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Southeast Asia’s Viral Infection

Southeast Asia is fast developing a reputation as the most dangerous place on the Internet. It’s not a reputation the region can afford to have. By one count Thailand has risen to be the country with the most number of malware infections, by one account, and by another to be the second, all in the past few months. PandaLabs’ report on the second quarter of 2011 [PDF] lists Thailand as having the second highest rate of malware infection (after China) with nearly 57% of computers scanned by their antivirus software as being infected. The global average is about 40%. Thailand was second in the previousContinue readingSoutheast Asia’s Viral Infection

The Trojan That Never Was

How not to handle a PR debacle, Part 767: Avast, the free antivirus I’ve been using, and recommending, for while, has lost my confidence by a double whammy: mis-identifying pretty much every executable on my computer as a Trojan, and then not telling me about it. Apparently an update to the software will misidentify a lot of files as containing the Trojan Win32:Delf-MZG, suggesting you do a boot scan to clear out infections. Do so, and you’ll likely find that Avast will be deleting a lot of major program files, including those in the Windows directory. This is bad, because these are what are calledContinue readingThe Trojan That Never Was

KL’s Airport Gets Infected

If there’s one place you hope you won’t get infected by a computer virus, it’s an airport. It’s not just that the virus may fiddle with your departure times; it’s the wider possibility that the virus may have infected more sensitive parts of the airport: ticketing, say, or—heaven forbid—flight control. Kuala Lumpur International Airport—Malaysia’s main international airport—was on Friday infected by the W32.Downadup worm, which exploits a vulnerability in Windows Microsoft patched back in October. The worm, according to Symantec, does a number of things, creating an http server on the compromised computer, deletes restore points, downloads other file and then starts spreading itself toContinue readingKL’s Airport Gets Infected

Updater Fever

I sometimes wonder what software companies—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, they’re all the same—want from their customers. I spend enough time with novice users to know how confusing using computer software can be. Especially online: It’s a scary world out there (they’re right to be scared) but these companies, which should know better, make it more so. By trying to hoodwink into using their products they are undermining users’ confidence in using computers in the first place. If they keep on doing this, expect more people to use computers less—and certainly to install less software, or experiment in any way online or off. Take what justContinue readingUpdater Fever

links for 2008-09-15

About GroupLens | GroupLens Research GroupLens is a research lab in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. We conduct research in several areas (tags: minnesota collaboration recommendations social) iRider Web Browser Product Overview – Wymea Bay a browser that’s been doing all this stuff the others are starting to do a long time ago. (tags: browser software) WikiMindMap Great tool for converting a Wikipedia entry into a mind map that you can then export to Freemind. Useful for showing the uninitiated how mindmaps work, and how powerful they are. (thanks Roy of Topicscape for the link) (tags: wikipedia visualizationContinue readinglinks for 2008-09-15

Is That a Virus on Your Phone or a New Business Model?

This week’s WSJ.com column (subscription only) is about mobile viruses — or the lack of them. First off I talked about CommWarrior, the virus any of you with a Symbian phone and Bluetooth switched no will have been pinged with anywhere in the world. CommWarrior isn’t new: It has been around since March 2005. But this isn’t much comfort if you find yourself — as a lunch companion and I did — bombarded by a dozen attempts to infect our phones before the first course had arrived. So is CommWarrior just the thin end of a long wedge? Yes, if you listen to the Internet-security industry. “I canContinue readingIs That a Virus on Your Phone or a New Business Model?

What Your Product Does You Might Not Know About

Empty vodka bottles used for selling petrol, Bali Tools often serve purposes the designers didn’t necessarily intend — increasing their stickiness for users but in a way not clearly understood by the creator. Take the System Tray in Windows for example (and in the bar, whatever it’s called, in Macs.) And this array currently sitting in my overburdened laptop: These icons usually either notify the user if something happens, by changing color, animating itself or popping up some balloon message, or they will be quick launch icons: double click or right click to launch the program, or some function within it. Or they can beContinue readingWhat Your Product Does You Might Not Know About

The Failure of the Smartphone Interface

I still don’t understand why people think that a stylus is a good thing, or that mimicking a Windows environment — designed for navigation by mice and other pointy things — is regarded as a worthy goal for mobile devices. Take what Walt Mossberg, who has emerged as something of an expert on the new Treos, has to say about them in his mailbag (the URL isn’t a permalink, so don’t know how long it’s good for): I have reviewed both devices, and I find that the Windows Mobile software on the 700w is considerably inferior to the Palm operating system software on the 700p.Continue readingThe Failure of the Smartphone Interface

How to Split Your Screen Down the Middle

Here’s something for the directory of monitor extenders — stuff that increases the size, scope or general bendiness of your screen — SplitView , from the guys who brought you DiskView: SplitView increases productivity by making it easy to work with two applications side by side. It helps make full use of your high resolution monitor and gives the benefit of dual-monitors without their associated cost. Given it costs $19, that statement is indeed true. The problem is simple. Having two monitors is great — if you haven’t done it yet, you haven’t lived — but it’s also neat because you can pretty much keep them separate,Continue readingHow to Split Your Screen Down the Middle

Microsoft’s Spyware Gate

Microsoft have launched a new version of their Antispyware application, now rebuilt and renamed Windows Defender. Initial reports are favorable, including Paul Thurrott, who is good on these kind of things: Windows Defender Beta 2 combines the best-of-breed spyware detection and removal functionality from the old Giant Antispyware product and turns it into a stellar application that all Windows users should immediately download and install. Lightweight, effective, and unobtrusive, Windows Defender is anti-spyware done right, and I still consider this to be the best anti-spyware solution on the market. Highly recommended. Expect this program to become part of the next Windows operating system, meaning thatContinue readingMicrosoft’s Spyware Gate

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