Mar 022015

Moldova seems to be ready to go to Eurovision as it made its choice on February 28 when Ukrainian singer Eduard Romanyuta was appointed to represent the east-European country at this year’s edition of the continental music festival that will be held in Austria. Romanyuta claimed the national contest with the song “I Want Your Love“.

Eurovision 2015 is set to take place in Vienna, with semifinals running on 19 and 21 May and grand finale being disputed on May 23.

eurovision moldova

Eurovision Moldova (public domain)

It turns out to be for the first time when Republic of Moldova is represented by a foreigner at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The unexpected outcome sparked discontent among the other participants who decided to boycott the winner. “It appears so obvious that almost everything was premeditated. Too bad… I feel ashamed,” wrote Pasha Parfeni on a social network.

In September 2014, the director of the Ukrainian state television announced that his country won’t take part at the 60th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest because of the high costs and armed conflict that have destabilized the country’s eastern regions in recent months.

Video: Eduard Romanyuta – I want your love (Eurovision Moldavia)

Mar 022015

Romanian politician and member of the European Parliament Monica Luisa Macovei launched the M10 party on Sunday March 1, 2015. After running independently for Romania’s presidency in last November’s elections, Macovei had vowed to set up a political party which aims to gather people of all ages who share the same values.

She said at the beginning of the opening event that took place in Bucharest, that she wants Romania to go on the right path, adding that many ministries should be overridden.

Monica Macovei

Romanian MEP Monica Macovei, the founder of M10 party (pic: wikimedia)

“Today a new party is born. It is the only and first party in Romania that follows the right way. It looks like nothing of what we have today on the political scene. It has no link with the FSN, new PNL , old PSD, it has nothing to do with the current political class”: these words were part of Macovei’s speech held during the inaugural event in Bucharest.

Brief biography!
Besides the local political function, Monica Luisa Macovei is also known for her work as a lawyer and former prosecutor, and a current Member of the European Parliament from the EPP side. Previously, she was a member of the Romanian Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) which merged into the Christian Liberal Aliance (ACL) and subsequently into National Liberal Party (PNL).

She was the Minister of Justice of Romania in the first government of Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu. She is often cited for implementing the justice reforms requested for Romania as a major condition to join the European Union.
Credit photo: By David Plas / Friends of Europe [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Video: M10 party launch in Bucharest, Romania

Mar 022015

As a Google AdSense Publisher, I just received (a few hours ago) a PII-related notification from Google with the subject “Policy Breach Notice”. The e-mail does not elaborate as its content simply looks like the one hereunder:

“Dear Publisher,
We have now verified that we are no longer detecting PII being passed to Google from the account(s) under your control.
Thank you for helping to resolve this matter.
The Google Policy Team”

Is that a bad sign? Not really!
Because any breach notification from Google Adsense team may trigger worrying thoughts to any Adsense Publisher, I just did a little research over the web in order to make things clear over this aspect. It turns out that it wasn’t only me, but also dozens other users who received similar message.

What is PII?
Well, PII is the acronym/abbreviation for Personally Identifiable Information. For account protection and safety purposes, Google AdSense policies states that account holders should not transfer any information to Google that might resemble the Personally Identifiable Information. Practically publishers must keep in mind that it is their responsibility to make sure that are not passing data to Google,,,data which Google could use or recognize as PII.

When Adsense ID owners happen for whatever reason to send over such private data, Google replies with a notification message to resolve the problem. Only after the publisher in question troubleshoots the PII issue, then Google sends the email (above) which is subject to this analysis.

No worrying reasons!
The puzzling part is that most publishers received the above-mentioned message without any prior notification, therefore Google probably made an error and obviously has to come with further explanation. Besides that, the email ends with the remark: “Thank you for helping to resolve this matter”, therefore you should stay calm and keep doing your job as usually because the “matter is confirmed as resolved.”

P/S: Discussions on Adsense forum claim that if you get a message that states:

“We have now verified that we are no longer detecting PII being passed to Google from the account(s) under your control,”

then there is no issue with your PII. If you have never been informed previously that you did have a PII violation, then you can safely disregard it.

How is PII passed to Google? [This info addresses only to those who indeed received a prior breach notification claiming that Google systems have detected PII, including email addresses and/or passwords, being passed from various domain names.]

Response from Adsense Team provides details (see below):
“These emails are warnings that were issued by Google following our detection of personally identifiable information (PII) being passed to us in ad requests from your sites or apps in breach of our policies on Identifying Users.
There are different ways in which this might occur. We recommend you start your investigation with the following steps:
Check the URLs of pages where you’ve implemented Google ads to ensure they do not contain visitors’ usernames, passwords, email addresses, or other PII.
If you’re using a Google product that allows you to add macros, such as the key-values feature of DFP, check that you’re not placing any information into these macros that Google would consider PII.
If your site includes an HTML form, consider using the method=POST implementation instead of the method=GET implementation, which is more likely to pass PII to the URL.
This is not an exhaustive list, and you should remember that it is every publisher’s responsibility to ensure that it is not passing data to Google that Google could use or recognize as PII.
If you received an email on this issue, you should address the problem. Let us know when you’ve resolved the issue by marking “The problem has been fixed” on the form linked in the original violation email. In the meantime, you should mark “I acknowledge the alert, and I will investigate accordingly.” If you believe you were contacted in error, you should mark “I believe I was contacted in error. Please re-review my account.”
— The Google AdSense team”

Mar 012015

Did you know that you can be spied via special programs and your boss or friends can monitor your entire activity? Of course you knew that all these things are possible! But do you know when you are subjected to a spying activity and more importantly, what you should do when facing such a situation?

Computer experts explain step by step how such malicious programs (spyware, adware) may end up on your computer. Do you know that some types of spy programs are able to even record keystrokes and information your search for on internet?

You should be aware that not only bosses, network administrators or jealous boyfriend/girlfriend can install spying software on your device! You can also unwittingly install them by yourself without even having any idea what you do.

For example, every time you download free games, you are exposed to getting a computer virus which is usually hidden inside a free game, screen saver or animated cursor.

How do you know if your computer got infected?
Well, that [infection] occurs when coming up against the following situations:
– when discovering new toolbars, links or preferences, which you did not add to the web browser.
– when the home page, mouse pointer, and search program change unexpectedly.
– when you type a particular website address in your browser, but you are diverted to a completely different site.
– when you see pop-up ads, even when the computer is not connected to the Internet.

Another change that points to a “virus infection”, emerges when the computer runs more slowly than usual.

If you suspect that you have a malicious software program, try to quickly check your computer with the safety scanner/program “Windows Live OneCare”; that’s what Microsoft advices people to do.

Experts in the field say that network administrator can pre-install firewall programs but such common practices often encountered in companies, are not “too legal”.

Mar 012015
Magna Steyr Mila Plus, first hybrid supercar unveiled by Austrian automotive manufacturer

Magna Steyr, an Austrian carmaker headquartered in Graz, designed and developed the hybrid supercar concept which will be showcased for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show 2015 that runs March 5-15. Magna Steyr is generally known as one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world, responsible for assembling important models, rather than […]

Mar 012015
Geneva Motor Show 2015: Audi R8 V10 Plus makes official debut with 610 horsepower

The new Audi R8 was officially unveiled just days before Geneva Auto Show 2015 and the second generation of German supercar appears to be lighter and come with more horsepower. After showing off the laser headlights of the new R8, Audi has decided to officially reveal entirely its second generation sports car. R8 is scheduled […]

Mar 012015
Kia K-Velo: South Korean carmaker to show electric bicycle at Geneva Motor Show 2015

At Geneva Motor Show 2015, South Korean car manufacturer Kia will reveal an electric bicycle called K-Velo which is produced in two versions: City and MTB terrain. In addition to the new concept Sportspace, Kia will bring in the Switzerland also its electric bike. A limited number of folks know that the Korean brand built […]

Mar 012015
Roger Federer defeats Novak Djokovic to claim Dubai trophy

Roger Federer played a final again as he used to do it in his glorious days! The Swiss champion won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2015 on Saturday and his second title this year after the triumph in Brisbane. In Dubai, Federer won in two straight sets 6-3, 7-5 over Novak Djokovic, the ATP […]

Feb 282015
Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov killed in shooting near Moscow Kremlin

Russian liberal politician and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in central Moscow, just in front of Kremlin, Friday night (scroll down for video report). 55-year-old Boris Nemtsov, known as a prominent leader of the movement Solidarnost and a critic of President Vladimir Putin, was killed in the heart of Moscow shortly ago. He […]

Feb 262015
Apple operating systems most vulnerable, new study says

Apple’s operating systems managed the “outstanding performance” of overcoming Windows OS in terms of vulnerabilities according to a new study. So far, dozens computer geeks have considered Windows the most insecure operating system but that seems to be understandable regarding the tremendous number of people using Microsoft’s platforms. The Unix-based graphical interface operating systems OS […]