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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Personal computer security news

Posted by George J Janczyn on September 29, 2009

For my family I have several layers of security for our PCs, one of which is McAfee’s Total Protection software. Our one-year policy, which costs $49 for a three-PC license, will expire in a few months and I wanted to do a little checking around before renewing for another year, although I have been satisfied with McAfee’s product and online support thus far.

So it was good timing to find that Microsoft just released a free antivirus product for Windows-based computers: Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).

I’m leaning in the direction of a change, although it appears Microsoft Security Essentials will only include antivirus and antispyware protection, as this Norton YouTube post suggests:

 

They probably have a point: even ZoneAlarm, which in the old days was a very reliable and free security product, now charges for its comprehensive coverage.

Still, the extra features from the fee-based services aren’t necessarily must-have security beyond what MSE provides. Do read the comments in the above reviews (especially the Ars Technica one) to get a good picture of the related issues.

In any event, if you choose to give MSE a try, be sure to disable your currently running antivirus program first. As with most antivirals, it can’t run concurrently with other antivirals.

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Cause and effect

Posted by George J Janczyn on September 15, 2009

Arthur Ganson’s Machine with Concrete. The YouTube blurb says

This machine was inspired by dreaming about gear ratios and considering the unexpected implications of exponential powers.

Each worm/worm gear pair reduces the speed of the motor by 1/50th. Since there are 12 pairs of gears, the final speed reduction is calculated by (1/50)12. The implications are quite large. With the motor turning around 200 revolutions per minute, it will take well over two trillion years before the final gear makes but one turn. Given the truth of this situation, it is possible to do anything at all with the final gear, even embed it in concrete.

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