Does Apple’s iOS Set the Standard for Future Operating Systems?

Does Apple's iOS Set the Standard for Future Operating Systems?For the past few decades, the discussion of whether a PC or Mac is a better computer has dominated the geekosphere. The argument was always met with rather outrageous allegations from the Windows and OS X fanboys, with little regard for facts. Times have changed and now we are entering into a new era in which alternative operating systems are beginning to spring up all over. Apple started the craze when it introduced its highly popular iOS, which supports many of its electronic devices. iOS has shown to be a capable OS, using applications to add value to the Apple devices iOS supports.

Google has been working on its own OS for the past several years. In developing the Android OS, Google has demonstrated that it can effectively compete in the smart phone market and tablet marketplace. In addition, Google has its Chrome OS, which is, in essence, a browser that supports cloud computing. On June 15th, Google will launch its new OS on Samsung and Acer notebooks.

HP is in the process of introducing its webOS, which the company states it may also license to others. The original plan from HP had included a dual boot system along with Windows. It is unknown if HP will just go full blast using its webOS on just tablets, or if it may also use it as a standalone on desktop and laptop systems.

The one company that is missing anything new is Microsoft. Though the company has recently announced all of the wonderful improvements that Windows 8 will introduce, it is hard to believe that the company will be able to catch up to Apple, Google, or HP in the tablet and smart phone market place.

The benefit of having Apple, Google, HP, and Microsoft compete against each other is that we consumers will benefit. Our options will not be limited by Windows and we will be able to select other operating systems that appear to be very capable in meeting most of our needs.

I never thought I would say this, but the Apple iOS beats anything currently out there. Its fluid function and ease of use is amazing. Apple has set the bar high and everyone else who provides an alternative OS, including Microsoft, will need to meet this standard.

Comments welcome.

Thieves Can’t Hide Your Mac when You Use ‘Hidden’ Software Protection

Picture this scenario: Someone walks off with your prized MacBook Pro while you are distracted or away from home. You report the theft to the police, who take a report. Hopefully you have insurance to cover your computer loss. Theft of laptop computers at airports number over 600,000 a year. The odds of you getting back your precious computer and the data on it are slim to none. Until now.

MacBook Pro users have a new software called ‘Hidden’ that can help you recover your laptop using identification which includes the following:

1. Hidden software can take pictures of the thief and their surroundings to make locating them easier.

2. Hidden software can take screen shots of what the thief is doing on your system.

3. Hidden software, once activated by the owner, will locate where your laptop is within a few yards of the location where the computer is being used.

What makes the Hidden software even more sneaky is that the thief won’t even know they are being tracked down. The information Hidden records is sent to you for viewing remotely. The police can isolate the location where your laptop is located and catch the crooks right where they are hiding.

Pricing for Hidden is as follows:

1 computer is $15 a year
5 computers is $45 a year
20 computers for $125 a year
100 computers for $395 a year.

On its Web site’s FAQ section, the techies at Hidden software state that installing and uninstalling the software is easy. They also state that thieves cannot uninstall the Hidden software without the administrative password. In addition, the folks at Hidden software state that they will assist you and the police in locating your laptop computer from anywhere in the world.

Unfortunately, the Hidden software works only on Mac computers, like MacBook and MacBook Pro hardware. There is no version for Windows nor for Linux laptop computers. Download Hidden for your Mac.

Comments welcome.

WWDC Rumor Mill Update: Tomorrow’s the Big Day!

Apple fans, the moment you have been waiting for is almost here. WWDC, the event responsible for the unveiling of such technology as the original iPhone (and every iPhone since then), Mac OS X Leopard, iOS 4, and more is finally upon us. Steve Jobs will hit the stage at 10 AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern time tomorrow, and from what it sounds like he has a plethora of new goodies for everyone. We covered the announcement of what was going to be talked about in the keynote, but since then more and more juicy rumors have been floating around with more specifics. Here’s what we’ve seen in the days leading up to the event:

1. iCloud Service Specifics

We know iCloud is going to be announced. We have seen the logo / icon (left), but what we don’t know exactly is what iCloud will entail. It’s almost certainly a cloud music streaming service, but it might be more than that and encompass online backups and more, perhaps working together with updated Time Capsules to provide you with a local AND a remote backup of your important documents, which is of course what any backup expert would recommend.

As for the music service, the rumor is that it will cost $25 a year after a free trial, and at least for now, will only stream music you’ve already bought from iTunes. While this might seem like an annoying restriction, it was probably the only way Apple could get the big labels on board, and once it takes off there might be some more negotiating room for Apple to allow your personal non-iTunes music collection to be streamed in the future.

2. New iOS 5 Features

It’s almost a given that iOS 5 will have a new notification system and perhaps a feature similar to Dashboard widgets on Mac OS. Another juicy rumor that has been circulating based on some language that might have been added to iTunes a little prematurely is automatic app updates.

A tipster noticed that some interesting language has been added to iTunes in the last couple of days:

If your device has Automatic Download enabled for apps, your updates will download to your device without having to sync.

What we could be seeing here is a new iOS 5 feature: automatic app updates. No more going to the App Store and updating manually; you’ll be able to set an app to auto-update and always be on the newest version without having to do anything. This could also foreshadow OTA untethered iOS updates as well, but there’s no official information about those at this time.

There are a  few videos out of people with ideas / concepts of what iOS 5 could look like, here’s one from TiPb and one with a little humor added from YouTuber iOS Magic. I guess the iPad really is magic!

The other rumor that seems pretty likely to come true is deep Twitter integration. Twitter is launching a photo-sharing service for its users, and it’s likely that iOS 5 will have Twitter photo sharing baked into the OS. Take a pretty picture? It’s now only a few taps away from your Twitter feed, much easier than having to copy and paste the photo into your Twitter app like you have to do now. We don’t know if there will be any other Twitter features in iOS (Android’s Twitter integration with contacts is very nice), but it’s awesome that Apple will be taking steps to make photo sharing on iOS easier.

3. OS X Lion

Mac OS 10.7 Lion is the one area of WWDC that we aren’t seeing tons of rumors about. Maybe its because there are already developer previews of the OS floating around the Web, but I am sure that Apple has some new features up its sleeves that it will impress us with tomorrow at the conference. After all, it already had a press conference announcing and revealing the Lion that we have now, so why would the company dedicate more time to it unless it’s to wow us with some new features? Hold your breaths on this one, but in my opinion I don’t think we have seen all that Lion has to offer.

See you tomorrow for the keynote, everyone! If you’re interested in following along, you can check out liveblogs from Gizmodo, Engadget, Ars Technica, MacRumors, and many, many others. No word if Apple is going to be live streaming this event, but if it does, it will be here.

Acer Iconia Tablet is for Price Conscious Consumers

I recently wrote about how companies serious about entering into the crowded tablet market would need to compete against Apple by offering a less expensive alternative to the iPad. Acer, which is the number two computer company in the world (behind HP) has been offering less expensive alternatives in the laptop, netbook, and desktop computer market. When I see a company that can offer a full featured laptop computer in the sub-$400 price range, I had a feeling that Acer would be the first with a full featured tablet priced below an Apple iPad 2.

The Acer Iconia tablet computer is feature rich and includes the following:

NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor features a 1.0GHz processing speed, 1 GB DDR2 memory, 10.1″ WXGA high-definition touch-screen display 1280 x 800 resolution, 16 GB eMMC on-board memory, NVIDIA GeForce graphics with micro-HDMI output for connection to an HDTV, built-in 2.0MP webcam rear-facing 5.0 MP camera, digital media card reader supports microSD up to 32 GB, high-speed USB 2.0 port, built-in 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, weighs only 1.7 lbs. and measures just 0.5″ thin, extended battery life up to eight hours, Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system

The specifications are impressive and priced at $449 at Best Buy. Acer seems to have a tablet that may just be able to compete against the Apple iPad — or can it? On Monday morning I took a ride up to our local Best Buy for a look-see at the Acer Iconia.

The unit is slightly heavier than an Apple iPad 2. Starting up the system is quick and is comparable with the Apple iPad 2. The Iconia worked great when I went to take a picture. All of a sudden the system froze and was unresponsive and forced a hard boot. To be fair, this was a demo model and had been handled by many customers. One can conclude that someone may have changed a setting or two, which could be the culprit for the freeze.

I found the Android Honeycomb operating system very responsive without any lag or slowdown. In fact I used the Acer Iconia on and off for about an hour without any issues. Google Android OS is comparable to the Apple iOS and works well. In fact, I believe Acer has a product that could be an alternative to the Apple iPad 2, since it is priced at $50 less.

My opinion is that the Acer Iconia is a viable alternative to the Apple iPad 2 and is currently priced lower.

Comments welcome.

Mac Defender Malware – What Any Windows User Already Knows

I am not going to make light of the current Mac Defender malware that seems to have attacked Mac users this past week. The fact is that Windows users have become experts in using and protecting our systems from this type of garbage that is deliberately thrust at us. We have learned over the years how to surf the Internet safely and avoid falling victim to malware in which the user must click on something for the infection to activate itself.

Apple has provided a link to its current strategy to remove the Mac Defender malware and also to keep from becoming infected again. The link below will take you to the Apple site with specific instructions on how to get your system functioning properly once again. My purpose of writing this article is to help you understand how to further protect yourself and not become a victim in the future.

I do not consider myself lucky, nor do I consider myself smart in not having a virus attack on any of my Windows computer systems. After almost 20 years of using a dozen or more PCs, I have never suffered any type of bug. Why is that? Why is it that I have never been infected while others seem to be bug magnets?

The first thing you must deal with is the lie. I have heard ‘I didn’t do anything but…’ so many times that I have just begun to accept this as the denial stage of getting to the problem. The next step is the acceptance stage when the computer user acknowledges the fact that they did do something. They were surfing on sites that are notorious for infecting systems or they finally state they did get a message that they did allow the installation of malware onto their systems.

This seems to be what has happened to those who have become infected with the Mac Defender malware. The user received a message that their system was infected and they were duped into allowing this rogue software to be downloaded and installed to their computers. One should never fall for this gimmick and should never allow this type of download to be executed.

Apple explains this in detail on its Web site and also provides instructions on how to remove the malware from a Mac system. Follow the instructions that Apple provides and move on with the knowledge that Mac systems are not 100% immune from infections. You should also surf safely and avoid porn sites that are notorious for distributing infections of all types.

Never fall for the ‘your system is infected’ scam that has claimed millions of victims.

Apple Mac Defender malware removal instructions are here.

If You Can’t Beat the Apple iPad on Features, Beat the Price

Apple has always priced its products higher than the competition. Apple’s iPad is no exception. Priced from $499 up to $829, the iPad can be called anything but inexpensive. If you look at the history of Apple computers, the main drawback to all of its products has always been price. This is why the PC running Windows soared in popularity. It is not because a PC is better; it is because it has always been good enough at a lower price.

The Apple iPad currently sets the standard when it comes to tablet computers. While other companies are trying to play catch-up, there is one area they are missing. The Android powered units, as an example, are priced the same as what Apple offers in its selection of iPads. In some cases the pricing is even higher.

The Motorola Xoom has superior features compared to the Apple iPad. Yet pricing is the same as a comparable iPad. If Motorola dropped the price by $100, I believe sales would skyrocket. But at $599, most consumers will purchase the iPad, since the Apple tablet offers more applications than what Google currently offers for its Android OS.

Some companies that are producing tablets have tied their products to companies that require two year contracts, which makes it appear that their tablet costs less. This of course is nonsense and most of us have been the victim of such shenanigans from cell phone carriers before. I will not purchase any device, no matter who makes it, when the device is tied to any type of contractual agreement, no matter how attractive the price of the device is.

Until tablet manufacturers achieve a price point below what Apple is charging for its iPad, I seriously doubt that Apple has anything to worry about. Gartner’s prediction of Apple selling 70 million iPads this year could become a reality, unless companies such as HTC, LG, Motorola, RIM, Samsung, HP and others cut their prices.

Comments welcome.

PC Sales Declining as the Apple iPad Gains Traction

Apple has sold about 20 million iPad and iPad 2 tablet computers since the tablet’s introduction in April, 2010. Now some analysts are predicting that in 2011, Apple could sell a projected 70 million units. In addition, it is also being predicted that in the next three years, Apple has the potential to sell another quarter million of its very popular tablet computer.

I recently wrote that Bill Gates stated that tablets and smart phones are nothing more than extensions of the PC. Many in the technology field have dubbed the Apple iPad phenomenon as the TC [tablet computer] revolution. Though other companies are attempting to enter into the tablet computer marketplace, Apple appears to be in the lead and continues to pull ahead of the pack.

Hewlett Packard, which is a major player in selling PCs reported a first quarter sales dip of 23% for personal computers. Dell has reported a 7.5% drop in PC sales. I would venture a guess that all PC companies have also seen a dip in sales of the personal computer.

There are three reasons why the Apple iPad will continue to rule while PC sales plunge:

Easy: The Apple iPad is easy to use. Screen actions are fluid without any lag. The little computer is light enough to carry everywhere without breaking your shoulder.

Efficient: It does everything most people need to do such as surfing the Internet, staying in contact with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and checking email.

Fun: It’s fun to use. Apple has more applications for its device than any other company. Games are extremely popular for all Apple device users with games being the most popular downloads.

Last week the folks at Gartner tried to downplay the success of the Apple iPad, citing that less than 5% of the world owned a tablet device. I believe that the number of tablet computers would be higher if Apple were able to meet the demand. Unfortunately, the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan curtailed manufacturing of iPad parts for a period of time. Many people who are potential iPad purchasers are waiting in line, still trying to get their hands on the Apple iPad.

If the forecasts prove true, the first victim of the tablet revolution could be the home computer system. It should also be interesting to see how the new Chromebooks affect PC sales. 2011 could be the year many users break their reliance on Windows and choose an alternative operating system for the first time.

Comments welcome.

Apple Customer Care Checks the Pulse Of Apple Customers

Apple sent my wife an email invitation to join its Apple Customer Care program. The program is designed to assess a customer’s reaction to their purchase of an Apple product. In my wife’s case the Apple product she owns is her Apple iPad, which is the first Apple product we have purchased. We have always been a family of PC users, but the iPad I purchased for her as a gift has been a source of delight for her.

The survey, which took her about five minutes to complete, is not the only survey she will be receiving. Apple has asked if she would be willing to receive additional surveys in the future, which she gladly accepted. Apple seems to be concerned with both how its customers use its products and how satisfied the customer is.

Though this type of customer service survey is not new, it is refreshing to know that Apple, even when riding a crest of popularity, still cares what its customers think. My wife had nothing but praises for her iPad but added that iTunes was not very usable in her opinion. She has found it easier to Google for a specific application than to try and find it on iTunes.

According to a recent Nielson survey, Apple commands an 84% market share in the tablet computer market. This impressive lead can be maintained if Apple continues to be innovative in its product design and function. Using customer surveys is a great way for the company to check the pulse of its customers and find out what they like and dislike about their products.

What makes the Apple iPad so popular? It is intuitive and easy to use. I am currently using Google’s Cr-48 to type this in the cloud at Google Docs. While the Cr-48 works best for me, the Apple iPad is just fun to use.

Comments welcome.

Can you Compare the $138 Coby Kyros To Apple’s iPad at $499?

Trying to compare a $138 Coby Kyros tablet to a $499 Apple iPad is like trying to compare a Mercedes Benz to a Toyota Corolla. With that being said, both the Mercedes Benz and Toyota Corolla provide a similar function in that both transport people to another location. The difference in the vehicles is that one, the Mercedes, offers a higher quality of comfort and ride which distinguishes itself over other motor vehicles. However, the Toyota Corolla is a well built, reliable vehicle that will get you where you want to go.

When I first saw the Coby Kyros model MID7015, a 7-Inch Android tablet, in the hands of an acquaintance of mine, I tried to control a chuckle under my breath. Less than a month ago I was asked for my opinion concerning this tablet. I did not think that paying $138 for any tablet was a smart move. In fact, I may have mentioned I thought the Coby Kyros was a waste of money somewhere in the conversation.

I asked my friend how she was enjoying her new toy. She told me she liked it a lot. She said it did for her everything she basically needed and that she was pleased with her decision to buy the device. She asked me if I would like to take the device for a few days to see what I thought. I agreed to try out the Coby Kyros.

I had the unit for three days to test out and I have to admit, the Kyros MID7015 is not bad for the price. If you are not familiar with the Coby brand, it builds inexpensive electronic consumer devices. This tablet uses what is called a ‘resistive screen,’ which differs from the capacitive screens Apple uses in iPad and iPhone devices. Resistive touch screens often need users to employ a fingernail or a stylus to function properly.

The Coby comes with these specifications, according to the company:

  • Large 7-inch Android 2.1 resistive touch screen
  • microSD card slot (upgrade up to 16GB)
  • Built-in 4GB internal memory
  • Connect and enjoy full 1080p on your HDTV via an HDMI cable
  • Full-size USB connection enables keyboard of your tablet

Once you get the hang of the way the Kyros functions, I have to agree that this pint-sized tablet is not bad. In fact I started to enjoy using it by day two and by day three actually felt like keeping it. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised at just how well this 7-inch tablet worked.

I did try an interesting experiment. The Coby tablet has an HDMI outlet. I connected the device to my plasma TV and streamed a movie from Netflix. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the video. It looked just as good as what my Roku device delivers.

For $138 from Amazon, I must admit that this tablet is a good buy.

Who Controls The Technology Marketplace? We Consumers Do!

Billions of dollars are being spent every year in the hopes of convincing the U.S. consumer to purchase a variety of different technology products. In the end it is we consumers who decide which products will come out on top and which will end up in the trash heap. Just like in the movie ‘Field of Dreams,’ people will come if one builds it. But the build, per se, must be something that we consumers want and not just meaningless marketing hype.

Case in point is the recent overwhelming success of Apple and its fine line of products. I am the first to admit that I never considered buying any Apple products because I personally believed they were overpriced and not worth the cost of learning something new. I considered myself a Windows man and thought I would go to my grave with the Microsoft logo buried in my brain.

On a whim, I bought an Apple iPad and the experience has been nothing more than fantastic. Even as other companies have entered into the tablet market place, one thing has become very clear. Consumers prefer their Apple iPad over any other tablet. Apple will continue to remain the dominant force throughout 2011.

In the cell phone arena it is Google and its Android operating system taking the lead. Consumers have chosen Android phones as their preferred devices. In short order, Android phones shot to the top of the charts. We consumers chose Android as our favorite and no amount of hype is going to change that.

On the desktop, Windows continues to reign as king of the hill, which is surprising since anyone can choose a free operating system using Linux. Yet consumers still continue to buy Windows machines, as do the majority of businesses and governmental agencies. I have said it before and I will say it again: consumers make the decision of what operating system they prefer and little is going to change in the foreseeable future.

But here is where things get interesting. We have Apple, Google, and Microsoft trying to cross platform their operating systems to all devices. Yet consumers are saying no to this idea. While Google and Microsoft will try their OSes on tablets, consumers will want Apple iPads instead. While Apple and Microsoft will try their luck with cell phones, Google Android will be the consumer’s choice and Microsoft alone will reign in the desktop and laptop market.

Whose is going to make all of these decisions? You and I will.

Can you feel the power?

5 Must Have Free Apps For Your Apple iPad

We got our Apple iPad about 6 weeks ago, so the newness hasn’t worn off as of yet. The more my wife and I explore the applications available for this device, the more we are impressed. Here are five free apps we have found that are fun and enjoyable to use.

The Amazon Kindle free app for the Apple iPad is one of the best apps on the market for those of us who are avid readers. Amazon offers a huge selection of free and paid e-books on the Internet. Though the Amazon Kindle is a great e-book reader, I believe that the Apple iPad does an equally good job, except for the glare factor. The iPad does have a glare from the screen when viewing an e-book, but a slight tilt of the iPad usually cures this quickly.

Even though we have a book case full of cookbooks and printed recipes stacked up under one kitchen counter, my wife still struggles with finding the perfect recipe for the perfect meal. Epicurious has solved this problem by providing thousands of tested recipes right at her fingertips. Using the free Epicurious app for her iPad she is able to save and even email recipes to other family members. This app is a must have for those who enjoy cooking or who, like myself, enjoy trying and eating new cuisine.

Netflix offers a free app for your iPad for those of us who are Netflix members. You can stream your favorite flicks right to your device and use it as a mini-TV. When the iPad is not being used for viewing recipes, it now doubles as an entertainment device.

I use Dragon Naturally Speaking on my work computer and it works fairly well. It does make mistakes and I need to correct some misspelled words on occasion. But the free edition of Dragon Dictation actually works very well on the iPad. When sending email messages and for short notes, Dragon Dictation is definitely worth trying for yourself. Just remember that all voice recognition programs still have issues so do not expect perfection.

Flipboard is a free app that allows any Apple iPad user to obtain all of their favorite news and information in a fun and easy to read format. Flipboard provides access to your Twitter, Facebook and RS feeds in one simple and convenient location in what looks like a magazine. I used the app last evening and this afternoon and I can only give this app a one word description and that is fantastic.

The more I use the Apple iPad with apps such as these, the more I can see an Apple iPad in my future.

Can Your Apple iPad Replace Your Laptop Computer?

Six weeks ago I bought my wife an first generation Apple iPad refurbished 16GB Wi-Fi only model from the Apple Store. The unit was priced at $349.99 with free Fed-Ex shipping. My wife loves her iPad. Apple still has these units available for the same price, which includes a new case, new battery, manual, and charger unit. In addition these refurbished iPads also come with a full one year warranty.

Last year I bought my wife a new Toshiba laptop for her personal use. She basically uses a computer for checking her email, surfing the Internet, staying in contact with family and friends on Facebook, plus she enjoys playing games. Her favorite games are Mahjong and solitaire card games.

As an experiment I wanted to see if I could get my wife’s Apple iPad to replace her laptop, becming her only mobile computer. For this to work, the iPad needed to perform all of the basic functions of her laptop. I started looking for free gaming apps that would keep my wife content and happy. This was actually a very easy process. I located and installed 8 free games on her iPad.

My wife had been receiving her email from our ISP via her laptop system. I wanted her to have a Gmail account for her primary account instead of the ISP email. I personally like Gmail and have been using the free account for several years. I enjoy the fact the Google has a fairly good spam catcher and if a spam message does slip through the cracks, I can go back into my Gmail account and tag the offending message as spam. After I setup a new Gmail account for her I setup up Mail on the iPad to use the new account. She sent out an email from our ISP account to all of her contacts stating she had a new email address. I later imported all of her contacts from Outlook over to Mail on the iPad.

We had previously sent up Facebook in the iPad Safari browser and she also had bookmarked her favorite sites. I bookmarked Google Docs for her just in case she needed to create a document. We both rarely, if ever, use our Microsoft Office software any longer.

Is replacing a laptop with an iPad something anyone can do? I don’t believe the iPad is the solution for everyone. I know in my own situation this would not work very well for me. In my wife’s case, she has found this change over from a laptop computer to an iPad uneventful. It just works for her.

Comments welcome.

Microsoft ‘Windows 7 Has Sold More Than 350 Million Licenses’

Because I am an MVP [Microsoft Valuable Professional], some may consider my opinion nothing more than parroting the thoughts of Microsoft as a company. One of the things that I enjoy about being an MVP is the fact that not once has Microsoft told me what to write nor suggested I cease writing about a specific subject, even when that subject line may be critical to Microsoft and their products. With this in mind I would like to express my opinion about a blog article by Brandon LeBlanc, a Microsoft employee, in which it states in the article that ‘Windows 7 has sold more than 350 million licenses’, and that this has occurred during the past 18 months.

During the past 18 months I have tried different operating systems on my test computer including a variety of Linux versions. I even tried Mint 10 on my personal work laptop and just about had myself convinced that I could make the switch away from Windows and that Linux could serve my needs. Last December I received a beta laptop from Google known as the Cr-48 which uses the Chrome operating system, again hoping that this notebook could ween me away from Windows.

So why would I want to dump Windows for another operating system? I had to ask myself this question and I can honestly say I haven’t a clue. Each time I have tried walking away, I have returned to my Windows system with open arms. The reason is that Windows is what I am familiar with, has the programs I need and I enjoy using Windows 7. Windows 7 has something that no other operating system has. It can handle office suites, business software with ease and also can handle gaming. Linux, Mac and Chrome can not even compete with Windows on this multi-faceted level. Windows is like the swiss army knife of all operating systems.

I think what we are going to see is a separation of operating systems for specific devices. Apple and Android will continue to dominate the tablet market because both of these operating systems are lite in resource usage and work perfectly on small devices. The Apple Mac remains a niche product for those who want a system meeting their specific needs. Windows will continue to dominate for decades to come because it is a good product.

Windows remains the best operating system on the planet. In my opinion it should come as no surprise that Windows 7 has become so popular in the past 18 months. Windows 7 is the operating system to beat and no one has actually been able to top it on the desktop.

I am sure others of you will have different opinions and chose to voice them loudly and clearly.

Comments welcome.

Source – Blogging Windows




Could A Google Subscription Service For The Chrome Notebook Computer Work?

Microsoft has discussed a subscription service for its Windows operating system and Office system for years. I recall many discussions about how one day subscriptions to all software products would become standard and that distribution by CD and DVD would evaporate. But it seemed that the idea of subscription software went the same way as the paperless office went and never matured. There is now a rumor that Google may try such a service when it releases its Chrome operating system on notebooks some time in June or July of this year.

Though the exact plans are sketchy, the service would work by having the consumer purchase the notebook from a vendor. The notebook would have the Chrome operating system pre-installed. The user would then have the option to purchase a subscription costing between $10 to $20 a month. The service will provide hardware updates and may also include the replacement of faulty hardware during the subscription period.

What the Chrome OS could do is to redefine what the original notebook or netbook computers could not do. The original concept was that these lightweight computers were originally meant to be cheap devices connecting to the Internet only to access the cloud. What happened was that some companies tried to shoehorn Microsoft Windows onto the notebook and netbooks, and the hardware could not handle the heavy load of Windows. The Chrome OS is basically a browser that connects to the Web, starts fast, and boots in under 10 seconds. While this is a very attractive device, some question whether or not this is enough to unseat the Apple iPad or iPad 2 from their perches.

I have been beta testing the Google Chrome Cr-48 notebook computer since mid-December when I was fortunate enough to have received the device. During this time, I have had the opportunity to test and play with the system. I find some of the features very attractive for what I do on the Internet, e.g., blog for two sites, check email, surf for interesting articles, stay in touch with Facebook family and friends, and in general use the device for work more than to have fun with. The Chrome OS notebook has few options for game playing when compared to other devices.

The difference I see between the Google Chrome OS notebook computer compared to the Apple iPad is very simple: the Google Chrome OS notebook computer is a work machine whereas the Apple iPad is more for fun. IMO. Your opinion may differ from mine. But my opinion is the correct opinion. LOL

What do you think? Would you pay for a subscription plan for the Google Chrome OS notebook computer?

Source – Neowin

Your 3G Apple iPhone And Apple 3G iPad Are Recording Your Location And Time Stamp

Do you own an Apple iPhone or an Apple iPad? You may wish to be aware of a recent discovery that your location and time stamp are being recorded to a secret file. The discovery came from two researchers who noticed, after the introduction of iOS 4, the secret file has been recording data about user location as well as a time stamp. But no one knows exactly what Apple is going to do with the data. What is also alleged is that this data file is being stored in backups and is even present when stored to other devices.

The presence of the file presents security and privacy concerns that Apple hasn’t explained. The file is not encrypted nor is it protected from prying eyes. In addition, it is automatically synced with any of your other devices using iOS 4. In theory, if someone got a hold of your device, they can determine when and where you have been since the release of iOS 4. This information could be used by law enforcement to track your previous locations or by some other governmental agency. Even TSA could use the information to determine when and where you have traveled, even when not doing so by airplane.

The file is called consolidated.db and contains the latitude and longitude coordinates and also contains the time you were at the coordinates. Though not always 100% accurate, the information seems to be very detailed in nature. The file is also quite large and can contain tens of thousands of data files showing where you have been since iOS 4 was first introduced. One thing that is not consistent is the fact that the data is kept erratically and doesn’t follow any specific pattern.

Before you get too excited about the data being stored, there doesn’t seem to be a way that the data is being sent to Apple. Not as of yet. Also, this same information is kept by cell phone companies, but the release of this information takes a court order. It is unknown if one would need a court order to access the information from your Apple iPhone or Apple iPad.

Just the fact that this information is being stored on your iOS 4 device is disturbing. It makes one wonder how many other non-Apple devices could be storing similar information. Since the Google Android tablet industry as well as Google Android powered phones are relatively new, could these devices be storing similar data? It should be interesting see if this is the case or not.

So what do you think? Do you think Apple should be able to access this data?

Comments welcome.

Source – O’Reilly Radar