News http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/4/ en Smartphone Theft in the U.S. Nearly Doubled Last Year http://www.maximumpc.com/smartphone_theft_us_nearly_doubled_last_year_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/pickpocket.jpg" alt="Pickpocket Sign" title="Pickpocket Sign" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />A potential solution to rising smartphone theft is still a year away</h3> <p>It's easy to take for granted how much your smartphone is worth. You may have picked one up for free or not much more than that by agreeing to lock yourself into a two-year service agreement with a wireless carrier, but despite the subsidized price you paid, smartphones are worth several hundred dollars. It's no wonder that <strong>thieves stole around 3.1 million smartphones in U.S. last year</strong>.</p> <p>That figure comes from <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/04/smart-phone-thefts-rose-to-3-1-million-last-year/index.htm" target="_blank"><em>Consumer Reports</em></a>, which notes that it's nearly double the 1.6 million smartphones that were stolen in 2012. In addition to thievery, another 1.4 million smartphones were simply lost and never recovered last year, up from 1.2 million in 2012.</p> <p>It's not just the hardware itself that's valuable, but what's kept on the phone as well. Things like photos, videos, contacts, email accounts, and more. Despite all this, smartphone owners aren't doing enough to protect themselves, <em>Consumer Reports </em>says.</p> <p>In a survey of smartphone owners, 34 percent told <em>Consumer Reports</em> they don't take even simple security measures, such as using a PIN or some other form of unlocking mechanism. Those same users said they're not running AV software or backing up their data.</p> <p>Come July 2015, smartphones sold in the U.S. will include a so-called "lock switch," which allows users to remotely delete data from a lost or stolen smartphone. The lock switch will also render the phone useless, as wireless carriers won't activate a device that's been reported lost or stolen. Whether this will actually curb smartphone theft is something that remains to be seen.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mkooiman/2530541113/sizes/o/" target="_blank">mkoolman</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/smartphone_theft_us_nearly_doubled_last_year_2014#comments consumer reports Hardware mobile smartphone News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:51:42 +0000 Paul Lilly 27656 at http://www.maximumpc.com Buggy Microsoft Security Essentials Update Kicks XP Machines While Down http://www.maximumpc.com/buggy_microsoft_security_essentials_update_kicks_xp_machines_while_down_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/mse_devil.jpg" alt="MSE Devil" title="MSE Devil" width="228" height="138" style="float: right;" />Here come the conspiracy theories</h3> <p>After more than 12 years of service, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on Windows XP by ceasing to support the operating system last week. However, Microsoft did promise to keep doling out updates for its Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) software, including the version that runs on XP, but in doing so, the Redmond outfit only made things worse. That's because <strong>the latest MSE update is causing some XP machines to freeze up and run slow</strong>.</p> <p>Anyone with a tinfoil hat will tell you this is entirely intentional on Microsoft's part and nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to get users to upgrade. The real explanation is likely far less insidious, though equally annoying for XP users who had hopes of holding onto the legacy OS for at least a little while longer.</p> <p>"I am a professional computer engineer and maintain many desktops and laptops for my customers on a daily basis: as of today (April 16th) I have seen about 12 computers on which Windows XP - after every boot up - throws up an error message referring to MSE, stating: 'MsMpEng.exe application error. The instruction at 0x5a4d684d referenced memory at 0x00000000 The memory could not be read', leaving the computer in an unusable state," <a href="http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-winapps/bug-in-microsoft-security-essentials-lames-windows/7e105845-e4e7-4b0d-b7f8-485ba538e3b2" target="_blank">a user wrote</a> on Microsoft's Windows forum.</p> <p>He goes on to say that "the only solution is to disable MSE or uninstall it completely." Doing so will restore performance, but it comes at the expense of security protection, which is now more important than ever for XP users.</p> <p>Microsoft has yet to acknowledge the situation or issue a fix. One is likely coming, but in the meantime, there are third-party AV vendors that still support XP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/buggy_microsoft_security_essentials_update_kicks_xp_machines_while_down_2014#comments microsoft Microsoft Security Essentials mse operating system OS Security Software Windows XP News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:20:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 27655 at http://www.maximumpc.com Reports Shows Over a Third of Purchased Steam Games Haven't Been Played http://www.maximumpc.com/reports_shows_over_third_purchased_steam_games_havent_been_played_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steam_3.jpg" alt="Steam" title="Steam" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Sales encourage gamers to stockpile more games than they have time to play</h3> <p>It seems like there's always a major Steam sale taking place. There isn't, but certainly Steam sales aren't exactly rare. These sales introduce big discounts to popular titles, both current and ones that are slightly older, and we often find ourselves stockpiling titles with plans to play them at a future date. Apparently that's a common practice, as a<strong> new report suggests that nearly 37 percent of registered Steam titles have never been loaded</strong>.</p> <p>Aurich Lawson at <a href="http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/" target="_blank"><em>ArsTechnica</em></a> did some digging and uncovered some interesting numbers. He didn't pull any of these figures out of a hat, all the estimates are based on publicly available information, he says. So, what exactly did he find?</p> <p>As stated above, over a third of the roughly 781 million games registered to different Steam accounts have never been played a single time. Steam is far from a ghost town, however, as Dota 2 alone currently accounts for around 3.8 billion hours of play time. Lawson also discovered that Steam users have logged 600 percent more time into Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer mode than the single player campaign.</p> <p>Another thing we found interesting is that 17 percent of registered games on Steam have logged less than an hour of play time. If you add that to the games that have never been loaded, it means that 53.4 percent -- a little over half -- of Steam games have either never been loaded or played for less than an hour.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/reports_shows_over_third_purchased_steam_games_havent_been_played_2014#comments games pc Software Steam News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:36:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 27654 at http://www.maximumpc.com Why You Must Upgrade From Windows XP http://www.maximumpc.com/why_you_must_upgrade_windows_xp_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Make your Windows XP-using friends/family members read this important PSA</h3> <p>Microsoft has officially <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help" target="_blank">pulled the plug on support for Windows XP</a>. &nbsp;That’s it. &nbsp;Finite. &nbsp;Done. &nbsp;No more. &nbsp;Don’t expect to see any future patches, services packs, fixes, hotfixes, critical updates, anything — if you’re one of the <a href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/one-week-before-its-end-of-life-28-percent-of-web-users-are-still-on-windows-xp/" target="_blank">one-fourth of desktop users</a> or so who are still running the antiquated operating system (yes, there’s that many of you), you’re about to enter the Wild Wild West of computing.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/windows_xp.jpg" alt="Windows XP broken" title="Windows XP broken" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows XP. Which means, "hello, hackers!"</strong></p> <p>So, what does that actually mean? &nbsp;Simple: You have to upgrade. &nbsp;There are no buts about it; staying on Windows XP is a bit like seeing a waterfall ahead on a river and opting to stay in the boat instead of safely paddling to shore. &nbsp;You might not know when you’re going to go over the precipice, but it’s likely that something quite bad is going to happen to you at some point in your future.</p> <p>We’re not just being overdramatic for the sake of it. &nbsp;Why do you think a number of businesses (<a href="http://consumerist.com/2014/03/14/only-a-third-of-bank-atms-using-windows-xp-have-upgraded-ahead-of-april-8-deadline/" target="_blank">banks, especially</a>) are spending a small fortune to get their systems upgraded as quickly as can be? &nbsp;Why do you think that a number of them are likely going to be paying Microsoft a princely sum for XP support after the fact, as they’ve simply been unable to upgrade important devices like, say, ATMs before the big cutoff date?</p> <p>If you’re still not convinced — or know those that need a little bit of extra convincing — we’re going to run through <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/windows/comments/22d0pf/why_is_xp_zero_day_so_over_hyped/" target="_blank">a few Windows XP scenarios</a> to show you that, yes, it’s time to kick this legacy OS to the curb for good.</p> <h4>Patch Tuesdays Could Break Windows XP</h4> <p>Patch Tuesday sounds like it’s a good thing, right? &nbsp;That tried-and-true time that comes around once a month, on the second Tuesday of each month, where Microsoft dishes out new security updates for its operating systems.&nbsp;</p> <p>Only, it’s not going to be doing that for Windows XP any more. &nbsp;And that doesn’t sound quite so bad until you realize just what this might mean for the legacy OS. &nbsp;Consider the following situation: Microsoft finds a security exploit in Windows Vista, 7, and 8 and decides to fix it up using a Patch Tuesday update. &nbsp;Since Windows XP isn’t being fixed anymore, an industrious hacker reverse-engineers Microsoft’s fix and heads on over to his or her Windows XP installation to see if the exploit exists there as well. If it does, he'll most likely exploit it, and then we could be in some serious trouble. &nbsp;</p> <p>In other words, Microsoft will now be feeding those interested in breaking Windows XP a constant stream of possible exploits to investigate. &nbsp;It’s like turning Patch Tuesday on its head.</p> <h4>Disbelief</h4> <p>A number of novice users might feel that they’re protected from the effects of the Internet underground by running a box-copy virus or malware scanner on their system and calling it a day. &nbsp;While that’s certainly true in some cases, even the best malware scanner on the market isn’t going to protect a person from any raw exploits that can be found or abused within the base level of the operating system itself. It's really apples and oranges.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Tourists_swimming_at_Victoria_Falls.jpg" alt="dangerous waterfall" title="dangerous waterfall" width="620" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Using Windows XP today is like dangling over a dangerous waterfall. You wouldn't do that now, would you?</strong></p> <p>Malware might take advantage of core areas within the operating system, but running Avast, or Norton Antivirus, or what-have-you is only going to help a user out by scanning what he or she downloads from the Web (or plugs into his or her PC). &nbsp;If a weakness is discovered that’s core to Windows XP’s operation, and doesn’t need a software vector in order to affect one’s system, then a scanning app isn’t going to be able to do anything about it.</p> <h4>What to do?</h4> <p>If we’ve finally managed to convince you that it’s time to switch – or you’ve successfully convinced a friend or loved one that it’s time to move away from Windows XP for good — there are a few routes you can go. &nbsp;The first and most obvious solution is to upgrade, and we recommend that you jump to Windows 7 or Windows 8 when you do. &nbsp;You’ll have an easier time finding copies of the latter and, while it’s a bit of a learning curve for those accustom to the no-frills Windows XP UI experience, more changes coming as a result of Windows 8.1’s official “Update 1” patch will hopefully ease the learning curve ever so slightly.</p> <p>Before you do, however, make sure that you download, install, and run Microsoft’s official upgrade “advisors” for either <a title="Windows 7" href="http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20" target="_blank">Windows 7</a> or <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-assistant-download-online-faq" target="_blank">Windows 8</a>. &nbsp;They’ll tell you whether your system will work well with the new OS from a hardware and software perspective, and they’re valuable tools for getting a general sense of just how well your PC stacks up before you splurge money on an OS upgrade that might not work out that well for you.</p> <p><em>Read our Windows 8.1 review <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_81_review_2013">here</a>.</em></p> <p>If you’re stuck in that camp, those looking to use the death of Windows XP as an inspiration for a shopping trip can also benefit from some of the current promotions running as a result. &nbsp;Microsoft, for example, is offering <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/cat/categoryID.67770000" target="_blank">$100 off new PC purchases</a> for those who access its online store from a Windows XP machine — or, if you want to be truly awesome, for those who drag a Windows XP system into one of the company’s retail stores.</p> <p><em>Learn how to install Windows 7 from a USB key <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_to_install_windows_7_beta_a_usb_key" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <p>That said, some users will still face a bit of heartbreak when moving up to a new operating system. &nbsp;<a href="http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/compatcenter/home" target="_blank">Outlook Express</a>, for example, does not exist in Windows Vista or higher – if that’s your XP-using grandmother’s favorite email client, you might need to help her out in moving on up to something a bit more comprehensive… and supported.</p> <p>Learn how to install Windows 8 from a USB key <a title="windows 8 install usb" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/how_install_windows_8_flash_drive_31384" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>For what it’s worth, you can go back to <a title="windows xp virtualized" href="http://lifehacker.com/5965889/how-to-run-windows-xp-for-free-in-windows-8" target="_blank">running Windows XP in a secure, virtualized environment</a>. &nbsp;While we don’t recommend that you do anything super-secure in your virtual machine (Amazon shopping might be out), you can at least have access to legacy applications and/or anything else you need from good ol’ Windows XP. &nbsp;And, should this virtualized copy of XP get infected with (or exploited by) something horrible, it won’t affect the contents of your primary operating system – and deleting it / restoring up a new version of Windows XP is super easy.</p> <p>The truly die-hard can also switch on up to a free Linux variant if they feel as if they’re done with Microsoft now that Windows XP has been put out to pasture. &nbsp;Newbies to Linux can give a <a title="live CD" href="http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html" target="_blank">Live CD</a> a try, which packs an entire, working operating system onto removable media – an operating system whose contents cannot be affected beyond the point at which you power down your PC for the day. &nbsp;If your sole interest in having a Windows XP machine is to have a simple way to browse the web and check email, this might be a great way to do that — on a legacy PC — without having to spend a penny post-XP.</p> <h4>Stop reading; start upgrading</h4> <p>We’ve covered some of the more general concerns and issues related to the imminent loss of Windows XP. &nbsp;There are plenty more scenarios as to why upgrading is in your best interest, and there are surely quite a few more ways to do it. &nbsp;What’s clear is that Windows XP support is over. &nbsp;Any additional days you spend chained to the legacy OS, you do so at your own risk. &nbsp;Upgrading is easy. &nbsp;Buying a new computer is easy. &nbsp;Setting up your new apps and migrating your data over is… <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-from-windows-vista-xp-tutorial" target="_blank">less easy</a>, but it’s better you spend the time doing that than, say, calling up your credit card companies because some industrious hacker connived their way into your Windows XP-based Web shopping, to name one example.</p> <p>If you’re on Windows XP, stop reading right now. &nbsp;Start upgrading. &nbsp;Stay safe.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/why_you_must_upgrade_windows_xp_2014#comments hack hacker important microsoft Patch Tuesday psa scam Should I upgrade upgrade virus Windows windows 7 windows 8 windows xp News Features Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:11:12 +0000 Dave Murphy 27633 at http://www.maximumpc.com Eurocom's Thin and Light Electra 2 Laptop Boasts Maxwell Graphics, TPM 1.2 Security http://www.maximumpc.com/eurocoms_thin_and_light_electra_2_laptop_boasts_maxwell_graphics_tpm_12_security <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/eurocom_electra_2.jpg" alt="Eurocom Electra 2" title="Eurocom Electra 2" width="228" height="127" style="float: right;" />Eurocom's latest laptop is an ultraportable that starts at $825</h3> <p>Most of the time when we receive word of a new system offering from Eurocom, it's a desktop replacement-class laptop with all the bells and whistles, and price tag to match. This time around, <strong>Eurocom dropped us a line to let us know about its new Electra 2, a thin and light ultraportable</strong> that starts out at $825. It comes standard with a 15.6-inch Full HD 1080p IPS display and Intel Core i5 4200M (Haswell) processor clocked at 2.5GHz (3.10GHz Turbo).</p> <p>Other baseline parts and features include 8GB of DDR3-1600 SO-DIMM memory (single stick), Nvidia GeForce GTX 850M graphics based on Maxwell, 500GB hard drive (7200 RPM), 8X DVD burner, 1080p webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 9-in-1 card reader, GbE LAN, Bluetooth, two USB 3.0 ports plus an eSATA/USB 3.0 combo port, a single USB 2.0 port, HDMI and VGA output, and 6-cell battery. Windows 7 and 8 options are available at an additional cost.</p> <p>The Electra 2 also features Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 hardware data encryption, which indicates that Eurocom is targeting IT environments and business users. However, the Electra 2 is configurable and upgradeable, so you can configure a system that's custom tailored to your needs.</p> <p>Eurocom's Electra 2 is <a href="http://www.eurocom.com/" target="_blank">available now</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/eurocoms_thin_and_light_electra_2_laptop_boasts_maxwell_graphics_tpm_12_security#comments electra 2 Eurocom Hardware laptop maxwell notebook nvidia OEM rigs tpm 1.2 ultraportable News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:32:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 27653 at http://www.maximumpc.com IBM Posts Revenue Decline for Eighth Consecutive Quarter http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_posts_revenue_decline_eighth_consecutive_quarter_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ibm_pc.jpg" alt="IBM PC" title="IBM PC" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Declining hardware sales and expensive layoffs hurt IBM's bottom line</h3> <p><strong>It was another rough quarter for IBM, which reported a drop in revenue</strong>. That marks eight quarters in a row of revenue declines. For the first quarter of 2014, IBM's total revenues reached $22.5 billion, down 4 percent from the first quarter of 2013. On the plus side, IBM is still making a profit -- $2.4 billion in Q1 2014, though even that figure is marred by the fact that it's down 21 percent year-over-year.</p> <p>Part of the reason why the numbers are down this time around is because of IBM's recent layoffs. The company took an $870 million "workforce rebalancing charge" as it makes changes and reductions to staff that it hopes will pay off in the long run.</p> <p>IBM's bottom line was also affected by a drop in hardware revenue. The company's Systems and Technology segment totaled $2.4 billion for the quarter, down 23 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Total systems revenues decreased 24 percent, including a 40 percent reduction in revenues from its System z mainframe server products.</p> <p>"In the first quarter, we continued to take actions to transform parts of the business and to shift aggressively to our strategic growth areas including cloud, big data analytics, social, mobile and security," <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43696.wss" target="_blank">said Ginni Rometty</a>, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As we move through 2014, we will begin to see the benefits from these actions. Over the long term, they will position us to drive growth and higher value for our clients."</p> <p>IBM benefited from a bump in software sales. The company's Software segment generated $5.7 billion in Q1, up 2 percent year-over-year. Revenues from IBM's middleware products jumped 4 percent to $3.7 billion. Included in that is a 12 percent year-over-year jump in WebSphere sales.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/br1dotcom/4737099700/sizes/l" target="_blank">br1dotcom</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_posts_revenue_decline_eighth_consecutive_quarter_2014#comments financial report Hardware ibm revenue Software News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:02:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 27652 at http://www.maximumpc.com Teachers Claim Overexposure to Tablets Stunt Motor Skill Development and Memory http://www.maximumpc.com/teachers_claim_overexposure_tablets_stunt_motor_skill_development_and_memory_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/baby_ipad.jpg" alt="Baby iPad" title="Baby iPad" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Infants raised on iPads have trouble using building blocks, teachers say</h3> <p>Maybe parents should rethink giving their children a tablet this holiday shopping season, especially if their lifestyle makes it difficult to limit use to such devices. <strong>Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers are speaking out against overexposure to tablets</strong>, warning that a growing number of infants aren't developing the proper motor skills to play with building blocks due to their "addiction" to tablet PCs and smartphones.</p> <p>According to a report in the U.K.'s <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10767878/Infants-unable-to-use-toy-building-blocks-due-to-iPad-addiction.html" target="_blank"><em>The Telegraph</em></a>, teachers claim that three- and four-year-old children known how to swipe a screen just fine, but beyond tablet controls, they lack dexterity in their fingers after spending hours a day playing on the iPad.</p> <p>"I have spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks or the like, or the pupils who cannot socialize with other pupils but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone," Colin Kinney, a teacher from Northern Ireland, told the <em>The Telegraph</em>.</p> <p>The article makes several references to Apple's iPad and iPhone devices, though the concern isn't limited to those specific models. It just so happens that Apple holds a large share of the mobile market and so iPads and iPhones are more prominent. However, it's a problem that extends to mobile gadgets in general.</p> <p>Teachers have also noted a decline in pen and paper exams, saying that kids who spend a lot of time using mobile gadgets rely on the instant support of their electronic device.</p> <p>The obvious way to combat against all this is for parents to do a better job monitoring and limiting the amount of time their children are allowed to use tablets and smartphones. In addition, teachers recommend turning off Wi-Fi access at night.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/devitogustavo/6623430611/sizes/l" target="_blank">Gustavo Devito</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/teachers_claim_overexposure_tablets_stunt_motor_skill_development_and_memory_2014#comments Hardware iPad mobile slate tablet News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:30:24 +0000 Paul Lilly 27649 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Builds a Wireless All-in-One Keyboard for Smart TVs http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_builds_wireless_all--one_keyboard_smart_tvs_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_all-in-one_keyboard_living_room.jpg" alt="Microsoft All-in-One Keyboard Living Room" title="Microsoft All-in-One Keyboard Living Room" width="228" height="143" style="float: right;" />An all-in-one keyboard with an integrated touchpad</h3> <p>It's been 20 years since Microsoft released its first keyboard. Called the "Microsoft Natural Keyboard," the Redmond outfit went after the ergonomic category with a curved design intended to reduce or prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other stress injuries associated with typing at awkward angles. Two decade later, <strong>Microsoft is adding to its peripherals line with the All-in-One Media Keyboard (N9Z-00001)</strong>.</p> <p>This time around Microsoft is going after smart TV owners and the home entertainment crowd in general. The AIO Media Keyboard sports a full-size keyset with low profile keys and an integrated multi-touch trackpad on the side where you'd normally find a numpad.</p> <p>The trackpad supports gestures, allowing you to tap, swipe, drag, zoom, and click for easy navigation. Sitting above the trackpad are customizable media keys for quick acces to your music, photos and videos. Volume controls are found way over on the other side.</p> <p>It's a wireless keyboard that communicates with a mini USB dongle. Microsoft says it can hold a connection up to 30 feet. It also features a durable spill-resistant design.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_all-in-one_keyboard.jpg" alt="Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard" title="Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard" width="620" height="231" /></p> <p>Microsoft's AIO Media keyboard looks very similar to <a href="http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/living-room-keyboard-k830" target="_blank">Logitech's recently introduced K830</a>, though Logitech's sports a backlight and Microsoft's does not. That luxury carries a $60 premium, however --&nbsp; the K830 goes for $100 while Microsoft's AIO Media Keyboard carries a much lighter <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/p/all-in-one-media-keyboard/N9Z-00001" target="_blank">$40 MSRP</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_builds_wireless_all--one_keyboard_smart_tvs_2014#comments Hardware keyboard microsoft Peripherals Smart TV News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:02:50 +0000 Paul Lilly 27648 at http://www.maximumpc.com Cotton White Version of Google Glass Sells Out During Public Sale, What Comes Next? http://www.maximumpc.com/cotton_white_version_google_glass_sells_out_during_public_sale_what_comes_next_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/glass_cotton_white.jpg" alt="Glass Cotton White" title="Glass Cotton White" width="228" height="146" style="float: right;" />KitKat is headed to Google Glass</h3> <p><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/reminder_google_glass_available_general_public_today_2014">Google made available</a> its Glass Explorer program to the general public for a single day on April 15, and while we don't know how many of the $1,500 wearable devices it managed to sell, we do know that the "Cotton White" (white) version proved most popular. That color option sold completely out by mid-day, so anyone who purchased a Glass device afterwards had to choose from Charcoal (black), Tangerine (orange), Shale (gray), or Powder Blue (light blue). <strong>Now that the sale is done and over with, what comes next for Google Glass?</strong></p> <p>We suppose Google will analyze the sales figures to gauge consumer interest while all of the <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">early adopters</span> Explorers continue to beta test the wearable tech. It remains to be seen if Google will make more tweaks to the hardware or physical design before rolling out a commercial launch.</p> <p>In the meantime, Glass owners will be receiving a software update sometime this week. Google described it as a "big one," as it rolls out Android KitKat to Glass.</p> <p>"We've been working on a significant upgrade to a new version of the Glass software. It's not a change you can see, but it brings improved battery life and makes Glass more reliable and easier to update in the future. And now that Glass runs Android KitKat, developers can write Glassware using the latest Android SDK goodness, along with new features from our GDK," Google stated in a <a href="https://plus.google.com/+GoogleGlass/posts/gNS3JvHEdvV" target="_blank">Google+ post</a>.</p> <p>Improved battery life is probably the most welcome upgrade by Glass owners, though it's far from the only update. As requested by users, photos will be organized into bundles for better viewing with less swiping. There will also be photo replies in Hangouts, voice command sorting, and a bunch of subtle changes.</p> <p>Interestingly, Google decided to remove video calls from Glass with this latest update. According to Google, less than 10 percent of Explorers use this feature. It also wasn't working as well as Google hoped, so it's gone "until the experience is better."</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/cotton_white_version_google_glass_sells_out_during_public_sale_what_comes_next_2014#comments glass Google Hardware Wearable News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:07:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 27646 at http://www.maximumpc.com Motherboard Makers Turning to Alternative Products for Bigger Profits http://www.maximumpc.com/motherboard_makers_turning_alternative_products_bigger_profits_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/msi_gaming_laptop_0.jpg" alt="MSI Gaming Laptop" title="MSI Gaming Laptop" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />As Intel's Haswell refresh looms, Asus and other mobo players look to other areas to boost profits</h3> <p>Intel is getting ready to refresh its Haswell platform, and when that happens, it should spark some sales in the motherboard industry. Motherboard makers should also get a boost from XP users looking to upgrade their ancient boxes. Despite these market drivers, however, word on the web is that<strong> Asus and other motherboard players have begun pushing their other products much more aggressively</strong> in hopes of pulling in a bigger profit.</p> <p>So says <a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20140416PD204.html" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em></a>, which itself is citing "market watchers" with eyes on the situation. Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock are all focusing on their "non-motherboard businesses" pretty hard these days. Specifically, ASRock is making a big push in the server industry with related products after achieving flat performance on year with its motherboard shipments in 2013. It's a long-term strategy that ASRock believes will pay off in a couple years from now.</p> <p>MSI, on the other hand, is pushing mid-range and high-end gaming laptops. This is something we've seen ourselves, as we've posted several MSI gaming laptop announcements during the past year. It's a crowded field that also includes competition from Gigabyte and Asus.</p> <p>Gigabyte shipped 20 million motherboards last year and expects to ship 22 million in 2014. It's going to be a close race between Gigabyte and Asus for the top spot. At the same time, both companies are looking at notebooks, tablets, handsets, and networking equipment to generate additional revenue.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/motherboard_makers_turning_alternative_products_bigger_profits_2014#comments asrock Build a PC gigabyte Hardware motherboards msi News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:56:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 27645 at http://www.maximumpc.com Intel Sees "Signs of Improvement" in PC Sector, Reports First Quarter Profit of $1.9 Billion http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_sees_signs_improvement_pc_sector_reports_first_quarter_profit_19_billion_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_graffiti.jpg" alt="Intel Graffiti" title="Intel Graffiti" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Earnings report sends Intel's stock soaring to a 52-week high</h3> <p>Talk is cheap at the end of the day, so despite doomsayers predicting the demise of the PC, Intel's sales and revenue proved those notions wrong. <strong>Intel, the largest semiconductor company in the world, beat out analyst expectations by reporting first quarter revenue of $12.8 billion</strong>, operating income of $2.5 billion, net income of $1.9 billion, and earnings per share of 38 cents.</p> <p>Intel's PC Client Group did decline 8 percent sequentially, but only 1 percent year-over-year, generating $7.9 billion during the first quarter of 2014. That's more than twice as much as Intel's Data Center Group, which ramped up 11 percent year-over-year to $3.1 billion.</p> <p>"In the first quarter we saw solid growth in the data center, signs of improvement in the PC business, and we shipped 5 million tablet processors, making strong progress on our goal of 40 million tablets for 2014," <a href="http://www.intc.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=840351&amp;ReleasesType=Financial%20News" target="_blank">said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich</a>. "Additionally, we demonstrated our further commitment to grow in the enterprise with a strategic technology and business collaboration with Cloudera, we introduced our second-generation LTE platform with CAT6 and other advanced features, and we shipped our first Quark products for the Internet of Things."</p> <p>Intel's performance impressed investors, who in turn sent the company's stock price temporarily above its 52-week high of $27.12. The stock price has since come down a bit and is currently trading at around $26.90, up around half a percentage point.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/gogostevie/451610000/sizes/z/" target="_blank">gogostevie</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_sees_signs_improvement_pc_sector_reports_first_quarter_profit_19_billion_2014#comments financial report Hardware intel revenue sales News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:25:30 +0000 Paul Lilly 27644 at http://www.maximumpc.com First Purported Photos of Amazon's Rumored Smartphone in Prototype Form Hit the Web http://www.maximumpc.com/first_purported_photos_amazons_rumored_smartphone_prototype_form_hit_web_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amazon_phone_1.jpg" alt="Amazon Phone" title="Amazon Phone" width="228" height="129" style="float: right;" />This is what Amazon's smartphone could look like</h3> <p>Amazon hasn't yet announced plans to launch a smartphone, so what you're looking at could in fact be a fake. However, if you're a believer that where there's smoke there's fire, the <strong>leaked photos purporting to show a prototype version of Amazon's smartphone might actually be the real thing</strong>. Certainly the rumors and speculation have kicked up a notch in recent weeks, some of which suggest Amazon's handset will sport 3D functionality.</p> <p>First things first -- the boys and girls at <a href="http://bgr.com/2014/04/15/amazon-smartphone-photos-specs-kindle-phone-exclusive/" target="_blank"><em>BGR.com</em></a> obtained what they claim are exclusive photos of the unreleased device. They've also spoken with "multiple trusted sources" to confirm existing information and learn new details surrounding Amazon's smartphone.</p> <p>If you're thinking, "Who cares, that's one fugly smartphone!," bear in mind that it's sporting a protective case specifically intended to keep the actual overall design a mystery from those who lack the authorization to see it (you, us, the web at large).</p> <p>Moving on, you can see a series of cameras on the handset. Rumor has it the thing is toting around six cameras in all, including a 13-megapixel lens on back and five cameras on the front. Apparently Amazon is messing around with not only a heavily customized version of Android, but some kind of funky glasses-free 3D interface unlike anything we've ever seen before. Color us intrigued, albeit skeptical that this won't turn out gimmicky.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/amazon_phone_bottom.jpg" alt="Amazon Phone Bottom" title="Amazon Phone Bottom" width="620" height="346" /></p> <p>One of <em>BGR's</em> sources says the handset will feature a 4.7-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and 2GB of RAM. There's also chatter of a second, lower end handset.</p> <p>In any event, there you have it -- a possible first look at what may end up being Amazon's first smartphone, covered in fugly case.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/first_purported_photos_amazons_rumored_smartphone_prototype_form_hit_web_2014#comments amazon Hardware mobile prototype rumor smartphone News Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:37:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 27643 at http://www.maximumpc.com Broadcom and Quantenna in Arms Race to Speed Up Wi-Fi Data Rates http://www.maximumpc.com/broadcom_and_quantenna_arms_race_speed_wi-fi_data_rates_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/5g.jpg" alt="5G Wi-Fi" title="5G Wi-Fi" width="228" height="143" style="float: right;" />Both Broadcom and Quantenna are working on chips to dramatically increase 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds</h3> <p>We hate to be the ones to break it to you, but in the true sense of the term, there's simply no such thing as "future proofing." Take for example the draft 802.11ac standard. You can go out and buy the fastest consumer router avaiable today (a tossup between the Asus RT-AC66U/AC68U and Netgear R7000) and by this time next year, we'll likely have a new speed king. In fact, the efforts of two competing companies -- Broadcom and Quantenna -- all but ensure it. <strong>Both companies recently announced new chipsets</strong> that will make today's routers look pokey by comparison.</p> <p>Let's start with Broadcom, which <a href="https://www.broadcom.com/press/release.php?id=s840231" target="_blank">today introduced</a> the industry's first six stream 802.11ac MIMO (Multiple-Input, Multiple Output) platform for home networks. Othewise known as "5G WiFi XStream," Broadcom is promising data rates of up to 3.2Gbps, a 50 percent improvement over Multi-User (MU) MIMO routers.</p> <p>To fully understand what's taking place here, we have to back up a moment. Today's wireless chipsets aimed at the consumer crowd send and receive three spatial data streams at the same time. You might see this marketed as 3x3 MIMO. The fastest routers built around these chipsets deliver data on the 5GHz Wireless-AC band at up 1.3Gbps (1,300Mbps).</p> <p>Broadcom's solution for home routers includes six 802.11ac streams and three 802.11n streams that run simultaneously. It also employs channel bonding technology to combine multiple channels on the 5GHz band to effectively create a single channel with 160MHz of bandwidth (today's 802.11ac routers use channel bonding for 80MHz of bandwidth).</p> <p>Technical details aside, you're looking at faster Wi-Fi speeds over your home network, though <a href="http://www.quantenna.com/pressrelease-04_14_14.html" target="_blank">Quantenna is promising</a> even faster throughput. Quantenna said this week it's developing the world's first 10Gbps Wi-Fi chipset using 8x8 MIMO, compared to its existing 4x4 MIMO chipset, which has yet to be fully utilized by router makers.</p> <p>Asus is current tapping into Quantenna's 4x4 MIMO chipset to build what Quantenna claims will be the world's fastest consumer router (1.7Gbps), so don't expect the 8x8 MIMO chipset to make any waves just yet. Instead, Quantenna is looking at making the first 10G Wi-Fi 8x8 MIMO chipsets available in 2015.</p> <p>Image Credit: Broadcom</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/broadcom_and_quantenna_arms_race_speed_wi-fi_data_rates_2014#comments 5g Broadcom networking quantenna routers wi-fi wireless News Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:53:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 27642 at http://www.maximumpc.com Reminder: Google Glass Available to General Public Today http://www.maximumpc.com/reminder_google_glass_available_general_public_today_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/glass_explorer.jpg" alt="Google Glass" title="Google Glass" width="228" height="127" style="float: right;" />Today's your chance to become a Glass Explorer</h3> <p>Google today will get its first real test of consumer interest towards its wearable Glass device. To date, there are about 10,000 Glass devices in the wild, the vast majority of which include hand selected journalists, developers, and celebrities. <strong><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/all_us_mortals_can_buy_google_glass_april_15">Google decided</a> to make Glass available to the general public today for one day only</strong>, and if you're interested in becoming a Explorer, there are still units available at the time of this writing.</p> <p>There are some caveats. You must be a U.S. resident who is at least 18 years old, and you must use a U.S. shipping address. Assuming you meet these requirements, your reward is that you're eligible to become an Explorer for $1,500 plus tax.</p> <p>This is the first time Google has opened up the Explorer program (which is a nice way of saying early adopter) to the general public. It's not known how many units have been set aside for the one-day run of sales, though we do know they're available on a first come, first served basis.</p> <p>Google gives buyers a bit of customization. To begin with, you select from one of five colors, including Charcoal, Tangerine, Cotton, Shale, or Sky. You then choose a complimentary style of frames or shades, of which there are a total of seven. From there, you can either checkout or browse add-on accessories, such as stereo earbuds, clear shades, and a few other items.</p> <p>If you're game, <a href="http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-to-get-one/" target="_blank">head here</a> to make your purchase.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/reminder_google_glass_available_general_public_today_2014#comments explorer glass Google Hardware Wearable News Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:42:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 27641 at http://www.maximumpc.com Toshiba Satellite P55t Wields a 4K Ultra HD Display, Technicolor Certification http://www.maximumpc.com/toshiba_satellite_p55t_wields_4k_ultra_hd_display_technicolor_certification <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/toshiba_satellite_p55t.jpg" alt="Toshiba Satellite P55t" title="Toshiba Satellite P55t" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />The world's first laptop with Technicolor Color Certification</h3> <p>Toshiba was quick to embrace Intel's Ultrabook form factor during its infancy, and now that 4K displays are gaining traction, here comes Toshiba once again. The <strong>Toshiba Satellite P55t is a 15.6-inch laptop with a 4K Ultra HD In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel</strong>, which offers up four times more pixels than a Full HD 1080p display. It's also supposedly the first notebook in the world to earn Technicolor Color Certification.</p> <p>According to Toshiba, each Ultra HD display is individually calibrated by Chroma Tune and is Technicolor Certified during production for a more natural color expression and accurate color gamut. The end game here is to eliminate mismatches when viewing photos or other imagery.</p> <p>"Our color certification team worked closely with the engineering team at Toshiba to ensure the highest levels of color calibration on this laptop's display," said Manuele Wahl, senior vice president, Licensing at Technicolor. "We applied the same rigor of testing and calibration used on major motion pictures to ensure not only that photographers and videographers now see what they shot in perfect color, but consumers can also experience 4K film and videos as Hollywood directors intended."</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/toshiba_satellite_p55t_keyboard.jpg" alt="Toshiba Satellite P55t Keyboard" title="Toshiba Satellite P55t Keyboard" width="620" height="420" /></p> <p>In addition to a 4K Ultra HD display, the Satellite P55t also boasts a 4th Generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, up to 16GB of dual-channel DDR3L-1600 RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M265X graphics, 1TB hard drive, four USB 3.0 ports, UHS-II SD card slot, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, HDMI output, Harman Kardon speakers, and an optical drive (Blu-ray burner optional).</p> <p>The Toshiba Satellite P55t will be available on April 22 for $1,500 MSRP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/toshiba_satellite_p55t_wields_4k_ultra_hd_display_technicolor_certification#comments 4k Hardware laptop mobile notebook OEM rigs satellite p55t toshiba uhd ultra hd News Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:35:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 27640 at http://www.maximumpc.com