Report: Spam now 90 percent of all e-mail | Security – CNET News

Spam now accounts for 90.4 percent of all e-mail, according to a report released Monday from security vendor Symantec. This means that 1 out of every 1.1 e-mails is junk. The report also notes that spam shot up 5.1 percent just from April to May.

Symantec’s May 2009 MessageLabs Intelligence report reveals other disturbing trends, as well. Rather than just hijack disreputable Web sites, cybercriminals now favor older and well-established domains to host their malware. The report says 84.6 percent of all domains blocked for malicious content are more than a year old. One type of domain now especially vulnerable to threats is social networking, since most of the sites’ content is created by users.

“Spammers using better-known and thus more widely trusted Web sites to host malware is reminiscent of the spammers who rely on well-known Web mail and social networking environments to host spam content,” said Paul Wood, Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence senior analyst. “The trustworthy older domains can be compromised through SQL injection attacks while newer sites are more likely to be flagged as suspicious–a temporary site set up with the sole purpose of distributing spam and malware–and thus faster to get shut down.”

Where you live also determines when you’re spammed, says the report. For people in the U.S., spam hits its peak between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and then drops overnight. Europeans get a solid stream of spam throughout the day, while users in Asia-Pacific countries find most spam waiting for them in the morning. One reason for this trend, says the report, is that most spammers are at their busiest during U.S. working hours.

The popular CAPTCHA program, which asks the user to type in a series of random characters, is no longer proving as effective as once hoped. Many Web sites have relied on CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) to ensure that accounts are created by actual human beings.

But criminals have now succeeded in generating profiles with random names, apparently by using automated CAPTCHA breakers. The report notes that some major Web sites are now exploring other ways to block automated accounts, such as using photographic images that a user must analyze.

Spam levels had dropped for a short while last year after the closure of several malware-hosting Internet providers. But spammers have since bounced back from those losses by rebuilding their networks.

Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence gathers research on spam and other malware from global data centers that track e-mails and Web pages. Symantec releases a new intelligence report each month.

via Report: Spam now 90 percent of all e-mail | Security – CNET News.


HP Recalls Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard

HP Recalls Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Lithium-Ion batteries used in Hewlett-Packard and Compaq notebook computers

Units: About 70,000

Importer: Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif.

Hazard: The recalled lithium-ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm and CPSC are aware of two reports of batteries that overheated and ruptured, resulting in flames/fire that caused minor property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are used with various HP and Compaq notebook computers.  See the list of models that are affected here

Sold at: Computer and electronics stores nationwide, and from August 2007 through March 2008 for between $500 and $3000. The battery packs were also sold separately for between $100 and $160.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the recalled battery from their notebook computer and contact HP to determine if their battery is included in the recall and to request a free replacement battery. After removing the recalled battery from their notebook computer, consumers may use the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives. Consumers should only use batteries obtained from HP or an authorized reseller.

via HP Recalls Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard.

Overheating Prompts Acer Desktop Recall

Acer America reports to CPSC that burn hazard and overheating prompt about 215 units of Acer Predator Desktop computer recall.

Acer desktop safety recall was voluntarily conducted by the Acer America in cooperation with the CPSC. Consumers should stop using the recalled desktop immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The recall includes about 215 units of Acer Predator Desktop Computers. Acer America Corp., of San Jose, Califonia is the importer of the recalled desktop that were manufactured in and shipped from China.

The insulation on Acer Predator desktop’s internal wiring can become bent or stripped, causing the wires to overheat while the product is in use. This poses a burn hazard to consumers.

Acer has received two reports of computers short circuiting, resulting in melted internal components and external casing. Neither incident occurred in the U.S. No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves Acer Predator desktop computers. The high-end gaming machines have model numbers ASG7200 and ASG7700. Model numbers are printed on the bottom right corner of the panel on the right side of the system.

The recalled Acer Predator desktop is sold by computer and electronic stores nationwide from May 2008 through December 2008 for between $2,000 and $6,000.

Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled computers and contact Acer to schedule a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Acer toll-free at (866) 695-2237 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at

Based on the information provided from The alert number is 09-731.

via Overheating Prompts Acer Desktop Recall.

Filtering Incoming EMails

Have you ever waited for an email from someone and it got lost in all of the other email in your inbox, or worse yet, while cleaning out your inbox, you accidentally deleted an email that you had wanted to save?

Of course, you can create folders in your email program and drag the emails you want to save to the folders to keep them, but what if you could setup your email program  so that when mail comes in from certain individuals, or mail comes in with a certain subject, it automatically gets filtered to an email folder and stays out of your inbox. I have a filter for some mail from marketers that I automatically send to my deleted items folder so I never have to look at it. Others, from family members, that automatically go to a “Family” folder. Some friends have their own folders where their email gets delivered to. Some folders receive newsletters that I’ve signed up for.

Every popular email program allows filtering of some sort. You can setup filters for almost anything you receive. Not only does it keep your inbox clean, it sorts and separates your email so it’s easier to find.

I’ve included a link to a pdf file that lists the email programs Hotmail, Yahoo, Google, Outlook Express and Outlook, and described how to set up the filters. You can find it here. If you are using an email program that is not listed, please let me know and I’ll find out for you how to do it.

Amazing Technology – Hubble Space Telescope

As the Space Shuttle Atlantis astronauts release the repaired Hubble Telescope back into it’s orbit, the repairs they performed on it will make it last another five to ten years. Hubble was launched on April 25, 1990 with a projected lifetime of 15 years.Since then, it has sent back incredible pictures, opening windows in space that could never have been imagined before. You can see some of these pictures here.

As for how it was repaired, more amazing technology. To send individuals to space, to connect with a floating object, to connect it to the shuttle, spacewalk to do the repairs and relaunch it takes an incredible amount of technology. During the mission, the four spacewalkers, two per team, managed to fix two science instruments that had broken down years ago and were never meant to be tinkered with in orbit. They also replaced a faltering science data-handling device and installed a docking ring so a robotic craft can latch on and steer the telescope into the Pacific sometime in the early 2020s. To read more on the Hubble Space Telescope, visit

This will be the last time the Hubble Space Telescope will be repaired. Hubble’s replacement, the James Webb Space Telescope, will be launched in 2014 by an unmanned rocket and placed in an orbit inaccessible to astronauts.

A lot of this technology is lost on the younger people today, but it is incredible how all of this can be done. It’s amazing how far we’ve come. One of the best clips I’ve seen on this was when Louis CK was on Conan O’Brien. You can watch it here. You’ll enjoy it.

Evernote – Every Time to Organize Everything

Well, almost everything.

Several years ago I started using Evernote on an occasional basis to save bits of information I ran across on the web. As time went on, I found that I was using it continually. For those times when you’re surfing the web and you find websites that you’d like to go back to  but don’t want to bookmark them, or those articles that have a quote you want to copy but don’t want to open notepad or a word processor to copy it to, or, in my case, fixes for different computer ailments that I need to keep handy, Evernote is the program to use. It’s compatible with Windows and the Mac.

With Evernote, capture what you like, find it when you want.

(Taken from the Evernote site)

Things to capture:

  • Tasks and to-dos
  • Notes and research
  • Web pages
  • Whiteboards
  • Business cards
  • Scribbles
  • Snapshots
  • Wine labels
  • Even Twitter messages

And then find them all any time across all the computers and devices you use. And it’s free.

How to get stuff into Evernote

Memorable stuff is always happening, so we’ve created lots of ways for you to get that stuff into Evernote:

Create: Create new notes using desktop, web, and mobile versions of Evernote

Snap: Take a snapshot using your camera phone or webcam. We’ll even recognize the text in the image.

Clip: Clip entire webpages, screenshots, and just about anything else you can copy

Drag-and-Drop: Drag and drop content into the desktop clients for Mac and Windows

Email: Email notes directly into your account using your personalized email address

Scan: Scan receipts, recipes, tags, brochures, and anything else into Evernote

Record: Record audio wherever you are and listen to it whenever you want

Tweet: Send Twitter messages into Evernote by following @myEN

You can even install Evernote on a flash drive and take it with you. I highly recommend this program and once you start using it, you’ll find it invaluable as well.