Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 19, 2013

Media Misleadingly Links Video Games to D.C. Shootings – The list of outlets hopping on the video-games-by-implication train is disheartening. There’s Fox News (“DC gunman obsessed with violent video games, reports say”), the Wall Street Journal (“Friend Says Alexis Was Videogame Fan, Heavy Drinker”), the Houston Chronicle (“Report: Navy Yard suspect “obsessed” with video games”), The Mirror (“Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis heard ‘voices in head’ after playing violent video games up to 18 hours a day”) and dozens more pulling the video games quotes into their write-ups.

Half of Facebook-quitters leave over privacy concerns – Research from the University of Vienna has found that 48.3% of those who left Facebook did so because of concerns over privacy.

Amazon vs. eBay vs. Walmart: The Best Same-Day Delivery Service – Here are three options to getting your online product on the same day you order it and how they compare when I tested buying a Blu-ray player.

The 7 best things about iOS 7 – Any OS update is going to have it’s advantages and disadvantages, but I gathered up seven of my favorite new changes in iOS 7.

Five free but powerful desktop calendars – What if you need something simple; something easy to use and readily available? If that’s the case, you’re still in luck – there are desktop calendar apps out there that are ready to serve. Although you won’t be integrating with an Exchange server, you can at least enjoy your own personal desktop calendar and, in some cases, even link your Google calendar.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Build the ultimate Windows 8 home-theater PC for under $500 – It’s true: The best way to control your home theater is still with a PC. Forget all the hype about Google Chromecast and other assorted set-top boxes, dongles, and other gadgets. None of them can organize and play movies, music, and TV shows as well as a home-theater computer. A good HTPC can even take the place of your cable box and DVR. In this article, we’ll show you how you can build a home-theater PC that will play anything, stream anything, and record live TV, for as little as $500.

Google adding download feature to YouTube mobile apps – Google says that an upcoming feature to its YouTube apps for mobile devices (for Android and iOS presumably) will be the ability to download videos to their device “for a short period.” The video won’t be accessible outside of the YouTube app, and will be deleted after an as yet unspecified period of time. However, it does mean more flexibility when choosing when to watch certain videos.

Make iTunes Radio play more of what you want, less of what you don’t – iTunes Radio, Apple’s new Internet radio service that launches alongside iOS 7, gives you some limited control over what you hear—and what you don’t. Here’s how to make sure Miley Cyrus stays out of your stations.

iTunes Radio could push thirteen ads an hour – iTunes Radio users without iTunes Match subscriptions can expect to hear around thirteen adverts an hour, with brands like McDonald’s, Nissan, and Pepsi inking deals with Apple to put their marketing front and center in the new streaming media service.

Microsoft pushes faster, touch-friendly IE11 preview onto Windows 7 – Microsoft pushed a preview of its Internet Explorer 11 to Windows 7 users on Wednesday, adding a bit more speed to its already touch-friendly features. Although Microsoft still claims that the IE family is the fastest browser on the planet, the company has highlighted its emphasis on touch.

Look inside code for free with dotPeek – When the source code is unavailable, give dotPeek a try. One developer explains the numerous things he likes about the tool and the one aspect he doesn’t like.

BlackBerry messaging service rolls out to Android and iPhone this weekend – Amid rumors of layoffs and a possible sale of the company, BlackBerry announced some good news Wednesday: its growing BBM instant messaging service will be available for Android and iPhone devices in the next several days.

German chancellor’s drone “attack” shows the threat of weaponized UAVs – At a campaign rally in Dresden on September 15, a small quadrocopter flew within feet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere, hovering briefly in front of them before crashing into the stage practically at Merkel’s feet. Merkel appeared to be amused by the “drone attack,” but de Maiziere and others on the stage seemed a bit more unsettled by the robo-kamikaze.

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook’s aim isn’t to be “cool” – Although Facebook has seen phenomenal growth over its years, it also saw a substantial decrease in users this year, prompting discussion once again about how Facebook will fair over time as the “cool” factor wears off. Such a question was posed to Mark Zuckerberg in Washington D.C. at Newseum, and Zuckerberg responded that the aim of Facebook isn’t to be cool.

The new lifecycle of your old iPhone – After handling the entire digital expression of your life for one, two, or more years, the most mercenary and practical end that a smartphone can meet is to be sold off secondhand. Wheeling and dealing with used personal electronics is not a new business, but in the last few years, it’s been writ very large with the glut of tiny hand-computers we’re all using lately.


Hackers exploit critical IE bug; Microsoft promises patch – Microsoft on Wednesday said that hackers are exploiting a critical, but unpatched, vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) and Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), and that its engineers are working on an update to plug the hole. As it often does, the company downplayed the threat.

Shylock Financial Malware Back and Targeting Two Dozen Major Banks – Shylock banking malware infections are up and targeting 24 major banks in particular. The malware has also added domain generation algorithm capabilities and the IPs being generated are self-signed, researchers said.

Apple Touch ID: Do security advantages outweigh risks? – Tom Olzak examines the security pros and cons associated with Apple’s fingerprint authentication technology on the new iPhone 5s.

Criminals the primary users of Whois privacy services: ICANN – ICANN has found more ammunition for its fight to overhaul the existing Whois system, finding that more criminals are using Whois privacy/proxy services than regular users.

Company News:

Google launches Calico, an anti-aging company led by an Apple executive – Today Google announced it’s launching “Calico,” a company focused on “health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases.” The initiative will be a long term “moonshot” project involving healthcare and biotechnology (Google basically wants to stop you from dying).

BlackBerry To Cut Up To 40% Of Staff By Year’s End – Hey BlackBerry fans, here’s a bit of good news: BBM will officially land on Android devices starting on September 21, with the iOS version going live the next day. Hey BlackBerry employees, here’s a bit of bad news: there’s a decent chance that you or some of your co-workers are going to lose their jobs.

Hulu says ‘ello to a ton of new BBC shows – Anglophiles of the streaming world, unite! On Wednesday, Hulu announced a huge content acquisition deal with BBC Worldwide North America to bring tons of British shows to your TVs, mobile devices, and desktops. There’s so much content, in fact, that Hulu is rolling it out in four stages for its $8-a-month Hulu Plus subscribers.

Games and Entertainment:

Grand Theft Auto 5 takes more than $800m in day one sales – Grand Theft Auto V sales topped $800m in the game’s first day of availability, publisher Take-Two Interactive has confirmed, setting a record for the series in the process. GTA5, released on September 17, was Take-Two’s fastest selling title of all time, in fact, helped by no shortage of pre-release hype and some retailers opening at midnight for gamers to get their hands on it as early as possible.

The Best iPad Games – New iPads probably aren’t coming out ’til October. In the meanwhile, here are 75 awesome time-killers for your gracefully aging tablet.

PlayStation App brings social connectivity, information pages, gameplay access and more – Wrapping up the Tokyo Game Show keynote this evening, Sony introduced the PlayStation App, a mobile app for Android and iOS that brings device connectivity into the mix. With the app, users can take part in games on the go, as well as use a smartphone or such as a second screen, check out what friends are up to, and more.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Short film ‘Noah’ will make you think twice about Facebook – This remarkable Canadian short probes how online experiences can undermine a relationship. Part of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, the 17-minute portrayal of teenager Noah Lennox’s unraveling love life feels eerily familiar, as well as a sign of things to come. The video has garnered nearly 1 million views since it was posted to YouTube on September 9.

Flying eagle point of view  (video 1:26) – Satisfy those daydreams of flying like an Eagle in this spectacular visual treat. Truly amazing. (recommended by Michael F.)

Facebook “Like” button just as protected as written speech, court rules – In a unanimous decision on Wednesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision, declaring that a Facebook “Like” is protected under the First Amendment, like other forms of speech. The Virginia case involves a former deputy sheriff in Hampton, Virginia, who claimed that he had been fired for “liking” his boss’ rival in a political campaign for county sheriff. In the original lawsuit, a federal district judge tossed the case, saying that a Facebook “Like” was “insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection.”

Three men face year in jail after posing as cops to cut in line for GTA V – The trio proceeded to bypass the long line of gamers that had formed outside the mall’s GameStop outlet and spoke with the store’s manager. Flashing badges and proclaiming they were NYPD, the manager agreed to let them purchase copies of the game and saw them on their way. Until that point the ruse had worked, but they didn’t count on a real copy being in the area.

Ex-pro athlete uses tweets to find house-trashing teens – Brian Holloway learned on Twitter that his house was being used by hundreds of teens for an unauthorized party and used their tweets to identify those he thinks are responsible for $20,000 in damage.

Something to think about:

You don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.”

–      John Green

Today’s Free Downloads:

Wise Care 365 2.81.221 – Wise Care 365 is a bundle of important registry, disk, and other system utilities for your PC. Easy to use and effective, Wise Care 365 is the good solution to improve your PC’s performance. Get Wise Care 365 and your computer will never run slow again!

Panda Cloud Cleaner 1.0.69 – Panda Cloud Cleaner is an advanced disinfector based on Collective Intelligence (scanning in-the-cloud) that detects malware that traditional security solutions cannot detect. The free disinfector.

Sticky Password Free – Stay safe online and save time by letting Sticky Password fill in website forms and passwords automatically. Each license also includes the portable version and installs easily on your USB device or flash memory stick, so you’ll always have your passwords wherever you need them. Sticky Password incorporates the industry’s most powerful encryption algorithms and provides effective protection against phishing schemes, concealed key-loggers and identity theft.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Former NSA chief: ‘Morally arrogant’ Snowden will probably become an alcoholic – Gen. Michael Hayden, a former NSA and CIA chief, shared a lot of opinions during a discussion at a Washington church Sunday, beyond his thoughts on terrorists’ love for Gmail and the U.S. government’s approach to the Internet. Discussing the “tension between security and liberty” at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House, Hayden criticized the reporting of NSA surveillance programs, argued that society must make a choice between security and liberty, and took personal shots at NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Rep. Goodlatte Demands “Further Protections” From NSA Snooping – Today Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stated that he is “convinced that further protections” of the civil liberties of U.S. citizens are necessary following review of the nation’s surveillance efforts. Rep. Goodlatte’s statement follows his attendance of a classified briefing discussing current governmental use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to collect information.

Zuckerberg: Thanks NSA, now people trust Facebook even less – It’s not just Facebook. The trust metrics for all major Internet companies have gone down since the NSA scandal broke, the social network’s CEO said.

US secret court publishes rationale for why spying on everybody is OK – The newly unveiled rationale has its roots in the old “you disclose your phone number to the phone company when you make a call” shtick. Swap “phone number” for “massive piles of metadata” and you get the reason everything done under the telecom metadata sharing program under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is legally legitimate.

NSA aims to plug holes that sprang Snowden leaks – In addition to allowing sensitive materials to be accessed only by people who have a documented need to review them, the tags will allow NSA leaders to better track what individuals do with the data, National Public Radio reported Wednesday. “Could someone today do what [Snowden] did? No,” NSA CTO Lonny Anderson told the news service.


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