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Review of the NVIDIA 790i

Nvidia 790i

We are now going to be talking about the Nvidia 790i and what kind of power supply you’re going to need for a system like this. The cream of the crop here is the EVGA nForce 790i Ultra Tri-SLI motherboard and it has everything you can imagine on it. It’s got all the standard nForce7 features which we haven’t covered much of. PCI Express 2.0 was added on the nForce7 as opposed to the nForce6 which uses PCI Express 1.0. You get double the bandwidth with PCI-E 2.0 and support for the 45nm quad core CPUs which were not supported on the 680i. This is included on all the nForce7 boards. You also have support for ESA, which is the Enthusiast System Architecture. It is a system health monitor that checks your temperatures and fan speeds. For full support you do need a compatible computer case, a power supply, and a CPU cooler that all support the ESA technology. These would include products such as the CoolIT Freezone Elite and the SilverStone TJ10.
You’ve got one more expansion slot on the 790i and it is a PCI Express x1 connector. The reason for that is if you actually had 3 graphics cards on the 780i, you’d have no available expansion slots remaining unless you’re using cards designed for water cooling. As for other features, a big one is support for DDR3. The extreme overclockers and hardcore gamers are switching to DDR3 and the 790i is the only SLI platform that supports it. The 790i has all the other features of the other boards, but also has PCI Express 2.0, Tri-SLI, and DDR3 support up to speeds of 2000MHz. Be warned though, that speed is only supported on certain modules so do select your memory carefully. The 790i also has eSATA at the back I/O panel which means you can plug an external SATA hard drive into it. There is coaxial digital sound output at the back, and one more internal SATA port than the 780i board. So it has coaxial and digital optical output, where as the 780i and 750i only have digital optical. There is also a beefier north bridge cooler on the 790i. These are the main differences between the boards.

So if you are running three graphics cards, a high powered motherboard and CPU, you’re going to need a serious power supply to boot. The Corsair HX1000W Modular Power Supply is perfect for use with these boards and is the only kilo watt power supply to be certified by Nvidia for use with the Tri-SLI technology. It is cooled by a 120mm fan and uses two independent power rails. Even though a lot of power supplies use two rails, this one in particular is basically two separate power supplies in one enclosure. One of them provides the 12-volt rail 1, and the 5-volt rail. The other provides the 12-volt rail 2 and the 3.3-volt rail. Each of these power supplies is a 500 watt power supply giving you the combined 1000. It is surprisingly quiet as the fan doesn’t even come on until 500 watts of power is being used. It uses a modular design. The pre-attached cables are your 24-pin motherboard cable, 8-pin EPS 12-volt, and two PCI-E 6+2-pin connectors that are compatible with 6-pin or 4-pin PCI-E video cards. If you’ve got two more graphics cards, you can plug in the optional PCI-E cables into the modular array. It also comes with two more 8-pin cables and two more 6-pin cables. If you do need to plug in 6 PCI-E cables, like you would need if using the 3 card SLI setup on the 790i board, then you can send a request to Corsair and they will send you the additional cables to make sure that the PSU will power whatever you need.

So the 790i is the ultimate platform combined with the ultimate PSU. The most powerful graphics solution that you can get with three graphics cards on one motherboard.



Hacking a Snapchat account

Snapchat Hacks – Are they still around?

Snapchat was released in 2011, and started out as a small app used mainly be teenagers to send temporary photos to one another. However, since then Snapchat has attracted millions of users and as a result it has become one of the most popular apps in the world. In fact, Snapchat is so popular that Google offered to pay $30 billion for the app. But, Snapchat has had its growth spurts. There have been several Snapchat hacks in the past which have received extensive media coverage. However, recently it seems like there hasn’t been as much media coverage about Snapchat hacks or leaked Snapchat images. I was curious whether the issue with the hacks had been solved, or maybe the media simply lost interest. In this blog post I will do research about Snapchat Hacks, are they still around?

Is it possible to hack a Snapchat account?

I was wondering whether it was possible to hack an account. Naturally I started my research by searching on Google for a Snapchat Hack. It didn’t take long for me to find one on http://snaphackspy.com. However, simply finding one is not enough, I had to actually try the website out myself to see if Snapchat Hacks were still a thing. Of course, I did not want to use my own account as a test dummy, so I signed up for a new account. With this new account I tested out the Snapchat hack. On their website they claim that you only need to enter the username of the Snapchat account, and you will be shown the password that belongs to it. In addition, they claim to reveal all the Snaps that have been sent and received from the account.

However, once I completed the human verification I was not actually shown the images and videos I had sent through the account. The page didn’t seem to unlock, maybe they were having issues with their service, but so far I was disappointed and my quest continued.

Leaked Snapchat

Another thing I had heard about was the existance of large scale leaked Snapchat databases. These are a relatively new phenomenon, and haven’t received as much news coverage. What these leaked Snapchat databases basically do is collect all the leaks from hacked Snapchat accounts and put them together. You can then search for a username and if the user has had their pictures leaked in the past they will be revealed to you. This seemed a lot more realistic to me, so I decided to give this a try as well. Of course I could not use a dummy account to test this service, so I decided to try it out with my personal account.

To my surprise, it appeared like some of my Snaps had actually been leaked in the past. They were old Snaps, and they didn’t contain anything sensative, but it was still quite a strange feeling that my private images were laid bare, for everyone to see.

 



The Power of Flowcharts in IT Audits of Critical Applications

A flowchart can be an effective tool for auditing critical business systems and applications such as enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) and service oriented architecture (SOA) systems. Our objective as IT auditors is to get a clear view of the risks and controls in the technology being reviewed.
Wikipedia defines a flowchart as a type of diagram that represents an algorithm or process that shows data and its movement usually with arrows. The flowchart is used widely for analysis, design, documentation and process management.

Auditors can use flowcharts to visually display business processes and the supporting technology. Different aspects of data flows and infrastructure can be emphasized depending on the risks and controls being reviewed.

Events that can be captured in a flowchart include data inputs from a file or database, decision points, logical processing and output to a file or report. Risks and controls in a business process can be documented visually and analyzed.

The traditional shapes used in flowcharts were developed long ago by IBM and other pioneers of information technology. The four basic shapes that are widely used are the square, used for a process (e.g. add, replace, save); a square with a wavy base, used for a document; a diamond, used for a decision point (e.g. yes/no, true/false); and a sideways cylinder, used for data storage (e.g. database).

Other important symbols are start and end symbols represented by circles, ovals or rounded rectangles. Arrows are used to show ‘flow control’ where control passes from a source symbol to a target symbol. A parallelogram is used to represent input and output e.g. data entry from a form, display to user.

In creating flowcharts, there are some basic rules to follow. Start and end points should be clearly defined. The level of detail documented in the flowchart should be appropriate to the subject matter covered. The creator of the flowchart should have a clear understanding of the process and the intended audience should be able to follow the flowchart easily.

In our experience as IT auditors, Microsoft Visio is the best tool for creating flowcharts and analyzing business processes. There are usually vertical columns representing different phases that are part of an overall business process. Interfaces between departments that are automated or manual can be shown.

Flowcharts can also be used to clarify controls on data inputs, processing and outputs. Input controls may consist of edit and validation checks. Processing controls may consist of control totals or milestones. Output controls may consist of error checking and reconciliations. An auditor can then identify areas within a business process with weak or non-existent controls.

An example of technology where flowchart analysis is especially useful is enterprise resource planning software such as Oracle e-Business Suite and SAP. There are input controls made up of specific ‘rules’ to ensure the validity of data. There are process controls on high-risk functions, transactions or forms. There are output controls such as reports and reconciliations.

Another example of complex technology that can be understood through flowcharts is service oriented architecture (SOA). This architecture consists of many web and software components that are integrated to connect service providers with service consumers. ‘Web services’ support specific business processes. Each of these web services will generally have controls on data inputs, processing and output. The flowchart is essential to understand such web services and their integration in a broader environment usually through an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).

In conclusion, a flowchart can be used by IT auditors to analyze a business process. Different aspects of the process can be emphasized such as risks, controls, interfaces, decision points, technology infrastructure and components. The famous expression of a picture is equal to a thousand words is accurate. A flowchart can capture essential points that verbiage and text cannot easily match. We encourage the IT audit, risk and control communities to use this powerful tool in performing their respective functions.

References:
Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flowchart Microsoft Visio ‘Help and How-to’ articles. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/visio-help/?CTT=97 Understanding SOA Security Design and Implementation. IBM Redbook. http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg247310.html




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