Bitdefender Internet Security 2016: Review

When you look for an effective Internet Securitysuite, what is the first thing which comes to your mind? An effective tool should have a good internet presence, which enables malware blocking, protects against ransomware, and has a minimal or no impact on the performance of your system.

Add capabilities well equipped to prevent phishing and email attacks along with a file shredder and password manager and you have a clear winner on your hands. Does this feel too good to be true? Well, the answer lies in the Bitdefender Internet Security 2016 pack, which offers you all of this and much more. Surprised? Don’t be, for this is reality.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the Bitdefender Internet Security review and see what all is in store for your subscription.

Features:

The features of the Bitdefender Antivirus are as good as it can get. The antivirus suite offers the following set of features to the users:

  • Protects against all kinds of malware
  • Prevent phishing attacks
  • Alerts you to threats, when you are accessing any social media site
  • Scans all kinds of removable devices, for possible viruses
  • The actions are always running in the background, so that there is always no annoyance to the users, during their work hours.

Apart from these features, what makes Bitdefender really good is the fact that you get five of the most important components with your antivirus pack. These components include:

The firewall provided with the pack replaces the original Windows Firewall, but you might want to think twice, before replacing the original firewall.

Parental Control allows you to block sites, which you might otherwise deem unfit for your children. You can control the times when your children get to surf the web, as well as monitor their presence online on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Definitely an antivirus tool worth having, especially if you have some tech savvy kids in the house.

Cloud Antispamrefers to any of the spam entries that are noticed on the Bitdefender network. As soon as it registers any spam entry, which might not otherwise be already registered in the spam list, it will immediately send a message to the Cloud service, thereby, preventing any further hits on sthe users systems. This is a relatively new feature, which has been added to the existing list of features.

Ransomware Protection is one of the best features which you can ever get with an antivirus pack.This feature encrypts your personal files and creates a backup, so that no cyber hacker can hold your system’s personal information ransom. The tool has been devised to block unsafe applications like CryptoLocker, WinLocker and MBR ransomware.

A file shredder, as the name suggests, can be used to delete files and folders, which might have personal, sensitive information. This means that no third party software can be used to recover the files, at any given time. Be careful, before deleting any files from your system.

There are some other features which make this product worthwhile. These are secure online storage and anti-theft device mechanisms.

With so many features in place, there is a lot on offer with the Bitdefender Internet Security 2016   pack. If you truly want some amazing features, you should invest in this product at the earliest.

Dell’s Embedded PCs Take the IoT to the Mainstream

dell-embedded-box-pc

Dell on Tuesday announced the release of its first purpose-built industrial PC products for the mainstream market: the Embedded Box PC 3000 Series and 5000 Series.

The products are a response to the growing embedded computing market and the lack of reliable devices, Dell said.

The embedded systems market was valued at more than US$11 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $23.1 billion in 2019, growing at a compound annual rate of almost 15 percent, according to a Technavio study that Dell cited.

Falling component costs, improved power efficiencies, increasing return-on-investment needs, and demand from the Internet of Things are fueling that growth.

Known Quantity

“Customers have consistently told us that current embedded solutions do not meet the level of cost-effective sophistication, scale and support they need for these to be a critical, reliable component of their operations,” said Andy Rhodes, Dell’s executive director of commercial IoT solutions.

Dell provides global scale and an end-to-end IT and operations technology security portfolio, he said.

The products’ rugged design can withstand extreme temperatures while using a fanless cooling system, which is beneficial in several applications, according to Dell spokesperson Sarah Luden.

“These were made to be used in a wide range of industries, from digital signage to factory automation and transportation and construction. Within factory automation, the fan is the first thing to go down,” she told TechNewsWorld.

“It’s also much quieter, so in a hospital setting, think of MRI machines, where patient care and comfort is important,” Luden added.

The IoT is a new arena for many business owners, and investing in costly computers and programmers can be a scary proposition, she noted. “For some people, the Internet of Things is new, so they want to go with a brand they know.”

Why This Box Is Different

What makes the Dell PC appealing is its out-of-the-box capabilities, said Christian Juarez, an instructor at TechShop.

Dell Embedded Box PC

Dell Embedded Box PC

The IoT is helping industries streamline their processes to make work more efficient. “The whole point of IoT is bringing everything to the cloud and then connecting to the Internet and then having a control center for it,” Juarez told TechNewsWorld.

“What happens a lot of times is that you have to set up the control center yourself. If you’re setting it up yourself, as opposed to what Dell’s offering, you have to decide on your distro, have all kinds of software running to get everything working together, you have to code things yourself, things of that nature,” he said.

“With Dell, they have software built in for you, so you don’t have to do that much. Software can be a huge issue, so with something like an out-of-the-box embedded machine you’re going to appeal to a lot more people,” Juarez added.

Microcomputers like Raspberry Pi are used for control centers, he noted, but that kind of device requires expert-level programming skills that a Dell doesn’t necessarily need, which may help companies save money in the long run.

The Embedded Box PCs will be available this summer. Pricing starts at $1,099 for the 3000 series and $1,699 for the 5000 series.

RebeccaBlackOS Is a Class Act

RebeccaBlackOS Is a Class Act

RebeccaBlackOS is a Debian Testing-based live distribution that offers a developmental view ofWayland-based Linux desktop sessions.

A few other distro makers such as Fedora have prototypes of Wayland running, but the options for different desktop environments available all from one live-session DVD caught my attention. Anyone curious about where Wayland development and Linux distros in general are headed can get a first look from the fan-based RBOS distro.

You cannot use this beta release as a replacement for a well-stocked Linux workhorse for all of your computing tasks. Some of the desktop modules work well, however. The release is more of a proof of concept by developers working with the new Wayland display server software that may eventually replace the aging X Window System you know as “X.Org.”

RebeccaBlackOS lets you test out the developing capabilities. As such, I will treat the distro release as a standard Linux Picks and Pans distribution review. The focus this week is a change-of-pace look at something new. The distro — as well as Wayland itself — is not yet ready for prime-time consideration.

RebeccaBlackOS offers a sampling of Wayland and several new desktop shells to run on it. One of them is the 5 Hawaii Desktop. Weston so far is being touted as the default desktop shell for Wayland. This is the reference implementation of Wayland compositor written by Wayland developers.

A few separate teams of developers are working toward a compilation of releases running Wayland and its related Weston compositor. One such plan is by a developer who goes by the handle “Nerdopolis.” He is the brains behind RBOS. His distro attempts to showcase Wayland running several desktop environments that load by selection when you log in to Wayland’s display manager.

RBOS Boot Pick a Session

When the RBOS distro running Wayland boots, users select their preferred desktop environment.

The RBOS release is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. It features the Weston desktop shell, Enlightenment Desktop,Gnome 3, Hawaii Desktop, KDE Desktop, Orment, Sway and the Papyros Desktop on Wayland.

Wayland Background

Wayland is a new display server slowly getting ready for release to Linux distributions as an alternative to X.Org. Development is bogged down on getting functionality to support the majority of user interface toolkits — GTK and Qt and such.

Wayland is software that runs between the input and output to coordinate the on-screen display. It handles the directions from mouse input and windows behavior control buttons and provides the needed interaction between the Linux user and the GUI to keep the operating system humming along.

Why the change? X.Org is several decades old. It has been adjusted and tweaked beyond its capabilities, according to developer communities. They want to throw out the old and bring in the new to avoid compounding existing bugs and security holes that no doubt lurk within.

One of the primary forces behind the development push for a change isCanonical, the developer of Ubuntu Linux. Its software engineers have been struggling to get the kinks out of their own version of an X.Org replacement dubbed Mir, which they forked from Wayland.

Showing Progress

Depending on your hardware, RBOS may not run some of the desktop environment options listed in the display manager menu. I had varying degrees of success on my combination of six test laptop/desktop computers.

I tested the current ISO booting the OS from the DVD and installing it to virtual machines. The amount of functionality and success in loading the ISO varied with the hardware. Earlier versions of RBOS did not run in a VM environment.

For example, RBOS loaded Gnome, KDE, Enlightenment and Weston on several computers. The other desktop shell options could not load on any computer because modules were missing from the ISO, according to error messages that flashed briefly on the computer screens.

RBOS Enlightenment Desktop

The Enlightenment Desktop running on Wayland is smart and fast and fully functional.

I found the most usable results with running KDE, Enlightenment and Gnome. Those desktop environments have a more complete — but still limited — collection of applications. The Gnome experience was the most satisfying.

That is a surprising admission for me to make, as I generally do not prefer the Gnome 3 shell environment. I also was very intrigued with the Weston shell environment. It offers a much different look and feel compared to the other desktop options.

Weston is the only desktop environment in the mix with which I had no prior experience. As a result of that intrigue, I am focusing on my first impressions of Wayland/Weston for the rest of the review.

Current Status

This newest release incorporates the latest GTK, Qt, SDL2 and Enlightenment code with Wayland and Weston Compositor support. The most significant change in the latest release of RebeccaBlackOS is that Debian Testing now runs Tier 1 packages to comply with Canonical’s new licensing requirements for Ubuntu.

The system installer is Calamares. The Linux kernel is version 4.3. The ISOs are EFI bootable. You can boot the live session DVD on Macs if you use rEFInd.

In case you’re wondering, the distro’s namesake is a singer best known for the viral video for the song “Friday.” No, the distro does not contain any of her music.

Weston First Looks

Weston’s screen design is straight out of classic Linux, until you start clicking launchers anchored on the panel bar at the top of the screen. The Wayland app launcher icon in the far left corner opens a window in random locations on the screen.

That window has a familiar KDE look to it with a search window at the top and a list of application categories in the center. Many of the apps are from the KDE inventory.

Clicking on the carrot to the left of a category expands a list of apps in that category. Highlight the app name to run and click the OK button at the bottom of the window.

The launchers include the Dolphin File Manager, rekong Web browser, terminal window, KDE video mixer, network configuration tool, Weston video converter, power dialog and information.

It’s obvious that the menu system is more of a holding vehicle than a fully functional launcher. Many of the settings apps and applications did not load, presumably because they were not yet available on the ISO.

Overall, the Weston user interface is uncluttered and easy to follow.

RBOS Wayland/Weston

The Wayland/Weston combination produces an uncluttered desktop view with a simple user interface.

Bottom Line

RebeccaBlackOS offers an interesting window into where the Linux desktop might be headed. The developers behind the scenes working on Wayland seem to be making far better progress than the developers working on the Wayland fork Mir. Ubuntu designers have not yet been able to get Mir working with any desktop environment. The last few Ubuntu releases have bypassed the planned Mir debute.

RBOS gives you enough stability to play around with a variety of user interfaces. It’s encouraging that KDE and Gnome 3 shells work so well already on Wayland. The Enlightenment desktop is one of the newest innovations available on several Linux distros, so it should continue to attract interest running so well on Wayland.

RBOS KDE shell environment

The KDE shell environment runs smoothly on a Wayland build with full functionality.

The Weston shell seems to need a lot more work, but it shows promise.

Chicago School Board Elevates Computer Science to Graduation Requirement

chicago-board-education-computer-science-graduation-requirement

The Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday voted unanimously to make computer science a graduation requirement for all high school students beginning with next year’s freshmen.

Chicago Public Schools has become a national leader in computer science education since Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched the Computer Science for All initiative for grades K-12 in 2013, the board said.

The five-year plan aims to make computer science a core subject taught in schools. It includes a partnership with Code.org to provide the curriculum and prepare teachers.

The White House last month launched a national Computer Science for Allprogram.

Exposing students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education early will provide critical skills and training for success in their careers and in life, CPS said.

Demand for computing skills will be greater than the supply of qualified job takers, according to CPS. That will create a gap of 1 million job openings by 2024.

While there were nearly 600,000 job openings in computing, universities produced fewer than 40,000 computer science graduates last year, the board said.

To help close that gap, Chicago public school students will be required to complete one credit of computer science education as half of the two-credit career education requirement.

“Rahm Emanuel’s decision to require computer science in Chicago Public Schools should be lauded. These young men and women will now have the benefit of access to a discipline that would have simply been out of reach before,” said Colleen Ganjian, president of DC College Counseling.

Education Sound

The board’s decision will produce long-term gains, she told TechNewsWorld. If students choose not to pursue computer science after high school, the exposure will make them stronger candidates in the college admissions process. It also will introduce them to a variety of other career paths.

Schools need to embrace STEM to meet growing demand for better career training. There’s an increasing necessity for schools nationwide to better prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow by encouraging STEM, according to Sidharth Oberoi, president of Zaniac.

“Providing exposure to students at a younger age is key to enabling better decision-making for individuals when they reach college or enter the workforce. The more extensive knowledge a student has, the greater the opportunity he or she has for higher salaries as well as the potential to have a larger impact on the betterment of society,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Computer science education is an essential ingredient in the STEM formula and in today’s education, noted Stephen Nichols, CEO of GameSalad.

“It allows for experimentation and rapid iteration and provides students with a platform to utilize and learn the fundamental concepts of software development and programming. A true computer science education will foster creativity and enrich the lives of students around the world and help set them up for future success,” he told TechNewsWorld.

STEM Plus One

Eagle Academy Public Charter School took that concept further by expanding the STEM concept to include the arts in its STEAM curriculum.

STEAM Exploratorium is designed to challenge young students to create, solve problems, experiment, test, adapt, collaborate, explain and develop a sense of curiosity as they learn skills and strategies for the challenges of the 21st century, according to Executive Director Cassandra Pinkney.

The process “fosters engineering and technological literacy among students — an all-important skill set in tomorrow’s world,” she told TechNewsWorld.

School officials are adamant about exposing students to STEAM while they are young and curious, Pinkney said. The goal is to inspire students to continue pursuing the sciences throughout their academic and professional careers.

Essential Component

The Chicago school board’s action requiring computer science credits is important in furthering the intent of the Computer Science for All initiative. It will go a long way to increase the number of STEM candidates, noted Steven Rothberg, president of College Recruiter.

“The more students who are exposed to science, technology, engineering and math courses in high school, the more students who will choose to major in those fields in college, whether they attend a one-year technical/vocational school, a two-year community college or a four-year university,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Exposure to computer science is critical before students enter college. In order for the U.S. to successfully compete in a global market economy, schools must present technological and computer skills early on, according to J. Luke Wood, associate professor in the Community College Leadership program at San Diego State University.

“This move sets Chicago as a national leader in preparing students for readiness in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Our nation is not prepared to compete in the emerging world economy. Our ability to do so cannot solely rely upon bringing in talent from other nations,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“That will require our nation to better prepare students who have been historically underrepresented and underserved in education,” Wood said, “particularly students of color.”

Raspberry Pi 3 With 64-Bit CPU, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi Launched

Raspberry Pi 3 With 64-Bit CPU, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi Launched at $35

The Raspberry Pi foundation has launched the third version of its popular low-power Raspberry Pi development platform, the Raspberry Pi 3. It’s priced at $35, the same as the Raspberry Pi 2 mini computer unveiled last year, but adds a much request feature – integrated Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

Raspberry Pi Founder Eben Upton in a blog post announced that the new launch commemorates the company’s fourth birthday. Upton also detailed that the company has so far shipped 8 million Raspberry Pi units, including three million Raspberry Pi 2 units. The company claims that Raspberry Pi 2 is the “UK’s all-time best-selling computer.”

Raspberry Pi 3 will go on sale starting Monday from element14 and RS Components, and other resellers. The company also announced that at launch they will be using the same 32-bit Raspbian userland that have been used on other (previous generation) Raspberry Pi devices. The company will decide whether to move to the 64-bit mode over the next few months after investigating.

Some of the highlights of the Raspberry Pi 3 include a 1.2GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor which the company says has 10x performance of the Raspberry Pi 1. Despite being available at the same price as Raspberry Pi 2, the Raspberry Pi 3 will feature integrated 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1. It will be complete compatible with Raspberry Pi 1 and Raspberry Pi 2. For Raspberry Pi 3, the company says that Broadcom supports a new SoC, the BCM2837.

“The 900MHz 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU complex has been replaced by a custom-hardened 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53. Combining a 33% increase in clock speed with various architectural enhancements, this provides a 50-60% increase in performance in 32-bit mode versus Raspberry Pi 2, or roughly a factor of ten over the original Raspberry Pi,” said Upton.