Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – April 16, 2015

11 simple steps to secure your PC and online accounts;  90% of security incidents trace back to PEBKAC and ID10T errors;  False Positives Sink Antivirus Ratings;  Digital music revenue overtakes CD sales;  A simple Google search can find your lost Android phone;  Google releases a new handwriting app for Android;  50 Best Free iPhone Apps for 2015;  14 Google Calendar Tricks You’re Probably Not Using;  How to Break Bad Habits With Tech;  IKEA releases its line of wireless charging furniture;  Why you should be using mobile shopping apps;  EU’s three gripes with Android: What you need to know;  How to Save Stories To Read Later On Your Phone;  How Google Could Threaten the Web;  In-flight Wi-Fi is “direct link” to hackers;  Mystery solved: Why do knuckles crack?  Binge-watch ‘Orphan Black’ for free this Friday.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

90% of security incidents trace back to PEBKAC and ID10T errors – 90% of security incidents are still caused by PEBKAC and ID10T errors, according to Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report. Phishing attacks are a prime example of how the problem exists between keyboard and user as the DBIR said it takes a mere one minute and 22 seconds after a phishing email is sent before the first victim clicks on the tainted link.

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11 simple steps to secure your PC and online accounts – Data breaches, hacks, and vulnerable software makes it easier than ever for a hacker to get access to your data. These simple steps can help mitigate it happening in the first place.

A simple Google search can find your lost Android phone – This new feature lets you do a simple Google search to recover your Android phone. Simply, go to the main Google search webpage in a browser and type in “find my phone.” The first result will be a map of your phone’s exact location, like the bar last night. Then, through a drop-down menu, you can ring your phone directly from the browser if your phone is still nearby. You’ll need the Google app’s latest version installed before you can try to search for your Android phone, and you need to make sure that your phone and your browser are both logged into the same Google account for the search to work properly.

50 Best Free iPhone Apps for 2015 – Not everything in life is free, but many great iPhone apps are. And when you can find good software for free, take it. This list of the 50 best free iPhone apps highlight apps that we at PCMag think have shown outstanding performance, have been well received by a variety of technology users, and are truly “free.” No gimmicks, no membership required or in-app purchase necessary. Free. Period.

Tip: WinDirStat can help you free up storage space for GTA V (or anything else) in a flash – WinDirStat is a free tool—donations accepted!—that scans your drive, then explains where all your storage is being consumed with some gorgeous data visualization, separating the culprits into different blocks to provide a quick, at-a-glance summary. Clicking on one of the blocks lets you dive deeper and truly see where your storage is tied up—but in this case, I was looking for major offenders anyway.

Google releases a new handwriting app for Android – If you ever wanted to draw an emoji, now is your chance. Google has released Google Handwriting Input for Android, which supports printed and cursive writing in 82 languages, as well as hand-drawn emojis….

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How to Break Bad Habits With Tech – Yes, there’s an app for “that,” almost no matter what “that” might entail, but when it comes to busting your bad, bad habits, don’t overlook the possibilities. With some help from software—and by applying some of your own willpower, an aspect that can’t be overlooked or ignored—it’s possible to better yourself. Even if all you do is correct one practice or pattern that is bugging, governing, or ruining you and those around you on a regular basis. With some of these tools and tips, you can try positive, go negative (start paying for your habitual crimes!), or a little of both.

Tinder integrates Instagram to show you’re well-rounded – If you’re trying to lure in new connections on Tinder, hawking your life through carefully filtered and selectively framed Instagram photos is one way to do that. The service hasn’t been entirely friendly toward Instagram, however, in that it didn’t offer support for such and users would have to put a link to their Instagram profile in their Tinder profile. Users requested a bit more than that, though, and Tinder has decided to listen, adding an option to embedded your Instagram photos directly in your Tinder profile for all to see.

Why you should be using mobile shopping apps – The truth is, there are certain categories of mobile apps that are created to make life easier. And when you are working in a mad-dash pace five days a week, every second you can get back from daily duties adds up by the end of the week. And yet there are still those that believe the shopping app is below them. Get this … Forbes believes that shopping apps will be the single fastest growing category of mobile applications in 2015.

Microsoft Band is officially on sale in the UK, priced at £169.99 – The Microsoft Band is now available to buy in the UK – its first market outside of the US – priced at £169.99, and includes guided workouts developed with leading UK health provider Nuffield Health.

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14 Google Calendar Tricks You’re Probably Not Using – If you consider yourself a true 400-pound orangutan of organization, a profit of productivity, a caballero of collaboration, then take a look through our slideshow of 14 neat little tricks that you can do inside Google Calendar. There will definitely be some you didn’t know.

Twitter’s new front page advertises news sources, tech reporters, and butts – Twitter has a new login page that collates images from its most popular users to keep you informed about important topics like world politics, movie gossip, tech news, and — apparently — spandex-clad butts….

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Dormi Turns Android Smartphones Or Tablets Into A Video Baby Monitor – A number of companies today leverage the ubiquity of smartphones in order to offer parents “connected” baby monitoring systems that can be accessed from anywhere. Often, as with devices like NapTime or Evoz, these include a monitor and camera of some sort and an accompanying mobile app. But a startup called Dormi has historically offered a different take – instead of selling new hardware, the company allows you to re-use old Android smartphones or tablets in order to remotely monitor your baby’s room. Now its system has received a long-anticipated update, with the much-requested addition of video monitoring.

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IKEA releases its line of wireless charging furniture – IKEA has launched its Wireless Charging collection of furniture, which has built-in Qi-enabled wireless chargers for compatible mobile phones. In addition to offering bedside tables, floor- and table lamps, desks and simple charging pads, IKEA is also selling a DIY kit that lets users embed wireless chargers into furniture of their choice.

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How to Save Stories To Read Later On Your Phone – Sometimes, it feels like our phones buzz with notifications from our favorite news apps at the most inconvenient moments — it’s hard to open a notification about Iranian nuclear developments when we’re headed into a meeting or chasing down the bus. Luckily, there are a few great apps that will help you save important stories for reading later in the day when you’ve got some downtime, even if you don’t have a data signal (say, on the subway).

Security:

New York Times columnist falls prey to signal repeater car burglary – Last week, the New York Times columnist Nick Bilton took to Twitter to let the world know that two kids broke into his car before his very eyes. What made the break-in a little more remarkable was the fact that, according to Bilton, the perps used an electronic device to simply unlock his Toyota Prius, rather than doing things the old-fashioned way with a slim jim, coat hanger, or brick. This isn’t the first time that signal repeaters have been linked to car burglaries in California. In 2013, we reported on a similar spate of thefts in Long Beach, CA, that left local police ‘stumped.’ And it’s not the only way of gaining entry to a supposedly secure car; The Register has previously covered devices that can eavesdrop on the signal between a BMW and its remote, allowing miscreants to program a blank remote for later use.

IBM makes decades worth of cyber-threat data public – IBM’s X-Force Exchange aims to be one of the largest and thorough catalogs of vulnerabilities in the world, helping companies to defend against cyber-crimes in real-time.

Neighborhood Watch program to add wireless security cams to its wetware network – The Neighborhood Watch program is about to augment its wetware network of watchful eyes with a hardware network of wireless IP security cameras. The objective? Reduce false alerts to local authorities, improve emergency response times, and reduce crime rates. It all starts with the rollout of a new safety system that will use wireless, battery-powered cameras to monitor participating neighborhoods.

Bitdefender Box review: Trying hard to be antivirus for the Internet of Things – My smart home has more than 40 devices connected to the Internet: Multiple computers, tablets, and smartphones; 10 IP security cameras; a control panel for my Vivint home-security and automation system; a satellite TV tuner with a DVR; a Roku video-streaming box; four Sonos nodes; and more. Bitdefender tells me its Box can protect all of them, and with enough confidence that I can run my PCs, tablets, and smartphones without local antivirus or anti-malware. All I need besides Box is a lightweight agent on those devices (Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS are all supported).

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False Positives Sink Antivirus Ratings – What’s the big deal about false positives? Well, depending on the prevalence of the file affected, the consequences can be epic. Some years ago McAfee erroneously quarantined an important Windows file (they’ll never live that down!). More recently, Panda identified its own files as malware. Even without major fiascos like these, if your antivirus visibly makes mistakes, you’ll lose faith in it. AV-Comparatives offers a detailed report on false positives encountered by each product in this test, including prevalence data for the legitimate samples. This simple file-detection test has its limitations, as noted in the full report. Even so, it’s a good sign when a product aces this test, and a high rate of false positives may be cause for worry. How did your antivirus stack up?

In-flight Wi-Fi is “direct link” to hackers – Airplanes with in-flight Wi-Fi are vulnerable to hacks by passengers and could be targeted by a “malicious attacker” on the ground, a US report has warned. The threat appears to come in two forms, the GAO said. The first is from intrusion into avionics systems by passengers using in-flight Wi-Fi. “Four cybersecurity experts with whom we spoke discussed firewall vulnerabilities, and all four said that because firewalls are software components, they could be hacked like any other software and circumvented,” the report said. It described theoretical methods by which committed hackers could access any aspect of an airplane’s control system.

Company News:

Europe opens antitrust investigation into Android – The European Commission has been examining Google’s Android operating system for nearly three years, and it is now ready to launch a formal investigation into claims of unfair app bundling. Google services and apps like Maps, Chrome, and YouTube are often bundled with Android devices, and competitors have complained that it’s giving Google an unfair advantage. Regulators previously questioned telecom companies and phone manufacturers, to see whether Google forces them to bundle apps or services at the expense of competitors.

EU’s three gripes with Android: What you need to know – Did you know there are really two main versions of Android? The one Google controls is under fire for potential antitrust practices. Here’s why.

Facebook-backed Internet.org loses some Indian partners over net neutrality – A project by Facebook-backed Internet.org to offer people access to select online services without data charges has run into trouble in India, after the program was criticized by net neutrality activists. A number of companies that had partnered with Internet.org to offer content or services had by Wednesday either quit the alliance or were readying to leave. The Internet.org program does not meet its stated objective of providing free and unfettered Internet access to all, according to the activists.

Netflix Adds 4.9M New Members In Q1, Sending Shares Up More Than 10% – Why’s Wall Street so excited about flat revenues and an earnings miss? Netflix reported that its subscriber base grew to a total 62.3 million. That figure includes 2.3 million new domestic subscribers, and 2.6 million non-domestic subscribers.

Online marketplace Etsy prices IPO at $16 a share – Online crafts marketplace Etsy priced its initial public offering at $16 a share on Wednesday, at the high end of its expected range of $14 to $16 a share. The Brooklyn, NY-based company raised $267 million by selling 16.7 million shares, valuing Etsy at $1.8 billion, the firm announced Wednesday. Founded in 2005, the website derives its revenue from listing fees and commissions on the sale of items such as handmade jewelry, crocheted wool booties and antique mother of pearl silverware.

Yahoo may be readying new Messenger to battle Snapchat, Periscope – You probably don’t use Yahoo Messenger. It’s tired, really. As a simple chat app, it’s fine, but we want more than that. In an age of sending each other more than words, Yahoo is way behind. Instead of dropping messaging, Yahoo may be priming a revamp to Messenger, one that reportedly combine live and recorded video sharing. This app is meant for mobile, though it’s not clear if Yahoo is also readying the app for your desktop as well. If the report is accurate, we’ll see this new Messenger by the end of Q2 2015.

AT&T, but not Verizon and Comcast, sue FCC over net neutrality – AT&T made no secret of its opposition to the FCC’s net neutrality order, but it was reported last month that trade groups rather than individual ISPs would lead the legal fight against the FCC. That has mostly been the case so far, with AT&T but not other big ISPs like Comcast or Verizon filing suit. Lawsuits have been filed by four consortiums representing cable, wireless, and telecommunications companies. One small provider in Texas called Alamo Broadband sued the FCC as well.

Games and Entertainment:

Binge-watch ‘Orphan Black’ for free this Friday – Send your clone to work and stay home for Season 1 of the cult-fave show, streaming free of charge courtesy of Amazon.

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Sling TV channel guide: All the programming, and all the restrictions, all in one chart – Sling TV is cheaper than bloated cable- or satellite-TV bundles, but it’s no less confusing. I’m about to fix that for you.

Hearthstone goes fully mobile; now available on iOS and Android smartphones – Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now available in the App and Google Play stores, and it comes with all of the features that the bigger versions of the game have, including the recently launched Blackrock Mountain expansion. But the handset version of the game will also feature a new interface designed to make card-playing easier on smaller screens. Blizzard is also celebrating the expanded availability of the game by offering mobile players a free Classic card pack once they complete a game on their mobile phones.

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Digital music revenue overtakes CD sales for the first time globally – Global revenue from music downloads and subscriptions has overtaken sales of physical formats for the first time. In 2014, digital revenue grew nearly 7 percent to $6.85 billion, while physical sales — of which CDs make up the vast majority — fell 8 percent to $6.82 billion. These figures, from a report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), also reflect the growing popularity of digital music streaming, with revenue from services like Spotify growing 40 percent to $1.57 billion.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Bruce Schneier: Metal Detectors at Sports Stadiums – Fans attending Major League Baseball games are being greeted in a new way this year: with metal detectors at the ballparks. Touted as a counterterrorism measure, they’re nothing of the sort. They’re pure security theater: They look good without doing anything to make us safer. We’re stuck with them because of a combination of buck passing, CYA thinking, and fear. There’s no evidence that this new measure makes anyone safer. A halfway competent ticketholder would have no trouble sneaking a gun into the stadium. For that matter, a bomb exploded at a crowded checkpoint would be no less deadly than one exploded in the stands. These measures will, at best, be effective at stopping the random baseball fan who’s carrying a gun or knife into the stadium. That may be a good idea, but unless there’s been a recent spate of fan shootings and stabbings at baseball games — and there hasn’t — this is a whole lot of time and money being spent to combat an imaginary threat.

Watch the SpaceX rocket landing (now in video form) – Before we’d only had tiny glimpses of the near-landing bit of the Falcon 9 rocket. Now we’ve got a fully operational video from off the starboard bow. This video shows how the rocket flew in at great speed, nearly – so very, very nearly – landing on the “Just Read The Instructions” autonomous sea craft. But with a final blast, it fell to the wayside. Time to try, try again, of course, as Elon Musk suggests they’ll be approaching an 80% success rate by the end of this year.

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How Google Could Threaten the Web – Since most people have their sights set on Google, the crusading antitrust folks in Europe now have their sights set on the dominant search engine. There’s certainly some “not invented here” schadenfreude in some of the EU’s antitrust actions. Europe has come down hard on Microsoft, Apple, and now Google, all American companies. But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Man flies gyrocopter to US Capitol to protest government corruption – US Capitol Police in Washington, DC have detained a man after he flew a personal gyrocopter through restricted airspace and landed it on the West Lawn of the Capitol building. The strange incident led authorities to close off nearby streets and briefly put the Capitol on lockdown. Reports indicate that police arrived immediately after the pilot, 61-year-old Doug Hughes, touched down. Hughes is a US postal worker from Ruskin, Florida, according to the Tampa Bay Times, and orchestrated the stunt as his own attempt to protest government corruption and urge lawmakers to advance campaign finance reform.

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Best Boss Ever Aims to Raise Minimum Worker Pay to $70K per Year – Bet you wish Dan Price was your boss right about now. The founder of Gravity Payments told employees on Monday that over the next three years, he plans to make the minimum salary paid to staffers at the Seattle-based credit-card payment processing firm a cool $70,000 per year. Per The New York Times, that means “even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative, and salesman” working for Gravity Payments will make nearly $20,000 more a year than the median household income in the United States, as calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2014.

Mystery solved: Why do knuckles crack? – For the first time, an MRI video has been taken of cracking knuckles, answering once and for all what makes the audible pop.

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Chess grandmaster caught cheating with smartphone chess app – The cheating claim was made by his opponent, Tigran Petrosian, during the sixth round of the Dubai Open. Nigalidze had been making very frequent and long trips to the toilet after playing his moves, which made Petrosian suspicious and led to a search of the bathroom. A smartphone was discovered hidden in some toilet paper in a bin with a chess program loaded on to it. We don’t know which chess app he was using (yet).

Something to think about:

“Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices – just recognize them.”

–     Edward R. Murrow

Today’s Free Downloads:

Free Port Scanner – Free Port Scanner is a small, fast, easy-to-use and robust port scanner. You can scan ports on fast machines in a few seconds and can perform scan on predefined port ranges. This tool uses TCP packets to determine available hosts and open ports, service associated with port and other important characteristics. The tool is designed with a user-friendly interface and is easy to use.

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GlassWire 1.0.43 Beta – GlassWire displays your network activity on an easy to understand graph while searching for unusual Internet behavior that could indicate malware or violations of your privacy. Once unusual network activity is discovered you’re instantly alerted with detailed information so you can protect your computer, privacy, and data.

Features:

Network Monitor – Visualize your current and past network activity by traffic type, application, and geographic location, on an easy to use graph. GlassWire lets you see what applications are sending out data over the Internet and shows you what hosts they are communicating with.

Internet Security – GlassWire adds extra Internet security to your computer or server by visualizing all past and present network data in an easy to understand graph. Instantly see every application or process communicating over the Internet, then dive in deeper to see who or what your computer is communicating with.

Bandwidth Usage Monitor – Keeping track of your daily, weekly, or monthly bandwidth usage is easy with GlassWire. Go to the usage tab to see what apps, traffic, or hosts are using the most bandwidth.

Internet Privacy Protection – GlassWire shows all your network activity on an easy to use graph to help protect your Internet privacy. Easily see what apps are sending out data to the Internet and what host in what country they are communicating with. When you visit a website click the graph to see every server that your computer communicated with while that web page loaded.

Remote Server Monitoring – GlassWire installs easily on servers so you can monitor their network activity on your local computer via our remote access feature. Go to GlassWire’s settings and choose “remote server” to logon to your server after you have installed GlassWire on your local computer and remote server.

Discreet Alerts – We specifically designed the GlassWire alert system so it wasn’t annoying to users. GlassWire alerts appear briefly and then disappear into the background.

Network Time Machine Use the sliders to go back in time and analyze past network activity on the graph. Check your bandwidth usage by day, week, and month in detail with resolved hosts.

Universal Media Server – Universal Media Server is a DLNA-compliant UPnP Media Server. It is based on PS3 Media Server by shagrath. It is actually an evolution of the “SubJunk Build” of PMS. UMS was started by SubJunk, an official developer of PMS, in order to ensure greater stability and file-compatibility.

To see a comparison of popular media servers, click here.

Because it is written in Java, Universal Media Server supports all major operating systems, with versions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

The program streams or transcodes many different media formats with little or no configuration.

It is powered by MEncoder, FFmpeg, tsMuxeR, AviSynth, MediaInfo and more, which combine to offer support for a wide range of media formats.

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In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

The DEA is spending millions of dollars on spyware – The Drug Enforcement Agency has been spending millions on spyware tools to take over suspects’ phones, according to an exclusive report from Motherboard. Government records show the agency paying $2.4 million for a “remote control system” that could be implanted in a suspect’s phone. Once the phone is infected, the spyware can record texts, emails, passwords, and even nearby conversations through the onboard microphone. The use of spyware by law enforcement is controversial, and while officials typically need a warrant before deploying the programs, some agencies have ignored that requirement in the past. The source of the spyware is even more controversial.

New Zealand Spy Data Shared With Bangladeshi Human Rights Abusers – Secret documents reveal New Zealand’s electronic eavesdropping agency shared intelligence with state security agents in Bangladesh, despite authorities in the South Asian nation being implicated in torture, extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses.

Government Communications Security Bureau, or GCSB, has conducted spying operations in Bangladesh over the past decade, according to the documents. The surveillance has been carried out in support of the U.S. government’s global counterterrorism strategy, primarily from a spy post in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, and apparently facilitated by the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Bangladesh spying, revealed on Wednesday by The New Zealand Herald in collaboration with The Intercept, is outlined in secret memos and reports dated between 2003 and 2013. The files were obtained by The Intercept from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The FBI informant who mounted a sting operation against the FBI – A new documentary, (T)ERROR, reveals the weaknesses and bungling behind a terrorism investigation that relied on informants. One of the domestic spies, Saeed Torres, warned the FBI that the target of its investigation “ain’t going to throw rice at a wedding, believe me.”

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