Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 14, 2013

Giveaway: Bitdefender for Android;  How to back up your PC game saves;  Best Buy Black Friday Deals;  Complete guide to 4.4 KitKat;  Five free Android job search apps;  5 lesser-known browsers;  How to Choose the Right Size TV;  PS4 day one patch – download now;  HP Chromebook – Over-Heating Chargers;  The Hottest Xbox One Launch Titles;  Belgium, Netherlands investigate alleged NSA spying.

Sprint waives calling and text messaging fees to the Philippines – Sprint is waiving all calling and text messaging fees made from the U.S. to the Philippines in the wake of the disastrous typhoon, plus is donating some of its own money to help out the cause.

Best Buy Reveals Black Friday Deals – Best Buy released its Black Friday circular; check out the gadgets it will have on sale.

AVG antiVirus for Android joins 100 million download club – 100 million downloads later, AVG for Android has tallied more than half a million five-star ratings. It’s well out in front of competitors like Norton and Lookout. The latter is about to make up a lot of ground, however, thanks to a deal that will see it pre-installed on select AT&T Android devices.

CNET Giveaway: Bitdefender for Android – Good news, fellow Downloaders! Christmas is coming a little early this year thanks to the good folks over at Bitdefender. For one week only, the popular AV is giving away free licenses of their Mobile Security & Antivirus (Android) app to the first 1 million users. Get 180 days-worth of protection on any of your mobile devices, absolutely free.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

HP Chromebook 11 Pulled From Stores Due to Over-Heating Chargers – HP urged existing Chromebook 11 owners not to juice up their devices with the chargers that came with the device. “In the interim they may continue using their HP Chromebook11 with any other Underwriters Laboratories-listed micro-USB charger, for example one provided with a tablet or smartphone. We apologize for the inconvenience,” HP said.

Make your Android tablet a socially connected photo frame – There’s an incredibly handy application in the Google Play store that lets you turn your Android smartphone or tablet into a socially connected digital picture frame. Called Dayframe (free), it’s similar to the Daydream mode that comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and later, except that Dayframe is much more social, more photo-friendly, and allows for very specific user-defined settings.

Your complete guide to everything new in Android 4.4 KitKat – The latest Android release is full of surprises. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect when your phone gets the upgrade.

Add to-do list, weather, and pretty backgrounds to Chrome’s new tab page – Inspirational or not, Momentum is a Chrome extension that adds a couple of useful features to Chrome’s new tab page.

How to back up your PC game saves – Few computer catastrophes cut as deeply as the pain you’ll feel if you lose your hard-earned level progress or that killer +20 bastard sword of unholy smiting just because you move to new hardware or your hard drive gives up the ghost. What’s a cautious gamer to do? Fear not! This guide will have you storing your saves in no time, and with minimal hassle.

Five free Android job search apps – The Android platform has plenty of apps for that purpose. But which ones are the cream of the crop? I’ve gone through the list of available apps to find out which jobs search apps offer a superior user experience. Here are my results.

Facebook Launches Open Academy To Give Kids College Credit For Open Source Contributions – A perfect GPA isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Advancing an Open Source project. To help computer science students prepare for jobs (and boost its own recruiting efforts) Facebook today publicly launches Open Academy. The partnership with premier CS universities sets up a special class where students get college credit for contributing to Open Source projects.

Dropbox Simplifies Switching Between Business, Personal Accounts – Dropbox today rolled out an update that will let users access their personal and business files without having to switch between two accounts. The update also adds new features to Dropbox for Business: the ability to share audit logs and let admins audit the data flow itself; remote wipe for PCs and mobile devices; and account transfers.

Microsoft: Zune Marketplace to shut down as early as Nov. 22 – Microsoft has sent out an email informing the remaining Zune Marketplace users that they won’t be able to purchase or rent content, or even browse movies and TV shows, as early as Nov. 22.

Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2013 Launches With New Online Tools, Previews Browser-Based Code Editor – Microsoft today launched the latest version of its Visual Studio tools for developers at an event in New York City. The new version includes a number of user interface improvements, smarter tools for inspecting existing code in its context and support for Windows 8.1 application development.

Classrooms Go High-Tech With Google Play for Education – Google is making it more convenient for schools around the country to integrate tablets and educational apps into the classroom. The search giant on Wednesday officially launched tablets running Google Play for Education, a version of the Google Play app store specifically designed for K-12 schools in the U.S.

5 lesser-known browsers: Free, lightweight and low-maintenance – Are Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome slowing your machine — or are they simply more than you need? We look at some alternatives.

Look at how many ways we RUIN YOUR LIFE, Redmond boasts – Just in time for the end-of-year break, Microsoft has reminded people – and more importantly, their employers – just how easy it is for mobile computing to completely ruin anything approaching a normal life.


Adobe patches critical vulnerabilities in Flash Player, ColdFusion – Vulnerabilities in Adobe’s software could have allowed unauthorized remote code execution or remote read access.

Next-gen HTTP 2.0 protocol will require HTTPS encryption (most of the time) – The future of the Web is encryption, though there are still some technical details to work out.

MacRumors Forums Hacker Says Passwords Won’t Be Leaked – The hacker behind a breach of MacRumors Forums, a popular Macintosh discussion forum, said none of the 860,000 passwords will be leaked, calling the attack “friendly.”

Over 70,000 unencrypted credit card and CCV numbers stolen – According to the Irish Times, the credit card information of over 70,000 people has been stolen from a company called (ironically) Loyaltybuild. Not only were the credit card numbers themselves stolen, but the related CCV numbers were as well. To add insult to injury, the data was sitting on the systems in an unencrypted format, meaning whoever took the data can start using it immediately. In addition to the direct credit card data, roughly 1.5 million people had their personal information stolen — including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

Company News:

AMD Unveils ‘Mullins’ and ‘Beema’ APUs for 2014 – Advanced Micro Devices introduces a pair of future processors for tablets, 2-in-1s, and ultrathin laptops which the chip maker said it will release in the first half of 2014.

Intel Retail Experience stores launch on November 23 – Intel is about ready to roll out temporary “experience” stores, which it calls pop-ups, that will provide local areas with access to various Intel technologies and devices. The temporary stores will begin showing up starting on November 23, and will continue to pop up in different regions until January 25, 2014, at which point they’ll fizzle back into the silence.

Dropbox Hits 200M Users, Unveils New “For Business” Client Combining Work And Personal Files – CEO Drew Houston today announced that Dropbox has hit 200 million users, up from 175 million in July. He said “Today we’re here to talk about Dropbox for business.” We’ll be following up with details on Dropbox’s new products for the 4 million businesses that use its service.

Twitter gives advertisers targeting options based on device, OS, and WiFi – In June, word surfaced that Twitter was working on location-based advertisements, something that would accompany keyword targeting and give advertisers more overall options. Today the microblogging website announced more good news for those advertising on the service — increased mobile targeting options based on devices, mobile operating system, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Italy probes alleged Apple tax fraud – The iPhone and iPad maker is accused of hiding more than $1.3 billion from the European country’s taxman, according to reports.

Snapchat gambles with a promising hand – In the bet of the decade, the young company has apparently traded a lot of cold, hard cash for promissory notes that it hopes to bank at a later date.

Games and Entertainment:

Football Manager 2013 downloaded 10.1m times illegally say devs – Piracy of Football Manager 2013 saw more than 10m people illegally download the game since mid-May 2013, Sports Interactive chief Miles Jacobson has revealed, with one copy even being stolen by a user in the Vatican. The title, released for PC in November 2012, was cracked on May 12th, Jacobson said during the London Games Conference 2013, MCV reports, but IP tracking software allowed the studio to monitor exactly where each pirated copy was being downloaded.

PS4 day one patch is 308MB and available to download now – The patch is actually 308MB in size and once installed will take the PS4 System Software to version 1.50. Although you can update directly on the PS4, there’s the option to download the update to a USB stick with at least 1GB of free space (the PUP file download is actually 859MB). By preparing that in advance, you don’t need to worry about waiting for the download to complete when the PS4 is in your possession.

Sony Releases PlayStation 4 App on iPhone and Android – Sony’s next-generation PlayStation 4 is set to launch in just a few days, but the Android and iOS apps have already been released to wet your whistle. This companion app lets you plug into the myriad of services Sony is deploying to complement the PS4, as well as interact with the console itself.

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 1 now available – If you’re a fan of the video game BioShock Infinite, a new game add on is available today. The BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 1 DLC is available for download globally right now on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. Burial at Sea goes back in time in the BioShock franchise taking gamers to Rapture, the setting for the very first game in the BioShock franchise.

The Hottest Xbox One Launch Titles – Check out the most exciting Xbox One launch-day games that will have you fragging, racing, and fighting throughout the holiday season.

Report: Temple Run Headed to the Big Screen – Temple Run may be trading small smartphone displays for the big screen, according to a new report. Temple Run, released in 2011 by Raleigh, N.C.-based Imangi Studios, challenges players to race down ancient temple walls to escape a gang of Evil Demon Monkeys while dodging obstacles and collecting coins along the way. The game quickly soared up in the iOS App Store rankings, becoming the No.1 free app and one of 2012’s biggest mobile games with more than 170 million downloads.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Watch the LG G Flex’s self-healing plastic repair itself after a serious scratching – The LG G Flex raises plenty of eyebrows with its top-to-bottom curve, but there’s much more to this phone than an arching display. One very slick feature is the G Flex’ self-healing back panel, which shrugs off damage like it was the skin on Wolverine’s knuckles.

Smithsonian now lets you view artifacts in 3D – The museum’s new online 3D viewer lets you examine such objects as the life mask of Abraham Lincoln, the Wright brothers’ first plane, and Amelia Earhart’s flight suit.

inFORM – inFORM is a Dynamic Shape Display that can render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way. inFORM can also interact with the physical world around it, for example moving objects on the table’s surface. Remote participants in a video conference can be displayed physically, allowing for a strong sense of presence and the ability to interact physically at a distance. inFORM is a step toward our vision of Radical Atoms. (suggested by Aseem S.)

NASA video imagines young Mars with lakes and clouds – NASA’s Goddard Conceptual Image Lab has released a video illustrating the way Mars might have looked 4 billion years ago, back when both Mars and Earth were young. It’s one of the most complex scientifically informed animations the studio has ever produced, NASA says, and it is breathtaking. The music is epic– like something you’d hear in an ancient battle movie scene–and the watery, cloudy scenery will really get your imagination going. There’s even a surprise ending.

Loon balloons can circle Earth three times – The cutting-edge balloons that Google built for its Wi-Fi broadcasting will be able to travel around the world three times, or for 100 days.

30-Second Tech Trick: How to Choose the Right Size TV – Warning: There’s some math involved.

Something to think about:

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”

–      Mark Twain

Today’s Free Downloads:

SoundVolumeView 1.06 – SoundVolumeView is a simple tool for Windows Vista/7/8/2008 that displays general information and current volume level for all active sound components on your system, and allows you to mute and unmute them instantly. SoundVolumeView also allows you to save a sound profile into a file, containing the current volume level and the mute/unmute state of all sound components, as well as the default sound devices, and then later, load the same file to restore exactly the same volume levels and settings.

LogMeIn Free – In a matter of minutes you can get fast, easy and secure access to remote computers (PCs and Macs) with LogMeIn. Simply install LogMeIn on the computer you want to access to gain remote control of its desktop, files, applications and network resources over the web.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Belgium, Netherlands investigate alleged NSA spying on bank payments data – The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is member-owned and exchanges millions of standardized financial messages for more than 10,000 financial institutions in 212 countries each day.

Privacy groups seek FTC probe of Google, Yahoo for exposing data to NSA – Several advocacy groups are calling for an investigation into Internet companies Yahoo and Google whose networks were secretly accessed by the National Security Agency (NSA). In a letter sent Wednesday, the groups asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) find out how the NSA could to extract so much data without the knowledge of Google and Yahoo.

Web giants cry foul over US gov’s refusal to budge on NSA spy gag orders: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook must keep because REDACTED – Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Facebook are still fighting for permission to warn people who are under online surveillance after their campaign for transparency was derailed by the US Department of Justice. The department refused the request and heavily redacted a document explaining why that ruling was made – which rather impedes the web companies in mounting an appeal against the thinking behind the decision.

DOJ says Lavabit cannot prevent search warrants by ‘locking its front gate’ – The government said in the filing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that the information it wanted from a single unnamed account was user log-in information and the date, time, and duration of the email transmissions, and dismissed Lavabit’s “parade of hypotheticals” regarding unlawful actions the government could take. “Were a government officer to do as Lavabit fears and ‘rummage’ through other users’ communications without authorization, that would be a crime,” DOJ wrote.

Senate Debates Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013 – Senator Al Franken presided over a hearing today in which lawmakers and technology experts discussed the National Security Administration’s surveillance practices, examining a proposed bill that would require that the U.S. spy agency carry out its operations in a more transparent fashion.

How do spooks build surveillance rigs? In Oz they TENDER for it – Australia’s Federal Police force (AFP) has issued a tender for deep packet inspection (DPI) kit capable of processing data encapsulated by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s ETSI 102 232 format for lawfully-intercepted communications. Over to you, readers. Is the AFP rolling its own PRISM or just taking care of business?

Wikileaks leaks SECRET copyright treaty: The Trans-Pacific Partnership – The text of the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) isn’t as bad as we thought. It’s worse. A draft, published by Wikileaks, offers a patent-and-copyright wish-list that would see the infamous DMCA automatic take-downs spread throughout the Pacific, plants and animals become patentable with few restrictions, and pharmaceutical companies empowered to tax citizens by way of patent evergreening. With political candidacy off the table for now, Wikileaks has returned to the business of publishing leaked documents with a bang: it has posted the current negotiating text of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership treaty.



Filed under Free Software Downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Latest Tech News

5 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 14, 2013

  1. Dave B.

    RE: unencrypted credit card and CCV numbers stolen, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and apparently again, and again, and again… What kind of idiot do you have to be to store that type of data unencrypted.

    • Hey Dave,

      You can say it “again, and again, and again” – and, I’ll support you every time. But, unless massive sanctions (certainly monetary – perhaps criminal), are put in place to punish (yep, PUNISH), those who engage in this type of negligent behavior (this one is just beyond the pale), you and I will continue to talk about this as we have for the past 5/6 years.

      How bad is this – Microsoft FAILS to encrypt data centre links despite NSA snooping



      • Interesting article, but nothing really surprises me anymore. Businesses/people are unable to learn from others mistakes, just keep your head in the sand and everything will be fine…

  2. These are some great posts! I run a computer repair business in NH and lots of people play online video games. There were some really helpful suggestions to be found here.