LOL – History of the internet at the National Media Museum

NewsThis is one for all you UK tech buffs as the National Media Museum in Bradford are starting on the 30th March 2012 an exhibition into the history of the web called Life on Line or LOL for short, although a bit too close the the internet slang of Laugh Out Loud, so I hope the exhibition content is not bad.

NMM LOL

“The gallery will bring together historically significant content, multimedia displays, and a programme of special exhibitions exploring contemporary trends and issues related to how the internet and the web are changing society.

It features contributions from some of the web’s pioneers such as Tim Berners Lee and Vint Cerf.”

Looking at pictures of another exhibition they host on computer gaming, the exhibits look superb as you can see in the image below of Tetris blocks on the walls.

NMM Foyer

So if you are at a loose end with nothing to do or with the Easter Bank Holiday coming up, why not take a trip to Bradford’s National Media Museum. 

Read more at BBC Technology News HERE and at the Bradford National Media Museum HERE

ACS:Law fined

Just to round off a story I have been following for some time regarding ACS:Law and their practices to scare internet users into paying fines up front of being taken to court, and in most cases the users where innocent.

Andrew Crossley, the controversial solicitor who made money by accusing computer users of illegal file sharing, has been fined £1,000.

The penalty has been imposed for a data breach which saw the personal details of 6,000 computer users, targeted by his firm, exposed online.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said that the severity of the breach warranted a heavier fine.

But he added that Mr Crossley was not in a position to pay.

“Were it not for the fact that ACS:Law has ceased trading so that Mr Crossley now has limited means, a monetary penalty of £200,000 would have been imposed, given the severity of the breach.”

Finally the courts have fined the lawyer of the company that pursued users, but in a paltry sum, the £1000 fine despite what the Information Commissioner stated the fine was way way too low, considering the amount of money this cost the taxpayer in court time, to the distress that falsely accused internet users had to endure with a threat of court hanging over their heads.

For me personally it does not deter other firms doing the same.

 

Read the full article HERE at BBC Technology News.

Amazon Start Cloud Drive and Cloud Player

GettingStarted_TCG__V184037123_Amazon have seemed to have gotten the jump on its main rivals in Apple and Google, who have been reported to be developing similar services, but have not released them as yet.

Maybe a co-incidence that Amazon has released this now to mainly get its “cloud” based product out first before Apple as Apple are trying to fight Amazon in the courts over the usage of the term “apps store”.

Its very easy to upload files and this is my amazon account below, with my newly added “Cloud Drive”, you can not only upload music which you can play on the “Cloud Player” (Cloud Player is for US customers only at present) but you can upload Video, Documents and Pictures, which is handy if you are travelling.

Amazon Cloud Drive 001 Amazon Cloud Drive 002

Link to the service is HERE and users gain 5GB of “Cloud Drive” online storage to start with, you can update and there is a route to gain 20GB in purchasing an album (do read the T&Cs). You can also upload music from your own library to add to the Cloud Drive storage, which will allow you to stream your music anywhere you have an internet connection.

“Amazon has launched Cloud Player and Cloud Drive today, a new service that will allow customers to store music files on the company’s servers but stream the content on their computers and mobile devices. Amazon is advertising the product as a way of streamlining the management of digital music collections, both in terms of providing easier access to files and preventing the possibility of losing everything in a disk drive crash.”

Read the full article to the quote above HERE at Rolling Stone

Mozilla Firefox 4.0 making download progress

Mozilla Firefox (Fx for short) has made a splash in the browser world with on its first day of release 5 million users downloading it, a bit short of the 8m that downloaded Firefox 3.0 in 2008, but none the less an impressive total.

Today that total is at the dizzy heights of 23.5m, not to take anything away from this superb statistic, I always look at statistics like this with some scepticism and why you may ask, well its simple, I have downloaded it on 3 separate occasions for the same PC, so over the life of a counter like below users may well download it multiple times, due to re-installs etc. so if it was a unique statistic from an IP address and counted once I would be massively impressed.

Fx 4.0 Download Stats

The statistic page also if you click the multi-coloured bars in the left corner with the arrow in above image, will allow you to see what countries are downloading Firefox 4.0 and Europeans are great lovers of Firefox as the predominant downloaders and users. You can also drill down into cities of a country to see who is downloading Firefox 4.0 the most.

Fx 4.0 Download Stats 002Fx 4.0 Download Stats 003

Firefox’s market share has declined a small bit over the last year from figures from MarketShare’s last graph HERE due to Google’s Chrome browser stating to make inroads into both Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox’s share of what is a competitive market. As these figures are from February 2011 as last ones I have seen, it will be interesting to see as now Microsoft have Internet Explorer 9 on the market as well as the release in the past week of Firefox 4.0 for Mozilla, perform over the next few months.

Needless to say the browser wars are only just starting, but I feel it keeps the browser technology moving forward and competition is good for the end user like me and you.

Download Firefox 4.0 from HERE                                                                                       Compatible  with Windows XP, Vista, 7, Apple Mac and Linux.

Microsoft Update KB2524375 to Block Fraudulent Certificates

Privacy 001This update is one you will wish to make sure you have installed, its purpose is to block a set of Certificates that had the digital signature of Comodo as the Certification Authority on them, this could have lead to users going to an unsafe or spoofed website, which had been exploited.

Mozilla the makers of Firefox Browser have also updated Firefox to take into account of these fraudulent certificates, so do update that browser to the latest version.

Microsoft is aware of nine fraudulent digital certificates issued by Comodo, a certification authority present in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities Store on all supported versions of Microsoft Windows. Comodo advised Microsoft on March 16, 2011 that nine certificates had been signed on behalf of a third party without sufficiently validating its identity. These certificates may be used to spoof content, perform phishing attacks, or perform man-in-the-middle attacks against all Web browser users including users of Internet Explorer.

The following domains are affected by the certificates:

  • login.live.com
  • mail.google.com  
  • login.yahoo.com (3 Certificates)
  • login.skype.com
  • www.google.com
  • addons.mozilla.org
  • Global Trustee

You should have already been offered this update over the last few days via Windows Update, but if you have not then run Windows Update or you can visit the download site of KB2524375  – Microsoft Security Advisory: Fraudulent Digital Certificates could allow spoofing HERE (just choose your Windows version and download and double click the file to install)

Read the full text of the advisory HERE

If you wish to double check to see if you have this update already, just open up Windows Update and click Update History, then look down the list for KB2524375, if you have it then you are ok, if not go to Windows Update or download from the link posted earlier.

Speckie

SoftwareI have a very bad habit of trying to type way way too quickly on web forums etc. and I mistype or misspell a lot s a consequence of this, so previously I had been using the great ieSpell, but this does not allow real-time spell checking.

So I came across this free application called Speckie for Internet Explorer while looking over applications that had been mentioned on forums and websites, which does allow real-time spell checking so I thought I would give it a test.

On install the setup will download any applications you may need and it does need Visual Basic C++ by Microsoft, so don’t be alarmed if that also installs.

Capture

You can get a large set of dictionaries for your language HERE as various countries are supported.

An in usage its not bad, fairly quick to underline the spelling mistakes , which then you can right click to bring up a list of suggestions or you can add the word to your custom dictionary if you know the word is correct.

speckle 002  speckle 003

Only works in Internet Explorer but covers IE6,7,8,and 9. But don’t despair Firefox user as you do not need a spellchecker as it already has one built in which works good.

Download HERE                                                                                 (works in Windows XP, Vista and 7 in 32bit and 64bit)

Hackers take on Secure ID Tokens

hackerI would say not the best security in the world to let this information out in to the wild and for hackers to actually get to the data, while RSA state that its not as bad as portrayed, I can imagine its not good either.

“Hackers have stolen data about the security tokens used by millions of people to protect access to bank accounts and corporate networks.

RSA Security told customers about the “extremely sophisticated cyber attack” in an open letter posted online.

The company is providing “immediate remediation” advice to customers to limit the impact of the theft

It also recommended customers take steps, such as hardening password policies, to help protect themselves.”

Read full Article HERE at BBC Technology News

Cookies good or bad

cookie_monster-eating-a-cookieWell as cookies do not harbour malware and are mistakenly thought to do so by many applications, so I thought I would follow this story as its very correct in that cookies just follow your movement around a particular website.

“The way websites track visitors and tailor ads to their behaviour is about to undergo a big shake-up.

From 25 May, European laws dictate that “explicit consent” must be gathered from web users who are being tracked via text files called “cookies”.

These files are widely used to help users navigate faster around sites they visit regularly.

Businesses are being urged to sort out how they get consent so they can keep on using cookies.”

It looks as if the European Union is to start forcing websites to alert users to their site/s, to what information is being gathered by the cookies. In the next version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE9) note it is a Release Candidate (test version) at present you do have the option to do this yourself and block the information a website gathers, with Tracking Protection.

Read the full article HERE at BBC Technology News

Jan 28th Data Privacy Day

StopWe all know how important data privacy is and more so as we are now using computing and the internet more and more to do banking, social networking, shopping e.t.c

 

Jan 28th is Data Privacy Day

“Data Privacy Day is an international celebration of the dignity of the individual expressed through personal information.  In this networked world, in which we are thoroughly digitized, with our identities, locations, actions, purchases, associations, movements, and histories stored as so many bits and bytes, we have to ask – who is collecting all of this – what are they doing with it  – with whom are they sharing it?  Most of all, individuals are asking ‘How can I protect my information from being misused?’  These are reasonable questions to ask – we should all want to know the answers.”

http://dataprivacyday2011.org/

Some good links to other sites and guides on the above site, the Cisco one HERE is a good basic one to help novice and new users to the internet and I know many PC savvy users help teach users in the basics to get them active on the internet, so this is a good guide to hand out letting them know some of the jargon and what it means. 

A lot of other good links and downloadable guides also.

O2 redefines Wi-Fi landscape with launch of O2 Wifi

O2 Wifi logo

This is a bit of superb news and as an O2 mobile and Internet user I find O2’s service fantastic and this just adds a bit more to the service and for non O2 users as well. I can imagine that the rollout will be a gradual one past starting with all the O2 store sites that they are starting with, with a target of 2013.

“O2 outlines plans to offer seamless, fast and free internet for all, in venues across the country

O2 today announces its plans to deploy a market-changing public Wi-Fi platform in the UK, with the launch of O2 Wifi. O2’s premium hotspots will be managed through partnerships with key venue owners and will be open for all customers to access for free, no matter which mobile or broadband provider they are with.

O2 is aiming to create a scaled Wi-Fi platform that will be at least double the number of premium hotspots currently offered by BT Openzone and The Cloud combined by 2013. It will begin rollout immediately by replacing its existing 450 Cloud hotspots in its retail and office estate. It will continue to extend the reach and scale of O2 Wifi through partnerships with strategic venues, to include shops, restaurants, retail outlets and outdoor and indoor locations across the UK.”

Read the full article HERE