Category : Google

Bing Search Results

According to a German research firm, Bing is near the top of the list when it comes to malicious sites in search results. Within a 18-month time span Bing had 5 times as many malicious sites than Google did. After 10 million searches were conducted Google had 272 potentially suspicious sites while Bing had a whopping 1.285. To read a more thorough report on the findings click here.

Google Glass

We here at BVA hear rumors about new wearable technology and taking it to the next level, Google Glass is one such item that we can’t wait to see for ourselves. Smartphones move over because it’s not about doing things from the palm of your hands anymore, soon all we will need is a pair of glasses and a voice command.  Visit this page to read all about the best parts of what Google Glass has to offer.

Nexus 4 and Google Now

Last night during The Grammy’s there was one commercial that caught our eye’s here at BVA and that was the Nexus 4/Google Now advertisement. The commercial showcased users’ from around the world using the phone for various things like translating lanuages, video-chatting, and giving directions for subway travelers.

In my home we are big on Apple products and when Siri came out I was pretty amazed by the things it could do. I am happy to see Google coming out with something that is comparable to Siri because I think that type of system puts a whole new meaning to a “Smart Phone”. Hopefully one day I can see what Google Now has to offer and compare the two side by side. Until you see that blog go up feel free to watch the commercial and give me your take on it. Watch the Google Now/Nexus 4 Commercial here.




Major Android botnet attack in China

All of here at BVA know that in todays world tech viruses are inevitable, here is the latest one to catch our eye. Some Chinese Android users (roughly 1 million of them) have become victims of Trojan-based botnet attack. Kingsoft Duba was the security firm that first noticed it back in 2011. ‘Android.Troj.mdk’ is said to have been hidden in 7,000 apps and once it infected the phone the victims smartphone hackers could remotely control it. From there they could install other apps along with take sensitive data like contact lists, messages, videos, and anything else the device had stored on it. This virus has, for the most part, been confined to China like another Android botnet Rootstrap that infected about 100,000 mobile devices through SMS messages last year.

Google Has Axed Postini

bva found out today that the rumors are true which we have know for some time.  Google will retire Postini, migrate features to Google Apps for all their 26 million users.  Google has built the e-mail security and archiving features into two Google Apps products, which it will transition to customers next year.  This will be an interesting transition and move over to a new platform.

The Web announced the transition today, saying that it has spent the last year building Postini’s features into Google Apps for Business, a professional suite, and Google Apps Vault, an e-mail archiving and discovery service.
“With this transition to Google Apps, you can receive similar email security, protection, and archiving, but through the more robust Google Apps service,” Google said in a company blog post. “Google Apps also works with mail servers such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, so you don’t need to switch to Gmail.”

How customer services will transition:

Customers receiving information about the transition process at least 60 days before their migration is scheduled to begin. Customers who do not wish to transition to Google Apps will see their Postini service terminated at the end of their contract.

The service currently has about 26 million users. Google acquired Postini for $625 million in 2007.

The Internet Blackout of 2012

As many of you have probably heard, there are forces of power collaborating over two pieces of legislation, that if passed, could threaten the Internet and all of the vast freedoms we take advantage of. As we all know, the Internet is a world where people from all over collaborate to share information, build friendships, and openly express themselves, but what happens if it’s all taken away?

A little background information on the two laws currently under open debate in congress are SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). These bills, opposed by a force of businesses titled The Net Coalition, essentially empower the government to put an end to piracy and copyright infringements, using any means necessary up to shutting off a persons or companies access to the web. The bills, designed to help enforce copyright holders in the United States, allow corporations to seek court orders forcing payment providers, search engines, and advertisers to stop doing business with these infringing sites. It doesn’t stop there, provisions of SOPA also permit the government to issue court orders to Internet Service Providers to enforce a DNS block on infringing sites (even though the IP’s would still make the website reachable). To take it one step further, these laws even empower copyright holders to require entities such as YouTube to take down videos of people singing other’s songs, which again if passed, can claim infringe the copyrights held by music companies

Today, January 18th, marks the official first blackout day for the major companies on the internet that oppose these bills. Corporations such as google, wikipedia, and craigslist have all blacked out their websites in protest, requiring users to view a little statement of their feelings regarding these bills before being able to continue browsing through their site, all of which also have a form that can be signed to enlist yourself in their protest on these laws.

It’s quite simple, these law’s threaten the freedom’s that many of us truly cherish, and unless we all band together to vocalize our opinions, we risk losing our right to express ourselves and speak freely.

Google Cloud Connect

Do you use Microsoft Office and want to try Google Docs? Do you use both Google Docs and Microsoft Office? Would you like to backup and access your Office files from anywhere? Well now you can with a new service that Google has launched called Google Cloud Connect.

What this program does is it allows users to backup and share their documents that have been created with the Microsoft Office Products and use them on Google Docs. Google Cloud Connect supports Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents in the 2003-2010 versions of Microsoft Office.

It is fairly simple to setup. All you need to do is download a little plug-in for Microsoft Office and have a Google Docs account. A little toolbar is installed and it is as simple as selecting the sync button and it will sync it up to the cloud.

Check out the video below!


Google Apps not Quite Comparable to Exchange

Recently I was asked to perform a migration of a few users from their current Exchange Server 2003/2007 environment over to Google Apps.  Although the migration process was fairly simple to execute, users quickly found that there were a few things lacking in the Google Apps offering.

I had users that were accustomed to the collaboration features that were very easy in Exchange, like contact and calendar sharing, which are not so easily done in Google Apps.  Google Apps now provides an API to help accomplish contact sharing, however, I’m not a developer and neither are any of my users.  That being said, I don’t think this is a viable option for us.  The good news is that this API is relatively new, and maybe someone will develop something that is useful for sharing contacts – something that is easy for me and my users to implement.

The calendar sharing was much better, but also lacks an important function.  When using the Outlook plugin (which allows you to use Outlook as your Google Apps client), the only way for a user to see another user’s calendar would be to grant full access to the calendar being shared.  If the user does not have full access, they can only see free/busy information and not the appointments on the calendar.

As I said earlier, the migration process went really well, and there are several very good options for executing the migration.  However, my users leveraged the power of Outlook and Exchange were left a little disappointed with Google Apps.  If you have very simple email and calendaring needs, and are a smaller business operation, Google Apps may be just fine.  If you are looking for an alternative for your in-house Exchange server, you might be happier looking into Microsoft’s Hosted Exchange solution.

Certain Key Words in Searches Attract Malware

Have you ever gone on the web and searched for “free stuff?” I know I have quite a bit, and did not realize the risk I was putting myself in. According to a study done by McAfee released in September of 2010, your chances of being directed to a malicious site are greatly increased when you use the word “free” while searching for music, movies, and other digital content.

In the report, it notes that you are 300 percent more likely to land on a malicious site if you search for free music ringtones. Also, the report states that searching for artists lyrics puts you at twice the risk than searching for “ringtones” for the same artists (first five pages of results).

Including the word “MP3” within your search immediately puts you at risk of reaching malicious sites. According to McAfee, there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of sites that host malicious MP3 files.

In order to protect yourself from these types of issues, it is recommended to not use the word “free” in your searches related to digital media, keep your antivirus up to date, don’t click on suspicious links, and use your best judgment when not sure about the safety of certain websites.

(Credit: McAfee)

Try Google Pack!

As I was browsing around on Google the other day, I noticed a neat little tool they have called Google Pack, which essentially downloads and installs some of the most basic applications that you may typically need on your PC. See below for the list of apps.

Now generally I would use most of these applications on my own PC, but there are some I do not typically use. For instance, I do my best to stay away from using any types of toolbars as they cause problems more often than not. What you could do in this case for Firefox is install it and then disable the toolbar.

Google Pack is a customizable download complete with a web browser, office applications (Google Apps), antivirus (avast), Photo editor (Picasa), Skype, Google Earth, Adobe Reader, Google Talk, and RealPlayer. All of these software applications are optional.

I would personally use this software just for the ease of installing these apps from one location to save time.