Ira Wilsker's archive

During the recent natural disaster known as Isaac, I was busily tracking the progress of the storm and attempting to determine the potential threat to my community near the Gulf Coast. Thirsting for information, I was always searching for additional tidbits that might be of practical use.

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Amazon has developed a well-earned reputation as a seller of goods. Originally an online book seller, Amazon diversified into consumer and institutional goods, digital books and music, and a variety of other services. Recently, Amazon announced what might be the lowest cost, commercially available “cloud” data storage for long-term archival or backup services. Amazon has enormous data capacity, with countless servers and related data storage located in many places around the globe.

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Many Americans might not be aware of the feisty Russian-based computer security company Kaspersky, but it is the fourth largest security vendor in the world, the third largest vendor of consumer security software, and the fifth largest vendor of enterprise endpoint protection, according to Wikipedia. Headquartered in Moscow since its inception in 1987, Kaspersky currently has 29 regional offices around the globe, including U.S. offices in Boston and Miami.

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It never ceases to amaze me how creative international cyber crooks can be. There are countless online scams and schemes intended to enrich criminals at the cost of innocent Internet users. We have all heard of viruses, worms, Trojans and other variations of malware, as published warnings have been disseminated since the early days of personal computing.

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We all like getting something for free. In the past, I have written about the thousands of free e-books from Amazon, Google, and other sources. A quick review of Amazon indicates that almost all currently published commercial books, including many college textbooks, are now available in digital format in addition to the bound paper versions. For all of the courses in my program at my college, the students have the option of using free online textbooks. Microsoft has now joined the free e-book club.

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