Bogus PC Cleaners

When you’re among SPAUG members, you may hear about someone’s adventure dealing with a purported “cleaner” of some sort that puts malware, perhaps ransomware, onto your system. In trying to help a friend deal with a “Fix My PC” program, I wondered if it might be such a program. As you read in another post on this site, “TweakBit FixMyPC” is probably not now malicious malware, but it’s definitely worry-and-annoyware.

Here’s a Google search for, and Wikipedia list of, some [bogus pc cleaners]. Watch videos. There’s a lot of that stuff out there. Notice how close some of their names are to the legit stuff.

 

This happens when you install a “Fix My PC” program

A friend called for help with his pc. One of his complaints was that he was dealing with some sort of “cleaner” program that somehow got onto his pc and claimed it could solve many of his problems. Looking at his machine remotely, I saw that the program was “TweakBit FixMyPC”, the very program that’s the subject of this Martin Brinkmann article on ghacks.net.

“The following analyzes one program that promises to fix your PC highlighting what it does and how the developer generates revenue from it. Before I started the installation I checked the program on Virustotal to make sure it is clean (which it was). In case you are wondering, the program in question is called TweakBit FixMyPC.

He goes on to show some of the the scary-looking stuff this program reports about your pc.

And his verdict is:

“The Registry locations that FixMyPC scans have hardly — if at all — an impact on system stability or performance. Even free programs like CCleaner ship with more Registry cleaning features than this program and it is borderline insulting to ask users to pay money before the program fixes those issues. The program is not malicious on the other hand and does not include third-party adware offers in the installer (but a bundled first-party program).

All in all though it appears as if the program by itself won’t fix the majority of PC issues that users who are looking for help or guidance face.”

As of writing this post, the article has 11 comments. Read them.

Also read the “Bogus PC Cleaners” post on this site.

‘Hedgehog’ Robots Hop, Tumble in Microgravity [NASA video]

“”Hedgehog is a different kind of robot that would hop and tumble on the surface instead of rolling on wheels. It is shaped like a cube and can operate no matter which side it lands on,” said Issa Nesnas, leader of the JPL team.

The basic concept is a cube with spikes that moves by spinning and braking internal flywheels. The spikes protect the robot’s body from the terrain and act as feet while hopping and tumbling.”

See more, including the video, at jpl.nasa.gov.

UX = User Experience

“User experience design (UXD or UED) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product. User experience design encompasses traditional human–computer interaction (HCI) design, and extends it by addressing all aspects of a product or service as perceived by users.” [wikipedia]


 

UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true. And you don’t have to take our word for it, we’ll show you a lot of research findings and articles by design and usability gurus.

Myth #0: If you read lists like this one, you don’t need to do research”


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