Category: Software

Internet Scams


Internet scams are widespread and financially harm many people on a daily basis. It is important to know the names and operating methods of the various types of Internet scams that are so prevalent. Protection and being proactive are the foundations of keeping private information and finances secure. Nigerian scam were the first type of scams to become an issue and is still a popular scam. The recipient will receive an e-mail where they are told they will get a large sum of money but must pay an amount to cover bank fees. When the fee money is sent, the recipient never hears from the scam artist again.

Job offers are of a different type of scam. The recipient is offered a job in a foreign country and must supply their banking information in order to get paid. Once the scam artists have that information, they use the account to store stolen money. Foreign girlfriend scams prey on the emotions of men by Russian women offering to fly to the man’s country to meet him but once the money is sent for the trip, the women disappear with the cash. Social networking scams involve a person’s log-in information stolen for popular social networks such as Facebook.

Once the scam artist has this information they will post to the person’s wall or to the person’s friends that they are on vacation and need cash wired to them as soon as possible. Foreign lotteries are similar to the Nigerian scams where the recipient is informed that they have won a foreign lottery but must pay upfront costs to cover the winnings. Once the payment is sent, the scam artist disappears. Mistake scams involve a person buying an item from a person selling something online. The scam artist will pay immediately via check but for an amount above the cost of the item. They will claim it was a mistake and to please send back the difference. Once they get this amount, the check will bounce and the person who sent the money to the scam artist will lose that money.

Recent Investments in Software Companies


The chip maker Intel will invest over $30 million in software companies. There are four companies, and three of them are cloud computing companies, including Adaptive Computing, Joyent and Nexant. Cloud computing allows users to save their data on the web.

Ciranova, the fourth company, makes software for companies involved in creating chips for high definition multimedia, broadband and mobile web.rnrnHewlett-Packard Co (HPQ) has recently decided to buy ArcSight Inc, a security-software maker. They will pay around $1.5 billion for acquisition of the company. This is the second small technology company that HP has bought in the past two months. The company agreed to pay $2.3 billion for 3PAR Inc, a storage maker. After purchasing ArcSight, Hewlett-Packard shares rose substantially. HP has announced that they will acquire a series of companies, mostly in technology and software.rnrnOpenView Venture Partners invested $9.5 million in Kareo, a healthcare software company. Kareo provides medical billing software of physicians.

OpenView’s investment will help Kareo enhance customer service, boost marketing strategies and improve the management team. Kareo is growing quickly, as it offers a simple, affordable solution to the complicated medical billing techniques in the United States. OpenView venture partners focuses on high-growth software. The company has invested in a number of other software companies, including Acronis, Aelita, Balihoo, ExactTarget, Loyalty Lab, Open-E and Zmags.rnrnThis year, Google acquired the travel software company ITA, which is a flight information software company. Rather than pointing searchers to other sites, Google is showing their own results and directing users to restaurants and services directly.

The flight software company ITA will allow them to break into the travel market. This move could alter the travel industry. Also, Microsoft, a rival in travel search market, uses ITA software. Companies like Kayak, Expedia and maybe even some airlines might resist this acquisition. Recently, the justice department questioned the Google’s acquisition of ITA software, noting that it might have a negative influence the online travel industry. Google, however, maintains that their goal is to improve travel related search results.

The History of Open Source Software


The term open source software, or OSS, was born in 1998 to replace the phrase “free software.” The free software movement, or FSM, actually began in 1983, with the help of computer programmer Richard Stallman. Of course, the hacker culture of the 1970’s spawned the ideas that created the foundation of FSM, including the emphasis on sharing and questioning.rnrnRichard Stallman launched the GNU project in 1983, and found the Free Software Foundation in 1985.

He wrote a number of essays on the importance of free software, and he also wrote the GNU Public License, which is still a widely used free software license. Stallman does not approve of the phrase “open source software” because it does not acknowledge freedom, and he believes that freedom is what makes software valuable. This is slightly ironic, because Stallman’s free software movement inspired the open source software movement. Stallman meant “free” as in “freedom,” not free as in without cost.

The individuals who coined the phrase “open source software” thought that it would appeal to the business world, and make more sense to non-programmers. The word “free” could be anything, as in “free love”. In 1998, Netscape announced their intention to release the source code for Navigator. In response to this suggestion, a group of individuals in Palo Alto decided that open source software should be the future term. The term free, they thought, sounded non-commercial. rnrnMost people don’t distinguish between the free software movement and the open source software movement, as they both are based on non-secretive code.

Certain individuals believe that the open source movement actually started in 1969, when the Internet was invented.rnrnThe Open Source Initiative, or OSI, suggested that releasing code was better for businesses. The group hoped to demonstrate the appeal of open source in a practical way, and for this reason they sought to eliminate the term “free.” Bruce Perens tried to register “open source” as a trademark, but he failed. Still, Netscape did release the code for Navigator, and was one of the first corporations to acknowledge the value of open source code.

Apple and Open Source Software


Apple Inc. has a muddled relationship with open source software: the company supports open source, generally, but Apple is also know to be rather tight-fisted. Apple sells hardware, and therefore, their involvement in software is meant to promote the use of Apple products generally, In the nineties, when Apple was struggling under the thumb of Microsoft, the company realized that Mac computers wouldn’t appeal to users if Internet Explorer still ruled the web.

Apple thus makes a serious effort to push forward significant Mac software. Embracing open source was a big step in the right direction for Apple.rnrnApple has an open source site which includes a good chunk of source code for OS X. The site contains archived material since 2000.

OS X and iOS, Apple’s main operating systems, are based on FreeBSD (free code developed by a large group of people). Apple has contributed a lot of their source code to the open source community, in a seemingly generous way. Apple also lets anyone develop applications for Macs (and iPhones and iPads), and a lot of high quality software for OS X is open source. For example, Firefox, Cyberduck and Adium are open source applications developed for Macs. The open source community encourages sharing ideas and improving code, which certainly benefits Apple due to the constant creation of innovative and functional software.rnrnApple claims that they were the first company to embrace Open Source and make it an essential part of their software development strategy. Programmers are able to learn from all the source code Apple displays, and the projects Apple puts forward.

However, Apple doesn’t embrace open source 100%, as not all of their OS X code is exposed, but they are one certainly avid open source supporters. After all, open source software, in many ways, probably saved Apple’s business model. By helping Apple to create free and effective software to use on Mac computers, Apple was able to sell their hardware and turn a profit.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source Software?


Open source software is free, but that is not the only benefit. Open source software has liberal license terms and allows the users a lot of flexibility and no vendor lock-in. Open source software also comes with the support of a community and future innovations are likely. Sometimes, thousands of programmers are involved with the software.rnrnOpen source software is dynamic and constantly evolving, since many programmers are fixing bugs and adding features. Rather than requiring costly updates, open source updates are free. Also, open source software encourages business owners to actually look at code, rather than thinking of it as mysterious magic performed by programmers.

Open source applications are available for a variety of uses, including ecommerce, word processors and entertainment. rnrnThere are, of course, a few disadvantages to using open source software. Sometimes open source software projects fizzle out, as is the case with commercial software. The biggest problem with open source software is that there is no timely support system to help you. You might find a bug in the program that you will need to pay someone to fix. Because programmers generally work on open source software out of their own free will and on their own time, you can’t expect them to help you.rnrnAnd, of course, if there’s a particular addition that would improve your business or personal use, you may or may not find any support or interest in this feature from the community.

Again, you will likely have to pay for it. However, given that you will not spend money purchasing software, you will probably still save money by using open source software.rnrnIt also depends, though, on the particular software you are considering. Some open source software is reliable, while newer programs can be more difficult to work with. Also, if there aren’t any programmers working on the software to provide updates, you might be in trouble. It helps to check the forums to see if the community is active.

Content-Control Software: Green Dam Youth Escort


The Green Dam Youth Escort was developed in the People’s Republic of China to serve as content-control software for children. In 2009, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that it would be mandatory for all new computers in Mainland China (including imported computers) to have this software, either pre-installed or with a disk.

In June of 2009, however, the requirement was postponed to a later date. In August of 2009, it was announced that the Green Dam Youth Escort software would not need to be installed in all computers, but would need to be in computers intended for schools and other public use computers.rnrnThe software was developed for Windows by the companies Bejing Dazhang and Zhengzhou Jinhui. Both of them are in difficult situations now, and likely to fold as they lack state funding. 20 million users currently have the software, and Asian brands such as Acer and Sony have ordered it in bulk due to the original directive from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.rnrnGreen Dam Youth Escort software is supposedly meant to prevent users from looking at pornography.

It restricts content by analyzing skin-colored areas, which means that all flesh colored pictures would be barred. The software also collects private data and downloads a list of restricted sites. Users cannot see the list of sites, but they can unblock certain ones and block certain search terms if they would like. Also, it is apparently possible to uninstall the software.rnrnThe Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) was not pleased when the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the requirement to install Green Dam Youth Software.

It requested the help of the Obama administration to prevent Beijing from requiring the software. A number of other groups expressed their concern about the Green Dam Youth Escort, as well, and many signed a letter suggesting that the government not enforce installation of the software. A BBC news article suggested that installing the software, due to a number of flaws and the intention behind the software, could be disastrous.