OMG! LOL: Internet Slang Added to Oxford English Dictionary

By Daniel Ionescu, PCWorld    Mar 26, 2011 5:59 AM

Time-saving online abbreviations like LOL, OMG, and IMHO are now part of the official English language. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) announced the addition of several acronyms to its dictionary, adding some interesting trivia behind the origins of these Internet-associated expressions.

OED explained that although “initialisms” like OMG (Oh My God), LOL (Laughing Out Loud) and IMHO (In My Humble/Honest Opinion) are strongly associated with the language of electronic communications, their origins are surprisingly predating the Internet era.

For example, OED found a quotation for OMG in a personal letter from 1917, and FYI (For Your Information) originated in the language of memoranda in 1941. Also, apparently the LOL expression had a previous life, starting in 1960, denoting an elderly woman (Little Old Lady).

OED notes that some expressions like OMG and LOL are used outside electronic communication contexts as well, including print and spoken use, in the form of more than a simple abbreviation:

“The intention is usually to signal an informal, gossipy mode of expression, and perhaps parody the level of unreflective enthusiasm or overstatement that can sometimes appear in online discourse, while at the same time marking oneself as an ‘insider’ au fait with the forms of expression associated with the latest technology.”

If you’re not familiar with the online slang, you can always check out this Internet slang dictionary and translator. Just enter the text slang you want to translate and you’re done. TTYL

Latest News | T-Mobile | Q&A: More Information About AT&T Acquisition of T-Mobile USA

An agreement was announced under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA. The agreement is the first step in a process that, including regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. Until then, we remain a separate company and continue to operate independently.

We know our customers, business partners and others may have many questions.

Here is some more information:

Will my service change?

  • There is no change in your service and we remain committed to ensuring you have the best experience possible experience using your T-Mobile USA products and services.

Will I now be billed by AT&T?

  • No, your billing remains exactly the same. T-Mobile USA continues to operate as an independent company. As always, you would receive advance notice to any changes to your services.

Why is T-Mobile USA doing this?

  • Bringing together these two world-class businesses will create significant benefits for customers. The merger will ensure the deployment of a robust 4G LTE network to 95% of the U.S. population, something neither company would achieve on its own. Also, because of our compatible networks and spectrum, the customers of T-Mobile USA and AT&T will experience improved voice and data service almost immediately after the networks are integrated.

Will T-Mobile USA’s quality be reduced?

  • No. In fact, the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA will offer an even stronger service to customers. Until the acquisition is closed, we will work hard to maintain our position as the value leader with America’s largest 4G network.

If the acquisition closes, will I still be able to use my T-Mobile USA phone?

  • Yes. Your T-Mobile USA device will operate the same in the future as it does today.

Should I wait to sign-up with T-Mobile USA or upgrade my phone?

  • No, T-Mobile USA offers the latest wireless devices that are affordable on America’s Largest 4G Network and the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA will mean even stronger service for our customers. Now is a great time to be a T-Mobile customer.

Is T-Mobile USA getting the iPhone?

  • T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and coming soon our new Sidekick 4G.

Will my rate plan change because of the acquisition?

  • We will honor all contracted plans that are entered into before the change of ownership.

Where can I express my opinion on this?

  • T-Mobile customers can utilize the company’s online Forums.

via Latest News | T-Mobile | Q&A: More Information About AT&T Acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

Shopping Online Safely

With the upcoming holidays, there will be many of you who will be doing your shopping online. It’s convenient, often times cheaper, and you can have items wrapped and delivered directly to the recipient. In fact, it’s estimated that 25% of holiday shopping this year will be online.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re shopping.

  • Start by making sure that your anti-virus program is up-to-date. If you do web searches and click on the results, you may find yourself at a site that doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Along those lines, make sure the site you are visiting is trustworthy by using WebOfTrust (WOT). Now when you perform a search, the results will have a green, yellow or red symbol letting you know if the website is safe or not.
  • Once you’re done selecting what you want to purchase, you’ll be taken to your shopping cart where you will be entering personal information: name, address, e-mail address, credit card information. It’s critcally important that before you enter any of that information that you are on a secured page. How can you tell? To begin with, check the web address in the address bar. It should start with “https:” instead of the normal “http:”. The s shows that you’re on a secured site. The other thing to look for is the golden lock.
    There is a de facto standard among web browsers to display a “lock” icon somewhere in the window of the browser (NOT in the web page display area!)  For example, Microsoft Internet Explorer displays the lock icon in the lower-right of the browser window.
    The Lock Icon is not just a picture! Click, or double-click, on it to see the details for the site’s security. This is important to know because some bad sites are designed with a bar at the bottom of the web page to imitate the lock icon of your browser.
  • Unless you’re planning on doing a lot of shopping at a particular site, if the site offers to save your information for future shopping, don’t let them. It may be convenient, but the fewer places that have your personal information, the better.
  • When paying for the items in your shopping cart, many people feel good about using their Debit Card as opposed to racking up charges on their credit cards. However, when it comes to fraud, debit cards fall far behind credit cards. That’s because your liability limit under federal law increases the longer you wait to report any unauthorized activity. Be sure to check with your financial institution for their policies on fraud protection.
  • Credit Cards – many credit card companies have $0 liability policies. This means you won’t be held accountable for any fraudulent purchases. You can dispute purchases that were either made without your consent or where the goods don’t match the descriptions. You’ll need to check with your credit card company for the specific steps to dispute a purchase and their policy on fraudulent purchases.
  • Single-Use Credit cards. Many credit card companies and banks will allow you to use single-use or virtual cards. You get a unique account number that can be used once, or for a short period of time. That way, if someone were to steal the account number, when they go to use it, it will no longer be valid.
  • Print out your receipt. You’ll have a record of the purchase to compare with the charge in case the vendor adds additional charges or charges you twice for something.
  • When giving your e-mail address out, check the page and read the privacy policy of the site. Many times there is text stating that they will or will not share your e-mail address with others. If you have the option to opt out of allowing them to share, do so. It will eliminate spam. Additonally, you may want to set up a free or additional e-mail address that you use strictly for online registrations so that any spam gets sent to that address and not to your main e-mail address.

Read the rest of my monthly newsletter for information on ways to comparison shop and links to Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials. AskBillFirst November Newsletter

 

Computer Security for Teens and Their Parents Too.

Ran across a nice, free, security e-book from Microsoft that is written for teens, to keep them safe while on the internet but it is a great e-book for parents to read as well. You can download it here.

“Help teens ‘own their space’ online. Whether you are a parent, caregiver, or educator, you can keep up with the latest computer and online safety issues and help kids learn to avoid them. In partnership with security expert and author, Linda McCarthy, we offer a free downloadable version of her new book, “Own Your Space – Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online.” Written for computer and Internet savvy “tweens” and teens specifically, this book is also a useful resource for the adults they rely on.”

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=87583728-ef14-4703-a649-0fd34bd19d13&displayLang=en

Mozy vs Carbonite – Off-site Backup Thoughts

In the past, I’ve recommended options for backing up your important files, since we all know that at some point in time, your computer or hard drive is going to die. One of the options I’ve mentioned is backing up your data to an off-site location. The reason for this is that in the event of catastrophe, your files will be available to you from where ever you might be.

Two off-site companies are Mozy and Carbonite. Recently I’ve had to experience the restore capabilities of both companies and I found out that there is a world of difference between the two.

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, who was using Carbonite, had to restore her files from the vendor. Several days after the restore started, she was still having problems getting her files. Many calls and e-mails to tech support later, her files were finally recovered. Not having experienced Carbonite before, I wasn’t sure whether this was an isolated incident or not. Well, come to find out that it wasn’t. A couple of months ago, another friend, also a Carbonite user, had to purchase a new computer and went to restore her files from the vendor. Several days later, she was still trying to recover her files from the vendor. Many calls and e-mails later, she had her files but the frustration felt by both individuals was incredible.

Just recently, I lost my hard drive. I use Mozy for backup needs and when I needed to restore my files, I logged onto the site, chose the files/folders to restore, waited an hour while Mozy processed the request, clicked the download button and within a couple of hours, my files were on my new hard drive. It was incredibly easy, pretty quick, and very painless. Additionally, Mozy allows you to duplicate the off-site backup to an external hard drive that is attached to your computer so restoring your files would be even easier.

Having backups of your critical files is extremely important. Being able to restore those files in a timely manner is also important. Before my most recent experience with the restore functions of these two vendors, I’d say that they were pretty comparable. After experiencing the restore functions, I’d say Mozy is the better program hands down. My recommendation – Mozy. If you’re using Carbonite, switch.

https://mozy.com/
http://www.carbonite.com/

Windows XP zero-day under attack; Use Microsofts “fix-it” workaround | ZDNet

Just five days after Google researcher Tavis Ormandy released details of a critical vulnerability affecting Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, malware authors have struck, exploiting the flaw to plant malware on Windows machines.The attacks, described by Microsoft as “limited,” are being distributed on rigged Web sites drive-by downloads.“Windows Server 2003 customers are not currently at risk from the Win Help issue based on the attack samples we have analyzed,” according to Microsoft’s security response center.The attacks,  are only targeting Windows XP computers with the HCP protocol enabled.

ONE-CLICK FIX-IT

In the absence of a patch, Microsoft is recommending that affected Windows customers use this one-click Fix-It tool to unregister the problematic “hcp://” protocol.

This can also be manually done by following these simple directions:

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, and then highlight the HCP key.
  4. Right-click the HCP key, and then click Delete.

Impact of Workaround: Unregistering the HCP protocol will break all local, legitimate help links that use hcp://.  For example, links in Control Panel may no longer work.

via Windows XP zero-day under attack; Use Microsofts “fix-it” workaround | ZDNet.

Adobe reports critical flaw in Flash, Acrobat | Security – CNET News

Adobe has issued a security advisory about a “critical” vulnerability in its Flash Player and Adobe Reader and Acrobat products that it says could let attackers take control of peoples computers. The company said late Friday that there had been reports of the hole actually being exploited and that an official patch was not yet available. Affected software includes: Adobe Flash Player 10.0.45.2, 9.0.262, and earlier 10.0.x and 9.0.x versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Solaris, Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.3.2 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows, Macintosh, and Unix. The company said that the Flash Player 10.1 Release Candidate does not seem to be vulnerable and that Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8.x are confirmed not vulnerable. Adobe didn’t say when an official fix would be released, but according to the company, computer users can mitigate the Flash issue by downloading the release candidate mentioned above. The Acrobat and Reader issue can be addressed by “deleting, renaming, or removing access to the authplay.dll file” that ships with those products, Adobe said. This will, however, cause a nonexploitable crash or error message if a user opens a PDF file that contains SWF content. The .dll file is typically located at C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\authplay.dll for Adobe Reader or C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 9.0\Acrobat\authplay.dll for Acrobat, Adobe said.The complete security advisory is available here.

via Adobe reports critical flaw in Flash, Acrobat | Security – CNET News.

Defective McAfee update causes worldwide meltdown of XP PCs | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report | ZDNet.com

At 6AM today, McAfee released an update to its antivirus definitions for corporate customers that had a slight problem. And by “slight problem,” I mean the kind that renders a PC useless until tech support shows up to repair the damage manually. Here’s how the SANS Internet Storm Center describes the screw-up:McAfee’s “DAT” file version 5958 is causing widespread problems with Windows XP SP3. The affected systems will enter a reboot loop and [lose] all network access. We have individual reports of other versions of Windows being affected as well. However, only particular configurations of these versions appear affected. The bad DAT file may infect individual workstations as well as workstations connected to a domain. The use of “ePolicyOrchestrator”, which is used to update virus definitions across a network, appears to have [led] to a faster spread of the bad DAT file. The ePolicyOrchestrator is used to update “DAT” files throughout enterprises. It can not be used to undo this bad signature because affected system will lose network connectivity.The problem is a false positive which identifies a regular Windows binary, “svchost.exe”, as “W32/Wecorl.a”, a virus.McAfee now has its own KnowledgeBase page posted, with details about the problem and the fix. The symptoms are described, tersely, as “Blue screen or DCOM error, followed by shutdown messages after updating to the 5958 DAT on April 21, 2010.”

via Defective McAfee update causes worldwide meltdown of XP PCs | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report | ZDNet.com.

FIFA World Cup themed malware campaign spreads malicious PDF files | Zero Day | ZDNet.com

For all of you World Cup Soccer fans:

Researchers from Symantec are reporting on an ongoing targeted malware campaign using a FIFA World Cup 2010 theme, in an attempt to trick end users into executing a malicious PDF file, exploiting a recently patched flaw in Adobe Reader.More details on the campaign:The attackers have downloaded Greenlife’s PDF document, and changed it to include malicious code. They then attempted to email the malicious PDF to a user in a major international organization that brings together governments from all over the world. We should emphasize that downloading the PDF from the Greenlife website is perfectly safe at the time of writing this blog.The attack makes use of a recently patched vulnerability in Adobe Reader – CVE-2010-0188. The patch for this critical rated vulnerability was released by Adobe on February 16, 2010. Since then we have observed a large number of targeted attacks attempting to exploit this vulnerability. Proof-of-Concept exploit code is available in the Internet which is contributing to the large number of observed attacks. The exploit makes use of a flaw in the TIFF file parsing in Adobe Reader. In particular, a stack overflow is caused by inserting a TIFF image into the PDF with a specially crafted “DotRange” tag.

According to recent reports, malicious PDF files not only comprised 80 percent of all exploits for 2009, but also, represent the preferred infection vector for targeted attacks in general, for the first time ever surpassing the use of malicious Microsoft Office files.

Users should not just update their Adobe products, or perhaps even consider an alternative PDF reader, if truly paranoid. They should take a comprehensive approach when dealing with all the 3rd party applications and browser plugins, currently installed.

via FIFA World Cup themed malware campaign spreads malicious PDF files | Zero Day | ZDNet.com.

LifeLock Settles FTC Charges For $12 Million — InformationWeek

I was thinking about using them. With the ease of identity theft, there must be something that can be used…Common sense?

The FTC complaint alleged that the firm’s identity theft protection and data security claims were false.By Thomas ClaburnInformationWeekMarch 10, 2010 11:19 AMThe Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday announced that identity theft protection company LifeLock has agreed to pay $12 million to the FTC and 35 state attorneys general to settle charges that its service doesn’t work as advertised.The agency says the payment represents one of the largest FTC-coordinated settlements on record. The settlement forbids company principals from making further deceptive claims and requires the company to take measures to protect customer data.

“While LifeLock promised consumers complete protection against all types of identity theft, in truth, the protection it actually provided left enough holes that you could drive a truck through it,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in a statement.Since 2006, LifeLock has been charging customers $10 per month to protect them against identity theft. The company rose to prominence as a result of its advertising campaign involving the public display of CEO Todd Davis’s social security number on the side of a truck, ostensibly as proof that its identity theft protection service worked.

The FTC charged that the fraud alerts LifeLock placed on customer accounts weren’t effective against most types of identity theft, that its service claims were false, and that its data protection claims were false.

In 2008, LifeLock was sued in a civil lawsuit that made claims similar to the FTC’s allegations. That lawsuit alleged that “the statements by LifeLock’s CEO regarding the ability of LifeLock to protect his own identity are deceptive because his identity was stolen while he was a customer…”

via LifeLock Settles FTC Charges For $12 Million — InformationWeek.