Tools Toys and Technology

About the Tools You Use and the Toys That Make Life Interesting

Tools Toys and Technology - About the Tools You Use and the Toys That Make Life Interesting

Windows Gadgets Are a Security Risk

Microsoft is advising users of its Vista and Windows 7 operating systems to disable any gadgets you may have activated on your computer.

Gadgets are little visual tools and — well — “gadgets” that display clock faces, calendars, news feeds, weather and other information on your desktop. I have one on every one of my computers that monitors CPU usage. At least, I did until I followed Microsoft’s advice and took it off.

The problem with these little screen ditties is that they have vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to take control of your computer. The upcoming Windows 8 will not support gadgets, plus the feature was never widely used in the first place. So rather than fix the problem, Microsoft is just recommending that you not use them. Windows 8 will be able to offer similar on-screen information on Live Tiles on the Windows 8 metro Start screen.

Vizio Enters PC Business

Vizio, noted for its flat screen TV line, has entered the computer business with new laptops and all-in-one desktop models.

These computer will enter an already very competitive market, going head-to-head with established names like HP, Dell, and Acer, not to mention Apple. But they’ve been successful in the TV marketplace, where they are know for attractive but affordable products. If that image carries over to their new PCs, I predict that they will do well.

They are going after it aggressively. Their new products sport Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processor and start at a competitive price of $898. Vizio computers will be sold at Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, and other retail outlets, as well as their own Website at

Even More Tablet Rumors – This Time from Apple

From time to time, the possibility of Apple introducing a 7-inch iPad has been batted around among the pundits. Since Apple traditionally deals in the “high-priced spread” and especially since the late Apple leader, Steve Jobs, always talked smack about the small tablets, an Apple 7-inch tablet has not seemed  very likely… until now.

Things are changing.

The first serious 7-inch tablet competitor was Amazon’s Fire. Recently Google’s Nexus 7 entered the fray. That impressive product, along with the rumored pending upgrade of the Amazon Fire, are likely to spur the 7-inch market. Also Microsoft’s announced Surface tablet, while a 10-inch, not a 7-inch display, is likely to take market share from Apple’s traditional market dominance. So this would appear to be a good time for Apple to abandon its snubbing of smaller, less expensive tablets, and enter that marketplace itself.

To compete in this arena, Apple will have to at least come close to the price point of the 7-inch competitors of $200. That means there will have to be some compromises from the current iPad. Notably, the high-resolution screen of the new iPad will probably be the first casualty. How will Apple fans respond to the feature downgrade? I suspect we are going to find out soon.

Internet TV Revisited

Copyright © 2012 Richard Beaty

I’ve got some updated news on Internet TV this month. So, let’s call this issue: Internet TV Revisited.

Paid YouTube Subscriptions? It Could Happen.

YouTube has been in business for less than 8 years. It seems like a lot longer than that, doesn’t it? In that time, they’ve created a video streaming juggernaut. They currently stream over 4 billion – that’s BILLION with a “B” – videos daily. Think about it … 4 billion today, 4 billion tomorrow, 4 billion the day after that. Try to imagine the Internet band width they have to have.

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