A common reason for home computer service is the installation of a new operating system. Computers last a very long time these days, and some PC users started out with Windows XP and ended up on Windows 10, with all the steps in between. In the bad old says when everything inside your desktop either broke down or was made obsolete every couple of years, you'd always end up with a new operating system when you bought a new computer. Nowadays you can count on your desktop computer to hang in there for a decade, and you'll have to upgrade your OS or your friends will point and laugh at your Windows Vista desktop, and wonder if... --..
Tag Archives: News
Facebook’s New Privacy Means Meeting Mark Zuckerberg
This past year has been riddled with mistakes for Facebook, most of them having to do with policy changes the site's users disagree with, but the company has managed to squeezo one more, especially embarassing one in at the very last. As a result of a new policy that by default makes users' profiles, photos and friends lists completely available on the web and viewable by anyone, approximately 300 personal photos of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg became publicly available. According the the new privacy controls, all user profiles are exposed to the web unless users are proactive about limiting such access. These kinds of mix ups strongly suggest that user concerns about the new settings are justified. Mark Zuckerberg's... --..
Wi Fi Standard is Finally Set
For a technology that's main draw is being fast, 802.11n Wi-Fi was extremely slow in becoming a standard. It took so long that it wasn't a standard at all until September 2009. That fact didn't stop vendors from implementing it for several years beforehand however, which caused confusion and major upsets when networking gear that used draft standards from different suppliers wouldn't necessarily work at the fastest possible speed when connected. The process was never supposed to happen that way. But for years, the leading Wi-Fi hardware companies fought endlessly over the 802.11n protocol, which resulted in it taking five dramatic years for the standard to even come to fruition. The delay was never caused by the technology. Instead, the reasoing is a familiar But at long last, we will finally see interoperable 802.11n Wi-Fi access... --..
Google Gives Back by not Hogging Good Employees
According the Google, the company removes from consideration one of its superhuman job candidates every now and then, in an effort to avoid an over-concentration of brilliance. Bradley Horowitz, Google Vice President, explained this concept at the annual Supernova conference in San Francisco this week. He claimed that the company may intentionally leave some brainpower outside its walls, in an effort to improve the market landscape as a whole and keep things balanced. This is very a very generous position for Google to take, especially given that they hire "the world's best engineers" using a grueling interview process, complete with quizzes. Some of its most valuable employees had to short-circuit the system for their jobs, but that might just only makes it more perfect. Thankfully, Google seems to be using their system for good rather than evil,... --..
The FTC Finally Puts a Stop to the BlueHippo
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has had it with BlueHippo, which offers computers on layaway to consumers too poor to buy one outright. Buyers put up $99 to $124 in down payments, and then make regular payments of $36 to $88. After 13 of these payments have come in on time, the company claims it will send out a computer, while the payments continue until the machine is completely paid off. Unfortunately for BlueHippo, the FTC smelled a scam. People were simply not getting machines, and BlueHippo's "cancellation policy" required people to send in prepaid money orders first, even if their account contained enough money to cover the necessary fees, something not allowed under FTC consumer protection rules. In 2008, BlueHippo settled with the agency, however and under the terms of the deal, BlueHippo would pay... --..
Entire Town’s Network Punished for One Download
The MPAA has just successfully shut down an entire town's municipal WiFi network because a single user was caught downloading a copyrighted movie. This gross example of collective punishment in Coshocton, OH, a practice actually outlawed in the Geneva Conventions, was emabarrassing in generous terms, but the MPAA's spokesman decided to cry poor, despite the studios bringing in record box-office and aftermarket numbers. Coshocton's IT Director, Mike LaVigne, said that the number of people who access the Internet using this specific connection varies widely, from approximately a dozen people a day to 100 during busy times, such as First Fridays and the Coshocton Canal Festival. It's also used by Coshocton County Sheriff's deputies who can park in the 300 block and complete traffic or incident reports without leaving their vehicle. Out-of-town business people can park and... --..
Has Google Tried To Steal a Startup’s Idea?
White spaces, internet connectivity services that run in the unused portion of the television spectrum, have been called "WiFi on steroids" by Google founder, Larry Page. For years, IT companies like Dell, Google and Microsoft have campaigned in favor of opening up the spectrum for data service, specifically broadband internet access. But of course, the broadcasting industry has just as long been vehemently opposing the idea, spending huge quantities of money on FUD advertising campaigns meant to convice consumers that white spaces would harm their television quality. Back in November, 2008, the FCC made a surprising call when it allowed internet service carriers and other vendors to deploy devices in the unlicensed white spaces spectrum at up to 100 milliwats, but only up to 40 milliwats on white space spectrum which lies adjacent to TV channels. More dependable than WiFi, white spaces can support bigger bandwidths for... --..
Barnes & Noble Releases the Nook Against Kindle
Today, pictures and details about Barnes and Noble’s forthcoming e-book reader leaked, and it looks exciting, both inside and out. On sale next Tuesday, it looks set to take the wind right out of the Kindle's sails. Named the “Nook,” Barnes & Noble's reader strongly resembles Amazon’s white plastic e-book, except for the chiclet-keyboard being replaced by a multicolor touch screen, which can be used as a keyboard or for book browsing, cover-flow style. The reader runs Google’s Android OS, as well as coming equipped with wireless capability whose carrier remains unspecified. The Nook also rings up at the same $260 the Kindle goes for. Gizmodo leaked the images, but they also have information about Barnes & Noble's plans to heavily discount titles in their electronic format, which is as it should be. The Nook will also... --..
Research Group Develops Sonar Power Saving Technology
At the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University, a research group has developed a unique new way for your computer to detect whether or not a user is present, and are presently looking for test subjects willing to try it out and see just how much power it can save. Using your computer’s existing hardware, the microphone and speakers more precisely, echolocation software will determine whether you’re watching a movie (present) or getting a snack (away). Discussions among the group led to the idea of using sonar, as well. Developing software that, when the user is not using the mouse or keyboard, plays a tone at a high frequency and records the tone’s echo, the computer then has the ability to process the tone and filter out everything except that frequency and detects any variance. The software can... --..
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