Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How To Delete Files to Prevent Crashes in OS X 10.5.6

Apple has recently posted several articles that offer advice on how to prevent crashes and freezes related to the Mac OS X 10.5.6 update. The fixes all involve deleting files, most often heretofore little-known system files.

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BBC: UK housewives rule in online time

A survey of more than 27,000 web users in 16 countries has shown that the Chinese spend the largest fraction of their leisure time online.

However, UK housewives spend even more than China's average - 47%. The study was conducted by global market information group TNS, which asked 27,522 people aged between 18 and 55 to answer questions about their web use and compared respondents' faith in traditional versus online media.

Read the full story BBC story

All 30GB Zunes Fail!

Apparently, the players of those few silly people who did not buy Apple iPods began freezing at about midnight last night, becoming totally unresponsive and practically useless. 

"Apparently, around 2:00 AM today, the Zune models either reset, or were already off. Upon when turning on, the thing loads up and... freezes with a full loading bar (as pictured above). I thought my brother was the only one with it, but then it happened to my Zune. Then I checked out the forums and it seems everyone with a 30GB HDD model has had this happen to them"

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Student loans turn into crushing burden for students

Natalie Hickey picked up $140k in student debt, some of it at interest rates as high as 18%. Her monthly payments are roughly $1,700, more than her rent and car payment combined. Caught in an increasingly common trap in the nation's $85-billion student loan market, Hickey borrowed heavily, presuming that all her debt was part of the federal loans

Hickey knew she would need loans to complete her degree, so she went to the campus financial aid office as a freshman. After she filled out paperwork, Brooks Institute set her up in a loan program administered by Sallie Mae, the nation's biggest student lender.

Sallie Mae was chartered by the federal government in 1972, and most of its business is in issuing federally insured student loans. But while it may appear to be a quasi-government agency, it is in fact a for-profit company whose stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

Hickey ended up with $20,000 in low-interest federally guaranteed loans issued by Sallie Mae, and $120,000 in higher-interest private loans issued by Sallie Mae.

Hickey said no one explained the difference to her.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Guys you have lost the coin toss but perhaps not the war. Are Romantic Movies Bad For You?

Researchers are beginning to ask whether the make-believe world projected in "rom-coms" might actually be preventing true love in real life.

They found that problems typically reported by couples in relationship counseling at their counseling center reflect misconceptions about love and romance depicted in Hollywood films.

Relationship counselors often face common misconceptions in their clients — that if your partner truly loves you they'd know what you need without you communicating it, that your soul mate is predestined. We did a rigorous content analysis of romantic comedies and found that the same issues were being portrayed in these films," the university's Dr Bjarne Holmes says.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Massive iPod Touch Sales Over Christmas

Apple's new iPod Touch appears to have been a huge hit this holiday season with evidence that the high end iPod has seen massive gains in marketshare.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

iPhone Trumps Storm In Customer Satisfaction

Owners of the iPhone 3G were more satisfied than BlackBerry Storm owners, but RIM is well positioned for the next quarter, according to a report. The touch-screen BlackBerry Storm has helped Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) on the sales side, but a new report from ChangeWave said customers are more satisfied with Apple's iPhone 3G.In a survey of 4,000 U.S. cell phone owners, 77% of iPhone owners said they were "very satisfied" with the device. By contrast, only 33% of Storm owners said they were "very satisfied" with their handset. Additionally, 14% of Storm owners said they were "unsatisfied" with it, while only 5% of iPhone owners said the same.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Nation's First 'Underwater Wind Turbine' Installed

The USA's first commercial hydrokinetic turbine, which harnesses the power from moving water without the construction of a dam, has splashed into the waters of the Mississippi River near Hastings, Minnesota.

The 35-kilowatt turbine is positioned downstream from an existing hydroelectric-plant dam and — together with another turbine to be installed soon — will increase the capacity of the plant by more than 5 percent. The numbers aren't big, but the rig's installation could be the start of an important trend in green energy.

And that could mean more of these "wind turbines for the water" will be generating clean energy soon.
"We don't require that massive dam construction, we're just using the natural flow of the stream," said Mark Stover, a vice president at Hydro Green Energy, the Houston-based company leading the project. "It's underwater windpower if you will, but we have 840 or 850 times the energy density of wind."

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Firefox picks up 2 out of 3 users IE loses

FireFox is predicted to hit more than 21% market share in Dec, IE will drop below 69%. There is also a conclusion that FireFox is stealing more IE users than any other browser out there. 

Internet Explorer 7 is somewhat stable, but shows a tendency to drop. Internet Explorer 6 is on a clear path of decline. Current market share highs during the week are at about 22%, down from more than 25% three months ago. The lows are at about 15%, down from about 18% in October. It is clear that IE7 is not picking up the market share IE6 drops, but what about IE8 (beta)? The browser is showing strong growth, but the growth is based on a base line market share of just 0.48%. There is continuous adoption of the browser, which is now expected to be in the range of about 10 million, give or take a few hundred thousand users. Considering the current trend and estimates that IE may have lost almost 50 - 70 million users this year, IE8 is clearly not picking up users fast enough.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chinese Electric Cars Coming to America

EASTON, Pa. — Wuzheng North America, which recently made headlines by bringing in China-made pickup trucks, has made a deal with another Chinese company, to sell electric vehicles here.

The Jinan Flybo Motor Company's flagship is called the XFD-6000ZK. The name is almost longer than the vehicle, which measures 102.3 inches long on a 71-inch wheelbase and looks similar to the Smart car from certain angles. The XFD-6000ZK is "100 percent legal for on-road use," the company says.

The Flybo minicar can get you where you want to go electrically. It's now being sold by a U.S. distributor. (Photo courtesy of

Microsoft Warns of SQL Attack

Just days after patching a critical flaw in its Internet Explorer browser, Microsoft is now warning users of a serious bug in its SQL Server database software.

Microsoft issued a security advisory late Monday, saying that the bug could be exploited to run unauthorized software on systems running versions of Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005.

Attack code that exploits the bug has been published, but Microsoft said that it has not yet seen this code used in online attacks. Database servers could be attacked using this flaw if the criminals somehow found a way to log onto the system, and Web applications that suffered from relatively common SQL injection bugs could be used as stepping stones to attack the back-end database, Microsoft said.

Desktop users running the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine or SQL Server 2005 Express could be at risk in some circumstances, Microsoft said.

Grab your BFG and play Doom in your browser

Yes, Doom 1 has been recompiled in Flash from the original source. It plays just like I remembered the original, and could definitely become a giant Time Waster for anyone else who was hooked on Doom when it was first released. Adobe Flash 10 is required.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Blow into the iBreath and your iPod plays a blood-alcohol al

The accessory's maker hopes the iPod's cool factor will overcome any stigma of being responsible and using a breathalyzer.

Now the iPod can answer the question: Am iDrunk?

A new product called the iBreath turns Apple Inc.'s iPod into an alcohol breathalyzer. The $79 accessory plugs into the base of the iPod and functions like a field sobriety test. The person using the iBreath exhales into a retractable "blow wand" and the internal sensor measures the blood-alcohol content. Within two seconds, it displays the results on an LED screen. A reading of 0.08 or above sets off an alarm, signaling a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit in all 50 states.

"We figured, OK, if it's only a breathalyzer, the chances are this thing is coming off the iPod and sitting in the drawer," Bassler said. "If we put in the FM transmitter, they might keep it on there."

Dean-Mooney questions the accuracy of the device. Law enforcement agents use instruments that are calibrated monthly, and accurate readings require the person taking a field sobriety test to blow "deep lung air," she said. iBreath claims to offer results in as little as five seconds within 0.01% accuracy.

"I'm afraid it not only causes young people to use it as a training tool but also gives them a false sense of security. 'I'm good to go,' " Dean-Mooney said. "Your blood-alcohol content goes up for 30 minutes after you stop drinking."

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Japan Launches First Solar cargo ship

TOKYO (AFP) – The world's first cargo ship partly propelled by solar power took to the seas on Friday in Japan, aiming to cut fuel costs and carbon emissions when automakers export their products.Auriga Leader, a freighter developed by shipping line Nippon Yusen K.K. and oil distributor Nippon Oil Corp., took off from a shipyard in the western city of Kobe, officials of the two firms said.The huge freighter capable of carrying 6,400 automobiles is equipped with 328 solar panels at a cost of 150 million yen (1.68 million dollars), the officials said.The ship will initially transport vehicles being sent for sale overseas by Japan's top automaker Toyota Motor Corp. The project was conceived before the global economic crisis, which has forced automakers to drastically cut production as sales dwindle.Company officials said the 60,213-tonne, 200-metre (660-foot) long ship is the first large vessel in the world with a solar-based propulsion system. So far solar energy has been limited to supporting lighting and crew's living quarters.The solar power system can generate 40 kilowatts, which would initially cover only 0.2 percent of the ship's energy consumption for propulsion, but company officials said they hoped to raise the ratio.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

If You Rescue Someone You May Get Sued!

Would-be heroes were warned by the retarded California Supreme Court on Thursday that they could be liable for damages if they inadvertently injure a person while attempting a rescue. In a 4-3 ruling, the high court held that a state statute immunizing rescuers from liability applies only if the individual is providing medical care in an emergency situation. It doesn't apply when Good Samaritans accidently cause injuries while, for example, pulling someone out of a burning house or diving into swirling waters to save a drowning swimmer.

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New iMacs and Mac Minis Confirmed to Use NVIDIA Chipsets

Apple's next-generation iMacs and Mac minis will adopt the same NVIDIA chipset platform found at the heart of the company's most recent notebook overhaul, new findings confirm once over. A member of the InsanelyMac forums was recently rifling through the extension files that ship with the latest MacBooks and MacBooks Pros and discovered references to a "Macmini3,1" and "iMac9,1."Running System Profiler on Apple's most current iMacs and Mac minis reveal the model number of those systems to be "Macmini2,1" and "iMac8,1," meaning the configuration files included with the company's latest notebooks are for still unannounced models. Specifically, the extension file of interest pertains to a Mac's System Management Controller and Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI_SMC_PlatformPlugin.kext). It includes a variety of information, including strings that identify the supporting chipset of each Mac. The entries for the unannounced iMac and Mac minis list their chipset as the "CFG_MCP79," which is the same exact NVIDIA MCP79 platform employed by unibody MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs, which are similarly identified in the same file as the MacBook5,1, MacBookPro5,1, and MacBookAir2,1.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Apple's Take On Mobile Unix

The Mac community was buzzing in late November when the director of Apple’s Unix group showed a slide at the LISA (Large System Adminstration) conference that predicted that the Snow Leopard version of Mac OS X would ship in the first quarter of 2009. In presentation they offered some interesting bits of their own.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

France abuzz over alcoholic 'cure'

An eminent French cardiologist has triggered an impassioned debate in the medical world over his claim to have discovered a cure for alcoholism.

Dr Olivier Ameisen, 55, one of France's top heart specialists, says he overcame his own addiction to alcohol by self-administering doses of a muscle-relaxant called baclofen.

He has now written a book about his experience - Le Dernier Verre (The Last Glass) - in which he calls for clinical trials to test his theory that baclofen suppresses the craving for drink.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Apple's Security Paradox

Even as Macs have multiplied, the number of viruses and Trojans targeting them has fallen.

As Apple's slice of the computer market grows, cyber security researchers have long warned that hackers would someday turn their attention away from PCs and toward innocent Macbooks and iPhones.

That day, it turns out, has yet to come. But virus-fearing Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) fans could be forgiven for thinking it had.

On Monday, Washington Post blogger Brian Krebs wrote that Apple had "quietly published" a note on its technical support site recommending Apple users install antivirus software. In fact, the recommendation had been on Apple's site for more than a year. But other blogs and media outlets took the Post's story as evidence that Apple computers have finally lost the "immunity" to viruses and other malicious code that the company touts in its "Mac vs. PC" ads.

On Tuesday evening, Apple deleted the antivirus recommendation, writing in a statement to the press that it was "old and inaccurate," and reiterating the claim that Apple devices are safe "right out of the box."

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gmail Enables Free SMS Messaging From Chat

To send a message, just type a phone number into the search box at the top of the chat window on the left side of the Gmail interface, and hit ‘Send SMS’. Numbers can be associated with contact names so you don’t have to keep manually entering them.

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Don't wait for Snow Leopard: 10 ways to slim down and speed

December 10, 2008 (Computerworld) Apple Inc. hasn't done much talking about Snow Leopard, the next-generation update to Mac OS X that's due to be released in 2009 (possibly within the first quarter of the year). But in what came as a surprise to many, the company has said that the new operating system will contain a limited number of new features.

Instead of going the route of Leopard, which added more than 300 new features, Snow Leopard is designed to focus on the underpinnings of the operating system. The result, according to Apple, will be an operating system that takes greater advantage of multicore processors, is able to leverage the often-untapped power of graphics processing hardware for general computing operations and extends 64-bit architecture compatibility -- all of which will deliver much higher performance over Leopard. You can get lean and fast computing with your current version of Mac OS X. Here's how...

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The 7 Dumbest Things Ever Done by Airport Security

If there's one holiday ritual we all know and hate, it's that yearly trip to the airport, where the friendly security man awaits with his X-ray machine, his metal detector and possibly a well-lubed rubber glove. While none of us want to spend the holidays involved in a terrorist incident (unless you're living in the Die Hard universe), you have to admit that sometimes security gets a little out of hand. And then there are horror stories like...

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Henry Winkler's Days as 'The Fonz' Blighted By Dyslexia

'I was called Dumb Dog': Henry Winkler's happy days as The Fonz were blighted by condition undiagnosed for 35 years. 

But the reality was rather different. The star couldn't actually ride the bike because his co-ordination was so poor - one symptom of dyslexia, a condition that had crippled him since childhood yet remained undiagnosed until he was 35.

'It's not just the fact that you can't read or you find studying difficult,' says Henry, now 63. 'There are so many ways dyslexia can affect you. For some, it means you don't always understand what's being said to you. Numbers get transposed, so instead of 13 you read 31.

Dyslexia is a neurological problem that manifests itself primarily as a difficulty with written language. Sufferers may also have time management, clumsiness and co-ordination problems.

Experts believe the condition, which is thought to affect ten per cent of the population, according to the British Dyslexia Association, results from differences in how the brain processes language.

It is not an 'intellectual' disability and has been diagnosed in people of all levels of intelligence. Albert Einstein was believed to be a sufferer and could not read until the age of nine.

Famous names from Sir Richard Branson to Eddie Izzard and Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, are diagnosed dyslexics.

While there is no cure, individuals can learn to read and write with specialist education or treatment.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Drug to Cure Jet-Lag in the Works

It's odd that jet-lag needs a cure. It does not seem like the sort of thing for which there should be a cure. When it's been a long time since you've traveled it can become easy to see jet lag as a psychological weakness, not a physical one. All you've got to do is tell yourself to "buck up, you've done nothing but sit for ten hours." But as all weary travelers know, jet-lag is as real as any virus or condition.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Cars in the United States

The miles-per-gallon standard for cars in the United States is stuck at 27.5, compared to 43 in Europe and 46 in Japan. And those standards will be laughable in a few years time. Case in point: A British Volkswagen concept car gets 235 miles to the gallon. But that one won't be available for a couple more years.

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Apple's LED Cinema Display: the review

Apple's first major update to the Cinema Display line brings a much greener design and a raft of welcome feature updates, especially for MacBook owners. At the same time, a partial shift away from Apple's mainstay professional crowd makes one wonder where the company is going and whether it hasn't lost focus.

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Avoiding Negative Friends is a key to happiness

                                             Happiness is contagious, study finds
Happiness is contagious, researchers reported on Thursday. The same team that demonstrated obesity and smoking spread in networks has shown that the more happy people you know, the more likely you are yourself to be happy. And getting connected to happy people improves a person's own happiness, they reported in the British Medical Journal.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Apple: 300 million iPhone apps downloaded

Apple on Friday said 300 million iPhone apps have been downloaded from its App Store since it opened in July. In addition to the 300 million apps download, Apple also confirms that the App Store also passed the 10,000 app mark in the store.

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Exclusive: Jay Leno on the Bailout

Once you Lose American Manufacturing, It’s Gone Forever. In an exclusive interview with PM, Jay Leno gives his take on the auto bailout.

I think we should bail them out. To me it’s like class warfare. The white-collar guys get a bailout and the blue-collar guys don’t? That’s crazy. You know, I’d rather help a guy with a wrench in his hand than some guy sitting in front of a keyboard.

We’ve given the banks $700 billion. Does it seem like anything has actually happened with that money? No. But when a factory closes, boy, you’ll see the effect of that right away. You’ll see towns go under and you’ll see lives ruined. That town will never be a manufacturing center again. At best those old buildings will become a mall or a Wal-Mart.

I look at it this way: I don’t necessarily want to loan my brother-in-law money, but he’s family. To me, GM, Ford, Chrysler and the suppliers that go along with them are our family.

We barely make anything in this country anymore as it is. And once you lose this manufacturing infrastructure, it’s pretty much gone forever.

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3 Dirt-Cheap DIY Electric Cars for Under $2k

So you want a 100% electric car for commuting or running errands in your town or small city.

Maybe you’ve dreamt of whipsering down the road in a clean, quiet Tesla roadster … and then you woke up screaming at the thought of the $109,000 U.S. price tag.

In that case, may we present the other end of the EV spectrum: a trio of street legal electric cars converted from gasoline to battery power for an average price of $1450 each. (No, that’s not a typo.)

"I Made A Fake Facebook And Had 100 Friends In 4 Days"

Facebook is by far one of the top social networking sites on the Internet, with millions of users, How security conscious are the people that use it? Basically you just have to be aware of your own security online. Do not post information that other people shouldn’t have and always second guess yourself when wondering whether you should do something that could compromise your online safety. And as pointed out from above, check who you friend on Facebook.

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Meraki Releases World’s First Solar-Powered WiFi Device

day, wireless networking provider Meraki started shipping the world’s first solar-powered WiFi mesh device. Meraki’s groundbreaking energy-independent device is powered by a single solar panel and solar-charged battery. Since the unit requires no grid-derived energy, it can be set up in areas lacking power supplies, like parks, golf courses, rural areas, and resorts.

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Economy, opportunity seen leading to $599 Apple netbook

Faced with the perfect storm of a bleak market and a boom in ultra-budget portables, Apple is believed by some to be readying its own take on the netbook for the first half of 2009.

Gottheil dismisses the notion of an artificial premium on Apple products, noting that they often compete well for the features, but is certain that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has reached a breaking point where perceived quality can't override genuine financial woes from customers.

Crucially, he also takes to heart Jobs' assertion that $500 systems are typically "junk" and believes that Apple will price the system at $599. The figure would be just low enough to draw customers who would pass over the plastic MacBook but high enough to avoid the risk Apple's co-founder perceives in dropping the price particularly low.
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Friday, December 5, 2008

The Kit That Turns Gas Guzzlers into Plug-In Hybrids

Sitting in a Connecticut warehouse, the very first Poulsen Hybrid looks like a standard Honda Civic with immobilizer boots attached to its rear wheels. It is, one would have to say, not the most visually elegant of solutions to the pressing problem of using electric power to extend the range of the internal-combustion automobile. But it's also both practical and affordable.

The concept is relatively simple: Two of the company's seven-horsepower (five kilowatt) disc-shaped DC electric motors are bolted onto the rear wheels of the host car, connected by cables to a controller, battery charger and 4.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack in the trunk. The system, adding approximately 200 pounds to the car and taking up 20 percent of trunk space, acts as range extender. The motors do not drive the car, but kick in to provide a power boost between 15 and 60 miles per hour. Regenerative braking helps keep the batteries charged.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Apple investigating graphics issues on new MacBook lines

The first issue, which some are calling "the black screen of death," manifests itself on unibody MacBook Pros during game play. Users report that their screens go black after just a few minutes of gaming, while the system locks up and the audio enters into an infinite loop.

Once the systems lock up, users say they lose control of their cursor and are left with no other option but to restart their Macs through a hard reset. The issue exists under both Windows and Mac OS X, affecting a wide range of titles that include Call of Duty 4, World of Warcraft, Ages of Empire III, Command and Conquer, Oblivion, Company of Heroes, an

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