Showing posts with label Tech News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tech News. Show all posts

Windows XP no longer most popular desktop system

windows xp vs windows 7
windows xp vs windows 7

Windows 7 is now the world's most popular desktop operating system, according to the August report from Net Applications.In August, Windows 7 had a 42.76% market share, a fraction of a point more than Windows XP's 42.52%. Windows XP was released in 2001.The much-maligned Windows Vista sits at third place with a 6.15% market share, followed by Mac OS X 10.7 and Mac OS X 10.6 with 2.45% and 2.38%, respectively.

All in all, older versions included, Microsoft controls some 92% of the market.
It took three years for Windows 7 to become the world's most popular OS. Microsoft's desktop operating system, which was launched in October 2009, will soon be replaced by a newer version — Windows 8.
Windows 8, which is scheduled to go on sale on October 26, will be Microsoft's first operating system designed to work just as well on tablets as it does on desktop computers.
Users running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Professional for $39.99 via an online download.

Upgrading to Windows 8 - FAQ

Upgrading to Windows 8(Credit: CNET)
Even if you're excited for Microsoft's new OS, you might not be planning to buy a new computer. If you have an existing Windows PC, Microsoft has made the upgrade process more or less simple, but there are still some things you might want to think about before making the switch. Here are a few key points to consider. 
Q: From which older versions of Windows can I upgrade to Windows 8?
A: According to this official Microsoft blog post, if you own a Windows XP, Windows Vista, or aWindows 7 PC, you are eligible for a downloadable upgrade to Windows 8 Pro.
Q: How much will the upgrade cost?
For PCs with the above operating systems purchased prior to June 2, 2012, you can download the upgrade from Microsoft for $39.99. For new, non-Windows 8 PCs purchased between June 2 and January 31, 2013, Microsoft will offer the Windows 8 Pro upgrade download for $14.99 (presumably to help prevent a pre-Windows 8 drop-off in new PC purchases).
Upgrading to Windows 8
The Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant walks you through the relatively simple upgrade process.
(Credit: Microsoft)
Q: Is there an option to purchase the upgrade on a DVD or other physical media?
A: You can buy the boxed version of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $69.99. If you purchase the downloadable upgrade, Microsoft will offer you the option to purchase a DVD version for an additional $15. The upgrade installation process will also offer you the ability to burn a DVD or make a bootable USB key using your own media, for no charge.
Q: What about other versions of Windows 8?
A: Microsoft has announced four versions of Windows 8. You can only upgrade to two of them as a consumer, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Windows RT will only come with tablets, and an Enterprise version will be sold with large-volume corporate PC purchases. Windows 8, Windows Pro, and Windows 8 Enterprise will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions, with 64-bit being most common. Microsoft has not yet announced pricing for the vanilla Windows 8 upgrade.
Q: What are the differences between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro?
A: Microsoft says, "For many consumers, Windows 8 will be the right choice," while it designed Windows 8 Pro "to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies."
Basically what that means is that Windows 8 Pro comes with features Microsoft believes most consumers won't care about. For the most part this is probably true. Most people won't miss Pro's extras like the Client Hyper-V virtualization software and BitLocker disk encryption tool.
Upgrading to Windows 8
Windows Media Center and its DVD player software are no longer standard features in Windows 8.
(Credit: Rich Brown/CNET)
The one feature you might miss in Windows 8 is Microsoft's Windows Media Center home theater software, and its accompanying DVD movie player codecs. Windows 8 Pro users won't get it either to start with, but they can download it for free via a post-upgrade download. If you have basic Windows 8, you have to download what Microsoft is calling its Windows 8 Pro Pack, which will upgrade you to Windows 8 Pro, and also bring Media Center along with it. Pricing for the Pro Pack upgrade has not been announced.
Q: What are the hardware requirements for Windows 8?
A: Here are the basics as outlined by Microsoft in a blog post:
  • 1GHz or faster processor
  • 1GB RAM (32-bit) or 2GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16GB available hard-disk space (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Microsoft also says, "Metro style applications have a minimum of 1,024x768 screen resolution, and 1,366x768 for the snap feature." "Snap" refers to Windows 8's feature of automatically resizing and positioning application Windows when you drag them to the side of the screen. And "Metro" is the now-abandoned nomenclature for Windows 8's distinct touch-oriented software interface design.
Microsoft has suggested both "Modern UI," and "Windows 8-style UI" as alternatives, and may further refine the name before Windows 8's October 26 launch date.
Microsoft's Windows 8 Compatibility Center helps verify which hardware and software will work in the new OS.
Microsoft's Windows 8 Compatibility Center helps verify which hardware and software will work in the new OS.
(Credit: Rich Brown/CNET)
Q: What happens to my old files and system settings when I upgrade?
A: It depends on which version of Windows you started with. Per Microsoft: "You will be able to upgrade from any consumer edition of Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro and bring everything along which includes your Windows settings, personal files, and apps. If you are upgrading from Windows Vista, you will be able to bring along your Windows settings and personal files, and if you are upgrading from Windows XP you will only be able to bring along your personal files."
Q: Will I have any problems with older hardware or software when I upgrade?
A: If you're upgrading from Windows XP or Windows Vista, you can expect to have to reinstall any applications you might have used prior to the upgrade. Most programs that worked in Windows 7 should work in Windows 8, though. Microsoft has a Compatibility Center Web sitewhere you can check for specific applications and hardware devices that have been certified to work in Windows 8. When you launch the upgrade installation, you will also receive a compatibility report.

Pirate Bay co-founder Svartholm arrested

Gottfrid Svartholm, on the far right, is shown with Pirate Bay cohorts Peter Sunde, on the far left, and Fredrik Neij. Carl Lundström is not pictured.

Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm, who disappeared while facing a jail sentence and hefty fine in Sweden for aiding in copyright infringement, has been arrested in Cambodia, according to a report.
Svartholm was arrested on Thursday by Cambodian police in Phnom Penh, reports TorrentFreak, which points in its story to a piece in Swedish-language newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
The reason for the arrest has not been officially announced by Swedish or Cambodian authorities, TorrentFreak reported. Borrowing from the SvD report, it quotes Svartholm's lawyer, Ola Salomonsson, as saying, "As far as I understand it is because he is on an international wanted list." (See update below as well.) Salomonsson also said Svartholm could be sent back to Sweden eventually, though there's no extradition treaty between that country and Cambodia.
Svartholm -- along with his Pirate Bay cohorts Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, and Carl Lundstrom -- was found guilty in 2009 of having made 33 copyright-protected files accessible for illegal file sharing via the Web site. The four men were each sentenced to a year in jail and were also ordered to collectively pay a total of 30 million Swedish kronor ($3.6 million) in damages to copyright holders, among them a number of American media giants.
An appeal attempt by Sunde, Neij, and Lundstrom came to an end this past February when the Sweden Supreme Court refused to hear their case.
Svartholm failed to appear at the initial appeal hearing in 2010, presenting a medical certificate that said he was confined to a hospital in Cambodia, TorrentFreak notes. But he also failed to show at a subsequent hearing and has been missing ever since. In the meantime, his sentence and $1.1 million share of the fine were finalized in Sweden's courts.
Svartholm was due to begin serving his jail sentence in January.

Courtesy -

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Best Linux desktop of 2012: Linux Mint 13

Best Linux desktop of 2012: Linux Mint 13
Best Linux desktop of 2012: Linux Mint 13

The very popular Linux distribution, Mint, has a new version Linux Mint 13, Maya, and a new take on the GNOME 3.x desktop interface: Cinnamon 1.4. The result is, in my opinion, the best Linux desktop for experienced users to date.
Not everyone will agree this. They'll find Mint's other default desktop MATE to be much more their speed. MATE is a fork of that old Linux desktop favorite, GNOME 2.x. While I haven't looked at the MATE edition of GNOME closely, other Linux reviewers, like Jim Lynch, have and Lynch likes what he's seen of Mint 13 paired with MATE.
Even with the little work I've done with MATE though I can see what GNOME 2.x fans will like it. It's a very clean desktop and it feels and works like a natural extension of GNOME 2. GNOME fans who abandoned GNOME after the annoying changes in GNOME 3.x for Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE) will want to give Mint with MATE a try. With MATE, GNOME 2.x is back.
That said, I prefer Cinnamon myself. Cinnamon, which is remindful of GNOME 2.x, is built on Clutter and Gnome 3. I find it more attractive and I like its features. For example, the menu includes drag and drop support. With that, besides just being move icons from the menu to the desktop, I can add them to panel launchers, favorites, and reorder my favorites. I can also right-click the menu to use the menu editor to change edit the main menu itself. It's pretty, gives me great control over how my desktop, and now
Another great feature is Cinnamon's new Expo mode is. Expo gives you great control over your workspaces. You can choose how many workspaces to use and drag and drop applications to each workspace. It's a powerful tool but as easy to use as Mac OS X Lion's Mission Control and Spaces.
Much as I'd like to recommend Cinnamon for everyone though, I can't. As Mint's own developers admit that while, "Cinnamon is among the sleekest and most modern looking environments [and] features innovative features and emphasis on productivity with traditional desktop metaphors, it also has several problems. These are:
  • Cinnamon requires 3D acceleration and might not work well for you, depending on your graphics card and/or drivers.
  • Cinnamon is brand new and unfortunately not yet as stable as more matures and established desktops such as MATE, KDE or Xfce.
  • Cinnamon relies on Gnome 3 and Clutter, which are also both brand new and going through rapid transformations.
Of course, you can just switch between MATE and Cinnamon. One of Mint's new features is an improved version of the old Gnome Display Manager: MDM. With MDM, you can pick which GUI to boot into, configure them, set up themes for them, and set up remote, automatic, and timed logins. There may be display/login manager with more features out there, but I honestly don't know what it could be though.
For me, however, Cinnamon works just fine. I tested Mint 13 with Cinnamon on two systems. The first was one of my workhorse Dell Inspiron 530S. This system is powered by a 2.2-GHz Intel Pentium E2200 dual-core processor with an 800-MHz front-side bus. This PC has 4GBs of RAM, a 500GB SATA (Serial ATA) drive, and an Integrated Intel 3100 GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) chip set. I also put it to work on my new Lenovo ThinkPad T520 laptop. This, much more up-to-date computer boasts a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 Processor, 4GBs of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor. On both systems, the old and new, Linux Mint and Cinnamon ran flawlessly.
Installing Mint, as always, is a snap. All you need do is download the Mint ISO, burn it to a CD, DVD, or USB stick and then re-boot your computer with it and follow the instructions. On my PCs, the entire process took less than half-an-hour. Mint will run on pretty much any PC. It requires only 512MBs of RAM, but runs better with at least 1GB of memory.
The only annoying thing about the process is you can't do an in-place update of Mint 13 from Mint 12 or any other Linux distribution. That's by design. Mint's developers feel that you'll avoid out of date software incompatibilities by forcing you to do a fresh install. That's true, but it also means you may need to back up and restore your home directories and files. I did this by backing them up to an attached USB drive.
Moving on to the operating system itself, Mint 13 is based onUbuntu 12.04. I like this version of Ubuntu with its Unity interface as well. In particular I think Ubuntu 12.04 is great for users who aren't computer savvy. But, I'm a Linux pro. I like operating systems that enable me do decide exactly what I want it to do and how it's going to do it. If you're a power user too, then you'll like the taste of Mint.
Beneath the desktop, you'll find a Linux 3.2 kernel. Mint, like most Linux distributions, is still using ext4 for its file system.
Above that foundation, in applications, you'll find the usual Linux distribution goodness: LibreOffice 3.5.2 for office work, Firefox 12 for the Web browser; GIMP 2.6.12 for graphics; Thunderbird 12.01 for e-mail; and Pidgin 2.10.3 for IM. I'm not crazy about the choices of Thunderbird, I much prefer Evolution for e-mail or Firefox over Chrome.
The default software choice is no big deal though since Mint's Software Manager makes adding new programs a snap. The one quirk here is that after you install the program from the Software Manager the screen doesn't show it as being installed. You need to leave the program installation screen and come back to it before you'll see that your software was indeed installed. It's not a big bug, but it's a bit of a nuisance and I can see someone thinking they really hadn't installed a program when they've actually done so.
As has long been the case with Mint, and it's first claim to fame, this is one Linux distribution that comes ready to deal with proprietary video and audio codexes such as Flash, MP3 and DVDs. Ironically, thanks to including VLC Media Player 2.01, Linux Mint plays DVDs better than Windows 8 will. You see, Mint comes ready to play DVDs. In Windows 8, DVD playback is an extra-cost item.
It's not any of these components by themselves that really impress me. I mean they're all really good. But, what really makes Mint special is how all of them are brought together into one, complete whole. As far as I'm concerned, Mint 13 really is the best Linux distribution so far of 2012. Give it a try yourself. 

Download Linux Mint 13 here...

Microsoft allows downgrades from Windows 8 to Windows 7 and Vista

Microsoft allows downgrades from Windows 8 to Windows 7 and Vista
Microsoft allows downgrades from Windows 8 to Windows 7 and Vista

 Microsoft will allow users of Windows 8 Pro to downgrade their new PCs to Windows 7 or even Vista, according to the operating system's licensing agreement.
Not surprisingly, users may not downgrade to the still-used-but-slated-for-retirement Windows XP.
Downgrade rights -- which let customers replace a newer version of Windows with an older edition without paying for two copies -- are available only in Windows 8 Pro. That fits with previous practice: Only Windows 7 Professional, for instance, was allocated downgrade rights.
"Instead of using the Windows 8 Pro software, you may use one of the following earlier versions: Windows 7 Professional or Windows Vista Business," states the software license agreement for the version of Windows 8 Pro that will be installed by computer makers (OEMs) on new PCs.Windows XP Professional, which was one of the allowed downgrades for Windows 7 Professional, was not named. Windows XP will fall off Microsoft's support list in April 2014.
One of the licensing expert noticed XP was AWOL.
"So no downgrade rights to XP. Also note that the soon-to-come Office 2013 will not support XP. So we can see they are trying to strangle the life out of XP," said Kenny Chan, a technology specialist for CDW, in message earlier this month on a LinkedIn thread dedicated to Microsoft licensing professionals.
"What I don't know is how long Microsoft will keep XP available for download on VLSC for volume licensing customers after the debut of Windows 8," Chan added. VLSC (Volume License Service Center) is the online portal for companies that have signed volume licensing agreements with Microsoft.
Unlike consumers or small businesses, corporations armed with enterprise licensing agreements, including the annuity-like Software Assurance, are allowed to downgrade from any version of Windows to any previous edition.
Downgrade rights became noteworthy after Windows Vista's 2007 launch when many users, frustrated at that edition's problems, mutinied and dropped back to XP.
Traditionally, downgrade rights are available only from OEM copies of Windows, those that are pre-installed by computer manufacturers. It looks to be the same with Windows 8: The software license for the retail version of Windows 8 Pro omitted the section on downgrades.
As with earlier downgrade rights, the customer is responsible for obtaining the installation media for the older operating system.
"Neither the manufacturer or installer, nor Microsoft, is obligated to supply earlier versions to you," read the licensing agreement. "You must obtain the earlier version separately."
However, unless Microsoft changes policies, OEMs will be able to offer new Windows 8 Pro PCs that are downgraded to, for example, Windows 7 Professional, at the factory. Computer makers will also be able to continue to sell Windows 7-powered PCs for up to two years after the debut of Windows 8 -- in other words, until late Oct. 2014.
For the latter, customers who later want to upgrade to Windows 8 must pay for the upgrade. That's not the case with a PC purchased with Windows 8 Pro that has been downgraded to Windows 7 Professional (or Vista Business).
"At any time, you may replace an earlier version with Windows 8 Pro," read Microsoft's licensing agreement.
Do-it-yourself downgrades will be more complex with Windows 8, however, as users must first modify the PC's BIOS to boot into what's called "legacy mode." By default, Windows 8 will use UEFI-mode (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) boot on new PCs to enable some new features, including Secure Boot.

HP announces Envy X2 tablet-laptop hybrid with Windows 8

HP announces Envy X2 tablet-laptop hybrid with Windows 8
HP announces Envy X2 tablet-laptop hybrid with Windows 8

Hewlett-Packard on Thursday announced an Envy X2 tablet-laptop hybrid device with the Windows 8 OS, signaling the company's re-entry into the tablet market, which it abandoned after the highly publicized failure of its TouchPad product.
At first glance, the HP Envy X2 resembles a netbook, with a keyboard base and an 11.6-inch touch display. But the device turns into a tablet once the screen is detached from the base.

The benefit of a hybrid device is it offers the best of both worlds for Windows 8, which doubles as a tablet and PC operating system. The tablet is 8.5 millimeters thick and 680 grams, and the display shows images at a 1,366-by-768-pixel resolution.
The Envy X2 runs on Intel's low-power Atom processor code-named Clover Trail. The device will be sold with the keyboard base and 64GB of solid-state drive storage, and the configuration cannot be customized. The device will become available during the latter part of the holiday season this year and will compete with hybrid devices that have been announced by PC makers like Asus, Acer, Lenovo and Samsung. Windows 8 will start shipping commercially on Oct. 26.
Though the device can operate independently as a tablet, HP views it as a laptop first and people have to buy the keyboard base. The dock has an SD card slot, USB ports and a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port. The device has two batteries -- one in the base and the other in the tablet. The device offers more than eight hours of battery life in laptop mode. It has NFC capabilities, a high-definition webcam on the front and an 8.0-megapixel camera on the back. An optional stylus is available.
With this hybrid device, HP re-enters the consumer tablet market after it discontinued sales of webOS devices including the TouchPad. HP has reset its tablet strategy around Windows 8 OS.
HP also announced touchscreen ultrabooks with Windows 8 including the Spectre XT Touchsmart ultrabook, which is the company's first laptop with a Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt is a high-speed interconnect technology developed by Intel to shuttle data between host PCs and external peripherals.
The ultrabook has a 15.6-inch, high-definition touchscreen and a choice of Intel's third-generation Core processor. It is 17.9 millimeters thick and weighs 2.16 kilograms. The laptop also features USB 3.0, Ethernet and HDMI ports.
The laptop will become available in the U.S. in December starting at $1,399. HP did not immediately provide information on worldwide availability.
HP's Envy Touchsmart Ultrabook 4 has a 14-inch touchscreen and a choice of Intel's latest Core processors. The ultrabook weighs 2.16 kilograms and offers up to eight hours of battery life. An optional Advanced Micro Devices graphics card can be added to the ultrabook to boost graphics capabilities. The company did not immediately provide availability and pricing for the product.

Apple targets 8 Samsung phones for sales ban

Apple targets 8 Samsung phones for sales ban

Following last week's court ruling in the trial between it and Samsung, Apple this morning laid out which Samsung devices it wants banned from sale in the U.S.
There are eight in total out of the 28 that were included in the case. Those include:
• Galaxy S 4G (T-Mobile)
• Galaxy S II (AT&T)
• Galaxy S II Skyrocket (AT&T)
• Galaxy S II (T-Mobile)
• Galaxy S II Epic 4G (Sprint)
• Droid Charge (Verizon)
• Galaxy Prevail (Boost Mobile)
• Galaxy S Showcase (C-Spire, Cellular South)

In its filing, Apple outlined the specific patents the devices were found to infringe in the trial, which went on for a month and wrapped up last week. The device with the most infringements is the Galaxy S 4G. It was found to infringe two of Apple's design patents, three utility patents, and two claims of trade dress:
Apple targets 8 Samsung phones for sales ban

All told, the devices in question racked up about $460.8 million worth of the damages, or less than half of the $1.05 billion Apple was awarded by the jury. That number could still go up pending a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the case.Apple says this list is only "to address a portion of the immediate, ongoing irreparable harm that Apple is suffering."
The list in this filing does not include the Galaxy Tab 10.1, a device that the jury found to infringe on three of Apple's utility patents, but not Apple's tablet design patent. Citing those verdict findings in a filing late Sunday, Samsung filed to get a preliminary injunction against the device dissolved. Separately from this filing, Apple said that it still wants the 4G version of the tablet included in bans, saying it was not "colorably different," from the infringing devices.

Ubuntu 11.10

Linux download

  Ubuntu 11.10 with new changes is released with the code name Oneirk Ocelot. New changes are included in the unity interface of this 11.4 build.

Example: Window controllers on the top side are hidden now.Themes are also updated.Beta version of firefox 7 and Thunderbird 7 are included in the Beta version of Ubuntu.