Voting Down the Malware, One Quorum at a Time

When I finally managed to pull myself out of bed after an epic battle with the flue, an article on CNET caught my eye: Symantec Corporation, the maker of Norton Antivirus, is pursuing a new form of malware prevention that turns the self-mutating abilities of certain malware against itself. The new product is called Quorum. The best part of it all? It’s slated for release on Wednesday, which means if you’re sick with the flu and your computer happens to be in the same boat, then you can take the new program for a test drive.

Trapping the Snow Leopard

The OS War between Microsoft and Apple has been going on since the release of the Macintosh in 1984.

As we approach closer to present day, the release of Mac OS X in 2001 completely changed the playing field. 2009 is looking to be a turning point for both operating systems with Microsoft slated to release Windows 7 in October and Apple releasing OS X Snow Leopard on August 30. Both systems boast better performances, and seeing as I’ve already turned my skeptical eye to Windows 7 in a previous blog, I feel that it’s Apple’s turn on the chopping block.

Cmail – Dawn of a New Era

So as many of you already know through reading the Sun or word of mouth, Cornell WebMail has now been skinned with Gmail to form Cmail. Curious, I decided to take it for a spin and try it out.

Once I had set up the account, the resulting page looked a lot like my iGoogle home page, only with a giant banner on the top of the page reminding me that I’m looking at a Cornell-run page instead of my own.

Certainly this is a general improvement over the fiasco that is Cornell’s own server (remember when course enroll started and the server went down several times?), but it’s not perfect, and I’ll tell you why:

Overpowered Computing

Myth: teenager gets accepted to college, buys a new computer, packs things up, and flies out to start a new life.

Fact: teenager gets accepted to college, buys a new computer armed with an atrocious amount of processing power, RAM, and graphics card, packs things up, and flies out to start a new life.

Today we’ll focus on the issue of the vastly overpowered PC that has become commonplace by industry standards. Let’s face it, how many of us actually looked at the tech specs on our computers before coming to Cornell? Don’t answer, it’s a rhetorical question.

Firstly, I want to show you the recommended specs for Microsoft Office 2007, which is a staple for most college students:

CAPTCHAs – New and Improved!

Do you remember when you were filling out forms on the internet and reached the last page, only to see at the bottom that you need to spell out a random, arbitrary word hidden by weird type face and an ungodly amount of scribbles on a small image?

Do you remember the frustration you felt when you pressed submit and you mistyped one letter and the ENTIRE PAGE reset?

Do you remember the rage you felt when you went back to the image, only to have a new one pop up?

Or is that just me?

Windows 7: Downgrades Included

It’s been pretty obvious that Vista is not doing as well as Microsoft had hoped it would. So in an attempt to save its franchise, Microsoft has embarked on a mission to create a better Windows, namely Windows 7. You should all understand that the offer to try the beta had ended back in February, so if you’re hoping to pick up a copy to play around with, you’re straight out of luck.

Apple's Headphone Ploy

Being a Mac user, I’m bombarded with the inane advertisement that is the Safari home page whenever I start up my browser. Surprisingly, I can’t believe that I’ve JUST seen the ad for the new iPod shuffle. Aside from VoiceOver, which (l) allows the iPod to announce things to you, such as playlist title, song name, etc., the other feature that caught my attention about the shuffle was the placement of the controls on the right earbud.

Hold on, something’s not right. The controls are on the earbud?

Rootkit Exploits Intel processors

In an earlier blog about antivirus programs, I briefly mentioned a malicious program called a rootkit. Make no mistake, rootkits are not something to be taken lightly. If your machine is infected with a rootkit, a hacker can access your computer remotely without your knowledge. And before all the Mac users shout in triumph about how Windows is vulnerable to every kind of exploits on the net, I would just like to make it clear that Macs has been equally susceptible to rootkits for a long time.

The Useless Keyboard

Out of curiosity, has anyone actually heard of the Optimus Maximus keyboard?

No? Well that’s okay, I wouldn’t have expected you to hear about it. And if you HAD heard about it, I would be impressed.

Very impressed.

For those not in the know, the Optimus Maximus keyboard is an advanced keyboard with each key being an LED screen that allows you to customize your keyboard. No longer will you be bound by the QWERTY keyboard of the world, you can break free and create your own keyboard configuration as you wish.

Browser Wars

Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. Ring any bells? Well, they should. Odds are, you’re probably using one right now. That’s right, these are web browsers, designed so we can exploit the Internet for whatever it may offer us; be it scientific articles for research or pterodactyl porn for… something.