Monday, January 31, 2011

Oh, Those Smartphones

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They are getting smarter and smarter.

Those iPhone cell phones, that is.

We don't have one yet, but when the upgrade time for our cell phone plan arrives - you can bet that at least one of us will be having an iPhone.

With all the features for these phones, they are certainly more than just a calling device.

When you add in all the different apps available for these phones in particular, then it just becomes unbelievable.

One such app, Evie, is a must if one owns an iPhone.

She makes calling people a breeze.

She makes playing your favorite music or listening to an audiobook or podcast, a snap.

She even makes searching for points of interest or businesses a simple job.

And it's all done without even touching or looking at the phone.

This hand-free app uses your voice to command your phone.

It is the perfect app for those who drive a lot, Moms on the go and pretty much everyone.

You can even listen to your Facebook feed while you are driving or walking about.

This app enables you to pay attention and keep your eyes on what you are doing - you will not be distracted with the handling of the phone.

We will have to remember this one when we get our iPhone - better start a special bookmark folder for them now.



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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hacked Again

I have run an internet ecommerce site for over six years.

Perhaps I have just been very lucky, but I have had not problems with it.

A few minor blips along the way - but not anything that I couldn't figure out with my limited coding knowledge and the forums with all the info.

My site was hacked for the first time in December.

My hosting company had an uninfected back up and we were able to get it back up and running.

Yesterday it was struck again.

My host supposedly didn't have a backup, but I had one that I was able to use to track down the corrupted files.

Two full days have been spent on this work.

I have made some security additions that I hope will help.

If I understood the coding and how it all worked, it probably wouldn't have taken so long.

I messed up my site so many times while adding these security codes and it was quite frustrating.

One thing I made sure I did though, was to back up the individual files as I went along, and document each piece of code as I changed, deleted, and added it.

That is the ticket - back-up and document.

It saved me several times today.

And just because everything worked very well for other members of the forum doesn't mean it is going to work for you.

So many little details that the coders don't mention - it is just second nature to them so they don't think about it.

Being a bit experimental, I was able to take some chances - after all, I had my back-up, and I wrote down what I was doing.

All is well now, and the functions are all working properly.

What a day - my eyes are seeing double, and the code in my brain is starting to make sense.

Fingers are crossed!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fix the Internet Connection

One more post about the malware that struck one of the computers in our home last week.

After it was removed from the system and all the scanners had run and the machine had rebooted, we tried getting on the internet.

Firefox is our browser of choice - it wouldn't connect to the internet.

Internet Explorer was the next choice - no go there either.

Since Google's Chrome had been loaded on this computer - it was tried also.

None of them would connect - all gave connection errors when we tried.

Back to the computer we went to check the internet connection options.

It is found in the control panel.

After opening it, we went and viewed under the connections tab.

And wouldn't you know, that malware had enabled the LAN options for connecting to the internet.

Once we disabled that option - all the browsers could connect with no problems.

A simple fix that was easy to find.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Software Disabled

The topic of my last post involved being hit with malware when a certain website was visited.

One of my readers, Mike, over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff, was kind enough to suggest a piece of software to help fight it.

The software is a free program and it is titled Malwarebytes.

It is quite a valuable program, and I have had it installed on all our computers since the first time we were hit with malware over a year ago.

I update and run it every couple of weeks, and have not had any attacks since that first time.

The one that hit us last week is a tough one though.

It quickly disables that program, the internet security program, the fire wall, and all the browsers installed on the computer.

It takes over the Windows security program also, and many other programs become locked up and unusable.

When I tried to install a clean version of the malware program from a flash drive, giving it a different name so it wasn't recognized by the malware, it quickly infected that too.

The only thing that saved us - the malware begins to work as soon as the computer has completely booted up.

We we able to get the malware program running before the malware actually started running on the computer.

It worked this time, just hope we don't have to go through this again.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hit With Malware Again

One of the computers in our home has been hit with malware again.

Even though the malware software had been kept updated, since it isn't run in the background to catch the problem before it infects the computer, it was pretty useless once it had struck.

We tried downloading the removal program again with a flash drive and only ended up infecting that device too.

It was a tough one to remove, but we eventually beat it running, right after booting up, and were able to update and run the malware remover program.

They are getting nastier and harder to remove from the system.

The computer was being used as it usually was - no new websites visited or pages viewed that brought it up.

I am almost tempted to purchase the version of the malware remover program that runs in the background - that would prevent it from becoming infected in the first place.

But the conflicts I have encountered when running more programs in the "background" has caused too many problems also.

Sounds like we have the choice of two evils - not sure what to do at the moment.

One thing is for sure - that flash drive is being trashed - don't want to infect the other computers by accident.