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April 2014 Issue 383

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 - MARCH 8th
VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, MENDEL HALL, ROOM 241
eBook ver.
PDF ver.

UPCOMING MEETING

EXTENDED ROUND-TABLE

Unlike years past we are depending on crowd sourced topics and presenters for main meeting program presentations. As of this time there are no main presentation topics in the queue and no presenters in the queue.

So we will be having just an extended round-table of free form topics.


ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS


LAST MONTH'S MEETING

Attendance:
8 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, February 8th. One of the 8 attendees was a virtual attendee via Google+ Hangout video chat.

Main Meeting Q&A:
We began last month's meeting with our normal round of questions and announcements. John M was our moderator. Among the questions and announcements:

John D -

John M -

Bill B -

Ted K -

Joan S -

Layton F -

Peter W -

Main Meeting Program:
There was no main meeting program agenda.


MEETING RELATED SIDEBAR

This section contains web links & other info related to the club or some of the subjects we discussed during our round table discussions and main presentation.

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MICROSOFT TERMINATES XP SUPPORT APRIL 8TH
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help

What is Windows XP end of support?

Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.

As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC.)

If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

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SSL CRYPTO CODE FLAWS COMPROMISE APPLE & LINUX SECURITY
Ars Technica iOS / Mac article
Ars Technica Linux article
NIST web page concerning Apple flaw
NIST web page concerning Linux flaw

Apple Bug:
A critical iOS vulnerability that Apple patched on Friday gives attackers an easy way to surreptitiously circumvent the most widely used technology for preventing eavesdropping on the Internet. That made the security bug about as dire as one can be. Now, there's strong evidence that the same flaw also exposes sensitive e-mail and Web communications on fully patched versions of OS X, with no indication that there is a patch currently available for the millions of people who use the Mac operating system.

At this stage, the vulnerability has been confirmed in iOS versions 6.1.5, 7.0.4, and 7.0.5, and OS X 10.9.0 and 10.9.1, meaning it has silently exposed the sensitive communications of millions of people for weeks or months. Security researchers haven't ruled out the possibility that earlier versions are also affected. Readers should immediately update their iPhones and iPads to versions 7.0.6 or 6.1.6, preferably using a non-public network.

Linux Bug:
Hundreds of open source packages, including the Red Hat, Ubuntu, and Debian distributions of Linux, are susceptible to attacks that circumvent the most widely used technology to prevent eavesdropping on the Internet, thanks to an extremely critical vulnerability in a widely used cryptographic code library.

The bug in the GnuTLS library makes it trivial for attackers to bypass secure sockets layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protections available on websites that depend on the open source package. Initial estimates included in Internet discussions such as this one indicate that more than 200 different operating systems or applications rely on GnuTLS to implement crucial SSL and TLS operations, but it wouldn't be surprising if the actual number is much higher. Web applications, e-mail programs, and other code that use the library are vulnerable to exploits that allow attackers monitoring connections to silently decode encrypted traffic passing between end users and servers.

The bug is the result of commands in a section of the GnuTLS code that verify the authenticity of TLS certificates, which are often known simply as X509 certificates. The coding error, which may have been present in the code since 2005, causes critical verification checks to be terminated, drawing ironic parallels to the extremely critical "goto fail" flaw that for months put users of Apple's iOS and OS X operating systems at risk of surreptitious eavesdropping attacks. Apple developers have since patched the bug.

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iHOME iW3
http://www.ihomeaudio.com/iW3BC/

The iW3 is an AirPlay wireless speaker system that uses your Wi-Fi network to connect and control your iTunes library (Mac + PC) for wireless audio anywhere in the home. Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery for portable placement. The iW3 also supports USB for charging and music playback of iPad, iPhone and iPod with any iPod USB sync cable. Modest size and affordability make this an ideal solution for multiple room placement. Embrace wireless living with impressive technology and an exceptional audio experience.

iHome iW3

FEATURES:

Wireless

AirPlay

Docking

App Features

Sound Enhancement

Power

Additional

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BITCOIN NEWS
Los Angeles Times article

Article Excerpts:

A couple of new analyses shed more light on the Mt. Gox failure, and point up how it illustrates the fundamental problems with the bitcoin system. That system is based on distributed verification, rather than central management, and that's exactly its problem.

"Forty-five percent of Bitcoin exchanges to date have failed, in most cases with their customers’ money. The digital currency industry’s track record on fiduciary responsibility is abysmal."

What makes bitcoin accounts especially inviting to wrongdoers, they say, is that bitcoin transactions are irrevocable--even fraudulent ones. That makes them different from credit cards and electronic transfers, which can be unwound if they're found to be improper.

The biggest risk for bitcoin owners, the authors say, is in their dealings with intermediaries--like Mt. Gox.

Over at the website Hacking, Distributed, Cornell computer scientist Emin Gun Sirer takes a closer look at what might or might not have happened to bring Mt. Gox down.

"Chances are that this is a simple case of theft, involving at least one insider," he concludes.


SOFTWARE WORTH A LOOK

AIRFOIL
https://www.rogueamoeba.com/airfoil
($$$; Mac, Windows; AirPlay compatible)

SENDING AUDIO
Use Airfoil to send audio from your Mac or PC out to compatible receivers.

RECEIVING AUDIO
Audio sent through Airfoil can be received on hundreds of different devices!

REMOTE CONTROL
Control Airfoil for Mac from any iOS device with Airfoil Remote.

Airfoil:
Send any audio from your Mac or Windows PC to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, iPhones and iPods Touch, and even other PCs and Macs, all in sync! Use Airfoil with web-based audio like Pandora, music services like Spotify, Rdio, MOG, and WiMP, or any other audio playing on your computer. Airfoil for Mac or Windows gives you your audio on AirPlay devices all around the house.

Airfoil Remote:
Airfoil Remote lets you control Airfoil for Mac using your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad! You're already sending audio from your Mac all around the house with Airfoil. Now you can remotely control Airfoil from any iOS device. Use Airfoil Remote to turn individual speakers on and off, adjust volumes, and even change the audio source.

Airfoil Remote also controls many audio sources playing through Airfoil. Pause your music in Spotify, skip tracks in Rdio, or see album artwork from Last.fm. With Airfoil and Airfoil Remote, full control is in the palm of your hand. Get Airfoil Remote in the iOS App Store!

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ADBLOCK PLUS
(FREE; Chrome, Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari Browser Extension)
https://adblockplus.org

Surf the web without annoying ads!

What is Adblock Plus?
Adblock Plus blocks annoying ads on the web. It can block other things, like tracking, as well. With more than 50 million users, it is the world's most popular browser extension. Adblock Plus is an open source project created by Wladimir Palant in 2006. Eyeo was founded in 2011 by Wladimir Palant and Till Faida to make its development sustainable.

How does Adblock Plus work?
Adblock Plus itself has no functionality, in the sense that it does not block anything until it is "told" what to do by its filter lists. These filter lists are essentially an extensive set of rules, which tell Adblock Plus which elements of websites to block. Besides blocking advertisements, filter lists can also be used to block tracking and malware.

Out of the box, two filter lists are enabled:

Features:

Block Ads
Adblock Plus blocks all annoying ads on the web by default: video ads on YouTube, Facebook ads, flashy banners, pop-ups, pop-unders and much more.

Simply install Adblock Plus to your browser (it is available for Firefox, Chrome and Opera) or your Android smartphone or tablet and all intrusive ads are automatically removed from any website you visit.

Acceptable Ads
Adblock Plus will always block annoying ads.

Still, many websites rely on advertising revenues so we want to encourage websites to use plain and unobtrusive advertising instead of flashy banners. That's why the Adblock Plus community has established strict guidelines to identify acceptable ads, and Adblock Plus allows these out of the box. You can always disable this feature if you want to block all ads.

Disable Tracking
With every browsing session, there are multiple firms tracking your online activity and browsing history. There are hundreds of ad agencies tracking your every move, but with Adblock Plus you can easily disable all tracking, and browse the web truly anonymously.

According to Stanford University research, the Adblock Plus tracking protection filters are the most efficient of all available tracking protection solutions.

To enable this feature, please open this dialogue and click “Add” to protect yourself against tracking. If you wish to disable this feature, please read here how to do this.

Disable Malware Domains
Slow startup, popups, advertisers hijacking your browser: Those are all signs of your computer being infected by malware. Even worse, computers infected by malware open the doors to all kinds of cyber criminality threats. These infected computers can then be used to sending out spam emails or attacking other computers or servers, stealing passwords, social security numbers, personal documents and credit card information.

Adblock Plus can be configured to block domains known to spread malware, protecting your computer against viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spy- and adware.

To enable this feature now, please open this dialogue and click “Add” to protect yourself against malicious domains. If you wish to disable this feature, please read here how to do this.

Disable Social Media Buttons
Buttons to share content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and many others are placed on almost every website you visit. Even if you are not clicking them, every website containing these buttons is sending a request to the servers of the social network which can use that information to create a profile based on your browsing habits.

You can use Adblock Plus to remove all social media buttons from every website, making sure that social networks can’t create a profile about you based on the websites you visit.

To enable this feature now, please open this dialogue and click “Add” to protect yourself against Social Media tracking. If you wish to disable this feature, please read here how to do this.

Typo Protection
As of Adblock Plus for Firefox version 2.3, typo correction is not built-in anymore. If you miss the feature, you can get it back by installing our extension URL Fixer.

Websites containing phishing and other harmful or annoying content are often hosted under misspelled domains and you are at risk of visiting them just by making a small mistake when entering an internet address into your browser. URL Fixer can automatically correct typos in the address bar to protect you from accidentally visiting malicious domains when misspelling an internet address.


DIRECTIONS TO MEETING ROOM

Meetings are in the St. Augustine Center (SAC) at Villanova University. These monthly sessions normally meet in Room 110.

VU Map

Enter from the ITHAN AVENUE main gate, then proceed to the upper deck of the 2-level parking garage adjacent to the St. Augustine Center on the Ithan Avenue side of the building. (Click for link to Google Map)

NOTE: additional map & direction links on our website home page - http://mlcug.org/

MLCUG Meetings Schedule Steering Committee Meetings
April 12 TBA
May 10 TBA
June 14 TBA

CLUB STAFF

Editor: John W. Deker, Jr. 2210 Lantern Lane, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2211
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Club eMail Server for members only...
Web Page http://mlcug.org/
Publicity Position OPEN!
Villanova Sponsor Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy


MLCUG STEERING COMMITTEE:

President John Deker 610-828-7897
V.President John Murphy 610-935-4398
Treasurer / Sec John Deker 610-828-7897
Webmaster Peter_Whinnery 610-284-5234
At Large Layton Fireng 610-688-2080
At Large Tom Johnson 610-896-2434
At Large Wendy Emery 215-765-3328
At Large Nelson_Schrock 610-834-0117
Audio Scribe John Murphy 610-935-4398