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Computers

  • Chromebook’s back — welcome the Series 5

    Like the headline says, Chromebook is back in action. Mighty Google, together with Samsung, has unleashed the Series 5 Chromebook on the world. There's a wrinkle though. There's not just a Chromebook, but a Chromebox as well. Google is saying that these cute little numbers are a fully three times faster than last year's über-expensive efforts. Maybe it's the built-in graphics accelerator and the new "more responsive" touchpad. The Chromebabies certainly...

  • Dell’s XPS 27 — an iMac clone minus Apple’s shine

    When we think of Dell, thoughts instantly cross over to "plain, boring, vanilla, office PCs" and so on. "Let's make iMac's instead of Dells" thought the Dell development team (probably). And lo, the Dell XPS 27 was born. For US$1400, go and get one. It's certainly a hell of a lot cheaper than the US$1700, 27-inch iMac with close to the same specs. Let's dig in a little deeper. The XPS 27 is a 27-inch (naturally), full "Quad-HD" or 2560x1440 display, core i5/i7, with 4GB to 16GB of memory and 1 or 2TB hard drive. There's also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0,...

  • Worldwide PC shipments are slowing, still managed 1.9% growth in Q1

    There’s life in the PC market yet, or is there? Research company Gartner says 89 million PCs were sold in the first quarter of 2012. That’s a 1.9 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011, when shipments reached 87.3-million units. "The results were mixed depending on the region, as we saw the EMEA region perform better than expected, while Asia/Pacific performed below expectations, in part because of slow growth in India...

  • Reminder: Windows 8 Consumer Preview dropping later today

    We are mere hours away from getting a look at Microsoft’s Windows 8 “Consumer Preview” (or beta if you prefer). The wizards from Redmond will unveil the latest version of their operating system later today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The unveiling will coincide with a public release of the beta, which should become available for download here around 9AM EST. Be ready to wait though, the servers are bound to get slammed by traffic. The download size is estimated to be around the 3GB mark for the 64 bit build. While we wait in eager anticipation, we look forward...

  • Lulz hackers: self-confessed malicious vandals

    Computer hackers who have hit the websites of the CIA, US Senate, Sony and others during a month-long rampage said Friday that they were staging the attacks for their own entertainment. (Update: Sega got hit in Europe, the personal data of some 1.29 million customers stolen, but no credit card info in the heist, culprits unknown). "You find it funny to watch havoc unfold, and we find it funny to cause it," the hacker group known as Lulz Security said in a 750-word online "manifesto." "For the past month and a bit, we've been causing mayhem and chaos throughout the Internet,...

  • Kinect SDK unleashed so users can gesture at PCs

    Microsoft began letting software developers imbue computers with voice and motion-sensing technology from its Kinect controller for the Xbox 360 videogame console. A free Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit opens doors for computer programs enhanced with depth-perception, voice recognition, or gesture controls using the popular console accessory. "We are looking at taking the Kinect out of the game space a bit and putting it in other spaces," said Halimat Alabi, a developer who attended a 24-hour Kinect coding marathon at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The kit was available for download at research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk. The Redmond company last week added YouTube, voice commands,...

  • A notebook as black as Vader’s heart

    It would be easy to damn the Toshiba Satellite Pro L650 with faint praise. It’s alright. It’s a midmarket fairly powerful notebook with a pleasantly understated design. If you’re looking for a work or home or college laptop PC in the $600-odd range (closer to $1000 in developing markets), you could do a lot worse. Decent specs, pretty enough. Could be better. The most striking thing is the design. Toshiba has gone all minimalist on us. The Satellite Pro range has always been the more business-centric models, so less flash than the Qosmio multimedia/gamer units, but this one is (depending...

  • Hackers aim ruse at Apple computer users

    Hackers are out to trick Apple computer users into infecting Macintosh machines with malicious code pretending to be legitimate security software. Apple on Wednesday was warning about a "phishing scam" that stealthily directs Mac users to fake websites which pop-up bogus warnings that computers are infected with viruses. Hackers attempt to scare people into installing programs that pretend to be virus blockers but are actually malicious code. "Its ultimate goal is to get the user's credit card information which may be used for fraudulent purposes," Apple said at its support website, which detailed how to avoid or remove the virus. Names of the...

  • The quest for the perfect portable computer

    An ideal product doesn’t exist in the device world. But in order to get close to "ideal", the product would have to be able to adapt to the needs of different individuals and also be able to adapt to different situations. For example, a person in a managerial position needs to access overview information on the fly from his organisation’s portal. The Apple iPad is a very attractive option for this because it’s light and portable, it has instant-on features and is easy to interact with using touch. A blogger on the other hand, may want to write up...

  • Vodacom to release ultra-cheap web-focused netbook

    Vodacom, the South African subsidiary of worldwide mobile giant Vodafone, has been working on and is close to releasing a new, ultra-cheap internet-focused netbook it is calling the “LinkBook”. It marks the local subsidiary’s first move into the hardware game. On a world-wide level, this is one of the few times the Vodafone group has moved into an arena other than mobile phones. The device is understood to be an “internet device” -- its operating system geared primarily towards a web experience as opposed to the traditional offline desktop experience. The Operating System (OS) is open-source, Linux-based in an...