I found this very interesting article in Yahoo! News and thought of sharing it with all of you.
The dawn of 2010 promises more amazing developments in the world of technology. Already, tourists can visit space, for a price, nearly everything and everyone is going digital, and medical science continues to test the boundaries of what makes us truly human. One full century ago, the new technologies that had people talking were considered just as groundbreaking. Electricity led the charge of developments that were changing the way people lived every day, with transportation and chemistry not far behind. As the clocks of 1909 ticked towards 1910, more exciting inventions were just around the corner.
The first decade of the 1900s was an exciting time to be alive, with inventors continuing to make major strides in all disciplines.
The early years of the century saw the general public finally able to enjoy the fruits of what was achieved in electrical engineering during the previous century. By 1910, many suburban homes had been wired up with power and new electric gadgets were being patented with fervor. Vacuum cleaners and washing machines had just become commercially available, though were still too expensive for many middle-class families. The telephone was another hot new commodity in 1910, with millions of American homes already connected by manual switchboard. Those who did not have a phone to call their neighbor still had to rely on the paper for their news, however; though radio technology was in its infancy, regular broadcasts were still several years away. In transportation, those first years of the 20th century began the age of the airship, marked by a craze for dirigibles such as the Zeppelin and the Wright Brothers’ historic flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Henry Ford introduced his landmark Model T in 1908, making automobiles available and affordable to the masses for the first time.
Chemistry also charged full steam ahead in 1910. Advances in the use of gases chilled the world out with the release of the first electric refrigerators and air-conditioning units, while French inventor Georges Claude harnessed neon in glass tubes and debuted neon lighting in Paris, changing the face of seedy advertising forever. Other new inventions, both influential and inane, that were making waves one century ago included:
The best thing before sliced bread. The world was modernizing quickly by 1910, but some everyday things we take for granted now were then still just a glimmer in their inventors’ eyes. Men were still relying on buttons and women on painful corsets until 1913, for example, when clothing technology got a boost with the development of the zipper and modern brassiere. Unfortunate zipper accidents likely healed better with the invention of the modern Band-Aid, which came about seven years later. Steel turned rusty until mid-decade, when the stainless variety ushered in a new era of efficient gun barrels and, later, shiny appliances. Finally, though the pop-up toaster first hit the market in 1919, the public had to wait almost ten years for its practicality to be fully realized. The “greatest thing” of the modern age, the one invention against which all others are now compared-sliced bread-was born in Missouri in 1928.
We’re just so modernised now that it sounds funny that once a person invented sliced bread and teabags. I guess in another hundred years, computers are no longer thought as an invention but as a daily need.
Mum and dad showed to me this piece of news from CNN online:
(CNN) — Remember the dire predictions surrounding the “millennium bug?” The doom-and-gloom scenarios bandied about by security analysts on how computers could act when their clocks turned to January 1, 2000?
Well, researchers are hoping that a potential April Fools’ time bomb — the Conficker.c that is supposed to hit computers on April 1 — turns out to be equally unfounded.
But realizing that hope alone is not a prudent option, here is a primer on the worm so you can adequately prepare yourself — and your computer.
What is Conficker.c and what do analysts fear it may do?
(Computer users will not know that Conficker.c has infected their machine.)
Conficker.c is a worm, a malicious program thought to have already infected between 5 million and 10 million computers.
Those infections haven’t spawned many symptoms, but on April 1 a master computer is scheduled to gain control of these zombie machines, said Don DeBolt, director of threat research for CA, a New York-based IT and software company.
What happens on April Fools’ Day is anyone’s guess.
The program could delete all of the files on a person’s computer, use zombie PCs — those controlled by a master — to overwhelm and shut down Web sites or monitor a person’s keyboard strokes to collect private information like passwords or bank account information, experts said.
More likely, though, said DeBolt, the virus may try to get computer users to buy fake software or spend money on other phony products.
Experts said computer hackers largely have moved away from showboating and causing random trouble. They now usually try to make money off their viral programs. Watch more on the worm »
How does the Conficker.c work?
Conficker.c imbeds itself deep in the computer where it is difficult to track. The program, for instance, stops Windows from conducting automatic updates that could prevent it from causing damage.
The program’s code is also written to evolve over time and its author appears to be making updates to thwart attempts to neuter the worm.
Who wrote the program?
It’s unclear who wrote the program, but anti-work researchers — a group calling itself the Conficker Cabal — are looking for clues.
First, they know that some recent programs have come from Eastern European countries outside the jurisdiction of the European Union, said Patrick Morganelli, senior vice president of technology for Enigma Software.
Worm program authors often hide in those countries to stay out of sight from law enforcement, he said.
In a way, the Conficker Cabal is also looking for the program author’s fingerprints. DeBolt said security researchers are looking through old programs to see if their programming styles are similar to that of Conficker C.
The prospects for catching the program’s author are not good, Morganelli said. “Unless they open their mouth, they’ll never be found,” he said.
So, the most effective counter-assault simply may be damage control.
How can I tell if my computer’s infected?
One quick way to see if your computer has been infected is to see if you have gotten automatic updates from Windows in March. If so, your computer likely is fine, DeBolt said.
Microsoft released a statement saying the company “is actively working with the industry to mitigate the spread of the worm.”
Users who haven’t gotten the latest Windows updates should go to http://safety.live.com if they fear they’re infected, the company’s statement says.
People who use other antivirus software should check to make sure they’ve received the latest updates, which also could have been disabled by Conficker.c.
How did the worm evolve?
The first version of Conficker — strain A — was released in late 2008. That version used 250 Web addresses — generated daily by the system — as the means of communication between the master computer and its zombies.
The end goal of the first line was to sell computer users fake antivirus software, said Morganelli.
Computer security experts largely patched that problem by working with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to disable or buy the problematic URLs, he said.
A second variant, Conficker.b, was released in January and infected millions more machines.
The Conficker, strain C, will generate 50,000 URLs per day instead of just 250 when it becomes active, DeBolt said.
What is being done to fight Conficker?
They’re motivated in part by a $250,000 bounty from Microsoft.
Members are searching for the malicious software program’s author and for ways to do damage control if he or she can’t be stopped.
I can never umderstand why would a person ever create such monstrous things. I suppose surfing the internet now is even more dangerous as it used to be. I hope the person responsible for this could be stop as soon as possible.