Do All Samsung Laptops Come With A Keylogger Installed By The Company?

Samsung has learned that the report of their computers have a keylogger installed are false. The company states that the security software VIPER actually gave a false-positive and actually tagged a Microsoft program called Microsoft Live Application as the culprit in the keylogger accusation.

As far as accusations go, this one against Samsung could damage the company’s reputation beyond repair. The accusation is that one person has purchased two different Samsung laptop computers and both had keyloggers installed on them. In the first instance a consumer, while setting up his new Samsung laptop, installed a paid commercial security software on his new system. During the first scan the security program found two instances of a keylogger called StarLogger. The keylogger software was located in c:windowsSL diretory.

What is most disturbing about StarLogger software is that it records every keystroke on the computer — including computers that are password protected. The software can then call home with all of the details it has collected for any of your personal information. This personal information could include all of your emails such as your address book, any document you create on the system, the Web pages you visit, any usernames or passwords you use, and possibly even more.

It does get better. The person who owned the infected computer developed display issues and returned the unit to the store he bought it from. He opted to get a more expensive Samsung laptop and guess what? The same keylogger in the same directory was found on the second Samsung laptop.

It gets even better. According to the article, Samsung representative admits the company has been including the keylogger software to monitor performance of the machine. The information collected also shows how the computer is being used.

Wow! I find this very hard to believe. I think that Samsung has dug itself a huge hole that it may not be able to dig out of. Consumers are going to avoid any Samsung computer if they suspect that the system is being monitored — no matter what the reason.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – networkworld

Speed Up Disk Cleanup In Windows XP Using The NTFS File System

I realize that many of us use tools like CCleaner to remove the junk and gunk from our computer systems. However we all have friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances and fellow employees that may not have the expertise to use advanced add-on tools, If you have ever tried to explain to someone how to use any type of computer tool, then you have seen the deer in the head light look. But we do have built-in Windows tool like Disk Cleanup that are effective and fairly easy to use.

One flaw when using Disk Cleanup in Windows XP using the NTFS file system, is that Disk Cleanup takes for ever to run. It also has a tendency to stop right in the middle of a scan and could freeze up your computer. The problem is that Disk Cleanup on a NTFS system wants to compress files.

To correct this situation we have two options.

Option #1 requires the knowledge on how to edit the registry. If you are not familiar with using a registry editor, stop right here and go to option #2. Open Regedit and delete this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerVolumeCachesCompress old files

Option #2 is simpler and recommended for users who are not experts in using the Windows operating system. Go to this link for Computer Education and scroll down to the REG files for editing the Windows Registry. Click on the file Speed up Disk Cleanup (Windows XP) which will download a file onto your computer. Click on the file you just downloaded and it will automatically remove the registry entry mention in option #1.

Comments welcome.

Source – Computer Education IDG Tech Network

Will webOS On All HP Computers Change The Way We Compute?

The way we use our computers is going to change dramatically this decade and the changes will be coming fast and furious. Starting in 2010 we saw the first devices that featured non-Microsoft operating systems that actually make many new devices function on par with Windows or that actually are better. Operating systems like Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Chrome, and Linux versions such as Mint are now capable alternatives to Windows. Now HP is talking about placing its recent purchase of webOS on all of its computers, along with Windows, starting next year. This will allow consumers to try the webOS, which HP is hoping they will prefer over Microsoft’s popular operating system.

In the past most consumers only knew one thing: Windows was what made a computer work and Windows is what they used exclusively. Mention Linux and they look at you like a deer looking into the headlights of an oncoming car. Consumers using computers are a lazy bunch, and if Windows worked, why change? That was than and this is now. There are new kids on the block that consumers are trying and starting to like.

The entire phenomenal change started with Apple and its iOS, which is used on its popular iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Google followed with its Android OS and is in the process of beta testing its Chrome OS. Consumers suddenly realized that there was a life outside of Windows and that the alternatives offered extremely friendly operating systems that were easy to use. Gone are the days when we struggled trying to learn how a computer system worked. The slimmed down operating systems are intuitive and the learning curve is quick for experienced users.

So will the experiment by HP to include the webOS along with Windows change the way we compute? I seriously doubt it will and here is why. Most users will not even play with it. They will just use the operating system they are familiar with and that is Windows. Do you think I am wrong? Try a simple experiment. The next time you start talking computer geek with a non geek, ask them their thoughts about Linux, iOS, Android, or Google Chrome. Ask them if HP will be successful with webOS.

The odds are they will not have a clue as to what you are talking about.

Now I have a confession to make. I have tried Linux Mint, used the Cr-48 Google Chrome netbook, and played with my wife’s Apple iPad. They are all great products and I enjoy using them. But my computer of choice is my Toshiba 17″ with a full keyboard and running Windows 7 Ultimate. It just works for me for my daily chores on the Internet. Everything fits like a glove and it may be a while before I completely dump Windows. In fact it may not ever happen.

But that is just my opinion and my choice. I respect whatever you use and hope you enjoy your computing experience as much as I enjoy mine.

Comments as always are welcome.

Source – Tech News Daily

Microsoft Suggests 6 Ways To Speed Up Your PC

With all of the television advertisements from companies claiming to have the secret cure to speed up your PC, Microsoft has six easy ways to do it on your own. These six easy steps are nothing new and have been used for years by most people who consider themselves guru’s. In addition to these suggestions, there are also other free software for you to use to keep your computer running fast.

Step #1. Remove spyware from your computer. I recommend using the free version of Malwarebytes. You will also need a good anti-virus program and I am using the free edition of Avast on my Windows 7 boxes. Others like the free program from Microsoft called Security Essentials. Another program that gets mentioned is AntiVir personal edition.

Step #2. Free up disk space. Microsoft recommends using their Disk Cleanup tool. I personally like CCleaner or Glary Utilites. Both of these tools do a very good job of cleaning out the junk and gunk that can clog up your operating system.

Step #3. Use the Disk Defragmentation built into Windows. This according to Microsoft will speed up access to your data. There is much controversy as to the benefits of defragging a hard disk. My personal opinion is that I recommend doing it. There are free programs such as Defraggler or Auslogics Disk Defrag.

Step #4. Also recommended is checking your disk for errors using the check disk utility. Here’s how:

  1. Close all open files.
  2. Click Start, and then click Computer.
  3. In the Computer window (My Computer in Windows XP), right-click the hard disk you want to search for bad sectors, and then click Properties.
  4. In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab.
  5. Click the Check Now button.
  6. In the Check Disk dialog box (called Error-checking in Windows 7), select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start.

Step #5. If you are using Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7, Microsoft recommends using Ready Boost. According to Microsoft, Ready Boost can help speed up your system. IMO your results may vary.

Steps #6. Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 7. This suggestion is of course, if and only if, your computer can support Windows 7.

I have read and suggest to those who are new to computers to read the free .pdf manual, ‘Windows On Speed: Ultimate Acceleration Manual’. You can get your free copy here.

Windows On Speed: Ultimate Acceleration Manual

What suggestions do you have to speed up a Windows computer?

Comments welcome.

Source – Microsoft

FinallyFast Finally Sued and Finally Pays

We who consider ourselves computer gurus know that we can optimize any computer, using mostly free software that is available on the Internet. We also know that when we see those late night infomercials that tout cleaning your computer and making it run faster, our antenna goes up as to the claims being made. But for those consumers who are technologically challenged, these advertisements offer them what they perceive is a quick fix option to speed up their slow PC systems.

Since I am one of those computer gurus that does it himself, I have no opinion as to the benefit or lack of benefit that FinallyFast actually offers. I can only report what the Attorney General office for the state of Washington determined during its investigation. In its report, it states:

The Attorney General’s Office accused Philadelphia-based Ascentive, LLC, of violating the state’s Computer Spyware Act, Consumer Protection Act and Commercial Electronic Mail Act through the use of deceptive marketing methods including spam and persistent pop-ups, misleading free “scans” and alarmist warnings that suggest a computer has severe problems, unfair billing practices and a cumbersome cancellation process.

Ascentive, perhaps best known for its commercials, sells a variety of programs purported to improve Internet connection speeds and remove system errors. They include ActiveDefender, ActivePrivacy, ActiveSpeed, PC ScanandSweep, PC Speedscan Pro, RAMRocket, Spyware Striker Pro and WINRocket.

The Attorney General’s Office estimates that about 5,500 consumers are eligible for refunds of about $17.90 plus tax.

I have been the victim of an infomercial false advertisement for a spaghetti pot. The advertisement made the pot look like it was a high quality product, when in fact the pot looked like it was made of discarded soup cans. The metal was so thin that the pot easily dented and the handle transferred the heat without any benefit of being cooler than the pot itself. The non-stick surface was anything but non-stick and pasta stuck to the sides and bottom of the pot.

That was the one and only time I got stuck with a piece of junk and now I steer clear of all infomercials, no matter how good the product sounds.

How about you? What horror story do you have about buying any product advertised on TV?

Comments welcome.

PS For those Washington state residents who were a victim of FinallyFast, click the link below for additional information.

Source – AG office WA state

Enhanced by Zemanta

Will Tablets Really Destroy Netbook Computers This Year?

It is kind of funny when you think about it. Every year there seems to be some type of story about how one piece of hardware is going to destroy another or how one piece of software will dominate the world. But the reality is that it doesn’t happen, even if someone who writes about it tries to will it to happen. In the world of technology we are fortunate to have a huge selection of devices that offers something for everyone. So who determines which device will succeed and which will fail? You and I will no matter what someone writes.

This afternoon I read another one of those boring 10 reason articles, that I personally do not like. Not the article, but the numbering system. But since I am just as guilty as the next person, I usually keep my list limited to 5, I just skipped the numbering nonsense and read what the writer had to state. Basically the ramblings was trying to convince us that tablet computers would bury netbooks.

Some of the reasons would lead one to believe that this could happen. Here are a few of the reasons the writer mentioned:

“1.But tablets are arguably more mobile. They are easier to carry around and they tend to be quite lightweight. Netbooks are a bit more bulky, and that could hurt them next year.”

Agree. the iPad is light weight, about 1.5 lbs, and is definitely not as bulky as a netbook. Even the Cr-48 I am testing is 3.8 lbs and I do not understand why it is so heavy.

“2.As usable as netbooks are, thanks to their full operating systems and physical keyboards, they don’t have the same “innovation factor” that Apple delivers. As a result, tablets are capturing consumers’ attention.”

The physical keyboard is really what separates the tablet from a netbook.  I personally need a physical keyboard to blog with. I tried the keyboard on the iPad and found it very uncomfortable.

“3. Netbooks are boring.”

Agree. Netbooks are nothing more than shrunken laptops. When was the last time you thought your laptop or desktop was exciting? Computers are tools.

“4. In fact, every major PC maker from Dell to HP to Acer is investing in tablets in 2011”

PC companies would be silly not to invest in tablets.

“5. The major issue with netbooks is that they lack touch screens.”

Agree. Touch screens are cool. So how about a netbook with a physical keyboard and a touch screen?

But this says it best:

“Interest in the Android mobile operating system has exploded in the past year. Based on its growth rate in 2010, most analysts believe it could at least come close to matching Symbian’s worldwide market share in 2014. After that, it could become the top mobile OS in the world. Because of that, consumers and enterprise customers are warming to the idea of running the operating system. In the process, they’re thinking twice about opting for the Windows-based netbook.”

Hang on here a minute. Are we talking about Windows-based netbooks or Android powered netbooks? It makes one wonder if the writer has had the opportunity to use the Cr-48 notebook aka netbook? isn’t Android so similar to Chrome that they could be cousins?

Here are my thoughts. I personally believe that there are going to be tablets, laptops, notebooks, netbooks, smartphones and other devices that haven’t even been introduced, that all will survive. They will survive because they offer different features depending on the users need. There will ne no one device to fit everyone’s needs. In fact, many of you may need more than one device to meet what ever task you wish to complete.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Eweek

Google Chrome OS – It Is Just A Browser

Last week we were led to believe that Google was holding up the release of their operating system. Rumors had it that the new operating system known as Chrome, would not be ready until the first part of 2011. Now we have a completely different story, which is being presented by a VP at Google. Instead of a full-fledged CPU hogging, RAM intensive, operating system, we are going to have nothing more than a browser. This basically is why the Chrome browser and Chrome operating system is causing so much confusion.

In a recent news article it states that:

It is all the more confusing because Google already has a Web browser named Chrome. And Google already has an operating system, called Android.

Google says it will become clearer by the end of the year, when the company will introduce to the public a lightweight netbook computer that runs Chrome. Though Google declined to give details of the device, it is expected to be manufactured by another company and branded by Google, similar to the way Google released its Nexus phone, which runs on Android.

Google has high hopes for Chrome, and as the company weathers criticism for relying too much on search advertising for revenue, its executives have been describing Chrome as one of Google’s new businesses with huge potential.

That software would not work on Chrome computers. Instead, Chrome users would use Google’s Web-based products, like Docs, Gmail and Picasa for word processing, e-mail and photos, or software from other companies, like Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365. Google also plans to open a Chrome app store for software developers to dream up other Chrome tools.

The Chrome browser, which is installed on 8 percent of all PCs, shares a name because the operating system is, essentially, the same thing as the browser. “When people look at Chrome OS, they’re going to be like, ‘It’s just a browser, there’s nothing exciting here,’ ” Mr. Upson said. “Exactly. It’s just a browser, there’s nothing exciting here — that’s the point.”

Computers running Chrome OS will start in seconds, not minutes, and then users will see a browser through which applications and data can be used.

I personally believe this is what will make Google Chrome OS so attractive. The OS will run on a lower powered notebook computer, start quickly and rely on the Internet to store user data. While this may scare some of you, I personally believe this is a great way to have access of your stuff, from any computer and from anywhere.

The Google OS is not going to be for everyone, It will be a niche product, similar to the niche that a tablet fills. Think about it. We have desktop computers, laptops computers, tablet computers, netbook computers and smart phones. Each of these products fill a specific need for what a specific consumer wants from their computer.

I look forward to the Google Chrome OS and will be buying a notebook using the OS when it is released.

What about you? Will there be a Chrome powered operating system in your future?

Comments welcome.

Source – NY Times

Saying Goodbye To Windows XP – Not So Fast There, Buddy!

Today is the day that Microsoft places the requirements on OEMs to no longer install Windows XP on any and all computer systems. The nine-year old system is going to be put to bed by Microsoft, but not by consumers. This afternoon my grandson and his friend were playing an Internet game and guess what OS is on the laptop? Yes, good old reliable Windows XP. It is funny that the old OS can hold its own in this day and age, when Microsoft no longer wishes us to be using it.

In one recent article it stated that:

Netbooks were the last category of PCs on which Microsoft was still allowing XP preloads at this point. Back in April 2008, Microsoft told OEMs that October 22, 2010, would be the day that no more XP Home would be permitted to be preinstalled on new netbooks.

Update: XP preloads are done, but XP downgrades are not, by the way. Best any of us Microsoft watchers can tell, it looks like XP downgrades will be allowed up until 2015. (Microsoft won’t confirm or deny that date.)

Windows XP for many of us remains as a good friend and will remain that way for many years to come. I believe the old girl still has a lot of miles left in her, and will continue to be a popular OS for the foreseeable future.

Comments welcome.

Source – ZDNet

Would You Pay Best Buy $30 For A Free PS3 Firmware Update?

If you own a Sony PS3 console, Best Buy wants to charge you $30 for a firmware update. The procedure and update are free and some are questioning why Best Buy is even charging for the update. This raises more questions as to why Best Buy was also charging $40 to optimize a PC. It seems that the electronics store is charging for services that may not be necessary.

In a recent article it states:

A Best Buy in New York is offering customers a service which tacks an extra $30 onto the purchase price of a new 120GB PS3 system that has been upgraded to the latest firmware. According to Best Buy, the firmware update includes:

  • Play(s) all Blu-ray movies and PS3 games
  • Eliminates bugs and glitches
  • System runs smoother
  • Improves connectivity to Facebook
  • Power save settings
  • Photo gallery and video editor
  • Adds PlayStation Plus
  • Improved system settings

For PS3 users, performing a firmware update on the PS3 is simple as going to the system menu and selecting system updates. All of this is of course free to the user and requires nothing more than a few button presses on the controller (and an internet connection).

Maybe this is who Best Buy is aiming their service. For those without an internet connection. Still it does seem like a fairly useless service and paying $30 seems a little over priced. IMO.

Comments welcome.

Source – Daily Tech

You Can Trash Talk All You Want But The World Continues To Use Microsoft Windows

During the past twenty years that I have been involved with computers, there are always several articles a year about how bad Windows is for your computer health. The trash talk is always the same, blah,blah, blah. It seems that the trash talking writers never have anything new to add. They love to blab about how secure the Apple and Linux operating systems are or how insecure Windows is.

Here is what one recent article said:

1. It’s a Monoculture

If Steve is to be believed, 95 percent of the world’s desktop computers run Windows. That, in biological terms, is what we call a “monoculture,” meaning that there is an overwhelming predominance of one particular species.

Such a condition is generally toxic in biology–introduce a single pathogen known to affect the leading species, and you wipe out them all!–and so it is, too, in the world of computers. What could make life easier for a malicious hacker than knowing she’ll hit the majority of the world’s computers with a single worm?

Linux, by contrast, offers considerable strength in its diversity. Not only are there myriad distributions of Linux, but there are also multiple shells, packaging systems, mail clients and even underlying architectures in use, making it much harder for malware to hit more than a small proportion. Sorry, bad hackers!

If Linux was as good as some would have us believe, the world would flock to it immediately. Why would anyone pay for an operating system when Linux is basically free?

2. Permissions

It’s inevitable that human computer users are going to forget what they should do, or maybe even deliberately ignore the “should” in favor of what they want right now–like porn, pictures of cute kittens, or whatever.

On Linux, that’s OK, because their computer accounts are looking out for them. Even if they slip and click on that malicious link, the most any malware can do is trash their individual computer and files.

Windows? Well, the picture’s not so rosy. In fact, Windows users are pretty much given administrator access by default. So, a momentary human weakness can lead to widespread devastation starting with a single computer.

I like this:

Windows users are pretty much given administrator access by default.

Here I thought I had to actually give administrative rights when I installed a program.

3. Closed Code

No one but Microsoft developers can see Windows code. Some may argue that makes it more secure–the bad guys can’t see it, right?

Wrong. It’s a proven fact that open code improves security by enabling the countless good guys around the globe to inspect it, test it, and fix it as necessary. There is no such thing as security by obscurity.

Good point.

4. Reliability

How many weeks go by without any unplanned downtime, Windows user? None, you say? And how about you, Linux user: What’s unplanned downtime, you ask?

That’s right. Whether it’s due to malware or something else, Windows computers involve a lot of downtime. Linux computers don’t. For business users, in particular, that’s plain and simple.

I haven’t had my computer down for 2 years. I must be doing something wrong.

5. Price

Finally, Windows may not seem like it costs anything, since it comes bundled on most PCs for sale today. But honestly, do you think Microsoft is a not-for-profit organization? You’d better believe that price is factored in, and you’ve already paid it.

With Linux, not only do you not have to pay for your operating system–though you can, if you want extra support–but you also don’t have to keep upgrading your hardware to keep up with the exorbitant resources Windows demands. Free doesn’t mean worthless–it just means without cost.

None of this is to say that Linux, or any other operating system, is perfect. The difference, though, is that no other operating system has created a monoculture and then tried to lay the responsibility for security on the industry as a whole the way Windows has.

We have heard these same arguments over and over, year after year. My feeling is this. If you believe that an Apple computer or Linux computer is better, please use those operating systems. Please do not try to convince those who use Windows that we are dumb and should switch to another OS. It hasn’t happened in the past, currently nor will it happen anytime in the near future.

That is an indisputable fact.

Comments welcome.

Source – PCW

Q: What Kind Of PC Should You Buy? A: How Much Money Do You Have?

What kind of a computer should you buy? This question has been asked and answered so many times, it came as a surprise to me when I saw the question being asked of the tech. writer for the Chicago Tribune. What I found interesting is that the answer has not really changed in the past 12 years. It was 1998 when I first started teaching beginning computer classes at out local college. The same question always came up in every class I taught.

My answer the question was very similar to what the tech. writer answered:

‘OK, how much are you willing to spend?’

This answer is not as trivial as one would think. Though the technical literate would consider CPU power, large amount of RAM and how big of a hard disk one has, money will dictate the type of computer you buy no matter what your needs are. Once one settles on a specific amount that they can not go over, the simpler the challenge is to buy a system that fits the price they wish to spend.

I also agreed with another part of the article:

For someone in your shoes, the most important thing to spend money on is RAM. I like the way Gordon Ung, senior editor at Maximum PC ( puts it: “PCs pull on three levers to get more cash out of you: CPU, hard drive and RAM. RAM is certainly important, but once you get to a decent amount, 4GB or 6GB, I’d rather put the cash toward a faster CPU, bigger hard drive or more powerful graphics card than going to 12GB of RAM.”

Seems like sound advice to me. With Windows 7 that 4MB of RAM will come in handy. Next I would opt for the fastest CPU I could afford. A fast Dual Core will suffice but I have noticed some of the newer PC’s coming with 3 core AMD chips for the same price. I don’t  worry about hard disk space. With external USB drives so cheap, a large hard disk on board is not that big of  a deal. IMO.

If you can I would wait to buy until either Black Friday or the X-Mas holidays. Prices should be fantastic this holiday season. :-)

Comments welcome.

Source – Chicago Tribune

What would you advise someone who was looking to buy a new PC?

Is The Apple iPad Really Killing The Sale Of Laptop PCs?

Is The Apple iPad Really Killing The Sale Of Laptop PCs?  Best Buy Thinks It Is Happening

Is the Apple iPad really killing off sales of laptop PCs? Best Buy is hinting that this may be the case. The company does admit they do not have all of the data in yet to justify this claim, but there seems to be some indication that the iPad may just be a PC killer when it comes to laptop sales. Here are some of the facts from a recent article:

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn “said internal estimates showed that the iPad had cannibalized sales from laptop PCs by as much as 50 percent.” By the time I first saw the news nugget being tweeted, that had morphed into “by 50 percent”—and conclusion jumping was in Olympic form.

The instant assumption: buyers are choosing iPads over laptops. Yes, no and maybe. From an anecdotal basis as someone often asked to help others with tech spending decisions, people who need computing power and features that aren’t on the iPad go  with laptops (Mac or PC), while the iPad is an answer for people who own a computer for the heavy lifting and are attracted to the sleek, light device with its instant-on apps. Then there are those who don’t want a computer in the full-blown sense but like the cross between a net appliance, DVD player and e-reader. (A young niece turned down the possibility of an iPad for the even more portable iPod Touch.)  In most cases, money plays a role.

As for Best Buy, it’s not at all clear what this means on a large-scale. Until Sept.26, when it expands chain wide, Best Buy has been selling iPads online for in-store pickup and in 673 of its stores. Supplies have been limited. Dunn told analysts on an earnings call earlier this week that “some of the constrained availability of iPad early on in the quarter definitely impacted our share.” That was in response to an analyst who asked about Best Buy’s chances to improve market share “as we think about strong sales of iPad continuing and perhaps cannibalizing the overall PC category.”

Interesting tale if it turns out to be true. But the cost of the Apple iPad is going to be a hurdle. When you can buy a decent PC laptop for about the same price as an Apple iPad, the answer we must ask is why? Why pay more for less. If it is just for style, than I can understand that the Mac heads will go for it. But for the average PC person, this may be a stretch right now.

Also we need to wait until PC tablets hit the street to see if these Apple numbers will hold up.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source –

PS I guess Best Buy changed their minds and maybe they jumped the gun.

While they were fueled in part by a comment in the Wall Street Journal that was attributed to me, they are not an accurate depiction of what we’re currently seeing.

Will $1 Per Gigabyte Spur Solid State Drive Sales?

How times have changed. I remember in the early 90’s it was easy to price hard drives. They sold for $1 per one MB. I recall buying a 212 MB hard disk and the price was exactly $212. Memory was selling for $50 per MB during the same period. So when I read that SSD may start to be sold for $1 per GB, it is definitely a much awaited change. Many of us would be happy to dump our mechanical hard disk and were waiting for the prices to drop. What is being predicted is this:

Pricing for NAND flash memory had been expected to flat-line until next year, when NAND flash chip fabricators will be able to reinvest their profits to ramp up production and begin selling higher-density products, industry experts say.

But in a report released today, iSuppli forecasts that NAND flash pricing for 3-bit-per-cell NAND will average $1.20 per GB for the entire fourth quarter and will then drop to $1 by the end of this year. The $1 per GB level is considered a threshold that will drive adoption of solid state drives, iSuppli stated.

Yang said that with pricing headed back to the $1 per gigabyte level, the SSD market may be ready to get back on the fast track to adoption.

“With NAND pricing having returned to per-gigabyte pricing levels not seen in two years, there’s likely to be a lot of new buzz created for the solid state storage market at the end of 2010,” Yang said. “However, traditional HDDs gained a lot of additional ground during the past few years in terms of rising capacity and falling prices. In fact, HDDs have gained so much ground that SSDs now are in danger of never regaining their competitive footing.”

Here is what I focused on:

Yang believes that in order for SSDs to compete against HDDs, per-GB pricing for NAND flash memory will have to decline to 40 cents by 2012, which would mean a 100GB SSD would cost about $50. At that price, SSD would be appealing in both the consumer and corporate PC marketplaces, he said.

I would  jump at the chance to buy a 100GB SSD if it were priced at $50. What about you?

Comments welcome.


Amazon Lowers Pricing Of Its Kindle DX To Only $379 – Is It Enough?

Amazon has recently lowered the pricing of its Kindle DX model from $489 to $379.  Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for its latest creation and the new devices should be available on July 7, 2010. The DX model includes the following features:

Beautiful Large Display: The 9.7″ diagonal E-ink screen is ideal for a broad range of reading material, including graphic-rich books, PDFs, newspapers, magazines, and blogs

Read in Sunlight with No Glare: Unlike backlit computer or LCD screens, Kindle DX’s display looks and reads like real paper, with no glare. Read as easily in bright sunlight as in your living room

Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines

Books In Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered wirelessly in less than 60 seconds; no PC required

Free 3G Wireless: No monthly payments, no annual contracts. Download books anywhere, anytime

Long Battery Life: Read for up to 1 week on a single charge with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks.

These are other features make the Kindle DX an attractive proposition. I have the small Kindle and I have ordered the new DX model. I believe the latest model will vastly improve the way we read books, now and in the future. I think this latest offering is worth a look. Just click on the link below for more information or to pre-order the Kindle DX.

Comments welcome.

Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 9.7

Dell Sold 11.8M Computers That Were Doomed To Fail – Did The Company Try To Hide The Problem?

Between May 2003 to July 2005, Dell allegedly had sold some 11.8 million computers to various business and government clients. But what is now coming to light is that the company knew the computers could fail, yet they purposely continued to sell the faulty models. These models that Dell sold were their OptiPlex desktop computers designed specifically designed for business and government use.

In one allegation, from the University of Texas, Dell stated that the computers failed because the machines were subjected to an overload of mathematical calculations.  Duh! Isn’t that what computers do? LOL It seems that these millions of bad boxes were sold to anyone and everyone including the lawyers who are defending  Dell, who also were victims of the bad computers. I guess sharks all gather together when the money is good.

In a recent article it went on to state:

Documents recently unsealed in a three-year-old lawsuit against Dell show that the company’s employees were actually aware that the computers were likely to break. Still, the employees tried to play down the problem to customers and allowed customers to rely on trouble-prone machines, putting their businesses at risk. Even the firm defending Dell in the lawsuit was affected when Dell balked at fixing 1,000 suspect computers, according to e-mail messages revealed in the dispute.

The documents chronicling the failure of the PCs also help explain the decline of one of America’s most celebrated and admired companies. Perhaps more than any other company, Dell fought to lower the price of computers.

Its “Dell model” became synonymous with efficiency, outsourcing and tight inventories, and was taught at the Harvard Business School and other top-notch management schools as a paragon of business smarts and outthinking the competition.

A study by Dell found that OptiPlex computers affected by the bad capacitors were expected to cause problems up to 97 percent of the time over a three-year period, according to the lawsuit.

But Dell employees went out of their way to conceal these problems. In one e-mail exchange between Dell customer support employees concerning computers at the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett law firm, a Dell worker states, “We need to avoid all language indicating the boards were bad or had ‘issues’ per our discussion this morning.”

In other documents about how to handle questions around the faulty OptiPlex systems, Dell salespeople were told, “Don’t bring this to customer’s attention proactively” and “Emphasize uncertainty.”

I don’t think that Dell will ever be able to shake off this image of knowingly selling faulty systems. But what is incredible is that they thought no one would notice. Hello! We are talking about almost 12 million computers.

To be fair, one must consider that other companies also had similar problems that were attributed to bad compositors. But Dell was expected to handle this situation differentially since consumers had placed so much confidence in the company and their computers.

Comments welcome.

Source – NY Times