Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekly News (2011-02-05)

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Just as I predicted, the people of the world found ways to communicate. In last week's issue I included an article about what to do when the Internet is blocked where you are. We then found that communications with Egypt were not completely blocked. The Huffington Post has a good article on "How To Help Egypt Get Online" which explains what people can do to stay informed. Google also created a link for Egypt to share events. You can get continuous updates at that page, mostly coming from Twitter accounts broadcasting events as they happen. However, by the end of the week, most Internet traffic to Egypt had been restored. Unfortunately, peace has not returned to that country. I hope and pray violence will cease and progress can be made to ensure the safety, well-being, and freedom of the people of Egypt and everywhere else in the world. ~Victor


TIPS ON CONSOLE GAME AND COMPUTER USE: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is releasing information on how to keep gaming devices from overheating.


WHAT IS PHISHING?: Phishing (pronounced "fishing") is a type of online identity theft. It uses email and fraudulent websites that are designed to steal your personal data or information such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE PHISHING EMAIL MESSAGES OR LINKS: Phishing email messages are designed to steal your identity. They ask for personal data, or direct you to websites or phone numbers to call where they ask you to provide personal data. A few clues can help you spot fraudulent email messages or links within them.
HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK OF ONLINE FRAUD: Online fraud can be annoying and costly and might pose serious risks to your computer. To help reduce online fraud, learn to recognize online scams and take steps to avoid them.
HOW TO TELL WHETHER A WEBSITE IS SAFE: A free browser plug-in will help you avoid sites that might threaten your PC.
5 NEW ONLINE SECURITY THREATS TO AVOID: Hackers just keep devising new ways to target Facebook and users. Read up on these five threats before you're "spear phished"--or worse.
SEVEN HINTS TO STAY SAFE ONLINE: The Web and social networking are part of mainstream culture and daily life, so it is important to learn to use them safely and securely.
NEXT GENERATION BANKING MALWARE EMERGES AFTER ZEUS: The rumored combination of two pieces of advanced online banking malware appears to be fully underway after several months of speculation.
NEW CRITICAL VULNERABILITY IN VLC MEDIA PLAYER: According to the VideoLAN project, playing specially crafted MKV films runs a risk of arbitrary code execution. The vulnerability should be fixed in the forthcoming VLC 1.1.7 update...
GOOGLE RELEASES DATA PROTECTION EXTENSION: Google has released the 'Keep My Opt-Outs' extension for Chrome, which allows internet users to permanently stop advertisers from tracking them...
PAINLESS PASSWORD MANAGEMENT: THE BEST FREE AND PAID TOOLS: IT World: "Once upon a time, you might have thought you could get away with a single user ID and password for all your favorite Web sites. Then, the popular gossip Web site Gawker was hacked, and more than a million user IDs and passwords were revealed."


THINK OFF SEASON: Summer is high season at Disneyland, but you just might have a swanky ski resort or a Caribbean beach all to yourself. Off-season travel can save you 50% or more on accommodations.
FILEJUMBO OFFERS HUGE UPLOADS FOR FREE, NO QUESTIONS ASKED: Who said the promise of free cloud storage was dead? A new service from Baltsoft offers free-of-charge 1GB file uploads and downloads.


GOOGLE CHROME: Using Google's minimalist Web browser is a unique experience.


HOW TO CANCEL STALLED PRINT JOBS: What should you do when documents won't print and Windows refuses to let them out of the queue?
PATCH TUESDAY IS COMING: Microsoft will release 11 patches affecting Windows and one update for Office.
CHEATING ACCUSATIONS HIGHLIGHT MICROSOFT’S DECLINE: Bing’s borrowed search results make it clear that Redmond is struggling to keep up.
MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES H.264 SUPPORT FOR GOOGLE'S CHROME: In an effort to resolve "uncertainty around video on the web" using HTML5, Microsoft has announced a new plugin for Google's Chrome browser that adds back support for H.264 video playback, blunting Google's attempt to gain traction for WebM.
RIP A DVD WITH HANDBRAKE: Looking to liberate the movies in your DVD collection from the confines of their plastic-and-metal prison so you can enjoy them on your iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Apple TV? Well look no further--all you need is some free software and to follow a few steps.


APPLE HIT WITH ANOTHER SUIT ALLEGING PRIVACY VIOLATIONS: Apple has been hit with another lawsuit accusing it of privacy violations for the way it shares information collected from iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users with...
RIP A DVD WITH HANDBRAKE: Looking to liberate the movies in your DVD collection from the confines of their plastic-and-metal prison so you can enjoy them on your iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Apple TV? Well look no further--all you need is some free software and to follow a few steps.
FIVE FREE VIDEOCONFERENCING SOLUTIONS FOR MAC USERS: The recent news that Skype has started charging a fee for group videoconferencing may not have come as a surprise to anyone--after all, the company had clearly...
APPLE'S IPAD A DRIVING FORCE BEHIND NEW NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTIONS: John Ridding, chief executive of the Financial Times, named the iPad among mobile devices driving 20 percent of the paper's new online subscriptions, noting nearly a half million downloads of his newspaper's iPad app.


LINUX GAMING: NATIVE VS. WINE VS. WINDOWS 7 PERFORMANCE: "Linux gaming has a bright future ahead with the forthcoming Unigine games, successful indie campaigns, and many other Linux-native game titles being just out on the horizon."
A HISTORY OF VIRUSES ON LINUX: "We recently gave you a brief history of viruses on the Mac and as requested by a user we wanted to give you a history of viruses on Linux. Given the tight security integrated into Linux, it is difficult to take advantage of a vulnerability on the computer, but some programmers have found ways around the security measures"
CREATE PROFESSIONAL VIDEOS ON LINUX WITH OPENSHOT: Open source has come a long, long way and video editing has not been left behind. You'll find a number of video editing tools on Linux, but none of them are both as user-friendly and create as high-quality video as OpenShot Video Editor.
TUTORIAL: 5 VPN CLIENTS FOR LINUX: Administering heterogenous networks means making Mac and Windows play nice with Linux, and each other, even when they don't want to. Here are five Linux VPN clients for Cisco, Juniper, and other VPN servers.
FIVE BEST ALTERNATIVE WINDOW MANAGERS FOR LINUX: GNOME and KDE are the most popular desktop environments for Linux by a mile, but they're not the only games in town. If you're ready to shake things up on the desktop, we've got five of the best alternatives for you to choose from.
VIRTUALBOX 4: FIRST IMPRESSIONS: A look at the good, the bad, and the not-so-ugly of Oracle's latest incarnation of VirtualBox.
FREESPEAK, AN HANDY TRANSLATOR: "FreeSpeak is a free (as in freedom, developed and released under the terms of GPL) front end to online translator engines (such as Google, Yahoo, etc.). It is written in Python, it uses the GTK toolkit and some GNOME infrastructure features."
HANDS ON DEMO: IPAD LINUX TERMINAL: "After a quick session of Angry Birds, Senior Systems Editor, Ken Hess, gives us a tour of how you can turn your iPad into a handy Linux terminal."(video)
COLLECT USER INPUT IN A BASH SHELL SCRIPT: "The read command is designed to read and then use in the script input from the user. The input that is provided by the user is stored as a variable."
6 OF THE BEST FREE LINUX POINT-OF-SALE SOFTWARE: "To provide an insight into the open source software that is available, we have compiled a list of 6 of our favorite Point-of-Sale software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who needs to track sales and inventory as they occur."
12 OPEN SOURCE BOOKS YOU SHOULD READ: "Open source is very dedicated to sharing information, comparing and learning, then in this article i will recommend some readings of open books that you can download, read and if you want print freely."
SCRIPTING THE LINUX DESKTOP, PART 1: BASICS: "This series of articles explores how to use Python to create scripts for the GNOME desktop, the screenlets framework, and Nautilus to deliver a highly productive environment. Scripts on the desktop enable drag-and-drop functionality and quick access to the information and services you commonly use."
IPAD LOSES SIGNIFICANT SHARE TO ANDROID TABLETS: "Apple's iPad still reigns supreme among tablets, but its grip on the market is starting to loosen."
THREE EXCELLENT LINUX ROUTER DISTROS + 1 BSD: "Linux is an endlessly adaptable networking and security powerhouse, from tiny to enterprise. Here is a sampling of three specialty Linux router distros and one based on FreeBSD."
5 BEST VIDEO GAME CONSOLE EMULATORS FOR LINUX: "I have here a list of some of the best video game console emulators for Linux that you can download and use for free:"
POPULAR FREE *BSDS IN FULL DEVELOPMENT: Three well-known BSD clones are in their latest developmental cycles and have recently released test versions. FreeBSD is closing in on version 7.4 with a RC2, GhostBSD just released their 2.0 Beta 2, and PC-BSD 8.2 has seen its second release candidate as well.
RIP A DVD WITH HANDBRAKE: Looking to liberate the movies in your DVD collection from the confines of their plastic-and-metal prison so you can enjoy them on your iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Apple TV? Well look no further--all you need is some free software and to follow a few steps.


JUST 20 MINUTES: When time is short, quick workouts will keep you fit.


IPAD: A new handheld computing device launched by Apple Inc. in January 2010. The iPad is designed for consumers who want a mobile device that is bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a laptop for entertainment multimedia. The iPad device is roughly the size of a sheet of paper and weighs 1.5 pounds. The screen is a 9.7-inch LED backlit glossy multi-touch screen, capable of displaying up to 1024x768 pixel resolution. Other features include 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, Enhanced Data Rate (EDR), and options for 3G cellular connectivity. At launch, the price for an iPad ranged from $499 (16-GB) to $699 (64-GB). The device runs a version of Apple's iPhone operating system.


CREATING DIAGRAMS IN OPENOFFICE.ORG DRAW AND IMPRESS: "Yet despite these handicaps,'s diagram tools work well enough that many users should find no need for more sophisticated tools such as Dia."
MICROSOFT OFFICE ALTERNATIVES: PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE SHOWDOWN: There's no need to pay a fortune for Microsoft Office.
REVIEW: LIBREOFFICE BEATS OPENOFFICE.ORG BY A WHISKER: The new LibreOffice open-source office suite & proves that forking isn’t always the kiss of death,& says this eWEEK review. New features in the Linux-ready release -- including wider document format support, SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) import into Draw and Writer, enhanced presentation support, and an improved & save as&...
THE NEW FEATURES IN LIBREOFFICE 3.3: "Despite earlier reports that very few if any new features would likely be seen in The Document Foundation's first LibreOffice release, the influx of new developers allowed much more work to be done."


HOW CAN I USE AFFIRMATIONS TO ATTRACT MONEY AND MATERIAL POSSESSIONS?: So you desire to gain material things in life? Affirmations are usually effective in this respect - maybe even more so than with other desires because material desires often come with stronger emotional attachments.


A WHITER SHADE OF PALE: With its haunting tone and Johann Sebastian Bach flavouring (both provided by Hammond organist Matthew Fisher), vocals by Gary Brooker, and unusual lyrics by Keith Reid, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" reached #1 in several countries when released in 1967. Longer, live version | Shorter, 1967 live version


HOW TO DECIPHER PC BEEP CODES: Is your PC emitting a series of beeps at startup? Here's how to figure out what they mean--and what you should do in response.
WHAT IS A DCIM FOLDER?: Ever wondered why cameras always seem to have a folder called DCIM, and what it stands for?
LAWSUIT CLAIMS AT&T CHEATS IPHONE, IPAD OWNERS ON DATA: AT&T has 'systematically' overcharged iPhone and iPad owners with capped data plans by inflating the amount of data they download and adding [More …]
FORD AND GM DEVELOP HANDS-FREE OFFICE APPS FOR CARS: The day is coming when you'll be able to work while you drive, yet without endangering yourself or other drivers.
MANAGE ALL YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS UNDER ONE ROOF: Free service Seesmic Web makes it a snap to access your Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts on a single page, with no annoying software to install.
5 WAYS TO GET LIVE INFO ABOUT EGYPT PROTESTS ONLINE: News and images via social media tools are still seeping out of the country despite a blackout of Internet access.
THE OPTICAL DRIVE: APPENDIX OF THE MODERN PC: Once a core component of every laptop and desktop PC, the silver spinning disc is rapidly going the way of the floppy.
THE INTERNET KILL SWITCH THAT ISN'T: A cybersecurity proposal wouldn't allow the U.S. president to shut down the Internet, as has happened in Egypt.
INTERNET SHUTDOWN: CAN IT HAPPEN IN THE U.S.?: We like to think the United States is immune from government interference with the Internet -- but is it?
THROWING AWAY YOUR OLD COMPUTER JUST GOT HARDER IN EUROPE: New rules on disposing of your old laptop; printer or mobile phone look set to come into force in the European Union.
ICANN ASSIGNS ITS LAST IPV4 ADDRESSES: The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has handed out its last IPv4 addresses, leaving the remaining blocks to regional registries.
PC MAKERS SCRAMBLE IN WAKE OF INTEL CHIP FLAW REVELATION: Some PC makers are halting sales of PCs with Sandy Bridge processors as they try to work out issues related to Intel's faulty chipset, companies said on...
TOP 10 FREE OPEN SOURCE TOOLS FOR NETWORK ADMINS: From troubleshooting DNS queries and misbehaving network applications to keeping your configurations and passwords organized, these free open source tools have...
AMD'S FUSION PACKS MORE GRAPHICS PUNCH IN NETBOOKS: AMD says its Fusion architecture alone can do a lot of heavy-lifting that only expensive CPUs and standalone video cards could do before.
GOOGLE CATCHES BING COPYING SEARCH RESULTS: An interesting 'sting' operation carried out by Google's search engine team appears to show that Microsoft's Bing is copying some of Google's search results.

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