The Top Tips and Tricks for Picking a Strong Password 

Hacking and compromised online data is on the rise — a record-breaking 47% of U.S. adults were the victims of hacking in 2014 alone. A recent study reported that nearly 75% of consumers use duplicate passwords, many of which haven’t been updated in more than five years. About 40% of those surveyed have experienced a security incident, be it an account hacked or password stolen, in the past year.

How Do Passwords Get Stolen?

Passwords to online accounts serve as one of the last lines of defense against hackers. There are three main ways your password could be compromised.

  1. Someone you know wants to uncover your personal information. They may attempt to guess your password to gain access.
  2. A hacker is attempting to access a group of user accounts. Hackers systematically check possible pass phrases until they discover the right one.
  3. A company with which you have an account experiences a data breach and your information, along with millions of others, is hacked.

While some hacking incidents are nearly impossible to prevent, such as a company-wide data breach, you can make your accounts less susceptible by creating a secure password and following password safety best practices.

How Can I Pick a Strong Password?

A hard-to-guess password doesn’t have to be hard to create. Follow these seven tips for password creation.

  1. Avoid the most commonly used passwords. For 2015, the list of worst passwords included “123456,” “password,” “qwerty,” “football,” “welcome,” and “starwars.”
  2. Use at least 12 characters. While there isn’t one agreed-upon rule for password length, aim to use between 12 and 16 characters. Long passwords are harder to guess, but you don’t want them so long you can’t remember them.
  3. Use a mix of multiple types of characters, including numbers, capital and lowercase letters, and symbols.
  4. Stay away from dictionary words and phrases, as they are easier to guess than gibberish. If you have a phrase in mind, such as “love to learn,” consider a phonetic variation, like “<32lurn” — and add a few more characters for good measure.
  5. Don’t include personal information in your password. This includes your birth date, name, address, phone number, or social security number.
  6. Skip any repeating numbers or letters. The more characters that repeat, such as “55” or “WWW,” the more vulnerable the password.
  7. Steer clear of keyboard patterns. From “qwerty” to “123456,” there’s a reason the worst passwords list included many of these variations — they’re easy to guess.

Once you develop your password, test its strength by using a password checker, such as The Password Meter.

Password Security Best Practices

Creating a strong password is the first step in protecting your online identity. The next step is safeguarding your password by following these five cybersecurity best practices.

  1. Don’t save passwords in your browser — that may sound like common sense, but 59% of millennials regularly saves their passwords in their browsers. If your computer is stolen or hacked, someone could gain immediate access to your
  2. Use a different password for every account. If a company experiences a data breach or one of your accounts is compromised, your other accounts will still be secure. If you have trouble remembering and organizing your passwords, use a secure password manager, such as LastPass.
  3. Don’t share your password. Other than using a password manager, you shouldn’t tell anyone your password, write it down on paper, or store it in an unsecured document or computer program, such as Microsoft Word.
  4. Regularly update your passwords. Security experts and computer professionals recommend changing your online passwords every three months, but this may be extreme for some Internet users. While it depends on your Internet usage and preferences, aim to update your passwords at least once a year.
  5. Enable two-step verification when possible. While not all websites and programs offer it, many popular services, including Facebook, PayPal, Dropbox, and Gmail, offer two-step verification. This means that if you — or a hacker — is attempting to log in to an account on an unverified or guest device, you’ll also be required to enter a code that is sent as a text message to your phone.

Password protection is an essential component of safe Internet usage, helping you keep your personal information safe from prying eyes. If you can’t remember the last time you changed your passwords, set aside some time in your day to update them.

Get your geek on with trendy but geeky furniture and showcase it with the community

 

I’m a geek through and through like most readers of this blog. As I was browsing geeky news today I came across an interesting bit of news about a geeky coffee table. It got me thinking about decorating my home (assuming my wife approves!), and how one would go about showcasing this on the internet.

Let’s start with the geeky furniture…

It’s a Star Trek coffee table that also doubles as a pinball machine! What self-respecting geek wouldn’t want this?! J

Found via Nerdist:

star trek table pinball machine

This beauty is handmade and will cost you roughly 7800 / US$8800. It took almost 400 hours to build and its creator says it contains the Star Trek pinball machine by Data East in 1991. Of course it comes with Dilithium crystals to fuel it which are really hard to come by (recall that it’s a mineral that occurs naturally on only some planets).

Ok, ok, maybe Star Trek isn’t your thing, but if you are really looking to outfit your living room with a geeky table then how about these options?

An iPhone Table!

iphone table

The iPhone table on the left is for the hardcore iPhone geek with the full homescreen look and feel including the hom button. But it’s a little boxy and bulky, like the iPhone 3. If you’re looking for something that may be more esthetically pleasing but still geeky, how about the table on the right inspired by the modern iPhones.

This iPhone Table on the right is a unique table inspired and crafted on the elegant, advanced design and iconic form of the iPhone. Perfect for contemporary design spaces.

Alright, maybe you want more hardcore geeky furniture. After all, everybody and their grandmother has a smartphone so maybe that one’s not geeky enough for you…

space-invaders-couch

How about retro gaming furniture like Space Invaders?

The Space Invaders couch is one of the highest quality retro video game couches ever made. Its sleek design and memory foam cushioning makes the Space Invaders couch not only incredibly nostalgic, but comfortable too.

pac-man-ottoman

The Pacman ottoman! This would be perfect for any arcade room or to sit while playing your XBOX or PS, right?

game of thrones beanbag

If you’re not into the retro gaming style but maybe you’re a fan of Game of Thrones? Then how about this beautiful Game of Thrones Iron Throne Bean Bag chair, with complete instructions to make your own!

Skip on over to Freshome for the instructions and more detailed pics of this bad boy. Any self-respecting obsessive GoT fan would love to watch the show from their own throne.

Showcasing your new geeky furniture

Now that you’ve got your geek on and decorating your home with trendy furniture like this, you might should also consider showcasing how you decorate your home with geeky style. You can easily do this in a few easy steps.

  1. Start by choosing from website hosting services. You want to consider price, bandwidth, disk space. Since I’ve been using Geeknews for many years, I know that another important point to consider is ease of use of the control panel. This is because you’ll spend a lot of time here configuring the site at the beginning or when making big changes.
  2. Configure WordPress as your blogging platform. It’s free with tens of thousands of great themes and plugins. If you want to just show off your pics, choose a photo gallery theme. Most hosting services can install WP for you with a single click!
  3. Sign up for and implement Google Analytics on your site. This will allow you to gain insights, data, into who is landing at your site, where they’re from, what they do on the site. It’ll help you optimize the site
  4. If you want to earn a little pocket money from your new site, consider being an advertising affiliate for a business such as Amazon Affiliate Program, Google AdSense, etc…

There you have it, when you decorate with geeky furniture or setup your own blog to showcase it, please share with me and I’ll profile here J

How To look Like A High Roller At A Casino

If you happen to be visiting a casino for the first time and wondering what to wear then you are in luck. One thing that is not true that is often said is that men don’t care about the way they look. On a night out just like most, men will be cautious about what they are wearing and attending a casino, for fun, for a celebration or even a work party is no different. When at casino the majority of men assume they should be dressed in a black tuxedo like James Bond, but in order to gain the high roller look at a casino that is not the case. By all means if you want to dress to impress to perform your card tricks and even make a few winnings you are more than entitled to dress up to the nines, but if you want a more relaxed high roller look without the tux that is just as acceptable.

Dress To Impress

When it comes to an online casino you can literally where whatever you like as there are no restrictions, but when going to an actual casino the majority of both men and women think about popular TV and films like Casino Royale. In the James Bond film Casino Royale all characters wear black tie tuxedos and expensive dresses and suits, this gives a false impression that most casinos require this kind of outfit. Majority of casinos have a far less restrictive dress code, but if you are planning a big night out then there is no reason why you can’t dust off your tuxedo. If you do aim to dress to impress, most high roller players at casinos will go for a well fitted slim cut suit in mostly neutral colours like black, grey, navy and even a brighter blue. It is best to stick to neutral colours as clothes should never overshadow the wearer and their personality.

Jackets Required

The dress code will vary from casino to casino, as well as depending on which country you will be going to gamble. The general rule for most casinos isn’t a formal black tie look but more of a casual look and the casinos will require you to have jacket. Not just any old denim jacket but more of a smart fitted blazer. If you’re more of a classical gentleman opt for a plain neutral coloured blazer that has a darker hue. If you’re the type of man who likes to keep up with modern trends then choose an on trend in season blazer. In winter the most popular blazers are dark checked prints or wool blazers in hues of grey. If you’re attending a casino in the summer then choose lighter shades such as sand, camel, and even khaki, if you’re really brave opt for a linen based blazer which will keep you feeling and looking like a high roller.

Smart Casual

Casinos don’t require you to pull out all the stops with a suit, but keep in mind that you should be opting for a smart casual look. There are many different trends that you can draw on that enable you to look smart without wearing a suit, this may include smart fitted chinos or even dark coloured jeans which to complete a high roller look team with a simple plain or patterned shirt and a blazer. Another look is a neutral coloured roll neck paired with slim fitted trousers which will create a much sleeker and sophisticated silhouette. No matter what smart casual look you opt for, remember to finish with either tan, brown or black brogues or loafers as all casinos have one rule, definitely no trainers allowed.

 

 

Why Freddie Mercury’s Voice Was So Great, As Explained By Science

freddie-mercury-4

Via NPR-

Freddie Mercury, the late frontman for the legendary band Queen, died almost 25 years ago. But he’s still regarded as one of the best rock singers ever.

What, exactly, made him so great? A research team in Europe wanted to answer that question, so it looked into the science behind his voice. Professor Christian Herbst was part of that team, which just released its study on Mercury; as a singing teacher and a biophysicist, Herbst says he was intrigued by Mercury’s technique. According to his research, the key lies in Mercury’s vibrato, which differs slightly from those of other classically trained singers.

How Technology Has Changed the Way We Gamble

Since the dawn of the internet, societies across the world have been impacted in many ways – both positive and negative. The ability to communicate, purchase and learn from virtually anywhere in the world has completely revolutionised how we go about daily life. From desktops and laptops to mobile phones and tablets, it seems that everyone these days has at least one device that technology only recently made possible. Every industry has been impacted by this, and the gambling industry is no different. How has technology changed the way we gamble? We’ll discuss the shifts below and explain the implications.

An Explosion of New Gambling Companies

Without a doubt, technology’s biggest influence on the gambling industry has to be the explosion of availability that now exists online and via mobile apps. Prior to the development of the internet, personal computers and mobile devices, people who wished to gamble were forced to trek long distances to the nearest casino. With technological developments, even small casino establishments are now able to build low-cost, high-profit business models that serve people from all around the world. What once would have cost millions or even hundreds of millions of pounds can now be built for a fraction of the price, allowing casino companies to save money on overhead and physical infrastructure that wouldn’t have been possible in the past.

Remote Gambling Opportunities

While the development of the internet certainly made it possible to enjoy gambling online, the development of mobile apps made it possible to do so from literally anywhere. Companies like mFortune, who developed the first mobile casino app in the world, saw opportunity early on when it came to serving their clients. Anyone who wishes to enjoy mobile casino games only needs to open their mobile phone’s app store in order to find a slew of possible contenders. This has made remote gambling a reality; you no longer need to visit a physical establishment or even be tied to a standard computer in order to play slots, blackjack or countless other casino games.

Increased Scrutiny and Awareness

From the perspective of the casino industry, technology hasn’t been exclusively a blessing. While it is much easier to reach people who are ready to head to the casino thanks to technology, many patrons are more conscious of their choices and the fine-print involved. In past decades, gamblers weren’t necessarily aware of others’ experiences at casinos, what the odds of winning were and how standard payouts were handled prior to visiting the casino in person. Today, however, gamblers can find all of this information and more online in the form of reviews and critiques of each establishment. Because of this, casino companies must strive to be more competitive in offering better payouts, odds and amenities to their patrons.

The influence of technology on virtually every facet of our lives continues unabated. For the casino industry and in terms of how we gamble, there are now many advantages for both the businesses and the gamblers. From increased awareness of options to the ability to play from anywhere in the world, many gamblers have fundamentally altered their behaviour in recent years due to the effects of technology on the industry.

Vegetables irrigated with treated wastewater expose consumers to drugs

Green

Society focuses so much on reducing its footprint in waste that we’re constantly looking to new ways to do more with less, and recycling just about everything from atomic bombs to plastic shopping bags and roadkill on the side of the road.

One popular recycling technique is to reuse wastewater from treatment plants, factories, “green office buildings” and more. So it’s no surprise to hear of this new study that finds maybe we’re going a little too far in the wastewater recycling…

Via ScienceBlog:

A new study by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center shows that eating vegetables and fruits grown in soils irrigated with reclaimed wastewater exposes consumers to minute quantities of carbamazepine, an anti-epileptic drug commonly detected in wastewater effluents.

Fresh water scarcity worldwide has led to increased use of reclaimed wastewater, as an alternative source for crop irrigation. But the ubiquity of pharmaceuticals in treated effluents has raised concerns over the potential exposure for consumers to drug contaminants via treated wastewater.

There’s tons of juicy Star Trek news happening lately!

Lots going on in Star Trek news, so let’s get it on…

Yesterday was First Contact day!ST-First Contact

April 5 is when we celebrate the future flight of Dr Cochrane succeeding in breaking the warp barrier which prompted the Vulcans to make first contact with him

ST - Leonard

William Shatner says goodbye to his long time friend in his new book: Leonard.

As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship,Leonard is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.

Star Trek fans looking for a trip down Memory Alpha lane should enjoy Leonard, William Shatner’s tribute to fellow icon Leonard Nimoy, the unemotional Mr. Spock to his passionate Captain Kirk

In 2017 there will be a new Star Trek TV show

A TV Show reboot was announced a few months ago by CBS Paramount, but now we know that it will not air until 2017. It seems they have a deal not to air within 6months of the new ST movie coming out this summer. So I guess we have to wait until around January 2017.

An official teaser poster for the upcoming Star Trek television show was spotted this week at the MIPTV International Television Trade Show during Cannes Film Festival in France.

Very similar to the “promotional poster” that made headlines two weeks ago, the poster features a Star Trek logo, reminiscent of The Original Series, against a purple space field and the text “Boldly Going In 2017” below it.

Star Trek movie to be first Paramount pic released in 4k Ultra.

ST - 4K Ultra

Paramount Home Media Distribution has joined the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc movement, selecting “Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness” as its first two titles released in the format.

The J.J. Abrams-directed sci-fi adventures – due out on June 14 — will benefit from the next evolution in home entertainment, as 4K UHD delivers four times the resolution and more than double the number of colors available with full HD.

The discs feature four times the resolution of HD and more than double the number of colors available with full HD. The High Dynamic Range technology is touted as revealing hidden details and shades of color that more closely mimic real life. Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness in 4K UHD will offer exceptional vibrancy and contrast through High Dynamic Range technology, which reveals hidden details and shades that better resemble real life. – See more at:

Star Trek Beyond’s Director Shows Off Two New Aliens!

The director of ST: Beyond is Justin Lin , to help celebrate First Contact Day yesterday, he shared with us two new aliens to the ST universe, check his Twitter…

ST - two new aliens

If you’re looking for a quick break from Star Trek or some other form of entertainment, click here to find the very best Canadian friendly websites to play slots. This is great for both ‘slot junkies’ as well as newbies to learn the ropes.

Star Trek white noise app!

The Soundscape for Science Fiction fans is now available at myNoise.net. You can play on their website or download the myNoise app.

Star Trek’s Enterprise engine noise has been a recurring request of Soundscape fans. myNoise app developer delivers! Instead of designing just an engine noise, they decided to throw some extra sounds and turn the engine noise into a fully featured intergalactic experience. This soundscape has all the background noises needed to immerse yourself in a classic Sci-Fi movie soundtrack. For the TOS fans, they even added those fluttery vintage synth tones, reminiscent of how the future was perceived like… back in the sixties!

 

 

Gaming to improve your brain function

cognitive gaming

I’ve used gaming to improve my physical health, playing games like the XBOX One Fitness app and games like Just Dance. But as I get older, I’m thinking a little more about caring for my brain health, too, not just my fitness level for heart and lungs and weight.

Several studies, like this one from the Max Planck Institute, have found in the last few years that video gaming causes an increase in the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning as well as fine motor skills. Other research also shows that spatial orientation and memory formation clearly improve (especially in girls who appear to improve more than boys).

In the study, people played the Super Mario 64 video game and their brains were monitored before and after the session. It was found that there are positive effects of video gaming that may be useful in therapeutic interventions targeting psychiatric disorders. The video gaming group showed increases of gray matter in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum, measured using MRI.

Ageing is a daunting process, partly because some of the first things to go are memory, attention and motor skills. The idea that some form of regular mental activity—doing a crossword, for example—can postpone mental decline is not new. Now researchers have found another: playing certain types of interactive games could help the elderly stay sharper for longer.

So there is reason to think video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults. ‘Serious gaming’ and dementia friendly design innovation and new research on how video games improve aging brains is apparently the way to go to extend our cognitive abilities for future generations.

With all that data to show how we can retain our cognitive functions as we age, here’s my recommended gaming activities:

For mobile games, there’s lots of options, you can even find games specifically targeting improving cognition. My mobile recommendation here is to choose a Mystery Game!
Put on your detective hat and grab your favorite magnifying glass, mystery games will have you puzzling out crimes, murders, or other stranger unknowns. What is that strange light in the sky? Where does that underground passage lead? Time to find yourself some answers.

If you’re new to mystery games, here’s my recommendation Layton Brothers Mystery Room, this is an editor’s choice on iTunes and GooglePlay store. It’s more than mystery, it’s a puzzle adventure video game. While it’s a little old, it’s very popular and lots of fun! Check the video trailer.

Another option for you is playing American roulette, it’s a very leisurely form of recreation and easy to get caught up in the excitement of the game.

There’s also the console games for XBOX One & Playstation, take your pick. First person shooters in my opinion give the most bang for the buck with visual and aural stimulation while requiring a fast neural response time as you interact with AI bots and other players. Examples include Halo 5 or Playstation’s VR version of Star Wars Battlefront.

 

 

Oculus Rift and Microgaming – The Future of Gambling

oculus

Oculus Rift continues to impress with the Rift VR headset and other devices, and Microgaming is already prepared to take advantage. Virtual reality has been a target for the tech industry for decades. If you look back as far as 1982 and the movie Tron, you can see that this type of environment was on the mind of innovators even then, and even though the film was skipped over for an Oscar because it was thought the high level (at the time) of graphics was effectively cheating, the idea of playing games from the first person perspective has been one of the main fixations of the virtual reality concept for the public ever since.

The Parallel Progression of Online Gambling

While VR has been pressing forward, there has been a parallel series of advances in the online gambling industry. In the mid-1990s, a combination of widely available Internet connections and personal computers allowed for the creation of the first online casino, and the company Microgaming was there to develop the software for it. Less than a decade later, they were among the first to push hard in the mobile sector, which is still the fastest-growing segment of the industry as a whole. They have always been on the cutting edge of the industry from the software side, so it’s no surprise that they already have a virtual reality product ready to go.

The Intersection of the Two Industries

The International Casino Expo, known as ICE for short, is the largest trade show for gambling in the world. Over the past two instances of ICE, Microgaming has been showing off what will likely become the future of gambling, and that’s a virtual reality version of roulette. This game takes place in space and features a robot-style croupier to handle bets and spinning of the roulette wheel. While some online casinos, SlotsMillion in particular, already have VR products that allow players to make their way through a virtual casino and play a normal suite of games, Microgaming is the first to really push for actual games that use VR technologies.

With that having been said, this roulette game hasn’t come fully to market quite yet, and a big part of that is the simple fact that VR technologies haven’t become all that popular just yet. There are a number of VR options today other than the pricey newer models of Oculus Rift, and while many of them rely on smartphone that users already have, they haven’t quite caught on the mainstream. Once they do, however, Microgaming will definitely be poised to take over the market, which is a strategy they have used previously with mobile games and are currently using with other wearable technology.

Commonalities With Wearable Technology

As we’ve mentioned before, Microgaming is very persistent about being the first to really push for online gambling opportunities using new technologies. The smartwatch is a good example of the precarious position they put themselves in when a new technology is available but not quite popular enough for a full-fledged set of releases. They’ve developed a special version of their Thunderstruck slot, one of their original titles and one of the most popular games they’ve ever released, for smartwatches. However, the smartwatch (and other similar wearable technology) hasn’t quite taken off yet.

In the case of the smartwatch, there are similarities and differences with their virtual reality products. What’s similar is that they’re currently sitting in an interesting position where the technology isn’t popular enough to justify investing the money and resources for a much wider selection of games. However, they’re also the company that has invested the most so far, so they have a definite head start on the competition when it comes time to push forward.

What’s largely different between virtual reality and smartwatch technologies is that the virtual reality interface itself is much more friendly for traditional styles of gambling because the smartwatch suffers from a severe lack of screen real estate. What’s more is that virtual reality seems to have more utility than smartwatches for the average person, and that’s what allowed Microgaming the market to work with in terms of personal computers and later mobile devices.

What Happens Next?

What happens next is that Microgaming will continue to prepare their virtual reality offering, which has already been shown to work with less expensive virtual reality setups than the newest selection from Oculus Rift. Along these lines, as soon as the market starts opening up a bit, which will be inevitable when prices come down for these technologies, Microgaming will be the first to get in and take players on a virtual reality ride to roulette tables in space and beyond. The flexibility of this platform plays right into the strengths of Microgaming, and it will give them yet another opportunity to illustrate why they are widely considered to be the top developer in the online casino software industry.

 

News Links April 5 2016

Newsflash11.jpg

How the biggest data leak in history happened –
Terrabytes of data related to shady tax-evading businesses came from a single person who used increased protection to hide his or her identity and to siphon a large amount of data. Here’s how it happened. Why is the leak important? Because it exposes public figures around the world from China, to Russia and the Prime Minister of Iceland.

Samsung unveils Family Hub Refrigerator
Samsung has unveiled a high-tech refrigerator that could become the most important appliance in your entire home. If you need to replace your refrigerator, you can comfortably check your prices from trusted
electrical appliance stores

Play the original ‘Legend of Zelda’ in 3D on your browser for free
The classic game was ported to the browser using javascript. Play on the PC or your mobile device!  (via BGR)

Electrical stimulation of deep brain structures to ease chronic pain
By electrically stimulating a deep, middle brain structure, researchers have managed to block pain signals at the spinal cord level without drug intervention. The process also triggers the release of beneficial dopamine, which may reduce the emotional distress associated with long-term pain. (via r/science)

 

Apple mocks ‘Sad PC’ users

Sad PC Users

Apple thinks your PC is sad but you will be happy with an iPad Pro

At last Monday’s Apple event, Apple veteran Phil Schiller made a comment about older PCs that seems to have irked a lot of PC users. He was presenting the new iPad Pro when he made some off the cuff remark that’s got Apple in some hot water.

Phil Schiller is Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, in the presentation he mentioned that many users of the iPad Pro come from Windows PCs implying that the iPad Pro is a more delightful experience for them.

Then Schiller said: “Windows PCs were originally conceived of before there was an Internet, before there was social media, before there was app stores, and this is an amazing statistic: There are over 600 million PCs in use today that are over five years old.”

You can imagine that this is a fantastic marketing opportunity.

Of the 600 million PCs he then said: “This is really sad. It really is.

And now there’s a lot of PC users irked that they are being considered ‘sad’.

This has become news, here’s some examples:

Foxnews: Apple diss about ‘sad’ PCs sparks irritation

Trusted Reviews: Apple mocks ‘sad’ PC users

Geek.com: Phil Schiller thinks it’s sad that people use 5-year-old computers

And ZDNET does some analysis of so many sad old iPads in use out there, too:

zdnet ipads

I used to be one of the folks that always tried keeping my PC, laptop, mobile phone relatively fresh by upgrading it every 2-3 years. Now that I’m a little older and not making as much money as I used to, I find that desire to upgrade just isn’t there. I think I had gotten so used to having disposable income that I fell into the upgrade trap that high tech companies have us living in – making us feel that to stay relevant we need to upgrade.

One of the many good things about using a PC is the myriad of great tools to help you keep your new and old PC running like new. So here’s some of the tools I use for new and older PCs:

Sometimes you need to reclaim wasted space on the PC’s disk, maybe you want to move, merge, delete partitions. Sometimes you can get by with the built-in utility in Windows called Disk Management, but it’s very limited for the more common advanced experiences. For windows 10 resize partition , I turn to EaseUS Partition Master because the UI is easy and intuitive to use.

There’s almost no error I can get that worries more than “Operating system not found” when booting the PC. This likely means the Master Boot Record is corrupt! This is where I go for mbr repair . it’s so much easier and faster to rebuild or repair the MBR than to re-install Windows!

For general tune-up of your Windows PC, check out PC Magazine’s 2016 collection of top tune-up utilities.

 

 

 

Artificial Intelligence as a Blogging Topic

AI-Blogging

A friend asked me recently if he should get into blogging, I told him “yes!”, because I think it’ll help him hone a writing style and to get comfortable being exposed in social media and the pluses and minuses that come with blogging.

So he asked what he should blog about, he’s a geek so I looked at recent news events to see if anything popped and sure enough it did.

What’s going on with Artificial Intelligence today? In the last few weeks there’s been lots of news about AI, surely it’s a new enough field that it’s worth hosting a blog dedicated to just this topic, right?

Here’s a couple of interesting things I’ve seen recently on AI…

AI-Microsoft

Less than a day after she joined Twitter, Microsoft’s AI bot, Tay.ai, was taken down for becoming a sexist, racist monster. AI experts explained that it went terribly wrong because she was just mimicking the horrible things people were saying to her, no different than a parrot learning some bad words.

She was developed to act as a teenage girl, but after less than a day on Twitter, Microsoft’s chatbot—an AI system called “Tay.ai”—unexpectedly turned into a Hitler-loving, feminist-bashing troll. So what went wrong? TechRepublic turns to the AI experts for insight into what happened and how we can learn from it.

When Tay started training on patterns that were input by trolls online, it started using those patterns. Oops, time to make some tweaks and maybe socialize her a little so she recognizes these situations.

Frankly, my favorite AI has to be Cortana, well maybe she’s not AI but rather a personal assistant.

AI-Google-Deepmind

Google DeepMind project is based on technologies from a British AI company that Google bought a few years ago. It’s a neural network that learns how to play games in a way that is similar to that of humans. It also mimics the short term memory of the human brain.

DeepMind made headlines recently after Google’s AlphaGo algorithm, based on DeepMind, beat world champion Lee Se-do in a series of Go matches. If there’s an end game for DeepMind, it’s not winning games, it’s solving intelligence and using it to help society solve some of the biggest problems humanity faces today. But even Google’s DeepMind scientists say that Human-level artificial intelligence has a long way to go.

This week we also learned that Deepmind is tasking a machine learning system with creating cards for Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering, as part of research into language generation.

As you can see there’s some very cool things going on in AI you might consider getting into the scene at the ground floor and blogging about it, or creating a website about Artificial Intelligence. If you do, I recommend you start with website builder reviews to get your start.

AI-end of the world

AI is such a great topic to blog and discuss, not just from the cool advancements being made but from the doomsday scenarios being posed by some of the biggest influencers in science and computer science today.

Lately scientists are now publicly discussing the downside to AI in the future, including the end of mankind because of it. Here’s a few examples – renowned physicist Stephen Hawking fears that AI  could result in the end of the human race.

And Bill Gates says he doesn’t ” understand why some people are not concerned” that an artificial super-intelligence by mid-century might save (or destroy) human civilization. Elon Musk also fears that we are heading blindly down a path we don’t understand in our effort to develop super-smart AI: “”We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.”

 

 

Transporters Are Death Machines?!

The Trouble with Transporters is a cool video breakdown of how this mode of transportation works in Star Trek and the consequences of using it.

Found via MoviePilot:

Star Trek’s transporter is about every fan’s dream method of travel. Step onto the platform and you are instantaneously disintegrated while the information from every single atom in your body measured. The energy from being disintegrated is beamed into space and the information gained is used to reassemble you. Need to get to Mars in a hurry? Boom! You’re there! …there is no better method to travel. But what if the transporter is secretly a death machine?

The Fastest Man on Earth

This is a short documentary about Col. Stapp, known as the “Fastest Man On Earth”. It’s narrated by Henry Rollins!

Colonel John Paul Stapp, (11 July 1910 – 13 November 1999) M.D., Ph.D., was an American career U.S. Air Force officer, flight surgeon, physician, biophysicist, and pioneer in studying the effects of acceleration and deceleration forces on humans. He was a colleague and contemporary of Chuck Yeager, and became known as “the fastest man on earth”.

He was tasked with discovering how many G-forces the human body could withstand by strapping himself to a rocket sled and blasting across the desert at record speeds. By putting his life on the line, he ultimately saved millions of lives.


Fastest Man On Earth – Feeln Original by mesmartvideos

Zolt – My Favorite New Mobile App

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Here’s a cool news app I recently discovered and testing on my iPhone (also for Android) called Zolt.

Zolt’s slogan is: Helping You Stay Updated, Quickly

Sometimes you’ve got five minutes to kill, so you just want to quickly find an article to kill the time. Zolt gives you 60-word summaries from the best stories around the web so you can flick through them until you find one you want to read.

It’s a content discovery platform and news aggregator, constantly updating your news stream via filters for the best news, videos and blogs you desire. I was using Google News app and Yahoo News to stay up to date, but Zolt is definitely my go to now when I want an instant news fix.

Link to the iPhone and iPad app

Link to the Android app

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Netflix Releases a Puppy to Tackle XSS Attacks

If the recent story about Pirate Bay and Popcorn Time offering streaming services had you intrigued yet equally concerned about safety, then Netflix may have just tipped the balance in its favour.

As we reported earlier this year, Pirate Bay and Popcorn Time (which offer TV shows and movies for illegal download) started offering streaming options via Windows and Mac plug-ins. Dubbed Torrents Time, the new plug-in has been developed by the team at Popcorn-Time.se and basically allows users to stream TV shows and movies through their browser without any need for direct download.

The Risks of Illegal Streaming

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For those with a hunger for entertainment regardless of its legality this news not only meant faster access to more content, but the removal of risks commonly associated with illegal downloads. From Trojans and worms to malware and bloatware, illegal downloads can contain a myriad of viruses that will infect your device and make you wish you’d paid for an official download.

Of course, despite these risks, many people are still willing to run the risk in order to avoid paying for something and that’s something legitimate TV and movies services like Netflix are constantly battling against. Indeed, with illegal download sites now offering streaming services and, therefore, appearing “safer”, platforms such as Netflix are being forced to make their product even more secure.

XSS Attacks on the Increase

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According to Akamai, DDoS attacks spiked by 40% in Q4 of 2015; however, XSS attacks also became concern for online operators. Accounting for 5% of the most popular attacks in 2015, cross-site scripting and reflected cross-site scripting have become a growing concern for a number of major sites, including Netflix.

By exploiting vulnerabilities in a site’s code, XSS attacks as well as reflected cross-site scripting attacks allow the attacker to inject malicious code into the site and, subsequently, work around a browser’s same origin policy to steal private information from victims.

Keen to secure itself against such risks and improve the security of the open source community as a whole, Netflix recently released the Sleeping Puppy tool. According to its chief developers, Scott Behrens and Patrick Kelley, the new tool allows developers and admins to better identify cross-scripting.

“Sleepy Puppy helps facilitate inter-application XSS testing by providing JavaScript payloads that call back to the Sleepy Puppy application. This allows tracking when/where a payload fires even if the execution is triggered by a different user, occurs in a different application, or happens long after the initial test was performed,” said the developers.

Sleeping Puppy Keeping Legal Streaming Safe

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From a developers point-of-view the release of Sleeping Puppy is a fantastic way to protect against XSS attacks, but from a user’s perspective it’s yet another step forward for Netflix. One of the main advantages “legal” movie sites have always had over “illegal” movie sites is that they aren’t riddled with viruses.

Indeed, even novices will usually state that illegal sites such as Pirate Bay are potentially dangerous and that it’s better to stick to platforms such as Netflix. Although the advent of streaming from Pirate Bay might appear to have earned it some security credibility, it’s clear that Netflix is actually fighting the good fight.

While end users might not see the intricate workings of Sleeping Puppy, its invisible protection will help to maintain the idea that Netflix and its peers are safe places to play and, therefore, the obvious choice over illegal streaming sites.

BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE 

For the past few months we’ve been bombarded with various online and offline marketing teasing us of the impending arrival of the next highly anticipated chapter in both the Batman and Superman franchises. Next month finally sees the release of Zack Snyder’s ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ which will do its best to merge together two hugely popular franchises from DC comics.

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There’s much to look forward to in this new superhero face-off as much as there is for things to potentially be concerned about. So far we’ve been showered with various posters, teasers, interviews, trailers and featurettes all promising exciting things along the way, including our first glimpses of Oscar winner Ben Affleck donning the iconic cowl. Indeed, the superhero theme has inspired all types of additional fan art from stained glass window style posters to colourful online casino slots. Casino slots in particular, such as the Thor style slot at allslotcasino.com, have proven popular with the gaming community highlighting the cross-platform influence of such iconic characters.

Last summer we saw the release of a new teaser trailer for the movie as well as some accompanying US one-sheets. One of which included a cleverly torn shot of Batman that had ripped out the famous Superman logo and vice versa. It gave us a taste of tone as well as an early peek at the new Batman costume itself. But it was the 2-minute-long teaser trailer that really got tongues wagging and helped raise excitement levels. The teaser was dark and moody and focused heavily on the role of Superman, this apparent ‘false god’, and the changing attitudes of us mere mortals towards him as a potential dangerous ‘alien’ and almost likening him to some powerful dictator. Step up Bruce Wayne, who along with his wonderful toys, looks on to rid Metropolis of the Man of Steel.

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Skip forward a few months and along with another couple of teasers which merged a bit of what we had already seen with some new footage came the fourth trailer, a brand new 90 second one from Warner Bros, giving us more of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and of course our two title stars. The new trailer gives us a much better look at the action on show, the battles, the explosions, the moral arguments for why these two are even bothering to go up against each other in the first place and a whole lot more.

‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ arrives in theatres on the 25th March and is set to be followed up with ‘The Justice League’ parts one and two in 2017 and 2019 respectively. And what with Ben Affleck’s Batman looking to make an appearance in this Augusts’ release of ‘Suicide Squad’ it’s certainly going to be another busy superhero-based year in cinema.