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Conficker C - UPDATE

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Previously I had mentioned a not so new virus called the Conficker C that is likely to explode on infected computers on April 1st, 2009. 

As an update, Microsoft has released a patch to download.  The patch, which can be downloaded by clicking on the patch link at the end of this post, is just one step in securing your computer.  Follow these steps to ensure maximum protection.

  1. Download the Microsoft Patch
  2. Update any Anti-virus/Anti-spyware software you currently have.  If you do not have any software, I'd suggest downloading Free Firewall/AntiVirus Software from ZoneAlarm.
  3. Apply a Microsoft update for the AutoRun feature.  This allows you to stop a drive (either a USB thumb drive or external hard drive or CD/DVD) from auto playing.  (Note: You can also do that by holding the Shift key down while putting the disk or USB drive in)
  4. There is also a manual removal of Conficker virus (there are 3 versions, A, B, C), which is on the Microsoft site for reference.
Again, more information will follow in the coming days, but if you continue to have questions, don't hesitate to contact me at anytime or comment on here. 

R.I.P Windows XP, October 25th, 2001 - April 14th, 2009.

Well, not exactly. 

Microsoft will finally be pulling the plug on its most reliable Operating System to date on April 14th, 2009, hoping more users will make the switch to Vista.  This isn't surprising news since Microsoft has stated that they were stopping all retail sales of boxed versions of XP, and computer manufactures were forced to stop installing XP on their consumer machines as early as last year. 

However, this doesn't mean XP is just officially done.  Microsoft will continue to support security fixes, not bugs in the OS.  They will continue to do so until 2014.  They call this their "Extended Support".  By that time Windows Vista will be on it's last legs and Windows 7 will have already had a couple years out on the market.

Are you looking to make the switch to Vista right now?  Take a look at my Top 5 reasons why you should NOT make the switch to Vista at all.

  1. Microsoft will still support XP until 2014, why even bother changing what is already working for you?
  2. Windows 7 is right around the corner, and if you thought XP was great, wait until this OS comes out.  There are already testing being done and the reviews are out of this world for what this OS can do.  From security to top notch extras that truely are needed, I suggest waiting it out.  It's not too far away.
  3. Why spend $200-$500 for an Operating System that still has bugs?  OH, and also for the fact that it'll be obsolete in less than 2 years, just proves the point to wait it out for Windows 7.
  4. Vista doesn't provide anything different except for a few design changes than XP.  For the average user, we won't see the difference. In fact, users when switching to Vista, end of changing their start menu back to XP or even 98 style.  Just ask my mom ;-)
  5. The cost factor involved in getting a new OS installed, and then finding out your old Dell doesn't have enough memory or speed to work with the average Windows Vista Home Premium software.  In this economy, who has money to just spend on an average, at best, operating system?
What are your thoughts? Are you still making the switch?  Let us know, and why!

It's coming this April 1st.  No, it's no joke!  It's called the Conficker C Virus.  A very in-depth and complicated virus that has been infecting computers since late 2008. 

Microsoft released a $250,000 USD bounty for anyone who knows the head in charge for this virus. 

What does this major infection actually do?  Well, at the moment, researchers and engineers aren't exactly aware, but what they do know is that the ticking of this infection will stop on April 1st, and will do anything it wants from there.  This means if you are currently infected, don't remove it or quarantine it by that date, the virus can do anything it wants; ie. wipe out your hard drive, read passwords or personal information saved, or just create a monstrosity of popups, ugh!

There's more about this virus, and to make things simple, I won't go too far into it here.  I can't stress the importance of a good anti-virus/spyware program, and keeping it updated at ALL time.  Ensure your Windows Update is on automatic as well just in case there is an update, it can do its thing quickly without you having to be there.

Lastly, keep checking here for continuous updates on this virus in the coming days and weeks. 

Any questions, don't hesitate to contact me at anytime. 
     

Microsoft will be providing serveral online training programs such as "How to use the internet" and "Windows XP Professional". 

These programs are to help Americans receive the technical skills in order to receive an IT job. 

The questions is now, are IT companies willing to employee these so called professionals once they pass the online trainings?

pioneer-plasma-tv-kuro-pdp-5080-xd.jpgPioneer Electronics has recently released statements that their Kuro plasma TVs will be discontinued as of March 2010. 

LCD TV's are dominating the market with it's truer picture and better contrast, even though they cost more than a plasma (usually 15-20% more).  Pioner says their plasma tv market was approx. 14% of the business. They will now focus more on car and home audio components.  Maybe we can get a decked out navigation system with full internet access so we can twitter as we drive?

Okay,so with this news, consumers may be wondering "Are plasma tv's done"?  The answer is simple.  No.  There are still big business, with LG, Panasonic and Samsung all in the game.  Costs are still cheaper, and consumers just aren't going to spend $500 more for the same 50 inch TV, just because the LCD is brighter. 

What's my opinion?  Plasma is still a great TV, the picture is amazing.  If you are looking for a tv that isn't going to have much light around when watching a show or movie, then I'd rather save the $500 difference, stick with plasma and get that navigation system that can let others know I'm twittering while driving. 

What do you think? 

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