Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 4, 2013

Supersize your free cloud storage to 100GB or more – With some patience, you can build your own supercloud with more than 100GB of free storage. With a lot of patience (and pestering of your pals), you can nab more than 225GB.

What Do You Have to Hide? – “What are you worried about? If you are not doing anything wrong, what difference does it make?” I’ve fought this bogus comment with all sorts of arguments. Now I’ll apply the exact same argument to promote cameras in the bathrooms of your own home. Public bathrooms should indeed have cameras because people head there to do drug deals. There are also muggings and murders in bathrooms. Put cameras in the bathrooms of America to stop crime. What better way is there than a camera in every room? And most law-abiding citizens should not care since they are not doing anything bad, right?

Consumer Reports: How secure is your smart phone? – Chances are you’re among the roughly half of American adults who use an ­iPhone, Android-based phone, or other type of smart phone. And you probably entrust it with sensitive information: your circle of friends, your whereabouts from day to day, or passwords to your accounts. But when you take your phone into your confidence, so to speak, you’re also taking in a host of parties that make all of those wonderful mobile services possible, including app developers, your wireless carrier and phone manufacturer, mobile advertisers, and the maker of your phone’s operating system.

3D printer? Staples says, ‘Yeah, we’ve got that’ – 3D printers are taking another step in the long haul toward the mainstream, with a little help from Staples. On Friday, the office supply retailer began selling the Cube 3D Printer online for $1300, becoming the first major U.S. retailer to sell a 3D printer. Staples says it will offer the printer in “a limited number” of retail stores by the end of June.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Here’s what you can make with a mainstream 3D printer – Staples and a limited number of stores will begin selling the 3D Systems Cube 3D Printer to the general public. But what can they do?

World’s first 3D-printed gun makes its debut – Defense Distributed, a Texas-based group working toward nonprofit status, has given Forbes images of what is being called the world’s first 3D-printed handgun. The gun is capable of firing standard handgun rounds and is made entirely of plastic, except for a nail that’s being used as a firing pin and a six-ounce piece of steel that’s designed solely to allow the gun to be detected by metal detectors.

Get a free Windows 8 tips-and-tricks guide – Sure, you can read all the great Windows 8-related tutorials and how-to guides here at PC World, or even take a free online course. But sometimes your best bet is a cheat-sheet—something you can keep right beside your keyboard for at-a-glance information. The folks at TradePub have just the thing: the Microsoft Windows 8 Quick Reference Card. It’s a colorful two-page guide to Windows 8’s most commonly used areas. And if you don’t mind sharing a bit of personal information, it’s free. At the risk of gushing, this is one of the handiest Windows 8 helpers I’ve seen yet.

Beam app fills the Google Glass-to-YouTube upload gap – Google’s Glass can shoot video with its built-in camera, but one missing piece is getting it right onto YouTube, which Google also happens to own. Fullscreen, a Los Angeles-based company, has solved that with what it claims is the first YouTube app for Glass. The software, called Beam, lets Glass owners post their videos to YouTube, as well as automatically share them on Twitter once they’re live.

How to increase your Twitter following – one step at a time – What do all Twitter users want? Followers – and lots of them. But unless you’re a celebrity, it is often difficult for most of us to build a large Twitter audience. Looking at a half-million tweets over 15 months, a first-of-its-kind study from Georgia Tech has revealed a set of reliable predictors for building a Twitter following.

Why the browser wars are important to you – In this off-topic post, I explore (no pun intended) the five major browsers and why you should care about them.

Google and Adobe beautify fonts on Linux, iOS – Users of Android, Chrome OS, Linux, and iOS devices may not realize it, but FreeType open source software is used to render fonts on more than a billion such devices. Not only that, but the FreeType project this week got a significant update from none other than Adobe and Google.

Raspberry Pi kits to form drone shield – A US engineer is trying to sell the idea of an open source drone detection system built out of shedloads of Raspberry Pi kits. The Drone Shield, which is designed by John Franklin, will cost around $60 to $70 to set up. It will combine a, a signal processor, a microphone, and analysis software to scan for specific audio signatures and compare them against what known drones sound like. Once a match is found, the Drone Shield then sends an e-mail or SMS to its owner and warns him or her to keep their head down.


Top Android AV software fooled by common evasion techniques – A team of researchers from Northwestern University and North Carolina State University have tested ten of the most popular Android anti-virus software and have discovered that all of them can be fooled by common code obfuscation techniques.

Multi-stage exploit attacks for more effective malware delivery – Most drive-by exploit kits use a minimal exploit shellcode that downloads and runs the final payload. This is akin to a two-stage ICBM (InterContinental Ballistic Missile) where the first stage, the exploit, puts the rocket in its trajectory and the second stage, the payload, inflicts the damage.

Systems manager arrested for revenge hacking former employer’s network – A 41-year-old man was arrested for allegedly disrupting his former employer’s network after he was passed over for promotions, leading him to quit his job and take revenge, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

ICS-CERT revises recommendations to avoid shamoon infections – ICS-CERT updates a number of recommendations for critical infrastructure operators to prevent infections from the Shamoon wiper malware. Shamoon struck Saudi oil company Aramco, destroying more than 30,000 workstations.

Company News:

Avast targets Facebook and VPN – Yesterday, Avast Software made news with its acquisition of privacy company Secure.Me, a small developer best known for its Facebook apps of the same name. Secure.Me protects users’ Facebook accounts, monitoring all activity and photos, detecting malware links, and identifying content that is questionable or unsuitable for children.

Google Is Making Gaming Moves – Google may be planning some big moves into video games, based on a few recent developments. Android Police has reported that Google is working on a multiplayer gaming service, similar to Apple‘s Game Center, based on hints in one of Google’s own Android apps. What’s going on here? Let’s mull over the possibilities, based on what we know.

Tech group pushing to ease rules for exporting broken phones – A trade group that represents Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and other tech giants is pushing new language for an international treaty that one watchdog group says could open the floodgates to toxic e-waste exportation.

Facebook settles with Timelines Inc. – Facebook said Thursday in its 10-Q quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had reached agreement with Timelines Inc. to settle the dispute. The social network did not disclose the terms of the settlement, but indicated that the cost was not material to its business.

Retailers share blame for poor Windows 8 sales – “Windows 8 brought a brand new UI [user interface] that had not fundamentally changed since DOS,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, in a blog post Tuesday. “[So] how did big-box retail respond? The same way they have for the last 20 years.”

Webopedia Daily:

IT outsourcing – IT outsourcing is a phrase used to describe the practice of seeking resources — or subcontracting — outside of an organizational structure for all or part of an IT (Information Technology) function. An organization would use IT outsourcing for functions ranging from infrastructure to software development, maintenance and support. For example, an enterprise might outsource its IT management because it is cheaper to contract a third party to do so than it would be to build its own in-house IT management team. Or a company might outsource all of its data storage needs because it does not want to buy and maintain its own data storage devices. Most large organizations only outsource a portion of any given IT function.

Games and Entertainment:

Get the party started with Heads Up (pictures) – This trivia and activity social game has a simple interface to get your group of friends playing together. In some games you’ll only have to guess a word or name, but others have you acting out clues, or even doing impersonations.

10 Games to Watch for Late Spring 2013 – Check out our late-spring list of PC, console and handheld video games to keep an eye on.

Robot Unicorn Attack 2 – The game-making gurus over at Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim have a knack for crafting entertaining, competitive experiences out of whole cloth; Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is their latest endeavor. It’s an endless runner in the vein of games like Canabalt or Temple Run. There are only two buttons: jump to leap over chasms, and dash to bash through obstacles. You’ll accumulate points as you run, and can also collect fairies to boost your score, and tears, which serve as the in game currency.

New Trailer Provides Sneak Peek at ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’ – One year after Bethesda Softworks announced plans to take The Elder Scrolls online in a massively multiplayer online version, the company today revealed more details about its next chapter.

Fez lands on Windows – The remarkable little 2D platformer set in a 3D world launches its Windows version today on Steam and GOG. It’s Gomez time!

Wise Game Booster – You don’t need a supercharged PC to run high-demand games. Wise Game Booster will speed up your computer’s gaming performance with the touch of a button. It’s a little too powerful for rookie users, but the ability to change or modify how it closes programs makes it a worthwhile download.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Born Apple: Six famous Windows apps that debuted on the Mac – A number of the most famous apps to make the Mac-Windows jump began as GUI-based reinterpretations of older software ideas, while others began as programs that could have only originated in a bitmapped computing environment like that of the Macintosh. We’ll take a look at a handful in this slideshow.

The 10 Most Popular iPhone Apps of All Time – With the App Store about to hit 50 billion downloads any day now, Apple appears to be in a celebratory mood. To commemorate the impending milestone, Apple on Thursday began highlighting the top 25 free and paid iOS apps of all time, giving us some insight into the apps we just had to check out over the past five years. Interestingly, each of the top 5 paid apps are games, while social-networking services ruled the free app rankings.

Expelled girl’s ‘bomb’: Toilet cleaner and foil – As the scientific community rallies around Kiera Wilmot, the 16-year-old expelled for a scientific experiment gone slightly awry, court papers reveal hers was an ordinary experiment. The school, meanwhile, insists it did the right thing.

Revenge-porn website victim files suit against ex and four porn sites – A US woman in the state of Florida has filed charges against her ex-boyfriend and four websites for posting revenge porn images of her – i.e., nude photos and/or videos, including private facts and details of the victim, posted online without the subject’s consent.

Today’s Quote:

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

–     Henry David Thoreau

Today’s Free Downloads:

Cain and Abel 4.9.44 – Allows easy recovery of various kind of passwords by sniffing the network, cracking encrypted passwords and more.

MailStore Home 8.0.3 – With MailStore Home you can bring order into chaos by creating a single central archive for all emails.

Spiceworks IT Desktop – Spiceworks IT Desktop is the only application that combines Network Inventory, Help Desk, Reporting,and more in a single, easy-to-use interface.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

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

  1. What do you have to hide?
    One obviously needs to digest this with a bit of humor while crying in ones morning coffee.

    • Hi Bob,

      Dvorak has been around about as long as you and I and he is, I think, one of the most irreverent characters in Tech. He’s totally without guile and à la Howard Cosell – he tells it like it is. Well, sort of 🙂

      But yeah, your comment is dead on – crying and laughing, seems like a good approach early in the morning. 🙂