Friday, 22 May 2015

New Linux Distros

4MLinux 12.0

A handful of new distros to check out this week

There have been a few new distro entries these last couple of weeks, each with its own particular theme or design, or standing out from the crowd by offering something a little different from the norm. Either way, there are some interesting picks to look into.

Remembering… Modems

old dial-up modem

David Hayward explores the world of dial-up this week

The ability to communicate with other computers over telephone lines has been around for an age, but it wasn’t really until the early 80s that it became more mainstream, in that people who weren’t university computer scientists had some knowledge of it.

After the film Wargames and with the advent of the 8-bit home computer, a modem was a luxury item that only the really serious computer user had in their collection. However, by the early to mid-90s, the humble modem had become as much an essential item in the personal computer’s arsenal as a keyboard, mouse and printer.

Is Advert Blocking Harming Your Favourite Websites?

Is Advert Blocking Harming Your Favourite Websites

Intrusive ads can be infuriating in the online age, but could avoiding them damage your favourite sites? Rob Leane did some digging

Any user of the internet will tell you that adverts can cause sizeable annoyances. In-your-face pop-ups, noisy trailers and splash-pages that keep you from the content you’re looking for are among the most headache-inducing intricacies of the surfing the web. For those whose jobs involve flicking between articles or researching topics online, indiscrete promotions can be a hurdle in the way of getting the job done, and can cause rages in the best of us.

Is it such as surprise, then, that since web browsers gave techsavvy types the opportunity to build their own software and alter the online experience (plug-ins, they’re called), removing the ads was one of the first ideas to find big success? Not particularly, and the popularity of such projects speaks volumes of the widespread irritation at unwelcome publicity campaigns. If so many people elect to ditch the adverts, something must be wrong with the experience, surely?

Microsoft On Edge

Microsoft Edge

David Briddock examines Microsoft’s all new browser technology for the web generation

At the end of 2014, the web was buzzing with rumours about a new browser technology destined for Windows 10. At the time, though, Microsoft declined to confirm these rumours.

However, on 21st January 2015 at a Windows 10 news event, Microsoft shared details about its Project Spartan initiative. Since January there’s been a steady flow of information about why Microsoft decided to build a new browser, the features on offer and how it compares and contrasts with Internet Explorer 11.

But before we start, let’s first take a quick trip down memory lane.

Are Your Emails Safe?

Are Your Emails Safe

David Crookes looks at the lax security of people’s email accounts and how easy it is to hack them

Last December, the world became enthralled by the sheer number of emails that had leaked out of Sony Pictures. More than 170,000 internal missives involving some of Hollywood’s top stars were opened up for all to see, and it was a highly embarrassing state of affairs that showed the extent of the politics that swirl around Tinseltown.