Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 28, 2014

Use Google Maps and GPS offline on your Android device;  Dashboard tech the worst part of car ownership says Consumer Reports;  Keep your tiny goblins safe on Halloween with these apps;  4 Products That Will Save You Hundreds On Your Utility Bills;  How to recover deleted photos from a memory card;  Stay connected without a connection?  How to score the $3 Camera+ iPhone app for free;  Amazon takes on Chromecast with new $39 Fire TV Stick;  10 steps to erase your digital footprint;  Unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365;  Here is how to get an Xbox One for $332.50;  Solid Concepts Announces Another 3D-Printed Metal Gun;  The Rise of Mobile Ransomware;  Credit card fraud can be stopped. Here’s how;  Glary Utilities (free);  Here’s what happens to your body when you die;  IceCream Slideshow Maker (free);  Panty raid: MLB, Homeland Security, and the great undercover underwear sting;  US Senate calls Whisper in for serious questioning.

Dashboard tech the worst part of car ownership says Consumer Reports – Complex, confusing, and frustrating car dashboards are now the most disappointing part of car ownership, a new survey suggests, with wonky infotainment coming in for renewed criticism from owners. Navigation, multimedia, and social networking features are spreading across many new vehicles, but lackluster user experiences – especially in brand new systems – are not only driving owners crazy but having a meaningful impact on their overall ratings.

Use Google Maps and GPS offline on your Android device – Maybe your carrier has tight data caps. Or perhaps you’ll be driving (or hiking) in an area with no coverage. Either way, you’ll want maps and GPS that aren’t dependent upon immediate Internet access.

4 Products That Will Save You Hundreds On Your Utility Bills – If you’re looking to save money every month, your family’s home electric bill is a good place to start. Smart, green tech updates will save a lot of electricity — and money — over the course of a year. Even small changes add up quickly. From home heating to lighting, I’ve compiled a list of four simple tech upgrades for your home that will save you a combined $225 per year on your utility bills. Most can be installed yourself with a little bit of handyman knowhow. And, once they’re installed, these devices are smart enough to take care of racking up the savings.

Keep your tiny goblins safe on Halloween with these apps – Create a digital Halloween safety kit that will keep you in the loop of where everyone is and add some light to your haunted path through the neighborhood.

How to recover deleted photos from a memory card – Just deleted an important batch of images from your memory card? Never fear, here’s how to undelete them for Mac and PC users.

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Stay connected without a connection? – Meet the tools that let you transfer files and send messages on your smartphone without the Internet.

How to score the $3 Camera+ iPhone app for free – iPhone users looking for a more versatile and powerful camera app than Apple’s default one can now grab a good one for free. Camera+ normally sells for $3 in Apple’s App Store. For a limited time, though, Apple is offering the app for free through its Apple Store app, as spotted by the folks at RazorianFly on Monday. Camera+ provides a variety of controls beyond the basic ones outfitted into the built-in Camera app.

SUSE Linux Enterprise 12: new features and extensions – SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 is available today. And with it SLES 12 brings several significant new features and extensions to the desktop and to the datacenter.

Amazon takes on Chromecast with new $39 Fire TV Stick – Amazon is finally taking on the Chromecast. This morning it’s introducing the Fire TV Stick, a streaming device that exists entirely in a small dongle that plugs into a TV’s HDMI port. It can play games and is able to stream from the major services that you’d expect: Watch ESPN, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and, of course, Prime Instant Video. The Stick goes on sale for $39 beginning November 19th and is currently available for preorder. Prime subscribers can get it for $19 for the next two days.

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Microsoft targets Dropbox and Google with unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365 – Microsoft is removing its OneDrive storage limits for Office 365 subscribers. If you’re an Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscriber then OneDrive storage will be unlimited in the coming months as Microsoft rolls out its changes to every account. OneDrive for Business customers will also get unlimited storage as part of Microsoft’s Office 365 roadmap. While Microsoft’s unlimited OneDrive storage is rolling out to all Office 365 accounts in the coming months, you can opt-in to be upgraded early over at Microsoft’s OneDrive preview site.

Microsoft offering unlimited cloud storage — and a free copy of Office — for $7 a month – Technically, they’re offering unlimited free OneDrive space to Office 365 users. That’s where the $7 per month comes in — it’s the base rate for a 365 Personal subscription when you pay annually. So not only is their no ceiling on how many gigs of data you can store in the cloud, you also get access to the entire Office suite — Word, Excel, OneNote, Powerpoint, Publisher, and even Access and Outlook — on both your main computer and your tablet.

License+ from Automatic could actually make teens better drivers – If you’re a parent of a teen, driving can be a scary proposition. Not only is your child operating a massive machine capable of high velocity, but they’re inexperienced. You can teach them all you like, but sometimes it’s helpful to have some actual data to back up your passenger seat cringing. with an update to Automatic called License+, you can get that info. You also get a little peace of mind that your teen is driving safely even when you’re not there.

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Smiley faces take on whole new meanings as Bing adds emoji search – Bing now supports searches with emoji, meaning you can insert or paste a range of emoji icons like hearts, smiley faces, food graphics, or any combination thereof, for some interesting, though not always useful, results. It’s a novelty feature, yes, but still fun. And one that could help Bing draw at least some attention away from Google. Google at the moment does not give results for emoji searches, though its auto-complete technology does recognize them. Yahoo, meanwhile, does support emoji searches.

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Free and cheap ways to learn about network administration – Though you might have the Network+ or CCNA cert, for instance, have you actually configured or played around with a network? Even if you already have held a network technician or administrator position, you might not have experience with all aspects of networking yet. Fortunately there are ways to get hands-on network administration experience, even at home — and most don’t cost anything.

One week later, Google algorithm change hits streaming, torrent sites hard – Video streaming and torrent sites have dropped precipitously in Google rankings after the company altered its algorithm last Monday, according to reports from Searchmetrics. One of Project Free TV’s main operating domains, free-tv-video-online.me, fell 96 percent in Searchmetric’s rankings, one of the biggest drops alongside torrentz.eu and thepiratebay.se.

The end of an era: Windows 7 consumer PCs halt production this Friday – It’s the end of an era, as OEMs will soon end production of PCs with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate pre-installed.

Security:

10 steps to erase your digital footprint – Summary: How do you vanish online? Follow these 10 steps to get started.

Zero-day in Samsung ‘Find My Mobile’ service allows attacker to remotely lock phone – NIST warned that if an attacker exploits the zero-day vulnerability in Samsung’s ‘Find My Mobile’ service, then the hacker can remotely lock, unlock and ring the phone.

The Rise of Mobile Ransomware – If Man on Fire or Taken has taught us anything, it’s that one of the greatest fear for parents is learning that a criminal kidnapped their child. These days, however, children aren’t the only ones who can be held for ransom as more malware is encrypting user data for payment. The newly released F-Secure’s Threat Report H1 2014 stated that the number of ransomware threats, which remotely locks computers or mobile devices, is increasing on Android phones.

Facebook and Yahoo team up to block account hijackings via recycled accounts – Facebook and Yahoo have figured out how to undo the mess Yahoo made when it decided to recycle old email addresses.

Credit card fraud can be stopped. Here’s how – After $4,000 of fraudulent charges from Brazil on my AMEX, I’m chasing down all my auto-payment accounts and frequently used commerce sites. Again.

US Senate calls Whisper in for serious questioning on user tracking – Following serious allegations brought up by the Guardian, the US Senate has a few privacy-related questions it would like to ask the people in charge over at Whisper, the self-proclaimed “safest place on the internet”.

Company News:

Tim Cook says that Apple Pay is already the leader in contactless payments – It’s only been a week since Apple Pay made its debut, but apparently the launch has been successful thus far. Speaking at the WSJD Live event, hosted by The Wall Street Journal, Cook said that Apple is already the leader in “contactless” payments, “more than the total of all the other guys.” Within 72 hours, Apple apparently activated one million cards, and we presume it’s only gone up significantly since then. Customer response, has been positive, as well.

ARM Intros New Trio of Mali GPUs – ARM on Monday introduced three new Mali graphics processors for mobile devices and a pair of additional GPU instruction sets designed for video processing and displays. The Mali-T820, Mali-T830, and Mali-T860 succeed Mali T700-class GPUs licensed by ARM to makers System-on-a-Chip (SoC) products for mobile devices such as Samsung, MediaTek, Broadcom, Realtek, and LG.

Twitter doesn’t have explosive growth, and investors aren’t happy – Twitter reported its third quarter earnings today, and despite robust performance, the company’s stock continues to struggle. Twitter’s booked $361 million in revenue over the last three months, more than double what it did for the same period in 2013. It also hit its marks on profit — $7 million, which is exactly what investors were expecting. But the stock is down more than 10 percent in after-hours trading, as investors flee a stock that hasn’t shown the upside they were looking for in a young, high-flying social network.

Amazon snaps up Rooftop Media to boost online entertainment services – The online retail giant is purchasing Rooftop Media in order to promote the firm’s plans to step outside of e-commerce and tap into other revenue streams. Amazon has already dabbled in the mobile sphere — bringing out the disappointing Fire Phone, as well as e-readers, and is well-known for Amazon Web Services (AWS). However, the Seattle, Wash.-based company also wishes to provide media and entertainment content, and has already begun doing so through Amazon instant video and the Amazon App store.

Games and Entertainment:

Microsoft starts the holiday sales early with $50 off Xbox One – The Kinect-less Xbox One is getting even cheaper from this Sunday as Microsoft starts up its Season of Xbox discounts for the holidays. A new $349 price ($50 less than the current $399) will kick in from the 2nd of November through to the end of the year for several console bundles, including the Special Edition Sunset Overdrive white console. This will be across most major US retailers and there’ll be similar deals for the rest of the world, though Microsoft hasn’t yet detailed them in full.

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Here is how to get an Xbox One for $332.50 from the Microsoft store – Earlier today, Microsoft announced that they would be cutting the price of the Xbox One to $350 but if you want to get it even cheaper, here is how you can save a further 5% at the Microsoft Store.

PlayStation 4 upcoming Share Play feature explained – Excited for the big two-point-oh update for your PlayStation 4? Looking forward to changing your console’s home screen themes? The awaited major update for the console will be landing on eager users’ hands, or rather on their devices, starting October 28 but the update isn’t just about themes, of course. Lest you forget, there are also other interesting additions that await you, like the totally new Share Play feature. And to make sure that you don’t forget indeed, Sony has published a video and a blog post detailing what Share Play really is.

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Alienware’s new graphics amplifier and laptop make portable high-end gaming possible – The dream for many PC gamers has always been to have a portable machine that can also handle the latest graphics-intensive releases, and Alienware has come up with a solution that moves that dream closer to reality with the Alienware Graphics Amplifier. Released alongside the Alienware 13 — the company’s newest gaming laptop — the near-8-pound, $299 box is meant to live on your desk, ready to be plugged into any time you feel the need for that extra GPU boost that a laptop just can’t provide.

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27 Streaming Horror Movies for a Truly Creepy Halloween – Click through our slideshow for 27 insanely frighteningly films that are only a few taps and clicks away. We’ve provided a trailer preview as well as links to where the entire film can be found online (legitimately). We’ve noted where the films that can be streamed for free via monthly subscription services, but in most cases they can be digitally “rented” for under $4.

AMD’s flagship Radeon R9 290X graphics card prices cut to an insanely compelling $300 – Prices for AMD’s Radeon R9 290X graphics card plummet even further in the wake of the Nvidia GTX 980’s release–and yes, the dirt-cheap cards are eligible for AMD’s offer of three free games of your choice.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Drone nearly hits plane, may have been on purpose – Over the weekend, it was revealed that a drone had a near collision with an passenger aircraft in the UK. A 74-seat ATR 72 was flying over county Essex in route to London Southend Airport when it had the near collision with a quad-copter drone, which was flying at roughly 1,500 feet and came uncomfortably close to the right wing of the craft. According to the report, this was no accident, either.Whoever flew the drone seems to have been aiming for the plane.

Peeping teen in shower: I was checking if phone was waterproof – A UK teen found guilty of filming a woman in a shower insisted that he was merely a fascinated cell phone tester.

Flight cancelled when “Al-Quida” Wi-Fi network became available – A Los Angeles International Airport flight bound for London was cancelled Sunday when a passenger’s phone picked up the Wi-Fi signal “al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork” (sic) that was emanating from a fellow flier’s hotspot minutes before the United Airlines flight was set to liftoff. After a concerned passenger notified a flight attendant of the network at about 9:30pm, the plane taxied to a remote section of the Los Angeles airport and was held there for three hours. The plane was searched as passengers of Flight 136 were ordered to power off electronic devices, local media said.

Solid Concepts Announces Another 3D-Printed Metal Gun – Solid Concepts, a company that specializes in 3D printing in metal and now owned by Stratasys, as announced their second 3D-printed metal gun, the Reason. Their first gun, the 1911, as well as this one were made by sintering – melting – metal powder with a laser. However, from the detail on the barrel and handle it’s clear the company has improved the technology immensely over the year.

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We didn’t expect Kim Kardashian to love BlackBerry so much – Of all the people who could be the savior of BlackBerry, Kim Kardashian probably wouldn’t have been our first guess, but it turns out the reality TV star turned mobile app kingpin could end up single-handedly propping up the second hand market. The controversial star was expected to discuss social saturation and the surprise hit game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood at the Code/Mobile 2014 conference, but she took an interesting detour via ailing BlackBerry and her ongoing collection of devices.

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Here’s what happens to your body when you die – The good folks who produce the American Chemical Society’s “Reactions” series have created short YouTube videos about a variety of important topics like why bacon smells so good, how pot gets us high and how fireworks work. This week — being that it’s the week in which we celebrate ghouls, zombies, vampires and other deadish things — they’ve turned their science eyes toward a really big question: What happens when you die?

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Panty raid: MLB, Homeland Security, and the great undercover underwear sting – On Tuesday, undercover agents from the Department of Homeland Security entered a tiny boutique lingerie store in Kansas City called Birdies. The shop was selling cotton panties that bore the phrase “Take the Crown” and an artistic rendering of the Royals logo designed by one of its co-owners, Peregrine Honig.

Something to think about:

“The arts must be considered an essential element of education… They are tools for living life reflectively, joyfully and with the ability to shape the future.”

–      Shirley Trusty Corey

Today’s Free Downloads:

Glary Utilities – Glary Utilities is a smart and reliable application that offers numerous powerful and easy-to-use system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC.

It allows you to clean common system junk files, as well as invalid registry entries and Internet traces. You can manage and delete browser add-ons, analyze disk space usage and find duplicate files.

You can also view and manage installed shell extensions, encrypt your files from unauthorized access and use, split large files into smaller manageable files and then rejoin them.

Furthermore, Glary Utilities includes the options to optimize memory, find, fix, or remove broken Windows shortcuts, manage the programs that start at Windows startup and uninstall software. Other features include secure file deletion, an Empty Folder finder and more.

All Glary Utilities tools can be accessed through an eye-pleasing and totally simplistic interface.

Features:

Disk Cleaner – Removes junk data from your disks and recovers disk space

Registry Cleaner – Scans and cleans up your registry to improve your system’s performance.

Shortcuts Fixer – Corrects the errors in your startmenu & desktop shortcuts

Uninstall Manager – Uninstalls programs completely that you don’t need any more

Startup Manager – Manages programs which run automatically on startup

Memory Optimizer – Monitors and optimizes free memory in the background

Context Menu Manager – Manages the context-menu entries for files, folders…

Tracks Eraser – Erases all the traces,evidences,cookies,internet history and more

File Shredder – Erases files permanently so that no one can recover them

Internet Explorer Assistant – Manages Internet Explorer Add-ons and restores hijacked settings

File Encrypter and Decrypter – Protects your files from unauthorized access and use.

Disk Analysis – Shows you the disk space usage of your files and folders

Duplicate Files Finder – Searches for space-wasting and error producing duplicate files

Empty Folders Finder – Finds and removes empty folders in your windows

File Splitter and Joiner – Splits large files into smaller manageable files, and then rejoin them.

Process Manager – Monitors programs that run on your PC and stop spyware and Trojans.

Windows Standard Tools – Provides direct access to the useful windows default functions.

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IceCream Slideshow Maker – Meet IceCream Slideshow Maker, a free software that you can use to create beautiful slideshows from your favorite photos. Breathe life into them by adding fancy transition effects and background audio. You don’t need to be tech savvy to create a multimedia slideshow with music in a few minutes: just add photos, configure slides transitions and durations, add a suitable mp3 file, preview the project and simply press the “Create” button to enjoy the end result!

Surprise your family and friends with a high quality video slideshow about your vacation or any special event.

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In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Canada, At War For 13 Years, Shocked That A Terrorist Attacked Its Soldiers – In Quebec on Monday, two Canadian soldiers were hit by a car driven by Martin Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old Canadian who, as The Globe and Mail reported, “converted to Islam recently and called himself Ahmad Rouleau.” One of the soldiers died, as did Couture-Rouleau when he was shot by police upon apprehension after allegedly brandishing a large knife. Police speculated that the incident was deliberate, alleging the driver waited for two hours before hitting the soldiers, one of whom was wearing a uniform. The incident took place in the parking lot of a shopping mall 30 miles southeast of Montreal, “a few kilometres from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, the military academy operated by the Department of National Defence.”

The right-wing Canadian government wasted no time in seizing on the incident to promote its fear-mongering agenda over terrorism, which includes pending legislation to vest its intelligence agency, CSIS, with more spying and secrecy powers in the name of fighting ISIS. A government spokesperson asserted “clear indications” that the driver “had become radicalized.”

In a “clearly prearranged exchange,” a conservative MP, during parliamentary question time, asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pictured above) whether this was considered a “terrorist attack”; in reply, the prime minister gravely opined that the incident was “obviously extremely troubling.” Canada’s Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney pronounced the incident “clearly linked to terrorist ideology,” while newspapers predictably followed suit, calling it a “suspected terrorist attack” and “homegrown terrorism.” CSIS spokesperson Tahera Mufti said “the event was the violent expression of an extremist ideology promoted by terrorist groups with global followings” and added: “That something like this would happen in a peaceable Canadian community like Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu shows the long reach of these ideologies.”

The FBI thinks it has found Glenn Greenwald’s second leaker – As Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept continues to publish secret government documents, some of which go beyond the initial NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, speculation has grown concerning a second leaker smuggling classified documents to the publication. After a recent law enforcement raid, that speculation seems to be confirmed. Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff reports that the FBI has identified a contractor who may be responsible for leaking documents about abuses in the government’s terrorist tracking system, as detailed in this Intercept report. According to Isikoff, the suspect’s home has been searched and federal prosecutors in northern Virginia have opened a criminal investigation into the matter.

The initial leaks revealed that more than half of the people identified in the FBI’s terrorist tracking database had no clear affiliation with a terrorist group, suggesting real problems for the database as a law enforcement tool. As a result, many have viewed the source as whistleblower acting in the public interest.

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2 Comments

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

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 28, 2014

  1. delenn13

    Save 70% on Ghostbusters: The Videogame on Steam WEEK LONG DEAL! Offer ends 3 November

    I am NOT a big fan of Steam/Valve but I finally bought THIS game.Usually I get the free ones or buy through the Humble Bundles and get both the PC and Steam downloads. But I just could NOT resist this game. $3.29 CN was just too tempting since I love the movies.

    With Manhattan overrun again by supernatural creatures, gamers take the role of a new recruit joining the famous Ghostbusters team. Equipped with a variety of unique equipment and gadgets, players hunt, fight and wrangle a wide range of ghosts in an all-new battle to save New York City from its latest paranormal plague.

    THE AUTHENTIC GHOSTBUSTERS GAME EXPERIENCE – Delivering a special gaming experience to the tremendous Ghostbusters fan base around the world, Ghostbusters™: The Video Game features the original cast from Columbia Pictures’ classic Ghostbusters films, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson – together again for the first time in over 20 years. Supporting the original Ghostbusters crew are the talents of Annie Potts, Brian Doyle Murray and William Atherton.

    Now I can’t wait for a rainy, stormy day to bust ghosts with the best. Bustin’ makes me feel so good!