Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 29, 2013

Stronger data privacy law may clash with law enforcement – Legislation expanding privacy for data stored in the cloud is heading to consideration by the U.S. senate, and while it enjoys general support of industry and senators, the U.S. Department of Justice has not endorsed or even addressed the measure.

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.

How to add Windows 8’s best desktop features to Windows 7 – Although you can tweak and tuck a few things to almost completely banish the interface formerly known as Metro from your Windows 8 life, you can also try another tactic: not upgrading at all. Many of Windows 8’s best under-the-hood improvements can be yours in Windows 7 with the help of a few handy-dandy applications. Having your cake and eating it too has never tasted so sweet.

RAM shortage looms – It is starting to look like the IT industry will face a serious RAM chip shortage. Despite the fact that Samsung spent about $24 billion in the past two years beefing up the world’s biggest maker of memory chips to meet demand, there is still not enough capacity. The problem is that even with the downturn, there are still shedloads of smartphones and other mobile toys that need piles of mobile DRAM.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google Glass kernel software goes public – Continuing a string of revelations about its high-tech spectacles, Google makes the software kernel underlying the devices — and the things they’ll eventually let you do — available for download.

Infographic: Shopping Made Easy on Mobile – Shopping has become an art form, based more in the science of bargains than the wild freedom of impulse buys. Before you even walk into a store, it’s likely you’ve already done some on-the-go research — perhaps in the parking lot of the department store or during a pre-shopping-spree lunch — deciding exactly what you want, where to find it, and how much costs.

How to grab a freeze-frame from a video – First, none of the techniques I describe below are likely to work with protected videos, such as Blu-ray discs. Second, grabbed frames seldom look as good as independently-photographed still photos. Video stills, especially of fast-moving action, contain a great deal of motion blur–which the brain doesn’t see when the frames speed by at 24 or 60 frames per second. They also tend to have lower resolutions. And finally, for best results, don’t try to grab a frame while the video is playing. Pause the video, find the right frame, and snap the picture.

Use the Recovery Drive Command Prompt to edit the registry or recover data – Access the Command Prompt from Windows 8’s Recovery Drive and use it to recover data. Greg Shultz shows you how it works.

Webinar: Windows 8 – love it, hate it, or ‘it’s complicated’ – In an hour-long ZDNet webinar to be held on May 16th at high noon, Ed Bott will explore Windows 8 implementation strategies for IT decision makers.

iTunes Turns 10: A Decade of Milestones – Apple celebrates ten years of iTunes this weekend. Here are the music service’s biggest milestones.

AT&T Digital Life Promises Whole Home Connectivity – At the heart of Digital Life is 24/7 home security, which customers will be able to customize to suit their needs. This includes security cameras, sensors placed throughout the home, and professional monitoring provided through AT&T. That’s nothing new though; the exciting part here is the wireless connectivity and remote access afforded, allowing customers to quickly and easily view live feeds of their home from mobile devices like the Apple iPad.

SMBs in India lose $2.67 billion in productivity – Non-technical employees in India lose 7.6 hours of productivity per week managing IT, incidentally, the highest productivity loss of all countries surveyed. Microsoft would like them to think that Office 365 is the solution.


Google tightens up Play Store policy, officially bans “off-market” updates – Google has made a number of changes to its Android Play Store ecosystem recently. There’s now a rudimentary anti-virus provided with the OS, a ban on ad blockers, and, most recently, an official policy on sneaky “off-market” updates…

China shuts down top video piracy Web site – Authorities shut down, one of the country’s top sites offering pirated content, and other video Web sites during the 13th World Intellectual Property Day last week.

Does Java 8 Delay Mean Oracle Finally Serious about Security? – It’s not quite the development freeze Microsoft underwent during the Trustworthy Computing push, but it’s a start for Oracle, which will delay the release of Java 8 until Q1 of next year, largely because the platform and browser plug-in is such a security disaster. This year has done nothing but reinforce that notion.

Hacking suspect arrested for ‘biggest cyberattack in history’ – Remember Spamhaus? The attack was apparently conducted not from a bedroom, but an antenna-equipped mobile van.

How to enable Family Safety features in Windows 8 – The Internet? Kind of a cesspool. And as the parent of kids who are now old enough to operate a Web browser, you can bet I’m keen on checking their activities and filtering out the inappropriate content. Thankfully, Windows 8 offers some solid tools for doing just that. (Windows 7 does, too, but Microsoft made them easier and more robust in the new version of the OS.)

Kaspersky founder warns nations face growing cyberattack threats – State-of-the-art cyberweapons are now powerful enough to severely disrupt nations and the organizations responsible for their critical infrastructure, Kaspersky Lab founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky says. As an illustration of his point, the number of malware samples analyzed by Kaspersky Lab rose from 700 per day in 2006 to 7,000 per day by 2011. Today, the number including polymorphic variants has reached 200,000 each day, enough to overwhelm the defenses of even well-defended firms.

Reported DDoS attacks up 200 percent – A new Akamai report provides insight into key global statistics including connection speeds, attack traffic, and network connectivity and availability, among many others.

Guardian Twitter Account Hacked by Syrian Activists – The Syrian Electronic Army struck again over the weekend, hitting another media organization’s Twitter account. The latest attack appears to be in retaliation against Twitter for suspending its account.

Company News:

Google spring cleaning claims Meebo Bar – Come June 6, the Meebo Bar publishing tool will get retired by Google, which says it plans to focus on projects like Google+ Sign-In and plug-ins. Meebo Bar is a JavaScript plug-in that sits at the bottom of Web pages and enables a lot of different social interaction and sharing features. Meebo also has mobile versions of its products. Google announced the news in a post today.

Moves, mistakes prove Jobs era at Apple over – Apple is clearly not Steve Jobs’ company any longer, analysts said this week, citing examples from Tuesday’s earning calls with Wall Street.

Activision’s salaries questioned – A key watchdog has bitten the rump of the boss of Activision claiming that his fat cat salary is a little too much. Activision is doing rather well but its supreme boss Bobby Kotick appears to be making more cash than seems reasonable. According to Bloomberg his total cash-and-prizes compensation jumped from $8.1 million in 2011 to $64.9 million in 2012.

Microsoft Wins Latest Round in Patent Royalty Fight With Motorola – Google’s Motorola was dealt a setback in its bid to land major royalty payments from Microsoft for sales of Windows and the Xbox.

Webopedia Daily:

Vertical application – A vertical application is any software application that supports a specific business process and targets a smaller number of users with specific skill sets and job responsibilities within an organization. Enterprise applications such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) are types of vertical applications. Vertical applications are often customized to meet the needs of industry-specific users. Vertical apps are also more complicated to use than horizontal apps, and because they need to integrate with other systems used in the organization, they may require IT assistance and deployment.

Games and Entertainment:

From Space to Living Room: EVE Online Getting TV Series – What does every massively multiplayer game need? Players? Check. A compelling storyline, plenty of features, and lots to do? Check. A dedicated user base, lots of updated content, and compelling expansions with new features to further trap players into additional months or years of gaming? Check. A dedicated television show? Whether you agree with that last one or not, it’s exactly where the ever-popular EVE Online franchise is now heading.

New Super Mario Forever 2012 – The diversity of the levels is very impressive. Game has also renewed graphics and much better scrolling in comparison to the original Mario. You will have to get through levels ranging from underwater caverns to levels filled with hot lava.

The future of the cloud: no further away than your nearest gamer – Summary: Steam shows us the many possibilities of a cloud-enabled environment.

Microsoft Sources Tease New Xbox Video, Achievement Features – DVR-like recording and cross-title achievements might be some of the new Xbox features Microsoft could show off in less than a month.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Kim Komando Explains PCs, Circa 1994 – In vintage video, one of techdom’s most durable personalities assures worried people that PCs are just as easy as a typewriter.

Man allegedly put GPS on woman’s car before burglary – A Kansas man stands accused of burglary. The owner of one home believes he used a very simple method of determining when she and her son were home — a GPS device on their cars.

Are Apple fans really more loyal? – Every survey seems to suggest that those who buy Apple products are more loyal to the brand than buyers of other brands. Does this also make them more forgiving?

Undercover cops’ devious new method to stop iPhone theft – Police in San Francisco decide on a new tactic to stop iPhone theft. Undercover officers are walking down streets offering to sell iPhones they claim are stolen. The idea is to kill the market for stolen phones.

The Internet Doesn’t Hurt People — People Do: ‘The New Digital Age’ – The rise of the Internet has been one of the most transformative developments in human history, at least comparable in impact to the advent of the printing press and the telegraph.

Today’s Quote:

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.”

–     Mark Twain

Today’s Free Downloads:

Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) 5.2.2 – Consolidate as many diagnostic tools as possible into one bootable CD.

NirLauncher – NirLauncher is a package of more than 100 portable freeware utilities for Windows, all of them developed for NirSoft Web site during the last few years.

SystemRescueCd – SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 29, 2013

  1. delenn13

    Hi Bill,

    Yea!!! Warehouse 13 is on tonight on Syfy(Gawd, I shudder everytime I type that). Warehouse 13 | Syfy Kate’s in it too.

    From the forums:

    ” Or WH13 will be preemted for a few weeks so SYFY can show a new show that combines paranormal ghost hunting with special effects and cooking.

    I don’t know whether to giggle at how silly that sounds, or to cringe at how close to the truth it is.

    Wrestler Hunk Holden joins the Destination Tooth team as they investigate weird paranormal goings-on in a turn-of-the-century cable station once believed to air cooking shows in the dark while the contestants wore makeup of their own designs.”

    Sounds like some of our channels…..

    ***Fires up my proxy.***

    It is made in CANADA; has many Canadian stars..but..not shown in Canada until later>
    Not gonna stop the grumbling and ranting…
    Showcase, get your butt in gear!