When free isn’t so free

I had b?tched to DivX Networks in April how they could bundle Conduit malware [as most people call it] with their free DivX player. [Malwarebytes as well as other anti-malware software consider any from Conduit software to be malware.]

I finally got a response back from them – 3.5 months later. The guy who responded claimed there was an issue with their mail system. Got lost somewhere – so was claimed.

It seems that DivX received many complaints that the Conduit crapware was causing problems. It has since been removed from further installations and their new policy states that they will only bundle software that is beneficial [as was called by a product manager] and no search related software.

It’s bad enough if you use a single web browser, but if you have three browsers, you have a doozy of a job to remove the crapware off each web browser. [I guess a reason why you shouldn’t have too many browsers. One to use and a second one in case the first one has an issue with a web site.]

If there is a way to block out Conduit? I’m doubting it. In most cases, it is included in the free software you are installing.

This is what I tell people: If it is free, definitely do a custom installation. Otherwise crapware like this gets installed. One free software I downloaded had 4 separate installations if you chose a custom installation.

Know of any other software that have [or had] Conduit crapware included in the installation?

I have always suggested that when something is free off the Internet, always choose a custom installation [or equivalent]. Unlike the standard/complete installation [or whatever they may call it], in many cases the custom installation will actually allow you to see what is installing and what changes will be made during the installation [additional programs, changing the default home page in your browser, changing the default search engine in your browser, etc.].

Today is Systems Administrator’s Day – Did you know that?

On the last Friday in July, hopefully most systems administrators get feted a bit by their boss or non-IT co-workers.

Today is Systems Administrator’s Day.

If you are not a systems administrator, how about treating him or her for a cup of coffee [lord knows they sometimes need it when the sh?t hits the fan].

If you manage one or more systems administrators, treat them to lunch or supper [and hopefully not just a pat on the back].

You can find various information as well as some funny pictures.

http://sysadminday.com/

Oh here‘s a funny related song.

A privacy option to do

Here is a way to hide some of your personal information.

A [cookie] cookie is a file stored on your computer that keeps track of various information such as when was the last time you visit the site. That information in the cookie at one point will be sent to the host server when visited.

Google owns a major web tracking site called DoubleClick. This is where Google gets some of its information about you including where you have gone.

[Note: There are still other similar sites that do the same but DoubleClick is probably the biggest one.]

If you wish to stop DoubleClick from tracking what you do, go to the following page and follow the instructions:

http://www.google.com/settings/ads/plugin

This takes a minute of your time.
Notes:

  • If you are in Internet Explorer, the User Account Control in Windows Vista and later will need your approval.
  • You must use the same link for all the major web browsers Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome – if you have one or more of them. Each require a separate plugin.

Windows Server 2003 life is running out

Recently marked one final year of support for Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 line.

Just like Windows XP, Microsoft will cease support on this wildly popular server line on July 14, 2015.

The migration is on for some, have already finished for others and some shockingly didn’t even know the impending doom is coming or are procrastinating.

Microsoft estimates that a Server 2003 network [i.e. Server 2003 controllers, DHCP, DNS, etc.] would take about 200 days to completely migrate off that server operating system to Server 2012 R2 [the 200 days depends on the size of the network].

Hewlett-Packard estimates something like 2.7 million servers running Windows Server 2003. That’s close to 7400 servers per day world-wide – assuming there are 2.7 million servers out there to migrate.

Server manufacturers such as IBM/Lenovo, Dell and Hewlett-Packard must be rubbing their hands waiting for the big rush of server purchases. Problem is that they will never see some of those servers.

First, some companies may decommission older servers and move features and applications to underperforming servers that already exist [and are running Windows Server 2008 or newer].

Second, many of those 2.7 million servers are virtualized. The hardware manufacturers will make nothing off those virtualized servers except if a company needs a new host or two to alleviate the strain as the newer servers have higher resource requirements.

Like Windows XP, expect some companies to take the gamble by not upgrading those servers with specialized hardware or software [for example: software that isn't upgradable]. There are companies still using Windows 2000 server – discontinued over 4 years ago.

Chrome browse bug poses power problem for portables

Wondering why you are not getting the same battery life [anywhere] near the expected life that is advertised for your laptop?

If you use Google’s Chrome web browser, that could be a reason.

A documented bug in the source code for the Chromium open source project – that has been around for close to two years – seems to account for some of the power drain that has hit users of Chrome browser have been experiencing.

The bug was first included for Chrome version 22, yet Chrome’s developers have so far ignored it.

The bug has to do with how Chrome forces Windows machines to manage processor idle time. When a laptop isn’t doing much, it sends its processor(s) to sleep to save power, waking up every once in a while if there are any events that need handling. For Windows, these wake-ups normally happen every 15.625ms, but that interval can be adjusted. Instead of waking up the processor every 15.625ms, Chrome tells Windows to have it wake up every 1ms. So while your laptop normally wakes up the processor 64 times per second when it’s idle, when you have Chrome running, the processor wakes up 1,000 times per second.

This wouldn’t affect a desktop [except a bit of power consumption] unless you are experience a power failure in the room but have a UPS. In which case, don’t use Chrome during a power failure.

I am wondering sometimes if Google does this on purpose. After all, it is on the competitor’s operating system.

New Gmail security kills syncing with some applications

If you are using Gmail with an application such as [but not limited to]:
• Microsoft Outlook [as part of Office]
• Outlook Express
• Thunderbird
• Email app on iPhone or iPad with iOS6 or below
• Email app on Windows Phone versions prior to 8.1
• 3rd party email apps on Android devices
Please read below….

Google has made a change in security with its Gmail mail system. This change was initiated today. If you are getting errors where you cannot synchronize one of the clients above with Gmail, it is because of this change. [An error message about an incorrect password is not true.]

The problem with these email clients is that they work with “Basic Authentication”. Google has increased its security measures to block access to Google accounts after July 15, 2014 if those accounts are being set up or synced in apps and on devices that use Basic Authentication.

To allow these clients, you will need to go into “Settings” in your Gmail account from the web site and adjust you settings like below [“Enable”]. You will receive a confirmation Email after of the change.

gmail-lesssecure

Typical Google. Was there any advanced notification?

 

 

One year away from the next Windows apocalype

Today marks one final year of support for Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 line.

Just like Windows XP, Microsoft will cease support on this wildly popular server line on July 14, 2015.

The migration is on for some, have already finished for others and some didn’t even know the impending doom is coming or are procrastinating.

Microsoft estimates that a Server 2003 network [i.e. Server 2003 controllers, DHCP, DNS, etc.] would take about 200 days to completely migrate off that server operating system to Server 2012 R2 [the 200 days depends on the size of the network].

Hewlett-Packard estimates something like 2.7 million servers running Windows Server 2003. That’s close to 7400 servers per day world-wide – assuming there are 2.7 million servers out there to migrate.

Server manufacturers such as IBM/Lenovo, Dell and Hewlett-Packard must be rubbing their hands waiting for the big rush of server purchases. Problem is that they will never see some of those servers.

First, some companies may decommission older servers and move features and applications to underperforming servers that already exist [and are running Windows Server 2008 or newer].

Second, many of those 2.7 million servers are virtualized. The hardware manufacturers will make nothing off those virtualized servers except if a company needs a new host or two to alleviate the strain as the newer servers have higher resource requirements.

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