Tech Thoughts Net News – Wednesday – June 29, 2016

Google Chrome security tips for the paranoid at heart;  How a Hacker Got Facebook to Let Him Take Over Someone Else’s Account;  How to set up 9to5Google for easier two-factor authentication;  One of the nastiest types of ransomware has just come back to life;  More Steam Summer Sale gems: 15 great games under $5;  How to turn off this creepy Facebook feature –  and much more news you need to know.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Microsoft backs off click-the-X trick in Windows 10 upgrade pitch – Microsoft today said it will revamp the notification of a pending Windows 10 upgrade so that clicking the red “X” — an action that for decades has been used to dismiss or ignore a dialog box — will no longer be interpreted as authorizing the process. With just a month to go before it stops offering a free upgrade to consumers and many businesses running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, Microsoft said it would modify the notice that appears when the company pitches the Windows 10 upgrade.

You have a deadline: Windows 10’s free upgrade ends July 29 – Windows 10’s free upgrade ends July 29. Are you ready? Here’s what to expect and how to get ready for it.

How (and why) to customize the Windows 10 Start menu – The Windows 10 Start menu is a blend of navigation from Windows Phone and Windows 7, and it’s highly customizable. We’ll walk you through it.

Windows 10 reinstallation tip: How to reset your PC and keep your files – Sometimes Windows needs a fresh start—maybe a program’s gone awry or a file’s been corrupted. Luckily, Windows 10 has an option where you can reinstall Windows and wipe your programs, but it keeps your files intact.

Woman successfully sued Microsoft over sneaky tactics used for Windows 10 update – The tactics used by Microsoft to get PC users to install its latest Windows operating system has angered countless customers and one woman has even sued the company for a $13,000 payout over the update. (recommended by Mal C.)

Google’s new pervasive ad tracking is thankfully opt-in – Google isn’t exactly popular for its privacy practices, despite official protestations that it is, in fact, pro-privacy. So when the company initiates changes to its ad tracking that includes more of your Internet life, that’s not exactly out of the ordinary. What is extraordinary, however, is that Google has made the changes opt-in, which means it is disabled by default and needs an informed and conscientious decision by the user to join in. And even when they do, they’re being given fine-grained control on which things they will allow Google to track.

How to start using Google Now on Tap in Android Marshmallow – With Android Marshmallow, Google Now has morphed into something completely different called Google Now on Tap. See how easy it is to use.

Android phones can now read books, signs, business cards via Google’s Mobile Vision – Developers can make their apps read aloud in real time any text that’s in the camera’s field of vision.

Evernote raises prices of its paid plans, limits device sharing on free tier – Evernote today announced a new suite of pricing for its paid plans and new limitations for its free service. The new plans, which are still labeled Basic, Plus, and Premium, will have the new prices and limits starting today. The biggest change, which will affect the most users, is coming to the Basic plan. Evernote Basic remains a free-to-use service, but it is now limited to two devices per account.

Five tips to help you get the most out of Google Play Music – Google has built a top-notch music service, though you have to know how everything works to get the best experience.

Android root – the lowdown and pitfalls of the super user – In the past, rooting was not only something for power users to play with but somewhat even recommended for more adventurous ones to squeeze out the best functionality from their smartphones. But does rooting still have that sway today? What do we gain and what do we lose when we set our smartphones free? Read on the find out.

All 156 Amazon Dash Buttons, Ranked – Amazon just announced more than 50 plastic dongles that’ll let you order all sorts of things with the press of a button—but which are worth getting?


Amazon Inspire crowdsources resources for educators – In this Internet age, a lot of information flows freely on the Web, but not all of them are reliable or even factually correct. A whole market, led by the likes of Coursera and Udacity, have sprung up to give a bit of formality to “online education.” Now Amazon is jumping in with its new Amazon Inspire platform, but with a very different twist. Instead of catering to students looking online instruction, Inspire practically crowdsources educational materials and resources that other teachers and educators can use and customize for their particular use cases.

Facebook releases Chrome extensions for sharing and saving articles – The Share to Facebook extension puts a Facebook icon in your browser next to the address bar. Click it when you want to share the page that is open in the browser, and the extension will open a new window pre-populated with the link. Add a message and congratulations — you have shared content to Facebook. (If you’re looking for an alternative to this method that does not involve installing a dedicated piece of software inside an app that is already murdering your laptop battery, consider selecting the URL, hitting CMD-C, and then pasting it into a new Facebook post directly.)

How to turn off this creepy Facebook feature – Ever wondered how Facebook comes up with some of your random friend suggestions? Turns out, it uses your phone’s location along with other data.

Twitter targets smaller businesses with launch of Dashboard – Twitter — hot on the heels of the launch of its app for influencers, Twitter Engage — has today released yet another standalone application: Twitter Dashboard. The new service, available on both web and mobile, is aimed at businesses that want to use Twitter to connect with their customers. The app offers a suite of tools, including customized feeds of tweets, tools for scheduling posts, access to tips on what to tweet, analytics and more.


Finding Song Lyrics on Google Just Got Easier – Google is bringing more lyrics right to its search results with the help of LyricFind.

Google is testing an internet speed tool built right into search results – Searching Google using the phrase “speed test” has become a common practice for internet users looking to double check their Mbps rate, typically by surfacing a link for the free web product provided by analytics firm Ookla. To take advantage of the common behavior, Google appears to be building its own internet speed test function right into search. That way, when someone types “check internet speed” into the search box, Google can do it for them. The feature may be in response to Netflix’s new website, which lets you check your internet speed by just typing in the URL and waiting a moment.

Google Maps gets sharper thanks to satellite upgrade – Satellite images on Google Maps and Earth are now higher res thanks to a new, more powerful satellite launched by the search giant.


This malware pretends to be WhatsApp, Uber and Google Play – Hackers are stealing credit card information in Europe with malware that can spoof the user interfaces of Uber, WhatsApp and Google Play.

Google Chrome security tips for the paranoid at heart – If you’re a Google Chrome user who loses sleep about online privacy risks, check out these tricks to making your browsing experience more secure.

How a Hacker Got Facebook to Let Him Take Over Someone Else’s Account – Aaron Thompson lost control of his Facebook account after an attacker used social engineering and a fake passport.

One of the nastiest types of ransomware has just come back to life – Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto internet… instances of Locky malware, one of the most prolific forms of malicious software, have bounced back following what had been a huge decline in activity. Then if that wasn’t bad enough, a new, more highly evolved and more effective version of the CryptXXX family of ransomware has been discovered — and cybersecurity researchers say it’s only going to become and more dangerous.

How greed could destroy the ransomware racket – Ransomware attackers have a good thing going: Lock or encrypt your PC remotely, then demand money to release it. Unfortunately, greed is driving them to do the one thing they shouldn’t do if they want the cash to keep flowing.

Used hard drives on eBay, Craigslist are often still ripe with leftover data – Before you throw away that old hard drive, make sure you purge the memory clean. A new study has found that most users are accidentally giving up photos, social security numbers and financial data, by failing to properly delete the files on their recycled hard drives.

How to set up 9to5Google for easier two-factor authentication – Google has made it even easier to use two-factor authentication. With 9to5Google, there are no more excuses for not adding an extra layer of security. Jack Wallen shows you how to make use of this new feature.

Report: New security threats costing businesses $1 million an incident, flash performance suffers – A new report from EMC shows that businesses are tackling traditional cybersecurity issues better, but they are failing to address emerging threats.

Company News:

Cisco to acquire API-based app security startup CloudLock for $293M – Today, Cisco announced it plans to pay $293 million in a mix of cash and equity to acquire CloudLock, a cloud-based security provider that uses APIs to let enterprises apply and monitor security on documents and other content that they share and store in cloud-based applications. CloudLock works with Office365, Google Drive, and Salesforce applications, among thousands of other apps and software. Its focus is on offering security and enforcing policies to protect documents, regardless of device used to access it, and allowing for specific controls based on location.

Red Hat goes all in on OpenShift and containers at Red Hat Summit 2016 – At the annual Red Hat Summit in San Francisco, the company announced a host of updates that it hopes will spur container adoption in the enterprise.

IBM to set up cyber centre in Canberra – Led by a former federal police assistant commissioner, the new centre is intended to bring together business and government to tackle security issues.

Dell invests millions to support global startups and women entrepreneurs – Dell continues to invest in helping the United Nations drive global entrepreneurship, which it believes will bring more job growth, and in women-led businesses.

Games and Entertainment:

More Steam Summer Sale gems: 15 great games under $5 – Valve’s Steam Summer Sales are a great time to pick up top-notch PC games for rock-bottom prices. Case in point: We’ve already sifted through the 13,000-plus games being sold at a discount during the Steam Summer Picnic Sale to highlight 10 delightful games under $10 and 10 great game bundles that save you even more money. We spent hours sifting through the Summer Sale’s stock to create this hand-picked list of 15 great games that cost less than a fiver. These may not cost much, but they each kick a lot of ass.

Watch Galaxy S7 gaming get WAY better with Vulcan API – Earlier this year we spoke with Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney about why Vulkan API was important to the Galaxy S7. It was a trailblazer, he said, saying that the graphics prowess this device was about to have would be mind-blowing. Today we get to see more about what it means to have the connection Sweeney speaks of. Moving from OpenGL, developed back in the 1980s, to Vulkan API. It’s radical.


Sony is killing Ustream support for the PS4 from August 1st – Sony has announced it’s ending support for game-streaming service Ustream on the PlayStation 4. Gamers will be unable to stream their games or view others’ broadcasts on Ustream from August 1st onwards. This includes watching Ustream via the PlayStation Vita, on the PlayStation App, or using Live from PlayStation on the PS4 itself. It’s not the biggest blow to PS4 owners though. Although Sony did not say why it was cutting support for Ustream, the service simply wasn’t as popular as its competitors. PS4 owners will still be able to create and watch broadcasts on YouTube, Twitch, and Dailymotion — which is more than enough options for most streamers and fans.

Batman: Return to Arkham hit with delay just one month before release – If you were looking forward to the release of Batman: Return to Arkham, we’ve unfortunately got some sour news for you. As it turns out, Warner Bros. has decided to delay the title in an effort to give developer Virtuos Games more time to create a better experience for players. The announcement comes just a month before the game was originally intended to launch, which is bound to sting fans who were preparing to take another romp through Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Stephen Hawking: We’re not getting any less greedy or stupid – Technically Incorrect: Speaking with Larry King, the renowned physicist despairs about the state of humanity and suggests rogue AI will be hard to stop.

YouTube live mobile video changes everything – Google finally embraces mobile live video streaming. Here’s why the world will never be the same.

UK has fastest mobile internet while US lags behind, says report – In a bad week for Britain in the news, the UK can at least take solace in its average mobile connection speeds, which — according to a new report from content delivery network Akamai — are the best in the world. The company’s latest State of the Internet report claims that British mobile users were able to get average speeds of 27.9 Mbps when connecting to Akamai’s HTTP/S platform in Q1 2016, beating most countries in Europe by an average of more than 10 Mbps, and the United States’ average speed by more than 20 Mbps.

Traffic tickets got you down? This robo-lawyer has already saved users $4 million – Robots are already no strangers to the legal profession thanks to tools like LawGeex, but recently one has emerged that appears to be a sort of “Robin Hood” of the modern world.

Mosquitoes Have Developed Resistance to Every One of Our Malaria-Fighting Tools – Though not widespread yet, this developing resistance threatens to render each of our most effective malaria-stopping technologies useless.

Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, the original Iron Man – Of all the figures in Australian history, Ned Kelly, born in December 1854, is the most legendary. The petty criminal catapulted into full-blown outlaw status after murdering three policemen and went on a two-year rampage of armed bank robberies, before his final capture by police at the Siege of Glenrowan, Victoria on June 28, 1880 — 136 years ago today. Yet the most iconic aspect of the bushranger was something he wore only once: his suit of iron armour.


Four things to know about the FAA’s rules about commercial drone usage – The rules for commercial drone usage released last week by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) left some unanswered questions on the table. We discussed some of these with Thomas Gemmell, a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and the co-leader of the drone team at the law firm Husch Blackwell in Chicago. The rules, which concern unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds and flying no more than 400 feet above ground, require that drones remain within the visual line of sight of the pilot. Remote pilots are also required to hold a remote pilot airman certificate.

Google+ turns 5 and is somehow still alive – People who love Google+ sure love Google+. That hasn’t changed since Google first launched what at the time seemed like a credible Facebook competitor back in June 2011. If you’re a Google+ fan, today is a day to celebrate: Against all odds, your favorite social network turned five today. For everybody else, the fact that Google+ is still online may come as a surprise.

Something to think about:

“Give light and people will find the way.”

–      Ella Baker

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

FBI expansion of surveillance powers meets obstacle – A move in the Senate to provide enhanced surveillance powers to the FBI through the use of National Security Letters met a hurdle Monday after Senator Ron Wyden placed a hold on the 2017 Intelligence Authorization bill over the controversial provisions.

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