Monday, November 24, 2008

Software: Picasa 3 (Free Photo Editing/Management Application)

I have used Picasa for managing my photos for years. Its one of the best free photo editing and media management applications available (in my opinion).

The application has gotten better with several new enhancement that Google has added in this release. Below is a brief summary of changes in the new version of Picasa 3:
  • Improved automatic sync between your PC and the Picasa Web Albums site.
  • Improved photo collage tool
  • New editing tools include a : retouching, text, and smart cropping tool.
  • A new movie making tool that allows you to create video slide shows from your photos, videos, and music. The tool also allows direct upload of your videos to Picasa Web Albums or YouTube.
  • One of my favorite features is the new photo viewer for browsing photo on your hard drive.
For more information about the new features, check out this article.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Security: What is Clickjacking?

If malware, spam, phishing, and other threats were not bad enough, the latest Internet security threat is called Clickjacking. Basically its a way of tricking you to click on disguised Web links, so that an action is performed on your local computer without your knowledge.

For example, using this exploit you can be tricked into turning on your web cam, or installing malware. All browsers are vulnerable to this type of threat, so this is not just isolated to I.E., Firefox, etc.

The way the attack works is you go to a site that has been modified by a malicious attacker, then the content (i.e.: web pages, flash animation, etc.) of the site tries to trick you into clicking links and buttons that you might not realize you're clicking. They do this by disguising the content to look like something else.

If you're really worried about this type of attack, then you need to disable scripting technologies like Javascript, and Flash for all sites in your browser. Then you need to enable it for approved sites only. The drawback is that many sites rely on this technology to make them more interactive. Thus disabling this technology can cripple a web site's experience.

To help protect you, here are some resources:
  • For Firefox there is a free open-source plug-in called NoScript that can block the execution of JavaScript except for sites that you approve.
  • For Internet Explorer, under Internet Options... in the Security tab you can set the Internet security slider to high. This should block all scripting technologies from running on any web pages you visit. If you want grant permissions to specific web site, you need to add them to your Trusted Site list.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Software: FREE EASEUS Partition Manager Home Edition

Are you looking for a free alternative to the commercial version of Partition Magic? Then you might want to check out EASEUS Partition Manager Home Edition, its a free hard disk partition management application. It allows you to: create, format, re-size, delete, move hard disk partitions, and more.

It runs on Windows 2000/XP/Vista (32-bit) Operating Systems. This version of the software is only free for personal use, if you're a business you will have to buy a licensed version.

Windows Vista already has built-in functionality to create, shrink, extend and delete a partition. So I would suggest trying this built-in functionality first. If you're running Windows XP or below, then you might want to try this software.
Note: I need to note that I have not personally tested this program, so use it at your own risk.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Software: ShellRunas v1.01

Note: This tip is more technical then the way I generally write. Although, the people who would use this feature should understand what I am talking about.
Sometimes when they upgrade software they change or remove things. Most of the improvements in Windows Vista I really like, but one small feature that was removed that I really used was the "Run as..." context menu command.

This Windows XP feature allowed you run a program under a different set of user credentials then the one you logged in with. You won't often need this functionality, unless you do systems administration. There is also a command line version of this utility that is still available, but its just not as easy to use.

Mark Russinovich and Jon Schwartz created ShellRunas v1.01 to add this functionality back into Windows Vista. To get this program to install, use the Run... command (press WinKey+R) and type "[path]\shellrunas.exe /reg" (you need to include the [path] where the executable is located.