support en Windows XP Holdouts Will Reportedly Pay Double for Microsoft Support <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/xp_bliss.jpg" alt="XP Bliss" title="XP Bliss" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Another nudge to get businesses to upgrade</h3> <p>Even the floppy disk would have to be impressed with how long Windows XP has been able to hold onto relevance. Sure, most of the world has moved on, but there are still a lot of Windows XP machines out there, especially in various enterprise sectors. Rather than upgrade, businesses can ink custom support agreements (CSAs) with Microsoft to continue receiving support. However, it's being reported that the <strong>cost of those Windows XP CSAs are about to double</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>ComputerWorld</em></a> and an anonymous licensing expert it spoke with, the price per PC for a Windows XP CSA will be $400 with a cap of $500,000 starting in April. Included as part of these CSAs are ongoing critical security updates for the retired OS, allowing businesses to continue using the aged OS.</p> <p>Microsoft dropped the price to $200 with a cap of $250,000 last year just days before it retired Windows XP. The intent was to give businesses a little more time to get their ducks in a row and migrate to a newer OS. It's an annual program, and those who haven't made plans to upgrade will see their costs go back up when their contracts expire, the first of which will take place in a couple of months.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see what effect that has on Windows XP's market share. As it stands, Windows XP is on nearly 21 percent of the world's PCs, according to Net Applications. That comes out to over 300 million computers, though StatCounter reports XP's market share at 12 percent.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS Software support windows xp News Thu, 19 Feb 2015 17:42:36 +0000 Paul Lilly 29447 at Comcast Apologizes for Overzealous Rep Who Made Cancelling Service a Nightmare <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/comcast.jpg" alt="Comcast" title="Comcast" width="228" height="158" style="float: right;" />And the worst customer service award goes to...</h3> <p>It doesn't pay to be a jerk in this day and age of the Internet. Look at Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA for life over racist comments he made in a conversation with this girlfriend. At least in his case, he didn't know he was being recorded. As for a Comcast customer service rep who raked a subscriber over the coals when the called in to cancel service, he should have known better.</p> <p>This is one of those cases where you have to listen to the conversation yourself to fully appreciate the level of insanity taking place. In short, tech blogger Ryan Block, former head honcho of <em>Engadget</em> and founder of community website <em>gdgt</em>, called Comcast to cancel his service. What happened next is a torturous inquisition on why he wanted to leave.</p> <p>The 8 minute recording picks up after Block had already been on the phone for 10 minutes before he decided to record the conversation on his end. Through it all, the rep on the other end of the line aggressively inquires Block's motive for cancelling service while pointedly ignoring his request to disconnect. When the rep finally (and supposedly) obliges, he refuses to give a confirmation number.</p> <p>Naturally, the call has has gone viral and just as predictably, Comcast is now looking into the matter.</p> <p>"We're investigating the situation and certainly want to apologize to the customer," a Comcast spokesperson <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Motherboard</em></a>. "This isn't how our customer service representatives are trained to operate."</p> <p>Let's hope that's true. In the meantime, here you go:</p> <p><iframe src=";auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%" height="450" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Comcast customer service ISP support News Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:24:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 28168 at Don't Fret Over Microsoft Ending Mainstream Support for Windows 7 in January 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/Windows_7_Boxes.png" alt="Windows 7" title="Windows 7" width="228" height="188" style="float: right;" />Microsoft updates end of support deadlines for various software</h3> <p>Now that we're well into July, Microsoft felt it was a good time to update its list of products reaching end of support in the next 6 months. One entry that's gaining a lot of media attention is Windows 7. According to the list, <strong>Mainstream Support for several versions of Windows 7 will end on January 13, 2015</strong>, though that doesn't mean you need to rush out and grab a copy of Windows 8. Here's why.</p> <p>After "Mainstream Support" comes another cycle known as "Extended Support," which <a href="" target="_blank">lasts 5 years</a> (January 14, 2020) and includes "security updates at no cost, and paid hotfix support." In other words, as the January 13, 2015 deadline comes and goes, it will be of little consequence to most home users.</p> <p>As for hotfixes, you'll receive those as well, as long as they're security related. It's only the non-security hotfixes that require an extended hotfix agreement, purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending. It's something for IT admins and businesses to consider, but again, nothing of relevance to home users.</p> <p>You can check out Microsoft's <a href="" target="_blank">Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ</a> for more on the differences between Mainstream Support and Extended Support.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS Software support windows 7 News Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:41:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 28134 at HP Clarifies Stance on Firmware and Support for Server Customers <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp_proliant_microserver.jpg" alt="HP ProLiant Micro Server" title="HP ProLiant Micro Server" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Safety and security updates will remain free to all of HP's server customers</h3> <p>Hewlett-Packard ruffled a few feathers on Friday when Mary McCoy, Vice President of HP Servers - Support Technology Services stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a> that HP would only provide future firmware updates to customers with a valid warranty, Care Pack Service, or support agreement. The policy was to go into effect beginning February 19, 2014, but as that date draws near -- and the rumblings grow louder -- McCoy today took to the blogosphere to explain the decision and <strong>clarify HP's stance on safety and security updates</strong>.</p> <p>Straight and to the point, all server customers will continue to receive security updates regardless of warranty status. What about firmware updates?</p> <p>"The firmware access changes we are making on February 19, 2014 apply to HP ProLiant servers only. Specifically, within ProLiant, we are not putting entitlement requirements on iLO, I/O, or controller firmware; we are only entitling ProLiant system ROM and complex programming logic devices (CPLD) firmware," McCoy stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">new blog post</a> today.</p> <p>Though HP is limiting the policy to ProLiant customers, it covers a wide range of products, everything from low-end servers all the way up to enterprise grade servers. HP justifies the move by saying warranty sales is part of the way it's able to invest in and create new products, though the policy could end up driving customers to competitors like Dell <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">and IBM</span> that don't charge for out-of-warranty firmware updates.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> enterprise firmware hewlett-packard hp proliant server support News Wed, 12 Feb 2014 16:24:26 +0000 Paul Lilly 27249 at Microsoft Outlines Windows 8.1 Support Lifecycle Policy <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_81_0.png" alt="Windows 8.1" title="Windows 8.1" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Start making contingency plans for 2023</h3> <p>We missed this one when it was first announced, but in case you're wondering, Microsoft has stated that it plans to support <strong><a href="">Windows 8.1</a></strong> up until January 10, 2023. Mainstream support will cease a little sooner, expiring on January 9, 2018, after which time the "Extended Support" phase kicks in. What's the difference between Mainstream Support and Extended Support? Here's what you need to know.</p> <p>Mainstream Support covers the following:</p> <ul> <li>Paid support (per-incident, per hour, and others)</li> <li>Security update support</li> <li><strong>Non-security hotfix support</strong></li> <li><strong>No-charge incident support</strong></li> <li><strong>Warranty claims</strong></li> <li><strong>Design changes and feature requests</strong></li> <li>Product-specific information that is available by using the online Microsoft Knowledge Base</li> <li>Product-specific information that is available by using the Support site at Microsoft Help and Support to find answers to technical questions</li> </ul> <p>Extended Support covers all of the same, minus the entries that have been bolded. There is an option to extend non-security hotfix support, though it requires an extended hotfix agreement, purchased within 90 days of Mainstream Support ending, Microsoft says.</p> <p>The other interesting tidbit is that Microsoft is mandating an upgrade to Windows 8.1.</p> <p>"Windows 8 customers will have two years to move to Windows 8.1 after the General Availability of the Windows 8.1 update to continue to remain supported under the Windows 8 lifecycle," Microsoft says.</p> <p>For more info, visit Microsoft's <a href="" target="_blank">Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS Software support windows 8.1 News Tue, 15 Oct 2013 14:52:01 +0000 Paul Lilly 26503 at Microsoft Reveals Windows 8.1's New Features <!--paging_filter--><h3>Windows 8.1 will allow you to boot to the desktop, disable hot corners, and more!</h3> <p>After many <a title="leak" href="" target="_blank">leaks</a> and <a title="Windows 8 demo" href="" target="_blank">small public demos</a>, Microsoft has officially blown the lid off&nbsp;<strong><a title="windows 8.1" href="" target="_blank">Windows 8.1</a> </strong>by fully detailing it at&nbsp;the company's <a title="Microsoft Build" href="" target="_blank">Build</a> event in San Francisco, California. The updated operating system offers numerous tweaks and features, some of which include:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/windows_metro.png" alt="metro" title="metro" width="600" height="374" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>You will no longer have to boot to Metro! Yay!</em></p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span><strong>Boot to Desktop</strong></p> <p>No longer will you have to boot to Metro as Microsoft will officially allow you to boot to the desktop.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/hot_corners.png" alt="hot corners" title="hot corners" width="300" height="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>You can now disable Windows 8 Hot Corners</em></p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span><strong>Disabling Hot Corners</strong></p> <p>The need to maneuver your mouse into a pesky little corner has been an annoyance for desktop users since launch, especially for those with multi-monitor setups. Windows 8.1 will allow you to disable those pesky hot corners.&nbsp;</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span><strong>Native Drivers</strong></p> <p>Windows 8.1 will include native drivers for 3D printers, fingerprint readers, and <a title="miracast" href="" target="_blank">Miracast</a> support.</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span><strong>Four Metro Apps Simultaneously&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>When Windows 8 launched last year, users were limited to running just two Windows 8 applications at once that were forced into an awkward 80/20-split. Windows 8.1 will enable users to run up to four Windows 8 applications on a screen in a variety of display ratios.</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span><strong>Dynamic Backgrounds with More Color Options</strong></p> <p>Microsoft has enabled more color and shade selections for the OS with the ability to mirror your desktop background on your Start screen. The company also took a page from Sony’s PSP and has enabled dynamic backgrounds that move and shift as you scroll around your Start screen.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/bing.jpg" alt="bing" title="bing" width="443" height="220" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Bing will be integrated into Windows 8.1's search feature</em></p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span><strong>Bing Search Integration</strong></p> <p>Search will now search not only the contents of your hard drive and cloud storage, but also use Bing to pull searches from the Web.</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span><strong>Tiled Resources for Direct X 11.1</strong></p> <p>Microsoft has chosen to integrate <a title="tiled resources" href="" target="_blank">Tiled Resources</a> into their Windows 8.1 update. Tiled Resources is a feature of the Direct X 11.1 specification that ditches the traditional PC route of rendering scenes in their entirety to render scenes in divided sections called tiles. This means that your Direct X 11.1 GPU will be able to render scenes that are larger than its graphics memory.</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span><strong>High Security</strong></p> <p>In addition to native drivers for fingerprint readers, Microsoft is including new features such as partial wipes for PCs, better VPN support, and network behavior monitoring via <a title="Windows defender" href="" target="_blank">Windows Defender</a> (Microsoft’s free anti-virus software).</p> <p>In addition to polishing the OS, it seems that Microsoft paid attention to the needs of desktop users with Windows 8.1. You'll be able to download the free update this fall. Current Windows 8 and RT users can <a href="">check it out now </a>if you are feeling frisky, but be warned this is beta software, so you'll be running a BETA OS. You've been warned.</p> announced detailed features New revealed support tweaks Windows windows 8.1 News Thu, 27 Jun 2013 00:40:29 +0000 Julian Reiche 25807 at Does The GTX 670 Support 4-Way SLI Or Not? <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u138055/geforce_gtx_670.jpg" width="228" height="231" style="float: right;" />After the GTX 670 launched to pretty much universal applause last Friday, a mini-controversy began brewing almost immediately: did it support 4-way SLI or not? The card uses the same GPU as the quad-enabled GTX 680, the PCB sports two SLI connectors, reviews from prominent online enthusiast sources listed the card as supporting quad-SLI, and heck, Asus photos for the GTX670 DirectCU II TOP even show it in a quad setup. Lots of other reviewers said 4-way SLI wasn't available, however. What gives? Does the GTX 670 support 4-card setups or what?</p> <p>In a word: no. The GTX 670 tops out at 3-way SLI, and it even <a href="">says as much on Nvidia's website</a>. The good news is that quad support is coming: when PC Perspective began <a href="">questioning Nvidia about the lack of 4-way SLI</a>, the company responded with "Change in plans.....we will be offering 4-Way SLI support for GTX 670 in a future driver."</p> <p>Great news! And as for <a href="">those pics that showed four GTX670 DirectCU II TOPs</a>, a concerned enthusiast named Trevor Foster reached out to Asus for clarification on Facebook. <a href=";type=1&amp;comment_id=27021441&amp;offset=0&amp;total_comments=66">Asus responded quickly</a>: "You are correct 3-Way is the max supported for this mostly we wanted to show it for size relation. If this looks misleading I apologize." (<em>Thanks to Trevor for pointing me towards the clarification</em>.)</p> <p>So there you have it: the GTX 670 does not support 4-way SLI setups, but it will some day in the future.</p> <p><em>Follow Brad on <a href="">Google+</a> and <a href="!/BradChacos">Twitter</a></em></p> graphics graphics card gtx 670 Hardware nvidia rumors sli support News Mon, 14 May 2012 17:16:28 +0000 Brad Chacos 23321 at Go Daddy Flip-Flops, Drops SOPA Support <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u138055/godaddy.jpg" width="228" height="167" style="float: right;" />Anybody who knows anything about tech knows that the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act sucks and would break the Internet, to put it in a nutshell. That’s why so many geeks find Go Daddy’s support for the act …disappointing (to say the least). We told you yesterday that <a href="">Go Daddy was facing a boycott <em>slash</em> mass exodus from irate techies</a> for the company’s vocal SOPA support, and apparently, the prospect of <a href="!/benhuh/status/149965881479397376">losing tons of domain registrations</a> makes businessmen reconsider their political positions quickly. Today, Go Daddy announced it was withdrawing its support for SOPA.</p> <p>"It's very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this,” CEO Warren Adelman said <a href=";isc=smtwsup">in the company’s press release</a>. “Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it."</p> <p>Of course, while Go Daddy may have withdrawn official support, there’s no mistaking where its feelings still lie, as evidenced by the closing line of the announcement, which was penned by Christine Jones, the company’s general counsel: “"Go Daddy has always fought to preserve the intellectual property rights of third parties, and will continue to do so in the future.” We agree with the sentiment, but it isn’t exactly the most diplomatic way to sign off.</p> <p>Hey, are you heartened by Go Daddy’s switch? Keep the momentum going! A couple of days ago, Gizmodo released a <a href="">Congressionally-created list of every company and organization that officially backs the craptastic SOPA bill</a> – along with the contact information for each one. Why not give some of those companies a ring or send them a letter to let them know the mistake they’re making?</p> godaddy law news sopa support News Fri, 23 Dec 2011 19:11:52 +0000 Brad Chacos 21932 at Condescending Apple Genius Says iPhones Get Stressed Out, Need R&R <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/iphone_4s_angry.png" width="228" height="142" style="float: right;" />There are lots of reasons why battery life in smartphones might fall well short of expectations. You could have too many services turned on all the time, each one sipping juice from the lithium-ion battery. There could be a rogue app that's flawed or poorly coded and constantly doing things in the background. It could be a software snafu, and it could be a hardware problem. Or, as one Apple Genius put it, the phone could be stressed out, man.</p> <p>David Carnoy over at CNet posted his hilariously maddening encounter with one of the so-called Geniuses at his local Apple Store. Carnoy popped in primarily to troubleshoot an iTunes problem he was having, but also brought up the fact that his iPhone 4S was giving up the ghost after 12 hours on minimal use, which is nowhere near what he was getting with his 3GS. The solution? Turn it off, stupid.</p> <p>Carnoy brought up the fact that he likes to use his iPhone 4S as an alarm clock and keeps it docked at night so it would be fully charged in the morning. Fair enough, except the Apple Genius found him incredible foolish for using a $400 device (64GB model) to wake himself up when "you can get a perfectly good alarm clock for $20 these days." Where was Siri on this one?</p> <p>What's more, the Apple Genius insisted that unless Carnoy is an on-call doctor or otherwise needs 24/7 availability, he has no business leaving his phone on at night, docked or otherwise. So again, turn it off, but not for the purpose of calibration.</p> <p>"Well, sometimes the phone locks up because it's stressed, a lot of stuff is running at the same time," the Genius said, adding that Carnoy should give his phone a break at least once a week by turning it off completely. If, after doing that, the battery life is still bad, he might have a problem, another Genius told him.</p> <p>Read the condescending exchange <a href="">here</a> and sound off in the comments section below.</p> apple Hardware iphone iphone 4s mobile maximum tech smartphone support News Tue, 01 Nov 2011 16:23:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 21118 at Still Rocking Windows XP? Start Planning an Upgrade <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/xp_dead_end.jpg" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />All things eventually come to an end, and for Windows XP and its legion of holdouts, the end is nigh. It's a dead OS walking and the governors at Microsoft aren't going to pick up the phone at the last moment and give it yet another stay of execution. Microsoft general manager for Windows Commercial marketing, Rich Reynolds, confirmed as much in an interview with <a href="">InformationWeek</a>.</p> <p>He said flat out "there's absolutely no chance" of Microsoft extending support for Windows XP beyond its end-of-life date in April, 2014. That still seems a long ways off, especially for an OS that officially turned 10 years old today, but if businesses don't get on the ball soon, Reynolds fears they'll find themselves scrambling around at the last minute.</p> <p>"What we're concerned about is organizations that haven't started yet," Reynolds said. "It takes anywhere from 12 to 14 months to do the planning and application remediation."</p> <p>According to Reynolds, only about a quarter of enterprise systems are locked and loaded with Windows 7, however the vast majority have a plan to upgrade.</p> <p>Are you still using Windows XP?</p> microsoft operating system OS Software support Windows windows 7 windows xp News Tue, 25 Oct 2011 16:07:59 +0000 Paul Lilly 20997 at Apple Teaches Mac Users How To Carry a Computer, We Explain Peripherals <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/bend_knees.jpg" width="228" height="163" style="float: right;" />We welcome all PC (as in Personal Computer) users to the Maximum PC fold, be they Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X fans. Apple doesn't always make it easy, though. If the Cupertino outfit isn't out in court trying to destroy Google's open source Android platform through lawsuits, it's posting support documents that leave us scratching our heads wondering what the company thinks of its users.</p> <p>Let us present Apple support article <a href="">HT2466</a>, with props (or curses) to <a href="">[H]ardOCP</a> for bringing this to our attention. This particular article teaches users how to pick up and carry their iMac G5.</p> <p>"Don't know how to pick up and carry your iMac G5? It's easy," Apple explains. "Before moving your computer, make sure all cables and cords are disconnected. Pick up the iMac G5 by grasping both sides of the computer. Carry it to wherever you wish."</p> <p>What we really wish is that we were making this up, but that's an actual support document originally posted in late 2009. If there are any Apple users planning to transition to Windows who actually found those instructions helpful, let us lay down a few more quick and dirty how tos that might come in handy.</p> <p><strong>How To Pick Up and Carry Your Keyboard</strong></p> <ol> <li>Before moving your keyboard, make sure all cables and cords are disconnected.</li> <li>Pick up your keyboard by grasping both sides or firmly in one hand. Carry it to wherever you wish.</li> </ol> <p><strong>How To Pick Up and Carry Your Mouse</strong></p> <ol> <li>Before moving your mouse, make sure all cables and cords are disconnected.</li> <li>Pick up your mouse by grasping it with one hand. Carry it to wherever you wish.</li> </ol> <p><strong>How To Pick Up and Carry Your Monitor</strong></p> <ol> <li>Before moving your monitor, make sure all cables and cords are disconnected.</li> <li>Pick up your monitor by grasping both sides of the display. Carry it to wherever you wish.</li> </ol> <p>For heavier items, remember to bend at your knees and lift with your legs, not your back. Breathe and take breaks as needed.</p> <p>Did we miss anything? Be sure to let us know if we did and perhaps we'll follow this up with a longer list of how tos (we really won't).</p> apple computer Mac support News Thu, 08 Sep 2011 14:23:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 20208 at Google Dumps Toolbar Support For Firefox <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u138055/firefox_logo.jpg" width="228" height="225" style="float: right;" />Firefox is walking an awkward rope with Google. Mozilla receives – and has always received – a lot of funding for Firefox from the Big G, but analysts have expected Google to drop its sugar daddy status ever since the launch of the Chrome browser. So far those analysts have been disappointed, but on Thursday, Google announced it would no longer include support for new versions of Firefox with its Google Toolbar. Was it the first volley fired in a new browser war?</p> <p>In a word, no. Google's dropping the support because Firefox already offers most of the benefits of Google toolbar, either natively or through the staggering number of add-ons offered for the browser. Google's being very gracious about the drop; it's continuing to offer Google Toolbar for older version of Firefox, and even set up <a href=";topic=15356%29">a Web page designed to help former Google Toolbar users</a> find similar functions in Firefox 5 and above.</p> <p>Check out the <a href="">Google Toolbar blog</a> for the full announcement.</p> browser firefox Google google toolbar support News Fri, 22 Jul 2011 17:13:13 +0000 Brad Chacos 19583 at iSuppli Predicts 7.9 Million OnStar Subscribers in 2017 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/onstar.jpg" width="228" height="156" style="float: right;" />A market research firm says that you and 7,899,999 other drivers will have an active subscription to OnStar, the automotive telematics communications system installed in General Motors vehicles, by the end of 2017. For the sake of comparison, OnStar claimed 5.1 million subscribers in 2010.</p> <p>"GM's OnStar has proven the appeal of telematics services among consumers," <a href="">said Anna Buettner</a>, analyst and regional manager for automotive electronics at IHS iSuppli. "From automatic collision notification to stolen vehicle assistance, to on-board navigation, to remote door unlock, to mobile phone remote control, to destination download from Google/Mapquest, OnStar has delivered a suite of services that motorists like. OnStar will continue to add compelling services in the future, such as remote software upgrade of electronic control units (ECUs)."</p> <p>iSuppli's prediction might be even be a little on the conservative side. Those numbers only take into account GM-related vehicles, however iSuppli notes there's a possibility for further expansion given the recent agreement made with Best Buy to sell and install OnStar in non-GM vehicles.</p> <p>Best Buy will charge $299 for the OnStar module (including installation), which OnStar says should be compatible with 99 percent of the top-selling non-GM vehicles made during the last decade.</p> automobile communications general motors gm Hardware isuppli maximum tech onstar support News Wed, 09 Mar 2011 13:28:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 17542 at Netgear Tells Customer to Call Geek Squad -- WTF? <!--paging_filter--><p>Let's not kid ourselves, Best Buy's Geek Squad division isn't exactly a respected establishment in DIY circles, and referring someone to Geek Squad for tech support is like, well, does this even need an analogy? No offense to any of our readers who may work as a Geek Squad tech, but you know what they say about a <a href="">few bad apples</a>.</p> <p>What's even worse -- and we thought unthinkable -- is when the manufacturer of one your computer parts suggests calling Geek Squad to diagnose your failing gear before they'll replace it. That's exactly what one user who <a href="">wrote into The Consumerist</a> claims happened when his Netgear DGN2200 wireless router with DSL modem went on the fritz.</p> <p>"Five calls to [Netgear's] tech department and it is still not working," the user claims. "On the fifth and final call they suggested I call the Geek Squad (approximately $139 for them to come to our home) to troubleshoot it and if it proves the modem is bad they will send me a new unit at that time (which I only paid $79 to begin with)."</p> <p>It doesn't take a math whiz to figure out that's a bum deal. Assuming it all went down the way the user claims it did, let's hope this was an isolated incident.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/facepalm_third_party.jpg" alt="" width="405" height="298" /></p> best buy facepalm geek squad Hardware netgear repair Router service support News Wed, 29 Sep 2010 18:29:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 14789 at Firefox Add-on of the Week: HTTPS Everywhere <!--paging_filter--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--><p>Security is important, yo.  While a lot of sites on the ol' World Wide Web might support HTTPS connections, that doesn't mean that typing into your browser will always pull up an encrypted connection between you and your final location.  But don't take my word for it.  Quoth the Electronic Frontier Foundation:</p> <p>&quot;Many sites on the web offer some limited support for encryption over <a href="">HTTPS</a>, but make it difficult to use. For instance, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or fill encrypted pages with links that go back to the unencrypted site.&quot;</p> <p>So how, then, do we address this problem?  Step one is staring at the little lock icon within your browser. If the lock ain't locked, then you're not rocking a secure connection.  Easy as that.</p> <p>As for reestablishing a secure connection, well, you'll want the help of a little Firefox add-on called <a href="">HTTPS Everywhere</a>.  As the name implies, this add-on works its tail off to ensure that every single connection you make to a site, if possible, runs over HTTPS.  That's an SSL or TLS encryption layer-the same kind of treatment you would expect to find on an online banking site.</p> <p>That does nothing for content from third-party domains that might be spliced into a given Web page.  However, HTTPS Everywhere is still a lot better than flying blind when navigating the Web.</p> <p>The add-on isn't a wildcard, for what it's worth.  It comes with support for a number of sites by default, but you'll have to add in any other locations manually via modifications to the add-on's ruleset files.</p> <div style="text-align: center"><img src="/files/u16580/firefox_httpseverywhere.png" width="288" height="96" /></div> <p><em><strong>Maximum PC picks one new Firefox add-on as its favorite of the week each... week. Have a nifty extension that you can't live without? Twitter</strong></em><strong><em> </em></strong><em><strong><a href="">David Murphy @acererak</a></strong></em><strong><em> </em></strong><em><strong>with your latest suggestions.</strong></em></p> add-on browser extension firefox http https Internet Mozilla online Security SSL support surf web Web Exclusive Fri, 25 Jun 2010 04:22:13 +0000 David Murphy 13134 at