Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 28, 2013

Remotely install apps on your smartphone;  FlightGear – free open-source flight simulator;  Keep The NSA Out Of Your Porn;  How to find free Wi-Fi;  WTF is the Internet of Things;  Security alert for Windows XP;  Worm targets Linux PCs;  How to Fly Through Airport Security;  Use a cloud camera to secure your home;  OCZ filing for bankruptcy; Blizzard’s Black Friday sale.

Don’t let scammers turn Black Friday and Cyber Monday into Regretful Tuesday – Black Friday & Cyber Monday are two of the biggest online shopping days of the year. Scammers are out in force and shoppers using their smartphone might be the most vulnerable.

Infographic: Who’s Shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday? – The annual shopping extravaganza has become a cultural institution for Americans, but Americans of different cultural backgrounds approach it somewhat differently.

How to remotely install apps on your smartphone – You can download and install apps to your iPhone and Android phone without being anywhere near it. That sorcery is this? It isn’t sorcery. It’s the internet. And it takes almost no effort to set up.

How to use a cloud camera to secure your home during holiday travel – According to the FBI, some 400,000 burglaries will hit American homes between now and the new year. So if you’re planning to travel, you might want to beef up your home security before you go. This year, a variety of cloud-based recording services are making it easier than ever to monitor your domicile from afar. With almost any kind of webcam, you can stream live images of your home over your wireless network, and monitor them from your laptop, phone, or tablet.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Keep The NSA Out Of Your Porn – According to the reports, the NSA was looking into the possibility of shaming individuals believed to be recruiting and “radicalizing” others by revealing their porn-watching habits, among other things. But this revelation shows that the NSA is not just gathering intelligence, but considering using it to publicly shame. Those Americans who shrugged at the NSA revelations because they had “nothing to hide” may feel differently.

How to find free Wi-Fi during your holiday travels – A public Wi-Fi access point is like a public restroom. All kinds of businesses along travel routes offer restrooms to bring in customers. They offer free Wi-Fi for the same reason. The fact is, finding Wi-Fi on the road has become a lot easier over the past ten years. You just have to know where to look for it.

TeamViewer 9 review: Remote control software adds several very handy new features – The latest version of TeamViewer’s remote control software implements sessions in tabs, transfers all kinds of data via the clipboard, has two-factor mobile authentication, and wakes-on-LAN.

BlackBerry increases Android app support – Some Android apps will run directly on BlackBerry phones starting next year.

WTF is the Internet of Things and how insurers will use it against you – What is “the internet of things” and why should we care? Put simply, the internet of things is a catch-all term for ultra-low-power embedded devices that mostly consist of sensors and control systems. This market segment is expanding rapidly; devices falling into this category will soon outnumber all other types of computers on the planet, if they don’t already. The internet of things also signals new threats to personal privacy.

Staples Connect launches to tame the smart home – The $99 Staples Connect hub – which works with Honeywell, Philips hue, Lutron, Yale, GE, First Alert, and other brands of home automation kit – will be sold alone as well as in themed kits, such as for those wanting to take remote control over lighting or security monitoring, with a single iOS and Android app to manage them.

Now Google Maps Can Help You Find The Airport Check-In Desk – Google Maps shows you the all-too-often maddening world of airplane and train terminals.


Microsoft issues security alert for new Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 exploit – Microsoft has issued a new security alert for owners of PCs that have Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 installed, due to a newly discovered local elevation of privilege exploit.

Worm targets Linux PCs and embedded devices – A new worm is targeting x86 computers running Linux and PHP, and variants may also pose a threat to devices such as home routers and set-top boxes based on other chip architectures.

GCHQ was called in to crack password in Watkins child abuse case – It was operatives at British intelligence agency GCHQ who cracked the password on the laptop of “determined paedophile” Ian Watkins, a court heard on Tuesday. The evidence heard in court related to child abuse images held in cloud storage, whose password the GCHQ unit had to “crack” to gain access to them.

Company News:

Once-great SSD manufacturer OCZ filing for bankruptcy – Consumer SSD pioneer OCZ Technologies has officially started the process of filing for bankruptcy. In a statement published this afternoon on Marketwatch, the company announced that this past Monday, November 25, its depository accounts were turned over to the control of Hercules Technology Growth Capital due to OCZ’s failure to comply with the conditions of a loan from Hercules. Per the loan agreement’s terms, OCZ has begun the bankruptcy process—with the goal of dissolution, not restructuring.

Nokia Controls 90% Of The Windows Phone Market, As Its Lumia 520 Continues To Impress – Ahead of the formal transfer of Nokia’s hardware business to Microsoft in exchange for a few dollars, a new report out today details how dominant the Finnish handset company is in the Windows Phone market. According to AdDuplex, Nokia now controls 90 percent of the Windows Phone market. That’s to say that 9 out of 10 Windows Phone handsets in the market today were made by Nokia. As that number continues to rise on a monthly basis, its current sales share is higher than 90 percent. Or, put another way, Windows Phone is Nokia as much as the reverse is true.

Wikimedia Foundation ruled liable for Wikipedia content via German court – A German court has ruled that the Wikimedia Foundation is responsible for content contained in Wikipedia articles, which any third-party can alter. Though the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart has held the foundation liable in its ruling, it does not require Wikimedia to fact-check articles before they are made live, which would have resulted in a substantial burden given the vast size of Wikipedia and relatively small size of the Foundation.

Symantec to shut down Backup – Symantec plans to close down its Backup service, saying it lacks mobile and content-sharing features and wouldn’t be the right platform for delivering them. Backup is a pure cloud-based offering designed to make it easy for small businesses and remote branch offices to back up their data. It was announced in February 2012.

Games and Entertainment:

‘Gears of War,’ ‘Shoot Many Robots’ are December’s free Xbox Live Gold games – Microsoft has announced that “Gears of War” and “Shoot Many Robots” will be the free games offered to Xbox 360 owners who are signed up for Xbox Live Gold during the month of December.

Blizzard’s Black Friday sale: World of Warcraft for $5, StarCraft II for $20 – Blizzard has decided to hold its very own Black Friday sale this week, and if you’re one of the few gamers yet to play World of Warcraft or StarCraft II, then keep reading. Blizzard offers digital copies of its games directly through with pricing usually matching that of the physical, retail versions. But right now the developer is offering up to a 75 percent discount on certain titles and expansions.

Call of Duty: Ghosts software update brings PS4, PS3 performance boost – The first-person shooter game currently ripping up the charts, Call of Duty: Ghosts, has just received a variety of patches to improve gameplay for PS3 as well as PS4. Although the game is already getting top-spot reviews by the gamer community, there were a few remaining issues relating to spam, stability, screen views, and the dog. The fixes are available as of today.

Off Topic (Sort of):

How to Fly Through Airport Security – Fighting the crowds to fly this holiday? These five tips will get you and your gadgets through airport security quick.

Drone crew caught attempting to deliver smokes to prison inmates – The Customs and Border Protection agency flies drones, in part, to catch smugglers bringing contraband into the US, so it was just a matter of time before smugglers tried using drones themselves. Unfortunately for smugglers in Georgia, their drone got spotted and they landed in jail instead.

Microsoft changes online Xbox One form letter after getting sexism complaints – Microsoft has now changed the wording of an online form letter made to help men convince their wife or girlfriend to let them buy an Xbox One after the company received sexism complaints.

10 rudest behaviors in the workplace – Most of us aim not to be rude in the workplace, but sometimes the line is thin between adorable quirkiness and just plain annoying. Here are some behaviors to avoid.

Baby dinosaur skeleton is so intact scientists can tell how it died – There are lots of dinosaur fossils discovered around the world and often they are only small remnants like a single bone or a tooth. A group of paleontologist working on Alberta, Canada discovered an incredibly complete fossil of a baby dinosaur that is described as being similar to a tiny rino.

Chinese prof brands gamers no better than drug dealers – Guangdong-based Communist Party mouthpiece the Southern Daily spoke to a “distinguished” university professor Tao Hongkai for the rent-a-quote outburst, in a piece of reporting obviously designed to warn people off playing online games for money. He claimed that some online gamers end up either extremely fat or emaciated, highlighting the terrible truth that such pursuits can erode the bodies and lives of players.

Something to think about:

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

–     Thomas A. Edison

Today’s Free Downloads:

FlightGear 2.12.1 – FlightGear is an open-source flight simulator. It supports a variety of popular platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) and is developed by skilled volunteers from around the world. Source code for the entire project is available and licensed under the GNU General Public License.

Windows Firewall Control – Windows Firewall Control is a nifty little application which extends the functionality of the Windows Firewall and provides quick access to the most frequent options of Windows Firewall. It runs in the system tray and allows user to control the native firewall easily without having to waste time by navigating to the specific part of the firewall. This is the best tool to manage the native firewall from Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Artweaver Free 4.0.4 – Artweaver lets you paint creatively with the help of a huge range of painting tools. You can create sketches from photos or just experiment with colors.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Report: NSA Considered Revealing Porn Habits To Discredit Radicals – I feel like when people freak out about the unknown threat of mass government surveillance, they’re secretly worried a clandestine agent will reveal their naughty web-surfing habits to friends and family. Today, that fear was revealed. At least for suspected terrorists. The Huffington Post reports on new top-secret documents showing that the National Security Agency considered blackmailing suspected Muslim radicals by revealing their Internet porn history.

Microsoft to encrypt network traffic amid NSA datacenter link tapping claims – Microsoft is looking to follow its global cloud partners, Google and Yahoo, in encrypting the traffic flowing between its worldwide datacenter locations, fearing the U.S. government’s ability to tap into customer data. Suspicions at the software turned devices and services giant heightened in October when former U.S. government contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency was “tapping” into the private fiber cables connecting the two Internet giant’s datacenters.

Canada knew U.S. spying on G20: CBC report – Citing secret documents released by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, CBC reported Wednesday evening that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government allowed the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct a six-day operation, turning the American embassy in Ottawa into a security command post to spy as dozens of delegates flocked to Canada during the global summits in June 2010.

EU will not suspend safe harbor data privacy agreement with the US – The European Commission said Wednesday it will not suspend the safe harbor data privacy agreement with the U.S. despite calls from the European Parliament. However, following revelations of large-scale U.S. intelligence collection programs, the Commission has put forward a range of proposals to strengthen the agreement.


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