Microsoft Attempt to Stop Using Windows XP

The power of influence on friends and family. That’s Microsoft latest plea to get everyone off Windows XP which ends support on April 8. Running Windows XP past the deadline mean potential security issues since Microsoft will no longer apply fixes or patches to security vulnerabilities. Experts estimate 30% of the web are still using Windows XP. Running Windows past April 8 is akin to running wild in a lawless country. Your on your own. But, didn’t you feel you were on your own the whole time anyways. The article from Ars Technica.

Unveiling the Mask aka Careto

PC World has a very interesting article entitled, “Unveiling ‘The Mask': Sophisticated malware ran rampant for 7 years.” It’s also known as Careto, a sophisticated malware that ran rampant and undetected for 7 years. It has infected hundreds of government and private organizations in more than 30 countries. Kapersky Lab, an antivirus firm believes the virus could be state sponsored. Excerpt of the article from PC World:

“When active in a victim system, The Mask can intercept network traffic, keystrokes, Skype conversations, PGP keys, analyze WiFi traffic, fetch all information from Nokia devices, screen captures and monitor all file operations,” the Kaspersky researchers said in the research paper. “The malware collects a large list of documents from the infected system, including encryption keys, VPN configurations, SSH keys and RDP [remote desktop protocol] files. There are also several extensions being monitored that we have not been able to identify and could be related to custom military/government-level encryption tools.”

Read the rest of the PC World article.

Don’t Throw Away Those 3D Glasses

3D movies are typically a bit more expensive than your normal run-of-the-mill movie. Part of the reason why it’s expensive, is because of the high cost of production. Special 3D cameras are needed. There is a special editing process, as well as the cost of giving away those 3D glasses at the movie theaters. They all contribute to the high cost of production. But, don’t throw those glasses away. Take them home instead. Why save them? Well for one, you can use them with Google Maps. Yes, Google Maps has a 3D feature. Just go to the Google Maps ‘Street Level’ and switch to 3D. Don’t get rid of the 3D glasses just yet, even if it will make you dorky. Keep them around. So, the next time you are checking someone else’s address, just put on the 3D glasses and enjoy the view.

Blog Revival

Hello! I just came up with a new theme. Nothing fancy. No images. No galleries. Just plain old text. It looks like a blog design circa 2005. One thing for sure though, it’s fast since there’s not much overhead. This theme is based on the _s framework, a good starter theme kit developed by the WordPress development team themselves. How about that! If you’re interested in learning how the WordPress theme is constructed, download the underscore theme and study its code. You’ll be surprised what you’ll see. You’ll learn quite a bit by analyzing how this theme is constructed. Anyways, I think it’s time to revive this old crusty blog. It’s time to breathe some new life into it. You are probably asking, “where have you been?” Well, I’ve been concentrating on all my other blogs for the last several months. I just didn’t have the cycles to maintain this blog among all the other web projects. So maybe, a new theme will jumpstart the old blog. We shall see, indeed!

Google Adds Pandora To Chromecast

Google announced today that it’s adding Pandora to its short list of apps running on Chromecast. The list so far include Google Play Movies and TV, Google Play Music, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and now Pandora.

Google can generate so much more interest from this popular streaming player if they release a few more apps like Spotify, IHeartRadio, access to major networks, cable networks like HBO, etc, and access to premium content in major league sports.

Most of all, Google should release an app for playing local media files soon. There’s a work around for playing local files now by simply dragging them into the Chrome browser, but the quality of the stream and speed are not quite there.

I’m not sure why Google is dragging their feet. Google is letting Roku, Apple TV and others react to the initial shock and novelty of the unique features of Chromecast when it was first introduced.

Eventually, competitors will come out with similar features, but the $35 price point is a major selling point for Chromecast in this tight competitive market.

DBAN

DBAN stands for Derek’s Boot and Nuke. DBAN is an erasure software that deletes content of hard drives it can detect. The software prevents identity theft before recycling or selling your hard drive. To get started, download DBAN and create a bootable CD or DVD disk. Boot the DBAN CD or DVD and follow the menu. DBAN will provide an audit-ready erasure report at the end.

LogMeIn vs TeamViewer

LogMeIn and TeamViewer allow for remote desktop control of computers. Although both applications offer similar functions, choosing one over the other, for most part, is a matter of preference. I happen to like TeamViewer, but don’t have any qualms using LogMein. Both require signup on their website for easier control of remote computers. LogMeIn requires the desktop’s username and password for remote access, while TeamViewer doesn’t. It has it’s own temporary or permanent passwords for remote authentication. Both applications use strong encryption. LogMeIn uses 256 bit SSL encryption, while TeamViewer uses 1024-bit RSA and 256-bit AES sessions.

The big difference between the two approaches is how LogMeIn uses the browser for remote access, while TeamViewer uses it’s own application. LogMeIn tends to be a bit snappier based on my initial tests. TeamViewer automatically disables the remote desktop background to speed up remote access. TeamViewer also gives you the option to optimize your connection, choosing between quality and speed. Although, I prefer to use TeamViewer, I highly recommend that you test both applications. Give it a run. Eventually you will come to a conclusion. Choose one that suits your needs and preference.

OS X Mavericks Upgrade

I’m currently upgrading Apple OS X Mavericks as we speak. It’s a huge file, 5.29 GB to be exact. Sit back and relax, because it will take sometime to download the new OS depending on the speed of your internet connection. After the download, launch the installation. It requires a reboot. After boot, expect about 45 mins for the installation to complete.