Category Archives: Interconnectivity

Do You Need a Tablet?

imageTablets have exploded in the marketplace in the same way that smart phones did a few years ago. Just like with smart phones, Apple led the pack and soon dominated the market. However, other manufacturers have caught up, and there are now dozens of models available.

If you haven’t already purchased a tablet, you may be asking yourself whether you need to buy one. Is it a replacement for your laptop? An upgrade on your smart phone? Here are some of the reasons why you might consider buying a tablet:

Affordability

Compared to a laptop, most tablet models are quite affordable. While prices for the iPad still rival those of laptops — with the high-end iPad models costing more than low-end laptop models — there are many other tablets that are available for $200 or even less. Depending on the features you need in your laptop or tablet, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars and still get the functionality you need by choosing a tablet over a laptop.

Portability

While laptops are also portable, tablets offer more ease in portability. You don’t have to bring bulky adapters to recharge a battery, and you don’t have to find a table or other surface to setup comfortably. You don’t even need a carrying case for a tablet.

You can easily carry a tablet in your hand and work with it anywhere — no setup or surface space required.

Adaptability

A tablet combines the features of a laptop and your smart phone. You can download apps to do just about anything you need to do. Depending on the model of tablet, you can take photos, type documents, surf the web, and much more. For more advanced work, there are programs or add-ons you can purchase to expand the capabilities of your tablet.

Entertainment

Tablets are a great source of entertainment. You can use them to connect to the web, or you can download games and other fun apps. You can also use it as an e-reader, or you can watch movies and television shows on it. You can do all of these things anywhere, at any time, right in the palm of your hand.

The question of whether or not you need a tablet is a personal one that only you can definitively answer. However, a tablet offers many benefits that you can consider when making your decision, including affordability, portability, adaptability, and entertainment.

Do you own a tablet? Which model did you choose? Tell us what influenced your decision in the comments!

This guest post is contributed by Heather Green.  Heather is a Christian mom, freelance writer, pet lover and the resident blogger for OnlineNursingDegrees.org, a free informational website offering tips and advice on different types of nurses and online resources.

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Filed under Connected Devices, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Tablet Computing

What Can I Do With an Old Wireless Router? Three Ideas

https://i1.wp.com/www.turbogadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/many-routers.jpgIf you’re like most people, you probably have an old wireless router stored in a closet or the garage. You may have purchased a new computer, or decided to upgrade to Wireless N, the most recent wireless network standard.

Regardless, there are a number of uses for old wireless routers, so dig them out, dust them off, and consider the following ways to reuse them to improve your home network.

1. Set up a new wireless access point in your home:

Perhaps your son or daughter would like to use their laptop in the basement rec room, or your new router is on the first floor and you’d like wireless access upstairs. You can use the old router as an access point to help extend coverage to areas of your home where the signal may not be as strong. To do this, you simply turn off the DCHP server on the old router and plug in an Ethernet cable from the new router to the old one. It is a simple and no-cost way to double the wireless coverage in your home. For more in depth information on how to create an access point using your old router, please check out this guide.

2. Create a wireless bridge with your old router.

If you’d like to extend your network coverage, but you don’t want to have to plug in the new router to the old one, you may want to consider creating a wireless bridge. This is a better option for those who prefer not to fumble around with bulky Ethernet cables, but the process is a bit more complex than simply creating an access point. You need to be somewhat tech-savvy, and you also need to install upgraded DD-WRT firmware to ensure your network remains secure. For comprehensive instructions on how to create a wireless bridge in your home, please check out this guide.

3. Convert your old router to a wireless hotspot.

Maybe you run your own business, or have a friend that may benefit from having Wi-Fi access at their store or café. If so, you may want to consider using your old router to set up a wireless hotspot. While you can just plug your old router into the wall to allow for internet access in your business, you will still want to implement the hotspot feature. Hotspots oftentimes require users to either pay for access, and there are also options out there that allow you to manage user accounts with a login feature. DD-WRT offers a few options for hotspot products, as does CoovaAP.

Old routers no longer have to occupy valuable real estate in your closet or garage. So dust them off, and try your hand at expanding your own wireless network’s capacity or consider sharing them with others who may benefit from having wireless in their business or home. If you are interested in finding out additional creative ways you can use your old routers, please check out these suggestions.

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Kerry Butters.  Kerry contributes on behalf of Broadband Genie, the advice website for all things internet and broadband. Click here for the best broadband deals currently available.

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Filed under Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Networking, Wi-Fi

You’ve Been Archived By The Internet’s “Wayback Machine” – Maybe

imageWe hear it said repeatedly, so it’s generally taken at face value – The Internet is forever; Once it’s out there, it’s out there forever; Everything posted online is there forever, even after it’s been deleted.

Forever, of course, is – until the end of time. I can’t really get my head around “until the end of time” – so, I’ll stick with “the foreseeable future”. That’s a concept I can work with.

Despite the fact that “it’s out there forever” is commonly believed – I’ve yet to see verifiable evidence that it’s true in all instances. In the short term – OK, I’ll buy into this. So should those who like to air opinion, perspectives and their dirty laundry (intentional, or not), on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and so on.

But long term – as in “forever” – balderdash! I say this, having had the experience of writing and posting a series of articles to a blog in which I documented my experience in dealing with a “crazy neighbor”.

Having resolved the issue to my satisfaction (shining a light on aberrant behavior was worth the effort), I took the site down. Within 12 months, no references to the site, the neighbor (who was repeatedly named), or the issues brought to light, were indexed anywhere on the Internet. So much for “forever”, or even “the foreseeable future”, for that matter.

It’s fair to say though, that in the example I’ve used here, the situation was within my control. Just as deleting my Facebook page back in 2007 was within my control. Again, no references to this deleted page are available on the Internet. However, that page is still being stored on a Facebook server and is available to me – should I chose to access it.

On the other hand – references that are outside my control (or yours), are another matter. Let’s say, for example, that I choose to shut down this blog. As opposed to deleting the “crazy neighbor” blog, mentioned previously, which disappeared without a trace – Tech Thoughts would not disappear – it would leave traces – substantial traces at that. The Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” has made sure of that.

Quoting the site: “The Internet Archive Wayback Machine puts the history of the World Wide Web at your fingertips. Browse through over 150 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago.

To start surfing the Wayback, type in the web address of a site or page where you would like to start, and press enter. Then select from the archived dates available. The resulting pages point to other archived pages at as close a date as possible.”

Here’s an example –

The Wayback Machine has indexed this site (Tech Thoughts), 163 times …..

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going back to November 10, 2007 – as shown below.

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A capture dated December 3, 2008. A pretty gaudy theme but……..

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not quite as “in your face” as I progressed through my colorful phase……

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before getting down to serious business.

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The Internet Archive – of which the Wayback machine is just one component –  is full of surprises, and is definitely worth a visit. Some of the available resources include:

Moving Images – 635,268 movies.

Live Music Archive – 100,665 concerts.

Audio – 1,210,381 recordings.

Texts – 3,331,892 texts.

10 Comments

Filed under FaceBook, Interconnectivity, Recommended Web Sites

Working From Home? Are You REALLY Working?

imageIf you work from home, the chances are high that you really are working. Despite the friends, and critical neighbors, who can’t get their head around the idea that one can be productive working from the same location where they hang their hat.

Frankly, I find it less than amusing when I hear – “working from home is not the same as having a real job”.  A common enough comment from those who are stuck in a time warp.

Connected technology and the Internet, have dramatically changed not only how we work but, for many of us, it has changed where we work. Working from a home office has exploded in recent years – and, with good reason. Although, I must admit, I’ve maintained a home office for more than 20 years.

There are more than a few good practical reasons for working from a home office including; working in your PJs, not having to shower before sitting down at your computer, not having to put up with assorted smells on the Subway during “rush hour”…….

On a more serious note, the real advantages of working from a home office, especially for a freelancer, include –

No commuting – the cost savings can be substantial.

Big savings based on not maintaining an outside office.

Less life stress – tied in to “no commuting”.

Flexibility in establishing work hours. Depending on your personality, you might find that you work longer hours than you might otherwise. Knowing when to hit the “off” switch I find, takes some practice.

No ever present boss’s “watchful eye” (if you’re not self-employed).

You can dress comfortably and casually and, maybe save some money on not having to buy into the latest fashion look.

And, many more good reasons, I’m sure you have.

My home office – not big, not fancy, but – it works well for me.

DSCI0017

What you need to travel with the “big guys” while working from a home based office.

Technology:

A dependable high-speed internet connection.

At least one fast workhorse computer and a large LCD monitor. A tablet computer can be a very handy extra.

The appropriate software for the task at hand.

A multi-purpose printer that includes fax, copier and scanning capabilities. I might add, that a Laser printer, given their current low price, can be a good investment.

A dedicated business line with voice mail capabilities.

A smartphone – for those times when you’re on the run.

Nice to have:

A separate space (with a door), dedicated to office use only.

Lots of desk space and storage.

A neighborhood IT guy who likes you.   Smile

Working from home is not all “wine and roses” of course. It’s been my experience that working from home is HARD work. Work discipline, and dedication to results, are more important than  the latest in technology, or an ultra comfortable work space.

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Filed under Connected Devices, Interconnectivity, Point of View

Time For Tor? – An Open Source Anonymous Surfing Application

imageOver the years, I’ve posted more than a few articles on anonymous surfing and the applications, generally free, which makes that possible.

I’ve noted, over that time, that the majority of readers of these article have a Middle East IP – particularly Iran. Little wonder, when one considers the human rights violations committed by this regime. Remaining anonymous online in Iran, could literally be the difference between life and death.

A typical email from an Iranian reader:

Dear Bill

I live in Iran – I need to know news about my hometown, but in Iran we are faced with filtering…very hard filtering. It makes me depressed, but one of my friends introduced your website to me and told me you can help me.

If you think that the crazies who rule Iran, and Syria – just 2 of these Middle East dysfunctional societies), where Internet usage is scrutinized on an individual basis – are the only unhinged and delusional nutters Internet users have to deal with – you’re wrong.

The erosion of fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to surf the Internet without government oversight, seems to be happening at an ever increasing pace – everywhere.

In a previous article on anonymous Internet surfing tools (October, 2010), I wrote – “Thankfully, I live in a part of the world where Government censorship of my Internet activities is a non-issue; the Canadian government does not restrict my access to any part of the Internet.

I wish I could go on to say, that I live in a part of the world where the Government has NO interest in my Internet activities, But that, unfortunately, would be like wishing on a star – and, equally as effective.

While I have no faith whatsoever, that those in power will continue to use the gathered information in a restricted, and appropriate fashion – it’s not something that I dwell on. After all, there is nothing I can do about it – so, I’m forced to slot it into my comfort zone.

In the past week however, I’ve been ripped out of my comfort zone, as have most other Canadians, who have revolted against legislation proposed by the quasi-fascist Conservative Party of Canada – the current political party in power (a government elected by only 26% of eligible Canadian voters) – led by Stephen Harper, a fundamentalist Christian, and his minion Vic Toews – another fundamentalist Christian .

In 2008, Toews was divorced by his wife of 30 years, after it was discovered that he had fathered a child with a younger woman – who may have been his child’s babysitter. Just one more example of the “moral right” practicing its favorite pastime – hypocrisy.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews faced a fierce online backlash over Bill C-30, which would require internet service providers to turn over client information to law enforcement agencies without a warrant.<br />
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews faced a fierce online backlash over Bill C-30, which would require internet service providers to turn over client information to law enforcement agencies without a warrant. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

The proposed legislation would create  a mandatory surveillance regime. Simply put – unfettered government surveillance directed at Canadian Internet users.

The backlash against this perverted legislation was both immediate, and overwhelming. Canadians have made it clear – they will not allow themselves to be figuratively handcuffed. Frankly, I’ve never seen a political backlash remotely like it. The typically mild mannered and polite Canadian is angry, disgusted, and hell-bent on ensuring this abomination of a legislative bill – never sees the light of day.

Still, until Harper and his gang of throwbacks to the Cro-Magnon era, are thrown out on their asses in the next general election, you might consider adding an anonymous surfing application to your toolbox.

The use of anonymous surfing applications is not restricted to breaking through obstructive Internet barriers of course. There are more obvious reasons, you may have for anonymous surfing, including – surfing in internet cafes, public terminals in libraries, or hotel business centers.

In fact, you may want to surf anonymously on any PC where you don’t want to leave traces of your private surfing activities to ensure protection from snooping web sites, annoying advertisers, employers, rogue police services, or curious family members.

One of the most popular anonymous surfing applications  (with good reason), is TOR – a VPN (a virtual private network) that encrypts via an SSH tunnel, in order to safeguard your Internet connection and, protect your anonymity properly.

In this post I won’t review Tor, since I’ve done so a number of times previously. Instead I’ll direct you to the following.

From the site:

What is Tor?

Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.

Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol.

Overview 

Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. It also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Tor provides the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.

Individuals use Tor to keep websites from tracking them and their family members, or to connect to news sites, instant messaging services, or the like when these are blocked by their local Internet providers. Tor’s hidden services let users publish web sites and other services without needing to reveal the location of the site. Individuals also use Tor for socially sensitive communication: chat rooms and web forums for rape and abuse survivors, or people with illnesses.

Journalists use Tor to communicate more safely with whistleblowers and dissidents. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use Tor to allow their workers to connect to their home website while they’re in a foreign country, without notifying everybody nearby that they’re working with that organization.

Groups such as Indymedia recommend Tor for safeguarding their members’ online privacy and security. Activist groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recommend Tor as a mechanism for maintaining civil liberties online. Corporations use Tor as a safe way to conduct competitive analysis, and to protect sensitive procurement patterns from eavesdroppers.

Tor is suitable for installation on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD, Unix, and Android.

For more information and download, visit the Tor Home Page.

12 Comments

Filed under Anonymous Surfing, downloads, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Open Source, Personal Perspective, Surveillance

What Do You Know About Your Internet Connection And Home Network Security? – Free ICSI Netalyzr Fills In The Blanks

No matter how much one might want to keep up with all the available tech resources on the Internet – it’s a battle that just can’t be won. The sheer volume of information is simply overwhelming.

Regular reader Christopher A. (thank you Christopher), recently directed my attention to a superb free application (which, I was unaware of) – designed for those you have a need to checkout network performance and security – all of us, I should think.

ICSI Netalyzr is a small Java based application developed by The International Computer Science Institute – a leading center for research in computer science and one of the few independent, non-profit research institutes in the United States. Since its inauguration in 1988, ICSI has maintained an affiliation with the University of California at Berkeley.

ICSI Netalyzr can be run directly from the applications home page, which is hosted by USC.

A brief walkthrough.

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Following the “Start analysis” command, the service jumps right into the testing process. You’ll notice the advisory – “the test may take several minutes”. It does indeed – even on a very fast connection. So, be patient – it’s worth the wait.

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In the following screen capture, you’ll see a very small portion of the test results. The report is extensive and  chock full of confidential information – which you will not see here – for obvious reasons.

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I highly recommend that all users run this test from time to time.

There’s still more to come   Smile.

HomeNet Profiler:

HomeNet Profiler ( a downloadable application rather than a browser driven applet), is an additional service which collects performance, configuration, and security data related to your home network.

A quick walkthrough –

Download the executable from the homepage.

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Following the application launch, you will have the option to select various measurements – as shown in the following screen capture.

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Once the application has developed the relevant information, you may choose to go directly to the report by following the link provided………..

Home Profile 2

Alternatively, you may chose to have the report delivered by email.

Home Profiler

The following graphic references only a small portion of the full report. I’d like to share but, confidential information in the report will not allow this. Sorry  Smile.

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A full sample report is available here. I recommend that you take a peek at this.

Note: In addition, a HomeNet Profiler execution – includes a Netalyzr run as well.

9 Comments

Filed under Connected Devices, downloads, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Network Tools, System Utilities

Cyber Crooks Taking Another Crack At Yahoo Instant Messenger

imageI’ve been known to  stare at my monitor, humming a few bars of  – “IM malware go away, and come back another day”, from time to time. Doesn’t seem to work though.  🙂 IM malware never goes away – it just fades into the malware background chatter.

Despite the fact that Instant Messenger malware (which has been with us since 2005, or so), doesn’t create much of a fuss, and seems to prefer to stay just below the horizon, it’s as dangerous as it’s ever been.

In business, when something works, why bother to reinvent the wheel. A little nip here; a little tuck there and hey – you’re still in business! No surprise then, when we see that cybercriminals subscribe to this business philosophy.

–   Yahoo Instant Messenger Under Attack Again or Still? (May 4, 2010)

It’s easy to forget about the risks associated with Instant Messaging precisely because of this lack of profile. Until, that is, IM malware comes knocking – hard – like now!

BitDefender’s, Bogdan Botezatu, reports in a recent Blog post, that Yahoo Messenger is currently under attack – and, taking a hard knocking.

From the Blog:

New Yahoo Messenger 0-Day Exploit Hijacks User’s Status Update…and spreads malware, of course!

A newly discovered exploit in version 11.x of the Messenger client (including the freshly-released 11.5.0.152-us) allows a remote attacker to arbitrarily change the status message of virtually any Yahoo Messenger user that runs the vulnerable version.

Since you’re an astute and educated user, none of this comes as a surprise, I’m sure. But, what about a typical user – would he/she be surprised, do you suppose?

Let’s take a look –

In a recent Symantec survey, which questioned computer users on the most likely routes cybercriminals use to drop malware on unsuspecting users – just 3.9% of survey participants believed that Instant Messenger applications had a role in malware distribution.

Unfortunately, the only surprise here is – this is not a surprise.

The harsh reality is, from a security perspective, Instant Messaging applications can present considerable security risks. So naturally, cyber-criminals use Instant Messaging as a primary channel to distribute malware and scams.

We’ve talked about IM security a number of times here, but with this ongoing attack, a quick refresher might be in order.

As with any other application you use on the Internet, having the knowledge that allows you to use it safely, and being aware of current threats, will make for a more positive experience when using these wildly popular applications.

The following is a series of sensible tips for users to get the most out of these programs, securely and responsibly.

Don’t click on links, or download files from unknown sources. You need to be alert to the dangers in clicking on links, or downloading files from sources that are not known to you. Even if the files or links apparently come from someone you know, you have to be positive that it really was this person who has sent the message.

Check with your contact to be sure the files, or links are genuine. Remember, if you click on those links, or run those attachments without confirmation, you run the risk of letting malware into your computer.

Use only secure passwords, and be sure to change them regularly. The longer and more varied they are – using a variety of different characters and numbers – the more secure they will be.

Protect personal and confidential information when using IM. Revealing confidential or personal information in these types of conversations, can make you an easy target for Internet predators.

For added protection when using a public computer, ensure that you disable any features that retain login information to prevent other users from gaining access to your instant messaging once you leave.

It’s virtually impossible to avoid publishing your email address on the Internet, however do so only when absolutely necessary. Cyber criminals are always on the lookout for accounts to target.

Instant Messanger changed Above all, if you are a parent, take exceptional care with the access that your children have to these programs.

The risk here goes beyond malware, as sadly, they could come into contact with undesirable individuals. The risk is low of course, but……..

Elsewhere in this Blog, you can read an article on protecting your children on the Internet and download free software, Parental Control Bar,  to help you do just that.

BTW, you can hum “IM malware go away, and come back another day”, to the new version of that old familiar tune – Rain Rain Go Away.    Smile

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Filed under Cyber Crime, Instant Messenger Safety Tips, Interconnectivity, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Yahoo

The Fundamental Principle Of Safe Surfing – Think “Common Sense”

imageSo what can you add to your computer’s Firewall, Security Applications, and Browser security add-ons to ensure you have the best protection available while you’re surfing the web? Well, how about something that’s free, and readily available? Something called “Common Sense”.

Common sense: sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.

–   Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary

Common Sense Tip #1 – Given the virtual epidemic of malware currently circulating on the Internet, don’t run, or install programs, of unknown origin.

Internet users’ continue to be bombarded with rogue security software which has reached epidemic proportions. There seems to be no end to the release of new rogue security software threats. Rogue software will often install and use a Trojan horse to download a trial version, or it will perform other actions on a machine that are detrimental such as slowing down the computer drastically.

Download applications, particularly free programs, only from verifiably safe sites (sites that guarantee malware free downloads), such as Download.com, MajorGeeks, Softpedia, and the like.

There are many more safe download sites available, but be sure you investigate the site thoroughly before you download anything. Googling the site, while not always entirely reliable, is a good place to start. A recommendation from friends as to a site’s safety is often a more appropriate choice.

Common Sense Tip #2 – Don’t open emails that come from untrusted sources. It’s been estimated that 96% of emails are spam. While not all spam is unsafe, common sense dictates that you treat it as if it is.

Common Sense Tip #3 – Don’t run files that you receive via email without making sure of their origin. If the link has been sent to you in a forwarded email from a friend, be particularly cautious. Forwarded emails are notorious for containing dangerous elements, and links.

Common Sense Tip #4 – Don’t click links in emails. If they come from a known source, type them in the browser’s address bar. If they come from an untrusted source, simply ignore them, as they could take you to a web designed to download malware onto your computer.

Common Sense Tip #5 – If you do not use a web based email service then be sure your anti-virus software scans all incoming e-mail and attachments.

Common Sense Tip #6 – Be proactive when it comes to your computer’s security; make sure you have adequate software based protection to reduce the chances that your machine will become infected.

Be proactive when it comes to your computer’s security; make sure you have adequate software based protection to reduce the chances that your machine will become infected.

Most of all, understand that you are your own best protection.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

8 Comments

Filed under Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Interconnectivity, Safe Surfing, Windows Tips and Tools

How to Speed Up Your Downloads

Twiddling your thumbs while you download? Then read on. Guest writer Jared Scott describes a solution you may not yet have considered.

imageDo you ever find yourself in a rush for no reason?

Sometimes I find myself glaring at the microwave impatiently waiting, as if it is plotting against me in some attempt to keep me from eating.

It’s easy to forget that just having the ability to microwave something is an advance in food preparation and the time it takes.

Improvements in technology have spoiled us.

Our generation is on the go like never before. We are always mobile, always looking for the fastest option.

I get angry at my computer daily for almost the same reasons I do my microwave. While it is not withholding food from me, it is stealing my time. It keeps me hostage while it restarts, slowly returning to a functional state.

If you have ever used a computer this is something you have probably experienced and can relate to as well.

Another time consuming task that I prefer not to spend my time doing is downloading.

Have you ever downloaded something before and it seems to take an eternity?

This is another frustrating problem that is usually the result of a slow or weak internet connection. Sometimes I find myself counting with the “Percentage Complete” pop-up window as I download updates for my computer.

Downloads can take an even larger amount of time depending on the size of the file.

Sometimes I have left my computer downloading something overnight only to find it still in progress the next morning.

If we have these super fast Internet connections with all this bandwidth, it seems like a shame not to be able to use them to their full capabilities.

Usenet – The past is the future.

Most people remember Usenet as the original social network. The Facebook of its day.

The modern Usenet however is a powerful storehouse of information that allows you to download as fast as your internet connection will allow.

By providing you a direct (encrypted) connection to a commercial grade server farm, you can push the limits of your Internet connection.

Peer-to-peer technologies clog up your speed by sharing connections with others.

With Usenet, you are connecting directly to the source and are not sharing anything with anybody else.

Like a fine wine, Usenet has certainly gotten better with age. Investments made by premium providers have allowed Usenet to move more than 9 Terabytes of information on a daily basis.

It has adapted to meet the needs of our modern world.

When Usenet first began it was a much like a social network. Users posted messages almost like posts in a web-based forum.

Usenet evolved to incorporate the ability for its users to upload all types of audio, video and image files as well.

While the World Wide Web became the place we get our “news” from, Usenet transformed into a global repository for information.

Usenet survives in a fast paced world because it satisfies our need for speed.

Not many things last in this world.

But when something works, it works. Usenet hasn’t been around for 32 years for any other reason. It has continued to evolve and compete with emerging technologies.

And if you are looking for speed in downloading, Usenet is second to none.

Jared Scott is the public outreach manager for Binverse.com a leading Usenet provider. You can follow his updates on Twitter.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

14 Comments

Filed under downloads, Encryption, Geek Software and Tools, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Windows Tips and Tools

Can’t Load A Site? “Down For Everyone or Just Me?” Helps Solve The Puzzle

imageHere it is late on Thursday night, and it’s time for one last check on my email and sundry other Net tasks I need to get at – before it’s lights out time. On launching Firefox, I’ve got an immediate problem – MSN.ca (my home page), is nowhere to be seen. Instead, I get that dreaded tough luck message – can’t open the website unable to locate.

Earlier in the evening, I had performed some network maintenance – adding and removing network connections – and since I’m a “worse case scenario” thinker, my overly anxious first response was – you dummy, you screwed up your Internet connection (or, another network connection) somehow. I now had visions of having to do some heavy lifting before I pulled the blankets over my head.

It was just a fleeting thought, since there were any number of reasons (other than me screwing up), which could push out the “nowhere to be found” message. I then turned to the web site, Down for everyone or just me? – which would let me know in seconds if it was just me, or, if the site was really down.

I must admit to breathing a sigh of relief when it turned out that MSN.ca was down – first time I can remember that happening.

It’s unlikely you’ll need this tool very often, but it will definitely come in handy.  When this sort of thing happens, it’s good to know what’s really going on.

Down for everyone or just me? – couldn’t be any easier to use. Just enter the address of the website you can’t reach, click on the “just me?” button, and you’ll have the answer instantly.

The following screen shots illustrate the process.

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Add Down for everyone or just me? to you Bookmarks, and you’ll be ready for the inevitable.

Additional services which you might find useful for site checking.

Host-Tracker

DownRightNow

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6 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Interconnectivity, Recommended Web Sites, Technicians Advise, Windows Tips and Tools