Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 24, 2013

Infographic: How fast are America’s wireless networks? – TechHive, together with testing partner OpenSignal, visited 20 U.S. cities throughout March and April to measure the real-life speeds of wireless networks across the country. We found that LTE speeds are getting faster, that AT&T has the fastest LTE speeds right now, that Sprint’s and Verizon’s respective 3G services are stuck in low gear, and that the differences between the speeds of the carrier’s various services are considerable. This infographic should help you get a handle on our most prominent findings.

An Airway Created with a 3D Printer Saved This Baby’s Life – If you think 3D printing’s overhyped with all this talk of plastic guns and strange, spider-like houses, you clearly haven’t seen this: a tiny airway splint created using a 3D printer that saved a three-month-old’s life.

Use Google Drive on Android to save receipts – Wednesday’s update to Google Drive on Android lets you easily store all of your receipts and even search through them. Doesn’t a nice digital archive sound better than piles, folders, or boxes of receipts all over your home? Here’s how to get started.

Hisense releases $99 Sero 7 tablet to take on the Nexus 7, iPad mini – We’re getting closer and closer to disposable computers as Hisense delivers $99 Android tablets to Wal-Mart stores across the US.

Windows Blue hides 4K display support, tons of new features, developer says – Based on an extensive examination of the software APIs found within Windows Blue (now offically called Windows 8.1 by Microsoft), developer Justin Angel compiled a lengthy list of more than 25 features that he says will be included in the updated OS: the possibility of ultra-HD “4K” screen support, lock-screen calls, HDR photo support, better multi-screen formatting, and much more.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Microsoft adds a Windows key to its newest mice – Microsoft is readying two new mice, both of which feature buttons designed to help Windows 8 users find their way back to the Start screen.

Customize a mouse’s behavior with these five apps – Computer mice have been used for decades and are easily taken for granted. Even so, it is possible to make your mouse a little bit more appealing by customizing its behavior. A number of utilities exist that allow you to do things such as reassigning mouse buttons or scroll wheel’s behavior. There are even utilities that can record macros of your mouse movements. This article lists five such utilities.

The Internet of Things: What you need to know – The Internet of Things has emerged as one of IT’s hottest trends of 2013. We have a great set of resources to help you figure out how it can help your business.

French police end missing persons searches, suggest using Facebook instead – French police will no longer search for adults reported missing by their families unless there are signs that the person is in danger. The police have abandoned searches in progress and stopped accepting new search requests, according to an announcement on a government website Monday. The changes took effect on Friday.

Kim Dotcom Claims Two-Step Authentication Patent – Megaupload founder says everybody using the Internet security process owes him money. Following Twitter’s recent introduction of a two-factor verification system, Dotcom announced that he in fact invented the process and was awarded a patent for it. Now the embattled Megaupload founder wants a kickback to help pay his legal fees from any organization using it.

New iPhone 5 ad celebrates Generation Me-Me-Me, La-La-La – Having shown in a previous ad how everyone wants to photograph everything with their iPhone, a new Apple ad shows everyone navigating the world, while listening to their own soundtrack.

Jon Stewart accuses the Senate of all being Apple fanboys – The “Daily Show” simply had to have an opinion on Tim Cook’s appearance in front of the supposedly stern senators. His opinion of both the Senate and Apple wasn’t exactly complimentary.


Only 36% of small firms apply security patches. No wonder cybercrooks are stealing their cash – Small businesses are under constant attack from malware, scams and online fraud. They are simply woefully under-prepared to keep their assets safe. Despite reorganisation and redirected priorities, the police can still do little to help. Here are some general tips from the FSB to help firms better protect themselves.

Forget Passwords, Use Passphrases for Extra Security – What we call a password doesn’t have to be a word at all. A whole phrase or sentence, a passphrase, offers more security. A correctly chosen passphrase is easy for you to remember but difficult for anyone else to guess.

Google researcher reveals another Windows 0-day – According to Secunia, it is a potential privilege escalation vulnerability that could also be used to execute arbitrary code on the target system or DoS it, and affects fully patched Windows 7 and reportedly also Windows 8, but can be taken advantage of only by attackers that have physical access to the machine.

U.S. urged to let companies ‘hack-back’ at IP cyber thieves – The 100-page report, released this week, stops just short of recommending that the U.S. allow businesses to actively retrieve stolen information from within an intruder’s network, and to disable or destroy it without any limitations.

DHS employees’ info possibly compromised due to system flaw – U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees have begun receiving notifications about a vulnerability that has inadvertently made their personal information potentially accessible to unauthorized parties. The flaw was apparently found in the software used by a DHS vendor to process personnel security investigations and has been immediately addressed.

Company News:

Judge: Evidence shows Apple colluded to fix e-book prices – In a pretrial hearing for the antitrust lawsuit, a judge says the Justice Department will be able to show direct evidence that Apple “facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books.”

AT&T stands to make $2.5 billion over the next five years from new “administrative” fee – The Verge is reporting that AT&T has sneaked another fee into the phone bills of its 70 million or so postpaid wireless customers. The fee, called a “Mobility Administrative Fee” adds another 61 cents to the bill each month.

Yahoo acquires gaming infrastructure startup PlayerScale – The Internet giant said in a Twitter message Thursday that it would continue to support the gaming development platform, which PlayerScale claims powers games played by over 150 million people worldwide and is adding over 400,000 new users every day.

Microsoft cleared in Xbox patent spat with Google – The U.S. International Trade Commission on Thursday reaffirmed an earlier ruling, saying Microsoft did not infringe on patents owned by Google.

Hulu buyout heats up with four reported bidders – The video streaming service has supposedly been courting buyers over the past couple of years and now it looks like the first round of bids may be in.

Webopedia Daily:

Smart TV – Televisions that integrate the Internet and Web 2.0 features to provide a more interactive experience for users. Also known as connected TVs, Smart TVs provide features like Web browsing; video-on-demand and video streaming via services such as YouTube, Netflix and Hulu Plus; Internet radio from services like Pandora and Rhapsody; social networking from sites like Twitter and Facebook; apps and games and more. Smart TVs are also typically DLNA certified, enabling the sharing of movies, photos, music and similar multimedia content from other DLNA-compliant PCs, tablet computers, smartphones and similar devices.

Games and Entertainment:

Grand Theft Auto V Special and Collector’s editions announced – As soon as Grand Theft Auto V was announced retailers started allowing you to place a speculative pre-order. However, we didn’t know about any special editions of the game until today, and now Rockstar Games has announced two of them.

Surviving Minecraft: 9 Easy Steps to Get Started – To help out with your first day in Minecraft’s pixelated wilderness, here are some steps to follow. You should be able to get all the essentials done before the sun goes down and the monsters come out. Of course, you don’t have to follow these instructions right away. Spend some time running around, figuring out the controls and dying a few times. When you’re ready to get serious about crafting and building, here some guidelines to consider.

Bioshock Infinite delivers high-flying adventure – It’s not often a game comes along that makes me wish I could go travel back in time to experience it all again for the first time. Bioshock Infinite does that. It makes me long for a time where I could play through the tale of Booker and Elizabeth all over again.

Heart of the Swarm a big step in StarCraft II’s evolution – Just as the Zerg are always evolving, so too is Blizzard’s iconic real-time strategy series. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm doesn’t just upgrade and expand the exceptional StarCraft formula–it also hacks, cuts, and refines the core gameplay.

Gamestop: Xbox One will be priced less than the Xbox 360 – Hard as it may be to believe, Gamestop executives believe that both the Microsoft Xbox One as well as the Sony PlayStation 4 will be priced less than their predecessors—and fewer people will buy them, too.

Off Topic (Sort of):

No niche for iPad: A cautionary tale on ‘needing a purpose’ – Within the 14-day period in which Apple consumers are granted a stay of financial relief on their purchases, I returned my tablet not with a heavy heart but nonetheless with a feeling of disappointment in myself. It’s not that I didn’t like the iPad. The build quality was excellent, the software functionaliy was superb, and there was nothing but the highest of intent for burgeoning productivity potential. It was that I simply didn’t need one. And not just an iPad, a test case as it turns out, but any tablet for that matter.

Video: Cat overcomes predatory instincts to nurse ducklings – Normally, a fluffy yellow duckling might prove merely a tempting delicacy to a hungry cat. Yet, for this feline it appears her mothering instinct has overcome all temptations. (Worth the watch)

Life Under the KGB’s Watchful Eye in 1980s Russia – Everything was bugged, we were followed constantly, and even our dog knew we had a “minder.” (recommended by Michael F.)

Relive the last nine months on Mars as seen by the Curiosity Rover – Great snapshots are good-and-all, but now thanks to a YouTuber by the name of Karl Sanford, we can get a full picture of what Curiosity has been doing for the last nine-months. Karl has put together a one-minute time-lapse video of every black-and-white RAW photo taken by Curiosity’s front left hazcam between August 8 and just yesterday (May 22)—roughly 281 days in total.

Get Ready: Google Just Went to the Galapagos, and Pretty Soon You’ll Go Too (Via Street View, of Course) – On Sunday, a team of Googlers returned to Mountain View with a special, digital cargo: hard drives loaded with 360-degree imagery taken during a 10-day adventure around the Galapagos Islands, covering both the islands’ lush terrain and their surrounding waters. The crew passed off their files to the engineering team, who will stitch the files together into a seamless, explorable landscape to be released on Street View later this year (Google would not say more precisely when). (recommended by Michael F.)

Today’s Quote:

To be willing to die for an idea is to set a rather high price on conjecture.”

–     Anatole France

Today’s Free Downloads:

BotRevolt Free Edition – BotRevolt Free Edition is a simpler version of the BotRevolt application and allows you to access its main features. The main goal of the application is to monitor the active Internet connections and to block the ones that are suspicious. In order to protect you from potentially dangerous websites, the application uses a global list of malicious addresses. You can use this tool for preventing the connections that might lead to security threats. (recommended by Richard J.)

Revo Uninstaller 1.94 – With its advanced and fast algorithm to scan before and after uninstall you can remove unnecessary files, folders and registry keys left in your computer after you have uninstall an application with its build in uninstaller. With its unique “Hunter mode” it offers you some simple, easy to use but effective and powerful approaches to manage (uninstall, stop, delete, disable from autostarting) and to get information about your installed and/or running applications. Revo Uninstaller gives you another 8 handy and powerful tools to clean up your system.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 24, 2013

  1. Homeland Security ? If it can’t protect it’s own employees security why are they still in charge of protecting the entire country ?