Tag Archives: tweet

Tech Thoughts Net News – Wednesday Edition – July 22, 2015

Twitter’s new Safety Center explains how to deal with online abuse;  9 reasons not to upgrade to Windows 10 – yet;  Find open hotspots with WifiMapper;  How to Create a Burner Account on Ashley Madison (And Other Sketchy Sites);  The 5 best alternatives to FaceTime for Android;  Google Knows What You Did Last Summer, Now Shows It To You In Google Maps;  Security suites: Choosing the best one for you;  The best free alternatives to Windows 10’s default apps;  15 Things You Didn’t Know Your Chromecast Could Do;  Google Launches Drive Plug-In For Microsoft Office;  New free tool detects Hacking Team exploits;  Microsoft Issues Emergency Fix for Hacking Team Bug;  New vulnerability lets attackers hijack Chrysler vehicles over the web;  NFL Teases A New Subscription Service For On-Demand Games;  The mobile web sucks;  Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times;  Facebook History Spy (free);  How to ​pass on your phone and data when you power off for good;  Canada: Two rights groups launch Charter challenge of Bill C-51.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Twitter’s new Safety Center explains how to deal with online abuse – Twitter has unveiled a new Safety Center page as the company strives to cut down on abusive behavior on the site. Launched on Monday, the Safety Center page is described as the company’s commitment to “building a safer Twitter.” Organized by different topics, the page points you to tools that you can use to control what others can see about you and report accounts that may violate Twitter’s rules. For example, you can report spam, abuse and other types of violations from a specific tweet or profile.

Find open hotspots with WifiMapper – Using a mobile hotspot means that you’ll have Internet access on your tablet or laptop when you leave home or work. But what if you don’t have signal, or you forget your hotspot on your desk? That’s when you may be looking for an open hotspot out in the wild, and WifiMapper — newly available on Android — is just the app to get the job done. While there are several precautions you’ll want to take before using a public Wi-Fi connection, if you absolutely need to, this app can save you from having to drive around looking for a good connection. The added benefit of comments from Foursquare and other users of the app help you find the right hotspot. Here’s how to get started:

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9 reasons not to upgrade to Windows 10 — yet – Windows 10 is just about here — and many users (especially those who have been wrestling with Windows 8) are probably eager to upgrade. But even if you can get it now — the upgrade will be sent first to those who signed up for the Windows Insider beta program and then in “slow waves” to everyone else — you may want to hold off. Here are nine reasons you might want to put off a Windows 10 upgrade.

The 5 best alternatives to FaceTime for Android – FaceTime, iOS’s native video app, is a solid program that has been polished to a shine, and it’s quickly becoming a generic verb like Xerox. You don’t video chat someone, you FaceTime them. With an Android phone, though, you can’t. That’s what’s great about the open marketplace of ideas that is the Google Play store, though. If you need an Android alternative to FaceTime, you have not one, but several, to choose from. We took the leading candidates for a test drive to compare them with each other, taking into account price, reliability, restrictions, and features. Here’s our list of the five best alternatives to FaceTime for Android.

How to Create a Burner Account on Ashley Madison (And Other Sketchy Sites) – The takeaway is this: Don’t do anything on the Internet (like advertise your desire for extramarital hook-ups) that you wouldn’t do IRL. However, for those out there are absolutely compelled to get their sketch on—and, let us reiterate: there is no such thing as 100 percent online security—there are a few steps you can take to mitigate your exposure:

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Google Knows What You Did Last Summer, Now Shows It To You In Google Maps – Social apps like Foursquare / Swarm are more about places you’re at or where you’re going. Today, the Google Maps team launched a feature called “Your Timeline” that is about where you’ve already been. It’s not a social feature, as you’re the only one who sees the information. But… t’s a reminder of how much freaking data Google has on us if we leave all of our defaults on. It’s only available for Android and desktop right now. If you use Google Photos, your pics will appear along with the places you stopped along the way. Here’s a look at the feature:

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Google+ Photos is shutting down on August 1 – After announcing changes to its Google+ platform earlier this year, the search giant has now revealed that its Google+ Photos app will shut down next month, beginning with the Android version.

Google Launches Drive Plug-In For Microsoft Office – Google today launched a new plug-in for Microsoft Office that gives you access to all of your Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents in Google Drive right from Microsoft’s desktop apps. The plug-in also lets you save files directly to Google Drive, so you can then edit them in Google’s online apps, too. The idea here, a Google spokesperson told us, is to continue to make Drive into more of an integrated storage tool for its users.

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Security suites: Choosing the best one for you – These days, security suites do more than protect you from malware — they handle phishing, lost mobile devices and a multitude of other tasks. You need to take into account the types of threats you might encounter based on the way you compute, as well as the specific devices you use, so you can match a suite’s coverage to your specific needs. In order to help you decide which security suite is best for your individual needs, we will be regularly reviewing current suites as they are released.

Twitter removes backgrounds from timeline, moves to tweets – Did your Twitter timeline’s custom wallpaper just disappear on you? No need to panic, there’s nothing really wrong There is no widespread Twitter bug. Actually, yes do panic because since it’s not a bug, it means there’s nothing to be fixed. In a still unexplained move, Twitter removed custom background images and design from your profile and home timeline page. Fear not, it hasn’t completely disappeared into nothingness. You can still see them, but only if you’re viewing individual tweets and nowhere else in the Twitterverse.

Microsoft has added a nifty little feature to Windows 10: screen recording – The function has been tested and works with any app, but only within apps; you can’t record your desktop and need an application open for the screen capture to work. All you have to do is press ‘Windows + G’, which brings up a toolbar that allows you to both take a screenshot or capture video, saving you a bit of money on professional screen capture software like Camtasia. Granted, the Windows 10 implementation is much more barebones than the professional suite but for those who want a simple solution, the free function doesn’t hurt.

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The best free alternatives to Windows 10’s default apps – Windows comes with a number of default apps, which are handy if you need a quick way to open a file but vexing if you’d rather use your preferred apps. Windows 10 has mostly corrected the experience of opening a document or media file, but there are still a number of options that are better than Windows’ preinstalled apps. Here are nine tasks you might want to outsource to other apps, plus a final tip on making them the new defaults.

15 Things You Didn’t Know Your Chromecast Could Do – Using Google means an easier online life—from email and online storage to news and digital maps. But the search giant can also take over your TV with the Google Chromecast $29.99 at Amazon, a streaming dongle that is behind only Amazon’s own Fire TV Stick on the company’s list of best-selling electronic devices. While the ultraportable device is pretty much plug and play, there are a few tips and tricks that can make casting more magical. Check them out in the slideshow.

Microsoft has cut $150 off some of its Surface Pro 3 models – Microsoft has settled into a pattern of offering big discounts on its Surface Pro 3 tablets every few weeks, and it’s that time again – several models are now available with $150 off the normal price.

Security:

New free tool detects Hacking Team exploits – Dubbed Milano, the free tool looks for files associated with the recent Hacking Team breach through either a quick or deep system scan. In the tool’s first form, a total of 93 Windows binaries have been analyzed, and 40 files have been highlighted as likely to be used for malicious use. Additional files will be added as the 400GB cache scrutiny continues.

Microsoft Issues Emergency Fix for Hacking Team Bug – The security flaw could allow an attacker to take full control of your system if you open a specially crafted document or visit a booby-trapped webpage that contains embedded OpenType fonts, Redmond said in its advisory. The vulnerability is rated Critical—Microsoft’s highest vulnerability severity rating, reserved for flaws that could allow code execution without user interaction—for all supported versions of Windows.

New vulnerability lets attackers hijack Chrysler vehicles over the web – A new vulnerability in the Uconnect system gives attackers frightening remote powers over Chrysler vehicles, revealed in a Wired exclusive report. In a live demo, attackers used the vulnerability to cut out a Jeep Cherokee’s transmission and brakes and, when the car is in reverse, commandeer the steering wheel — all without physical access to the vehicle. “This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone,” said Charlie Miller, one of the researchers behind the exploit. The full vulnerability will be presented next month at Defcon, although the researchers plan to withhold crucial details so that the bug cannot be exploited at scale.

MalwareBytes blocks some torrent sites, citing malware and fraud concerns – It’s no secret that torrent sites can be sketchy, but now MalwareBytes is trying to do something about it by adding several sites to its block list. According to TorrentFreak, MalwareBytes Anti-Malware has tagged Isohunt.to and LimeTorrents.cc as malicious, along with several other smaller sites. Users of the website protection tool in MalwareBytes’ premium service won’t be able to visit these sites without unblocking them first.

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Senate bill proposes cyber security standard for cars – Cars will have to be much better protected against hacking and new privacy standards will govern data collected from vehicles under proposed legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. The Security and Privacy in Your Car Act of 2015 seeks to get a step ahead of what is seen by some as one of the next fronts in hacking: connected vehicles, which are always on the Internet and rely on sophisticated computer control systems.

CVS Photo temporally shut down following credit card hack – It looks like CVS is the latest retailer to be affected by a data breach, as its CVSPhoto.com domain now only shows up with a message advising customers that the independent vendor it uses has been compromised. As a result of the hack, CVS has temporarily taken down its CVS Photo website, and says that during this time it is conducting an investigation into the matter. Customers who used the service with their credit card should be on alert.

FTC accuses ID protection service LifeLock of scamming customers—again – LifeLock, the company that heavily advertises itself on TV and online as an identity theft protection service, came under the crosshairs of the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday for allegedly failing customers—again. The agency, in a federal suit filed in LifeLock’s home state of Arizona, accuses the company of failing to notify its customers immediately after their identities were comprised and alleges the company did not implement the same type of identity protection safeguards used by banks. The FTC said LifeLock promised those services to its customers, but did not live up to it.

Company News:

Apple posts another record quarter, with over $1 billion in Apple Watch sales – Apple reported its third quarter earnings today, putting another period of eye-popping profits on the books. Investors were eager to glean any details about how well the new Apple Watch sold, but the bulk of the company’s revenue is still coming from its trifecta of iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales, with digital goods and services a close fourth. Apple generated $49.6 billion in revenue, slightly above analysts’ expectation of $49 billion. It earned a profit of $10.7 billion, trailing its record of $18 billion that it set during the first quarter of this year.

Apple and IBM release 10 new apps, incorporating analytics and iBeacons – The apps use technology like predictive analytics and are for business travelers and mortgage officers, among other professionals.

Microsoft reports big losses in the fourth quarter – Microsoft today reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of its 2015 fiscal year and unsurprisingly, the massive $7.6 billion write down for its Nokia purchase last year tanked any chances of it turning a profit. The write down pushed Microsoft’s losses to $2.1 billion for the quarter. Excluding the write down and related charges, Microsoft’s other businesses earned a profit of $6.4 billion on $22.2 billion in revenue.

Yahoo’s Q2 Manages A Slim Revenue Beat, But Its Per-Share Profit Of $0.16 Disappoints – Today, Yahoo reported its second-quarter financial performance, including $1.04 billion in revenue after discounting for traffic costs (ex-TAC), and earnings per share of $0.16. Revenue sported 15 percent year-over-year growth. The street had expected Yahoo to earn $0.18 per share on revenue of $1.03 billion.

Toshiba’s CEO resigns, amid $1.2 billion financial scandal – Toshiba’s CEO, Hisao Tanaka, alongside other top-level executives, have resigned their positions after it came to light that Toshiba had declared $1.2 billion in false profits over the last six years.

Facebook, others take Samsung’s side in Apple patent case – Apple and Samsung have been fighting a legal battle for a long time now that focuses on Apple alleging that Samsung has violated several of its patents. Samsung now has some industry heavyweights on its side that all have a stake in having Apple lose the court case. Previously the courts ordered Samsung to turn over profits from a few products that the court found infringe on Apple patents.

Games and Entertainment:

NFL Teases A New Subscription Service For On-Demand Games, Will Support Apple TV – The NFL is preparing to launch a new version of its Games Pass service, which will now include the ability to watch games on a wider selection of devices, including the Apple TV. According to information posted on the NFL website, the new Game Pass service will also replace Game Rewind, a paid service that previously offered all 256 NFL regular season games on-demand, after they air on television. Game Rewind will be discontinued on July 31, 2015, the NFL site said, and users will be able to move to the updated Game Pass service instead. The new Game Pass will offer apps for a number of devices, including mobile platforms as well as select connected TV devices like Xbox One, Xbox 360, Apple TV and more.

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Here’s Why Everybody Loves This Bizarre New Soccer Game – It’s like soccer with race cars. That’s the elevator pitch for San Diego studio Psyonix’s Rocket League, a zany ball-punching demolition derby for PC and PlayStation 4. The game arrived without ceremony two weeks ago, but it’s already clinched over 5,000 “overwhelmingly positive” reviews on Steam. It’s now pretty much what everyone’s talking about.

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JustWatch Brings Its Search Engine For Cord Cutters To iOS And Android – JustWatch, a startup that launched earlier this year offering a search engine that helps cord cutters figure out where to watch their favorite programs and movies, is now expanding to mobile. The company has released both iOS and Android applications that help you find where to watch movies and shows, as well as discover new and popular content across a variety of services, including Netflix, Amazon, HBO NOW, Showtime, Hulu, iTunes and many others.

Rising Thunder is a PC-exclusive robot brawler built by Street Fighter talent – Rising Thunder is built for PC and for keyboard inputs. It’s aimed specifically at online multiplayer. It’s free-to-play (supported by cosmetic items). It’s got huge robots fighting other robots. But most importantly, it sounds like Killian and crew are focused on making fighting games more accessible by simplifying inputs. Instead of lengthy, complicated lists of maneuvers—a mainstay of fighting games—you’ll be able to pull off devastating moves with a single button press. That makes the game more about when to use certain moves than inputting the correct commands. In other words, it’s more about the psychological metagame than your finger dexterity.

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PlayStation 4 officially licensed remote launching soon – PDP will soon be launching its own officially licensed media remote for the Sony PlayStation 4. The maker has not officially announced its new remote, but a preorder has gone live on Amazon and some other retailers’ websites, with an availability date starting in October. While officially licensed for the PlayStation 4, the remote can also be used with certain other devices found in an entertainment setup, such as a set top box or the TV itself, depending on its connectivity options.

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Watch the cute full-length trailer for Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’ – The first full-length preview of the upcoming flick gives viewers their first look at an unlikely human-dinosaur friendship in action.

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Dinosaurs, in space! Trailer tours the vast universe of No Man’s Sky – Hello Games releases a gorgeous new trailer for No Man’s Sky, an expansive upcoming video game that lets gamers explore a beautiful, seemingly endless universe.

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Microsoft fails to halt class action lawsuit alleging Xbox 360 design flaw – A US appeals court has again rebuffed Microsoft’s attempts to stop a class action lawsuit against it, which claims that the company sold the Xbox 360 with a known design flaw that ruined users’ discs.

Off Topic (Sort of):

How to ​pass on your phone and data when you power off for good – If you don’t plan ahead for someone to access your smartphone and account data, it could be a serious headache for those close to you. Fortunately there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure the right person gets access to your phone and the right data without compromising your day-to-day security. Here’s how to set up a nearly foolproof system that protects your accounts but lets the right person in should something unfortunate happen.

2015 isn’t over yet, but it’s already breaking heat records – Last year was, at the start of 2015, the hottest year on record. We’re only half way through this year, however, and it is already breaking heat records. If it keeps this up, 2015 will overtake 2014 as the hottest year on record, a song we’re likely to hear more often as climate change continues to worsen. The information comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, and the Japan Meteorological Agency, among others. All of them have pointed toward June having been record-smashing hot.

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Self-proclaimed experts talk more BS, study finds – Forget everything you think you know—it may cause you to have an exaggerated sense of knowledge, according to a recent study that looks into the origins of misinformation. Researchers call this psychological phenomenon “overclaiming.” In their study, published in Psychological Science, they found that the more someone thinks they know about a general topic, the more likely they are to claim expertise in the subject. The results of their study have raised questions about how we judge our own sense of knowledge and how this bloated sense of self could be detrimental to a society, where one person can start the spread of misinformation. In order to figure out the reasons behind people’s self-proclaimed expertise, researchers ran a series of tests.

Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times – Surgery on humans using robots has been touted by some as a safer way to get your innards repaired – and now the figures are in for you to judge. A team of university eggheads have counted up the number of medical cockups in America reported to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2000 to 2013, and found there were 144 deaths during robot-assisted surgery, 1,391 injuries, and 8,061 counts of device malfunctions. If that sounds terrible, consider that 1.7 million robo-operations were carried out between 2007 and 2013. Whether you’re impressed or appalled, the number of errors has the experts mildly concerned, and they want better safety mechanisms.

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See the first EPIC image of our planet from a million miles away – The image was taken on July 6th, with DSCOVR’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera, a four-megapixel CCD camera and telescope that bears the acronym EPIC. The camera is centered on Central America, with much of North and South America blanketed in cloud, and the shallow seas around the Caribbean showing up as turquoise streaks in a deeper blue.

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The mobile web sucks – I hate browsing the web on my phone.  Web browsers on phones are terrible. They are an abomination of bad user experience, poor performance, and overall disdain for the open web that kicked off the modern tech revolution. Mobile Safari on my iPhone 6 Plus is a slow, buggy, crashy affair, starved for the phone’s paltry 1GB of memory and unable to rotate from portrait to landscape without suffering an emotional crisis. Chrome on my various Android devices feels entirely outclassed at times, a country mouse lost in the big city, waiting to be mugged by the first remnant ad with a redirect loop and something to prove.

Watch the first Windows 10 ad use adorable babies to push Hello, Cortana, and Edge – It’s a soft approach to a product that Microsoft seems to expect will change the world, if not transform the company. Windows is shown for about seven seconds, with a quick montage of Hello, the Start menu, the Edge browser, and Cortana. Instead of showing how any of the Windows 10 technologies work, however, Microsoft chose to explain how a new generation will grow up with what Windows 10 embodies: touchscreens, the disappearance of passwords (Windows Hello), a digital assistant who talks to you (Cortana), and more.

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Rhinos outfitted with horn cameras, GPS to fight poaching – British nonprofit animal conservation group Protect has come up with a new way to fight poachers, and it involves outfitting rhinos with their own versions of tech wearables. The system relies on three pieces of technology to track and monitor the animals: heart rate monitors under the skin, a GPS transmitter around the neck, and a camera embedded in the horn after a hole is (painlessly) drilled. The technology is called Real-time Anti-Poaching Intelligence Device (RAPID), and is already being tested on threatened rhino populations in South Africa.

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India Will Have 500 Million Internet Users By 2017, Says New Report – Inexpensive smartphones and 2G subscriptions are expected to help boost Internet usage rates in India over the next two years, according to a new study by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and KPMG. While city dwellers are quickly upgrading to 3G and 4G, slower but more affordable data plans will enable more people to get online.

Something to think about:

“Be entirely tolerant or not at all; follow the good path or the evil one. To stand at the crossroads requires more strength than you possess.”

–     Heinrich Heine (1797 – 1856)

Today’s Free Downloads:

Facebook History Spy – History Spy is the all-in-one software to instantly recover or view Facebook web history from popular web browsers. It helps in recovering or viewing Facebook history from following browsers.

Mozilla Firefox

Internet Explorer

Google

Chrome Google Chrome Canary/SXS

CoolNovo (Chrome variant)

PaleMoon Browser (Firefox variant)

SeaMonkey Browser (Firefox variant)

It automatically detects the right history database file based on the browser and current user configuration. You can also manually specify the different history file or quickly ‘Drag & Drop’ a history file. This is useful when you have to recover the Facebook history for another user or from different system.

You can also export the recovered Facebook history list to HTML/XML/CSV file for offline analysis.

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Avira Rescue System  – The Avira AntiVir Rescue System a linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to repair a damaged system, to rescue data or to scan the system for virus infections.

Just double-click on the rescue system package to burn it to a CD/DVD. You can then use this CD/DVD to boot your computer. The Avira AntiVir Rescue System is updated several times a day so that the most recent security updates are always available.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Former Hacking Team supplier stops selling zero-day exploits on ethical grounds – Italian surveillance software maker Hacking Team recently claimed that it hasn’t lost any customers after the massive leak of its internal data two weeks ago. But it has lost at least one business partner: U.S.-based penetration testing specialist and zero-day exploit broker Netragard.

Over the weekend, Netragard announced that it is terminating its long-time running Exploit Acquisition Program (EAP), citing revelations about Hacking Team’s customers as one of the reasons.

Internal email communications recently leaked from Hacking Team revealed that the Milan-based company had a business relationship with Netragard and bought at least one zero-day exploit through its program.

Google slams proposed export controls on security tools – A proposed set of software export controls, including controls on selling hacking software outside the U.S., are “dangerously broad and vague,” Google said Monday.

Google, commenting on rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), said the proposed export controls would hurt the security research community.

A DOC Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) proposal, published in May would require companies planning to export intrusion software, Internet surveillance systems and related technologies to obtain a license before doing so. Exports to Canada would be exempt from the licensing requirement.

The proposed rules “would also hamper our ability to defend ourselves, our users, and make the web safer,” Google’s Neil Martin, an export compliance lawyer, and Tim Willis with the Chrome Security Team, wrote in a blog post. “It would be a disastrous outcome if an export regulation intended to make people more secure resulted in billions[b] of users across the globe becoming persistently less secure.”

Canada: Two rights groups launch Charter challenge of Bill C-51 – Canada’s new terrorism law is being challenged in court by a journalists’ group and a civil rights organization that call it an attack on constitutional freedoms and an “extraordinary inversion” of the role of judges.

The Anti-Terrorism Act, which took effect last month, makes it a crime to promote or advocate terrorism. It also gives Canada’s civilian spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, new powers to disrupt attacks. Until now, CSIS could only collect and analyze information. It will now be able to ask a judge in a secret hearing for a warrant to violate constitutional rights.

The public safety minister came under opposition criticism after a video emerged of a former Ottawa man calling for attacks on Canadians. Steven Blaney says new tools are needed to help stop terrorists.

The Conservative government passed the law, known as Bill C-51, after two deadly attacks in Canada last October, including one in which a gunman was killed in a shootout with guards on Parliament Hill.

The law is expected to be a factor in the upcoming election campaign, with the Conservatives expected to argue that they alone can be trusted to protect Canadians. The New Democrats opposed the law and the Liberals supported it but promised to change it if they become the government.

The terrorism-promotion provisions, and the new powers for CSIS, are among several parts of the law called unconstitutional in a wide-ranging challenge by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

New York judge rules against Facebook in search warrant case – A New York judge ruled Tuesday that Facebook has no legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of search warrants served on its users, highlighting the limits to online companies’ abilities to protect user privacy.

Last year, Facebook appealed a court decision requiring it to hand over data, including photos and private messages, relating to 381 user accounts. The data was sought as part of an investigation by the New York County District Attorney’s office into a disability fraud case.

Other companies including Google and Microsoft filed briefs supporting Facebook’s move, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union.

In her decision on Tuesday, Judge Dianne Renwick of the New York State Supreme Court said Facebook has no constitutional or statutory right to challenge a warrant before it’s issued.

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

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 18, 2015

Your personal security guide: Malware, protection and removal;  Your personal security guide: Phishing campaigns;  The Ultimate Cord Cutter’s Guide;  Twitter just made it easier to report harassment to the cops;  3 tips for easier migration to a new browser;  Facebook Introduces Free Friend-To-Friend Payments Through Messages;  Five free apps for taking care of your taxes;  Windows 10 to launch this summer in 190 countries;  Dropbox update improves collaboration;  Premera cyberattack could have exposed information for 11 million customers;  Google cleans up malware-ridden app store;  The 10 Most-Pirated Movies (this week);  Sling TV app launches on Xbox One with free month-long trial;  Three judges fired for using office computers to watch porn;  Active@ KillDisk (free);  Feds can’t seize emails stored in Ireland, Microsoft says;  FCC chief: ‘No secret instructions’ from Obama on Net neutrality.

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Your personal security guide: Malware, protection and removal – Summary: What is malware, what does it do and how do I protect myself?

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Your personal security guide: Phishing campaigns – Summary: What are phishing campaigns, why do they exist and how do I protect myself?

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The Ultimate Cord Cutter’s Guide – Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video are just the most well-known names in what’s become known as “cord cutting”—namely, doing away with pay TV and using Internet-based services to get all your “television” programming. No more paying a huge monthly fee for thousands of hours of TV you don’t watch. Instead, pay individual services for a la carte programming. It’s almost like paying for just what you watch. Almost.

3 tips for easier migration to a new browser – Recently, I switched to Firefox after Chrome became unresponsive and buggy one too many times. Switching between browsers never used to be a big deal, but that’s just not the case anymore. We customize these programs with extensions, sync open tabs to our mobile devices, and, if you’re using Chrome, run apps like they’re native to the desktop. If you’re thinking about moving between browsers here are three things to consider as you plan your move.

Twitter just made it easier to report harassment to the cops – Twitter “sucks at dealing with abuse.” CEO Dick Costolo said so himself. Today the company released another change as part of its promise to start sucking less. Twitter users who are threatened on the service and file a report will have the option of emailing that report to local law enforcement. With this rollout, users who go through the already simplified process of of reporting a threat will see a new option on the last screen.

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Divergent star Ashley Judd will press charges over Twitter harassment – Divergent star Ashely Judd says that she will press charges against people who have been harassing her on Twitter with threats of sexual violence. “The amount of gender violence I experience is absolutely extraordinary,” she tells the Today show, “and a significant part of my day today will be spent filing police reports at home about gender violence that’s directed at me on social media.” Judd called out the harassment on Sunday, when a tweet she wrote about a basketball game resulted in lewd cyberbullying.

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Five free apps for taking care of your taxes – If you dread tax time, take heart. These free apps will help get you through the filing process with less aggravation and fewer errors. Although this article provides a brief description of five free tax applications, it’s worth noting that the IRS actually offers its own free tax filing service, called FreeFile.

The .SUCKS domain is coming soon to an angry website near you – Want to get your hate on for a certain company, brand, or product? Later this year, you’ll be able to do that in style with your very own .sucks domain. Some .SUCKS domain names could end up being nothing more than a little harmless fun. The worst case scenario for major companies, however, might be a disgruntled customer getting their hands on of Google.sucks, Nestle.sucks, or Comcast.sucks. And apparently the company behind the .SUCKS TLD knows it.

Facebook Introduces Free Friend-To-Friend Payments Through Messages – When you chat with friends about settling debts or splitting the bill, Facebook doesn’t want you to have to open another app like PayPal or Venmo to send them money. So today it unveiled a new payments feature for Facebook Messenger that lets you connect your Visa or Mastercard debit card and tap a “$” button to send friends money on iOS, Android, and desktop with zero fees. Facebook Messenger payments will roll out first in the U.S. over the coming months.

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Windows 10 to launch this summer in 190 countries – Microsoft is planning to release its Windows 10 operating system in the summer. While the software maker isn’t naming an exact date, Windows chief Terry Myerson is committing the company to a summertime launch today. “We continue to make great development progress and shared today that Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages,” says Myerson. Microsoft is making Windows 10 available as a free upgrade for existing Windows 7 and Windows 8 users for a year, and that offer will start this summer.

Windows Hello lets you sign into Windows 10 devices with your face or finger – Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 operating system will support Windows Hello, allowing you to sign into a machine with just your face or finger. Windows Hello works by scanning your face, iris, or fingerprint to unlock devices, replacing a PIN or password to gain access to your own machine.  While most current machines won’t be able to use Windows Hello face recognition, Microsoft will support existing fingerprint readers. For the face or iris detection, new Windows 10 PCs will ship later this year with Intel’s RealSense 3D camera to enable the new support thanks to the infrared camera that will help scan your face.

Windows 10’s speedy new Project Spartan browser will ditch Internet Explorer name – Internet Explorer increasingly looks like a dead brand walking, though IE11 will still be around in Windows 10 to provide legacy compatibility for businesses.

Philips Two-in-One dual-display monitor launches – Studies have claimed that using two displays makes you more efficient than using one, and many people find them more comfortable than a single display set up. The problem is how much desk space they take — having two monitors propped up requires a lot of space, and that’s a problem for some, especially those limited to a cubical or other tiny work areas. Enter the Philips Two-in-One monitor, which is exactly what it sounds like: a single monitor made of two displays, conserving desk real estate while increase one’s screen space.

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Dropbox update improves collaboration with badges, commenting – Dropbox has updated its service today, and it has done so with a focus on collaboration in particular, namely how it can make that shared experience better for its users. Dropbox for Business can be used to take Dropbox beyond mere file storing and can be used by workers as a collaborative environment for handling documents and such. If collaborative environments aren’t clear and organized, however, they become messy and convoluted quickly, and Dropbox has taken a step to ensure that doesn’t happen with two new workflows.

Security:

Premera cyberattack could have exposed information for 11 million customers – Health care provider Premera Blue Cross said on Tuesday that the identifying, financial, and medical information for millions of customers could have been revealed in a cyberattack. In a statement on their website, Premera said that issues related to their network have been resolved and the company is working to strengthen security measures. The initial attack occurred on May 4, 2014, but the intrusion was not discovered until Jan. 29, according to Premera. The attack potentially affects 11 million customers. About 6 million of those live in Washington state, where some customers are employees at companies like Amazon and Microsoft, Reuters reported.

Cyberattacks caused the leak of one billion records in 2014 – In 2014, approximately one billion records of personally identifiable information (PII) were leaked online, according to IBM X-Force. IBM researchers say cyberattackers are more often applying creative ways and new approaches to fundamental attacks including DDoS and the use of malware in order to steal valuable information, ranging from sensitive data which can be used in identity theft to financial account details. The majority of these records were stolen from US companies.

Hundreds of Android and iOS apps are still vulnerable to FREAK – Hundreds of Android and iOS apps are still vulnerable to a dangerous attack revealed two weeks ago that can compromise encrypted data, a security vendor said Tuesday. The apps have not yet been patched against the FREAK attack, short for Factoring attack on RSA-EXPORT Keys, which was revealed by researchers on March 3. The unpatched apps, which were not identified, are in categories including finance, communication, shopping, business and medicine, computer security company FireEye said in a blog post Tuesday.

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Malwarebytes: “Cracked” Minecraft? PUP Installer – Be cautious around websites offering up supposedly cracked versions of Minecraft. You can never quite be sure what’s waiting on the other end. Genuine file or bad hair day incoming?

Google cleans up malware-ridden app store – Google is cleaning up its app store to limit the amount of malware and age-inappropriate content. For the past two months the advertising giant has been quietly running a scan of all applications for malware and code that breaks its terms of service. Today it announced the program’s existence, noting that the scanning is both automatic and manual. The high levels of malware found on the Play Store has long been a problem – even being used by Apple to promote its own “safer” products. As well as the scanning, the Chocolate Factory has also updated developer status reports that explain why apps have been rejected to include more detail. And it will introduce age ratings.

Company News:

Microsoft wants to convert Android devices to Windows 10 phones with special ROM – Microsoft is testing an image of Windows 10 that can be flashed onto Android devices and essentially convert them to Windows phones on the spot. The program might be expanded soon if successful.

Apple tipped to open Android trade-in program ahead of Galaxy S6 launch – Android device users thinking about buying a new iPhone might want to hold off their purchase for a little while: Apple is about to kick off its first ever trade-in program for Android devices, according to reports. Following its best financial quarter ever, Apple needs to once again beat analysts’ expectations and its new weapon to attract additional iPhone users is a recycling and trade-in program aimed at owners of old Android devices that are considering switching to iOS.

Open source Sirius virtual assistant gets Google funding – Virtual, personal assistants seem to be the rave these days on mobile, from the big ones like Siri, Cortana, Google Now, and most recently BlackBerry Assistant, to the little known apps and services scattered throughout app markets. So it isn’t surprising that we’re hearing about another one called Sirius, a not so subtle play on Siri perhaps, but this software, and we can’t call it product yet, hailing from the University of Michigan is a bit different. For one, it is open source software. And quite surprisingly, it has the financial support of Google.

Jury clears Apple of infringing patents formerly held by Nokia – A Texas jury has found that Apple didn’t infringe on five wireless technology patents that once belonged to Nokia and were sold to patent licensing firm Conversant. In 2012, Core Wireless, which is a subsidiary of Conversant, sued Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, alleging iPads and iPhones used technology covered by Core patents to transmit data. Core was seeking a portion of the revenue Apple made from selling the devices and would make from future sales. Core’s lawsuit initially claimed that Apple infringed on more patents.

Oracle’s Q3: Revenue miss, earnings in line amid currency qualms – With currency fluctuations once again having investors biting their nails with anxiety, Oracle published third quarter financial results after the bell on Tuesday. And once again, Oracle broke down actual and would-be results as a result of the strengthening of the U.S. Dollar. The tech giant reported a net income of $2.5 billion, or 56 cents per share (statement). Non-GAAP earnings were 68 cents per share on a revenue of $9.3 billion. Wall Street was looking for earnings of 68 cents a share on revenue of $9.47 billion.

Games and Entertainment:

Sling TV app launches on Xbox One with free month-long trial – As announced in January, Xbox One is the first gaming console to feature an app for Sling TV, and its one-month trial is also the longest free trial available on any platform. While Sling TV’s Xbox One app features a similar interface to its apps on mobile platforms, it’s also been modified to fit with the console’s style and abilities, as seen above. For those interested in subscribing to the service, Sling TV will cost $20 a month and come with the following channels: AMC, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family and CNN.

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The 10 Most-Pirated Movies – Before I discuss the week’s most-pirated movies, allow me to state that PCMag doesn’t condone piracy in any way, shape, or form. Our mission is a simple and pure one: to inform you about what’s happening in the online digital media world. Besides, tracking stolen movies is a way to gauge a movie’s popularity beyond ticket sales. One new flick made it onto the most-pirated movies list this week—Focus, starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie. If you want to learn more about this bootlegged film, as well as the nine other movies that were popular among pirates, check out the slideshow that’s linked both above and below for more information.

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GeForce GTX Titan X detailed and priced by NVIDIA – Today NVIDIA has revealed their newest, most powerful graphics card to the public: GeForce GTX Titan X. This device was teased at the Epic Games keynote earlier this month at GDC 2015 – here at GTC 2015, it’s being revealed in full. This card works with NVIDIA’s GM200 GPU, rolling with 3072 CUDA Cores, a 384-bit memory interface, 7GHz memory clock, and peak memory bandwidth of 336.5GB/sec. That’s a cool 50% increase over the peak bandwidth of this card’s release predecessor, the GeForce GTX 980 (have a peek at our GTX 980 Review to get an idea of where we’re going from here).

16 Bizarre Video Game Adaptations That Actually Exist – A video game based on the TV series M*A*S*H? Sure. An action adventure game based on Home Improvement? Why wouldn’t that be a game?! A Contra-style game based on the Oscar-winning war drama, Platoon? Bring it on! Here, we delve into the weird history of unexpected video game adaptations. We do this not to mock or even to say that all these games aren’t fun to play. Rather we would just like to show the industry that video games can be so much more than just Marvel and DC. Think outside the box, people.

PlayStation Now coming to the UK via private beta this Spring – PlayStation Now is US-only, and that’s pretty lame. We’re not fans of region-locked services like that, so when we hear they’ll be opening up to new markets, it’s exciting. Such is the news today, where we’ve learned Sony is opening up PlayStation Now to the UK. Via a private beta program, those in the UK with a PlayStation 4 — and who are members of PlayStation Plus — can be among the first to sign up for the PlayStation Now network in the UK.

Off Topic (Sort of):

The Age Of Interruption Overload – Every time I think our way of life couldn’t change any faster, reality proves me wrong. Compare our lives today to just five years ago, and it’s a completely different digital world. Today, we live in the age of interruption overload. There are two ways of dealing with interruption overload. The first is to complain, argue against it, convince everyone that it’s bad for your health (it is, it makes you dumber), and then retreat to a yoga farm in Texas. Only to find out they have 4G. But that won’t help much. Reality is stronger than complaints. A girl in my family told me how she spent a day without her smartphone. When she was back, it had 2,000 WhatsApp messages on it. She’s 12.

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Google Exec Eric Schmidt Called Out for Interrupting the Only Woman on Panel – After a panel on innovation at SXSW in Austin on Monday, Google executive Eric Schmidt was called out for repeatedly interrupting U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, the only woman on the panel. During a Q&A session after the panel, someone pointed out that Schmidt was repeatedly interrupting Smith without noticing, and asked Smith how she felt about the unconscious bias that affects women. It turns out that the person who called out Schmidt was Judith Williams, who just happens to be the Global Diversity and Talent Program manager at Google.

Pointing up    The usual Schmidt two-step – open mouth/insert foot.

Three judges fired for using office computers to watch porn – When a judge looks down upon you in a court of law, you get the feeling that they’re a little bit superior. Some might find, therefore, a certain comfort in the idea that the judiciary are just as human as the rest of us. Even judges can be, as it were, in contempt of court. I am moved to these sad thoughts by the news that today three judges in the UK were fired for being very, very naughty boys. This dewigging was announced by the UK’s Judicial Conduct Investigations Office.

NASA tests LEAPTech: a crazy experimental 18-engine electric wing – NASA is testing their latest experiment; the new idea is the LEAPTech electric wing. LEAPTech stands for Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology, and this set of wings looks very different from a traditional airplane wing. The LEAPTech wing looks a bit strange with its narrow surface area and its lengthy 31-foot wingspan. Not to mention that the wings are decked out with 18 small engines, while most commerical jets normally have two or four engines. It’s electric and aims to be safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly.

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Crazy footage shows volcanic lightning during massive eruption – Volcanic eruptions are crazy-cool and dangerous, but they’re even better when they’re intense enough to generate lightning storms as they’re going off. During a recent volcanic eruption at the highly active Sakurajima volcano on the Japanese island of Kyushu, filmmaker Marc Szeglat captured some pretty incredible footage of a lightning storm generated by the volcano.

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FCC chief: ‘No secret instructions’ from Obama on Net neutrality – FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler appeared before a House subcommittee Tuesday, where he maintained his agency’s independence in coming up with new rules for so-called Net neutrality. The rules ensure that broadband providers like Comcast or Verizon can’t block or slow down Internet access or applications , or require payment from companies like Netflix for priority access to broadband customers. “There were no secret instructions from the White House,” Wheeler said. “I did not, as CEO of an independent agency, feel obligated to follow the president’s recommendation.”

Corning’s germ-fighting glass means you can touch an ATM with less worry – The modern world is awash with public touch screens, from airplane TVs to ATMs to deli-counter kiosks. And with all those shared screens comes more potential to share germs. Glassmaker Corning, whose tough Gorilla Glass displays front Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s new Galaxy S6, is hoping to make our more-touchable electronics world a little less grimy, thanks to its antimicrobial version of Gorilla. The new product, introduced last year, is now making its way into more public places, with Corning in January announcing deals to bring the germ-fighting glass to ATMs and payment terminals.

Something to think about:

“Most people have seen worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public.”

–      Edgar Watson Howe

Today’s Free Downloads:

Active@ KillDisk – Powerful and compact software that allows you to destroy all data on hard disks, SSD & USB disks completely, excluding any possibility of future recovery of deleted files and folders. It’s a hard disk drive sanitizing tool and partition eraser utility, DoD 5220.22 M compliant.

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Pointing up   All storage devices should be “nuked” in this fashion prior to disposal, gifting, and so on. Long story short – rebuilt 50+ machines for a charity a few years ago – came to me with HDs loaded with 1000s of social assistance client records, all of which were extremely personal.  And valuable – but that’s another story.

York – Need to keep an eye on what’s going on on your network. York is the perfect freeware for you. You can choose a client on your network and follow his clicks or just log all source, destination [fqdn or ip address] and packet size of all network traffic on your network. Just for kicks York will show you a slideshow of all the pictures embedded in the html of sites visited on your network!

Log source, destination [fqdn or ip address] and packet size of all network traffic on your network, of course also outbound traffic. The network card will be set into promiscuous mode.

Save sniffed HTTP and FTP files. Just for fun, pictures are shown in a slideshow and in a screensaver like window.

Sniff for HTTP, FTP, POP3, SMTP, SMB, VNC and AIM password/hash and HTTP cookies like ‘GX’.

Select a client and follow his clicks in your browser. [WebSession]

Screensaver included. Shows sniffed pictures in a slideshow.

For the advanced user: You can capture traffic into a pcap file, send a pcap file and replay a pcap file.

For advanced user: You can restrict captured traffic by tcpdump filters.

Please note, WinPcap [www.winpcap.org] is used to get the network traffic. The Setup will install WinPcap automatically.

The columns in the log file are tabulator separated for easy import into Excel

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Personal system screenshot

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

New documents show the British legal process for hacking civilian targets – New court documents made public today have revealed the UK’s troublingly broad legal justification for state-sponsored hacking, including targeting individuals who are not under any suspicion of committing a crime.

The documents come as part of a case lead by British watchdog Privacy International, which has been pushing two separate court cases before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, attempting to gain more details about the state hacking described in the Snowden documents. These admissions are the most tangible explanation yet of the legal framework behind the British surveillance described by Snowden. “Without any legitimate legal justification, they think they have the authority to target anyone they wish, no matter if they are suspected of a crime,” said Privacy International’s Eric King. “This suspicionless hacking must come to an end and the activities of our intelligence agencies must be brought under the rule of law.”

The noteworthy phrase comes at paragraph 77, when the GCHQ details a procedural point for “conduct[ing] equipment interference activity specifically against individuals who are not intelligence targets in their own right.” The passage indicates the agency has no qualms about collateral hacks like the recently revealed attack on the SIM card manufacturer Gemalto, which surveilled civilian infrastructure as a means to gain broader access, rather than because of any specific suspicions. Even where warrants do apply, the requirements for obtaining one are often laughably meager. Later paragraphs state that the identity of the target is only necessary when its known by the agents, and the details of the offense committed are only necessary “where relevant.”

Australia’s data-retention debate hits Derpcon Zero – Forget the distraction about journalists and warrants. Government spin and opposition incompetence have just gone off the scale.

Australia: Telstra contradicts Brandis on data retention – Contrary to the claims of Australia’s Attorney-General George Brandis, telcos will be required to store information that they don’t currently store as part of mandatory data-retention legislation, Telstra’s chief information security officer Mike Burgess has said.

Where’s the data? Feds can’t seize emails stored in Ireland, Microsoft says – The U.S. government wants access to an alleged drug dealer’s emails, but Microsoft says, sorry, they’re in Ireland and out of bounds. This is what happens when we apply non-digital rules to digital situations.

At issue is the question of whether companies or individuals can keep the U.S. government from accessing their email by arguing that it resides on a server in a country that is hostile to such searches. The most recent development came last week (March 9) in a case that involves Microsoft, a U.S. citizen accused of narcotics trafficking and an MSN email server sitting in Dublin, Ireland. The case’s supporting players read like the game “which of these are different from the others?”: On Microsoft’s side is Verizon, AT&T, Apple, Cisco — and the Electronic Freedom Foundation.

From their point of view, they are challenging the federal government’s ability to access email records if those documents are stored outside of the U.S. From the government’s perspective, the question is whether a company can skirt legal inquiries by simply choosing to house records in a friendlier country. Think of Ireland in this case as the email equivalent of what the tax-avoiding Swiss bank account used to be.

What’s scarier: terrorism, or governments blocking websites in its name? – The French Interior Ministry on Monday ordered that five websites be blocked on the grounds that they promote or advocate terrorism. “I do not want to see sites that could lead people to take up arms on the Internet,” proclaimed Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

When the block functions properly, visitors to those banned sites, rather than accessing the content of the sites they chose to visit, will be automatically redirected to the Interior Ministry website. There, they will be greeted by a graphic of a large red hand, and text informing them that they were attempting to access a site that causes or promotes terrorism: “you are being redirected to this official website since your computer was about to connect with a page that provokes terrorist acts or condones terrorism publicly.”

No judge reviews the Interior Ministry’s decisions. The minister first requests that the website owner voluntarily remove the content he deems transgressive; upon disobedience, the minister unilaterally issues the order to Internet service providers for the sites to be blocked. This censorship power is vested pursuant to a law recently enacted in France empowering the interior minister to block websites.

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