Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 7, 2013

New leak shows feds can access user accounts for Google, Facebook and more: Secret slides reveal massive government spying, tech companies dispute reports – It’s worse than we thought. Just one day after disclosing the existence of a secret court order between the National Security Agency (NSA) and Verizon, The Guardian and The Washington Post both published secret presentation slides revealing the existence of a previously undisclosed massive surveillance program called PRISM. The program has the capability to collect data “directly from the servers” of major American tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook and Yahoo. (Dropbox is said to be “coming soon.”)

Welcome to the era of Total Information Awareness and ain’t it grand? – The problem isn’t the National Security Agency. It’s the Patriot Act and what it represents as we watch the modern surveillance state take shape — in secret.

Verizon, Telephony Metadata, the National Security Agency and You – People are upset (or scared or confused or ambivalent) about the revelation that the National Security Agency is collecting information from Verizon concerning telephone calls made on its network. What does it all mean?Let’s dive right in.

US upholds the right to search your laptop at the border without warrant – A statement put out by the Department of Homeland Security says that hunches and intuition are enough to justify warrantless searches, and it’s not explaining anything much beyond that. It goes on to provide Constitutional analysis that’s mostly redacted.

Wireless Witch: How to Secure Your Wireless Network – There are plenty of ways to harden the security of your router and wireless network. Most of them are fairly easy to put in place, while some take just a bit of configuration in the router’s interface. I’ve included several options each with an accompanying image to get you going towards a more secure Wi-Fi network.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google releases stock Android keyboard as standalone app – Rejoice, Samsung and HTC Android phones owners: Google has made the stock Android keyboard available as a standalone app in Google Play. And the app includes gestures and voice typing.

5 Top Open Source Financial Apps for Small Business – Manage stock portfolios, track expenses with an Android smartphone, run payroll, and handle general accounting with these five quality open source financial apps for small business.

Writer’s Cafe Portable – As a nifty program full of cool tools, Writer’s Cafe Portable helps you improve and organize your writing. Its layout won’t win any design awards, but it’s so packed full of neat and fun features that you won’t really care. If you need help finishing or starting that novel you’ve been talking about for years, this is the program you want.

How to install Android apps on your BB10 phone – Sideloading popular apps onto your BB10 device is fast and easy. Read on to learn how you can quickly take advantage of free BlackBerry 10 apps that others have kindly ported from Android. Best of all, the entire process takes minutes and loading apps to your Z10 or Q10 just a matter of seconds.

Review: Easeus Todo Backup Free is the most comprehensive free backup – Easeus Todo Backup Free is easy to use and integrates well with Windows. Simply double-click any Todo backup file, and it opens as if it were a folder. This allows you to easily browse and recover individual files and folders using Windows Explorer. There’s a full integrated restore function as well if you prefer that approach.

SearchYourCloud – The idea behind SearchYourCloud is a good one: This application is designed to help you secure and find all of the data you have stored in the cloud. Getting up and running with the application can be a bit tricky, but once you have an understanding of SearchYourCloud, you’ll likely find it delightfully simple to use. SearchYourCloud is free for 14 days, after which you’ll have to pay $25 to keep using it.

Cool down an overheated laptop – A hot computer is a bad computer. Excess heat can cause malfunctions and crashes, and permanently damage your hardware. And although laptops generally put out less heat than desktops (energy efficiency is a higher design priority), they have their own unique problems. They’re rarely as well ventilated as a desktop, and much more difficult to clean.

Time Warner Cable Users Can Now Watch Live TV on PCs From Anywhere – Time Warner Cable this week extended its PC-based live TV and on-demand viewing to connections outside the home. That means you can watch live TV or on-demand selections on your PC while on the go – whether you’re waiting at the airport or at a friend’s house.

Security:

Microsoft to tackle under-attack Office bug next week – Microsoft today said it will ship just five security updates next week, the fewest in any month so far this year, to patch 23 vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer (IE), Windows and Office. The update for Office will address a bug that is now being exploited by hackers, a researcher claimed.

Dutch public transportation may be hackable with an Android smartphone – The smartcards used to pay for public transportation in the Netherlands may now be hacked with an Android phone, according to a report from NOS.nl. The crack requires two free apps that allow the cracker to load the card with money and travel without paying anything.

Pirate Bay co-founder faces major new hacking charges in Denmark – After several weeks in court, the criminal trial of Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid “anakata” Svartholm Warg concluded earlier this week in Stockholm. But on Thursday, as he awaits a decision and sentencing, Svartholm Warg landed in more hot water with new charges coming from neighboring Denmark.

Chinese hackers reportedly stole Obama and McCain documents – During the 2008 presidential campaign, top-level staffers’ laptops were infiltrated with malware that allowed alleged Chinese hackers to steal internal documents, files, and e-mails.

Company News:

Apple to offer trade-in service for iPhones, says report – Apple is reportedly partnering with an outside company to offer a new trade-in service for iPhones at its retail stores, a program that remains unannounced. Citing sources, Bloomberg says Apple is working with Brightstar, a Miami-based company that manages trade-ins and logistical efforts for other companies.

Facebook aims to simplify advertising for marketers – Facebook is gearing up for a new project to simplify its advertising platform, making it easier for marketers to decide how to place ads across the site.

Google return to China unlikely anytime soon – Eric Schmidt tells Google stockholders at the company’s annual stockholder meeting that the company will continue to stay out of China.

Logitech Buys a Kickstarter Star – Individuals and very small companies are using Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites to raise money directly from consumers and bring imaginative gadgets to market. And if consumers are excited about such products, it stands to reason that big companies looking for their next hits might get excited too.

Webopedia Daily:

Internet meme – An Internet meme is a concept or idea that spreads “virally” from one person to another via the Internet. An Internet meme could be anything from an image to an email or video file; however, the most common meme is an image of a person or animal with a funny or witty caption. The proliferation of social media has led to Internet memes spreading very quickly and reaching more people. Many Internet memes use humor and appeal largely to the adolescent and post-adolescent demographic: this demographic is much more likely to discover Internet memes, understand the humor behind them and be willing to forward it on to friends. One of the most famous Internet memes is “LOLcat,” which features cute pictures of cats with witty or funny captions.

Games and Entertainment:

Xbox One can only play games offline for 24 hours – An internet connection required at least once every 24 hours and publishers can block game trading and resales. Will gamers accept such restrictions?

Diablo III coming to current generation consoles September 3 – Console gamers, you can finally put down the copy of Diablo for the original PlayStation that you’ve been jealously guarding for the last 15 years. Blizzard today confirmed a September 3 release date for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Diablo III. The current-gen console versions will retail for $59.99 and include all of the updates for the PC version.

Amazon Highlights Independent Game Developers – Independent game developers are getting a boost onto the shoulders of a giant with the launch of Amazon’s new Indie Games Store. The new category in Amazon’s Digital Video Games Store is designed specifically to address the hard-knock life of indie game developers.

Netflix Unveils Trailer for ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Original Series – Netflix is the new cable TV, and Orange Is the New Black. At least it will be next month, when the streaming video company’s next original comedy-drama series premieres online.

Xbox One privacy concerns assuaged by Microsoft in “always on” explanation – Microsoft wasn’t terribly clear on certain aspects of the Xbox One upon its unveiling, and one area that raised concerns was a claim that the device was “always on,” serving as a type of spy in your living room listening to your conversations and peeking at your activities. Microsoft made a couple attempts to clear up some of these concerns last month, but today has detailed privacy specifics that gamers can expect from their next-gen console.

New game from Modern Warfare creators is an Xbox/PC exclusive – In the coming console wars, small differences between multiplatform games probably aren’t going to be enough to give a system a significant advantage over another. It’s the exclusive titles that are going to largely determine the winner in the next-gen console battle. Which is why today’s leaked announcement that Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall will be exclusive to Microsoft systems and PCs is such a big deal.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Bill to Legalize Web Poker Introduced to Congress – Gamblers who prefer their laptops to blackjack tables could be getting a boost from Washington.

Man with kidney disease first in U.S. to get bioengineered vein – In a first-of-its kind procedure, surgeons implant the blood vessel into the arm of a 62-year-old Virginia man with renal failure.

Smoking Alcohol: The Dangerous Way People Are Getting Drunk – To get drunk, people are getting creative. But a new form of drinking, known as “smoking” alcohol, has doctors concerned.

Exposing The Evil Cult Of Bilderberg, With Your Host Alex Jones – Kathy Brafford, a middle-aged woman from Olivia, N.C., fought back tears. All afternoon she’d been holding a spray-painted placard that read “Bilderberg Evil Cult EXPOSED.” I asked her to elaborate. “Devil worship, for one. Certainly pedophilia,” she said, gesturing toward the Westfields Marriott Hotel. “Must be at least a couple pedophiles in there. Read the Book of Revelation and see what God does to ‘em.” Her voice quivered. “There’s a special place in Hell for these people.” (recommended by Michael F.)

Obama launches high-speed Internet program for all schools – More than 80 percent of educators say the Internet connection at their schools is too slow to meet their needs — that’s why the president plans to bring broadband to 99 percent of all students.

Today’s Quote:

God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages.”

–      Jacques Deval

Today’s Free Downloads:

Malware Scene Investigator 1.31 – Malware Scene Investigator is a free tool to scan your system for unknown malware. It´s a heuristic scanner that locates undetected malware by searching for symptoms and modifications they cause. The scanner is extremely fast and provides a log file after the scanning process is completed.

Recuva Portable 1.47.948 – Recuva (pronounced “recover”) is a freeware Windows utility to restore files that have been accidentally deleted from your computer. This includes files emptied from the Recycle bin as well as images and other files that have been deleted by user error from digital camera memory cards or MP3 players. It will even bring back files that have been deleted by bugs, crashes and viruses!

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2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 7, 2013

  1. Fred

    Bill,
    The news stories about Big Brother you have posted over the last year presaged these latest revelations. Of course this is nothing new, it is a progression of what THEY whoever THEY are have worked towards for decades. Within 24hours of the Oklahoma City tragedy Bill Clinton had an anti-terror bill, FIFTEEN THOUSAND PAGES, on the desks of Senators and Congressmen. They passed it immediately. Now I ask you how many of them do you think had time to read it? NONE? Probably the right answer. One of these monstrosities was the Digital and Telephony Act, something like that, the FBI wanted to be able to listen in to our phone calls more easily. Then the Patriot Act, love how they use names for these bills which a real patriot, such as Thomas Jefferson, would have bitterly opposed. Now Obama and his regime. I realized this fellow wasn’t playing fair or honestly when the Fast & Furious scandal was revealed. However there is NO PENALTIES, whatsoever, to these people who MAKE the laws, and ENFORCE the laws, for BREAKING THE LAW they are SWORN to uphold.
    Freedom, once you lose you have very little chance of ever regaining it.
    Thanks for keeping us uptodate on the ENTIRE business.
    Fred