Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 1, 2013

How to build a bulletproof cloud backup system without spending a dime – There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who have lost critical data, and those who will. In other words, if you use technology long enough and neglect to back up your data, you’re guaranteed to have at least one extremely bad day. Whether it’s theft, loss, fire, flood, corruption, or some form of malware, a single incident can destroy the lion’s share of your family photos, personal documents, address books, years-in-the-making music library, and more. The solution, of course, is to back up everything.

The next home-networking revolution will be wired – Wireless networks are fabulous, until they aren’t. Theoretically, you can deploy an 802.11ac router and send data, audio, and high-def video zipping throughout your home without any wires. That is, unless your home has very thick walls or multiple floors, or your client device is too far from your Wi-Fi router, or your neighbor’s wireless network stomps on yours, or your microwave oven creates interference.

5 Great Laptops for Kids – Getting your son or daughter a laptop of their own doesn’t have to be scary. We’ve already found 5 great laptops that should fit the bill.

How to rate a comparative anti-virus test – a six-step guide – It sometimes seems like anyone with a computer feels qualified to do comparative anti-virus testing. There are a lot of pitfalls to look out for, which often trip up unwary would-be testers and regularly lead to wonky data and odd conclusions. So how do you know which tests are any good?

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

EFF: Trust Twitter–but not Apple or Verizon–to protect your privacy – Twitter and Internet service provider scored a perfect six in the third annual Electronic Frontier Foundation “Who Has Your Back?” report. However, Verizon and MySpace scored a zero out of a possible six stars in a test of how far 18 technology service providers will go to protect user data from government data demands.

Surf the Web in a new way with Nextly – Flip through Web sites and your Facebook and Twitter feeds with style, grace, and speed with Web app Nextly.

10 Reasons Cell Phone Users Still Need a Landline at Home – In a world of increasing technology and smart phones galore, you’d think having a landline at home is pointless. Here are some reasons you should consider keeping a landline, though everyone around you seems to be eschewing that relatively small monthly bill in favor of beefier mobile billing plans.

Pick from hundreds of themes in Microsoft’s Personalization Gallery – Over the years, Microsoft has released a myriad of themes from their Microsoft Download page. And while there have been a lot of them, they were released sporadically and hidden among lots of other downloads. Fortunately, Microsoft recently modernized its delivery system, called it the Personalization Gallery, and created a centralized location for a huge collection of Windows Themes and Desktop Backgrounds, thus making it easy for you to customize your Windows 7 or Windows 8 system. Here’s how it works.

iPad Mini popularity burying regular iPad, claim suppliers – Trends and shipment estimates indicate that the iPad Mini is overwhelming the iPad in popularity.


Email Hacked? Here Is What To Do – Your email account is not accepting your password. Your friends are asking how you got stranded in London and whether you got the money they wired. Your mother wants to know why you are sending out emails with nothing in it, but a link. Okay, so you are hacked. Now what?

Fake PayPal “Reset your password” request leads to malware – PayPal customers are being targeted with a fake email impersonating the e-payment service, claiming that their account has been put “on hold” and will stay that way until they reset their password. More experienced users will likely identify the email as malicious and consider it a phishing attempt, but it’s not. Checking whether their speculation is right can be fatal, as the offered link leads to a legitimate compromised site hosting the Blackhole exploit kit.

Why we need security awareness training programs – Lately, some of the smartest people in infosec decided that security awareness trainings are a waste of time. Last out is Bruce Schneier, who decided to speak up against awareness training. The claim that security awareness trainings are not working is, in my opinion, a claim based on wrong assumptions. It also shows a clear lack of understanding of the inner workings of the human mind, and a total lack of respect for your co-workers.

Scammy Profile Viewer app is now “offered” by Facebook – Once users become too familiar with a type of scam and stop falling for it, scammers tend to move on to new ones. But every now and then they go back to using old ones for a while in the hopes that new users haven’t been told about them, and that old users forgot about them. Hoax-Slayer has spotted an ongoing Facebook campaign that combines a well-known (but obviously still effective) lure and a trick that has been around for a good while

UK banks targeted with Trojans and social engineering – Using HTML injection, these malware variants present the victim with new input fields, security warnings and customized text during login, account navigation and transactions. Some malware variants go as far as creating custom, localized pages that are generated based on the victim’s language preference.

Report: Hackers jack Nintendo’s Wii U – A team of hackers who previously managed to design a custom chip that circumvented security protocols on Nintendo’s Wii console say they have created a similar key for the recently launched Wii U.

Company News:

To give back to investors, Apple goes for massive bond deal – In an effort to return cash to investors, Apple is reaching out to the debt market and offering $17 billion in bonds, the biggest non-bank bond offering in history, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Bang With Friends raises $1 million to help people ‘bang’ their Facebook friends – Sometimes I wonder if there may be too much venture capitalist money out there. Business Insider is reporting that the popular three-month-old Web app Bang With Friends (BWF) has raised $1 million in seed money to further spread its unique brand of carefree social media-fueled debauchery.

Blackberry CEO: Tablets are doomed! – Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins has made a bold prediction: He says that tablets don’t have much of a future. “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins told Bloomberg today. “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.” Heins comments seem hard to believe at first. But a broader look at Heins’ past remarks shows a vision that actually isn’t so radical.

Verizon rolls out mostly pointless cloud-storage service – Verizon Wireless has announced a new cloud-storage service to compete with Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive, but it’s not really clear why anyone would use it in place of those services. Verizon Cloud comes with 500MB of free data—a paltry amount compared to Dropbox’s 2GB, Google Drive’s 5GB and SkyDrive’s 7GB. Additional data is often more expensive than the competition as well.

Microsoft shares hit five-year high despite Windows 8 flop – With solid earnings and big growth in corporate sales and cloud-computing technology, Microsoft’s stock reaches levels not seen since 2007.

Google tests Intel Haswell-powered Chromebook – Google is reportedly testing a new Chromebook powered by Intel’s x86 Haswell SoC. For some strange reason, the new device has been nicknamed “Slippy,” at least according to a few lines of Chromium code spotted by one Dinsan Francis.

Webopedia Daily:

Horizontal application – A horizontal application is any software application that targets a large number of users with different knowledge and skill sets. Because these types of applications can extend across markets and be used in a range of industries, they typically do not offer market-specific features. Horizontal applications can be off-the-shelf solutions or integrated and proprietary vendor solutions. Some examples of horizontal applications include word processors, spreadsheets, financial software and Web browsers.

Games and Entertainment:

Robot Unicorn Attack 2: More wishes, more powers, more glory – The epic Robot Unicorn iOS game from Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim is back. And this time, it’s more glorious than ever.

Netflix said to eliminate 100s of classic titles – As of May 1, movies like the James Bond hit “Goldfinger” and Woody Allen’s “Stardust Memories” will not be available for streaming. But, 500 new titles, like “Mission: Impossible II”, will be added.

Twaggies greatest hits: Weird tweets get illustrated – A team of artists takes the funniest Twitter missives they can find and turns them into short comics that up the entertainment value considerably.

Portal Creator Unveils Ouya-Exclusive Game, Soul Fjord – Ouya this week unveiled the game that Kim Swift and Airtight Games developed exclusively for the Android-based gaming console.

Google releases Glass tutorial – The video explains how the touchpad is located on the eyeglass frames between your temple and ear. You can “wake up” Glass by tapping the touchpad. You can manually adjust the position of the homescreen image so that it “sits” above your line of sight.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Wrinkly old people make better programmers – The industry perception that you have to be a freshly scrubbed schoolboy to be any good as a developer is rubbish, according to research. While many companies have refused to hire older developers because they think that they cannot deal with many of the new technology changes, research from North Carolina State University indicates that firms are getting rid of the best. The study indicates that the knowledge and skills of programmers actually improve over time and that older programmers know more than their younger peers when it comes to recent software platforms.

Stem cells grow new windpipe for 2-year-old girl facing death – Experimental stem-cell treatment has been credited with saving the life of a 2-year-old girl who was born without a windpipe. The Associated Press reported that the treatment involved extracting cells from the girl’s own hip bone marrow. The cells were then seeded on a plastic base, and left for a week to multiply and grow. They grew into a windpipe, which was subsequently implanted on the girl, Hannah Warren, in a nine-hour surgery on April 9, AP reported.

Every atom matters in new IBM film (Pictures) – IBM’s short animated film “A boy and his atom” was shot at the atomic level and set the Guinness record for world’s smallest stop-motion movie.

The science behind a riot – Since the 1960’s, participants of group riots have been viewed as rational individuals driven by a sense of injustice. However, Dr. Christian Borch claims this approach is misleading, at least in today’s world.

What happened before the dinosaurs? – Predecessors to dinosaurs missed the race to fill habitats emptied when 9 out of 10 species disappeared during Earth’s largest mass extinction 252 million years ago. Or did they?

Today’s Quote:

It is the part of a good shepherd to shear his flock, not to skin it.”

–      Latin Proverb

Today’s Free Downloads:

ClamWin Portable – ClamWin is a Free Antivirus program for Microsoft Windows 7 / Vista / XP / Me / 2000 / 98 and Windows Server 2008 and 2003. ClamWin Free Antivirus is used by more than 600,000 users worldwide on a daily basis. It comes with an easy installer and open source code. You may download and use it absolutely free of charge.

BitTorrent – BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing/distribution protocol designed for transferring files from multiple locations. Because of the nature of this protocol, large files can be handled more efficiently than the typical client/server method.

uTorrent 3.3 Build 29609 Stable – µTorrent is an efficient and feature rich BitTorrent client for Windows sporting a very small footprint. It was designed to use as little cpu, memory and space as possible while offering all the functionality expected from advanced clients. This is a beta test version.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 1, 2013

  1. Security Awareness training.
    Something I’ve been doing for the past 21/2 years totally free of charge for Computer Clubs and user groups and many other Groups of Computer Users.
    More details can be found at:
    I do this because I enjoy helping others and Avast makes this possible since they pay the expenses.
    Since I represent their free version (avast!8 Free), this isn’t a sales pitch.

    • Hi Bob,

      Both Avast, and those who attend your training sessions, are fortunate to have a relationship with such a well seasoned pro as you.

      I commend you for your efforts in keeping us all safe. And, having viewed your instructional videos numerous times, I would offer my unreserved recommendation.



  2. delenn13

    Hi Bill and Bob,

    The problem with most users is..they like the “Dancing pigs ” better. 🙂

  3. delenn13

    Hmmm.. Did I screw that up?? Dancing pigs