Week 7: The danger of the Internet D:

March 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Cyber-crime strikes 70% of Internet users in S’pore
(Source)

The article above dated 9th September 2010 published information about the cases of cyber crimes in Singapore. The cyber crimes stated can range from computer viruses, fraud, identity theft and even cyber bullying. However, one of the issue of cyber crimes is that victims often do not report their situation to the police.

As the Internet grows, more and more people are increasing their usage of it. It would be no surprise that cyber crimes will increase, when offenders realized the many things they can do on the Internet. Just what are the more serious trends in cyber crimes?

1) Virus, Worms, Spyware!

Probably the most hated problem by everyone that owns a computer 🙂 A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. It can actually be “spread” from computer to computer (by sending it over the network, or transferring it in a external drive/disk/floppy).

Below is actually a list of the top ten computer viruses and you can see how a virus can cause so much damage and also the many possible ways it can spread. It can infect emails and word documents and infected computers will be affected as their system will crash or be restarted.

(Source)

Other than a computer virus, there is also Malware. It is a software designed to harm or secretly access a computer’s system without the owner’s informed consent. It contains harmful bugs and sometimes can come in the form of a genuine software and also from a official website. One of the more famous malware will be the Trojan Horse. It is a program that invites the user to run it, concealing a harmful payload. Once activated, it will lead to many undesirable effects by deleting files from the computer or installing more malware.

Spyware is also part of malware, and once installed on a computer, it is designed to collect small pieces of information about users without their knowledge. It collects personal information such as Internet surfing habits and sites visited. Other than that, it can also change the computer settings and slows down the speeds, changing webpages or functionality of other programs. Spyware is also one of the main reasons why identity theft and fraud are committed as there are spywares designed to steal users’ credit card information, passwords and user names.

2) Cyber Bullying

Worms aside… Another cyber crime that is prevalent now is Cyber Bullying.

A search on the Internet about this topic brought me to this website -> http://dontcyberbully.com/
This is a educational support website against cyber bullying. More often that not, children are the victims of cyber bullying. Cases of children being called names and insulted online are very common in Singapore. In the United States, there are even more serious cases of victims who were bullied online, ending up committing suicide.

One of the more famous case of cyber bullying in the US will be Lori Drew’s case.

“As in the 2007 case of Ms Lori Drew, a mother from a Missouri suburb, in the US.

She had posed as a boy, “Josh”, online and befriended Megan Meier, who had had a fall-out with her daughter.

The ploy was so that she could find out what Megan, who lived down the street from her, was saying about her own daughter.

The unsuspecting Megan, then 13, had talked online with “Josh” for more than a month. She hung herself the day after “he” abruptly ended their friendship, calling her a “liar”.”

It is disturbing to see that not only kids and young adults are involved in cyber bully, even parents are doing it. Cyber bullying is a serious case and there should be more focus on this crime, educating the people about the seriousness of it.

The Internet has served us well, providing us with many high technology opportunities that we can ever have. However, there are sure to be the cons to it and that is crimes in cyberspace! Although it’s something we cannot eliminate but I am sure, with the right measures, such crimes can be brought down to a minimum!

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Week 5: What do we do without Google?

March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

What comes to everyone’s mind when the word Google appears? Search Engine. However, Google has come a long way from just being only a search engine. What do they have? Google documents, Google Mail, Google Maps and so much more. Then, there is also Google Chrome. Google Chrome was first released as a Beta version in Sept 2008 for the Windows platform. By Dec 2009, beta versions for Mac and Linux was released. And Finally, Google Chrome 5.0 was released on 25th May 2010!

Although a late user of Chrome (2 months), I am an avid fan of this browser. All along, I have thought that Safari (for my Mac) is one of the best I have ever used, but Chrome proves to be better!

Here’s some of the features that draw me to Chrome.

1) Speed

Chrome uses the V8 Javascript engine which has features such as dynamic code generation, hidden class transitions and precise garbage collection (TOO MANY TECHNICAL TERMS!). Tests by Google in September 2008 showed that V8 was about twice as fast as Firefox 3.0 and the WebKit nightlies. Below is a interesting video of speedtests conducted by Google!

2) Simplicity

Google started out as a search engine, so when Chrome comes out, the search engine feature is not forgotten. The address bar is a all-in-one tool. Other than the usual url function, one can do a google search using the address bar too! Tabs can be arranged in any other we like by dragging and dropping. Also, if a individual tab crashes or freezes, it does not affect the other tabs at all!

3) Translation in the browser!

Chrome is the first browser to incorporate machine translation in the browser itself, without requiring additional plugins or extensions. When the language on the web page does not match the language preferences set in the browser, Chrome will automatically ask to translate the web page into your preferred language.

The translation bar at the top!

This is by far my favorite feature of all! I surf a lot of foreign websites and often need to translate text over. In the past, I usually have to open another tab and proceed to google translate to do it. But with Chrome, I no longer have to do that. HOW CONVENIENT!

There are actually many more features that the user can explore with Google Chrome. There are also themes to spice up your browser! So don’t wait anymore! Download Google Chrome! It’s awesome! 😀

Week 4: E-learning. Possible anywhere and everywhere :D

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Everyone (well, ALMOST) owns at least a digital device. It could be either a mobile device, a mp3 player or a tablet. However, other than their designated purpose, most digital device can be put to better use. One of them is learning. Just few years ago, learning was probably all about going to school, reading your textbooks and writing your notes. However, with the technology we have nowadays, we can bid goodbye to pens and papers and take our learning to another level.

The iPad.

I’m sure every tech-savvy individuals know what this device is. It is literally a do-it-all device. What can you do with it? Photos. Music. Games. Applications.

The applications that Apple make are really the best and vast as compared to other systems. As quoted from the Apple’s iPad website,

With iPad, the classroom is always at your fingertips. Right now at the App Store, there are thousands of apps available to download. Students can track their assignments, take notes, and study for finals. Teachers can give lessons, monitor progress, and stay organized. And that’s just the beginning.

There are so many applications that one can download. A click into the education section gives you probably thousands of applications. Few popular ones include Dictionary.com, iThesaurus and Alphabet Tracing. These apps cater to children all to adulthood. Imagine the things we can do with just an iPad.  This is probably why many schools (and in Singapore t00) are embracing the iPads as a efficient learning tool. An article below reports about school-going children in Singapore carrying iPads to school instead of textbooks and notes.

School-going children in Singapore carry iPads to school instead of textbooks, notes

Read more:http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/104246/20110124/singapore-schools-ipad-instead-of-textbooks-notes-school-children-relieved-of-books-in-singapore.htm#ixzz1G1GJApsz

I strongly believe that using the digital media as a learning tool is a very effective method. It is a lot more interactive and students will be more interested to learn. I myself use my iPod for learning as well. As an avid korea lover, I am always keen in learning the language. I manage to do that by downloading the applications and listening to their lessons, and i find it easier to understand than just reading.

Who knows, maybe in the near future, schools will probably banish all textbooks and all students can just learn from their digital devices! How nice would that be? 😀

Week 3: Top E-Commerce in Singapore

March 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

With the Internet booming in the recent years, many businesses have turned to the online world to make money. E-commerce is very convenient and also interactive on a global scale. However, with so many businesses online, it is difficult to stay afloat. There are many strategies to be successful online and we will take a look at two of more successful e commerce websites in our local context.

Reebonz

Reebonz is actually a members-only website that organizes private sales from luxury brands (think Gucci, Chanel, Prada). Sale events usually only last for 2-3days and once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Reebonz has been a hit with Singaporeans since it was launched as it provided us with a online platform for discounted luxury goods! Customers do not have to go down to stores and vie with others for products, and instead can purchase in the comfort of their own homes. Reebonz has since been featured in several press releases (newspaper, magazines).

The reason behind their success is probably the novelty of the idea. Also, as it is a member’s only website, it makes the website and the members more exclusive. As for the website features, it is fully equipped with the necessary pages that every visitor wants to see. With this, it gives shoppers an assurance that the website and business is trustable.

Modparade

Modparade has come a long way since their debut in 2007. They started out as a blogshop on blogging platform Livejournal.com. It was founded by fashion student Fernice together with her mother Diana, both whom shared the same interest in fashion. Today, Modparade has a flagship standalone store located at 68 Haji Lane. From just one brand, Modparade has fledged out to several new brands such as, Modparade Online, Modparade Boutique (Femme & Homme), Furneese.

They have also been featured in several magazines and newspaper. To be able to branch out from a online portal to a standout store requires a lot of hard work. One of the reasons they are able to retain customers is probably their customer service. They offer many options for customers to pay and even collect their items. Also, the range of products they bring in is quirky and unique, designs that customers won’t be able to find easily.

I am impressed with Modparade’s growth over the years and also believed that with sufficient hard work, it is possible for a small business to bloom into a big money making tool online.

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