Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Microsoft loves touch but ..

Microsoft not backing down on new touch directions but ...
At last Microsoft has listened to the majority of their current customers who are still using (and prefer?) a keyboard and mouse!

“We Love Touch” But Windows 8.1 To Focus On Non-Touch; Windows Phone Eyes Wide-Ranging OEM Plan | TechCrunch:

Windows 8.1 'spring' update

Microsoft confirms Spring update for Windows 8.1 ...
Win81changesMicrosoft's Joe Belfiore conceded at the Mobile World Conference that Windows 8 was too touch oriented. Quote "Some of those touch affordances weren’t really tuned as well as we could do for those mouse and keyboard users," says Belfiore. "We found people weren’t aware of where they should look in the UI. Those are the things we’ve really started to improve for this update coming this spring."

Microsoft announces 'spring' update for Windows 8.1 | The Verge:

Microsoft concedes

Windows 8.1 Update 1 or whatever is now official ...
Microsoft has now conceded that the Windows 8 User Interface (UI) is too touch oriented and does not work for the majority who are still using a keyboard and mouse. Another update, yet to be officially named and date set, will come out in the US Spring (probably April) to further improve Windows 8 usability for the keyboard and mouse. At long last Microsoft has seen the light!

Microsoft concedes Windows 8.1 needs more for mouse, keyboard customers - Computerworld:

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Asus Chromebox mini-desktop

Chromebooks and now Chromeboxes ...
Asus Chromebox mini-desktop hits the deck next month, supports 4KThis $200 Chromebox comes optionally with an Intel Celeron, Core i3 or Core i7 processor. Cloud connected it comes with Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Add your own screen, keyboard and mouse. An interesting unit!

Asus Chromebox mini-desktop hits the deck next month, supports 4K | News | TechRadar:

Windows 8.1 update April?

Next update to Windows 8 now rumoured for April ...
Making "boot desktop" as default for devices without touchscreens seems pretty obvious! There are several other rumoured changes including bringing back the Windows 7 Start Menu (not mentioned in this article).

Windows 8.1 update might be as late as April - Operating Systems:

Google HP Chromebook 11

Well known HP Chromebook available in Australia ...
Not sure about the description "It might help if you think about it as a tablet with a keyboard instead of a touchscreen." Seems to miss the point that the HP Chromebook is running Chrome OS not Android!

Google HP Chromebook 11 launches in Australia - Laptop & Notebook computers:

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Best free antivirus s/w 2014

Free antivirus software reviews are also welcome ...
AvastGood to see free antivirus software reviewed regularly. A few new names but mostly the same old crowd!

Best free antivirus software 2014 | News | TechRadar:

3D printers at Officeworks

Now what could I print with a 3D printer? ...
It is to be hoped that schools don't expect every child to have access to a 3D printer!

3D printers arrive at Officeworks - Printers: Laser, Multifunction & Photo Printers:

Gates Microsoft tech advisor?

So is Gates going to be Microsoft's rescue? ...
An interesting history of the key leadership changes in Microsoft that gives a clue as to why Microsoft's innovation has all but dried up!

How effective will Gates be as Microsoft tech advisor? - Computerworld:

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Windows 8 defaults to desktop?

This would be a major backdown by Microsoft ...
Whilst I think it would be the right decision for laptop/desktop installations of Windows 8, I would see it as a major retreat from the Modern interface by Microsoft. However, it would show that they are eventually listening to their customers!

Windows 8.1 update could default to desktop on boot - Operating Systems:

Google focuses on robots etc

Google makes a wise decision on Motorola ...
The Google purchase of Motorola was evidently to secure a massive library of mobile patents. It also made other mobile manufacturers realise that Google could manufacture smartphones and be a threat to their business. backing off and selling Motorola has probably won some directional deals with the larger manufacturers such as Samsung who were heading off on a different Android tangent.

With Motorola sold, Google can focus on robots, Glass and smart homes - Computerworld:

Smartphones battery drain

Some useful hints to save smartphone battery power ...
appbatteryiconAlways useful to get hints on conserving smartphone battery power. Seems to be the main gripe with smartphones!

The apps that are draining your smartphone's battery:

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Motorola now goes to Lenovo

Lenovo is certainly "moving and shaking" these days ...
This is the deal that has everyone talking! Google retains most of the mobile patents that Motorola owned but passes the manufacturing to Lenovo. Good move to keep their other manufacturers (ASUS, LG, HTC, Samsung) on side!

Lenovo seals China’s largest tech deal as Google dumps Motorola:

1B smartphones sold in 2013

Amazing growth in Smartphones ...
Some interesting statistics for the growth in the use of smartphones. I wonder how many of the users will no longer need a traditional PC?

Update: More than 1B smartphones were shipped in 2013 - Computerworld:

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Signs you've been hacked

Excellent article on tell-tale signs to look out for ...
Not sure I would immediately jump for the "Restore" button but certainly any of these issues need prompt investigation.

11 sure signs you've been hacked - security - Computerworld:

Are you smartphone addicted?

Quantitative proof that you are addicted to your smartphone ...
Interesting university research using a smartphone app to gather their data.

Are you addicted to your smartphone? - Mobile Apps:

Microsoft retains MSRT

Good move Microsoft - Windows XP not totally abandoned ...
At least Microsoft will be in a position to do something if virus attacks become prolific in the remaining PCs running Windows XP.

Microsoft retains weapon to silently scrub XP - Computerworld:

Facebook and Google+ ?

Comparison of Facebook and Google+ strategies ...
I think this is a very interesting article on the likely long term strategies of the two biggest social networks. I admit that I am a Google/Google+ supporter and will be very interested to see who gets to the "destination" first (wherever that may be!).

Why Facebook and Google+ are headed in opposite directions - Computerworld:

Apple not merging OS X & iOS

Makes a lot of sense - too late Microsoft ...
Apple says it will not merge OS X and iOSI don't really don't need to add a comment here!

Apple says it will not merge OS X and iOS | News | TechRadar:

World's most accurate clock

Interesting but hardly solving world hunger ...
I guess it is this sort of research and development that produces useful by-products. I wonder what will come out of this.

The world's most accurate clock will keep time for 5 billion years - Crave:

Facebook - infectious disease?

This is an interesting parallel to draw ...
FacebookQuote "Extrapolating the best model into the future suggests that Facebook will undergo a rapid decline in the coming years, losing 80 per cent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017."

Facebook could fade out like a disease, lose 80 per cent of users, say US researchers - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):

Leaked Windows 8.1 update

Is this to be Windows 8.1 Update 1 or Windows 8.1.1 ...
Leaked Windows 8.1 update shows Metro apps dropped on the DesktopMore changes to the dual user interface (UI) of Windows 8(.1). It is slowly returning to Windows 7. Rumoured this will be out in April 2014.

Leaked Windows 8.1 update shows Metro apps dropped on the Desktop | News | TechRadar:

Voice activated Google search

Try this workaround for voice activated Google search ...
google-now-english-us-voice-01I have tried to do this on my two year old HTC One but not had much success so far! Must give it another try.

How to get voice activated Google search working on Android phones and tablets - Gadget Guy Australia:

Omate - smartwatch+

More than most of the current Smartwatches ...
The Omate True Smart watch phoneMost smartwatches have to be tethered to a mobile phone with 3G/4G. The Omate smart watch is fully self contained and has its own 2G/3G. Not bad for $249!

Omate is not just a smartwatch - it's a mini smartphone:

Mobile battery drain

Useful ideas for all smart phone users ...
mobile-drain-batteryBattery drain issues have got to be the number one frustration for all smart phone users.

Mobile drain: how to get more life from your smartphone battery - Gadget Guy Australia:

Google+ contacts in Gmail

A new Gmail feature to be aware of ...
Note that you can control how this new feature works in your Gmail Settings. I have mine set to "Circles" only.

Gmail now lets you email your Google+ contacts - Internet Applications & Software:

Chromebooks - 1% share

Interesting insights in Chromebook use and deployment ...
Apple knows well that deployment of product in the field of  can pay serious long term dividends as students mature into adults. However, school administrations also have a large say in choosing their preferred technology.

Chromebooks have a 1% market share -- and a tough road to the enterprise - Computerworld:

PC has seen better days

Lots of competition for Microsoft's Windows in 2014 ...
Between Android, Chrome OS and, of course Apple's OS X and iOS, Microsoft's new CEO is going to have earn his money in 2014!

CES 2014: Microsoft and the PC have seen better days - Computers: PC, Mac, Laptop, Desktop, Tablet & Monitors:

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Microsoft, just admit it!

US vendors are starting to offer Windows 7 again ...
Microsoft, just admit it: Windows users don't want Windows 8Couldn't agree more with the sentiment expressed in this article. The recent appointment of a new Microsoft CEO might bring back some common sense and an ear to what Microsoft's customers actually want.

Microsoft, just admit it: Windows users don't want Windows 8 | News | TechRadar:

Belkin extends WeMo

Belkin's Wi-Fi connected light bulbs for $40 each ...
wemo14ces2At least the LED globes should last up to 23 years so that's not as expensive as it first appears! These globes are equivalent brightness to a 60W globe, fully dimmable and, of course, remotely controlled by a smartphone app!

Belkin extends WeMo connectivity to smart light bulbs and appliances:

Microsoft now has OneDrive

So we have a new name for Microsoft's SkyDrive ...
OneDrive logoHope Microsoft has it right this time! There is a company called that offers a cloud drive product similar to SkyDrive/OneDrive.

Microsoft nixes SkyDrive, picks OneDrive as new name - Computerworld:

LG goes into fitness bands

Fitness bands - 'killer' app for wearable computing? ...
lg-ces-2014-smart-band-02Smart watches might be getting some traction but I think fitness bands and  bio-monitors are more useful and may become far more popular.

LG throws its hands into fitness bands - Gadget Guy Australia:

Android heads to desktops

Microsoft now has Apple OSX, Chrome OS & Android to battle ...
Lenovo N308 Android all-in-one PC
Really would like to see an article that compares the relatives merits of Chromebook vs Androidbook! Well you can run the Chrome browser on Android but you can't run the 1 million Android apps on Chrome OS. Does that answer the question?

Android heads to desktops as reliance on Web apps grow - Computerworld:

Android may surpass 1 billion

Here comes Google's Android to take over the world! ...
Quote from this article "So far, Android hasn't had tremendous success beyond its core product categories, but consumers' familiarity with the OS helps vendors like Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard, which are using the OS on new PCs, according to Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. This week's International CES trade show illustrates how the popularity of Google's OS is starting to spill over from smartphones and tablets to all-in-one PCs, TVs and cars."

Android device sales could surpass 1 billion this year - Computerworld:

Asus Transformer Book Duet

Now what was I saying about an Androidbook? ...
Asus Transformer Book Duet is a hybrid laptop in more ways than oneAn ASUS Transformer based on an Intel Core i7 running Windows 8.1 and Android 4.1 with 128GB SSD or up to 1TB of hard disk. Now this is really getting interesting! It could be expensive!

Asus Transformer Book Duet is a hybrid laptop in more ways than one | News | TechRadar:

Open Auto Alliance

A very interesting development in the auto industry ...
Audi already integrates Google Earth into its navigation system. The Open Auto Alliance will mean a lot more Google technology will arrive, and at GM, Honda, and Hyundai, too.GM, Honda and Hyundai join Audi in the Open Auto Alliance.

Google joins with GM, Honda, Audi for Android-powered cars | CES 2014: Car Tech - CNET Blogs:

Grey haired Facebook

Everyone and his dog is on Facebook these days ...
marketing-pensionsIt would appear to be the case although teens are finding it less attractive since the whole family is watching them! Their private conversations have now moved to other more private apps. Whilst there are over a billion Facebook accounts I still think usage is dropping.

Grey haired Facebook is losing yoof appeal- The Inquirer:

Windows out - Chromebook in?

Is it time to move from Windows to the Cloud? ...
Powerpoint, cloud styleThis is a very good article discussing the pros and cons of moving from Windows to a Chromebook. Are you ready? I am wondering when Androidbooks will be available??

Can a Chromebook really replace your Windows machine? | News | TechRadar:

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Apple interesting facts

Ten interesting and surprising facts about Apple ...
The Apple Macintosh computer was named after this particular variety. Some interesting reading if you are an Apple fan!

10 things we didn't know about Apple |

Acer C720 Chromebook review

One of the more popular Chromebooks and worth a look ...
The Acer C720 Chromebook has an 11.6-inch displayThe specs and price are similar to a smartphone or tablet but with far more connectivity, an 11.6" screen and full keyboard. Just wish it also had an Ethernet port!

Acer C720 Chromebook review:

Friday, 7 February 2014

Throw Windows XP a lifeline

Microsoft in a difficult position regarding Windows XP ...
Windows XP is still running on about 30% of all PCs. This is not dropping fast enough to make the end of support deadline fixed at 8th April, 2014 a realistic proposition.

Perspective: Throw Windows XP a lifeline, Microsoft - Computerworld:

Nadella toes Ballmer line

Picture of the only three Microsoft CEOs in 39 years ...
Nadella, Gates and BallmerMy only concern is that Satya Nadella has been too entrenched in Microsoft (22 years) to really "look outside the square"  and be disruptive enough to make up for Microsoft's recent lack of product innovation.

Nadella toes the Ballmer line in first public comments as CEO - Computerworld:

Nadella brings continuity to MS

Bill Gates out of "retirement" to help Satya Nadella ...
Nadella brings continuity. And that's terrific for the future of MicrosoftStockholders are probably happy to see Bill Gates planning to take a more "hands on" roll than just being Chairman of the board.

Nadella brings continuity. And that's terrific for the future of Microsoft | News | TechRadar:

Satya Nadella - Microsoft CEO

So the big awaited Microsoft announcement is made ...
Two more posts to follow on this very important announcement! Look for the link in this article to Satya's "letter to employees" and within that link the video of his first interview as CEO.

Nadella: Our industry respects innovation, not tradition | Microsoft - CNET News:

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

15 Windows 8.1 annoyances

Now 15 Windows 8.1 annoyances fixed ...
15 Windows 8.1 annoyances fixedI read through these 15 items (admittedly rather quickly) and ended up thinking why is this all so complicated? Both the problems and the solutions! I am sure we didn't have anything like the level of annoyances in Windows 7. Does that mean the software is getting too complicated or just badly designed?

15 Windows 8.1 annoyances fixed | News | TechRadar:

Google and mobile robots

Google continues to head off down the robot path ...
Google bought robotics maker Boston DynamicsClick on the Boston Dynamics YouTube channel link and have a look at some of their robots in action - well worth a look!

Google buys maker of agile, mobile robots - Computerworld:

Teens abandon Facebook

Great article about the current trends in Facebook use ...
Takeover: Holly Gleave watches as her mother Sue indulges her social media habit.Well worth a read particularly "A lament from a teenager Felicity Light" at the end of the article! Great picture by the way - says it all!

Teens abandon Facebook as adults begin to log on:

Start Menu in Windows 8??

Return of the Start Menu - we should be so lucky ...
So we got the Start Button back in Window 8.1 even if it wasn't as good as the old Start Button. Now we might even get the Start Menu back in Windows 8.2 or Windows 9 or Windows XX.

Microsoft likely to bring back Start menu in future Windows update - Computerworld:

Images in Gmail messages

Google removes an email frustration from Gmail ...
Most current email clients do not show embedded images in emails by default for ssecurity reasons. Gmail has now found a secure way to do this without you having to click on "Show images". 

Google will no longer suppress images in Gmail messages - Internet-based applications and services, Google, security, Mail, internet - Computerworld:

Spotify free on mobiles

Spotify streaming now available for free on mobiles ...
Previously you had to have a paid account to use Spotify on mobiles.

Spotify opens up free streaming on mobile apps - Music:

Saturday, 1 February 2014

USB thumb drive for phones

Now here is a useful gadget for smartphones ...
This could be very handy for backing up photos and files or just giving a copy to someone else!

Imation imagines a USB thumb drive that works with phones - Gadget Guy Australia:

Windows 8.1 annoyances

Useful article for those not happy with Windows 8.1 ...
LAPTOP/MicrosoftI don't believe Microsoft went far enough in 8.1 to appease traditional Windows users. Here are some of the remaining frustrations.

Worst Windows 8.1 annoyances and how to fix them -

Windows 7 still available

Oops! but good news for Windows 7 enthusiasts ...
For all those who hate Windows 8 this means that you will still be able to get Windows 7 for some time to come.

Microsoft retracts Windows 7 PC end-of-sales deadline - Microsoft, Windows, software, operating systems - Computerworld:

Leaked email addresses

Checkout your email address to see if you are affected ...
You can go to to see if your email address has been leaked by Adobe, Yahoo!, Stratfor or Sony!

Website lets users find if personal data is exposed in large data leaks - Computerworld:

Download all Gmail messages

A good move for data portability ...
Keeping things "open" in terms of portability is the absolute the opposite to "locking you in"!

Google to let users download portable file with their Gmail messages - Computerworld:

How big a TV should I buy?

Good discussion on the relative merits of TV size ...
This has always been a good discussion topic. It seems that the bigger the better!

How big a TV should I buy? - TVs:

Globalgig travel-pack essential

A great idea for global travelers ...
Data roaming is so expensive it is about time the Telcos were given some competition!

One year on, Globalgig becomes a travel-pack essential - Wireless: