ESET Smart Security & NOD32 4.0 Beta

This article was written on November 26, 2008 by CyberNet.

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ESET NOD32 and Smart Security have always been my favorite security products because of their performance and high detection levels. There’s some good news for current owners! ESET is getting ready to move to the next level with version 4 of their security suite and antivirus software.

NOD32 4.0 and ESET Smart Security 4.0 are currently in a public Beta phase, and include numerous enhancements. One such improvement is that they will now be bundling the SysInspector tool that they have been, and still do, offer as a free download. Here are some other features new to version 4.0:

  • Tasks can be postponed when the machine is running on battery, and a notification can be displayed if a larger update is going to be downloaded.
  • Improved scanning of removable media (used maximum settings when running files from removable media, allows blocking/allowing USB ports)
  • Improved cleaning and self-defense
  • Added statistic graphs and information about the currently scanned object
  • Added an option to use advanced heuristics on file execution
  • Added an option to control the level of archive scanning or maximum scan time of objects
  • Added option to supress notifications when applications are run in fullscreen mode
  • Scanning of encrypted HTTPS/POP3S protocols
  • Website management allowing to block/allow access to user-defined sites
  • New Document protection module for scanning MS Office files
  • Password protected uninstallation
  • Notification about missing operating system updates
  • Works with Windows Live Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Antispam now uses a user and global address books
  • Potentially unwanted/unsafe applications are now reported in a yellow alert window which requires a user interaction

nod32 4.jpg

There’s no word on a release date yet, but the current Beta applications don’t expire until 02/03/2009… so I wouldn’t expect to see a final release before then.

ESET Beta Homepage
Thanks Storytellerofsci-fi!

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Maybe Foxit isn’t the Best PDF Reader?

This article was written on November 04, 2007 by CyberNet.

I’ve always been pretty big on the Foxit Reader because it’s not only free, but it takes under 3 seconds to open up. When you’re trying to read a PDF the last thing you want to do is wait forever for it to load, and that’s why Adobe Acrobat is the last thing that I recommend for people to use.

I do realize that some of you have had troubles with printing in Foxit, and today I want to introduce you to a different PDF reader that will hopefully solve your problems. PDF-XChange Viewer has all of the features you would expect from the even the best PDF reader, plus it has a few things that you can only find in a purchased copy of Foxit!

I’m sure you’re wondering what this could possibly do that your copy of Foxit doesn’t include. Have you ever tried to add a sticky note or type some text on an existing PDF in Foxit? If you have you’ll see a warning that says an “evaluation mark” will be added to the document to signal that you haven’t purchased the program. With PDF-XChange Viewer you can draw, add notes, type text, and do all kinds of things with no unwanted marks being placed on your document:

PDF-XChange Viewer
Click to Enlarge

But then there’s the speed issue, right? After all, we ditched Acrobat because of how darn slow the thing was. Don’t worry, you’re not sacrificing speed for features this time around. In my tests it opened just as fast as Foxit, or in the worst case it took one second longer. One thing that I didn’t like was the splash screen, but you can disable that in the options. Doing so also appears to make the program load faster.

The tabbed interface is also really nice for when you have multiple documents open. PDF-XChange Viewer has a feature like Internet Explorer 7 where you can view all of the open documents in a grid-like fashion. It will show a thumbnail for each of them, which is often much easier to distinguish between than just file names.

Did I say how good this program looks, too? They’ve definitely got a leg up Foxit when it comes to graphics, and I think that’s apparent just by looking at how nice the preferences screen looks:

PDF-XChange Viewer Preferences
Click to Enlarge

For the time being I’m going to be switching away from Foxit because I really like this program better. It looks nicer, has more features, and is the same performance-wise as Foxit. I’ll let you be your own judge, but I think you’ll agree with me that this is currently the best pdf reader.

PDF-XChange Viewer [via Digital Alchemy]

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Corning peels back the petals on Lotus Glass, promises low-power, high performance

The glass masters over at Corning are at it again. The same company that unleashed Gorilla Glass upon the world has now come out with a brand new, albeit less ferocious-sounding material, known as Corning Lotus Glass. Designed with LCD and OLED displays in mind, this substrate promises to deliver pristine picture quality without sucking up too much power. According to Corning, this performance is largely due to Lotus’ thermal and dimensional stability, which allows for greater resolution and speedier response times. These thermal properties also allow it to maintain its form during especially hot processing, thereby avoiding any nasty warping effects. Corning Lotus Glass has already launched into production, but there’s no word yet on when we can expect to see it pop up in commercial products. Head past the break for a rather florid press release.

Continue reading Corning peels back the petals on Lotus Glass, promises low-power, high performance

Corning peels back the petals on Lotus Glass, promises low-power, high performance originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 09:16:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Test Global Website Performance

This article was written on August 02, 2011 by CyberNet.

Test website performance

For many of us it is difficult to test a website from another country, but there are online tools that try to make this kind of thing more accessible to everyone. One service I tend to gravitate towards the most is the site we previously covered. If you are looking to troubleshoot network issues, however, that site may not provide the details you are looking for.

In those cases I recommend using WatchMouse, which will tell you the time it takes to resolve, connect, and download the given page from 10 global locations. You can also expand your tests to pinging and traceroutes from over 30 monitoring stations they have worldwide. When requesting the ping analysis it will actually provide results from all of the locations on one screen to make performance comparisons much easier.

The only downside to this free service is that they only let you do five website checks per day, but ping and traceroute tests are excluded from that limitation. I’m sure they are just trying to prevent people from abusing their free service, which is understandable.

WatchMouse Homepage

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Download Safari 3.1 with Speed Improvements

This article was written on March 18, 2008 by CyberNet.


I don’t think anyone was really expecting to see a new release of Apple’s Safari browser today, but it has dropped down the tubes for all to enjoy. Apple is once again boasting the performance of the browser when stacked up against the other mainstream alternatives, and according to them Safari comes out well on top in terms of HTML performance and JavaScript performance.

As you may recall we recently put many of the different browser up against Apple’s SunSpider JavaScript test, and Firefox 3 pre-release builds topped the charts. At the time though we didn’t test it against pre-release versions of Safari 3.1, and so we thought that we would do that now. Here are some of our past results intermingled with the newest versions of the browsers (the lower amount of time is better):

  1. Firefox 3 Beta 4: 6972.2ms
  2. Safari 3.1: 7411.8ms
  3. Opera 9.5.9807 Beta: 10824.0ms
  4. Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1: 14302.0ms
  5. Safari 3.0.4 Beta: 18012.6ms
  6. Firefox 29376.4ms
  7. Internet Explorer 7: 72375.0ms

Note: All tests were performed on the same Windows machine.

Apple definitely holds the performance crown when comparing it to other released browsers, but once Firefox 3 makes its way out there will be a new king of the hill. So if you were developing a lengthy diabolical plan as to how you were going to switch from Firefox to Safari you might want to hold off if performance was the sole deciding factor.

As far as the Acid 3 test goes Safari 3.1 scores a 75/100, which isn’t quite as good as the nightly builds demonstrated when we last tested it. It’s still the closest a browser comes to passing the test though.

I haven’t noticed any new features in Safari 3.1, and so if you find something I would love to know about it. I do have to say it does feel pretty snappy though when it comes to loading pages. I might have to whip up some more comparisons between the browsers available.

Download Safari 3.1 (Mac or Windows)

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How to Test Your Boot Time

This article was written on February 23, 2011 by CyberNet.

Boot time

arrow Windows Windows only arrow
You know when someone tells you their computer takes 20-minutes to boot up, and you roll your eyes because you know they are just exaggerating. Well, there is a way to find out. All you have to do is install BootRacer on their machine, and then restart it. The application will keep an eye on certain events such as how long it took the user to login and how long it took for their desktop to finish loading, and it will report back.

One of the cool things is that BootRacer actually displays a window in the lower-right corner of the screen after you’ve logged in showing how long it has taken to startup thus far. It will continue incrementing the timer until all the startup apps have finished loading, and will alert you once it has completed.

Here’s a rundown on some of the features pointed out by the developer:

  • Automatically calculates your Windows boot time.
  • BootRacer uses minimum of computer resources.
  • Runs under the non-administrator accounts.
  • BootRacer logs all the results to the history report and to standard event log. You can check events using Windows Event Viewer.

The history report feature may not seem all that useful, but with it you may be able to pinpoint when some sort of change was made to the machine that significantly slowed it down. You might even be able to salvage some time by simply rolling the computer back to a restore point before the slow-down occurred.

BootRacer is free for non-commercial use, and can be helpful when fixing someone’s computer. If you run it before and after the optimizations you’ll actually be able to give them real-world numbers as to how much faster their computer is thanks to your magical tweaks.

BootRacer Homepage (Windows only; Free for non-commericial use)

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Test Your Hard Drive Speed

This article was written on April 08, 2010 by CyberNet.

hard drive speed test.pngarrow Windows Windows only arrow
Hard drive performance is something a lot of people never think twice about. What would your response be if you were asked what the read/write speed of your hard drive was?

You can get the answer to that question pretty easily. A free and portable utility called HD_Speed will test the transfer speed of a hard drive, CD/DVD drive, USB drive, memory card, and just about anything else that shows up as a drive letter on your PC. You can also have it measure either sustained or data burst rates.

The nice thing is that this app is simple, but still includes all of the features you really need. You can choose whether you want to test read, write, read/write, or read/write/verify speeds. You can also put in a specific duration that you want the test to run for, which makes it easier to get an accurate average speed.

It’s not a ground-breaking program, but it is easy to keep stored on a USB drive since it consists of a single 92KB executable. Go ahead and grab it if you’re wondering just how well one of your drives performs.

HD_Speed Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)

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Vista Computers Save about $75 per Year in Energy

This article was written on October 15, 2007 by CyberNet.

Vista Power Plan When Microsoft created Vista they realized that they had to do a better job with conserving batteries and energy. Laptops are getting to the point where they last as little as an hour when they are brand new, and that not only reduces productivity but it also means they consume more electricity.

In Vista you’ll see a completely revamped power management screen in the Control Panel, and with it you can choose between several different “states” you want your computer to run in. The best part, however, is that you can completely customize your own power plan, and that’s what I’ve done. In my power plan I have cut back my processor speed, screen brightness, wireless performance, and more when my computer switches into battery mode. Not only does that save my battery life, but it also reduces my PC’s CO2 Emissions.

Out-of-the-box Vista PC’s run in a “Balanced” mode that gives your computer the performance it needs when you’re doing intensive tasks, but reduces it when you’re doing simple tasks like word processing. This is a feature that Microsoft never put in XP, and it can make a real difference on the environment.

Below is a table that shows you what the cost and emissions are on computers running Windows XP and Vista (just the computer, no monitors). The results come straight from Microsoft, and I’m sure there is a little exaggeration but their tests are well documented (PDF). They tested three computers for all of their results, but I took the liberty of averaging them together and converting them into U.S. dollars:

 Windows XPWindows VistaVista Savings
(1) Computer Annual Cost$110.17$36.44$73.73
(200) Computers Annual Cost$22,033.37$7,287.59$14,745.78
(1) Computer CO2 Emissions259 kg85.33 kg173.67 kg
(200) Computers CO2 Emissions57.13 tons18.89 tons38.24 tons

As you can see there is a big benefit for corporations who run Windows to make the upgrade to Vista, in terms of energy savings and emissions produced. ;)

This article was written in part for Blog Action Day.

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Benchmarks clock iPhone 4S’ A5 CPU at 800MHz, show major GPU upgrade over iPhone 4

Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S only began shipping this week, but a handful of early owners have already taken Apple’s first A5-based smartphone for a test run, and they’ve got the benchmarks to prove it. The results, obtained by AnandTech, are hardly what we’d call shocking. In terms of Javascript performance (pictured above), the 4S measures up rather nicely against the Tegra 2-based Honeycomb competition, while out-dueling the iPhone 4 in overall CPU muscle. Geekbench results, meanwhile, clock the 4S at around 800MHz, with a score of 623. That’s about 25 percent lower than the A5-based iPad 2, but notably higher than the iPhone 4 (see graphic, after the break). When it comes to GPU performance, GLBenchmark 2.1 tests in 1280 x 720, off-screen render mode place Apple’s new handset well above the Galaxy S II, with scores of 122.7 and 67.1, respectively. It still trails the iPad 2, not surprisingly, but the 4S’ scores show a major advantage over the iPhone 4, which registered a score of 15.3. For more statistics and graphics, check out the source link below.

Continue reading Benchmarks clock iPhone 4S’ A5 CPU at 800MHz, show major GPU upgrade over iPhone 4

Benchmarks clock iPhone 4S’ A5 CPU at 800MHz, show major GPU upgrade over iPhone 4 originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 11 Oct 2011 04:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ReadyBoost Compatible 2GB Flash Drive for $6.95 (U.S. Only)

This article was written on September 18, 2007 by CyberNet.

2GB USB Drive has an amazing deal on a Kingston 2GB DataTraveler USB 2.0 Flash Drive. For a limited time you can get it for $16.95, and you can take another $10 off if you’ve got a Google Account that still hasn’t been used to get the $10 Google Checkout credit. That would bring the total to a whopping $6.95 for the 2GB drive, and that includes shipping within the United States. In case you’re wondering there’s no rebates that you have to hassle with!

I’ve never owned a Kingston USB drive before, but at this price I’m thinking about picking up a spare in case something happens to mine. The reviews on seem to say that this is a pretty good drive (it has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on 83 reviews).

One of the reviews also verified that this drive is capable of handling Vista’s new ReadyBoost feature. That would be because it exceeds the minimum requirements with its 6MBps read speed (2.5MB/s required for ReadyBoost) and its 3MBps write speed (1.75MB/s required for ReadyBoost). Of course you can always get around that restriction, but having a drive that meets the requirements will ensure that you get the best performance. Hey, how can you beat adding 2GB of memory to your system for less than $7?

Kingston 2GB Flash Drive on [via ShanKri-la]

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