Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 20, 2013

Twitter Data Maps Show How Interconnected Our World Really Is – To create the maps, researchers analyzed the 46.7 million tweets posted between October 23 and November 30, 2012, looking specifically at those with a tagged geographic location.

Unhand that phone! Texting tools for the big screen – Don’t cramp your style texting on that teeny-tiny smartphone. There’s no need, especially when you consider how many apps and services make it easy for you to text from the roomy comfort of your computer’s monitor and keyboard. We tested five services to see how well they worked, and whether they were able to reliably bring the convenience of texting on your smartphone to your PC. Good news: Most were impressive, many are free, and all were easy to use.

Pinterest Now Lets You Send Pins Directly to Friends – The next time you’re perusing Pinterest and find a mouthwatering dinner recipe, great decorating idea, or amazing piece of jewelry, you’ll be able to share it with a friend or family member with the push of a button.

Protect your Windows Registry with Registry Alert – Takeaway: Registry Alert lets you prevent applications from automatically starting and possibly introducing malicious software to your network. Registry Alert is a must have for any SMB. You may have to train end users on how to react upon receiving an alert (if they are allowed to install software), though it’s worth the time and the effort.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to Unfriend on Facebook Without Offending – Take heart: There are ways to rid your Facebook News Feed of annoying posts.

Get Ready to LOL – Starting today, YouTube proclaims itself the premiere place to watch your favorite comedians online with its inaugural Comedy Week.

Four Location-Enabled Apps to Try This Summer – If you have yet to embrace geo-location, here are four free apps to help ease into the inevitable.

How to really, really make your naked Snapchat photos disappear – App maker KS Mobile insists that its Clean Master can help all those who are concerned that their spontaneous naked Snapchat snaps might linger in some technological depths. At least it can help users on Android.

DDoS-for-hire service works with blessing of FBI, operator says – A website that accepts payment in exchange for knocking other sites offline is perfectly legal, the proprietor of the DDoS-for-hire service says. Oh, it also contains a backdoor that’s actively monitored by the FBI.

5 Gmail tips for power users – Here’s a look at five of Gmail’s newest features, including quickly adding appointments to your calendar, customizing your background image and using advanced search to find the email you’re looking for.

Hands-on: Facebook and Twitter’s Glass apps let you post from your face – As if we didn’t already have enough social media shoved in our faces, on Thursday Facebook and Twitter released their official apps for Google Glass. The announcement was slipped in during a Google I/O development session, and I’m sure it thrilled the four people in the room who actually had Glass in their possession.

Five Apps for disk and file encryption in Windows – On any given installation of Windows Vista or 7 Ultimate or Windows 8 Pro, there is a neat little built-in feature for encrypting drives called BitLocker. Although it has its uses, like operations involving the encryption of your system drive, a Trusted Platform Module or TPM chip is required. Some business-grade laptops and desktop motherboards supply this hardware, but not everyone has access to a TPM.

8 essential features you need in a business router – Any router will share your Internet connection amongst your computers and other networkable devices (smartphones, tablets, and so on), but better models provide features that will enhance your network and its performance. Whether you’re seeking a business- or consumer-class router, here are the eight most essential features to look for.

Why some Web sites are much slower than others – You can’t set a clock by your Internet download speed. A great many factors make one page faster than another. And a great many other factors can make the same page fast one day (or hour) and slow the next. Most of these variables are completely out of your control. But it’s still worthwhile to understand them.


Fake YouTube Page Targets Chrome Users – Researchers uncovered a fake YouTube page which targets only Google Chrome users. If a user clicks on the fake video player or any of the ads on the fake YouTube page, the site prompts the user to install a browser extension into Google Chrome, Julian Sobrier, a senior security researcher at Zscaler, wrote on the Zscaler ThreatLabz blog. The extension, hosted on the official Chrome Extension Store, claims to be a video converter, “Look Watching And Converter—PFMedya.”

Mobile security reality check: What you really need for protecting your phone – 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. The sky isn’t falling, and your phone isn’t sending illicit photos to your grandmother. While you may want to slap a security app on your phone, it probably isn’t for the reason you think. And those rogue apps? If you aren’t an idiot, the odds of your installing a malicious mobile app are almost infinitesimally small. Welcome to your mobile security reality check.

“Get free followers” scam targets Instagram users – Trend Micro fraud analyst Karla Agregado warns about Instagram accounts sending out “friend requests” in order to get users (potential victims) to check some of their photos, among which is one that advertises the possibility of acquiring new followers. Unfortunately for those who get reeled in by the offer, the offered app is actually a Trojan that can send SMS from the infected device and even launch malicious sites.

Syrian Electronic Army Compromises Financial Times Blogs and Twitter Feeds – A clutch of blogs and Twitter accounts maintained by the Financial Times were hacked Friday, the latest in a series of cyberattacks claimed by the Syrian Electronic Army.

Large cyber espionage emanating from India – The attacks, conducted by private threat actors over a period of three years and still ongoing, showed no evidence of state-sponsorship but the primary purpose of the global command-and-control network appears to be intelligence gathering from a combination of national security targets and private sector companies.

New India-Based Spy Malware Campaign Targeting Pakistanis – A new malware campaign has been hitting Pakistan hard over the last few months and after a little e-sleuthing, it appears the not-so-stealthy attacks have been originating from nearby India and exploiting a certificate to run its binaries.

How to hack an electric car-charging station – In a video recorded at Hack In The Box 2013 Amsterdam and posted courtesy of Help Net Security, Ofer Shezaf, founder of OWASP Israel, talks about the lack of security in these charging stations, which often amount to little more than a computer sitting behind a key-lock panel on the street.

Can math models of gaming strategies be used to detect terrorism networks? – Can math models of gaming strategies be used to detect terrorism networks? The answer is yes, at least according to a paper in the SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics. In a paper published in the journal last month, authors Anthony Bonato, Dieter Mitsche, and Pawel Pralat describe a mathematical model to disrupt flow of information in a complex real-world network, such as a terrorist organization, using minimal resources.

Company News:

Dell first quarter profits down a whopping 79 percent – Reuters, CBS News, and tons of other sites are carrying news of the sharp decrease in earnings along with much speculation on what the report means for the company’s future. Company founder Michael Dell is engaged in a war with the company’s board of directors and other shareholders over whether or not to take the company private and how much it should cost to do so, and the latest financial statements provide ammunition to both sides in that argument.

Report: Yahoo board OKs deal to buy Tumblr for $1.1 billion – Yahoo’s board of directors has approved spending US$1.1 billion in cash to buy popular blogging site Tumblr, according to The Wall Street Journal. The plan is for Tumblr to operate as an independent business, the Journal reported on Sunday, quoting anonymous sources.

DirecTV reportedly wants to buy Hulu, again – The satellite TV provider is eyeing the video streaming service, according to news reports.

Suicides continue at Foxconn – Just as it seemed the Foxconn suicide saga was winding down, reports have emerged that three more workers have killed themselves over the past three weeks.

Webopedia Daily:

Cloud backup service provider – A third-party entity that manages and distributes remote, cloud-based data backup services and solutions to customers from a central data center. Cloud backup providers enable customers to remotely access services using a secure client login application to back up files from the customer’s computers or data center to the online storage server using an encrypted connection. A cloud backup solution enables enterprises or individuals to store their data and computer files on the Internet using a storage service provider, rather than storing the data locally on a physical disk, such as a hard drive or tape backup.

Games and Entertainment:

Google Play Game Services Is Just What Android Needs, but Who Will Use It? – Google’s answer to Xbox Live is useful even if game developers do nothing but support cloud saves, but its Google+ branding could scare people away.

Mobile Games Pick Up Steam at Expensive of Handhelds – The sale of games for handhelds like the Nintendo 3DS and the Sony PlayStation Vita are tanking as consumers instead opt for mobile games from the App Store and Google Play, according to new data from IDC.

How to find out where you can see your favorite movie – Recently, the conversation turned to POW movies, which inevitably got me talking about “Stalag 17,” the classic that inspired the (inferior) TV series “Hogan’s Heroes.” I hadn’t seen the film in years, but now, with it at the forefront of my mind, I was dying for a screening. Indeed, I thought even my kids were old enough to enjoy it, what with its great blend of humor, mystery, and suspense.

The gaming headset that (literally) shocks your brain to attention – says a couple minutes of electricity to the head can improve your gaming.

Previously, on ‘Arrested Development’: NPR’s epic guide to the show’s running gags – The Bluths are back, and your friends in public radio have obsessively compiled all their recurring jokes.

Thirteen years of Xbox hardware (pictures) – Join us for a potentially exciting, possibly emotional stroll down video gaming memory lane. Microsoft style.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google: America’s third political party – Congress is a dog that won’t go for a walk. We can tug at its leash as hard as we want, but it sits in the middle of the sidewalk, barking a defiant “no.” It’s not a purposeful no. It’s just a refusal for the sake of it, couched in principle. Then along comes America’s most ambitious politician. No, it’s not Paul Ryan or Elizabeth Warren. It’s Larry Page. The man who is Google stood at last week’s I/O 2013 conference and made his own types believe that he was talking about technology. His true agenda, though, is political.

Fugitive to police on Facebook: Catch me if you can. They do – Taunting the police on Facebook has limited benefits — as one wanted man in the U.K. discovers when it takes police just 12 hours to catch up with him. They leave him a taunting message on Facebook in return.

Twitter will damn your soul, Saudi cleric says – Concern is mounting in Saudi Arabia that more and more people are using Twitter. So the head of the country’s religious police condemns its use.

Hacker serving 5-year sentence invents ATM add-on to prevent theft – A criminal serving a five-year sentence “for supplying gadgets to an organized crime gang used to conceal ATM skimmers” has invented a device that prevents ATMs from being susceptible to such thefts, Reuters reported today.

The changing face of mobile photography – Mobile phone photography has come a long way since the first grainy iPhone shots started a phenomenon.

Teen’s Inexpensive Self-Driving Tech Takes Home $75K Intel Prize – A 19-year-old beats out Google’s self-driving solution by approximately $71,000 and wins Intel’s top prize at the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Today’s Quote:

Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.”

–      Judith Martin

Today’s Free Downloads:

Virtual CloneDrive – Virtual CloneDrive works and behaves just like a physical CD/DVD drive, however it exists only virtually. Image files generated with CloneDVD or CloneCD can be mounted onto a virtual drive from your hard-disk or from a network drive and used in the same manner as inserting them into a normal CD/DVD drive. Probably the best virtual drive software, Virtual CloneDrive allows you to enjoy the freedom of a virtual drive and is completely free.

HandBrake 0.9.9 – HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.

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