All posts by Steve Hart

Malware and Viruses

Who do you blame?holy-crap
I can never really decide where the bulk of the blame lands when it comes to malware and viruses on the windows platform. Of course, the authors of the viruses and malware suck, but after that how much blame lands on MS? Personally, I’ve had little trouble. When I have cleaned other machines it is always traceable down to a stupid “yes” click or shady install of some malware. #malware  #viruses   #microsoftwindows

My Malware/Virus removal toolbox *
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I always download from the original software vendor’s site to avoid fakes and add-on crapware. Here are some of my primary removal tools:
AdwCleaner, https://toolslib.net/downloads/viewdownload/1-adwcleaner/
MalwareBytes, https://www.malwarebytes.org/antimalware/
HitmanPro, http://www.surfright.nl/en/hitmanpro
HijackThis, https://sourceforge.net/projects/hjt/
* The best way to be sure your system is clean is to reinstall the OS, but very few people want to do that out of the gate.

I always run a realtime virus scanner like ESET. You may want to try their free online scanner in a pinch http://www.eset.com/us/online-scanner/ . Your best defense is knowing the software’s source is safe before you click install. Microsoft Security Essentials seems to be pretty good too (and free) but I recently cleaned a machine that supposedly had it running. Of course, no virus software that I know of is going to protect you from manually installing bad software.

What’s the difference between a domain forwarder and an alias?

(1) There are 2 typical types of multi-URL setups: the Forwarder and Alias.
(2) Both types will involve changes at the registrar; creating an alias involves some setting adjustments at the host server.

The forwarder:
There is an existing website at www.SiteA.com and you have another url www.SiteB.com. If you want people to type in www.SiteB.com and get forwarded to www.SiteA.com (and see www.SiteA.com in the address bar) this is a forwarder.

The alias:
A visitor types in www.SiteB.com and they see all the content from www.SiteA.com but the www.SiteB.com address is the one seen in the address bar. Some hosting systems call this a “parked” domain.

Years ago I liked aliases but with the changes in search engine optimization I generally recommend forwarders over aliases these days.

—   ###   —

#forwarder #dns #aliases #parked domains

#POSSE

POSSE is an acronym/abbreviation for Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. It’s a Syndication Model where the flow involves posting your content on your own domain first, then syndicating out copies to 3rd party services with perma(short)links back to the original version.

POSSE lets your friends keep using whatever silo aggregator (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) they’ve been using to read your stuff.

It’s a key part of why and how the “IndieWeb” movement is different from just “everyone blog on their own site”, and also different from “everyone just install and run StatusNet/Diaspora” etc…”

ref. http://indiewebcamp.com/POSSE

On-Demand and Streaming TV Programming is a pain

The direction of On-Demand and Streaming TV Programming is really getting worse. I pay a couple hundred a month to comcast and now they want me to pay for a majority of on-demand shows… except for some of the most recent.

Netflix is being used to market incomplete shows (just a few episodes) and shows that haven’t gained an audience. Once they attract attention on Netflix new seasons are forever (if ever) to show up on Netflix.

My paid HuluPlus account is as slow and riddled with ads as the free version. My benefit for paying for show I already pay comcast for is a larger library.

TV episodes seem to be costing $2.99 to stream. This seems a bit damn high. Hey, how about $.99 cents? What happened to that? Afterall, we aren’t talking a movie. Of course, I’m already paying comcast a ton for this stuff but their DVR fills up in  a flash. Remember VCRs and all the law suits that format went through? In the end, we were able to record what ever we wanted, watch it whenever we wanted and keep it as long as we wanted. As long as it was for personal use and we weren’t trying to profit.

These days, some of my digital recordings self-destruct after a period of time. Most have to have the viewing completed in a period of time after starting to view. Lastly, some programs are blocking the DVR altogether.

Then there is the device sniffing. I had an early android tablet that could watch netflix in the browser, then they required an app and the app wouldn’t work on that device. Have you ever seen the “This program is not available for your device” message? Give me a break! If I am paying for it, what do you care if I am on a computer or a tablet?

And why in the workd is HuluPlus still not on GoogleTV? Google is abandoning it and renaming the platform AndroidTV. Oddly my Google TV, which is only 2 or 3 years old, is considered a dinosaur and not worth attention. The Google app exists but is still blocked on GoogleTV. Bite me you digital media monsters.

I love the digital world. Hell, I’ve made a career out of it, but everything that had so much potential is being turned into a money grab by big corporations and lawyers. The consumer is the victim in this battle.

And on a somewhat related side note, if you want things to get worse, ignore the Net Neutrality fight. We’ve practically lost the ability to record a program. Can you imagine when ISPs start controlling what sites you can go to and what apps/websites get into the fast lane?

end rant.

#StreamingMedia   #mediarights   #fastlane  #internetspeedthrottling  #NetNeutrality

http://blog.sfgate.com/opinionshop/2014/09/13/net-neutrality-deadline-comes-to-close/

Is Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited doomed to fail

Amazon  might say otherwise, but as near as I can tell, they have killed Kindle’s Prime Lending Library for the entirely unattractive $9.99 per month Kindle Unlimited (also coined unofficially as a Netflix For Books).
Kindle-Prime-Lending-Library-is-dead
Even their own lending library page has nothing but “KindleUnlimited” titles as far as I can tell (see screenshot and link)  http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000739811. Now I’m a huge Amazon fan, but on this one I will pass. I read 2 or 3 books a month and unless I’ve borrowed them for nothing, I own them. Most of my books only cost 5 bucks or less and many are free. There is no way I’m paying $10 per month for the privilege of borrowing books. I’ve been able to borrow from the brick and mortar library for free for years and from the prime lending library for free for quite a while.I predict this effort will be an absolute flop +Amazon.com . Particularly, in the light of the fact that you took away something you were already including with prime membership and added it into this new KindleUnlimited initiative.
Will the new Amazon Music be the next service to move out of prime and into its own monthly subscription service?
#Amazon #NotForMe #KindleOwnersLendingLibrary #kindleunlimited #NetflixForBooks #AmazonMusic

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NET NEUTRALITY, the open internet needs your support

What would you say if you Electric Company wanted to charge you more to power your TV than they charge to power your oven? What if the electricity you used for air conditioning was twice the price of the electricity used to power lighting? You would probably say electricity is electricity. You would see the notion as preposterous and you’d demand the electric company stop charging different rates based on the purpose of your electricity usage.

What would you say it the electric company wanted to charge you for your electricity and then also wanted charge Whirlpool (for the service you’ve already paid for) because refrigerators use so much power…. AND if Whirlpool didn’t want to pay they would selectively make Whirlpool appliances work badly for you.

In many ways this is exactly what Internet Service Providers like Comcast want to do. They want to charge websites to get full speed delivery to you. In fact, in many ways this is already going on. Did you know Netflix is paying Comcast for a fast connection? Consequently, my streaming from Amazon and Google is comparatively poor.

This is bad in so many ways, but the most obvious is that it will block innovation. In many ways the internet is a great equalizer. It helps even the smallest of companies compete, but those small companies will have a much tougher time if they can’t pay to get into the fast lane.

Everyone who uses the internet needs to take this time to voice their opinion and take a stand against “Cable Company F#*#kery” at
FCC.gov/comments
and don’t forget the CAPS!!!

This should be required viewing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Net Neutrality

See also,  www.huffingtonpost.com

 

Miss the windows start button?

I brought back the windows 7 start menu on my son’s windows 8 machine with Classic Shell. I even used my own logo for the start button. It was easy and works really well.

Microsoft made a big deal about bringing back the start button with the windows 8.1 update and it was nearly worthless.  All it does is take you to the metro start page if you click it. Well, it does give you some handy stuff if you right click it, but it was sort of like Microsoft said, “You want the start button back? Here you go, now go to the f#@#^ng metro start page and stop whining”.

classic shell desktop

Windows 8.1 desktop with Classic Shell

The Classic Shell start button is nicely done and an easy & free install. If you miss the windows start button, you should give it a try.
http://www.classicshell.net/  #classicshell #windows81

Bad news: Comcast is planning to buy Time-Warner

Opinion

Consumers will not benefit from a bigger Comcast and less competition.

Frankly, I’m not sure I trust Comcast. They have always tried to help when I have issues, so I have to give their customer service a nod, but under load their connection speed always drops. I really don’t care too much about speed bursts. I want a consistent speed.

At peak times on Friday and Saturday evening, when I need it, I have trouble streaming movies. (I know about the shared bandwidth, party-line thing and maybe I should  just switch to FIOS).

I’m pretty sure they are still throttling services (prioritizing packets as they put it). If we give up on Net Neutrality and allow them free reign, we’ll only get good performance via Comcast delivered content. They have little incentive to help improve our Netflix experience , particularly if their “competitors” aren’t offering anything better.
(on topic article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25743200 )

… to make things worse, they have decided they should have their own OS. Just what consumers need, another walled garden to play in. Welcome the X1 Entertainment Operating System http://www.comcast.com/x1

If you want a differing opinion on the merger. Business week is showing how big a tool they are with this article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-18/comcast-time-warner-merger-good-for-competition-and-consumers (Dude, that piece of advertorial must have come straight from the offices of Comcast).

If you’d prefer to read something a bit more objective: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/how-the-us-could-block-the-comcasttime-warner-cable-merger/

 

New Site for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware Launched

Big Brother and Big Sister of Delaware is starting off 2014 with a shiny new WP powered website. MAD House Graphics is honored to work with their organization. BBBS mentors have influenced the lives of over one million children in thousands of communities across the nation.

The site should get their year off to a nice start. It has a super clean layout and is built to expand. I particularly like the shifing colors for the different locations. Right now the office locations are are only 1 page each but they’re purpose built for easy expansion.

Visit them online at BBBSDE.org

Website Design for BBBSDE

BBBSDE Website

Migrating Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 6 Site Definitions to Adobe Dreamweaver CS5

This quick method of moving Dreamweaver site definitions worked well for me. We were moving Macromedia Dreamweaver MX site definitions on a PC to Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 on another PC.

1) First export your site definitions for Dreamweaver MX from your registry. This will likely work for other versions. Our needed key was:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Macromedia\Dreamweaver 6\Sites

2) then we edited the resulting registry backup file with a text editor as follows:
Search and Replace
Software\Macromedia\Dreamweaver 6\Sites
with
Software\Adobe\Common\11\Sites

3) then we added the edited registry file to the new machine (just open with the MS Registry editor which is usually just a double click on the file) and CS5 worked fine.

This also needed a copy of the site files to be on both machines at the same locations. If that isn’t possible, I’m sure your FTP upload info will still move across and save some time. Since we had 165 websites defined this was a big time saver, but probably not worth the hack if you just manage a couple sites. Dreamweaver has a built-in site export feature but in Dreamweaver 6 it is just one site at a time.