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Avira Antivirus cripples Windows machines with latest update

Trace Hagan | Software | May 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm CDT

A new update by German anti virus company Avira has brought millions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 PCs down better than a virus does. The update which has been downloaded millions of times around the world is falsely identifying important Windows processes and preventing them from running which also is keeping them from booting.

Avira Antivirus cripples Windows machines with latest update | TweakTown.com

The update brings the software to version 8.2.10.64 and the anti virus definitions to version 7.11.30.24. This problem is only occurring for users of the paid version of Avira due to the fact that ProActiv isn't included in the free version and it is what is creating all of this mayhem. AntiVirProActiv now detects the following and more as malware:

  • windows/system32/dllhost.exe
  • windows/system32/explorer.exe
  • windows/system32/iexplorer.exe
  • windows/system32/notepad.exe
  • windows/system32/regedit.exe
  • windows/system32/rundll32.exe
  • windows/system32/taskeng.exe
  • windows/system32/wuauclt.exe

The update is also blocking other Microsoft software and components along with third party applications. This poses a major issue for the numerous corporate users of Avira, along with home users. Avira has posted an update which should fix the issue, but this is quite the embarrassment. I imagine that many people will reconsider their use of Avira after this catastrophy.

Continue reading 'Avira Antivirus cripples Windows machines with latest update' (full post)

GM to stop advertising on Facebook saying it doesn't work

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | May 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm CDT

GM has announced that they will be pulling $10 million in ads from Facebook as they say they don't work. This comes at a bad time for Facebook as they are about to launch their IPO. GM's marketing executive have apparently been reviewing GM's advertising and found that the paid ads are worth the money. They will, however, continue to use the free advertising on Facebook.

GM to stop advertising on Facebook saying it doesn't work | TweakTown.com

GM currently spends somewhere in the neighborhood of $40million on Facebook advertising, though only $10 million of that goes to paid Facebook ads. (These are presumably annual figures) The other $30 million goes to upkeep on the company's Facebook page, along with paying for promotions and giveaways which don't appear to make Facebook any money.

This $10 million isn't much in terms of the $3.7 billion that Facebook brought in last year in advertising. However, GM is the third largest advertiser in the United States, so the fact of them pulling their advertising may cause other companies to reexamine their strategies to see if Facebook is really worth it.

Business Insider's Jim Edwards points out that Facebook has a much lower clickthrough rate than Google does. This could be due to the different medium that Google is compared to Facebook:

Continue reading 'GM to stop advertising on Facebook saying it doesn't work' (full post)

Flickr plans to increase size of pictures based on browser window size

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | May 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm CDT

The photo sharing site Flickr is set to improve a major feature. Flickr is moving to something they are calling a "liquid layout" which will change the layout to match the size of the browser window viewing the site. The layout will focus on showing high-res images as large as it can on the main photo pages along with the usual information around the side.

Flickr plans to increase size of pictures based on browser window size | TweakTown.com

The image above is what it used to look like. The image below is what the new "liquid layout" will look like for someone with a large monitor. The pictures were originally 500px wide as the site launched when 800x600 was the norm. In 2010, this was increase to 640px. Now they have selected a range of sizes so that images won't have to be upsampled.

This redesign is just one of many that the aging site is in need of. The site promises many more over the coming year. Next is speed: "Now that the algorithm is complete, we need to work on the performance," said Flickr developer Ross Harmes in a Flickr code blog post. "The first time you go to a liquid photo page, we have no choice but to adjust the page width on the fly. But every other photo page you visit will have the dimensions stored from the last page, and the page will be rendered with the correct width from the start."

Continue reading 'Flickr plans to increase size of pictures based on browser window size' (full post)

Kodak kept a secret nuclear reactor underground for over 30 years

Trace Hagan | Business, Financial & Legal | May 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm CDT

Kodak, in recent times, has not been doing very well, but apparently they have managed to keep a secret for over 30 years. Back in 1974, Kodak acquired a small nuclear reactor and has been maintaining the device in an underground bunker for over 30 years. The nuclear reactor was filled with 3.5 pounds of weapons-grade enriched uranium and was kept in a bunker with 2-foot thick concrete walls.

Kodak kept a secret nuclear reactor underground for over 30 years | TweakTown.com

Incredibly, it seems as though very few people knew of the reactors existence. The reactor is one of only two ever made and known as a Californium Neutron Flex multiplier. The bunker in which is was located is in Rochester, New York and seemingly never caused any sort of problem through radiation leaks or other ways.

Apparently, Kodak used the device to conduct years of research. It was also used to check materials for impurities and to perform neutron radiography testing. Kodak continues to claim the device is safe and couldn't explode since it wasn't a power plant. The device had been mentioned in some research papers, but was never publicly announced.

Incredibly, it would appear that Kodak never alerted the local police or fire departments that the reactor was located there or even existed. The company decommissioned the reactor with the help of federal regulators six years ago. The uranium plates were placed in protective containers and removed in November 2007.

NVIDIA announces Tesla K10 and K20, GK110 makes an appearance

Trace Hagan | Video Cards | May 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm CDT

Today NVIDIA has announced a new line of graphics cards for professional applications. The new Tesla GPUs are called the K10 and K20 and are designed to perform exceptionally for high performance computing (HPC) scientific and technical applications that use GPU-accelerated computing. These Tesla's were designed to be high performance and extremely power efficient.

NVIDIA announces Tesla K10 and K20, GK110 makes an appearance | TweakTown.com

Kepler is three times as efficient as the Fermi architecture which had established itself as a new standard for computing when released 2 years ago. The Tesla K10 features two GK104 chips which produce 4.58 teraflops of performance and 320GB/s of memory bandwidth. The K10 is optimized for oil and gas exploration and the defense industry.

The Tesla K20 is where the GK110 makes its first appearance. The K20 is the new flagship product for the Tesla line of GPUs and provides three times the compute performance of any Fermi-based Tesla product and supports the Hyper-Q and dynamic parallelism capabilities. The K20 is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Continue reading 'NVIDIA announces Tesla K10 and K20, GK110 makes an appearance' (full post)

Lenovo launches 14-inch carbon-fiber Ultrabook, weighs in less than 3lbs

Trace Hagan | Laptops | May 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm CDT

Dell may have started the carbon-fiber in Ultrabooks fad, but it appears that Lenovo has taken it a step further with their latest creation. Being touted as the "lightest 14-inch Ultrabook in the industry," the ThinkPad X1 weighs in at under 3lbs. And they didn't strip out features to achieve that feat.

Lenovo launches 14-inch carbon-fiber Ultrabook, weighs in less than 3lbs | TweakTown.com

What you are looking at is an Ultrabook with all carbon-fiber rollcage. "We crafted the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with premium carbon fiber material in order to make it incredibly thin and light, yet durable," said Lu Yan, senior vice president, Think Product Group, Lenovo. "Our new ThinkPad laptop portfolio embodies much of the innovative thinking exemplified in the X1 Carbon, such as a backlit keyboard, super-bright high definition display, Dolby® Home Theatre® and rich communications features that balance business performance with personal use."

The announcement page gives only some details on the upcoming Ultrabook. The Ultrabook has built in 3G connectivity for "anywhere, anytime access" and comes with a "RapidCharge" battery which, according to Lenovo, can charge to near-full capacity in only 30 minutes. Lenovo is billing this machine as a premium professional machine, and I can see why.

More details about it have been spilled by the Verge who were in attendance of Lenovo's presentation. The ThinkPad X1 will have a backlit keyboard along with an Ivy Bridge processor.

Continue reading 'Lenovo launches 14-inch carbon-fiber Ultrabook, weighs in less than 3lbs' (full post)

Apple changes Siri's answer to "What is the best smartphone?"

Trace Hagan | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | May 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm CDT

Last week I reported on how Apple's Siri claims that the Nokia Lumia 900 is the best smartphone when asked and the hilarity that the Lumia says the iPhone 4S is. I made the prediction that Apple would give Siri a "personality tweak" that would change her mind on what the best smarthphone is...and I was right.

Apple changes Siri's answer to What is the best smartphone? | TweakTown.com

After Apple was accused of not returning information for searches for abortion clinics, Apple made the claim that they are unable to change the data Siri returns. However, they have now been caught in a lie as Siri no longer agrees with what WolframAlpha says regarding "what is the best smartphone?"

Siri now says "You're kidding, right?" or "The one you're holding" in response to the question. Clearly this shows that Apple is able to modify what Siri returns and this could lend credence to the claims of moral censorship that had previously been alleged. It also makes me wonder what other searches have been modified to suit Apple's fantasy.

ROCCAT releases new Savu gaming mouse, claims to be "the new king"

Trace Hagan | Peripherals | May 15, 2012 at 11:28 am CDT

Soldiers have their guns, pilots have their planes, congressmen have their pens, and gamers, well, they have their mice. A good mouse is critical to gaining the advantage in an online game, a place where everyone is extremely competitive. This is why companies like ROCCAT produce mice like the new Savu, to give gamers the advantage in a game.

ROCCAT releases new Savu gaming mouse, claims to be the new king | TweakTown.com

Not only will a new, high quality mouse give you an advantage in an online game, but this mouse will give you that advantage in style. You see, this new Savu mouse features a lighting system that allows up to 1.8 million different colors. The device also features changeable DPI resolutions all the way up to 4000DPI.

The feature list is quite extensive, so I'll post the press release below. The mouse, with more information, is available at ROCCAT's site.

Continue reading 'ROCCAT releases new Savu gaming mouse, claims to be "the new king"' (full post)

Team Group releases Xtreem DDR3 3000 CL11 RAM, claims fastest DDR3

Trace Hagan | RAM | May 15, 2012 at 10:32 am CDT

Without good RAM, your system overclock isn't really going to get off the ground. That's why Team Group has released their latest RAM clocked at 3000MHz which allows for 24,000Mbps data transfer rate. The timings are also really tight so as to provide the best possible experience for users. The timings are set at CL11-13-13-35.

Team Group releases Xtreem DDR3 3000 CL11 RAM, claims fastest DDR3 | TweakTown.com

The RAM is compatible with Intel's Z77 chipset and is equipped with the latest XMP v1.3. With this kind of speed, don't exactly expect capacity records. The chips can go up to 8GB by using two 4GB sticks. If you have to have the very fastest, there is nothing that can compete with this RAM as it stands. The full press release is below:

Continue reading 'Team Group releases Xtreem DDR3 3000 CL11 RAM, claims fastest DDR3' (full post)

Customers who purchase a Windows 7 PC after June 2 will get a $15 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro

Trace Hagan | Operating Systems | May 15, 2012 at 9:03 am CDT

Microsoft has always given a good deal on an upgrade to the next generation upgrade when a customer has purchased a computer just months before its release. Often that good deal is a free upgrade, however, that is not the case with Windows 7 to Windows 8. The reasoning for this good deal is simple: if customers know the next version is right around the corner, they often will hold off which kills sales for a few months.

Customers who purchase a Windows 7 PC after June 2 will get a $15 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro | TweakTown.com

The fee for users to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 will be $15, according to one source. This upgrade will get you Windows Pro and no upgrade path will be offered to Windows 8 standard. The offer will be valid for users who purchase a computer after June 2, which roughly coincides with the Release Preview version of Windows 8.

Windows 8 is expected to be widely available in the second half of 2012. Microsoft will also be providing "in-the-box" upgrades packaged along with Windows 8. These upgrades will be in the form of "packs" that will provide Pro and Media Center capabilities. These packs take the place of the antiquated Windows Anytime Upgrade system.