Friday, 24 December 2010

Virus Infections Are Not Easy to Repair

One of the things you don't always plan for is your computer packing up when you least expect. Mine had a little virus infection earlier this week ad I had to take it in for repairs. But as it turned out, nothing, according to the repair guy, can be recovered as the virus has infected all the vital files and directories.

I don't normally leave my computer without anti-virus, but some reason, the anti-virus was not running when I discovered it. I'm not sure if it shut down itself or it was the virus the turned it off. It doesn't matter any more whichever happened, the damage has been done.

Luckily for me, I always back up my files for things like these - you never know when the bad guys will hit. This time, they hit badly. I'm not bothered about the computer because it can still be used after wiping the whole data. But what you can't get back it the data you will lose if there's no backup.

Although, most PC Repair shops promise to fix your computer and help remove virus infection, only a handful can actually fulfil that mission.

This is the computer, this time I have a new OS installation - Linux. Having heard so much about Ubuntu, I thought I would use this opportunity to install and try one of the most popular free and open source software out there. This is the second day and everything seems to be working smoothly. One thing though, I still don't know if I need any anti-virus.

If you know how to protect ones Linux system from viruses, please I would love to hear it in the comment.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

What Should Happen To WikiLeaks

If you have been following the news in the last week or so, you will have noticed how things - especially online communications and other people's private data can easily be put online. In an instant, this data is available for hundreds of millions of online users to access. What makes this very frightening is that the people behind this leaks do not separate national security data from what is of public interest.

In a way, some of the leaks showed what governments do behind closed doors - spying on each other, negotiating with our sworn enemies while publicly claiming that we don't negotiate with them, criticising their counterparts. Some even went to the extent of labelling their allies as weak. All these in a way makes you wonder if what we see is exactly how things are.

I mean, without these leaks, there was no way we could get a glimpse into the diplomatic wrangling that goes on on a daily basis between governments; and to some extent, between different departments of the same government. It is weird that these things happen. We used to think of them as something that only happened in fiction books and some countries in the old bloc.

As it turned out, it seemed as though no one country is spared - at least the ones that have something to do with world peace and security. At least that's what we're led to believe. We know that there are huge underground activities going on in almost all countries of the world, no matter how small that is. But these data is used by developed countries whose operatives and embassies report back to. What this means is that they have intelligence on that country and are able to work out how the people function and what makes them tick. So these intelligence in the wrong hands can be dangerous.

Going back to WikiLeaks. Disclosing cables and confidential communication data sent between government agencies is not only dangerous, but undermines the rule of law and violates the privacies of millions of innocent people.

What is it that they want to achieve by publishing the documents? They are not doing anybody any favours, instead, it's causing more damage than it is fixing. Does this publication make us better off? No. Does it help to protect us? No. Instead, what we have is a small online organisation for some reason wants to give our enemies the opportunity to see how we are being protected.

What do you think, should this guy be allowed to continue publishing these documents? Or should he be brought to face trial? I would love to hear your thoughts, please post them in the comment.