Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 19, 2013

Google asks to make surveillance orders public, cites First Amendment – The Internet company, in a filing with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday, asked the court to allow it to publish the number of surveillance requests it gets from the NSA and other federal agencies and the number of users or accounts affected by those requests. The U.S. Department of Justice contends that publishing the information would be illegal.

U.S. officials claim surveillance programs helped stop 50 terrorist plots – NSA surveillance programs recently exposed by NSA contractor Edward Snowden have played a key role in disrupting terrorist activity in more than 20 countries, including 10 terrorist plots in the U.S., since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander told U.S. Lawmakers. (A trained and practiced liar – that’s his job – regurgitates the expected BS)

The 9 most important quotes from Obama’s Charlie Rose interview – President Obama sat down for a 45-minute interview with Charlie Rose, which aired Monday night. Here are the highlights, pulled from a transcript of the interview provided to Post Politics.

Trust Us, We’re From Silicon Valley: Tech Giants Race to Bolster Public Image – America’s largest Internet companies are tripping over themselves to bolster their public image following blockbuster disclosures about their role in the U.S. government’s controversial data-gathering program.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Don’t let NSA paranoia destroy your productivity – There’s an awful lot of paranoia going around these days. But the biggest threats to your privacy don’t come from the NSA or the FBI. They come from private companies building massive databases to track your movements. Here’s a sensible set of strategies to minimize privacy risks.

Google Drive scores support for 18 new languages – Google Drive has supported quite a few languages, and you’d have been hard-pressed to find one you didn’t speak or need. Some users, however, were still left out from using their native language, which could change today with the latest update. Support for 18 additional languages has been added to Google Drive, among them being some common ones like Canadian French and Latin American Spanish.

Clean Master – a must have cleaner app for Android users – Free Clean Master provides comprehensive cleaning methods to clean residual files, temp APKs, terminate tasks, uninstall apps and erase history on Android devices.

SharpNight Releases 7-Data Recovery Suite, followed by a 48 Hour Giveaway – 7-Data Recovery Suite features an integration of four different data recovery modules, each of which performs a specific task in an effective and smooth way. Either for accidentally deleted files, damaged/formatted hard drive, lost/deleted partition, photo or video lost from local drive/memory card/camera, or file lost from mobile phones, users can perform a “do-it-yourself” data recovery with the software without the professional knowledge.

Nuance’s Dragon Update Brings Voice Recognition to PC, Car – With Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12, typing is a thing of the past, as the software now supports voice recognition on the PC. Just talk right to your computer – “cruise through email, update Facebook in seconds, surf the Web and create reports – just by speaking,” Nuance said. Dragon for Android also got a boost today with a hands-free Driver Mode, voice notifications, and the ability to customize Dragon’s wake-up word.

Track SLA Performance – Site24x7 helps you to align your IT and business goals, maximize ROI and helps business grow.

Power to the people: AT&T sets up free mobile charging stations in NYC – AT&T today announced a pilot project of solar-powered charging stations across all five of New York City’s boroughs where the public can charge phones, tablets and other devices for free.

Top Ten Big Data Security and Privacy Challenges Report – The Cloud Security Alliance has just released an Expanded Top 10 Big Data Challenges report. The report includes an expanded list of challenges from those outlined and presented at CSA Congress last November. (registration required)

Linux continues to rule supercomputers – If you want a really fast computer, then Linux is your operating system and Intel may be your chip manufacturer.

App Fail Fallout – Why RUM is the answer! – 88% of Americans associate negative feelings with brands that have poorly performing websites and apps, but SOASTA is releasing the tools for free to make bad apps a thing of the past!

NFC-powered Geak ring grants the wearer new smartphone controls – While NFC seems to be taking the slowest possible route to becoming useful in the US, China-based Geak has put out a ring that grants smartphone owners unique unlock and sharing capabilities.

Tablet downsizing trend to quicken in second half of 2013 – Flip-flop from larger to smaller screen sizes will pick up speed as everyone jumps into Apple’s 8-in. market, hoping for larger profit margins


Google Chrome’s integrated Flash player allows webcam peeping – Security researchers have uncovered a rather disturbing Flash-based flaw in Google Chrome. With the right combination of code and deceptive design, an attacker can take over your webcam and microphone without you knowing about it. That’s right. A successful exploit will trick your machine into broadcasting live video and audio. Creeped out yet?

Note: Checkout Zemana AntiLogger which provides protection against this type of attack.

US law enforcers want to see a kill switch on our mobile phones – They are demanding a switch on our smartphones that would theoretically brick them after they’re stolen. But would it be effective?

Microsoft Citadel botnet assault liberated 2 million PCs – On June 5, we reported on a take down of Citadel botnet networks by Microsoft’s Digital Crime Unit and the FBI, among other unspecified “technology industry partners.” The assault had resulted in 1400 Citadel botnet networks being taken down, and now Microsoft has revealed the number of computers liberated as a result: at least 2 million.

Privacy officials from 6 countries request details on Google Glass – Officials ask Google how it intends to use the information collected by the high-tech specs, which could seemingly videotape or photograph others without their knowledge.

Angelina Jolie’s stunt double sues News Corp. for alleged hacking – Eunice Huthart, Jolie’s body double in “Tomb Raider 2,” claims that News Corp. hacked her phone and wrote stories based on information gleaned from her voice mails. This is the first U.S. claim in the hacking saga.

Oracle releases latest round of Java security patches – Oracle has released critical patch updates containing 40 security fixes across Java SE products.

Company News:

Microsoft slashes Surface RT prices by 60% for schools – Entry-level 32GB Surface RT costs $199, less than cost of goods – Microsoft today confirmed that it has heavily discounted the Surface RT tablet to universities and K-12 schools, cutting the price of the entry-level model by 60%. It was the third time within a month that Microsoft has launched a Surface RT promotion, hinting at an impending refresh of the tablet.

Nvidia to license its graphics cores – Nvidia will start by licensing graphics cores based on the Kepler architecture, which is used in its latest graphics cards, the company said Tuesday. Kepler cores will also be used in Nvidia’s Tegra 5 mobile chip, code-named Logan, which will ship next year.

Facebook reportedly delays release of video ads – The social network still wants to show you 15-second video ads, but not until the fall, according to Ad Age.

ThousandEyes Emerges From Stealth, Launches Performance Management for the Cloud Era – Today at Structure 2013, ThousandEyes emerged from stealth mode and launched a new product that, for the first time, provides detailed visibility into the performance of cloud applications and helps IT teams resolve problems quickly. ThousandEyes’ customers include members of the Fortune 500, Evernote, Priceline, ServiceNow, Twitter, Zendesk and Zynga.

Webopedia Daily:

Dark archive – In reference to data storage, an archive that cannot be accessed by any users. Access to the data is either limited to a set few individuals or completely restricted to all. The purpose of a dark archive is to function as a repository for information that can be used as a failsafe during disaster recovery.

Games and Entertainment:

Surprise! Adult women are more gamer nerdy than teenage boys – That’s according to the findings of a survey from the Entertainment Software Association (PDF), which found that overall the ladies are nearly as into video games as the fellas (45 percent versus 55 percent), and the average age of the most frequent video game purchaser is a solid 35. Taken together, the statistics fly in the face of conventional stereotypes and find that women above the age of 18 represent a significantly greater proportion of the gaming population (31 percent) as compared to males ages 17 and younger (a surprisingly paltry 19 percent).

Get Torchlight FREE for 48 hours! – Every user can grab a free copy of Torchlight until Thursday, June 20, at 12:59PM GMT. (recommended by Delenn13)

How Bungie’s Destiny Became the Poster Child for Next-Gen, Always-Online Gaming – Always online. Deeply social. Companion mobile experience. These buzz phrases are like poison to the hard-bitten gamer. But if you’re talking about Destiny, from the creators of Halo, they’re easier to swallow.

Gamers Snap Up ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ as Retail Sales Slide – NetherRealm Studios’ DC Comics-based fighter Injustice: Gods Among Us ranked as the top-selling game for a second consecutive month in May, as the gaming industry faced steep declines in retail sales, according to new data from the NPD Group.

Monaco is a fun, frantic game about pulling off the perfect heist – Grab a drink. Cue the Ocean’s 11 theme. Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine is a game about pulling off the perfect heist by sneaking, stealing, failing to sneak and making great escapes across a variety of beautiful time-trial levels laid out like casino blueprints.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Want to curb texting and driving? Turn it into a joke – An Australian train safety campaign called “Dumb Ways to Die” is winning big at this week’s Cannes Advertising Festival. Might such a jokey style persuade those who cannot help texting at the wheel?

Turkish drone shooting heralds a new age of civillian counter-surveillance – Governments are fond of the question: Why do you mind us watching, if you have nothing to hide? As both the size and price of this sort of technology decreases, it may reverse the roles of citizen and ruler. If five tiny camera drones hover over a clash between protesters and police, whichever side chooses to gun them down may invite that very same question.

88% of Americans Have Negative Feelings about Brands with Poorly Performing Websites and Mobile Apps – SOASTA Inc., the leader in cloud and mobile testing, today announced the findings of its 2013 Website and Mobile App Survey. Conducted online by Harris Interactive, the SOASTA survey questioned 2,046 American adults. The survey found that almost nine out of ten Americans associate negative feelings with brands that have poorly performing websites and mobile apps (88%), and have a negative reaction when a website is too slow (83%).

This computer simulation takes you inside a black hole – With the advances in technology, observations have become more precise than ever, and this is just one small step to an even greater understanding of one of the universe’s most fascinating phenomena.

Dragonfly brains could teach us how to make a better missile – Researchers want to solve fundamental problems in neurology by studying the brains of dragon-flies in flight.

The 50th Paris Air Show takes off (pictures) – Current and future aeronautics crafts go on display as commercial and military vendors trot out their latest technological innovations.

Henry Ford starts a car company, or three – The road to becoming one of America’s great innovators isn’t always smooth. Henry Ford tried and failed many times before establishing Ford Motor Company 110 years ago this week.

Synthetic bones printed in the lab – MiIT researchers have developed a way of printing synthetic bones using a 3D printer in combination with two synthetic polymers that combine to give the same fracture behavior as bones.

Something to think about:

No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.”

–    Alexis de Tocqueville

Today’s Free Downloads:

Speccy – What’s in your computer? If you’re like most of us, you can probably name the processor (Intel or AMD, Celeron or Pentium), maybe how much RAM it has, and maybe how big the hard drive is. Two or three years later, when it comes time to upgrade your computer, that tag or sticker may be long gone. Speccy was designed as a free electronic “what’s inside” sticker for your PC.

MailWasher Free – MailWasher allows you to preview multiple accounts and all aspects of your e-mails before you download them. It also allows you to delete and bounce e-mails back to the originator. The sender will receive an e-mail saying the address was unknown.

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