The Best Browser Privacy Tools (That Don’t Make Life More Difficult); The teacher’s guide: 50 resources for using tech in the modern classroom; 10 Apps to Get Right Now For Your New iPad; Ello makes its ad-free promise a legal one, too; Getting started with Inbox by Gmail; John McAfee has released D-VASIVE, a new app for your smartphone’s security; View, create, and share PDF files with Google tools; See the Windows 10 Start menu in action; Facebook Launches Pseudonymous App “Rooms”; Attackers change home routers’ DNS settings via malicious code injected in ads; Adobe spies on readers: EVERY DRM page turn leaked; The 5 Best PlayStation 4 Games Right Now; Ubuntu 14.10 has landed — and it’s not just for desktops; Get a ‘Lord of the Rings’ game bundle for $9.99; Photos: The tech behind electric vehicles; SpyShelter Personal Free; 5 Reasons People Aren’t Buying Tablets Anymore.
The Best Browser Privacy Tools (That Don’t Make Life More Difficult) – In a year when social media giants and governments alike have made headlines for tracking users online without their consent, battening down the virtual hatches has become a vital part of Internet hygiene. Blocking tracking technologies, however, also disables those handy auto-fill log-ins and web personalization features, preventing you from easily shopping online and making your web experience feel as if you’re back in 1999. So we went in search of privacy tools that don’t impact your browsing experience.
Ello makes its ad-free promise a legal one, too – It’s one thing to say your social network will never be like Facebook, it’s another to enshrine that promise in legal documents. Ello, a social site whose claim to fame is an anti-ad manifesto, is doing just that by filing to become a public benefit corporation. A benefit corporation is a company that chooses to be socially conscious of how its decisions affect not just shareholders or investors, but also its customers, employees, and the environment. Ello won’t get any tax benefits for being a do-good social network, but the charter the company filed prevents current and future investors and owners from ever profiting from ads or user data. “In other words, Ello exists for your benefit, and will never show ads or sell user data,” Ello founder Paul Budnitz wrote in a Thursday Ello post.
The teacher’s guide: 50 resources for using tech in the modern classroom – In the classroom, teachers are more and more often expected to show innovative and progressive thinking by integrating technological solutions into their lessons — but starting out isn’t easy. From learning how to scour YouTube for clips to working out which photos and files can be used under fair copyright terms, while trying to keep up with standard workloads, invigorating lessons with technology can fall by the wayside. To help teachers out, and given the popularity of ZDNet’s last iPad in the classroom roundup, here is an updated, fresh list of tutorials, apps and software to transform your work-life balance and the student experience in today’s modern classroom.
Effective security techniques we don’t follow enough – It’s not all our fault, security is hard. The IT folks at Target weren’t stupid or lazy. They had actually done a lot of security work, but it wasn’t enough. Modern enterprises are so large and complex that applying best security practices at all times and locations is just too much to ask. But we all can do better. As a starting point, consider these six programming techniques, products and services which tend to minimize the most common of security problems. We know that most attackers are lazy and looking for low-hanging fruit. The harder a target you make yourself, the less likely it is that you will be compromised.
10 Apps to Get Right Now For Your New iPad – Slimmer, lighter, and not as reflective, the new iPad Air 2 is more than just a looker — under the glass there’s a beefed up processor, more powerful camera and Touch ID, to name a few upgrades. Get the most out of your new Apple tablet with these 10 great apps.
Apple Pay vs. Google Wallet: hands-on experiences at McDonald’s – Apple launched its new virtual wallet service with the iOS 8.1 update yesterday while Google has had its system running for a couple of years. ZDNet’s Matt Miller took two devices to McDonald’s and was able to pay without a real wallet.
Getting started with Inbox by Gmail – Google just released a new way to keep your email organized so you can spend more time being productive. Read on to learn how to use all the new features of Inbox by Gmail.
Supercharge your Android Gmail searches – Jack Wallen shows you a quick way to make searching through that massive Gmail inbox on your Android device a snap.
John McAfee has released D-VASIVE, a new app for your smartphone’s security – D-VASIVE by John McAfee is an app that sits in the background of your phone and alerts you whenever another app tries to access your mic or camera, as well as tells you which apps are tracking you.
Torrent sites hurting after Google’s latest anti-piracy change – Last Friday Google revealed its newest anti-piracy efforts, which largely amounted to a mixture of demoted rankings for torrent websites and a new box dangling legal download alternatives to those looking for content. It hasn’t been quite a full week since the announcement, but the changes are in place and torrent websites are already hurting, with some of the biggest ones reporting massive decreases in traffic in the past handful of days — though, it seems, some of the small sites are benefiting from the change.
View, create, and share PDF files with Google tools – PDF files are easy to share, easy to view, but not so easy to edit. Send someone a PDF, and they’ll likely see your document as you intended. With Google tools, you can view and create PDF files. If you view PDF files in Chrome, you can open the file, then use the down (and up) arrow keys to scroll through the document’s pages. You can also create a PDF from any Google Apps document (i.e., a file in Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Drawings) by downloading the document as a PDF file. Here’s how:
See the Windows 10 Start menu in action – Take a look at the new and improved Windows 10 Start menu, care of the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
How Apache Spark is bringing analytics to the average Joe – With a new analytics cloud service unveiled earlier this month, CEO Sharmila Mulligan explains how ClearStory’s engine is shifting data insights to ordinary users.
Ubuntu 14.10 has landed — and it’s not just for desktops – Canonical’s latest Linux, Ubuntu 14.10, saves the biggest improvements for its cloud and server versions.
Police Alerts NOT new on Google Now – So you’d like to keep an eye on your local police department’s doings, yes? Lucky you, there’s a new Police Alerts segment being added to Google Now as we speak. This isn’t brand new, on the other hand – it’s all part of Google’s team-up with Nixle earlier this year. If you don’t see anything on your Google Now app now, you might also just be lucky – this isn’t just a way to see what your local cops are up to, but a way for your local cops to inform you of emergencies.
Facebook Launches Pseudonymous App “Rooms” That Lets You Create Forums About Any Topic – It’s not quite anonymous, but forums standalone app Rooms is Facebook’s first product that allows you to ditch your real name. Rooms lets you set up a mobile-only in-app discussion space about any topic, customize the look and moderation settings, set a screen name for the room, and choose who to invite to share text, photos, videos, and comments with others in the Room.
Hands-on with Homeboy: This could be the best home-security camera yet – If you’re looking for an IP camera for home security, you’ll want to know about Homeboy. It remedies almost every drawback I’ve seen in security cameras. It doesn’t cost a fortune. And you’ll be able to buy one soon—without having to participate in a crowd-funding campaign. If Homeboy looks familiar, it’s because it built on the intellectual property developed for the Hive camera that garnered a lot of attention about two years ago, but that was ultimately never brought to market.
Do the research before you upgrade your RAM – Adding more RAM can speed up your PC and allow it to run more powerful programs. But you need to know how much RAM your system can take, and what kind to buy.
4 tips for writing better hashtags – Here are 4 tips to keep in mind when creating hashtags for events or campaigns.
Plan to tax internet traffic in Hungary sees protesters take to the streets – Thousands of Hungarians are planning a demonstration against the country’s internet tax plan, with businesses and ISPs also criticising the legislation.
Adobe spies on readers: EVERY DRM page turn leaked to base over SSL: Adobe spies on reading habits over unencrypted web because your ‘privacy is important’ – Adobe has tweaked its Digital Editions 4 desktop ebook reader to now encrypt the data it secretly sends back to headquarters – data that details a user’s reading habits. Previously, information on every single tome accessed by Digital Editions 4 was phoned home unencrypted, allowing anyone eavesdropping on a network to intercept it. Now that information is transmitted via HTTPS, and only if the book includes copy-protection measures.
Are companies such as Adobe, Apple, Microsoft… in their attempts to vacuum personal and private data, imitating the NSA and the U.S. government – or, is it the other way around? In other words – who taught who to be unscrupulous, underhanded, and completely oblivious to ensuring such activities are above board? And, oh yeah – LEGAL!
Microsoft survey shows four in ten in the U.S. face online attacks regularly – As more of our personal details become connected digitally via our mobile phones and computers, we put ourselves at an increased risk for potential privacy breaches and malicious attacks. According to a new survey by Microsoft, four in ten people in the United States experience some type of attempt to access their personal information on a daily or weekly basis by someone other than themselves.
Encountering the Wild PUP – The Internet is full of dangers; threats like malware, phishing attacks, hackers and drive-by exploits are some of the most commonly mentioned. But did you know that there is a far more common threat to users that no one in the media seems to talk about, a threat that almost everyone who has ever owned a computer has experienced. These threats are known as Potentially Unwanted Programs and they are the day-walking vampires of the internet.
Do we really need strong passwords? – The idea that computer users should use long, complex passwords is one of computer security’s sacred cows. But is is really necessary? Mark Stockley investigates.
Attackers change home routers’ DNS settings via malicious code injected in ads – Sucuri Security researchers have unearthed a malvertising campaign aimed at changing the DNS settings of home routers in order to lead users questionable and potentially malicious websites. The attackers have embedded the malicious code in question directly into an ad hosted on the googlesyndication.com network, the researchers claim, and the ad has been served to a variety of websites that use that particular ad service.
Amazon’s losses balloon to $544 million in its third quarter earnings – Amazon posted its third quarter earnings results today and they were not pretty: the company said it had a operating loss of $544 million, more than twenty times what was lost for the same period in 2013. Its revenues grew to $20.84 billion, an increase of 20 percent over the same period last year, but less than what investors were expecting. In its projections for next quarter, Amazon said it expects the red ink to keep spreading, with losses growing to $570 million.
Amazon Fire Phone Flops – Given that Amazon was tanking the price of the Fire Phone down to 99 cents two months after launch (leading to many a “Fire sale!” joke), this probably won’t come as much of a surprise: the Fire Phone isn’t a success. Who would’ve guessed a phone that existed pretty much solely to sell you stuff from Amazon while relying heavily on a silly gimmick wouldn’t sell well? The final count on Fire Phone inventory left at the end of Q3: $83 million. Eighty. Three. Million. Dollars.
If you were one of the many who laughed your ass off when Amazon announced this walking/talking billboard – you have been vindicated.
Huawei touts growth as smartphone shipments rise 26 percent – The company says it was able to double the amount of shipments on the premium side of the market and that it shipped nearly 17 million units worldwide in the third quarter.
Microsoft Up 3% After Reporting Better Than Expected FQ1 Revenue Of $23.20B, EPS Of $0.54 – After gaining more than 1 percent in regular trading, Microsoft reported its fiscal first quarter 2015 earnings: Revenue totaled $23.20 billion in the period, leading to profits of $0.54 per share. The revenue figure represents a 25 percent year-over-year increase, a large piece of which is due to the Nokia hardware acquisition.
Surface likely to be the next billion dollar business for Microsoft – Microsoft is in transition to become a devices and services company, and things aren’t looking too bad as Surface could soon be a billion dollar business for the company in the near future.
Aereo denied license request, but hope remains – Aereo, swept up in a legal battle earlier this year that it ultimately did not win, has been denied a license that would let it operate as a cable company. Aereo had requested this license during the late summer, and was told in August that it needed a court ruling on whether it could continue operations under this special designation. An injunction was put in place against the service today, but as the legal battle winds down towards a close, there is still a ray of hope for the service.
Apple and sapphire supplier strike deal to end partnership – GT Advanced Technologies and Apple have agreed to a deal that will let GT close the Mesa, Ariz. and Salem, Mass. factories where it was producing scratch-resistant sapphire, and void the contracts it had signed with its one-time partner. GT, which filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 protection on Oct. 6, will exit the sapphire-making business and re-focus on manufacturing the furnaces used to grow the material. The Merrimack, N.H. company will cut most, but not all, ties with Apple, and the two will go their separate ways.
Games and Entertainment:
Get a ‘Lord of the Rings’ game bundle for $9.99 – You! Shall not! Pass (up this great deal)! Yeah, I’m a “Lord of the Rings” nerd. So it goes without saying that I’m all over today’s deal, which will delight not only my inner 12-year-old, but also my resident 12-year-old. For a limited time, Bundle Stars has The Lord of the Rings Bundle for $9.99. That nets you four complete games and two downloadable content (DLC) packs with a combined value of over $100.
Nvidia brings one of the the GTX 980’s best new features to older graphics cards – Nvidia is bringing “Dynamic Super Resolution” to older graphics cards, letting users enjoy 4K-like visual smoothness on 1080p displays. Dynamic Super Resolution, or DSR, is one of the main features of Nvidia’s latest GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 processors, based on the company’s Maxwell architecture. A new driver update brings the same feature to Fermi- and Kepler-based GeForce GTX 500, 600, and 700 series cards.
Halloween-themed Humble Bundle offers cheap, spooky games – The Walking Dead: Assault, Dead Effect, and Oscura: Second Shadow can be yours for a pittance of their normal cost.
PlayStation 4 Update Coming On 10/28 Lets You Play Games With Friends Who Don’t Own A Copy – While Share Play sounds incredible, there’s a footnote or two that Sony seems to be downplaying a bit that might make it a bit less incredible. For example, the company has previously confirmed that Share Play sessions are limited to 60 minute chunks — so don’t expect to be able to blast through an entire game on a buddy’s remote console without shelling out for your own copy eventually. On the upside, the feature should work with all PS4 games right out of the gate, so it’s not something that’ll only work on a title-by-title basis.
The 5 Best PlayStation 4 Games Right Now – So you just picked up a PlayStation 4, and you’re wondering what to buy. Or maybe you haven’t bought one yet, but you’re leaning in Sony’s general direction. Either way, we think these are hands-down the best games on platform at the moment.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Check out the latest Halo Nightfall trailer – We had been treated to a teaser trailer in months past for Nightfall, but today Microsoft released the full official trailer from Scott Free Productions (owned by Ridley and Tony Scott). Spoiler alert: this trailer is pretty awesome considering the absence of a Hollywood-like budget.
CitizenFour, film review: The Snowden revelations, as they happened – This absorbing documentary follows film-maker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald as they make contact with the whistleblower and unleash a media storm.
Off Topic (Sort of):
Photos: The tech behind electric vehicles – There’s a lot of IT that goes into EVs. Here are 10 examples of the tech that makes these cars and the systems behind them work.
The future health of the internet comes down to ONE simple question… Can ICANN be forced to agree to oversight of its decisions? – When was the last time you gave any thought to how the internet actually works? Despite the extraordinary and never-ending growth in people and devices that connect to the internet every second of every day, we have never seen the equivalent of Twitter’s Fail Whale. The internet, as a whole, just doesn’t go down. There are two main reasons why. One, a very clever decentralised and lightweight design, and two, an engineer culture focused on the network first and everything else second. There is one potential flaw, however. In the middle of this vast, global, decentralised network exists a central core around which the internet binds, and without which the network would start to erode and break apart.
Google teams with Oxford on artificial intelligence – Google, the search company that’s investing heavily in robotics, is teaming with Oxford University researchers to work on artificial intelligence. In January, Google bought the London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind. Now the Google DeepMind group will work with two of Oxford’s artificial intelligence (AI) research teams. The teams will work on image recognition and natural language understanding, according to Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind and vice president of engineering at Google, in a blog post.
Ford gives pedestrian-spotting bumpers access to the brakes – Ford is rolling out a new set of smart driving aids that the car company claims could potentially eliminate frontal collisions involving pedestrians, using a combination of radar and lasers to spot people walking out into the road unexpectedly. Contrary to what Ford’s graphic might suggest, the system doesn’t involve the new 2015 Mondeo (aka the Ford Fusion) firing laser beams from its grille and cutting pedestrians into sufficiently small pieces so that they fit under the car rather than colliding with its hood. Instead, the invisible beams can call in favors from the braking system.
Australian ISP stands up to filmmakers hunting pirates – The producer of Oscar-winning film “Dallas Buyers Club” has taken its hunt for pirates of the film to Australia, after filing a barrage of antipiracy lawsuits in the U.S. But at least one Australian Internet service provider is pushing back out of concern that the movie producer aims to intimidate its customers into paying excessive damages. “In plain terms, Dallas Buyers Club wants the names and contact details of our customers they believe may have illegally shared their film,” said iiNet, one of the affected ISPs on Wednesday.
Man accidentally texts probation officer to ask for weed – This could happen to any of us. Well, if any of us was serving probation. This was the case with Alvin Cross Jr. of Albany, Ga. Cross Jr seems to have got his wires crossed — or, more accurately, his fingers — when he reportedly texted who he thought was his drug dealer. The accitext? “You have some weed?” The recipient? His parole officer. As WALB-TV reports, Cross’s parole officer may or may not have been cross, but the authorities were informed. His home was raided. Cocaine was found.
5 Reasons People Aren’t Buying Tablets Anymore – First, some perspective: the tablet industry is still huge. Gartner predicts that over 250 million tablets will ship worldwide by the end of 2014, an impressive figure for any consumer electronics device not named “smartphone.” But there’s reason for tablet makers to be worried. Sales are “crashing” at Best Buy and iPad sales are down year-over-year, a disappointing reversal after three years of explosive growth. Whether it’s a sign of doom or just a “speed bump,” something, on some level, is wrong. Let’s break down five possible explanations:
Something to think about:
“Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.”
– William James (1842 – 1910)
Today’s Free Downloads:
SpyShelter Personal Free – The Internet is now a vital part of our personal and business lives. With increasing use of online systems, cybercrime also has grown exponentially. Information-stealing software are produced regularly and are used by thieves to steal personal and business information.
One of the most effective ways of stealing information is through a program that can easily be made to capture keystrokes. SpyShelter captures everything that a user is doing- keystrokes, mouseclicks, files opened and closed, sites visited. More sophisticated programs can capture everything a user sees on his screen when performing a screen capture: just the mere opening of a file can allow an information thief to steal your data.
These sophisticated and dangerous programs are called Keylogging programs (e.g. keyloggers, key recorder, keytrappers, key capture programs, etc.) and they are developed continuously all over the world. SpyShelter anti keylogger can protect you against attacks that happen even when you do ordinary computer tasks like: typing into your computer, getting screenshots, opening files, and visiting sites.
The SpyShelter monitors vulnerable and weak spots in your computer system to ensure that even the most advanced keyloggers are shut down even before these can launch a single dangerous attack against your computer.
SpyShelter antikeylogger system is fast, efficient, and easy-to-use.
Webcam Logger protection: SpyShelter defends you against hackers who would like to seize control of your webcam, even when it is switched off!
Key Logger protection (kernel mode also): SpyShelter Stop-logger ensures that whatever your type into your computer is protected against dangerous people who steal your data! Whatever you enter into your computer will not leak to malicious parties.
System Defense: SpyShelter guards your registry, your physical memory (RAM), and other sensitive computer parts and processes so that malicious code cannot be injected to seize control of your PC.
Internet security: SpyShelter AntiNetworkSpy protactive module prevents dangerous trojans from stealing your private information while important SSL internet transactions. It also blocks HTTP/HTTPS trojans on user level as well as POP,SMTP,FTP, loggers.
Clipboard Logger protection:
SpyShelter shields sensitive data that can be found on you Windows clipboard as a result of copying, cutting, and pasting. This software ensures that these information will not be under malicious monitoring by other people.
Screen Logger protection: When you take screen-captures, SpyShelter spots suspicious activity that might reveal sensitive data you enter into your computer such as bank account and credit card information.
Anti Sound logger: SpyShelter unique security module that protects your system against VOIP sound trojan loggers. Can be useful when you use instant messangers for voice calls. This module also protect you against voice logger from your webcam or built-in microphone.
Wise Care 365 – Wise Care 365 is a bundle of important tools including a registry cleaner, disk cleaner, program uninstaller, memory optimizer and more.
Easy to use and effective, Wise Care 365 is the good solution to improve your PC’s performance. Get Wise Care 365 and your computer will never run slow again!
Clean up, defragment and optimize the Windows Registry
Defragment and free up space on your hard disk
Protect your privacy by erasing personal tracking data
Recover lost files
Hide important files or folders
Prevent unauthorized use of personal applications
Auto shut down your PC
Free up Memory to boost game and enterprise software performance
Simple “One Click Tune-up” option will optimize your PC
In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:
Shakeup At NSA After BuzzFeed News Reports On Potential Conflict Of Interest – One of the nation’s top spies is leaving her position at the National Security Agency, according to two sources, amid growing disclosures of possible conflicts of interest at the secretive agency.
The shakeup comes just a month after BuzzFeed News began reporting on the financial interests of the official, Teresa Shea, and her husband.
Shea was the director of Signals Intelligence, or SIGINT, which involves intercepting and decoding electronic communications via phones, email, chat, Skype, and radio. That’s widely considered the most important mission of the NSA, and it includes some of the most controversial programs disclosed by former contractor Edward Snowden, including the mass domestic surveillance program.
It couldn’t be determined why Shea is leaving her position or what new job she might take. Neither the Sheas nor the NSA responded immediately to requests for comment.
In September, BuzzFeed News reported that a SIGINT “contracting and consulting” company was registered at Shea’s house, even while she was the SIGINT director at NSA. The resident agent of the company, Telic Networks, is listed as James Shea, her husband.
Mr. Shea is also the vice president of a major SIGINT contractor that appears to do business with the NSA. The company, DRS Signals Solutions, is a subsidiary of DRS Technologies, which itself is a subsidiary of Italian owned Finmeccanica SPA.
Last week Buzzfeed News also reported Shea herself had incorporated an “office and electronics” business at her house, and that the company owned a six-seat airplane and a condominium in the resort town of Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Lone lawyer sues Obama, alleging illegality of surveillance programs – Justice Department lawyers have asked a federal court in Pittsburgh to dismiss a sweeping lawsuit brought earlier this year by a local lawyer against President Barack Obama and other top intelligence officials.
In a new motion to dismiss filed on Monday, the government told the court that the Pittsburgh lawyer, Elliott Schuchardt, lacked standing to make a claim that his rights under the Fourth Amendment have been violated as a result of multiple ongoing surveillance programs.
Specifically, Schuchardt argued in his June 2014 complaint that both metadata and content of his Gmail, Facebook, and Dropbox accounts were compromised under the PRISM program as revealed in the documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.
In the “land of the free and the home of the brave”, ONE MAN STANDS UP!
The surveillance state and you – George Orwell’s 1984 opens with Winston Smith carving out a pocket of privacy by crouching in a corner of his apartment where the telescreen—and thus Big Brother—can’t see and writing a diary entry. These days, that Stalin-inspired nightmare seems quaint. We carry our personal telescreens around with us, and take it for granted that if someone wants to watch us, they can.