Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The iPad mini advert that’s worth watching

Oh Apple, how people both love and hate you. While I’m still giggling over Amazon’s cheeky shot at the iPad mini earlier this week, a spoof advert has turned up on YouTube that pokes fun at how obscure the iPad mini is.

But despite parody videos like the one below, the iPad mini is gaining popularity, with Apple having to shift shipment dates back by up to 2 weeks from their original promise of November 2nd.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Unlock Windows 8 with a smile

Windows 8 is of course the only thing on Microsoft’s mind this week. They’re so busy touting all the amazing features of their latest OS that they don’t realize that some features users really won’t pay attention to.

Like the video below, which showcases a new feature of Windows 8 where users can unlock their PC by drawing a pattern on the screen. But this isn’t like what you’ve seen on Android phones or even the slide-to-unlock feature on the iPhone. Microsoft wants you to draw smiles, circle ears, draw arrows and do all kinds of gestures to get into your PC. Of course if you want, you could always go the old-fashioned route and grab one of these passwords.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The most popular passwords for 2012

Passwords – gotta love and hate them.

There have been plenty of instances when I’ve sworn loudly at my PC because I can’t remember the correct password, only to have to reset it through a series of complicated steps that involves everything except providing a sample of my DNA.

But some of us tend to be a bit too lazy when it comes to securing our accounts, and opt to choose passwords that are easy to remember. At the same time these easy passwords can be just ridiculously easy to figure out, and that’s what’s been revealed in a recent post by security company SplashData. The post highlights what some of the worst passwords of the year have been, and there are some true gems in there such as ’123456′ and my personal favorite, ‘password’.

The top 25 worst passwords of 2012 compared to last year are:

1. password (Unchanged)
2, 123456 (Unchanged)
3. 12345678 (Unchanged)
4. abc123 (Up 1)
5. qwerty (Down 1)
6. monkey (Unchanged)
7. letmein (Up 1)
8. dragon (Up 2)
9. 111111 (Up 3)
10. baseball (Up 1)
11. iloveyou (Up 2)
12. trustno1 (Down 3)
13. 1234567 (Down 6)
14. sunshine (Up 1)
15. master (Down 1)
16. 123123 (Up 4)
17. welcome (New)
18. shadow (Up 1)
19. ashley (Down 3)
20. football (Up 5)
21. jesus (New)
22. michael (Up 2)
23. ninja (New)
24. mustang (New)
25. password1 (New)

(via SplashData)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Middle East companies embracing remote access solutions

At Gitex last week, I had an opportunity to sit down with Noman Qadir, Regional Director Middle East & Africa, Citrix Systems. We spoke mainly about a very interesting survey that Citrix had done recently about the UAE workforce, in which it was found that more people were applying to companies that offered flexible work environments. This meant that an employee could work comfortably from home while still putting in the same effort and number of hours that they would do if working from an office desk. However only 46% of respondents said that their current employer had adapted the technology to allow them to work from home.

I think there’s some confusion about the word ‘cloud’ and that has led to a bit of confusion about enabling mobile work styles. Today end users are demanding it, and if you look at the number of devices people carry around, that means that IT Departments are under tremendous pressure to cater to these different devices.” said Mr. Qadir

On the other hand, you have some companies that are pioneers – some educational institutes and government entities have taken the first plunge and have seen the benefits in moving to desktop virtualization. Some of the challenges in the region of course have been around infrastructure and things like the quality of internet connection and bandwidth. Having said that, this is where Citrix shines [...] our first parameter that we look for when selling a solution is to ensure that the end-user experience does not get compromised. We’re seeing a transition and a phenomenal interest in making this happen, so I only see the trend going upwards in an exponential manner.”

Listen to the entire interview below:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fujitsu releases new product range designed for women

IF you’re looking for a laptop, you’d traditionally look at features such as storage space, processor speed, connectivity, and how heavy the thing is.

Fujitsu on the other hand, seem to think that they’ve got a new angle on the computer market, by designing a PC range that’s exclusively targeted to women. Dubbed the Floral Kiss” range, the lineup was designed by the help of Fujitsu’s own female employees. This is clearly evident on Fujitsu’s website, which states The top casing has been constructed with an elegant and refined gradation with gold trim, and it features a flip latch that can easily open the displayâ€"even by users with long fingernails.”

Yes people, your fingernails will thank you. The device also features a floral motif” for the air vents, and gold accents on the keys.

Check out the entire press release here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

GITEX: Golden Systems booth coverage

While we took a quick look at what Gigabyte had to offer yesterday, here are some other partners that had their goodies on display for GITEX Trade.

First off we have a variety of Nvidia cards from Zotac, most of which were from their famous ‘AMP! Edition’ series. Their recently introduced GTX 660Ti AMP! Extreme edition was also on show.

Also on display were the Zotac ZBOX range of miniPCs, including the recently reviewed AD12 Plus Nano.

Next up is Cooler Master where two of their new cases were on display, as were some of their recently launched gaming keyboards and mice, in addition to their ever popular power supply units and CPU coolers.

Kingmax went all out with pretty much all of their USB keys and other memory sticks on show, including most of their SSD range as well, some of which we have already reviewed.

Last, but definitely not the least, was Axtrom with all of their myriad accessories for PC, including the Axpad which we reviewed earlier this week.

As with Gigabyte, Golden Systems is the distributor of all of the above mentioned brands, so if you like anything in the pictures above, you know where to go.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

BLACKSOCKS – because your socks just aren’t smart enough

I seriously, honestly hope that this video is some kind of joke or SNL sketch.

Behold ladies and gentlemen, BLACKSOCKS – the ‘smarter’ way to sort through your socks. In the three minute video below, you’ll be introduced to a ‘revolutionary’ new way to manage and sort your socks. Yes, your socks. Those little things you slip onto your feet without even an afterthought, are about to get really complicated. The genius minds at blacksocks.com has a system that implements NFS tags and a receiver to communicate with a device that then relays information about the sock to an app on your iPhone. The information contains the sock’s unique ID, how many times it’s been washed, when it was produced, and other kinds of information that you really don’t care about. Seriously, words fail me at this point.

Check the entire video out below, and if you’re curious check out their website here. Again, please someone let me know if this is serious or not so my faith in humanity can be restored.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Emirates airlines to allow in-flight calls on cell phones

If you’ve ever gone through the stress of a flight that has its fair share of screaming babies on it, things are about to get a whole lot louder at 35,000 ft.

Emirates airlines announced yesterday that they will soon allow passengers on its A380 to talk on their mobile devices in-flight. Previously phone calls were only possible through the aircraft’s on-board phone system, but in conjunction with the aircraft’s OnAir wireless service, normal mobile headsets will be usable as well. Mobile phones and other cellular devices are currently only allowed in-flight in ‘aircraft’ mode or with the cellular network switched off, to avoid interference with onboard equipment.

The only limitation to the service is that it will automatically shut down when the aircraft is within 250 miles of the United States of America, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration regulations which prohibit mobile phones from being used in-flight.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Get a virtual affection when your post is ‘liked’ on Facebook

Technology engineering. It is one of the most important element in product development. When you have a good engineering team, you can achieve wonders and put it to some good use – like making Half Life 3, or making the next Maps update not suck, or make a patent that Apple can’t sue.

And then there are these MIT engineers, who instead of participating in the above mentioned projects, have in turn built a jacket that gives you a hug whenever your Facebook post gets a like.

No, really.

It’s called Like-a-Hug, and it works by gently inflating whenever there is a ‘like’, replicating somewhat the farm fuzzy feeling you get when you are hugged ‘IRL’.

MIT engineer Melissa Chow describes the jacket as a wearable social media vest” designed to bringing us closer despite physical distance”. It’s a noble idea, especially those who are pulling off a long distance, or are away from their family. But come on, we all know why it will be mostly used for.