Web of Trust (WOT) – New Version Available

March 31, 2009

I was just telling someone today, that one of the best protections out there for internet users is the “Web of Trust” (WOT). If you use Firefox or Internet Explorer as your internet browser, you definitely need to install the Web of Trust (WOT) addon. The installation is very easy and it is FREE.  I have written about this application in the past and will continue to be an advocate of this product. Web of Trust (WOT) warns you before you interact with a risky website. It helps you stop the bad guy at the front door; not after the bad guy is already in your PC and your security software is going bonkers.

Web of Trust (WOT)

Today I learned that a new version has been released:

“Web of Trust, the popular safe-surfing tool for browsers, has introduced a new version with protection options to suit every web-surfing habit. Adults and experienced users who prefer “Light” protection receive only a simple alert notifying them of sites with a poor reputation, whereas selecting “Maximum Safety” will prevent a risky page from loading. Parents with young children can choose the “Parental Control” mode which blocks inappropriate sites like pornography.” – Source: Web of Trust

The new version offers you, the user, control over the levels of protection you desire:

Web of Trust

Folks, if you do not have this addon installed, then you are playing Russian routlette with your mouse. The more people we can get onboard with this type of protection, the safer the internet will become. Stop the bad guys before they get in the front door.

Please visit the “Web of Trust” web site [ CLICK HERE ] to learn more and to install this FREE browser addon that you will not regret.

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April Fool’s Day – Conficker hot topic…

March 30, 2009

While enjoying lunch today with my parents my Mother asked me if I knew about the Conficker worm.  I nearly fell off my chair and was thinking; “Mom is becoming a techie?”.

Conficker

Sometime back I did (3)-three posts on the Conficker worm:

Worm Bounty Set By Microsoft ($250,000)

Downadup (aka: Conficker, Kido) is using AutoRun
to spread “like a can of worms”…

Is your system infected by the Downadup Worm, Conficker or Kido?

I found that Mom had been following the news on the Conficker worm on one of the national TV networks. The news media is taking Conficker and really running with it. Remember hot news keeps an audience. Create a panic and they will come… Too bad they do not carry special “daily” segments on the other security threats on the internet where people are having their money and privacy taken away.

To keep you up to date, the Conficker worm virus, which has literally baffled the IT experts, has infected over 10 million PC’s worldwide since November 2008  The conficker worm takes advantage of a vulnerability in Windows that Microsoft patched back in October 2008. If your PC is patched, then do not worry.

The April 1st threat (or any date for that matter) is speculation that the network of computers, already infected by the Conficker program, will start scanning thousands of websites for a new set of malicious instructions. In essence, these computers would become part of a network of robots (called a botnet) that would execute the instructions, once received. For example, if instruction were received by 10 million computers to attack (flood with data), specific websites, it could bring the sites down and even affect the integrity of the internet.

As always, keep the software on your computer up to date; especially your Window’s updates and your system security software.

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A web (cloud) based application to make Powerpoint presentations …

March 29, 2009

If you are a Microsoft Powerpoint user, then you are going to like this write-up on the cloud based application called “280 Slides”.

280 Slides

“280 Slides” is an online, web (cloud) based, slideshow presentation editor (builder) that you use right in your browser. There is no software to download and absolutely nothing to pay for (totally free).  The application is currently in beta, like many other cloud apps, but is another good example of “software as a service” (SAS) being driven across the internet. Again, the application is in beta, but I found it to work quite smoothly for a beta product. Applications such as this, will only get better and change the way we use software, as we know it.

280 Slides

Immediately catching my attention with this application is that you can import existing Powerpoint presentations into the “280 Slideshow editor” and download the presentations you create into the Powerpoint file format.

Additional features:

  • Import Existing Slideshow Formats
  • Access your slideshow from anywhere that there is an internet connection.
  • Add photos and movies (built in online media search)
  • Professional Quality Themes
  • Autosave and Recovery
  • Download to Powerpoint
  • Publish and Share on the Internet

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Tech Thoughts – Your Internet Source for Daily Security Alerts …

March 28, 2009

If you are someone who likes to remain current of prevailing security threats on the internet, then you need to visit and bookmark “Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts”. Bill recently started posting “Tech Thoughts – Daily Security Alerts” which is an invaluable resource to anyone that is a regular visitor to the internet.

www.billmullins.wordpress.com

Tech Thoughts - Click here to vist

If you are already a regular visitor to his blog, you will already know that he is an expert at sniffing out trouble and ultimately posting solutions to problems that he knows that users need to know. His writings are composed in such a manner that they are easily understood; even by people who are new to computers. His ability to blast out articles of importance, that are globally recognized and read, is a big task that is not supplemented by any monetary means.

Bill’s blog recently surpassed one million visitors to his blog, which is a telltale sign of just how important the information is that he posts; and a telltale sign of just how many people he has influenced.

Thank you Bill Mullin’s
for making the internet a safer place for us all.


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ScreenToaster released today three key functionalities…

March 27, 2009

If you are a regular follower of “What’s On My PC…”, you will remember the writeup on:

ScreenToaster – An “Awesome and Free” web based screen recorder!

ScreenToaster

Today I received formal notice from ScreenToaster.com, that they officially released today three key functionalities that strengthens its position as the easiest and fastest tool to record, publish and spread tutorials, demos, training, lectures and more.

  1. Upload your videos to YouTube in HD – Benefit from YouTube’s audience and viral potential; Keep ScreenToaster’s High Quality on your favourite video platform; YouTube videos now include soundtrack
  2. Download in .mov for video editing – Benefit from third party video editing tools to rework your videos Audio now supported for downloaded files
  3. Beta Test their recorder API – Let your users publish videos directly on your blog, forum, website or extranet. Ideal for collaborative projects, professional tutorials, users’ support and feedback management, bug tracking and reporting.

    At every step of the process, ScreenToaster reduces the time it takes to create and distribute your videos online. Imagine how fast it is to capture your screen activity directly from your browser, upload it in seconds online to YouTube.com and ScreenToaster.com, stream it the minute after, and then use Twitter and other social networks to pass the word.

To register and try ScreenToaster out, insert your personal data at www.screentoaster.com/register

What changed since February:

  • New categories and subcategories
  • Four levels of privacy
  • Direct upload to Google Video for featured videos
  • Download in .swf file formats
  • Record from external VNC servers
  • Accelerated or slow-motion playback / Pauses during recording
  • Spread on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, FriendFeed, Digg
  • Bookmark it on Delicious, Stumble Upon, Yahoo Buzz and Google Bookmark
  • Send your video by mail
  • Suggested videos on the video pages
  • Branded profiles
  • Search filters: “most commented”, by “language”…
  • Custom RSS feeds

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How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…

March 26, 2009

I love my gadgets, and when opportunity presents itself to try something different, I cannot resist.

The object of the this story is to demonstrate how I maximized the usage  of a Blackberry Smartphone using one of the cheapest mobile phone plans out there. For the sake of this article, the model phone that I used for this project was the Blackberry Curve 8320 Smartphone.

If you do not know what a Blackberry is, I encourage to visit the Blackberry website [ CLICK HERE ] .

Blackberry Smartphone

When it comes to mobile (cell) phones I cannot see myself conversing for a 1000 minutes (16.66 hours) a month. That is two workdays to me or time that I can allocate to other things where I can see results. Please do not get me wrong, a mobile phone is very much needed in circumstances where your business or livelihood is dependent on quick communications. The plan which I currently use is a “pay as you go” plan (with T-Mobile). I have learned to discipline myself with the usage; PLUS I do not give my number out or use it for lengthy conversation.

I have always been fascinated with PDA’s, have owned quite a few, and was currently looking for something that would provide PDA capabilities, as well as, mobile phone capabilities. I did not want to pay a lot or get trapped into a lengthy service contract with a mobile phone provider just to own a computer in my pocket.

During a recent visit to the local mall I entered into my usual question and answer session with the sales rep at one of the T-Mobile kiosks.  I have done this in the past at other locations in an effort to educate myself about mobile phones. One of my primary questions has been,  “What phones will my T-Mobile “pay-as-you-go” SIM card work in?”. You would be surprised at the answers I have received. I have always been told I would have to purchase another phone plan, if I wanted a Blackberry, etc… Ultimately I always leave very confused about mobile phones. In this case, the sales rep proceeded to inform me that my SIM card in my cheapie phone would function in any of the phones they had. The sales rep proceeded to show me several phones including the Blackberry (all with heavy price tags if I were to buy the phone straight out).

As my “gadget luck” would have it, I was preparing to leave and the sales rep proceeds to tell me that he had an used Blackberry Curve 8320 for sale, minus the software for the phone.  Long story short, I get what I think is a good deal on this phone…  I buy the phone and with my cheap “pay as you go” plan, I challenge myself (as a project) to find workarounds to getting data to and from the Blackberry without the need to purchase a high priced data plan.

Reflected below is highlights of how my project turned out…  Some of the information alone may be helpful to other Blackberry owners and in some cases, depending on the phone (and provider), may not work at all. Some of the information reflected may be common information to mobile phone power users and may make me appear as if I don’t have a clue about mobile phones…  Well I don’t, but I am learning!  All I can tell you is, that I took a cheap phone plan (pay-as-you-go) and an expensive smartphone and customized it for my personal needs.

SIM Card – SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) is the card located in your phone that is a module that identifies to the mobile phone provider, who you are. It can also serve as storage media for your contacts, etc… The module can usually be removed and swapped to other phones (with the same provider).  In my case the SIM card worked with no problems and all my contacts were transferred to the Blackberry.  I now have voice communications with the Blackberry using my “pay as you go” plan.

Coverage – My phone coverage improved noticeably.  Locations where I could not get service, I now have service.  Proves to me that some mobile phones are better in transmission and reception than others.

Blackberry Desktop Manager Software – Since there was no software with the smartphone to manage the phone from my computer, I had to go find the software on the internet. I easily located and downloaded the software from “Blackberry” and installed it on my PC . The Desktop Manager Software is an integral piece that you need to keep your phone software up to date; AND to provide file management, software management, and backup capabilities. The installation was also bundled with a Roxio package to manage and convert audio, video and photo files.  After learning the Desktop Manager Software, I knew at that point this was my gateway for installing third party software onto Blackberry.

Calendar, Contact, and Task Management – In order to take full advantage of the calendar, contact and task management portion of the phone, I needed some type of syncing capabilities. The Desktop Manager Software provides syncing capability to Microsoft Outlook and to Yahoo.  I exclusively configured my Yahoo internet mail account to manage my contacts, calendar, notes and tasks on my Blackberry. When I connect my Blackberry to my computer, run the Desktop Manager Software, it automatically syncs with my Yahoo account on the internet. This also gives me the ability to pull up my information from any PC connected to the internet.

Wi-Fi – The Blackberry Curve 8320 has wi-fi (wireless) capability.  I configured the Blackberry to connect to the wireless router in my home, which provided me with (at first) limited access to the internet.  You will see below the workaround I utilized to gain full access.

Internet Browser – The browser on this particular phone was very, very limited (proprietary to T-Mobile) and did not provide complete internet access via my wireless access point. I initially did not think this was possible without a data plan, but after some careful thinking, I knew there had to be some way that I could bridge that gap. I downloaded and installed Opera-Mini which is browser software designed for mobile phones. I now have full access to the internet via my wireless router or at any wi-fi access point that will let me in.  (Note: Opera-Mini is an awesome browser for this purpose).

MicroSD Card (with PC Adapter) – RadioShack had an 8 gig MicroSD memory card on sale ($20), which I installed into the Blackberry…  I now have storage capability; plus when  connecting the Blackberry to my computer it is recognized as a mass storage device. I can now transport my files, portable apps, etc… This particular phone model has a camera (w/photo viewer), video camera (with video player) and voice recorder (w/audio player) built in.  With the added storage I successfully converted a full length movie to play on the Blackberry; added MP3 music files, photos, documents, etc…

Software – Now that I have learned to install software onto the Blackberry, I am currently exploring the internet for “freeware” software for the Blackberry.  Several sources that I have located are:

Blackberry Freeware

Blackberryfreaks.com

Blackberry Freeware Lovers

In closing, I have been quite pleased with the outcome of this project and the Blackberry Curve Smartphone.  I welcome any comments or suggestions.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#3)

March 25, 2009

Geek Squeak

New Gmail Feature – 5 Seconds Undo Send Button – All Thats New

Who Knows What About You Online – AskBillFirst

Spyware Terminator 2.5 – Crazy World of G

Test your flash drive with Check Flash – Evilfantasy’s Blog

GreatNews – the lightning fast RSS reader and organizer – Great Free Software Utilities

How to remove SmartEnhancer – 411-Spyware

How Do I Setup a One-Way File Sync Backup? – LifeHacker

WinPatrol 2009 – Free, PLUS and Portable Versions – Free PC Security

WiMax Bandwidth Speed Tests vs. 3G – Is You Geeked Up

How Do I Setup a One-Way File Sync Backup? – LifeHacker

Rocket On: Make Every Site Your Virtual Chat Room – Piyadas World

Turn your handwriting into font at Yourfonts.com – Rarst.net

Thanks a Million – Tech Thoughts Hits One Million Page Views – Tech Thoughts

An update is causing BSOD, what do I do? – Tech-for Everyone

Geek Squeaks are random “hot” topic links (called “squeaks”) from various credible sources (called “geeks”) and may appear on the blog at any time.  Many of the topics are creations from fellow bloggers or software authors who have actively participated (e.g. link exchanges, comments, etc…) with “What’s On My PC…”.  If you are interested in a link exchange please leave a comment below.

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