Windows 10

Microsoft is distancing itself from Windows 8 as much as possible, that they even skipped a version just to provide some cushion. Everyone was anticipating that the new version will be called Windows 9, but Microsoft just announced it will be releasing Windows 10 instead. Why no love for the number 9? Does this mean the Start menu is getting another makeover? By the way, it’s scheduled to release next spring.

Vending Machines with WiFi

BT Global Services and Coke are partnering to provide WiFi access on vending machines in rural parts of South Africa. Locals will be able to check their emails while being refreshed by Coke. Novel idea. Does it mean that “water cooler” talk will be replaced by “vending machine” talk? Probably not. I see a potential business here for others to provide an internet vending machine for tourists stuck in remote tourist spots.

32GB Flash Drive

I picked up one of these at Frys Electronics the other week. It’s USB 2.0 32GB Flash drive for just $25. What a bargain! It’s not quite as fast as USB 3.0 drive, but it’s fast enough for what I’ll be doing, just copying media files from one computer to another. It’s small and compact. I’ve attached mine to my key ring holder. I forget it’s even there sometimes.
hpv165whand

Frys link

Windows XP Is Orphaned

Today is the day Windows XP is going to be orphaned. It won’t get anymore security updates from Microsoft. Zilch. Nada. Of course, Windows XP users can still use their machines, with maybe some annoying popup message saying it’s no longer supported and please upgrade. I’m sure users will find ways to disable the popup reminder. Windows XP is probably the best operating system Microsoft has ever had followed by Windows 7. And there were many flops before and after. The famous one of all is, of course Vista. Windows 8 seems to be following in the footsteps of Vista. It’s getting lots of user resistance. Some users still look for the previous version of Windows 7. Windows XP is officially retired, except that it’s still runs for a little while longer.

Dual Boot Ubuntu and Windows 8.1

It has been close to a decade since my last Windows machine. We are talking about during the days when Windows XP ruled the world. I just finished installing Windows 8.1 on an older PC that was running Ubuntu Linux server. It’s still runs Ubuntu on its own hard drive. I found an old 60GB IDE hard drive that was collecting dust.

So, I decided to add it on my PC. So, now I have two hard drives. I ended up installing Windows 8.1 on it. I can still boot to either OS. I just have to enter the BIOS setup each time, when I want to switch OS, and select the appropriate drive as primary. The Windows 8.1 installation took a while. The setup also took some time to finish. The first order of business was install Google Chrome. The second was to install Avast Antivirus.

I don’t know what the fuss is all about with Windows 8. I took me a few seconds to get to the original desktop. I heard from a lot of people that Windows 7 was better. I don’t have much an opinion for or against Windows 8. So far, so good. The only gripe I have is, I wished that old 60GB drive was quieter, but that is not Windows fault. With much ado, here’s my first post from Windows 8.1.

Windows XP Is Still Sting Hanging On

Microsoft is trying hard to get people to move off from Windows XP. It just doesn’t seem to be working. It’s falling on deaf ears. Interestingly, there was a slight increase in Windows XP use. Microsoft plans to drop Windows XP support April 8, meaning there won’t be anymore bug fixes, security updates, etc. Microsoft plans to use pop-up reminders after April 8.

The lesson to learn from all of this is, it is difficult to kill off a very successful product that still makes up 30% of your OS business. It’s going to take some time. The reality is, they may not all come back. In some cases, Users have found better alternatives in the form of our devices such as tablets and smartphones.

I imagine small businesses still have some old systems are still hanging around. If they haven’t moved them, there’s probably a good enough reason why they still run on Windows XP. There are many legacy systems that still run on Windows XP. Upgrades means they will break. But, then again, I can’t imagine businesses ignoring all of these warnings all this time.

So, I won’t be surprised if only a small portion of the 30 percent upgrades to newer Windows OS.

Subnet Mask of 255.0.0.0

I’m at a Responsive Web Trends Conference in San Francisco hosted by Moboom. The network setup is a bit unorthodox. The subnet mask is set to 255.0.0.0. Based on my experience, this network is /8, which allows up to 16,777,214 hosts. It uses the entire range of reserved private IP addresses starting from 10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255. Interesting setup. I just ran a speed test. Download is 50 Mbps and upload is 27 Mbps.

Tribute to the Little Princess

Shirley Temple died today at the ripe old age of 85 in her home in Woodside, CA. I’ve seen tiny snippets of her many films on TV shows, but I’ve never a full movie until I saw the Little Princess. The film was set in a Victorian London when Sara, played by Temple, was left behind by her dad to fight in the Second Boer War and the Siege of Mafeking. Temple and and a co-star Arthur Treacher had a musical number together, performing the song “Knocked ‘Em in the Old Kent Road.” If you haven’t seen the film, check it out. And with that, I will have a Shirley Temple tonight!

Unveiling the Mask aka Careto

PC World has a very interesting article entitled, “Unveiling ‘The Mask': Sophisticated malware ran rampant for 7 years.” It’s also known as Careto, a sophisticated malware that ran rampant and undetected for 7 years. It has infected hundreds of government and private organizations in more than 30 countries. Kapersky Lab, an antivirus firm believes the virus could be state sponsored. Excerpt of the article from PC World:

“When active in a victim system, The Mask can intercept network traffic, keystrokes, Skype conversations, PGP keys, analyze WiFi traffic, fetch all information from Nokia devices, screen captures and monitor all file operations,” the Kaspersky researchers said in the research paper. “The malware collects a large list of documents from the infected system, including encryption keys, VPN configurations, SSH keys and RDP [remote desktop protocol] files. There are also several extensions being monitored that we have not been able to identify and could be related to custom military/government-level encryption tools.”

Read the rest of the PC World article.

Google Adds Pandora To Chromecast

Google announced today that it’s adding Pandora to its short list of apps running on Chromecast. The list so far include Google Play Movies and TV, Google Play Music, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and now Pandora.

Google can generate so much more interest from this popular streaming player if they release a few more apps like Spotify, IHeartRadio, access to major networks, cable networks like HBO, etc, and access to premium content in major league sports.

Most of all, Google should release an app for playing local media files soon. There’s a work around for playing local files now by simply dragging them into the Chrome browser, but the quality of the stream and speed are not quite there.

I’m not sure why Google is dragging their feet. Google is letting Roku, Apple TV and others react to the initial shock and novelty of the unique features of Chromecast when it was first introduced.

Eventually, competitors will come out with similar features, but the $35 price point is a major selling point for Chromecast in this tight competitive market.