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July 29, 2014

Windows XP-The Discontinuation

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By now you all must have heard and are aware of Microsoft’s news to discontinue windows XP and for those who haven’t heard, this is your chance to now find out. Microsoft for the past 12 years has provided support for windows XP but as from April 8th 2014 this will no longer be the case, the time has come for them to invest their time and resources towards supporting more new and recent technologies, so that they can continue to grow with the world as well as deliver new experience’s for all.

Windows XP was first introduced back in October 2001, the original back of windows and over the years the decrease of XP had become more and more apparent, and even more so in 2012 with the introduction of windows 7 in August as this seemed to have drastically taken over the market.

 

How did it last this long

Months of advanced warning to both businesses and individuals for the end of XP have been in place for a while now, starting from the first  introduction of the ‘support life cycle’ in 2002 which was able to limit the amount of support available for its products, this was then followed by the MLS policy in 2004.
It is said that the discontinuation of windows XP may have come in to place much earlier than announced; way before windows 7 came in to place. It seems that the many delays in the different windows versions that followed after XP, contributed largely to the extended life of the operating system.

Another reason for the long life span is down to businesses and their un-eagerness to change and update their systems, according to businesses it seems that it takes a lot of hard work and time to actually get all application running on new windows.

“These upgrades and updates projects can take 12-18 months to roll out”,

Hence the reasons why many of them choose not to keep up with time an upgrade like everyone else.

 

Why the discontinuation and how it affects us

We can finally say that the day that Microsoft has been waiting for is nearly here, I suppose the main and important question that many people  as well as myself would like to know, is why the end and why now?

According to Microsoft the reasons for this includes the following;

 

–>Bid to get users shifting over to a more modern version of windows, so that everyone also using the current windows at the same time.
–>They fear that once the security updates stop, anyone still using XP will be a tempting target for all types of hi-tech thieves.
–>Anyone sticking with XP could be at risk, as it will be easier to crack than the current new window systems. Windows 7 and 8 now employ several different techniques that hide the internal workings of the operating system from attackers.
->-Current office 2013 does not work on XP; this was just the first step in the process.

 

 

As well as understanding why XP will no longer be in place, it is just as important to also understand the effects XP will have on those that are still using the systems as it stands.

 

 

Supermarkets currently still heavily rely and use a version of windows XP to run their POS systems. However recently it was made to light that although mainstream support for windows XP ends in April 2014, Microsoft will provide an individual extended support contract till April 2019. e.g. Sainsbury’s system in fact runs windows Embedded Point of service  Ready 2009 system that was not main available to the general public.

 

Customers such as home users will no longer be able to receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

Since Microsoft will no longer be supporting security updates those merchants that utilize point of sale or other types of payment cards and are also using windows XP will end up falling out of compliance with the payment card security standards council (PCO SSC).Which sets out guidelines that govern electronic transactions followed by merchants and major credit card companies.

 

 

Although Microsoft are very eager to discontinue in the UK there are some countries in which they have no control over, such as mainland china were windows XP is still  hugely popular. However Microsoft seems to have much less control other those machines there seeing as most of them are actually running on a pirated version, therefore those with the pirated version are then unlikely to then pay for a new operating system that they originally got for free, as a result an retaliation for not wanting to upgrade Microsoft have in fact refused to make any form of special treatment for the country in terms of security protection.

 

So it seems that no matter what there will always be a small trace and existence of Microsoft XP somewhere, either because of individuals and companies who are not bothered to keep to date or because of countries being stuck in their own ways

 

Too sum up in to two short options:

1) Option one states that either you as an individual or organization upgrade your pc to the most recent windows 7 and above and make sure that your pc meets the requirements for that operating system.

2)  Option 2 you invest in a new laptop or computer that has the new and current operating system

 

 

Computer nerds are here to help you with your windows transition from XP to windows 7, specialising in IT support and providing you with IT services, so why not contact us today here.

rip xp

July 29, 2014

HTC’s next Windows Phone is coming to Verizon with an awkward name

HTC One backside

More than a few eyebrows were raised when talk surfaced of an HTC One for Windows Phone. How close would it be to the Android original? Would it bring anything new to the table? And what's the name, for that matter? Thankfully, sources for Engadget are happy to answer a few questions. For a start, they tell us that the device is tentatively called the "One (M8) for Windows." Yeah, that's not exactly going to roll off the tongue -- the device's codename, W8, is considerably more elegant.

Other details we've received mostly corroborate what we've seen from @evleaks, with one surprise. In addition to the previously hinted-at presence of features from the Android-based One, like BoomSound speakers and the depth-sensing Duo camera, the One for Windows will also support voice over LTE -- Windows Phone users shouldn't have to wait long to try high-quality calls for themselves. It's not clear whether or not the device will ship with VoLTE out of the box, but Windows Phone 8.1's GDR1 revision (aka Update 1) should add support if it's not ready on launch. The release isn't far away, either. Our tipsters back earlier claims that the Microsoft-powered One is expected to reach at least Verizon during the third quarter, or no later than the end of September.

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July 29, 2014

BMW’s fast electric car charger rolls out to the US

Many direct current fast chargers aren't exactly practical, even for stores that expect a lot of traffic; they're frequently massive, power-hungry and expensive. BMW knows that's a problem, which is why it just brought its i DC Fast Charger to North America. The device is small and light enough to be wall-mountable, but it can give an i3 an 80 percent charge within 30 minutes; that's very handy if you only need to make a quick stop at a restaurant or the mall. The charger is compatible with EVs from most major automakers (Teslas need not apply), and businesses can put it on ChargePoint's network to either make some cash or simply let drivers know when it's unoccupied.

Don't expect to buy an i DC Fast Charger for personal use in the US, at least not yet. The speedy power supply will initially be available for BMW i Centers and "authorized BMW partners" in the country this August. It's just as well, since each charger costs $6,548. That's trivial for companies like NRG, which will install at least 100 units across California, but it would negate the fuel savings you get by driving an EV. Still, the arrival should lead to more public power stations -- and that may be all the incentive you need to ditch conventional cars.

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Source: BMW (1), (2)

July 29, 2014

Facebook is about to make everyone use the standalone Messenger app

It's been coming coming, but Facebook told TechCrunch today that the time is just about here -- starting "over the next few days" everyone will need Messenger to chat directly with their Facebook friends on mobile devices (iOS, Android and Windows Phone). Some users in Europe have seen the change for several months, but Facebook claims their positive response has led to the change rolling out worldwide. Of course, not everyone is going to be happy about downloading a second app to do what one was already capable of -- just ask Foursquare users about Swarm. Facebook says the change will let it focus its development efforts better on the two apps separately, and "avoid confusion" by users, who send about 12 billion messages a day on the platform. So, are you already in love with Chat Heads and ready to make the swap full-time, or -- assuming you still use Facebook -- is this the final straw in sending you elsewhere for your communication needs?

Facebook:

In the next few days, we're continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they'll need to download the Messenger app. As we've said, our goal is to focus development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible and avoid the confusion of having separate Facebook mobile messaging experiences. Messenger is used by more than 200 million people every month, and we'll keep working to make it an even more engaging way to connect with people.

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Source: TechCrunch

July 29, 2014

OKCupid treats your love life like a lab rat

Facebook is perhaps the most prominent example, but the internet, whether we want to accept it or not, is a gigantic data-mining operation where every thing about us is monitored, measured and experimented with -- even our love life, should we choose. The folks over at online-dating service OKCupid (OKC) have recently detailed, among other things, how they futzed with the site's match-percentage system to see if it'd affect users' messaging habits. To start, OKC wanted to see just how much bearing system had on the likelihood of sending one message. When the service took two people who were actually 30 percent compatible and fudged the numbers by, say, 60 points, the amount of first messages sent naturally increased. As the OKTrends blog notes, that's exactly what was expected because that's how the site's users have more or less been trained; a higher number means a potentially better match. But, as anyone who's used the site can probably attest, one message doesn't mean a whole lot.

To see how much effect the data manipulation truly had, OKCupid set four messages as the bar for a successful match. By telling a couple that they were a good fit, people acted as though they were and messaged more. A stark contrast against the fact that in reality (as much as you can call algorithm-based dating that), they'd likely have never contacted each other via the site in the first place. The same held true even when it came to exchanging contact info and presumably meeting for a date, too. To make sure that the matching algorithm wasn't "garbage," the dating site flipped the experiment on its head, telling users who were actually high-matches that they in fact were not: the number of four-message exchanges was predictably low. Not surprisingly, the number of people who were legitimately compatible exchanged the most messages with those that the site noted were high-matches.

The blog post also details how much removing photos from all profiles affected messaging rates, and even what OKCupid's previous dual-rating system (personality and looks) meant in terms of messaging habits. Even if you haven't tasked the internet with playing matchmaker, it's still a pretty fascinating look at how A/B testing can affect our perceived notions about who we're compatible with. The ethics of doing so, of course, are a bit dubious.

[Image credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr]

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Via: Gizmodo

Source: OKCupid

July 29, 2014

Meet the judges of Engadget Expand’s Insert Coin 2014 competition

We know Insert Coin contestants shed blood, sweat and tears to complete their masterpieces, so we make sure they get scrutinized by people who know what they're talking about. For this year's event, we gathered a group of judges from different backgrounds to look at, poke and analyze every entry. They're in charge of making sure that the best entries get the coveted prize money and that the winners embody what Insert Coin's all about.

  • Cyril Ebersweiler is the founder of HAXLR8R, an accelerator program for hardware startups based in San Francisco and Shenzhen, China. He also juggles several projects in both countries, including mentoring a number of startups and serving as a board member to Leap Motion.
  • Rahul Sood is just as tireless as Ebersweiler and currently serves as the global head of Microsoft Ventures. Some might remember him as the creator of Voodoo PC, which was eventually snapped up by HP.
  • Ben Einstein describes himself as a "lover of hardware" and is the Managing Director of Bolt, a start-up incubator that focuses on (your guessed it) companies that work on hardware.
  • Devindra Hardawar's probably a familiar name if you tend to visit a certain online publication other than Engadget -- he's a Senior Editor and the lead mobile writer at VentureBeat.

These four will join the very special roster of past Insert Coin judges, where they're definitely in good company. Just look at this list, and you'll understand what we mean:

  • Ryan Block - AOL's VP of Product, whom you might know better as one of Engadget's former editors-in-chief.
  • Gerard Furbershaw - Co-founded and COO of San Francisco design firm LUNAR, whose past clients include Apple, HP, Microsoft, Philips and Sony.
  • Jim Newton - Chairman and founder of TechShop, a chain of workshops equipped with industrial equipment that members can use to build whatever they want.
  • Danae Ringelmann - Co-founder and CEO of a crowdfunding website we're sure you all know by now: Indiegogo.
  • Ben Heck - Tinkerer, console modder and host of element 14's The Ben Heck Show.
  • Hilary Mason - Ex-chief scientist at URL shortener Bitly and current Data Scientist in Residence of VC firm Accel Partners.
  • Peter Rojas - AOL Brand Group's VP of Strategy and co-founder of both Engadget and Gizmodo.
Now that you know who'll be examining Insert Coin entries from every angle, make sure to turn in yours before submissions close at September 26th, 2014.

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July 29, 2014

NVIDIA found a way to quadruple display performance in low-res LCDs

Face it, the tech industry is obsessed with resolution; we want every display to be high definition, regardless of size. We also want our devices to be affordable, leaving device manufactures with an interesting problem: how do they manufacture low-cost products with high-resolution screens? NVIDIA researchers have one solution -- stack two low-resolution panels on top of each other to increase pixel density on the cheap. The solution is so simple it sounds ridiculous, but apparently, it works.

Researchers disassembled two 1,280 x 800 LCD panels and rebuilt them into a single display with slightly offset pixels, a filter to weed out polarization conflicts and a bit of customized software to force the display components to work in tandem. NVIDIA calls the resulting prototype a "cascaded display," and in tests it has quadrupled the spatial resolution of the original panels (thanks, in part, to how the pixel offset crams an additional four pixels behind every one of the first panel's visible pixel).

The images produced by the cascaded display aren't quite as good as the full resolution target image, but it's leaps and bounds ahead of the capabilities of the original 1,280 x 800 panels. It's also a comparatively inexpensive way to build higher resolutions screens for head mounted displays like the Oculus Rift. These hobbled together panels aren't perfect, of course -- the cascaded display is less bright than a typical screen and apparently has poor viewing angles -- but the research could lead to a better way to build affordable, high definition electronics. Check out the video below to see the technology in action.

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Via: ExtremeTech

Source: NVIDIA

July 29, 2014

​NVIDIA found a way to quadruple display performance in low-res LCDs

Face it, the tech industry is obsessed with resolution; we want every display to be high definition, regardless of size. We also want our devices to be affordable, leaving device manufactures with an interesting problem: how do they manufacture low-cost products with high-resolution screens? NVIDIA researchers have one solution -- stack two low-resolution panels on top of each other to increase pixel density on the cheap. The solution is so simple it sounds ridiculous, but apparently, it works.

Researchers disassembled two 1,280 x 800 LCD panels and rebuilt them into a single display with slightly offset pixels, a filter to weed out polarization conflicts and a bit of customized software to force the display components to work in tandem. NVIDIA calls the resulting prototype a "cascaded display," and in tests it has quadrupled the spatial resolution of the original panels (thanks, in part, to how the pixel offset crams an additional four pixels behind every one of the first panel's visible pixel).

The images produced by the cascaded display aren't quite as good as the full resolution target image, but it's leaps and bounds ahead of the capabilities of the original 1,280 x 800 panels. It's also a comparatively inexpensive way to build higher resolutions screens for head mounted displays like the Oculus Rift. These hobbled together panels aren't perfect, of course -- the cascaded display is less bright than a typical screen and apparently has poor viewing angles -- but the research could lead to a better way to build affordable, high definition electronics. Check out the video below to see the technology in action.

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Via: ExtremeTech

Source: NVIDIA

July 29, 2014

GM is bringing wireless phone charging to some Cadillac cars

General Motors may be going through a rough patch at the moment, but that's not stopping the company from setting its sights on the future. Today, the Detroit-based automaker revealed that it plans to put wireless charging pads inside a number of Cadillac vehicles, starting with the launch of the 2015 ATS sport sedan and coupe later in the fall. Although the announcement highlights the compatibility with Powermat, a General Motors representative has confirmed to Engadget that the feature also supports Qi and "other in-phone wireless charging technologies." What's more, GM says this is coming to more vehicles soon (as had been previously reported), with the Cadillac CTS, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado expected to be added to the list in Q4 of this year.

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Source: GM

July 29, 2014

Airbnb launches dedicated portal for business travelers

It's not that business travelers have chosen to shun Airbnb -- in fact they make up a decent chunk of the short-term subletting business. But now the startup is making a concerted effort to lure those customers in with Business Travel on Airbnb. It's dedicated portal with tools specifically designed not just for travelers, but for companies to manage employee travel. The company has even partnered with Concur, which builds travel and expense systems like Triplink, which is used by a vast majority of Fortune 100 companies. Not every listing will be displayed through the new portal. Odd ball listings like tree houses will be filtered out, as will any shared rentals -- such as a room in a larger apartment. Courting business customers is going to be essential for Airbnb to continue to grow. And considering how much money investors have pumped into the it, growth is certainly high on its list of priorities.

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Via: CNET

Source: Airbnb

July 29, 2014

Mozilla makes interim CEO’s job permanent

Mozilla must've really liked Chris Beard during his time as interim CEO because he is now the real, actual CEO of the company, "interim" prefix not required. Beard took over the reins of the firm in April after former CEO Brendan Eich stepped down amidst political backlash -- Eich had made contributions to an anti-same sex marriage bill in California. Though it's only been a few months, Beard appears to have proved himself worthy of the CEO role. As with Eich, Mozilla's current focus is to further its efforts on mobile. According to a recent blog post by Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, "Chris has a keen sense of where Mozilla has been -- and where we're headed [...] There's simply no better person to lead Mozilla as we extend our impact from Firefox on the desktop to the worlds of mobile devices and services."

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Source: Mozilla