Martin Brinkmann

martin photo

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News back in 2005. Martin started his career as a tech support representative at a large German financial corporation which he used to finance his college education in English, Information Technology and History.


He quit college and his job when Ghacks began to attract a large enough readership. He made the decision to become a full time blogger and webmaster, and has not looked back since.


Martin is interested in all things tech. His primary focus is on desktop operating systems, web browsers, Internet services, and privacy related topics.


He published the book The Complete Windows 10 Privacy Guide: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update version in 2017. Martin writes a weekly column for fellow tech site Betanews as well.


You can reach Martin on Facebook or on Twitter. Please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to contact the author directly.


Martin has been quoted or mentioned in many major online and print publications, including Forbes, Lifehacker.com, ComputerWorld, LinkedIn, Reddit, Betanews.com, Bleeping Computer, TechCrunch, PC World, Tom's Hardware, Slashdot, Hacker News, The Register, and more.


Martin's articles on Ghacks

Find out if the Windows product key is legit

Microsoft introduced Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) just a month ago to Windows XP users. Once installed it checks if the running Windows XP version is genuine. If it´s not the it´s showing annonying popup messages. It´s Microsofts decision that only popups are showing, they could easily change this to force a purchase for example at a later point.

firefox master password

Secure your saved passwords in Firefox

Firefox can save your login details to websites, online banking or forums with ease. The next time you enter the same website it will autofill the details and you simply have to confirm the details to sign in. This is convenient of course and great for the lazy ones. The paranoid ones will most likely be unconvienced by this because it´s easy to display the password in plain text.

Worldcup Preparations

The football worldcup is starting today and it surely is going to be the biggest sports event of this year. We all know that some companies are going to stream the worldcup live on the internet for their countrymen. If you are not that tech savy and still want to view the cup online your best bet is to download a software called pplive. I suggest the stable version but experienced users could use the beta version as well.

Get your Windows Vista Beta Keys early

If you are crazy enough to try a beta version of Microsofts upcoming operating system you might want to head straight over to microsofts vista website and download a version for either 32-bit or 64-bit. You will need a Microsoft Live account to download windows vista. You can also order a dvd that will be send right to your home.

a-note

A note freeware reminder for your desktop

I sometimes stick lots of post-its on my monitor that remind me of upcoming important tasks. This is looking rather messy and I was looking for an alternative. A note is that alternative. The freeware lets you add post-it like notes right to your desktop. You are free to chose a color for the note, setup an alarm with sound or change the font of the note. You are able to change almost everything The notes can be uploaded to a database to use them from more than one computer. (for example home and office pc)

Visual Task Tips

Visual Task Tips is another little freeware application for windows xp which displays a preview image if you move your mouse over a folder in the taskbar. Simply download the 90K file from the developers homepage. After installation you have the option to run it and add it to your windows startup files. To disable it again you start it again and it asks you if you want to disable it.

web alert

NetTools plays a sound when a website changes

Nettools is a small freeware utility that plays a sound whenever a website that you specified changes its contents. All observered websites are also cached on your local hard drive. The tool has two other features: A web search option and a dictionary lookup. Great tool, really tiny (180k). Grab it while it´s hot.

SQL Injection Attacks by Example

SQL injection is a security vulnerability that occurs in the database layer of an application. Its source is the incorrect escaping of dynamically-generated string literals embedded in SQL statements. It is in fact an instance of a more general class of vulnerabilities that can occur whenever one programming or scripting language is embedded inside another.

How to view the football worldcup online

Some tv stations, like the BBC in Britain, will provide their fellow countrymen with an opportunity to watch the football world cup 2006 in germany live in a streamed version from their webpages. They said on their webpage that "The service will be available to UK broadband users and will mirror terrestrial and interactive coverage." I assume it is free of charge but maybe my loyal British readers could enlight me how they plan on streaming the content.

Security without Firewalls discussion

You might remember that I wrote an article in late november called Beginners Guide to securing your pc. You might even remember that I suggested that there was no need for a desktop firewall at all. And you might even remember that I got some pretty bad comments about my suggestion in the comments section.

easy cleaner

Easy Cleaner

EasyCleaner is a small program which searches Windows' registry for entries that are pointing nowhere. EasyCleaner also lets you delete all kinds of unnecessary files like temps, backups etc. You can search for duplicate files and you can view some intresting info about your disk space usage! You are also able to manage startup programs, invalid shortcuts and add/remove software list.

bing sidebar wikipedia

Googlepedia Firefox Extension

Now this is a nice idea. If you install the firefox extension Googlepedia your google search results will feature another column showing a related wikipedia entry. It uses your local wikipedia as default and disables the showing of google adwords on the search result page. (That´s the area where the wikipedia entry is shown).

options

Firefox Football Worldcup Extension

The football worldcup 2006 is taking place in Germany and will start in exactly six days with the opening match between the host Germany and Costa Rica. Would not it be great to have a listing of all games, all teams, all kick off times and live results ? Sure, you can visit a website of a local news site and hope they update the scores in real time or you could try the excellent firefox extension called FootieFox.

Windows Explorer Alternative Mini Explorer

Mini Explorer is a tiny little freeware application that can be started from everywhere. Its small size of only 92K makes it a blazing fast alternative for the built in Microsoft Windows Explorer. Let us take a look at some of the programs features:

snowbird

Smallest Desktop Search Tool

Let me introduce the smallest desktop search program available. Snowbird Xp is small, only 26K in size and fast at the same time. Just download and run it from whatever location you like. Snowbird does not index search results which has the advantage that you will always recieve up to date information. Some features have been updated in the new release, amongst them is the capability to search in word documents and excel spreadsheets.

A Beginners Guide to the PC

A Beginner's Guide to What Goes on Inside that PC published by extremetech a few days ago tries to explain the components of a personal computer without the "geek" language. It aims at a audience that did not have the time or desire to understand how a pc is working. The eight-parts article begins with an introduction and goes on by encouraging everyone to take a look at their own pc. (After saving all work and the like). It would be a good way to print the article to be able to read it and look at the turned off computer at the same time.

myspace pin music player

MySpace Tips and Tricks

I thought I publish some tricks and tips for myspace, they include: How to hide personal information, How to hide and make a profile private, How to hide your friends section, How to Hide Comments, How to Hide the last login and How to Hide Extended Network.

Winamp Tweak Guide

The guys over at techspot published a large article on tweaking winamp. They focus input and output plugins but cover other areas as well. The recommended Shibatch mpg123 input plugin for instance offers better audio quality and more features than the default nullsoft mpeg decoder.

search for people

Stalkerati Search for people on the web

Stalkerati is not your usual search engine that lets you search for long lost friends, relatives and the like. It instead tries to accumulate as much data about a person as possible and save that data in a neat profile on their website. It collects data from various sources including myspace, facebook, friendster, a web and blog search and finally a photo and image search.

wobzip

Krunch compress and uncompress your files online

Krunch is a nice little service that offers you the option to upload and compress files in three different formats (zip, rar and gzip). After compressing the file you have the option to download it for yourself and mail it to other recipients either with a download link to the file or directly as an attachment. The service offers the option to upload and decompress a compressed file in the formats zip, rar and tar.gz. It seems to have problems with my rar files though.

exe library

Windows Process Information

Press CTRL + ALT + DEL, what do you see ? The windows taskmanager with lots of processes, showing a filename like svhost.exe and a memory usage of that process. Besides checking for trojans, spyware and virii: What´s a good way to check for possible causes if your computer behaves slowly ? Right, the taskmanager. Unfortunatly the process don´t give you lot´s of information which application did cause them to run on your windows version.

Cell Phone Stolen? Make it useless for the thief

This is a neat little trick that should work with most phones and phone service provider. You simply enter a code in your mobile phone that reveals the unique serial number of it. If your phone gets stolen you report the theft and the serial number to your provider and they have the means to make the phone useless. That means no one will be able to use it, at least not for phoning.

high securiy password generator

Ultra High Security Password Generator

If you´re ever in the need of a high security password the Ultra High Security Password Generator Website might be exactly what you´ve been looking for. Everytime you visit or refresh the website it will display three randomly generated passwords, one 64 random hexadecimal charakters password, one 63 random printable ASCII chars and finally a 63 random alpha-numeric characters password.

logmein

Avoid Web Filters with LogMeIn

LogMeIn is another service that gives you remote control over a computer. It uses a java applet that has to be executed be the computer that should be controlled and a website that gives you control over the computer (or more than one) with the applet. That means you don´t have to install software or use a usb stick to run programs on the other computer, you simply open a website and control the computer at home.

zfone

Secure VOIP by encrypting it with ZFone

A new public beta of Zfone has been released a few days ago for windows xp, linux and mac os x. Zfone uses a new protocol called ZRTP, which is better than the other approaches to secure VoIP. "(ZRTP) achieves security without reliance on a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure), key certification, trust models, certificate authorities, or key management complexity that bedevils the email encryption world," Zimmermann explains.

Ubuntu Guide

You might know that Ubuntu is a popular linux distribution. You might have tried installing it already or considered installing it. The Ubuntu Guide helps you with the installation process as well with running the linux distribution once it is installed. It guides you for instance through the installation process of various third party software products like Adobe Reader, Skype or a DVD player.

portable apps

Portable Apps Suite

The portable apps suite contains a collection of portable freeware applications including a web browser, email client, web editor, office suite, word processor, calendar/scheduler, instant messaging client and FTP client. The suite itself comes in two flavours, standard (117 MB) and light edition (44 MB). The difference between the standard and light suite is that the standard suite includes open office while the light suite does not.

Streams of popular TV Series

Am I the only one who is seeing a massive increase in websites that offer streams of tv series for free ? I´am not sure about the legality and to be honest: I don´t want to know. If they want to offer free tv episodes of popular series like 24, Prison Break or Desperate Housewives - so be it.

ultravnc

How to Access your Pc from work or school and visit restricted websites

Many people have problems accessing they favorite sites from work or school because access to the internet is filtered and restricted. The freeware application UltraVNC might help you in your tries to access those sites although you are working on a restricted computer. The software basically connects to and displays a image of your home computer on your restricted computer. You can now use the ressources of your home computer to surf to the websites that are forbidden.

firefox private browsing

Two hide your tracks extensions for Firefox

Yeah that´s right. I thought it would be nice to have one article for both extensions because they work rather similar. Stealther temporarily disables the following settings in firefox: Browser History, Cookies, Downloaded Files History, Disk Cache, Saved Form Information and Sending Referrer Header.

windows 8 upgrade assistant

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor

Do you know if your system will be able to run the upcoming Microsoft operating system Windows Vista ? The minimum requirements are a cpu with at least 800 MHz, 512 MB of Ram and a DirectX 9 capable graphics processor. The requirements for the full Vista experience look like one for a modern computer game: 1Ghz Cpu, 1Gb of Ram, 128 Mb graphics adapter with Pixel Shader 2.0 support and a 40Gb hard drive with 15 Gb free space.

visual studio express download

Get your free copy of Microsoft Visual Studio Express / Community Edition

If you are from the USA or Canada you will be able to get a free copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 standard edition. All you have to do is watch three webcasts after you´ve signed up at the site. What else will you get ? A Microsoft Developers Security DVD, a 50% discount on a Microsoft Certified Professional Exam and a voucher that allows you to buy Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition with an MSDN® Professional Subscription at renewal pricing (a $400 savings).

autoruns

Do I really need to to run this program at startup?

Do I really need to to run this program at startup ? That´s a question I´am asking myself from time to time. I check on my autostart entries regulary and it happens that I find a program sitting there that I´am not sure about. I simply uncheck the item most of the time, but this is not the right way to do this. I present you a good way to check on your autostart entries, it´s fast, free and easy.

windows media player

Download Windows Media Player 11 Beta

In case you are using the windows media player you probably would like to take a look at the upcoming media player 11 by downloading a beta version of it. The download is available right from the microsoft homepage. I found a list of the new features, not sure if it is correct though:

ace backup

Backup your files with VersionBackup

Versionbackup is a little free for personal use (single pc) application that lets you backup files according to a schedule that you define in the program. It would be possible to load the program at windows start and let it backup the file right after windows started for instance.

My Firefox Extensions

I thought that some people probably would like to know which firefox extensions I´am using with my firefox browser. No one will find all of them useful but if I can convert one or two of you to try a few out, well, that would be great. It would be nice to read about extensions that you are using and it could be that you mention a extension that I did not know about, this would be great for me as well. Keep it coming :)

SQL Injection Walkthrough

You might already know what sql injection means, in case you did not i post the definition of wikipedia:

SQL injection is a security vulnerability that occurs in the database layer of an application. Its source is the incorrect escaping of dynamically-generated string literals embedded in SQL statements. It is in fact an instance of a more general class of vulnerabilities that can occur whenever one programming or scripting language is embedded inside another.

Save Pandora.com MP3s with 3tunes

A visitor of my site recommended this little application in a comment and I decided to give it a try and see how well it works. 3tunes is relativly stable considering the fact that it is still in alpha development stage. All you need is to download the file which is only about 20k in size and head to the pandora website. Once the first song starts playing you double click the 3tunes executable and it automatically shows the song which is currently played.

google image ripper

Google Image Ripper

I found a nice little script that might be useful for some of you. The google image ripper script immediatly displays the full size images of your google image searches. As you know when you do the search google displays thumbnails of the images as results and you have to click on the thumbnails for the full size image.

create synchronicity

Synchronize your computers with powerfolder

Powerfolder is a great freeware application that synchronizes folders over the internet or local networks. This is for example pretty useful if you are working with a desktop pc and a notebook at the same time and want to synchronize data between them. It can be used to exchange every type of data for example music, photos, own documents or videos. PowerFolder automatically detects changes. Some key features are