Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 9, 2014

Must-have Android widgets – smartphone and tablet;  When The FBI Asks You To Backdoor Your Software;  How to tag faces in the Android Gallery; Wearable cameras at CES;  11 must-see videos from CES 2014;  Windows XP support ends in 90 days;  Over-the-air TV on your phone or tablet;  Microsoft trumps Apple in branding;  The PC’s weird and wonderful future;  T-Mobile will pay you $650 to switch;  The most worrisome Internet addicts?

Must-have Android widgets for your smartphone and tablet – One thing that truly sets Google’s Android mobile OS apart from other mobile platforms is its ability to use home-screen “widgets.” These applications sit on your Android device’s home panels to display related information. You never have to open those apps unless you want additional details.

How to tag faces in the Android Gallery – The Android smartphone has a number of lesser-known features, some of which actually can come in handy. One such feature is the ability to tag faces in photos within the Gallery app. This can be put to good use when you know you’re going to need to be able to easily recall exactly who you took a photo of at a conference or meeting.

Uncarrier 4.0: T-Mobile will pay you up to $650 per line to switch from competitor – T-Mobile is back with Uncarrier 4.0, it’s latest promotion to get you to switch away from your current wireless service. It’s willing to pay for your early termination fees and your current phones.

Windows XP support ends in 90 days, Microsoft remains firm on deadline – Microsoft will cut support for Windows XP three months from today on April 8th and in a statement to Neowin, the company said that people are “missing out on tangible benefits” if they don’t upgrade.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Shoots and Leaves Turns Your Photos into Reminders and Links – When you open the app, Shoots and Leaves boots you right to the camera interface. You snap your picture and it is immediately uploaded to Imgur, Dropbox or CloudApp. What you get is a link to the image, but you can then attach an action. One of the more popular uses is to attach a reminder to the link and drop it into the iOS reminders app. That’s only one option, though. Your link can go to Mail, SMS, and even third-party apps like Omnifocus and Drafts.

11 must-see videos from CES 2014 – CES is in full swing with tons of new tech and the return of established favorites. Join CNET TV for a tour of the top videos from the show floor.

Dell’s 28-inch 4K display will sell for just $699 – Can’t wait to get your hands on a reasonably-priced 4K display? You don’t have long to wait. Dell’s UltraSharp P2815Q is set to launch in just two weeks, and it’s priced to move.

Vizio to Sell Sub-$1,000 50-Inch 4K HDTV – The 50-inch P502ui-B1 will cost just under $1,000, and while most people might not want to spend that much money on a new TV, it’s a pretty good price for a set with a 4K display. Thus far, the cheapest 4K set we’ve seen in the PCMag Labs is the $1,500 50-inch Seiki SE50UY04, but larger sets can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Wearable cameras at CES 2014 (pictures) – Whether you’re looking to log every moment of your life or simply want to capture some hands-free video, check out these small, lightweight wearable cameras.

Wolfram Alpha working to challenge gadget blogs with searchable database – Want to know what 15-inch laptops are available for less than $1500? We can tell you. But soon, so will Wolfram Alpha.

Forget 2-in-1, Gigabyte Launches 3-in-1 Laptop – Gigabyte is differentiating itself from the spate of 2-in-1 convertibles with the CES launch of its 3-in-1 system. Gigabyte’s U21MD is an ultrabook class laptop with many additional features that has it standing up for itself (pun intended).

Over-the-air TV on your phone or tablet? There’s a Tablo for that – Cord cutters, rejoice! There are tons of great products coming your way from CES 2014 that are aimed at people who like to stream their content, as well as those who want to watch and record over-the-air TV. Tablo is both. Tablo is a DVR from Nuvyyo that connects to any HDTV antenna and joins your home network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. You also have to plug it in to power and attach any USB hard drive, and then that’s it.

The MPAA just joined the W3C, what could possibly go wrong? – If ever there was a group in need of a new purpose in life, it’s the MPAA. Instead they appear to have turned their sharp claws and glowing red eyes on the World Wide Web Consortium, and there’s really only one reason we can imagine they would want to do that.


Intel to Offer ‘Hardened’ Android for Consumers, Enterprises – Intel this week said it is developing security extensions for Intel-based mobile devices running Android for both consumers and enterprise customers. “Mobile devices running with Intel Device Protection Technology will offer users new security capabilities to help proactively block and secure the devices from malware delivered through malicious applications and websites,” Intel spokesperson Suzy Greenberg told PCMag Wednesday.

Support for Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows XP ends April 8 – Microsoft’s official Windows XP support page has now confirmed that the company will also no longer provide Microsoft Security Essentials for the OS after April 8th.

Hackers use Amazon cloud to scrape mass number of LinkedIn member profiles – LinkedIn is suing a gang of hackers who used Amazon’s cloud computing service to circumvent security measures and copy data from hundreds of thousands of member profiles each day.

Phishing Attack Preys on JPMorgan Data Breach Fears – Spammers are using last month’s JPMorganChase data breach in a new phishing attack aimed at getting victims to hand over confidential information.

Sexual predators snared by social sharing – The use of social media to catch child abusers and predators is getting results. But police still need our help.

Company News:

Google’s master plan for Android: More Internet users paying $6.30 a pop – Forget today’s smartphone profits: Apple and Samsung increasingly split those relatively evenly, as research from Canaccord Genuity shows. But the real question is where the mobile industry is heading, and who will clean up. Increasingly, the answer to both questions is “Google.”

Twitter Co-founder Launches Jelly, a Visual Question and Answer Social App – Twitter co-founder Biz Stone left the company a while back, but today he has announced a new venture called Jelly. What is it? Jelly is an app that you can use to ask questions with pictures on your existing social networks. It has launched on both Android and iOS with a slick UI and interesting approach to social networking.

Microsoft trumps Apple in branding, takes top spot – Microsoft came out on top in a brand survey conducted by Forrester Research, beating often-trumpeted Apple because of Microsoft’s ubiquity in consumers’ lives and its cross-generational appeal. And it didn’t hurt that Microsoft kicked off a unified branding, dubbed “One Microsoft,” that followed Apple’s example and has resonated with American consumers.

French Watchdog Fines Google $203K Over Privacy Policy – After months of pleading and threatening, a French privacy watchdog has finally fined Google €150,000 ($203,790) for what it says is a violation of the French Data Protection Act.

McAfee becomes Intel Security because strippers and cocaine aren’t great for PR – There was a time when the name McAfee made people think of antivirus software. Nowadays, however, it’s more likely to evoke images of guns, strippers, and cocaine snorting thanks to the notorious antics of former head honcho John McAfee. That may explain why Intel has finally decided to re-brand the company they acquired back in 2010 for $7.68 billion. Going forward, it will be known as Intel Security.

Dish said to abandon $2.2B takeover bid for LightSquared – Satellite TV provider will officially pull out of the race for the troubled wireless service provider as early as Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Games and Entertainment:

Digital movie sales climb 47 percent in 2013 – While overall digital home entertainment spending remains fairly steady at $18.2 billion, digital movies sales shoot through the roof raking in $1.19 billion.

John Carmack is developing games for the Oculus Rift – When John Carmack announced he was leaving id Software to focus completely on Oculus Rift development, it did come as a shock to many. Carmack’s resume includes Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, and Rage, and his talents as a game engine developer are unmatched.

The best video on the internet, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, gets a sequel – Whereas the first video was about creativity, this video is about time. While it doesn’t seem as monumentally brilliant as the first one — it is the same schtick once again, after all — it’s still highly entertaining, an aesthetic treat, and maintains the first video’s slow descent into madness. Though the descent is unyielding, this time around — perhaps because the first video forever burned its madness into our brains — it is quick, allowing you to collect your sanity and attempt to continue on with your day.

Titanfall multiplayer is limited to 12 players, AI to make up the numbers – One of the key titles for Microsoft and the Xbox One is Titanfall. It has all the key ingredients Microsoft needs to help sell the Xbox One: it’s a console exclusive, a first-person shooter, and places the emphasis on online multiplayer gaming. But it turns out Titanfall will not live up to many player’s expectations of what online multiplayer should be.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The PC’s weird and wonderful future – We saw the possible future of PCs at CES 2014, and it’s…out there. Here are the eleven craziest devices we saw in Las Vegas.

VIDEO: 5 Questions With Suneet Singh Tuli, $38 Tablet Maker – Datawind has sold nearly a million ultra-low-cost Android tablets in India. We sit down with the company’s CEO to ask how he’ll get the next billion people online.

Here’s why ‘native ads’ are a very bad idea… So why is the NYTimes so clueless? – The New York Times has sold its soul for a handful of beans…and there’s no magical beanstalk to save it from a very bad decision.

The most worrisome Internet addicts? Workaholics – A study says that overachievers become so addicted to the Internet that they develop depression and isolation.

Steve Ballmer: The Exit Interview – After 13 years as Microsoft’s CEO, 33-year veteran Steve Ballmer is preparing to pass the torch to whoever becomes Microsoft’s third CEO. Ballmer has had a lasting impact on Microsoft, its partners, customers and competitors. Here’s a look back at his lasting legacy.

NASA Gets Green Light to Extend Life of ISS – NASA has received approval from the Obama administration to keep the International Space Station operational until 2024, four years longer than previously planned, according to reports.

Pioneer’s Cycling Sports system tracks serious data for serious cyclists – What would you do with 199 different metrics about your bike ride? If you’re salivating over the possibilities, Pioneer’s Cycling Sports line of gear might be for you.

Something to think about:

Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they contain the whole truth, or the only truth.”

–       Charles A. Dana

Today’s Free Downloads:

Attribute Changer – Attribute Changer is a powerful Windows Explorer add-on, available at your fingertips whenever you right-click on files, folders and even drives in Windows Explorer. The application is loaded with exciting features and helps you manage your day to day tasks in Microsoft Windows.

Dexpot – Dexpot turns your monitor into 20 different virtual desktops. Dexpot creates additional workspaces you can quickly switch between them. Take, for example, Desktop 1 to listen to your favourite music, surf the web on Desktop 2, use Desktop 3 to handle your daily word processing or switch to Desktop 4 for a game of Solitaire. Different icons, wallpapers, start-ups, and much more can be configured for each desktop.

PhraseExpress – PhraseExpress organizes your frequently used text snippets in customizable categories for quick access. PhraseExpress saves hours of typing. It is the ideal solution for personnel in office, technical support, customer care, help desk, call center and medical or legal transcription settings.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

EU politicians doubt that fighting terrorism is only reason for U.S. Surveillance – In a draft report from the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee, published Wednesday, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) say that it is “very doubtful that data collection of such magnitude is only guided by the fight against terrorism,” and that there may be other motives such as political and economic espionage. The document urges E.U. countries to take legal action against the breach of their sovereignty perpetrated through such mass surveillance programs.

What It’s Like When The FBI Asks You To Backdoor Your Software – At a recent RSA Security Conference, Nico Sell was on stage announcing that her company—Wickr—was making drastic changes to ensure its users’ security. She said that the company would switch from RSA encryption to elliptic curve encryption, and that the service wouldn’t have a backdoor for anyone. As she left the stage, before she’d even had a chance to take her microphone off, a man approached her and introduced himself as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He then proceeded to “casually” ask if she’d be willing to install a backdoor into Wickr that would allow the FBI to retrieve information.

Campaign to kick NSA man from crypto standards group fails – National Security Agency employee Kevin Igoe is to keep his position on the panel of an influential internet standards working group, the powers-that-be decided last weekend. Igoe, who co-chairs the Internet Research Task Force’s Crypto Forum Research Group (CFRG), had been accused by those campaigning for his removal of pushing for the adoption of a weakened version of the “Dragonfly” key exchange protocol.

Leahy’s perennial data privacy bill gets another shot – In the wake of the Target stores’ credit card hack, Sen. Patrick Leahy reintroduces a data privacy and protection law that he’s wanted Congress to pass since 2005.


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