Leaning with Intent

Internet, blogging, technology, gaming, business, and other topics.

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Protecting Your Computer

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Protecting your computer form viruses, trojans, and other malicious infections is an important thing to do in order to keep your computer safe. There are many different antivirus programs available, as well as a wide choice of firewalls. Often you will find both antivirus and firewall features available in one program, usually called a security suite. While it is debatable which firewall/antivirus are the best to use, I would like to make some recommendations based on personal experience. First of all, I would not use a security suite, because the best antivirus and firewall is not available in any security suite. I recommend using a program like NOD32 as an antivirus, as it offers the best active protection. I also recommend using a firewall like Comodo Firewall because it protects as well as any paid firewall, but it is completely free.

Games and the Music Industry

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

The music industry is experiencing some problems, as more and more people download music for free from the Internet. People also have many other hobbies besides listening to music, so there are not that many CDs being sold anymore. That is why those in the music industry are doing everything they can to release music video games, in order to encourage consumers to buy music. Games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band are quite promising, but I do not think that they will be enough to save the music industry. That is because, believe it or not, music is not such as attractive as it was a few decades ago. There are various kinds of entertainment right now, and the market is different right now.

Of course, it does not mean that music will cease to exist. Other forms of entertainment, such as games, are going to promote music. For example, Grand Theft Auto IV, which is a bestseller, has a lot of innovative features. I noticed that there was not a lot of discussion about music in GTA IV. The reason why I want to discuss it is that GTA IV has a very interesting way to buy music while playing the game. Generally speaking, GTA is an action game which features driving cars among other vehicles, and allows the players to listen to the in-game radio while you are driving around. In total it features around 200 tracks, which is the largest amount in videogame history. The feature that is especially interesting lets players tag any song in the soundtrack in order to receive more information about the title and artist. It also stores the chosen tracks in a playlist on the Amazon digital music store in order to purchase them later. I think that GTA is a proof that music will always be popular.

Is Your Computer Secure?

Friday, July 26th, 2013

We are using our computers for many purposes, including online banking. We also use services such as Paypal while paying for various products. We usually feel secure at our homes hoping that nobody will be able to steal valuable data from our PCs. I know that many people leave their PCs running all day long. In the meantime they go to a supermarket or on a walk with their dog. There is a possibility that if you leave you computer unattended somebody will break into your house and steal data from your PC. The chance of that happening is not that big, but there is a bigger chance that a hacker might get access to our financial data by directing us to a phishing website. You can never be too careful. In fact, it is better to be too careful than not careful enough. Our computers might not be as secure as we think that they are. Make sure that you use hard to guess passwords for any important online accounts. If you live in a dormitory or any other place where many people might have access to your PC, remember to protect your PC with a password every time you leave the room in which your computer or laptop is stored.

Choosing Between Browsers?

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Which browser should I choose? This is the question which many people ask, while others spend hours upon hours in order to prove that their browser is superior. While I also have a browser preference, this is not really what I wanted to talk about this time, as I rather want to point out something else. With so many browsers advertising that they are the best, we often feel like we have to make a specific choice, and that is not really the case. Some people might not know it, but you can actually have multiple browsers installed on your computer. You can use Firefox, IE, and Opera interchangeably, and you do not have to be limited to just one. You may wish to use Firefox when accessing dangerous sites, as Firefox is considered to be the safest browser. On the other hand, you may also want to use Internet Explorer when you want to open some of your bookmarked pages, because most websites are compatible with IE. You can use Opera when you feel like you want to quickly jump from one tab to another, as Opera is a very fast browser. Remember that you do not have to limit yourself to just one browser.

Surfing While at Work

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

The problem with working in an office is that you might not always be busy. And when a worker is not busy, he might be tempted to start looking for something to do, like surfing the Web, or writing emails. There are many people who just surf the Internet for fun during work, or use their email for other purposes then strictly work. According to the study conducted by AMA (American Management Association) among three hundred companies US companies more than a quarter of employees were fired because of misusing email, and every third worker has been let go for not using the Internet properly at work. Whereas accessing pornographic sites during working hours was the main reason for being fired for misusing the Internet, simply surfing the Web was the reason one third of the employees lost their employment. Office workers are also being downsized for the misuses of emails, mostly because of the inappropriate language used in correspondence. Twenty five percent of bosses said that they fired their staff because of excessive personal use of email.

I think that it is quite apparent that a worker should not access pornographic websites, or other sites considered to be offensive. When it comes to emails avoiding using vulgar language is another thing that employees should remember about. Workers should also realize that in order to have everything under control many companies monitor their Internet connections, and as a matter of fact, it has been said that 66% of companies monitor their Internet connections. In many cases companies do not even have to notify employees that their activity at the computer is monitored. Every employee should remember that and try to represent their company in the best way possible. Employees should also try to use their time effectively because they are usually paid on a per hour basis. Of course, employees also deserve privacy to some degree, so monitoring Internet connections may not be the best way to motivate employees to work more efficiently.

Your Own Personalized News

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

We often like to read news in order to stay informed about the most important events. Generally, we simply want to know what is going on in the world. Where are many ways we can have access to news, such as through a newspaper, magazine, TV, or even the Internet. Actually, reading news on the Internet is very popular these days. Not only you can read news online, but you can personalize it, so that you will stay informed about the things you really care about. To get started visit news.google.com and click “Personalize this page”. You can delete sections, increase or decrease the number of stories shown in each section, or even add different categories. This is a great way to read news, as you will feel that the news site is really optimized for you to have the best experience.

Malware and Your Computer

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Malware is a term commonly used for malicious software. It is a software that you do not download intentionally, but your computer gets infected by it while opening various Internet websites. You can also unintentionally download malware while downloading programs, such as shareware. Shareware is a type of software that you are allowed to try out before you buy it, or a software that is completely free to use.

Keep in mind that the creators of this type of self attaching malicious software are very cunning and smart. They are doing everything for your PC not to detect it, even if it is installed on your computer.
One of the newest types of malware is so-called root kit. These root kits install themselves on your hard drive, and run secretly underneath the computer’s operating system which makes them very hard to detect. Currently, security companies around the world are trying to create a software that will counterattack root kits, but it is not such an easy task. One advice that I can give you is to keep your eyes open on everything that is going on with your computer. If you notice something suspicious about your PC, immediately check it out. Only download software from reputable sources where ideally some people confirmed that the files are not infected. Remember to also keep your eye on the newest ways to prevent your PC from being infected by malware. Try to protect yourself the best possible way.

Piracy Doesn’t Pay

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Internet music piracy is a big issue that affects many people and companies, especially music studios. They might be comforted to know that there are many convictions related to piracy. For example, some time ago there was a five year prison sentence for Barry Gitarts who was responsible for a computer server which hosted hundreds of thousands of music and video files. The consequences for his illegal activities were very big and this conviction might remind people of that. Currently there are ongoing federal investigations into organized piracy groups who distribute such files, so in the future we might hear about more piracy groups getting convicted.

Constantly Checking Email

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Benefiting from various technological advancements can give a lot of satisfaction. However, what we need to remember is that being obsessed with some aspects of technology is not always good. I am talking about excessive email checking. It is quite possible that in the future there will be meetings of people called “email checkers anonymous”. Let us discuss our this topic for a while. First of all, there are people who are addicted to checking email so often that it ruins their personal life and well-being. Very often the problem is that instead of spending quality time with their family, people often work too much. However, in case of excessively checking emails, you are not even going to get paid by anybody. One might say that it does not take that much time to read emails. However, you have to remember, that checking email is often associated with not only reading the message, but also responding or taking other actions. There is also no point checking email if you know that it might contain a message about some potentials problems at work, which you cannot solve until next Monday anyway. If you are tempted to check your email too often, talk to somebody about it. Ask this person to help you in some way.

External Hard Drives

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

If you use your computer a lot, and are smart enough to back up your important data from time to time, then you know that external hard drives are very useful. Floppy discs or even CDs do not contain enough storage space to back up everything. These days we gather so much information on our computers that so few megabytes of storage are no longer sufficient. I predict that in the future there will be an even bigger and bigger need for external hard drives. Looking at the progress that happened within the last few years, I see that computers usually store a lot more data than they did ever before. A lot of people store on their hard drives various files such as DVD quality movies, avi files, mp3 files, games, and many different programs. Some of the programs require a few gigabytes of data. I think it is safe to presume that we will be needing more and more external hard drives in the years to come. What do you think will be the average size of a hard drive in 10 or 20 years? Anyway, remember to back up any documents and programs that you have stored on your computer.