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Monday, November 23, 2009

Short lifespan for new laptops

A study of 30,000 notebooks finds that as many as a third will die within three years

So your new laptop computer died in inside of a year. "I'll never buy a computer from [insert manufacturer name here] again!" I've heard the protests time and time again.

Yeah, maybe you got a lemon, but no matter which brand you bought, you truly are not alone in this situation: An analysis of 30,000 new laptops from SquareTrade, which provides aftermarket warranty coverage for electronics products, has found that in the first three years of ownership, nearly a third of laptops (31 percent) will fail.

That's actually better than I would have expected based on my experience and observations on how people treat their equipment.

But here are some highlights about how, why, and which laptops fail:

> 20.4 percent of failures are due to hardware malfunctions. 10.6 percent are due to drops, spills, or other accidental damage.

> Netbooks have a roughly 20 percent higher failure rate due to hardware malfunctions than standard laptops. The more you pay for your laptop, the less likely it is to fail in general (maybe because you're more careful with it?).

> The most reliable companies? A shocker: Toshiba and Asus, both with below a 16 percent failure rate due to hardware malfunction.

> The least reliable brands? Acer, Gateway, and HP. HP's hardware malfunction rate, the worst in SquareTrade's analysis, is a whopping 25.6 percent.

None of the numbers are overly surprising. As SquareTrade notes, "the typical laptop endures more use and abuse than nearly any other consumer electronic device (with the possible exception of cell phones)," so failures are really inevitable.

Want to keep your notebook running for longer than a few years? Ensure your laptop is as drop-proofed as possible (use a padded bag or case, route cords so they won't be tripped on, lock children in another room), and protect it as best you can from heat and dust.

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Download Opera 10.10 Final with Opera Unite

Today, November 23rd, Opera Software is making a decisive first step toward delivering on a promise from earlier this year which involved reinventing the web. Users are now able to download the latest iteration of the Opera browser, and take advantage of the evolution from version 10.0. The start of this week is synonymous with the general availability of Opera 10.10 designed to include the Opera Unite platform.

What make version 10.10 stand out from the crowd of browsers is the fact that the application bundles not only the Opera browser, but also server capabilities via Opera Unite. In this sense, users will be able to use nothing more than Opera 10.10 with Opera Unite in order to stream music and media content, but also share files, photos, documents, all right from the browser.

"We promised Opera Unite would reinvent the Web," noted Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera. "What we are really doing is reinventing how we as consumers interact with the Web. By giving our devices the ability to serve content, we become equal citizens on the Web. In an age where we have ceded control of our personal data to third-parties, Opera Unite gives us the freedom to choose how we will share the data that belongs to us."

According to the Norway-based browser maker, the purpose of Opera 10.10 with Opera Unite is to cut out the middle man when it comes down to sharing content via the Internet. Users no longer need, at least in theory, third-party instant messaging, social networking websites, photo sharing websites, etc. because version 10.10 offers similar functionality right at browser-level.

Users that will download and start enjoying Opera 10.10 with Opera Unite will notice that there are a range of default applications that ship with the bits. It is via the Opera Unite components that customers will be able to share multi-GB of photos from the get go, stream music to not just other computers, but also mobile phones and game consoles.

My Snapshot

Opera Web Browser 10.10 Build 1893 Final with Opera Unite is available for download

Download Here

Softpedia Link-

Direct Link-

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Thousands of strange creatures found deep in ocean

NEW ORLEANS – The creatures living in the depths of the ocean are as weird and outlandish as the creations in a Dr. Seuss book: tentacled transparent sea cucumbers, primitive "dumbos" that flap ear-like fins, and tubeworms that feed on oil deposits.

A report released Sunday recorded 17,650 species living below 656 feet, the point where sunlight ceases. The findings were the latest update on a 10-year census of marine life.

"Parts of the deep sea that we assumed were homogenous are actually quite complex," said Robert S. Carney, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University and a lead researcher on the deep seas.

Thousands of marine species eke out an existence in the ocean's pitch-black depths by feeding on the snowlike decaying matter that cascades down — even sunken whale bones. Oil and methane also are an energy source for the bottom-dwellers, the report said.

The researchers have found about 5,600 new species on top of the 230,000 known. They hope to add several thousand more by October 2010, when the census will be done.

The scientists say they could announce that a million or more species remain unknown. On land, biologists have catalogued about 1.5 million plants and animals.

They say they've found 5,722 species living in the extreme ocean depths, waters deeper than 3,280 feet.

"The deep sea was considered a desert until not so long ago; it's quite amazing to have documented close to 20,000 forms of life in a zone that was thought to be barren," said Jesse Ausubel with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a sponsor of the census. "The deep sea is the least explored environment on earth."

More than 40 new species of coral were documented on deep-sea mountains, along with cities of brittlestars and anemone gardens. Nearly 500 new species ranging from single-celled creatures to large squid were charted in the abyssal plains and basins.

Also of importance were the 170 new species that get their energy from chemicals spewing from ocean-bottom vents and seeps. Among them was a family of "yeti crabs," which have silky, hairlike filaments on the legs.

In the mid-Atlantic, researchers found 40 new species and 1,000 in all, said Odd Aksel Bergstad, an oceanographer with the University of Bergen in Norway who was reached by telephone in the Azores islands.

"It was a surprise to me to find such rich communities in the middle of the ocean," he said. "There were not even good maps for the area. Our understanding of the biodiversity there was very weak."

More than 2,000 scientists from 80 countries are working to catalog the oceans' species.

Researching the abyss has been costly and difficult because it involved deep-towed cameras, sonar and remotely operated vehicles that cost $50,000 a day to operate, Carney said.

Once the census is complete, the plan is to publish three books: a popular survey of sea life, a second book with chapters for each working group and a third focusing on biodiversity.

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Shilpa Shetty marries Raj Kundra

Clad in a red sari and flaunting diamonds and emeralds, Shilpa Shetty Sunday exchanged wedding vows with London-based businessman Raj Kundra in a close-knit family affair in Khandala.

Wearing a red sari designed by Tarun Tahiliani, the 34-year-old exchanged vows with Kundra as per the Bunt tradition, according to the Mangalorean community that the Shettys belong to.

The groom was sporting a maroon sherwani with golden embroidery and a turban with his face veiled by a sehra (string of pearls). He was also holding a sword in his hand, as per Indian tradition.

Kundra left Amrit Villa, located about five minutes away from Bawa Villa, where the wedding was held, in a two-horse chariot.

Shilpa met Raj after her win on the British reality show 'Big Brother' in 2007.

Shilpa's sister, actress Shamita who was participating in the third edition of 'Bigg Boss', withdrew voluntarily from the show to attend the wedding.

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