New Advancements in Micro-Computing

Everyone knows that back in the 50's it took a large room to house a computer that was barely a calculator by today's standards. Since then, tech firms have been making them more powerful and smaller. Apple's iPad Air is one of the most space efficient tablets on the market today, as well as having access to programs and apps with nigh limitless potential. But these small computing devices come at a hefty price. Unlike when buying almost anything else, usually a computer is more expensive the smaller it is. But a company out of the UK has developed a computer that can fit in the palm of your hand, and retails for less than a tank of gas.

RaspberryPi.org developed the Raspberry Pi, a credit card sized computer. A super computer, it is not. Only clocking in with 512MB of RAM and using an SD slot as the closest thing to a hard drive, this device won't replace your high-end gaming rig. But unlike your high-end gaming rig, the Raspberry Pi is designed for the sole purpose of making the computer affordable. The newest model sells for $35, a bargain, compared to INTEL Next Unit of Computing device, which retails for a little over four and a half times as much.

The downside of Raspberry Pi is it is limited to what it's capable of. You're not going to be able to get Windows or OS X without an emulator, leaving you only with a Linux Based OS. And the hard ware has no onboard WI-FI. But the sheer potential is mind-boggling. Linux communities have dedicated themselves to developing workable OS builds for different purposes, such as word processing or as a media server. But the true potential lies in education. The rise of the $35 computer means that those with low income will be able to afford a computer and not have to break the bank. Schools will be able to furnish computer labs for a fraction of the cost, and introduce students and the rest of the public to new ideas of what the futures of computing can hold.

Hacking And What It Means For You

With the advent of mobile and cloud computing, we hear about it all too often. You get messages from your friends on Facebook that a link you sent them put a virus on their computer. Your identity has been stolen from private information stored in your cloud drive. A kid from Washington accidentally makes NORAD's computer try to start World War III. Okay that last one was the plot to War Games, but the it's still an example of the digital ages most common crime: hacking.

Hacking, as I'm sure most of you realize, is the unauthorized access of a computing device. The 90's had us convinced that a couple keyboard strokes and a few floppy diskettes could get you unfettered access to the most secure mainframe. Now malicious, or black hat, hacking is a serious problem. Each year, identiites and property are stolen, information is leaked, and the security of our nation due to these hackers. But not in the ways you think. The majority of "hacking" is really just accessing a computer with the correct credentials. More often than not, the "hacker" simply has the right username and password to get onto the network. But how do they get the password, you might ask. Is it some fancy virus or program that gets installed in the background? Or how about an algorithim that brute force tries every possible combination? Nope. Usually it's no more complicated than looking in the trash. Think about it, if you're at work and were given a password, don't you have it written down somewhere? And after you memorize that password, where does the scrap of paper with it go? Trash. Dumpster diving can be an easy, albeit unglamorous, way of obtaining credintials.

But not all hackers are bad. In fact, the cyber security industry has been booming. It makes sense. As the threats grow, security has to grow as well. And who better to find your intranet's security gaps than a white-hat hacker? The more hackers who want to earn legit money, the more white hat security professionals we have, who then go out and stumble upon the biggest internet security breach of all time.

What this means for you, though, is to be the most secure from hackers are just the basic tips: Keep your private information private, hackers can't pretend to be you if they don't know you; Don't download things from untrusted sources (I'm looking at you Limewire); And for the love of the mirco-processor, use common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, its probably someone trying to scam you.

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