This week we learned how to create geeky LED holiday lights with old bottles, dig deeper in Windows Defrag via the command prompt, use Google Chrome’s drag/drop feature to upload files easier, find great gift recommendations by looking through the How-To Geek holiday gift guide, and have fun adding Merry Christmas fonts to our computers.
Photo by ntr23.
Random Geek Links
It has been a busy week, so we have extra news link goodness with information that is good for you to know.
- USDA making the move to Microsoft
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that it has chosen Microsoft to host things like e-mail, instant messaging, and collaboration through the software giant’s Business Productivity Online Suite.
- Google says it was cut off from USDA project bid
Google is claiming that it was not given a chance to bid on a cloud-computing project for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for which the contract was awarded to rival Microsoft.
- Apache is being forced into a Java Fork
When Oracle rolled over Apache and Google’s objections to its Java plans in December, the scene was set for Apache to leave and, eventually, force a Java code fork.
- Tumblr explains daylong outage
After experiencing an outage that started on Sunday afternoon and stretched through most of the day yesterday, Tumblr has explained what happened.
- Google demos Chrome OS, launches pilot program
During a press briefing this week in San Francisco, Google launched the Chrome application store and demonstrated Chrome OS, its browser-centric netbook operating system.
- Don’t expect Spotify in U.S. this holiday season
As of last week, Spotify had yet to sign a single licensing deal with a major label, after spending more than a year negotiating, multiple music sources told CNET.
- December 2010 Patch Tuesday will come with most bulletins ever
According to the Microsoft Security Response Center, Microsoft will issue 17 Security Bulletins addressing 40 vulnerabilities on Tuesday, December 14. It will also host a webcast to address customer questions the following day.
- Hacker plants back door in Symbian firmware
Indian hacker Atul Alex has had a look at the firmware for Symbian S60 smartphones and come up with a back door for it.
- PC quarantines raise tough complexities
The concept of quarantining PCs to prevent widespread infection is “interesting, but difficult to implement, with far too many problems”, said security experts.
- Symantec: DDoS attacks hard to defend
It has surfaced that the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Visa and MasterCard Web sites on Wednesday were carried out by a toolkit known as low orbit ion cannon (LOIC).
- Web Sockets and the risks of unfinished standards
Enthusiasm for a promising new standard called Web Sockets has quickly cooled in some quarters as a potential security problem led some browser makers to hastily postpone support.
- Internet Explorer 9 to get tracking protection
Microsoft is making changes to Internet Explorer 9’s security features that will better enable users to keep sites from tracking their activity across browsing sessions.
- NASA sold PCs with sensitive data
NASA failed to remove sensitive data from computers that it sold, according to an audit report released this week.
- Cybercrooks create fake Amazon receipts
The bad guys have created yet another online scam, this one involving fake Amazon receipts.
- World of Warcraft character move fees waived
Until December 22, Blizzard will allow free realm transfers from 25 highly populated servers to alleviate log-in queues or performance issues. (The free transfers are one-way and one-time only.)
- SpaceX Dragon reaches orbit atop a Falcon with a fiery tail
The Space Exploration Technologies corporation has become the first nongovernmental entity to put a vehicle into low Earth orbit.
Geek Video of the Week
If birds have wings, then why are the Angry Birds using slingshots?
Photo by Dorkly Bits.
Sysadmin Geek Tips
- How To Setup Email Alerts on Linux Using Gmail or SMTP
Linux machines may require administrative intervention in countless ways, but without manually logging into them how would you know about it? Here’s how to setup emails to get notified when your machines want some tender love and attention.
Random TinyHacker Links
- Red Panda Webcam
Support Firefox and the Knoxville Zoo’s Red Panda program.
- Christmas Icons (Icons we like)
Superb set of holiday icons by lgp85 at deviantArt. Download the .zip and use as .png or convert to .ico at Convertico.com or with tiny app Imagicon.
Super User Questions
Enjoy reading the great answers to this week’s popular questions from Super User
- Useful USB boot disks?
- DVD/CD burning .zip: is it more reliable, faster, longer lasting to burn a zip of files rather than the files as a folder?
- What are other ways to backup my files if I do not have an external drive?
- Anti virus what is the difference between these all?
- How can I block all Facebook elements/content?
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
Have you had a busy week between work and preparing for the holidays? Get caught up on your HTG reading with our hottest articles of the week.
- 20 Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Might Not Know
- The 50 Best Registry Hacks that Make Windows Better
- LCD? LED? Plasma? The How-To Geek Guide to HDTV Technology
- HTG Explains: Which Linux File System Should You Choose?
- How to Use and Customize Google Chrome Web Apps
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
This week’s batch of retro geeky goodness is all about customizing Windows 7.
- ClassicShell Adds Classic Start Menu and Explorer Features to Windows 7
- Get an Aero-Styled Classic Start Menu in Windows 7
- Customize the Windows 7 Logon Screen
- Get the Classic Style Network Activity Indicator Back in Windows 7
- How To Enable Check Boxes for Items In Windows 7
The Geek Note
We would like you to join us in welcoming Jason Fitzpatrick to the writing staff here at How-To Geek. He started with us this past week, so take some time to read through his articles about the Wii, Kindle, & PlayStation 2 Peripherals and leave a friendly comment to say “Hi”! Got a great tip to share? Make sure to send it in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by real00.