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Archive for the ‘Technical’ Category

Information about technology, including software and hardware information, as well as information about up and coming technology and finding deals on computers or software when I have time to look. Most of the information is provided by me, offering my opinions as to how to keep your computer in it’s best possible running condition.

ExtremeTech – US Army spent $2.7 billion on a battlefield computer that doesn’t work

Posted by 4love2love on July 9, 2011

By Sebastian Anthony on July 5, 2011 at 11:11 am

US Army BSOD

It has emerged that the multi-billion-dollar DCGS-A military computer system that was designed to help the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan simply doesn’t work. DCGS-A is meant to accrue intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and provide real-time battlefield analysis and the current location of high-value targets. According to two former intelligence officers that have worked with the system, however, it has hindered the war effort rather than helped.

This story has developed over the last year, beginning with a memo sent by Major General Michael Flynn, the Army’s top intelligence officer stationed in Afghanistan. In the memo [PDF], Flynn damns the apparent ineffectiveness of DCGS-A: “Analysts cannot provide their commanders a full understanding of the operational environment. Without the full understanding of the enemy and human terrain, our operations are not as successful as they could be. This shortfall translates into operational opportunities missed and lives lost.”

The memo reached the ears of several Representatives on July 19 2010, who then asked the US Army to consider switching to another, proven system that the FBI and CIA use: Palantir. The Army refused, and instead rolled out a software update that was meant to fix any issues. Unfortunately, according to the former intelligence officers, the system is still unusable. “You couldn’t share thedata,” says one of the former officers, and they both agree that the system is “prone to crashes and frequently going off-line.”

“Almost any commercial solution out there would be better,” said one. “It doesn’t work. It’s not providing the capabilities that they need,” said the other.

This isn’t the first time that the US Army — or indeed any sovereign armed force — has spent a lot of money on a system that doesn’t work. With such huge budgets, and massive systems and weapons with additional expenditure that can’t possibly be accounted for ahead of time, military spending nearly always turns into case of throwing good money after bad. Still, to spend almost $3 billion on a broken system, while proven, out-of-the-box alternatives like Palantir are readily and cheaply available, is pretty darn special.

Read more at Politico or read more about DCGS-A\

Copyright 2011 Ziff Davis, Inc

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Techland – Do Domain Names Even Matter Any More?

Posted by 4love2love on June 25, 2011

By  on June 24, 2011

Do Domain Names Even Matter Any More?REUTERS

Evan Williams, the man (seen above) who brought us Blogger and Twitter, and therefore reasonably described as a dude who knows where his internet towel is, has something to say on the subject of domain names: they really don’t matter any more.

The people at ICANN who recently voted to allow the registration of .anything-you-want for the sum of $185,000 a pop might disagree, but Williams has a compelling argument.

(MORE: Custom Domain Suffixes Coming: Here’s What You Need To Know)

For one thing, domains don’t matter because Google knows where everything is, and it doesn’t care about domains. Google doesn’t care if your website lives inside a sub-sub-sub directory on an obscure sub-domain sitting in a neglected corner of an old server rack kept in a barn in Oregon.

As long as the stuff the sites contains has a high enough pagerank, Google will be happy to index it and present it as a search result. Or to put it another way: as long as it matters, people will be able to find it.

And that’s just one reason why domains are losing importance. Williams has a whole list of others.

People used to think that having a single-word .com domain was the only way to ensure success, but that’s simply no longer the case. People are still finding their way to what they want, with or without a “good” domain name attached to it.

Does this mean an end to domain name speculation, and to people paying huge fees for great one-worders? No, it probably doesn’t. There’s one thing still in a good domain’s favor, and that’s for word-of-mouth.

People are still much happier to say “Where did I get these shoes? I bought them at someamazingonlineshoestore.com.” They won’t say “I faved a Tweet by some guy that linked to a saved search that took me to some site I can’t remember. But thanks for asking.”

Read more: http://techland.time.com/2011/06/24/do-domain-names-even-matter-any-more/#ixzz1QGoCCOeB

 

© 2011 Time Inc.

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Digitimes – PC industry should be re-evaluated, says Wistron chairman

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Yen-Shyang Hwang and Aaron Lee, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Thursday 23 June 2011]

Wistron chairman Simon Lin, on June 22, commenting on the impact of tablet PCs, described Apple’s launch of iPad as a never-seen move, and it will take some time to figure out how to counter the move. He also believes that Apple has subverted the PC industry’s habits of depending heavily on Wintel, and 2011 is year for re-evaluation for the PC industry. Players with technologies will eventually find a way to counter and resume their performance in 2012.

Lin pointed out that although tablet PCs have impacted sales of traditional PCs, they have also created a brand new market segment that every player has a chance to join. Although tablet PCs may bite into the entry-level notebook market, they will not replace notebooks.

Lin noted that PC players are all studying iPad and when a strong competitor joins the market, the players can use the chance to re-evaluate themselves and change their heavy dependency of Wintel, while understand that copying Apple will not succeed, but only cause price competition.

Integration between hardware and software will become a necessary trend in the future, and brand vendors or ODMs with strong technological bases will have the most chance of finding the correct strategy to profit, especially players with plans for cloud computing.

In the past few years, Wistron has been aggressively hiring software talent, and along with its subsidiary Wistron Information Technology & Services (Wistron ITS), the company has over 3,000 software staff within the group. In addition to hardware manufacturing, the company will also need to focus on R&D of software, chassis, components and human behavior.

© DIGITIMES Inc.

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Latvians Arrested in Scareware Scam

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

June 23, 2011, 4:35 PM

By VERNE G. KOPYTOFF

5:20 p.m. | Updated Adding that an F.B.I. raid earlier this week was related to this investigation.

Federal authorities have broken up two Latvian crime rings that they say placed malware in online ads that would infect victims’ computers with messages to buy fake antivirus software.

One group sold $72 million of the phony software over three years, the Justice Department said Wednesday. The other caused at least $2 million in damages. Its victims included The Minneapolis Star Tribune, which sold online ad space to the group.

The suspects distributed what is known as “scareware,” malicious software that victims sometimes unwittingly download through online ads. The victims’ computer screens are taken over by ominous messages saying that their equipment is infected with a variety of viruses and that they need to buy the security software, which is in fact fraudulent.

Many people fell for the ruse by giving their credit card information to buy software for up to $129.

An F.B.I. raid earlier this week on a data center in Reston, Va., was related to the scareware investigation, said a person familiar with the matter who insisted on anonymity. The F.B.I. confiscated some servers that were unrelated to the investigation, interfering with Web sites and services including Instapaper, whose founder blogged about the situation on Thursday.

The first Latvian criminal group, which used Web pages showing phony virus scans, among other scams, infected hundreds of thousands of computers, according to federal officials.

The second group bought online ads on The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Web site to distribute their malware. To help make their scheme appear legitimate to the newspaper, they created a false advertising agency that claimed to represent the Best Western motel chain.

Initially, the accused sent ads that worked normally. After getting clearance from the newspaper staff to run the ads, the accused adjusted the computer code in the ads so that they would infect the computers of the newspaper’s visitors, the Justice Department said.

The defendants, Peteris Sahurovs, and Marina Maslobojeva, were arrested on Tuesday in Latvia on the charges filed in United States District Court in Minneapolis.

“Today’s operation targets cybercrime rings that stole millions of dollars from unsuspecting computer users,” said the assistant attorney general, Lanny A. Breuer, of the Justice Department’s criminal division. “These criminal enterprises infected the computers of innocent victims with malicious scareware, and then duped them into purchasing fake anti-virus software.”

He continued: “Cybercrime is profitable, and can prey upon American consumers and companies from nearly any corner of the globe. We will continue to be aggressive and innovative in our approach to combating this international threat. At the same time, computer users must be vigilant in educating themselves about cybersecurity and taking the appropriate steps to prevent dangerous and costly intrusions.”

The F.B.I. and the Justice Department worked with law enforcement in a number of countries on the investigation including Latvia, France and United Kingdom. In all, they confiscated 47 computers. During the investigation, Latvian authorities searched at least five bank accounts that were apparently used by the scam artists.

The New York Times fell victim to a similar scareware scam in 2009. Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman, said the scams identified on Wednesday appeared to be similar, but that they were so common that it was difficult to know if there was a link.
© 2011 The New York Times

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Free System Restore Program

Posted by 4love2love on June 10, 2011

I have not personally tried this program but it was a free offer I saw that I thought some people might be interested in. 🙂

Never worry about system failure again…instantly restore your PC to an earlier point in time, undoing viral infections, incorrect installations, and incompatible software programs with the ease of a click. Download this Free program to instantly protect your PC in case of system failure. Simply follow the link below and click on the red ‘download’ button.

Take Me To This Offer

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Must-have Free Programs (PC)

Posted by 4love2love on June 3, 2011

For maintaining the safety and integrity computer, some programs are needed to help you keep your information safe from viruses, hackers, useless files and registry entries that use up memory, slow down your computer, cause errors, etc.

I have been working with computers since the late 80’s and I’ve watched the technology change. Used to be an anti-virus program was hardly used and firewalls were totally unnecessary. Now, there are a lot of programs that can be useful. So which ones do you choose? What works best? With so many choices, it can be confusing as to what programs to use and which ones not to.

First off, these are my personal recommendations. I have been using these programs for a while, some for many years, others are more recent additions that I have found to be highly effective in maintaining my computer, which has a lower amount of memory and hard drive space than most computers as it’s an older machine. Even with an upgraded system, I will be using these same programs.

I am currently running Windows XP, though the majority of these programs are also compatible with other versions of Windows. I am unsure with the compatibility with Mac systems. All of these programs are available in a free version.
AVG Anti-Virus

AVG is one of the leading anti-virus programs available on the market today. They have both the free edition and a paid version. They also have other programs available that include a firewall that are reasonably priced. I strongly advise the use of this program over McAfee or Norton any day of the week. I strongly recommend against using McAfee or Norton due to some issues that I have come across in customers computers over the years. You can set the times for updates, system scans, as well as performing manual updates and scans.

Zone Alarm Firewall

I’ve used a variety of firewalls over the years, but then I found Zone Alarm. I have been using Zone Alarm for many years now and have never had an issue. It’s rather simple to set up, you just have to make sure you keep with the free version and not one of the trial versions. If you elect to use a trial version, though, you may be tempted to buy it. 😉

CCleaner

Piriform.com has this lovely utility program up for free. It’s a newer program to the market but extremely useful. It offers a system cleaning of temp and other useless files, as well as a registry cleaner that is useful any time you uninstall any program from your system. It also has tools for enabling or disabling startup files (for advanced users) and a tool to help you uninstall programs without using the add/remove program option windows provides. At the least, I strongly recommend the use of this program for deleting crap files from your system and registry.

Speccy

Another handy piece of software from Piriform.com. This program will show you all the hardware in your computer system, which is handy for technical support calls or just to see what hardware will be compatible with your system for upgrades.

Auslogics Disk Defrag

Defragging your system is necessary to keep your computer running at optimum speed. Windows system defrag is ok, but this program really makes a difference. If you run the defrag with optimize you will find that your computer and programs runs much more effectively and quickly. I strongly advise the use of this program at least on a weekly basis.

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

This is a great piece of software to keep your computer clean of malware, spyware and other unpleasant things that can be downloaded onto your computer without your knowledge. It’s an easy-to-use program that works best if you scan your computer at least once a week.

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