Tuesday, December 28, 2010

McAfee's 2011 List of Threats

With the New Year fast approaching, tech enthusiasts are very excited about all of the latest technology that is being introduced in 2011, but what about the possible security concerns that come with all the new technology? On Tuesday, December 28, 2010, McAfee released their 2011 list of threat predictions. The company said, "The list comprises [the] most buzzed about platforms and services, including Google's Android, Apple's iPhone, Foursquare, Google TV and the Mac OS X platform, which are all expected to become major targets for cybercriminals."

"We've seen significant advancements in device and social network adoption, placing a bulls-eye on the platforms and services users are embracing the most," said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, in a statement. "These platforms and services have become very popular in a short amount of time, and we're already seeing a significant increase in vulnerabilities, attacks and data loss."

McAfee will have to work especially hard to fend off the increasingly sophisticated malware that will be targeting Apple in 2011. So far, the Apple Mac OS platform has been decently secure, said McAfee. The iPhone and iPad are growing increasingly popular in the business realm though, and McAfee is afraid that with the general lack of knowledge about how to secure these Apple devices Apple botnets and Trojans could be a frequent occurrence and become a serious issue.

The biggest thing that people need to be really careful about is social networking sites. McAfee said that sites like Twitter and Facebook can easily fall prey to problems like URL shortening scans. They continued saying that they knew that utilizing abbreviated links does make it easier to condense your 140 character limit Tweets, but sometimes these links are also an easy way for criminals to mask and direct users to malicious Web sites. Each minute there are more than 3,000 tiny URLs created. Due to these astronomical numbers, McAfee said that they expect to see an increasing number of URLs that will be utilized for spam, scamming, and other malicious purposes.

Although a recent study showed that only 4 percent of adults really use location-based services, companies are continuing to release location-based features including Foursquare, Google Latitude, Facebook Places, and more. McAfee warns that the information that is shared on sites like these could easily enable cyber criminals to formulate a targeted attack. They also predicted that in 2011 there will be an increase in the use of this type of tactic across most of the popular social networking sites.

A lot of these location-based services that people utilize are used via their mobile phones. Because of this, McAfee is also predicting a “rapid escalation” in the number of mobile attacks due to “widespread adoption of mobile devices in business environments, combined with historically fragile cellular infrastructure and slow strides toward encryption."

McAfee also said that the increased use of Internet TV connections could pose a serious security risk. If manufacturers just rush into releasing their products, they could run into some major issues with suspicious and malicious apps on platforms such as a Google TV device. "These apps will target or expose privacy and identity data and will allow cybercriminals to manipulate a variety of physical devices through compromised or controlled apps, eventually raising the effectiveness of botnets," McAfee said.

These weren’t the only things that McAfee had on the threat list that they released. The list also included:

Hacktivism: McAfee is predicting that there will most definitely be a rise in the number of possibly politically motivated cyber attacks. "More groups will repeat the WikiLeaks example," McAfee said. They continued saying that unlike WikiLeaks though, the strategy will be much more sophisticated and leverage social networks.

Friendly Fire: McAfee is saying that there will also be a rise in the use of malicious content that is disguised as an e-mail from a source that you know. There is “signed” malware that works to imitate legitimate files that McAfee is afraid will be much more prevalent. They also said that “friendly fire,” which is a threat that seems to come from your friends but really is a virus such as Koobface or VBMania, will become a much more prevalent choice by cybercriminals. McAfee also said that these attacks go hand-in-hand with social network attacks and that these social network attacks could quite possibly eventually overtake e-mail attacks.

Botnets: McAfee Labs is predicting that with the merger of Zeus and SpyEye that there will be more sophisticated bots that will be produced because of the advancements for bypassing security mechanisms and law enforcement monitoring. McAfee Labs also says that they expect to see an increase in botnet activity that begins to adopt data-gathering and data removal functionality, instead of the more common use of sending spam.

Well, one thing that can definitely be taken from McAfee’s 2011 list of threats is that there are definitely threats out there that users want to avoid. Security is a big issue that many people tend to avoid, including myself. Protection and caution is necessary and is something that people really need to pay a little more attention to.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Browser Wars Heat Up for Microsoft

"I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant...", those were the words of Admiral Isoroku Yamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and it also seems to be the feeling people have toward Microsoft and the company's entrance into the "browser wars" we are seeing today.

Back when Internet Explorer first came out, it was a high performance browser with a lot of useful functions. However, those days were finite, and Microsoft got branded with the reputation of producing crappy browsers, a reputation that IE7 and IE8 did nothing to improve upon.

In 2010, however, a long effort to reactivate the company's browser projects showed promise in IE9. As of right now, the application is still in beta form, but it has already shifted the browser market dramatically.

Internet Explorer 9 supports any and every kind of Web standard including a ton of HTML5 features like built-in video, CSS3 for advanced formatting, professional typography and SVG for smoothly resizable graphical elements. IE9 also speeds up the execution of web-based JavaScript programs. This development did manage to alert browser rivals for one top priority today, hardware acceleration. The software itself is accompanied by a push by the industry where Microsoft is educating Web developers and contributing to the development of standards.

It does appear that it may take a little while before web developers trust that Microsoft is serious about browsers again. It also seems that people still using the ancient IE6 will still be wary of upgrading. One thing is clear, Microsoft is paving the way for a new browser future where web sites as well as web applications become more fluid, interactive, polished and powerful.

In terms of Microsoft, Internet Explorer 9 has come in at exactly the right time. The battle with IE has always been against Firefox, however, Google's Chrome has brought in a new era of fierce competition. I think it is safe to say that Google knows a little something about the internet, and the company has a major agenda of web applications to pursue as well as a big enough presence on the web to allow it to make new technologies relevant by building them into its browser and web site.

Early in 2010 Chrome passed Safari by Apple for third place in the rankings of browser usage, and its growth carried to almost 10% of usage in November. A new phase of Google browser ambition is just taking off as well. The Chrome Web Store, which was designed to promote web-based applications and Chrome OS, allows people to find and purchase nearly any web app they want.

Chrome OS is much more of a departure from existing technology than just a browser. Google only offers it built into hardware. Google has done a good job with Android, but it is still unclear as to how well Chrome OS will fare with consumers and businesses.

Firefox's percentage of browser usage has remained consistently flat for most of 2010 thanks to Chrome. There are big things planned for Firefox 4 including many new features and performance enhancements. The problem is that Mozilla failed to meet a 2010 deadline and has since been pushed into 2011.

Apple's Safari has steadily increased in usage share with a few signs that the Windows version is catching on. Safari has been the principle sponsor of the open-source WebKit project, the same project both Safari and Chrome are based on. However, Google is steadily increasing.

One notable feature of Safari 5 that arrived in July was extensions that have the ability to customize the browser's behavior. Opera, the browser currently ranked 5th, is building them into Opera 11 which is the upcoming version of the browser which will match Chrome and Jetpack, the upcoming browser from Mozilla.

Adobe Systems, maker of Flash Player plug-in, had a particularly difficult year but ended on a good note. Apple, not surprisingly, did not budge on their ban of Flash from iOS devices directly, however, it did relent on blocking an Adobe tool that allows you to convert Flash apps to native apps. Google and Adobe forged an alliance due to the very public fight between Apple and Adobe which resulted in Flash support and promotion within Android.

The browser market combines competition between makers with cooperation as all the companies seek to advance the possibilities that can occur on the web. HTML5 standardization has sprouted emotional clashes between different groups involved as the specification moves more under the control of corporate powers.

The mobile market is also a big challenge to the web. Native software can offer better interfaces as well as faster performance than traditional web apps on mobile devices. However, it is still clear that the web as well as the tools for using it are clearly on the rise.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kingston Digital Unveils Second Generation Colorful Mini Fun USB Flash Drives

Kingston DataTraveler Mini Fun G2USB flash drives are some of the most convenient pieces of technology around today. They allow you to add anything from data files to word documents and even movies or music to them and transport them to any USB device for instant access. But just because you have a cool piece of technology doesn't mean it has to be boring.

That is why Kingston Digital unleashed their DataTraveler Mini Fun not too long ago, a device that added color and fun to your everyday USB flash drive. Well, everything deserves an upgrade now and then which is why Kingston Digital has just unveiled the next generation of the DataTraveler Mini Fun USB flash drive.

This latest release from Kingston features a ton of colors as well as a rubber casing and a miniature size which is reviving one of Kingston's favorite designs. According to Jim Selby, Manager of European Product Marketing for Kingston Digital Europe, "These multicolored fun devices can be 'snapped' to each other in order to construct different objects and cool shapes. Users can take apart their designs and build something new and creative every day. The versatile Kingston DataTraveler Mini Fun G2 is the perfect storage companion to help store your favorite documents, photos and music in a mini-sized drive. It's so small that you can take it anywhere."

There are three different color designs for the Kingston DataTraveler Mini Fun G2. This allows users to mix and match different sticks. The mini design and bright colors make this USB drive ideal for your home, school and travel. There are three models of this device currently available, a 2GB, 4GB and 8GB, each of which come with a different color combination.
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Breakthrough by IBM May Bring Us Exascale Supercomputers

If you are one of the people out there that doesn't think that a supercomputer seems good enough, then you probably work at IBM. Researchers at IBM have just made a breakthrough in using light pulses to help accelerate the transfer of data between chips. If this works out like the people at IBM think it will, then it could quite possibly increase supercomputer performance by more than a thousand times.

This technology, dubbed CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics (I feel smarter already), integrates optical modules as well as electrical modules on a single piece of silicon. This allows electrical signals created at the transistor level to be transformed into light pulses, seemingly allowing chips to communicate faster according to IBM silicon photonics research scientist Will Green.

IBM believes that this new technology will lead to massive advances in supercomputer power. The fastest supercomputers we have around today max out at nearly 2 petaflops which, for us lay people, registers into two thousand trillion calculations per second. The photonics technology could increase this number to a staggering trillion million calculations per second. Yeah, a MILLION TRILLION calculations per second, otherwise known as an exaflop. This would help IBM achieve their goal of building an exascale computer by the year 2020.

According to Green, "In an exascale system, interconnects have to be able to push exabytes per second across the network. This is an interesting milestone for system builders who are looking at building exascale systems in 10 years."

The possibility of integrating multiple photonics modules onto a single substrate or onto a motherboard is here, according to Green. Newer supercomputers already use optical technology for chips in order to communicate. However, this usually occurs at the rack level and mostly over a single wavelength. This breakthrough will allow optical communication simultaneously at multiple wavelengths.

The good thing about this technology is that it can be manufactured on a standard chip production line. Another benefit is that it also needs no special tools, making it extremely cost-effective. The current demonstration used a 130-nanometer CMOS manufacturing node. However, IBM plans on pursuing integration into "deeply scaled sub-100 nanometer CMOS processes," according to Green.

The technology aims to replace copper wires. As you know, copper wires are widely used today for data transfer between chips. Optics can get a speed increase for distances as short as a few centimeters to as long as a few miles and even consumes less power. Eventually, IBM hopes to use optics for on-chip communication between transistors as well. According to Green, "There is a vision for the chip level, but that is not what we are claiming today."
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Wozjob Apple 1 sells for Nearly a Quarter of a Million USD

Wiki Photo: The Hand built Apple-1

The Apple-1 computer was hand build in Steve Wozniak's parents garage. Steve Job's came up with the idea of selling it. The Apple-1 was first demonstrated in April 1976 at the HomeBrew Computer Club in Palo Alto.

Originally, the Apple 1 sold for $500 when it was sold to a reseller 1976. It was made out of wood and was billed as the first "personal computer." The retailer marked up the Apple-1 by 33% giving it a price of $666.66.

An Apple I reportedly sold for $50,000 USD at auction in 1999, with another apparently selling in 2009 for $17,500.

Fast forward to November 2010. This same Apple I (with serial number 82) sold for $178,000 ($213,600 including the 'buyer's premium') at Christie's auction house in London , making it by far the highest price paid for this model to date, at £133,250 ($210,000).

The high value of this particular example is likely due to the rare documents and packaging offered in the sale rather than the computer itself; namely (and amongst others) the original packaging (with the return label showing Steve Jobs' parents address, the original Apple Computer Inc 'headquarters' being their garage), a personally typed and signed letter from Jobs (answering technical questions about the computer) and the original invoice showing 'Steven' as the salesman.

Story Sources: EpochTimes, Wiki, Gather

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Record Profits For Dell Due to Increase in Demands

dell record salesOn Thursday, November 18th, Dell reported their third quarter earnings to be record breaking due to the increased demand for PCs and computer services. Despite this report from Dell, consumer revenue for the company only showed a 4 percent increase for the third quarter and is predicted to have little to no increase for the fourth quarter and holiday season.

Dell’s reports were pretty incredible, despite what consumer revenue says. They reported a net income of $822 million, which is a 144 percent increase from the same period a year ago, and $15.39 billion in revenues, which is up 19 percent from the same period a year ago.

“Our strong results demonstrate that we are listening to customers and delivering what they want,” stated Michael Dell, chief executive of Dell. “It validates that our strategy to offer choice and efficiency at every level of the IT enterprise computing stack is taking hold, and we are more focused than ever to being a true partner – not merely a provider – to our customers. Dell is growing in the right areas, and I'm very excited about our momentum."

Dell executives have said that the company has been focusing on “profit share” instead of market share when it comes to units sold. Chief financial officer Brian Gladden said, “I believe that the third quarter results demonstrate the strategy we have described to you over the past year is the correct one,” in a conference call with analysts on Thursday.

Dell’s Large Enterprise revenue came in at $4.3 billion, which is a 27 percent increase from last year, with an operating income of about $400 million (or 9.2 percent of revenue). Their Small and Medium Business revenue came in at $3.7 billion, which is a 24 percent increase, with an operating income of $391 million. Their consumer revenue came in at $3 billion, which was only a 4 percent increase, as was mentioned above. Dell said that for operating income the consumer segment improved to breaking even for the quarter, despite the “muted” consumer demand.

On Thursday Dell also announced that its new Inspiron Duo laptop was just made available for pre-order. All of these announcements come a day after the announcement that Dell communication chief Ron Garriques was leaving the company. This has caused some speculations about what will happen to Dell’s plan of creating a line of cell phones.

In the conference call though, Garriques resignation from the company was barely even addressed. The questions were focused more towards the “management changes” at Dell and the impact that the tablet industry will have on the company. Executives responded by saying that Dell’s 2011 tablet release will address “all the opportunities we see for tablets.”

Michael Dell went on to say, “We are very much in the mobile space, working very much with both Android and Windows Mobile 7 and encouraged with the development of both of those and see them as a great opportunity for us.”

Steve Felice, the president of consumer small and medium business for Dell, made an apparent reference to tablets and the general mobile space by saying, “We want to mainstream the supply chain, the sales capability, and the marketing capability. All of this is aimed to bring this more to scale in faster fashion than we normally envisioned.”

In the conference call Dell did not present any target revenues for the fourth quarter. Instead the company said, “Fourth quarter revenue is expected to track in-line to slightly up from the third quarter as commercial demand remains stable while consumer demand remains more muted.”

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

HP Will Be Paying Out $16.25 M in Settlement

hp fraud
HP is a very well-known technological name, but the company is really not having the best of years so far in 2010. It’s not their sales numbers or their products; it’s something very different that they had complete control over. On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that HP will be paying out $16.25 million in order to settle e-rate fraud charges.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission say that contractors for HP “wined and dined” certain Dallas public school officials so that they would be able to obtain insider information that would assist them in winning competitive e-rate contracts from the school system. These contracts are a government program that work to fund Internet connections in public schools and libraries.

Now, HP’s contractors did more than just take workers from the Dallas Independent School District and the Houston Independent School District out to dinner or something like that. These contractors bought the school officials lavish gifts that included things like yacht trips and tickets to the 2004 Super Bowl. All of these gifts helped HP to secure the contracts that they wanted. These contracts included more than $17 million worth of HP equipment. The government was tipped off about HP’s dealings with the school districts. This prompted the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission’s investigation of the allegations.

As a result of HP’s dealings and of the Federal Communication Commission’s investigations, they will be paying out $16.25 million. The FCC says that most of the money will be returned to the e-rate program. They have also said that in the future they will make sure that HP follows all of the e-rate requirements so that this does not happen again.

"The FCC's compliance agreement with HP ensures that HP will train its employees thoroughly on the FCC's gift and other e-rate rules and provides for audits of HP's e-rate business," said the general counsel of the FCC, Austin Schlick. "If HP fails to monitor its e-rate activities closely and abide by e-rate program requirements, it will face substantial penalties."

HP said that they have now dismissed all of the contractors that broke the rules concerning the e-rate contract. “HP requires that all employees and partners adhere to lawful and ethical business practices," stated the company. "The activities at the center of this investigation occurred more than five years ago, the partner relationships have been terminated, and the employees involved are no longer with the company." They also added, “HP fully cooperated with the authorities, and the matter is now resolved.”

The chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, said, “Broadband is key to our children's 21st century education. That's why one of the FCC's top priorities is making sure e-rate works to benefit students and libraries. Today's settlement shows the extensive efforts of the FCC and DOJ to protect the e-rate program from waste, fraud, and abuse, and to deter misconduct in the future."

The FCC edited the e-rate program slightly in September so that there would be no misunderstandings or abuses concerning the rules about soliciting or receiving gifts within the program. They also added a few rules to make sure that the bidding process was completely fair for everyone that is involved.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Wireless Solar Keyboard from Logitech

solar keyboard from logitech
Logitech is a Swiss peripheral device manufacturer that makes PC accessories including keyboards, mice, microphones, game controllers, and webcams. They also produce home and computer speakers, headphones, wireless audio devices, and audio devices for MP3 players and mobile phones. The newest innovation in their computer peripheral department is the Wireless Solar Keyboard K750.

This keyboard brings together all of the latest technology. It features integrated solar panels on the top of the keyboard that collect the power for the K750 so that you can use it without batteries or power cords inside or outside of the office. Logitech has made the incredible claim that when the keyboard is fully charged it can last for up to three months in a pitch black room.

The keyboard has a very sleek design. It is mostly black, except for the slim white frame, and is about one-third of an inch thick. The keys were designed in the chiclet style and have an extremely comfortable feel. The keyboard features an on/off switch that allows you to conserve power when you aren’t utilizing the K750. There also is an indicator light that lets you know when the charge of the keyboard is getting low.

Logitech includes their Unifying Receiver with the Wireless Solar Keyboard K750. It is a thumbnail USB device that gives you the ability to use your keyboard wirelessly. The receiver also features the special ability to sync up to six Logitech peripherals with the one USB device. Another great feature is the solar power app that will allow K750 users to install a lux meter that will measure ambient light levels and the battery life of the keyboard. This app will be available to download on November 15th.

The Wireless Solar Keyboard from Logitech is not shipping yet, but it is available for pre-order. The keyboard will be shipping a little later this month and will cost $79.99. I think that this keyboard is awesome. It’s incredible that when charged the keyboard can last up to three months. Also, wireless really means more convenient to me, which is important. I think that this solar keyboard will definitely be a hit. This is a great keyboard from a great company.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Playbook

With the release of the iPad other companies are scrambling to release their own tablet PCs. On the horizon is Dell's Slate and also revealed is Research in Motion's (RIM's) Playbook. RIM is most well known for its Blackberry phones and with the popularity of the Blackberry staying consistent throughout the years hope is high that the Playbook can live up to expectations.

While the Blackberry line of phones is known for their business-savvy software, RIM wants consumers of all backgrounds to be comfortable with the Playbook. RIM has tried for a long time to break away from their business-only niche, and the Playbook might be just the device to do it. If RIM wants their new tablet to be fun, they have made a step in the right direction with the Playbook's dual cameras. The forward camera is 3 mega pixels and the rear camera is 5 mega pixels. The presence of the forward facing camera indicates that there will be video calling on the tablet, and everything is shown in brilliant 1080p HD video. The screen will be a 7" LCD.

With all of these positives the Playbook sounds like it could be a real contender for the iPad, but like every device, it has its potential downfalls. One thing that sticks out very clearly is the lack of built in 3G. RIM has already stated that 3G will not be built into the Playbook in the first generation, and that is almost unheard of for the tablets being released. The screen, while beautiful, is also smaller than the iPad's. Lastly, the Playbook is not due for release till early 2011, and at that time it will have to compete with the next generation of iPads.

There is definitely hope for the Playbook in the tablet market. The first generation may not do so well, but hopefully once RIM gets its feet wet in the tablet industry, it will be able to produce a quality product for Blackberry lovers and the general public alike.

Below are the specs and features for the Blackberry Playbook:

7" LCD display, 1024 x 600 screen resolution
5.1" x 7.6" x 0.4" (130mm x 194mm x 10mm)
0.9 lbs (400g)
Built-in microUSB connector
Multi-touch capacitive screen
Wi-Fi® 802.11 a/b/g/n

3 MP high definition forward-facing camera
5 MP high definition rear-facing camera
Codec support for superior media playback, creation and video calling
1080p HD video; H.264, MPEG4, WMV HDMI video output
Micro USB and Micro HDMI

1 GHz dual-core processor
Symmetrical dual-core processing

Rapid development environment
Reliable BlackBerry Tablet OS, powered by QNX technology
Supports POSIX OS, SMP, Open GL, BlackBerry® 6, WebKit, Adobe® Flash®, Java® and Adobe Mobile AIR
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pay-As-You-Go 4G From Clearwire

Last Monday internet provider Clearwire announced that it would begin offering a pay-as-you-go 4G service for its customers. With the demand for faster and faster internet rising, and the amount of contractual services lowering, this is exactly what the new tech-savvy generation needs.

The new 4G service will be called Rover and will be available in all of Clearwire's networks. Clearwire, being partially owned by Sprint-Nextel, is used to power the 4G WiMax network, and it is this network Rover will run off of.

Lately Clearwire has been in slump profit wise, losing millions of dollars this year alone. This new pay-as-you-go network will hopefully rekindle some profits for the flagging company, as well as making internet accessible for those who don't want to get tangled up in a contract.

Price wise Rover seems to be decent. It will connect to Clearwire's network using either a "Stick" or a "Puck". The Stick will connect directly to the computer and provide access and as its name suggests, is a USB modem. The Stick will retail for $100. The Puck provides access for up to eight mobile devices and costs $150 dollars, which is an incredible deal for fifty dollars more, and also allows multiple laptops or other mobile devices to be online simultaneously. Users can choose to pay by the day, by the week, or by the month. Prices will be $5 for a day, $20 dollars for a week, or $50 dollars for a month.

With a reasonable price for their new 4G network Clearwire can hope to recoup its recent losses. More good news for the company is that it is currently the only service provider offering 4G. Other internet heavyweights will soon enter into the game, but Clearwire may be able to retain popularity with its contract-free Rover.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Broadband made a legal right for Finnish citizens

Broadband made a legal right for Finnish citizens.
Let us be honest, how many of us are reading this article from our neighbors wifi? I, for one, am not, but that may or may not be because I’m the only one with internet in the building. The ethical argument for using another person’s wireless internet is akin to the argument about virtual property. Have we reached an age where a person can not only own the rights to something tangible, but something completely invisible as well? It is almost considered ignorant to go without internet anymore, but with bills for electric, cable, water, gas, and everything else piling up, it is becoming more and more difficult to add another forty dollars or so to our monthly spending. With social networking becoming more popular than postal mail, maybe the US should take a hint from Finland, and their new policy that internet should be a legal right to each and every person.
In October 2009 promises were being made by Finland's communication officials that by 2010 everyone would have broadband internet of at least 1Mbit/s, and by 2015 amping it up to 100Mbit/s. Finland makes this possible using ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). As of July 2010 this promise came to fruition, and all of Finland had the option to be connected to the web. Even before this breakthrough in communication, certain cities in Finland, such as Oulu, were already offering city-wide internet access. Finland’s willingness to offer such a commodity for no cost to its general public may seem startling, but when one looks at the benefits to free internet, it is understandable why this step was taken.
According to Reuters, four out of five people believe that internet access is a fundamental right. For the older population this might seem hard to believe, since the internet has only become extremely popular in the last decade. Internet access has become such a crucial part of our everyday lives that it would be impossible for some businesses to function without it. In fact, some businesses are completely internet based, with nary a cubicle in sight. More and more people would benefit from open access internet, even to the point where it would open up jobs for people unable to leave their homes.
America's attempts to jump start its economy are everywhere. New highways being built, new government-run jobs opening up, the evidence is obvious that drastic steps are being taken to put money back into the pockets of American citizens in hopes that said citizens will spend the money. By offering nationwide broadband access, online shopping would be available to every single citizen, not just the technically savvy. The factory worker that gets off work at 3:00am with a hole in his steel toed boots could jump on his computer, as basic as it might be, and order a new pair for delivery. No more worrying about waking up five hours early to get to the shoe store. The full time Mom could order all of her Christmas presents from home without having to dress and wash her numerous offspring. The possibilities are endless. For wireless intenet on the go consider an AirCard rental from Rentacomputer.com.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Are iPad Users Snobs?

Are iPad Users Snobs

This probably doesn't come as a surprise to many people but iPad users are "selfish elites." At least, that's what a new study says. The research comes from MyType, a consumer research firm. They surveyed 20,000 people between March and May to get a "psychological profile" of iPad owners. The result? "Selfish elites."

MyType found that iPad owners tend to be up to six times more "wealthy, sophisticated, highly educated, and disproportionately interested in business and finance" compared to non-owners. iPad owners also tend to be less than kind or altruistic. For the most part, they fell into the 30-50 age range.

However, a whopping 96% of those likely to criticize iPads don't even own the device. Those people have been deemed "independent geeks" by the company. MyType's Tim Koelkebeck said in an interview with Wired.com that this group earned its name by being "self-directed young people who look down on conformity and are interested in video games, computers, electronics, science and the internet."

MyType lists a number of reasons as to why the iPad owners could be, well, the way they are. Speculation includes the high price tag of the device and the desire to have more gadgets on which to do more work for the workaholic types. As a matter of fact, when the iPad was released, there seemed to be mixed opinions amongst the people who wondered why the device was even necessary versus the people who saw it as a cool new way to stay connected.

As for the "independent geeks" or critics of the device, speculation suggests they are one trip to the Apple Store away from praising the iPad. Koelkebeck says that bashing it is an "identity statement." He goes on to say of the critics, "As a mainstream, closed-platform device whose major claim to fame is ease of use and sex appeal, the iPad is everything that they are not."

That's pretty harsh, but anyone who knows anything about computers, the tech world, or modern pop culture knows that hating Apple products is simply a way of life for some people. However, there are also those people out there who would probably buy Apple garbage bags if they were to go on sale at the Apple Store.

Just how scientific is this research? Well, obviously, calling someone a "selfish elite" or an "independent geek" is pretty subjective. However, MyType did make a serious effort to get the American public's opinion of the iPad. You can read more about how they conducted their research and the reasoning behind it at MyType.com/blog.

If you're on the fence about the iPad and would like to take one for a test drive, check out temporary iPad Rentals.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hewlett-Packard CEO Forced to Resign

Hewlett-Packard CEO Forced to Resign Hewlett-Packard, the country's best-selling computer brand and the world's largest technology company, is without a leader today. According to the Associated Press, CEO Mark Hurd was forced to resign this week after being accused of falsifying "expenses to hide numerous private dinners with a woman who was paid up to $5,000 per event to greet people and make introductions among executives attending HP events that she helped organize."

The woman in question had accused Hurd of sexual harassment. However, both Hurd and the woman's lawyer, Gloria Allred, claimed the relationship between the two was not sexual. The board of directions said that even though Hurd didn't actually violate its sexual harassment policy, he did break its rules of conduct. Despite the accusations from HP's board of directors, Hurd insists the money spent to pay the woman was a legitimate business expense, but he also says he doesn't have a record of just how much was spent.

After the news was released on Friday, HP's stock fell 10% in after-hours trading. Despite the loss, analysts say the drop was merely a reaction to the news and nothing to be concerned about.
Hurd began at HP in 2005 after 25 years at NRC Corp. With Hurd at the wheel HP spent over $20 billion on acquisitions that helped turn the company into a well-rounded computer company. The most recent was the $1.4 billion purchase of smartphone maker Palm Inc. in June. During his tenure, the company's market value nearly doubled.

So, who will replace Hurd? No one knows for sure just yet, but there are rumors swirling that it could be an internal candidate. Some of the potential replacements from inside the company include Todd Bradley, who oversees personal computers and mobile devices; Vyomesh Joshi, who oversees printers; Ann Livermore, who leads the servers, services, software, and storage division; and Shane Robison, HP's leader of corporate strategy and marketing. Cathie Lesjak, the company's CFO, is serving as interim CEO until a replacement is named, but she insists she would not take the permanent job.

Don't feel sorry for Hurd though. He will walk away with about $28 million in cash and stock.

As for HP, this is the third "scandal" to hit the company's top executives in five years. Former CEO Carly Fiorina was forced to resign after the company's controversial deal to buy Compaq in 2002 didn't produce the desired results. In 2006 Chairwoman Patricia Dunn was forced to leave after a boardroom spying scandal involving spying on reporters' and directors' phone records which were being leaked to the media.

Related Stories:
1. United States Computer Rentals
2. Hewlett-Packard Computer Rentals

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mumba Botnet Has Infected 55,000 Computers

Mumba Botnet Has Infected 55,000 Computers

Research from free anti-virus software-maker AVG was released earlier this week and the findings show that over 55,000 computers from all over the world have been infected by the Mumba botnet. The report, which was prepared by the AVG Web Security Research Team, can be found at Blogs.AVG.com.

According to the report, over 60GB of personal data, such as social networking information, banking information, credit card information, and emails, has been stolen from people's personal and business computers. At least 33% of the infected computers are located in the United States, followed by 17% in German, 7% in Spain, 6% in the United Kingdom, and 5% in both Mexico and Canada.

Mumba botnet is a virus that was created by a group of cybercriminals known as the Avalanche Group. The Group is known for creating a mass-production system for phishing sites and other malware. Mumba uses Zeus, one of the most current and common forms of malware.

In a press release, Yuval Ben-Itzhak, the Senior Vice President of AVG said, "The unique infrastructure of the Mumba botnet means that going after the servers hosting the stolen data is now much more difficult than before. As cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated, it is paramount that consumers and corporations prevent their PCs from becoming the next victim in these dynamic cyber attacks by using anti-virus and LinkScanner tools such as those that AVG offers for free."

Related Story:

1. Malware and Virus Removal

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

India Announces World's Cheapest Computer

India Announces World's Cheapest ComputerEver since the Apple iPad came out, computer-makers have been working hard to make competing tablet computers and devices. A basic netbook or tablet computer can cost you at least $250 - $300 and they can get a lot more expensive than that, but imagine getting one for $35. Sounds too good to be true, right?

According to the Associated Press, students and professors at the Indian Institute of Technology have created just that. A $35 computer. The computer was designed with students and teachers in mind and was unveiled last week by India's Union Cabinet Minister for Human Resources Development, Kapil Sibal.

The computer hasn't been named yet and it runs on little power, yet allows users to connect to the internet. It features an open-source Linux operating system, 2GB RAM, an internet browser, a USB port, a PDF reader, Open Office Suite, multi-media software, video conferencing, and it is Wi-Fi enabled. The computer doesn't use a hard drive, but it does have a memory card much like those found in many mobile phones and other devices. It may also include a solar power option for rural areas where there is no electricity.

The new computer is expected to be available in 2011 and will be introduced first to colleges and universities. The Indian government plans to manufacture about one million of the computers for university students and then work on creating more for students in primary and secondary schools. According to the Associated Press, there has been no manufacturer or distributor named yet but you can bet several have been showing interest in making the world's cheapest computer.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Computer Program Translates Ancient Language

Computer Translates Anciet Language

In the late 1920's, archaeologists discovered clay tablets with unknown writing on them, in the city of Ugarit. Linguist spent decades trying to decode the writing, said to be from Biblical times, but were unable to completely do so. However, a new computer program developed by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has now translated about 60% of the text.

Scientists at MIT used the program to compare the Ugaritic text to Hebrew text, and were thrilled with how quickly it took. The Ugaritic language is considered a lost language and is made up of dots and wedge-shaped stylus signs. It hasn't been used since 1200 BC, where it was used in western Syria. The program was able to translate most of the symbols to letters and words.

According to Regina Barzilay, a computer science professor at MIT, this may be the first time anyone has ever effectively demonstrated a computer analysis of any of the lost languages. 60% of the language was correctly identified. Said Barzilay in an interview, "traditionally, decipherment has been viewed as a sort of scholarly detective game, and computers weren't thought to be of much use. Our aim is to bring to bear the full power of modern machine learning and statistics to this problem."

The team is hoping to decipher other old languages in the future and the computer program will be the key to help us learn more about our history. For example, they are hoping to look at Etruscan next, a script that was used in 700 BC in Italy. By 100 AD, the Etruscan had been replaced by Latin and because of this, very few traces of the language remain. And of the ones that do remain, none of it seems to match up to any other more current language, like Ugaritic does with Hebrew.

According to Barzilay, the computer program has the ability to scan several languages at once to see if anything between the ancient language and a number of modern languages matches up.

The program was made public last week at the 48th annual meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics in Sweden.

Check out these related links:

1. 5 Ways to Learn the Language

2. The Computer Rental Blog

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

HP Tops US Computer Sales

HP Tops US Computer Sales

There is some new information about 2010 United States computer sales and it comes from a preliminary estimate made by International Data Corporation. Hewlett-Packard and Dell are leading the way with about 26% and 24%, respectively, of all American computer sales, but the real change is the competition going on for third place.

For a long time, Acer has easily been number three, but according to the new data, Apple, who is in the number four spot, is starting to gain ground. Acer's numbers have dropped significantly from about 23% to 11% of all computers sold, while Apple's have increased. Apple currently controls about 8.8% of the computer market.

So, why the big changes for Acer and Apple? There are several possibilities. International Data Corporation says that Acer had an unusually "strong year-ago performance," but that it's growing faster in other markets than it is in the United States.

There is also the theory that those who would have purchased an Acer netbook in the past are turning to Apple to purchase an iPad instead. However, because the iPad is not considered a traditional computer, that theory can't be confirmed. However, there are rumors circulating that Acer is coming out with its own tablet computer in the future.

As for computer sales as a whole, during the first half of 2010, the United States saw an overall increase in the number of shipments - 12.6%. Worldwide, computer purchases increased by 22.4% over last year. As for the second half of the year, there is a lot of back and forth between analysts about what will happen, due to the fluctuating economy.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Microsoft Encouraging More Tablets

Microsoft Encouraging More Tablets

Several hardware makers are teaming up with Microsoft, in an attempt to give Apple a run for its money. They're looking to release a number of Windows-based tablet computers that can compete with Apple's iPad. At least 21 manufacturers were mentioned, including Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Asus, Toshiba, Sony, Lenovo, and Panasonic.

The news was announced by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Monday, July 12, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, "This year one of the most important things that we will do in the smart device category is really push forward with Windows 7-based slates and Windows 7 phones. Over the course of the next several months, you will see a range of Windows 7-based slates that I think you'll find quite impressive. This is a terribly important area for us. We are hardcore about this."

He added, "They'll come with keyboards, they'll come without keyboards, they'll be dockable, there'll be many form factors, many price points, many sizes, but they will all run Windows 7. They will run Windows 7 applications. They will run Office."

Ballmer did admit Microsoft failed with Windows Mobile and is unable to compete with iPhone, Droids, and Blackberrys. On the other hand, he says Windows Phone 7 has received, "great reviews, really quite remarkable reviews." The company's mobile phone partners were listed to include Samsung, Dell, Asus, Toshiba, Garmin, Sony Ericsson, and HTC.

Ballmer also talked at length about cloud computing - Windows Azure - and its "new opportunity." He says cloud enables Microsoft to help customers "streamline their operations and improve their agility." Ballmer also says, "The world of tomorrow is a world of a smart cloud talking to smart devices roam your information across the internet. We are at an inflection point in technology history...for customers, cloud computing creates tremendous value, which translates to massive opportunity for Microsoft and its partners."

According to Microsoft, eBay, Fujitsu, Dell, and HP will be using Windows Azure appliances. Dell says the platform will be useful for delivering cloud services to small and medium-sized businesses.

Other news from Microsoft included news that they've sold 150 million licenses for Windows 7 since its launch in October, 2009.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Travel with Your Computer

Summer Travel with Your Computer

Let's face it. With computers becoming more and more mobile, many people are traveling with their laptops, smartphones, tablet computers, and even desktops in some cases. Vacation doesn't necessarily mean a vacation from EVERYTHING in 2010. We still check in with the office, we still check our email, and we still surf the internet or play games. But what happens if you have a problem? How do you prevent a problem from occurring? If you're planning to take you computer on the road this summer, here are a few tips for you to keep in mind:

- Remember when you are on a public network, you are vulnerable than you would be at home on your own network. Unless you have a firewall, any data that can be shared on your home network can be shared with the other people using the same network you are, whether it be in a restaurant, hotel, or other spot.

- Purchase and take along a car adapter. My personal laptop battery only lasts about two-three hours. That was a bit disappointing when I recently found myself in the backseat of my grandfather's car for a five-hour drive to Florida. I was able to get a little work done and play a few computer games, but over half of the trip was spent wishing I'd charged my iPod. So, take your car adapter along for long rides, or don't use power-hungry applications.

- If you are going to have to rely on your battery more than usual, make sure your computer is running smoothly. Get yourself a tune-up, defrag your hard drive, run a few malware removal programs and delete or disable programs you no longer use for quicker boot-up and optimum performance.

- Be aware of thieves. Sure, we worry about people stealing our data but if someone has physically stolen our computers, data stolen over unsecure networks is the least of our worries. According to LoJack for Laptops, 600,000 laptops are stolen from cars and hotel rooms each year. Fortunately, there are laptop locks you can purchase that prevent this from happening. Also, use common sense. If your computer is in your car and you need to run into a store, don't leave it in plain view. Keep it in a suitcase or in your car's trunk.

- Power down. If you're done working with your computer, turn the power off completely. Wireless connections and even Bluetooth connections can leave you vulnerable to attacks.

- Find out where you can get reliable tech support and computer service. Many hotels offer tech support but many do not. If you find yourself with a problem, you don't want to be stuck, trying to find someone who can help get you up and running again. A quick call to a company like Computer Service Now (1-877-422-1907) can take care of any of your problems, no matter where you are located.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gateway’s DX4840-02e Desktop Computer

It’s not exactly what I would call a budget desktop, but the Gateway DX4840-02e is certainly still a good deal. It comes standard with a 23-inch HD monitor and a 2-year warranty. It has all of the usual features and a design that should satisfy anyone looking at desktop computers.

The mid-sized black tower of the DX4840-02e has every port included that you could ever need. There are 10 USB ports, headphone and microphone jacks, a Photo Frame hot key, 2 PS/2 ports, Ethernet ports, VGA and HDMI video inputs, and 5 media card slots. Also included is a DVD burner.

The 23-inch LCD monitor matches the design of the keyboard and the mouse and features 1,920 x 1,080 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio. You can enjoy 1080 HD content to its full extent with the monitor. It has good color quality and decent sound, although if you’re going to be watching many movies on your computer than you may want to invest in some speakers.

Inside the DX4840-02e is a 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 650 processor and 4GB of RAM. That means that its not the fastest desktop computer out there, but it definitely still has great performance.

The Gateway DX4840-02e is a sleek, fast, feature-filled desktop that is pretty reasonably priced. You can get everything discussed and a 2-year warranty with Costco’s Concierge Service, that provides any technical services and help that you might need, all for $799.99.

If you’re looking for something a little more portable that the DX4840-02e but still like Gateway’s products, check out the Gateway EC14D Ultraportable laptop.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Don't Trade That Book in for an iPad Just Yet

Don't Trade That Book in for an iPad Just Yet

iPads and eReaders are all the rage these days because people love the thoughts of being able to read on the go with the electronic devices - no turning pages, no losing your place, and no carrying multiple books around when you know you're going to have lots of time on your hands. Seems convenient, right? But according to a recent study by Dr. Jakob Nielson of the Nielsen Norman Group, a product development consultancy, reading on an iPad or a Kindle is a lot more time-consuming than reading good old fashioned ink and paper.

The study compared 24 users' reading times using Kindle 2, iPad's iBooks application, and an actual book. For the most part, reading on either of the electronic gadgets took almost 11% longer than reading a regularly printed book. But despite the increase in time taken, those who participated said they preferred the electronic devices to books. The study also looked at reading books on a regular PC monitor - something that was given all around negative reviews from participants.

The participants were people who describe themselves as people who like to read and read often. They read short stories by Ernest Hemingway on the four different platforms. Their reading speeds were measured, as was reading comprehension. It took each user an average of 17 minutes and 20 seconds to read each story on all four platforms and their reading comprehension was not affected by the platform used.

Statistics for the PC monitor weren't released by Nielsen but the numbers for the other platforms stacked up like this: compared to the paper books, readers read 6.2% slower on the iPad and even slower on the Kindle 2 at 10.7%. Sort of ironic considering the Kindle 2 is designed specifically for reading. But Nielsen dismissed the difference in time between the iPad and Kindle, saying the difference was not significant and shouldn't be considered when consumers are shopping for new gadgets.

Participants were also asked to rate how much they liked reading on each platform. They were given a scale of 1 to 7 with 7 being the greatest. The iPad was rated 5.8, Kindle 5.7 and printed book 5.6 - not a whole lot of difference there. But the PC monitor ranked at just 3.6. Reasons for disliking the PC monitor included that it was not as relaxing as the other gadgets and that users felt like they were at work when using it.

So what does this mean? In the long run, nothing. PC World asks what would happen if the study had looked ages. Would people in their 20's, who have been using digital screens for their entire life, prefer the Kindle or iPad, or read faster on it? Would people in their 60's be more set in their ways and prefer the printed page? Also, the study only included 24 participants - that's a pretty small group and not really representative of the general public.

One thing is for sure. digital books and eReaders are becoming more and more popular in the last couple of years. This year, eBook sales have grown at a rate of 217% from last year. But in my opinion, you still can't beat a good old-fashioned book.

Looking for Mac / Apple Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com and check out their new iPad Rentals!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Great Deal on Dell Desktop

dell inspironIf you are looking to buy a desktop computer this summer, Dell might just have the deal you've been looking for. The Dell Inspiron 580s Core i5 Dual Core 2.93GHz desktop is now on sale through July 31st. When you use the coupon code ?8CN$RJ?W5TQ0C you will get $199 off the original price of the computer plus free shipping.

The Inspiron 580s comes standard with a very fast i3 processor, HDMI port, 320 GB hard drive, and decent 3D performance. Also thrown in is a 15-month subscription to MacAfee Internet Security.

For merely $629.99, you can have this fast, easy to use desktop computer. The Dell Inspiron 580s is a fantastic deal that you should definitely look further into.

If a Dell just doesn’t suit you, the you should check out Gateway's ZX Series or maybe Apple's iMac.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gizmodo iPhone 4G Fail

Gizmodo Iphone 3G not 4G
Click to enlarge

So here we have an ad on Gizmodo playing off the stereotypical college graduate who has an extremely refined taste in beer and is also aimed at their fathers who are looking to buy them something shiny, new, and expensive. While the pitch is hilarious in itself, what really got me was this sentence and the picture chosen to accompany the ad.

"No one can be sure what the fourth generation iPhone will look like (oops! actually, we can)..."

Oops, actually, you can't Gizmodo. That's because you're using an outdated picture of the iPhone 3G instead of the iPhone 4G you are advertising. If I paid $10,000 for that iPhone, I would make pretty darn sure that I was using the correct picture for it.

You can see the original advertisment on Gizmodo's Grads & Dads Gift Guide by clicking on the photo of the iPhone.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Shutdown Timer App for Your Computer

shutdown timer appThe Shutdown Timer app is perfect for you if you don’t have the time to worry about whether or not you shut off your computer or not. The timer will shut down or reboot your computer whenever you set it to perform such actions. You can set it to do this based on CPU or RAM utilization or even CPU temperature. You can either put your computer into sleep or standby mode. Shutdown Timer can really help to save energy when you aren’t utilizing your computer.

Shutdown Timer runs on both Windows Vista and Windows 7. With the program, you are able to install a sidebar app that gives you single-click access to view Shutdown Timer, and you are able to use a portable version that can be dropped on a USB flash drive to be downloaded on a different computer.

Once Shutdown Timer is installed, you are given the ability to set a scheduled computer shut off time for every day of the week. You also may set it to reboot every day at a certain time or lock on its screen at certain points throughout the day. This is a great feature if you want to make sure that your computer will be turned off when you aren’t at home.

As mentioned before, you can set your computer to shutdown or reboot when certain conditions occur. For example, you can set your computer to shutdown or reboot when you reach a certain point of CPU or RAM utilization. Also, you can do the same thing if your computer is overheating because of something that you are not there to monitor. This can help to safely power down your computer without any possible damaging effects.

The Shutdown Timer app is a very handy tool. It can do more than just turn your computer on and off when you need it to, it can monitor your computer while you are not utilizing it. Another great thing is that its free! If you’re looking for anything like this for your computer, then you should definitely check it out.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

2 Million iPads in 2 Months

2 Million iPads in 2 MonthsWhile most people were gathered around their barbecues and remembering fallen soldiers, Apple was proclaiming the iPad the greatest computer in the world, ever! OK, not really, but they did announce that since its launch about two months ago, they've sold over two million iPads. The iPad, which shipped on April 3 of this year, hit stores in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan just last Friday. Crowds lined the streets in those countries, while the Apple online store has been swamped with purchases - a seven to ten day wait is being placed on new orders.

Steve Jobs talked about the shortage in a statement, "We appreciate patience, and are working hard to build enough iPads for everyone." When announced in January, Wall Street analysts projected the iPad would only sell anywhere from 175,000 to 778,000 units a month. You can bet Steven Jobs is thrilled to prove them wrong.

While the iPad hit stores in April, technically, they could be pre-ordered as early as March 12 in the United States. That was eleven weeks ago. Apple's numbers break down to show that in those eleven weeks, 181,818 iPads were sold per week. If they keep that up for the rest of 2010, the company will sell over 7.6 million of the tablet computers.

But could that number grow even larger? You betcha! Now that sales have expanded to other countries, with nine more countries being added in July and even more later in the year, sales should be a lot higher. Apple is no stranger to these kinds of sales numbers. Last summer, the iPhone 3GS sold over a million units in the first three days they were on the market.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Intel Launches Core i3/i5/i7 Chips for Ultra-Portable Laptops

Intel Core i3/i5/i7 ProcessorsDespite promises of a laptop with an all-day battery life coupled with an inexpensive price, Intel's ultra-low voltage processors, otherwise known as CULVs (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage), haven't exactly been living up to the hype. Part of the reason is that Intel hasn't updated their mobile line of processors with its new Core technology, instead their CULV line has simply been based on Core 2 Duo technology. That is until now.

The chipmaking giant Intel has released their new ulta-low voltage versions of its 32-nm “Nehalem” Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors. This means that Intel’s premiere mainstream processors have been slightly downsized so they can now be installed inside power-sensitive ultra-portable notebook computers. These new chips not only pack a significant performance punch, which Intel says is about 30% faster than their previous ultra-low-voltage offerings, but also use 15 percent less power in the process. The new chips will be identified from their larger counterparts by their part numbers which will end with the letters "um" (i.e. Intel Core i5-430um or Intel Core i7-640um).

“Consumers crave laptops that offer style and performance, and the new 2010 Intel Core Ultra-Low Voltage processors for ultra-thin laptops delivers both, in one sleek design,” said Intel PC Client Group VP and general manager Mooly Eden, in a statement. “Not only are laptops becoming ultra-portable, but with the new processors inside, users will see faster response times and less waiting.”

Like their bigger brethren, ULV versions of the Intel Core chips will feature Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technologies enabling the processors to dynamically overclock themselves and devote resources to a single processor core. In addition, the new processors will have a thermal envelope of 17W, which is at least twice as energy efficient as their standard volt Core processors. However, Intel will not be converting its ultra-thin processor offerings completely over to the Core line. ULV versions of the Celeron and Pentium processors will continue to be available to manufacturers and will still be a mainstay among many laptops in the future.

It seems the direction that Intel wants to take its new chips is towards a strange middle ground between very affordable and highly portable, yet slower-performing netbooks and even full-size traditional laptops. The MacBook Air is an example of an ultra-thin laptop that offers powerful portability but is simply too expensive for the average consumer. On the other hand, there is the Toshiba T135 series of ultra-portable laptops which seem to attract far more interest than the Macbook Air for its more reasonable price tag despite being less powerful.

Then there are ultra-thin laptops which tout enhanced performance, such as dual-core Atoms, which offer negligible performance improvements for their cost. It appears that consumers are more interested in average and smaller sized laptops which deliver on affordability. Intel promises that systems will start appearing in June equipped with their new ULV processors, so we'll see soon enough just how they stack up. Already Intel says more than 40 designs based on the chips have been confirmed and are already in the works from makers such as Acer, Lenovo, Asus, and MSI.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Onkyo's E713A9B All-In-One PC

Onkyo All-In-One E713A9B PCOnkyo, famous for their construction of numerous iPod docks, has just stepped up their game another level with their newest creation, an all-in-one PC centered around, you guessed it, an iPod dock. The newest PC, just announced today, has been dubbed the E713A9B. The PC is powered by an Intel Core i5-650 CPU at 3.20GHz. The E713A9B also comes in with 4GB of RAM upgradeable to 8GB, 1TB of HDD, a 23-inch LCD display and full 1920x1080 full HD resolution.

But the E713A9B isn't done there, the PC also comes with a Blu-Ray disc drive, the DTS Premium Suite Audio Codec, 2x5 watt speakers, 1.3 megapixel webcam, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1 eSATA port, 1 HDMI port, b/g/n Wi-Fi, digital TV tuner, an SDXC memory card slot, Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit and, of course, the iPod docking station which slides out of the right side of the screen.

The iPod dock is specifically designed to accommodate the iPod Classic, the iPod Nano and the iPod Touch. For those observant ones of you out there, you may have noticed that I did not mention the iPhone. That is because the all-in-one E713A9B's iPod dock is apparently unable to house the bulky frame of the iPhone. It seems strange that an "all-in-one" PC would exclude one of Apple's biggest and most popular products.

Nevertheless, the specs for the E713A9B are intense and seem to be most everything you would want in a desktop PC. The desktop has great memory, an excellent hard drive and some other really good specs and the iPod dock is the cherry on top. For those of you that live in Japan, you will be able to get your hands on the E713A9B next month for a price of ¥99,880, or $1,100 U.S. All of us over here in America, however, will have to wait as Onkyo has yet to announce an America release date.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mega-Collaboration Power with MultiMouse

multimouseBartels Media has developed and recently released a program that allows up to 50 different Windows users to all control the desktop of one central computer. This can be extremely useful for collaborating, training, brainstorming, and document building.

So how exactly does this work? Well, MultiMouse uses a wireless or Ethernet connection that transmits each user’s mouse movements and text inputs. Other than having one of these two connections, no other additional hardware is necessary for MultiMouse to be completely functional. Also, so as to avoid confusion, each users cursor has a nametag so everyone will know who is sharing what.

This program is available at a starting price of $139. This version includes a five user license, but versions of the program can be purchased to accommodate up to 50 users. Teacher’s are even given an educational discount. To learn more about MultiMouse check out the trial version that can be downloaded the MultiMouse website.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gateway Upgrades Their ZX Series

gateway zx seriesOn Wednesday, Gateway updated their ZX series that includes mid-ranged and high-end all-in-one desktop computers.

Now Gateway is offering their ZX4300 line with the option of AMD’s Athlon II X2 processor, and their ZX6900 with either Intel’s Core i3 or Core i5 processor. The ZX6900, which is one of Gateway’s high-end PCs, can also be equipped with a Blu-ray reading drive. Both of the series also offer touch-screen technology that works perfectly with the included Windows 7 Home Premium operating system.

The Gateway One ZX6900-01e now comes standard with an Intel Core i3-530 processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 640GB hard drive, slot-loading Blu-ray player/DVD burner, integrated Intel GMA graphics, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and 23-inch widescreen touch panel that features 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. Also included are HDMI and eSATA ports that allow for more connectivity options. This PC is available from Gateway for $1,019.99.

The Gateway One ZX4300-01e is more of a mid-ranged desktop compared to the ZX6900. It features an AMD Athlon II X2 235e processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 640GB SATA hard drive, DVD burner, integrated ATI Radeon HD 4270 graphics, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and 20-inch touch panel widescreen monitor with 1,600 x 900 resolution. This model is available through Gateway for $749.99.

Both of these desktops from Gateway include webcams and a variety of free software. They are both excellent PCs. The upgrades from Gateway are certainly a welcome change.

Looking for Computer / PC Rental information? Visit the www.rentacomputer.com PC Rental page for your short term business PC needs. Or see this link for a complete line of Personal Computer Rentals.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Apple iMac 27-inch (Core i7)

apple imac 27-inchDesktop computers have been forced to change their faces in order to not be considered obsolete. They are constantly being outdone by the convenience and speed of laptops, notebooks, and netbooks. The Apple iMac 27-inch (Core i7) is a fantastic example of an multimedia, all-in-one desktop computer. In many ways, it resembles its predecessor, the Apple iMac that featured a Core 2 Duo processor, except this iMac 27-inch (Core i7) is much faster.

The Apple iMac 27-inch (Core i7) is designed very much like the rest of the iMac line from Apple. It features brushed aluminum which surrounds a black glass frame. Also included is a sturdy metal arm, that tilts in a variety of different directions and angles, that suspends the screen over your desk for a sophisticated look. The back of the iMac is described as “clean.” Helping this “clean” look is the fact that the iMac 27-inch (Core i7) comes standard with a wireless keyboard and mouse. The MagicMouse that is included with this desktop has a multi-touch surface that allows for clicking and swiping. The back panel of the computer has audio in/out jacks, four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, the Mini Display Port (in/out), and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

The iMac 27-inch (Core i7) features a vibrantly lit screen with 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. This allows for easy spreadsheet editing and presentation of projects. You can also simply plug in an external monitor to give you more screen space. This can be done by utilizing the Mini DisplayPort to hook up another monitor or device.

On the side of the iMac there is a slot-loading DVD player/burner. Unfortunately for some reason, Apple does not allow for the option of Blu-ray. This was one of the very few disappointments to be found with the iMac 27-inch (Core i7).

Included with your iMac is the iLife suite that is comprised of iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, and iTunes. These are some great programs that allow for immense creativity. The system comes standard with 4GB of DDR3 memory and can hold up to 16GB. To replace the hard drive it is necessary to take apart the iMac, so external expansion is the best way to go.

The iMac 27-inch (Core i7) runs on an Intel Core i7-860 processor with 2.8GHz that can be boosted up to 3.46GHz when it is necessary to provide more computing power. The Core i7 processor also supports HyperThreading which allows you to compute eight streams of data at once. This is a great computer for multimedia purposes. This iMac is also great for gaming. It features ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics that allows for smooth gameplay.

The Apple iMac 27-inch (Core i7) is an extremely powerful multimedia desktop computer. It is fast, sleek, up-to-date, and feature-filled. The only possible drawback for most people would be the price tag. It is listed at $2,199 direct from Apple. That may seem like a lot to put out for a desktop computer, but for those that have the cash for such a purchase, they will be getting everything they could ever want from the iMac.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Finally! Stream iTunes Online

Finally! Stream iTunes OnlineRumors about an online version of iTunes have been rampant since mid to late 2009, but now it looks like there's a little truth to the idea...maybe. Apple will be launching an online music service that will allow users to listen to music streamed over the internet. Experts say the new application could become a major threat for music websites such as Spotify, a service that allows users access to millions of songs through a paid subscription.

Each iTunes user will have access to a "digital locker," which allows them to store music they've purchased through the iTunes store. If you'd like to access your locker, you simply go to the website (the New York Times says it will probably be iTunes.com), log in, and voila! Your music is there, waiting to be listened to on any computer.

With the current version of iTunes, music can only be stored on your computer or your iPod, which rules out listening to it on the go in some cases.

Last year, Apple bought Lala.com and last month, they closed it down. This led many to believe the web version of iTunes is coming. Lala's Software allows users to store music libraries online and play them through any browser on any computer. It's most likely that these guys will be working on the new web-based version of iTunes.

The New York Times spoke with an unnamed record label executive who said Apple had announced plans to create a cloud-based service just weeks before it purchased Lala. Others wondered if Amazon or Google would beat Apple to creating such a service.

Personally, I'm not sure I would use this service very often. I'm a big iTunes fan, but I'm never in a position where I would want to access my music on another computer. If I'm traveling with intentions to work, I generally take my laptop and/or iPod along if I plan to listen to music. If I'm on another computer, other than my laptop, I am most likely in a place where playing music wouldn't be a great idea, though I suppose you can always wear headphones. On the plus side, I can see where it would be handy if you own multiple computers. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what Apple comes up with.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keeping Your Child Safe Online

Keeping Your Child Safe OnlineKids are getting online more than ever these days, especially those who are into social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. I've seen kids as young as six or seven years old with Facebook accounts. While these websites can be fun, they can also be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands and as a parent, it's your duty to make sure your child know the risks and how to protect themselves from harm's way.

Kids love to get online and are often more knowledgeable than their parents and teachers. That's why it's important that parents and teachers should take steps to learn about what's happening online and what their kids are involved with. Kids left to their own devices could end up in a number of troublesome situations, from dealing with a cyber-bully or a schoolmate with ill intent, to facing child predators or even con artists.

Communication is important. Talk to your kids about what they're doing online and remind them of the danger they could face and what to be on the lookout for. But there are other things to do to keep your kids safe.

1. Take advantage of parental controls. Children don't want their parents watching every move they make but many websites offers ways for parents to monitor or control their children's online activity while respecting their privacy. Talk to your kids about exactly what you plan to monitor or control and be honest with them to gain their respect.

2. Keep your computer in an area of the house where you can be there to keep an eye out, without hovering over your child's shoulder. Insist computers stay in the kitchen or living room and not in a bedroom or office, where your child can lock themselves away to get online.

3. Don't allow your children to meet random strangers whom they've met online. In the event your child absolutely has to meet someone, make sure a parents or trusted adult accompanies them. Make sure your children know the potential risks of someone not really being who they say they are.

4. Make sure you know the "code" your kids are using online. Acronyms such as "TAW" means teachers are watching and "PA" means parent alert. There are dozens of other ways kids use code to let their online friends know there is an adult around. If you see these frequently, you may want to investigate further what your child is doing.

4. Make sure your child's teacher is monitoring their online usage. Many schools have blocked certain websites but with kids' knowledge of the web, they can find other ways to get into trouble. With computers in almost every classroom these days, teachers should constantly monitor their students' use. If a student is clicking out of a window when you walk by or a group has gathered around one computer screen, chances are, your students are not doing what they should be.

5. Let your child know that they do not have to feel uncomfortable having a conversation online, just as in real life. Whether it's a friend or stranger they're talking to, make sure they know that feeling scared, trapped, threatened, or offended is not OK and it is OK to end that conversation. Talk to them about how they can end the conversation promptly and let them know they can talk to you about how they feel.

6. If you do set up a Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or other social networking website, make sure your child is taking advantage of the privacy settings. Make sure your kids are only adding friends who aren't safe to talk to and keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

7. Make your children aware of malicious information, such as spam or virus threats. Help them understand what it means and what they should and shouldn't open or click on.

8. Google your children's names on a regular basis. Again, you don't want your child to feel like you are spying on them, but you can do this to show them just how easy it is for ANYONE to find out anything about them. If your child has a blog, a social networking site you are not aware of, or have posted any information about themselves online, it will most likely come up in a search.

9. Again, communication is key. Make sure your kids know that not everything they see online is legitimate and talk to them about incidents in the news, so they know the risks.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Intel Profits Up this Quarter

Intel Profits Up this Quarter

In this day and time, we're so used to seeing companies talk about how much money they aren't making and employees they aren't hiring, but for Intel, that doesn't appear to be the case. The world's largest computer chip maker announced last week that it has nearly quadrupled its quarterly net profit and has intentions to hire between 1,000 and 2,000 new employees in 2,010.

In a conference call with analysts, Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini said, "The industry has nearly fully recovered." He also accredits the increase in revenue to a higher demand for PC products and the fact that "the average fleet of notebooks is four years old, the average fleet of desktops is five years old." According to Otellini, "it makes business sense" to get new inventory now.

The comapany's profit for the first quarter (which ended on March 27) was about 2.4 billion dollars, up from this time, last year's 647 million dollars. Revenue rose 44% to 10.3 billion dollars. Wall Street had predicted 9.8 billion dollars, while the company itself had predicted 9.3 billion dollars.

Otellini also said in a statement, "looking forward, we're optimistic about our business as Intel products are designed into a variety of new and exciting segments."

The company has predicted 9.8 to 10.6 billion dollars for the second quarter, while Wall Street analysts have precited 9.69 billion.

Intel has already hired 100 employees this year. The company is based is Santa Monica and employs nearly 80,000 people (about 3,000 less than last year.

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