Always Check Embed Code, No Matter How Innocent-Sounding

Here’s something that might be interesting: A blog readability test. Even cooler? You can embed the result on your site so your readers can see that shiny “College (Post-Grad)” badge (my latest result). And here’s the coolest part: They include spam at no extra charge! Yes, along with the wonderful button, you can also get a free spam link; for example, “Online Payday Loans”. Sign up now! Test your blog, embed the badge, and watch your search engine ratings plummet! (I do not in any way endorse embedding the code on your blog. The above is a joke.) Here’s a …

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Google Reader Just Doesn’t "Get It"

The latest post to the Official Google Reader Blog concerns the share-with-your-“friends”-automatically feature and the uproar it’s caused among the users. I myself have no real reason to care, since (sadly) nobody I know uses Google Reader, but I agree wholeheartedly that Google’s launch of the “feature” was, in its own way, worse than Facebook’s Beacon program. The fact that Google’s system assumes that anyone you talk to in Google Talk is a friend is the first part of the brokenness. Add to that the fact that you can’t turn it off and have just the feed, with nothing automatic. …

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Two More Illustrations of Battery Dangers

As I’ve written about before, . Today in my newsletter, I got two more articles — one from yesterday, one from today — that further prove the point. The first (I’ll go by chronology) details an IBM lawsuit against an apparently Web-only company that has been manufacturing and selling fake laptop batteries bearing the IBM logo. The batteries are flammable, and are of quite low quality. IBM seeks millions of dollars in damages from trademark infringement and lost profits, among other things. The highlight here is that fake batteries are everywhere. Lithium-ion technology comes from hundreds or thousands of different …

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PDF Spam Malware

A new malware-distribution scam is sending out fake order-confirmation messages with “self-extracting” attachments (EXE files) that supposedly contain PDF order summaries, but really drop a Haxdoor/Goldun (depending on what antivirus program you ask) payload that can severely compromise your computer’s security, plus steal passwords, give a hacker control of your PC, and display ads. Some variants can also disable anti-virus and anti-spyware apps and firewalls. The scary part of this scam is the fact that it is constructed in such a way that lots of users will probably fall for it. It appears to prey on the modern public’s knowledge …

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Microsoft and Privacy

Microsoft reportedly released results of a three-month phishing study conducted through an add-on to their Windows Live toolbar, the Phishing Detective. The software compared passwords used on various websites and reported URLs to Microsoft if the passwords for two sites matched. Admittedly, it is an interesting approach, and legitimate matches are easily weeded out, but it raises issues about how much Microsoft knows about you. Microsoft could theoretically profile all its toolbar users and keep track of what sites they have accounts at by what sites generate hits to the password-comparing program. Other companies like Google also collect the URLs …

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eBay Phishers are Getting Smarter with Linux

PC World reports that eBay phishing attacks are getting more sophisticated. Attack networks and servers, including those that control spam botnets and host phishing sites, are being run from rootkitted Linux machines whose owners haven’t a clue they’ve been infected. eBay recently reported that data on over 1,000 of its members had been stolen through a phishing attack. The online world appears to be getting more dangerous. It’s intriguing that cybercriminals are turning to Linux attacks; the penguin has long been regarded as the most secure of the three major operating systems, yet cracked (not hacked) servers and desktop machines …

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WiFi Surfers Beware

Having just encountered this issue myself, I find it a good idea to reiterate this tip. When going to a business with free WiFi, such as Panera Bread, Dunn Brothers Coffee, Caribou, etc., make sure you know the name of the network to connect to, and that you only click on access point networks. I just logged on here at Panera Bread and was faced with two public networks: One named PANERA and one named Free Public WiFi. The former, which was an access point, is the real network, and the other, scammy-looking one (to me) was an ad-hoc network …

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[email protected] is Criminal?

Hi again. Here at Technobabbles I usually express opinions on various things, but in this case we are posting a warning. According to some of the the more-recent reviews at http://www.webhostingjury.com/reviews/Globat, the cheap web host [email protected] is running a scam. Nefarious business practices like hidden charges (up to $39.95, from what I saw), and horrible tech support combine to give this hosting provider a very bad reputation. From what I can judge by the reputation data from WOT, this site does a very bad job with personal information, and reviewers back at the Web Hosting Jury say this host charges …

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