You no longer have to be an involuntary beta tester. Dr Dave guides you through the technology maze, separating the hype from technology that actually adds to the quality of your life.

The Best of Dr Dave's Weekly Radio Show

Click here to listen to Archive shows

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ever wonder what those CHK files are?

DIY DataRecovery CHK-Mate (freeware), recover content from CHK files

It's not unusual to end up with one or more chk files after running chkdsk. Sometimes they are garbage, other times they are recoverable data files. This is how you get them back. Another great free tool to save our data.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Twitter Worm Author Found

17-year-old claims responsibility for Twitter worm (April 12, 2009)

Click the link above to get the details. It's only going to get worse...

Good standard compliants is always good

When good browsers go bad -- and they all do

I've been a big fan of the Opera browser for years. They have a reputation for not working on certain sites, yet they have been the only browser 100% compliant with the web standards. Now IE 8 and FireFox are moving to more complete compliance with web standards, so we are in for a painful transition period. Those web sites not in compliance must be pressured to repair their sites, instead of continuing to use browsers that have no interest in standards.

Onward to a new era of standard standards and love and peace for all!

Large Screen Kindle on the way?

Amazon Reported To Be Developing A Large Screen Kindle (AMZN)

I have yet to jump on the Kindle bandwagon. Perhaps this new version due out later this year will move me.

I am still looking for color display, smaller keyboard, and cheaper price. Not likely to get all three in this next version. Or will we?

Pent up success or Vista-like failure?

My experience with Windows 7 has been stellar. But there is more to OS release success than a good, stable operating system. First of course is reputation. I think Windows 7 has that in spades. Many beta testers have been calling for it's release for weeks. While it's unquestionably premature to do so, it is a very compelling indication of the quality of the software. The other is a streamlined, common sense product lineup. The chaos of the numerous, ill defined Vista product versions made adopters reluctant to deal with the details of making a choice, so they didn't.

In this story the author argues that Windows 7 will suffer from a weak release demand due to the economy and the markets experience with Vista. I believe it may be just the opposite. Indeed the economy will weaken any products release well into 2012, but the pent up demand for upgrades for computers and OS's will drive Windows 7 to a very successful launch. Microsoft has learned well from it's Vista catastrophe.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

50% of Easter Bunny Picture Search's result in Malware

Even the most innocent of searches can lead to nefarious infections. Here's what Jay Chaudhry, CEO of Zscaler had to say, “Parents running searches on Google [looking for places to take kids for a picture with the Easter Bunny] may be in for the wrong kind of treat.” He continued, “Out of the many relevant search results on the topic, our researchers found that most end up pointing unsuspecting consumers to a site that hosts malware.” In fact, Zscaler researchers found that out of every 20 or so results, more than half led to malware. “This is a good example of why organizations need Web security.”

Plenty of free, effective tools here. Use them!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Remove Downadup - Removal tool for Downadup (known also as Conficker or Kido)

Remove Downadup - Removal tool for Downadup (known also as Conficker or Kido)

If you've been in a cave the last few weeks and haven't already done this. It's amazing how many people still aren't protected and/or updated. Please, do it now!

Latest Overnight Details on Conficker Variant

During the night of 8th/9th April, computers infected with Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Kido (aka Conficker.c) contacted each other via P2P networks (eDonkey, BitTorrent, Gnutella, Limewire, etc.), instructing previously infected machines to download new malicious files, activating the Conficker botnet.

Conficker is now once again a worm. Initial analyses suggest it has date-limited functionality until 3rd May 2009.

In addition to downloading updates for itself, Conficker also downloads two new files to infected machines. One is a rogue antivirus application (detected as FraudTool.Win32.SpywareProtect2009.s) that is being spread from sites in Ukraine. Once run the program offers to delete "detected viruses" for a charge of $49.95.

The second file downloaded is the Email-Worm.Win32.Iksmas.atz. This worm is also known as Waledac and steals data and sends spam. Conficker and Iksmas are very similar in construction and the Conficker epidemic was mirrored by an email epidemic of a similar scale caused by Iksmas.

According to Aleks Gostev, head of Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and
Analysis Team, "Over a 12-hour period, Iksmas connected to its control centers around the globe a number of times and received commands to send out spam mailings. In just 12 hours, one bot alone sent out 42,298 spam messages. Virtually every email contained a unique domain. This was obviously done to prevent anti-spam filters from detecting the mass mailings using methods that analyze the frequency with which a specific domain is used. Overall, we detected the use of 40,542 third-level domains and 33 second-level domains. Virtually all of these sites are located in China and are registered in the names of various people, most probably invented."

If you run the numbers, one Iksmas bot sends out around 80,000 emails in 24 hours. Assuming that there are about 5 million infected machines on the Internet, the botnet could send out about 400 billion spam messages over a 24-hour period!
You think you have spam problems!

Great, but Too Late?

Palm Pre Smartphone, WebOS Are Looking Like iPhone Killers

Looks like the Palm Pre may be the best smartphone to date. Ease of use, power, beauty, it seems to have it all. But can Palm remain strong enough until it releases the phone? Sales have dropped through the floor as people wait for it's release. Thier early announcement of the Pre has excited smartphone buyers, but killed Palms Treo Pro and Centro sales.

The latest date I've been able to glean is April 30th. This is the Sprints "drop dead" date, according to sources inside that wireless company. Neither Palm nor Sprint will officially confirm a date other than the 1st half of '09. Hope they can hang on that long.

Conficker Update Online Now

Conficker, the Internet's No. 1 threat, gets an update - Network World

The Conficker worm, probably the biggest threat since the Melissa virus a decade ago has been updated.

Initially it appeared the bad guys were concerned that the spread of the worm was too successful and they had slowed it's rate of infection. Now, with changes in it's behavior, the worms spread is escalating.

The days of informal, unprofessional vandalism type hacking is gone. Replaced by very organized professional criminal organizations. Requires an equally professional attitude when dealing with the threat.

Fortunately we have a great choice of inexpensive, even free tools that we can utilize to protect us from the threats.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Electricity Grid in Peril

Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated By Spies -

In a recent story it was reported that 100 million dollars had been spent by the Pentagon to prevent unauthorized access to defense department computer systems. Unfortunately military systems are not the only high profile targets.

In this WSJ story, the civilian electrical grid is a major target of both China and Russia. It's thought that Islamo-fascist terrorists are not major threats in this regard.

Water, sewer and other infrastructure systems are also threatened. Many contain hidden threats that can be turned on in the future should the US become active adversaries of the sponsors of those attacks.

We tend to take such threats lightly because we don't hear about them much because they cannot be addressed publicly without risking the effectiveness of organizations that are responsible for their defense.

We have to realize that it's a big, bad world out there with threats that cannot always be dealt with by dialog. We must be strong AND vigilant.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Crazy eCOST Deals Today Only

eCOST | Hot Sheet | Welcome

1TB ATA drive for $39 and other insane deals! Today only...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

IE8 vs Firefox

Seems people aren't so impressed with IE8 beating Firefox in most speed test. That's a historic event for a Microsoft browser. Probably a  little anti-MS sour grapes. I am impressed. 

But Opera is smokin' them all. Without the security issues of Chrome and Safari, and still in alpha release, Opera is nearly 3 times faster. Incredible!

Supercharge IE 8

If your installation Internet Explorer 8 seems a bit sluggish, try this tweak:


1. Click Start, then click Run.

2. In the Run dialog box, type cmd and press Enter.

3. In the Command Prompt window, enter "regsvr32 actxprxy.dll" without the quotes and press Enter.

4. Restart your computer.


1. Type cmd in the Start menu Search box.

2. Right-click the Cmd shortcut that appears at the top of the search results list, Under Programs.

3. Choose Run As Administrator.

4. In the Command Prompt window, enter "regsvr32 actxprxy.dll" without the quotes and press Enter.

5. Restart your computer.

Don't know why it works, but something apparently is sometimes amiss with that dll file registration.