The service, which is free to use, distributes small chores through a free iPhone app. As the task doer, you can see what jobs are the closest, or just the highest paying. In my test with it, all of these were pricing surveys that required venturing to a local Wal-Mart store to find out the price of bottle of mouthwash. It's not always like … Read more
A hole in Microsoft's Windows SMB2 (Server Message Block) protocol was the most attacked vulnerability last year, followed by holes in Adobe Reader and Flash Player, Internet Explorer 7, and Windows MPEG2 ActiveX Control, according to a Symantec report to be released on Tuesday.
Of Web-based attacks, suspicious PDF file downloads was the top method, representing nearly half of such attacks, followed by six attacks on IE, one targeting Adobe SWF (Shockwave Flash), and two targeting MPEG2 ActiveX Controls, the Symantec Global Internet Security Threat Report found.
Despite being the most attacked browser, IE had 45 reported vulnerabilities, compared … Read more
It's been a long, strange trip, but qStatus has finally come to Windows users. For those unaware, the status updating application for Facebook and Twitter began as a paid app for users with jailbroken iPhones. It later appeared on the App Store, albeit with fewer features than its jailbroken sibling (most notably a lack of being able to run in the background).
At $2.95, the new Windows app is a smidgen pricier than the iPhone version, but is packing some extra features. The nicest one being a keyboard shortcut (the Windows key + s) which brings up the app in widget form no matter what other app you're using. Here you can update your status, then dismiss it just as quickly.
As with other desktop Twitter apps, qStatus supports drag-and-drop file sharing; in our testing this worked great with photos and videos. The app lets you pick which hosting service you prefer, although it offers noticeably fewer options than rivals. You can, for instance, only choose between TwitPic and YFrog for photos, and TwitVid and YFrog for videos.
Just like the iPhone version, qStatus handles multiple accounts without a whole lot of effort on the user's part. It also adds in support for groups, which lets you select more than one account between Facebook and Twitter to update at the same time. This would be useful if you wanted to send the same message out to say three or four different Twitter accounts. Otherwise, it seems like a feature that's been built for the inevitable support for other services.
One of my favorite features is actually the status update shortener. This takes tweets that are too long and crunches them down, taking out letters where needed, and converting written numbers into digits. Normally you have to do this with a service like TweetShrink or 140it, so it's nice to simply have this built into the app instead.
Along with the paid version, which is currently on sale (as opposed to the normal price of $4.95), users can download a free version with all the features. This trial version is limited to 40 status updates before you have to upgrade. There is, however, an inventive option to include a "#qstatus" hashtag in 15 of your outgoing status updates, which provides for a year's worth of full use.
If there's anything to be said about this software, it's that it's useful--but not nearly as useful as services like TweetDeck (download), Seesmic Desktop (download), and Skimmer (download), which let you keep an eye on what your Twitter pals are up to in an organized stream. And all of those pieces of software are free of charge and cross-platform to boot. Still, if you're in the market for a very fast and lean Twitter and Facebook updater, this one's off to a promising start.
The company's demo video can be found after the break.… Read more
As the United States continues to struggle with its deficit, a task force created by President Obama to address the situation may be turning to Microsoft to inform the public about the difficulties of balancing a federal budget.
According to USA Today, Erskine Bowles, head of the Obama administration's budget-balancing task force, has contacted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to see whether the company could build a video game designed to allow gamers "to take a stab at balancing the budget."
Details on the title are few and far between. Although it sounds like it will be Web-based, … Read more
Evernote has pushed out a useful update to its premium service that adds a few more reasons to spend the $5 a month (or $45 a year) fee. Premium users now get double the storage on the size of notes, which has jumped from 25MB to 50MB a pop.
More impressive though is that the service is finally getting versioning control. Versioning is something that's especially important in word processing. If you're working on a particularly large piece of work, you might very well cut out portions here and there that you wish to bring back later on. … Read more
For Marc Maiffret, the turning point in his life came when--at the age of 17--he woke up to an FBI agent pointing a gun at his head.
A runaway and high school dropout, he had just returned home and landed his first professional job using his computer skills for the good of companies instead of for mischief. But his past was still catching up to his present.
Young, articulate, and outspoken, Maiffret went on to become a celebrity hacker wunderkind, testifying before Congress on security issues, featured in cover stories in numerous magazines and newspapers, appearing in MTV's "… Read more
Security researchers have discovered flaws in common file formats, including .zip, which can be used to sneak malware onto computers by evading antivirus detection.
Eight vulnerabilities were found in .zip, supported by Microsoft Office, along with seven others in the .7zip, .rar, .cab and .gzip file formats, said Mario Vuksan, president of ReversingLabs Corp.
The vulnerabilities could be used by attackers to hide malware that could then be slipped past antivirus software via an e-mail attachment and used to compromise a computer, he said.
"The file goes straight through Gmail or Hotmail because it's a trusted format," … Read more
An unpatched hole in Java was being exploited to target visitors to a song lyrics Web site and more attacks are likely, researchers warned on Wednesday.
The flaw in Java Web Start, disclosed last week by several security researchers, affects Windows systems running Firefox and Internet Explorer, said Roger Thompson, AVG chief research officer. He said he couldn't get it to work on Chrome though, despite reports that it does.
Thompson found exploit code for both the Java hole and one in Adobe Reader on servers in Russia that was triggered by computers visiting English-language site Songlyrics.com. The … Read more
One of the central features of Microsoft's just-announced Kin phone is the "Loop" feature, which shows recent updates from a variety of social networks.
However, not only doesn't the Loop get automatically updated with new posts, but it refreshes itself only every 15 minutes. Those who want updates more frequently have to either open the Kin's built-in feed reader application or lock and unlock the phone. (The Kin automatically fetches new updates when it is unlocked.)
Microsoft characterized the setting as a battery-saving move for the phone, which is aimed at the 15- to 30-year-old &… Read more
As April 15 approaches, U.S. citizens preparing to file their taxes are susceptible to online scams designed to steal their personal information and, ultimately, their money. Here is a roundup of tips for how people can protect themselves.
First off, the Internal Revenue Service does not initiate taxpayer communications through e-mail, and the agency does not request details on personal information via e-mail. The IRS has detailed information on how to report and identify phishing and e-mail scams and bogus IRS Web sites here. More information about specific tax fraud schemes is here.