Archive for the 'Internet' Category

Google Improves Cloud Print

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

The CloudBack in April, Google updated its Cloud Print service, which allows you to print documents over the Internet from mobile devices. Now you can choose to print a document to FedEx Office locations—after choosing FedEx Office as the print destination, you simply go to any FedEx Office store, enter a code, and the document is printed right then and there. The second new feature is that you can print to compatible Android devices running the Chrome browser (the “printout” will be a PDF document that you view with Chrome).

(via Ars Technica)

If You Lose Internet Access Next Monday, Here’s Why

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Computer SecurityThe DNSChanger trojan infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide and changed their DNS server settings to point to rogue servers. (Your DNS setting tells your computer where to go to look up a URL such as Without one, you’re effectively shut off from the Internet.) The FBI shut down the source of the malware but realized that turning off those rogue servers would have severe effects for those who were infected—they would lose Internet access. So as a stopgap measure, the FBI set up real DNS servers to replace the malicious ones. This Monday (July 9th), however, the FBI is going to permanently turn off those servers.

The FBI has a webpage with instructions on how to determine if your computer is infected. I suggest taking a few minutes now to verify that your DNS is okay. If you’re infected, and even if you’re not, this might be a good time to consider using OpenDNS as your DNS provider.

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(via Kim Komando)

Did Your Computer Survive the 2012 Leap Second?

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

ClockI remember having to deal with leap seconds from my time in the military when I worked with satellites, but I never thought they’d affect down-to-earth things like websites. Yet that’s exactly what happened when an extra second was inserted at midnight on the evening of June 30th. Linux and Java didn’t handle the transition very well, causing affected systems to hang and thrash. As a result, several major websites went down briefly. Google, being on top of things like this, had its own plan for dealing with the leap second: the leap smear.

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(via Slashdot)

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The Internet Has a Backbone

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

InternetAs I understand it, back in the early days, the Internet was a group of connected networks, but not every network was connected to every other one. So traffic might travel through several of those networks in order to get from one computer to another. Nowadays things are somewhat different, and you even hear people talking about an Internet backbone—something which most definitely did not used to exist.

The linked article explains how it all works via peering and transit. A significant part of the backbone turns out to be co-location facilities where multiple networks connect together via internet exchange points. Thus many networks, and especially the major ones, tend to be interconnected. And you don’t see traffic going through as many intermediate networks as you might have in the days of yore.

For those on Windows machines, the following command shows the route that your data takes to get to the server:
Under Unix/Linux use this command instead:


Interviewers May Ask For Your Facebook Login Credentials

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Social NetworkHow would you respond if you were interviewing for a job and they asked you for your Facebook username and password? Or what if they just asked you to log in during the interview, so they could check your info? It’s happening in the real world, right now.

(via Kim Komando)

Say Goodbye to Adobe Flash on Mobile Devices

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Adobe LogoRemember how Apple flat out refused to allow Adobe Flash on iPhones and iPads? Well it appears we are witnessing another legacy of Steve Jobs. Adobe Systems has decided to stop developing Flash for mobile devices. From their statement: “We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations…. We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations.” Adobe will instead focus on HTML5 technologies and Adobe AIR. The article doesn’t mention Adobe Edge, but I think that will probably play a part in this new strategy.

(via Kim Komando)

Google+ Gets Games

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Social NetworkWhen I first joined Google+, I realized that its lack of games was a problem (my primary reason for joining Facebook was to play online Scrabble). Well that has now changed.

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(via The Daily Caller)

Spamalytics at Work

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

EmailDid you know there’s a new field of research called spamalytics? It’s the study of email spam. The researchers in the linked article did everything they could to receive spam, and they actually replied to and paid for some of the products. One interesting fact is that the vast majority of spam purchases went through only three financial companies worldwide. This could make it quite easy for authorities to disrupt the flow of money to the spammers. Another tidbit from the article: it takes about 12.5 million spam messages to sell $100 worth of that ED medicine whose name starts with a “V”.

(via The Consumerist)

Myspace Is So Ten Minutes Ago

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Social NetworkFollowing in the footsteps of AOL, Myspace has seriously tanked from its days of glory and has pretty much lost relevance. It had an operating loss of $230 million last year, prompting its parent company to sell it at a mere $35 million (when it was originally purchased for $580 million).

Thanks to Josh for this topic.

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The Beginning of the End for Adobe Flash

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Adobe LogoAdobe Flash is used all over the worldwide web and will continue to be popular for years to come. That being said, however, Flash will eventually be replaced by HTML5 (and its successors). This process is being hastened, in part, because Apple refuses to allow Flash on the iPhone or iPad. Even Adobe has seen the future and is embracing it—they recently released the beta version of a animation development tool that uses HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. It’s called Adobe Edge.

(via TechRepublic)

Facebook Unintentionally Maps the World

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Social NetworkThe linked article has a map of the world. It was created by tracing Facebook connections on a blank canvas—no boundaries were actually drawn, but they show up clearly nonetheless.


What is Google+ and Why Should I Care?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Google LogoGoogle+ is Google’s latest attempt at a social networking site. And it appears they’ve done a really good job of it. Unfortunately it’s still in a field test period where membership is by invitation only, but they’ll be opening it up to the rest of us sometime in the near future. The linked article has more details about Google+ and why it will succeed.

Update: I received an invite from Eric, a friend of Chad’s News. If anyone would like to be invited, please contact me.