Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 5, 2013

How to solve the 10 most common tech support problems yourself – Whether you’re dealing with your dad’s decade-old computer or your own custom-built gaming rig, troubleshooting PC problems is a part of everyday life. Before you make that $50 support call, though, try your hand at homebrew tech support. We spoke to some of the best support reps in the business about the most common problems they fix—and how you can do it yourself.

Pew: 86% Of U.S. Adults Make Efforts To Hide Digital Footprints Online; Fear Of Creeping Ads And Hackers Outweighs Spying – If you ask the general U.S. population, as surveyed by the Pew Research Center, the average U.S. citizen appears to be more concerned about the data-collecting abilities of advertising networks like those of Google and Facebook, faceless malicious hackers, and even friends and family, than they are the government.

Microsoft expands its lineup of free Windows and Office evaluation packages – Need a copy of Windows 7, Office 2010, or Windows Server 2008 R2 for internal testing? Microsoft is now offering free evaluation versions of those products in addition to its current editions. Just watch out for the time bomb.

OneLook Dictionary Search – Think of this web site as a search engine for words and phrases: If you have a word for which you’d like a definition or translation, we’ll quickly shuttle you to the web-based dictionaries that define or translate that word. If you don’t know the right word to use, we’ll help you find it. No word is too obscure: More than 5 million words in more than 1000 online dictionaries are indexed by the OneLook search engine. (recommended by Keith P.)

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

‘This tweet will self-destruct…’ (here’s how) – Want to make certain tweets automatically disappear after a set amount of time? Well, now you can. Read on to find out how.

Samsung Galaxy Gear vs Google Glass – Samsung doesn’t have a Google Glass rival, but it does have a new wearable, and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and there’s no shortage of overlap between the two despite the obvious difference in form factors. We spent some time comparing Glass and Galaxy Gear to see how the two approaches shape up, and to get an early idea of whether we’ll be strapping a wearable to our face, or to our wrist.

Wearable computing: Why there’s no room for watches like Galaxy Gear – The technology and time are right for wearable computers — at least the ones with eyeglasses as the user interface. But smartwatches? No way.

Force YouTube to buffer your entire video – When you play a video, YouTube buffers only a small amount. And that can lead to stuttering, frequently interrupted playback. Thanks to a browser add-on called YouTube Center, it’s now possible to disable DASH, thus forcing YouTube to buffer your entire video.

HDMI 2.0 released with up to 18Gbps bandwidth, 32 audio channels – With up to 18Gbps throughput, HDMI 2.0 can support 3840 x 2160 resolution video at up to 60 frames per second (fps), which is four times the clarity of today’s 1080pm video resolution. The new specification, the first to be developed by the HDMI Forum, also offers up to 32 uncompressed digital audio channels (1.4 supports eight channels), as well as dynamic auto lip-sync and extensions to the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) connection.

Investigate problems when they occur with Windows 8’s Reliability Monitor – Time your troubleshooting to a specific event when you learn to take advantage of Windows 8’s Reliability Monitor.

How to Build a Website – The tools and services you need to create professional webpages are at your fingerstips. Some are free; others will cost you for real power under the HTML and style sheets.

Bing Improves Its Video Search With High-Res Pop-Out Previews, Improved Filters And Navigation – Microsoft’s Bing today launched a major update to its video search experience that gives the service’s video search results pages a complete overhaul. The update, which Microsoft says was “designed from the ground up,” introduces a new lightbox-style video overlay with a list of related searches on the right and a carousel with related videos on the bottom.

Google+: 25 tips and tricks for power users – The last of JR Raphael’s three-part, how-to series includes advanced tips and tricks to help you take your Google+ experience to the next level.

Facebook hashtags: No help at all – While Twitter hashtags help drive exposure on the social network, new data shows that Facebook hashtags have the opposite effect.

Smartphone shipments to hit 1B — up 40% — in 2013 – Sub-$200 smartphones and robust sales of smartphones in emerging countries are driving a rebound in the worldwide mobile phone market this year, IDC said Wednesday. Smartphone shipments will reach 1 billion in all of 2013 for the first time, up 40% over 2012. Overall mobile phone shipments should reach 1.8 billion in 2013, IDC said.


Australia – Coalition confirms: Internet filtering by default – The Australia Coalition’s proposed opt-out internet filter will be for everyone, regardless of whether they have children, Liberal MP Paul Fletcher has told ZDNet. As first reported by ZDNet, buried in a new policy document released today, the Coalition announced that if it wins the federal election on Saturday, it would follow the UK in implementing opt-out internet filtering of all adult content for all Australians.

Negligence by security camera vendor harms customer privacy – TRENDnet’s lax security practices allowed hackers to post links on the Web to live camera feeds, exposing the private lives of the affected customers, including minors, the FTC said Wednesday.

Leaked GTA V Torrents Loaded With Sneaky, Costly Malware – If you’re downloading one of the “leaked” Grand Theft Auto V torrents, then you might be getting a lot more than you planned.

1-in-5 tweets divulge user location – A new study from USC researchers sampled more than 15 million tweets, showing that some Twitter users may be inadvertently revealing their location through updates on the social media channel. The study, which appears in the current issue of the International Journal of Geoinformatics, provides important factual data for a growing national conversation about online privacy and third-party commercial or government use of geo-tagged information.

“World’s most secure smartphone” looks like snake oil, experts say – Encrypted phone concept a good one, but secrecy and FUD inspire skepticism.

Company News:

Secunia launches the next generation of Complete Patch Management: The Secunia CSI 7.0 – Secunia, a leading provider of IT security solutions that enable businesses and private individuals to manage and control vulnerability threats, today announced the release of the new version of the company’s flagship solution: the Secunia Corporate Software Inspector, version 7.0, which introduces new features and improvements for vulnerability and patch management to organizations worldwide.

Amazon hiring ‘top secret’ IT staff as it fights for CIA work – Amazon has more than 100 job openings for people who can get a top secret clearance, which includes a U.S. government administered polygraph examination. It needs software developers, operations managers and cloud support engineers, among others.

Adobe Launches $9.99/Month Photography Program With Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5, Behance And 20GB Of Online Storage – Adobe today announced its Photography Program, which for $9.99 per month offers photographers who own a previous copy of Photoshop (starting with CS3) access to a “lite” version of Creative Cloud with Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5, as well as a Behance membership with access to Adobe ProSite and 20GB of online storage.

Panasonic to pull out of consumer smartphones – The Japanese electronics firm plans to cut its losses and will instead focus more on developing smartphones for business use in line with its popular “Toughbook” notebook PC series.

Microsoft wins $14.5 million in damages in licensing squabble with Motorola – The case seems to be going Microsoft’s way as a federal jury in Seattle ordered Motorola to pay Microsoft $14.5 million in damages for breach of contract. This is the latest development in an on-going spat between the two companies involving the licensing of patents owned by Motorola and used by Microsoft in a number of its products.

Facebook faces criticism over its privacy policy – On the heels of a lawsuit settlement over user privacy, several advocacy groups complain to the FTC that the social network uses people’s data for advertising without explicit consent.

BlackBerry chasing November sale insiders claim – BlackBerry is hunting a fast sale for its troubled business, targeting a deal before the end of November this year, sources close to the negotiations claim, with a shortlist already put together of possible suitors.

Games and Entertainment:

The Human Body for iPhone and iPad Teaches Kids Anatomy with Clever Animations – This app contains beautifully rendered animations and graphics depicting all the major body systems. The app, aimed at kids aged four and older, hits all the biological basics and presents things in a very compelling, visual way. The Human Body is $2.99 in the App Store, but it’s a hefty 343MB download. Make sure you’ve got some space.

Totem Runner Brings Transformative Powers to Google Play – The side-scrolling platformer is not a new game category by any means. It takes something truly interesting to stand out within this genre, but Totem Runner for Android has what it takes. It successfully combines a simple controls with a challenging style of play. Best of all, you can try it free.

Xbox One launches in 13 countries on November 22 – The Xbox One will hit store shelves on November 22, according to a blog post by Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb. This is just one week after the PlayStation 4’s November 15 launch date in North America, but one week before the November 29 launch date in Europe, making a nice, international next-gen console sandwich.

Divekick Review: Spaceballs for the fighting game community – Divekick, the debut from Iron Galaxy Studios, is Spaceballs. It’s Airplane. It’s Shaun of the Dead. What I mean is sure, it’s a parody of fighting games, but the level of detail and in-jokes contained makes it clear this is more tribute than mockery. It’s one of the best fighting games I’m likely to play in my lifetime.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Robot Turtles Is A Board Game Designed By A Googler To Teach Kids Core Coding Principles – There are plenty of online resources aimed at teaching kids coding but here’s an offline take that uses old school gamification to get kids engaged and learning programming principles while they’re having some good old-fashioned family fun (as board game makers used to put it, in the 1980s). Robot Turtles is a board game designed by entrepreneur and CEO of Google Comparison Dan Shapiro — currently on leave from the day job so he can work on cool projects like this.

Patenting everyday life: “Business method” lawsuits are growing fast – Some of the patents that have generated the most outrage in recent years are patents that make claims about everyday business practices: using online shopping carts, scanning documents to e-mail, tracking a vehicle, or using online ads to pay for content.

Thomas More Law Center – Renowned as a national nonprofit public interest law firm, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Thomas More Law Center’s mission is to restore and defend America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, and to preserve a strong national defense, and a free and sovereign United States of America. In courtrooms throughout our Nation, Law Center lawyers fight for the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, the sanctity of human life, and a strong national defense.

Introducing a flu vaccine you give yourself – Scientists develop an influenza vaccine delivered by a microneedle patch that patients could easily and painlessly self-administer.

NASA study eyes soot’s role in 1800s glacier retreat – A NASA-led team of scientists has uncovered strong evidence that soot from a rapidly industrializing Europe caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps that began in the 1860s, a period often thought of as the end of the Little Ice Age.

Something to think about:

I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.”

–      Henry Ford

Today’s Free Downloads:

WinPatrol – WinPatrol takes snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to changes that occur without your knowledge.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker 4.2.7 – This programs enables you to tweak your Windows 7 taskbar. A tool that allows you to: Reorder items within a tab group. Group/ungroup/show label/hide label per Application ID. Close/minimize/etc. multiple windows at once. Change Application ID of windows (that is, grouping whatever windows you want).

EverNote – Easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Patriot Act author says NSA’s bulk data collection is “unbounded in its scope” – Veteran Republican Congressman argues that government’s rationale is absurd.

NRA joins ACLU in suit against NSA’s surveillance program – Looking to protect gun owners’ privacy, the NRA files a brief supporting the ACLU’s lawsuit aimed at halting the NSA’s spying program.

UN: press should not be ‘intimidated into silence’ over state secrets – Representatives criticise UK government following detention of David Miranda, and call for public debate over NSA surveillance.

Julian Assange claims his encrypted laptops were stolen in 2010 while traveling – WikiLeaks founder files criminal complaints in Germany and Sweden—with more coming. In a press release published on the WikiLeaks website on Monday, the organization wrote that it would be filing “four criminal complaints to be filed in different jurisdictions by WikiLeaks during the month of September.”

Barack Obama raises possibility of new legislation to curb NSA powers – President defends NSA but acknowledges ‘legitimate questions’ about the agency’s role, especially with advance of technology.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

7 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 5, 2013

  1. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    Re:Australia – Coalition confirms: Internet filtering by default
    They backed down from this a few hours later (story at this link–and-immediately-backs-down-20130905-2t7nb.html

    Not a good start from the mob who will more than likely be our next government after tomorrow night.


    • Hey Mal,

      Amazing isn’t it? When there’s a direct threat to a government’s longevity (or in this case – a defeat at the polls), “common sense” seems to scream for attention. The common sense of course, comes from the back room boys and the party bag men who have been hit with visions of lost opportunity (translation: a lost opportunity to garner wealth through the usual corruption and unethical practices).

      Yep, you’d be wise to watch out for this gang of nitwits.

      Have a great weekend. 🙂