All posts by Vasilis Ieropoulos

Is your ISP really to blame for your slow connection ?

Blaming your ISP for your slow connection is the easy way out , but in most cases its something else , either someone in the house is using up all the bandwidth by downloading torrents or its windows downloading updates. We are going to break down what are some common issues and fixes for slow internet speeds.

Give that old router a good old hard reboot

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Try rebooting your router by switching it on and off , check that your routers cabling is intact since bent cables can wreak havoc on your internet speed.

Test your speed

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Use sites like Speedtest to check that you are getting what you pay for . For example if you are paying for 10mpbs / 2mbps and are getting lower than that its time to start looking into things .

Configure you WIFI

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When every one sets up a wifi router the forget that it is prone to interference by other devices especially on the 2.4ghz range . What we can do is either change our signal to 5ghz which is much less prone to interference but less devices can use it or try changing the channel which our signal is broadcast . The best way to test which channels are used the most is by using android apps like WifiAnalyzer which can show you the most populated channels .

Enable QOS(Quality Of Service)

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Some routers have QOS function which monitors network traffic and prioritizes it to services which require more bandwidth such us VOIP which uses the UDP protocol. UDP does not use a handshake protocol there for its prone to unreliability when not enough bandwidth is allocated which can cause jitters and pixelation .

Turn off unnecessary applications

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Most off the time internet speeds suffer when the user has lots of applications running that use up bandwidth on the network for example you don’t have to have Steam , Skype and Origin running all the time if you are not going to play a game or call someone . These applications will check constantly for updates and will download them automatically causing network speed degradation.

Consider using Opera

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Opera is a web browser with build in features to deal with slow internet connections by compressing web pages  so less data in downloaded and web pages can be displayed faster . Its easy to set up with just a click of a button.

Call your ISP

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If all else fails call your ISP and see if they can resolve the issue for you .  Sometimes it might be that the area you live in is not well covered by your ISP or there is a malfunction with one of the ISP service lines , calling to confirm this is not a bad idea.

 

 

Russian man creates transformer

If you dream it you can build it

A father and son team inspired by the ‘Transformers‘ film have created their own car-robot, built from a Russian-made ‘Lada‘ vehicle. The Russian version of the Optimus Prime Transformer was demonstrated at a stunt show in Oryol, Thursday.

The transformer is using real gun but fake bullets to mimic the effect of a machine gun as we can clearly see a lot of effort has been put into this project .  Using hydraulics and a lot of time the father has build an astounding piece of engineering , if one man can do imagine if a factory was was building things  like this. Could we see a Robot apocalypse any time soon ?

Zomato Hacked With 17 Million User Records Stolen

Time to change your passwords again !

Zomato was attacked by hackers compromising 17 million users accounts . The Zomato team had this to say :

The reason you’re reading this blog post is because of a recent discovery by our security team – about 17 million user records from our database were stolen. The stolen information has user email addresses and hashed passwords.

We hash passwords with a one-way hashing algorithm, with multiple hashing iterations and individual salt per password. This means your password cannot be easily converted back to plain text. We however, strongly advise you to change your password for any other services where you are using the same password.

Zomato has alot of work to do

According to the Zomato team “6.6 million users had password hashes in the ‘leaked’ data, which can be theoretically decrypted using brute force algorithms.”  The Zomato team managed to contact the team of hackers and the data has been pulled off the deep web , this incident is being presented as something along the lines of a teachable moment .  Zomato had this to say :

The hacker has been very cooperative with us. He/she wanted us to acknowledge security vulnerabilities in our system and work with the ethical hacker community to plug the gaps. His/her key request was that we run a healthy bug bounty program for security researchers.

We are introducing a bug bounty program on Hackerone very soon. With that assurance, the hacker has in turn agreed to destroy all copies of the stolen data and take the data off the dark web marketplace. The marketplace link which was being used to sell the data on the dark web is no longer available.

Zomato is now trying to increase their security measures to avoid these kind of attacks in the feature .  Lets hope they make the correct choices and this never happens again.

How to Protect Yourself From Ransomware

The Big Issue: Ransomware

With the wanna cry ransomware outbreak this week and many people vulnerable to the attack  many people are very paranoid in using their computer fearing they might get infected as well. Not to worry though here are some steps you can take in order to protect yourself:

Step 1: Install Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware

Ransomware

Install a good anti-virus and anti malware  software on you computer . You don’t have to break the bank to have a good anti-virus and anti – malware software there are many out there that are free to use such as Sophos home and Malware bytes . Having one install can mostly likely stop the virus or block before it runs but that all depends on the virus off coarse . Both Sophos and Malware byte integrate with your browser and filter the web-pages blocking any websites that might contain viruses or malicious javascript  .

Step 2 :  Stop Clicking Suspicious links

Stop opening suspicious links  or attachment sent to you by email or instant messages . Think about for a bit do you really order something from UPS/DHL etc that they need you to check it out via email ? Hackers are sending these emails that try to convince users to open suspicious attachments that contain the virus . Don’t be stupid think twice before opening any email attachment especially if its from some random person you don’t even know .

Step 3 : Upgrade your system

Install the latest updates for your system and consider upgrading your system . Most of the users affected by the Wannacry ransomware are people using outdated operating systems such as windows XP and windows 7 which Microsoft has stopped rolling out updates a while ago . Since the attack Microsoft was forced to release patches for the Operating Systems to stop the virus from spreading . Its quite logical that many companies might still use older operating systems because of driver issues with older hardware which still work and there is no need to change them , if that is the case then proper network security should take place that will prevent a virus from spreading if the older system does manage to be infected.

Step 4 : Switch to Linux

I can not stress how much more secure Linux is and how stable it is . Sure there are viruses out there for Linux and Mac but they are much less in comparison to Windows Os and for good reason , since the user base is much smaller . Linux might not be for everyone but there is a Linux Distribution out there that can fit the needs of any individual be it playing games, composing music , running a server etc.

 

 

Types of Web Hosting

Web hosting is a service that allows individuals or business to host a website on the internet to promote their service and reach a broader audience from around the world. This allows the user to find information about a service with a simple search on the web. Web hosting allows businesses to grow by promoting their services and making them available to people almost 24/7. To host a website we must first buy a domain, most hosting providers will assist the user in buying a domain name. Domain names should be short and easy to remember and be relevant to the content they will host. There are different types of hosting shared hosting , dedicated hosting and co-location hosting.

Web-hosting is not only limited to websites, it can be a website that also hosts a number of services like FTP, VPN , Email server, E – commerce website and even video hosting . Services like E-mail services are crucial for any business that need to be more professional in setting an image for itself for example a business is more reputable if it uses its own email provider than a free one like gmail ( boss@mybuisiness.com than boss@gmail.com.

Types of web hosting

Shared hosting is hosting on a server that is shared by multiple users at the same time pricing is much cheaper but lacks in resources and cannot function with a heavy load and also has limited storage space to build large websites with multiple services ,although there are multiple plan with more storage space and computing power they might still not be enough to host heavy usage websites.

Dedicated hosting is hosting on a dedicated server that is only used by one person and is easy to to expand and load with more services as it will have its own physical server . You have the entire web server to yourself and is recommended for High traffic and resource intensive websites and it offers more security options .

VPS hosting (Virtual private server) is an advanced variation of shared hosting , essential you are still sharing a physical server with other users but you website has its own partition on the web server taking up more CPU power and Ram. Websites using VPS hosting does not compete for resources with other websites , what that means is if there is a large amount of traffic into a VPS websites that shares the same physical server with you your bandwidth will not be affected .

Managed Word press hosting are specialized services that offer hosting for only worpress sites. They give an excellent hosting environment to the user with rich features and staff with lots of expertise to help the use fix any issues it might have with the website. But it the most expensive since you have a dedicated team of support for you website .

Virtual make up is it a going to catch on ?

What if you could just use your phones front facing camera to view your facing in different makeup styles , brands and colours and making it easier for you to pick the type of make up you want ? With just a press of a button you could just order it online and have it delivered to your door step in just a few days .

Look no further there’s an app for that! Sephora’s new app lets you do exactly that. Its currently available on IOS in the app store . At the moment , you can only play with lip colors, eye shadows, and false lash styles. If you like the look, well, you can purchase. Convenient! The app also offers “virtual tutorials” that show you how to contour, apply highlighter, and create winged eyeliner. It overlays the tutorial on your face.

Make up , Foundation

Even though this is convenient will women really trust the app instead of actually trying it on themselves ? Many people still preffer trying things hands on to get a better feel of the ingredients used and how their skin reacts to the make up . For example maybe the foundation or lipstick will cause them a form of swelling because they are allergic to some ingredient in the product that they might not even know if they are allergic to them .

In conclusion we can see that the technology is progressing in all sectors and we should embrace change and contribute into making our lives more convenient with out the hustle and bustle of going from one place to an other.

Prices stay low on the faster RX500 cards

Last year AMD brought us the RX400 series of cards which where powerful but cost effective cards more focused for more bugged friendly prices . With AMD’s new RYZEN cpu how ever they have started becoming more and more competitive to Intel CPU market . But will its release of the RX500 also yield a greater impact in the graphics department ? .

AMD’s RX500 series of cards come at a lower price than its predecessors but will a small performance boost . Although they might not be a big leap in performance it might be a good investment in those looking for a budget friendly card that can go hand in hand with NVIDIA’s Gtx1060

In addition to those three cards, AMD is also introducing a new low-cost option, the RX550. The RX550 has an 1183MHz boost speed and 2GB of RAM. But its starting price is only $79, and AMD hopes it’ll entice people to pick it up instead of using an integrated graphics solution.

Canonical sharpens post-Unity axe for 80-plus Ubuntu spinners

With Canonicals decision to end its development for the Unity desktop environment , which has been the standard environment for Ubuntu , it has seen many changes as a company in the last couple of days. Founder Mark Shuttleworth has taken back his position as CEO of Canonical making many employees leave the Linux Distro powerhouse any many more leaving On formal notice.
The Canonical creator is cutting figures after an exterior evaluation of his company by potential new financial backers found overstaffing and tasks that lacked emphasis.Tasks have been sliced because of this restructuring, notably the long-promised but never realised Unity 8 convergence project for device and desktop.

Some personnel were bid an instantaneous goodbye without forewarning.It is also claimed inner “town hall” meeting calls were organised with other personnel, alerting them of the looming slashes before El Reg broke the news to the entire world.

A spokesperson for Canonical informed “The Register” these layoffs are being conducted in a different ways around the world because the business operates in a variety of territories with different “regulatory requirements”. They recognized that this is creating doubt for employees.

Network Communication protocols

These technologies to work need internet protocols to allow them to send data through out the internet . These technologies are :

  • Peer to Peer : this protocol makes the clients that want the data into “servers” . This splits up the data to different computers and you give and take data as you are connected . Unlike other protocols which degrade with more users peer to peer increases performance as more users join in, but suffers from “leechers” that only download the files but never upload back causing a degradation in performance.

  • TCP/IP : is a protocol that consists of a Client and a Server . This means that most of the time your download speed is only limited by your Isp and the amount of people connected to the server . It is the most stable of protocols but degrades in performance as more and more users connect to it .

  • UDP : User Datagram Protocol is a protocol which is much faster than TCP/IP and has less latency than other protocols it is used for things likes VOIP and online games that need a fast connection. Although UDP is fast is easily prone to interference and will continue sending packets even if a packet is lost .

Technologies and communication protocols.

There are many different types of internet technologies and protocols used today each has its advantages and disadvantages:

  • Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) is a switching technique used by telecommunication networks that uses asynchronous  time-division multiplexing to encode information into little, altered measured cells..This is different from Ethernet , which use variable packet sizes for data or frames.

  • Dial-up Internet access is a form of Internet access that uses the facilities of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to create connection between the ISP and the Computer by calling a telephone number. The user’s computer or router uses an attached modem to encode and decode information into and from audio frequency signals, respectively. Dial up can reach speeds up to 56 kbps.

  • Digital subscriber line is a family of technologies that are used to transmit digital data over telephone lines. These technologies can work simultaneously  through the same line there for one call take and receive call and also be connected to the internet.