Sunday, July 26, 2009

Google Latitude now available for iPhone—via the web

Google has finally released a version of its Latitude geo-location service for the iPhone. However, Apple forced encouraged Google to abandon its native iPhone app, citing possible confusion with the default Maps app. Even though Google was able to develop a nice looking web-app alternative, the result leaves much to be desired.

The basic gist of Latitude is similar in some respects to BrightKite—fire up the app and it sends your GPS coordinates to Google. It also lets you view a map showing the coordinates of all your friends, wherever they might be located. If you're trying to meet up with friends on a Friday night, for instance, it makes finding them much easier. Like BrightKite, users can control who can see the location information and just how accurate it is—helpful for avoiding awkward confrontations with that stalker-y blind date from last week.

Google makes native clients for Android, Blackberry, Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms, but Apple apparently wasn't having any of that on the iPhone. "We worked closely with Apple to bring Latitude to the iPhone in a way Apple thought would be best for iPhone users," wrote Mat Balez, Product Manager with the Google Mobile Team. "After we developed a Latitude application for the iPhone, Apple requested we release Latitude as a web application in order to avoid confusion with Maps on the iPhone, which uses Google to serve maps tiles."

Luckily, Mobile Safari supports the W3C Geolocation API, and ties it in with iPhone OS's Core Location, so it makes a web-based Latitude possible. One annoying side effect, though, is that you have to keep approving Safari to use Core Location whenever you load a website using the Geolocation API. And, despite the iPhone-optimized delivery, I found the Latitude web app performance to be less than stellar. Unlike other mobile platforms, Apple also doesn't offer a way for third-party apps—and this extends to web apps—to run in the background, which prevents Latitude from updating your GPS coordinates if you fire up another app. It will continue to broadcast your location, on the other hand, as long as it is the currently active tab in Mobile Safari.

With so many limitations, though, Latitude doesn't quite achieve the set-it-and-forget-it ease that makes most such apps handy. You can use it to check and see if any friends are nearby, but if those friends are using an iPhone, you're only liable to see the location where they last remembered to load Latitude. Overall, the concept is interesting, and has the potential to be useful and fun. Ultimately, the iPhone version simply doesn't quite deliver the full Latitude experience.

READ MORE - Google Latitude now available for iPhone—via the web

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New ‘Google’ phone an impressive upgrade

Saying “T-Mobile G1” isn’t too bad, but “T-Mobile myTouch 3G with Google” is a mouthful. Once you get past the name, the phone itself is an impressive follow-up to the first Android phone that was released last fall. The “myTouch 3G” is due out Aug. 5, and after initial testing of the phone, I find it’s a winning alternative to the iPhone, BlackBerry and the Palm Pre for those aren’t enamored with those choices.

The phone betters its older sibling in looks — sleeker and lighter — and performance with better battery life. Those improvements are mainly because the myTouch is a touchscreen-only phone; the G1 is touchscreen but also includes a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, which adds weight and drains energy, T-Mobile says. The myTouch weighs 4.1 ounces and has a rated talk-time battery life of up to six hours; the G1 is a heftier 5.6 ounces with a rated battery life of up to five hours, although it often didn’t last that long.

Battery life is a big issue with smartphones, with Wi-Fi and GPS radio use, Web surfing and downloads and e-mail all draining the power. T-Mobile says the battery in the myTouch is physically larger than the G1’s and also has better radio performance and power management, in large part because it doesn’t have a physical keyboard.

After eight hours of running the myTouch, including a few hours on standby, the battery meter said it was at 52 percent; and after 12 hours, it was at 29 percent. That said, I was running the phone through different paces, sometimes using Wi-Fi, which drains the battery more quickly, because I could not get 3G, or faster wireless, network service in my area.

The phone’s 3.2-inch display is the same size as the G1’s and both phones, made by HTC, use the same Qualcomm 528-MHz processor. The myTouch is 4.45 inches high, 2.19 inches wide and .58 of an inch thick, compared to its predecessor, which is 4.6 inches high, 2.1 inches wide and .62 of an inch thick. It feels good in hand, just the right size, and is narrower than the iPhone, which is 2.4 inches wide.

The myTouch comes with 512 megabytes of internal memory, double the internal memory of the G1, and a pre-installed 4GB removable microSD card.

Less bulk is definitely welcome. But the sleeker profile comes with some tradeoffs. The seven buttons, including a trackball, on the front of the device feel a little crowded and too close together for comfort, unlike the buttons on the G1.

The myTouch's on-screen menus also can be a little dicey, especially when dealing with e-mail. It's a little too easy to hit the wrong key. On-screen buttons for "reply," "reply all" and "delete" are positioned at the bottom of the screen close to the hardware buttons.

The "delete" button in particular is near the physical "back" button, and several times I thought I hit that button, but found I had inadvertently hit "delete," and away went my e-mail.

The touchscreen itself is very responsive, and as with the G1, users touch, tap, swipe and scroll, and have use of on-screen menus, as well as a trackball to navigate. The accelerometer, the motion sensor that switches the screen from portrait to landscape mode, is also quite nimble.

READ MORE - New ‘Google’ phone an impressive upgrade

BlackBerry Desktop coming to the Mac

At long last, Research In Motion is bringing its BlackBerry Desktop software to Mac OS X.

In a blog post on Monday, RIM announced that a version of its smartphones' desktop software will be released this September for Apple computers.

According to the smartphone maker, users will be able to sync their iTunes playlists, calendars, contacts, notes, and tasks from their Mac. They will also have the option of adding applications, updating the BlackBerry when new software is made available, and managing multiple handsets on their Apple computers.

Although users will be excited to know BlackBerry software is finally coming to their Mac, some of those users might not be satisfied. RIM said only Mac OS X versions 10.5.5 and up will be supported, meaning that Mac users who haven't updated Leopard or those running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger likely won't be able to run the software.

Unlike iPhone software, which can be installed in both Windows PCs and Macs, RIM's BlackBerry software has been available only for Windows; a third-party tool has been required to enable communication between Macs and BlackBerrys.

If you want to be notified when the software is available when it's released in September, you'll need to sign up on RIM's Mac page.

READ MORE - BlackBerry Desktop coming to the Mac

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Synaptics ClearPad 3000 Touchscreen

Synaptics has shown of their latest touchscreen technology, the Synaptics ClearPad 3000 Touchscreen. The Synaptics ClearPad 3000 Touchscreen can register up to 10 fingers simultaneously, it is designed to be used in high end mobile phones like the iPhone, as well as hand held gaming consoles.

The Synaptics ClearPad 3000 Touchscreen has 48 sensing channels which means it can pick up 10 fingers at once, and apparently the technology will scale up to 8 inch screens.

It certainly looks very impressive from the video, hopefully we will see it in mobile phones next year and who know we many even see it in the next generation iPhone.

READ MORE - Synaptics ClearPad 3000 Touchscreen

E-Readers: The End of Bookstores?

I don't buy books anymore. That is I don't buy hard copies of books anymore. I've been an eReader user for more than three years. It started with the Sony eReader and then moved to the Kindle (both I and II). At first, my transition to digital book consumption was gradual. I'd often be reading (and buying) hard copy books at the same time I was getting used to the experience of the digital platforms.

Six months ago, I cut the cord for good. I love my Kindle. As many who have embraced digital eReaders have reported, I quickly found myself reading more than I ever have in my life. Other than the pain of having to shut down during takeoff and landing periods in flight (at some point that has to be solved), I have not looked back.

One of the curious byproducts of my new book consumption behavior is that I actually am spending more time than I ever have before in bookstores. Wait a minute, you might say, if you are reading and buying digital books, why would you be doing that?

Reading is a momentum-based activity. The more you do it, the more your want to do it. I am constantly seeking my next read. While there are many great places online to read about new books, there is nothing that can capture or replicate the exploring wonders of a good book store. That is, if you don't know what you are searching for, the digital medium can fall short in comparison to the retail experience.

A good bookstore brings an incredible wealth of inventory to bear. The ability to "sample" in person is far better than in digital format. Great bookstores are also strong gathering points for discussion and guidance from experts and actual authors.

Here's the problem. The culmination of my bookstore experience is the process of taking my Kindle out and downloading the book(s) I've discovered through the wonders of the retail experience. That's financial ruin for the bookstore.

I wonder how common that experience is. If it's as frequent as I believe, Amazon is getting one of the great free rides on the back of Border's, Barnes & Noble, and all of the wonderful independent bookshops that help people find the right books. Think about it, the bookstore helps the consumer decide which book he wants, but the transaction goes to Amazon.

Perhaps the bookstore needs to embrace the inevitable reality that its model as it exists now is not sustainable. For one thing, bookstores could devise an on-site customer digital download path where the store can extract a negotiated fee for all sales it drives to Amazon. I certainly would do what I could to help the store get credit (and payment) for the service they provided me.

One thing's for sure: I don't ever want to go back to reading and buying hard copy books. I also don't want to give up the benefit of the bookstore retail experience in helping me find what to read next. It's all yet another example of the rapid disruption brought on by the digital revolution. However, it's also an opportunity to rethink and evolve long-standing models into those that can thrive into the future.

READ MORE - E-Readers: The End of Bookstores?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Firefox improves, but still loses its edge

The war of the Web browsers has taken another turn with the release of a major new version of Mozilla Firefox, the No. 2 browser in market share, but No. 1 in the hearts of many of the most knowledgeable computer users.

This new edition of Firefox is the third big new browser release this year, following new editions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Apple's Safari. Unlike Firefox, these two browsers come bundled with the two major computer platforms, Windows and Mac. By contrast, Mozilla must convince users to download Firefox, which comes in essentially identical versions for both systems. And it has done a reasonably good job, garnering by most estimates around 23 percent market share, versus between 60 percent and 70 percent for IE, which is by far the leader. Meanwhile, Google — a former Firefox supporter — has joined the battle with its nascent Chrome browser, which so far runs only on Windows, but is due on the Mac one day and is to morph into a whole new operating system next year. And there are other very capable browsers with small user bases, the most notable of which is Opera.

I've been using Firefox since its inception years ago, and have been testing this latest iteration, version 3.5, since it emerged June 30. I can continue to recommend it as a fine way to surf the Web. The new version is improved, and worked very well for me on both my Windows and Macintosh computers.

But, in this round of the war, Mozilla's product no longer stands out as clearly superior, for two reasons. First, Firefox has lost its traditionally biggest advantage: greater speed than its rivals. While Firefox 3.5 is about twice as fast as the previous version 3.0, and handily beat Internet Explorer 8 in my tests, it lagged behind both Safari 4.02 and the beta edition of Chrome 2.0 a bit in most test scenarios. Overall, Safari was fastest in most of my tests, both on Mac and Windows (yes, Apple makes a little-known version of Safari for Windows).

In fact, Mozilla no longer is claiming to be the fastest browser. It now prefers to say it is one of what it calls the "modern" browsers, along with Safari and Chrome, whose under-the-hood technologies make them better at handling a growing breed of sophisticated Internet-based applications that mimic traditional computer programs like photo editors and word processors and spreadsheets.

Second, this version of Firefox has relatively few new features, and some of them are merely catch-ups to those introduced earlier by Microsoft and Apple. Most notable among these is a private browsing mode, first popularized in Safari, and greatly expanded in IE, which allows you to traverse Web sites without leaving traces on your computer to show what you've been doing.

Mozilla says its main goal from now on will be to turn Firefox into the ideal platform for running Web-based applications. It shares the belief, also fervently embraced by Google, that consumers will gradually migrate away from programs stored on their computers' hard disks to those stored in "the Cloud," the industry's term for the servers that run the Internet.

To show this, the new Firefox can do a few new tricks, like streaming video directly from Web pages without requiring plug-ins like Adobe's Flash. Alas, this works only with obscure video formats little used on the Web at the moment.

Firefox 3.5 does include some new features, in addition to private browsing.

It can pinpoint your location, so that any properly configured Web site can serve up locally relevant content. It has a nice option that lets you "forget" any Web page in your history, wiping out all traces you've been there, even if you neglected

to turn on private browsing mode beforehand. And it can recover your open tabs after a crash.

Also, Firefox continues to lead its rivals in the number and variety of third-party add-ons that enhance browsing in myriad ways, such as adding features to sites like Twitter or making bookmarking easier.

As for speed, I tested Firefox 3.5 against its main rivals by timing how long it took to launch into the same home page, and how long it took to completely load popular Web sites like Facebook and YouTube. I tested how long it took to completely load folders containing numerous sports and news sites simultaneously. I also ran an industry benchmark test that measures the browsers' speed at handling an important Web language called JavaScript. I did these tests on the same home network on both a Dell and an Apple computer.

While Firefox won a few of these tests, Safari and Chrome won more of them. In most cases, the speed differences weren't large, except in the case of IE, which was dramatically slower than the others. But this is the first new version of Firefox I've tested that didn't win most of the tests.

Firefox is still a great Web browser, and still much faster than its main rival, Internet Explorer. But its edge is being eroded.

Walter Mossberg writes on personal technology for the Wall Street Journal. His column runs Sundays in the Times.

READ MORE - Firefox improves, but still loses its edge

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Microsoft Window 7: Is New OS The Beginning Of XP's End?

Windows 7's Oct. 22 release will be an exciting day in Redmond, but IT folks should mark it for another reason. It's the beginning of XP's end.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a raving XP fan. But Vista's flop gave us a long run with a relatively stable platform that actually got better over time. You can buy a new machine today with a clean XP SP3 image and have the same look and feel you had when XP came out in 2001.

A lot of companies are doing just that, with 70% of corporate desktops still running XP, Forrester finds.

Full Vista rollouts are rare, and instead most tend to have what Roy Atkinson, director of end-user support at the Jackson Laboratory, calls "Vista leak-out." Less than 5% of Jackson's several thousand desktops run Vista; most are on XP. "We only deployed Vista if there was a driver or application that clearly worked better," he says.

It would be nice to have the tighter security, 64-bit OS, and higher performance networking of Vista. But delays, bugs, hardware requirements, and bad market perception have held it back.

There's no need to jump off XP yet, but it's going to get harder to stick with it, especially later next year. Mainstream support for XP ended April 14. This means Microsoft doesn't have to release any new features or make any design changes. Security fixes will be released as needed, but non-security hot fixes won't be released to the public.

Phone support is available if you're willing to pay and if you bought extended support from Microsoft (that deadline was July 14).

"So what? I don't call them anyway," a particularly anti-Microsoft IT director says. He should read the support terms closely, because there's more here than the end of free phone support. This is Microsoft's official way of saying it can leave XP alone if it wants, ending all feature updates and enhancements.

XP could start to get shortchanged on feature development as soon as Oct. 22, when Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are released. The new Windows Server 2008 R2 features--including DirectAccess, which provides simplified remote access; BranchCache, an automated file-caching option for remote offices; and an updated offline folder synchronization capability--will only work with Windows 7 clients. No XP or Vista updates are planned.

If Microsoft adds any features for XP, it would have to add them for Vista, too, and Microsoft is moving as fast as it can away from Vista. Windows 7's October ship date is three months earlier than the company's targeted January 2010 release date. Businesses can get it Sept. 1. Microsoft early? I have the same stunned reaction as when my 6-year-old cleans his room, and I find myself asking, "What's he hiding?"

READ MORE - Microsoft Window 7: Is New OS The Beginning Of XP's End?

Craving Pizza? Just Download the App

In a move sure to thrill its laziest customers, Pizza Hut unveiled Friday its new iPhone application that allows users to order pizza without so much as dialing a number. Simply type in your order, then sit back and wait until it arrives.

For those bored with the traditional methods of ordering pizza, the app also has some unconventional tools. If you want extra sauce on your wings, for instance, you shake the phone like a bottle.

And, for those who find ordering pizza too sober a task, the app comes with a racing game named "Hut Racer."

Pizza Hut hopes the app will appeal to customers who rely on their iPhones, said Brian Niccol, Pizza Hut's chief marketing officer.

"As more of our customers are integrating the iPhone and iPod touch into their everyday lives, Pizza Hut wants to be right there with them," Niccol said in a statement. "As a longtime category leader in innovation, creating an App Store application is just one more way we are helping customers place orders in a way that best fits their mobile lifestyle."

And there are myriad other programs (apps for short) taking advantage of the growth of wireless handheld devices.

Here's a small sampling:

Hard of Hearing? Just Grab Your iPhone

People don't normally equate the iPhone with medical innovation, but with the June release of an application that doubles as a hearing aid, they may have to reconsider.

The application, which is called soundAMP, is made by Ginger Labs, a California-based software applications developer, and is available in the iTunes store for $9.99.

Though it's not an actual hearing aid, soundAMP achieves a similar effect. Users just launch the application and then plug in a pair of earphones. The application takes in sound from a microphone (be it built-in, in a headset or from elsewhere) and then amplifies and filters it.

Then you can adjust the volume to your liking with a slider on the touchscreen. You also can replay five or 30 seconds by tapping the appropriate button on the screen. Hearing aids often may be associated with the more mature, but soundAMP's developers insist their product is age neutral -- of equal value to the octogenarian hard of hearing and the college student stuck in the back of a large lecture class.

(As a caveat, if you really are losing your hearing, you should probably visit a doctor -- soundAMP may be novel, but medically certified it is not.)

READ MORE - Craving Pizza? Just Download the App

Apple And The Palm Pre: It Was Sync Or Swim

Apple's decision to ban the Palm Pre from accessing the iTunes store is a move by the iPod maker to ensure that it continues to siphon consumer dollars into its own pockets at every end of the spectrum.

Earlier this week an Apple spokesperson confirmed that Apple iTunes update 8.2.1 would make a concerted effort to ban non-iPod and non-iPhone hardware, including the Palm Pre, from syncing with the iTunes store.

The update appears to be a retaliation against Palm, which announced iTunes syncing abilities in May, before the hardware was launched.

It shouldn't be too surprising to anyone that Apple has made the move to cut the Palm Pre off at the pass. After all, Apple makes no bones about the fact that it is a business designed to make money. Mac and Apple devotees understand that they are paying a premium for the hardware they purchase because it is completely different from anything else on the market.

In many cases, Apple's hardware drives its software sales. But Apple's software also drives hardware sales. And Apple makes money at both ends. The iPod and iPhone maker makes a margin on every device it sells. Apple also gets a cut of sales through the iTunes store. The company even takes a percentage of each app sold through the App Store.

Living in Apple's ecosystem means playing by Apple's rules, and ultimately that means lining the pockets of Steve Jobs and cohorts. That's no surprise and, for many, that's perfectly acceptable.

Jon Rubinstein, chairman and CEO of Palm, was once an Apple executive and one of Jobs' advisers. In fact, Rubinstein was in charge of the iPod division at Apple before he left the company. It seems fair to say that Rubinstein is in a unique position to know exactly how the gears turn at Apple.

Yet Palm still made the decision to publicly announce that the Pre would sync with the iTunes store, essentially throwing down a gauntlet. Maybe Rubinstein thought his past relationship with Apple and Jobs would give him a pass. If that's the case, he obviously thought wrong.

Apple refreshes or tweaks its iPod lineup on almost a yearly basis to entice loyal customers into upgrading to the latest and greatest. While the refresh cycle may in part be due to new technology, it would be naive to think it wasn't also an attempt to line its own coffers.

And Rubinstein and Palm should have known better than to try and dip its hand into one of Apple's profitable cookie jars.
READ MORE - Apple And The Palm Pre: It Was Sync Or Swim

Firefox 3.5 Makes Browsing Better

Internet users are partying like it's the 90s, when the browser wars were roaring and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and Netscape were fighting to become the dominant window on the Web. These days, Microsoft Internet Explorer is in the lead -- just like then -- but we're also seeing an efflorescence of alternatives: Mozilla Firefox (which counts Netscape as an ancestor), Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Mobile Safari, and the venerable Opera. Into the fray comes a new version: Firefox 3.5. This build offers significant improvements, including upgraded Web technology, geolocation, privacy tools, and tab management. The browser also improves performance over previous versions.

Private Browsing

Firefox 3.5 implements private browsing, catching up with features already available in Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, and Opera. When you're in private browsing mode, the browser switches off logging your history, cookies, user names, and passwords.

Even in private browsing, your Web traffic isn't guaranteed private. If your network manager is tracking your browsing on the server, private browsing does nothing to block that. Also, the servers you visit may be keeping records of your visit, especially if you log on to access the server.

Firefox's implementation of private browsing has a different user interface than competing browsers. The chief difference: When you switch to private browsing, Firefox shuts down all your existing browser windows and tabs, leaving only the private browser window open. Other browsers leave existing windows and tabs open and open a new window for private browsing.

I like the way Firefox closes non-private windows when in private browsing; I'm less likely to accidentally enter private information in a non-private window. However, other people might find it time consuming to switch back to non-private browsing, especially if they have a lot of open tabs and windows that need to be reloaded. It's a matter of personal preference.

If you forget to switch to private browsing before you visit a site, Firefox 3.5 lets you erase your tracks -- just go to the history menu, open "show all history," find the page you want to hide, and click "forget about this site." That's handy for those of us who are paranoid and absent-minded ("My enemies are conspiring against me -- but I can't remember who.")

READ MORE - Firefox 3.5 Makes Browsing Better

Informative Websites For iPhone Users

As we all know, iPhone is in vogue at home and abroad for its advanced and incomparable features. With the advent of iPhone, a lot of affiliated-industries are coming into existence. There, we can notice that iPhone-related websites are as popular as iPhone. Through them, we can get the latest iPhone news and share our opinions as well as communicate with other iPhone users. Here I picked out several prominent websites for reader's reference. To tell you the truth, each of them are extremely helpful, your horizon will be broadened a lot after viewing these well-organized and informative websites.


This is iPhone's official website which garners every detailed information about Apple Inc's products including iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac OS, iPod Nano. From hardware to software, basic steps to thorny problems, is just like a versatile expert provides users effective measures to deal with advanced iPhone. The information is comprehensive in content and easy to understand. It is indeed a good place for newbie to learn the overall information about his new iPhone.

But there are some cons in this site, it tells readers all things that is positive to Apple's products. So after viewing, you will find that everything it described is very good, it makes you feels the devices it has are magic. But actually, they are not. They still have a lot of problems to be exposed.

2. MacRumors

From the name, we can have a guess about what this website do about iPhone. In earlier days, MacRumors is an aggregator of Mac-related rumors and reports around the Mac web. Later, it started to include everything about Apple's. Users can find support for many Apple-related issues, as well as talk to other Mac users about their encountered problems. Their tagline is "News and Rumors You Care About."In this site, you can find some news both positive and negative. Furthermore, everyone can express his idea and experience freely and openly.

In my humble opinion, there is only one disadvantage in Macrumors. That is some news are created without any evident. It is easy to confuse readers with those false information.

3. AppleInsider

AppleInsider is a semi-renowned news and rumor website which focuses on Apple Inc. It includes a forum for discussion of news stories and other community news. The most impressive thing is the content in Appleinsider is very rounded and new. The update is also very quick. People can exchange thoughts in its forum part.

AppleInsider is less popular than other big websites. The style is a little simple.


This is a little new blogsite which is only oriented to iPhone. If Appleinsider is a semi-renowned website, then iPhonemofo may be the quarter-renowned one. It categorizes the content into different sections including Accessories, Apps, Games, Shop, Top Stories, Tips and Tricks, videos. It is very convenient for readers to look for the exact information he wants. I especially like the Video section. The interesting and magical videos are very spellbinding. It is a visual feast for iPhone fans in Videos section at iPhonemofo.

This websites is not influential and the update is not done in time.

Still, there are other websites related to iPhone. For instance, The iPhone Blog, The iPhone Alley, Engadget, and the like. They are also excellent in providing information and exchanging ideas. All of them have their own special characteristics to attract readers.

It is amazing to surf those webs from which you can timely master the new dynamics in iPhone walks, know how to make app by yourself and make the most of your iPhone by following their tips. Moreover, your problems can be solved by many professional and amateur iPhone users. I highly appreciate those websites' contribution to readers and strongly recommend readers to find valuable things in these websites.

READ MORE - Informative Websites For iPhone Users

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The SIM card and My Curiosity's Satisfaction

Have you ever thought what’s the deal with that golden-colored plate, inserted to your mobile phone? I did, so I looked for the information and now I can share with you what I found out.

When I was a little girl, I was always interested to know what is inside of the different devices and tools my dad was keeping in his garage. I wanted to know what he stores in his different sizes boxes, what is in his furniture. My dad used to spend a lot of time in his garage, the thing which often made my mom be mad at him.

Being a kid, I was thinking: “As my dad, an adult, is interested to spend so much time with his spare parts for his cars, for the radio and for his tools, there is something interesting about them, my mom doesn’t know about”.

So, whenever I had a chance, I was spending my time alone in my father’s garage, trying to find out his secret. I wasn’t able to understand what was keeping him there, but I got curious and interested to get to know about all the staff, which was kept in garage.

My curiosity had so much place to get satisfaction. Sometimes this curiosity led me to disclose the radio, my father was listening to all the time, being in the garage. For sure, I even tried to repair it several times until it stopped working. Even now my father has in his garage 5 broken radios , which I tried to repair!

This curiosity is still with me and I am glad for that. For sure, it affected my computer, as when I purchased it I didn’t have any knowledge in hardware and software. I didn’t even know the difference between them. But I wanted to know what computer is. This made me try different programs, go to different setups and learn to manage them. There were several times, when my good friends had to come and repair my computer, but the good news is that I learned so many new things!

Guess what is my next curiosity technical obsession? I can tell you. This is my mobile phone. In my country I had to buy a phone and the number for it separately. I was curious to understand how they get connected. And I got to know that there is a golden-colored plate, which should be inserted in the mobile phone, which contains my number. Looking carefully on that plate, I didn’t find out anything. So, I gave up for a while with the only understanding that that plate is called SIM card.

For a not long time ago I started to work for a company which provides different software, including the mobile phones software. There again I heard about this golden colored plate. Studying this company‘s products, I found out that this plate contains a chip, which has information stored on it. I saw this chip inserted on smart cards and tokens, they provide software for too.

First I found out that my card’s memory is partially filled with the wireless connection provider’s information and that there is a free space available for the data about my contacts, I can add and manage. Provider inserted my phone number on the card, its name and other data, which can not be deleted or replaced by myself. The other part of the memory can be used for data storage, like my phone numbers or SMSs. Some of the information, which I may insert, can be stored on this card, another one - on the phone’s memory.

Now I wanted to get access to my personal data on the card. I was thinking for a longer time about the opportunity to do it with the card management software on my computer, which could help me easily make order in my phone entries (like editing some numbers, deleting other and adding new once).

The company I work for provided me with the opportunity to test a easy-to-use software, called Dekart SIM Manager. This software helped me easily get inside my SIM card. You can imagine how happy I was that I finally was getting a chance to access my phone data by using personal computer instead of phone’s keypad! I was anticipating my long time wish accomplishment. It was so exciting!

Thanks to Dekart SIM Manager I got to know that my card has protection tools, like PIN codes. I heard of them and was always confuse about using them. Now with this friendly designed software I was able easily to manage these codes too.

One new thing I was able to find out from the developer of this software, is that it also supports the Universal SIM cards found in third-generation generation mobile wireless systems, as well as different types of GSM SIM cards, containing more than 250 phonebook entries.

My needs as an individual user were totally satisfied by this software’s opportunities to manage my contacts and codes. I think it may be for real use for GSM operators, requiring such special features as possibility to view SIM serial number, PIN1 state, technical data of the phonebook, its memory size and the number of free entries.

READ MORE - The SIM card and My Curiosity's Satisfaction


Over 95% of the people and businesses that I speak with have experienced data loss. However the sad fact is that the majority of businesses are woefully unprepared and do not understand the serious risk of data loss.
Do you have a disaster recovery plan?

The data that you store on your computer can be lost in many ways. Many people are not aware of the various ways that their data can be placed in jeopardy.

First, there are the obvious ways:

Physical damage to the computer, such as fire or water damage, is one surefire way to lose all the data on your computer. Although insurance may cover the physical damage to your machine(s), and you may be able to replace the actual hardware, no insurance policy can resurrect your data.

Another common way that individuals lose the data they have worked so hard to build up is THEFT. Much like damage done to your computer via various natural disasters, insurance may cover the physical hardware, but no policy will be able to save the information stored on your hard drive and other physical media.

Without some form of backup solution, your data is at risk every day.

There are many other things that can happen that can cause partial or full data loss. Other common occurrences are:

Data corruption (failed CRC or MD5 checks),

Hard drive failure (the older a hard disk gets the closer you are getting to the MTBF, or “mean time between failure” that every disk is rated for at the factory),

OS failure (it is not uncommon for a machine to fail to reboot after having critical system files replaced, such as during the application of a Windows Service Pack or driver update).

Human error – simply accidentally deleting a file or directory happens more often than you would think. Not to mention the “not so accidental” deletion by a disgruntled employee.

Viruses and worms – even though protection for these digital pests is readily available and in general use, loss of data associated with them is still widespread.

These are just a few of the pitfalls that can plague the computer that has not had backups done in a timely manner.

Right about now, you may be asking yourself: “What can I do?” Actually, there is one simple solution to all your data integrity needs: offsite data backup.

Unlike backups you may be used to doing with tape drives or other removable media, offsite data backup provides a much more transparent, easy to use solution, as well as having the added security of storing your files in a secure location that is guaranteed to keep them safe (remember, if your office building catches fire, not only does your workstation lose it’s data, but your tape backups will most likely be destroyed as well, barring the use of expensive fireproof storage.

Offsite data backup is easy to set up and protects your data in the most secure, economical way possible. If you are considering implementing a data backup for your company or personal computers do yourself a favor and consider using an offsite secure backup service. This is the simplest and most effective form of disaster recovery.

Your DATA is your LIFE. Protect it.


Adware, Spyware and Monitoring Software-–What's What?

Everybody seems to have heard about spyware now. Media
publish loads of surveys, "how to"s, and horror stories
about the victims. Readers are supposed to know exactly what
terms like "spyware", "adware", "malware" mean. Alas, their
meanings may vary from article to article, from author to
author-- some of them still use these terms interchangeably.
It is not correct. Being an employee of an anti-spyware
developing company, I guess I know this matter well enough
to point that out.

The spyware problem is much broader and more complex than we
think it to be; it isn't all about unwanted advertising,
pop-ups, etc., etc. It isn't all about privacy, either.
Adware by no means equals spyware. One needn't be a genius
to suspect it. Adware is more annoying than really dangerous
-- though it slows down PCs and drives people crazy.
Programs used for targeted advertising, such as adware or
cookies, make only a tiny part of existing programs which
are usually called spyware, and the purposes they are used
for are the most innocuous, I should say.

In my opinion, these programs should better be called
"trackware" or something like that -- they keep track of PC
users' activities (to target advertising better) but not
actually spy. You disagree? Well, your browsing habits,
things you buy online--all this stuff certainly is your
private business. If somebody else uses this info to bombard
you with ads, you get angry. You are quite right. One more
question: what private info you value more--your browsing
habits or your credit card number?

Social security numbers, credit card numbers, your bank
accounts, passwords, another valuable (in the direct sense)
data--can easily be stolen by means of software programs
specially created for stealing data. That's what I usually
mean when talking about "spyware." These programs spy--they
log every your keystroke or mouse click, make screenshots,
compile a neat log-file and send it to the person who
installed the program (as a rule, remotely) on your PC.

Compared with keyloggers, adware seems pretty innocent, doesn't it? Even hijacking a browser looks like petty offence. To
visualize difference between adware stuff and keylogging
spyware just compare a juvenile delinquent and, say, a

In view of that, software products which make possible
unwanted advertising are rather distant relatives of real
spyware. Cousins, so to speak. Second cousins twice removed,
to be more precise. What about brothers and sisters?

Spyware has very much in common with monitoring software --
legitimate software products widely used for parental
control, workplace surveillance, Internet access control,
etc. They pretty often are based on the same technology.
They are so similar, that a spy program can sometimes be
used for monitoring purposes, and vice versa. So, what is
the difference, if there is any?

There is a vague line between monitoring products and spy
products -- this is the line between security management and
security violation. However, there are two specific program
functions that are typical to spy programs.

First, it is possible to carry out preliminary configuration
of the monitoring module (it is usually called client, agent
etc.), getting a compiled executable file as a result. This
file, when installed, doesn't display any messages or create
windows on the screen. It "hides itself" and "shows no signs
of life". It is impossible to notice whether the particular
PC is being secretly monitored or not. Of course, the user
is not aware of being spied -- until the consequences show

Second, spy software always has built-in means of remote
installation; as a rule, the pre-configured module (agent)
is installed into the target PC remotely. Then the files
with obtained information are sent via local network or
emailed to the person who installed the spy program.

Last, but not least-- spyware is always used illicitly and
behind the user's back-- here monitoring is performed by a
person who has no right for it. Unlike spyware, legally used
monitoring programs are almost never used secretly. Though
in many states your boss doesn't break any law when he
installs monitoring devices or software without your consent
and never tells you about it, it happens not very often. As
a rule, people at work are aware of being under
surveillance. Managers are very likely to tell a new
employee that there are things that he or she had better not
do -- because there are means of finding that out. Kids know
what websites they had better not visit--for the same
Remove these functions -- and you will get a monitoring
program instead of spyware. If it is impossible to
pre-configure the monitoring module and install it remotely;
if you should have administrator privilege to install the
program, it is monitoring software, not spyware.

Though the basic principle is often the same, purposes
differ greatly. Monitoring software is most frequently used
in large and middle-sized companies to ensure information
security and local network accountability. At home more and
more parents install it as a "life jacket" for their
web-surfing kids. You probably use such a program already,
or going to. Use it, but remember about the illegitimate
relative of so useful and absolutely legal monitoring
program installed on your own PC.

READ MORE - Adware, Spyware and Monitoring Software-–What's What?

Have You Ever Wondered About Cookies?

Do you remember the first time you was offered a cookie
from a web site? If you were new to the Internet it was a
surprise. A web site wanted to put a cookie on your

Maybe your first thoughts were, “What’s a cookie? Should I
accept it or reject it?"

Some sites never asked to give you a cookie... Other sites
required your acceptance of cookies to get information, to
read articles or look through their products or get their free

According to Netscape, "Cookies are a general mechanism
which server side connections (such as CGI scripts) can
use to both store and retrieve information on the client side
of the connection."

Most cookies are set once and then go away when you turn
off your browser. The other type of cookie, the persistent
cookie, is set and remains on your hard drive until either
your space for cookies is full or the time stamp on it expires.

A site has access to any information you provide (including
information like your IP address, browser type, and the page
that referred you to their site, as well as forms you fill out)
without using any cookies at all. So, it's more important to
know the privacy policies of a site than to worry about
whether they use cookies.

Cookies are small pieces of information gathered from you
and/or your computer by a web server and stored in your
computer, ready for future access by the server or web site.
Cookies are embedded in the HTML information flowing
back and forth between your computer and the web sites
and servers.

What’s The Purpose of Cookies? They allow user side
customization of web information. For example, cookies are
used to personalize web sites. They allow you to participate
in surveys, contests... And, making sure you participate only
once... And to store shopping lists of items you have
selected while browsing through a list of products or a
virtual shopping mall.

Some sites require YOU accept cookies to access their
information, tips or articles from their web site. Cookies
make use of specific information you prefer. That specific
information is transmitted by your web server into your
computer cookie file so the information is available for later
access by itself and other servers.

In most cases, not only does the storage of personal
information into your cookie file go unnoticed, so does
access to it. Web servers automatically gain access to
relevant cookies whenever you establish a connection to

Cookies are based on a two-stage process. First, the
cookie is stored in your computer sometimes without your
consent or knowledge. But... On Netscape browsers you
can go to preferences, set your browser to alert you before
accepting a cookie. On Internet Explorer follow the
Tools/Internet Options/Security menu to set cookie
preferences. It's your choice.

For example... Some web pages are customizable so you
can select categories of interest to you from the web page.
The web server then creates a cookie that is a string of text
containing your preferences, and puts this small cookie text
file in your computer.

If your web browser is set to receive cookies... the cookie
text is stored on your computer in a file called a cookie file.
This happens without your consent unless your have set
your browser to notify you before accepting a cookie and
before it is stored on your computer.

Would you like to see your cookie file?

On a Macintosh you can do a find for 'magiccookie' on your
hard drive...

On a PC do a find for 'cookies.txt' on your hard drive.

Each cookie file is a small text file. After you find the file you
can open it by double clicking it. Looking at the files doesn’t
tell you much unless you get deeper into writing and setting

Remember... a site only knows what information you’ve
entered and your browser type and ISP. Cookies are neither
good nor bad, they can provide convenience for you and do
serve useful functions on the web.

You CAN delete the entire cookies file on your computer if
cookies concern you. Just find the file and delete it. Then set
your browser preferences to NOT accept cookies.

"I’ve always accepted cookies and have noticed no bad
effects. So my personal preference is to continue accepting
them,"... Now It’s Your Choice!

READ MORE - Have You Ever Wondered About Cookies?

10 Secrets to a Healthy Computer and a Happier You

There comes a time in a person’s life where no matter how much you fight it time takes its toll and we begin to slow down in how we perform our daily activities. However, in order to extend our youthful glow and energy levels it is important to eat right, exercise, and keep a positive outlook on life.

Now you may ask what has any of that got to do with “Secrets To A Healthy Computer?”

Well, in a way we’re all just like a computer. If you neglect to take care of yourself you soon will cease to function properly and the many tasks that once were easy to do now take twice as long to accomplish and often require you to rest or “reboot” after a malfunction.

I can’t tell you what foods to eat or what exercises to perform because I am not a nutritionist. Although, with my experiences in the personal computer field I can share with you some tips of how to keep that rectangle box of circuitry that sits within sights range functioning at maximum performance as long as time will allow.

Some important steps to follow are….

Make certain that your computer is located in a well ventilated area and that all air vents are unobstructed to prevent overheating and premature failure to any internal components.

Clean out the dust build-up at least every 6 months from the inside of the computer case including case vents, power supply vents, and all visible circuitry with a few cans of compressed air that can be purchased from any major computer store or electronics outlet. This will help reduce the chances of overheating and circuitry damage.

Before cleaning just be certain to always unplug the computer from the wall outlet and never physically contact the circuitry inside the computer case to prevent damage.

Be prepared for an unsuspected failure by always making backups of any important data that you do not and can not afford to lose.

I personally keep updated backups of my website and even store the disks at a remote location away from my every day use computers just in case a disaster were to occur and my main computers were destroyed resulting in the need for those lost files.

Purchase and install a well known anti-virus program that can be regularly updated with the latest virus definitions and ran during boot-up to help protect your computer from being the victim of an unwanted infestation.

Every few months or so run your computer’s “Scandisk” program followed by the “Defragmenter” program to maximize the efficiency of your hard drive.

If you are not certain of how to use these utilities and being that the steps to execute these programs varies slightly from one operating system to the other it would be easiest to simply use the “Help” option that can be found by clicking on the START button found on your computers desktop.

The START menu will open up a drop-down-box that should display the “Help” option. By going here you can enter the keywords that deal with the answers to the subject you are searching for.

Run your computers “Disk Cleanup” utility every other week or so. If set the “Disk Cleanup” utility will automatically empty the recycling bin and recover some wasted disk space by removing the internet temporary files that seem to always accumulate.

Again, use the “Help” option if you are uncertain of how to perform this task.

Never smoke near a computer because the cooling fans will pull the smoke into the case where it can coat the inside parts of the computer with a residue which in turn can damage sensitive components.

Place the computer case in an area where it will not be accidentally kicked or bumped to prevent the loosening of cables and damage to internal parts.

Invest in a high quality surge protector to provide your computer and monitor against voltage spikes or “surges” that can dramatically shorten the life of your system. Just like most items in a store, “You get what you pay for”. So don’t skimp out on this important device!

Its also not a bad idea to invest in a surge protector that includes what is called a “Data Line Protector” which allows you to connect your telephone lines to and serves the same purpose for the telephone line to your modem just like the surge protector does for the electrical household current lines.

Finally, if you plan on being away from home for more that a few days at a time or if there is a thunderstorm brewing in your area it is a very wise decision to always unplug all electrical lines and modem telephone lines from your system. Even with a surge protector installed it is possible that such a large voltage spike such as one caused by a lightening strike could prove fatal to any computer system.

If you follow these simple steps the outcome is a healthy computer that will stay by your side and treat you well which also results in a happier you.

READ MORE - 10 Secrets to a Healthy Computer and a Happier You

Hacker accesses email of Twitter employees, and tells all

A person going by the name of Hacker Croll has distributed hundreds of private documents they obtained from hacking into the private email of Twitter employees.

Much of the material is being distributed by TechCrunch and other sources. The action, which includes the release of 310 documents ranging from executive meeting notes, partner agreements and financial projections, amount to a corporate pillage that shows how important security plays now in the Internet age. Our writer Dean Takahashi has continued to write about how easy it is to hack email, web sites, and other electronic information (in fact Dean even built his own hacker software), but many people shirk taking extra security measures. To some extent, it’s human nature: Implementing security measures takes time and resources, and you’re never quite sure what the payoff will be.

But the attack is more significant for Twitter, because of the implications it could have for the millions of Twitter users. Increasingly, they’re using Twitter to send personal messages (using “direct message”), which are not intended for public consumption. Indeed, Twitter has been expanding to essentially become an email-like dashboard for some users — you can use it as a proxi instant messaging service. Your dirty secrets being revealed on the Internet by some ruthless hacker could become your biggest nightmare.

The latest incident may have started back in May, when there were reports that Twitter was hacked by someone who got into the accounts of several Twitter employees and then accessed the Twitter accounts of celebrities such as Britney Spears and Ashton Kutcher. The hacker posted screen shots of the accounts on a French message board, and they’ve surfaced more recently here (with translation here).

However, in a response to a inquiry by TechCrunch yesterday, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams suggests that the latest hack may have been unrelated to the May attack, saying it didn’t include getting access to Twitter accounts — but his response wasn’t entirely clear on that.

Here’s what he did concede: The email of an administrative employee was compromised, as was Williams’ wife’s Gmail account, which is where Williams says the Hacker got access to some of his credit cards and other information. The hacker also got into “a couple” other employees personal accounts (including Amazon, AT&T, Paypal and more):

In general, most of the sensitive information was personal rather than company-related. Obviously, this was highly distressing to myself, my wife, and other Twitter employees who were attacked. It was a good lesson for us that we are being targeted because we work for Twitter. We have taken extra steps to increase our security, but we know we can never be entirely comfortable with what we share via email.

The released documents also included stuff from meal preferences, calendars and phone logs of various Twitter employees, to more strategic projections such as plans for Twitter’s reality TV show, the Final Tweet. TechCrunch said it would not release a bunch of other documents that would be highly distressing, such as emails with details about prospective employees who had interviewed for jobs at Twitter but had remained at their existing jobs.

READ MORE - Hacker accesses email of Twitter employees, and tells all

Bing gaining on Google and Yahoo

NEW YORK ( -- Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, has been up and running for just a month, but it has already begun making waves in the lucrative search market.

Bing gained 0.4 percentage points of market share to 8.4% in June, according to a report released Wednesday by online data tracker comScore to analysts. Rival Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) remained at 65%, and second-place Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) fell to 19.6%, down from 20.1% in May.

June marked the first month since January in which Google did not gain market share.

Microsoft's search market share had been slipping for more than two years. At the same time, the company has struggled to make its online advertising unit profitable. The June results represent the biggest monthly jump in Microsoft's market share since June 2008, and it is the biggest share of the market the company has held since January.

It also brought Microsoft's share as close to Yahoo's as it has ever been, according to comScore data that goes back to January 2007.

That's significant, because comScore estimates that every percentage point of market share equals a swing of $100 million of revenue.

Bing's staying power. Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) reported Monday that it has seen an 8% rise in unique visitors to Bing since the search site replaced its predecessor, Live Search, on June 3.

But experts are skeptical about how long Microsoft's boost can last.

"Microsoft's gain is a function of its $150 million PR effort," said Sandeep Aggarwal, senior Internet research analyst with Collins Stewart. "Since it was highly publicized, Microsoft has created a new buzz, and users came to the site out of curiosity."

"All of those things suggest more of a temporary gain," Aggarwal added. "If Bing can be where it was at the start of the year at the end of the year, that would be a success for Microsoft."

Others think it's too early to tell whether Bing will be able to grow over time.

"The June move wasn't material enough to make any definitive statements as to whether Bing is a search market share game changer," wrote Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney in a client note. "We continue to view Bing as a very solid product, but one facing a very large uphill battle."

READ MORE - Bing gaining on Google and Yahoo

How to Protect a PC From Viruses

A Computer Virus is anything that replicates and duplicates itself on a hard disk drive when you do not wish for it to do so. These viruses can actively break into your system by hiding itself in a file that you open. Once a computer virus is running, it can infect other programs and documents as well. Hence, there is a need to keep a check on these viruses.

If you are looking for some really helpful tips that can save your PC against these viruses, then given below are some of the best tips that might really help you out:

1. First of all, install an Anti-Virus Software. It is a must for all the systems; it protects your systems against a number of Viruses that can harm your important data and information. A number of Anti-Virus Software are available in the market, some of them are: AVG Anti -Virus, Avast Anti-Virus and Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

2. Properly scan the attachments that you have received in an e-mail, and then only open them. They may contain infected files.

3. Always try and avoid programs and files from unknown sources including the Internet. If you follow this step, you may eliminate the risk of a number of traditional viruses.

4. Do not unnecessarily click on pop-up ads, unfamiliar emails and file attachments.

5. Scan your system regularly. Do it twice a week, in order to ensure proper safeguard against the viruses. If you don't feel secure about any file, scan it properly. Also scan USB flash drives and compact disks.

6. Visit Microsoft Update regularly and turn on automatic updating. Also use an Internet Firewall.

7. Always avoid P2P sharing software, these kinds of software are quite useful for movies and songs, and you might even end up downloading a song that has a keystroke logger attached to it.

8. Use complex and typical passwords to login, this would make it very difficult for a hacker to get into your computer and infect its operating system.

9. Keep in mind to secure your wireless network. At least set a basic security that requires a password, so that no one is able to connect your home network and access everything.

10. Always install trusted software. Always make sure that you download software from recognized sites only.

These are some of the tips that can really help you secure your PC, against the deadly viruses.

READ MORE - How to Protect a PC From Viruses

The Elements of an Operating System

This article is aimed at giving you an overview of the various elements which make up an operating system. Now as you are probably aware, an Operating System, whether it be Windows, Linux Or Mac, serves the purpose of giving us, the human user, a means to interact with the computer in a meaningful way.

Imagine, if you can, that an operating system is broken down into five layers. in the following list I'll start at the bottom most layer and work my way up to the very top.

Layer 1: The Kernel.

The kernel is the heart of the operating system. Amongst it's responsibilities are ensuring that each running process is given a fair amount of time to execute while a controlling the amount of resources each process can use.

Layer 2: Memory Management.

The name of this layer gives you a good idea what it is all about. It is the responsibility of this layer to share your computers physical memory among the processes which want to use it. It also has to manage such situations where there may not be enough physical memory to share out.

Layer 3: Input/Output.

On this layer all the physical communication between your computers hardware, such as disk drives, keyboards, mouses, screens and so on, takes place.

Layer 4: File Management.

Again the name of this layer may give you a clue as to what it does. It is the job of this layer to control how the files on your computers hard drive are stored and accessed by any application seeking to use them.

Layer 5: The User Interface.

The last element, or layer as we have been calling them, of an operating system is the User Interface. This layer is probably the easiest of all to understand since it is the first thing you see when your operating system has logged you in. It is the job of this layer to provide a means for the user to actually interact with the rest of the layers and as such the system as a whole.

Keep in mind there are two different types of User interfaces. The first one is probably the one you are most familiar with, the graphical user interface, which is where you see windows and icons for each of your files and so on.

The second is a command line interface, or text based interface where a user would interact with the system using text based commands.

Well that is it for this article, if your an experienced IT pro or tech guru, before you go placing comments that I've skimmed on certain details please keep in mind that i have deliberately kept this article simple so the people new to computing in general fin dit easier to understand. With that said I hope you enjoyed this article.

READ MORE - The Elements of an Operating System

Spyware XP Guard - Remove This Fake Antivirus Tool

Spyware XP Guard is a fake antivirus removal tool. It was created by hackers who want your money and don't care about whether or not your system is infected.

The program will infect your computer through Trojans and unsafe websites. Once it has been installed, it will insert itself into your registry and start up every time you boot your computer. You will be harassed with popups and warning about spyware, and will urge you to run a scan and eventually purchase the full version of Spyware XP Guard. It's a scam, and if you DO buy the product, you will only put yourself at risk for further damage, including at worst, identity theft.

Do you have this Spyware on your computer? Telltale signs are: - A slower computer - New strange desktop icons or a new search page or home page - Bothersome popups or pop-unders

How to GET RID of Spyware XP Guard

If you would like to attempt to manually remove the spyware, then you will need to delete the system files: spywarexpguard.exe as well as both instances with the name of the virus in your Documents and Settings folder and Start Menu/Programs folder.

Remove the registry values containing the name spyware xp guard in the directory: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


Editing your registry and deleting possibly important system files is not recommended for beginners. If you would like to go with a safer route then I recommend you use a trusted, proven, AUTOMATIC solution.

Are you tired of worrying that your identity is risk? Sick of spyware and viruses? Then Remove Spyware XP Guard and stop the spyware madness that you're dealing with.

Bob Walker is a veteran IT consultant with over twenty years of experience in the industry. He's helped clean up the computers of everyone from fortune 500 organizations to individual users and families. His website is dedicated to anti-spyware and virus removal research, where he ranks the most efficient anti-spyware and anti-virus programs currently available.

READ MORE - Spyware XP Guard - Remove This Fake Antivirus Tool

Five Tips For Speeding Up Your Computer

In the past I have written an article describing how to improve your computer performance. This time I have decided to write an article with five additional tips that could help with increasing your computer speed. If you haven't read my other article, I highly recommend checking it out at. Those are the main ways to increase your computer speed. These are just small additional tips. Anyway, let's get to them. They are in no particular order.

1. Using The Classic Theme

One way you can increase the speed of windows is by not using one of the newer Windows themes. Instead, try changing your theme and use the Windows Classic theme. This theme is a lot easier on your computer.

To change your theme, go to the control panel, then display properties, then themes.

2. No Wallpaper

Having a wallpaper on your computer is nice, but it also is just another item for your computer to load on startup. Instead of having a big high resolution photo, why not have your wallpaper blank? Yeah your computer looks dull, but you might notice an increase in your computer speed since it doesn't have to load that wallpaper.

3. Turn Off The Indexing Service

I don't know why this was even enabled by default on Windows XP. The indexing service is supposed to help speed up file searches on the computer. Most people don't do file searches very often though. And if you do use one, just download a separate program to do that! There are many available that do a better job at it such as Agent Ransack.

To disable the Indexing service, go to control panel - administrative tools - services. From there, double click on the indexing service and change it to disable.

4. Reload FireFox

Ok, I can't believe I put this. But, if you use FireFox, you might be aware of Firefox's memory leaks. After using Firefox for some time, it can quickly take up a lot of your RAM. This can especially slow down your computer. If you've had Firefox open awhile, clear your cache, reload FireFox, and continue web surfing.

5. Use Trillian

Do you use a lot of IM Messengers? If you do, consider downloading Trillian. AIM, MSN, and Yahoo Messenger all use up a LOT of memory. With Trillian, you can connect to all of them with just one messenger. And honestly, Trillian uses less memory then either AIM, MSN, or Yahoo. Imagine how much memory it takes to run all three at once. If you are doing that, just download Trillian.

Hopefully these tips will help you to speed up that old computer. Good luck!

READ MORE - Five Tips For Speeding Up Your Computer

How to Get Rid of TEMP Files on Windows XP

If you are reading this it means your computer is slow, you noticing your hard drive is getting smaller or you just plain want to get rid of temp files. Maybe it's all of the above. Whatever the case may be, temp files are an annoying bunch of files that remain behind in your Pc or laptop even after you deleted the folder or program. Even disk clean up cannot get rid of them. Here it's how to get rid of them once and for all.

The first thing you want to do is close ALL open programs, including any running in the background, like Messenger, your anti-virus program, or anything else.

Next we're going to Click on the start button, then Search. Now in the dialog box, make sure where it says "what do you want to search for" pick files and folder option. Next window on the part where it says "look in" make sure it is looking at your C: drive (if you have other hard drives or partitions, be sure to select "All Local Drives") Now make sure there is a check in the box next to where it says "include sub folders". (This is in the "More Advanced Options" in XP. Also, in Windows XP you need to put checks in the boxes that say "Search hidden files and folders" and "Search system folders".) Next were going to click your mouse pointer in the box that says "All or part of the file name and type the following, exactly as I have put it here.


That's........ asterisk period t m p comma asterisk period c h k comma tilde asterisk period asterisk .....Remember NO SPACES.

This is very important; The "tilde" which is the little squiggle above the Tab key on the left end of your keyboard.....DO NOT FORGET THE TILDE as ~*.* will find all files which begin with ~, but *.* but if you don't add it XP would find all files on the drive and you DON'T want to do that!! To be sure you've got it right, just highlight and copy paste this ---- *.tmp,*.chk,~*.* ----copy it and paste it in the search file name box.

It may take a while but once it finds all the files, there may be a long list depending on the last time you did this. At the bottom, it's going to tell you how many TEMP files it found. In Windows XP, if it didn't find any files, you need to go to My Computer, click on the Tools menu and choose Folder Options. Next you will click on the View tab and scroll thru that list to make sure the "Show hidden files and folders" is checked and that the "Hide protected operating system files" is NOT checked. Do this, and then try the search again.

Next you going to Hit ctrl+a to select them all, or select all from the edit button. Next hit your delete key. Chances are it won't delete some of them, that's because the files may be attached to a program running in the background. In that case you may have to delete them one at a time. You may have to select a few at a time until you are left with only the ones the current program is using. If one or two won't delete, they may delete when you reboot. Remember Windows XP tends to hang onto temp files more than the earlier versions of windows, so you may run into a few that you can't delete. At this point they may only be like 2 or 3 if that many. If you have more than that, then try doing it in SAFE MODE.

Typically most of all of these files and folders are safe to delete. Removing them can speed up your Pc or laptop and help you regain space. It may even get rid of a problems your Pc or laptop may be having. Of course some people will naturally be concerned about deleting these files. I was one of them when I did this to my Pc and laptop. If that is the case then you can simply leave the files you deleted in your recycle bin for a few days until you are sure everything is working properly. In the event you have a problem, you can always restore the files from the recycle bin... But I am sure in a few days you will be going into your recycle bin to permanently delete them all.

Remember, if you are unsure of the files; just leave them in the recycle bin for a few days. It's what I always do. That way you can be safe. Hope this helps.

READ MORE - How to Get Rid of TEMP Files on Windows XP

Find and Replace Text - Complete Information

Each of us needs to create, edit many documents daily as it is impossible to do so manually. That is why number of tools and utilities programs has been created to search the content, edit them or replace the contents.

While working with word documents or power point presentations or excel spreadsheets one usually deals with limited number of such files at a time. Most of the processing tools are enough for such kind of tasks like searching or editing within two three documents. One can easily search for a particular phrase, word and find them and perform the required operation. However, when one is working across multiple documents, such a task become very complex and most of the tools do not work properly.

Usually most of the people do not even know that such a software is available that can make searching hassle free. Most of us just keep on using the inbuilt search provided by the operating systems and never bother to download such utility applications which are available free on the internet. So it clear that if you have a large number of files on your hard disk and you don't want to end up waiting while searching a file then use such an utility and make your searching a fun. There are number of search and replace utilities that one can download from the Internet that can be used to make searching and replacing process faster. Moreover most of these applications are free to download. Other benefits of using such file management programs is that such programs let the user to organize the file systems and to even recover the damaged or corrupted files.

Such file search and management utility programs can do following tasks:

Searching of files by their size and replacing string with new string.

Searching files on basis of some keywords; that are part of file.

Advanced search options which makes search faster and accurate.

Supports all file formats such as .DOC, .PDF, .HTML, .RTF, .bmp etc.

Provide other features like copying, editing, deleting redundant files.

Recovering corrupted files.

Tracking deleted files and make log entries.

Advanced functions like file archiving, encryption, password protection.

Most of the operating system comes with a built-in search tool that can search the file on the hard disks but such tools works only if you give a precise right file name or know its actual location on the hard disk. Imagine some one has one lakh files on the hard disk then how he can remember their names or location and if such a user needs to search a file then it gets very irritating and time consuming. So only way left for such a user is to download free or paid software with advance searching capabilities like search by size, search by content and search by date of creation. Find and replace directory or document utilities are very handy for a variety of applications. Every one of us will need such a tool at some point of time when number of directories is too large and it is difficult to manage them with generic tools.

READ MORE - Find and Replace Text - Complete Information

Slow PC Performance - 5 Easy Way How to Clean Up Your Computer

Purchasing a computer is not the end and it is crucial to know how to clean up computer on the regular basis. An efficient maintenance is required in order to reap optimum results from it. This can be achieved only if you keep your system off the trash files and unwanted programs.

If any one of the enumerated situation arises, this means that there is a dire need to clean up computer

· If the system is running slower than normal

· If error windows pop up every now and then on the PC screen

· If Windows XP/Vista is showing symptoms of blue screen

· Your system freezes and gets locked

· Windows does not get shut down or takes too long for it

These symptoms may arise due to few of these reasons:

  • Intrusion and attack of adwares, spywares, viruses, and hackers
  • Errors in the registry due to adding/removing new programs on computer

Checklist for the steps that can prevent malwares/errors clawing your system's registry and clean up computer:

  1. Free up the computer space: Try to delete those programs that consume a lot of space on the computer but are of no use to you. Windows Defrag Tool, RAMBooster can be used for optimizing computer storage.
  2. Reduce the start up programs and increase processing time: Programs like Startup Manager and CodeStuff Starter can be used to control the programs that get loaded when computer starts. These programs cover the unwanted space on the RAM which diminishes the performance of the system.
  3. Clean the computer fan: To perform this action, you need to open the computer tower and clean fan with a piece of cloth. Handy kits are also available in the market to serve this purpose.
  4. Use Spyware program: Spyware removal will help freeing the disc space usurped by malwares.
  5. Registry Cleaning: Most of the problem with computer nags you just because registry is all filled with errors, corrupt files, damaged files, and viruses. This tends to slow down the processing. It is mandatory that you keep registry cleaner installed on your system so as to keep threats at bay.

These few steps would be helpful to clean up computer effectively Apart from aforementioned ways, cookies and temp files should be deleted from the system, hard drive should be defragmented and recycle bin should be emptied every now and then.

READ MORE - Slow PC Performance - 5 Easy Way How to Clean Up Your Computer

PC and Laptop Failure - 3 Common Faults

In this modern world the large numbers of people who use computers know that is has fast become a necessity in life and something that we come to rely on in our everyday life.

Whether it is for your work or pleasure, your pc is a highly important tool. If you have ever had problems with your computer you will know that it is a very frustrating experience and you realise just how dependent you have become.

Some of the most common reasons a Personal computer fails are listed below. Most can be fixed quickly by a certified professional.

1) Viruses

Viruses are one of the most common problems that you may encounter. There are many different types and they vary in seriousness. Malware, Spyware and Adware are some of the names given to viruses. They are designed to spy on your user habits, serve up ads or even steal your personal information. They can make your computer behave in strange ways such as running slowly or failing to load properly.

2) Hard Drive Failure

If you computer has been dropped or knocked then you risk damaging your hard drive. A hard drive is where all your programs, pictures and documents are stored. When damaged all your items could be lost and a new hard drive may be needed. You should back up all your documents on a regular basis to avoid disaster.

3) Fan Failure

If your computer is making strange noises and feel very hot then you could have a faulty fan. If your PC or laptop is under warranty then you should send it back for repair or ring a certified professional.

There are many more problems that can occur with laptops and Personal Computers. When things go wrong make sure you check that your repair man is a certified professional and is fully capable of doing the repair.

READ MORE - PC and Laptop Failure - 3 Common Faults

Monday, July 13, 2009

Smart Clothes Could Take Photos

Clothes could one day take snaps of everything happening around whoever is wearing them.

US researchers have made smart fabric that can detect the wavelength and direction of light falling on it.

The research team has found a way to accurately place sensors in each fibre and co-ordinate the electrical signals they send when light falls on them.

The results were a step towards "ambient light imaging fabrics" said the researchers.

Led by Dr Yoel Fink from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the researchers have extended earlier work that placed sensors in relatively large polymer fibres.

Dr Fink and colleagues found a way to stretch the 25mm strands of polymer into much thinner fibres while maintaining the relative positions of the sensors.

This earlier work has led to the creation of very long and flexible light and temperature sensors that may find a role in smart fabrics for soldiers or those working in hostile environments.

In their latest work, described in a paper in Nano Letters, these thinner strands were woven into a 0.1m square section of fabric. The careful creation of the fibres and positioning of the light-sensitive elements meant that the team knew which signals were being sent by which sensors.

This enabled the team to reconstruct, albeit crudely, an image projected onto the small square of fabric. The researchers said their work was an "important step" towards finding ways to get many nanoscale devices working together.

READ MORE - Smart Clothes Could Take Photos

EA gets into the cheap, fast game market on iPhone

EA's approach to iPhone gaming has been to recreate its most successful properties as high quality, high price games. The games created have been pretty great so far, but success on the iPhone often goes to cheaper, high-concept titles, and EA has decided to get in on that action as well: the publishing giant has created a small studio called 8lb Gorilla to create easy to learn, inexpensive games for the iPhone.

The first title coming from the studio? Zombies & Me, a title where you herd zombies under incoming missiles to blow them up, saving your grandma's house. The game can be understood and played in a matter of seconds, but the intense nature of play may give the game longer legs than even higher-priced titles. Or at least that's the hope.

The problem with iPhone games is that many people are starting to figure out that buying on launch is a bad, bad idea. Many games go on sale in a matter of days. By starting at under a dollar for the games, they become an impulse purchase instead of something gamers have to think about, and there's very few places for the price to go.

The game is coming very soon, and we should expect a title from 8lb Gorilla every month or so. A small studio making cheap, quick games and releasing them on a regular scale, adding the level of polish we expect from mobile EA titles? This could be big.

READ MORE - EA gets into the cheap, fast game market on iPhone

Windows 7 to Feature XP Mode for Older Applications

Microsoft will include a feature that lets people run applications in a Windows XP mode on Windows 7 to ensure that applications not designed for the forthcoming OS can run on it, a company executive said Monday.

During a keynote at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, Bill Veghte, senior vice president of Windows,demonstrated a mode called "Seamless XP" that allows someone to run an application designed for a previous version of Windows on Windows 7 as if it's running on XP. He showed how the feature works using an older third-party application originally designed for Windows 2000, QuickBooks Enterprise Solution 5.0.

The feature seems similar to Apple's Classic mode, introduced on Mac OS X, that allowed people to run legacy Mac applications on OS X, which was a drastic change to the platform.

Veghte did not give many specifics on the feature, but said that virtualization technology in Windows 7 enables it.

Like Mac OS X, Vista was a major architectural shift from previous versions of Windows, and Microsoft ran into a massive application-incompatibility problem with the OS. This led many people -- particularly business users dependent on legacy Windows applications -- to stay on XP or downgrade to XP after buying a Vista machine.

Microsoft wants to avoid that problem with Windows 7 when it's released later this year, Veghte said, acknowledging that architectural changes to Vista "came at a cost in terms of compatibility."

"We are making sure Windows Vista to Windows 7 is a smooth migration," he said.

Microsoft seems to have learned its lessons from the disappointment that Vista was in the marketplace. The company has been diligent during the development process of Windows 7 to let partners, including original equipment manufacturers, business partners and independent software vendors, test and provide feedback on a feature-complete version of the OS much sooner than with previous versions of Windows.

READ MORE - Windows 7 to Feature XP Mode for Older Applications

Getting Started With Digital Forensics

The increasing number of computer crimes has caused losses in billion of dollars annually. Due to this unhealthy trend, digital forensics has emerged to be the fast growing career field. It is a technical job that provides great satisfaction of working in the criminal justice system without the danger of being a police officer. For those people who are in the midst of deciding their career path, computer forensics is an ideal career for their consideration.

To start involving yourself in this fascinating field, you will likely need a computer forensics degree or any degree related to computer science, criminal justice or engineering. Besides education, it is also a must for you to attend digital forensics training from accredited training institutes. You can either obtain computer forensics training program online or offline. To be a professional digital forensics, you need to make sure that you equip yourself with a broad range of knowledge which is related to computer storage devices, operating systems, software applications and programming languages.

While you are pursuing the program, it is suggested that you should consider an internship in any of the computer forensics company. Through internship, you are able to obtain real world knowledge in the real working environment. Besides, being an intern helps to open the door for you to enhance the technical and analytical skills which are typically a must for all computer forensics careers. At the same time, your resume will definitely look great when you have job experience in this particular line.

After you have obtained the formal education and training, then you are ready to decide which agency you would like to work in. There are many job opportunities in law enforcement, police and military, intelligence agencies, public listed corporations and even Federal Bureau of Investigation. Secure yourself a job and start investigating!

READ MORE - Getting Started With Digital Forensics

How to Stop and Prevent DLL Errors

If you have DLL errors on your PC, it may be a wise idea to give your computer a quick registry scan to see whether a complication in your registry is to blame. Chances are, it will be. A 97% chance, in fact. Hardware and software can both cause DLL errors, but the majority of errors are caused by software failures. Installation and removal of certain programs can often initiate DLL errors. If you recently installed or uninstalled a software program, it may be a good idea to uninstall/re-install before doing anything else to see whether this rectifies the issue. You see, DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) are essentially files in themselves and can often become corrupt, invalid, or missing. When this occurs, that's when you receive an error message.

Re-installing a program with a corrupt DLL file may actually repair that file and solve the problem. In other cases, however, you need to try a little harder to remove the error. The sheer number of possibilities behind the cause of a DLL error means that you must take a broad approach to solving the issue, trying many different avenues in order to stop the error appearing.

What is certain, however, is you must find a solution to DLL errors as quickly as possible. Fail to do so and they can lead to hardware failure, blue screen errors, and fatal system crashes. One of the broadest, and often most successful approaches to solving a DLL error is to install and use a registry cleaner on your PC. Now, because you have to pay for this software, you need to be certain that it will solve your problem, right? Well, most registry cleaners offer a completely FREE initial scan of your registry.

This way you can get to see whether or not it has identified the DLL error before going ahead to purchase the software and remove the problematic DLL file. If the initial scan does not identify the DLL error, you don't have to pay a penny. Simply remove the free scan from your PC and look elsewhere for a solution. Nevertheless, it must be noted that a registry cleaner is commonly regarded as THE best and quickest solution for a DLL errors on your PC. With so many registry cleaners on the market, it can be hard to choose one that is right for your PC. Choose the right one and you can be enjoying a fully functional, error free PC in no time at all, choose the wrong one and you could be left searching for a solution to more than just a DLL error.

You see, some registry cleaners, thanks to their poor quality design, often cause more harm than good to your PC's registry, removing registry entries that do not need to be removed or are in fact vital to the proper operation of your computer. To help you avoid these poor quality registry cleaners and direct you towards the ones that will put a stop to your DLL errors on your PC, we performed rigorous tests on 10 of the most popular registry cleaners on the market; giving each a mark out of 5 stars according to repair skills, ease-of-use, and customer service.

READ MORE - How to Stop and Prevent DLL Errors