By John P. Mello Jr. Jan 18, 2007 4:00 AM PT Monitor size is like real estate. You can never get enough of it. That's what I thought until I got a gander at Gateway's mammoth 24-inch HD LCD flat-panel display. Working with this monitor is like computing on a billboard. Once I got my bearings -- I'm used to using a 17-inch LCD, so the transition to this behemoth was like being plopped in the middle of the Atlantic in a 14-foot Catboat -- the first thing I noticed was how bright the screen was, even through my tinted computer glasses. I had to turn the brightness down to almost zero before the display became comfortable to look at. In addition to its horizontal configuration, the unit can be tipped 90 degrees and viewed vertically. Don't like scrolling through long Web pages? Just tip this puppy on its side and view the pages in portrait mode. Exploding Colors The monitor's sharpness was very impressive, too. Text was very tight and distinctive on the screen. At its native … [Read more...] about Gateway’s 24-Inch Monitor: Computing on a Billboard
Google on Tuesday initiated changes to its search algorithm to address increased use of mobile devices, and there is about a week left before the full impact of its new metric is felt in full. Mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic for the first time last year, and that dynamic is not expected to revert to the way things were -- ever. By some estimates, about 60 percent of all Web traffic arrives on the wheels of mobile devices. Microsoft has taken note of the mobile trend -- last summer, it began singing its slightly conflicted "mobile first, cloud first" mantra. Facebook sees mobile as the only way forward, betting big on WhatsApp and Instragram, and now the world's largest search engine has evolved to embrace the times. Google last fall announced that it would give preference in its search rankings to websites it deemed "mobile friendly." Any site hard to read or navigate on a mobile device would lose prominence in search results. How Bad It Hurts The changes to Google's search … [Read more...] about Google Unleashes Mobilegeddon on Unprepared Websites
By Jack M. Germain May 2, 2016 3:57 PM PT The Fedora 23 Sugar on a Stick desktop offering is an unusually flexible computing desktop for children of all ages, school admins and organizations looking for the best bang for absolutely no bucks on existing computer hardware. The Sugar environment is both a desktop and a collection of activities or apps that involve user engagement. Activities automatically save results to a journal. Users can add comments and share the activity instances with other users. Many of these activities support real-time collaboration. Sugar has a fully functional Web browser that provides direct access to Sugar Labs' portal pages, its wiki, social help and a software center for adding Sugar activities apps. As the name suggests, this Sugar desktop distribution fits on a USB drive, but you can just as easily run the ISO file as a standalone live session OS from USB or CD without making any changes to the hardware or removing the existing -- possibly … [Read more...] about Fedora-Based Sugar on a Stick Is One Sweet Desktop
Steven Cherry: Hi, this is Steven Cherry for IEEE Spectrum's "Techwise Conversations." The Internet is taking over everything, but not all at the same pace. The music industry was very quickly transformed, publishing, mail, retail, telephony. But when it comes to money, change comes much more slowly. I can remember using Citibank's online payment system sometime in the 1980s, using a 300-baud modem the bank gave out to customers who signed up for it. The Stanford Federal Credit Union was apparently the first bank to put all its services online, back in 1994. The First Internet Bank-that's its name, I'm not sure if it was the first-was chartered in 1997. And PayPal was founded in 1998. There are now a lot of ways to do online banking-and the traditional banks have in many cases caught up-but new services keep coming along anyway. One of them is Simple. Yes, that's its name-it even has the domain simple.com, and it already has 20 000 customers. My guest today is the director of … [Read more...] about Would You Trust a Website With Your Paycheck?
Last night, Suitable Technologies opened a brand new store in the middle of Palo Alto, Calif., to give people a way to try out the Beam telepresence not-a-robot. Uniquely, the store will not have any humans in it at all, we're told. Just Suitable employees from New York to Sydney, beaming in to interact with anyone who wanders into the store. This is a good idea for Suitable, because people like me are always trying to describe the experience of using something like a telepresence robot, and (more often than not) failing. It's really one of those things that you have to try for yourself. And if you're not local to Silicon Valley, you can make an appointment to beam in. The store is mostly empty, except for Beams. At the moment, it's staffed by Beam Pros, but the Beam Plus should show up eventually. There are also stations along the walls where you can test drive a Beam in a remote location for yourself. If you (or your robots) happen to be trick-or-treating in Palo Alto tonight, Beams … [Read more...] about Video Friday: Beams for Sale, Drone on a Leash, and Open Source Humanoid
Dell appears to be making another run at the Android market, but this time not in the form of its mobile business. Instead, they are creating a dongle that has Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Loaded on it named Project Ophelia. Dell claims to give you fast access to personal content with Ophelia by simply attaching it to a TV or display. While there are already dongles that provide an Android experience on a larger display, not all of them are back up by Dell's Wyse Cloud Client. The system is being marketed as both a device for work and entertainment. Some noteable features listed in the press release are: Flexibly powered zero-battery device gets power from the attached display monitor via its MHL interface to the monitor's MHL port, or separately via its own USB interface. No batteries to charge or change. Remembers settings for each individual to enhance usability. Enables instant and secure access to your personal cloud, entertainment, work content and applications wherever there … [Read more...] about Dell Project Ophelia: Android on a Dongle Just Needs a Monitor
What's the best way to make online travel reservations? Should you use Expedia, Orbitz, or Travelocity? Or is it better to make your reservations directly through the website of the airline, hotel, car rental company, etc.? I don't know the answer, but it sure sounds like a good question for a Gripe Line poll. The issue comes up due to the discussion engendered by a recent story in which one reader detailed her unfortunate experiences on a trip in which her family used Expedia. As you might expect, a number of readers came to Expedia's defense. "My personal experiences with Expedia have all been excellent," wrote one reader. "I've booked with them for years including a two week, seven hotel trip to the Grand Canyon a few years ago. I've had nothing but positive experiences with Expedia and the hotels I've booked with including last minute cancellations, room changes, etc." Of course, a number of other readers reported bad Expedia experiences of their own. "I booked a hotel in Las Vegas … [Read more...] about A Poll on Travel Websites
Whether your business is a big fish or a small-fry home office, you can get hacked just the same, and the stakes are higher than a few canceled credit cards. Here are a few tips to protect your users and your networks -- steps that even enterprise-class security specialists may slip up on. Know who might be targeted -- and how and why With the recent news of attacks on U.S. companies including Google, many business owners might be thinking, "That wouldn't happen to me -- I don't have anything so valuable on my servers that an attacker would go after it." Many attacks aren't targeted at all, but are the result of self-selection. That is, the attacker casts a wide net by sending thousands of messages to a harvested list of email addresses, and the ones that respond -- either by clicking a link or via a ping-back embedded image in the email -- are the self-selected targets to pursue. [ Roger Grimes' free and almost foolproof way to check for malware. | Discover how to secure your systems … [Read more...] about Enterprise security on a small-business budget
When I sat down to create my first webpage I was a little intimidated. I have been surfing the Internet for years and knew that it held some impressive sites along with some lame ones. I didn't want my website to fall into the latter category, but I had no experience building one. I did it anyway. Following some instructions from a beginner's book on HTML, I produced a homely webpage within a few minutes. The sight of it was exhilarating. (Now I understand why all those lame websites exist. It's hard not to love what you create yourself, however humble.) Using a messy combination of several webpage building tools, I chugged through and finished my site. Since that time I've learned that there are dozens (well, thousands) of tools available to build websites. I'll share the ins and outs of the most common ones here along with ideas that will help you get the most out of your webpage-building experience. The webpages you see on the Internet are produced by code that tells the computer … [Read more...] about How Do I Build a Website?
Do you know most of the so-called influencers these days have just bought social media followers for pennies? They don't have a real following, and hence are very unlikely to have a real traffic. What if you want to know about the traffic a website gets? Here are some websites that can help! 1. Alexa: this website ranks the sites all around the web by the page views, and backlinks they've got. It also gives you estimated traffic stats. As the stats are dependent upon the other websites ranked on the site, the number varies significantly as compared to the actual stats. A lot of people don't give importance to Alexa rankings, but it's, indeed, a good source to judge the traffic of a particular site. 2. Compete: This site gives the estimated amount of U.S. traffic a site gets. They fetch data from their toolbar, ISPs and other traffic websites. 3. SimilarWeb: This site includes a lot of statistics about traffic from different countries, traffic sources, total visits, engagement and … [Read more...] about Tried & Tested: How to find how much traffic a website gets?
Flash files that are vulnerable to a serious flaw patched by Adobe Systems over three years ago still exist on many websites, exposing users to potential attacks. The vulnerability, known as CVE-2011-2461, was found in the Adobe Flex Software Development Kit (SDK) and was fixed by Adobe in November 2011. The development tool, which has since been donated to the Apache Software Foundation, allows users to build cross-platform rich Internet applications in Flash. [ Deep Dive: How to rethink security for the new world of IT. | Discover how to secure your systems with InfoWorld's Security newsletter. ]The vulnerability was unusual because fixing it didn't just require Flex SDK to be updated, but also patching all the individual Flash applications (SWF files) that had been created with vulnerable versions of the SDK. According to an Adobe tech note at the time, all Web-based Flash applications compiled with Flex 3.x and some built with Flex 4.5 were vulnerable. The company released a tool … [Read more...] about Flash-based vulnerability lingers on many websites three years later
Millions of Web users could be vulnerable to an attack on their computer's DRAM via the Web, a surprising development that expands on a bug that has increasingly worried computer security experts. It has been known for several years that densely packed memory cells on computers are vulnerable to intentional interference. But a new research paper details how an attack could be conducted over the Web, dramatically increasing the danger to users. [ Watch out for 11 signs you've been hacked -- and learn how to fight back, in InfoWorld's PDF special report. | Discover how to secure your systems with InfoWorld's Security newsletter. ]The new paper, published by Austrian and French institutions, could prompt a new urgency among chip makers to find a long-term solution to the so-called Rowhammer problem. DRAM is vulnerable to electrical interference because the cells are packed so closely together, a characteristic that has increased their memory capacity but come at a cost. Repeatedly … [Read more...] about Researchers develop astonishing Web-based attack on a computer’s DRAM
The internet of things is so complex that some enterprises would rather turn to one vendor to determine the business case for an IoT deployment, design the system, roll it out, and operate it as a service. At least that’s what IBM believes. The company’s combining several of its products and services into what it calls the IoT Solutions Practice. The move, announced Monday, is designed so customers can find all of IBM’s IoT offerings in one place. [ Read the InfoWorld reviews: Amazon eases developers into IoT. | Azure brings IoT to .Net developers. | Stay up on cloud happenings with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]Turning IoT into a service isn’t a new idea. Consultancies like Accenture and carriers like Verizon, among others, say they can reduce the complexity of adopting these systems and making them pay for themselves. IBM says it alone has all the pieces to do the job from end to end. Many customers will combine those pieces with components … [Read more...] about IBM is on a push to offer IoT from development to production
Not long ago, whenever a freak blizzard blanketed the Eastern Seaboard or torrential rains brought floods to the Midwest, we were discouraged from mentioning the words “climate change.” Global warming was real, we were told, but climate science measured change on a planetary scale—it had little to say about individual weather events. Just a few weeks after 30 inches of rain fell on parts of southern Louisiana, causing floods that killed 13 people and forced tens of thousands from their homes, the picture is a lot different. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have already taken weather data from the event, plugged it into high-resolution climate models, and come up with results. They report that climate change upped the probability of catastrophic rainfall occurring along the Gulf Coast from once every 50 years to once every 30 years—an increase of 40 percent (and that’s being very conservative, they say). Put another way, … [Read more...] about Less Than a Month After Historic Floods in Louisiana, We Know Climate Change Played a Role
We already turn to the Internet for help making countless little decisions like where to go out to dinner or what movie to watch. Now one startup thinks the Web can help you work out life’s biggest decisions, too—like whether or not to get married, go back to school, buy a house, or have a child. Cloverpop launched a public beta test of its website on Tuesday that anyone can access for free, and anonymously. Previously, in a private beta test, the site had about 2,500 users who asked 1,100 unique questions, the most popular of which concerned jobs, moving, school, and relationships, founder and CEO Erik Larson says. It takes about 10 minutes to use the site to help you make a decision. You must answer a series of questions about how experienced you are with the topic at hand, the ways in which a “yes” answer will most impact your life, and potential alternative decisions, in order to arrive at a “yes” or a “no.” You also must write a … [Read more...] about Can a Website Help You Decide to Have a Kid?
Moving water is fairly straightforward on the human scale: a pump or a bucket will usually do the trick. But in the last couple of decades, various teams have begun to study ways of moving liquids around on the much smaller scale of micrometres. Their goal is to create devices, such as a lab-on-a-chip, that can carry out self-contained chemical and biological tests on tiny samples. To that end, researchers have developed various new ways to move liquid around using exotic pumps relying on things like electric fields. So-called microfluidic devices are having a big impact in areas from pathogen identification to environmental monitoring Last year, Steve Arscott at the The University of Lille in France added another tool to this armoury. He showed that light could modify the wetting angle of a conducting droplet sitting on an insulated conductor. This system is essentially a capacitor: one conductor separated from another by an insulating layer. Physicists have known for some time … [Read more...] about Demonstration of Actuation-at-a-Distance Effect for Labs on a Chip
Measuring viral load, or the concentration of HIV in the bloodstream, is one of the techniques that physicians use to monitor the effectiveness of HIV treatments. A spike in viral load can be a warning of drug failure or drug resistance, possibly indicating that the patient should be switched to a different drug. But in resource-poor settings, such monitoring is prohibitively expensive and equipment-heavy. A new microfluidic chip designed by the lab of Rustem Ismagilov at Caltech may make it possible to monitor viral load in HIV and other viral infections more cheaply and easily, and the technique could also be useful for other kinds of genetic tests. Viral load is often measured with PCR, a standard laboratory tool that copies the DNA or RNA in a sample many times. A newer approach, called digital PCR, makes it possible to get much more precise counts. Using microfluidics, the sample is first divided among a multitude of tiny wells, so that each well is likely to hold no more than one … [Read more...] about Monitoring HIV on a Cheap Chip
The majority of deaths on the battlefield occur within half an hour after injury–often too quickly for a soldier to get to a medic, let alone a hospital. But a collaboration between researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Clarkson University, in New York, aims to change all that with a chip that could detect injuries and treat them almost instantly. Smart sensor: Joseph Wang hopes to use flexible electrodes, like the one he’s holding here, to create a chip that diagnoses battlefield injuries. At the center of the research is a sensor, still in development, that could be used to continuously monitor a soldier’s blood, sweat, or even tears for biomarkers. All of these fluids contain glucose, oxygen, lactase, and the hormone norepinephrine, which fluctuate depending on a person’s health and activity levels. Specific, collective changes in these markers can indicate the presence of an injury. And once the sensor picks that up, it could … [Read more...] about Battlefield Medic on a Chip
Ten years ago, one of the biggest hits at a major trade show on new network technology was the Internet Toaster. By typing a command on a networked computer anywhere in the world, you could turn the modified Sunbeam Deluxe on and off, or have the toast pop up. The Internet was still small back then, with a mere 300,000 computers online. But it was growing like a weed. And one of the big jokes was that we would soon be putting our toasters, microwave ovens and refrigerators on the Net. The joke was all the funnier because nobody could quite figure out why this kind of connectivity for household appliances would be desirable: we just knew that networked appliances would be part of our collective future. Connecting a toaster to the Internet was not easy. For starters, the toaster needed a computer powerful enough to “speak” the so-called Internet Protocol-the digital standard that allows computers on the Net to communicate with one another. The contraption’s … [Read more...] about Internet on a Chip – MIT Technology Review