Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 2, 2014

Keeping your photos – explicit or not – safe from the cloud;  Top Android apps, August 2014;  Top iOS apps of the month, August 2014;  Best mobile games of August 2014;  Jennifer Lawrence, failed by the Web;  What Are Hackers Thinking?  Firefox now ships with adverts, but don’t panic;  A scan-to-PDF tool for Android that’s worth its weight in data;  IRS calling? Nope. It’s a scam;  Fraudulent Netflix site wants to leave you high and dry;  5 tips on migrating to open-source software;  Tests compare Mac OS X anti-malware products;  The 11 best PC co-op games to play with your friends;  Apple manipulates journalists using anonymous social media accounts;  Which is better: Xbox One or PS4?  September’s Hottest Video Game Releases;  Map: See Every Single Device Connected to the Internet;  Watch yourself! Adult magazine’s guide to sousveillance, or copwatching;  PornHub tells us which operating system comes first with revealing stats.

Keeping your photos – explicit or not – safe from the cloud – This week a leak of explicit celebrity photos has summoned the need for additional security measures. Not just the kind of security measures you take by purchasing “keep me private” apps and the like, but the kind that includes common sense and the flipping of a few key switches in your phone. As it turns out – you CAN take whatever photos you like without having them leaked to the public.

Jennifer Lawrence, failed by the Web – We’ve all been naive to believe that there is any sort of true security on the Web. The case of the mass leaking of naked celebrity pictures is just one example.

(Failed by the Web? B.S. Just another artificial Hollywood construct who is most deserving of a Darwin Award. Hollywood; Actors; Responsibility – Oxymoron.)

Facebook says not to believe the rumors, wants you to trust its Messenger app – You’ve probably read the rumors by now: Facebook’s Messenger app records your movements! Spies on your conversations! Kills baby unicorns! Facebook wants you to know that it’s doing nothing of the sort. In a statement from Peter Martinazzi, a member of the Facebook Messenger development team, the social media company explains that Messenger doesn’t actively listen in or watch you through your phone’s on-board camera and microphone. Instead, it asks to use your camera and microphone so you can make audio chats, or send photos and videos to your friends.

Chrome extension adds bookmarks to right-click menu – The Context Bookmarks extension lets you keep your bookmarks bar hidden but its contents readily available.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Why in-air gestures failed, and why they’ll soon win – Don’t count out in-the-air gesture technology out yet. It will soon become a mainstream technology that just about everyone will use.


With Leap Motion’s technology, a user can control a  PC with gestures. Credit: Leap Motion

What Are Hackers Thinking? – When you’re a victim of a malware or phishing campaign, you’re probably asking yourself a series of panicked questions. Why are you being targeted in the first place? What exactly are hackers looking for? Password management company Thycotic decided to tackle these burning questions by going directly to the source. The company conducted a survey of self-identified hackers at Black Hat USA 2014 to understand these cyber masterminds better.


A scan-to-PDF tool for Android that’s worth its weight in data – There are plenty of scanning apps out there and plenty that do a great job of scanning to PDF. The problem with many of these apps is that they rely heavily on your ability to do a good job of snapping a photo of the image you want to import into a PDF. Snap a crooked shot or one that’s out of perspective, and you’ll wind up sending off a less-than-professional document. That’s all fine and good if you can take perfect shots of your documents every time. But for those times when you can’t, you’ll be glad you have Quick PDF Scanner.

Top Android apps, August 2014 – Here are some of the most interesting apps for the Android operating system we’ve discovered this month.

Top iOS apps of the month, August 2014 – What are some of the most interesting apps for Apple’s iOS operating system we’ve discovered this month?

Internet Archive Uploads 2.4 Million Historical Images to Flickr – If you have a hankering for some old-timey cat pictures, the Internet Archive has you covered. These images are the first batch of what the Internet Archive is calling “The Commons,” a new collection made up photographs from the more than 600 million book pages that the organization has digitally scanned. The pages themselves amount to more than 19 petabytes’ worth of data—with more than 14 million images eventually expected to make their way online.

Firefox now ships with adverts, but don’t panic – Mozilla talked about shipping Firefox with built-in ads, and they’ve arrived. Sponsored Tiles are now active in Firefox Nightly. How, exactly, do Sponsored Tiles change Firefox? Not much at all, really. Sponsored Tiles look exactly like the Discovery Tiles Mozilla has already been offering to you as suggested browsing destinations on the New Tab page. They are, however, clearly marked as being sponsored — just like the targeted ads that occupy the top of every major search engine’s results page.


Google Glass human emotion detector is by far the creepiest wearable app – You know that old mood ring joke? A husband buys his wife a mood ring and uses the colors to tell whether or not he’s in trouble, and the punch line is when she’s mad, the ring leaves a red mark upside his head? Thanks to Fraunhofer IIS, there’s now a Google Glass app for this experience, complete with a probable smack upside your head or worse should you ever use the app on an unsuspecting person.


5 tips on migrating to open-source software – Regardless of what Free Open Source Software (FOSS) you need to use, you might not always find it the most natural evolution — especially when you’ve spent the whole of your career using proprietary software. The thing is, a lot of open-source software has matured to the point where it rivals (and sometimes bests) its proprietary counterpart. With that in mind, I wanted to offer up my five best tips for migrating from a closed-software ecosystem to an open one.

Migrate systems from one version of Windows to another with the Zinstall Migration Suite – This tool will allow you to quickly and easily transfer an entire user workspace — including applications, settings, personalization, documents, domain settings, security policies, and data files — from one system to another in a multitude of scenarios. For example, you can migrate from one computer to another, transfer from a physical machine to a virtual machine, perform an in-place upgrade, or simply transfer profiles, settings, and data. In this article, I’ll show you how the Zinstall Migration Suite works. As I do, I’ll use the package to migrate an existing Windows 7 system over to a new Windows 8.1 installation. The Zinstall Migration Suite is an enterprise-level product and, as such, pricing varies.


WallyHome review: Sniffs out water leaks all over your home – WallyHome is a network of moisture sensors that you can stash all over your home, where they’ll immediately alert you to problems like leaks, mold, or abnormal temperature and humidity levels. After I set up sensors in my bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and even the attic, I could rest easier knowing I’d be notified—and thoroughly. When I simulated a leaky bathroom sink, I got a push notification, an email, and a text message, and WallyHome even followed up with an “all clear” email once I’d cleaned everything up.



IRS calling? Nope. It’s a scam – CNET’s Charlie Cooper got a call one day from the IRS — or so the caller claimed. But it was an all too common social-engineering scam. And you could be next.

Fraudulent Netflix site wants to leave you high and dry – Eric Lawrence, creator of the famous Fiddler web debugger, spotted a phishing attack targeting Netflix customers. Readers of this blog may remember a similar one we identified several months ago. This new one is more sophisticated (better graphics, etc) although it does not have the tech support scam element but instead goes after your identity and wallet.


Find My iPhone exploit patched following celebrity photos leak – In a move that may be related to the recent glut of leaked celebrity photos, Apple has patched a “Find My iPhone” exploit that was detailed shortly before the content pilfering took place. It isn’t yet known whether the two are related, but the timing has many suspicious.

CryptoWall ransomware held over 600,000 computers hostage, encrypted 5B files – A file-encrypting ransomware program called CryptoWall infected over 600,000 computer systems in the past six months and held 5 billion files hostage, earning its creators more than $1 million, researchers found. The threat has been spreading since at least November 2013, but until the first quarter of this year it remained mostly overshadowed by CryptoLocker, another ransomware program that infected over half a million systems from September 2013 through May.


Rigged industrial software site points to watering hole attack – The rogue code injected into the compromised site loaded a JavaScript file from a remote server that was actually a reconnaissance framework dubbed Scanbox, Blasco said. In addition to collecting basic information like the browser type, computer IP (Internet Protocol) address, operating system and language, this tool uses advanced techniques to detect which security programs are installed on the visitor’s system, he said. According to the AlienVault analysis, Scanbox also tests if the computer uses Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) anti-exploitation tool and enumerates the locally installed versions of Adobe Flash, Microsoft Office, Acrobat Reader and Java — programs that are frequently targeted with Web-based exploits to install malware.

Tests compare Mac OS X anti-malware products – The Mac malware situation is a much lower-pressure one than that on Windows, so many products perform very well. But it’s still worth comparing them, so tests 18 products, both free and paid.

Company News:

Apple manipulates journalists using anonymous social media accounts – Apple has long been praised for its PR mastery, but it’s hordes of positive press isn’t a coincidence: the company whips certain journalists to provide good coverage, and even spies on writers.

Intel turns its attention to desktop performance, unveils 8-core Haswell-E processor – Intel took the wraps off its most powerful consumer CPU at the PAX video-game conference in Seattle, WA, today. Intel’s Core i7 High-end Desktop Processor Family, code-named Haswell-E, consists of three unlocked processors that support hyperthreading, DDR4 memory, and Intel’s all-new X99 chipset. The top-of-the-line Core i7-5960X boasts eight cores (16 processor threads), 20MB of cache, and 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes. This $999 processor runs at a base clock frequency of 3.0GHz and torques up to 3.5GHz in turbo mode.


Windows 8 gains market share as XP drops slightly – The latest data for desktop usage share shows that Windows 8 has gained during the last month while XP has lost nearly one percent, but Windows 7 still remains dominant.


China gives Microsoft twenty days to respond to antitrust inquiry – Chinese authorities looking into alleged antitrust violations by Microsoft have given the company twenty days to “make a written explanation” to questions and concerns raised by investigators.

Apple tipped to unveil iPhone Wallet next week – On a technological level, we could say that we could see it coming. The iPhone 6 is rumored to tuck an NFC chip inside, the first for the company who has previously been quite cold over the wireless technology. Paired with the Touch ID biometric security and you have pretty much the scaffolding for a payment system that is potentially more secure than what we’ve seen so far.

Alibaba IPO planned for week of Sept. 8, report says – The Chinese e-commerce giant is reportedly set to launch its blockbuster IPO in the U.S. the very same week Apple is expected to bring us the iPhone 6.

Games and Entertainment:

The 11 best PC co-op games to play with your friends – Here we’ve rounded up twelve games that are better in every way to play with friends. Yeah, you could play some of them alone. Sure, you could (if you’re insane) play some of them with random Internet strangers who love to use profanity. But if you pair up with a partner or three you’ll have a much more rewarding experience.


Divinity: Original Sin

Which is better: Xbox One or PS4? – Few topics in our day-to-day lives, like choosing which game console is superior, turn otherwise civil individuals into aggressive combatants. So now it’s time to look at the evidence and answer the question for ourselves. Nearly ten months after the launch of the next-generation consoles, is the PS4 or Xbox One the better platform?

Best mobile games of August 2014 – Looking for a new game to play on your mobile device? Here’s our pick of the best released in August 2014.

September’s Hottest Video Game Releases – Summer is drawing to a close and with it goes the easygoing mood of the season as the world returns to work and school. Fortunately, just because playtime is over doesn’t mean that gaming time is over, as there are a ton of great game releases in September to help ease the transition to more serious pursuits. In fact, the pace of highly anticipated game releases picks up this month with a wave of promising games that span many consoles and genres.


Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition revealed, preorders now up – Released in 2000, Icewind Dale takes players once more to the D&D campaign world of Forgotten Realms, this time to the frigid north to fight, what else, evil. But Beamdog has done more than just bring forward the old game to this decade, it has added a ton of new features you won’t find in the original version. The Enhanced Edition, or EE, expands the amount of content considerably. And it’s not just the six expanded quests. The game adds new classes and combinations inherited from Beamdog’s previous work with Balduer’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition.


10 obscure Steam features that can power up your PC gaming – Let’s cut to the chase: For many people, PC gaming is synonymous with Steam. Valve’s ubiquitous gaming client is both storefront and service, delivering a one-stop shop for buying games, playing and managing those games, and even building out a friends list to chat with while you game. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Steam’s rife with hidden features that can help you get more out of your PC gaming experience—tricks that few people ever touch. Here are some of the most useful.

Off Topic (Sort of):

See Every Single Device Connected to the Internet – The map was created by John Matherly, founder of Shodan, a search engine that probes the Internet’s backend for connections to all sorts of devices from routers to refrigerators. Matherly said it took about five hours to ping every IP address on the Internet and store every positive response. It took another 12 hours to plot the responses on a heat map which glows bright orange in densely connected areas and blue and black in sparsely connected areas.


John Oliver turns to YouTube to thank, spank commenters – In a YouTube special, the HBO comedian marvels at the commentary he incites. It’s already received some erudite comments.


You’re overestimating Google’s driverless cars – Never tested in snow or heavy rain, potentially ignoring police, and confused into swerving by crumpled newspaper: Google’s self-driving cars face more than a few lingering problems before they’re truly ready for the road. The search behemoth’s plans to start tests of its control-free “pods” out in public had already collided with California’s DMV, which demanded that at least rudimentary steering and pedals be fitted before they’d be road-legal, but that may only be the start of Google’s headaches.


PornHub tells us which operating system comes first with revealing stats – As you can imagine, the majority of computers being used to watch internet pornography are Windows machines, sitting at a commanding 85%. Apple’s OS X only makes up about 11% of the desktop porn-watching community, while Linux only makes up a very Linux-like 1.7% of watchers. As for what versions of Windows lords over the porndom, Windows 7 sits atop the moist throne with a staggering 62% of viewers, followed by XP’s 16%, Window 8′s 14%, and Vista’s 6.5% — which is surprising, because people are still actually using Vista. Older versions of Windows, such as NT, ME, 2000, and even 95 and 98 still visit PornHub, but those numbers are relatively meager.

Something to think about:

“There are no whole truths; all truths are half- truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil”.

–     Alfred North Whitehead (1861 – 1947)

Today’s Free Downloads:

QuickSetDNS – QuickSetDNS is a simple tool that allows you to easily change the DNS servers that are used for your Internet connection. You can set the desired DNS servers from the user interface, by choosing from a list of DNS servers that you defined, or from command-line, without displaying any user interface.


Wireless Network Watcher – Wireless Network Watcher is a small utility that scans your wireless network and displays the list of all computers and devices that are currently connected to your network.

For every computer or device that is connected to your network, the following information is displayed: IP address, MAC address, the company that manufactured the network card, and optionally the computer name.

You can also export the connected devices list into html/xml/csv/text file, or copy the list to the clipboard and then paste into Excel or other spreadsheet application.

Using Wireless Network Watcher

Wireless Network Watcher doesn’t require any installation process or additional dll files. In order to start using it, simply extract the executable file (WNetWatcher.exe) from the zip file, and run it.

If you want, you can also download WNetWatcher with full install/uninstall support (wnetwatcher_setup.exe), so a shortcut for running WNetWatcher will be automatically added into your start menu.

After running WNetWatcher, it automatically locates your wireless adapter, and scans your network. After a few seconds, you should start see the list of computers that are currently connected to your network.

If from some reason, WNetWatcher failed to locate and scan your network, you can try to manually choosing the correct network adapter, by pressing F9 (Advanced Options) and choosing the right network adapter.


In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Microsoft Continues Its Campaign Against A US Warrant Demanding Overseas Data – A search warrant commanding Microsoft to turn over certain customer email data that is currently stored overseas was unfrozen late this week. The company declined to comply.

In a statement, Microsoft said that it “will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal.” This protest act by Microsoft, arguing that domestic warrants should not be able to command access to data stored abroad, has picked up support from other technology companies.

Profits are at risk. Modern technology companies vend cloud-based services to a global user base — if any one country can use domestic warrants to command access to the data of all companies that are headquartered within its borders, regardless of where the information in question is physically stored, no company can protect the data of users who hail from other countries from its own government. That would harm the company’s ability to sell services to those potential international customers.

More to the point, why a United States search warrant would apply to a datacenter in Ireland holding data of a person that may not be a United States citizen is somewhat suspect.

Watch yourself! Adult magazine’s guide to sousveillance, or copwatching – In the grim light of Eric Garner’s death, Michael Brown’s death, and the ensuing protests in Ferguson, New York City, and other cities across America, we at ADULT, the independent magazine I edit, have decided to publish online one of our first print issue’s more memorable pieces: Katie J.M. Baker’s guide to sousveillance, or copwatching. Although memorable seems like the wrong word, the kinds of events that impelled her to write the article never seem to stop happening long enough for her guide to be forgotten.




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

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 2, 2014

  1. blogtendi

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