Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 26, 2013

Yahoo Mail for Android is a simple, reliable client – Now optimized for tablets, Yahoo Mail is a fantastic e-mail client for Yahoo users. What’s more, the app’s text formatting tools set it apart from other mobile e-mail clients for Android.

The Best Antivirus for 2013 – The antivirus field is huge; I currently track over forty products. In a field that big there’s room for multiple winners. Three products share the Editors’ Choice honor for best overall antivirus: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2013, Norton AntiVirus (2013), and Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus 2013. Norton and Webroot tied for top score in my malware removal test, with 6.6 points. Bitdefender, with 6.4 points, wasn’t far behind.

Open Office docs right in your browser with Chrome Office Viewer – If you’re trying to run your business without spending money on Microsoft Office, you know the occasional hassles that go with being on the receiving end of Office documents. Google hopes to minimize that hassle with the Chrome Office Viewer extension, which makes it possible to view Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint slide decks right inside the Google Chrome browser. Just a click a link to any such file and presto, it opens.

It’s privacy vs. security as CISPA arrives in Senate – On Thursday, US News reported that CISPA “will almost certainly be shelved,” citing comments made by an unnamed representative of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. US News also quoted Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel with the ACLU, who said, “I think it’s dead for now. CISPA is too controversial, it’s too expansive, it’s just not the same sort of program contemplated by the Senate last year.” Richardson estimates it could take several months for new legislation to come to a vote.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Protect your privacy with these five applications – The Internet is not a riskless place. It is filled with sites that are bent on compromising your privacy. Many general retail sites track your shopping habits and Web browsing history. More questionable sites may attempt to install key loggers or other types of Trojans. Fortunately, there are a number of different utilities that you can use to help protect your privacy. This article outlines five such applications.

Judge rejects FBI’s bid to hack computer of suspect in attempted cyberheist – A federal court in Houston has rejected an FBI request for a warrant to hack into the computer of a suspect in an attempted cyberheist. In, a sometimes testy, 13-page ruling earlier this week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas characterized the government’s request as overly intrusive and infringing on Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search.

Civil rights coalition says EU data protection bill threatens citizens’ rights – Some of the proposed changes to Europe’s data protection laws would strip citizens of their privacy rights, a coalition of international civil liberties organizations said Thursday. The European Parliament is currently considering proposals from the European Commission for a complete overhaul of the E.U.’s data protection laws. The original laws date from 1995, the pre-Internet age, and are arguably in great need of an update.

Make Any LCD Monitor a Touch Screen With a $5 Sensor – Researchers at the University of Washington’s aptly named Ubiquitous Computing Lab can turn any LCD monitor in your house into a touchscreen, with nothing more than a $5 sensor that plugs into the wall and some clever software. The ultimate goal of the Ubiquitous Computing Lab, as the name suggests, is to find cheap and easy ways of making everything around us interactive.

Google Sees Spike in Government Requests to Remove Political Content – Government requests to remove content across Google products spiked sharply in the second half of 2012, particularly those that covered political content, the search giant revealed Thursday. Between July and December 2012, Google received 2,285 government requests to remove 24,179 pieces of content, up from the 1,811 requests made regarding 18,070 during the first half of 2012.

Hands On With the Churnalism Plagiarism Detector – Plagiarists, be warned. There’s a new browser tool called Churnalism that prowls the Web looking for blatant examples of cut-and-paste chicanery in news articles and other online content.

Ubuntu Server 13.04 released – Canonical today announced that Ubuntu Server 13.04 is available for download, featuring high-availability (HA) for OpenStack.

Put vector graphics in your Web pages with Pygal – Pygal is an open source program that allows you to create vector graphics for your website. Here is how to install it.

Senators stall vote on Internet sales tax for now – Supporters of the Marketplace Fairness Act still hope to vote on the bill on Friday or Saturday. The bill would allow states to collect sales tax on large Internet sellers that have no presence within their borders, curtailing the ability of Internet shoppers to avoid sales tax. Businesses with less than $1 million in annual Internet sales would be exempt from collecting the sales taxes.


Phishing attacks skyrocketing – A new phishing survey by the Anti-Phishing Working Group reveals that phishers are breaking into hosting providers with unprecedented success, using these facilities to launch mass phishing attacks.

Two-Factor Authentication Wouldn’t Have Prevented AP Twitter Hack – From the land of “if only…” If the Associated Press had set up two-factor authentication with its Twitter account, then pro-Syrian hackers would not have been able to hijack the account and wreak havoc. Nice and tidy idea, but in reality, no. While two-factor authentication is a powerful tool for securing user accounts, it cannot solve all problems.

Fake “New incoming fax” notification carries malware – Sophos researchers have spotted an active malicious spam campaign impersonating the DuoFax internet fax service, claiming that the recipient has received a fax.

35% of businesses experienced a DDoS attack in 2012 – Among the key findings from the survey, 35% of organizations experienced a disruptive DDoS attack in 2012. Of those surveyed, a staggering 39% of retailers and 41% of ecommerce businesses experienced an attack last year. Additionally, more than a quarter of respondents (26%) indicated a DDoS outage could cost between $50-100k per hour, further showcasing the need for a strategy around DDoS protection and mitigation.

Travelers to Israel can get their emails searched on entry – Travelers who enter Israel via the international Ben-Gurion Airport, especially those who aren’t Israeli citizens, can be asked by Shin Bet (the country’s security agency) officers to provide access to their email accounts in order to be allowed to enter the country. Israeli civil right advocates protest against the practice, saying that even though travelers have the legal right to decline the request for having their email searched, they will likely be denied permission to enter the country.

Company News:

AVG Technologies Surpasses 70 Million Downloads of AntiVirus FREE for Android – AVG Technologies, the provider of Internet and mobile security, privacy and optimization to 150 million active users, announced that its flagship mobile product, AVG AntiVirus FREE for Android has surpassed the 70 million download mark on Google Play, the first time this has been achieved by any security application.

Samsung delays launch of Knox Android security software until ‘later date’ – Samsung has pushed back the launch of its Knox security software for Galaxy Android smartphones until summer, according to a New York Times report that claims more testing is needed before Knox finds its way into people’s hands.

New York Times launches Google Glass app – The New York Times’ app for Google Glass offers basic features including news alerts and automated readings of article summaries.

T-Mobile USA agrees to come clean about ‘uncarrier’ service plans – T-Mobile USA’s “radical” service plans promising no annual contracts aren’t quite as radical as consumers might think, and the mobile operator will change its advertising and offer refunds in a settlement with the state of Washington.

Dell brings 4G LTE wireless connectivity to Windows 8 tablet – Dell is offering something that’s rare on Windows 8 tablets: 4G connectivity. As Apple iPad users know, the option for mobile broadband has been around for years.

Android notebooks? Yep, Intel says, and they’ll only cost $200 – Dadi Perlmutter, Intel’s chief product officer, also tells CNET that devices running Intel’s mainstream Core line of processors could sell for as low as $399 to $499.

Webopedia Daily:

Small business ERP – In ERP (enterprise resource planning) terminology, the phrase small business ERP is used to describe a lightweight business management software that is designed to meet the needs of a small business. ERP software integrates all facets of an operation, including development, manufacturing, sales and marketing. Small business ERP is typically a SaaS (software as a service) model and includes project management, financials, manufacturing, warehouse management, accounting, sales and business management.

Games and Entertainment:

Mobile game downloads expected to triple in the next five years – Game downloads for smartphones and tablets should triple in the next five years, a trend that will have a significant impact on console gaming. By 2017, the market for mobile games will reach 64.1 billion downloads more than three times what they were in 2012, when there were 21 billion downloads, according to a report released Thursday by Juniper Research in London.

EA announces more layoffs, said to be hundreds of workers – While going through an organizational restructure, the gaming company says it had to make “difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations.”

XCOM shooter rebranded as “The Bureau,” arrives in August – 2K Games is ready to lift the curtain on XCOM once again complete with a live-action trailer, a trio of screenshots, and best of all a release date. Newly titled and packaged, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is set to hit consoles and PC on August 20, 2013.

PS4’s DualShock controller gets up close and personal – Sony has released a new PlayStation 4 video teasing its upcoming DualShock controller.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Dvorak: Stop the Oversaturation of Connectivity – New York’s subway system is adding Wi-Fi connectivity to many stations and presumably the whole underground network will be equipped before long. The ubiquity of Wi-Fi in public places like this is a hazard that must be resisted.

10 stupid things people do in their data centers – Small missteps can turn into huge problems in the data center — and that can mean big trouble for your organization (and for you).

Cool, Geeky USB Gadgets – Looking for the most useful, beneficial gadgets to plug into your PC? Here are some of the absolute coolest accessories any geek would be happy to stick in a USB port.

19 of Hubble’s best views of the mysteries of space – First imagined in the 1940s, designed in the 1970s, and built in the 1980s, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched on April 25, 1990, and has explored our universe as never seen before.

Expand your utility belt with Underscore.js – The JavaScript library Underscore.js streamlines tasks and allows you to do more with fewer lines of code. Get a sense of what you can do with some of its 60+ functions.

The Asus FonePad is a well-built tablet, but a ridiculous phone concept – It won’t be released in the U.S., but the Asus FonePad is available to U.K. customers now. It’s a good 7-inch tablet, but you may want to use it as a phone only in private.

Today’s Quote:

For four-fifths of our history, our planet was populated by pond scum.”

(Apparently, this fellow has not been to the centres of power in Washington, Ottawa, London, …….)

–    J. W. Schopf

Today’s Free Downloads:

RAMDisk 4.1.0 RC24 – RAMDisk is Freeware (up to 4GB disk size). It creates a virtual RAM drive, or block of memory, which your computer treats as if it were a disk drive.

BlackBerry Link – For devices running BlackBerry 10 OS. With BlackBerry Link, you can manage and sync content between BlackBerry 10 devices and your computer.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 26, 2013

  1. Michael Fisher

    Ottawa? Where’s that? 🙂
    Seriously ~ have a groovy weekend Bill

    • Hi Michael,

      Ottawa? Why, it’s just through the woodlands and through the valley to the top of the hill. And, that cesspool that can be seen from the top of the hill – the cesspool with all the shitheads running around – doing what they do best – creating a stench of corrupted intellect and ideologically driven crap? That’s Ottawa. 🙂

      Just started my weekend with a nice freshly brewed cup of tea. Lovely indeed. 🙂

      Stay cool.





      • John Bent

        Hi Bill,

        I just wish you’d learn to form an opinion 😉

        BTW, using a phablet as a phone may seem ridiculous, but then I’ve actually seen people using an iPad as a camera!!

        Kind regards,

        • Hi John,


          I’m one of those klutzes who occasionally uses a tablet as a camera. Looks a little strange, I’ll grant you – but, what are you gonna do when you’re up the proverbial creek without a paddle (or a proper camera?) 🙂