Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 2, 2013

Everything you need to know about using TOR – Chances are you’ve heard about TOR before; you may even know some of the basic facts behind this project, like how it uses multiple routers to anonymize your traffic, or that everything stays encrypted. Many people are put off by TOR’s reputation as a place for criminals and content pirates to do their dirty business, and others may have heard that TOR is slow and unreliable. So let’s go over everything that makes TOR work and how you can start using it, either for personal or business use, along with how it will likely perform in real life situations.

Snowden breaks silence in statements blasting U.S. – NSA whistleblower thanks the Ecuadorian government for arranging passage to Russia and says he remains committed to publishing information about PRISM.

What Facebook posts will keep you from getting hired – People have been aware for some time that employers often check out job applicants’ social networks. Now a new survey reveals what employers look for and what pictures and posts on Facebook could keep a prospective candidate from getting that perfect job.

No waiting rooms, no copay: 6 apps to get a doctor’s advice – Listen, very few of us have time to just hang out in a waiting room—and after this last appointment, I know I’m going to avoid actually going into the doctor’s office unless absolutely necessary. Fortunately, a variety of mobile apps have my back, enabling me to get free medical tips, verified advice, and even consult with medical professionals from my phone. If you also want to minimize your time in a waiting room, check out these handy health apps.

Capture website images with WebShot – If you want to present clean images of a site “mock up” for your prospective clients, which doesn’t look like a lousy cut-and-paste job out of MS Paint, you might want to consider a tool that can grab an entire snapshot of any website, per your specifications, and export it as a JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG file for sharing.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

8 great sites for one-stop data visualization – What follows are some of the most useful websites for official or vetted data and accompanying tools to visualize them. All of these sites, except for the last two — WeatherSpark and DataMarket — provide data and tools for free.

Firefox OS phone set to invade Spain with $90 price tag tomorrow – Mozilla and Telefonica are ready to unleash the first Firefox OS phone fit for consumers in Spain, the ZTE Open. The humble little handset will sell for just $90 (€69) off-contract with a $40 (€30) prepaid credit.

Linux 3.10 out with better SSD caching and Radeon support – Linux 3.10 was released by Linus Torvalds last night, bringing with it a new method of SSD caching and some upgrades to the Radeon graphics driver. “This release has been pretty typical and not particularly prone to problems,” Torvalds wrote in his e-mail announcing the release. “No major new subsystems this time around, although there are individual new features.”

Microsoft killing off TechNet subscriptions: Time-limited trials will have to suffice – Microsoft is set to end its TechNet subscription scheme. Started in 1998, TechNet subscriptions gave IT professionals perpetual licenses to Windows client and server operating systems. Though these licenses were technically only authorized for evaluation purposes, many used them as cheap Windows licenses for personal machines.

Windows Store hits 100,000 apps: Impressed? – Windows Store has now officially logged 100,000 apps. Microsoft got there in a hurry, too. Not all apps are created equal, though.

Installing and testing Ubuntu’s Mir server – It was recently announced that Mir would be the default display server for Ubuntu 13.10. Jack Wallen decided it was time to see how Mir was coming along. He was quite surprised at the results.

Tablets in bed are damaging sleep and killing productivity – The fix for all of this is easy, but for most of us it’s tough love to the extreme: Experts say screen time should end a full two hours before bedtime. (Even having your cell phone in the bedroom next to you is on the no-no list: With your handset in arm’s reach, you’re more prone to wake up and check your messages in the middle of the night.) If you can’t cut the habit—and who can blame you?—one thing that might help is at least relocating where you spend after-hours time on your phone or tablet.

Security:

7 Ways Telemarketers Get Your Cell Phone Number – If you’re in the shrinking pool of people who still have a land line, you’re most likely inundated with calls from telemarketers. But your cell phone is different, right? Right?!

Vulnerabilities found in code library used by encrypted phone call apps – ZRTPCPP, an open-source library that’s used by several applications offering end-to-end encrypted phone calls, contained three vulnerabilities that could have enabled arbitrary code execution and denial-of-service attacks, according to researchers from security firm Azimuth Security.

FDA shutters 1,677 illegal online pharmacies – The commissioner says they’re finding drugs that sometimes have either 0% or too much of the active ingredient that people need for disease treatment. On top of the drugs being illegitimate, consumers are too put at risk for online fraud and malware.

Vobfus Worm, Beebone Trojan Create Malware Infection Loop – The Microsoft Malware Protection Center reports of unusual behavior from the Vobfus and Beebone malware families where each malware variant continuously downloads a version of the other.

Company News:

Microsoft in danger of losing “SkyDrive” name in UK – A year after Microsoft abandoned the name “Metro” in the face of a reported-but-never-confirmed trademark dispute with German retailer Metro AG, Microsoft is now in danger of losing the name “SkyDrive.” British Sky Broadcasting wins trademark case against Microsoft.

Apple iWatch trademark spreads: Applications in Russia, Taiwan, Mexico & Turkey – Apple continues to quietly hunt down trademarks for iWatch in multiple markets, with the Japanese filing spotted this weekend followed by similar applications in Russia, Taiwan, Mexico, and Turkey.

Pebble smartwatch reportedly to be sold at Best Buy this month – Pebble, the smartwatch that arguably started it all, will be sold in Best Buy stores starting this upcoming Sunday, July 7, according to a leaked internal document. The information was provided by two Best Buy store employees who claim the product is already included in the store’s inventory system, with the inventory sheet showing it as a “digital communication appcessory”.

Bebo founder buys back social network for $1M – Michael Birch isn’t sure if he can reinvent the site he launched eight years ago, but he plans to have fun trying.

Xbox President Don Mattrick leaving Microsoft to become Zynga CEO – Zynga has confirmed this report in a press release, saying Mattrick will take over for Pincus as CEO on July 8. Pincus will remain with the company as chairman of the board and chief product officer.

Windows 8 market share overtakes Vista, still lagging behind XP and 7 – Windows 8 is continuing its slow climb up the charts in market share, finally surpassing Windows Vista to claim 5.1% of all desktop operating systems during the month of June, while Vista settled for 4.62%. Windows 8 has been steadily gaining ground month by month, gaining almost an entire percentage point from May.

Play it again, HP says, as it gets back into smartphones – HP exec confirms work on new smartphone, says it’s not too late to try again

Webopedia Daily:

Clean boot – Starting (booting) a computer as minimalistically as possible. Typically when you start your computer, it loads many files and programs to customize your environment. A clean boot eliminates these optional features and loads only those files and programs that are absolutely required by the operating system. A clean boot is a troubleshooting technique that allows you to get the computer up and running so that you can perform diagnostic tests to determine which elements of the normal boot process are causing problems.

Games and Entertainment:

Summer game sales have begun! 6 tips to maximize your dollar – If, like me, you plan to waste a large portion of your summer sitting inside and wondering whether you should be more productive, you’ll be excited to know that Valve should soon announce its annual Steam summer sale extravaganza. This is war, comrade gamers. Here are six tips for making it through this pack of giant sale-a-thons with your wallet intact.

How audio wizards are shaping the sound of next-gen PC games – Every explosion and sneaky footstep is poised to sound even better, thanks to technological advances—and more respect for sound designers’ craft.

Can Russian hackers break your Steam account? No, but Valve can – How much damage could a few extra cents do to your Steam account? It turns out this tiny amount of money — little more than a rounding error — could cripple your account for weeks. The internet was abuzz today with word that Russian ne’er-do-wells could transfer a few rubles into the Steam Wallet of an unsuspecting gamer, and the resulting mess would make the account unusable for up to nine weeks.

EA wants $9 to add airships and balloons to SimCity – The anger surrounding the launch of SimCity, and the subsequent problems that followed trying to play the game, have died down somewhat. Still, paying $60 for a game that requires a constant Internet connection is still going to put a lot of gamers off, and accounts for why the game remains rated at only 1.5 stars on Amazon. EA and Maxis must enjoy the criticism they are receiving, though, as the latest DLC pack is sure to upset owners once again.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have ‘Nothing to Hide’ – When the government gathers or analyzes personal information, many people say they’re not worried. “I’ve got nothing to hide,” they declare. “Only if you’re doing something wrong should you worry, and then you don’t deserve to keep it private.”

Bruce Schneier on power and security – In this video, Bruce Schneier talks about trust. We all trust millions of people, organizations, and systems every day — and we do it so easily that we barely notice. But in any system of trust, there is an alternative, parasitic, strategy that involves abusing that trust. Making sure those defectors don’t destroy the cooperative systems they’re abusing is an age-old problem, one that we’ve solved through morals and ethics, laws, and all sort of security technologies. Understanding how these all work — and fail — is essential to understanding the problems we face in today’s increasingly technological and interconnected world.

Amazing bead chain experiment in slow motion – These beads seem to levitate, defy gravity and jump out of the beaker. But how and why do they act like this? We met up with Steve Mould, the science guy from Britain’s Brightest, to explore the science behind the “self siphoning beads” – also known as “Newton’s Beads”. To get a closer look at the phenomenon, we filmed them in slow motion to try to work out what exactly was happening, and how the behaviour changes with height. (recommended by Michael F.)

For a look at the science behind this – checkout – The physics of that gravity defying chain of metal beads. Very interesting!

Shock: Research says pot makes you lazy (but not psychotic) – Scientists in London conclude that smoking your favored leaf cools down your dopamine-synthesis skills. Their initial hypothesis was that pot contributed to psychosis, which they now doubt.

How I Got Here: Robert “Rsnake” Hansen – Dennis Fisher talks with Robert Hansen, a renowned security researcher, about his early days climbing telephone poles to clip into phone lines, how he got his start in the security world, the evolution of h@ckers.org from early webrings and what he’s learned along the way.

Telescopic contact lenses could give you superhuman sight – Star Trek fans are sure to remember the extremely cool moment in First Contact when Geordi uses his brand new cybernetic eyes to zoom in on a drunk, fleeing warp scientist. That cool piece of movie tech is now much more real thanks to a new pair of contact lenses that give your eyes nearly 3x zoom.

Something to think about:

However political parties may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

–      George Washington

Today’s Free Downloads:

WhoCrashed Free Home Edition 4.01 – WhoCrashed reveals the drivers responsible for crashing your computer.

Remote Utilities Free (Host) 5.5.2 – Unleash the full power of professional remote control software by installing Remote Utilities across your entire Windows network. Remote Utilities provides built-in tools for easy network deployment. You will be able to administer thousands of remote PCs in minutes.

Free Ringtone Maker – Free Ringtone Maker is an extremely simple and handy Windows software for making your own free ringtones.

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