Category: Computers & Tech

Google Data Center tour

Posted by Vincent Banial

I have often stated that Google is your friend.

Lets visit a Google Data Center.

This is where the awesome Google Search  Engine does it’s magic.

 Video is courtesy of the G Suite YouTube channel

Ok, lets visit another Google Data Center.

Video is courtesy of the Google Cloud YouTube channel.

AMD Ryzen™ 7 High Performance desktop processors

Posted by Vincent Banial

AMD has released AMD Ryzen™ 7, the World’s Highest Performing and Lowest Powered 8-core Desktop PC Processors.

Pre-Orders can be made immediately. Retail availability will start on March 02 2017.


Photo courtesy of AMD

Each AMD Ryzen™ 7 CPU chip each contains
over 4.8 Billion Transistors.

Video is courtesy of the AMD YouTube channel.

Continue reading

European Court ruling may have a major impact on the Internet in Europe

Bloomberg has posted a news item regarding a European Court Ruling in reference to a Dutch copyright infringement case. This is only the first shot, as stricter European Union  rules on the Internet are expected shortly.

In brief, the ruling speaks about hyperlinks potentially being illegal, especially if the site posting the hyperlinks to copyrighted material is a for profit entity.

Click on this Link to visit the Bloomberg site to read more details about this development.

 

Posted by: Vincent Banial
http://www.uniquelytoronto.com

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official Bloomberg.com site to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.

Dropbox Mega-Breach confirmed.

Over 60 million email addresses and passwords were hacked from Dropbox years ago. That data is floating around the folks on DarkNet. It is older and apparently not being marketed, yet some hacker have it. Even though the breach happened years back, the data still has value. People often rarely change their password. Similar Mega Breach data from prior breaches at LinkdIn and Tumblr, was being bought, sold and traded on DarkNet markets.

Click on this Link to visit the Motherboard site to read their post about Hackers stealing account data on tens of millions Dropbox users.

Click on this Link to visit Troy Hunt’s site. He was sent the hacked data from a supporter of “Have I Been Pwned?” site. Troy then found his own account data and also his wife’s account data and proceeded to confirm that the Dropbox Mega-Breach was real.

Video courtesy of the Fox Business YouTube channel

Click on this Link to visit theguardian newspaper website to read their post titled “Dropbox hack leads to leaking of 68m user passwords on the internet

Change your passwords often.
Use random numbers, letters and special characters,
for greater security.

Click on this link to view other CyberSecuirty related posts found on Uniquely Toronto.

Posted by: Vincent Banial
http://www.uniquelytoronto.com

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.

Upgrade to Windows 10 stalled at 99%

Photo courtesy of https://85ideas.com/freebies/best-hd-windows-wallpapers-for-your-desktop/

I tried to Upgrade a desktop to Windows 10 from Windows 7. It continued until it hit 99% complete and  stayed there. Rebooted and tried again and got the same result.

Checked on the internet and a Microsoft site suggested to uninstall all your Security software – Antivirus and Firewall as these may be preventing the completion.

Another non-Microsoft site suggested to disable Windows 7 updates (in control panel). I did that but it seems that the upgrade would never have gotten to 99%, if the Windows 7 Updates were the problem. I suspect that it was the Security Software was conflicting with the Windows 10 security software.

So I disabled Windows 7 updates. I uninstalled the firewall. I uninstalled the Antivirus. Restarted the Windows 10 upgrade. It worked.

There is also apparently a way to do the upgrade with a Windows 10 disk – via an ISO file download. I did not try that because if you mess up and end up doing a “clean install”, you may not get a “free” upgrade.

As for security, Windows 10 installs it’s own security software. I will check into how good it is and will probably install my own selected software.

Note, before you do the upgrade make sure that you have a backup or an image backup of your Windows 7 in case things go very wrong with the Windows 10 Upgrade. I used a free software program called System GoBack Free from Easeus. Click on this link to visit their web page.

Note that the free Upgrade to Windows 10 offer expires on July 29 2016. Click on this link to visit Microsoft’s website for more details about the Windows 10 Upgrade.

Hope this helps.

NOTE: I will shortly post about improving the Privacy of the Windows 10 install.

Posted by: Vincent Banial
http://www.uniquelytoronto.com

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always do your Due Diligence and refer to the official Microsoft sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice. What worked for me does not guarantee that it will work for you

New Apple OS X Ransomware discovered by “Unit 42” of Palo Alto Networks


A new Ransomware targeting Apple OS X based computers has been found and reported by Palo Alto Networks
. Their Unit 42 Security Group have named this new ransomware as “KeRanger”.

Two installers of the Transmission BitTorrent ailient installer for OS X were found by Palo Alto Networks to be infected with KeRanger Ransomware.

The following is a quote from the Palo Alto Networks Reseaarch Center blog:

Palo Alto Networks reported the ransomware issue to the Transmission Project and to Apple on March 4. Apple has since revoked the abused certificate and updated XProtect antivirus signature, and Transmission Project has removed the malicious installers from its website.

The Transmissionbt.com home page features the following security notice:

Read Immediately!!!!

Everyone running 2.90 on OS X should immediately upgrade to and run 2.92, as they may have downloaded a malware-infected file. This new version will make sure that the “OSX.KeRanger.A” ransomware (more information available here) is correctly removed from your computer.

Users of 2.91 should also immediately upgrade to and run 2.92. Even though 2.91 was never infected, it did not automatically remove the malware-infected file.

Click on this line to visit the Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 webpage. There you will compete details about KeRanger. Scroll down to the section titled: How To Protect Yourself.

Click on this line to visit the MacRumors website to read their post titled: “First Mac Ransomware Found in Transmission BitTorrent Client”.

Click on this line to visit the 9to5Mac website to read their post titled “First OS X ransomware detected in the wild, will maliciously encrypt hard drives on infected Macs (updated: how to fix)

Click on this ine to visit the arstechnica website to read their post titled: “First Mac-targeting ransomware hits Transmission users, researchers say Rogue copy of BitTorrent client results in KeRanger install, which demands 1 bitcoin.”

Click on this line to visit the Reuters website to read their post titled: “Apple users targeted in first known Mac ransomware campaign“.

Click on this link to view other CyberSecurity related posts found on Uniquely Toronto.

 

Posted by: Vincent Banial
www.uniquelytoronto.com

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice. Any offers mentioned in this post are also subject to change without notice.

Apple USB-C Charge Cable Replacement Program

Did you purchase a Macbook back in 2015?

Did you purchase a USB-C charging cable from Apple in 2015?

Seems that there has been “a design issue” which has caused the failure of a limited number of Apple USB-C charge cables that were included with MacBook computers through June 2015 and or sold as a stand alone accessory cable. The affected USB-C cables fall into a specfic serial number range

Apple has setup a replacement process for eligible MacBook owners and stand alone USB-C cable purchasers to receive a new USB-C charge cable. All Apple supplied USB-C cables apparently have serial numbers. The Apple page linked to below, details how to find the serial number on the USB-C cable.

Please click on this line to view the official Apple page regarding their USB-C replacement process.

Click on this line to view the Apple image of their USB-C cable on the Apple site.

The following is a quote with more info from Apple’s page regarding this issue:

Additional Information

This worldwide Apple program does not extend the standard warranty coverage of the MacBook.

If you believe you have paid for a replacement due to this issue, contact Apple regarding a refund.

The program covers the affected USB-C charge cables until June 8, 2018.

 

Posted by: Vincent Banial
www.uniquelytoronto.com

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. Photo of the Apple USB-C cable is linked to from Apple’s site. It’s editorial use falls under the Fair Use Provisions of Copyright. The photo is “not” stored on this site. This post is subject to change without notice. Any offers mentioned in this post are also subject to change without notice.

AMD Zen CPUs to arrive in 2016

When AMD launched their Athalon processors, they caught Intel sleeping. AMD Athalon CPUs were way faster than Intel CPUs, at that time.

Since then Intel has caught up and surpassed AMD in Performance and Low Power usage.

The upcoming AMD Zen CPUs will have up to 32 Cores, via two 16 Core modules. Bandwidth will be covered by using 8 channel DDR4 memory.

What has not leaked out yet is the Graphics performance. Intel has cross licensing agreements with NVidia. That has allowed Intel to vastly increase the graphics performance of their 5th and 6th generation CPU chips. AMD purchased ATI years ago. It will be interesting to see how the graphics performance will be increased in the AMD Zen CPUs.

AMD did release details on AMD’s Polaris architecture-based 14nm FinFET GPU. The new Zen CPUs are also based on 14nm FinFETs. Combine Polaris with Zen and AMD could be set to deliver jaw dropping performance. Maybe the days of AMD Athalon launch are about to be repeated.

We have had Tablets sell and die. Phones had great sales and then died. Laptops are having their surge in sales and their sales will start to die. Next up should be re-surging sales of Desktops. Leading the way could be powerful Workstations and Gaming Machines. Operating Systems have continued to bloat. Having 32 processors with Symmetrical Multithreading will help overcome that bloat.

Desktop computing is alive and well.

Click on this line to read the Kit Guru post about the upcoming AMD Zen CPUs.

Click on this line to read the post on Wikipedia about AMD’s Zen Microarchitecture.

Click on this line to read the Toms Hardware post about the upcoming AMD Zen CPUs.

Click on this line to read the Tech Spot post about the upcoming AMD Zen CPUs.

Click on this line to read the PCWorld post about the upcoming AMD Zen CPUs.

 

 

Posted by: Vincent Banial
www.uniquelytoronto.com

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice. Photo is linked to and is not stored on this site. The linked to photo falls under Fair Use provision of Copyright

Consumers have filed a Class Action Lawsuit against Seagate Technologies LLC

Photo of a Hard Drive in Public Domain from http://www.publicdomainpictures.netPublic Domain photo of Hard Drive by Ariadne Ariadnerb avaiable at http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

On Feb 02 2016 Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP ( a class-action litigation firm ),

representing purchasers of certain Seagate 3TB Hard Disk Drives,
have filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California a Class Action Lawsuit against Seagate Technologies LLC.

CASE NUMBER: 5:16-cv-00523
COURT: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

“If you purchased Seagate’s Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive or another Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001, you may be entitled to damages including replacement costs and damages from loss of data and data recovery expenses.”

Click on this line to read the PetaPixel article about said Class Action filing.

Click on this line to read the Tech Spot article about the same Class Action filing.

 

Posted by: Vincent Banial
www.uniquelytoronto.com

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.

Apple withdraws China Apps for the Apple App Store, after XcodeGhost Malware infected IOS Apps were found by CyberSecurity firm Palo Alto Networks.

Ryan Olson, Intelligence Director, with Cyber Security Firm Palo Alto Networks discusses the finding of Apps on Apple’s App Store which were infected by XcodeGhost Malware.

Ryan Olson states that this is an important issue for every Apple IOS user.

If you had downloaded an infected app, one solution might be to then download an “updated” version as it becomes available on Apple’s App Store.

Video is courtesy of the Associated Press YouTube Channel

You can read full details about what Unit 42 of Palo Also Networks had found regarding the XcodeGhost Malware infected IOS Apps found on Apple’s App Store by clicking on this line.

Click on this link to view other CyberSecurity related posts found on Uniquely Toronto.

 

Posted by: Vincent Banial
http://www.uniquelytoronto.com

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.

“How would you like people to remember you, after you die?” Steve Wozniak, APPLE co-founder, answered that important question.

Steve Wozniak (better know as the “Woz”) co-founded APPLE Inc with Steve Jobs.He was in Springfield, MA and had a public questions and answer session.

As the session was about to end, Steve Wozniak was asked “How would you like people to remember you, after you die?“.His answer may surprise many. The Woz never let his Apple fortune go to his head.

His reply was:  “I really want them to remember me as being a caring person, gave a lot, cared about others, and shared,

You will note not one word about his fame and fortune, because to Steve Wozniak those things do not matter.

What mattered to Steve Wozniak wasBeing a a caring person, gave a lot, cared about others, and shared,

Something for each reader to think about, on their journey to Infinity…

Posted by: Vincent Banial for Uniquely Toronto
http://www.uniquelytoronto.com

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.

CryptoLocker ransomware variant hits Police departments in midcoast and northern Maine

CryptoLocker gained fame and fortune for the people behind it. It also spawned a growing number of variants, which can supposedly be found on the DarkNet via the Tor Onion network.

Continue reading

New Apple 12 inch MacBook set to launch on Apr 10, will feature one USB type C port ( USB-C for short )

Video is courtesy of the APPLE YouTube channel

Apple’s latest 12 inch MacBook is set to launch in a couple of days. April 10 to be exact. New unit, but with the old MacBook name.Lots of new technology in it. The biggest thing is IMHO the USB Type C port ( USB-C ).

Continue reading

Superfish, was preinstalled (starting Sept 2014) by Lenovo on a number of their consumer laptops, is detected as being Adware, Trojan, and Riskware by at least 23 AntiVirus & AntiMalware scanners

Cybersecurity For Dummies available for legal download, at no charge from cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks is a Cybersecurity firm which creates Enterprise level solutions from Firewalls to full Endpoint Protection.I had previously written about Palo Alto Networks and the work of their Unit 42 Experts who broke the story, back in November 2014, about the WireLurker Apple IOS and OSX Family of Malware.

Chinese authorities had arrested a number of individuals and shut down the WireLurker Command and Control Server just ten days after Palo Alto Networks released their findings.

Last weekend we focused on Cybersecurity issues. Many visitors to this site may not be fully versed in Cybersecurity issues. In that vein, I wanted to let you all know that Palo Alto Networks is allowing the legal download of Cybersecurity for Dummies. It discuss APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats) to the Enterprise Network. Old solutions no longer work. A layered approach of new solution is detailed.

Click on this line to visit the Palo Alto Networks page where you can fill in a brief form to gain download access to Cybersecurity for Dummies.

Click on this link to view other CyberSecurity related posts found on Uniquely Toronto.

Posted by: Vincent Banial

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice. Any offers mentioned in this post are also subject to change without notice.

Kaspersky Lab publishes details about the Equation Hacker group’s arsenal, including “nls_933w.dll” which can reprogram the hard drive firmware of over a dozen different hard drive brands


Kaspersky Lab presented at their Security Analysts Summit something even more scary than the details about the Carbanak Bank Cyber Heist. Per Karspersky the Carbanak group ripped off about 100 banks around the globe of about $1 Billion Dollars (and in my opinion very likely still counting).

Kaspersky Lab Experts referred to the Equation group as the “God” or the “Death Star” of Malware. Part of the huge arsenal of code which the Equation group has been developing over what looks like decades is nls_933w.dll“. “It allows them to reprogram the hard drive firmware of over a dozen different hard drive brands“.

Oncenls_933w.dll installs the Malware into the Hard Disk’s firmware, there is no way to remove it. Repartitioning will not affect it. Reformatting has no effect. The only way to get rid of this Malware from the targeted computer, is to physically destroy the Hard Disk.

Kaspersky Lab goes on to report that the Equation group seems to have existed long before the Stuxnet group.

The word “Elite” is part of the lexicon of Hackers. The Equation group therefore can be called the Elite of the Elite of the Elite of the Elite of the Elite and so on of Uber Hackers. To be able to hack and modify a Hard Drive’s firmware is unheard of. To be able to do so for Hard Drives of over a dozen different brands is insanely impossible. Yet the Equation group did it and very likely much more, that has yet to come to light. In comparison, this makes things like the REGIN Malware group’s incredible capabilities seem like no big deal.

Ok, enough of my rambling.

Click on this line to view the Kaspersky Lab report about the Equation group and their arsenal of jaw dropping Malware. On that page you will find a link to a downloadable PDF of the Question and Answer session from their presentation at the Security Analysts Summit.

Wow, this has turned into a CyberSecurity long weekend. Very impressive and rather scary stuff has been revealed by Kaspersky Lab.

Click on this link to view other CyberSecurity related posts found on Uniquely Toronto.

 

Posted by: Vincent Banial

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.

Kaspersky Lab report: The Great Bank Robbery: Carbanak cybergang steals $1 Billion Dollars from 100 financial institutions worldwide

Video is courtesy of the Kaspersky Lab YouTube channel


The Kasperskpy Lab report which was presented at the Security Analyst Summit (on Feb 16 2015) is now available online.


Click on this line to visit the Kaspersky Lab SecureList page which discusses the report : The Great Bank Robbery: Carbanak cybergang steals $1bn from 100 financial institutions worldwide.
You can also download a PDF of the “Full” Report via a link on that webpage.

Click on this link to view other CyberSecurity related posts found on Uniquely Toronto.

 

Posted by: Vincent Banial

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.

Check to see if your Computer Security and Android Mobile Device Security Software is working and providing a high level of protection?


I just posted to our Uniquely Tech site, about how to check your Computer Security Software. The checks are to Industry Standards.

For those who own an Android Tablet or Smartphone,there are also checks of the Security Protection on said Android devices.


Unfortunately Google prevents me from posting a duplicate post on this site.


Please click on this line to visit our Uniquely Tech site where you can check your Computer’s Security and Andoird Mobile Device Security Software.

 

 

Posted by: Vincent Banial

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.

WireLurker Malware targeting Apple IOS and OSX products


If you use an Apple IOS or OSX device (phone, tablet, notebook and desktop) you might want to check out my post about WireLurker.

Apple users sometimes are smug about not needing any security software. Yes, Apple products have been highly secure.

As the number of Apple products being purchased keeps growing, Apple products are also becoming targets for those who create Viruses and Malware and other interesting code.

Back in 2012 “Flashback” victimized about 700,000 Macs. WireLurker and future variants of it could have the potential to do the same.

Staying informed can help keep you and your Apple IOS and OSX gear from falling victim to such attacks.

 

Posted by: Vincent Banial

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.

Unlimited Cloud Storage available on Microsoft OneDrive to Office 365 subscribers

New blog post about how to Clean a Computer Virus and Malware infection

Just started another blog, for Tech oriented material. Our first post details how to clean a computer virus and malware infection. In the post I discuss the two best software programs which you should use. Both are top rated by major testing site AV-TEST.ORG and you can download them both for “free”.

Installed Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9841 today. Super quick and easy install. Very stable. No issues found


Windows 9 magically became the Windows 10 Technical Preview

I installed Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9841 today and was blown away. The install was super quick (including the NTFS format of a new Hard Drive) with very little prompting. Almost automatic and on an old AMD Phenom cpu based computer. Continue reading

Visit Microsoft’s Surface Research and Design labs

Bloomberg News has posted a video, on their YouTube channel, which provides a look inside Microsoft’s Surface Research and Design labs.

Video is courtesy of the Bloomberg News YouTube channel

Microsoft Surface Mini is a real Microsoft designed Tablet.

The Microsoft Surface Mini (8″ ?) would probably be available in your local Best Buy, had sales of the Surface RT met targets. Microsoft stated more or less that much in  it’s fourth quarter 2014 financial results.Click on this line to view Microsoft’s official Fourth Quarter Financial Results page.

The Computer and Gaming Hardware section is about 3/4 of the way down that report. Under the heading titled “Computer and Gaming Hardware” one will find the following info:  “Gross margin increased $665 million compared to the prior year, which included the Surface RT inventory adjustment charge. Current year cost of revenue included Surface inventory adjustments resulting from our transition to newer generation devices and a decision to not  ship a new form factor.“.

Note the use of the words “to not ship a new form factor”. You cannot ship a new product (or not ship it), if said product had not already been produced and packaged ready for shipping. Hmmm. Still don’t believe that the Microsoft Surface Mini is a real Microsoft designed tablet?

Read the original Surface Pro 3 User Manual and read the sections discussing the included Pen and it’s use with OneNote. For example on Page 25,  you will find tidbits like “Click the top button to open OneNote, even if your Surface is locked. Bluetooth technology links your Surface Pen to your Surface Mini or Surface Pro 3,“.

Click on this line to read the “original” Surface Pro 3 Manual online on the Scribd website. Scroll down to page 25 to confirm the above and then see how many other references you can find to the “Surface Mini” in the rest of that Official Microsoft Surface Pro 3 User Guide.

Out of curiosity I also did a Google search on “Surface-Pro-3-User-Guide-English.pdf”. There is a link to a Microsoft D/L. That D/L link description has the words “no mini” in it. Neat eh? So I downloaded it and sure enough the apparently “revised” version no longer mentions the Surface Mini.

There is also a sales page on Amazon, for a MS Surface Mini case.

I could post the image of the Surface Mini mounted inside the case, but have to respect the photograph owner’s copyright and so I have added a link below, to that sales page on Amazon.

Click on this line to view an item listed for sale on Amazon.

That item listed is a case for the Microsoft Surface Mini, but it includes a supposed Surface Mini in the photo.

I wonder what the Tablet Market would be like if Microsoft had released the Surface Mini, instead of the Surface RT?