Study suggests reading this post could make you blind

By on July 27, 2012 at 10:00 PM.

Study suggests reading this post could make you blind

Computer Screens Blindness Study

The United States Department of Health & Human Services suggests people limit exposure to screens such as computer monitors and television sets to less than two hours per day. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, however, today’s children are exceeding the recommended maximum exposure time by 66%. To make matters worse, millions of jobs also require workers to sit behind some sort of screen that could be potentially harming their eyes. A Healthier Michigan notes that when users focus on a screen for a long time, the small muscles in the eyes remain contracted, resulting in fatigue, blurred vision and an inability to focus. While a typical person blinks between 12 and 15 times a minute, when focused on a screen, blinking can be reduced to between four and five times per minute, leading to dry and scratchy eyes. More →

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Pre-launch Windows 8 usage doubles that of OS X Mountain Lion

By on April 26, 2012 at 2:45 PM.

Pre-launch Windows 8 usage doubles that of OS X Mountain Lion

Since Microsoft released its Windows 8 Consumer Preview in February, millions of users have downloaded the software giant’s latest operating system, which looks to carefully blend its existing mobile and desktop experiences into one. According to research from ad network Chitika, the Windows 8 CP adoption rate in the U.S. and Canada has doubled that of OS X Mountain Lion, Apple’s upcoming operating system. Of course Microsoft’s Windows 8 preview is publicly available for free while Apple’s Mountain Lion preview is available only to those with paid developer accounts. Chitika’s research was conducted from April 13th to April 19th and it analyzed hundreds of millions of impressions across the Chitika ad network. The Consumer Preview makes up .1% of all Windows traffic and exhibits traffic levels more than three times the peak level that the Windows 8 Developer Preview produced. The increased level of activity is a good sign for Microsoft, which will reportedly complete work on Windows 8 this summer. According to rumors, the first wave of PCs and tablets powered by the new platform are slated to launch in October. More →

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Final major pre-launch Windows 8 release due during first week of June

By on April 24, 2012 at 9:55 PM.

Final major pre-launch Windows 8 release due during first week of June

Microsoft’s Buildings Windows 8 Twitter account on Monday evening announced that the Windows 8 Release Preview will be available at some point during the first week of June. The announcement was made at Microsoft’s Japan Windows 8 Dev Days, and it comes almost two months after the release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The software giant will reportedly complete work on Windows 8 this summer, and the first wave of PCs and tablets powered by the new platform will then launch in October according to rumors. Three versions of the operating system will be available — Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT, the stripped-down version of Windows 8 built for ARM-powered devices. More →

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Intel announces 13 new quad-core Ivy Bridge processors

By on April 23, 2012 at 8:10 PM.

Intel announces 13 new quad-core Ivy Bridge processors

Intel’s next-generation Ivy Bridge processors will be the first to feature a “3D Tri-Gate transistor,” The BBC reported on Sunday. The company plans to initially release 13 quad-core processors for desktop computers that it promises will offer more computational power while using less energy. Intel hopes its new transistors, which have been in development for 11 years, will help it challenge ARM’s reputation for energy efficiency. “This is the world’s first 22 nanometre product and we’ll be delivering about 20% more processor performance using 20% less average power,” the company said, adding that dual-core processors aimed at ultrabooks will be announced “later this spring.” Intel promises that “there will be 50% more supply than we had early in the product cycle of our last generation, Sandy Bridge, a year ago. And we’re still constrained based on the amount of demand we’re seeing in the marketplace.” Digitimes on Monday reported that shipments of the company’s latest processors will still be lower than expected, however, and it will not be able to satisfy the strong demand anticipated from PC vendors. More →

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Samsung’s iCloud competitor may be unveiled at Galaxy event on May 3rd

By on April 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM.

Samsung’s iCloud competitor may be unveiled at Galaxy event on May 3rd

Samsung’s iCloud competitor, dubbed S-Cloud, may be unveiled at next month’s Galaxy S III announcement in London on May 3rd, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday. The service is similar to Apple’s offering but without any limitations on the type of content users can upload. The service is also expected to have access to popular TV shows, movies and music with free and paid content that will be available across a range of Samsung devices. The amount of storage allotted to users is rumored to be “more than 5GB,” although it isn’t clear if that will be free or is there is an associated charge. Earlier rumors suggested Samsung would delay the service after having trouble developing a suitable infrastructure for the global market. According to Maeil Business, however, the company has partnered with Microsoft to support its S-Cloud service. More →

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Microsoft reveals three editions of its next-generation operating system

By on April 17, 2012 at 8:55 AM.

Microsoft reveals three editions of its next-generation operating system

Microsoft on Monday announced that there will be three editions of its next-generation Windows 8 operating system: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. The Redmond-based company detailed each edition on its blog and promised “all editions of Windows 8 offer a no-compromise experience.” Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro will support PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors, while Windows RT will be reserved for ARM-powered devices. The basic edition of Windows 8 is aimed at the average consumer, while the Windows 8 Pro edition is designed for tech enthusiasts and business and technical professionals and the RT edition is aimed at lighter-duty devices. More →

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One in five U.S. adults still doesn’t use the Internet

By on April 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM.

One in five U.S. adults still doesn’t use the Internet

The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s latest poll indicates that one in five adults in the United States still doesn’t use the Internet. “Senior citizens, those who prefer to take our interviews in Spanish rather than English, adults with less than a high school education, and those living in households earning less than $30,000 per year are the least likely adults to have Internet access,” Pew Internet said. Almost half of those adults who don’t use the Internet found the technology irrelevant to them, with most having never used it before. About one in five adults claimed they didn’t know enough about technology to start using the Internet on their own, and only 10% were interested in using the Internet or email in the future. Overall Internet adoption rates have leveled off, however adults already online are using the Web more often than ever before. Pew’s study also showed that 88% of American adults have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an eReader, 19% have a tablet and 63% access the Internet wirelessly with one of these devices. More →

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Second Mac trojan discovered, also exploits Java vulnerability

By on April 16, 2012 at 1:15 PM.

Second Mac trojan discovered, also exploits Java vulnerability

The “Flashback” trojan virus affecting at least 600,000 Macs was discovered last week that is capable of intercepting passwords and other private data. The discovery prompted Apple to release a Java update for OS X users that removed a number of common variants of the virus. Securelist on Saturday found another Mac trojan that is also spread through Java exploits, however. The malware, called Backdoor.OSX.SabPub, can take screenshots of a user’s current session, execute commands on an infected machine and connect to a remote website to transmit the data. It is not clear how users get infected with the trojan, but because of the low number of instances and the trojan’s backdoor functionality, Securelist speculates that it is most likely used in targeted attacks, possibly launched through emails containing a URL pointing to two one of websites hosting the exploit. More →

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Intel may launch Ivy Bridge processors on April 23rd

By on April 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM.

Intel may launch Ivy Bridge processors on April 23rd

Intel is expected to move up the announcement of its next-generation Ivy Bridge processors from the original date of April 29th to April 23rd, Digitimes reported on Thursday. ASUS, Acer, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard are all preparing to release their second generation of ultrabooks in May, with average prices expected to “rapidly” drop from $999 to $699. To promote ultrabooks, Intel has also reportedly set up a $300 million fund to assist its partners in ultrabook design as well as research and development. Earlier rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to refresh its iMac family of computers with Intel’s 22nm-based Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors in June or July. The Cupertino-based company is also said to be ramping up production in preparation for thinner 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. More →

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Windows Vista enters extended support, XP support ends in 2014

By on April 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM.

Windows Vista enters extended support, XP support ends in 2014

Microsoft products fit into two different life cycle stages — mainstream support and extended support. With mainstream support, users receive free security updates, stability improvements, bug fixes and occasional new features. In the extended support phase, security updates are available for free but other fixes require paid support. Microsoft reminded Windows XP users earlier this week that XP is now in the extended phase, and it said support for the operating system and Office 2003 will be officially discontinued by April 2014. Mainstream support for Windows Vista has also officially ended as of Tuesday, along with support for Office 2007. Both Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be in the extended support phase from now until April 2017. Microsoft recommends that users with PCs running Windows XP and Office 2003 should migrate to Windows 7 and Office 2010 before support is completely cut off and systems are left vulnerable to new forms of malware. More →

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Apple will reportedly unveil new iMacs with Core i5, i7 CPUs in June or July

By on April 4, 2012 at 1:25 PM.

Apple will reportedly unveil new iMacs with Core i5, i7 CPUs in June or July

Apple is reportedly planning to refresh its iMac family of computers with Intel’s 22nm-based Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors in June or July, How To Arena reported on Wednesday, citing a “reliable tipster” in Apple’s supply chain. The Cupertino-based company is also reportedly ramping up production in preparation for thinner 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models, which will use the same Ivy Bridge processors. Previous rumors have suggested that Apple’s redesigned iMac would feature an anti-reflective glass display, and it should be slimmer and lighter than the current units. Apple’s iMac lineup was last updated in May 2011 with Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors, a high-speed Thunderbolt port and a high-definition FaceTime camera. More →

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From pre-PC to post-PC: Happy birthday, Microsoft

By on April 4, 2012 at 12:20 PM.

From pre-PC to post-PC: Happy birthday, Microsoft

On April 4th, 1975, two young programmers named Bill Gates and Paul Allen formed a partnership called “Micro-soft.” Gates was 22 years old at the time and Allen was just 19. The two young men had been friends since attending high school together in Seattle and after Allen took a job with MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico in January 1975, Gates dropped out of his sophomore year at Harvard and moved to Albuquerque to form what would later become Microsoft. The pair moved from New Mexico to Bellevue, Washington in January 1979, and Microsoft would go on to incorporate on June 25th, 1981. The first Microsoft-powered IBM PC was unveiled later that year running Microsoft’s 16-bit MS-DOS 1.0 operating system, and the rest as they say, is history. Gates and Allen’s Microsoft went on to drive the personal computing boom that has taken place over the past three decades, and the firm’s upcoming Windows 8 OS looks to continue what the company’s founders started through the post-PC era and beyond. Happy birthday, Microsoft.

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Selling used Android phones poses huge identity theft risk, expert says

By on March 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM.

Selling used Android phones poses huge identity theft risk, expert says

Android users who are looking to sell their old devices should be wary of the possible consequences. McAfee identity theft researcher Robert Siciliano warned that personal data from Android devices is not completely removed after a user activates the built-in wipe option, The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. “What’s really scary is even if you follow protocol, the data is still there,” Siciliano said. If you have a BlackBerry or Apple device, Siciliano said your data can be fully deleted by following the manufacturer’s directions. As for smartphones running the Android operating system and computers running Windows XP, Siciliano recommends that people don’t bother with selling them at all. “Put it in the back of a closet, or put it in a vise and drill holes in the hard drive, or if you live in Texas take it out into a field and shoot it,” he said. “You don’t want to sell your identity for 50 bucks.” To test the security of various platforms, Siciliano purchased 30 smartphones and computers from Craigslist. The researcher was able to access personal data from 15 of the 30 devices through his own hacking efforts and the help of a forensic expert. The data obtained included bank account information, Social Security numbers, child support documents and credit card account log-ins. More →

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