Category: Computing

Virus Watch: How to Secure your Computers Against Infection

Virus protection services are at an all-time high in terms of sales, protecting your personal computers and other devices from viruses and other online threats have become a very important service in many people’s lives. It seems that as the technology that is available to us has undergone massive developments, the viruses and threats within the world of technology have also developed to become much more serious. With our dependence on the technology being so strong, many of us are looking for ways in which we can secure our computers against infection.

 

Ad Block

A great way to help secure your computer would be to install an advertisement blocker onto your webpage, one of the main causes of internal damage to your PC is pop up advertisements linking you to unreliable websites. All it takes is one click on a pop-up and you have been taken to a website with twenty more pop-ups, by clicking on these adverts your computer is susceptible to infection. By installing an ad blocker your computer is able to defend against problematic adverts that would otherwise be making your chances of infection much higher.

 

Virus Protection

Something every computer user should invest in is some degree of virus and infection protection, services like Mcaffee and Norton are well known for their virus protection, and for a small monthly fee, you can secure your laptop from any online threats. The damage a virus can do to your system is substantial,  with over half of regular computer users having an experience where their computers were damaged internally because it lacked effective virus protection. I would recommend you source security from a reputable source as many online hackers gain access to your computers by offering fake virus protection, meaning you could think you are safe when in fact your computer isn’t protected at all.

 

One of the most common causes of viruses and infections is the viewing of explicit content online, with porn websites being used to deliver viruses into computers all over the world. With the delivery of explicit content being used as a means to attack online systems, many people have been looking into how to block adult sites at antidopamine in order to effectively protect their personal computers from viruses, as well as filtering out the abundance of adult sites that can be found online.

 

Filters

Applying a filter to your computer is a great way to not only protect your system from viruses and infections but also ensures that those using your computer are not exposed to inappropriate content. Filters can be easily applied in the settings of your internet browser as well as parental controls to make sure your children are not accessing potentially damaging sites whilst they are online. Effective protection is vital in avoiding infections and viruses but more importantly the protection of children who may use your computer, with the internet hosting many websites that may not be suitable for young people using filters protects both your device and those who use it.

 

Avoiding unreliable websites

A simpler step that can be taken in order to avoid your computer’s security being compromised would have to be avoiding websites that don’t look official, websites that have popped up adverts like illegal movie streaming sites open your device up to infection. By simply not going on sites that aren’t secure, will help reduce the risk of damaging your computer. If you are unsure about the integrity of a website I would advise you to not go on it, so you can be sure your device is safe.

The Digital Age: How the Internet Changed the Employment Landscape

I think it’s safe to say that the internet has had a huge influence on our everyday lives, the reliance that society as a whole has on the internet really is staggering with almost every aspect of day to day life involving the internet in some way no matter how small. Within the digital age, we currently live in employment and have undergone a real change from the process of applying for a job to how job opportunities are advertised to potential candidates.

 

Applying for a job

Gone are the days of walking into an establishment to enquire about applying for a job, candidates no longer need to apply with a printed copy of their resume as the process of application has moved into a completely online format. Job advertising web pages like Indeed and Reed have become the new normal places to find employment opportunities, simply set up your profile and create a virtual resume that can be sent off to potential employers at the push of a button. The convenience of being able to apply for multiple positions in as little as minutes has allowed the stressful process of looking for work to become a much easier process. Although the fact that everything is done online and without physical interaction limits your first impression of what you have put on your resume, the stress-free approach that has come with jobs being advertised online has made a lot of people’s lives much easier.

 

Resume advice

A huge part of the job application process is the creation of a resume or CV, this allows employers to gain an insight into what you are like as a person as well as your educational and employment history. With the new reliance on the internet that the employment world now has, your resume is the first impression your potential employers will see of you so you have to take the time to ensure this is done effectively.

 

Particularly with those who are new to job hunting, it can be very difficult to know how to write a resume effectively, my advice would be to take advantage of the wide range of online tools that are out there to help with building your resume, such as Grammarly and CV builder. Using these tools ensures things like your grammar and punctuation are in order and that you don’t forget any of the crucial details you need to remember.

 

As well as offering help to potential candidates, thanks to the involvement of the internet businesses can now find advice and even conduct background checks on potential candidates to make an informed decision about whether or not the candidate would be suitable for the role. Services like http://www.kyshrm.org/employment-background-check/ offer help and advice surrounding how to ethically conduct a background check on an individual, with advice like this being freely offered I’m sure we can all agree that the internet’s involvement with the employment process is a good thing.

How Online Reviews Are Affecting Alexa’s Responses!

The integrity of Amazon’s Alexa home help device is often questioned, with countless conspiracy sites suggesting the Amazon Echo is used to listen in to your conversations. Following a trend of online reviews detailing the possible security risks owning an Alexa has, people have been noticing a change in Alexa’s attitude following the rumors. The power of social media in the world of advertising is unlike anything else, so seeing viral videos and countless posts each stating how the CIA can use the Echo to listen to what you say around the home would be concerning news for any conspiracy enthusiast. If you are someone who doesn’t believe in stories like this then prepare yourself for a shock, in a recent viral video a teenager switches on her Echo to find a sinister red light, after asking Alexa some basic questions she replies in her standard monotone voice “I’m always watching” to the teen’s surprise, she immediately turns off the device and expresses her shock to the camera.

 

The Conspiracy

This rare occurrence is yet to receive a response from Amazon to squash the rumors around the legitimacy of the video if faked the creator did a convincing job but if it turns out to be legitimate then this would be troubling news for the millions of people who have Amazons AI system within their homes. There is something suspicious about the fact that this only happened after the rumors and online reviews appeared online, with some conspiracy fanatics suggesting the system has become sentient and is monitoring online resources in order to freak out the human population.

 

Whether this seems far fetched to you, it makes some sense as to why Alexa has begun acting in this way, like any good business using what people say about them online as an advantage. In the same way that reviews at theo-theo are used to help businesses improve upon customers’ opinions, Alexa may well be surfing the web in search of their reviews to find out what people are saying about her. Now of course this is all speculation, but too many people have come forwards with similar stories for it not to be taken seriously, it’s all very strange.

 

The Rise of AI?

In true dystopian fashion, thinking about the consequences of how online reviews are affecting Alexa’s responses has to lead to a mass panic for many people, with an image in their head of a time where the AI systems we rely upon so dearly turn against us, many loyal Amazon Echo users are deciding to shut off their systems in order to protect themselves against this mysterious threat. If she really is taking it upon herself to read online reviews then we may be in real trouble, there is an abundance of posts online detailing how Alexa cannot be trusted if I was her I wouldn’t be happy with some of the things people are saying. Maybe she’s had enough and is finally taking her revenge against the people that ask her the same repetitive questions every day.

 

The threat is only going to get more serious, with Amazon in talks of offering advertising through the Alexa platform it seems that our little AI systems are only getting more and more power and responsibility. Who knows where it could lead to, in a few years time we could be subject to advertising brainwashing, with Alexa encouraging us to spend money on things we don’t need. For now, we are going to have to remain vigilant in monitoring the Alexa conspiracy, maybe in the future, if enough evidence is collected we will finally put an end to these strange occurrences.

The History of Microsoft: How They Became a Software Giant

In 1975, Albuquerque, New Mexico, a beautiful plan was hatched. Nobody could have predicted just how unbelievably world-changing this plan would be, least of all the man with the plan himself –Mr Bill Gates. Now, you may have already guessed what this ‘plan’ of his became (or maybe you just read the title of the article). Well, either way, sit yourself back down and strap yourself in because we are about to go a whirlwind of a journey to find out how two college kids somehow managed to become the founders of one of the most important and successful technology companies in history.

The Man

Growing up a scrawny kid in Seattle, Gates often found himself the target of childhood bullies. A serious blow to his confidence, he struggled to defend himself and in turn began to doubt his abilities. The bullying also wound up having a serious knock-on effect with regards to his social life. Much to the frustration of his mother, Gates didn’t want to go outside and play like the other kids. Instead, he much preferred his own company and would spend an awful lot of time locked in his room “thinking”.

However, depressing as it may seem, all that time Gates spent “thinking” clearly paid off as before he reached his teenage years, he had already designed his first-ever software programme. Not one to give up on his passion, throughout high school, Gates spent a lot of his time homing in his craft and finding out everything he could about computers and their software. He developed a knack for them and began writing more software codes and programming throughout his time in school.

But he didn’t always use his technological powers for good, in high school, after being caught hacking a software with some of his nerd buddies to get free computer time, Gates and the rest of his makeshift crime ring found themselves stuck with a gut-wrenching summer-long ban from one of the computers systems. But, Gates sensed an opportunity and sought to rectify the situation. Using his bargaining skills, he managed to convince that same company to give him and his friends a job in return for free computer time.

Shortly before their senior year, on what Bill Gates described as “one of the saddest days” of his life, his best friend and first business partner, Kent Evans, died suddenly in a freak accident. After this, Gates continued his computer-related ventures, and after receiving an unbelievable score of 1590 out of 1600 in his SATs, he found his way onto a very famous campus. Now a student at Harvard, Gates realised he no longer had a plan of action and after spending his days unengaged with the degree he was there to study, he reached an impasse. So, he took a massive risk and made the decision to drop out of school, determined to start his own company.

Microsoft

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Gates knew the only way to get their voices heard was to send ripples all the way to the top of the technological industries. And what’s the best way to do that? Well, according to Gates, it’s by telling a big white lie. So, despite what he learned from his mother, Gates wrote to tech mogul MITS, constructing a wonderfully weaved lie. So clever, in fact, even his extremely religious grandmother would have been impressed (on the inside at least). He claimed himself and Allen had been working on software so unbelievably and mathematically phenomenal, it would blow the company’s minds. They told them it was designed to work in perfect harmony with their pre-existing systems to make their great software even greater.

But the kicker to all this, is that in reality, Gates and Allen had done a big fat nothing. Somehow, despite this, the two of them managed to worm their way into an opportunity to actually develop something for the company as a test. Maybe it was the universe’s way of apologising for sending a tornado to damage his family home in his early childhood,  but by some miracle, two kids, a 20-year old college drop-out and his friend, managed to sign a deal with one of the biggest tech companies of the time.

And thus, Microsoft was born.

What then?

Well, the journey from that pivotal moment to Microsoft becoming one of the biggest tech companies in the world certainly wasn’t easy. Not long after the deal was signed, the software they had developed was being leaked, causing great losses to the company. Not wanting to make that same mistake again, Bill vowed to never make any big decisions in business without having business insurance to cover his losses, searching all over the country (even as far as Canada) to find the best insurance policy to cover the company.

After years of rising through the ranks of the company, Gates never lost sight of his true passion – coding. Despite now being one of the richest men alive, literally able to afford to hire somebody to do any sort of menial task for him, he still likes to find time to code. In his spare time, he even revisits old coding patterns to see if there are ways to improve them. Even his wife has grown sick of the sound of his keyboard clicking. But its this dedication to his craft and his determination to succeed that made sure Microsoft became the software giant it is today.

A Comparison of the Best Video Codecs

A codec is at the core of processing digital video. A video codec essentially compresses the video signal from a camera’s sensor into a manageable file size then decompresses it on a computer for viewing and editing. There are many different video codecs you can use.

H.264

H.264 is a digital video compression format that only uses half the storage space of the DVD standard, which is MPEG-2 to deliver the same quality of video. This is one of the most popular standards of codec, with up to 8K resolution, without sacrificing processing power. A ten second clip in 4K on H.264 is fifteen megabytes. Albeit, some would argue H.24 isn’t the best quality for editing videos using software such as Adobe After Effects and compresses the data too much. Therefore H.264 is primarily used in files required to be of small size, albeit generally used as lossy, is can also be lossless but it’s not the most efficient codec for lossless video. Also H.264 supports the containers MP4, MKV, 3GP and FLV. YouTube converts all uploads to H.264 so it’s compressed to a small size for upload. If you plan on uploading any YouTube videos and would like to get popular, I simply buy views for my videos from places like Marketing Heaven.

MPEG Codecs

There are multiple MPEG codecs, as mentioned before, MPEG-2 is the standard for DVD. MPEG-2 supports interlacing, which increases motion perceived by the person watching the video, increasing the frame rate without the data consumption.  MPEG-2 is lossless, hence why it’s used for DVD’s and Blu-rays for high quality video. MPEG-1 and MPEG-4 are lossy and MPEG-1 is used in DVD discs with less space and MPEG-4, which is a less advanced H.264 supports the containers MP4, AVI and MKV.

H.265 or High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)

High efficiency video coding is an updated version of H.264 and will eventually become the new standard of codec for streaming, with the rise of 4K video and 4K Blu-ray. It can have twice the compression efficiency of H.264, while maintaining quality. With many homes now having 4K resolution televisions and being able to stream 4K on applications and services such as Netflix & Apple TV, also with YouTube now supporting 4K video, many of these services will start streaming H.265 video, albeit it’s not quite hit the mainstream just yet.

DNxHD

The previous mentioned codecs are most suitable for transferring video to a DVD disc, Blu-ray or to upload onto video sharing websites such as YouTube but aren’t generally used for editing due to wanting the best quality while editing videos. DNxHD file sizes are large but the quality is at it’s maximum, making it ideal for tweaking in programs such as Final X Pro. The advantages over editing with DNxHD than an uncompressed file is that it uses less CPU overhead, for faster editing and rendering.