Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 17, 2013

U.S. attorney general: Government should get a warrant before email, cloud storage snooping – The U.S.’ highest ranking lawyer supports changes to existing email and online storage snooping laws, which are currently under scrutiny in the U.S. House.

Oracle’s Ellison earns $3 a second – The CEO of Oracle, dashing Larry Ellison, earned $96.4 million last year and it’s hard to figure out how he can make ends meet. That’s $11,004 an hour, or if you prefer it, $183.4 a minute, and $3.05 a second.

Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr get social on Google Glass – While Google promotes its Glass head-mounted display as a new way for people to receive and document information on the fly, several social networking companies including Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr now want a piece of the action, by offering social applications on the device.

How to Hack Google Glass – Unlock your Google Glass and root it, say two software engineers at Google, who share how to do it. Android developers, get ready to code your apps for Glass!

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google Now vs. Siri: Virtual assistants duke it out (video 7:40) – Watch as we pit Siri against Google Now in a live test to find out which one offers the fastest, most accurate, and richest voice command experience.

What my disabled iPod Touch says about Apple customer service – After his iPod Touch became locked until the year 2056, CNET’s David Carnoy sought help. But a trip to his local Apple store Genius Bar only led to more frustration.

Cloud-service contracts and data protection: Unintended consequences – There are things your cloud-service (Facebook, Amazon, Google, Dropbox, etc.) contracts aren’t telling you. Michael P. Kassner interviews an attorney concerned about what’s not being said.

Three methods for transferring files to and from your Android tablet – If your Android tablet doesn’t have a USB port, you can still easily transfer your files to and from a PC. Jack Wallen explains three ways this can be done.

This tablet boots Android, Windows 8 and Ubuntu – If you’re the sort of person who enjoys using multiple operating systems, well, it is probably somewhat difficult for you to choose just one for your tablet. Enter the Ekoore Python S3, which is capable of booting three operating systems: Android, Windows 8 and Ubuntu.


Apple fixes 41 iTunes security flaws, some more than a year old – Apple released the latest update to iTunes today, version 11.0.3, fixing 41 vulnerabilities in the Windows version and 1 in the OS X version. Many of these flaws are rated critical and we advise you update as soon as possible.

Cyber-Criminals Stole $500 Million in Internet Crime in 2012 – The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 289,874 complaints, or approximately 24,000 complaints a month, in 2012, according to the 2012 Internet Crime Report released this week. Nearly 40 percent of the complaints reported some kind of financial loss, for a grand total of $525,441,110. The average loss for those who claimed a financial impact was $4,573, according to the report. Most of the victims last year were between 40 to 59 years old, accounting for 43 percent of the complaints. The next targeted group was the 20 to 39 year olds, at 39 percent.

iPoker P2P Transfer Suspension Linked to Illicit American Player Ring? – Rumors of Americans playing online poker on international sites via VPN (Virtual Private Network) hookups have increased of late, and there’s new evidence that the iPoker Network’s recent suspension of P2P (player-to-player) transfer capabilities is directly tied to the illicit operation of a ring of anonymous American players participating on the site. (recommended by Michael F.)

Mobile security reality check: What you really need for protecting your phone – To hear the headlines scream it, mobile security is already a lost cause. Android is the king of mobile malware! Umpteen gazillion rogue apps found! THE HACKERS ARE SNOOPING YOUR SNAPCHATS AND SEXTING YOUR GRANDMA! It’s enough to make you want to wrap your phone in tinfoil and cower in a corner somewhere—but don’t believe the hype.

Testing cell networks across America: Phone crime is real – I suppose it isn’t too far away of a concept when a strange looking man (my mother may disagree) pulls up in a sedan and opens a case featuring an assortment of very nice mobile devices that are neatly labeled “AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile.” The fact is, smartphone theft has become a very big issue in the U.S. Numbers are on the rise, and the level of violence around such thefts is rising, too.

Mass Customized Attacks Show Malware Maturity – The malware universe is typically divided into targeted attacks and mass, opportunistic attack, but a middle category–mass customized malware–poses a more serious threat for business

Company News:

Google no-shows: three products missing from I/O – What Google left out of its 3-hour keynote is almost as interesting as what it announced.

The 10 Most Exciting Things Google Announced at I/O – I/O’s 3-hour keynote included several announcements that caught our attention.

Google could land up in the Tower of London – A committee of the House of Commons summoned a Google executive to give testimony again today and raised the possibility that the corporation might find itself in contempt of parliament.

LinkedIn Bans Prostitutes, Escorts – Who’da thunk that the Web would begin turning away prostitutes? But that’s exactly what professional business network LinkedIn has done with a recent update to its user agreement terms.

Al Gore and Bono invest in Biz Stone’s mystery startup – The Twitter co-founder’s new company, Jelly, closes its first round of funding with a celebrity-studded group of investors, including tech notables like Jack Dorsey, Reid Hoffman and Evan Williams.

Webopedia Daily:

Dorkbot – A family of malware worms that typically spreads through instant messaging, USB removable drives, websites or social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Downloading and installing Dorkbot malware results in it opening a backdoor on infected computers, allowing for remote access and potentially turning the computer into a botnet. The Dorkbot worm gained publicity in late 2011 for an attack on Facebook’s chat system, with users receiving a message with a bogus link that appeared to come from one of their Facebook friends. A similar Dorkbot worm appeared later in the same year, this time preying on Twitter users.

Games and Entertainment:

VRcade aims to be the world’s first virtual reality arcade – Described as the “first Virtual Reality Arcade for the 21st century,” VRcade will essentially be a big, indoor space lined with optical motion-capture cameras. It’s not open yet, but the VRcade team has constructed a facility of sorts in Seattle, Washington—a prototype for the finished VRcade. It will have sections dedicated to other activities, but all of the gaming will take place in an area known as The Grid.

Angry Birds Rio Flies to Windows Phone – Another classic Angry Birds title arrived for Windows Phone today – Angry Birds Rio. In this edition, which ties into the 2011 film Rio, the original feathered creatures are captured and sent off to Rio de Janeiro. But they break out and wreak havoc on their captors and cages before setting out to rescue friends Blu and Jewel.

Steam players can now earn coupons for new games by playing old ones – Steam will release a new beta feature within its service called Steam Trading Cards according to an announcement from the company. The trading cards integrate with a handful of Valve titles at launch, and players that collect the cards will be able to use them to earn coupons as well as profile backgrounds and other items to augment their Steam experience.

How Google’s game services API will convince devs to make better games – As of its launch there are about 20 games that utilize the service, though only five were highlighted at the Google I/O keynote. They feature functionality like cloud save, which let users save their level progression and game state across different Play-compatible devices.

Using science to reform toxic player behavior in League of Legends – Riot Games founders and League of Legends creators Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill have encountered bad behavior in massively multiplayer online games since the days of Ultima Online and EverQuest.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google Glass as congressional catnip: That didn’t take long – A new technology offers Congress a new opportunity to preen for the cameras. Let’s stipulate for the record that Congress has every right to ask questions of private industry as it works on the nation’s behalf. I remember reading something to that effect when I was studying social studies once upon a time. Then you have this: A public letter sent to Google CEO Larry Page by eight members of Congress inquiring “whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of the average American.” News flash: Congress has discovered the 21st century.

Dear Larry Page: Negativity is not always a bad thing – One message that Larry Page dished out at the Google I/O keynote address dealt with negativity in the tech world. My response to Page is that’s not always a bad thing.

Original Star Trek tech: What has (and hasn’t) panned out – As we near the release of the franchise’s latest big-screen offering, Star Trek Into Darkness, it’s a good time to take a look back at which of the fanciful technologies from the original 1966 series have basically become real (or are on the cusp of becoming real). Following are some examples of Shatner-era Star Trek tech that are just about here now.

A Grizzly Ate My GoPro!!! GoPro HD (video 4:13) – When using a GoPro to capture unusually close footage of grizzly bears for the Great Bear Stakeout for BBC, I had a young bear actually chew on the camera. Amazingly there was no damage to the camera! Some of this clip appears in the film Great Bear Stakeoout on BBC and Discovery Channel. (suggested by Michael F.)

Over 200 asteroids strike Mars each year (the poor thing!) – According to NASA, the red planets gets impacted by over 200 small asteroids or bits of comets every year, most of which leave craters at least 3.9 meters in width. Scientists have so far found 248 new impact sites on Mars in the last 10 years, thanks to NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera.

Google Recruits Divers, Developers for Underwater Street View – Strap on a scuba tank and start snapping underwater pictures with your Android phone to help save the world’s vanishing coral reefs.

Blogger writes about predatory publishing, is threatened with $1B suit – Citing India law, firm informs Jeffrey Beall he could face up to three years too.

Today’s Quote:

“You will have no sensation of a leash around your neck if you sit by the peg. It is only when you stray that you feel the restraining tug.”

–     Michael Parenti

Today’s Free Downloads:

Advanced SystemCare Free – Advanced SystemCare 6 is a comprehensive PC care utility that takes a one-click approach to help protect, repair and optimize your computer. It cleans, repairs and makes your PC run like a brand new one.

PrivaZer 1.10.0 – With PrivaZer you can master your security and freedom, free up disk space and keep your PC fit and secure.

Skype for Android – Skype for Android lets you make free voice and video Skype-to-Skype calls, and call phones and landlines at great Skype rates on the move. Video calling now supported on more Android phones.

A note to regular readers – As of now, this column will no longer appear on the weekends.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

9 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 17, 2013

  1. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Re: “A note to regular readers – As of now, this column will no longer appear on the weekends.”

    Have a great weekend – missing you already 🙂

    Kind regards

  2. Holder said what ???
    Wonder if that change of opinion by Holder would have happened if the Obama administration hadn’t been caught with their pants down ???
    Spying, lying snooping, what next ???
    Wonder if we’ll ever see anyone in authority who can talk without a forked tongue ?

    • Hi Bob,

      Given that a forked tongue is an essential requirement in order to succeed in the ego inflating underworld of politics (organized crime and politics run parallel paths) – not a chance.

      What’s next? Proportional representation comes to mind. It’s time that our votes actually counted for something.



  3. For Mobile Security, I have a better suggestion and it’s totally FREE:

  4. Hello Bill.
    Sorry that 7 days a week are too much for you. I understand but will miss one of the few newsletter available to us on the weekend.


    • Hi Bob,

      After 7 years of daily posting (here, and other sites I’ve written for), with only 3/4 days of non-posting in that time – it’s time for a change of pace.

      Saturday and Sunday, I expect, will look a little different. 🙂



  5. delenn13

    Hey Bill,

    Enjoy the weekend! 🙂