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Tuesday 01 December 2009
iBurst Wireless price cut kicks in
MaTiCa , Tuesday 01 December 2009 - 11:13:56 //

iBurst recently announced that it has revamped its Wireless products, offering subscribers up to double their bandwidth allocation each month for the same or slightly lower monthly subscription fee. In the run-up to the launch of the revamped iBurst Wireless packages tomorrow, iBurst Group CEO Jannie van Zyl promised current subscribers that they will be able to enjoy all the benefits of the new packages.

“It makes good business sense to reward the loyalty of one’s current customers. With this in mind, iBurst is committed to ensuring that our existing subscribers benefit equally from the launch of our new iBurst Wireless packages,? said van Zyl.

Starting today and continuing until 1 December, the majority of the existing iBurst Wireless customer base will be moved over to the new packages in the first phase of the migration project. Customers currently on the following packages will begin receiving email communication today informing them that they will be migrated to equivalent packages: KickStart, Playa, Giga, Turbo, Pro, Xtreme and Addict.

A small portion of the customer base is still subscribed to previous iBurst Wireless packages that have not been available for some time. These customers will be migrated to the new iBurst Wireless packages during Phase 2 of the migration project which starts in mid-December.

iBurst will begin communicating the relevant changes to these subscribers during the course of this week. Subscribers on the following packages will be part of this second migration phase: FreeFlo, Pro Intro, Pro Novice, Pro Classic, Pro Extreme, Pro Addict, Play Intro, Play Special, Play Novice, Play Classic, Play Extreme, Play Addict and Play Special.

iBurst Prepaid Internet subscribers are not affected by the changes to the Wireless packages.

SOURCE: myBroadband News

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Saturday 24 October 2009
Facebook Gets Another Homepage Makeover
MaTiCa , Saturday 24 October 2009 - 21:43:17 //

Facebook rolled out a revamped home page on Friday. The changes once again shake up the information that you see by default when you visit your home page on the social networking site. It demonstrates how Facebook continues to adapt and try to find the right balance of status updates and details to deliver to users.

The major changes basically boil down to this: the ‘Highlights' are merged into the News Feed, and there are basically two home page views to choose from-- the News Feed and the Live Feed. The News Feed uses Facebook magic to determine the posts and updates that seem like they would be most interesting to you, and adds back in items like notifications when friends are tagged in photos, or when friends follow fan pages or join new Facebook groups, add other friends, or RSVP to events.

By contrast, the Live Feed is literally the live feed of all status updates from your entire network of friends on Facebook. While you are viewing the News Feed, a bubble next to the Live Feed link keeps a running count of the number of new updates in the Live Feed. You can also customize what shows up in the Live Feed by clicking on Edit Options at the bottom of the Live Feed page. The removal of the Highlights section from the right panel also mean that the Events box will shift up where things like friends' birthdays will be more visible.

Over the past few months Facebook has morphed through other evolutions in site design and content as well. Facebook added an option to share status updates publicly-- similar to the way Twitter tweets are available to the general public. Facebook updates are still private by default though and require you to manually change the privacy settings to allow them to be shared. It also added Twitter style ‘@' tags, and purchased FriendFeed, a popular niche social networking rival.

Social networking has been around for a while, but it is still embryonic, or at least in its infancy. While sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and others at one time seemed to provide fairly unique services, the lines continue to blur as social networking evolves. Facebook traffic has increased substantially while MySpace has plummeted, and Facebook is continuing to adapt to try and become the Google of social networking rather than turning into the next MySpace.

Facebook explained the reason for the changes on its blog. "Some of you may ask why we are changing the home page again. Like you, we know it can be disruptive when things are moved around, but we hope that these changes make Facebook a more valuable experience for you."

I have no doubt that Facebook wants to provide a valuable experience, but I think there are ulterior motives in there as well. I am sure Facebook monitors the traffic and usage patterns of users very closely to figure out what works. These changes will foster more cross-traffic and more social interaction. Facebook thrives on the viral aspects of the social network and isn't necessarily trying to be a news site.

Facebook also wants to capitalize on its potential of the status update feed with deals like the one with Microsoft unveiled last week at the Web 2.0 Summit. With over 300 million users, Facebook boasts more than 45 million status updates per day, a jackpot for real-time search indexing.

I have one piece of advice to offer Facebook for the next home page revamp (at the current rate of change on Facebook that could be as early as Thanksgiving): come up with a better term than News Feed. The Live Feed seems like it would be more appropriately called the News Feed, while the News Feed is more like the highlights or most interesting stuff. The News Feed and Live Feed names are ambiguous.


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Tuesday 06 October 2009
Gmail, AOL and Yahoo email logins posted online in phishing scam
MaTiCa , Tuesday 06 October 2009 - 21:17:17 //

More than a quarter of a million email accounts on the biggest webmail services are believed to be at risk from online criminals after thousands of passwords belonging to users of the Yahoo, AOL and Gmail services were posted online.

The breach, likely to be the accumulation of a number of separate phishing attacks using fake sites to lure people to leave login details, is believed to be one of the biggest of its kind.

Graham Cluley, a consultant for the security company Sophos, said: "The danger is that people will be using the same password on many different sites, so the criminals will go and try them on Amazon or PayPal or wherever."

Users of those services, and of Microsoft's Hotmail service, are being urged to change their passwords and the security question they use as a precaution.

The discovery comes after 10,000 passwords belonging to Hotmail users with accounts beginning with A or B were found posted online over the weekend. That list suggests there could be about 130,000 compromised Hotmail accounts in all, from its total of 250m.

It emerged today that Yahoo, the biggest online email provider, with about 260m users, Google's Gmail, with about 100m users, and AOL, with 50m, have also been targeted. If the proportion of successful phishing attacks on those users is similar to those affected on Hotmail, more than 250,000 account details would have been captured.

Phishing uses emails with credible-looking web links which lure the reader to click on them and enter personal details. Some masquerade as coming from banks or PayPal, for example, and take the user to fake sites that use the same images as the genuine ones. There they are asked to enter personal information, which can be used to log in to the original email account, and take control of it and other services that use the same details.

Tom Warren, a writer at, which discovered the breaches, noted that many of the Hotmail passwords seemed to come from Europe, suggesting that British users could be substantially affected.


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Thursday 01 October 2009
Apps From The Serious To The Fun Go Google Wave
MaTiCa , Thursday 01 October 2009 - 11:31:49 //

A wave of developers ranging from giants like SAP and to small companies like personalized Web gadget and game developer LabPixies are building extensions to the new Google Wave tool.

Google's new online tool, Wave, marries real time communications with natural language tools to let users create a "wave" and add other users to that wave, all of whom can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets and feeds from other Web sources to replace common email and other traditional communication tools.

Google has asked developers to create their own APIs for the Wave offering, and several have done so. Many of their demos can be accessed by clicking here.

SAP for instance, has shown a prototype of Gravity, which the company said provides real-time, cloud-based collaborative business process modeling within Google Wave.

Gravity, with the collaborative features of Google Wave, allows business process modeling activities to be propagated in near real-time to all other participants of the Wave, SAP said.

In its demo of Gravity, SAP showed how two merging companies could re-engineer their business processes in order to capitalize from cross-selling opportunities. Gravity color-codes each individual modeler's content, shows the history of the model, and allows both asynchronous and synchronous editing. The results could also be imported into SAP Netweaver BPM for further refinement and execution. showed how Wave interacts with cloud platforms like its platform. As an example, it showed a fictitious company asking customers to register the products they purchased, and returned an e-mail address for support. That e-mail address was actually a Wave robot which gets information from the customer about a problem, identifies the customer, and tailors the interaction based on the customer's purchase and support history.

Should the customer request a live chat, Wave sends the request to the robot which then makes a request to to find an available representative. All the interactions between the customer and are included in the Wave, and can be embedded directly into a case detail page from which any support representative can carry on the conversation with the customer.

Google Wave is not only for serious business users.

LabPixies has extensions which allow multiple players to solve Sudoku puzzles together and see who is the best player in a group.

Ribbit, Mountain View, Calif., showed a beta of its Ribbit Message Gadget which allows Wave participants to connect to a Wave via a phone. The Ribbit Message Gadget displays a transcription of audio messages and attaches original audio message as MP3 files. It also includes an embedded player to let users listen to messages, with all messages and responses to requests from the Gadget automatically tracked by a Ribbit Message robot.

Other applications for which Google Wave extensions are being developed include the 6rounds live meeting point application from GixOO, an interactive itinerary application from Lonely Planet, a trip planning gadget from AccuWeather, and another trip planning application from Google Maps.

SOURCE: ChannelWeb
[Submitted by MaTiCa]

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Wednesday 16 September 2009
Cloud Security Still Not 'Major Priority'
MaTiCa , Wednesday 16 September 2009 - 13:14:25 //

No matter how you define the cloud -- software delivered on a per user/per month basis, or infrastructure leased on a pay-as-you-go basis -- the major stumbling block to mass adoption is, and will for the foreseeable future remain, security.

Vendors of cloud computing services, for their part, have done little to alleviate the situation, other than to assure customers that security is a major concern. The Cloud Security Alliance has only now gotten around to refining initial guidelines it issued earlier this year.

For the time being, companies who use cloud computing believe it's secure, and those who don't, well, they're not quite so sure. For those who do take this leap of faith, their willingness to overlook little things like the lack of a service level agreement has more to do with the business they're in or the expense involved with rolling their own management systems and security apparatus.

To see what I mean, just look at the sorts of data that companies are pushing to the cloud, and the sorts of companies most willing to go that route. Archie Reed, a cloud security expert who holds the rank of distinguished technologist at HP, told me that cloud adoption is very high in certain verticals, including real estate companies, retailers and government agencies. In other words, exactly the type of entities you'd expect; entities that wouldn't mind if their listings, inventory or statistics were accidentally exposed or leaked.

Financial services companies, however -- not so much. Processing data in the cloud, sure. Storing data there -- not on your life. Small and medium sized enterprises aside (where the cost-benefit analysis comes down strongly on the side of relying on cloud services), large companies with a lot to lose from a security breach are still reluctant to store their data in the cloud.

Their reticence is more than the residue of hidebound attitudes about Internet-based services; many cloud vendors don’t include security provisions in their enterprise service level agreements (when they offer SLAs at all) -- they simply point to their so-far spotless records.

For many corporate officers, that's not only too big a risk, it's a violation of their fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders, not to mention regulatory mandates in certain cases.

Why isn't security a bigger issue for those vendors? It may well be that cloud computing is a victim of its heretofore exemplary record. Maybe it's going to take a cataclysmic event -- a huge data loss suffered by a large cloud computing company -- to upend the complacency around cloud security. "If and when we see a major breach," Reed told me, "perhaps the focus will move from being 'it's a major concern' to 'it's a major priority.'"

SOURCE: The Information Week Blog

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