Don’t Download the Wrong VLC!

I love VLC. It is one of the programs I install on all my systems, whether Windows, or Linux. BUT, some evil, nasty dewds are making the good name of VLC a “hook” to get you to download a modified mailware infested version! Grrrr!

VLC media player suffering in face of crapware and uncaring Google

“Ask any geek for a media player recommendation that runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux, and you’re guaranteed to hear VLC mentioned quite often. It’s free to download and use, includes support for just about any video format you’d want to watch, and has a dedicated team of developers behind it.

The problem is, while VLC is developed as a not-for-profit open source project, other companies are taking advantage of its popularity to distribute adware and spyware.

If you want to download VLC then the official versions are available at the VideoLan website–the organization composed of volunteers who develop the media player. However, if you do a search for VLC on the top two search engines: Google or Bing, a number of malicious links appear alongside the official VideoLan page.

These other links are put there by companies that want you to download their modified version of VLC that includes adware and spyware. They trade on the good name of VLC in order to infect your system and then start earning money from you and your machine.

The VideoLan team faces two major problems because of this: the first is their software being associated with malicious activity and being flagged by antivirus software as such, and the second being the search engines apparently not willing to do much about it.”

Even though the search engines have been informed about the bogus links, they aren’t removing them. Sigh! Watch out, out there!

Geek Software of the Week: HWiNFO!

HWiNFOThis is a Geek Software of the Week, and a Geek Web Site of the Week! Check out these great freeware utilities:

HWiNFO/32/64 Tools

“HWiNFO, HWiNFO32 and HWiNFO64 are professional hardware information and diagnostic tools supporting latest components, industry technologies and standards. These tools are designed to collect and present the maximum amount of information possible about computer’s hardware which makes them suitable for users searching for driver updates, computer manufacturers, system integrators and technical experts as well. Retrieved information is presented in a logical and easily understandable form and can be exported into various types of reports.”

These are AWESOME tools, and they keep them up-to-date! It allows you to determine EXACTLY what hardware that you have installed, which is handy if you are doing updates, checking for conflicts, etc.!

The Shuttle Program Ends… as Does America’s Space Leadership

Space ShuttleMy Opinion: We were “The Man” when it came to space exploration. We rocked the house in 1969 when we put men on the moon. But budget cuts at NASA, and general lack of interest in the dream of space exploration by the public has pretty much doomed our space leadership as a nation. It is a shame. President Kennedy gave us a lofty goal to achieve back in the 60s, and we met his timetable of putting a man on the moon and returning him safely before the decade of the sixties was out. I was (and am) a “space geek!” I love the space program. I have been to Cape Kennedy, Houston, and Huntsville, and seen all the achievements in the museums. I have watched shuttles lift off while in Florida, not on TV, but “in the flesh!” I have been to the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, and seen the artifacts of our dream on display there.

But a chapter ends with this last Space Shuttle mission. Yes, the Shuttle is old, dated, and tired. But, it is all we had. Now, even that will be gone. I guess we leave it to other countries to continue the dream. If we had visionary leadership here again… but… sigh. We don’t. Sad.

So, I will be watching tomorrow as the last Shuttle leaves the pad… I wonder who else will even notice?

Amazon Ups the Ante On Cloud Music!

A pretty good deal!

Amazon Offers Unlimited Cloud Music Storage for $20 per Year

Amazon just upped the ante in the cloud music wars (oh yes, that’s a thing now) by announcing some enticing new offers and features for its Cloud Drive service.

Cloud Drive, you’ll remember, is Amazon’s version of iTunes. You pay your fee and get to keep all your music on Amazon’s servers. Listening to stuff is as easy as clicking a play button in a web browser.

When it first launched, there were grumblings of iDiscontent because the player wasn’t officially supported on Apple’s mobile devices, but that’s one of the things Amazon’s just fixed. From now on, the Cloud Player works just fine on an iPad.

The other slice of new is a time-limited special offer, clearly designed to lure in new customers: free music storage with all paid file storage plans.
That means you can sign up for the basic 20GB storage offer, and you’ll be allowed to upload your entire 200GB music collection without making a dent in your allowance. You’ll still have 20GB free for, you know, all your other stuff. Whatever that is. The entry-level free service, offering 5GB of file storage, is not included in the special offer.

So the deal’s pretty clear: if you want to put your entire music collection the cloud, you can, for a minimum spend of $20 per year. There’s no need to pay out for storage that matches the size of your music library.”

Need Customers for Your Product? Pay Them to Use It!

That’s what Microsoft is doing for it’s new Office365 “Cloud Software Service!”

Microsoft pays University of Nebraska $250,000 to use Office 365

“If you really are in need of some high profile clients, you can always pay them. That’s exactly what Microsoft has done with the University of Nebraska. The university will receive $250,000 in incentives from Microsoft to migrate its email and calendaring system to the recently announced Office365 platform.

The school had been using IBM’s Lotus Notes for these services, however that system had begun to age — having been in use since 1997. IBM had pitched its cloud-based version of Notes to the school, but could not come close to Microsoft’s offer. Google was also said to be in the running but probably lost out for much of the same reason.

The funds will be used to subsidize the cost of migration, as well as fund support and the purchase of Microsoft software across the entire university. The switch is expected to save the school about $500,000 a year.”

Wow. When you have pay them to use it… well. Just something to ponder.

Mozilla Firefox Memory Restart Plugin

Or, you could just use Chrome. Just sayin’!

Is Firefox hogging RAM? Memory Restart can fix that

“When Mozilla released Firefox 4 (and now Firefox 5), it appeared to have finally fixed some of the performance-related gripes of earlier releases. Compared to Firefox 3.6, Firefox 5 is lightning fast, but sadly behind the scenes all is not as it should be. Firefox still suffers from a memory leak that sees its memory demands slowly spiral over an extended period of time, stealing precious system resources and affecting your PC’s performance as a result.

A simple restart fixes the problem, but it’s still annoying. The good news is that Mozilla developers are targeting this memory leak and think they may have found a way to fix it. If we’re lucky, the fix may even make it into Firefox 7, which is due to be released as Firefox Aurora imminently. In the meantime, how you can stop Firefox’s increasing memory demands from spiralling out of control? The answer lies with a tiny add-on appropriately titled Memory Restart.

Memory Restart does two things: first, it displays Firefox’s current memory consumption in the Add-ons Bar. This immediately reveals how Firefox’s memory demands increase over time, regardless of how it’s being used. When Firefox’s memory consumption hits 500MB, the text will change to red to warn you that it’s in danger of overrunning the rest of your system, telling you it’s time to shut down and restart Firefox to free up most of the memory it’s snaffled.
Memory Restart’s other trick is that you can configure it from its Options dialog to automatically restart Firefox when the 500MB threshold is reached, preserving all your open tabs and allowing you to continue browsing without too much hassle. Better still, the arbitrary 500MB figure can be altered to any amount you like, allowing you to tweak Memory Restart according to the amount of installed RAM in your computer.”

Memory Restart for Firefox

“The Spiffify Your Open Source Edition” of Dr. Bill.TV Netcast #195

Dr. Bill Netcast – 195 – (07/02/11)

DirCaster Update, Dr. Bill.TV web site update, Thinking Worlds game development system now FREE, getting ‘touchy-feely’ with a robot? Browser usage data, IE and Firefox falling. LibreOffice 3.4.1 fixes bugs, GSotW: Xboot – utility to create USBs and ISOs

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

DirCaster Open Source Project

MediaLister Open Source Project

Thinking Worlds Gaming Development Software

MediaLister Open Source Project

Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio
 Download M4V

 Download WebM
Streaming MP3 Audio
 Download MP3
Streaming Ogg Audio
 Download Ogg

Available on YouTube at:

Available on Vimeo at:

Geek Software of the Week: Xboot!

XbootSo, you want to run multiple Linux distros from one (large) USB stick? Cool. Here’s a utility to help you set that up! Go forth and be geeky!

Xboot – A Utility for creating multiboot usb/iso

“XBoot is a easy-to-use utility for creating Multiboot USB/ISO. You may have seen many bootable ISO files like Linux live CDs, Anti=virus rescue CDs, etc. XBoot can combine these ISO files in to one Multiboot ISO file or create Multiboot USB in just few clicks.

Simply Drag and drop ISO files into XBoot and click the ‘Create ISO’ or ‘Create USB button.’ Support for some ISO files have been added, support for some other ISO files will be added later on the request of users.”

LibreOffice 3.4.1 is Released, But It Is Just Bugfixes

For business, stay with 3.3.3 for now, as I sadi before, but 3.4.1 has some bug-fixes. I like an active, vital Open Source community!

LibreOffice 3.4.1 fixes bugs, still not ready for enterprises

“The Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 3.4.1, a landmark update for its open-source, multi-platform office application. With its release, LibreOffice 3.4.1 is now the recommended build for all users except large enterprises, thanks to the bug fixes and improved stability that provide the focus of the release.
LibreOffice is an off-shoot of the OpenOffice project, development of which has stalled since many developers switched across to LibreOffice when it was launched in September, 2010.

At the present time, there are two versions of LibreOffice available: an older 3.3.3 build for enterprise users, plus the recently released 3.4.1 build for all other users. Enterprise users are asked to hold off deploying a 3.4.x build until version 3.4.2 is released at the end of the month.

LibreOffice 3.4.1 is purely a maintenance release, with no new features. However, users who are switching to the 3.4.x build from version 3.3.x, will find a number of a new features that were introduced in version 3.4, which are detailed at the LibreOffice website. These include improved compatibility with Excel spreadsheets in Calc, renamed Data Pilot component (now called PivotTable) and improved HTML export options in Impress and Draw applications.”

IE Numbers Falling, But So Is Firefox!

Wow! The browser wars are heating up. Internet Explorer’s numbers are falling, but so is Mozilla Firefox. I think it is because Google Chrome is just SO much faster, and Firefox memory issues are still slowing it down!

Internet Explorer usage is a falling rock

“First of the month means fresh browser usage data from NetApplications. Despite all the hoopla about IE9, Internet Explorer’s share, as measured in usage, declined (again) in June — to 53.68 percent from 54.27 percent in May and 55.11 percent in April. Internet Explorer 9 launched in March.

Firefox usage share dipped slightly — 21.71 percent to 21.67 percent month over month. Chrome continued its steady gains, up to 13.11 percent from 12.52 percent. Safari also nudged up, to 7.48 percent from 7.28 percent. Opera was the month’s other shocking loser, with usage sharing falling to 1.73 percent from 2.03 percent.
Google and Mozilla are now cranking out new browser versions every few months, pushing Microsoft to speed up, too. Already, Google has released three Chrome versions this year, and v13 is beta testing.

IE9 was supposed to be the browser that fixed Microsoft’s problems, according to NetApps. In January, IE share was 56 percent. A year earlier 62.12 percent, and 75.47 percent in January 2008. Unless Microsoft can reverse the ongoing trend, Internet Explorer’s global market share will fall below 50 percent sometime in the next 12-18 months.

As it has done in other months, NetApps spun Internet Explorer numbers around Microsoft’s risky bet on Windows 7. IE9 does not support Windows XP, which still represents most of the Windows install base. NetApps seems convinced that as more people adopt Windows 7, IE usage will increase.”

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