Sep
12th

The New, Larger iPhone 6 Plus Has Sold Out!

iPhone 6 PlusApparently, people really like “phablets!”

Larger iPhone 6 Plus Sells Out, ‘Record Number’ of iPhone Pre-orders

Yep, lots of people tried to order new iPhones as pre-sales began just after midnight on Friday.

There were the usual reports of challenges ranging from sites not loading to error messages, with clear indications that plenty of phones were being ordered.

Demand for the new iPhones is higher than that seen in either of the past two years, AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel told Re/code.

In particular, Apple and all the major carriers appear to have sold through their preorder allotments of the larger iPhone 6 Plus with all quoting longer ship times for that model.

A 64 gigabyte iPhone 6 Plus from Verizon, for example, was quoting a mid-October ship date. On AT&T, the same model was listed with a ship time of 35-42 days, also putting it well into October. Apple’s site was quoting ship times of three weeks to four weeks for that model on all carriers.

Sprint’s website was having intermittent issues mid-morning on Friday, displaying a ‘We’ll be back’ error message at times.

Attempting to order a larger iPhone on T-Mobile generated this message:

‘Due to high demand, your Apple product may not be available for immediate shipping. Once we are able to complete your order, you will receive a notification when your product has shipped.’

Update, 9:25 a.m. PT: An Apple representative said that the overnight sales of the new iPhones set a record, though Apple did not say how many have been sold.

‘Response to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been incredible with a record number of preorders overnight,’ Apple told Re/code.

Sprint, meanwhile said ‘response has been strong’ but did not release any pre-order sales numbers.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere apologized on Twitter for any hiccups.

‘Demand has been huge but we are on it,’ Legere said. ‘Keep us posted if you are still having trouble.’

Sep
12th

Google is Selling Schools Chromebook Usage via a Traveling Display

Google Traveling DisplayThe traveling Google Chromebook display, at a school near you!

Google is promoting Chromebooks to US students with a traveling Lending Library

TheNextWeb – By: Paul Sawers – Google is making moves to promote Chromebooks in colleges later this year, as it announces a new Chromebook Lending Library initiative.

However, the library won’t be available internationally, or even nationally. It’s only being introduced to 12 institutions in the US – and even then it will only be available for 4-day stints. So in effect, it’s really more like a traveling pop-up shop.

Students will be able to borrow Chromebooks for use on-campus during the week. It’s an interesting endeavor for sure, but when most students will surely have their own laptops, it’s not clear how popular this will prove.

If nothing else, it will let students try them out for battery-life and general functionality, before deciding whether they’re a worthwhile investment for the long-haul.

The library will be arriving, at different times, at: Auburn University, ASU, Central Florida, GW, Pennsylvania State University, Syracuse at Walnut Park, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, UCLA, and the University of Colorado, Boulder.”

Sep
12th

Windows 9 Walkthrough Video

And, speaking of the new Start Menu and interface…


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Sep
12th

Geek Software of the Week: SlimCleaner – Free!

SlimCleanerNeed to clean and optimize your PC? Now you can with SlimCleaner – Free!

SlimCleaner – Free

Clean & optimize your PC with a crowd-sourced approach.

SlimCleaner is the world’s first software that lets you clean and optimize Windows systems using a crowd-sourced approach. SlimCleaner uses aggregated-cloud feedback to recommend optimal settings for programs, start-ups and services.

SlimCleaner uses what’s called “authoritative ranking” to ensure that the ratings for your programs are accurate and that they reflect what people really think. It works by weighing the ratings of each contributor against their previous levels of accuracy and against the ratings of high-ranking users.

What it does: SlimCleaner is the first software to use social networking for PC repair and optimization.

SlimCleaner combines the industry’s fastest PC cleaning engine with a community of users who provide real-time feedback to improve computer performance. SlimCleaner uses social networking and community-sourced feedback to tell people what’s on their computer, and what they can do about it: it’s like having an army of tech-savvy geeks helping consumers maintain their machines.

Cleaner
The industry’s fastest, most robust engine for analyzing and cleaning unneeded files that slow down a PC. SlimCleaner’s new cleaning engine is fast and powerful, analyzing entire computers in as little as one second.

SlimCleanerOptimize
The world’s first cloud-based optimization engine that allows users to adjust startups and services that impact PC performance, using community-powered feedback.
“More Info” Dialogs: Dialog boxes that give detailed information about what an item on a PC does and how the community views it, including peer reviews, “what should I do?” and comments from other users.

Granular Controls: Adjustable filters let users identify unneeded software and startups in seconds.

Badges: In addition to a personalized Wall, registered users earn badges and rewards based on various factors such as accuracy of their ratings. The Wall contains users’ personal profiles, ratings’ history, comments and trust network – whom they trust and who trusts them.

SlimWare AV Cloud Access: Lets users scan startup vectors for viruses and view results from multiple antivirus engines.

SlimCleanerUninstaller

The first community-powered uninstaller with access to SlimWare Utilities’ community feedback, reviews and comments. SlimCleaner uses a real-time stream from the cloud to compare against community feedback and make recommendations about which applications to keep or remove.

SlimCleanerSoftware Updater

Lets users check for updates to the software on their PC and install those updates directly from SlimCleaner. SlimCleaner checks and installs updates for tens of thousands of commonly used software programs. Software updates are downloaded from SlimWare Utilities’ cloud, and all updates are scanned for viruses using CloudScan technology, SlimWare Utilities’ proprietary system of scanning files with multiple antivirus engines.

SlimCleanerIntelligent Disk Defrag

Allows users to run a personalized defrag based on their specific PC hardware. SlimCleaner will identify a PC’s hardware configuration and allow users to start a defrag based on settings intelligently determined by SlimCleaner based on that individual PC.

SlimCleanerDisk Tools

Easy to use disk utilities that allow you to manage, clean, and secure both internal and removable media using state of the art technology. Identify the data clogging up your drives or securely wipe sensitive information using a visually intuitive design.

Disk Analyzer Disk Analyzer provides a visual display of a PC’s hard drive so that consumers can analyze the contents and easily identify what’s taking up disk space. Disk Analyzer reads the contents of a drive to flag large files that are taking up an extraordinary amount of space, giving consumers the option to remove them. Users have the ability to view files by directory or file type. This feature is especially useful for consumers who use Ultrabooks and solid state drives, which offer less storage space and make it more important to have a clean, efficient drive.

Disk Wiper Disk Wiper is a clean-up tool that overwrites the raw sectors of a drive with random data to securely erase data that users would like to dispose of. In “free space” mode, Drive Wiper overwrites sectors that house unwanted data, left over from deleted files, with random data. This process secures the drive by making previously deleted files unreadable, without harming any files that actually exist. In “entire drive” mode, secondary partitions (NOT the C:\ drive) can be completely wiped of both currently-existing files and previously-deleted files.

SlimCleaner Solid-State Drive Optimization:

Allows users to optimize the layout of files on their solid-state drives to speed-up loading programs and opening documents. The intelligent defrag system works with solid state drives by organizing files into logically sequential sectors while minimizing wear on the drive.

SSD Optimization means logically defragging the hard drive, so that to Windows, files are stored in logically sequential sectors. This process gets rid of the overhead Windows incurs when files are stored in non-logically-sequential sectors, and makes it easier and faster for the machine to load programs and open documents. Improvements in solid-state drive write cycles and endurance makes SSD optimization a good way to enhance solid state performance.

SlimCleanerDuplicate Finder

Provides users with a quick, automated way to find and eliminate unnecessary duplicate files that can clutter and slow down a hard drive. The duplicate file finder wipes out extra or unneeded copies of files — including text files, videos, music files, etc. — that can take up space. The feature includes settings to allow for different levels of analysis.

The duplicate finder feature includes the company’s new “IntelliMatch Scan” engine, which uses SlimWare Utilities’ IntelliMatch technology to identify all duplicates. The engine works similar to a high-end anti-virus to read the various parameters of each file and accurately identify all duplicates across an unlimited amount of drives.

SlimCleanerHijack Log

Scan for startup items, toolbars, BHOs, ActiveX controls, browser plug-ins and other third-party or malicious items that can “hijack” or modify a system. Get direct access to SlimWare’s cloud of antivirus scanners, or alternatively, VirusTotal, using the VirusTotal public API.

SlimCleanerWindows Tools

Conveniently organizes system tools and settings in one easy interface. See all the windows tools such as device manager, performance monitor, security settings, restore settings, system Information and much more.

Sep
12th

Windows 9 is Microsoft’s Last Chance!

Windows 9Yep… with Lixux Desktops expanding, especially with the success of the Chromebook, Microsoft had better get Windows 9 right, or they are history!

Microsoft Mustn’t Blow Its Last Chance to Save Windows

eWeek – By: Mike Elgan – “The foundation of Microsoft’s success as a company is Windows. When PCs went mainstream in the 1990s, Windows was top dog. Microsoft grabbed the lead way back then and hung on to it ever since.

With Windows as the foundation, Microsoft built empires around its Office productivity suite and other application software platforms, along with online services as well as peripheral and system hardware.

Fast forward to the present day and Android and iOS: Android and mobile applications rule the world. In the United States, for example, Android and iOS together hold 94 percent of the smartphone market. Windows Phone owns just 3.6 percent.

The good news is that Microsoft still dominates desktop operating system market share. The bad news is that Microsoft is also losing market share on the desktop, even as PC sales level off.

Microsoft recently dropped barely below 90 percent desktop market share (89.96 percent share). Apple’s OS X is rising, but still far behind with 8.34 percent share.

Microsoft’s biggest current advantages are vendor and consumer lock-in. People have invested in Windows software and hardware and have invested time in mastering Windows and related enterprise platforms.

But these advantages won’t last. New users are focusing on mobile devices, including tablets, and are especially focused on multi-touch user interfaces. Enterprises are embracing Apple mobile devices big time.

Apple will gradually move most of its current desktop and laptop users running OS X over to iOS. And if Microsoft isn’t careful, the enterprise and business markets will follow Apple down this path.

Apple is rumored, for example, to be working on a 13-inch iPad. But even if those rumors are false, there’s no question that Apple will eventually ship big-screen touch devices that work like or even run iOS.

Microsoft’s Best Strategy for Desktop Computing

Microsoft executive Stephen Elop talked on Sept. 2 at Microsoft’s recent Australian Partner Conference about the company’s strategy for competing against Apple in the future.

One part of that strategy is already being implemented, he said: Microsoft is getting ready to mass produce Perceptive Pixel computers, which are those large touch-screen devices you see on the cable news shows. Microsoft acquired Perceptive Pixel in 2012.

The computers that this company makes used to cost about $80,000. Now, they start at around $7,500. (Microsoft sells an 82-inch and a 55-inch Touch Device.) Microsoft is working on ways to drive the cost down further, according to recent news reports. That could involve a combination of smaller-screen-size options, the fall in component prices and the economies of scale that come from higher volumes and mass production.

Microsoft has repeatedly missed opportunities in the past 20 years. The company was late to the Internet, late or wrong on mobile, late to the cloud, late to the mobile media player market, late to the smartphone market and late to the tablet market.”

In almost every case, Microsoft entered into markets after it was too late for even a great product to gain enough market share to make a difference.”

Sep
11th

Western Digital Announces a 10 TB Hard Drive!

Imagine a helium-filled 10 terabyte hard drive, that YOU can out in your own PC! Awesome!


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Western Digital unveils world’s first 10TB hard drive: Helium-filled, shingled recording

ExtremeTech – By: Sebastian Anthony – “In what can only be described as the hard drive equivalent of Game of Thrones, Western Digital’s HGST has announced the world’s first 10-terabyte hard drive: the helium-filled Ultrastar He10. This comes just a few weeks after Seagate announced initial availability of its 8TB air-filled hard drive, which at the time was the largest hard drive in the world. There’s no word on pricing yet but Western Digital says, somewhat unbelievably, that the 10TB drive will have the lowest cost-per-gigabyte and power consumption-per-gigabyte of any drive on the market.

In a bumper press release, WD’s HGST subsidiary announced a bunch of new products and initiatives — but here are the three top headlines that stood out: a) HGST is sampling a helium-filled 10TB hard drive, b) there’s also an 8TB helium-filled drive that will come to market a bit earlier than the 10TB unit, and c) WD now has a standard air-filled 6TB hard drive (the Ultrastar 7K6000). Let’s take these in order.

Western Digital’s new 10TB hard drive uses the same HelioSeal technology that debuted with WD’s first 6TB hard drive in November 2013. HelioSeal essentially means that helium is hermetically sealed inside the drive — it can never get out, and air (and other contaminants) can never get in. In short, a helium atmosphere provides a lot less resistance than normal air, allowing for more platters (up to eight, I believe) while still using less power. Western Digital’s own figures put the power consumption of helium-filled drives at 23% less than its own conventional air-filled drives. Multiplied out over the thousands of drives that you might have in a data center, and you’re talking big energy savings.

Curiously, HGST’s 10TB drive uses shingled magnetic recording (SMR) to increase areal density, while the 8TB drive uses standard perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR). HGST says the performance of SMR isn’t yet up to that of PMR, so the drive is being marketed for cloud and cold storage, where access and read/write speeds aren’t as important. This video from Seagate explains SMR rather nicely:

While the 10TB drive is being sampled (meaning it won’t be on the market for a few months yet), WD also has a helium-filled 8TB Ultrastar He8 drive that’s being “qualified by Netflix, Promise, and “other top OEMs and cloud customers around the world.” The He8 uses seven big platters (1.2 terabytes each I think), but is otherwise no different from the earlier He6 6TB or upcoming He10 10TB models. This is presumably the drive that WD is pitching against Seagate’s own 8TB drive, which went into qualification back in July.

Finally, WD is now shipping a standard air-filled 6TB drive, the Ultrastar 7K6000. This drive is mostly significant because it has just five platters, each clocking in at 1.2TB. This makes Western Digital the “areal density leader” apparently, implying that Seagate hasn’t yet discovered the secret sauce to shipping drives with 1.2TB platters.

Price-wise, we sadly don’t have much to go on. The air-filled Ultrastar 7K6000 should start popping up online today, priced at around $400. The original helium-filled 6TB Ultrastar He6 seems to now be down to around $500. There’s no price on the 8TB Ultrastar He8, but I’m sure it’ll be upwards of $1,000 when it starts shipping in commercial quantities. Your guess is as good as mine on HGST’s 10TB drive, but it won’t be cheap (and thus I have no idea how the company can claim to have the lowest cost-per-gigabyte).”

Sep
7th

Sorry, Gang, No Show This Week!

Sigh. I have had to rebuild my whole home infrastructure this weekend. I have had to spent a lot of time doing that, and, I have an all day meeting at work tomorrow. so, tune in this coming weekend!

Aug
30th

Our Universe is a Simulation?

SpaceSo, because we may one day simulate a universe in a computer that PROVES we are a computer simulation? Ah, no. Logic says, no. And, wait… philosophers have a journal? Is that allowed?

We are about to find out if our universe really is a hologram

BGR – By: Tero Kuittinen – “What could be the most important scientific experiment of our lifetime is about to begin. The so-called Holometer Experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory aims to determine whether our perception of a three-dimensional universe is just an illusion. Do we actually live on a 2D plane, as a holographic projection? There is a well-established theory that states we are indeed living in a hologram, with a pixel size of about 10 trillion trillion times smaller than an atom. This has certain implications, some of which are quite sinister, even unspeakably horrific.

The argument about the nature of the universe hinges on something that 99.99% of people are not able to comprehend even on the most superficial level — namely, a comparison between the energy contained in a theoretical flat universe with no gravity and the internal energy of a black hole, and whether these two energy levels match or not.

Or whatever.

The point of the Holometer experiment is that it will be able to reveal via the pixelation effect if our universe is, indeed, a hologram. It will achieve this by putting two interferometers really close to each other, creating laser beams and observing possible jitters when they interact. If there are certain kinds of wobbles in the laser beams’ interaction, that means we actually live on a surface of a flat plain and only perceive our universe to be three-dimensional.

And this is where the cosmic horror seeps in. There was an influential piece published in Philosophical Quarterly in 2003, arguing that we probably are living in a computer simulation and this argument has nothing to do with the physical experiments now being carried out. The philosophical argument pivots on the point that if humanity continues surviving and computer technology continues advancing, we will inevitably reach a stage where it will be possible to simulate the entire planet and all of its living beings.

At some later stage, creating these simulacra of Earth will become cheap and common — just like building mobile apps. This means that ultimately there will be billions or trillions of simulations of the universe that offer nearly perfect fidelity. Nearly, but not quite, because at the heart of these fake universes there will be some pixelation if you burrow deep enough.

And those Fermi geeks are about to burrow deep. After we find out about whether we live in a hologram, we can all go back to focusing on Twitch’s valuation and whether the iPhone 6 will feature a sapphire screen. But deep inside, we will be shriveling in horror about the possibility that we live in a simulation, not knowing whether it’s some distant sequel to Sim City.

Or Gears of War with a really long epilogue…”

Aug
30th

Alienware Area-51 Desktop

Check out this gaming PC system!


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Aug
30th

Geek Software of the Week: Windows xKill!

xKill On many Linux distros, “xkill” is a common command that is VERY handy. Now, you can use a Windows version of “xKill.”

Windows xKill

“Ok, for those of you that have ever used Linux, then there may be the chance that you might have had to use xkill. But, for those that have never used Linux, then here is a good summary for you.

An App that your using Freezes, and your first thought it to CTRL+ALT+DEL to bring up Task manager, then you have to wade thought the processes to find said frozen app, then kill it… Or you use xKill.

Using a system wide hook in xKill, when it is running, just Press Control+Alt+Backspace, and you will see a Skull and Crossbones follow behind your cursor. When you click on the next item (say, the frozen application), it will kill it. simple.

And just because i know that people will try this out with out having an app to kill, when the skull and crossbones is up, if you choose NOT to kill any thing, press Escape, and you will exit out of xKill mode.

Added by Dr. Bill: “If you ‘right-click’ on the tray icon, you can enter ‘Kill Mode’ and then float over the app that you want to ‘kill.'”

No external references, this app is Portable, you will know when it is running doe to the color changing Skull and Crossbones in your system tray. you can Right click on the glowing icon to either go in to xKill mode, so that you don’t have to do Control + Alt + Backspace, or you can exit out of xKill.”


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