Posts Tagged 'laptops'

Virus … in space!

I’m surprised the space station held out this long. I mean with new viruses being created every day it was bound to happen. Despite the strict controls on what goes into space how did the astronaut manage to sneak a USB device with him on to the shuttle, and for God’s sake why did he plug it in?

Haven’t they heard of this “anti-virus” software over at NASA. For a bunch of rocket scientists this does not make them out to be the smartest people on the planet (even though they probably are).

“Nasa has confirmed that laptops carried to the ISS in July were infected with a virus known as Gammima.AG.

The worm was first detected on earth in August 2007 and lurks on infected machines waiting to steal login names for popular online games.”(link)

Intel to share MacBook Air tiny cpu’s with Windows platforms

This bodes well for non-Apple laptop makers. Not only will they be able to do it better but cheaper as well. Since most corporate users are Windows based users get used to seeing MacBook Air PC clones all over the place. (And maybe you will be able cut cake with it too)

“… introduced the company’s second-generation dual-core mobile processors for increasingly popular ultra thin and light notebook PCs.” That’s not what anyone would call a high-profile introduction, but the processors themselves could be used by any company keen to compete with the MacBook Air.” (link)

Laptops: Mac still mor expensive than PC

For some time, Mac fans have argued that, feature-for-feature, Apple’s computers aren’t really that much more expensive than their PC competitors. When the processors, memory, hard drive and screens are all matched up, the price premium on a Mac was negligible, they insist, and sometimes non-existent.

But eWeek’s Joe Wilcox says that, while he wasn’t looking, that has changed. Windows-based computers — and particularly notebooks — are now much more powerful than Macs, and a lot cheaper. He thinks Apple not only must lower prices, but is actually planning on it. (link)

Only TSA laptop approved bags

There’s a new option for people annoyed at having to take their laptops out of their bags at airport security. The Transportation Security Administration will now allow travelers to leave their computers inside “checkpoint friendly” cases.

The new rules, announced Tuesday and set to take effect Aug. 16, are intended to help streamline the X-ray inspection lines.

TSA said it reached out to bag manufacturers this year to design laptop cases that would provide a clear, unobstructed image of the computer as it passed through an X-ray machine. The agency said the new bags will be available for purchase this month. (link)

nVidia graphics chips failing at alarming rate

Nvidia hasn’t determined the exact cause of the problem but said it relates to a packaging material used with some of its chips, as well as the thermal design of some laptops. Modern processors generate considerable amounts of heat.

To tackle the problem, the company is releasing a software driver that will cause system fans to start operating sooner and reduce the “thermal stress” on the chips. The driver has been provided to laptop makers directly, said Derek Perez, an Nvidia spokesman.

Nvidia will take a charge against second-quarter earnings of US$150 million to $200 million to cover the expected cost of repairing and replacing the products, which include graphics processing units and media and communications processors. It didn’t say specifically which of its products were affected. (link)

XP not dead yet

What do you do if your flagship operating system isn’t designed to run well on a popular new class of hardware? It’s a problem currently faced by Microsoft. Budget laptops like the Asus Eee PC with minimal amounts of RAM, relatively slow CPUs, and solid state storage have proven popular, and Vista wasn’t designed to operate well within such hardware confines. In response, Microsoft is reportedly planning to extend the availability of Windows XP for the budget laptop category.

Originally, XP was scheduled to shuffle off this mortal coil this past January 30, but Microsoft relented last fall due to pressure from customers and resellers. Windows XP is now facing a June 30 end, which is the day Microsoft will stop selling the OS to most manufacturers and system builders. Small resellers who build PCs to order will still be able to obtain copies of XP through January 2009, which is just a few months before XP exits the mainstream support phase. Windows XP Started Edition will be available through June 2010. (link)

ValueClick settles with Federal Trade Commission

Another company has settled charges today with the Federal Trade Commission over violations of the CAN-SPAM Act, netting the FTC another $2.9 million in civil penalties. Online advertiser ValueClick and its subsidiaries were charged with using deceptive e-mails, banner ads, and pop-ups to drive traffic, as well as a failure to secure customers’ financial information. The settlement is the largest in CAN-SPAM’s five-year history, says the FTC, and bars the companies from any further violations.

ValueClick and subsidiary Hi-Speed Media’s e-mails and online banners promised free gifts like iPods, gift cards, PS3s, laptops, and plasma TVs, among other things. But when unsuspecting users clicked through, they were greeted with a number of third-party offers that they were required to sign up for before receiving their “free” gifts. It was ValueClick’s failure to disclose that users must first sign up for other offers (ones that cost them money) before collecting the prize that was a violation of the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act and the FTC Act. (link)


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