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Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

I don't really like to say "Happy Memorial Day", because it's not really a happy day. I did enjoy time with my friends and family and a day off, but I also took a lot of my time thinking on those who have laid their lives down on the line for me and many other Americans.

Thank you to all of the veterans both deceased and alive for your sacrifice.

Words to Watch Out for Online

Just as you can shout "fire" in a crowded movie theatre but be legally penalized, even though the First Amendment technically gives you that right, such is the same for the internet.

You have the right to say whatever you wish online, but it is common sense that you should watch what you say (write) before writing it. According to this article, there is a list of words that will definitely invite government eyes to read whatever it is that you have written.

But don't be paranoid, I am writing a harmless blog post here and I guarantee you that at least five of the words listed on the website are written here as well. Very harmless words such as pork are on this list. But perhaps this list will help you realize some of the things that you write online.

It is a very interesting list, nonetheless.

What words did you find to be the least expected on the list?

Google Says Your Computer is Infected?

Chances are that if you use Google search engine, you have received a message telling you that your computer may be infected with a virus.


A screenshot above is what your computer may look like when visiting Google.

Unfortunately, Google should have elaborated when displaying this message.

According to a news article, a few years ago, FBI agents raided a group of hackers that were creating fake DNS addresses with servers they had created. Hundreds of thousands of computers are said to be using these servers to access the web and the FBI has continued using these servers up until July 2012 when they will be discontinued.

Google has taken it upon themselves to alert everyone that uses their search engine about this problem but in a fairly vague way. I'd say, for most users with brand new computers bought within the last 3 months, you will not have to worry about this message.

Unfortunately, I am not too familiar with DNS so I am unsure of what it does exactly and what can be done to ensure that you do not lose access to the web.

For most users, I'd say that this message has nothing to do with your computer. This message is sent to everyone which is why I am seeing it on all of our computers as well as my Android phone.

Contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider; Verizon, Time Warner, Comcast...whoever you subscribe to for internet service) and ask them about this message and what you can do to ensure that you do not lose internet access. I am almost positive that DNS has to do with the way that your computer to connect with the internet and is controlled/connected to your ISP.

I am sorry for my lack of information on the topic; as I said before, I do not understand DNS as well as others and I do not use Google so I was a bit slow in finding about this message.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Android Development is Going Good

...but a little frustrating and time consuming. It will be well worth it once the learning process is complete.





This is a screenshot that I took of my computer as I tried running the Android emulator. It's been on for a good 10-15 minutes on this screen trying to boot. The book says to be patient as some computers take longer than others to fully load the emulator.

It's a fun process and the book makes it very easy to understand what is going on.

More updates to come.


EDIT: I have success :D



For those of you following the book...create the emulator THEN just open the emulator without the application. Once the emulator has begun running Android, then you can right-click on the application (where you see the "Hello World" in the background on the left hand side) and then tell it to run as an Android application. This opened the test application, letting me know that the application has been successfully created!

Enjoy and good luck everyone. I will now begin working on my own apps as well as learning more. Let me know what sorts of apps that you would like to see on the Android device.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

HTC Evo LTE Specs/FAQ/etc.

Click here for a great list of features on the HTC Evo LTE. Reading about these features makes me even more excited about my upcoming upgrade.

LTE is a little ways away, and that's to be expected with a new technology rolling out on the Sprint network but more is yet to come and it all sounds so great. I wonder if I ought to wait for the iPhone 5/4G's announcement or just get my upgrade come August. These specs seem pretty hard to beat for Apple, can they do it? I can't wait for their announcement either!

What features do you want to see on the upcoming iPhone?
What features do you wish were included with the HTC Evo LTE?




*The HTC Evo LTE's unofficial name seems to be the LTevo which is what I may begin to call it in future posts.

Update#1 on Android Development

If you read one of my last entries, you are aware that I am going through the Android Application Development for Dummies book and learning how to build Android applications, also known as apps.

The book is, sadly, outdated but fairly easy to follow if you have some sort of knowledge about computers as to either get older versions to keep up with the book or to get the newer versions to keep up with the current world but maybe not be able to follow closely along with the book. The book was written in 2011, or at least that's when it was published, so it's to be expected within the tech community that these things happen. I kind of thought this would happen as I walked out with the book, but it's okay. I'll try to make due.

But I was curious:
What sorts of apps would you like to see on the Android platform? Yes, you, because I care what you and every other Android user wants. Otherwise, I'm not going to be successful at this.

First, I'd like to say that I'll be working with Android applications first that perform certain duties then games. Games are a bit more challenging to do than standard applications so this may take a while before I become so good and efficient that I can write games. It may work in the other direction...either way it goes, I'll be sure to let each and everyone of you guys know which route I take.

This is my first update within the Android development on this website...I expect more to follow and will probably end up creating an entire page dedicated to these blogs.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Android Application Development For Dummies

I just bought the book today entitled Android Application Development For Dummies because I've always wanted to create some apps for any mobile device. But since I have an Android device, I figured it might be easiest and most obvious to go this route. Plus, Android seems easier to build on as well as get your app added to the Google Play Store. Plus getting ads is much easier and the community for making Android apps seems larger and more helpful.

I'll keep you guys updated if I do end up making some sort of app and publishing it. First few readers of this blog will also get some sort of loyalty reward :)

While I read this book, I'd also like to tell you guys a little bit about the book and how well it actually is teaching me about Android development. It seems like a very easy book to understand for most beginners. If you would like to start programming, I would highly recommend taking a basic course in coding or programming where the teacher instructs on how to write codes for applications as that has really helped me understand code writing more than before. The class was fun and easy for me and others in the class although you should know some basics about your computer before taking on such a class.

Anyway, I'll try to come back every now and then and post about how the book is going as well as my own development.

HSBC/Capital One/Best Buy

In case you have been here before, you probably read something a bit different...something a bit more unprofessional. I am trying to be as professional as I can be on the blogs so I have removed everything that was written previously when I was emotional. Below, I am still angered as a customer, but not as angry as once before. Both blog posts will be changed. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause anyone. Information about my experience will not change, only words and phrases that may be deemed inappropriate, obscene, and unnecessary.
===========================

I am a regular customer at Best Buy and have been all of my life. I have even encouraged many more people to come to the stores to shop for their items rather than other competitors because I value their stores and experience so much. I went ahead and applied for a credit card with them which I regret to this day. I got it so that I could get a computer at a great price and pay it off within a set amount of time and not pay out cash all at once. Plus, I figured that another line of credit would be great so that I could have money for Best Buy even if I didn't have any on me and I could improve my already great credit.

My mistake was not asking all of the appropriate questions before applying. I was so excited that I completely forgot to ask one of my most important questions, "Which bank/agency will be handling my card?" and I ended up sticking with their only choice which happens to be HSBC/Capital One (I am unsure of which company is actually handling the card but the last spokesperson that I spoke with was from Capital One, I believe.) My mom had dealt with HSBC in the past and my dad with Capital One and both parents dislike both companies and refuse to do further business with either due to their own personal experiences. I have my own now.

When I received my approval, the Best Buy associate congratulated me, gave me the necessary paperwork proving my approval, and told me about the offers, plans, and other features of the account, she also mentioned that any price above $400 would be marked down by a certain percentage and that my purchase would not include interest if paid off before 18 months. I was also told that while I wait for my card, I could make a purchase using my Social security number.

Later that day or in that week, I headed down to Best Buy and purchased a computer that was worth well above $400 which put me in this special spot for the additional features. Upon purchasing, the associate taking care of my purchase at the cash register also informed me that if I paid off the balance due within 18 months, I would not incur interest.

I took my laptop home and have been enjoying it since. I am not complaining one bit about the laptop itself, which would be my only purchase with the card, or anything involving Best Buy, the company. My complaint lies with HSBC/Capital One.

My first letter arrived congratulating me on being approved for my new card and included information about my card such as interest as well as the actual card itself. Note that there was no paperwork included that explained how much I owed, how to pay, where to pay, and how much time I had left to pay as is usually the case with any credit or debit card from any bank or credit agency, at least the ones that I have dealt with in the past.

Later in that week or the week following, I received, what I thought to be, my first bill from the agency. When I opened the bill, I was surprised to see what was included in my initial fee. Not only was I to be charged for the month for $X amount of dollars in monthly payment, but another fee was added...I don't have the actual paperwork on me at the moment...but I believe that the "late fee" was an additional $30. Not only that, I was also charged an interest charge, which two Best Buy associates informed me that I would not have to pay if my balance was paid off within 18 months. I presume that the interest payment came from HSBC/Capital One claiming that I was late on my first payment. I was angry but remained calm and contacted HSBC/Capital One customer service for help with this and to see if these charges could be removed seeing as how I never received a first bill previous to this one claiming that I was late on payment. I was tossed every which way being told that I did not have the right customer service until finally a woman came on who said that she could help. When I explained my problem to her, she reviewed my account and postal address and asked if that was the correct address, I replied with a yes and she said that there was nothing that she could do about the late fee charge. I was a bit angry but continued to keep my composure. I thanked her for her service and was about to hang up when she asked if I would like to make a payment over the phone. I politely refused and said that I would just mail in a payment. She was determined to get a payment over the phone and asked for my checking account number. I told her that I didn't have that information to give her and she then asked me for a debit card. I gave her my debit card information and she began to process the payment. She asked if I was sure about the total and gave me the total. I told her to charge me twice as much as they were asking and she said that that would be fine. When she read out the total, it was what I had said plus an additional $15. I stopped her and asked where did the additional $15 come from. She then explained that their policy was to charge $15 for processing a debit transaction. I just told her that I'd like to cancel the payment and just mail in the payment if that's what was going to happen. Determined yet again, she said that she could waive the $15 fee for this one time. I accepted and allowed them to charge my debit account.

Not a single bit of help was offered or tried for me to get that charge removed off of my account. No investigation was offered to me to investigate if I had truly received the first bill or not...I felt as though I was being cheated out of an additional $30 simply because they could do it and knew that I'd have no other choice than to pay them or else they'd ruin my credit history. My second bill arrived on time and I will be paying it with extra money. My initial payment has been posted and my second payment does not include any additional fees for being late. Once this is paid off, I am canceling my account. I refuse to deal with HSBC and Capital One after this experience and I am discouraging anyone else from joining any of their services too.

I have never appreciated being treated with disrespect, lied to, and cheated by a company. Once, Sprint tried to charge me $0.25 for a long distance call. I never made any long distance call and immediately contacted Sprint customer service who were happy and willing to work with me and did, in fact, remove the bogus charge from my account. HSBC/Capital One, on the other hand, refused to do so, did not admit fault, nor try to appease me nor tried to investigate to determine whether or not I was wrong or right. I do not appreciate this and I will not stand for a company or continue to do business with a company that acts in this way.

I would not encourage anyone to join with HSBC or Capital One for any of their services based upon this experience.

May 21st, 2012 Amazon/YouTube Scam E-mails Update

It is May 21st, 2012 and I thought that I'd like to give you guys an update on the Amazon/YouTube e-mail scams that I've been getting.

I still get the fake YouTube e-mails very often. YouTube has no place to report these e-mails as of this time or that I have found so I am left with receiving the e-mails and just deleting them on my own. The last YouTube scam e-mail that I received was on Thursday of this week which was the 17th of May in 2012.

I have actually not received another Amazon scam in a while. The last one that I received was on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012. Each e-mail that I receive, I immediately forward to Amazon's special e-mail made for these scams at stop-spoofing@amazon.com This e-mail has been specifically set up to combat these fake e-mail scams and they seem to be doing a better job at cracking down on whoever is sending these e-mails out. When you receive one of these fake e-mails, click on the forward button and send it to the e-mail provided above. More information and instructions will be automatically sent to you from Amazon about what this e-mail is about and what they are doing to stop these scams.

Amazon has a page dedicated to this topic too which you can read to better help you understand what is going on with these e-mails. You can read this page by clicking this link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=15835501 BEFORE CLICKING THE LINK, READ IT IN FULL TO MAKE SURE THAT THE LINK WILL DIRECT YOU TO AMAZON'S REAL WEBSITE AND NOT A PHONY ONE.

Good luck out there. Hopefully these e-mail scams stop soon. I have seen a big boost to my blog's readership with people mostly coming here for searching for answers about this problem.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

PS Suite vs. VHBL?

Wololo wrote a blog post earlier about his thoughts on PS Suite versus VHBL which is the current way of getting homebrew and unsigned software onto your PlayStation Vita.

I agree with Wololo and will be keeping my VHBL and not updating for this PS Suite if and when it comes out.

There are lots of downsides to the Suite versus what users can get through VHBL. Some are that no free games will be accepted nor games that are open-source. You can bet that emulators like the Super Nintendo emulator or Gameboy Advance emulator will not be available through the Suite too due to Sony having Nintendo and others as competitors and it would be a legal concern for Sony.

My advice, keep VHBL if you have it. I'm keeping mine until something better comes but playing Gameboy classics has been great for me so far and I don't think that Sony will provide anything better than what unofficial developers are already contributing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Updated VHBL Release for Super Collapse 3

Many VHBL users are having a hard time using some homebrew such as snes9xTYL and Lamecraft but most of that is changing as Wololo has announced and update that can fix some of these issues and more. Click here for a link to that release.

Wololo states that this will not fix all issues associated with our VHBLs but it will fix most of them and make a much easier experience. I've been dying to play Lamecraft myself so this should be fun! A special thanks to Wololo. Be sure to thank him as well as the other developers in the community for these releases.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there. Enjoy the day with your mom and other female figures everyone.

Possible Vita Hack

Wololo has written another blog entry on a possible hack found within the Vita that allows us to go even further than basic user mode and VHBL access being called Flash0 dump.

This one takes us into kernel mode and if you are unsure of the difference between user and kernel modes, you should take a look at his blog post for more information.

This is a step forward for us who want hacked PlayStation Vitas as this allows us even ore access.

Davee had already found this a few months ago yet has refused to release the information, as of now, for unknown reasons. This hack comes from another user who has not said whether or not they plan to release this information.

Stay tuned for more details as they are announced.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Netflix Instant Queue Order/Alternatives?

I've been a Netflix subscriber for a few years now, used it on my computer, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PS Vita, Nintendo DSi, Android phones, and other devices but have been fairly disatisfied for the most part with the service that I pay for.

Netflix has changed over the years and most of these changes have been negative for users, I can agree to that myself.

The most recent change has me the most upset though.

A few weeks ago, I logged onto Netflix and found that my instant queue now was rearranged. I thought it was no big deal especially since the television shows that I was watching were already added so I wasn't adding new movies. That is until yesterday...I logged on and decided to check out some new movies and television shows and add them to my collection to watch later. Upon doing so, I went to the very end to pick which of the selections that I wanted to see. It was then that I discovered that this was a new "features" implemented by Netflix into the queue to create a way of organizing your movies for you. But then I found that the list is in no logical order. Not in alphabetical order, nor numerical order, nor even date order. It seems like an unreasonable and illogical way of organizing movies. Worst of all, there is no way to opt out of this or at least no easy way to do so.

This is highly upsetting to someone like me that wants easy access and a manual way of doing things instead of having the company do it for me.

Does anyone know of any alternatives? I know that we have Hulu Plus and Blockbuster, however each of these seem to have huge downsides. I'd be willing to pay for a better service with more selection too.

Feel free to leave your suggestions below and involve any information about your alternatives. What are some of your thoughts on Netflix? Has anyone found any way of changing these options to get a different order or no order at all?

Apple's iOS vs. Google's Android

I currently have the HTC Evo 4G on Sprint and am due for an upgrade in August of this year. I really love what I can do with Android and Apple's software hasn't made much of an impression on me until very recently. My cousin moved down to Los Angeles and he and I talk about computers and such on the regular. In his opinion, after having both 2 Android devices and an iPhone 4 now, he says that he prefers the Apple side more and doesn't want to go back to Android if given the chance.

Some of the things that I like about Apple's iOS are:
-more accessories available
-better compatibility; if it says that this product works with iPhone, it works with iPhone
-more apps
-more popular (around here) which means an even better chance at having a better community to support the device
-easier to hack (in most people's opinion)
-can run Android
-able to sync to iTunes
-new updates come and almost all devices receive the update

Things I don't like are:
-no 4G, currently
-no micro-SD or any removable memory at the moment
-Apple is not hacker friendly
-smaller screen size
-newer devices come out more often
-no 3D
-no physical keyboard
-no warranty? (not sure if this has changed or not)

Things I like about Google's Android are:
-more hacker friendly
-more devices to choose from
-I prefer Google to Apple
-much more to do once hacked
-more of those devices have physical keyboards
-removable SD cards
-warranties are available

Things I don't like about Android are:
-too many devices means less compatibility
-lesser accessories
-no other OS is easy (or legal) to port to Android based devices
-newer OSes come out and updates aren't always sent out to every device

There are other reasons to add to the lists.

To you guys, what things do you like and dislike about each of the devices? I am able to upgrade in August and my choices are the new HTC Evo 4G LTE or the newer iPhone that will probably come out in fall of this year.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Update on Fake Amazon E-mail Scams

Amazon has provided a special place on their website to assist us as users in helping them combat these scammers. You can alert Amazon of your e-mails by looking here ==> https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us/report-phishing.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=&type=&token=

To start off, check the entire link above to ensure that this link will take you to the legitimate Amazon website. You can do so by either looking at this URL very closely (examining the "www.amazon.com" part) to make sure that it correctly spells Amazon and is taking you to the Amazon website. Or you can learn more about how to avoid being scammed and allowing viruses into your computer from these scam e-mails by visiting my blog post located here ==> http://www.wheneverifeellikeit.com/2012/05/fake-amazon-spam-e-mails.html

Amazon sent me this e-mail after I had filled out their phishing report:
Thank you for writing to us to report the spoofed e-mail that you received. We wanted to let you know that we are investigating the situation. To help us with our research, if you still have the spoofed e-mail you received, we'd appreciate it if you could forward it as an attachment to the following e-mail address: stop-spoofing@amazon.com.

Since you did not click on the link in the spoofed e-mail, your account at Amazon.com is fine--there's nothing more you need to do. (Even if you did click on the link and go to the forged web page, but didn't enter anything, the phishers will not have your account information.)

For your protection, we suggest that you never respond to requests for personal information that may be contained in suspicious e-mail. It is best to assume any e-mail that asks for personal financial information (or web site linked to from such an e-mail) is not authentic.

If you encounter any other uses of the Amazon.com name that you think may be fraudulent, please do not hesitate to report them to us again. The Internet is a large and fairly unregulated universe; it is only through our constant vigilance and with the help of people like yourself that we can ensure that our name is not misappropriated for illegitimate uses.

We have included more information below to assist you in identifying e-mail forgeries, along with answers to other questions you might have. If you need additional assistance, please feel free to contact us again.


*****
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK SOMEONE HAS GAINED UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO MY AMAZON.COM ACCOUNT?
Let us know immediately by going to our "Phishing and Spoofed E-mails" contact form and choosing one of the following subject lines: either "I am concerned about my Seller Account" (if you sell items on Amazon Marketplace, Auctions, or zShops) or "I am concerned about my Customer Account."

To find this form, go to our home page then click "Help" in the top right menu. Next choose "Contact Customer Service," then the subject "Phishing or Spoofed E-mails." Click the "E-mail us" button, then choose one of the two subject lines mentioned above.

*****
HOW CAN I UPDATE MY PASSWORD OR CHECK MY ACCOUNT INFORMATION?
If you have any questions about your Amazon.com account, you can view recent activity or update your password at any time. To do this go to our home page then click "Your Account" on the top right menu. To change your password, choose the option "Change your name, e-mail address, or password" under Account Settings. You can check the status on any order by choosing to view "Open and recently shipped orders" under "Where's My Stuff" at the top of the page.

*****
HOW CAN I IDENTIFY A SPOOFED OR FORGED E-MAIL?
The following will help you identify whether the e-mail you received is really from Amazon.com.

1. Amazon.com will *not* ask you for the following information in an e-mail message:

* Your Amazon.com password
* Your bank account information
* Your credit card information or PIN
* Your social security number
* Your mother's maiden name or other information to identify you

2. Amazon.com will *not* ask you to verify or confirm your Amazon.com account information by clicking on a link from an e-mail.

3. Be on the lookout for poor grammar or typographical errors. Some phishing e-mails are translated from other languages or are sent without being proofread. As a result, these messages can contain bad grammar or typographical errors.


4. Check the return address--genuine e-mails come from an e-mail address ending in "@amazon.com." Note that this can be easily forged, so even if it looks like it comes from @amazon.com, it might not be.


5. Check the web site address--genuine Amazon.com web sites are always hosted on the "amazon.com" domain--"
http://www.amazon.com/. . . " (or "https: //www.amazon.com/. . .").

6. Sometimes the link included in spoofed e-mails looks like a genuine Amazon.com address. You can check where it actually points to by hovering your mouse over the link--the actual web site where it points to will be shown in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window or as a pop-up. We *never* use a web address such as "http: //security-amazon.com/. . ." or an IP address (string of numbers) followed by directories such as "http: //123.456.789.123/amazon.com/. . . ."

7. Alternately, sometimes the spoofed e-mail is set up such that if you click anywhere on the text you are taken to the fraudulent web site. Amazon.com will never send an e-mail that does this. If you accidentally click on such an e-mail and go to a spoofed web site, do not enter any information and just close that browser window.

8. When in doubt, go directly to the Amazon.com web site by typing www.amazon.com in your web browser. Click "Your Account" in the top right menu to view any recent activity, or review your account information. If you cannot access your account, or if you see anything suspicious, let us know right away.


*****

WHAT HAS AMAZON.COM DONE TO HELP STOP SPOOFING?
Amazon.com has taken steps to combat e-mail forgeries such as this in the U.S. and Canada; you can read more about our efforts here:

www.amazon.com/stopspoofing

*****

HOW DID THE SPOOFER GET MY E-MAIL ADDRESS?
Amazon.com is not in the business of selling customer information. Many spammers and spoofers use programs that randomly generate e-mail addresses, in the hope that some percentage of these randomly-generated addresses will actually exist.

*****

WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SECURITY ON AMAZON.COM?
Visit the "Privacy & Security" section of our Help pages for safe shopping tips, our privacy policy, and more:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/551434/


*****

Thank you again for contacting us.

Best regards,

Amazon.com Customer Service
http://www.amazon.com 

Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming messages.

Remember that these e-mails are not coming from Amazon or if you are getting the YouTube ones, they are not coming from YouTube and Amazon employees...they are coming from scammers who are "spoofing" these e-mail addresses. Basically, this would be the same as someone sending threat letters to someone else with your name and address on the letter. The person receiving the letter would think that you were the one responsible for the letter because it has your name and address on it even though it's not really you.

If you are getting fake YouTube e-mails, check out my post located here ==>  http://www.wheneverifeellikeit.com/2012/04/fake-youtube-spam-e-mails.html

Stay safe out there!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fake Amazon Spam E-mails

They've done it again, guys! If you have been reading my blog or read my post on the fake YouTube e-mails, this one is very similar except gets trickier. The problem with me sharing this information is that:
-some of the scammers begin to understand how it is that we figure out that their scams are actually scams and not legit
-after a while, these "methods" become outdated...usually very quickly

Like the YouTube ones, this one looks very legit. Complete with an e-mail address or the e-mail address that Amazon would use to contact you with.


*Click the image if you would like a clearer view. Right-click on image to view in a separate window or separate tab if you'd like to keep this window open.*

As you can see, this is what the e-mail looked like. I bleeped out private areas of my computer with the black boxes.

If you look for the red arrow pointing to the red underlined link saying "www.Amazon.com", this is the link that I hovered over. Look at the red circle. When I moved my mouse cursor/pointer over the "www.amazon.com" link, that link in the bottom left hand corner is the link that it would've taken me to. If this was a legit e-mail, it would have told you that it was going to take you to Amazon's website. Check that link very closely because I imagine in the future, someone will have a link very similar except it will look like "www.amzon.com". See how similar that looks? Look very closely at that word, the "a" is missing, but you may have overlooked that.

Hovering over the other red underlined link also points to this URL shown in the bottom left hand corner.

I made the mistake of clicking the link prematurely and was redirected to a different website than Amazon's. My computer's anti-virus program popped up a message saying that a Trojan virus was found and detected coming from this website and had successfully blocked the virus from getting any further. Let me be proof to NEVER EVER click the links in e-mails like this.

It is best to not use the links provided in e-mails to get to the desired website, instead, head over to Amazon's website by manually typing it into your address bar (the place to put the "www.whatever.com" at) and check your account there or contact the company from there.

Sometimes these links can actually point you to a fake looking website, such as this one pointing me to Amazon, it could have pointed me to a website that looked just like Amazon. If this happens and it asks you to log in, DO NOT log in. First, check the URL of the page very closely. (The URL is the "www.thingy.com" in your browser usually at the top). Check this very closely to make sure that it doesn't say something like "www.amzon.com". Also, check to see whether there is a "https" or an "http" before this "www.amzon.com".

"https" is reserved for domains to ensure security that cookies and the like cannot see what you are typing into the fields which could help them steal information about you. Only registered and official websites can get "https" URLs, as is my understanding. However, there may be ways around this, so don't assume that the site is legit just because it has an "https". Also, some websites may not even use an "https" at all. Some websites don't use "https" but "http", so that doesn't automatically discount them from not being legit either.

Telling your mail client (Yahoo Mail, Gmail, AOL Mail, Hotmail, etc.) will not stop these. These e-mails are coming from a legit e-mail from Amazon, by blocking these e-mails, you are blocking Amazon from contacting you. If you don't use Amazon or don't ever plan to contact them, you can always block them which will block some of these e-mails.

As you get more and more of these like I have, you begin to learn more on your own about how these scams are done and how to better protect yourself. If something does happen, do learn from your mistakes and what has followed. That is the best thing to do in any situation especially when being scammed.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Unpopular Changes

My last blog post had to do with the Android Facebook app and it being updated with two additional icons that are making lots of users quite upset. Facebook also forced users to update their profiles to the new timeline instead of being able to use the old interface. Other updates have been done by Facebook and have been highly unpopular among many users but Facebook continued with their updates. Eventually people got used to each of the changes and weren't as upset about the change as much as before.

Blogger updated our interface (this website is currently running from Blogger's service with a custom domain) as I had discussed in this blog post.

Many other websites have made changes like this too and have been unpopular amongst their users but the website continued with the changes and the users typically stayed and grew with the change. Personally, I don't like either of the changes. I haven't liked any of the changes that these websites have done. With Facebook, the new timeline allows too much access to my entire posts throughout my time on the website. With some of the posts, I was content with them staying hidden away and hard to reach by most users but that has changed since the new update. With Blogger, I don't like the change because it has really been dumbed down and some of the features seemed to be taken away or are at least hidden away from me.

But I found a way to get back to my old interface but I'd rather not share that method with anyone or else Blogger may find a way to force me to get updated.

The reason why websites do things like this, mostly in terms of Facebook, is to stay ahead of the game. One of the problems with MySpace was that it was too old and always looked the same. When they finally changed the interface, most people had been long gone. Facebook has been staying at the top because they change so fast and force everyone to change so everyone sticks around to see if the change is good or bad and usually they just keep the change. I can't say why Blogger would force it on us though. I wish that websites would give us a choice but I don't think that that day will ever come.

What are your guys' thoughts on websites and the changes they make?

Facebook Camera and Messenger Apps Removed

Facebook rolled out a new update to their app that is driving some people insane. The app, at least for Android, adds two new icons in your regular list of apps with one being for a Facebook camera and another for Facebook messenger. For folks like me, I don't use either features and wanted them removed, but it wasn't so easy....

Typically when you want to remove an app, you go into your Settings and choose Applications, then Manage and then find the app(s) that you want to remove. Unfortunately, these apps or at least icons are not listed. There are a number of reasons that someone may not want the additional apps:
-doesn't want the additional app icons clogging up their screen from viewing other apps
-doesn't want the additional storage space that these icons may take

There's good news and bad news. The good news is that there's a fix to this and it appears that these additional "apps" are nothing more than icons that have already been added into the Facebook application prior to this update. The bad news is that your phone needs to be rooted (hacked) and this only removes the icons, it does not relieve any disk space.

Once your device is rooted, you will go into the Play Store or whatever it's called now and download an app called "Facebook icon remover". Once in there, everything should be self-explanatory.

Unfortunately, I downloaded this app for my HTC Evo 4G which is rooted and running the MikG 3.11 ROM and when I ran the app, it asked me for root privileges and then said that it had completed and that it might be necessary for a reboot before the changes take effect. I rebooted my phone and when it came back on, the screen is missing it's lock screen button to unlock the phone. Other people have claimed to have success with this app so it may be an isolated issue. My advice would be to backup your phone in your recovery first, then download and run the app. If it gives you any problems, revert the changes by restoring the backup and you should be fine. I tried some advanced stuff but the problem still remains...I'm going to have to restore my device.

What are your thoughts on this change from Facebook? Other changes from Facebook? Has anyone successfully been able to use this app?


EDIT: I restored my phone to an earlier version and the problem still persists. The problem could lie within this app but I doubt it and won't jump to the conclusion and say that it is the app's fault.

Thoughts on Social Networking

I have been on just about every major social networking website excluding Google+ but including smaller ones like Friendster and MyCrib.

I use Facebook and Twitter most of all presently but I've been doing less and less on each. I deleted my Facebook for two months then came back because some people had been asking me to come back like old friends and family that live far off but want to be apart of my life. I used Twitter more during that period of time but it wasn't the same.

I didn't like Twitter because it was just me posting private information about myself and I started thinking about it more in depth. It was turning me into the gossip girls that I despise! Wondering who had the most juiciest gossip and most interesting things about their lives so I tuned out. I post on it a few times since then but nothing too personal like before. I've been on Facebook and mostly been using it to just keep up with the latest news regarding politics and other sections of news. For that reason, it has been beneficial.

But what are your thoughts on social media? Do you like it? Do you use it often?
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