Tag Archives: Internet Crime Complaint Center

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 30, 2015

New Chrome extension spots unencrypted tracking;  This Is the Future of Humanity in One Disturbing Photo;  Imgur just made GIF creation much easier with free online tool;  Apps let you prove your soul mate is real, even if it’s a lie;  How Can I Save My Phone’s Battery When it’s Cold Out?  LibreOffice 4.4 brings better looks and OpenGL;  Stop LinkedIn from sharing which profiles you view;  Nickelodeon to introduce its own video subscription service;  FREE: Outlook for iOS and Android;  February PlayStation Plus Free Game Lineup Revealed;  Comcast’s “asshole” problem;  Your shopping habits are one in a million, literally;  Windows User Manager (free).

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

New Chrome extension spots unencrypted tracking – The Chrome extension, called TrackerSSL, alerts users when a website is using insecure trackers and gives them an option of tweeting a message to the website letting it know of the issue. TrackerSSL was created by Open Effect, a digital privacy watchdog, and Citizen Lab, a technology-focused think tank at the University of Toronto.


TrackerSSL, a Chrome extension, identifies third-party trackers on websites that are insecurely sending data across the Internet.

How to watch the Super Bowl for free: Cut the cable cord! – Just like other networks that have offered a free live stream of the Super Bowl in previous years, NBC will make the 2015 game available through its NBC Sports website and mobile app. Still, getting the spectacle onto the device of your choosing could be tricky, so read on for the best ways to watch the Super Bowl without a pay-TV subscription.

FREE: Outlook for iOS and Android, plus more mobe Office goodies – Microsoft is proud to unleash more ‘free’ mobile apps for iOS and Android. Along with the new Outlook app — based on Acompli — the Android tablet versions of the other Office apps are now fully supported, being no longer in preview.

Enter Windows 8 Safe Mode when you can’t boot Windows 8 – You can’t directly boot into Windows 8’s Safe Mode; you can only reboot into it. Here’s how to get around that using a key drive.

This Is the Future of Humanity in One Disturbing Photo – I have a dream: That one day, all women, men and children will live in a virtual world devoid of social connection and existential meaning, suckled by a constant stream of saccharine liquids and delectable quasi-nutrients, and preoccupied by an unending wave of sensory distractions and entertainments. Actually, that’s more of a nightmare, and we may be about to live it. Thanks to the increasing ubiquity of virtual reality headsets and the general physical ease of daily life, it’s going to be more and more common to see people living like the guy in this photo posted on Reddit.


Imgur just made GIF creation much easier with free online tool – Creating a GIF might seem like witchcraft to the uninitiated, but it’s really not that difficult. Apps like GIFBrewery for OS X make quick work of taking your videos from full-length to looping clips in seconds. Thanks to Imgur, you can do the same with any video, now. Via their GIF creation tool, which is now live, videos from a hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo can become GIFs. Keep in mind that whatever GIF you create becomes public domain.

Logitech Unifying app brings Chrome OS peripherals support – Chromebooks might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the inexpensive devices have found a solid footing among consumers and so it isn’t surprising there’s a demand for accessories that are compatible with them. Logitech has just made it easier to use its own peripherals with the new “Logitech Unifying” app specifically made for Chromebooks. Using this, Chrome OS users can plug a USB receiver into their Chromebooks and then connect things like a mouse and keyboard to the unit.

Apps let you prove your soul mate is real, even if it’s a lie – With Invisible Girlfriend and Invisible Boyfriend, you can show off a make-believe mate to get family and friends off your back. Crave’s Bonnie Burton explains why that’s so tempting.

Control music on your Mac from your iPhone’s Notification Center – With the TodayRemote app, you can control iTunes on your Mac with the added benefit of not needing to open an app on your iPhone to do so. TodayRemote lets you add a widget to Notification Center, giving you access to playback and volume controls just by swiping down from the top edge of your iPhone. The app is free, but a $1.99 in-app purchase lets you use TodayRemote with Spotify, Rdio, VLC and Vox, while also adding global volume control and the ability to control multiple Macs from a single iPhone.


Android shipments in 2014 exceed 1 billion for first time – That gave Google’s mobile operating system 81 percent of the worldwide market in 2014, compared with 15 percent for Apple’s iOS.

Video game simulates the frustration of building IKEA furniture – A new video game called Höme Improvisåtion does just that, placing an endless supply of flat boxes in front of you with the goal of putting together pieces of furniture for your virtual home. The game, free on both Mac and Windows PCs, was developed by a team of four people in 48 hours — Aj Kolenc, Jessica Jackson, Colton Spross, and Josh Faubel — as part of the 2015 Global Game Jam in Atlanta earlier this month. You can download the game from the team’s website, The Stork Burnt Down. I played the Höme Improvisåtion game for just a few minutes and got so frustrated that I closed it and vowed never to build virtual IKEA furniture ever again. Yep, just like in real life.


LibreOffice 4.4 brings better looks and OpenGL to your presentations – Free and open source office suite LibreOffice was updated today, with its developers calling it “the most beautiful LibreOffice ever.” The highlight of the new release is a far-reaching visual refresh, with menus, toolbars, status bars, and more being updated to look and work better. While LibreOffice retains the traditional menus-and-toolbars approach that Microsoft abandoned in Office 2007, the new version is meant to make those menus and toolbars easier to navigate. The new appearance is most significant on OS X, where a new theme has been made the default.

You Asked: How Can I Save My Phone’s Battery When it’s Cold Out? – If you’ve ever had a hunch your phone’s charge doesn’t last as long in the wintertime, you’re not crazy: Cold temperatures have a nasty effect on batteries. Just like wintertime makes it harder to get your car to start, your phone won’t last as long in cold weather. However, all is not lost — there are some ways to keep your phone as warm and happy as a skier sipping hot cocoa after a day on the slopes.


Malvertising hits xHamster thanks to recent Adobe 0-day – A massive malvertising campaign leveraging the recent Adobe Flash zero day vulnerability has surfaced on popular* adult site xHamster, analysts say. The attack served the Bedep Trojan to the site’s 500 million viewers a month through a surreptitious exploit on the landing page. It did not take advantage of the Angler exploit kit, where one of the latest Flash zero day flaws was found last week. MalwareBytes researchers said the attack was simple yet effective. “Contrary to the majority of drive-by download attacks which use an exploit kit, this one is very simple and yet effective by embedding landing page and exploit within a rogue ad network,” they wrote in a post. “While malvertising on xHamster is nothing new, this particular campaign is extremely active. “Given that this adult site generates a lot of traffic, the number of infections is going to be huge.”

Pointing up    If you’re going to porn surf, you should only do so using a sandbox environment such as that offered by Sandboxie. You can download the free application here.


Stop LinkedIn from sharing which profiles you view – There are a number of reasons that you may be perusing the profiles of others on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, LinkedIn is also good at sharing your profile browsing habits. Each time you visit a profile, the owner may receive an email or an alert on the website about your visit, depending on the type of LinkedIn account they have. If you want to stop this from happening, you’ll have to make an adjustment to your account settings. Here’s how:

Email scammers stole $215M from businesses in 14 months – The Business E-mail Compromise scam is alive and well, and expected to rise both when it comes to the number of victims and the total money loss sustained by them. According to a public service announcement released by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), in the period between October 1, 2013, and December 1, 2014 – 14 months in all – there have been nearly 1200 US and a little over 900 non-US victims of BEC scams, and the total money loss reached nearly $215 million.

Police ransomware scam drives UK teen to suicide – For most people, a ransomware infection is not a huge tragedy: they pay the bogus fine (or not), and ultimately get their computer back either because the criminals unlock it or because they clean up the machine themselves. But for 17-year-old UK schoolboy Joseph Edwards it was the end of the world. The autistic youngster had his computer blocked by the malware downloaded from an email containing a bogus Cheshire Police notice, which said that he visited illegal websites and downloaded images and that he has to pay a £100 fine or risk being prosecuted. The Telegraph reports that his developmental disorder apparently made him believe this poor attempt at blackmail and panic, and in his distressed state he chose to end his life by hanging himself in the family home.

Company News:

Google pulls in $4.76 billion in net income in the last quarter of 2014 – Google just announced its earnings for Q4 of last year, and it’s looking like one of the stronger financial quarters the company has had in some time. Overall revenue for the quarter was $18.1 billion, up from $16.86 billion one year ago, and net income of $4.76 billion was up 40 percent over a year ago, when the company pulled in $3.38 billion in profits. Despite the fact that both those revenue and profit numbers were up a healthy margin over a year ago, it wasn’t quite enough to be Wall Street expectations. Analysts had predicted $18.46 in revenue and earnings per share (EPS) of $7.11, and Google missed on both those fronts —  the actual EPS for the quarter ended up at $6.88.

Amazon’s Mixed Q4 2014 With $29.33B Revenue, And $0.45 EPS – Amazon just released its fiscal Q4 2014 earnings, reporting $29.33 billion in revenue, $214 million in net profit representing $0.45 per share. According to CNBC/Thomson Reuters, analysts expected the company to report earnings of $0.17 per share on $29.67 billion in revenue. While the company largely beat the expectations on earnings, it fell a bit short on revenue. For the past two quarters, Amazon unexpectedly posted losses. Three months ago, the stock market was very harsh with the company, pushing the stock down 10 percent.

Microsoft to invest in Android software maker Cyanogen Inc. – A report in the Wall Street Journal claims Microsoft is planning to plow some money into Cyanogen Inc. as part of a $70 million investment round. While it might seem odd for Microsoft to get in bed with a company that makes Android software, but it’s actually a perfect match. The stated goal of Cyanogen Inc, according to its CEO, is to take Android away from Google. That’s something Microsoft would like to see happen.

Report: Alibaba pumps $10 million into Ouya microconsole to launch in China – On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Ouya microconsole, the underpowered gaming system that has had a notable lack of major launches and announcements in recent months, might have some life in it yet—and that’s all thanks to Alibaba. The Chinese online merchant, fresh off its record-breaking American IPO in September, reportedly threw a relative pittance of $10 million at the Android-powered game console company “last month.” The report claimed that the cash offer was made in exchange for using Ouya’s marketplace and software library as a primary feature in Alibaba’s eventual set-top box for Chinese living rooms.

Games and Entertainment:

Everyday life can make an awesome video game – I’ve spent a lot of time saving the world from monsters and engaging in intergalactic warfare, but there are few games that let me experience the drama and excitement of everyday life. Life is Strange does just that. It stars a high school girl in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, and many of the key moments of the first episode deal with typical teenage dilemmas: drugs, relationships, figuring out who you are as a person. It’s incredibly refreshing to play a game that’s so fixated on everyday, modern life. And it’s even more amazing considering it’s also a game about time travel.

Life is Strange

Life is Strange

Nickelodeon to introduce its own video subscription service – As consumers continue to drop traditional cable in favor of various video streaming services, some companies and networks are (finally) accepting reality and getting on board with their own offerings. HBO announced its own video subscription service plans in the recent past, and consumers recently scored another option with the introduction of Sling TV. Viacom, which has notoriously been picky about where and when its shows are available online, is about to do its own dabbling in the world of video subscription services, and it’ll be doing so through Nickelodeon.

Dish will offer a Reverse AutoHop for the Super Bowl, showing only the commercials – For many viewers, the commercials run during the Super Bowl are more fun to watch than the game. So the day after this Sunday’s game, Dish Network customers using the company’s Hopper DVRs will be able to activate a special Reverse AutoHop feature. You guessed right: It will skip through the entire game to play just the commercials. “This day is about two things: football and commercials,” said Dish senior VP Vivek Khemka in a press release, “and for good reason—both are entertaining and our customers love them.”

February PlayStation Plus Free Game Lineup Revealed – Heads up, PlayStation gamers. Sony on Thursday announced the February PlayStation Plus lineup of free games, which will be available on Tuesday. On PlayStation 4$399.99 at Dell, you’ll receive “one of the coolest games from last year” — the sci-fi-themed strategy/action RPG Transistor, Sony said. PS4 owners will also get the Greek mythology action platformer Apotheon the day it hits the PlayStation Store. PS3 gamers, meanwhile, will get Yakuza 4, an open world adventure game set in the Tokyo underground, as well as the action game Thief, which promises “the most challenging heists, the most inaccessible loot, [and] the best kept secrets.”


Steam users have earned more than $50 million selling in-game hats and maps – Since Valve launched its community content marketplace Steam Workshop in 2011, creators have earned more than $57 million. According to the company, that money was made by more than 1,500 creators spread out across 75 countries. Steam Workshop is essentially a market where you can buy user-made items for games like Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2. These items can include things like maps or new character skins, which help extend the life of popular games. “When we launched the Workshop late in 2011, we expected that it would grow, but not that it would grow this much, this quickly,” Valve says.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Comcast’s “asshole” problem – After Ricardo Brown called Comcast to cancel his TV service, a Comcast employee updated Brown’s account so that his next bill was addressed to “Asshole Brown.” The story has, predictably, spread quickly across the internet. People are, predictably, outraged. Comcast is, predictably, very very sorry. On the one hand, it would be unfair to read too much into this single incident. Comcast is a big company with many employees. Sometimes an employee does something dumb. That doesn’t mean that management approved of — or even knew about — the employee’s actions. On the other hand, I think the incident does say something about the culture Comcast management has fostered. Comcast prices its products in a way that puts its representatives in an adversarial relationship with customers. That makes this kind of bitterness more likely.


Your shopping habits are one in a million, literally – If what we watch is a touchy subject, what we buy is even more intimate and revealing. Programs like Facebook Beacon, designed to advertise users’ recent purchases to their friends, have been widely reviled. But the study, published today in Science, isn’t about personal sharing. It’s based on testing what the researchers call unicity: the odds that if you know fragments of a person’s shopping history, you can match them against a much larger amount of data, uncovering everything else they’ve bought. As it turns out, those odds are very high.

Data caps can’t be used to snuff out competition, Canada ruling says – Two wireless carriers in Canada have been ordered to stop exempting their mobile TV services from data caps in a ruling that targets discrimination against competing online video services. In the US, AT&T has been charging online content providers for the right to exempt their services from data caps. (AT&T also argued in 2012 that it could limit the use of Apple’s FaceTime to certain types of data plans.) T-Mobile exempts music services it offers with partners from data caps, but it also exempts music services from competitors. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has fought wireless carriers over their throttling of unlimited data plans, but the status of net neutrality rules for wireless is unsettled.

FCC chairman mocks industry claims that customers don’t need faster Internet – The Federal Communications Commission today voted 3-2 along party lines to change the definition of broadband to at least 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream. The vote was no surprise given Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Democratic majority. But Wheeler put on a show just before the vote by contrasting Internet service providers’ marketing claims with their statements to the government. “Let’s parse out what they say in their lobbying with us and what they say when they’re talking to consumers,” said Wheeler, a former cable and wireless industry lobbyist himself. While Verizon told the FCC that consumers are satisfied with 4Mbps/1Mbps and that “a higher benchmark would serve no purpose,” they push customers to buy much faster speeds, which cost more, Wheeler pointed out

Intel helps fund 13-year-old’s Lego braille printer – Last year we told you about Bragio, an inexpensive braille printer that a 12-year-old entered in a science fair. Now Shubham Banerjee’s creation is getting ready to go into production, thanks in part to Intel. The chip maker — more specifically its venture capital arm — has decided to help Shubham turn his incredible Lego Mindstorms creation into a sellable product. Intel is providing additional help beyond an injection of funds. They’ve also hooked Shubham up with their low-power Edison board to develop a new model based on his original Lego design.


Something to think about:

“The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.”

–      Paul Fix

Today’s Free Downloads:

Windows User Manager – Windows User Manager is the free desktop tool to easily and quickly manage all the User accounts on your Windows system.

On starting, it lists all user accounts along with following details for each user:

User Name

Account Type (Administrator/Normal User/Guest)

Account Status (Active/Disabled)

Password Status (Pwd Set/Not Set/Expired)

Last Logon Time

You can select a user from the list then Enable/Disable or Delete that account with just a click of button. This will be useful in recent systems (Win7, Win8 etc.) where built-in Administrator account is disabled by default and using this tool you can quickly enable it.


LibreOffice Productivity Suite – LibreOffice was developed to be a productivity suite that is compatible with other major office suites, and available on a variety of platforms. It is free software and therefore free to download, use and distribute.

LibreOffice Writer – LibreOffice Writer lets you design and produce text documents that can include graphics, tables, or charts. You can then save the documents in a variety of formats, including the standardized OpenDocument format (ODF), Microsoft Word .doc format, or HTML. And you can easily export your document to the Portable Document Format (PDF).

Writing – LibreOffice Writer lets you create both basic documents, such as memos, faxes, letters , resumes and merge documents, as well as long and complex or multi-part documents, complete with bibliographies, reference tables and indexes.

LibreOffice Writer also includes such useful features as a spellchecker, a thesaurus, AutoCorrect, and hyphenation as well as a variety of templates for almost every purpose. You can also create your own templates using the wizards.


In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

What do China, FBI and UK have in common? All three want backdoors in Western technology – The Chinese government wants backdoors added to all technology imported into the Middle Kingdom as well as all its source code handed over.

Suppliers of hardware and software must also submit to invasive audits, the New York Times reports.

The new requirements, detailed in a 22-page document approved late last year, are ostensibly intended to strengthen the cybersecurity of critical Chinese industries. Ironically, backdoors are slammed by computer security experts because the access points are ideal for hackers to exploit as well as g-men.

Foreign companies are concerned that the fresh regulations will effectively push them out of one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets. Western businesses criticized the policies as protectionist, and see it as the latest salvo in an ongoing standoff between China and the US over the control of technology. The US Chamber of Commerce has called for talks on the matter.

China wanting backdoors in US-built hardware and software will appall privacy and security activists – but it’s in line with the backdoors requested by senior FBI figures and UK Prime Minister David Cameron: the Feds and Brit spies would love to be able to pull information out of phones and other devices as they please.

“The FBI seems to have the same plan as the Chinese except they don’t even pretend to audit the software,” noted Tor developer and privacy activist Jacob Appelbaum.

The infosec expert known as The Grugq added: “China and FBI unite to demand reduced security for iPhones. Who knew they had so much common ground?”

A Year After Reform Push, NSA Still Collects Bulk Domestic Data, Still Lacks Way to Assess Value – The presidential advisory board on privacy that recommended a slew of domestic surveillance reforms in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations reported today that many of its suggestions have been agreed to “in principle” by the Obama administration, but in practice, very little has changed.

Most notably, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board called attention to the obvious fact that one full year after it concluded that the government’s bulk collection of metadata on domestic telephone calls is illegal and unproductive, the program continues apace.

“The Administration accepted our recommendation in principle. However, it has not ended the bulk telephone records program on its own, opting instead to seek legislation to create an alternative to the existing program,” the report notes.

And while Congress has variously debated, proposed, neutered, and failed to agree on any action, the report’s authors point the finger of blame squarely at President Obama. “It should be noted that the Administration can end the bulk telephone records program at any time, without congressional involvement,” the report says.

Obama said a year ago that he favored an end to the government collection of those records if an alternative — such as keeping the records at the telephone companies, or with a third party — still allowed them to be searchable by the government. The White House was recently said to be “still considering” the matter.

DOJ inspector general: reporter’s hacking claims can’t be substantiated – According to a US Department of Justice Inspector General report released today, an investigation “was not able to substantiate the allegations that [Sharyl] Attkisson’s computers were subject to remote intrusion by the FBI, other government personnel, or otherwise.” The report was introduced into the Senate record at the confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.

Attkisson, who has written a book about her experiences trying to cover the Obama White House which includes the allegation of hacking, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, and the Postmaster General for the alleged hacking of her home and work computers. Today, Attkisson testified at Lynch’s confirmation hearing.

The report from the DoJ’s Office of the Inspector General casts a different light on Attkisson’s allegations:

The OIG found after inspecting Attkisson’s personal computer that the episode she recorded video of—in which the contents of a Word document were being deleted off her screen—was caused by a stuck backspace key. And examination of Attkisson’s iMac found that file metadata for the computer’s logs had been altered by whoever inspected it. “The OIG’s forensic examination further found what appeared to be searches and queries performed by an examiner with knowledge of computer logs,” the report noted.

“However, it appeared that the searches and queries were conducted while the computer was in operation and without write protecting the drive, which altered file information. This method of forensic examination is not forensically sound nor is it in accordance with best practices.” And when the OIG asked for a copy of the report from the technician who did the examination, Attkisson said, “My attorney says our material isn’t yet in a form that’s ready to share.”

Google, others could be ‘accomplices’ to hate speech under French law – France is preparing to draft a new law, and under it Google, Twitter, and other tech companies like them would be considered accomplices to hate speech if extremist messages are hosted on their services. The announcement was made on Tuesday by France’s President Francois Hollande, and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve will be traveling to the United States soon in an effort to build favor among tech companies. This follows the nation’s tragic terror attack earlier in January, and the subsequent efforts to squash extremist communications.

Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, France has turned its attention towards the Internet and the hate speech it harbors — as well as the recruitment methods terrorists use online to draw others into their dark web. President Hollande wants to see companies push back against such hate speech online.


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

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 18, 2014

Boost Windows performance with these five apps;  Three apps to make your Android phone’s battery last longer;  Snapchat Now Lets You Send Money To Friends;  Want to try out Microsoft Sway? Here’s how to get access today;  Men think they can fix a computer (but can’t), study says;  A list of all the Google Now voice commands;  The Top 10 Most Controversial iPhone Apps;  Target’s Mobile App Gets Indoor Mapping, Interactive Black Friday Maps;  The best Chromebook you can buy;  How to decide between a $199 Windows notebook and a Chromebook;  Tech Support Scams Pop-Ups on the Rise;  Far Cry 4 review: It’s a far cry from Far Cry 3;  Photos: The 3D printed moon base of the future;  Tech Giants Call For Passage Of Senate NSA Reform Bill;  Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit BETA.

Boost Windows performance with these five apps – The Windows operating system has long been criticized because it tends to get bogged down over time. Installing applications, patches, drivers, etc., causes the OS to become cluttered. As a result, performance slowly diminishes. Fortunately, a number of applications can optimize your system and help restore performance.


Three apps to make your Android phone’s battery last longer – Phones and tablets die. It’s a fact of life and one that we must all inevitably plan our daily routines around. But sometimes you can’t. There isn’t always an open plug or an extra battery pack lying around. This is why you need to plan ahead. To avoid how often you’re faced with the untimely death of your pocket computer, we rounded up three of our favorite apps that can help you get a little more time out of that lithium cell.

Snapchat Now Lets You Send Money To Friends Through Snapcash Deal With Square Cash – While Venmo, Google Wallet, and more try to take a business approach to peer-to-peer payments, Snapchat today swooped in from the consumer side. It just added a “Snapcash”  payments option to its app through a deal with Square Cash. Now you can add a debit card, type a dollar amount into Snapchat’s text-chat feature, and hit the green pay button to instantly send a friend money. The feature is on Android now and is coming to iOS soon.

Men think they can fix a computer (but can’t), study says – A study suggests that men are especially keen to let it be known they know how to fix a computer, but their actual knowledge may not match their bravado.

Anonymous statement: KKK is a terrorist group, KKK responds poorly – Anonymous has issued a statement regarding its retaliation against the Ku Klux Klan’s Ferguson threats, calling the KKK a terrorist group and vowing to continue the campaign. Meanwhile, the KKK has responded poorly.

Want to try out Microsoft Sway? Here’s how to get access today – If you want to try out Microsoft’s new Sway app, you can now do so without waiting for you invitation if you use the link at the bottom of the post after the jump.

A list of all the Google Now voice commands – You pick up your phone and say “OK Google”… and then what? Your phone is listening. The microphone icon is pulsing. What do you say to your phone? What can you say to it? Google Now’s voice function has become surprisingly robust over the years. Here’s a list of just about everything you can say to Google Now. Try experimenting with different phrasing, you’ll be surprised how much it understands.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

New app Super lets you share casual thoughts, pics – The co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone, is at it again. This time, his company Jelly Industries is bringing in another Twitter-like app named Super. A pretty simple app, Super lets you take images of your choosing and lay text over them. You can also include video into your post, should you need to. Rather than just start smashing out words, your flashy post first offers up a series of starters for your text, but lets you add anything you like.

The Top 10 Most Controversial iPhone Apps – We found 10 iOS apps that courted controversy for better or for worse. Some allowed for your iPhone to become a gateway to a world of stalking, while others were just in extremely bad taste. We also analyze Apple’s reaction to the apps, most of which were pulled from sale in a matter of days. Check it out in the slideshow.

Target’s Mobile App Gets Indoor Mapping, Interactive Black Friday Maps – Target has teamed up with an indoor mapping technology company called Point Inside to debut in-store maps in its mobile app that show where items are located as a pin on the map – similar to the navigation maps consumers are using today to route their way around town. The feature, which is live now in the Target app, will also help customers during the upcoming Black Friday sales, as specialized maps showing deals and dealbusters will be provided.


The best Chromebook you can buy – There’s really only one follow-up question to whether or not you should buy a Chromebook: do you live in a web browser? If you spend all your time in Chrome anyway — you use Gmail or Outlook, Spotify or Pandora, Tumblr or Facebook, Evernote or Pinterest, Flickr or 500px — you might be surprised how quickly you can obviate the few desktop apps you use now. Unless you work with video or photos, or you’re an avid gamer, a Chromebook has you covered.

Chromebooks Get Blanket Approval For NYC Schools – Google is already leading the pack in terms of tablets and notebooks sold to K-12 education providers, according to recent numbers from research firm IDC, and now it has gained another powerful new ally: The New York City Department of Education. The NYC CIO has signed on with Chromebooks, and Google Apps for Education, as par of their approved and supported (from an IT standpoint) tools for this school year, and they’ve also built a guide to help teachers in their district get started.


Microsoft starts promoting the $199 HP Stream 11 Windows 8.1 notebook – Microsoft is hoping that HP’s new $199 Windows 8.1 laptop will be a sales hit this festive season and is now promoting the device – which includes a one-year Office 365 subscription – with new TV ads.


How to decide between a $199 Windows notebook and a Chromebook – Summary: This is not an easy decision to make. There are some critical nuances you have to consider before you go one way or the other. In this article, we take a look at those factors.

iOS 8.1.1 is available now: How to download, and what’s new – A little less than one month ago, iPhone users were graced with iOS 8.1, bringing major additions to Apple’s operating system. While last update brought features like Apple Pay, reintroduced the Camera Roll, and fixed bugs with third-party extensions, iOS 8.1.1 is a more or less a usability update. If you’re into bug and stability fixes, this is the incremental update for you.

Sharetribe Lets You Create Your Own Peer-To-Peer Marketplace – Aiming to provide the ‘picks and shovels’ behind the online marketplace gold rush, Sharetribe — which appears to pivoted at least once — makes it easy for anyone to create and manage their own peer-to-peer marketplace, and take a cut of any transactions along the way.


Intel’s MICA Smart Bracelet Will Be In Stores Before Christmas For $495 – Intel today debuted the Intel MICA bracelet (short for “My Intelligent Communications Accessory), which was developed in collaboration with Opening Ceremony, the CFDA and sold exclusively at Barneys. The company also announced that it will go on sale in time for Christmas, and will retail for $495. That price includes at AT&T Sim card, complete with data and SMS messages, for two years.


SourceLair Lets You Code Right In Your Browser – Editing code isn’t that hard. A terminal, a little Vim, a little PHP, some beer, and maybe a few Google searches and you’re off and running. But what if you want to work on a project without compromising your personal server or don’t really have an environment for coding? SourceLair is one answer. The freemium service lets you build projects right in your browser.


New ransomware CoinVault allows users to decrypt one file for free – Cybercriminals behind a new ransomware program called CoinVault are trying out a new psychological tactic to convince users to pay up—freebies. The new threat was discovered by security researchers from Webroot and is similar in functionality to more prevalent ransomware programs like CryptoWall. It uses strong 256-bit AES encryption with keys stored on a remote server, it kills the Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service so that users can’t use it to recover their files and only supports Bitcoin as a payment method. Users are asked to pay 0.5 bitcoins—around $200 at the current exchange rate—in order to receive the key that decrypts their files, but the cost increases every 24 hours.


Tech Support Scams Pop-Ups on the Rise – The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued a public service announcement warning about a “new twist to the telephone tech support scam“. In its message, it advises users to be particularly cautious about fake pop-ups telling them that their computers are infected and urging to call a toll free number for assistance:

Many Tor-anonymized domains seized by police belonged to imposter sites – A large number of the Tor-anonymized domains recently seized in a crackdown on illegal darknet services were clones or imposter sites, according to an analysis published Monday. Of the 276 domains Cubrilovic identified, 153 pointed to clones, phishing, or scam sites impersonating one of the hidden services targeted by law enforcement, he said. If corroborated by others, the findings may be viewed as good news for privacy advocates who look to Tor to help preserve their anonymity.

List of hacked government agencies grows: State Department, White House, NOAA & USPS – If whispers can be believed, then Chinese hackers are kicking U.S. government cyber butt and taking names as the growing list of government data breaches now includes the State Department, the White House, NOAA — which includes the National Weather Service and satellite data — and USPS.

TRUSTe pays $200,000 to settle charges that it deceived consumers – The firm that issues the TRUSTe privacy seal displayed on thousands of websites has agreed to pay $200,000 to settle charges that it deceived consumers about the sites it vouched for and perpetuated misrepresentations about TRUSTe’s status as a nonprofit. San Francisco-based TRUSTe told consumers that the websites certified under its programs receive a recertification review every year, according to a release published Monday by the Federal Trade Commission. But in fact, the consumer watchdog agency said, TRUSTe failed to conduct annual reviews in at least 1,000 cases from 2006 to 2013.

Company News:

Court agrees that Google’s search results qualify as free speech – The regulation of Google’s search results has come up from time to time over the past decade, and although the idea has gained some traction in Europe (most recently with “right to be forgotten” laws), courts and regulatory bodies in the US have generally agreed that Google’s search results are considered free speech. That consensus was upheld last Thursday, when a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Google’s right to order its search results as it sees fit.

Intel merging mobile and PC groups as line between phone and computer blurs – Chip-making giant Intel is set to merge its mobile and tablet division together with the part of the company that makes processors for personal computers. The company’s chief executive, Brian Krzanich, announced the plan — which will combine the loss-making mobile group with the profitable PC chip-making group early next year — in an email to employees. Intel spokesperson Chuck Mulloy said the move comes as the “lines are blurring between PCs, tablets, phablets and phones,” and explained that the company’s aim is to “accelerate the implementation and create some efficiency so that we can move even faster.”

After Divorcing Microsoft, Nokia Reveals An Android Tablet, The N1, Hitting China First – Today at the Slush conference in Helsinki, home-town hero Nokia — the part of the business that did not get sold off to Microsoft, that is – has revealed its first device: the N1, a iPad-like small tablet with an aluminum shell, a 7.9-inch screen and an Android Lollipop OS. Selling for $249, it will be sold first in China by way of a manufacturing and distribution partnership with Foxconn and initially at least will be WiFi-only.


Ex-Nokians Launch Employee Wellness App Wellmo – Born from the ashes of Nokia’s ‘Wellness’ initiative — part of Nokia Research Center, which, by some estimates, helped make the once mobile giant the third largest R&D spender in Europe as recently as 2011 — is Wellmo, another Finnish startup operating in the health and fitness space.


Games and Entertainment:

Far Cry 4 review: It’s a far cry from Far Cry 3 – Game Theory Games are rarely known for providing a roster of characters worthy of a best supporting cast nomination, but Far Cry 4’s medley of misfits and tragic freedom fighters breaks the mould. Top of the bill is Pagan Min. Min’s the sort of merciless despot you’ll usually find in a Bond film. In the time it takes to say “psychopath”, he’s stabbed a guy to death, tortured someone else and made idle chit-chat with you across a table decorated with dead monkeys. Of course, Far Cry 4 isn’t the first in the series to put a villain on centre stage. Far Cry 3 employed Vaas Montenegro with similar success – the first of many concurrences between this and its predecessor.


Goat Simulator update to MMO for free this Thursday – For those of you that’ve played Goat Simulator, you understand the madness. It’s a tiny game, one in which you’re a goat that does insane and inane things for the greater good of simulating the real life experiences of a goat. For those of you that’ve not experienced Goat Simulator – may god have mercy on your souls. This game is about to get a major update this Thursday. An update that’s also an expansion. An update that’s also entirely free for people that already own the game.


Hands-On With Super Smash Bros. For Wii U – Later this week, Nintendo launches Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the fifth game in the wildly popular fighting game franchise that brings together all the company’s biggest characters. We’ve had a chance to play through some of the game this weekend and wanted to share some quick thoughts before our full review.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Xbox One chopped to $330 at GameStop for Black Friday – In a leaked paper insert for GameStop’s Black Friday it’s been revealed that the Assassin’s Creed Unity / Assassin’s Creed Black Flag combo box will be even less expensive than the already-cut prices from Microsoft. On the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, you’ll be able to pick up the Xbox One “Holiday Value Bundle” for $329.99 USD. That’s $70 less than the standard price, or $20 cheaper than the cheapest price the Xbox One has ever been – without the games, mind you.

Buyer beware: 3 out of 4 Steam Early Access games haven’t been finished – Steam’s Early Access model is a great way to support small game developers and fresh ideas, as long as you don’t expect to ever play the finished product.

Meet the Tesla K80: Nvidia’s most powerful graphics card yet has an insane 24GB of RAM – The company on Monday announced an updated Tesla K80 graphics card, which is its fastest graphics product to date. Tesla is used in some of the world’s fastest supercomputers to solve pressing scientific questions. The K80 is based on technology similar to that used in GeForce PC graphics cards, but with some memory and throughput tweaks. The graphics card can be used by engineering companies to simulate visual models, or by oil and gas companies for geological research to find the best drilling sites. Tesla has also been used in servers to deliver virtual desktops to remote clients.


Sweden mulls over gender equality labels for video games – The Swedish agency Vinnova has given a gaming industry trade organization a grant to pursue a new project looking into whether video games in the nation should be labelled according to gender equality themes. The news comes from The Local, which reports that the project is inspired by the Bechdel Test, and that under it the association — Dataspelsbranchen — will work alongside multiple game developers to evaluate the issue. The project specifically aims to evaluate how women are portrayed in games and other gender-related issues.

Off Topic (Sort of):

NYC Launches Free Gigabit Speed Wi-Fi Network – The LinkNYC network will be more than 100 times faster than average municipal Wi-fi and 20 times faster than the average home internet service in NYC. People will be capable of downloading a two-hour high-def movie in as little as 30 seconds, boasts the City’s press materials announcing the network. Construction on the network of LinkNYC kiosks will begin in 2015 and the first structures will be running by the end of that year, according to the city. New York is planning to install up to 10,000 Links across the five boroughs.


Fitbit data is being used as evidence in court – In Forbes, Parmy Olsen has uncovered what appears to be the first use of data from a personal fitness tracker in court, thanks to a personal injury suit currently under way in Canada. The plaintiff, a Calgary woman, plans to use data from her Fitbit to show how her activity levels have declined since the accident. Crucially, the data is being routed through a third-party analytics firm called Vivametrica, which will analyze the data and report its findings to the court, rather than submitting raw data directly into evidence.

The Flying Nimbus is a self-balancing, one-wheeled, motorized skateboard – You really need a sense of balance to ride a skateboard, unless bodily injury is your idea of a fun afternoon. A project from one apparently quite talented fellow by the name Dane Kouttron could even give you the ability to shred with the best of them. Just looking at the Flying Nimbus, you wouldn’t think it was stable. After all, it only has one wheel. There’s just a lot of cool hardware behind the scenes that keeps you upright.


FCC chairman on schools: Basic connectivity is now inadequate – Chairman Tom Wheeler makes his case for higher-speed Internet access in schools, proposing a plan to increase the monthly fee in phone bills by 16 cents to cover new investment.

Freedom Chair makes it easier for the handicapped get around outdoors – Being confined to a wheel chair makes it much more difficult for people that are paralyzed or can’t walk for other reasons to get around. A new wheelchair product has debuted called the Freedom Chair that looks a lot like a normal wheelchair, but has a novel way for users to propel themselves. A typical wheelchair requires the user to spin the wheels using their hands and rings attached to the wheels. The Freedom Chair has the same style as a traditional wheel chair, but it has two levers that come up on each side of the chair user. By gripping, those levers and pushing them forwards and pulling them back, sort of like pedaling a bike, to get around.


Google’s Teller says Glass and other wearables need to be cheaper – Astro Teller, head of the Internet giant’s skunk works research lab, talks about Glass, future pricing and how the smart eyewear has become a “poster child” for privacy concerns.

Photos: The 3D printed moon base of the future – The European Space Agency is making plans to 3D print a lunar base. Here are 11 photos they released to give you a better idea of what a 3D printed moon base could actually look like.


Something to think about:

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”

–    Dale Carnegie

Today’s Free Downloads:

Sandboxie – Run programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer.

Sandboxie requires neither the disabling nor blocking of functions available to Web sites through the browser. Instead, Sandboxie isolates and quarantines the outcome of whatever the Web site may do to your computer, including the installation of unsolicited software. There is no trade-off of functionality for security: the Web site can use the full range of active content tools, and if it uses these tools maliciously to install software or otherwise make changes in your computer, then these changes can be easily undone.

Sandboxie has originally been designed to increase the security of browsing with Internet Explorer, however it is just as effective with any other browser, and in fact, any other program. Sandboxie wraps a protection layer around the programs it supervises. It is this layer that intercepts and isolates any changes the programs make to the computer. And this layer is impartial to the specific program it wraps.

Sandboxie is a software that allows you isolates and quarantines website.

When you browse the web, changes occur to your computer system. Most of the time these changes are harmless, like recording the addresses of web sites you have visited (and when), so the browser can help you complete a web address that you type in. Whether these changes are harmless or harmful, they do in fact happen to your computer system.

When you use Sandboxie to protect your browsing session, it catches all these changes just as the browser is about to apply them into your computer system. Sandboxie does record these changes on behalf of the browser, but it records them in a special isolated folder, called the sandbox.

The benefit of having a sandbox is that it ensures your ability to get rid of all changes done by the browser, simply by deleting the sandbox folder.

Another useful feature of Sandboxie is the ability to terminate all sandboxed programs at once. As some web sites tend to pop up three new browser windows for each one you close, you can have Sandboxie close all of them with a click of a button.

You may use Sandboxie free of charge for any length of time that you desire. However, if you use Sandboxie for more than 30 days, the software will occasionally remind you to consider paying the registration fee. By doing that, you would show your support for further development and improvement of Sandboxie.

By paying the registration fee of $20 US-dollars you get a life-time registration key to this and and all upcoming versions of the Sandboxie product.

Lansweeper – Lansweeper is an automated network discovery and asset management tool which scans all your computers and devices and displays them in an easy accessible web interface. There is no need to install any agents on the computers, all scanning is done by standard build-in functionality.

Software inventory

With Lansweeper it’s easy to track and audit all your installed software, you can create powerful software inventory reports to find out which application is installed on which computer. Google unknown software and publishers right from the web interface and find out who is running software that’s not up to date.

Hardware inventory

Lansweeper cannot only detect all hardware devices in your computers but with it’s change tracking it can find out when a device was changed or removed. Not only does Lansweeper scans windows devices, it also gathers details about all other IP enabled devices on your network from the network discovery scan. (Linux, Printers, Routers, …)

License compliance

If you want to keep all software and operating systems licenses up to date it can be a time consuming work. With Lansweeper computer inventory it doesn’t need to be…

The webinterface will tell you how many software versions are installed and how much licenses you are missing.

Compliance reporting

Every company needs policies to get a smooth running network. Compliance reporting and the dashboard can help you to make all kinds of asset management reports. Who doesn’t have the latest version of our virus scanner, Who is missing the latest patch for our ERP solution. The only limit is your imagination…

Active directory integration

Lansweeper gathers all active directory user and computer details for your scanned machines. Create reports based on OU, integrate user pictures, Clean up your Active directory…

Eventlog integration

Every windows computer logs errors into the Eventlog. Thanks to Lansweeper you can now consolidate all these errors and get an alert e-mail as soon as an important error occurs.


Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit BETA drills down and removes even deeply embedded rootkits – This is beta software, for consumer and approved partner use only, use at your own risk, and by proceeding you are agreeing to our terms of license agreement enclosed as “License.rtf”.

All Beta versions are non-final products. Malwarebytes does not guarantee the absence of errors which might lead to interruption in the normal computer operations or data loss. Precautions should be taken. The types of infections targeted by Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit can be very difficult to remove. Please be sure you have any valued data backed up before proceeding, just as a precaution.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Tech Giants Call For Passage Of Senate NSA Reform Bill – A collective of large tech companies has urged the Senate to pass the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill that it could vote on this week.

Reform Government Surveillance, which counts Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Twitter as members, released a letter to the Senate, calling the week’s vote an “opportunity” to pass the “bipartisan” law. The Act will, according to the companies, prevent “bulk collection of Internet metadata,” and increase “transparency about government demands for user information from technology companies.”

The bill does not go far enough, the group notes, saying that “preventing government access to data without proper legal process” and “transparent frameworks that govern lawful requests for data across jurisdictions” remains areas where work is needed. Still, the bill would provide “meaningful change to [the nation’s] surveillance programs,” the letter reads.

The Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act has been mostly well received by privacy advocates, even though there is general admission that the bill’s failure to address surveillance under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is a critical weakness.

As the tech companies point out, there is more to do.

White House Says It “Strongly Supports” The Senate’s NSA Reform Bill – The White House issued a statement this afternoon saying that it “strongly supports” the Senate’s USA FREEDOM Act, which could see a vote this week. The bill would curtail some practices of the United States’ surveillance apparatus.

Congress, in this lame duck session, only has so many hours and days to conduct its final business. Before the session, it seemed like the FREEDOM Act was dead in the water. Senator Patrick Leahy refused to buckle, and managed, surprising many, to get the damn thing moving. A 60 vote threshold for cloture is expected to be tested tomorrow. It isn’t clear if there are enough yes votes.

The White House coming out in favor of the bill puts it on the same side as its constant critic Senator Ted Cruz, who recently made a stir by calling net neutrality “Obamacare for the Internet.” On that issue, the President and the good Senator are diametric opposites.

The White House was against passing the bill in lame duck before it was for it. Put another way, it was against it until it was politically safe to be in favor of it.

Keeping Secrets – Four decades ago, university researchers figured out the key to computer privacy, sparking a battle with the National Security Agency that continues today.

What if your research could help solve a looming national problem, but government officials thought publishing it would be tantamount to treason? A Stanford professor and his graduate students found themselves in that situation 37 years ago, when their visionary work on computer privacy issues ran afoul of the National Security Agency.

At the time, knowledge of how to encrypt and decrypt information was the domain of government; the NSA feared that making the secrets of cryptography public would severely hamper intelligence operations. But as the researchers saw it, society’s growing dependence on computers meant that the private sector would also need effective measures to safeguard information. Both sides’ concerns proved prescient; their conflict foreshadowed what would become a universal tug-of-war between privacy-conscious technologists and security-conscious government officials.

Internet Society slams online ‘UN Security Council’ plan, snubs permanent seat offer – The Internet Society has blasted efforts from some quarters to create a “UN Security Council” for the internet – which would rule over the online world.

The society (ISoc) is a non-profit organization that, among other things, runs the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which develops and publishes crucial internet’s standards.

“Based on the information that we have to date, the Internet Society cannot agree to participate in or endorse the Coordination Council for the NETmundial Initiative,” the organization’s Board said in a statement on Monday, adding: We are concerned that the way in which the NETmundial Initiative is being formed does not appear to be consistent with the Internet Society’s longstanding principles.

Senator demands answers about DOJ mobile phone surveillance planes – A reported mobile phone surveillance program at the U.S. Department of Justice raises serious privacy questions, a U.S. senator said Monday.

The DOJ program, which reportedly uses cell-tower mimicking equipment on airplanes to target the mobile phone locations of criminals, raises questions about how many “innocent” people’s mobile phone data is also swept up in the operation, said Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat. The DOJ has not confirmed the existence of the surveillance program, reported in a Wall Street Journal article on Thursday.

“Americans are rightfully disturbed by just how pervasive collection of mobile phone information is, even of innocent individuals,” Markey said in a statement. “While this data can be an important tool for law enforcement to identify and capture criminals and terrorists, we must ensure the privacy rights of Americans are protected.”

Markey on Monday disclosed a letter he sent to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for details about the program.

“We need to know what information is being collected, what authority is being used to collect it, and if and how this information is retained and stored,” said Markey, a long-time advocate of personal privacy.

A DOJ spokesman didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment on Markey’s letter and the surveillance program.


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

Vishing – The New Scam on the Block!

internet-crime-center.jpgAccording to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. National White Collar Crime Center, Vishing attacks are on the increase.

Yes, you’ve heard of Phishing, but what’s this Vishing you ask?

The IC³ (Internet Crime Complaint Center) describes Vishing as an attempt to persuade consumers either by email, text message, or a telephone call, purportedly from their credit card/debit card company, to divulge their Personally Identifiable Information (PII), claiming their account was suspended, deactivated, or terminated.

In one scenario, recipients are asked to contact their bank by calling a telephone number provided in the e-mail, or alternatively, by an automated telephone recording. When the potential victim calls the telephone number, they’re greeted with “Welcome to the bank of …” and then requested to enter their card number in order to resolve a pending security issue.

In the email scam attempt, in order to persuade the recipient that it is not a scam, the fraudulent e-mail sets out all the caveats the potential victim should be aware of in dealing with this type of email. Who would consider that a scam artist would warn you that a bank would not contact customers to obtain their PII by e-mail, mail, and instant messenger?

To further convince the recipient of the validity of the email, it goes on to state that the recipients should not provide sensitive information when requested in an e-mail, and not to click on embedded links, claiming they could contain “malicious software aimed at capturing login credentials.”

Would this convince you that this email was genuine? It just might.

A new version of this scam recently reported to IC³ involves the sending of text messages to cell phones claiming the recipient’s on-line bank account has expired. The message instructs the recipient to renew their on-line bank account by using the link provided.

These types of attacks against financial institutions, and consumers, are occurring with such frequency that IC³ has called the situation “alarming”.

Minimum safety precautions you should take.

·        Consider every email, telephone call, or text message requesting your PII as a scam

·        Never click on embedded email or cell phone links

·        When contacting your bank; use a telephone number from your statement, a telephone book, or another independent source

You can read more on this issue at www.ic3.gov.


Filed under Internet Safety, Living Life, Malware Advisories, Online Banking, Online Safety, Privacy, Safe Surfing, Windows Tips and Tools