Sunday, July 31, 2011

Logitech Drops The Price Of The Revue To $99

Starting today the Logitech Revue with Google TV will be available for $99, down from its original release price of $299 and the recent price drop from $249.

"Sales of Logitech Revue were slightly negative during the quarter, as returns of the product were higher than the very modest sales," according to prepared remarks for yesterday's earnings call. Lowering the price, therefore, will "generate improved sales," Logitech said.

Logitech already dropped the price of the Revue from $299 in May, but that "had little impact on consumer acceptance," Logitech said. "Our enthusiasm for the promise of the Google TV platform has always been focused on the opportunity to develop another large installed base for our products over time. Up until now, the installed base has remained relatively small."

In a recently blog post the company said it hopes that the $99 price point will remove price as a barrier for buyers. "We expect the lower price, particularly when combined with the upcoming enhancements to the Google TV platform, including the availability of an apps marketplace, should provide the consumer with a compelling value proposition."

Revue users will also automatically receive a software update built on Android 3.1. Among other benefits, V2 will offer a simplified user experience and access to many more apps, made possible by the booming Android Market.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Patent Battle Between HTC and Apple Heating Up

The patent war between Apple and rival smartphone manufacture HTC appears to be heating up. Just a few weeks ago the International Trade Commission handed down a preliminary ruling that HTC violated two of the ten patents Apple accused it of violating.

The ruling was seen as a sever blow for HTC as it clears the way for Apple to block virtually all shipments of HTC Android smart phones into the U.S. Given that Android devices constitute the vast majority of HTC's sales and a large portion of those sales are in the U.S. if Apple could succeed in blocking the company's shipments the loss in revenue would be enough to kill HTC or at least cripple it.

Fast forward to today and things have changed considerably.

A second U.S. International Trade Commission Judge has declared that Apple infringed on intellectual property of S3 Graphics which was recently acquired by HTC. Judge James Gildea's ruling states that while Apple's iPad, iPhone, and iPod lines of mobile gadgets are not in violation of the IP, some of Apple's Mac OS X computers are. This new ruling clears the way for a partial ban on the import of Macs. As virtually all Macs are manufactured outside the U.S., this would be a major blow to Apple's booming computer lineup, which posted in $17.5B USD computer sales last year.

At first glance this ruling doesn't have the same impact as one that found Apple's iPad and iPhone in violation of the IP. However the victory gives HTC substantial leverage to broker a cross-licensing agreement, which could save HTC from a similar import ban on its smart phones.

The ruling now goes before a full six judge ITC panel for confirmation. The full details of the ruling are not yet public, the initial information came via Bloomberg who reported on the case based on early information.

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Facebook Features Prompt User Complaints

Facebook users might have noticed the site has added several new features to comments which include embedded videos, photos, and even a preview of posted links. Not all of these changes however have not sat well with users who are speaking out about the changes and asking that the company stop tinkering with new features and fix some of the ongoing issues, mainly the new chat system.

Facebook recently made the announcement about the new changes within its Facebook Photos page, which was immediately hit with thousand of complaints from users about the new Chat system.

The new Chat feature looks similar to the old version at first glance but the interface adds some new features as well as a few new ways of chatting, which has not set well with all users.

Previously, the simple chat system would show a list of online friends in a small box on the lower right side of the browser window. It was easy to use, staid well out of the way and was unobtrusive.

The new chat sidebar is far from unobtrusive. It stretches from top to bottom on the right side of the window. The friends list is no longer a small list of only those who are online, but rather a group of people Facebook thinks you'll want to speak to, regardless of whether they're online.

There is no option to edit the list of people in this area. If those predetermined "top" friends aren't online, the chat box has an option to send them a message. Online friends not on this list must be searched for manually, which to say the least, is slightly frustrating.

The chat feature isn't the only one being attacked by users. Many complaints have surfaced about the new photo viewer. The "theater" view makes it harder to view albums to select only a few images to sort through rather than having to scroll through all of them. It also makes viewing comments harder.

I suspect now that we are seeing the addition of extra content in general we'll see more users complaining that their pages are becoming overly convoluted with content. Many of these changes and complaints smack of the early days of MySpace when then site was going through growing pains and we all know how that turned out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Google Search Warns "Your computer appears to be infected"

 Google search results have begun warning users that they are potentially victims of a malware infection.

In a rather interesting move by Google the company is now posting a warning atop search results for users it believes have been infect my a particular pieces of malware that is using a small number of intermediary servers called “proxies" to filter traffic to the company's search results page. Google detects the redirected traffic, then shows users the above warning across the top of their results.

"Recently, we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers. After collaborating with security engineers at several companies that were sending this modified traffic, we determined that the computers exhibiting this behavior were infected with a particular strain of malicious software, or “malware.” As a result of this discovery, today some people will see a prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results," the company said in a blog post Tuesday.

"This particular malware causes infected computers to send traffic to Google through a small number of intermediary servers called “proxies.” We hope that by taking steps to notify users whose traffic is coming through these proxies, we can help them update their antivirus software and remove the infections."

These warnings may take some users by surprise and rightfully so. They look ominously like those you see with scareware, with the exception that this is not a pop-up. It is shown directly on the search results page.

Your computer appears to be infected

If you see the note Google has some suggestions as things to try. I agree with most the steps but the first suggestion of "searching" for an antivirus product. If your computer is already infected and being redirected you DO NOT want to trust search results. You want to go directly to reputable sites to get your antivirus/anti-malware products.

How do I fix my computer?
1. Install or update your antivirus software. Antivirus software can detect and remove malware from your computer. While we don't make or support antivirus software ourselves, here are some tips:
  • If you don't have any antivirus software, you can either search Google for "antivirus" or try one of our suggested antivirus products. If you prefer to find your own, be wary of fake antivirus software that may actually be malicious; common examples that you should not install include "My Security Shield," "Security Master AV," and "CleanUp Antivirus." Before choosing to install any software, look online for reviews or forum posts to make sure that the software is not a malicious program.
  • Even if you already use antivirus software, it's possible that your existing version cannot catch all potential issues. We recommend that you update this software to make sure that you're using the most recent version.
2. Perform a system scan using your up-to-date antivirus or anti-spyware software. If any issues are found, use the software to fix the problem. When the problem is solved, your antivirus scans should not find any issues and you should not see the warning on Google again.

If you continue to see the malware warning, it's possible that your antivirus software didn't clean the entire infection, and you will need to fix it yourself. See the technical instructions for Windows users

3. Help Google learn about new forms of malware. You can provide feedback about what you found while scanning your computer. Please also use that link if you have any feedback or would like to tell us anything about this experience.

If everyone in your organization sees this warning but you're certain that your computers are not infected, please talk to your network administrator. Your organization's proxy may be infected, causing all users to see the warning.

Why does Google think my computer is infected?

Some forms of malicious software will alter your computer settings to redirect some or all of your traffic through a proxy controlled by the attacker. When you use Google, the proxy forwards your query to the real Google servers to fetch the search results. If our system detects that a search came through one of these proxies, we display the warning.

You may have been tricked into downloading this software when visiting a site or reading an email. For more tips on how to stay safe online, see our security advice.

Mac OS X Lion Now Available In The Mac App Store

Apple has officially released Mac OS X Lion, the eighth major release of the company's operating system which includes more than 250 new features. Customers can get the upgrade as a downloadable version from the Mac App Store today for $29.99 or you can wait until August, when Lion will be made available on a USB thumb drive for $69.

The download will be roughly a 3.7GB file, which on average has been taking users anywhere from 1.5-2hrs depending on network speeds. For users that want to do a clean install, or place a copy of the OS on DVD we've posted a guide on "How To Burn A Mac OS X Lion Install Disk".

Some of the features in Lion include: new Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, the Mac App Store integrated into the OS, Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.

Additional new features in Lion include:
  • Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app;
  • Auto Save, which automatically and continuously saves your documents as you work;
  • Versions, which automatically records the history of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, revert and even copy and paste from previous versions; and
  • AirDrop, which finds nearby Macs and automatically sets up a peer-to-peer wireless connection to make transferring files quick and easy.

Lion requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM. Lion is an upgrade and can be installed on all your authorized personal Macs. Details regarding Business and Education licensing can be found at

The OS X Lion Up-to-Date upgrade will be available through the Mac App Store at no additional charge to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 6, 2011. Users must request their Up-to-Date upgrade within 30 days of purchase of their Mac computer. Customers who purchased a qualifying Mac between June 6, 2011 and July 20, 2011 will have until August 19, 2011 to make a request. Additional information can be found at

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Apple iOS 4.3.4 Update Fixes PDF Flaw Blocks JailBreakMe

On Friday Apple released the newest version of iOS which promises a fix to an iOS PDF vulnerability that has recently been used by jailbreakers as an easy backdoor to gain full access to their devices.

The iOS 4.3.4 update "fixes [a] security vulnerability associated with viewing malicious PDF files," Apple said. It is available now for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4s running iOS 3.0 and higher, third-generation iPods with iOS 3.1 and higher, and iPads with iOS 3.2 and higher.

This is the same flaw used by the widely popular JailBreakMe site and software that quickly and easily allows visitors to the site to jailbreak almost any iOS device. For those of you wanting to secure your device but wish to maintain your freedom from Apple it should be noted that installing the update will prevent jailbreaks from working and will undo the jailbreak on a currently jailbroken phone. Therefore it is recommended that you install "PDF Patcher 2" via Cydia and wait for the next jailbreak for the latest iOS versions.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Google Offers Now In NYC And The Bay Area

Google Offers, the recently launched deal of the day service from Google, has added New York City and the Bay Area to its short list of featured cities.

Subscribers who sign up at or via the new “Today’s Offer” tab in Google Shopper 2.0 for Android can now receive emails with local offers from Portland, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area. Deal seekers in Austin, Boston, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C are next up on the list, although Google hasn't mentioned when they will roll out the service to those cities.

To kick off the bi-coastal rollout Google is offering the following deals:

For more details checkout the Official Google Blog - Google Offers beta launching in New York City and the Bay Area

Monday, July 11, 2011

Geek Office Gadgets: Office Equipment

Today’s post comes courtesy of a Swedish office supply, kontorsmaterial online retailer, Profsoffice Europe AB. The Swedish retailer not only sells office supplies online but also provides all sorts of updated office equipment that are a must as a Geek Gadget.

The Sony PlayStation and cool mobile phones may be considered top notch geek gadgets yet; there are other every day gadgets and equipment that while not as flashy are just as important in our everyday lives. We often over look office equipment as none essential, but trends are changing and there are more demands for equipment such as dokumentförstörare (paper shredders in Swedish), lamineringsmaskiner (Swedish for laminating machine) or a dataprojektor (Swedish for data projector).

Buying office equipment

Making a purchase shouldn't be a hasty decision. You should always shop around for the best deal but you should never over look the reputation of the seller. Do your research and make sure you always buy from someone reputable.

One thing that you should keep in mind and is vital, make sure that the office equipment comes with a warranty and you are able to refer to the seller in case there was a malfunctioning with the machine. With less than reputable sellers often times customers find themselves pushed off onto the manufacture for returns which can be a major hassle.

Leasing office equipment

There are many US based sites that offer office equipment leasing. So the first step is to first check whether the leasing site is reliable and of course if it offers the equipment that you are looking for. Since the Internet is wide open and there are many frauds, one should first check the reviews from several sites and try to contact people who have already used the leasing site’s office equipment.

Whether buying or leasing it is important to keep in mind that a reputable dealer is a must. Especially for those in the home office or small business arenas as break downs tend to happen. Be sure to look for repair and maintenance policies as well as warranty terms.

Microsoft Says Windows 8 Won't Require Hardware Upgrades

In a possible attempt to spur Windows 7 adoption Microsoft confirmed today that Windows 8 will carry similar or even lower hardware requirements to those of Windows 7. Meaning unlike the leap from XP to say Vista any computer currently running Windows 7 will be upgradable to Windows 8 when the next version of Windows is released.

Speaking at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Steve Ballmer revealed that Windows 7 has officially sold 400 million licenses to-date. Despite those numbers Windows XP still holds nearly twice the market share worldwide.

"Two-thirds of business PCs are still on Windows XP. Moving these users to Windows 7 is important and urgent work for us to get after together," Tami Reller, corporate VP and CFO for Windows. "Whether upgrading an existing PC or buying a new one, Windows will adapt to make the most of that hardware," Reller said. Windows 8 is for "the hundreds of millions of modern PCs that exist today and for the devices of tomorrow."

If rumors are true Windows 8 is slated to be released early next year with a possible beta release as soon as this fall. Microsoft hopes to bolster sales of Windows 7 pcs so the company is urging both businesses and consumers to upgrade now and by promising they will be able to use the same PC to run Windows 8 later.

"Windows 8 is a true re-imagining of Windows, from the chip to the interface," Reller said. Despite the re-imagining, Microsoft will keep system requirements flat or reduce them. Currently to run Windows 7, PCs need at least a 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB available disk space and DirectX 9 graphics. We strongly suggest a faster CPU and at least 2GBs of RAM and a much larger hard drive!

For more details on what's in store for Windows 8 checkout Microsoft's First Official Look at Windows 8

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Apple Hit With Major Setback In 'Appstore' Case

Apple has been hit with a major setback in it's attempts at blocking online retailers from using the "App Store" name.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton has ruled that Apple cannot block Amazon from using “Appstore” as the name of the company's new Amazon Appstore for Android. However she did not go so far as to rule that the term is generic as Amazon, Microsoft and others had contented.

According to the decision, Apple simply failed to show that a “likelihood of confusion” would result from Amazon’s use of the term.

The initial ruling was based on a lawsuit filed by Apple seeking a preliminary injunction to force Amazon (and eventually others) to stop using the term immediately, effectively forcing them to re-brand.

While its just a preliminary ruling things looks fairly bleak at this point for Apple. Hamilton set a trial date for October 2012 at which time she will hear further arguments from both sides. The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc v. Inc, 11-1327.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

CNET Infringement Case Dropped

A major copyright infringement case against CBS Interactive, CNET’s publisher and owner of CNET’s site, has been dropped. The lawsuit originally filled back in May in Los Angeles by a handful of musicians and filmmaker Alkiviades David accused the company of illicitly profiting from piracy by distributing 220 million copies of LimeWire over the site since 2008.

According to previous reports the case had been on shaky grounds for months following U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer's request that the plaintiffs specify the content pirated on LimeWire. At the time the plaintiffs submitted just six copyrights as being infringed and could not directly link them to CNET, or CBS Interactive. has reported that David’s attorney, Adam Wolfson, has threatened to open further proceeding stating in his filing that the case would be re-filed to represent more plaintiffs and “many thousands of songs and other copyrighted works.” (.pdf)

It would appear as though Mr David and the other plaintiffs were barking up the wrong tree on this one. CNET might have helped distribute the already freely distributed LimeWire application. However the company didn't host files, nor did they advocate or facilitate the downloading of illegal or copyrighted content the way LimeWire had.

iPad 2 Jailbreak Now Available

iPad 2 owners the wait for a jailbreak is finally over as the iOS hacking team known as comex has finished work on JailbreakMe 3.0 which has been updated to support all devices running iOS version 4.3.3.

The jailbreak is completely free and only takes a few minutes to complete. Simply visit the JailbreakMe website with your iOS device’s Safari browser and follow the directions. After that, you’ll be able to use Cydia to fully customize your iOS devices with a wide plethora of themes and/or tweaks you can imagine. 

For those that aren't aware of what JailbreakMe is it's the drive by browser-based jailbreak service that uses a PDF flaw found in Safari to break your iOS device free from Apple's control. The keys to iOS freedom can be found at As always Jailbreak at your own risk!

Just a note the servers are currently being overwhelmed with traffic so you will need to be patient. You might even want to wait a day or two before attempting the jailbreak. And as always you should back-up any important data before jailbreaking.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

AVAST Now Offering Free Credit Monitoring

AVAST Software has announced that in addition to their free antivirus the company will begun offering free credit monitoring service for all the company's customers in the United States.

The new service dubbed avast! CreditAlert, offers users real-time protection notifying users via pop-up if their credit report suddenly changes, providing them with an early-warning system for signs of identity theft.

“The integration of identity protection technology into our antivirus products is something our users have been asking us about,” said Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software. “With the new CreditAlert feature, they can now have this information.”

The new service will feature both a free version and a premium version which offers more protection and a few additional features.

avast! CreditAlert Free – The first-ever integrated free credit report monitoring and alert service. After activation by registered avast! users, CreditAlert will monitor the TransUnion credit report and alert users when any suspicious changes are detected. Users can use the online resources to guide them through the dispute and resolution process. CreditAlert services are free, with no cost or obligation, and will not influence the user’s credit score.

avast! CreditAlert Premium – Comprehensive protection for your identity
avast CreditAlert Premium, searches thousands of databases for signs of your personal information being misused. Services include data monitoring at all three credit bureaus and 24/7 access to your credit reports and credit scores. Suspicious issues are, with your approval, investigated, unauthorized activity stopped, and records restored by a team of experts at no additional charge.

Keeping watch over your credit rating should now be part of your personal security regime. But keeping a vigilant, non-stop watch over one’s credit rating is expensive or time limited. While each bureau will issue one free credit report a year, that still leaves a lot of time for criminals to do some damage.

Can Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS Really Dominate Today’s Competitive Smartphone Market?

When Microsoft entered the smartphone OS race towards the end of last year having reportedly spent over $1 billion dollars in the process, it did so with a view to outrunning the popularity of Apple iOS (iPhone) and Google Android (HTC 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S – the list goes on) – so what has Microsoft got up its sleeve that we don’t know about?

Image courtesy of Expansys

Way back in 2004, with high-quality hardware and a solid platform for which developers could easily build mobile applications, Windows Mobile held a very respectable 23 per cent of global smartphone sales. It was even predicted that it would supersede Nokia’s Symbian OS to become the leading mobile operating system by 2010.

Where Microsoft fell down, however, was on overall user experience; their devices were too complicated to use, alienating the average user from them altogether. This problem is in stark contrast to the market’s newest and biggest players, Apple and Google, who have both managed to make their operating systems accessible and easy to use, even for the technically-challenged.

While Apple’s brand has remained closely guarded, it’s still incredibly innovative and has managed never to dilute its offering or provide its customer with a mixed message. Android, on the other hand, is whipping up a smartphone storm, with its smartphone OS spread across countless handset brands and various other tailored versions of the OS now spilling over into tablets, TVs, laptops etc...

So Android’s brand is rather more confusing than Apple’s minimalistic and simplistic offering, but has so far proven successful nonetheless simply because it’s the accessible OS of the everyman.
However, there are startling similarities between the current battle for mobile OS dominance compared with that of the battle for PC market share.

When Apple released the first Macintosh, it took the world by storm. But Apple was slowed down by its very own culture of innovation; while the world waited for Apple’s next revelation, Microsoft was able to jump in, fill the gap and seep into every crevice of the PC market.

Could this be happening again in the smartphone market? Aside from Microsoft, there is not a stronger company dedicated to building a sustainable mobile ecosystem inclusive of the wireless carriers, handset manufacturers, ISVs and stores.

With Apple maintaining complete control of every bit of its brand (application development and hardware) and Google and its Open Handset Alliance allowing free access to everyone and anyone (developers and handset manufacturers alike), where can Microsoft fit in? Here’s how:
  1. Give WP7 away free – it’s the only way to encourage people to get on board in an already overcrowded and very competitive market.
  2. Capitalise on the success of the Xbox – as the Xbox franchise continues to grow, Microsoft will need to start developing products that will influence the mainstream, not just gamers.
  3. Produce a coherent three-screen (online, mobile and living room) series – While Microsoft does have these three elements in place (Bing, Xbox, Kinect and WP7), the experience isn’t unified where the likes of Apple’s is.
  4. Educate the consumer – Microsoft can capitalise on Android’s now inherent fragmentation problem by guiding consumers about what they buy.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Android and the Samsung Galaxy S II

The following post comes courtesy of Bridget Knapp a freelance writer specializing in the converging worlds of technology and education.

Something very important happened in 2008: the Google Android operating system for smartphones was launched. This open source platform promised a revolution in smartphone technology, and it has clearly delivered on that initial promise. As well as providing a really slick and efficient operating system, it also integrates well with many of Google’s other applications.

As smartphone manufacturers do not need to pay a license fee to Google in order to include Android in their products, and the fact that the technology is at least as good as the iOS that powers the iPhone, Android became an instant hit with smartphone manufacturers.

Before late 2010 the Symbian operating system that powers Nokia and other phones had been the most popular; but by the end of the year Symbian phone sales had been surpassed by Android. Android phones now own over 35% of the total smartphone market.

Android based smartphones are continually getting smarter, as is clearly demonstrated by the latest release from Samsung: the Samsung Galaxy S II. This machine now has a 1.2 GHz dual core processor plus HSPA+. This adds speedy downloads, along with super-fast processing power.

The display uses super AMOLED Plus technology, which has several advantages over previous display technologies. These include:

- a twofold improvement of color gamut compared to LCD displays
- increased sharpness
- better luminescence
- a response time of only 0.01 milliseconds compared with 25 milliseconds of LCDs
- a massively increased viewing angle and contrast ratio (up from 1,263 to 150,950)

Unlike other displays, super AMOLED Plus does not need a special additional touch panel as the display is considerably thinner. This means that the phone can be kept slim and that light transmission is much improved. The phone is only 8.49 mm thick.

Voice recognition features allow you to create and send a text message without touching the phone, ideal when you are driving or it is cold and you are wearing gloves!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

HP TouchPad Charging Issues

 Update: We've recently added a new post with 5 Tips To Get Your TouchPad Running Again.

So you just got your new HP TouchPad home and it's not charging correctly, or perhaps you get an error box that says the connected charger isn't supplying enough power to charge the device. Well don't panic, you aren't alone, and the issue is actually pretty easy to remedy.

The TouchPad's North America Twist-to-lock plug adapter is actually a universal charging device. The top screws off so a second attachment for none US power prongs can be added. If the top isn't securely fastened your device will either show the aforementioned error box or simply won't charge. Right out of the box if you are having issues I'll almost guarantee the issue is the barrel connector.

How can you be certain its connected? Well that's the tricky part. Un-screw the top, and screw it back in, making sure it snaps into place. You might also notice some writing on the side of the connector. Make sure that is aligned correctly.

If it's still not working grab another micro USB charger and connect it to your TouchPad. Note: I've been told you can not charge your TouchPad via USB. USB ports do not provide enough power for charging (this might not include USB 3.0) we are waiting on confirmation of this!

If you are still seeing problems you should probably call or contact HP and use their HP webOS Butler Service (866) 945-7256. Its free for the first 90days.