Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 11, 2013

Free Up Lots More Disk Space; Get Civilization V or Mafia II (PC) for free!; 20 Cool Cable Alternatives; Denied that loan? – Thank online data collection; Chrome ‘Fails to Protect Sensitive Personal Data”; Limits of a virtual computer; Making the Misuse of Your Personal Data a Felony; Obama, NSA get dissed as Snowden reappears.

Google Chrome ‘Fails to Protect Sensitive Personal Data’ – You’re very careful with sensitive personal data like your credit card number, right? Before filling a Web form with this kind of information, you always check the Address Bar for the padlock that indicates a secure connection. But if you use Google Chrome for your browser, all your precautions are for naught. The sensitive data specialists at Identity Finder report that Chrome keeps local copies of that data in databases that aren’t secured at all.

Enhance privacy by being deliberately inaccurate – Devise a fake you that is close enough to the real you for friends to recognize, but that doesn’t disclose personal information to strangers.

Get Civilization V or Mafia II (PC) for free! – Who says you can’t get something for nothing? Choose either game absolutely free when you cast some votes and fill out a short form. Plus: three bonus deals!

Free Up Lots More Disk Space with Windows New Disk Cleanup Plug-in – I awoke this morning to a plethora of new updates for my Windows 7 machines, around 22 on one machine and 27 on the other. Fellow Windows 7 users should have also received the same slew of updates during the course of the past couple of days. The good news is that one of the updates (KB2852386) is a plug-in for the native Windows Disk Cleanup tool which cleans up redundant Windows updates.

Denied for that loan? Soon you may thank online data collection – Data collection can become discrimination. But you’ll never know it’s happening.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

How to kill your social media accounts – If you’re ready to say good-bye to likes, retweets, pins, and pokes, here’s how to remove your account on five popular social media sites to the fullest extent possible.

Get Free iPhone 5c With Best Buy $100 Trade-In Deal – The retailer is offering a limited-time, trade-in smartphone deal starting Saturday at its U.S. outlets for a free iPhone 5c or $99 iPhone 5s with a two-year carrier contract.

Facebook to rip search opt-out from under those who were using it – If you checked that box saying you don’t want to appear in Facebook search results, get ready: soon, that choice is going away. Facebook announced in a blog post Thursday that it’s removing the ability to opt out of appearing in search results, both for friends and globally, for those who’ve had it enabled.

Cut the snark and save your job: How not to gripe online – When you’re communicating through tools that connect you with hundreds of people inside and outside the office, one errant mouse click can put your thoughts in front of a very unappreciative audience. Wrong chat window, wrong email recipient, email innocently forwarded beyond your target reader—you might as well queue up outside the HR office.

Understand the limits of a virtual computer – Virtual machines are not a virtual paradise. They come with all sorts of problems. Let’s start with the most obvious limitation: A virtual computer can never be more powerful than the real one that it runs on. It will always be slower, have less physical RAM, worse graphics, and fewer gigabytes of storage. You can put a sedan inside a truck, but you can’t put a truck inside a sedan.

20 Cool Cable Alternatives – Cord cutters, unite! These sites, apps, and services let you watch movies, TV, live sports, news, and more. And many of them are free.

Aereo For Android Launches On October 22 – Android users, how would you like 30 live TV channels to be available on your phone or tablet at any given time or place? If that sounds like you, then happy Thursday. Aereo, the company that streams live television and DVR service to iPhone, iPad and desktop users across the country, is today announcing that Android users will be able to join in on the fun starting on October 22.

TV networks will reportedly seek Supreme Court review of Aereo – Apparently frustrated by conflicting court decisions, broadcasters seek review of decisions on the legality of retransmitting TV signals on the Internet.

Steam Box will bring Linux to the masses – Find out why Jack Wallen believes that Valve’s Steam Box will help get Linux into the living rooms of the world. Do you agree?

Steam Machines to also sport AMD hardware next year – When Valve revealed the specs for its Steam Machine prototypes last week, the name of one major chip manufacturer was absent, which undoubtedly led to many a speculation and discussion over the Internet. It seems, however, that such musings may have been premature as Valve is now confirming that come 2014, Steam Machines will also be running on chips from AMD.

Tikker Is A Watch That Counts Down To Your Death, Because YOLO – You wait in the doctor’s office with a furrowed brow and a heavy heart. When he returns, his face is somber and his eyes concentrate on the clipboard in front of him. “You’ve only got a little time left,” he says apologetically. “If there’s anything you want to do before you die, now’s the time.” That’s the experience that Tikker, a new death countdown clock, wants you to have every time.

Security:

Microsoft defends its commitment to fighting malware in new blog post – Microsoft defended the company’s commitment to fighting malware in a blog post, a couple of weeks after a Microsoft employee said its Security Essentials tool was “baseline” protection for malware.

Judge dismisses lawsuit over Google’s browser tracking – Judge finds that plaintiffs suffered no real harm over Web giant’s bypass of users’ privacy controls in the Safari and Internet Explorer browsers.

Hackers exploit vBulletin Internet forum software vulnerability – The exploit was found by researchers from security firm Imperva on underground hacker forums and targets versions 4.x.x and 5.x.x of vBulletin. The vulnerability allows attackers to abuse the vBulletin configuration mechanism to create a secondary administrative account, the researchers said Wednesday in a blog post.

So much data, so little security — what happens if your city gets hacked? – Microsoft’s Craig Mundie offer security suggestions to MIT Emtech conference; other experts tout smart cities technology.

Company News:

Toshiba claims Windows 7 PCs make up 99 percent of its business sales – A Toshiba executive said this week that, despite the launch of Windows 8 a year ago, 99 percent of its PC sales to business customers are still based on Windows 7.

HP’s Whitman sees Microsoft as an ‘outright competitor’ over Surface – HP CEO Meg Whitman blamed part of her company’s problems on competition from long-time partner Microsoft.

BlackBerry Co-Founders Mike Lazaridis And Douglas Fregin Consider Buying Back The Company – We already know that BlackBerry is considering a sale, with a $4.7 billion dollar bid already having been made. Looks like two other guys might be interested, though: its co-founders, Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin.

Report: Google to ditch Google TV brand in favor of Android TV – A new report claims that Google will rebrand its poor selling Google TV products in favor of the new Android TV brand although it’s not clear exactly when that will happen.

Games and Entertainment:

Grand Theft Auto V reportedly arriving on PC in Q1 2014 – Grand Theft Auto V is enjoying its fair share of success, with PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 gamers catapulting it into record-breaking success. PC gamers have been left out of the mix, however, and may have to wait until early next year before they see the game. Such information comes from the folks over at Eurogamer, which spoke to “multiple industry sources” on the matter.

Share, snapshot, and stream your games with these 7 tools – You’ve honed your gaming skills to razor sharpness. You’ve used the six utilities that make a monster out of a milquetoast. Now it’s time to let the world see just how awesome you and your gaming rig have become. The following utilities let you record, play, and broadcast gameplay moments, and allow you to immortalize your triumphs on your favorite online gaming communities.

New Nintendo Wii U bundles include the Mario & Luigi Premium Pack – Chances are this holiday season will be rough for Nintendo with both Sony and Microsoft set to launch next generation consoles. You can bet just about every gamer out there will have one of those two consoles on their holiday wish list leaving Nintendo with a tiny fraction of holiday sales with its aging and unpopular Wii U. Nintendo is trying to get some attention for its game console this holiday season with the announcement of three new hardware bundles.

Study: Sexualized game avatars may cause self-objectification in real world women – A recent Stanford University Study (PDF) found that female players who inhabited sexualized video game avatars had a tendency to internalize the avatar’s appearance and showcased more self-objectification than those who “wore” non-sexualized avatars.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Hardly anyone admits to watching online porn – Pew reaches a new height of revelation — by offering that only 12 percent of people admit to watching porn. Which means that almost everyone who replies to surveys is surely lying.

Gartner’s dark vision for tech, jobs – The job impacts from innovation are arriving rapidly, according to Gartner. Unemployment, now at about 8%, will get worse. Occupy Wall Street-type protests will arrive as early as next year as machines increasingly replace middle-class workers in high cost, specialized jobs. In businesses, CIOs in particular, will face quandaries as they confront the social impact of their actions. Machines have been replacing people since the agricultural revolution, so what’s new here?

The Argument for Making the Misuse of Your Personal Data a Felony – Microsoft’s senior advisor to the CEO argues that the collection of data is too hard to control; we should regulate its use instead.

Geek Answers: Does truth serum work? – There are substances that can loosen people up, but their effectiveness says more about how we lie and keep secrets.

Police ticket girls’ illegally parked Barbie Jeep – It seems like a Jimmy Kimmel prank waiting to be revealed. Alas, this bizarre case of overzealous, if not downright pointless, policing appears to be reality. Police in American Fork, Utah, have given an abandoned vehicle ticket to a Barbie Jeepowned by two young girls. The toy was left overnight on the sidewalk next to the owner’s driveway, and when the father of the two girls that left it there woke up, he found it parked behind his SUV, with an abandoned vehicle ticket on it.

Tech Ahead of Its Time: 9 products that were released too soon – It’s still too early to know whether the Oculus Rift will be a commercial success but with any luck, it won’t be met with the same fate as another pioneering 3D gaming device – Nintendo’s Virtual Boy.

Feeling superior about your political beliefs is a bipartisan issue (But only conservatives are dogmatic about it.) – Currently, issues of extremism and intransigence aren’t just of academic interest—they’re headline news every day. If anything, that strengthens the case for understanding those two issues, which makes a study released by Psychological Science very timely. The study found differences across the ideological spectrum, but it discovered that those with extreme beliefs share some things in common.

Something to think about:

The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.”

–     Sir William Osler

Today’s Free Downloads:

Zoner AntiVirus Free for Android 1.8.1 – Zoner AntiVirus Free is a modern security and anti-virus solution for your device. It provides protection against viruses, dialers, trojans, worms, spyware, adware and other malware as well as phone call and message protection. You can test the antivirus using applications containing the EICAR test file:Zoner AntiVirus Test or EICAR Anti-virus Test or Antivirus TESTVIRUS.

Oxynger KeyShield Portable 1.1.0 – Oxynger KeyShield Portable is a secure and anti-screenshot virtual keyboard designed to protect passwords and other sensitive information from malicious programs and hacking.

NetworkConnectLog 1.00 – NetworkConnectLog is a simple utility that repeatedly scans your local area network (Using ARP and Netbios protocols) and add a new log line every time that a new computer or device connects to your network, and when a computer or device disconnects from your network.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Users flock to anonymizing services after NSA snooping reports – However, even vendors offering those services can’t guarantee 100% success in shielding data from government surveillance.

Rep. Amash Slams Congressional Intelligence Committees As The “Opponents Of Congress” – As quoted in The Hill, Rep. Amash called Intelligence committees not “friends of Congress but [instead] the opponents of Congress.” As far as I can tell, oversight of the United States intelligence agencies is a farce. Those in favor of its activities obfuscate and lie, while those who wish to vet its activities are occasionally physically harassed or detained.

Obama, NSA get dissed as Snowden reappears – NSA surveillance and Obama administration policies are putting a damper on freedom of the press, says a report. Meanwhile, Prism leaker Edward Snowden accepts an award in Moscow.

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