Keeping up with the Newest Virus Threats
Most of us have had the experience of a friend forwarding us an email they received that warns of a new virus or worm that would do something horrible to your computer and only later learning that the message we had gotten was a hoax. One way to avoid falling victim to such annoyances is to visit one of the AntiVirus makers’ sites with some regularlity to see what is new.
One such link is this one, provided by Symantec, the makers of Norton AntiVirus. Here is their description of what is found on the page: “The list below provides a synopsis of the latest virus-related threats discovered by Symantec Security Response, including information on: Category Rating (risk), Name of Threat (threat), the day on which the threat was identified (discovered), and the day on which a virus definition was added to protect against the threat (protection). “ One consequence of visiting this page regularly is that you’ll begin to realize how frequently new viruses appear on the scene, and another one may be that you start to feel depressed that virus writers are so prolific and such never-ending mischief-makers.
The Future of the Computer
An article in The Guardian’s new magazine, Spark, which describes itself as “a new magazine about the good things that are going on all over the world, and the people working to create a brighter future for us all,” describes the computer in 2050. Such predictions are notoriously inaccurate, but they are interesting nonetheless.
Forward thinking: “Peter Cochrane, co-founder of Concept Labs and former head of research at BT Laboratories, once quipped that ‘I hope I live long enough for my laptop to feel proud of me,’ and that’s feasible. By 2050, a cheap computer should not just be smarter than one of us, it should be smarter than all of us put together. Though whether it will be ‘intelligent’ is a much harder question. “
Shut off “Unneeded Services”
Almost every virus warning from the Anti-Virus companies contains this admonition — “turn off unneeded services.” But ironically, they never link to an article about what those unneeded services are or how to turn them off. This morning I thought I’d search for how to do that, and I ran across the following article.
I’ve linked to the “Print” version of it so that you’ll see all of them on one page. This kind of guide is a useful thing to know about, so I thought I’d share it with you. Windows XP Services Tweak Guide – Printer Friendly version
More about RSS
From CNN.COM comes this article, Welcome to the ‘new’ Web, same as the ‘old’ Web – Mar 15, 2004: “Web pages are getting smarter than they used to be. More of your favorite sites are making content summaries and updates available for syndication, just like the syndicated advice columns in your newspaper. Only this kind of syndication is free and ‘really simple.’ It is called ‘RSS’ for ‘really simple syndication.’
All that means for you is that you can download a free or low-cost news feed reader and ‘subscribe’ to a number of your favorite Web sites. You might have seen odd little orange ‘XML’ rectangles on some sites. The URL when you click on the rectangle is the address of the news feed.”
By the way, this was picked up by scanning using Newzcrawler, the news reader I am trying out.
Experimenting with RSS
For some time I’ve been hearing about RSS, “Really Simple Syndication,” at various BLOGS that I read regularly. I’ve decided to evaluate whether that provides a more efficient way to scan the news each day. I have downloaded NewzCrawler, a news reader, to evaluate for this purpose.
I’ve also provided links to the articles from the Washington Post and Slate that prompted my interest. Check them out and see if this idea doesn’t seem to make sense to you as well. I’d be interested in your reaction if you also try out these tools.
NewzCrawler – web news aggregator, RSS reader, browser and blog client: “NewzCrawler is a web news reader & browser which provides access to the news content from different sources.”
Refining Paperless News : “Overwhelmed by online news? Instead of wearing out your Web browser’s ‘refresh’ command to check for the latest updates, a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) program can fetch the news for you. “