Terrorist in the World Wide Web

The terrorist for the technology world are computer viruses. They attack without conscience, hitting you hard and fast while destroying important data, machines and countless hours of people’s work. Applications like email, instant messaging and even the simple web browsing are usually easy targets for viruses. Once they have lurked in your system, it is by far damaged and hard to cure. Here are the top viruses that you should be aware of:

The Sinister Sircam:

A header like: “I sent you this file in order to have your advice” seems like a harmless email header. This is usually the type that a trusting user will open right away. Sircams wrath sneaks into people’s PC and then sending random documents to email addresses in their address book. Not only this but they go around deleting files and vandalizing hard drives with useless junk making people frustrated and miserable.

Nihilistic Nimda:

The most wide spread internet virus in just 22 minutes. This virus is unstoppable and infects computers without any guilt via email and network shares. Nimda is “admin” spelled backwards. Compromised websites, and used back doors left by code red.

Code Red Invasion:

It was believed that this virus originated from the Philippines. This is a plague that brought corporate networks to their knees last July 13, 2001. It hacked hundreds and thousands of global computers with endless waves of infections and owned them like puppies. The website of the Whitehouse was one of the targets.

Mayhem of Melissa

This was named after a lap dancer that a programmer wanted to impress. This mass mailing macro virus engulfed email systems way back in 1999. They brought virulent messages and pilfered email addresses from computers to which it sends itself to further propagate. Spam filters were invented to avoid their attacks.

Elk Cloner’s Conundrum

It started as a well-orchestrated prank and became as one of the most annoying and elusive computer viruses. EC was an old school virus that started last 1982 that broadened its reach through floppy disks and displays silly messages on a screen when a program was accessed.

In a World of Technology, the Megaphone Still Blares

We’ve all seen a film with a scene like this. The police cars have screeched to a halt, cops have jumped out and are now taking cover behind the car doors, guns aimed on some unseen threat. The camera scans to the left and there’s the detective, raincoat already soaked by the torrential downpour, valiantly speaking through a megaphone.

It’s true that if this was filmed today, the detective would have to sign some dangerous situation waiver and communication with the bad guy would probably be via Twitter or his iPhone. But what if the – probably English-accented – bad guy was unable to access his social networking accounts? Then the trusty loud hailer would come back into action in a return to the limelight of which Paula Abdul would be proud.

It’d odd to think about it, but in an age that seems to be dominated by technology, there’s still room for something that seems almost amusingly old fashioned. The police and fire services employ all kinds of modern technology to carry out their work, from GPS systems to infrared cameras and face recognition technology. But what do they use when they need to get a message to someone trapped inside a building, or stranded on top of a roof?

They could ask them to be their friend on Facebook or they could invite them to an instant messaging session, but there’s always a chance that the woman perched precariously 50 floors up on a midtown skyscraper, or the international criminal holed up in a downtown tenement might not have access to a Wi-Fi connection.

In which case, the megaphone comes into its own. One of the reasons for this is that it’s a perfect example of form and function. Originally invented way back in the seventeenth century as a “speaking trumpet,” the basic principle of an aid to amplified speech has remained largely unchanged since then. Of course they can now be electrified, but even the hand-held version so beloved by all those seventies cop movies, remains a useful tool.

After all, the hand-held speech amplifier is still used for a very good reason. It works. It’s also incredibly versatile and can and has been used in the meanest city streets as well as the wide-open spaces of the Rockies. Coast to coast, north to south, someone somewhere is using a megaphone for as many purposes as Jay Leno has cars. Whether it’s saving a life or on a protest march, it gets people heard.

Even the hallowed corridors of popular music have benefited from the portable loudspeaker. Listen to the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” and what do we hear echoing Ringo’s baritone warbling? It is none other than John’s repeated phrase carried through that trusty speaking trumpet. It just wouldn’t have been the same had Lennon replied to Starr’s singing via text message.

The loud hailer had become a tool in the great cultural revolution of the 1960s as its sound issued from a million transistor radios across the world. It was all a long way from the 1670s. However, it’s the fire services that have almost made the megaphone their own. With just the use of a few batteries, a fireman or firewoman can hail someone who’s trapped in a burning building and pass on vital instructions that could save that person’s life.

They’re also cheap, certainly less expensive than most of today’s touch screen telephones, and they’re not subject to network coverage. Hundreds of years after they were first invented, the megaphone is still helping to save lives. Now there’s something to shout about.

Are Web Standards Healthy For The World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web as we know today is a vast interlinking of websites all over the world open to all for information sharing, working, socializing and entertainment. It was first envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 and he called his program WorldWideWeb, with one essential component, that of universality.

In these times of phenomenal technological growth where the web has spread its consuming net to all corners of the globe, certain universally accepted rules have to be put in place to ensure order and the full realization of the Web’s potentials. This is the role of web standards as represented by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA). The standards include the following:

  • HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML)
  • eXtensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Document Object Module Level 1 (DOM 1)
  • ECMAScript (Standardized JavaScript)

The technical details of the web standards are best left to the experts, but the impact of the standards to the industry and the user public is of paramount concern.

To Web Developers

Proponents of web standards argue that the standards would make web development easier, faster and more systematic because there are set rules and processes to follow. While others claim that the standards hamper innovation, creativity for enhancements is still encouraged as long as such enhancements do not go outside the bounds of the standards.

To Users

Accessibility, usability and compatibility must be guaranteed to each and every Web user across the globe. Web standards must ensure use of the Web by all people who are capable of using it including those with physical impairments to include helpful output devices like voice browsers, Braille browsers or hand-held browsers. Compatibility will also be less of a problem as the standards will create programs that will make old versions compatible with new ones and new versions to automatically degrade to old versions. This is like a dream, but even the World Wide Web started as a dream.

Conclusion

Aware of the problem of inconsistencies between web designs and varied browser versions, web developers who are advocates of web standards are concerned with the universal accessibility of the Web especially with the emergence of additional software and hardware that are now able to browse the Web like telephones, PDAs and pagers. With this in mind, they are pushing for the universal acceptance and adoption of web standards to make the Web a better place in which to communicate, work, socialize and be entertained. In short, web standards are surely something to be embraced, the ultimate goal being that of making the web truly inclusive for all.