Snap.do – snap out of it!

Have you ever stumbled across Snap.do website? It looks very clean and user-friendly, but oh boy you sure don’t know what hides behind it, right? This website offers a browser plug-in that is supposed to “enhance” browsing experience. However, “modify” is the word, if you asked me. Especially when we find out that it’s excruciatingly hard to remove Snap.do. What legitimate application would not allow a user to remove it? Very fishy.

Now, why did I say “modify” in the first place? Simple, instead of making the browsing easier and efficient, Snap.do redirects user to websites that have something in common with the company behind Snap.do. Also, we can never be sure whether the websites the user is redirected to are absolutely safe. I wouldn’t bet on that. Especially as we can see that Snap.do monitors user’s browsing habits in order to display a list of commercial advertisements. And ONCE AGAIN, we cannot guarantee that these commercial ads aren’t embedded with some suspicious links. I mean, one click on a link to a malicious websites, and Snap.do won’t be the only problem you have to deal with. Continue reading

Google’s ordeal in Iran

While Google’s YouTube service has been censored in Iran since 2009, now Google suffered an even harder blow in the guts (figuratively speaking). The latest news has it that Google search and Gmail have been censored in Iran. As if that weren’t enough besides the firewall that blocks Iranians from accessing a lot of Western sites. Now they have Google severely censored.

Some people think that this act of censorship might be related to the protests that have been rumbling across the Muslim world for quite some time now. The protests were instigated by an anti-Islamic movie posted on YouTube. An adviser to Iran’s public prosecutor’s office Abdul Samad Khoramabadi has announced on Sunday that “Google and Gmail will be filtered nationwide, and will remain filtered until further notice.” Iranian authorities proved that they know how to use services provided by the latest technologies, because this announcement has also been sent out to mobile phones as a text message. Continue reading

System Progressive Protection

It’s been a long while, but here we come again with a rogue antispyware application. This time I present you System Progressive Protection. The moment I saw this boy (lady?), I knew I’ve seen it somewhere before, and guess what – Live Security Platinum and Smart Fortress 2012 both are the older versions of this infection. If these three rogues were people, they’d be cloned or shaped by the same plastic surgeon. I mean, look at those identical interfaces!

But seriously, jokes aside, System Progressive Protection is one of those rogues that has to be removed immediately, otherwise boy are you in trouble or what. Considering that Live Security Platinum can lock the user out of his computer, who can guarantee that System Progressive Protection cannot do the same? Sure it can do it, I’d bet my money on it. Plus, all the usual rogue tricks that drive computer users insane. Shall I go through each and every one of them? Alright. Continue reading

Initiating Warp… in 3, 2…

Excuse me if I don’t write how iPhone 5 preorders exceeded over 2 million in just a day, but I found something a lot more exciting (interesting?). Remember the awesome Warp Drive from the Star Trek series? Well, apparently, it’s not as far-fetched as we thought. Scientists say that this concept could be quite plausible if some adjustments were to be to the calculations first presented by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994.

The main problem with the warp drive concept was that it would have required a lot of energy to run. Such amounts of energy would’ve been too much to produce and so the idea was put back into the drawer. However, now the scientists say that if the new calculations are to be applied to the Warp Drive, it would be possible to make it run on a lot less energy and voila, we could travel faster than light (well, in theory).

The concept of this new spaceship is rather simple – the “vehicle” itself  would be oval-shaped and there would a ring around it that would allow the ship to travel in warp speed. Now, the ring itself supposedly should be of some exotic material, because it would bend time and space around the spaceship, allowing it to travel faster than light. Scientists often claim that everything within the space is limited to the speed of light, but here would deal with space AND time, and what is more – BENDING IT. Now the space & time tandem is not limited to the speed of light.

It sounds promising although I sort of doubt it my generation would live to see it. Yet, small steps are better than no steps at all. Progress, yay!

Pirates caught?

I mean, music pirates. Well, not behind the bars exactly, but fine properly for illegal downloading. Or so claims the news saying that the first person has been fined under France’s new anti-piracy law. However, this case is slightly controversial, because even though Alain Prevost was fined 150 euros (~ 196 USD) for illegally downloading two Rihanna’s tracks, the person who really pirated the tracks was his wife. She admitted so in court herself. So the question is, why Alain Prevost was fined for something he hasn’t done?

Simple, apparently Mr. Prevost paid for the link that was used as the download medium for the songs. And that’s not the only one case on pirating that the French authorities are preparing. According to the agency that looks after the downloading policy in France, there are 14 more cases being prepared at the moment, as the people in question are suspected of illegally downloading movies and music. Continue reading

Spy Games. O RLY?

Now please excuse me for not joining the overall Apple iPhone 5 psychosis, because I suppose we all knew it was going to be faster, slipper, shinier and longer. Before you say anything, I’m not an Apple-hater! I just choose what’s more appropriate for my wallet. Now, let’s go to our spies. Apparently, if you do some video game research, you can get arrested for spying.

At least that’s what happened to two game developers from Bohemia Interactive. They were arrested on suspicion of spying right outside a military based in Greece. While the official stance of Bohemia Interactive is that the two developers were on a vacation on the island of Limnos (where the military base is situated). The truth is that it’s not the first time for the game maker to make the authorities of Limnos mad – Bohemia Interactive has used detailed maps of the island in their games before. And considering that the island is an important part of Greece’s Military, we have to ask here, where do we have to draw the line? Continue reading

Haswell chips unveiled

Computer hardware is something I try to stay away from, because I’m prone to breaking things, but Intel says it’s newest Haswell processor chips will increase ultrabook battery life for up to 9 hours? Well, I’m all years. The details on new chips have been unveiled in San Francisco, and it is said that new processors equipped with Haswell chips will run at 10 watts. That cuts down the current Ivy Bridge energy consumption in half. Not only is it important for those who want their laptops to work longer without being recharged, it is also a significant improvement for those who love saving energy (and are stingy when it comes to electricity bills, i.e. moi).

Intel obviously tries to cut off an even bigger piece of the processor market pie. It is the biggest supplier of semiconductors in the world, catering to laptop and desktop computer manufacturers, but it did miss out on the fast-growing tablet computer market, because Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are based on rival processor architecture. However, it is expected that the new Haswell chips will allow Intel to gain back their advantage, because these chips can fully support Windows 8. Plus, it uses a lot less energy than its predecessors.

Aside from the energy factor, Haswell chips are also said to be better at voice recognition, depth tracking and facial analysis. This will obviously increase the interaction level with your device, and to be honest, I’d love to have a computer that eats less energy right now. But Intel says we have to way until the middle of next year for the smaller-than-nail chips to be released… Patience is virtue (or so they say).