CCleaner Malware Issue Reported

As reported by several sites, CCleaner had malware added to one of its updates. You can find more information at https://www.techspot.com/news/71018-malware-discovered-ccleaner-puts-millions-users-risk.html. You can also see it at https://www.cnet.com/how-to/ccleaner-was-hacked-heres-what-to-do-next/. If you are not sure if you have the malware version, best to uninstall it and then go to the CCleaner website https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download (note – scroll down the link and choose the version you want; I use the free version as it more than meets my needs, but there are advantages to the various paid versions.

I also use Malwarebytes (link has the option for the free or paid version) in addition to the free version of Avast (link has options for the free version and to compare the free and paid versions) for my anti-virus needs. You can also use any of several reliable download sites, but be warned some of the free download sites install additional bloatware as part of their download if you aren’t careful when do the download. I prefer to use a company’s actual site to avoid the risk of added bloatware although some of them do add their own bloatware so it’s always good to compare different sites to see what the expected file download size will be. Don’t blindly accept a download if it includes a pre-checked checkbox unless you read what else is going to be installed and you are comfortable with the extra download. Better to uncheck the box if you are not sure.

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Posted in Anti-Virus/Malware, Avast, CCleaner, MalwareBytes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gencove DNA – Two Options

Gencove offers two options for DNA testing. For $59.99, they will ship you a kit. Allow 6 – 10 weeks for results once they get your kit. If you tested with a DNA company (23andMe, Ancestry, FTDNA, not sure about other companies, but you can try), you can upload your results for free. It takes about 30 minutes for them to process your results.

Privacy link can be found at  https://app.gencove.com/privacy

 
Ethnic results are similar to my ethnic results at the other companies (MyHeritage, FTDNA, Ancestry, 23andMe, and a few others).  I used my 23andMe results for the first upload. Uploading several of the other companies to see how the ethnic results compare and will post about those once I finish the various uploads.
You have the option of opting-in or out of your DNA being used for research. You can change your mind later if you desire.
Technology used by Gencove:
If you upload an existing DNA file, we use genotype imputation to ‘fill in’ some of the missing genetic variants that were not directly measured. If you send in a saliva sample, we run an ultra-low-coverage genome sequencing assay on the Illumina platform. The exact sequencing specs are variable across runs, but we’re generally in or near the range suggested by Pasaniuc et al. (2012) of 0.1–0.5x genome coverage.
The above is from their FAQs section.
Addit: I have not seen any other reports about Gencove and have posted a question in a Facebook group that deals with DNA.
Addit 2: They only ship to U.S. addresses for now, but don’t appear to have this restriction if you upload your results.
Addit 3: I checked out their About page and looks like the company was named Seeq before changing its name earlier this year.
Addit 4: Additional information from their FAQs section:

The most cost-effective technology for genome-wide discovery

Gencove has developed a new low-coverage Whole Genome Sequencing

(WGS) process to replace commonly used SNP Arrays. We sequence a

random 10% to 20% of the genome in contrast to a SNP array, where

about 0.02% of the genome is covered. Using a method called

imputation, we can compare the sequenced bits to reference genomes

and fill in many of the blanks.

What is genotype imputation?

 

Genotype imputation is a method for using measured genetic variants

to fill in the “missing” ones that have not been measured. It works

because we know from thousands of sequenced genomes that there are

set of genetic variants that are all found together, and so if you

measure one of them you can guess with high probability to remainder.

Learn more on Wikipedia.

What reference panel do you use for imputation?

We currently use the 1000 Genomes Phase 3 reference panel. We are

experimenting with the Haplotype Reference Consortium data, if you

have specific reference panel needs, please contact us at

support@gencove.com.

 

 

Posted in 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Autosomal DNA, FamilyTree DNA, FTDNA, MyHeritage DNA, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Find-A-Grave Beta Available

After eighteen (18 months) of delay, Find-A-Grave finally released their beta for people to try out. You can find it at https://new.findagrave.com (instead of https://www.findagrave.com). You can also click on the link on the main page of Find-A-Grave. So far, the views expressed by those testing it out are less than positive overall with more a sense of resignation. It does have some positives, but according to many the negatives far outweigh the positives. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) and you can decide for yourself what you consider the positives and negatives of the new site. No word on exactly when it will go live. Here’s the blurb that shows up when you go to the Beta site

You can express your opinion (pro, con, neutral, or mixed) on Ancestry’s blog, in the Find-A-Grave Forums, and/or through the Beta Feedback bubble on the Beta site. They are committed to the new site so it’s highly unlikely Ancestry will listen to complaints that don’t involve large scale dropping of paid subscriptions with the reason being the new Find-A-Grave site.

One of the biggest improvements (if it works better than some early reports indicate) is the ability to do a multiple edit on one screen versus having to choose individual edits for the same person and submit them one at a time. There may be a problem with this feature, but can’t tell if it’s isolated incidents or a wider issue. It may also be an issue where somebody submits a Relationship edit on the old site and another person tries to add another relationship on the Beta site.

One of the major downsides is a mixed blessing. You can search by city, county, and country, but you would need to know the city as defined by Find-A-Grave. I ran a test case using a cemetery that is in one city, but shows as a city subdivision/township on the old site.   On the new site, it is correctly shown under the city name and not the subdivision/township name. It will be interesting to see if they do it across the board or if you have to narrow it down to county (or equivalent) level.  Not a problem if you are looking for an uncommon name, but if you are looking for John Smith, Mary Jones, etc., it could be a large problem.

I haven’t experienced some of the negatives reported by others, but mainly because I tend to open new Windows when possible instead of using the Back button.

Another downside is the addition of ads within the search feature. On the old site, it’s obvious where the various ads are. In the search feature on the old site, the ads within the search field are denoted with a different color. Under the Beta site, they show up as “Sponsored” and look like very similar to regular memorials. The key difference being the word Sponsored and the lack of birth/death information. It’s easy to miss if you don’t know to look for it. Comes close to bait and switch. At least with the old site, it was obvious which one was the ad.

Edits are now under the Contribute link, but that’s not an obvious selection. Better to have a separate link/tab for Edits with a way of knowing you have edits to look at. Under the current system, I can easily see how many, if any, edits I need to look at.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cemetery, Find A Grave, Genealogy | Leave a comment

AncestryDNA $69 Sale Through August 15, 2017

Received an e-mail from Ancestry announcing their DNA tests are on sale for $69 (regular price $99 although they were recently slashed to $79 as mentioned in my earlier blog post) until August 15, 2017. This is one of their better prices so grab it while you can. The e-mail said no limit on number of kits ordered. To save on shipping, Amazon.com is now showing the $69 sale price. If you have Amazon Prime, you can get it in two (2) days. For non-Prime members, it will take a few days longer to get it.  It appears they may have reached the five (5) million kits sold based on the snippet of the ad showing the link. I didn’t screenshot the ad since it was on my phone, and I am not seeing it now.

Posted in AncestryDNA, Autosomal DNA, DNA | Leave a comment

AncestryDNA Tests $79 with $69 for Additional Tests Ordered at Same Time

 

If you want an AncestryDNA test, they are currently running $79 for the first test with additional tests ordered at the same time being $69 each. You can find them at https://www.ancestry.com/dna.

According to an unnamed Ancestry employee (per a comment in a Facebook group), Ancestry is testing $79 as a possible new price point; regular price is $99, but MyHeritage has been offering its autosomal DNA test for $79 for a while and MyHeritage also accepts free transfers from FTDNA, 23andMe, and Ancestry.

Ancestry presently has the largest autosomal DNA database with over four (4) million people who have tested and should be approaching the five (5) million tested mark in the near future.

It doesn’t appear to discount multiple tests if you order through Amazon.com, but you get free shipping (with or without Prime) so if you are only ordering one (1) kit, you may save money ordering it throutorgh Amazon.

Time will tell if Ancestry keeps the new price point, but considering their largest future DNA competitor, MyHeritage, has been offering $79 tests for a while and other companies are testing, or considering, selling full DNA tests for $200 – 500, any of the Big Four (FTDNA, 23andMe, Ancestry, and MyHeritage) who plan on staying around will in the not too distant future need to cut their prices down to $50 or less if they want to stay competitive. An Australian company has been trying to get enough backers to offer full DNA testing for $200 AUD. They were hoping to get something going by year-end, but they hit some snags along the way.

Posted in AncestryDNA, Autosomal DNA, DNA, FamilyTree DNA, FTDNA, MyHeritage DNA, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FTDNA August 2017 DNA Sale

 

FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA) has announced its Summer Sale; runs through August 31, 2017. More information can be found at https://www.familytreedna.com/sale

It’s one of several DNA sales going on right now.

Individual Tests (as opposed to Bundles)

Family Finder (autosomal test – males and females) $69 (regular price $89)
Y-37 (males only) $139 (regular price $169)
mtFull Sequence (males and females) $159 (regular price $199)
Big Y (males only and you may need to have tested to at least Y-37 markers; if not, contact FTDNA and see if they will let you order by either ordering or upgrading to Y-37 or higher;  Big Y is not on list  in the above link, but reported by several FTDNA project admins) $395 (best sale price to date) regular price $595

Bundles
Family Finder + Y-37 (male specific test bundle) $198 (regular price $258)
Family Finder + mtFull Sequence (male or female test bundle) $218 (regular price $288)
Family Finder + Y-6 + mtFull Sequence (male specific test bundle) $430 (regular price $556)

 

Best to check out all the DNA sales before making your final decision, but if you want mtDNA and/or Y-DNA, this is one of the better sales and FTDNA is one of the few companies that offers these tests and they include matching. Other companies that offer Y-DNA include Full Genomes and YSEQ.net; YSEQ.net also offers mtDNA and full DNA testing. Full Genomes also offers full DNA testing, but neither YSEQ.net or Full Genomes offers matching.

Posted in Autosomal DNA, BIG Y, DNA, FamilyTree DNA, Full Genomes, mtDNA, Uncategorized, Y-DNA, YSEQ.net | Leave a comment

MyHeritage $69 DNA Father’s Day Sale

MyHeritage is currently running a DNA sale for $69 (regular price is $99, but has been discounted routinely to $79) through June 19th – https://www.myheritage.com/dna

While MyHeritage is one of the new kids on the block in terms of DNA testing, it had been selling kits from FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA) and 23andMe for a while. And its current kits are processed by FTDNA. It also accepts free autosomal transfers from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and FTDNA. It is one of the smallest number of tested with an estimated 20,000 tested between those who tested directly with MyHeritage and those who have done the free transfer. I expect MyHeritage to become a major player in the DNA field if it continues to offer the free transfers from other companies.

It now shows ethnic results to those who aren’t paying subscribers to MyHeritage. Initially, it wasn’t showing the ethnic results. As pointed out by any number of bloggers, ethnic results from any company should be taken with a grain of salt below the continental level as well as realizing ethnic results at the continental level can wash out within a few generations if it is not being replenished. For example, Native American can wash out within 3 – 4 generations if you had a full-blooded Native American  as one ancestor who married a non-Native American and subsequently none of his/her descendants married Native Americans.

I will be updating the Father’s Day DNA Sale blog post to reflect the discount.

Posted in 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Autosomal DNA, FamilyTree DNA, MyHeritage DNA, Uncategorized | Leave a comment