[H] Consumer Archives: April 2007

Archive Listing

Wednesday April 25, 2007

Acer Recalls 27,000 Laptop Batteries

The Houston Chronicle says that Acer has launched a recall of 27,000 laptop batteries made by Sony. If you have one of the models listed below, I recommend you contact Acer for a replacement.

The affected Acer models were sold in the U.S. and Canada from May 2004 through November 2006 for between $500 and $1,500. The laptops possibly containing the recalled batteries were the TravelMate series with 4-digit model numbers beginning with 242, 320, 321, 330, 422, 467, 561, C20, and the Aspire series beginning with model numbers 556, 560, 567, 930, 941, 980.

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Vista Betas Set To Expire

A little reminder to all of you out there still tinkering around with beta builds of Windows Vista, all preview builds are set to expire May 31st. Don’t feel bad, I am one of those people running a beta build because I am still on the fence about picking up Vista Ultimate. Anyone else still tinkering with Vista RC2?

On 31 May 2007, all Customer Preview Program (CPP) pre-release versions of Windows Vista will expire. If you are running a pre-release version of Windows Vista (Beta 2, RC1 or RC2), you will begin to receive warning notifications about the upcoming expiration on 18 May. To avoid work disruption and loss of data, we strongly recommend that customers running any of these pre-release versions of Windows Vista migrate their PCs to the final version of Windows Vista prior to 31 May

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Malware Spikes In First Quarter

Security researchers say they have discovered twice as many malware threats in the first three months of this year than they did in the same period last year.

According to a study from Sophos, an antivirus and anti-spam company, researchers discovered 23,864 new threats in the first three months of 2007. That's more than double the number of new malware identified in the same period last year, when Sophos discovered 9,450.

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Tuesday April 24, 2007

Google Surpasses Microsoft As Most Powerful Brand?

A new report from the research and consulting firm Millward Brown claims that Google has surpassed Microsoft as the most powerful brand in the world.

Google took the top spot with a brand value of $66.4 billion, followed by General Electric ($61.9 billion), Microsoft ($54.9 billion), Coca-Cola ($44.1 billion), China Mobile ($41.2 billion), Marlboro/Altria ($39.2 billion), Wal-Mart ($36.9 billion), Citigroup ($33.7 billion), IBM ($33.6 billion), and Toyota ($33.4 billion).

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Red Hat Buys MetaMatrix

Red Hat executives say the company has reached an agreement to acquire the data management firm MetaMatrix for an undisclosed sum of money. According to details of the deal, MetaMatrix's software will be bundled in with JBoss middleware as part of a services-oriented architecture package.

MetaMatrix, based in Waltham, Mass., sells software for accessing disparate data sources. For example, its tools are used to help companies create a single "view" of a customer by pulling information from several different databases. Red Hat said it plans to change MetaMatrix's business model to align it with the Linux seller's open-source structure.

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Apple’s Ex-CFO Blaming Jobs?

Apple’s ex-CFO, after settling stock option claims against him with the SEC, released a statement today that points a big fat finger at Steve Jobs. This is getting interesting.

Fred was told by Steve Jobs in late January 2001 that Mr. Jobs had the agreement of the Board of Directors for the Executive Team grant on January 2, 2001. At the time Mr. Jobs provided Fred this assurance, Fred cautioned Mr. Jobs that the Executive Team grant would have to be priced based on the date of the actual Board agreement or there could be an accounting charge. He further advised Mr. Jobs that the Board would have to confirm its prior approval in a legally satisfactory method. He was told by Mr. Jobs that the Board had given its prior approval and the Board would verify it. Fred relied on these statements by Mr. Jobs and from them concluded the grant was being properly handled.

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Apple's Ex-CFO Settles With SEC

Apple's ex chief financial officer has settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission and agreed to pay $3.65 million but…get this…won’t admit to any wrongdoing.

Anderson agreed to a fine of about $150,000 and to repay option gains of about $3.5 million under the settlement but won't admit to any wrongdoing, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. Heinen, who will be accused of manipulating one of her own option awards as well as a grant to Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, plans to contest the charges, the Journal reported.

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Monday April 23, 2007

Best Buy To Stock HD Radio Receivers

Media Week says that Best Buy will soon be stocking HD radio receivers in all of its 832 stores across the country.

“This is another major step forward for HD Radio technology,” said Robert Struble, president and CEO of iBiquity Digital Corp., the developer of the HD Radio system. “Following rapid adoption by the broadcast community and an increasing range of products for the mass market, Best Buy's efforts will dramatically accelerate consumer adoption of this great technology.”

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ID Breach Smaller Than Feared

The Washington Post says that the amount of social security numbers exposed on an Agriculture Department website last week is less than originally thought. Here is a link to the original story for those of you that missed it.

Federal officials initially feared that as many as 150,000 Social Security numbers had been exposed by the security breach, discovered by Illinois farmer Marsha Bergmeier. The numbers were promptly removed after she reported her find to the government on April 13.

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What's Different About Multiprocessor Software?

Part three of the extremely informative article titled “What's Different About Multiprocessor Software?” is online today at Embedded.com. For those of you that missed the first two parts of the article, you can find part one here and part two here. Very, very good reading.

The purpose of this series of five articles is (1) to review what is unique about multiprocessor software as compared to both uniprocessor embedded systems and general-purpose systems: (2) to study scheduling and performance analysis of multiple tasks running on a multiprocessor: (3) consider middleware and software stacks as well as design techniques for them; and (4) look at design verification of multiprocessor systems.

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21-Way Mouse Pad Roundup

If you are in the market for a new mouse pad, I highly recommend you give this 21-way mouse pad roundup a look before spending your hard earned money. You will notice that our very own RatPadz XT is included in this roundup, so…if you’ve ever wondered how well it stacks up to the competition, this would be a perfect time to find out.

When I was offered to test a series of mouse pads I was quite skeptical at first, I had been using the smooth surface area of my desk for several years with an optical mouse and didn’t feel the need to go out and buy a mouse pad. However after only having tested one of the mouse pads I came to realize what I had been missing out on, my mouse responded better in games and applications, took less effort to move around and my overall experience was improved.

Samsung R55 Hybrid HDD Laptop

PC Joint beat everyone to the punch today with pictures and specs of the recently launched Samsung R55 hybrid HDD laptop.

According to Samsung, when used for small chunks (up to 10Mb) of data in R55, Hybrid Hard Drive had 26% improvement on data reading and 71% improvement of data writing speed, 32% lower power consumption and increased HDD longevity by 10%.

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