All posts by arkieguy

Android WebKit Car Analogy

The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.Google throws nearly a billion Android users under the bus” and “Why Google won’t fix a security bug in almost a billion Android phones” but what I haven’t seen is an article that explains the situation in a way that people who WANT to blame Google seem to be able to understand so I’m going to try to explain this using an automobile analogy.

Imagine that Google makes automobile motors that many auto manufacturers use in the cars they sell. Some manufacturers want higher performance motors, so they replace the standard intake and cam with “improved” versions.  Other manufactures want more creature comforts in their cars, so they strap on AC units and other accessories.

Now it turns out that there was a problem with the motors that Google provided to manufacturers 18 months ago. To make things more interesting, the manufacturers didn’t actually have to pay ANYTHING to Google for the motors Google provided. Additionally, Google has offered to replace all of  their previous models at no additional charge twice since the faulty motors were shipped.

The manufacturers have chosen to not replace the faulty motors because they thought they were “good enough” and they would have to apply their chosen modifications to the replacement motors before sending them out. Besides, if people really want a new motor, they need to buy a new car. Right?

Keep in mind that this analogy is flawed.  For instance it implies that Google is actually providing hardware. They aren’t.  A more accurate analogy (but one less likely to be understood) is that Google is providing the software for the car’s computer.  All of the mechanical parts (including the electronics for the computer) are produced by the car manufacturer, but there is a bug in the code that Google made available to the manufacturer. Google doesn’t even know what kind of computer the manufacturer has chosen to install in their car.

My question to you is:  when you buy a car and it has problems with the motor (or computer), who do you go to for service?  I expect the vast majority of people would say the manufacturer (or it’s dealers) but many of these same people seem to want to put 100% (or more) of the blame on Google for the webkit issue. Logic seems to elude some people….

Is Google responsible for the bug? Sure, it was in their code. Is Google responsible for the bug not being fixed in your phone? Nope! They fixed the bug in later releases and your phone manufacturer choose not to release that fix.

Blocking Facebook Game Invites

So, you are tired of getting inundated with invites to Facebook games and want people to stop sending them to you…  Well, you have two options:  post a plea asking people to stop (sorry, it’s not going to work) or you can block the invites.

Unfortunately, Facebook has made it a bit harder than it used to be – but you can still do it.  Here’s how:

FB_Block_Step1

Step 1: you need to choose the “Lock” icon on the Facebook status bar.

Step 2: select “See More Settings” at the bottom of the “Lock” menu.

FB_Block_Step2Step 3: Choose the “Blocking” menu option on the left menu.

 

Step 4:  Block app invites from user

Once you block app invites from someone, you’ll automatically ignore future app requests from that friend. To block invites from a specific friend, click the “Ignore All Invites From This Friend” link under your latest request.FB_Block_Step4

Step 5: Block apps

Once you block an app, it can no longer contact you or get non-public information about you through Facebook.FB_Block_Step5

And that’s it!  I hope this helps someone!  🙂

Twitter spam may NOT be associated with Gawker

I’m sure that by now you’ve heard that the sudden spike in Twitter spam “appears to be due to the Gawker compromise”.  I’m not so sure.  I have a twitter account that has like 9 followers and it ended up with 2 outgoing spam messages on it.  However, I don’t have a Gawker account (nor any of the other web sites associated with it).  Yeah, I know I might have forgotten that I set one up on one of the many Gawker related sites, but when I enter my e-mail address (OK, addresses) I get a not found on all of them.  Add to this Gawkers assurance that the passwords were encrypted and the fact that my Twitter user ID is not the same as any of my other user ids, and I find it VERY suspicious.

So, if it wasn’t the Gawker leak that explains the Twitter storm today, what does?  My guess is that someone either hacked Twitters account system (or one of the software programs that posts Twitter messages for you) or there is a new way to send a Tweet that is attributable to someone else.  Who knows….

Why is Twitter blaming Gawker?  It could be as simple as “because they can”….

Cry from Laughter after watching this baby – Facebook Trojan

Well, it seems we have a new wave of Facebook Trojans loose on the internet. The one that I researched while writing this post, links to a cast.cc web site that is actually a phishing scheme that presents a FAKE Facebook login screen.  If you provide your Email and Password, it starts spamming your friends on Facebook with links to it. It appears that it also does the more typical thing and installs a Facebook application for you that will spam your friends with links to it (and sometimes other links).

If you fell for this (or a similar scam), the first thing to do is to change your Facebook password and then go to “Account / Privacy Settings / Applications and Websites / Applications You Use / Edit Settings” and remove everything you don’t recognize (watch the video below for step by step instructions on how to remove unwanted Facebook apps)!

I’ve also seen some posts that suggest that at least some of these links attempt to install the Koobface Virus, however I can’t confirm this.  The article I linked to implies that this virus is virulent across Windows, OS X and Linux.

If you are on Windows, it’s highly recommended that you have a good virus checker installed and current.  I personally recommend AVG Free, which (as the name implies) is free and quite good.

BTW, if you use FirefoxChrome and / or Open DNS (Family Shield is free and awesome), you will be presented a warning page for this site that tells you it’s a phishing site BEFORE you get the login page.

Sophos has a good video on how to remove applications (like “Stop Txting Lk Ths”, “NFee”, etc.) that you have already set up (if you aren’t already a fan of Sophos, I would recommend doing it as they tend to notify you of Facebook scams pretty quickly and give good general security advice).  Here’s their video:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or-qR0Y300w

Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Facebook has stated clearly, that Facebook Profile Trackers DO NOT Exist!  If you installed one, you need to follow the suggestions in this article to remove the scam application that was installed.

Facebook post:  Funniest baby a live you must watch !!!   Cry from Laughter after watching this baby.  See all the funniest videos on the net in one place!!!  My gosh you have to see this baby its the funniest thing every!!!  Baby sitting on the toilet reading a newspaper. This American GUY must be Stoned to Death for doing this to a GIRL. 10 things every GIRL wants in a MAN! This Teen Killed Herself After her Dad Posted This On Her Facebook! OMG this father crashed and died after THIS message from is daughter on his blackberry! See Who Is Viewing Your Profile!

Buzz Cason at Thirst N’ Howl

For those of you who don’t know who Buzz Cason is, he’s a singer / songwriter that has written songs (like “Everlasting Love”) for a bunch of groups you have probably heard of  (The Beatles, U2, Pearl Jam, Mel Tillis, The Oak Ridge Boys, Martina McBride and Dolly Parton, Gloria Estefan and Brenda Lee).

Buzz will be playing Saturday 11/13 at Thirst N’ Howl (14710 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, AR) .  This is an “all ages” show with no cover charge.  I would get there early and eat dinner if you want a seat, this place is pretty small and tends to fill up early.  🙂

Have fun!

Buzz Cason’s Home Page

Buzz Carson’s ReverbNation Page

Thirst N’ Howl’s Home Page

Thirst N’ Howl’s Google Places

[mappress mapid=”5″]

Don’t Give Up Your Dreams

Every teen needs to understand that prescription and over the counter drugs are not experimental or recreational!  This is a video created by a father about his son.   Albert was a great guy and friend to my son.   We will always miss him!

I hope everyone will share this video with others.   Gary wants people to keep Oct. 30 in mind.  He’s working on a Fall Back/Take Back campaign and hopes to get a million pills off the street that date.  I think that is an awesome goal!  If even one other father doesn’t have to go through what this father and group of friends did, the video will have been a success!  Thanks for sharing this with us Gary!

Here is a link to a story about Albert by Chanel 11.
Here is a longer article about “Prescription drugs find place in teen culture” from USA Today.