The Planet’s 24 Largest Social Media Sites

Social media transcends geography, and the sheer scale and diversity of audiences on the sites makes them tremendously important.

It’s no longer all about Facebook. Instead, users in some of the biggest countries are gravitating to regional sites. Others are heading en masse to U.S.-based networks, meaning that some of the largest social sites are global communities first and foremost.

Microsoft Warns of Windows XP Malware Spike

By Pedro Hernandez  |  Posted 2013-11-05


Windows XP holdouts may soon face an explosion of malware that targets the unsupported operating system, cautions Microsoft.

The company is ending support for its enduring, 12-year-old desktop operating system on April 8, 2014. On that date, “Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows XP users. This means that customers and partners will no longer receive security updates to the operating system or be able to leverage tech support from Microsoft after this time,” wrote Jeff Meisner, editor for The Official Microsoft Blog, in an April 2013 post that served as a reminder that users had a year to prepare for the XP support sunset.

Now, armed with historic data, the company is turning up the volume on the importance of migrating from Windows XP.

Tim Rains, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, said in an Oct. 29 Microsoft on the Issues blog post that XP is living on borrowed time. “Microsoft Windows XP was released almost 12 years ago, which is an eternity in technology terms,” he wrote.

Rains added that “inevitably there is a tipping point where dated software and hardware can no longer defend against modern-day threats and increasingly sophisticated cyber-criminals.” With Microsoft no longer expending resources to keep those threats at bay, hackers and malware coders will go gunning for XP, Rains said. And he has data that backs him up.

“In the two years after Windows XP Service Pack 2 went out of support, its malware infection rate was 66 percent higher than Windows XP Service Pack 3—the last supported version of Windows XP,” Rains said. XP, while still officially supported, already trails its successors in malware infection rates.

According to the company’s data, Windows XP, Vista 7 and 8 “all had roughly similar malware encounter rates—between 12 and 20 percent,” said Rains. “But Windows XP systems had an infection rate that was six times higher than Windows 8.”

When Microsoft drops support in five months, users and organizations still running the OS will face a very different online security landscape from that of the operating system’s inception.

Lone hackers “developing malicious software from their basements in the 1990s” are a thing of the past. Today cyber-criminals are sophisticated, “well-funded underground organizations,” said Rains. Often leveraging “large-scale malware automation,” they “are motivated by profit or seek to cause real financial or political harm.”

Further, Microsoft’s own efforts to harden its newer operating systems may give malware coders pointers on attacking Windows XP. Rains predicted that when his company releases “monthly security updates for supported versions of Windows, attackers will try and reverse-engineer them to identify any vulnerabilities that also exist in Windows XP.”

This echoes Rains’ warnings from this past summer. In an Aug. 16 blog post, he wrote, “Since a security update will never become available for Windows XP to address these vulnerabilities, Windows XP will essentially have a ‘zero-day’ vulnerability forever.”

Dust, a computer’s worst enemy and what to do about it !

So I have dust in my computer, why is this important and what should I do about it.

One important aspect of owning a  computer that is often overlooked is internal dust buildup. Dust is attracted to the inside of your computer like a magnet and will get into the computer and buildup on and around all the sensitive electronics that make your computer run properly. Dust inside a computer insulates the sensitive electronic components and causes a heat buildup of abnormal levels and gradually degrades the circuits and chips underneath all that dust and thereby causes intermittent and usually unexplainable problems and even complete failure.(see pictures below) Most commonly the fans inside a computer become clogged with dust and cannot operate at peak efficiency or in some cases at all. When the fan doesn’t work, the electronic components it is protecting overheats and in time this will cause it to fail and ultimately cause your computer to crash !

Dusty ComputerComputer killing dust



I recommended that the inside of a desktop computer be cleaned at least two times a year and up to four or more times if you live in an area that is prone to a lot of dirt,dust,cigarette or cigar smoke and or pet hair.

The procedure is simple and quick. A can of compressed air can be picked up at your local office supply, hardware, or camera store and will do nicely, just don’t spray the air with the can upside down otherwise you may get exposed to harmfully cold chemicals that may cause injury to you and the computer.

After carefully making a note of the locations, disconnect all of the cables from the back of the PC. Most desktop computers have only one or two screws that hold on the side or top panel. Take the desktop outside or into a garage to clean it. This will help keep the excess dust from accumulating near the desktop area and being drawn back into the computer, later. A dust mask should be worn for those that are prone to dust allergies. The areas to target, inside the desktop case, are the heat sink over the CPU (Central Processing Unit), the heat sink over the GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) and any other heat sinks found inside. Also, all fans should be cleaned thoroughly. Each fan should be blasted with the can of air until it spins up to speed. This helps remove dust and tests fans, as well. If a fan will not spin fast while it is being subjected to the force from a can of air, it should be replaced. The power supply should be cleaned, also. The power supply is usually located in the back and upper portion of the case (for a tower), the fans of some power supplies are inside and cannot be seen clearly. Again, use the can of air and blow through the vents of the power supply. The fan will spin and the dust will be forced out.

Conclusion: Regular dust removal will significantly prolong the life and performance of your computer and provide you with a better overall computing experience and best of all fewer visits to the computer doctor…..