reflects planet’s complexity – To mark the 43rd Earth Day, Google produces one of its busiest but subtle animated doodles, depicting our planet’s ever-changing landscape.

10 Google Products That Make the Company Cooler Than Apple – Although Apple was once the epitome of cool, Google is now delivering the coolest tech products by innovating with hardware and software without sacrificing its main business of search and advertising.

Wringing out Water on the ISS – for Science! (video 3:18) – CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield performed a simple science experiment designed by grade 10 Lockview High School students Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner. The students from Fall River, Nova Scotia won a national science contest held by the Canadian Space Agency with their experiment on surface tension in space using a wet washcloth. (suggested by Michael F.)

eBay CEO enlists users’ aid to defeat online sales tax bill – John Donahoe e-mails users to prevent enactment of a national internet sales tax he argues would place an unreasonable burden on small retailers.

Survey: One in Five Would Buy Apple’s ‘iWatch’ – That’s quite a bit of interest for a product that only exists in rumors thus far

Today’s Quote:

I love everything that is old; old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines.”

–      Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield

Today’s Free Downloads:

Fotosizer 2.01.0.530 – Fotosizer is a freeware batch image resizer tool. It resizes your photos in just 3 easy steps – 1. Photo selection, 2. select resize settings, then 3. Start the resize!

CrystalDiskInfo 5.6.1 – CrystalDiskInfo is a HDD health monitoring utility. It displays basic HDD information, monitors S.M.A.R.T. values and disk temperature.

SlimBrowser 7.00.022 – SlimBrowser is a fast and secure internet browser for Windows fully loaded with powerful features. It starts up quickly and opens web pages right in front of you with minimum delay.

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