17 Stories

These Inmates Had One Job ... and Hid It in Prison Ceiling

Ohio prisoners tasked with recycling PCs used them to store porn, drug-making advice

(Newser) - In what sounds like a combo of The Shawshank Redemption and Hackers, two inmates at an Ohio prison were busted for repurposing PCs meant to be taken apart for recycling purposes, then stashing the DIY devices in a prison ceiling, the BBC reports. Even though the hidden handiwork was discovered... More »

Tech Milestone: Apple Outsells All Windows PCs

Company's products hit the mark for first time

(Newser) - Apple has an industry milestone to celebrate: In the fourth quarter, its computers outsold PCs that run on Windows for the first time globally, reports analyst Benedict Evans . He's not talking Macs only—Apple computers include iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads. The development illustrates the "scale of mobile,... More »

PC Sales Plunge, Now at a 'Crossroads'

Shipments drop 8%; can Windows 8 change things?

(Newser) - Bleak new data today shows that the personal-computer business is struggling even more than expected, reports the Wall Street Journal . Shipments fell more than 8% in the third quarter, and projected shipments for the full year are expected to dip for the first time in more than a decade. Part... More »

In a First, Most Watch Web Video on TVs Now

Television replaces the PC as No. 1

(Newser) - The AllThingsD blog takes note of a tech milestone: When people want to watch videos off the Internet, they're more likely to do so on a TV rather than on a desktop or laptop PC. It's the first time televisions have ranked first (45% to 31%), and the... More »

IBM Designer: PCs Headed 'Way of the Typewriter'

Devices giving way to 'new ideas about computing': Mark Dean

(Newser) - PCs are losing their place at the forefront of personal computing, says a designer of the first IBM PC. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of that computer, the 5150, Mark Dean writes in a blog post that PCs are “going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records,... More »

Smartphone Market Squashes PC Market

It's official: In Q4, 101M smartphones, 92M computers shipped

(Newser) - They’ve only been around for a few years, but smartphones have officially demoted personal computers to No. 2. More smartphones than PCs were shipped in Q4 of 2010—a total of 101 million smartphones, to be exact, up 87% from a year earlier, according to the market researcher. Meanwhile,... More »

Windows 7 Drops: Microsoft Is Back

Redmond can be proud of its new OS: Pogue

(Newser) - At last, you can put your Vista woes behind you. Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 7, which drops today, takes what's good about its predecessor—especially security and good looks—and eliminates the parts that drove users bonkers. Windows 7 isn't just substantially faster and more compatible with users' machines,... More »

China Orders PC Makers to Bundle Web Filters

Newly required software strengthens Beijing's controls on Internet

(Newser) - Starting next month all computers in China must ship with software to block certain websites, the Wall Street Journal reports. The government says the move is to block "harmful" content such as pornography from young web surfers, but it could also be used to filter politically sensitive material. The... More »

New Virus' Worst Punch May Be Yet to Come

(Newser) - The devious worm that has infected up to 9 million personal computers worldwide may be just the first stage of a malicious attack, the New York Times reports. The so-called Conficker or Downadup virus, which exploits a Microsoft Windows vulnerability, pulls infected computers into systems called botnets that can be... More »

Tricky Virus Hits 8.9M Computers Worldwide

'Conficker' travels via networks, USB sticks; situation 'getting worse'

(Newser) - A Windows worm that emerged in October is “skyrocketing” worldwide, with some 8.9 million computers now infected, says an antivirus firm. The program, known as Conficker, Downadup, or Kido, can zoom through low-security networks, memory sticks, and any PC that hasn’t downloaded current security updates, the BBC... More »

Laptop Sales Zip Past Desktops

Netbook drives up laptop sales

(Newser) - The demand for Acer Netbooks has pushed laptop sales beyond desktop PC sales for the first time ever, CNET reports. Notebook PC shipments rose almost 40% for the third quarter of 2008 to 38.6 million units, while desktop sales slipped 1.3% to 38.5 million. Hewlett-Packard remains the... More »

Sick of Waiting for PC to Boot Up? PC Makers Hear You

Look to cut start-up times to 20-30 secs

(Newser) - As instant communication becomes the norm, computer users are quickly getting fed up with slow start-up times—and PC makers are focused on reducing the wait, the New York Times reports. To fight Windows’ slow load time, manufacturers are turning to programs that bypass the operating system so users can... More »

AMD Updates Phenom, Adds 4 Quad-Core Chips

Semiconductor company will ship triple-core chips, too

(Newser) - Semiconductor company AMD has revealed updates to its Phenom line and will launch four quad-core chips that “can improve performance for gaming and multi-threaded applications,” the company says. The California firm also said it would ship triple-core processors, which CNet reports is a first for the PC market,... More »

PC Makers Aim Overseas

US remains biggest market as demand in other skyrockets

(Newser) - PC makers are increasingly setting their sights on markets outside the US, which are making up an ever-larger share of the worldwide computer market, USA Today reports. PC sales are growing in the US, still the world’s largest market, but are rising much faster elsewhere. Last year, the US... More »

Stop Waiting for Windows to Load

New program boots PC and gets you online in 5 seconds

(Newser) - Starting up a Windows machine is normally an exercise in patience, but that could be changing, thanks to several companies working to do away with the eternal boot-up. One startup, for example, has introduced Splashtop, a tiny, simple operating system you can boot instead of Windows. Boot time? About 5... More »

Battery Ban Begins on Airlines

Most batteries in phones, laptops, will likely not violate rule

(Newser) - The Department of Transportation has banned certain kinds of lithium batteries from checked airline luggage, citing worries over short circuiting and fires. Lithium batteries installed inside of electronic devices will be permitted as carryon, but loose batteries, unless sealed inside a plastic bag, will no longer be permitted on board. More »

10 Free Ways to Make Your Windows Computer Safer

These utilities can help put your mind at ease

(Newser) - The tech wizards at ZDNet offer their picks for security-conscious PC users on a budget:
  1. Secunia Personal Software Inspector (psi.secunia.com)
  2. OpenDNS (www.opendns.com)
  3. Active Virus Shield (www.activevirusshield.com/antivirus/freeav/index.adp?)
  4. Haute Secure (www.hautesecure.com)
  5. GMER anti-rootkit (www.gmer.net/index.php)
More »

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