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Thought for the day -
Why is "abbreviation" such a long word?

LCD TV and Monitor Prices On Verge of RisingLCD TV and Monitor Prices On Verge of Rising

Users looking for a new LCD (liquid crystal display) TV or desktop display could face higher prices in the coming months due to a recent sharp rise in demand.

The price of popular 17-inch LCD panels, the screen part of a monitor, rose 5.8 per cent in the first half of August, compared to the previous two weeks, and another 2.7 per cent in the second half of the month, according to WitsView Technology, an industry researcher.

The decline in prices for LCD TV panels, from 20.1-inch to 42-inch sizes, has also nearly been halted. The price of 42-inch panels declined 1.4 per cent, but the price of other sizes remained flat to slightly down, a huge improvement over the past few months.

Users may have become accustomed to rapid price declines such as the ones the market has seen most of this year. Between April and June, for example, the price of large-sized LCD panels used in LCD TVs fell by over a fourth, compared to the first three months of the year, according to WitsView.


How the market has changed. Demand for new desktop PCs with flat displays, laptops, and LCD TVs normally picks up in the third quarter as people return to work and school after summer breaks and vacations. Stronger demand this year is being met by a slimmer supply chain, and that could mean prices will continue to rise.

"I think prices will go up in the third and fourth quarter," said Eric Lin, an analyst at Yuanta Core Pacific Securities in Taipei.

August is actually the first month LCD panel prices will rise after three straight quarters of declines for 17-inch panels, according to iSuppli, another market research company. The 17-inch size is considered a key type of panel because of its popularity in desktop displays.

The average price for 17-inch LCD panels will increase by 19 per cent in the second half of the year to US$123 from US$102 in July, iSuppli predicted.


For users looking for LCD TVs, iSuppli said prices will still mover lower, but not by much. Like other market researchers, it saw nearly stable to slightly lower prices for TV-sized panels, and that means there's little reason to put off a purchase to wait for better prices later in the year, because they won't be that much better.

In fact, there is more likely upside to prices than downside, analysts say. The price declines earlier this year prompted LCD panel makers such as LG.Philips LCD Co Ltd and AU Optronics Corp to announce plans to reduce production in order to avoid losses. A number of panel makers also revised their capital spending plans for this year and next year to take into account the weaker prices.

Analysts believe the companies will expand production again as prices rise, which should help meet demand. But LCD panel makers will likely be very conservative about building new factories after being burned by the rapid price declines earlier this year, meaning prices will likely continue upward despite added capacity.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 25, 2006, 4:49 pm
News Source : MacWorld UK

Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 7 RC1Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 7 RC1

Microsoft has quietly released the latest test version of Internet Explorer 7.

The RC1 build includes improvements in performance, stability, security, and application compatibility. With this build, Microsoft has also made enhancements to the fit and finish of the user interface, completed CSS platform changes, added language support and included an auto-uninstall feature in Setup, which automatically uninstalls prior betas of IE7 making installing the new build even easier.

IE7 RC1 is available in English today, and all localized versions of RC1 will be available in September including Arabic, Finnish, German, and Japanese as well as the French and Spanish versions which will be available for the first time.

Microsoft is expected to finalise Internet Explorer 7 at the same time as Windows Vista.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 25, 2006, 4:49 pm
News Source : Neowin
Download : RC1 for XP SP2

Pluto: And then there were eightPluto: And then there were eight

Pluto has been demoted.

The celestial body, long known as one of the nine planets of the solar system, will now be considered a "dwarf planet," the General Assembly of the 2006 International Astronomical Union ruled in a vote Thursday in Prague, Czech Republic.

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune will be defined as "classical planets."

Three other bodies had been contending for planetary status as well: Ceres, the largest-known asteroid; "Xena," the nickname for 2003 UB313; and Charon, which has been considered Pluto's moon. Ceres and "Xena" will now share "dwarf planet" status with Pluto. Charon, it has been concluded, will be grouped with "small solar-system bodies."

The IAU said in a statement on Thursday that the definition for planet is now officially "a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape and (c) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit."

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 25, 2006, 4:48 pm
News Source : CNet

Kubix v0.7Kubix v0.7

Kubix is an open source content management system. It is powerful enough for large scale community websites, yet simple enough for non-technical small site users to set up and administrate.

Kubix v0.7 contains two major changes, a rich text editor, and Kubix XIPB. The rich text editor allows you to format your news posts and see how it will look when you are writing it - no bbCode. Kubix XIPB will allow you to use Kubix as a stand-alone CMS without Invision Power Board. Kubix XIPB features its own user management system and is not dependent on any extra software.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 23, 2006, 2:34 pm
News Source : Neowin
Download : Kubix 0.7

Google Picasa 2.2Google Picasa 2.2

Picasa is software that helps you instantly find, edit and share all the pictures on your PC. Every time you open Picasa, it automatically locates all your pictures (even ones you forgot you had) and sorts them into visual albums organized by date with folder names you will recognize. You can drag and drop to arrange your albums and make labels to create new groups. Picasa makes sure your pictures are always organized.

Picasa also makes advanced editing simple by putting one-click fixes and powerful effects at your fingertips. And Picasa makes it a snap to share your pictures ? you can email, print photos at home, make gift CDs, instantly share via Hello?, and even post pictures on your own blog.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 23, 2006, 2:33 pm
News Source : Neowin
Download : Picasa 2.2

Kevin Mitnick Web site hackedKevin Mitnick Web site hacked

Instead of the usual description of Kevin Mitnick, his consulting services and books, the famed hacker's Web site on Sunday displayed a vulgar message.

Online vandals, apparently operating from Pakistan, broke into the computer hosting Mitnick's Web site on Sunday and replaced his front page with one of their own. As a result, four Web addresses belonging to Mitnick, including and, displayed an explicit message on Mitnick and hacking.

"The Web hosting provider that hosts my sites was hacked," Mitnick told CNET in an interview Monday. "Fortunately, I don't keep any confidential data on my Web site, so it wasn't that serious. Of course it is embarrassing to be defaced--nobody likes it."

Mitnick's name is synonymous with "notorious hacker" for many. He was caught by the FBI in 1995 after a well-publicized pursuit and spent five years behind bars for wire and computer fraud. Today he is a consultant, has written two books, and spends much of his time on the road at speaking engagements.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 23, 2006, 2:32 pm
News Source : CNet

Super Prism LCDsSuper Prism LCDs

New research by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich could bring high-end LCD colour capabilities to LCD and TV screens.

Arrays of thousands of tiny "super prisms" controlled by robotic muscles are able to manipulate light to reproduce the full spectrum of colours on screen, altering the brightness of each coloured subpixel to create a palette of millions of different shades.

Currently displays are limited as to how many colours they can reproduce. This is because the three primary colours - green, blue and red - used to reproduce on-screen colour are fixed. The new system is not limited to this three colour system.

The Zurich team behind the research believes the method will make it possible to get closer to reproducing every colour we see in the real world. The technology is described in detail in a BBC report.

The work was carried out with Professor Andreas Stemmer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and is published in the US journal, Optics Letters.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 23, 2006, 2:31 pm
News Source : MacWorld UK

Paris Hilton Kicks Off YouTubes New Ad StrategyParis Hilton Kicks Off YouTubes New Ad Strategy

ouTube is exploring ways to monetize its traffic flow of 100 million downloads a day by launching a pay-for-play video advertising service. Its inaugural spot is a promotion for Paris Hilton's new album, "Paris."

YouTube will feature one ad each day, which site visitors can rate and comment on in the same way they evaluate consumer-created videos. Hilton's ad has earned a meager two stars out of five, so far, and drawn 679 comments -- many of which are less than laudatory.

Until now, YouTube has concentrated on building a brand name and a participating community -- an effort that has succeeded admirably. Advertising has been limited to text ads or banner ads. More recently, YouTube has broached the idea of sponsorship advertising. Now, though, it is entering an entirely new sphere with its video ad product.

"This is a very smart strategy on the part of YouTube," said David Card, senior analyst for JupiterResearch. It meets a number of challenges that have stymied online marketers, he told TechNewsWorld. The online market has become so fragmented that it is difficult to formulate a coherent marketing strategy. It has also become very crowded, thus making it difficult to grab consumers' attention with any one advertising vehicle.

YouTube's audience is fairly homogenous, Card noted, which makes it a good venue for many youth-oriented items. Also, because YouTube is among the first to offer video advertising in such a fashion, it will likely stand out from the clutter, he said.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 23, 2006, 2:31 pm
News Source : Tech News

Microsoft Patch Opens Users to AttackMicrosoft Patch Opens Users to Attack

Microsoft is rushing to fix a flaw introduced by the company's latest security update to Internet Explorer--a flaw that opens Windows users to attack, a security firm said on Tuesday.

The flaw, initially thought to only crash Internet Explorer, actually allows an attacker to run code on computers running Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Pack 1 that have applied the August cumulative update to Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1, security firm eEye Digital Security asserted. The update, released on August 8, fixed eight security holes but also introduced a bug of its own, according to Marc Maiffret, chief hacking officer for the security firm, which notified Microsoft last week that the issue is exploitable.

By the following day, network administrators and users began complaining that the update, MS06-042 , caused Internet Explorer to crash when browsing some sites. Three days later, security researchers at eEye discovered that the issue could be used to not just crash the browser, but to compromise PCs running Windows XP SP1 and Windows 2000. Other security researchers have also reported the issue to Microsoft, Maiffret said.

"This information is definitely out in the underground," Maiffret said. "Because of all the discussions on security mailing lists, they know that this is a bug. Any half-decent researcher knows that this is an exploitable bug."

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 23, 2006, 2:28 pm
News Source : Security Focus

Google wants people to stop GooglingGoogle wants people to stop Googling

Google has said it intends to crack down on the use of its name as a generic verb, in phrases such as "to google someone." The Internet search giant said such phrases were potentially damaging to its brand.

"We think it's important to make the distinction between using the word 'Google' to describe using Google to search the Internet and using the word 'google' to generally describe searching the Internet. It has some serious trademark issues," a representative for the search company said. Julie Coleman, an authority on linguistics from the University of Leicester, said she could understand Google's concerns.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 17, 2006, 4:38 pm
News Source : ZDNet

Microsoft Nabs Anti-Virus Ace from SymantecMicrosoft Nabs Anti-Virus Ace from Symantec

Veteran virus-hunter Vincent 'Vinny' Gullotto has joined Microsoft to head its Security Research and Response team, a move that adds instant credibility to the software maker's push into the Internet security market. Gullotto, an anti-virus ace who served stints at McAfee and Symantec, will be general manager of the team, which handles all aspects of malware research and response.

The Security Research and Response team is not to be confused with the 10-year-old MSRC (Microsoft Security Response Center) that serves as hub for the company's response to security incidents and software flaw warnings.

Microsoft isn't shedding much light on Gullotto's hiring. In a statement sent to eWEEK, a spokesperson said the Redmond, Wash., company is "very excited that Vincent Gullotto will be joining Microsoft as the general manager of Security Research & Response and looks forward to working with him in his new role."

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 17, 2006, 4:27 pm
News Source : eWeek

Botnet Herders Attack MS06-040 Worm HoleBotnet Herders Attack MS06-040 Worm Hole

The first wave of malicious attacks against the MS06-040 vulnerability is underway, using malware that hijacks unpatched Windows machines for use in IRC-controlled botnets.

The attacks, which started late Aug. 12, use a variant of a backdoor Trojan that installs itself on a system, modifies security settings, connects to a remote IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server and starts listening for commands from a remote hacker, according to early warnings from anti-virus vendors.

The MSRC (Microsoft Security Response Center) described the attack as "extremely targeted" and said it appears to be specifically targeting unpatched Windows 2000 machines.

"[This is] very much unlike what we have seen in the past with recent Internet-wide worms," said MSRC program manager Stephen Toulouse. "In fact, our initial investigation reveals this isn't a worm in the "auto-spreading" classic sense," he added.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 15, 2006, 6:45 pm
News Source : eWeek

Dell to recall 4m notepad batteriesDell to recall 4m notepad batteries

Dell and the U.S. Products and Safety Commission plan to recall 4.1 million notebook batteries on Tuesday, a company representative confirmed Monday.

The recall affects certain Inspiron, Latitude and Precision mobile workstation units shipped between April 2004 and July 18, 2006. Sony manufactured the batteries that are being recalled, the representative said.

Customers will be able to go to a Dell Web site to determine if they need a new battery. Dell has faced several issues this year related to exploding or flaming notebooks, and wants to ensure the safety of its customers, the representative said. The 4.1 million units is a subset of the 22 million units shipped during that time frame, he said.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 15, 2006, 6:43 pm
News Source :

Swedish Pirate Party launches Commercial DarknetSwedish Pirate Party launches Commercial Darknet

Today, the Swedish Pirate Party launched a new Internet service that lets anybody send and receive files and information over the Internet without fear of being monitored or logged. In technical terms, such a network is called a "darknet". The service allows people to use an untraceable address in the darknet, where they cannot be personally identified.

"There are many legitimate reasons to want to be completely anonymous on the Internet," says Rickard Falkvinge, chairman of the Pirate Party. "If the government can check everything each citizen does, nobody can keep the government in check. The right to exchange information in private is fundamental to the democratic society. Without a safe and convenient way of accessing the Internet anonymously, this right is rendered null and void."

File sharing of music, films, and other forms of culture is where the surveillance of Internet addresses has attracted the most attention, largely because the entertainment industry has been so aggressive in suing Internet users for copyright infringement, suing college students and single mothers alike without concern.

"But there are much more fundamental values at stake here than copyright," Rickard Falkvinge says. "The new technology has brought society to a crossroads. The only way to enforce today's unbalanced copyright laws is to monitor all private communications over the Internet. Today's copyright regime cannot coexist with an open society that guarantees the right to private communication."

"Until we have changed the laws to ensure that citizens' right to privacy is respected, we have a moral obligation to protect the citizens from the effects of the current routine surveillance," Falkvinge continues. "This is our technical means to do just that."

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 15, 2006, 6:41 pm
News Source : Press Release

eBay Traders Boycott SiteeBay Traders Boycott Site

Unhappy professional eBay traders have staged a boycott of the online auction site to protest at a rise in fees and a drop in the visibility of their items. Ebay said that about 100 UK traders took part in the move on Tuesday. The boycotting traders are all members of eBay's "shop sellers" subscription service, which allows them to run online stores linked to the website. They are angry that eBay has raised the fee it charges for each listed item from a flat 3p to between 3p and 11p.

Starting from last month, the new sliding scale of 3p to 11p depends upon the value of what is up for sale. The shop sellers have also seen a reduction in the visibility of their products to potential buyers. Their goods now only appear if fewer than 30 items match a users' search criteria. EBay hopes the change will stop potential buyers from getting swamped with too many available items.

The firm's UK community manager, Dan Wilson, said that while 100 traders were taking part in the boycott, this was a drop in the ocean compared to the tens of thousands of people registered as eBay shop sellers in the UK. "We are not really seeing any tangible strike action and we are not that worried about it, although I don't want to dismiss the concerns of our customers," he said. EBay has 15 million UK customers.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 15, 2006, 6:40 pm
News Source : Neowin

Charity calls for Bully game to be bannedCharity calls for Bully game to be banned

A leading anti-bullying charity is calling for a computer game called Bully to be banned in the UK following the release of a screenshot in which one youth kicks another.

The game is due to be released by controversial US firm Rockstar at Christmas. The firm has previously been criticised for violence in games like Grand Theft Auto.

?We?d hoped that Rockstar had ditched this game following our complaints about it a year ago,? said Bullying Online director Liz Carnell. ?We don?t think this game is likely to leave players with a warm and fuzzy feeling.?

?Bullying is not fun and it?s not a suitable topic for a game. This charity is contacted by thousands of parents and children a year for whom school bullying makes their lives a total misery. Up to four of the children who contact us every day are suicidal.

Liz Carnell added: ?Youngsters copy what they see on TV and in games, when wrestling was popular on TV we had numerous complaints about young children hurting others by copying the behaviour they had seen on the screen.

?We?re very concerned that even if this game were to get an adult rating in the UK there would be nothing to stop younger members of the family playing it.?

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 11, 2006, 3:42 pm
News Source : Neowin

Windows ReadyDrive Increases Performance in Windows VistaWindows ReadyDrive Increases Performance in Windows Vista

Windows Vista introduces a number of new technologies, among them one called Windows ReadyDrive that works in conjunction with new hybrid hard drive technology to improve the performance of your PC. Windows ReadyDrive makes use of non-volatile flash memory now being included on board these drives to give the OS an advantage in terms of both all-around performance and battery life.

The new hybrid drives, expected to be in market later this year from partners such as Samsung and Seagate, are equipped with integrated non-volatile flash memory, enabling them ?spin down? for longer periods of time -- thus increasing battery life for laptops. Also, performance-critical data is loaded into the flash memory so that the hard drive is referred to less often, thus boosting system responsiveness. Lastly, the technology enables shorter boot times when specific boot files are loaded into the flash memory, so that cold boots, restarts and resuming from sleep or hibernation is faster.

Windows ReadyBoost is a technology native to Windows Vista, and so is not retro-fitted to other operating systems. You?ll find more information about it and its interaction with the new hybrid drives in this whitepaper (Word format).

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 11, 2006, 3:39 pm
News Source : Vista Team Blog

The IBM PC Celebrates its 25th BirthdayThe IBM PC Celebrates its 25th Birthday

On the 12th of August 1981 the first ever personal computer - the IBM 5150 - was announced. It became one of the most important releases in the world of technology, ever.

With a fraction of the power of today's machines, the 5150 stood proud with an Intel 8088 processor running at an almighty 4.77MhZ, 16kB (max 640kB) of memory and loaded with IBM Basic/MS DOS 1.0. Despite not coining the common acronym "PC", the 5150 defined it as being the standard which complied with IBM's specifications.

IBM created the 5150 with an "open architecture" which meant other manufacturers could create machines, after buying a licence for the BIOS from IBM. Other manufacturers weren't content with paying IBM, so circumvented this licence charge by reverse engineering the BIOS.

The BBC has produced an article about the 5150, the last 25 years of IBM computing and what the future holds for the IBM PC.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 11, 2006, 3:38 pm
News Source : BBC News

Worm Fears Raised After Release of Windows MalwareWorm Fears Raised After Release of Windows Malware

Attack code exploiting a recently-patched vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows operating system has been posted to the Internet, prompting concerns of a widespread attack. The software was added to the widely used Metasploit project--a favorite of both security researchers and malicious hackers--at around 1 a.m. Thursday morning Pacific Time, according to H.D. Moore, the Metasploit project leader. "It works very reliably against Windows 2000 and Windows XP systems that do not have SP2 [Service Pack 2] installed," he said in an e-mail.

Security experts had worried that the Windows Server services vulnerability--described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-040--could be used in a widespread worm attack. Windows Server services are generally enabled by default on Windows systems, and are used for common network applications like file sharing and printing.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 11, 2006, 3:37 pm
News Source : PCWorld

Alienware Aurora m9700 SLI laptop reviewAlienware Aurora m9700 SLI laptop review

The Alienware Aurora m9700 is a serious gaming notebook and is the first of its kind to utilize NVIDIA's SLI technology. It achieves this by using two GeForce 7900GS (256MB) graphics cards smartly positioned inside the casing delivering stellar results. Driven by an AMD Turion64 processor, the Aurora m9700 can also come outfitted with dual 100GB SATA 7200-RPM hard drives set up for RAID0. Finishing all this off is a 17? widescreen LCD outputting a native resolution of 1920x1200 pixels with Clearview Technology.

As is to be expected, the Aurora m9700 is not exactly an affordable notebook computer, nor is it all that compact, it is however insanely fast. With all the optional extras the Aurora m9700 we received for review can be bought for around $3700. Because this model does feature two graphics cards and two hard drives, it also weighs roughly 5 kgs (or 11 pounds) which by laptop standards still puts it in an acceptable range among the desktop replacement models. The base configuration costs just $1800, though it is far less equipped than the version we have here today.

News Posted by : GoogleFreak On : August 10, 2006, 6:38 pm
News Source : TechSpot

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