Is It A Real Virus Or A False-Positive?

The recent headlines by a security guru claiming that Samsung computers came with a built-in key-logger, turned out to be a false-positive by the security software he was using. So what is a false-positive and how can you avoid becoming a victim?

A false-positive usually occurs when a known good file on a computer system is tagged by a security software as being a bug. The user normally will be alerted by their security software that the system is infected and usually will identify which files[s] are contain the virus. In reality the system is not infected and the security software is sending a false report. The opposite of a false-positive is a false-negative in which the security software actually misses a virus and reports that the system is clean. Neither of the situations are desirable and can cause consumers considerable anguish.

One would think that buying the most expensive security software would be the best solution. The unfortunate thing is that no commercial nor free security software is totally immune from either a false-positive nor a false-negative. Almost every software program designed to intercept any type of critter on a computer system has had both false-positives and false-negative incidence sometime during their existence. So what are we consumers supposed to do to prevent either situation from occurring?

Your first thought is why don’t I just run two or more security softwares on my system. This way one of the programs is sure to find the bug. Though this type of thinking appears sound, the problem is that running more than one software at a time to root out bugs can cause problems. Anti-virus and security suites are designed to run in the background during idle times to keep track of unwanted changes on the computer. Two similar type softwares running at the same time can interfere with the performance of both software products and can actually can, in some cases, slow your system to a crawl.

What I do is fairly simple. I have been using free anti-virus programs for six years and have never had a problem. I used AVG for many years without an issue nor an infection, but about six months ago when the company introduced AVG 2011, the program caused issues on my personal computer system. I made a change over to the free edition of Avast which has worked flawlessly for me. It works quietly in the back ground and doesn’t appear to have caused any undesirable performance issues to my computer system. However, I do not rely on just one software program to make sure my system remains infection free.

Every few weeks or so I run Malwarebytes and scan my system for infections. About once a month or so I run an online scanner such as Kaspersky, Bit-defender, Trend Micro or other online scanner. This formula has worked well for me over the years and none of my personal nor work computers have ever been infected nor have I received a false-positive report.

If you do receive a virus alert and if your are unsure it is legitimate or not, copy and past the alert into your browser and do a search. You may find that your are not the only victim of having received a false report of a bug.

Comments welcome.

 

How to Convert Video

An email was sent in posing the simple question, “How do you convert video from one type to another?” While video formatting includes numerous variables, the most common format change is the file container and codec.

One of the trickiest things to understand about digital video is how encoding and formatting actually works. While one format may play very well on your desktop computer; your iPod, mobile phone, and media center may not translate the file the same way. It’s for this reason there are literally hundreds of video convertors on the market. Some of them are targeted at home users for personal use, while others can cost hundreds of dollars to provide professional quality conversion.

For most home users, converting video from one codec or file type to another can be an easy process. You just need to find the right program to fit your needs. These programs all basically work the same. You determine a source file, select the file type to convert it to, and go.

It’s also important to note here than not all encoders / converters are created equal. Finding a really good media encoder that works for you can be an expensive endeavor. It’s also important to remember that every time you convert a video or otherwise reencode it, you will experience quality loss. Video compression is a tricky process that degrades a video’s quality by its very nature. Imagine you’re taking a large photo, scaling it down a tiny bit, saving it, and blowing it back up every time you encode.

Below are a few solutions for Windows and Mac users:

Windows:

Mac:

All prices listed below are based on their current price on the Mac App Store.

Please keep in mind, this is only a small portion of the countless video conversion and encoding programs on the market.

Did The ‘Price Is Right’ Get A New Host? Nope, It Is The New Slimmer Drew Carey

Having been away this past week I haven’t watched much TV, which I really didn’t miss that much. Spending time with family and the grand kids was a heck of a lot more enjoyable. So this morning while channel surfing, I stopped by CBS and viewed the Price Is Right TV game show. I did a double take because the host seemed different. After taking a closer look it was a slimmer Drew Carey.

I took to the Internet and found an article at The Vancouver Sun which stated:

Drew Carey, comedian and host of the enduring game show The Price is Right, debuted his new look on the first show of the season Monday.

Carey lost an estimated 70 to 80 pounds, reportedly by adhering to a strict no-carbs diet and a cardio-packed workout regime.

The 52-year-old told People magazine that he’s managed to control his Type 2 diabetes with the weight loss, and that he just “got sick of [being fat].”

His waist size dropped from a size 44 to a size 33-34, but Carey hopes to drop an additional 10 pounds.

Good for him.  Not only does he look better but he has controlled his diabetes as well. Drew Carey can serve as a great example to anyone who has given up trying to lose weight. If Drew can do it so can you.

Comments welcome.

Source – The Vancouver Sun

Is ‘The Price Is Right’ Boring With Host Drew Carey?

Back in 2007 Drew Carey took over the reins from Bob Barker for the host of  ‘The Price Is Right’ television game show. Bob Barker had previously hosted the program for 35 years before retiring.  But does Bob Barker like the new host? In an on the street interview Bob Barker stated:

“He does the show differently than I did,” Barker told TMZ, “I tried to make the show really exciting, and he doesn’t do that. He just plays the games.”

Though I am not an avid viewer of the game show, the times I have watched the show, I personally thought that Drew Carey was doing a good job. Yes, he has a different style compared to Bob Barker, but I personally do not think that it really matters. The show is basically the same since it is the contestants and their antics that make the show worth watching and not the host.

Just my two cents.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Us

PS Remember: get your pets spayed or neutered. LOL

Survivor – Once Again Good Trumps Evil – Russell Hantz Still Doesn’t Get It

I thought I would wait a few days after the TV program Survivor ended, before sharing my take at the final results. For those who are not familiar with the program it is actually fairly simple to play. First the players, which usually number 20 males and females, are stranded on a deserted island, outback country, swamp or some other undesirable location and divided into two teams called tribes. The two tribes battle against each other in displays of physical or mental strengths in order to receive an award such as food or survival gear. In addition there is battle for immunity in which the winning tribe does not have to vote one person off. The losing tribe is required to eliminate one player by secret ballot.  As the player are whittled down, the first 8 players such fade away into the sunset, never to be seen again until the show ends and there is a reunion of all players. The remaining players continue their battles with each of the players who have not been voted off of the game, tho than became members of the jury [9 in all].  When the game is down to 10 players the teams are merged together.  Immunity becomes more important as the players compete against each other, with the final 3 who are than presented to the jury. The jury votes for the player they believe played the best game and winner receives $1,000,000.

A recreation of the logo for the first America...
Image via Wikipedia

The logo above expresses the three attributes of the game, Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.  But I think there should be a 4th, Outwin. What good does it do that after suffering for 39 days in filth and squalor, you don’t win the grand prize.

What made this past season interesting was one player, who professed that he was in control of the entire game. The player is named Russell Hantz and he really believed that by screwing as many players as he could, that at the end the players would vote him the games winner. Though Russell did play a fine game and did manipulate quite a few players  he failed to take into account the hurt feelings he generated from the other players.

So when the final vote was counted, Russell received no votes, nada, nothing. What was almost laughable was the fact that he was still insisting that he played the game better than anyone else. Well Russell, if you worked at Goldman-Sachs, you most likely would of been voted the best player for having screwed more people than anyone else, including taxpayers.

But in the real world most people frown on people who behave like you did. What you didn’t count on was the fact that the other players could see right through your actions. Congratulation to the winner.

I know some of you who are regular readers either do not watch TV and I would guess that shows such as Survivor or not on your most popular TV viewing list. But if you did watch the show, what did you think about the last Survivor and how it played out?

Comments welcome.

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Got A New Computer? Here Is An Easy Way To Install Free Software

Whether you have just bought yourself a new computer system, or have completed a clean install of a new operating system, there is an online application that can make installing free software easy. Called Ninite you just select the software you want and it will be installed for you. On their site the people at Ninite describe their program as:

Ninite runs on Windows XP/Vista/7 and works in the background 100% hands-free. We install apps with default settings and say “no” to browser toolbars and other junk. All we do is install the latest versions of the apps you choose. Not even Ninite is installed.

There is browser software like Firefox, Chrome, Opera, plus anti-virus software such as Avast, AVG, MS Essentials, plus more software for burning, messaging, media, imaging, documents, runtimes, file sharing and utilities. All in one convenient location.

Give it a try and see what you think.

Comments welcome.

Ninite source for downloading software.

How Desperate Is California To Increase Revenue? Ask 25,000 Affliates

Arnie and his group of minions ask the people of California if they wanted their taxes increased and they responded with a resounding NO! four ballet measures that the state presented to the people were shot down in flames, causing undue hardship on the folks who run Sacramento. These politically correct bunch just don’t get the fact that you can’t continue to spend money you don’t have, continue to chase businesses out of the state and support 4 million residence from another country.

Here is one persons take on how attacking marketing affiliate’s could cause harm:

Earlier proposed legislation in AB178 was shelved in April. Now the State is getting desperate for money and clutching at straws, this legislation is being resurrected and may be squeezed into another bill.

The estimated additional income to the state is not likely to materialize. Worse than that, it could turn into a net loss for the state. The harm to tens of thousands of small California businesses, and a several large ones, could be irreparable. Collateral damage to other California businesses that support the directly affected businesses is also likely.

At issue is the fact that the legislation would unbalance the playing field, handing California’s advantage over to other states and locking California businesses out of the running.

Affiliate Marketing, also called Performance Marketing has been a real boon to vendors large and small. It allows them to sell their products across the USA and around the world, even if they are based in a small town in the middle of nowhere.

After operating for many years, affiliate marketing has created many jobs. A lot of innovation and many side industries have sprung up around it. These small businesses are not organized as a group and they generally don’t have a lot of money to throw around on lobbying, they just get on with the job of surviving, growing and employing.

So what will happen if California does attack the affiliates? It could be a boon for the remainder of states that are more cognizant that taxing affiliates may cause more harm than good.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source.

Vista SP2 – To Upgrade Or Not – That Is The Question

Microsoft has announced that SP2 is getting ready for release and it will be a Windows update. For others the download will be made available as a standalone via MSDN, TechNet or Connect. [I got mine via Connect but haven’t installed it yet.]

But if and when you decide to install SP2 for Vista, make sure you read the Microsoft article on which programs that may experience functionality problems after installing SP2. At their site Microsoft states:

Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows Vista and for Windows Server 2008 contains many security, reliability, and feature updates for Windows Vista and for Windows Server 2008. A program may experience a loss of functionality after you install SP2 for Windows Vista SP2 or for Windows Server 2008. However, most programs continue to work as expected after you install SP2.

This article lists programs that have been reported to experience a loss of functionality when they are installed on a Windows Vista SP2-based or a Windows Server 2008 SP2-based computer.

Notes

  • This article should not be considered a comprehensive list of programs that experience loss of functionality when they run on a Windows Vista SP2-based or a Windows Server 2008 SP2-based computer.
  • If you are using a program that appears in this article, you may have to        contact the software vendor for more information.
  • So the question you must ask yourself is if you should install SP2. For the majority of us the answer is yes. Not only will SP2 fix problems with Vista issues itself, but will also allow the user to continue getting future updates that you may need to run Vista itself or other programs.

    Microsoft web site is here for SP2 information.

    Windows 7 – More Stuff To Turn Off

    It is now confirmed by Microsoft that we consumers will be allowed more control on what we can turn off in Windows 7. According to this Microsoft blog article, complete with screen shot, there will be more user control built into this latest operating system. Take at look at what the RC version will offer:

    Windows Features control panel

    So what do you think? Will this be enough to make you buy this latest operating system?

    Comments welcome.

    Source.

    Lost Attracts 1.4 Million Online Viewers

    Lost is king when it comes to attracting viewers online at the ABC web site. Statistics have been released for last months [December 2008] results of the major networks who broadcast programming online. After Lost is SNL and in third place is Grey’s Anatomy.

    Below is a chart of the top ten winners:

    nielsen_top_10_tv

    It seems that computer users have found a new use for their computers. :-)

    Source.

    Would You Buy A Stripped Down Windows 7?

    I was trying to remember what Windows 3.1 came with back in the days when 4MB of RAM was enough and a single core 33MHz cpu screamed. :-) I recall the piss poor graphics, no multi tasking, slow internet [I recall something like 14.4 ?] and using Netscape since there was no Internet Explorer. :-)

    If you wanted to add something to Windows 3.1 you bought it. But then all of this slowly changed as each version of Windows got bigger and bigger culminating with Vista which was considered bloatware. The lastest operating system came with a host of features that must of made a lot of 3rd party software vendors cringe.

    Microsoft is now working on their latest product called Windows 7. It has been stripped with some of the bells and whistle that previous versions have come with, most noticeable is the lack of an email program. This and other frills will need to be download at the users discretion.

    But is this enough to shrink down Windows? Do other things need to be removed such as games, Internet Explorer, notepad, wordpad, defrag program and so forth? Would you buy a stripped down version of Windows 7 if the pricing was lower and contained less bloatware?

    I believe I would.

    What about you?

    Comments welcome.

    What Ever Happened To Vista Ultimate Extras?

    When Windows Vista was first introduced it was promised that the extras in Windows Ultimate would knock our socks off. So what ever happened to the so called ‘extras’ ?

    I went over to the Ultimate site and found this overwhelming assortment of extremely valuable software.

    • Sound Schemes – two new themes.
    • Dreamscene – video background.
    • Language Packs – use multiple languages.
    • Bitlocker – encrypt your data.
    • Hold ’em Poker Game – Texas poker game.

    So what do you think? Was Ultimate a rip off?

    Comments welcome.

    Source.

    PS Windows 7 will have three catagories: One for Netbooks, one for consumers and one for the enterprise.

    Secunia Personal Software Inspector Reviewed

    Today I downloaded Secunia Personal Software Inspector and took it for a spin. I’ll let Secunia explain what their software does and the below was taken from their web site:

    Vulnerability Scanning
    Scan, detect, and update vulnerable programs. The Secunia Software Inspectors are the first internal vulnerability scanners that focus solely on detection and assessment of missing security patches and end-of-life programs – the result is an unprecedented level of scan accuracy. Scanning for missing security patches and vulnerabilities have never been easier or more precise. The Software Inspectors are perfect supplements to Windows Update as they inform about missing patches for thousands of third party programs.

    Secunia offers three Software Inspectors, each with a specific user focus.

    The software is small and the download and installation went well. I ran the scanning software and it located 4 software’s, two from Abobe, two from Java. I updated the two Abobe via a handy download link provided by Secunia PSI. I then tried to update Java, both for Firefox and Internet Explorer. At least this is what the Java site said I needed to do. No matter what updates I used, Secuina PSI still said one Java issue remained.

    I am not sure if the error is from Secunia PSI or from the Java site that kept telling me updates were in place. :-)

    I would recommend that you give Secunia PSI a try. Even though I had a minor issue, the program did in fact worked well. Oh yeah. It’s Free for personal use.

    Comments welcome.

    Secunia PSI Free download for personal use.

    Portable Apps – Is It Right For You?

    Last week I had need to go to our local library and was waiting while my grandson was picking up some books that he needed for school. I wanted to kill some time by getting on the Internet and checking out my blog site and also start to do another blog article. But as we all know, using a unsecured computer poses risks and I do not want to leave a trail of any information that is personal to me on a library computer system.

    I had my USB stick that I carry with me which contains the full suite from Portable Apps. So what is Potable Apps? It is basically a suite of applications that can be used on a Windows based system that runs directly from the drive. On their site Portable Apps describes their suite as:

    Convenient

    Now you can carry your favorite computer programs along with all of your bookmarks, settings, email and more with you. Use them on any Windows computer. All without leaving any personal data behind.

    Open

    PortableApps.com provides a truly open platform that works with any hardware you like (USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, etc). It’s open source built around an open format that any hardware vendor or software developer can use.

    Free

    The PortableApps.com Suite and Platform is free. It contains no spyware. There are no advertisements. It isn’t a limited or trial version. There is no additional hardware or software to buy. You don’t even have to give out your email address. It’s 100% free to use, free to copy and free to share.

    So I fired up Personal Apps and used the built in Firefox browser to access my site. After signing in I was able to approve comments, start a new blog article without leaving any trace behind. The other abilities offered by Portable Apps are build in applications such as word processing, email program, password safe program, anti-virus and much more.

    If you haven’t tried Portable Apps, take a look at the site below and see if it is right for you.

    Let me know your thoughts and share your comments.

    Source for Portable Apps.

    Cablevision Can Offer Network DVR

    An Appeals Court has ruled in favor of Cablevision allowing the company the ability to offer DVR network services. The ruling clears the way for Cablevision to offer the ability for users to record shows on the cable companies system, without the need for a hard drive, as is the case with satellite DVR’s. The article also states:

    Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett notes this morning that the Court concurred with Cablevision’s view that by ceding control of what’s recorded to the customer, Cablevision’s network DVR model avoids direct liability for copyright infringement. “In Cablevision’s view, a network DVR is, in essence, simply a DVR with a very long cord,” he writes.

    Moffett contends the ruling is “a huge win for cable operators,” with the potential for much lower capital spending going forward. “Cable operators would no longer need to provide a unique piece of hardware for each individual subscriber in order to offer DVR functionality,” he writes. “DVRs have been one of the largest single drivers of capital spending in recent years, accounting for as much as 10% of capital spending for the major [cable companies.] Further, cable gains a huge differentiator versus their satellite competitors. Under the ruling, cable operators will not only be able to offer DVR functionality to all digital subscribers – whether they have a DVR or not – but also to every TV outlet in the house that has a digital set top box.”

    When my daughter was living in Virgina, they had cable TV that used the network to record programs. The system seemed to work OK and had ample storage to store a large amount of programing. But there is one things that this brought to mind. I use Dish Network and have a HD-DVR with some 350 hours of recording ability. I believe I prefer having my programs stored on a hard disk. My experiences with cable has been less than stellar. :-) But that is just me.

    What do you think? Is a network DVR preferable to a hard disk DVR?

    What do you think?

    Comments welcome.

    Source