CNET: McAfee’s Big Blunder

CNET has a blog post about McAfee's Big Blunder. Recently, McAfee pushed out a buggy software update. It didn't affect me, as I've long since banished McAfee and Norton from my network. I'm all for keeping my computer safe, but both are far too needy for attention, and demand too much of a performance sacrifice.

I swore off Norton after their Norton Internet Security 2005. I had a copy of NIS 2003. After about 3 weeks, I'd start getting notices that Norton quarantined and deleted my email. I couldn't retrieve it. Then people would start asking me "Did you get my email?" Well, no. I uninstalled and reinstalled NIS 2003 and the same thing happened within 3 weeks. After my 3rd try, I uninstalled it and used the disk as a coaster after it wouldn't sell on Ebay.

I got a laptop for Christmas 2005. I was just getting started at the University of Phoenix and my old P-II 233Mhz Toshiba laptop couldn't keep up. I got a Compaq, which came with a 90 day trial of NIS 2005. It didn't last 2 months. NIS 2005 seemed to have to download updates every 20 minutes, and had to flash a status balloon on my taskbar to notify me of each individual step it was taking. The problem is, I like to hide my taskbar for screen Real Estate, so when an attention needy program like NIS 2005 wants to keep telling me what it's doing, it gets in the way. It also started letting me know way too frequently that my 90 day trial was running out in 89 days, 88 days, etc. Go away, Norton. Nobody likes you.

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I Am So Happy About This: 1Password for Windows

There was a time when I could use one username and password for everything. Those were wonderful days. Yes, I know the “security experts” don’t recommend that, but seriously, how do you keep track of all your logins otherwise?

Then companies started rolling out mandatory password changes. Then we had mixes of systems where we could pick our own passwords and systems that auto-generated passwords. We had systems with varying periodicities and requirements. One system required a min 6 character password and changed every 60 days. Another required an 8 character password (with mix of upper and lower case, numbers, and special characters) and had to be changed every 90 days.

It got very confusing, and I started running out of sticky notes to keep my passwords on. It was time for software to come to the rescue. Actually, I never kept my passwords on sticky notes. I used Outlook notes for a long time though.

For several years, I used KeePass. KeePass had a Windows client, and a Windows Mobile client. Life was good. Then I went through the Samsung BlackJack II and the Samsung Epix, and decided I’m never using Windows Mobile again. I bought an iPhone. I love my iPhone 3G. I’m happy with it.

But I have yet to see a KeePass port to the iPhone platform. Doh!

I did a search in the app store, and discovered a program called 1Password. It has an iPhone client, and a desktop client. But the desktop client is only for Mac. I downloaded the iPhone client. Later, I managed to snag the Professional version while it was on sale for free.

I still don’t have a Mac though.

Recently, a beta of 1Password for Windows came out. I'm happy about that. I can finally edit and maintain my passwords on my desktop (or netbook) again, but always have my login information with my where ever I go.

Software Focus Annoyances

I must really like to write these “annoyances” blog posts. Right now, I’d like to rant about programs stealing focus.

Just now, I got the idea for a blog post. I hate when people refer to a blog post as a blog. The blog is the entire framework to which you publish individual posts. I guess that’s for another annoyance rant.

I came up with an idea. I decided to launch Windows Live Writer. The splash screen came up. I then decided while WLW was loading, I’d switch back to Chrome and bring up Amazon so I can embed an affiliate link for a book I planned to mention.

What I mean by software focus is, the program demanding focus comes to the top. This is annoying, especially when a program goes through a few different phases while being brought up. That makes it almost impossible to get anything else done while the program is loading.

This is one of the reasons I refuse to use Norton Internet Security. I don’t care if it’s been completely reengineered. The 2005 version annoyed me so badly with it’s focus stealing that I uninstalled it and swore I’d never use it or any of it’s bastard children again. Whenever NIS would download updates, it would constantly steal focus from whatever I was doing to tell me what it was doing. If I was trying to write an email, my email window would go inactive while Norton flashed on the taskbar. Then I had to stop what I was doing to click on the Norton window, then go back to Outlook only to be interrupted by Norton once again.

It would be great if programs allowed you to get other work done while they load in the background, rather than constantly stealing focus from other programs while doing a childish “Look at me!” routine.

Remembering the $1000 iPhone App “I Am Rich”

This is a classic. One of the first apps released for the iPhone’s OS 2, and one of the most expensive I’m aware of. I Am Rich originally sold for $999. It was bought by 8 people, two of which appealed. 6 people apparently were happy with their purchase. I Am Rich did little. It showed a picture of a red gem, and had a mantra which read:

I am rich
I deserv [sic] it
I am good,
healthy &

Deserve was misspelled. But I guess if you’re rich, you don’t have to spell “deserve” right.

I had a freeware version of the app for Windows Mobile.

How To Use A Daily Capture Mind Map

Way back in September, I wrote a post about using a concept called a Daily Capture Mind Map. It was to address a serious vulnerability in my own productivity system.

For the most part, it worked really well. I began using Mind Manger for iPhone. I kept this map on it. I treated this as a dashboard and used it to park information that I needed access to quickly. Prior to buying Mind Manager for iPhone, I was using Mind Meister, an online mind mapping service with a free plan. At the time I had two computers for work on two different networks, so I could access my dashboard at either, plus at home.

iPhone Pictures 195

With Mind Manager for iPhone, if I was out and about, and came up with a new idea, or an action item, I would park it on this mind map until I could get to it later. If somebody committed to get something to me, it went on here. And, if I committed something to somebody else, it went on here. I referred to it several times a day.

It worked really well for a while. At least, it worked until I didn’t have a job anymore. For some reason, I’m a lot better at tracking lots of information than I am very little information. Once I was removed from my position in November, I didn’t have anything else to track. I haven’t really used this map much since then.

I’m going to dust this map back off as I go about my job search.

Finally, The Differences Between Web Browsers Explained

If you ever wondered what the differences were between the major web browsers, this should help.

Lately, I've been using Firefox portable on a hard drive that I carry with me. At home, I use Google's Chrome on my computers. I started having problems with Firefox on my desktop, and it's memory leaks are just too much for my netbook to handle.

I never got the point to Opera. I like Safari on Mac, but until the Windows version gets a session manager, I'm not using it.

I use Internet Explorer only in extreme emergencies. I hate Internet Exploder. It's slow and clunky.

Fun With Ghosts

In my last post, I wrote about a new iPhone app that allows you to superimpose ghosts onto pictures. Here are the first two I came up with. One is a “ghost” standing next to Caleb on the bed while he plays Lego Star Wars on the Wii. The other is a picture of the front of my house during a recent snowstorm.

I could have a lot of fun with this app. Yes, I promise not to test how gullible the Philadelphia Inquirer might be.

Fun With Ghosts

Fun With Ghosts

Take Pictures of Ghosts With an iPhone

I like the show Ghost Hunters, so I won't pick on them here. I assume it's safe to take the show at face value until I find a reason not to.

One of the things I like about TAPS is that they place the highest value on evidence. Personal experiences are interesting, but count for little to nothing. They only go by what they can demonstrate.

That's good, because I just found out a way to have fun with those who aren't as careful to only deal in verifiable evidence. Turns out, a UK tabloid published a photo with an apparent ghost in it. It looks real enough, right?

Not really. Turns out, the picture was a hoax. And as the cliche goes, there's an app for that. Introducing Ghost Capture, now live in the App Store (iPhone). Ghost capture is available in both free and $.99 versions. I'm downloading the free version.

Now if I can only hoax Christina before she reads this blog post…

An iPhone App That Prevents You From Getting Caught Having An Affair?

Are you screwing around on your wife but don't want to get caught? Well, there's an app for that now. It's called "Tiger Text". Pete Wilson does a good job of explaining the app and the moral implications, so no need for me to repeat that.

From Pete's writeup, the app allows you to send text messages to the object of your affair. The texts don't reside on your iPhone, but on their servers. Cool, that just means they can be subpoenaed by a savvy attorney. Oh, also, you can only have affairs with people who also have iPhones.

The app also isn't likely to prevent a spouse from discovering an affair. It'll just prevent text messages being sent back and forth from being on the iPhone. You are subject to the consequences of your poor judgment, planning, and overconfidence involving all aspects of an affair outside of your text messages. No matter how well you think you're hiding it, it WILL catch up to you.

I discovered an ancient secret that prevents your spouse from finding out that you had an affair. It's the kind of secret that everybody should know, but for whatever reason doesn't. I should patent this advice and sell it on late night TV for $29.95 with a boiler room telemarketing upsell. I won't. I'll offer it here on my blog for free because that's the kind of man I am.

The easiest way to prevent a spouse from finding out about an affair is:

DON'T HAVE A FREAKING AFFAIR! See how easy this is? You can apply this to every other area of life. Don't want to get caught cheating on taxes? DON'T CHEAT ON YOUR TAXES. There'll be nothing to get caught for. Don't want to get pulled over for speeding? DON'T SPEED! (OK, I'm the last one who should be giving that advice, but it still works even if I don't follow it).

For some reason, I always use the word "freaking" more when I've been listening to Dave Ramsey. I have no idea why…

I doubt this post will go down in history as one of my best, but if I can save one marriage by it, it's worth it.

Though I am far from an expert on the subject, I have done plenty of reading about marriage. Just as I am not aware of a single lottery winner who didn't end up blowing the whole wad and destroying his or her family, I'm also not aware of a single case where an affair ended well. I do know plenty of people who kept it together through rough spots in marriage and came out better.

I've known people who cheated. Even if their spouse didn't directly find out about it, their marriages disintegrated anyway. I've seen cheating destroy public images and end or damage careers (Clinton, Sanford, etc…) Seriously, these things NEVER end well. I don't care if 30+ years of soap operas are based on little more of a plot device than who is having an affair with whom. In real life, they never end well.

Nook to Get Update This Week?

Engadget has a report that the Barnes & Noble nook is likely to get a software update this week. For those of you following my eBook reader series, this goes with what I've been saying. Most of the problems up to this point reported with nook are software related, and should be easily fixed with a software update.

As far as I know, Amazon hasn't released a software update for their Kindle.