Today, we live in a world of rapidly diminishing privacy. If you use your employer's email system, it is possible that every message you send or receive is logged and intercepted without your knowledge. This may have unintended or even disastrous consequences if an intercepted email message contains sensitive personal information. Unless your email goes through Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protected connections, your email is vulnerable to what is known in the IT security field as man-in-the-middle attacks, where an attacker can intercept your message as it flies to its intended recipient.
Email is sent in a format that is easily readable if an attacker can grab and reconstruct enough pieces (packets) from the data transmission with packet sniffing software. Technologies like deep packet inspection make it theoretically possible that any given message that goes over the internet can be sniffed and read by third parties who have the right software and know-how. (the feds, your ISP, etc.) While no one may have a real reason to spy on you, relying solely on security through obscurity has always been a poor policy to live by. Because of this, encryption is the only real option you can trust. We teach you how to put your emails in a lockbox before sending them off to their destinations.
Microsoft's Windows platforms need to be more like Linux if the software giant ever hopes to compete against open-source software, including operating systems. That's the claim being made by InformationWeek's Charles Babcock, who's taken a look at Microsoft's declining revenues for Windows clients and concluded that it's time to toss the operating system--which allegedly nets Microsoft $34 per Windows XP installation--to the open-source wolves.
According to Babcock, sales and licenses for applications like Microsoft Office are the real cash cow for Microsoft. But how might a free Microsoft Windows operating system ease the bloodletting--defections of customers to open-source solutions for all their computer interactions? Read on to find out!
Overclocking can kill your CPU. It can corrupt your OS, melt your motherboard, and cause you to lose a month’s work or more. Despite those dire orange-alert warnings, however, overclocking has moved on from the Nerd’s Only Club to become practically a mainstream hobby in the last few years.
So why overclock if the risks are so great? For some folks, it’s about bragging rights. Like drag-strip racers who burn up an engine just to set a quarter-mile record, there’s a small community who will overclock a CPU to the brink of destruction just to run a benchmark and take a screen shot of the result.
The bulk of overclockers, however, are more concerned with the cost dividends. If you can take a $300 CPU and make it as fast or faster than one that costs $1,000, the money you save can go toward other components in your system. For these folks, it’s like getting a free high-end videocard.
Whether you’re a cheapskate or a drag racer, you’ll find that Intel’s new Core i7 CPU is unlike any previous Intel CPU, and overclocking this beast requires more tinkering than you might expect. Follow along as we explore what it takes to push this chip hard.
We’re sure that many of you have been away from our home computers at a time when we needed access to a certain file or desktop program. Many companies have proprietary solutions (like GoToMyPC) that allow you to remotely access files on your home computer while you are away from it. While this service has a $19.95/month licensing fee (per computer, no less), there are alternatives that provide similar functionality on the Linux platform for free. Many of these free solutions are very versatile and are useful in a wide variety of situations. We show you how to master remote system access on your open-source machine.
Cloud computing has become quite the buzzword over the last year or so. It seems like every major company wants a piece of the “cloud,” from IBM to AMD to Microsoft. Definitions for the phrase vary, but the most common aspect of any cloud computing service is the notion that you can use the internet to run applications on remote computers, making you less dependent on any one physical machine.
And while the idea of software as a service is hardly new, the number of online “cloud” apps has reached a sort of critical mass lately, making it possible to do the vast majority of your computing online. In this article we’ll show you some of our favorite cloud applications, and explain how they can help make the move to cloud city.
Are you ready for some f... reeware? It's Super Bowl weekend at Maximum PC, and we're doing all we can to find you the best, quick-hit freeware applications that will make a profound difference in your computing life. It's hard to manage the grill and install freeware, so we're giving you a mix this week: Tiny applications that don't require much of your input at all to interact with, as well as a pretty big application or two that should easily distract you if football-watching isn't your thing. We're covering a lot of field this week with our applications. Be prepared to check out everything from efficient file unzippers, to 3D designing programs, to pretty desktop RSS feed readers.
So what are you waiting for? Put on your helmet and get ready to go third and long with our latest batch of freeware applications!
If a computer can exist without hardware, as we learned in last month’s white paper about virtual machines, can it be useful without application software? It can if it relies on the concept of cloud computing.
Cloud computing describes a data-processing infrastructure in which the application software—and often the data itself—is stored permanently not on your PC but rather a remote server that’s connected to the Internet. When you need to use the application or access the data, your computer connects to the server through the Internet and some of that information is cached temporarily on your client machine. What do clouds have to do with all this? The cloud is simply a metaphor for the Internet, based on the symbol that’s used to represent the worldwide network in computer network diagrams.
Sometimes gamers just have to go back to their roots. It's inevitable. Blazing, next-generation graphics can be a blast to check out, and all the crazy advances in storytelling and immersion have allowed games to penetrate peoples' lives more than ever before. Don't get us wrong, these are all good things for the industry and its many, many fans.
But gamers always get that urge--a tickling--to give their turbocharged video card a break and fire up some titles that have withstood the test of time. Or better yet, modern reinventions of classic gameplay motifs. Some of these titles can be a blast to play, which is exactly why we're jumping into the gaming remake scene with this week's freeware roundup. If you loved the originals that these games are based on, you'll find yourself sinking just as much time into these freeware remixes as before. Don't worry if you've never played some of the genres that these newer titles are based on. Spend a few minutes downloading these titles, fire up a game or two in your spare time, and see what you think!
Enterprise business applications still outnumber all other open-source projects, according to a survey of 380 Linux developers by market research firm Evans Data Corporation. But open-source is on the move away from traditional enterprise infrastructures and into the Cloud--the concept of data being stored "on the Internet" without a single entity or specific server to call home. Google's App Engine takes top billing as a Cloud provider, with 28 percent of Cloud-ready developers opting to use this service versus 15 percent for Amazon's Elastic Compute.
That's great and all, but where are open-source developers making their money? We've got the answer after the jump, but here's a quick hint: It's the exact same way that no-name application and game developers are cashing in on a critical consumer platform.
It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. We’ve spent a good deal of the last 12 months hunkered down at our PCs playing every game that’s come our way. The very best of them have pulled us into their imaginary, action-packed worlds and stolen hours of our valuable time—and we love ’em for it! Others, not so much. Here forth is our frank assessment of 2008’s most noteworthy games.