Tico Byte for January, 2009
Good morning members,
Your next meeting of the
PC Club is this coming Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, at 9am at the
On with the Byte.
Item 1: Your computer is becoming your eyes and ears to staying in touch with what's happening in your country's government.
Barack Obama embraced YouTube when he started broadcasting his weekly address
in both audio and video form, so it may have only been a matter of time before
the Congress follows suit.
YouTube in conjunction with Congress on Monday launched two new platforms, the Senate Hub and the House Hub, that provide easy access to congressional YouTube channels.
Visitors can find their senators' YouTube pages by clicking on a map or using a drop down menu. While
Full story: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10141182-38.html
Item 2: Visitors to US will need to register on line (You better stay up with things on your computer, folks; no telling what's next.)
Starting Monday, travelers
As part of its efforts to use technology to improve border security, the DHS is mandating that travelers from any of the 35 countries in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program apply online for an Electronic System of Travel Authorization before boarding a plane to the U.S. Previously, visitors from those countries were only required to fill out the I-94W form on flights to the U.S. for trips shorter than 90 days.
The ESTA applications collect the same information as the I-94W form and check it against DHS databases to determine whether a traveler poses a law enforcement or security risk. That information includes biographical data like birth date and passport information, as well
as information regarding communicable diseases, arrests, convictions for certain crimes, and mental disorders that spur behavior that may pose a threat to others.
Item 3: Two related Windows 7 articles - catch up with what's coming down the pike.
The just-released Beta 1 version of Windows 7 is a solid, fast-performing, stable operating system that appears to be just about fully baked and ready for prime time. It is much further along than Windows Vista was during its initial beta phase, and it appears to be feature-complete. Based on the stability and speed of this beta, don't be surprised if Microsoft Corp. releases Windows 7 before 2010 rolls around. Full story: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9125179&intsrc=hm_list
And: Microsoft Corp. on Saturday restarted its rollout of the Windows 7 beta, 24 hours after it aborted the launch because heavy demand had stalled its servers. As of noon PST, the company said that the primary beta download site, an offshoot of the Windows section of Microsoft.com, was "up and working." Full story: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9125660&intsrc=hm_list
Item 4: Wireless power - probably the future “wireless power.”
So, the basic theoretical concept is that the digital photo frame you bought for Christmas can actually be set on a coffee table, without tripping someone up in your living room. Or, that you could charge a mobile phone in your car, without having it turned on. Amway already uses eCouple technology in its eSpring water purification devices.
Full story: http://blogs.zdnet.com/green/?p=1648
Item 5: Push to go WiMax in the states
Last week at CES,
Intel chairman Craig Barrett said that Intel would advise the new
administration of Barack Obama to focus on wireless broadband and WiMAX in its
Intel has made significant investments in WiMAX technology, a wireless high-speed broadband technology that can potentially provide inexpensive Internet access to consumers and businesses over large distances without the need for local wifi antennas.
WiMAX will become integrated into future Intel chipsets in the same way that WiFi technology has become a standard part of its desktop and notebook products. However, there needs to
be a substantial WiMAX
infrastructure to take advantage of the WiMAX chipsets.
Full story: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Foremski/?p=338
Item 6: Solid state memory gets bigger - looks like the future from here.
The SD Association unveiled a new SD card specification this week at the 2009 International CES that it said can support data storage capacities of up to 2TB with read/write speeds up to 104MB/sec. The specification, called SDXC (eXtended Capacity), uses Microsoft's exFAT file system to support the large capacity and interoperability in a broad range of PCs, consumer electronics and mobile phones.
Item 7: For all you Chrome browser users.
Google Inc. yesterday announced that its Chrome browser would be in a "never-ending" beta test, and it gave users three options for updating their copies at varying intervals.
Item 9: The best of all worlds
Coming Saturday at the PC Club. We love to see you there.