Teen Supercomputer Eugene Just Wants To Be A Real Boy; Gets Eerily Close To It

Teen Supercomputer Eugene Just Wants To Be A Real Boy; Gets Eerily Close To It

While you were busy second-mortgaging the house to lay down a massive bet on California Chrome at the Belmont Stakes this past Saturday, the robot apocalypse was beginning in earnest across the Atlantic in London, where a supercomputer named Eugene Goostman was able to convince the world that he was a sentient being. [More]

Washington State Sold Computers Loaded With Sensitive Personal Information

Washington State Sold Computers Loaded With Sensitive Personal Information

It’s not just retailers and manufacturers that carelessly sell used and refurbished electronics containing sensitive information left behind by a previous user. The state of Washington has sold or given away hundreds of surplus computers that contain things like Social Security numbers, medical records, tax forms and other confidential information. [More]

After 3 Months, Asus Can’t Send Me A Working Motherboard

After 3 Months, Asus Can’t Send Me A Working Motherboard

Ian tells us that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to computers. What he doesn’t know is whether Asus will ever send him a properly functioning motherboard for his current gaming rig. This seems like it would be simple enough, but on Planet Asus, it is not. After months of incompetence and frustration, he broke down and shared his story with us. [More]

(dsuniaga)

Great, My Acer Laptop Battery Exploded

Did you think that the laptop battery explosion epidemic was over? No, it’s not just in the Boeing Dreamliner. Bill’s Acer laptop battery exploded not long ago: of course, he bought it in 2011 and the computer is now out of warranty. Acer is happy to take the computer back, but only to look at it for a “safety evaluation” and maybe to not send it back to Bill. He doesn’t think that this is fair. He sent the relevant exploded parts back to Acer, but doesn’t want to send back his hard drive or the rest of the computer. He wants replacement parts so he can get it working again. [More]

( jonasflanken)

Lenovo Cancels My Entire Computer Order, Forgets To Tell Me

In theory, Lenovo is a company based in China that sells computers. Most of the time, this seems to be true: they make computers, and customers ship or bring the computers to their homes and are pleased. What happens alarmingly often, though, is that the whole process falls apart. It’s as if some people aren’t worthy of owning a Lenovo machine, and the company makes the process difficult deliberately to stand in their way. That’s what happened to Alex. Lenovo pushed back his computer’s ship date repeatedly: annoying, but it happens. Then they canceled his entire order, but forgot to notify him. [More]

(jonasflanken)

Apple Tells Me I Should Be Happy To Have A Patched-Together FrankenMacBook

The MacBook Pro can be a pricey computer, costing more than $3,000. Maybe you get what you pay for, maybe you don’t, but that price tag is why customers have come to expect world-class customer service verging on groveling when they take it to their friendly neighborhood Genius Bar for repairs. Kristina’s 8-month-old computer has needed to go back to the store for service three times now, including what she calls a “major meltdown” and the loss of all data on the hard drive. [More]

(DCvision2006)

Installing Windows 8 Will Void Your Newegg Warranty, Too

Our archive is still unavailable due to baddies attacking our site a few weeks ago, but loyal readers may remember the saga of Norma, the Newegg customer who tried to exchange a non-working laptop for a working one after she had installed Linux on it. This time, Newegg is playing its  to a customer who had the audacity to upgrade his new laptop to a preview version of Windows 8. In the case of Linux user Norma, Newegg ultimately gave in, issuing her a refund and assuring Consumerist that it’s totally okay to exchange a defective system with a different operating system on it. Undercover readers posing as customers were, of course, told the opposite. [More]

(Timothy J Silverman)

Locally-Owned Computer Shop Sells Me A Self-Destructing Computer

Whenever we post a reader’s story of Geek Squad or other computer repair woe, readers immediately jump in to recommend taking ailing computers to an IT-savvy friend or to a locally-owned computer repair shop. For people who lack friends with tech skills, the latter is apparently the only option. The problem is that a locally-owned business can be just as shady as the least qualified member of the Nerd Herd, only answering to no corporate overlords. [More]

Computer That Touches Itself Comes Back From Dell In Worse Shape, Michael Dell Swoops In

Computer That Touches Itself Comes Back From Dell In Worse Shape, Michael Dell Swoops In

Remember Travis, the college-bound student whose touchscreen Dell laptop keeps moving the mouse pointer around on the screen, among other problems? When we last heard from him a week ago, he was waiting for the computer to return to him from Dell’s repair depot after two in-home tech visits, and he hoped the problems would be fixed. They weren’t. All Dell did was replace the wireless card. So he turned to the advice we gave in the post, and wrote to Michael Dell. This got him a new laptop for his trouble. [More]

What’s The Difference Between A Tablet And A Netbook? Tiger Direct Doesn’t Know

What’s The Difference Between A Tablet And A Netbook? Tiger Direct Doesn’t Know

Buying refurbished electronics can be a money-saving way to get like-new items at a great price. Or it can be a money-losing nightmare of defective products, wrong parts, and missing accessories. Guess which category Ralph’s recent purchase of a tablet from TigerD irect falls under? The fun began when they shipped him a netbook instead of a tablet PC…and couldn’t get anyone to understand the difference. [More]

Lenovo Has My Defective Computer, Isn't Returning My Calls

Lenovo Has My Defective Computer, Isn't Returning My Calls

Bethany’s Lenovo laptop computer is pretty nice. At least, it is when it’s around. It keeps taking extended vacations at Lenovo’s repair depot, to the point that she had to buy another computer in order to get through finals and computerless life in general. After they held on to her machine for three weeks, she finally asked for a refund instead of getting the evidently defective computer back. That’s when they stopped returning her calls. [More]

3 Ways To Work Faster On Your Computer

3 Ways To Work Faster On Your Computer

If you use your computer clumsily, you can end up wasting valuable time, mucking up your workflow. With a little focus and concentration, you can cut down on the time you waste on menial tasks and become more productive. [More]

Get Rid Of Screen Glare In A Flash

Get Rid Of Screen Glare In A Flash

If you’re in a line of work that forces you to stare at a screen for hours a day, glare can wear on you. To avoid headaches, eye strain and other irritations, you’ll need to take steps to eliminate glare. [More]

Upgrade Your Laptop's Hard Drive In 3 Easy Steps

Upgrade Your Laptop's Hard Drive In 3 Easy Steps

If your laptop goes kablooie, or you just run out of space by filling it from totally legal downloads, it’s probably time to swap it out. The operation may sound difficult, but it’s deceptively easy. If you can handle a screwdriver, you’re more than capable. [More]

Dell Outlet Sent Me A Barf-Covered, Gum-Filled Refurb Laptop

Dell Outlet Sent Me A Barf-Covered, Gum-Filled Refurb Laptop

Frank ordered a refurbished laptop from Dell Outlet last week, and got a great deal. He hadn’t anticipated that the machine would come with extras: some gum in the CD drive and an unidentified substance that we can only hope is soup, but looks more like vomit.
[More]

Consumerist Post About Broken Laptop Gets Reader Full Refund Within 3 Hours

Consumerist Post About Broken Laptop Gets Reader Full Refund Within 3 Hours

Once again, Costco saves the day. Last week, we posted the story of Tom, who bought a Sony Vaio laptop from Costco only to have it malfunction a little more than a year after purchase. Sony didn’t seem to want to fix the problem at all, and Costco employees were very kind but couldn’t intervene. Only a few hours after that post went up, Costco contacted Tom, and gave him a full refund for the computer’s purchase price. [More]

Cheap Ways To Back Up Computer Data

Cheap Ways To Back Up Computer Data

Your computer seems to know when you’ve neglected to back up important data so it can choose those times to crash and burn. To protect your precious work, you’ve got to preemptively strategize against your devices by making a habit of backing up data as often as possible. [More]

ASUS Blames You When BIOS Update Bricks Your Computer

ASUS Blames You When BIOS Update Bricks Your Computer

In order to start up your PC, you need a BIOS: firmware that tells your computer what devices are attached to it and where it can find the operating system(s). Most people don’t ever need to fuss with the BIOS, but Tim did for his ASUS computer. What he didn’t know was that the update he downloaded from the company’s site would turn his computer into a large, flat plastic brick if he installed it from a USB drive in the default file format. ASUS says that Tim has to pay for the repair, which he thinks is unfair. [More]