An apple a day may keep those pesky, prodding doctors at bay, but apparently, the odor from an Apple supplier’s factory is all it takes to keep nearby residents away. Catcher Technology builds those oh-so-sleek aluminum cases that give Apple’s laptops their distinct look, but Chinese citizens near the company’s Fenghuang City factory say they stink. In fact, things got so bad that officials recently temporarily shut the facility down.
As it turns out, Western Digital – despite its name – manufactures a lot of its HDDs in the Eastern hemisphere, namely Thailand and Malaysia. Severe flooding in Thailand has led the company to close its Bangkok facilities for an undetermined amount of time in order to protect the safety of its workers and factories – which could possibly affect HDD stocks in the next quarter.
A lot of PC enthusiasts leave their computers on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After all, you never know when you’ll need to get a quick task done, and it’s a pain to have to wait for your computer to wake up from sleep mode, or (worse!) to boot.
Still, a high-end PC can use a lot of electricity, and leaving yours on overnight can have a significant effect on your monthly energy bill. So, how can you get your computer to automatically shut down overnight, but not while you’re using it?
Quick, someone go grab a patent for starting up a computer, because believe it or not, the intellectual property for shutting down is now taken, and it belongs to Microsoft.
"A user interface and scheme is provided for facilitating shutting down and operating system," the patent abstract reads. "Aspects include the operating system receiving a command to initiate shut down, and automatically terminating graphical user interface (GUI) applications that delay shut down which do not have top level windows. Also, aspects provide a user, through a graphical user interface, the ability to automatically terminate all running applications in response to determining that a running GUI application has a top level windows."
The above patent was awarded to Microsoft on August 31, 2010, but apparently it wasn't an easy decision. Microsoft first filed for the patent back in August 2005.
Type "screensaver" into a Web search box - go ahead, I dare you. What you'll come across is a number of scamming, ad-filled, useless sites that care more about lining their own pockets with revenue than actually delivering you the goodies you want for sprucing up the look of your system's display. I can't help you much there. The appeal of a particular screensaver is, after all, in the eyes of its beholder. You might like flying toasters; I might like ports of OSX screensavers. There's little point in me trying to push my tastes on you via some freeware roundup.
That said, there are a number of interesting applications that can help you better manage your display. Regardless of whichever screensaver you choose to use--including none--the freeware tools listed below will let you best manipulate your screen to your liking. Enhance your daily computer use with increased energy-savings or prevent annoying interruptions to your media-watching, amongst other tricks. And, yes, you'll even be able to turn your screensaver on and off at a whim...
While it would be nice to have unlimited access to a T1 connection for huge downloads (here's looking at you, World of Warcraft patches), that's just not the case for a majority of users today. We can't all download Linux builds at our work computers. Sometimes, one just has to grin and bear it--"it" being the act of leaving one's computer on overnight for a furious session of non-peak-hour downloading.
Here's the problem: When said download finishes sometime in the wee hours of the night, your computer stays on. That might not be the biggest deal in the world for a single session or two, but suppose you're a mega-downloader. Suppose you're the kind of guy or gal who's always grabbing new files, new updates, new builds of this and that--in short, you're the reason Comcast invented service limitations. Well, it wouldn't be in your best interest to leave your computer on all the time. Computers are noisy. Computers use power. Computers produce heat.
Thus enters this week's Firefox add-on of the week: Auto Shutdown. As the name implies, this quick little addition to your Firefox browser adds some critical functionality to your downloads, be they through Firefox's built-in download manager or the popular add-on DownThemAll.
URL shortening service Cligs has announced that it will be closing up shop later this month. The service will stop accepting new URLs on Sunday, 25 Oct 2009 at 12:00:00 GMT. The owner of Cligs indicated that there would be a tool available at some point for users to export their data.
Cligs reported there were a number of reasons for the move. Of the chief reason the site says, “There comes a point when you need to actually hear the message the market is telling you, and not just listen and ignore it.” The owner of Cligs noted that since it was not winning the market, devoting additional time and money to it made less sense. This tends to remind one of the recent almost-closure of Tr.im a few weeks back. In a follow up post, the Cligs owner said he would be open to selling the service.
This is all partially your fault. You use Bit.ly, don’t you?
The Dallas Cowboys just can't seem to get a grip on this whole technology thing. In a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans last month, Dallas' 180 foot long HD screen blocked a punt by the Titans, a play which isn't reviewable under current NFL rules. Moving the screen could cost millions of dollars, so the solution for the time being is to do nothing.
Fast forward and the Cowboys once again take center stage in this week's giant screen fail, only this time there were no punts involved. Instead, a scrolling banner let everyone in attendance know the eggheads behind the scenes had encountered an error and didn't shut down properly. Or maybe it's a really good Photochop. Either way, it's fun to laugh at the Cowboys. That is, unless you're a Lions fan, in which case there's nothing at all funny about the NFL.
Since 2002, CastleCops has been among the leading antimalware research websites, offering a Wiki, blog, malware removal and prevention tips, and much more. CastleCops founder Paul Laudanski went to work for Microsoft's Live Consumer Services team in mid-May of this year, and CastleCops, which was volunteer-driven, did not survive the transition. CastleCops' last day on duty was December 23, as the farewell message relates:
You have arrived at the CastleCops website, which is currently offline. It has been our pleasure to investigate online crime and volunteer with our virtual family to assist with your computer needs and make the Internet a safer place. Unfortunately, all things come to an end. Keep up the good fight folks, for the spirit of this community lies within each of us. We are empowered to improve the safety and security of the Internet in our own way. Let us feel blessed for the impact we made and the relationships created.
With respect to the server marathon, by March 17 2009 CastleCops will refund contributions made through PayPal that were specifically designated for servers. Unfortunately, server donations made via check cannot be returned because we do not have the addresses for the donating entity. Unless instructed otherwise, CastleCops will re-allocate these funds as a donation to the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC.org). This organization sponsored our hosting environment for approximately the past 2 years. Please contact us [cc at laudanski dot com] before March 17, 2009, if you would like a return of your server marathon donation. Otherwise, we would like to thank the ISC for their unfettered support.
We thank everyone in creating our unique footprint and memories in time.
Love, Best Wishes and Happy Holidays, CastleCops PST 23 Dec 2008
If you've depended upon CastleCops' databases and forums as a resource for fighting malware, now what? Join us after the jump for new resources, and for your chance to suggest your favorite anti-malware websites and tools.