Is Dreamforce getting too big for its boots?

More than 160,000 people have registered to attend Salesforce’s annual conference this week in San Francisco but the city can no longer house them all.

Dreamforce has grown so large that the cloud software giant has been forced to pay for a 964 foot cruise ship to be docked at San Francisco’s Pier 27 due to a shortage of hotel rooms in the city.

The Celebrity Infinity cruise ship, which currently has a Salesforce balloon attached to its bow and has been dubbed “Dreamboat” for the week, can accommodate up to 1,100 people.

In addition to accommodating a number of conference attendees, Salesforce is also using the boat for a number of parties, including a media welcome party this evening. 

Last year, 135,000 people registered to attend Dreamforce, equal to approximately 12 percent of San Francisco’s overall population. 

The size of the conference means that it causes some disruption to locals, blocking roads and making it nearly impossible to book a table at certain restaurants.

But the overall economic impact is hugely positive. Last year more than $220 million was infused into the local economy during Dreamforce and that figure will only rise with more visitors. 

During this year’s Dreamforce, a number of well known figures from the business and entertainment world will make an appearance.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella are both due to make appearances, as is actress and businesswoman Jessica Alba. The conference will be closed with a gig on the waterfront that will see Foo Fighters, The Killers and Gary Clark Junior play.

Box CEO Aaron Levie is also speaking at Dreamforce. He took to Twitter to explain his feelings on the conference.

Several other large technology conferences, including Apple’s WWDC and Google I/O, take place in San Francisco every year, with most of them centred around the Moscone Centre, which has close to a million square foot of space.

Know if your PC is infected with Viruses, Trojans or other Malware

The reason why most computer malware are so deadly is because many users fail to recognize whether they have been infected or not. Had they detected the infection at an earlier stage, the damage caused could have been greatly reduced. As each virus is programmed differently, it becomes difficult to identify a virus outbreak. However, there are some general symptoms that make it easy to detect an infected computer. Here are some of them:-

1) Programs won’t start or crash suddenly: If some system programs like the task manager or registry editor have suddenly stopped working or crash randomly without any visible reason, it is more than likely that your computer has got some form of worm that is attaching itself to various programs and thus, corrupting their code. A virus modifying registry entries to prevent these programs from running could also cause this.

2) Unusual Network Traffic: If even after closing your browser and other applications that may use the internet, you see that your computer is still downloading or uploading anything, then your computer is possibly infected with some form of spyware that is either downloading other viruses to your computer or is uploading your private information to a remote computer. In case you use a wifi connection, it is also possible that your neighbors are using your network. If that indeed is the case, you need to make sure that wireless network is properly secured.

3) Internet Connection not available or is slow: If suddenly, your internet connection has stopped working or has become extermely slow, it is possible that a malware is the cause. However, problems with your internet service provider could also be the cause of such issues.

4) Annoying Popups or Redirection to Strange Websites: If there has been an increase in the number of annoying popups while browsing the internet or your web browser redirects you to a different website from the one you wanted to visit, a virus or adware might be the cause.

5) Computer won’t boot: If your computer has suddenly stopped booting, it is possible that some malware has modified your computer’s system files. In such a situation, re-installing or repairing your operating system might be the only solution.

6) Slow Computer: Some viruses are designed specifically for this purpose. Malware programmers achieve this by designing viruses that increase your CPU’s usage level to 100%. If on running the Task Manager, you find that your CPU’s usage is constantly at 100% level, a malware might be the cause.

7) Programs start automatically: Some viruses and adware automatically start strange programs on your computer in order to show unwanted advertisements or simply to frustrate users.

8) Unusual File Associations: Some viruses change .exe or other file associations which prevents these files from opening. Some viruses also do this to automatically start themselves when a file of a particular type is started.

9) Security Software Disabled: Most malware disable antiviruses and firewalls to prevent themselves from being detected. If only a single software stops working, it might be a specific software failure issue. If it is a general trend and almost every security software is facing this issue, a virus infection is most likely.

10) Weird Behaviour: If your computer automatically starts sending emails or opens strange applications randomly or does things different from its “normal” behaviour, your computer is most likely compromised by malware.

Most malware infections can however be avoided by using a powerful antivirus software and following some best security practices.

London’s top 10 cyber-security companies – SaaS, encryption, mobile security and beyond

BT

A surprise to those who still associate the company with old-world telecoms but BT is now a major player in the security services space, offering BT Assure Managed Cloud, DDoS mitigation, managed firewalling, and SIEM threat monitoring. Earlier this year, BT integrated cyber threat security system from startup Darktrace (see slide 6) while further back in time it acquired Bruce Schneier’s security startup, Counterpane, in 2006.

PwC

Better known for its global business accountancy services, PwC (or PricewaterhouseCoopers) is a privately-owned network of affiliated firms that has built a commanding presence in security consultancy. The firm has partnerships with a range of companies in the space including, recently, security ‘unicorn’ Tanium. Provides research for the annual Information Security breaches survey in conjunction with the UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Silobreaker

Founded in 2005, Silobreaker has made its name in business and network analytics. In cybersecurity, the firm’s software can automate the process of trawling through large numbers of data feeds – social media, websites and news – to deliver reports on any security topic from specific attack types to known groups that might be of interest to a business.

Becrypt

A specialist in endpoint encryption for Window and Android, Becrypt also offers port/USB control, iOS mobile device management, and thin client technology such as the innovative tVolution secure client on a USB stick Techworld wrote about in April.

Acuity Risk Management

Sells software risk management system called STREAM used by large enterprises to assess governance, risk and compliance (GRC). The latest version V4 allows admins to build detailed custom reports.

Darktrace

Despite being founded in Cambridge with money from Mike Lynch’s Invoke Capital, Darktrace now boasts a London HQ to back up its offices in the famous University town – these days the firm might accurately be seen as being half way between the two cities. Building a stellar reputation for its Enterprise Immune System, a fully-fledged cyber-defence system technology for spotting anomalies on networks. In March formed an important partnership with BT.

Wandera

Founded in 2013 by the founders of ScanSafe (sold to Cisco in 2009), Wandera specialises in mobile security, offering customers its Secure Mobile Gateway as a security service. Based on a mobile app directing traffic through a proxy, Wandera is an innovative combination of cloud and mobile security in one system more often pioneered by US security firms.

SentryBay

Founded in 2007, SentryBay has assembled a wide range of security products for different business sectors – Data Protection Suite (DPS), Armoured Browser (banking), Anti-Keylogging, E-Vault, mobile security and even Internet of Things. Works closely with a range of partners, including Barclays, Geico, Check Point, and American Express.

Citicus

Privately held and founded during the dot.com boom, Citicus sells risk and compliance management software in the form of its Citicus One platform. Noted for its ability to visualise risk, can be used on premises or as a service. Mature and with an extensive list of customers, Citicus has established itself in its field in an unflashy, under-stated British way.

Protectimus

A London-based startup with a strong Russian presence among its founders, Protectimus sells two-factor authentication technology using one-time passwords (OTPs) and tokens for integration into larger IT systems as a service. Once an expensive security niche, two-factor hardware tokens are becoming a standard technology across a growing number of enterprises.

Here Is How To Address Car Hacking Threats

When you connect a car to the Internet, it is no longer just a car: It is a computer on wheels.

For years, the security industry has asked itself, “When will cyberattacks affect the physical world?” The connected car is a clear example of where this manifests, especially as researchers release new information about vehicles’ vulnerabilities, such as my partner Marc Rogers’ and my deep dive into Tesla’s systems, or the recent Jeep Cherokee analysis, wherein researchers breached the vehicle’s drive systems from the Internet, slowing the vehicle to a crawl on a highway. Fiat Chrysler has since recalled more than one million vehicles as a result, and legislation aptly named the “Security and Privacy in your Car Act” is currently in consideration by Congress.

When a car can search Google, send tweets and be remotely accessed from a smartphone app, that car has more in common with your laptop than it does the Model T. Securing the next generation of connected automobiles means redefining what it means for a vehicle to be “road-ready.” The road-ready vehicle of the future needs cybersecurity measures beyond the traditional physical safety measures taken today.

It is inevitable that automobiles — alongside every other essential technology in our lives — become connected. Given how important cars and trucks are to both individuals and the world’s economy as a whole, it’s entirely expected that attackers will focus their energy on disrupting vehicles’ (hopefully) well-designed systems.

Thankfully, nothing catastrophic has happened yet, and the auto industry is in position to take necessary action to get ahead of this problem. However, it needs to learn from the software industry’s experience on the front lines of the Internet, something most auto manufacturers have yet to do.

For example, as part of its mission to reinvent the automobile, Tesla has taken a software-first approach to itscars. Knowing that the people will expect their car to be connected to the Internet, the conversation internally never was “when these cars become Internet-connected,” it always was “how can we build a great connected car?”

As with any software-driven product, cybersecurity must be a deliberate investment. Today, the auto industry can take three specific measures to dramatically improve the cybersecurity of its vehicles.

First, vehicles need over-the-air update systems to avoid expensive and lengthy recalls every time a security vulnerability is found. Second, manufacturers must separate infotainment systems and the critical drive systems, tightly controlling communication between them, just as commercial airliners isolate inflight Wi-Fi networks from critical avionics systems. Third, manufacturers must assume that some attacks will succeed and secure each individual software component in the vehicle, so that if an attacker compromises a single system they do not automatically get access to the entire vehicle.

While the state of automobile cybersecurity would be substantially improved if all manufacturers implemented these guidelines, they are just a start. It takes years for a company to develop a strong cybersecurity culture; even with a strong internal cybersecurity team, that team must be supported by and integrated into the organization as a whole.

Further, companies with experienced security teams look not just inside the company for support, but outside to the global community of security researchers identifying problems — and hoping to get them fixed — ahead of criminals. For example, Tesla launched a “Bug Bounty” program to encourage external security researchers to responsibly identify and help fix any security issues they uncover. I encourage all other manufacturers to follow a similar path.

Consider the consequences if the auto industry does not get security right: Manufacturers may need to issue a recall for every software vulnerability found. Recalls are a long process, and software vulnerabilities become a substantial personal safety issue, even a national security concern, if not fixed immediately. Further, if the frequency of software vulnerabilities in vehicles is anywhere near that of PCs — monthly and even weekly in some cases — recalls quickly become impractical.

I sincerely hope that all auto manufacturers proactively address cybersecurity, starting with the guidelines above, to make automobiles one of the most secure pieces of technology in our lives.

Convert PDF to Word and Word to PDF with Free Software

PDF and Word (.doc and .docx) are two document formats most computer users encounter on a frequent basis. PDF files have advantages of being platform independent, hard to edit and smaller in size. Word documents on the other hand are easy to edit, format and read on devices that support them. While both of these formats have their advantages, many users have felt the need to convert one to the other to take advantage of the other’s features.

There are many paid software and tools that support this conversion, but most of them are too expensive. There are many free online conversion tools as well but either they result in low quality conversion with lots of missing resources or take too much time due to server limitations. Most of these online tools limit the size of files you can convert. Also, many people are not comfortable with uploading their personal files on a third party server.

In this situation, the only solution to obtain high quality conversion from one format to the other and that too quickly is using a program installed on your PC. There are many free software that support this but the problem with most of them is that they do not offer high quality conversion and result in lots of missing resources. However, there are certain free products that offer quick and high quality conversion from PDF to Word and vice versa. This article contains some such software.

In this article:
1. Convert PDF to Word
2. Convert Word to PDF

Convert PDF to Word

Open Office
The basic version of Open Office that you download from OpenOffice.org lacks PDF operability. To add PDF functionality to Open Office, you will need to install the PDF Import extension. If you have older versions of Open Office, you can use the older version of this extension. LibreOffice, an office suite descended from Open Office has this extension included by default.
While Open Office does not support direct conversion of PDF files to Word documents, you can use an indirect method to achieve this conversion. To do this, open any PDF document in Open Office Draw and copy all its elements with Ctrl+A followed by Ctrl+C. Now open Open Office Writer and press Ctrl+V and then save the file as a Word document. In this way, you can get a Word document of your PDF file with remarkable accuracy.

You can also directly edit the PDF file with Open Office Draw just as easily as a Word document.

UniPDF
UniPDF is a small free utility that lets you convert PDF files to Word documents with speed and accuracy. It also offers conversion of PDF files to RTF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, HTML and plain text. While it lacks a plethora of features, it is good at what it promises to do; convert PDF files.

Both of these programs run on Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. It is interesting to note that PDF to word conversion is possible only if the PDF file is not a scanned image and was created as a text document.

Online Tools
While the above mentioned offline tools will be enough for most conversion needs, it is always good to have a few options. These online tools provide accurate and fast conversion from PDF to Word.

ConvertFiles: Limits the file size to 250 MB. Offers high quality conversion with OCR support.
ConvertOnlineFree: Limits the file size to 30 MB. Is a good option but lacks OCR support.

Convert Word to PDF

Open Office can be effectively used for this purpose. Just open a Word Document in Open Office Writer and use its Export as PDF option to immediately get a PDF version. Similarly, you can use Open Office to convert XLS and PPT files to PDF as well.

Convert FAT32 to NTFS Without Formatting or Losing Data

You have a flash drive or probably an external hard drive that currently has FAT32 file system and you want to change it to NTFS, because FAT32 does not support handling large files (over 4GB) or it is just simply old for your taste but there is just one problem, you don’t want to lose your saved data. This article is for you then as it explains exactly how you can achieve seamless transition from FAT to NTFS without involving any data loss.

While it is generally recommended to use the NTFS file system because of its stability, security and lesser defragmentation time, most of us end up using FAT32 because that is what most disks are preformatted with. Unless, we notice the “Not enough disk space error” despite disk space being available, we don’t bother to change the file system. Moreover, most of us don’t change it because of the risk of losing important data and lack of time (read laziness). As Microsoft was aware of this scenario, they added a capability in the command prompt to overcome this by executing a simple command. There are many software that support this too but the Convert command is one of the easiest ways to do so. Follow the steps below to know how:-

Important: While this method works perfectly, I would still advise you to backup your data in case anything goes wrong.

FAT 32 to NTFS Conversion Steps

1) Go to Computer, and note the name of the drive whose file system you wish to convert.
2) Click on Start.
3) Type cmd in the search bar if you use Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows Vista. If you use Windows XP, click on Run and then execute cmd.
4) Execute “chkdsk h: /f ” (without quotes) where H is the letter of the drive to undergo conversion. This checks the drive for errors and fixes them automatically.
5) Execute “Convert H: /FS:NTFS” (without quotes). H is again the letter of the drive to be converted.
6) The command prompt will start the conversion process and after a few minutes, CMD will say that conversion was successful.
7) You can check it in the properties of the drive through right click<Properties.

This command can also be used to convert FAT16 disks and works on Windows 8, Windows 8.1,Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows Vista. I converted my flash drive’s file system using these steps and it worked flawlessly. It is interesting to note that this method cannot be used to reconvert NTFS file system back to FAT32. To reconvert back to FAT32, you will need to format the entire drive which will definitely cause data loss.

How to Edit PDF Files: Free Online & Offline Tools

PDF, or the Portable Document Format is one of the most popular format for document sharing. Its popularity is mainly because PDF files are multi-platform (can be run on most devices without any change in formatting), smaller in size, can be opened on most devices with free software and are difficult to edit as they are “read only”.

Despite PDF files being “read only” by default, there are certain tools and software you can use to change the contents of a PDF file for free without resorting to paid software like Adobe Acrobat.

Free Tools To Edit PDF files

Edit PDF Files Online
If you are looking for basic PDF editing (changing bits of text to hide your personal information or simply filling a form), you can try PDFEscape to edit PDF files right in your browser. It allows you to modify text, images and add annotations with the help of custom shapes and arrows. One of PDF Escape’s great feature is its ability to password protect PDF files. It also allows you to hide text with its white out tool (this is different from deleting it). It even lets you edit password protected PDF files and add hyperlinks to web addresses. To use PDF Escape, all you need is a JavaScript enabled web browser.

2 step PDF Editing

This basically involves converting PDF files into another format and then editing the converted PDF file. After editing, you can use a PDF writer to reconvert the edited file back to PDF.

If your PDF file can be suitably edited as a Word document, you can use a PDF to Word converter for instant conversion. Edit the converted file and then, you can use any free PDF writer to recreate a PDF file. If you have Open Office, you can use its export as PDF feature to create a PDF file from almost any printable document.

Multivalent Browser: Multivalent browser offers minimal PDF editing in the form of allowing to add annotations. It also contains several command line tools which allow for merging and compressing PDF files.

Edit Meta data of PDF files
Meta Data is the information that is associated with a PDF file. If you wish to change this information, you can use the free PDFMetaEdit to edit information like title, author name, bookmarks and other creation data of a PDF document. PDFMetaEdit can also be used to remove and add passwords (encrypt) to PDF files.

Advanced PDF Editors (editing text, images etc.)

The freeware tools mentioned above will be useful for most users with basic PDF editing requirements. However, if you have advanced PDF editing needs, the above tools will not be that useful. There are some advanced PDF editing tools available that are as good as most paid products.

Open Office Draw

The open source alternative to Microsoft Office can also be used as an alternative to Adobe Acrobat. All you need is the PDF Import extension (older version here). Then you can use Open Office Draw to easily and quickly edit PDF files. With Open Office Draw’s inline editing features, you can edit any PDF document as easily as you can edit a Word document. It also supports adding and replacing images, changing font size and color, replacing default font-family, adding annotations, charts, shapes, tables all through an easy to use interface.

To load the PDF Import extension in Open Office, just open Extension Manager from the Tools Menu, click on Add and then select the location of the downloaded extension. For those of you who want a PDF Editor without any initial setup, LibreOffice, an Office suite descended from Open Office, has this extension included by default. If you don’t mind the download size, Open Office Draw is simply the best free PDF editor available.

Inkscape: Inkscape is a vector graphics editor that allows you import and export PDF files. You can use Inkscape to select text, image or any other object on a PDF file and then change its position or even delete it. It also lets you do free hand drawing on PDF files and add annotations. While Inkscape offers some really good features, its complex interface makes it difficult for users to use it. Moreover, it only allows you to edit only a single page at a time. You can, however, convert these to a single PDF file using a PDF combiner.

PDFTools: PDFTools is a PDF management application that supports encrypting, decrypting (remove password), joining and splitting PDF files. Its Stamp feature can be used to add text and images over a PDF file. You can stamp to the location of your choice using the X and Y co-ordinates. It includes a PDF creator which can be used to create a PDF file from any XML document. It also supports re-arranging pages in a PDF file.

GIMP: GIMP or the GNU Image Manipulation Program can also be used as a PDF editor. Just import any PDF file as an image or a layer, then edit it, and then use its export function to get a PDF file. The only downside is that like Inkscape, GIMP also allows you to edit only a single page at a time. You can, however, easily combine these to get a single PDF file using free software like the above mentioned PDFTools.

PDF-XChange Viewer: The free version of PDF-XChange viewer can be used to directly type text on PDF files. This makes this software a good PDF form filler. Its image stamp feature can be used to insert images directly on any PDF document.

PDFEdit: PDFEdit is a full fledged PDF editor for Unix-Like operating systems. Its downside is that it does not support editing protected or encrypted PDF files. PDFEdit has a beta version for Windows, but it didn’t work for me.

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