Tag Archives: systems

How Will the Cloud Change Computers?

Kelsey Clark brings her perspective on “The Cloud” in this guest article.

The Cloud is one of the tech world’s most-discussed concepts. Embracing a wide variety of different paradigms, the Cloud is an evolving concept. The basics of what the Cloud means, however, are well established. Here are a few questions people are asking themselves about what the Cloud will mean for computing in the future.

1. Security Changes
With the data stored on remote hard drives and computation being done on remote processors, the Cloud promises to move most security issues to servers. Local security issues will not necessarily lead to data being compromised. However, server security will become even more important; compromising a major Cloud server will potentially lead to thousands or millions of users having their data compromised. Are current security measures enough to prevent hackers from accessing personal data?

2. Privacy
Having all data on a remote site will raises questions about how companies will use this data. Will minor encroachments on privacy be met with customer resistance? Will users tolerate having their data scanned and used for targeted ads? In the tech world, low prices help increase a customer base. Finding the right balance of low cost and sufficient privacy, however, may take some time for the market to determine.

3. Performance
For some types of programs, the Cloud paradigm works well. Whether all programs can be run in a Cloud environment, however, remains an open question. Some envision the future Cloud as a paradigm that takes advantage of local processing power and RAM, but others believe that this eliminates some of the advantages of Cloud computing. Further developments may be necessary to ensure that the Cloud performs as well as users demand.

4. Operating Systems
Some are speculating if the Cloud will remove the importance of having a modern operating system. A browser may be all that is necessary to run important programs, so will users begin to use alternative operating systems more often? Apple’s operating systems currently suffer from their inability to run certain industry-specific programs needed for work, and Linux distributions flourish in the server world but languish on the desktop. Will the Cloud increase these platforms’ presences?

5. Sense of Ownership
Many expect that the Cloud programs of the future will require that users pay a monthly or yearly fee to access the program. In this sense, users do not truly own the program. Studies have shown that people prefer to buy products outright instead of paying for access when necessary. Will this lead consumers to reject the Cloud?

The Cloud is clearly making inroads in the business world. For individuals, however, its impact remains unclear. With a number of programs expected to become available online in the coming years, the tech world may get some indication on how popular the Cloud will be.

Author Byline:

Kelsey is the editor in chief for www.findananny.net/. She loves to write article and ideas that parents & nannies would be interested in hearing. She helps society on giving information about nannies through nanny services. She is a professional writer and loves writing on anything.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Cloud Computing, Connected Devices, Guest Writers, Opinion

Stress Test Your Computer With BurnInTest Evaluation Version

imageBack in computing’s “Stone Age” – off you went to a system builder – chose your components, and then – you waited 48 hours or more for delivery, while the vendor “burned-in” the system.  The purpose being; to avoid component failure at a later date.

To help you to stay clear of hardware failure (which could leave you hanging), it’s a good idea to stress test your system/s from time to time. Better to be aware of impending hardware failure now, than to face the consequences later.

BurnInTest (latest release December 12, 2011), is a terrific software tool for both Windows and Linux, which allows all the major hardware systems, and sub-systems of your computer to be simultaneously tested for stability, and reliability.

This menu driven application tests the CPU, RAM, disk drives, optical drives, sound cards, 2D graphics, 3D graphics, video playback, network connections and printers. This can all be done simultaneously, in approximately 15 minutes.

The version tested here, was the fully functional 30 day trial version, (no restrictions).

Test Screens:

The preference screen, as the following screen capture indicates, allows for considerably test customization. Far too many to go into in this short review.

image

You have the option of running selected tests as per the following screen capture…..

image

or, running a block of tests as per the following.

A main test screen, as well as additional screens for each system test and sub test, allows you to view detailed scans in progress.

BurnInTest 4

The test midway point.

image

Test completion. You’ll notice in the following screen shot that an error is reported on the Optical disc portion of the test. This was a deliberate choice on my part (no disc inserted in the drive).

image

Since excessive heat is a hardware killer – in this test, I paid particular attention to the temperature of the graphics card. A graphics card under heavy load – and, this test suite lays on the graphic load – can run – hot – hot – hot!

image

Fast facts:

Assists in PC Troubleshooting and diagnostics.

Dramatically reduce your burn in times with multithreaded simultaneous testing of components.

Avoid costly downtime, system rebuilds and lost data.

Test the stability of a system after configuration changes or hardware upgrades (critical for over clocking).

Results can be saved to disk, printed, or exported as a graphical image.

System requirements:

Windows: Windows 2008 Server, Vista, Win 7, 2003 Server, XP, 2000. (32-bit and 64-bit platforms).

Linux: Linux kernel 2.6.9 or higher. X Window System X11R6. KDE 3.2 or higher. Open GL 1.2 or higher (for 3D graphics test plus working Open GL drivers for your video card). libusb library required

Download at: PassMark

Note: The download refers to the 30 day fully functional evaluation version.

Comments Off on Stress Test Your Computer With BurnInTest Evaluation Version

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Maintenance, downloads, Evaluation Software, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Utilities

Test Your Computer’s Hardware And Subsystem Reliability With BurnInTest

BurnInTest BurnInTest (latest release January 19, 2011 ), is a terrific software tool for both Windows and Linux, which allows all the major hardware sub-systems of your computer to be simultaneously tested for stability, and reliability.

This menu driven application tests the CPU, RAM, disk drives, optical drives, sound cards, 2D graphics, 3D graphics, video playback, network connections and printers. This can all be done simultaneously, in approximately 15 minutes, and can be custom scripted for automated testing.

The version tested here, was the fully functional 30 day trial version, (no restrictions).

Test Screens:

The preference screen, as the following screen capture indicates, allows for considerably test customization. Far too many to go into in this short review.

BurnInTest 2

A main test screen, as well as additional screens for each system test and sub test, allows you to view detailed scans in progress.

BurnInTest 4

Fast facts:

Assists in PC Troubleshooting and diagnostics.

Dramatically reduce your burn in times with multithreaded simultaneous testing of components.

Avoid costly downtime, system rebuilds and lost data.

Test the stability of a system after configuration changes or hardware upgrades (critical for over clocking).

Results can be saved to disk, printed, or exported as a graphical image.

System requirements:

Windows: Windows 2008 Server, Vista, Win 7, 2003 Server, XP, 2000. (32-bit and 64-bit platforms).

Download at: Passmark.com

Linux: Linux kernel 2.6.9 or higher. X Window System X11R6. KDE 3.2 or higher. Open GL 1.2 or higher (for 3D graphics test plus working Open GL drivers for your video card). libusb library required

Download at: Passmark.com

Note: Free 30 day fully functional evaluation. Standard Edition: US$34, Professional Edition: US$69.

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.

6 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Audit Applications, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, Diagnostic Software, downloads, Geek Software and Tools, Linux, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

ThreatFire Version 4.7.0 – Free Protection Against Zero Day Malware

So here’s the question.

If 52 percent of the nearly 40,000 samples of new viruses, worms, Trojans and other types of Internet threats identified every day, only last 24 hours, how do security applications that rely on a definition database to identify malware files (most anti-malware applications), keep up with this onslaught?

The simple answer is; they don’t.

The relentless evolution of these increasingly more powerful, and destructive attacks, against computer systems, has disclosed a gaping hole; a vulnerability to zero-day threats in many users’ Internet security defenses.

Zero-day threats are those that are defined as malware that has been written and distributed to take advantage of system vulnerabilities, before security developers can create, and release, counter measures.

So where does this leave you?

Without tools that will identify and eliminate these malware threats, you run the risk of infection by these constantly evolving zero day security risks to our computers, and operating systems.

One such free, powerful tool, reviewed here previously, is ThreatFire from PC Tools – the developers of the highly regarded PC Tools Internet Security 2010, which blocks malware (including zero-day threats) by analyzing program behavior (if it looks like a crook, and acts like a crook, it’s probably a crook), instead of relying only on a signature based database.

ThreatFire works together with your signature based security applications, to increase the effectiveness of your total security arsenal.

clip_image003

When ThreatFire detects a behavior based threat, it goes into analysis overdrive by comparing the threat against its signature database; those threats that are recognized by the database are quarantined immediately.

clip_image004

Unrecognized threats, or unrecognized behaviors, are assigned a calculated risk level (set by the user), at which point the user has the option of confirming, or blocking, the action.

A good example of the effectiveness of this application was made clear to me, recently, while I was checking all of the ports on my home Windows machine. ThreatFire immediately advised me that the Port Checker was attempting to send email from port 25.

Of course it actually wasn’t, it was simply opening it for testing purposes. But if this port was being opened, and was being used by malware, ThreatFire would have identified this danger by its behavior, and given me the necessary warning.

clip_image005

The following chart gives a good indication of how ThreatFire can supplement your existing security applications. (Chart courtesy of ThreatFire)

ThreatFire Chart

Fast facts:

Persistent zero-day threat protection made easy for every one – even novice users!

Displays detailed data on all running processes and allows you to terminate any process on demand.

Malware quarantine and removal, rootkit scanner, advanced custom rules settings and more!

Patent-pending ActiveDefense technology intelligently scans and analyzes computer processes to detect and block any malicious activity – without false positives!

Runs in background without impacting system performance.

Highest level of out-of-the-box accuracy. No need to configure baffling, technical security settings: just turn ThreatFire on and start blocking malware.

Perpetually ready for the next malware outbreak – detects malware by watching for malicious behaviors.

Enhanced user interface elements provide more technical details on alerts and interactive reports in ThreatFire’s main control panel.

Automatic updates run silently in the background so ThreatFire is always up-to-date.

Protects against viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, keyloggers, buffer overflows, and rootkits – even if the threats are brand new and have never been seen before.

Works alongside your other security programs – in most cases you can use ThreatFire with your other antivirus, anti-spyware, firewall or other security programs.

If you read “An Anti-malware Test – Common Sense Wins”, on this site, you’ll note that during this one year test, ThreatFire was a primary security component on the test machine. In fact, each of my home machines is protected against infection by ThreatFire.

I highly recommend ThreatFire as a critical component in your overall Internet security toolbox.

System Requirements: Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit, Windows Vista 64-bit, Vista 32-bit, Windows XP SP1, SP2 or SP3 (Home, Pro & Media Center Editions), Windows 2003, Windows 2008.

Download at: ThreatFire

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.

21 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Internet Safety Tools, Software, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Download BurnInTest – Diagnose Your Hardware BEFORE Trouble Starts

BurnInTest BurnInTest (latest release March 31, 2010), is a terrific software tool for both Windows and Linux, which allows all the major hardware sub-systems of your computer to be simultaneously tested for stability, and reliability.

This menu driven application tests the CPU, RAM, disk drives, optical drives, sound cards, 2D graphics, 3D graphics, video playback, network connections and printers. This can all be done simultaneously, in approximately 15 minutes, and can be custom scripted for automated testing.

The version tested here, was the fully functional 30 day trial version, (no restrictions).

Test Screens:

The preference screen, as the following screen capture indicates, allows for considerably test customization. Far too many to go into in this short review.

BurnInTest 2

A main test screen, as well as additional screens for each system test and sub test, allows you to view detailed scans in progress.

BurnInTest 4

Fast facts:

Assists in PC Troubleshooting and diagnostics.

Dramatically reduce your burn in times with multithreaded simultaneous testing of components.

Avoid costly downtime, system rebuilds and lost data.

Test the stability of a system after configuration changes or hardware upgrades (critical for over clocking).

Results can be saved to disk, printed, or exported as a graphical image.

System requirements:

Windows: Windows 2008 Server, Vista, Win 7, 2003 Server, XP, 2000. (32-bit and 64-bit platforms).

Linux: Linux kernel 2.6.9 or higher. X Window System X11R6. KDE 3.2 or higher. Open GL 1.2 or higher (for 3D graphics test plus working Open GL drivers for your video card). libusb library required

Download at: Download.com

Download size: Windows – 5.22MB. Linux – 4.0 MB.

Note: Free 30 day fully functional evaluation. Standard Edition: US$34, Professional Edition: US$69.

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 Computer Audit Applications, Computer Maintenance, Diagnostic Software, downloads, Geek Software and Tools, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free ThreatFire – Advanced Security Against Malware

So here’s the question.

If 52 percent of the nearly 40,000 samples of new viruses, worms, Trojans and other types of Internet threats identified every day, only last 24 hours, how do security applications that rely on a definition database to identify malware files (most anti-malware applications), keep up with this onslaught?

The simple answer is; they don’t.

The relentless evolution of these increasingly more powerful, and destructive attacks, against computer systems, has disclosed a gaping hole; a vulnerability to zero-day threats in many users’ Internet security defenses.

Zero-day threats are those that are defined as malware that has been written and distributed to take advantage of system vulnerabilities, before security developers can create, and release, counter measures.

So where does this leave you and me?

Without tools that will identify and eliminate these malware threats, we (you and I), run the risk of infection by these constantly evolving zero day security risks to our computers, and operating systems.

One such free, powerful tool, reviewed here previously, is ThreatFire from PC Tools – the developers of the highly regarded PC Tools Internet Security 2010, which blocks malware (including zero-day threats) by analyzing program behavior (heuristics), instead of relying only on a signature based database.

ThreatFire works together with your signature based security applications, to increase the effectiveness of your total security arsenal.

clip_image003

When ThreatFire detects a behavior based threat, it goes into analysis overdrive by comparing the threat against its signature database; those threats that are recognized by the database are quarantined immediately.

clip_image004

Unrecognized threats, or unrecognized behaviors, are assigned a calculated risk level (set by the user), at which point the user has the option of confirming, or blocking, the action.

A good example of the effectiveness of this application was made clear to me, recently, while I was checking all of the ports on my home Windows machine. ThreatFire immediately advised me that the Port Checker was attempting to send email from port 25.

Of course it actually wasn’t, it was simply opening it for testing purposes. But if this port was being opened, and was being used by malware, ThreatFire would have identified this danger by its behavior, and given me the necessary warning.

clip_image005

The following chart gives a good indication of how ThreatFire can supplement your existing security applications. (Chart courtesy of ThreatFire)

ThreatFire Chart

Fast facts:

Immediately Effective with No Complicated Set Up

Proactive Defense against Both Known and Unknown Threats

PC Tools AntiVirus Included for On-demand Scanning

Quarantine and Permanently Remove Threats from Your System

Rootkit Scanner Seeks Out Deeply Hidden Files, Objects and Registry Keys

View Detailed Process Information on All Running Processes

Complementary to Your Existing Antivirus Software

Advanced Custom Configuration Options and Rules Settings

Virtually No Impact on System Performance

More Technical Details Provided on Alerts

Continually Improving Protection Technology

Free email and web-based technical support

If you read “An Anti-malware Test – Common Sense Wins”, on this site, you’ll note that during this one year test, ThreatFire was a primary security component on the test machine. In fact, each of my home machines is protected against infection by ThreatFire.

I highly recommend ThreatFire as a critical component in your overall Internet security toolbox.

System Requirements: Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit, Windows Vista 64-bit, Vista 32-bit, Windows XP SP1, SP2 or SP3 (Home, Pro & Media Center Editions), Windows 2003, Windows 2008.

Download at: ThreatFire

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.

25 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Online Safety, PC Tools, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Protect Yourself Against Zero Day Internet Threats with Free ThreatFire From PC Tools

clip_image001[5]So here’s a thought – if 52 percent of the nearly 37,000 samples of new viruses, worms, Trojans and other types of Internet threats PandaLabs analyzes every day, only last 24 hours, how do security applications that rely on a definition database to identify malware files (most anti-malware applications), keep up with this onslaught? The simple answer is; they don’t.

This relentless evolution of increasingly more powerful and destructive attacks against home computer systems, emphasizes a gaping hole; a vulnerability to zero-day threats, that exists in many users’ Internet security defenses.

Zero-day threats are those that are defined as malware that has been written and distributed to take advantage of system vulnerabilities, before security developers can create and release counter measures. Without tools that will identify and eliminate these threats to your computer, you run an increased risk of infection.

A powerful free tool, ThreatFire from PC Tools – the developers of the highly regarded Spyware Doctor, blocks malware (including zero-day threats) by analyzing program behavior (heuristics), (based on the theory that if it looks like a crook and acts like a crook, then it must be a crook), instead of relying only on a signature based database.

ThreatFire works together with your signature based security applications to increase the effectiveness of your total security arsenal.

clip_image001

When ThreatFire detects a behavior based threat, it goes into analysis overdrive by comparing the threat against its signature database; those threats that are recognized by the database are quarantined immediately.

clip_image002

Unrecognized threats, or unrecognized behaviors, are assigned a calculated risk level (set by the user), at which point the user has the option of confirming, or blocking the action.

A good example of the effectiveness of this application was made clear to me, recently, when I was checking all of the ports on my home Windows machine, something I do frequently, and ThreatFire immediately advised me that the Port Checker was attempting to send email from port 25.

Of course it actually wasn’t, it was simply opening it for testing purposes. But if this port was being opened, and was being used by malware, ThreatFire would have identified this danger by its behavior, and given me the necessary warning.

clip_image003

Fast facts:

Immediately Effective with No Complicated Set Up

Proactive Defense against Both Known and Unknown Threats

PC Tools AntiVirus Included for On-demand Scanning

Quarantine and Permanently Remove Threats from Your System

Rootkit Scanner Seeks Out Deeply Hidden Files, Objects and Registry Keys

View Detailed Process Information on All Running Processes

Complementary to Your Existing Antivirus Software

Advanced Custom Configuration Options and Rules Settings

Virtually No Impact on System Performance

More Technical Details Provided on Alerts

Continually Improving Protection Technology

Free email and web-based technical support

Absolutely Free

In addition to the “normal” system protection you have installed locally, I strongly recommend that you download and install ThreatFire.

Make sure you understand the risks involved in surfing the “wild west” Internet we now have to contend with. Check out “Basic Computer Security Precautions You Need To Know”, on this site.

System Requirements: Windows XP, Windows Vista

Note: It works very well on my Windows 7 (RC) system.

Download at: ThreatFire

If you enjoyed this article, 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.

4 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Application Vulnerabilities, Don't Get Hacked, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Internet Safety Tools, PandaLabs, PC Tools, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools