CDR-King 12” Tablet Review by Nurses & Geeks

Friday, March 27, 2009

For some of you who doesn’t know about tablet, it is an input device used by artists which allows one to draw a picture onto a computer screen without having to utilize a mouse or keyboard.

A tablet consists of a flat tablet and some sort of drawing device, usually either a pen or stylus. It may also be referred to as a drawing tablet or drawing pad. While the graphics tablet is most suited for artists and those who want the natural feel of a pen-like object to manipulate the cursor on their screen, non-artists may find them useful as well.

The smooth flow of a graphics tablet can be refreshing for those who find the mouse to be a jerky input device, and repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome are less likely when using a graphics tablet.

Wacom Bamboo on Dell Latitude D830

It’s a Wacom Bamboo on a Dell Latitude D830 from Ken Schaefer’s Wacom Review. The tablet is quite small (about 19cm on each edge), thin (<1cm) and weighs about 300 grams. It has four buttons at the top (illuminated in blue) which can be programmed, as well as a little touchpad which allows scrolling up/down in windows using a motion similar to the click wheel in an iPod. Price is over $100 or over 4000Php (Philippine Peso).

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a starter, low price, and fully featured alternative tablet, I recommend, CDR-King 12.1″ Slim Tablet.

CDR-King 12

Read the rest of the Nurses & Geeks' CDR-King 12” Tablet Review


AMD lawyer: Intel would 'like us dead'

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In the wake of the latest kerfuffle between Advanced Micro Devices and Intel, AMD's chief counsel seized the moment to sound off on a primal fear at his company: Intel is bent on its destruction. Intel, of course, doesn't quite see it that way.

After Intel accused AMD on Monday of breaching a 2001 patent cross-license agreement with Intel, AMD's top lawyer had some choice words for its bigger rival.

In a phone interview Tuesday, AMD general counsel Harry Wolin refuted Intel's claim that the AMD manufacturing spin-off Globalfoundries is not a subsidiary--and thus cannot legally use Intel intellectual property--and talked more broadly about Intel's tactics.

Intel's ultimate goal, Wolin believes, is to crush rivals into oblivion. "In their perfect world, we wouldn't exist. If they had to deal with the government every now and then, that's fine, and they're still extracting monopoly profits from the industry," he said.

Wolin doesn't buy into the oft-repeated theory that Intel needs AMD to keep the industry honest and to keep the U.S. government at bay. "I don't agree with the premise that they have to have us and they think they have to have us. I think they would absolutely like us dead," Wolin said.

The Dickensian depiction of AMD as the impoverished, distressed victim of Intel's bullying and manipulation is inaccurate and, more importantly, misses the relevant point, according to Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy. "It's nice of them to try to speak for us. AMD has been a competitor for almost 40 years in one form or another. This is not about AMD going away," he said. "This is about our rights and AMD's rights under the patent cross-license agreement."

Ashok Kumar, an analyst at investment bank Collins Stewart, said the premise of a remorselessly predatory Intel set on killing off its rivals is attention-getting but not that realistic.

"Could Intel put them out of business? Probably. But is it a likely outcome? I don't think so," he said. "Because they'll get a lot of significant push back from the OEMs (PC makers). The OEMs will essentially be making a beeline to Washington, D.C."

Intel contends this is a very localized dispute about whether Globalfoundries is a subsidiary or not, and not a manufactured issue "to distract the world from the global antitrust scrutiny (Intel) faces," as AMD said in a statement Monday. "AMD cannot unilaterally extend Intel's licensing rights to a third party without Intel's consent," said Bruce Sewell, senior vice president and general counsel for Intel, in a statement on Monday. Intel maintains the issue is that Globalfoundries is 34.2 percent owned by AMD and 65.8 percent-plus owned by Advanced Technology Investment Co., an investment company. So, in effect, Globalfoundries is not an AMD subsidiary.

Wrong, AMD says. It is not about ownership. AMD has met the conditions that qualify it as a subsidiary. "It requires that AMD originally contributed at least 50 percent of the assets. If you look at the fact that we've thrown in the German factories, we've thrown in the people, we've thrown in the technology, we've thrown in the intellectual property. I don't think there's any credible argument that says we haven't thrown in more than 50 percent of this. It says nothing about owning. It says you have to originally contribute 50 percent of the assets," Wolin said.

And what happens from here?

"Let's say the parties end up in a lawsuit at the end of 60 days," Wolin said. (Intel says it will terminate AMD's rights and licenses under the cross license in 60 days if the alleged breach has not been corrected.) "Well, you know, that lawsuit doesn't come to court for years and wouldn't come to court until well after the antitrust suit would come to court, which is currently scheduled for February of next year," according to Wolin.

Intel says the next step is mediation, where Globalfoundries is brought to the table. If this doesn't resolve the issue, then they would both be off to the races and the lawsuits would begin.

Source: CNET News


Google's New Ads May Be Watching You

Thursday, March 12, 2009

London (ECN) - Google's popular AdSense marketing platform announced a controversial new advertisement standard that may change the way online advertising works.

The new program, which Google is calling "interest based" advertising, dynamically changes website ads based upon the users previous browsing. In the future, users can expect advertisements to match their browsing interest, perhaps highlighting dog grooming services for pet-lovers, or shoes for shoppers. For now the program is in the testing stage, with the new advertisements first appearing on Google owned properties, such as YouTube.

Privacy advocates claim the new marketing strategy is an unwarranted intrusion into their browsing habits. Google dismisses such claims, insisting that the program will only heighten user experience and connect advertisers with their audience with great efficiency.

Vice President of Product Management Susan Wojcicki explains the new paradigm: "If, for example, you love adventure travel and therefore visit adventure travel sites, Google could show you more ads for activities like hiking trips to Patagonia." Google intends for the new ads to be customizable for the user as well, allowing individuals to select specific categories of advertisements to be displayed.

Many followers of Google have been expecting such an announcement to come, citing Yahoo's similar advertising plan, unveiled three weeks ago. Advertisers in particular are excited, anticipating an increase in "click-through," making marketing on the internet more targeted and cost-effective. The announcement boosted Google stock by more than 3 percent.

While initial reaction in the financial sector sounds positive, legislative and regulatory action could soon have Google on the defensive. The Federal Trade Commission refers to the new practice as "behavioral advertising," hinting at a more sinister interpretation than the "interest based" label applied by Google. Past investigations into similar ad tracking has resulted in congressional investigations against companies such as NebuAd and Phorm, who practice a more aggressive form of user-tracking.

Even Congress may get involved, with the House of Representative's Energy and Commerce Committee voicing concern with the new form of marketing. While the current testing would require users to "opt-out" of the behavioral ads, pressure from privacy advocates may force Google into an "opt-in" stance, wherein users must request the service be provided to them.

Even while the debate rages, Google pushes on, bringing a different landscape, with new questions, to internet advertising.

Source: ECanadaNow


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Koobface, Other Worms Target Facebook Friends (NewsFactor)

Friday, March 6, 2009

- As Facebook works to make itself more relevant and timely for its growing member base with a profile page makeover, attackers seem to be working overtime to steal the identities of the friends, fans and brands that connect though the social-networking site.

Indeed, Facebook has seen five different security threats in the past week. According to Trend Micro, four new hoax applications are attempting to trick members into divulging their usernames and passwords. And a new variant of the Koobface worm is running wild on the site, installing malware on the computers of victims who click on a link to a fake YouTube video.

The Koobface worm is dangerous. It can be dropped by other malware and downloaded unknowingly by a user when visiting malicious Web sites, Trend Micro reports. When attackers execute the malware, it searches for cookies created by online social networks. The latest variant is targeting Facebook, but earlier variants have also plagued MySpace.

Koobface's Wicked Agenda

Once Koobface finds the social-networking cookies, it makes a DNS query to check IP addresses that correspond to remote domains. Trend Micro explains that those servers can send and receive information about the affected machine. Once connected, the malicious user can remotely perform commands on the victim's machine.

"Once cookies related to the monitored social-networking Web sites are located, it connects to these Web sites using the user log-in session stored in the cookies. It then navigates through pages to search for the user's friends. If a friend has been located, it sends an HTTP POST request to the server," Trend Micro reports.

Ultimately, the worm's agenda is to transform the victim's computer into a zombie and form botnets for malicious purposes. Koobface attempts to do this by composing a message and sending it to the user's friends. The message contains a link to a Web site where a copy of the worm can be downloaded by unsuspecting friends. And the cycle repeats itself.

An Attractive Face(book)

Malware authors are investing more energy in Facebook and other social-networking sites because that effort pays off, according to Michael Argast, a security analyst at Sophos. Facebook alone has more than 175 million users, which makes it an attractive target.

"Many computer users have been conditioned not to open an attachment from an e-mail or click a link found within, but won't think twice about checking out a hot new video linked to by a trusted friend on Facebook," Argast said.

Argast called the Koobface worm a mix of something old and something new. The new is using social networks as a method to spread malware. The old is using fake codec Trojans linked to a saucy video to induce the user to install the malware.

Read the rest of the article here:
Yahoo News


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Foods Not To Excess For Good Health

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If you’re looking to improve your diet then cutting back on these six foods is a good starting point.

1. Fizzy Drinks

The average can of fizzy drink contains around 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, artificial food colouring and sulphites. Diet versions of fizzy drinks contain artificial sweeteners which are even more unhealthy. Fizzy drink are so bad for you that the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, a US consumer group has called for cigarette style health warnings to be printed on soft drink cans.

2. Chips and French fries.

They may be tasty but chips and French fries contain acrylamide, a known carcinogen and neurotoxin that forms when foods are baked or fried at high temperatures. In tests conducted on some well known brands of French fries the level of acrylamide found was around 300 times the amount allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a glass of water.

And it gets worse - chips and French fries also contain trans fats, the artery-clogging fat that’s been linked to raising cholesterol and increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. That’s not to far with smoking causing cancer.

3. Doughnuts.

If you break a doughnut down you’ll find nothing more than refined sugar and flour, artificial flavours and partially hydrogenated oil that’s packed full of trans fats. They have no redeeming qualities at all.

4. Cakes and Baked Goods.

This category also includes biscuits. This is another group of foods that almost always contain high amounts of trans fats and a host of other unhealthy additives such as corn syrup, preservatives and artificial flavours and colouring. In fact, baked goods usually contain more trans fats than any other food because not only are they made with hydrogenated oils, they’re also fried in them.

If you must eat baked goods then buy them from your local bakery because they’re less likely to used hydrogenated oils or margarine to preserve the shelf life.

5. Processed Meats/Hot Dogs.

Processed meats like spam, luncheon meat and pepperoni contain a carcinogenic ingredient called sodium nitrite which, according to nutritionists, has no place in human food.

According to a study carried out in America on 200,000 people over seven years, the people who consumed the most processed meat showed a 65% increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

6. Canned Soup.

Amazingly we are talking about the traditional, canned soups you find in the supermarket. This may come as a surprise, but most canned soups have high levels of trans fats, sodium and artificial preservatives like MSG.

Just a single cup of soup from a can, can contain up to 1000 milligrams of salt. That’s an awful lot considering dietary guidelines recommend no more than 2400 milligrams per day.

Reading the above it’s obvious to see why the government is keen to educate children and parents about the poor nutritional values of certain foods. Until recently children were regularly eating chips, cakes and processed meats and fizzy drinks as part of their daily school dinners.


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