Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 31, 2013

Five free apps for encrypting email;   How to hide Twitter preview images;  What tech frightens us most;  Home Wi-Fi routing done right;  America’s Mood Map: An Interactive Guide;  13 flicks for your All Hallows horror binge;  The 10 Best PlayStation 3 Games;  Target – buy 2 get 1 free PS4 games;  NSA – cite 9/11 to justify spying program.

Journalist Invited Hackers To Hack Him. Learn From The Mistakes – Adam Penenberg of PandoDaily decided to find out how easy it would be to hack him by inviting professional penetration testers — who usually take aim at banks, hospitals, and companies — to take their best shot at breaking into his life. You might be reassured by reading the long piece. The hacking, while eventually successful, was actually pretty difficult.

Facebook may start logging your cursor movements – Facebook is considering collecting yet more data from users in the form of tracked mouse movements, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. Your scrolls, your hovers, your highlights, your right clicks: Facebook wants them all.

Microsoft won’t turn on Windows Defender for unprotected PCs – A Microsoft executive misspoke when she said that Windows would turn on the built-in Windows Defender technology for users who had let their antimalware subscriptions lapse.

What tech frightens us most – In their latest October 2013 survey released just in time for All Hallows’ Eve, IT recruiting firm Modis surveyed 1000 Americans to find out what potential tech disasters are keeping them up at night.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Twitter’s New Photo Previews Prompt Outrage – For some, photos directly in the news stream is basically a crime against humanity.

How to hide Twitter preview images with AdBlock – Twitter surprised users by forcing an update that automatically shows photos and videos in timelines, and for some users this is a serious problem. Here’s how to hide those images with AdBlock.

Five free apps for encrypting email – Whether you are using an email client or a web-based email solution, you can encrypt your email. I have searched for some of the easier (and free) means to successfully get those outgoing emails wrapped in a warm blanket of secrecy. With the exception of one, these tools serve a singular purpose – to encrypt email messages.

Has Microsoft just PROVED why you should upgrade from XP? – Microsoft just published its January-to-June 2013 Security Intelligence Report. The results seem to PROVE that you should get rid of Windows XP as soon as you can. Paul Ducklin checks the strength of the “proof”.

Skydog hands on: Home Wi-Fi routing done right – The best home networking solution for parental control of technology is also the best home Wi-Fi router, period. Skydog does well what other Wi-Fi routers usually do poorly.

Facebook Algorithm Predicts if Your Relationship Is Doomed – We’ve all had those moments of Facebook-induced desperation — skulking around an ex’s profile to see if they’ve ended their rebound relationship, or are gleefully posing with their new sweetheart in Cabo. But it appears the social network knows more about your love life than just who you’re stalking.

How I switched from Gmail to (and how you can too) – So long, Gmail, it was nice knowing you. After nearly a decade, I’ve finally moved my personal email away from Google’s service. If you’re considering doing the same, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set things up the right way.

6 Surprising Ghost-Hunting Gadgets – We investigate the technology paranormal detectives use to find ghosts, most of which are repurposed gadgets with day jobs.

Kill hours dead with 8 horribly adorable, totally free Halloween games – In honor of the most haunted holiday, I’ve been spending the witching hour playing some of the best Halloween-themed mobile games out there, and while they’re more adorable than horrible, they’re also a lot of fun.

Now screaming: 13 flicks for your All Hallows horror binge – We’ve cut through the stupid to find the gold. Here we present the best scary movies available for streaming this Halloween! They’ll help your brain stay in Halloween mode until Thanksgiving season finally rolls around and spoils all the fun!

Move past being too scared to share – Some people fear online document collaboration. Here’s how to help people move past their fear of using shared Google documents.

Some Windows 8.1 updates tripping over driver problems – Users say they’re getting an error message when they try to update to Windows 8.1; Microsoft says it’s looking into the matter.

Pissed-off Dell laptop owners seek answer to cat-pee odors – Months of complaints about the smell of cat pee emanating from new Dell 6430u laptops cap off with an official response to the stinky problem.


New Injection Campaign Peddling Rogue Software Downloads – A mass injection campaign has surfaced over the last two weeks that’s already compromised at least 40,000 web pages worldwide and is tricking victims into downloading rogue, unwanted software to their computer. The campaign, dubbed GWload by researchers at Websense, relies on a Cost Per Action scam that convinces users into thinking the page they’ve navigated to has been locked and that they need a special version of VLC Player to open it.

Save your Internet bacon with two-factor authentication – Why log in once when you can log in twice? Two-factor authentication can give you some added protection, and it’s fairly easy to set up.

Adobe breach THIRTEEN times worse than thought, 38 million users affected – Adobe originally estimated that the breach affected around 2.9 million users. As it turns out the number is actually 38 million, with the information taken including Adobe IDs, encrypted passwords, customer names, encrypted debit and credit card numbers, expiry dates and customer order details.

Mozilla patches *several critical Firefox security holes – Mozilla released *10 patches for three versions of its Firefox browser on Tuesday, five of which are considered critical and could be used to remotely install malicious code.

2 years in federal prison for trash-searching student aid fraudster – A Florida man will go to prison for defrauding student aid accounts, while his two fellow-conspirators have been given probation and community sentences. The group’s techniques should serve as a reminder that it’s not just the information stored on our computers that we need to keep secure.

Google, the NSA, and the need for locking down datacenter traffic – With the NSA seemingly listening in the need for datacenter to datacenter encryption has never been greater.

Company News:

Facebook Admits Some Decrease Of Usage Amongst Young Teens For The First Time – Facebook may be feeling the pinch from teen-focused, mobile-first social networks like Snapchat, as CFO David Ebersman said on today’s earnings call that Facebook “did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens,” though he prefaced that saying “usage of Facebook among US teens overall was stable from Q2 to Q3.” This is the first time Facebook has reported real trouble with teens.

Infosys ran ‘unlawful’ visa scheme, U.S. alleges in settlement – The U.S. alleges that offshore outsourcing giant Infosys violated visa laws to increase its profits, reduce visa expenses and avoid tax liabilities, in a settlement announced today.

Twitter facing $124 million lawsuit alleging fraud – In a private stock sale gone awry, the social network is accused of misleading two firms to boost its value prior to going public.

Facebook Q3 by the numbers: 874M monthly mobile users – The social network’s mobile user numbers are up 45 percent in the third quarter, and it shows in the company’s mobile advertising dollars.

Games and Entertainment:

The 10 Best PlayStation 3 Games – The PlayStation 3 launched to a collective gamer response of “meh,” but Sony’s third home video game console is one gamers should have in their living rooms. Here are 10 reasons why.

Titanfall will never hit the PlayStation 4, but Titanfall 2 may – Titanfall has created a huge buzz in the gaming industry and is said to be one of the most impressive video games in years. The game has been announced as coming to the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC gamers. We knew the title was an Xbox exclusive video game, but new information has surfaced about just how exclusive the game is.

EA, Tiger Woods End Gaming Partnership – Since 1998, golf superstar Tiger Woods has been the face of Electronic Arts’s PGA Tour video game series. However, this year’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 will be the last title to feature Woods as he and EA have ended their partnership.

10 years after Steam’s official launch it now has over 65 million accounts – Today, just over 10 years after the launch of the first public version of Steam, Valve has announced, via an email press release, that the service now has over 3,000 games in its library and over 65 million accounts, which Valve says is 30 percent higher than a year ago. Microsoft’s own Xbox Live service has 48 million members, according to the Xbox website.

Classic Double Dragon Games Coming to iOS and Android Later This Year – Originally an arcade machine, Double Dragon became incredibly popular and was ported to a variety of home game consoles including the NES, Sega Genesis, and GameBoy. Two sequels followed the original, all of which used the same side-scrolling action format. Now all three games will be coming to iOS and Android devices later this year courtesy of DotEmu.

Target set to offer buy 2 get 1 free on PS4 launch games – You can select any three PS4 launch games and you’ll only pay for two of them. As all the games look set to be $59.99, you’ll only pay $119.98 instead of $179.97. The deal does not insist you purchase a PS4 as well, but if you do, that’s a PS4 and 3 games for $519.97. The only restriction on the games deal is that it’s limited to one set of three games per customer.

Off Topic (Sort of):

America’s Mood Map: An Interactive Guide to the United States of Attitude – West Virginia is the most neurotic state, Utah is the most agreeable and the folks of Wisconsin are the country’s most extroverted, a new study says. Take TIME’s test to find out which state most suits you.

Here are all of Google’s Halloween Easter eggs – Google’s engineers have added a little Halloween mischief into the search graph.

10 spooky items from America’s past – American history, from war to politics, is filled with frightening moments. As Halloween approaches, the National Museum of American History is digging into the archives and unearthing a few of its favorite creepy finds from a collection of more than 3 million museum artifacts.

Woman gets ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving – The ticket, handed out by a California cop, faults the woman for “Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass).”

Man tries to rip chained iPad from pizza joint counter, fails – In a video that is as educational as it is amusing, a man cases an Illinois pizza joint, smashes the glass, but the iPad simply won’t budge.

8 cool heat maps that can help you visualize big data – Big or small, data can be difficult to visualize. These examples use heat maps to put massive data sets into a context that’s easy to understand.

Something to think about:

Assuming that critical thinking is reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do, a critical thinker:

1. Is open-minded and mindful of alternatives

2. Tries to be well-informed

3. Judges well the credibility of sources

4. Identifies conclusions, reasons, and assumptions

5. Judges well the quality of an argument, including the acceptability of its reasons, assumptions, and evidence

6. Can well develop and defend a reasonable position

7. Asks appropriate clarifying questions

8. Formulates plausible hypotheses; plans experiments well

9. Defines terms in a way appropriate for the context

10. Draws conclusions when warranted, but with caution

11. Integrates all items in this list when deciding what to believe or do

Robert H. Ennis

Today’s Free Downloads:

PaperScan Free – Powerful scanning software with an OCR engine centered on making document acquisition an unparalleled easy task for anyone.

Process Hacker Portable 2.32 – Process Hacker is an application which helps users to view and manage the processes and their threads, modules and memory from their computers.

Greenshot 1.1.6 – Quickly create screenshots of a selected region, window or full screen; you can even capture complete (scrolling) web pages from Internet Explorer. Easily annotate, highlight or obfuscate parts of the screenshot. Export the screenshot in various ways: save to file, send to printer, copy to clipboard, attach to e-mail, send Office programs or upload to photo sites like Flickr or Picasa, and others.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

New docs show NSA taps Google, Yahoo data center links – US intelligence access to the mounds of data held by Google and Yahoo goes far beyond the court-approved PRISM program, which was described in some of the first National Security Agency (NSA) leaks to come out this summer. Top secret documents published today by The Washington Post reveal that the NSA has tapped into overseas links that Google and Yahoo use to communicate between their data centers.

Six steps Silicon Valley can take to protect users from NSA spying – The EFF’s Kurt Opsahl lays out measures Internet companies can implement to protect their users’ privacy from government surveillance.

Silent Circle and Lavabit launch “DarkMail Alliance” to thwart e-mail spying – At Wednesday’s Inbox Love conference held at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus, the founders of Lavabit and Silent Circle announced that they want to change the world of e-mail completely by putting privacy and security at its core.

AT&T hit with European backlash due to NSA activities – The NSA has received a lot of backlash for its various spying activities, but it isn’t the only entity that is paying for its activities. AT&T, which has long been interested in buying a wireless company in Europe, has received substantial resistance, with it being made known that any purchase that takes place will “face intense scrutiny.”

NSA said to intentionally cite 9/11 to justify spying program – Newly released government documents spell out how officials should answer questions about the NSA’s mass surveillance program; examples include “defend the nation” and prevent “another 9/11.”

NSA says nope to spying on pope – The agency says in a statement that a report in an Italian magazine that it “has targeted” the Vatican is false.


Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 31, 2013

  1. Laurence

    Hi Bill,
    AT&T & NSA lied to American people! 99% lie and 1% maybe.

    Best regards,

    • Hey Larry,

      No argument there. It’s amazing really – lies are crafted in such a way that they seem to scream out – “It’s the TRUTH, I’m telling you!”

      Just additional confirmation that we’re surrounded by government and business psychopaths.



  2. Pingback: Critical thinking | strangely peculiar

  3. Kilroy_Lives

    Reblogged this on My Wireless Technology.