Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Not really an Apple person per se, but the new iPhone 11 certainly looks fantastic. It is a sleek, metallic design, no doubt about that. Supposedly the processor [A13 Bionic] is faster and the overall battery life will see an increase.

But the camera / video capabilities seem to be elevated to a new level. I am particularly interested in the seemingly advanced video editing. I think this will lure in more people than we might think, even considering the high price points. Time will tell!

Apple iPhone 11 Pro release.

My First Android App!

Ok, so this is a first for me. I have always had an interest in radio from around the globe. I think it is interesting to be brought to another place via live broadcast or streaming music. So, about 6 months ago, I decided to create a free Android App for radio streaming. I recently, finally finished.

It is called “World Radio” [I know, not too creative]. Although it is clearly new and obviously from a novice Android Studio and Java developer, it DOES work nicely. I try to test the stations often to verify they are operating or have not changed streaming addresses. I also am working to gather quality radio, as opposed to mainly Top 40 / Pop.

I had no idea Google made developers jump through SO MANY hoops before publishing an App! But it has been a great experience.

My first Android App is very small, at 5 Megabytes. Please give it a try if you use Android! I need people to use it on various Droid devices, so even if you do not use these types of Apps, please test it for a day or so, and maybe give me some feedback. I’d really appreciate it. THANK YOU!

Sorry iPhone people – I have simply never gotten into the iOS world, but may do so in the future ;>

My World Radio App is located here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.riguy.worldradio

Thanks!

FREE Trend Micro House Call

Did you ever get that feeling that your computer was acting “funny” or was “too slow”, in an unusual sort of way? Or maybe you read a recent article about the latest malware or creepy hack attack that got you thinking about hijacked video cameras? Sometimes hacks can bypass your traditional antivirus or endpoint security. Every once in a while, I like to run the Trend Micro awesome free security scan.

There is nothing wrong with double checking your current security software! Two eyes are better than one. Trend Micro has a long track record in the security software world. They are well regarded and this is a very solid offering. Obviously, the fact that it is free makes it even better! It can be downloaded and quickly installed and run right away. Always run a full scan in this case [not the quick scan]- go big or go home, so to speak. If Trend Micro is currently in use, try the McAfee free option.

So far, so good:

Grab the free security scan here

Microsoft Paint Moving to the Store

You have been warned. Microsoft Paint is moving to the Microsoft Store. Egads! This may be part of Microsoft’s ongoing goal to slim down their operating system. But the hallowed “PAINT”, built right into the operating system will surely be missed by many. It has been a quick and easy way to resize images and well, digitally paint. It has been one of the originals for years!

But, yes, the Paint App can always be downloaded from the Store.

WordPress Site Health

In my previous post, I mentioned that WordPress automatic updates [above minor level] were not enabled by default. I referred to a WordPress technical article to assist with fixing, but decided to go one step further – utilize the new Site Health tool for WordPress. I used this tool to point me in the right direction on what needed to be done: enable all updates automatically and also to enable the latest PHP version on the back end.

Instructions on enforcing automatic WordPress updates and using the latest PHP can be found here!

WordPress Automatic Background Updates

WordPress updates can be very important, both from a security and performance perspective. Although doing these WordPress, or any, updates can be done manually at any time, why not set them to automatically install? To my knowledge, there is no check box anywhere in the dashboard to achieve this. There are plug ins that can be used, but I believe ‘less is more’ when it comes to plug ins – they can fill up the plug ins directory and even increase the odds of a security breach. So, the best method is to directly edit the wp-config.php file. Minor updates are enabled by default, but there are a couple of other higher level updates needing to be enabled.

The PHP file sits at your hosting WordPress folder location.

Full instructions are contained in this WordPress article.

The Kids are Alright

It is not so much that teenagers or “tweens” are so tech-savvy that they can all hack, black hat style, straight into school systems and networks. It’s more akin to walking around the building’s back area and discovering an unlocked door in plain sight. Why waste time breaking in or breaking down the front door when you can simply open the unlocked door in the back? Anyway, this article by “The Atlantic” demonstrates clearly that some teens will stop at nothing in order to communicate with each other during school. And to think … we used to throw paper balls containing messages when we were young.

“The Hottest Chat App for Teens Is … Google Docs”

How a writing tool became the new default way to pass notes in class

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/03/hottest-chat-app-teens-google-docs/584857

Anti Virus Final Arbiter

Computer Antivirus software continues to be very relevant and necessary these days, despite the fact that social engineering and malware exploits may be more dangerous and numerous. Of course, most antivirus programs these days are combined with other security services [suites] or they do account for the various methods hackers employ to cause trouble, get your information or money. Everyone should use one of the top 4 or 5 rated antivirus programs (Norton, McAfee, ESET etc.) or at least Windows Defender on a PC, if you are on a budget.

But if you get a file or website virus type warning, it is always best to double check or cross reference from VirusTotal.Com. This super useful site allows for uploading files to the site for a quick analysis. Your antivirus would likely quarantine or delete a suspicious file but it is possible a mistake was made, so why not double check? And it is free! Also, any file can be uploaded for a quick ‘virus check’, not just the files giving warning etc. from a scan application. Finally, actual web site addresses can be checked. This can be useful if you are on a site that is acting slow, unusual or one that gives you that weird, uncertain feeling.

Site summary services:

“Any user can select a file from their computer using their browser and send it to VirusTotal. VirusTotal offers a number of file submission methods, including the primary public web interface, desktop uploaders, browser extensions and a programmatic API. The web interface has the highest scanning priority among the publicly available submission methods. Submissions may be scripted in any programming language using the HTTP-based public API.

As with files, URLs can be submitted via several different means including the VirusTotal webpage, browser extensions and the API.

Upon submitting a file or URL basic results are shared with the submitter, and also between the examining partners, who use results to improve their own systems. As a result, by submitting files, URLs, domains, etc. to VirusTotal you are contributing to raise the global IT security level.”

The website:

https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload

Example of a random Windows executable file [from System32 folder] results, below.

This is a safe, standard Windows master boot record related file, called “MBR2GPT”. I know it is safe, but, this is to give a demo of the positive results. If you see a file, any file, that looks suspicious or maybe have never seen before, upload it and see for yourself.

Antivirus Companies Hacked?

In a nutshell: the cybersecurity companies that design software that is intended to protect our computers … got hacked. Therefore, it is fully possible that now the hackers understand the defense mechanisms of the companies that fight cybersecurity, at least at the PC, Mac, workstation level and maybe more. This is not good!

Details are sketchy, as is common with these hacks, and two of the victims [Norton and McAfee] deny any breach, but Trend Micro admits a breach occurred. Although Trend said the hack only affected their “lab”, this does not necessarily make customers feel any better about it, given they are in the CYBERSECURITY industry.

Read about it here