Showing posts from May, 2012

Video Driver Installation Problem HP Pavilion DV7-CT4100

Trevor Lenton asked a question related to video driver installation on his HP Pavilion DV7-CT4100 laptop.  Unfortunately, I could not post my answer on the website.  Here's the link to the question; the answer appears below.

There is very little reason for AMD's (formerly, ATI) video driver to not work.  My son has the same computer and rarely had problems updating drivers.  However, one of my friends also purchased the same laptop and I saw something peculiar with his laptop that might be what you are having problems with.  Nevertheless, I am going to suggest a few things that you will need to try to resolve the problem.
First, make sure that Windows Updates setting is set correctly.  At the minimum, select the choice that notifies you that Windows updates are available, which allows you to then initiate the process of downloading and then applying the updates when Windows notifie…

Privacy of Medical Records

As part of a larger effort to discuss issues with medical-record privacy and security, Bloomberg has published a wonderful set of articles.  One of them relates to things we do and don't do to protect it ourselves.  The article is at

The entire series can be accessed at

Good bedtime reading for me.

Is an Open, Coffee-Shop Wi-Fi that Dangerous?

We see and hear a lot about the security risks associated with an open Wi-Fi connection at, say, a coffee-shop or a bookstore.  Most news reports point out problems with such networks but do not necessarily offer solutions.  I attempt to do both, thus making you aware of possible problems and steps you need to take to avoid problems.

While open Wi-Fi connections of an unknown affiliation are truly to be avoided, fears of doom at known locations, such as the above, are overblown.  Let me not say there are no security problems at all with open Wi-Fi connections.  The problem boils down to a possibility vs probability issue - it is possible for a computer to be hacked at a coffee shop, but the probability of that occurring is rather small.  Although I do not have statistical data available, I explain here the plausible reasons for the lower probability.

Take it for Granted: Wireless Signals are Easily Intercepted

It is a fact that wireless signals are easily intercepted.  Analog signals (th…

De-Personalizing Search: Being Tracked

Do you realize that on quite a few occasions that you Google for, say, Pizza Hut or Domino's Pizza, you see results that include locations nearest you?  The article below shows you why and how.

Mostly, one might feel okay to see these personalized search results.  There are some who absolutely detest the idea of the system tracking them.  That would be entirely one's prerogative.  I am mostly ambivalent to this tracking because it is anonymous (i.e., as long as you are not logged into Google).  It is a different story, however, if location data gets attached to one's Facebook or Google+ post.  I prefer to not display my location in these instances.

So how does one deal with it?  Read CNET's article.

Happy reading.

Are Passwords Problematic?

According to CNET, "eight-or-more-character passwords still dominate Web service log-ins."  However, "many Internet users continue to use easy-to-guess passwords like "123456," "qwerty," or their first names."  Clearly, we are all so used to passwords that we tend to be lax with them.

Passwords can be compromised in a variety of ways: keystroke logger on your computer; social engineering (simply, where one strikes-up a conversation with you in the hopes of getting you to reveal answers to security questions presented by many websites); information compromise, and the like.

So, what should one do?  Long and complex passwords, different passwords for different sites and services, and, I think above all, be vigilant.  Use one of the applications that CNET's article talks about.

Sometimes, server administrators themselves make it tough for users.  Requiring users to change passwords very often results in users writing passwords on sticky notes …

Q: How do I recover my lost or stolen smartphone, or maybe even wipe its data remotely?

CNET's article talks about Lookout Mobile Security. Others are also available for both iOS and Android.  A MUST INSTALL.

Control, lock, and wipe data from lost or stolen phone.

Online or Cloud Backup

We have often been asked to suggest offsite (or off-premise) location where data can be backed-up or stored. This note, hopefully, answers the question without complicating matters.
A hard drive crash means information loss. If that information is critical in nature, that could mean heartache! To protect yourself, then, always backup data onsite and offsite. It is the latter we are referring to when we talk about "cloud" storage and backup.
What's this Cloud?

In two words - the Internet. The terminology comes from depictions of the Internet in illustrations - a cloud! Clouds can be internal or external. Internal cloud refers to a private network built and managed by a company to allow employees to store and access information. External cloud refers to networks created by companies outside of your home or business (on
the Internet, that is) that rent storage space, usually for a fee.
What's "Sync" and What's "Backup?" Sync is where a the information …

Hard Drive Crashes

An experience with one of my FB friends inspired me to write this short take on hard drive crashes. A crash can mean one of two things:The operating system (Windows, OS X, Linux . . . ) or files on the hard drive become corrupted, orThere is a mechanical problem with the hard drive.File CorruptionIn the first instance, the information on the hard drive gets corrupted and, when one tries to boot into Windows, an error message is displayed. Sometimes, the message might be in white characters on a blue-colored background (hence the term, "blue screen of death") or might indicate that files needed to boot into Windows are missing. Some malware may have corrupted the "boot-up" information or corrupted some important Windows files. This is not necessarily a bad message as it indicates that the hard drive is mechanically sound and all (or almost all) data can be successfully rescued from it. There is no need for panic here. The best thing is to get the computer to someone…