It seems like Facebook just went down? Are they getting a DDOS? This would be the first (that I can think of) for the FB Giant...
Update: 5/31/2012 @ 8:34 PM CST
- Facebook seems to be back up. The outage seemed to last <10 minutes. Pretty good to get things back up if it was a DDOS. It seemed to go down about 8:25 PM CST (and I tested it from different Internet Provider - Comcast, Qwest and Sprint). The outage did last (from what we could tell) more than 5 minutes though...
Update: 5/31/2012 @ 8:46 PM CST
- Facebook seems to still be having 'some' response issues. The site is going horribly slow... This typically (when it is site wide on a site as big as FB, on multiple servers, multiple locations, a pretty massive DDOS, though other big sites... like Google, Microsoft, etc are still coming up fast).
Update: 5/31/2012 @ 8:54 PM CST
- Multiple people are talking about FB still "freaking out" on them... making them continually login, connection issues, etc. This is now going on about 30 minutes...
Now... more the question is if it was indeed a short DDOS... Why is someone trying to take down Facebook? I know through various news media sources, that the group Anonymous has said that they were going to do it (multiple times, though it seemed to never pan out) and I have always wondered why Anonymous would take down Facebook as it would hurt MANY small businesses... so more my thought is that it is someone attempting to pretend to be the group Anonymous. Interesting thoughts?
If it wasn't a DDOS... is Facebook getting to big?
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
When Anti-Viruses Go Bad
What happens when your anti-virus turns on you? The simple answer is your computer stops working.
This was made evident in a recent update to Avira (ironically only affecting the paid versions of the program and apparently only in 32-bit environments). After the update, the AntiVirProActiv component began flagging critical system processes and preventing the computer from booting. In the unlikely case the system did load, Avira began blocking software programs, virtually all executable files including Microsoft Office.
The good news is that the free edition (Avira Anti-Virus Personal) does not include the ProActiv component. Unfortunately, the paid versions do, including the business edition.
So far, it appears as if affected machines are pretty easily fixed by updating Avira yet again, a fixed update was released May 15th, but that was after a supposed fixed update. Avira does give update instructions and a two sentence apology. http://www.avira.com/en/proactiv-application-blocking Also included are instructions to disable ProActiv completely.
While we understand that mistakes happen, there needs to be better communication from companies in situations like this.
If you use one of the paid versions of Avira, please make sure that you are not running software version 18.104.22.168. If you are noticing issues, start a product update. You may need to boot into Windows Safe Mode to get this to work.
If you need assistance getting this to work, please call us at 612-234-7237. Standard Phone Support is $49.95 per issue. http://stpaulvirusremoval.com/Windows.Repair.Services/PC.Phone.Support.htm
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The Ins and Outs of Power Strips, Battery Backups, and Surge Protectors
by André Thomas
With Spring storms upon us, strong electrical activity and wind bringing down power lines become a very real danger for computers. One aspect of nearly all technology is that it requires a power source; for most of us that means plugging in to an outlet with power provided by the electric company. Electricity is notoriously problematic with brown-outs, black-outs, surges, spikes, and plain old fluctuations. All of these can cause problems for your technology and especially your computers.
Surges, spikes and fluctuations can damage sensitive components such as processors, RAM, hard drives, monitors and video cards. Repeated fluctuations can actually "fry" your computer. The most instantaneous cause of electrical damage is a lightning strike which can destroy entire systems in a flash. Brown-outs and Black-Outs describe actual power interruptions or dips in power which cause additional wear and tear on the computer, and can additionally damage data stored on a hard drive and possibly even damage components.
Protection comes in many forms with varying effectiveness. While none of these are perfect, they can help protect your investment and your data.
The most basic, providing no protection, is a power strip. Power strips are of little use beyond making one outlet into multiple.
Surge Protectors or Suppressors, often incorrectly referred to as power strips, have a major advantage; they are able to absorb a surge in power. They do however have a limit to how much they can absorb in a single event, rated in Joules, before they fail. Many will not survive a lightning strike, sometimes even being "fried" open allowing the entire strike to reach attached devices. Another thing to be aware of is that this protection is not immediate, there is a miniscule delay from the beginning of the surge to when the protection components kick in; this delayed response time can still lead to problems and still fry your system. An exhaustive explanation can be found here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surge_protector
A Battery Backup or Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) is commonly used with critical systems, and can also be very helpful in a home environment. Their primary function is to continue providing power in a failure event. While the battery charge is usually exhausted quickly, it is normally enough time to correct the failure or shut down the system properly. Battery Backups are most often rated in VA (volt-ampere) and give an estimated run-time for common equipment uses at load. Many UPSs will also provide effective power noise reduction and surge/spike protection and some of the better ones also include power conditioners. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uninterruptible_power_supply
Last on the list, power conditioners. Many high-end technology devices are susceptible to noise or ‘static’ in a power line. In these instances, a power conditioner is extremely helpful. They "clean" or filter your power source and many provide protection from "cross-talk" or noise from components plugged into the same strip. The most common application for a home user would be a Home Theater System, preventing electrical noise from interfering with sound and video quality. Most conditioners also include a Surge Protectors in the device. Like Surge Protectors, most have a Joules rating, but also include a decibel (db) rating. The higher the db rating, the better the noise filtering capability of the conditioner. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_conditioner
One major note is that all of these devices have an effective lifespan. Most of these are rated for about 3 years. Surge Protectors can fail much more quickly in areas with erratic electrical supply and should always be replace after a major event like a lightning strike. Most Battery Backups can handle a lot more surge events, but it may wear out the battery faster, and they should be tested yearly. Power Conditioners are very similar to Surge Protectors, but normally have longer lifespans. Many products will give estimated life expectancy of the device in the product info.