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This month's tip:
Do you have a back-up plan if your power goes out? More...

(Click on pic to enlarge)
Google's new privacy policy...
You should be concerned.

Thanks to Compufix's Jeff,
Raymond and Bobby Luttmer for
assistance with this information

Check out our anti-virus page
Click here

Where to recycle your old computer and parts

Malware menace — 5 ways your computer is threatened
Social Networking comes to Clarence-Rockland

Instagram nixes parts of new policy after user outrage

Thunderstorm warning and using a backup power unit (UPS)

Google's new privacy policy starts March 1 - You should be concerned
Wikipedia protests SOPA with blackout

Phone scammers target PC users with phony virus reports by telephone
Viruses and Spyware dominate local computer service business
Google gets into website building
Canada improves record on software piracy
VIA Rail launches on-board Internet service
RIM reaches final BlackBerry settlement with NTP

Technology News Headlines

» Apple Unveils Long-Awaited iPhone 5

» Apple Releases iOS 6, but Maps Widely Panned

» Warp-Speed Travel Moves Closer to Reality

» Websites leaking personal info about registered users: privacy watchdog

» What 2013 holds for technology

Malware menace — 5 ways your computer is threatened
Your computer is in constant danger
It doesn't matter whether you're using a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone — you're a potential target for a hacker.

Cyber-criminals are always looking for ways to steal your passwords, extort you for money or otherwise take over your machine.

As the internet continues to grow, so do the threats to your computer. Hackers want to infect computers with “malware” — short for malicious software — that could steal your passwords, extort you for money or control your machine for a larger, more nefarious operation.

While you typically can’t “see” a computer infection, the consequences are very real. And as time goes on, the sheer scope of the threat increases.

Click here to visit a website that lets you take an interactive look at five of the most devious malware scams.
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Social Networking has come to Clarence-Rockland big time

Click here to visit the Facebook website.

Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn, are just a few of the so called "Social Networking" tools that have taken over the Internet. Clarence-Rockland is no exception, with hundreds of individuals and many more groups that have jumped on the bandwagon.

The Canaan Connexion is about to join the movement. But in the meantime, we ill be featuring as many local groups as we can and we will be featuring them on a separate web page for readers to peruse and use as a local resource. Coming soon!
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Instagram nixes parts of new policy after user outrage
Compiled by Patrick Meikle
Are you an Instagram user? You may want to follow this...
(Monday, December 17, 2012) The headline read: INSTAGRAM SAYS IT NOW HAS THE RIGHT TO SELL YOUR PHOTOS:
Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that quickly sparked a public outcry. The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.
(Tuesday, December 18, 2012)
‘Ridiculous new terms’: Outrage Over Instagram’s New Policy
Instagram has angered many of its users after unveiling its new privacy policy, with reports of thousands of users closing their accounts.

Late Monday on its blog announcing the changes, which will go into effect Jan. 16, it said that “nothing has changed about your photos’ ownership or who can see them,” but Instagram still retains the right to use the shared photos in whatever way it likes.
(Tuesday, December 18, 2012) Instagram nixes parts of new policy after user outrage
Facebook will alter some of the wording in its new terms of service on its photo-sharing site
Instagram, after users interpreted the new policy as giving the social networking service the power to sell their uploaded photos or related information.

Uproar emerged over a clause in the new agreement — revealed Monday and set to take effect in mid-January.

"We may share your information as well as information from tools like cookies, log files, and device identifiers and location data with organizations that help us provide the service to you ... [and] third-party advertising partners," states the clause.

Follow the Instagram happenings on their blog page. The link is
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Thunderstorm warning (Why you need a UPS backup unit)
Compiled by Patrick Meikle
We would like to remind our readers that during a lightning storm it is always a good idea to unplug any hardware (routers, computers, DSL modems, wireless radios, etc.) you have to avoid power surges damaging your equipment. Just turning it off isn't enough; you should physically disconnect it from the outlet.

Word to the wise:
Get a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)
An uninterruptible power supply, also uninterruptible power source, UPS or battery/flywheel backup, is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source, typically mains power, fails.

What is Backup Power?
Backup power is a power supply which will keep your computer operating in the event of a power outage. Most backup power supplies serve as advanced surge protectors which will keep your computer running for a few minutes, even an hour or more in the event of a power outage. They operate on a chargeable battery that will make sure that the power to your computer is uninterrupted, allowing you time to save any files on your computer which are currently in use and properly shut down the computer to protect it from crashing due to loss of power.

Why Do Need Backup Power?
Imagine that you are working on your current project, are almost done and then the power shuts off your computer. While you have been saving your work as you go along, there is an entire page of material you have written or produced that is gone, and cannot be recovered when the power returns. You must now go back and redo that which you have already done, costing you time and anguish.

Why you should have a UPS system and What you need to know before you buy...
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Google's new privacy policy starts March 1 - you should be concerned
Compiled by Patrick Meikle

giant is putting its new privacy policy into play as of March 1. Internet users should be aware that policy changes could drastically affect their own privacy because if you use any of the Google services the information you provide about yourself could be accumulated and used by Google for example to provide potential advertisers with your history.

The CBC is reporting that: "Google's contentious new privacy policy officially takes effect March 1, despite some objections from Canada's privacy commissioner and others around the world.

The main concern being raised by most critics is how Google will now start saving user information collected from all its services in one place. For example, users who log into several different services — such as, Gmail and YouTube — will have data about all their searches and clicks stored together." Read more...

From CNET News:

Did you know that every search item or link you click on Google is recorded? Don't panic -- it helps Google figure out which ads to show you. It's better to see ads you might be interested in than ones you would never click, it claims.

But what if your browser is left logged in and someone looks at your search history? The breadcrumbs could lead to an accurate (or indeed, inaccurate) picture of your interests, health, sexual orientation or religion. You know, things you might prefer to keep private.

Read: How to nuke your Google history before new policy on 1 March

From Time Magazine- 5 Ways to Minimize Your Online Exposure:

  1. Disable automatic log-in
  2. Opt out of ads based on interests and demographics
  3. Use an anonymizing tool
  4. Enable private browsing mode
  5. Turn to resources other than Google

Above all, be aware and educate yourself. If you’re still fearful or at least a bit dubious about Google’s privacy policy, you can read the complete text here.

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Wikipedia protests SOPA with blackout
Compiled by Patrick Meikle

(Wednesday, January 18, 2012) Two Internet resources that this community news service uses many times a day, are Google and Wikipedia. These resources are invaluable not only to journalists, but to all Internet users.

Starting today we will be losing one for a time.

The Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the
statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate—that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia. Read more...

Digital Journal website puts the protest into prospective:

Op-Ed: Warning all users
Wikipedia goes on strike over new SOPA laws

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which has already got flak from Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo! and others is getting a lot hotter. Wikipedia is going to be offline on Wednesday in protest.
Click here to read the full story.
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Phone scammers target PC users with phony virus reports
By Patrick Meikle

NOTE: Since we ran this story last week, the local mainstream press have picked up the story!
Ottawa Citizen -
Microsoft phone scam to blame for 70% of reports
Better Business Bureau -
BBB Scam Alert: Microsoft Doesn't Need to Fix Your Computer

(Clarence-Rockland, January 12, 2012) We have to thank our friends at
Compufix (Jeff, Ray and Bobby Luttmer) for alerting us to this information.

Many people in the 613-833- and 613-446- telephone exchanges (Cumberland/Rockland) are being called by fraudsters purporting to be a “tech support specialist” from Microsoft. They are telling people that their computers are coming up with error messages and may be infected with a virus. They then ask the "customer" to log on to a website that will help them to eliminate the virus.
(Click on pic to enlarge)
According to Ray Luttmer, if you go to the website, the scammers will then actually infect your computer with a virus, then they will get back to you to "repair" your system and remove the virus, and then charge you money for
doing the work. Ray's advise to you is: "hang up!" (Note reference to story below.)

Ray advises that the caller is often rude, exerts pressure and will even use foul language. If you ask inquiring questions or irritate the caller, they will hang up on you.

Several Canaan Connexion readers have advised that they have been called, sometimes two and three times (suggesting that more than one caller is involved or that they do not keep track of the phone numbers they call). One reader told us that he advised the caller that he used a Mac computer, not a PC, but the caller persisted. He then asked the caller, "Well if you are from Microsoft, how come does your number come up as "private number" and does not show a legitimate "Microsoft" phone number. At that point the obtrusive caller hung up.

(Sometimes a phone number will come up on Caller ID, but often as not there is none.)

This telephone scam has been going on locally for several weeks, but internationally it has been in existence for many months.

blog by ZDNet’s Ed Bott summarizes the scam like this:
Online con artists are targeting PC users worldwide in a brazen scam. It starts with a phone call from a “tech support specialist” who warns that your computer is infected with a virus. To fix things, all you have to do is give the caller remote access to your PC. Here’s what happens next...

He goes on to say:
The scam has been around for a few years. Charles Arthur at the Guardian UK wrote abouta
similar scam last year, noting that it had been “going on quietly since 2008 but has abruptly grown in scale in 2011.” He wrote about it again in March 2011.

As Ed Bott says, and the Canaan Connexion concurs:
Most readers of this blog are sophisticated computer users who would laugh out loud at an attempt like this. But you probably have friends, family members, or clients who could use a heads-up on this one. If you get a call from someone claiming to have detected a virus on your PC, just hang up.

To read the full blog click here.

You can find more on this scam by doing a Google search... examples:

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Viruses, Spyware dominate computer service business
By Patrick Meikle

According to the Compufix team, much of their current service is devoted to restoring clients' computers that have been ravaged by viruses and malicious "spyware".

Owner Jeff Luttmer, who operates the business along with sons Raymond and Bob says that most of the viruses invade home computers for three reasons:

  1. downloading material from the Internet,
  2. participating in on-line chat rooms, and
  3. opening infected attachments.

Part of the problem lies in not having appropriate anti-virus software to stop incoming viruses and not being vigilant enough to recognize bogus e-mails when they arrive in the "in-box".

Much of the infected materials come from kids who are downloading "free" music and movies and often times images or video "samples" from pornographic Web sites.

When people use chat rooms they leave an open channel direct to one's hard drive. This allows unscrupulous hackers to access a home computer and do pretty much what they pleae with it.

Regarding e-mail, besides again having anti-virus software that will stop infected messages, a good rule of thumb is not to open anything from anyone that you do not recognize, however tempting the offers might be.

The more you use the Internet, the more you participate in online activities or the more you have your e-mail address associated with your own Web site, the more vulnerable you become to junk mail and virus attacks.

The junk mail can be very enticing with offers of free bargains and legal, medical or financial advice, particularly when the spammer uses your real name or writes a friendly "Subject:" line that makes you want to believe that it is someone you know.

"Phishing" has also become a big part of the Internet scamming and we will deal with that in another article.

In the meantime, take the Compufix advice and be vigilant. It's not that they don't want your business, but you don't need the hassle of having your computer tied up in the shop and you can certainly put your money to better use.
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Google gets into website building
Google, already the world's most popular spot for finding websites, is aiming to become the go-to place for creating Web sites too.

The Mountain View-based company is taking its first step toward that goal Thursday with the debut of a free service designed for high-tech neophytes looking for a simple way to share information with other people working in the same company or attending the same class in school.

With only a few clicks, just about anyone will be able to quickly set up and update a Web site featuring wide an array of material, including pictures, calendars and video from Google Inc.'s YouTube subsidiary, said Dave Girouard, general manager of the division overseeing the new application.

“We are literally adding an edit button to the Web,” Girouard said.

All sites created on the service will run on one of Google's computers.

For more information
click here.
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Canada improves record on software piracy
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Tue, May 23, 2006

Canada is making progress toward eliminating software piracy, but one-third of the software used by Canadians last year was still obtained illegally. More...
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VIA Rail launches on-board Internet service
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Via Rail Canada's Benoit Laporte surfs the Internet using Via's new wi-fi connection on board trains that travel the Quebec City - Windsor corridor. (Darren Brown, OBJ)

If you are travelling on VIA Rail between Quebec City and Windsor, you will now be able to get the Internet on your laptop computer. VIA has formally launched the first wireless broadband Internet service for passengers traveling in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor.

The job of turning every VIA Rail coach into a moving Wi-Fi hotspot is almost complete. All VIA 1 first class coaches will be set up for Wi-Fi service by the end of April, with economy coaches fully equipped by the end of the year. In addition, VIA is establishing hotspots at each of its 22 stations in the corridor.

An icon located in each car tells passengers whether Wi-Fi service is available.

VIA decided to provide Wi-Fi access after it surveyed its passengers and found most would take more train trips if Internet service was available. Eighty per cent said they'd be willing to pay a reasonable fee, says Benoit Laporte, VIA Rail's e-marketing manager.

Ottawa's PointShot Wireless provides the hardware for on-train communications and connectivity management.

"They were the first and they are the best," says Mr. Laporte.

The Internet service is provided by satellite, and offers download speeds of up to 3 Mbps in urban centres and 1 Mbps in rural regions. A server installed in the front car of the train is linked to Wi-Fi terminals in each of the other coaches, as well as the satellite teleport in Hamilton.

Earlier experiments involving Bell Canada and Telus proved unsatisfactory because of poor coverage and spotty service.

The Wi-Fi service costs $8.95 for 24 hours of access, or $46 for a monthly account. Short-term hookups are available for $3.99 for 15 minutes, plus 30 cents a minute.

VIA expects the service to be popular with business users who can get more done while traveling, as well as with students traveling back and forth to university. VIA will soon extend the service to offer TV-on-demand as well as movies for an additional charge.
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RIM reaches final BlackBerry settlement with NTP
Fri, 03 Mar 2006 18:48:04 EST
CBC News

Research in Motion (RIM) has reached a $612.5-million US settlement with arch rival NTP Inc., ending years of legal wrangling over patents that threatened to shut down service to its popular BlackBerry wireless devices in the United States.

(Research In Motion (RIM) is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market.)

The Waterloo-based maker of the BlackBerry announced late Friday that it has signed a definitive licensing and settlement agreement, ending the long dispute.

The settlement has already been approved by the court. All litigation will now cease.

"The agreement eliminates the need for any further court proceedings or decisions relating to damages or injunctive relief," the company said in an announcement after markets closed Friday.
BlackBerry settlement reached
Research in Motion has settled its BlackBerry patent dispute with NTP
RIM pays up, taking 'one for the team'
The makers of the popular BlackBerry wireless messaging service left little doubt that they felt fleeced after paying $612.5 million to license patents they long denounced as illegitimate.
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