Category Archives: Software/Hardware News

DSLR SD Memory Cards

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So like most people when they bought their new camera you have to choose a good SD Card that is a decent size and fast.  Well if you go to your normal walmart or other tech like stores you'll most likely end up picking up the first thing you see or possibly they will have a extreme card and you think great that's the one I need.  What you should always pay attention too is the card actually compatible with your camera?  Just because it's on sale doesn't mean that its a good fit, yes it will work but you may experience the wright light is always on and you only are able to snap a few pictures then you have to wait, and wait and wait.  I myself did this same thing and got frustrated so I dumped my older cards and went for a 45mb/s sanddisk extreme sd card which has suited me so far but I still have that issue with the wait if I take a lot of pictures in rapid succession.  The next card I plan on getting and you should get one too is the Sandisk Extreme Pro cards.  They are sold in various sizes and have a great wright speed a must have for anyone with a newer DSLR.  

You can also get the Compact Flash version of these cards that have a 5mb/s higher write speed.





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Microsoft Security Essentials AV-Test certification Fails AGAIN!

 

MS-SEC-icon

Yet Again, Microsoft Security Essentials has failed AV-Test's antivirus certification, after not meeting the criteria to pass their December 2012 testing suite. AV-Test conducts antivirus software testing every month, pitting 25 programs against 0-day attacks and known malware while also testing the repair capabilities of the software and its usability. To pass certification, the app must score at least 11 out of a possible 18 points across the three tested categories; MSE scored 10 and so just managed to fail the criteria.

Security Essentials failed largely due to poor protection against 0-day real-world attacks, protecting against only 78% of attacks. While this may not sound particularly bad, and it's an improvement over 71% protection of November, it still falls well short of the industry average 92% protection in this area. MSE also failed to meet the industry average detection of malware discovered in the last 2-3 months, scoring just 90% compared to an average of 97% across other suites. An overall poor Protection score of just 1.5/6.0 meant MSE couldn't manage the required 11 points.

MS-SecEss

If you're wondering who should I switch too visit here:

Source: AV-TEST

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iPad Cases Revisited

Having fixed quite a few iPads so far I find the common mistake is someone purchases a case thinking that it will protect their iPad.  I have seen some pretty cheesy foam cases, folding cases, etc that all have failed when it came to protecting the iPad.  The foam case that I reviewed worked great as long as the ipad fell on a corner and it would produce about a 3 ft bounce but failed when the iPad fell on its screen.  Typically damage I see on these devices is in the corners, it takes a pretty good blow to take one out and I have seen an entire corner destroyed but the screen was still intact, it was only when it fell on another corner did the screen shatter or crack.  So I thought it was time to revisit some popular cases…. as you can see below I'm only reviewing 2 cases, and to be honest if I find some better I'll review them but these are my trusted cases of choice.

 

1. The Otterbox Defender Series – Is the absolutely my favorite case, the first version for the iPad 2 didn't include a screen protector but the latest revision of the case includes a screen protector and it is a must have purchase for any new iPads we purchase at my work.  I have people that always come up to me and ask about whats the best case and this is what I tell them to get.  Now you can also get the Otterbox Cases for your iPhones too. Click here for the iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5 and the new iPad Mini.  The iPad Otterbox cases come in various colors and if you get an iPad for Christmas then you need one of these, its very cheap insurance….

Otterbox Defender Series for the iPad 2/3/4 
About $50.00 +/-

 

My second option for an iPad case would be the Life Proof Waterproof iPad Case offered by Lifeproof.  This is a awesome case that has protection and it is even waterproof, this would be the ultimate case I would have if I was outside alot or possible with the kiddos (you know sloober and iPads done mix). 

This case has a screen protector built in obviously, its waterproof.  Now for the details: 

Waterproof up to 2 meters (6.6 feet)
Dirt Proof (Yes, it seals the case in a ziplock type configuration
Snow Proof that keeps the ice and snow out according to IP-68 standards.
Shock Proof – Designed too military drop survivability specs of 4 feet or 1.2 meters

Life Proof Waterproof iPad Case

About 90.00 but its waterproof

And for the extreme you can even get a case that floats

Lifeproof LifeJacket Float for iPad 2/3/4 (1135) - 60.00 + 90.00 for the case but hey it floats

 

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Raspberry Pi upgraded (512MB RAM)

I've had the pleasure in owning the first version of the Raspberry Pi and really liked it but for my media center idea it didn't work as smoothly as I wanted so I ended up selling it.  This version will help some of the shortfall of the low memory.  They have gone from 256MB to 512MB of ram now.  Some other nice features listed below: 

  • Broadcom BCM2835 700MHz ARM1176JZFS processor with FPU and Videocore 4 GPU
  • GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode, GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure
  • 512MB RAM

This is a revision B board and has the audio connector already on it, that was another thing I was missing on the one I purchased.  This will make a awesome carputer, linux server, etc.  Now if your going to purchase one of these there are some things you should know first:

All you get is the board so you will need a power supply, sd card (class 10+), a keyboard & mouse.  I had issues with my keyboard and mouse so you may also need a powered usb hub to make them work better.   Here are the products I used:

  • 5v Power supply from a old cell phone, it requires 700ma but if you need one I highly suggest this
  • SD Card 4GB or better, i used this SanDisk Ultra 16 GB SDHC Class 6 Flash Memory Card 30MB/s SDSDH-016G-U46
  • As for a keyboard and mouse, i found that my cheap keyboard from Walmart didn't work so I had to purchase a powered usb hub then it worked fine.  It has to do with the power consumption of the usb devices and the Pi being limited in how much usb power it has.

More information on the board:

Great links for Raspberry Pi info:

http://www.raspberrypi.org  http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/

http://hackaday.com/category/raspberry-pi-2/

http://elinux.org/RPi_Hub

http://www.youtube.com/user/RaspberryPiTutorials

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Raspberry_Pi

http://www.irongeek.com/i.php?page=security/raspberry-pi-recipes

http://raspberrypihacks.com/

 


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Why swap to a SSD Hard Drive?

Thinking of giving your computer better performance?  Have you upgraded the RAM in your computer but not seen much of a improvement? Well if you have a newer model computer that supports SATA connections you can jump on the SSD (Solid State Disk) bandwagon.  Some of the key benefits are:

Startup Speed – Boot times are dramtically decreased and applications load much faster. Example: I replaced the hard drive in my dell studio 1747 and my boot time went from 30+ seconds to 12 seconds)

No Moving Parts – Yup, you got that right no moving parts so if you won't have to worry about the death of a drive head killing your new hard drive.

Temperature – Since you don't have a drive that spin at 60+mph your system should run cooler.

Battery Life – This goes with Tempature, no moving parts, your system doesn't have to work as hard to process the same data.  Extending your battery live is a huge plus.

Practically indestructible – If you accidently drop your laptop it is very likely that you won't kill your drive, do that with a spinning hard drive when you have found that your drive has a head failure or even worse a drive that shatters.

Now the downside to a SSD, the Price.  At this time here are the SSD drives that I would use: 

1. Intel 510 Series 120 GB SATA Version 3 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive - Retails for 241.00 As of 1/27/2011

2. Intel 320 Series 120 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive - Retails for 187.00 As of 1/27/2011

3. OCZ Technology 120 GB Vertex 2 Series SATA II 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G - Retails for 134.99 As of 1/27/2011

There are several others out there that maybe better than these but at this time these are the ones I liked.  Keep in mind the ones listed are the 120GB versions, you can find a smaller drive cheaper but just remember to make sure it is enough for your needs.  You can find more drives by clicking on the store at the top of this blog or clicking here.

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Microsoft PerfView 1.0

 

PerfView is a performance analysis tool focusing on ETW information (ETL files) as well as CLR memory information (heap dumps). It can collect and view ETL files as well as XPERF CSV files. Powerful grouping operators allow you to understand performance profiles in ways other tools can't. PerfView is used internally at Microsoft by a number of teams and is the primary performance investigation tool on the .NET Runtime team. Features include:
  • Non-invasive collection – suitable for use in live, production environments
  • Xcopy deployment – copy and run
  • Memory
    • Support for very large heaps (gigabytes)
    • Snapshot diffing
    • Dump files (.dmp)
  • CPU Performance
    • Support for managed, native, and mixed code
    • Can read XPerf logs
    • Profile diffing

Download here

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Microsoft Visio 2010 Demo Content Pack

Whether you’re creating an org chart, network diagram, business process, or a more technical drawing, Visio 2010’s new tools and intuitive interface make it easy to visually bring your dynamic information to life and share with others. Microsoft Visio demo content pack is intended to help partners, customers and enthusiasts gain deeper insight into key Visio use cases.

Link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=27874&WT.mc_id=rss_alldownloads_all

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Google Docs, Sites Dropping IE 6 Support

Web developers have been urging Internet users to abandon Internet Explorer 6 for years. Now Google has decided to join the cause.

The company on Friday warned users of Google Apps and Google Sites that it will begin phasing out support for older browsers in about one month.

“Many other companies have already stopped supporting older browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 as well as browsers that are not supported by their own manufacturers,” explained Google Apps senior product manager Rajen Sheth in a blog post. “We’re also going to begin phasing out our support, starting with Google Docs and Google Sites on March 1st.”

The ostensible reason for doing so is that older browsers like Internet Explorer 6 can’t render modern HTML elements properly, a problem that can hinder the functioning of modern Web applications.

In place of Internet Explorer 6, Google suggests using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Apple Safari 3+, or Google Chrome 4+.

Another problem with older browsers is that they tend to be less secure. When cybercriminals in China attacked Google and some 33 other companies last month, they relied on a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6 to compromise computers.

A Google spokesperson insists that the two events are unrelated and that Google had planned to discontinue Internet Explorer 6 support before the attacks were detected. “It’s really is being done so we can continue using the latest Web technologies to bring new features to our users,” he said.

Even so, the exploitation of an Internet Explorer 6 vulnerability in the attack on Google prompted the governments of France, Germany, and Australia to urge their Internet using citizens to consider an alternate Web browser. Those warnings have led hundreds of thousands of Internet Explorer 6 users to download Firefox.

According to NetApplications, Internet Explorer 6 is still the most popular browser in the world, with a global market share last month of 20.99%. But Internet Explorer 8 is close behind, with 20.85% global market share in December. In third place, Firefox 3.5 had market share of 16.32%, less than a percentage point more than Internet Explorer 7.

Source

Time to download IE7 or my preferred browser firefox.

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