Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Best AntiSpyware

According to a recent report by PCworld, Spy Sweeper--is the Best Buy and top performer--or Spyware Doctor, which has thorough rootkit protection. However, the results of the disinfection tests suggest that one product can't do it all, and that adding a second antispyware product, such as the free Ad-Aware Personal or a spyware scanner in an all-in-one security suite makes a nice two-fisted defense.

For more information log on to Antispyware.

Simple tip to keep your PC safe

Getting rid of every trace of spyware takes work, but it can be done. Don't fall for the spyware trick using phony messages that pop up in your browser. Test whether a message is legit by right-clicking the image. If you see the 'Save Picture As...' option, it's likely a trap. Close your browser.

For more information please visit Antispyware .

Friday, March 23, 2007

PS3 launch details revealed

In the wake of fervent rumors of the PS3's demise, Sony came clean with launch information about the PS3, while presenting a host of new features for a price-dropped PSP. Here are the main bullet points, separated by console.
PlayStation 3:

The PlayStation 3 will launch in all territories in early to mid-November 2006--with a pre-Black Friday release promised. No price was given. This is a delay from the console's purported spring release in Japan but on track with the speculated launch for the United States and Europe.

The 60GB 2.5-inch hard disc drive will have a Linux OS. It was not revealed whether the hard drive will come with the console, but one will be necessary to play PS3 games.

Sony is preparing an online gaming service comparable to Xbox Live. It will be called PlayStation Network Platform. No price was given, but "free" is being bandied about.

In order to meet the worldwide demand and avoid Xbox 360-esque shortages, Sony will produce 1 million PS3 consoles each month, promising 6 million by March 2007.
As expected, PS3 games will only be available on Blu-ray discs to curtail piracy. The PS3 will play DVDs and CDs as well as PS2 and PS1 games.

PlayStation Portable:

A new PSP bundle available next week will retail for $200--$50 less than the current bundle. The new bundle will include only the system with the built-in battery pack and an AC adapter. Gone is the 32MB Memory Stick, the headphones with remote, and the soft case. No word yet on the status of the worship cloth.
Sony is developing an emulator that allows the PSP to play PS1 games--legally. The games will be digitally distributed in the same way that Microsoft provides Xbox Live Arcade games and Nintendo promises to deliver previous-gen games on the Revolution. This leads speculation that Sony will ramp up the available memory, perhaps via a console redesign.

Beginning in October, the PSP will support Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Complementing it will be an EyeToy-esque accessory that supports motion JPEGs.
Rounding out the new features for the PSP is the ability to play games made with Macromedia Flash, RSS feeds in the Internet browser, and a GPS locator.

PlayStation 2:

The PS2 will remain firm at its $150 price tag. Sony will continue to support the console for another four to five years. It's always nice to have some humor at these press conferences.

For more information visit PSP downloads.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Apple iPod Shuffle (second generation)

Apple iPod Shuffle (second generation)

The good: The competitively priced iPod Shuffle has a dead-simple user interface with satisfying tactile controls, and its integrated belt clip provides a handy way to keep track of the player. The Shuffle is available in five, metallic colors, and the package includes a cute little syncing cradle.

The bad: The iPod Shuffle has no screen, so there's no way to navigate easily among artists, albums, or playlists. The player might be too small for some users, and nonstandard USB syncing takes away from its plug-and-go appeal.

The bottom line: If you like your music playback simple and your device nearly invisible, the second-generation iPod Shuffle will suit you well. But absentminded users should steer clear of this easy-to-misplace player.

For more information on ipod downloads , visit

Microsoft to Open Its Online Gaming Service to Windows Users

Microsoft announced yesterday that it was extending the online gaming service for its Xbox consoles to the millions of people who use Windows PCs to play games over the Internet, a move that could bolster the popularity — and profits — of video gaming.

Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online gaming network that serves some six million Xbox users, is scheduled on May 8 to open its basic and premium features to online PC gamers under the rubric of Games for Windows — Live, Microsoft executives said.

The service coincides with the much-anticipated release of a Windows Vista version of Microsoft’s best-selling combat game, Halo 2.

“The benefit of expanding Live to Games for Windows titles is twofold,” Peter Moore, corporate vice president for interactive entertainment at Microsoft, said in a statement. “We’re bringing together two communities that share a passion for playing online games, and we’re enhancing the online experience for PC gamers who have long desired seamless game and voice connectivity.”

While much of the $10 billion gaming industry has focused on next-generation game consoles like Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii, most games are still played on personal computers, which are far more numerous than dedicated gaming machines.

But as multiplayer video gaming online grew more refined on console-only networks, some PC gamers became frustrated that they could not enjoy a similar experience, video game specialists noted.

Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, said that bringing Xbox Live to the more than “200 million PC gamers out there playing on Windows PCs” was no small feat.

Part of what that would mean, Mr. Greenberg said, is that PC gamers would have a single identity online, a gamer tag that would follow them regardless of what game they were playing.

Other features would include text and voice chat, and a unified friends list and list of achievements for games whether they are played on the Xbox 360 or a Windows-based PC. The expanded service, which will have basic and premium tiers, will not work for games intended to play on Macintosh computers, he said.

Ross Rubin, the director of industry analysis for the NPD Group, noted that Microsoft’s inclusion of PC game players into its online network was part of a broader initiative announced last year to bridge gaming platforms — first console and PC, and eventually cellphone.

One benefit of permitting Xbox and PC gamers to play over the same network is that it revitalizes the focus of game developers on Windows. This comes at a time when Intel’s new class of multicore microprocessors, as well as expanded graphics capabilities from companies like Nvidia and Microsoft’s Vista operating system, are enhancing the play of video games on personal computers.

And some gamers prefer PC gaming because of the depth and control they say they have when using a mouse and keyboard instead of a game pad.

In some cases, Mr. Rubin said, unifying online gaming could let developers sell two versions of the game to the same person so the player could experience it on the console and PC.

“It allows them to leverage the tremendous investment — billions of dollars — it has made in the past few years in creating and refining and upgrading Xbox Live,” Mr. Rubin said of Microsoft’s move. “It offers it to a new group of users. It bridges that gap that exists between sometimes totally different kinds of gamers,” who also approach video gaming in radically different ways.

In fact, in June a new game, Shadowrun, is expected to be released and is designed to permit, for the first time, Windows gamers to connect with Xbox 360 users in cross-platform matches, said Kevin Unangst, director of global marketing for Games for Windows. Later this year, he said, another game, UNO, would also be available for similar Xbox 360 and PC play.

He said the basic level of the expanded service, known as a silver membership, was free. A gold membership, required for multiplatform gaming among other advanced features, would cost $50 a year, the same as current Xbox Live gold memberships, which automatically have access to the Windows expansion.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Safeguard Your PC With An Antivirus Software:

Firstly, a few words on viruses, a computer virus is a program or programming code that replicates by being copied or initiating it’s copying to another program, computer boot sector or document. So a virus is nothing but a small program made up of binary code i.e ones and zeroes just like the other programs that run the PC and the precise order of that code is called the virus' signature. Each virus has a different signature.

In contrast to viruses, computer worms are malicious programs that replica themselves from system to system, rather than infiltrating legitimate files.

Let me tell you even a small virus can do several bad things to your computer. This may quickly use your entire computer's available memory and slow down the system or bring it to a halt. It can delete files, format hard drives or mix up the data on them. Totally a virus program makes it impossible for you to access the computer. They can attack virtually all operating systems; however, they are most common on Windows 9x machines.

Methods of transmitting viruses:

The most common methods of transmitting viruses include downloads from the internet, files saved from floppy disks, and e-mail attachments. Despite being popular, Floppies are highly sensitive to their environment (dust, moisture, humidity, magnetic fields etc) which can lead to damage and corruption of files and they transfer viruses across the computers.

While the diskette has declined in recent years, it still accounts for almost 20% of viruses transferred, while e-mail's share has increased to almost 60%. In fact, Virus writers use the names of well-known people in order to entice users into clicking on Web links or open up files that then infect their computers. Examples include well known viruses such as the "ILoveYou" or “Love Letter” and the "Anna Kournikova," “Michael Jackson has attempted suicide” mail, etc. According to a survey, the top 10 list of celebrity virus rankings is: Britney Spears, Bill Gates, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Osama Bin Laden, Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton, Anna Kournikova, Paris Hilton, and Pamela Anderson.

Tips on avoiding Viruses and Worms:

  • Install AntiVirus software, update regularly, and use it regularly.
  • Install security patches
  • Use a firewall and secure your browser.
  • Never open unsolicited e-mail attachments with the file extensions VBS, SHS, or PIF.
  • Disconnect your network or modem cable when you’re not using your computer-or just power it down.
  • Avoid P2P and distributed filesharing.
  • Avoid attachments with sexual file names.

What is AntiVirus Software?
Anti Virus software consists of computer programs that attempt to identify, thwart and eliminate computer viruses and other malicious software (malware). Antivirus software programs can contain between 40,000 - 100,000 "virus definitions" that are updated on a daily or as needed basis. When you purchase antivirus software you receive the software but the definitions that you receive are the real value in your purchase. Once those have expired, then you need to extend the service or purchase new software.

The benefits of Anti Virus Software:
  • High quality virus protection provided by antivirus research team.
  • Automatic updates take care of everything.
  • A comprehensive scan of CD/DVD-ROMs, diskettes, USB sticks, Internet surfing and Internet downloads.
  • Once a virus has been detected, the antivirus software will quarantine it, so it cannot spread. It will then attempt to erase it and repair any file damage caused.

There are competing claims for the innovator of the first Anti Virus product. Perhaps the first publicly known neutralization of a wild PC virus was performed by European Bernt Fix (also Bernd) in early 1987. Later on many antivirus softwares has been developed by notable research teams. Some of them are as follows:

Anti vir
AVG Anti-Virus
Kaspersky Anti-Virus
MaAfee Virus Scan
Norton AntiVirus
Panda AntiVirus
PC Tools AntiVirus
Windows Live OneCare
ZoneAlarm AntiVirus

Out of all these Anti Virus softwares, AVG, AntiVir Guard and Avast do provide the free subscription. There are differences between free and paid antivirus software programs. The paid antivirus program detects and disarm the dangerous attachment even before you open it, whereas the free product may not discover the virus until you click the attachment. However, the free product still stops the virus from opening and doing its dirty work. Overall, the protection offered by the free Anti Virus packages is solid, if not as feature-rich as the paid alternatives.

iPod - The Non-Stop Entertainer

iPod - The Non-Stop Entertainer:

iPod…An ultra-portable digital music player that enables you to bring your music collection with you, wherever you go. It provides you the flexibility that you crave for. Listen to music in the bus while traveling, when taking a jog, at the gym, and even when you are at work. No more heavy baggage of CD’s. The iPod weighs just a few grams and you can load over 10,000 songs in it. It comes with varied storage capacity options.

It was in the year 2001; Apple introduced the iPod with a memory of 5 GB. It was the memory which never heard of then. The latest i.e., the 5th generation iPod was introduced in October 2005 with 30 and 60 GB sizes. It can play songs, movies and photo slideshows, and with the recent one you can store up to 60 GB of any type of file you want.

Apple has continuously made innovations in its product. The current generation of iPod Players includes:

  • iPod shuffle which has 1-GB capacity. The only problem is that it can play songs but display is not available.
  • iPod nano which can play digital audio and display digital photos. Its available in 2, 4 and 8GB storage

iTunes is the integrated media-player software that comes along with an iPod. It’s installed on the computer/laptop with which one can use for organizing, playing, converting and downloading files from an external source to the computer and even from the computer to an iPod.

The iTunes Store lets iPod users purchase music, movies, podcasts, audiobooks and music videos with a click. The Store offers 3.5 million songs, tens of thousands of podcasts, 3,000 music videos and 20,000 audiobooks, as well as TV shows, feature films and iPod video games. One can directly watch or listen to the files through iTunes on the computer and download them to the iPod.

The Click Wheel is easy to navigate. Its very fun to select playlists, scroll through artists, and select the song. Even a child can do it playfully. Apple’s iPod is the best portable digital music experience possible with highest sound quality possible. Some of the notable features include:

Digital Audio:
You can have access to 20,000 songs in 80-GB iPod whereas for 30 GB model iPod, one can store up to 7,500 songs. It supports MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC, Apple Lossless and Audible 2,3 and 4 audio files.

Digital Video:
The 80-GB version can hold up to 100 hours digital quality video. It supports H.264 and MPEG-4 files as well as MOV files which can be converted to iPod video through the iTunes software.

Digital Photos:
The 80-GB iPod can store up to 25,000 photos. The important feature of the iPod is that it can support files which are converted from JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG and PSD. You can download your photos to the iPod from both Mac iPhoto and Windows Adobe Photoshop Elements/Album.

Other Uses:

  • Functions as handy hard disk, carrying all types of files for computers.
  • Calendar/contacts syncing
  • Download and create games
  • Car integration with iPod player into the sound system.

The best notable feature of Apple’s iPod is that it can work with both Mac and Windows machines.

So with a 30GB or 80GB iPod in hand, one can enjoy music, movies, TV shows, iPod games, podcasts, audiobooks, photo albums, and, of course an entire library of music. In other words, iPod is a pocket-size prodigy.

You can continuously listen to the iPod songs up to 20 hours. Or else, if you want to watch movies and TV shows you can have the nonstop entertainment up to six-and-a-half hours.

Other Uses of iPod:
Rather than buying the iTalk for 40 USD, you can install a program called Podzilla on your iPod and use a regular old microphone to record high quality audio. All iPods, except for the shuffle, come with calendaring functionality built in, so you can sync your desktop calendar to your iPod and keep track of where you're supposed to be and when if you're out and about. Using Griffin’s Total Remote Software and IR device, you can set up your iPod as a remote for any number of devices, including your TV, DVD player, Xbox, and Roomba.

On the whole, iPod can give you a non-stop entertainment of 20,000 songs, 25,000 photos, and 100 hours of video — or any combination of each. Thus its aptly said with iPod in hand one can enjoy the whole world as a theater.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Check Point ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 7.0

This suite performs well and is easy to use, but it lacks a targeted antiphishing component.

Check Point's new ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 7.0 significantly improves on the 6.0 version. "All-in-One Security." Parent company Check Point has replaced the mediocre CA antivirus engine that it licensed from CA with a much better one from Kaspersky Labs, and the result is a high-performance suite whose only weakness is its antiphishing protection.

Core components includes antivirus, antispyware, and antiadware protection, courtesy of the Kaspersky engine, as well as the house-developed network firewall and the OSFirewall, a supplemental layer of protection that detects and blocks suspicious changes (caused by malware) to key areas of the system.

The ZoneAlarm suite is easy to use, with clear explanations of each decision you have to make, a big one being the level of security you want to establish. This year, the suite offers an Auto-learn mode. Though this mode initially lowers security to invoke fewer pop-up alerts, once it understands the applications it should trust, it cranks the security level back up for any activity it doesn't recognize. The Auto-learn mode was pleasantly quiet to begin with, but then the suite started popping up repeated alerts for legitimate application activity (such as my Trillian and Lotus Notes programs) that it should have recognized.

ZoneAlarm offers most of the usual suite extras. Its Privacy section selectively blocks Web site cookies, advertisements, and embedded objects and scripts. Its instant messaging security protects users of AOL, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo services from bad links and attachments, though it added so many warnings to my outgoing IM messages that I turned it off. Spam protection, provided through MailFrontier, adds a configurable toolbar to Outlook and Outlook Express. Parental controls block sites included on Check Point blacklists along with unknown sites identified via effective dynamic analysis. The Vista version of this product is expected to arrive in the second quarter of 2007, and ZoneAlarm customers within the one-year subscription window will be able to upgrade to it for free.

Noticeably missing from the suite is an antiphishing toolbar--the suite lacks anything capable of instantly blocking known phishing sites. (You can download free tools such as McAfee's SiteAdvisor to warn you against suspect Web sites.) However, ZoneAlarm does provide other, less effective Web protection. The myVault tool prevents information--such as social security, credit card, and password digits--from leaving your PC, but it requires you enter the information (encrypted if you want) first. If you sign up for the free year of fraud protection, available through Intersections' credit protection services, you'll be notified if the service finds your financial information elsewhere on the Internet.

At $50 per PC per year (with support calls billed at an additional $3 per minute), the ZoneAlarm suite is priced on a par with other major suites. It performs well and is easy to use, though it could use better phishing protection.

For more information, visit internet security suite.

Microsoft Upgrades Xbox 360

Microsoft plans to release a 512MB Memory Unit for the Xbox 360 in April and drop the price of its original 64MB memory unit.

The size of Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade games also will jump from 50MB to 150MB, reports our colleague Zoe Mutter from IDG sibling publication

The 512MB unit will ship worldwide on April 3 and be priced at $49.99. It will come pre-loaded with the Xbox LIVE Arcade game Gemoetry Wars: Retro Evolved. The original 64MB memory unit will be reduced in price from $39.99 to $29.99.

Besides expanded storage, the new Memory Unit will let Xbox 360 owners store and transport their gamer profile and save game data. Microsoft also says they'll be able to download exclusive content from Xbox kiosks in retail outlets.

Expanding the game size limit of the Xbox LIVE Arcade will open up the game design possibilities for developers, enabling them to create more advanced features, Microsoft representatives add.

The new size limit offers developers "continued opportunities for innovative game development" while ensuring "gamers on Xbox LIVE can continue to easily access, download and play all Xbox LIVE Arcade games," says Chris Early, product unit manager for Xbox LIVE Arcade.

Apple Patches Serious QuickTime Bugs

By enticing a user to open a malicious QuickTime movie, an attacker could trigger a buffer overflow, which could provide remote access to the compromised computer. For this reason, Apple has labeled the new QuickTime patch "serious" and is recommending that all QuickTime users -- on both Mac and Windows platforms -- install it.

Apple has released several updates for QuickTime, the company's media-player software, to address eight security vulnerabilities. Classified as "serious," the flaws expose Macs and Windows computers to attack, the company noted in its security alert.

The bugs garnered a high severity rating because they could be used to create malicious files that could give an attacker control over any computer running QuickTime.

Apple has issued patches for QuickTime in the past, most recently in January when it created a patch for a zero-day flaw. The new patch is for QuickTime 7.1.5, which can run on both Macs and Windows systems.

Feeling Flawed

The bugs reside in QuickTime's integer overflow and heap buffer overflow functions, and affect the software's handling of video files.

By enticing a user to open a malicious movie, an attacker can trigger an overflow, according to Apple. This action could lead to an application crash or arbitrary code being executed, which could give an attacker control of the user's system.

In addition to issuing the QuickTime patches, the company released updates for iTunes, adding additional support for the music and video store.

Now in version 7.1, iTunes has improved sorting options so users can more effectively organize artists, albums, and songs. It also adds support for the release of Apple TV, expected to launch within the next few weeks.

System Check

Security researchers have been focusing intently on QuickTime and other similar applications because they are in widespread use on blogs and social-networking sites.

As much as Apple hypes its security in comparison to Windows, it is very difficult to say whether one operating system is more secure than another, according to Sophos senior security consultant Carole Theriault.

"There are millions of lines of code behind any platform, and of course there are flaws inside that can be discovered and exploited by those that look hard enough and are determined enough," she said.

Apple tends to be less targeted than Windows because more people use the Microsoft system, she added. That means there are more hackers and malicious code writers scouring that OS for vulnerabilities.

Hacker Target

So, although it might look like Apple is safer, Theriault noted, the more likely reason is that the company is not the market leader, and presents a smaller, less attractive target for attackers.

"Should this change in the future and they become kings of the computer market, I'd be very surprised if we didn't see malware distributors and hackers shift their attention to exploiting Apple code much more regularly," she said.

In terms of warning users and taking security matters seriously, both Microsoft and Apple seem to be very adept at dealing with flaws, she added.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Emergence of Satellite TV

Gone are the days when cable TV was a simple matter of turning on the idiot box and settling down to a baseball or basketball broadcast. With the advent of technology, Satellite TV has come and occupied a premium place in the hearts of the people.

Satellite TV is dominating the US market with its best picture quality, most channels for the least amount of money and thus awesome value for the money spent.

Earlier the satellite TV was limited to the towns; but now even the farmers and country dwellers could have entertainment option through the satellite TV. Even the satellite dish size was changed from a gigantic one to the sleek models. No more numerous installation headaches. The satellite TV has meta-morphsized a lot. Today's satellite dish is a sleek, compact affair, and a satellite TV system offers strong competition to cable TV for viewer choice.

In fact, the intense rivalry has forced cable TV providers to add extra services like high definition TV signals and movies on demand in an attempt to compete with satellite TV. Unfortunately for cable TV operators, the cost increase led to the constant rate hikes in the subscription. So the Cable subscribers around the country are subject to constant rate hikes and some of the worst customer service of any industry in existence today. This led to the growth of satellite TV. Satellite TV offers an alternative to all these frustrations.

Let me explain in brief regarding the pc satellite tv. Satellite television is television delivered by way of communications satellite , as compared to conventional terrestrial television and cable television. Satellite TV gives you a clear and comprehensive picture of your best alternative to typical cable TV. Right now, over 45 million people in US subscribe to Satellite TV. Satellite TV is no longer an obscure or exclusive club for people with big wallets and gargantuan dishes. With most retailers offering free installation, you can start enjoying satellite TV for as low as $19.99 a month!

Satellite TV provides the best picture quality and the most channels for the least amount of money. Thus creating the most awesome value for the money spent over entertainment.

Today, there are three major providers of Satellite television: Dish Network, DirecTV and VOOM. Each one offers a large number of channels and several low-cost options for service. In addition to that, they offer freedom from the binding stresses of your local cable company, and that alone is worth it.
The best deals on satellite TV are available from authorized retailers. While your monthly bill will be the same regardless of where you procure your equipment (the providers dictate the monthly cost either way), these authorized retailers offer you a far better selection of promotions, such as free installation and equipment, discounted HDTV dishes and receivers, and free trials of premium channel, and credit towards your first month's bills (refund of activation fees).

Now you can watch more channels than your standard antenna could ever provide. You can receive more than 250 stations from favorites like CNN, MTV, HBO, and ESPN, to more obscure options like the Speed Channel, Discovery Wings, and the Love Stories network, Nickelodeon and HGTV, plus plenty of movies, sports, local channels (in many cities) and even HDTV programming. Subscribers also receive more than 30 commercial-free music stations-from Top 40 to Jazz to Classical and everything in-between. There is a satellite TV channel to suit every imaginable interest. Whether you're into sports, fashion, travel, music or romance, you will find it all, and much, much more, on satellite TV.

Both Dish Network and Direct TV received the highest possible reputation and ratings in almost every category, including reliability, cost, and customer service. In contrast, the major cable companies' scores were not even close.

According to JD Power and Associates, 133,000 consumers nationwide and discovered that they gave both DIRECTV and DISH Network "outstanding" customer service ratings…while only two cable providers were found to perform "above or at" the industry average. J.D. Power and Associates ratings are based on research studies that survey a representative sample of owners, they are indicative of what typical buyers may experience. Truly they are based on the opinions of consumers who have actually used or owned the product or service being rated.

When it comes to satellite TV system providers, Dish network Satellite System are the top rated satellite TV system provider which is known for its delivering unsurpassed customer satisfaction and excellent product quality, all at cost-effective prices. DISH Network is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that provides satellite television and audio programming to households and businesses in the United States.

Click for more information on satellite tv.