Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon Releases $199 Android Kindle Fire Tablet And More

Rumors be gone, Amazon has finally announced their highly anticipated Android based tablet called the Kindle Fire priced at a crowd pleasing $199. Along side the new iPad killer the company released a slew of other Kindle products like the $99 Kindle Touch, the $149 Kindle Touch 3G and a new lighter smaller Kindle priced at $79.

The big news of the day was the day was of course the Kindle Fire - a new class of Kindle that brings the same ease-of-use and deep integration of content that helped spur the popularity of the original Kindle line. The new Kindle Fire features a 7-inch full color LCD touchscreen that delivers 16 million colors in high resolution and 169 pixels per inch, a TI OMAP 4 dual-core cpu and will be running Android 3.1 Honeycomb that will have cloud access to movies, songs, and Android apps.

The tablet has a 1024x600 resolution, is 11.4 millimeters thick, weighs 14.6 ounces, and uses Amazon's Whispersync service to access a "carousel" of media selections, and users can "pin" favorites from the cloud to their device.

Customers in the U.S. can pre-order Kindle Fire starting today at and it ships November 15.  For more details checkout Amazon's press release.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apple Holding An iPhone Event Oct 4th, iPhone 5 Inevitable?

As widely rumored last week, Apple has officially sent out invites to an iPhone event scheduled for next Tuesday at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.

Earlier today the company sent select reporters an e-mail  invitation which include the image above, which consists of four iPhone app icons cleverly indicating the time and location of the event and the words "Let's talk iPhone," Ars Technica reports. Although Apple didn't specifically mention the iPhone 5 by name, speculation abounds that the company will unveil one, or perhaps two iPhones at the event and possibly, or most likely make iOS 5 available to the public.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meg Whitman Officially Named As CEO/President Of HP

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has officially been named President and Chief Executive Officer of HP.

The change follows some rather odd moves by HP who has recently abandon their webOS hardware division after paying $1.2 billion acquiring Palm in 2010, announced it might be shopping its Personal Systems Group (PSG) division, later recanting the announcement stating the company may spin-off the PSG group.

Rumors had swirled in recent days that HP's board was about to part ways with Leo Apotheker, a former CEO of business software vendor SAP. Under his watch, HP's stock has fallen nearly 47 percent.

HP hired Apotheker last November after pinning its hopes on WebOS as a replacement system for the company's PCs and smartphones. WebOS' future culminated in the debut of the TouchPad earlier this year. However the tablet failed to grab users' attention and gain ay real traction in the market. As a result, the company began selling the tablets in a fire sale just months after they were unveiled.

Whitman has been on HP's board since January and while many know her by her track record of leading eBay to become auction powerhouse it is today she has never worked at a computer-maker before now does she have a proven track record in the tech sector.

She must now figure out how to right the ship and decide what to do with the company's controversial plans to kill webOS devices and spin off the PC unit. For webOS fans, Ms. Whitman's arrival could lead to a webOS revival, though that seems to be very unlikely.

Update:So it looks like plans for the spin off and continued exile of WebOS are still in place. During the HP conference call today regarding the company's decision to name Meg Whitman as CEO HP went into details about its plans over the next few months, and how it sees things going moving forward.

Whitman said during the call that HP and the board will decide on the spin off of the personal systems group before the end of the calendar year. Whitman also said that she supports the decision made in August to discontinue WebOS hardware and spin off PSG, and she believes that decisions previously made were "right." Whitman also said that the decision on PSG is "not like fine wine, will not get better with age" and it must be made as fast as possible.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Google Wallet Officially Launched For Sprint Users

Google has officially launched Google Wallet—an app that when paired with your your Citi MasterCard credit card or the Google Prepaid Card turns your phone into a wallet.
The application, first announced in May, was described in a Google post posted earlier today.

While the application is initially limited to Citi MasterCard users Google has that they have teamed with Visa, Discover and American Express to add their cards to future versions of Google Wallet. Google said it would begin rolling out Google Wallet to Nexus S customers through an over-the-air update; customers need to look for the "Wallet" app on the phone.

The Google Wallet works with the MasterCard PayPass payment system and works similarly to any current PayPass credit card. The application utilize wireless Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to communicate to PayPass terminals. Users simply swipe their Nexus S phone close to the payment terminal, enter a PIN in the application and payment is enabled.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

uTorrent Site Hacked Software Replaced With Ransomware

Anyone having visited and downloaded uTorrent, the popular bit-torrent client, yesterday, should immediately scan their computer for a possible infection as the site was compromised by hackers who then replaced the uTorrent software download with a rogue antivirus program that demanded payment from users in order to remove non-existent malware from their machines.

A statement from BitTorrent officials posted on their blog yesterday, and updated today, confirmed they the site was hacked and the software replaced with a rather nasty piece of scareware.

"We have completed preliminary testing of the malware. Upon installation, a program called ‘Security Shield” launches and pops up warnings that a virus has been detected. It then prompts a user for payment to remove the virus. We recommend anyone who downloaded software between 4:20 a.m. and 6:10 a.m. Pacific time run a security scan of their computer. Clarification: This only affects users who downloaded software specifically from between the hours above this morning. Users who previously downloaded our software are not affected."

File Removal Instructions

This particular piece of malware renames itself as a different .exe file every time it installs on a new machine. Therefore, first you need to determine the file name. To do this, visit the following File Directory on your Windows hard drive:

Windows XP: Click Start, click Run, and then type in “%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\” without the quotes. The file will be called [random].exe
Windows Vista and Windows 7: Click Start, in the search box type in “%localappdata%” without the quotes. The file will be called [random].exe.

To delete the file, first you need to make sure to kill the application first:
– Open your Task Manager (Control-Alt-Delete), select the [random].exe (the name you found in the file directory). Click “End Process” and select “Yes.”

- Next: select the file name (or right-click on the name) and hit Delete.

- Empty your trash.

Windows 8 Developer Preview Now Available

During this week's BUILD conference showed what the company is referring to has the most in-depth preview of Windows 8. Giving software and hardware developers, a window if you may, into what the company is working on for they forthcoming operating system.

Taking a rather new approach for the company Microsoft has decide to make the developer review available to everyone to download, install and try on a limited basis. This is good news is you are a geek like me as you probably love to try out new releases. Just keep in mind this is a "preview" not even a beta. So it may not run stable on your machine, so as always do not try to make it your primary OS.

Some other things to consider; Upgrading from Windows 7 installation is not supported for pre-release code; only clean installs are supported. Reminder: this is a developer preview release and is not meant for production. It is not a beta release. MS said they will be updating the release with various quality updates and drivers over the coming weeks/months just to exercise our overall update and telemetry mechanisms.

The downloads, which range from 2.8GB to 4.8GB in size and include developer tools such as a preview of Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express and the SDK (software developers kit) for Metro-style applications. All are available as a disk image in .iso format that must be copied onto a DVD or USB flash drive for installation purposes. The preview requires a PC with 1GB of RAM (2GB for the 64-bit edition) and 16GB of hard drive space (20GB for 64-bit).

The Windows 8 preview can be downloaded from Microsoft's site.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Steam Trading Now Available To All Valve Users

Less than a month after the beta was announced Valve Software officially began offering the new Steam Trading service to all Steam users via Team Fortress 2, Spiral Knights and Portal 2.

"The addition of Steam Trading is the latest example of how Steam continues to evolve with new features and functions developed based upon feedback," said Jason Holtman, director of business development. "We look forward to seeing how gamers and developers have fun and move this functionality forward."

For more information about trading via Steam, check out the FAQ here.