Computers have been an absolutely essential tool for professionals for the past decade. Accordingly, a whole variety of personal computers have been created by manufacturers like Apple, Google and Microsoft to profit off of every niche of every computer user with his or her set of needs. In the subsequent barrage of personal computing products now flowing through computing markets, it may be difficult to even understand the difference between different models. For example, what’s the difference between laptops, notebooks, and netbooks, and why does it even matter? Read on to find out.
Laptops, notebooks and netbooks all share certain formal qualities; namely, they have monitors and keyboards that are permanently attached in a hinge formation. Their major differentiating qualities are their sizes and features. That said, there’s no universally accepted difference between a laptop, notebook and netbook; the FTC doesn’t force them to define their terms, and some of the categories seem to blending. However, there are certain general guidelines that are useful to keep in mind when determining the difference between a laptop, notebook and netbook, especially if you’re trying to figure out which one’s right for you.
The difference in size between laptops, notebooks and netbooks is this: laptops are the largest, netbooks are the smallest, and notebooks are right there in the middle. Laptops and notebooks are becoming increasingly similar as manufacturers figure out how to pack more processing power into smaller devices; laptops continue to be smaller and smaller than their previous models, causing them to overlap with notebooks a fair amount. Still, there are plenty of obvious laptops not-netbooks; for example, gaming laptops tend to have screens as large as 17 inches across and can weigh up to 11 pounds. These are powerful computers that, while being more portable than a desktop computer, are going to bog down a student’s backpack and definitely won’t fit into a tote bag.
Notebooks tend to be smaller than these laptops, weighing as little as three pounds, with screens around 12 inches. However, they still usually have all of the features of a laptop; they’ll have dual-core processors, CD and DVD drives, at least 64 GB of hard drive space, etc. Notebooks are meant to be the smallest possible full-featured laptops.
This tends to set them apart from netbooks, which are made chiefly with portability in mind. Netbooks can weigh anywhere from a pound to three pounds and often have screens smaller than a foot across. They don’t usually have CD of DVD drives, nor do they have ample storage for the typical user; they’re made primarily for accessing the internet, and any data a netbook user hopes to save will have to be stored on an external hard drive. They have headphone and microphone inputs, USB ports, potentially a visual output port and that’s really about it. Netbooks usually have low processing power, but extremely long battery life.
So there you have it. While no universally accepted definitions of laptop, notebook and netbook exist, there are some general guidelines that you can keep in mind when it comes time to differentiate between the three. Hopefully this article helped you to better understand what kind of personal computer works for you!
A bitter and publicized battle between tech mogul Apple and the United States Department of Justice has officially ended; the DoJ announced that it would back out of its case against Apple after confirming that it could, without Apple’s help, crack the code of the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, CA shooters.
Whether or not you absolutely hate Apple’s Maps GPS system, if you own an iPhone you’ll likely be relieved of the news. The department had originally attempted to strong arm Apple into creating a code itself that would allow the FBI to crack open the encrypted smartphone by issuing a demand authorized by the over two-centuries-old All Writ’s Law.
Apple balked at the offer, making a strong legal case for the government having overstepped its power in what it could ask of a business. While the debate raged on for many weeks, the DoJ seems to have finally determined that the issue is not worth its while.
Perhaps this was because the FBI was ultimately able to retrieve data with the help of an undisclosed third party, no longer necessitating Apple’s assistance, as DoJ spokesperson Melanie Newman stated. Newman continued on to make clear that the agency still reserved the right to confront Apple yet again if any encrypted evidence happens to run up against privacy rights, corporate interest and the Constitution.
“It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety, either with cooperation from relevant parties, or through the court system when cooperation fails,” expanded Newman. “We will continue to pursue all available options for this mission, including seeking the cooperation of manufacturers and relying on the creativity of both the public and private sectors.”
Apple’s major complaint in reaction to the FBI demand was that the company was being asked to open the door to additional requests not only in the U.S. but also in foreign states that lack the civil liberties protections. It claimed that political dissidents around the world could potentially be made vulnerable to their regimes without the safety of Apple’s encryption.
That said, it seems to be that the government’s ability to hack into iPhone’s without Apple’s help would stand to prove that Apple’s feared “backdoor” already exists. Even if the FBI is required to disclose how it was able to break into the encrypted phone, it likely won’t be a huge surprise how it occurred.
“EFF [Electronic Frontier Foundation] is pleased that the Justice Department has retreated from its dangerous and unconstitutional attempt to force Apple to subvert the security of its iOS operating system. However, this new method of accessing the phone raises questions about the government’s apparent use of security vulnerabilities in iOS and whether it will inform Apple about there vulnerabilities,” stated Andrew Crocker, the staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“If the FBI used a vulnerability to unlock the iPhone in the San Bernardino case, the VEP must apply, meaning that there should be a very strong bias in favor of informing Apple of the vulnerability. That would allow Apple to fix the flaw and protect the security of all its users. We look forward to seeing more transparency on the issue.”
GPS or global positional system was first developed like many great consumer electronics with a military application. The designers could barely have imagined some of the applications we see today with these bad boys eventually for the technology. They’ve become a pillar of IT businesses.
The Global Positioning System is a satellite derived navi system, a network of over 2 dozen orbiting space crafting ships that was put in place between what some would refer to as the late 1970s and the mid 1990s by the us department of defense which is a far cry from what its used for primarily today, which is locating the closest fro yo for a reasonable price, with good reviews for a soccer mom in the a new town or something. This is because the military actually allowed people access to them early in the game which was a huge advantage to the lives and navigation on an average scale. here are a few applications of the system that are not drempt up at the instantiate of its creation but are proving to be the new norm when it comes.
One way we are seeing having a good affect on the world is that they allow the potential of shark attacks to be affected. this is done through tagging sharks for research. this helps in understanding both the migration and matting patterns of the beasts, but it also helps local life guard and law enforcment offcials by allowing a system to be notified when a shark comes in to close to shore during times of potential up tick in populations being at or around the water.
Another unforeseen way the world is benefiting from GPS is that it helps with tracking stolen and fraud prescription drugs. people who rob or burgal drugs have been targeting drugstores in an effort to get that good good, the crowned jewel of the persecution drug world oxycodone (mamamia mi likey as its reffered to) the bottels now have trackers which slows the people to know just where they might go if not in the right hands.
Geocaching a great hobby for people is only possible with the widespread use of having a lot of people who can not only know their concordance at the drop of a hat but also who can look up where they are just as quickly and accurately. Today the seed of adventure has been sown in the belly of mystery and a new frontier of treasure hunters hit the road in a effort to find whatever someone leaves for them, and hopefully and hopefully not what was stated prior.
Health, we all want it but dont know where to find it. Well GPS might have the drop on where to look, its in you. Insofar as it is known when you you move and at what rate, from there it is correlate to what the calories it would be to carry your self such distances. This is merely a taste of what the GPS has done in recent years and time will tell what new places we go.
What out Intel- there’s a new sheriff in town. Well, at least there will be, so long as all of Google’s hopes and dreams go according to plan…
…Which they tend to do; the tech mogul has no issue expanding its markets past the search engine its so known for and into smartphones, cars, and now… even computer chips. Google makes high-tech companies like Facebook look like a start-up.
Since when? Well, we’re not even sure that it’s going to happen yet. There’s something going on according to Bloomberg, which reported that google would somehow have some kind of presence at Qualcomm HQ, in front of Qualcom stockholders, and it would offer some kind of “stamp of approval” for a new kind of Qualcomm chip. But then Google didn’t show up.
By the way, about the whole autonomous Google Car thing… The federal government agency responsible for regulating traffic safety and making driving safety standards just reported that Google’s autonomous car driving software could be seen as a driver in their L4 vehicles, which don’t have steering wheels, brakes, or any form of transmission. L4 vehicles are engineered expressly for older people and children, so that they can be transported safely from place to place without a human driver spending the time or money to have them transported, and without the human error that puts so many drivers and pedestrians at risk.
But back to the chips: Qualcomm is the largest smartphone chip maker in the world, but apparently this iffy agreement wasn’t about smartphone chips. It was more about chips for computer servers, which are the machines that offer all the services an emails and other data to you phone using the Internet. Considering Google is the world’s largest Internet company, the idea of them getting into the server chip industry is definitely a big one. Yet, they weren’t there eon that day which many believed would be oh-so-fateful.
So what is Google’s current relationship with server chips? Well, in order to offer services like search, Gmail, and Maps to millions of people around the world, Google has to operate a network of data centers that are located everyone where from Oregon to Finland to Taiwan and back. Google tries engineers to custom design the many thousands of servers that drive these computing hives, and they have o buy chips for these servers directly for the companies that make them. That means Google spends a fortune on chips from Intel, which is, of course, the largest chip provider in the world and in fact was founded by the co-creator of the world’s first computer chip. According to Intel higher-up Diane Bryant, Google buys more server chips from Intel than all but five companies in the world.
That seems about right, until you realize that everyone else on the list of server chip buyers actually sells servers, like Dell and HP. Google has to buy all those chips just for the servers it makes for itself. So if Google switches from Intel to Qualcomm, the entire tech economy is going to know about it. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Facial recognition software is widespread and has been for a while now. Although the software is known to be somewhat finicky (there was one unfortunate and highly publicized incident in which Google Photos tagged a young African American woman as a gorilla), they are getting more and more accurate and tend to be very helpful and widespread. You may be wondering exactly how engineers have created software that can recognize something as subtle and complicated as a unique human’s face. Here’s an article to tackle the fundamentals of the issue and help explain how we got where we are today.
If you’re wondering where the money came from, you won’t be surprised to hear that facial recognition software has both a purely economic market and serves government interests. There have been attempts to use cameras outfitted with the software to serve law enforcement purposes, though the attempt in 2001 by the Tampa Police Department to install such cameras in the Ybor City nightlife district was definitely a failure; people just made a game of putting on masks and making obscene gestures at the camera, to the point that the whole project was scrapped by 2003.
Efforts were made to incorporate the software into the security system at Boston’s Logan Airport as well, though it only worked with a 61.4 percent accuracy rate that eventually led airport officials to try other methods of enhancing security.
So what about the systems that do work? Facebook seems to have developed a pretty accurate system of automatically tagging friends in photos you just uploaded.
Most operational systems function by identifying nodal points in a face. These points are distinguishable landmarks that occur in approximately 80 different places and include the distance between the eyes, the width of the nose, the depth of the eye sockets, the shape of the cheekbones and the length of the jawline. These nodal points are measured with the sue of a numerical code called faceprint.
It wasn’t so hard for engineers to make programs that identified facial features among pictures that were all taken the same way in a controlled environment that had, for example, the same shot taken from the same angle with the same lighting. But in real life, photos of people vary widely in setting which means wide variances in face angle, brightness, contrast, etc. In order to make up for this, software writers had to come up with something called 3D facial recognition.
3D facial recognition uses a 3D model of a face to more accurately store distinctive features. The software looks at where rigid tissue and bone is most apparent, such as curves in the eye socket, which varies less over time and depending on facial angle. With this kind of modeling, a face can be recognized in its profile form after being input in a straight-ahead shot. It takes the alignment of the face into consideration when it is given its first example of the face to be recognized, allowing for more accurate results.
Surface texture analysis can also allow for faces to be recognized, though this is more common in security contexts than for Facebook.
You’ve likely heard of both, and are most familiar with their differences in terms of clocks and watches. However, their differences exist in the world of computers, display monitors, and all kinds of other technology related fields. Here’s a brief synopsis on what these particular terms mean and what sets them apart.
It’s no coincidence that “analog” sounds similar to “analogy.” Before computers, almost all measurements were in analog because people used to find ways to measure things in nature by using analogies. For example, measuring electric current was done through using a moving-coil meter with a little pointer that moved over a dial. The higher the current, the more the pointer moved up the dial, making it an excellent analogy for the current’s rising power.
An analog watch demonstrates the passage of time via movements by its hands; twice as much time has passed if the hand moves past twice as many segments. This is another analogical measurement of time’s passing.
Similar methods have been used by weighing machines, speedometers, sound-level meters and seismographs.
When something is known as analog information, it can be assumed that it was gathered without processing numbers electronically. Analog film uses transparent plastic and silver-based chemicals that react to light. When the film undergoes a chemical process, it reacts to light and a representation of the scene you photographed is created. Recordings taken by using magnetized areas is also analog. No numbers were processed by a machine to create the end product.
Digital technology is different in that it requires that all information be converted into numbers to work. Digital measuring devices don’t necessitate dials or pointers and are generally quicker and easier to read than analog ones. Whether or not they’re more accurate however, depends on how the device works and how the measurement is displayed.
Your cellphone is an example of digital technology. It works by converting the sound of your voice into numbers and then sending those numbers across distances using radio waves. This real life to number conversion makes it easier to store information in digital form and allows for the information to take up less room.
Analog LP records, for example, take up a lot of shelf space if you have a large collection. If you’re willing to convert them all into MP3 files, you can store the same amount of music in a laptop, or even in a tiny iPod if you still have one hanging around. Audiophiles understand that a lot is lost in such a conversion, but book lovers likely have little to complain about when entire libraries can be stored on their kindles.
Digital technology also allows us to edit photos and music much easier than if we were to build the skill necessary for actually painting pictures or making music ourselves. This has opened the door for new and more accessible forms of art.
One interesting difference between the two: it’s actually hard to predict which kind of storage will pass the test of time. After all, people covet their LPs but care little for their MP3’s, even if MP3’s can be mass produced. Only time will tell!
They exist, and they’re all over. Some are a lot more obvious than others- think here about the Nigerian prince who needs your help to immigrate to America (i.e. you gotta spot him a few thousand dollars) and then for some reason his money will become available and he can pay you back tenfold.
Most of us wouldn’t fall for that one, but sadly a lot of scams are a lot trickier.
Take for example the scam involving creating fake windows alerts that pop up on your browser and tell you that your machine has been infected by a virus and you need to call a particular phone number right away. A lot more people fall for this one and opt into having their PC remote-accessed by hackers abroad who then download malicious software onto your PC while pretending to run checks and remove harmful viruses.
This one is also easily avoided; just search whatever program they say to download or google the phone number and see what company is actually behind the “service.” Don’t ever let a third party company perform cleans for you unless you can see that they are clearly affiliated with Microsoft and it says so in Microsoft’s website.
Another popular scam utilizes social networks; you may suddenly get a message with a hyperlink that says something like “You look amazing in this video” or “You might want to see yourself in this.” This one’s likely a little less malicious. You may just get hit by a pop up advertisement when you try to start the video. However, sometimes hackers outfit these pop ups with information that claims that you don’t have the right video driver installed to view the video. If you download the driver they say you need, the video will supposedly play. Unfortunately, there is no video and you just downloaded malware onto your device.
What happens once you mistakenly download malware? It’s different with every scam, but there’s always the potential that your every keystroke is being recorded and sent out to a remote hacker who now has access to your usernames and passwords. Other downloaded malware could give root access of your machine to a cracker (or malicious hacker) that can then control your computer, potentially without you ever noticing.
Online scams tend to have certain consistent properties. For example, a lot of them may pressure you to “act now” by scaring you with the prospect of imminent cyberdanger or a deal that won’t exist for long. Rushing you into an impulsive decision makes you more likely to make the mistake of falling for the con.
Often cons boast the possibility of making huge profits in a short time frame (as with the Nigerian prince). A quick googling of the company and checking for if they exist at all and what people have been saying about them can elucidate a lot, but in general you shouldn’t buy anything just because an imposing internet ad said it’s going to rise in value. You’ll just end up with a bunch of beanie babies.
A distasteful use of buzzwords and jargon can also connote an internet scam; if there seems to be very little meaning behind a stream of promising rhetoric, someone’s trying to pull something over on you.
Claims of insider information and/or confidential data are also suspect; why would someone you’ve never met be telling you about this stuff over the internet? You’re sure to be scammed if you follow along.
You’ve probably heard of software and hardware and you may even know the difference (software refers to programs while hardware refers to the physical electronic components of your device), but how well do you understand firmware?
True to its name, firmware occupies a middle ground between software and hardware; it is a set of programs foundational to your device’s operating system, which is in turn foundational to all the various applications you may have downloaded onto your device. What makes it “firm” instead of “soft” is that firmware is often not changeable, at least not during your advice’s economic lifetime.
Firmware is held in non-volatile memory devices such as flash memory or read-only memory. Up until the 90’s, you couldn’t update the firmware of your device without actually replacing whatever storage medium your firmware was written on. Now that flash memory exists, you can download a firmware update, but often devices become obsolete before an update is even offered.
Other than the difficulty with which firmware is changed, it’s basically the same as software.
Here’s how it was created:
In 1967, Ascher Opler coined the term “firmware” in an article written for Datamation. The term originally referred to the contents of a writable control store (or small, specialized, high-speed memory) that contained microcode that could define and implement a computer’s instruction set. Basically, firmware contrasted with hardware (the central processing unit) and software (the normal instructions actively being executed on the central processing unit.
However, firmware no longer truly exists on the boundary between hardware and software; its definition has moved closer to the software side in that the term is now used to refer to any software written onto the read-only memory (ROM), including processor machine instructions for the basic input/output system (BIOS), bootstrap loaders (which help you to initialize or boot up your computer system) and other specialized (but still basic to the operating system of the device) applications.
Firmware often causes issues among hardware and software specialists; despite still being closer to software than hardware, it does force the two teams to put their heads together and puzzle over what’s no longer a completely shared field. Elaborate documentation, specification and description are necessary aspects in any successful electrical engineering pursuit, and there are plenty of team-building exercises and advice websites to prove it. Lots of these advice websites offer pictures of people rowing boats, stacking themselves physically atop one another to make a human pyramid, cooking a 12-course Italian meal, going to an outdoor retreat that involves sleeping together in a cabin by a lake and doing that one game where you fall backwards into a group of people to prove that you can trust them to catch you, drinking copious amounts of alcohol during business-compensated happy hours, going to consent workshops, being forced to wear the same shirt to work that has a company logo, being sent emails about the successes of other employees who love the business, and many many more team-building things.
It seems like every month or so this year there was some kind of cyber security breach blowing up the news… Here’s a time-line of 2015’s international hack-a-thon.
May, 2015- International Revenue Service (IRS)
Hackers gained access to the personal information of more than 300,000 people right before the summer holidays. Upon investigation, the IRS found that the hackers had used a software called “Get Transcript,” a tool originally made to help taxpayers retrieve their tax returns from previous years. With the help of Get Transcript, hackers were able to see not only tax returns, but the social security numbers, birth dates and street addresses of hundreds of thousands of people. The hackers then used that information to file fraudulent tax returns and generate almost $50 million in refunds.
The IRS famously low-balled the amount of people affected (claiming at first that only 170,000 people’s information was exposed to the hackers), but eventually had to come out months later and admit that the damage was worse than they originally thought. They were forced to send out letters to hundreds of thousands of people alerting them that their specific information was compromised and are currently being sued.
July 2015- Hammertoss Malware
Over the summer, hackers used Twitter, GitHub and cloud-based storage systems to inject Hammertoss malware into people’s computers and breach important security systems. Because the malware used Twitter to communicate with its source and hack into people’s computers, it left behind no incriminating search history to tip off suspicious users.
Although the hackers’ Russian origin wasn’t confirmed, a variety of evidence pointed towards that particular conclusion. For one, use of the malware tended to halt during major Russian holidays. Secondly, the times the malware was used lined up with the average working hours of the Moscow and St. Petersburg time zone.
July 2015- Ashley Madison
A group called “The Impact Team” stole user data from extramarital affair dating website Ashley Madison on July 15, 2015. The hackers threatened to expose the identities of all of Ashley Madison’s users if its parent company, Avid Life Media, did not immediately shut down Ashley Madison and its sister site, Established Men. Avid Life Media did not comply, and the users’ personal information was eventually published online later in the summer.
Apparently “The Impact Team” blackmailed some users and accepted money in return for not publishing their information. The hackers thought that the users of the websites were despicable (Established Men was a sugar-daddy dating website) and also frowned on the websites themselves for charging cancellation fees, even for accounts made as a joke.
July 2015- Stagefright Vulnerability
Stagefright, the collective name for the group of software bugs that affect Android operating systems, allows hackers to use other people’s Android devices from remote locations. It was noticed in late July and announced publically in early August. Most devices still aren’t patched for the bug, so this story continues on.
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