The internet’s 40th birthday: anniversary of Arpanet – Telegraph

On 29 October 1969, two letters – LO – were typed on a keyboard in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and appeared on a screen at the Stanford Research Institute, 314 miles away.

The computer scientists had intended to type LOGIN, but the connection was lost just before the G. Nonetheless, this was the first time a message had been sent over a telephone line between two computers.

It was not called the internet – that name was not coined for another five years. It was called Arpanet, for Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, and was developed by scientists in the US Defense Department.

Nor was it the World Wide Web – that was created by the British scientist Tim Berners-Lee, now Sir Tim Berners-Lee, at Cern, the Geneva physics laboratory that now houses the Large Hadron Collider, 20 years ago in March.

And email had existed for a few years before that, between different terminals on single mainframes; the first true email sent between different computers was not sent until 1971.

But 29 October is as good a birthday as any. Those two letters, typed by an undergraduate at UCLA called Charley Kline on an “interface message processor”, were the precursors of everything from the eBay Buy It Now button to LOLcats, Kara’s Adult Playground (we won’t link to that) to Google Wave.

They say life begins at 40. It will be extremely interesting to see where the next 40 years take us.

via The internet’s 40th birthday: anniversary of Arpanet – Telegraph.


What Can The Wheel On My Mouse Be Used For?

We often get so used to using a device for one or two things that we fail to remember what else it can be used for. Such is the case with the wheel that is on most computer mice.

I use it mostly for scrolling up and down a page, but occasionally I’ll need to enlarge or shrink the text on a page and it’s perfect for doing that as well.

To enlarge the text on a page, hold the Ctrl key and turn the scroll wheel away from you. To decrease the size, hold the Ctrl key and rotate the scroll wheel towards you.

A few other things you can do with the mouse wheel and Internet Explorer or Firefox:

1. Closing Tabs
To close a tab just place your mouse cursor on a tab and click with the scroll wheel. This is more convenient and faster than clicking the small cross on the tabs, although sometimes you may have to click the wheel twice.

2. Opening hyperlinks in a new tab
Very often we would like to open a link in a page in a new tab. The normal way to do this is by right-clicking on the the link and choosing ‘Open Link in New Tab‘.  A much quicker way is to just click on the link with the scroll wheel and the link will open in a new tab. You can even click on the Home button or the Forward/Back button to open the respective url in a new tab.

3. Moving Forward/Back
You can use the scroll wheel as an alternative to using the Forward and Back buttons on the toolbar. Hold down the Shift key and rotate the wheel forward to view the next page or rotate backward to see the previous page.

4. Scrolling

On most mice with wheels, you can press down on the wheel once and then by just moving the mouse up or down, the screen will scroll. The further down the page you move the mouse, the faster it will scroll. To turn this off and return to normal use, click the mouse wheel down again.

Fake security software in millions of computers: Symantec by Reuters: Yahoo! Tech

There’s a lot of money to be made in malware. That’s what keeps it going….

WASHINGTON (Reuters) –

Tens of millions of U.S. computers are loaded with scam security software that their owners may have paid for but which only makes the machines more vulnerable, according to a new Symantec report on cybercrime.

Cyberthieves are increasingly planting fake security alerts that pop up when computer users access a legitimate website. The “alert” warns them of a virus and offers security software, sometimes for free and sometimes for a fee.

“Lots of times, in fact they’re a conduit for attackers to take over your machine,” said Vincent Weafer, Symantec’s vice president for security response.

“They’ll take your credit card information, any personal information you’ve entered there and they’ve got your machine,” he said, referring to some rogue software’s ability to rope a users’ machine into a botnet, a network of machines taken over to send spam or worse.

Symantec found 250 varieties of scam security software with legitimate sounding names like Antivirus 2010 and SpywareGuard 2008, and about 43 million attempted downloads in one year but did not know how many of the attempted downloads succeeded, said Weafer.

“In terms of the number of people who potentially have this in their machines, it’s tens of millions,” Weafer said.

It was also impossible to tell how much cyberthieves made off with but “affiliates” acting as middlemen to convince people to download the software were believed to earn between 1 cent per download and 55 cents., which has been shut down, had boasted that its top affiliates earned as much as $332,000 a month for selling scam security software, according to Weafer.

“What surprised us was how much these guys had tied into the whole affiliated model,” Weafer said. “It was more refined than we anticipated.”

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Gunna Dickson)

via Fake security software in millions of computers: Symantec by Reuters: Yahoo! Tech.

Setting a Default Program to Open a File

I received a call today from someone who was having problems opening a pdf file. Whenever she clicked on it, it would open in WordPad, even though she had Adobe Reader installed. She said she could could right-click on it and choose Adobe Reader from the list and it would open but when she double-clicked on it, it would still open in WordPad.

I knew right away what had happened, and it’s very easy to fix. What happened was that she received a pdf file but hadn’t yet downloaded and installed Reader. When she tried to open the pdf, the computer couldn’t associate it with the correct program so it prompted her to choose a program. WordPad was suggested so she took it. That automatically associated the opening of pdf files with WordPad. It didn’t matter that she later installed Reader.

This file association also occurs when installing some programs, especially media programs. If you choose the default installation, many times that program will associate all media files to open it that program, even if you don’t want it to. I always choose the Custom Installation option so I have more control over what gets installed and where.

Anyhow, back to the situation at hand…How to change the association so that her pdf’s open with Reader. There’s a long, involved, confusing way to do it, and then there’s a much quicker and easier way. I’ll cover the quicker and easier way.

I had her right-click on a pdf file she had on her computer and had her left-click on “Open With”.  This brought up a list of programs that she could choose to try to open the file with. I had her click on “Choose Program” or “Choose Default Program” depending on your Windows version. Under Recommended Programs, Adobe Reader was listed so I had her select that and then check the box at the bottom next to Always use the selected program to open this kind of file. If the Program you need isn’t listed under Recommended Programs, you may find it under Other Programs or you may have to Browse for it, but always check the box at the bottom when you find the correct program.

That tells Windows what program to associate that type of file with. Now, when she double-clicks a pdf file from her computer, or opens a pdf attachment from e-mail, it always opens in Adobe Reader.

This will work with any file type you need to associate, or re-associate with a program.