Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 4, 2013

PLEASE secure your wireless networks – A routine tech support call from a family member uncovered a neighborhood infested with unsecured WLANs.

Regain your PC’s administrator rights, even if you don’t have the password – I’ll tell you a way to gain this access, but first, ask yourself if you really should be doing this. If it’s unquestionably your computer and you’ve forgotten your password (or if the previous owner failed to give it to you), you have every right acquire or change the password. But if it’s a company computer and the IT department wants to keep full administrator control to itself, this is a good way to get fired. And if it’s someone else’s computer, it’s a good way to get arrested.

Small Business Cloud Myths: Busted! – The hype says small businesses are rushing to the cloud, hesitating only because of security concerns, if at all. Don’t believe the hype. Here are three big myths about small business cloud adoption.

Anonymous Provides More Details About Upcoming News Site – Anonymous on Monday provided more details about its upcoming news site, which it said will focus on stories it deems most important; Kardashian updates need not apply. “After observing the events of the last few days, understand that one of our goals is to make questions like, ‘Why isn’t CNN-Turk airing footage of these massive protests,’ irrelevant,” the group said in a note posted to Pastebin. “Its [sic] time to start getting the real news out there, to everyone. We have to stop relying on big corporations to do that for us.”

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

The Turkish revolution won’t be televised, but it will be tweeted – As local news neglects the ongoing protests, Turkey’s prime minister blasts Twitter as a “menace to society” for spreading information, or what he calls “lies.”

App puts porn on Glass, Google vows to block it – Even the name of the app is not safe for work; Google says explicit content is not welcome on Glass.

New Google Maps: Seeing is Believing – The new Google Maps has a couple of incredible new features that you simply have to see. Check them out in these photos and videos.

Five apps to convert video to support mobile devices – The proliferation of mobile devices has driven the demand for portable video. Unfortunately, not every device can play every video format. Thankfully, there are a number of utilities available that can convert video from its native format into a format that is supported by the device on which a user wants to play the video.

Skype for Windows 8 Gets HD Video Support, Improved Messaging – Heads up, Windows 8 users. Microsoft on Monday released a new version of Skype for Windows 8, which brings improved support for HD video and better video messaging. With the latest release, you can now send 720p video and receive 1080p video, which should bolster the overall quality and performance of video calls.

Quick Tip: Set up Gmail Offline in Chrome – Gmail Offline is a Chrome extension that allows you to work with your Gmail mailbox even if you don’t have an Internet connection.

Home sweet home: Free apps for apartment hunting – The next time I uproot myself, I will turn to one (or more) of these handy apps built to aid the savvy apartment hunter. I can see it now: I’m strolling though my ideal neighborhood, looking at map of nearby listings, tapping to view photos of apartments in the area that fit my needs, emailing the landlord right there and then from the sidewalk, and viewing the perfect property a few minutes later. Highly rated apps like the ones below can make that experience possible.

Security:

iPhones can apparently be hacked with malicious charger – Security researchers come up with a way to use a battery charger to take over an iPhone in less than one minute.

The secret to online safety: Lies, random characters, and a password manager – Or how to go from “123456” to “XBapfSDS3EJz4r42vDUt.” – Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’re going to focus on how to use a password manager, software that can help you go from passwords like “111111” to “6WKBTSkQq8Zn4PtAjmz7” without making you want to pull out all your hair. For good measure, we’ll talk about how creating fictitious answers to password reset questions (e.g. mother’s maiden name) can make you even more resistant to hacking.

France removes Internet cut-off threat from its anti-piracy law – French digital minister says “it’s like cutting off someone’s water.” France finally put an end to the most extreme measure of its famous “three strikes” anti-piracy regime: no one will face being cut off from the Internet.

LinkedIn Enables Two-Factor Authentication – LinkedIn jumped on the two-factor authentication bandwagon today by offering the optional service to its 255 million users. Those who opt in will have to enter their regular password, plus a numeric code that is sent to their phone via SMS every time they log in

Yahoo Mail redesign becomes permanent, privacy issues surface – Yahoo officially put the old interface for Yahoo Mail to rest Monday. But the company’s new webmail look isn’t the only change that users will have to get used to. Users will have to consider conditions in the service’s privacy agreement that allows Yahoo to scan their email so the search company can insert targeted ads.

Company News:

Third day-long strike hits Amazon in Germany – Amazon has suffered another strike in Germany, with workers at the logistics centres in Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld walking out over pay and conditions.

GreenSQL Database Security Now Part of Amazon Web Services Partner Network – GreenSQL, the unified database security company, has joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network, offering its technology directly to Amazon RDS customers. GreenSQL delivers ready-to-use database security solutions. GreenSQL’s integrated Database Security, Monitoring and Masking functions are easy to use and quick to implement.

Secunia appoints Peter Colsted as new CEO – Secunia, a leading provider of IT security solutions that enable businesses and private individuals to manage and control vulnerability threats, today announced that the board has appointed Senior Director EMEA Specialist Sales at Microsoft Peter Colsted as new CEO, effective July 1st, 2013. Peter Colsted joins Secunia from Microsoft, where he has spent 4½ years leading the Incubation Organization in Europe, Middle East and Africa building and growing new businesses for Microsoft in the enterprise space.

Change in Microsoft’s focus may force restructure of leadership – Microsoft reportedly is headed for a major organizational restructuring as the company continues its march toward becoming a devices-and-services company. If the latest rumors are any indication, Microsoft will focus on at least three major categories in the coming years: cloud-connected services, online communications, and all things Xbox.

IBM ‘protests’ $600M Amazon cloud contract with CIA: report – When a rival gets their hands on a lucrative government contract, it’s no surprise when a competitor files to block the move. They want the business themselves. IBM has done exactly that, according to reports, over a $600 million cloud project that will last 10 years between Amazon and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Foxconn backs Firefox OS play – Can the open-source, Linux-based Firefox mobile operating system become a mobile-space player? The question is far from answered but Mozilla has a new supporter: major electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn.

Webopedia Daily:

Willow Glass – An advanced, flexible screen currently in development by Corning that is expected to be used in making bendable mobile devices like smartphones of the future and possibly smart watches such as the rumored Apple iWatch. Corning’s Willow Glass is an extremely thin, malleable glass that’s only 100 microns (0.1 millimeters) thick. While easily bendable, Willow Glass can also break fairly easily if bent too much. Willow Glass is also capable of roll-to-roll production runs rather than the sheet-to-sheet production runs that are used for most of the screens on existing mobile devices.

Games and Entertainment:

Mojang’s Scrolls releases today – Mojang’s digital CCG (was supposed to release earlier today, but as of yet has not been made available for purchase. Fear not, for all will be well soon enough.

Layoffs Hit 18 Percent of Zynga Staff – Zynga continues to trim its workforce, with reports today of 520 more layoffs. In a blog post, CEO Mark Pincus outlined the social media gaming company’s structural changes, which he said are aimed at reducing costs and boosting Zynga’s slumping business.

Tecmo to offer free-to-play Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate on PS3 – The free-to-play model of gaming is most prevalent on the PC, and in particular has been embraced by MMO developers. But well-known publisher/developer Tecmo has decided to embrace it for the next iteration…

Gigabyte Releases New Thin Ultrablade Gaming Laptops – At today’s Computex trade show, Gigabyte announced a new lineup of gaming laptops that are thinner than lighter than the usual gaming rig, thanks to Intel’s new 4th generation Core (Haswell) processors and Nvidia’s high-end GeForce GTX 765M and GTX 760 graphics.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Eight bronze age boats surface at Fens creek in record find – A fleet of eight prehistoric boats, including one almost nine metres long, has been discovered in a Cambridgeshire quarry on the outskirts of Peterborough. The vessels, all deliberately sunk more than 3,000 years ago, are the largest group of bronze age boats ever found in the same UK site and most are startlingly well preserved. (suggested by Michael F.)

A house divided: Linux factions threaten success – Takeaway: Linux is at a major tipping point, yet it faces being undermined from within. Jack Wallen calls for the Linux community to end the fighting between the Linux camps.

Delivering Domino’s Pizza by Unmanned Helicopter: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? – For those of you keeping score in the pizza gimmick wars, we currently have Pizza Hut letting you order pizza through your Xbox versus Domino’s proof-of-concept DomiCopter.

Canada to finally escape telco three-year contract hell – One of the peculiarities of the Canadian telecommunications sector is set to end: The dreaded three-year contract.

73-year old Excel(s) at making spreadsheet artwork, is way cooler than your grandpa – A 73-year-old Japanese artist named Tatsuo Horiuchi has a different opinion of Microsoft Excel than most. Where others see it as a way of keeping tabs on the budget, Horiuchi sees it as a medium for art.

image

Today’s Quote:

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

–     Henry Ford

Today’s Free Downloads:

Rainmeter 3.0.1941 Beta – Rainmeter is a desktop customization platform. Through Rainmeter, you can enhance your Windows computer at home or work with skins.

Dexpot 1.6.9 Build 2285 – Dexpot turns your monitor into 20 different virtual desktops. Dexpot creates additional workspaces you can quickly switch between them.

Kindle for PC – Kindle for PC allows you to read more than 360,000 Kindle books on your PC. No Kindle required.

2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 4, 2013

  1. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Another good reason for using a password manager that generates random passwords (“The secret to online safety”), is that it is so easy to change them regularly; no need to twist your brain thinking up new ones you can remember.

    I also liked the ideas for creating master passwords and the suggestion to write them down. I know you do that with important ones but that knowledge would be of no help in hacking them. Sometimes the old ways really are the best. B)

    Kind regards,
    John

    • Hi John,

      Totally agree – “Sometimes the old ways really are the best.” And, we’d know that. 🙂

      In an age in which applications are readily available to perform virtually any task (some of which approach “science fiction”), I find it laughable that an issue as fundamental as password control is still an “issue.” The glue that holds it all together (from a security perspective), still plays second fiddle.

      Best,

      Bill