A Dash of Amazon in every Click! Or is It?

Amazon Introduces the DASH!

Amazon Dash seems like a good idea but how does it really work.   As it being April 1, 2015 and this came out yesterday, most people were unsure if this was really a prank or an real product.  I however, seen this coming from the start of last year.   I have always said Amazon will be a contender with grocery stores and this seems they are aiming at getting you to order even more products from their site without actually having a display.   I’ve got my doubts on this device as well but not that it isn’t real but the security of the device in hand.

So many Questions!

I’ve got so many questions about this device and the only way to solve this is to get one of these things and try it out for myself.   The problem so far that I have with this device is how do they send the request to Amazon (Amazon Affiliate Link).  So I have encrypted my internet with WPA Version 2.0 and if they are going to be wireless then how will it will connect to my WIFI.  I do have a Chromecast and I did have to set it up to my Wifi by connecting with it wireless.   The problem with this is I can wireless connect to Chromecast directly to configure the device, so if the Dash does this then we will see people with drive by hacks and either ordering excess amounts of products to prank the person or they may just install their own firmware.   Then we’d wonder what they can get from this device.   I’m not worried about my Chromecast.   There is nothing that can happen with my Chromecast because it doesn’t have the personal information.

Encryption

I also have the questions of how do they send the request to the Amazon servers, will it be SSL or even SSH connection o their servers or did they not even consider encryption the orders because the device most likely can’t handle SSL 128 encryption.   The developers could think to themselves that no way could someone possibly abuse this connection or device.   I can’t wait to get this device and Wireshark the Amazon Dash (Amazon Affiliate Link) to see what is actually sent to Amazon and see how you will be providing proof of your identity or if it is just linked to the account in question.

If and When

I’ve request an invitation to the device and I’m really just waiting to see if I get the invite to try out their new device.   If I get one, we will talk some more about the technical details of the device and hopefully the questions will be answered with me at least.   I’m sure I am not the only one who is worried about the security of this new product.   Will you try it??

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How Local Recruiting Agencies make the wrong mistakes!

http://www.hr-connects.com

http://www.hr-connects.com

Small Recruiting Agencies problems!

I got a voice mail from someone at hr-connects[dot]com, who said they had an active position that I might be interested in. I didn’t have a chance to call them back that same day, so I went home and decided to check out what active position(s) they had available and so I Google’d the company and found their website and I went to there OPEN positions and it as you can see this is what I saw. Either they do not care about their website traffic or they do not have someone who is constantly working to update their website.

Either way they are loosing valuable business opportunities by not having regular content updates on their website.   Google, Yahoo, and other SEO’s will not keep updating their indexes with new content for people to find their website and possibly call for an active position.

Recruiters listen up!

It doesn’t take a genius to know that is one reason I didn’t call them back the next day.   I was hesitate of just how much they care about their employees or if they are just trying to get the numbers they need per month to keep the money coming in.  I’m not saying recruiters shouldn’t get a commission but in any small business the main focus should always be the employees and not the employer trying fill positions that are not qualified for that position.   I’m sure they aren’t doing that but you never know about other recruiters.   I’ve got a stable job and I really do not need to find another job right away.   If however I was looking the website looking like it does doesn’t help me to want to call them back, just because the look of the website isn’t something I’m comfortable with.  It however looks professional and I got to admit it didn’t raise any other red flags with me.

Looking Deeper!

So I was curious about what domaintools said about the website and its internal and external links:

Website Title HR Connects | Home
Server Type Microsoft-IIS/6.0
Response Code 200
SEO Score 94%
Terms 402 (Unique: 193, Linked: 64)
Images 3 (Alt tags missing: 3)
Links 31 (Internal: 28, Outbound: 2)

Domain Name: HR-CONNECTS.COM
Registrar URL: http://www.godaddy.com
Registrant Name: Scott Titzer
Registrant Organization:
Name Server: NS51.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Name Server: NS52.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
DNSSEC: unsigned

I did a search on Scott Titzer and it seems he has done several website, so his main job has done website design for a living.   He probably doesn’t have time to constantly update a single website.   I can’t blame him for that it isn’t his job to keep it going but to set it up for the small business.  As you can see they have two outbound and 28 internal but since they do not have enough rankings with Alexa.com, I can not decide how many inbound links they actually have if they have any at all.   They should also consider fixing their DNSSEC problem because it is unsigned and it could cause problems.   It also wouldn’t hurt to have SSL turned on all the way to make their site more secure for the ones who are security concerned.

Spam Filters

The link you are accessing has been blocked by the Barracuda Web Filter because it contains content belonging to the category of: Spam

The link you are accessing has been blocked by the Barracuda Web Filter because it contains content belonging to the category of: Spam

I went to my local library and this is what pops up when you try to visit their website on the library’s network. It kind of surprised me because you wouldn’t expect a recruiting agency from being blocked or categorized as spam site.   So it got me thinking, what type of activities did this local small business do to have a block at the public wifi location.   I can only guess that they paid for links or either that or paid someone to spam email people or organizations to get their business started up.   It  can be a challenge for some small businesses and they sometimes make some really bad decisions when they first start-up and I can understand some of it.   It also makes me wonder just how honorable this business but that is another topic all together.

If this business is to survive they will need to focus on their strengths and weaknesses and fix some of the problems that they have.   They may have to reach out to local business and ask for forgiveness for their mistakes.   It would get them in a better standing as being a leader in their hiring community.   I can only summarize what I have seen so far with their website but it just doesn’t make me want to jump on to their services right away.

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The Focus excitation experience!

Focus Stack Test by John Finn

Focus Stack Test by John Finn

Finding Focus!

We are all just trying to fight our bodies and minds to focus on a task or even to focus on our jobs.   We are constantly having to fight the urge to not to focus and to let our minds wonder where it wants to go.   This seems to be a clearly a hard step for me this week with me having to fight off this head cold and maybe even a sinus infection.   I thought this would be a good topic for those who might want to know, you’re not alone in this problem.   I’ve had the focus problem all my life and it just compounds the problem when I am sick.

The Focal point!

We all are constantly having problem with this in every day business or even family life.   I thought it was a good time to discuss how I get focused.   It isn’t going to an absolute way to get focused but it has worked for me in the past and it might work for you also.

  • Step out of Routine — This one seems to work well with me.   Nothing like changing the routine of your day-to-day lifestyle will help me to focus on what I want to do and carry out something.
  • Remove distraction —  This one seem to be something people have learned in the past and it seems to work well with me because I know any distractions will detour me from my writing goal.
  • Say No — Sometimes the hardest part of keeping focus is know when to say no to yourself or others and keep yourself focus on the bigger picture.   We have a tendency to feel guilty if we do not do what someone asks and sometimes just saying no helps to keep your focus.   It isn’t always about others but yourself.
  • Goals — I find having at least one Goal a week helps you to focus on the big picture and even then it isn’t as hard to focus on even the small tasks.   It however seems to help keep me going.
  • Less Clutter — Some call it De-clutter your lifestyle and keep your life organized which will help with keeping your focus going that you know what needs to be done.   It can be a very hard lesson to some and easy lesson on others because we all have our on ideas of what it means to clean or remove clutter.  So there is no right way on this one.

Finality

The idea that you can finally get to writing or to get something done can help you succeed in more ways than you can ever imagine.   The problem with focus is that now matter how much your try someone else has a better way of handling it or how to keep focus that may or may not help you in the long.   It isn’t an exact science when it comes to finding your own way to focus or to get things done but that is always going to be a process for at least me, and maybe you when it comes to focusing on a project.

What ways help you to focus?  How about leaving a comment and telling me how you get focused.  I’d love to hear how you do it.

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Windows 10 upgrade will be free for some!

Menu Start w Windows 10 jak w Windows 7

Menu Start w Windows 10 jak w Windows 7

Got Windows?

Microsoft has announced that if you could easily upgrade to Windows 10 for Free.  It isn’t quite clear about what this will do after the first year.   Microsoft has states it will ship this summer sometime and that you would need to have Windows 7 RTM or SP1, or Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 RTM or S14 but the problem is what happens when you need to re-install due to hardware failure after the first year.   Will you be able to still download Windows 10 after you install your old copy of Windows 7 or even Windows 8?

Let’s Play Halo!

We have both Project Cortana, which is like Google Now, and you can use Cortana to find some Easter Eggs if you are into that sort of stuff.   I have tried everything I could come up with for Google Now and they have an extensive list of Easter Eggs you can try with your Google Phone.   Project ‘Spartan‘, which is a new Web Browser, they are retiring Internet Explorer and going to this new browser for what it is worth.   I’ve not had any chance to play around with this browser but it should be interesting to say the least.

Start Menu….

I am sure you’ve heard the Start Menu comes back to Windows 10 after the fiasco of Windows 8.1 and people complaining about not being able to get to their apps quickly enough.   I am sure this was something that some person thought it would be nice not to have the start menu but people just can’t navigate like they used to.   So people started complaining and brought it back.

I am sure we will see and hear more about Windows 10 in the coming weeks to months before they release it this summer so people can get ready but this is just some of the things I’ve heard and learned the last few weeks about Windows 10.   I’m going to go download the updated version of Windows 10.   I haven’t really played with it the last week or two so I can’t be certain, but I’ll keep you informed.

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Malwarebytes Pro Lifetime License ends Soon!

malwarebytes-6 by Andrzej Cybulski

malwarebytes-6 by Andrzej Cybulski

Malwarebytes Retiring Lifetime Licenses!

No do get me wrong, I understand where they are coming from. They want to continually make money every year so they can afford to fix the problems of the bad guys.  They obviously feel the pinch of not getting the money they deserve and thus they feel the need to have an Annual subscription base ($24.95 a Year) for that one reason.   If you haven’t bought your Lifetime License yet you really should consider do that before March 24th, 2015.

Get it Now!

You just have to go buy it before March 24th (Amazon Affiliate Link) and Activate it before 24th to get the lifetime membership.   You can buy it from Amazon.   I haven’t found anywhere else you can buy it for just $19.99.   This  is the last chance you will get to have this little jewel before it becomes a yearly pay date.   Even SUPERAntiSpyware did this, which is a disappointment for several people.   I have had their Lifetime license for several years now and love it.   The problem with this is that now you only get to choice a good anti-virus software and not have several in your arsenal to help keep your computer safe and secure.

Other Options

If your found out too late to do anything, I have search for alternatives and here are a few

Lifetime Licenses:

  • VIPRE Antivirus —  Sells a Lifetime license for $79.99 for 1 PC.  So this is definitely an option for those who want to keep from having to buy a license every year.  I’ve used this antivirus for a while and works decently.

Free Antivirus Software

As you can see a few places where you can get free Antivirus for your computer but it seems that it is never going to fully be the best option for anyone and you should just go ahead and buy a lifetime license for Malwarebytes (Amazon Affiliate LInk) or Vipre Antivirus.   After March 24th, buying that will not work for you anymore!

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My Facebook hack stopped working and How I fixed it!

Facebook by Master OSM 2011

Facebook by Master OSM 2011

Facebook Messenger? No thanks

I started Facebook a few days ago and I had not done anything differently from any other days. When I went to the Facebook chat section on the app and saw this:

Get started With Messenger crap!

Get started With Messenger crap!

My hack was working in the earlier this week.   I was really kind of mad there was no way to selectively choice which apps I should update manually or if I should just tell the phone never to update this app.   So I went searching for an OLD version of the APK for the Facebook.   I found one on Appmirror.com.   A Really good resource to find older version of apps that you like that got updated and you want to roll back to an earlier version of the app.   Most of the time, I can find the important files on this server but there are occasionally games or apps that you need to find it else where.

Prevent Automatic Updating

First thing I can say, if you do not want this to happen with any other apps, you will want to disable automatic updating and check for updates every month or so.   You will have to remember to not update Facebook and keep that APK on the phone when you do need to roll back to that version of App.  I guess i will have to do this every month on the first or so to make sure all my other apps are update to date.   I would love a way to hide the update in Google so i didn’t have to do this and just tell Google not to update this one app only but that seems a bit far-reaching for Google.

Steps to get Chat back!

First of all, I was getting tired of having my hack to always tell me it stopped responding, so I went with another users suggestion and use the Xda Dev teams recommendation and use the Facebook Enabler APK.  I don’t understand why we need to have another app on my phone that just used battery and data when the Facebook was all I really need.  You will need to uninstall the new version of Facebook and roll back to the Any version earlier than the 27th of Facebook.   So basically 27.x.x.x.x, 26.x.x.x.x, 25.x.x.x.x, … and so on for this to work.   You can get these from APKMirror or some other online place that you trust.   You’ll also want to enable Allow Unknown sources  and I recommend you also Enable Very Apps on the Android device!   If you do this the Facebook Chat should reappear in the Facebook app and you no longer need that naughty Messenger app to talk to your friends on Facebook.

Hope This helps and please share my post to help others with the problem also!

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Anthem Lies about sending out EMAILS! Bad MOJO!

Very Bad Anthem!

it isn’t every day you get this email from Anthem telling you about the cyber attack on their servers.   I am for one not going to beat a dead horse but this email quite surprised me.   I was at work, so I wasn’t able to look into this email very much.   I got home and started digging deeper into this email and reading it.   I was quite surprised to see links in the email and I thought, wow these guys do not even think about security.   It was that obvious that they would add links to their to the emails.   EVEN THOUGH They said in their email:

We know you might be concerned about clicking links, so Anthem did not include any in this message. However, some email programs and smart phones automatically add links. Remember, you can always type a web address manually in your browser instead of clicking through from this email.  [SEE PHOTO ABOVE]

Digging Deeper

So I was using Google mail for my emails now, so I said to show me the original email message.   This way I could see if they were telling the truth about not adding email links to this one.   It was false.   I found not only HTML links but also track back links to their site.   They even had an empty image pixel to let them know you read this.   I guess so they won’t get sued.

anthem_mojo4

This told me one thing, they just plain lied about not including links.   This was an HTML link and thus their promises are nothing but uneducated.   I then dug even deeper to see what else they did in this email and I found something strange:

(<span class=”applelinksWP”>AnthemFacts.com</span>)

<span class=”applelinksWP”>www.consumer.gov/idtheft</span>

<ul>

  • Equifax security freeze: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp
  • Experian security freeze: http://www.experian.com/consumer/security_freeze.html
  • TransUnion security freeze: http://www.transunion.com/personal-credit/credit-disputes/credit-freezes.page

</ul>

So what is the class=”applelinksWP”, I went searching and it seems to be technique in Apple to hide underline links in IOS.  I am an Android user and am quite astonished that they think I have enough money to buy anything Macintosh such as a IPHONE, or even a MacBook!

Story So far!

So I have to question just what their intentions are, if they are going to be public about their attack and keep people from asking even more questions, this is not the way.   Nothing they said or have said sits well with me, for the plain fact they weren’t truthful or that they tried to hide the links in their emails and they KNEW IT.   I’ll believe them when hell does freeze over.   Anthem, You made a mistake by sending out this email because It just proves you KNOW nothing about security or that you want to reassure the media and everyone involved that you were not at fault.   I say differently, you obvious need to learn to be more truthful!

Anthem Lies to the Media!

In the last part, Anthem announced a few weeks past that they wouldn’t be emailing members but that seem to be a lie also because the hidden Image source (See picture above) goes directly to their servers. Another point proving they do not keep their promises.

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5 apps for the computer repair technician!

30 Plus computers, 1.5 techs.  by Howard Jefferson

30 Plus computers, 1.5 techs. by Howard Jefferson

5 apps that I use!

In every tool kit we have our own special apps that we use to Diagnose and repair a computer that is acting up or just isn’t working right. This little post is about what I have used the most of in the past few months to help others who might want to expand on their application database. I am sure some people have their favorite but maybe it is time to expand it!

Malwarebytes

Logo-500x120

I’ve used this applications to remove some really nasty viruses or Malware that some exploit in the system. Sometimes even the clients just don’t listen to the technician who complains to them about not clicking on every link that is sent to them in emails or downloading from sites that look suspicious.  It however isn’t like you can prevent the client from doing the wrong things but at least you can get rid of those little buggers!

DNS Benchmark

dnsbenchmark1
This is a great little application to test to see if you’re having a network problem or if your computer is just slowing down.   If you’re having trouble getting on the internet this is a great resource for those who might be having a difficulty getting a constant good connection.  Sometimes it isn’t the computer fault but the DNS server who is so bogged down and can’t handle the bandwidth.

WSUS Offline Updater

wsusoffline1

This is good to have ready for those systems that just wouldn’t update any other way.   Seems some viruses or malware prevent downloading of the updates to prevent the exploit from being patched.   It also used to prevent the Microsoft  Malicious Tool Remover from being downloaded and used to remove that infection.  Sometimes though clients just don’t have access to the internet and this is one way to help protect their system.   Easily download all the latest updates to Windows and have them on the Go!

Drive Image XML

driveimgxml

Sometimes even the client just needs to have their system backed up and they just don’t do it.  This little application is good to keep a back up of their important files for when trouble happens.   It can be very useful for those middle of the night calls saying they need a file or their computer won’t boot.   In which case this is a good little resource to have for those times they are needed.

Spinrite

IMG_20150205_053129

 

I have used this program from time to time.   It is a really good way to get that data back quickly and easily and to test out the system before it gets worse.   There is a way to make boot up in the flash drive without much worry.  It has been a lifesaver for me and my clients from time to time. I’ve even used it to bring bad drives that people have written off because they know nothing about hard drive maintenance!

These are just a few that I use on a daily basis to help keep my clients safe.  Do you have any good recommendations.   I’d like to hear  from you.   What is your favorite application to use while fixing a clients computer?

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How eBay Can Make You Sick (RANT)

 

Ebay sign by Kazuhisa OTSUBO

Ebay sign by Kazuhisa OTSUBO

Some days!

So I had a listing on eBay and seems users think they have the right to get more from the refund than they paid. I really can’t understand how people think they should get more money for returning an item than they deserve. So here is the back story.

I sold a my old “SLEEK 3G Universal Cell Phone Signal Booster” on Ebay and then this buyer gets it and says the charger is wrong so I refund the Ten dollars to the user so they can go buy the right charger for the Amplifier in question.  He then claims the amplifier is not functional and is requesting a full refund.   So now I am having to fight this guy saying I should have to pay for the mistake and that he intends to get a full refund from eBay.   eBay in their infinite wisdom has said I should pay this guy back the full amount.   I am disputing that with eBay and the buyer.   I’m almost about to the point of putting my stuff on sale on sites besides eBay.

eBay Protects buyers

I went searching for how eBay Seller Protection on Google and I found an excellent resource for sellers on eBay.   The problem with eBay is that they never really protect the seller from dishonest buyers.   I feel that eBay should not always side with the buyer because they do not want to upset where they make money and their commission.   I am not happy with eBay, and I should state that if this keeps up.   I’ll go somewhere else to sell my stuff and let the buyer beware.   I am not going to refund the full amount when I receive the item because I have already paid him 10$.   I seem to think eBay will not listen to sellers and I hope they will listen.   Has anyone else had problems with eBay?

eBay made me sick so far

The topic of eBay and how buyer can force you to accept returns even when you clearly stated no returns.   Sometimes buyer remorse seems to be the most reasons why they say they want their money back.   eBay doesn’t understand about products that are for sale on their site.   If they truly understand all the items or had someone who was knowledgeable for each area on eBay then I wouldn’t have to fight this person left and right!  I’m pretty much done with eBay.   I might go somewhere else to sell my stuff!

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How WireShark Helped solve a Network Congestion problem!

3793150100_07b94b9f39_z

Verifone x510 dial-up by korifey13

Network Congestion Issue!

It was a very peculiar day for me, it wasn’t like I didn’t want this new client of mine but they seemed to be having problems with the speed of their network and it was just way unbearable to use. I came into the office wondering with a little knowledge of the company. I’ve been there before and had a friend who knew me who recommended me to his boss to fix the problem.  So I started to work on the problem at hand, the client was told that he needed to buy a new router and that would solve his problem.   The problem was that the router wasn’t at fault and the real problem was going to be found out!

Router installation!

Installing the new router that he bought before I even stepped into the client’s office was nothing to major.   He bought an ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router RTN66R [Amazon Affiliate Link].   It however isn’t just for office work but it was a very good choice for the small office environment.  I updated both the wireless connections and LAN connections.   I also told the client that the password should have both letters and numbers, upper case and lowercase.   Even though, this isn’t actually a very importantly needed but it makes brute force attacks so much harder.   Even though with enough ARP snooping, there is a good chance someone can figure out the password and get onto the network but that is besides the point.

The problem surfaces!

After we got all the wireless networks up and running, I did some test and found no problem until we started plugging in all the Cat 5 Cables [Amazon Affiliate Link] that also connect all the devices to the router.   We’d see the problem from all over the office almost as soon as we plug-in all the cables.  We’d see the network just slow to a crawl in as few as 5 minutes of everything plugged in.   I first thought that the frayed cords of some of the CAT 5 cables were to blame so we started replacing at least one of the cables when I noticed that only one cable that was causing the problem.   Whenever this one cable was connected the network would act this way.  So I followed the cable to the source and saw that only one device was connected to this cable, ti was a Verifon VX510 used to payment options.

Spanning Tree DoS!

After looking over the device it was saying “NO *GO VARIABLE”  and I was curious about what it was doing in the background.   So I grab my copy of WireShark and bridge connections from my wireless to Lan connection.   I basically was the man in the middle and just watched what was sent and on the network while the device was active and connected via a Cat 5 cable to the computer.  It showed the  device was sending an almost constant spanning Tree request to the ip 192.168.2.15 which isn’t being used by anything but a printer.  I didn’t know how to update the Verifon VX510, so I told the client that it was just bogging the network down by sending out those requests almost constantly.   I am sure there was an easy fix but this was far out of my ability range,   Since I haven’t used one of those devices in my business I let him fix the problem.  He said he’d have them download the software and stuff that needed for it to run properly and he suspects the programming of the device before he even got it was not programmed as it should be.   He said the problem began the same day they plugged that device in and they just didn’t put the two together.   So if you’re having the same problem then this might be the issue!

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