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.

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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.

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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."

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