Fresh Off The Block


Feb
16
2014

Hackers steal Usernames, addresses, encrypted passwords and more details of Kickstarter users, change your password now!

An undisclosed number of Kickstarter users have been emailed with advice to reset their passwords after the company was made aware of a data breach that may have led to the disclosure of personal information.

Some time in the last 24 hours, Kickstarter updated their website to display a banner on the top of its site for logged-in users, advising them to change their password and providing a link to do so. The advice comes following a statement by Kickstarter – which was emailed to an undisclosed number of users – stating the company was made aware “by law enforcement officials” of hackers breaching their servers to steal account-related information. The advice also recommended users consider using tools such as 1Password or LastPass, which as well as offering storage to let you remember all your passwords, also include password generators to come up with randomised, highly-secure passwords (might I also recommend KeyPass, which does the same but also contains a meter telling you how “secure” any password you type in is likely to be?)

The following is the full text of the email as sent out by Kickstarter – I’ll leave the explaining to them as it puts it better than I could myself:

“On Wednesday night, law enforcement officials contacted Kickstarter and alerted us that hackers had sought and gained unauthorized access to some of our customers’ data. Upon learning this, we immediately closed the security breach and began strengthening security measures throughout the Kickstarter system.

No credit card data of any kind was accessed by hackers. There is no evidence of unauthorized activity of any kind on your account.

While no credit card data was accessed, some information about our customers was. Accessed information included usernames, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and encrypted passwords. Actual passwords were not revealed, however it is possible for a malicious person with enough computing power to guess and crack an encrypted password, particularly a weak or obvious one.

As a precaution, we strongly recommend that you change the password of your Kickstarter account, and other accounts where you use this password.

To change your password, log in to your account at Kickstarter.com and look for the banner at the top of the page to create a new, secure password. We recommend you do the same on other sites where you use this password. For additional help with password security, we recommend tools like 1Password and LastPass.

We’re incredibly sorry that this happened. We set a very high bar for how we serve our community, and this incident is frustrating and upsetting. We have since improved our security procedures and systems in numerous ways, and we will continue to do so in the weeks and months to come. We are working closely with law enforcement, and we are doing everything in our power to prevent this from happening again.

Kickstarter is a vibrant community like no other, and we can’t thank you enough for being a part of it. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. You can reach us at accountsecurity@kickstarter.com.

While it’s disappointing to hear of any type of hack where data is stolen – and a sad reflection of the state of the world today that not even a website that exists to give those with ideas but no money to make them real, the chance to connect with their potential market and get the funding they need, is safe from being hacked – it’s reassuring to see a company own up to the breach so quickly and waste no time in attempting to secure their service better and protect their users. I hope more companies learn from this example.

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    Previous Articles


    Jul
    13
    2012

    Tweetbot – The iOS Twitter Client made for Retina displays

    With the new MacBook Pro Retina, Apple have gone all out in trying to convince the public that retina displays are the word in high-quality graphics. It’s hard to disagree – in theory, retina displays allow for sharper, crisper graphics with higher pixel counts. But that’s only if developers take advantage of them. Regular apps that are designed specifically for lower resolutions or less sharp screens often end up looking blurry on these better quality displays – as many people downloading apps to their new MacBook are discovering:

    Seriously, Mac developers, you need to get up to speed on your Retina versions, because some of your apps are really bad looking now. – Jesus Diaz, Gizmodo

    One of the apps this is most noticeable on is the official Twitter app for Mac, which on retina displays often becomes blurry to the point of unreadable. Twitter may well already be working on a new version to fix this – but until then, if this is a problem for you, the good folks at TapBots have a solution.

    Tweetbot is a third-party Twitter client by TapBots that’s optimised specifically for retina screens, offering a similar interface to the official client, but with some additional options; and with a much sharper, clearer overall look. Currently in alpha (meaning it may not work solidly all of the time yet), the app is already proving to be a popular replacement to the official Twitter client at this time. Want it? Get it at [Tapbots]!

    Thanks, Lone!

    Dec
    19
    2011

    “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” say Google

    If you are longing for some snow to get you into the holiday season, Google has you covered. just head to Google’s home page, search “Let it snow” (this does not appear to work when using I’m Feeling Lucky); and while you search, you can enjoy the flakes falling. Let it go long enough and your screen clouds over and you can use your mouse like an ice scraper. Or simply hit the “Defrost” button that appears to clear the screen all at once.

    This little treat is another in a range of Easter eggs created by Google for people to discover and enjoy. However, it only works Read the rest of this entry »

    Sep
    12
    2011

    How To Clean your Memory Up Easily and for free

    This article was contributed by Mantis, a visitor to Technically Motivated, via the “Write for TM!” publisher. It has been edited by Techie Jinji to clear up some of the language.

    Okay, so most likely your computer doesn’t run as fast as it used to, correct? Maybe it’s been running for a long time, or maybe you’ve been running too many programs too often. These activities waste your RAM memory slowing down your computer. Well, I was toying around with some stuff a few months ago then I discovered a nice little way to clean up your memory easily and for free. Interested? Okay, here’s how its done:

    1. Open up Notepad
    2. Type: FreeMem=Space(128000000) exactly like that.
    3. Click Save. Click the "Save as type" box and change it to say "All files".
    4. Save the document as Memory Cleaner.VBS
    5. Run the .VBS a couple times
    6. Enjoy a speedier computer.

    Hopefully this will work the same for all of you as it has for me.
    -Mantis

    Aug
    17
    2011

    Run Windows in Google Chrome OS using Citrix Receiver

    Citrix Technologies – a leading developer in commercial virtualization software that allows “virtual desktops” to be create to run program designed for one system to run in others (like Windows programs in Mac OS, or vice versa), have recently updated their Citrix Receiver technology to support Google Chrome, bringing the ability for Google Chrome OS users to use applications from Windows and other computer systems.

    The Citrix Receiver Tech Preview for Chrome OS, available on the Chrome Web Store, is a free client app for businesses that use Citrix virtualization to host desktops and applications in the data centre. Citrix Receiver was already available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and BlackBerry, and this week’s addition brings the same technology to Chromebooks, the term for the range of specialist laptops running the Google Chrome OS.

    “If you use Citrix in your organization, you can now install the Citrix Receiver Tech Preview app from the Chrome Web Store to access desktop software such as Adobe Photoshop directly from your Chromebook,” Google technical program manager Alberto Martin writes in a blog post.

    Google also updated the Chrome OS operating system this week, bringing “VPN and secure Wi-Fi support (802.1X),” according to Martin. Updating Chromebooks to the latest version requires users to go into the settings, accept the update and restart the computer. Because Chromebooks boot in seconds, the process is very quick.

    Google revealed its Chromebook plans in May, claiming that a new type of operating system is needed because Windows is “torturing users.” Chromebooks are being sold by Samsung and Acer for $350 to $500, and Google offers a subscription plan to businesses and schools for $20 to $30 per device per month.

    Citrix joined Google at the Chromebook launch to announce Citrix Receiver support, saying the software uses HTML5 to create a rich user experience in the Chrome browser. Google said VMware also plans to bring virtualization technology to Chromebooks, but no release date has been revealed.

    To use the Citrix Receiver client on Chromebooks, businesses must have a XenApp or XenDesktop deployment in their data centers, and install some new files allowing the connection from the clients to the virtual desktops and applications.

    “If your company uses Citrix to host applications, you can use Citrix Receiver to check your email, review documents, tune into project dashboards, and approve expenses from your Chrome OS Chromebook,” Citrix says on the Receiver download page. “Just ask your help desk for the URL to set up Receiver.”

    Citrix notes that the Chromebook setup lets users “Access your applications and Windows desktop at your office, home, or on the road; keep your information stored on your provider’s secure servers, not on your device; [and] move from desktop to tablet to smartphone.”

    Jun
    10
    2011

    Save money for commercial software by finding cheaper alternatives with Alternativeto.net

    It's no secret to anyone that technology can be expensive – and this is true of hardware (the stuff you touch) and software (the stuff you do on it). To give a recent example, a friend of mine who's a bit of an artist decided he needed a powerful tool to do some hardcore editing to his photos and images. So he splashed out on the latest Adobe Photoshop CS5, one of the big-market tools for artistry – at a cost to him of £200. That's a fair chunk of change in anyone's books.

    Everyone loves a bargain, and often you can find numerous other software products online that's cheaper than the brand leaders – or even free! – but does just as good a job. Trouble is, where do you find them? Google's a good choice, but it isn't always easy to trawl through thousands of websites looking at alternative products and deciding whether to put the cash down on the table.

    Enter AlternativeTo.net. Read the rest of this entry »

    May
    11
    2011

    UK ATM Locator Free for iOS – Find Free ATMs Throughout the UK

    The following is a press report published by Emityme Solutions to promote a new product and/or service; and has been approved for public distribution. Because it is written by the company in question to promote said products, the below post may be biased to spin the company or its offerings in a more positive light. Technically Motivated does not echo the opinions expressed below unless otherwise stated.

    Milton Keynes, United Kingdom – Emityme Solutions today is pleased to introduce UK ATM Locator for iOS, their new free Utility app that instantly finds the nearest ATM, anywhere in the United Kingdom. Finding a Cash machine while traveling can be problematic. Having finally located one, it is not uncommon to face a withdrawal charge of up to two pounds. UK ATM Locator lists every cash machine in the vicinity with the closest first and those imposing no charge at the top half of the list. The app includes in its database more than 66,000 bank and standalone cash machines.

    Whether one is accustomed to using cash frequently or not at all while traveling, there will come an instance where one must rely on finding an ATM machine. It may be to make a cash purchase, offer as a gratuity, or loan to a friend. Finding a cash machine nearby is an inconvenience, but finding one that offers free withdrawals can be a challenge. UK ATM Locator provides an instant solution to both.

    At launch in portrait mode the app asks if it may automatically enter the user’s present location as the target of the search. Typically, the user will respond OK. Alternatively, an empty text field allows the entry of any postcode. Scrollable results appear immediately, with the closest locations listed first. Machines without withdrawal fees are given priority and occupy the top half of the list clearly marked, giving the user the opportunity to save on unnecessary charges. Each location on the list includes the following: exact distance from present location (or postcode entry), name of machine (name of bank or cash machine company), full street address including postcode, and the exact fee charged (where appropriate).

    Tapping any listing (four to an iPhone screen) brings up a full screen, zoomable Google Street Map with a red pushpin marking the location. The attractively designed and simple to operate app functions perfectly from anywhere in the world, providing the distance to the nearest UK ATM correct to one-hundredth of a kilometer.

    Feature Highlights:
    * Find the closest bank ATM or cash machine from any location in the UK
    * UK ATM Locator 1.0.0 is free
    * Automatically uses the present location to search
    * Optional search using postcode
    * Contains more than 66,000 ATMs in its database
    * Gives listing priority to free ATMs
    * Displays exact distance to and map location of each machine
    * Withdrawal fees, if any, are displayed

    “Have you ever been in a new city, wanted to pay cash and you had none? ” asked Tope Abayomi, Director of Emityme Solutions. “The nearest ATM cash machine is about to charge you £1.99 for withdrawals. Well, ATM Finder will locate and flush out the nearest free ATM to you in seconds. Including Banks and standalone cash machines.”

    Device Requirements:
    * iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
    * iOS 3.0 or later (iOS 4.3 tested)
    * 1.0 MB

    Pricing and Availability:
    UK ATM Locator 1.0.0 is free and available worldwide through the App Store in the Utilities category.

    Emityme Solutions
    UK ATM Locator 1.0.0
    Purchase and Download
    Screenshot 1
    Screenshot 2
    Application Icon

    Located in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, the Emityme Solutions Ltd team is an independent software company founded by Tope Abayomi in August of 2004. Committed to providing the highest quality software, Emityme Solutions Ltd has delivered applications to multiple clients operating in various industries from healthcare to telecoms, education to electronics. Copyright (C) 2011 Emityme Solutions Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod, and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

     

    Apr
    13
    2011

    The Browser Cache – an overview

    Table of Contents
    Page 1
    Page 2
    Page 3
    Internet Caches: What they are and how they work (You are on this page)
    The Advantages and Disadvantages of Caches
    How to clear your Internet Cache

    Have you ever come across something you’ve never seen or used before, and decided to keep it somewhere close to you so that, if you need it later, you know where to find it and can therefore get it quicker? In technology speak, all the things you put away like this are collectively called your “Cache” (ka-shay); and each time you put something new away like this, it’s known as “caching” it.

    Computers work in a similar way. Some programs – and built-in functions of your computer – will save data your computer hasn’t seen before to your computer, so that next time you use the program, it can load the existing data, eliminating the need to create it again, thus speeding up the process.

    A long time ago, Microsoft saw fit to bring this whole Cache paradigm to the Internet (whether they invented it or not is a point of debate, but certainly their version set the standard), introducing to its browser a function that downloaded things it hadn’t seen before, so that the next time you visited a website it would load quicker. Other browsers followed suit, and for many years now a cache has been a standard part of any half-decent internet browser. While Microsoft refer to files saved in this way as “Temporary Internet Files”, most other browsers simply call it the “Browser Cache”. Read the rest of this entry »

    Pages:  1   2   3 
    Feb
    12
    2011

    JottiQ: Scan mutiple files for malware at once – and get the results without opening your browser.

    Jotti’s malware scan is a service that allows users to scan files with 18 different anti-virus/anti-malware scanners and get a report from each. Users upload individual files to their website, and Jotti’s malware scan sends it to all the scanners, which then scan the file and report back the result. Jotti then collects and displays them on the page. You can only upload one file at a time, and there may be a delay before results come in, in order to prevent the server being overloaded.

    JottiQ is a desktop program that extends the usability of Jotti’s malware scan. Its main purpose was to get around the single-file limitation for those who have a need to scan several files at once, but there’s many more things it can do. Read the rest of this entry »

    Feb
    10
    2011

    10 GMail labs projects you really should use – and one that’s just for fun :)

    One of the cool things about Gmail is that it is incredibly extensible. This is especially true if you turn on support for Labs features. GMail Labs is a huge set of experimental features you can enable to add new functionality to your regular online email service. For example, you can easily translate emails, you can optimize Gmail for the wide-screen, get a preview of what’s in your box before it even loads, and much more!

    Here’s a couple of GMail Labs projects that I personally use, which I feel deserve a wider look from every user of GMail or Google Mail. Since some GMail Labs projects are specific to certain countries, I have tried to go only for ones I believe are both available and serve a useful role to global GMail users.

    1. Undo Send

    Have you ever sent an email to someone, that you instantly regretted? Save yourself the pain and undo the send! Although it won’t actually delete already-sent emails off other people’s accounts, Undo Send will keep every email you send un-sent for up to half a minute – allowing you enough of a grace period to cancel it if you instantly regret it.

    After enabling the feature and sending an email, you’ll be told that the message has been sent–and that you can cancel it. Note that by default, the grace period is only five seconds, but you can increase it to a maximum of thirty in the usual Settings page after enabling the feature.

    Message: "Your Message has been sent. Undo - View Message" Continue reading to see the rest of the bunch!

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