Strong Passwords

8/10/2016

Skkra recommends… strong passwords!

I work in IT, and I constantly see people use weak passwords.  Considering how prevalent spyware and viruses are, one of the simplest things you can do is to make sure that your password is strong.  Sure, it may be difficult to remember J5!)bb6$frC, but it’s infinitely more secure than the name of the street you grew up on.StrongPasswords

I’ve literally seen high level company officials do things like make their password their child’s name, etc etc.  It’s insanely easy to crack, I’ve seen them cracked, and it’s ridiculous that because you happen to be C level, you’re allowed to get away with this kind of shit.  If anything, you should be held to a higher standard.  You shouldn’t be allowed to talk down to IT and tell them how it’s going to be.  Didn’t you hire us because you need technology advisors?  Ridiculous.

Strong passwords also apply to things like your wireless.  I’ve seen friends crack people’s wireless passwords in a matter of minutes, either by guessing the answer, or using simple brute force tools which use a dictionary method to force crack it.  If your password is a long string of letters and numbers, it’s way harder to crack than when you make it the name of your street and the last two digits of your birthday.

So, there’s my rant for today.  Make strong passwords.  Especially for shit like your bank account, or credit card.  Just because you’re a nobody doesn’t mean some asshole won’t be happy to take whatever you have.

LTE

7/18/2016

Skkra recommends… LTE!

I’m not much of a cellphone nerd. I’ll come right out with it. That said, I do appreciate having a smart phone that works fast, and LTE is frigging fast. I thought 3G was plenty good, until I actually started getting LTE service and experienced the difference.

It’s admittedly really impressive. I can walk to work watching youtube videos the entire time without issue. I’ve taken 4 hour car rides where I’m literally streaming a fighting game tournament on twitch.tv while driving down stretches of middle-of-nowhere highway, and it’s uninterrupted and high quality. I was never able to do that when my phone and plan only covered 3G.

If you’re still on 3G, do yourself a favor and upgrade. The difference is massive.

Skipping 4K

7/17/2016

Skkra recommends… skipping 4K!

That’s right, I said. Screw you, 4K television.

Seriously, isn’t HD good enough? It looks frigging awesome, and file sizes for movies and such are already gigantic enough just in HD. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at 4K images when at Best Buy or whatever, and seriously, I really don’t think it’s necessary. When you look at SD versus HD, the distinction is so insanely obvious that the SD picture looks like unviewable garbage. HD versus 4K doesn’t have that same type of distinction to me. HD already looks great to my eyes – it’s a sharp picture and there is no eye strain when looking at it, unlike an SD picture which almost looks blurry and headache-inducing in comparision.

I think enough is enough – isn’t HD good enough? At some point your eyes wont even be able to tell the difference anyways. In 40 years when we’re at 64K or whatever, the pixel density will be so insane that it will have been long since your eyes were even able to tell the difference. You’ll just be shelling out ridiculous extra dollars to the companies that create the hardware for TVs. Why? For no reason, that’s why.

Lighted Keyboards

7/16/2016

Skkra recommends… lighted keyboards!

I didn’t have a lighted keyboard for a long time. Generally, even in the late hours of the night, while sitting in the dark, the glow of the computer monitor was more than enough to light up the keyboard for you. I’m a touch typist anyways, so it’s not like I needed it, but once in a while, for whatever reason, you occasionally look down.

It is really nice to have the keys light up a bit though. I’ve definitely come to appreciate it. Certain keyboards you can buy – the Alienware ones inLightedKeyboards particular – have crazy lighting effects, where you can have the keyboard transition between three different colors. You can set specific colors for the keyboard, mixing the RGB values to create whatever shades you want.

It’s very handy for working in dim light. And, bonus, it just looks cool.

HWMonitor

7/10/2016

Skkra recommends… HWMonitor!

HWMonitor is an awesome little piece of software that I’ve been using for years. The thing is more or less free, but I actually registered just to support the developers.

HWMonitor can do several things, but first and foremost it’s temperature monitoring software. It’ll give you the internal temps for all of your hardware, including your CPU, hard drive, and video card. That’s actually the reason I first started using it – I had a laptop with a video card that I believed was overheating. You can also monitor the voltages of various internal components.

I run it constantly when using my machine, just so I know what proper/baseline temperatures look like for normal operation. If things ever get out of hand, I can see a component is having trouble early and do whatever I need to to address it, rather than only react when something goes wrong and it’s too late.