Archive for November, 2010

Skype on the iPod touch

November 24, 2010

No Contracts, Just Skype via Wi-Fi

Article by Brian S. Griffin (griffyclan007) on November 23, 2010

Use Skype to make FREE phone calls via Wi-Fi and VoIP

iPod Touch – The smartphone without a voice plan

The iPod Touch is a leading candidate to become your contract-free smartphone solution, thanks to VoIP apps like Skype and Line 2, and the call management of Google Voice’s web app.

For many, purchasing an Apple iPhone from AT&T just isn’t feasible.

Consider this alternative: combine a second or third-generation iPod Touch with a mobile 3G/Wi-Fi router and Skype to make FREE phone calls.

The iPod Touch G4 has a built-in microphone. Let me do the math: iTouch + mic + Wi-Fi + Skype app (VoIP) = near iPhone functionality! Or at least as close to it as you could get without a cellular antenna.

And if you need to, you can use a prepaid cellular phone (NET10 or Tracfone), just as a back-up, for times you absolutely need cellular. That seems like the least expensive way to go, and now Apple’s basically handed us that possibility on a sleek glass and stainless steel platter.

Bluetooth on the iPod Touch

The iPod Touch (iTouch) has had bluetooth since G2. G3 got a microphone, and Skype can access the microphone in the G4. The iPod Touch G4 also allows you to access the microphone of a Bluetooth Headset. Previously, you could only access the headphones of a Bluetooth Headset, not the microphone. This requires you to install firmware 3.0, and you must jailbreak your iPod Touch.

Free Phone Number for the iPod Touch

There is even a free phone number to ring your iPod Touch

a way to get a phone number for your Skype enabled iPod Touch. Although, it uses an area code for the State of Washington. For details, go to: http://touchmods.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/tutorial-on-free-not-freefr-calls/

Call-Forwarding?

All you need is a way to forward calls to a voice-mail, for when your out of wi-fi range.

Jailbreak iPod Touch with firmware 3.0, and Skype application.

Free Phone Number – $23 per year, the catch is the phone number has a State of Washington area code.

Bluetooth Headset – G2 and G3 only enable headset for music, mic is disable by iPod Touch. G4 fixes this problem.

Digital Camera – The G4 has the integrated digital camera, but only at 0.7 megapixel.

All you need is a jailbroken iPod Touch (with Firmware 3.0), the Skype app (VoIP) and a pair of headphones with mic. Make sure the mic works specifically for the iPod Touch – iPhone’s headphones don’t.

The advantages of making FREE Skype to Skype calls are too many to be left out of the picture. Skype functionality will enable you to have various benefits. These include quality voice calls that have superb clarity, ability to chat free with those having accounts with them all over the world, affordable calls including to mobile phones and landline, among others.

Skype Application for iPod Touch is really taking communication to another level. It is actually made cheaper and convenient to have a chat with a friend away from home with ease.

With this great mobile application, we are talking about VoIP phone calls from your iPod Touch. What an interesting scenario bearing in mind that some few years back you could only make calls using an iPhone but not an iPod Touch.

It meant a heavy investment, first on the upfront fees on acquiring the iPhone and second on monthly fees to the provider.

Skype Application for iPod Touch is not just any other application in the market. It is a kind of revolution in the communication industry. You just can’t afford to ignore.

Acquisition of information regarding the Skype Application for iPod Touch is very vital, especially during the current economic meltdown.

The iPhone and iPod Touch are almost indistinguishable devices except for one major difference – you can make calls from you iPhone, and you can’t from your iPod Touch.

For the privilege of making phone calls with your iPhone, you have to pay $100 more upfront to Apple for the device itself, plus a minimum of $60/month to AT&T for the next two years.

Lets say you didn’t need that kind of firepower from your iPod Touch, but that you would like to use it to make a phone call every now and then. You can, all you need are a jailbroken iPod Touch or iPhone, Touchmod headphones (you can Google search Touchmod, iPhone headphones with mics don’t work on the iPod Touch).

The types of Touchmod mics, from the dongle that plugs into the syncing port to the headphone and mic combo that works much like the iPhone headphones. Cost between $50 and $60.

Technical Stuff

The first generation iPod Touch did not come with a bluetooth chip integrated.

The second generation iPod Touch has a Broadcom BCM4325 Bluetooth 2.1+EDR chip built-in. This chipset also offers FM support, but Apple has displayed zero interest in FM historically. The G2 got the bluetooth chip and headphone jack microphone support, which the G1 lacked.

The iPhone OS 3.0 update brings stereo Bluetooth support to the 2nd generation iPod Touch, although it will only work with compatible Bluetooth stereo headphones or speakers.

The iPhone 3.0 unlocks Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with support for wireless streaming 2-channel audio with A2DP, wireless accessory control, and peer-to-peer connections.

However, it’s still very crippled as you might not even be able to use that Bluetooth hands free headset to Skype, which is really unfair to be honest as Bluetooth is supposed to be an open protocol.

The Broadcom BCM4325 wireless communications chip in iPod Touch which provides the Bluetooth capabilities also has an FM transmitter in it which still doesn’t work even after the 3.0 update.

Comparision of iPod Touch and iPhone

Consider how features in the new iPod Touch are more phone-like than before. The iPod Touch’s most significant additions are its front and rear facing cameras. These allow users to take pictures without lugging around a digital camera – a signature phone feature even before smartphones came along – and to conduct video calls over Facetime.

With the camera comes two other important features: speakers and a microphone. While previous iPod Touches required an external headset for VoIP apps, now Skype conversations can be conducted by speaker phone.

Speakers are nice, but without an actual earpiece – the other, quieter speaker that points directly into your ear – iPod Touch calls are everybody’s business. Your only workaround is to sync a Bluetooth headset for private phone calls.

The iPod Touch’s rear-facing camera is inferior to that of the iPhone, shooting a mere 960-by-720 resolution, which translates to roughly 0.7 megapixels. That’s worse than any iPhone ever. The iPod Touch has no 3G radio, so you can’t actually subscribe to a data plan with it, and no GPS, relying on Wi-Fi triangulation instead.

A lot of people call it an iPhone withut the phone, it’s also an iPhone without a contract.

Free Skype calls and cheap calls to phones – Skype

Make internet calls for free with Skype. Call friends and family on any phone with Pay As You Go and Pay Monthly subscriptions, sign up today at Skype.com.

www.skype.com/

Skype Killer – Google Voice
Source URL:  https://griffyclan007.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/skype-killer-google-voice

ThinkPoint – Malware Program

November 10, 2010

World’s leading cause of malware related fustration

This Program is Malware, you should remove it ASAP

ThinkPoint – The “Anti-Virus” virus  (that hijacks your computer)

On November 9th, 2010 (a Tuesday), my computer got infected with ThinkPoint, a fake antivirus program that is distributed through the use of a false Microsoft Security Essentials Alert (actually a pop-up) regarding the “Trojan.Horse.Win32.PAV.64.a” trojan. It is malware, and self-installs, after warning you that your computer has been infected with a high-threat level trojan. If you click on the button, in the pop-up disguised as a Windows Display Box, that is using scare tactics to make you press the button. The pressing of the button, then allows the pop-up to install hotfix.exe on your computer. This program, hotfix.exe is the program that contains ThinkPoint.

ThinkPoint – Infected Object

False ThinkPoint scan results

ThinkPoint (Current settings) startup (unprotected startup)

So here I was, lockout from my laptop (from Windows Explorer anyways), and kind of fusterated about the fact that some malware, pretending to be an antivirus program (also pretending to be from Microsoft) is now blocking me from my computer stuff, without my consent. Even rebooting the computer would turn Windows Explorer off, and bring me back to ThinkPoint. What was I to do, to rectify this unwanted situation. It may seem like there was nothing I could do.

However, I immediately used my iTouch, to find out how to get rid of this, and learned it’s location. Within 20 minutes, I had manually removed it from my laptop.

This “antivirus” program is actually malware, that configures itself to start every time you boot your computer, after you enter your Windows Password. This ThinkPoint malware will hide your desktop, while it is running.

False Microsoft Security Essentials Alert

It installs itself on your computer, after you click in a pop-up that is disguised as a Windows Dialog Box. The pop-up is disguised as a Microsoft Security Esentials program, claiming to be the “Microsoft Security Center” and that it has detected the submitted suspicious file “Trojan.Horse.Win32.PAV.64.a”, and that the “Threat level – very high”.

The pop-up dialog claims “Required action – AV software is required to find and delete all traces of the virus”. So you want this trojan off your computer, so you click the “OK” button, and that is when it plants hotfix.exe (which contains the ThinkPoint virus) on your computer. Then your computer turns off, and when your computer reboots, you enter your windows password, your screen turns blank (because it just turned Windows Explorer off), and takes you to the ThinkPoint screen. There it pretends to be Microsoft software, under the name Microsoft ThinkPoint, with the slogan “World’s leading security solution”..

There are many websites telling you how to bypass ThinkPoint, when you boot your computer. However, they then try to sell you software, to remove the malware.

I removed it manually, by going to it’s location, and simply deleting it.

The details are listed below.

But first, I want to say that I think these software companies are trying to capitalize on this, and I suspect that this ThinkPoint malware may have even been created by one of these companies. To scare people, into purchasing this removal software, that people would not have even needed, if not for the ThinkPoint malware program.

TO BYPASS THINKPOINT, TO ACCESS WINDOWS EXPLORER

Stop ThinkPoint process

Once Windows loaded you will see a window similar to the one below.

ThinkPoint screen

Now press CTRL + ALT + DEL. It will open Windows Task manager. Select hotfix.exe process as shown in the screen below.

Windows Task manager

Click “End Process” button. It will close ThinkPoint.

Now click File, New Task. Type explorer and press Enter. It will back the Start button and task bar.

HOW TO REMOVE THINKPOINT FROM YOUR COMPUTER

I manually removed ThinkPoint by deleting the “hotfix.exe” it was associated with:

The “hotfix.exe” file is the ThinkPoint malware program file, on this Windows Vista computer, it was located here:

C: Users folder >Home folder >AppData folder >Roaming folder and there was “hotfix.exe”.

My home folder is “griffyclan007”, as that is my sign-in name.

Go to your Start Menu, then cue up “My Computer” or “Computer”, double click on “Local Disk (C:), then look for “Users” folder above.

Follow the path mentioned above: Users, Home, AppData… Roaming folder

“Right Click” on hotfix.exe and choose “delete” in the sub menu……………all gone.

hotfix.exe     Program Size: 584 KB

This was the only file associated with this “ThinkPoint” malware. No other entries in system registry were found when following up with other scans afterwards. Maybe there were other files associated with this “ThinkPoint” malware, maybe the systems Anti Virus software might of stopped some of it, but this one “hotfix.exe” file planted itself right in a start up folder/directory.

Computer was back to normal operation

Other websites claim these registeries were also installed, but I did not find them in my computer.

Start the computer in SAFE MODE WITH COMMAND PROMPT.

When the machine loads up on the command prompt type: regedit.

Now navigate to the following lines and delete them if they appear:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PAV

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “thinkpoint”

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon “Shell” = “%Documents and Setting%\[UserName]\Application Data\hotfix.exe”

For my particular case I found the hotfix.exe and deleted it. This allowed me to log into my desktop again.

Or

Go to the search bar in the start section, and type in ‘run’, or click on the side panel, for those of you with older OS’s.

Once you have Run open, type in “RegEd”, and allow for it to open. Then, find these files in their consecutive orders respectively, and delete them.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PAV

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “thinkpoint”

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon “Shell” = “%Documents and Settings%\[UserName]\Application Data\hotfix.exe”

The main thing is deleting the ThinkPoint program, at it’s location.

___________________________________________________

UPDATE

ThinkPoint malware is spread using pop-up banner advertisements, disguised as a Windows Dialog Box.

This appears to be an agressive FakeAV/RogueWare installation campaign utilizing banner ads on trusted websites. Some of the sites currently serving this malicious software include youtube.com, msnbc.com and bing.com.

When you visit these sites you may be presented with either a fake Adobe Reader 8 Install prompt or a Microsoft Security Essentials “Infection Found” pop-up window. Neither of these are legitimate.

This ad based drive-by download presents itself as ThinkPoint. The file may use a legitimate name such as hotfix.exe or mstsc.exe and is saved to a temp directory. It then picks out random files, claims they are infected and forces you to “clean” these false threats. ThinkPoint will state that you need a heuristic program to fix the problems and offers to sell one for $99.90. Do not purchase ThinkPoint; this program is fraudulent!Anti-viruses may detect this as FakeAV, FakeAlert, or a generic Trojan.

URL Source: http://www.antisource.com/article.php/fakeav-thinkpoint-banner-ads

http://perimeterusa.com/blog/security-bulletin-thinkpoint-malware-spread-via-banner-advertisements/

The “URL Source” only refers to a source of information that pertains to the update only.

Remember, I don’t trust any of these security software companies that may claim to be studying this, as these companies have the most to gain from this.

The information in the update presented here are only the known facts, with nothing to gain. These companies do have something to gain.

_____________________________________

Malware Description:

ThinkPoint (alias: Think Point) is the newest rogue application that we came across in the process of malware analyzing. It produces a dubious impression. On the one hand, ThinkPoint possesses a regular-looking User Interface containing the same components a normal security application. But the inside of ThinkPoint is more than just malicious. This nefarious program is distributed via the infamous fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert that gets triggered on computers by a trojan horse. You won’t fail to tell ThinkPoint is on your workstation – it acts so impudently and aggressively that the outocmes of its activity will be right there on the surface. ThinkPoint will keep running some alleged virus scanners that are in fact counterfeit and have nothing to do with what’s actually going on inside your computer. The pranks of this scareware won’t be bound to displaying fake scanners though. ThinkPoint will be sure to issue some false positives telling you about some critical malware activity taking place. These misleading ads, as well as the scanners, aim to intimidate you and make you eventually pay for registering ThinkPoint full version in case you want to get the imaginary malicious items removed. This is the kind of routine followed by the majority of rogue security utilities. These nasty programs intrude without permission, then display fabricated detection reports and finally they ask the victim to buy the licensed copy in order to be able to cope with the purported threats found. ThinkPoint is no exception to this rule so you’d better beware of it.

URL Source: http://remove-malware.net/how-to-remove-thinkpoint-rogue-anti-spyware/

WARNING: This URL refers to another website trying to sell you software to remove ThinkPoint. You can remove it yourself, using the instructions in my article above the “UPDATE” section here. Don’t purchase any software offered to remove it, or fall for the scare tactics to may you purchse software.

As any of the software purchased could lead to worse problems pertaining to trojans or malware. Were in an economic recession, so these companies aren’t making any money, and some of these could be fly-by-nights.

The later means, that these newer, smaller software companies, once they’ve got your money, you never hear of them again. But they’ve got your money, and you’ve got their trojans. Through which they can just install more malware, to lock you out of your computer. Use my instructions to remove this ThinkPoint malware, the instructions are free, and safer than using some unknown program (likely to install trojans for malware) from some unknown software company.

The following URLs contain information that pertains to the ThinkPoint virus.

Microsoft Security Essentials – Wikipedia

How to remove ThinkPoint (Uninstall instructions) My Anti Spyware

Remove ThinkPoint (Uninstall Guide)

ThinkPoint Removal

Malware Removal Instructions

ThinkPoint- TrojanHorse.Win32.PAV.64.a

My Anti Spyware