Tag Archives: Software

Bitcoins Vanish and Mt. Gox Goes Dark

Bitcoin is a buzz word in the news lately.  Almost half a billion US dollars worth of bitcoins vanished into thin air last week when the bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox went dark.  It helps to understand what bitcoins are to understand why customers are upset about the disappearance of virtual funds.

What are bitcoins?

Bitcoins are virtual currency that approximate cash on the internet. The coins are purely digital and not linked to any government entity. The coins are not backed by any bank or government.  The virtual coins are mathematical algorithms that are exchanged directly between two parties online with no middle man. That means no bank, no government, and no other authority over the printing, distributing or mining of the coins.

What is a bitcoin worth?

According to a Simple Bitcoin Converter, 1 bitcoin is worth $657.60 USD at the time of this post. The exchange rate does fluctuate.

What is the idea behind bitcoins?

The idea behind bitcoins was to create a currency that is completely segregated from a country’s government. For example the United States has no control over the creating, distributing or backing of bitcoins as it does with American currency. Bitcoin was aiming to become a universal currency that changed the current economic system.

What happened?

A rumor appeared that several hundred thousand bitcoins disappeared from one of the dominant exchanges for bitcoin trading.  Slowly the rumor unraveled to become fact. Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles bowed in apology at a news conference in Toyko after revealing that it had lost almost 750,000 of its customers’ bitcoins. On top of the large amount lost, which equates to almost half a billion dollars in US currency, Mt. Gox also lost 100,000 of its own bitcoins.

Karpeles said that technical issues and “some weakness in the system” opened the way for the fraudulent withdrawals.  He did not delve into detail about what the “weakness” or address what the technical issues were.

What is being done for victims of the fraud?

Customers who lost bitcoins have assumed a risk by using a currency not backed by any central bank.  There are no regulations in place. Mt. Gox has shut its operation down and is filing for bankruptcy protection. Some victims are attempting to bring about a class action suit against the once popular exchange.

According to Wall Street Journal, Gregory Green filed a claim with an Illinois District Court seeking damages and restitution.  The claim alleges that Mt. Gox engaged in “unlawful, deceptive, and unfair conduct that is immoral, unscrupulous, and causes substantial injury to consumers.”

Recourse might be very difficult for the victims of the vanishing bitcoins because the exchange was never regulated and never backed by any government or bank. In the meantime, bitcoin enthusiasts believe that the missing coins can be found and are hunting them down themselves.


Credit card bazaar: $3.50 for stolen credit cards sold online

Many of us go shopping for the best possible credit card, looking for interest rates trying to avoid fees and charges and hopefully finding some great rewards to benefit our family. Sometimes we contact our bank or stores in order to shop for those credit cards that we will really use. I guess it should come as no surprise that those wanting to use credit cards illegally also go shopping online to find their rock bottom, best possible credit card deal.

The Washington Post and Bloomberg reports that a European hacker online name “Poxxie” obtained over 1,400 credit card numbers with all their information including expiration codes, security codes, names and address of the credit card holders and then sold them on his online store CVVs.in. Ironically, he claims that his sales are so popular because he is honest and that underworld buyers have come to trust the “quality of his goods.”  Unfortunately his site registered in India, making it even that much more difficult to catch cyber thieves in “the act.”

Just like any other online site from Amazon to eBay shoppers can sort and shop online, sorting and finding the “goods” they want by bank card, type, credit limit and even zip code. (My question is how do they pay for it, I wouldn’t trust an online credit card transaction, these are thieves and fraudsters after all.)

Continue reading Credit card bazaar: $3.50 for stolen credit cards sold online

New IRS reporting system affects PayPal accounts

Businesses that process payments through credit cards, debit cards or payment merchants like PayPal beware.  The IRS has a new reporting system and surprise, surprise, according to a Treasury Department audit released July 26, 2011 the system that includes “a revised form” that may be flawed. Imagine that?

In 2008 the enacted Housing and Economic Recovery Act legislated requirements for banks and other merchant services like PayPal to report annual gross payments processed by credit or debit cards or accounts to the IRS and to merchants.

So where’s the beef?

The TIGTA audit found that a newly revised form may not facilitate matches between what merchants report and what payment processors report.  To make matters worse, there’s mandatory back up withholding involved and the fear is that with the great volume of reporting this new system requires, mismatches may be unresolved when mandatory withholding kicks in. Continue reading New IRS reporting system affects PayPal accounts

Don’t be scared by scareware

Have you ever used your computer only to find a pop-up on your screen telling you that your computer is in urgent need of repair, or that you have a virus? If so you have been the target of something called scareware. Scareware cases are increasing, and more and more people are falling victim to the fake warnings. Let’s take a look at what scareware really is, and how you can avoid a costly mistake.

What is scareware?

Scareware is becoming a huge problem and many people have fallen for the scam. Scareware is nothing more than a pop-up that will appear on your computer screen. The pop-up will tell you that you have registry problems that need to be fixed, or that you have dozens of viruses that need to be taken care of immediately. The pop-up will include a link to a piece of software that will look like and will act like a virus killer.

Continue reading Don’t be scared by scareware

FBI pulls plug on the flood of Coreflood virus

Unfortunately computers and viruses go hand in hand, it does not seem to matter how much we try to defeat the digital bugs, they always seem to find a way on to our computers. There has been a major breakthrough in the fight against digital terrorism as recently though as the FBI launched a massive campaign to rid the world of the virus known as Coreflood.

What is Coreflood?

Coreflood is a nasty little virus known as a key-logger. Once Coreflood in on a computer, the hacker can dial in to your computer remotely and can track every single key that the user has pressed. What can this be used for? Well lets say the hacker is watching your computer and you browse your to online bank account, the hacker could then log the keys you pressed as you logged into your account, which means he would then have access to your bank account and your funds. Continue reading FBI pulls plug on the flood of Coreflood virus

Is Google in Your Wallet?

Everybody loves shopping, and everybody loves getting great deal on products that they buy. Today Google announced their latest product that will be coming this summer. Google’s latest venture is called Google Wallet, and it will be coming to an Android smartphone near you soon.

NFC Technology is the future

In 2009 MasterCard started deploying pay points around the country. Consumers who had MasterCards could simply tap their card on the device and their card would be billed, this eliminated the need to hand your card over to the retailer. Google has taken this technology to the next level and they have built this technology into their phones.

The Google Nexus S has an NFC chip built right into the device. Google Wallet is an app that users will be able to download to their phone, and then add their credit card information, and loyalty card information into the app, then you can then use the phone as a method of payment.

Easy and Convenient

The system is easy to use. The consumer will simply have to tap the pay point with their phone, the transaction will then be completed, and a receipt will display on your phone. If you do not have a CitiCard or a MasterCard, no problem. Included will be a Google card that you can add money to from any credit card.

Because you will be using a smartphone which will be connected to the internet, the phone will be able to look for offers and send them straight to your phone. It will look at your shopping habits and will send offers that will be of benefit to you. Retailers will also have signs up in their stores that you can put your phone on and the offer will be added to your wallet.

You will also be able to search Google.com for offers, and if there are coupons floating around for items you are searching for, Google will ask if you want to add the coupon to your virtual wallet so that you can save money at a later date. Google Wallet is going to revolutionize the way that consumers shop and spend money.

There are already 120,000 businesses in the U.S that offer NFC payment options to consumers and that number is set to expand rapidly. Subway, Macy’s, American Eagle, and many other retailers will be joining Google in their latest venture.

How safe will it be?

I am sure there will be many concerns surrounding security with services like this, especially as there have been breaches in the security of well known services lately including Android, and Sony. Google assures us that security is tight, and that not only will there be security features built right into the phone, but that there will be multiple layers of security built into the Google Wallet app.

Google will issue each user of Google Wallet a pin number that will be needed to log into the app. That pin number can be used in conjunction with passwords that the user can set for each card in the virtual wallet. All of this security on top of the security that is already embedded into the phone like passwords to unlock the device, will help keep all of your personal data safe and secure. Of course though, we have been told this many times before about various products, lets just hope that this time Google is telling the truth.
The technology is here now, and the retail world is quickly building an infrastructure that will support NFC payments. Google has said that over half of all the smartphones that will be sold next year will have an NFC chip in them so that they can utilize Google Wallet. Google Wallet is scheduled to go live this summer.

This guest post is by Brett Day ,  from Moore, Oklahoma. He is a featured contributor for Associated Content in Technology. He has a huge interest in the world of technology, home theater, and video games. Brett loves writing and sharing his knowledge on all of these subjects

Google handles Android Smartphone security breach smartly

We trust our electronics to pay bills and make purchases online, not to mention they store all of our personal information. With so much information stored on devices like Android smartphones and consoles like the Sony Playstation 3, one has to wonder just how safe and secure they are. The answer it seems is that they are not very secure at all.

Google calls foul play

Just recently Google dropped a bombshell and confirmed that there was a major security flaw in its ever popular Android operating system. Seeing that there are over 400,000 Android smartphones and tablets being activated every single day, the amount of loss that could have occurred could have been catastrophic.

A team of German researchers discovered that Android devices that were connected to unsecured Wi-Fi networks could have easily been hacked from remote operators. Once hacked, all information stored on phone could have been accessed by the hacker. Fortunately Google reacted swiftly, and quickly sent out a patch to Android devices around the world.

How can you stay safe on Android?

While the exploit has been fixed there are still some things that users of Android devices can do to make sure that they are safe.

By going to the app store and downloading an Anti-Virus app, end users can have peace of mind that their phone will be protected in the event that they download an app that may contain a virus. Users should also try to refrain from joining unsecured networks, like the ones you would find at Starbucks, or the local library. One last thing would be to only install applications that you know of, and never install apps that come from anywhere other than Google authorized app stores.

As a user of an Android powered smartphone I can say that I am incredibly happy at the way Google dealt with this problem. They moved quickly, identified the problem, and fixed it within 36 hours of the breach. If only all companies were equal when it comes to this.

Sony falls victim too

If you had not heard about the Android problem, then you surely have heard about the breach that Sony has suffered. Sony’s highly popular Playstation Network which lets users play and purchases games online was recently targeted by hackers.

The biggest difference between the Sony breach and the Google breach is that Sony reacted very poorly to the situation. In fact everyone who had ever signed up for the service (some 50 million) had all of their information stolen, including credit card numbers, phone numbers, and addresses.

Sony’s security around the Playstation network was incredibly weak. In fact there was not even a Firewall protecting its servers. The hackers were smart, and they left hardly any traces of the attack. The only thing that was found on Sony’s servers was a calling card left by a group called Anonymous.

After many attempts to fix the security flaws in its network, Sony has failed every time. When they say they have fixed the problem, the network gets hacked again. Two months after the initial attacks, there has been a further 10 breaches in their security systems.

There are obviously some flaws in the security that companies employ when it comes to protecting your personal information, but do not let it stop you from using, and enjoying the many wonderful things that your gadgets can do. Just be careful what information you share, and you should be just fine.

This guest post is by Brett Day ,  from Moore, Oklahoma. He is a featured contributor for Associated Content in Technology. He has a huge interest in the world of technology, home theater, and video games. Brett loves writing and sharing his knowledge on all of these subjects.

What is Spotmau Powersuite?

Get at least 10% off SpotMau using this coupon code link.

For this write-up of SpotMau Powersuite, we’ve pretty much just copied and pasted the text from the Spotmau Powersuite web site to this post.

It’s a bit difficult to get an idea of what Spotmau Powersuite is and what it does on the Spotmau.com site, so we thought by putting the text here and clarifying it a little bit, you’d have a better chance and knowing whether or not this is the right software for your PC. Continue reading What is Spotmau Powersuite?

VMware Training for vSphere: Manage v4

Hey Guys,
I have seen your write-ups about VMWare Workstation. Do you know if there is online VMWare training or if there are other classes I can get for VMWare Sphere? Specifically, I’m looking for a training for VMWare Sphere V4, and would like to learn how to manage the various aspects of V4.
Ankit Prawan

Hey Ankit,

The link below here will take you directly to the VMWare Sphere Training.


I’m assuming from your name that you are located in India. One of the nice things about the training we know of for VMWare Sphere is that it is available online from anywhere in the world. While the training is a bit expensive, it will cover pretty much everything you could want to know about VMWare, including installation and configuration, as well as ongoing management of VMWare tools.

If you’re job seeking in IT, this training gives you a great leg up on those without it, and if you’re already in a job using VMWare, this gives you a great way to make sure you know what you’re doing with your company’s IT Environment.

If you’re asking about Sphere, you probably are already familiar with it’s features, so we’ll just stick to telling you about the training.

It’s called “Install, Configure, Manage v4” Sphere

It is an in-depth training course which talks about and lets you work through the steps of installing, configuring, and managing VMware Sphere.

Sphere includes VMware vCenter Server and VMware ESXi/ESX.

If you are a sysadmin, engineer, or if you are responsible for ESXi, ESX, and/or vCenter Server, the four day training will be great for you.

One of the best parts about this training is that it can be taken online live. (You can also take the course in person in the classroom setting if you are interested.)

It is also possible, once you have gone through the training, to take the VMWare Certified Professional test, which gives you the additional credentialing and proof of your knowledge base whether you are working as an employee or contractor.

Again, here is the link to go directly to the training on the VMWare site. If you’re in the IT field and wanting to work in virtualized environments, this is a training you should have.


Promt Professional Translation Software

Promt Professional Translation Software
Plus coupon code for Promt software for your personal computer

We’ve already talked quite a bit about Promt translation software and about the unique abilities to translate all languages, including Russian, from the software.

Simply by having the Promt software running, you can be reading and writing in chat programs in the language of the person you’re chatting with.

This is incredible technology which allows you near real-time abilities to shrink communication barriers while understanding nearly everything that’s being said.

No translation software is 100% perfect, but Promt’s level of experience gives them a near unparalleled advantage in the translation software space. Continue reading Promt Professional Translation Software