Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 25, 2013

10 Essential Windows Apps for Novices – Setting up a new computer for a tech-challenged relative or friend? We explain what software you’ll want to install—without breaking the bank. But even before installing these essential applications, you should take a few actions. Make sure all Windows updates are installed. You should set the novice’s PC to install updates automatically. This way, they’ll often be protected against the latest malware outbreak or benefit from some performance improvement.

Take steps to secure what little online privacy you still have – While the very concept of privacy is rapidly evolving, you can protect yours with a combination of discretion and knowing how to use available privacy-protection tools.

U.S. gives big, secret push to Internet surveillance – Justice Department agreed to issue “2511 letters” immunizing AT&T and other companies participating in a cybersecurity program from criminal prosecution under the Wiretap Act, according to new documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. (Surrogate spies. Start using encryption, or better yet – Push Back. We’re in this mess precisely because YOU didn’t push back.)

The Yahoo app delivers your news visually – The latest version of the Yahoo app is great for browsing the latest news using either headlines or a visual layout. Personalization features let you connect your Facebook account and get stories that match your interests.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Senator rips self-regulatory do-not-track efforts – “I personally have long expressed skepticism about the ability, or the willingness, of companies to regulate themselves on behalf of consumers when it effects their bottom line,” said Rockefeller, sponsor of a bill that would create do-not-track regulations. “I do not believe that companies with business models based upon the collection and monetization of personal information will voluntarily stop these practices if it negatively affects their profit margins.”

MightyText – Free texting service MightyText actually manages to live up to its name. Once the mobile app is installed and you’re ready to use MightyText on your computer or tablet, you have to do a bit of tinkering with your browser’s settings if you’d like to receive notifications of new messages. But MightyText guides you through the process— which involves changing some security settings in Internet Explorer or installing a third-party add-on in Firefox—and it’s a one-time thing.

Microsoft issues new version of patch pulled on Patch Tuesday – Microsoft has issued a new version of a patch after an earlier version caused some users’ machines to suffer the blue screen of death.

Should you trust that report? Open-source tool can help – Aiming to help news consumers distinguish legitimate original content from repurposed or paid content, the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation on Tuesday launched “Churnalism,” an open-source Web tool and browser extension designed to identify reports that are essentially repackaged press releases or Wikipedia articles.

Enable offline cached pages in Google Canary – Canary is a developer and beta version of Google Chrome’s newest features. By allowing both versions of Chrome to run side-by-side, you can test out the newest features without sacrificing your stable version.

AP Twitter feed returns, minus many followers, after hacking – The Associated Press account is back up and tweeting after being offline for almost a whole day and having to reset its follower count.


Java Sandbox Bypass Discovered that Breaks Latest Update – Optimism and praise followed last week’s Java critical patch update. Oracle not only patched 42 vulnerabilities in the Java browser plug-in, but also added new code-signing restrictions and new prompts warning users when applets are potentially malicious. It took less than a week, however, to deflate any good will toward Java that resulted.

Beware Twitter “password check” sites – there are fakes, and there are fake fakes! – After a widely publicised hack or data breach, you’ll often find “password check” sites springing up. Some of them are legitimate, asking only for your email address and checking it against a list of known data dumps. But other “password check” sites are as bogus as they sound on the surface.

Microsoft Begs to Differ, Says Bing Stops Malware – It seems like only last week that we were telling you about a study from AV-Test which found that Bing delivered five times as many malicious websites as Google. First Yandex challenged the findings, and now Bing has finally piled on saying that their search service is as safe as any other search engine.

Online security: your two-factor authorization checklist – Two-factor authentication is becoming a common security feature for many online services you already use including Dropbox, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. It may be a little inconvenient to deal with two-factor authentication, but anyone who’s lost control of their Facebook or email account can tell you the extra security gain is worth the minor hassle. Here’s a quick look at how two-factor authentication currently works for the major online services you use every day.

Malware C&C Servers Found in 184 Countries – In an attempt to better evade detection, cybercriminals are increasingly configuring their command and control infrastructure in such a way that initial malware callbacks communicate with a server located in the same country as the newly infected machines.

Company News:

ZTE agrees to Android, Chrome patent licensing from Microsoft – Microsoft has inked an agreement with China’s ZTE for its Android and Chrome patent licensing program. Financial details of deal were not disclosed. But the agreement gives ZTE access to Microsoft patents covering phones, tablets, computers and other devices running Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems.

CSA Establishes New SMB Membership Level and Working Group – The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) today announced a new membership level and working group designed to benefit the rapidly growing needs of cloud computing among small and medium businesses (SMB). Launched today, the CSA SMB Membership and SMB Working Group, will focus on providing tailored guidance to SMBs and help cloud providers understand the requirements of this market.

Huawei ‘not interested’ in US anymore, shifts focus to Europe – Chinese telecom equipment maker is moving its focus from U.S. to Europe, seeing a stronger business case for the continent which it sees as a way to increase its presence in developing markets.

Samsung confirms limited supply of Galaxy S4, cites ‘overwhelming global demand’ – Overwhelming global demand may limit initial supplies of the Galaxy S4 smartphone, Samsung said Wednesday, while both Sprint and T-Mobile USA confirmed there would be delays.

Zynga launches Draw Something 2, kills four other games – The social gaming company shuts down The Ville, Empires and Allies, Dream Zoo, and Zynga City on Tencent, but Draw Something 2 goes live Wednesday night.

Webopedia Daily:

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning – ERP is short for enterprise resource planning. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business. ERP software integrates all facets of an operation, including development, manufacturing, sales and marketing.

Games and Entertainment:

11 killer games that will bring your PC to its knees – If your PC could sweat, it would be drenched after running any of the following games. Indeed, if you’re still using a mid-range PC, you’d best stick with Minesweeper and Facebook games because the titles in this slideshow will bring your machine to its breaking point.

Yahoo to feature 38-year ‘Saturday Night Live’ archive – Still haven’t stopped laughing at Amy Poehler’s rap with Sarah Palin? Yahoo users will soon be able to watch episodes from all 38 seasons of SNL, CEO Marissa Mayer announces.

Microsoft to announce next-gen Xbox on May 21 – Eight years after the first Xbox 360 units shipped, Microsoft will finally pull the curtains off its long-awaited successor on May 21. The company will hold a press event at 10 a.m. PDT at its Redmond headquarters that day that will be live-streamed on the Web on Xbox Live,, and Spike TV.

Razer Comms disrupts the VOIP arena with a free public beta – Comms has a very simple premise: tear down the walled gardens that keep PC gamers from communicating easily and effectively, without requiring them to Alt + Tab out of the action every time someone wants to send them an instant message or give them a call.

After almost 20 years, GPU benchmarking is moving past frames per second – For decades, FPS — frames per second — has been virtually the only metric of GPU performance. Now, that’s changing — and the new tools coming into vogue expose new aspects of relative GPU performance. How do these new frame latency measurements fit in with conventional testing?

Off Topic (Sort of):

Alexander Graham Bell’s voice captured from old recordings – Alexander Graham Bell is known for inventing the telephone; but for someone so associated with sound, it’s curious that no one living has actually ever heard the tenor of his voice. However, as of Wednesday, anyone can hear what he sounded like. New technology has brought a 128-year-old recording made by Bell back to life, according to Smithsonian magazine.

Print your own Yoda at home for $499: 3D printers become affordable – In the very near future, a desktop 3D printer may be greeted in the same way the desktop scanner was in our recent technological past: It’s not a piece of technology that all consumers will use, but it is something few would find out of place on someone else’s desk. Here are a number of consumer 3D printers coming your way.

The Google Glass genie can’t be shoved back in the bottle – Worried that Google Glass technology will fall into the hands of miscreants, ne’er-do-wells, perverts and criminals? I hate to break it to you, but when it comes to cameras, a goofy head-mounted device is the least you have to worry about.

Watch Three Years’ Worth of Action on the Sun – This week, the space agency shared a video which compresses three years’ worth of SDO sun-spotting into under three minutes. It’s a stunning look at our home star as it spins on its axis, its surface a cauldron of activity that is indistinguishable in the searing, white-hot picture the sun presents to the naked human eyes of rebellious and immediately regretful kindergartners.

US DOT: Auto makers should disable in-dash electronics when cars are moving – Automobile makers should prevent drivers from using their in-vehicle electronic devices to browse the Internet and send text messages while their vehicles are moving, the U.S. Department of Transportation has recommended. Auto makers should also lock out drivers in moving cars from reading text messages, viewing photographs, displaying scrolling text, and using video apps, the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended in voluntary guidelines released this week.

With revenue at stake, companies seek business-savvy tech workers – Financial concerns in the wake of the recession are causing companies to better align IT and business and this shift is changing what is expected from technology workers, say executives and staffing professionals. Business acumen is now on par with possessing stellar technical skills, with in-demand employees those who can contribute more than code to the company.

Today’s Quote:

Nine Great Quotes From Great Business Books – When we read a passage that really stands out, of course, we often highlight it. With that in mind, a site called Quartz has presented the following business and management quotes and passages from a list of the most “Recently Heavily Highlighted Passages” from, as designated by users of the online e-tailer’s Kindle e-reader software.

Today’s Free Downloads:

CCleaner Portable – CCleaner Portable is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure.

FrostWire – FrostWire is a peer-to-peer file sharing program for the Gnutella and BitTorrent protocols. FrostWire is written in Java, and is a fork of LimeWire, another popular Gnutella client.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 25, 2013

  1. delenn13

    Hey Bill,

    Here is something you might want to check out for your “Games and Entertainment” section. Geek & Sundry “We bring you the best of indie geek culture with daily video uploads from the Internet’s foremost geek voices and content creators including Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton(Wesley Crusher all grown up) and others. I watch Tabletop with Wil and The Guild with Felicia. TableTop is where geeky celebs square off to play tabletop games ..Into it’s 2nd season now. “Evidence presented by a Canadian online game retailer showed that games featured in TableTop received a boost in sales after the episode aired: this was dubbed “The Wheaton Effect”.”

    Felicia Day’s ‘Geek And Sundry’ Could Be The Future Of TV – Forbes

    Here is their site Geek and Sundry | Your Daily Dose of Geekiness & etc.

    And the infamous YouTube site…Geek & Sundry

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Late as usual. 🙂

      Thanks for this – I’ve plugged it into tomorrow’s TNN.

      Great gardening weekend coming up. Got all the tools in the shed sharpened, and ready to go. 🙂



  2. delenn13

    Hey Bill,

    We are still waking up to frosty windshields and such…Not very nice.

    Here is some more re:Felicia Day

    Over 22 million hits..The Guild – Do You Wanna Date My Avatar – YouTube

    A paltry 3 million.. The Guild – “Game On” ) A Bollywood Themed Gamer’s Anthem – YouTube

    I had almost forgotten about this one. Nerds Rule! The Guild: I’m the One That’s Cool Directed by Jed Whedon, Co-Written By Jed Whedon & Felicia Day – YouTube

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Thanks! I’ll check these out later in the day.

      Not doing any planting yet (not much point huh?) – but, doing lots of digging, trimming, over-seeding, and all that rot. 🙂