It's Friday! The day we can all walk out of our ... Um ... Living rooms and go to the kitchen? Okay, so we're not going to be doing much in the near future. Especially since the surprise snow. (My poor Rhododendrons. 😒)
Today's Free Friday is about an app for Android and iPhone. It's called Smartify. Normally it is not free. Rather than try to explain it all, I am going to let the Smithsonian Magazine do it for me. There are other links in the article that lead to other wonderful stuff. Check it out.
Yesterday I posted about Zoom and the critical flaws in the program. I tested out a couple of programs yesterday, but ultimately, decided to post a link to an article with a list of similar apps and programs. Make Use Of is a tech website that I've used for a long time for instruction and suggestions. I trust them and their suggestions.
I tested FreeConference.com and Jitsi yesterday. Both are good. Especially Jitsi. I've also used FreeConference.com in the past and it is also reliable.
I used Skype in the long ago past, but it's part of the Microsoft Office suite, so it is boring, but functional and reliable.
Then there's WebEx. It's reliable. I hate it, but it's for personal reasons. Your mileage may vary. Many, many people love it.
I'm told that Telegram is able to do video calls and group chats, but at this time, I'm unable to figure out how to do it. And I'm a regular user of Telegram and love the program. If I figure out how to do it, I'll post it here with download instructions.
Meanwhile, go read the list from Make Use Of and read the comments as well. I can't personally vouch for the safety or security of the recommendations in the comments, but they are often worth exploring.
Here's a link to an alert published yesterday by the FBI. It's chock full of great information. Definitely a quick and recommended read!
For the folks who are setting up Zoom for communication and Ellen Degeneres' Game of Games show, please read.
I noticed a lot of people using the app and decided to test it out today on my Windows computer and Android phone. Of course I did a search to check out what other tech sites had to say and found this article from Bleeping Computer.
The app can still be installed and used safely on a Windows computer, but there are extra steps that you must take when installing the program. Bleeping Computer details them in the article.
Unfortunately, Zoom Video Communications doesn't seem to mention any of this on their web site, or their Facebook page. I did a search for "unc path injection" and came up blank on their support page. In addition there's this from BleepingComputer:
"BleepingComputer has contacted Zoom about this vulnerability but has not heard back at this time."
So, yeah. There are better options out there for Windows users. I'll be experimenting today and let you know what I find.