Monday, January 31

Strategies for Conserving Battery Power

Have you ever run out of battery power on your mobile PC during a meeting or a class? Have you worried about running out of power while waiting to meet with a client? Have you asked yourself how much longer your battery will last? Sufficient battery life is a persistent challenge for mobile PC users. But Windows offers several ways to help maximize the battery life of your mobile computer.

Optimize your power settings
The display and hard disk on your mobile PC are the two biggest consumers of battery power. By choosing a power plan (called a power scheme in Windows XP) you can extend your battery life. A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that control how your mobile PC manages power.

Sleep (Standby)
In a sleep state (standby), your display and hard disk turn off, and all open programs and files are saved in random access memory (RAM)—your computer's temporary memory—rather than to the hard disk. Information stored in RAM is cleared when the computer turns off, so it's a good idea to save your work before placing your system in standby mode. Otherwise, you may lose data if you lose power, you swap batteries, or your system crashes.

Sleep (standby) is particularly useful when you're using your mobile PC intermittently during the day. For example, when driving between clients' offices during the day, put your computer to sleep or on standby to maximize the life of your battery and maintain quick access to open programs, files, and documents. When you want to use your computer again, it wakes up quickly, and your desktop is restored exactly as you left it.

In hibernation, your computer saves everything to your hard disk and then shuts down. When you restart the computer, your desktop is restored exactly as you left it. Hibernation uses less power than the sleep state (standby), but it takes a bit longer to resume.

Hybrid Sleep
Hybrid sleep is a power-saving feature designed primarily for desktop computers. Hybrid sleep saves any open documents and programs to memory and to your hard disk drive, and then puts your computer into a low-power state.

Adjust screen brightness
You can also conserve battery by reducing the screen brightness. To adjust your screen brightness, refer to the instructions from your mobile PC manufacturer. Every computer is slightly different, but you can usually use a combination of keys, a function key, or a software tool to dim the screen.

Even better than dimming the screen is blanking it completely when you're not using your computer. You can further minimize power consumption by reducing the amount of time the computer is idle before the screen goes blank.

Turn off wireless
Another significant drain on your battery power is your wireless card. You should turn off your wireless device when you're using your mobile PC but are not connected to a wireless network. You can either remove your Wi-Fi card or press the manual hardware button on your computer if you're using a Centrino-based mobile PC. Refer to the instructions from your mobile PC manufacturer to learn where the manual hardware button is.

These are just some tips to keep you operational any time any place. We all know the chaos that a dead battery or cell phone can create. Make sure to check out additional power saving techniques by clicking on the title link.

Tuesday, January 11

10 Cyber "Threat" Trends

1. Attacks via USB drives: as these types of drives become cheaper and more ubiquitous, malware and Trojans will spread on them. Many companies hand out USB drives at trade shows.

2. Large-scale, targeted botnet attacks.

3. Denial of service attacks, like those that affected San Francisco-based Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) in the Wikileaks fiasco.

4.More attacks via social networks like Facebook Inc. Future viruses will likely be designed to steal or delete users’ personal information, which can be sold in numerous black markets.

5. Click jacking and cross-site scripting. This is similar to social network attacks. Criminals use fake web pages to trick users into giving away passwords, account numbers, etc.

6. Phishing attacks from “trusted” third parties. Emails will come, ostensibly from banks or other well known companies, asking users to click on a link.

7. Online fraud and money mules. These are active attempts to enlist people to transfer illegal funds from credit card thieves.

8. Cloud computing concerns. As more data is distributed around the Internet in the so-called “cloud,” opportunities for data infection or theft will grow.

9. Data exfiltration and insider threats. People will always find ways to anonymously leak private information.

10. Attacks on mobile devices and wireless networks. This fast growing area of technology provides unprecedented opportunities for cyber criminals. Phones and mobile devices can be specifically targeted in denial of service attacks, and criminals will also try to exploit mobile banking apps and similar programs.

Read more.