Tech Thoughts Net News – Friday Edition – July 24, 2015

Top 5 security practices in staying safe online: From the experts;  Google patches 43 security flaws in latest Chrome update;  9 fantastic Facebook tips for Android and iOS users;  Media streamer buyers guide: Amazon Fire TV,  Apple’s App Store has 100 apps and games on sale;  Apple TV, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield Android TV & Roku compared;  Windows 10: your questions answered;   PC sticks: Have Windows, will travel;  Make Chrome and Firefox faster with just one click;   Get more from YouTube with the help of these five apps;  Dmail Makes Your Gmail Messages Self-Destruct;  How to create blur-free video on the iPhone;  Google patches 43 security flaws in latest Chrome update;  Advanced spyware for Android now available to script kiddies;  10 free resources to help you learn to code;  CoD Black Ops multiplayer beta coming to Xbox One, PC 26 Aug;  Ashley Madison’s data breach is everyone’s problem;  Watch 112 years of movie aliens in just over three minutes;  Your music taste might reveal how your brain works.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Top 5 security practices in staying safe online: From the experts – Cyberattacks are on the rise and they range from phishing and scams on social media to high-profile assaults against companies. For the average consumer, knowing where to turn and how to keep your digital identity safe can be a minefield of solutions. But what do you truly need to know? In a recent Google research paper, security professionals were asked what the top five ways to stay safe online are, and these are the tips they offered.

Make Chrome and Firefox faster with just one click – If you’re anything like me, you keep a lot of browser tabs open. And unless your PC is a serious powerhouse, that can choke performance across the whole system. The obvious solution? Close some tabs. But that’s no good for me, because I often keep pages open that I need to refer to later in the day. Bookmark them instead? That’s a hassle, and ultimately unnecessary because I don’t need those pages after I’m done with them. The better solution: OneTab. Available for Chrome and Firefox, this extension performs one simple — but essential — task: It shoehorns all your open tabs into a single tab, thereby vastly reducing the amount of memory consumed by the browser.

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Don’t run Chrome or Firefox without OneTab. Seriously. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Media streamer buyers guide: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield Android TV & Roku compared – Shopping for media-streaming hardware? You’ve come to the right place. This is the definitive guide to choosing precisely the right model for your unique needs.

Apple’s App Store has 100 apps and games on sale – If you’re anything like us, you already have way too many apps on your phone, but that isn’t stopping you from trying new ones. That can get very expensive very quickly, unless it just so happens that the App Store has a “100 Apps and Games” promotion, in which every single app and game on offer is $0.99. But really, when does that ever happen? In case you didn’t get that, the answer is: Right Now. You can get top-rated games like Badland, The Room Two, all the various versions of Angry Birds and Goat Simulator(!), as well as good photo apps like Pixelmator and Faded, all for under $1. We’re not sure how long this promotion is on for, so you might want to act fast.

9 fantastic Facebook tips for Android and iOS users – The Facebook app for Android and iOS has some nifty—and powerful—features up its sleeves. Pick and choose which friends appear in your news feed, save links to interesting articles, post updates without an Internet connection, and more.

PC sticks: Have Windows, will travel – PC sticks are popping up all over. These are tiny devices that are full PCs that can be plugged into any TV or monitor and used securely. We’ve rounded up a few of the top ones for consideration.

Dmail Makes Your Gmail Messages Self-Destruct – Have you ever regretted sending an email, and wished you could take it back? Or maybe you’ve worried about sending confidential information over email – especially after seeing the damage a large-scale email hack can cause, like the one that hit Sony Pictures last year? A new “self-destructing” email service called Dmail aims to eliminate these concerns with the introduction of tool that allows you to better control the messages that are sent over Gmail. With Dmail, you can revoke access to any email at any time, and, in a release arriving soon, you’ll be able to stop recipients from forwarding your message to others, too.

Screenshots: Get more from YouTube with the help of these five apps – As great as YouTube is on its own, however, there are plenty of apps out there that make it even better. Most of the YouTube-oriented apps that are available today are simple downloaders, but there are some other types of apps that provide more unique functionality. This article discusses five such apps.

Apple Just Made Another iOS 9 Beta Available To Anyone – The company has just released iOS 9 Public Beta 2. So what’s new in v2? Bug fixes, mostly. Speed enhancements, too. The most significant “new” thing, though, is the return of Home Sharing — a feature that lets you stream music from your desktop Mac to your iPod/iPhone/iPod over your local network. This feature was quietly dropped in iOS 8.4, but is back in this build. If you’re already in the Public Beta program, just pop into your settings and hit the update button. It should grab the latest build over the air.

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Hello post-PC world: iOS devices sales now match those of Windows computers – As demand for Windows PCs has stagnated, sales of iOS devices have risen; matching sales figures for computers running Microsoft software.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Windows 10’s New Photo App – When Windows 8 launched, it included a Photos app that opened your images by default. The only problem: It could hardly do anything with them. Windows 10 rights a lot of Windows 8’s wrongs, and the Photos app is one noteworthy example. The new Photos app includes image correction and enhancement, as well as organization capabilities. It’s much closer to something like Mac OS X’s Photos app than to Paint. Let’s take a closer look at this capable new part of Windows 10’s toolkit.

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The only remaining barrier to entry for Linux – The Linux that we see now is not the Linux we knew years ago. Linux is just as user friendly as any platform on the market. The biggest difference is that it’s simply not in the eyes of consumers. The ability to purchase a computer preinstalled with an operating system, in and of itself, makes that operating system accessible and useable to the consumer. That’s the only remaining barrier to entry for Linux, and there are plenty of companies set to tear down the walls, preventing the average user from enjoying the reliability, security, and power that is Linux.

How to install Linux on a PC with Secure Boot enabled – Installing Linux isn’t as easy as it used to be, thanks to the Secure Boot requirements enforced by recent versions of Windows.

Pro tip: How to create blur-free video on the iPhone – The iPhone is great at capturing still images and video without lots of moving objects. However, the iPhone’s autofocus will attempt to correctly focus on moving subjects, and it will sometimes focus on the wrong object, causing the video to be out of focus. Sure, you can tap to refocus on the object you want, but once the object moves again, the video or photo will be out of focus again. Let’s take a look at how to use AE/AF Lock feature of the Camera app to lock the focus to a particular subject in your photos and videos, which will keep the exposure and focus correctly set during the entire capturing process.

Meerkat can now livestream video from a GoPro – Today, Meerkat announced that users will be able to livestream videos from their GoPro’s to the apps livestreaming service. Although Meerkat has traditionally been restricted to mobile devices running Android or iOS, Meerkat made the announcement today that the the app will now be able to stream directly from some GoPro cameras. Not all GoPro’s will be supported and the service will initially only be available on the ‘GoPro 3’. In a later update, ‘GoPro 4’ owners will be able to livestream videos to Meerkat.

Windows 10: your questions answered – Find out what’s happening with Media Center, compatibility, dual-booting, XP Mode, and more

Microsoft releases another update for Windows 10 build 10240 – Microsoft has rolled out another update for Windows 10 build 10240, its fourth since that build – which is effectively the ‘RTM’ release of the OS – made its way to Insiders last week.

10 open source storage solutions that might be perfect for your company – The right storage solution is critical for business, but the price tag can put many options out of reach. Luckily, there’s a host of powerful, scalable open source candidates to choose from.

Security:

Advanced spyware for Android now available to script kiddies everywhere – The Android surveillance suite works like a “cluster bomb” that combines multiple attack tools, including the two exploits described above, low-level coding that greatly expands the type of data attackers can gather from infected phones, a higher-level APK installer package, and a command-and-control server infrastructure infected devices can connect to. Once a phone is infected, it may need its firmware to be reflashed to have the backdoor removed.

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Fully patched Internet Explorer for smartphones menaced by whopping 4 code-execution bugs – Researchers at an HP security division have publicly detailed four code-execution vulnerabilities that can be used to hijack end-user smartphones running the latest versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. The disclosures earlier this week came more than six months after researchers from HP-owned TippingPoint first privately reported the bugs to Microsoft security engineers. According to the advisories published here, here, here, and here, Microsoft officials acknowledged the bugs and in each case asked for an extension beyond the four months TippingPoint officials normally wait before publicly disclosing vulnerabilities. All four of the extensions expired Sunday, leading to the public disclosure of the bugs. It remains unclear why Microsoft hasn’t issued fixes.

Google patches 43 security flaws in latest Chrome update – Google has patched 43 security problems, many of them deemed critical, in the latest update to the Chrome browser. On Wednesday, Google pushed Chrome 44 for Windows, Mac and Linux to the stable channel and for public release. As part of the Chrome 44.0.2403.89 update, 43 bugs have been fixed, with many of the bugs submitted by external researchers.

Previous release of Google Chrome had a whooping mix of 43 security flaws.

There, fixed the headline for you.

Bug in latest version of OS X gives attackers unfettered root privileges – The privilege-escalation bug, which was reported in a blog post published Tuesday by security researcher Stefan Esser, is the type of security hole attackers regularly exploit to bypass security protections built into modern operating systems and applications. Hacking Team, the Italian malware-as-a-service provider that catered to governments around the world, recently exploited similar elevation-of-privileges bugs in Microsoft Windows. When combined with a zero-day exploit targeting Adobe’s Flash media player, Hacking Team was able to pierce security protections built into Google Chrome, widely regarded as the Internet’s most secure browser by default.

All WordPress users urged to update after critical flaw found – The latest version of the software, a security update, is WordPress 4.2.3.

Ashley Madison’s data breach is everyone’s problem – Collecting and retaining user data is the norm in modern web businesses, and while it’s usually invisible, the result for Ashley Madison has been catastrophic. In hindsight, we can point to data that should have been anonymized or connections that should have been less accessible, but the biggest problem is deeper and more universal. If services want to offer genuine privacy, they have to break away from those practices, interrogating every element of their service as a potential security problem. Ashley Madison didn’t do that. The service was engineered and arranged like dozens of other modern web sites — and by following those rules, the company made a breach like this inevitable.

Microsoft Targets Revenge Porn With Link Removal Form – Falling in step with various recent industry moves, Microsoft has set up a formal process for removing links to so-called ‘revenge porn’ from its Bing search engine, allowing victims to notify it via a dedicated web form to have access to the content cut off.

Court rules that ‘pocket-dialed’ calls aren’t private – A federal appeals court in Ohio has ruled that a person who accidentally “pocket dials” someone shouldn’t expect any overheard conversation to be considered private.

Company News:

Amazon Spikes 14% After It Reports Surprise Q2 Profit Of $92M, Better-Than-Expected Revenue Of $23.18B – Following the cessation of regular trading today, Amazon announced that it earned $0.19 per share in its second quarter, on revenue of $23.18 billion. The street had expected Amazon to lose $0.14 per share on revenue of $22.39 billion. Following its earnings smash, Amazon is up more than 14 percent after-hours. The company shed more than one percent of its value in regular trading, amid a negative market day. Amazon had estimated that it would have revenue of $20.6 billion to $22.8 billion during the three-month cycle. Quite obviously, Amazon rocked the quarter.

Amazon launches Prime members credit card with 5% cash back – The card itself has no annual fee, but you must remain a Prime member to use it. So there’s sort of an associated fee, but you get a lot more for your $99. Plenty of people pay for Prime even without this store card. The purchase APR is also quite high (25.99%), as is the case with most store cards. Amazon will probably target younger consumers who don’t have the credit history to get favorable traditional credit cards.

Blackberry delves deeper into security with AtHoc purchase – BlackBerry continues to shift its focus from selling mobile phones to securing them—as well as other portable devices, and increasingly connected items that are part of the Internet of things. BlackBerry still sells handsets, but, to judge from the day’s presentations, it clearly sees a brighter future now in enterprise mobile security, where it can best leverage its remaining strengths in the market.

Sony to launch Aerosense drone company with ZMP – With some of their core businesses not doing well, you’d think Sony would want to hunker down and focus its resources on getting those in tip-top shape first. Instead, the Japanese tech giant is spreading its wings, almost literally. Now it is getting into the unmanned aerial vehicles or UAV, more popularly known as drones. In fact, it is partnering with old friend ZMP to start a new company named “Aerosense, Inc.”, to be incorporated in August, to develop and launch the ultimate spy drones.

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Uber facing class action lawsuit in Toronto – Uber is facing a class action lawsuit in Toronto where taxi drivers are seeking both an injunction against the ridesharing service in Ontario and in excess of $400 million CAD in damages. As in other regions, the drivers are pointing toward local regulations and claim Uber is providing illegal transportation on a mass scale. Uber, as expected, has already denounced the claims, but at this point it is still a waiting game to see if a judge will agree to hear the case.

Uber and NYC shake hands and make peace, for now – After a fierce public battle between Uber and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the two sides announced Wednesday that they’ve come to a mutual agreement. De Blasio agreed to temporarily table a bill he proposed, which would limit Uber’s growth. And Uber agreed to provide the city with previously undisclosed data for a comprehensive traffic study. Both sides appear to be content with the deal.

Xiaomi partners with Uber for hand-delivered phones – Uber has partnered with the smart device company Xiaomi to deliver their newest smartphone to new users. Ordering this new device, the Xiaomi Mi Note, will have the same process as ordering an Uber vehicle for pickup. Inside the Uber app, users will tap the “Xiaomi” button and proceed with ordering the new smartphone. Once they’ve ordered the phone successfully, the phone will be delivered to the user “within a few minutes.” This partnership will be paired with an early launch of the phone for Uber customers exclusively.

Sling gets sued over Slingbox desktop ads – The maker of Slingbox and SlingPlayer is facing a lawsuit after inserting advertisements into its desktop software. The lawsuit accuses Sling Media of a “bait and switch,” as customers Mark Heskiaoff and Marc Langenohl purchased their Slingboxes under the impression that the software was ad-free. They’re currently seeking class action status for the lawsuit, filed last week according to Zatz Not Funny.

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Google is giving free patents to startups to fight patent trolls – Google is becoming the Professor Oak of the startup world. It’s planning to give some small companies a pair of starter patents to help them out when it comes to getting off the ground and defending their intellectual property. Google doesn’t appear to be making money off of the program, but it does have an end goal: as a condition of the program, companies receiving Google’s patents will have to join a patent licensing network that’s meant to help Silicon Valley defend against patent trolls — companies that sue over patent infringement without actually making any products. Google says that encouraging smaller companies to get on board with the program “is just something that we think makes great sense.”

Games and Entertainment:

CoD Black Ops multiplayer beta coming to Xbox One, PC 26 Aug – If you’ve been dying to try out the upcoming Call of Duty’s new multiplayer mode but don’t have a PlayStation 4 console, you may not breathe a sigh of relief. As long as you have an Xbox One or at least a PC, that is. Activision has just revealed the schedule of the open beta of Black Ops’ multiplayer mode across all supported platforms. While PS4 gamers will indeed get to taste it earlier, other gamers won’t be far behind, following just seven days later.

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Google Play sale gets you Monument Valley, Hitman Go, and more for cheap – Some of the best games on Android are now really cheap. Google has just launched a summer sale in the Play store, and the deals include some classic mobile titles, including games like Monument Valley, Republique, and Hitman Go. You can even get older titles like Age of Zombies for as little as $0.10, alongside a host of old-school SNK arcade games. Unfortunately, there’s no hub page where you can quickly scan all of the available games, but we’ve listed some of the better deals below; you can also search the store for “play games summer sale” for even more.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is coming to the PS4 and PC – Rise of the Tomb Raider was snapped up as an Xbox offering, but as it turns out, it will be making its way to other devices as well: namely, the PlayStation 4 and PC. Square Enix announced that it will be available on Steam early next year, and that those on Sony’s gaming console will also get access, but will need to wait more than a year, as it won’t be arriving until 2016’s holiday season. Whether those with a PlayStation 3 will get access wasn’t mentioned, and therefore it isn’t looking likely.

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Xbox One mouse support on the way – Both the Xbox One and PS4 are much closer to standard PC architecture than any previous console generation. While both have support for keyboards, it sounds like the Xbox One will be the first to add computer mice to the equation. At least, that’s what Microsoft’s Xbox chief Phil Spencer has hinted at. Spencer commented that mouse support wasn’t “far away” on Twitter in response to a question about the possibility of Windows games being streamed to a Xbox One console.

Fallout Anthology packs the entire game series into a collectible nuclear bomb – Fallout 4 is almost upon us, but if you want to catch up on the post-apocalypse, Bethesda has just announced a new collection that bundles together the entire series in one package. Called Fallout Anthology, the collection includes five games: Fallout 1-3, along with spin-offs Fallout Tactics and New Vegas. Both Fallout 3 and New Vegas will include the plentiful expansions and add-ons that have come out since their initial launch. These games are all readily available separately on places like Steam, but for collectors the new set will also include a miniature nuclear bomb for storing the games, and it features space so you can add Fallout 4 when it comes out. The anthology will be available September 29th for $49.99 only on PC, while Fallout 4 launches November 10th for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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‘Gears of War’ remake for Xbox One goes gold, now available for ‘pre-download’ – Microsoft’s “Gears of War: Ultimate Edition” for Xbox One has gone gold, and those who pre-order the game can now download it in advance of its Aug. 25 release to play immediately on launch day

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The official trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is finally here – The first full trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 has arrived, and here it’s all-out war between the Districts and the Capitol. Katniss and the soldiers of District 13 are finally ready to take the fight to President Snow, and there will be blood before the battle ends. Mockingjay Part 2 hits theaters on November 20th.

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Kamcord Update Brings Live Game Streaming To Mobile Devices – Kamcord, the YC-backed company that enables game recording on mobile, is the latest company to jump on the mobile live-streaming bandwagon after it added the feature to its Android and iOS apps.

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eSports league will start policing drug use among gamers – Drug testing athletes is nothing new, and the same sort of policy will soon apply to gamers. Earlier this month, pro Counter-Strike player Kory ‘Semphis’ Friesen admitted to using Adderall, along with others on his then-team Cloud9, during a big tournament. Some consider this cheating, as Adderall, much like Ritalin, can be abused to help improve concentration and focus for anything ranging from studying to playing video games. Adderall use among pro gamers isn’t uncommon, and that’s a problem.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Watch 112 years of movie aliens in just over three minutes – A new YouTube video from content-curation giant Digg rounds up the aliens that have appeared on-screen from 1902’s Selenites right through to the talking raccoon, living tree, green-skinned Gamora and hulking Drax the Destroyer in 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” There are 98 clips in all, fittingly set to Radiohead’s “Subterranean Homesick Alien.”

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10 free resources to help you learn to code – If you’ve recently gotten the bright idea to learn to code, you’re not alone. The facts are that there exist more jobs than talent to fill them in the tech sector, and if you’re willing to dig in and build your skillset and portfolio, you could have a career before long. But where to start? There are many options out there. Some choose to go back to school, some sign up for for-profit bootcamps, others for workshops and seminars. If you’re not ready to commit a ton of time and money just yet, one of these 10 free resources might be just what you need to get started learning to code.

Sen. Al Franken Urges Federal Probe Of Apple Music – Apple’s hefty fees on in-app subscription services are being called into serious question. In a letter addressed to both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, Sen. Al Franken called on federal regulators to look into possible Apple Music antitrust violations in the music streaming market. Franken pointed to a number of non-competitive guidelines that he believes suppress app developers and stifle innovations that benefit the consumer.

TSA agent gets mad at 16-year-old filming dad’s pat down – Technically Incorrect: At New Orleans airport, a cell phone video of a simple pat down causes a Transportation Security Administration officer to call for the police. The YouTube video has already enjoyed more than 410,000 views.

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Man flies through two-meter gap in rock formation with wingsuit – The video was captured with the GoPro HERO2, which was made from 2011 through 2012 when the HERO3 debuted. As you can see in the following video posted on the official GoPro You Tube channel, the feat took more than one try. You can see the miss and Emanuele explaining that he then decided to attempt the fly-through from the other side of the mountain, which resulted in an amazing success.

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Australian online shoppers may soon find everything more expensive – Until now, savvy Australian shoppers that were making their purchases online could skirt the government’s 10% goods and services tax, the equivalent of VAT. That tax was absent for online transactions under A$1000. But now, according to Mashable, the PM alongside regional leaders have reportedly agreed to lower that threshold down to A$20. If this becomes the new law, then users will find themselves instantly paying 10% more for most of their online purchases. But the trouble doesn’t stop there because, as one consumer advocacy group notes, the extra revenue from the tax would be less than the money needed to actually collect the new tax.

Associated Press to publish massive historical video library – Recent history has been memorialized on video, and the Associated Press wants to make sure you and everyone else can watch those videos. As such it is working with British Movietone to upload 550,000 or so videos to YouTube — collectively amounting to more than a million minutes of digitized footage — across two channels. This represents the biggest upload of historical video footage to the video website, and will aid in reliving big moments, studying history, verifying facts, and more.

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Your music taste might reveal how your brain works – Do you like the sweet sounds of Billie Holiday or the hard edge of Metallica? A new study from the University of Cambridge says your choice shows whether you’re an empathetic or systematic thinker.

Untrustworthy faces are more likely to get the death sentence – People who have faces that are judged as less trustworthy are given the death penalty more often than people viewed as trustworthy, according to recent research in the journal Psychological Science. The results “paint a somewhat alarming picture of how systems of legal punishment are vulnerable to the same biases in person perception that afflict everyday individuals,” write John Paul Wilson and Nicholas Rule, the authors of the paper. This study builds on previous research suggesting that people judge the trustworthiness of faces with a high degree of consensus—we more or less agree on which faces count as trustworthy and which don’t.

Something to think about:

“Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.”

–       Horace Mann (1796 – 1859)

Today’s Free Downloads:

Shotcut – Shotcut is a free, open source, cross-platform video editor.

Features:

supports oodles of audio and video formats and codecs thanks to FFmpeg (or libav as-built)

supports many image formats such as BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, SVG, TGA, TIFF as well as image sequences

no import required – native editing

frame-accurate seeking for many formats

multi-format timeline: mix and match resolutions and frame rates within a project

screen capture (Linux only) including background capture to capture a Shotcut session

webcam capture (Linux only)

audio capture (Linux only; PulseAudio, JACK, or ALSA)

network stream playback (HTTP, HLS, RTMP, RTSP, MMS, UDP)

frei0r video generator plugins (e.g. color bars and plasma)

Blackmagic Design SDI and HDMI for input and preview monitoring

JACK transport sync

deinterlacing

detailed media properties panel

recent files panel

drag-n-drop files from file manager

save and load trimmed clip as MLT XML file

load and play complex MLT XML file as a clip

audio signal level meter

volume control

scrubbing and transport control

flexible UI through dock-able panels

encode/transcode to a variety of formats and codecs thanks to FFmpeg (or libav as-built)

capture (record) SDI, HDMI, webcam (V4L2), JACK, PulseAudio, IP streams, X11 screen

stream (encode to IP) files and any capture source

batch encoding with job control

create, play, edit, save, load, encode, and stream MLT XML playlists

unlimited undo and redo for playlist edits including a history view

connect to Melted servers over MVCP TCP protocol

control the transport playback of Melted units

edit Melted playlists including suport for undo/redo

OpenGL GPU-based image processing

multi-core parallel image processing when not using GPU (and frame-dropping is disabled)

video filters: Blur, Color Grading, Crop, Glow, Mirror, Saturation, Sharpen

3-way (shadows, mids, highlights) color wheels for color correction and grading

eye dropper tool to pick neutral color for white balancing

translated to Spanish, French, Czech, and German

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CDBurnerXP – CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. This is the installer version, CDBurnerXP Portable can be downloaded here.

It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.

Features:

burn all kinds of discs

audio-CDs with or without gaps between tracks

burn and create ISO files

data verification after burning process

create bootable discs

multi-language interface

bin/nrg → ISO converter, simple cover printing and much more!

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In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Facebook blocked from challenging search warrants targeting its users – Facebook does not have legal standing to challenge search warrants on behalf of its users, a New York appeals court has ruled in what was the biggest batch of warrants the social-media site said it ever received at one time.

Facebook was served with 381 warrants in 2013 from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. The warrants sought photos, private messages, and other information as part of a wide-ranging disability fraud investigation. As many as 134 people have been accused of disability fraud as part of the ongoing probe.

Facebook objected to handing over the data and challenged it. The site was even threatened with contempt of court over the fight, so it reluctantly coughed up the data. Facebook was allowed to continue the challenge on appeal in a failed bid to set legal precedent for its users.

The company said in a statement it was exploring its legal options:

Canada: Bill C-51 not in keeping with Canada’s international obligations: UN – The United Nations Human Rights Committee is raising concerns about Canada’s new anti-terror legislation, saying it could run afoul of the international covenant on civil and political rights.

The committee says it’s concerned sweeping powers in the law, known as C-51, do not contain enough legal safeguards to protect people’s rights.

The committee says while it appreciates Canada must take steps to protect against terrorism, the government should consider rewriting the law to ensure it complies with the international civil rights agreement.

Problems with C-51 are only part of a list of issues the committee is raising today in releasing a report on how well Canada is meetings its obligations under the civil and political human rights covenant.

Canada: Court strikes down Ottawa’s ‘safe country’ list for refugees – In a major blow to the Harper government, the Federal Court has struck down its so-called safe country list for refugees as unconstitutional.

In a ruling Thursday, the court said Ottawa’s designation by country of origin or DCO discriminates against asylum seekers who come from countries on this list by denying them access to appeals.

It is yet another devastating hit to the Conservative government which recently also lost two cases on constitutional grounds over the ban of the niqab at citizenship ceremonies and on health cuts for refugees.

“This is another Charter loss for the (Stephen) Harper government,” noted Lorne Waldman, president of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, a party to the legal challenge against the DCO regime.

The government said it will appeal the decision and ask the court to set it aside while it is under appeal.

Boffins sting spooks with ‘HORNET’ onion router – Five academics have developed a Tor alternative network that can handle up to 93 Gb/s of traffic while maintaining privacy.

The HORNET system is more resistant to passive attacks than existing anonymity networks like Tor and delivers faster node speeds for a “practically unlimited” number of sources.

It is the brainchild of leader researcher Chen Chen of Carnegie Mellon University, together with Daniele Enrico Asoni, David Barrera, and Adrian Perrig of the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, and George Danezis of University College London.

“Unlike other onion routing implementations, HORNET routers do not keep per-flow state or perform computationally expensive operations for data forwarding, allowing the system to scale as new clients are added,” the team wrote in the paper HORNET: High-speed Onion Routing at the Network Layer (PDF).

“HORNET offers payload protection by default, and can defend against some global observation attacks.

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4 Comments

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

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Net News – Friday Edition – July 24, 2015

  1. Hello Bill,
    With windows 10 about to arrive, I thought the following tutorial might be helpful especially if you already had the preview version of Windows 10 on your computer on a separate partition.
    Getting Your System Ready for the Windows 10 Upgrade.

    P.S.
    I miss the daily updates from you. 🙂

  2. Thanks for OneTab
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