Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pensacola Poll: Cell Phone Types



Results of this poll will be published on this site on Saturday August 7, 2010!

Monday, July 19, 2010

QR Code Shirt for Smart People

Technology can often times lead to funny things and if you combine that with my twisted sense of humor, you'll end up with something like this. I'll let you decode the shirt to figure out what it says.

Imagine yourself wearing this at your in-law's family reunion, some lame-ass party, a fraternity/sorority event, or the day they take those dreaded yearbook/reunion pictures. All I can say is that this shirt is perfect for any type of gathering.

The humor is even compounded as most people can't easily decode this today. This shirt can make any group picture with you wearing this shirt will even be funnier in the future when everyone has QR decoders on their phone.

If you'd like to buy this shirt, click here.

Natalie Del Conte explains QR Code


Natalie Del Conte at CNET.com explains QR Code

QR Codes: Not Just for People with Smart Phones

Recently, I discovered an online service that bridges the technology gap in regards to decoding QR codes for non-smartphones users. A company called MSKYNET launched a beta version of a MMS/eMail QR decoding service in April of 2010. (Source: Article)

MSKNET's QR decoding services works on the principle that you can send a picture message (MMS) or email an image to a specific email address where their computer servers will translate your QR code and then reply back to you with the decode information MMS/Email. The email address for this service is GO@SPARQ.IT.

Warning: Do keep in mind that although the service is free, any picture message/email data rates from your cellphone service provider still applies. If you are not in an unlimited plan, you will be charged for sending and receiving the reply. Also, if the message inside the QR code is lenghty, you may receive several reply messages.

So let's have some QR fun. If you have a QR code reader on your smart phone (if not, search your phone's app market) or if you have a camera phone with picture messaging and you're fine with using GO@SPARQ.IT method in this post, go ahead and snap a picture of the QR code in this post and let me know what it says in the comments section.

Also, let me know what kind of phone you have so I can get basic idea of what kind of phones people are using these days. Let QR decoding begin!

What are QR Codes?

Most of Americans have not heard of QR codes. Some have passingly read about it in a magazine or seen it mentioned in a news report, but the technology has obviously not taken off in the United States.

What is a QR code? Basically, they are square bar codes that have been popular in Japan for well over ten years. These bar codes can be found pretty much on everything. They've been placed on food packaging, magazines and newspaper ads, television shows, store displays, business cards, buildings, billboards.... if you can print on it, I'm sure the Japanese has placed a QR code on it.

To get more geeky about QR Codes and learn more about its technical details and history, I recommend starting at the following Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code

For those who are short in time, I'll try to hit the highlights for you:

QR codes were created byJapanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The "QR" is derived from "Quick Response", as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. The underlying concept of QR codes relies on people having camera phones or smart phones that can scan and decode the square bar codes.

An application on the phone would then in-turn translate the code into text or links to online media. A popular use for the QR codes is to provide an easy link from actual physical products to expanded information found on the web.

For example, a can of soda with a QR code could lead to an online page with nutrition information or a promotional campaign. Japanese magazine ads often have these codes to provide extra online advertising content that can be kept more current than their printed ads.

QR code adoption in the United States has been slow. As it stands, most Americans do not have smartphones that can process QR codes, but this is rapidly changing as more and more people are buying iPhones, Blackberries, and Android phones.

Soon, these codes will everywhere and their closer than you think. Facebook is supposed to be using QR codes as part of their service and Google is already sending out QR codes to certain businesses that are frequently visited online.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Cyber Criminals Infect Victims

Here's a video by Panda Security that shows you how easy it is for hackers to bind a trojan/virus program with any legitimate programs that are available at P2P/File Sharing/Torrent services. In this demo, the trojan's goal is to hijack a banking web sites that you visit and change the login screen to steal your information.

Seriously people, don't download pirated software! Make sure you are using current anti-virus program and and make sure that it is updated regularly. If you're going to download programs, make sure you get it from the company's official web site or from trusted sites like Download.com.



Scary, I know. Let's all be safe and practice "safe downloading."