Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 12, 2013

The Pirate Bay Releases Censorship-Busting ‘PirateBrowser’ – If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to circumvent any filters or blocks that your ISP (or country) has put into place on your Web browsing, The Pirate Bay might have a solution for you. As part of the commemoration around the site’s ten-year anniversary, which it officially celebrated yesterday, The Pirate Bay has officially released its own web browser. Sort-of.

Mega to fill secure email gap left by Lavabit – Kim Dotcom’s “privacy company” Mega is developing secure email services to run on its entirely non-US-based server network as intense pressure from US authorities forces other providers to close.

Infographic: Is Your Business Safe From Cyberattacks? – Instead of targeting the enterprise as a whole, many attacks now compromise individual employees. Data security company Imperva released an infographic explaining the stages of a targeted attack and how to protect your organization from these attacks.

Think your smutty Snapchats can’t be saved by dorks? Think again – Anyone looking to broadcast pictures of their naughty bits was given a boost when Snapchat first launched, because it purported to destroy images a few moments after they were viewed. But a new app called Snap Save has removed the very raison d’être of Snapchat by allowing users to save images.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Obama’s Apple patent pardon reflects global IP hypocrisy – Watching from the other side of the world, it’s easier to see the fine line between intellectual-property pragmatism and bald hypocrisy – and Obama’s poke in Samsung’s eye just crossed it.

Always posting pics on Facebook? Then you’re weird, study says – Research from the U.K. suggests that those who post vast numbers of pictures to Facebook might have trouble enjoying relationships in real life.

MixBit App Takes Video Sharing to the Next Level – Meet MixBit, a video-sharing smartphone app that combines the recording ease of Vine with the editing and collaboration tools that helped make YouTube a web sensation.

What’s wrong with being tracked by advertisers? – A London startup has equipped 12 public recycling bins in the city to track passersby via their smartphones. The bins display advertising that’s customized for each phone tracked. You know, like in Minority Report. Not only do they not have the option to opt in, the tracked pedestrians aren’t even notified that they’re being tracked. In an early test, the devices tracked more than 750,000 individual phones in a 24-hour period.

How to get the most out of Google search – These little-known and simple commands make finding new and relevant information on Google a breeze.

Learn how to run legacy Windows software on your Android tablet with Limbo PC Emulator – With tablets and smartphones running more powerful ARM processors, you can get more work done and try some new tricks. If you’d like to run some older legacy Windows software (from the 9x era, in particular), you might be pleased to know that a QEMU emulator designed for Android exists in the Google Play Store called Limbo PC Emulator. It’s free to download and use for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

How to buy a laptop for college – School is right around the corner, and you’ll need a solid laptop to get you through those long study hours. Well, that and a lot of coffee. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re ready to cut your old boat anchor loose, I’m here to help you separate your nice-to-have wants from your essential needs, so you can get the most bang for your back-to-school buck.

20 essential iPhone, iPad apps for college students – Out of the thousands on offer to make your life easier, here is a roundup of the most essential iPhone and iPad applications for students.

Home networking explained, Part 8: Cable modem shopping tips – CNET editor Dong Ngo shares tips on how to best equip your home for cable Internet while saving your hard-earned dollars.

Google Glass expected to retail for $299 – $299 isn’t a figure Google has confirmed, of course. It’s what at least one tech researcher expects Glass to sell for based on industry insider information — and a bit of common sense.


Malware threatens Aussie online bankers – Australians are the third most common victims of malicious software that steals online banking information, a new report shows. One in every 20 worldwide victims of banking “malware” is now an Australian, according to monitoring data released by software security firm Trend Micro. And, unlike their European counterparts, Australian banks have been slow to introduce additional layers of security, like two-step verification with a mobile phone. (suggested by Mal C.)

Password thieves target blogs, content management sites – More and more attackers are realizing that websites built on CMS platforms, like WordPress, are ripe for password picking. One such brute force campaign was identified last week by Bing. Dubbed “Disco Fort” by the researcher, it’s using 25,000 infected Windows machines to support attacks on more than 6000 Joomla, WordPress, and Datalife Engine sites.

Chrome’s password security insanity can be cured – Google should lock up Chrome passwords with a master key to make casual thieves work harder, a security expert said Thursday. Chrome stores passwords at the user’s request, then recalls them automatically for site and service log-ins. A quick trip to the browser’s address bar — type “chrome://settings/passwords” there — displays accounts, usernames and passwords. Although the passwords are disguised with asterisks, one click on the “Show” button and the password appears in plain text.

10 Black Hat Hacks That Will Make You Put On a Tinfoil Hat – Reading about digital security can sometimes be like a horror novel that leaves you trembling and nervous. At no time is this more true than Black Hat, the industry conference that attracts hackers from around the world to share their best discoveries. If you wanted to rest easy tonight, stop reading now. If you’re brave, then just jump ahead to our hand-dandy slideshow.

Apple restores developer site after weeks-long outage – Many tools for iOS and Mac OS X developers had become inaccessible starting in the middle of July in the wake of a security intrusion.

Adware runs rampant in Google Play, researchers say – A security vendor has found a large number of Android apps in Google Play with overly aggressive adware, raising questions about whether Google is effectively policing its online store.

Twitter’s new security feature: Good intention but a hassle – The difficulty in using Twitter’s new login verification feature will likely make it useful only to actors, politicians, and other high-profile users willing to go through the hassle for tighter security.

Company News:

Netgear accuses Asus of submitting fraudulent test results to the FCC – Netgear is accusing Asus of taking that low road in the Wi-Fi router market, and the company has filed both a complaint with the FCC and a lawsuit seeking damages and injunctive relief on grounds of unfair competition and false advertising.

Apple request to suspend e-book antitrust ruling denied: verdict stands – Apple has been denied the right to suspend the verdict handed down in its defense against charges of conspiring with book publishers to raise the prices of e-books. At the moment this means that Apple is sentenced to terminate current agency agreements with publishers and hold off any multimedia agreements that could in any way increase overall market prices on e-books for the next five years.

Judge scolds Apple for lack of remorse in e-book antitrust case – A federal judge took Apple to task on Friday for showing no contrition about potentially defrauding its customers of hundreds of millions of dollars. “None of the publishers nor Apple have expressed any remorse” about colluding to fix electronic book prices in 2010, said District Judge Denise Cote, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of New York. “They are, in a word, unrepentant.”

Games and Entertainment:

Google Glass alien shooter game in the works – The comical nature of paying a game that no one else can see aside, developer Sean McCracken is working on an alien shooter game for Google Glass, calling it on his Google+ a mix between 3D Space Invaders and Missile Command. Earlier this week, McCracken showed the game off in a short, somewhat hard to watch video on Instagram, and today a more detailed video has been posted.

Valve removes need to restart Steam when switching to online mode – Yesterday Valve rolled out an update to the beta version of the Steam client that will make many a gamer very happy followed by a shout of “finally!”

Report Says Amazon Wants to Make a Game Console – Suddenly it seems like every tech titan wants to be in the game console business. Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have theirs, of course, and Google is supposedly working on one of its own. Apple has at least laid the groundwork. In addition to the big companies, we also have the small upstarts like Ouya and GameStick. Now we can add Amazon to the pile, at least according to Game Informer’s unnamed sources.

Xbox One “Home Gold” and game sharing detailed by Microsoft – Microsoft’s Xbox One Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten has taken to the Internet today, posting a write up on detailing some of the sharing features that will be available to Xbox One owners. One specific area he detailed concerns “Home Gold,” which will let Xbox Live Gold users extend some of the perks that come with that to other users in their home for free.

Why an Apple TV game console is a no-brainer – How can Apple make a splash in 2013? By unleashing the Apple TV to play games. It’s easier and far more impactful than you’d think.

Off Topic (Sort of):

New meta-analysis checks the correlation between intelligence and faith – More than 400 years before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, Greek playwright Euripides wrote in his play Bellerophon, “Doth some one say that there be gods above? There are not; no, there are not. Let no fool, led by the old false fable, thus deceive you.” Euripides was not an atheist and only used the word “fool” to provoke his audience. But, if you look at the studies conducted over the past century, you will find that those with religious beliefs will, on the whole, score lower on tests of intelligence.

Study finds online commentards easily duped, manipulated – Internet forums often use reader moderation to determine which comments are the best, but new research suggests that tallying up and down votes for online comments is a poor measure of those comments’ actual quality. Oh, you may think you know who’s brilliant and who’s a troll in our forums, dear Reg reader – but according to a paper published in the journal Science on Friday, the so-called wisdom of crowds can often be misleading.

10 small devices. No, we mean really small – From the world’s tiniest semiconductor laser to a bee-sized flying robot, these minuscule devices — many of which cannot be seen by a human eye — are changing our world.

Truck driver has GPS jammer, accidentally jams Newark airport – An engineering firm worker in New Jersey has a GPS jammer so his bosses don’t know where he is all the time. However, his route takes him close to Newark airport, and his jammer affects its satellite systems.

NASA’s red alert on fire risk and climate change (pictures) – A newly released animation from the space agency, based on data gathered from fire-spotting satellites, suggests that a warming planet means more “fire weather.”

Something to think about:

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Why I changed my mind on weed – Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called “Weed.” The title “Weed” may sound cavalier, but the content is not. I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled “Why I would Vote No on Pot.” Well, I am here to apologize. (recommended by Michael F.)

Today’s Free Downloads:

UNOFFICIAL Windows98 SE Service Pack 3.25 – Microsoft has never released a service pack for Windows98 SE but this contains all Windows98 SE updates from Windows Update site and more.

NirLauncher 1.18.19 – NirLauncher is a package of more than 100 portable freeware utilities for Windows.

WinHTTrack 3.47-22 – WinHTTrack is a free and easy-to-use offline browser utility. It allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site’s relative link-structure. Simply open a page of the “mirrored” website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Snowden insignificant, POTUS says he was going to do it anyway – In a Friday press conference, President Obama laid out a plan to review the USA PATRIOT Act, secret intelligence courts, and activities of the NSA. The revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had nothing to do with the review, Obama insisted, saying that as a senator he had supported more transparency and had spoken of the need for greater oversight before.

Lawmakers tasked with overseeing NSA surveillance programs feel “inadequate” – In the wake of the Obama Administration’s nod towards greater transparency for its surveillance programs, some members of Congressional intelligence and judiciary committees now say that they have not had the proper opportunity to understand, much less challenge these programs. “In terms of the oversight function, I feel inadequate most of the time,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of the House Intelligence Committee. She spoke with The Washington Post on Saturday evening, admitting that while the programs were “approved” by Congress—”Was it approved by a fully knowing Congress? That is not the case.”

NSA to world: we’re only watching 1.6% of internet – Trust us: we’re hardly paying attention to the stuff we do collect – The USA’s National Security Agency (NSA) has issued a document titled ( The National Security Agency: Missions, Authorities, Oversight and Partnerships(PDF) that explains some of its operations and includes a claim it “… touches about 1.6%… “ of daily Internet traffic and “…only 0.025% is actually selected for review.”

New Rule: Congressmen Who Thought Iraq Had WMDs Can’t Talk About NSA Effectiveness – Senator Saxby Chambliss is either a blind war hawk or is deliberately misleading the public. Last week, after the National Security Agency had intercepted an al-Qaida conference call plotting attacks against U.S. embassies, Chambliss claimed it was proof that mass surveillance programs were effective. But the AP reports that the NSA’s controversial phone and Internet monitoring programs “played no part in detecting the initial tip.”

NSA Reportedly Changing Section 702 Of The FISA Amendments Act To Search US Citizens’ Communications – An image published by the Guardian’s James Ball – it was leaked by Edward Snowden – states that a change has been enacted to section 702, that “the FAA 702 minimization procedures approved on 3 October 2011 now allow for use of certain United States person names and identifiers as query terms when reviewing collected FAA 702 data.” In other words, the NSA now claims the authority to search databases for the communication data of United States citizens.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 12, 2013

  1. Private Browser but, at what cost.
    Using this browser prevents avast! from checking the sites you visit for infections and malicious code.
    Is it more important to be safe and secure or, is securing your browsing privacy more important than risking an infected computer ??
    The choice is yours. I prefer to stay safe and feel that by now all that can be found out about me is already out there to be discovered by anyone that wants to waste their time.

  2. delenn13

    You know…I might just need some “Weed” to keep reading the “In Pursuit of Freedom” articles. It will help soften the sting…..

    • Hey Delenn13,

      Way past time that the pathetic excuses we have for politicians got their heads out of their asses and legalized my (3 times a week) medicine! Watch out for my upcoming – “Cancer, Me, and Marijuana Tea.” Soon as I get the balls to put it up. 🙂