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Spotify pay tribute to Winamp with Spotiamp

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Today marks the death of Winamp, a beloved music player that it's many fans during the Napster era would swear by. Sadly time didn't treat Winamp well - it soldiered on despite tough competition from the likes of iTunes (it pre-dated the iPod massively) - and ended up being bought by AOL. Sensing time was up, AOL have now put it out to pasture.

spotifyamp.png

To pay tribute to Winamp and it's legacy, the streaming music service Spotify have today posted on their blog something extremely cool: a PC app called Spotiamp, which looks just like the original Winamp used to, but that can play streams from Spotify.

All you need is a Spotify Premium account and you can use it to listen to your playlists - the eject button having been repurposed as a playlist selector (who uses a CD now?). You can even simply paste in the URL of a playlist on the main window using Ctrl+V and it'll start playing.

Whilst clearly just meant to be a toy it's pretty cool - it even supports Shoutcast servers for streaming audio out to other devices... just like the original Winamp did!

So if you're a PC user, why not go and download it and relive the good old days of the late 90s, when the only things we had to worry about were Ross & Rachel, a solar eclipse in Cornwall, and allegations of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

Goodbye, Winamp.

symantec.jpgSponsored post

Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to protection against online security threats. This is why Symantec Website Security Solutions has created an easy-to-follow Malware Infographic to raise awareness about the hazards posed by malicious software; and to provide tips to avoid the pitfalls.

Online threats

Malware is malicious software which damages, disables or disrupts computers and computer systems, usually to gain access to sensitive material such as passwords and financial details; or even to gain control of the computer itself.

It is a wide term that covers not only computer viruses like Trojan horses (which pretend to be useful software until after installation), worms (which replicate themselves and can spread through people's email address books) and spyware (which secretly records and transmits the activities of a computer back to fraudsters).

Unfortunately, the number of malware attacks is increasing, with Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report in April 2012 revealing it had blocked more than 5.5 billion malware attacks in 2011, an 81% increase compared to 2010. Be informed, stay safe and share the knowledge It also identified 403 million new variants of malware in 2011, a 41% increase on 2010.

Be informed, stay safe and share the knowledge According to the Malware

Infographic, 61% of malicious sites which spread malware are just regular websites that have been compromised while 36% of websites scanned by Symantec are vulnerable to the risk of malware. This makes the threats to businesses both difficult to identify and numerous.

However, the infographic also shows where the majority of these malware threats come from as well as gives advice about how to exercise precaution when online and receiving unsolicited emails; making it an indispensible guide to help the savvy web user keep their computer and website malware-free.

One piece of advice outlined is to only share sensitive information online where there is a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) padlock in the browser's address bar. The padlock means that a web user can be confident that the website has up-to-date SSL Certificates, is also protected with a strong encryption, assessed for vulnerability and scanned daily for malware.

There are also handy links to share the infographic, either through embedding it onto a business webpage to spread the message further, or via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn; so that family, friends and colleagues can be armed with the information to protect themselves while they go online. Symantec releases a regular Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) - next volume to be released shortly. Keep an eye out for these in order to help you stay up to date with key developments.


 

MAL-AWARE? Stay ahead of the threats - Infographic


From Symantec Website Security Solutions


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Virgin launch gadget help service

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virgin digital help.gifIt can be mighty frustrating, settling down for a marathon internet-trawling session only to be bombarded with error messages to let you know that, as ever, your Wi-Fi connection has gone up the creek. The ever-industrious Richard Branson and his Virgin Digital company have recognised the horror that sets in when your laptop, Xbox or iPod starts playing up and has just launched the brand new Virgin Digital Help Service to soothe your digital woes.

Virgin Digital Help is a mixture between software solutions, remote help and on-call tech-savvy handymen. Users can install its software onto their computers, letting them view100 in-depth articles on common tech problems encountered on PCs, laptops, digital cameras, peripheral add-ons, MP3 players and games consoles. A premium version of the software, costing £2.99 a month, comes with 70,000 guides and a copy of AVG Anti-Virus software.

If you can't find an answer within the program, you can then send an email to the remote Virgin Digital Help team or call them on a free hotline. If there is still no joy, for £90 an hour, Virgin Digital Help can send out a specialist direct to your home to fix the issue, though the team believe that 90% of problems can be fixed remotely.

While TV, MAC and AV problems aren't yet covered, it's still a helpful option for the technically-challenged. And, best of all, you needn't be a Virgin Media subscriber to access the service; it's available to all.

For more information, visit www.virgindigitalhelp.co.uk/ .

world-of-warcraft-terrorism-link.jpgThat's the 100% crackpot theory being investigated by the US military at the moment, as senior officials worry that shifty-looking foreign people are massing on WoW servers to practise unleashing death.

A man called Dr. Dwight Toavs, who is a professor at the US National Defence University, gave a presentation (PowerPoint file here) on how a virtual world might be used to help plan a terror attack by aligning in-game features with real-world places.

That image to the left shows how Dr. Toavs reckons some bearded men in baggy clothing might map the White House over WoW and plan their attack on it in the anonymous safety of the virtual world.

Dr. Toavs then reveals the real reason for the scaremongering - he thinks US agents will have to spend more time immersing themselves in virtual worlds to identify potential threats in the future. He wants to be allowed to play WoW during work time, basically.

(Via Wired)

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ubiquity-logo.pngUbiquity is a new tool that's just been launched by Firefox creators Mozilla, and I love it. It gives you a sort-of command line for your browser. As you might imagine, it's not for your mum, or your grandma, but if you're a "power user" - if you install extensions and like making the internet work for you - then I think you'll love it too.

It basically allows you to use real words in a command line interface to describe what you want your broswer to do. Want to see a map of an address? You just type "map (address)". Want to email some text to someone you know called Boris? Select it, and type "email this to Boris". Want to look something up on Wikipedia? Or see the weather somewhere? Or translate some text? Or do a quick maths calculation? Or update your Twitter? All of this stuff is really simple to do with Ubiquity.

cyberclean-keyboard-cleaner.jpgIf your keyboard is forever full of the, er, by-products of the working day, perhaps you might be interested in giving it a thorough Cyber Clean.

The Cyber Clean is a... some sort of... a thing designed to help stick to and pick up the human waste (I mean dead skin and hair, nothing rude) that tends to accumulate wherever humans sit still for long periods of time. It's uses a "combination of viscosity and elasticity" to sink into recesses and pick up dirt. It was probably developed by NASA as a way for astronauts to get bits of pasta out of the command console.

san-francisco-computers-hacked.jpgA man described as "maniacal" has locked everyone out of San Francisco's city data system, leaving himself as the only person with the power to alter the city's records.

The 43-year-old (we're guessing 'loner' and 'WoW fanatic') has, allegedly, created a MASTER PASSWORD that only he knows (pet name?) and has locked everyone out of their emails, the payroll data and, ironically given his current sleeping place, the town jail records.

Terry Childs, the $126,000 network administrator, is currently in jail while some poor bloke at City Hall tries to unlock the network and return access. Childs was apparently disciplined recently then caught spying on what other system administrators were saying. This may have triggered his maniacal power trip.

(Via The Times)

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bill-gates-microsoft-email-leak.jpgThis fantastic email comes from the archives of Microsoft, and was originally turned over to the authorities during the nasty anti-trust investigation.

In it, Bill releases his epic frustration at the process of trying to download Windows Movie Maker. It's nice to know that Bill counts the seconds Microsoft web pages take to load and also reboots his PC "every night." Here are a few quotes - the full email's after the jump.

BILL GATES: "The first 5 times I used the site it timed out while trying to bring up the download page. Then after an 8 second delay I got it to come up."
BILL GATES: "These 45 names are totally confusing. These names make stuff like: C:\Documents and Settings\billg\My Documents\My Pictures seem clear."
BILL GATES: "Then it wanted to do an install. This took 6 minutes and the machine was so slow I couldn't use it for anything else during this time. What the heck is going on during those 6 minutes? That is crazy."
BILL GATES: "Then it told me to reboot my machine. Why should I do that? I reboot every night -- why should I reboot at that time? So I did the reboot because it INSISTED on it. Of course that meant completely getting rid of all my Outlook state."

one-billion-pcs-globally-35-mill-landfill.jpgOne billion people are currently struggling to install printer and wi-fi drivers around the world at this very minute, as the humble PC rockets past the big one-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh (there's a billion of them out there).

And due to our friends in "developing markets" this current one billion global PC figure will double to two billion by as soon as 2014, according to research firm Gartner, as technology spreads to the third world and the price of PCs keeps tumbling downwards.

But with great (processing) power comes great (environmental) responsibility - Gartner reckons a staggering 180 million of these PCs will be replaced this year - with 35 million of those dumped going to landfill sites with no regard given to the impact of binning that creaky old Dell.

(Via Reuters)

Related posts: Microsoft wants in on all of them | One of the reasons why

rubbish-novelty-wi-fi-shoes.jpgClearly the next step in human evolution is to develop a sixth sense that makes the hairs on your arm stand up or your belly button flash green when in range of a wi-fi signal - but until then we're stuck with rubbish novelty items to let us know when there's some stealable internet nearby.

And now it's wi-fi shoes. Or, at least, it's a concept piece, in which a pair of trainers have had a miniature wi-fi detector stuck on them. This is not really "wi-fi shoes," it's just some normal shoes which some idiot has pretended to stick a wi-fi detector on. That's an important distinction to make. This is not a product - it's an idea. A very poor idea.

The chances of a pair of wi-fi-sensing trainers ever popping up in the JJB Sports sale are rather remote.

(Via DVICE)

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hidden-camera-locator-guide.jpgIf you've put yourself into the sort of situation where you're worried about being spied on - say, if you're a nanny or any sort of woman - here's how to locate any spy cameras that may be installed in the vicinity.

The guide, courtesy of tech know-how site Instructables, uses the classic Blue Peter manufacturing tool - a toilet paper roll.

Apparently, by holding the toilet paper tube up to one eye and shining a torch around a room, you're able to pick out small flashes of light reflecting off any camera lenses. All you then have to worry about is the alien mind rays seeing into your thoughts.

(Via Instructables)

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pink floyd case mod 400 pix.jpgThe hammers, the bricks, the screaming face, there can only be one theme to this hot-rod case mod. That's right you PC Pink Floyders, I feel you tremble. This is indeed a "The Wall" inspired tower. Tasty, isn't it?

This Tate-worthy creation from the gents at Mnpctech is another in their fine range of specialist PC modifications and I highly recommend taking a look at the pictures and the Youtube video on how it was made. Unfortunately, it wont be available in the shops but If you have any remote DIY abilities - which I certainly do not - there's enough info for you there to make one of these for yourself.

vista-on-eee-pc.jpgSee? It can be done!

The secret is, apparently, whacking a huge SD card into the Eee PC's expansion slot and letting Vista use that for its special needs, rather than the rather limited file space available on the Eee PC's solid-state drive.

He's even whacked up a video of it working and everything, just in case you're one of those cynical internet conspiracy theorists who won't believe anything unless it's accompanied by video evidence and a signed letter from a GP.

Asus has already let it slip out that official Windows versions of the Eee PC could be on the way in 2008, but if it's possible to whack Vista on there now - what's the point in waiting?

(Via Hackszine)

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Asus is aiming to sell a staggering 3.8 million Eee PCs next year - some with Windows on

Touristremover_1

There's nothing as depressing (no, really!) as having a really great shot of the Eiffel Tower but with somebody's head sticking out of it. Well, fret no longer - with FutureLAB tool Tourist Remover at the Snapmania photo service, you can blot that man right out of your air. Simply take several shots of whatever landscape you're interested in, and run them through the utility. Tourist Remover then creates a composite with, presto, no people, just the Venus de Milo or the original Dogs Playing Poker or whatever it was that caught your fancy. [GT]

Tourist Remover [via The Raw Feed]

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Wordhide It's day two of Propellerhead's week of Top Tips for Microsoft Word and this one is for all you budding secret agents out there. Word has a little known facility that lets you conceal words, sentences and even complete documents within a document. It's called Hidden Text and to make it work just highlight the text you want to make disappear then go to Format > Font then under Effects check 'Hidden' and your words will vanish. Don't worry, they're still there but they cannot be seen and will not print. To make them reappear you have to go to the Options on the Tools menu, select the View tab and under Formatting marks check the item 'Hidden Text'. Another nifty Word tip tomorrow and there's plenty more for you to try on the BootLog website at www.rickmaybury.com

Devmanshort If you are anything like us and can't resist fiddling with your PC then you'll be no stranger to the Windows Device Manager. It's the place to go when you need to sort out driver problems and tinker with hardware configuration settings. The quickest way we know to get to it is to use the keyboard shortcut Winkey + Break then click Hardware and the Device Manager button, which all gets to be a bit of a chore when you need to get to it for the unpteenth time. Now we've found an even faster way, a one-click desktop or Quick Launch shortcut. It's dead easy, just right click on an empty portion of your desktop and click New > Create Shortcut. Use the Browse button to work your way to the file 'devmgmt.msc', which you should find in C:\WINDOWS\system32, select the file, click Next, give the shortcut a name click Finish and the deed is done. Got a PC problem? Then head over to Propellerhead and for hundreds more great Top Tips pop along to the BootLog website at www.rickmaybury.com

Event_1Propellerhead tip of the day


If your Windows XP PC has started misbehaving it can be difficult to know where to start looking. One of the first places the experts go to is the log files maintained by Windows, which record unusual or abnormal activity and error messages. The logs can be opened in the Event Viewer and quite often the information stored there can help you to identify the source of the trouble. It's worth a look in any case as you may spot a potential problem that until now Windows has managed to fix on its own. The easiest way to open the Event Viewer is to type 'eventvwr.msc' (without the quotes) in Run on the Start menu; double click the Applications and System logs and look out for any red 'X' Error entries. Don't forget there's hundreds of great Tips and Tweaks for you to try over on the BootLog website at www.rickmaybury.com 

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