Google Custom Search is Down

Google Custom search which provides websites with a much better way to allow users to search content seems to be down. I tested the same on Techie Buzz as well as several other sites with the same results.

Not sure what is wrong, but when users use the custom search box to search for content, they will see an error as seen below.

google_custom_search_down

No idea how long this has been for, but this issue might get rectified before the post hits the deck.

Update: The custom search seems to be working very slow not, 6-10 times it has been hitting the error screen, which suggests that there is something wrong with it.

Buck up Google Or We Need A Feedburner Alternative

Feedburner is the most widely used service by websites to deliver RSS feeds and emails to subscribers. Last year, Feedburner was bought out by Google and things have started to go downhill after that.

no_feedburner

Feedburner has had lots of problems in the past, and continues to have problems almost every week. The most recent one being a slump in the number of readers for the past two days. It would not have been a problem, but this is not an actual drop in subscribers, it is a drop in "Feedburner reporting", and this problem has continued to plague Feedburner for more than a year now.

I certainly don’t understand why Google is not improving the Technology behind Feedburner, when so many people rely on it. The only two features that were introduced in the past year were Socialize and ability to customize email subject, other than that all we have got are problems.

I believe that many publishers including me might have noticed a huge slump in numbers over the past 2 days. Thanks to Feedburner, we do not even know the problem, no blog updates, no help? Is this how you run a service. Agreed, it is free, but free does not mean we have to use a sucky service.

I am certainly looking for a good Feedburner alternative, not just for email, but for regular RSS subscribers too. This has continued for too long now, and it is time to Google to buck up and deliver or just move out of the way.

image credit: blogussion.com

Bug Spotted in Feedburner Socialize Twitter Integration

If you have started to use Feedburner Socialize, here is something that could cause potential problems and piss your followers off. The service has its share of problems. According to Zoli, Feedburner will tweet your posts multiple times if you make edits to them, no matter how minor they are. This can be a real problem if you tend to make updates to posts after they have been published.

Of course, there is no documentation as to whether this is by design or it is a real bug, however, you have been warned. This is why we had also asked you whether it was too early to dump Twitterfeed after all.

Update: This bug has now been fixed according to a comment from a Google Feedburner employee.

Mac Fans Attack Microsoft Holiday Twitter Feed #holidaywindows

Microsoft and Apple are arch rivals when it comes to operating systems. However, that war has more often than not gone out of hands, even among the closest of friends. It was no surprise then that Mac users started spamming attacking a Microsoft hashtag feed #holidaywindows on Twitter, and started posting anti-MS rants on it.

Microsoft has bought a display window in Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC and were displaying tweets that used the hashtag #holidaywindows on it. As soon as Mac fans got wind of it, they started spamming attacking the feed by posting anti-MS tweets using the same hashtag.

Many of the tweets were displayed on the Saks display, before MS finally pulled the plug on the Mac fanatics fans spam attacks. Some of the tweets that were used to spam attack the feed include:

anti_microsoft_mac_rants anti_microsoft_mac_rants3

anti_microsoft_mac_rants2 anti_microsoft_mac_rants4

Well the attacks are now both ways and MS fans are seen reiterating their Mac counterparts. However, all of those are not on display as Microsoft got smarter and started to filter out the tweets. You can read all the tweets at the #holidaywindows search on .

Talk about Holiday spirits, could this get any worse? Go get or a Mac and have fun :-).

Seattle Weekly [via @Twitter_Tips]

Malwarebytes Alleges Signature Database Theft by IOBit

A recent forum post on Malwarebytes by the CEO of the company Marcin Kleczynski, has leveled serious allegations against IOBit. The CEO has uncovered evidence against IOBit, a security firm from China, and leveled charges that they are stealing proprietary malware and signature databases from Malwarebytes.

Marcin elaborated throughout the post how Malwarebytes spotted the database theft, and accumulated more evidence, which further  strengthens  their claim against IOBit.

We came across a post on the IOBit forums that showed IOBit Security 360 flagging a specific key generator for our Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software using the exact naming scheme we use to flag such keygens: Don’t.Steal.Our.Software.A.

Dont.Steal.Our.Software.A, File, G:\Nothing Much\Anti-Spyware\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware v1.39\Key_Generator.exe, 9-30501

Why would IOBit detect a keygen for our software and refer to it using our database name? We quickly became suspicious. Either the forum post was fraudulent or IOBit was stealing our database.

The above discovery led the Malwarebytes team to conduct several other tests. Most of the tests were created using fake malware signatures and were promptly copied over by IOBit.

We created this dummy executable, then manipulated it slightly so that it matches one of the signatures in our database. We emphasize that it is still not malicious! — the signature is perfectly benign, when not in the context of actual malware, as you can see from the VirusTotal results.

We scanned the file with our own Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software and indeed it was flagged as “Don’t.Steal.Our.Software.A”. We scanned it with IOBit using their current build and database version and it was flagged as the same “Don’t.Steal.Our.Software.A”. We have included their log file and a screenshot of the detection. You can verify by yourself using the dummy executable and their most recent database.

From the looks of it, most of the evidence suggest that, there is indeed a database theft. Malwarebytes also suggested that IOBit has been using proprietary information from other security vendors, without giving out specific names. Malwarebytes plans to pursue legal action against IOBit. Thanks @BillP.

Disclaimer: These are allegations from Malwarebytes. We do not endorse the fact, till they are proven by law. This post is written to make people aware of the ongoing controversy.

Fix 62% Progress Issue for Microsoft Vista to Windows 7 Upgrade

Looks like Microsoft will never be able to have a smooth launch. After was launched, there were several forums which were filled with issues related to upgrading to Windows 7.

Several websites have covered issues ranging from continuous reboots to upgrades getting stuck at 62%.

If you are someone whose upgrade from is stuck at 62%, it is time to head to this Microsoft KB article for a fix. Here is the resolution, thanks to Microsoft and Lee Matthews from DSQ.

Important Do not use this resolution if the upgrade stops responding at a percentage other than 62% or if the log entries are not logged. For more information about how to open the Seupact.log file, see the More Information section.
To resolve this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Restart the computer. Then, your computer will roll back to Windows Vista.
  2. Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Advanced tab, click Environment Variables.
  4. Under System variables, click New.
  5. Type MIG_UPGRADE_IGNORE_PLUGINS in the Variable name field.
  6. Type IphlpsvcMigPlugin.dll in the Variable value field.
  7. Click OK three times to close the dialog boxes.
  8. Start the upgrade installation again.

Performing these steps should help you resolve the issues, if the Windows 7 upgrade is always stuck at 62%.

Kaspersky’s Free Giveaway Not For Everyone

We have been reporting for the past week on the various for free antivirus from reputed companies like Panda and Kaspersky. Looks like only one of them is keeping true to their original deal.

kaspersky_windows_7_host_email

We tested that you could download a free copy of Panda Internet Security 2010, however don’t expect to be able to download Kaspersky for FREE. The deal was a totally for Windows 7 Launch party attendees dud and a dumb marketing idea. Only users who attended someone’s launch party can download a free copy. Duh.

Unless and until you have the email address of the host of some obscure party, you will not be able to download the so called FREE edition of Kaspersky.

kaspersky_no_host_email_address

And, if you think you can game the system and enter any email address as the host? Take a look at the above message, to see the end result. This is a definite piss off for several thousand users who have been anticipating to download the security software from Kaspersky.

Twitpic Suffers Major Glitch? All Twitpic Image Views Counters Reset

Twitpic the popular image share service for , seems to have silently endured a database crash or had a severe glitch in their system. While I was browsing pictures on Twitpic, I saw that all the image view counters have been reset to 1.

All of the images in my Twitpic account seems to have some glitch, most of the image counters have been reset.

twitpic_crash_1 twitpic_crash_2

There is no official mention about any problems on the Twitpic blog. We have contacted the Twitpic team to get more information about this issue. We are still awaiting information from them. We will update this post once we get a official confirmation.

Update: TwitPic responded back with the following response:

Hello, we are currently working on a new view counter for our website. In the process, you image views may have been temporarily reset to 0. We are working to restore the correct image count.

Thank you for your patience.

Have you checked your Twitpic account? Did your image view counter get reset? Do let us know about it.

No Printers Found? Windows can’t open Add Printer. The local print spooler service is not running.

There are times when you want to print a webpage or document and see a message like the one below even though you have all the printers and drivers installed.

no_printer_found

Since the error says that there are no printers installed the most logical solution would be to check why it is giving you this error, so you head to the printers in control panel.

 missing_printers

Most of the times you will see that the printers are missing from the available devices and when you try to install a printer you will see an error like the one below.

local_printer_spooler_not_working

Case of the Missing Printers

As you can see from the error above the printers are missing due to the Print spooler service being disabled or stopped, you can restart your computer to get the printers back. But why waste time when you can do it without restarting the PC.

Here are the steps to get your missing printers back without having to restart the PC.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + R to open the run box and type in services.msc.

start_print_spooler_service

Step 2: The services window will open, in that find Print Spooler and start the service.

printers_magically_reappear

Once you have done that refresh or reopen the printer page from control panel and you will see that all your printers should reappear again.

While you are printing please try and save the environment use a add-in to print what you want or an excellent service that will allow you to save pages and inks by removing data and images you do not want to print. Happy Printing.

Gmail Goes Down Once Again

In a major embarrassment for Google, went down once again today and is still inaccessible to many users.

gmail_down

This is the second time in recent past that Gmail has gone down and does not really go down well with many users who rely on Gmail for both regular as well as custom domain related emails from Google Apps.

The Gmail blog has acknowledged the downtime and are working on it, however users accessing email using POP and IMAP should not be affected.

We will update you whenever we come across some more information about the downtime. In the meantime you can try one of the different Gmail modes to see if you can access your email.