Saturday, December 09, 2006
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Sunday, July 23, 2006
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Friday, July 21, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
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Monday, June 19, 2006
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The lawsuit is critical of the fact Myspace does not verify the age of its users and calls measures in place to stop grizly old geezers grooming sweet young things as "utterly ineffective." The suit alleges Myspace fails in its duty to protect minors.
A lawyer representing the girl's family told reporters, "MySpace is more concerned about making money than protecting children online."
The girl and her family filed the suit against Myspace owner News Corp as well as the 19 year-old accused of fiddling with her.
The girl gave out her mobile phone number to the bloke after she met him on the site. She says that after the pair went out one time to see a film and have a bite to eat, he drove her to a car park and sexually assaulted her.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Gates, who is and will remain chairman of Microsoft's board of directors, today announced that he will give up his job as Microsoft's chief software architect in two years in order to devote more time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates's departure will end an unusual division of labor between him and Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, says technology analyst Rob Enderle.
Usually a chief software architect reports to a CEO, but since Gates was also chairman, Ballmer had to report to him. "There really wasn't one person in charge," Enderle says. "This takes Microsoft back to a more traditional structure."
Too Busy to Do the Job
While Wall Street may find the prospect of a Microsoft without Bill Gates unnerving, Gates's "actual impact on the products has fallen off dramatically over the last seven years," Enderle says. Gates was simply too busy with his duties as chairman of Microsoft and of his foundation to devote sufficient attention to being chief software architect--"and that's a full-time job," Enderle says.
"He wasn't really involved in the day-to-day decisions on what went into the product for quite some time," Enderle says. If anything, he adds, Gates was more "schedule-oriented," and had he been more involved, Windows Vista's release might not have been delayed.
"Content? That was to a large extent determined by others," Enderle says, adding that the upcoming departure of Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft's Platforms and Services division, will likely have more impact on the future of Windows than will Gates's departure.
Enderle believes that Gates had come to a realization "that he needed to either reengage or step back, and he decided to take that next step."
If Ray Ozzie, who will assume Gates's responsibilities as chief software architect, is up to the job, Microsoft could emerge stronger than ever--and as a result its products could improve, Enderle says.
"We're going to lose an icon, but the company is going to gain a chief software architect," he adds.
Microsoft's Loss, Charity's Gain
Meanwhile, Gates's foundation, which supports innovation in global learning and health, stands to benefit from its founder's increased involvement.
"This is a great day for the developing world," says former Microsoft executive John Wood. "He's going to put all of his passion and energy into the foundation. It will be incredible to see what they can do as a result."
Wood worked with Gates from 1991 to 1999, when he left to start his own philanthropic group, Room to Read, which focuses on providing education for children in the developing world.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
In photography, for example, it is tempting to think that once everybody has a digital camera, the transition will be complete and things will settle down, right? Wrong. The revolution is taking off; it is only the boring part that's nearly over.
The reason is Moore's Law, the notion behind advances in the computer industry for the past 40 years. Gordon Moore, a founder of Intel, observed in 1965 that the number of transistors on a chip doubled every 18 months, and that is pretty much still true. More transistors for the computer mean more features and more bang for the consumer's buck. For digital cameras, the bang has meant sensors with more megapixels and bigger memory cards.
Some say the megapixel race will stop, just as people used to think that 8- bit, 16-bit or 32-bit computers would be enough. The problem with that reasoning is all the smart engineers who wake up every day looking for a competitive edge by turning computing power into something worth buying. I'm betting that they will succeed, because there are so many opportunities.
So far, camera designers have focused on vital but mundane tasks, like producing picture quality equal to that of film. Professionally, my 16-megapixel Canon is vastly better than film.
Yet why stop at film? I'm eagerly awaiting Canon's next move, probably to 25-plus megapixels. I'm what marketing people call an early adopter, but mark my words - you'll own a 16- or even a 25-megapixel point-and-shoot in a few years, and it will not stop there. By some estimates, your eyes have an effective resolution of more than 500 megapixels. If you can see it, why shouldn't a camera record it?
Friday, June 09, 2006
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a petition aimed at overturning a decision by regulators requiring facilities-based broadband providers and those that offer Internet telephone service to comply with U.S. wiretap laws.
The court concluded that the FCC requirement was a "reasonable policy choice" even though information services are exempted from the government's wiretapping authority.
The FCC has set a May 14, 2007 deadline for compliance.
"I am pleased that the Court agreed with the Commission's finding, which will ensure that law enforcement agencies' ability to conduct lawful court-ordered electronic surveillance will keep pace with new communication technologies," FCC chairman Kevin Martin said in a statement after the ruling.
The ruling comes at a time when critics have voiced concerned that the Bush administration's surveillance program violates civil liberties. The administration argues it needs the program, which allows the National Security Agency to monitor international telephone calls of U.S. citizens, as part of its broader war on terrorism.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
TiVo began testing broadband video downloads last August, previewing "Greg the Bunny," "Hopeless Pictures" and "The Festival" before they debuted on the Independent Film Channel. That was later followed up in December with Rocketboom videos, which have been ongoing since then.
"Television is still the preferred platform for watching video," Tara Maitra, TiVo general manger of programming, said in a statement. "The TiVoCast service captures mainstream and specialty-based content on the Web, delivering programming that is not otherwise available through the TV today."
TiVo plans to expand the number of Web sites and videos it offers, Maitra added in a telephone interview, although there is no specific target for such launches.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
In the future, the technology that Honda Motor Co. developed with ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories could be used to replace keyboards or cell phones, researchers said Wednesday. It also could have applications in helping people with spinal cord injuries, they said.
In a video demonstration in Tokyo, brain signals detected by a magnetic resonance imaging scanner were relayed to a robotic hand. A person in the MRI machine made a fist, spread his fingers and then made a V-sign. Several seconds later, a robotic hand mimicked the movements.
Further research would be needed to decode more complex movements.
The machine for reading the brain patterns also would have to become smaller and lighter ? like a cap that people can wear as they move about, said ATR researcher Yukiyasu Kamitani.
What Honda calls a "brain-machine interface" is an improvement over past approaches, such as those that required surgery to connect wires. Other methods still had to train people in ways to send brain signals or weren't very accurate in reading the signals, Kamitani said.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
In many ways, the latest core logic offerings from ATI and NVIDIA are evolutionary designs that address problems with previous chipsets. ATI claims its SB600 resolves the I/O performance problems that plagued the SB450, and NVIDIA promises the nForce 500 series' Gigabit Ethernet acceleration sheds the hardware bug that afflicted the nForce4's ActiveArmor. New features are also on the menu. The SB600 is ATI's first stab at Serial ATA with 300 MB/s and Native Command Queuing, and the nForce 500 series is virtually bursting at the seams with fancy feature names, including FirstPacket, LinkBoost, and DualNet.
Is the combination of ATI's CrossFire Xpress 3200 and SB600 potent enough to prevent NVIDIA's nForce 590 SLI from inheriting the Athlon 64 core logic crown? We've subjected both chipsets to an exhaustive array of application, peripheral, and power consumption tests to find out, and the answer might surprise you.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Microsoft Corp. is announcing a flexible business model for emerging markets powered by Microsoft FlexGo technology.
The pay-as-you-go computing model enabled by Microsoft's FlexGo technology allows customers to have a fully featured PC at home by paying only for the time as they use it through the purchase of prepaid activation cards or tokens. Microsoft has been running trials of the program in
The company intends to start a second trial in
AMD intends to develop processors designed specifically to support Microsoft FlexGo technology. Other partners in the pay-as-you-go program include the HSBC Bank Brasil S.A., Infineon Technologies AG, Intel Corporation, Lenovo, Phoenix Technologies Ltd., Transmeta Corp. and more. These will join Microsoft for the next round of pay-as-you-go and subscription trials in
Along with the new pay-as-you-go model, Microsoft has also been working with major telecommunication companies around the globe on subscription computing offerings that provide convenient and predictable monthly payments for a full-featured PC with broadband access and genuine software. With the availability of Microsoft FlexGo technology, it will be possible to expand the potential of the subscription model by enabling telecommunications providers to better secure the PC asset from default and offer this option to a broader range of customers.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Dimitry Ivanovich Golubov doesn't look like an arch criminal. A baby-faced 22-year-old Ukrainian, he is described by his lawyer as an unassuming part-time student at
But when the Ukrainian police arrested him last July for his involvement in credit-card fraud,
But last December, Golubov's story took a bizarre twist. Two Ukrainian politicians, including Vladimir Demekhin, deputy chairman of the Energy Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament, vouched for Golubov's character in court. The judge hearing the case released Golubov on a personal recognizance bond from the two officials. (Demekhin did not respond to e-mails and phone calls.)
At least authorities had their hands on Golubov, however briefly. Usually, the people they suspect of conducting computer crime leave behind only traces of their existence: a quirky online nickname, a few postings on illicit Web sites, and a trail of financial mayhem. But BusinessWeek, working with information and photos supplied by officials at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, as well as state law enforcement agencies and private Internet security experts, compiled descriptions of some of the most sought-after targets in cybercrime investigations. Shown the list, the
The picture that emerges is of organized gangs of young, mostly Eastern European hackers who are growing ever more brazen about doing business on the Web. They meet in underground forums with names like DarkMarket.org and theftservices.com to trade tips and data and coordinate scams that span the globe. (Those and other Web sites and organizations named by investigators did not respond to e-mails, instant messages, or phone calls seeking comment.) "Financial payment fraud has evolved tremendously," says John Corbelletta, a former police officer who is director of fraud control for Visa U.S.A. Inc. "Most of the cases I investigated when I was a cop involved people who had their cards stolen out of their purse. We didn't even think of counterfeiting cards."
Today, cyberscams are the fastest-growing criminal niche. Scores of banks and e-commerce giants, from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM ) to walmart.com (WMT ), have been hit, sometimes repeatedly, by hackers and online fraud schemes. The 2005 FBI Computer Crime Survey estimated annual losses to all types of computer crime -- including attacks of viruses and other "malware," financial fraud, and network intrusions -- at $67 billion a year. Of the 2,066 companies responding to the survey, 87% reported a security incident. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which says identity theft is its top complaint, on May 10 created an Identity Theft Task Force following an executive order signed by President George W. Bush.
To track cybercrime, law enforcement officers work with companies such as eBay Inc. (EBAY ) or Microsoft Corp. (MSFT ) as well as with authorities around the globe. EBay has 60 people combating fraud, while Microsoft's Internet Safety Enforcement team has 65 operatives, including former law enforcement agents and federal prosecutors. To document the extent of the activity, BusinessWeek reporters also scoured underground Web sites where stolen data is swapped like so many baseball cards on eBay. Consider this e-mail promoting the launch of an online trading bazaar, vendorsname.ws, last year:
"During the battle with US Secret Service, we !@#&! all those [law enforcement] bastards and now are running a brand new, improved and the biggest carder' forum you ever seen." The message brags about its array of stolen goods:
What follows is a look at four individuals, besides Golubov, who are identified by multiple law enforcement authorities as high-priority targets in their investigations. It's no coincidence that all are Russian. Strong technical universities, comparatively low incomes, and an unstable legal system make the former
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Samsung may soon be tapping a new power source for its cell phones. The South Korean handset maker on May 18 is announcing plans for building prototype mobile phones powered by fuel cells. It's one of the biggest publicly disclosed commitments to the technology by a major manufacturer in years.
Samsung, the world's No. 3 maker of wireless phones, behind
That may be small potatoes in terms of Samsung's research and development budget, but it marks a big step forward for a fledging fuel-cell industry that aims to supplant the batteries typically used in notebook PCs, wireless phones, PDAs, and digital cameras.
VOTE OF CONFIDENCE. As those devices incorporate brighter screens, more powerful wireless networking features, and other cutting-edge capabilities, it's getting harder to keep them running with conventional batteries, typically based on lithium ion and lithium polymer technology.
The deal also marks a huge vote of confidence in a little-known company. MTI Micro, which had sales of $8 million in 2005, is one of a handful of outfits seeking to bring hydrogen-based fuel-cell technology into more common use. Its Mobion fuel cells have already appeared in industrial handhelds from companies like Intermec, a unit of Unova (UNA), and have drawn the attention of military contractors developing devices that soldiers will use in the field.
Under the deal, which lasts through the end of the second quarter of 2007, the two companies will jointly research the use of methanol-based fuel-cell technologies for use in cell phones. Any patents that come as the result of the research will be assigned to MTI.
BASIC CHEMISTRY. MTI's technology harnesses a chemical process that combines water with methanol, a type of alcohol also known as methyl alcohol, to produce electricity. It's really just basic chemistry, but not always easy to set in motion. Often the presence of water requires a complicated set of micro-pumps and pipes to move the water to where it needs to be. MTI has developed a way to do it without the need for a pump, and without the need to carry water in the first place.
The relationship got its start with a device MTI engineers stitched together more than a year ago -- a Samsung PDA powered by a prototype Mobion fuel cell. "That caught Samsung's attention," says Alan Soucy, MTI Micro's chief corporate strategist. "Since then they've come here and done a deep dive with our technology, and obviously they see potential."
What Soucy and MTI CEO Peng Lim envision is a world where instead of recharging your phone's battery, you'll buy disposable fuel cells that last longer than the batteries that come with cell phones today and are more eco-friendly. Exactly how much longer they'll last the company won't say yet. "We've promised to demonstrate a fuel cell that is better than a lithium ion battery by the third quarter of this year, and we're on track to do that," Lim says.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Apple today announced immediate availability of its consumer Intel-based laptop, well in time for the back-to-school shopping season. Called the MacBook, this model equipped with a 13.3-inch wide screen and running on a Core Duo processor replaces the 12-inch G4 PowerBook and all iBooks.
The notebook also complements Apple's recently released MacBook Pro laptops, which reportedly have experienced overheating and other technical problems. (Some Mac enthusiast sites are posting links to software that monitors the temperature of MacBook Pros.)
The MacBook is slimmer and slightly heavier than the old 12-inch Apple laptops. It comes in black or white and with either a 1.83-GHz or a 2.0-GHz Core Duo processor. Like the MacBook Pro, the MacBook comes with a built-in Webcam, Front Row media software, and an infrared remote control. It also has DVI-out support, gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11g Wi-Fi, and optical digital audio-in and -out.
Apple priced its standard configurations of the MacBook at between $1099 and $1499. However, PC World's preferred configuration--with a 2.0-GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 100GB hard drive--would cost $1699. Apple isn't offering a sub-$1000 configuration with an Intel Core Solo processor as it is with the $599 Mac Mini desktop PC.
IDC analyst Richard Shim says that the MacBook pricing makes sense given the more expensive, less common 13.3-inch wide-screen panel, whose resolution is 1280 by 800 pixels. "We're obviously not looking at a mass-market price point, and that's obviously by choice," says Shim. "But their challenge, of course, if you talk to Wall Street, is to increase their market share. This won't get them there."
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
A "vigilante" Trojan, that attempts to protect infected PCs from the effects of malware caught while using peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, has been discovered.
The Windows Trojan/Erazer-A Trojan looks at default folders for downloading MP3, AVI, MPEG, WMV, Gif, Zip graphic and video files, and wipes anything it finds with these extensions in the target locations.
The assumption is that because the Trojan is only deleting certain file types in specific download directories used by P2P programs -- one of the main sources of inadvertent malware infection -- it is attempting to protect those it manages to infect.
The catch is that the program also attempts to subvert certain security programs to aid its activities, which opens the user to a more general risk of infection or program instability. It also appears to steal information.
The company that first uncovered it spreading among its customers, Sophos, has dubbed it as a "vigilante" Trojan, making it an extremely rare type of malware that could have some beneficial effects.
"The Erazer Trojan is a vigilante worthy of a Charles Bronson movie, taking the law into its own hands. However, it's perfectly possible for the Trojan to aim poorly and wipe out innocent files too," commented Graham Cluley of Sophos.
Vigilante it might be, but the Trojan spreads in the same way as those pieces of malware it appears to be targeting -- via P2P file sharing. It can also, of course, be used for malicious purposes, so this is a beneficial program most users would probably not want help from.
"I don't think this was written with good intentions because it attempts to turn off security," said Cluley. There would be nothing more dangerous than for people to become accustomed to the idea of "beneficial malware" because that might create a false sense of security.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Computer memory, also known as Random Access Memory (RAM), is just like your short term memory in your brain. It stores everything you are currently working on and recently worked on. As you can see that makes it a very essential part of your PC because it stores vital information that you are using and need access too immediately. No matter what the data is, pictures, sounds or just text, if you get a good amount of memory your computer will load that data much faster and store it better.
Many people want to do a RAM upgrade there selves, but always run into the problem of figuring out which type of memory to buy and installing it. If you didn?t already know, there are many different types of RAM available on the market, and you need to get the type that corresponds with your motherboard. If you don?t know what a motherboard is, it?s the big circuit board inside of your computer that connects everything together.
First, let's talk about the two main types of RAM that are in use today, SDRAM and DDR. SDRAM stands for Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory, and is the most common amongst PC?s today. Most likely your desktop computer uses this type of RAM. I use to have SDRAM, and I thought it was okay because it got the job done. I have switched though to DDR RAM, which is replacing SDRAM. The speed of DDR RAM is twice that of SDRAM, so you can imagine the difference. If your motherboard currently only has SDRAM slots, then you have no choice but to get that type of RAM. If you want to change to DDR RAM, then you have to buy a whole new motherboard and install it. To find out what RAM your computer uses just look at the instruction manual that came with it, or if it is custom built, look at the motherboard?s instruction manual.
For all you laptop and PDA owners out there, the type of RAM in your laptop or PDA is called SODIMM. Available at the same memory store you purchase your desktop computer RAM from, just a little more expensive and harder to install.
Now that you know the different types of RAM, you need to know where to buy it from and how to install it. To buy it, I suggest your local computer store because there will be a person there to help you and they will make sure that you buy the correct RAM. Here?s a tip to, bring your computers instruction manual with you to the store and they will definitely know the correct type of memory you need. If you want to buy online, then NewEgg.com and TigerDirect.com are two great online computer stores that will deliver your RAM into your mail box.
And last but not least, you need to install your new RAM. Believe it or not this is the easy part. First shut down and unplug everything from your computer and then remove your computer?s case cover, to gain access to the motherboard inside. Once you can clearly see the motherboard, locate your RAM. You should know what it looks like since you just bought some and you can look at that. When you find it, you will notice a latch connected to the slot that holds it on each end. Push down both of the latches to unhook them, and then gently pull the RAM stick out. It should slide out with ease, but if it doesn?t, then wiggle it a little bit while pulling.
After that you just need to insert your new RAM. First count how many slots you have available for RAM and how many of them currently have RAM in it. Some times you will see 2 slots occupied and 1 open, or all three slots could be used. Either way, you have to insert your new RAM into an open slot, or if all are used then remove the oldest and least amount of RAM to clear a slot. Then gently insert your new RAM and pull the latches back up on both sides, securing your memory into place. After that just screw your case cover back on, hook your computer back up to everything and then power it back on. Your computer will automatically detect the new RAM and no further installation process is needed.
Well that is about it, I hope I have helped you. Just remember to keep your computer clean plus maintain properly, and it will live a long life.
For more information on RAM, and help picking out the right type, check out my RAM memory upgrade page. If you need help upgrading other parts of your computer or portable devices, then Michael can help you with that to at his computer customizing web site.
Friday, May 12, 2006
High-definition video fans can prepare themselves for another new format: AVCHD. The format, developed by Sony and Panasonic, is aimed at high-definition camcorders and makes it possible to store HD content on currently available 3.2-inch DVDs, the companies said today.
AVCHD uses the MPEG4 AVC/H.264 compression system, which is more efficient than the MPEG2 system used on conventional DVDs. HD video contains about four times as much picture data as standard definition video, so a better compression system is essential if anything more than a few minutes of video is to be stored on each disc.
Yoshikazu Ochiai, a spokesman for Sony in Tokyo, said that despite the present focus on Blu-ray Disc, the format is currently not feasible for camcorder use. Several hurdles remain before Blu-ray Disc drives can be fitted into camcorders, including bringing down the price of the drive, making it small enough to fit into a camcorder, and reducing energy consumption.
Using AVCHD, about 20 minutes of HD video can be recorded on a single-sided DVD disc when using the average quality setting, said Ochiai. That compares to about 30 minutes of video when using the same disc with a standard definition camcorder.
Sony is already developing a camcorder based on AVCHD but Ochiai wouldn't provide any details. He did not explain what the acronym AVCHD represents.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Gary McKinnon, 40, of London has been indicted in New Jersey and Virginia for allegedly hacking into U.S. government computers between February 2001 and March 2002. He was arrested in 2002 and has fought his extradition by claiming he could face prosecution under U.S. anti-terror laws.
"My intention was never to disrupt security. The fact that I logged on and there were no passwords means that there was no security," McKinnon said, outside the hearing at London's Bow Street Magistrates Court. "I was looking for UFOs."
Court records in Virginia said McKinnon caused $900,000 in damage to computers, including those of private companies, in 14 states.
In New Jersey, he is accused of hacking into a network of 300 computers at the Earle Naval Weapons Station in Colts Neck, N.J., and stealing 950 passwords.
The break-in - which occurred immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks - shut down the whole system for a week, Judge Nicholas Evans said. The station is responsible for replenishing the Atlantic fleet's munitions and supplies.
Though McKinnon was able to view sensitive details about naval munitions and shipbuilding on the secure U.S. systems, he did not access classified information, an investigation found.Source
Monday, May 08, 2006
Intel has decided to borrow the sequential naming scheme it used for its famous Pentium brand and apply it to the new Core line of chips, the company is expected to announce Sunday. Earlier this year, Intel released the Core Duo processor, and in a few months it will unveil Core 2 Duo processors. The Core 2 Duo name will be used for desktop chips based on the
Each Core 2 Duo chip will also have a model number that will indicate how much power it consumes and its relative performance, said Intel spokesman Bill Kircos. The
Each one of Intel's model numbers will be preceded by a letter that indicates how much power the chip consumes at its peak. This is the first time Intel has incorporated power consumption into its model numbers. For example, the Core 2 Duo E6800 processor would represent a dual-core Core-architecture processor that consumes between 55 watts and 75 watts of power, which Intel considers the standard desktop PC category. The hypothetical Core 2 Duo T5400 would represent a dual-core Core chip that consumes between 25 watts and 55 watts of power, a range Intel thinks is appropriate for most notebooks and some desktops.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
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It was just a matter of time, Korean scientists have developed a female android called eveR-1. Look out Austin Powers.
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Saturday, May 06, 2006
According to EE Times, an Israeli company has developed a personal video display device that looks like a simple pair of glasses. You can use these glasses with various sources, such as a portable media player or your cell phone. This technology promises to eliminate the dizziness phenomenon usually associated with this kind of display. And with these glasses weighing only about 40 grams, you'll feel that you're viewing a 40-inch screen from a distance of 7 feet. Read more?Here is how this technology works. Mirage Innovations Ltd.'s technology is based on the principle of transforming a thin transparent plate into a complete wearable personal display system. The diffractive planar optics is combined with a microdisplay source, such as micro LCD, LCOS or OLED.
Within the NanoPrism diffractive planar optics device, light emerging from the microdisplay source is collected by a lens and coupled into a thin transparent substrate via a nanoscale diffraction grating. The trapped light propagates within the substrate by internal reflection toward the viewer's eyes, producing a perfectly aligned image.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Why do some people choose to use VoIP over the local telephone company service?
While there are many possible answers to the question above, I'd like to point out a few reasons that I've personally seen or heard of. Being a small business owner, I for one made the decision based on cost. So let's start there.
Before switching to VoIP, I was using my local RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company) and a large long distance provider. My local RBOC bill averaged $25.00 per month and my long distance bill could be as low as $15 per month or as high as $150 per month. The first thing I switched was my long distance provider. By switching I saw an immediate cost reduction. This was certainly a step in the right direction. Bottom line was that before switching to VoIP my monthly phone bill was $40 to $165 per month, which I was able to reduce to $29 to $100 per month. This was still not good enough given the range of the monthly cost. I needed a way to budget a fixed amount. Enter VoIP. After switching to VoIP my monthly bill including E911 fee and all taxes comes out to just under $25 a month. That, for me, was the bottom line. Cost savings.
One of my customers switched to VoIP for not only the cost savings, but also the convenience. You see his daughter was going off to college in another state. He wanted his daughter to be able to call home at anytime and not worry about long distance charges. He took the option of a virtual number. When using VoIP area codes mean little. The call is routed through your broadband connection. To a computer, area codes don't mean anything. It's just data flowing through the internet. By using VoIP and a virtual number allowed this customer to choose a virtual number in the same area code as his daughters. Every time his daughter calls home, she dials his virtual number (local number), which then rings at his home in another state. He gets to speak with her all the time and she pays for a local call. So in this case it wasn't cost alone, but the convenience as well.
Here's one last example of a family who had a son serving in the military in Europe. This family chose to use a videophone and purchased 2 such phones. When their son was sent to Europe he brought the phone with him. Since he had access to a broadband connection, he simply plugged his phone in and was able to call home. Yes, a LOCAL call! Not only that, but he was able to actually 'see' his family. This setup consisted of 2 videophones and two accounts. His family could call him, or he could call his family. In both cases it was charged as a local call (even though he was stationed in Europe and his family was state side). If this wasn't good enough, by using the videophone, they could actually SEE each other. This is really VoIP in action. The son in the military was still able to 'see' the Christmas tree, participate in birthday parties and so much more.
There are many reasons for switching to VoIP and the examples above are certainly not inclusive. Whatever your reasons for considering this service, chances are there is a provider and plan to fit your needs
FullService Broadband Provider. Unbiased, informative information on broadband technology made possible through Try Right Technology, Inc. Copyright 2006
Patrick is a 48-year-old Stanford-trained (Ph.D.) engineer who owns ECM (Engine Control and Monitoring), a Sunnyvale firm that makes electronic instruments used by auto manufacturers to calibrate their engines for performance, fuel economy and emissions. He knows cars. He knows how they work. He's an animated man who has a seasoned sense of humor, a wry view of the world, mixed with a dash of the absurd and an absolute passion for things like, well, jet-powered cars.
Patrick has had a lot of cars and he said that about five or six years ago he was getting pretty bored with the state of the hot-rodding car hobby in America.
"I'd been building cars for a long time," he said. "Drag cars, American muscle cars. The last one was a big hemi engine in a 1965 Dodge Coronet. I wanted something of the extreme of the extreme of the extreme. I was looking to buy a (ex-Soviet) MiG 15 or MiG 17 jet engine. I finally decided on the T58."
The Navy surplus General Electric T58-8F is that menacing, giant cigar-like item sticking out of the VW's hatchback. When he fires it up, standing next to it is a bit like standing next to one of the engines of a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320 while the thing is about to back off from the gate. This, however, is a Volkswagen bug with a 1,450-horsepower jet engine sticking out the back, idling away at 13,000 RPM.
It's a perfectly street-legal VW, too, with current California registration and smog-approved gas-burning front engine made by Volkswagen. It's just this humongous big thing projecting 23 inches rearward from the hatchback that makes it different from any other bug. The "thing" is what Patrick describes as "essentially a baby Lear jet engine, a couple steps down from the engine on an F4 Phantom."
"The presidential chopper has two of these engines," Patrick said the other day at his office in Sunnyvale. "It's the one that lands at the White House and you see the president come out and the little dog running around."
Thursday, May 04, 2006
The largely secret project, parts of which have been made public through Air Force budget documents submitted to Congress in February, is part of a wide-ranging effort to develop space weapons, both defensive and offensive. No treaty or law forbids such work.
The laser research was described by federal officials who would speak only on the condition of anonymity because of the topic's political sensitivity. The White House has recently sought to play down the issue of space arms, fearing it could become an election-year liability.
Indeed, last week Republicans and Democrats on a House Armed Services subcommittee moved unanimously to cut research money for the project in the administration's budget for the 2007 fiscal year. While Republicans on the panel would not discuss their reasons for the action, Congressional aides said it reflected a bipartisan consensus for moving cautiously on space weaponry, a potentially controversial issue that has yet to be much debated.
The full committee is expected to take up the budget issue today. The laser research is far more ambitious than a previous effort by the Clinton administration nearly a decade ago to test an antisatellite laser. It would take advantage of an optical technique that uses sensors, computers and flexible mirrors to counteract the atmospheric turbulence that seems to make stars twinkle.
The weapon would essentially reverse that process, shooting focused beams of light upward with great clarity and force. Though futuristic and technically challenging, the laser work is relatively inexpensive by government standards ? about $20 million in 2006, with planned increases to some $30 million by 2011 ? partly because no weapons are as yet being built and partly because the work is being done at an existing base, an unclassified government observatory called Starfire in the New Mexico desert.
In interviews, military officials defended the laser research as prudent, given the potential need for space arms to defend American satellites against attack in the years and decades ahead. "The White House wants us to do space defense," said a senior Pentagon official who oversees many space programs, including the laser effort. "We need that ability to protect our assets" in orbit.
But some Congressional Democrats and other experts fault the research as potential fuel for an antisatellite arms race that could ultimately hurt this nation more than others because the United States relies so heavily on military satellites, which aid navigation, reconnaissance and attack warning.
In a statement, Representative Loretta Sanchez, a California Democrat on the subcommittee who opposes the laser's development, thanked her Republican colleagues for agreeing to curb a program "with the potential to weaponize space."
Theresa Hitchens, director of the Center for Defense Information, a private group in Washington that tracks military programs, said the subcommittee's action last week was a significant break with the administration. "It's really the first time you've seen the Republican-led Congress acknowledge that these issues require public scrutiny," she said.
In a statement, the House panel, the Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, made no reference to such policy disagreements but simply said that "none of the funds authorized for this program shall be used for the development of laser space technologies with antisatellite purposes."
It is unclear whether the Republican-controlled Congress will sustain the subcommittee's proposed cut to the administration's request, even if the full House Armed Services Committee backs the reduction.
The Air Force has pursued the secret research for several years but discussed it in new detail in its February budget request. The documents stated that for the 2007 fiscal year, starting in October, the research will seek to "demonstrate fully compensated laser propagation to low earth orbit satellites."
The documents listed several potential uses of the laser research, the first being "antisatellite weapons."
I think it is about time we got a laser weapon in space, not that I am a violent person or anything, it is just that if we don't some other country will.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
One of the first of many to come I believe, is Writely, which is a word processor that functions completely online, and will store your documents securely on their servers too. This means that you, and anybody else who you give access to, will be able to access these documents and modify or download them. Obviously productivity software will never be replaced by this, but it is another good option that people might find useful.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Gorog's latest move doesn't seem destined to quiet the naysayers. On May 1, the Los Angeles-based company announced a new Web-based version of its software, along with a new service that lets users listen to any song among its catalog of 2 million songs absolutely free -- so long as they don't want to listen to any one song more than five times.
While Napster's share price had risen 30% since Jan. 1, based on expectations for a Web-based service, the actual unveiling did little to keep the momentum going. The stock closed at $4.61 on May 1, virtually unchanged from its previous close.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Microsoft's consummate executive, Steven A. Ballmer, giving the keynote lecture at a conference for Web developers and designers in Paris once.
The company reported a 13 percent exacerbate in sales for the partition, to $10.9 billion, and a 16 percent show oneself in net income, to $2.98 billion, or 31 cents a share, from $2.56 billion, or 28 cents, in the period a stage earlier.
The emolument were 2 cents a share below what analysts surveyed by Thomson first bid had foretaste.
The chief financial officer for Microsoft, Chris Liddell, said: "Over all for the region, we are very happy near the uninterrupted market momentum we're seeing. pl is accelerating for the period."
still a bullish stance on wages, Microsoft evidently surprised analysts by predicting significantly loftier outgoings in the next fiscal stage. Its shares, which had gained 15 cents, to $27.25, in routine traffic, fell on the expectancy of tonier Often, exception more than 6 percent after hours, to $25.50.
Executives also said they did not see any immediate increase in perquisite on the horizon even as Microsoft prepared for its largest release of new deal in in more than five years.
The company said once again that the rehabilitate for its new managing system software, Windows range, would not be ready during January.
For the first time, the company offered guidance on the coming year; its 2007 pecuniary phase starts in July.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
The Washington Post reports that Senators Feinstein (D-Cal.) and Graham (R-S.C.) have introduced S. 2644, dubbed the PERFORM Act, that is aimed at punishing satellite radio for offering its subscribers devices capable of recording off the air.
Buried in the bill, however, is a provision that would effectively require music webcasters to use DRM-laden streaming formats, rather than the MP3 streaming format used by Live365, Shoutcast, and many smaller webcasters (like Santa Monica's KCRW and Seattle's KEXP). The streaming radio stations included in iTunes also rely on MP3 streams (since Apple isn't about to license the Real or Microsoft streaming codecs).
Today, webcasters that want to transmit major label music are entitled to do so under a statutory license (administered by SoundExchange) set out in section 114(d) of the Copyright Act. So long as they follow the rules and pay a royalty, webcasters can play whatever music they like, using whatever streaming format they like.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
The software, Yahoo Go for TV, is free to download. After the software is installed, people plug their computer into their television's video and audio input connections. The computer can then record and play back shows on the TV just like with a standalone DVR. Consumers can also play DVDs, music, photos or other downloaded content.
The cost of a few cables and TV tuner card, in comparison with the hundreds of dollars being shelled out for DVD players or DVRs, could lure consumers away from DVR competitors like TiVo. And many industry leaders see TV-computer combinations as the portal for reaching consumers.
Microsoft said recently that its Windows XP Media Center software is outselling the standard edition of the software, and Hewlett-Packard announced last year that it is developing technology to let high-definition televisions directly access digital content from home computers.
In other news:
* Hotmail's new address
* TV stations fret over HD
* Children teaching teachers about tech
* News.com Extra: Are we ready for ultra-mobile PCs?
* Video: Robotic giraffe wanders Maker Faire
The Yahoo software, as of yet, only runs on Windows and requires a computer with 20GB of disk space to store recorded programs, 512MB of RAM and a 1GHz processor.
The DVR feature on Go for TV also requires a TV tuner card and connector cables for connecting to a TV monitor. Yahoo also suggests using a remote control, which usually comes standard with the purchase of most TV tuner cards. While the software works with any TV signal, Yahoo recommends a 1.5mbps broadband connection for best results.
Television listings are provided via a Yahoo Go for TV interface. Users are prompted to give their ZIP code during setup, so that the proper service provider can be chosen. Yahoo Go for TV updates the listings daily. Those who already use TiVo can still use the Go for TV digital video recording feature by simply connecting each component to a different video input outlet. One system will not interfere with the other, as long as they each have access to the TV signal.
Last year, Yahoo partnered with TiVo so that TiVo subscribers could browse and schedule downloads remotely via the Internet. Yahoo has not released any information on how this release affects that relationship.
The Yahoo Go for TV software works in conjunction with many of Yahoo's other Yahoo Go media products, such as Yahoo Launchcast, a radio and music subscription service, and Flickr, Yahoo's photo-sharing site. In addition, Go for TV lets people view photos from any online service and to listen to music from CDs or digital-music libraries already stored on the linked computer.
Last week, Yahoo announced its purchase of Meedio's technology and intellectual property. Houston-based Meedio's software integrates videos, photos and music for digital home media systems. At the time of the announcement, some industry watchers speculated that Meedio would enable Yahoo to offer a similar system.Source