The year two-thousand-and-four was a year filled with many online security threats. Worm, viruses, spam, and spyware all filled the internet traffic lines, infecting many computer systems. According to the Associated Press, those were among the top internet threats of 2004. Chances are that you too were affected in some way this past year, be it by a virus or by spam. As technology evolves, perpetrators are able to build more sophisticated tools to launch more attacks. As Gregg Mastoras, senior security analyst at Sophos Inc, put it, “…there is no silver bullet technology.” It seems as though security updates can barely keep up with today’s attackers. As the stakes are raised higher each day, what’s in store for 2005? Possibly even greater attacks, possibly even to Microsoft software alternatives such as Firefox. In this high-tech world, no one and nothing is safe.
Read More | Yahoo!
I’ve received a gift card that I had no use for before. It’s a gift, how could you refuse a gift? After all that’s not the polite thing to do. So what do you do when you receive a gift card you will probably never use? Stop, before you give out that gift card to someone else, check out the latest trend online. Now you can exchange or sell that gift card you have no use for. That’s right, now you can take that $25 gift card for H-E-B and trade it for a $25 gift card to Best Buy or another retailer.
Read More | USA Today
I remember my first computer, the Commodore 64. It had a monitor, a keyboard, and a floppy disk drive, and thats about all it did. It was the best selling computer of the 1980s; the Commodore 64 was the Ford Model T of computers. It only ran programs written in Commodore BASIC, and had its own version of DOS. According to this article from PCWorld, Tulip Computers agreed to sell its subsidiary Commodore International for $32.6 million to Yeahronimo Media Ventures. Yeahronimo plans to use Commodore to sell its line of digital media playing devices, but with the acquisition of the brand it is very possible that we might one day see Commodore computers again!
Read More | PCWorld
Most of you are probably aware of the Blu-Ray (BD-ROM) / HD-DVD technology war that is brewing, but might not know the exact details of each format. I think this article paints a nice picture of what will be coming in the future of DVD. BD-ROM offers 25GB per layer where HD-DVD only offers 20GB per layer. Most backers of HD-DVD are touting that there will be an easier transition using HD-DVD because that technology uses existing pressing technology and does not need entirely new production lines. What does that mean? Lower cost for the consumer.
Read More | EE Times
If you didn’t have enough choices for browser add-ons, you can thank Netcraft for adding more to the pool. If you are not familiar with Netcraft, they are an Internet services company providing research data and analysis on many aspects of the Internet. The Netcraft toolbar allows a user to find out a lot of information about a website, including what the server is running on, where it is hosted, as well as its uptime. The real power of the toolbar is its ability to protect you from phising attacks and internet fraud. By using features such as site ranking and the hosting location, you can determine if the site you are visiting is a legitimate website. So far this is only for Internet Explorer users, but they are working on a version for Firefox as well.
You can download it here.
We hope you all had a happy and safe New Year. Nothing like a night of gaming straight up to 11:59 PM to get one psyched for 2005. Oh, and if you didn’t know, there is plenty for all of you tech-heads out there to be excited about in this new year. After all, look at all the things we should be able to look forward to:
- Microsoft Xbox 2 with Halo 2.5
- SED Television hitting the market
- Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will battle for supremacy
- Sony’s Playstation Portable hits the U.S.
- Terms like WiMax, 802.11n, and Podcast will no longer be reserved just for geeks.
- Gmail will likely go public
- The Nintendo Revolution and Sony Playstation 3 will be unveiled
- Hard drives will continue growing in disk space but shrinking in physical size, making portable media even more exciting.
- The Apple iPod will continue to evolve
That is just my list. We are interested in hearing about what you are excited about this coming year. Let us know in the comments.
If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that universal remotes are never truly universal. You can go through hours and hours of setup, and there will be that one little detail that makes it remain undone. Then I heard about the Logitech Harmony 688 remote. Thre is barely any configuration here, as the remote connects via USB through your PC to an online remote code database. After just 48 hours, I have seen the light. Simply put, the Harmony 688 is the absolute best remote control I have had the pleasure to use. Ever. Find out why after the jump.
We could go two ways with this one. Hopefully manufacturers will make things easier on the consumer by including both DVD and HDTV content on one of these dual-layered discs. But they might also ignore the technology and still make you purchase both formats, in a scheme that we can also foresee. The Register article appears to focus on the former of the two scenarios, describing how the discs can help smoothen the transition to the new HDTV standard, by assuring customers that they have both versions of a movie (Blu Ray and DVD) on one disc, for when they decide to upgrade their TV’s.
Read More | The Register
By now, we have all heard of the horrific Indian Ocean Tsunami and the tragic aftermath. The affects will be felt for years to come. There are several ways you can help by donating through various channels. One which allows you to donate simply by signing up for an offer (similar to all the free sites you have seen around). HelpDisasterVictims.com is a site where you can sign up for an offer (say, an AOL Free Trial) and all the proceeds made from the comission will go towards disaster relief. In fact, you can sign up for things that won’t cost you anything, and you will still be contributing money to the fund.
Gizmodo also has information on how you can donate to this very worthy cause.
Each week, Gear Live gives away awesome tech prizes courtesy of PrizeCube. The winner of last week’s contest was Nick Laithon, who designed a Gear Live T-Shirt and gave them to each member of his football team to wear around campus.
If there is one thing that just about all Gear Live readers have in common, it’s the fact that we all love our computers. That being the case, we want our computing experience to be a pleasant one. No one likes being frustrated by an electronic device. If you ask me, there is nothing more frustrating than when a mouse has a dirty trackball and you just can’t get it to go where you want it to. With an optical mouse, the problem goes away - but then you get the floating pointer thing every now and then. We want to help aleve you of these frustrations by sending you a new Logitech MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse. These babies are 20x more accurate than your standard, and have a built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery which never needs to be replaced.
Want one? Simply place your vote in our Best Tech of 2004 story by registering and leaving a comment. For each category you leave a vote for, you earn one entry into the contest for the MX1000.
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