The CCleaner Hack and What You Need to Know

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          If you are familiar with CCleaner, the PC security product, you may have recently heard about the backdoor successfully inserted by hackers about two weeks ago. While Avast, the parent company of the firm that owns CCleaner, has tried to allay any fears of serious threats to users of the software, other security companies have expressed concern that the hack affected more users than Avast is letting on. Supposedly, around 2.3 million users were affected, but it's unknown as to how many received the "second payload," so they are encouraging users to not only update to the most recent version of CCleaner, but also run malware scans so as to cover all bases.

          We at DormNet regularly use CCleaner to clean clients' computers before running malware and anti-virus scans, so this potential breach in security obviously created some concern. However, we have updated all of our software, and the problem was likely targeting larger entities than college students. It is, however, better to be safe than sorry. If you are ever concerned about possible malware or virus attacks on your computer, let us know, and we can take care of it.

"Deleting" items from your computer.

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A lot of people have issues with storage space on their computers. People (myself included) download tons of information and don't delete it when they are finished with it. What a lot of people don't think of is what the "delete" button actually does.


When you are finished using a program or any other file on a computer, it is usually a good idea to delete it, and dispose of the information saved on your computer as a result of downloading that program. If you don't do this, I recommend getting into the rhythm of doing so. It really helps your computer run faster and longer over time. Over time, leftover files and programs can really add up and take up lots of storage space on your computer. Quite often, this makes your computer run far slower than it should run nominally. In extreme cases, you can run out of storage space, forcing you to pick and choose programs to get rid of.



However, before you go and delete your files and forget about them, make sure to remember your recycling bin. When you "delete" files, they are sent to the recycling bin until you manually empty it. Essentially, this is a friendly reminder to check your recycling bin. You may be surprised by how much space is taken up by files you aren't using in your recycling bin. As an added bonus, just taking a minute to empty out your recycling bin can boost your computer's performance more than you might expect. 


To empty the bin (on Windows 10), open the Recycle Bin, and click on the manage tab at the top of the window that opens. Then proceed to click on "empty recycle bin." It is really that easy! On macs, the process is similar, but the Recycle Bin is known as the Trash.

Element and Sceptre TV's

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This year we have had many a call about Sceptre and Element TV's on our campus network.

With the recent changes to Harding's Cable Network, we are now operating on Digital HD channels. This is good news for most students because we are now getting much cleaner pictures than before both in terms of resolution and a lack of static. We also now offer Philo which can be used on Roku devices and computers for students living in the dorms when they are on Harding's Network.* Our cable network has 25 channels in HD, while Philo has a total of 64 (including those 25).

Now onto the bad news. Now that these changes are in effect, your TV must have an HD decoder to be able to see the channels. This can be an issue for older, or low-cost TV's. Recently many students bought a 32" Element TV from Wal-Mart and found that it doesn't acquire the channels. This TV is missing that decoder.

When it comes to fixing this problem there are 3 solutions.

Firstly, you are able to purchase the decoder, but it does cost $25+. This is not what I would recommend. The Reason is that a Roku Express+ is (at this time) $25. This device runs from an HDMI Port, and can be used to get Philo, Netflix, Hulu+, and other services. This gives you all the available channels of cable and more, for the same price or less. This is a solution I do recommend.


Lastly, you can purchase and use an HDMI cable to connect your computer to the TV. This is likely the cheapest option, but requires you to plug in the computer to the TV every time rather than just leaving the Roku there all the time.
*Specifically HU-Student (Guest doesn't work!!!)

The Switch continues to succeed

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The Nintendo Switch has continued to fly off the shelves the second it gets placed on them. Why has this console continued to be impossible to find? Because Nintendo finally gave the gaming community something that it has always wanted. They successfully found a way to provide people a gaming experience that goes from a home console with them to the store or the bus. Nintendo also brags quite a good number of sponsors from developers across the board from major companies to small "Nindies" (Nintendo independent developers) that provide a wide variety of games for the Switch.


Nintendo updates the community every month with an in depth video on upcoming content called Nintendo Direct. The most recent one brought us updates on upcoming games like Super Mario Odyssey, updates and further content for games like Snipperclips and Splatoon 2, and even newly announced games coming like DOOM & Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Announcements and updates like this are what keep people interested in what is to come.


The popular Reddit thread /r/NintendoSwitch has updates from other players and users daily on activity in their own games or updates from upcoming things. Some smaller developers use it as an area to get feedback from players to implement into their games. It has allowed community feedback to become a big part of developing games. The community also comes together to show off some upgrades they have made to the console. A few users have replaced the shell of the joy con controllers themselves and have been asked if they would be willing to do the same for others.

Overall, Nintendo not only shocked the community with how successful this console would be, but also themselves. They are on track to continue to be the best current selling console across the world.

Who is stealing your Netflix?

Posted Posted by Madison Haskins in Comments 0 comments

Do you ever log onto your Netflix account to find random shows that you've never watched in your 'Recently Viewed' queue? You don't recall watching 5 episodes of The Great British Baking Show or even know what that is, but for some reason it's popping up on your Netflix account. The only logical answers are that you are either binge watching in your sleep, or your family, friends or crazy ex-girlfriend is doling out your Netflix account to their friends and your extended family. It takes a certain level of trust to share your Netflix information with someone else, so here's a way to find out who is using your account so you can promptly delete them as a friend on Facebook (i'm looking at you mom).
First log into your account and under your cute little icon and click 'Account' 


Next scroll down to your ' My Profile' and click 'Viewing Activity'




After selecting 'Viewing Activity' you will see a page like this,  (impressive, I know)


A Clicking on the link that says 'See recent account access' near the top of the page and it will display a list of devices that have used your log-in credentials to access Netflix, and their respective location. 


In conclusion, I'm glad we have this ability because I'm not sure who lives in Georgia and is using my Netflix account. Netflix has provided us with a great way to find out if anyone is trolling us. Thanks Netflix. 









Language Learning with your Computer (Part 1)

Posted Posted by William Hagerman in Comments 0 comments

Language Learning with your Computer (Part 1)

This summer I took a poll on the bilingualism of Harding students. I had 73 responses and the answers were surprising. To my surprise about 36% of the the 73 students considered themselves to be conversationally fluent in a language other than their native tongue. Also to my surprise 68 of the 73 students said they would be interested in taking a course/learning a language other than their native tongue. That is 93%! What if I told you that learning a language really isn't that hard and it doesn't have to cost you hundreds of dollars.


Preparing yourself mentally

It is true that the best time to learn a language is when you are still a child, but like most of us that time has passed. But that doesn't mean it's too late. It will just take a little more effort. Before you start learning a second language it is important to approach it from a good point of view. You, yourself, must want to learn the language and be committed to the learning process. If you aren't all in about learning a language you will most likely not succeed. Need some motivation?

Motivation

What are some advantages to learning a second language?

Did you know that learning a second language can significantly lower your risk of getting Alzheimer's later in life? There are many studies that say so. Read one here.

Learning a second language opens your eyes to a world you have never seen before. Language is the doorway to culture. It will teach you to drop prejudices and how to grow alongside our neighbors who think different than us.

It gives you job opportunities that you might have not had as a monologuist. There is a story often talked about in the foreign language department here at Harding. There was a person who applied for an office job after graduating from Harding. The employer saw that they graduated with a Spanish degree so they hired them. Not only did they hire them on the spot, they gave them their own office and a $10,000 pay raise.


Where to start?

Learning a language is a long and lengthy process and it is essential to start in the right place. In this section we will talk about different alphabets and the pronunciation of different languages.


Alphabet

One huge advantage that technology has brought us is the ever growing web. We have so much information and knowledge at our fingertips and that is something we should take advantage of. Where to start is different depending on the language you want to learn. No matter what language it is , a good place to start is learning pronunciation. This will be easier for romance, germanic, etc. languages that use what is called the Latin Alphabet. But this can be a struggle for example slavic languages that use different alphabets.

If you are wanting to learn a language that uses the Latin Alphabet (the english language uses the Latin Alphabet) you can skip this step. I, myself, am teaching myself Russian. What's different about Russian is that it uses the Cyrillic alphabet. It can be very intimidating, but I swear it isn't as hard as it looks. I spent many hours looking up different ways to learn the alphabet. I found some smaller websites that helped, but my roommate recommended a website called Glossika. Glossika has a 30 level activity teaching you how to type and write with the Cyrillic alphabet. Not only does Glossika offer activities to help you memorize the Cyrillic alphabet, it offers activities on the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Georgian, Armenian, Polish, and Greek alphabet.

If you want to use Glossika and want to follow steps to use it, click here!

Pronunciation

Unfortunately, many language learning programs do not teach pronunciation until far along into the program. Why is this unfortunate? It's because you begin to learn essential vocabulary with your native pronunciation. This affects your interpretation of the word and you will basically have to re-learn the word with the correct pronunciation. So after you learn the alphabet it is essential that you learn correct pronunciation.

The easiest way to find a program to teach you correct pronunciation is to google it you can even find some great YouTube channels that offer some basic courses in pronunciation. If you are wanting to learn either Spanish, French, or Russian, you can click on the either three of those words and it will direct you to a playlist on YouTube.

If you are wanting to take it one step further, you can learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and learn pronunciation that way. The IPA is an international alphabet that corresponds with the sounds that a vowel or consonant makes. For example: the world "hola" in Spanish is spelt phonetically ['o.la]. It is pronounced like OH-la. If you are wanting to learn multiple languages, it is a great idea to get acquainted with the IPA. Here you can see a chart of consonants with their corresponding sounds. Here you can find a chart of vowels and their corresponding sounds.


Until Next Time...

Until next time make sure to start studying those alphabets and pronunciation! Allow yourself a couple weeks to really grasp the alphabet and pronunciation before you start getting into the other parts of language learning. As a reminder, the language learning process is slow and can be aggravating, but it is worth it! Within a few weeks you will start to notice your progress.

Tips!

It is essential to start training your ears in listening to your target language. Find some YouTube channels, podcasts, music, etc. that pertain to your interests. Even though you will most likely be unable to understand them, your brain will begin to form patterns. These patterns will help you with pronunciation, learning vocabulary, and comprehension.

What You Missed at WWDC17

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If you’re anything like me, you love Apple products. I own something from almost every product line they have, and keep adding to the collection. Well, if you’re anything like me, you also watch all their keynotes on the day they happen. But, since you probably aren’t me, here are some of the highlights from the Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in June and what you can expect from our favorite tech giant this fall.

iOS 11


iOS gets major updates every year. This year is no different. Next month Apple will release the newest version of their mobile operating system, iOS 11, and when they say they’ve given iOS an overhaul, they mean it. Starting with iOS on the iPad, they have added a dock that can be accessed from any app at any time. They have also reimagined multitasking and allow you to drag and drop between split-screens. Control Center is now able to save all of your multitasking windows and allow you to resume them at any time.
But what about the iPhone? Well, I’m glad you asked! iOS on the iPhone has some great new features as well. Have you ever taken a Live photo and thought that the main picture doesn’t look that great? Well not anymore, with iOS 11 you can select what frame of the Live clip that you want to be the main picture. On top of that, you will be able to modify the picture with effects such as Loop, Bounce, and capture those great moving water photos with Long Exposure.
Now with iOS as a whole they have improved some things. Siri is now more lifelike than ever and she’s even learning other languages. She’ll be able to translate for you when you go on vacation to China, Germany, or Mexico. She also is better at understanding you and suggest things that you might like to view or read. Control Center and Notification Center got design changes that are absolutely amazing. They announced that iOS 11 will launch with a new Do Not Disturb While Driving setting to limit cell phone use while driving.  For more information, visit https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-11-preview/.

HomePod 


Apple also announced their new speaker to rival the Echo and Sonos. It features an array of six tweeter speakers and a vertical bass speaker. It is wrapped in a seamless audio mesh that allows sound to travel through it with no loss of volume or quality. It also features everyone’s favorite new mixologist, Siri. You can ask Siri to play a certain genre, artist, year, or even ask her to update you on the score of your favorite team’s game. But what about when the music is too loud? Well, the HomePod’s microphone are designed to cancel out the audio it is playing and only listen to what is different. This allows it to hear someone across the room while the music is playing at full blast. For more information, visit https://www.apple.com/homepod/.

macOS High Sierra 


As expected, iOS gets an update, but macOS gets one as well. This fall macOS High Sierra will launch and has some great new features. Just like with iOS, High Sierra will launch with support for HEVC video files and HIPC picture encoding. These will allow you to have great quality files with twice the compression as before. Apple has also reimagined the entire file system. They are introducing the new APFS (Apple File System). This system has several new features, one of which is the speed of copying and duplicating files. The new system allows you to copy and duplicate files on the system almost instantly. For more information, visit https://www.apple.com/macos/high-sierra-preview/.

September Keynote Event


As always, Apple will host there annual keynote this September. You can watch it live on the Apple website or replay it later. The keynote will start at noon Central Time on September 12, 2017. They are expected to announce the official launches of iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, and the new iPhone models for this year. It will be available on the Apple website at https://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2017/