Posted tagged ‘software’

Because we love Windows errors

September 29, 2009

I installed a new webcam on my computer two weeks ago and today I got my 4th BSoD. Yes, for all the Windows users out there that would be our dear friend, the “Blue Screen of Death.”

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

I’m currently still using XP since I never made the switch to Vista (which has its ups and downs, but mostly ups) and I never had to deal with the BSoD until recently. Amazingly, my encounters with this problem have been sparing throughout my years using Windows – though I’ve heard the horror stories. Hence, you can understand my utter confusion when my system kept crashing and this pesky error kept popping up all the time, all of a sudden.

Initially I took the easy (or lazy) route and resorted to restarting my computer every time as a temporary fix. A friend mentioned that the problem probably had  something to do with my webcam installation but I was too busy (really too lazy) and didn’t take time to troubleshoot the issue. That is until I was working on a report late one night and my computer crashed. Again. And I saw the BSoD. Again.

And all I thought was: “Oh Dear. I really hope I didn’t save too long ago,”… and… “Microsoft, thou art a heartless friend.”

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Google Chrome is my homeboy

September 2, 2009

chrome crownGoogle Chrome celebrates its one year birthday today, and there seems to be news to herald this happy occasion. Yesterday Computer World shared that in the web browser wars, Google is closing in on Apple’s Safari. While Safari increased its browser market share just a tad, Chrome is climbing rapidly, jumping 0.3 percent to claim 2.9% of the browser market.

At this pace, Chrome is a contender to replace Safari as the #3 browser that people are using within a year’s time. After that, there’s only #1 Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (66.6%), and #2 Mozilla Firefox (23.3%) to defeat – which is by no means a small task since the gap between market browser preferences is still so wide.

Ah Chrome, how I adore thee.

I switched to Chrome as my primary browser a couple months ago from Firefox, my former number 1. I’m impatient and a speed demon online so the most important thing when choosing a web browser for me is the loading time and the browsing speed. That’s why when Firefox started hanging for me, I dropped it like it was hot.

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iPhone apps that spice up reality

August 28, 2009

It’s beyond virtual reality. iPhone currently has 3 Augmented Reality apps available in their App store.

If you’re not familiar with augmented reality (nicknamed AR), it’s basically technology that blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s computer-generated. (Doesn’t that sound eerie? Very Matrix-like.)

With augmented reality, you’re overlaying computer graphics onto the real world whether it’s text, images, or whatever. In the iPhone sense, this means that these 3 AR apps incorporate layers of data on top of the camera view on the iPhone. AR uses the iPhone’s GPS navigation and compass to display businesses, restaurants and bars on top of the camera view. You can look through the camera on your iPhone and see blocks of text or images hovering around your real-life environment. It’s pretty neat.

Right now the 3 AR apps available are:

Metro Paris Subway iPhone app

What the Paris app looks like (courtesy of ReadWriteWeb)

1. Metro Paris Subway: While you’re looking through your iPhone camera, images of Paris businesses near you will pop up, along with the distance it takes to arrive there (in both meters and miles!).

2. London Buses: Using this bus-tracking app now pulls up “Point of Interest” databases which allows the user to see food & drink, leisure, attractions and accommodation POIs all over the UK.

And for those residing in the US…

Yelp monocle (courtesy of RWW)

Yelp monocle (courtesy of RWW)

3. Yelp: On the latest version of this app, users have to shake their iPhone 3 times to access this Easter egg feature called “the monocle.” (Well officially the site says shake 3 times but watching other people trying to open the monocle resulted in watching people viciously shake their phone for what seemed like 10 minutes. Since shaking the iPhone for so long can get frustrating, the good news is once you unlock the monocle it will be there forever so it’s a one-time thing.) (more…)

Fingerprint Authentication for Facebook?

August 19, 2009

TrueSuiteIEEE Spectrum tells me about an upcoming software by AuthenTec that makes me feel like our world is finally moving toward Spielberg’s “Minority Report.”

Fingerprint authentication technology is no longer going to be reserved for secret high clearance government facilities – instead for us Average Joes, we get to use fingerprint clearance for accessing email, logging into social networks like Facebook or Twitter, and anything else that requires a password.

AuthenTec’s TrueSuite software is adapting fingerprint authentication into a means to make our computer activities more convenient. How? Picture this scenario: Your laptop is installed with this software. On your laptop, you swipe your ring finger (right hand), your Gmail pops up. It’s already logged into your inbox. You swipe your index finger (right hand), you’re looking at your Facebook newsfeed. You swipe your ring finger (left hand), you’re looking at your eBay bidding account.

Different fingers can be used to authenticate different accounts with TrueSuite. On its own, any of these functions are multi-step. (For example, even checking Twitter requires that 1) you wake up your laptop, 2) start your OS, 3) navigate to a browser, 4) go to the Twitter site, 5) login with password. On laptops more than a couple years old this can mean you’ve aged 20 minutes before you find out what was in Ashton’s latest tweet to Demi.

TrueSuite reduces this into a finger swipe.

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