Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 27, 2013

CISPA ‘dead’ in Senate, privacy concerns cited – The chairman of a key Senate committee cited “insufficient” privacy protections in the cybersecurity bill, recently passed by the House. A new report says the Senate is drafting separate bills.

Wolfram Alpha nerd-crunches your Facebook activity, turns your social life into data – Wolfram Alpha, the data-driven Google for math nerds, has created a free service that will analyze your Facebook activity and reinterpret it as visual graphs and interactable data points. For example, the service was able to devise that my average FB post length is 14.66 words, my top utilized significant word (excluding it, and, etc.) was “know,” and my most-liked post was a picture of a slice of pie I had last Thanksgiving.

Ccleaner – users’ top choice for keeping junk off their computers updates with optimized cleaning algorithms for Google Chrome and Windows 8. CCleaner’s simple and intuitive layout will appeal to users of all skill levels.

Google Drive gets automatic offline sync in Chrome – Chrome now supports automatic offline syncing for Google Drive, allowing you to read and edit any document, spreadsheet or presentation even when the Internet is down. To use this feature, you must Drive’s Chrome Web App installed, and you must enable offline access in the dialog box that appears.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Skype (preview version) is available on BlackBerry 10 – As expected, the Skype app is now officially available on BlackBerry OS version 10.1. Available now on BlackBerry World, the Skype app automatically adds your Skype contacts to your BlackBerry phone book when you sign in. Other features include the ability to send text messages and make calls to landlines and mobile phones for a fee.

E-signatures: The complete guide to paperless signing – Your best-laid plans of going paperless come to a screeching halt when you need to get someone’s signature on a document. That process typically involves printing the document, signing it yourself, faxing it to the other party, and waiting for them to print, sign, and fax it back—where it’s printed yet a third time and filed away in a cabinet forever. It’s an antiquated regimen. It’s busy work. But there is a better way.

How to Use Pinterest for Beginners – Everyone’s talking about Pinterest but not everyone ‘gets’ it. You will after following these seven steps to Pinterest fluency.

Google Glass rooted already–and it’s really easy – ChromeOS developer and hacker Liam McLoughlin told Twitter Thursday that not only has he figured out how to gain root access on Google Glass, the task is apparently pretty simple.

How to set up two-factor authentication for Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and more – It’s a security feature that could have stopped hackers at the gate before they seized control of the Associated Press Twitter account, and it’s something you should be using to protect your own online accounts, wherever it’s available.

How to test-drive Office 2013 free for six months – Fortunately, as you could with Office 2010, Microsoft allows you to “reset” your Office 2013 trial as many as five times, effectively giving you six months (more precisely, 180 days) of free usage. Although this option was really intended for IT administrators, there’s no reason you can’t use it with your own installed trial. As explained by the How-To Geek, the process requires a short and simple visit to a command line. Here’s the simplest way to go about it.

Ubuntu 13.04 Review: Linux for the average Joe or Jane – Hard core Linux fans won’t care for it, but for the average user the new Ubuntu desktop Linux has a lot to offer.


U.S. judge says FBI can’t hack crime suspect’s computer – A judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has denied FBI’s petition to install spying software on and using the built-in camera of an unidentified suspect’s computer in order to discover his or her identity and gather evidence of the crime from the computer’s hard drive, memory and storage.

US child abuse image suspect shielded from decrypting hard drives – The federal magistrate found that forced decryption would violate the computer scientist’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. It’s no triumph for the agents who fight child abuse, but it is a win for privacy and for curtailment of government power over our data.

LivingSocial confirms hacking; More than 50 million accounts affected – LivingSocial is the latest major online property to be hacked. Here are more details about what to do next from company leaders.

Google Joins FIDO Alliance Effort to Move Beyond Passwords – Google, which gradually has been moving its users away from using passwords as their main form of authentication for Web services, has joined a young organization whose goal is to phase out passwords and replace them with various forms of strong authentication.

Company News:

Google: No, app makers, you can’t skip the Play Store – An update to the Google Play Store contains mostly minor tweaks except for one security fix: apps are no longer allowed to bypass the Play Store when updating. This means you, Facebook.

Amazon in $250M probe by French tax authority – The French tax authority has yet to fully assess Amazon’s tax situation in the country, but the retail giant says it will contest the allegations.

Indian cybersecurity startup counts on being street smart, hands on – Saket Modi, 22-year-old co-founder of Delhi-based Lucideus Tech wants to help drive cybersecurity with the objective to inculcate a knowledge-based culture of safe use of Web spaces with a focus on practical training.

AOL shuts down music-related services – Employees from several AOL music-related services tweet the news that their division is closing down.

Webopedia Daily:

Bluetooth 4.0 – A new version of the Bluetooth wireless device-to-device technology that offers significantly lower power consumption than previous versions. Also referred to as Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth 4.0 achieves its reduced power consumption by enabling devices to remain paired, or connected to each other, without requiring a continual stream of data to be transferred between the devices.

Games and Entertainment:

Fieldrunners 2 is bigger and better than the original – With new maps and weapons, Fieldrunners 2 gives players even more tower-defense fun than its predecessor.

Reviews for the Star Trek video game are in – Several days ago, the reviews finally got out in the geek-o-sphere for the next Star Trek movie, and so far they’re pretty good.

Voxiebox might finally make 3D tabletop gaming a reality – Of all the iconic scenes from the original Star Wars movie, the one that resonated with me the most was the hologram monster chess match. Despite all our Wolf Blizter- and Tupac-related holographic advances, we are nowhere near virtual 3D Dungeons & Dragons board games. At the NY Tech Day expo, I saw something almost equally as cool—a 3D tabletop gaming rig called the Voxiebox. Voxon, the folks behind the Voxiebox, are calling their glasses-free 3D device the first-ever volumetric entertainment system.

The fastest Android gaming tablets – Which Android tablets provide the smoothest gaming experience? CNET Labs delves deep to find out.

Assassin’s Creed series turned into epic slasher movie saga – Follow in footsteps of several generations of assassins as a devout gamer crafts full-length movies from the various Assassin’s Creed video games.

Report: Xbox 720 (Next) powered by “core version” of Windows 8 – Last month, technical analyst Paul Thurrott accurately predicted that Microsoft’s long-awaited Xbox 720 (Next) console would debut on May 21. This week, Thurrott reported that the next-gen console is powered by a core version of Windows 8.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Future headlights turn rain invisible, we explain how in video – Intel has helped cook up some futuristic headlights that make rain seem to disappear. CNET UK’s Luke Westaway takes a closer look.

Old age is the killer app for Google Glass – Google Glass has a promissing future — although not in the markets that Google thinks it’s targetting: urban early tech adopters — they are a fickle bunch at best. Where Google Glass will make its mark and find a large and loyal customer base is in helping families and communities deal with the ravages of old age.

Free Software Foundation attacks DRM in HTML video – In cooperation with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others, the free-software organization calls on the W3C to keep DRM out of Web standards.

Twitter as local news station? Yes, please – Who needs Ron Burgundy when you can have a 24-7 feed of updates on the most interesting news and events happening around you?

Can you build a backyard theater on the cheap? – You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to enjoy open-air cinema. But you’ll still need brisk popcorn sales to cover some hardware costs.

Today’s Quote:

I’m not sure I want popular opinion on my side – I’ve noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts.”

–      Bethania McKenstry

Today’s Free Downloads:

WinPatrol 28 – WinPatrol takes snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to changes that occur without your knowledge. WinPatrol was the pioneer in using a heuristic behavioral approach to detecting attacks and violations.

Wise Youtube Downloader 1.11.49 – Wise YouTube Downloader is a free YouTube Video Downloader that can easily search and download YouTube videos so you can save them to your local computer or server.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 27, 2013

  1. CISPA – Isn’t dead just postponed till the next idiot in Washington DC decides to revive it.
    Sorry to be so blunt but our elected officials need to realize that the laws they pass also affect them.

    • Hi Bob,

      We, as a society are nowhere near as “blunt” as we need to be when governments make an attempt to curtail civil liberties. As for oppressive laws having impact on the “lawmakers” – or, anyone in a position of power – ????

      Constant attempts by Western governments to slowly whittle away at hard won rights and freedoms will ultimately lead to massive civil disobedience. As Thoreau makes clear in his On the Duty of Civil Disobedience – “All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.”