One in five hacked login accounts match Microsoft Accounts. The main reason for this is the reuse of passwords of a variety of sites due to easy memorization amongst the internet clients using different websites. In order to combat this, Microsoft is doing away with the normal 16-character limit normally available for passwords, and allowing much longer, more complex passwords. In my opinion, they should do it the way most military passwords work, with at least 2 upper case letters, 2 lower case letters, 2 numbers, and 2 special characters, to be changed once every 30 days. However, while security increases, comfort does not, because you will soon spend most of your time on the phone with customer service trying to reset your new password to something you’ll soon forget once again.
Today, Syria (in the midst of a civil war) had it’s entire network shut down, leaving residents with no way to communicate with each other nor outsiders. The internet has been a big tool for recent revolutions in the Middle East’s Arab Spring, and many rebel fighters were using social networking sites as well as email to communicate movements to each other. A friend of mine who was attached to our team last year in my last deployment to Afghanistan had gotten out of the Marine Corps around the same time as I did, was attending law school, but decided to try his hand at freelance journalism. His primary means of communication was through social media such as Twitter and Facebook to inform the people outside of Syria about the ongoing battle from the rebels’ point of view. Austin Tice was then captured a few months ago and is believed held by the Syrian government, and a video was released on YouTube a little over a month ago showing him being marched up a hill by alleged extremists, though it is still thought to a video made by the Syrian government to confuse people on his whereabouts. Shutting down the networks and communications between rebel fighters will severely put a damper on the rebels’ efforts to be able to establish coordinated attacks and works to the benefit of the government. This article relates to the first page of VT Chapter 9 in the discussion of computer networks and their importance.
A main question concerning Dell, as we speak- and as their 3rd quarter revenue is expected to drop 40 cents a share, is if the new servers they currently have in development can offset the malice in their PCs as of late. Dell is currently in the process of upgrading a much more reliable server, effectively competing against the likes of HP and IBM. However, it isn’t all bleak news at Dell headquarters; their revenue involving their upgraded servers is expected to be 12% higher than at this point one year ago, and will continue to climb as they upgrade the server, even in the midst of most consumers opting for laptop computers over PCs, a strategy Dell is going to have to adapt to, seeing as most of their revenue and focus has traditionally been on PCs. I am a Sony VAIO guy myself, and have had no problems with it (minus the fact my first one got stolen), but this article relates to the first objective in the VT textbook, mainly the last two pages of it that focus on servers. Anyone that is biased or appreciates Dell products and their genuine affordability can enjoy this article, as well as those who have heard that one of Dell’s Stampede based systems recently cracked the Top 500 among the newly published Supercomputer Rankings compiled by the University of Texas Advanced Computing Center.
My favorite computer utility is and has always been, the VLC Media Player. I’ve never had a single problem with it running on any of my computers, and it is a quality product (also free). I use a Sony VAIO computer, with a Windows 7 OS. The VLC Media Player is fast, not glitchy, and am able to watch any movie I want on it, including movies on external drives. I have no complaints with this product at all.
The newest version of Google Chrome (Chrome 23) has finally embraced user’s complaints for a DNT (Do Not Track) option to make sure Google isn’t tracking their web activities and using their habits to advertise various products to them. Systems such as iOS (the iPhone software) have already taken these measures as an option to users, but after many complaints about Google and Facebook giving away web-browsing habits to consumers, at least Google finally decided to help users protect their own privacy. This relates to Chapter 7 in Visualizing Technology because it shows the different options and security measures used by various browsers. Anyone who hates computer advertisements as much as I do would enjoy reading this article.
IBM’s SmartCloud PaaS is set for future release. Up until the near future, it was developed as a pilot program, but now with the expansion of services in competition in the cloud computing field, IBM plans to cash in on making their cloud service a purchasable option. This relates to the cloud computing section of VT Chapter 5, and the PaaS stands for Platform-as-a-Service. People who will be most interested in this program are various IT professionals. When surveyed, 16% of IT professionals have said they currently use this program.