Archive for the 'General' Category

Javascript Inserted into the Footer of all Webpages

Recently I had an issue with my Windows XP machine where I noticed advertisements such as Google Adsense and Yahoo ads were being replaced with different types of ads.  I then noticed weird behavior with Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 7 where pages were taking forever to load and then popups started to show up at random.  Curious as to what was going on, I took a look under the hood at the HTML and noticed a nasty, long javascript being inserted into every single page that I viewed.  It had numerous calls to an IP of 85.12.43.83 and it was then I knew I had a virus, spyware, malware, or some other unwanted junk on my machine.  I immediately searched the internet for what it could be and how to get rid of it.  This seems to be fairly new, and I tried all sorts of things to get rid of it.  I tried AVG, Ad-Aware, Hijack This, and more…nothing worked…until I found this post in which a guy figured it out himself.If you find unwanted javascript inserted into the footer (or injected into the footer) of all of the pages your viewing, then go to http://www.malwarebytes.org/ and download Anti_Malware.  It’s free and it’s the only thing that fixed it for me.  It also found a couple of other things on my system that I didn’t want.  I tracked the virus down to an email that a family member opened, which was thought to be a Hallmark ecard.  The problem was that the “Hallmark greeting” was an attachment called postcard.zip .  When that attachment was opened, it injected the virus.  So this gets back to the old rules of thumb when it comes to email.  If you don’t know who sent the email (or even if you have suspicions), don’t open the attachments!  If you get an ecard notification such as this, make sure it at least includes the name/email of someone you know.  All major ecard websites require that info.  If you don’t see a name you recognize…delete it.  Secret admirers can be a pain in the butt anyway.

Fixing Flash Player Plugin for Internet Explorer Issue

If you have been having issues getting the Flash Player Plugin to work in Internet Explorer 7 or 6, then I might have a solution that works…at least it did for me! I gathered the following steps from various Adobe technotes and have rearranged the order of them finally worked on my setup with Windows XP.

My original pain began when I upgraded to Adobe CS3 Master Collection. As soon as I upgraded to CS3, Flash Player stopped working in Internet Explorer while it worked perfectly in Firefox…..aaaahhhhh Firefox….how I love thee. So my search began for a fix. I uninstalled, reinstalled, clean uninstalled, removed the ActiveX control, etc etc. I scoured forums, blogs, technotes, etc only to end up with the same result…Flash player working perfectly in Firefox but not Internet Explorer 7.

I FINALLY got everything working perfectly after a few simple steps, which I outline below, but I will say that I uninstalled IE7 and did the steps with IE6 and then reinstalled IE7 after everything was working. I don’t know if this helped to fix the situation, but I wanted to mention that before we get started. If the following steps don’t work, then try uninstalling IE7 (by going to Add/Remove Programs and removing Internet Explorer 7 from there).

Alright…here we go!
Continue reading ‘Fixing Flash Player Plugin for Internet Explorer Issue’

Your Digital Resume Can Make or Break You

This is something that needs to be taught in grade school these days. I have seen many careers created and destroyed because of this issue and many people still go through their lives blissfully ignorant to how this will affect them down the road.

What am I talking about? Your digital resume. “What is a digital resume?” you might ask. Well, think of it as everything you do online that can be viewed by others. This includes MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, forums, websites where you leave comments, etc. ANYthing of yours online that can be seen by others is your digital resume. It is you and how your employers, clients, and customers will perceive you whether it’s the “real” you or not…to them it’s the real you. Period.

I’ve unfortunately worked on projects in the past where people were either fired or not hired based on certain activities they were involved in online. How were they discovered? Simple…just searched for their name on various sites. You might think you can be sneaky and use a nickname, but you’re going to slip up somewhere and that nickname is going to be linked to your real name…then the trail starts. It’s up to you how that trail looks. I can’t stress it enough to be conscious of what you do online. You may not give a hoot what people think about you and you may make a living going through life with that attitude, but just be aware that you’re not “hiding behind a computer screen” lobbing out an “online lifestyle” that is “different” that your real life. To people that come in your life down the road…the two are the same.

On the other hand…use your “digital resume” as a tool to build a foundation for where you want to be down the road. Participate on sites, forums, groups, etc that parallel your plans. Leave a trail that shows how you got to where you are today. The people you communicate with and that see your activity may end up being the people who pay for that roof over your head and the food on your table. Don’t lose site of that.

Remember this…perception is reality…especially in the online world. What you do will be seen by someone important to you down the road. It’s up to you as to how they will react.

The Future of AiO Students

Some of you may have wondered what has happened to this site as it was a great hangout for the students of The Art Institute Online. Well, the sad truth is that I got my degree, moved to a new state, started a new job, got married, bought a house, fixed up said house, and now my wife and I are expecting our first child! WHEW. So yeah, all of that happened in about 6 months. Needless to say, I’ve neglected this site and everything I had planned for it…BUT…I didn’t forget about it.

I have closed the forum off to new registrations, but I’ve left it open to view as it has a lot of great info about The Art Institute Online and the various fields of study. I don’t know what type of forum the Art Institute offers the students outside of class these days, but hopefully there’s something. I started the forums here simply because AiO didn’t offer anything like it at the time. They have since started Talk-On (the official school forums) and I hope it’s still up…because I’m retiring these forums. This was the first forum up and I like to think it sparked AiO’s desire to put together an official one…if not…oh well, let me think that anyway.

What I do have planned for this site, though, is something I hope many people will benefit from. I’ve been in the multimedia industry since around 1996 and have learned quite a bit that I want to share…specifically about interactive media. I’m going to share a ton of information moving forward that will definitely help anyone interested in interactive media and internet marketing.

If you’re thinking of attending The Art Institute Online…scan these articles and browse the forums to get the full scoop.

If you’re already attending…well…get your degree there and I’ll help you get an education. 😉

If you’re an alumni…CONGRATS! Now the real fun begins.

Buckle up with me and hang on…this will be a fun ride.

10,000 Free Fonts

Better Fonts – Great collection of 10,000 free fonts

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Apple Powerbook and iBook Batteries Recalled

It looks like all of the flaming laptops lately has sparked Apple to recall a ton of Powerbook and iBook batteries that were manufactured between October 2003 and August 2006. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall today with information on how to replace your battery free of charge. So if you bought a laptop during that time period, hop on the site to see what serial numbers are affected…unless of course you want to take the risk of frying your legs off…

Apple also has a page for the battery program so check that as well at https://support.apple.com/ibook_powerbook/batteryexchange/index.html.

Create Free Flow Charts and Diagrams

Free Flow Charts and Diagrams There are numerous times that The Art Institute Online requires students to create flowcharts or diagrams for projects, which leaves a student wondering what to use. I have been known to just use Photoshop and create my own from scratch, but there is an easier way to create flowcharts and diagrams…and it’s FREE! I came across Gliffy.com recently and it seems to be a easy to use and free website that can get the job done. The tools to create the diagrams and flow charts are easy to use and it allows you to print, save as a file, and share your designs.

So if you’re needing a quick, easy and free way to put some charts or diagrams together, check out Gliffy.com!

Amazon.com Customer Service Phone Number

If you have ever tried finding Amazon.com’s customer service phone number, you probably know that it’s harder to find than an honest politician. I needed to speak to a human at Amazon a few months back and went digging for the elusive Amazon.com phone number. Luckily I found it and was able to get a human…who spoke my language…clearly! I’ve had to call Amazon.com twice since then and each call has been among the best customer service experiences that I’ve dealt with lately. Save this number somewhere safe and hope that you never need it!

800-201-7575

Google Introduces Picasa Web

Picasa LogoGoogle has just released a web companion to their popular Picasa software, which looks to be a competitor to Yahoo!’s flickr. The new service is called Picasa Web and is available for free by invitation only at the moment. If you have a Gmail account, you can request an invitation at the Picasa Web site.

Some of the features that Google mentions are:

  • One-click web upload using Picasa’s new “Web Albumâ€? button
  • Free storage space to post and share approximately 1000 photos, with the option to upgrade to more space
  • High-quality photos, automatically resized and optimized to fill available screen space
  • Pre-loaded images enable quick scrolling using arrow keys, and mimic a desktop experience of “flippingâ€? through photos, even on the web
  • End-to-end photo management that makes it easy to download uploaded photos back to your computer

Google even has a sample web album available to see what it looks like.

Picasa Web

I noticed the ability to add comments to photos, show camera data, view as slideshow, download images, and even subscribe to RSS feeds of albums. I have always loved Picasa and I think this will be a great addition to Google’s apps. I’m not sure how many people will abandon flickr, but this is a great starting point for Google to test the waters.

If you don’t have Picasa, I highly recommend it. You can download it by clicking the “Get Google’s Photo Software” button on the right of this page.

If any of you have an account with Picasa Web and have given it a try please share your thoughts!

Sallie Mae Student Loan Consolidation

Sallie Mae Logo Many of you have student loans (federal, personal, or other) through Sallie Mae and may or may not know that the interest rate on your loan is set to increase on June 30. This happened last year as the rate shot up nearly 2%! I consolidated my loans before the deadline, which means I was able to lock in my lower interest rate for the life of my loan. Sallie Mae makes it easy to do this and I encourage everyone to consolidate your student loans before interest rates rise again…unless of course you want to pay thousands of extra dollars in interest rates!

There are two ways to consolidate through Sallie Mae.

Option 1: If you will graduate or drop below half-time enrollment by June 29


Option 2: If you will still be enrolled at least half-time through June 2006.

I can’t stress enough how important this is. The money saved if you consolidate your loans can easily amount to thousands of dollars. The 30 minutes you spend doing this could easily earn you a week’s vacation! Sallie Mae is the only student loan company that I go through, but I am sure others will do the same for you. Just check with your student loan officers and ask how to consolidate student loans…just make sure you do it before June 30!