Artificial Intelligence

Written by Daniel Punch

Continued from page 1

The Turing Test is a measure of Artificial Intelligence that was created by Alan Turing. He stated thatrepparttar question of whether or not machines could think was too vague, and proposed a test that was more specific. His test, without going into too much detail, involved trying to get a computer to fool people into believing that it was human. The people would type a question into a console and receive a response fromrepparttar 144882 computer onrepparttar 144883 other side. While there has been much work done on systems trying to passrepparttar 144884 Turing test, none of them have succeeded yet. There has also been research done into creating machines that can exhibit emotions. However, we're still a long way off from seeing a machine that can appear to be alive.

The early excitement over AI led to developers trying to create a generic reasoning problem solver that could search through a mass of knowledge that it has acquired and find solutions to any problem that was thrown at it. Unfortunately this proved almost impossible in practice. Today's AI tends to focus on very specific problems and knowledge areas. Expert Systems are programs that are "Experts" in a specific field and can answer queries related to only that field. Their applications include medical diagnosis, credit card application, and other fields where data is to be analyzed.

I haven't even begun to explorerepparttar 144885 true extent of AI in this article, but maybe I've piqued your interest. If you want to look into it further, try readingrepparttar 144886 Wikipedia (free on-line encyclopedia) entry and maybe downloading something like Prolog to have a go and see what real AI is like. I find it quite interesting because it involves a similar mindset to programming as you attempt to break a problem down enough for a computer to understand it, but of courserepparttar 144887 actual implementation is very different.

Here's a fun thing to try. Open a copy of ALICE (, start a conversation with a friend on your messenger program of choice, feed their responses into ALICE and sendrepparttar 144888 program's responses back. See how long it takes before they either work out what's happening or get annoyed and block you (which has beenrepparttar 144889 most common result of my experimentations). Enjoy your exploration ofrepparttar 144890 world of artificial intelligence.

Daniel Punch M6.Net Web Helper

Combat Computer Spyware! An AntiSpyware Program Isn’t Enough

Written by Jim Shutes

Continued from page 1

•A lot ofrepparttar websites that you can play FREE games online, contain Spyware that automatically install on your computer, without you knowing it. Some even say that in order to play their games, or get their FREE stuff, you must answer YES torepparttar 144881 following question, or allow a small program to be installed, in order to playrepparttar 144882 game. Just say NO. Don’t do it. It contains Spyware.

•If you do searches online for FREE stuff, just by going to most of these websites, you get Spyware downloaded to your system. Within minutes, you will notice that you start to get pop-ups that won’t quit, and you start getting taken to websites you don’t want to go to. And even when you close all of your browser windows, other windows open up. Now you’ve done it! You have Spyware!

•Pornography is a BIG place to get Spyware. Avoid porn sites. It’s not worth it.

•Another place to get Spyware is when you do searches for cracks for games and programs, to get FREE serial numbers and fixes to illegally use programs and games for FREE. Spyware is rampant at these websites. Stay away!

•A lot of media players have Spyware built into them, too. I don’t want to name any names, for fear of “big brother”, but after installing any type of audio or video players, run your AntiSpyware program to scan your system. You will most likely find Spyware. Choose to deleterepparttar 144883 Spyware and then you can safely use your media player.

•There are several FREE programs that utilizerepparttar 144884 banner method of advertising, to pay forrepparttar 144885 FREE program that they are handing out. A lot of these types of programs still include Spyware in their programs. Watch for this. After installing any questionable programs (especially if they are FREE), always do an AntiSpyware scan of your system.

•And finally, you can get Spyware from even reputable websites in newsgroup and forum sections, and even from certain search engines (again, without naming any names). To find out where you are getting your Spyware, install SpyBot, runrepparttar 144886 Immunize feature a couple of times, and then onrepparttar 144887 Immunize page (inrepparttar 144888 pull-down menu nearrepparttar 144889 bottom) choose to “Display Dialog When Blocking”. SpyBot will tell you, in real-time, as it is finding Spyware that is attempting to install on your system. Just by going to certain websites (or just certain pages on a particular website) you can have Spyware installed on your system, without your knowledge. SpyBot will alert you when this is happening and tells you that it is blocking it. You will be amazed where this happens. And by doing this, it helps you steer clear of these websites.

Another way to protect your computer against attacks is by having a firewall. And if you think that Windows XP’s built-in firewall is enough, tell that torepparttar 144890 hackers that laugh as they walk passed it and into your computer! If you have high-speed Internet (DSL, CableModem, Satellite, Wireless, etc.), then you NEED a hardware firewall. A software firewall is a firewall program that resides on each of your computers on your network and tries to keep out attackers, by blocking certain ports and using filters to try to determine who can get in and who shouldn’t be allowed access. A hardware firewall is a router (a piece of hardware; a box) that sits between all of your computers on your network andrepparttar 144891 Internet. This isrepparttar 144892 best way to keep out attacks, since your computers can’t even be found onrepparttar 144893 Internet (because ofrepparttar 144894 router putting you on a different network). Instead of your computer’s processor working to repel attackers that found your computer onrepparttar 144895 Internet,repparttar 144896 router does all ofrepparttar 144897 work for you and bouncesrepparttar 144898 attacks back, before they ever get to your computer. This is your BEST defense from Internet attacks. However, a hardware firewall does NOT protect you against getting Spyware or Viruses. Since most Spyware and Viruses are acquired byrepparttar 144899 user (and not an outside attack) either by downloading them, installing a program with them, or opening email with them, a firewall won’t protect against these threats. A firewall must be used as one part of a larger prevention package.

A good consumer router (hardware firewall) only costs about $50 - $100 and can be picked up from your local computer store. If you only have one computer, it is pretty simple to setup yourself. If you have a LAN (local area network) of computers, you may want to hire a professional to help set you up.

And finally, don’t use a computer onrepparttar 144900 Internet without a good Pop-up Blocker. Part of Spyware are Pop-ups. A good Pop-up Blocker will work in conjunction with AntiSpyware to keeprepparttar 144901 Spyware at bay. Some Spyware will automatically keep launching new browser windows of websites they want you to visit. A Pop-Up Blocker will slow, or even stop, this from happening. Pop-ups can be so annoying. For every window you close, a few more open up. Again, this should be illegal! I like to use Zero Pop-up. It isn’t FREE, but unlike some Pop-up Blockers, it doesn’t have to be trained (meaning, whenever you get an unwanted pop-up, you tell it not to show it inrepparttar 144902 future, and eventually build a “black list” of unwanted pop-ups not to show). With Zero Pop-up, you can also block Messenger messages, banner ads, floating ads, and other things. I highly recommend it. You can download a FREE trial HERE...

To combat Spyware, you must incorporate an entire prevention scheme, made up of AntiSpyware programs, an AntiVirus program, a Hardware (not software) Firewall or Router, a good Pop-up Killer, and also be aware of where you can get Spyware and Viruses, and avoid these programs, emails, and websites. And it isn’t enough to install all of this, but also keep current on all updates and definitions, and run regular scans of your system (daily, if you can, if not, weekly).

And if your computer is already too far gone to start your own prevention scheme, hire a professional to set it up for you. Sometimes, spending a little money to have a fresh installation and preventative measures installed is well worth it, to avoidrepparttar 144903 headaches, hassles and downtime incurred with these types of threats. Times have changed sincerepparttar 144904 days when all you needed was a simple AntiVirus program. Today, technology has advanced such that a punk computer geek can sit at home and cause lots of problems on YOUR home or business computer(s) and can cost you lots of time and money, trying to stay ahead of all ofrepparttar 144905 problems. Get your prevention scheme in place TODAY!

Good luck. I hope this article has helped you. If you live inrepparttar 144906 Lapeer, Genesee, or Tuscola County, Michigan areas, and would like an IT Professional to setup your Prevention Scheme in your home or business, please contact Lapeer Tech Group at (810) 793-1093, or visit our website at You can email us at

I have worked in the IT field since 1989 and hold several Microsoft certifications. I am a network administrator and owner and operator of Lapeer Tech Group, located in Columbiaville, Michigan (just outside of Lapeer). During these years, I have supported both Macs and PCs, am an accomplished graphic and web designer, and have had the opportunity to support 2nd and 3rd level enterprise networks for GM, EDS, Delphi and Delco.

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