Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 12, 2013

Mozilla and 41 privacy groups getting their war on over NSA surveillance flap – A large gang of privacy organizations lead by Firefox browser developer Mozilla has launched, a new advocacy group (and website) calling for greater privacy protections in the way the government conducts its electronic surveillance programs.

Infographic: Protecting Teens From Digital Threats – What are the biggest threats to your kids’ online identity, and how can you stop them?

Organizations push for Congress to curtail NSA spying

ACLU sues four top Obama administration officials over Verizon metadata sharing – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit Tuesday against four high-level government officials, arguing that Verizon’s ongoing sharing of telephone metadata to the National Security Agency (NSA) is unconstitutional. The officials include Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Director of the FBI Robert Mueller, and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Google requests permission to publish FISA requests in Transparency Report

Don’t Want to Be Spied On? Think About Encryption – The twin disclosures last week about the National Security Agency’s extensive surveillance program accomplished something that no amount of SecurityWatch posts could ever have accomplished: It got regular Internet users talking about encryption.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to transfer large files on Facebook with Pipe – A new Facebook app will let you share files up to 1GB in size with your friends. Just follow these quick steps to get started.

Take better selfies with CamMe – Remove the outstretched arm from your selfies with this free iOS app. Most selfies require you to hold out your phone as far as you can reach to snap the shot. If you’d like to lose the outstretched arm and snap your selfies with an iPhone, I encourage you to try out the free, universal CamMe app.

Want to Make Anonymous Phone Calls? Keep It Simple – If the revelations that Verizon (and perhaps other telcomms) is handing over customer call records to the federal government has you scrambling for your tinfoil hat, there is a simple way to make sure those government spies have no idea who you are calling.

Social media users like the sound of iTunes Radio – Ninety-four percent of the people on social networks are happy about Apple’s new music service, according to analytics company NetBase.

Verizon BlackBerry Q10 Review – All four major carriers have signed on to offer the Q10, and we’ve decided to take a look at Verizon’s variant to see what the device offers on Big Red. While we’ve reviewed the Q10 before, this’ll be the first time we’ve taken a look at the handset on a US carrier, so let’s see what the QWERTY-equipped device has to offer for us Americans.

Taiwan offers free Wi-Fi to tourists – Free Internet access will be provided at over 4,400 “iTaiwan” hotspots across the island to foreign tourists, who will also be able to go on four other hotspot services under a roaming agreement.


Microsoft patches critical IE vulnerabilities and actively exploited Office flaw – A new batch of security updates released by Microsoft on Tuesday address a total of 23 vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Windows and Microsoft Office, including one that is actively exploited by attackers. The handling of digital certificates in Windows was also improved.

Security experts weigh in on Patch Tuesday priorities – It’s Patch Tuesday—the sixth one of 2013. As far as Patch Tuesdays go, June is relatively light—with a mere five security bulletins, and only one rated as Critical—but that’s no reason to let your guard down.

Guntior bootkit up to new tricks – A technical analysis of the Guntior bootkit and its DLL load order abuse of the Windows Help Center.

Data Security Council of India launches privacy training program – To address privacy breach concerns, the Data Security Council of India has announced a training program to educate assessors about how to protect personal information from disclosure, modification, or misuse.

Company News:

AMD Unleashes 5GHz, 8-Core Desktop Monster – Advanced Micro Devices hit the ground running at E3 in Los Angeles on Tuesday, lifting the curtain on an eight-core desktop CPU with an out-of-the-box, gut-busting clock of 5GHz.

Facebook execs hammered with IPO questions at first shareholders meeting – At Facebook’s first shareholders’ meeting, CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg took it on the chin Tuesday from stockholders unhappy about last year’s IPO.

Acer bets big on Android (yes, Android) PCs – Acer’s “prototype” N3-220 Android all-in-one is more than than just a trial balloon, company executives said Monday. It represents the first in a series of PCs that will use Google’s free mobile OS to carve out a new niche in the ultracompetitive PC market.

It’s official: Google buys mapping app developer Waze – Google is buying the crowdsourced mapping app developer Waze, in a move geared toward adding more real-time navigation tools to its own Maps software, the company announced Tuesday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, though early reports had said the price could be as high as $1.3 billion.

Seagate introduces a new hard drive designed specifically for NAS installations – A NAS box—the acronym stands for network attached storage—is one of the most cost-effective centralized storage solutions for home and small-office networks. But since most NAS box manufacturers don’t also manufacture hard drives, end users must find, identify, and purchase appropriate drives as separate transactions. Seagate stepped into that wide-open opportunity today, announcing the Seagate NAS HDD.

HP launches big data platform, integrates acquired analytics parts – The platform, called HAVEn, combines technologies from HP Autonomy, Vertica, ArcSight and Operations Management along with Hadoop. Most of those parts were acquired by HP in recent years.

Webopedia Daily:

Google Nexus – A line of smartphones and tablet devices developed by Google and various hardware partners. The Google Nexus first debuted in early 2010 as the Nexus One, and today the line consists of the Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices. Google Nexus devices are powered by Google’s Android open source mobile operating system. Here’s a synopsis of the three Google Nexus devices currently available…..

Games and Entertainment:

10 reasons why PS4 already has Xbox One beat – Sony had quite possibly its best E3 ever yesterday, and the feeling now is the PS4 has a huge advantage over the Xbox One. Here’s why…

PS4 used games policy to be determined by publishers – Last night, Sony announced during their E3 2013 press conference that the PlayStation 4 would whole-heartedly support used games, but it seems like the company won’t be dictating that with all games. It turns out that third-party publishers will decide for themselves if they want their PS4 games to include some kind of DRM to prevent resale.

Hands-on with the Xbox One: A mixed start, with some interesting games – We got to play with four games on the new Xbox One, and we’re cautiously intrigued.

Horrors! B-movie king Roger Corman brings films to YouTube – With over 400 films in his library, the leading B-movie maker has a plethora to offer subscribers who pay $4 a month. Among the treats? Jack Nicholson’s earliest appearances.

PC gamers better get used to console ports – While EA, Ubisoft, Sony, and Microsoft were busy talking up the fact that the torrent of announced games was headed for next-gen console hardware, many of the titles showed off today are actually destined to land on PCs, too. Why wouldn’t they? With the Xbox One and PS4’s shift to x86 processors , making games cross-platform should be a breeze. Without further ado, here’s a list of today’s promiscuous gems slated for eventual PC deployment.

Xbox One won’t launch across Asia for 18 months – It looks as though Microsoft has decided the focus for Xbox One is going to be the US and Europe come November. Although the console is going to be ready to launch in November for those regions, Asia won’t be getting Xbox One until late 2014.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Gadget-eating crazy ants causing millions in damages – Depending on what state you live in, there could come a point when one of your electrical devices – maybe even a gadget – fail, only for the culprit to be pegged as “crazy ants”. Such has been the case for many in the Southern United States, where a species of insect known as Raspberry crazy ants have made their way from South American, driving out native ant populations and destroying hosts of electronics equipment.

Is Marissa Mayer worth more than Tim Cook? – Since coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook went for $610,000, Yahoo’s CEO decides to auction lunch with her — and it will take place at Yahoo HQ.

Bill would force you to give police phone after accident – New Jersey legislators propose allowing police to examine your cell phone without a warrant in the event of being stopped. This is in response to texting and driving incidents.

Father’s Day: 11 High-Tech Gifts to Update the Low-Tech Dad – Father’s Day gifts have morphed over the years. It used to be a tie, a golf hat or a jazz CD. But dads are more tech-savvy these days.

Apple Recognizes Yahoo Weather, Evernote as Design Award Winners – What do the Yahoo Weather app, Evernote, and the game Letterpress have in common? They were all called out this week by Apple as some of the best looking and most innovative apps available for iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers.

Today’s Quote:

Self-control is not a problem in the future. It’s only a problem NOW when the chocolate is next to us.”

–       Shlomo Bernartzi

Today’s Free Downloads:

URLNotifier – URLNotifier is a software that checks and notifies you whether the content of web pages at specific URLs meets your criteria, which might be for example the presence of a simple text or a regular expression match. You can create projects with thousands of URLs and with just one click check whether their content meets your criteria, which can be specified for each URL separately or globally for all URLs in a project. You can check for links, ads, words, phrases, sentences, and HTML code excerpts.

Make animated GIFs from videos with GifCam – Newbies who want to dip their toes in the GIF-creation waters no longer need fancy image-editing software like Adobe Photoshop–a freeware app called GifCam lets anyone easily produce animated GIFs from on-screen activity, i.e. streaming videos, flash games, or anything else that happens on your screen, and a new update to version 2.0 throws in custom text captions, a “nearest” color output, and the ability to open and edit existing animations.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 12, 2013

  1. delenn13

    Hey Bill,

    Just thought this might be worth a read..

    Embracing the Most Important Attitude – Ask Leo!

    Change is..Oh, go flip a coin..

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Leo is a great guy – and, his bi-weekly stuff is a must read for me.

      The piece that you have linked to (a great read), is less expressive than my feelings towards those who consistently refuse to deal with technology changes. One site that you and I both read for example, whines piteously and continuously about changes. The latest – An XBox? I’m not 12 years old.

      An informed blogger would be aware that XBox users run the gamut from age 12 to age 99. The average age range – 35-44 years old. So 12? Oh, and women make up fully 50% of gamers.

      The guy needs to get his ass into the 21st century. 🙂