Tech Thoughts Net News – Wednesday – October 14, 2015

The Best Antivirus for 2015;  10 things you didn’t know about the Dark Web;  17 Android Antivirus Apps Set Perfect Scores;  Facebook paid £4,327 in UK corporate tax in 2014;  How to mute multiple noisy Chrome tabs at once;  Xbox One bundles available for the 2015 holiday season;  PS4 bundles available for the 2015 holiday season;   7 Periscope Tips for Live-Stream Fans;  7 super-quick Windows 10 tricks you probably didn’t know about;  32 iOS 9 tips you should know (pictures);  What’s The Value Of Your Data?  Facebook Now Helps You Get Rid Of ‘Memories’;  Aurous is a free and questionably legal way to stream music;  Windows 10 Insider dawdlers face blank screens Oct. 15;  These Are the 5 Best Android Phones;  Angler exploit kit targets up to 156 million UK Daily Mail readers;  Android Marshmallow update: every phone announced so far;  Pepsi to launch a smartphone in China;  Study finds 87% of Android devices are insecure.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

The Best Antivirus for 2015 – Despite being called “antivirus,” these utilities aren’t limited to protecting against computer viruses. They actually handle Trojans, rootkits, adware, spyware, ransomware, and all kinds of malicious software, and some of them do a very good job. PCMag has reviewed over 30 different commercial antivirus utilities, and that’s not even counting the many free antivirus tools. Out of that extensive field we’ve named four Editors’ Choice products. Six more of the premium editions proved effective enough to earn an excellent four-star rating. More than a dozen others earned at least three stars.

17 Android Antivirus Apps Set Perfect Scores – How well do you know your Android antivirus app? If you have one, you probably installed it and then forgot about it. Thankfully, the AV-Test Institute evaluates many Android antivirus apps to keep developers honest and to shed light on how well these apps work. This time, a whopping 17 out of 25 nabbed perfect scores.

Google records your voice searches. Here’s how to listen back to them – Users of Google’s voice search and Google Now, the search giant’s voice-activated assistant and search feature, have their searches stored to turn up relevant ads and improve the feature — just as you would expect from using the regular search. But what many don’t realize is that after those voice searches are recorded and stored, users can listen back to exactly what they said and how they said it. Even as a security reporter, I know these things and yet it still sends chills down my spine when I can hear myself drunkenly asking my phone six months ago, “Are you giving all my data to the government?” (To which the answer is most likely: “not willingly.”)

What’s The Value Of Your Data? – On September 18, 2015, Comcast reached a $33 million settlement over claims that it published personal information of more than 75,000 customers — even though those customers had specifically paid a fee for their information to be kept private. As a consequence, the company will pay a $100 compensation to each victim. This settlement is a turning point in our technological history. This case is particularly interesting because, for the first time, it puts a price tag on the amount victims should receive when their personal information is illegally published.

7 super-quick Windows 10 tricks you probably didn’t know about – You might think you know all the Windows 10 tricks by now, but you’re wrong — partly because Microsoft is continuing to drop new builds (Build 10565 went out to Windows 10 Insiders on Monday), and partly because most of Windows 10’s little tricks haven’t been publicized. Here are several ultra-fast tips that you probably didn’t know about:

How to set up Mozilla’s Firefox browser the right way – Mozilla Firefox is a great choice for your default browser no matter what operating system you’re running, but it’s especially handy if you’re running Windows 10 since it takes control of Cortana’s Bing addiction with no effort on your part. Beyond that, the browser’s doing a lot of interesting pro-user privacy things these days, such as instituting a truly private Private Browsing mode that blocks tracking ads, and rolling out ads that actually respect user preferences. Firefox also offers many of the advantages that Chrome does, including cloud-based capabilities that sync your bookmarks, browsing history, and open tabs across devices.

How to mute multiple noisy Chrome tabs at once – Sometimes you run across a tip that’s just so awesome you must share it with the world as soon as possible. The other day, I came across a Chrome extension (via Ghacks) that lets you use a keyboard shortcut to mute all browser tabs at once. A combination of Chrome audio controls and keyboard shortcuts? Sign. Me. Up.

When a deleted Windows file won’t go away: 3 ways to move or erase it – Moving or erasing a file should be easy. But sometimes Windows just won’t let go.

Line messaging app updated with end-to-end encryption – Line, the dominant mobile messaging app in many parts of Asia, has just announced that it’s updating its service on all platforms to take advantage of end-to-end encryption. This protects the privacy of conversations between two users, and brings Line up to speed with other popular messaging services, including Apple’s iMessage and the Facebook-owned WhatsApp. The new security feature, which Line has dubbed “Letter Sealing,” is now available on its updated iOS and Android apps.

7 Periscope Tips for Live-Stream Fans – If you’re a Periscope fan or just looking to learn more about it, there are some things you might find helpful. Read on to learn.

32 iOS 9 tips you should know (pictures) – Apple’s latest mobile software is chock full of new features, from the long-awaited public transit direction in Apple Maps to a refined Notes app. Here’s what you need to know.


Ready for your closeup: You’ve always been able to pinch and zoom on photos, but now you can pinch and zoom on videos, as well.

Pornhub makes it easier to report revenge porn – Pornhub, one of the world’s largest adult entertainment sites, has introduced a new feature that it hopes will make it easier for people to identify revenge porn and request its removal. In a press release published today, the site announced a new online submission form (NSFW) that revenge porn victims can use to flag any explicit videos or images that were published without their consent. Previously, revenge porn takedown requests could only be filed through email. Pornhub, which sees around 60 million visitors a day, declined to disclose the volume of revenge-porn related requests it receives, though it says complaints have fallen by 38 percent over the past two years.

Facebook Now Helps You Get Rid Of ‘Memories’ – The daily reminder of stuff that’s happened on that day in the past can be awesome. It can also suck serious ass and trigger you into depression. I’m not kidding. I’ve had things pop up about events or people that made me shed a tear. Today, Facebook has launched controls to let you filter out some of those bad memories. Simply go to your “On This Day” page and then click on “preferences.” Then you can enter a date or person to have content filtered out the next time that date or person is about to be shoved into your unsuspecting face.


Facebook Video testing YouTube-like features for expansion – This week Facebook has released a barrage of updates for their Video initiative, bringing the world up to speed with their goings-on behind the scenes. In addition to the bits and pieces we’ve already seen, Facebook Video is set to be a fully integrated service, aiming to compete – albeit indirectly – with services such as YouTube. Earlier this year Facebook revealed 360-degree video with brands like Lucasfilm for Star Wars – and that’s just the start. Live video is also beginning to take hold on Facebook.

Aurous is a free and questionably legal way to stream music – Aurous is like Apple Music, Spotify, and Rdio, in that it offers a selection of songs available to stream direct from dedicated apps. But unlike Apple Music, Spotify, and Rdio, Aurous is totally free with no ads. Where those other streaming services have negotiated expensive deals with record labels and artists to feature their music, Aurous has sidestepped that hurdle, pulling music instead from a variety of third-party sources. But while its library is still small, and its model not as obviously illegal as torrenting tracks directly, Aurous will nonetheless upset record labels and rights holders.


The Electric Jukebox: For music lovers who think Apple Music and Spotify are too expensive and too complicated – British startup has developed a music streamer that plugs into your TV (and only your TV).


Credit: The Electric Jukebox Company

Windows 10 Insider dawdlers face blank screens Oct. 15 – Windows 10 users who have not updated their Insider preview since early July have until Thursday to get the latest code or face staring at a blank screen because the PC won’t boot. All builds issued between Jan. 23 and July 9 — there were 11 builds during that period, numbered 9826 through 10166 — will refuse to boot after Thursday, Oct. 15, according to a revised message posted by a Microsoft support engineer on the company’s discussion forum.

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 Insider build offers alt activation approach – Microsoft today shipped the latest Windows 10 preview to its Insider testers, with improvements to the Cortana assistant and the default Edge browser, and betas of the “universal” Skype apps for messaging, audio calling and video conferencing. Monday’s build, tagged as 10565, was the first issued by Microsoft to the Insider ring — the public preview of all Windows 10 changes — since Sept. 18. Build 10565 also made significant changes to how Windows 10 is activated, Microsoft’s term for proving that it’s a legitimate license.

Microsoft finally delivers on Skype messaging promises with new Windows 10 beta – Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10565 for Windows 10 on Monday that includes the Skype messaging apps the company promised during the run-up to the operating system’s launch.

Sell It Easy Offers A Hassle-Free Alternative To eBay And Craigslist, Including A Pick-Up Service – A new startup called Sell It Easy is offering an alternative to larger marketplaces like eBay or Craigslist with a new service that handles the entire selling process for you, from item pricing to posting online to shipping to buyers and more. In San Francisco and, eventually, other markets as the service expands, Sell It Easy will even come pick up the items you want to sell, saving you the hassle of having to package them yourself. Elsewhere, it offers a prepaid shipping label you use to send items you want the company to sell on your behalf.


Apple debuts 21.5-inch Retina iMac, new Magic Mouse, Trackpad, Keyboard – As has been expected for the last few weeks, Apple today announced the addition of a 21.5-inch Retina iMac to its desktop lineup, offering a 4K display and a starting price of $1,499. Along with this new model, the 27-inch lineup of iMac now all feature 5K Retina displays. As for the new 21.5-inch model, the desktop offers a resolution that is 4.5 times that of Full HD, and the same pixel density as the 5K model.


These Are the 5 Best Android Phones – he latest Android operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, has begun shipping on Google’s Nexus devices. It should begin arriving on other makers’ handsets soon, too. But this kind of high-powered mobile computing won’t work on just any old Google handset. Here are the five best Android phones available today, all of which are either rumored or confirmed to get Marshmallow.

Sorry, ad blockers: German news site Bild says nein – Popular German-language site Users is blocking the ad-blockers. Users who try to access the with ad blocking browser extensions enabled.are rerouted to a page that offers a subscription.


University of Cambridge study finds 87% of Android devices are insecure – It’s easy to see that the Android ecosystem currently has a rather lax policy toward security, but a recent study from the University of Cambridge put some hard numbers to Android’s security failings. The conclusion finds that “on average 87.7% of Android devices are exposed to at least one of 11 known critical vulnerabilities.” With 87% of devices flagged as insecure on any given day, the study really shows how far the Android ecosystem has to go to protect its users. Google and some OEMs have committed to a monthly security update program, but that is usually for devices that are less than two years old (Google recently bumped Nexus devices to three years) and only for flagship devices. The vast majority of Android sales are not flagship devices. Until Google rearchitects Android to support centralized, device-agnostic updates, we just don’t see a solution to Android’s security problems.

Android Marshmallow update: every phone announced so far – Today we’re having a peek at the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update list – every smartphone whose maker has given the thumbs up so far. This includes phones from Samsung, HTC, and Sony, as well a Google’s own Nexus smartphones – and a few tablets, too. LG and Motorola are here as well. This bit of comprehensive Marshmallow update comes courtesy of our previous reports as well as updates released by manufacturers and/or wireless carriers (the former more than the latter) over the past week or two.

These cloud-connected devices are totally spying on you (or just letting others do it) – Worried that one of your devices may be spying on you? You should be. It sounds like a cool toy: a talking Barbie doll that uses voice-recognition software to “listen” to kids’ conversations and respond appropriately. The downside critics say: It records children’s conversations to the cloud, where they could be hacked — or the data could be exploited by the toy’s maker.


Angler exploit kit targets up to 156 million UK Daily Mail readers in malvertising spree – The Angler exploit kit has compromised the Daily Mail’s online domain, potentially exposing up to 156 million readers a month to malicious advertising. Malvertising is a persistent problem for online domains who rely on advertising revenue to stay afloat. In order to increase the click-through rates of ads — increasing revenue for domain owners — third-party networks often tailor advertising you see based on data such as search history or topics of interest. These advertising networks are commonly used by popular websites which reach millions of users a month, making them a potentially lucrative attack vector for cybercriminals looking to compromise your systems.

Uber accidentally leaks personal data for hundreds of drivers – Uber accidentally exposed the personal data of hundreds of its drivers last night, revealing social security numbers, pictures of driver licenses, vehicle registration numbers, and other information. Drivers registered with the ridesharing company first noticed the leak on Tuesday evening, reporting the news on Reddit, and dedicated Uber message boards. Speaking to Motherboard, one driver said that he was presented with thousands of confidential documents from other drivers when he tried to upload a document of his own, saying that he saw “a lot of taxi certification forms and livery drivers licenses” in addition to “W-9 forms with Social Security numbers for taxi cab companies.”

Your business has suffered a data breach. Now what? – Mandiant executives offer insight into how the enterprise can minimize the impact of a data breach both before and after a cyberattack.

Company News:

Facebook paid £4,327 in UK corporate tax in 2014 – The social network’s UK branch paid less in corporation tax than the country’s average worker pays in income tax, following a trend of Silicon Valley behemoths avoiding the taxman.

Intel Beats In Q3 With $14.5B In Revenue, Despite Falling PC Market – Today following the bell, Intel reported its third-quarter financial performance, including revenue of $14.5 billion and earnings per share of $0.64. Following its earnings beat, shares in the chip giant initially rose. Analysts had expected Intel to report a $0.59 per-share profit, off revenue of $14.2 billion. Those expectations represented a 10.6 percent decline and a 2.3 percent fall, respectively. To round out the raw numbers, Intel reported third-quarter net income of $3.1 billion and gross margin of 63 percent. The firm spent $1.1 billion on dividends during a three-month period, and repurchased 36 million of its own shares at an expense of $1.0 billion.

Apple loses patent case over A7 chip, faces $860M in damages – A jury on Tuesday decided that Apple’s A7 smartphone chip infringes a patent owned by the University of Wisconsin, and the iPhone maker could now be on the hook for as much as $862 million in damages. The lawsuit was filed early last year and accused Apple of using a processor technology developed by university researchers in Apple’s A7 chip, which was used in its newest products at the time, including the iPhone 5S and iPad Air. The jury began hearing the case last week, and on Tuesday it found Apple liable for infringement of all six patent claims, the verdict form shows.

Oracle awarded $50M damages against Rimini Street – Oracle has won $50 million in damages against Rimini Street in a lawsuit that revolved around third party support and copyright infringement. A jury in Las Vegas came back with its decision Tuesday. The trial was five years in the making. As noted previously, Rimini’s future could have rested on the trial. In any case, the verdict is likely to be appealed. As of March 31, 2014–the last date of Rimini Street’s regulatory filings for an IPO–the company had $12.4 million in cash and equivalents.

Qualcomm says its new chip will make high end drones cheaper than flagship smartphones – Enter Qualcomm, the chip maker whose Snapdragon processors power the vast majority of today’s high-end smartphones. It recently announced that it will produce a modified version of this chipset optimized for drones, the Snapdragon Flight. Raj Talluri, the engineer and executive in charge of the project, says it could be the first step toward making high-quality drones as mainstream as digital cameras used to be. “We believe that, with this chip, we can cut the price of the average 4K camera drone from $1,200 down to $300 or $400. And we think we can extend the battery life from 20 minutes to 45 to 60 minutes,” says Talluri. “That will open them up to a much broader audience and a whole new range of applications.”


Pepsi to launch a smartphone in China – Yesterday, a report surfaced claiming PepsiCo would be releasing its own smartphone in China. Now, a day later, that news has been confirmed, with PepsiCo announcing that it is working with an unnamed “licensing partner” to produce its own-branded smartphone and related accessories. The phone will only be available in China, which will reportedly have a formal announcement made in Beijing on October 20.


IBM bolsters India footprint, lands $700 million Etihad Airways cloud pact – IBM said Tuesday that it will open another public cloud data center in India, this time in Chennai. IBM also formed a partnership with NASSCOM, the Indian outsourcing group, to bolster the developer ecosystem in the country and expanded a relationship with Accenture. For Big Blue, India is a key end market as one for talent.

GameStop bucks the trend, will close on Thanksgiving – There tends to be two camps when it comes to stores being open on major holidays: those who feel it is wrong and want to be home with their friends and family, and those who need the holiday pay more and would rather work. The former of the two tends to win out, at least among the vocal, and now GameStop has decided to listen. The gaming retailer has announced that it will not be open on Thanksgiving this year.

Games and Entertainment:

Xbox One bundles available for the 2015 holiday season – Don’t buy an Xbox One this holiday season without checking out all of the bundles available. Odds are there’s a bundle that’s right for you. Best of all, the pricing wars between Sony and Microsoft have really heated up, so getting a bundle is almost like getting a game for free.

PS4 bundles available for the 2015 holiday season – Thanks to a $50 price drop, the PS4 is more affordable than ever. Double down your savings with a PS4 bundle this holiday season. While there aren’t as many options as there are for an Xbox One, there’s likely a PS4 bundle that’s right for you.

Steam Sale begins in Stealth Mode – The Stealth Game Steam Sale begins as a lead-up to whatever spooky bits Valve will reveal for Halloween. This push will include just over 60 games, each of them living inside the “Stealth” genre – one way or the other. This includes games such as Thief (more than one version), the Assassin’s Creed series, and Ghost Recon. This is apparently the first “Stealth” Steam event that Valve has ever held, starting this morning and running until October the 16th, 2015.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 campaign missions to be unlocked from the start – November 6 marks the day that Treyarch will launch the latest game in the Call of Duty series called Black Ops 3. Traditionally the campaign missions in the game are locked from the start meaning after you install the game you have to start with mission one and progress through the missions in order unlocking them as you go. This is changing in Black Ops 3 with Treyarch announcing that all of the campaign missions will be unlocked from the start. That means gamers will be able to jump right in at the end of the game if they want to. It also means that missions that prove frustratingly hard for some gamers won’t leave them walking away from the game altogether.


Microsoft adapter lets you use Xbox wireless controller with Windows 10 – Get ready to use your Xbox One wireless controller to play video games on Windows 10 tablets and PCs.

Off Topic (Sort of):

15 Accurate Predictions Bill Gates Made About the Future in 1999 – In 1999, Bill Gates wrote a book titled Business @ the Speed of Thought. In the book, Gates makes 15 bold predictions that at the time might have sounded outrageous. But as business student Markus Kirjonen pointed out on his blog, Gates’ forecasts turned out to be “eerily prescient.”

10 things you didn’t know about the Dark Web – There’s a difference between the “Deep Web” and “Dark Web.” While the “Clear Web” is the surface area which is indexed by search engines such as Google and Yahoo, the Deep Web is an area search engines can’t crawl for or index. Plunging in further, the Dark Web is a small area within the Deep Web which is intentionally hidden from discovery.


Robo-bulldozers guided by drones are helping ease Japan’s labor shortage – As Japan ramps up new construction in preparation for hosting the 2020 Olympics, experts believe it will face a serious obstacle. “The labor shortage in the construction industry could reach a crisis level in the next few years,” Martin Schulz, an economist at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo, told Bloomberg. To get around this problem, Komatsu has begun creating a new service it calls Smart Construction. A team of robotic vehicles scoops rock and pushes dirt without a human behind the wheel. They are guided in their work by a fleet of drones, which map the area in three dimensions and update the data in real time to track how the massive volumes of soil and cement are moving around the site.

skycatch drone gif 2

Photos: Ten glimpses into the future of 3D printing – While consumer 3D printers may be squirting out plastic models, the technology has the potential to create far more complex and useful objects. From machines that can print 100 times faster than is typical today to fabricators that create objects from 10 materials at once – here’s what the future of 3D printing has in store.


Scientists control a fruit fly’s heart with laser pulses – Scientists from Lehigh University have successfully controlled a fruit fly’s heartbeat, but unlike past techniques, this didn’t require any invasive surgeries or implants. All they needed was a laser. Thanks to some genetic modification, the fruit flies in this lab have photo-sensitive heart cells. It’s like having a built-in pacemaker.


Playboy Ditches the Nudes, Because Softcore Is Dead – The middle cannot hold. Playboy is kicking itself into full safe-for-work mode, because frankly, there’s nothing special about boobs anymore. Now we can all read Playboy solely for the articles. You may think this is a sad win for puritanism or political correctness, but it’s not. There are now far more lady parts and dick pics available for the average American’s viewing pleasure than in Playboy’s heyday. Rather, it’s the collapse of the middle ground in our fragmented cultural market and the death of softcore.


Here’s how Volkswagen plans to redeem itself – Volkswagen may still be reeling from dieselgate, but when life gives you lemons you serve them as a garnish for your new strategic roadmap. More electrification, hybrids with increased range, and of course cleaner diesels are all on the cards as the German automaker aims to redeem its reputation and steer its fortunes back into the black.

Something to think about:

“When you say I don’t care about the right to privacy because I have nothing to hide, that is no different than saying I don’t care about freedom of speech because I have nothing to say or freedom of the press because I have nothing to write.”

–     Edward Snowden


WPS Office 10 Free – WPS Office 10 Free is the most versatile free office suite, which includes free word processor, spreadsheet program and presentation maker. These three programs help you easily deal with office tasks:

Writer – A versatile word processor inside Kingsoft Office Software. With Writer, you can adjust paragraphs within seconds and insert table easily just by dragging it.

Presentation – An easy but effective slide show maker inside Kingsoft Office Software. Helps you quickly create impressive multimedia presentation to convince your audience.

Spreadsheets – A flexible and powerful spreadsheet application. Helps you fulfill both personal data analysis needs, and those more professional data processing tasks.

Mobile Office – Efficient mobile office solution on android and iOS platform. Help you handle Word, Excel and Presentation files on the road. Sharing made easy with Email & cloud storage.


In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

From fingerprints to facial scans: Why the French want biometrics on all EU travellers – France wants to collect biometric data from all EU nationals and foreign travellers crossing the outer borders of the Schengen area. Under the French proposal, travellers would supply fingerprint or facial biometric data.

The French proposal could mean that everyone, including EU citizens, will need to supply fingerprint or facial biometric data to support Europe’s Smart Borders systems.

EU civil liberties watchdog Statewatch published the French proposal, which outlines a call to the EC to broaden “the scope of the Smart Borders package for all travellers, also including European nationals”.

The letter dated 25 September was sent to the EU’s Working Party on Frontiers and was, according to EUobserver, discussed at an interior ministers meeting in Luxembourg on October 8.

The EC proposed the Smart Borders package in 2013 to improve control at the external borders of Schengen member states, which includes most EU states, some non-EU states such as Norway and Switzerland, but not the UK.

As the EC outlines, Smart Borders in conjunction with an entry-exit system and registered traveller programme, would aim to stifle irregular immigration and help flag overstayers and facilitate border-crossing for pre-vetted frequent non-EU nationals travelling to the region.

A subsequent technical study on Smart Borders looked at the potential use of facial image recognition as a standalone biometric or in combination with fingerprints. It also noted issues with the conditions imposed on law-enforcement agencies governing access to biometric data.

The French proposal comes as the EC’s Smart Borders public consultation draws to a close on October 29 and coincides with the country’s proposed new national-security laws, aimed at boosting government surveillance powers.



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

3 responses to “Tech Thoughts Net News – Wednesday – October 14, 2015

  1. Android Mobile Security
    Why is the Editors Choice always a paid product ???
    In the recent tests, Avast Free Mobile Security received the same perfect score but, it’s totally free:
    I have no problems making a choice.

  2. Pingback: Tech Thoughts Net News – Wednesday – October 14, 2015 | Being Digital!!!