Sunday, 3 November 2013

Why the FCC needs to get with the times, finally

  We are in the midst of a transition away from copper wire-based communications services to broadband Internet-based services -- a transition that then-FCC commissioner Michael Powell called the "Great Digital Broadband Migration" way back in the year 2000.
  To its credit, on October 23, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on the implications of this migration to digital services. While the hearing's title -- "The Evolution of Wired Communications Networks" -- might put you in mind for a good nap, the hearing did focus needed attention on important public policy issues raised by the digital transition. And now, with the Senate just confirming Democrat Tom Wheeler as President Obama's choice for new Federal Communications Commission chairman, along with Republican Michael O'Reilly as a new commissioner, the House hearing couldn't have been timelier.
  Because the FCC, with a new chairman and a full complement of commissioners now on board, needs to act with dispatch to adapt its regulations to the new digital age marketplace realities.
  The digital migration, or migration to IP (Internet Protocol) services as they are often called, already is far along. According to a just-released report by Anna-Maria Kovacs, a visiting senior policy scholar at Georgetown University's Center for Business and Public Policy, as of 2012 only 5 percent of U.S. households still rely only on copper-based wireline POTS (plain old telephone service) lines for voice communications, while 38 percent of U.S. households are wireless only. Over 90 percent of households subscribe to wireless service, increasingly delivered over IP broadband platforms. All the while, the number of subscribers to IP-based voice services provided by cable companies and others has increased steadily as POTS subscriptions have declined.
  The IP migration presents policymakers with a fundamental question: will the century-old public utility-style regulatory framework that still largely governs communications service providers be replaced by a free market-oriented framework that benefits consumers, while, at the same time, stimulating investment and innovation? Or instead, will the legacy framework, with rate regulation, nondiscrimination mandates, and other regulatory strictures, be an obstacle to realizing the full benefits of the digital revolution?
  There is near universal agreement that IP services provide consumers with more features and functionalities in less costly, more efficient ways than do the old copper-based services. There is also widespread agreement that IP-based services have fostered increasing competition among broadband providers for the provision of voice, high-speed data, and video services, regardless of whether these providers offer these services over wireline, cable, wireless, satellite, fiber, or some other technology.
  So the relevant point for the FCC and other policymakers is not, as pro-regulatory advocates often imply, that all of the services offered by all of the competitors are not perfectly substitutable all of the time for all consumers. No, the relevant point is that, for a large, ever increasing number of consumers, a choice of various IP-based competitors exists, and these competitors, in turn, offer a choice of attractive service options.
  In other words, within the past decade or two, the communications marketplace has been transformed from a monopolistic environment into a competitive one characterized by increasing consumer choice.
  The transition to all-IP networks almost certainly will be completed at some point in time, but given the benefits of IP services, sooner is better than later. The key hangup is this: telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon are required by existing regulations to maintain in place their old copper networks even as they become economically unviable as the traffic they carry declines dramatically. Indeed, in 2010, when the FCC adopted a National Broadband Plan, it acknowledged that continuing to require telephone companies to maintain the copper-based networks "siphons investments from new networks and services" and "reduces the incentive for incumbents to deploy" new IP facilities.
  Despite that now 3-year-old acknowledgment, the FCC nevertheless has been slow to act. The Commission opened a proceeding to consider IP transition issues a year ago, but since then, the proceeding has stalled.
  The Commission needs to act more quickly because the longer the old copper facilities must continue to be operated, the greater the costs incurred through loss of foregone investment and innovation. The FCC likely possesses the authority under the Communications Act to eliminate the regulatory changes that impede completion of the digital migration, while, at the same time, safeguarding certain important public safety and universal service interests. For example, as the copper network is phased out, questions relating to the continued availability of reliable E911 services must be addressed.
  To the extent the FCC lacks any needed authority, or fails properly to exercise such authority in a timely fashion, then Congress should be ready to step in with near-term legislation. For example, Congressman Bob Latta's recently introduced bill, H.R. 2649, requires the FCC to presume that relief from existing regulations should be granted to the telephone companies, absent clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. This measure establishing a deregulatory presumption could be a useful tool in enabling the FCC to accelerate the IP transition, especially if applied to all entities subject to FCC regulation.
  Aside from any near-term legislation that may be needed, ultimately Congress should adopt a comprehensive Communications Act overhaul that substitutes a deregulatory, free market-oriented regime for the current public utility-style regulatory mandates. Under a new Digital Age Communications Act, the FCC's regulatory interventions in the new IP world should be required to be tied closely to evidentiary findings of market failure and consumer harm.
  In today's communications environment, the reality is that public utility-style regulation is no longer needed to protect consumers. Maintaining the old regime in place is unduly burdensome and too costly. Marketplace competition can protect consumers, while spurring both investment and innovation crucial to the health of our economy.
  With a newly reconstituted FCC ready to get to work, it's an opportune time for the agency to abandon its traditional pro-regulatory mindset.

Of course the terrible news for Microsoft is that its two older operating

  The percentage of Computer users running Windows 8.1 doubled within a month’s time, in line with the latest October data compiled by metrics firm Net Applications.
  Not surprisingly, that is still just a tiny fraction from the general Pc market place: 1.72 %, as measured by the firm. But combined with the quantity of users operating Windows eight, the combined market share of the Windows 8.x OS topped 9.25 %. At its existing pace, that share really should top ten % by the finish of your windows 7 professional pack year. (In September, Windows eight commanded 8.02 %, and Windows 8.1 0.87 %, for any combined share of 8.89 percent.)
  And sorry, Linux: Windows 8.1 now tops you, as well. Linux commanded 1.61 % of all PCs measured by Net Applications for the month of October. Mac OS X 10.eight was utilized by three.31 % of customers, Net Applications found.
  Of course, the terrible news for Microsoft is that its two older operating systems continue to dominate the Computer landscape. As outlined by Net Applications’s figures, greater than 46 percent of customers run Windows 7, and 31.24 % of customers continue to run Windows XP. Both numbers dropped much less than a percent from a month ago.
  XP’s marketshare is undoubtedly the most troubling, given that Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows XP by next April, leaving the 13-year-old operating program with out any way of being patched. The “XPocalypse” will leave PCs in a “zero day forever” mode, exposing them to any and all future vulnerabilities. Organizations starting to panic have selected Windows 7 as a stopgap, nevertheless.
  “Since Windows 8 launched, our guidance to business buyers has been to continue Windows 7 migrations that happen to be already in course of action,” a Microsoft representative told PCWorld in a statement final month. “We advocate our customers continue these deployments and look at Windows eight in targeted scenarios exactly where it makes probably the most sense, for example very mobile workers. As Windows 8 launched much less than a year ago, we're still seeing a lot of corporations completing those planned Windows 7 migrations now.
  “Every organization is unique and has different demands,” the Microsoft representative added. “The most important issue is that firms move off XP ahead of April eight, 2014, and onto a modern operating technique, and moving to Windows 7 will not only make sure that consumers remain on a supported version of Windows, but they will likely be on a path to Windows 8 and may make the most of innovations inside the Windows 7 platform, like enhanced safety and handle, increased user productivity, and streamlined Pc management.”
  Regrettably, there’s about 5 months before the XPocalypse draws nigh. Although Microsoft stands to advantage from the shift-31 % in the Computer user base stands to upgrade to some thing, no matter whether it be Windows 8 or Windows 7-there’s a actual threat to users who stay around the older OS. It is worth remembering-again-that if you’re one of those affected, think about producing an upgrade to a newer OS a priority.

Monday, 14 October 2013


  Sonos is like the Apple of the distributed audio scene. Its products “just work” thanks to intuitive design, and they strike an aesthetic that is simultaneously simple and classy. Unfortunately for many, the similarities between Sonos and Apple also extend into pricing. The fantastic Sonos:Playbar, for instance, is one of the best sounding options in the sound bar category, but it runs a spendy $700, and that’s without a subwoofer. But the latest speaker from Sonos, the $200 Play:1, is a deliberate effort to attract a new fan base to the company’s walled sound garden, and it looks mighty enticing.
  The Play:1 is smaller in both stature and price than the larger, $400 Play:5 or the $300 Play:3, but that doesn’t mean it will sound smaller. Sonos has a way of coaxing big sound out of its small packages, and we expect this speaker will be no exception.
  The Play:1 isn’t a Bluetooth speaker, and it doesn’t work off of Apple’s AirPlay wireless protocol. Instead, it works off a dedicated wireless “mesh network” that you set up in your home using a Sonos:Bridge. The Bridge simply hooks up to your home’s network and sets up a peer-to-peer network exclusively for any Sonos products in the home. You control the speaker with your phone or tablet, and can stream just about anything – from Spotify to Pandora to your personal music library – to any number of Sonos speakers.
  The Play:1 is a mono speaker, but if you use two of them, they can be paired to offer stereo sound. And, since the Play:1 is part of the Sonos family, a pair could also be used as surround speakers in conjunction with a Playbar and/or Sonos:Sub.
  Through the holidays, the Sonos:Bridge is free with purchase of a Play:1, but when the deal runs out it will cost you $50. The Play:1 comes in white and black and is available now. Check out Sonos’ video below to see the Play:1 in action.

Microsoft includes a issue with partners

  The optimist would say that Windows Phone's prospects have by no means been brighter. The pessimist would disagree.
  Around the vibrant side, Microsoft just announced Windows Telephone eight Update three, which includes new support for quad-core CPUs and phablets that assists keep its spec lists seeking fresh. Additionally, the buyout of Nokia's smartphone arm will bring Redmond's biggest hardware ally entirely into the fold, all whilst BlackBerry's apparent demise topples the competitors for third-largest ecosystem. All this provides the application giant a opportunity  windows 7 professional retail version  to no less than double Windows Telephone development by 2017.
  On the other hand, Windows Phone adoption has been slow, together with the OS fighting for significantly less than ten percent of mobile's global market share, even though Android and iOS gobble up the overwhelming majority.
  Moreover, Microsoft includes a issue with partners. At the moment it is trying to woo back HTC to after once more expand the Windows Telephone ecosystem. If that fails, Microsoft may very well be the only outfit generating Windows phones. That single-source technique may well perform for Apple, but even the iPhone is possessing a difficult time standing as much as Android's diverse and seemingly inexhaustible players.
  Back in 2010, and once more in 2011, Microsoft pleaded for patience in receiving its Windows Telephone off the ground. But this year, the newest update's most visible enhancements are a modified interface for extra-large phones as well as the capability to close apps in multitasking mode. You also can customize text tones by make contact with.
  This is hardly hearty fare, but Microsoft points out that they are the most-wanted additions requested by fans.
  Nonetheless, Windows Phone shoppers also clamor for a notification center, a file manager, a personal assistant, superior storage assistance for microSD cards, and indicator lights that signal missed calls and alerts. Several of these have been requested because the OS debuted and have lengthy existed on Android and iOS.
  Then there is Skype, the other business that Microsoft bought in 2011 (and for 1.three billion greater than Nokia), but the enterprise has however to integrate it into Windows smartphones by default to counter Apple's FaceTime and even Google Plus Hangouts. Yes, Windows Phone 8 Skype customers can place calls from the Individuals hub, after 1st downloading the app. What I'm speaking about is producing this an out-of-the-box function.
  We do know, at the least, that Microsoft is challenging at work on a private assistant of its own known as Cortana, which understands natural language and can replace the legacy TellMe voice input at present in use.
  Microsoft's next update need to be a major one particular that includes this individual assistant, notification center, and Skype integration at the incredibly least. Just after the Nokia acquisition is complete (assuming it gets shareholder and regulatory approval), Windows Phone should quickly incorporate Nokia-designed application tools, like its camera add-ons, in to the native OS expertise.
  From exactly where I sit, Microsoft's biggest asset -- and challenge -- is usually to take the major risks that make a organization stand out as a player worth paying interest to. After the transition, the Windows Telephone group need to not just use, but push Nokia's venerable style philosophy into edgier territory.
  Microsoft ought to waste no time funding projects that discover and apply new finishes and components (like continuing its work on graphene), publish a few wacky proofs of notion (like this 1 from 2011, also under), and probably make a high-end luxury phone of its own.
  Why? Microsoft's Windows Telephone project has spent its lifetime getting reactionary, trying to catch as much as Apple and Google devoid of truly managing to maintain pace. This isn't the time for you to be conservative with cookie-cutter style and characteristics which might be just good sufficient.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Apple iPhone 5s: My First Week

  I've spent a week using the Apple iPhone 5s as my primary device. In general, it is a solid effort on Apple's part, but it is not without its faults. Here are some of the strong points and weak points I've observed over the last seven days.
  iOS 7 is a bit buggy on the 5s. I've installed iOS 7 on an iPhone 5, an iPad 3, and an iPad Mini. It runs best on the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. On the iPhone 5s, iOS 7 is prone to app crashes. Third-party app crashes aren't too awful, but when native apps such as the Settings Menu and Safari crash, you know something's not right.
  The hardware is fine, if unexciting. The 5s is a solid little device. Apple designed it with care and everything about it exudes quality and class. The display is great, even if it is smaller than I'd like, and the small form factor makes it easy to carry around and use.
  t's not the best voice phone. I've been testing an AT&T model of the iPhone 5s and am not impressed with its phone calls. I heard lots of interference and the earpiece speaker doesn't get quite loud enough. The speakerphone produces plenty of volume, but it also amplifies the interference. The iPhone is a better voice phone.
  The battery hasn't given me any trouble. The first few days were a bit iffy, but that's true of most smartphones. Once the battery cycled through a few charges, it settled into a good rhythm. I routinely got a full day out of it, despite heavy use. It's worth noting, though, that the battery cannot be removed or replaced, so you're stuck with what's sealed in the iPhone 5s.
  The camera is great. The new software, combined with the improved sensor, go a long way toward making the iPhone 5s one of the best camera phones available. The camera app is simpler to use and includes more features, such as burst mode and slow-motion video capture, and the results are on par with today's best devices. The improved gallery app is far more powerful when it comes to organizing photos, and some of the editing tools are a welcome addition.
  iOS 7 is still inflexible. Apple's simple smartphone/tablet user interface may win usability awards, but it is nowhere near as flexible or customizable as Android or even Windows Phone. The inability to control exactly where apps are positioned is frustrating, and the lack of resizable home screen widgets and apps leaves the OS looking too homogenous. I'd love to see some truly dynamic content on the home screen.
  Control Center is convenient. Apple's new dashboard for controlling some of the iPhone 5s's features is a big help. It makes simple tasks such as turning on and off the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth radios a breeze. I also like the fact that it includes controls for the music player as well as apps like the flashlight, calculator, timer, and camera. This is definitely a time saver, considering that it took several steps to reach many of these controls in previous versions of iOS.
  There's plenty to like about the 5s, but at the end of the day it offers only a slightly different experience than last year's iPhone 5. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is the biggest difference. The camera and processor improvements in the 5s, though very real, aren't all that much better than the iPhone 5. We can only hope that Apple will make significant changes in next year's iPhone 6.

UI and UX paradigms as well as a big variety of hardware targets

  In an work to save each of its ailing platforms, Microsoft is arranging to combine each the Windows eight and Windows Telephone eight app retailers into a single, all-encompassing app shop. It isn’t entirely clear regardless of whether this can result in total cross-platform compatibility for each Windows eight and WP8 apps - like Apple’s iPhone and iPad App Store - or if it’s far more a case of designing a genuinely kick-ass app retailer that both platforms will then use independently of one another. In either case, the new combined app store will seek to rectify two enormous complaints: That Windows eight and Windows Telephone eight have poor app ecosystems, and, specifically inside the case of Windows eight, the utterly atrocious app store practical experience that generally leaves you asking yourself why on earth you decided to get a Windows tablet rather than an iPad.
  This news comes from the usual “sources acquainted with the company’s plans,” who spoke for the Verge. In line with the source, the head of Microsoft’s newly formed Operating Systems group, Terry Myerson, held a meeting exactly where he told a huge number of Microsoft personnel concerning the new strategy to combine the app shops. There didn’t seem to become substantially inside the way of facts, only that the new store - which we’ll bet excellent funds on it being called One particular Store - would include the “next release” of Windows and Windows Telephone. This need to imply Windows Phone eight.1 and an update for Windows eight.1, each of that are due in spring 2014.
  As for how the One Shop will truly work, we can only guess. In a perfect world, it would perform like the iOS App Shop: apps developed for Windows Phone 8 will be scaled up for use on Windows 8 tablets, and apps especially designed for tablet interfaces would show up if you’re browsing the shop on your Windows 8 tablet. Apple can get away with this because its smartphones and tablets run the identical operating technique, and therefore developers can target the precise very same APIs. Windows eight and Windows Telephone eight share a great deal of comparable characteristics, and in some cases some low-level code, but it is nowhere close to the same level of similarity as an iPhone and iPad.
  Microsoft, for its component, has previously taken towards the stage and promised a unified ecosystem - but the specifics on how such unification may well really take place haven’t been forthcoming. As it stands, when you develop a Metro app very carefully, porting it to Windows Phone 8 can be as easy as altering a handful of lines of code. In reality, although, as a result of wildly various screen sizes, UI and UX paradigms, and a massive variety of hardware targets (from Tegra 3 and integrated GPUs, by way of to Haswell and discrete GPUs), cross-platform compatibility has remained elusive.
  Unless Microsoft features a magic trick up its sleeve to enable developers to simply develop apps that run on both platforms - a compatibility layer (emulator) of some type, probably - then it’s a lot more most likely that the 1 Shop will just be a new app retailer design and style that is certainly utilized by both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Windows eight sorely requirements a brand new app store, and if a really unified app ecosystem is coming for Windows 9 and Windows Telephone 9, then it wouldn’t hurt to have people today made use of to the new app store nowadays. (Study: The Windows eight Store is broken: Here’s ways to fix it.)
  One more possibility, as I’ve hinted at ahead of, is the fact that 1 of Microsoft’s OSes might basically consume the other. As not too long ago as last week, Microsoft’s Myerson told some analysts that we should really anticipate to determine Windows RT on larger phones - and it goes the other way, also, together with the Lumia 1520 phablet operating Windows Telephone. I'd not be shocked if Windows/RT ultimately consumes Windows Phone, which would extremely neatly solve the challenge of cross-platform compatibility by removing the pesky “cross” bit.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Google, Microsoft outages: Two different outlooks?

  It might be something to do with a complete inability to trust my fellow human, but I don't stick to any one provider of Web services.
  I use three different browsers and three different e-mail services.
  I have no adoration toward any of them, but if there's one thing that's hard not to admit, it's that most of Google's tend to work a little better than anyone else's.
  Which made me wonder how last week might have proved that point.
  Microsoft's Outlook e-mail has sometimes -- at least for me -- been more erratic than a Fernet-ridden fly.
  Far too often, if I try to reply to a message, the system tells me it can't complete that action just at the moment.
  Sometimes, I try to send a message and the software keeps spinning without conclusion.
  I have to open Outlook again in a separate tab to discover that, yes, despite what the first tab was telling me, the message had been sent, but Outlook hadn't quite updated its outlook on that.
  When Outlook (and SkyDrive and Contacts) went down last week, it was more than awkward.
  It started with no mobile syncing and ended with no anything at all.
  After hours of this, I contacted Microsoft's Service arm via Twitter. The apologies were expansive. The explanations weren't.
  All I was told was: "Thanks for letting us know, Chris. Please keep checking for service status updates."
  This I did. However, even when the service status update finally said that Outlook was working normally, mine actually wasn't.
  Microsoft Support suggested I keep checking the service status updates. Franz Kafka, do you read me?
  "We understand your concern. We're working to resolve this as soon as possible. Check out for updates," read the message.
  Ultimately, the company explained that it was having caching problems.
  Three days seemed a very long time to solve them.
  For some time now, Microsoft has been telling me (and you) that Google is a quite heinous little organization.
  From the Scroogled campaign to an anti-Chrome campaign, I'm supposed to think that if Google bought me a latte, it would be polluted.
  Yet one thing Google can largely be trusted with it to make things that work more often than they don't. When it suffered an outage Friday, it also suggested people look at the service status board.
  The outage lasted between 2 and 5 minutes, and no meaningful explanation beyond "nothing to see here" was offered.
  That might reflect a certain confidence (or even arrogance) on Google's part, just as Microsoft's outage might reflect a certain confusion at its end.
  It's tempting to whisper that these two outages show two companies headed in opposite directions -- though, who knows, it's summer time, so perhaps Microsoft's best engineers are sunning themselves somewhere in the Bahamas, while interns man the fort. (Googlies don't do vacations, do they?)
  But there can surely be little doubt that Google buys loyalty (if not love) because its products just work, while Microsoft doesn't quite have the same reputation.
  Sunday morning, I looked again at the status of my Microsoft accounts.
  Everything seemed to be normal. Well, except: "A problem was recently resolved, and Calendar is now running normally."
  I'll keep using my three e-mail services. I might, though, spread the load a little differently.

Considering that Microsoft will never patch Windows XP again

  Microsoft has reminded, cajoled, and pleaded with customers to move off of Windows XP before support for its old OS expires next year. Now Microsoft warns customers that they might be topic to “zero-day” threats for the rest of their lives if they do not migrate.
  “The incredibly initially month that Microsoft releases safety updates for supported versions of Windows, attackers will reverse engineer those updates, obtain the vulnerabilities, and test Windows XP to find out if it shares those vulnerabilities,” he wrote. “If it does, attackers will attempt to develop exploit code that could reap the benefits of these windows 7 home basic product key vulnerabilities on Windows XP. Due to the fact a safety update will never ever turn out to be available for Windows XP to address these vulnerabilities, Windows XP will primarily possess a ‘zero-day’ vulnerability forever.”
  Zero-day vulnerabilities refer to the way in which hackers can attack an operating method or other code just before a patch is released, fixing the vulnerability. Considering that Microsoft will never patch Windows XP again following April 2014, sooner or later some vulneability that affects XP might be located.
  Among July 2012 and July 2013, Windows XP was an affected item in 45 Microsoft security bulletins. Thirty of these also affected Windows 7 and Windows 8, Rains wrote.
  Rains acknowledges that some protections in XP will enable mitigate attacks, and third-party antimalware application may supply some protection.
  “The challenge here is that you’ll in no way know, with any confidence, in the event the trusted computing base of the program can basically be trusted because attackers are going to be armed with public know-how of zero day exploits in Windows XP that could enable them to compromise the method and possibly run the code of their decision,” Rains wrote.
  That is the exact same argument that some have recently utilized, claiming that hackers will “bank” their zero-day XP attacks until soon after subsequent April, then unleash them around the unprotected herds of XP machines. As Rains notes, the sophistication of malware has only enhanced, which means that your XP machine is a lot more vulnerable, not significantly less. PCWorld’s Answer Line columnist, Lincoln Spector, agrees.
  The issue that some XP users have is that they’re so in appreciate with all the way that Windows XP does things that they’re reluctant to migrate, in particular to Windows eight. Well, Windows 7 machines do exist, that offer functionality similar to XP: here’s the way to locate them.
  The bottom line is this: although Microsoft stands to gain from arguing that buyers need to upgrade, the truth is: they do. So if you're nonetheless on Windows XP, begin thinking about a migration strategy.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Car hacking code released at Defcon

  You may hate parallel parking, but you're going to hate it even more when somebody commandeers control of your car with you in it.
  That was the scary scenario painted over the first two hours at the 21st annual Defcon hacker conference.
  "Car hacking is definitely coming," said Zoz, of Cannytophic Design, who presented on how to hack autonomous cars.
  Zoz's talk on vulnerabilities that autonomous autos will face followed a fast-paced explanation by well-known computer security experts Charlie Miller and Christopher Valasek of how they spent the past 10 months hacking the self-driving features of two popular cars. Miller, Valasek, and Zoz all spoke to standing-room only crowds of more than 1,000 people.
  While car hacking made a big splash at Defcon in 2010 and 2011, those hacks were not publicly documented. "We want it to take two months for everybody to do this," Miller said to loud applause from the packed house.
  Before going into their hacking explanation, Miller and Valasek admitted that they were not hardware hackers, and had little experience on hardware basics like splicing wires. But they only had one requirement for their test car: that it be able to drive itself.
  From there, hilarity ensued. Instead of following Toyota's guide to removing the dash of their test 2010 Prius, they used a crowbar. Subsequent videos and photos showed them driving around with a laptop wired to the open dash of a car, much to the amusement of the crowd.
  The pair also tested a 2010 Ford Escape.
  Prerecorded video demos of the hacks showed Miller and Valasek disabling the car's brakes, jerking the steering wheel back and forth while the car was in motion, accelerating, taking full control of the steering wheel, yanking the seat belt tight, turning off the engine, turning interior and exterior lights on and off, honking the horn, and making the console show a full tank of gas when it wasn't.
  Surprisingly, neither wore a helmet.
  At one point, the car wouldn't start, and they had to get it taken to the Toyota dealer for repairs. It turns out, Valasek said, that they had blown up the inverter. "They said they couldn't fix the car because they'd never seen this problem before."
  The two detailed much of the nitty-gritty of their hacking work, covering how they gained physical access to the car's computer and how they figured out how to program the car's computer.
  The documentation that they will be releasing in the next few weeks sounds comprehensive, totaling 101 pages of code and data.
  Zoz spent his talk in the next hour on the future of automation. Self-driving cars, he told, are essentially robots and will be particularly susceptible to the same kinds of hacks as less complicated robots.
  Many of these vulnerabilities will be related to directly hacking or indirectly altering the sensors that allow a car to navigate the road without causing accidents. Automated vehicles of all sorts, from person-carrying cars to small drones, rely on a multitude of sensors such as GPS, LIDAR, cameras, millimeter wave radar, digital compasses, wheel encoders, inertial measurement units, and on-board maps.
  There are two kinds of sensor attacks, Zoz said. Denial attacks prevent the sensor from recovering data, while spoofing causes the sensor to retrieve bad data.
  Each of the sensors on a car or drone can be successfully attacked in several low-cost, low-effort ways. A GPS sensor, he said, can be compromised by purchasing or building a cheap GPS jammer.
  Maps are particularly at risk. "You can't have your robot occasionally blowing through a red light," he said to much snickering from the audience.
  Zoz, as well as Miller and Valasek, kept returning to a particular point during their separate hour-long presentations: the goal of hacking cars isn't to cause widespread havoc, but to make them safer.
  "Now that we've released the data, you can think about how to stop these attacks," Miller said.
  And echoing Miller, Zoz also highlighted safety concerns. "When I talk about exploits and countermeasures, I want you to think about counter-countermeasures," he said.
  Ford and Toyota have both said that their focus is on preventing wireless hacks, but wireless technology is hardly a bastion of security. We may be approaching an era when the car itself could be to blame for crashes.

XP stay by far the most widely-used operating systems

  Windows 8 keeps clawing its way up the marketplace share charts, but not at the expense of Windows 7 or Windows XP.
  According to Netmarketshare, Windows 8’s marketplace share now stands at 5.4 %, up 0.three % from a month ago when it ultimately surpassed Windows Vista. As soon as once again, Vista’s industry share declined final month, this time by about 0.38 %, to a total of 4.24 percent.
  Meanwhile, Windows 7 and Windows XP are holding powerful. In truth, Windows 7’s market place share elevated final month by 0.12 %, and Windows XP saw a 0.02 % bump in industry share regardless of the looming end of XP help by Microsoft. Each Windows 7 and XP stay by far the most widely-used operating systems by far, with 44.49 % and 37.19 percent from the market place, respectively, in accordance with Netmarketshare.
  In other words, any marketplace share that Windows eight gained final month appears to be in the expense of Windows Vista.
  Though it is not surprising that customers are eager to upgrade in the widely-panned operating system, having people today to switch from XP or Windows 7 could be tougher for Microsoft, in particular amongst users who want to stick with a regular desktop interface.
  Windows eight.1 will make some concessions for all those customers, together with the return on the Start out button, a boot-to-desktop option, quicker access to advanced desktop functions, along with a solution to stop modern-style menus from popping up through desktop use.
  But ultimately, Microsoft and Computer makers ought to convince the masses that they will need to upgrade their hardware to touch-enabled laptops, hybrids, or desktops. More affordable touchscreen devices could assistance on that front, but it’ll likely be a while just before the marketplace share needle moves significantly for Windows XP and Windows 7.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

iPhone sales soar but lackluster earnings put pressure on Apple

  With Apple's (AAPL) announcement Tuesday of record iPhone sales but another round of lackluster earnings, the pressure is turned on high.
  Apple and CEO Tim Cook now face a nearly six-month trial by fire. After changing the world with the iPhone and iPad, the tech icon has seen its performance slow and its stock price plummet, in large part because of a glaring absence of new products. Investor and fan fervor is cooling, and some experts say time could be running out for Apple to prove it still has the mojo that co-founder Steve Jobs unleashed upon the world.
  "Everyone is watching and everyone knows that this is either the earnings trough -- it better be the earnings trough -- or else Apple is in real trouble," said Laurence Balter, an analyst atOracle (ORCL) Investment Research. "It's important for management to communicate to shareholders that this is not the end for Apple, but rather the beginning of the next phase. And they really need to say that because shareholders have lost faith."
  But while analyst Colin Gillis with BGC Financial conceded that "Apple's flagship product is doing just fine," he said that Cook, after having proved himself to be a "fantastic" chief operating officer, needs to prove himself as CEO.
  Analysts agree that Apple must not only say the right things in coming months, but come up with another blockbuster, such as a new and improved Apple TV.
  Balter said the next obvious chapter in the Apple story is the integration of the iPhone into the rest of our lives, such as our cars and kitchens and living rooms. Others think Apple could recapture the groove it found with the 2007 launch of the first iPhone by jiggering the shape and size of existing products.
  "We will be looking for signs of new products such as the low-priced handset," Societe Generale analyst Andy Perkins wrote in a note to investors, "and possibly the iWatch."
  What Apple pulls out of its hat in the next few months could be far more important than the comparatively tepid earnings it reported Tuesday. Its revenues were $35.3 billion, slightly above analysts' estimates of $35 billion and essentially flat with the same quarter last year.
  It reported profit of $6.9 billion, or $7.47 a share, above analysts' estimates of $7.33 a share in a survey by FactSet but well below the $9.32 a share it reported a year ago.
  In the most encouraging number in the otherwise lackluster earnings, the company said it had sold 31.2 million iPhones, setting a record for the June quarter and handily beating the 26.5 million analysts had expected it to sell.
  Before the announcement, Apple shares had closed at $418.99, down $7.32, or nearly 2 percent. But the stock was up about 4 percent in after-hours trading.
  Meanwhile, analysts are forecasting little or no revenue growth in Apple's current fourth quarter for the first time since the debut of the iPhone six years ago. They expect $35 billion in revenue again.
  Clearly, Apple has lost the red-hot momentum it had going into the end of 2012, when it announced the iPhone 5 to great critical acclaim.
  It's been an underwhelming year so far for Apple, prompting many to wonder if the tech icon has run adrift. Investor angst has hammered the company's stock price, at one point dragging it below $400 a share after it was hovering near $700 a year earlier. After years of exciting launches, including variations of the iPhone and iPad, there've been no new product announcements in 2013.
  "This has been a very tough period for Apple and it's made worse by the fact that the company doesn't talk openly with people, so you don't know what's really going on inside," said analyst Roger Kay with Endpoint Technologies. "But it does seem as if there's been a dearth of announcements the entire year and the momentum Apple had before is almost entirely dissipated."
  Kay said it's now showtime. Apple needs to prove it still has the goods, he said, and it needs to start talking about them "in the next few weeks."
  Or as fellow analyst Van Baker with Gartner Research put it:

Certain iOS can also be a telephone platform

  The iPad garnered the reputation as a brand new form of device made for doing entertaining items at household. People were promptly taken using the reality that the iPad could do a great deal of exciting factors, endearing it for the masses. Then developers started writing a huge number of apps for the iPad that started to bridge entertaining stuff with activities generally done on a Pc, even Windows PCs. Buyers noticed that the Windows Pc (desktop or laptop) that they kept at dwelling was being made use of less and less. Ultimately they had been only utilizing Windows at operate.

  A familiar sight in public is somebody with an iPad in hand, or one being utilised using a keyboard case. Exactly where it made use of to be more frequent to find out individuals applying Windows laptops of varying sizes in public venues many of them have already been replaced with the buy windows 8 pro pack iPad. Far more drastically, iPad users aren't just performing enjoyable stuff that tablets are believed to be created for, they may be undertaking every thing they applied to do with all the forgotten Windows laptop back at property.
  Microsoft saw this coming and radically changed the style of Windows to perform on tablets, desktops, and laptops. The people in Redmond saw the writing around the wall and knew they had to transform the OS into a tablet OS to help keep Windows within the residence. They already had the enterprise locked up so bringing Windows to the tablet was an work to help keep people employing the OS at household.
  Make no error, the Surface RT was firmly aimed at receiving customers to visualize Windows on dwelling tablets, and that effort has failed. Those wanting to utilize a uncomplicated tablet at house have fairly a lot currently adopted the iPad. It sports a mobile type element that runs a straightforward OS developed especially for the tablet. Certain iOS can also be a telephone platform but Apple has adapted it to handle the iPad nicely. It was also capable to obtain app developers to adapt or produce iPad-specific versions of apps to operate nicely around the slate.
  I like my ThinkPad Tablet two, a nice Windows tablet. It takes advantage of Windows eight, specially all of the tablet options Microsoft implemented for that objective. But when I show it (or any Windows tablet) to people I get quite a great deal precisely the same reaction.
  The discussion proceeds with me explaining how you can run Windows apps and how new apps are getting written for the Windows eight app shop. This can be followed by a conversation that tends to make it clear the other celebration not just has no wish to run Windows and its apps on a tablet, they genuinely can not see why any individual would wish to do that. The iPad does all the things they want a tablet to accomplish and more so why would they would like to use a tablet with Windows?
  For many buyers Windows represents operate. It really is on the computer system within the office and they "have" to work with it there. They keep in mind each of the times they had to obtain the IT people to come fix the Computer that stopped carrying out something. They assume of how they cannot go to each of the cool websites for the reason that they may be blocked at work, which they come to assume of as a Windows thing. They think of how trouble-free their property computing has come to be due to the fact they just naturally started carrying out it all around the iPad at dwelling.
  A lot of the folks I interact with about Windows on tablets who like it, and are excited about Windows eight, are people who either make a living within the Windows ecosystem or possess a unique need to have for making use of Windows outside the scope of common residence computing. Possessing full Windows within a tablet type is just what they ought to do what they want each for perform and at residence.
  Regrettably for Microsoft, there aren't sufficient of those enthusiasts to produce a difference, as verified by both the Surface RT debacle, and low Surface Pro sales (in comparison with the iPad). The vast majority have already been shown that their beloved iPad is all they want outside of operate. The iPad has entirely replaced Pc usage within the dwelling for a lot of owners and kicked Windows back towards the office.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Apple hires fresh talent for ‘iWatch’

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  Apple has embarked on a hiring spree to tackle design problems with its “iWatch” wrist computer, bringing in fresh expertise amid concern that the launch of its first new product since the death of Steve Jobs could be at least a year away.
  The company has begun hiring “aggressively” for the project in recent weeks, say people familiar with Apple’s plans for the wearable device, a move that shows it has stepped up development but which raises questions over the ability of its own engineers to develop wearable technology.
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  As Apple moves from iPods, iPhones and iPads into an entirely new category of product, it is looking beyond its existing staff in Cupertino for the talent required to build it – an indication that the endeavour involves “hard engineering problems that they’ve not been able to solve”, according to one source.
  Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, could still decide not to launch the product, just as past ideas have been scrapped, these people said. However, the iWatch – a brand for which Apple has made several applications to trademark – has now progressed from an exploratory phase to having several dozen employees dedicated to its development.
  The timing of the hiring spree implied the iWatch would not be ready for launch until the latter part of next year, said people familiar with Apple’s thinking, a blow to some investors who have been eager to see evidence that Apple’s innovators still have the ability to create or redefine new product categories.
  Apple declined to comment, but Mr Cook said in April’s earnings call: “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services that we can't wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014.”
  While that is expected to include a new lower-cost iPhone with colourful plastic casing later this year, Mr Cook has recently expressed enthusiasm for wearable technology. Speaking at an AllThingsD conference in June, he said it was an area “ripe for exploration” and “incredibly interesting”.
  Earlier this month, Apple hired Paul Deneve, the outgoing chief executive of fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, to work on undefined “special projects”, reporting to Mr Cook. His experience in fashion and luxury goods has been seen as potentially useful in a move into watches, as well as branding.
  Apple’s iWatch recruitment drive has included seeking out acquisitions of early-stage start-ups working on connected devices. Making so-called “acqui-hires” such as this has become common practice in Silicon Valley, where engineering talent carries a high premium, even for top companies such as Apple.
  But with its stock price still far below its highs and facing growing interest in hardware and mobile software from neighbours such as Google and Facebook, retaining rank-and-file employees will be a challenge for Apple, say former employees and those recruiting at other firms.
  One senior member of the iWatch team, who had been considering leaving the company, decided to stay after being awarded a substantial pay increase, according to one source.
  Apple is not the only company looking to recruit talent for wearable technology in Silicon Valley. Almost all of Apple’s rivals, including Google and Samsung, as well as start-ups such as Pebble and even PC manufacturer Dell, are working on smart watches or similar devices.

Recognized as Common Distribution Release 2

  Microsoft published specifics of its upcoming Windows Phone 8 update on Thursday, revealing the minor modifications which can be as a consequence of roll out shortly. Recognized as Common Distribution Release 2 (GDR2), the update contains fixes to Xbox Music to supply correct metadata, the restoration of the FM radio function, a Information Sense app that's not exclusive to specific carriers, and a new choice to set a Lens app as the default camera. You can find some HTML5 updates in World-wide-web Explorer, enhanced Skype and Lync stability, and Gmail CardDAV / CalDAV assistance, but general the alterations are extremely minor for an update eight months just after the original Windows Telephone 8 release.
  In accordance with sources acquainted with Microsoft's Windows Telephone plans, the enterprise is inside a "shut up and ship" mode. We're told that the lack of significant adjustments is resulting from the focus on Windows Phone's "Blue" update. The future update, anticipated in early 2014, looks set to include a notification center, improved multitasking, and alterations to built-in apps. We realize that Microsoft is taking into consideration back porting a few of the "Blue" options, such as a rotation lock selection, to a GDR3 update due later this year. Any ported attributes are mentioned to support future hardware arriving later this year, and occasionally in the request of particular phone makers like Nokia. In comparison, Windows 8.1 consists of a complete host of adjustments and feature additions made for tablets and PCs that is anticipated to be delivered in late August ?a just ten months following the original Windows 8 release.
  We've learned that Microsoft had planned to roll out a variety of Windows Telephone updates more frequently, but delays in testing new chipsets and bugs in some of the GDR updates have slowed down feature additions. A single unique bug with unbranded devices not sold by carriers is said to possess impacted the way a handset is identified on a network. We're told that Microsoft had a hard time fixing this distinct challenge, resulting in delays to other planned operate.
  We're told that a lot of the concentrate for Windows Phone software improvements is related to hardware release and refreshes. The future GDR3 update will include things like support for 5- and 6-inch Windows Phones with 1080p resolutions, and quad-core chipsets. These devices will debut later this year, and Microsoft has been operating closely with OEMs to make sure Windows Telephone involves the hardware help needed. Microsoft revealed on Thursday that together with Nokia it "shared early builds of application and hardware" to ready the Lumia 1020. "I wrote greater than ten pages of feedback myself on the Nokia Pro Camera app because it was becoming developed," says Microsoft's Joe Belfiore.
  The message from Microsoft on Windows Phone updates is mixed. Though the business promised a year ago that it was making an enthusiasts program to provide early access to updates, Microsoft has however to detail when it plans to deliver it. The system was said to "keep your phone fresher than ever prior to." For now though, all update signs point to early 2014. Microsoft confirmed it is arranging a "feature pack" update in the first half of subsequent year that could contain some enterprise improvements and VPN support. Regrettably, it is not sharing additional info about any other additions. It leaves Nokia and also other phone makers obtaining to depend on hardware selling points, realizing full well that the Windows Telephone software program and ecosystem nonetheless lags the competitors.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Privacy campaigners believe individuals should have greater control over data

  It follows a Spanish case which challenged Google to remove outdated financial details about an individual.
  The opinion of advocate general Niilo Jaaskinen could influence a wider EU debate over whether people have "the right to be forgotten".
  Privacy campaigners believe individuals should have greater control over data.
  No controller
  The specific case Mr Jaaskinen was considering goes back to November 2009 when a Spanish man complained about links on Google to an e-newspaper report detailing how debts had led to his house being repossessed.
  He argued that, as the report was 10 years old, the links were no longer relevant and should be removed. He failed to get the original article removed because it was deemed to be in the public interest.
  He lodged a complaint with the Spanish Data Protection Agency who upheld it.
  The case later moved the European Court of Justice.
  In his written opinion on the case, Mr Jaaskinen took the view that Google was "not generally to be considered as a controller of the personal data appearing on web pages it processes".
  "Therefore, a national data protection authority cannot require an internet search engine provider to withdraw information from its index," he wrote.
  He added that this meant users would not be able to invoke "a general right to be forgotten... against search engine service providers".
  The court is not bound by Mr Jaaskinen's opinion although generally such recommendations are followed.
  A final judgement on the case is expected before the end of the year.
  Erasing profiles
  The case will be seen as a test of "the right to be forgotten" strand of the Data Protection Regulation, which is currently being debated by the European Parliament.
  The EU is planning updates for the Data Protection directive, which was originally adopted in 1995 when the internet was in its infancy.
  The right to be forgotten clause, which has the support of EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, was developed in response to complaints about the way search engines and social media firms handle information.
  Increasingly users are concerned about a range of issues - from difficulties erasing social media accounts, to lack of control of photographs published by others.
  Google welcomed the views of Mr Jaaskinen.
  Bill Echikson, head of free expression at Google, said: "This is a good opinion for free expression. We're glad to see it supports our long-held view that requiring search engines to suppress 'legitimate and legal information' would amount to censorship."
  But Big Brother Watch said that that making a connection between this particular case and the rights of citizens to delete data was "absurd".
  "The right to be forgotten was never intended to be a way for people to rewrite history," said director Nick Pickles.
  "The whole point was to allow people to tackle information at source and Google was not the source of this information - a Spanish newspaper was.
  "A better example of why it is needed would be when someone wants to close a Facebook account. Facebook shouldn't be able to hold on to our information just in case you want to re-join," he added.
  "It's important that citizens have better rights when it comes to stopping companies collecting data without proper consent or holding on to information for an unjustifiable length of time, even when people have ceased to use a service."

Although Microsoft is addressing a great deal with the criticisms

  Microsoft will use its annual builders meeting to launch a preview of Windows, a free update that claims to address some of the gripes people today have with the newest edition in the firm's flagship working method.
  Lots of of your new characteristics have already been demonstrated off by now. The Construct conference, which begins Wednesday in San Francisco, will give Microsoft's partners and also other technology developers a chance to learn more about the brand new technique and try it out. Furthermore, it will provide the enterprise a chance to demonstrate many of the reasoning powering the update and promote builders on Microsoft's ambitions to get back relevance missing to Apple's iPad and various products managing Google's Android software program.
  There's also speculation that Microsoft could exhibit off a brand new, more compact variation of its Area pill computers. One of several new options in Home windows eight.1 will be the ability to function perfectly on smaller-screen products.
  Home windows are going to be available like a preview starting off Wednesday for anybody to obtain. It's going to be unveiled towards the typical general public later on within the yr, even though a certain date has not been announced.
  Windows 8, which was launched in October, was intended being Microsoft's response to switching consumer behaviors and also the increase of tablet desktops. The operating system emphasizes touch controls about the mouse and the keyboard, which experienced been the leading way persons have interacted with their private pcs given that the 1980s.
  Although Microsoft has said it's got offered greater than one hundred million Home windows 8 licenses to this point, some analysts have blamed the lackluster reaction for the operating system to get a steep fall in Personal computer gross sales in the first a few months with the yr, the worst drop considering the fact that monitoring by outside the house research corporations began in 1994.
  Among the the issues: the shortage of the Begin button about the decreased still left corner in the monitor. In prior variations of Home windows, that button gave people today rapid access to packages, configurations and also other jobs. Microsoft replaced that having a tablet-style, full-screen commence site, but that protected up no matter what packages individuals were being doing the job on, and it experienced only favorite applications. Extra measures were required to entry less-used courses. Configurations, a lookup box and also other features were concealed absent in a very menu that needed to be pulled out from your correct. Tips on how to do this improved depending on whether or not a mouse or touch was applied.
  And though Microsoft has encouraged people today to work with the new tablet-style layout, a lot of courses ?a together with Microsoft's most recent Place of work software program deal ?a are made for the more mature, desktop method. People were pressured in the tablet format when they start off up the equipment and had to manually switch the desktop mode each and every time.
  Windows 8.1 will permit people to start out while in the desktop method routinely. In that manner, it is actually restoring a button that resembles the outdated Get started button. Even though the Start out button will now take people back to your new tablet-style start monitor, instead compared to the outdated Start menu, the re-introduction of the acquainted button may possibly make it a lot easier for longtime Home windows end users to have accustomed on the modifications.
  Other new characteristics of Windows 8.1 include things like much more selections to make use of a number of applications. Individuals will get more solutions to determine simply how much in the screen just about every application will take though exhibiting nearly 4 diverse plans, instead than simply two. The update will also give a lot more integrated lookup success, displaying users previews of internet sites, apps and paperwork that are on the machine, abruptly.
  Although Microsoft is addressing a great deal with the criticisms with Home windows, it's positioning the update as more than only a fix-up task. From its standpoint, the tuneup underscores Microsoft's evolution into a additional nimble company capable of going speedily to reply to customer suggestions although also rolling out extra improvements to get a myriad of Windows devices ?a smartphones, tablets or PCs.

  It really is important that Microsoft sets matters right with Home windows eight.1 since the outlook with the Laptop sector keeps having gloomier. IDC now expects Pc shipments to drop by nearly 8 p.c this yr, even worse than its former forecast of a 1 percent dip. IDC also anticipates tablets will outsell laptop computer systems for that to start with time this calendar year.
  Within an indication that Microsoft Corp. is clearing out inventory of the Area pill working the light-weight Home windows RT running system, the corporation is proficiently reducing the cost of that by together with a keyboard cover totally free. The cover sells for $120 or $130 by itself.
  Microsoft also mentioned this thirty day period that it might give prospective buyers on the RT variation of Surface area the Outlook e mail and calendar system at no further cost ?a becoming a member of other Office freebies Excel, Phrase and Energy Level ?a and sweetening the offer you for the unit that is priced commencing at $499. That can arrive as part in the Windows eight.1 update.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Finally. Your Private Cloud is Here

  The Synology DiskStation is the network-attached storage (NAS) solution that meets your private cloud needs. This device helps solve a variety of problems for everyone when it comes to storage and accessing your files remotely from its own private location, whether it be for home or at work. Below are the top 6 reason home users LOVE Synology:
  Centralize Your Data with
  backup options
  Access all your data in one centralized location, that provides multiple backup options.Imagine if you lost everything that is on your computer. Make sure that never happens by backing it up to a Synology DiskStation. Our NAS devices support multiple platforms simultaneously, providing Mac, PC, and Linux computers with backup options. You can also do automatic backups using Data Replicator 3 for PC and Time Machine for Mac.
  Access Your Data Anywhere
  Host Your Own Private Cloud
  Forgetting files at home is no longer an issue. Using Synology DiskStation, you can always access your data- no matter which computer you are using. And with our Cloud Station App, you can now host your own personal cloud.
  Media Streaming/Sharing
  Synology offers a Media Server feature that streams your video to the DLNA-enabled TV, your mobile device, or even another computer. You can also send a limited-access quick-share link so that your friend can watch that movie or see that photo, while not allowing them to access anything else.
  Mobile Apps
  With mobile devices becoming more and more common, Synology DiskStations lets you take full advantage of the mobility of your data. With our various Apps, including DS Audio, DS Video, and¬ DS File, you can access your data millions of miles away with a swipe across the screen. And DS Audio allows you to stream TBs of music, right to your phone or tablet- even while offline, you can still listen to your favorite beats and sing along with the lyrics.

Look for box as your most important technique

  It has been more than a 12 months given that I 1st installed a construct of Home windows 8 on the test device. Due to the fact then, I have operate it on a wide range of hardware, together with slate-format tablets, hybrid touch/pen/keyboard tablet PCs, regular laptops and multi-monitor desktop PCs ¨C hardware that mixes the previous (with Vista and XP-era equipment) and also the new (a recently upgraded Main i5 desktop procedure). It's been on Intel processors, on AMD, on bodily, on digital: on really considerably just about every equipment I could come across within the workplace.
  Testing and benchmarking is all pretty nicely, however , you only seriously get to know an OS by living with it, utilizing it every single day to complete daily responsibilities in your day-to-day Personal computer. For me, meaning the nice old-fashioned desktop Pc.

  Most of my time is expended in front of a multi-monitor desktop device, exactly the configuration that a lot of folks have worried about in feedback to varied Windows 8 posts. When desktop end users may perhaps soon be in the minority, you will discover still a good amount of us around. I count on tools like Office and Adobe Lightroom plus they count about the desktop ¨C and that?ˉs unlikely to vary right until the equipment transform. So for my desktop Pc, there?ˉs hardly any transform between 7 and 8 inside the way I function.
  One thing I?ˉve noticed within the months considering the fact that Home windows eight reached RTM, its evolution hasn?ˉt finished ¨C and it?ˉs still convalescing. After i upgraded my desktop from Windows 7 to eight just right after RTM it was to all extents and purposes only a slightly speedier Home windows 7 machine with a new UI. But with all the recent 160MB post-RTM update, and with all the arrival of some new gadget drivers along with a couple of latest parts of components, it?ˉs getting anything fairly distinctive.
  The one massive change, naturally, is the Start off Display screen. As modifications go, it?ˉs a large a person, but it?ˉs not the showstopper that some have made it out being. I?ˉve wound up dealing with it to be a full display variation with the aged Start out menu, and use it in considerably the identical way. Much like the commence menu, the beginning Monitor winds up filled with applications I?ˉve set up, and i at times tidy it up. There was slightly operate in acquiring it the way in which I required to start with, but all over again, starting off by using a refreshing put in of Windows XP or 7 I?ˉd be performing a great deal the identical matter ¨C grouping apps and removing references to capabilities or applications I don?ˉt plan to use.
  Launching applications is easy plenty of. Faucet the Home windows essential and start typing, when the phrase wheel filter demonstrates your application, just select and click ¨C or strike return. You?ˉre instantly back around the desktop and in the application you should use. That?ˉs all there exists to it, and when you utilized Vista or 7?ˉs look for box as your most important technique of navigation you?ˉll find the Start out Display a little additional productive when you don?ˉt really need to simply click while in the research box to start getting apps or documents.
  The arrival of the new Microsoft Sculpt Comfort keyboard made some functions even simpler. Whilst Home windows 8?ˉs Charms are only a mouse gesture absent, owning them to the keyboard is far less difficult. Four different Charm keys imply you can obtain to search, Share, Products and Settings without having to shift your fingers absent within the keyboard. If you?ˉre making use of a Home windows eight Store-style application, the keyboard also includes 4 keys that replicate the most crucial Windows eight touch gestures. A single handles a remaining swipe software change, although an additional toggles the Snap see with the running software. The other two start the start Display screen endeavor switcher and open the app bar.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Europe investigates Apple's iPhone tactics: FT

  The European Commission is investigating whether Apple Inc is using anti-competitive iPhone sales tactics and technical restrictions to squeeze out rival smartphone makers from the European market, according to documents seen by the Financial Times.
  According to a questionnaire sent last week to several European mobile network operators, the Commission is focusing on distribution terms that might favour Apple by ensuring no rival can secure a better sales deal, said the newspaper.
  Apple said its contracts comply with EU laws, said the FT.
  The inquiry is the result of private complaints from mobile operators and is at a preliminary stage.
  Before a formal probe can be launched, the Commission would need to be confident that Apple was dominant in the EU smartphone market, which may be hard to show given the popularity of Samsung Electronic's Galaxy handsets.

The Sculpt Comfort and ease Mouse is because of out

  On May 23, Microsoft declared the Sculpt Consolation Mouse and Sculpt Cellular Mouse, each of which involve buttons to help you consumers to uncover their way rapidly for the Begin display screen.
  The Sculpt Ease and comfort mouse incorporates a touch-sensitive blue strip running along the side, which Microsoft phone calls the "Windows contact tab." The Sculpt Cell Mouse functions an identical Windows button.
  The Sculpt Ease and comfort product adds help for some more gestures which Microsoft officials consider may perhaps help users far better navigate Home windows eight.
  As explained inside a new write-up within the Microsoft Home windows Practical experience blog site: "If you swipe up over the blue strip, it cycles by means of your open up Windows Retail outlet applications in Windows 8. And when you swipe down, it's going to reveal all the open up apps (to the still left aspect of your respective screen) in your case to pick out the one particular you wish."
  The Sculpt Comfort and ease Mouse is because of out in June for $39.ninety five (estimated retail price tag). The Sculpt Model design is going to be offered this thirty day period for $29.ninety five (ERP).
  The Sculpt Ease and comfort mouse plus the Sculpt Cell mouse both of those perform with Window 7, Windows 8 and Mac OS 10.four and higher. Neither appears to get the job done with Home windows RT, depending on the spec details furnished by Microsoft.
  Even though over the subject matter of improving upon Home windows eight, Microsoft previously this week built readily available for download a extremely good Home windows eight teaching brochure. It's a multi-page, vibrant PDF that includes lots of navigational recommendations and tricks. I want this had been in my box with my Area RT

Friday, 10 May 2013

PC Makers Hopeful on Windows 8 Changes

  With the PC industry in severe contraction, industry executives seem terribly relieved to have found some optimism to cling to.
  PC makers in Asia say there is hope yet for Windows 8, the new operating system that even Microsoft Corp. has admitted hasn’t been a huge hit.
  Industry executives say prices for Windows 8 devices are set to fall dramatically, and that Microsoft Corp. has listened to some of their gripes.
  On Wednesday, executives at Taiwanese PC maker Acer Inc. –who have complained loudly and often about Microsoft’s Windows 8 strategy–said that Microsoft is becoming more “considerate” to its hardware partners, and has adopted their suggestions “at a high percentage.”
  “When we were talking to Microsoft, our input to them is balance,” said Acer President Jim Wong. “The world in the next five years is not going 100 percent to touch. Although touch makes a lot of possibilities for PCs, you need to take care of the rest of the world that doesn’t need touch.”
  Windows co-head Tami Reller has acknowledged there were hitches, and that the company is working on changing some software features. Although she didn’t confirm any specific changes, technology blogs are saying the new version could return to a more traditional appearance, such as the Start button possibly making a comeback.
  Microsoft is also expanding to smaller tablets this year, in a quest to face off with popular small tablets like the iPad mini and Nexus 7.
  But will it be enough to convince consumers?
  Some traditional users may be relieved to see a more familiar interface. But Microsoft’s problem in the mobile sphere goes beyond the appearance, and primarily resides in the small number of apps, said Tracy Tsai, a consumer technology research analyst with Gartner in Taiwan.
  “A main challenge for Microsoft is its number of apps is still limited compared to Google and Apple,” Ms. Tsai said. “More and more users are familiar with apps on their smartphones, and they would like to extend their use of these apps to their tablets.”
  That will not be a quick fix for Microsoft, but a more immediate change is that Windows 8 devices are about to get much more price-competitive. The price premium of a Windows 8 tablet over an Android one is now at least $150. That gap could shrink to around $50 this year, putting sticker prices of Windows 8 tablets below $300, said Jerry Shen, chief executive of Taiwanese PC maker Asustek Computer Inc.
  As the user base expands, more developers will be willing to make apps for Windows 8, Ms. Tsai notes.
  Acer Chairman J.T. Wang said Microsoft’s willingness to change bodes well for the PC industry this year.
  “In the past we consider they (Microsoft) live in heaven,” he quipped. “But now they go down to earth and they start to learn how people living on earth think.”

You'll be able to adjust the default

  Windows Notepad continues to be all over considering that Home windows initial appeared in 1985, as well as the NT model hasn't improved a lot for your ten years. What has modified is the fact it truly is now not the designated viewer once you notify Internet Explorer to point out the source code of the web page. With IE8, that work was handed about to the additional innovative viewer crafted into IE's Developer Instruments, to really make it competitive with Netscape and Google Chrome.

  You'll be able to adjust the default. Commence IE8 and push F12 to open up the Developer Instruments, open the File menu, simply click Personalize Internet Explorer Check out Resource, and select Notepad rather than Default Viewer. In the event you operate Notepad, you'll find a way to load, edit and preserve .html information. (Clearly, when you just double-click them, they will load while in the default browser.)
  Another workaround will be to change the file extension that tells Home windows which system to utilize to open a file. Press F2, improve the name of your regional copy of the file from, as an example, NewsPage.html to NewsPage.txt, double click the file and it'll open in Notepad in editable kind. Once you have completed enhancing it, preserve the file and change the name again to NewsPage.html just before uploading it to the server.
  In any other case, I don't expect Microsoft was far too worried about people today nonetheless working with Notepad to edit HTML data files. They are an insignificant proportion of modern one.4 billion or so Home windows end users, and there are many absolutely free possibilities.
  One example is, Microsoft gives a robust no cost website structure software Visible Studio Convey 2012 for Internet, and also a cost-free edition of Microsoft Expression Website 4, which was a costly professional program until eventually it had been discontinued. There are lots of totally free third-party options including KompoZer. This is relatively such as the long-dead Microsoft FrontPage. A further free or low-priced substitute is Serif's WebPlus.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock for Mac now shipping for $299

  The docking station allows users to have instant access to 8 ports by connecting just one high-speed Lightning cable to their Mac. The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock includes:
  One Gigabit Ethernet port
  One Firewire 800 port
  One Thunderbolt port for daisy-chaining up to five additional Thunderbolt devices
  One 3.5 millimeter headphone output jack
  One 3.5 millimeter audio input jack
  Three USB 3.0 ports with max data transfer of 2.5Gbps
  Cable management channel
  The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock is compatible with all recent Macs equipped with Thunderbolt ports, including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Belkin boasts that the high speed of Thunderbolt allows users to download a high-definition feature film in 30 seconds, or sync a year's worth of continuous music in 10 minutes.
  The Thunderbolt Express Dock was first announced by Belkin at the Consumer Electronics Show in early 2012. At the time, the company said the accessory would become available last September, but that launch date was missed.
  Since the original unveiling, the hardware has been upgraded to include three USB 3.0 ports. The originally announced hardware featured USB 2.0 ports running at slower speeds.
  But the shipping accessory has also lost an HDMI out port, which was also initially planned to be included with the docking station.

Windows Phone consumers started out following

  Microsoft has produced an application in the Google Perform keep intended to get individuals to halt utilizing explained shop as well as the Android phones that connect to it. Only known as "Switch to Home windows Telephone," it scans your Android cell phone for your whole mounted applications after which you can will save the outcome using your Microsoft ID. Then, making use of a companion app on Home windows Cellphone by itself, it is possible to indicator in and see all the equivalent apps in Microsoft's personal retail outlet, tapping by to set up them every one-by-one. It doesn't exhibit current Android customers what those people matched applications are, however it might be valuable to current switchers.
  It is a clever strategy, finding folks around the issues that apps will not be obtainable on Windows Telephone, but the execution isn't really pretty there nonetheless. Scanning was comparatively brief and pain-free on Android ?a the applications claims it matched 87 p.c of my put in Android apps. On the other hand, as soon as I logged into your companion app on Windows Mobile phone (and experienced it crash several situations), I learned that a lot of the "matched" apps were not pretty specific. Alternatively of Mint, for example, Switch to Home windows Cellphone introduced me which has a website link to Pageonce. Even though Pageonce performs largely the identical functions as Mint, for lots of customers "close to your exact app" is just not shut sufficient. It will have already been nicer if many of those non-exact matches would existing various alternatives, but the Quixey-powered application didn't do that. People preferring a far more common system can test Mark/Space's desktop switcher app.

  In spite of Microsoft's finest endeavours, it nonetheless doesn't have each large title application that buyers on other platforms normally takes without any consideration ?a a lot to Nokia's chagrin ?a but the problem continues to be acquiring continually far better with the system. Even when it does not get rid of every one of the hassles connected to using the third-place smartphone OS, Microsoft's app ought to assist get new Windows Phone consumers started out following they switch.
  Microsoft released its new Skype Online video Messages attribute for iOS, Android, and Mac back in February, although the business did not make it obtainable to begin with for its very own Home windows system. Now, Microsoft is releasing a preview of Skype Video clip Messaging for Windows desktop buyers. The normal desktop application that runs on Windows seven and Home windows 8 will incorporate the new characteristic, permitting customers to trade brief online video messages (as much as a few minutes very long) with other Skype users.
  The function is still not available on Microsoft's Windows eight Skype app, although the corporation is promising for making this obtainable "shortly." Skype suggests it can be nonetheless testing the aspect, and with the minute you get 20 free of charge messages right before you might have to subscribe to Skype High quality for $4.ninety nine a month to carry on applying Video Messages.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Former Google CEO shares vision in tech treatise

  Some illuminating books already have been written about Google's catalytic role in a technological upheaval that is redefining the way people work, play, learn, shop and communicate.
  Until now, though, there hasn't been a book providing an unfiltered look from inside Google's brain trust.
  Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who spent a decade as the company's CEO, shares his visions of digitally driven change and of a radically different future in "The New Digital Age," a book that goes on sale Tuesday.
  It's a technology treatise that Schmidt wrote with another ruminator, Jared Cohen, a former State Department adviser who now runs Google Ideas, the Internet company's version of a think tank.
  The book is an exercise in "brainstorming the future," as Schmidt put it in a recent post on Twitter — just one example of a cultural phenomenon that didn't exist a decade ago.
  The ability for anyone with an Internet-connected device to broadcast revelatory information and video is one of the reasons why Schmidt and Cohen wrote the book. The two met in Baghdad in 2009 and were both struck by how Iraqis were finding resourceful ways to use Internet services to improve their lives, despite war-zone conditions.
  They decided it was time to delve into how the Internet and mobile devices are empowering people, roiling autocratic governments and forcing long-established companies to make dramatic changes.
  The three years they spent researching the book took them around the world, including North Korea in January over the objections of the U.S. State Department. They interviewed an eclectic group that included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Mexican mogul Carlos Slim Helu, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the former prime ministers of Mongolia and Pakistan. They also drew on the insights of a long list of Google employees, including co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
  The resulting book is an exploration into the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead as the lines blur between the physical world around us and the virtual realm of the Internet. Schmidt and Cohen also examine the loss of personal privacy as prominent companies such as Google and lesser-known data warehouses such as Acxiom compile digital dossiers about our electronic interactions on computers, smartphones and at check-out stands.
  "This will be the first generation of humans to have an indelible record," Schmidt and Cohen predict.
  To minimize the chances of youthful indiscretions stamping children with "digital scarlet letters" that they carry for years, online privacy education will become just as important — if not more so — than sex education, according to Schmidt and Cohen. They argue parents should consider having a "privacy talk" with their kids well before they become curious about sex.
  Not surprisingly, the book doesn't dwell on Google's own practices, including privacy lapses that have gotten the company in trouble with regulators around the world.
  Among other things, Google has exposed the contact lists of its email users while trying to build a now-defunct social network called Buzz. It scooped up people's passwords and other sensitive information from unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Last year, Google was caught circumventing privacy controls on Safari Web browsers, resulting in a record $22.5 million fine by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. European regulators have a broad investigation open.
  Google apologized for those incidents without acknowledging wrongdoing. Schmidt and Cohen suggest that is an inevitable part of digital life.
  "The possibility that one's personal content will be published and become known one day — either by mistake or through criminal interference — will always exist," they write.

I’m content to listen to that - but I’ll also be tickled

  Belief on Home windows eight could possibly be all over the map, but here’s one thing all of us ought to have the ability to concur on: the greater applications that acquire complete benefit of the Home windows eight interface, the higher condition the functioning program will probably be in. What it desires, and has not had, is actually a profusion of killer applications.
  At yesterday’s DEMO Cellular convention in San Francisco, I noticed one of the initial third-party Home windows 8 plans that obtained me energized: TouchMail. As its title signifies, it’s an e-mail shopper suitable for touch enter.
  Additional crucial, however, it’s an e-mail customer that appears like it was born to work properly on Home windows 8. For instance, as an alternative of the standard inbox, you get tiles which exhibit incoming messages and supply a longer-than standard snippet of textual content. (They are often color-coded, so you're able to location messages out of your manager or your spouse.) You'll be able to zoom out to view much more plus much more messages; in the event you go far more than enough, the tiles turn into icons symbolizing the messages’ senders, and you also can immediately slide back again to a distinct day, 7 days or thirty day period.
  TouchMail looks like it may be a super-efficient approach to blast via huge portions of mail; its creators say it’s designed for people who get at the very least a hundred messages daily. It is slightly premature to guage it, even though: the version that is continue to exist the Windows Store is usually a teaser rather thank a doing the job e-mail program. In actual fact, you can not utilize it for getting your very own mail but, only to look at some sample messages.
  At DEMO, TouchMail’s creators received questioned by a doubtful choose about why they selected to start on Home windows alternatively than other platforms. (I recognized his reasoning, but I was nevertheless startled - even 5 years back, I simply cannot consider any individual believing that Windows wasn’t the undoubtedly the obvious functioning program to launch a completely new solution on.) It seems they do plan to bring their creation to other gadgets, starting with all the a single I exploit most, the iPad.
  I’m content to listen to that - but I’ll also be tickled if TouchMail turns out very good enough that it helps provide a still-skeptical earth to the price of Home windows 8.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Wireless spectrum is the key to Dish's $25.5B bid for Sprint

  Why is satellite TV provider Dish Network prepared to take on an enormous amount of debt and a potential bidding war with Japanese company SoftBank for Sprint Nextel? It's all about the spectrum.
  Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen is known for being bold and taking risks. But no one in the wireless industry ever thought that he'd be gutsy enough to become the fifth national competitor in the wireless market.
  Indeed, it seems that Ergen, who co-founded Dish, has no plans to go it alone in wireless. His plan to team up with Sprint and fortify the position of the third biggest wireless operator in the U.S. makes perfect sense. The answer lies in the companies' complimentary spectrum holdings.
  On Monday, Dish submitted a merger proposal to Sprint Nextel that is valued at $25.5 billion. The bid puts Dish in direct competition with the deep-pocketed Softback from Japan, which announced in October that it planned to buy the carrier. While SoftBank may be in a better financial position to buy Sprint, Dish has a clear strategic need for a tie-up with Sprint, which could make a marriage between the two companies a match made in heaven.
  Complementary spectrum holdings
  Why would this be such a great match? The biggest reason is, from a spectrum perspective, the companies fit very nicely together.
  Over the years, Dish has amassed about 45 Mhz of wireless spectrum that in the 1980s had been set aside for satellite telephone use. In December, the Federal Communications Commission repurposed the spectrum, which under its previous classification was difficult to put to use, so that it could be be used to build a terrestrial wireless broadband network. Dish said it planned to build a next generation wireless broadband network using 4G LTE technology.
  It just so happens that the former satellite telephone spectrum that Dish bought sits right next door to spectrum that Sprint has long been using to provide its own cellular service. Sprint also wants to get into the 4G LTE market. The company has already begun a massive network upgrading to reconfigure and re-use some of its existing wireless assets to build its 4G LTE network.
  Combining Sprint's current spectrum holdings with the additional 45 Mhz of Dish's spectrum means that the companies could build a new wireless broadband network with very wide channels. Wider channels mean the companies would have more capacity to build the next generation wireless broadband network resulting in faster speeds for consumers and potentially more options for unlimited wireless use.
  Dish can't go it alone
  It's no secret that Dish has been looking for a partner in using its repurposed satellite spectrum. Dish bought the spectrum through a series of acquisitions on the cheap and went through a lengthy regulatory process to get the FCC to grant it permission to use the spectrum for a wireless broadband service. This instantly made the spectrum more valuable.
  Still, many experts in the wireless industry have been skeptical that Ergen really wanted to build a new network on his own. Not only would such a network be expensive for Dish to build, but they note that the amount of spectrum Dish owns is not really enough to build a robust network to compete against the likes of AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
  There have been rumors for several months that Dish wanted to sell its spectrum to AT&T, who a year and a half ago when the T-Mobile merger fell through, was desperate for more spectrum. There were also rumors that Dish may have been in talks to buy T-Mobile. And the company already put a bid out to buy spectrum from Clearwire, which is majority owned by Sprint.
  But for various reasons, these other deals don't seem as perfect a fit for Dish at this moment in time as the deal with Sprint. For instance, AT&T is in the process of buying several smaller wireless companies to fill out its portfolio of lower frequency 700MHz spectrum. AT&T is also in the midst of deploying its own repurposed WCS spectrum.
  As for T-Mobile, the company is in the process of trying to close a deal to acquire regional provider MetroPCS. What's more it seems that Dish's aim is to gain control of a wireless company, and it's unclear that T-Mobile's German parent company Deutsche Telekom would be willing to play along with those plans.
  Verizon is a potential fit. But again, Dish would likely have to sell its spectrum to Verizon. And Ergen may see more long-term value in keeping control of the spectrum so that wireless service can be integrated into its own satellite TV business.
  The deal with Clearwire, which Sprint owns a majority stake in, also presents obstacles for Dish. There are a series of contractual obligations that would have to be settled for this deal to be consummated. The many entanglements of this deal is likely why Dish has not moved forward with a formal offer for Clearwire.
  In the end this leaves, Sprint as the perfect candidate. Not only are there synergies between the spectrum holdings, but buying Sprint could allow a much cleaner and easier way for Dish to get the Clearwire spectrum. Sprint owns a majority stake in Clearwire, and the company has agreed to buy the rest of Clearwire. Clearwire has agreed to this deal. If Dish were to acquire Sprint, then the entire messiness of the Dish-Clearwire deal would go away.
  Ergen noted in a conference call to announce the bid, that with the Sprint and Clearwire spectrum, the companies would have twice as much spectrum as AT&T and Veirzon Wireless, the two biggest players in the wireless business.
  Potential regulatory issues
  The shear volume of spectrum could make it easier for Dish to deploy a range of services from mobile broadband to fixed wireless broadband to mobile television. But the fact that a "new" Dish could own so much spectrum, might catch the attention of regulators. In particular, the FCC may not like the idea of any one company controlling so much spectrum.
  The FCC currently has a loose spectrum screen in place which it uses to evaluate mergers between wireless license holders. The agency is in the process of evaluating this screen to see whether or not it should come up with a hard and fast spectrum cap. If the screen is turned into a cap, this could greatly affect the outcome of this merger.
  In the end, Dish must move quickly if it wants to get this deal done. The company doesn't have much time to do something with the spectrum the FCC reclassified in December. As part of the conditions for getting that spectrum greenlighted for wireless broadband use, Dish agreed to build a network that covers at least 40 percent of the population in areas covered by its spectrum with a wireless network within the next four years. And it must cover 70 percent of that population with wireless broadband service within seven years. If Dish fails to do this, it must pay penalties and fines to Sprint.
  Too much debt to handle?
  From Sprint's perspective the deal with Dish also makes sense. Getting access to the Dish spectrum will allow the company to build wider channels for its LTE network, expanding its capacity. And Sprint's customers and shareholders could also benefit in the long term from the business opportunities and efficiencies this deal might bring. For example, Dish's satellite TV business, which has more than 14 million subscribers, could tie in nicely with Sprint's wireless phone and broadband services. The companies could also consolidate call centers, back-office staff and equipment installers that could ultimately turn into savings for Sprint's business.
  But there is a major cost involved in such a merger. If Dish were to acquire Sprint, the combined company would take on about $36 billion in debt. Much of the revenue for the new company will come from the paid TV business of Dish, which analysts say is on the decline. There is also the $600 million breakup fee that Dish would have to pay to SoftBank, which has also put its bid in to buy Sprint. Most analysts would agree that SoftBank is in a better financial position to buy Sprint. But given Dish's strong strategic need for Sprint, it's difficult to say which company will ultimately win.
  Either way, Sprint, which has been dogged by a series of poor business decisions, is finally in a good position to negotiate.

The Maps app now involves visitors incident notifications

  Microsoft these days launched updates for five out of its 6 Bing Apps for Home windows 8. Using this update, the News, Finance, Sports activities, Travel and Maps applications - all of that are installed by default on Home windows eight programs - now all activity a variety of new functions and enhancements that, as Microsoft places it, “make it less difficult to customise and personalize them to most effective match your requires.” The company also introduced an update into the Bing Weather conditions Application, but this new edition is not really offered however.
  None of the updates will rock your world, but all of these are welcome additions, primarily for the reason that they frequently felt somewhat constrained inside their early iterations.
  Those people of you who will be continue to coming to grips together with the future demise of Google Reader, one example is, will value the truth that the Bing News application now supports RSS feeds and offline looking through. Moreover, the application now also attributes extra windows 7 professional product key customization possibilities to be able to “keep tabs on distinct tale types, subject areas, or information resources that make any difference to you.”
  The Maps app now involves visitors incident notifications and enhanced driving, transit and strolling directions. End users may now bookmark locations they pay a visit to often for their begin display screen.
  The Finance application now incorporates an updates look at listing and real-time U.S. inventory updates, plus the Sports app adds 29 new leagues. The Travel application now contains material from Lonely World and Frodor’s, likewise as Frommer’s, which the initial proprietors just purchased again from Google.
  The Weather conditions app also gained a couple of attention-grabbing new applications, such as the ability to receive weather conditions at ski resorts in 24 nations throughout the planet (just in time for the close of your ski time), too as better transferring climate maps.