All posts by Clif Sipe

Promoting Freeware and Free information since 2004. Owner of FreewareWiki.com with over 2000 pages of freebies. Please subscribe to my Google Feed or follow me on Twitter @clifnotes.

How to Install Firefox 4 in Ubuntu Linux

Earlier today, we reported that Firefox 4 has just been released. Why do you need instructions to install the newest Firefox in Ubuntu? If you go into your Ubuntu Software Center, you’ll see that you more than likely have Firefox 3.6 installed, and it’s “up to date”. Naturally, they don’t add programs to the Software Center as soon as they are released. That would be foolish if there was something wrong with the new version. I don’t blame them for waiting at least a few days for the adventure seekers to provide some feedback.

There are three ways that I know of to add the newest Firefox to Ubuntu.

firefox 4 Continue reading How to Install Firefox 4 in Ubuntu Linux

How to Avoid Facebook LikeJacking Scams

Recently, some of my friends and family have been victims of Likejacking at Facebook. It’s a type of clickjacking in which you are tricked into Likeinga website. It’s never happened to me, but I’ve just been very lucky. After a short time studying these Likejacking scams, I can see that it’s easy to be tricked. Below are three examples and how it works.

[images from Facecrooks.com]

whalebuilding

panties

fat-kid-coaster

As you can see, these are very tempting and they look like legitimate Likesfrom your friends. If you click to open them, you are taken to a page, normally with a video on it that needs to be clicked to play.

fat-kid-click-vid

 

Clicking to play it, will instantly Likethis page on your wall. You can’t see it, but there’s a hidden Likebutton under your mouse cursor, no matter where you click on the page. Isn’t that sneaky?

Usually, you’ll be directed to fill out surveys before you are allowed to see a video. The hackers get paid for getting people to fill them out.

One defense against Likejacking is to use the Firefox browser with the NoScript add-on. If you are using Opera or Chrome browsers, you might try NotScripts.

Here’s what it looks like when a hidden Likejack is detected with NoScript.

noscript-clickjack

In Google’s Chrome browser, you can right click on a link in Facebook and open it in Incognitomode. That way, you won’t be logged into Facebook when you arrive at the new page.

incognito

So far, I haven’t seen that feature in other browsers, but I think it can be added via extensions or addons.

Your best defense is some common sense. You will need to be more suspicious of your friends’ posts. It’s hard to resist temptation, but it’s also good for you.

Fix MBR or Operating System Not Found in Windows 7

Back when I first started playing with different Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, I’d accidentally wipe out the boot loader. I had been through this scenario in Windows XP countless times and I knew how to restore the Windows master boot record.

win7-logoThis time, it happened to me in Windows 7. I was playing around with a Linux boot loader utility and I accidentally trashed the MBR (master boot record). I ended up with a really weird message when I went to restart the machine. It wasn’t Operating System Not Foundbut I knew what had happened.

Fortunately, I had created a Windows 7 Repair disk. If you haven’t done this yourself, take a few minutes and do it now.

Create a Windows 7 Repair Disk

  1. Insert a blank CD
  2. Click on the Start button and type repairinto the search box.
  3. Click on Create a System Repair Discand follow the instructions.

create-system-repair-disc

Repairing a missing or corrupted boot record

Let’s assume that you have either a Windows 7 Installation DVD or a repair disk. Here’s the scoop on how to fix a missing boot record, or some other weird boot error.

WOT Can Keep You Safe in Facebook and Twitter?

Yes, WOT, not what. It stands for Web Of Trust. WOT is an addon for Firefox, Chrome, Opera and IE. Once installed, it can scan links in search engine results and web email. When it finds dangerous links, it lets you know with red and yellow symbols, as shown in this video below.

.

As you can see, it’s not safe to search for screensavers. That is, it’s not safe unless you are using WOT or a service like it. You’ll see similar results in your online email, such as Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail. I’d say it’s a must have addon for those new to the internet.

Today, I received a notice from WOT telling about the addition of social networking sites to their link scanning. What does this mean? Take a look at Facebook with the new WOT addon for Firefox.

New Screensavers for St. Patrick’s Day

[Windows Only]

shamrockMarch 17th is almost here and you’ll be seeing plenty of green. Yes, St. Patrick’s Day is coming. If you don’t want your computer to feel left out on that day, check out the 10 new St. Patrick’s Day screensavers below.

Here’s a video preview of these “green” savers.

st-patricks-day-screensavers

There are plenty of free screensavers and wallpapers on the net, but you have to be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them. As many of you have learned by now, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, free means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.

arrow-down-double-3 Screensaver Download Page

W i n d o w s 7 t h e m e s?

ireland-themeIf you have Windows 7, be sure to check out the Ireland theme from Microsoft. If you don’t have Windows 7, you can still snag the wallpapers by using this trick.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I’ve downloaded and installed several of the screensavers at this site and never had a problem with any of them. These screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

How to Run Windows Live Writer in Linux

Last week, an online buddy of mine told me that he’d use Linux more often if he could run Windows Live Writer in it. I had to agree, there are many different blog editors in Linux, but once you’ve gotten used to using Live Writer, you’ve been spoiled and won’t want to use anything less satisfying.

After a bit of searching around online, I finally figured out that the best solution might be to run a full copy of Windows inside a virtual machine. Then I’d have the best of both worlds within easy reach. After trying it, I discovered that it works quite well. In fact, this article was posted from Xubuntu Linux, using Windows Live Writer.

wlw-in-linux

virtualbox_logoI decided to use VirtualBox as the virtual machine server, because it’s open source, but mainly because it’s already in the Ubuntu Software Center. Installing it was as easy as searching for VirtualBoxand marking it for installation.

An old, unused copy of Windows XP was my choice for a guest operating system. I was familiar with the steps needed to set that up, but if you need help, you can find a great tutorial on installing XP in VirtualBox at Linux Journal.

After I had XP running the first time, I did have a few problems. I kept receiving warnings that I didn’t have the Automatic Updates enabled. Since this was virtual machine, I really didn’t want it to update. If I had any problems, I could always use VirtualBox’s snapshots to return to an older state when needed. I finally opened XP’s Services manager and turned off the Automatic Updatesand the Security Center.

You can launch the Services manager by clicking Start, Runand then typing services.mscinto the run box (without quotes).

services

I also noticed that I couldn’t copy and paste between Linux and Windows. I found out that I needed to install the Guest Additionsin XP. You can find these in the VirtualBox Devicesmenu while the virtual machine is running.

vb-guest-additions

There are two versions of Windows Live Writer. One version is for XP, while the most current version is for Vista and Windows 7.

Once you have Live Writer installed this way, you are ready to blog with ease, no matter what flavor of Linux you’re using. If you have your own favorite blog editor, let us know in the comments below.

How to Convert Movies for the Sansa Fuze Player

[Windows, Linux, Mac]

Late last year, I spotted a deal that I couldn’t turn down. I was able to buy a Sandisk Sansa Fuze 4G player for about $30 USD. When these were first released in 2008, they were over double that price. I already had an iPod Nano, but I wanted video and photos, and the price of the iPod Touch was over my playtime budget.

If you aren’t familiar with the Fuze, here’s some info from Google Products:

sandisk-sansa-fuzeListen, watch and play all day with 24 hours of battery life and room for up to 2000 songs. The Sansa Fuze from SanDisk is your portable music machine with 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB of storage. Watch your favorite video clips on the Sansa Fuze’s 1.9″ color screen. Jam to FM radio with 40 preset stations, play with the built-in voice recorder, and share your photos wherever you go. Choose from five electric colors: blue, red, pink, black or silver. Incredible battery life in a 0.3″ thin device – the Sansa Fuze marks the next wave of music and video players.

In the past few months, I’ve enjoyed using it at work and play, but there are two things that I definitely don’t like about the Fuze. First, they used a proprietary connector, instead of using a mini-USB. Secondly, they force you to convert all your videos to a weird AVI format, which can only be created by their special Sansa Media Converter (Windows only).

There isn’t much that I could do about the connector, but I’ve finally found an excellent alternative to the Sansa converter, called Video4Fuze. It is supported in Windows, Linux and Mac OSX, unlike Sansa’s lame converter. Now converting full length DVDs for use on my Fuze is as simple as creating an AVI file, then converting it with Video4Fuze. If you are a big fan of downloading Youtube video, the Video4Fuze utility also converts FLV and MP4 videos with no problem.

arrow-down-double-3 Download Video4Fuze

Here’s a video showing how to use Video4Fuze.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

New Screensavers for International Women’s Day

[Windows Only]

International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Google appears to be organizing meetings on bridges to celebrate this day.

Here’s a video about these bridges.

It’s also the day to wish your wife, mom, sis, grandma or aunt and even friend with a thoughtful message or maybe a new screensaver. Here are some screensavers made just for this day.

intl-women-day-screensavers

There are plenty of free screensavers and wallpapers on the net, but you have to be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them. As many of you have learned by now, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, free means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.

arrow-down-double-3 Screensaver Download Page

W i n d o w s 7 t h e m e s?

win7-love-birds-themeIf you have Windows 7, be sure to check out the love bird theme from Microsoft. If you don’t have Windows 7, you can still snag the wallpapers by using this trick.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I’ve downloaded and installed several of the screensavers at this site and never had a problem with any of them. These screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

10 New Aquatic Life Screensavers

[Windows Only]

Kick back and relax as you watch your fish swim through these 10 new screensavers.

aquatic-life-screensavers

There are plenty of aquarium screensavers and wallpapers on the net, but you have to be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them. As many of you have learned by now, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, free means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.

One of the nice features of these screensavers is that they now have settings to mute the sounds. Some of the screensavers also have a setting to include a small analog clock on the screen.

arrow-down-double-3 Screensaver Download Page

W i n d o w s 7 t h e m e s?

blue-water-themeIf you have Windows 7, be sure to check out the water themes from Microsoft. If you don’t have Windows 7, you can still snag the wallpapers by using this trick.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I’ve downloaded and installed several of the screensavers at this site and never had a problem with any of them. These screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Using a Comic Book Viewer and Not Growing Up

[Windows, Mac, Linux]

Did you ever read comic books when you were younger? Maybe, you are like me, and you will never grow out of enjoying a good comic book. If that’s the case, you may want to read and collect comic books on your computer.

Recently, I spotted a post at How To Geek about a great comic book viewer for Ubuntu Linux, called Comix. I tried it out and I was not disappointed. Comix is already in the Ubuntu Software Center, and you don’t have to work hard to find it.

Typically, I spend most of my time on Windows computers, and I wondered if there was a good comic book reader for XP, Vista and Seven. I found the answer very fast on Google. There’s a great viewer for Windows and Mac, called Comical. It’s an Open Source project, and fairly new, but it makes viewing comic book files pretty simple.

comical-screenshot

Here is the description of Comical from the readme file.

————————————————
Comical – The Comic Book Archive reader
————————————————

Finally – a cross-platform, open-source CBR and CBZ reader!   Read your favorite scanned comic books and graphic novels with Comical’s absurdly easy GUI and in-your-face double page display!

Nifty Features:

  • Single-Page or Double-Page display modes.
  • Several zoom modes – Fit, Fit-to-Width, Fit-to-Height, Original, and Custom.
  • Crisp image scaling with algorithms adapted from FreeImage 3.
  • Autodetects double pages scanned together and displays it accordingly.
  • Page rotation.
  • Full-Screen mode.
  • Left-to-Right or Right-to-Left browsing.
  • Displays JPG, GIF, and PNG images.
  • Supports RAR(.cbr) and ZIP(.cbz) comic book archives.
  • Supports all encrypted RAR archives as well as ZIP archives with pkzip 2.04g
    encryption.

I’ll take a moment to explain the two file types .CBR and .CBZ, that are mentioned above. CBZ means Comic Book ZIPped, and CBR means Comic Book RARed. Both of those are simple archives of images. Therefore, the Comical viewer is a great tool for viewing any collection of images that is archived as a ZIP or RAR file.

Do you need to know how to open ZIP, RAR, ISO or other archives?

There are very few places that offer truly free comic book files. Here is one place that will help you find some.

Free Online Comic Books

Searching online, you’ll find that most of the comic books there are pirated copies and are located in places that are not always safe to visit. Please be extremely cautious while looking for free comic books. I recommend using the WOT addon for filtering out risky search results.

arrow-down-double-3Download the Comical viewer

Techie Buzz Verdict:

The Comical viewer is small, easy to install, and simple to use. If you need an easy way to read CBR and CBZ comics, this is a great solution.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools of the Week #30

freeware-sign2

In case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our Freeware category. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.


Google Chrome 10 Beta Released; Faster than Rabbits

Google Chrome

Google Chrome 10 beta released. The new version is twice as fast as Chrome 9 and includes the Crankshaft technology for V8 engine and GPU-accelerated video support to decrease CPU usage.

 

Opera 11.10 "Barracuda" Alpha Available for Downloads, It’s Really Fast

Opera 11.10 Barracuda

Opera has released Opera 11.10 "Barracuda" Alpha for Windows, Mac and Linux. Download the Opera 11.10 Barracuda Alpha.

 

10 New Water Themed Screensavers

water-water-water-screensavers

These new water screensavers will put you in a relaxed mood. Be sure to give one a try.

 

Block Websites in Google Search Results With Chrome Extension

Block Websites Google Search

Ban websites from appearing in Google Search Results. Personal Blocklist extension allows users to block websites from appearing in Google Search Results.

 

Minus Is A Dead Simple App To Share Images and Files

Min.us Drag and Drop Uploading

Minus provides a dead simple way to share images and files online. Drag and drop files and images to share them online.

 

6 Must Have Chrome Extensions for Twitter Users

twitter3

Twitter is source for news, place to get real-time updates on what happening right now. If you’re using Chrome to access Twitter here are the extensions that might helpful to you.

 

Download Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate

Internet Explorer 9

Download Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate. Download IE9 RC for Windows 7 and Windows Vista PCs.

 

Call of Duty Parody Hits 1.25 Million Downloads

dutycalls

When People Can Fly studios released their First Person Shooter (FPS) parody Duty Calls (directly mocking the Call of Duty series), they just wanted it to be a satirical view on the realisticFPS genre and an anti-demo for their game Bulletstorm. Basically, what they were saying is that our game, Bulletstorm, is not this game. It is definitely everything but this game. Look at this game. This game is stupid. You know which game we are talking about, right? Yes, that game., more or less.

 

10 New Screensavers for Your Valentine

valentine-10

Valentine’s day is close and you’ll find plenty of free screensavers and wallpapers on the net. Be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them.

 

Google Chrome 9 Hits Stable Build, Google Chrome 11 Hits Canary Build

Google Chrome

Google Chrome 9 has been released to stable channel users, while Google Chrome 11 is now available in the Canary build.

 

Spybot Portable a Great Way to Search and Destroy Spyware

spybot-sd-ico

Spybot Search and Destroy was one of the first effective freeware apps for the removal of of adware and spyware that were infecting PCs. After 10 years of development, it’s still one of the best.

 

Learn the Countries of the World with Enigeo

globe

How many countries are there in the World? What are their names? Where are they located? Learn all this and more with Enigeo, a free learning game for all ages.

 

This Is Probably The Fastest Way To Take Screenshots And Share Them Online

greenshot_2011-01-27_22-40-03

You thought you could screenshot fast? Beat this, because this is the fastest.

 

20 New Screensavers for Valentines Day

valentine-screensavers

Valentine’s day is close and you’ll find plenty of free screensavers and wallpapers on the net. Be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them.

 


Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.

Watson Supercomputer Pwns Humans in Jeopardy!

It’s all over now. The massive   IBM computer, named Watson, has destroyed its two human opponents in the last round of this epic 3 day Jeopardy! battle.

watson-and-opponents

This adds more weight to the belief that computers will soon be running the world, and humans will be obsolete. Watson is made up of 100 IBM Power 750 server units and 15 terabytes of onboard ram.

watson-servers

Here’s what a IBM blogger said about the final moments of the game.

The contest between man and machine on Jeopardy! was decided when IBM’s Watson computer landed on the second Daily Double on day three.   The clue was: This two-word phrase means the power to take private property for public use as long as there is just compensation.Watson’s response: What is eminent domain?

The answer eminent domain, is now also the status of Watson’s tally versus his merely human opponents. Watson scored $77,147, compared to $24,000 for Ken Jennings and $21,600 for Brad Rutter. Jennings admitted defeat as he wrote the following under his final answer:

I for one welcome our new computer overlords.

Here’s a video from day 2 of the show.

So what’s next for computers? They already beat us at chess and Jeopardy. Will a computer win the Indy 500 next? It’s possible, since Google has already developed cars that drive themselves.

I’m guessing that the only way to beat these smart machines is to join them. Are you ready to become Human 2.0 ?

10 New Water Themed Screensavers

[Windows Only]

You might find plenty of free water themed screensavers and wallpapers on the net, but you have to be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them. Kick back and relax as you watch these 10 new screensavers.

water-water-water-screensavers

As many of you have learned by now, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, free means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.

One of the nice features of these screensavers is that they now have settings to mute the sounds. Some of the screensavers also have a setting to include a small analog clock on the screen.

arrow-down-double-3 Screensaver Download Page

W i n d o w s 7 t h e m e s?

blue-water-themeIf you have Windows 7, be sure to check out the water themes from Microsoft. If you don’t have Windows 7, you can still snag the wallpapers by using this trick.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I’ve downloaded and installed several of the screensavers at this site and never had a problem with any of them. These screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Watson Supercomputer Ties in First Jeopardy Game Against Humans

IBM_Watson_AvatarValentine’s Day wasn’t all hearts and flowers, as a massive IBM computer faced off against two human opponents on the popular Jeopardy! TV game. IBM has been working on a computer that not only understands human language, but can answer riddles based on it’s ability to search a huge database and determine the most likely answer.

The computer is called Watsonand is made up of 100 IBM Power 750 server units and 15 terabytes of onboard ram. Here’s what IBM said about Watson, just before the first game:

After seven years of research and planning, thousands of hours of testing and over fifty champion-level sparring matches, Watson is finally ready to face the two greatest Jeopardy!champions in history – Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

This contest is scheduled to run three days, and after the first day, Watson has won $5000, is tied for first place with Brad Rutter, with Ken Jennings in third place, with $2000. At the end of the show, it was obvious that Watson was bright and fast, but he has a few flaws that kept him from running away with a big win.

Here’s a video of the first show. It may not be online long, because it was put up by someone without permission from Jeopardy.

There’s no doubt now, that computers are getting smarter. Many people believe that by 2045, computers will be running the world, and humans will be obsolete. Due to recent discoveries in electronics, I’d be tempted to put the date at 2040. Move aside Big Brother, it’s only a matter of time before Skynet wakes up.

Yahoo Valentine Doodle – Cute Overload

heart-balloonsEarlier today, Keith wrote about the latest Google Doodle, and he spared them no mercy when he said Google’s Valentine Day Doodle Is An Eyesore. I agree with Keith to a certain extent. I didn’t hate the new Doodle, but it’s definitely not as good as I’ve come to expect from them.

Here you can see Google’s latest exercise in poor taste.

On the other hand, Yahoo has a much better graphic on their home page. In celebration of Valentine’s day, Yahoo posted nice flash animation with two birds falling in love.

Here you can see an animated gif, I created from a screen capture.

yahoo-valentine-2011_X

You can also see this as a Youtube video that I uploaded.

What do you think? Isn’t that a cute overload? I’m confident enough in my manliness, to admit that I like it far better than Google’s lame graphic.

Here’s wishing you all a great Valentine’s day, or a belated one if this post reaches you too late.