Posts tagged ‘microsoft’

December 28, 2011

Microsoft Free Antivirus May Save Your Day (or at least get you a free beer)

I’ve had to remove a lot of fake antivirus software lately. Microsoft has made my life incredibly easy now, thanks to the beta version of their new Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper (MSSSS) software. You download it (link below) on a CLEAN computer – shame on you if you create the boot media on the infected machine – and it walks you through the process of creating a bootable CD, DVD, USB thumb drive, or just creating an ISO file you can use anytime. The latest virus definitions are downloaded during the process, so you’re not instantly out of date, and are updated automatically if you run the install wizard again.

So, even if you’re not stuck with a virus, you probably know someone who is. Trade your few minutes of scanning for a night out, all from some free software from a company that lately is getting back its reputation for writing some darn good stuff.

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Now, to be clear, this does not replace the need for full antivirus software being installed on a machine. Antivirus / antimalware software is good for keeping your system safe, no matter what OS you’re running. If you don’t want to pay for antivirus, which you generally shouldn’t have to, try the following:

If you’re running Windows XP or higher – and really, you should be on Windows 7 if you’re running Windows – turn on Data Execution Prevention for all programs and services. Right click Computer, Select Properties, then Advanced System Settings, then click Settings under Performance, then select the second option for All Programs and Services, as shown in the diagram below.

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And, if you haven’t done so already, make sure your Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, and Apple QuickTime (if installed) are fully up to date. It’s often vulnerabilities in these non-Microsoft products that get you infected, not vulnerabilities in Windows itself.

Link: http://connect.microsoft.com/systemsweeper

December 20, 2011

Interesting Article: The Rise and Rise of JavaScript

imageI’m a big fan of computer history, and especially the history of the Web. Anybody remember LiveScript? Well, folks, that’s what Netscape – remember them? – called JavaScript before they licensed the name from Sun. If you’re only starting to get into JavaScript development, you’re lucky – the beginnings of it were horrible, plagued with incompatibility and lots and lots of swearing.

I came across a great article about JavaScript and its beginnings and where it is now. It’s always good to know the past, which will prevent problems in the future, or so we hope. Enjoy the read.

http://dannorth.net/2011/12/19/the-rise-and-rise-of-javascript/

-Auri

October 4, 2011

Reporter’s Notebook: CEATEC 2011, Day 1

As part of the CEATEC Innovation Awards panel, we were treated to an advance tour of the show’s exhibits. Below are photos and descriptions of what awaits us on the show floor, a small fraction of which is shown in the following photo.

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This year, the Innovation Awards are even more prominent. Pretty cool being with so many cool folks and reviewing and judging tech together.

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MeoTune

Taxan was showing the MeoTune, a terrestrial (over-the-air) television re-transmitter. The device takes a television signal and re-broadcasts it over WiFi so one can watch TV on any Android or iOS device via the MeoTV app. Oddly enough, the MeoTune only transmits via 802.11b/g, not 802.11n. Of course, only 1SEG television is supported at this time, so US consumers are out of luck at this time. They plan on bringing an ATSC (US of A) version to market, but I haven’t yet received the timeline. The device requires no batteries and charges via USB.

The beauty of this device is you can put it anywhere in your home – in ideal areas for television reception – and then watch your television anywhere. This is a boon for those who don’t have their television in the most “reception-friendly” area of the home.

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Alps – Touchpads Everywhere!

Alps was displaying two-point multi-touch capacitive drawing pads for the XBox 360 and Playstation 3, as well as touchpads for car steering wheels. They suggest touchpads are safer and more convenient than separate buttons on the car steering wheel, using the technology to swipe around to change radio channels, volume, navigation controls, and so forth. If you don’t know who Alps is, or their Cirque division, chances are you use their product in your laptop – they practically own the touchpad market.

P.S. It will be interesting to see how the XBox 360 + Windows Phone + Windows 8 products use multitouch, such as common gestures across the Windows platform.

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NTT DoCoMo & KDDI – Keeping You Healthy

NTT DoCoMo had a number of projects still in research mode, teaming sensors with Android apps, sensing everything from halitosis (bad breath) to handheld radiation detectors to measuring a person’s fat burning status just by measuring breath acetone levels.

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P.S. There are a lot of Android apps in the booths and I’m not seeing an iOS push. Of course, it’s only Day 1, and I haven’t toured the entire floor. I wonder if that’s really the case…

KDDI showcased a new method of audio transmission in a phone. No speaker is apparent. Instead, similar to how the JawBone headset works, vibrations are sent through the phone which vibrate your ear canal. Nobody can hear your conversation except you – a blessing for privacy, and peace of mind for those around “that guy with the loud phone”. KDDI pinky swears it’s safe.

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An NTT DoCoMo research project on display ran an Android app with image recognition (care of the Intel Open Vision library) for food health analysis. Take a photo of a dish and the app will [attempt to] determine the total number of calories in the meal you are about to [hopefully] enjoy.

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If you haven’t figured it out by now, many Japanese phone manufacturers are working to provide health management solutions in handsets. This has not quite made its way to our shores, although Lord knows it should.

In a foreign country and can’t read the menu? Just take out your [NTT DoCoMo] phone, hold it over the menu, and voila!

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None of these Android apps or their associated attachments are shipping as of yet. Bumr!

Also on display was a slick battery system that charges up an auxiliary battery case in 10 minutes, which the phone can comfortably slide into and charge from post-case-charge. NTT wouldn’t confirm the battery manufacturer, but my guess is Toshiba, who has shown similar tech in the past, yet none that had been integrated into an actual product.

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And of course there were all matter of quirky things, as always:

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Nobody knew what these little critters were, but everyone for sure wanted a New York Salad!

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What?!!!???!

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This way cool shirt could hold a 7” tablet with no problems. Nice!

Oh, and if you never thought omelets were beautiful:

Omelet Chef at the Hotel New Otani Makuhari, Chiba, Japan
August 20, 2011

Tech Wars: The Battle for Smartphone OS Dominance

By Matt Fleischauer, The Auri Group

It was recently decided that the new team members here at The Auri Group would each contribute to the Auri Group Blog.  Being the newest and least experienced person on the team, Naturally, I was chosen to be the first person to contribute.  I gratefully accepted the challenge with a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye. Fear sets in. What am I going to write about? I know! Google just announced that it is buying Motorola Mobility. I can write about that! Relief, a topic has been chosen.

Cool. I recently installed the Eclipse IDE, the ADT plug-in and created my first “Hello World” Android App.  I’m excited about learning to develop Android apps with all the possibilities that this open source OS has to offer. This acquisition of Motorola Mobility will be good for Android for sure, right? It’s already a wildly popular OS and with their own handset company they’ll be better able to compete against the likes of Windows Mobile and iOS, right? I decided that I had better learn a bit more about this so I hit the Web.

Woa! Ok, there’s a lot of discussion on this. Google is buying Motorola Mobility for 12.5 billion dollars. Cool. That’s a lot of money! But wait, what’s all this discussion about patent infringement lawsuits filed against Google? Ok, so Google may have been remiss in acquiring patents for its new technology. Hmm. Google puts in a bid at an auction to purchase Nortel patents. That’s interesting. Hold the phone. Microsoft and Apple are teaming up, together, as in working together? They are teaming up along with other companies to outbid Google on these Nortel patents?  Wow, they really don’t want Google to get these patents! Ok, proprietary vendors win that one. Hmm. I wonder if that is why Google is buying Motorola Mobility. I bet they have a lot of patents. Ok, yep, they do have a lot of patents. Well, that will probably help with the patent issues. I’m confused though. If Google can afford to buy Motorola Mobility for 12.5 billion dollars then why were they out bid for the Nortel patents for 4.5 billion? They could have outbid them, right? I don’t get it.

Wait a minute! What will the Android handset manufacturers think about this move to buy Motorola? What a can of worms. Hmm, it appears that they are OK with it. What? Now there is speculation that Microsoft could buy Nokia? Now that’s what I call keeping up with the Jones’s. This could get interesting.

The more I learn about this the more my head hurts. Companies file patent lawsuits.  Companies buy patents from other companies or buy companies with patents in defense of patent lawsuits. It seems that these companies should spend more time in innovation and less time in litigation. Oh, maybe it’s not all their fault. The patent system in the United States is being questioned by some as broken and creating favorable conditions for frivolous patent lawsuits. It sounds like there are a lot of lawyers making serious money with all this patent litigation going on. I should have been a lawyer. No, I couldn’t do that. I would hate it.

The pending purchase of Motorola Mobility by Google is like anything else in life, the details and reasons for things are often far more complicated than you first realize. The consequences of our actions can be equally complicated and difficult to predict. The technology business, smart phone OS and device development in this case, employ heavily the use of patent litigation offensively to stifle advancement and innovation by their competition. Of course, companies have every right to protect their proprietary IP. However, it appears that the patent system is being exploited beyond its original intent. The way the patent law in the US allows for the patent of an idea rather than the implementation of that idea seems to be a major enabler of this type of behavior by companies.

It remains to be seen who will prevail in this Battle for Smartphone OS dominance. This move could help Google increase the rate of Android adoption in the market or it could backfire. Many factors will need to play out before the dust settles.

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