Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 6, 2013

U.S. cloud industry stands to lose $35 billion amid PRISM fallout – Revelations of the U.S. government’s spying programs could have a massive impact on the U.S. cloud industry, which stands to lose vast sums over the next three years as a result — compounded by other countries bankrolling efforts to combat U.S. market leadership.

US drug agency gets intel from NSA, then lies about its origins to build cases – On Monday, Reuters reported on previously undisclosed documents showing that a secret Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) unit uses information collected by intelligence agencies—including the National Security Agency (NSA)—to build evidence for criminal cases. The true origin of this information is usually concealed from defense lawyers—and sometimes even prosecutors and judges—to seemingly do an end-run around the normal court procedures for a criminal defendant’s right to discovery.

How to shop online without a credit card – If you’re going to buy a song, book, tablet, or just about anything online, you’ll be expected to enter a credit card number. Fortunately, there are options.

HitmanPro.Alert – HitmanPro.Alert is a free tool that checks the browser integrity and alerts users when secure online banking and shopping is no longer guaranteed. HitmanPro.Alert will instantly detect over 99% of all known and new banking Trojans. It automatically informs users when critical system functions are diverted to untrusted programs. It effectively reveals the presence of any so called Man-in-the-Browser malware and offers the user to automatically download and scan their computer with HitmanPro anti-malware to immediately remove the security threat. (recommended by Mal C.)

Zemana AntiLogger – Free 12 months license for PC – Zemana AntiLogger is specifically designed to thwart malware attacks on your sensitive financial transactions! Unlike other programs, which rely on updated virus signatures to identify and block threats, Zemana AntiLogger proactively looks for suspicious activity, shutting down keyloggers, SSL banker trojans, spyware, and other malware before they have a chance to steal your data. Plus, since Zemana AntiLogger doesn’t rely on virus signatures or file scanning, it won’t bog down your computer like other programs do.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

The top tech products of 2013 (so far) – The year’s far from over, yet it’s already seen some great new technology. New CPUs from Intel have inspired PCs that aren’t just the same old box. Google debuted a new tablet, a new laptop, and a surprisingly simple streaming device. Google’s Motorola division even unveiled a new Moto X phone last week, but it faces tough competition from the innovative designs we’ve already seen. Before autumn’s product flood, let’s enjoy some of the best of 2013 so far. First up: A very new product from Google that’s small but mighty.

Report: Tablet buyers don’t care who makes their devices – Sales of tablets, including Apple’s iPad, slowed during the second quarter, according to a Monday report by IDC. But the real news may be the rise of “no-name” tablets, which are now the largest segment of the tablet market. Consumers apparently don’t care if they buy a tablet from a cheaper, no-name brand, as a whopping 45 percent of tablets sold within the “other” category.

How to install a fully portable desktop on a USB for on-the-go access – Jack Wallen shows you the steps to install Porteus, a fully-encapsulated desktop that you can take with you on a USB.

Report: Comcast to send real-time notifications of copyright infringement – If the new system catches a user downloading a movie from a site like BitTorrent, according to the report, the system would immediately send a popup to the user alerting him or her to what Comcast thought was being done. Comcast would then provide an option to either rent or buy a movie, either from itself or a site like Amazon, the report said.

Bosses without borders: Essential tools for managing remote workers – How can you know if telecommuters are working as much as they say they are, and how can you help them do their best work? Here are some of the best tools available to promote stellar communication with remote workers.

Analysis Paralysis? Spotify ‘Browse’ Picks Mood-Based Music (and More) for You – Taking their cues from sites like Amazon, services like Spotify have been augmenting their recommendation tools, both to make it easier to find what you’re after and broaden our musical palettes.

Introducing Fastest Mobile Networks Canada – It’s a critical time for Canadian wireless. The old guys are responding with faster networks using 2.6GHz spectrum. Really fast networks. Faster than we have in the U.S., even. And next year, there’s going to be a huge land grab for prime 700MHz spectrum that can cover the countryside. It’s a great time for the first great Canadian wireless test. PCMag.com is already one of the most-read tech publications in Canada, and we’re taking to the streets this summer and fall to test Canada’s wireless networks.

Love fights back! After BreakUp Text, now MakeUp Text – You might imagine that the people behind BreakUp Text, the app that breaks up with your lover for you, might have a follow-up. Here it is: MakeUp Text. It’s bound to work, of course.

BBM officially heading to Samsung Galaxy phones – A new report from the folks at N4BB claims that Samsung has officially committed to the messaging app. Specifically, BBM addicts will be able to download BlackBerry Messenger software via the Google Play store “soon.” With BBM, Galaxy users will have access to their BBM accounts, including BBM chats and BBM Groups.

Security:

New strain of ransomware evades detection by AV apps – Learn about a new type of ransomware that has the potential to snare many victims – and it’s not even malware. Those in the know predict what’s being called HTML ransomware will be more successful than previous versions.

Update: Researchers say Tor-targeted malware phoned home to NSA – JavaScript attack had a hard-coded IP address that traced back to NSA address block.

Attackers wield Firefox exploit to uncloak anonymous Tor users – Attackers exploited a recently patched vulnerability in the Firefox browser to uncloak users of the Tor anonymity service, and the attack code is now publicly circulating online. While the exploit was most likely designed to identify people alleged to have frequented a child porn forum recently targeted by the FBI, anonymity advocates say the code could be used against almost any Tor user.

Trust the PKI or it’s anarchy on the Internet – When Microsoft automatically updates your Windows trusted root certificates, are they inserting secret backdoors for the NSA to spy on you? No, but even if they were, you’d still have to trust them.

Company News:

Feedly, big beneficiary of Google Reader demise, launches paid RSS service – One of the biggest beneficiaries of Google’s decision to ditch its aged Reader and drop the RSS service that had powered virtually every third-party news reader, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Feedly said in April that it would kick off a paid version of its free service. Adds search, HTTPS, EverNote integration for $45 a year.

Apple USB Power Adapter Takeback Program settles safety snag with $10 swap – Apple has kicked off a power adapter exchange program, aiming to settle safety concerns about counterfeit or poorly-made third-party adapters by offering to switch them out for a $10 fee. The USB Power Adapter Takeback Program will run between August 16 and October 18, and allow anybody with “concerns” about the safety of an adapter they’re using to exchange it for an official one in an Apple Store.

iPhone’s camera is awful, says new Nokia ad – Nokia decides to mock the iPhone 5 ad in which Apple claims more people take pictures with iPhone than any other camera. Nokia is about quality, it says.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos buys The Washington Post in $250m cash deal – Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has bought The Washington Post, with the online retailer CEO spending $250m in cash to pick up the paper. The deal, the newspaper itself reports, will see Bezos not Amazon take the reins as sole owner, with the retailer having no role in the business.

Indian IT firm accused of discrimination against “stupid Americans” – Infosys, an Indian IT software and services company with offices throughout the world, has been accused of discriminating against American job applicants. One Infosys employee who raised concerns about the company’s hiring practices was repeatedly called a “stupid American,” the lawsuit states.

Samsung mass produces industry’s first 3D NAND flash chips – Samsung Electronics Monday said it is now mass producing chips that stack layers of data-storing silicon like a microscopic skyscraper, creating what will undeniably be the NAND flash technology for the immediate future. The move lets Samsung boast an industry first, three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory that breaks through current 2D or planar NAND scaling limits.

Games and Entertainment:

EA reinvents Tetris on iOS by adding monsters – Tetris is one of the most popular games of all time, selling over 70 million copies on various consoles and handheld devices, as well as over 100 million copies on cell phones. So it makes sense that whoever owns the publishing rights at the moment wants to continue releasing new games carrying the Tetris name. That company is EA, and their new take on the series is called Tetris Monsters.

Zynga puts the kibosh on OMGPOP as woes increase – Modern times have not been kind to Zynga, the maker of online video games that once enjoyed wealth and prosperity as the top dog in the world of Facebook-centric games. Now others have arisen to fill the company’s shoes (King of Candy Crush fame being one of them), and Zynga has been steadily suffering since. Gamers are losing interest in once-staples like Mafia Wars, FarmVille, and more, and once again the company has announced a closure.

Doom 4 didn’t feel like Doom, so id Software started again – There’s very few game developers that have the luxury of making a game, realizing it isn’t good enough, and scrapping it to start all over again. But id Software is one of those developers, and that’s exactly what they have done with Doom 4.

The Drowning Seeks to Redefine Touchscreen Shooters – The Drowning is making a lot of big claims about changing the way first person shooters are done on touchscreens. It’s hard to say at this point if it has changed the way other games will work, but it’s certainly providing a different experience in this one game. This title is currently only on iOS, but an Android version is in the works.

Netflix said to land ‘Marco Polo’ in quest for original content – Netflix’s pursuit of more original content has reportedly yielded “Marco Polo,” an upcoming dramatic series under production by the Weinstein Company. The streaming company has acquired the rights to the series, which chronicles the 13th-century merchant’s adventures in the court of Kublai Khan, according to TV Guide. The nine-episode series is expected to be released in 2014.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Older adults warm up to social networking – A rising percentage of older adults are using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, according to a Pew study. Forty-three percent of people age 65 and older use online social networking services, according to survey results released Monday by the Pew Research Center. A mere 1 percent of people in that age group were active on social networking sites in 2006. Since 2009, adoption rates for those 65 and older have tripled, according to the report.

Lack of accessibility should kill CAPTCHAs, but where’s the replacement? – Several Australian consumer groups have combined to call for an end to CAPTCHAs across the web.

World’s first 3D printed rifle fires 14 shots – It’s called the Grizzly 2.0 and fired 14 shots on video before suffering damage. One amateur gunsmith in Canada has rigged up a fully 3D printed rifle that can fire as many as 14 rounds before suffering damage. He is going only by Matthew, for obvious reasons, and he’s posted the test firings on YouTube.

Interest in smartphone trade-ins surges – As no-contract wireless service plans begin to emerge from U.S. carriers, there appears to be a booming interest in trade-ins, according to a poll released Monday by NPD Group. Of 1,000 smartphone users polled, 55% plan to take advantage of a trade-in with their next upgrade. That’s a big increase from the 13% of respondents who said they traded in their last smartphone.

A Bluetooth tooth fulfills destiny of Bluetooth, also helps you quit smoking – Researchers at National Taiwan University have developed a sensor that is embedded into your tooth, and can tell when you’re doing unhealthy things, such as eating or drinking too much, or smoking. The little circuit understands various mouth-based movements, such as speaking, smoking, chewing, and drinking, and can report back to a doctor’s smartphone, so there’s no denying your guilt.

Something to think about:

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”

–     Abba Eban

Today’s Free Downloads:

Caesium 1.6.0 – Caesium can reduce the size of pictures up to 90%, preserving the original visual quality. The software allows you to view instantly the compression results, helping you to decide how much optimization you need. Caesium can set different compression levels to each image, saving a lot of time, ensuring great results!

Rainmeter 3.0.2050 Beta – Rainmeter is a desktop customization platform. Through Rainmeter, you can enhance your Windows computer at home or work with skins: handy, compact applets which float freely on your desktop, much like Windows Sidebar gadgets, or dashboard widgets for the Mac.

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