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Norton have got it very wrong with WS.Reputation.1 detection

April 15, 2017 // Posted in General, Main, Uncategorized (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Norton's WS.Reputation.1 detection Notice

Norton’s WS.Reputation.1 detection Notice

The way Norton’s WS.Reputation.1 detection works is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in an anti-virus protection program.

 

If someone creates a new program or a new update to an existing program, and only a few people that use Norton have the file or it has only just been built, then Norton immediately deletes it and reports it as a threat without any checks on the file for malware.

Now if that isn’t ridiculous then I don’t know what is. It means that every new program that is first added to a user’s PC that is running Norton gets flagged as a threat for no reason at all.

Here is an extract from Norton’s write-up:

“WS.Reputation.1 is a detection for files that have a low reputation score based on analyzing data from Symantec’s community of users and therefore are likely to be security risks. Detections of this type are based on Symantec’s reputation-based security technology. Because this detection is based on a reputation score, it does not represent a specific class of threat like adware or spyware, but instead applies to all threat categories. 

The reputation-based system uses “the wisdom of crowds” (Symantec’s tens of millions of end users) connected to cloud-based intelligence to compute a reputation score for an application, and in the process identify malicious software in an entirely new way beyond traditional signatures and behavior-based detection techniques.”

They themselves say that Because this detection is based on a reputation score, it does not represent a specific class of threat , So they think that the file is not necessarily a threat, but delete it any way, just in case! DUH!  That IMO, is not the way antivirus protection should work. It should only identify a real threat that can be proven as a threat, that’s how all other antivirus programs work.

So it sees how many Norton users are using the file and when it was created to make it’s decission? DUH! That means that as it is deleted immediately by Norton, the number of Norton users will never increase so the ‘Reputation’ score will never change. So how can you increase the reputation score?

I myself have recently created a new small program and had this situation with users and have had to refund their purchases because Norton says my installer is a threat. My software is checked by an independent source before distribution with 61 different anti-virus engines and all report they are CLEAN. I have been developing small software applications for 25 years and have never had any issues with my programs they are all malware free and to have Norton now start saying they are a threat is deformation of my character and must be illegal to falsely claim a developer’s products are malicious.

This ridiculous identification is ruining the reputation of small developers as every new program they develop and set up on a PC running Norton, is immediately deleted and flagged as being a threat, when there is no threat at all. Most users will believe Norton and then never take the steps (which are not simple) to get around the Norton false detection.

This needs to be addressed by Norton Now! It is ruining the good reputation of small developers because Norton is saying their software is a risk when it is perfectly safe and no risk at all.

If you are experiencing these issues with Norton please comment below.

regards

Steve

The 1st anniversary of Windows 10

July 30, 2016 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  1 Comment

It’s the 1st anniversary of Windows 10

How are you getting on with windows 10?

 

 

Here are a few of my observations:

  • Too many ads, you can’t even play solitaire now without getting bombarded with Microsoft Ads. When you are paying for a system such as Windows 10 you should NOT be bombarded with ads IMO.
  • Too memory hungry, constant hangs whilst windows swaps to disk swap file as memory is always full.
  • Start up time is longer than XP and 7.
  • Many more ‘program is not responding’ messages and then after several minutes the message disappears and the program continues, probably linked to my second point.
  • AVG and Windows 10 between them lock up the PC whilst any updates or scans are running. Doesn’t happen on 7 or XP.
  • I have had to disable active tiles to help speed up Win 10, and disable various other items or Windows 10 runs very slow even on my Quad Core Processor running at 3.0GHz on each core.
  • I still feel that Windows 7 is the best version of windows to date.

Please comment to add your findings.

regards

Steve

PayPal Security changes September 2016

March 25, 2016 // Posted in General, Main, Tips and Tricks (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Important PayPal changes you need to be aware of if you are using PayPal on your site:

 

PayPal are updating their Merchant security in September 2016, and it means that when sending transaction data to an IPN etc it will only communicate with secure connections (https://).

This means that you will need to update any scripts that currently use a non-encrypted connection such as IPN’s and will need to install an SSL on your server, if you do not already have one.

You need to also check that your php server supports HTTP1.1 and OpenSSL1.0.1 or higher:

You can check this using phpinfo:

I hope you find this useful,

regards

Steve

Ransomware Operation Taken Down by Cisco

October 7, 2015 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Computer Hi-Jacked?

Computer Hi-Jacked?

A ransomware operation that it is estimated netted $30million a year by installing ransom software on unsuspecting users computers has been disrupted by security researches at Cisco.

The Angler Exploit kit, also known as the hack-by-numbers tool is sold in underground crime forums to people who don’t want to go through the hassle of developing and testing exploits themselves. Angler has the ability to successfully infect an estimated 40 percent of the end users it targets using attack code that surreptitiously exploits vulnerabilities in browsers and browser plugins. In many cases, the security flaws have already been patched, but, in some cases the kits exploit zero-day vulnerabilities for which there is no currently available fix.

A large number of infected users were connecting to servers operated by service provider Limestone Networks. With the co-operation of Limestone and examining some of the servers they found that the single operation was targeting as many as 90,000 users a day.

“This is a significant blow to the emerging hacker economy where ransomware and the black market sale of stolen IP, credit card info and personally identifiable information  are generating hundreds of millions of dollars annually, Talos researchers wrote in a eport about the takedown.

More information at http://talosintel.com/angler-exposed/

My Experiences of Windows 10 and Privacy Issues

August 14, 2015 // Posted in Computer Tips, General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

The best one yet

‘The best one yet’??

 

Ok, so I have been using Windows 10 for several days now and here are some of the issues I have found.

First of all there is the Windows Updates: When Windows 10 performs updates on close down, you do not get the old familiar Windows 7 messages “Installing Update x of xx, do not switch off your PC”, instead you just get a Black Screen with continuous hard drive activity, and it is easy to just hit the power switch thinking nothing is happening.

Then theres the Memory issues: One of which cause images to become just Black Squares in apps and thumbnails and icons, some browsers just go black when there a lot of images on a page. Now whether this is a Video Card Driver that Win 10 installed, or a memory management problem in Windows 10, I have yet to ascertain,  but I keep getting an error on shutdown that is something like “Access Violation, Memory error, windows is trying to access an invalid memory location”, which I never got on Windows 7.

Then there’s the Privacy Issues:  Some Windows 10 features, such as Cortana and Bing search, continue sending data to Microsoft, even when they are turned off. Some apps and services will communicate with the Microsoft servers, even when you tell them not to by the individual software’s privacy settings.

For example: Windows 10 will periodically send data, purported to be used for OneDrive,  for reasons unknown, even on a local account that isn’t connected to a Microsoft account. Why it is being sent is a mystery.

In at least one case, it has been found that information that can identify the user is also sent.

Cortana, will send data to Microsoft, even if it is disabled, and that data contains a computer ID that allows Microsoft to determine all the Cortana requests from the same computer.

And what’s more some of these connections would connect to Microsoft’s servers through unencrypted channels.

IMO, If you disable these services as you don’t want to use them, then that should really disable them and any data they would transmit.

Upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10

July 31, 2015 // Posted in Computer Tips, General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  1 Comment

The best one yet

‘The best one yet’??

My experience of upgrading from Win 7 to Windows 10:

 

‘The Best One Yet’ is Microsoft’s claim but is that really true?

Well I was all excited when I received my ‘Update is ready to Install’ message and had already read some of the claims for this important day.

  • Takes about 1 hour to update.
  • Get Cortana for Windows.
  • All your software will be available.
  • We will automatically update your Antivirus Software.
  • The best one yet.

But the problems started well before this day, as Microsoft said you will get an icon in your taskbar to claim and install your free upgrade if your current version is a legal version.

Well that failed straight away as I didn’t get my icon in the task bar. So after some checking, it appeared you had to install an Optional Update from Windows Update, (they said it was automatic), and you had to be running IE 11, mine was IE10, so that wasn’t mentioned. When I installed the optional update and IE11 I did eventually get my update icon in the taskbar. On clicking it said your computer is compatible with Windows 10 and all your software will run with Windows 10. That sounded positive.

Ok the ‘Your Upload is Ready’ button appeared, so I restarted windows to begin the install. After about 30 minutes of no apparent progress, the PC re-booted and there it was, Windows 7, as it was before. That was not expected, I expected a nice new Windows 10.

OK let’s try again.

In order to start again it had to re-download the update files (why, when it already had them), so a 2+ hour wait while it downloaded the 2+GB of files, and the ‘Your Update is ready to install’ again. So off we go.

Again after 30 minutes of what appeared to be doing nothing (but the hard drive light was going crazy), and the PC rebooted and hooray, Windows 7 again.

OK let’s check the update status, “Update failed error code –    failed code 80240020

What is this mysterious error code 80240020 (Why can’t make error messages meaningful, like ‘Could not do this or that’ instead of error Code 80240020?

Ok so it seems an issue with Windows Update so the solution might be to reset Windows Update:

So:

  • went to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download and deleted everything in the folder (not the folder).
  • open a command prompt with run as administrator and type wuauclt.exe /updatenow and hit enter, then type exit and hit enter again.
  • Go to windows update and The Windows 10 update is downloading again!! Another two hours.

After the download, the ‘Your update is ready’ message again, so another re-boot, 30 minutes of hard drive activity, but this time a message saying ‘Windows is configuring your updates 5%….’ etc. Perhaps this is a good sign?

After about 1 hour (remember Microsoft claiming the Update will take approx 1 hour’? Well we are at about 7 hours now already, and it isn’t because I have a slow machine, I have a Intel quad core processor with each processor running at up to 3.2GHz), another auto reboot and a new screen, looks like we are getting somewhere now, a big circle in the middle of the screen shows the current progress, this stayed on 1% for over 20 minutes. Almost 3 hours and 4 reboots  later 100%, Yay ..

Another re-boot and a new welcome screen, logged in and, and, and just a black screen, better not do anything as the hard drive is doing something, goodness knows what. One hour later windows started (perhaps this is the One Hour Microsoft was talking about?

Then another message ‘We are updating some settings and apps for you’, after another 40 minutes ‘This is taking a little longer than usual – please wait’ , eventually the message changed to ‘Almost there now’ , wait, wait, wait.

Eventually a bright new windows 10 interface. (Looks pretty similar to Win 7, with a few display enhancements, perhaps that was why 7 could be upgraded and not a new install?).

Now the fun begins, remember Microsoft said , we will set up your programs for you and update your current anti-virus software? And they said my programs were all compatible with Win 10. Nuh. Windows 10 removed my antivirus software (AVG) and PC TuneUp (AVG) completely.

Tried a repair on them as they both still appeared in the Add/Remove programs, and although they both said successful, they both failed. So uninstalled both and re-installed, and eventually they are working.

I haven’t yet checked all programs, to see if they are all there, not very confident that they will be.

Ah Hah, just remembered, let’s try out Cortana or whatever it’s called, they say you must have an English System (Check), your region must be set to Uk,US etc (Check set to UK), try to access Cortana, message “You cannot use Cortana in your Region”), I live in Thailand., but my region is set to UK as is my language, and these are the requirements Microsoft says, so it looks as though it looks at your IP address and blocks it on that. So does that mean that if you have active Cortana in the UK if you take a trip to another unsupported region (by IP address) Cortana doesn’t come with you?

Then there’s the new Edge Shop – Can’t get that to work for love nor money, for free items, just keeps saying try again later.

It’s not going well is it?

Then there’s the unconfigurable display interface, the squared forms with no borders etc that are not very elegant or appealing, IMO, and no way to change them like in 7 and earlier versions.

There was another claim about Windows 10 that Microsoft made, ‘it’s Faster’ – Sorry Microsoft – I have to disagree there, it is much slower starting up that Win 7, programs load slower, Win 10 uses much more memory (and 32 bit still not able to use more than 4GB), which means the disk cache is used more and again slows things down.

So I am not that impressed as yet, and certainly think the “The best Yet’ is not a totally true statement.

I will now have a play for a few days and post again once I have fully tested it. Watch this Space!

Steve

 

 

 

 

 

Its All About Position!

January 9, 2014 // Posted in Main, Tips and Tricks (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

triplepivotPosition is important in many things in life, work, football, cricket and even sex.

If you are not in the right position something will go wrong!

It is the same with code on your pages, particularly with jquery and jquery-ui.

How many times have you added an additional jquery widget to one of your pages only to find something else that used to work, no longer does.

I get many requests for help for exactly the same issue and see many posts on forums with the same problems. When you look at the responses that others have given, you will often see complicated modifications to javascript libraries, or lots of additional code or changes to code that are supposed to fix the issues, such as jquery noConflicts and the like. In some cases these do fix the immediate problem, but involve quite a bit of work and some require a reasonable knowledge of javascript coding.

In almost all of the situations I have been asked to help with, however, I have found the solution to be much simpler, it’s about position and what is loaded and when.

Before entering into any complicated code changes here is something to try first, it won’t  require any modifications to code or re-writing javascript libraries and even those with little or no javascript knowledge can make the changes.

Let’s imagine you have a javascript gallery on your page, this will require a jquery library, some code in the head of your page and some in the body, when using WebPlus these will be added automatically by the program and will not be moveable as WebPlus controls their location.  You now add a third party javascript add-on that tells you to add some code to the head of your page and some to the body, they will also tell you to include a jquery library and perhaps a jquery-ui library. Well first of all forget adding the jquery library if WebPlus has already added it’s own, as if there is two on the same page that will in itself cause conflicts.

Secondly if the code you added to the head for your third party contains $ signs to call functions in jquery etc then you will more than likely find that something will not work after you add it, either your javascript gallery or your new add-on.

Before you get into complicated modifications here is a tip when your new add-on causes issues with your currently working javascript add-on :

Firstly forget the old addage of ‘You must add your scripts to the head of your page’, that’s a load of twoddle.

Move the code that you added for your new add-on to the body of your page, firstly just after the body tag (in WebPlus paste it over the !– Page Body Start — tag), so that all your new code is below your original add-on’s code.

If that doesn’t get both working move your new code to just before the body end tag, (In WebPlus paste it over the — Page Body End — tag).

In most cases the above will fix the issue and both your add-ins will work happily together.

Sometimes you may have more than two add-ins on a page and one or another stops working when the additional ones are added. Play around with the position of each script on the page  until you get the right combination, and you will fix most conflicts with positions. Don’t forget to also check for duplicate libraries, and make sure that the libraries are loaded before any scripts that call them come into play, It’s all about position again.

As I said at the start I have found that most problems with javascript conflicts can be fixed with position of the scripts, so you can save yourself a lot of work by playing with positions before anything else.

I hope that this helps someone.

Steve

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud Computing – A Stupid Question?

January 3, 2014 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

incloudsYou will probably think this is a stupid question, but what is the difference between cloud computing and what we already had?

 

I have been trying to get my head around this for some time now. Cloud computing is described as storing your data on a cloud (third party) server on the internet.

But if that is what cloud computing is then isn’t it the same as having your web space on a third party server and storing your data on a database server linked to your web space etc. You can also save all your files etc on that same server.

Obviously a cloud server is not really storing your data in a cloud, it would be very clever if it was. What happens when it rains, does your data come down with it?

Seriously though, if you have a shared hosting package on someone elses servers, or even have your own dedicated server in someone elses building, then your data is stored on a physical device not directly controlled by you but remotely accessed. Isn’t that the same as a Cloud Service? Your data is stored on a physical device in someone elses premises that you manage remotely.

How does one differ from the other? Are they both not the same?

DSCF0141DSCF0138My idea of cloud computing is more like my current method of connecting to the internet. Due to cabling issues my service provider connected me to their data centre some 2-3 miles away via a radio link and in order to be able to see the receiver/transmitter the other end, had to put up a 30ft plus pole, so my modem is ‘in the clouds’, now that’s what I call cloud computing.

 

Comments and answers welcomed

Steve

Santa has been and gone and you have a new device.

January 2, 2014 // Posted in Computer Tips, General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

santagiftsYes Santa has been and gone and the festivities are now over.

 

You may have gotten a new device from Santa, but he forgot to include some very important items.

So if you did get a new device, a laptop, home PC, tablet, phone or other mobile device don’t forget to add the following important items:

  • Set up a master pin code or password so that if your device gets stolen or lost, the person that currently has it in their possession cannot use it easily.
  • Install anti-virus and anti-spam software to protect your device. I have tried many different AV programs over the years and I have found the best to be AVG Total Internet Security, it doesn’t add too much overhead to your system, always appears to install correctly first time, is updated automatically very regularly to keep you protected, and gives full protection. On Mobile devices the AVG solution is also very effective and adds additional feature which I will cover a little later.
  • If your new device is a mobile one with GPS, install location software, AVG’s mobile solution has this facility and will allow you to find out where your device is if it is lost or stolen.
  • Again if your device is mobile install remote wiping and locking software, so if your device goes missing you can set it to sound alarms if  someone attempts to use it, you can lock the device and even delete everything on it by issuing a command over the internet. These features are also available in AVG’s mobile solutions.
  • Many mobile devices allow purchase within Apps, make sure you turn these off so that you do not accidentally make purchases.
  • Check your privacy settings in all devices, laptops,PC’s and mobile devices, and make sure you are not sharing something you do not want to.

Protect yourself, as your device will not do it for you without the right additions.

Happy New Year and enjoy your new device safely.

Steve

 

 

Do you need an on-line booking and managment system for a hotel?

January 2, 2014 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Are you looking for an online booking system for a hotel?

 

Then why not take a look at Hotel-iBooker for WebPlus. This is not just a template, it is a complete hotel management system built in a single web plus document.

The latest versions use PHP and MySQL and there is now a new PLUS+ version too.

Here are just some of the features:

  • Unlimited Number of Rooms
  • Unlimited Room Types
  • Unlimited Seasons
  • NEW!  Automatic Single Occupancy Surcharges/Discounts
  • NEW!  Add Unlimited number of Date and Time Stamped Notes to orders.
  • NEW! Improved database performance.
  • NEW! Ultimate easy set-up – Just a few clicks and you are ready to go in just 5 minutes.
  • NEW! Select auto rounding Up/Down/None on seasonal factor calculations.
  • NEW! Enhanced graphical room view.
  • NEW! Improved PayPal interface and gateway.
  • NEW! Easy quick one click switching from PayPal Sandbox to Live Status.
  • NEW! New ‘Q’ Status for PayPal Pending and Incomplete transactions.
  • NEW! Locally raised orders now have option to email payment link to customer when paid order automatically updated to book and paid status.
  • NEW! New Management Functions:
  1. Optimise Database.
  2. Back Up Database.
  3. Download Back Up.
  4. Delete Backup File.
  5. Delete All ‘Q’ Status records.
  6. Change Database Settings.
  7. And more….
  • NEW!  Enhanced room blocking.
  • Auto Room Pricing: Set Factors for each Season to automatically change room prices. eg: If during Easter your Room Prices are 20% higher than Normal Season, enter a factor of 1.20 for Easter Season and Room Prices are automatically changed in room charge calculations.
  • Auto Discounts: Set Discounts based on number of Nights Booked. Eg: book for 2 to 4 nights get 5% discount, 5-8 get 10% etc. Discount automatically applied to qualifying bookings.
  • Auto Validation: When customer selects room type, date and nights, the system checks for availability and either validates the booking or says that no room available.
  • Room Disabling: Rooms can be disabled from booking online individually or by type. This means that if a room is out of service it cannot be booked, or the hotelier can reserve specific rooms for booking locally only and make them not available online.
  • Cross season bookings, are automatically calculated on relevant rates. eg: Customer books dates that mean that 2 nights fall in the normal season and 2 nights in the Easter season, the system charges two nights at normal rate and 2 at Easter Rate, and it applies the relevant multiple night discount percentage to the total cost if applicable.
  • Auto Email Confirmation: An email is sent immediately to the Hotel Owner, or other email and to the Customer to confirm booking and payment.
  • Auto PayPal Submission: The system automatically creates the necessary code for the customised PayPal Gateway and automatically generates the return URL’s for successful and unsuccessful payments.
  • Owner pages allow full administration online and can also be used for booking and managing rooms locally and are fully protected. If not logged in successfully the sub-menus in the navigation element are disabled and if a page is manually accessed no data can be displayed and a warning note replaces the usual data.
  • Many system parameters can be set in the Maintenance area avoiding the need to edit the code directly.
  • Pages can be customised to blend in with the Hotel site scheme.
  • Maintenance area includes deletion of un-needed records, table statistics and validation of set up data.
  • Unlimited number of local user accounts.
  • Graphical view of Room Status which is interactive with the Orders Page.
  • Owner can move bookings from date to date, change number of nights, and move booking to another room  amongst other changes. New room costs are automatically calculated and old booking details removed.
  • Rooms can be blocked from booking for selected dates whilst room is renovated etc.
  • Installation of Customer Booking into current Hotel Web Site takes less than 5 minutes.
  • Setting up the room details etc takes less than 20 minutes (if room details and season info etc.is readily available)
  • PHP and MySQL enabled server compatible (PHP 5.0 or later and MySQL 5.0 or later recommended).
  • FREE Support  & FREE Help with Set Up
  • Customisation available (may incur extra cost depending on the customisation complexity)
  • Can be installed using  http: or https: SSL to improve security and user confidence

And in the PLUS+ version:

  • Enhanced GUI.
  • Add additional charges to rooms such as Room Service, Telephone, Restaurant Bill, Newspapers etc.
  • Tag full customer address to order.
  • NEW RePOS, Hotel Reception screen to manage rooms, payments etc locally, includes:
  1.  Select Room
  2. Add Extra Charges
  3. Add Payments
  4. New Booking
  5. Change Booking
  6. Create Invoice
  7. Add Notes
  8. Add/Edit Address
  9. Cash Up
  10. Daily Room Status
  11. View Room Summary charges/payments
  12. And more…
  • New status code ‘Z’ used when room booking is complete, fully paid and vacated.
  • Cash Up allows you to select a Date (or range of dates) and the summary of the total payments received that period in each payment type is created so that cash, cheques etc can be reconciled.
  • Daily Room status provides a summary of all rooms that are active during that day and their current status, you could use this in conjunction with the ‘Z’ status to identify  which rooms are vacated and ready for cleaning etc.
  • The enhanced order summaries views have the option to go to the RePOS page and work with the selected room on the Orders Views.
  • Enhancements have been made to several original pages and views.

Fully hosted and WPP versions available.

More information and details here: Hotel-iBooker PHP

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