Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 27, 2013

Google’s Schmidt: Teens’ mistakes will never go away – Speaking at a festival in the U.K., Google’s executive chairman offers that the things teens do now will stay with them forever, by way of the Web. He also suggested some people are sharing too much online.

A victim of the Nigerian phishing scam tells her tale – Feelings of shame and despair at being conned out of $300,000 by a convincing Nigerian-based email scam led Queensland interior decorator Jill Ambrose to attempt suicide twice. She survived and is now on a crusade to tell her story so that others are not taken in by the scammers.

Why DOJ didn’t need a ‘super search warrant’ to snoop on Fox News’ e-mail – Vagaries of federal surveillance law, enacted in 1968 and updated in 1986, favor lots of e-mail snooping over only a little.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

The Internet of Things: What you need to know – The Internet of Things is all about sensors that can connect lots of formerly-mundane objects to the Internet and automatically send their data to IT systems for analysis. To help you get up to speed on what M2M is, why it’s important, and how it can potentially help your organization, TechRepublic and ZDNet have collaborated to create a special feature on the Internet of Things. We’ve drawn on expertise from the four regions where we have teams of journalists: the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Does Bible Belt love porn as much as the godless do? – Figures provided by popular site PornHub suggest that those who live in allegedly more religious communities enjoy as much online release as the allegedly godless.

My car, my office: Essential gadgets for road warriors – How to stay productive when you spend more time behind a steering wheel than a desk. Allow us to show you how to remain a useful member of the information age even when your workdays can take you on trips of dozens or hundreds of miles.

Sorry, but bringing back the Start menu won’t help Windows 8 – There are plenty of legitimate concerns about the Windows 8 interface. But if you think the removal of the Start menu is the root cause of those problems, you’re mistaken. See for yourself.

Mint 15: Today’s best Linux desktop (Review) – Summary: Mint isn’t just an outstanding Linux desktop, it’s the best new desktop operating system of any kind available now.

How to migrate to Gmail – Are you still hanging onto that old AOL e-mail account, or worse, the e-mail account your ISP handed you? If so, it might be time for you to consider switching to a Web-based e-mail service like Gmail.

Even new PCs can have problems – Recently I splurged on a new laptop, a 13.3-inch Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook. Incredibly thin, light, and fast, it overjoyed me from the moment I unpacked it. It wasn’t long, though, before my joy turned to frustration. Although it booted with lightning speed, Internet access seemed slow. In fact, sometimes I couldn’t load Web pages at all.


Sky’s Android apps, Twitter account hacked – The British broadcaster removes several of its apps — including Sky Go, Sky News, and Sky Sports News — from the Google Play Store after being hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army.

Despite £800m in Losses, Small Businesses Scoff at Security – Small and medium-sized businesses are losing a staggering £785 million per year to cybercrime, according to a joint report published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Home Office and Business Departments in the United Kingdom.

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.

Cybercrooks siphon $800,000 from US fuel distribution firm – Thieves drained $800,000 from a fuel distribution company in the US state of North Carolina earlier this month – a loss that the company attributes to its bank’s having recently upgraded security systems. Unfortunately, its insurance policy won’t come close to covering its losses.

Twitter’s stronger security isn’t bulletproof, experts warn – While experts praise Twitter’s decision to provide account holders with two-factor authentication, they warn that additional security will still be needed to prevent the hijacking of high-profile accounts.

Iranian Cyber-Attackers Target US Energy Companies – Iranian cyber-attackers launched a series of infiltration and surveillance missions against energy companies in the United States, and successfully accessed control-system software they could have used to manipulate oil or gas pipelines, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The attackers have collected information on the control systems and “acquired the means” to disrupt or destroy these systems in the future, current and former officials said, according to the report.

Company News:

Google, Microsoft finally bury the hatchet on YouTube app – Finally, the YouTube experience on Windows Phone will be how Google wants it. Late on Friday, Microsoft and Google-owned YouTube jointly said that the disputed YouTube app for Windows Phone will be reworked once again, and Microsoft pulled the offending app from its Windows Phone store. The app now points simply to YouTube’s mobile link.

Google Considering ‘Wireless Balloons’ to Deliver Internet to Countries – Google’s news about its ambitious plans to build wireless networks in “emerging markets” like Africa and Asia isn’t nearly as interesting as how the company might ultimately end up deploying Wi-Fi to these areas – not via conventional cable-stringing but, rather, by balloons.

Yahoo after Hulu’s subscription revenue – With its 4 million subscribers paying $7.99 per month and $695 million in revenue in 2012, Hulu would be a quick financial booster for Yahoo.

ZTE becomes third largest smartphone vendor in US – Chinese smartphone maker accounted for 17 percent of the U.S. smartphone market in first-quarter 2013, where its growth was boosted primarily by prepaid subscribers.

EU investigating Apple’s iPhone agreements with mobile operators – The European Commission has sent a questionnaire to a number of mobile operators in the European Union, focusing on whether its distribution terms with these providers may put Apple at an advantage over other smartphone makers, according to a newspaper report.

FTC to probe Google again – The Federal Trade Commission is taking yet another look at Google, this time over allegations the company used its near-monopolistic position online to sell and serve graphic and video ads.

Microsoft Goes After ‘xboxone’ Domain Names – If you haven’t thought of it already, now might be a great time to go out and snag the domain name Or, perhaps, it’s not that good of an idea – Microsoft is currently disputing the ownership of the domain name related to the name of its recently announced, next-generation gaming console, the Xbox One.

Webopedia Daily:

Chat abbreviation – Used in real-time text-based communications — such as instant messaging, e-mail, online gaming services, chat rooms, discussion boards and mobile phone text messaging (SMS) — chat abbreviations are acronyms and slang terms used to shorten the amount of text you type when chatting online or on a cellphone. For example, if you are in a chatroom and someone types a funny statement, you could answer with LOL (short for Laughing Out Loud) instead of typing the full phrase out. Chat abbreviations are used in many different online groups and by people of all ages.

Games and Entertainment:

The Xbox One Tunes In On TV – Hardcore gamers are up in arms, but Xbox One will be a hit with casual gamers and even non-gamers. When the Xbox One was unveiled this week, Microsoft made it abundantly clear that this was not the Xbox we were used to. The original Xbox, and even the Xbox 360, were designed to be primarily, if not exclusively, game platforms. The Xbox One is designed to offer a connected, living-room entertainment experience.

Cheating in Online Video Games – Cheating has a long and storied history in video games, from the infamous Konami code to playing as Bill Clinton in NBA Jam. But that was back when gaming meant sitting huddled around a TV in the basement with your friends.

Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U: Welcome to the WAFT Generation – The new hardware is more powerful than the previous generation (or in the Wii U’s case, about as powerful as the current Microsoft and Sony offerings but still a big step up from the Wii), but those numbers are purely academic until developers take advantage of them. No, the big emphasis every major gaming manufacturer is placing on the new generation is the gimmicks, and they’re gimmicks no one really asked for.

10 Famous Actors Who’ve Done Video Games – Video games are big business these days, and the big titles increasingly get big-name actors, too. You might be surprised at some of the names in our list!

Why the Xbox One’s Used Game Handling Could Be Its Undoing – Based on what Microsoft has said so far – and this by no means the last we’ve heard of the policy – a person who buys a game disc new will install it on their console to play it. From there, they can bring it to a friend’s house to play it on his or her device. On that console, in order to play the game, the friend would need to buy the right to play the game. And in a recent interview with Kotaku, Xbox’s Phil Harrison said they’ll be paying full price. Annoyed yet?

The Making of ‘The Mystery of Minecraft’ – The game may not quite be a household name on the level of the most famous video games of all time yet, but it’s quietly worked its way into the fabric of society in a way that very few games ever have.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Gadgets for Grilling – Technology has its place at every step of your grilling events, whether you’re dining en famille or hosting a shindig. Planning out a menu, selecting cuts of meat, setting up, and keeping drinks cold and food hot are things you can (mostly) outsource with just a few items.

Weird Tech 5: Mad Mice – We hold some strange objects in our hands when we are at our PC. Here’s a selection of sleek, non-squeak mice for geeks.

The World’s Wackiest Vending Machines – What does a vending machine exist for, if not convenience? How convenience is defined however, becomes an anthropological investigation once you start exploring what’s vended and where.

How to photograph the moon – To shoot the moon, the technique is the same whether you have a compact digital camera or an SLR model—the only caveat is that no matter what kind of camera you choose, it should have a manual exposure mode, in which you dial in the aperture and shutter speed separately.

Local hero? Man tweets DUI checkpoint locations – Mr. Checkpoint is a man who alerts thousands of people where police are setting up DUI checkpoints in San Diego and the L.A. county areas. Not everyone approves of his motivations.

Today’s Quote:

Acquaintance, n.: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.”

–     Ambrose Bierce

Today’s Free Downloads:

Remove Image Backgrounds (Alpha) – Easily remove the background from your photos to create masks, cutouts, or clipping paths, all done instantly online with

Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center – Microsoft Device Center is an application that helps you make the most out of your Microsoft keyboard and mouse. Customize devices from an easy-to-learn Windows 8 interface. Create new shortcuts that make tedious tasks a breeze.


Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 27, 2013

  1. delenn13

    Hi Bill,

    Another reason that Google is evil….ROFL

    Lady asks tech support to remove Pac-Man from “her homepage”

    “For those that are wondering, the Pac-Man the lady wants removed from her homepage ( is a Google doodle.”

    Ever have this happen to you? 🙂

    Can’t believe it’s been 20 years…So many people have gone Beyond the Rim….So sad..Made me cry. Guess I need to get out my B5 DVD’s.

    Babylon 5 – 20th Anniversary Convention memorial – YouTube

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Some brilliant stuff!

      Totally shocked at the loss of so many actors connected with one series. It struck me as a bit unusual to see so many pass in their 50s and 60s – very weird.