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July 31, 2014

Windows XP-The Discontinuation



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 31, 2014

Sony explains what to expect tomorrow in the PlayStation Now open beta for PS4

Sony's had limited tests of its cloud-based gaming service running for the last few months, but it's taking PlayStation Now to the next level tomorrow by letting anyone with a PS4 join in. There's a new blog post and video up now telling gamers what to expect: PS3 games, cloud saves, trophies, and "a variety of rental periods" depending on the game. As far as an all-you-can-eat option following the lead of Netflix or EA's just-announced EA Access -- that Sony doesn't think you need -- Sony reaffirmed that it's working on a subscription option for PS Now, but didn't provide any more details. As for how much it costs now, there will be four-hour rentals for $2, as well as 7-, 30- and 90-day options for between $3 and $20, across a library of more than 100 titles.

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Source: PlayStation Blog

July 31, 2014

NomadPlus turns your iPhone’s wall plug into an external battery

NomadPlus external battery

If you're tired of lugging around both an external battery pack and a power adapter to keep your iPhone running, today's your lucky day. Nomad (the company behind the ChargeCard) has started taking pre-orders for the NomadPlus, a 1,500mAh external battery that takes advantage of the Apple's official power plug to save space. Slide the charger in and you can top up your iPhone (or other low-power USB devices) with one peripheral, whether or not you're anywhere near a wall outlet. Logically, it will also recharge its own battery when plugged in. The gadget doesn't provide much energy on its own -- it will only bring an iPhone up to 70 percent -- but it should be enough to get you through a typical day.

Yes, you can technically buy external batteries that have their own plugs built-in. However, Nomad's bring-your-own strategy is not just efficient, but cheap -- the Plus will cost $39 ($20 if you use the code "nomadplus" within the next few days), or considerably less than a dedicated external battery like Mophie's $50, 1,350mAh Power Reserve. You'll have to wait until the end of November before you can pick one up, but it might be worth waiting if you don't need the additional electricity right away.

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Source: Nomad

July 31, 2014

If you’re part of the ‘younger set with high income,’ you might like this purple potato

Potato breeding programs at Michigan State University and Texas A&M have been churning out modified spuds for the better part of a decade, if not longer, but thanks to A&M's Creighton Miller, we now have a better idea of the 'designer' potato's target market. "What we're doing now is developing unique varieties that appeal to the younger set that is high-income that are willing to try something different," he explained in an interview with AgriLife Today, holding a variety of product, including a "gourmet" potato sporting "red flesh with splashes of yellow." Michigan State's program, meanwhile, has developed a variety called "Raspberry." According to a report in Txchnologist, that potato has vibrant red flesh and a skin that's flavored like the fruit. You might get a good feel for how it tastes by taking a bite while it's still garden-fresh, but that particular potato, along with another simply referred to as "MSQ558-2RR," are likely destined to end their lives as thin-cut chips. De-licious.

[Photo credit: Texas A&M AgriLife Communications]

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Via: Txchnologist

Source: AgriLife Today

July 31, 2014

1Password log-ins are coming to third-party iOS apps

The popular log-in repository 1Password is about to get a lot more useful on iOS devices. AgileBits has revealed an extension for using the add-on in third-party iOS apps -- if the developer chooses to build in support. Thanks to the enhanced security measures taken by Apple's pending mobile OS update, the option can be included and doesn't require you to go elsewhere in order to sort your passwords in standalone apps. Of course, this is in addition to 1Password's own built-in browser that currently included and Touch ID is leveraged to access the secured vault of username credentials. 1Password for iOS is a $18 purchase, and we're not holding our breath for similar functionality to arrive on the Android version anytime soon (although on Android LastPass has a similar feature for logging into apps). While you wait for your favorite software to opt in, there's a handy demo in GIF after the break.

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Source: AgileBits

July 31, 2014

BitTorrent’s Bleep messenger is a secure, decentralized chat platform

There's a distinctive sound your computer makes when an online friend is trying to get your attention. Sometimes its high pitched, other times its a low, warm tone, but regardless of your chat software, the onomatopoeia probably reads something like "bleep" which -- by no coincidence, we're sure -- is what BitTorrent is calling its new messaging platform. Unlike Google Hangouts, AIM or Skype, however, Bleep is a decentralized communication platform, design specifically to protect user metadata and anonymity.

"Our big idea was to apply distributed technology to conversations," BitTorrent's Jaehee Lee write on the company's blog. "That means no servers required." Instead of sending your chat communications to a central company server to be redistributed to your peers, Bleep uses the same kind of peer-to-peer communication technology used for decentralized file sharing to carry and distribute encrypted messages and metadata. BitTorrent does not (and can't) track who you're talking to, what you're saying or when your conversations happened.

The company says the chat program is being designed to enable a more open internet, and will empower users to communicate without fear of eavesdroppers. That said, it's still quite early: the chat platform is only available in an invite-only pre-alpha for Windows 7 and 8 desktop users, and the installed client can only be used on one device and cannot be moved. Offline messaging isn't supported either - though voice calls are available to online contacts and particularly guarded users can sign in with an unlisted, incognito mode. Ready for a discreet conversation? Check out the source link below to sign up for the pre-alpha.

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Source: BitTorrent, BitTorrent, BitTorrent

July 31, 2014

Latest Apple television rumors: not this year

Despite years of rumors about what Apple might, could or should do to revolutionize the TV experience, the company hasn't done much beyond releasing (and occasionally updating) its Apple TV set-top box. The Information reports that engineers working on the long-rumored project to go further, have been told not to expect a launch this year, and are targeting 2015. If true, the leaks today reflect mostly the same situation as they did about two years ago, with Apple trying to talk cable operators and studios into a sort of joint operation. That way, viewers could watch live TV or cloud-stored recordings / VOD (plus apps and gaming) all through Apple's box and UI. Of course, working out how everyone will get paid and trying to convince operators like Comcast to give up their hold on the (often troubling) relationship with customers hasn't been easy and the usual "people in the know" say those negotiations are to blame for the slow progress.

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Source: The Information

July 31, 2014

Russia wants Apple and SAP to prove that their software isn’t used for spying

Looking at Russia's Vkontakte social network on an iPhone 5 in Moscow

Russia has been extra-sensitive to technological threats to its government as of late, and that's clearer than ever in the wake of a new government proposal. Communication Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has suggested that Apple and SAP should hand over their source code to prove that it doesn't have "undeclared capabilities" for spying on Russian agencies. In other words, he doesn't want to give the NSA free rein just because an official brought an iPhone to work. While he isn't certain as to whether or not institutions will keep using products whose code remains a secret, there's an implication that Apple and SAP may be locked out of government contracts if Putin and crew believe there's too much of a risk. Much of that business could go to Microsoft, which has been cooperating with Russia since 2003.

Neither Apple nor SAP has commented on the proposal so far, although the concept came about after their national managers met Nikiforov last week. Whether or not they're forced to make a decision about their code, it's not clear that divulging source code will be effective. Many of the NSA's intrusion efforts are based on security exploits, not voluntarily created back doors -- innocuous code on any platform can still contain surveillance-friendly bugs. And yes, there's a degree of irony when Russia has been accused of both discouraging political transparency and using malicious code to spy on world leaders.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin]

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Source: Reuters

July 31, 2014

Get a behind the scenes look at Google’s self-driving car this Friday

If you've been itchin' for more info on Mountain View's compact self-driving car, you're in luck. At 11AM PT/2PM ET this Friday (August 1st), Google is hosting a live Hangout as the folks from Make take a behind the scenes look at the project for its summer camp series. The so-called Field Trip is said to have a gander at how the vehicles work and provide an update on recent developments. Those who plan on tuning in can submit specific queries in advance for the Q&A session, but even if you don't plan on posing a question, taking an early (or late) lunch seems like a solid choice.

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Source: Google+