Ransomware, Religion, Internet Archive, More: Thursday Buzz, January 28, 2016


Malwarebytes has launched new software designed to protect against ransomware. It is in beta, and it has known bugs. But if you want to test it there’s a download link in the forum post I’m linking to. “Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware monitors all activity in the computer and identifies actions which are typical of ransomware activity. It keeps track of all activity and, once it has enough evidence to determine a certain process or thread to be ransomware, blocks the infection and quarantines the ransomware before it has a chance to encrypt users’ files. During development Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware has blocked every single ransomware variant we have thrown at it.”

New-to-Me: an online archive of religious-themed radio programs and broadcasts. “Compiled by former United Methodist communications staffer Mike Hickcox, the project started with the audio program holdings of the United Methodist General Commission on Archives and History. Now, though, the project has grown to include items from African Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Quaker Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, United Church of Christ and other religious sources.”


Hoo boy. One of the reasons I didn’t get as wound up as most people about the tons of MS-DOS games The Internet Archive added and made available was because the games couldn’t be saved. What’s the point of spending 45 minutes making the perfect bunch of RPG characters when you can’t save the game? Well, now, apparently you can save the game. So if you never see me again, you know why. “Through the work of multiple people, including John Vilk, DFJustin, bai, db48x, and other contributions, the BrowserFS extension that JSMESS/Emularity uses can maintain filesystems across sessions, in the LocalStorage API. It’s been doing this for six months.”

The new version of Firefox is out, and it’s got some push. “Instead of keeping your email, social media and other website tabs open to stay on top of updates and notifications, developers can now send you push messages through Firefox without taking up space at the top of your browser. This way, you can still stay up-to-date on everything without your computer getting bogged down running half-a-dozen websites in the background.”

Google is rolling out some new options for the Republican presidential debate. “One initiative will allow Google users to hear directly from candidates, in real-time in Google Search results. With the new experimental feature, campaigns can publish long-form text, photos and videos during the course of the debate. They can also give extended responses and answer questions they didn’t get a chance to on stage. Viewers can access this by searching ‘Fox News debate’ on Google beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday Jan. 28.”

More Google: Google has rolled out a new version of Chrome with a couple of tweaks. “For PC users, the most interesting part of the Chrome 48 release is the announcement that Google’s Data Saver extension is exiting beta. Data Saver uses the same compression technology as Chrome for Android. It’s a tool for reducing bandwidth usage for anyone who frequently uses a shared or metered connection.”


Oh, why not: a a message generator that uses Instagram photos for letters. “Just type in a short message and watch your words appear in a spectrum of illustrated type styles, from hand-sketched letters to black-and-white graphics to colorful comic book–style images to photographs of objects that look like letters (a donut as the letter o, for example).”

Have you seen that “Be Like Bill” meme on Facebook and social media? As far as I can tell it’s mostly Facebook. If you love it or hate it, Tech Insider’s got you covered. It’s got directions for permanently blocking the annoying little stick dudes and for making the little stick dudes if you think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread.


Google’s got some stats about Google Cardboard. “A year and a half ago we introduced Google Cardboard, a simple cardboard viewer that anyone can use to experience mobile virtual reality (VR). With just Cardboard and the smartphone in your pocket, you can travel to faraway places and visit imagined worlds. Since then everyone from droid lovers and Sunday edition subscribers, to big kids and grandmas have been able to enjoy VR—often for the very first time. Here’s a look at where we are, 19 months in…”

More Google: I’d gotten so used to Google’s indexing text instantly that I was surprised to read does’t re-index images that often. “John Mueller from Google said it can take Google months, or maybe longer to update that image in their Google Image search index.” Wow: months. I haven’t heard that word affiliated with Google indexing in.. well… years.

Wow! High-level people are leaving Twitter at a fairly alarming rate. “Product head Kevin Weil, engineering chief Alex Roetter, VP of human resources Skip Schipper, head of global media Katie Stanton, and Vine’s general manager Jason Toff all announced their resignations the same weekend.”


George Galloway has been cleared to sue Google over a defamatory YouTube video. “George Galloway has won permission to sue internet giant Google over a speech posted on YouTube where derogatory comments were made about him…. The action, which includes a further claim for misuse of private information, is believed to be the first of its kind anywhere in Europe over comments broadcast on YouTube.” Good morning, Internet…

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2 replies »

  1. Hey Audrey, the link to radio archives you mention is behind a paywall (boo!) but it seems like it is probably just a press release-can you post actual site URL? Thanks!

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