Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 29, 2014

10 cool Android apps to start the year;  Was Your Account Hacked? How to Find Out;  How to find out if someone has been snooping in your Gmail;  5 alternatives for remote PC access;  Pebble Steel: The smartwatch worth wearing;  Get your TV (and other devices) football-ready;  Cop Watch Toronto;  Schedule Email to Be Sent Later with Gmail;  Facebook Connect flaws can’t or won’t be fixed;  Defend Your Website Against Content Thieves;  Google Chrome Now Lets You Play With LEGO.

Was Your Account Hacked? How to Find Out – News of credit card hacks and other data breaches have made headlines on an almost daily basis lately. With so many attacks at major national chains, from Target to Neiman Marcus to Michaels, affecting millions of customers, it’s very possible that your credit card has been compromised. So what should you do if you are worried that your credit card might have been compromised, and how do you keep yourself safe going forward?

How to find out if someone has been snooping in your Gmail – Your Gmail account probably contains some sensitive information—emails from your friends and family members, information about accounts for other services, candid pictures, you name it. What if someone else has been poking around in there? Fortunately, Google gives you the tools necessary to find out.

Get your TV (and other devices) football-ready – With the annual Big Game coming up, now’s the time to make sure your TV is set up perfectly. Here are CNET’s best tips for making sure your living room is ready for some football.

Super Bowl to block live stream watching to make way for tweets and posts – In every large gathering or event today, you’ll see crowds of people holding up their smartphones or tablets to snap up the experience and share it with the world. To help make that new behavior as painless as possible, the NFL has decided ahead of time that it will prevent people inside the stadium from watching live video streams during the Super Bowl XLVIII match between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.

10 cool Android apps to start the year – There are so many apps in the Google Play store it can be hard finding those useful gems. We’ve done the work for you.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Cop Watch Toronto – The Cop Watch Toronto app provides the easiest way to create and upload videos about police-citizen interactions. Settings are available to have the app begin recording as soon as it is launched, and to upload video to YouTube automatically. The app also provides some handy reference material concerning your right to shoot these videos. (Far too many police forces, Toronto cops are among the most brazen, have little or no regard for civil liberties. Every encounter you have with a cop should be recorded for your own protection.)

5 alternatives to LogMeIn Free for remote PC access – LogMeIn Free is gone, but don’t panic: You can find alternative remote-access tools that cost the same low price of nothing at all. Whether you need to access a document, collaborate with a colleague, or support several PCs, try one of these free tools to get back into the game.

HomeHero Launches To Help Families Find, Hire, And Manage In-Home Care For Seniors – Backed by L.A.-based incubator and studio, Science, Inc., HomeHero is launching today on a mission to build a layer of trust in the senior care market and help families reduce the headache inherent to finding, hiring and managing in-home care for seniors. After struggling to find quality, affordable care for their elderly grandparents, Kyle Hill and Mike Townsend began building HomeHero last year to help alleviate some of the stress that many families experience when trying to find care for aging loved ones.

After bug, Google notifies users that all is a-OK with Gmail – A glitch that caused some e-mails to be marked as spam and others to be deleted is fixed — but the Web giant says users should make sure their messages are in the right place.

Create your own YouTube radio with Streamus – There is no shortage of Internet radio services. From freeware like Pandora and Rdio to premium services like Spotify and Google Music, you can listen to all the songs you want, when you want them. Streamus allows you to search for songs by tapping into the world’s largest music database, YouTube.

Supercharge Gmail with these 3 simple, stellar Gmail Labs features – Gmail Labs features represent the cutting edge of email functionality, and can help you Get Things Done even faster. Here’s three to try today.

How to Schedule Email to Be Sent Later with Gmail – If you’re using Gmail, the Boomerang extension will not only allow you to schedule messages to be sent sometime in the future, but you can also use it to temporarily clear messages out of your inbox until you’re ready to deal with them.

Wearable book lets readers feel the fiction – A project out of MIT called Sensory Fiction relays characters’ emotions through networked sensors and actuators worn by the reader. Will future books be yet another wearable technology?

Shapify adds a new dimension to selfies with 3D printing – Shapify has ushered in the new era of the selfie, making it simple for interested folks to have their own 3D-printed self for perching on a desk or as the coolest action figure ever. The service allows those with a Kinect sensor to snap a couple of selfies, upload them, and get a 3D-printed replica in the mail a short while later.

Blocking torrent sites ‘ineffective’: Pirate Bay ban lifted for Dutch ISPs – Two ISPs in The Netherlands have overturned a court order that forced them to block access to BitTorrent search engine the Pirate Bay. Internet providers in the Euro nation were told by a district judge in 2012 to seal off the website from their customers, at the request of anti-piracy campaigners. Two ISPs Ziggo and XS4All took the case to the Court of Appeals in The Hague – which yesterday ruled in their favor and reversed the banning order.

Two-thirds of Americans surf the Web at less than 10Mbps – Despite Internet speed improvements in nearly every state, most US residents are still surfing the Web at less than 10Mbps, according to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet Report. Drawing data from Akamai’s globally distributed network of servers, the report covering Q3 2013 put the US in 9th place worldwide in the proportion of residents with “high broadband,” or at least 10Mbps average download speeds.

Brace yourself for flood of new domain names – The Internet is about to get a lot busier and more cluttered. The Internet addresses that we are accustomed to using — .com, .net and .edu – will be getting a lot of company next week.

Defend Your Website Against Content Thieves – Say you’re an online purveyor of used electronics. Your business depends on that guy who wants a used iPad finding your great prices. But you wouldn’t be so happy if a competitor captured your entire price list in order to beat your prices by just enough. How can you allow full access for users while preventing wholesale scraping of your content? Well, you could use ScrapeDefender, a cloud-based anti-scraping solution that released today. I talked with Robert Kane, ScrapeDefender’s CEO, about just how the product works.

Pebble Steel: The smartwatch worth wearing – Equal parts fashionable and functional, the Pebble Steel leaps to the top of the smartwatch heap.

Evernote upgrades make sync four times faster – Evernote has completed upgrades to its servers, making synchronization four times faster for users — with more improvements to come.

Too Cold? These 5 Phones Work With Gloves – It’s freezing out there. If you buy one of these five phones, you won’t need to take your gloves off to use it.

Security:

VPN bypass vulnerability affects Android Jelly Bean and KitKat – A vulnerability in Android allows malicious applications to bypass an active VPN (virtual private network) connection and force traffic from the device through an attacker-controlled system where it can be intercepted, according to security researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Researchers from the university’s Cyber Security Labs initially reported Jan. 17 that the vulnerability affects Android 4.3, known as Jelly Bean. However, upon further investigation they were also able to reproduce it on Android 4.4 KitKat, the latest major version of the mobile OS.

Fully functional trojanized FileZilla client steals FTP logins – Trojanized versions of the hugely popular FileZilla FTP client are being offered to unsuspecting users via hacked websites with fake content. “Malware installer GUI is almost identical to the official version. The only slight difference is version of NullSoft installer where malware uses 2.46.3-Unicode and the official installer uses v2.45-Unicode. All other elements like texts, buttons, icons and images are the same,” Avast researchers warn.

The malware records, encodes and sends FTP login credentials to the criminals’ server hosted in Germany, the domains on which are registered with Naunet.ru, a Russian domain registrar known for malware and spam activity.

Facebook Connect flaws can’t or won’t be fixed: researcher – User information could be up for grabs, as well as the potential to allow attackers to control services linked to Facebook via its Connect feature.

Spot a phishing e-mail in 2014 – Has your account been compromised? Have you recently won a contest? Chances are good a hacker is trying to reel you in.

Hacker will become the first charged under India’s cyber security laws – Amit Vikram Tiwari will be the first person to be charged under India’s cyber security laws. The man is accused of operating a hacking service where bank and email details were breached for a fee.

Angry Birds maker Rovio: We don’t share data with NSA – The company did say, however, that it might need to revisit its relationships with third-party ad networks if their services are being used for spying.

Company News:

Google infringed patents, must pay 1.36 percent of AdWords revenue – Vringo is a tiny company that purchased some patents from Lycos, an old search engine, in 2011 and then used those patents to sue Google. In December 2012, Vringo won $30 million in a jury trial, but that was far less than the hundreds of millions it was seeking. Today, Vringo got the payout it was looking for: a 1.36 percent running royalty on US-based revenue from AdWords, Google’s flagship program.

Walmart Begins Testing Online Grocery Shopping With Local Store Pickup Option In Denver – Walmart To Go, the retailer’s on-demand shopping service offering home delivery of general merchandise, including in some cases, groceries, is expanding its test in the Denver market today to also include a local pick-up option. Denver area customers will now be able to order their groceries online, then pick up at a nearby store – without having to set foot inside the store.

Yahoo reports another sales decline as ads sag – Since Marissa Mayer took the helm as CEO in 2012, she has aimed to make Yahoo cool again with a string of redesigns, acquisitions and some high-profile hires like TV personality Katie Couric. Some of those moves, like Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr, may have netted the company more users and more developer talent, but not yet an upswing in advertising sales.

American Megatrends Launches New StorTrends 3500i SSD Array – American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) today announced the release of its StorTrends 3500i SSD Array, the first and only storage area network (SAN) to combine solid state drive (SSD) caching and SSD tiering into a single storage appliance. Optimized to support VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix and RHEV enterprises of all sizes, the StorTrends 3500i is available as a hybrid or full flash array and delivers dramatic enterprise performance and reliability at an extremely affordable price point.

ManageEngine Debuts Cisco AVC Monitoring, iPad App, Network Security Fortifications – ManageEngine today announced a suite of upgrades that are immediately available for key applications. NetFlow Analyzer, the real-time traffic and security analytics software, adds Cisco Application Visibility and Control (AVC) monitoring. OpManager, the company’s data center management software for large enterprises, gains an iPad app. DeviceExpert, the web–based, multi-vendor network change and configuration management solution, now supports security information and event management (SIEM) integration. ManageEngine will be demonstrating the applications’ new features at Cisco Live, January 27-31, 2014, in Milan, Italy.

T-Mobile raises anti-AT&T attacks to bizarre levels – T-Mobile has cranked up its offensive against AT&T, issuing a bizarrely tongue-in-cheek press release fabricating quotes from AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega as it snipes at its rival’s $450 “buy back” campaign to get former subscribers to return. The release, published as AT&T announced its Q4 2013 financial results, credits its own “Uncarrier” movement as motivating AT&T to offer to pay customers if they come back from their T-Mobile contacts.

AMD’s first ARM processor is 8-core and 64-bit – AMD is turning to the ARM design for a new series of chips, an unmistakable sign that the heyday of “x86” chips is over.

Opera’s app store clears 100 million monthly users – After the 2011 acquisition of app-store specialist Handster, the Norwegian browser maker has enough visitors to rank its Opera Mobile Store as the fifth-largest app store, the company says.

Games and Entertainment:

Google Chrome Now Lets You Play With LEGO In The Browser – This is a pretty obvious movie tie-in, but it’s still pretty cool: Google has partnered with LEGO to build an app that lets you play with LEGOs right in the browser. Using WebGL and other modern web technologies, a Google team in Australia first developed this application as an experiment in 2012 and now Google is opening it up to everybody.

11 PC games that are just as fun to watch as to play – Since the early days of arcade hits like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, people have enjoyed watching electronic games over players’ shoulders. Now that we have Twitch and YouTube “Let’s Plays,” anyone can cast a game to the Web, and anyone can watch them play. So if you’d like to spend some time gaming vicariously, check out these options for spectator fun. We’ll start with the biggest duo in existence today.

PlayStation Plus not required to play Elder Scrolls Online on PS4 – Bethesda Softworks parent company Zenimax Media has confirmed that its upcoming MMO The Elder Scrolls Online won’t require a PlayStation Plus subscription to be played on the PS4. Xbox One players, on the other hand, will have to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to play the game.

Nintendo denies mini-game smartphone rumors – Nintendo has officially denied reports that it plans to start offering mini-games on smartphone devices, saying that the company has no intentions of releasing games for those products.

Amazon expected to launch sub-$300 Android games console this year – Amazon has shown multiple times now it isn’t afraid of entering the hardware market with its own take on how a gadget should work. So far they’ve seen the most success with the Kindle range of e-readers, but the Kindle Fire tablets aren’t exactly doing badly. Now it looks like we’re about to get a dedicated games console from the company, which you’d also expect to carry the Kindle name.

Borderlands 2 update will bring colorblind mode: game programmer tells all – In a long write up in a Gear Box Software’s Inside the Box, programmer Jeffrey “botman” Broome has detailed what went into creating a colorblind mode for Borderlands 2, which will arrive in an upcoming game update. Broome delves deep into the topic, covering the biological aspect of colorblindness and what goes into developing a game that meets the condition’s needs.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Silicon Valley Is Now Public Enemy No. 1, And We Only Have Ourselves To Blame – For a region noted for its problem-solving orientation and progressive ethos, Silicon Valley has managed to anger a pretty wide swath of American society. Some of the blows have been self-inflicted, like venture capitalists who compare progressivism to Nazism or who block access to public beaches. But those issues are mere skirmishes compared to the war over increasing inequality in San Francisco and the Bay Area, which have led to attacks on private buses and stalkers of Google executives.

Stephen Fry rewrites computer history again: This time it’s serious – What are we to do with Stephen Fry? Britain’s go-to guy for advertisement voice-overs has had another attempt at explaining computing history, in his own unique way. But he’s got it wrong, and at the same time sullied the memory of one of the industry’s true pioneers.

Early build of ‘iOS in the Car’ shown in video – iOS in the Car is an iPhone feature which will allow drivers to use a tweaked version of iOS 7 on their car’s dashboard display. For the first time, the interface has been shown unofficially in video.

Porsche’s recovered 1898 electric car: After sitting in a warehouse for 111 years, the first Porsche is back – Also known as the “P-1,” this design would become the first vehicle from Ferdinand Porsche in 1898. Three years later it was wheeled into a warehouse where it sat for over 111 years. Recently recovered, the P-1 is now on permanent display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Continue through the gallery to see how the unrestored electric vehicle looks today.

Angry bear rip your plane apart? Duct tape can put you back in the air – It’s an unbelievable story, but believe it you should: One Alaskan pilot managed to repair enormous damage to his small aircraft… with duct tape.

New Homeland Security Chief: Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants Is A Matter Of National Security – The new Homeland Security secretary says an earned path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally is a matter of national security. (Suggested by Aseem S. As Aseem pointed out to me – EVERYTHING in the U.S. is a matter of national security.)

Donald Trump Explains Apple’s Stock Dip – Noted Apple analyst and Birther Movement enthusiast Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to voice his concerns over the company’s lack of “vision” and “momentum”. On the heels of yesterday’s earnings report, which included record iPhone and iPad sales, Apple’s stock dropped about 8 percent in after-hours trading. Why? According to Trump, because the iPhone needs a large-screen option.

The ‘closet-sharing’ economy: Like thrift shopping without the effort – Used merchandise is big business in the United States, with 18,000 stores selling $13 billion worth of stuff each year. But those numbers count only physical shops, not websites and apps, which aren’t exactly clamoring to disclose their active-user totals or their revenue numbers. One resale app, Poshmark, this week said that it has millions of users who sold more than 1.5 million items last year.

Something to think about:

Surveillance equals power. The more you know about someone, the more you can control and manipulate them in all sorts of ways. That is one reason a Surveillance State is so menacing to basic political liberties.”

–      Glenn Greenwald

Today’s Free Downloads:

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair 2.2.0 – Tweaking.com – Windows Repair is an all-in-one repair tool to help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including registry errors and file permissions. With Tweaking.com – Windows Repair you can restore many of your Windows settings to their original state. Also, this program also has the MalwareBytes Anti-Malware scanning engine built in to help rid your machine of infection before attempting repairs.

Avira AntiVir Rescue System – The Avira AntiVir Rescue System a linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to repair a damaged system, to rescue data or to scan the system for virus infections. Just double-click on the rescue system package to burn it to a CD/DVD. You can then use this CD/DVD to boot your computer. The Avira AntiVir Rescue System is updated several times a day so that the most recent security updates are always available.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Users Should Be Able To Sue Tech Companies Over Spying, Says Sen. Rand Paul – Libertarian hero and presidential hopeful Senator Rand Paul tells me that tech companies should not be granted legal immunity from consumers suing them over government spying. The Patriot Act infamously gave telecommunications companies immunity from being sued for allowing Intelligence agencies to tap phone and Internet lines.

Tech giants CAN disclose US spooks’ data demands – but with heavy restrictions – Apple has announced that it received less than 250 requests for data from US intelligence agencies in the first half of last year after the Obama administration slightly loosened restrictions on disclosing spooks’ data requests. After months of negotiations between the Obama administration and tech firms, from Yahoo! to Facebook, the Department of Justice filed with the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to allow “more detailed disclosures” about the amount of data the government tries to get out of web companies and communications providers.

Google-Backed Developer Group Slams Newly Uncovered NSA App Spying – The Application Developers Alliance, which counts Google and AT&T as members according to its website, has condemned recent NSA revelations concerning data collection efforts by the government from apps, saying that the news “damages” its industry, and “undermines the hard work of app developer entrepreneurs everywhere.” Yesterday, newly reveled efforts by the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ, to collect user information from certain mobile applications relit the discussion concerning privacy, data integrity, and the limits of government surveillance. The documents behind the leak, provided by Edward Snowden, allow the government to, in the words of The Guardian, “piggyback [on] commercial data collection for their own purposes.”

Lavabit case highlights legal fuzziness around encryption rules – While privacy advocates may see Lavabit as bravely defending U.S. privacy rights in the online world, federal judges hearing its appeal of contempt-of-court charges seem to regard the now defunct encrypted email service as just being tardy in complying with government court orders. Attorneys from both Lavabit and the U.S. government agreed that the legal issues between them could have been resolved before heading to court, though neither party seemed to have an adequate technical answer of how Lavabit could have successfully passed unencrypted data to a law enforcement agency in order to meet the government’s demands.

NSA gains a civil liberties and privacy officer: reports – Dragnets, datacentre tapping, secret courts, and beam weapons. These are but a few of the actions conducted by the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) and its Five Eyes cohorts, thanks to the documents leaked to journalists by Edward Snowden. Yet, here we are, at the turning of the tide, as Lawfare reports that the NSA has appointed its first civil liberties and privacy officer (CLPO).

4 Comments

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

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 29, 2014

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