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Monday, September 24, 2012

Iran shutting off Google and Gmail

Posted by David Bernstein

Apparently not everyone can enjoy the freedom of the internet when it comes to searching for news and other types of information. Most of us can look up whatever we want without having to worry about it being blocked or censored by big brother aka the government. Or at least we think that’s the way it is.

If you live in Iran then you are already being censored and filtered and there isn’t much you can do about it unless you are tech savvy and know the few ways to get around it. Now the Iranian government wants to block Google and Gmail most likely because they are upset about them allowing the mocking of Muhammad in a YouTube video among other videos they deem inappropriate.

Iran is pushing towards a "national Internet" which is meant to keep them separate from the rest of the world when it comes to what can and can’t be found online. Another reason for it may be to help them track dissent and take care of it when they find it. The official Islamic Republic News Agency stated earlier this year that "The Internet must not be given the authority to challenge national and ethical principles". Reporters Without Borders found that the Google blockage was effective in some parts of Iran while not in others. An interesting twist on the story is that Gmail is used by all local state run news agencies and Iranian universities so it will be interesting to see how this change affects the way they operate.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

PCs no longer the top user of DRAM chips

Posted by David Bernstein

DRAM chips are used store short term information in personal computers, tablets and smartphones to help shorten the time it takes to process information. Until recently these chips were mostly used in PCs since they dominated the computing market.

Market research firm IHS iSuppli has just reported that only 49% of all new DRAM chips were used to make PCs in the second quarter. This is because of the rapid growth of smartphones and tablets taking over for many peoples computing needs. By the end of 2013, PCs are rumored to need around 42.8% of DRAM chip production with this number continuing to decline as these other devices take over market share.

DRAM chip manufacturers are focusing more of their energy making chips for smartphones and tablets to keep their production and sales levels high. But with Windows 8 coming out any day now we may see a rise in chips made for PCs again.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Oracle’s Java patch reveals new security hole

Posted by David Bernstein

Last week there was a security hole discovered in the latest Java update 1.7 that installed the Poison Ivy Remote Access Trojan on various computer systems. Many people were worried that Java wasn’t going to put out a fix any time soon and that the infection would begin to spread.

But now that Java finally came out with a patch for their previous update it seems as though the patch has revealed a new security hole that was not known about until now. Oracle was urging users to apply the update but a security expert from Security Explorations in Poland claims that all the issues were not fixed and that there are some new flaws that can be exploited thanks to this latest update.

Even though the patch offers many fixes that are necessary to make Java secure, it still needs more work. Hackers were able to use Java to send phishing emails to Amazon and Microsoft users. The emails looked legitimate but contained a hyperlink with a virus. Oracle has been alerted to this new issue and now we will have to wait again for the next patch and hope this time is complete.