Tag Archive | "technology"

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20 Years Ago: When a 1.3 Megapixel Digital Camera Cost $20,000 and Stored 70 Images – Video

Posted on 16 July 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

We have come very far in terms of technological advancements. Today’s computers and digital devices are superior to those just a few years ago. We have more than enough computing power in our pockets to initiate and complete another mission to the moon, just have NASA supply the rockets and fuel.

Digital cameras are one way of “digitally” documenting our major advancements over a short period.. The introduction of digital cameras dates back 20 years ago when photography had its infancy in the digital realm. At the time, digital cameras were not easily attainable by the average Joe. Those who wanted to partake in the enjoyment of what professional digital cameras had to offer needed to fork over $20,000 and were only permitted to take around 70 images at 1.3 megapixels stored on a 131 MB card. Yes, those were the stats from 20 years ago.

The cheaper options were provided by Apple but never really took off. The video below is a virtual trip back to the past when digital cameras first came on the scene giving us a “whole new world.” The video is a must-watch for us techie folks as it may draw a stark contrast of the OLD versus today’s NEW in the area of digital photography. Wow, look around you and witness how times have changed! The digital camera, what a concept!

Popularity: 5%

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Lenovo Gets Serious About $130 PC on a stick

Posted on 29 June 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

The PC market hasn’t deviated much from its original home-market conception. Since that time, we have seen the advancements in software and faster hardware with some high definition output interface devices add to the formula. Lenovo, one of the world’s leading PC makers, is attempting to shape up the PC market in a new, small way with its newly-announce PC on a stick.

Starting at a price of $130, PC on a stick by Lenovo, dubbed the Ideacentre Stick 300, promises to deliver the performance of a Windows PC but in a bite-sized portion. What is essentially a mini-PC, is almost 4 inches wide, 1.5 inches deep and .59 inches high – nearly the size of a larger form-factor USB stick.

The idea behind PC on stick is to carry it wherever you go with unsurpassed mobility and just plug it into any HDMI port of a TV or PC monitor. In doing so, you will be able to run all onboard applications and files stored on the device, which carries up to 2GB of memory and 32GB of storage.

For connectivity to utilize the PC on a stick, the Ideacentre Stick 300 has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 along with one HDMI port, one MicroUSB 2.0 port and one SD card reader. Powering the small “workhorse” that it is, is left to an Intel Atom processor. There is even a tiny speaker built into the device.

Windows 8.1 will initially ship with the new PC on a stick and later be eligible for a Windows 10 upgrade once Microsoft drops the new operating system. Basically, use of the new Ideacentre Stick 300 will only require your home TV (that has a HDMI port), a wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Lenovo’s general manager for Worldwide Desktop and Visuals, Jun Ouyang, said in a press release, “Our goal with the Ideacentre Stick 300 is to give those users a sense of freedom and enhanced mobility, while packing a serious punch in a small device.”

Whether the PC on a stick concept will pan out to be a viable option for consumers has yet to be seen. The uses for the device make sense in a world where streaming media is taking a front seat in the homes of “enabled” consumers. The PC on a stick could essentially be your gateway to an interactive TV set or means of making your work environment portable without lugging around your handy laptop. Either way, we look to give this concept a chance and see how it fairs on the new-age tech horizon.

Popularity: 7%

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Throttle That Unlimited Data – Do We Have a Problem?

Posted on 18 June 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

ATT is to get struck with a $100 million fine from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) due to throttling data on their unlimited plans and not proper conveying the information to their customers. What many are reporting as a deception on ATT’s part is more of a serious issue that many companies are doing. The thing is, is it a problem with the users and do they know what is going on with this so-called throttling of data on unlimited 4G LTE plans.

Communications and data infrastructures are the largest they have ever been. Technology is ruling the world and those of us who take our data availability and frequency of that data for granted may be in for a shocker. Believe it or not, but the data systems that provide services to your devices are probably not robust enough to provide an unlimited data service to everyone signed up all at the same time. Basically, if everyone accessing data was to sign on and start streaming a high-definition movie all at the same time, something will eventually crash on the data provider’s end.

With the companies like ATT knowing what will happen if their systems are taxed to the brink of crashing, they have cleverly put in measures to throttle data to supposedly provide everyone data services without interruption. This means that when someone is considered by ATT to be using too much “unlimited” data, the flow of that data is slowed down to make way for others on the service to avoid interruptions or conflicts due to the systems not being able to handle the load.

Many critics and consumers of unlimited plans have lashed out against such practices by these gargantuan companies. The FCC too has heard these complaints and are looking to start cracking down on the practices – mostly due to the companies not properly disclosing that they will be throttling data transfer for their unlimited services.

Fine print has been a messy case when it comes to consumers attempting to get what they want or think that they deserve. Rightfully so, an unlimited data plan should be just that, unlimited. In the scheme of what companies like ATT are seeing, unlimited data may resemble something else when you dig deep into the fine print and interpret it in a specific way – a way that ATT wants you to see so they don’t get slapped on the hands by the FCC.

Not only is ATT being scrutinized from these practices, but Sprint is taking a proactive measure and is putting a stop to their data throttling adhering to new Net neutrality rules.

What do you say? If you are on an unlimited data plan have you ever experienced or noticed data throttling. Do you think it is right for them to do such a thing? Should companies like ATT properly disclosed this information and would you have been happy with them saying so up front before you plop down your hefty monthly fee for your “unlimited” services?

Popularity: 9%

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‘Good’ SSDs Get Affordable Thanks to Crucial at 2015 CES

Posted on 09 January 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

Technology is a progressive force that shapes our lives in a way to make them better for the most part. It is rather inevitable to see a forward progress of technology, sometimes in exponentially increasing rates year after year. A particular technology area that is about to see additional leaps and bounds is the area of media storage and reliability in SSDs (Security Solid State Drives).

SSDs are wonderful devices that if you ever have the chance to experience you will never forget that first time. SSD represent the fastest large storage medium for computers, mostly found in desktop and laptop computers apart from normal flash storage.

At one time, SSDs have a bad reputation among the “affordable” choices. Although they proved to be very fast in transfer and storage of data, they were somewhat unreliable. Computer users would be required to spend a large sum of money on top of the premium already placed on SSDs due to the scarcity and high-priced manufacturing costs. Today, the tables have turned, much thanks to companies like Crucial, who at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show have introduced entry-level PCI Express SSDs.

The new Crucial SATA SSD drives, dubbed the BX100 series, have storage sizes of 120 GB, 250 GB, 500 GB and 1 TB all in the 2.5-inch form factor. The drives have respectable prices that make a convincing case for using such a drive over a conventional “spinning” hard drive.

Probably one of the more attractive aspects of the new Crucial SSD BX100 series drives, apart from its pricing, is the fact that the drives are expected to be reliable and have a decent sequential read speed of up to 535 MB/s. On the downside, which is still better than most conventional hard drives, the new Crucial SSDs have a limited writing speed where the 120 GB version manages only 185 MB/s while the larger capacities have up to 370 MB/s writing speed.

No doubt that use of these new drives, which are only in their infancy stage at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas, will be a hot item once they go on sale during the first quarter of 2015.

Popularity: 4%

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DDoS Attacks on Rivals of Facebook & WhatsApp

Posted on 30 September 2014 by SlimboCA

In the last weekend of September two of the technology companies, believed to be more secure alternatives of the giants Facebook and WhatsApp, fell victims of severe DDoS attacks. Recently Telegram and Ello were pronounced to be the latest rivals of the social media company Facebook and the recently acquired WhatsApp app for instant messaging.

The Nature of Ello

Ello is a social network with anti-Facebook nature, which is an ad-free platform that accepts new members only if they have an invitation. The new network does not sell data to third parties. The data that is collected by the new social network is aggregated and anonymous, which makes it useless to Google and the companies’ advertising purposes.

The Nature of Telegram

Telegram is an application for instant messaging, which is based in Russia and is famous for its privacy. The users consider it a great alternative to the WhatsApp platform. Telegram is based on a custom MTProto encryption protocol and applies end-to-end encryption for the secret chats. Telegram became even more popular after Facebook acquired WhatsApp since the company has been strongly criticized for lack of data privacy.
Telegram application is available for Google Android and Apple’s iOS.

DDoS Attack

Both Ello and Telegram were hit by independent distributed denial of service on the last weekend of September. The DDoS attack against Telegram lasted for two days. During the attack, the service was normal in most of the countries, though in some places people lost connections and were not able to send outgoing messages. The user data had not been compromised despite the attack.

There were speculations by some of the social media users that the DDoS attacks and the disruption of service might be associated with the situation in China, since these attacks coincided with the reports that the government of China has hacked WhatsApp as it believed that activists are exchanging messages through that application.

On the same day, Ello also reported that it underwent a DDoS attack that lasted for 45 minutes. The situation was fixed when Ello blocked the IP addresses that were associated with the attack.

The Security Experts

The security expert Martin McKeay from Akamai Technologies stated in front of the SCMagazineUK.com that both Telegram and Ello are targets for two main reasons: they have limited security support and they are growing in popularity. These two reasons make Telegram and Ello the perfect targets for the DDoS attacks.

The security professionals further pointed the fact that the popularity of the communication channel Ello increased overnight, and that brought negative attention as well. The experts further say that the volumetric attacks are now becoming the norm, and they advise all organizations that do business on the Internet to be prepared for such attacks.

The cyber criminals find it easy to carry out DDoS attacks up to 100Gbps, 200Gbps, 300Gbps. That is why the companies have to be active in defending their data from the malicious attacks using mitigation and real-time detection.

Popularity: 32%

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Can You Feel the iPhone 6 Plus Bending in Your Pocket?

Posted on 25 September 2014 by SlimboCA

There is a new Apple scandal on the horizon – Apparently the new iPhone 6 Plus has the bends, but they are not quite enthusiastically accepted by the public.

Obviously the new iPhone 6 Plus can bend a lot easier than most users would have ever expected. The apparent reason for its “flexibility” lies in the aluminum metal case and the thinner design. Combined, they cause the deform that for some users may present a big problem.

Theoretically, if you apply enough pressure, you can bend or even break anything. You can probably also bend iPhone 5S, but this won’t be as easy as you can with the Plus. The reason for this is simple – iPhone 6 Plus is larger and thinner.

Reports about similar issues have been released earlier this year, for example, Sony Xperia Z1. But, unfortunately, in the case of Apple, the reputation of their devices makes any fault more serious than the ones discovered in their competitor’s products.

Truth be told, there is actually quite a lot of force required in order to bend iPhone 6 Plus. There have been videos circling on the Web showing users applying a lot of pressure on the device before it actually bends. So, the chance of the iPhone 6 Plus being deformed even if you sit on it is very low.

But the user’s anger is understandable. People do not expect their quite expensive phone to bend in their pocket. Definitely not from Apple. The newly released device has already been given the name “bend-gate”.

Popularity: 11%

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Symantec Jumps Gun Claiming Antivirus is Dead

Posted on 14 May 2014 by GranTorinoGuy

It is no question that the number of PC sales has taken a dip while consumers seek out other devices such as smartphones, tablets and even convertible tablets that convert into laptops. In knowing this, it is really no surprise that Symantec has claimed that Antivirus is dead in the realm of desktop computing.

Symantec’s vice president Brian Dye said to the WallStreet journal that antivirus “is dead.” As Symantec’s revenue still accounts for about 40% from the Antivirus world, this claim raised a lot of eyebrows, and rightfully so. Dye told the WSJ that the company doesn’t consider AV to be “a moneymaker in any way.”

As a support to Symantec’s claim, Bogdan Dumitru, Chief Technology Officer at Bitdefender said, “Relying solely on antivirus is a dead end-and it has been for at least 8 years now.” Those are mighty strong words considering, as a refute, PCMag’s securitywatch blog says, “But that’s like saying that aspirin is dead because it’s not the cure for cancer, AIDS, and all of humanity’s other illnesses.”

It is possible that the WSJ article was more of a “what’s old is new again” behind the scenes view. On the other hand, WSJ could completely be leading every on about the fear of AV being dead as claimed by Symantec, who was thought to be one of the leaders of the AV solutions world.

Security analyst and SecurityWatch contributor Fahmida Rashid called Dye’s comments “an anthill made into a molehill.” In fact, she said that the statement is well in line with what Symantec has already been doing. “Symantec hasn’t said ‘install Norton and you are set for life’ in years, so it’s not backtracking to say that we need other types of security. We need behavioral analysis, we need real-time execution in the sandbox, we need layered analysis, and so on.”

The fear that comes out of Symantec’s claim could be a misleading situation where computer users think that they simply do not need Antivirus or Antimalware software, which is just a bad thought altogether. Computer users will thrive off of Symantec’s claim and think that they are invincible in a world and time where identity theft and malware is running rampart. Symantec could be shooting themselves in the foot and at the same time consumers are being misled. That is just a fact of the matter, AV is not dead and thankfully many companies that product trusted AV solutions realize this and do not drink the Symantec cool aide.

Popularity: 20%

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Apple Patents Curved Touch Screens Hinting Towards Next Mobile Tech Craze

Posted on 10 December 2013 by GranTorinoGuy

Everyone is always on the hunt for the next best thing but in the interim we suspect that curved touch screens will be a hit amongst mobile devices as Apple has just received a patent for curved touchscreens and displays.

According to AppleInsider, the method Apple patented is designed to create a curved screen that remains to be fully touch sensitive without any distortion. Such a display is hinted towards use not only in upcoming iPhones or other mobile devices, but in items like an upcoming magic mouse or even another desktop application device.

Curved screens can almost be thought of something old becoming new again only this time it is in the ‘flat’ screen vernacular, without any pun intended. With Apple filing such a patent it would mean the current curved glass mobile devices from competitors like LG and Samsung will all be a part of a new family of screens that evade the normal flat design.

In a Bloomberg report in November experts went out on a ledge and guessed that the company is working on a curved glass iPhone for release in late 2014 and at the same time building out better touch input for future devices. This current patent certainly lines up with this thinking.

Of course the true benefits of curved glass have yet to see the light of day outside of being just a fashion fad. Maybe something else is up with the whole curved screen idea, or patent in Apple’s case.

What do you think about curved touch screens or curved glass devices? Any benefit to them over current mobile devices or tablets?

Popularity: 25%

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The future of communication… Imagine that! [Video]

Posted on 22 October 2010 by GranTorinoGuy

As much as this video is a prediction for things to come, it could very well be a reality. And with technology changing faster now than it ever has, it may happen sooner than we think. Check it:

What are your thoughts on the demise of media as it is today. Share your comments below:

Popularity: 13%

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Turning Trash Into Electricity Now a Reality?

Posted on 24 May 2010 by GranTorinoGuy

Remember on the movie “Back to the Future” where at the end Doc had a ‘Mr. Fusion’ trash dispenser on the Delorean that virtually turned trash into energy? Well, if you don’t remember that, then can you imagine a day where we take out the trash to only turn it into usable energy?

The day that we turn trash into electricity is here. Shown in the CNN video below is how the nation’s largest landfill in Las Vegas turns the trash into methane to produce electricity. Ingenious isn’t it?

Is it possible that this new method will break through to other areas of the United States? Just think, because of Americans wastefulness we would inch towards improving efficiency, the environment and reduce waste.

Popularity: 11%

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