CCleaner Keeps Up With Windows 10

Piriform's CCleaner is a well-known cleanup utility for Windows computers, and it's latest version (5.06) now includes support for Microsoft's new "Edge" browser, coming in Windows 10.
In this release we've focused on introducing support for the new browser Microsoft Edge... Spartan or Internet Explorer 12 as some of you may know it. We've also added browser cleaning improvements for Firefox and Google Chrome along with improving our system restore detection algorithm. 

Newegg Lets Slip Windows 10 Pricing And Availability

Online reseller Newegg has let the Windows 10 cat out of the bag with pricing and availability dates. The prices are if you are purchasing Windows 10 Home and Professional editions, and at $109 and $149 respectively are $10 more than Windows 8 prices at launch time.

Bear in mind, if you already have a computer running legitimate versions of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 then you can update to Windows 10 at no cost for the first year after launch.



The Sad State Of Web Site Security

Ugh. According to an analysis by WhiteHat security, half of all healthcare and retails sites are vulnerable at any given time throughout the year. Between keeping track of security issues and actually fixing them, the websites surveyed are behind the eight ball half of the time.
According to the report, the average number of vulnerabilities per site is quite low -- ranging from 2 in the public administration sector to 11 in transportation and warehousing. Yet it all adds up to very long windows of exposure (the number of days an application has one or more serious vulnerabilities open).
According to the report, 55 percent of retail/trade sites, 50 percent of healthcare/social assistance sites, and 35 percent of finance/insurance sites were always vulnerable (vulnerable every day of the year). Education was the best performing on window of exposure -- 27 percent always vulnerable, 40 percent rarely (30 days per year or less).

Don't Use Your Apple Watch While Driving In Canada, Eh?

The Apple watch is more than "just" a watch of course; it's an accessory to the iPhone - a sort of wrist worn interface for the phone. A motorist was fined in Canada for using his Apple watch to change tunes because there is a law there that you can't use a handheld device that has a telephone function while driving. Sacre bleu!
Jeffrey Macesin received a $120 ticket and four demerit points after he was pulled over by the Surete du Quebec for wearing a smartwatch.
Macesin said he was shocked when he was pulled over because he didn't think he was breaking the law.
The self-described gadget lover said he thought he was permitted to watch his new Apple Watch while driving, so long as he wasn’t tapping away on his smartphone.
“I have it in the bag charging while the auxiliary cable is plugged in to the radio and this controls my phone to play the music. So I was changing songs with my hand on the steering wheel,” said Macesin

Your Chances Against The DARPA Robot Cheetah Just Got Less

If you ever felt a slight loosening of the bowels when you learned that a 4-legged running robot actually exists outside of the movie world, then prepare to clench up; DARPA's Cheetah robot can now also jump over obstacles. The four legged beastie is still learning it's trade (whatever that may eventually be), but you can see from this video that this is a pretty impressive technical accomplishment.

Maybe the folks at the military skunk works will also put frickin' laser beams on their heads?


Apple Offers Workaround Pending A Software Fix For iMessage Crash Issue

Apple has a Siri-based workaround for the bug that allows certain text messages to cause a crash on iOS devices. They will be issuing an actual fix asap, but this should help get users back on an even keel for now.


iOS 9 "Gala" To Bring Improved Legacy Device Support

Apple is giving friendly nod to existing iPhone and iPad users with the next update to the iOS mobile operating system. The forthcoming version (iOS 9, codenamed "Gala") should run better on older devices, including the original iPad.

The current iOS 8 release was generally seen as more geared to new hardware like the iPhone 6, with additional features that could impact performance on older devices. Nice to see the relentless push to buy new stuff easing at lease a little this time around.


The Data Scraping Car

Think of your recent model car as a big smartphone with wheels; much data can be gleaned from your car; where you are, how fast you are traveling, did you brake hard before the airbag deployed, and so on.

Trouble is, the rapid development of technology like this leaves a lagging response to privacy and ethical concerns. I don't recall giving permission for anyone to "monitor" my driving when I got my last car, for example, but the potential is there. And the potential is for car makers to use that data in whatever way they think will make them money.
Computer systems inside vehicles aren’t new, says [Vincent] Gogolek [executive director of FIPA]. Anti-lock brakes, for example, use an automated system to stop a car by pumping the brakes more rapidly than a human ever could.

In the beginning, those systems didn’t store any data as they operated. Then, in 1996, on-board diagnostics systems became standard in all vehicles.

The Connected Car

Mandated to monitor emissions as part of the Clean Air Act, these computer-based systems allowed technicians to diagnose problems by tapping into the basic data kept by your car. These are also the systems that operate the “check engine” light, giving warnings that service might be necessary.

As smartphones and wireless technology emerged and became more sophisticated, onboard car computers evolved to collect and send all sorts of data to manufacturers, insurance companies, call centres and other third parties.

“Suddenly you have more and more data being collected,” Gogolek says. “And wherever it’s being sent, it’s leaving the vehicle constantly.”


Signing Your Image Away - Another 1st World Problem

First World Problems are those little things that annoy or frustrate us, but which can seem completely petty when compared to Third World concerns like no food, poor sanitation, and no clean water to drink. 

A couple who allowed their likeness (and that of their infant child) to be used on a stock image site realized the significance of their decision when they inadvertently became part of Ireland's recent referendum on gay marriage - on the wrong side, as far as their personal beliefs were concerned. A 1st World problem to be sure, but frustrating and embarrassing for those involved.
“Naively, we imagined that on the off chance that any was ever selected, it might be for a small magazine or website,” the statement reads. “We were surprised and upset to see that the photo was being used as part of a campaign with which we do not agree. We completely support same-sex marriage, and we believe that same-sex couples’ should of course be able to adopt, as we believe that they are equally able to provide children with much needed love and care.”
The couple do not live in Ireland and are not disputing the legality of the use of their image, they just want to be clear that their appearance was not a personal endorsement of any kind. There is already a disclaimer present on the image used for the campaign.



Linux 4 Kernel RAID Ruh-Roh!

The current stable Linux 4.x kernel apparently can have a data corruption problem when using the EXT4 file system - mostly when used in a RAID 0 configuration. That's not very good news, but at least it's out in the open and being fixed.
A Phoronix reader, Zoltán Tősér, wrote into Phoronix today about an unpatched EXT4 data corruption bug present as of the Linux 4.0.2 kernel. He explained, "several people were affected by an ext4 data corruption bug in Linux 4.0.2. The bug is reported to be unpatched even in the most recent stable version, Linux 4.0.4. We are not sure what exactly triggers the problem, using a RAID setup seems to have something to do with it. It is reported to affect multiple distributions, including Arch, Debian and Fedora, so it seems to be an upstream problem."


Oculus Rift Hardware Requirements

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is coming Q1 of 2016. Now the date has been announced, the hardware requirements are surfacing, and while they are stiff - as one might expect - they are not horrible. Throwing convincing stereo images around at relatively high resolutions is always going to take some computing horsepower, and so we have these recommended minimum specs:
  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer
At current prices, the bits above are probably around $500-$600, plus a case and so on if you are building a PC just for the purpose.

Oculus Blog


Supergirl On CBS - First Trailer

The first Supergirl trailer is here; it's pretty long and shows pretty much everything - office drama, humor, Supergirl in flight, butt-kicking and an airplane rescue - so you won't be able to say you didn't know what to expect come this Fall when the show hits the CBS lineup.

Jimmy ("James!") Olson is now a buff African-American award-winning photographer rather than the scrawny nerdy "cub reporter" version of old, and Kara (Supergirl) seems to be trying to figure out her life in this first look, much as her cousin Kal-El did in Man of Steel on the big screen. The SFX look fine, especially at this early date, and "Glee" alum Melissa Benoist as Supergirl/Kara seemed quite charming to me.


SSDs Losing Data After A Few Days With No Power?

There is a headline on Wired Some SSDs Can Lose Data After Just A Few Days In Storage. That sounds pretty dire, but when I read the article that's not really what I took away from it. I am not an expert on SSDs - I have replaced a couple of hard drives with SSDs on computers I use (including my current laptop), but that's about it.

What the article seems to be saying is that compared to traditional hard drives, SSDs can be considered more volatile under extreme conditions when left powered off for extended periods in high temperatures. In normal use, this does not appear to be a concern for most of us, so I think we can relax a little, at least as far a worrying about going on vacation and coming back to an SSD drive with bad data.


Avengers: Infinity War Goes Full IMAX

The next movie in the Avengers series, Infinity War, will be filmed entirely in the IMAX format. Some previous big budget movies such as The Dark Knight and Interstellar have had sizable segments shot on IMAX, but this two-parter is the first full IMAX treatment for a mainstream movie.

In the past IMAX cameras were huge , heavy and noisy devices, which made the technology less that desirable to use for other than set pieces or action segments. With newer digital IMAX equipment, it becomes possible to use the cameras "all the time", and it seems fitting that a likely blockbuster would be a good way to bring it to the movie going public.

It should get more bums in seats, which is what its all about.


Childhood's End Comes This December On SyFy

I was excited/apprehensive to learn last year that the SyFy channel was going to make a version of Childhood's End - a sweeping, troubling story by Arthur C Clarke that I always greatly enjoyed. Excited to see it realized at last (at a time where CGI may do it justice) and apprehensive because, well, SyFy productions have been hit or miss.

There is now a rather atmospheric teaser, featuring Charles Dance (yay!) who is portraying one of the main characters. It appears to be a 3 episode miniseries and is coming in December 2015. I am getting my hopes up, even though there appear to be some character changes and additions...


Star Wars: The Binks Awakens

The more keen-eyed among you may have noticed a complete lack of Jar Jar Binks in the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer.

Well, if you want to indulge in the sick, twisted fantasy that puts that loathsome character back into the Star Wars movie world, then has just the thing, in the form of the craftily edited and augmented trailer below. *shudders* Meesa wanna puke.