Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 30, 2013

Five free Dropbox tools you’re not using (but should be) – Dropbox is handy, but you can make it even easier to use with a wide range of products and services that work hand in hand with the cloud-based storage, syncing, and sharing service. Check out these five favorites for getting even more bang for your Dropbox buck.

How Your Facebook Friends Might Get You Denied a Loan – Going to be buying a new car soon? Thinking about buying a house? Then you may want to be careful who you associate with online: Companies are starting to look at your social media history as part of the decision to offer you a loan.

How to see what your Facebook profile looks like to others – If you’ve adjusted your Facebook privacy settings to something other than their defaults or use lists to organize your social circles, it’s generally a good thing to know how your profile page appears to others. After all, you might not want the entire world to know of your woe-filled past relationships. Luckily for you, it’s easy to do and it only takes a few steps.

All your passwords belong to us – Password hacks and new cracker tools surfaced this week to reinforce passwords are indeed sitting ducks. Will anything be done about it?

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Windows 8.1 RTM leaks to Internet – Windows 8.1’s RTM, which Microsoft announced only on Tuesday, has already leaked to file-sharing sites online. The leaked builds of Windows 8.1 RTM may have originated in China — home of most of the companies that build the world’s personal computers and tablets — because a Chinese-language edition was the first to appear. Within a short time, however, English editions of the RTM also popped up on file-sharing websites.

Recover lost or stolen devices – Technology is increasingly the target of crimes, but it can also be used to fight back against the perpetrators. There’s plenty you can do before, during, and after you lose a Web-connected device to increase the chances the gizmo will find its way back to you.

Three Months After Being Banned From The App Store, Bang With Friends Returns As “Down” – Bang With Friends, the Facebook friend hookup app that seemed to be endlessly engulfed in one controversy or another earlier this year, is returning to the iOS App Store (albeit in a slightly toned down form) after gettin’ the boot back in May.

Matchbox computers: Small is beautiful (and powerful) – Matchbox computers — small but powerful open-source devices — are a good way to build your own system and/or carry it with you. Here’s a slideshow of examples.

A federal push for mobile privacy has failed, critics say – Lobbyists derailed an effort by U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration to create mobile privacy standards, a privacy group charged on Thursday, while some participants in the process conceded it lacked focus.

Security:

Homeland Security Worried About Android Security – A report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security shows that the government is becoming increasingly concerned about Android security threats. If the feds are grappling with how to keep Android phones secure, maybe they should just ask us for advice.

Sysadmin security fail: NSA finds Snowden hijacked officials’ logins – The National Security Agency (NSA) is the font of information security wisdom for the US defense and intelligence communities. But apparently, the NSA’s own network security is so weak that a single administrator was able to hijack the credentials of a number of NSA employees with high-level security clearances and use them to download data from the agency’s internal networks. That administrator was Edward Snowden.

New York Times site hack shifts attention to registry locks – A registry lock is basically a mechanism under which any requests for changes to a domain name server have to be manually verified and authenticated by a top-level domain owner like Verisign and NeuStar, which operate the dotcom and dotbiz domains respectively.

Confidential data is leaving on workers’ mobile devices – If you think your BYOD policy telling employees that they can’t put sensitive data on their personal smartphones, laptops and tablets is keeping your company safe, think again. Few office workers are actually aware of their company’s BYOD policy.

Java 6 users vulnerable to zero day flaw, security experts warn – If businesses have failed to update the widely used but out-of-date Java 6 platform, they may be at heightened risk of cyberattack thanks to additions to commercial exploit kits.

Mobile phones, meet uncrackable quantum cryptography – After years of being relegated to optics labs alone, researchers at the University of Bristol say they have developed a way to send quantum cryptographic information to handheld devices from a central server.

Company News:

Best Buy lops half off iPhone 5 for trade-ins – The company is offering the deal from Friday through Monday for customers who trade in an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.

Facebook Updates Its Policy Documents Regarding How It Uses And Shares Your Data – Today Facebook proposed a raft of changes to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data-Use Policies, two separate documents that govern the way the company handles advertising, user data, and the like.

Microsoft makes Surface sale prices permanent – Price cuts on the Surface Pro, Surface RT, and Touch Covers are made permanent, rather than promotional.

Verizon Wireless buyout drive is all about the dollar signs – Vodafone Group, which owns 45 percent of Verizon Wireless, confirmed on Thursday that it is in talks with Verizon Communications to sell its minority stake to the U.S. parent company. Vodafone cautioned that there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to make a deal, but the companies have talked about it before and may be more motivated than ever.

Karbonn and Micromax surpass both Apple and Samsung in India – The depreciating Indian rupee isn’t keeping Indian consumers away from buying new devices. In fact, now they’re inclined to purchase domestic products instead of paying more for international brands.

Games and Entertainment:

US Army makes another video game public with Proving Grounds – In the game America’s Army: Proving Grounds, the actual real-deal United States Army has commissioned yet another shooting game for the public. This game is not the first game – and it wont be the last created for the Army to show off what it might be like to be a member of their ranks, and it’s being released in Beta mode to Steam this week. This game is entirely free to download, free to play, and aims to display small unit tactical maneuvers and training “that reflects the current day Army.”

Hands On With The Seven Best Fantasy Football Sites And Apps – With the NFL season just a week away, fans are pouring over stats, trash talking their friends, and gearing up for the real season: fantasy football. Here are the coolest and most useful places to play fantasy football out there—from the household names like ESPN to a small startup that’s doing fantasy exclusively on your phone.

SimCity for Mac issues causing some gamers frustration – With the SimCity launch fiasco that took place earlier this year still in fresh in the mind of gamers, many have plodded ahead and downloaded the newly launched SimCity from Mac. Not too long after the download became available, however, comments and tweets are appearing from users who are experiencing a variety of issues with the game, among them being the inability to download it at all.

Grand Theft Auto V official trailer brings the drama – There’s just something about a railgun in a video aimed at open-sandbox gameplay that gets the juices flowing in the morning. Today the folks at Rockstar Games have released “The Official Trailer” for Grand Theft Auto V – aka GTA 5. This trailer includes insight on each of the three storyline paths of the main characters of the game: Michael, Franklin, and Trevor.

Halo: Spartan Assault gets DLC, update adds Xbox controller support – Microsoft has released their first DLC for Halo: Spartan Assault with five new levels, new vehicles, and better support for Windows 8 and older Windows Phone devices.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Cold call victim forces telemarketers to pay him by using premium number – A British man fed up with cold calls from telemarketers set up a premium phone number in November 2011 and has made £300 by accepting calls and keeping the annoying marketers on the line as long as possible.

What You Don’t Know About Sunglasses Could Hurt You – Exposing your peepers to the sun could trigger a host of serious health problems, including painful sunburns and cataracts. What’s worse, buying sunglasses can be a complicated, cryptic process (what do those labels mean, anyhow?).

John McAfee is back, still crazy, and teaches us an important life lesson – McAfee is back with another insane video. Keep in mind that this video is not safe for work, so watch and listen to it with care.

How “cell tower dumps” caught the High Country Bandits—and why it matters – Fishing expeditions can pay dividends—but do they need a warrant?

Guess what happened when Backblaze tried using the NSA for data backup – Nobody seriously believes that the NSA would helpfully give you backup if your hard drive failed. But an employee of the online storage company Backblaze asked anyway.

Knowingly texting a driver could land you in court – In a New Jersey case, lawyers argue that someone who texted a driver involved in a crash was “electronically in the car.” An appeals court agrees that those who text drivers could be liable.

Something to think about:

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for

authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place

of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their

households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They

contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties

at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

–       Attributed to Socrates by Plato

Today’s Free Downloads:

Outlook4Gmail 4.0.1 – Outlook4Gmail is a free must-have Outlook add-in providing easy contacts synchronization of your Outlook and Gmail accounts and address books. This add-in uses the maximum correspondence of Outlook and Gmail contact details: Name, Company, Phones, Emails, Addresses, Dates, Persons, Notes, etc. You define the direction of synchronization/update: you can sync or update either the Outlook or the Gmail address book (one-way synchronization) or choose to update both accounts simultaneously (two-way synchronization).

Wifi Password Revealer 1.0.0.5 – WiFi password revealer is a small freeware utility which will show you all your saved WiFi passwords. If you forgot or lost password to your wireless network – this tool is for you. For Windows XP and 2003 Server users. your passwords will be recovered as 64 HEX digits, and not exact password which you have entered. This is NOT a bug. Windows XP automatically converts them into this form, and it can’t be converted back. But you can still use this HEX digits instead of real password in order to connect to your wirelesss network. Administrator rights are required on your PC in order to decrypt stored passwords.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Snowden Leaks $52 Billion Intelligence Budget, Reveals “Offensive Cyber Operations” – National Security Agency leaker and new Russia resident Edward Snowden has leaked a top-secret $52 billion intelligence budget to the Washington Post. The partially redacted budget reveals the successes and shortcomings of the United States’ sprawling intelligence apparatus, as well as the justifications for top-line budget items.

NSA has super secret hacker collective according to newly revealed Snowden docs – A new batch of government documents pilfered by Edward Snowden, who is now living in Russia, were made known by The Washington Post today, one that showed a detailed budget and hinted at encryption decoding efforts by the NSA. A different one, however, had another interesting thing to bring to light: the NSA has a super secret collective of hackers.

French judiciary opens “preliminary investigation” of NSA spying: Two French human rights groups filed a legal complaint last month – The French national prosecutor’s office in Paris has opened a “preliminary investigation” into the National Security Agency’s (NSA) PRISM surveillance program, French media reported on Wednesday. (Don’t forget, France’s own spy agency, the DGSE, likely engages in similar practices.) The inquiry has been underway for over a month, but it’s only now being publicly disclosed through an anonymous judicial source who talked with the Agence France Presse (Google Translate). The investigation began on July 16 to investigate the “illicit collection of personal data” of French citizens.

NSA seeks ‘groundbreaking’ spying powers, new leak reveals – The US government’s spying budget includes funds to invent new technologies “to defeat adversarial cryptography and exploit Internet traffic,” leaked documents show.

1 Comment

Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

One response to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 30, 2013

  1. The news used to be reported freely and openly. Now, the real news comes to us leaked. Although we aren’t always sure who did the leaking, and usually don’t even care. Leaked news is what all of us are after.
    Maybe if everything wasn’t a secret, leaked news wouldn’t be so infectious.
    Whatever happened to the old days when News Agencies reported the news and reporters gathered the news worthy of reporting ?
    Keep digging Bill.