Wednesday, June 27, 2012

HP Offering Motherboard Fix for 3 Pavillion Desktops

Hewlett-Packard said on Tuesday that it has identified a high rate of motherboard failures in its popular Pavilion line of desktop PCs built in June and July 2010. The company said these system boards have a "slightly higher than expected failure rate" although a specific problem wasn't addressed.

According to the announcement, the affected machines include Pavilion Elite HPE-4xx, Pavilion P66xx and Pavilion Slimline S5660f desktops. "[These] computers may experience no video at start up and stop responding," said HP in its email to desktop owners.

The affected machines won't be recalled, but rather HP will extend their warranty for another twelve months. Customers who already have an expired warranty will have one year to report the problem. Either way, HP will replace the motherboard free of charge, and will even pay for round-trip shipping...

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

What OEMs desperately need to learn from Microsoft's Surface

Microsoft is not throwing its OEM partners under the bus. It is pushing them out of the way of an onrushing freight train.

See what I did there? I substituted one violent transportation-based metaphor for another. That was deliberate. So was Microsoft’s unprecedented decision to cross a line it has maintained for three decades.

See also: How the tech press reacted to Microsoft Surface

Why now? What changed? Why did Microsoft decide the time has come to compete directly with its OEMs? Why design its own line of tablet PCs, to be sold in Microsoft stores under the Surface brand?

Back in 2006, Microsoft and the OEM community collectively failed with Windows Vista. Microsoft delivered a messy glop of code that didn’t work well until Service Pack 1, and the OEMs were embarrassingly unprepared with drivers and designs. The OEMs also insisted on packing their products with performance-sapping crapware...

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

With Surface tablet, Microsoft breaks tradition

t’s the end of an era. Or maybe the start of a new one.

Microsoft — a company that traditionally has relied exclusively on its PC partners to provide hardware powered by its Windows operating system — is trying out a new business model with next Windows release.

The company is going to offer two Microsoft-branded tablets of its own, both of which are branded as Microsoft Surface.

Mystery solved: Microsoft’s new Surface tablet (pictures)

Microsoft isn’t actually manufacturing these new tablets itself — just as it doesn’t actually “make” the
Xbox or the now defunct
Zune media player. But it will be putting the Microsoft name on these devices. And this, many have speculated, will set up Microsoft as a head-to-head competitor with its own PC maker partners.

Pricing or any information on availability is not available yet. All officials are saying, via today’s press release, is that “suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC. OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT.”...

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Microsoft Charging OEMs $85 for Windows RT

Microsoft reportedly isn't planning to offer Windows RT at a reduced cost considering the cheaper tablet form factor.

ZoomIt was presumed that Microsoft would offer its ARM-friendly version of Windows 8 -- aka Windows RT -- on the cheap given that both Microsoft and tablet manufacturers want to push Apple's own iPad into a dark little corner of the tablet market. Achieving this would not only mean providing a AAA experience, but a low price tag. Even more, Google doesn't charge manufacturers anything at all to use its Android platform -- the search engine giant makes its money off advertising, app and other media sales.

But apparently offering Windows RT for a reduced price isn't on Microsoft's list of goals. Various reports claim Microsoft is charging manufacturers between $80 and $95 USD for an OEM Windows RT license to be used on a tablet. That's roughly the same pricetag required for the OEM version of Windows 7 Home Premium for desktops and laptops...

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

25 most-used passwords revealed: Is yours one of them?

After it was discovered that more than six million LinkedIn passwords had been leaked as well as many at and eHarmony, no one has stopped talking about password and passcode security.

That’s actually a good thing because it’s an incredibly important topic that many Internet users don’t take seriously.

Case in point, take a look at this new report from IT security consultant Mark Burnett. Self-described as someone who “loves writing about passwords,” Burnett has compiled a list of the “top 500 worst (aka most common) passwords” based on a variety of methods he has detailed on his blog.

Here are the top 25, as extracted by antivirus solution provider ESET. Is yours one of them? If so, it’s safe to say you should consider changing it to something stronger immediately...

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