Tag Archives: Google

India celebrates Children’s Day 2014


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Doodle4Google - "Natural and Cultural Paradise - Assam" by Vaidehi Reddy.
Doodle4Google – “Natural and Cultural Paradise – Assam” by Vaidehi Reddy.

 

Today, November 14th, India celebrates Children’s Day. I wish all children in India “A Happy Children’s Day!”

In 2009, Google India launched the Doodle4Google competition. It is an invitation for students from grades 1to 10 to design the Google Doodle to celebrate Children’s Day in India. The theme for this year’s competition was “A place in India I wish to visit”. Google received over one million entries from more than 1700 schools across 50 cities in India.

Google India announced Vaidehi Reddy as the winner of this year’s Doodle4Google design contest. She was honoured at an event in New Delhi on November 12, 2014.

The above winning Doodle titled “Natural and Cultural Paradise – Assam” went live on the Google (India) home page today, November 14, Children’s Day.

Nehru and Children's Day

On this Children’s day, India remembers and honours the country’s first Prime Minister Shri Jawaharlal Nehru born in 1889. The children of India fondly called him “Chacha Nehru” (Hindi: चाचा नेहरू)) or Uncle Nehru.

Jawaharlal Nehru always emphasized the importance of showering love and affection on children. He saw in them the future of India.

On December 3, 1949, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote a lovely letter to the children of India. Here are some excerpts from it:

“I like being with children and talking to them and, even more, playing with them. For the moment I forget that I am terribly old and it is very long ago since I was a child.”

“Can you recognise the flowers by their names and the birds by their singing? How easy it is to make friends with them and with everything in nature, if you go to them affectionately and with friendship. You must have read many fairy tales and stories of long ago. But the world itself is the greatest fairy tale and story of adventure that was ever written.”

“Grown-ups have a strange way of putting themselves in compartments and groups. They build barriers… of religion, caste, colour, party, nation, province, language, customs and of rich and poor. Fortunately, children do not know much about these barriers, which separate. They play and work with each other and it is only when they grow up that they begin to learn about these barriers from their elders.”

“Some months ago, the children of Japan wrote to me and asked me to send them an elephant. I sent them a beautiful elephant on behalf of the children of India… This noble animal became a symbol of India to them and a link between them and the children of India.”

“You know we had a very great man amongst us. He was called Mahatma Gandhi. But we used to call him affectionately Bapuji. He was wise, but he did not show off his wisdom. He was simple and childlike in many ways and he loved children… he taught us to face the world cheerfully and with laughter.”

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Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – Did the Aircraft Fly Towards Palau Langkawi


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370  (Source: CNN)
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (Source: CNN)

From the day the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared many theories such as hijacking, disintegration in midair, missile attack, and so on, are being elucidated by pundits and amateurs for the possible disappearance of the flight that took off on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at 00:41 MST from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport with 239 people, including 12 crew members.

The location of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 last seen on Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar at 02:40 MST (March 7, 18:40 UTC) was at 6°55′15″N 103°34′43″E. After that the aircraft ceased all communications. The aircraft’s transponder in the cockpit was switched off just before the plane passed from Malaysian to the Ho Chi Minh Area air traffic control space – the optimum moment, when the aircraft was not controlled by air traffic controllers in Malaysia or Vietnam. Later, authorities in Thailand and China informed their Malaysian counterparts that the aircraft had not entered their airspace.

On Saturday, March 15, 2014, a week after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters:

“Based on new satellite information, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards, near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.”

The Prime Minister further said:

 “Despite media reports that the plane was hijacked, I wish to be very clear: we are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its original flight path.”

Chris Goodfellow
Chris Goodfellow

Chris Goodfellow, a Canadian with 20 years experience as a Class-1 instrumented-rated pilot for multi-engine does not speculate on terrorism, hijack, meteors, etc. He tries to look for a more simple explanation of this incident through his post “MH370  A different point of view. Pulau Langkawi 13,000 runway” on Google+.

When he heard reports that Malaysian military radar tracked the aircraft on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the straits of Malacca, he instantly brought up Google Earth and searched for airports in proximity to the track towards southwest.

Goodfellow suggests that the chief pilot was confronted by some major event on-board that made him turn back right away to the closest safe airport. It was probably a serious event and the crew in the cockpit must have been occupied trying to fight the fire and controlling the aircraft. For Goodfellw, the loss of transponders and communication makes perfect sense in the case of a fire and electrical short-circuit caused by the fire because the first reaction is to pull all the main busses and restore circuits, one by one, until the bad one is isolated and the aircraft would have gone silent. Aviate, Navigate and lastly communicate would be the modus operandi of a seasoned pilot.

Flight of MH370 to Langkawi

Chris Goodfellow says:

The left turn is the key here. This was a very experienced senior Captain with 18,000 hours. Maybe some of the younger pilots interviewed on CNN didn’t pick up on this left turn. We old pilots were always drilled to always know the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us and airports ahead of us. Always in our head. Always. Because if something happens you don’t want to be thinking what are you going to do – you already know what you are going to do. Instinctively when I saw that left turn with a direct heading I knew he was heading for an airport. Actually he was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi a 13,000 foot strip with an approach over water at night with no obstacles. He did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000 foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier towards Langkawi and also a shorter distance.

What I think happened is that they were overcome by smoke and the plane just continued on the heading probably on George (autopilot) until either fuel exhaustion or fire destroyed the control surfaces and it crashed. I said four days ago you will find it along that route – looking elsewhere was pointless.

This pilot, as I say, was a hero struggling with an impossible situation trying to get that plane to Langkawi. No doubt in my mind. That’s the reason for the turn and direct route. A hijack would not have made that deliberate left turn with a direct heading for Langkawi. It would probably have weaved around a bit until the hijackers decided on where they were taking it.

Surprisingly none of the reporters , officials, other pilots interviewed have looked at this from the pilot’s viewpoint. If something went wrong where would he go? Thanks to Google earth I spotted Langkawi in about 30 seconds, zoomed in and saw how long the runway was and I just instinctively knew this pilot knew this airport. He had probably flown there many times. I guess we will eventually find out when you help me spread this theory on the net and some reporters finally take a look on Google earth and put 2 and 2 together.

The Langkawi International Airport (Source: philly.com)
The Langkawi International Airport (Source: philly.com)

The Langkawi International Airport is one of seven international airports in Malaysia and connects the island to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Penang and Subang.

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Did Samsung Pay the Fine of One Billion Dollars to Apple in Nickels?


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Samsung vs Apple
Samsung vs Apple

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The various litigation filed by Apple Inc. worldwide over technology patents are now known as “Smartphone patent wars.”

In 2011, while Apple Inc., and Motorola Mobility were already involved in a patent war on many fronts, Apple filed lawsuits against Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., in patent infringement suits over the style and design of smartphones and tablet computing devices. By July 2012,  Apple and Samsung manufactured over fifty percent of smartphones sold worldwide.

By August 2011, there were 19 ongoing suits in nine countries around the world between Apple and Samsung. In October, the number of legal disputes extended to 10 countries, and in July 2012, the two companies were involved in over 50 lawsuits worldwide, with billions of US dollars claimed as damages between these. Apple received a verdict in its favor in the US and Samsung won rulings in South Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

In the United States, on August 24, 2012, the jury returned a verdict essentially favorable to Apple in the ground-breaking Apple-Samsung trial. It found that Samsung had flagrantly infringed on Apple’s design and utility patents. The jury awarded Apple $1,049,343,540 billion in damages and zero to Samsung in its counter suit. Apple’s equities rose over 6%, traded at $675 a share, an all-time high for Apple.

Americn Five Cents (Image Courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com)
Americn Five Cents (Image Courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com)

A story posted on August 27, 2012 in the spanish website ELDERFORMA.COM was titled: “Samsung paga multa de 1 billón de dólares a Apple en monedas de 5 centavos” (“Samsung pays fine of $1 billion to Apple in coins of 5 cents”).

Samsung pays fine of $ 1 billion to Apple in 5 cent coins. (Source - elderforma.com)
Samsung pays fine of $ 1 billion to Apple in 5 cent coins. (Source – elderforma.com)

Here is the translation:

This morning more than 30 trucks filled with 5-cent coins arrived at Apple’s headquarters in California. Initially, the security company that protects the facility said the trucks were in the wrong place, but minutes later, Tim Cook (Apple CEO) received a call from Samsung CEO explaining that they will pay $1 billion dollars for the fine recently ruled against the South Korean company in this way.

The funny part is that the signed document does not specify a single payment method, so Samsung is entitled to send the creators of the iPhone their billion dollars in the way they deem best.

This dirty but genius geek troll play is a new headache to Apple executives as they will need to put in long hours counting all that money, to check if it is all there and to try to deposit it crossing fingers to hope a bank will accept all the coins.

Lee Kun-hee, Chairman of Samsung Electronics, told the media that his company is not going to be intimidated by a group of “geeks with style” and that if they want to play dirty, they also know how to do it.

You can use your coins to buy refreshments at the little machine for life or melt the coins to make computers, that’s not my problem, I already paid them and fulfilled the law.

A total of 20 billion coins, delivery hope to finish this week.

Let’s see how Apple will respond to this.

Samsung pays Apple $1 Billion sending 30 trucks full of 5 cent coins
Samsung pays Apple $1 Billion sending 30 trucks full of 5 cent coins

The original article in Spanish and translations of it in other languages spread virally. Many readers, including me, who read the article online fell for it and mistook it for real news. However, certain aspects of the article roused suspicion.

To pay Apple $1,049,343,540 billion in five-cents coins Samsung would need almost 21 billion coins, 20,986,870,800 nickels to be exact. According to the U.S. Mint’s website, only 1.02 billion nickels were minted in 2012.

So, if Samsung had paid Apple in nickels, it would have collected all the nickels minted in the last 21 years in a couple of days. But did anyone in the United States knew about it or noticed the dearth of nickels in circulation?

Let us now look at the weight of the colossal amount of nickels. Weighing five grams each, the weight of 21 billion nickels amounts to 104,934,354 kilograms or 104,934.354 metric tonnes. So, each of the 30 trucks would have carried a gargantuan amount of nickels – about 3,500 metric tonnes.

Ridiculous, isn’t it?

All the above happened last year. But now, the long debunked myth of “truck load of nickels” is making the rounds once again.

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11 Million Users Abandon Facebook


Users vacate Facebook over serious privacy concerns

By Julie Wilson
Infowars.com
September 17, 2013

A new report by the Daily Mail reveals Facebook users are abandoning the social media giant at an unprecedented rate over privacy concerns.

Computer keyboard

New research shows Facebook has lost a total of eleven million users, nine million in the US and two million in Britain. Researchers at the University of Vienna analyzed 600 users and found they quit for the following reasons:

Privacy concerns – 48.3 percent
General dissatisfaction – 13.5 percent
Shallow conversations – 12.6 percent
Fear of becoming addicted – 6 percent

Studies show the majority of users that quit the site were older males.

Facebook, among other tech giants, have been repeatedly under scrutiny for their lack of user privacy, including turning over thousands of user’s info to the government. In August, Infowars revealed Facebook submitted information on approximately 38,000 users in 74 countries during the first half of 2013.

Over half of the requests originated from inside of the United States. Tech giants are unable to reveal absolute numbers on how many requests they’ve submitted to because the government prohibits them from doing so. However, companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Yahoo have formed a unique alliance and are fighting back.

The tech alliance is putting pressure on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court by filing motions asking to publicly disclose more details about secret national intelligence requests, instead of  just releasing approximations.

“We believe there is more information that the public deserves to know, and that would help foster an informed debate about whether government security programs adequately balance privacy interests when attempting to keep the public safe,” said Facebook’s general counsel Colin Stretch.

“Editor of the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking which published the findings, said: ‘Given high profile stories such as WikiLeaks and the recent NSA surveillance reports, individual citizens are becoming increasingly more wary of cyber-related privacy concerns,’” reported Mail Online.

Facebook has also been under close examination for their recently updated “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” policy which states users’ profile data including their profile picture, name and personal information “could show up as part of a Facebook ad their friends may see on the site,” according to a report by Mashable.

Even more controversy surrounded the social media giant when they announced the update of the “Tag Suggest” feature, which would allow facial recognition technology “to speed up the process of ‘tagging’ friends and acquaintances who appear in photos posed on the network,” reported Reuters.

As you can see, users’ concerns over privacy, or lack thereof, are certainly substantiated. However, if your information isn’t being collected through Facebook, NSA’s spy program, PRISM, is sure to scoop up your info in some other way, most likely through email or cellular data.

Re-posted from Infowars.com

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An Indian-American Teenage Girl’s Invention Could Charge Cell-phones in 20 Seconds


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Eesha Khare

An Indian-American Teenage Girl’s Invention Could Charge Cell-phones in 20 Seconds

Thanks to an 18-year-old high-school student, Eesha Khare of Saratoga, California, USA, our wait for hours for a cellphone to charge may become a thing of the past. This Indian-American girl, specialising in nanochemistry, has invented a super-capacitor device that can potentially charge a cellphone in less than 20 seconds.

The Intel Foundation presented Esha Khare the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and $50,000 during the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, Arizona this week for inventing the tiny super-capacitor device that can pack lot more energy into a smaller space than traditional phone batteries. The gizmo fits inside mobile phone batteries, and can hold the charge for a longer period.

Eesha says that her invention could be employed not only to charge cellphone batteries, but also to power anything that uses rechargeable batteries. Right now, the “super-capacitor” charges a light-emitting diode (LED). However, she is now being besieged by offers from the electronic industry. Reports say that Google is now having preliminary exploratory talks with Eesha Khare.

Let us wish this teenager all success with her invention.

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Anonymous: CISPA Internet Blackout April 22nd | #CISPABlackout


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Dear citizens of the internet,

We are Anonymous.

The United States Government is again attempting to control and censor the internet. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act has just recently passed the house.

This bill would allow major internet entities such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google to voluntarily share your personal information with the U.S. Government. This will not only effect users in the United States, but also anyone with an account with these companies.

This upcoming Monday, April the 22nd, we invite you to join Anonymous in a internet blackout. We encourage all web developers and website owners to go dark on this date. Display a message as to why you are going dark, and encourage others to do the same.

We hope, just like the successful protest over the Stop Online Piracy Act, we can encourage the senate to stop this bill.

Spread the message, and inform the world.

We are Anonymous
We are the people
We are the internet

Knowledge is free

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Firm Is Accused of Sending Spam, and Fight Jams Internet


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By  and 

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Cyber attack

A squabble between a group fighting spam and a Dutch company that hosts Web sites said to be sending spam has escalated into one of the largest computer attacks on the Internet, causing widespread congestion and jamming crucial infrastructure around the world.

A squabble between a group fighting spam and a Dutch company that hosts Web sites said to be sending spam has escalated into one of the largest computer attacks on the Internet, causing widespread congestion and jamming crucial infrastructure around the world.

However, for the Internet engineers who run the global network the problem is more worrisome. The attacks are becoming increasingly powerful, and computer security experts worry that if they continue to escalate people may not be able to reach basic Internet services, like e-mail and online banking.

The dispute started when the spam-fighting group, called Spamhaus, added the Dutch company Cyberbunker to its blacklist, which is used by e-mail providers to weed out spam. Cyberbunker, named for its headquarters, a five-story former NATO bunker, offers hosting services to any Web site “except child porn and anything related to terrorism,” according to its Web site.

A spokesman for Spamhaus, which is based in Europe, said the attacks began on March 19, but had not stopped the group from distributing its blacklist.

Patrick Gilmore, chief architect at Akamai Technologies, a digital content provider, said Spamhaus’s role was to generate a list of Internet spammers.

Of Cyberbunker, he added: “These guys are just mad. To be frank, they got caught. They think they should be allowed to spam.”

Mr. Gilmore said that the attacks, which are generated by swarms of computers called botnets, concentrate data streams that are larger than the Internet connections of entire countries. He likened the technique, which uses a long-known flaw in the Internet’s basic plumbing, to using a machine gun to spray an entire crowd when the intent is to kill one person.

The attacks were first mentioned publicly last week by CloudFlare, an Internet security firm in Silicon Valley that was trying to defend against the attacks and as a result became a target.

“These things are essentially like nuclear bombs,” said Matthew Prince, chief executive of CloudFlare. “It’s so easy to cause so much damage.”

The so-called distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks have reached previously unknown magnitudes, growing to a data stream of 300 billion bits per second.

“It is a real number,” Mr. Gilmore said. “It is the largest publicly announced DDoS attack in the history of the Internet.”

Spamhaus, one of the most prominent groups tracking spammers on the Internet, uses volunteers to identify spammers and has been described as an online vigilante group.

In the past, blacklisted sites have retaliated against Spamhaus with denial-of-service attacks, in which they flood Spamhaus with traffic requests from personal computers until its servers become unreachable. But in recent weeks, the attackers hit back with a far more powerful strike that exploited the Internet’s core infrastructure, called the Domain Name System, or DNS.

That system functions like a telephone switchboard for the Internet. It translates the names of Web sites like Facebook.com or Google.com into a string of numbers that the Internet’s underlying technology can understand. Millions of computer servers around the world perform the actual translation.

In the latest incident, attackers sent messages, masquerading as ones coming from Spamhaus, to those machines, which were then amplified drastically by the servers, causing torrents of data to be aimed back at the Spamhaus computers.

When Spamhaus requested aid from CloudFlare, the attackers began to focus their digital ire on the companies that provide data connections for both Spamhaus and CloudFlare.

Questioned about the attacks, Sven Olaf Kamphuis, an Internet activist who said he was a spokesman for the attackers, said in an online message that, “We are aware that this is one of the largest DDoS attacks the world had publicly seen.” Mr. Kamphuis said Cyberbunker was retaliating against Spamhaus for “abusing their influence.”

“Nobody ever deputized Spamhaus to determine what goes and does not go on the Internet,” Mr. Kamphuis said. “They worked themselves into that position by pretending to fight spam.”

A typical denial-of-service attack tends to affect only a small number of networks. But in the case of a Domain Name System flood attack, data packets are aimed at the victim from servers all over the world. Such attacks cannot easily be stopped, experts say, because those servers cannot be shut off without halting the Internet.

“The No. 1 rule of the Internet is that it has to work,” said Dan Kaminsky, a security researcher who years ago pointed out the inherent vulnerabilities of the Domain Name System. “You can’t stop a DNS flood by shutting down those servers because those machines have to be open and public by default. The only way to deal with this problem is to find the people doing it and arrest them.”

The heart of the problem, according to several Internet engineers, is that many large Internet service providers have not set up their networks to make sure that traffic leaving their networks is actually coming from their own users. The potential security flaw has long been known by Internet security specialists, but it has only recently been exploited in a way that threatens the Internet infrastructure.

An engineer at one of the largest Internet communications firms said the attacks in recent days have been as many as five times larger than what was seen recently in attacks against major American banks. He said the attacks were not large enough to saturate the company’s largest routers, but they had overwhelmed important equipment.

Cyberbunker brags on its Web site that it has been a frequent target of law enforcement because of its “many controversial customers.” The company claims that at one point it fended off a Dutch SWAT team.

“Dutch authorities and the police have made several attempts to enter the bunker by force,” the site said. “None of these attempts were successful.”

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Re-posted from The New York Times

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“Island in South Pacific Doesn’t Exist” By Jack Phillips


We all had a good giggle at Google as we sailed through the island.
—Steven Micklethwaite, University of Western Australia

A screen shot from Google Maps shows the location of Sandy Island on Nov. 22, 2012. (Screenshot/Google Maps).
A screen shot from Google Maps shows the location of Sandy Island on Nov. 22, 2012. (Screenshot/Google Maps)

Australian scientists recently “undiscovered” an island in the South Pacific. Sandy Island was well documented on Google’s map services, Times Atlas of the World, and nautical maps, but when the scientists searched for it, they found only open water.Researchers with the University of Sydney traveled to the island’s supposed location (between New Caledonia and Australia) to identify parts of the Australian continental crust submerged in the Coral Sea. Australian scientists recently “undiscovered” an island in the South Pacific. Sandy Island was well documented on Google’s map services, Times Atlas of the World, and nautical maps, but when the scientists searched for it, they found only open water.

Researchers with the University of Sydney traveled to the island’s supposed location (between New Caledonia and Australia) to identify parts of the Australian continental crust submerged in the Coral Sea.

Geologist Dr. Maria Seton told Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), “It’s on Google Earth and other maps so we went to check and there was no island. We’re really puzzled. It’s quite bizarre.”

Not only was there no island there, perhaps more startling was the water depth of 4,600 feet at that location—“very deep,” Seton told AFP.

She plans to investigate how the island got on the map.

“Somehow this error has propagated through to the world coastline database from which a lot of maps are made,” Seton told the Sydney Morning Herald. Seton said the maps that she had also showed that there was an island there, and the missing island has appeared in scientific publications since 2000.

The island is in French territorial water, as France oversees New Caledonia. French government maps do not show the island, according to the Herald.

“Even onboard the ship, the weather maps the captain had showed an island in this location,” Seton told the newspaper.

Steven Micklethwaite of the University of Western Australia told the Herald: “We all had a good giggle at Google as we sailed through the island, then we started compiling information about the seafloor, which we will send to the relevant authorities so that we can change the world map.”

Mark Price, with the Australian Hydrographic Service, which produces Australia’s nautical maps, said that the coastline database is compiled from reports that sometimes have errors.

“We take anything off that database with a pinch of salt,” he told the Herald.

A spokesman with Google told ABC that it is always looking to improve its maps. “We work with a wide variety of authoritative public and commercial data sources to provide our users with the richest, most up-to-date maps possible.”

Reprosted from TheEpochTimes

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Hackers Reveal 10 PC Security Mistakes We ALL Make


No one knows security mistakes better than hackers – because for them, tiny errors in security are the ‘keys’ that allow access to home PCs and office computer systems.

And hackers are clear about one thing. Computer users make mistakes all the time – and often the same ones, over and over again. Two hackers – one ‘ethical hacker’, who tests computer systems by attempting to break into them, and one ex-hacker who now works in security – lay bare the ten errors that crop up most often.

‘People are too trusting,’ says Tom Beale, who has worked as an ‘ethical hacker’ for 10 years, protecting corporate and government systems by finding weaknesses.

‘The human element is always the weak link in the chain. People are very easily distracted – and particular attackers prey on that.’

‘People are just getting more and more stupid,’ says Cal Leeming, an ex-hacker who was convicted for a cyber crime, but now works in computer security.

‘They want their stuff to be protected, but they expect someone else to do it for them. People don’t want to know. Even for companies, computer security isn’t a priority, because it’s not a primary source of income. It’s only once the company’s been hit that they realise, “Oh we should have paid more attention than that”.’

1. Don’t use the same username everywhere

‘People often upload photos of themselves to an online library, say,’ says Cal Leeming, a former hacker who works in security at Simplicity Media, ‘But they use a username they use on other sites. They don’t realise that people can use Google to connect them across all the different worlds they visit, and then work out a way in.’

2. Don’t trust public wi-fi

‘When you go on a public wi-fi network you have no way to determine whether it’s a real network run by a reputable company, or a fake run by a spotty guy next to you,’ says Tom Beale of Vigilante Bespoke. ‘The problem’s particularly bad on mobile, where you really can’t tell if you’re on a fake network set up to steal your data. If you’re going to use public networks for business, use a laptop, because the browser will warn you of security breaches – your phone won’t.’

3. Be careful about who you friend on Facebook

‘Facebook has been basically forced to implement privacy settings,’ says Cal. ‘But people still get it wrong. They randomly friend other people, not realising they are giving away information that could be useful in a cyber attack – for instance names of pets or family that might be a password or security question.’

4. Don’t trust people you don’t know

‘I always tell people to do an ‘offline test’ – ie would you do the same thing if you were offline? So for instance, if you’re chatting to someone online, and you tell them some information, would you give that information to someone you’d just met in a bar?,’ says Tom. ‘Online, you’re even LESS safe – because you may not be talking to who you think you are. People just seem to lose all concept of reality when they’re on a PC.’

5. Use two-factor passwords when you can

‘People resist this except when they’re made to do it – like by their bank,’ says Tom. ‘But it does add that extra layer. It does offer protection. People accept that their bank will use tokens or keycard readers, but when other sites add it, people resist it – they just want quick access.’

6. Don’t re-use your email password

‘This isn’t going to be a problem that goes away any time soon,’ says Cal. ‘People don’t realise what are the risks of using the same password. If you reuse your email password, you’re handing out the keys to be hacked and breached – giving hackers access to the information they’ll need to hack your bank account and other networks you use. People use simple passwords for convenience – memorising too many is just a pain.’

7. Don’t be fooled by ‘cries for help’

‘Some of the most effective attacks are “cries for help” from friends – sent by email from a compromised machine. It’s incredible how many people respond to that,’ says Tom. ‘If it’s someone who travels a lot, and their email is hacked, it’s more convincing when you get an email saying that they are stranded abroad, and need money. They target people with a scattergun approach, but when they find someone who IS abroad a lot, it’s very effective.’

8. Use antivirus software

‘I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t run AV software,’ says Tom. ‘It’s not a Holy Grail, but it helps you to deal with most known problems. Browsing without it is like driving without a seatbelt. It’s your first layer of defence, whether you’re using PC, Mac or Android.’

9. Remember that funny videos can be very unfunny

‘Facebook’s system doesn’t filter for malicious links, so they can be very dangerous. Often a ‘video’ link will try to fool people into visiting an infected site or downloading something in the guise of video software or fake antivirus software. Your only defence is to think, ‘Would my friend really post that?’ so be careful about people you only half-know. Facebook and Twitter need to inform users better.’

10. Set everything to auto update

‘Attackers will be actively looking for vulnerabilities – not just in your operating system, but in your browser, in plug-ins such as Flash and Java. Be sure that all of those are up to date,’ says Tom. ‘If you don’t, you are leaving security holes. Most updates don’t add functions, they just fix holes, and if you don’t get them, you still have the holes.’

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Reproduced from Yahoo! News – Thu, Sep 13, 2012