Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sorry for the absence, new posts will come back

Sorry for those of you who visit this blog on an on going basis. I have not posted stuff since early April, but I have some good excuses...

A new grandbaby was born to my youngest daughter, we also went to Florida to visit with my daughter #2 and finally we were on a cruise with Celebrity Cruise Line in the Eastern Caribbean.

So, now we are back home and rested; I am ready to publish some new posts that I hope will be of interest to most of you.

Thanks for your patience.

George Freire

10 Must-Have Free Downloads

From PCWorld comes the following information and suggestions, that I find to be very helpful:

"Some software is so good that you just have to download it. Unfortunately, often you have to pay for it after you try it out. But every once in a while, a must-have program is totally free. Such indispensable, no-cost tools are the hardest programs to find--but we've found the best ones for you."

In order to take advantage and download the free programs you might be interested to go to the following address and click it:,1670-order,4/files.html#tk.nl_wvx_h_cbintro

George Freire

Problems with "Windows Live Mail 2011"

As you all know, (those of you who switched to Windows 7 either by upgrading or buying a new computer), the old "Outlook Express" email program, used by so many, was not included in the Windows 7 version.

At the time in 2010 Windows 7 made its appearance, Microsoft suggested that a new programs similar to Outlook Express, as well as Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker, could be downloaded and installed from a new site "Windows Live Essentials".

I as well as many of you followed the advice and did just that.

The mail program that was available at the time was "Windows Live Mail 2010" which was indeed very good, friendly and very similar, (but better), to the old Outlook Express mail program.

I was happy and had no problems with this program. THEN Microsoft, after a few months started advertising and pushing for us to replace Windows Live Mail 2010 with the new version, (much much better, they said), Windows Live Mail 2011.

Naturally, I followed the advice, and replaced the 2010 version with the 2011 version. BIG MISTAKE ! It is complicated to operate, has very little help available, is kinda hard when handling new mail contacts, setting up new categories, etc. etc.

I have been so frustrated that I tried to find a way to go back to the friendly and easy to operate version 2010. That was not an easy task, but finally, a few days ago I found the answer in a blog, and here is what you have to do if you want to go back to Windows Live Mail 2010:

1- You first must remove the "Windows Live Essentials" which contains the new versions:

Click on "Start", click on Control Panel, go to "Uninstall a Program" and click on it.

Go to almost the bottom of the list of programs shown, and click on "WINDOWS LIVE ESSENTIALS", then click on the "Uninstall Button".

An Uninstall wizard will walk you though the steps. UNINSTALL ALL components under

After un-installation restart your computer.

Now we need to install the older 2010 version. Here is how you do it:

1- Go to IE and type the following address:

2- Click on the blue download button on this site. Note that the program name you are downloading is wlsetup-web.exe.

3- Save the program on your desktop or downloads folder.

4- Return to your desktop or downloads folder and click on the file wlsetup-web.exe, that you just have saved.

5- A screen opens and you will have several programs available to install. Select those you want, but be sure that you check MAIL and click install.

That's it, the older version of Windows Live Mail 2010 is now again in your computer. You may now want to pin the program to your task bar. Go to Start/All Programs and scroll down to Windows Live Folder. Right click on Windows Live Mail and pin to task bar.

Please notice that nothing will change as far as your address book and other settings are concerned.

I now have the 2010 version and I am very happy again with my email program.

For those of you who use gmail, hotmail and other programs, you can also integrate those to Windows Live mail 20120 if you want.

I hope I have rescued some of you from the bad, bad boy WLM2011!

George Freire

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fake Antivirus Software Uses Ransom Treats...

Fake antivirus software designed to steal your personal information is running wild again. Three friends of mine have been victimized recently. Unfortunately one of them fell for it and bought the software using a credit card. Guess what ? nothing was downloaded, they got his money, credit card # and information that would allow them to use it ad infinitum... He called me shortly thereafter and the first thing I told him was "get on that phone right away and call you credit card company and report what happened. They will immediately cancel the CC # and issue you another one. Later he brought the computer to my office and I was able to restore the computer back to safety... Because this is happening quite frequently, I am posting again my post of September 2010 as follows: "Remember my post of August 30 that started: "Yesterday my computer was working great but when I started it this morning, a message popped up, saying that the computer had been attacked by a virus." Guess what, today I received an e-mail from PCWorld with an article that analyses precisely this serious problem which I am sharing with you all: "Fake Antivirus Software Uses Ransom Threats John E Dunn, Sep 4, 2010 12:00 pm Fake antivirus programs appear to be adopting some of the money-raising tactics of more threatening ransom malware, security company Fortinet's latest threat report has found. The most prevalent malware variant during August was TotalSecurity W32/FakeAlert.LU!tr, a malicious program that masquerades as antivirus software in order to sell worthless licenses for non-existent malware. On its own it accounted for 37.3 percent of all malware threats detected by the company during the month. Unlike standard fake antivirus programs, however, the new version of TotalSecurity takes the ruse a stage further by preventing any applications other than a web browser to run, claiming they are "infected." The user is invited to have the infection cleaned by buying the bogus TotalSecurity product. Adding an extra layer of sophistication to its arsenal -- and no doubt aware how quickly bogus antivirus software is blocked by genuine security products -- TotalSecurity can now vary the downloads it feeds to target PC using server-side polymorphism. Put another way, the exact version downloaded to a victim's PC will constantly change which makes detection harder. "This is a technique typically seen with botnets, such as Waledac, and has been picked up by the developers of TotalSecurity. This is another example of how relying purely on antivirus is not a silver-bullet approach to protecting systems from infection," said Fortinet's threat research head, Derek Manky. According to Fortinet, such attacks demonstrate the vulnerability of PC-based antivirus software. A layered defence would have a better chance of detecting TotalSecurity by either intercepting the initial spam used to spread it or by blocking the download website. Once rare enough to be a curiosity, malware using threats and direct interference with a PC's operation have slowly become more common. A previous report from Fortinet in March noted a sudden surge in the technique, about a year after the first aggressive use of ransomware in the form of the notorious Vundo Trojan. That particular piece of malware used crude encryption of a victim's files. In July came news of the odd Krotten Trojan that disables a victim's PC in a variety of ways before asking for a tiny payment to be made to a Ukrainian mobile phone network. Two months before that researchers in Japan discovered the Kenzero porn blackmail Trojan that threatens to post a victim's embarrassing browsing history to a public website. Be careful, but sometimes you may inadvertently open a web page that will cause such a problem in your computer.One way to solve the problem was explained to you in my post of August 30 referred to above. George Freire "