Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 30, 2013

Mini-documentary shines a light on the surveillance state – Naked Citizens does not deal in hypotheticals, this is a film concerned with what’s actually happening, today. The documentary shows how there is a capacity to do certain tasks, not all of them good, with the sheer volume of surveillance footage being produced in today’s London. As you can imagine, much of it is startling to see.

Learn Windows 8 basics with Microsoft’s ‘training brochure’ – This is a genuinely helpful guide for Windows 8 newcomers, and I can’t help wondering why it’s not bundled with the operating system, a live tile that appears front and center when you first start your PC. Maybe (hopefully) Microsoft plans to include it in Blue (a.k.a. Windows 8.1). Thankfully, you don’t have to wait.

Boot-to-Desktop and Start Button Coming to Windows 8 – When it comes to Windows sources, Paul Thurrott is about as solid as they get. On his SuperSite for Windows, Thurrott has just confirmed that the next big update to Windows 8 — known as Windows 8.1 or “Blue” — will contain two major features that users have been asking for.

Send self-destructing messages from your work computer – How do you send personal or silly messages while sitting at your work computer? A new browser app offers Snapchat-like “off the record” messaging.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Facebook backlash sees small businesses following suit – The self-loathing Facebook user seems to be an incredibly popular phenomenon, and anecdotally it looks like it’s spilling over to business users, too. I checked in with several small business owners and found that concerns over Facebook range include difficulties reaching disinterested users, problems with phony user profiles, negative and hateful comments, and simply trying to stand out in what has become a mammoth wall of noise.

Facebookers, beware: That silly update can cost you a job – Study shows that companies have rejected 1 in 10 people between ages 16 and 34 because of something the person shared on social media.

Use Google Now to send text, e-mail – Similarly to how you’d use Siri, you can give a voice command to Google Now and it will create an e-mail or text message, complete with the recipient of your choosing from your contacts.

Review: Open Drive turns cloud storage services into one big file sharing network – If you are looking for a document or a template, you would normally Google for it. But a lot of people keep these things on their cloud storage services, and are willing to share. Open Drive indexes them…

Review: Boxcryptor encrypts data in the cloud – You may be too concerned about privacy and security to leave naked files lying around on a remote server. That’s completely fair, but don’t let it keep you from using the cloud. Boxcryptor is a free Windows desktop app that creates an encrypted folder that can be placed inside your cloud storage folder.

What I learned using only Google products – Here are 10 shocking things I learned using only a Chromebook Pixel, Nexus 10, Nexus 4 and all-Google software and services.

3 reasons why tablets thrive while PCs dive – As the PC market slumps and the tablet market grows, it might seem obvious to tablet users why that’s so. However, details shared by analysts dramatically highlight three reasons behind robust tablet growth.

Smashed? Self-breathalyzer uses cops’ sensors for accuracy – Are you too drunk to drive? The Floome device plugs into your smartphone to tell you if you’ve had too much and how long you need to wait to get behind the wheel.

Security: resets login credentials after hack exposes password data – Passwords for almost 1 million accounts affected after malicious files are found. The hack exposed usernames, e-mail addresses, country information, and cryptographically hashed passwords, although investigators may discover additional types of information were compromised.

Hacker accused of massive Stratfor attack pleads guilty – The Anonymous hacker busted for allegedly stealing data from the U.S. Army, Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, and more admits to nabbing confidential information and breaking the law.

Music playing 55 feet away could covertly activate Android mobile malware – We’ve all heard of subliminal messages hidden in advertisements, but most of us have not thought about “subliminal” messages to trigger malware that was dormant until it is set off by sounds from a TV, radio, music, P2P TV, or even musical greeting cards. Besides successfully using audio as a mode of transport, the researchers also used light, magnets and vibration as other trippy malware triggers.

Private retaliation in cyberspace a ‘remarkably bad idea’ – Despite the growing threat of state-sponsored cyberattacks launched from China and other countries, U.S companies should not be allowed fight back on their own, security experts say. Such corporate counterstrikes would undermine U.S.-led efforts to develop international cyberspace standards and norms while exposing American companies to retaliatory strikes.

Company News:

Apple reportedly taps Pegatron to make new low-cost iPhone – Pegatron, which already makes some iPhones and iPad Minis, has been chosen to be the primary assembler of a low-cost iPhone expected to be unveiled later this year, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Despite Apple’s longtime business relationship with Foxconn, CEO Tim Cook wants to achieve greater balance in the company’s supply chain by shifting more work to Pegatron, the Journal reported.

Xbox One exclusives getting $1 billion investment from Microsoft – One thing’s for sure with the Xbox One: Microsoft is spending a lot of money on it. We previously heard that the deal with AMD for the Xbox One’s processor was said to be upwards of $3 billion. Now, it’s reported that Microsoft is spending $1 billion to finance in-house games, and also to secure exclusive titles for the new console.

Facebook to take a stand against rape jokes, gender hate speech – Facebook has announced plans to renew its effort toward monitoring, and where appropriate, removing gender-related hate speech from its users, per a post on the company’s Facebook Safety page Tuesday.

Aereo: A startup making exactly the right move with TV is driving FOX and CBS crazy – Aereo, a service that streams over-the-air channels to its subscribers, has now spent more than a year serving residents of New York City. The service officially expands to Boston tomorrow and is coming to many more cities over the next few months, including Atlanta and Washington, DC. Aereo seems like a net-add for consumers, and the opposition has, so far, failed to mount a defense that sticks.

Webopedia Daily:

The Difference Between a Cell Phone, Smartphone and PDA – Once again technological advancements make common terminology such as mobile phone, smartphone, PDA and PDA phone difficult to decipher as each type of device changes constantly and features traditionally belonging to one type of device are now found on others. Here we will explore the popular category of mobile communication devices, the similarities and differences between some of the popular products.

Games and Entertainment:

YouTube Launches Slow Motion Video Tool – Everything is better in slow motion: Runners on the beach, futuristic gun fights, the sun rising over Earth. And now, your own YouTube videos. The video-sharing site on Tuesday revealed its new feature — a minor function that will surely become a major viral hit.

Fans choose new Amazon streaming shows; focus is on politicians and nerds – A little more than a month ago, Amazon rolled out 14 TV show pilots for its Amazon Prime members to vote on, with the winners getting the chance to grow into real series. Wednesday, the company announced the fan favorites, comprised of two adult comedies and three kid shows.

Is the Xbox One always online? – Is the Xbox One always online, or not? You’d think it would be easy question to answer, but for some reason Microsoft continues to be very coy about the matter.

Microsoft, GlacierWorks Team for ‘Everest: Rivers of Ice’ Site – Nature lovers can journey to the summit of the majestic Mt. Everest right from the comfort of home thanks to a new, interactive HTML5 site called Everest: Rivers of Ice. The site went live today to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first successful Everest summit, made by New Zealand adventurer Sir Edmund Hillary.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Yes, Of Course There Will Be Google Glass Porn – Rule of thumb: where there’s innovation, there’s porn. Actually, flip that around: where there’s porn, there’s innovation. And while the porn industry can’t be held directly responsible for paving the way for innovation such as Google Glass, it’s surely going to get in on the action.

Dvorak: Life in the Post-PC Era – Within a decade, those of us who still use a real PC will be like those guys with a lot of woodworking gear in their garage. Those folks, who can build an entire house by hand, are somewhat revered for their ability to properly use all the tools. In ten years when someone looks at your computer and says, “Wow, neat! What do you use that for?” then you’ll know it’s all over.

Bf 109 pilot Franz Stigler and B-17 pilot Charlie Brown’s first meeting  (video 6:50) – This film was taken when Bf-109 ace Franz Stigler met B-17 pilot Charlie Brown for the first time since their encounter during WWII! (recommended by Michael F.)

Arduino’s first robotics kit is here, and it’s a seriously mean open-source machine – The completely open-source robot is the result of a collaboration between Arduino and Complubot, the four-time world champions in the Robocup Junior robot soccer tournament. Physically, the robot measures about 7.5 inches in diameter and is roughly 4 inches tall. It’s comprised of two stacked Arduino boards on wheels. Each of the boards comes equipped with a 16MHz processor as well as 32KB of flash memory.

Scientists poke frozen mammoth, liquid blood squirts out – The 10,000-year-old beast was found on one of the Lyakhovsky Islands in the Novosibirsk archipelago off the northern coast of Siberia. Researchers from the Northeastern Federal University in Yakutsk poked the remains with an ice pick and, incredibly, blood flowed out.

Chinese man builds his own bionic arms, helps hundreds by selling more – After creating his own pair of arms Sun started building others. Selling functional prosthetic arms for under $500, he saves people from buying the poor quality ones he was forced to use and helps those who are unable to afford professionally-made ones which can cost up to ten times the price. To date Sun has sold around 1000 arms, which means he’s been able to help hundreds of people rebuild their lives after a catastrophe.

PayPal founder takes on the fertility industry with Glow – “Having babies is a moral imperative for the human race. What’s been missing for people who can’t is data and financial arbitrage,” says Glow founder Max Levchin.

Today’s Quote:

Don’t you wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence? There’s one marked ‘Brightness,’ but it doesn’t work.”

–      Gallagher

Today’s Free Downloads:

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free – Ashampoo Burning Studio Free focuses on what you want: burn discs quickly, easily, with maximum quality and minimum hassle.

Comodo Dragon – A Chromium technology-based Browser that offers you all of Chrome’s features PLUS the unparalleled level of security and privacy you only get from Comodo.

XnView Extended 2.03 – XnView is a handy utility for converting and viewing your graphics files. All plug-ins and languages included.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – May 30, 2013

  1. Hello Bill,
    Privacy or, the lack of privacy is something I’ve talked about for years. The link in todays blog really proves that anonymity is dead and 1984 is in full bloom.
    Certainly not nice but something all of us should be aware of.
    At the moment, we at least still have freedom of thought.

    • Hi Bob,

      Both you and I base our views on available data. But, behind the black door, I suspect the “real” truth is even more disturbing.