Hard drives could get scarce: Apple, analysts

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

A 2.5-inch hard disk drive. Supply of HDD motors from Nidec, which accounts for between 70 percent and 80 percent of the market, will be affected.

(Credit:Amazon)

The humble hard disk drive may become a more precious commodity in the coming months, according to analysts and Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook made this very clear this week in the company’s earnings conference call, referring to the impact of the floods in Thailand. “Like many others, we source many components from Thailand and have multiple factories that supply these components. there are several factories that are currently not operable, and the recovery timeline for these factories is not known at this point,” he said.

Cook continued. “We would say that our primary exposure is on theMac…I’m virtually certain there will be an overall industry shortage of disk drives as a result of the disaster,” he said.

Analysts at DisplaySearch and IHS-iSuppli chimed in this week with warnings too, centered on drive motor maker Nidec, which supplies between 70 percent to 80 percent of the hard disk drive motors. “The floods are expected to limit the hard disk drive motor supply coming from maker Nidec, which has about 80 percent share of the market,” Richard Shim of DisplaySearch wrote this week. (Note: iSuppli says 70 percent.)

Nidec is a supplier to all the major hard drive manufacturers, including Hitachi, Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital, wrote Shim.

And there is an impact beyond Nidec because Thailand is a global hub for production, as Apple’s Cook pointed out. Hitachi, Toshiba, and Western Digital have HDD plants in Thailand that have curtailed production because of the supply shortage, according to Shim.

Thailand accounts for about 25 percent of worldwide HDD production, according to iSuppli.

But warnings about production aside, what’s the bottom line on supply and prices? “Typically, notebook brands carry up to four weeks of hard disk drive inventory to respond to market dynamics and logistics…some brands were leaning towards the lower end of inventory ranges, two to three weeks, for most components,” wrote Shim, referring to the fourth quarter. (See current Newegg HDD pricing.)

And in a phone interview on Friday, Shim said that in the short term, prices should not rise, at least not considerably. “In the short term, no. Because most of the brands have several weeks [inventory]. but if it becomes this perfect storm of events where there is a lot of demand and the flooding continues to have an impact, then we could have a problem,” he said.

If there’s one company to watch, it may be No.1 Western Digital (WDC), according to IHS-iSuppli.

“WDC, the world’s largest HDD manufacturer in terms of volume, has 37,000 workers in Thailand, and production in the country accounts for 60 percent of the company’s total capacity. WDC in the second quarter made 53.8 million HDDs, giving it a 32 percent share of the global market,” said iSuppli.

Computer Tips 101 – What is the Best Antivirus and Spyware Software?

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

With so many infections being invented every day, your computer is more vulnerable than ever. In fact, you might think it’s already protected when in fact, it’s probably infected already by some hidden worm or virus inside. these viruses evolve in the hands of really skillful programmers – making it more difficult for casual users to detect and remove them.

So what is the best antivirus and spyware software? this is a difficult question to answer. there are tons of antivirus programs out there but only a handful actually does their job. Choosing the right one can be downright exhausting. you need to consider critic reviews of each antivirus program in order to determine which one suits you the best.

Among the top antivirus programs are AVG, Kaspersky, Trend Micro, Avira, and Avast. these are just some of the names that have been embraced by millions of users around the world. They have gained the respect of many people because they are actually effective in spotting and getting rid of different kinds of infections that have been unleashed since the inception of the internet.

But what makes them a cut above the rest? Critics have different ways of measuring the effectiveness of an application. They have different standard of measurements. what may be effective and powerful to one may be totally mediocre to another. but there are certain criteria that are generally approved across the board. the following are some of the criteria that you can use when doing your own evaluation:

1. Scope. this is where most antivirus programs differ from one another. some are very powerful although their scope is limited to the usual worms, viruses, and Trojans. others have an encompassing scope and can even detect phishing, scams, and keyloggers. always consider the scope of protection when choosing the application for you because you never know when a sneaky infection gets hold of the Windows Registry.

2. Performance. this is very important because a well-designed, polished interface would be nothing if the actual program itself can hardly fight off infections. Forget about design and all that. Effectiveness is one of the most aspects that you should look into when shopping for the right antivirus. can this particular antivirus actually remove 100% of the infiltrators? there should be no room for errors because a single worm can spread fast into your system.

3. User-friendly interface. this is also important especially if you are fond of customizing things to make it all easy for you. when there is way too many buttons and the panels are all cluttered like a messy room, then this is probably not the right one for you.

Letter: Stein-Kucinich is ticket for compassionate, wise policies in Washington

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Stephen C. Gifford, Vero Beach

Letter: Stein-Kucinich is ticket for compassionate, wise policies in Washington

Jill Stein is a sweet, tough lady from Massachusetts who has a lot of great ideas and convictions. She’s a doctor, wife, mother, and experienced campaigner. She’s also running for Green Party nominee for president in 2012.

If you’re scared to be compassionate like Jill and skeptical about her chances, I ask you, with both worldwide environmental disaster and economic crises threatening or under way, how would mankind’s chances for survival be salvaged with Barack Obama or some Republican?

Obama’s positive achievements are slight. He’s rightly called the Bernie Madoff of the progressive majority. in my opinion, he’s been an appeaser, a source of evil and a terrorist, but his faults are fewer next to the globally monstrous, ravenously savage insanities of the Republican candidates.

The Republicans verbally claim country and Christ, but in this case the modified adage, “Patriotism and religion are the last refuge of scoundrels,” fully applies. Peace is patriotic, and true religion is loving, truthful, and beautiful.

Jill Stein’s positions on issues support the opinions of the majority of voters in the United States: ending the wars; keeping Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, single-payer health care for all; rational, adequate steps toward dealing with climate change, a Green New Deal and full employment; curbing the horribly greedy idiocies of Wall Street, and an end to corporate personhood; campaign finance reform; education for all; and ending sexism and racism.

With Stein for president and proven champion Democrat Dennis Kucinich as her running mate, Americans can vote for reason, compassion, wisdom, and unassailable integrity and toughness. It’s up to us to support this unbeatable combination.

Steve Jobs' sister: 'Death didn't happen to Steve, he achieved it'

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Mona Simpson's eulogy — originally read during Jobs' memorial service on October 16 — is a sister's celebration of a brother she knew only later in life, and a lament of losing a best friend. It weaves in words what she believed were the foundations

Novelist Mona Simpson on her brother Steve Jobs, who she first met as as an adult: when I met Steve, he was a guy my age in jeans, Arab- or Jewish-looking and handsomer than Omar Sharif. We took a long walk

Given up for adoption as a baby, Jobs never knew he had a sister, until the biological mother he tracked down revealed her to him: the novelist Mona Simpson. Jobs met and bonded with Simpson and the two set out to find their father. Simpson found him

If there's Sunday reading on your agenda today, you need to check out the eulogy for Steve Jobs written by his sister, Mona Simpson. Published today in the.

Novelist Mona Simpson, the sister of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, shares her moving eulogy in the New York Times today. It's a touching piece, including sharing the very Zen-like last words of Steve: “Before embarking, he'd looked at his sister Patty

  1. Steve Jobs' Final Words Revealed by Biological Sister
  2. 'anywhere But Here': The Novel's Link to Steve Jobs
  3. 5 Things You Didn't know About Steve Jobs
  4. 'anywhere But Here': The Novel's Link to Steve Jobs
  5. Apple Stock (AAPL) Dips after Steve Jobs' Death

Go copy – Haaretz Daily Newspaper

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

The digital era has made access to information incomparably easy. what in past generations you had to sweat blood in order to obtain, you can acquire today with a mouse-click: articles (and the summaries of them ), books (and the summaries of them ), lectures (and the summaries of them and then the summary of the summaries of them ).

The education system is so impressed by the access to information that it has made it an aim to educate children to what it calls "literacy" – basic control of computer technologies as a tool for finding information. however, on the way to this goal it has shot itself in the foot – and the students in the head.

Information, which used to be in short supply, has become accessible and available to everyone, and for the most part it is given freely.

Photo by: Yaron Kaminsky

A relative who is studying in high school has told me she is now working on the local equivalent of Advanced Placement grades for the matriculation exam in the social sciences. In this context she has to write a final paper in sociology on a topic of her choice, say "the considerations in choosing friends among adolescents" or "Prejudices toward new immigrants." the paper is to consist of theoretical background followed by the presentation of a small-scale research study based on questionnaires or a brief survey. the supervisor of the work is the teacher herself and after the work is ready and has been submitted, an examiner will come on behalf of the Education Ministry to examine the paper and the student orally.

In the instructions the teacher gave the class she said: "When writing the part about the theoretical background, you should surf the Internet and look for articles about your topic. Don’t try to change words or sentences," she explained. "Write what the source of the text is and copy it. Just as it is."

The students were astonished. "is there no scope for creativity, for our opinions and style? after all, this is our work," they said.

The teacher didn’t bat an eyelid: "if you want to get a grade of 100, that’s what you have to do."

In recent years, when I have graded works by students at various institutions of higher learning, I have encountered again and again papers that have been copied word for word from texts that appear on the Internet. These could be academic texts, texts from blogs, texts from online responses to newspaper articles (I am not exaggerating – I have encountered a paper like that ) – it makes no difference. if it appears on the Internet, it can be copied and if it can be copied, it can be pasted and if these are the instructions high-school students are getting when preparing for their matriculation exams, how can university lecturers complain?

At the beginning of the first decade of the 21st century information, which used to be in short supply, has become accessible and available to everyone, and for the most part it is given freely. there is no doubt that graduates of the education system should be equipped with the tools that will help them navigate the information, locate the relevant information and separate the wheat from the chaff. however, there is no connection between this and intellectual dishonesty, between this and the active encouragement of an absence of creative thinking and imagination, or between this and a public call to copy entire texts written by other people as the high road leading to a grade of 100 on the matriculation exam.

The sociology assignment was supposed to develop independent thinking, curiosity, research experience, analysis and the drawing of conclusions by writing a lengthy paper in which use is made of a number of varied sources. All that remains of this splendid list is this: Surf the Internet, find a suitable article and copy it. All shame has disappeared; only disgrace remains.

Dr. Dror is the head of the Digital Studies track at the College of Management’s School of Communications.

A step closer to faster computing

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Scientists have overcome a major barrier to quantum computing by getting their different components to chat with one another, just like memory and logic circuits do in existing computers.

Quantum computers are the ones which use the power of atoms to perform memory and processing tasks. they can perform certain calculations faster than the regular computers.

The goal to develop quantum computers to solve problems way beyond the capacity of current ones has egged on scientists to come up with new devices that run these machines.

Many of these tiny devices use particles of light or photons to carry the bits of information that a quantum computer will use, the journal Physical Review Letters reports.

However, these tiny devices frequently create photons of such different characters that they cannot share information with one another.

A team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has now shown that it is possible to take photons from two disparate sources and merge them while retaining their basic properties.

The breakthrough opens the way to connecting various types of hardware devices into a single quantum platform, according to a NIST statement.

The team’s achievement also demonstrates for the first time that a “hybrid” quantum computer might be assembled from different hardware types.

“We manipulate the photons to be as indistinguishable as possible in terms of spectra, location and polarisation – the details you need to describe a photon,” says Glenn Solomon of NIST’s Quantum Measurement Division.

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Printer woes often have simple cause

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Paperless computing might be the ultimate goal, but we’re not there yet.

In the meantime, many of us are still forced to deal with unpredictable and often frustrating world of printers.

The first step to troubleshooting printer issues is to confirm the device is plugged in and turned on. You would be surprised how often these seemingly obvious details get overlooked. Make sure the power cord is firmly attached to the back of the printer. Unplug and reseat to be sure. Then check to see whether the power cord is plugged into a live outlet or active power strip. if it’s not getting juice, try another outlet or check the circuit breaker switch.

Next, confirm the data cable is firmly attached between the printer and PC. if it’s a reasonably new printer, it’s most likely USB. These cables have a square end that attaches to the printer side and a standard USB plug for the computer side.

With the printer power turned on, if you plug the printer’s USB cable into an active port, Windows should automatically recognize the device.

If you see no such activity, try a different USB port on the computer.

Before the days of plug-and-play devices, older printers used either a serial and parallel port connection. if serial, it will typically use COM ports 1 through 4. if parallel, the port is usually labeled LPT1. Serial printers are less common than parallel in the home computing environment.

To troubleshoot either connection, turn off all devices — printer and PC — and carefully remove and reseat the cable plugs on each end. the cable plugs are male, so make sure the pins are clean and not bent.

If the power and data cables are working but the printer is still not recognized, it might be a driver issue. All hardware devices you can connect to a computer require special software, called drivers, to communicate and utilize different features of the device. Sometimes printer drivers get corrupted and need to be reinstalled.

You can reinstall printer drivers from the disc that came with the device, but because hardware manufacturers constantly revise driver software, you should routinely check their Web sites for free updates.

If you have a reasonably new USB printer and Windows 7, you’re in luck. because Windows 7 maintains an internal database of compatible peripherals, merely plugging the device into your computer is typically enough to trigger automatic detection and driver installation.

Another common problem is the sudden inability to print to a device that was working fine just hours earlier. You click to print, repeatedly, and nothing happens. when this happens, go to the Start menu and click on Printers and Faxes in WinXP, or Devices and Printers in Win7. Look for the icon of your default printer. if it’s listed as Ready but shows multiple documents waiting to be printed, chances are your print queue is jammed.

To free the queue, double-click the printer icon to show all jobs waiting to print. You can either cancel each print job, starting with the oldest, or clear the entire queue. Now try a test print. if that sticks in the queue, you have problem with the print spooler.

To fix the print spooler, go to the Start menu, click on run and type “services.msc” — sans quotes — and click OK. In the Services window, scroll down to the listing for Print Spooler. Right-click here and choose stop from the menu.

When complete, right-click again and choose Start. when finished, close the Services window and try printing again. It should be fine.

Next week, we’ll look at more connectivity issues between computers and printers, as well as tips for getting the most out of your inkjet and toner cartridges.

Scott a. may is the PC Support Specialist for Central Missouri Community Action and has been writing PC Info since 1989. Reach him at scottmay4@mchsi.com.

Reach Scott a. may at scottmay4@mchsi.com.

Copyright 2011 Columbia Tribune. All rights reserved. this material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ruth Madoff’s Suicide Attempt

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

One test of the power of your conscience is how much you can sympathize with people who have done truly terrible things. last week, after watching the video of Muammar Qaddafi meeting his violent end, you can say he may have got what he deserved but the people of Libya did not. The brutal dictator should have stood trial in an international court so that justice could be done.

Now we hear news of another pariah, a far less destructive one but someone who did enough damage that we have to ask ourselves: Is it possible to feel any sympathy for the wife of Bernie Madoff?

In a sneak peek of this Sunday’s episode of 60 Minutes, CBS News released portions of video from an interview with Ruth Madoff, the wife of disgraced Wall Street executive and Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff. In her hushed whisper and flat new York vowels, mrs. Madoff recounts the Christmas Eve when she and her husband tried to commit suicide. he had turned himself in and was awaiting a quick and airtight trial; she was looking at the end of her world as she knew it. After downing an unknown amount of Ambien and Klonopin, Ruth and her husband awoke the next day — alive and in the same spot as when they went to what should have been their final sleep.

She tells Morley Safer that she was grateful to be alive.

As hard as it is to feel any sympathy for the woman, she certainly has suffered. she no longer had the life of comfort and privilege that she once enjoyed and considering the staggering losses of her husband’s scheme, she was looking at a decade of legal woes. of course, spending time in lawyers’ offices and in courtrooms to face the wrath of the cheated isn’t entirely hell, the woman experienced a more tangible loss. Her son Mark took his life as his two-year old son slept in the next room last year.

We still don’t know the extent of Ruth’s knowledge of her husband’s nearly psychotic scheming. she may have known some details or she may have been oblivious — family member’s eyes tend to glaze over about work details so long as the home is paid for and food is on the table. The fact that Bernie Madoff will die in jail is a fitting punishment; the man destroyed lives including those of his own family. his actions also helped to show that high finance can be a shell game when human beings become desperate.

Ruth Madoff will never be able to clear her family’s name but as far as we know, she is a victim of her husband’s shameful schemes, too.

PMI Career Headquarters

October 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Project Managers are responsible for managing software development team efforts for a variety of Daugherty clients. he or she will collaborate with senior level business and technical leaders to ensure project success and will plan and execute plans to manage various aspects of project realization including scope, quality, schedule, cost and risk. Successful candidates will have a track record of serving as the project manager on projects that were delivered on time, within budget and meeting all requirements. excellent communication and teamwork skills are essential.

Additional responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Maintain experience in tracking and managing projects using MS Project or similar PM software. Resolve and/or escalate issues in a timely fashion. Ensure project documents are complete, current, and stored appropriately. Provide reliable top-down and bottom-up estimates as is necessary. Possesses understanding of business and technical environments. Understand Internet, Intranet, Extranet and client/server architectures. Identify opportunities for improvement and makes constructive suggestions for change. Manage the process of innovative change effectively. Remain on the forefront of emerging industry practices.

Specific Line of Service (LOS) Knowledge may include:

Custom Application Development: Familiarity with current software development languages, basis OO concepts, basic UML and basic understanding of current best practices. Developing expertise in the Rapid Process Map (RPM) methodology. Business Intelligence: can contribute in crafting BI solutions (e.g. BI Roadmaps). has some familiarity to data architecture and components (EDW, ETL, Reporting, etc.). Understanding of DBS BI Methodology. ERP Integration: Familiarity with ERP tools and methods. Developing expertise in ASAP.

Education Requirement: 4-year college degree, preferably in Computer Science or Business-related experience.

Experience Requirement: 5-7+ years of experience including demonstrated on-the-job leadership of people and projects.

Ubuntu Linux heads to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.

October 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, will announce at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, FL, that they will be taking Ubuntu Linux to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.

In an interview in an advance of the official announcement, Shuttleworth told me, that their short term plans are to make Ubuntu 12.04, the next long term support (LTS) of their Linux distribution, as stable as possible and to give the Unity desktop interface, it’s final fit and polish for both home and business Linux desktop users. After that, however, Canonical will be expanding its popular Linux desktop to all computing devices.

Shuttleworth said, “this is a natural expansion of our idea as Ubuntu as Linux for human beings. as people have moved from desktop to new form factors for computing, it’s important for us to reach out to out community on these platforms. So, we’ll embrace the challenge of how to use Ubuntu on smartphones, tablets and smart-screens.”

While Canonical had never said that they were planning on exporting Unity, its GNOME-based desktop, beyond the desktop, I, and others, have long thought that Ubuntu’s Unity Linux desktop looked like a natural for tablets. indeed, when Unity first shipped in the fall of 2010 Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager, told me that “all the pieces are in place to create an Ubuntu tablet.”

It turns out it wasn’t just the technical pieces. Shuttleworth told me that they “had been talking to partners for eighteen months” about bring Ubuntu to smartphones and tablets. That’s one reason why, even though some people such as ZDNet’s own Jason Perlow are filled with rage over some Unity design elements, such as its unmovable left-hand tool bar, Canonical won’t be moving it or, allowing users to easily change it.

Welcome to Ubuntu 11.10 and the look of Ubuntu’s future tablet. (Photo Gallery)

Shuttleworth explained, “Unity has a strong design vision and part of that is to provide coherent screens across platforms. while it’s not one size fit all a common design is vital to it.” Still, “nothing is cast in stone. Still, since Unity on the desktop is part of a greater whole, we look at the experience as a whole.” So, “we want a consistent platform with a tightly structured user experience.”

Ubuntu isn’t the only one to see a multi-platform interface this way. Microsoft, with its Metro interface, is taking a similar approach in Windows 8. Ubuntu, however, has been shipping its new look interface since last year on desktops

Still, also like Windows 8, you won’t be seeing a production version of multi-device Ubuntu anytime soon. Shuttleworth said that he expects a fully-baked and ready to go Ubuntu for all devices will appear in Ubuntu 14.04-April 2014. in the meantime, there’s not even alpha code. They’re taking their time because they want to get it right. Shuttleworth wouldn’t say when the first code would appear.

When it does appear, it will be touch-enabled and available on all the architectures that Ubuntu currently runs on. in particular, though, Shuttleworth sees the “relationship with ARM to be critical.” So, while he can’t deliver “a product schedule yet, Ubuntu is already working with hardware partners to bring products to market. as progress is made Ubuntu will take the device-specific code, open source it, and roll it into standard Ubuntu.”

If I were a betting man, I’d bet we’d see developer tablets and smartphones with ARM processors to appear in the second quarter of 2012. Canonical really wants the LTS version of its Linux to be business ready. After that, though, I expect Ubuntu to focus its energy on other platforms.

You may well ask, “how can Ubuntu expect to grab market-share in a world where Android and Apple’s iOS are already so strong?” So, I asked Shuttleworth. He replied, “the device world is highly competitive and highly dynamic, while Android and iOS dominate handheld devices, disruptive elements could still establish themselves.” therefore, “Ubuntu and Windows can still be a real force.”

Specifically, Shuttleworth sees “Android as its primary competitor. but, from the industry viewpoint, Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility has shook up the hardware vendors, so some of them are looking for non-Android alternatives.”

Shuttleworth added that Canonical can be very congenital to service partners and independent software vendors (ISV)s. with Ubuntu, “there’s plenty of room to share revenue with providers. We’ve also already heard from people who are already shipping tablets that they want Ubuntu on the tablet.” in addition, “Ubuntu already has a developer and customer base.”

As for the other alternatives, “OEMs have tough choices. They can build their own operating system, such as what HP did for a while with webOS or work in a consortium, Consortiums [such as the one behind the now effectively defunct MeeGo] can’t win. They can’t take a forceful, direct view with their products. the smartest OEM strategy is to play people off against each other. thus, some OEMs want to have Ubuntu as a disruptive element. a strong Ubuntu can be both more co-operative with OEMs than a larger company and give them leverage with Google and Microsoft.” Finally, and this is telling, “Ubuntu has shown that we can hit deadlines and innovate. we can deliver a good plan and products.”

Frankly, this is a pragmatic plan that I think may well work. what do you think? do you want Ubuntu on your tablet? your phone?

Related Stories:

Why Ubuntu 11.10 fills me with rage

Ubuntu Linux will try for the business desktop

Ubuntu Linux 11.10: Unity comes of age (Review)

Ubuntu Linux heads to the clouds

Gallery: Installing the latest Ubuntu Linux: Ubuntu 11.10

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