Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 11, 2013

The Pirate Bay now offering banned 3D-printed gun files – The State Department has successfully demanded the removal of the files from Defcad. The Pirate Bay has picked up the slack.

Windows Blue Preview Coming Next Month – We’ve heard a lot about Microsoft’s next move for Windows, including a possible return of the Start button and the addition of more core functions to the operating system’s modern side. Now, Microsoft is promising to reveal a lot more next month, when it’ll release a preview of the software, codenamed Windows Blue. In a blog post, Microsoft’s Julie Larson-Green says the preview will arrive in late June, timed with the company’s Build conference:

Tiny Tech 2: Tools for travellers – Tired of lugging large tech accessories? Compact your carry-arounds.

Apple deluged by police demands to decrypt iPhones – ATF says no law enforcement agency could unlock a defendant’s iPhone, but Apple can “bypass the security software” if it chooses. Apple has created a police waiting list because of high demand.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google Drive documents list goes empty for users – A problem wiped out the list of documents for many people using Google’s online tools for word processing and spreadsheets. The data remained intact, though, and Google said the problem is fixed.

Comment on Facebook Directly From Bing – The Microsoft search engine has more tightly integrated with Facebook to let users interact with friends’ posts directly from the right-hand social sidebar.

Free services make Gmail, Google Drive, Google search more private – Sendinc encrypts mail sent via a Gmail, Outlook, or other account; BoxCryptor encrypts Google Drive, SkyDrive, DropBox, and other cloud storage; and Startpage serves up Google search results without recording your IP address or otherwise tracking you.

How to undo accidental browser zoom – Earlier today my dad called the Hassle-Free Hotline (also known as my home phone number). The poor guy seems to encounter more than his fair share of inadvertent computer problems. For example, somehow, while using his laptop’s touchpad, he’d made everything in his browser bigger. Consequently, he had to scroll pages left and right, not just up and down.

Firefox OS on the Geeksphone Keon – What does a smartphone based on the Firefox browser look like? Here’s one ultracheap handset that paves the way for Firefox phones.

City of Boston drops Microsoft Exchange for Gmail – It’s another win for Google — Boston city employees make the switch to some of the search giant’s business services.

Hangtime: a Better Way to Find Facebook Events – An iPhone app aims to make it a whole lot easier to find things to do among millions of listings from Facebook and elsewhere.

Finally, a Huggies Device that Lets Babies Tweet When They Pee – This is important: a device that attaches to your baby’s derriere, then relays Twitter-like alerts to your smartphone to let you know when it’s time for a diaper change.


Hijacking Facebook accounts via expired Hotmail accounts – Three researchers from Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, have discovered a simple way to hijack Facebook accounts by just by misusing existing features and responses of Facebook, Microsoft’s Hotmail web-based email service and its Windows Live Messenger. The limitations of this attack is that attackers cannot target a specific user – they have to take what they can get. They also have to start from their own friends. Still, this does not matter much to spammers and scammers, who don’t care what account they compromise.

Hackers breached Washington state court with Adobe ColdFusion flaw – Hackers used a flaw in Adobe’s ColdFusion software to breach Washington state’s Administrative Office of the Courts. The hackers may have accessed as many as 160,000 Social Security numbers and up to one million drivers license numbers, according to a statement by the court on Thursday.

Academic institutions urged to take steps to prevent DNS amplification attacks – Colleges and universities are being encouraged to scrutinize their systems to keep them from being hijacked in DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks. The Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC) advised academic institutions this week to review their DNS (Domain Name System) and network configurations in order to prevent their systems from being abused to amplify DDoS attacks.

May’s Patch Tuesday to fix two critical flaws in Internet Explorer – This coming Tuesday, Microsoft will issue fixes for 33 vulnerabilities in total, including two critical flaws relating to Internet Explorer, affecting all versions of Windows.

India has a new National Cyber Security Policy – The Indian government has approved the proposed National Cyber Security Policy, which is aimed at creating a “secure computing environment and adequate trust and confidence in electronic transactions”. The policy is not aimed only at government entities and big business, but at home users as well.

Dangerous Android Apps This Week – Security companies regularly warn about the perils of malicious mobile apps lurking in app stores pretending to be legitimate apps. SecurityWatch is partnering with a handful of security companies who monitor apps on Google Play and third-party marketplaces to identify malicious apps you should not have on your Android device.

The Onion Peels Back Layers of Syrian Electronic Army Twitter Hack – On Wednesday, the parody news outlet took an atypical moment to very seriously explain how the hacktivists weaseled their way into the company’s digital confines. “In summary, they phished Onion employees’ Google Apps accounts via 3 separate methods,” the site’s tech team posted in a May 8 blog post.

Company News:

Physical Google Wallet is dust – Google is planning to revamp its Google Wallet digital payments platform at Google I/O. However, it seems plans for a physical credit card have been shelved, at least for the time being.

Backlash rises against Adobe’s subscription-only Creative Suite plan – A petition on demanding that Adobe back away from its subscription-only model for its creativity software, including Photoshop, has collected over 4400 signatures by late Thursday. And those thousands of customers were unhappy at Adobe for pushing them toward subscriptions. Very unhappy. “Paying Adobe rent for the rest of my life is absurd,” said Nick Scott, who left a comment on the petition’s page. “I’ll definitely be looking elsewhere next time I need to upgrade.”

BitTorrent to monetize its file-distribution platform – The new BitTorrent Bundle builds a store within a torrent to enable content producers to charge for files or collect user information.

Report: Microsoft Prepping Streaming Set-Top Box – Citing inside sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has been working on a set-top box that would ditch the Xbox’s gaming features and focus solely on streaming video content into consumer’s homes.

Twitter Buys Scalable Computing Company Ubalo – Twitter has acquired Palo Alto, Calif.-based scalable computing startup Ubalo, the companies announced on Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Acer PC sales slump – Acer seems to be getting the worst of the PC slump. Friday the company reported its April sales plunged 18.8 percent from a year ago, Reuters reports.

Webopedia Daily:

Internet marketing – Internet marketing, or online marketing, refers to advertising and marketing efforts that use the Web and e-mail to drive direct sales via e-commerce as well as sales leads from Web sites or emails. Internet marketing and online advertising efforts are typically used in conjunction with traditional types of advertising like radio, television, newspapers and magazines.

Games and Entertainment:

Half-Life 2 is now playable on Linux and gets official Oculus Rift support – If you are one of the lucky few who got their hands on an Oculus Rift and/or you run your PC on Linux rather than Windows, there’s two lots of good news today.

Ace Patrol is a shining beacon of what iOS games should be – Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol sets itself apart from the rest of the phone gaming scene by managing to be a phone game you opt to play over more robust PC or console games.

The Ultimate Star Trek Poll: The Captains, Cool Tech, and More – As we prepare for Star Trek Into Darkness, we want to know what you consider the most beloved aspects of the Trek franchise going back almost 50 years. Let your voice be heard!

Games edited into movies: The 10 best video game films – The ten best video game-to-movie adaptations on YouTube. Our picks include MGS4, AC3, SC2HotS and other acronyms.

YouTube launches subscription service with 53 channels – It’s been teased, hinted, and all but demanded for over a year now. Subscription-based content has come to YouTube in a big way, and it looks great.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Apple iPads could be bad for your heart – Apple fanboys, with heart conditions, who take their iPads to bed with them, could find that their next rounded rectangle is a coffin.

Google: Mobile Web sites 30% faster this year – Pages load much faster on smartphones and tablets now compared to last year, as measured by the Google Analytics service.

7 cool consumer technologies coming soon to a cubicle near you – Move over, tablets and phones. Here are seven user technologies heading for the enterprise.

The 10 most important milestones in Web browser history – Far more than the blank slate it appears to be, a Web browser is ridiculously sophisticated and entirely capable of morphing the code-crazed reality of the Internet into the Matrix-like façade we now can’t live without. But how did we get where we are today? We thought you’d never ask.

Bill Gates and learning from Leonardo da Vinci – What inspires a billionaire? In the case of Bill Gates, it’s a 500-year-old manuscript penned by Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci. And at $30.8 million, it was probably a bargain to the Microsoft founder, who considers it a priceless symbol of knowledge. Charlie Rose talks to Gates about the historic document — the world’s most valuable — for a 60 Minutes story to be broadcast Sunday, May 12, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Desktop Othermill carves out circuit boards, jewelry – This successful Kickstarter project lets you make anything from printed circuits to brass earrings and molds for precision parts.

Today’s Quote:

There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.”

–     Alfred Korzybski

Today’s Free Downloads:

CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor 9.8 – The CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor is a full-featured web design system. With built-in FTP uploading, wizards for tables, frames, fonts, and more, support for HTML5 and CSS3, and 100% valid code output.

MediaHuman Audio Converter 1.8.9 – MediaHuman Audio Converter is a freeware application that helps you to convert your music absolutely free in WMA, MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC, OGG, AIFF or Apple Loseless format. This software was designed especially to simplify as much as possible the process of audio conversion. At the same time, it gives you an opportunity to adapt it to your needs. That’s why the user interface is simple, intuitive and very easy to understand. It doesn’t contain anything superfluous

EverNote – Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 11, 2013

  1. Laurence

    Hi Bill,
    thank you for your hard work!
    I’ll see you tomorrow.

    Best regards,


  2. delenn13

    Hey Bill,

    I see my fav channel on YouTube..“Geek and Sundry”…is mentioned. Not sure if that is good or bad..yet.

  3. Ben

    Bill Thanks for al yor great work, I love reading your work every day!

    Share this Mini iPad ree Giveaway with your readers:


    Best Regards,


  4. DavidN

    FYI The coffeecup editor download listed in this post has features that are time limited, so not worth using.

    Thanks for your great blog.

    • Hi David,

      My apologies. Used to use this years ago and just assumed – well, you know the rest of the assuming thing. 🙂

      Thanks for pointing this out, and for dropping by.