Hewlett-Packard CEO Forced to Resign

August 5th, 2010 | Posted in Technology Information

Hewlett-Packard CEO Forced to Resign Hewlett-Packard, the country’s best-selling computer brand and the world’s largest technology company, is without a leader today. According to the Associated Press, CEO Mark Hurd was forced to resign this week after being accused of falsifying “expenses to hide numerous private dinners with a woman who was paid up to $5,000 per event to greet people and make introductions among executives attending HP events that she helped organize.”

The woman in question had accused Hurd of sexual harassment. However, both Hurd and the woman’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, claimed the relationship between the two was not sexual. The board of directions said that even though Hurd didn’t actually violate its sexual harassment policy, he did break its rules of conduct. Despite the accusations from HP’s board of directors, Hurd insists the money spent to pay the woman was a legitimate business expense, but he also says he doesn’t have a record of just how much was spent.

After the news was released on Friday, HP’s stock fell 10% in after-hours trading. Despite the loss, analysts say the drop was merely a reaction to the news and nothing to be concerned about.
Hurd began at HP in 2005 after 25 years at NRC Corp. With Hurd at the wheel HP spent over $20 billion on acquisitions that helped turn the company into a well-rounded computer company. The most recent was the $1.4 billion purchase of smartphone maker Palm Inc. in June. During his tenure, the company’s market value nearly doubled.

So, who will replace Hurd? No one knows for sure just yet, but there are rumors swirling that it could be an internal candidate. Some of the potential replacements from inside the company include Todd Bradley, who oversees personal computers and mobile devices; Vyomesh Joshi, who oversees printers; Ann Livermore, who leads the servers, services, software, and storage division; and Shane Robison, HP’s leader of corporate strategy and marketing. Cathie Lesjak, the company’s CFO, is serving as interim CEO until a replacement is named, but she insists she would not take the permanent job.

Don’t feel sorry for Hurd though. He will walk away with about $28 million in cash and stock.

As for HP, this is the third “scandal” to hit the company’s top executives in five years. Former CEO Carly Fiorina was forced to resign after the company’s controversial deal to buy Compaq in 2002 didn’t produce the desired results. In 2006 Chairwoman Patricia Dunn was forced to leave after a boardroom spying scandal involving spying on reporters’ and directors’ phone records which were being leaked to the media.

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Mumba Botnet Has Infected 55,000 Computers

August 3rd, 2010 | Posted in Technology Information

Mumba Botnet Has Infected 55,000 Computers

Research from free anti-virus software-maker AVG was released earlier this week and the findings show that over 55,000 computers from all over the world have been infected by the Mumba botnet. The report, which was prepared by the AVG Web Security Research Team, can be found at Blogs.AVG.com.

According to the report, over 60GB of personal data, such as social networking information, banking information, credit card information, and emails, has been stolen from people’s personal and business computers. At least 33% of the infected computers are located in the United States, followed by 17% in German, 7% in Spain, 6% in the United Kingdom, and 5% in both Mexico and Canada.

Mumba botnet is a virus that was created by a group of cybercriminals known as the Avalanche Group. The Group is known for creating a mass-production system for phishing sites and other malware. Mumba uses Zeus, one of the most current and common forms of malware.

In a press release, Yuval Ben-Itzhak, the Senior Vice President of AVG said, “The unique infrastructure of the Mumba botnet means that going after the servers hosting the stolen data is now much more difficult than before. As cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated, it is paramount that consumers and corporations prevent their PCs from becoming the next victim in these dynamic cyber attacks by using anti-virus and LinkScanner tools such as those that AVG offers for free.”

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India Announces World’s Cheapest Computer

July 26th, 2010 | Posted in Technology Information

India Announces World's Cheapest ComputerEver since the Apple iPad came out, computer-makers have been working hard to make competing tablet computers and devices. A basic netbook or tablet computer can cost you at least $250 – $300 and they can get a lot more expensive than that, but imagine getting one for $35. Sounds too good to be true, right?

According to the Associated Press, students and professors at the Indian Institute of Technology have created just that. A $35 computer. The computer was designed with students and teachers in mind and was unveiled last week by India’s Union Cabinet Minister for Human Resources Development, Kapil Sibal.

The computer hasn’t been named yet and it runs on little power, yet allows users to connect to the internet. It features an open-source Linux operating system, 2GB RAM, an internet browser, a USB port, a PDF reader, Open Office Suite, multi-media software, video conferencing, and it is Wi-Fi enabled. The computer doesn’t use a hard drive, but it does have a memory card much like those found in many mobile phones and other devices. It may also include a solar power option for rural areas where there is no electricity.

The new computer is expected to be available in 2011 and will be introduced first to colleges and universities. The Indian government plans to manufacture about one million of the computers for university students and then work on creating more for students in primary and secondary schools. According to the Associated Press, there has been no manufacturer or distributor named yet but you can bet several have been showing interest in making the world’s cheapest computer.

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Computer Program Translates Ancient Language

July 21st, 2010 | Posted in Technology Information

Computer Translates Anciet Language

In the late 1920’s, archaeologists discovered clay tablets with unknown writing on them, in the city of Ugarit. Linguist spent decades trying to decode the writing, said to be from Biblical times, but were unable to completely do so. However, a new computer program developed by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has now translated about 60% of the text.

Scientists at MIT used the program to compare the Ugaritic text to Hebrew text, and were thrilled with how quickly it took. The Ugaritic language is considered a lost language and is made up of dots and wedge-shaped stylus signs. It hasn’t been used since 1200 BC, where it was used in western Syria. The program was able to translate most of the symbols to letters and words.

According to Regina Barzilay, a computer science professor at MIT, this may be the first time anyone has ever effectively demonstrated a computer analysis of any of the lost languages. 60% of the language was correctly identified. Said Barzilay in an interview, “traditionally, decipherment has been viewed as a sort of scholarly detective game, and computers weren’t thought to be of much use. Our aim is to bring to bear the full power of modern machine learning and statistics to this problem.”

The team is hoping to decipher other old languages in the future and the computer program will be the key to help us learn more about our history. For example, they are hoping to look at Etruscan next, a script that was used in 700 BC in Italy. By 100 AD, the Etruscan had been replaced by Latin and because of this, very few traces of the language remain. And of the ones that do remain, none of it seems to match up to any other more current language, like Ugaritic does with Hebrew.

According to Barzilay, the computer program has the ability to scan several languages at once to see if anything between the ancient language and a number of modern languages matches up.

The program was made public last week at the 48th annual meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics in Sweden.

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HP Tops US Computer Sales

July 18th, 2010 | Posted in Technology Information

HP Tops US Computer Sales

There is some new information about 2010 United States computer sales and it comes from a preliminary estimate made by International Data Corporation. Hewlett-Packard and Dell are leading the way with about 26% and 24%, respectively, of all American computer sales, but the real change is the competition going on for third place.

For a long time, Acer has easily been number three, but according to the new data, Apple, who is in the number four spot, is starting to gain ground. Acer’s numbers have dropped significantly from about 23% to 11% of all computers sold, while Apple’s have increased. Apple currently controls about 8.8% of the computer market.

So, why the big changes for Acer and Apple? There are several possibilities. International Data Corporation says that Acer had an unusually “strong year-ago performance,” but that it’s growing faster in other markets than it is in the United States.

There is also the theory that those who would have purchased an Acer netbook in the past are turning to Apple to purchase an iPad instead. However, because the iPad is not considered a traditional computer, that theory can’t be confirmed. However, there are rumors circulating that Acer is coming out with its own tablet computer in the future.

As for computer sales as a whole, during the first half of 2010, the United States saw an overall increase in the number of shipments – 12.6%. Worldwide, computer purchases increased by 22.4% over last year. As for the second half of the year, there is a lot of back and forth between analysts about what will happen, due to the fluctuating economy.

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Laptops for Personal Use

July 15th, 2010 | Posted in Information Technology

Laptops are great for on the go work and play. They come in a variety of sizes with features that can accommodate different tastes and styles. When purchasing a laptop it is good to know exactly what you will be using it for. This means you need to decide if you want a laptop that can write and record DVDs or one with a lot of internal space or a killer speed for watching and downloading movies or playing games.

Size matters in the laptop world. Some say the bigger the better while others want smaller screens so that their laptop is even more portable. Smaller laptops are known as netbooks and are just as good as their larger competitors. We will start with a small sized screen, which is one Toshiba. Its screen measures 11.6 inches and it comes pre installed with Windows 7 Home Premium. This laptop also features a 2GB CPU and a 250 hard drive, which is adequate space for your internet and computer needs. This netbook is great for on the go use.

For a larger screen, but not too big you can always pick up a Toshiba Tecra that features more than style and space. This laptop has a 15.6-inch screen with a 3GB CPU and 320GB of hard drive space. What sets this one apart from others is that it offers DVD+/-RW, which means that you can actually burn movies from it, and add them to your home collection. It is like your own personal entertainment machine.

If you want a bigger screen then look no further than a Sony Vaio laptop that offers size, space and a beautiful silver finish. This laptop features 6GB of memory and also offers 320GB of space with an astonishing 17.3-inch screen. This laptop can download movies, store them and still have enough room for additional files. It also has Windows 7 Home Premium pre installed which is the latest operating system by Windows.

Picking out the perfect laptop or netbook can be a daunting task. There is research to be done and numerous choices that do not end once you have chosen the perfect screen size. Be sure to know what you want and don’t settle for less. Computers can do a lot these days. You just have to know exactly what you are looking for to get the one that matches your wants and needs.

Lease Computer Equipment

July 15th, 2010 | Posted in Information Technology

Is it better to buy or lease computer equipment? One of the big questions facing business owners is whether it makes more sense to buy or lease their computer equipment. Below are three questions to ask yourself as you think through this important decision.

Lease Computer Equipment

1) How Fast Is Our Business Growing? If you’re experiencing growth at a very fast pace, then leasing may make more sense. Simply, because doing so will allow you to tie up less of your capital so you can keep a positive cash flow. Growth brings enough stress in and of itself. Additionally, growth forecasting is more art than science and many companies find themselves scrabbling either to ratchet workforces down or up to meet demands. Leasing allows you to better meet these sudden changes.

2) Does Technology Provide the Backbone Of Our Business? If your business is heavily reliant on technology, then a lease could be a key to your survival. With the speed of innovation in computer manufacturing, having old or obsolete computer equipment may end up being an Achilles heel. Whether it’s servers, VOIP technology, dialers and CRM management tools, towers, laptops or software and peripherals, if technology drives your business, you can’t afford to fall behind in this critical area. Not only could it cost you business, it could end up hampering your future growth and market share.

3) Do Time and Operational Efficiencies Equate To Money In Our Business? People often talk about time being money. Though this is true, the important thing for you to consider is: How much money do time savings represent to our business? If your key employees can increase their work output by 30%-50% simply by a technology upgrade, would it justify the expense? Go through all the areas of your business from marketing, to sales, to customer service and realistically estimate how new computer equipment could increase work output, customer satisfaction and sales profit. Let the numbers do the talking and you won’t go wrong.

Leasing computer equipment is a serious business decision that should not be taken lightly. It is not about having the latest bells and whistles or keeping up appearances. Rather, it is about making an investment that has the potential of dramatically impacting your bottom line.

Advantages Of Photoacoustics Technology

July 15th, 2010 | Posted in Information Technology

To choose a form of cancer treatment for a patient it is very important to know just exactly which stage the caner is in. Once a cancer has spread to the lymph nodes it is more dangerous and requires treatment to be much more aggressive; although, once it has spread there it’s also much more difficult to determine where it is in the lymph nodes. This is where the use of Photoacoustics technology would be very beneficial.

This type of technology may make it a much more sure and efficient process when looking for caner in these hidden places. The Photoacoustics, which is a laser induced type of ultrasound, may be just the thing to make it easier to pinpoint the exact location of cancer cells in the hard to find lymph nodes.

Doctors hope that with the help if this technology they can more accurately determine what stages cancer like melanoma may be in, in each particular patient. Before this type of technology it was very difficult to determine what part of the lymph nodes the cancer had spread to because examining the entire lymph node is a time consuming and difficult process.

Eliminating the need to examine the entire node and simply find where the cancer is quickly would be a huge time saver and could be the determining factor in how quickly a patient recovers. Getting to the actual treatment faster would be great for everyone involved. If the stages can be more accurately identified then the treatments can happen faster, which will be a great benefit to treating the patient and getting them to recovery faster.

This method is being studied to see how much it will benefit people with melanoma cancer and to what extent it will cut down the guess work and time involved in figuring out what stages this type of cancer is in in a particular patient. Everyone with this type of cancer should be concerned with how well this new method may work because it could save them a lot of hassle and misery in the stage determining process, and help expedite treatment.

This method is not only supposed to be quicker abut it is also said to be a simpler method as well. Studies have been done with human cancer cells placed in the lymph nodes of animals, but they must be studies in human ones before this method can be determined as safe and useful in humans. Although, when used on the animal nodes with human cancer cells it was proven quite effective.

This technology uses lasers to scan the biopsy taken and then determines which parts of the biopsied areas contain the cancer cells. It acts on cells by heating and cooling them to cause them to make sounds that can then be measured to help find out what stage the cancer is in.

This new technology is being extensively studied to see if it will be as helpful as predicted in the cancer finding and treating process. Anything that makes it faster and easier to find cancer cells and get a patient on the path to recovery is well worth exploring to the fullest extent.

Microsoft Encouraging More Tablets

July 13th, 2010 | Posted in Technology Information

Microsoft Encouraging More Tablets

Several hardware makers are teaming up with Microsoft, in an attempt to give Apple a run for its money. They’re looking to release a number of Windows-based tablet computers that can compete with Apple’s iPad. At least 21 manufacturers were mentioned, including Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Asus, Toshiba, Sony, Lenovo, and Panasonic.

The news was announced by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Monday, July 12, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, “This year one of the most important things that we will do in the smart device category is really push forward with Windows 7-based slates and Windows 7 phones. Over the course of the next several months, you will see a range of Windows 7-based slates that I think you’ll find quite impressive. This is a terribly important area for us. We are hardcore about this.”

He added, “They’ll come with keyboards, they’ll come without keyboards, they’ll be dockable, there’ll be many form factors, many price points, many sizes, but they will all run Windows 7. They will run Windows 7 applications. They will run Office.”

Ballmer did admit Microsoft failed with Windows Mobile and is unable to compete with iPhone, Droids, and Blackberrys. On the other hand, he says Windows Phone 7 has received, “great reviews, really quite remarkable reviews.” The company’s mobile phone partners were listed to include Samsung, Dell, Asus, Toshiba, Garmin, Sony Ericsson, and HTC.

Ballmer also talked at length about cloud computing – Windows Azure – and its “new opportunity.” He says cloud enables Microsoft to help customers “streamline their operations and improve their agility.” Ballmer also says, “The world of tomorrow is a world of a smart cloud talking to smart devices roam your information across the internet. We are at an inflection point in technology history…for customers, cloud computing creates tremendous value, which translates to massive opportunity for Microsoft and its partners.”

According to Microsoft, eBay, Fujitsu, Dell, and HP will be using Windows Azure appliances. Dell says the platform will be useful for delivering cloud services to small and medium-sized businesses.

Other news from Microsoft included news that they’ve sold 150 million licenses for Windows 7 since its launch in October, 2009.

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Summer Travel with Your Computer

July 9th, 2010 | Posted in Technology Information

Summer Travel with Your Computer

Let’s face it. With computers becoming more and more mobile, many people are traveling with their laptops, smartphones, tablet computers, and even desktops in some cases. Vacation doesn’t necessarily mean a vacation from EVERYTHING in 2010. We still check in with the office, we still check our email, and we still surf the internet or play games. But what happens if you have a problem? How do you prevent a problem from occurring? If you’re planning to take you computer on the road this summer, here are a few tips for you to keep in mind:

– Remember when you are on a public network, you are vulnerable than you would be at home on your own network. Unless you have a firewall, any data that can be shared on your home network can be shared with the other people using the same network you are, whether it be in a restaurant, hotel, or other spot.

– Purchase and take along a car adapter. My personal laptop battery only lasts about two-three hours. That was a bit disappointing when I recently found myself in the backseat of my grandfather’s car for a five-hour drive to Florida. I was able to get a little work done and play a few computer games, but over half of the trip was spent wishing I’d charged my iPod. So, take your car adapter along for long rides, or don’t use power-hungry applications.

– If you are going to have to rely on your battery more than usual, make sure your computer is running smoothly. Get yourself a tune-up, defrag your hard drive, run a few malware removal programs and delete or disable programs you no longer use for quicker boot-up and optimum performance.

– Be aware of thieves. Sure, we worry about people stealing our data but if someone has physically stolen our computers, data stolen over unsecure networks is the least of our worries. According to LoJack for Laptops, 600,000 laptops are stolen from cars and hotel rooms each year. Fortunately, there are laptop locks you can purchase that prevent this from happening. Also, use common sense. If your computer is in your car and you need to run into a store, don’t leave it in plain view. Keep it in a suitcase or in your car’s trunk.

– Power down. If you’re done working with your computer, turn the power off completely. Wireless connections and even Bluetooth connections can leave you vulnerable to attacks.

– Find out where you can get reliable tech support and computer service. Many hotels offer tech support but many do not. If you find yourself with a problem, you don’t want to be stuck, trying to find someone who can help get you up and running again. A quick call to a company like Computer Service Now (1-877-422-1907) can take care of any of your problems, no matter where you are located.

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