Just a short note about the issue of (the very good) Взгляд.ру (URL: http://www.vz.ru) getting flagged as "malware attack site" or something similar, it could be due to a) something wrong with the site b) something wrong with an advertisement on the site c) political censorship. The point is this: this is a great opportunity for you all to drop Windows and/or Mac and switch to Linux (properly called "GNU/Linux"). For a list of options I recommend please see the "GNU/Linux distributions I recommend" box on the lower right of this page. Then, use a browser which has an "AdBlock" extension. FireFox and Chrome are the two I mostly use. FireFox also has extensions like "FlashBlock" and the "NoScripts Security Suite" which provide an additional level of security. The latter require a tad more IT knowledge to use.
The bottom line is this: if you are using Windows - you are constantly exposing yourself to a huge amount of very different risks; if you are using Mac, you are much better off, but you are grossly overpaying for your software and you are not safe from malware approved by Mac. The only solution is to use free software which, for most people, means Linux (though *BSD is an excellent solution for the tech-savvy).
Here are a few links for those of you interested in trying out the "free world":
- What is Free Software (must read)
- From Windows to Linux
- Linux is NOT Windows (must read)
- The table of equivalents / replacements / analogs of Windows software in Linux
- Linux Mint 15 User's Guide (for those who will begin with the Mint distribution - which I what I would suggest for most beginners)
- Xubuntu Documentation (for those who will begin with the Xubuntu distribution)
- Trisquel Documentation (for those who will begin with the Trisquel distribution)
Mind you - today I still got the stupid warning about vz.ru while using FireFox on a Linux computer, that will not disappear as it is OS-independent, but I could simply ignore that warning and waltz away happily to that "dangerous" site.
Which brings me to one small word of caution. There is what I call "corporate Linux" out there. Names like Ubuntu, RedHat and others. My advice - stay away from them and their products. However, products derived from them like Mint or Xubuntu are okay to use as long as they are piloted by a community, not a corporation. I would also recommend you stick to so-called APT-based distribution or "Debian derivatives", which is the case of all of the distros listed in the "GNU/Linux distributions I recommend" box.
That's it. Sorry for this techie-sidebar, but I wanted to remind you all that you don't have to put up with all this 'malware' nonsense and that you can enjoy both freedom and security on your computers.
Now back to the important business at hand.
PS: I will not have the time to reply to any comments to this post (nevermind private emails!). I have to keep my priorities straight. Right now the priority #1 is the situation in the Ukraine, not IT discussions. Sorry.