If college kids today could see the hulking mass of plastic and metal parts that comprised the PC I was required to buy from my college freshman year, they would probably never stop laughing. It used to be that to get by in the computing world, a personal computer was the necessary gadget. But as shipments of PCs are forecast to fall for the first time in 11 years, times could be a-changin’.
On the cusp of a big Apple event today where a new iPhone is expected to be announced, fake emails are going around purporting to give details of “the new Apple iPhone5GS,” featuring a see-through keyboard. Clicking on the links leads to a malware-laced website that targets PCs. Here’s the email and what to look out for.
Like previous versions, iTunes 10 is a hefty hunk of software that actually contains within it 6 different Windows Installer programs that you don’t always need or want. Apple doesn’t let you customize the install, but this guide shows you how to install only the slimmest iTunes footprint you need for your purposes.
Snapped this picture last night at my local IKEA of a blue screen of death afflicting their product finder kiosk. Since it’s IKEA, they also expect customers to do their own tech support.
If you use McAfee’s anti-virus program and have Windows XP with SP 3, you may have noticed last week that your PC was shutting down every 60 seconds. That was because McAfee pushed out an update that it now admits wasn’t properly tested. To apologize, the company says it will reimburse you for repairs (although it hasn’t provided details on this yet), and it’s offering everyone who was affected a free 2-year extension of the service. Should you take the offer and call it even? Seth Rosenblatt at Cnet says you shouldn’t bother.
Funny or Die has a pretty funny, nsfw parody of the current Microsoft “You find it, you keep it” commercials. Jake’s in the market for a decent laptop that can meet his needs, which include a big screen, the ability to go online, and enough cash left over for some subscriptions to certain adult websites. It’s basically what the real commercial would look like in a world without TV censors.
EA’s DRM spyware on the long-awaited game Spore turns out to have an added side-effect: if you live in a household with multiple players, you all have to share the same account. The game’s manual says otherwise, but after repeated queries on the EA forum, a company spokesperson confirmed this. That’s right—if you’re in a household with several potential Spore players, and you want each of them to have their own account, you will have to buy multiple copies of the game.
Reader jk writes in to let us know that EA’s sci-fi epic Mass Effect is still having DRM issues on the PC platform. This time, instead of requiring gamers to maintain an internet connection and activate their game every few weeks, paying customers (allegedly) get three “activations” of the game and that’s it. Uninstalling the game doesn’t “give back” an activation.
If you’d like to play the PC version of Bioware/EA’s hit XBOX 360 title “Mass Effect,” you’d better have an internet connection. Why? Because in order to remain “activated” the game will need to reauthorize itself via the internet every 10 days. Go 11 days without checking in and your game won’t work until you do. Some gamers are saying that this requirement makes them feel like criminals, and doesn’t make a lot of sense for a game that otherwise doesn’t require an internet connection.
Walter Mossberg wrote a guide for buying a Mac and we like the parts that say who should and who shouldn’t get one. Mac vs PC debates are highly personal, often end in bloodshed, and usually make no sense, so it’s nice to see a rational discussion of each system’s attributes. In the end, it really matters what kind of user you are, and what your price point is…
ZDNet has a list of 10 spiffy free security programs for your PC. We already use CCleaner, a program that removes cookies, URL history and unused files from your PC. Deleting cookies is very cathartic. Try it.
In what is sure to launch another tiresome Mac/PC debate, the Journal of Consumer Research has released a study that shows familiarity to be the deciding factor when consumers are asked which product is superior:
“The costs associated with thinking about and using a particular product decrease as a function of the amount of experience a consumer has with it. Thus, repeated consumption or use of an incumbent product results in a (cognitive) switching cost that increases the probability that a consumer will continue to choose the incumbent over competing alternatives.”
So, basically, people are too lazy to learn something new, even if it’s easier to learn than what they already know, because, well, they already know it.
The world is divided on Windows Vista, it’s the next new thing, or it’s Microsoft suicide. The fact is, Vista is coming. In 4 days.
ZDNet is reporting that MacMall is selling Macbooks that are pre-loaded with both Windows XP and MacOS. You can get your dual boot system in two flavors: Apple’s free BootCamp 1.1 which allows you to boot either operating system, or Nova Development’s Parallels Desktop … which allows you to run both at the same time.