There’s a bug in your auto-update program that makes Windows 7 reboot the PC even when the program has been told not to restart the PC.
Last night, I was doing a full format of a 1 TB drive, which takes several hours to complete. Part way through, auto-update told me that it had installed new software and that a restart would be needed. I’m 100% sure that I clicked on the “Restart Later” button before heading off to bed with the format in progress. However, when I came into my PC this morning, it had rebooted and the format hadn’t finished. Now I won’t be able to do what I needed to do today because I’ll have to restart the format and wait several more hours.
Microsoft, how hard can this be? If I press the button “Restart later”, that means I’ll choose when to restart later, not the operating system. And besides, why can’t it check for obvious activity, like formats in progress or files not saved before rebooting the PC?
Please can you fix this for version 8? It’s almost enough to make me buy an Apple….
iTwin is billed as an “infinite capacity thumb drive” but this sells the device short – it’s much more than this. Andy finds out what its capable of from Akash at CES Showstoppers.
The basic premise of iTwin is a pair of USB devices, one of which goes in your work desktop, the other in your home (or laptop) computer. Files can then be copied securely to and from the work computer across the internet to the laptop.
The devices are cryptographically paired together to ensure the security of the connection and the creators seem to have solutions for most of the issues that might arise, such as dynamic IPs or theft.
The brilliance of iTwin is that it offers a personal cloud solution where the data is completely under your control but not actually in your possession. No risk of theft, loss or nosey border guards rifling through your files.
Works with both Windows PCs and Mac – available now for $99.
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 12:53 AM on February 8, 2012
As you have almost certainly already heard, one of the big things coming in Windows 8 will be it’s support of ARM processors. The main feature of the new operating system, though, is the radical new Metro interface. The Metro Start screen displays a series of “live tiles”. These are the apps, some of which come with Windows 8, and some which will be installed by the user from the new Windows Store, which are constantly updating with new information. You could display such things as current weather, Twitter, news, and a lot more on your personalized start screen.
nVidia was at the Consumer Electronics Show last month to show off their Tegra 3 quad-core processor running Windows 8 tablets. The new chipset allows these tablets to be extremely thin, have longer battery life, and high-resolution graphics. In the video below you can get a look at a little bit of what they are capable of, such as HD video playback, and full Windows multi-tasking.
The exact specifications and pricing aren’t yet available, but you can learn more by visiting the nVidia site.
j5 create‘s background in USB display adaptors means they know a thing or two about using both hardware and software to create unique solutions. j5 Create’s Wormhole cable is one such solution as it joins two computers into one…and they don’t even have to be running the same OS. Fred shows Jeffrey and Steve some of the benefits of this innovative technology, which won a CES Innovation Honoree award.
At its most basic the Wormhole switch is simply a USB 2 cable that connects between two computers, but clever software allows the computers to work together, with one keyboard and mouse being shared between the two. The OS of the two devices doesn’t have to be the same and an Android tablet being controlled by a Windows PC is perfectly possible. Files can be seamlessly transferred between the two machines as well. Pretty smart.
Moving on to a second product, j5 create has a very desirable line of small docking stations for laptops that are little more than foot-long shiny tubes with a plethora of ports. Branded “ultrastations” and connecting via USB 3, these take full advantage of the faster data rate to provide a myriad of connections, including HDMI, through a single USB 3 cable. Nice.
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 11:19 PM on January 22, 2012
The iPad was purposely designed to be used without a stylus, but that doesn’t stop some users from wanting one. It’s especially handy for things like editing a document, writing notes, or for drawing apps. Now eFun has introduced one especially made for the iPad. The new stylus comes with a lot of options as well. You can not only write, draw, and edit, but you can do so in multiple colors and line weights.
The stylus, which debuted last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is available now for $99 from APenUSA. To see this cool new iPad pen in action you can check out the video posted below of a live demo from the CES show floor.
If you’re a touchpad lover, then you’ll be in heaven with IOGEAR‘s new Wireless Multi-Touch Pad (GTP520R), freshly announced at CES. As you might guess from the name, it’s a wireless touchpad that supports multi-touch, which is pretty cool.
Anyone with a smartphone or tablet will be familiar with multi-touch and gestures, but most laptop touchpads don’t support either of them. The IOGEAR Multi-Touch Pad can bring multi-touch and gestures to Windows-based PCs and home theater computers (HTPCs), making browsing, scrolling, image viewing and navigating the web quicker and more natural.
Multi-select: double-tap your finger and select multiple icons, or a section for drag’n'drop
2 Finger Gestures: pan screen side to side and up and down, object zoom in/out, rotate object
As you can see from the picture, the Multi-Touch Pad has six hot keys at the top to control A/V media functions such as volume up and down, skip track and home. With a range of about 10 m, the Touch Pad is ideal for the wireless control from the couch of home theater PCs and other media friendly devices. The 2.4 GHz frequency band is used and a USB nano receiver is included. To get an idea of size, the pad part is just under 5″ so it’s much bigger than a laptop touchpad.
“Multi-touch control is changing the way we interface with devices,” said Bill Nguyen, senior marketing manager at IOGEAR. “From tablets and smartphones to laptops and computer peripherals, people have trained their hands to use touchscreens comfortably and productively and our Wireless Multi-Touch Pad takes this control to the next level.”
The IOGEAR Wireless Multi-Touch Pad is available now for an MSRP of $79.95.
Canadian firm SurfEasy will debut their eponymous USB key-based private Internet browser at CES, Las Vegas, next week. The portable USB key launches its own web browser which uses strong encryption to keep your surfing habits secret and holds all your personal information such as bookmarks, history and web passwords on the password-protected key itself. Nothing is left behind on the computer itself.
“When you stop and think about it, we use many different networks and computers to access our online lives. Whether it’s connecting from the office or using a Wi-Fi hotspot, we’re providing a lot of personal information to computers, networks and websites that are not designed with our personal privacy in mind,” said Chris Houston, founder and CEO of SurfEasy Inc. “SurfEasy lets people take control of protecting their online privacy and security by simply plugging in a USB key.”
One of the biggest potential benefits is when using unsecured WiFi in places like coffee shops. As SurfEasy creates an encrypted tunnel from the SurfEasy USB key across the Internet, no-one can see any detail about your browsing. All they can see is the encrypted data and the volume of data. SurfEasy encrypts the web traffic using SSL and passes the traffic through its own servers, stripping the client IP from the data stream. The proxy network is hosted in Canada and the US, with other international locations to come soon.
As the data stream passes through SurfEasy’s servers, SurfEasy publish a Customer Bill of Rights which is upfront about what you can expect from the company in terms of keeping your activities secret. Basically, unless you come to the attention of the legal authorities, no usage data is held.
The SurfEasy browser is powered by Mozilla and is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and 7. Apple users needs to be on Mac OS X 10.5 or later. The SurfEasy USB key costs $60 and this includes 2 GB per month of encrypted traffic through the SurfEasy network. Additional data costs $5 per month for 25 GB and $10 for 75 GB. Product delivery is expected in February.
I can see this being very handy for backpackers and other travellers who have to use Internet cafes while travelling and are rightly concerned about security. Plug-in the SurfEasy USB key to a public computer and you’re instantly secure wherever you are.
I’ve had an Android phone for about a year and a half (the HTC Evo from Sprint) but primarily because of battery use issues I’ve never used it on my home WiFi network.
In the interim, a few months ago I purchased a Barnes & Noble Nook Color, which runs a custom version of Android. I’ve also experimented with dual-booting the Nook with CyanogenMod 7, an open-source version of Android. When I dual-boot into CyanogenMod 7 and connect to my Apple Airport Extreme router, the router will loose Internet connectivity after only a few minutes, requiring me to cycle the router’s power off and back on to restore connectivity.
Now that I’ve been able to install the authorized version of Netflix onto the Nook after Barnes and Noble’s latest Nook OS update, I tried running Netflix on the Nook on my home network. After watching video for 15 or more minutes, my Apple router loses Internet connectivity.
My youngest brother has a newer HTC Android phone, and after he connected to my local WiFi network almost immediately the Apple router lost connectivity. It happened so frequently at one point that I was beginning to think the router was dying.
However, after futher experimentation I’ve determined that if I don’t connect any Android devices to my WiFi, the router seems to work as flawlessly as ever.
Time to check Mr. Google. Using the Google-suggested search term “android crashes router” (the term pops up immediately after I start typing “android cras “ so I know plenty of other people are looking for a solution) 4,730,000 results come up. After reading through a number of posts by people experiencing the same issue, I have yet to come up with a definitive answer. What is it about a variety of versions of Android connecting to WiFi that is causing many different brands of routers to lose Internet connectivity? The problem is by no means an Apple Router/Android WiFi incompatibility – it therefore seems more likely an issue with Android itself, or at least certain Android builds.
The suggested fixes range from people suggesting that they try to update their router’s firmware to trying to confine the router to Wireless “G” only.
Ironically my HTC Evo phone can also be used as a WiFi hotspot. I can connect any Android device to the Evo’s WiFi hotspot feature and transfer all the data I want without issue. In other words, Android cannot cause my Android phone’s hotspot feature to lose Internet connectivity.
It would be logical to assume that this problem is an Android software issue. The problem seems inconsistent, most probably because of the patchwork-quilt variety of Android hardware and custom OS builds.
So far, the problem hasn’t even seemed to be officially acknowledged as an issue. I suspect that bad Android battery life has prevented a lot of people from trying to connect their Android phones to their home networks via WiFi, so mass numbers of people likely haven’t experienced the potential WiFi router crashing problem.
Of the people that do connect their phones to home WiFi routers, some people never have a problem, while others are constantly plagued by it.
Android crashing WiFi routers is enough to cause me to veer away from future Android devices, unless and until the problem is solved. Phase one of the chaos of the Windows desktop has spread to smartphones.
Welcome to the new Windows fractal – it’s name is Android.
ZDNet is reporting that Canonical is intending to make the next release of Ubuntu, 12.04, a LTS (Long Term Support) release with intention of then expanding Ubuntu beyond desktops and laptops into smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, with a target of 2014 for an all-platform release.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, in an interview said, “This is a natural expansion of our idea as Ubuntu as Linux for human beings. As people have moved from desktop to new form factors for computing, it’s important for us to reach out to out community on these platforms. So, we’ll embrace the challenge of how to use Ubuntu on smartphones, tablets and smart-screens.” The full announcement is expected at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, which starts tomorrow and runs for a week in Orlando, Florida.
Having already been in discussions with partners for around 18 months, it seems that this is more than wishful thinking, but one can’t help feel that the whole Palm-HP-WebOS debacle bodes badly for any company wanting to get in on the smartphone and tablet space. If HP can’t make it happen with a solid OS and Zen of Palm, what hope has Canonical? When quizzed about this, Shuttleworth said that he saw “Android as its primary competitor…..We’ve also already heard from people who are already shipping tablets that they want Ubuntu on the tablet.” And of course, “Ubuntu already has a developer and customer base.”
While there’s no doubt that the mobile space is still maturing and there’s plenty of change still to come, I have a hard time seeing Ubuntu on anything but a small niche of tablets and an even smaller niche of smartphones. iOS and Android have their foothold and Microsoft will be a solid third if Windows Phone 7 continues to deliver and Windows 8 delivers as expected. A fourth player is going to have difficulty making inroads, especially one as relatively unknown as Canonical and Ubuntu.
Smart TVs are a more plausible destination as the internal software is of less concern to the consumer. Most people buying a TV are looking at the exterior brand such as Sony, Samsung or LG, and not what’s inside, although this may change if a “Powered by Roku” or “Google TV inside” campaign runs. Plenty of change to come in this space too.
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 5:43 PM on September 9, 2011
Recently Microsoft rep Steven Sinofsky has been blogging about the next version of their OS, Windows 8. He has announced and documented extensively the changes and benefits we can expect. He showed off the Explorer ribbon interface and improving file management, to name two things. Yesterday, however, Sinofsky wrote about the future of Windows start-up times. If you are interested in the technical, very geeky, details of hibernation, cold starts, kernels, and the like, then I recommend you head over to his blog post for the details. You will also find lots of graphs and charts that compare Windows 8 to Windows 7.
If you just want your PC to start up quickly when you really need it, without all of the technical jargon,then check out the video post below, which was included in Sinofsky’s post. You will see a laptop with no power cord and no battery go from dead to ready-to-use in about 8 seconds.