[Geeks are Sexy] technology news

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Microsoft Anti-Virus Public Beta : Windows Live Safety Center review

Microsoft came out today with a brand new beta product named Windows Live Safety Center. The application can be installed and executed online, which could cause some problems with the removal of certain viruses.

Here is a Quote from their website:

Windows Live Safety Center is a new, free service designed to help ensure the health of your PC.
  • Check for and remove viruses (Anti-virus)
  • Learn about threats (Information about security threats)
  • Improve your PC's performance (Defragmentation)
  • Get rid of junk on your hard disk (Disk Cleanup)

Basically, they just released a Norton systemworks lookalike. This is nothing new, but it is free! I think most IT people will prefer to keep their original tools to do their work. This application was meant to be used by people who do not know much about computers and who wants to keep maintenance of their operating system as simple as possible.

Here is a few screenshots and explanation about how the application works:

1. Get on http://safety.live.com/ and press on the full service scan yellow button. Browse through the full Beta service agreement before hitting that accept button. You should read it you know ;)
2. Install the scanner: Press the yellow "Install scanner" Button.


3. Select Complete scan, and press Next. This will start the scanning process. It will first download the updated version / definition of each tools, and after, do a complete scan of your computer.

3 4

4. You now have the results. Yes I know, I had 3 viruses on there. But they are actually supposed to be there. My job requires me to do some security audits on my network, and the tools I use fall under a virus-like category. Don't worry, I'll be just fine.

5 6

As you can see, the results are regrouped under 3 categories:

Protection: Viruses and other threat (Ex: Security / Hacking tools)
Performance: Drive fragmentation and useless file eating disk space away
Network safety: Security risk associated with your network (Open ports, etc...)

The viruses will be removed automatically, but for the other categories, you always have the choice to do something about the discovered problems by selecting the appropriate checkbox. When you are finished, press NEXT. Your temporary files will then be deleted, and your hard disk defragmented if you decided to do so.

I do recommend this tool to people who do not have the time to tweak their computers. The application is still in BETA phase, but it is very functional. I do not think this could replace a fully functional, real-time protection anti-virus, at least not until they release a version that loads up and memory and protect your system at all time.

Well, that's all there is to say right now. I'll keep you guys updated about the product when new features comes out.

If this article interested you and you are an IT person working in a corporate environment, I would suggest you to consult my other article about the art of patch management. Patching your computers against vulnerabilities is as important as protecting them against viruses, especially if you have to do it on a large scale where you cannot afford to do this manually.

If this article was of any interest to you, you might like to read some of my other ones:

Update: Ok, this is more a walkthrough then a review. I did post my opinion about the product. I wanted to show people what the product looked like, and how it worked. If people didn't like the walkthrough, they wouldnt have digged it. Thanks to everyone.

Update 2: Micheal, a fellow blogger user sent me this comment, I tought I'd share it with everyone:

"Firefox users should use the IE Tab extesion to use the scanner. It'll open the link in a new Firefox tab using, but using IE. Here's the link. https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?id=1419&application=firefox"

Microsoft launches anti-virus public beta

Microsoft has released a free beta of their upcoming anti-virus application. According to Microsoft, the new anti-virus application known as Windows Live Safety Center beta is "like taking your PC in for a tune up at the service station."

I'll try it out, and let you guys know what I think about it.

Here is the direct link to the service: http://safety.live.com/site/en-US/default.htm

Here is the link to my review

Next Generation of MP3 Glasses

Bigruin.com brought us a review of a marvelous pair of mp3 sunglasses: The Nu Tech Dark Shadow 256MB MP3 Sunglasses. Hmm, I bet you that only ninjas wear these. They do look "Ninjaish" don't you think?

Quoting from Bigruin.com:

"Finally a dual purpose gadget that actually does everything it is supposed to do, and in this case does so very well. The
Nu Tech Dark Shadow Sunglasses MP3 player from Geeks.com are a pleasant surprise and well exceeded all of my expectation. The Dark Shadow glasses perform equally well as both sunglasses with full UV protection for you eyes and as an MP3 Player. Then throw in the added bonus of a voice recorder, the hard storage/carry case, and the regular price of $99.95 seems to be a good value."

If anybody wants to make a donation, i'd like to receive these for christmas.

Read more

Squeezebox For In Home Music Distribution

Did you ever wish that you would be able to listen to your digital music collection in your bedroom or in your living room? The problem with this situation is that you really don't want to take the time to get up, start your PC and hear all the noises it makes just to listen to some music in your living room. There is a few custom solutions on the market, but they are WAY too expensive for most people's budget! Rejoice music lovers, something came out on the market for you: The Squeezebox music access point.

"Squeezebox is a small, well-designed appliance that lets you listen to your digital music from any room in your home. It provides ready access and high-quality sound without requiring a media-PC. And, at $299 (as tested), it costs a lot less than a media-PC."

This is definitly something to get, the guys at Den Guru definitly loved the little device.

Read more over at Den Guru

Shadows of Venus

Few people have ever seen a Venus shadow. But they're there, elusive and delicate—and, if you appreciate rare things, a thrill to witness. Attention, thrill-seekers: Venus is reaching its peak brightness for 2005 and casting its very best shadows right now. (picture comming from the NASA website)

read more via digg story

links for 2005-11-30

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My personal artwork.

Art has always been a passion for me. Over the years, I've been involved more or less in the underground artwork scene of the BBSes (Bulletin board system) and after this, the Internet. From 1991 up to 2003, I was a member of a digital artwork group named "Acid Productions". Thanks to Chris (RadMan) for letting me join this marvelous organization.

I tought I'd share with you guys some of my artwork. Feel free to comment on them if you want. Constructive criticism is always something I appreaciate, even if it's not always good.

To see a bigger version of these pictures, please right click the one you want to see, and select "Open in new window". This way, you won't leave this page.

yanlight yanciel yan-ACD treeoflife Take off! eternity

I hope you enjoy my work.

Top 11 Geek Pick-Up Lines: Part 5

Ok, this post isn't really about technology, but I couldn't resist posting it. It is related to geeks, so it fits in here nicely. BBspot came out once again with another one of their famous top 11 compilation: Top 11 Geek Pick-Up Lines.

11. I entered the probability equation into my TI-89 Titanium Graphing calculator and it predicted you would go out with me, see! (hold up calculator)
10. What's a nice girl like you doing on an unsecured webcam like this?
9. Can I have a large coffee with sugar and your phone number, please?
8. Do you prefer the static or expanding universe theory more? Because, since I first saw you, I'm expanding.
7. That Princess Leia slave girl outfit would look great in a crumpled heap next to my bed.
6. You make me want to be an honest man, and register all my shareware.
5. Yes, that is a real light saber replica in my pocket, but I'm still happy to see you. (Gotta love this one)
4. You're so beautiful, I'd take my Steve Austin action figure out of its original packaging for you.
3. Do you want to come back to my place, and we can prank call George Lucas?
2. I don't mean to disturb you, but Heisenberg's Uncertainly Principle said I already did that by observing you.
1. Did it hurt when you fell out of heaven, because F=ma and your acceleration after falling that far would be incredible.

Oh man, I just wish I could use one of those lines at least once in my life, but I can't, I'm married.

read all 5 parts here

NORAD celebrates its 50th year of tracking Santa


The grand tradition of putting Santa under radar surveillance on Christmas
Eve celebrates a golden anniversary this year! The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, is marking the milestone with a NORAD Santa Web site that's been retooled to keep closer tabs on the Jolly Old Elf than ever before.

read more (via technology filter)

Bionic Body Part Becoming A Reality

Bionic body parts are becoming a reality, thanks to a highly dexterous, bio-inspired artificial hand, and sensory system, currently in development.

The artificial hand, which could provide patients with active feeling, is being developed under a European project.

read more digg story

links for 2005-11-29

Monday, November 28, 2005

NASA Axes Space Station Research: Is it the end?

Scientists who once begged Congress to fund the space station have been notified by NASA that their programs have been canceled as the agency attempts to wrestle its way out of a looming budget deficit just as it begins work on a new space transportation system.

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Samsung develops 7-inch flexible LCD

Using plastic instead of glass substrates enables panel manufacturers to create bendable, flexible LCDs for mobile and consumer electronics applications. Samsung claims it has created the largest flexible display to date: The 7-inch prototype achieves VGA resolution.

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Die Floppy, Die!

The floopy disk, comming directly from the medieval time of information technology, is still alive today. Even with all the new technologies that came out to replace it, it survives. Pretty surprising for something invented by Sony :).

From ocmodshop.com:

"Originally designed by Sony, it quickly became a standard feature on IBM-compatible PCs (remember when they were called that?). The 3.5" floppy drive was brand new on 286 computers in 1987, and is the only component that still remains in use today, practically unchanged in its 18 years of service. It has a 1.44MB capacity and runs at 360 rpm and offers a transfer rate of 34 kB/s. Let's put that in perspective with regard to today's world: Transferring a file to your computer from a server that is 10,000 miles away on another continent is three times or faster than copying it from your internal floppy drive. And yet the floppy lives."

Have merci god, if you are reading this, just obliterate all these floppy drives so we can forget about them! (This line is comming directly from my daily bedtime prayer)

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Power Pizza laptop case

For italian fast food lovers, this genuine italian-style pizza box laptop case is definitly something to have! Amaze your friends and neighbors! Everyone will envy you! What are you waiting for?

This is ridiculous :)


Links for 28/11/05

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Hayabusa spaceprobe snatches first samples from asteroid

From newscientistspace.com:

The Hayabusa spaceprobe has snatched samples from the asteroid Itokawa, according to JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The six-metre probe touched down at 0707 Japanese time (2207 GMT Friday) and its computer system shot a metal ball into the asteroid to drive up material for collection. The operation went "without failure," said JAXA official Yasunori Matoba, and the craft then took off again.

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Cosmic Log: Dark energy deciphered


Dark energy deciphered: Over the past seven years or so, scientists have come around to the view that the universe is dominated by something they don't understand — some strange pressure that is causing the universe to expand more and more rapidly.[...]

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Transparent Aluminum As featured in star trek IV!!

Do you guys remember the scene in Star Trek IV where scotty exchange the formula for transparent aluminum for a free ride? Well, this isnt Sci-Fi tech anymore, transparent aluminum now exist!!

"Engineers here are testing a new kind of transparent armor -- stronger and lighter than traditional materials -- that could stop armor-piercing weapons from penetrating vehicle windows.The Air Force Research Laboratory's materials and manufacturing directorate is testing aluminum oxynitride -- ALONtm -- as a replacement for the traditional multi-layered glass transparencies now used in existing ground and air armored vehicles."

More info over here:
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123012131 (right click, open in new window)

Is There Money in Blogging?

From RealTechNews:

"So why do you blog? For fame? Vanity? Or, perhaps, for fortune? The
New York Times put the spotlight on the money yesterday with a story looking at how advertising and market dollars - estimated at $50 million to $100 million a year according to Forrester Research - is flowing to blogs. "

If you are interested in making a little bit of money, Adsense is for you. Look at the right column on my blog, You will see a square button containing the following text: Generate revenue from your site with google adsense. Click on it to sign up!

This is from google directly, so it is not a scam.