Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 25, 2013

The Best Antivirus for 2013; How to sniff out counterfeit tech; Sell Your Phone for the Most Money; Firefox burns Chrome; SkyDrive stumbles; 5 free compression tools; Create a system image in Windows 8; iPhone users are falling for fake waterproof iOS 7 ad; SteamOS destroys Microsoft.

The unreal deal: How to sniff out counterfeit tech – Fake phones, tablets, and apps are a multimillion-dollar business. Avoid scammers with these smart techniques.

Miracast: Everything to know about mirroring Android – Acting like a wireless HDMI cable, Miracast mirrors your Android device onto your TV screen in high definition and with audio. Once Miracast is enabled, everything — from the general interface, to apps and videos — is duplicated on the big screen without the burden of a cable connecting the two devices. Its differentiating quality? It doesn’t rely on your home’s Wi-Fi network. But, it’s not magic — let’s lift the hood to see how Miracast works.

Android users can lock lost devices remotely – Google’s Android Device Manager lets users remotely lock a lost or stolen device with a new password.

Firefox burns Chrome in our trustworthy browser poll – About a month ago I asked Naked Security readers: Which web browser do you trust? Your answer was emphatic: it’s Firefox, and it accrued almost twice the number of votes of its nearest rival, Google Chrome.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to create a system image in Windows 8 – Creating a Windows system image can be a very useful way to back up your system and a good way to migrate to a new storage drive.

How to Sell Your Phone for the Most Money – So how do you know just what your old phone is worth? We checked all of the major options and priced out what we’d get by selling a 16GB iPhone 5 on AT&T in good working condition. But before we dive into where to sell, here are some general rules of thumb on what these buyers will — and won’t — pay for

Sold Android App Makes Selling Old Gear a Snap – Sold is a service that takes all the hassle out of selling your old gear by making quick cash offers on a variety of items. They’ll even send you a box for shipping. The new Android app has arrived to make it even easier to turn your old stuff into money.

Three tools for better task management in Google Apps – You need a system to track your calendar, project lists, and actionable tasks. Here are three suggestions for Google Apps users.

SkyDrive stumbles, becomes latest cloud app to get glitchy – Another day, another cloud app gets stung by a bug. Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage service began malfunctioning on Tuesday afternoon, a day after Google’s Gmail got tripped by a network breakdown.

Google fixes lengthy, widespread Gmail glitch – A Gmail glitch that took about 10 hours to fix and hit close to 50 percent of the webmail service’s users has been fixed, ending one of the longest, most widespread Gmail disruptions in years.

Wrangle your smart home devices with Staples Connect – The promise of a product like Staples Connect is that it eliminates that complexity by funneling those devices through a single, broadly compatible wireless hub and into a centralizing mobile control app. Instead of the user installing multiple hubs and adjusting device settings among four or five different apps, Staples Connect will consolidate everything into one app, and one hardware hub.

5 free compression tools zip your files just dandy – If you’re willing to fork over some cash, you can opt for a commercial compression application, such as WinZip or WinRAR. But each sells for about $30. Luckily, these paid applications aren’t your only options when it comes to compression tools. There are some fantastic free alternatives out there. Some are even open source.

The Best Antivirus for 2013 – Most antivirus vendors that run on a yearly update schedule wait until the fall to release the next year’s version, just like car manufacturers. So, the “2014 models” appear in the fall of 2013. As new versions arrive, most of the same products retain their positions at the top of the heap. Here are the best from the current crop of antivirus products.

YouTube gets the yuck out in comments cleanup – YouTube video comments can be a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but Google is arming uploaders with Google+ comment moderation powers.

You can now make an audio-only call using FaceTime – With iOS 7, you’ll be able to place audio-only calls through FaceTime, eliminating the need to watch minutes (but you’ll need to monitor data usage if you’re not on Wi-Fi).

Facebook Now Testing ‘Autofill’ Mobile Payments – Facebook this week rolled out a test version of its mobile payments system, which will allow users to use financial data stored within the social network to auto-fill when they buy.

BitTorrent returns to Google search’s auto-complete – After striving to rework its image and prove it doesn’t deal in piracy, BitTorrent is quietly allowed back into the Web giant’s auto-complete search suggestions.


Siri offers the latest backdoor into your iPhone – just ask nicely! – We really didn’t want to write another Apple iOS 7 story. But with reports surfacing that HAL’s smooth-talking stepsister Siri lets you talk your way into a locked iPhone, we couldn’t help it.

iPhone users are falling for fake waterproof iOS 7 ad – You don’t have to be an expert in all things tech to use a smartphone, nor do you have to spend your days reading technology blogs. However, it’s probably important that people not act too rashly when they are casual users. For example, dunking your phone in water because you saw an ad claiming iOS 7 added waterproofing is certainly an ill-conceived course of action. But that’s just what some people are apparently doing.

Yahoo recycled ID users warn of security risk – Users of Yahoo’s recycled ID names say they are receiving the former owner’s sensitive information through their new accounts.

Virginia Tech breach exposes data on 145K job applicants – University blames human error for compromise that exposed names, addresses, employment and education history

Teen privacy “eviscerated” by planned Facebook changes – A coalition of US groups that advocate for teenagers is crying foul over proposed changes to Facebook policy that would rubber-stamp the use of teenagers’ names, images and personal information to endorse products in advertisements.

Company News:

Twitter to be listed on NYSE for IPO – Earlier this month Twitter submitted the paperwork required for its IPO to commence. One bit of information that we didn’t know at the time Twitter announced it had filed its S-1 with the SEC for its IPO was which stock exchange would be handling the IPO for twitter. We have now learned that Twitter will be listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

ManageEngine Optimizes Oracle Database Monitoring at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 – For Applications Manager users, the move improves tuning and troubleshooting of Oracle systems by enhancing real-time visibility into the health and performance of Oracle databases and their related applications. ManageEngine is demonstrating Applications Manager and its new Oracle database monitoring enhancements at Oracle OpenWorld, which continues through September 26 at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Apple updates iMac to Haswell processors – Apple has announced that it has updated its iMac lineup with the fourth generation Intel Core processors and latest Nvidia graphics cards along with a wide variety of storage options.

Cloud security alliance big data working group releases report on big data analytics for security intelligence – The new research report details how the landscape of security analytics is changing with the introduction and widespread use of new tools and opportunities for leveraging large quantities of structured and unstructured data. The initial report also outlines some of the fundamental differences from traditional analytics and highlights possible research directions in Big Data security.

Amazon distancing itself from Apple’s playbook with Kindle Fire HDX – Forget virtual assistants. Amazon is installing real people into the latest Kindle Fires.

Here’s how SteamOS destroys Microsoft – This week the gaming-centric company known as Valve has announced plans to release SteamOS, a living room-aimed operating system that will be free to download and free to license. This operating system is based on Linux architecture – similar to how Android is a Linux-based OS – and the company intends on expanding well beyond the confines of their current video games-based model with TV, movies, and music. Is Microsoft too big to fail? We’re about to find out.

Games and Entertainment:

EA’s FIFA 14 Launches in North America – Just as planned, Electronic Arts on Thursday announced that FIFA 14 is now available in retail stores through North America and as a digital download on Origin.

Surface Pro 2 Is Another Missed PC Gaming Opportunity for Microsoft – Despite the power of the Surface Pro 2, gaming barely got a mention at Microsoft’s press conference–let alone any kind of unique hook for PC gamers. If Microsoft has any ambitions to attack Steam on its main turf (which happens to be Microsoft’s operating system), we didn’t get the slightest whiff.

Researchers claim to identify risk-factors for video game addicts – New research from the University of Missouri indicates escapism, social interaction and rewards fuel problematic video-game use among “very casual” to “hardcore” adult gamers.

Angry Birds Star Wars II dives into the prequel trilogy – The sequel to Angry Birds’ foray into George Lucas’ epic movie franchise brings new characters, tons of new levels, and more of the same great gameplay.

Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack appears on iTunes and Google Play – The team at RockStar games have wasted no time capitalizing on the popularity of not only the game Grand Theft Auto V itself, but the music gamers are able to listen to inside the vehicles of the game.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Why Scandinavian Prisons Are Superior – ‘Open’ prisons, in which detainees are allowed to live like regular citizens, should be a model for the U.S. (recommended by Michael F.)

How tech can make government more honest – A pilot program is underway in Jersey City, NJ to track employees’ use of city vehicles. As a New Jersey taxpayer I can only rejoice. Government ought to use tech more aggressively at all levels to fight waste and fraud.

Popular Science silences its comments section – Explaining that comments are bad for science and backing it up with — well, science — the 141-year-old magazine is shutting down the comments section on its Web site.

The Myth of Steve Jobs’ Constant Breakthroughs – Most of Apple’s improvements have always been incremental — and there’s nothing wrong with that.

This is an iPhone 5s getting shot by a .50 caliber rifle – Look, I have no idea what would compel someone to take a brand new electronic device and deliberately damage it. That dose comes courtesy of a Barrett Model 82A1 military rifle, which will run you about $9,000 and move a bullet up to 3,200 ft. per second, or about 975 meters per second.

Battery-free flashlight among Google Science Fair winners – Teens invent a warning system for approaching ambulances, banana peel bioplastics, and flu drug modeling.

Something to think about:

Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man and work like a dog.”

–     Caroline K. Simon

Today’s Free Downloads:

Avast! Mobile Security & Antivirus for Android 3.0.6158 – avast! Mobile Security keeps your device safe from viruses, malware, and spyware. It helps you locate your lost phone through our web-based phone locate feature. Remote device lock and/or memory wipe in its advanced Anti-Theft component keep your data safe. Handy tools like network meter, app manager, and even firewall (on rooted phones) give you complete control of your mobile phone.

NeoRouter Free – The NeoRouter Free application was designed to help you manage and connect to all your computers from anywhere. It gracefully integrates Remote Access, File Sharing, Virtual Private Network, User and Access Management.

iSpy – iSpy uses your webcams and microphones to detect and record movement or sound and provides security, surveillance, monitoring and alerting services. Any media that is captured is compressed to flash video and made available, securely over the web. iSpy can be setup to run on multiple computers simultaneously. iSpy is free, open-source software, so if you want it to do anything else, please download the source code and customise it to your requirements.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Cancel data sharing deal with US, EU politicians urge – European politicians on Tuesday demanded that a broad data-sharing agreement between the U.S. and the European Union be suspended, following allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency illegally tapped banking data.

Dropbox, LinkedIn Join Fight for Data Request Transparency – The file-sharing company today filed a legal brief with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), arguing that it should have the right to publish the number of national security-related requests it receives. The move comes shortly after LinkedIn did the same last week.

Former senators say Congress needs to rein in the NSA – The current process of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approving massive data collection requests from the NSA isn’t protecting privacy and civil liberties, said former Senators Walter Mondale and Gary Hart, both Democratic members of the so-called Church Committee that investigated intelligence abuses in the mid-1970s.

Senators Demand Answers On NSA Snooping — By The End Of 2014 – This almost sounds compelling: A bipartisan group of Senators demanding that the intelligence wing of the United States government take a hard look at itself and report its findings to the public. Of course, asking a consummate intelligence insider to vet his own team isn’t exactly exciting.

How much influence can the UN have over online spying? – While the UN General Assembly and other international bodies like the International Telecommunications Union theoretically have some influence on global Internet policy, the reality is that countries are already blocking whatever they want and spying on whomever they want, with hardly any consequences.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 25, 2013

  1. Image Backup in Windows 8 and 8.1

    If you check my comments, you’ll find the directions how to continue to use this excellent tool which comes with the operating system.
    Why add a third party tool when everything you need is already on your computer.

  2. Dave B.

    RE: Yahoo recycled ID users warn of security risk; Gee we didn’t see this coming (insert facepalm here)

  3. ‘Google fixes lengthy, widespread Gmail glitch’

    First time a Google bug affected my Gmail and it’s horrible Bill. Standard mode still broken. I wonder if Google is forcing users to switch to Chrome.

    • Have to agree Pochp – an email outage is “horrible.” Just shows how tightly our “real” lives and our online lives intersect. Luckily, I was not impacted by this latest outage, and I never use Chrome to open Gmail – Firefox only.

      Stay cool! 🙂