Archive for April, 2012

UK High Court Confirms Pirate Bay Copyright Infringement

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The British High Court ruled today that all UK ISPs must block user access to The Pirate Bay, including TalkTalk, O2, Virgin Mobile, Sky and Everything Everywhere.  The ruling was handed down following a confirmation that the file sharing site infringes on copyright on a ‘massive scale’. The site has had an interesting history. Four site founders were found guilty in April 2009 of assisting users with getting around copyright controls. But although the ruling was upheld following an appeal one year later, The Pirate Bay remains online. In November of last year, ISPs in the UK were asked by the High Court to voluntarily block access to file sharing site The Pirate Bay. But they refused to do so until an official ruling had been made.

Don’t Pay For Cloud Storage

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Just because big cloud storage services like Dropbox and iCloud offer paid storage services, doesn’t mean you have to spend to get more space. All such services offer a free plan, some doing so in order to promote their service above all others. And you can claim a ton of free space by taking advantage of the promotions that are currently running.

Some companies like Box only require you to log into your account using an Android phone or tablet to get 50 GB of space for free, for life. Of course, it’s only being offered until the end of the year, and not everyone will have a device that’s mandatory for the free space, but all that’s needed is to find someone who has the right device, and log in from there.

Dropbox has more than one way to get free storage, but you have to earn it. Completing their starter guide, linking your account with Facebook and inviting friends to join the service will all earn you space. You can also help the company improve its technology by helping it test certain site features, which can net you 500MB.

With all of this free storage being offered, your music, files and videos can all have a place in the cloud.

Malware Attack Disables Key Oil Facilities

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

A malware attack yesterday has forced Iran to pull the plug on several of their key oil facilities. The attack manifested itself in the form of a computer virus, and was executed on the Iran oil ministry’s internal computer systems, as well as its national oil company. Although some data about the site’s users was stolen, the country’s information about its oil industry was not affected, due to those computer systems not being connected to the internet. Other systems, including some of the country’s oil plants have seen their internet connections temporarily severed. A committee created after the Stuxnet attack in 2010 was already on the case to deal with building defenses and handling the aftermath of the attack, which officials have said has not and will not affect the production of oil.

How To Compress Videos For Emailing

Friday, April 20th, 2012

When you need to send a video to an email recipient, the large size can make for a lot of frustration. But how do you avoid bounced messages due to large video files? There is a way to compress them to make videos more email-friendly.

Compress Or Share Online

Accessing online compression software such as AVS Video Converter will allow you to upload your video and convert it to a smaller size that is compatible with email file size limits. You can also turn to cloud services or a file sharing site like YouSendIt.com. These sites allow you to upload your original video in its full size, and then invite your recipient to view it.

Check Your Existing Software

If you have a video editing program on your computer, check to see if you have the option to export your video in compressed format. Windows PCs running Live Movie Maker, and Mac computers with iMovie both have emailing options.

Be Mindful Of Quality

Compressing your video file will likely result in lower quality to both audio and video. And the longer your video is, the larger it will be, and the more it will need to be compressed, which can cause quality to suffer further. Consider emailing shorter files instead.

New App Aims To Mimic Data Extracted By Companies

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Researchers want to know if there’s a price attached to your personal data. Tuesday marked the launch of a research project whose goal is to find out whether Android users truly believe their personal information has no price. The research project hopes to solve a long-standing debate about how companies offer their apps to consumers. Currently, many do so at only the cost of a consumer’s personal information, which means that the consumer sees no monetary benefit. Therefore, some say, that personal information has no value. Yet, companies make big bucks from the selling of data to third parties. Voluntary participants in the study will install a no-cost app on their Android phone which will ask questions about their location, activities and opinions. This type of questioning will result in the same kind of data being obtained by companies who track consumer activities to target advertising to them.

How To Handle A Blog Or Web Site Hack

Monday, April 16th, 2012

While a hack on your blog or web site may fill you with dread at first, the good news is that there’s a high likelihood that you can recover from it.

Understand The Nature Of The Hack

Believe it or not, having your site hacked doesn’t necessarily mean that hackers have it in for you specifically. What hackers do is look for weak spots in the security of web hosts. Once they find them, they can run exploits on all sites hosted by that company simultaneously. First and foremost, you should be contacting your web host to see if they’ve recently come under attack.

Check Your Site’s Files

Log into your site to see whether there are any files missing. Configuration files can contain code changes that are easily found, so check these as well. If you have a local backup, you can compare it to the current state of your site to more easily spot any changes. A good idea is to create a backup of your site as it is currently, so that you can look your files over if you need more time.

Restoring Your Site

If your web host hasn’t reported any attacks, then you will have to restore your site on your own. If you have a blog, chances are that the hack only went as far as your configuration files that, once restored will allow you to continue as before. Restoring web site hacks can involve an upload of your backup files to your host’s server via FTP, and restoring your database information.

New Technology Could Bring Web Through Cable Receivers

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

A major cable and telecom provider made an interesting announcement at the beginning of the week; that it had developed new technology which would allow internet access through a cable box, with navigation control via the remote control. The technology has been patented by the company, who called it an “interactive television network and method including content searching.” The new access answers the growing desire for interactive television which also allows for the purchase of products featured on television shows as the viewer watches them. Several search engines can be networked with the technology, in addition to content from other providers, such as pay-per-view events. The search can also extend from TV listings to emails and voice mails. The new technology will be marketed in several cities later on this year, and was initially resisted by major cable companies due to the high cost of deployment and the threat to traditional cable broadcasts.

Dive Into Your New Kindle Fire Immediately With These Quick Tips

Monday, April 9th, 2012

If you’ve recently purchased a new Kindle Fire e-reader, the last thing you probably want to do is to spend hours scouring the manual for how to get it working. These few tips will get your Kindle ready right away so you can start enjoying your device.

Music

You may not think there’s a way to control the library of music you have on your Kindle while you read or use other apps. The good news is that you don’t have to get out of whatever you’re doing in order to pause or skip through your tracks. Simply by pressing the gear icon in the menu bar, you can see the current track, move through it, or pause or skip the next track. And all you have to do to return to your previous task is press the gear icon a second time.

Caps Lock

Interestingly, the Kindle Fire doesn’t include a caps lock. Or does it? Try tapping the device’s “Shift” key twice, and you will discover that you can keep typing in capital letters without hitting Shift for each character. When you’re ready to return to lower case, just press “Shift” once.

Save On Audio Books

You can transform any book into an audio book if your vehicle has an audio jack. Just access your Kindle’s text-to-speech function, and then connect your device to your vehicle’s audio jack with a 3.5mm male-to-male cable.

Google Art Project Adds Canadian Gallery To Its Online Collection

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

The Google Art Project launched in 2011 with seventeen of the best art museums around the globe. And yesterday, the company reached a milestone by adding its first, and so far only, Canadian participant. The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), located in Toronto, was approached by Google to join the project. Among the 58 pieces of work from the AGO that are currently available for viewing are ‘The West Wind’ by Tom Thomson and ‘Indian Church’ by Emily Carr. The gallery’s deputy director said that AGO staff worked with Google’s team to determine which works would appear online, and then chose a representative sample from the collection internally. Including the AGO, the Google Art Project yesterday added 100 museums in 35 countries to its project, which allows for the street view-like viewing of priceless works and 360-degree tours of some museums.

Detangling Advice For Messy Wires

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Have you looked behind your computer lately? If not, you may want to close your left eye and squint first, because chances are that things are a mess back there. Behind-the-desk wires are mysterious things. You connect your computer and peripherals neatly, only to find that months or a year down the road, things have somehow become a tangled mess.

If you’re planning to get back there and clean things up, there are many options, depending on whether you’re using your existing wires or setting up a new system.

Organization Solutions

If you’re overhauling or setting up a new system, then you can pick up colored wires from a bulk supplier. These will provide you with an easy way to determine which wires are connected to which of your components when it’s time to swap things out.

For existing systems, a powered USB hub can go a long way to organizing your external peripherals. It can also help you to clean up your desk area by allowing you to move your devices to another area.

Power Ties

Power ties are a wonderful way to organize your cords. And you don’t necessarily have to purchase ties specifically for this purpose; you can check your home for twist or zip ties. Once you’ve separated your wireless into bundles of three or six, you can use a piece of masking tape as a label onto which you can write their connection information. A good rule of thumb is to group cords by type, such as peripherals and USB audio.

But for those wanting a less permanent organization method than the zip tie, foam and Velcro ties offer quick release when you need it, in addition to be being gentler on your cables. Other solutions, such as the Cable Turtle spooling device or a cable enclosure can keep your behind-the-desk environment manageable.