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Palm(R) Foleo(TM) Mobile Companion

Written by oneself on 10:13 AM


From Catherine Roseberry

What Is It:

The Palm(R) Foleo(TM) Mobile Companion is intended to be used with SmartPhones to make it easier to send, receive and read e-mail including attachments. It weighs 2.5 lbs, has 10" display and can be turned on or off with the push of one button. Once a phone has been paired e-mail is
automatically downloaded and viewable. The battery life is approximately 5 hours.
Web browsing is also possible as is working with Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents by using Documents To Go(R), which has been customized for the Palm(R) Foleo(TM).

What Makes It Different:


The Palm(R) Foleo(TM) Mobile Companion runs on the Linus OS. it will work with Palm's Treo(TM) smartphones (Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) versions). Windows Mobile smartphones should work with minimal changes required and smartphones from RIM, Apple and Symbian may require an increased software change. Third-party application creators will be able to work on creating support as the synchronization architecture is open.

Pricing and Availablity:

The Palm(R) Foleo(TM) will be available for $499 (USD) with an introductory $100 rebate.

To receive notification when the Palm(R) Foleo(TM) is available go to [link url=www.palm.com/foleonotify]www.palm.com/foleonotify[/ink] and enter your e-mail address.

What You Need:


A compatible smartphone with Bluetooth, a data service plan from your service provider and possibly ISP or VPN access. A dial-up networking plan may also be required.

Just My Thoughts:

Okay, I sort of get what this gadget will do but really... if you already have a laptop and use a smartphone don't you already have a way to synchronize your e-mail between the two gadgets?

I'm not really sure what Palm had in mind with this device unless they felt that we mobile professionals worked only with our smartphones and left our laptops at home always?

You can only use it with your smartphone acting as the modem via Bluetooth unless you are in a hot spot and then it can use the wireless network. If you end up in an area with no service or spotty service (which can happen indoors) you are out of luck unless you purchase an additional dial-up plan with your service provider.

Other than weight and the fact the Foleo has a full-size keyboard, I haven't found any more detailed specs on the Foleo. It sounds like an ultra portable laptop though...

What are your views on the Foleo? Do you think it will replace laptops?

source: about.com

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Joomla templates, redesign your site in a few steps

Written by oneself on 8:26 AM


by Thomas Lindblom

Joomla! is the latest buzzword in the IT world today. So what exactly is it? Joomla is a Content Management System that has a host of powerful online applications and also helps you in building websites. Joomla allows web designers as well as end-users to effortlessly and easily maintain and manage a dynamic website despite having little or no knowledge or proficiency of the code. This powerful content management system is controlled by a CSS stylesheet and one single XHTML document. Joomla gives the user total creative control over the appearance of the website by availing of the many Joomla templates available. Best of all, you don't have to pay thousands of dollars to avail of this award-winning software. Joomla is available free-of-charge for anybody to download.

How Joomla! templates help With Joomla you won't ever again need to hire a web designer for huge sums of money. You can choose a free Joomla template from the many available and build your own website or upgrade your existing one for free, and all this in less time than you ever thought possible. All it takes is a click of a button for you to change your website into a text editor right in the browser itself. With Joomla templates you can easily add new pages and add or edit pictures, menus and text as well as video and audio, then click the "Save" button and you're done! That's all it takes for you to design or re-design your own website- literally at the click of your fingers!!

What are Joomla! templates? A Joomla template functions as a basic foundation design within the Joomla Content Management System. You could use a pre-made Joomla template or custom-make Joomla template for total creative control over the appearance of the website and presentation of the content. The Joomla template is designed so that when you insert your content, it inherits the colors, text size, navigation, link styles and menus of the template, giving your content a completely new look.

One of the advantages of Joomla is that flash joomla templates can be easily and instantly applied to give your website a totally new look. The graphics, positioning and colors can be altered without any change in content. Joomla templates that use CSS or cascading style sheets help to produce layouts without having to use tables. The advantage of this is it is easier to validate the template code to the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium and it also does better in search engines, loads faster and is easier to maintain.

How to create a Joomla! template There are plenty of joomla template tutorials available online for all those who are intimidated at the thought of using Joomla to re-design their website. Go ahead and avail of a joomla video tutorial for a first-hand look at how to build joomla template as well as the many ways to use it.

Most online tutorials give you step-by-step explanations and instructions on all aspects of joomla including: *What is a joomla template, how it works and the difference between a template with and without content. *Components of a template and the functions they perform. *The unique process of designing an active web page as opposed to a static (X)HTML web page. *How to build joomla template. *How to use a pre-made joomla template as well as how to custom-make joomla template to suit your own individual preferences. *How to create layouts using the innovative cascading style sheets instead of conventionally used tables. *Joomla's table-less design and its implications with regards to the World Wide Web Consortium standards. *How to style modules and place them as well as new techniques and tricks for rounded corners, variable page widths and text resizers.

source:www.goarticles.com

About the Author Thomas H. Lindblom is a freelance article writer looking for interesting and unusual topics to write about. Joomla templates function as a basic foundation design within the Joomla Content Management System. Joomla video tutorials are available over the net, most of them completely

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Palm vs. Pocket PC-The Great Debate

Written by oneself on 9:30 PM

From Apply Now,

Is there a right choice?

Talking PDAs is a lot like talking Politics. Everyone has their own opinions and sometimes it's easier to respect those opinions than to argue them. But what makes a person so passionate about their PDA? A lot of it has to with how you use it and how much you rely on it. Power Users sometimes have their lives so interwoven with their PDAs that to lose it or have it break can be downright gut-wrenching. Now don't smirk, I bet the last time your computer crashed, you remembered a few choice words from your college days. If you've ever lost your Day Runner you know what I mean--you thought it was just a binder till everything was gone. The great thing about a PDA is that it's a Day Runner that has the ability to be backed up, saving all of your valuable information.

What truly brings out passionate conversation is the question: What's better: Palm or Pocket PC. Heck, that question alone has resulted in some scenes reminiscent of those infamous Thanksgiving get-togethers (of course you've never had one of those have you?).

The first thing we need to do is clarify some facts versus perceptions.

Some facts are:

* Pocket PC multitasks (you can run several programs at once), Palm is intended to run one program at a time (although Palm OS 5.0 introduced some multitasking ability)
* In 2001, there were over 13,000 commercially available software programs for Palm versus 1,600 for Pocket PC (although the gap is shrinking)
* In 2001 Palm had a market share of 72% while Pocket PC had about 15%
* Palms start at around $99 while Pocket PCs start around $200.

Some (sometimes faulty) user opinions/perceptions are:

* Palm is easier to learn and use
* Palm is more stable, Pocket PC crashes more
* Pocket PC is more powerful
* Pocket PC integrates better with Windows Office
* Palm has more freeware and the software is cheaper
* Palm is an Organizer, Pocket PC is a computer

As you see, the users' opinions are as varied as the users themselves. Palm has been a more popular platform in the past mainly because of the perceived easier learning curve and the price. In fact, until late last year, a Palm would cost you around $200 while a Pocket PC would run about $500. Many people weren't willing to spend $500 to see if they would even use a PDA. In fact, many Pocket PC users will tell you their first PDA was a Palm because of low cost, but they upgraded to Pocket PC because they wanted the Windows feel. Currently both platforms offer PDA's around the $200 range, making it affordable to try either Pocket PC or Palm.

Is the Palm easier to use use than Pocket PC? If you're somewhat computer illiterate, the Palm may be a little easier to use. If you're familiar with computers, than both platforms will probably have the same learning curve. One of the biggest misconceptions of Pocket PC is that it runs regular windows programs. It does not. Programs for Pocket PC are developed for Pocket PC and will not run on Windows computers and vice versa, although many Pocket PC programs were developed from the same source code as their Windows counterpart. The thing that many developers for both Palm and Pocket PC are doing is creating a desktop and PDA version of their product. That way information can be entered on either the PDA or the computer and then synced to the other.

A big part of the debate over which PDA to use is a lot like the Mac vs. PC debate. Many people feel that Mac is easier to use and many even enjoy bucking the "Everyone should use a PC" trend. If you hate Windows and think Bill Gates is the epitome of evil, you'll probably want to stick with Palm. If you love Windows and want the Windows feel, you'll probably want to try Pocket PC. The best way to know is go to your local electronics store and play around with different PDAs. Also do some research online. There are a lot of sites dedicated to handhelds with news and reviews of different PDAs. PDA forums are great if you want to solicit some opinions on the best bet for you (be ready to open Pandora's box!). In reality, both Operating Systems are more similar than some people want to give them credit for. With a few exceptions, they have equal power to help you run your business or your everday life.

One thing to remember is the validity of a PDA user's opinion. While the opinions of others can be beneficial to making a buying decision, be sure to ask questions. Some PDA users will tell you the Operating System they use is the best while the other one sucks. The thing to know is that many of those die-hards have never tried the other Operating System. If you want a true comparison, talk to someone who has used both platforms so that you can understand how the PDA they use might compare to your needs.

Hopefully you weren't looking for the answer to which PDA is better. Only you can answer that question, but hopefully we've given you some things to think about so that you can make an informed buying decision.

source: about.com/

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Learn about Computer Power Supply

Written by oneself on 6:52 PM

By: Tapan Bhanot

If there is any one component that is extremely vital to the operation of a computer, it is the power supply. The power supply should be the highest priority when choosing components; if working with a set budget, invest in the power supply and compromise elsewhere. The power supply is perhaps the most significant module in every computer system as it supplies stable, consistent power to every other component in the system, Power supply must not produce and dissipate too much heat or noise. Bad power supplies are almost always overrated in their peak wattage number. A thumb rule is that one should purchase as much good quality power supply as one can afford to ward off power sudden breakdowns, data corruption and possibly physical component damage. If you are building a brand new system, go for anything over 400 watts. Select the Power supply that fit into the cabinet you have chosen. Also make sure that there is enough clearance so that it does on interfere with other occupants of the cabinet. Choose a Power supply compatible with the motherboard and the other component you are planning to fit into the case and also that offers additional plugs in case of up gradation of computer later on. Almost all computer power supplies have three voltage rails (3.3V rail, the 5V rail, and the 12V rail).

Wiring coming off an industry standard circuit board will be: ORANGE : +3.3V YELLOW : +12V BLUE : -12V RED : +5V WHITE : -5V (May not be present on recently manufactured supplies) BLACK : GND GREEN : POWER-ON (Active high -- must be shorted to ground to force power up) GRAY : POWER-OK PURPLE : +5V STANDBY BROWN : +3.3V REMOTE SENSING

(please check with the specification of the manufacturer which may vary)

Ensure that the sockets fit into the components well. Go for one with 20-pin/24-pin ATX Socket (as required) and enough 12V Molex Sockets (4-Pin Molex Connector/Serial ATA Connector/PCI-Express Connector) to power different peripherals inside the computer box. Now-a-days modular power supplies are available where the cable can be plugged and unplugged to many sockets provided in the power supply. In this case one has to use only as much cables as needed. This prevents the inside of the cabinet from cluttering. It is wise to use sleeved cables. Go for the power supply with a cooling fan and lesser noise. Never trust a vender for his words. Go for superior, trusted and reliable one, even if it costs more. It will give you years of comfort.

I must repeat again that the power supply should be the highest priority when choosing components; if working with a set budget, invest in the power supply and compromise elsewhere.

Article Source: http://myarticlezine.com

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Gadgets that tackle tough problems

Written by oneself on 10:31 AM

Measure your blood-alcohol levels, reduce stress and wake up in different ways with these handy devices

Agam Shah Today’s Top Stories or Other Hardware Stories
May 23, 2007
(IDG News Service) --

Looking for quick answers to problems? Gadgets are here to help. Blood-alcohol levels can be hard to estimate, so OmegaPoint Systems LLC's BreathKey keychain attachment provides an instant reading of a user's blood-alcohol level, potentially saving lives from drunken driving. After a long day of work, Sharper Image Corp.'s StressEraser can relieve stress by easing breathing and coordinating it with a person's continuous heart rate. Two alarm clocks from Hammacher Schlemmer and Co. -- the Flying Alarm Clock and the Peaceful Progression Wake Up Clock -- make it easier for sloths to wake up.

Keychain breathalyzer

It's hard for alcohol drinkers not to be intoxicated by OmegaPoint's BreathKey, which can gives a blood-alcohol level reading in seconds.

A user first needs to press a button in the middle of the breathalyzer, which displays the previous blood-alcohol level, and must then blow into a hole on the device for about four seconds. A tiny screen then displays the current blood-alcohol content level, which determines if it is safe for a person to drive, among other things.

The legal blood-alcohol content limit for drivers is 0.08% in the U.S., but impairment starts at 0.04%, according to OmegaPoint. Though approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the device will not prevent users from getting arrested by law enforcement for drunk driving and should be used only as a tool to determine blood-alcohol levels for the purpose of deciding whether or not to drive, OmegaPoint warns. For $69.99, it's not a bad price to pay for those who love a pint in the evening. The device is available at the BreathKey Web site.

Relieving the distress of stress

The science of effective breathing is behind Sharper Image's StressEraser, a yogic contraption that relaxes a user's body and mind by countering stress nerves by synchronizing effective breathing with a user's continuous heart rate.

Stress activates the "sympathetic nerves," activating stress response and increasing heart rates, brain activity and breathing levels. Using an infrared fingertip pulse sensor and algorithm software, the StressEraser measures and charts the effect of sympathetic nerves on a user's heart rate as waves on an LCD. Based on that feedback, the StressEraser provides instructions to coordinate deep breathing with the continuous heart rate to activate the "parasympathetic nerves," which counters sympathetic nerves and reduces stress levels. The device can store the charts to display over time.

At $300, the device is costly, and Sharper Image provides a 60-day trial to see if it works. It is available on Sharper Image's Web site.

Acrobatic alarm clock

The Flying Alarm Clock from Hammacher Schlemmer is a real wake-up call for deep sleepers. When an alarm goes off, the clock launches a small wheel that flies around the room, and the alarm stops only after the wheel is installed back in the clock's base. The wheel rotates up to nine inches high and is a great way to get sloths out of their beds. The $39.95 alarm clock is available at Hammacher Schlemmer's Web site.

A less acrobatic alarm clock is the Peaceful Progression Wake Up Clock, also from Hammacher Schlemmer, which uses a wake-up alarm ritual including ambient light, aromatherapy and melodic sounds. When setting up the wake-up time, a user can place aromatherapy beads into the aroma bowl and choose a melodic sound. Over a half-hour prior to wake-up time, the clock gradually increases ambient light, aromas and melodic sounds to awaken sleepers. At wake-up time, a buzzer goes off. The clock also operates in reverse, slowly putting a user to sleep.

Sounds available in the clock include nightfall, thunderstorm, Zen melody, mountain stream, songbirds and ocean surf. In addition to the aroma beads provided by the company (energy, morning caf, stress relief, lavendar), users can use their own aromatherapy oils. In case power goes out, the $49.95 clock also operates on two AA batteries for backup. It is available at Hammacher Schlemmer's Web site.

We all Groove with iGroove

Klipsch Audio Technologies has announced its Klipsch iGroove SXT iPod Speaker, a two-way speaker system that can dock an iPod and deliver video to TV sets. At four pounds, this speaker system is portable and delivers strong sound throughout a room with the help of built-in woofers and tweeters. iPods can also be docked in the middle of the speakers to recharge iPods, and an S-video output delivers video to TV sets. It works with all iPods, according to the company. The $169.95 speaker system comes with a remote control. More information about the speaker system is available at Klipsch's Web site.


source: computerworld.com

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Internet Tracks Cleaners

Written by oneself on 9:37 AM

By: IC

Trying to avoid hackers today is the biggest challenge one may face. The hackers are becoming smarter day by day and they try all means to hack personal information. The Internet Eraser Software is meant only to take care of these hackers. The software is built in such a way that it erases all the information immediately once you run the software program. It works something like a hacker but the only difference is that, hackers destroy you, but internet eraser software protects you!

In the modern and hectic world, where people do not have the time to go the bank to do the transactions, online banking has become popular, because it saves time and it is very convenient. This is where the hackers actually target. You might feel that websites have taken enough security measures to protect your personal information. Yes, of course they have taken all the possible efforts to protect your private information, but it is also recommended that you too take necessary precautions, because if something goes wrong it is ultimately you, who is going to face problems. So you can opt for this internet eraser software, which does exactly what you want.

This internet eraser software has a unique feature, which is called the shredder feature. The file shredder helps to shred all the unwanted files from your hard disk immediately. When you manually delete a file from the hard disk, there are lots of chances of retrieving them using different software programs available today. As the internet eraser software deletes a file using the shredder option, it is impossible to retrieve the file. This software which is preconfigured erases any information, immediately after its use, blocking all the doors for a professional hacker. It takes care of the job automatically; there is nothing that you have to do, other than just installing it.

Internet eraser software has other features like stealth mode, cookie manager that will take care of other jobs as well. In simple words it is single software which does multiple tasks. So, when there is an option which is wide open to protect your personal information then why take the risk and suffer later.

Source: www.superfeature.com

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Nokia to add lightning detector to mobile phone

Written by oneself on 9:27 AM

It has applied for a patent for the technology

John Blau
Today’s Top Stories or Other Hardware Stories

May 24, 2007 (IDG News Service) -- If you thought developers were running out of new applications to squeeze into mobile phones, think again. Nokia Corp. hopes someday to add a new feature to its phones that could warn users of imminent lighting strikes.

The Finnish manufacturer has applied for a U.S. patent for a lightning detector system designed for use in mobile phones.

The lightning detector could attract all types of mobile phone users who seek useful safety devices, including the elderly and outdoor enthusiasts.

The invention involves the use of radio frequency receivers in mobile phones, such as FM radio and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), to detect radio waves emitted by lightning. Typical lightning bolts produce frequencies between 10 Hz and 5 GHz.

A special software program designed by Nokia analyzes the signals, calculates the distance to the lightning and informs users of imminent strikes.

Although a Nokia spokeswoman declined to comment on the invention, details are available in the company's patent application.

source:
computerworld.com

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Some files are missing? Can't find your summer photos or favorite music deleted by mistake?

Written by oneself on 8:55 AM

By: Alexander Rodichev

Some files are missing? Can't find your summer photos or favorite music deleted by mistake? Or trying to find something after another user accessed your computer? Now you can restore all the files with a new powerful tool for free - Smart Data Recovery!

Smart Data Recovery is a new freeware utility from Smart PC Solutions Inc. that allows you restore MS Office documents, photos, music and many other types of files. You just type a path, and Smart Data Recovery will search for deleted files and folders automatically. Its rapid disk-scanning speed is astonishing. Once Smart Data Recovery finds erased files, it shows their name, date, time and attributes. Only one click and files are restored!

Smart Data Recovery works with different data storage devices, such as hard disk drives (IDE, ATA, SATA, SCSI), flash cards, multimedia cards, USB drives, PC cards, memory sticks, secure digital cards and floppy disks. Smart Data Recovery handles zip files too. You can also recover files on your digital camera. This is a fantastic product. Smart Data Recovery is able to restore all the files and folders on a disk drive that, according to the Windows notifications, can't be accessed. The utility supports different file systems, such as FAT, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS and compatible with Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP/2003.

Another line of duty for Smart Data Recovery is safety and confidentiality of personal data. The program can remove the data related to deleted files.Therefore nobody will be able to recover your personal information and use it in their own interests. Use Smart Data Recovery to prevent your secrets from spreading. Just click the "Wipe" button and no one can restore your deleted files and folders, no matter how advanced their data recovery tool is.

The program is extremely easy-to-use and has a nice and informative design. All tasks can be performed with a few clicks. Due to a simple, yet powerful algorithm, Smart Data Recovery allows you to find erased files fast, and restore lost data quickly and effectively. The program has a multilingual interface that supports English, German, Spanish, French and Italian.

File restoration programs are usually quite expensive, but not any more - from this moment you can retrieve your files absolutely for free. Just download Smart Data Recovery using the following link: http://www.smartpctools.com/data_recovery. Save your money and valuable time - this program works much faster than any similar software!

Source: http://www.superfeature.com

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Partial nudity delays 'Halo 2' for Vista

Written by oneself on 12:09 PM

By Dawn Kawamoto

Microsoft is delaying the release of Halo 2 for Windows Vista after partial nudity on the game was discovered, the software giant said Friday.

Halo 2 for Windows Vista is now expected to hit the stores sometime in the first week of June, approximately two weeks behind the revised May 22 schedule. The game was originally scheduled for release on May 8, but was delayed due to some technical problems, Microsoft said at the time.

The software giant attributes the most recent delay to an "obscure content error" found in the initial production of Halo 2's map editor. That error was partial nudity.

Despite the error, Microsoft said it would be difficult to stumble across the offending content.

"This file is not in the game itself, nor will someone who simply plays the game ever encounter it," Microsoft stated.

The company has no plans to change the rating of its game, given it affects only the initial run of games and not subsequent shipments. Warning labels will be placed on packaging for the affected games, and Microsoft has developed a patch that can be downloaded to remove the content in question.

source: CNET news.com

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PlayStation 3 Upgrade Enhances Images

Written by oneself on 10:39 PM

By YURI KAGEYAMA


TOKYO - A free download upgrade for the Sony PlayStation 3 enhances the image quality of movies and old video games and allows people to check out stored video, music files and digital photos through the Internet with the handheld PlayStation Portable.

The upgrade, available for download worldwide Thursday, will improve the visual quality of PlayStation 2 games, as well as original PlayStation games, although it won't be quite as dazzling as the quality of PS3 games, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. officials said.

The software will also work to adjust the image quality of movies so they will look much better on the PS3, which is equipped to deliver higher image quality through next-generation Blu-ray disc technology.

Up to now, people could use the PlayStation Portable to watch content stored in their PS3 through a wireless local area network.

With the upgrade, users will be able to use PlayStation Portables to check out music, photos and video stored in their PS3 machines at home, while on the go, even from abroad, wherever there's an Internet connection. But they won't be able to play PS3 games on their portable console.

The PlayStation 3 has been losing the battle of next-generation video game consoles to Nintendo Co.'s Wii, which has surprisingly won over the elderly and other newcomers with a wandlike remote-control that can be used for fishing, tennis and other easy-to-play games.

The PS3 went on sale in November in Japan and the U.S., and in March in Europe.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp. shipped 5.5 million PS3 machines in the fiscal year through March 31, fewer than the 6 million the company had targeted. Nintendo shipped 5.84 million Wii machines worldwide during the same period.

Sony isn't expecting to post a profit in its game business until the fiscal year ending March 2009.



Source: Associated Press/AP Online


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Game On for the Grandparents

Written by oneself on 6:55 AM

Contributed by Terri Wells

Game On for the Grandparents

Thanks in part to Nintendo’s Wii, there’s a whole new demographic playing video games these days: retirees. It’s time to rethink your stereotypes – and watch your back if you’re playing Halo 2.

Stories about older gamers have been appearing online fairly regularly lately. I don't just mean people in their mid-thirties, though I did recently read a review of Halo 2 by a pair of thirty-something men who seemed to spend half the review unhappy about how bad they were at the game compared to the other players who were teenagers (and younger). No, I'm talking about people who are baby boomers and older, retired or semi-retired, with time on their hands and perhaps a lust for (virtual) killing in their hearts.

Don't believe me? Check out the blog of Barbara St. Hilaire, also known as Old Grandma Hardcore. The blog is actually written by her 22-year-old grandson Timothy. He goes into detail about the exploits of his grandmother as she plays various first person shooter games, often expressing herself in truly colorful metaphors as she gets frustrated. But she finishes an amazing number of games; in fact, she reviews games now for MTV.

Old Grandma Hardcore isn't alone. The demographic for video gamers has been changing, as I noted a few months ago. For example, casual games developer PopCap was surprised by the results of a recent survey of its players: 71 percent were older than 40, 47 percent were older than 50, and 76 percent were female. Numbers from the Entertainment Software Association back this up; they say 25 percent of all gamers are 50 years old or older.

Who are all these older gamers? Where are they coming from? Why are they gaming? What kinds of games are they playing? These aren't academic questions; they're vitally important to the gaming industry if it wants to expand its appeal. In this article I hope to give you some answers to at least a few of these questions.

Look Who's Gaming

The phenomenon of the older gamer is certainly not limited to the U.S. When Electronic Arts recently held a gaming day at the Kalliola pensioners' settlement house in Finland, they received a surprisingly strong response; 70 seniors showed up within the first hour to try out the games. Many were first time gamers. As long as they were given enough information when they were introduced to the games, they had very little trouble. "If you roughly know how a computer mouse works, there should be no problem," said Kaiji Ekstam, 72, while enjoying her first taste of video games.

Then there's Sandra Newton. At 62, this Texas resident spends some of her spare time as Dydia Fayrefire, fighting demons and harpies in the online role-playing game Guild Wars. She cites the game's rich graphics, individualized characters, and interaction with people as reasons she enjoys playing.

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, retired members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, a Roman Catholic order, have taken to playing non-violent video games every day at their seven-terminal "Computer Cove" in St. Mary of the Pines, their modest home in the woods. Sister Marie Richard Eckerle, 72, introduced the games. She describes the usual progression of sisters when they see the computers as first, they insist that they can't do it. "And then they can do it," she notes. "And they actually like it."

It isn't just older women who are getting into gaming these days. Dick Norwood, who lives in a 55-and-older community in Illinois, picked up a Wii in December. Then he convinced a local Italian restaurant to host a Wii bowling league for seniors only. It might sound crazy, but now nine couples show up every Thursday. "We got there the first time, and we were there for six solid hours," Norwood recalls.

Wiis are proving to be very popular with retirees. Baltimore-based Erickson Retirement Communities is installing Wii consoles at all 19 of their locations around the U.S. The consoles will serve 19,000 residents, to say nothing of their grandchildren when they come to visit.

Senior citizens are also discovering games online on their own. Jim Karle, a graduate student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, found that out recently. "My mom never played video games, and then I would try to call her last year and could never get through," he explained. "It wasn't that the line was busy. She just wasn't answering. It turned out it was because she had gotten engrossed with a game called Zuma. She's 60 years old, and suddenly she was totally into it."

What They're Playing

There are certainly older gamers who get into the same kinds of games as their grandchildren. These days, the "little old lady from Pasadena" might be tearing up Gears of War or shutting down players decades younger than she is. But judging from the stories, the violent games aren't quite as popular with the older set. There could be any number of reasons for this. Perhaps they find the realistic gore distasteful. Or maybe their reflexes aren't quite as good as they used to be. Then again, they may not like the longer "stories" and plot lines of many first person shooters these days. And then there are always the grandchildren to consider if you're trying to look dignified; you'd have to hide the Playboys AND the Grand Theft Auto.

Nintendo came out with Brain Age in 2005. It was probably the first video game aimed at senior citizens. It features a variety of puzzles to help keep a player's brain active, and even gives you a "brain age" at the end. It is supposed to encourage players to work to keep their brains "young" and sharp.

Puzzle and casual games seem to be very popular with the older gamer. PopCap was not alone in noticing the demographic for its casual games. Beatrice Spaine, marketing director of the popular casual games website Pogo.com, notes that "Baby boomers and up are definitely our fastest-growing demographic, and it is because the fear factor is diminishing. Women come for the games, but they stay for the community. Women like to chat, and these games online are a way to do that. It's kind of a MySpace for seniors." Electronic Arts, the company that runs the site, said that people 50 and older made up 28 percent of the visitors in February but accounted for more than 40 percent of total time spent on the site. On average women spent 35 percent longer on the site each day than men.

These numbers mean big business in the gaming industry. And they translate into big money. If you like to play games online in your browser, as many casual gamers do, then you've noticed the pre-roll ads on many games as well as the display banners; you can hardly avoid them. Still, they're a small price for playing a fun and terribly addicting game for free. This small price adds up to big bucks: the casual gaming industry raked in $900 million worldwide in 2006 from advertising and subscription fees, according to DFC Intelligence. And that money will just keep growing; it's projected to reach $2.5 billion by 2011.

Games that duplicate sports and other real-life non-violent activities are also popular with the older gamer. Kaija Ekstam started with a race car game. Dick Norwood has his Wii bowling league. Even Old Grandma Hardcore loves Guitar Hero II, though she freely admits that she is phenomenally horrible at it. On the evidence, one would have to say that Nintendo truly struck gold when it designed the Wii to appeal to a wider range of ages by making it simpler and by including a selection of sports games.

Why They're Playing

The reasons that older gamers are getting into (or in some cases, getting back into) gaming are as varied as the gamers themselves. Like gamers at the other end of the age spectrum, older gamers who have retired often have a lot of time on their hands, and playing video games is a known time sink. Even so-called casual games can eat up a lot of time - as a casual gamer myself, I can tell you that playing them is like eating potato chips, you can't play just one.

Many older gamers also believe that playing video games will help sharpen their wits and reflexes, keeping them young longer. There have been no extensive studies to confirm this, though some preliminary experiments in Canada last year seemed to indicate that playing video games can help with short-term memory. Obviously, more studies are needed; somehow I don't think scientists will lack for volunteers.

And then there's the theory that video games let older people participate, at least virtually, in sports they can no longer enjoy as easily in real life. Says Norwood, "I'll tell you, at our age when you bowl for real, you wake up with aches and pains. Those balls aren't light. But with this you're getting good exercise, but you're not aching the next day."

There's the social aspect to gaming, too. It's drawn many players into MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft. And the bonus here, from the social point of view, is that it's something they can share with their grandchildren. Building that social bridge is incentive enough for older gamers to get over that fear of gaming that Spaine mentioned.

One writer for Games.net gave an interesting perspective for the reasons behind that fear when he went over a little video game history. "Think about the original video game craze, when Pong hit, and then Pac-Man took over. Back then, it was cool to play games as an adult." Then, simultaneously, games stopped being cool for adults, and game controllers got more complicated. After that came the video game crash in the early 80s. "Then along came Nintendo, and instead of a joystick with one or no buttons, you've got the cross-pad (huh? What's this new-fangled thing?), and FOUR whole buttons. This is not something easy to jump into if you haven't played games in a few years."

So -- older gamers are fearlessly picking up their controllers, getting online, and cutting loose. You'd better watch yourself the next time you're playing Halo 2 online and talking smack with other players. If you hear someone saying "My GRANDMA could frag your butt!" he might not be kidding.

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

source :www.devhardware.com

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Nvidia announces stock repurchase program

Written by oneself on 6:51 AM

Press release, May 22; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES


Nvidia has announced a stock repurchase program under which Nvidia may purchase up to US$1 billion of its common stock. Since authorizing its first stock repurchase program in August 2004, Nvidia has spent US$613.1 million to repurchase 31.4 million shares of its common stock.

The repurchases will be made on the open market, in privately negotiated transactions, or in structured share repurchase programs, and may be made from time to time or in one or more larger repurchases.

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QuickTime Riskier Than Internet Explorer?

Written by oneself on 12:29 AM

One-third of QuickTime copies go unpatched, pose a bigger security risk than Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Gregg Keizer, Computerworld

Although browsers are notoriously juicy targets for hackers, Apple Inc.'s QuickTime is actually three times more likely to pose a threat than Internet Explorer 6 -- and six times more likely to be a threat than Firefox, Danish vulnerability tracker Secunia ApS said this week.

The higher risk posed by QuickTime stems from lackadaisical patching by users. According to an analysis of more than 350,000 system checks done over the last six months by the free Secunia Software Inspector, 33.1 percent of all QuickTime 7 installations weren't up to date with security patches. Another music player, AOL LLC's Winamp, was almost as likely to be outdated: 27 percent of Winamp 5 installations were missing needed security fixes.

Compared to QuickTime or Winamp, Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer 6 and Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox are models of security, said Secunia. Only 9.6 percent of IE 6 installations lacked one or more patches, while just 5.2 percent of Firefox 2 deployments needed updating.

The disparity is understandable. Users know browsers often have security holes, and updating them -- particularly Microsoft products -- is often a well-established habit that takes place on a known schedule. But Secunia's data shows that outside of operating systems and browsers, users neglect regular patching.

"This constitutes a significant problem," said Jakob Balle, Secunia's development manager, in a blog post detailing the Software Inspector results. "Most people wouldn't hesitate to open an .mpg, .jpg, .mov or .mp3 file from any source if it seems the least bit interesting and relevant. It's easy to embed a movie in your home page, for example, and all it takes is one unpatched QuickTime vulnerability and a provocative video title to compromise a lot of visitors."

Researchers regularly identify vulnerabilities in QuickTime and Winamp. Secunia's own database, for example, pins 10 bugs on QuickTime 7, three of them so far this year. The most-recently-patched QuickTime flaw was disclosed about three weeks ago and patched on May 1. Winamp 5 sports 11 vulnerabilities, said Secunia; the last bug was also quashed earlier this month.

Balle said that scans of business computers for unpatched applications reveal the same user behavior that inspections of consumer computers expose. "The vulnerable applications tend to be more business-like in nature, exploiting flaws in enterprise software and devices rather than media players," he said. "However, the overall picture is the same: The operating systems, browsers and Microsoft applications in general appear to be updated fairly regularly. But all other applications seem to be forgotten, or receive too low a priority given the severity of the issues."

Part of the problem may be due to the fact that many application vendors don't bake in automated security update mechanisms, leaving it up to users to first recognize the seriousness of a vulnerability and then search for, download and install a patch. Or if vendors do offer automatic patching, updates are done irregularly or not frequently enough. In contrast, QuickTime updater on Windows checks for updates on a default weekly schedule.

Although the free Software Inspector remains available, Secunia is also pushing a server-side edition, dubbed Network Software Inspector.

source: www.computerworld.com

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How to Upgrade a Notebook

Written by oneself on 8:34 PM


Contributed by jkabaseball

Many people know how to swap out their hard drives or install new memory in their desktops; you might even be able to build your own computer, but that is on the desktop platform. When it comes to notebook computers, people feel less at ease. Why is that?

It's because of the size you have to work with; everything is compacted into the size of a college text book. Another reason is that finding parts isn't as easy as for desktop counterparts. We will try to help all you nervous users with opening up your notebook computer and make upgrading it as easy as a desktop.
Before you crack open your computer, you need to figure out what is inside and what you want to upgrade. Compatibility is far worse for notebooks when compared to desktops. With desktops you can pretty much use any part you want and it will work, but with notebooks it's not that easy. It's better to first figure out what you have in it now, and what you wish to upgrade.

Upgrading the whole "guts" of a notebook is nearly impossible since each model differs in size and space. Some parts are going to be compatible across the board, but many will not. While it is best to buy directly from the manufacturer, this will more than likely result in a higher price tag than what you could buy at a third party web site.

Before You Begin

CPU

CPUs aren't as tricky as you may think. A notebook CPU is very similar to its desktop counterpart. Mobile CPUs tend to clock slower, use a lot less power and put out less heat. The only thing to really worry about is to make sure it is supported by the chipset, and that a BIOS is available for it.
If the manufacturer sells the same model notebook with a higher CPU, it will more than likely work without problems. I would like to point out one thing as you pick out your new CPU: Pentium 4 Mobile is not the same as the Pentium Mobile! This will certainly not work no matter what you try, so don't try it.

Finding mobile processors will be harder than finding desktop CPUs. You can check out your local computer store, online retail stores or even eBay. From my experience online and brick and mortar stores will charge you insane prices for a processor. The best place to check is eBay; stick with very reputable users. I have seen CPUs that sell in stores for $200 go for as little as $40.

Memory

Picking out memory is fairly easy. All you need to do is check to see whether you need DDR or DDR2, as you would for a desktop, right? Well, yes, except you're looking for SO-DIMM memory. Both DDR and DDR2 use SO-DIMM, so picking out the notebook from the desktop shouldn't be that hard. This memory is competitively priced at online stores such as Newegg.

Today we will take a look at the Gateway 6000 series. The specific notebook model we'll use for our demonstration is the 6020GZ. It contains 512 MB RAM and a Celeron CPU. While this is usable, it isn't going to be very fast, and our goal today is to speed this fellow up some.
An important step you should take first is to see if there are any BIOS updates for your computer. Check your manufacturer's site for details. If you are installing a new CPU, the update may be required for the BIOS to work with the new CPU. If you realize this after the upgrade, you will need to reinstall the old CPU, flash it, and then redo everything. While looking at the Gateway site, I noticed that they have provided a useful PDF of many upgrades for this computer with pictures. This how-to will go over some that aren't given in the document.The good thing about this computer is that it is very simple to get into. Other notebooks won't be so easy. I suggest reading the user's manual and any other documents on the manufacturer's site about the guts of the computer first.

Changing the Memory

The first thing you should do before touching your computer regardless of make of model is shut it down, unplug the power cord and remove the battery. Also, don't forget to ground yourself; one static shock to your computer could fry it beyond reasonable repair. Doing these few simple steps will make this upgrade successful and safe.Image nb

On my Dell Inspiron 6000, you need to practically take the whole computer apart to get to the guts of it. With the Gateway 6000 series, I only need to remove the bottom cover. There are a few screws that are holding the cover in place. Simply unscrewing them and removing the cover will expose the main parts of the computer. I have to give Gateway props for making this so easy. After you open it up you will see the big copper cooler and fan. To the right of these are the memory slots.

This one came with one 512 MB stick of memory, which left one slot unused. All you need to do is insert the other stick into the slot, make sure it is in, and then push it down until it pops or locks. This is fairly standard for all memory in most notebooks. Think of the pushing it down as using the clamps on a desktop board; it just helps to hold the memory in.

Changing the CPU

The next step is to pop a Pentium Mobile into this computer. First we need to remove the copper heatsink and fan. There are three screws holding it down. Unscrew these screws to access the CPU and graphics card. It is easier to unscrew all all at once as opposed to one at a time; it helps relieve the pressure from the components more slowly and evenly. It also helps you avoid putting force on a certain side of the cores, which may cause them to break.



After you remove the heatsink, unplug the fan wires from the motherboard. If you yank them out and break the fan power socket, it is going to be either a long night at your house or a costly trip to the repair store.
Popping the CPU out is fairly easy. You need a screwdriver and a little twist of the socket screw. This should allow the CPU to pop right up and be easily removed. Then it's an easy matter to pop the new CPU right in. After you have it in securely, the only thing left is to put it all back together. There is however one important thing you need to do first.

Reducing the Heat

This part will drastically reduce the heat problems many notebooks face. Conversely, this may also explain why your computer's fan might be on all the time or how loud it gets. Many manufacturers use some rather crappy thermal pastes. Gateway is no different.

I removed what they call thermal paste from the Intel chipset/GPU, which was some stick pad (I don't know how great it is, but it clearly wasn't helping any) and anything left on the copper cooler. I used some rubbing alcohol and a razor blade on the copper cooler. Be careful not to scratch up the bottom of the copper cooler. I used Arctic Silver, which can be found for roughly $5- $8 online. This is one of the better thermal pastes out there. I applied a small coat to both cores, and then put the cooler back on. Again, I was very careful to slowly tighten both screws so not to apply too much pressure on one side at a time.
After all is well, you should remove it again and take off the cooler. This time make sure that the copper cooler has the dark silver imprint of the cores on it. If not, you should reapply the thermal paste and make sure it is seated correctly, maximizing the surface area to which the heat is transferred. If it isn't making complete contact, you are going to be trying to cool the core with only ? of it being able to transfer heat. This is going to cause overheating or even kill the CPU!! When you're finished don't forget to plug the fan back into the motherboard. This is often forgotten and not good for the computer.

If everything is good at this point, you're basically done. You just have to put all the screws and covers back in. Make sure you don't have any thermal paste outside the cores. Also check to see that nothing is loose and that anything that doesn't belong is gone. After you've checked carefully, screw the cover back on. Now plug in the battery and power cord and you are ready to go!
I hope this little how-to has helped you understand that upgrading a notebook yourself isn't out to the question. While it will require more attention to detail, it is no different in principle than a desktop PC. As always take your time, be careful and it will turn out fine. Doing the few upgrades listed here has turned this run of the mill PC into a machine that is up to multitasking -- it runs cooler, too. If you have any questions or need help with any upgrades to your notebook, visit the Dev Hardware Forums where very knowledgeable members or myself can help you get your questions or problems answered.

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

source: www.devhardware.com



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Creating Secure Passwords

Written by oneself on 7:54 AM

From Tony Bradley, CISSP-ISSAP

Tips For Creating Strong Passwords You Can Remember

One of the problems with passwords is that users forget them. In an effort to not forget them, they use simple things like their dog’s name, their son’s first name and birthdate, the name of the current month- anything that will give them a clue to remember what their password is.

For the curious hacker who has somehow gained access to your computer system this is the equivalent of locking your door and leaving the key under the doormat. Without even resorting to any specialized tools a hacker can discover your basic personal information- name, children’s names, birthdates, pets names, etc. and try all of those out as potential passwords.

To create a secure password that is easy for you to remember, follow these simple steps:

1. Do not use personal information. You should never use personal information as a part of your password. It is very easy for someone to guess things like your last name, pet's name, child's birth date and other similar details.
2. Do not use real words. There are tools available to help attackers guess your password. With today's computing power, it doesn't take long to try every word in the dictionary and find your password, so it is best if you do not use real words for your password.
3. Mix different character types. You can make a password much more secure by mixing different types of characters. Use some uppercase letters along with lowercase letters, numbers and even special characters such as '&' or '%'.
4. Use a passphrase. Rather than trying to remember a password created using various character types which is also not a word from the dictionary, you can use a passphrase. Think up a sentence or a line from a song or poem that you like and create a password using the first letter from each word.

For example, rather than just having a password like 'yr$1Hes', you could take a sentence such as "I like to read the About.com Internet / Network Security web site" and convert it to a password like 'il2rtA!nsws". By substituting the number '2' for the word 'to' and using an exclamation point in place of the 'i' for 'Internet', you can use a variety of character types and create a secure password that is hard to crack, but much easier for you to remember.
5. Use a password management tool. Another way to store and remember passwords securely is to use some sort of password management tool. These tools maintain a list of usernames and passwords in encrypted form. Some will even automatically fill in the username and password information on sites and applications.

Using the tips above will help you create passwords that are more secure, but you should still also follow the following tips:

* Use different passwords. You should usea different username and password for each login or application you are trying to protect. That way if one gets compromised the others are still safe. Another approach which is less secure, but provides a fair tradeoff between security and convenience, is to use one username and password for sites and applications that don't need the extra security, but use unique usernames and more secure passwords on sites such as your bank or credit card companies.
* Change your passwords. You should change your password at least every 30 to 60 days. You should also not re-use a password for at least a year.
* Enforce stronger passwords: Rather than relying on every user of the computer to understand and follow the instructions above, you can configure Microsot Windows password policies so that Windows will not accept passwords that don't meet the minimum requirements.

source: http://about.com

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Microsoft blasts open-source software clones for patent infringement

Written by oneself on 7:01 AM

By Mark Raby Monday, May 14, 2007 07:52

Redmond (WA) - Microsoft's next big legal endeavor will be to bring down Linux, OpenOffice.org, and others for infringing on a total of 235 patents.


The software giant's head lawyer, Brad Smith, has blasted the two software alternatives as being blatant rip-offs of the expensive products created by Microsoft.

Smith says in a Fortune article that Linux's kernel infringes on 107 patents owned by Microsoft. In addition, he claims, OpenOffice.org illegally uses 45 Microsoft patents, with another 83 attributed to various other open-source programs.

Microsoft CEO also chimed in in the article, reportedly saying, "What's fair is fair. We live in a world where we honor and support the honoring of intellectual property."

Open source software and other freeware applications have always been a tricky issue for software copyright owners. Usually a program that copies off of someone else's intellectual property stays unnoticed and is not worth a big legal battle. OpenOffice.org and Linux, though, have become fairly successful alternatives to Microsoft's software.


source : www.tgdaily.com

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Sun Demonstrates New Linux- and Java-Based Mobile OS

Written by oneself on 9:41 PM

Ed Hardy on Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Sun Microsystems has unveiled a new Java- and Linux-based operating system and graphical interface for a variety of mobile devices, including phones.

The company believes JavaFX Mobile -- as its software system is called -- could help to reduce the costs of creating rich, mobile Internet devices.

This consists of a Java powered user interface; a suite of Java applications for PIM, audio and video playback, etc.; and a set of application frameworks, all running on top of a Linux kernel.

This OS includes support for Java ME applications and other standard Java APIs, which allows it to run a broad range of new and existing Java applications.

Sun is currently offering it to wireless carriers and consumer electronics manufacturers.

More information on this open and standards-based operating system can be found on Sun's web site.


A Scripting Language, Too

Sun has also announced JavaFX Script, a new scripting language for creative professionals. Its goal is to simplifying the process of developing interactive content for all Java-enabled devices, from phones to set tops, laptops to dashboards.

JavaFX will support all content and applications currently available across the billions of Java devices in use today.

Both JavaFX Mobile and JavaFX Script were demonstrated to 15,000 Developers at last week's JavaOne conference.


from : www.brighthand.com

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Air Conditioners May Pose Threat to Hard Drives

Written by oneself on 8:22 PM


By Phil Dotree Published May 08, 2007

As hard drives have grown in size and improve in performance, they've become a commonplace form of
storage for computer users' valuable files and sentimental data, from personal pictures to vital company documents. But as more and more data is stored on hard drives, the issue of hard drive failure is becoming more and more serious--and it may be seasonal.

Ben Carmitchel, president of ESS Data Recovery, claims that hard drives may have an unlikely adversary this Spring: air conditioners.

"On average we see a 20% increase in failed hard drives hitting our lab in the summer as in the winter," Carmitchel says. "We also see a seasonal change in the types of problems hard drives experience. In the warmer months, we diagnose far more electronic-related issues. From surveying some of our customers, we've found that power surges caused by air conditioners may play a significant role in the springtime increase."

Home cooling systems can increase the electricity usage in a house by 50%, and this additional strain can cause dangerous power surges and outages that damage computers. It's not just air conditioners that threaten data during the warmer months, either--a larger amount of thunderstorms and hot Summer weather can mean the end of hard drives and with them, computer users' valuable information.

To avoid data loss, follow these precautions during Spring and Summer months:

1. Keep your computer plugged into an un-interruptible power supply (UPS). With a UPS, you don't have to worry about brownouts and blackouts which are more likely during warmer months.

2. Turn off and unplug your computers during thunderstorms. There's point in risking working through a 15 minute spring storm when it could potentially cost days in lost productivity if a data recovery service is needed. Watch your local weather forecasts and pay attention to any warnings of storms or brown outs.

3. Make sure your computer has adequate ventilation. Hard drives can fail due to an excess amount of heat, but this can be avoided by simply removing items that may be blocking the ventilation, such as notebooks or other objects stacked on the top and sides of a computer. Check that your computer's fan is functioning properly, and take advantage of any system heat monitoring tools that your computer has.

4. Back up your data. "The only way to be completely prepared is to make sure that you've got a good backup of your important data," Carmitchel says. "That way, a failed hard drive is merely an inconvenience rather than a more serious issue."Data loss costs U.S. businesses at least $18 billion a year, and professional data recovery companies such as ESS Data Recovery, Ontrack, and Drivesavers often charge upwards of $1000 for their least expensive services.


Source: associatedcontent.com

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MSN Update Information

Written by oneself on 8:01 PM


By: GDTECHINDIA
The abbreviation of Microsoft Network, MSN is a bundle of internet services offered by Microsoft. MSN services are one of the most popular internet services. According to Alexa.com, MSN.com is currently ranked 2nd amongst all websites for Traffic Rank


Launched on August 24, 1995, MSN coincided with the release of the Windows 95. Microsoft has been continuously updating MSN services and features since its launch. The hotmail webmail was the first service msn update. It was followed by the instant messenger service MSN Messenger, and the Windows Live Messenger is the latest msn update service that has replaced MSN Messenger. Formerly known as MSN Messenger, Windows Live Messenger (WLM) is an advertisement-supported instant messaging client for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Mobile. It is part of Microsoft's Windows Live set of online services.

The WLM beta msn update came as WLM msn update 8.0 Beta 1, WLM msn update 8.0 Beta 2, and WLM msn update 8.0 Beta 3. The msn update 8.0, Released June 19, 2006, adds a number of subtle but welcome improvements in Windows Live Messenger. It solidifies the ISP's spot ahead of AOL. The easier-to-find parental access controls, better junk-mail filters, and a few interface and performance tweaks gives msn update 8.0 an edge over AOL 8.0.

The Windows Live Messenger msn update 8.0 version has all features of Beta version, for example offline conversations, the possibility to share files with other users, a new user interface, and much more. It runs on Windows XP and later releases.

The current Windows Live Messenger msn update 8.1 was released on January 29, 2007. The MLM msn update 8.1 version offers new features that include improvements for Windows Vista compatibility, roaming Display Pictures and Personal Messages (it means that the Display Picture is stored on Windows Live servers and will not change if you log in from another computer), and support for lower bandwidth connections when attempting to use Verizon web calling to make a PC to Phone call.

The other MLM msn update 8.1 additions include a "Sign out" button in the status menu, a new Messenger buddy emoticon, and new menus for Winks, Emoticons, Backgrounds and Display Pictures. Additionally, the e-mail button was modified slightly, it no longer says that you have 0 e-mails (by showing a number in brackets beside the button), it will only show a number if you have one or more e-mails. Remote desktop is still supported but the entire desktop is shared, with no ability to select individual applications.

Article Source: http://www.superfeature.com

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Mac share of surfers doubles in 8 months

Written by oneself on 1:23 AM


Apple is eroding Microsoft's online market share, says analyst
Gregg Keizer Today’s Top Stories or Other Macintoshes Stories

May 08, 2007 (Computerworld) -- The portion of people surfing the Web using a Mac has doubled in the past eight months, an Internet metrics analyst said today, and represents an audience that can't be ignored by Web application developers.

"The amazing story since last summer has been how well the Mac is doing," said Geoff Johnston, an analyst at WebSideStory Inc. in San Diego. "For the longest time, Mac hung around 3% of the operating systems using the Web. But it picked up around last summer, and has nearly doubled its market share."

Measurements from WebSideStory and rival Net Applications of Aliso Viejo, Calif., put Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X at close to or just over 6% of all machines in the U.S. that connected to the Web last month.

"For the first time since 1999, when we started tracking, the Mac has really made a major push," said Johnston. Since August, the percentage of online Macs running Apple's operating system has climbed from the long-flat 3% to 5.6%, he said. Net Applications data, which splits the Mac's share between computers running the PowerPC version of Mac OS and those with an Intel edition of the operating system, pegged the total share at 6.2% for April.

"Mac has almost doubled," Johnston said, "so you know they're selling a butt load."

There's a correlation, Johnston believes, between the surge and Apple's transition to Intel starting in January 2006, when CEO Steve Jobs announced the availability of the first Intel-powered Macs. Data from WebSideStory's competitor supports that take. Net Applications' data on PowerPC-equipped Macs' share of systems surfing the Web essentially remained stable over the past 12 months; all of the growth, then, came from Intel-powered Macs.

"When you see Mac, or any browser, like Firefox, moving past 5%, you just can't turn them away," said Johnston. Web site designers and Web application developers, he said, had better pay attention to the Mac.

Oddly enough, the rise in Macs is both good and bad news to Microsoft Corp., depending on the development division inside the company. "Microsoft's pretty adamant about wanting us to always report the share of Internet Explorer within Windows only," said Johnston, because Microsoft no longer supports a Mac version of IE. "More and more we're going to have to separate Windows from everything else" to accurately calculate Internet Explorer's share of the browser business.

"With the Mac up, IE's losses aren't as bad within Windows only as they are within all operating systems," he said. On the other hand, Johnston pointed out, losing users to the Mac means losing potential Windows customers.

"Macs are starting to erode Microsoft's market share," Johnston declared.

Net Applications' numbers, however, show Windows holding firm. In the first four months of 2007, Windows' overall share of Web-connected computers has stayed steady at around 90%. Only the mix of the various editions of Windows has changed. Windows Vista's part of Microsoft's operating system market share, for example, has climbed from just 0.2% in January to 3% in April, reported Net Applications. That gain on the part of Vista came at the expense of Windows XP and Windows 2000, both which have lost market share this year.

After losing ground last month -- possibly to Vista -- the Mac share rebounded from March's 6.08% to April's 6.21%, noted Net Applications.


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'Minitheater' for iPod features built-in display

Written by oneself on 12:20 AM




New speaker system for video iPods features a built-in video display that's larger than the iPod's screen

Peter Cohen Today’s Top Stories or Other Hardware Stories

May 03, 2007 (Playlist) -- Altec Lansing on Tuesday announced the release of the iMV712, a new speaker system for video iPods that features a built-in video display that's larger than the iPod's screen. It costs $349.95.

The iMV712 sports an 8.5-inch LCD, three-inch neodymium speakers and a built-in, four-inch subwoofer. Altec Lansing's Stereo Field Expander technology is also built-in -- it boosts the sound field to create an immersive stereo effect for the listener.

A Universal Dock accommodates all dock connector-equipped Macs, though obviously the video screen is designed to work with video iPods. An auxiliary input lets you connect other devices; you can also input video from other sources using RCA connectors. If you want to integrate the iMV712 into a larger home entertainment system, it includes S-Video output.

The iMV712 also includes a wireless remote control that adjusts volume, treble/bass and mute functions, and can control the iPod with forward/reverse, pause, menu, play and stop controls.

Altec Lansing's Web site had not been updated as Playlist posted this article.


Reprinted with permission from Playlist, all rights reserved. See more news and reviews at Playlist Magazine.

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