Windows 8, Ultrabooks Could Invigorate a ‘Depressed’ PC Market: IDC – Desktops and Notebooks – News & Reviews – eWeek.com

Windows 8, Ultrabooks Could Invigorate a ‘Depressed’ PC Market: IDC – Desktops and Notebooks – News & Reviews – eWeek.com.

The worldwide PC market is slumping, in need of back-to-school sales and new Ultrabooks and tablets running Windows 8, according to IDC. Recent earnings announcements have suggested as much.

The worldwide PC market is expected to grow in 2012, if only by a fraction of a percentage, IDC reported Aug. 23, citing economic conditions and consumers’ wait-and-see attitudes for the market’s second consecutive year of growth below 2 percent.

By year’s end, IDC expects PC totals to creep to 367.2 million, up from the 363.9 million that closed out 2011. Between 2013 and 2016, the market is now expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 7.1 percent, down from the previously forecast 8.4 percent.

This year, help should come in the form of back-to-school sales and the release of Microsoft’s Windows 8, which will remove the barrier for the release of a trove of Ultrabooks and tablets running the new OS, which will debut Oct. 24.

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Verizon, T-Mobile, Cable Consortium Spectrum Deals Win FCC Approval – Mobile and Wireless – News & Reviews – eWeek.com

Verizon, T-Mobile, Cable Consortium Spectrum Deals Win FCC Approval – Mobile and Wireless – News & Reviews – eWeek.com.

The Federal Communications Commission has approved the sale of previously unused wireless spectrum owned by a group of cable companies to Verizon. The FCC also approved the sale of a portion of the spectrum to T-Mobile and Leap Wireless in a complex deal that involved a consent agreement between the cable companies and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The DoJ consent agreement put strict controls on the commercial agreementsbetween Verizon and the cable companies that would have prevented the companies from competing with each other in terrestrial Internet delivery and in joint marketing agreements. The commercial agreements were initially combined into a single, very complex transaction. However, the Justice Department and the FCC agreed to split consideration of those agreements and the spectrum sale into separate actions.

All five FCC commissioners voted to approve the sale of the spectrum to Verizon, T-Mobile and Leap Wireless, makers of the Cricket line of prepaidphones on Aug. 23. However, two commissioners, Robert McDowell and Mignon Clyburn, withheld approval of the commercial agreements, saying that control over the agreements exceeded the FCC’s authority. However, both of those commissioners concurred with the spectrum transfers in light of the DoJ consent decree.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Review – Watch CNETs Video Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Review – Watch CNETs Video Review.

The good: The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 sports a proven, sensible design, a bevy of useful features, and fast performance. The S Pen Stylus is a unique addition.

The bad: Only a limited number of apps make full use of the S Pen and some of the ones that do can be buggy and confusing. Some S Pen features aren’t enabled by default and others don’t work properly.

The bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is the best Samsung tablet yet. If you can get over its somewhat high price, it’s a sound Android tablet investment.

FTC hits Google with $22.5 million fine for Safari tracking | Webware – CNET

FTC hits Google with $22.5 million fine for Safari tracking | Webware – CNET.

It’s the largest penalty ever for a violation of an FTC order. The agency says that “sends a clear message” to all companies large and small to “keep their privacy promises to consumers.”

The Federal Trade Commission has jabbed Google with a hefty fine over its alleged Safari tracking practices.

The government agency today announced that Google has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle the FTC’s chargesthat Google “placed an advertising tracking cookie on the computers of Safari users who visited sites within Google’s DoubleClick advertising network.” The issue, the FTC said, is that Google had assured those users that they would be automatically opted out of the tracking because of Safari’s handling of third-party cookies.

The FTC’s fine is the largest ever for violation of the agency’s order.

Lenovo ‘fine’ with Surface; aims ThinkPad Tablet 2 at enterprises | ZDNet

Lenovo ‘fine’ with Surface; aims ThinkPad Tablet 2 at enterprises | ZDNet.

Despite Acer berating Microsoft for its venture into the tablet space, Lenovo said it isn’t fussed by it. In response, it dished out a brand new tablet: the ThinkPad Tablet 2, aimed for business and enterprise users.

Why is Lenovo content with the Surface, while Acer cries foul? Because Acer has a lot more to lose than PC market share leader Lenovo. And Acer should be worried.

In a nutshell (you probably don’t need reminding): Microsoft’s Surface tablet is the software company’s first venture into the tablet market. Despite its “Microsoft” branding, it’s likely that Asus is building the device, which has around 7 percent of the global PC building market share,according to IDC and Gartner.

Acer, which stands in fourth place behind HP — which will soon be overtaken by Lenovo as the world leader in PC building — Dell and Lenovo, kicked up a storm that Microsoft’s Surface will push out its existing OEM partners.

New Mac Trojan installs silently, no password required | ZDNet

New Mac Trojan installs silently, no password required | ZDNet.

Summary: A new Mac OS X Trojan referred to as OSX/Crisis silently infects OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and OS X 10.7 Lion. The threat was created in a way that is intended to make reverse engineering more difficult, an added extra that is more common with Windows malware than it is with Mac malware.

A new Mac OS X Trojan has been discovered that drops different components depending on whether or not it is executed on a user account with Admin permissions. The threat installs itself silently (no user interaction required) and also does not need your user password to infect your Apple Mac. The backdoor component calls home to the IP address 176.58.100.37 every five minutes, awaiting instructions.

Intego, which had to update its anti-malware signatures upon discovering the threat, refers to it as “OSX/Crisis.” The good news is that the security firm has yet to find OSX/Crisis in the wild; the company only stumbled upon it over at VirusTotal, a service for analyzing suspicious files and URLs.

How to skip Windows 8 and continue using Windows 7 | ZDNet

How to skip Windows 8 and continue using Windows 7 | ZDNet.

Summary: If you’re perfectly happy with Windows 7 and skeptical about Windows 8, I have good news for you. You’ve got seven more years before you have to give it up. Here are the facts, figures, and dates to know.

Years ago, I worked for a company headquarted in Louisville, Kentucky, a state whose God-fearing people are proud of the vices that make up their heritage. There’s gambling on some of the best horse racing in the world, fine bourbon (except in dry counties), and tobacco.

So I should not have been surprised at the reaction of a coffee-shop hostess in Louisville one morning when I asked for a seat in the no-smoking section.

She cocked her head, looked at me quizzically, and said, “Honey, if you don’t wanna smoke, just don’t smoke.”