Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 23, 2013

Google Keep vs. OneNote vs. Evernote: We name the note-app winner – Google’s new software muscles in on the space currently dominated by Microsoft OneNote and Evernote, two note-taking apps that save your text, Web links, photos, audio recordings, and more, helping to keep your life organized. Think of these tools as sticky notes on steroids. They’re great for managing day-to-day errands and stashing rich media content, but also exceptional for organizing tasks at work.

Shrink photos and clear up some hard drive space with JPEGmini – JPEGmini can help you shrink popular JPEG images to almost a fifth of their original size, potentially clearing up to 80 percent of hard drive space. Originally developed for the Mac, JPEGmini (free webware) recently debuted its Windows version, which we were able to take for a spin.

How to block in-app purchases on your Android tablet – The process I outline below doesn’t completely disable in-app purchases, but it makes them require a password. This will prevent you from accidentally buying an app, and it keeps other people who use your tablet from making those purchases (even if they want the app that’s offered). While this isn’t a perfect solution, it does work.

Free Chrome extensions power up Gmail – From keyboard shortcuts to inbox managers, these handy Chrome extensions make a good email program even better.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Windows 8 users rarely use Metro apps, study says – The difference is touch: tablet and touchscreen laptop users adopted more Windows Store apps than users with non-touch displays.

Review: MyFax online faxing system – MyFax costs $10 a month, but you can try it for free for 30-days at no obligation. You do need to provide credit card information in advance, but as long as you cancel within the 30-day trial period, you won’t be charged. After signing up, I was literally ready to go within minutes. I went through a short setup wizard which set my location and generated my fax number, which I could give out to anyone wishing to send me faxes.

Google improves desktop voice search in new Chrome update – Google’s latest Chrome build allows desktop users to interact with its iconic search engine simply by having a conversation.

Font free-for-all: Where to get free and low-cost fonts – If your budget is low, or if you just want to experiment with a wide variety of type styles, check out the abundance of free and low-cost sources on the Internet. Warning: not all fonts are created equal. A font file that you install on your computer is actually a tiny program, with a variety of capabilities—including the ability to crash your applications.

Siri slams iPad in new Windows 8 ad – Redmond’s new competitive spirit reaches a high pitch as one of Apple’s favorite pitchwomen is co-opted to trash Apple’s famed tablet.

Stalk your love object with your gadget, says new Galaxy S4 ad – Once upon a time, men wooed women. They tried to charm them. Now Samsung declares that they incessantly take pictures of them, until the woman is mesmerized. Or something.

Security:

Prevent a hack attack with Twitter’s new two-factor authentication – Twitter on Wednesday said users will now be able to protect their accounts by registering a phone number and email address. This isn’t automatic: You have to select, “Require a verification code when I sign in,” on your Account Settings page.

Malware in the Google Play Store: Enemy inside the gates – Google Play has experienced some recent malware infestations. Learn about the details and how to protect yourself and your users.

Xbox One Raises the Burden of Privacy Safeguards: 5 Questions for Microsoft – Xbox One will be Microsoft’s eyes and ears in your home, but that only increases the company’s burden to safeguard our privacy.

Small businesses beware! Point-of-sale malware is after you – Malware targeting point-of-sale (POS) systems has been a major trend for the last six months. With easy pickings to be had from mom-and-pop shops, this pattern is only going to grow until people start fighting back with better system security, and ideally better payment card systems. (Nonsense – this has been happening for years. NOT 6 months.)

Another Mac OS X Backdoor Reported – Another sample of the Mac OS X spyware discovered last week has been found in the wild, security company F-Secure said.

Breakfast malware at Tiffany’s? Trojan horses spammed out widely – Little blue boxes from Tiffany & Co. are the stuff of dreams for many. Don’t let an unexpected email delivery – apparently from the company – make you so giddy with an excitement that you end up with a computer nightmare.

Syrian activists’ Facebook pages said to be shuttered – A handful of profiles and pages on the social network, which have been gathering places for Syrians to discuss their country’s civil war, have mysteriously disappeared.

Company News:

AMD reveals next-gen mobile CPUs, claims unprecedented graphics performance – AMD hopes to have a big second half in 2013, launching three new CPUs featuring integrated graphics that perform on par with the company’s discrete GPUs. On Thursday, AMD revealed key details of these next-generation mobile chips, code-named Temash, Kabini, and Richland.

Penguin Settles E-Book Price-Fixing Suit for $75 Million – Book publisher Penguin today announced a $75 million deal that settles a class-action lawsuit over e-book price-fixing.

HP Posts Losing Quarter as Struggles Continue – Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman points to a few positive developments but admits “we simply have to perform better” after double-digit declines in sales and net income.

Jennifer Lopez, Verizon Team Up for Latino-Focused Wireless Stores – Lopez’s new retail chain, Viva Movil, is in fact important. It’s a chain of Verizon stores targeted at Latino consumers with a fully bilingual staff and things like children’s play areas because, Lopez said, Latinos often shop with their families. It’s a strong, targeted play for a fast-growing and influential market, and it dovetails with CTIA’s focus on the Latino market this year.

Walmart Wants Its Mobile Apps To Be ‘Indispensable’ – Retailers like Walmart are tapping into the power of mobile to help you shop more effectively and, hopefully, more often.

Webopedia Daily:

MEMS – Short for micro-electromechanical systems, the name for a micro fabrication technology used in making systems-on-a-chip (SoC) that embeds mechanical devices such as fluid sensors, mirrors, actuators, pressure and temperature sensors, vibration sensors and valves in semiconductor chips. MEMS combine many disciplines, including physics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, electrical engineering, optics and electronics.

Games and Entertainment:

The Biggest Games Coming to the Xbox One – The Xbox One is official, and is scheduled to hit store shelves in time for the 2013 holiday season. More details about Xbox One games are expected at June’s E3 gaming conference. But until then, here are a few of the more high-profile games coming to Microsoft’s new console.

Hello Xbox One, Goodbye Freedom – Expanded Kinect features, cloud computing aspects, and the ability to install retail games completely to the hard drive sound great for users, but the technology that makes them tick and how Microsoft will implement them signals a dark future for gamers who want to control what they buy and use.

Claim: Human-like opponents prompt more aggression in video game players – Video games that pit players against human-looking characters may be more likely to provoke violent thoughts and words than games where monstrous creatures are the enemy, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Wake Forest University.

Damson’s ‘seriously loud’ Pearl and Oyster bluetooth speakers – Making waves for the first time in the U.S., the Pearl and Oyster wireless speakers from Damson Audio have washed up on the beaches of CTIA 2013. Both Bluetooth products are designed by the British manufacturer, but it’s the first time we’ve seen them on this side of the pond.

Forget what you know, next-gen consoles change everything – The evolution of gaming is about to make a quantum leap. Here’s what you need to know.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Web suffered 9000 service outages in last five months – Over the last five months, there have been 1413 full outages worldwide, or about nine a day, and nearly 8000 partial outages, or 53 a day, according to figures from the free Internet service tracker. A full outage results when a web service is unavailable; a partial outage happens when only some of a service’s users are affected.

Illegal numbers: Can you break the law with math? – The most famous example of an illegal number was developed in 2001 in which the binary representation of a large prime number corresponded to a compressed version of C source code which implemented the DeCSS decryption algorithm. As this algorithm can be used to circumvent a DVD’s copy protection, the number used to generate the code was therefore deemed illegal.

Were the Victorians smarter than us? – The reign of Queen Victoria, from 1837 to 1901, coincided with countless scientific and industrial breakthroughs, from the first transatlantic telegraph to the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. A team of European researchers now say they can explain this burst of innovation: people back then were “cleverer” than us. A study published in the journal Intelligence purports that IQ has dropped 1.23 points per decade since Victorian times, or 14 points total. If that seems sketchy, don’t worry: this study is sure to be debated among scientists, too.

Pizza printer means quick and tasty snacks in your house…or on Mars – System & Materials’ Anjan Contractor won a $125,000 NASA grant to build a printer for food—more specifically, pizza. The open-source printer would 3D-print the pizza’s toppings then heat it so it all melts together. It’s not limited to pizza, either, and it can handle all sorts of ingredients—from tomato sauce to blades of grass to…insects.

Enough With the 3D Printer Hype Already – While the 3D printer may eventually become an important part of the manufacturing arsenal, it isn’t yet. And if you’ve played with or looked at 3D printers, it’s plain to see their byproducts are pretty crude.

Today’s Quote:

I loathe the expression “What makes him tick.” It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.”

–        James Thurber

Today’s Free Downloads:

LogMeIn Free – LogMeIn enables you to work via a web browser with a remote computer from virtually anywhere you have an Internet connection. In a matter of minutes you can get fast, easy and secure access to remote computers (PCs and Macs) with LogMeIn. Simply install LogMeIn on the computer you want to access to gain remote control of its desktop, files, applications and network resources over the web.

CD Recovery Toolbox Free 2.0 – CD Recovery Toolbox Free was developed for recovering damaged files from different disk types: CD, DVD, HD DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.

Earth Alerts 2013.1.80 – Earth Alerts is a Windows-based application that allows you to monitor in near real-time a variety of natural hazard events that are occurring anywhere around the world. Alert notifications, reports, and imagery provide the user with a convenient way to view natural phenomenon as they occur, whether close to home or some far-flung corner of the globe!

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