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Malware, What Is It, And How To Stay Safe!

Malicious websites attempt to install spyware ...

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What is Malware?

Malware is a form of software that has the intention of damaging or disabling computers and networks.

Example Of Malware…

One way for malware to get onto your computer is through file sharing websites. File sharing websites are places where users can download files (such as music, documents, videos and software) that have been shared to the Internet via another user. Malware gets onto these websites when a user wishes to do damage to another persons computer. All these people have to do in order to infect other computers via file sharing is to share this Malware to the file sharing website, and pretend that it is something else like a game or a piece of video editing software.

On the 14th September 2011, BBC News reported that popular file sharing service ‘Bit Torrent’ had been used to download malware onto users computers. People who had thought themselves to be downloading a legitimate piece of software had actually downloaded a form of malware onto their computers. This particular piece of malware “When installed, the program pops up fake warnings that a virus has been detected and prompts users for payment to remove it.”1

This is not the only time that this particular popular file sharing site has been compromised due to Malware. The BBC News goes on to describe it as “synonymous with illegal downloads” 2. This statement makes the point that malware is often disguised as an illegal download.

Prevention

Here are the suggestions for not getting malware on your computer:

  • Do not download illegal software onto your computer. This is often an easy way for people to disguise malware.
  • Only download software from its developer’s website, or a reputable 3rd party website/service (such as the Mac App store, or the upcoming Windows Marketplace)

Ensure you have the latest firewall installed on your network. Always check with your ISP. And ensure your Mac/Windows firewall is switched on (Via security center in windows and System Preferences on the Mac

Bibliography

1-     Unknown Authorship, 2011. BBC News [Online] (14th September) Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14912616 Accessed [9th October 2011]

2-     Unknown Authorship, 2011. BBC News [Online] (14th September) Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14912616 Accessed [9th October 2011]

Spotify For Mac Review – The Best Music Streaming Service?

Now that Spotify has been released in the USA as well as here in Europe, I thought it may be time to do a review of the software client for the Mac.

About The Spotify App…

The Spotify App is not currently available through the Mac App Store, so you will need to download it directly from the Spotify website, which is Spotify.com. In simple terms… the Spotify App is essentially a gateway to the Spotify Cloud Music service.

A cloud music service is essentially the playing of music that is stored on a central server and accessed via the internet. This means that using Spotify takes up little/no space on your hard drive, but it does use up internet bandwidth and may not be appropriate for those on a capped usage allowance.

Whats Good About The App…

  1. Because the music is not stored on your computer, you are not wasting space on your hard drive. This is especially good for people listening via netbooks.
  2. Even on very slow internet connections you will rarely have to wait for the music to buffer, and I have never been interrupted during the song
  3. You have access to almost every track you could wish for. All the big record labels have their music on this service
  4. This is great software to have for when you do not have the money to buy music via iTunes.
  5. Great for discovering new music and artists. When you are viewing an artists page you are offered related music. This has proven very  useful in discovering new music.

Whats Not So Good…

There isn’t much that can be said about Spotify’s application that is not positive. But there are a few negative things that I can pick out. I do not find them too bad, but they can be a little annoying

  • On the Free version, you are limited to 10 hours listening time per month.
  • There are irritating audio and visual adverts

Overall & MedmondTech Rating…

I absolutely love Spotify. I may not use it as much as I do iTunes, but it is a close second. In terms of music streaming services, this is by far the best desktop application, and possibly the best service all together! But, now its time to give it a MedmondTech Rating;

MedmondTech Rating – 7/10

The Best Web Apps – Chrome Web Store

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The Chrome Web Store is in my opinion a very under-appreciated resource. People seem to mis-understand the purpose of the Web Store. The point, was for Google to have created a directory of web-based applications that It can guarantee you are safe, and offer you a safe way to pay for them.

Here is my list of the top (free) web apps advertised through the web store:

  1. Gmail – Naturally the best web mail client available in this day and age.
  2. imo.im – A free online web messenger that allows you to contact your friends on; MSN, Facebook, Steam, myspace, aim, Skype and Yahoo.
  3. Google Books – The best ebook store apart from iBooks.
  4. Google Docs – The best online document creation tool. Perfect for education, enterprise and personal
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Google Chrome To Support Full-Screen On Mac

Google Chrome logo.

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Yep, i’ve wanted it too… Google Chrome is going to support new Lion features;

  • Full Screen Mode
  • Three finger double click = Lookup
  • Two fingers to go back/forward
Welcome news indeed. I am aware of this because it is currently being tested on the Developer build.

The Best Youtube Channels – Top 3

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I recently posted an article about the best YouTube Tech channels, so here is one with my top 3 YouTube channels of any catagory:

  1. Tobuscus – If you’re looking for a light hearted comedy channel, this is for you. Tobuscus is hosted by Toby Turner, who is a multi talented funny man! This channel’s main attractions are the ‘Parody songs’, ‘Hot symphonies’ and ‘Cute Win Fail’
  2. Wilson Tech 1 – Despite sounding like a serious technology channel, Wilson Tech 1 is actually light hearted and comedy filled. The host is a very funny person and knows what he is talking about.
  3. CharlieIsSoCoolLike – This channel is hosted by a Young lad from Bath (England). He is very entertaining and his nerdy fascinations with Doctor Who appeal to me

HD Radio – The Way Forward – Absolute Radio

Ocean Colour Scene @ Absolute Radio, V Festiva...

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When I heard an advert on Absolute Radio saying that they were broadcasting in full HD quality I did not believe them, but today I decided to try it out.

What Makes It so great? Well put simply, the fact that its quality is literally 2x better than a standard internet radio stream! Its really noticeable too, so noticeable that despite it being more convenient to listen via DAB, I now listen entirely via my laptop.

 

Google Related – What Is It & Review

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Google has released numerous new products this year, including; What Do You Love, Google +, Android Ice Cream Sandwich and now they have added Google Related to the list.

Google has been fairly quiet about the release of this particular product. I only found it today via their YouTube channel, so I decided to test it out. Google Related is a toolbar for Chrome which appears at the bottom of a page to give you related things to the website you are on, such as; maps, other websites and videos. This is a remarkably useful feature, because it saves you opening up a new tab to find a map leading you to a Cafe, it is just a link on a toolbar now. It does however have a few problems. I have found that it regularly mistakes what you are looking at for something else. I searched the name of a local Cafe chain and Related gave me the adress of somewhere in New York. I wouldn’t mind, but I live in England!

As a brief summary, I would consider this to be a brilliant idea with great potential. I just feel as if they rushed too much to release it. If they had spent a bit longer perfecting it, and then made a big thing about its release I would have been more satisfied.

I will post a full review in a weeks time. Email me at mattedmondo@gmail.co with you opinions or any tech related questions. Dont forget to visit my Personal Blog. On my personal blog I will post general things including tech, and my favourite youtube clips