Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 Preview Build for Insiders in the Fast ring introduces what’s obviously meant as a response to all the ransomware attacks targeting the platform these days. The build comes with a new feature called “controlled folders” that can protect their files from malicious apps and other threats. More here.
Category - News
The creators of media transcoding program HandBrake have issued a statement warning that certain downloads of the installer for the Mac version of the app may contain a Trojan virus.
Downloading the app between May 2 (14:30 UTC) and May 6 (11:00 UTC) from the “download.handbrake.fr” mirror means you have a 50-percent chance of being infected with the Trojan. More here.
Selling devices pre-configured to obtain copyright-infringing content is illegal, the European Court of Justice effectively ruled today. The decision, which evolved from a case involving anti-piracy group BREIN and a shop that sold piracy-configured media players, will have far-reaching consequences across the EU, particularly for those selling piracy-enabled Kodi setups. Read more @ torrentfreak.com
According to cybersecurity researchers from Check Point, the malware was hidden in more than 40 fake companion guide apps for popular games, such as Pokemon GO and FIFA Mobile, which led to the malware’s name being FalseGuide.
While originally it was believed the oldest fake guide to hit Google Play was uploaded in February this year, making this a recent campaign, the researchers went a little deeper and discovered additional apps from back in November 2016.
So I’ve set my new Raspberry Pi up with Kodi and I’ve downloaded some add-ons and I’ve watched a film or two. I’ve even dabbled a bit in Python whilst running the Linux distro Rasbian. So what next I thought.
How about setting up a spy camera! That sounds fun. Believe it or not, the Rasberry Pi Camera Module V2 is an 8 megapixel camera capable of 3280 x 2464 pixel static images, as well as supporting 1080p video. And all for around $32/£24. It’s very easy to setup and get going and some of the online tutorials such as this one here will quickly have you taking pictures and saving videos.
I also spotted this program available for free online that allows the camera to be used as a motion detection security camera recording footage when people walk past.
If you fancy dipping your toes in too – why not take a look here.
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Being a techie and working in IT I thought I might have found my way to the Raspberry Pi much sooner but it wasn’t until a week ago that I saw an advert for one on a website I was visiting and thought I might dip my toes in.
For those that don’t know, the Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and in developing countries. They have taken off in a big way, much bigger I am sure than the creator ever imagined. And rightly so! The idea is so simple yet so brilliant. A small, well-made, accessible miniature PC that allows you to do so much and learn so much for less than $40 (just over £30 in the UK). The most recent release is the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B (along with the Pi Zero W – which is a wireless model). It boasts a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, 1 GB or RAM and 4 USB ports, along with an Ethernet port and wireless capability and most importantly, a HDMI port, allowing you to plug it directly in to a monitor or better still, your TV set.
You’ll need some extra bits to get started if you don’t have them. Luckily, I had some spare SD cards lying around but you’ll need one of these if you don’t have one (at least 8 Gig if you plan to install the Raspberry OS Rasbian – based on Linux) but a 4 Gig SD card will suffice in some cases, such as creating your own Media Player – running OSMC and Kodi – allowing you to stream content from the internet. The latter was my first project and I had it up and running in no time. I used the SD card reader on my laptop and a MicroSD Adaptor (SanDisk 32 Gig SD cards come with an adaptor for as little as $6 depending on the size you go for) to burn the OSMC operating system image on to the SD card, plugged the card in to the slot on the Raspberry Pi and powered the Pi up using a USB cable plugged in to a spare white Apple USB plug I had lying around. So you’ll also need a USB cable (Micro USB) and an HDMI cable. It came up on my tele, I did some initial settings such as time and location and connected it to my wireless. I was streaming TV before I knew it. I’ve since installed Rasbian and have started to look at the coding language Python. But there are endless projects you can try including creating an affordable security camera, by buying the camera module. There are a plethora of resources online regarding the Pi, how to get it working and what you can do with it. I’ve barely scratched the surface. If you fancy dipping your toes in too – why not take a look here.
Vidahost are a rarity in the ever expanding world of hosting companies. Not only do they offer very affordable yet professional and technically sound hosting, they have also gained a reputation amongst their customers and potential customers of having unparalleled customer service. You only have to type their name in to Google and you’ll find a sea of comments from happy customers with the odd complaint thrown in every now and then for good measure. They’re not perfect. But from their early days of being a fledgling two-man company starting out, to today with their 100 strong customer service desk, things have not changed, the support has remained consistent. It’s an old adage, but you truly are more than a number with Vidahost. Dominic and Seb started the business some 15 – 20 years ago and so we was very pleased when Seb took time out of his busy schedule to give us a quick interview at Angry Frog.
Hi Seb, please tell us a bit about Vidahost and where it started out?
Of course. I used to run my own websites and pay various web hosts for poor service and slow servers. I started running those websites on dedicated servers I leased, initially splitting the cost of the server and then trying to cover the cost myself. To do that I sold web hosting services to various people on forums, friends and so on. It was a slow start but it kind of snowballed from there as people told their friends, or their businesses grew and so on. We kind of knew it would be a matter of time, because we had clients we knew were rocketing in growth and requirements and we wanted to be there for them when they did. So plenty of our largest customers now started off on a £2/month Starter plan.
What do you have lined up for Vidahost going forward?
Lots of exciting things.
We’re currently deploying equipment to Singapore, and the US is arranged for Q2 2015. That means customers will be able to deploy their websites to different locations depending on their customers.
The last year we have spent a lot of time offering a huge range of new gTLD domains, so now we’re shifting the development time to offering more hosting features. Also planned is the option to change the setup of your site in the control panel (move it to a virtual or dedicated server in a couple of clicks for instance). And of course a new website (the current one is very dated) in Q2, fully responsive.
Who is Xerxes?
Xerxes is our office superstar dog. He’s been with Vidahost since I used to work from home and he was the impetus for me to get outside rather than sit behind a computer all day. He’s the most laid back Labrador I’ve ever known and gets a fair bit of attention now. He even has memes after him and his Imgur thread has over 3 million views (https://imgur.com/a/5DmTH).
Do you hark back to the early days when it was just you and Dominic starting out?
Not really. It was tough and we didn’t make any money for around seven years. Luckily I studied at the time so did not have many living costs. We’ve evolved quite a lot of course since then and there were a lot of fun periods — for instance when there were three of us (Dominic, Chris — our head of digital — and myself) sharing an amazing office in Bath in 2010, or when in 2009 I was able to work for six months from Berlin.
How have you managed to retain the levels of support your customers have come to expect whilst your customer base has grown and grown?
We know that there are only really two things which set us apart from other hosts: the fact the hosting is technically excellent, and the quality of our customer support. Our support now is infinitely better than it was years ago: We now have just shy of 100 Vidahost team members spread between two offices, call every new customer, migrate hundreds of websites to us every day with a brilliant migration team and provide hosting completely free to any charity. I tell every new support member that they need to be a superstar, and that they should always try to go beyond what’s expected with every support require. Our volume is staggering — thousands of tickets per day and hundreds of calls – and we do occasionally make mistakes of course – but I cant think of another IT company that even comes close to the level of support we offer.
How do you use Social Media to your advantage?
We only have a tiny marketing team (two people, one of which is on a six month sabbatical travelling around South East Asia!), and social media for us is more about keeping customers updated with system changes and features, as well as responding to questions and enquiries. For a while we thought about ways we could offer official support via Twitter, but the security complications were a little too messy.
Working in support often results in a love / hate relationship of IT. Do you still get the same buzz working with computers every day, seeing the latest advances in IT, the delivery of a new server or the latest iPhone?
I still love hosting and computers, but I’ve very little interest in gadgets I’m afraid. We have so many servers and computers (half a million £’s worth of servers arrived this week) that I’m a bit bored of phones. I’d go back to an old Nokia with a week long battery life if it handled emails properly.
Finally, how does one go about getting a job at Vidahost?
Great question — email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with a cover letter and CV and we’ll be in touch. We’re based in Slough, UK.
Thanks again Seb. For more info on Vidahost, visit their website here.
Learning a new computer language is hard work. But it can be fun and rewarding and can make editing that useful script to suit your own needs that little bit easier. Reading from a book whilst carrying out the exercises and testing your code on your PC is a proven way to help you get to grips with any language.