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Alfred Offers Bat-tastic Productivity for Mac Owners
March 19, 2013
We can't all have the riches of Bruce Wayne. Mac owners, however, can have a virtual version of his faithful servant, Alfred. Like Wayne's invaluable butler, this free productivity app is also named Alfred. Its latest version (2.0), released this month, is more useful than ever.
Dell's XPS 18: Radically Rethinking the Tablet
March 19, 2013
From the first day of the tablet computing revolution -- April 3, 2010, when Apple's iPad became publicly available -- users have willingly traded limitations in computing form/function for innovations in access/interface. In part, that was because Apple maintained a careful line between the iPad and its traditional Macbook and iMac products to avoid self-cannibalization.
Lenovo Thinks Up Thinner ThinkPad With Fatter Price Tag
March 18, 2013
Lenovo on Monday announced a new $950 business ThinkPad, the T431. The company launched the Ultrabook into a market that had a dismal showing in 2012; IHS iSuppli had to slash its Ultrabook estimates for 2013 from 61 million units to 44 million. The device was designed after research conducted over nine months worldwide of the user habits of both people who used ThinkPads and those who didn't.
Bringing Icahn Into Dell's Henhouse Could Be Foxy Move
March 11, 2013
Carl Icahn has been pushing back against Dell's proposal to go private in a $24.4 billion deal. Dell finally gave way -- a little -- and is allowing Icahn to examine the company's confidential information. Dell has been battling shareholders about the proposed leveraged buyout almost since it was unveiled in February.
The Puzzling Case of the Chromebook Pixel
March 07, 2013
Here in the Linux blogosphere, most fans of FOSS are nothing if not outspoken with their many opinions. Those opinions tend to be unequivocal on matters large and small, so it's always notable when a new technology comes along that leaves bloggers scratching their heads in uncertainty. That's a rarity, needless to say, but just recently a shining example emerged: the Chromebook Pixel.
A Few Quirks Keep Mellel Lite From Being a Heavyweight
March 05, 2013
Word processors can be a matter of taste. Some writers feel that the more the word processor departs from the original word processor -- the typewriter -- the more it interferes with the actual act of writing. For those writers, there are bare bones word processors like Byword and iA Writer.
IE 10: It's Not Just for Windows 8 Anymore
February 26, 2013
In what could be a boost for Microsoft in the browser wars, the company on Tuesday began offering Internet Explorer 10 to Windows 7 users, giving them the same enhanced Web surfing features previously only available to those who had access to Windows 8. The company will automatically update Windows 7 users' browsers in 95 languages over the next few weeks.
Week of Weird: Sony Jumps the Gun, Google Luxury-Prices Its Yugo
February 25, 2013
This really has been an entire month of the strange. We had Boeing's Dreamliner sidelined for batteries that catch fire. We had Tesla locking horns with the NYT. We had Sony announce its new game system nearly nine months before it would be available -- but not actually show it. Biggest of all, despite Chromebooks failing to sell in the $250 range, we had Google offer a refresh priced at $1,500.
Google Propels Chromebook Pixel Into a Blurry Future
February 21, 2013
Google on Thursday announced the Chromebook Pixel, a branded touchscreen netbook with a price tag that consumers may balk at, considering the cost of rival offerings. The Pixel will be available in WiFi-only and 4G LTE versions, priced at $1,300 and $1,450, respectively.
Samsung, Linux and the Bothersome Bricking Problem
February 11, 2013
If Linux Girl didn't have to spend such a large proportion of her salary dry-cleaning her cape each week, there's no doubt she would invest those extra fortunes in some of the many purveyors of ibuprofen and other pain-relieving medicines. Why? Because of all the headaches FOSS fans are forced to endure here in the Linux blogosphere.
Nemo, Early Reviews Freeze Out Surface Pro Launch
February 09, 2013
Microsoft scrapped plans for Friday night's launch of its Surface Pro tablet at the Best Buy store in New York City because of an impending blizzard meteorologists have dubbed "Nemo." "Surface Pro launch activities in NYC have been canceled due to weather," said Microsoft spokesperson Dani Reese.
Count the iPad, and Apple Rules PCs
February 08, 2013
Apple lands the top spot among PC makers for the holiday quarter -- as long as the iPad is included in the figures, according to the latest report from Canalys. The market research firm, which includes tablets in its worldwide PC numbers, reported this week that overall PC shipments increased 12 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, with 134 million units shipped during the holiday season.
Google Victorious in 6-Year Aussie Legal Battle
February 06, 2013
A court in Australia has ruled in favor of Google in its lengthy legal fight with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. The case, which lasted six years, concerned search results from 2006-07. The Commission claimed that sponsored links published by Google diverted users to rival companies.
Dell Hightails It Into Private Territory
February 05, 2013
After years of diminishing returns amid a slumping PC market, Dell announced Tuesday that it would take itself private in a leveraged buyout estimated at $24.4 billion. Chairman and CEO Michael Dell will buy back the company he founded in a University of Texas dorm room in 1984.
HP Enters Pavilion 14 in Chromebook Games
February 05, 2013
After years of being one of Microsoft's biggest supporters in the Windows-based laptop market, HP has officially released its first Chromebook: the Pavilion 14 running Google's Chrome OS. Now that HP has followed Samsung, Acer and Lenovo in jumping on the multi-OS bandwagon, the question is this: Can this portable computer maintain the Chromebook shine?
Linux Netbooks: Hiding in Plain Sight
February 05, 2013
You just think that's a Chromebook beckoning you with an open source OS, easier upgradeability and fast connections to the cloud. All those qualities could make it a Linux netbook in disguise -- or at least what the netbooks of a few years ago promised before they all started selling preloaded with Windows. The key? More manufacturers buying into the flexibility of the Linux kernel in the Chrome OS.
HP Horns In on the Chromebook Action
January 29, 2013
The brief appearance of a spec sheet on HP's online shopping website Monday seemed to indicate the company has joined the list of Microsoft partners offering Chromebooks. The sheet listed details of the HP Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us PC and carried an advertisement embargo date of Feb. 17. It may have been placed on the Web by accident, but it's also possible it was a marketing ploy.
Lenovo, Linux, and the Coming of the Chromebooks
January 21, 2013
However great the strides made by user-friendly distros such as Ubuntu and Mint in recent years, it seems fair to say that Linux has not yet enjoyed any sweeping successes on the desktop the way it has on the mobile side with Android. That, however, may be changing. Thanks once again to none other than Google, Linux is now appearing with increasing frequency in the PC lineups of hardware makers.
Lenovo Chromebook Starts School Fight With Tablets
January 18, 2013
Lenovo on Thursday announced the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook for schools. Aimed at the K-12 market and up, the laptop is ruggedized with a rubber bumper around the top cover and stronger corners for protection in case it is dropped. The hinges and hinge brackets have been strengthened. The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook will be available to K-12 schools beginning Feb. 26 at $429 through special bid pricing.
Set Up Windows 8 to the Beat of a Different Drum
January 17, 2013
Microsoft's latest version of its operating system, Windows 8, has more personalization options than any predecessor. Backgrounds, themes, colors, start screen, apps, picture passwords and more can all be customized. You can choose a new theme by opening the Search charm and typing "personalization." Then click on the Settings tab. Click Change the Theme to enter the control panel's Appearance & Personalization area. Then choose a theme.
Dell May Be Dickering for Private Deal
January 15, 2013
Investors sent Dell stock soaring Monday when reports surfaced that the struggling PC maker is in discussions to go private. Representatives from the third-largest PC maker are reportedly in talks with TPG Capital and Silver Lake about a private-equity investment that would give Dell breathing room to regroup outside the public eye.
Pixelmator Delivers Powerful Image Editing at a Bargain Price
January 15, 2013
Many amateur shutterbugs can't afford professional-caliber image editing programs like Photoshop and Aperture, so they're always on the prowl for economical alternatives to those Adobe and Apple offerings. Pixelmator is such an alternative. For a fraction of the price of the big-name image editors, the software is loaded with features that will open the spigot for many a shooter's creative juices.
Sluggish Sales Hint at End of PC Era
January 14, 2013
PC sales sank in the fourth quarter of 2012 due to increased competition from smartphones and tablet devices, Gartner said in a report released Monday. Shipments totaled some 90.3 million units -- a 4.9 percent decline from the fourth quarter a year earlier, the firm found. In the U.S. market, PC shipments fell 2.1 percent from the year prior to 17.5 million units.
CES 2013's Big Untold Stories
January 14, 2013
While the announcements at CES tend to eclipse everything else at the show, including the prior announcements, often the bigger events are going on behind the scenes. This year, Nvidia, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and a bunch of Chinese companies you've never heard about -- and one you have -- were far more interesting than the headliners.

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