Archive for June 7th, 2012

Are PCs on the Way out?

With the increasing popularity of tablets, e-readers, Smartphones, and other portable devices, many in the computer industry are predicting that the desktop-bound personal computer will slowly slip into obsolescence. Of course, the PC’s demise has been predicted since at least 1999, and they’re still common in both businesses and home offices. Yet there’s no denying that desktop computers and, to a lesser extent, laptop sales are slumping while tablet and Smartphone sales soar.

The Mobility Issue

The main force driving this trend is mobility. If you’re shopping for Ford Mustang parts, you can’t lug your desktop PC down to the store to compare local prices with online stores. Even a laptop is too cumbersome to carry everywhere.

Ah, but portable devices. Stick your Smartphone in your pocket or a tablet in a bag and you’re ready to go. Connectivity through Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G has become so ubiquitous that most people assume they can access the Internet from anywhere. In most cases, they’re right to make that assumption. Certainly younger users want devices that go wherever they do.
Will PCs Survive?

Proponents of the PC argue that desktop computers have greater processing power, larger monitors, and greater storage options than portable devices, but with every year these arguments lose ground. Cloud storage and anywhere-you-want-it Internet connectivity has made a device’s internal storage less important, and advances in storage technology mean even a mid-line Smartphone can store several gigabytes of information.

As for processing power, yes, in this area the PC still reigns supreme. But again, how important is processing power going to be in the future? Cloud-powered devices could make a device’s processing power unimportant. By the time you get to the larger monitor argument you detect an air of desperation to the pro-PC argument. Any portable device worth its salt can connect to a HDTV or computer monitor.

Steve Jobs on the PC

Steve Jobs, who had a pretty good track record when it came to predicting how people use technology, didn’t think that the PC would go extinct. Instead, he speculated that the PCs of the future would be “like trucks.” While necessary for large scale transportation, few people need to own their own truck. Jobs felt the same would be true for the desktop computer: while important for specific tasks, most people will be better served by smaller, more portable, and versatile devices. These are strong thoughts coming from the man who helped to popularize the notion of the personal computer in the first place.

So no, the desktop PC is not yet dead, nor is it likely to fade away anytime soon. But just as candles gave way to gas lighting, and gas to the light bulb, so too are PCs slowly giving way to portable devices. Eventually those new devices will be replaced by something else. There may come a time when carrying a Smartphone to check the price of Mustang accessories sounds as ludicrous and unwieldy as carrying a PC does today.

Author Byline: I am an internet marketer, and blogging fanatic, who loves to write about business, the current economy, anything marketing, and SEO. I also am an avid outdoors-man, who loves hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking. You can also follow my opinions on soccer and sports at http://www.localsoccernews.com. Tweet me @shanejones15 about anything! I’d be happy to talk!

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Crytek’s Ryse still in the works, Kinect will be ‘part of it’

Ryse , an Xbox-exclusive action game from Crytek, isn’t ready to be shown beyond the concept trailer released during E3 2011. I asked Phil Spencer, corporate VP of Microsoft Studios, about the game’s progress since Microsoft revealed its partnership with Crytek two years ago under the banner of ” Codename Kingdoms .” “We’re just not at a point right now to show the game, and instead of … we’re still working with Crytek, we’re still extremely committed to the relationship, but we want to make sure that we’re putting our best foot forward every time we show the game,” Spencer said. “You’ll see more about that game, no doubt.” Ownership of Ryse was rumored to have shifted between studios, from a downsized and redirected Crytek Budapest to Crytek’s Frankfurt studio. Ryse is alive and well, Spencer assured, though I got an inkling that the brutal, first-person combat shown in the initial trailer may not be entirely relegated to Kinect when we see it next. When asked if Ryse was still “a Kinect game” as before, Spencer replied, “Kinect will be part of the game, absolutely.” This year Microsoft highlighted several more games that are “better with Kinect,” even when you’re slouched in the couch. The most prominent example comes from Capcom’s mech action game, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor , which pairs several seated gestures with a traditional controller.

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Anonymous and India: 5 recent hacks‎

I
ncidents that occurred through the past year have markedly changed the way in which we have been perceiving the Internet, all this while. Those of us who thought of it as a place to ink down our thoughts, be it happy, sad or even a platform to vent out anger, were made to think otherwise. Hacking, which was once a foreign word, extending concerns against threat from other nations or malicious minds trying to steal some critical information government/military info or making malicious ways to make money online by targeting leading companies. 2012 dawned and we received another blow as we got ourselves, for the first time, acquainted to the phenomenon of blocking of websites. Soon enough, hacktivists had no choice, but to turn their attention to the ongoing scene, in a bid to combat those who are trying to restrict/limit our freedom on the Internet. Here are the 5 most recent hacks by Anonymous to protest against Internet censorship.

Reliance Communications
The year 2012 brought in a wave of combat against ISPs who have been blocking file hosting websites and Reliance Communications was hit with the first blow. Reliance Entertainment had acquired John Doe orders for its films, which had prompted many ISPs to block file hosting sites. A John Doe order means a court order, which is against a party whose true identity is not known. Websites, like The Pirate Bay and Vimeo (we wonder why?) were blocked, which left many perturbed. A hacker, who called himself Isac and his friend hackthis29 were irked by this move and attacked the major Internet service provider, Reliance. He claimed to have hacked Reliance’s ‘very very vulnerable’ netsweeper panel in about 5 minutes. Reliance passed the order last month for its upcoming film, and is believed to have acquired such John Doe orders earlier, too.

Supreme Court

It was around the mid of last month when ISPs starting blocking sites, like Vimeo, The Pirate Bay and many others, as per orders by the DoT. It was not only Reliance, who had acquired the John Doe order, but also Copyright Labs, a Chennai based firm, who had acquired these orders for movies – Dhammu and 3. This miffed the keepers of global Internet freedom, Anonymous, and the Supreme Court and Congress websites ended up being victims of a hack. Websites, like http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in, dot.gov.in and aicc.org.in were rendered inaccessible. The attacks were carried out by OpIndia (Operations in India) and they, in a series of tweets revealed on micro-blogging site, Twitter that – “#Government must understand. #INTERNET belongs to us! #TANGODOWN –> http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in & http://aicc.org.in”, and in another tweet stated – “@Anon_Central Another #TANGODOWN –>> http://www.dot.gov.in Department of telecom, You should’ve expected us! ~ #opindia.”

MTNL
As ISPs continue to block websites, Anonymous seems to be in no mood to spare anyone. The next in our list and the most recent target by Anonymous is MTNL. The MTNL website was taken down by the hacktivist group yesterday. Although MTNL’s Internet services weren’t affected, the MTNL website (mtnl.net/in) was rendered inaccessible. The site serves as a gateway for a number of services for MTNL, which include bill payment and schemes on their services. Anonymous hasn’t damaged any data on site, except for the main home page from the look of things. So, it’s clear, that it is just a protest against Internet censorship. MTNL is one of the ISPs that’s been blocking torrent and other file sharing sites.

Andhra Pradesh Power Development Company
Last year, unidentified hackers attempted to break into different websites of the Andhra Pradesh government, even as a security audit was being conducted at the State Data Centre. This time, however, it was the Andhra Pradesh Power Development company’s site that was under attack, not by some unidentified name, but Anonymous. The reason for the previous attacks may have been unclear, but Anonymous was quite clear, and did leave a message behind. The URL to the website would route users to another site that was defaced with the famous Anonymous messages – “We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. You should have expected us!” So, if the government plans to block other websites, Anonymous shows its protest by hacking government websites.

BJP Website
Even by the end of the last month, ISPs continued to block websites and Anonymous, this time targeted a political party. It defaced the website of one of the most prominent parties of the nation. The BJP website was reportedly hacked for not protesting against their opposition party, Congress on the topic of Internet censorship. On their Twitter account (‏@opindia_back), the hacktivist group made this public in a series of tweets; some reading – “Young guns of #India —> We owned http://mumbaibjp.org/anonymous.html to display a message to you all. So kindly read it. #opindia”, among others in succession. Further posts on Twitter that serve as a probable explanation to the hacks, read – “BJP are the opposition they should have f****n stopped this or should have organised a protest they didn’t do any.”

Moreover Anonymous, on its Facebook page has asked users to vote for either of the two ISPs – Reliance and Airtel. The group have asked their Facebook followers to Like the post, if they are in favour of Reliance’s website/services being hacked or Share the post if their choice is Airtel.

Image Credit: Getty Images

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Samsung to build a new $1.9 billion logic chip line

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s No.2 chipmaker, said it will spend $1.9 billion to build a new logic chip line to make processors for mobile devices as demand grows for smartphones and tablets.

Samsung, which makes application processors for Apple’s iPhone and iPad which rival its own Galaxy and Note devices – said the new line will use 300 mm wafers and 20 nanometer and 14 nanometer processing technology.

The South Korean firm is aggressively pumping up production of logic chips, as growth in the mobile device market outpaces weak computer sales. Demand for system chips used in smartphones and tablets is set to more than double to $59 billion in 2016 from $23 billion last year, according to research firm Gartner.

In a statement, Samsung said the new line which it hopes to complete by the end of next year would help meet growing demand for “smart mobile solutions”.

The investment plan follows Samsung’s recent decision to build its first chip manufacturing plant in China to make NAND type flash memory chips, which analysts estimate will cost some 4-5 trillion won ($3.4-$4.2 billion).

Ahead of the announcement, shares in Asia’s biggest technology firm closed up 5.2 percent in a broad market rally that sent the benchmark KOSPI index up 2.6 percent.

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Zynga has new ‘With Friends’ game

NEW YORK: There’s no spelling required in Zynga’s latest mobile game, “Matching With Friends.” It’s being releasing for the iPhone and the iPad.

For those who play the popular, Scrabble-inspired game “Words With Friends,” the latest title should feel familiar. Instead of using letters to form words, though, players get groups of colorful blocks that they then must match with blocks of the same color.

The game is being released Thursday in Australia and Canada. It will be available worldwide, including in the US, in the coming weeks. Zynga Inc. is not giving an exact time for the game’s worldwide release.

Like other mobile games from Zynga, “Matching With Friends” will have a free, ad-supported version and a paid version.

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