Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 18, 2013

Google tests encryption to protect Drive against government demands – The search giant is seeking ways to armor user files, sources say, a move that could curb government surveillance attempts.

Alliance of tech giants to demand greater NSA transparency – Sixty-three companies, trade groups, and civil liberties groups will ask officials for greater latitude in reporting U.S. government requests for user information, according to a letter obtained by AllThingsD.

In early days, Facebook reportedly played fast and loose with privacy – Employee No. 51 talks about the social network’s former practice of letting staffers access any user’s account with a master password. (Trust Facebook – this practice has been stopped. Oh, did I tell you about the bridge I have for sale?)

BitTorrent Sync Android app arrives as cloud-less Dropbox alternative – Cloud storage is great and all, but with so many concerns about privacy, some people just can’t trust companies with their personal files. BitTorrent Sync looks to solve such a dilemma with a new app launching for Android devices that offers a cloud-like storage system without the cloud. The app entered public beta today with the launch of the Android app.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Forget the resume: Recruiting search engines build Web dossiers about you – Now that search engines have taken over building your resume, are you managing the information that’s out there about you? A LinkedIn profile is no longer sufficient. Going forward, feeding these Web crawlers the right diet of content may be a key to managing your career. And here are a few other potential concerns.

20 things to think twice about before including them on your blog – These are 20 of the things you will want to carefully consider before adding them to your blog, in the interest of safety, improving readability, your professional reputation and anonymity.

Maker Camp Is Cool, Educational, Inspiring, Free and Virtual – It’s an activity-packed camp for kids interested in science and technology, which happens not to have a physical campground. Daily projects let participants do stuff like build a robot out of an Altoids tin and a motor salvaged from an electronic toy; weekly webcasted field trips take them inside locales such as Team Oracle USA’s facility, Pixar and NASA.

How to Access a Deceased Loved One’s Online Accounts – Here are the steps involved when it comes to Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, plus all four major U.S. wireless carriers.

CintaNotes – This five-star-rated freeware lets you quickly and easily take notes as you surf the Web or work. Grab it, clip it, save it. The latest release improves searching and merging notes.

How to sideload apps onto your Android phone – Sideloading refers to the process that allows you to run apps on your Android phone that don’t come from an official source like the Google Play Store: Most Android phones have this option disabled by default, but turning it on takes less time than ordering a hamburger at McDonald’s.

Little-known iPad tricks – Discover the iPad’s hidden keys, set it to read selected text, and get quick access to hundreds of emoticons, plus four other handy iPad customizations.

Get 50GB of AT&T Locker cloud storage for free – The service gives you a home for your music, movies, and photos, which you can upload and access via your smartphone or tablet. But it’s a little buggy.

Security:

Does NSA know your Wi-Fi password? Android backups may give it to them – If you’re using Google’s “back up my data” feature for Android, the passwords to the Wi-Fi networks you access from your smartphone or tablet are available in plaintext to anyone with access to the data. And as a bug report submitted by an employee of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on July 12 suggests, that leaves them wide open to harvesting by agencies like the NSA or the FBI.

Encoding trick lets Mac malware authors disguise Trojan binaries – Malware authors have figured out a new way to trick unsuspecting Mac users into infecting their systems: by altering file extensions so that their poisonous apps appear to be innocuous PDF or DOC files. There’s a twist, however. The extensions have to be entered backwards. How do the bad guys get around it? By utilizing right-to-left encoding.

Android malware that gives hackers remote control is on rise – Tool lets hackers “bind” remote access tool to legitimate apps. In a blog post yesterday, Symantec Senior Software Engineer Andrea Lelli described the rise of an underground market for malware tools based on Androrat, a remote administration tool that can give an attacker complete control over devices running the Android OS.

Update Your iPhone and iPad Tumblr Apps – There’s a Security Issue – If you use the Tumblr app on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll want to update to the latest version. Tumblr is also advising users to change their passwords.

Quantum Dawn 2 will test Wall Street’s cyber readiness – Starting at around 8.30 a.m. ET Thursday and continuing through Friday morning, dozens of major Wall Street firms will come under a series of massive cyberattacks aimed at crippling financial services networks around the country.

Most enterprise networks riddled with vulnerable Java installations, report says – Despite the significant Java security improvements made by Oracle during the past six months, Java vulnerabilities continue to represent a major security risk for organizations because most of them have outdated versions of the software installed on their systems, according to a report by security firm Bit9.

Company News:

SimCity creative director quits, takes lead architect and gameplay engineer with him – To say SimCity has been a disaster, for gamers and EA’s PR department, is an understatement. Losing those three key people from a game EA is clearly hoping will continue to sell for a few years must be a blow. However, it’s more telling to look at what they are leaving to do instead.

CloudVelocity Automates Migration of Apps to Amazon Web Services – The new release makes AWS a secure and seamless extension of enterprise data centers and gives enterprises the ability to run their existing and new Linux and Windows multi-tier and multi-system apps without modification in the AWS cloud. More than 100 enterprise trials have been conducted since the company emerged from stealth in December 2012, including Fortune 100 cloud initiatives. CloudVelocity plans to announce integration with other cloud providers in 2013.

GlassUp plans a sexier, cheaper take on Google Glass – GlassUp, an IndieGogo project seeking to raise $150,000 to take its augmented eyewear to production, says that the team showed off its first prototype in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. The team hopes to deliver its first production models by February 2014 for an estimated price of $299, it said.

Violin Memory Makes High-Performance, Enterprise-Scale Virtual Desktops a Cost-Effective Reality – With a memory-based architecture that delivers massive scale and economic value to demanding I/O environments like VDI, the Violin Memory partnership with Atlantis Computing further extends the value to all virtualized desktop workloads. Enterprise customers can now virtualize desktops and run them at the speed of memory, giving the end-user an experience that is better than physical desktops.

Weathermob upgrades world’s largest crowdsourced weather app, adds channels & trends – Weathermob, the social weather company, today announced the launch of the latest version of its crowdsourced app for mobile iOS devices, adding major enhancements to its on-the-ground weather observation and reporting capabilities. With users in 135 countries, Weathermob is building the world’s largest weather community to bring a deeper, more delightful and safer understanding of weather from the people who are experiencing the weather.

Webopedia Daily:

Marketplace Fairness Act – The Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) of 2013 is a bill that requires online retailers to collect sales taxes from out-of-state customers, even if the retailers don’t have a physical presence in the customer’s state. Under the act, a state other than an online retailer’s home state could summon an online seller for an audit if issues arise—a potentially costly process for small businesses.

Games and Entertainment:

Pro gaming pays: Fatal1ty tops the eSports charts earning $454,544 – Professional video games tournaments, so-called electronic sports or eSports, are becoming increasingly big business. In fact, it has reached a point where parents may actually encourage their kids to go pro after viewing the latest earning figures.

Modwatch: Falskarr adds new lands, pro voice actors, and bards to Skyrim – With an estimated 20-30 hours of added gameplay, loads of new gear to loot, quests to tackle, and territory to explore, Falskarr is by all rights a proper piece of DLC. Contributions from 30 professional and semi-professional voice actors lend a serious level of polish to the experience, as does the approximately forty minutes of new music—including a bard! With several new songs! And it’s all free, the brainchild of a fan who loves game design and is hoping to apply for a job within Bethesda’s ranks. This certainly isn’t a bad first impression

Nvidia Shield headed to movie theaters in august for gamer one-on-one time – if you’re itching to get your hands on Nvidia’s shield handheld gaming device and you happen to live near certain locations on the west and east coast, you’ll have an opportunity to try it for yourself throughout august. The company is offering the public a chance to play with SHIELD at select theaters on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in New York and San Francisco.

Halo: Spartan Assault preview is everything you hoped it would be – Microsoft is hoping that their soon to be released exclusive for Windows Phone and Windows 8 will be the final straw that causes some users to consider switching platforms. While it’s too early to say whether or not Spartan lightning has struck twice, the early preview of the game we were treated to recently is nothing short of impressive.

MotorGun game brings Twisted Metal creator back to vehicular warfare – This game is being initiated by members of the development team behind the Windows-based vehicular combat game Interstate 76 and brings on none other than Twisted Metal (and God of War) creator David Jaffe for some real classic expertise. What we’ve got here is all of the ingredients necessary for a full-on next-generation car battle amalgamation – now they’ve just got to get moving to make it happen before it fizzles.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Here comes the drone: A quadrocopter delivered the rings at this wedding – Sure, having a kid deliver the rings at a wedding may make everyone go “d’aww,” but they might drop your rings, making the whole procession look silly. Darn kids. Last weekend, Otavio Good, creator of the Word Lens app, had a quadrocopter deliver his wedding rings by air in truly awesome, geeky fashion.

15 current and future uses for drones – For a nation already on edge about NSA spying, drone technology is just another reason to keep looking over our shoulders.

Nikola Tesla’s remote-control boat, and other unpopular inventions – Though many of Tesla’s ideas and inventions were influential and had a near-immediate effect on the world around him, many more were met with indifference, laughed out of the room, derided in press coverage, or simply ignored. Still, their influence in machines and technology today are tangible, even if they began as self-styled magical toys.

Do-it-yourself ideology takes hold: New book examines the emerging concept of social resilience – Social resilience is an emerging concept, a do-it-yourself ideology taking hold at the community level. Political elites aren’t sure whether it is a threat or a godsend. Individuals and groups are organizing themselves to fill the gaps left by cost-cutting governments, solve their own problems, and create opportunities that didn’t exist before.

Skype “More Secure” Commercial – An irreverent takeoff on a Skype ad – more truth here than many may realize. (recommended by Michael F.)

Something to think about:

Another frequent misnomer used to defend metadata surveillance is the myth that if you want to be secure, you have to give up your privacy. This is simply false — it is reflected in dated either/or, zero-sum thinking. Not only is it possible to have security while protecting privacy, it is far preferable because that is the essence of freedom — going about your daily activities without fear of the state looking over your shoulder. In free societies, we are not expected to “tell all.” That is your choice to make. The time to abandon these flawed beliefs and unnecessary trade-offs is now.”

–     Ann Cavoukian (Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner. )

Today’s Free Downloads:

PrivaZer – PrivaZer allows you to See exactly what can still be recovered of your past activities on your PC at home or at work. Clean in-depth unwanted traces of what you’ve done watched, downloaded, deleted, etc. and prevent recovery. Master your security & freedom. Free up disk space. Keep your PC fit and secure!!!

Doro PDF Writer 1.84 – Create colored PDF files from any windows application for free. No banners nor any annoying restrictions! Just download and install Doro. After installation you have an additional printer called ‘Doro PDF Writer’.

Open Hardware Monitor 0.6.0 Beta – The Open Hardware Monitor is a free open source application that monitors temperature sensors, fan speeds, voltages, load and clock speeds of a computer.

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