The FBI set up DNS servers to replace malicious ones last year after capturing an Estonian cybergang who loosed the DNSChanger trojan. If you still have one on your PC, you may lose connection permanently by July 9 which means you will not be able to turn it on again no matter how much verbal abuse is involved.
To learn more, consult the link below or head over to the DNSChanger Eye Test. Green means you are safe (unless your ISP redirects you) while Red is a bad thing.
Ah, the power of advertising. What kid of the 60's didn't covet the X-ray Spex and Sea Monkeys when reading comic books? Not to mention 7-foot tall monsters and turning into a "he-man" with the help of Charles Atlas? Collector and historian Kirk Demarais was so influenced by these objects that he purchased many of them back then as well as now and ended up writing a book about the subject.
Written last fall, Mail Order Mysteries exposes what 150 of these products really did. It all started when he made the short film "Flip" in 2004 that impressed the S.S, Adams novelty company enough to hire him to write "Life of the Party" in 2006.
Read the books, watch the short, check out an interview with Demarais and, just for the record, Sea Monkeys are actually brine shrimp. X-ray Spex are glasses with cardboard lenses with a small hole in the center with a feather that made skin appear distorted. Don't shoot the messenger.
Those who have grown up with the Net or adopted it in its infancy may be surprised to know that one in five adults don't bother with it at all. A new Pew Study has determined that 48% of this minority say it is not relevant and aren't interested. Others say the expense, amount of time spent or difficulty are the reasons they do not go online.
About 59% of the non-users are seniors, almost 60% did not finish high school, about 40% have low household incomes and often those with disabilities abstain.
Once again Big Brother rears its ugly head as the Senate has just passed a bill that would make it mandatory for automobile makers to include a "black box", like those used in aircraft, in all new cars by 2015. While the primary reason is to record and use data if assistance is needed, this gives the government access to that information with a court order. The bill is expected to pass in the House as well.
Crestron has come up with a universal remote that isn't afraid of water. The circular UFO-WPR-3ER is wireless and you can control your entire house while taking a dip in the pool or tub. This saucer-shaped device will run your lighting, entertainment systems, security and heat and air conditioning. The waterproof UFO features a 2.8" color LCD display and functions instantly as a 2-way RF unit. It has a range of 200 feet indoors and 1,000 ft. outdoors with optional extended range gateway. Put it into virtual sleep mode when not in use for an extra week of battery life.
Following last week's todo concerning the price of eBooks, Apple seems to have welcomed the chance to go to trial over the allegation that the company allowed five of the major publishing houses to set their own prices to compete with Amazon's lower rate of e-books. Two major publishers, Hatchette Book Group and HarperCollins have already settled out of court, and Simon & Schuster is working on an agreement.
Apple lawyer Daniel Floyd said, "We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that" although the price hike came right before they released the iPad. Should Apple and the other two companies be found guilty, watch for the floodgates to open to class action suits and lower prices for the rest of us. The European Comission is looking into the problem and some Canadians are already filing suits. The U.S. District Court hearing is set for June 22.
Check out JVC's all-in-one Kaboom. The boombox/dock can play almost any audio type with support for iPod/iPhone and features twin super woofers, full-range speakers and twist auto-door lock. The 40W NB90-B also features an FM digital tuner with 30 presets, a CD player and a CD player. And for the serious, it also has mic and guitar inputs. Now all you need is a shoulder big enough to carry it.
Facebook is offering its first movie release of "Marley" tomorrow, April 20, the same day it comes out in theaters. Partially executively produced by son Ziggy, the film already touts over 37 million Likes. Directed by Kevin Macdonald, it promises rare footage, interviews, performances and of course an amazing soundtrack. Needless to say, even the preview looks and sounds killer.
If you want to watch with buds, share and tag clips and be part of the fun, the PG-13 documentary will air at 12:01 a.m. after a $7.00 fee by PayPal or credit card, with part of the proceeds going to Save the Children.
Roger Thompson, a researcher from ICSA Labs, recently commented that Mac viruses were rare because there were so many PCs out there for the last couple of decades that spammers naturally used them. Apple is working on a permanent solution for Flashback. So far, they have released a tool for for Mac owners running OS X Lion without Java which is available here.
Two companies have issued free tools available for detection and removal for the 600,000 infected. The Finnish anti-virus company F-Secure has a FlashbackRemoval zip file that you can download and the Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky can help identify it as well.
According to the NY Times, a Ferris Research report claims that during 2011, about 4.5 billion spam texts were received on cell phones last year, over twice the amount received in 2009 (2.2 billion.) While some really cannot hurt you, others can steal your personal information if you click on it and either sign up for a service or take a survey.
Not only can you lose your identity, it can cost you money and sap your text messaging limits. If you receive one, don't reply, report it to your carrier or, if you have an Android smartphone, there is an app for that.
Note: The very night after posting this we received a spam and forwarded it quite easily via phone. If you receive one, definitely contact your carrier. Hopefully, they will do something with the evil number.
If you noticed the price of eBooks rising a couple of years ago when Amazon set a price of $9.99 for most titles, so did the Justice Department as they have finally issued a lawsuit against Apple and five of the major publishing houses. Three of them have acquiesced and settled so expect to pay less in the future.
With the savings, you can invest in Barnes & Noble's new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight designed for those who insist on reading in bed. The light is instant turn-on and easily adjusts by touch. It also has an anti-glare screen protector for daytime reading. Pre-order now for a May 1 delivery for $139 and shipping is free.
One of Yamaha's newest receivers is the RX-V573. With 7 amp options that include 7.1 surround, Bi-Amp double power and Zone B extended sound, the device features AirPlay. Charging for iGadget or MP3 player, sound optimization and compressed music enhancer are other features.
An AV Controller App provides support for music streaming for PC and Apple products while their Cinema DSP 3D provides a super solution for any home theater. The long awaited 4K pass-through will provide four times the resolution of a 1080p display. The RX-V573 is available for pre-order now.
There are plenty of accessories coming out for the Kindle Fire, including Grace Digital's FireDock available in July, a stereo speaker/dock which can rotate and play your e-book both horizontally and vertically.
Reader Dock's FireStation is also coming soon for the Fire at a pre-order price of $54.99 as well as the N-Station dock for Nook Color/Tablet.
It is no coincidence that James Cameron re-released his movie Titanic in 3D recently as the 100th anniversary of the 1912 incident occurred on April 14. Built in Northern Ireland, the powers that be there have created the ultimate 9-gallery museum dedicated to the fallen liner. At a cost of $160 million, it includes interactive displays and a recreation of the ships grand staircase.
Recently Cameron and Robert Ballard released two documentaries on the ship itself after visiting the sunken remains. Both can be seen on the National Geographic Channel this month. There is even a website dedicated to the ship with a countdown to the day of the sinking.
Wait, there is more commercialism to be found in honor of the event. Both Bonhams and Guernsey's NY Auction Houses plan to sell items salvaged or related merchandise and a spare $60,000 will get you an actual visit to the ocean floor to visit the wreckage. Finally, for a lesser fee, starting at about $2,000 a memorial cruise is taking the same route as the original Titanic. Amazingly, there were 1,309 passengers signed up for it, the same amount as the original.
Note: BBC photographer Tim Rex suffered what is believed to be a heart attack on that MS Balmoral memorial cruise. A rescue helicopter picked up the 56 year-old from the Irish port of Cobh on April 8, the last stop before the original tragedy. Let's hope all is well for the rest of the voyage.
Another solution to having an all-in-one media center comes in the form of the TVPlug. The clever gadget replaces your WiFi Router, USB external drive and can record and save TV programs to view on your computer. Available in black or white, it is compatible with both iOS and Android portable devices so that you can view on the fly when you have time to spare.
By now you have probably heard of Google's Project Glass, their plan to put everything on the web in on your head. This is still in the planning stages and will probably not become reality for at least a year, but the idea is tempting as you can see in the video. The glasses wrap around your forehead and covers one eye so you can multi-task. Using Google maps for directions both indoors and out, sending and receiving messages, playing music and videos and, in general, doing other online activities, seems like a good idea, as long as you aren't driving at the time.
Being a prototype, Google is encouraging comments and suggestions so toss in your two cents on their site and they may just take you up on it.
TiVo is feeling the pinch and has taken steps to make their wares more budget-friendly. The 320 GB Premiere has been replaced by the 500 GB Elite and you end up with 65% more storage. Of course, that means a price cut with the Basic Premiere, XL and the Elite. Service plans are more affordable as well and start at $14.99 monthly with a 1 year subscription, $12.99 per month with multi-service.
Because Nokia is launching their Lumia 900 next week, that spells some good deals for some of their other products. For example, their 16GB Factory Unlocked 800 is almost half the original price and has great features like 3.7" Clearblack LCD display, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, built-in GPS, WiFi Radio, a camera with Carl Zeiss optics and auto focus.
Best Buy plans some restructuring after losses late last year, proving once again that what can be bought online or less expensively often is. Fifty of their big box stores will be closed while 100 new small stand alone stores are planned to go up by 2013. They plan to increase their online revenue which, if you have seen their site lately, includes deals like free store pickup when you purchase online. Finally, they plan to cater more to customers, which to us just means quit asking us to purchase extended warranties.
Like Dr. Dre and Lady Gaga, you can help create your next set of headphones. OrigAudio will let you customize your new Designears by selecting artwork, logos, graphics, photos and patterns. The phones are noise-cancelling, have full-stereo sound and built-in volume control. Designears have cushioned ear cups, come in a handy travel case and are priced at a $69.99. The company also offers DIY speakers.
RIM is not having a prosperous time overall of late, despite releasing new BlackBerrys. It would seem that selling 11 million smartphones and half a million Playbook Tablets last year did not help the beleagured company. They will be going through some changes, including co-founder Jim Balsillie and other top execs leaving. They also plan on cutting back on consumer marketing and cater more to businesses. We suspect lowering prices may be involved, especially after the BlackBerry 10 launches later this year.