Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 21, 2013

Provisions under which NSA can collect, retain data on U.S. residents revealed – Two secret documents describing the procedures the National Security Agency (NSA) is required to follow when spying on foreign terror suspects reveal the provisions that allow the agency to collect, retain and use information on U.S residents without a warrant, The Guardian newspaper reported today.

Best Frenemies Forever: Why the U.S. Government Courts Hackers – Even as officials criticize Snowden, they’re encouraging programmers with similar skill sets

MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit (Beta) – MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit is an anti-malware tool based on the former product ExploitShield from ZeroVulnerability, which was acquired by MalwareBytes. It is designed to protect users from unknown “zero-day” vulnerability exploits, It protects all major browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera) and all browser components such as Java, Adobe Reader, Flash, and Shockwave. It blocks standard exploit kits like Blackhole, Sakura, Phoenix, Incognito without requiring signature updates.

Use of Tor and e-mail crypto could increase chances that NSA keeps your data – Using online anonymity services such as Tor or sending encrypted e-mail and instant messages are grounds for US-based communications to be retained by the National Security Agency even when they’re collected inadvertently, according to a secret government document published Thursday.

Warning: Cover Up Your Webcam When Not in Use – The BBC has uncovered an entire industry centering on the buying and selling of access to compromised webcams, especially those owned by women. (Better yet – unplug the camera when not in use.)

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to child-proof the Internet – Though we can’t make the Internet itself kid-safe, we can at least make its darker crevices harder to access. Setting up parental controls and content filtering on computers, tablets, smartphones, and other gadgets is easy. More important, these precautions empower your devices to protect kids from digital dangers when you aren’t around to supervise.

Get started with Instagram video – The rumors were true; Instagram Video is now a thing. Here’s how to publish your own 15-second video mashup.

10 great Android apps you should be using, but aren’t – Finding high-quality Android apps in the Google Play Store can be challenging—what with 700,000 or so titles to choose from. Let us help. Here are ten apps that you may not have stumbled across yet, all of which have impressed us in some way. While these gems may not change your life, they just might make your day a little easier or a little more fun.

Adblock Plus finally comes to Internet Explorer – Internet Explorer now has a version of Adblock Plus to call its own, as developer Wladimir Palant has finally made enough progress to share unstable builds with early adopters.

Tweak your browser to show YouTube song lyrics – YouTube makes a great jukebox, whether you use it to stream an entire playlist of songs from your favorite artist or just listen to the occasional modern hit. Ah, but what if you want to sing along? Or just figure out what the heck that line is in a song’s chorus? (Surely it’s not, “Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing penguins”?) YouTube Lyrics by Rob W is a browser add-on that automatically looks up and displays song lyrics. And it works with not only YouTube, but also Grooveshark and Spotify.

Pakistan uses Canadian company Netsweeper to monitor, censor Internet: Study – A Toronto research group has found evidence that a Canadian firm is providing Internet surveillance and censorship technology to Pakistan. The revelation that a Canadian firm is helping Pakistan censor the Internet comes amid growing scrutiny for issues including privacy and censorship on the Internet, following the revelation that the U.S. National Security Agency covertly collects private information from Internet users around the world.

India sets up program for telecoms surveillance – Following the recent report about the NSA’s Prism program, the Indian government has launched a similar surveillance program for its own security agencies in the country.


Five essential security measures to protect your business—no matter its size – Paranoia—in small doses—is an excellent preventive medicine. If you think your business is too small to be a target for hackers, identity thieves, and similarly unsavory characters, you’re dangerously underestimating the value of your business. IT security might seem to be a daunting prospect for a small business without an expert staff, a large budget, or expensive consultants, but you can take a number of easily implemented measures to lock down the personal computers your business relies on. Here are five simple security tips you should implement today.

Subscription-only Photoshop CC cracked in under 24 hours – Part of Adobe’s thinking behind switching to subscription software is it will cut down on piracy of its products. A server connection is required to verify legal copies on a regular basis, but that’s not a 100% guarantee illegal copies of the software won’t appear. Proof of that comes in the form of a cracked version of Photoshop CC, which appeared less than 24 hours after the subscriptions went live.

LinkedIn outage prompts security concerns – LinkedIn’s domain name was temporarily redirected to a third-party server Thursday, which resulted in a service outage and potentially put user accounts at risk of compromise. From a technical standpoint, the incident could have security implications for LinkedIn users, according to Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst at security vendor Bitdefender.

LinkedIn just one of thousands of sites hit by DNS issue: Cisco – Although LinkedIn bore the brunt of attention over a DNS issue that saw it drop off the web for hours, Cisco believes that almost 5,000 other sites were also affected.

Pirate Bay cofounder gets two years in prison for IT firm hack – As his defense attorney expected, a Swedish court has found Gottfrid “anakata” Svartholm Warg guilty of “invasion of Nordea’s mainframe,” aggravated fraud, and attempted aggravated fraud. He was sentenced (Swedish) to two years in prison.

Botnets now target enterprise apps – Instead of being used as spam during DDoS attacks, botnets are now used to bring down enterprise apps, leaving the more connected countries more vulnerable, according to Barracuda Networks.

Company News:

Google facing privacy probe from Spanish data watchdogs – Authorities in Spain have joined French and Italian counterparts in taking legal action against Google over its data collection practices.

After closing arguments, Apple’s fate in e-book antitrust case goes to judge – “Word games,” an “overreaching narrative” and a “case of inferences” were a few choice phrases used by attorney Orin Snyder Thursday in closing arguments for Apple in the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust, ebooks price fixing case against the tech giant.

Foxconn to hire 3000 to support Firefox OS and software development – Electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group is putting yet more effort behind Mozilla’s Firefox OS, and plans to hire up to 3000 people in Taiwan with expertise in HTML5 and cloud computing.

Yahoo tells security critics to chillax regarding its email recycling program – So much for trying to be nice. Yahoo’s latest bid to lift itself from the tech also-ran swamp with an email recycling initiative has been criticized for potential security threats to dormant users. To try and calm down the pitchfork-wielding crowd, the company has released a statement describing various security measures that will be taken to insure past users’ data and security—but they may not cover all the bases.

Nvidia slashes the price of its Shield gaming handheld to $300 ahead of launch – If you pledged to plunk down $350 for Nvidia’s nifty new Shield when it opened to preorders back in May, the company has a somewhat surprising present for you: A discount. Today, Nvidia announced that it’s slashing the price of its portable gaming handheld to $300.

Webopedia Daily:

Intel Haswell – Haswell is the codename for Intel’s processor microarchitecture that serves as the successor to the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge architectures. Like Ivy Bridge, Haswell utilizes a 22nm (nanometer) die shrink fabrication process, and it serves as the “tock” in Intel’s alternating tick-tock model of releasing new processor families. The “tick” to Haswell, codenamed Broadwell, will be fabricated on a 14nm die shrink.

Games and Entertainment:

Don’t install PS3 firmware update 4.45, it may brick your console – Sony has just released a new firmware update for the PS3 with version number 4.45. It’s actually a very minor update, with the main functionality change being the ability to turn off trophy notifications when playing a game. The advise right now is not to install the firmware update, though. The reason being it is locking up systems rendering them unusable.

Frozen Synapse Brings Intense Strategy to Android – It can be unforgiving at times, but this game will test your wits with turn-based strategy the likes of which you’ve never seen on a mobile device.

The new Xbox One: What we lost and why it matters – In a spectacular display of spineless retreat, Microsoft pulled their entire digital system for the Xbox One and announced that everything would work exactly like Xbox 360.

Cracked: 5 Things Video Games Do Better Than Any Other Forms of Art – Whoa, whoa — video games are an art form now? Well, here’s the thing: The first rule of art is “art is subjective,” and the second rule of art is “ART IS SUBJECTIVE” (the third rule: “If this is your first day at art club, you have to art”), and thus the tiresome argument that video games aren’t art is rather moot indeed. Oh, and video games are an output of drawings, writing, and music put together by skilled humans in a manner designed to entertain/enliven, so there’s that, too.

Rovio-Backed ‘Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage’ Hits App Store – Angry Birds maker Rovio on Thursday announced that Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage, the first title under its new Rovio Stars third-party publishing initiative, is now available for download on iOS devices in the App Store.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google Glass could be the next iPhone? – A new Forrester report shows that 12 percent of the U.S. population is willing to wear the augmented reality eyeglasses on an everyday basis.

Crowd-sourced database seeks to catalog every tree in Britain – Treezilla was launched by The Open University and partners on 14 June 2013 as a way to quantify the positive impact trees have on the environment. The goal is to catalog every tree in Britain to assist with studies on tree disease, deforestation, and global warming. The pitch is citizen science, but local governments and groups are also encouraged to upload data en masse.

Cracked: 5 Things Everyone Hates (Science Says You Secretly Enjoy) – Let’s face it: Humans like to whine. And not just about serious stuff, like our faltering Internet connections or our favorite shows being delayed for stupid news bulletins about stupid hurricanes. We’re talking about really petty stuff, like IKEA furniture and office meetings. Even more pathetic? Science has discovered that we’ve been frontin’ the whole time. Some of the very things we love to complain about are things we actually secretly enjoy. Things like …

Interactive Map Visualizes the Smartphone Wars – Custom mapmaker MapBox built a stunning map out of 3 billion geotagged tweets, showcasing the popularity of Apple, Android, and Blackberry phones around the globe

Lawmakers move to block black box recorders in cars, DVR snooping – Privacy issues are bubbling up in Congress, where lawmakers are pushing bills to give car owners control over data collected by black box-style recorders on their vehicles and more control over viewer tracking by DVRs at home.

Aaron’s Law would revamp computer fraud penalties – Two U.S. lawmakers have introduced a bill that would prevent the Department of Justice from prosecuting people for violating terms of service for Web-based products, website notices or employment agreements under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Something to think about:

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

–     Thomas Jefferson

Today’s Free Downloads:

Microsoft Sysinternals Suite June 20, 2013 – The Sysinternals Troubleshooting Utilities have been packaged into a single Suite of tools. This file contains the individual troubleshooting tools and help files. It does not contain non-troubleshooting tools like the BSOD Screen Saver or NotMyFault.

Microsoft Zoom It 4.5 – ZoomIt is screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and activates with customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, move around while zoomed, and draw on the zoomed image. I wrote ZoomIt to fit my specific needs and use it in all my presentations. ZoomIt works on all versions of Windows and you can use pen input for ZoomIt drawing on tablet PCs.

Microsoft Autoruns 11.6.1 – 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, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – June 21, 2013

  1. delenn13

    Hi Bill,

    I guess I should quit sending encrypted (grocery lists to my cell phone and recipes to my PC etc.)messages. Guess we need to go back to using decoder rings from Cracker Jack boxes.

  2. delenn13

    Hi Bill,

    Have a great weekend…

    Here’s my tribute to Jimmy. A very sad sudden end…‘The Sopranos’ Opening Credits – YouTube This is the version before 9/11 that still has the Twin Towers in it.

    I know you have heard of RickRoll’D but have you ever been REICHROLL’D!!. I REICHROLL’D a friend and they politely sent me a video of Miley Cyrus’ new video. She owes me 2 mins and 34 secs back. I had rather be REICHROLL’D and RickRoll’D than to watch that again.

    Here is some deals on games at

    I got the Might and Magic Megapack..10 games for $8.45

    Another Humble Bundle for Android, PC etc.. The Humble Bundle with Android 6 (pay what you want and help charity) 6 games for less than 5 bucks…And it’s not yet into it’s 2nd week and they always add least 4 or more, usually.

    Free software at GlarySoft..
    Leawo PowerPoint to Video Pro 2.6 – Giveaway – Glarysoft

    Leawo PowerPoint to Video Pro is a powerful presentation tool to convert PowerPoint of various versions to 180+ most popular video formats in batch. It supports various PowerPoint files as input, like .ppt, .pps, .pot, .pptx, .ppsx, .potx, .potm, ect. from almost all 32-bit and 64-bit PowerPoint versions, (including the newest PowerPoint 2013) and diverse standard and HD video formats as output, such as MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, MOV, MKV, MPEG, etc.
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    And one from BDJ…

    Smart Photo Import (PC) 100% Discount Coupon Code

    Smart Photo Import helps to import photos from cameras and other sources while automatically copying and renaming them for maximum organization. With Smart Photo Import, there’s no need to engage in the tedium of manually creating and managing folders and subfolders to hold your photos – everything is done automatically for you, and your folders are updated automatically with each import.

    You can even use Smart Photo Import to help make sense of your existing collection of photos – just define your renaming and sorting options and drag and drop the files into the Smart Photo Import browser. You can use Smart Photo Import to convert files to different formats. And even better, Smart Photo Import allows you to add custom formats, allowing you to extend the import process to almost any type of file!

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  3. delenn13


    I forgot this…Here’s some reading suggestions for new Geeks….7 Great Works That Inspired Geeks To Change The World – ReadWrite

  4. Rich

    I marvel that you continue to bring us so many (quality) stories every day – it’s a great place to stop and browse. Thanks!