Fraud Much: Follow-Up

Looks like hasn’t had too bad an effect on my life. I received and activated my replacement credit card about two weeks ago. Also, in the interim, I found out that my dad had one of his cards disabled, too. The people who called my dad about his card explained that the latest scam going around is just to generate random card numbers. Looks like my research was right; that was one of the top possibilities I found browsing through discussions around the Internet. Unfortunately, algorithms for creating random, valid card numbers do exist for testing purposes. Since both of …

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Fraud Much?

So. Last Friday afternoon I got frantic calls from both my Falcon office and my bank. Some jerk stole my credit card information and tried to buy $1,300 worth of jewelry with it on Wednesday. Nice try. It set off the fraud alert. It helped that on Thursday, I tried to renew air time without actually getting the card out of my pocket and mis-remembered my CVV the first time. Then the crook made a $1 pre-authorization at Apple on Friday, which was enough suspicious activity for the card company to call me. After I confirmed that yes, I bought …

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How To: Safely Use Twitter Notification Enhancement Services

Latest update: 2010-11-20: Twitter tweaked the addresses again. Remove the twitter- part of the addresses in your filters if you’ve set them up. Update (2010-11-11): Twitter changed their addressing scheme again. See below for instructions. As you all have probably heard, Twitter is gaining popularity in leaps and bounds. All the new users mean more follower notifications arriving in my inbox, and Twitter’s default messages aren’t very useful. (The direct message notifications are pretty bare-bones, too, but I don’t get many of those so it wasn’t a priority.) Update (05/06): Twitter prettified their emails, but I still think Topify’s are …

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Application Storage Architectures Are Important

This quarter and next quarter, I’ll be taking music theory classes at school. We’re using a program called Musition, distributed by an Australian company by the name Rising Software. Initially when I set it up, it was using a local database of course material with a local data store of audio files and all the other accompanying stuff. A couple days ago, though, my teacher sent out instructions for connecting the program to the network, and it’s now 100 times slower. Previous load time was around five seconds. That was tolerable, especially considering what the program was loading. It also …

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Blogger as OpenID Provider

Hot on the heels of , Blogger is now testing support for using blog URLs as OpenID logins. Now not only can other people log in with their OpenIDs from elsewhere, but Blogger users can use their Blogger blog URLs as OpenIDs to log into other sites. I have now deleted the delegation code from my template (which has been working for a while; I just never updated ), as I enabled the beta feature from Blogger in Draft. For now, it’s only available from Draft, through a checkbox on the Edit Profile page (rather than in the blog control …

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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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Microsoft Cripples Internet Explorer

Now that I’m done , I can talk about today’s news. One of Microsoft’s security updates for this month has been causing problems for Internet Explorer users, of both versions (6 and 7). Users have been reporting that IE either won’t start or crashes when trying to load certain sites. Microsoft is reportedly looking into the issue. It doesn’t happen on all machines. My computer’s perfectly fine. Admittedly, I use Firefox for everything but my school website, but at least I don’t have trouble starting the browser. As long as Microsoft is only messing up their own browser, I’m happy. …

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Security Software = Security Risk?

In general, we use and trust security programs like antivirus and antispyware applications from all sorts of vendors to keep our computers safe, but could those very programs be opening us up to more holes? That’s what security firm n.runs AG has been testing for the last several years, and it is the subject of a recent PC World article. It turns out that file parser bugs in many of the mainstream scanning engines are exposing users to additional risks. The problem is compounded by the fact that many users run multiple scanning programs in tandem, under the reasoning that …

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Leopard Mail Another Security Risk

A Mail bug patched in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) has been rediscovered in Leopard’s Mail program. The bug allows malicious code to be executed when opening certain types of email attachments, and was thought to be fixed until now. The problem arises from improper handling of additional file-handling instructions included with file types such as JPEG. Malicious code can be inserted into the information slot, and will be executed when the file is opened. Fortunately, not all file types are affected, and the researchers at Heise Security had difficulties consistently reproducing the problem. Does this mean the end of …

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Microsoft’s Security Focus on Vista May Have Lowered Consumer Adoption

In an article from PC World’s Business Center, it is suggested that Microsoft’s focus on security for the almost a year old Windows Vista may have undermined consumer opinion. Enterprises and consumers alike should not be expected to purchase an upgrade to a company’s product to fix an error on the part of the manufacturer. Microsoft has been promoting the security improvements in Vista from day one, when the OS was unveiled, and that could be a factor in the slow adoption. In fact, many people who are getting Vista do so because they have no other choice. For the …

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