Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 5, 2013

Is Your Antivirus Working? – You don’t have to start a fire to check whether the smoke detectors in your house are doing their job. You just press the test button for a quick verification. Now you can test your antivirus protection in much the same way. The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) today announced the release of five tools to help users verify that their antivirus protection is working. And right now, go to the AMTSO website and make sure your antivirus is working!

How Much Is Your Facebook Data Worth? A Can of Pepsi, Right? – The concept is simple: Like Pepsi on Facebook and get a free can of Pepsi from a space-age vending machine that doesn’t accept money — it only accepts Facebook Likes. It’s a great marketing stunt, no?

Create animated GIFs quickly with UnFREEz – Many programs can create quick animated frames, but GIMP or Photoshop is overkill for quick animations. UnFREEz is a free and portable program that makes GIF animations by taking a few separate GIF files and merging them into a single animated loop. That’s all it does, and it does it just fine.

Kingsoft Office Free 2013 – As a 39MB free office productivity suite, Kingsoft Office Suite allows you to create top quality documents without worrying about inhibiting the performance of your PC. Not only does Kingsoft Office Free 2013 have the basic functions that its peers provide, but it has many outstanding features other software don’t include, such as a pro PDF converter, an advanced paragraph adjustment tool, and humanized table operation.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

New sex sim aims for hottest VR action ever – The VRSexKit from ThriXXX promises to link together a set of off-the-shelf components and provide the most realistic digital sex experience possible. With the VRSexKit ThriXXX has strung together what it thinks is a set of tools that can satisfy those in search of more titillating VR fun. Not everyone is impressed, though.

Report: AmazonFresh Grocery Service Expanding to LA, San Francisco – You’re already able to get just about anything you want on Amazon, but how awesome would it be if you could head over to the retail giant’s website, order your groceries, and have them delivered right to your door? Those in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle have had the privilege for years, and soon you could, too.

Create very strong and secure passwords with the free PWGen – Graduate from simple, guessable passwords to Herculean ones with this open-source password generator.

Video proves upgrading from Windows 1.0 to Windows 8 is possible – Back in Match 2011 a video appeared on YouTube proving you can perform a Windows upgrade right through from v1.0 to Windows 7. Now we have a new video, reaffirming the fact Windows continues to have an upgrade path, and you can take a machine running Windows 1.0 and upgrade it right through to Windows 8.

Porn suspect doesn’t need to decrypt files – Jeffrey Feldman has won a reprieve from a federal court order that had given him until Tuesday to decrypt his hard drives for the FBI — or face contempt of court. A federal judge in Wisconsin today granted an emergency motion filed by Feldman’s attorney for additional time to establish that her client’s Fifth Amendment right to self-incrimination would be violated.


Bitdefender Still Leads the Pack in AV-Test Evaluation – For a number of years German antivirus lab AV-Test rated antivirus products on three criteria: Protection, Repair, and Usability. Bitdefender remains the overall champion, with 17 of 18 possible points. Quite a few others scored better or worse than in the last test, some by quite a bit.

USA to legalize rootkits, spyware, ransomware and trojans to combat piracy? – Just a few days ago the “Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property” released their 84-page report. Amidst a large amount of rather naive ideas there is one idea that strikes us as particularly insane: The report proposes the use of malware to determine whether or not you are pirating intellectual property and if you are, to lock your computer and holds all your files hostage until you call the police and confess to your crime.

Cracked Glass: Why wearables are the next security maelstrom – Google Glass has plenty of issues. There’s a fair chance you’ll get laughed at for wearing it, or at the very least stared at. Battery life won’t last you a day, and the list of things you can actually do with the wearable is limited. For all the Saturday Night Live skits and “Glasshole” jokes, though, wearables aren’t going away, and that means a new set of security problems for those whose job it is to keep data safe.

EU Commissioner Makes Push for Net Neutrality Rules – Europe needs a definitive net neutrality plan that will guarantee people’s right to a free and open Internet, Neelie Kroes, the EU’s commissioner for digital policy, said today.

Company News:

Apple calls e-book price fixing case “bizarre,” says DOJ is being unfair – Publishing CEO called Jobs’ alleged admission of conspiracy “incredibly stupid.”

New BlackBerry with Keyboard to Hit Stores – The first keyboard-equipped BlackBerry sporting the company’s radically new operating system is hitting U.S. stores this week. T-Mobile USA will start selling the BlackBerry Q10 on Wednesday. Verizon Wireless started taking pre-orders last week and says it will ship by Thursday.

ITC bans some iPhones, iPads in Samsung patent fight – Apple infringed a Samsung Electronics patent, the U.S. International Trade Commission said in a final judgment released Tuesday that bans import into the U.S. of certain AT&T iPhone and iPad models

Amazon quietly launches online marketplace in India – The site will allow third-party users to list and sell their merchandise to customers, but the retail giant is prohibited from selling its own inventory.

Webopedia Daily:

Marketplace Fairness Act – The Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) of 2013 is a bill that requires online retailers to collect sales taxes from out-of-state customers, even if the retailers don’t have a physical presence in the customer’s state. Under the act, a state other than an online retailer’s home state could summon an online seller for an audit if issues arise—a potentially costly process for small businesses.

Games and Entertainment:

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.

‘Halo: Spartan Assault’ Arrives on Windows 8, Win Phone 8 Next Month – Microsoft and 343 Industries today unveiled Halo: Spartan Assault, which will debut in July exclusively on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The game is the first top-down action shooter that brings a Halo video game to touch-based devices, the companies said in a press release.

Google Glass turns paintball into a real-life FPS – Of the many fun things that you can capture from a first-person point of view with Glass, this paintball match is certainly now high on the list.

How to Buy Mojang’s Scrolls – Yesterday, Swedish indie developers Mojang (of Minecraft fame) launched Scrolls, its second and newest game. Unfortunately, just purchasing the game has turned out to be a bit of a hassle. Here’s what you need to do to get yourself a copy.

‘Arrested Development’ fan re-edits Season 4 in new order – A serious aficionado takes apart the entire season and puts it back together again in “chronological order.” Kabir Ashtar, lead editor of the show, doesn’t have any qualms with this.

Asus Targets Enthusiasts With New Maximus VI – Competitive gaming may require skill, timing, and talent, but underlying any victory is hardware. Asus’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) lineup is designed and built with victory in mind, and the latest crop of RAG products are no exception.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Brain-controlled Parrot quadricopter opens door to robot-limb future – Non-invasive brain control over robotic limbs, computers, and other technology is one step closer, with a new project that allows full navigation of a Parrot AR.Drone simply by thinking about it. By imagining different gestures and movements, the pilot can control the drone without moving a muscle.

20 historic tech sounds you may have forgotten – Boy, does technology evolve fast. How many of these iconic sounds do you remember? So crank up your speakers and get ready to mutter incomprehensible insults about “those darn kids these days.” Here are 20 memorable tech sounds that are well on their way to being forgotten.

Password crackers go green by immersing their GPUs in mineral oil – Dunking a powered-on PC in cooling liquid may seem crazy, but not for KoreLogic.

First ever image of chemical bonds being broken and formed – Chemical bonds and molecular structure have proven experimentally accurate in organic chemistry research labs all over the world, but few suspected the models would look so close to reality. A team of researchers from The Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab have acquired images of bonds breaking and forming during a chemical reaction, and the real molecules look like they’re copied out of the textbook diagrams.

Today’s Quote:

The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.”

–     Edwin Schlossberg

Today’s Free Downloads:

Microsoft Process Explorer 15.31 – Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.

Microsoft Autoruns 11.6 – This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login.

Microsoft Process Monitor 3.05 – Process Monitor is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 5, 2013

  1. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Re: “Is Your Antivirus Working?”

    Currently using Microsoft Security Essentials. Ran all 5 tests and it passed 1 and 2 but failed 3, 4 and 5. Apparently they do not support any of these tests, as their logo does not appear. Having said that, neither does Norton’s.

    Perhaps I should run all the others to see if any pass all 5 tests. Sounds like a project :). If they don’t, at least there is a link to their sites to check out the failures.

    In the meantime, I’ve submitted the PUP and cloud protection test files to MS for their comments.

    Kind regards

    • Hi John,

      I hear ya. The features being pushed (and they are being pushed – marketing by any other GD name), are generally only available in a paid application.

      As for EICAR files – guys like me have been using these files for years.



  2. hieuha1988

    Reblogged this on hieuha1988.

  3. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    Re: Bitdefender Still Leads the Pack in AV-Test Evaluation
    I’m not surprised BitDefender is up there with the best. I recently got a free 12 month licence for Bitdefender Internet Security 2013 and I am quite impressed with it. The only thing I don’t like is the firewall included, but that’s no problem, individual modules can be enabled or disabled.

    • Hey Mal,

      Nice score dude!

      It’s been interesting watching Bitdefender take the lead – from nowhere to leader of the pack in just a few years. Excellent software and loads of free goodies have paid off – big time. Nice to see.