Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 11, 2013

10 free Google Chrome extensions to boost productivity – These Google Chrome browser extensions will help you manage tabs, avoid Flash, save files to Google Drive and more.

What you need to know about the iPhone 5S and 5C – Apple has now unveiled the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, here’s a breakdown of the major features of each device.

How Much Does the iPhone 5C Cost In My Country? – The new iPhone 5C costs $728 in China and $735 in the UK. See how much it costs in its other launch markets.

Remember the iPhone 4S? Apple makes it an 8GB freebie – As it has done in previous launches, Apple moved the two-generations old model down to its lowest tier, making it free with a two-year contract.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Forget the new iPhones. Microsoft — yes, Microsoft — is a king of smartphones – You’ll be inundated with iPhone news today, but the truth is, Microsoft is one of the kings of smartphones. Its technologies power a majority of smartphones today and it’s reaping billions of dollars annually from it. And that will accelerate in the future.

Get Organized: 5 Tips for Using Dropbox for Organization – These five simple strategies will help you get a little bit more out of your file-syncing and storage service, and keep it neat and tidy, too.

Free vs. paid: when should your small business shell out for a hosted service? – In most cases you can take advantage of these services without spending a cent thanks to generous free entry-level plans. But while these unpaid options are understandably attractive, there are times it makes sense to pony up for a more premium offering. We took a look at several hosted services small businesses commonly use to determine which are worth paying for and when.

Gmail gets a makeover for feature phone browser – Gmail is designed not only for smartphone users, but for users with other devices such as feature phones as well. Google has announced some tweaks to Gmail for those feature phone users.

Getting around Google+: 25 tips and tricks for power users – Thanks to advanced options and third-party extensions, there’s always some new way to give Google+ an extra pinch of power. Here are 25 tips and tricks to help make your G+ experience as good as it can be.

Wireless charging from 30 feet away — a game-changer? – Ossia is touting a wireless charging technology called Cota that could eventually charge devices from as far away as 30 feet.

$100 Android tablets with new chip coming, says Intel – Intel is planning a new chip that targets tablets as low as $100. Those products will run Android, the chip giant says.

Improve your research efforts with WikiTube – This Chrome extension adds YouTube videos to Wikipedia pages, two great tastes that taste great together.

Security:

It’s Microsoft Patch Tuesday: September 2013 – Tony Bradley gathers the information you need to make the right deploy decision when applying Microsoft’s September 2013 patches in your organization.

Email spam campaign distributes Android scareware – The latest development is a mass email spam campaign being used to distribute Android scareware—applications that use scare tactics to trick users into paying for worthless services. Researchers from security vendor FireEye identified one such campaign that was launched on Sept. 6 and is still ongoing.

Fingerprint sensor in iPhone 5S is no silver bullet, researchers say – The fingerprint sensor in Apple’s new iPhone 5S has the potential to enhance the security of the device, but the devil will be in the details. Its effectiveness will depend on the strength of the implementation and whether it’s used in conjunction with other security credentials, researchers said.

Size doesn’t matter – at least, not quite as much as smartphone privacy – A new study finds that privacy is more of a concern for smartphone users than screen size, phone brand, weight, or camera resolution. Meanwhile, 80% of users won’t download apps they don’t trust. (Hurray! Let us now nag the other 20%.)

US health care company faces giant class action suit for losing over 4,000,000 unencrypted records – To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: “To lose one patient record may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose 4,000,000 looks like carelessness.” How four stolen computers led to a huge class action lawsuit…

Company News:

Google must stand trial for Wi-Fi data grab, appeals court rules – Wi-Fi data isn’t like radio data, and grabbing it can be like wiretapping.

Netflix inks first pay-TV provider deal with Virgin Media – The company’s streaming service will be integrated into Virgin’s service through TiVo set-top boxes.

Microsoft lures nonprofits with Office 365 freebie – Properly certified nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in 41 countries can apply to the Office 365 for Nonprofits program. Microsoft expects to offer the program in 90 countries by July.

Wal-Mart to Launch Smartphone Trade-in Program – The world’s biggest retailer said Tuesday that consumers will receive a credit from $50 to $300 when they trade in their working, undamaged phone.

Legal battle between Cisco and Multiven flares up with EU antitrust complaint – The feud between Cisco Systems and maintenance service provider Multiven has come to Europe with the filing of a new antitrust compliant over how Cisco provides software updates.

Google partners on new online learning site, platform – Google will team with the online-learning consortium backed by Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and others to build out a new site that can be used to host courses online. Consortium members also include UC Berkeley, University of Western Australia, University of Queensland, and Tsinghua University.

Games and Entertainment:

Reaper: Tale of a Pale Swordsman – The most common problem with mobile games is the difficulty found coping with the interface in order to enjoy the game. Reaper: Tale of a Pale Swordsman has found a fun way around this issue, and in doing so has created an incredibly fun game available on most mobile platforms.

Once-lost Star Wars-related short to screen for the first time in 33 years – How a college script debuted before Empire, went MIA, and revived as Jedi hits 30.

Leaked Grant Theft Auto V map shows off its mind-blowing scale – Thanks to alleged leaked images from a strategy guide for Rockstar’s upcoming Grand Theft Auto V, fans eager to see just how big the game’s map is can revel in its massive scope.

Review: The Wonderful 101 will keep you smiling as you slash and smash – The core of the game is simple, in that you’ve got big bad aliens attacking the planet and it is up to you and your 100 friends to wield superpowers to save the day. The superpowers used are where things get interesting. Your team has access to giant superpowered weapons, from fists to swords, whips and hammers, and even a great big gun that you use to take on the creatures that are much larger than you.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Control these large smart appliances with your iPhone – Looking to justify an iPhone purchase? Here’s a handful of smart kitchen and laundry units with iOS-compatible apps.

Maryland360° app combines the latest mobile technology with Augmented Reality – This app brings you exclusive videos from University of Maryland (UMD). It turns your front camera lens into an AR platform so you can explore fun and engaging content from UMD posters and images. Point your device at an interactive poster to unveil exclusive content, overlaid by stunning animations. The second feature of this app lets you try on the team uniform.

Life found in the sediments of an Antarctic subglacial lake for the first time – Evidence of diverse life forms dating back nearly a hundred thousand years has been found in subglacial lake sediments by a group of British scientists. The possibility that extreme life forms might exist in the cold and dark lakes hidden kilometres beneath the Antarctic ice sheet has fascinated scientists for decades.

Man calls 911 to report cell phone use in movie theater – Blogger during the Toronto International Film Festival is so incensed about cell phone use during a screening that he calls the emergency line. Later, he explains that he thought the cell phoners were pirating the movie.

Apple’s Find My iPhone recovers stolen SUV with child inside – Police were able to zero in on the location by tracking the father’s iPhone, which was still in the car.

An herb garden hanging from the ceiling – The Boskke Sky Planter is a clever way to keep fresh herbs always on hand. The upside-down planter requires little attention to maintain.

Something to think about:

Wisdom is what’s left after we’ve run out of personal opinions.”

–       Cullen Hightower

Today’s Free Downloads:

SoftPerfect Network Scanner 5.5 – SoftPerfect Network Scanner is a free multi-threaded IP, NetBIOS and SNMP scanner with a modern interface and several advanced features. It is intended for both system administrators and general users who are interested in computer security. The program pings computers, scans for listening TCP ports and displays which types of resources are shared on the network (including system and hidden). In addition, it allows you to mount shared folders as network drives, browse them using Windows Explorer, filter the results list and more. SoftPerfect Network Scanner can also check for a user-defined port and report back if one is open. It can also resolve host names and auto-detect your local and external IP range. It supports remote shutdown and Wake-On-LAN.

OSForensics 2.2.1000 – Discover relevant forensic evidence faster. Find files quickly. Search within Files. Search for Emails. Recover Deleted Files. Uncover Recent Activity. Collect System Information. View Active Memory. Extract Logins and Passwords.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

NSA: No one “had a full understanding” of 2009 call-checking program: FISA Court doc release, top intel officials defend policy – The new documents show that in 2009, the NSA checked an “alert list” of nearly 18,000 telephone numbers against daily reports it got of Americans’ phone calls. The numbers on the alert list were supposed to be from suspected terrorists, but most of them didn’t meet the standard of “reasonable articulable suspicion” (RAS). Specifically, a FISC judge wrote in March 2009 that “only 1,935 of the 17,835 identifiers on the alert list were RAS-approved.” The FISC court judge slammed the government for exceeding its mandate and verging on dishonesty, but the government’s lawyers clearly don’t see it that way.

NSA searched phone records in violation of court requirements, documents say – Documents newly declassified under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit reportedly show that the National Security Agency unlawfully searched Americans’ phone records and misrepresented program to court officials.

The Big Lie: Feds aren’t ‘knowingly’ weakening encryption, says U.S. Official – In commenting on the Snowden leaks, Patrick Gallagher, undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology and director of NIST, said that the leaks “would appear to attack our integrity. We are not deliberately, knowingly, working to undermine or weaken encryption technologies,” said Gallagher. But Bruce Schneier, a security expert and author, said he gives little weight to Gallagher’s denial. “What is it about him that makes him different from other government and corporate officials who have been lying about what the NSA does?” said Schneier.

New York Times provides new details about NSA backdoor in crypto spec – Today, the New York Times reported that an algorithm for generating random numbers, which was adopted in 2006 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), contains a backdoor for the NSA.

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