Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DROPBOX: How to avoid viruses

Before, I thought there was just no way to avoid viruses at work since we constantly needed to share (send and receive files) by sharing USBs. My colleagues and I were aware that there are programs such as Winpop for sending and receiving files, but it left unanswered our need to have these shared files constantly updated as each one worked on it without having to send/receive it every time. Until we discovered Dropbox.

Dropbox is an online storage that helps you easily share files between the computers you use and also with other people. The files are stored online and on your computer. So whoever updates a shared file and does the usual saving procedure, the online file and that same file shared on each computer also automatically gets updated!

Another big advantage that we love with Dropbox is that by avoiding having to use USBs to share files, we have successfully been avoiding "sharing" viruses too! You can just imagine the savings in terms of money and time by not being infected by viruses and trojans. At work and at home, we use it even between XP/Win7 and Linux computers. Isn't it great?

Well, in case I was not able to explain it well, go to DROPBOX and find out more. The website explains it quite simply and facilitates the steps to register and set it up. It has a FREE ACCOUNT with 2GB storage, good enough, don't you think? But if you want more, you can gain more free storage by completing certain steps and inviting friends. Or, you can simply upgrade to a paid account. Try Dropbox!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Blogger.com Horror Story: Blogger deletes my blogs!

I'll die! No, of course not. But I'm mad!

I found out this alternative online ad network to Google's AdSense--AdBrite--and I started installing one, only one, ad zone in one of my blogs. A little later, Blogger.com sends me an email that this blog has been deleted for "malicious java script"! Hello! I do not even know java script (remember, it's unTechie here who's writing). Pretty soon, Blogger.com started deleting each one of my other blogs! This was turning out to be a horror story. And it was not the end--all of a sudden the email which is also what I use for my blogger account was suspended, deleted, put on hold, whatever! It was like a mystery man hitting me from all sides.

What would you do in these cases? I did not know. If Gmail itself did not just as suddenly show me a page (I do not remember how) allowing me to "restore" my email, I really would not have known what to do. Again, a little later after that, when I tried to login into my blogger account, only the first deleted blog remained deleted while the rest were back to normal. But obviously, someone and something were not normal here.

So I uninstalled the AdBrite ads, clicked the "Restore" button on my deleted blog and Blogger shows me a message saying I am "probably human" since I was reading that message and therefore, that my blog was probably not a "spam blog". It said that it was sorry for the "false positive" and that it was going to review my blog. Well, two days have passed and it still has not been restored nor has Blogger given me more feedback on it.

Like all horror stories, this does not end with the first scare. Naively thinking that it was probably the long name and URL that I chose for that deleted blog which made it seem like a spam blog (how's that again? Containing "malicious java script"!), I thought Blogger.com acted really bad on that one, and that AdBrite was probably innocent. So I tried installing AdBrite again, a little 1 column x 3 text links, on my blogs--all except one and the other one that was pending restoration.

The same horrific thing soon happened. Blogger.com showed on my dashboard that all these blogs were deleted (with the now-familiar "restore" button). I clicked that button on each of the affected blogs. The same message appeared for each. I went to the Gmail account I use with this Blogger account and, voila!, a message for each deleted blog was in my inbox, each saying the same thing: my blog contains "malicious java script"!

Is AdBrite doing something fishy with the codes they give for posting on the blogs? I emailed them asking this. Let's see what they will say.

Or, is it AdSense that does not like any form of competition on their blogs? After all, it is all Google's: Gmail, Blogger, and AdSense.

It is just scary how Google can just take away what you have and give you robot-generated explanations which you cannot understand while you are left at their mercy--because if Blogger itself did not provide me with those restore buttons, what could I have done? And really, now, what can I do?

Oh, blogger!

UPDATE (2 July 2010):

Here is AdBrite's answer: