Will The New Tablet From Toshiba Powered By Google Android Be Better Than The Apple iPad?

The war of the tablets is just about to take off as Toshiba has set up its very own Google Powered Android Tablet site. On the site the people at Toshiba fire a shot across the Apple iPad’s bow, and tout how poorly the iPad hardware is compared with what they are prepared to offer. In fact Toshiba also takes the gloves off and says that if you wish to enjoy all of the Web, you need Flash, something Apple has chosen to not to include with its popular iPad models.

But it is the hardware that Toshiba is touting as making its tablet an iPad slayer. The hardware will include rear-facing and front-facing cameras, a replaceable battery, USB, and an HDMI port. You will also get a 10.1″ screen, 1280 x 800-resolution, but with one thing missing. The Toshiba tablet doesn’t have a name.

If you try to access the Web site using an Apple device using ISO you will get this window:

There is just one small, tiny, minuscule issues as well. The new Toshiba Tablet will not be available until this coming spring. By the time it does arrive, I believe the marketplace will be saturated with similar devices. Also, Apple will have its new iPad 2 available, which will set a new standard in tablet computing.

You can take a look at the Toshiba Web site located here.


Comments welcome.

Source – All Things Digital

Only 14,000 CR-48 Notebooks Shipped – More Are On The Way

If you signed up to join the pilot program for the Google Chrome OS, you may still have a chance to get a free notebook computer. It seems that Google is rolling out the computers slowly, with the first shipment of 14,000 completed. It is estimated that a total of 60,000 free computers are to be shipped. Why the slow progress for shipping the Chrome computers?

According to one article it stated that:

One of the major reasons for delay in shipments could be the fact that Google is waiting for feedback of the device already shipped from the users. If Google had shipped all the 60,000 notebooks at one go then it would have become humongous task to deal with bug reports of the device in the small period of time. Delay in shipment avoids this problem to a great extent.

This does make sense. In just three days since receiving my CR-48 computer from Google, I have filed nine bug reports. Nothing major, just a few minor annoyances.

You cannot stream video from Netflix. An error states that the browser is not compatible.

Flash seems to be problematic. I have blocked Flash and it does seem to help in my browsing experience. Some sites seem to work better,

I tried Scribefire, which crashed and locked up the system. I received an error message asking if I wished to terminate the process or wait. I chose to terminate the process, which uninstalls the extension.

On the plus side I was able to install the browser extensions Zemanta and After the Dealing, which work for my blogging site. It also appears that my blogging site is working better than it first was. My blogging site for Lockergnome appears to have sped up some since installing a Flash blocker.

AdBlock works fine, as does the extension WOT [Web of Trust]. I am also using WeatherBug, and that works very well thus far.

Comments welcome.

Source – Chrome Plugins

Will ‘the Kno’ Change A Students Life On Campus?

The folks who are developing ‘the Kno’ are doing so with the student in mind. The devices will be the first dual-screen tablet computer that will be able to surf the Internet, use handwriting recognition software for note taking, an e-reader with page viewing and no scrolling, or use the built-in keyboard to write papers with.

On ‘the Kno’ site they state the following information:

The Tablet

Two dazzling touchscreen panels that you can write on, highlight on, watch video on. And, oh yes… read on.

  • Two large displays. It’s stunningly book-like and can display a complete textbook without scrolling. Opens flat like a book or folds back on itself as a single panel slate.
  • Touchscreens. Navigate two beautiful touchscreens that deliver amazingly natural interactions with textbooks and notes.
  • Pen stylus. Writing is natural, and our stylus is smooth and effortless.
  • Video. Dazzling resolution that was built for video.
  • Multi-tasking. Change learning states instantly. Glide from a textbook to a video, then dash off a note with total fluidity.
  • Mobile. A truly mobile device, with batteries to last a full day on campus.

The Software

We’re serious about your studying. Your textbooks, your course materials, your notes, your web links, your everything.

  • All in one place. A system completely designed for learning: textbooks, professors’ materials, web-based homework systems, everything.
  • Versatile textbooks. Write directly on the page, highlight, add sticky notes, and even display two different parts of the book at once – you’ll need to see it to believe it.
  • Explore. The Internet and the textbook connect like never before. Look up a word, follow a link from a textbook, watch a video, even e-mail a passage with a question to your professor.
  • Write. Revolutionary digital note-taking using natural handwriting or a keyboard. Even drag highlights or graphics from your textbook or the web directly into your notes.
  • Rich media. Experience HD video, audio recording and playback, and even more.
  • Browse the web. Full-featured browser supporting HTML5 and Adobe Flash™.
  • Compact. Carry eight terms’ textbooks, notes, documents and media in a small device.

Most anyone who has attended college remembers carrying all of those heavy books, notebooks, and other school tools we needed each day. Lugging that stuff from one end of the campus to the other was a chore. This is where ‘the kno’ is going to shine. Can you imagine all of your text books, note taking, Internet surfing being done on one device?

Comments welcome.

Source – Kno site

Mozilla Releases An Update For Firefox – Stops Plugin Crashes

Mozilla has released a new update for their popular Firefox browser to version 3.6.4. The folks at Mozilla state that the new release will help stop crashes caused by third party plugins. Over on their blog site Mozilla folks stated:

Mozilla recognizes that third-party plugins provide important functionality in many of today’s websites. At the same time, plugins can lead to problems for users as they browse. With the ability to automatically alert users when they have out of date plugins, and now crash protection, Firefox 3.6.4 allows users to experience all the content they love without any of the hassles.

At this time Firefox offers crash protection for Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Silverlight on Windows and Linux computers. Support for other plugins and operating systems will become available in a future Firefox release.

To get the updates go to Help – Check For Updates.

I would recommend you get the update ASAP.

Comments welcome.

Source – Mozilla Blog

Adobe Warns Of Flash Exploit – Maybe Steve Jobs Is Right

Adobe is warning users of not only their Flash player, but also of their other products, that hackers have once again exploited their software. In a security advisory the software company warned that Adobe Reader and Acrobat are both vulnerable as well. On their web site Adobe also stated that they believed that Adobe Flash Player 10.1 release candidate #7 did not appear to be vulnerable. Adobe also stated that this exploit included their software for Windows, Linux, Solaris and Macintosh for some of their versions.

Adobe also states that:

Adobe Flash Player
The Flash Player 10.1 Release Candidate available at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/ does not appear to be vulnerable.

Adobe Reader and Acrobat
Deleting, renaming, or removing access to the authplay.dll file that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x mitigates the threat for those products, but users will experience a non-exploitable crash or error message when opening a PDF file that contains SWF content.

The authplay.dll that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for Windows is typically located at C:Program FilesAdobeReader 9.0Readerauthplay.dll for Adobe Reader or C:Program FilesAdobeAcrobat 9.0Acrobatauthplay.dll for Acrobat.

Severity rating

Adobe categorizes this as a critical issue.

I believe this is a good time to dump Adobe reader for another product. I chose Foxit for myself.

Comments welcome.

Source – Adobe

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Second IE9 Platform Preview, Developer Edition, Available – Give It A Try

Microsoft is making available the second platform preview of its new Internet Explorer 9 edition for developers. But if you want to see what Microsoft has in store for us with its latest edition of IE, you can take the preview for a spin to see what you think. Microsoft states that this new edition will improve performance and  have better support for standards and improved hardware acceleration of HTML5. You may be aware that both Apple and Microsoft no longer wish to support Flash from Adobe.

In addition, on its IE9 blog site, Microsoft states:

With the second Platform Preview we continue to improve IE9’s performance and maintain our focus on real-world sites and hardware acceleration. We examined the patterns in use across many websites and frameworks to identify which changes in the browser make actual sites faster.

You’ll notice that the performance difference between IE9 and other browsers on this benchmark is in the range of an eye-blink. As we continue to make IE9’s script engine faster for real world sites, IE will continue to become faster at this particular benchmark as well. To date we’ve done very little specific tuning for Webkit Sunspider. As with most benchmarks, depending on your machine, the differences may vary.

Performance and speed is now the name of the game as Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla compete in the speed arena. Each are claiming, week by week, that one or the other is now the fastest browser on the block.

You can download a copy of IE9 2nd preview from here.


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Microsoft Sides With Apple, Says The Future Of The Web Is HTML5 – Bye, Bye Flash

In what some are calling an unusual move, Microsoft is siding with Apple stating the HTML5 is the future of the Web. Microsoft has also indicated that it is deeply involved with the W3C in the process of setting standards. Microsoft goes on to state that it supports H.264, which IE9 will use for video playback.

On its blog, the company also states:

Adobe Flash
Image via Wikipedia

Other codecs often come up in these discussions. The distinction between the availability of source code and the ownership of the intellectual property in that available source code is critical. Today, intellectual property rights for H.264 are broadly available through a well-defined program managed by MPEG LA.   The rights to other codecs are often less clear, as has been described in the press.  Of course, developers can rely on the H.264 codec and hardware acceleration support of the underlying operating system, like Windows 7, without paying any additional royalty.

Today, video on the web is predominantly Flash-based. While video may be available in other formats, the ease of accessing video using just a browser on a particular website without using Flash is a challenge for typical consumers. Flash does have some issues, particularly around reliability, security, and performance. We work closely with engineers at Adobe, sharing information about the issues we know of in ongoing technical discussions. Despite these issues, Flash remains an important part of delivering a good consumer experience on today’s web.

This seems like a nice way of saying that Adobe because of reliability, security, and performance issues is going the way of the dodo. IMHO.

What do you think? With Microsoft and Apple being down on Flash, or so it seems, will Flash be going away?

Comments welcome.

Microsoft blog entry

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A 2nd Look At The Apple iPad And Why I’ll Be Waiting Before Buying

For about 3 months I have been considering a 2nd computer to supplement my main laptop computer. My current laptop is a 17″  Toshiba with a full size keyboard that I enjoy using at home. The inconvenience comes when I travel, especially when flying, and having to lug this big boy through the airport. At about 8 lbs. with charger and accessories, walking through the Chicago airport a few weeks ago trying to catch a flight, left my shoulder aching and my hand sore from carrying this and other items in my carry-on bag. As I have previously mentioned, I had looked at the Apple iPad as a possible solution as well as several netbooks.

So yesterday afternoon I went back to Best Buy for another look at the iPad. Here are some of the things that I found and my reasons for not buying one at this time.

Price: I know Apple makes a great product and the iPad is no exception. The quality of the product is evident by just looking at the device. But that is where it stops. The pricing of the unit is expensive for what you get, or in my case, for what you don’t get. I would want Wi-Fi 3G access and the cheapest iPad starts at $629 with this feature included.

No Flash: I am not sure why, nor do I care why Flash is not supported, but I want a device that has Flash.

Multi-Tasking: This reminds me of the days before Win 95 when we could do only one thing at a time. This is totally archaic IMHO.

Competition: It should be interesting to see what others are going to introduce to compete against the iPad. I am especially interested in what Google Chrome will offer.

With this in mind, I am going to wait before buying anything, until all of the new devices hit the street this year. I also believe that the 2nd generation iPad will be better than the originally and most likely less expensive.

Comments welcome.

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Who Is Going To Be The First To Buy Facebook? Could It Be Microsoft?

Mark Cuban is making an assumption that Microsoft could be in a position to buy Facebook and take advantage of what Facebook is offering net-citizens. It is his opinion that Facebook has become the Internet and poses a real problem for both Apple and Google. But what Facebook doesn’t have is a lot of cash to throw around, which is something Microsoft could help with. If Facebook could come out with its own mobile operating system like Google, Apple, and Microsoft have done, it could control its own destiny. Mobile phone companies who choose to use the Facebook mobile operating system would skyrocket to the top, pushing all other phones to the side.

Mark Cuban also states that:

It wont be long, if it hasn’t already happened, that Google and Apple will see Facebook as a unique threat to their future.  Apple has some level of connection to its customer/users, Google has minimal if any connection to its users. Facebook knows more than all of us like to admit about its users. It has our personal information, our pictures, our friends, our family members, our employers, and business associates all in a database and it is extending that information base to what we like on sites outside the Facebook platform.  Plus it is creating its own currency. Just as important is the fact that we are progressively spending more time on Facebook than we are sites and applications that Apple and Google can control .  That is a threat to Apple and Google.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the concept of Apple excluding Flash from its mobile platform would have been laughable. It’s not any longer. Both Apple and Google have to see Facebook as the greatest threat to their futures. The question is what do they do about it and how does Facebook respond?

Enter Microsoft. Already a shareholder.  Already with a mobile and desktop operating system /development platform. Most important, already with billions in cash and the capacity to pay 15 or 20 Billion dollars or more to acquire Facebook.

There is no doubt that this is NOT the direction that Facebook wants to go. It wants to remain independent. But just as Apple and Google quickly turned from friends to foes, Facebook will soon be the object that both of those companies see in the rearview mirror.  I don’t see either Apple or Google as being suitors to buy Facebook. That isn’t their style. On the other hand, it’s straight out of the Microsoft playbook. If you can’t beat them or outlast them, buy them.

Time will tell, but there is no question that Facebook is quickly becoming the biggest threat to the futures of Apple and Google.

But is this a realistic scenario?  I believe it is. Like Mr. Cuban says, this would be the ideal time for Microsoft to make a move and put both rivals Apple and Google in their place. The Redmond giant has been struggling against both companies and what better way to take the lead but to buy Facebook and move ahead at warp speed?

It could call the new company Micro-book.

Or are those who are saying that Facebook is the new Internet full of beans?  You decide. Share your thoughts.

Comments welcome.


Avoiding Adobe Flash Player Scams

Q: Some of the sites I visit ask for Adobe Flash Player in order to run any videos etc. I have gone to the link as well as Adobe and downloaded the player, but it doesn’t seem to be found by the Web sites when I try to run a video. What am I doing wrong? — Kathy

What you likely have done wrong is fall for one of the most common ploys by hackers these days to infect your computer with a worm.

Some time ago, we started seeing various ploys tricking people into installing malicious software into their computer under the auspices of needing an updated Adobe Flash player.

These clever ‘social engineering’ scams generally use salacious or provocative headlines in e-mails, on Web sites, through social media sites or instant messages to get folks to click on the links.

Often times, especially in the case of the ‘KoobFace’ worm commonly via social media sites, the message will suggest that the subject of the video is you, so that you are highly interested in viewing it. (ex: I can’t believe they caught you on camera doing this!)

If they can get you overly concerned about seeing the video, then you’ll likely be too distracted to realize that it’s a scam.

For instance, if you were to look closely at a video that claims to be on Facebook or YouTube, generally speaking you will see a slightly stretched logo or a funny Web address.

The message that tries to hook you will often have misspellings or bad grammar or even broken English.

To make things look more realistic, they generally steal the official Adobe Flash button from the Adobe Web site, so it looks legit when you are told you need the new version of the Flash Player. And if you assume that it must be coming from Adobe since it is their button, they once again got you to let your guard down.

The problem is most folks are so worried about what’s on the video that they blow right past the obvious ‘red flags’ that this may not be legit.

The fact that you go through the download and still can’t see the video is a further indication that you have probably been had.

These infections are called worms, because once they make their way into your computer, they can ‘worm’ through the Internet without any help from humans.

Once you’ve been tricked, the possibilities for what they can or have been doing with your system are endless.

We have seen everything from key loggers to spam engines to botnet agents installed as a result of these scams and none of them are benign.

Make sure you have a technically savvy person examine and clean your system, especially if you use this computer for online banking or other highly sensitive tasks. (If so, immediately change your pass codes from a different computer that you know is clean as a precaution against ID theft.)

In the future, if any site tells you that you need an updated program for ANYTHING, don’t take the sites word for it and don’t accept the sites offerings unless you absolutely trust the source. Remember, creating fake YouTube, Facebook or CNN pages is very easy, so don’t let your eyes fool you!

Instead, manually go to the site for downloading your updates (in this case, you should have gone to Adobe.com to download the latest Flash Player yourself) so you know exactly what is being installed.

If, after you manually update your player, the same site still says you need an update, you’ll know that it’s a scam.

Ken Colburn
Data Doctors Computer Services
Data Doctors Data Recovery Labs
Data Doctors Franchise Systems, Inc.
Weekly video tech contributor to CNN.com
Host of the award-winning “Computer Corner” radio show

Awesome New Web Service: Acrobat Presentations

Gnomie Travis (aka Travicemo in our chat room) writes:

Hey, Chris! Just thought I would pass this cool new Web service along to you since you always do videos on things like this; I thought you might like it. Called Acrobat Presentations, it is a brand new service that has just been released by Adobe Labs. I was playing around with it a little on my own and it is pretty awesome. I can see this being very handy for students or people in business.

It is similar to PowerPoint but it lets you make professional presentations completely online. It is all done completely online: all the tools you need are included in the service — such as templates, graphics tools, and everything else you want in a presentation. Another thing I found really cool about the service is that it lets multiple people work on a presentation all at once and lets you know everything happening with it. It runs off of Adobe’s Flash technology (in case you were wondering).

Once you have the presentation done you can access from anywhere with a computer and Internet access or you can export the file as a PDF and take it anywhere you want to go.

Just thought you might like to take a look at it since you are always asking the community to pass along any cool Web services that we find; here is the link to the Web site.

3G Chromakey


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