Issue N0: 07

New Google Street View helps you explore hidden treasures of the world

Those who are struck with wanderlust can now explore the globe from the comfort of their homes, as long as they have access to the internet. Google's Street View is heading down the Amazon to capture pictures of “some of the most remote and biodiverse areas in the world”, according to its official blog.


Face Recognition

Face recognition is becoming popular with companies suffering from loss of information and decrease in productivity due to inappropriate security measures. At the same time, big organizations, airports and other high-alert areas are also developing fondness towards the technology.


Users browsing the Web with insecure Java versions

Researchers from CSIS have monitored 50 different exploit kits, and found out that 31.3 % of users were infected with the virus/malware due to missing security updates.Over a period of three months, researchers from CSIS have monitored 50 different exploit kits on 44 unique servers, and found out that 31.3 % were infected with the virus/malware due to missing security updates.In particular, users were running outdated versions of specific applications and browser plugins. Java JRE accounted for 37 percent of the most vulnerable applications, followed by Adobe Reader/Acrobat with 32 percent and Adobe Flash with 16 percent.


What is the Future of Adobe Flash?

The fate of Adobe Flash is in a stir lately. Who wouldn’t talk about it when two Steve’s are out there to get it by the neck? Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer have decided that Flash’s reign is over. At least in the sense that Microsoft and Apple and other major technology companies have started shifting from Flash to different platforms.


Positive Attitude – 5 Steps to a Happy Life

We all want a happy life, and we all know that having a positive attitude feels better than a negative one. But for some reason, we are all attracted to and can be easily drawn to the negative side. How do we go about to establish a more positive attitude as a daily habit?


Detailed Articles

New Google Street View helps you explore hidden treasures of the world

According to the Sunday Times newspaper, the Street View has so far filmed a 30-mile stretch of from the town of Tumbira along the Rio Negro, the world’s second-longest river from northeast Brazil, Moon Bay in the South Shetland Islands of western Antarctica and, reports the Daily Mail.

The cameras can shoot in 360 degrees, motion sensors and lasers to capture 3-D images and distances.

Armchair adventurers will not only be to able to gaze at the Amazon, they’ll be able to peek inside buildings as the camera has filmed some villages and paths that lead into the thick jungle.

Named Amazon Street View, the images will be available from November.

But those who have been lucky enough to explore the depths of the Brazilian rainforest say the online pictures simply cannot compare to the real thing.

Speaking to paper, Matt Brandon, a TV producer who filmed with presenter Bruce Parry in the Amazon, said: “I think it’s great for everyone to be able to see the Amazon in this way.

“If you're fortunate enough to able to actually go there, then you should grab it with both hands,” he added.

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Face Recognition

Face recognition technology is indeed the most appreciable application of biometrics, as it offers significant improvement over existing security products.

Features of Face Recognition Products

  • Face recognition products captures the key-metrics of a face, including jaw length, nose length and others, rather than capturing the exact face mage.
  • These products are blessed with short processing time to deliver faster results.
  • Products based upon face recognition technology offer high detection rate.
  • By working secretly, these devices don’t essentially require a person to be informed about his or her face identity being concealed.
  • High graphics and video support are other dependable features of these devices.
  • Feature extraction of different faces is done on the basis of traits, which don’t change with time, for example, the distance between two eyes.
  • Image sensors and huge database space to store multiple face templates are other worthy features of devices utilizing biometric face recognition.
  • These products warn against the presence of criminals in the premises by issuing an alarm or audible warnings.

Applications of Face Recognition Products

  • Security agencies make use of face recognition products to catch suspects on the basis of their facial identity.
  • Law enforcement bodies also use these products to catch criminals on run.
  • Airline industry is another field, where these products are installed to avoid hijacking and other criminal activities.
  • Banks and government offices also use face recognition technology to restrict undesirable happenings.

Advantages of Face Recognition Products

  • Face recognition products offer low-cost high-profile security and that too, without hindering the normal working of an organization.
  • These products are of great use in congested areas, where it becomes difficult to keep an eye on every individual.
  • Easy to integrate with present security system, these products can perform well in internal as well as external environments.
  • Can also be used for visitor tracking to help in investigation at the site of crime.

Biometric face recognition has helped to put a full stop on the rumours surrounding efficacy of biometric products. The products used in this direction have already impressed small organizations as well as high-level intelligence agencies to grab most desirable security level.

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37 percent of users browsing the Web with insecure Java versions

This is how Windows get infected with malware

When a Microsoft Windows machine gets infected by viruses/malware it does so mainly because users forget to update the Java JRE, Adobe Reader/Acrobat and Adobe Flash. This is revealed by a survey conducted by CSIS Security Group A/S.

Basis of the study

CSIS has over a period of almost three months actively collected real time data from various so-called exploit kits. An exploit kit is a commercial hacker toolbox that is actively exploited by computer criminals who take advantage of vulnerabilities in popular software. Up to 85 % of all virus infections occur as a result of drive-by attacks automated via commercial exploit kits.

The purpose of this study is to reveal precisely how Microsoft Windows machines are infected with the virus/malware and which browsers, versions of Windows and third party software that are at risk.

We have monitored more than 50 different exploit kits on 44 unique servers / IP addresses. Our figures come from the underlying statistical modules, thereby ensuring an as precise overview of the threat landscape as possible.

The statistical material covers all in all more than half a million user exposures out of which as many as 31.3 % were infected with the virus/malware due to missing security updates.

The thousands of users who unknowingly have been exposed to drive-by attacks have used the following web browsers:

Illustrated below is users distributed by the operating system that has been exposed to malicious code:

The numbers of Danish users who have been exposed during the observed period represent a total of 13,210 of which 2877 have been force-fed with malicious code - probably without the users’ knowledge. More than 80 % of the total number of infections is a so-called cocktail of viruses/malware, which typically consists of information and data thieves and fake security programs.

Most vulnerable programs

On the basis of the total statistical data of this study it is documented that following products frequently are abused by malware in order to infect Windows machines: Java JRE, Adobe Reader / Acrobat, Adobe Flash and Microsoft Internet Explorer. A more detailed summary is given below:

Vulnerabilities abused

Among the vulnerabilities we have observed abused by the monitored exploit kits, we find:

CVE-2010-1885 Microsoft Help & Support HCP

CVE-2010-1423 Java Deployment Toolkit insufficient argument validation

CVE-2010-0886 Java Unspecified vulnerability in the Java Deployment Toolkit component in Oracle Java SE

CVE-2010-0842 Java JRE MixerSequencer Invalid Array Index Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

CVE-2010-0840 Java trusted Methods Chaining Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

CVE-2009-1671 Java buffer overflows in the Deployment Toolkit ActiveX control in deploytk.dll

CVE-2009-0927 Adobe Reader Collab GetIcon

CVE-2008-2992 Adobe Reader util.printf

CVE-2008-0655 Adobe Reader CollectEmailInfo

CVE-2006-0003 IE MDAC

CVE-2006-4704 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 WMI Object Broker Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

CVE-2004-0549 ShowModalDialog method and modifying the location to execute code

The reason why patching are essential! The conclusion of this study is that as much as 99.8 % of all virus/malware infections caused by commercial exploit kits are a direct result of the lack of updating five specific software packages.

An effective solution

With this study CSIS has received confirmation that our security program Heimdal is addressing a market not adequately covered by a proper patch routine or policy for this area. Since the statistical figures cover both private PCs and machines used for business purposes, it is our opinion that this is a general problem.

Heimdal can be used in several versions: a free test version, a pro version with advanced functionalities such as web filtering securing your online presence, and finally a corporate version which can easily be distributed and administered in a Microsoft Windows network.

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Future of Adobe Flash?

What’s in store for developers and users? Users would wonder if they’re affected by this change. Depending on what they use their devices for, it might make or break a lot of things. Take for example gamers. There are major gaming websites that focus on Flash like Kongregate and Newgrounds, I guess Apple users won’t be able to play games anymore. For developers, this might be a problem (or a business) as they will have to rewrite their products.

Apple is a behemoth that does not support Flash. Two Steve’s are actually moving away from Flash, the other Steve is Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO. Imagine that? Two huge industry giants versus Adobe Flash!

Is the future of Adobe Flash grim? Before addressing the real issue here, let’s first look at why Flash is a target and not others.

Why is Flash Widely Used?

To begin, Flash has been used for a very long time and has widely revolutionized multimedia both online and on handheld devices. Why is it so? Because Flash has solved several problems that people experienced. From handling videos to fonts, to animation and cross browser compatibility, and adding to that the set standards on the web that are always changing. Cross browser and cross-platform compatibility with Adobe Flash is not an issue, unlike many web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.

Another reason for its success is that Flash is mostly used for gaming and entertainment. The majority of internet users use the internet for entertainment.

Is it the End of Flash?

No. To say that it will die off because a new challenger appears is too sensationalist. Since the majority of PCs use it, websites with animations including those pesky advertisements, and thousands of Flash games, it won’t go away easily. It has served thousands of devices and websites; taught in multimedia classes and has produced a lot of creative content without even knowing scripting. Adobe Flash is still evolving, trying to keep up with the fast paced technology.

During college I took a multimedia class. There we used Adobe Flash and created several 2D animations and Flash games. I can say that even if I’m not that good with graphics and design, I can sure as hell create a Flash game and animate your stick man. Is it a useful skill? Maybe it can get you a few ladies to drink with, still it is a very useful skill especially for designers.

So, what can turn the tables? I, for one, loathe the bulky Flash websites (especially those Hollywood film promotional websites), but when it comes to interactivity I’m the first one to worship it. A lightweight competitor like HTML5 will do the trick; CSS3, HTML, PHP5, JavaScript and others would win when it comes to creating dynamic websites.

The problem with these technologies is that the standards aren’t really that standard for everyone. You think you know everything about CSS and HTML and now you can create a super website? Think again. In a few months or years you’ll have to read another manual telling you that there’s another standard. Even if they’re called standards, developers from all over the planet are having difficulties with cross browser and cross platform compatibility.

Websites including YouTube have began using HTML5. There has been a spur of HTML5 games and they are really lightweight.

The question now is, is HTML5 (and others) easy to learn? I can teach a 13-year-old to animate using Flash, but not HTML5 just yet. It still has a long way to go but I’m pretty sure that someday people will come up with drag and drop applications to create rich and dynamic content.

As said, Flash is well-established and can be used by almost anyone.

What about the people saying that Flash is already dead? Are they too optimistic about HTML5? Maybe, since HTML5 still has a long way to go and still has to establish credibility. Something which Flash has. But HTML5 has the ace up its sleeve, and that is the potential to grow further.

What Apple says vs. What Adobe says

When it comes to Touch?

Apple claims that Adobe Flash wasn’t made to support touch screen devices. Any other Flash applications and websites will then be rewritten.

Adobe says that the Adobe Flash Player is actually made for the purpose of supporting tablets with multi-touch. And that Flash developers need not worry because mouse events are automatically converted to touch events for touch devices.

When it comes to Battery Life

Apple says that Flash uses too much battery life to be used on mobile devices when playing high-definition videos or games.

Adobe says it will not be an issue since Flash Player 10.1 supports hardware acceleration across mobile and desktop devices.

When it comes to Security

Apple takes a hold of Symantec’s word about Flash being one of worst in security.

Adobe says it is also important to note that Flash is one of the most widely used systems. Comparing it to a discussion I had during college, Microsoft OS is mostly targeted by computer viruses and crackers because the market is in there, many people use it as compared to Linux and Mac OS X.

Should You Learn Flash?

HTML5 is the next big thing after Flash but do not expect a wide support group for it just yet. If you want to do complex animations, Flash is your way for now. By all means learn how to use Flash, it is widely supported and has lots of features that anyone can use.

But if you are thinking of creating a website with animations and things, you might want to wait just yet. Flash websites were superstars of the past, now they’re just divas that want attention and many people loathe them.

Flash is compatible with almost any browser. You don’t have to worry about cross browser and cross platforms. Of course, we’re not talking about iPhone and iPads. Kidding, Adobe Flash Player 10.1 supports them now.

Now, if you are thinking of creating an HTML5 game, you might not find a very good marketplace for it. Flash still has the biggest audience and established marketplaces for games like Y8, Newgrounds, and Kongregate.

Should you learn HTML5? Well, you can start now. It has a bright future, but don’t expect it to come in a sweep anytime soon. People, like an immune system, are resistive to change. HTML5 is still far from achieving what Flash can do: games, videos, applications, flexibility, and audience.

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5 Steps to a Happy Life with Positive Attitude

Step 1: Believe Happiness is a Choice

For me, this was a hard one at first. I thought that people were either unhappy or happy (and I was one of the unhappy ones). I used to blame this on all kinds of outside forces –- fate, experiences, parents, relationships –- but never really stopped to think that I could choose to be happy.

Sure, this isn’t always easy, but it is always, always an option. Teaching myself to see that happiness is a choice has been one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself.

Now when I find myself in a bad situation, I know that it’s up to me to find the good, to be happy regardless of what’s happening around me. I am no longer pointing fingers, placing blame. I realize that everything happens how it happens and it’s up to me to choose how I want to feel about it. I am in control of my happiness level and no one can take that away from me.

Step 2.Rid Your Life of Negativity.

  • If you want to live a positive, joyful and happy life, you cannot –- absolutely CANNOT -– be surrounded by negative people who are not encouraging your happiness. When I was a pretty negative person, I tended to attract other negative people.
  • When I decided to make the change to live a more positive life, I had to rid my life of all of the negative people in it. This, as you can imagine, wasn’t easy. Getting rid of people hurts -– even when you know they aren’t good for you or your current lifestyle.
  • Not only did I have to get rid of the negative people, but I also had to get rid of the negative things too. I had to stop doing certain things that were causing negativity in my life. I had to take a step back and examine which behaviors were good for me and which were not.
  • I learned to focus on the positive things I was doing and let go of the negative ones. This process was not easy and to be honest, is still ongoing, but I know this: having negativity in your life prevents you from living a truly positive existence.

Step 3. Look For the Positive in Life

There is the positive aspect in everything. In every person, in every situation, there is something good. Most of the time it’s not all that obvious. We have to look. And sometimes we have to look hard.

The old me just sat back and allowed things to happen by default. If I saw negative, I went with that feeling. I didn’t want to look harder or think too much about the good. I found it much, much easier to sit back and just accept what I saw (which was usually the bad).

Now, when I’m faced with a difficult or challenging situation, I think to myself, “What is good about this?” No matter how terrible the situation might seem, I always can find something good if I take the time to think about it.

Everything –- good and bad -– is a learning experience. So, at the very least, you can learn from bad experiences. However, there’s usually even more to it than that. If you really take the time to look, you will usually find something good, something really positive, about every person or situation.

Step 4. Reinforce Positivity in Yourself

Once I started thinking more positively and adapted to a more positive attitude, I realized I had to reinforce these thoughts and behaviors in myself so they would stick. As with any sort of training, practice makes perfect, and, yes, you can practice being positive.

The best and easiest way to do this is to be positive when it comes to who you are. Tell yourself you’re awesome. Tell yourself you look good. Tell yourself that you love and accept yourself completely. Tell yourself you did an awesome job at work or raising your kids or whatever it is you do.

Be honest with yourself, but do your best to look for the good. And, whatever you do, don’t focus on the negative. Nothing good can come of telling yourself that your butt’s too big or your latest career goal wasn’t met.

It’s okay to not like everything about yourself (yet), but don’t spend energy dwelling on the negative. Remind yourself of the good in you. We all have positive attributes and it’s up to you to remind yourself of them every day.

Step 5. Share Happiness with Others

FNot only do you need to be positive with yourself for this new positive attitude to really take effect, you also need to be positive with others. You have to share your wealth of positivity with the world.

The best way I’ve found to do this is quite simple and basic: be nice. Be nice to other people, no matter what. Tell someone he or she looks nice today. Tell someone they did a great job on that presentation. Tell your parents or children (or both!) how much you love them and how great they are.

When someone is feeling down, do what you can to cheer him or her up. Send flowers. Write notes. Don’t gossip. Be kind to all living things. All of these things sound basic enough, but, for someone like me, they didn’t used to come easily.

In the past, I didn’t wanted to see the good in myself and, therefore, didn’t want to see it in others either. I used to be critical and condescending. Now I strive to be encouraging and supportive. I try not only to treat others, as I would like to be treated, but also to consider how they would like to be treated.

People appreciate positivity and the more you are sharing it with others, the more you are practicing it and reinforcing it in your own life.

Parting Words on the Positive Attitude Habit

When you start feeling like the idea of being a positive person is daunting, tell yourself this: “If someone who really used to struggle with a negative attitude, turned her life around with these five steps, then I can too!”

If anyone had told me a few years ago that I would be writing an article about developing a positive attitude and living a happy life, I would have laughed right in their face. I would have said, “Why in the world would someone want me to write about positivity?”

But here I am, writing this post, believing in these words, and knowing that every single day I am getting closer and closer to living the happy life I’ve secretly dreamed of living. If I can do it, you can do it. Believe in yourself and remember the most important lesson of all… a positive outlook is a choice. Choose to be positive. Choose to be happy. Life is short.

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Itech Solutions