Daily Archives: January 24, 2008

How to run your CDs/DVDs without the disks

CD/DVD emulators are programs that allow you to run games, encyclopedias, DVDs etc without having the physical CD or DVD loaded in your CD drive. They work by creating virtual CD/DVD drives on your hard disks.

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How to backup your data online cheaply

Subscriber Marx, Jean-Denis writes:

“Gizmo your review of online backup systems missed one of the most attractive items: Amazon S3 [1] combined with JungleDisk [2].

Amazon S3 is very cheap (I pay approximately US$2 a month for 5 GB) and fully scalable; you pay only for the volume you use. S3 cannot be accessed and used directly so I use JungleDisk for that purpose.

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Learn how to draw

The sheer brilliance of the latest Web 2.0 and Flash-based sites continues to amaze me, and here’s a great example. Rate My Drawings provides you with an online vector-based drawing tool with which you can create your masterpiece and save it online for others to view and rate.

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See the future of computing now

There seems little doubt that, in the future, many of us will be using web based applications rather than running software on our own PCs. Indeed, if you are using Webmail, Google Apps, or even Flickr, you are already on the way. The apps are not the problem; the real challenge is to integrate web apps into the desktop and provide offline as well as online access.

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The meaning of Avast!

Avast! is a popular free anti-virus program. It’s a strange name that’s made even stranger by the exclamation mark at the end, but it now makes total sense, after I received this explanation from subscriber Andrew Fung. Andrew, who has a seafaring background, notes “In a maritime context ‘avast’ means specifically, to stop or cease what you are doing immediately lest you endanger yourself, your shipmates or the ship.

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Corrigenda – HxD binary editor

In the September 2007 issue I mistakenly stated that Dario Valenzo was the author of the excellent HxD binary editor / disk editor. It was, in fact, Maël Hörz

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Recoding industry dirty tricks exposed

MediaDefender is a company paid by the entertainment industry and other content owners to poison P2P downloads of copyright material. Its practices have long been held in poor repute but its reputation got a further setback after a leakage of internal MediaDefender email revealed that the company had been involved in an entrapment plan called MiiVi.

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Viruses on the decline – social networks the next target

AVG Research has released an interesting report on the changing malware landscape. According to AVG, viruses now account for less than 15% of total threats, with phishing scams, backdoor worms, Trojans, keyloggers, spyware, adware and web-based exploits making up the rest.

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Another set of critical flaws in Adobe Flash Player

Adobe has released fixes [1] for nine separate flaws in its popular Flash player. Some of these are extremely serious and could allow an attacker to seize control of your PC merely by visiting a hostile website. I strongly recommend that you visit the Adobe site [2] and update your flash player to version 9.0.115.0 or later.

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Another zero-day exploit for Microsoft Excel

Security firm Secunia has reported [1] an “extremely critical” flaw in Microsoft Excel 2000/2002/2003 that could allow a user’s PC to be compromised simple by opening a specially crafted Excel .XLS file. Rather disturbingly, the flaw also affects the Microsoft Excel Viewer 2003.

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