informationweek

Windows 8 Reset, Refresh Options Clean OS Crud

"We've built two new features in Windows 8 that can help you get your PCs back to a 'good' state when they're not working their best, or back to the 'factory state' when you're about to give them to someone else or decommission them," said Desmond Lee, a Windows program manager. Hitting the Reset button will remove all personal data, apps, and settings from a PC, and will reinstall Windows from scratch. Activating the Refresh mode also reinstalls Windows, but preserves the user's personal data, most settings, and Metro-style apps.

Microsoft Again Sets Record With Massive Patch

"For the third time this year, Microsoft has issued a record-setting security patch. The company's December Bulletin Release includes 17 security bulletins addressing 40 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office, Windows, Internet Explorer, SharePoint Server and Exchange." | more

OnLive Launches Cloud Video Game Console

"On-demand video game company OnLive announced Thursday that its cloud-based instant-play game system is available for pre-order with delivery beginning on Dec. 2. Users can play on-demand video games on their TVs with the OnLive Game System without having to use discs or do downloads or updates. The $99 OnLive Game System comes with the MicroConsole TV adapter and OnLive Wireless Controller.

Call Of Duty Topples 5-Day Sales Record

"The blockbuster video game "Call of Duty: Black Ops" is continuing to break records, grossing more than $650 million worldwide during the first five days of sales. The game easily surpassed the previous five-day record holder, last year's addition to the franchise, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2." That game took in $550 million, according to "Call of Duty" publisher Activision Publishing." | more

China Steals Supercomputer Crown From U.S.

"A Chinese-built supercomputer is now the fastest such machine in the world, according to a team of researchers that tracks performance of big iron systems. China's Tianhe-1A system, located at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin, achieved a performance of 2.57 petaflops per second. It bested the U.S.

Google Chrome Beta Update Gets Faster

"Google on Wednesday released Chrome 6.0.472.33 to its Beta Channel for Mac, Linux, and Windows.

The new beta version introduces a streamlined user interface, with a more refined upper toolbar and Omnibox, and options gathered into a single menu. These changes have been available on the Developer Channel since June.

The updated Chrome beta also adds a capability seen in other browsers called Autofill, which fills in Web forms automatically with commonly entered data fields such as name, address, phone number, and credit card number.

Google Wave Open To All

Google Wave is now open to the public as a Google Labs project and to Google Apps users, subject to administrator approval.

Google plans to announce the general availability of Wave at its annual developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, where the real-time communications platform debuted a year ago to considerable fanfare. Wave is at once a product, a platform, and a protocol. It combines the functions of e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and blogs in a framework that facilitates both real-time and stored collaborative messaging.

House Bans File Sharing

The House has passed a bill that would prevent government employees from using peer-to-peer file-sharing software either in the office or when accessing government networks remotely from home.

The Secure Federal File Sharing Act, introduced by Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., in November, calls for the Office of Management and Budget to ban the use of applications like BitTorrent or Limewire on government PCs and networks.

It also requires the OMB to set policies for federal employees who telecommute or access government networks remotely.

Developing Nations Risk E-Waste Crisis

Unless proper electronic-waste recycling is established in developing countries, they will face serious environmental and public health consequences, a United Nations report says.

The urgency in addressing e-waste disposal is driven by the sharp rise in sales of electronic products expected over the next 10 years in countries like China and India, across continents such as Africa, and over large regions including Latin America, the U.N. said. Such imports are expected to add millions of tons of e-waste in regions where recycling efforts are inadequate to handle even current e-waste levels.

Nvidia Unveils Switchable Graphics Technology

Nvidia on Tuesday introduced laptop technology that switches between integrated graphics and a graphics card, depending on application requirements, to extend battery life.

Called Optimus, the technology makes the switch seamlessly, using an Nvidia discrete graphics card for 3-D games, video, or other graphics-intensive applications; and, for more mundane computing tasks such as e-mail and Web browsing, running the far less power-hungry graphics chip integrated into the chipset that runs with the CPU.

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