Show of 5-25-2013

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Mary: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I have stuff on my dell laptop that I know I never proactively downloaded/installed. This toolbar is an example. How do I remove this and avoid getting another one installed going forward? Thanks. Mary
  • Tech Talk Responds: I checked the image that you sent. This looks like a native toolbar that comes with Windows Explorer. Right click on the top border. You should see the Favorites Bar checked. Just uncheck it and the extra link bar will go away. This does bring up a broader issue of unwanted downloads. Whenever you download a new product, you are frequently asked to install a toolbar. There is normally an option that can be checked. Always uncheck it. If you want to uninstall program that you don’t want, go to the Control Panel. Open Programs and Features. Scroll down the list and uninstall the program that you don’t want. Unwanted toolbars will show up here.
  • Email from Alice in Wonderland: Doctor Shurtz, I own an iMac and a Dell laptop. I want to run Malwarebytes on the Dell and am unclear as to whether I MUST have my anti-virus software, currently Comodo, disabled after I’ve installed it while I run the scan.  I did disable Comodo when I downloaded and installed Malwarebytes –but just unclear if I need to continue to have anti-virus / Comodo disabled during the Lengthy scan to run Malwarebytes.
  • Consumer reports (not sure they are best resource for this …) has ranked/ Rated security software and this is result for Free programs in this order: Avast, Avira, AVG, MS Security Essentials. I had installed this on the Dell awhile back and was getting conflict error messages, so I uninstalled it. I am using Comodo now. Should I change to one of these above and remove Comodo? Help is appreciated.  Best,    Alice in Wonderland
  • Tech Talk Responds: You only need one anti-virus software program and only one should be running at the same time. You have a good one. Comodo got a spectacular rating from CNet. It is one of the new entries in the field. It is more highly rated than Malwarebytes, which I had recommended on an earlier show.
  • As far as you second question, I use the ratings on Download.com, which is run by CNet. Avast also got a spectacular rating. Avira got a very good rating. AVG got a spectacular rating. MS Security Essentials go an Excellent. Malwarebytes is rated Outstanding. You can’t go wrong with any of the spectacular ratings, but only use one.
  • Email from Arnie McKechnie : Dr. Shurtz, I was wondering if you could answer a quick question for me on Tech Talk. I have an original iPad and I use the calendar that came with it. I want to get another monthly calendar like the original or something similar, but every time I download a calendar app, it sync’s with my original calendar.  I’ve downloaded several calendars from AppAdvice & Google listed apps. I’ve even paid for one app. All sync to my original calendar. Do you know a way to get just a plain monthly calendar app that doesn’t sync with my original calendar?  Mundane question, but it has me baffled.
  • Thought you’d like to see this article since you spend some time in India. It says that India likely source of multi-nation cyber spying. Many thanks. Love the show. Arnie McKechnie Davidsonville, MD
  • Tech Talk Responds: When you install a new calendar application, it will ask permission to access the data from other calendar programs. Just refuse access. If you have already granted access to you can remove it, by going to the configuration section of the calendar and turning off visibility for the calendars that you don’t want to see. Thanks for the India article. I will discuss later in the show.
  • Email from Devoted Listener: Dr. Shurtz, How does one find legit ways to use their computer/home office to make a decent income? I own a Windows pc & an iMAC. I really need to find at least one good option! Thanks!! Bethesda Fan and devoted listener
  • Tech Talk Responds: I not really an advocate of the work at home schemes. You can get legitimate work from the consultant sites. This is a case where the Internet has really changed the landscape. Here are a few freelance sites to check: oDesk (a great on to start with), Elance (similar in nature), Craigslist (the old standby), Freelancer, Guru, Demand Studios, iFreelance, Freelance Writing Gigs, Rent a Coder, 99Designs. There are many more. To get started, don’t ask for an upfront payment. Bid low. The idea is to get repeat customers. Many freelancers make a real living doing this.
  • Can I move my old computer’s hard drive to my new computer?
  • Email from Ngoc in Ohio: Dear Doc and Jim, My sister has a computer with Windows NT. She got a new computer with the latest Windows. Can she install her old hard drive with NT onto her new PC so she can transfer her pictures from the old hard drive? She has hundreds of family that she wants to save. Love the show. We stream it over the Internet in Ohio using the iPhone app TuneIn Radio. Ngoc, a loyal listener in Ohio.
  • Tech Talk Responds: You old drive can be read by the new computer. You have a choice. You can make it an external hard drive by getting a hard drive case or you can install into the new computer.
  • Consider the external hard drive first you need a case the fits the size of your hard drive and has the correct interface.  The size is either 5.25” or 3.5” disk size. The interface is either SATA or IDE. Most newer drives are SATA, but on older machines, you’re likely to run into IDE. The external drive enclosure that you get must match the drive: SATA or IDE.
  • Once you’ve installed the drive in the appropriate type of enclosure, all that you need to is connect it via USB to any computer (and perhaps to power) and you’ll be able to access the data on it.
  • Your second option is take the old hard drive and install it as the second drive in the new computer.  Everything that used to appear on the C: drive on the old computer might now appear as the D: drive on the new one. Once it’s set up, copying files from old to new is both easy and fast.
  • The down side is that you need to be somewhat computer hardware literate to install the drive. It does mean opening up your PC and connecting the old drive in the right way in the right place.

Profiles in IT: David Karp

  • David Karp is the founder and CEO of the short-form blogging platform Tumblr.
  • David Karp was born July 6, 1986 in NYC and grew up on the Upper West Side.
  • Karp attended The Calhoun School from age 3 through 8th Grade.
  • At 11, he began learning HTML and was soon designing websites for businesses.
  • Karp went on to attend Bronx Science for one year before dropping out at 15 to begin homeschooling.  Karp saw homeschooling and doing other projects on the side as a way to impress the colleges and get admitted to a prestigious school like MIT.
  • However, Karp never finished high school and did not earn his HS diploma.
  • Karp began interning at age 14 for animation producer Fred Seibert, founder of Frederator Studios. Karp’s mother had taught his children at the Calhoun School.
  • Karp also began taking Japanese classes at the Japan Society and saw a math tutor, with whom he worked on writing software for winning at blackjack and poker.
  • When entrepreneur John Maloney sought technical help with UrbanBaby, an online parenting forum, a Frederator employee recommended Karp for the job.
  • Karp completed the two day project within four hours and Maloney made him UrbanBaby’s head of product and gave him a small amount of equity.
  • At age 17, while still working for UrbanBaby, Karp moved alone to Tokyo for five months. UrbanBaby didn’t discover he had moved for three months.
  • Karp left UrbanBaby after it was sold to CNET in 2006 and started his own software consultancy company, Davidville, using money from the proceeds of the sale.
  • He hired Marco Arment, who replied to a Craigslist ad.
  • Karp had been interested in tumblelogs (short-form blogs) for some time and was waiting for a tumblelogging platform one to be released.
  • After a year of waiting, Karp and Arment began working on their own tumblelogging platform during a two-week gap between contracts in 2006.
  • Tumblr was launched in February 2007. Within 2 weeks, it had 75,000 users.
  • In October 2007, Karp shut down his consultancy business as his work with Tumblr.
  • Davidville was renamed Tumblr and sold 25 percent to a small group of investors.
  • As of May 19, 2013, Tumblr hosts over 108 million blogs.
  • On May 20, 2013, it was announced that Yahoo! and Tumblr had reached an agreement for Yahoo! to acquire Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Karp would remain as CEO.
  • Karp’s network is estimated to be $200 million.
  • In 2009, Karp was named Best Young Tech Entrepreneur 2009 by BusinessWeek.
  • In 2010, he was named to the MIT Technology Review TR35 as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.
  • Karp’s partner is Rachel Eakley, a chef and psychology graduate. They live together in Williamsburg, Brooklyn NYC with their pet dog, Clark.
  • Tumblr website: www.tumblr.com and his blog: www.davidslog.com

Russia’s Internet Use Is Exploding

  • More than half of all Russians now use the internet at least once a week.
  • America crossed the 50% barrier more than a decade ago.
  • The Russian Internet provide, RuNet, is still relatively free and uncensored.
  • There is no Russian equivalent of the great Chinese firewall, and, with few exceptions, people are free to publish whatever they want.
  • The fact that a growing majority of Russians now have access to a source of information that is essentially free of government control, should cause us to re-evaluate some of the assumptions that we hold.
  • This will make Russia a freer society because information is not controlled.
  • There are many positive social changes taking place because of this freedom.
  • Hopefully it will continue.

Honeywords help signal Data Breach

  • Security experts have proposed a simple way for websites to better secure highly sensitive databases used to store user passwords: the creation of false “honeyword” passcodes that when entered would trigger alarms that account hijacking attacks are underway.
  • The suggestion builds on the already established practice of creating dummy accounts known as honeypot accounts.
  • Because these dummy accounts don’t belong to legitimate users of the service and are normally never accessed, they can be used to send a warning to site administrators when attackers are able to log in to them.
  • The new, complementary honeyword measure—proposed in a research paper titled “Honeywords: Making Password-Cracking Detectable—was devised by RSA Labs researcher Ari Juels and MIT cryptography professor Ronald Rivest, the latter who is the “R” in the RSA cryptography scheme.
  • The new measure calls for a file storing cryptographically hashed passwords to contain multiple passwords for each account, only one of which is valid. Attackers who manage to crack the hashes would have no way of knowing if the corresponding plain-text password is real for a particular user.
  • Logging into an account using one of the decoy passwords would immediately cause a “honeychecker”—located on a separate, hardened computer system—to issue an alert to administrators that the database has been compromised.
  • Sites that used the system might store 20 hashed passwords for each user—only one that actually logs the user into the account. The hardened monitoring server would check if each password was the real one or one of the honeywords.
  • Login attempts that used any of the fake 19 honeywords would immediately be reported.
  • Admins could program the system to respond to the honeywords in a variety of ways, including suspending the particular account pending a security reset or letting the login proceed but on a “honeypot system,” which is a trap designed to monitor the breach and prevent attackers from accessing a real account.

Google’s Plan To Take Over The World

  • Google isn’t just the backbone of the Internet anymore. It’s rapidly becoming the backbone of your entire life, all thanks to data we voluntarily giving up.
  • It’s the most apparent in Google Now, a voice-powered personal assistant that launched on Android phones last year.
  • At 2013 Google I/O, it became even more clear that Google no longer sees search as returning a list of 10 or 20 relevant links when you type in a query.
  • Google Now is much more than that. It’s the embodiment of a “Star Trek Computer,” an intelligent machine that understands natural language and real-world context to assist you before you even know you need assistance.
  • Google Now scans your email and knows when your Amazon package is arriving.
    • It knows what sports scores to show you based on the teams you’ve searched for.
    • It knows what stock prices to show you based on the companies you search for.
    • It scans your calendar and reminds you when to leave to make your appointment on time.
  • And all that data is delivered to you without you having to ask.
  • Google recently launched the app on iPhones and iPads, and it’s coming to the desktop soon if you use the Chrome Web browser.
  • Next year, we will be wearing Google Now with Google Glass.
  • Google scans every single one you upload to Google+. It can learn what your family members look like and group photos of them into albums automatically.
  •  It can tell if your subjects are smiling. If they’re not smiling, it can transfer their faces in from other images where they are and create the perfect photo for you.
  •  It knows if you’re taking pictures of mountains or puppies or buildings or famous landmarks and group your photo albums together accordingly.
  • Android has 900 million activations to date, and it has the potential to connect billions of people to the Internet for the first time in the next few years.
  • Google Maps has a new look, and it’s turned into a snappy way to find places to visit and get recommendations.
  • Gmail is turning into a money transfer service.
  • Does the benefit of faster search, better transportation, and automated news updates outweigh giving up so much of our lives to a computer run by a private company that mines our data?