Microsoft generally allows users to exercise a reasonable level of control over when and how updates are checked, downloaded and installed. However, most other software vendors have so far not followed Microsoft’s lead. Many will check for updates at the time of their choosing, regardless of what the user is doing at the time. This can be disruptive to a user who is trying to use their computer for productive work at the time, or who may be using the computer with a limited speed dialup or wireless connection when the update process is triggered.
Continue reading Updates are driving me crazy
A cellphone for your dog? Wired News reports on the latest two-way radio, GPS locator and nanny cam for Fido (as in the dog, and not one of Canada’s cellular carriers).
I recently clicked on a Google ad for WiTopia’s VPN service. The purpose of a VPN, or virtual private network, is to encrypt communications between two end points. It is typically used by remote users to access corporate systems from home or on the road. However, a number of companies now offer public VPN services that permit subscribers to encrypt their communications when using their laptop in a hostile environment such as a public Wi-fi hotspot. Since their destination probably doesn’t support encryption, these VPN products re-route the communications (Instant Messanging, Web browsing, VOIP, etc.) to one of their data centers and then send it unencrypted to the destination. The purpose is to protect the data stream from being intercepted from the user’s immediate environment.
Continue reading VPNs, the real deal
The OQO model 01 looks to be one of the smallest handhelds out there that is capable of running Windows XP.
The original 01 model featured:
– 256 megs of RAM
– 20 megs hard disk
The 01+ model adds:
– 512 megs of RAM
– 30 gig hard disk
As well, it features:
– wifi and bluetooth
– 14 ounces
– 1 Gig Transmeta Crusoe processor
– 800×400 screen
– Qwerty keyboard
– battery life of up to 3 hours
– USB 2.0 and firewire
– headphone jack
From News.com comes news of an Israeli made voice analyzer (a.k.a., lie detector) suitable for screening potential terrorists and drug couriers.
The Nemesysco GK-1, which has been tested in Moscow, can pick up uncontrollable tremors in the voice that give away someone who is lying or has something to hide.
According to Wireless Watch Japan, Taiwan-based Accton Technology unveiled its Skype-enabled Wi-Fi phone, the SkyFone WM1185-T, in Tokyo at a so-called “Skype Day” event.
Continue reading Skype-compatible Wifi Handset
Doublesight offers an nifty way to share a single computer among multiple users. Its called PCExpanion and consists of “terminals” which are connected to a keyboard, monitor, mouse and speakers, and which connect back to the “server” PC using Ethernet cabling. The server computer runs the PC Expanion software, which appears to include Windows Terminal Services, and shares its CPU processing power and peripherals with the various terminals that are attached.
Continue reading Neat Product – PCExpanion from DoubleSight
Acoustic Energy has unveiled what they claim is the world’s first wifi radio. Well, I don’t agree with that characterization but it does appear to be, based on its specifications, the first wifi radio that is compatible with all three streaming technologies – Real Audio, MP3 and Windows Media Streams.
Continue reading Acoustic Energy’s new WIFI Radio