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Tom Keating
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Computer Hardware

Killing off Vampire Power for Good!

November 28, 2008

It's been called both "vampire power" and "phantom load" -- likened to the power-hungry HAL 9000 computer (at left) in Stanley Kubrick's classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

It's the little unblinking red light on the television set that is silently drawing energy from the grid; studies have shown it can add 10% or more to a household energy bill.

Now Spanish entrepreneurs claim to have invented a way to end the problem that has bedeviled energy regulators, environmentalists and appliance manufacturers. They have patented an algorithm that can detect when an appliance is in standby mode and automatically switch it off completely.

The standby-mode killer has yet to be proven commercially and must contend with other new products designed to tackle the same problem. But, despite some doubters, the Spanish inventors say theirs is the only product able to completely do away with a large, and growing, world-wide problem.

Now how about that!

Get more at the Wall Street Journal.

Need more Terabytes this Christmas?

November 26, 2008

HP Debuts First Multi-touch Notebook -- Yes HP, Not Apple (Now That's a Surprise!!!)

November 19, 2008

From the first time Steve Jobs demonstrated "the pinch" -- the two-finger gesture used to zoom in and out of photos and Web pages on the iPhone -- some Apple observers assumed it was just a matter of time before a multitouch-enabled screen showed up on the Mac.

That hasn't happened yet. But now Hewlett-Packard has beaten Apple to the punch, announcing the first multitouch-enabled notebook PC, the tx2.

We are all wondering -- aren't we -- why Apple couldn't get this out to market first?

The tx2 is a convertible notebook, meaning its screen can pivot 180 degrees to show someone else what's on it or lie flat and act like a tablet PC.

The first convertible notebook aimed directly at consumers, the tx2 sports HP's version of multitouch technology, which lets you use two fingers at once to manipulate images on the screen or make on-screen gestures that signify specific commands.

PC Magazine Stops the Presses - Online Only

November 19, 2008

I grew up reading PC Magazine and I looked forward each couple weeks to picking up my copy of PC Magazine at the local grocery store. But today, Ziff Davis has announced that the legendary PC Magazine print publication is shutting down its print publication and focusing exclusively on online content. This is truly a sad day... Hold on while I grab some tissues...

PC Magazine started the whole in-depth comparative reviews of PCs and Microsoft software.

HP Going Wild with Asia Stores

November 18, 2008

Image Sync'ing All Your Gadgets?

November 17, 2008

How Old Is Your Computer?

November 14, 2008

It used to be that every three years, workers would get brand new computers from their businesses' tech departments. But for many those days are over.

Many workers haven't been issued a new computer in years. 

The reason: Delaying computer upgrades is one of the easiest ways for a tech department to cut its budget. How about you working with a four-year-old ThinkPad with its maddeningly slow response times and out-of-date software ...

Now that the economy has taken a pronounced turn for the worse, more businesses are deciding to delay their regularly scheduled PC buying. In fact, 46% of businesses have either already or plan to postpone purchasing new computers, according to a survey of information-technology execs by CIO Magazine.

That's part of the reason that U.S.

One Laptop Per European Plan?

November 14, 2008

Let's See How Crazy Black Friday Gets This Year!

November 12, 2008

Crazy Eddie take note!
The Friday immediately following Thanksgiving has long been known as "Black Friday" because it represents the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season, or the day when retailers hold massive sales in hopes of steering their (red) losses into (black) profits.

And from what I've been reading about holiday shopping this year, gadgets may be one of the few bright spots ... 

Among the most heavily discounted electronics items poised to dominate this year's sales are low cost notebooks, according to sources, who note that Dell plans to offer $299 linux model via its website, while Wal-Mart markets a $299 Compaq and Best Buy a $299 eMachines portable.

And do yo think Apple will be sitting quietly ...

... Didn't think so; so check out AppleInsider.

And thanks to for the image.

Hopefully, these prices are insane!!!!!

Sony Reader PRS-700 -- Great, But for One Thing ...

November 12, 2008

Yes, there was a commuter this morning waiting for the 7:17 reading his Kindle.

And that's all I needed to start thinking about ebooks and ebook readers and how maybe someday all printed material will be digital and there will be no more newspapers or magazines.

Wait! I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

Do find the whole thing pretty cool so was intrigued by this piece of writing today.  

So all you ever wanted to know about the Sony Reader PRS-700 is here at Mobile Tech Review. A very positive review, but there is something amiss ...

What's the catch?

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