Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 12, 2014

Secret Surveillance Battle Between Yahoo and the U.S. Government Revealed;  Internet Slowdown Day by the numbers;  Android apps are now running on Chrome OS;  Viber Adds Video Calls to Mobile;  How to Kick U2’s New Album Off Your iTunes (Kinda);  Personalize the Windows 7 Start menu;  Experience the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 3D right in your browser;  11 essential JavaScript tools for Web developers;  Export your Twitpic images before the service shuts down;  Massive solar flare erupts towards Earth;  Tabnabbing: A New Type of Phishing Attack;  German court requires Google to stop ignoring customer emails;  What you need to know about the Gmail password compromise;  Spiderman Unlimited Swings into Android and iOS;  How to get a job in computer security;  Stanford develops a radio the size of an ant;  Revo Uninstaller (free).

Internet Slowdown Day by the numbers: The people spoke about Net Neutrality – During Internet Slowdown Day, more than 10,000 sites participated in the action by placing spinning “loading” symbols on their web pages, according to Fight for the Future, a public advocacy organization. The spinning symbols were meant to imitate a slow-loading site. The FCC registered more than 111,000 new comments regarding its proposed guidelines on Wednesday, according to E Pluribus Unum, a site that reports on technology-related public policy.

Android apps are now running on Chrome OS – Everyone is going cross-platform these days. Microsoft’s Windows is (by and large) Windows, regardless of what device you use it on. Apple’s handshake deal between iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite keeps things separate but friendly, and now google is getting into the mix. The fist round of Android apps running on Chrome OS are live, with heavy-hitters like Evernote leading the charge.

Viber Adds Video Calls to Mobile – The popular app Viber, which offers free messaging and HD phone calls over Wi-Fi or 3G, is getting a new feature — video calls. With the latest version of the app, Viber 5.0 for iOS and Android, you can now make video calls from your phone. The feature is also available from the Viber desktop app for Windows, Windows 8, and OS X.

Personalize the Windows 7 Start menu – You can do a lot with the Windows 7 Start menu. You can put your favorite programs front and center. You can replace big, easy-to-hit icons with smaller ones that take less real estate, and you can control the behavior of clicking on Documents or Music. Let’s look at three separate areas where you can alter the Start menu.

Export your Twitpic images before the service shuts down – On September 25, 2014, Twitpic will be shutting down its image hosting service. The company cites trademark issues with Twitter as the core reason. If you’ve been using Twitpic over the years to host your images for Twitter, then you may want to make a backup of them before they’re no longer available.

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How to Kick U2’s New Album Off Your iTunes (Kinda) – If you like U2, enjoy! But if you’re not a U2 fan, or you simply want to remove the music, your options are very limited. Songs of Innocence is tied to your iTunes account, and stored in the cloud, so you can’t completely remove it. You can delete the local song files, but the album will still be on display because it’s an Apple-gifted cloud purchase. That said, you can hide Songs of Innocence so that you’ll never have to be reminded of this forced invasion by Apple and U2.

Responding to critics, Google makes Drive, Docs suite more accessible for the blind – The improvements include smoother interaction with third-party screen readers and more keyboard navigation capabilities.

Autodesk’s 123D Catch Comes to Android, Makes 2D Photos into 3D Objects – Autodesk isn’t really a household name, unless you’re an architect, engineer, or computer graphics artist. The company makes some of the most widely used digital design products in the world, but it’s also creeping into consumer electronics with an array of apps, like the newly released 123D Catch on Android. This app appeared on iOS several years ago, but now Android users can turn real life into a 3D model.

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Windows Threshold build 9834 screenshots leak, shows a lot of new features – Get out a small pinch of salt but new screenshots of Windows Threshold, build 9834, have leaked. Neowin gave them a good look over and they do align to several of the items that we have reported on such as the notification center, the surveys as well and the charms bar moving inside the Modern app windows. There are a couple of flags, however, as there are missing components that are likely coming to Threshold but this is probably because this is an external build given to partners.

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Code.org Launches Code Studio, A Toolset And Curriculum For Teaching Kids Programming – Since its creation, Code.org’s mission has been to get coding into curriculums for students as schools nationwide. Today, the nonprofit group is launching Code Studio, a combined set of tools and curriculum to get students in kindergarten through high school interested in the underlying concepts behind coding through guided lesson plans.

Experience the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 3D right in your browser – If you are one of those patiently waiting outside a brick and mortar Apple Store, a little over a week is a long time to wait to get your hands on the shiny new iDevice. So in the meantime, why not have a virtual iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to play with? Whether it’s the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus you’re after, you can now check out the new devices in “interactive 3D” through your browser at any and all angles. The renderings can also be compared to the iPhone 5S, the predecessor of the iPhone 6.

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SanDisk 512GB Extreme PRO SDXC: a high-capacity memory card for pros – SanDisk has introduced a new memory card that keeps pace with the most demanding photography and video recording needs: the 512GB Extreme Pro SDXC card. The card boasts several features targeted at pro users and those with demanding needs, including the ability to withstand harsh temperatures and water.

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11 essential JavaScript tools for Web developers – Here are 11 emerging tools for using JavaScript (in concert with other languages) to create modern websites with all the features users have come to demand. They offer clean design and simple interfaces that can be deceptive because the tools are often quite powerful, too. All of the years of evolution and redesign are paying off with tools that do more of what we want with fewer configuration hassles.

Security:

What you need to know about the Gmail password compromise – Fewer than 2% of the compromised username and password combinations work, Google’s spam and abuse team said in a blog post late yesterday. They also say Gmail’s automated anti-hijacking systems would block many potential login attempts

How Apple Pay could make the Target and Home Depot breaches a thing of the past – The launch of Apple’s mobile payment system could prove a turning point in the battle to secure your debit and credit card information from hackers. The system, which relies in part on Apple’s Touch ID biometric technology to verify the user’s identity, could finally replace a payment technology that’s been in use for five decades.

Tabnabbing: A New Type of Phishing Attack – Most phishing attacks depend on an original deception. If you detect that you are at the wrong URL, or that something is amiss on a page, the chase is up. You’ve escaped the attackers. In fact, the time that wary people are most wary is exactly when they first navigate to a site. What we don’t expect is that a page we’ve been looking at will change behind our backs, when we aren’t looking. That’ll catch us by surprise.

Apple Watch Is the Next BYOD Headache for Business – On the surface, from what Apple revealed at its event this week, the Apple Watch does not seem to pose much of a security threat if an employee sports one in the office. The watch needs a connection to an iPhone. It has no native 3G/4G or Wi-Fi connectivity—it just pairs with an iPhone via Bluetooth. However, Bluetooth is subject to its own security vulnerabilities and the fact that data is syncing between the iPhone and iWatch; such as messages; means there may be new threat risks for business networks to consider.

Company News:

German court requires Google to stop ignoring customer emails – Google users who email the address “support-de@google.com” receive an automatic reply notifying the emailer that Google will neither read nor reply due to the large number of requests sent to the address. After that sentence, the automatic reply directs Google users to various online self-help guides and contact forms. This form of communication is incompatible with the German Telemedia Act, which says that companies must provide a way to ensure fast electronic communications with them, the VZBV had argued. The organization described Google’s support address as a black box in which messages disappear into a void.

Google buys polling startup for Google+ integration – Today, Google is announcing they’ve made another acquisition, this time in a startup named Polar. If you’re unfamiliar, don’t worry — the company focusses on online polls, not an app you’re missing out on. It’s being reported that Polar will be cobbled into Google+, suggesting that Google is, at least in some respect, forging ahead with its social layer.

BlackBerry Buys Movirtu to Bolster BYOD Management – BlackBerry on Thursday announced that it has acquired London-based mobile identity solutions provider Movirtu for an undisclosed sum. BlackBerry said the acquisition addresses the growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon. Founded in 2008, Movirtu makes a Virtual SIM platform that allows multiple numbers — such as a business number and a personal number — to be active on a single device, with separate billing for voice, data, and messaging use on each number.

Games and Entertainment:

Spider-Man Unlimited Swings into Android and iOS – The most recent wave of Spider-Man games on mobile devices were all tie-ins for the Movie that came out a few months ago. The newest one has nothing at all to do with that–it’s Spider-Man Unlimited from Gameloft on Android and iOS. It’s an endless runner, but don’t write it off just yet. It might be worth your time.

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Play Video Games With Will Ferrell for Charity – While you may think that watching people play video games would be boring, it’s popular enough that Amazon recently spent $970 million on video game streaming service Twitch, where fans spend hours watching gamers punch, kick, shoot, and strategize their way through popular titles. So it makes sense that comedian Will Ferrell is teaming up with Twitch for a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo that wants to raise $375,000 for Cancer for College and DonateGames.org.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Stanford develops a radio the size of an ant, draws power from electromagnetic waves – What is this? A radio for ants? Not so much for ants, but it’s certainly the size of an ant. Stanford engineer Amin Arbabian has managed to create a wireless radio just a few millimeters across that is so energy efficient that it doesn’t need a battery. Instead, it harvests power from the incoming electromagnetic waves. The extremely low cost and small size of this technology means you could soon be surrounded by tiny radio chips in an interconnected mesh network.

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How to get a job in computer security – The secret to the security profession is to develop all the computer experience you can before you even begin to think about a career in cybersecurity.

(A strong sense of curiosity – numero uno!   Light bulb  )

Nikon joins the selfie camera craze – Camera makers are really into pumping out “selfie” cameras these days. Put an okay sensor in a portable camera, toss in a tilting, touchscreen LCD, add a few Instagram-like photo filters, and you’ve pretty much arrived at the standard formula. Nikon is the latest company to claim it’s mastered the selfie cam with its new Coolpix S6900. It features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor paired with a 12x optical zoom lens that’ll fit all of your friends into group shots thanks to its wide-angle coverage (25-300mm).

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TV monitoring service is fair use, judge rules – Last year, Fox News sued (PDF) a media-monitoring service called TVEyes, which allows its clients to search for and watch clips of TV and radio stations. Fox lawyers argued the service violated copyright law and should be shut down. In a ruling (PDF) published yesterday, US District Judge Alvin Hallerstein disagreed, finding that TVEyes’ core services are a transformative fair use. It’s a significant digital-age fair use ruling, one that’s especially important for people and organizations who want to comment on or criticize news coverage.

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TVEyes iPhone app.

Something to think about:

“Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.”

–    William Arthur Ward

Today’s Free Downloads:

Revo Uninstaller – Revo Uninstaller helps you to remove any unwanted application installed on your computer.

With its advanced and fast algorithm to scan before and after uninstall you can remove unnecessary files, folders and registry keys left in your computer after you have uninstall an application with its build in uninstaller.

With its unique “Hunter mode” it offers you some simple, easy to use but effective and powerful approaches to manage (uninstall, stop, delete, disable from autostarting) and to get information about your installed and/or running applications.

Revo Uninstaller gives you another 8 handy and powerful tools to clean up your system.

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Start Menu Reviver – Start Menu Reviver is the only choice that brings back the familiarity you’re accustomed to and embraces the enhancements in the future of Windows.

Truly Touchscreen-Friendly – The unique tile structure in Start Menu Reviver means that it is the only Start Menu that is truly touch-friendly.

Of course you can still use your mouse and keyboard, but with Start Menu Reviver you can also easily add, remove, move and edit at the touch of a finger.

Start Your Way – Start Menu Reviver accommodates up to 32 tiles so you can customize it for a truly personal experience. Choose which applications, documents, folders and more you want to launch directly from your Start Menu.

You can also change the tile images using our ever-growing library of icons, or create your very own.

Manage Desktop and Modern Applications – Launch both traditional desktop programs and new Windows 8 modern applications directly from the the Start Menu. No other product allows you to do this.

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In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Secret Surveillance Battle Between Yahoo and the U.S. Government Revealed – More than 1,000 pages documenting a secret court battle between Yahoo and the government over warrantless surveillance will soon be released, the company said Thursday afternoon.

In 2007, Yahoo fought back against the government’s demand for information on certain overseas customers, saying that the request was over-broad and violated the constitution.

Yahoo’s challenge ultimately failed, knocked down by both the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC, which oversees secret government spying) and its review court. The company then became one of the first to hand over information to the NSA’s PRISM program, which allowed the government access to records of internet users’ chats, emails, and search histories, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The targeted user was supposed to be foreign, but U.S. communications could still be swept up in the effort. Google, YouTube, AOL, and Skype were also among the companies that provided communications data to PRISM. According to the Washington Post, the government used the FISC court’s decision in the Yahoo case to pressure those others to comply.

In a statement on the company tumblr, Yahoo’s general counsel wrote that the government at one point threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 per day if it did not release the data. That revelation is among the 1,500 pages of documents that the company plans to post shortly, he said. Also included is the original FISC opinion from 2008 forcing Yahoo to acquiesce to the government’s  demands.

Dropbox Calls For Support Of The Senate’s NSA Reform Bill – This morning, Dropbox released new information detailing government requests for its user data, and information about certain user accounts. The company also called for the passage of the Senate’s version of the USA FREEDOM Act.

In the first half of 2014, Dropbox received “268 requests for user information from law enforcement agencies and 0-249 national security requests.” In a separate post, the company described that level of request as growing in keeping its user base. The amount of inquiry is expanding geometrically, in other words, and not exponentially.

The data itself, in terms of its gist, is mostly in line with other technology companies that report this sort of thing, with one interesting addition. Dropbox was comfortable calling out the government for being overly demanding in its requests for secrecy:

“Government agencies keep asking us not to notify users of requests for their data, even when they are not legally entitled to do so. If we receive a request that comes with a gag order, we’ll inform requesting agency of our policy and let users know about the request unless the agency provides a valid court order (or an equivalent).”

That’s worth knowing.

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5 Comments

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

5 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 12, 2014

  1. How to get a job in computer security.
    I was asked to come out of retirement to do security (seminars) Presentations and have now been doing that for the past 4 years with no end in sight. Loving what you do certainly helps and makes “work” a pleasure. http://bob3160.blogspot.com

  2. Reblogged this on tanck23 and commented:
    as stated – tech Thots- 12-9-2014.