Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 16, 2013

How to opt out of Google’s new personalized search results – In a blog post on Wednesday, Google revealed that it pulls the information directly from a user’s Gmail, Calendar, and Google+ accounts. Although the data is sent through an encrypted connection and only visible to you, some people may not be comfortable with Google going through their personal accounts. Here are two ways how you can opt out of personalized results

Gif.Me Is A Chrome Extension For Gif Storage… Because GIFS! – Gif.me is a new Chrome extension that allows users to store and share gifs they find on the internet with nothing more than a right click. It’s wonderful. The extension lets you right click on any gif, on any website, and choose the GIF ME option. From there, each gif is saved in a folder right in the browser window, with the option to view that gif or auto-copy the link to your clipboard.

Twitter tells you where the party’s at with local alerts – Turn off the TV. The information network tests out a feature that spotlights what’s happening near you, right now.

Review: Free DD-WRT network router firmware – Most network routers have fairly basic firmware that limits the hardware’s full potential. You can change that.

Dating site offers free divorces – SugarDaddie.com, which is exactly what you think it is, offers free divorces in several cities. Because leaving your spouse is just so expensive.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

10 virtualization tips every administrator should consider – Virtualization can reduce costs, simplify administration, and enable organizations to get more mileage out of their tech investments. These tips will help you reap those benefits.

Trsst Is A Secure Twitter For The Post-Snowden Internet – In a world where tweeting is the new texting, there are some folks out there who want to broadcast their thoughts – but with an acceptable level of security. That’s where Trsst comes in. It is, in short, an encrypted messaging platform that turns your short messages into a p2p style collaboration system.

Google figures out how to transform your glasses into Google Glass – Engineers at Google have developed a way to display information to people in the lenses of their eyeglasses. The work, outlined in a patent application, is the latest in a line of research by the company that points to future head-mounted displays that don’t require the clunky display arm that’s present on the first generation Google Glass.

Security:

Google follows Amazon with auto-encryption of cloud data – Google has tossed a crumb of reassurance to people with cloudy security concerns by adding automatic server-side encryption to Google Cloud Storage. The free security measure was announced by Google on Thursday and spun as a way to “make securing your data as painless as possible,” according to a blog post by the company. The change means data will be kept in RAM and encrypted via AES-128 upon upload into the service before being written to disk.

Deja vu all over again? DOE to workers: We’ve been hacked – Getting an e-mail from your employer with the subject line “Cyber Incident” usually isn’t good news. Especially if you work for the U.S. Department of Energy and it’s the second time this year. The Energy Department on Wednesday notified workers that a hack in late July exposed personal information, such as the names and Social Security numbers of current and past employees, and that 14,000 people may have been affected.

Google acknowledges Android security issue that led to Bitcoin theft – In the advisory, the organization stated that the problem originated from a security issue regarding the randomly-generated secure numbers, and it was the fault of Android, meaning a wallet created with any app was vulnerable. Google has acknowledged this problem, explaining the cause in a write up over on the Android blogspot.

Apple updates App Guidelines with eye on children’s privacy – The latest changes to the App Review Guidelines caution against collecting certain information from kids.

Company News:

Microsoft on the Issues: The limits of Google’s openness – You may be wondering what happened to the YouTube app for Windows Phone. Last May, after we launched a much improved app on our platform, Google objected on a number of grounds. We took our app down and agreed to work with Google to solve their issues. This week, after we addressed each of Google’s points, we re-launched the app, only to have Google technically block it. (suggested by Aseem S.)

Facebook to test new mobile payment service – Facebook plans to test a new service designed to streamline the check-out process for people shopping on their mobile devices. It could become a competitor to other e-commerce players like PayPal.

Microsoft Confirms Skype Will Come Installed With Windows 8.1, So It’s Time To Play Anti-Trust Bingo – Today Microsoft announced that Skype will come installed in Windows 8.1, likely helping the communications service that was purchased for $8.5 billion grow more quickly. The move immediately causes something of a gut reaction that this will be challenged in court, probably in Europe.

More brutal PC numbers from Dell as revenues stay flat, profits sink – Dell announced its second-quarter earnings for fiscal 2014 on Thursday – five days early – and delivered a report that met analysts’ expectations but once again showed a company struggling to remain profitable in the face of woeful trends in the PC industry.

Should BlackBerry have gone Android? The answer is no – and these numbers show why – If switching to Android would have been so great for Nokia and BlackBerry, why hasn’t it helped Sony and LG more, let alone HTC?

IBM acquires Trusteer – IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire Trusteer, a provider of software that helps protect organizations against financial fraud and security threats. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Games and Entertainment:

Redbox brings back free games week – Not everybody has 24 hours to burn through a hit game like The Last of Us. But if you do, you’ll want to click on over to Redbox.com. From August 18-22, users who reserve a game online through Redbox will be able to rent that game for one night for free. OK, so it’s only a $2 credit. Still, it’s a chance to rent a game without paying for a monthly service like Gamefly, which charges a minimum of $16 per month.

GTA 5 will have an attached online world with GTA Online – Rob banks and have gang wars—with friends! – According to the trailer, players will be able to earn money and reputation through the GTA Online universe’s missions. The game appears to feature dungeon-like engagements that players can pursue when they “band together to form a crew” to, for instance, shoot up and rob a bank. Players can “compete in classic online modes,” per the trailer, which appears to mean the game will feature PvP-style battles.

Razer Tartarus gaming keypad arrives for ergonomic PC gamers – It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a new gaming keypad, but Razer is insistent on keeping up with the fad. The company just announced the Tartarus, which looks to be the successor to the ever-popular Nostromo keypad, but comes with a few more keys and Razer says that you get a lot of bang for your buck with this new gaming keypad.

Set of 5000-year-old board game pieces discovered in Turkey – While excavating a 5,000 year-old burial mound at Başur Höyük near Siirt in southeast Turkey, archaeologists have unearthed a set of carved stones that may represent the earliest recorded gaming tokens. The stones depict dogs, pyramids, pigs, and other shapes with each set of tokens painted a different color. There were even dice.

Gone Home is an evocative first-person exploration game without guns – Gone Home, the debut game from the Fullbright Company, is a first-person “adventure game” that challenges you to explore your family’s house in 1995-era Portland. The small, four-person team of developers, mostly veterans of the excellent Bioshock 2 DLC Minerva’s Den, call it a “story exploration game.”

Wildly popular game Dots comes to Android and Kindle Fire – After notching nearly one billion games played on iOS, Dots comes to the Android platform to snare more addicts.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Van Gogh Shadow – A refreshing take on Vincent van Gogh’s art using animation, music, and an amazing interplay of shadow and light. Well worth the watch. (recommended by Michael F.)

Top 5 Social Media Meltdowns – Being a celebrity isn’t without its challenges. Sure, they enjoy money, parties and luxuries we all wish we had like personal chefs and weekly esthetician visits, but they also can’t leave the house without a bodyguard and everything they say and do is constantly under public scrutiny. And every so often they crack under the pressure. Here are the top five social media meltdowns by the famous (and infamous) of 2013, so far.

Walmart turns your iPhone, iPad, or Galaxy S3 into grocery money – The mega retailer’s new trade-in program offers instant cash (OK, it’s really credit) that can be spent right away at Walmart Stores or online.

BattleHawk wants to be your own personal kamikaze robot – At this week’s AUVSI Unmanned Systems conference in Washington DC, while flocks of vendors vied for attention with their small unmanned systems technology, Textron Defense Systems unveiled a small drone with an added special surprise—it’s also a flying hand grenade.

Watch This Creepy Little Robot That Can Sneak Under Your Door – Today in our continuing series entitled “Robots That Will Eventually Drink The Liquid From Your Eyeball In Your Sleep” we present the STAR.V3, a superfast, 3D-printed robot that can squeeze itself down to fit underneath a door and/or scuttle quickly away as soon as it steals your precious juices.

When 3D printing goes badWhen 3D printing goes bad – A hilarious Flickr group catalogs the various whoopsies of 3D printing. Sometimes when it fails, it manages to do spectacularly.

10 overhyped tech products that crashed and burned – The demos blew everyone away. Then reality hit. Indeed some of the most enthusiastically received demonstrations at trade shows were for products that became some of the tech industry’s most notorious flops.

Something to think about:

The most transparent administration in history? Well it’s kind of true. I think the American people can see right through Obama.”

–     Anonymous

Today’s Free Downloads:

GOM Audio Player – GOM Audio is a free audio player designed to make it simple to listen to CDs, MP3s, M4As, and other popular audio formats on your PC. GOM Audio implements many of the features and shortcuts used in GOM Media Player to further enhance the playback experience.

Power up your PDFs with these five free tools – (These tools were recently featured here individually. In this article our reviewer surveys and compares them as a group.) There’s no point to drowning in PDF features you don’t want (and really, really don’t want to pay for) when you can stock your toolbox with exactly what you require. These five freebies push the boundaries of what you can do with a PDF file.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Lies, Damned Lies, And The NSA – Today the Washington Post reported documents demonstrating that the NSA breaks privacy laws “thousands of times” each year. Consider this the conclusion of what was the last-ditch argument put forth to defend the NSA: Yes, they have the capability to abrogate your Constitutional rights, but there is no evidence of abuse! Wrong. We now have proof that the NSA both wittingly, and unwittingly breaks that law on average of 7.6 times per day, using leaked 2012 numbers. That’s a nontrivial number of infractions.

Schneier on Security – The NSA is Commandeering the Internet – It turns out that the NSA’s domestic and world-wide surveillance apparatus is even more extensive than we thought. Bluntly: The government has commandeered the Internet. Most of the largest Internet companies provide information to the NSA, betraying their users. Some, as we’ve learned, fight and lose. Others cooperate, either out of patriotism or because they believe it’s easier that way. I have one message to the executives of those companies: fight.

Snowden reportedly began secret downloads at Dell in 2012 – Whistle-blower began downloading classified documents related to NSA data collection programs while a contractor at the company, Reuters reports.

China reportedly to probe IBM, Oracle, EMC over security concerns – National security concerns have reportedly arisen from the PRISM saga as many of China’s core IT systems are dominated by foreign hardware and software firms.

Why PRISM’s potential impact on cloud industry is under-valued and over-rated – Forrester estimates the US cloud computing industry could lose up to $180 billion by 2016 thanks to the NSA’s PRISM project – but only if you believe that concerns about government spying trump the business benefits of going cloud.

Courtesy – Cracked.

You forgot about that?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 16, 2013

  1. If you aren’t comfortable with google’s personal search then you shouldn’t be on the internet.
    Google’s search intrusion is mild compared to what the NSA does continuously and “legally”.
    It’s sad how little opposition still exists by the general public about the snooping of the NSA. and how enraged that same group becomes when Google is mentioned.