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

open ports scanner

Open Ports 1.0

Open Ports displays all open TCP and UPD ports using a cli (command line interface). We all know the netstat command that lists all tcp and udp connections (netstat -an). The problem with this is that it does not show the application that uses the ports listed there. Open Ports lists the applications that use the ports which makes it easier to identify applications that should not be connected to the internet at all.

filezilla ftp server

How to Setup a Ftp Server in 5 Minutes

How do you normally send files to a friend ? By email ? What if the file is rather big but you want to send it anyway ? You could setup a ftp server and give your friend access to it. The speed that your friend can download with depends of course on your upload speed. Still, ftp servers are the number one method to swap large files. The best thing, it´s not complicated to setup your own ftp server, just follow these easy steps:

Torbutton Firefox Extension

This is a helpful extension. You might know Tor which helps you anonymize your internet traffic or Torpark which is basically Firefox with an always active Tor. Most people don´t need to be anonymous all the time when they are connected to the internet. Some paranoids will disagree here but I think there is no need for anonymity if you want to check on the latest football scores or a weather report.

View thousands of tv shows and episodes online

Yes, this is even better than the website that offered about 700 shows. Actually the 700 show website used content from guba.com as a source for their shows, but guba offers more of them. All videos belong to one of eight categories (cartoons, comedy, documentary, drama, foreign, miscellanous, music videos and sports).

Beginners guide to Linux

Everyone has to start somewhere if he wants to try something new. I´ve been talking to many of my friends and I got the impression that many would make the switch to Linux if there would be some sort of standard, some fire and forget Linux that you install just like windows xp for instance. With Vista on the doorstep and TCPA (Paladium, whatever it is called now) changing to Linux becomes more and more attractive even for those users that don´t want to learn everything from the start.

Watch over 700 Tv Episodes online

This seems to be the watch Tv Online day, it´s crazy how all those sites pop up at the same day. Peekvid.com offers more than 700 episodes of well know tv series like 24, Buffy, Desperate Housewives, Family Guy aso for free. You can view them online or even download them to your pc. I´am not sure if this site will be online much longer but enjoy it will it´s there.

channel chooser espn nascar

Watch 70 TV Stations for free

Channelchooser lets you view more than 70 Tv stations fore free using your favorite web browser. All you need to do is visit their website and click on one of the channels displayed there. You find all sorts of tv stations there, for example Music stations, Cartoon Tv, Game Network, Poker TV and even Adult channels.

electronic music guide

Guide to Electronic Music

Ok ok, I know that many people hate electronic music but the design of the guide to electronic music is great. You see various genres like house, trance and techno on the left side. Clicking a genre leads to a roadmap of subgenres starting in the 70s ending today. You recieve a description of the selected (sub)genre and see the development process over the years. Now, clicking on a subgenre leads to a short article about it and various tracks that let you experience the genre.

VLC Media Player review

Don´t you hate all the different video and audio formats, all those codes and tools you need to play them all ? The VLC media player is able to play many formats including (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX) as well as DVD, (S)VCD and various streaming types. The player is available for various systems including windows, macintosh and linux. It can also act as a server and send streams through the network, with optional support for audio and video.

How to scan your Linux-Distro for Root Kits

Ghacks is running on a linux rootserver. It should be fairly secure but there is always a chance that someone might get access to it and comprimise the system. One of the biggest threats is the installation of a root kit which will be used to access the system at a later time and clean tracks of logins that might have occured.

jamendo music

Access free music albums with Jamendo

Jamendo is a community website that lets you discover a growing collection of currently 1010 free music albums released under Creative Commons using latest p2p technology.That´s right, you are free to download everything using bittorrent. But that´s not all Jamendo is about. They have a very active community that reviews albums, rates and tags them and offers personal recommendations.

vuze plugins

Useful Azureus / Vuze Plugins

One of the great features of Azureus is its plugin capability which is widely used by developers. Today more than 50 plugins are available for Azureus, zeropaid took a look at the most useful ones, let us take a look at the plugins they mention. The plugins mentioned can be categorised to belong either to cosmetic changes, statistics, security, communication and time management.

roadkills unstoppable copier

Roadkil's Unstoppable Copier

We all know that CDs and DVDs don´t last forever, some expert estimate that self recorded CDs and DVDs last only for the short period of 2-5 years before they become unusuable. Many factors play a role here, some of them are the type of disk, the recording speed and handling and storage. So, what could you do if you have a medium that you can´t read / copy anymore ?

Security Applications that run on Usb Drives

Is this my USB story week, lot´s of articles about USB drives already and more come out faster than I can type. So, I´ve found this article at watchyourend about "hacking" applications that can be run independently on usb drives. I prefer to name them security applications, all of those applications can be used for good or bad, means security IMHO fits better than hacking.

learning the shell

Learning the Shell

If you happen to run a webserver that uses linux or happen to run linux as your operating system for the computer you work with you should know the basics of the shell. Sometimes you quickly have to find your way into the shell and a site like linuxcommand helps you alot doing so.

disable-usb

How to disable USB Drives

It is sometimes a good choice to disable USB drives and still use other USB hardware. This is especially true for computers and notebooks that are publically accessible from time to time. So, to disable USB Drives you simply fire up regedit and browse to the following key:

How to fix the Cannot delete Avi Bug in Windows Xp

The avi bug which makes it impossible to delete avis in windows xp by chosing delete from the menu or hitting del at your keyboard is caused by Explorer reading the .avi file to determine file information as soon as you move the mouse over the file. This causes 'permission denied' errors when trying to simply move, copy or delete these files as they cannot be changed while Explorer has an open handle on them.

posterazor

PosteRazor Make your own Poster

This little open source application might come in handy for some of you. The input is a simple image which is then cut into pieces which are then saved as pdf files and can be printed out and assembled as posters. This is a great way to produce posters, the application is able to read lots of formats from digital cameras and the usual ones of course like jpg and psd.

How to disable Microsofts new Anti-Piracy Program Update

It seems that the method that I previously posted is not working really well. If you rename the files windows will try and install the update again. Therefor one has to find another way to disable this, what we do is disable the execute bit on wgalogon.dll. That way, winlogon can't call it as a notification package at boot, and since WgaLogon is responsible for running and maintaining WgaTray.exe, no more tray popups either.

Microsoft expands anti-piracy program

Microsoft Windows users who are living in the U.S., U.K., Malaysia, Australia or New Zealand have to deal with Microsofts next step in their fight against piracy. A user who opted for automatic security updates will recieve the new anti-piracy tool which will install and ask for a reboot. After that reboot the license of your windows operating system is checked. You might see the following message:

memtest 5

MemTest review

It´s wise to check your system components when you first start your new computer. It does not matter if you build it yourself or purchased a prebuild computer. It´s always a good idea to check if everything is working as intended. MemTest 3.4 tests your systems memory to make sure it is not damaged. It´s also a great way to test it when you overclock your computer / ram. This way you can ensure that it´s still reliable and does not produce errors.

How to get a Yahoo Mail Beta account

To get Yahoo Mail Beta, just switch your content preference to Germany, Frence or UK. Then you will be asked if you want to join the beta when you log into your Yahoo Mail. Say yes, and join the beta. Then from the options menu, change your content preference what it was before. Then go to Yahoo Mail again. You should still see Yahoo Beta. If you don’t see it, go to options and click “Try Beta�? button. That’s all.

Windows Keyboard shortcuts

This little list might be helpful for some windows users. It is a detailed listing of windows keyboard shortcuts that most people don´t use because they simply don´t know about them. I´am not using many as well except maybe Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+V to paste the copied content and Alt+F4 to close a window. Shortcuts are a great way to work faster. The list is not complete but contains about 40 shortcuts.

Defeating Hardware Keyloggers

You probably read my article about the bank heist in London where the robbers used a hardware keylogger to recieve sensitive information that allowed them to perform wireless transfers. The bank made the decision to super glue every cable to the back of the personal computer making it impossible to add the keylooger between the keyboard and the computer

Password Security: What Users Know and What They Actually Do

The study "password security: what users know and what they actually do" was conducted by the department of psychology from the Wichita State University. The study investigated the common password generation practices of online users. All participiants took part in a survey querying (1) the types and number of different password protected accounts maintained; (2) actual practices used in generating, storing and using passwords; (3) practices believed they should use in generating and storing passwords; and (4) general demographic information.

Opera Customization Guide

I found a great guide for Opera 9 which extends Opera tremendously. The guide is divided into seven sections: Menu editing, Integrating Opera with download managers, User Javascript, Buttons, Panels, Widgets and Misc. The menu editing section for instance has some great tips that enhance opera in great ways: It gives you tips how to integrate the bugmenot website into opera, it lets you lookup the bugmenot website for login information of the page you are visiting atm. You also find tips for the following things: How to open graphics with an image viewing program like irfanview, how to open websites with internet explorer or firefox, how to create tinyurls for the current url and much more.

Hardware Keylogger

This little device has apparently been used to pull of one of the greatest bank heist in history. You attach this device to the keyboard cable at the back of the pc and it´s able to record 130000 keystrokes. The bank robbers installed this device inside the bank and got access to Sumitomo Bank's wire transfer capability. With all the information at their hand they proceeded to transfer more than 400 million $ to various foreign accounts.

bank secure website

How secure is my bank's website?

I don´t know a single large bank that does not offer its customers a way to use a website to do their transactions. There is unfortunatly no single standard set for bank websites and many companies tend to misjudge the importance of a secure website. The Secure Web Bank website did take a look at websites from US, Canadian and European institutes and check wether those provided a SSL Login page and Two Factor Auth for their customers.

Cbreak Remove Commercials from Avi Files

More and more people use their computer to record tv shows by simply installing a tv card into it and connecting the computer to the tv signal. The only problem they are now facing is that everything will be recorded and everything includedes those unnecessary commercials. The freeware application cbreak helps you to remove those commercials from the recored avi files.

Flickr AutoDownloadr

Flickr.com is a online photo service that allows users to upload, download, view and share pictures. One bad thing about it is that flickr itself does not offer a option to view or download more than one image at a time.

Gmail Drive

GMail Drive is a Shell Namespace Extension that creates a virtual filesystem around your Google Gmail account, allowing you to use Gmail as a storage medium.

Protowall

Protowalls sole purpose is to run as a system friendly background task (aka using little ressources) that blocks IP addresses. You might be saying that a firewall could do this as well and you are right, of course. But, many firewalls tend to have problems and use lots of system ressources if you add many IP addresses to them.

True Crypt 4.2 released

You might know that I´am using True Crypt for some months now to encrypt and decrypt my entire removable hard disk that has 300 Gb capacity. All happens in realtime and I can´t see and witness any slowdowns so far. I´am able to download content to the drive with 14.2 Mbps and its working like every other hard disk. Yesterday a new True Crypt version was released and it has some amazing new features, let us take a look at some of them:

HTML Page Crashes Windows

Ok this seems to be serious. If you open a webpage that contains a certain html code your windows will crash. The html is looking like this:

Ten Tips for Microsoft Words

The article "Ten things every Microsoft Word user should know" is for those of you who are still using Microsoft Word (and not Open Office or similar freeware products). I think most companies still rely on the Microsoft Office productline, also many computers come preinstalled with an OEM version. You get a great explanation and guide for every tip that shows you how to use the feature described.

How To Make Your Windows Faster Than Ever Before

I found a tutorial on the techarena forum that had some nice (standard) tips on how to speed up your windows operating system. You find tips that increase boot and shutdown speed, some that increase the overall performance by disabling certain services and features like indexing service and system restore. If you never tweaked your system before this article is for you.

encrypt uttorent traffic

How To Encrypt BitTorrent Traffic

Some ISPs are beginning to throttle bittorrent traffic. There is a possibility to overcome this throttling by encrypting your bittorrent streams. Torrentfreak.com posted a guide which tells you how to encrypt your torrent streams with three popular clients: Azureus, Bitcomet and µTorrent.

netstat

Tracing a Hacker

Tracing a Hacker is a article aimed at beginners that want to learn the basics of finding out if there is someone connected to their system who should not be connected to it. It gives a rough introduction to some basic concepts like tcp/ip, ports and how hackers find their targets. This is a good read if you don´t know what they are about. After that Omar starts of by explaining the netstat command which lists all the sources that are connected or currently connecting to your computer. If you are running p2p software this can be a lot of connections. I suggest you start of by disabling most tools that you might be running while on the internet. So, no p2p, no messengers aso.

Essential Freeware Utilities for Notebooks

The article essential utilities at laptoplogic.com lists several freeware utilities that should be useful to everyone who owns a notebook (with an intel cpu that is, a guide for amd will follow). All tools mentioned can be desribed as system tools that either show system information, test hardware or tweak it. For example tools to test the notebooks memory (Memtest86) are included as well as dead pixel tester for the lcd screen.

Charon 0.6 released

This is the follow up to the proxy filtering program Calamity. It provides a fully customisable way of filtering out unwanted proxies via control files, a proxy tester to check anonymity - and a fully functional search engine crawler to find lists of posted proxies. Included within the kit is a php checker which can be uploaded to your own webspace to spread the processor load and bandwidth of the actual testing. This is fully integrated into Charon where it will simply send your pages lists of proxies and harvest the results