Thank you “lifehacker”…

January 31, 2009

Noticed that “lifehacker” one of the top internet “tips and download sites for getting things done” featured an article on “Pop Peeper” (email monitoring software) with a link back to this blog. I recently had posted an article on “Pop Peeper” as well [click here]. Thank you “lifehacker” for sending new visitors my way.  Lifehacker has now been highlighted on the LaunchPad (blogroll) at the right side of the blog.

You can visit “Lifehacker” by clicking on the logo below.

lifehacker

If you currently maintain a tech or software blog and desire to make a link exchange, please leave a comment below.

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Why the security breach at Monster.com and USAJobs.gov is a BIG deal…

January 30, 2009

Most everyone has read in the news about Monster.com and USAJobs.gov (both career job seeking and posting sites) being illegally accessed and account data being taken. You can read the official notices posted by both of these entities by clicking the links below:

“Monster Database Security Breach Alert”

“Attention USAJobs Users”

Most of you are probably wondering, what’s the big deal?  So what, someone has taken usernames, passwords and email addresses to a career site. Just change the password, as prompted or instructed, and you will be fine.  Wrong!

I want my readers to please watch the short video below, from Sophos Labs (Graham Cluey’s Blog) about this specific case and what it should teach us.

NOTE: I have the video link configured so that when you click on the graphic link below the video will open in a separate full screen window.  At the full screen window, click on the “play button” in the bottom left corner.

This video demonstrates how other web site accounts can be compromised, as a result of maintaining the same password for each account we access (i.e. your banking, credit card, etc…). The video points out that over 41 percent of people use the same password for every account they access.  From my experience, I say that percentage is even higher. I cannot stress the importance of practicing good password management.

To remind and educate about password management; and to provide you with a software tool to get you started, I encourage you to re-visit the post I composed titled:

“PASS-the-WORD”… Basic password management tips.”

I also would like to point out that this particular incident, with economic conditions being as such, demonstrates how low the cybercriminal will go to seek financial gain by stealing your identity.

clipped from vimeo.com

What the Monster.com security breach teaches us about passwords


by Sophos Labs

 

 


Hackers have stolen details on job seekers from recruit websites Monster.com and USAJobs.gov, bringing the risk of identity theft and phishing attacks.

Sophos Graham Cluey Video

Learn what you need to do to ensure that your website accounts aren’t compromised in this video by Sophos’s senior technology consultant Graham Cluley.

Read more on Graham Cluley’s blog at sophos.com/blogs/gc/g/2009/01/24/security-alert-monstercom

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Store your thoughts in “Evernote”…

January 29, 2009

Evernote is a “cloudware” application that you use to store notes, web clips, web pages, links, reminders, phone numbers, snapshots, To Do lists, research content, labels, business cards; just about anything you can think of. Evernote is available in a variety of platforms (Windows, Mac, Web, iPhone); all which can be synchronized with each other. After you setup a “FREE” account (premium account also available), you can configure the Evernote software on your computer (and/or USB flash drive) to synchronize with the web based version and vice versa.

Evernote

I have worked with other (database) hierarchy note keeping programs, but the “cloud computing (web based)” version of Evernote really caught my attention. After setting up my account with Evernote, it did not take long to learn how to create and manage notes. I really like the idea that I can get to my notes from any PC that is connected to the internet.  To help organize and categorize notes, you can assign tags to each note and create separate notebooks. As a blogger, this has become an invaluable tool for research and the gathering of web clips. Once you start using this, you will get hooked. I subsequently installed Evernote  on my PC and on my USB flash drive.

There is also a Web clipper bookmarklet available (for IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and others). The bookmarklet allows you to capture web page content right into your account —text, images, links, and all. Another neat feature with the web based account is that you get an Evernote email address where you can email notes and content that will directly and automatically be placed in your collection of notes. You can email notes, photos, and audio clips from your computer or phone right into an Evernote notebook. Evernote also has handwriting recognition and the ability to recognize text in pictures. If you were a Google Notebook fan, Evernote has a an import tool to bring all of your notes over to Evernote.  Evernote also has a great Delicious bookmark import tool.

Below is a comparison of the monthly upload allowances between the free and premium accounts. The free account is limited to what file types you can upload; however, for everyday (normal) use of gathering or inputting text notes and pics, I have found the upload allowance to be sufficient. Evernote has a built in meter to let you know the status of your current monthly usage.  I can see this web based (cloudware app) to only get better.

Evernote Usage

Evernote

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“What’s On My PC…” – The Top Ten!

January 28, 2009

I started my blogging adventure in July of 2008. I did not have any experience with blogging and really had no idea of what I was about to get into. I say that in a positive sense. Right off the bat, 2-two professional bloggers make contact with me.  

 Tech for-Everyone   and   Tech Thoughts
Virtual Handshake

I have always avoided socializing on the net with people I do not know; however, my gut instinct told me, “These guys may be a little crazy, but they are really honest, sincere, and smart people”.  How right my gut instinct was! After making that initial “virtual handshake” they have been my mentors ever since.

I have found blogging to be quite addictive, exercising to the mind, rewarding and unusually interesting. To date, I have 175 posts (written articles) under my belt and it has surprised me what articles have been the most popular. What I think is going to be a hit, never is… Who would ever think that an article about making an “America Online CD” would be a popular article? I’m learning, it is all about helping others…  To share with my readers, here is the TOP 10 most read articles, since the beginning of my adventure in blogging.

What’s On My PC
Top 10 Articles

(clicking on a link will open a separate window)

  1. When Vista will not boot…
  2. Is your system infected with the Downadup Worm, Conficker, or Kido?
  3. Beware! Telephone Bill Rip-Off…
  4. USB Flash Drives.. FAQ (frequently asked questions)!
  5. Should I shut “OFF” my PC or leave it “On”?
  6. Creating an AOL Install CD… (if you must:)
  7. The Underbelly of the Internet – Antivirus 2009 (removal help)…
  8. “WOT” to trust; “WOT” not to trust!
  9. Remote into your Notebook PC “Wirelessly” with UltraVNC…
  10. Uninstalling and Installing AntiVirus Software…

If you are interested in becoming a blogger, I encourage you to visit WordPress.com…  It is an easy and very rewarding experience.

 

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What’s in your cloud?

January 27, 2009

Something new to the blog is the tab at the top labelled “Cloudware Apps”… I plan to add online “cloud computing” applications; that, in my opinion, are creditable hosts for various online services.  A pretty good listing has already been compiled.  I encourage you to visit “Cloudware Apps”.

What's In Your Cloud?

You may have been wondering what is all this talk about cloud computing and cloudware applications.  Here is my interpretation.

Cloud computing (or a cloudware application) is a hosted service (or software app) that is provided over the Internet.  With the advent of Web 2.0, which is a reference to taking the internet to a higher level (the future), services are being enhanced in such a way that users need minimal expertise in managing and/or controlling the services (or software app).  The services (or software app) are hosted on the internet and you take advantage of the hosted services, as a client, through the use of your browser or other application that is installed locally on your PC.

In a nutshell, it is a basically “client / server” based (on-demand) computing environment and the actual implementation of services in the “cloud” are transparent to the user. The software and your data (in many instances) are stored on servers on the internet.  It is apparent to me that “cloud computing” is the future due to the number of cloudware apps being developed everyday.  Many of the cloudware apps that I have experienced are as good as some of the software installed locally on my PC.  For example, the “What’s On My PC…” blog is an example of cloud computing.  I access the WordPress.com services (as a client user), use the blogging app that they host, to draft or publish my blog articles.  WordPress manages the infrastructure behind all of this.  I do not need to be an expert in web page design.  Our web based email services are another example of cloud computing.

An advantage of cloud computing is that you can access your cloudware apps and data from anywhere there is internet access or connectivity. A couple disadvantages is that if the cloudware application is critical to meeting an important need and your internet connection is lost, then you have no control; plus your data can be in the hands of others, which could be in business one day and out of business the next. This alone could lead to potential leaks of your identity and loss of personal data.  I can see myself and my blogging partners writing blog articles in the future advising people to pick their cloud computing or cloudware apps wisely. If this trend continues, I may have to change the name of the blog from “What’s On My PC…” TO “What’s In My Cloud…”.

If you are a “cloud geek”, recommended reading is the articles reflected below:

4 Things You Need in a Cloud Computing Infrastructure – by DevCentral

Cloud Computing – Is Your Head In The Cloud Yet? – Tech Thoughts

 

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Continues to get better… Pop Peeper v3.4 Released

January 26, 2009

POP Peeper is one program on my PC that continues to get better. POP Peeper alerts me when I have mail in my various (numerous) email accounts; AND it allows me to preview my POP3 and my web based email without having to open my email client or having to visit the providers web sites (i.e. Hotmail, Live Mail, GMail, Yahoo, and many more).  Awesome little app that can also be configured to run from our portable flash drive.  You can click on any of the links below to visit and learn more about Pop Peeper.  You can also preview a previous article that I posted that gives an indepth review of Pop Peeper [CLICK HERE].

clipped from www.poppeeper.com

POP Peeper Email Notifier


Description
POP Peeper is an email notifier that runs in your Windows task bar and alerts you when you have new email on your POP3, IMAP (with IDLE support), Hotmail\MSN\LiveMail, Yahoo, GMail, Mail.com, MyWay, Excite, iWon, Lycos.com, RediffMail, Juno and NetZero accounts. IMAP supports allows you to access AOL, AIM, Netscape and other services. Send mail directly from POP Peeper and use the address book to email your frequently used contacts. POP Peeper allows you to view messages using HTML or you can choose to safely view all messages in rich or plain text. Several options are available that will decrease or eliminate the risks of reading your email (viruses, javascript, webbugs, etc). POP Peeper can be run from a portable device and can be password protected. Many notification options are availble to indicate when new mail has arrived, such as sound alerts (configurable for each account), flashing scroll lock, skinnable popup notifier, customized screensaver and more.


Primary Features

Easy Setup – accounts are imported from your existing email client(s)

Supports POP3, IMAP (including GMail, AOL, AIM, Netscape, FastMail, etc), SMTP, GMail, Hotmail\MSN\LiveMail, Yahoo, Mail.com, MyWay, Excite, iWon, Lycos.com, RediffMail, Juno, NetZero

IDLE is supported for IMAP accounts which allows instant notification when new mail arrives in your inbox

Read, delete, print and reply to Email without opening your email client

Send email directly from POP Peeper

HTML email support

Password protection

Address book

Options to protect you from messages that contain viruses and web bugs

Send, save and open file attachments

Run POP Peeper off your portable storage device

No account limit — notifies you of an unlimited number of accounts

Many ways to receive new mail notification: skinnable desktop alerts, audio, flashing scroll lock LED and more

Specify how often all accounts are checked for new mail or set individual intervals for each account

Extensive help with useful tips and information

Email Notification Options

Sound notifications: single sound for any new mail, or a customized sound for each account

Tray icon notification that display the color and number of new messages for each account

Flashing scroll lock LED

Windows popup alert indicating which account(s) received new email

Automatically open POP Peeper or launch your email client when new email is received

Skinnable popup (optional download)

ScreenSaver (optional download)

Chime can repeat a sound until acknowledged and\or launch another program when new mail arrives (optional download)

Get Clipmarks – The easiest way to email text, images and videos you find on the web.

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“FREE” Internet Browsing Protection…

January 24, 2009

When surfing the internet and interacting with websites that you may be unfamiliar with, you are at a risk of becoming a victim of theft, fraud, spyware, spam, viruses, etc. You are really at the mercy of a mouse click. One click and gotcha… We see text on the screen and take it as gospel and really do not know what lies behind that text. It is our nature to believe the written word and for some reason when we hear the word “internet” we look at it as a protective or secure technology; and as a higher trusting authority. It is everything but that.

The internet crime rate has went from that of Mayberry (Andy Griffith and Barney), where one bullet was sufficient; TO, CSI (Crime Scene Investigators) where you get hit (are victimized) and then you are trying to figure out what happened, how it happened and who did it. The internet environment, as we know it today, is an environment of victimization and defense. The fixes (defenses) occur usually after a person or entity has been victimized. The defenses or layers of protection we put into place are our anti-virus, anti-spyware, ant-malware software;  firewalls; software updates, etc… These defense measures, if updated properly, take over and attempt to detect or block the threat.  The problem with this is that the “threat” has to actually hit home (on our PC’s), before it is detected.

If you are someone who surf’s the internet on a regular basis; how would you like a layer of protection, that is easily managed within the confines of your browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox), that will allow you to visually see what web sites are rated safe or unsafe, before the threat hits home? This layer of protection, that I am a strong advocate of is, the layer of protection that is provided by Web of Trust (WOT).

image

WOT’s color-coded icons show you ratings for 21 million websites – green to go, yellow for caution and red to stop – helping you avoid the dangerous sites. WOT is “FREE”, very easy to install (as an Internet Explorer and Firefox plugin) and most importantly, very easy to use. Web of Trust (WOT) is a community driven service where users (like you and me) are the binding force behind each of the web site ratings.  At the time of this writing, WOT had collected ratings for over 21 million web sites.

Check out the WOT demo video below and find out how WOT will help you stay safe when surfing the Internet.

I hope that I have you convinced with installing this added layer of protection.  It only makes sense that you do…


WOT - Get It Here

 

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