A Vista into Windows 7

•May 21, 2009 • 1 Comment

When Windows Vista was released, it had high anticipation for its quality as a new OS (operating system). The software quickly became popular; not as a reliable system however, but a rigid, slow processing security hound.

A witty stab at the importance of Windows Vista Security System

A witty stab at the importance of Windows Vista Security System

Windows Vista became well known for its poor attempts at running programs properly and security issues. After personal experience with using the operating system, it also does a poor job with running several programs at a time smoothly. After a month or so of normal computer wear and tear on the software (installing, uninstalling, download/moving files, etc.) Vista seems to slow down dramatically; especially on systems with average specifications.

Honestly, the problem with these people is they can’t tell the difference between Windows Vista and Windows 95. Sure the Windows Vista program looks nice and basic programs like Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player decently run a couple episodes of Seinfeld reruns (in standard definition). Fact of the matter is you can’t just stick a couple dozen people into a foreign room with a copy of an operating system that hasn’t been customized to the client’s standards. Customizations for computers are different for everyone, and changing the computer’s settings into how the client likes it doesn’t happen after a couple program installs; it takes time.
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/mojave-experiment/#

I personally had high hopes for the new Windows Vista software to release after seeing some of the reviews and screenshots of the improved visual interface. Too bad the animations they use are choppy, 3rd party programs that are normally installed on computers have numerous security issues, compatibility with older programs is slim, and for most you either have to go through numerous options to change compatibility/administrator issues before it might work. For the most part the people who cared enough just had to release extensive patches to fix issue with old software (including the compatibility steps previously explained).

Now, I’m not alone when it comes to people complaining about Vista’s poor capabilities and compatibilities. In fact after the release of Windows Vista, it simply gave Microsoft an adamant reputation: Crap. A fair percentage of former Vista users even downgraded (upgraded rather) to Windows XP. Even though Windows XP may be missing some of the modern capabilities that were attempted to be implemented into the newer OS, the speed and blatant ability to operate keeps XP as the preferable choice.

I am included in the “upgrade” from Vista to XP. When I purchased my laptop, Vista was the included operating system. I was looking forward to being able to switch operating systems and try out some of the new technologies that may make the computer easier to use or maybe even more entertaining. I was wrong. After installing a few programs and stressing some of the computer’s capabilities, I found that the system’s hardware specifications should have been able to process my tasks more quickly. I found myself waiting for long periods of time for simple tasks like copying files from one folder to another. My carpel tunnel still hasn’t gone away from having to click away all the security notifications. After about a month of increased finger pain and frustration, I wiped the harddrive and installed XP.

On December 27th, 2008 copies of the Windows 7 beta had begun to leak on the internet. People knew that Windows was working on a new operating system that would be released to the public fairly soon. Fortunately it was spread unexpectedly and the public now had access to try out the beta. Since then the Beta was formally released as well as the a Release Candidate (Commonly known as RC1).

So what now? Windows has been increasingly viewed as a poor operating system since the release of the PC v. Mac commercials released by Apple. Of course Vista definitely contributed to Microsoft’s growing reputation. If Microsoft releases Windows 7, and doesn’t improve their OS to meet today’s standards, who knows what kind of damage they would cause to their company.

Fortunately I’ve been able to test out the new operating system for myself by signing up to use the Beta and RC1. When I first installed Windows 7, I was directly comparing its capabilities to Vista. I find that in today’s standards, people want efficiency and speed. I found that Windows 7’s speed was exceptionally faster than it’s former sibling Vista. I was able to navigate through the system much more easily, and switching through programs was a breeze. Not to mention the interface is like eye-candy. Transitions from one window to the next is much smoother and easier to follow. Whats even better is they have implemented a new style of task bar that looks better and is much more organized. Instead of seeing 30 boxes on the bottom of the screen each saying “Internet Explorer”, it uses icons instead and organizes all of the active windows into visual lists so you can navigate through them so you can find your way around more quickly. Windows does still have the system notifications pop up for various needs like program installations, but fortunately it has been cut to a minimum.

Its about time that we can finally search wordpress.com endlessly all day without the hiccups of pointless issues. I’m not saying that Windows 7 is going to change the world, nor will it ever surpass Apple’s standards of a “clean” OS, but I feel that upon the release of Windows 7, Microsoft can walk away with a little dignity again.

More on Windows 7 at:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/default.aspx

•May 6, 2009 • 5 Comments

Remember the revolutionary gadget that brought avid readers to an electronic surface? Well you probably don’t because Amazon’s hype about their product didn’t amount to what they had hoped. This is referring to Amazon’s Kindle.

It’s an electronic pad that has a black and white screen that allows you to read articles on a white paper, black ink looking surface. It’s not actually a bad idea. It gives several advantages over buying the daily paper. You can get read many different types of genres on one piece of equipment from; newspapers, online articles, ebooks, and popular literature transferred to digital print. No more fumbling through stacks of papers that you’d like to look through; everything’s organized into one machine. Its thin and has a broad surface that allows you to read easily just like a book’s print size. What Amazon wanted to do with it was to create the same experience people get from reading the newspaper, on to a digital piece of equipment.

Here are the problems. It runs off battery, so you’ll have to keep accounted for the amount of time you have before you have to rush to the wall and be plugged in. It is ONLY a black and white screen designed to make print look nice so there are no video or color picture capabilities. The biggest downfall of the kindle however, is the price. These things run at $359 a piece. No wonder people feel just fine skipping the black and white digital screen for a real paper that costs only $.50 a piece.

Here’s where it gets better. Amazon is now releasing a new version called the Kindle DX. Larger screen, longer battery life, higher price. What? Amazon is generously releasing their new product at $489. The major problem with the Kindles was that they were so expensive in the first place. Not too many people even cared to buy one because of the high price verses lack of compatibility. CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos said “Kindle DX on the inside is a very significant computer. It is a very expensive device to manufacture. We are offering it as inexpensively as we can.” The Kindles are expected to be shipped out this summer.

One thing they may be useful is for academic purposes. Several Universities including Pace University are partnering with Amazon in issuing students a large screened Kindle instead of textbooks. This could potentially help save students hundreds of dollars on textbooks and excessive backpack weight. Important factors would them come into play however. If students invest in a Kindle, would the textbooks in digital print then be provided by the schools for free? The only way that the Kindle would be found useful is through economic success, which it hasn’t achieved yet. We’ll see if the new Kindle revolutionizes the way we read after its release this summer.

More on the Kindle at –

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124162110396691937.html

http://www.tgdaily.com/html_tmp/content-view-42333-97.html
http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/42308/113/

Gadget Wars: Always something to complain about.

•April 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

When a new gadget comes out, it is always followed up by a competitor’s release of either a new model that’s “better” or a copy-cat of it. When a new car, computer, or appliance is released, today on the internet everybody has an opinion towards it as well; and you can’t find enough people complaining about it.
As most people know, the iPhone is one of the newest and high-tech mobile phones on the market today. It is considered a “cell-phone” but anybody who owns one knows why it isn’t only a phone. I personally like to call it a Mobile Computer.
Of course when the iPhone came out, bloggers and other types reviewed the phone, complaining about it. I’ll give people some credit, the price of the phone itself and the extra monthly fee aren’t very convenient. If you read further though you’ll read why people give other phones like the Samsung Instinct a higher rate of potential. See Instinct vs. iPhone
here to read reviewer’s previous thoughts.

When you read what that person wrote there were some valid points about it. Sprint is cheaper, and the the reviewer apparently liked worthless features. He says “One other big news is that Apple is going to allow third party applications on their iPhone but only those that are approved by them. Not sure how popular that will be.” – The App Store for the iPhone was launched in summer of 2008. Its intent was to serve as a 3rd party application store all iphone and ipod touch users. As of April 24th 2009 they reach 1 billion application downloads. See Apple and Cnet
This shows that the iPhone is one of the newest and most popular innovations. It holds a fully functional gps system, phone access, sms, wifi, full functional internet browser, and accelerometer. It comes with several applications that utilize those features as well. Unlike all other phones, there are thousands of applications that take advantages of all of those features as well. No other phone to date allows this amount of adaptability in a phone. So you can complain that the iPhone can’t record video and that it costs a lot, and that the instinct has voice activation. Looked on the appstore to see how many voice capable apps for; dialing, typing and checking maps. There were more than 1 hundred (i stopped scrolling there).

Yes the iPhone is expensive, but it is one of the most useful and entertaining gadgets yet released that fit in your pocket. I personally frequently use it for; looking up directions and using the GPS (I dont get lost anymore) checking email on the go, looking up things online when a computer isn’t accessible (google or youtube while in the car), check the weather, or just simply talk on aim. Otherwise when I’m bored i simply turn on some youtube, watch television or movies from my computer through the “Orb” application, play games, or even get new games when I don’t feel like playing the ones I already have. People who complain about it though probably have just one problem with the iPhone. They don’t own one.

OnLive Future of Gaming

•April 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Over the years, video game consoles have been updated and released showing off the latest quality and technology of its time. First wave was the 8bit/16bit (nintendo nes snes, atari, sega master system and later genesis) consoles that featured classic sidescrolling/rpg adventures. Then game the 32/64 bit consoles that introduced the world to quality 3d gaming (playstation, nintendo 64). Then came the internet based consoles introducing games that could be played online with other real players (playstation xbox). Then the latest trend has been high definition online gaming (xbox 360, ps3, nintendo wii). These are only a few of the consoles released, but they are considered the consoles that shifted the history of gaming to what it is today.

Although the line of gaming has changed a lot since the start, it seems to be a linear path that won’t change. Until today. Within the last month, a system called OnLive has been introduced to the scene that is expected to be released in winter of 2009.

This system is different from many others. In the past you had to buy a system that played only the specific games. Your hardware was the performance-depender. Your system you bought was the main factor in what games you could play based on what companies released to that specific system. But the OnLive console breaks that wall. Their plan is to be able to stream high-end latest high definition games, through online connections, so that you can play videogames without having to depend on your own hardware. Servers will be set up that do all of the work for you so you can play your video games at the highest quality without worrying about what you own.

The system that streams and runs OnLive for you will be about the size of a deck on cards and will release titles of games across the entire console and PC spectrum. They will also allow you to either use the controller they have designed to play the games that they provide, or plug in a mouse and keyboard that you’d rather use to play the games on.

So the difference between present gaming and future gaming

Present –
-Your hardware is the limiter for running the games
-Most games you buy are from the store and need to be installed/inserted into the system
-Your controlling abilities are dependent on the system you use.
– Your system is the limiter to what games you can play on it.

Future with OnLive –
-You don’t use performance hardware, you use there’s (guarantee that 99% of users will not be able to outperform their systems)
-You don’t download the games you stream them so you can play them instantly.
-They giving several options for controlling abilities so you can play the game the way you want to.
– Stream any game available on the OnLive store. (who knows what games will be provided at first, but the system doesn’t matter because they provide it for you so you can play games that are available on several different systems)

On the other hand, who knows how much this service will actually cost, if its a monthly program as well as purchasing the games, or if you just buy the console and go from there. One potential worry is that the price will be overwhelming and the popularity just won’t catch on.

This sounds like an amazing way to shift the future of gaming for many. Yet it hasn’t been released. So we’ll see if this will be the major shift in gaming or if it will become and “Epic Fail”. Sounds like a good idea and it will be able to reach many different gamers and put it into a system the size of a deck of cards. Sounds great; but I feel there could potentially be flaws to the idea. Personally I can only hope for the best.

See more about OnLive at http://www.onlive.com/index.html

Today’s Media and what’s in store for Tomorrow

•April 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Everybody knows one thing. The internet is now the number 1 access to the majority of the public’s media content. Newspaper companies, tv shows, even movies have shifted to a position as online streaming content. What now?

Youtube Executive Jordan Hoffner said, “I think that what we’re doing is we’re dealing with a fragmented world,” Hoffner said. “You can’t just say you’re going to count out any distribution channel and focus on one because audiences are moving to other places. We’re one of the places they’re moving to.”

Like Hoffner describes, audiences are moving to the online world for their main source of media. Take the first part of his comment and dwell on it a bit. “I think that what we’re doing is we’re dealing with a fragmented world”. If you look at media in the online world. You can’t get all of your content from one place. Everything is seperated. First you go onto CNET and check the latest news. Then you go onto Youtube to find the latest releases of amateur videos or just watch your latest favorite. Then you find that you have a couple hours to spare, you want to watch a movie, but where could you find this?

There have been a long list of sites popping up and frequently getting shut down for their streaming and downloading of illegal content. Many different internet sites are beginning to host LEGAL streams of feature films. The amount of films that can be legally watched online at this point can be considered low, but it seems apparent that watching films online could be the next biggest media shift to date.

Youtube is now working to become not only an amateur video sharing site, but is now taking the role with their new Youtube News section as an access to media. Now more recently they’re beginning to work with Sony on becoming a major access to feature films directly on the Youtube site.
read more at – http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10212585-93.html?tag=newsLeadStoriesArea.1

Youtube isn’t the only site working on building a respectable collection of feature films for people to stream. Hulu and other major sites have been hosting films for some time now, yet the process to get a numerous collection online will take some time.

Sites like Youtube are trying to break walls with the Hollywood industry to make the shift to online content. In past years copyright issues have occurred with users placing illegal content on the site. In the early days, companies would complain to Youtube and only get the response “We don’t have control over the content being shared by our users”. Nowdays Youtube has shifted their attitude to keeping the site copyright clean.

The next step for them is to eventually gain access to streaming feature length films directly on the site. Companies are hesitant to share their content at the moment, because they don’t want to see their work benefiting sites like Youtube at their own expense. They want benefits on both ends.

The major shift has begun but we’ll have to see in the years ahead if the shift will effectively take place, or if major motion pictures were never designed to be freely streamed.

Right now you can find a few sites that stream some films like:
http://www.hulu.com/movies
http://www.youtube.com/ytscreeningroom
http://crackle.com/

Transmotivation

•March 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Of all power sources, petroleum is the most consumed in the U.S. Vehicles are only getting larger, which only means one thing; more fuel is needed. Upcoming generations have developed an idea of a greener environmental attitude. To apply the idea of cutting down pollution and hazardous wastes to our environment, the best place to start would be to develop in the most consumed area.

Companies around the world are working to develop transportation with other means of an energy source besides burning fuel. Ideas consisted of electric/fuel hybrid (already exist), pure electric, hydrogen, compressed air and even water. There are several positives and negatives to all the ideas.

Hybrids save a lot of fuel, but still rely on the fuel as the main source.

Electric cars may not produce pollution directly, but some are worried that the electricity consumption would be unbelievable if this became the main form of transportation. More on today’s electric cars here.

Hydrogen would be very efficient, in fact the exhaust is actually pure water due to the method of creating energy in the car itself is reverse electrolysis which combines the hydrogen and oxygen from outside together to create water. Within that process is where the energy is “created” as the power source. again the problem with that is that the earth doesn’t retain enough accessible hydrogen to power millions of cars, so large electrolysis establishments would need to be created. Only way to power these facilities is one way, a considerable amount of electricity which is the same problem as electric cars.

Cars that run off of water would technically be the most ideal form of fuel. We have a never-ending replenishment of water on the earth that is just recycled through the air land, and bodies of water. Currently a man named Jimmy Klein has developed a way to turn H2O into HHO and use it as a very useful energy source for welding and other industrial machinery. Then one day he realized he could take this idea and shift it to powering a car. The idea was patented 2 years ago, and welders have been available, but the idea hasn’t shifted to mainstream transportation yet. It would be interesting to see if something like this would be available in the future.

A new type of vehicle being released in mid April, is the Tata Nano. The designers decided to build an inexpensive vehicle for families in India who can’t afford one.

The Tata Nano will be released at a price of 100,000 rupees, or a little over 2050 dollars. With taxes and all expenses said and done it will cost about 2497 dollars, 4 times less than any other new vehicle in the U.S ever released new. It maxes out at 60 mph with a fuel efficiency of 50 mpg. More on the Tata Nano here.

With many different ideas for how to run transportation in the future, its only a matter of time before more efficient means of transportation will begin to take place. Unfortunately that “matter of time” hasn’t been able to strike the company lines and develop an alternate fuel source car yet to the mainstream. The main reasons is fuel companies would lose many sales in petroleum, hurting the economy that way. Also there are an unmeasurable amount of gas stations across the U.S. and all of the would have to convert or add the new fuel source to their station, which would be an extremely difficult task to complete. So for now, petroleum it is. Hopefully some day, these ideas will finally break through and people will soon take the shift over to a safer and more efficient source of energy.

Energy Consumption

•March 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

With all of the technology being developed, who knows how much more energy is going to be consumed over the next few decades.  What kind of technology is being used as a “safer” source of energy today?

www.chevron.com/deliveringenergy
Looking here at chevron.com you can see many different forms of energy sources being used and developed to sustain the demand for energy consumption.  If you look closely though you’ll notice that under the coal source, the quote is shown as followed “The ever-growing demand for energy can only be met with a range of options.”   – When you think about it.  Its not the energy companies fault that they need to use energy that pollutes.  Its the energy demand that forces the company to find as many ways possible, but if they take out this source of power,  a huge portion of our power would collapse.  Think about it, if your house hasn’t been powered for even a day, is the first thing you’re going to think about is how glad you are that the energy company is trying to be more “green”?

If you look at the chart you can see that 25% of the energy consumed in the U.S. is coal. 41% of it is petroleum for transportation. That’s 2/3 of our energy sources come from harmful energy.

With resource problems being increasingly recognizable, there are ways people are attempting to save energy.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/03/05/solar.roof.atlantic.city/index.html
The convention center in Atlantic City, New Jersey now holds one of the largest roof-contained solar panel system. It powers 26% of their energy. At first you might think that’s not very much energy, well they have a 20 year contract, and over the those next 20 years they determine they’ll save around 4.4 million dollars in energy costs alone.

In the midwest, an energy source can be seen frequently. Wind powered energy sources.
http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/technology/wind-power/

Technology is continually being developed, energy sources as well will be developed. One of the most popular ideas is changing the source of energy used by vehicles.

TO BE CONTINUED…