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January 2nd, 2012

Early reviews of avast! Free Mobile Security

On 21 December, 2011, we launched our Android antivirus/anti-theft solution (see our official press release). The beta version, released a few weeks earlier, was well received, and generated a lot of initial buzz in the Android community. What follows are quotes from early reviews, many of which were written about the beta version. We have also received a lot of great feedback from our avast! user community, and thus a few days ago AVAST CTO Ondrej Vlcek responded to 10 frequently asked questions about avast! Free Mobile Security.

Here is some of the initial praise from the Android community:


“It has the potential to overshadow just about all of the apps in our Mobile Security App Shootout.”
“A strong contender for the best overall security app on Android.”
“Extremely sophisticated security solution accessible to everyone.”
Android Police (product review, 7 December 2011)

Read more…

November 17th, 2011

Facebook vs. Sharks

Yes, most of us complain about all the seemingly unnecessary changes that Facebook initiates far more often than we’d like (just about the time we figure out how to navigate everything)… but it’s good to remember that Facebook is a free service. Of course some will argue that nothing is really ‘free’, but at least +140 million active avast! Community members know differently. ;)

 

Value proposition

Some of you will remember the days of Rolodex. Mine was typically overfilled with business cards and scraps of paper – taped, glued, or even stapled in place. Sometimes a few ‘creative’ oversized business cards or paper scraps would clog up the ‘machine’, and maintaining changes to phone numbers, addresses, and job titles was always a major problem.

So Facebook, for me, was a welcome change. All my contacts keep their own info updated, and I can find them at any time via the search box. And my Facebook account serves 4 key purposes:

Read more…

October 31st, 2011

$50,000 to solve a few puzzles for the DoD?

I’m 38 years old, lived my first 33 years in the USA, read and studied amply about US government agencies over the years (especially during my ultra-paranoid conspiracy theory phase in my early 20s), and yet, until today, I had never heard of DARPA.

According to Wikipedia, however, the agency has been around a while — longer than me, in fact:  << Its original name was simply Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), but it was renamed to “DARPA” (for Defense) in March 1972, then renamed “ARPA” again in February 1993, and then renamed “DARPA” again in March 1996. >>

It sounds like an agency with multiple personality disorder, but I guess it’s essentially a branch of the Department of Defense (DoD) that focuses on technological R&D.

Why am I telling you about it? Because I know a lot of readers of this blog are sharp-minded (maybe even genius-level) non-Luddites, who can actually understand what the guys in our Virus Lab talk about when they post here… and would jump at the chance to prove their skills  (and win some money in the process). Read more…

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October 25th, 2011

Happy 15th Anniversary to Download.com

Launched in 1996, Download.com is the leading (and safest) download portal for software of all types. The portal has been offering our avast! Free Antivirus for 10 of those 15 years, so we would like to say CONGRATULATIONS, and we look forward to the future. ;)

AVAST Brand Manager Miroslav Jirku says, “Download.com is definitely an important distribution channel for us, because it’s well known in the USA. avast! Free Antivirus is Download.com’s 2nd most-downloaded software for 2011, which is really a great success for the whole avast! team.”

Indeed, in addition to being its 2nd most-downloaded software of 2011, avast! Free Antivirus is also Download.com’s 5th most-downloaded software program of all time.

Read more…

October 19th, 2011

Not a Luddite – I just think old stuff is rad

The recent passing of Steve Jobs prompted several conversations in the office, or at least in the Marketing/PR department, about old technologies and how/where they’ve gone. We’re amazed if/when we stumble onto a computer with an old floppy-disk drive nowadays, but in 2006 when I moved to Prague I actually brought a few old 3.5″ disks with me, as they had some stuff on them that I’d not yet saved elsewhere. I remember that by 2009 I had a difficult time finding anyone – even among my IT friends – who had a floppy drive, and fortunately I was able to find one at Anglo-American University Library, where my librarian friends were kind enough to let me use it, to at least save everything to an external USB drive.

In spirit, I could be like Henry David Thoreau, living out my days reading and writing by lamplight in an old cabin in the woods (not at Walden Pond, but somewhere in neighboring Slovakia’s High Tatra Mountains), with no electricity or plumbing. But I really do like electronic gadgets, even though I may be many years behind the mainstream in terms of adoption – i.e., I’ve still never played with a smartphone or a GPS device, and foursquare is to me a game I played in elementary school.

Dream state

What I would rather play with is my ’81 Gibson Les Paul through an old tube amplifier… making it louder until the volume knob is around 7… and then dialing in that sweet distortion one finds between 7 and 10 (at least on my little ‘60s Epiphone amp) and playing until sunrise, until my fingers start to bleed. Read more…

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October 13th, 2011

Profiling facebook spammers

I’ve seen this happen many times, but this time I decided to get a screenshot of it. In a small box, facebook recommends that I add a friend because we have friends in common… or I get a direct friend request from someone I don’t know. I click the profile to investigate and, indeed, we have several friends in common. But an instinct triggers that something isn’t quite right.

Example 1 – Notice:

  1. New profile
  2. No personal information other than “Single”
  3. Only 17 friends
  4. All 17 friends are male
  5. Only 1 photo, with a focal point of breasts and eyes (maybe I should have titled this post “Why men are easy targets for spammers”)

 

Read more…

October 6th, 2011

In memory of an innovation wizard


“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”

 





We at AVAST Software offer our condolences to the family and friends of a true Innovator. May we all be inspired by his life, and go on to do “something wonderful.”

 

 

September 26th, 2011

History & questions with Charles O. Prince (avast! Forum “Evangelist”)

avast! Forum member "CharleyO"

Known as “CharleyO” on the avast! Forum, Charles O. Prince is one of the 15 most-active avast! Forum members, with more than 6,500 posts since he joined in early 2004. Like his fellow forum members Bob Gostischa (“bob3160”) and Lisandro Souza (“Tech”), as well as many others, Charley helps avast! users around the world with their technical questions. In lieu of my traditional “5 Questions with [person]” interview format, I decided to let Charley paint for us a bigger picture as to how he came to be such an avid supporter of avast! over the years – followed by only 3 questions this time. I think you’ll find his personal IT history fascinating. – Jason Mashak

Read more…

September 2nd, 2011

Recognizing our top 10 communities – in 2 ways

Yesterday (1 Sep 2011) we made a Facebook post recognizing avast! antivirus users in particular towns in the USA, towns that because of their names have a special affinity with where avast! originated:

Czech communities in the USA (Source: Wikipedia)

“Since we’re headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, we’d like to say a big ‘Dobry den’ to avast! users in the following US towns: Prague, Nebraska… Prague, Oklahoma… New Prague, Minnesota… and Praha, Texas.”

 

These North-American towns all began as Czech communities (or at the time Czech, Moravian, and Slovak communities) in the ‘new world’ about a century ago. Even today, a lot of Czechoslovak festivals are held in these regions and many others (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_American).

 

Today, however, we want to recognize avast! users in our top 10 COUNTRY markets: Read more…

August 17th, 2011

avast! Free Antivirus – yes, it’s that good

New Zealand’s state MetService website was hijacked by malware (apparently a fake antivirus) during a particularly high time for traffic, according to a stuff.co.nz news article. The article has prompted more than 100 comments in the first day, mostly from understandably upset site visitors who may have picked up the malware on their computers.

Here, however, I just want to show you one comment, as it’s nice to see this sort of feedback in the real world. It’s no secret that we typically offer our free version in tests against our competitors’ paid-for versions, but even the results from independent testing facilities don’t feel as rewarding as  feedback like this from our user community:

Fortunately for those MetService users who were not using avast!, they can install it now and run the avast! boot-time scan — and that should do the trick. ;)