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Stuxnet ushers in new era of “physically destructive” cyberwarfare

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Stuxnet ushers in new era of “physically destructive” cyberwarfare

Posted on 05 March 2012 by Michael


Used to be that computer viruses were incapable of imposing physical damage to it’s victims.

Not anymore.

With the advent of Stuxnet, a highly sophisticated worm written to systematically bring down a nuclear reactor in Iran, cyberwarfare is now just as dangerous as guns and bullets.

60 Minutes recently aired a piece discussing the potential dangers of cyberwarfare to our own infrastructure.

Pandora has been let out of the box and there’s no putting it back.

Watch the 60 Minutes clip here.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57390326-83/60-minutes-profiles-threat-posed-by-stuxnet/?tag=cnetRiver




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Why Facebook is more like Myspace than the $100 billion dollar company everybody says it is

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Why Facebook is more like Myspace than the $100 billion dollar company everybody says it is

Posted on 31 January 2012 by Michael

Funny thing about short term memory. Beside the fact that it prevents us from remembering what we ate for lunch or whether or not we remembered to turn the iron off, our short term memories serve to expand our level of disillusionment when it comes to valuing certain “social networks” that are about to go public any day now.

If I hear one more financial “expert” go on in anymore excruciatingly boring detail as to why Facebook is worth the crazy billion dollar amounts that they are claiming, or why Facebook is just like Google, my peanut shaped head is going to explode.

First off. Does anyone remember a little website called Myspace? 6 years ago Myspace was purchased by Rupert Murchoch’s News Corporation for something like $580 billion. That’s billion with a “B”. Last year it sold for a mere $35 million to Justin Timberlake and some media company.

Huge drop off huh? Yeah no shit.

2006 was when Myspace was at the height of it’s popularity. Everybody had a Myspace account from celebrities and wannabe rock bands to your next door neighbor teenage kids. Of course since less people were online back then, it hadn’t quite reached the popularity in terms of numbers of Facebook, but for what it was, it was big for it’s time.

Fast forward to today and Facebook has supplanted Myspace and just about every other social networking platform known to man.

Some, mainly financial geeks who don’t have a clue as to what the difference between an IP address and iPhone is, even go so far as to compare it to Google. It’s not Google. It never will be nor was it every intended to be another Google. Comparing the two in terms of value would be like comparing the value of a Corvette to that of the dealership that sold it and here’s why.

Google provides a service that everyone needs. You don’t have to be a member of Google to use it. You can’t get bored of Google. That’s like getting bored of the road you use to go to work. Facebook is the car that get’s you to work. When you get bored of it you simple buy another car.

People got bored of Myspace and switched to Facebook. You can’t get bored of a search engine. Sure another one may come along and provide better search results, but you’re not going to stop using it out of boredom or on some whim.

Justin Timberlake to the rescue!!!

 

Facebook is valuable in a completely different way to it’s users than Google is to searchers. When it comes to the internet, search engines are more of an infrastructure kind of thing. No new search engine is going to come along overnight and take its place.

Go ahead and ask Yahoo and Bing. They’ve been trying without much success for the last few years. People who use Google are going to keep using Google for the foreseeable future because it works and gives them exactly what they want.

Facebook users are fickle. These are the same people who just 5 years ago splashed out their Myspace pages with hundreds of 2MB gifs, crashing their friends computers in the process. These same people who were in love with Myspace for whatever reason, fell out of love in just a few short years and found a new spouse with Facebook.

Not exactly the recipe for building an internet empire. That’s like the 50 year old guy leaving his wife for the hot new 20 year old secretary. Oh sure she’s fun for a few years but sooner or later a new hot young 20 year old secretary will take her place, and she’ll be their crying and begging for a Justin Timberlake to come along and scoop her up for a mere $35 million.

Only problem is, I don’t think Justin is really in the market for another washed up old social network who’s best days are well behind it.

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A simple yet functional gaming setup

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A simple yet functional gaming setup

Posted on 12 November 2011 by Michael

Proving that you don’t have to have 20 monitors to accomplish your work this simple yet functional gaming setup makes the most of it’s small space.

With a simple laptop/desktop combination this setup utilizes every inch of space and looks pretty bad ass at the same time. With a digitized front display and neon lit motherboad, this tower is a gaming beast.

I especially loved the big screen TV positioned to the right of the computer. Throw in a mini fridge, some salty snacks and a hell of a lot of beer and you have a room that you wouldn’t mind spending a few days in without leaving. Except of course to use the bathroom. But I guess that’s what buckets are for.

Send in your own pics or vids of your workspaces here.

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Shopping for a used computer? Try the flea market

Shopping for a used computer? Try the flea market

Posted on 11 August 2011 by Michael

If you’re in the market for a not so new computer, in other words used, why not try your local flea market? That’s right. A flea market could be a great place to get a decent used computer.

Sure you could go online like on Craigslist and do it that way, but in my opinion, the flea market could be just as good if not better. With a flea market you get an abundance of selection and you can probably negotiate a great price on whatever computer rig you find.

I once found a decent little machine at a flea market for $10.  I just had to add a hard drive and that was it. I installed Freebsd on it and it now serves as a great little test box. Of course it’s processing power is pretty slow, it takes all day to download and compile software, but for what I paid, it was a great deal.

Just keep this in mind when shopping flea markets for your next desktop. Some used computers you find may need some opening up and swapping out of parts. If you are handy with tools and not afraid of swapping out some memory or a bad hard drive, then you should have no problem. If that’s not something you are willing or ableto do, you might wanna head over to Fry’s and get a new computer. But if you don’t mind changing some stuff out then go ahead and see what you can get.

Oh and you also wanna make sure it comes with a working operating system, but of course you could also pick up an old copy of Windows XP for $50 and install it yourself.

So all in all, if you’re not afraid of opening up a case and changing some things out,  the flea market can be a great place to find a computer. Buy a churro and an ICEE and you’re all set.

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Take The Pain Out Of Computing, Get A Real Chair

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Take The Pain Out Of Computing, Get A Real Chair

Posted on 09 June 2011 by Michael

Any nerd worth his weight in wireless keyboards will tell you that the crappiest thing about being on a computer all day everyday are those annoying kinks and pains we get in our shoulders, back, wrist, elbows and any other assorted body parts.

That’s where learning about ergonomics (the study of designing stuff to fit perfectly with the human body in a way that doesn’t cause us pain) can come in real handy. Ergonomics is not something most people who use computers in their daily work  pay much attention too until it’s too late and we incur some sort of repetitive use injury, which itself can be a real pain in the ass.

So what do you do?

Well you learn about ergonomics and follow some basic ergonomic tips like sitting with your back  straight up and down, keeping your forearms and wrist in one straight line parallel to the floor and keeping your head up and neck straight eyes forward, which may mean raising your monitor to keep your head in that position.

One thing that really helps  is getting a great chair that supports your back and provides lower lumbar support. Never underestimate the value of a great chair when it comes to keeping you healthy and staying in front of your computer instead of a hospital bed.

Purchase the Aeron Chair by Herman Miller – Highly Adjustable Graphite Frame – with PostureFit – Carbon Classic (Medium) at Amazon


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