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Businesses

IDC: PC Shipments Decline Worse Than Forecasted, No Recovery Expected 393

symbolset writes "Zach Whittaker over at ZDNet covers an IDC report. In it the 2013 9.7% forecast decline in PC shipments is advanced to 10.1%. Further, IDC's longer-term forecast turns quite grim: contracting 23% from 2012 levels by 2017. There is also a projection of future Windows tablet sales, and a statement that total Windows tablet sales for 2013 are expected to be 'less than 7.5 million units.'"
Input Devices

Researchers Create Mid-Air Haptic Feedback System For Touch Displays 62

Bismillah writes "University of Bristol researchers have come up with a way to make touch screens more touchy-feely so to speak, using ultrasound waves to produce haptic feedback. You don't need to touch the screen even, as the UltraHaptics waves can be felt mid-air. Very Minority Report, but cooler." The researchers built an ultrasonic transducer grid behind an acoustically transparent display. Using acoustic modeling of a volume above the screen, they can create multiple movable control points with varying properties. A Leap Motion controller was used to detect the hand movements.
Idle

Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway 311

solareagle writes "The BBC reports that an Alaskan airport says it has had to place barricades across one of its taxiways after an Apple Maps flaw resulted in iPhone users driving across a runway. The airport said it had complained to the phone-maker through the local attorney general's office. 'We asked them to disable the map for Fairbanks until they could correct it, thinking it would be better to have nothing show up than to take the chance that one more person would do this,' Melissa Osborn, chief of operations at the airport, told the Alaska Dispatch newspaper. The airport said it had been told the problem would be fixed by Wednesday. However the BBC still experienced the issue when it tested the app, asking for directions to the site from a property to the east of the airport. By contrast the Google Maps app provided a different, longer route which takes drivers to the property's car park."
Microsoft

Microsoft Is Working On a Cloud Operating System For the US Government 171

SmartAboutThings writes "It seems that Microsoft is relying even more on the opportunities provided by the cloud technology. The Redmond behemoth is preparing to come up with a cloud operating system that is specially meant for government purposes. Government agencies already use two of Microsoft's basic cloud products: Windows Azure and Windows Server. But now it seems that Microsoft is working on a modified version of its somewhat new Cloud OS that could bear the name 'Fairfax.' Compared to Windows Azure, the 'Fairfax' cloud operating system would provide enhanced security, relying on physical servers on site at government locations. Given that CEO Steve Ballmer is striving to make Microsoft much more than a powerful software giant, such a project makes sense, especially because it would help in their lobby activities."
Businesses

Best Buy Recalls MacBook Pro Batteries 56

redletterdave writes "A recent line of complaints from MacBook Pro users forced big box retailer Best Buy to finally issue a recall notice for 5,100 MacBook Pro replacement batteries after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advised customers to 'immediately stop using the recalled battery.' Both the CPSC and Best Buy received 13 individual instances of the MacBook Pro battery catching fire, with one incident resulting in 'a serious burn to a consumer's leg.'"
Security

iOS Developer Site At Core of Facebook, Apple Watering Hole Attack 88

msm1267 writes "The missing link connecting the attacks against Apple, Facebook and possibly Twitter is a popular iOS mobile developers' forum called iphonedevsdk which was discovered hosting malware in an apparent watering hole attack that has likely snared victims at hundreds of organizations beyond the big three. It's not clear whether the site remains infected, but researcher Eric Romang dug into the situation and determined that the site was hosting malicious JavaScript that was redirecting visitors to another site, min.liveanalytics. That site had been hosting malware as of Jan. 15."
OS X

OS X Mountain Lion Review 424

John Siracusa at Ars Technica has published a lengthy and detailed review of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. (Lengthy enough that the review garnered a review of its own.) Siracusa methodically goes through all of the changes in the new version, covering everything from the minor new features to the overarching goals. Quoting: "Despite the oft-cited prediction that Mac will eventually be subsumed by iOS, that's not what's happening here. Apple is determined to bring the benefits of iOS to the Mac, but it's equally determined to do so in a way that preserves the strengths of the Mac platform. Where we Mac nerds go wrong is in mistaking traditions for strengths. Loss aversion is alive and well in the Mac community; with each 'feature' removed and each decision point eliminated from our favorite OS, our tendency is to focus heavily on what's been lost, sometimes blinding ourselves to the gains. But the larger problem is that losses and gains are context-dependent. A person who never uses a feature will not miss it when it's gone. We all pay lip service to the idea that most users never change the default settings in software, but we rarely follow this through to its logical conclusion. The fact is, we are not the center of the market, and haven't been for a long time. Three decades ago, the personal computer industry was built on the backs of technology enthusiasts. Every product, every ad was created to please us. No longer. Technology must now work for everyone, not just 'computing enthusiasts.'" A somewhat briefer review is available at ComputerWorld, and there's a quick one from John Gruber.

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