Free anti-virus protection spurs more robust options September 22, 2010
Interesting, from USA Today online…
Free anti-virus protection spurs more robust options
By Byron Acohido, USA TODAY
With cyberattacks saturating the Internet, a dramatic shift is underway in the $7 billion-a-year anti-virus industry — and it’s all good news for consumers.
There’s no excuse anymore not to have anti-virus protection on your PC. You can get basic free protection from Microsoft with few hassles. Or you can opt for more robust protection — also at no cost — from a half-dozen reputable anti-virus makers. You need only endure marketing pitches to upgrade to their respective flagship products.
Spend a few pennies a day and you can step up to a very powerful anti-virus suite, available from a slew of established software security companies. Spurred by the rise of no-cost alternatives, Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro and others are revving up their AV software suites, making them stronger, smarter and less demanding of your PC’s resources.
"We’re seeing a wonderful thing," says Jay Foley, executive director of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center. "More companies are coming out with free software, and at the same time the established players are coming out with more vibrant products that give the home user or small-business owner greater protections."
No-cost basic protection is fast catching on. A recent Morgan Stanley survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers showed 46% of the respondents used free anti-virus products. This trend is expected to continue as more frugal-minded consumers in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world recognize the need to protect their Internet-connected PCs.
Over time, this trend seems sure to dampen cybercriminals’ ready access to PCs that have no protection at all, cybersecurity experts say. Today, an estimated 40% to 60% of PCs go unprotected. These are the easiest fresh machines for cybergangs to infect, steal data from and use to carry out online scams.
"The immediate benefit of free consumer offerings is that more network-connected machines worldwide are getting active protection," says Neil MacDonald, privacy and risk research fellow at Gartner Information Security.
Read on here.
The Pleasure and Pain of Chili Peppers September 21, 2010
From the NY Times…
September 20, 2010, 5:55 pm
The Pleasure and Pain of Chili Peppers
By TARA PARKER-POPE
Why do humans get pleasure from foods like chili peppers and jalapenos, even when they are painful to eat? The New York Times science editor Jim Gorman looks for answers in today’s Science Times. He writes:
Some experts argue that we like chilies because they are good for us…. Others, notably Dr. Paul Rozin at the University of Pennsylvania, argue that the beneficial effects are too small to explain the great human love of chili-spiced food. Dr. Rozin, who studies other human emotions and likes and dislikes (“I am the father of disgust in psychology”) thinks that we’re in it for the pain.
He has evidence for what he calls benign masochism. For example, he tested chili eaters by gradually increasing the pain, or, as the pros call it, the pungency, of the food right up to the point at which the subjects said they just could not go further. When asked after the test what level of heat they liked the best, they chose the highest level they could stand, “just below the level of unbearable pain.”
To learn more, read the full story, “A Perk of Our Evolution: Pleasure in Pain of Chilies,” and then please join the discussion below by sharing your best spicy stories.
Read on here.