Adobe Providing An Update For Adobe Reader – Fixes Security Issues

Adobe is providing users of their popular Adobe Reader program, an update to plug some serious security holes. The security fixes are being described by Adobe as critical and they are recommending that users download the fix. It what seems like a constant flow of updates, Adobe has been trying to fix security issues for Reader, not only for Window users, but also for Mac and UNIX users as well. In a statement from their web site it also states that:

A critical vulnerability has been identified in Adobe Reader 9.3 for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX, Adobe Acrobat 9.3 for Windows and Macintosh, and Adobe Reader 8.2 and Acrobat 8.2 for Windows and Macintosh. As described in Security Bulletin APSB10-06, this vulnerability (CVE-2010-0186) could subvert the domain sandbox and make unauthorized cross-domain requests. In addition, a critical vulnerability (CVE-2010-0188) has been identified that could cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

Adobe recommends users of Adobe Reader 9.3 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX update to Adobe Reader 9.3.1. (For Adobe Reader users on Windows and Macintosh who cannot update to Adobe Reader 9.3.1, Adobe has provided the Adobe Reader 8.2.1 update.) Adobe recommends users of Adobe Acrobat 9.3 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh update to Adobe Acrobat 9.3.1. Adobe recommends users of Acrobat 8.2 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh update to Acrobat 8.2.1.

If you are a Adobe Reader user, it is highly recommended that you update your software with the latest fix.

Comments welcome.

Adobe Reader download

Google Doesn’t Want This Buzz – Aims To Fix Problems

After a blogger complained that some of her private stuff was given to her ex-husband, Google has announced fixes for the flaws discovered in Buzz.  Google has responded to the complaints that brought to lite product flaws of:

1) People you block in Buzz still appear as following you in Reader. The spokesperson says, “This is a bug, and we’re working to fix it. Provided that your shared items are protected, only the people you’ve explicitly allowed to see them can do so — regardless of who appears to be following you in Reader.”

2) No ability to block people from Reader. The spokesperson says, “Until now, there has not been functionality to block people from following you in Google Reader. We’re adding this to the Reader interface.”

Once Google was made aware of the issues the company took immediate steps to plug the holes in their product. In a statement the search giant proposed the following steps were being taken:

1) If you block people in Buzz, they still show up as following you in Reader. This is a bug, and we’re working to fix it. Provided that your Google Reader shared items are protected, only the people you’ve explicitly allowed to see them can do so — regardless of who appears to be following you in Reader.

2) Until now, there has not been functionality to block people from following you in Google Reader. We’re adding this to the Reader interface.

We are making these two changes as fast as possible and we’ll get them live in the next few days.

It will be interesting to see if this fixes are enough to fix the problems which initiated the complaints in the first place. In all fairness, Google also stated that some of the complaint was just a misunderstanding by the blogger on how the system functioned.

The is also another option that should be available as well. The option to completely opt out of Buzz.

Comments welcome.

Source

Reader Needs Help With XP Backup – Laptop Has No Floppy

During the past few days, I have been trying to help one of our readers who is having a problem with using XP Backup. His laptop does not have a floppy disk which XP wants to create a boot disk for. The conversation started like this:

Bill:

I have a Segate External 500 GB. I want to perform a systems back up to both my desktop and laptop. I use Windows to back up thus forcing me to use a floppy recovery 3.5 disk. This is fine for my desktop but my laptop does not have a floppy. How can I get around this floppy problem and just go to a straight systems back for both computers and avoid the floppy issue?

My response:

Hi Bill,
On your laptop, does it have a burner? Or does your desktop have a burner? If either one does, you can make a recovery disk onto a CD or DVD.

Of course both must have the same OS as well.

Hope this helps.

Bill:

Ron:

Yes, both have burners and both have the same OS which is XP Pro. But how do I get from the prompt to make a floppy when it comes up to my respective burners? Something new to this old man trying to keep up with the ever changing technology.Ron:

My response:

Bill,
I am not sure if this will work, but try burning the floppy to a CD and see if it will boot. Unfortunately XP I believe doesn’t support burning to CD, just floppy.

Let me know if this works. If not we will try something else.

Bill:

Ron;

But when I do the backup on my Laptop XP forces me to create a floppy. And at that point I have to X out then I get a message that my backup may not be complete or may not have been fully successful. Even if I am successful in doing the burn from the floppy to the CD the fact still remains my laptop back up is incomplete unless I create a floppy then and there.

I must admit I am at a loss for two reasons. I haven’t used XP for about 3 years and second, when I did use XP I never used the built in backup program. I use Acronis.

Any suggestion for Bill would be appreciated.

Comments welcome.


A Reader Needs Our Help – He Wants To Buy A New Gaming Box

Reader Brandon has a question for us that I thought I would post. He asks the following questions:

I am looking to buy a new desktop. I have known very little about computers, hardware and such but I have done a lot of searching online to better inform myself of the components inside of computers so I can better decide which is best.

I have read some of the reviews for HP desktops and a lot of people say they work great, except there are problems starting them up and other things.

I am lost; I am not sure what I should get as far as desktops go. I want to use it for gaming, and I want it to last; I don’t want to have to replace it in the near future. I have compared desktops, mostly dell and HP, and for the same things HP is cheaper than dell. Their components seem to be the same exact things: processors, RAM, hard drives, graphics cards, you’re just paying a higher price for Dell.

With these things in mind, the question is: what’s the difference, then? If both have the same parts, shouldn’t both work about the same? I really need help on this. Any information on why one would work better than the other is helpful. Do the cases matter? I know Dell can have some cool looking computers but aside from the processor, graphics card, RAM, and hard drive, does anything else really matter? If so, why, and in what way will it effect things?

I do have one question though for any who KNOW — please, no novices. I want knowledge that is reliable. Does the hard drive make a huge difference? The hard drives that are offered when customizing the computers are all 7,200 RPM and to upgrade to like RADEON 1 or something like that is about 200 bucks from either of the companies. So, what will the RPM in hard drives amount to, and will it make a difference in gaming? Also, why does one cost so much more than the other? It mentions somewhere that the RADEON 1 (if that’s even right) offers backup or reliability of some sort I’m not sure but if anyone knows what I’m talking about, please expand and let me know.

Your input is greatly appreciated. Oh, and one other thing. When should I expect the computers or their parts to reduce in price? I know they just recently have since the OS Windows 7 came out, and I would like to know if anyone knows if I should expect them to drop in price again soon like in the next couple months or if it is going to be a long time (six months or more)?

Here are my thoughts. I personally have never owned either an HP or Dell desktop computer. I have had the luxury of being able to assemble my own systems. My last gaming + testing rig was built back in April or so and it works very well. I am using the 7200 SATAs by Seagate without issues.  I installed an NVidia card for my gaming needs. With that being said, here is my opinion.

How much you have to spend is always the first consideration. To me, HP or Dell are very similar. It usually comes down to price or customer preference. There are some die-hard HP or Dell users who won’t switch brands. For a gaming box you want a fast processor — dual core or better — 4 GB of RAM or more, and the best video card you can afford. I would also make sure that the power supply is large enough to handle any feature upgrades or additions.

As an example, here is what appears to be a hot Gateway desktop over at NewEgg, with a quad processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 1 GB NVidia card — yet the system comes with a puny 300 watt power supply. I’m surprised it evens starts! (LOL!) Gateway system here.

Another option is to get a custom system built to your specifications.

Commentsm please. Give Brandon some help with selecting a good gaming machine. TIA.

Will Publishers Be Able To ‘Hulu’ Their Way To Profitability?

Profitability has been elusive for the publishing companies but they may have stumbled on a way to turn things around.  The people over at Time Inc. have come up with the idea of a Hulu for publishing. Time Inc, seems to be attracting some other notables like publishers of Hearst and Condé Nast may be interested in joining in on the Hula idea.

According to one article it states that:

The idea: The new company, which will operate independently from the publishers that invest in it, will create a digital storefront where consumers can purchase and manage their subscriptions, which can be delivered to any device. The pitch: Control a direct relationship with consumers while gaining leverage with heavyweights like Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN).

Many of the venture’s big details have yet to be hammered down. At one point, for instance, Time Inc. had explored the idea of including newspapers in the new company’s offering, sources say. The JV may also want to include a noncontent partner as an investor, as Hulu did with Providence Equity and as Vevo, the “Hulu for music” JV that Universal Music is creating with Google’s (GOOG) YouTube, plans to do. That approach is supposed to appease antitrust regulators’ worries about a group of content companies banding together.

But the rough outlines of Squires’s plan are attractive enough to publishers, who are hopeful that mobile devices like the Kindle will create a new market for them. And if that market does show up, they want to make sure they’re the ones in charge of sales and distribution. That’s been a huge problem for the music industry, whose digital sales are essentially controlled by Apple. And it has already cropped up as a point of contention with Amazon, which currently handles sales for all content delivered via its Kindle reader.

Other selling points for the JV: The ability to set standards for mobile content and the ability to integrate advertising into the publications.

I personally like the idea. This could be a way for publishers to stay afloat in these economically challenging times.

Comments as always are welcome.

Source.

Reader Wants To Know – Fix NTLDR For Dual Boot Vista/Windows 7

Reader Winston asked a question in regards to a post I made back in December 12, 2006 [see here] concerning the repair of the infamous ‘NTLDR is missing’ message most of us have encountered.  Most of the current repair procedures are for a combo of XP/Vista repair procedures. But Winston has a different situation which he describes as:

ntldr is missing on Vista/Windows7 dual-boot system. I posted this over on lockergnome.com, but thought that more eyeballs would help. What do I have to specifically do to recover and still preserve dual-boot?

thanks

I personally have not dual booted Vista and Windows 7, having chosen the Windows 7 and XP mode instead. I did a Google and was unable to find the answer.

Can anyone help?

Comments welcome.

ZAP Reader

I’ve been a voracious reader ever since I was a little kid. As time has passed, my reading habits have changed. I used to spend my time reading books, and while I still do that on certain occasions, I’m now constantly reading content online. I always used to think that I was a pretty fast reader, but there are some people who can read through a page of text at a ridiculous speed and still be able to retain all of the information. I’d like to be able to read faster than I am right now because I’d save time and learn a lot more during the course of my day. Maybe ZAP Reader can speed me up.

The best way to get started is to just copy some text into ZAP Reader and give it a try. The initial speed of trying to keep up with reading a single word at a time may shock you, but with enough practice, it’ll become normal. Of course, you can fully customize all of the options so that they work well for you depending on how you’re progressing. A collection of tools also exist to make accessing ZAP Reader from wherever you are online a piece of cake. How fast can you read?

Security Updates available for Adobe Reader and Acrobat

Adobe has a bunch of security fixes for their products and I highly recommend you get the fixes to prevent your system from being compromised. The fixes are free and cover the following products:

SUMMARY

A critical vulnerability has been identified in Adobe Reader 9.1 and Acrobat 9.1 and earlier versions. This vulnerability (CVE-2009-1492) would cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.  A second vulnerability has also been reported that appears to affect Adobe Reader for UNIX only (CVE-2009-1493).

Adobe recommends users of Adobe Reader 9.1 and Acrobat 9.1 and earlier versions update to Adobe Reader 9.1.1 and Acrobat 9.1.1. Adobe recommends users of Acrobat 8 update to Acrobat 8.1.5, and users of Acrobat 7 update to Acrobat 7.1.2. For Adobe Reader users who can’t update to Adobe Reader 9.1.1, Adobe has provided the Adobe Reader 8.1.5 and Adobe Reader 7.1.2 updates.

AFFECTED SOFTWARE VERSIONS

Adobe Reader 9.1 and earlier versions.
Adobe Acrobat Standard, Pro, and Pro Extended 9.1 and earlier versions.

SOLUTION

Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader users on Windows can find the appropriate update here:http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp?product=10&platform=Windows.

Adobe Reader users on Macintosh can find the appropriate update here:http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp?product=10&platform=Macintosh.

Additional information can be found on the Adobe site located here.

Comments welcome.

BookJetty

After a long absence, I’m now reading books on a regular schedule again. It takes time to develop a routine, and as much as I love to read, I knew that I had to take the time to get back into it. I’m currently reading some business books right now, but I plan on finding some good fiction, as well. After all, it’s nice to escape reality at times. I have the next few books that I want to read planned out, but after that, I’m open to suggestions. BookJetty is a service that helps you organize books that you’ve already read and opens up new possibilities for you.

Building a virtual bookshelf is something that some readers may be into (especially if they have a lot of books), but for me, I’m more interested in new titles that I can read. BookJetty helps me in this regard by giving me information from Amazon, letting me see what others have read, and offering previews through Google Book Search. You can even check to see if a book is available at one of the libraries that the service can search through. Forget reading text on a screen – physical books are where it’s at.

[rsslist:http://coupons.lockergnome.com/cgi-bin/feed/rss-custom-feed.pl?search_method=search&stores=&category=&search_string=books&search_coupon_titles=1&date=0&all_coupons_per_store=1]

Vista Won’t Start – Reader Needs Assistance

For the past week or so I have received several comments from a reader named Mario in which he has described his problems with Vista won’t starting. Here are the conversations:

Dear Ron Schenone
I need advice. I got problem when Vista is loading at the start. It get freeze there. When I’m going to shut down or restart it, I can boot only in Last Known Good Configuration, but not always.
Actually my Vista is clean new copy week ago installed, and I haven’t got any viruses or something. My drivers are up to date. I haven’t much programes. Also my hardware is new, and I am using oem motherboard. Could be some hardware error, my ram memory is ok because I tested it. My software is new so what should I do? Please I need help, I tried with ps2 tastature I found out something here, but still it freezes :(((

To Which I responded:

Hello Mario,
There are numerous reasons why Vista or any version of Windows won’t start properly.

If you have two sticks of RAM, remove one stick and reboot. Do the same with the other stick. Remove it and reboot. Is there any difference or does the system still hang?

Try using CCleaner to clean out any gunk hiding on the system.

Do a disk defrag.

Let us know what happens.

Mr Ron Schenone,

I tried everything… Actually first I defrag my disks and I used CCLeaner but nothing happens. Vista can’t start…
Even I formated and installed it on another partition but same problem I can’t start :(((((
Today I remove one of my ram memory stick, also second one but still system hang :((((((
I have drivers only for my wireless stick and graphic card.
Please help me, I dont know what to do anymore…
My configuration is,
Motherboard: Intel Foxconn P965 965X7AA
CPU: Intel Core2Duo E6600 2.4 GhZ
2GB Ram memory
Graphic Card: GeForce 9800 GT 1GB.
I got two hdd one is 300GB the other one 500GB
Could be some hdd error?Thank You Mr.

So what do you think? Mobo problem?

Share your thoughts.

Shelfari

My bookshelf is feeling pretty neglected right now. I used to be a huge reader, but when life started to become very busy, I stopped reading like I had been. About a year ago, I promised myself that I would start reading books again, and believe it or not, I actually followed through by reading quite a few books and enjoying every moment of it. However, life started to get in the way again, and I now need to reignite my reading habits once again. Hopefully Shelfari will help me to do that.

With Shelfari, users can build their very own virtual bookshelf that contains books that they’ve read, books that they’re reading, and books that they want to read. You can then rate and review the books. This is beneficial for others to see, and it is nice to have a personal record of this information, but the real power of Shelfari comes into play once you start exploring the bookshelves of other users to see which books they’re excited about. If you have similar tastes, there’s a good chance that their recommendations will be helpful for you. Now that Amazon has acquired the service, it’s going to be interesting to see what they continue to do with it.

LifeLock Follow-Up Report

Back on May 22, 2008 I did an article about LifeLock and how Todd Davis the founder, had his ID stolen. The article received quite a few comments with various opinions about the validity of what really happened. Last evening I saw another of those LifeLock commercials with Todd flashing his own social security number on the side of a truck. So this morning when I received this comment, I thought I would share it with all of you:

Todd Davis was very stupid. As an ex computer Hacker/Social Engineer, when I saw this commercial for the first time I jumped on it. I first found Todd’s location then called his phone company and posed as a technician and conned them into giving me his birth date, at that point I had just about enough to do anything I wanted. I set up a few things in Todd’s name that I’ll keep private for now. The final outcome was me calling Todd Davis at his house and needless to say he sounded slightly nervous, I explained to him that the commercial as well as the service was a joke. Todd decided to tell me that this service was to protect people from every day bad guys not seasoned hackers such as myself. ?. I’m not sure what that meant but I gather it means that LifeLock will protect you from people who don’t know what they are doing but really can’t help you against as Todd says “Seasoned Hackers” . Stupid me, I thought “Seasoned Hackers ” were the ones who do this type of thing. So in short, I guess LifeLock will protect you against people who probably wouldn’t be able to harm you anyway but if a “Seasoned Hacker” decides to go after you they can’t do much. It’s a shame that the very company who say they will protect you against scams are the ones doing the scamming. Kinda like Garry Coleman having your back in a fight. Well here’s to you Todd Davis & thanks for the new computer.

Sincerely, The “Seasoned Hacker”

So there you have. What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Original article.

Hello, AVG 8 Tech Support! Anyone Home?

In a twist that I find hard to believe, it seems that AVG tech. support is totally unsure when support for version 7.5 really will expire. On their forum they originally stated that the free version would continue until 12-31-08. Now it seems a new warning pop-up is saying the new date is June 25, 2008.

Reader DougCuk stated:

I had hoped that once we were
past the May 31st deadline things would become clearer, and we could
coast along to the “real” deadline of December 31st.

But as of today we now have a new “official” deadline – of June 25th
2008 – displayed as of today by the installed v7.5 Free program.
http://www.stargaterebellion.net/images/AVG_June25th.JPG – Link to new June 25th Popup – received on a system running XP Pro.

To confuse matters further I received the following email response from AVG Customer Service a few days ago:

“The AVG FREE Edition 7.5 will discontinue as of May 31st 2008
however the AVG 7.5 Paid Editions will continue until December. This is
not a marketing ploy.
Regards,
Jason Robins
Customer Service
AVG Technologies”

I think AVG are having a serious communication problem – and in the
process are damaging their reputation as a leading security company.

This is starting to be extremely annoying since the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand at AVG is doing. It now seems that AVG may be changing the expiration date once again. 

Comments welcome.

 

AVG 8 – More Helpful Information

I received this from reader Merna [under comments here]  and checked out the links provided. I believe for those who are having issues with AVG 8 this site may be helpful. I will also be doing a second part covering additional information. Thanks Merna.

Ron,

Thank you for your numerous recent articles about AVG 7.5 and 8.0 (free and paid). For in-depth reports and comments your readers might like to try the following links. I found the two April ones in early May when researching for two discussion groups and just rechecked them for additional readers’ comments before posting here.

On the recheck I found there had been an earlier one in March (when the writer was a beta tester) and there has been a fourth one since. I would suggest reading all of them before trying anything as the later articles and/or readers’ comments contain answers/solutions to some of the problems and/or questions in the earlier ones.

I appreciated the thoroughness of Claus Valca’s posts about AVG and his readers’ comments. (And I think I’ll be having a good look around grandstreamdreams.blogspot.com to see what else he has to say.) My husband is using XP and has upgraded his free AVG to 8.0. I am still using 98SE and free AVG 7.5.

Links:

2008.03.02 grandstreamdreams.blogspot.com/2008/03/thoughts-on-avg-80-francaise.html (no comments)

2008.04.24 grandstreamdreams.blogspot.com/2008/04/avg-free-version-80-releasedfirst.html (five comments)

2008.04.26 grandstreamdreams.blogspot.com/2008/04/taming-avg-free-version-8.html (forty-three comments)

2008.05.17 grandstreamdreams.blogspot.com/2008/05/simple-thoughts-on-avg-free-v8.html (three comments)

An alternate link (to the one you have previously provided) for the AVG Free 8.0 manual is at www.grisoft.cz/filedir/doc/AVG_Free/user_manual/avg_afe_uma_en_80_1.pdf .

Merna

I read some of what has been posted at the links above, and found it very useful. I would recommend if you are having issues with AVG 8 you read what Claus has stated and also the comments which have been made. Between his site, my site here and the forums, users should find enough information to assist them in getting AVG 8 working. OR, make a decision to wait for a later release.

Comments welcome.

Which Laptop System Should This Reader Buy?

Since yesterday, reader Jason L has inquired about which laptop should he buy and is trying to compare the difference in a 256MB or 512MB video display adapter, when it comes to gaming. In his first request Jason L. said:

Hi Ron,

Great forum. I recently purchased a high-end gaming laptop with the following: (my question concerns mostly the video card RAM)

Core2Duo T9300 2.5Ghz 6MB/800Mhz
4Gb DDR2 RAM
512mb dedicated nvidia 8600gt
64-bit VISTA premium

This is an iBuyPower machine from COSTCO (i am trying it out because it was cheap and despite the bad reviews of ibuypower, costco warranty backs it and so will I)

I am a gamer and would really like to know your opinion. Do you think the 512mb of video card RAM is too excessive (or perhaps more on par with the 4gb system RAM)?

Thanks in advance for your help!!
Jason

This was my response to his request yesterday:

Hello Jason L.
It sounds like you have a sweet machine. 512MB video to much? Nope. Not at all. IMHO.

So this morning Jason L. asked this question:

Thanks for your quick reply, Ron. I have one more question and I hope it’s not too tough (unlikely, right? )

The laptop I ordered has an Nvidia 8600GT. So does the Dell XPS1530. Check out the difference in video cards and maybe you could tell me which one you would choose. Thanks again, in advance.

Dell XPS 1530: 256mb GDDR3 Nvidia 8600GT
IBuyPower CRZ: 512mb GDDR2 Nvidia 8600GT

If I’m going to utilize the graphics card, I’d like to know I’m going with the best choice. Both are dedicated.

That leaves the question: Do current games utilize 512mb of GDDR2 RAM, or are they more likely to prefer the faster 256mb GDDR3 RAM?

To which I replied with the following:

I’m not sure about the gaming requirements for the specific card that these systems are using. But I can share one thought. I personally would buy a Dell before a unit from IBuyPower.  Not because an IBuyPower is bad, I am just not personally familiar with their warranty policies nor their track record. Hopefully someone stopping by here can add to the comments and offer their opinions as well.

Buy just giving my WAS [wild ass guess], I think a 256 MB card with faster RAM would be more appealing.

What about OS? Windows XP or Vista?

So what is your opinion? The Dell or the IBuyPower unit?

Comments most appreciated.

[tags]reader, questions, dell, ibuypower, laptop, computer, system, ram, windows, microsoft, xp, vista, gaming,  [/tags]