Category Archives: hardware

Using Computer Clock Skew to Crack Anonymity Networks

At the recent Chaos Communications Congress, Steven J. Murdoch, a researcher in the security group at the University of Cambridge, discussed how clock skew can be used to facilitate a digital attack against anonymity networks. Clock skew, the tendency for a computer’s clock to become less precise when heated, can reduce the efficacy of anonymizers, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Tor network.


Podcasting in America: 2006

A podcast is a digital multimedia file that is distributed via the internet. Podcast listeners/viewers may download individual podcast files or subscribe to a subscription feed that automates the downloading of podcast episodes. Podcasts may be played on a personal computer; however, the inherent portability of the medium encourages use of a mobile playback device, such as a portable MP3 player.


Creating Standard-Format Web Pages using Cascading Style Sheets

I use Macromedia HomeSite to create new and to edit complex pages. Even though the product has a WYSIWYG option, I prefer to edit in the standard text mode, using the preview mode to check the layout of my code. I specifically encourage novice designers to refrain from using Microsoft FrontPage and other solely WYSIWYG design applications, as each of them inserts extraneous code into the page that is not in keeping with the W3 HTML standard. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3) is the standards body for Web content development.

Listen to the podcast at Internet Archive.


Switching From POTS to VOIP

Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), the old-style wireline telephone connection that was installed in our parents’ houses is quickly being replaced by Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service, which connects voice telephone calls through the always-on broadband connections that about half of Americans have in their homes.

You probably have seen the advertisements for VOIP (also called digital voice) on television; however, the company’s that advertise overcharge for their services. I suggest that you consider purchasing VOIP from other providers, one of whom sells the service at less than 10 percent of the cost of the television advertisers!


System Performance: To Install or Not to Install

As a rule of thumb, installing and uninstalling software applications does slow down a Microsoft Windows system, because the system registry becomes more complex. However, some utility products carry a low system footprint, and I judge, offer specific value that cannot be obtained through the applications included with Microsoft Windows, thereby outweighing a minor reduction in system performance.

Listen to the podcast at Internet Archive.


Norton Ghost Easily Backs up Microsoft Windows Partitions

I keep each of my systems backed up using Norton Ghost. I duplicate the Norton Ghost backup images on the server, a portable hard disk, and DVD. With Norton Ghost, I can easily restore my primary Microsoft Windows partition (C: drive), in the event of any problem. I have never had to rebuild a primary partition since I began using Norton Ghost, about 12 years ago. It has saved my hide countless times!


What is a Fully-Secured Computer?

The only fully-secured computer is one that is turned off. It is impossible to guarantee total security, especially once a computer is connected to a network, including the Internet. The best for which an IT manager (or an individual user) may hope is that the installed antivirus, antispam, and firewall applications are stronger than the attacks the computer receives.

Listen to the podcast at Internet Archive.


The Internet Freeway May Become A Toll Road

There are no traffic cops on the internet. Until now, that is. If U.S. telecommunication companies have their way, we may have internet traffic cops, patrol cars, and a full police union. The traffic cops will direct the traffic, giving preferential treatment to a select few that are able to pay for the unimpeded toll lane. Those who are able to pay the toll will get faster service.


Simple Path to Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies now has a hard drive upgrade alternative for notebook computers that is so simple, most users will be able to increase their notebook hard disk capacity and restore their operating system, applications, and data. The upgrade includes a replacement internal hard drive, a case to convert allow the existing hard drive to be used as an external USB drive, cables, tools, and step-by-step instructions.