Computer hardware or software
Hey, check out this cool new movie … oh, that’s no movie its an Advertisement for an ESET Smart Security 5, which includes ESET Nod32 Antivirus.
Contrary to what many people think, McAfee and Norton do not provide the best antivirus (AV) protection for your computer.
Also, if you don’t have the bucks for an Antivirus and you are looking for a temporary alternative (because you DO want to have paid AV, right?) look into Microsoft Security Essentials.
OTHER AV VIDEOS
Compare the competition (ok, this really isn’t the way to compare, right? still its good for a laugh):
Got better YouTube links for Norton or McAfee?
Well, to be honest I can’t hack your Wi-Fi, but a Minnesota man was jailed for 18 years for hacking his neighbor’s Wi-Fi and “impersonating” him online. The ARS Technica article WiFi-hacking neighbor from hell gets 18 years in prison reports that the 46 year old computer technician downloaded WiFi hacking software and cracked his neighbor’s WEP encrypted password.
This blogspot post about WEP vs WPA vs WPA2 shows at the top how long it takes to break a password using BRUTE FORCE [WIKIPEDIA: brute force password attack] against WEP, WPA and WAP2 encryption. The long and short of the article is that if you have a choice between the 3, you should choose WPA2 for the best security.
Most people know its important to do maintenance on their computers, but many are not sure when to perform what services. When do I run an anti-virus scan? When do I run an anti-malware scan? How often should I clean my computer keyboard? When should I clean my computer monitor?
Some of these can be easier to figure out than others, and some more difficult. For now let’s talk about something that happened to me as an example to get you interested in finding out how often you should perform maintenance on your computer … different manufacturers will have different recommendations about what to use to clean your computer of potential viruses, worms, malware, dust, dirt and grime. But some things make themselves known when they need care.
Take for example starting your computer and you see an announcement that so-and-so virus has taken control and is deleting files. Or maybe your video monitor is all smudgy and needs cleaning. In my case it was none of the above, and fortunately signaled time to do some simple cleaning.
GT4023E Is Hard to Power Up
I’d noticed my Gateway GT4023E required a firmer push of the power button to start, then later it needed more and more pushes of the power button to turn on. I mentally decided that the button would eventually stop working altogether due to some sort of mechanical failure …. I was close.
As I was working it occurred to me I should take the front case cover off and inspect the power button to see what was going on, maybe a loose wire. Following the manufacturer’s instructions to remove the front cover of the case I found it was super dusty. Sure, I’d removed the side cover and used my trusty air can and blown the dust out of the main case where the motherboard, RAM and all of the “guts” were, but it had not occurred to me to clean this front part.
Careful dusting with my trusty can of air along with some vacuuming got this front area clean and in working order. Followed by replacing the front case cover, and plugging the computer back in I was rewarded with a very easy startup as I pushed GT4023E’s my power button it started as well as you could expect a 7+ year old computer to start.
Maybe your computer could use a good cleaning – be sure to follow your PC manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning the surfaces of your computer so your cleaning efforts don’t damage your computer! Always refer to the computer maker to be safe and keep your computer’s warranty in-tact. Even if its past your warranty, no one knows better how to clean your computer than its manufacturer (except maybe some high-speed IT pros – which is to say not me).
What do you think? Do you have any computer clean-up stories? Speak up below in comments!
IBMWatson.com is a really interesting Artificial Intelligence program designed to by IBM Research, funded the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to answer questions posed in natural language, and developed as part of the DeepQA research project.
Watson takes advantage of “The Age of Analytics” by monitoring babies in a neonatal units in hospital in Toronto for things like onset of sepsis dozens of hours before a trained nurse could; and in Vermont analyzing power usage by making better decisions about how equipment is used.
A computer that can understand and respond to human language that will change the way we interact with machines. Watch the video to find out how Watson, the IBM computer system designed to play Jeopardy!, represents a breakthrough in language processing and analytics.
A computer using the english language is not as easy a feat as it may seem. Watch the video below to understand how daunting it is to make a computer that can speak human language, and why.
I used to think that the Windows Defrag program was all that I needed. Then I started reading about defragging programs (freeware, shareware and paid) and talking to people in the know. There are a couple of good ones I use that do a better job than Windows Defrag, and tonight I’m writing about two of my favorite Windows Utilities, MyDefrag and Defraggler.
UPDATE: The recommendations for MyFrag and CCleaner came from a good friend who is an IT Pro who performs PC maintenance and repair. Since the recommendation for CCleaner is not a direct recommendation for Defraggler, I read Gizmo’s “Best Free Disk De0Fragmenter” page.
Defraggler, which I would have never used without a recommendation because of its name, is written by Piriform, the same people that write CCleaner, another essential Windows Utility. Defraggler can be downloaded from the Piriform Defraggler download page and you will also find more info about the program using the links on the right hand site of the site.
Another great, free Windows defrag program is MyDefrag. Their website is so generic-looking, that again, without a recommendation I would have never used this product. Visit the MyDefrag site and download the latest version, and you can also read about the product. Its got a very interesting screensaver option that can run when your screensaver starts… but read up on it before using it.
Microsoft Windows Vista is still around (I’m using a Vista laptop tonight) and so looking around for ways to speed my system - disable Vista transparency. I’ve added RAM to computers before, but this tip is free, and doesn’t have any negative effecton the Operating System (in my opinion). I found this little gem on TechRepublic.com originally posted back in 2008, but its still as useful as ever.
For instructions and screenshots click the link above, or do this:
Right-click an empty spot on the desktop > click Personalize > click Window Color and Appearance. When the Window Color and Appearance window opens uncheck the Enable transparency checkbox, then click OK.
You’ll notice you can’t see through as when transparency was on, but the window edge background now gives the appearance of transparency since the “background pattern” doesn’t move when the window does.
I’ve got an HP Compaq p6230y I’ve had for a while now and talking to an IT buddy of mine decided it would be a good idea to remove the HP software. I was reminded that I’d done this before (for different reasons, or one program at a time) when I got to HP Games and I had to go through put a check mark next to each and every WildTangent game that I wanted to uninstall. A well-written uninstall program would have an option for “Remove All Games” that would do that for me.
Now I’ve got all of this other HP software to go through, and because some is a waste of space, and others might be useful (like HP Mediasmart sounds like it might be worth keeping) I need to really consider what I’m uninstalling, and make sure I’m not getting rid of software that I really want.
According to ZDNet’s U.S. Army servers breached by Turkish hackers and InformationWeek’s Anti-U.S. Hackers Infiltrate Army Servers Turkish hackers penetrated US Army servers in January of this year and September 2007. The same group also hacked a site maintained by Internet Security experts Kaspersky Lab.
I understand how NASA can get hacked, though I don’t know why the government puts up with it. However when it comes to the US Army everything should be locked down tight. These sources indicate that the hack was carried out through an SQL Injection attack exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft’s SQL Server. Why would anyone use a Windows Server on purpose?
Rant, rant, yes I rant and I should not. I just guess I sort of expect that the US Army (and other government agencies) shouldn’t be getting hacked – even every 2 years.