WorldStart Tech Tips 03-02-2012
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In The News 03-02-2012
8 Is Here (Sorta..)
Windows 8 is finally here! Well, at least the consumer preview anyway. This also means the operating system probably has more bugs than a rundown motel, but hey, it’s cool! It’s new! (Let’s hope it’s not another Vista!)
Despite the expected flaws of any preview release, Windows 8 hopes to usher in a new wave of computing. Most current desktop operating systems feature the familiar “desktop-like” starting screen, complete with icons wallpaper, and some sort of “Start” button. Microsoft, while not completely replacing that familiar user interface, has decided to make a drastic change. The new interface that you will first experience on Windows 8 will be called Metro. Metro features a tiled user interface, making it both easy to navigate with a keyboard and mouse but also, and most importantly, works well with touch screens. The goal is a single common interface designed for both mobile devices and desktop PC’s. As mentioned, the desktop is not completely lost, as it is accessible as one of the “app” tiles on the Metro user interface.
The consumer preview can be installed from Microsoft’s website. Keep in mind, however, that you must replace your existing operating system in order to install the preview (not typically recommended).
Apple Is Worth More Than Waffles, Crepes, And Oil
It’s no secret that Apple is a massive company with high value, but did you know its value is worth more than many well-known countries? Wednesday marked a milestone for the company as it hit the $500 billion mark in value, . That makes it higher than the gross domestic product (GDP) of nations such as Poland, Belgium (mmm… waffles), Sweden (mmm… crepes), and Saudi Arabia (oil). The $500 billion mark has only been hit a small handful of times by companies such as Microsoft, General Electric, ExxonMobil, and Cisco.
Apple shows no signs of slowing down either. According to the company, their sales grew 73% last year while also posting the second-most profitable quarter in US company history. This also comes at a time where anticipation is high for the new iPad 3, which is expected to be released next week.
Vernon from Tennessee writes:
What advantage/disadvantage is there between 32 bit and 64 bit Windows?
If you’ve ever tried to compare different computer or laptop models to see which is a better deal, you’ve realized it’s like comparing apples and oranges. There are just too many variables to be able to make this comparison valid. While browsing, you may have noticed that most non-Macintosh computers come with Windows pre-installed, though some come with a 32-bit version and others with a 64-bit Windows.
Higher numbers are typically better when looking at computer components and software, and this instance is no different. The 64-bit Windows is newer and better than the 32-bit in a number of ways. The 32-bit version of both Windows Vista and Windows 7 can only handle up to 4 gigabytes of RAM (random access memory), which is what your computer relies on when running programs and loading files. Your computer can’t truly utilize every byte of RAM, so you’re left with about 3 gigabytes of RAM to work with. The 64-bit version, on the other hand, can handle up to 17.2 billion gigabytes of memory. That’s four-billion times more RAM than the 32-bit! Don’t rush right out to buy that much RAM just yet though. Your computer’s motherboard can only handle so much RAM too, so you’ll need to check the specifications for it before adding mass quantities of RAM.
For those concerned about security, the 64-bit version of Windows offers better security than the 32-bit version. While the 32-bit version’s security is adequate for most of the general population, many individuals who are worried about online identity theft prefer the 64-bit because of its enhanced security features.
Like all new technology, the 64-bit Windows is not without its disadvantages, at least until the rest of the tech world catches up to Microsoft as far as technology is concerned. If your computer or any of your peripherals — printer, scanner, monitor, etc. — are even slightly outdated, chances are they aren’t compatible with the 64-bit version of either Vista or Windows 7. When Microsoft created the 64-bit Vista, they stopped supporting older devices, which means you won’t be able to find 64-bit drivers for these devices anymore. No drivers means you’ve got to upgrade to new peripherals.This is not always the case 100% of the time, so do double check with a professional before upgrading.
The same situation exists with software, although you can run software that is not 64-bit on a 64-bit operating system, it just won’t be as fast. If you plan to use the Internet on your 64-bit Windows operating system — and who doesn’t — you’ll need to use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 64-bit for optimum performance. Fans of other browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, can still uses these browsers, but they are 32-bit, which makes having a 64-bit operating system unnecessary. Though Firefox has released a 64-bit version, most users have had extreme difficulties trying to install and run it, so it’s best to stick with the 32-bit version for now.
You may be asking yourself which version of Windows is better. The answer depends on your computer needs. If you use your computer primarily for Web browsing, e-mail and word processing, the 32-bit version is perfectly fine for the time being. For users who run more memory-intense programs, such as video games or graphics programs, it may be time to upgrade to the 64-bit Windows, along with 64-bit hardware and software.
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Ignatius from Illinois asks:
I understand that there are several antivirus apps for Android phones. Can you recommend one?
Thanks for the question, Ignatius. The debate rages on about the necessity and effectiveness of antivirus software for smartphones, but their rapidly expanding use make attacks inevitable. If there’s one lesson to be learned from navigating cyberspace on computers, it’s that; if infections can be created and spread to unsuspecting users, someone will do it.
Security was the first issue I addressed with my Android phone. And for that, I use the free version of Lookout Security and Antivirus, which can be downloaded from the Android Market by clicking here. Or it can be accessed with the QR Code below.
Once installed, the following screens offer and explain features. At the bottom of each screen, Enable is checked by default. If you’d rather not enable one of these features, uncheck the box and click the Next button.
At the bottom of the Missing Device screen, select New or Existing user, sign up (or sign in), and tap the Start Lookout button.
Lookout will then perform a spyware and malware scan. After that, when new apps are installed, they will also be scanned, with the results shown at the top of the screen.
To find a missing phone, using another device (computer, phone, etc.), go to the Lookout home page, and click the Log In button.
Sign in, using your email address or mobile number.
Then, either click the Missing Device image, or the Missing Device tab.
In my tests, the phone locator was able to quickly find the phone twice in two days, at two different locations. To activate the scream feature, click the Scream button.
This feature emits a loud screaming noise, designed to discourage thieves and alert people nearby, but it’s just as likely to be used (by me at least) to find a misplaced phone. Many people keep the ring volume down on their phones, but the scream overrides the volume control, making it a more reliable way to find a phone, than by dialing the number. In addition to the scream, the phone screen will flash alternately between black and white (below).
To learn more about potential hazards, read the Lookout Mobile Threat Report.
Lookout mobile security is also available for iPad and Android tablets.
Remy from Toronto asks:
Turn Off Windows Aero for Performance
Welcome to Color – a very fun color matching game!
This game is deceptively easy at first, then it gets much harder. Your job is to mouse-over the color wheel to find the matching color for what is displayed (with one small catch, your cursor is tied not to just one point on the color but to two points and then four points as the game progresses).
Before you get started playing, make sure that you check out the section Adjust your Brightness. This will make sure that your monitor is calibrated correctly for the color matching game. If it isn’t, you may need to adjust the brightness and contrast of your monitor’s settings.
Are you color blind? You can still play the game. Click Color Blind Assist this will give you the option to start the game with the color blind assistance turned on. What it does is provide a shape as well as the color you are searching for.
Okay, so you’re ready to play – click the color wheel. The first round is hue. Use your mouse to match the color on the outside rim of the circle to the color displayed in the center of the circle. Eventually searching for different types of color: Hue, Saturation, Complementary, Analog, Triad, and Tetrad.
Each round gets progressively harder as you have more points or colors around the circle to match. When you’ve reached the color that matches click on it with your mouse. You’ll then receive a score ranging from: perfect – you matched the color exactly, very good – it is almost a complete match, good – you’re in the ballpark, and poor – you didn’t match it at all.
How will you fair in this game of color matching savvy? I do fairly well on the first three rounds and then I’m very hit or miss it’s either very good or poor. Check it out today and give it a try yourself!
you have a cool, non-commercial site that you want to share?
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March Wallpaper Is Ready!
Check it out! Three brand new images for March wallpaper! Also, be sure to rate the photos at the ratings page.
It can all be found here, 100% free:
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