Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 15, 2013

Infographic: Is Your Information Safe from Data Breaches? – A lot of people don’t worry about protecting their sensitive data because they’re under the impression that hackers wouldn’t be interested in their accounts. If you think this, you’re sadly mistaken. Even your personal email can be worth a lot depending on what information you have on it, like access to your online banking statement and details of your Amazon account.

Why We Can No Longer Trust Microsoft – If anyone should be mad at the NSA for all the snooping that appears to be going on, it should be the Department of Commerce, not privacy advocates. The recent revelations are not a threat to national security so much as a threat to the national economy. And if I were Microsoft, I’d be having around-the-clock meetings to discuss how to fix what is about to happen.

Australia: Telstra’s secret FBI spy deal – Telstra signed a secret agreement a decade ago with US Government agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Justice that provided American law enforcement and national security organisations with an extremely broad level of access to all of the telco’s telecommunications passing in and out of the US, it was revealed late last week. (recommended by Mal C.)

America Offline: Could the U.S. be cut off from the Net? – Physical destruction. A hack attack. Or even government lockdown? We ask experts about threats to our Web infrastructure.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Snowden reportedly has ‘blueprint’ on how NSA operates – Former NSA contractor has a virtual “instruction manual” that could aid in duplication or evasion of NSA surveillance tactics, The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald tells the Associated Press.

Pixar inspires graphic comment on NSA surveillance – A piece of very simple animation, inspired by Pixar, offers a very poignant view of the nation the USA has become — at least according to some.

10 YouTube Videos That Will Change How You Think – While you may think of YouTube as a place to check out the latest in funny animal videos, there’s a lot of content that caters to the brain rather than the funny bone.

Five free apps and services for better audio / video communications – Whether you need to contact someone half-way around the world or right around the corner, our always-connected digital lives demand robust and powerful communication tools to talk to the people that matter the most. Here are five apps and services that help to bridge the gap between people virtually.

Dropbox is ready to replace your hard drive. Are you? – The promise of seamless storage in the sky has its risks—and costs.

How to Make Free Phone Calls from Gmail – Google is once again allowing Gmail users to make free telephone calls directly from their inbox, all without any kind of service contract or landline phone.

Free PDF to Word – People share PDFs more than any other type of file, but they can be a pain to edit. Free PDF to Word switches them over to work in text editors so you can make quick edits. Though the program mentions Microsoft Word’s ubiquitous word processor, it also works with Open Office and other open-source programs.

16 small but powerful matchbox PCs – Basic matchbox devices are bare, but functional—they come with some form of operating system support (although you may need to prepare the device to run it), and so can bevup and running almost immediately after being uncrated. We’ll look at basic boards, those boxed up and ready to go, and tiny PCs that even have their own keyboards

Botch Tuesday: Redmond frags video codec – ‘Fix’ for flaw in codec has video editors screaming and gamers steaming. The only workaround right now is to uninstall the patch associated with MS13-057.

The hands-down best platform games for iPhone and iPad – Although the platformer has all but vanished from home consoles in favor of games where you shoot people in the face, it has recently made a resurgence on mobile. What these games lack in high-end graphics, they more than make up for in smart and addictive gameplay—you’ll need fast reflexes and more than a little brain power to conquer these mobile titles.

6 Great Summertime Tech Tools for Your Dog – Summer happens to be a hot season for interesting doggie tech. Check out these cool finds.

Purchase 3D-Printed Items With New eBay App – Think it would be neat to own a 3D-printed iPhone case, figurine, or piece of jewelry? eBay has you covered!

How software can help you tell your boss where to stick his job – PlanetSoho believes that all you have to do to leave corporate life and start your business is to get your hands on one of its toolkits. Can it really be so easy? CNET’s Chris Matyszczyk wonders.

App for allergy sufferers – If you can get past the horrendous app icon — or lack thereof — this 99-cent iPhone app can be useful if you suffer from seasonal allergies.

Security:

Google study finds users ignore Chrome security warnings – You’re surfing the ‘net when Chrome decides not to bring you the web site of your choice, but instead a page warning that the site you’d hoped to visit might be bogus or contain malware. Do you: (a) Click on “Proceed anyway” because you really want to see the cat picture someone Tweeted to you; (b) Click “Back to safety” because it’s not worth having crims empty your bank account for a peek at one cute kitty. If you picked the first option and ended up being pwned by something nasty, there’s no need to feel completely stupid: a new study by Google has found that over 70 per cent of people ignore some such warnings.

Chinese hackers hurt business, Congressional committee told – As senior officials from China and the United States wrap up a series of talks in Washington about an array of economic issues, across town members of Congress probed the extent of Chinese efforts to steal intellectual property from tech companies and other U.S. Businesses. (That’s it – turn reality on it’s head – the U.S. as a hacking victim. LOL!!)

Ransomware targets smaller businesses, security CEO warns – Around the world, ransomware has been proved to be effective in midsized business environments and below, mainly due to the lack of tools available to deal with the attack, said Pat Clawson, chairman and CEO of Lumension, which is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Hackers use Dropbox, WordPress to spread malware – The gang, known in security circles as the DNSCalc gang, has been using the Dropbox file-sharing service for roughly the last 12 months as a mechanism for spreading malware, said Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer for Cyber Squared. While the tactic is not unique, it remains under the radar of most companies. “I wouldn’t say it’s new,” Barger said on Thursday. “It’s just something that folks aren’t really looking at or paying attention to.”

Company News:

Microsoft chops Surface RT price to $349 – Microsoft on Sunday slashed prices on its Surface RT tablets by as much as 30%, with the entry-level 32GB model selling for $349.

Apple reportedly ‘aggressively’ hiring talent for iWatch project – The gadget maker may have brought in new employees to tackle design issues, sources tell The Financial Times.

Internet overlords deny Google’s ‘dotless’ domains dream – The Architecture Board (IAB) has issued a statement in which it all-but-rules-out Google’s plan to take over some new top-level domains and offer them in “dotless” configurations that would enable web addresses like “http://search”. Google outlined its plans for .search, .app and cloud back in April. The idea of Google owning or operating the domains earned a frosty reception.

Time Warner Cable reportedly still in talks about Hulu purchase – The rumored Hulu sale has been the stuff of talk for months now, and earlier today we reported that it had officially been taken off the market, with the company’s owners electing to keep it rather than sell. Word has surfaced over at Bloomberg, however, saying that Time Warner Cable is still in talks with those owners over a possible purchase.

Webopedia Daily:

Gateway – A node on a network that serves as an entrance to another network. In enterprises, the gateway is the computer that routes the traffic from a workstation to the outside network that is serving the Web pages. In homes, the gateway is the ISP that connects the user to the internet. In enterprises, the gateway node often acts as a proxy server and a firewall. The gateway is also associated with both a router, which use headers and forwarding tables to determine where packets are sent, and a switch, which provides the actual path for the packet in and out of the gateway.

Games and Entertainment:

iOS app may bring real-world objects into Minecraft – A company called Dekko has built an iOS app capable of scanning real-world items and recreating them in your Minecraft game. The app is currently pending approval by Apple for sale in the App Store and has its roots in an earlier technology created by Dekko for another game. That title was Tabletop Speed (for iOS), which lets players drive 3D virtual cars around on real-world tabletops.

Street Fighter IV DLC brings five new characters to the fold – With the newest update to the game Street Fighter IV, you’re going to see five new characters, four of which have been revealed this afternoon. While the creators of Tekken aim to add a fighting salmon to the arena, four of the five new characters coming to Street Fighter IV have been revealed to be fan favorites.

Pingtime: A trippy, augmented reality ping pong table – Created for the 2013 Rokolectiv Festival, the team of Sergiu Doroftei, Silviu Badea, Ion Cotenescu, and Bogdan Susma, used programming language VVVV — not to be confused with the Terry Cavanagh game — in order to bring Pingtime to life. The table also belongs to the Creator’s Project, a joint program between Intel and VICE that spawns a plethora of projects that attempt to combine technology with art.

Rovio’s Tiny Thief is not Angry Birds, and that’s awesome (video) – Tiny Thief is a 2D world where you play the role of a small child stuck in a world filled with corruption and wrong doings.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Protect your phone and personal well-being with this stun gun iPhone case – You can maybe bulk up and wear tank tops in an attempt to dissuade potential phone pilferers, or you can just stick your iPhone inside this weaponized case that features a working stun gun.

9 Percent of Americans Have Used Cell Phones During Sex – According to the 2013 Mobile Consumer Habits report, smartphone usage is so prevalent in Americans’ lives that nearly one in 10 admit to having used their phone during sex.

Restaurant fires workers by text – The owner of Barducci’s in Florida seems to think it’s just fine to tell around a dozen workers that they no longer have a job. One calls it “cowardice.” Is it?

Guess who doesn’t get radar tickets in Colorado? Politicians – State senators and representatives in Colorado have special license plates that just happen not to be in the DMV database. So, if they speed, they never receive a citation.

Is it Math or Maths? An emotional subject for some – we ask a linguist about Math (US-style) and Maths (British-style).

Paralyzed artist paints with mind alone – A woman with Lou Gehrig’s disease paints using software that lets her control digital brushes with brainwaves. Now, thanks to a crowdfunding push, she’s realizing her dream to exhibit her work.

Something to think about:

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it.”

Frederic Bastiat

Today’s Free Downloads:

SSuite – Ex-Lex Office Pro 2.1 – This office suite was especially created to fulfill a niche market in the laptop, tablet, and Ultra-Book computer segment. Each application has a very easy to use menu structure and its listed features are limited to just 3-levels deep for quick access, unlike most new ribbon interfaces. Also included is a professional peer-to-peer video phone for LAN and internet communications.

SystemRescueCd 3.7.1 – SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. It comes with a lot of linux software such as system tools (parted, partimage, fstools, …) and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It requires no installation. It can be used on linux servers, linux desktops or windows boxes.

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2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 15, 2013

  1. The story a bought Dropbox replacing your hard drive. I think Bicasa is a better choice.