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  • TECH

    A quantum leap for computers

    Life, James Hein, Published on 22/02/2017

    » According to Prof Winfried Hensinger of the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, he and his team have the first practical design for a quantum computer. Like millions of others, I have struggled to come to an understanding of quantum mechanics and how a quantum computer might work.

  • TECH

    Microsoft and the Europeans

    Life, James Hein, Published on 14/12/2016

    » For those upset by Brexit and the election of Trump, Microsoft has an answer -- LinkedIn. In a statement to the EU after the recent acquisition, Microsoft indicated as much after the EU expressed concern that Microsoft would do its usual trick of integrating LinkedIn into Office and combine the databases. There were also concerns that only MS CRM users would have access but, given the take-up of the MS CRM system, that was soon dismissed as a concern. Microsoft has agreed to a number of EU conditions, including third-party access to Office, keeping Office customisable, allowing for separate installation of LinkedIn, and allowing it to be uninstalled. The EU has always been tough on organisations like Microsoft that try to set up any kind of monopoly, but this time it might be a bit of a storm in a teacup.

  • TECH

    Who's really sending me these emails?

    Life, James Hein, Published on 28/10/2015

    » A while back I wrote to Samsung outlining my concerns, validated by low sales and a move to iPhones, about the latest S6 and Note 5 devices moving closer to Apple in functionality. In particular they removed waterproofing, included a fixed battery and stopped support for a microSD memory expansion. It has been some weeks and so far no response.

  • OPINION

    Google going great, greater, the greatest?

    Life, James Hein, Published on 31/07/2013

    » In 2010 the figure was a mere 6%, but according to the monitoring firm DeepField, data to and from Google now accounts for a quarter of all traffic in the US across the internet. We all knew that Google was big, but until now no one was sure just how big they were, at least in the US. When it comes to sheer bandwidth demand at certain times of the day, the winner is Netflix, but in terms of overall traffic Google beats Netflix, Twitter and Facebook combined. Remember that Google includes YouTube and a wide range of other services.

  • OPINION

    XP phases out as robots start to heal themselves

    Life, James Hein, Published on 20/03/2013

    » Any organisation still using Windows XP should write down this date: April 8, 2014. After this point there will be no updates, no security fixes and no support. Office 2003 users will be in the same boat. To put that in perspective is it estimated that about 40% of desktops still use XP with Windows 7 finally passing them at 44%. Of those 40%, many have not considered their upgrade path as yet and while the OS will continue to work for a long time it will become more and more vulnerable. Hackers love XP as it is so well known to them and is often used as a springboard into organisational systems.

  • OPINION

    Get intellectual about your property rights

    Life, James Hein, Published on 23/01/2013

    » Some businesses still think they can dominate their customers. A good case in point is the recent Instagram initiative to change the terms of use on the Facebook-owned social network so it could use member's photos and sell them for profit, without any compensation. The response from members was instant, and not a very nice one. Facebook made a fairly quick about face on the issue but they never should have tried it in the first place.

  • TECH

    A worm that has me in fear - and in awe

    Database, James Hein, Published on 15/12/2010

    » I was pondering what I was going to write about this week when I saw the name Stuxnet. At first it looked like just another worm until I started to do some digging.

  • TECH

    Don't forget, computers are made by humans

    Database, James Hein, Published on 26/05/2010

    » As you might imagine, I often get asked questions about all manner of IT subjects. Sometimes these questions are very simple ones and this reminds me that not all people are computer experts, or even what I would call computer-aware. So, this week, I'm going to go right back to the basics.

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