Daily tech headlines – 25 August 2011

We’ve changed from the weekly round-up to a daily one as the industry moves so fast, news from (potentially) 6 days ago can be seriously out of date! and not of great interest.

The objective here is to provide a number of links to different news articles which are hitting the tech headlines.

We will also look to add additional comment where relevant and where we have time.

It’s a fairly slow news day today with most of the focus on Steve Jobs of Apple and his resignation.

News:

Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs resigns

No real shocker given Steve’s illness over the last few years.

Whilst he’s stepping down as CEO, he will remain with Apple as the Chairman and will remain on the board of Disney.

Many people wonder what will happen to Apple now Steve has stepped down from the CEO role.

I don’t believe much will change (certainly over the next few years) as Apple’s roadmap is fairly well laid out and the chap moving in to the CEO role (Tim Cook) has been acting CEO for a while now.

Some links below to various stories on the resignation and other stories relating to Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs Called Google’s Vic Gundotra on a Sunday About this Icon
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/25/steve-jobs-called-googles-vic-gundotra-on-a-sunday-about-this-icon/

Steve Jobs best quotes

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/08/24/steve-jobss-best-quotes/

You’ve got to find what you love

http://www.kevin-ashcroft.com/2011/03/07/youve-got-to-find-what-you-love

Steve Jobs – Resignation letter

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/mixed-signals-10000051/steve-jobs-resignation-letter-as-ceo-of-apple-10024195/

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LG announce scanner mouse (Hey that rhymes…)

A mouse that’s a scanner and can scan up to A3 in size?

Looks like it is available now for circa £90 ex vat.

Video below:

You can save or drag and drop scanned images in a variety of formats — PNG, JPEG, TIFF, and PDF, are just some of the options– by swiping the mouse over it. You can also use the Optical Character Recognition facility that converts text from images into editable text for Word, Excel or whatever document you need.

Looks pretty cool!

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In case you are one of the (lucky / unlucky) people who got their hands on the HP TouchPad tablet, here’s another link to some apps that may be useful to you:

Top 10 Free Apps for Your £85 HP TouchPad Tablet via PCWorld http://j.mp/q8217e

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Mobile phones could soon be powered by walking? – A new way to get fit?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14647639

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ocd logo 100x64

That’s all for today folks – hope you enjoyed the read and feel free to comment.

OCD is a Glasgow-based IT support and solutions company with clients across Scotland and North England. Founded in 1994, OCD is the IT company of choice because we deliver the best IT support, IT services and value to businesses in Glasgow. Our customers tell us that they love our proactive IT support that reduces the risk of unscheduled downtime by over 79 percent on the national average. Read more about OCD’s IT Support here.

http://www.kevin-ashcroft.com/2011/03/07/youve-got-to-find-what-you-love/

Daily tech headlines – 24 August 2011

We’ve changed from the weekly round-up to a daily one as the industry moves so fast, news from (potentially) 6 days ago can be seriously out of date! and not of great interest.

The objective here is to provide a number of links to different news articles which are hitting the tech headlines.

We will also look to add additional comment where relevant and where we have time.

News:

As we mentioned on Monday’s blog, the HP touchpad has been cancelled and the price of the device fell through the floor.

Monday evening we started to see Bestbuy /Dabs / PC World etc. drop the price (as we predicted) tocirca  £85 for the 16Gb and £115 for the 32Gb.

They weren’t there for long! Dabs sold there stock in around 15 minutes.

If you are the lucky (or unlucky depending on how you view it) owner of a Touchpad – I’ve placed some links below that may be useful to you.

HP TouchPad apps you need to have

10 Good users for the TouchPad

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HP PC business for sale?

Rumor grows each day and is changing from “will it happen” to “When will it happen” and “Who will buy it”. [Read more...]

Daily tech headlines – 22 August 2011

We’ve changed form the weekly round-up to a daily one as the industry moves so fast, news from potentially 6 days ago can be seriously out of date!

The objective here is to provide a number of links to different news articles which are hitting the tech headlines.

We will also look to add additional comment where relevant and where we have time.

News:

Three announces UK’s first 21Mbps HSDPA+ hotspot for Septemer arrival http://j.mp/poSou4

I use the existing Three Mifi device and it works great – the additional speed will be a welcome addition.

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The Nine iPad Apps Changing Business zite.to/pfai3h

There are so many great apps out there it can be difficult to chose the right ones.

At OCD we use many different apps so if you ever need a little advice on which purchase to make or for a demo, contact the OCD sales team for iPAD advice.

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HP begins TouchPad clearance with $99 fire sale zite.to/r9Wyr5

After 7 weeks and very poor sales, HP has axed their tablet line-up and heavily discounted the remaining stock in the marketplace.

Best Buy and others started discounting the Touchpad to a starting price of $99 in Canada and the US over the weekend.

It’s rumored that the UK pricing will follow suit £89 / £115 for the 16Gb and 32G respectively.

Ohh and it’s very likely HP will stop selling PC’s….who’d have thunk it!

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Japanese iPhone to get earthquake alerts

9to5Mac reports that the feature will be added to the IOS 5 update which is due within the next 5 weeks.

More info from the BBC website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14614454

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ocd logo 100x64

That’s all for today folks – hope you enjoyed the read and feel free to comment.

OCD is a Glasgow-based IT support and solutions company with clients across Scotland and North England. Founded in 1994, OCD is the IT company of choice because we deliver the best IT support, IT services and value to businesses in Glasgow. Our customers tell us that they love our proactive IT support that reduces the risk of unscheduled downtime by over 79 percent on the national average. Read more about OCD’s IT Support here.

Weekly tech round-up to 15 August

google1

Google sued by alleged victim of Gmail snooping!

In our August 1st blog, we let you know about Microsoft’s take on Google scanning your email before you even read it (Gmailman) so that it can display ads to Gmail users that it believes are personally relevant.

Given the litigious society we live in now, I guess it was only a matter of time before someone took this to the next level.

A woman in Massachusetts has filed a class action suit against the internet giant, seeking damages of $100 per day for each infringement (or $1,000 – whichever is higher), plus punitive damages and an injunction preventing Google from further violation.

More info can be found here on the ZDnet website.

microsoft 300x70  google1

Google throws a punch and Microsoft fires back with a missile!

Apparently Google has been complaining that its competitors are trying to stifle competition (particularly in relation to their Android technology used in smartphones and tablets) by filing bogus patent claims.

One of the targets for Google’s complaint was Microsoft. Google claimed that Microsoft had teamed up with Apple to buy Novell’s old patents, thus keeping them from Google.

This was mentioned in a blog post by Google’s SVP and Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond.

Later the same day Microsoft came out swinging with their response, which in essence told the Google SVP to check his facts before posting, as Microsoft has specifically invited Google to bid together with Microsoft for these patents and Google knocked them back! – Oops.

Read more about this spat in the Techcrunch article.  [Read more...]

OCD Weekly tech round-up to August 1 2011

google1

Google has been issuing warnings to over two million computer owners who are at risk of infection from a virus that hijacks search results.

The malicious software produces fake results after users perform a search, with a yellow warning window informing them that their computer is at risk. Users are guided to click a link to both check that their anti-virus software is up-to-date and inform them how to remove the problem.

Google said it found “unusual search traffic” when one of its data centres was undergoing a maintenance check.

Security engineer Damian Menscher posted on the company’s blog: “The malware appears to have gotten onto users’ computers from one of roughly a hundred variants of fake antivirus, or “fake AV” software that has been in circulation for a while.

“We aren’t aware of a common name for the malware.”

Hundreds of thousands of people are thought to have already been notified.

microsoft 300x70

GMailman – have you heard the story or seen the video yet?

It appears Microsoft have created a video which pokes fun at how Google’s Gmail service actually reads your emails before you do…

Allegedly the system scans your messages before they’re opened, which then enable it to serve up ads which are linked to the keywords in your email.

Microsoft used the film at its annual global conference to spur users on in the battle of Office 365 versus Google Apps.

The video now seems to have been leaked.

Basically Microsoft’s point is that Google cares more about advertising than privacy!

Read more on the story at ZDNET.

intel

Intel Ultrabook – for those smitten with the MacBook Air but who want a Windows-based laptop!

This latest model looks set to challenge very slim and light laptops running for 5 hours on a fully-charged battery with the prospect of 8 hours or more battery power, giving you effectively a full working day without needing to plug in.

The Rapid Start Technology in these laptops is designed to switch the systems on almost instantly from a state of “deep sleep”.

Asus (their UX-21) and HP should be bringing their own versions of this to market over the next few months, which will then undoubtedly be closely followed by many others.

There is a target price of below $1,000 for these machines, however, rumours are spreading that manufacturers are finding it hard to hit that price point.

Intel describes a three phase approach to this technology over the next 12 months or so as follows:

  • Phase 1: This was kicked off when Intel introduced its latest Ultra-Low Voltage 2nd Generation Intel Core processors in June that will bring new systems to store shelves this summer.
  • Phase 2: Centres around the next generation of Intel micro-architecture, code-named ‘Ivy Bridge’, with processors scheduled for availability in systems during the first half of 2012. Faster I/O such as USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt technologies are also part of Intel’s ongoing work to drive the PC platform forward.
  • Phase 3: In 2013 Intel micro-architecture dubbed ‘Haswell’ will be released. This claims to accelerate the Ultrabook and reinvent the capabilities of the laptop in new sleek systems.

Read more here

smashed iphone

Are you suffering from Smartphone screen damage?

Just a little note to say I recently had to find a company to fix a shattered iPhone 4 screen for my better half.

I knew I could go to Apple, however, the cost is circa £85 and you need to make an appointment for the team at the Genius Bar.

Luckily a friend recommended a shop at 85 Commerce Street in Glasgow called Mymo – www.mymoaccessories.com

After a quick telephone quote of £50 for a replacement screen both supplied and fitted, I headed straight over there.

The staff were attentive and very helpful, and had the screen replaced in under 30 minutes.

They also offer a huge range of cases and accessories for many handsets – well worth a visit if you need your handset repaired.

apple

A little bit of fun? (Well it might be if it wasn’t so serious…)

Apple has more money in the bank than the United States Government.

The U.S. Treasury declares that it has reserves of $73.768 billion. Apple, on the other hand, has $75.876 billion. Should Steve Jobs be brought in to solve the debt crisis? Maybe he could provide a short term loan?

Oh and finally, click to read the OCD Monthly Newsletter.

Have a great week.

Sister Company – Internet Marketing ROI

We have some exciting news to share with you today.

We now have a sister company which specialises in Internet Marketing Services, it’s called Internet Marketing ROI.

You can find more information at the following – www.internetmarketingroi.co.uk

Internet Marketing ROI assists other businesses with the following Internet Marketing services:

  • Website creation (Building professional, easy to manage and easy to update websites for you)
  • Search Engine optimisation (Getting you to the top of the Google/Bing/Yahoo rankings)
  • Conversation Rate optimisation (Getting people to perform the actions you want them to when they visit your website)
  • Social Media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. (We help you become part of the conversation that’s going on out there)
  • Proofreading and copywriting service (Make sure the website reads well)

There are other services we provide which branch off the service above – you can get a high level overview by looking at the Internet Marketing mind-map on the website.

We’d be delighted to talk to you about how we could benefit your business through the services above.

In the meantime please feel free to browse through the website and let us know if you want to talk further.

You’ll find a free “Top 10 Tips on LinkedIn” when you visit our site (you’re taken through a very, very quick signup form before the link is emailed to you – you only have to enter your name and email address.) We hope you find this is of use to you.

The New Microsoft Partner Network

OCD’s clients will know how jealously we guard our Microsoft Partner status and how we aspire to always live up to its requirements.

Unfortunately many companies use their partner status as a badge rather than a reason to continue to excel so recently Microsoft itself decided that the certification programme was in need of renovation and initiated The Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).

The MPN requires current partners to re-train and re-certify but the big change is that the new certifications are ‘Competency Based’.  Partners now have to prove specific skills rather than trying to be all things to all men.

The new programme is based on the Microsoft Infrastructure Optimisation (IO) models and ensures Microsoft partners can recommend, sell, deploy, and service the latest Microsoft technology in market to meet customer demand.

In choosing to attain the new competency OCD technical, sales and licensing staff have been certified in latest Microsoft product versions in market and we are delighted to announce our new Desktop and Server Platform Competencies.

Bill Grier, OCD’s Head of Business Development said “These new competences distinguish OCD by placing us among the top 5 per cent of Microsoft partners worldwide.  They offer a clear path for OCD to showcase its skillsets in today’s competitive environment and that can only be a good thing for our clients.”

“When we earned these Server Platform competencies, we did more than develop our credentials and expertise.  These competencies are an excellent foundation for our business.  They give us the ‘mission critical’ vendor status our clients need and help us remain a strong competitor in the marketplace. “

OCD provide IT Solutions, IT Support and IT Services to businesses and charities throughout Scotland and North England.

OCD Weekly tech round-up to July 25 2011

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Microsoft’s Q4 earnings for the 2011 fiscal year have been posted, with revenue quoted at a cool $17.37 billion. An 8% increase over the same period in 2010, this beats their previous record of $16.43 billion in revenue, which they posted in Q3 this year. $5.87 billion in net income is a huge 30% climb over the previous year. Microsoft’s revenue broke another record for the full year, which came in at $69.94 billion – 12% higher than the year before.

Much of the growth has come from the Entertainment and Devices Division which is responsible for the Xbox 360 and Kinect hardware – this has witnessed 30% revenue growth over that quarter and circa 45% over the year.

Another major contributor to the impressive earnings has been the online side of the business, with the search engine, bing, and Microsoft’s online services increasing revenue by around 17%.

Income from Microsoft Windows has been relatively flat over the period although possibly that will change with the release of Windows 8 sometime in 2012 (likely mid-year).

Many still believe that Steve Balmer (Microsoft CEO) is the reason that the share price does not increase in the same way as it does for other companies. This is an intriguing proposition, considering the impressive performance both in revenue and profits Microsoft has achieved over the years since Balmer became CEO.

OCD is a Microsoft Gold Partner.

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New entries into the ever-expanding tablet market are coming from Lenovo in the form of the ThinkPad Tablet and the IdeaPad K1.

The tablets are aimed at companies and consumers respectively.

Each model boasts some interesting features and you can find out more from the Engadget website, which includes a review:

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet

Oh… and a late arrival for your attention is the IdeaPad P1 which is a Windows 7 based tablet. [Read more...]

OCD Weekly tech round-up to July 18 2011

google

Google+

Google launched a new service at the end of June to a limited number of people (allowing it time to iron out kinks, such as the system running out of disk space for 80 minutes earlier this week).

It’s Google’s next enterprise in social media and is made up of several different services, some of which you may already use, including:

Circles – Allows you to group your contacts together in a network, dividing people by the type of information you want to share with them. For instance, you can have groups for family, close friends, acquaintances, colleagues and so on.

Hangouts – This is basically a group video chat service where you can connect with people in your Circles groups.

Sparks – This is a little like Google Reader except it brings content to you automatically, based on your interests. Each topic (football, animals, holidays etc.) will get its own Sparks page and the service will provide links to related articles, videos and photos that it believes will be of interest to you.

Having only launched in late June, the service officially surpassed 10 million users on Thursday 14th July.

Google+ is by invitation only at present; however, everyone with a Google account will eventually have access to the service.

Google also announced during the week that its gross revenue for the second quarter of 2011 was $9.02 billion, up 32% on the same period from 2010. Its net income was $2.51 billion, up from $1.84 billion during the same period in 2010 – pretty tasty numbers which beat analyst estimates by a fair stretch!

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Microsoft – Patch Tuesday

Microsoft released four security bulletins on Tuesday as part of their regular monthly roll-out of patches and significant updates.

One fixed a critical hole relating to Bluetooth in Windows 7 and Vista, with three less important patches that fixed issues in all Windows versions and Visio 2003. [Read more...]

laptop with a difference?

This is one of the more unusual laptops I’ve ever seen.

It’s called the GScreen’s dual-screen SpaceBook and it features (as you may have guessed from the name) not one but two 17” 1920×1080 screens that fold out like wings.

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It certainly looks a little different but I can see where it would be useful for creative types who travel from Client to Client and need to work on-site.

The kit is fairly powerful, it packs the following spec for circa $2395 (£1484) – 2.66GHz Core i5-560M CPU, 4GB of DDR3 memory, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTS 250M (1GB), a 500GB HDD, DVD burner and a magnesium alloy frame.

For an extra $400 (£250ish) you can upgrade the CPU to a 1.73GHz Core i7-740QM.

No shipping date has been provided yet and you can read a little more info and see more screenshots at the Windows experience blog.

Would you use it and if so what would you use it for?