Wednesday, July 12, 2006

An Introduction to RAID Data Recovery

RAID data recovery may seem like a bit of an oxymoron to most of us. After all, isn't that expensive RAID system we almost blew the whole IT budget on, supposed to eliminate the risk of data loss?

Well, not exactly. RAID systems may be fault-tolerant, but they are not fault proof. While most commercial RAID implementations can tolerate the loss of a single hard drive, if multiple hard drives fail, or other serious problems occur, RAID data recovery may be necessary.

So what's the point of an expensive array if the need for RAID recovery isn't eliminated?

The point is that even if the need for RAID recovery cannot be totally eliminated, depending on the RAID solution you use, it can be greatly reduced. Moreover, RAID can offer redundancy and significant performance gains over single, non-arrayed hard drives.

With hard drives becoming increasingly affordable, and RAID controllers -- many of which are now being built into motherboards -- becoming increasingly available, RAID is more accessible than ever.

With this new accessibility however, it is becoming more and more important that we understand exactly how RAID works, how RAID levels differ, and how RAID data recovery is done.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Microsoft Releases Windows Security Fixes

From AsiaOne:- Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday released four security fixes to patch flaws in its Windows operating system. Two of the vulnerabilities carried the highest danger rating.

All of the patches are to fix weaknesses in Windows that could allow an attacker to take control of a person's computer.

In its monthly security bulletin, Microsoft also said that three patches for its Office business software suite are to fix vulnerabilities that carry the highest "critical" rating for people running products associated with the Office 2000 release.

The Redmond company said the vulnerabilities are less serious for those running newer versions of Office.

Separately, Microsoft said it would stop offering security fixes for three older versions of its dominant operating system: Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows Millennium Edition. Microsoft is hoping the lack of support will be one factor in prompting people to upgrade to newer Windows versions.

The most recent version of Windows, XP, has been out since late 2001. A new version of Windows, called Vista, is scheduled for consumer release in January of 2007.

Friday, June 30, 2006

News: Phishing Scam Uses PayPal Secure Servers

Scripting flaw makes fake page with valid security certificate possible.

A cross-site scripting flaw in the PayPal Web site allows a new phishing attack to masquerade as a genuine PayPal log-in page with a valid security certificate, according to security researchers.

Fraudsters are exploiting the flaw to harvest personal details, including PayPal log-ins, Social Security numbers, and credit card details, according to staff at Netcraft, an Internet services company in Bath, England. The PayPal site, owned by eBay, allows users to make online payments to one another, charged to their credit cards, and log-in credentials for the service are a prized target of fraudsters.

Full report here @ MSNBC.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

News: VGN-UX17GP The world's smallest PC

Imagine a PC that lets you access the Web and retrieve e-mail wirelessly, connects to a projector, plays MP3s, videoconferences and takes pictures – yet still fits snugly in your pocket. Sounds unbelievable? The new VAIO UX17GP does all this and more.

Weighing a mere 517g, the VAIO UX17GP is powered by an Intel® Core™ Solo processor for fast processing with the Microsoft® XP Professional operating system to provide you with the same PC experience you’re already familiar with. Plus, the VAIO UX17GP keeps you connected at all times, letting you search the Web and retrieve e-mail wirelessly from virtually anywhere via WiFi connection.
Featuring a 4.5” widescreen SVGA display with Sony’s advanced Clear Bright LCD technology for brilliant colours and crisp images, the sliding design reveals an integrated keyboard for easy-access to PC applications. A VAIO Touch Launcher button helps quickly access you to frequently-used functions like Internet access, e-mail, applications, games and music. A Rotate Icon button allows you to view in both portrait and landscape formats. Two built-in cameras and microphone –0.3 Mega Pixels in the front and 1.3 Mega Pixel at the rear– lets you video conference on-the-go or take great-looking photographs. Now that’s versatility.

The VAIO UX17GP is also equipped with several ports, including a USB 2.0 port, a Memory Stick Duo™ slot, plus headphone and microphone jacks. A docking station expands the capabilities of the VAIO UX17GP further with three additional USB 2.0 ports, iLink® interface, Ethernet/VGA connector and AV output for easy connection to optional peripherals that include a full-sized keyboard, display monitor and speakers.

Guide: How to rip a CD as MP3s

CNet shows the way to rip a CD into MP3s using the Windows Media Player.

Ripping the tracks on your music CDs into MP3 files is easier than ever, thanks to the latest music managers and jukeboxes. That said, there are a few settings to tweak to ensure your new files are named properly, stored in the proper directory, and sound their very best. Use this tutorial to guide you through the steps of ripping MP3s. Choose either Windows Media Player or iTunes, depending on your personal preference.

Required attention span: 3 to 10 minutes per CD, depending on your drive speed.

Full guide here @ CNetAsia.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

News: Spammers Turn to Images to Fool Filters

Spammers are increasingly sneaking their messages past e-mail filters by sending their pitches as images rather than text, spam experts say.

The images fool some filters because they have no easy way of knowing whether a graphical file contains an innocent photograph of a friend's birthday party or embedded text pitching Viagra or a company's stock.

The development marks yet another escalation in the battle between spammers and filter developers: As software gets smarter at detecting junk, spammers get smarter at fooling the filters.

Until last year, the use of image spam has been in decline as anti-spam filters figured out how to detect it - often by applying a mathematical formula to known spam images and generating a unique signature that software can use to flag junk, said Craig Sprosts, senior product manager for anti-spam vendor IronPort Systems Inc.

But earlier this year, tools began circulating among spammers to automatically vary images ever so slightly - a change in color here, a slightly larger border there. That changes the signature, helping it escape detection.

Full report here @ AsiaOne.

Monday, June 19, 2006

News: Microsoft Upgrades Instant Messenger

Microsoft Corp.'s latest instant messaging program is ready for prime time, the company said Monday.

Windows Live Messenger, which had been available in test form, will officially launch Tuesday.

The free program is an upgrade to MSN Messenger, the previous name for the software maker's tool for quickly communicating online. Such products have become incredibly popular for a wide variety of audiences, from teens to business people.

The basic service gives people a way to quickly type messages back and forth. Windows Live Messenger also offers video calling and ways to easily share files, among other features.

Competitors, including market leader AOL, also are adding such functions. On Monday, Yahoo Inc. said it was opening up its messaging service so that outside developers can create programs that plug into it.

Full report here @ AsiaOne.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Bill Gates to transition away from Microsoft

Co-founder to remain chairman, spend more time on charitable work

REDMOND, Wash. - Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates announced Thursday he will transition away from a daily role at the software company he co-founded to focus on the charitable work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates, 50, will continue on as the company’s chairman after transferring his duties over a two-year period.

This was a hard decision for me,” said Gates, who founded the world’s largest software company with childhood friend Paul Allen in 1975. “I’m very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging. As I prepare for this change, I firmly believe the road ahead for Microsoft is as bright as ever.”

“I’m not leaving Microsoft,” he added.

Gates also said he had no plans to give up the distinction of being the company’s largest shareholder which he enjoys by virtue of his stake of about 1 billion shares or 9.6 percent of the company.

Full report here @ MSNBC.