Social Icons

Featured Posts

Monday, December 14, 2015

Mobile Operating Systems

Mobile Operating Systems
The operating system on mobile devices and many consumer electronics is called a mobile
operating system and resides on firmware. Mobile operating systems typically include or
support the following: calendar and contact management, text messaging, email, touch screens,
accelerometer (so that you can rotate the display), digital cameras, media players, speech recognition,
GPS navigation, a variety of third-party apps, a browser, and wireless connectivity, such as
cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. 

                                  Should Text Messages Sent by Employees Be Private?
 Should Text Messages Sent by Employees Be Private?
When an employer asks a worker to disclose
work-related text messages, is the employee
legally required to reveal all messages, even personal
ones? Is the employer liable for damages
caused by inappropriate messages sent by an

Many companies provide employees with
mobile devices, such as smartphones, for work
communications. Employers typically create
acceptable use policies. These policies address
ownership of electronic communications,
including email messages, voice mail messages,
and text messages. Regardless of the policy,
employees may believe they have the rights of
privacy and self-expression when they use a
company-issued mobile device for personal use.
The issue is complicated further when companies
employ BYOD (bring your own device) policies.
When an employee uses a personal device for
business-related communications, it is unclear
who owns the communications, and who takes
responsibility for any misuse.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an
employer can read workers’ text messages on
company-owned devices if the employer has
reason to believe the text messages violate
workplace rules. The Court held that employees
can purchase their own mobile devices for
personal use. Critics state that employees have
a reasonable expectation of privacy. Supporters
of the decision argue that employers own
the devices because they provide the devices
and pay for the service for the employee. They
claim, therefore, that employers have a right to
view the content of all text messages.

Should text messages sent
by employees be private? Why or why not?
How can employers impose policies regarding
text messages sent on company-issued
mobile devices? Should employers be able to
access work-related communications
on an employee-owned device? Why or why not?

                                                          BYOD Security Issues
BYOD Security Issues
Effective BYOD (bring your own device) policies
can lead to many benefits for businesses, but
they also give rise to many issues that affect
information security and data protection.
When employees bring their smartphones,
tablets, and laptops into the workplaces, the
companies surrender much control over this
hardware compared to devices they own.

One of the biggest problems is that
employees can carry their devices everywhere
outside of work. If these devices are lost or
stolen, the company’s sensitive information can
land in the hands of criminals. Many of these
allegedly lost devices are sold on online auctions
and other services websites, even if the original
owners have wiped their devices remotely.

Companies need to educate employees
on mobile device management (MDM). One
point they need employees to know is that
phishing scams abound in email messages,
text messages, Facebook posts, and Tweets.
Other security measures to emphasize are the
need to use strong passwords, to not reveal
these passwords to other employees, and to
avoid apps that collect information about
the user, especially those that monitor the
employee’s location and shopping habits.

BYOD policies should be developed that
address technical, legal, and human resources
issues. The language in these policies should
cover these topics:

• Ensuring that work data will not be merged
with the employee’s personal data.

• Requiring that nonemployees, such as
family members who use the device, will
not access work data.

• Following procedures when an employee
resigns or is terminated.

• Alerting management immediately when
the device is lost or stolen.

Do you or people you
know work at a business that allow employees
to bring their own devices to work? If so, do
these businesses have a BYOD policy? If so,
how were the policy’s terms communicated?
For example, were they explained verbally and
available in written form?

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Growth Of The Web

Growth Of The Web

The World Wide Web is exploding in size. From
a barely noticeable handful of websites 20 years
ago, it has mushroomed into a gigantic resource
In 2010 alone, around 21.4 million new websites
were added to the Web. And as huge countries
like China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil get more
and more of their population online, it’s only
set to get bigger and bigger.

The World Wide Web is exploding in size

Most visited websites 
Google publishes a list of the number of 
monthly unique visitors the world’s other 
most popular websites receive. While the 
exact number remains a mystery for Google
itself, it’s safe to assume that it would top 
this list.
Most visited websites

                                                               Access all areas
 Access all areas

Imagine facing a 2-day trek 
every time you wanted to check
your e-mail. That’s the prospect
facing many who live in rural 
parts of mountainous Nepal. 
Here, on the “Roof of the World
fewer than three percent of the
country’s 29 million people have
direct Internet access. Nepal  
is far from alone. There is a  
huge digital divide between the
Internet haves and have-nots 
around the world. All kinds of 
initiatives, both big and small,
are working to shrink the gap.

According to Internet World Stats  
in 2010, more than three-quarters  
of the U.S. population were Internet 
users. By contrast, just 0.3 percent 
of the population of the African 
nation of Sierra Leone used  
the Internet. 

Network Nepal

Many communities in rural Nepal are remote, at high 
altitude, cut off by steep valleys, and poorly served by
roads or electricity. Building long-distance Wi-Fi 
networks in this terrain has been a huge challenge. 
Materials have been carried up by hand to construct 
the relay towers that beam the signals through the 
narrow valleys. The highest tower stands 11,800 ft 
(3,600 m) above sea level and is manned by a yak 
farmer, who must check the connections every day.

Online impact

The Internet has brought 
together isolated Nepalese 
communities. School children 
work online, farmers can buy 
and sell on a local trading 
website, and health workers use 
webcams so patients can be 
examined by hospital doctors in 
the capital, Kathmandu.

Everest 3G

In 2010, the Nepalese telecom 
company Ncell brought 
wireless 3G Internet and phone 
coverage to Mount Everest—
its climbers, guides, and nearby 
villages. Since there is no 
electricity supply, the system’s  
10 base stations are powered 
by solar panels, with batteries 
for backup. The highest of the 
stations is 17,060 ft (5,200 m) 
above sea level. 

How the Web is run

The World Wide Web is huge and complex,
so who runs it all? Surely, someone must be in
charge? It’s not the Internet service providers
(ISPs) who connect you to the Internet, or the
telecom companies who supply phone lines and
infrastructure. Nor is it national governments or
the UN. The answer is that no single organization
administers all websites and the content that
flows between them.

How the Web is run

“The Internet is
not a thing, a place,
a single technology,
or a mode of
governance. It is
an agreement.”
John Gage, Director of Science,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Internet to splinternet?

The Internet has relied on
agreement between many parties
to survive and prosper worldwide.
Could a lack of future agreement,
censorship, and other restrictions
placed on websites by national
governments lead to a “splinternet,”
with different standards in different
nations? No one is certain, but
changes are likely as more and
more of the four billion people
currently without access get online.

Internet to splinternet?

The good side
of the Web

The founders of the World Wide Web made it freely 
available because they thought it could be a 
powerful force for good. In many ways, they were 
right. In its relatively short life so far, the World 
Wide Web has been an astonishing success, 
helping to inform and transform millions of lives. It 
provides a platform for new businesses, puts 
people with shared interests in touch, and 
provides a convenient, regularly updated source  
of news and entertainment for millions every day.

Free software 

The Web holds a growing collection of 
computer programs that are free for anyone 
with Internet access to download. People 
often take these resources for granted, but it is 
quite remarkable that the results of thousands 
of hours of hard work are given away. The two 
main kinds of free software are freeware and 
open-source programs. Freeware is software 
that is free for personal or non-commercial 
use. Open-source programs go even further, 
offering the entire program code and 
background details so that fellow software 
designers can alter or improve the program.

Wayback Machine

Interested in time travel? The Wayback  
Machine is a gigantic archive of web pages 
dating back to 1996. Users can see what a 
website’s content was like at different points in 
the past—for free. In 2007, the California-based 
organization performed a massive web crawl 
in order to take a global snapshot of the 
World Wide Web. It cataloged and 
archived two billion web pages. 
Archives like this will be invaluable 
to future Internet historians. 

MIT’s OpenCourseWare  
offers free lecture notes, exam 
papers, and video tutorials for 
2,000 different academic 
courses. More than a million 
students and educators visit 
the site each month.

Sharing expertise

The Web is bursting with knowledge on a vast  
range of subjects. Experts and enthusiasts give  
up their time to offer insights and information  
on personal websites or take part in collaborative 
projects such as iFixit, which offers repair manuals 
for hundreds of electrical devices. Surfers can 
download sports rules and coaching tips from 
governing bodies, identify wildlife they have spotted, 
learn a language, or get advice on how to improve 
their paintings, photography, or music, all for free. 

On December 10, 2010, users donated
more than 60 million grains
of rice to starving people 
worldwide. All they had to do
was click on advertisers’ 
links on websites. 


In 2003, recycling activist Deron Beal 
sent out an email to about 40 friends 
and local charities around Tucson, 
Arizona. He wanted to set up a 
system in which people offered 
unwanted goods to others rather than 
throw them away. The Freecycle 
Network now operates in more than 
85 countries and has more than seven 
million members. Its online notice 
boards advertise all kinds of gifted 
items, from baby carriages to printers. 

Michelle Miles, a 19-year-old 
from Arkansas, began a 
charitable cause on Facebook.
Her “Race to End Cancer”  
has more than six million 
members and has raised  
more than $80,000. 

Helping others 

Charities and campaign groups use the Web  
to raise awareness of issues. Their websites 
feature facts and figures, video case studies, and 
interviews. Many provide helpful free resources, 
such as advice on how to deal with bullying, 
eating disorders, alcohol, drugs, or gang violence. 
Charities can raise funds by running online 
campaigns or organizing virtual volunteering, in 
which people donate their time or skills over the 
Internet to help a cause some distance away.  

The bad side  
of the Web

Most people build web pages in order to  
educate, inform, or entertain. Some, however,  
misuse the fabulous resource at their fingertips,  
and play pranks, start rumors, or build websites  
full of lies. Some use the Web, email, and instant 
messages to upset and intimidate people. Others 
spread malicious computer code that can damage 
computers or steal passwords, allowing criminals  
to divert money from victims’ bank accounts. 

Viruses and worms 

Computer viruses are types of malware that make 
copies of themselves and run automatically on a 
computer, often destroying files or even erasing hard 
disks. When a file containing a virus is sent to another 
computer, it can become infected, too. Worms  
are viruses that use network connections to spread 
automatically. Identified in 2008, the Conficker worm 
has infected millions of machines, including computers 
in the French navy and British police. It may have 
caused more than $9.5 billion of damage. 

Offensive sites 

Many websites display images or discuss 
subjects, such as violence or sexual 
content, that are unsuitable for children 
and distasteful to many adults. Internet 
filters, such as Net Nanny, Safe Eyes, and 
Google’s SafeSearch, can prevent  
these sites from being viewed by  
people who do not want to  
or should not see them.


Computer software that is sent  
to your computer with mischievous 
or criminal intent is called malware. 
It includes viruses, worms, Trojans, 
and spyware. Malware can be just  
a harmless, if irritating, prank or 
designed for more serious purposes, 
such as stealing credit card and 
bank account details or crippling  
a victim’s computer. Malware is  
a massive problem, with around 
60,000 new malware threats 
identified every day.

In 2009, 11 people in China 
were found guilty of using 
Trojans and other malware. 
They had stolen more than 
five million user names  
and passwords.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Creating a Home Theater with Windows 7’s Media Center

Determined to pry TiVo off the nation’s TV sets, Microsoft
tossed its own digital video recorder into Windows 7.
Called Windows Media Center, the built-in program lets you
automatically record movie and TV shows with your computer.
The catch? Your computer needs three things to record television:

✓ A TV signal, which usually enters through a cable in the wall
or an antenna
✓ A TV tuner, which plugs into your computer or lives on a card
slipped inside it
✓ Any Windows 7 version but Starter, the stripped-down
version sold mostly on netbooks

The three tasks above let you record and playback TV shows, but
to hear the best sound, connect your computer’s sound to your
home theater.

To install a TV tuner for recording and watching TV on
your computer. It also explains how to connect your computer to your TV and
home stereo, turning your computer into the backbone of a home theater.

Can’t afford a TV tuner? Go ahead and fire up Windows Media Center, anyway. The
program lets you watch many TV shows over the Internet, neatly bypassing the
need to install a TV tuner.

Buying a TV Tuner
Your television signal may come into your home through an antenna, or through
a cable in the wall. But before you can tell your computer to display or record a
show, you need to tell it which channel to grab. And that’s where a TV tuner comes
in: It’s a piece of electronics that separates your coveted TV channel from the

dozens of other channels flowing down the wire.

TV tuners hail from two schools. Some plug into a USB port, making them handy
for laptops, netbooks, and desktop PCs. Other tuners fit inside a desktop computer;
designed for those willing to pick up a screwdriver, these internal tuners usually
cost less and offer more performance.

Since nearly any TV tuner on the store shelves will work with your computer, which
do you buy? Here’s how to juggle your needs, your budget, and the fine-print on the
TV tuner’s box.

✓ Dual-tuner: Ever wanted to record two shows when they both air at the same
time? Then you need a dual-tuner TV tuner. These let you grab an episode of
South Park even when it’s airing against The Simpsons. The most expensive
cards come with four tuners; less-expensive cards include only one.
✓ Hauppauge: This company’s been selling TV tuners longer than nearly anybody,
so they provide more online support and better drivers than much of the
competition. Give them a plus, even it if means a slightly higher price tag.
✓ Windows 7 compatible: Many older tuners won’t work with Windows 7. Make
sure you’re buying one that’s guaranteed to work with Windows 7. (A Windows
Vista tuner might work, but you’re taking chances.)
✓ Remote control: TV tuners that come with handheld remotes receive bonus
points. You’ll be watching the screen from a distance and need a handy way to
control the action. Make sure the remote control works with Windows Media
Center, though, or you’ll be forced to use the TV-viewing software bundled
with the tuner.
✓ Video In: Some cards toss this in for people who want to convert video from
old VCRs or camcorders into computer files, which can be edited and burned
to DVD. Don’t want it? Don’t pay for it. If you want it, though, make sure you
buy one that supports your old VCR or camcorder’s format, either S-Video or
regular (also called “composite”) video.
✓ CableCARD: All digital channels above channel 99 are encrypted, meaning
you can’t watch them. Unless, that is, you have a CableCARD: a slim card that
slides into your TV tuner and works as a decryption box. CableCARDs come
from your TV signal provider, and only the more expensive tuners accept
them. And without them, forget about premium HDTV channels.
✓ Antenna: Local TV stations broadcast their HDTV signals over the airwaves.
Some TV tuners come with a small antenna, which picks up a handful of local
stations or more, depending on your geographic location. If you don’t have a
CableCARD, a rooftop digital antenna might help.
✓ NTSC (National Television System Committee): Television’s old broadcast
standard sent channels 2–99 through the airwaves for more than fifty years, so
nearly every tuner still accepts it. This old analog standard is now replaced by
✓ ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee): Tuners supporting this
standard can tune in to digital broadcasts, which include high-definition channels.
✓ Clear QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation): ATSC channels are sent in
this format. If your tuner can grab Clear QAM signals, it can handle nearly
anything broadcast today. The most expensive tuners can grab NTSC, ATSC,
and Clear QAM.
✓ FM tuner: Recording television is the main attraction, but some deluxe tuners
also toss in an FM tuner for recording FM radio stations. Many FM stations
come in on the same cable as your TV; others require an antenna.

Identifying the Cables and Connectors on Your

Computer’s Television Tuner and Your TV

Your computer’s TV tuner comes with plenty of ports to grab video and send it to
your TV screen in a variety of ways.
Identifying the Cables and Connectors on Your Computer’s Television Tuner and Your TV

Your computer’s TV tuner comes with plenty of ports to grab video and send it to your TV screen in a variety of ways.

The problem with recording digital cable and satellite channels

Installing a USB TV Tuner

TV tuners that plug into a USB port provide a great way to turn laptops
into portable TV sets. USB tuners are also easy to install, and they’re
easily moved from one computer to another.

To install a USB TV tuner, follow these steps, and then head to an
upcoming task, “Connecting Your TV Signal to Your Computer.”
Without a TV signal, you won’t see any TV shows.

Installing a USB TV Tuner

1. Unpack your TV tuner and find all the parts. The
tuner itself has a USB plug on one end, and a
coaxial cable port on the other. Look for a USB
cable and a cable for connecting the tuner to
your TV set, if desired. Some tuners also come
with remote controls, as well as miniature
antennas for pulling TV signals from the air.

2. Slide the tuner’s USB plug into a USB port. Windows
usually recognizes newly installed USB devices and sets
them up to work correctly. If you don’t see the words
“Device Installed Successfully,” install the tuner’s
software, which should contain the right drivers.

Your device is ready to use

3. Visit the manufacturer’s Web site and download
the latest setup software for your model of TV
tuner, and run that software instead of the CD
included in the box. (It’s more up-to-date.) Also,
some TV tuners come with their own TV-viewing
software. Instead of installing that bundled
program, run a Windows Media Center Kit setup
software, if you see one. The kit lets you control
the tuner through Windows 7’s Media Center,
instead of the bundled viewer.

Windows Media Center Kit Installation

4. Set up the remote, if included. USB TV tuners
usually have the receiver built into their box.
Aim the remote control at the little box’s built-in
receiver when changing channels. (The built-in
receiver is usually hidden by dark translucent
plastic.) After you’ve installed the TV tuner, it’s
time to connect it to your TV signal, described
in Chapter 3’s task, “Connecting a TV to a PC or
Laptop.” (The video signal must come from your
computer’s video card, not the TV tuner.)

Finding Your PC’s PCI-Express 1x and PCI Slots

If you’re planning on installing your TV tuner inside your desktop
computer, you need to make sure your PC has the right slots — little

plastic things where the card lives.

Every computer sold in the past ten years comes with PCI slots, so
you’re always safe buying that option. Chances are, your PC also has
the slots preferred by the latest TV tuners, PCI-Express 1x. Follow these
steps to locate one or both of those slots inside your computer so that
you know exactly which type of tuner card you should buy for your PC.

1. Turn off your PC, unplug it, and remove your computer’s case.

PCI-Express 1x slots PCI slots
2. Examine the row of parallel slots inside your
PC. The tiniest slots, about an inch long, are
PCI-Express 1x slots. (They’re often black.) The
adjacent slots, about three times as long, are
usually PCI slots. (They’re often white.) The
longest slot is usually a PCI-Express 16x slot,
almost always reserved for video cards.

If you find both type of slots, you’re exceptionally lucky: You can install a TV tuner card built for either PCI slots or PCI-Express 1x slots, as well as USB tuners. No little PCI-Express 1x slots in your PC? Then you’re limited to PCI slot cards or USB add-ons.

Installing an Internal TV Tuner

The more powerful tuners, especially those with two or more tuners,
usually come on cards. Before shopping, complete the preceding task,
“Finding Your PC’s PCI-Express 1x and PCI Slots,” so you know which

type of card to buy.

To install a TV tuner, follow these steps:

1. Turn off your PC, unplug it, and remove your computer’s case.

PCI or PCI-Express 1x slot

2. Find an empty PCI or PCI-Express 1x slot to match your TV tuner card. Then remove
the empty slot’s metal backplate by removing the single screw that holds the backplate
in place. Then, lift out the little plate. (Save the screw, as you need it to secure the
new sound card in place.)

3. Push the card into the appropriate slot, either
PCI-Express 1x or PCI. Hold the card by its
edges and position it over the appropriate
empty slot. The edge with the shiny metal
bracket faces toward the back of your
computer. Line up the tabs and notches on the
card’s bottom edge with the notches in the slot.
Push the card slowly into the slot. You may
need to rock the card back and forth gently.
When the card pops in, you can feel it come to
rest. Don’t force it!

 Push the card into the appropriate slot, either PCI-Express 1x or PCI.

4. Secure the card in the slot with the screw you
removed in Step 2. If you drop the screw, be
sure to fish it out of your computer’s case. You
may have to pick up the case, turn it upside
down, and shake it.

 Secure the card in the slot with the screw you removed

5. Plug the computer’s power cord back into the
wall and PC, turn on your PC, and see whether
Windows recognizes and installs the card.
Windows usually recognizes newly installed
cards and sets them up to work correctly. If everything’s
working, however, put your PC’s cover back on.

6. Install the latest version of the card’s drivers and software.
When you turn on your computer again, Windows
will announce that it’s recognized the card, just as it
does when you plug in a USB gadget, like an iPod.
Whenever you install a new tuner card or any other
card, visit the manufacturer’s Web site. Find the site’s
Support or Customer Service section, and then
download and install the latest drivers for that particular
model and your version of Windows. Card manufacturers
constantly update their drivers and software to fix bugs.

7. Install the IR receiver for the remote control, if needed.
TV tuner cards that include handheld remote controls
sometimes come with an IR receiver that give you
something to aim at. The IR receiver is a thin cable with
a jack on one end and little plastic receiver on the other
end. Plug the cable’s jack into the card’s IR port, and
then place the receiver within sight of where you’ll point
the remote. Once you’ve installed the TV tuner, it’s time
to connect it to your TV signal, described in the next

Your device is ready to use

Connecting Your TV Signal to Your Computer

This part’s easy, as the vast majority of TV tuners grab a TV signal only
one way: through a coaxial port — a little threaded plug that lets you screw
a connector onto it. If your room already has a coaxial cable poking out

through the wall, screw it onto your tuner’s coaxial port. That’s it!

But if that coaxial cable’s already being hogged by your TV or cable
box, then you need a splitter — a little gadget that splits one cable into
two, letting one end stay plugged into your TV or cable box, while the
other plugs into your computer’s tuner. They’re available at nearly any
store that sells TVs.

Installing a splitter is cheap, easy, and lets your TV work normally, even
when your computer’s recording a different channel.

Follow these steps to install a splitter, which magically turns one cable
into two: One for your computer, and the other for your TV or cable box:

Connecting Your TV Signal to Your Computer

1. Unplug the coaxial cable from the RF or VHF\UHF “In”
port on your TV or cable box. Found on the back of
every TV and cable box, that port accepts the signal
from a TV cable that runs from either the wall or an
antenna. You may need a pair of pliers to loosen the
connector from the port on the back of your TV or
cable box; your fingers can handle the rest

Screw the coaxial cable’s connector into the end of the splitter

2. Screw the coaxial cable’s connector into the end of the splitter with only one port
(left). Coaxial cables should always screw onto a splitter; the push-on connectors tend
to fall off. Then plug your two new coaxial cables onto each of the two ports on the
splitter’s other side (right).

Plug one of your two new cables back into the spot where you unplugged it

3. Plug one of your two new cables back into the spot where you unplugged it in Step 1,
on either your TV or cable box (left). Then plug the other end into your TV tuner’s
coaxial port (right). The splitter then lets your TV keep its same connection, so it still
receives the same channels. Plus, your computer receives all the channels, as well.

Fire up Windows Media Center

4. Fire up Windows Media Center,
follow the setup screens to tell the
program about your tuner, and
start watching TV on your

Connecting Your Computer’s High-Quality
Sound to Your Home Theater

Most home stereos cost several hundred dollars more than the cheap
desktop speakers sold with many computers today. If you watch a lot of
DVDs on your computer and want surround sound — or you simply
want higher-quality sound when listening to MP3s or playing games —
this task explains how to connect your computer’s sound to your stereo
or home theater.

Most of today’s home stereos accept sound from up to three types of
connectors: digital, optical, or analog RCA jacks. The key to success is
finding the best sound source your sound card dishes up and connecting
it to the best sound source accepted by your home stereo.

Follow these steps to connect your computer’s sound to your home

1. Count the speakers connected to your home theater or stereo. If
your stereo sends sound through a single pair of speakers, usually
one speaker on each side of the TV, it’s probably using analog
sound. (I describe how to connect analog sound in Chapter 8’s
task, “Connecting Your PC’s Sound to Your Home Stereo.”) If your
home theater pipes walls of sound through five or more speakers,
however, it’s probably using digital sound, which I describe how to
connect here.

Connecting Your Computer’s High-Quality Sound to Your Home Theater

2. Discover the type of sound offered by your computer. Examine the sound jacks on the
back of your computer. Most offer at least two of these three connectors: Optical/
Toslink (digital, left) resembles a square hole. Sometimes it’s called an optical
connector. When not in use, the hole’s usually plugged with a small plastic cover
that pulls off with a little effort. Coaxial/RCA (digital, middle) is sometimes called an S/
PDIF or digital coaxial connector. A 1⁄8-inch port (analog, right), like the kind you plug
headphones into, is limited to stereo sound.

Connecting Your Computer’s High-Quality Sound to Your Home Theater

3. Examine the back of your stereo to find its Audio In jacks. If you have only two
speakers connected to your home stereo, you’ll probably spot a pair of RCA Audio In
jacks (left). If you have more than two speakers, you’ll probably find either a Toslink
(middle) or a single RCA connector (right).

4. Connect the matching digital cable between the matching ports on your computer’s
sound card and your stereo. You’ll need to buy whichever digital cable matches the
digital ports on both your computer and home stereo, Optical/Toslink or RCA. Stuck
with a Toslink connector on your computer’s sound card and an RCA connector on
your home stereo — or vice versa? Pick up a Toslink/RCA converter from RAM
Electronics ( or a stereo store. For less than $30, the
little converter box lets the two connect.

5. Most stereos let you hear sound from a variety of gadgets: CD/DVD players, radios,
iPods, or even record players. To hear your computer’s sound, turn your home
stereo’s input selector knob to Line In — or the name of the jack where you plugged in
your computer’s sound cable. If you’ve plugged in a digital connection, you may need
to flip a switch on your stereo to Digital mode.

6. Play music through your computer at a low volume, and then slowly turn up the
volume on your stereo. You’ll probably want to control the volume at your computer
because that’s within reach. So turn the volume up on your stereo, and leave your
computer set fairly low. Then, as you turn up the volume on your computer, your
stereo will grow louder, as well. Play around with the volume settings for a while until
you find the right mix. If the computer’s too loud and the stereo’s too low, you’ll hear
distortion. If the stereo’s too loud and the computer’s too low, you’ll blast your ears
when you turn up the sound on your computer.

Routing Sound Through an HDMI Cable

Follow this rarely undertaken task only if all three of these conditions

are met:

✓ Your monitor (which might double as your
TV set) includes built-in speakers, and you
want to listen to sound through them.
✓ Your monitor connects to your video card
through an HDMI cable.
✓ You want to route the sound through the
HDMI cable rather than through a separate

sound cable.

If you meet those narrow guidelines, follow these steps to route your
sound through your video card’s HDMI cable, into your monitor, out of
your monitor’s built-in speakers.

1. Turn off your PC, unplug it, and remove your computer’s case.

2. Locate the S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital
Interconnect Format) pins that carry sound
from your sound card or motherboard. Then
slide one end of the jumper cable onto the two
pins. And just where are these “S/PDIF pins”?
Well, sometimes they’re labeled with tiny print
on the circuit board, right next to the connector.
But if they’re not labeled, you’ll have to pull out
the manual, unfortunately. Don’t have the
manual? You can almost always download the
manual online from the manufacturer.

Routing Sound Through an HDMI Cable

3. Slide the other end of the jumper cable onto
the S/PDIF pins on your video card. Secure
the jumper cable with a twist tie to keep it

from being caught in any nearby fans.

S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format

4. Replace your computer’s case and turn on your
computer. You may have to adjust the volume
on your monitor to hear the newly flowing

sound running through the HDMI cable.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Health Concerns of Using Technology

Health Concerns of Using Technology
The widespread use of technology has led to some important user health concerns. You should
be proactive and minimize your chance of risk.

                                                          Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive Strain Injuries
A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is an injury or disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons,
and joints. Technology-related RSIs include tendonitis and carpal tunnel

• Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon due to repeated motion or stress on that tendon.
• Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is inflammation of the nerve that connects the forearm to the
palm of the hand.

Repeated or forceful bending of the wrist can cause tendonitis of the wrist or CTS.
Symptoms of tendonitis of the wrist include extreme pain that extends from the forearm
to the hand, along with tingling in the fingers. Symptoms of CTS include burning pain
when the nerve is compressed, along with numbness and tingling in the thumb and first
two fingers.

Long-term computer work can lead to Tendonitis or CTS. Factors that cause these disorders
include prolonged typing, prolonged mouse usage, or continual shifting between the mouse and
the keyboard. If untreated, these disorders can lead to permanent physical damage.

                                        What can you do to prevent technology-related
                                                             Tendonitis or CTS?
What can you do to prevent technology-related tendonitis or CTS?

• Take frequent breaks to exercise your hands and arms
• Do not rest your wrists on the edge of a desk.
Instead, place a wrist rest between the keyboard and
the edge of your desk.
• Place the mouse at least six inches from the edge
of the desk. In this position, your wrist is flat on
the desk.
• Minimize the number of times you switch between
the mouse and the keyboard.
• Keep your forearms and wrists level so that your
wrists do not bend.
• Avoid using the heel of your hand as a pivot point
while typing or using the mouse.
• Keep your shoulders, arms, hands, and wrists relaxed
while you work.
• Maintain good posture.
• Stop working if you experience pain or fatigue.

                                                                  Hand Exercises
Hand Exercises
• Spread fingers apart for several seconds while

keeping wrists straight.
• Gently push back fingers and then thumb.
• Dangle arms loosely at sides and then shake
arms and hands.

To reduce the chance of developing
Tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome, take frequent
breaks during computer sessions to exercise your
hands and arms.

Other Physical Risks
With the growing use of earbuds and
headphones in computers and mobile
devices, some users are experiencing hearing

Computer vision syndrome (CVS)
Computer vision syndrome (CVS)

Computer vision syndrome (CVS)
is a technology-related health condition
that affects eyesight. You may have CVS
if you have sore, tired, burning, itching,
or dry eyes; blurred or double vision after
prolonged staring at a display device;
headache or sore neck; difficulty shifting
focus between a display device and documents;
difficulty focusing on the screen
image; color fringes or after-images when
you look away from the display device;
and increased sensitivity to light. Eyestrain
associated with CVS is not thought to have
serious or long-term consequences.

Techniques to Ease Eyestrain

• Every 10 to 15 minutes, take an eye break.
- Look into the distance and focus on an object for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Roll your eyes in a complete circle.

- Close your eyes and rest them for at least one minute.
• Blink your eyes every five seconds.
• Place your display about an arm’s length away from your eyes
with the top of the screen at or below eye level.
• Use large fonts.
• If you wear glasses, ask your doctor about computer glasses.
• Adjust the lighting.

Following these tips may help reduce eyestrain while using

People who spend their workday using the
computer sometimes complain of lower back

pain, muscle fatigue, and emotional fatigue.

Lower back pain sometimes is caused from poor posture. Always sit properly in the chair while you work. To alleviate back pain, muscle fatigue, and emotional fatigue, take a 15- to 30-minute break every 2 hours — stand up, walk around, stretch, and relax.

Evaluate Earbuds and Headphones

Earbuds and headphones are used to listen
to music and other audio files on computers
and mobile devices. Selecting the
proper product not only depends on the
style you prefer, but also the type of audio
you will be playing. Prices for earbuds and
headphones can range from only a few
dollars to several hundred dollars, so it is
important to know what you are purchasing.
The following guidelines describe what
to look for when evaluating earbuds and


• Determine which style you prefer. Earbuds
rest inside your ear, while headphones rest
over your ear. Experiment with both types
and determine which is more comfortable
for you.
• Determine the quality you desire. If you
listen to music casually and typically do
not notice variations in sound quality,
a higher-end product might not be
necessary. Alternatively, if sound quality
is important, you may consider a more
expensive set. Note that a higher price
does not always indicate better quality;
read online product reviews for information
about the sound quality of various
• Decide whether you would like a noise
cancelling feature. Noise cancelling
helps block external noise while you are
listening to the audio on your device. Noise
cancelling headphones sometimes require
batteries, and you are able to turn the noise
cancelling feature on and off. If you will be
listening to audio in locations where you
also need to hear what is going on around
you, consider purchasing a product without
this feature.

Based on your preferences
and needs, which type of product
(earbuds or headphones) is best for you?
Locate a product online that meets your
specifications. What brand is it? How
much does it cost? Where is this product

Another way to help prevent these injuries is to be sure your workplace is designed

Ergonomics is an applied science devoted to incorporating comfort, efficiency,
and safety into the design of items in the workplace. Ergonomic studies have shown that using
the correct type and configuration of chair, keyboard, display, and work surface helps users
work comfortably and efficiently and helps protect their health. You can hire an
ergonomic consultant to evaluate your workplace and recommend changes.

A well designed work area should be flexible to allow adjustments to the height
and build of different individuals.

Behavioral Health Risks

Some technology users become obsessed with computers, mobile devices, and the Internet.
Technology addiction occurs when technology use consumes someone’s entire social life.
Technology addiction is a growing health problem, but it can be treated through therapy and

support groups.

People suffering from technology overload feel distressed when deprived of technology, even for
a short length of time, or feel overwhelmed with the amount of technology they are required to
manage. To cope with the feelings of distraction and to control the impact that technology can
have on work and relationships, set aside technology-free time.

How can you tell if you are addicted to technology?
Symptoms of a user with technology addiction include the following:

• Craves computer time
• Overjoyed when using a computer or mobile device
• Unable to stop using technology
• Irritable when not using technology
• Neglects family and friends
• Problems at work or school

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Avoid Malware Infections

Avoid Malware Infections
Some websites contain tempting offers to
download free games and music, install
toolbars that offer convenience, enter contests,
and receive coupons on your computers
or mobile devices. Danger, however, may
lurk in those files, for they secretly could
install malware with effects ranging from a
mild annoyance to a severe problem such
as identity theft. Recall that malware is
malicious software that acts without your
knowledge and deliberately alters operations
of your computer or mobile device. As
a general rule, do not install or download
unfamiliar software. Follow these guidelines
to minimize the chance of your computer
or mobile device becoming infected with

Social media
Social media: Malware authors often
focus on social media, with the goal of
stealing personal information, such as
passwords, profiles, contact lists, and credit
card account details. Their websites urge
unsuspecting users to take surveys, tap or
click links to obtain free merchandise and
games, and download antivirus programs.
Ignore these deceitful tactics.

Email: Spam
Email: Spam (unsolicited email messages)
can be loaded with malware, but even
email messages from friends can be a
culprit. If the message does not contain a
subject line or contains links or an attachment,
exercise caution. One option is to
save the attachment to your computer so
that antivirus software can scan the file for
possible malware before you open it. Your
best practice is to avoid opening suspicious
messages at all costs.

Flash memory storage:
Flash memory storage: Colleagues and
friends may hand you a USB flash drive or
memory card with software, photos, and
other files. Scan these media with security
software before opening any files.

Pop-up windows:
Pop-up windows: At times, a window
may open suddenly (called a pop-up
window), with a warning that your
computer is infected with a virus or that
a security breach has occurred, and then
make an urgent request to download free
software to scan your computer or mobile
device and correct the alleged problem.
Beware. Many of these offers actually are
rogue security software that will infect a

Websites: Websites you visit or pop-up
windows may present instructions to
download new software or update current
programs installed on a computer or
mobile device. If you are uncertain of their
legitimacy, exit and research the software
by reading reviews online before you
decide to install it.

Software: Occasionally, some seemingly
safe software attempts to install malware.
Even worse, some software touted as offering
malware protection actually installs more
malware. Always obtain software from reputable
sources and, if possible, update software
directly from manufacturers’ websites.
Consider using the custom installation option
to ensure that only the desired software is
installed. Read the permissions dialog boxes
that are displayed on your screen before
tapping or clicking the OK or Agree buttons.
If you are uncertain about the messages you
are viewing, cancel the installation.

Smartphones: Malware creators are
targeting smartphones, particularly those
using the Android operating system. While
an estimated 80 percent of all smartphones
are unprotected now, savvy users
are obtaining protection from malware
attacks. Read reviews before downloading
antimalware apps from trusted sources.

Consider This
Consider This: What online activities
might cause malware to be installed on your
computer? Which specific websites provide
reputable antimalware apps for mobile
devices? What new techniques will you use to
avoid malware?
Blogger Templates