Artificial Intelligence

Written by Daniel Punch

Science fiction has built uprepparttar idea of artificial intelligence for years. Giving machines intelligence often spellsrepparttar 144882 end of mankind as they then rise up against their creators and violently free themselves from oppression. There are cautionary tales such as inrepparttar 144883 film "Spider Man 2" in whichrepparttar 144884 robotic arms of Dr. Octavius start controlling his brain thus forcing him to perform actions of benefit to them. I've never really had an interest in artificial intelligence until recently when I started studyingrepparttar 144885 very basics at university. The only AI Science Fiction that's ever actually interested me was 'Blade Runner' and its novel, 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' written by Philip K. Dick. The subtext ofrepparttar 144886 story deals with AI becoming self-aware but still unaware of its true nature, a concept that interested me greatly. Real AI is quite fascinating and in many ways entirely different to what I expected.

To start with, what exactly is AI? defines it as follows: 1. The ability of a computer or other machine to perform those activities that are normally thought to require intelligence. 2. The branch of computer science concerned withrepparttar 144887 development of machines having this ability. If you take a look at this you may notice thatrepparttar 144888 field of AI is actually far broader than many people give it credit for. Evenrepparttar 144889 Google search engine can be said to incorporate some ofrepparttar 144890 research done in AI. The definition of AI and intelligence itself sometimes varies but it's probably safe to say that a simple explanation is that if a machine exhibits a measure of intelligence in some area it can be called AI. The AI of movies is usually entirely self aware, emotive, and for all intents and purposes 'alive'. It is capable of learning, reasoning, explaining and deceiving. The AI I've experienced (and this is very basic, scratching onlyrepparttar 144891 surface ofrepparttar 144892 depth of studies into AI) is far more specialized, focusing on just one aspect of a problem that could potentially be much larger. There are various areas of research being carried out into creatingrepparttar 144893 humanoid machines of science fiction, but as yet most are still restricted torepparttar 144894 realms ofrepparttar 144895 imagination. One very impressive piece of technology isrepparttar 144896 Honda ASIMO project. This project has created a humanoid robot with some remarkable features. I'm not entirely sure if there's really a practical use for this (I think they're just trying to justify their funding withrepparttar 144897 applications mentioned onrepparttar 144898 website) but it scores points for being one ofrepparttar 144899 coolest uses of technology I've ever seen. You can see some videos of ASIMO in action here:

From what I can tell ASIMO isn't intended to be a particularly human robot beyond superficial levels. He doesn't exhibit emotion or learn outside of his constraints (he can learn areas and navigate them etc. but you couldn't just sit down and teach him to playrepparttar 144900 piano without getting in and doing some serious reprogramming). He's not going to be fooling anyone into believing that he's human any time soon.

Combat Computer Spyware! An AntiSpyware Program Isnít Enough

Written by Jim Shutes

Combat Computer Spyware! An AntiSpyware Program Isnít Enough

By Jim Shutes

Spyware has become an epidemic onrepparttar Internet. A lot of computer users have Spyware and donít even know they have it, much less how to get rid of it. If your computer has been taking you to websites that you donít want to go to, or if you get pop-ups when you arenít even onrepparttar 144881 Internet, or if your computer has been running extremely slowly lately, for no reason, you probably have Spyware.

So what, exactly, is Spyware? Spyware is a wide range of benign to malicious programs that get unknowingly downloaded and/or installed on your computer and perform various tasks. They are similar to viruses, but antivirus software doesnít detect these little bugs. Spyware can be in many forms, from basic information-gathering applets to intelligent, self-protecting and controlling programs.

Primarily,repparttar 144882 intent of Spyware is to collect information about your Internet-browsing habits and report that information back torepparttar 144883 home base, where it is sold for advertising purposes. In doing so, some of your Internet connection bandwidth is taken up in constantly sending this information. And if you only have a dial-up connection, I have seenrepparttar 144884 entire dial-up connection used just for this purpose, leaving nothing forrepparttar 144885 paying customer with which to surf.

Still, other types of Spyware actually take over your Internet-browsing experience and force you to go to websites that advertise forrepparttar 144886 makers ofrepparttar 144887 Spyware (or their customers), and no matter how many times you closerepparttar 144888 windows, they keep coming back. They are like pop-ups that wonít go away. And a lot of times, these windows can appear even before getting onrepparttar 144889 Internet. This should be illegal!

So what can be done about Spyware? Well, if it is caught in time, a user can install AntiSpyware software to get rid ofrepparttar 144890 Spyware. And as a preventative measure, AntiSpyware software should be installed BEFORE getting Spyware andrepparttar 144891 computer should be scanned on a regular basis for Spyware.

On all ofrepparttar 144892 computers that I setup, I install two different AntiSpyware programs: AdAware SE and SpyBot. These two programs are highly recommended by TechTV (G4) and other computer authorities (including my own research on Spyware) and work very well together. They compliment each other and catch Spyware thatrepparttar 144893 other misses, but together, do a very good job.

SpyBot is not only a good program for getting rid of Spyware, but also as a preventative Spyware-catcher. It sits there and looks for known Spyware coming into your system, as well as suspicious-looking content. If you userepparttar 144894 Tea-Timer feature, it can be a little annoying, but ANY suspicious-looking program, trying to be installed on your system, is flagged and your permission is asked for it to be installed (now and always). If you donít have this program installed on your computer, get it NOW by downloading HERE... Download all updates and runrepparttar 144895 Immunize option a couple of times (for preventative purposes). Scan with it every day if you can.

AdAware SE has a little better Spyware database in it, but is not setup as a preventative AntiSpyware program. It does do a good job when you keep up onrepparttar 144896 updates and manually scan your system with AdAware. If you donít have this program on your computer, get it NOW by downloading HERE... Download all updates and runrepparttar 144897 Smart Scan daily (if not, at least weekly).

If, after downloading and installing, updating, and running both of these AntiSpyware program, you still canít get rid of your Spyware, you may need to enlistrepparttar 144898 services of a professional. Some Spyware is so intelligent that it looks to see if AntiSpyware programs deleterepparttar 144899 Spyware part of its programming and, if itís gone, reinserts it back in place. This can be very frustrating forrepparttar 144900 user (and in some cases, even forrepparttar 144901 professional). There are stronger measures that can be taken to get rid ofrepparttar 144902 Spyware, in cases like this, but can be very devastating torepparttar 144903 userís computer, if not handled perfectly. At this point, leave it torepparttar 144904 professional. Call a local computer repair company and have them come out to your home or business and get rid ofrepparttar 144905 Spyware for you.

In some cases, whenrepparttar 144906 Spyware has become too entwined into your system, even a computer repair technician canít get rid ofrepparttar 144907 Spyware. At this point, it is better to just backup only what you need and haverepparttar 144908 operating system reinstalled. Believe me, when your computer gets to this point, you donít want to just put a ďband-aidĒ on it. Just start from scratch with a clean system. Itísrepparttar 144909 best way to go.

Since Spyware is similar to viruses, a few Spyware can be caught by a good AntiVirus program. Some Spyware are actually Trojan Horses (hackerís worms) that get onto your computers and allowrepparttar 144910 hackers to get into your computer (without you knowing it) and doing malicious-type things to it. They can take over your computer, erase your hard drive, use your computer as a server, give you a bunch of illegal music or programs and tell all of their friends to download it all from you Ė leaving you holdingrepparttar 144911 bag and supplyingrepparttar 144912 computer space and bandwidth for their hobby. So, protect yourself with a good AntiVirus program. One of my favorites is AVG. It is not only a really good AntiVirus program, but it is also FREE! If you donít have any AntiVirus software on your computer, get AVG AntiVirus NOW by downloading HERE... If you already have an AntiVirus program, and you want to use AVG instead, do NOT install AVG. First, uninstall your current AntiVirus program, reboot and install AVG. You do NOT want to have two AntiVirus programs installed atrepparttar 144913 same time. They will work against each other and can cause problems.

So can a person avoid getting Spyware? Not entirely, but if you know where not to go, you can definitely slow it down. You can get Spyware from ANYwhere! However, most ofrepparttar 144914 Spyware comes as a trade-off for FREE stuff. If you readrepparttar 144915 license agreement (which no one does) of most FREE stuff, you will be amazed that, in most cases, you are giving them permission to give you Spyware (but not in those words). Read all license agreements before installing anything (I know, I couldnít even say that with a straight face). It will save you a lot of grief. If you are like me, and you donít read all ofrepparttar 144916 legal stuff whenever installing anything, here are some rules of thumb to help avoidrepparttar 144917 bulk of Spyware.

ēBe suspicious of FREE Stuff Ė NOTHING is FREE. If it is FREE, then you are giving away something. Read and find out what it is that you are giving away. Chances are, you are installing Spyware withrepparttar 144918 FREE game, music, or program.

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