Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 4, 2013

Your no-cost ultimate PC security suite – Antivirus. Firewall. Kid controls;  Most useful Windows 7/8 keyboard shortcuts;  Speed up your browsing – TGS for Chrome;  Unfreeze a frozen phone;  Adobe Gets Hacked;  Twitter Files For $1 Billion IPO;  The Reign Of Morons Is Here;  Light bulb buying guide;  Key Senator wants to ban bulk surveillance.

Your no-cost ultimate PC security suite – Though the likes of McAfee and Symantec offer simple, seamless solutions, you can cobble together a DIY security suite of your own that provides most of the protection that the boxed options do, at none of the cost. Once you’ve slapped these apps on your PC and read up on how to avoid the Web’s most devious security traps, you’ll have a decent amount of protection from the majority of the Web’s worst boogeymen.

The 10 most useful Windows 7 and Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts – There are 100+ keyboard shortcuts available for Windows, but there are several you’ll want to remember because you’ll use them often.

Tab overload slowing you down? Speed up your browsing with TGS for Chrome – Opening too many tabs in Chrome will drain your system of its resource. Free up some memory with The Great Suspender extension for a speedier browsing experience.

How to unfreeze a frozen phone – Whether you have an iPhone or Android, these Ctrl-Alt-Del equivalents will save you from a call to tech support.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Facebook: 17M users generated 45M posts about gov’t shutdown already – The social network also found that male users have been more vocal about the shutdown than women.

Desktop lover’s guide to supercharging Windows 8.1 – I use Windows 8.1 all day, every day. Ever since Microsoft released the “final” RTM bits on September 9 (and, yes, leaked builds before that) I’ve been eating Microsoft’s dog food, as it were. There are tricks to staying sane in a Window 8.1 world. You can make Metro back off, most of the time. Here’s how.

The Top 3 Laptops in Each of 5 Key Categories – After analyzing over one thousand laptops based on internal specs, expert reviews, and aesthetic/external elements, we’ve come up with the top three choices in each of five key categories.

6 awesome new Android apps you should check out – Google Play is no longer a wasteland of mediocre apps and games. In fact there’s plenty of awesome stuff coming out all the time — here are our top picks.

Narrative Clip wearable camera to ship November 1 – The former Kickstarter project known as Memoto clips to your shirt and snaps photos throughout the day. Let the lifelogging begin!

What to do if your PC shuts down and automatically reboots – Something in the boot process is crashing the PC. Then Windows reacts to the crash by rebooting. You need to do three things: stop the rebooting, figure out what’s causing the crash, and fix it.

Twitter’s new Alerts system spreads word of Capitol shooting – Launched just last week, the system was designed to let agencies alert the public about natural disasters or other events. The Senate Sergeant at Arms used the system during Thursday’s shooting.

How to avoid common PC building mistakes – Check socket compatibility. Organize the screws and cables. Install this before that. And read the manuals!


Adobe Gets Hacked, Product Source Code And Data For 2.9M Customers Likely Accessed – From what Adobe has shared so far, it sounds like the hackers had access to encrypted data for as many as 2.9 million customers. While Adobe stresses that the data is encrypted and that they “do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers”, that data — encrypted or not — is definitely not something they want out in the wild. Adobe has yet to disclose how that data was encrypted, so it’s currently unclear just how secure it is.

Eight Microsoft security bulletins, including one for Windows 8.1, coming Tuesday – Microsoft will release eight security bulletins, including the first made for Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, on October 8th as part of its monthly “Patch Tuesday” event.

Here comes the government shutdown and Obamacare spam – A recent predictable surge of domain name registrations related both the US government shutdown and the new health care law, a.k.a. Obamacare, is a sign that malicious emails and web sites are to come.

Tor promises Silk Road takedown done with “actual detective work” – This week as Silk Road is raided and billions in Bitcoins are taken in by the FBI, representatives for the secure internet system known as Tor have stepped up to suggest that the government did not break down security in Tor itself. Instead, they say, the FBI found out the Silk Road network and took them in using regular old “actual detective work.” Tor also suggests that they’ve only known what’s going on with Silk Road “by reading the same new sources everyone else is reading.”

U.S. indicts 13 alleged members of Anonymous in DDoS attacks – Attacks were allegedly part of an anti-copyright campaign called “Operation Payback,” which was in retaliation for the 2010 shutdown of The Pirate Bay.

Company News:

Twitter Files For $1 Billion IPO, Will List As TWTR – Twitter will be offering up 472,613,753 shares of stock in this initial release. Twitter says that it currently has 218.3 million monthly active users, and those users have created over 300 billion tweets. That MAU number is significantly lower than many had expected at this point as they announced that they had 200 million MAUs in December. Twitter says that it delivers over 200 billion tweets per day. Overall, Twitter has lost $418.6 million since it began.

Twitter vs. Facebook, by the numbers – Twitter filed to go public today. Now, for the first time, it’s possible to see how its financials and user numbers stack up to those of its chief rival.

Apple buys Cue, a Google Now-esque personal assistant service – Anonymous sources are telling several outlets (including AppleInsider and TechCrunch) that Apple has just purchased Cue, a personal assistant service with more than a few similarities to Google Now. News of the acquisition (which, according to various sources, cost Apple somewhere between $35 and $60 million) follows the complete shuttering of the service yesterday.

Gates and Ballmer likely to be re-elected to Microsoft board – Microsoft founder and chairman, Bill Gates and retiring CEO Steve Ballmer are standing for re-election from shareholders to positions on the Microsoft board of directors in November.

HTC reportedly asked to offer Windows Phone as alternative option on Android handsets – HTC has reportedly been asked by Microsoft to include Windows Phone as a secondary operating system on some of its Android smartphones, an offer that would include the discounting or waving of licensing fees to make the proposal more appealing. Such information comes from sources “with knowledge of the matter” who spoke to the folks over at Bloomberg.

Report: Amazon Prepping 2 Smartphones – Amazon is reportedly developing two phones — an entry-level device, and an “expensive” version with a 3D user interface and eye-tracking technology.

Instagram To Start Showing In-Feed Video And Image Ads To US Users – The advertisements, says Instagram, will be made to feel ‘as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy’. There will be some ad controls for users as well, you’ll be able to hide ads you don’t like and give feedback about why you did that. This feedback will then be used to tweak your ads.

Games and Entertainment:

C-Wars brings classic Beat ’em up action to a Tower Defense game – A mix of classic Beat ’em up and Tower Defense, C-Wars plays like DOTA or League of Legend, but with a personal army.

Grand Theft Auto Online issues update as soon as tomorrow – This update will bring about a host of fixes for the game for issues that have popped up over the past several days, these issues including log-in errors for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 right off the bat. And not the bat you see in the upper-right-hand corner of the title image you’re seeing here.

Watch Dogs on PC requires a quad-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 64-bit Windows – One of the key launch games for the next-gen consoles this November is the open world shooter Watch Dogs. But Ubisoft isn’t just bringing the game to consoles.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The Reign Of Morons Is Here – Glorious rant against government shutdown. “There have been Congresses more dilatory. There have been Congresses more irresponsible, though not many of them. There have been lazier Congresses, more vicious Congresses, and Congresses less capable of seeing forests for trees. But there has never been in a single Congress a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than exists in this one”

Gartner Estimates Home 3D Printer Shipments Will Grow 49% This Year – While I’m wary of analyst reports that offer exact figures, Gartner expects 56,507 sub-$10,000 3D printers to ship in 2013, a 49 percent jump over last year. They also expect 98,065 units sold in 2014 and double that in 2015. Their report, however ridiculous, still points to one important thing: that 3D printing is now on Gartner’s radar and that they expect the market to grow considerably.

Blizzident’s 3D-printed toothbrush cleans teeth in 6 seconds – Looking a bit like a set of dentures for Spiderman villain Venom’s mouth, the new toothbrush packs 400 bristles into a mold of a person’s mouth. By biting down on the mouthpiece, and grinding on it, the 45-degree angled bristles can provide a spotless set of pearly whites in seconds.

Light bulb buying guide – With strict new standards, the landscape of lighting is rapidly changing. Here’s everything you’ll need to know to keep up.

After Silk Road – The Internet routes around damage. With the fall of the Silk Road comes the inevitable expectation that the underbelly of the Internet is somehow cut and something important has been removed like a dark organ of indeterminate worth and function. This is not true. As we well know, the Silk Road was not the first nor the last online market – even as the Feds celebrate their victory the Sheep Marketplace and Black Market Reloaded are angling for the crown – but the destruction of the Silk Road and, to a degree, the recent comments by the Lavabit founder, show how deeply we trust the Internet with our secrets and how readily it gives them up.

Finally, a Dating Site for Ghosts – Ghosts need love. Just because they’re dead doesn’t mean they’re dead on the inside, too.

Something to think about:

“The more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one is likely to be paid for it”

–     David Graeber

Today’s Free Downloads:

EverNote – EverNote for Windows is an intuitive note management application that offers you a single place for the organization, easy input and quick retrieval of all types of notes and clippings. With EverNote, you can conveniently capture and quickly find typed or handwritten memos; excerpts from Web pages, documents and emails; passwords, phone messages, and to do’s; brainstorms, sketches, camera phone snapshots; and more.

Sandboxie Beta 4.05.12 – When you browse the web, changes occur to your computer system. Most of the time these changes are harmless, like recording the addresses of web sites you have visited (and when), so the browser can help you complete a web address that you type in. Whether these changes are harmless or harmful, they do in fact happen to your computer system. When you use Sandboxie to protect your browsing session, it catches all these changes just as the browser is about to apply them into your computer system. Sandboxie does record these changes on behalf of the browser, but it records them in a special isolated folder, called the sandbox.

SUPERAntiSpyware Free 5.6.1040 – Detect and Remove Spyware, Adware and Remove Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits, Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Key Senator wants to ban bulk surveillance, leading to Democratic showdown – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) expressed support yesterday for serious surveillance reform, saying he will introduce legislation that calls for an end to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass dragnet of phone data. The bill would also add some type of public advocate to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) who could argue against the positions presented by intelligence agencies.

Ex-NSA chief jokes about putting Snowden on a hit list, advocates “targeted killings” – “I must admit, in my darker moment[s] over the past several months, I’d also thought of nominating Mr. Snowden, but it was for a different list,” Gen. Michael Hayden said at the Washington Post-sponsored event, according to The Hill. Hayden later fielded a question about an upcoming investigation by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill into alleged NSA involvement with assassinations. He dismissed the idea and said that while the US does not conduct assassinations, it does conduct “targeted killings.”

Lawmaker: Snowden may have had help with leaks – Edward Snowden may not have acted alone, and may have had outside assistance, when he leaked information about the U.S. National Security Agency’s data collection and surveillance programs earlier this year. Snowden’s access to information he shouldn’t have known existed raises questions about whether he had help in collecting information about NSA programs, Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and chairman of House Intelligence Committee, said Thursday.

How a telecom helped the government spy on me – Over the past several months, the Obama Administration has defended the government’s far-reaching data collection efforts, arguing that only criminals and terrorists need worry. I have some very personal reasons to doubt those assurances. In 2004, my telephone records, as well as those of another New York Times reporter and two reporters from the Washington Post, were obtained by federal agents assigned to investigate a leak of classified information. What happened next says a lot about what happens when the government’s privacy protections collide with the day-to-day realities of global surveillance.

European organizations file lawsuit against UK over vast digital surveillance – Three United Kingdom-based nonprofit organizations and a German Internet activist have filed a lawsuit against the British government at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), arguing that the UK’s electronic spying network is illegal. Documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have shown that the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the sister organization to the NSA, has been one of the most prominent players in digital surveillance, particularly of European traffic.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

6 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 4, 2013

  1. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    Re:The Reign Of Morons Is Here
    What happens here in Australia if a supply bill will not pass is that an election is called by the Governor General. Problem solved.
    It hasn’t happened often, I think the last time was back in 1975 when the Prime Minister was sacked, a caretaker governent installed, and elections called. The PUBLIC did not suffer, which is what it is all about. There has not been an Opposition since who opposed supply bills.

    I feel sorry for the American public. I’m sure they are thinking, whilst they go broke, yes I understand all this ideological bullshit. I bet the people in Congress aren’t doing it tough, they will eat well and sleep well tonight. These morons are only interested in one thing, themselves.


    • Hey Mal,

      Yep, strip away all the bullshit and like most politicians – “These morons are only interested in one thing, themselves”. Totally agree.

      Worldwide, this phenomenon of intolerably stupid conniving thieves who suck at the public teat, and who regularly place personal interest above public good, is an epidemic.

      Unfortunately, the dumbing down of America continues. It is beyond sad.



  2. RE:Reign of Morons

    The problem is that if things were reversed, the Democrats would be doing the exact same thing if the Republicans had passed a huge law like this without a single vote from the Democratic Party, if the Republicans had had to bribe some of their own party members to get their votes, lied about what it was; SCOTUS upheld it based upon exactly what the Democrats said it wasn’t, and was having the opposite effect in many ways than was promised such as deficit neutrality, lower premiums, etc. Many doctors already won’t take Medicare patients because of the low reimbursement rates, yet millions more are going to be on the rolls demanding care. Only government could convince themselves that they can add millions more users and have it cost less money!