Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Hidden Danger In The Film’s Subtitle

We all know that danger lurks in every corner of the web. You don’t even have to go as deep as the dark web to come across scammers and criminals. Now, don’t get me started on the malware that has spread so quickly and crippled businesses and government organizations - the WannaCry ransomware. All these cyber crimes can make anyone worry about their activities on the web.

How mistaken are we to think that we know it all. The web holds so many mysteries that we won’t be able to unravel them all in our lifetime. Not only malware poses danger these days but viruses can also be found on film or video subtitles. The world is rapidly growing smaller and other cultures tend to be of interest to us. For instance, KPop and Kdrama are gaining a huge overseas fan-base and subtitles are crucial for the foreign audience to understand what the movie/show/song is all about.

Hackers can hide computer viruses in online video subtitles and use them to take control of computers, security experts have warned.

The attacks are embedded within the subtitle files that accompany many illegally downloaded films, and easily bypass security software and antivirus programs designed to keep computers safe.

Check Point, the security group that discovered the flaw, said millions of people who use video software including to stream or play films and TV shows on computers could be at risk. 

They warned that the attack lets hackers take "complete control" over any type of device using the software, including smart TVs. It identified four programs - VLC, Kodi, Popcorn Time and Stremio - but said there could be more.

(Via: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/05/25/hackers-hiding-computer-viruses-film-subtitles-experts-warn/)

If you want to steer free of these potentially damaging and costly mistakes, don’t just stream or download videos from shady websites. Only visit trusted sites. Remember that your PC’s existing antivirus software can not detect it, so it can likely wreak havoc on your device by the time you find out about it. You don’t want to lose data nor pay the ransom money in bitcoin but you are torn because you so desperately want your data back.

"We estimate there are approximately 200 million video players and streamers that currently run the vulnerable software, making this one of the most widespread, easily accessed and zero-resistance vulnerability reported in recent years," the Check Point Research Team says.

The vulnerability's reach is exacerbated by how users get most of their subtitles. Most of these files are hosted on subtitle repositories where anyone can upload a malicious file.

These portals rank subtitles based on popularity algorithms that an attacker can manipulate. By falsely improving the popularity of a malicious subtitle file, attackers can ensure that users download their file more often, or that streaming services such as Strem.io or PopcornTime pull the malicious subtitle before legitimate files.

Users are advised to use one of the updated video players, or not load any subtitles until they're sure they've updated to a safe version of their favorite player.

(Via: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/malicious-movie-subtitles-can-give-hackers-full-control-over-your-pc/)

Cyber criminals are becoming more creative by the minute. Whatever security measures companies implement, they always find a way to get through it. Cyber criminals have probably been studying human behavior and trends on the web because the attacks they do affect thousands of people in one go. It is so unfortunate, though, considering that many people prefer streaming videos online – from music videos, tv shows, movies, and all sorts of videos found on the web.

Like with this subtitle thing, there are at least 25 subtitle formats that can be exploited by these hackers. Add to that the limited security they implement, its vulnerability is the perfect formula for the next cyber heist. Similar to most cybercrimes, the solution often lies to downloading the latest player version since media player companies already issued a fix for it. Let’s wait and see then what the next online scam will be.

Hidden Danger In The Film’s Subtitle was originally seen on https://www.podblaze.com/

source https://www.podblaze.com/hidden-danger-in-the-films-subtitle/

Monday, 17 July 2017

Keeping Your Health And Sanity Intact In These Changing Times

There is just too much going on around us nowadays that we often lose our perspective and get confused over what’s a priority or not. From a world that is rapidly modernizing where technology is closely tied to our everyday lives, the conflict of relationships and health woes make living extra difficult for some. The question not only boils down to coping but whether how prepared you are to face these changing times?

Americans have witnessed their fair share of changes over the decades. And the most surprising of all these changes happened fairly recently when Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency. Not only is that he never had any political background but his very personality is something many do not think is a good fit as the leader of a great nation.

The nation also has a lot to lose in many of the policies President Trump is pushing forward in Congress.

The country is up in arms over how many people will lose healthcare under the Trump administration’s new healthcare plan. On Monday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a report estimating that the number of uninsured Americans would increase by an additional 24 million people to total 52 million by 2026. (“In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law,” the authors of the report write.) By next year at this time they estimate that number to jump by 14 million.

This would reverse the current trend in the United States of reducing its number of uninsured inhabitants to the lowest rates in over 50 years. Under the Affordable Care Act (aka the “ACA” or “Obamacare”) the rate of uninsured Americans plunged from 15.7% in 2010 to 8.6% in September of 2016.

(Via: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-truth-about-exercise-addiction/201703/how-would-trumpcare-affect-mental-health-care)

The sectors that will be hit first and hard are the education, healthcare and the country’s economy among others. The new president is adamant to reverse “Obamacare” of the former administration and deny millions of Americans important basic services unable to access one when in need.

The American Health Care Act — aka Trumpcare or the AHCA — is the GOP’s effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). You’d think with a proponent like Trump behind it, it would offer the gold standard of healthcare. You know, like the free healthcare that Congress gives itself.

Instead, the proposed law is a fairly half-hearted attempt to remake the Affordable Care Act into something that Republicans can better stomach. Let’s take a look at the current proposal, which is getting pushback from all sides.

President Trump has repeatedly referred to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed more than seven years ago, as “the disaster known as Obamacare.” Now he has his own disaster-in-the-making to defend, proclaiming in late February, “Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated.” (Actually, anyone who’s worked in healthcare or been in a hospital in the past 10 years knows exactly how complicated it is.)

(Via: https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2017/03/09/how-trumpcare-will-affect-mental-health/)

Trump’s has a different means in mind in order for him to achieve his dream of Making America Great Again and he will proceed with his plans even at the expense of the people - the very ones who made it possible for him to secure his shot at the presidency.

But another major concern to Americans is not just on the government’s capacity to provide basic health care services but in President Trump’s ability to perform his functions well. His family has a strong history of dementia and he himself acts strangely at times too.

But, a consistent conversation among anti-Trump supporters continually points fingers to Trump’s mental stability as a reason for his unpresidential mannerisms, calling into question why psychiatric as well as medical information on the president have not been released to the public.

The American people have reason to know the health, whether mental or physical, of those holding such a positions of power, but the diagnosis is wary.

(Via: http://depauliaonline.com/2017/02/27/trumps-actions-lead-questions-surrounding-health/)

The American people got a lot on their plates right now but it is still too early to tell how the Trump leadership will turn out. With major changes expected to come their way, the only way the nation and the people can survive is when they stick together and do their part in realizing the dream of a better America and not just wish for it to happen.

The following article Keeping Your Health And Sanity Intact In These Changing Times Read more on: PB

source https://www.podblaze.com/keeping-your-health-and-sanity-intact-in-these-changing-times/

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Art Through The Years

Artworks tell a lot about our history. These pieces often tell stories and trends of a certain period in time. You can also tell what technology is available in those times based on the materials used. Primitive men used sharp rocks to carve out figures on the walls of prehistoric caves. As the years go by and man evolves to become more superior in intellect, the tools they use to express their artistic side also improved.

If you look at popular and well-preserved artworks in most museums today, you can learn a lot not only about the artist but about that period in history. The art also connected people regardless of race, religion or personal differences. Appreciation for the arts is universal. So, find out now how the arts shaped and connected the world through the years.

The Malta Stock Exchange is sponsoring an art exhibition, curated by artist Adrian Scicluna, within the Exchange building at the Garrison Chapel at Castille Place in Valletta.

The exhibition investigates notions of connectivity, with participating artists presenting works that explore the theme not merely from an interest in instruments and infrastructures, but by acknowledging the phenomena of what connectivity says about us.

The exhibition features works by artists, Matthew Attard, Noel Attard, Vince Briffa, Clint Calleja, Glen Calleja and Sandro Spina, Giola Cassar, Valerio Schembri, Adrian Sciculna, Sarah Maria Scicluna and Darren Tanti.

“Clint and Valerio link religion with mo­dern communication technology. Through the use of metaphor Valerio investigates inclusion and exclusion in society; while Clint references the Tower of Babel from the Bible, sending a cautious message that we must be wary of today’s communication technology,” Scicluna explains.

He continues how Darren Tanti’s painting connects two realities, exploring how Eastern and Western contemporary and historical culture influence each other and subsequently merge.

(Via: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20170402/arts-entertainment/connectivity-through-art.644236)

We learn a lot about our past by looking at old artworks and it gives us a glimpse of what the future also holds for us.

The world is built on binaries: good and evil, war and peace and life and death. The work of Sherin Guirguis, an artist, associate professor and vice dean of faculty at the Roski School of Art and Design, challenges notions of the informal and formal, the structured and chaotic, the arts and the politics.

Even one artist can make a big impact in this world.

Her work focuses on connecting opposites together, both in art and in life.

Her most recent work “One I Call,” which is currently on display at the Desert X exhibit in Palm Springs, is an interactive complex based on the pigeon towers of Egyptian villages. Often used to serve as beacons of the outskirts of civilizations or the ancient mail systems of rural communities, these pigeon towers were central places for communities. “One I Call” aims to do the same by incorporating the natural landscape of the Whitewater Reserve of the Coachella Valley into a beautiful complex with which visitors can interact.

The final piece is a
beehive-esque tower, in which gold leaf circles and sticks align in geometric patterns that collect sunlight in a dazzling way. The landscape of the exhibit — tall mountains where sheep graze, and birds burrow in the boulders — complements the small tower nested in a beautiful desert. When visitors come, they truly are able to interact and experience the history behind the pigeon tower, the
Coachella Valley and the civilizations before it.

“We came to a place, we made a work about that place and then we had people from that place engaged,” Guirguis said. “That felt good.”

(Via: http://dailytrojan.com/2017/03/08/roski-professor-speaks-power-art/)

If you go to the Horror section of your local bookstore today, you won’t find books by Stephen King, Mary Shelley or HP Lovecraft; instead, you’ll find a stack of newspapers from the past couple of years.

Okay, that’s not quite true—let’s just call it an alternative fact—but it may as well be. Because with Trump, Brexit, the refugee crisis, and the rising tides of rightwing populism, nationalism, racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia, the real world has become so nightmarish that no amount of snarky online commentary can make a difference. Even this article.

But there may be something that can: art.

We’ve seen millions of protesters standing up for what they believe in, fighting back against the seemingly inevitable fascism and fake tan-tinged future, and now artists are bringing their progressive messages to as wide an audience as they possibly can.

As Paul Gauguin said at the turn of the last century, “Art is either a plagiarist or a revolutionary.” Leo Tolstoy called art “a method of communication between humans about the conditions of life itself.” And as Sam Lewis-Hargreave recently put it, “Don’t worry, I’ll stop quoting old artists and get to the point.”

Historically, art has been about resistance. It’s a tradition that goes further back than Picasso, but let’s start with him anyway. Described with uncertainty on the artist’s own website as “probably Picasso’s most famous work,” the 1937 painting Guernica used Cubism in a way that finally made sense: to portray the tragic, distorting, and downright confusing nature of the suffering of war.

(Via: http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/entertainment/arts/art-last-hope-liberal-future/23/03/)

History teaches us that art played a big role on how we shaped our society today. Artworks have been instrumental in pushing for reforms and changes that were desperately needed by the people of yesteryears. Until now, artists hide messages in their art pieces that let the public know about their stand on certain issues that plague the world today. And it is inspiring to realize that these beautiful and timeless pieces serve a dual purpose that not only pleases the eye but also works for the common good.

The post Art Through The Years See more on: PB

source https://www.podblaze.com/__trashed/

Public Education For All: Will It Just Be A Dream?

Progress is only made possible through education. You can learn everything you need in order to succeed in life in the four corners of the c...