I often get asked “What is the best Anti-Virus Protection to use?” and it often leads to a long conversation about which software package is better and why. A lot of the time everyone is looking for a band-aid when really they should avoid getting hurt. Here is what I mean.
1. First thing I recommend all of you who are plagued with pop ups and malware along with viruses on your Microsoft Windows computers is to sell that piece of crap or donate it and get an Apple Computer as I did. Trust me I work on these windows computers daily and had them at home for the longest time and even with best practices would often contract some crap over time. That all changed when my wife and I got Mac computers. The OS is built different and requires you to enter a password when system files are requested for changes. Windows usually allows you to run as an administrator right out of the gate and that’s no good. Hardly anyone knows how to setup a USER account and not run as administrator all the time. Running as ROOT/Administrator all the time allows malicious items to install themselves silently. You can read more about why it is more secure here https://www.apple.com/osx/what-is/security.html
If you cannot afford an Apple Computer here are some suggestions
2. STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER. That browser has more holes in it than Swiss cheese and it always will. It is the most targeted web browser out there. This will allow many items to get downloaded and run on your computer maliciously.
Start using Mozilla Firefox with the Ad-Block Plus add-on. Most of the malware contracted comes from ads placed on webpages.
3. Pay attention to what sites you are visiting. You are begging to get a virus on some sites. Norton released a list of the top 100 websites where you could contract a virus on your computer. http://safeweb.norton.com/dirtysites
4. Get you some software to help. For anti-virus I recommend free from Grisoft, Anti Virus Guard or AVG for short. Then I suggest MALWAREBYTESfrom malwarebytes.org it is a free program that gets most of the other stuff that is not classified as a virus.
5. Stop with the games. Games are usually bundled with spyware and malware that will slow your computer down. Also do not visit gaming websites. If you want to play games get a game console.
Ok to recap for the Windows users:
Stop using internet explorer, use Firefox
Pay attention to the sites you are visiting
Quit with the games
Install AVG and Malwarebytes and scan your computer occasionally
-OR- skip all of the above and buy an Apple Macintosh Computer.
Ok I got something that is not quite new but may be new and useful to some of you out there reading my technology blog.
Do any of you use the mail program that is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite known as Outlook? I use it all the time and it has a lot of uses other than just reading mail.
Today I will show you how to use it to control actions on your computer. First let me tell you two instances where its actually needed.
The first instance, I use a laptop for work and I needed to run by after work hours and retrieve it from my desk. I knew that I would have to go into the office and power it down and wait on it and then bag it up. I am the type that doesnt like to wait for much, the type that is always in a hurry, so I was thinking….it sure would be nice if I could have it powered off and all I had to do was bag it up when I got there. Sure I could use LOG ME IN or TEAMVIEWER or something to remote into it and shut it down, but at the time I was driving. I know its bad to text and drive, but how about remote controlling into a computer why driving all from your cellphone? No thanks, thats an accident just waiting to happen.
It would be much simpler if I could text my computer and tell it to shutdown. I could manage to type that without running off the road.
How can I make this happen? Before I tell you, how about I tell you about a second instance where such an idea is needed.
A co-worker of mine was out of town over the holidays, he was using teamviewer to remote into his laptop at work. Teamviewer had locked him out somehow and there was nothing he knew to do. He called me asking if I could remote into work and force reboot his machine with some tools we have available on our work network. I says sure I can and I do so and then I mentioned this little hack I am about to teach you guys and he says I should have told him sooner as he could have used it that day so here it is, my latest post in a long time.
Lets get to it!
Basically its simple. I email a code to myself and the computer sees it and does what I have scripted it to do upon receiving such code.
Outlook is the key ingredient here and I leave it running all the time on my computer.
Here is what to do.
Make your self a script folder on your computer.
It could be C:\Scripts
In that folder make a couple batch files like reboot.bat and shutdown.bat Reboot.bat
shutdown /r /t 05
shutdown /s /t 05
Ok now moving on to Outlook.
Lets create some rules.
Rules > Manage Rules and Alerts
Create New Rule
Under Start From a Blank Rule Choose the first one, Apply rule on messages I receive.
Place a check mark on With Specific Words in the Subject
Click on the phrase Specific Words in the lower window pane, and choose a secret word or code for the subject.
Then click ADD and OK
Now scroll all the way to the bottom and choose On this computer only
Place a check mark on Start and Application.
Click the phrase Application on the lower window pane and choose your script you created earlier.
Now scroll back up and place a check mark in Delete it.
This has to be done in this way to place items in the rule in the correct order.
After its read by outlook and processed it will be deleted.
This way you will not accidentally re read the email at the computer and reboot yourself.
Click Next and name this rule.
Now I can email myself and have my computer reboot or shutdown or start winamp or itunes and place a tune, you are only limited by your imagination.
Now armed with this knowledge what else will you command outlook to wait on your word to do?
As many of you know, I play with as much tech as I can get my hands on. I try to thoroughly test devices and applications best I can.
Also I have been a long time fan of Apple devices since getting my first iPhone 3G in 2008. Soon following with the iPhone 4 then the iPhone 4S and now after being fed up with horrible AT&T service in my area, the iPhone 5 on Verizon.
The iPhone 5 came preloaded with iOS 6 which included the new Apple Maps, a replacement for Google Maps which had been on all iOS devices prior to iOS 6.
I was excited about the new maps and on first use it did not fail. The turn by turn and voice were magnificent. It was spot on. I thought it was working great and would be ready to serve me up directions to anywhere whenever I needed it.
Later in the week to come I read many articles on how the Apple Maps were horrible at giving directions. I couldn’t figure out why they were so bad so I decided to further test it out.
Wow this app really IS bad.
Apple Maps could not find my local Wendy’s Restaurant right in the middle of my small town. Also while traveling, it COULD drop a pin on the hotel I was staying at, but its location was miles from me, so had I chose for it to give me directions to it, I would be almost a hundred miles from it. This was not good!
Not a Wendy’s in my town at all according to Apple Maps.
No Home Depot in Oxford, MS ????
I KNOW there is a Chili’s in Batesville, MS. Why would Apple Maps disagree?
I can do this all day but I wont.
First before I tell you an awesome alternative to Apple Maps, I must defend them a little bit.
You can read it all day long on the internet http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/science-updates/apple-apology-for-maps-shortcomings but to sum it up, Apple wanted Google Maps to on their iDevices to have turn by turn voice directions.
Google said No!
Google wants to reserve that to just their Android powered devices. Apple said Good Bye and put a nice effort into making their own turn by turn voice driven Map application. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that well right out of the box. Tim Cook CEO of Apple release an apologetic letter to all and within it some alternatives. When Apple gets this one right, it will be great. Its already been proven that it uses vector images and therefore reducing data usage a great deal.
Of all the alternatives mentioned in Tim Cooks letter and the ones I have used in the past, I really really think WAZE is the best to use.
Ones I have used in the past were:
Motion X GPS
Google Maps inside of Safari
WAZE is the only one that has our most recently built TACO BELL on it. This is because the maps are constantly updated with other WAZE users input. I myself have even fixed some roads along my travels.
A short video about WAZE.
Has WAZE been helpful? You bet!
WAZE knows where the closest Chilis is!
It even knows where Wendy’s is
This app is really fast. Its faster than any other navigation app I have ever used. Its intuitive and easy to operate. It has alerts for speedtraps and other things due to the community of other wazers out there reporting.
We have talked about Apples Airplay before on this website here http://www.userbytes.com/enable-airplay-on-boxee-xbmc-plex/ which allows us to push whatever we are seeing on the iphone, onto the tv screen if you are using an Apple TV or Plex, or XBMC, or even Boxee.
Airplay is a fantastic technology that uses WiFi instead of Bluetooth.
I spend a lot of time in my backyard working on projects, swimming in the pool, etc. I love it!
Often when we have people over and have time by the pool we pull out an old set of computer speakers with a sub. I have this mounted to a carry around unit I made. I plug it into the power outlet and plug the 3.5 mm cord into the headphone port of my iphone, or anyones device, and we rock out. This is cool and all but I have to remember to put it up out of the weather after each use. Also I have to leave my phone tethered to it.
This is inconvenient.
There’s a better way!
I decided to mount two outdoor speakers under the eve of the house on the corners near my security flood lamps. Then an amp to power them, then connect the amp to an Apple Airport Express. I built a small box to house it all in under the eve of the roof.
The Apple Airport Express is connected to my current WiFi. This is beautiful as I do not have to switch WiFi signals while in the backyard.
This works great too. Now while by the pool or anywhere in the backyard I can Airplay my Pandora, Slacker Radio, or iPod to the speakers in the backyard. I bet my neighbors love me even more now.
Also if you have iTunes on your computer, you can use Remote found in the Apple App Store to control your iTunes playlists and make them play over the Airplay as well. Also in iTunes there are a ton upon tons of radio stations to listen to.
Here is a list of what I purchased to accomplish this setup.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a reserve battery in your cellphone for emergencies and all you had to do was shake your iphone for 30 secs or so to get it charged enough to use it? Think about it. Your cell phone could be charging its reserve while you run, walk, or while its in your pocket while you are walking!
Some have never heard of such, and here I was thinking that everyone knew about this kind of technology to charge things.
I cant remember when I heard about it first, but many many years ago my Aunt got me a shake light for my Birthday and I was wow’d at the simple technology behind it. It has this really neat wireless switch that works of magnetics. It charges itself with a magnet passing through another magnet with wires wrapped around it. This charges a capacitor and stores the power. It can be charge hundreds of thousands of times.
Here is a video from the company demonstrating all there is to know about the light.
It really is a nice flashlight and I recommend it to everyone. Its a great light to keep in your trunk as you will never have to worry about batteries corroding. Take it hunting or fishing, camping, anywhere!
Christmas is around the corner and this would make a great gift for anyone.