Programming is not easy, especially when you are starting from zero, but Channel 9 has just released a series of absolute beginner videos aimed at offering a base for getting started on this road.
People interested in learning to program can now access two versions of the Development for Absolute beginners materials, one of which is aimed at those interested in programming using Visual Basic, and another for learning C#.
The Visual Basic Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners materials include a number of 25 videos that are aimed at getting people started with a series of concepts that can be easily applied to building games, client applications, and the like.
“Want to learn a different language? Over the course of 25 episodes, our friend Bob Tabor from www.LearnVisualStudio.net will teach you the fundamentals of Visual Basic programming. Tune in to learn concepts applicable to video games, mobile environments, and client applications,” the guys over at Channel 9 explain.
“We’ll walk you through getting the tools, writing code, debugging features, customizations and much more! Each concept is broken into its own video so you can search for and focus on the information you need.”
Those interested in this course should have a look at this page on Channel 9. A list with all the 25 episodes included in the Visual Basic Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners training program is available there, each with additional explanations on what it offers.
And there is also the C# Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners learning course, which includes a number of 24 episodes, featuring the same Bob Tabor from www.LearnVisualStudio.net.
However, it should be noted that the series comes as the result of a common effort from other people as well.
The series of videos can be found on Chanel 9 here. Descriptions for each of the 24 episodes of the course are available there as well.
Some spam messages contain phone numbers instead of links that point to locations where different products are advertised. To make sure they successfully avoid spam filters, Russian spammers devised some new ways in which they make phone numbers remain undetected.
Symantec researchers reveal the large number of methods utilized by Russian spammers to list phone numbers in email messages without raising the suspicion of any anti-spam solution.
One of the simpler methods implies placing symbols between the figures that compose the number. For instance, (495) 123 456 can be transformed into (4~9~5)1~2~3~4~5~6, but this is only one of the more unsophisticated means of disguising a number.
In some cases, Russian characters that resemble figures will be utilized to replace some numbers. If in English only 0 and 1 can be written with letters, in Russian, even 3, 4 and 6 have similar symbols they can be replaced with.
The symbols Зз, Оо, Чч and Ьь can be efficiently placed into a spam advertisement and its recipients will surely know what number to call.
Since anti-spam technology evolved a lot, some of these tricks can now be identified and that’s why spammers took these techniques even further.
In some scenarios, the numbers were actually spelled in Russian words, which would make the above phone number look something like (четыре девять четыре) один два три четыре четыре шесть.
One final strategy involves writing the area code with the actual name of the city it represents. In this case, 495 becomes Москва (Moscow).
By using a combination of these cryptographic mechanisms, spam filters don’t stand a chance against the malicious messages. However, while some may think that a phone number is not as dangerous as a link that points to a piece of malware, in reality, a phone number can always hide a premium rate number or a person that’s prepared to perform some precisely targeted social engineering.
The hybrid drive gets a capacity boost and more NAND cache
In the storage world, nothing matches a solid-state drive for speed, and nothing matches a mechanical hard drive for capacity and price per gigabyte. Recognizing these two great tastes would go great together, many vendors have attempted to find the perfect hybrid storage solution, with variable—and often clunky—results. Seagate’s Momentus XT, which we first reviewed in September 2010, offered a 500GB 2.5-inch drive with 4GB of NAND flash with an adaptive algorithm to ensure that the most frequently used files are mirrored in the NAND. This means your boot drive feels faster than a mechanical drive, if only for the stuff you use the most. We liked the first Momentus, but complained that it could use more NAND. Seagate aims to remedy that complaint with this new Momentus.
The Momentus XT ups the mechanical portion of the drive to 750GB, while doubling the NAND cache to 8GB. The SATA controller is now 6Gb/s, the industry standard for all new drives. Unlike other hybrid solutions, the onboard controller performs the entire caching computation, so there’s no CPU hit. And there are no weird driver issues or frustrating installation procedures—we’re looking at you, OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid. Seagate’s adaptive memory algorithm simply moves the most-accessed LBAs to the NAND cache.
On the raw disk level, the Momentus XT 750GB is identical to a standard Momentus 750GB drive, as borne out by low-level benchmarks like HDTune. The adaptive algorithm shows its worth in real-world benchmarks and tests, such as PCMark Vantage’s HDD subtest and PCMark 7’s secondary storage suite. As we ran PCMark Vantage multiple times, the algorithm copied the LBAs we accessed most to the NAND, bringing the HDD subscore from a first run of 5,471 to a stable score of 14,759. That number is three times higher than what the standard Momentus is capable of, but it doesn’t come close to 52,000-plus score a second-gen SandForce drive can rack up. In the more modern PCMark 7, scores stabilized around 3,295—almost double that of the standard mechanical drive, but nowhere near the 5,070 of the SSD. When we installed Windows on the drive, our system stabilized at a boot time of around 25 seconds—just a few seconds slower than a SandForce-powered SSD, and a solid 13 seconds faster than the vanilla Momentus.
The ongoing hard drive shortage makes prices on existing drives, and thus the Momentus XT’s value proposition, difficult to determine. At press time, the 750GB Momentus XT’s MSRP of $245 makes for a $95 premium over the street price for existing stocks of the first-gen 500GB Momentus XT, or the vanilla 750GB Momentus, but those existing stocks could run out any time. A 120GB SSD would presumably cost about the same as the 750GB Momentus XT, but would deliver just a fraction of the latter drive’s capacity.
The 750GB Momentus XT offers a solid speed boost in real-world applications that you use frequently, compared to a regular mechanical drive. Its updated capacity, 6Gb/s SATA controller, and 8GB of NAND are much appreciated. If you don’t want to deal with clumsy multi-drive hybrid solutions or shell out for a tiny SSD, the Momentus XT offers an easier, better way to get both capacity and speed.
When a master key for HDCP encryption surfaced last year, Intel hardly broke a sweat. It declared that nobody could use the key to unlock Blu-rays or other protected sources unless they got into the semiconductor business and “made a computer chip” of their own. Oh Mann, didn’t they realize? That sort of language is like a red rag to a German post-grad, and now Ruhr University’s Secure Hardware Group has produced the ultimate rebuttal: a custom board that uses a field programmable gate array (FPGA) board to sit between a Blu-ray player and TV and decode the passing traffic. Student price: €200, and no silly bodysuits required.
With hundreds of add-on tools, Twitter certainly has plenty of ways you can analyze its data. I set out to find the best tools that I would recommend for you to track and compare your own Tweets, as well as examine the growth of followers and when you actually send out your 140-character missives. My two faves are TweetStats and Twittercounter. As you are resting from your Thanksgiving feast, you might want to try them out, along with several others that I will show you.
There are other tools that involve “sentiment analysis,” being able to examine what people are Tweeting about or the attitude they are expressing in their tweets. The tools in this article are mainly for more quantifiable metrics. We look at whether you need to pre-authorize the tool to access your Twitter account, how much customization is available on the reports displayed, if there is a fee to use the service and whether you will need something outside of your browser to do the analysis. Most of these are completely free, which is nice since you can experiment and see what makes the most sense for you.
Some of these tools are dirt simple: you enter the Twitter ID or IDs of the appropriate people and wait for them to create their reports. Some of the reports are quite ugly and could use some design help, although as Joe Brockmeier points out, none can be as bad as the native Mac Twitter client: “it’s like they got the UX designers that weren’t quite good enough to design Windows ME on board.”
You might also want to review an article that I wrote last month about 17 alternatives to Klout for other services that go beyond Twitter, or that attempt to measure some kind of reach or influence in social media.
The following tools are listed in the order of most to least useful, at least to my point of view. If I have omitted any of your favorites or have maligned or overhyped a tool that you use, please share your thoughts in the comments.
- Twittercounter. You can produce your own graphs for up to three different twitter users, as long as you authenticate yourself first. You can see the number of followers and tweets for up to the past three months for free. You can get up to the past six months if you “pay with a retweet” and there are other metrics available for paid plans. Here you see a comparison of tweets from myself, Joe and Jon.
- Tweetstats gives you less control over the graph axes but does give you plots for timelines of followers and retweets, as well as analysis of which Twitter posting software was used. You can zoom in to see the analysis of one month’s worth of tweets.
- Xefer tracks tweets by time of day and the week, and presents a very nice graph with the distribution as you can see below. The data is gathered via Yahoo Pipes and the Google Chart API, which is a nice touch showing you how you too can assemble your own analytics.
- TwitGraph. Authentication of your account is required. This produces a number of different graphs, including the tweets per day over the last week and top words used in your tweets.
- We wrote about PostPostseveral weeks ago here as an improved search tool. It also produces a timeline and requires both Twitter and email authentication. But the results weren’t very current (on my tests they were missing the last week’s worth of tweets).
- Trendistic is a bit crude and somewhat inaccurate. It will show you a timeline of your past two days’ worth of Tweets, along with a readout of what you actually tweeted.
Siri, yang mengaku sebagai asisten pribadi yang rendah hati, setelah mendapat sentuhan developer (hacker?) bisa memiliki fungsi-fungsi tambahan yang lebih daripada sekedar mencari tahu prakiraan cuaca ataupun membuat reminder.
Pengembang ‘nakal’ dengan nama panggung @plamoni membuatkan server proxy untuk Siri seolah-olah si Siri sedang berkomunikasi dengan server Apple untuk bisa menghidupkan fitur Siri. Setelah Siri terhubung dengan server miliknya, Siri sekarang bisa digunakan untuk mengontrol mobil. Yap, sebuah mobil bisa diatur kunci, buka kunci, dan menyalakan mesin hanya dengan perintah suara melalui Siri.
Berikut ini adalah tiga buah video yang dipostkan oleh @plamoni alias Brandon Fiquett
Supercomputers are all well and good, but it can be tricky to actually get data in need of research to them, so a team from Indiana University set about to make it possible.
Several universities got to test out, during the SC11 conference, particularly the SCinet Research Sandbox (SRS), a network that operated at 100 Gbps.
The conference took place in Seattle, Washington and the SRS phase allowed for the assessment of this experimental method set up by SCinet, ESnet, and Internet2.
The link used was 2,300 miles-long (3,701 kilometers) and had complete cluster and file systems (Lustre in particular) on both ends (Indianapolis was the other location).
The peak throughput was of 96Gbps for network benchmarks, 6.5Gbps using IOR (a standard file system benchmark), and 5.2Gbps with a mix of eight real world application workflows.
“100 Gigabit per second networking combined with the capabilities of the Lustre file system could enable dramatic changes in data-intensive computing,” said Stephen Simms, manager of the High Performance File Systems group at Indiana University.
“Lustre’s ability to support distributed applications, and the production availability of 100 gigabit networks connecting research universities in the US, will provide much needed and exciting new avenues to manage, analyze, and wrest knowledge from the digital data now being so rapidly produced.”
Consumers don’t really have much cause to worry about this all that much, since it will be a long time before common PCs even need such connections.
Still, the technology opens new doors for data centers, supercomputers and any instances that need large data chunks to be sent form a point to another, or to cope with many incoming and outgoing connections.
Another milestone in this field was announced by Rohm not long ago: a special chip that has the potential to wirelessly transmit at 30 Gbps (so far it ‘just’ manages 1.5 Gbps).
The Green500 might not be quite as well known as the Top500, but it’s no less of an honor to be counted among the world’s most energy efficient supercomputers. NVIDIA is tooting its own horn for making it on to the list for the second year in a row as part of the “greenest” petaflop machine. The Tsubame 2.0 at the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Global Scientific Information Center is powered by Intel’s Xeon CPUs, but NVIDIA’s Tesla general purpose GPUs do a vast majority of the number crunching, allowing it to deliver 1.19 petaflops of performance while consuming only 1.2 megawatts. That’s roughly 958 megaflops per watt, a huge increase over the most efficient CPU-only super computer, the Cielo Cray, which gets only 278 megaflops per watt. The Tsubame 2.0 isn’t the greenest machine on the planet though, that honor belongs to IBM’s BlueGene which takes the top five spots on the Green500. Still, number ten ain’t bad… right? Check out the PR after the break.
The Third Quarter 2011 report issued by McAfee shows some interesting things relating to mobile malware, attack methods, spam and messaging threats and operations launched by hacktivists.
The figures show that mobile malware, especially the one that targets Android platforms increased a lot compared to the previous quarter, the most popular malicious apps used by cybercriminals being the premium rate SMS sending pieces of software.
Fake anti-virus programs, Autorun viruses and account stealing trojans made a strong comeback in the past period. Mac malware is also on the rise and even though the increase is not significant, Apple product targeting threats are slowly starting to make their presence known.
An interesting find refers to botnets, their numbers recording a considerable increase in countries such as Argentina, Indonesia, Russia and Venezuela. Cutwail, Festi and Lethic are considered pack leaders since they caused the most damage.
Also interesting is the fact how a scam’s rate of success depends on the region it targets. For instance, in France, phishing scam are the most successful, in Russia, drug spam is the most popular bait, while in the UK, 419 scams still rule. The United States is most often hit by failed delivery notifications, since these seem to cause the most panic among citizens.
When it comes to hacktivism, Anonymous takes the podium, most attacks and data leaks being claimed by the infamous collective’s members. More famous targets include Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, Booz Allen Hamilton, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Austrian Police and Goldman Sachs.
“This has been a very steady quarter in terms of threats, as both general and mobile malware are more prevalent than ever,” revealed Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs.
“So far this year, we’ve seen many interesting yet challenging trends that are affecting the threat landscape, including heightened levels of sophistication and high-profile hacktivist attacks.”
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