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Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Apple’s OSX targeted by a new Trojan

March 1st, 2011 No comments

Thats right! Apple’s OSX has yet another new virus that is specifically targeting it. I guess this is a sign of the increasing popularity of OSX, or simply a result of Apple provoking virus writers with their campaign making Windows seem as though it is virus laden and that Macs do not have viruses.

The new Trojan, which the creators call “BlackHole RAT”, apparently uses some exposed backdoor holes in the operating system and gain quite a bit of access, including the ability to run scripts, display fake password required boxes to attempt to phish passwords, and even place text files on the desktop. What could be really annoying is that it would also allow the attackers to shut down or restart your computer, displaying a mocking message:

“I am a Trojan Horse, so i have infected your Mac Computer. I know, most people think Macs can’t be infected, but look, you ARE Infected! I have full controll over your Computer and i can do everything I want, and you can do nothing to prevent it.

So, Im a very new Virus, under Development, so there will be much more functions when im finished.”

I think I just overloaded on smug.

Source:

http://www.dailytech.com/Sneaky+Trojan+Gets+Some+Back+Door+Action+in+Apples+OS+X/article21018.htm

“Microsoft future interface”

February 26th, 2011 No comments

Microsofts newly demoed interface is shown off in the video above. I didn’t really like it, it basically looks like a bunch of colorful bubbles. Some sites are saying it might be a future windows interface, but to me it looks more like a UI for their multitouch Surface product line. Anyway, its easier to view the video above that listen to me try to make something out of it.

Microsoft releases Windows 7 SP1 to the public!

February 26th, 2011 No comments

As predicted earlier, Microsoft has finally released Windows 7 service pack 1 to the general public, meaning anybody can now download and install it. Service packs for Microsoft’s OSs are generally a good idea to install, as they often contain every security patch up to the release of the service pack, as well as potentially new features, bug fixes, and possibly even performance improvements.

The download ranges from ~500mb – ~900mb for 32bit and x64 editions, respectively. I assume you can download it through Microsoft update, as usual, or as a separate download, for those that have to deploy it on multiple systems.

To go to Microsoft’s download page, click here.

New Macbook Pros with quad core Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt I/O.

February 24th, 2011 No comments

As anticipated, Apple has released new Macbook Pros today which is basically a typical refresh that they do every ~9 months for the line. Although earlier than the ~March timeframe that was originally estimated, the new Macbook Pros utilize the new 32nm “Sandy Bridge” quad core processors from Intel. You read that right, Macbook Pros (15 inches and up) now have quad cores!

Somehow, despite being familiar with Sandy Bridge processors and the new Macbook Pros likelyhood to use them, I never put 2 and 2 together to conclude the new Macbook Pros would likely have quad cores. Well, this DOES “change everything” for me, since I was planning to build a quad core hackintosh. If I can have quad core Sandy Bridge in a Macbook Pro, I’d rather get that instead and not have to deal with all the hacking, higher power consumption, lack of portability, and having to make sure bluetooth and wifi worked well. I would also miss the compatibility with the Apple Remote, and it doesn’t hurt that laptops basically have a built in UPS.

Read more details about the new Macbook Pros!

NTT Docomo testing LTE Advanced networks capable of 1Gbps down and 200Mbps up!

February 15th, 2011 No comments

Taken straight from their press release:

“TOKYO, JAPAN, February 7, 2011 — NTT DOCOMO, INC. announced today that on January 27 it was pre-licensed by the Kanto Bureau of Telecommunications of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for field experiments of LTE-Advanced, a true fourth-generation (4G) mobile communication technology that provides data rates much faster than currently possible with LTE.

Once the license is issued, DOCOMO will begin field experiments of LTE-Advanced in real radio environments in the cities of Yokosuka and Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

In the field experiments, the performance of key technologies for LTE-Advanced implemented in the experimental equipment (see attachment) will be evaluated in indoor and outdoor environments.

DOCOMO has already confirmed the performance of LTE-Advanced technologies using radio environment simulators in its R&D center, achieving transmission data rates of approximately 1 Gbps in the downlink and 200 Mbps in the uplink.

LTE-Advanced, as the name suggests, is an evolved version of LTE, which DOCOMO currently offers on a commercial basis under the Xi™ (“Crossy”) brand in Japan. LTE-Advanced is backward compatible with LTE, which will enable a smooth migration from DOCOMO’s existing LTE network.”

Notice the text above in bold. 1Gbps downloads mean 100 megabytes per second! And 20 megabytes per second upload! You’ll need an SSD in your device for the network to be the bottleneck in downloads, since 100 megabytes a second is the speed at which modern harddrives read local data! Wow, just wow to have this kind of speed ANYWHERE is amazing. And if they are testing it now, its probably not far off from primetime.

I mean, at least in Japan. Doh.

Click here for the official NTT Docomo press release

Flash 10.2 declared ‘stable’. Gets GPU hardware acceleration.

February 9th, 2011 No comments

A small but noteworthy update to Adobe Flash

Very recently Abode released Flash 10.2 stable, taking the software out of its beta state. Although a small jump from Adobe 10.1 to 10.2 seems insignificant, they added what I consider one major new feature, which is hardware acceleration using the GPU. In my own tests, I have confirmed that flash videos on youtube now use far less CPU compared to 10.1. In one example, I used the one of the Adobe suggested examples to test CPU usage. The video is embedded after the cut:

Read more…

Windows 7 SP1 imminent?

January 29th, 2011 No comments

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 imminent?

I wanted to mention the possible release of Windows 7 SP1 soon. A couple weeks ago, a potential ‘final RTM’ (release to manufacturing) seems to have been leaked on the internet, indicating a possible official release soon.

According to techrux.com, some of the things the service pack will address include:

incremental security updates and recommended updates which you have received so far through Windows Update. For more details, as well as download links, click below:

New features and enhancements, as well as download links

Egypt offline

January 29th, 2011 No comments

Egypt pulls the plug on the Internet

Did you guys hear that Egypt shut down their internet!? And from what I understand, they shut down ALL of it…as in over 90% at least. They apparently are trying to control public outrage by stopping the spread of information that…well, makes the people angry (or allows them to organize). I hear now they are using older “20th century” techniques like radios to communicate and organize. Anyway, this whole Egypt internet shutdown thing is apparently huge news that is causing uncertainty, and the market does not like uncertainty. If you recall, the uncertain outcome of the 2000 presidential election triggered a stock market slide…

Sources:
http://www.fastcompany.com/1721708/egypt-shuts-internet-censorship

Back in 2003…

December 9th, 2010 No comments

I used to be “particularly interested in quiet computers and components”. These days I’m more interested in Youtube and videography, although I still like my computers to be quiet! I still spend way too much time online. These days, technology has changed, and although I know just as much as I did back then about Computer basics, I haven’t kept up with all the new technologies specifically.

I first tried Mac back in 2006 with a 17 inch Powerbook, and by February 2007 I had purchased a 15 inch Macbook Pro which, to this day I still have and am typing this very sentence on. It also got me through my latter college years (Spring 2007 – Winter 2009 at SJSU) so I have somewhat of a small emotional attachment to it just from all that it has been through with me. However, with my recent hobby of Youtubing and videography, it is a bit lacking in modern processing power.

I am currently unemployed and looking for a job, so I was thinking once I get a job, I would build a new desktop. 6 years ago I thought a laptop would be my future computer, and it was a very good estimate that was also ahead of its time (back then, everyone wanted to buy Desktops). Who would of thought I’d get into a hobby that required powerful computers? As I wasn’t and am still not a hard gamer, I didn’t think I’d ever need more than a good laptop. Laptops also have a big advantage in that they consume much less power, and I’m really into being “green” when I can.

Also, I’ve just finally stopped using my Sony Trinitron CRT recently. Well, I think it was in 2008 when I finally decided to buy a 30 inch Cinema Display. Until then, I must of used the Sony CRT for a good 2-3 years at least. I believed and still do to some extent, that CRT’s had better image quality than even the best LCD’s. In June of 2010, I sold my 30 inch Cinema Display amid rumors that Apple would update it with a new 27 inch LED Cinema Display. I was interested in preserving the value of my monitor before the update, and for that I was mostly right to do so. However, the updated Cinema Display had the ultra reflective screen that I did not like, and so I switched to the newest 27 inch Dell monitor, the U2711. I also liked that it has a lot of inputs so I can hook up my game consoles to play games. Since I live in a small room, I have gotten rid of my Television for many years now, opting to try to stick to just a good large computer monitor.

“I probably like the computer technology world because it is always changing and there is always something new to read about it;)” – This is something I wrote at least 7 years ago, if not more, and it still holds true. These days I keep up more with just basic tech news rather than in depth details that I used to read into. The latest Apple gadgets, OS’s, and of course Smartphones and their technologies. I currently own an iPhone 4 which I believe to be the best hardware currently on the market, yet I will soon part with in the interest of $$. I am going back to my 3Gs, which I still have. I will miss the iPhone 4…particularly the screen and camera, but will probably update again sometime in 2011 after I get a job and we see what the iPhone 5 is all about. With Christmas coming up and Apple’s rumors and release cycle, I believe it is a good time to sell my iPhone 4 for maximum value benefits. I expect to get anywhere from $600 – $700 for my iPhone 4 (minus steep 12% fee from selling on eBay!).

As for the desktop I’d like to build, I would probably budget at around $1000 and have an idea what sort of build and components I am looking for. Since I’m really into technology and computers, probably more than most people, I tend to have a bigger budget than most people. I would like it to be a hackintosh compatible computer, so I have the option to run OSX or Windows 7. What this means is I would choose hardware that is known to be able to run OSX with some hacked boot disks or whatever (I haven’t done the research yet).

I would like the build to have probably a single socket quad core intel CPU, based on what I know about CPU’s these days. Basically I want it to be a highly overclockable CPU that is reasonably priced. I would choose a hex core intel if I could due to the 32nm process it uses, but they are currently priced at over $800 each at least, while a low end yet overclockable intel quad with 45nm core is more in the $200 range. I haven’t ruled out dual socket Xeons if the cost is right, basically looking for bang for the buck here, while still getting a reasonable amount of power and power efficiency. I do believe smaller die processes (32nm vs 45nm) are usually superior in headroom and power efficiency.

For the PSU, I am pretty much dead set on Seasonic. Probably either the latest X series or the fanless one, whichever I feel has the best combo of noise, efficiency, and price. I’ve heard the newest fanned Seasonics don’t actually spin the fan unless they consume a certain amount of power. If I was confident I would not pass that threshold, I would get the fanned PSU as it is cheaper and has a higher max power rating.

For the case I would use my current case if I could, the Antec P180 original. I still think this is one of the best, and best looking cases on the market. Besides, someone I know and respect helped design it, which I like as well. I would almost certainly use my favorite HSF, the Scythe Ninja, and what I like about this case in particular is that there is a fan grill directly above where the CPU socket would be, since I am considering making my next build ENTIRELY noiseless (fanless with SSDs).

Speaking of SSDs, that is what I plan on using as the harddrive, and I’m pretty dead set on this as well. I would probably choose or at least seriously consider the next gen Intel G3 SSD’s. The question is not if I’ll use SSD’s, but how many I will get and put into RAID 0. It could be anywhere from 1-4, depending on cost, mood at time of purchase, and number of SATA channels I have. SSD’s have been the greatest performance increase I have ever seen when I upgraded a component in all my years and experience upgrading computer hardware.

I would also use my old DVD burner if I could, but that may not work out because it is PATA and I imagine everything on mobos is SATA these days. Its been so long since I built a desktop that a couple of major interface changes have occurred, namely the switch to PCI express for expansion cards, and SATA for other peripherals such as harddrives and optical drives. I’d probably also get some sort of wireless card and a bluetooth card, and a good hackintosh compatible mobo with fanless cooling for the onboard components. I would look for native USB3, Bluetooth 3, and Wireless N built in if that is even possible, so I don’t have to deal with external cards for that functionality. I think it would be a cleaner build to only have one expansion card – for the videocard. Even that is debatable if onboard video is decent enough to play starcraft 2 at reasonable settings, since as I often repeat, I am not a hardcore gamer. If the videocard effected the performance of my video editing software (Final Cut), then that would be different…

So there you have it, a good idea of what sort of build I am looking for. I would probably go with a low heat videocard that has a good combo of price, speed, and efficiency. Then I would probably go through the mobo BIOS and undervolt/overclock things I find to get a good combination of speed and heat produced. Ideally it would be entirely passively cooled, but I am not ruling out a VERY quiet 12cm fan, since even a tiny amount of air movement leads to SIGNIFICANTLY lower temperatures. It may be a compromise I have to make. Ram quantity would almost certainly be between 4gb – 8gb, as I feel it is the best combination of price/performance. I’ve read recently that ram now runs in triple channel, so 3 sticks of 2gb may be a good choice there.