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for Technology and Gadget Geeks 

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Windows 8 has single handedly killed the PC.

In short: Windows 8 was a bust.

The figures from Gartner are in. PC shipments plunge in worst drop in a generation. Global PC shipments* plunged 14 percent in the first three months of 2013, according to newly released figures from market research firm IDC.

In IDC’s own words:

“Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to a year ago. Fading Mini Notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low-end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. PC industry efforts to offer touch capabilities and ultra slim systems have been hampered by traditional barriers of price and component supply, as well as a weak reception for Windows 8. The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire consumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceived as cumbersome or costly.”

windows 8

After personally test driving Windows 8 and it’s radically different operating system I soon realized the party was all over for Microsoft Windows.  Cumbersome, confusing and it’s all new look and feel will either throw you a curve or a monkey wrench every time you try and launch an application or search for a file.  There are some great improvements in boot time but when trying to do everyday tasks it just wasn’t efficient or organized in it’s “new ways and methods of doing things”. No one wants a learning curve this steep, especially when there is no real benefit to it.  I used a touch screen laptop and the experience was fun, but on a normal desktop PC it just doesn’t work like you want it to because it’s designed with touch screens in mind.

I bought a android tablet a year ago and I never looked back ………. smooth buttery interface, awesome graphic display, not to mention all the goodies you require and need, like-calendars, alarms, to do lists, contacts, pictures, music, books, TV shows, movies.  Now with over 200 apps installed to date and easy to install new ones with a few finger taps.  Everything you want :  news, weather, sports, games, first aid, recipes and productivity apps galore.  Most of them for free or only a couple a dollars to buy.
Now I barely ever open my laptop unless I need to rip a CD to the cloud. Tablets are just better for what we do. Faster, cheaper, lighter, easier to use and a fun experience. There is no just reason in lugging around a 5 pound brick any longer when you can carry a 12 oz device that provides you the same information.

The desktop pc still remains the king in many business environments, moreover, the tablet is not the same type of workhorse that the desktop is; it’s mostly a casual device, built for consumption rather than creation. Thus to concede the “pro” users (the programmers, the filmmakers, the publishers) to the desktop; and focus on the majority of casual users (the readers, the gamers, the social networking teens).  Of course, a lot of the pro users bought tablets as a second device anyway.  Never the less, Windows 8 is sick in bed and getting ready to be put to sleep.

Good night and sleep tight Windows 8.Windows is dead

 
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Study uncovers 9 new postures as a result of new technologies.

After conducting a global survey in 11 countries observing 2000 people in a wide range of postures that revealed how horrible our posture is when we sit at work and interact with today’s technology, i.e. – tablets, smartphones and ultrabooks.
Illustrated below they are:
1. The Draw, 2. The Multi-Device, 3. The Text,
4. The Cocoon, 5. The Swipe, 6. The Smart Lean,
7. The Trance, 8. The Take It In, 9. The Strunch.
gestures

 

The designers at Steelcase came up with this new task chair. The Gesture is designed to help compensate for poor posture by supporting your body position no matter how weird it gets.

gesture

 

 

Design: Inspired by the Human Body

We didn’t start with a chair design. We started by looking at the unique movements and gestures of the body. Like the human body, Gesture is designed as a system of synchronized interfaces.

1) The Core Interface:

  • The Gesture back and seat move as a synchronized system moving with each user to provide continuous and persistent support.
  • The back cradles the user no matter the posture.

2) The Limb Interface:

  • The Gesture arm moves like the human arm, which allows users to be supported in any position.
  • Arms and shoulders remain supported when texting on a smartphone, typing on a keyboard or swiping a tablet.

3) The Seat Interface:

  • The Gesture seat brings comfort all the way to the edges.
  • It is flexible at the perimeter to allow users to sit in a range of postures without obstruction.

The User Interface:

  • Gesture takes into account various body types and sitting preferences, quickly adjustable to meet the needs of each individual user.
  • Users can adjust Gesture as easily as adjusting their posture.

src: http://www.steelcase.co.uk/en/products/category/seating/task/gesture/pages/overview.aspx 

 
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Digital Locker – Your Stuff in the Cloud.

Digital Locker

Your home is a sum of its treasured parts

Having a room-by-room inventory of your personal belongings can save a lot of headaches – or heartaches – should you be hit by a catastrophe. If your home is ever damaged or destroyed in a storm, fire, or other devastating event, an accurate and up-to-date home inventory can help make the possible recovery process easier on you and your family.

Take thorough photographs of your belongings. You’ll want to capture each room in your home, focusing on individual items in each room. Don’t forget about smaller items like jewelry, silver, and other valuables. Also be sure to update your home inventory periodically, but especially after any major purchases or gifts.

Go to www.digitallocker.com to sign up for your free account and build your home inventory.

The Free Allstate Digital Locker ® application keeps a home inventory of all of your personal property where nothing can happen to it—perfectly organized and accessible to you at a moment’s notice, in case of an emergency.

How does it work?

Built with your needs in mind

With the Allstate Digital Locker ®, you can keep a detailed visual catalog of your valuables, organize items by room and category, save your data to the cloud, and download or print your Locker information anytime.

  • Free For Anyone to Download and Use – You don’t have to be an Allstate client to use this application or set up an account.
  • Add a Visual Reference to Your Inventory – Snap photos with your smartphone throughout your home and link multiple items to one image.
  • Estimate the Value of Items – When entering the value, use your best judgment or utilize the Google or barcode search.
  • Mobile AppSynchronize Data to the Cloud – Access your Locker from the mobile app or the website and securely backup your inventory to our secure, data-storage cloud.
  • Catalog Personal Property – Stores and helps you organize an inventory of your personal property that is accessible to you at a moment’s notice, in case of an emergency.
  • Starter Set of Rooms and Categories – Begin the inventory process by taking advantage of our room and category templates.
  • Available for iPhone, Android or Web.

You can also scan this QR code.

Android QR code

 
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Made In China – A Hackers Haven

UglyGorilla

A profile photo used by UglyGorilla

In case you missed it, the cybersecurity firm Mandiant just released a bombshell report (pdf) on how nearly 150 sophisticated hacking attempts against American corporations and government agencies over the past decade almost certainly originated from a single Shanghai office building controlled by People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The hacking group, dubbed APT1 in the report, launches its attacks from roughly the same address in the city’s Pudong New Area as the one used by the PLA’s Unit 61398, a probable cyberwar division.


The BIG 3…….We are not talking about Chevy, GMC and Ford.

1. Jack Wang, a.k.a. Wang Dong, a.k.a. UglyGorilla: In 2007, UglyGorilla authored the first known sample of a widely used family of Chinese malware and brazenly left his signature in the code: “v1.0 No Doubt to Hack You, Writed by UglyGorilla, 06/29/2007.”
2.  DOTA, a.k.a. Rodney, a.k.a. Raith  DOTA may have taken his or her name from the video game “Defense of the Ancients,” commonly abbreviated DotA. 
3.  
Mei Qiang, a.k.a. SuperHard: They believe he (or she; it’s hard to know) used the email address mei_quiang_82@sohu.com, which, based on Chinese habit, suggests that the user is named Mei Quiang and born in 1982. They also traced SuperHard to Shanghai’s Pudong New Area—information that should give US security experts plenty of leads, assuming the hacker hasn’t been fired yet.

If the Mandiant report is accurate, the three hackers work for an organization called APT1, which is really a unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) called Unit 61398. (Another possibility is that APT1 is an outside hacker group directed by the Chinese Army unit.)

Either way, Mandiant claims to have traced massive hack attacks involving terabytes of stolen data back to an unfashionable district of Shanghai where PLA Unit 61398 operates from this shabby, heavily fortified 12-story building.

That building, according to top notch guesswork by Mandiant, employs not just UglyGorilla, Superhard and Raith, but hundreds or thousands of other English-speaking computer, security and hacking experts whose full-time job is to break into the networks of foreign companies, US defense contractors and foreign government agencies in order to steal whatever they can and use it for whatever purposes help the rise of China as an economic and military power.

Presumably, stolen trade secrets are handed over to Chinese companies to give them an advantage over their foreign rivals.

For example, when Google was hacked by the Chinese government nearly four years ago, presumably the “trade secrets” alleged by Google to have been compromised in the attack were handed over to the Chinese alternative to Google Search, called Baidu.

The Chinese government is “the most sophisticated and prolific” hacker of foreign companies and that China’s aggressive policy of stealing information from foreign businesses will leave the United States “disadvantaged economically” because of the American sense of “fair play.”

So welcome to the new digital age. Cyber warfare, industrial espionage and state-sponsored hacking are suddenly just business as usual.

 

 
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Is Your Leather Wallet a Relic of the Twentieth Century?

Castanza styleWell, if you’ve ever tried to jam that one last loyalty card in to your bulging wallet, then you already know the answer.

Mobile technology is turning our smartphones into digital wallets.  Thanks to services like Google Wallet and V.me by Visa, pay pass by Mastercard and PayPal.

When you look beyond just the act of paying, the digital wallet adds other layers of benefit for both the consumer and the merchant. With a mobile payment system that has an integrated loyalty program, a local merchant can track a customer’s purchases and fine tune special offers that are sent directly to their phone; and when a customer makes a purchase with their mobile wallet, any special offers are automatically accounted for at the register when they tap-and-pay. Plus they have a virtual receipt of their purchase.

Digital wallets are also safer. If you lose your leather wallet, whoever finds its can start using your credit cards until you call each card issuer, which can be time consuming, whereas if you misplace your phone or it’s stolen, with one call to your wireless carrier or a visit to their website you can freeze your mobile wallet to stop any unauthorized spending.

So are leather wallet’s dinosaurs? Not quite, but once you can carry digital versions of your driver’s license and other important cards, like medical and drugs cards, on your phone, then you won’t have any reason to carry a physical wallet.

 
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INFOGRAPHIC:A day in the life of an IT guy

the it guy

 
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