Welcome to the 496th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news highlights and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is
your first issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me
two or three issues, I know that you will come back for more!
I asked my Lisa if she had any suggestions for me for my opening thoughts.
She said, "Life is good, the weather is awesome." Hopefully life
is as awesome as the weather is good :-)
I mentioned last week that I bought a new laptop. It was funny this week reading
the retrospective that I link to in the Tips section and
seeing what these things used to look like. The laptop were the size of concrete
blocks! We have come a long way. Imagine where we'll be in another 10 years...
A professor says he has only one girl in a computer science major class
in 2008, down from 40 percent in 2000. What happened? eWEEK gets field experts
to weigh in.
While women hold 51 percent of professional jobs in the United States, they
make up only 26 percent of the IT work force, according to the National Center
for Women & Information Technology. Furthermore, fewer women worked in
IT in 2008 than in 2000.
But the loss of women in the technology field begins long before they reach
the professional level. The proportion of CS (computer science) bachelor's
degrees awarded to women has fallen from 36 to 21 percent between 1983 and
The breadth of a smile can be measured by new technology from Japanese electronics
and health care company Omron Corp.
The software technology, shown to reporters Thursday, scans a video image
to detect faces. It can find up to 100 faces in an image, according to Yasushi
Kawamoto of Omron.
"Okao Catch," which means "face catch," then analyzes the
curves of the lips, eye movement and other facial characteristics to decide how
much a person is smiling using data collected from a million people and their
smiles, he said.
In a demonstration, a camcorder took videos of journalists covering the announcement.
Percentage numbers indicating how much each person was smiling popped up
in bold blue letters next to their faces on a monitor, flashing higher or
lower as their expressions changed.
The numbers ranged as high as 89% for a person who was grinning, while a
somber face registered 0%.
A majority of U.S. adults are uncomfortable with Web sites using a person's
online activity to deliver customized content, a study released Thursday
However, Harris Interactive found that people became more comfortable after
they were presented with Web-site privacy and security policies recommended
by the Federal Trade Commission.
Based on a nationwide survey of more than 2,500 U.S. adults, the study found
that six in 10 respondents were skeptical when Web sites like those from
Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft used visitors' online activity to tailor advertisements
or content based on their hobbies or interests. A quarter of the respondents
were "not at all comfortable," and 34% were "not very comfortable."
Contradicting earlier studies, conventional wisdom and politicians' rhetoric,
European researchers say that the Internet infrastructure of the United States
is one of the world's best and getting better.
The Global Information Technology Report issued on Wednesday found that the
United States now ranked fourth in the world behind just three European nations:
Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. Last year the United States was ranked seventh.
The study, which has been issued annually for the last seven years, is an
effort to draw a more complete picture of national network readiness.
The digital photography tip of the week is written by
the PCIN Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time photographer
and is currently the President of the Niagara
Falls Camera Club. You can see more of his photography at his Photo
of the Day website.
If you have a tip to send Chris, or a question about digital photography
he can address in the newsletter, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ever wax nostalgic about your first PC or cell phone? It's easy to forgive
your Tandy desktop or your Motorola portable for their limitations--after
all, they were technological infants.
What we often forget, though, is how $%#@! expensive that crude neolithic
junk was! So join us on a trip two decades back in technology's history--and
we bet that the next time you're charged $895 for a small square of plastic
and transistors, you'll smile and say, "Wow, what a bargain!"
The article compares personal computers and components. It's quite interesting!
I was reading an article in the paper the other day about the Webby Awards,
and one of the highlighted sites was geoGreeting.
This is a site that let's you write a message using pictures of buildings
that look like letters (the PCIN.net image above for example). The creator
of the site describes it in this way:
While working on a different Google Maps project, I noticed that a number
of buildings looked like letters of the alphabet when viewed from above.
This is the point where I should have just said 'hmmm, good observation'
and gone on with my life. But I didn't and that's why this website is here.
There have been quite a bit of news recently about the Windows Vista upgrade
DVD not really needing anything to upgrade from. You can do a clean install
of Vista without putting in the product key, and then upgrade that installation.
That talk has led to some talk about doing a clean install of XP, which led
me to the website of Michael Stevens. He is a Microsoft MVP and has a
good article about doing a clean install of Windows XP. The article is
very through and has links to other resources that you might find helpful.
PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of
the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing
and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying
the tips in this newsletter.
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