Saturday, November 14, 2009

CyberWarfare: The US Central Military and DOD Networks Hacked and Monitored. Electrical Grids Crashed.

The US Dept of Defense, US Dept of Congress, US Dept of Commerce,US Dept of Energy and NASA have all been breached (hacked) and foreigners have downloaded terabytes of information. Even worse:
The firewalls and encryption protection of CENTCOM the most important military network controlling both the Afghan and Iraq war was breached and monitored for days. by foreign spies. Video

Earl's Cyber Steals and Deals

Samsung 23" 1080p LCD Display w/ Logitech Wireless Desktop for $170 + free shipping
Dell Small Business offers the Samsung 23" 1080p Widescreen LCD Monitor, model no. 2333SW, bundled with the Logitech MK300 Wireless Desktop, model no. 920-000920, for $269.99. Apply coupon "QJV?Q7CB$9J0T7" to drop it to $169.99. With free shipping Good 'til 11/16

Samsung 24" 1080p LCD Display w/ Logitech Wireless Desktop for $190
+ free shipping

Dell Small Business offers the Samsung 24" 1080p Widescreen LCD Monitor, model no. 2494SW, together with the Logitech MK300 Wireless Desktop for $229.99. Apply coupon code "8G2FHZ?KVLC1FD" to drop it to $189.99. With free shipping,
Good 'til 11/16

Newegg has the lenovo G550 2958-A4U 15.6" 3GB NoteBook for $400 with free shipping.
Intel Pentium dual-core T4300 2.10GHz, 15.6", 3GB Memory, 250GB HDD
DVD±R/RW, Integrated Graphics, 802.11n Wireless LAN, 6-cell, Windows 7 Home Premium

PC Connection has the Acer Aspire M5700-E5801A Core 2 Quad Desktop for $400 with free shipping. Sports an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 2.5GHz processor, 4GB DDR2 memory, 750GB hard drive, DVD Super Multi drive, Intel GMA X4500 graphics, and Windows Vista Home Premium x64.

Dell Business has the HITACHI Deskstar HD32000 IDK/7K 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive for $144 with free shipping. Has a rotation speed of 7200RPM, 32MB buffer, 8.2ms average seek time, and uses a 5 platter design

Dell Vostro 220s Slim Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz Desktop w/ 19in LCD & Windows 7 $399 , Dell Small Business Dell E1910H 18.5" LCD; Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz; 4GB RAM; 250GB HDD; DVD burner; gigabit ethernet; Windows 7 Home Premium; 1yr warranty

Friday, November 13, 2009

Windows 7

I've revised my opinion of Windows 7 somewhat. I did install it and from what I see, it's very good. Why did Microsoft have to make upgrading so difficult. Why not allow upgrades from XP? Why make upgrading so confusing? If I could upgrade from XP and the price weren't so darn high, I'd do it. MS you've taken a good OS and tarnished it with the upgrade confusion and it wouldn't hurt to lower the price a bit. $174 for a win 7 pro upgrade? That's too much.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

AMD Nicks Intel for $1.25 Billion

Boy, spend a few minutes musing about AMD's Fusion strategy and the world passes you by.

Intel is settling its 2005 suit with AMD for an eyebrow raising $1.25 billion. That cash will do a lot to clean up AMD's balance sheet (after deducting the fees for lawyers who read 2.000,000 pages of records and countless e-mails).

More details are forthcoming.

AMD's Audacious But Risky Fusion

AMD's Fusion strategy -- merging a central processor(s) (CPU) and graphics processor (GPU) onto one silicon chip -- aims, like nuclear fusion, to generate more computing "energy" than heat. Considering that today's graphics cards have more than a gigabyte of dedicated memory, the architectural issues of marrying CPU and GPU on one chip are significant. AMD, losing ground to Intel's Core i5 and i7 processors in performance systems, is making an audacious move to leapfrog Intel in the mainstream notebook and desktop market.

But this move is risky: the plan could hit the rocks with schedule delays or early defects (the first Opteron's were recalled with an erroneous computing defect). The current plan delivers Fusion products in 2011. To succeed with this schedule, AMD has to manage on schedule a raft of complex technology:
  1. Architectures for two new CPU cores and a GPU core
  2. Fusing the CPU cores with the GPU in a single, high-performance chip
  3. Migrating from 45 nm to 32 nm silicon fabrication technology at high yield
  4. Getting the CPU-GPU Fusion processor to work error-free.
When Intel tried to do an architecture change with a silicon process change when introducing the Pentium 4, the results were poor. Intel lost several years of competitive advantage before catching back up with Core 2. That's why Intel, much chagrined, now alternates new architectures with new fabrication processes.

You have to give AMD the tip of the hat for audacity; they really are putting all the chips on the table. But don't be surprised in a year if all this technology change proves too difficult to pull off on schedule.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Framed for child porn — by a PC virus by AP: Yahoo! Tech

"Framed for child porn — by a PC virus by AP: Yahoo! Tech: "Of all the sinister things that Internet viruses do, this might be the worst: They can make you an unsuspecting collector of child pornography.

Heinous pictures and videos can be deposited on computers by viruses — the malicious programs better known for swiping your credit card numbers. In this twist, it's your reputation that's stolen."

This reminds me a lot of the Julie Amero case. Of course that was a typical adult porn storm (I experienced one on my home computer years ago after accidentally surfing to a "bad" site -- of course I knew how to immediately shut down the computer).

Firefox turns five: half a decade of Web liberation - Ars Technica

"Five years ago today, Mozilla announced the official release of Firefox 1.0. The open source Web browser has come a very long way since then and has achieved a level of popularity that few would have imagined possible. The success of Firefox and Mozilla's unwavering commitment to open Web standards has helped to usher in a new era of vibrance and diversity in the browser market. To commemorate Firefox's fifth anniversary, we are going to take you back in time for a look at some of our classic coverage of the popular browser."

I can't believe I've been using Firefox for ONLY 5 years. I feel like I've been using it forever. I adopted it because of security concerns and because I wanted to try tabbed browsing. I really can't remember when I last used IE except for things like some Microsoft sites. Occasionally, I still find a site that doesn't render well in Firefox, but that has become extremely rare as time goes on.

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 11-08-09

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 11-08-09. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific that's 1PM to 4PM Eastern. Join us for the live show and chat. If you prefer, you can download the same MP3 file here via ftp.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

AT&T Ends Internet Calling Ban on iPhones

According to this article VOIP and Skype can now run on IPhones

Links from the Gregg Zone

1) There is something about spending large parts of our lives in given locations; we are always keeping up to some degree on what is happening there. Kind of like Joe checking the weather in the valley where we used to live. I remember in the early years living in Los Angles it was very pleasant, and then came the smog, pollution, and population explosion. I could not adapt had to move out, now I see they have done much to clean the air, granted it’s not enough. They are at least progressively oriented and trying to solve problems. This is something I just ran across that I liked quite a bit worth taking a look, be sure to compare the pictures of the bridge.
2) It has been a few weeks since I put up a link about medical advancement, I ran across this and thought it looked quite promising. Basically they are learning how to grow new organs, bones and tissue using the body of the person needing the procedure. I don’t think it will be many decades before we are able to extend life spans well beyond 100, and do it with bodies that would be aged at 40-50 by today’s standards.
3) When I saw this story I tried to Google around to find an article with a little more information without any success. So I will leave it up to you if you want to dig a little deeper. If you have not seen the movie “Supersize Me” you really should check it out. I remember a segment in the movie where the guy said he suddenly had intense cravings for his McDonalds meal. Said he had never experienced that before. This article really brought that home.
4) This is about what seem to be a new development in the field of air-metal batteries. I have seen many variations using lithium, aluminum, and zinc. They have great potential, able to store up to 10X today’s lithium batteries. They would make good grid batteries for storing solar to use at night, also cars, and the usual suspects. If this pans out it may be the one we have been waiting for.
5) For my geek offering, I thought this was interesting, physicists are saying the speed of computers has a limit, just like the limit for the speed of light. From the sounds of it we won’t have much to worry about for a while though.

Earl's Cyber Steals and Deals

Dell Small Business has the Dell Vostro 220 Slim Tower Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 Desktop Computer w/ 19" LCD Monitor for $409.00. $35.00 Shipping. Dell E1910H 19" LCD; Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz; 2GB RAM; 250GB HDD; DVD-ROM; gigabit ethernet; Windows 7 Professional; 1yr warranty

Joe sent me this link to inexpensive versions of Windows 7. Please double check the version and 32/64 bit and full/upgrade edition on your order.

Acer Aspire AS5732Z-4510 NoteBook Intel Pentium T4300(2.10GHz) 15.6" 2GB Memory DDR2 667 160GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi Intel GMA 4500M - Retail
Comes with Windows 7 Premium $400

Refurbished HP Pavilion s5120f AMD Dual Core 2.7GHz PC for $300 + free shipping again offers the factory-refurbished HP Pavilion Slimline s5120f Athlon 64 X2 2.7GHz Desktop PC, model no. NP187AA#ABA, for $299.99 with free shipping. That ties our October mention as the lowest total price we could find by $30. It features an AMD Athlon X2 7750 2.7GHz dual-core processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, DVD burner with LightScribe, modem, memory card reader, and Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit. A 90-day warranty applies, but it's not clear who backs it. Free $5 gift card
At, subscribe to the company newsletter via this short form and receive a free $5 gift card for any future purchase from The gift card can be immediately redeemed by signing into your account and using the coupon code on your first purchase. Of note, you can limit the frequency of the newsletter.

Insignia 42" 1080p Widescreen LCD HDTV for $499 + $70 s&h
Best Buy offers its Insignia 42" 1080p Widescreen LCD HD Television, model no. NS-L42Q-10A, for $498.99. Shipping adds $70, or choose in-store pickup. Even with shipping, that's a $151 overnight drop and the lowest total price we could find. Sales tax is added where applicable. It features a native resolution of 1920x1080 (1080p), 1,400:1 contrast ratio, 450 cd/m² brightness, four HDMI inputs, and VGA, component, and other video inputs.

ZipZoomFly has the Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB SATA Hard Drive WD15EADS on sale for $110 - $15 off $100 with eBillme [Exp 12/16] = $95 with free shipping. Features a 32MB buffer, 100MBps internal data transfer rate, and is covered by a 3-year warranty.