Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 2, 2013

NSA’s Internet taps can find systems to hack, track VPNs and Word docs – The National Security Agency’s broad Internet monitoring program can do a whole lot more than provide a look inside a person’s Internet life. According to documents on the X-Keyscore program published by The Guardian, the system can also be used to find computers that are vulnerable to attack, allowing the NSA’s Tailored Access Office to exploit them.

Search for a Pressure Cooker, Get a Visit From the Police – Be careful what you search for. Apparently a Long Island resident’s search to buy a pressure cooker online prompted three black vans and a slew of cops to knock on her door. The police demanded to search her house and grilled her husband about bomb-making. (As an aside, I have a pressure cooker and consider it one of the finest cooking devices ever made. My parents had one when I was a kid but now having one makes you a suspect because they can be used as a bomb casing. Cripes, this is ridiculous.)

Australia 3rd most investigated country on Twitter: Transparency Report – Australian authorities have requested private data from Twitter about users more than any other country except the United States and Japan, according to the company’s latest transparency figures.

Malwarebytes Blog – How to encrypt your email – The only practical way to protect your Internet communications against wiretapping or a “man in the middle” is by using encryption, but encrypting your communications not only protects against wiretapping but can also protect your communications while they are stored with your communications provider. So, for example, even if anyone is able to seize your emails from your provider, they won’t be able to read them.

Malwarebytes Blog – How to encrypt files and folders – Encrypting files and folders is a way to protect them from unwanted access. Although modern Windows versions do have built-in options to store files in an encrypted format on your hard disk, you may be looking for another option. So, after looking at how to send and receive encrypted mail, I’d like to discuss using file encryption.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Infographic: Cyber Bullying, Virtual Cheating Rampant Among Teens – With a new school year on the horizon, security firm McAfee takes a look at the disconnect between bullying, cheating teens and their parents’ awareness — or lack thereof.

Control your PC or Mac from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device – Why sit at a desk when you could be out and about and still be able to control your PC or Mac from your smartphone or tablet? Here’s how I do it.

Make your day easier by using Google Now – Google Now provides more than just calendar reminders or new email alerts. Now can notify you of weather forecasts, news information, movie times or sports scores. It can help assist you with language translations and currency conversions if you go abroad. Its voice activated (comparisons to Siri are inevitable, of course) and can be used to look up information, ask for directions, and more.

Wi-Fi adapter shootout: Qualcomm vs. Intel – For online gaming, no latency is allowed. We put competing adapters into identical laptops. See who blinked first.

Loom lets you intelligently sync photos Dropbox-style across your devices – Access and save your photos from anywhere on the Web, iPhone, or iPad with this simple Cloud-based image depository.

USB speed upped to 10Gbps with new 3.1 standard – The new USB 3.1 standard pushes transfer speeds to 10 Gbps, but it is still way behind Intel’s 20 Gbps Thunderbolt technology.

Facebook’s new testing ground is India – The social network should introduce more regional features and languages to attract users in India which is set to become its largest base within two years. It recently sent a team of engineers to analyze the market.


FBI said to be taking a hacker approach to spying – The most alarming technology mentioned by the Wall Street Journal is a tool that allegedly lets the FBI remotely activate the microphones in Android devices. Once activated, the bureau can record conversations without the device’s owner knowing. Apparently this tool can do the same thing with laptop microphones.

Gone in 30 seconds: New attack plucks secrets from HTTPS-protected pages – The technique, scheduled to be demonstrated Thursday at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, decodes encrypted data that online banks and e-commerce sites send in responses that are protected by the widely used transport layer security (TLS) and secure sockets layer (SSL) protocols. The attack can extract specific pieces of data, such as social security numbers, e-mail addresses, certain types of security tokens, and password-reset links. It works against all versions of TLS and SSL regardless of the encryption algorithm or cipher that’s used.

Researchers hack femtocells, record mobile phones’ calls, SMS traffic – Intercepting voice calls, SMS messages, and web traffic coming and going from a target’s mobile phone may be as simple as waiting for his phone to associate to a hackable femtocell and then use it to spy on him or even clone his device, iSEC researchers warned at a demonstration at the Black Hat conference.

Black Hat: Don’t Plug Your Phone into a Charger You Don’t Own – This news couldn’t wait for the Black Hat conference happening now in Las Vegas. We reported in June that Georgia Tech researchers had created a charging station that could pwn any iOS device. The full presentation revealed precise details on how they managed it. I’m never plugging my iPhone charger into a USB port in a hotel desk again.

Researchers demo exploits that bypass Windows 8 Secure Boot – The Windows 8 Secure Boot mechanism can be bypassed on PCs from certain manufacturers because of oversights in how those vendors implemented the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification, according to a team of security researchers.

Company News:

Carl Icahn sues Dell to force Friday vote on buyout bid – Activist investor wants to prevent Michael Dell and his partners from rescheduling the shareholder vote and changing the voting rules.

Apple Patent Tips iOS-Controlled Car Settings – Apple’s latest patent filing details technology that would store in-vehicle settings to an iDevice, allowing the user to control their own car’s power seats and mirrors, climate control, and radio, or even customize a rented automobile.

Possible sales ban for Samsung to be decided next week in patent infringement case – The dispute has been in front of the ITC since August 2011 and has Apple seeking a ban on the importation and sale of certain Samsung smartphones in the U.S. It alleges infringement of seven patents.

Qualcomm calls out eight-core processors as ‘dumb’ – Eight-core processors are “dumb,” as the consumer wants an experience that comes from more than just throwing cores together, a Qualcomm executive said, referring to new eight-core chips announced recently.

Apple reported to have acquired chip maker Passif – Is Apple on a startup buying spree now too? Based on a new report, the iPhone maker is stepping up its hardware assets.

Games and Entertainment:

How to Back Up Your Android Game Data – If you regularly play games on your Android phone, there could come a day when you have a dilemma on your hands. What if your phone is misbehaving and you have to do a factory reset? Or what if you get a new phone or your current handset is lost or stolen? Do you really want to lose all your points, levels and trophies? Thanks to an app called Helium, you don’t have to.

Rymdkapsel is an Innovative New Strategy Game on iOS and Android – That’s not some new spin on Tetris you’re seeing—that’s the newest real-time strategy game to hit iOS and Android, and it’s called rymdkapsel (Swedish for space capsule). This game has a very simple premise that leads to extremely complicated, engaging gameplay. You are tasked with building a space station out of flat tetromino-shaped blocks, which represent rooms. But you’re not alone out there in space. The attack is coming, and you must prepare.

James Cameron Planning 3 ‘Avatar’ Sequels – Get ready for a trip back to Pandora three more times, Avatar fans.

Brain-training Game Lumosity Arrives on iPhone and iPad – Lumosity has been a web-based brain training game for a number of years, but now the service has branched out into mobile with an iPad and iPhone app. This game is designed to give your brain a short, stimulating workout each day. The apparent goal is to increase your cognitive abilities and attention, but even if that doesn’t work, the mini-games are pretty enjoyable.

Call of Duty Ghosts Ready To Rule the Fall – While the video game market has endured a lot of ups and downs, it had a remarkable late inning victory last year with the phenomenal success of Call of Duty: Black Ops, and the latest installment of Halo. Now estimates tell us the next installment of Call of Duty, Ghosts, will be the biggest video game of the Fall.

Off Topic (Sort of):

CFAA violations key to 2012 Obama victory? – An important tactic of the Obama reelection campaign was likely a violation of Facebook’s terms of service, and therefore a violation of federal law. This is yet more evidence that Justice Department interpretations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act are unreasonable and need to be curtailed.

Snowden offered job at Russia’s top social network – Hours after the fugitive was given temporary asylum in Russia, the country’s hugely popular VKontakte site offers him work as a programmer.

Google asked me to remove Glass at their own event – The last company I ever expected to ask me to remove Glass before heading into an event was the one that sold them to me.

Oba-chan – a short vignette of oba-chan. An 85 year old Japanese farmer who tends to her land all by herself. (suggested by Michael F.) A simple life – a simple perspective – beautiful.

5 Outrageous Lies Companies Are Legally Allowed to Tell You – If you tell people that advertisers lie, they’ll roll their eyes and say, “DUH! That’s what advertising is, you naive buffoon!” But then those same people will walk out the door and buy a phone based on a “coverage map” they just saw in an ad. That’s because advertisers use our cool cynicism against us — we think we’re being savvy by assuming that all ads exaggerate, but we still assume that’s as far as it can go — exaggeration. It’s not like these people can just go out and lie right to our faces, right? They sure can! In fact …

Electromagnetic radiation infographic from 1944 is beautiful, informative – At some point in the last few decades, someone took a poster and stuffed it in an unused office at Lawrence Livermore National Labs (LLNL). The poster was made by the W.M Welch Scientific Company in 1944, and it depicts in excruciatingly awesome detail how electromagnetic waves work.

Absolutely mindblowing video shot from the Space Shuttle during launch – Drop whatever you’re doing and watch this. NASA has released videos shot from onboard the Space Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Boosters in the past, but you’ve never seen one prepared as masterfully as this.

Something to think about:

It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.”

–     David Brin

Today’s Free Downloads:

Active@ KillDisk 7.5 – Powerful and compact software that allows you to destroy all data on hard disks, USB drives and floppy disks completely.

Panda Cloud Antivirus 2.2 – Panda Cloud Antivirus, the first free cloud-based antivirus thin-client. It consists of a lightweight antivirus agent that is connected in real-time to PandaLabs’ online Collective Intelligence servers to protect faster against the newest malware variants while barely impacting PC performance.

Microsoft BGInfo 4.20 – Automatically displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

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

  1. that’s a long collection! but useful, thanks for sharing these links with us.