Computers

Computer Sales Across India Hit 1.97 Million Units in Fourth Quarter

Computer Sales Across India Hit 1.97 Million Units in Fourth QuarterOfficial figures have revealed that sales of personal computers across India managed to rise by 26% during 2009's October-December quarter, on an year-to-year basis, pointing at a strengthening recovery. The numbers were released by the research firm IDC on Friday.

While the sales of desktop computers surged by 14.6% as compared to last year, to 1.27 million units, those of notebook PCs hiked by more than half to 93,911 units in the three months up-to December 31, 2009, taking the total figure to 1.97 million units for the entire quarter.

eBooks are easy on the eyes

eBooks are easy on the eyesHanover (Germany), Dec 6 - All of the competitors in the current generation of electronic reading devices are equally good when it comes to presenting digitalised books. They offer long battery lives and their displays are easier on the eyes than the displays found on smartphones or laptops.

That's the conclusion reached in a recent comparison of six current models by German computer magazine c't.

The computer helper: Buying a Windows 7 computer

The computer helper: Buying a Windows 7 computerWashington - Lots of people have waited until the official release of Windows 7 before buying a new computer. And now that the new version of Windows is out, the stampede is on.

Just about any computer you buy today will have Windows 7 pre- installed, but what type of computer runs Windows 7 the best, and which options should you choose when customising your new machine? Read on for some answers.

Q: I'm going to get a new notebook with Windows 7 pre-installed. Should I opt for a solid state disk? Does Windows 7 take advantage of solid state disks?

Network music and middleman: New technology products

Berlin  - Sonos has released a new network-ready music player. The ZonePlayer S5 costs 399 dollars and comes with five integrated speakers to play back music stored on a home network or streamed from internet services like Napster and last. fm. The manufacturer reports that the ZonePlayer S5 work with a proprietary WLAN technology as well as two Ethernet interfaces to allow remote control via iPod or iPhone. Free software is available for each of those devices. (dpa)

Fast and uncomplicated: Windows 7 on netbooks

Fast and uncomplicated: Windows 7 on netbooksMunich - Windows 7 is here. One of the ways the new operating system from Microsoft stands out is that it doesn't need powerful hardware to run well. This makes it suitable for use in netbooks, which typically come preinstalled with Windows XP.

"Windows 7 runs well on netbooks because we classified them as a target platform during the development process and optimised it for them," says Microsoft's Daniel Melanchton.

Anonymization programmes generally live up to promises

Hamburg  - Computer programmes designed to let users surf online anonymously generally live up to expectations, according to tests run by German computer magazine Computer Bild.

The test of eight programmes found that seven set up an "effective disguise when calling up regular websites." The other got a failing grade, partially because of its relatively high price tag of 60 euros (90 dollars) for a one-year trial and partially because it flunked some tests, albeit only in 8 of 100 trials.

Google's Dashboard lets users keep eye on personal data

Google's Dashboard lets users keep eye on personal data Munich  - Dashboard, a new function from Google, lets the company's customers keep an eye on what personal data Google has gathered on them.

For example, the function shows what information is gathered when people use services like Google's e-mail programme Gmail or access other sites, like YouTube, reported the company's German operations.

New online virus threat comes via banner ads

Cologne, Germany - Recently, criminals managed to place a doctored banner ad carrying a virus on the homepage of the New York Times, a mainstay of American journalism.

The fact they could do so is bad enough. Worse: it's not an isolated case. It's becoming more and more common for unsuspecting computer users to accidentally pull Trojan horses and other damaging programmes onto their computer via these ads.

"They're becoming more popular," says Frank Felzmann of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). The first wave of these new viruses came to light at the start of 2008, says Christiane Ruetten of c't, a German computer magazine. Since then, a variety of attacks like the one on the New York Times have been recorded.

The computer helper: Getting more out of your smartphone

The computer helper: Getting more out of your smartphoneWashingto - Many people today rely as much on their smartphones as they do on their computers. So questions about how best to use smartphones, how to make them last longer on a charge, and how to protect them are common. Read on for some answers.

Q: My smartphone has Wi-Fi, but I never use it. When should I use it?

A: More phones today offer Wi-Fi connectivity, which essentially allows you to use local Wi-Fi hotspots - either public or private - to wirelessly connect to the internet.

Multimedia receiver: Your data bridge into the living room

Frankfurt  - They go by a variety of names, including multimedia receiver, network media player, or streaming client. What they share is a mission: acting as a data bridge to bring data like photos on USB sticks or films stored on PCs onto the home television. Some are also capable of accessing the internet as well.

At present this type of device is still considered a niche product, says Roland Stehle from Germany's Society for Entertainment

and Communications Electronics (gfu). "There is a trend toward these devices, though," Stehle says. One new entrant to the battle is Sony's SMP-U10 media box. It is intended to transport photos, films, and music from the PC to the living room, the manufacturer claims.

First aid for forgotten Windows passwords

First aid for forgotten Windows passwordsMunich  - Forget your Windows password and you've got a problem. "Without the password, users can't get back into the operating system," says Thomas Baumgaertner, a Microsoft spokesman at the company's Munich office. Access to personal data is then blocked and the computer cannot be used as normal.

But there's no need to panic. "It's still possible to access your own files," Baumgaertner says. The original operating system

New Apple TV software available

New Apple TV software available Munich  - Apple has released new software for its Apple TV network media player. Version 3.0 offers a redesigned user interface, the company announced.

The new version provides simplified navigation through iTunes libraries, as well as the ability to enjoy a full-screen depiction of the extra information included in iTunes Extras and iTunes LP files on a television.

Apple TV also contains new software to create music playlists and internet radio based on the Genius function. The software is available immediately for free download by owners of Apple TV devices. (dpa)

Simulators fight with traditional games for PC screens

Simulators fight with traditional games for PC screensHamburg  - Fans of computer simulation games will be happy to see the genre making a renaissance this season, even as a flood of standard games pours into stores to keep more traditional gamers happy ahead of Christmas.

Three new simulators are heading to stores this November alone, letting gamers pretend to drive fire engines or tow trucks or, in the case of Wheels of Steel, a lorry.

New long-life battery laptops from Dell

New long-life battery laptops from DellFrankfurt  - Dell has released two new laptops from the nascent ULV class. The 13z and 15z are members of the Inspiron series and cost 550 and 580 dollars respectively. ULV stands for Ultra Low Voltage and refers to processors designed to work at lower voltages and use less power.

In the case of the new Dell laptops, that translates into respective battery lives of 11 hours (13z with a 13.3 inch monitor) and 10 hours (15z with 15.6 inch monitor).

New user interfaces could make computer mouse obsolete

New user interfaces could make computer mouse obsoleteBerlin  - Scientists developed the so-called X-Y position display for monitor systems all the way back in the 60s. That breakthrough begat the mouse, which gained dominance in the 80s. It has remained the number one user input device ever since.

Yet new developments are nibbling away at the rodent's lead. More and more displays are designed using touchscreens. Computers are learning to take voice commands. New sensors are even allowing controls to be given via gestures.

Windows 7 and Vista offer best file search

Windows 7 and Vista offer best file search Hamburg  - Ever wonder where you stored a certain file on your computer? If you have the new Windows 7 or even Windows Vista on your computer, you won't need any extra software to answer that question. The functionality already built into Windows 7 and Vista beats the performance offered by four free search programs, the experts at Germany's Computer Bild magazine found.

Both Windows 7 and Vista scored above the best add-on program. Windows 7 rated 2.84 on a scale of 1 to 5, with lower scores better than higher ones, and Vista rated 2.97. The best add-on program was rated 3.03.

Solo or parallel: Installing Windows 7 on your computer

Solo or parallel: Installing Windows 7 on your computerMunich - Windows 7 has arrived to greater accolades than any other operating system from Microsoft before it.

Even so, it seems unlikely to inspire waves of users to rush out to buy a computer with the operating system already installed or simply wipe out an existing version of Windows on a computer that's running just fine. Fortunately, there's no need to do either, since Windows
7 can be installed in parallel with your current operating system.

The computer helper: Moving from XP to Windows 7

The computer helper: Moving from XP to Windows 7Washington  - If you're thinking about upgrading to Windows 7 from Windows XP, you're not alone. Legions of individuals and businesses either skipped the Windows Vista upgrade or, once they had tried it, decided to revert back to XP.

Windows 7, though, is a different story. Given the almost universally favourable reviews it has received, many tried-and-true XP users are preparing to give Microsoft's latest operating system a try. But Windows 7 is quite a bit different from XP, and that means a lot of upgraders have a lot of questions. Here are a few.

Expensive television and an all-in-one-PC: New tech products

Frankfurt  - Timed to coincide with the release of Windows 7, MSI is marketing a new all-in-one-PC working with Microsoft's new operating system. Like with the Mac desktop computers, the hardware on the MSI Wind Top AE2200 is stored inside the display. It also includes high-end components like a quad core processor, Blu-ray drive and a touch-sensitive 22-inch screen. The computer is available starting for 1,200 dollars. (dpa)

PC addiction: when the computer becomes your kid's best friend

Berlin  - At first, Katharina (not her real name) only sat in front of her computer for a few hours at a time. But then she began to spend more and more time, always playing the same game. It wasn't long before her whole life revolved around the game.

"In the game, I could be a completely different person than I am in real life. I liked that," says Katharina, now 20 and living in Berlin.

What Katharina didn't notice was that she wasn't just playing the computer game because she wanted to do so, but because she was addicted to it. She's not alone. Thousands of youths get so heavily immersed into computer gaming worlds that they lose control and become addicted.

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