evtcomp's blog

Yes Virginia, It Is Your Fault The PC Got A Virus

No sense in candy-coating it anymore. Why did your computer get a virus you ask? Because you're sloppy about the way you're searching for things online. Do you seek "free" things, like "free software" or "free music". Well, surprise, nothing is free, except the ticket to the slow train running to the spyware, virus, malware funhouse central. Don't click on advertisements! Period. Train yourself to recognize what is a logical place for true Windows notifications to come up, and what's likely a ploy to get you to click. Also be aware of how windows title bars appear on your actual windows, versus what's being shown on an advertisement. Change your desktop theme if you have to. The madness even continues within search results, the top results probably aren't credible, they're generally ads, train yourself to look beyond this.

Let's play a game, click here to take the test.

Public vs Private Domain Registration

While I certainly agree that some people believe a reputable company should have their contact information available in the whois record and not use private registration. I also have realized personally the long-term side effects of having a standard public registration. You will receive both solicited postal junk mail and electronic E-mail (spam). Private registration give you the ability to legally mask your authentic whois record information. Effectively putting a proxy between your contact information, and a spammer. The spammer can still send communication to either your private registrars mailing address (c/o you, in theory the registrar should forward this written communication on to you, it certainly works for e-mail). E-mail is sent to a proxied address so it's important to keep your current address on file with your registrar or private domain service company.

In summary, private registration should not have any bearing on the reputation of a company. You would think, that if a business has nothing to hide, they probably don't need to use this type of service, but for one reason or another, they may choose to use this service.

I have had several domain offers or requests for purchase through proxied E-mail addresses on private domain services and had no issues, so people are still able to contact you very easily, and particularly if you're not someone interested in selling out on your domain, then you can easily ignore these types of solicitations.

ICANN? requires you keep your whois information up to date. This is harder for anyone but you to know if you have done this, but you'll get notices regarding this, and just do your part to keep your information current.

WikiPedia vs Traditional Enclopedia, Round 3

Hard copy, bound encyclopedias are out of date, why would teachers force students to even reference them? People of the baby boomer generation still accept the flaws in the information provided in these dated reference tools. I no longer can recommend this. Students today don't even look at an encyclopedia as the authority, this concept is unknown to them.

This leads to the use of crowd sourced references, such as Wikipedia.com; which, when I was in college was not seen as a credible source. At one time we could know enough general information about a subject to be considered well rounded, that is to say, if we knew the encyclopedia definition of the given subject. However today, the depth of knowledge on one particular subject is entirely more specialized. If I want to know how to build a canoe, the encyclopedia can only tell me, it comes from a tree, a native American used to sit there for days or weeks at a time with a crude tool to hollow it out, and then he had a canoe.

Today, an individual specialized website will tell me the exact steps and tools needed to accomplish this goal; maybe even give you the labor intensive traditional route, and a modern way of doing it. Entire groups of people get together to discuss the topic, the wealth of information so completely exceeds comprehension, our brains cannot absorb it, so we (as the kids learned it seems at birth) put on the blinders.

The "Flash Drive" Naming Game

flash drive
flash media
jump drive
kangaroo drive
memory stick
usb stick
usb drive
keychain drive
thumb drive
thumb disk

What do you call it?

Wikipedia indicates there are 25 different common household names for the device that should be referred to as a flash drive.

Original Ideas In Information Technology

It's really a troubling arena in which all information technology companies must play today, both large and small.

It's almost as if there is no way to manufacture something without stepping on someone else's toes in the process. Are there no more original ideas? Does it require legal counsel to even get your foot in the door?

I recall a quote from Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) on the 1980's T.V. sitcom Growing Pains as he told the history of the world to his younger sister Mallory. Relaying what he considered fact, that "All the original ideas were used up by the late 16th century". That quote has stuck with me for some time, and though humorous, does lead you to ponder more about what constitutes an original idea, than probably what the writers had ever intended.

Quicken Buys Mint.com Online Accounting Startup

Quicken bought Mint.com, which is a (currently) free online financial tool.


What is Mint.com?

1. It will automatically track your investments, including buys/sells, and can download all recent account information from most of your online banking institutions, so you no longer manually have to enter each sale/dividend/posting (supposedly).

2. I don't know about a direct Turbotax import, but Mint.com can export all your transactions of a particular account as a downloadable .csv/excel file, I am sure there are other formats.

3. Most banks have a BillPay feature, even local banks in Pittsburg, KS, so I don't think that would be much of something Quicken would care to ever support anymore anyway.

My guess is, Quicken will begin to roll out their new services online, under the guise of Mint.com (integrated) as paid upgrades through that site, here on out, and steadily drop support for personal computer software. Or another direction is, they could just let Mint.com fail, which would force people to use their current more advanced online accounting service, thus eliminating their competition. I ran into this problem a little while ago, I track my personal finances and LLC through, still, QuickBooks Pro 2007 for Mac, most of that I had brought in, was from carefully kept Quicken data I'd had for years, and I basically just use Mint.com for anything that I'd like to be able to view online, essentially as an online consolidated account summary, of what I choose to see and what those banks/brokerages, or individual investment companies, have available online already anyway.

Bahumbug! I refuse to ever do any banking online!

Sadly, even though you may be consider yourself "immune" because you may not currently do any online banking, investments, or accounting, you'll find that when you go to setup most initial online account services with any bank or brokerage, all you (or a hacker) needs is your account number and the last four of your social security number and you (or anyone else for that matter) would have instant access to all of your banking information online immediately. It's not something I can worry about anymore, because I know that my financial info is only as secure as my institution keeps it (not very), regardless of what you do about it. There's not an option to "opt out" anymore, it's all there and it's all available online already. If the bank teller is a snoop, or they're sloppy with their security, it's as accessible to them, as it is to anyone else online.

Just one last note as well, I have read this regarding online identify theft; it's often better to go in and setup an online account with different passwords and different information than the default (typically the last four digits of your social security number), and never use it, rather than leave it all with your standard known information. At least that way, you have made the conscious effort to lock anyone else out of your financial data. This may seem counterproductive to most people, but its one small step I would recommend to the even the most defiant online banking hold-out.

This advice is being provided as a courtesy, no guarantee of results written intended or implied.

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