Got to get your Guild Wars 2 Beta Fix?

Last week Aren­aNet announced they’d be run­ning a brief ‘Stress Test’ for of their upcom­ing (and awe­some) Guild Wars 2 MMORPG. It starts in a couple of hours, and is only going to run for part of the day, today. And, it’s only open to people who have pre-pur­chased Guild Wars 2 and registered their account.

So, yeah, I’ll be there. In my case, I’ll be run­ning the test on my Mac­book Pro, run­ning VMware Fusion to host a Win­dows XP ses­sion. We’ll see how that goes! 😀

Macintosh Java malware has mutated!

FBHead.jpg

Over the last few weeks we’ve read that hun­dreds of thou­sands of Apple Macin­tosh com­puters run­ning OSX have become infec­ted with the Flash­back tro­jan, which is a type of vir­us that could, through a hole in Java secur­ity, infect your Mac and con­nect it to a bot­net of over half a mil­lion oth­er Macs.

And we’ve also read that Apple has released updates to fix the secur­ity prob­lem and clean up any infec­ted com­puters.

The prob­lem is, the Flashback.s mal­ware is pretty tricky and, it seems, is able to hide from Apple’s latest fix:

On Monday, how­ever, research­ers at Int­ego, anoth­er com­puter secur­ity firm, dis­covered that a new vari­ant of the mal­ware, called Flashback.S, con­tin­ued to spread through the same Java vul­ner­ab­il­ity. Secur­ity research­ers said the vari­ant was “act­ively being dis­trib­uted in the wild” and noted that the mal­ware deletes traces of itself on vic­tims’ machines to avoid detec­tion.
The ori­gin­al Flash­back vari­ant used infec­ted com­puters for click fraud, in which clicks on a Web advert­ise­ment are manip­u­lated in exchange for kick­backs. Int­ego research­ers did not say what the new vari­ant of Flash­back is being used for. But as with all mal­ware, its cre­at­ors can choose to use infec­ted com­puters how­ever they like.”

So, what’s a body to do?
SoftwareUpdate.jpgWell, right now, there doesn’t seem to be a fix addressed dir­ectly at this Flash­back vari­ant. That being said, I’m sure that Apple and secur­ity com­pan­ies are on it and will have updates avail­able shortly.

In the mean­time, the first thing is to make sure your Mac is hap­pily pro­tec­ted updated with the latest soft­ware updates and patches from Apple — here’s how to check on your Mac.

Then, you’ll likely want to look into some sort of anti­vir­us or secur­ity soft­ware. Future Shop has a whole host of solu­tions here.

And finally, you’ll want to improve your down­load­ing habits. Remem­ber, you are your Mac’s best secur­ity:

  • Use com­mon sense when con­sid­er­ing down­load­ing a file
  • Only down­load files from large, reput­able sites
  • Keep your sys­tem soft­ware (step one above) and anti-mal­ware soft­ware (step two above) up to date with the latest mal­ware defin­i­tions and patches

Ulti­mately, the best way to pro­tect your com­puter is to keep an ear open to the cur­rent vir­us activ­ity. By stay­ing informed, there are few­er chances you’ll fall prey to a care­fully craf­ted scheme to get mal­ware on your pre­cious Mac.

So, got a Mac? How do you keep it safe?

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I’m Moving to Empire Avenue!

This likely won’t come as a shock to many of you; I’ve been invited to go work on Empire Aven­ue.

Of course, I said yes.

Start­ing Thursday, Septem­ber 1st, my role will be, as with any star­tup, kinda fuzzy to begin with. Offi­cially I’ll be the Dir­ect­or of Social and Com­munity Man­age­ment. In real­ity, I’ll be blog­ging, work­ing with the vari­ous com­munit­ies, and help­ing the team get things done. Whatever those things may be. Clean up after the Squir­rel, you know.

What I’m leav­ing behind
For the last five years, I’ve been a Web Con­tent Spe­cial­ist and Web Busi­ness Ana­lyst with the Alberta Motor Asso­ci­ation.

It’s be a great time with a mar­velous people and a great employ­er who’s allowed me to make mis­takes, grow, and test the cor­por­ate waters with innov­at­ive social media exper­i­ments (hello @AMARoadReports)!

If you’d like to check out the pos­i­tion I’m leav­ing, here’s the link to the offi­cial post­ing. And I’d be happy to dis­cuss the role, or the organ­iz­a­tion should you have any ques­tions — email me (bradblog@gmail.com).

The Future
Well, as I said, it’s going to be kinda fuzzy. Empire Aven­ue is a star­tup, and as such, there are lots of cool things that we’re doing, and that can be done! And in my work with com­munity, I’m going to be work­ing with and ask­ing a lot of ques­tions of *you*.

So, what can we do, togeth­er, on ‘the Aven­ue’, hmmm? Let’s find out!

Another way to count the vote

Victor

Canada isn’t the only nation hav­ing an elec­tion in May. Folks in the United King­dom go to the polls on May 5th — and when they do, they’ll not only be select­ing their lead­ers, they’ll be vot­ing on a ref­er­en­dum to change they way votes are coun­ted. And this has the chance to really make your trip to the polling sta­tion, and the act of cast­ing a vote, much more valu­able.

You see, I find this inter­est­ing as I’d nev­er really con­sidered weight­ing my vote before. Yes, it makes per­fect sense to rank your can­did­ates in order of pref­er­ence, but for some reas­on, it’s just not done here. If it were, I’d have much more interest in find­ing out more about the can­did­ates in my rid­ing and vot­ing for the per­son, instead of the party or the lead­er.

If you’re won­der­ing what I’m talk­ing about, check out this video explain­ing the United King­dom ref­er­en­dum on the vot­ing pro­cess.

Note, this is a paid post (I get pen­nies per view; but only if you’re view­ing the video from the UK) but frankly, I think it’s an inter­est­ing enough concept that we in Canada should look at and con­sider this type of sys­tem. I think it would make me feel that my vote is more mean­ing­ful.

Your thoughts?

More Gagarin Goodness…

Earth

Earli­er today I noticed the Google Doodle point­ing to resources about Yuri Gagarin’s (and mankind’s) first orbit of the Earth.

A few moments ago @mynameiskate poin­ted me at the You­Tube logo — mod­i­fied too — and links to First Orbit a free fea­ture-length movie about Gagarin’s flight:

A real time recre­ation of Yuri Gagarin’s pion­eer­ing first orbit, shot entirely in space from on board the Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion. The film com­bines this new foot­age with Gagarin’s ori­gin­al mis­sion audio and a new music­al score by com­poser Philip Shep­pard.

Here’s a great writeup of the First Orbit pro­ject at Nation­al Geo­graph­ic:

Pos­ted on You­Tube at mid­night GMT on April 12, the roughly 108-minute film blends a few 1960s his­tor­ic reels with mod­ern shots taken from the Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion (ISS) by Itali­an astro­naut Paolo Nespoli. His video not only retraces Gagarin’s view from orbit, it shows Earth bathed in sun­light at the same angle the cos­mo­naut would have seen dur­ing his 1961 flight.

I guess I know what I’m doing this even­ing, stream­ing this video in HD through my Apple TV 🙂

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Emerging Tech: This magazine app knows what you like

screner

You’ve got an iPad and all the pop­u­lar magazine, con­tent, read­ing apps like Reed­er, Flip­board, Pulse, and FLUD. Well now there’s a new one using tech­no­logy from the Uni­ver­sity of Brit­ish Columbia’s Labor­at­ory for Com­pu­ta­tion­al Intel­li­gence.

It’s called Zite, and is it ever cool. But first, the video.

Why I like it
It’s a learn­ing app. Log in to your Google Read­er and Twit­ter account, let Zite per­form a bit of ana­lys­is, and you’ve got con­tent that Zite thinks you’re inter­ested in. And it’s free 🙂

Canuck going to South by South West (SXSW)?

If you’re going to South by South West (SXSW) in March, then con­sider check­ing in to the Maple Leaf Digit­al Lounge — a new concept that helps pro­mote and high­light Cana­dian tech­no­logy to SXSW attendees.

We are cre­at­ing a cluster of Cana­dian tech­no­logy that will be pro­moted at this event.  This is a unique concept and Canada is the only coun­try to host a lounge at this con­fer­ence. It will act as a cata­lyst in pro­mot­ing Cana­dian innov­a­tion to a large tech­no­logy and media audi­ence.

The MLDL will fea­ture Canada’s top Inter­act­ive digit­al media tech­no­logy com­pan­ies from the fol­low­ing indus­tries: social media, mobile, mar­ket­ing, multi-media, game devel­op­ment, web devel­op­ment or any related IT areas. At the event, each com­pany will have a table set up/booth to show­case their tech­no­logy over a two-day peri­od.

So if you’re head­ing down to SXSW, the Maple Leaf Digit­al Lounge should be on your must-see list. And if you’re a Cana­dian tech. com­pany, you may want to look at part­ner­ing.