6:27 PM

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Tons of released drugs taint US water

U.S. manufacturers, including major drugmakers, have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide drinking water — contamination the federal government has consistently overlooked, according to an Associated Press investigation.

Hundreds of active pharmaceutical ingredients are used in a variety of manufacturing, including drugmaking: For example, lithium is used to make ceramics and treat bipolar disorder; nitroglycerin is a heart drug and also used in explosives; copper shows up in everything from pipes to contraceptives.

Federal and industry officials say they don't know the extent to which pharmaceuticals are released by U.S. manufacturers because no one tracks them — as drugs. But a close analysis of 20 years of federal records found that, in fact, the government unintentionally keeps data on a few, allowing a glimpse of the pharmaceuticals coming from factories.

As part of its ongoing PharmaWater investigation about trace concentrations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, AP identified 22 compounds that show up on two lists: the EPA monitors them as industrial chemicals that are released into rivers, lakes and other bodies of water under federal pollution laws, while the Food and Drug Administration classifies them as active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The data don't show precisely how much of the 271 million pounds comes from drugmakers versus other manufacturers; also, the figure is a massive undercount because of the limited federal government tracking.

To date, drugmakers have dismissed the suggestion that their manufacturing contributes significantly to what's being found in water. Federal drug and water regulators agree.

But some researchers say the lack of required testing amounts to a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy about whether drugmakers are contributing to water pollution.

"It doesn't pass the straight-face test to say pharmaceutical manufacturers are not emitting any of the compounds they're creating," said Kyla Bennett, who spent 10 years as an EPA enforcement officer before becoming an ecologist and environmental attorney.

Pilot studies in the U.S. and abroad are now confirming those doubts.

Last year, the AP reported that trace amounts of a wide range of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in American drinking water supplies. Including recent findings in Dallas, Cleveland and Maryland's Prince George's and Montgomery counties, pharmaceuticals have been detected in the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans.

Most cities and water providers still do not test. Some scientists say that wherever researchers look, they will find pharma-tainted water.

Consumers are considered the biggest contributors to the contamination. We consume drugs, then excrete what our bodies don't absorb. Other times, we flush unused drugs down toilets. The AP also found that an estimated 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals and contaminated packaging are thrown away each year by hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Researchers have found that even extremely diluted concentrations of drugs harm fish, frogs and other aquatic species. Also, researchers report that human cells fail to grow normally in the laboratory when exposed to trace concentrations of certain drugs. Some scientists say they are increasingly concerned that the consumption of combinations of many drugs, even in small amounts, could harm humans over decades.

Utilities say the water is safe. Scientists, doctors and the EPA say there are no confirmed human risks associated with consuming minute concentrations of drugs. But those experts also agree that dangers cannot be ruled out, especially given the emerging research.


Two common industrial chemicals that are also pharmaceuticals — the antiseptics phenol and hydrogen peroxide — account for 92 percent of the 271 million pounds identified as coming from drugmakers and other manufacturers. Both can be toxic and both are considered to be ubiquitous in the environment.

However, the list of 22 includes other troubling releases of chemicals that can be used to make drugs and other products: 8 million pounds of the skin bleaching cream hydroquinone, 3 million pounds of nicotine compounds that can be used in quit-smoking patches, 10,000 pounds of the antibiotic tetracycline hydrochloride. Others include treatments for head lice and worms.

Residues are often released into the environment when manufacturing equipment is cleaned.

A small fraction of pharmaceuticals also leach out of landfills where they are dumped. Pharmaceuticals released onto land include the chemo agent fluorouracil, the epilepsy medicine phenytoin and the sedative pentobarbital sodium. The overall amount may be considerable, given the volume of what has been buried — 572 million pounds of the 22 monitored drugs since 1988.

In one case, government data shows that in Columbus, Ohio, pharmaceutical maker Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane Inc. discharged an estimated 2,285 pounds of lithium carbonate — which is considered slightly toxic to aquatic invertebrates and freshwater fish — to a local wastewater treatment plant between 1995 and 2006. Company spokeswoman Marybeth C. McGuire said the pharmaceutical plant, which uses lithium to make drugs for bipolar disorder, has violated no laws or regulations. McGuire said all the lithium discharged, an annual average of 190 pounds, was lost when residues stuck to mixing equipment were washed down the drain.


Pharmaceutical company officials point out that active ingredients represent profits, so there's a huge incentive not to let any escape. They also say extremely strict manufacturing regulations — albeit aimed at other chemicals — help prevent leakage, and that whatever traces may get away are handled by onsite wastewater treatment.

"Manufacturers have to be in compliance with all relevant environmental laws," said Alan Goldhammer, a scientist and vice president at the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Goldhammer conceded some drug residues could be released in wastewater, but stressed "it would not cause any environmental issues because it was not a toxic substance at the level that it was being released at."

Several big drugmakers were asked this simple question: Have you tested wastewater from your plants to find out whether any active pharmaceuticals are escaping, and if so what have you found?

No drugmaker answered directly.

"Based on research that we have reviewed from the past 20 years, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities are not a significant source of pharmaceuticals that contribute to environmental risk," GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement.

AstraZeneca spokeswoman Kate Klemas said the company's manufacturing processes "are designed to avoid, or otherwise minimize the loss of product to the environment" and thus "ensure that any residual losses of pharmaceuticals to the environment that do occur are at levels that would be unlikely to pose a threat to human health or the environment."

One major manufacturer, Pfizer Inc., acknowledged that it tested some of its wastewater — but outside the United States.

The company's director of hazard communication and environmental toxicology, Frank Mastrocco, said Pfizer has sampled effluent from some of its foreign drug factories. Without disclosing details, he said the results left Pfizer "confident that the current controls and processes in place at these facilities are adequately protective of human health and the environment."

It's not just the industry that isn't testing.

FDA spokesman Christopher Kelly noted that his agency is not responsible for what comes out on the waste end of drug factories. At the EPA, acting assistant administrator for water Mike Shapiro — whose agency's Web site says pharmaceutical releases from manufacturing are "well defined and controlled" — did not mention factories as a source of pharmaceutical pollution when asked by the AP how drugs get into drinking water.

"Pharmaceuticals get into water in many ways," he said in a written statement. "It's commonly believed the majority come from human and animal excretion. A portion also comes from flushing unused drugs down the toilet or drain; a practice EPA generally discourages."

His position echoes that of a line of federal drug and water regulators as well as drugmakers, who concluded in the 1990s — before highly sensitive tests now used had been developed — that manufacturing is not a meaningful source of pharmaceuticals in the environment.

Pharmaceutical makers typically are excused from having to submit an environmental review for new products, and the FDA has never rejected a drug application based on potential environmental impact. Also at play are pressures not to delay potentially lifesaving drugs. What's more, because the EPA hasn't concluded at what level, if any, pharmaceuticals are bad for the environment or harmful to people, drugmakers almost never have to report the release of pharmaceuticals they produce.

"The government could get a national snapshot of the water if they chose to," said Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, "and it seems logical that we would want to find out what's coming out of these plants."

Ajit Ghorpade, an environmental engineer who worked for several major pharmaceutical companies before his current job helping run a wastewater treatment plant, said drugmakers have no impetus to take measurements that the government doesn't require.

"Obviously nobody wants to spend the time or their dime to prove this," he said. "It's like asking me why I don't drive a hybrid car? Why should I? It's not required."


After contacting the nation's leading drugmakers and filing public records requests, the AP found two federal agencies that have tested.

Both the EPA and the U.S. Geological Survey have studies under way comparing sewage at treatment plants that receive wastewater from drugmaking factories against sewage at treatment plants that do not.

Preliminary USGS results, slated for publication later this year, show that treated wastewater from sewage plants serving drug factories had significantly more medicine residues. Data from the EPA study show a disproportionate concentration in wastewater of an antibiotic that a major Michigan factory was producing at the time the samples were taken.

Meanwhile, other researchers recorded concentrations of codeine in the southern reaches of the Delaware River that were at least 10 times higher than the rest of the river.

The scientists from the Delaware River Basin Commission won't have to look far when they try to track down potential sources later this year. One mile from the sampling site, just off shore of Pennsville, N.J., there's a pipe that spits out treated wastewater from a municipal plant. The plant accepts sewage from a pharmaceutical factory owned by Siegfried Ltd. The factory makes codeine.

"We have implemented programs to not only reduce the volume of waste materials generated but to minimize the amount of pharmaceutical ingredients in the water," said Siegfried spokeswoman Rita van Eck.

Another codeine plant, run by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Noramco Inc., is about seven miles away. A Noramco spokesman acknowledged that the Wilmington, Del., factory had voluntarily tested its wastewater and found codeine in trace concentrations thousands of times greater than what was found in the Delaware River. "The amounts of codeine we measured in the wastewater, prior to releasing it to the City of Wilmington, are not considered to be hazardous to the environment," said a company spokesman.

In another instance, equipment-cleaning water sent down the drain of an Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. factory in Denver consistently contains traces of warfarin, a blood thinner, according to results obtained under a public records act request. Officials at the company and the Denver Metro Wastewater Reclamation District said they believe the concentrations are safe.

Warfarin, which also is a common rat poison and pesticide, is so effective at inhibiting growth of aquatic plants and animals it's actually deliberately introduced to clean plants and tiny aquatic animals from ballast water of ships.

"With regard to wastewater management we are subject to a variety of federal, state and local regulation and oversight," said Joel Green, Upsher-Smith's vice president and general counsel. "And we work hard to maintain systems to promote compliance."

Baylor University professor Bryan Brooks, who has published more than a dozen studies related to pharmaceuticals in the environment, said assurances that drugmakers run clean shops are not enough.

"I have no reason to believe them or not believe them," he said. "We don't have peer-reviewed studies to support or not support their claims."

taken from yahoo health
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12:15 AM

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13 Twitter's Don't doing

You want to keep your Twitter followers happy? Avoid these okay.

he number of new Twitter users has soared over the past few months, as the microblogging service has taken the media by storm. If you're one of those new users, you may be baffled by Twitter's peculiar culture, or nervous that you'll commit some kind of microblogging faux pas.

Don't worry, we're here to help. While there aren't specific rules for how to use Twitter, avoiding these 13 Don'ts will help you fit right in—and may even gain you some adoring new followers.

1. Don't live-tweet TV shows. @CorinneIOZO warns that lots of people use DVRs or watch shows on Hulu these days, so spoiling big moments ("OMG, the smoke monster was actually from outer space! No way!") is a major no-no. As an alternative, tweet an inside joke that the show's viewers will get, but that doesn't give away any important details.

2. Don't say anything that could get you fired or prevent you from getting a job. @JoelSD points out that if your tweets are public, they really are open to everyone, as has been demonstrated time and time again.

3. Don't
be boring. A simple rule that @kmonson follows is "Never tweet about food or the weather." If your friends see one more "Good morning Twitterverse!" or "I had some awesome corn flakes for breakfast," you're getting un-followed.

4. Don't forget the Twitter lingo: RT is retweet, and @name is how you respond or give props to someone. Feel free to be generous with both your RTs and your @s.

5. Don't tweet more than ten times a day, or more than five times an hour, says @JasonCross00. It gets annoying and takes space and attention away from other Twitterers' links and observations. If you have that much to say, maybe it belongs on a blog.

6. Don't reply to every single tweet. As @seanludwig points out, it gets old fast.

7. Don't tweet drunk, cautions @whitneyarner. Just like in real life, your followers might get a kick out of your drunk tweets, but you'll probably regret them in the morning.

8. Don't tell us about something cool or life-changing without a link or picture (use a service like TwitPic for your photos, and a URL shortener like TinyURL or is.gd for your links).

9. Don't retweet something and leave off the original Twitter poster. Always give credit to those who wrote it first.

10. Don't ignore people who send you a direct message or a reply, says @LanceUlanoff. Part of the Twitter experience involves conversing with your followers when possible.

11. Don't #hashtag every topic. After a while, your topics will be ignored.

12. Don't whine about people not following you, pleads @SaschaSegan. If you're good at providing interesting stuff and you're patient, you'll get the followers you crave so badly.

13. Don't tweet your bathroom habits. Seriously. Just don't do it.

taken from pcmag.com

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12:50 AM

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Intel Begins Applying 'Stars' Ratings to Microprocessors

Will you choose a PC's processor like you choose a hotel? Intel has already bet that you will.

Years after microprocessor vendors launched "model numbers" to try and provide buyers with a simpler way of evaluating microprocessor performance, on April 1 Intel began placing point-of-sale placards and other promotional materials in stores displaying between one to five stars. The company has also jazzed up its chip logos, adding a bit of color to the almost-uniform Intel blue.

The problem is threefold: on one hand, it's almost impossible for even experienced enthusiasts to try and distinguish between two nearly identical processors, which now use a dizzying array of features to differentiate themselves: the number of cores, their clock speed, the amount of level-2 and level-3 cache, the speed of the interconnect, the memory interface and speed, as well as other features such as hyperthreading and "turbo boost". Differences can be ascertained by benchmarking both simulated and real-world applications, which sites like ExtremeTech run in spades.

At a retailer like Best Buy, however, such benchmarks are rarely, if ever, provided to the user; OEMs like Hewlett-Packard and Acer are more interested in presenting the advantages of their own hardware and software bundles.

The third issue: the number of processor options companies like Intel and its rival AMD offer; Intel offers a total of 30 desktop processors, and 57 notebook processors, not including the three Atom processors which can appear in either a "nettop" or netbook.

When asked, Intel spokesman Bill Calder agreed that "there were too many models; too many brands." Intel's desktop brands include the Pentium, Celeron, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core i7, and Core i7 Extreme Edition. Most are centered around what Calder called a "hero" brand: the Core series. But, he added, it was too soon to say whether older brands, such as the Celeron, would be discarded.

"It's important for people to understand that we've got all these different brands, but we have a challenge when people come to retail," he said. "How do I distinguish between the Pentium and Celeron and Core and Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad?"

Over the last few months, Intel has been re-evaluating its brands and embarking on a fairly broad band simplification effort, he said. Both the revised logo and the "stars" classifications are "small but important elements" of that, Calder said. "And there will be more," he added.

The "stars" rating," Calder said, is an "easy, intuitive way" to see the processors in connection with one another, in a way that he said communicates "relative performance, not a price-performance type of thing," he said. They will be applied to both desktop and notebook product lines, but not the Atom, he said.

Five-star desktop processors include the Intel Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme; four-star processors include the Q9300+ and E8000 series. Three-star processors include the Q8000 series and E7000 series. Intel has drawn a more distinct line between the three- and two-star designations, placing the Pentium line in its own two-star category. At the bottom of the heap is the Celeron, a one-star chip.

(Some of the distinctions can appear arbitrary; the three-star Q8300 is a four-core, 2.5-GHz processor that uses a 1,333-MHz front-side bus with 4 Mbytes of cache; the four-star Q9300 is identical, but includes 6 Mbytes of cache.)

Calder emphasized that the star ratings were not based entirely on performance, but on features, such as the "turbo boost" capability that allows the Core i7 architecture to overclock a single core running one single-threaded application. They won't be directly affixed to a PC, but have been accompanying sales circulars since the first of the month. Additional point-of-sale training will be required, Calder said.

The revised logos remain largely unchanged from Intel's traditional "Intel Inside" logo, except with the Core brand prominently displayed, and color coding applied to help differentiate the brands. The logo also includes a "peeled-away" portion, revealing a die-like graphic. The orientation is now horizontal, although the logo will take up the same "footprint," or space.

The new logos are more colorful and ornamental, Calder said.

taken from pcmag.com

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12:09 AM

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Beware Conficker Awakens, Mutates, Hustles

Reports are all over that a new and interesting version of the Conficker worm is around, and that it is pushing rogue anti-malware to its users. Thus a purpose to the whole endeavor begins to emerge: Money. But the vendor analyses of this new variant are not yet in synch; they disagree on some points and are confused on others.

ESET calls this new variant Win32/Conficker.AQ; the names are really beginning to diverge among the vendors. The new variant is split into client and server components. The server, a Windows device driver, attempts to perform the infections of other systems through the MS08-067 vulnerability in Windows that made Conficker famous, but which had actually been removed from the previous variant. It also sets up an HTTP server on a random TCP port. Curiously, after May 3 the server part of the program will remove itself from the system as of the next reboot.

The client program is a newly-obfuscated version of the old, familiar Conficker program. ESET says the new version dumps the domain name distribution scheme; this seemed clever, but was too susceptible to organized resistance by the industry and authorities. The new version attempts only to communicate through the already established peer network. They also suspect that the Autoun propagation system has been removed from it too, but haven't completed analysis on that point.

ESET has a removal tool for this variant.

Symantec is reporting that the driver patches tcpip.sys in order to increase the number of concurrent connections on the system. They call this variant W32.Downadup.E. Symantec describes the DLL portion as the C variant and that the purpose of the infection is to install that C variant. This isn't exactly what ESET says. Symantec also doesn't say that the Autorun propagation has been removed and they still recommend in their technical description disabling Autorun, but the description of E variant doesn't mention Autorun anymore.

The Microsoft description has more details than most others:

* Before it spreads itself it appends a stream of randomly generated garbage to itself to confuse file identifiers, but this won't be too hard to defeat.

* It establishes the server by using SSDP to find an Internet gateway device and then issues a SOAP command to set up port forwarding to itself. This is UPnP, and router configuration program often do similar things.

Kaspersky's Threatpost then follows through on the business model of Conficker: pushing rogue anti-malware. They report that infected systems are getting popups with warnings that push a $49.95 scam product, SpywareProtect2009. Kaspersky has their own disinfection tool.

More on Conficker:

A New Old Worm Follows in Conficker's Footsteps

Where Are the Infected Conficker Systems?

Conficker Post-Mortem...It Is Dead, Isn't It?

Infected with Conficker? Here's What to Do

Conficker--a Bullet-Proof Botnet?

The 7 Most Important Things to Know About Conficker

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1:03 AM

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Disable Write Access to USB Hard Disk and Flash Key Drives

There is a registry hack that able to disable the USB drive access to USB mass storage device such as flash drive, USB key, thumb drive, pendrive and portable hard disk while keeping the USB hardware device such as webcam, mouse, keyboard, printer and scanner connected to USB ports working as usual. However, the hack disable the USB access to disk drive completely. User cannot copy data to the USB disk storage, nor able to read any files and documents from the USB drive.

For user who just want to disable write access to the external removable USB mass storage disk drive, there is another registry hack of WriteProtect in StorageDevicePolicies registry key that able to restrict Windows system from writing to the USB disk drive, and hence effectively user to copy any sensitive or private data from the PC to USB key stick. The trick works in a similar way to write-protect feature used in floppy disk and backup tape which make the disk read-only, only that in this case, it’s system wide implementation that block any writing and recording of data to USB mass storage device.

To disable writing access to USB drives and make all USB drives has only read-only access, follow these steps:

1. Run Registry Editor (regedit).
2. Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control
3. Create a New Key named as StorageDevicePolicies.
4. Highlight StorageDevicePolicies, and then create a New DWORD (32-bit) Value named as WriteProtect.
5. Double click on WriteProtect, and set its value data to 1. Read mOre Guys...

11:41 PM

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Best Security Tools

These eight free downloads and services will help you beat back the bad guys with antivirus and antispyware programs, personal firewalls, and even a program that can detect whether your Web site is under attack.

Avast Home Edition: The big names in security software charge you big bucks for big suites full of big, bloated software. It scans your system for malware and kills what it finds, and gives you seven different types of "shields" to keep you safe from harm, such as one for protecting you from dangers that might be lurking on Web sites (such as drive-by downloads), one for guarding against peer-to-peer attacks, another that stops instant messaging threats, and so on. And it does all that, amazingly enough, without taking up much RAM or system resources.

a-Squared HiJackFree: Spyware is notorious for evading even the most rigorous cleaners, which is why you need more than one antispyware utility on your PC. HiJackFree is a great download to use in concert with your main antispyware program for extra protection. Rather than offering a live shield, it checks your system for spyware and then eradicates it. For the geeky, it offers a lot more as well, such as tools for viewing what programs are using your TCP ports, and for examining programs that run on startup.

Attack Trace: Worried that the bad guys are targeting your Web site? This free service checks to see if your site is under attack.

Comodo EasyVPN Home: This download allows you to create secure peer-to-peer networks over the Internet for sharing information, chatting, and so on. Everything is encrypted, so no one else will be able to snoop on what you're doing.

EULAlyzer: Hidden in some end-user license agreements (EULAs) are indicators that the software may be spyware, or that it might invade your privacy in other ways. This downloadable analyzer examines EULAs and warns you about dangers.

Online Armor Personal Firewall
: This is the best personal firewall you've never heard of. It provides solid protection, but unobtrusively. Lots of firewalls bug you constantly when you first install them, asking about any program that wants to access the Internet. This software starts out by allowing known safe applications to access the Web and bothers you only about the programs it's unsure about. It also has a clever "Safer mode" that will allow certain apps to run with stripped-down privileges.

SpywareBlaster: With this downloadable antispyware utility, you can make sure you don't get infected in the first place rather than scanning for and killing spyware after it hits your machine. It works differently from most competitors by restricting the actions that potentially dangerous Web sites can perform when you visit them. It also protects against dangerous ActiveX controls, and keeps tracking cookies off your PC.

SuperAntiSpyware: Here's an excellent antispyware tool thjavascript:void(0)
Publish Postat does a thorough job of scanning your system for dangers, and then whacks any it finds. This download scans not just your files and memory, but also your Registry. It doesn't offer real-time protection, though.

taken from pcmag.com
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8:50 PM

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Digital Photography Review : Pentax K2000

For those looking for an entry into digital SLR (D-SLR) photography, the $599.95 (direct) Pentax K2000 is a great choice at a great price. This 10.2-megapixel camera performs quite well in well-lit outdoor shots, where its captures are just as sharp as those produced by the 12.1MP Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 or the killer 12.3MP Nikon D90. The only area in which the Editors' Choice Canon EOS Rebel XSi outperforms the K2000 is shooting without a flash in low-light conditions. In these situations, the K2000's pictures tend to be grainy. This Pentax, though, has plenty of entry-level appeal thanks to its Help button, which acts as an onboard users' manual.

The K2000 is comfortable to hold and has a traditional SLR look-and-feel. Its 3.6-by-4.8-by-2.7-inch (HWD) body is available in either black or white (the latter is a camera-color rarity). With the included lens attached, the camera weighs 1.7 pounds. The controls are straightforward and are consolidated on the right-hand side of the camera. Most buttons are labeled with large, bold, uppercase text like MENU and INFO. Inside, the camera uses a CCD sensor and shoots through a 3X optical zoom wide-angle 18mm to 50mm lens (35mm equivalent: 27mm to 82.5mm) with corresponding f-stops at f/3.5 to f/5.6. When later analyzed through the Imatest (www.imatest.com) testing suite, the lens produced just a hair of pincushion distortion at its widest and telephoto position; no matter what the subject, though, my real-world photos never appeared warped.

Near the power switch on top of the camera is the K2000's Help button, which is labeled with a question mark. This feature is a real boon for those new to D-SLRs. Simply tap Help and then any other button or dial on the camera, and a short description of that function (and often a one-line tip) is displayed. For example, tap Help and then the ISO button, and the K2000's 2.7-inch LCD displays, "Access the ISO sensitivity settings and auto ISO range. Higher ISO settings allow faster shutter speeds but may add image noise." Once you've outgrown the button, you can reprogram it as a shortcut to one of four other functions: Custom Preview, Digital Preview, Digital Filter, or RAW image format.

The K2000 does not let you use its LCD as a viewfinder, as most entry-level D-SLRs do. The exclusion of this so-called "Live View" feature is not a huge ding, as you'll frame most of your shots through the viewfinder, but it's always a nice bonus. Live View is convenient for photographers more familiar with LCDs from compact point-and-shooters, but it also comes in handy when you aren't able to look through the viewfinder (as when you're holding the camera above your head).

In the lab I use Imatest to objectively rate the image quality of photos produced by point-and-shooters, D-SLRs, and even cell-phone cameras. In terms of sharpness, the K2000 performed quite well. At its sharpest f-stop, the K2000 averaged 1,776 lines per picture height throughout the image at ISO 100. This rivaled the 1,700 averaged by the Panasonic G1 and the 1,710 averaged by the Nikon D90 (at ISO 200; the D90 doesn't offer ISO 100). The Canon EOS Rebel XSi, though, shut them all down, averaging 2,013 lines.

The K2000 did a good job of retaining sharpness at higher ISO sensitivities. You're safe to expect a crisp picture from ISO 100 to 400: Sharpness at these ISOs averaged between 1,700 and 1,800 lines per picture height. We obtained similar results at ISO 800, but with higher noise levels. Sharpness dropped to the 1,500s at ISO 1600 (which is on a par with that of the Rebel XSi) and to the 1,200s at ISO 3200—but there was also a lot of noise. The K2000, though, smokes the Panasonic G1, which has about 32 percent more noise than the K2000 at ISO 1600 and almost double the noise at ISO 3200. The Rebel XSi shows the least noise overall: about 28 percent less than the K2000 at ISO 800 and about 15 percent less than the K2000 at ISO 1600. Since the Rebel XSi has less noise at those ISO sensitivities, it will produce less grainy shots when shooting in low light without a flash (which typically requires you to increase your ISO sensitivity).

Testing the camera outdoors in Manhattan, I found that the K2000's shots came out beautifully. Photos of my sister and her boyfriend near Grand Central Terminal all had vivid colors and looked sharp. When shooting skylines, however, I noticed that a few of the shots captured the sky as white instead of blue. This is a common issue; I solved it by flipping the white balance to the Outdoors setting.

The K2000 also worked well indoors. In order to capture the inside of Grand Central, I had to increase the ISO sensitivity to 800 and 1600. ISO 800 looked good and was just at the threshold of reasonable noise, but the lack of light made it difficult to get the fast shutter speeds needed for very sharp pictures. When I kicked up the ISO sensitivity to 1600, images were just a bit too noisy. According to Imatest, the K2000's noise levels at ISO 800 are roughly equivalent to the Canon Rebel XSi's noise levels at 1,600, so the Canon would probably have fared better in Grand Central.

The K2000 may be an entry-level D-SLR, but for the most part it doesn't compromise on speed. I was able to turn it on and pull off a shot in a blazing-fast average of 0.58 second. Using Shooting-Digital.com's shutter lag test with pre-focus enabled, the K2000 averaged a practically unnoticeable 0.1 second of shutter lag. Without pre-focus, the K2000D hit closer to 0.2 second—still extremely fast. The K2000 can snap off 3.5 frames per second in continuous shooting, but that can slow down under stress: The camera averaged 0.43 second between shots when I was manually snapping as fast as I could, but after a few seconds it intermittently slowed to a full second.

Pentax bundles the K2000 with a large flash, the AF200FG, which attaches to the camera's topside hot-shoe accessory port. Sold separately, the flash runs $149.95 (direct), but doesn't add much to the K2000 bundle. Although it's stronger than the pop-up flash that's built into the camera, it doesn't swivel like the more expensive AF540FGZ ($335.95 direct). Swiveling allows you to pull off a flash technique called "bounce flash," to create more evenly lit photos without blown-out spots on faces or red eyes.

Similar to the higher-end Olympus E-30 the K2000 has onboard effects Pentax calls filters, which include Retro, Color Extract, Soft Focus, and a few others. Some effects can be applied only after the photo is shot; others can be applied before and after. For the most part, the end results are pretty terrific. My favorite of the bunch is Illustration, which lets you convert pictures into its versions of pastel and watercolor paintings. (Check out the slideshow for some sample shots.)

The Pentax K2000 is a solid choice if you're looking for basics like speed and sharp images in good light, and its Help button can be a valuable guide for those new to D-SLR photography. For a little more money, the $800 (list) Canon EOS Rebel XSi offers less noise at higher ISOs—helping it produce better shots in more situations—and extras like Live View. But this Pentax is still a quality product at a "recession special" price.
taken from pcmag.com
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8:25 PM

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Nokia E71 review

hei i think u better buy this stuff than blackberry.. this review i take from pcmag.com
read this

Call it the Lingonberry. Nokia's new E71 is one of the most beautiful, luxurious-feeling phones I've ever used, and it's a direct attack on RIM's upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9000. This excellent handset is sure to take European executive suites by storm, but for it to triumph here in the U.S., Nokia needs to Americanize its software a bit more

Slim but solid at 4.49 by 2.24 by 0.4 inches and 4.4 ounces, the E71 features a grooved stainless-steel back and small, domed white keys. You'll need precise fingers to enjoy this keypad, but it's as sharp as a handmade Italian suit. Overall, this is one seriously elegant-looking device.

There are plenty of action and command buttons, including volume and quick-access controls that take you to the home screen, calendar, contacts list, and e-mail program. The number keys are overlaid on the QWERTY keyboard, which is small but has very good tactile response. Nokia did make one irksome misstep here: Rather than being below the rest of the number keys, as it is on every other phone keypad, the "0" is next to the "9." This will likely cause some misdialing while you become accustomed to the layout.

The 2.36-inch 320-by-240-pixel display isn't huge, but it's bright enough for everyday work and can be easily read in sunlight.

The E71, a quad-band EDGE, dual-band HSDPA device, will come in two versions. The U.S. handset will work on AT&T's high-speed network here and on slower EDGE networks abroad. The European version, meanwhile, will work on high-speed networks in Europe, but on AT&T and T-Mobile's EDGE networks here. T-Mobile users should buy the European version, if they can; for them, the U.S. version will work only on EDGE, and with the European version they'll have access to high-speed networks at least when they're in Europe. The phone also supports Wi-Fi; I connected it to WPA2-secured networks without a problem.

The E71 excels as a voice phone: Reception is solid, and the earpiece sounds just plain beautiful. The speakerphone's speaker is in the top of the phone pointing upward, which is a little odd, and it could be a bit louder. Transmissions through the microphone and speakerphone mic sounded a bit hollow, with some background noise getting through. The handset supports wired and Bluetooth headsets and has Nokia's usual mediocre voice dialing, which mostly-sorta-works. I got 4 hours 43 minutes of 3G talk time out of the huge 1,500-mAh battery, which is a decent result for a 3G phone.

Running the Symbian Series 60 Version 3 Feature Pack 1 OS, the E71 is the fastest, smoothest Symbian device I've ever used, likely because of its beefy 381-MHz ARM11 processor. There's about 115MB of free space to install programs and save data, or you can tuck a microSD card into a slot in the side. Our 8GB SanDisk card worked well. To connect the phone to a PC, you can use a microSD cable or a surprisingly speedy Bluetooth 2.0+EDR connection.

There's a lot going on with this high-end PDA phone, and that's not even counting the thousands of third-party Symbian programs out there. Google Maps, Gmail, Go, and Yahoo! all run on Symbian, for instance. You get support for text and picture messaging out of the box. For instant messaging, you can download the free Gizmo application, which integrates AIM, MSN, and Yahoo! IM. In testing, it worked fine. The e-mail program works automatically with POP3/IMAP accounts, and syncs e-mail, contacts, and calendars over the air with Exchange 2003 SP2 or newer servers. The IMAP client is smooth, although it doesn't feature push e-mail, as BlackBerry does. The E71 has a strange way of handling HTML e-mail. Messages are delivered in plain text, with an HTML version attached, which you can open in the Web browser.

About the browser: Nokia's WebKit based app (which uses the same core as Apple's Safari) is even better at formatting pages than the iPhone's, because it incorporates Flash. The implementation isn't perfect, but it's certainly better than no Flash at all. It worked fine with the simple games at Orisinal.com, but CNET TV's Flash videos crashed the browser.

Ultimately, though, I prefer the mobile Safari browser because the iPhone's screen features more pixels. The E71's features the same resolution (320 by 240 pixels) as most Windows Mobile devices and the BlackBerry Curve The iPhone's 320-by-480 display offers double the real estate.

Exceptionally good at viewing and editing documents, the E71 comes with QuickOffice 4.1, which opens and edits even complex Microsoft Office 2003 documents easily. To get support for Office 2007, though, you'll need to spring for a $70 upgrade to QuickOffice 5.0. The included Adobe Reader LE is the best mobile PDF viewer available. In fact, the phone's office apps do better at displaying complex documents than Microsoft's own Windows Mobile apps.

The music and video players aren't particularly noteworthy, but the E71 has intriguing podcast and FM radio clients. Both the podcast and FM radio programs have built-in connections to online podcast and radio station directories, unlike some other clients, which force you to dig up and type in URLs or frequency numbers. The handset supports Bluetooth stereo and features a 2.5mm headphone jack, so you'll need an adapter to use standard music headphones. You get support for AAC, MP3, and WMA audio files, and you can sync with either Nokia's own PC Suite software or Windows Media Player. Video support consists of MP4 and 3GP files at up to 320-by-240-pixel resolution.

Simulated outdoor and daylight shots from the 3.2-megapixel camera were red enough to worry me, and bright areas were blown out. In low light pictures looked noisy, and in very low light they were blurry. I'm hoping Nokia improves the camera before launch. The video mode, though, takes sharp 320-by-240 videos at 15 frames per second. And a built-in sharing client lets you quickly post your pictures to Flickr or Nokia's own Ovi service, right from the camera menu, which is a nice addition. There are plenty of other innovative features here, too, such as wireless keyboard and printing drivers, two different notepad programs, and a text-to-speech program that reads your messages out to you.

The E71 syncs with PCs (but not Macs) using Nokia's PC Suite software, letting you link up your contacts, calendars, and tasks with Outlook, Lotus Notes, or the built-in Windows programs. It also lets you use the E71 as a modem for your PC.

In Europe, Nokia's E-series devices are considered business-friendly when paired with solutions from Visto, Seven, or Nokia's own Intellisync unit. But since most U.S. businesses prefer Microsoft's or RIM's back-end solutions, E-series devices have more of a counterculture appeal with those who like Nokia's energetic embracing of open-source principles and community development efforts.

Nokia's one-size-fits-the-globe approach makes the E71 feel a little awkward at times. The phone is stuffed with icons for programs that simply don't work in the U.S., including push-to-talk, Internet telephony, video calling, a music store, and an app for Intranet access. Also, my E71 wasn't tuned for AT&T's network, so I got slow 3G speeds, but Nokia claims that this should be remedied with the final firmware.

The integrated GPS also felt a little unpolished. The E71 runs Nokia Maps 2.0, which has an impressive feature set. The maps are gorgeous, including outlines of individual buildings on city streets. The system provides driving and walking directions to thousands of points of interest, including restaurants, banks, and forms of transportation. But the GPS took a long time to lock onto my location. For the first half-hour, the system thought I was in Sweden, and I couldn't get it to recognize a New York City address I searched for. What's more, directions aren't free. For walking directions, you pay $7.79 per month or $39.01 a year. For driving directions (which adds voice prompts), it'll cost you $14.03/month or $109.25/year. Live traffic data is available only in Europe.

It's difficult to compare the E71 directly with the yet-to-be-released BlackBerry Bold, but this phone is far sleeker than its existing rivals, the BlackBerry Curve and Motorola Q9h and at around $500, it'll be around half the price of the Nokia E90 Communicator. The E71 is speedier and simpler to use than the Q9h, though the Q9h has a better keyboard. The Curve is less expensive, and is easier for e-mail, so it's a more mainstream choice here in the U.S, but, with its excellent looks, copious features, and maverick appeal, the E71 could easily become a viable competitor.

The Nokia E71 will go on sale later this summer direct from NokiaUSA.com for approximately $500.

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7:58 PM

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RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 (T-Mobile)

After its last release, the buggy BlackBerry Storm 9530, RIM's got its groove back. The new BlackBerry Curve 8900 juices up the already-excellent Curve form factor with a sharper screen, faster processor, and better camera, letting it jump through new multimedia hoops while still helping you get your work done. If you need to stay connected, this Curve is the simplest and most stylish way to do it on T-Mobile.

The Curve 8900 looks like a cross between the BlackBerry Curve 8320 and the BlackBerry Bold 9000. Like the Bold, it's mostly black and has an insanely high-res screen: 360 by 480 pixels on a 2.4-inch panel, which basically makes the pixels invisible. The screen is even higher-res than the iPhone's 320-by-480 touch screen. Since the iPhone's screen is much larger, though, it can fit more information than the 8900. Like the original Curve, the 8900 features a full QWERTY keyboard of slightly separated keys that are a breeze to use. The handset features Mute and Lock buttons on its top, Voice Dialing, Camera, and Volume controls on the side, and its 3.2-megapixel camera on the back.

Despite its just-average signal strength, the 8900 is an excellent voice phone, with calls sounding especially loud and clear on T-Mobile's 2G EDGE network You can even fiddle with the bass and treble controls to find the most appealing sound. Call delivery sounds terrific on the other end; in my test calls, no background noise made it through—even on the speakerphone. The phone paired with two different Bluetooth headsets without a hitch (the mono Motorola H15 and the stereo Altec Lansing Backbeat); it also works with wired headsets. Voice dialing works well. The 8900 clocked almost 9 hours of talk time—not the best we've seen on T-Mobile, but still quite good. Ringtones are loud enough, but the vibrating alert is a bit too subtle.

A major benefit: The phone works with T-Mobile's $10-per-month unlimited Wi-Fi calling plan, which lets you make calls from any Wi-Fi network you can connect to. The 8900 connected easily to wireless networks via Linksys and Apple routers. Calls were smooth, and the phone switched back and forth between the Wi-Fi and EDGE networks without a hitch.

Like most BlackBerrys, the 8900 excels at messaging. It uses BlackBerry e-mail, which can support eight accounts of almost any variety and display them with attachments, formatting, and graphics intact. You can view photos, videos and, Microsoft Office attachments with its built-in viewers. You also get clients for AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, Microsoft Live Messenger, and Yahoo. The 8900 delivers e-mail, text, and picture messages all into one inbox. I was also able to quickly load and use Twibble, a third-party Twitter client. Several other third-party BlackBerry apps I tried also worked fine.

The beefy 512-MHz processor lets the phone multitask comfortably and perform some heavy lifting in the audio and video departments. The music player handles MP3, AAC, and WMA files, and the phone comes with an app to sync your playlists with iTunes (non-DRM files only). Music sounded great on both wired and Bluetooth headphones. MPEG-4 video files look gorgeous in 480-by-360-pixel, 30-frame-per-second quality, but Roxio Media Manager, which comes with the BlackBerry, is slow and crashes occasionally. I had an easier time reformatting videos with a free program called Avidemux, and there are other free options available on the Web.

Since the 8900 doesn't hit T-Mobile's 3G network, you can't really stream video successfully without Wi-Fi coverage. But within Wi-Fi range, streaming worked well: SlingPlayer ran especially smoothly while playing video in full-screen mode; FlyCast streaming music played without interruption. The phone also incorporates GPS, which works with the built-in BlackBerry Maps and Google Maps. The GPS doesn't appear to be enhanced with cell-tower triangulation—at least in BlackBerry Maps—so it works best in open areas.

The 3.2-megapixel camera takes admirably sharp photos, even in low light. But you'll need to be patient: I experienced delays of up to 2 seconds while the camera focused, and I couldn't find any way to disable autofocus. The video recorder takes smooth but slightly over-sharp-looking videos at 240 by 180 pixels and 15 frames per second. The phone has only about 120MB of available onboard memory for pictures, music, and data, but you can store your data on a microSD card, which slips into a slot under the back cover (the phone ships with a 256MB card). Fortunately, you don't have to turn the phone off or remove the battery to swap out cards.

There's only one big problem here: the Web browser.

RIM really needs to work out its Web-browsing issues. The basic principle of the 8900's browser is fine: It serves up desktop-style pages at various levels of zoom, with JavaScript but without Flash. As long as JavaScript is enabled, though, the browser is prone to stalling on scripts. This isn't just a problem with EDGE's relatively poky Internet speeds; even over Wi-Fi, pages would stall for several seconds at a time as the browser choked on a JavaScript. If you turn off JavaScript, you risk large blank chunks of pages. Opera Mini loads pages more quickly than the 8900's default browser, but, in our tests, its menus stuttered a bit. Both browsers are usable; they're just not nearly as good as the WebKit-based ones on Apple or Nokia handsets, or on HTC's G1 Android phone.

But don't let our quibble with the Web browser deter you from picking up this excellent smartphone. For a little bit more money than the Sidekick LX or the T-Mobile G1, you get a much smoother experience. The G1 has a better Web browser, but it's a clunkier piece of hardware, and the 8900 is far superior in terms of media and messaging.

With the addition of the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 to its lineup, T-Mobile now has a messaging phone for every age group: The Sidekick is the youngster; the Android-powered T-Mobile G1 is a bit of an ungainly adolescent; and the 8900 is all grown up. I'll bet it's the kind of BlackBerry President Obama wouldn't mind having. And with a recommendation like that, it's only fitting that the 8900 earn our Editors' Choice as the best smartphone in T-Mobile's lineup, ousting the aging Curve 8320. T-Mobile subscribers may also want to check out the unlocked Nokia E71, our Editors' Choice for unlocked smartphone. While the E71 is slimmer, with a better browser and more robust direct Microsoft Exchange support, the 8900 has a better camera and better media players, and can make calls over Wi-Fi.

by pcmag.com
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7:24 PM

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The Top Smartphones by OS


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There are the smartphone enthusiasts, and then there are the true fans. While members of the former group surely have a preference, in most cases they'd be open to switching camps if a cooler phone came along on another operating system. (Millions of folks jumped on the iPhone bandwagon without so much as a glance back.) True fans, however, stick with their OSs through thick and thin, either for practical reasons—like a large investment in third-party apps—or simply for the bragging rights.

Whether or not you subscribe to any particular allegiance, it's important to know your options. After all, there could be a much better device you've never even considered. To help you out, we've rounded up the highest-rated phones in each OS category.

Note: There are no Windows Mobile 6.5 handsets listed here, since these devices won't hit stores until this summer at the earliest. And right now, Apple and Android fans both have only one hardware choice—the Apple iPhone 3G (AT&T) and the T-Mobile G1, respectively.

For the rest, however, these smartphones are your best bets:

BlackBerry OS

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 (T-Mobile) : FrontBlackBerry Curve 8900 (T-Mobile)
Editors' Choice Logo
With its BlackBerry Bold, RIM showed us the way forward, while the touch-screen Storm changed the BlackBerry game entirely. But T-Mobile's BlackBerry Curve 8900 is the best of both worlds. The 8900 packs a higher-resolution screen, an updated user interface, a faster processor, and integrated document editing. It also features the svelte form factor that's a dead ringer for the small, sleek, and wildly popular Curve 8300 series. Our only complaint: No 3G radio. But free calls over Wi-Fi help soften the blow.

Honorable Mention:
BlackBerry Bold (AT&T)

Symbian Series 60

Nokia E71Nokia E71 (Unlocked)
Editors' Choice Logo
Lack of subsidized stateside carrier support has caused Symbian fans in the U.S. to lose out. But at least Nokia offers plenty of sleek, capable unlocked handsets to choose from. The Nokia E71 is the best of the lot—by far. It looks and feels expensive, has a very comfortable QWERTY keyboard, and offers comprehensive enterprise e-mail and document editing. Oh, and did I mention that it's drop-dead gorgeous?

Honorable Mention:
Nokia N95 8GB (Unlocked)

Windows Mobile

HTC Touch Pro HTC Touch Pro (Sprint)

Palm Treo Pro (Unlocked)
You get two top choices here: Windows Mobile runs on so many handsets that it wouldn't be fair or accurate to pick just one. Palm Treo ProFirst up is the HTC Touch Pro, a powerful, high-end slider with a five-row keyboard, full VGA (640-by-480-pixel) resolution, a touch screen, and a full complement of radios—though all these features are offset by an unintuitive interface. Palm scores big with its unlocked Treo Pro, a shrewdly specified enterprise Windows Mobile-based smartphone, even if the lack of a subsidized, carrier-backed version keeps mainstream users away.

Honorable Mention:
Samsung Omnia SCH-i910 (Verizon Wireless)

Palm OS

No Winner:
Alas, the Palm OS has been relegated to the history books. Consequently, there's no reason to buy a Palm OS–powered handset today unless you're looking for a real deal, in which case the entry-level Centro is a solid option. Fortunately, there's plenty to look forward to on the Palm front: The forthcoming Palm Pre (Sprint), the company's WebKit-browser–based handset, features a vertical sliding keyboard and an entirely new way to synchronize your contacts. From what we've seen so far, we think the Pre will be a master multitasker.

Honorable Mention:
Palm Centro (multiple carriers)

by pcmag.com

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9:27 PM

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Why Google Should Buy Twitter


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Say good-bye to the Fail Whale. If Google buys Twitter, that blue scourge of our tweeting lives will surely disappear for good after Google applies the power of its massive server farm to the popular micro-blogging communication service. Other than that, don't expect Twitter to change much, at least in the near future.

Hang on a sec, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Google has not bought Twitter. In fact, it's not even clear that Twitter is for sale—though it probably is. Founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams have a history of building and selling properties. They sold Blogger to—yup—Google a few years back. So it's likely that Twitter is for sale, and I think Google is an obvious suitor.

The funny thing is that a mere 12 hours ago, there were reports that Rupert Murdoch was going to buy Twitter. That fizzled quickly, and perhaps people are happy it did. Everyone seems to think that Google's approach to its acquisitions is somewhat different from Murdoch's. I'm not so sure. Murdoch bought The Wall Street Journal back in 2007, and I have yet to see any major changes. He bought MySpace before that, and aside from some interface changes and an integrated music service, MySpace is still the same rather cluttered, messy, urgent (in a very teen way) service (and one that's rapidly losing mindshare).

Certainly, in the short term, a purchase of Twitter by Google is a good thing. Beyond the demise of the Fail Whale, it's unlikely anyone will notice a difference at Twoogle or Gwitter. (Neither one of those really work, do they?) When Google bought YouTube, it took months for even the smallest changes to show up. Ad integration was the most obvious. More recently, I've noticed integrated or single sign-on for YouTube and Google's services.

When I visited Google and YouTube last month, there was, obviously, no mention of acquiring Twitter, though we did talk about the service, as I was tweeting much of my day at Google . In fact, I found a few Googlers were actually following me via Twitter. What I learned at Google is that everything is connected. So, if this deal does indeed happen, don't expect big changes at Twitter initially. Rest assured, it will fit into the big Google picture. Again, I see this as a good thing.

Here are just a few of the core benefits (for Tweeters, Twitter itself, and anyone using one of Google's myriad services) of a Google acquisition of Twitter, as I see them:

  1. API expansion. Twitter has a wonderfully easy-to-use API that has driven the development of countless third-party apps, but it's also a bit of a mess. It helps my favorite Twitter interface, TweetDeck, to run, but it's also responsible for TweetDeck choking up a few times a day as it runs out of API calls. Google could throw some development resources at it and clean up that API in no time. Soon after, we'll see the API plugging Twitter into virtually every Google app and service. Think ubiquity and you get the idea.
  2. No need for a business plan. Twitter would no longer be on its own and have to come up with a way to make money. It would be nice if Twitter did, but once Google owns Twitter, the cash burn won't seem so intense. Twitter can continue to grow while Google looks for a painless way to introduce AdSense to the service.
  3. Live tweets with YouTube video. Video consumption could become a communal experience. You get a tweet that I'm watching the latest dancing-man video , follow the link, and then we can live tweet together about just how stupid the video really is.

There is a downside to Google's owning Twitter, and it's actually related to one of the upsides. Google's need to put AdSense in every one of its properties means that Twitter will follow suit. But since so many people tweet outside the Twitter homepage, or standard interface, Google will add the code to the Twitter API. Now TweetDeck, Twhirl, and other third-party apps will have to have some sort of ad integration if they want to keep using the API.

I know some people think that the prospect of Google buying Twitter would be a disaster for Microsoft. Is it yet another missed opportunity? Yes. Would this be a disaster? No. I don't think Microsoft cares or worries very much about Twitter. Microsoft doesn't even own its own Twitter handle. The company is more interested in the richer environment found at Facebook (where it's already invested a chunk of money). What's more, Microsoft has too much invested in its Windows Live environment to waste resources on someone else's community code. I think Microsoft is willing, for better or worse, to let Google have Twitter.

I'm almost willing to bet on Google buying Twitter (and I'm not really a betting man). It's no longer 2002, or even 2006, where cool albeit unprofitable Web businesses could run indefinitely. We live on the razor's edge, and virtually all of us can slip off at any time, or die trying to stay on. Biz Stone and Evan Williams know they've built something beautiful, and they don't want it to fall or die a painful death. They'll sell—if not to Google, then to someone, soon.

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11:27 PM

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Turn off video acceleration in WMP 10



I'll give you tips and trick for turn off video acceleration in windows media player 10. i hope it's use for u

you playing video files with WMP10, your machine may not be able to display thee video using the all possible video acceleration techniques. Turning off video acceleration may allow your machint to display video correctly. To do this, go through the following steps.

  • Press “CTRL+1″ to switch to full mode if
    you are in the skin mode.
  • Press “CTRL+M” to turn on the menu bar.
  • Click on “Tools” and then “Options”.
  • When the “Options” multi-tabbed dialog box will open, select “Performance”.
  • Underneath “Video acceleration”, move the slider from “Full” to “None”.
  • Click on “OK” to close the dialog box.

taken from iamashish.com Read mOre Guys...

11:13 PM

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Conficker D-Day Arrives; Worm Phones Home

The Conficker worm today has begun to phone home for instructions but has done little else. Conficker was programmed to today begin actively visiting 500 out of 50,000 randomly generated web addresses to receive new instructions on how to behave. Conficker has begun to do this, according to security company F-Secure, but so far no doomsday scenarios have emerged.

Among security experts, the consensus seems to be that very little will happen today. This may be in part because of the high amount of publicity Conficker has received, but then again April 1 is not the first time Conficker has been programmed to change the way it operates. Similar trigger dates have already passed with little change, including January 1, according to according to Phil Porras, a program director with SRI International. Security experts at Symantec, the maker of Norton Antivirus, also believe the threat is overblown and says Conficker today will "start taking more steps to protect itself" and "use a communications system that is more difficult for security researchers to interrupt."

Technology companies and experts across the globe have been working together to halt the spread of Conficker, disrupt its communications and uncover who created the worm. Microsoft has even issued a $250,000 bounty for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Conficker's authors. Despite the security sector's best efforts, very little is known about the origins of Conficker or its purpose. Nevertheless, some breakthroughs have been achieved. On March 30, Security experts with the Honeynet Project discovered a flaw in Conficker that makes it much easier to detect infection. IBM researcher Mark Yayson also believes he has discovered a way to "detect and interrupt the program's activities," according to The New York Times.

Since the Conficker worm was discovered in October 2008, the malware has only received programming updates from its author and worked to infect other computers. Conficker is believed to have infected 10 million computers worldwide mostly in Asia, Europe and South America. According to IBM, only 6 percent of North American computers have been infected.

While today may be a non-event, Conficker could be used to create harm in the future. Possiblities include a massive botnet, which would give Conficker's authors control over millions of computers worldwide. The botnet could then be used to attack corporate or government networks, commit identity theft, or deliver massive amounts of spam. Security experts warn that all Windows users must make sure their operating system and antivirus programs are up to date with the latest patches and virus protections. So far, Windows is the only operating system known to be vulnerable to Conficker.

taken from pcworld.com
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8:54 PM

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HP TouchSmart IQ800



Boring with your old desktop? change it now to inspire you more in doing your work posting on your blogs and doing your usual online stuffs. Here is one I suggest to you. maybe it is a little bit expensive but i thing it's worth it.

HP TouchSmart IQ800 series was introduced in September 2008. Currently, it has two model: IQ816 and IQ804.

Both models are bundled with 25.5 ” high definition and wall-mountable touch screen display with 1920 x 1200 screen resolutions. It has Tv tuners with remote control and extras such as Bluetooth, 5 in 1 memory card reader, Integrated VGA webcam with built-in microphone, a media card reader, High Performance 2.0 speakers, High Definition Audio 5.1 (via digital output), Wireless keyboard with hide-away bay and numeric keypad, Wireless optical mouse, ambient light to illuminate the wireless keyboard the desktop or set the mood. And both of the models support Wi-Fi over 802.11n.

IQ804 has the following specs:

* 2.16GHz T5850 Core 2 Duo on a 667MHz bus with 2MB of cache
* 500GB of Hard Disk
* DVD burner
* GeForce 9300M GC Video Card.

IQ816 has a higher specification:

* 2.10GHz T8100 Core 2 Duo on a 800MHz bus with a 3MB cache
* 750 GB of Hard Disk
* GeForce 9600M GS Video Card
* Blu-ray Combo Drive
* Pocket Media Read mOre Guys...

10:06 PM

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remove W32.Downadup and W32.Downadup.B with tool from Symantec

  • If you are on a network or have a full-time connection to the Internet, such as a DSL or cable modem, disconnect the computer from the network and Internet. Disable or password-protect file sharing, or set the shared files to Read Only, before reconnecting the computers to the network or to the Internet. Because this worm spreads by using shared folders on networked computers, to ensure that the worm does not reinfect the computer after it has been removed, Symantec suggests sharing with Read Only access or by using password protection.

    For instructions on how to do this, refer to your Windows documentation, or the document: How to configure shared Windows folders for maximum network protection.

    For further information on the vulnerability and patches to resolve it please refer to the following document:
    Microsoft Windows Server Service RPC Handling Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

  • If you are removing an infection from a network, first make sure that all the shares are disabled or set to Read Only.

  • This tool is not designed to run on Novell NetWare servers. To remove this threat from a NetWare server, first make sure that you have the current virus definitions, and then run a full system scan with the Symantec antivirus product.

How to download and run the tool

Important: You must have administrative rights to run this tool on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP.

Note for network administrators: If you are running MS Exchange 2000 Server, we recommend that you exclude the M drive from the scan by running the tool from a command line, with the Exclude switch. For more information, read the Microsoft knowledge base article: XADM: Do Not Back Up or Scan Exchange 2000 Drive M (Article 298924).

Follow these steps to download and run the tool:

  • Download the FixDownadup.exe from here.

  • Save the file to a convenient location, such as your Windows desktop.

  • Close all the running programs.

  • If you are on a network or if you have a full-time connection to the Internet, disconnect the computer from the network and the Internet.

  • If you are running Windows Me or XP, turn off System Restore. For instructions on how to turn off System Restore, read your Windows documentation, or read from here

  • Locate the file that you just downloaded.

  • Double-click the FixDownadup.exe file to start the removal tool.

  • Click Start to begin the process, and then allow the tool to run.
    NOTE: If you have any problems when you run the tool, or it does nor appear to remove the threat, restart the computer in Safe mode and run the tool again.

  • Restart the computer.

  • Run the removal tool again to ensure that the system is clean.

  • If you are running Windows Me/XP, then reenable System Restore.

  • If you are on a network or if you have a full-time connection to the Internet, reconnect the computer to the network or to the Internet connection.

  • Run LiveUpdate to make sure that you are using the most current virus definitions.

When the tool has finished running, you will see a message indicating whether the threat has infected the computer. The tool displays results similar to the following:

  • Total number of the scanned files

  • Number of deleted files

  • Number of repaired files

  • Number of terminated viral processes

  • Number of fixed registry entries
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9:19 PM

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Ads blocking in Opera



How to Blocking advertisement in Opera Web browser

Opera has built in popup blocker and an adblocking feature as well.Using
the adblocking feature is as simple as downloading a text file and putting
in the right folder.Opera's ad blocking works by referring to a file called
url-filter.ini.There are many users who keep regularly maintained list of
ad hosts and domains.

There is two way or method to block ads in Opera Browser.

First method for Blocking ad in Opera Web Browser..
- we use Add on Fanboy's Adblock list(www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/) Click on the install now link or visit www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/opera/urlfilter.ini.
- Save the file as it is to a folder
- move it to C:\document and settings\Your_User_ID\Application Data\Opera_folder\profile.
Linux users must copy to the opera folder.
- resart the browser and ad blocking will be enabled.
- To Update it.. oftenly visit the site

Second method for Blocking ad in Opera Web Browser.

1. Locate your Opera CSS directory; Go to Opera menu, Help, About.
IE: User CSS directory, /home/orakk/.opera/styles/user/

2. Close Opera. In the css directory create a blank file called "adblock.css" or anything else you'd like to name it .

3. Now go to Ad Blocking FiltersetP at userstyles.org, click the button "Show Code" and copy everything into "adblock.css" Save and close the file.

4. Open Opera and then select "View-->Styles-->adblock.css" Read mOre Guys...

12:27 AM

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ESET Smart Security 4.0

ESET may not be a household word in the U.S. the way it is in Europe, but its presence is increasing. The company's growth is burgeoning, with 70 million users hitting its update servers every day. Its latest security suite, ESET Smart Security 4.0 ($89.99 direct for three licenses), aims to be speedy and light on system resources. To that end it omits many of the extras, such as the antiphishing, parental control, and privacy components common to most suites. Instead it focuses on essential elements: antivirus, antispyware, personal firewall, and spam filter. As a result, it's easy on system resources. Unfortunately, it doesn't fare as well on basics. Its firewall is merely adequate, and it's not the best at spyware protection and cleanup.

The previous edition, ESET Smart Security 3.0, introduced a simplified user interface that hides all of the program's complexity while keeping the more advanced features available if needed. The suite's appearance hasn't changed much in version 4.0. The main window shows overall protection status and lets you scan the system, launch a manual update, or make very simple configuration changes, like temporarily turning off the firewall. As with most modern suites, if ESET isn't configured properly for maximum protection, the protection status icon turns red and the program offers a link to correct the configuration problem.

Switching the user interface to advanced mode reveals an additional menu of tools and adds choices to the existing simple protection categories. Protection status gains three new sub-items that graph file/network activity, list active network connections, and display protection statistics. Advanced mode offers more configuration choices as well. Among other changes, instead of just being able to turn off the firewall temporarily, you can change its filtering mode.

Even advanced mode is simple compared with the full, advanced setup dialog. This dialog's tree-structured feature list lets you tweak just about every detail of the program's operation. Expert users will revel in the power, while novice users will find they can do just about anything they need to without digging this deep
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12:25 AM

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What is DropBox?


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Dropbox is the simplest, most elegant file-synchronization tool I've ever used. Dropbox Basic provides 2GB of storage free, and Dropbox Pro gives you 50GB for $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year. The service stores files with strong encryption on multiple servers in Amazon's S3 service and works equally smoothly on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs. If you prefer to synchronize folders you already have on your system, or if you want to keep several folders fully synchronized between multiple machines, Dropbox may not be for you. It synchronizes only files stored in a single dedicated folder. But its smooth and hassle-free operation make it our Editors' Choice.

You start by signing up on Dropbox's Web site, then downloading and installing the client program. This creates a new folder called "My Dropbox" in your Documents folder (you can move it later) and a system tray icon that lets you open it with just a double click. From this same icon, you can also reach other preference settings, such as the folder's location and throttles on upload and download speeds. Another nice option on the pop-up menu is the "Forums" item, which opens a browser window on Dropbox's user support forum; you'll find the dialogue between users and developers livelier than on most competing services' sites.

Like its rival services, Dropbox stores synchronized files in the cloud so they're available at any machine on which you've installed Dropbox. You can also reach your files through a Web interface from any Internet-connected system. Dropbox's storage preserves copies of earlier versions of the files in My Dropbox, so you always have the most current copy on your computers. I liked that you can still access older versions (or files you deleted or moved) with just an Internet connection. One attractive feature (also available in SugarSync) is Dropbox's bandwidth-saving ability to upload and download only the parts of files that change during revisions. This isn't always possible, but I've made frequent changes in a 125MB file I synchronize and sometimes found that Dropbox needed to transfer only 2 to 3MB of data to update the file. That's a decent bandwidth savings.

When the installer creates the My Dropbox folder, it also creates a subfolder called Public. Files placed there aren't immediately visible to anyone, but by right-clicking on one and choosing the Copy Public Link, you create a Web address of a permanent, public link to the file that you can publish on the Web or send to friends or colleagues—even if they don't use Dropbox. (You should use this feature only for files you don't need to restrict to specific users, because there's no password protection.) I even built a small Web site in my Public folder by filling it with an HTML file and images and sending the link to friends so they could open it in their browsers. A similar feature with another subfolder called Photos lets you send a link to a Public Gallery that anyone can use to view any photos you've copied into it.

A slightly different feature uses invitation-only shared access to folders you create anywhere in My Dropbox. Right-click the icon of the folder you want to share, then choose an option to share the folder. The Dropbox Web interface opens, and you can send invitations to friends and colleagues that let them add, edit, or delete the files in the folder. They'll need a free Dropbox account, but they won't need to install the client if they're satisfied with accessing the folder over the Web. If they do install the Dropbox client, the shared folder will automatically download to their My Dropbox folder.

One major plus for Dropbox is its clean, intelligent design. When you right-click on a file in My Dropbox, you can choose the "Revisions…" option to start the Web interface and see a list of changes for that file. This is far more convenient than anything offered by SugarSync or Syncplicity, which force you to hunt down files you want in either a Web interface or a separate program and then choose to see revisions made to them.

The Web interface is clean and efficient—it looks a bit like Facebook without the clutter. At the top is a collapsible list of Recent Events listing files you've recently edited, added, or removed from Dropbox. You can even create an RSS feed of these recent changes, so you can be alerted to changes friends or colleagues make to shared files. Beneath the Recent Events is a list of your files, complete with icons for downloading earlier revisions of current files or deleted files, or removing files entirely.

I said earlier that Dropbox can sync only files in its Dropbox folder, but expert users can overcome that limitation fairly easily. On Vista (but not XP), Mac, or Linux, you can create a symbolic link inside My Dropbox to any file or folder anywhere on the system, and those files or folders will be synchronized as if they're actually in My Dropbox. Dropbox promises to add a "Watch Any Folder" feature in the future that will make it work in the same way its rival products do.

Dropbox is an example of software that gets virtually everything right—including automatic updating of itself when a new version appears. When the "Watch Any Folder" feature arrives, Dropbox will be all the more useful. Even without that ability, however, I was impressed enough to buy a year's subscription after testing it for this review. Dropbox is our Editors' Choice for file-synchronization services.
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10:06 PM

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review HP LP2275w


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Deep, rich color reproduction, a flexible stand with pivot capabilities, and excellent viewing angles are all good reasons to consider the HP LP2275w ($349 direct) for your next business display, but there's more. This versatile 22-inch LCD delivers very good grayscale and small-text performance and has a built-in USB hub. It offers some nice business features as well. Its relatively slow pixel response will likely disappoint the gaming crowd, though.

A superthin (0.5-inch) bezel surrounds the wide-gamut S-PVA (Super Patterned Vertical Alignment) panel, which has a resolution of 1,680 by 1,050 pixels and features an anti-reflective matte coating that reduces glare. The stand consists of a rectangular base with a small tray that can be used to store your keyboard, and a telescoping arm that provides tilt, swivel, and height adjustability. It also supports pivoting, which lets you rotate the panel 90 degrees (clockwise) for viewing images in portrait mode. The pivot feature is particularly useful for working with large documents, and it allows you to view Web pages with minimal scrolling. Unlike the Lenovo ThinkVision L220x, which features an auto-rotation sensor, the LP2275w requires that you manually change image orientation when switching between portrait and landscape modes. However, it does come with Portrait Displays' Pivot Pro software, a one-click utility for rotating the image without having to access your graphics card's control panel.

At the rear of the display are DVI, VGA, and DisplayPort inputs, as well as three USB connectors (one upstream and two downstream). Two additional downstream USB ports are conveniently mounted on the left-hand side of the monitor, making it easy to plug in peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and USB drives. A power switch located on the screen's lower bezel sits alongside four clearly marked function buttons that allow users to tweak image settings using the on-screen display (OSD) system. Color temperature, brightness, clock and phase, and contrast levels are easily adjusted via the intuitive menu structure. There's also a sleep timer; this puts the monitor into standby mode, where it draws just 3 watts of power, as opposed to 52W while in full operating mode, as measured by my Kill A Watt meter from P3 International. The LP2275w is Energy Star qualified, has earned an EPEAT Silver ranking, and is covered under HP's aggressive Hardware Recycling program (www.hp.com/recycle), which provides recycling services to businesses for a nominal fee (approximately $6 per monitor). Thanks to these credentials, it earns our GreenTech Approved seal.

The LP2275w comes with HP's Display Assistant software, which gives users the ability to change image settings with their keyboard and mouse instead of having to use the function buttons. The software includes handy business features such as an Asset Management tool that allows IT personnel to collect information about the monitor (serial number, network domain, host PC name) and control specific functions (power up/down, sleep mode) from a remote location. There's also a theft-deterrent feature that requires users to enter a PIN code to activate the monitor if it has been disconnected from its host PC without prior authorization. IT administrators will also appreciate the LP2275w's three-year parts-and-labor warranty that includes on-site service and 24-hour telephone support.

I was impressed with nearly every aspect of the LP2275w's image performance. Primary and secondary colors were bold and well defined without appearing oversaturated, while swatches from the DisplayMate (www.displaymate.com) Color Scales test scaled evenly from dark to light. The panel had no trouble reproducing the darkest shades of gray on the 64-Step Grayscale test, and it did a very good job with light grays as well, although there was a tiny bit of fading at the very high end of the scale. Such impressive grayscale performance is rare for a monitor in this price range, but not unprecedented—the Dell SP2208WFP and Lenovo ThinkVision L220x also handled grays with aplomb.

Any business monitor worth its salt should be able to display extremely small text clearly, and the LP2275w did not disappoint. I had no trouble reading Arial fonts set to 5.3 points, the smallest setting available on the DisplayMate tests. I was also impressed with the panel's viewing angle performance, which lived up to HP's claim of 178 degrees (horizontal and vertical).

Not surprisingly, the LP2275w struggled while displaying fast moving images. Moderate smearing (motion blur) was evident during a round of F.E.A.R., and again when I watched the DeNiro/Pacino thriller Righteous Kill on DVD. The panel's 16-millisecond (black-to-white) pixel response rate is the culprit here, but since this monitor is designed for business users motion performance should not be much of an issue. Gamers and video enthusiasts may want to consider a faster TN+ panel such as the ASUS LS221H, which does a much better job with fast action sequences.

Despite its less-than-stellar motion performance, the HP LP2275w is an excellent choice for image editors, photographers, and anyone who requires accurate grayscale and color reproduction. Its ability to display very small text will appeal to users who spend a lot of time viewing large documents and spreadsheets, while IT administrators will appreciate its asset tracking and remote management features. All this earns it our Editors' Choice for 22-inch business displays.

taken from www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2343785,00.asp
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10:04 PM

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Facebook (Spring 2009)



There's been a lot of chatter in the tech press about Facebook's recent interface update, the backlash to it, and the partial retreat on some of the changes to the popular social-networking site. Among other complaints was the accusation that Facebook was trying to emulate Twitter. In fact, in some ways the new Facebook is less like Twitter. It displays some content non-chronologically, include comments, filtering, and multimedia. Tech news articles report that 1.7 million users have joined the group "Petition against the new Facebook" but fail to mention that that group was started in July 2008. The site actually polled its users, and Christopher Cox, the site's Director of Product, indicated on the site's official blog that the company would roll back some of the changes. Are the changes all wonderful? Hardly. But many bring much-needed improvements.

Here's what the post on Facebook's official blog says regarding three areas of particular urgency in re-redesigning Facebook.

* Live updating: One of the most common requests is the ability to see your stream update automatically. We will be adding the ability to turn on auto updating in the near future so you no longer need to refresh the page.
* Photo tags: In order to surface more photos you might like to see, we'll be adding photos tagged of your friends to the stream. This will happen in the coming weeks.
* More choices for applications: We've heard feedback that there is a lot of application content appearing in the stream. We will be giving you tools to control and reduce application content that your friends share into your stream.

The company has also promised to address (or already addressed) several other complaints. Those include making the right-column Highlights update more frequently, moving friend requests to the top of the same column (already done), and making Friend-list creation easier. The first doesn't make much sense to me, since the central panel is for the latest updates, while the side highlights are more for events, very popular videos, and the like that have a longer timeframe. The new left column already has an easier way to create friend lists, and it's more than welcome (though it oddly alphabetizes by first name).

I think a lot of the backlash grew from misunderstandings. Since long before this redesign, Facebook has employed an algorithm that decides what to show in the newsfeed. Even an Ars Technica reviewer mistakenly claims that before this latest redesign, users saw everything friends shared, which just isn't true. In fact, the latest redesign brings all friend activity into the feed: Before, my home page was about two pages deep. Now it's seven. Previously, users complained about the weeding out of content. Now, that there's no algorithm, I'd like to see some weeding out, and, clearly, others share my wish. Do I really need six separate consecutive entries from one person containing photo upload sets?

One misconception involves the news feed. A user I talked with complained that it's no longer chronological, which clearly isn't the case—each entry in the feed includes a relative time indication, such as "13 minutes ago" or "2 hours ago." Most likely, the upset user was thinking of the new Highlights column, which isn't in chronological order. I actually like this change, though, because it brings up more content that users previously wouldn't have seen in their main feed—for example, photos or videos that a lot of Friends have commented on, invitations, and other less-immediate content. One problem with this new space, though, is there's no way to delete an item you don't care about.

I'm also dubious about the allegation that Facebook is trying to emulate the much-hyped Twitter, which claims a paltry 7 million users compared with Facebook's 175 million. Personally, I welcome Facebook's filtering capability (not to be confused with the deceased feed-weed algorithm) that lets you reduce the high noise-to-signal ratio of Twitter. In any case, the two services fulfill different purposes: Twitter is meant to be one person publishing to the world, and Facebook exists to keep a mutually agreed-upon group of friends apprised of each others' doings.

That said, I can see how users would look at the prominence now given to the update box on the home page as an emulation of Twitter. Facebook also got rid of the "User name is" before the entry box, making the service look more like Twitter. But previously, users were often puzzled about the need to speak of themselves in the third person. I also like how the icons for adding Links, Photos, Videos, Music, and apps slide open only after you click in the update box, for a less cluttered look. And since most people go to their home page more often than their own profile page, it makes sense having the updater on the home page.
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9:41 PM

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Sending Fax using computer



step 1
Open your fax software (Microsoft Fax, Microsoft Exchange or other faxing software that you may be using).
Locate an icon or menu command that allows you to receive faxes (Receive, Incoming, etc.).
Click on the icon or menu command that sets your computer to receive.
Avoid lifting the telephone receiver when you hear the incoming ring.
Click on Answer Now. The fax will begin downloading.
When the incoming fax is received, go to the Inbox to open, read or print your fax.

Receive a Fax Automatically

Open your fax software (Microsoft Fax, Microsoft Exchange or other faxing software that you may be using).
Locate an icon or menu command that allows you to receive faxes. Look for an option that allows you to receive faxes automatically. Set that option.
When there is an incoming fax, the phone will ring. If the receiver is not lifted, the fax will download onto your computer. You will not have to click Answer.
Retrieve received faxes from your software's Inbox Read mOre Guys...

9:39 PM

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10 Ways to Boost Immune Health, Stop cold, flu & depression in their tracks - before you get sick

What if, this winter, you discovered a simple way to boost your immune
system so you won't get sick? What if there were ten?

The weather changes in autumn, cold temperatures set in, and runny noses
and sniffles start to seem like an epidemic. Around Hallowe'en, the first
snowfall combines with the sugar rush of October 31 to set most of us up
for a spate of colds and flu that come and go through the winter. What if,
this winter, you discovered a simple way to boost your immune system so
you won't get sick? What if there were ten?

People who pick three or more of the suggestions from this list - and
stick to them - will substantially improve their immune strength, increase
their ability to stay sane and healthy through dreaded cold and flu
season, and keep their health and happiness up through the darkest months
of the year!

1. Drink your lemons. Lemon is the ideal food for restoring acid-alkali
balance. Drinking freshly squeezed lemon juice in water, or adding it to
tea, salad dressings (in place of vinegar), baking or cooking, helps
maintain the body's internal "climate" at a pH which supports healthy
bacteria instead of the viruses and harmful bacteria which thrive in more
acidic environments. Apple cider vinegar is another great way to improve
your body's alkalinity, but the taste of lemons is much more pleasant!

2. Give your body an herbal boost. Hundreds of herbal supplements and
tinctures exist to give the immune system additional support during the
winter. I recommend essential oils (especially my favourite winter blend,
Thieves) as an excellent source of immune-stimulating compounds, and the
rawest and most natural form of any medicinal plant, but there are other
supplements which can be effective. Fresh herbs and whole food remedies
are always preferable over packaged herbs or supplements, since they have
a much higher potency and frequency and your body absorbs more of their
value. See also Essential Oils Fight Cold and Flu.

3. Get a full night's sleep. Everybody's different: your body may need
anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Whatever your personal
sleep requirement is, get it! Sleep has been linked to balanced hormone
levels (including human growth hormone and the stress hormone, cortisol),
keeping weight down, clear thinking and reasoning, improved mood, and
vibrant, healthy skin.

4. Eat plenty of protein. Protein is a building block for a healthy body,
mind, and immune system. Diets low in protein tend to be high in carbs
which convert readily to glucose, spiking blood sugar and stressing the
pancreas and the immune system.

5. Drink plenty of water. This is almost, but not quite, a given; most
headaches occur because despite the number of reminders, people still
aren't getting enough water! Headaches and thirst are both signs of
dehydration. You should be drinking, in daily ounces, half your body
weight in pounds. (i.e. Body weight in pounds, divided by 2 = number of
ounces of water per day.) Click here for detailed guidelines - how much
water do you need daily?

6. Stop drinking coffee. Contrary to recent marketing as a source of
antioxidants, chocolate and coffee are two of the worst things you can do
for your immune system and your health. Caffeine robs your body of
minerals and vitamins, and it dehydrates you. If you drink coffee, make
sure you add an additional two glasses to your water intake per cup of
coffee. A mineral supplement helps to offset caffeine's damage, too.

7. Worse yet is the impact of refined white sugar. If you do only one
thing to boost your immune system, eliminating sugar will do the trick.
You will see noticeable results in your energy levels, weight
distribution, immunity and your ability to think clearly when you break
the cravings and stop eating refined sugar. Many holistic nutritionists
consider sugar a drug for its impact on the human body; I have known
practitioners to prioritize eliminating sugar from the diet over
recommending that people quitting smoking. Healthier sugars such as agave
and stevia do exist, but I avoid artificial sweeteners; they are more
toxic than cane sugar.

8. Stock up on raw fruits and vegetables for their antioxidants, vitamins,
minerals, fibre and enzymes. The nutritional content that you receive from
raw fruits and veggies is unparalleled. Many vitamins, including C, are
antioxidants and will protect cells - including those of your immune
system - from damage by toxins in the environment. Dark-coloured produce
(berries, kale, broccoli) tends to be higher in flavonoids, polyphenols
and other antioxidants. The perfect source of minerals is seaweed, which
is sold dried, but can often be found raw (dried at low temperatures to
maintain most of the enzymes and nutrients) in health food stores.

9. Spend some time out in the cold. Snowball fight, anyone? Exercise can
make a noticeable difference to your health and happiness by releasing
endorphins. Most of us spend 90% of our lives indoors, inhaling dubiously
filtered air and other people's germs, so I take any opportunity I can to
get outside. Time spent outdoors in the cold also stimulates the thyroid


10. Nurture yourself. Make sure you take time to yourself, spend some time
with friends, and indulge yourself in a massage, a hot bath, or an energy
work session when you want one. Our bodies respond to our emotions - if
you're feeling harassed and anxious, it can manifest in a sore throat or a
cold. Create a space within yourself and your living environment for
harmony, self-love and joy (giving thanks, prayer and blessing the
abundance in your life and of the world around you helps). Pay attention
to warning signs of sore throat or exhaustion so you can keep them from
getting worse. I advise taking a "mental health day" every few months to
make sure your emotional needs are met. When you're happy, you're far less
likely to get sick.

The copyright of the article 10 Ways to Boost Immune Health in Natural
Medicine is owned by Victoria Anisman-Reiner. Permission to republish 10
Ways to Boost Immune Health in print or online must be granted by the
author in writing.

Read more: "10 Ways to Boost Immune Health: Stop cold, flu & depression in
their tracks - before you get sick" -
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