Monday, May 25, 2015

Have fun with a simple "Game of Thrones" social activity

The game is very simple. You need some papers, pens and a couple of friends who are familiar with Game of Thrones. Give each a paper+pen and ask them to write the names of everyone in the group, including themselves.

Then for each name, they should associate a Game of Thrones character. It should be done based on personality rather than physical aspect.

To avoid upsets, it may be a good idea if everyone writes with capital letters, making it harder to identify the author. But remember it's only a game and take it easy even if you were associated with "Reek" or "Shae".

After the game you may learn a lot about you as a person. Do you see yourself the same way as your friends do? Do they see you all in the same way or each in his own way?

The most efficient and simple homemade wasp trap

There are many guides to teach you how to build wasp traps from plastic bottles. After trying out everything, I realised the key is in the lure and not in the way you build the trap. And the most efficient is radler beer! Yes, you can simply put 1/4 of a jar with radler and it will catch more wasps then any other honey or vinegar trap.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

spammed while my Paypal account was hacked

So I woke up one normal day and checked my email. I was surprised to see thousands of new emails all spam. Like almost everyone, I get daily spam, but decently, like around thirty emails.

I had no idea what this is was all about, but it definitely looked odd.
Most of these emails were already in the bulk folder, but I like to double check, because legitimate stuff gets there occasionally.

So I start scrolling...
And after fifteen minutes, I've spotted something like "You have added a new credit card to your account". All of a sudden, I realised what was happening and I rushed to login into my Paypal. Surprise, surprise, some a few hundreds were missing as withdrawal on that new credit card.

Fortunately, I've reacted in time and Paypal was able to reverse the process so I got my cash back. Then they also helped with some logs and I've managed to investigate and find out how all this was possible:

Many years ago I have used on a forum the same email and password for creating an account. Yes, I know it was stupid, but I think that was even before having a Paypal account. Now it seems like someone hacked that forum(or maybe the admin/owner shared it on purpose who knows) and tried all those user/pass pairs on Paypal website. And at least on mine, it worked! So they wanted to grab quickly some cash, and they added their credit card. Then they spammed me. But the spammed itself triggered my alertness so I don't know if it was such a smart move.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Educative and fun games you can play with your five years old child

Mini Market
Buy some new little figurines and sweets. Don't use something that your child is familiar with, because she might not be interested. "New" is the key. Take a small table and put them on like an ambulant store, with a price tag for each object. Then give some coins to the child and teach him how to buy. Depending on his age and his interest for maths, you can use simple pricing first, like candy = 2 coins. Later you can use real pricing like candy = 14 cents.
Let her have limited money or limit the objects she can buy each day. This way she will have to decide what to spend the cash on and will also show you more about her temperament.

What's in the hat?
Take a winter hat and hide in some small object your child is familiar with. It can be figurine, coin, barrette, dice, spoon and so on. Without looking, by using only the touch, ask her to insert the hand in the hat and identify the object. First she will be very tempted to look, so be careful. Help and give hints when she cannot guess. Repeat with different objects or make her hide something for you. It's a great game for both fun and imagination development.
Hot/cold hidden object
Hide an object somewhere in the house. The child should be in another room or blindfold. Then ask her to find the object. Whenever she gets closer to the location where it's hidden, give her hints like "warm", "hot", "very hot" - depending on how close she is - "very hot" = you almost found it. When she is far or moves away, tell "cold".
After the object was found, change roles and make her guide you this time.

Enjoy! And remember that your enthusiasm is sometimes the key to make the child interested in the game.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

How to protect yourself against keyloggers?

A keylogger will record everything you type so whoever installed it will know all your emails, conversations, logins, passwords and so on. Therefore if someone wants to spy on you, a keylogger is the first choice.

So you need to protect yourself and you are probably thinking of an anti-virus. But it is not enough and you should not rely on it! Even if you are 100% that your operating system is clean, there may be hardware keyloggers installed which could be impossible to detect. Don't panic, you have a few solutions:
  1. You can use a virtual keyboard such as It is a Click-N-Type keyboard designed for anyone with a disability, but it can be used against keyloggers, simply by clicking keys with the mouse whenever you have to write sensitive information such as passwords. Yes, it will be hard to write an email like this.

  2. If you are familiar with Linux, you should make a copy of Knoppix(Knoppix is a bootable Live system on CD/DVD). Boot your computer with this and no matter how many keyloggers there are, you have your own read only operating system so you are safe... unless there are hardware keyloggers for which you should use the previous solution.