T-Shirts!!

Yep, that’s right. T-Shirts!

I like to wear tech related shirts. I have some Microsoft shirts, a couple of Apple shirts, and a TWIT TV polo shirt I received as a Christmas gift from my daughter.

One of the benefits of attending Wordcamps, besides the fantastic content from some great speakers, networking, seeing old friends and making new ones, is the T-Shirts.

WordCamp Buffalo

I have found that wearing a WordCamp T-Shirt can lead to some interesting conversations. “Well, John, what did you do this weekend?” I point to my T-Shirt and say “I was in Buffalo, NY for a one conference on WordPress”. I love it when this is followed by “What’s WordPress”?

Also, a T-Shirt like the ones from WP Engine and Swiftype can lead to the same type of questions.

WP Engine
WP Engine
Swiftype
Swiftype

I gave a presentation at WordCamp Columbus on running WordPress on an USB. I carry 2 or 3 USB’s with an install of WordPress in my laptop case and have demonstrated it on numerous occasions when asked questions.

True Story: I had attended WordCamp North Akron, in Ohio, on May 4th of this year. Their T-Shirt was an orange color with white printing. A few days later I wore the T-Shirt when a lady that I know glanced quickly at the shirt and said “And just what are you Word Champ of?” I grinned, looked at her and said “Apparently reading comprehension!” HA!

A pleasant surprise has been the number of techie friends who have asked if I was a WordPress user. A few of us are trying to put together a MeetUp group.

So, in closing, don’t be surprised about how or where a WordPress question might pop up from. Take advantage of the opportunity, spread the word, or should I say “Spread the WordPress!”

 

Just Some Tech News

A New Type of Ransom Ware

On Tuesday October 29th I had about a 2 hour drive to Akron for a meeting. I was listening to Leo Laporte’s “This Week in Tech” Episode 429. At the 30 minute mark (+/-) Leo played a short audio clip of an interview with Steve Gibson of Gibson Research Corp.

They talked about a new form of ransom ware called CryptoLocker. This is a much nastier version of ransom ware as it encrypts ALL of the files on a computer. The bad news is that the ransom ware seeks connected hard drives, USB drives, NAS devices AND shared folders on other computers.

The ransom ware is sent as an email with a link to a bank, PayPal account or even an attached PDF file. All of the links launch an exe file that install the program and encrypts the data. A pop up then displays a message that states that the files have been encrypted and the user has 72 hours to pay $300 or euros or even BitCoins to get a private key to restore all of the files to their original condition.

2013-10-crypto

If the user ignores the warning and the 72 hours expire, the private key is destroyed and can not be regenerated. BAD NEWS!

According to Steve Gibson, the encryption is so complicated that experts are unable to de-crypt files.

So, now more than ever before, be careful with email attachments.

The following article was found at ARS technica: http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/youre-infected-if-you-want-to-see-your-data-again-pay-us-300-in-bitcoins/

Updated 10-31-2013 11:45 P.M.

I have had several requests for additional information on the Crypto Locker article since I sent the Communigram notice out this morning.

I found three articles form noted websites that should explain in more depth than my article.

I was interested in a couple of quotes in the article:

“If you haven’t got a backup and you get hit by CryptoLocker, you may as well have dropped your PC over the side of a bridge,” says Paul Ducklin, security adviser for anti-virus software company Sophos.

And

CryptoLocker currently only affects PCs and can easily be removed with anti-virus software, but its effects cannot. “I don’t think anyone in the world could break the encryption,” says Gavin O’Gorman, spokesman for the internet security firm Symantec.

Here are links to the articles I found.

 http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/cryptolocker-is-the-nastiest-malware-ever-heres-what-you-can-do/

 http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9243537/Cryptolocker_How_to_avoid_getting_infected_and_what_to_do_if_you_are_

 http://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/cryptolocker.asp

 Loving WordPress

This past Sunday I updated my website that I own. I had an enjoyable afternoon as I backed up, updated plugins & themes and just generally having a good time.

Today, I had a list of things that I wanted to do to my work website. The phones didn’t ring, I ignored my email for a while and I did not have any interruptions. After spending a couple of hours tweaking pages, proof reading articles, adding images and backing up, I realized why I fell in love with WordPress from the beginning.

IT JUST SEEMS RIGHT!!

i-love-wordpress

Choices

Choices, WordCamp. Choices, WordCamp.

Unless you are a WordPress user or developer, these are not two words that you would normally associate with each other.

Living in eastern Ohio, I was very fortunate this year because I have been able to attend three WordCamps so far this year.

The first was WordCamp North Canton which was held on May 4th at Stark State College.

WordCamp North Canton
Next was WordCamp Columbus which was held on August 2nd and 3rd at The Union on the campus of Ohio State.

WordCamp Columbus
Finally, this past weekend I drove about 5 hours and attended WordCamp Buffalo for the September 14th event.

WordCamp Buffalo
I have only been attending WordCamps since 2010 and last year was the first that I attended multiple events.

Choices. When I am looking over the schedule for sessions at a WordCamp, invariably, there are two or more speakers that I would like to hear speak that are speaking during the same time slot. I call this the “dammit” factor. I use this word quiet often as I am trying to see which sessions I want to attend. Without a doubt, WordCamps offer quality information from well qualified individuals.

Just as important as the sessions at a WordCamp are the people! Meeting and thanking the organizers is a must for any attendee. The organizers devote untold hours for several months before the event. Speaking from experience, once an event such as this is finally underway, a big sigh of relieve is given by all involved. Also, meeting people and renewing acquaintances is a big part of any WordCamp.

Twitter is the social media vessel of choice at a WordCamp. Before you attend (or ask before the event begins) find the hashtag of the event and follow that throughout the day and even for a few days afterwards. A lot of good info will be posted on Twitter such as the hyperlinks to speaker slides.

Again, I am fortunate that there were more than one WordCamp that I could attend. Is it worth the effort and the money to attend these events? YES! I am sure that someone could calculate the ROI comparing the cost versus benefits gained.

Visit WordCamp Central to find an event near you.