Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 4, 2013

Making a tablet your main computer; 6 reasons you still need a desktop PC; Backup Android phone with free Super Backup; History Eraser for Android; Upgrade to Windows 8 for better security; Tablets: platforms are basically equal; Boobs and banner ads; Hacking reportedly NSA’s ‘growth area’; Instagram runs first ad; Skype to end all third-party app activity; What technology does Obama use?

Online Privacy: A Concern For All – Teenagers and twenty year-olds couldn’t care less about online privacy. In fact, it’s a thing of the past. That’s probably what you think when you see the amount of activity on popular social networks like Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter. Actually, younger people do care quite a bit about online security and protection. J.D. Power’s report “Consumer Concerns about Data Privacy Rising: What Can Businesses Do?” reveals that personal privacy is a concern in all countries across all ages.

Let go of that laptop: the ultimate guide to making a tablet your main computer – With the right apps, peripherals, and cloud services, you could leave behind that laptop for good. The “laptop killer” of tablets has yet to emerge, but you can still configure a slate that puts your laptop out to pasture. With the tablet’s lighter weight, longer battery life, and near-instant boot-up, the building blocks of a productivity engine are already there.

Dirty little secret about tablets: The platforms are basically equal – Tablet enthusiasts will argue that their platform of choice is far better than the others, but experience shows that’s not really the case.

Six reasons you still need a desktop PC – Now that you’ve been liberated by the mobile age, you may be ready to consign your clunky desktop PC to the scrap heap. Not so fast. Though it’s certainly past its prime, the desktop PC is far from useless. For some tasks, it’s actually still the superior tool. Here are six compelling reasons to keep the old workhorse around.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Backup nearly everything on your Android phone with Super Backup – Jack Wallen takes a look at Super Backup, a free Android app that allows you to backup SMS, call logs, bookmarks, non-Google calendars, and more.

Skype to end all third-party app activity in December – Skype will no longer support third-party desktop application development beginning in December, the company has announced. This includes all recording, broadcasting, and other kinds of apps, but it also includes third-party hardware such as headphones with on-board call controls. Skype is offering no exceptions to the rule, and its official replacement offerings are slim to none.

MegaCloud’s free cloud storage service reported inaccessible – The website for MegaCloud, a provider of free and paid consumer cloud storage, is inaccessible and users of the service are complaining on social media sites that they have not had access to their data for days.

Kids’ No. 1 holiday wish? The iPhone, says a survey – In a survey that asked which gadget was most desired by kids, the 12- to 17-year-old age group showed its conservatism, opting for the tried-and-true. Though it was girls who wanted iPhones far more than boys.

Online Gambling Arrives in Delaware – Starting Nov. 8, Delaware residents will be able to bet real money on poker, blackjack, roulette, and slots all from the comfort of their computers. The first state will now also be the first to fully embrace Internet gambling. According to Delaware Online, Delaware’s gaming industry hopes the move will bring in a younger, more tech-savvy demographic compared to the typically older casino customers. They’re also trying to get ahead of competitors like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which are both looking to implement similar systems soon.

Google employees publicly gripe about Google via Quora – Taken as a whole, the thread expresses a sentiment that Google is nothing like how it used to be when it was a scrappy young startup. Rather, it’s much more like a stereotypical, corporate-American workplace infested with immaturity, arrogance, and mediocrity, if the thread is to be believed.

Get Ready for an Onslaught of Big Megapixel Smartphone Cameras – Mobile devices with powerful cameras featuring lenses with 10-megapixel resolutions and higher will be “mainstream” in 2014, according to lens module maker Largan Precision.

Must-know privacy tips for Google, Facebook and other online services – Recent headlines about shadowy government agencies, high-profile hack attacks, and your face in Google ads drive home a crucial point: Your online privacy is best protected when you keep an iron grip on the information you’re handing out. If your info is on a server somewhere, it’s not truly yours.

Black Friday Deals Already Upon Us – The online retail giant on Friday kicked things off with the launch of a Black Friday deals store and electronics holiday gift guide. The deals store will offer discounts on thousands of items from the likes of Hasbro, Samsung, Canon, Belkin, and more now through Black Friday weekend.

Considering a new video card? Check your monitor first – GPUs get faster and faster with each generation. Now they are at the point where they no longer give a benefit to certain monitors.


Google Adding Automatic Malware Blocking to Chrome – Google is adding several security updates to its Chrome browser, including automatic malware blocking and the option to reset browser settings. Going forward, Google will also “automatically block downloads of malware that we detect” in Chrome. At this point, the feature is only available in the Canary build version of Chrome – the earlier, test version of the browser that comes before dev, beta, and stable. But it will eventually hit the stable channel.

Government agency compromised by fake Facebook hottie – Emily Williams wasn’t real, but the two hackers who created her from social media profiles got her a government job, a company laptop, VPN credentials – and compromised a government network.

Champion security best practices as a community service – We have a civic duty to the general populace to ensure that security awareness issues are front and centre. It would be insidious of us to sit back and rely on – gulp! – mainstream media to convey factual security information and content. If you’re like many security pros and shun human contact the same way the Kardashians shun integrity, then you’re probably not too keen on getting out in the community. So how can you start?

The Morris Worm: Internet malware turns 25 – 25 years ago much of the Internet – still very small at the time – crashed. The cause was a selfish experiment, turned Frankenstein monster, instigated by a graduate student at Cornell named Robert Morris.

Businesses suffer from a false sense of security, study shows – McAfee says small and midsize businesses are suffering from a false sense of security, based on a recent study that showed a high degree of confidence that their data and devices were safe from attackers, despite industry research and evidence to the contrary.

Finnish Government Hit With ‘Serious’ Data Breach – The Finnish government has confirmed it suffered a “serious data security violation,” which was reportedly carried out over a period of four years and allowed hackers to pilfer unspecified amounts of data.

Micrsoft urges: Upgrade to Windows 8 for better security – Even those who don’t like Windows 8 should consider it for its superior security versus older Microsoft operating systems, if nothing else the company says.

Company News:

T-Mobile says $10 fee for ‘free’ tablet data was a mistake – A check of the Web site had found a requirement to sign up for a monthly plan. Updated: T-Mobile has apologized and called it “an executional mistake.”

Instagram runs first ad: video ads to follow – The ad represents the inaugural insertion of a permanent advertising program for the app. It depicts a high-end watch by fashion designer Michael Kors, in situ with a gold-leafed coffee mug, some colorful comestibles, and a travel-related photo postcard.

Apple’s Tim Cook urges workplace equality – In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, Cook exhorts the Senate to support the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which aims to protect the hiring and employment rights of gay and lesbian Americans.

iGoogle Web portal permanently shut down after eight years of service – The Web portal that let users customize a unique start page for the Web with RSS feeds and widgets has been permanently shut down after eight years of service. Google made no official announcement today, opting to let die-hard iGoogle users mourn on their own terms.

Nokia and Samsung extend patent deal, but for how much? – Nokia has chalked up a five-year extension on a patent licensing agreement with smartphone king Samsung.

Boobs and banner ads: Twitter’s dilemma – Welcome or otherwise, image and video previews in tweets highlight the company’s tension between building a service that people love and pleasing Wall Street.

Games and Entertainment:

Kairosoft Releases Pocket Harvest On Android – The newest game out of Kairosoft might sound a little on the bland side, but let’s be honest–it’s going to gobble up your free time. Pocket Harvest has arrived on Android with all the farming adventure you can handle.

Rockstar promises GTA Online patch 1.05 release early next week – Rockstar has been hard at work solving the issues, which are set to be fixed when v1.05 appears by way of a patch. We expected it early in November, and Rockstar has now confirmed it will arrive “early next week.”

Microsoft: There are several issues in Windows 8.1 with some mice in games – Microsoft stated in a support forum that it is looking into “several different issues” that are currently affecting some mice in games running under Windows 8.1 and offers some workarounds.

Ubisoft responds to gamer outrage, kills Uplay Passport – If you are one of the many gamers that complained to Ubisoft about this, then give yourself a pat on the back, you helped the publisher realize nobody liked or wanted it as part of their gaming experience anymore.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Presidential gadgets: What technology does Obama use? – The most tech-savvy U.S. president to date, Barack Obama uses the best devices and technology for the job, in and outside of the White House. Here’s a look at some of the devices, platforms and technology he uses to carry out his day-to-day presidential duties.

Man implants smartphone-sized computer in arm to become DIY cyborg – Self-professed biohacker Tim Cannon has become the first human being to have a non-medical computer implanted inside his body. The Circadia 1.0 is about the size of a small smartphone and was implanted in Tim’s forearm without the aid of anesthetic or a licensed doctor. The device is designed to gather biometric data and beam it to a mobile device, making Tim Cannon the first DIY cyborg.

Trucker said viewing women on Facebook at time of fatal crash – A fuel tanker driver in Arizona is allegedly so distracted by his cell phone that he loses control of his vehicle. Police have released dashcam video in an attempt to prove their case.

Police chief threatens Facebook pot critic with arrest – The Interim Police Chief of Columbia, S.C., appears not to appreciate those who suggest his department should catch shooters rather than pot users. He replies that he suspects the poster “might be a criminal.” I am not sure of the exact timeline of Santiago’s confirmation as permanent police chief. However, if the department’s Facebook timeline is anything to go by, there might be quite some opposition. All from people who might be criminals, of course.

It’s Not the ”Radical Shaykh” it’s Islam – Fahad Qureshi – When Muslim organizations invite Shaykhs who speak openly about the values of Islam, the Islamophobic western media starts murdering the character of that organization and the invited speaker. The question these Islamophobic journalists need to reflect upon is; are these so called ”radical” views that they criticize endorsed only by these few individuals being invited around the globe, or does the common Muslims believe in them. If the common Muslims believe in these values that means that more or less all Muslims are radical and that Islam is a radical religion. Since this is not the case, as Islam is a peaceful religion and so are the masses of common Muslims, these Shaykhs cannot be radical. (recommended by Michael F.) A serious attempt to twist logic into a pretzel. We have reason to be afraid.

Is technology the cause of car crashes? Or the cure? – The conventional wisdom says smartphones cause deadly car accidents, and Google Glass is already getting banned. But what are the facts?

Microsoft’s archive has some odd stuff – The archive was first started in 1989 and now has collected 65,000 items, ranging from Gates’ Harvard transcripts to the receipt for the carpet that was put in the company’s first Albuquerque office. However, the video concentrates on some of the oddest artifacts in the archive, such as a plastic prop full of skulls with red writing on them to a full size Clippy costume that was worn by an actual person in front of Gates on stage.

Something to think about:

“Three things are certain; birth, death and data loss. You control the last.”

–       Anonymous

Today’s Free Downloads:

History Eraser for Android – It’s a history eraser for android device, and it can clean history of apps by only one tap. It’s similar to the “ccleaner” on PC. It can help you to protect your privacy, and it can also help you to free up the internal storage. No root premission required!

All In One: NirLauncher 1.18.31 – NirLauncher is a package of more than 100 portable freeware utilities for Windows. In order to start using NirLauncher, simply extract all files in the package into your flash drive, or any other disk you want. After you extracted the package, simply run the executable file – NirLauncher.exe

KeePass Password Safe 2.24.0 – KeePass is a free/open-source password manager or safe which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key-disk. So you only have to remember one single master password or insert the key-disk to unlock the whole database.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Hacking reportedly NSA’s ‘growth area’ – Drawing on thousands of leaked documents, The New York Times and the UK’s Guardian offer up lengthy looks at the beleaguered surveillance agency.

Whistleblower Snowden may testify against the NSA in Germany – The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden may stand as a witness against the US intelligence service in a German parliamentary investigation into mass surveillance by the agency.

‘Reform bill’ would codify ability of NSA to spy on Americans, critics say – Many privacy rights groups are pointing the what’s left out of the legislation. Rather than prohibiting the NSA from collecting metadata records of phone calls made by U.S. citizens, Feinstein’s bill actually codifies the practice that was exposed in documents leaked by fugitive Edward Snowden, said Alan Butler, appellate advocacy counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

Britain’s GCHQ Collaborated With Other EU Nations To Enable Broad Internet Surveillance – It has been known for some time that the United States and British governments, through a number of programs such as the UK’s Tempora effort, directly tap the fiber-optic cables that are the backbone of the Internet, collecting data in massive quantity. That four other countries do the same is, therefore, not surprising, but it is dispiriting. It will be far harder than we initially perhaps hoped to end this sort of mass surveillance. That the GCHQ was willing to provide what is described as “a leading role in advising its European counterparts” in how to get around legal restrictions is simply depressing.

All you need to know about Brazil’s “Internet Constitution” – The first set of internet governance rules in the country is surrounded by controversy and scares big organizations to death.

Berners-Lee urges countries toward open data strategy – Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the world wide web, called on governments around the world to open up their data to the public.

Assange to try again for Senate seat – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will make a second bid for a spot in the federal parliament if a fresh Senate election is ordered in Western Australia.


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