Joe The Dragon writes: Since Late 2009, there’s been a well-documented issue with the iMac line. If you upgrade the hard drive, the fans can start spinning like crazy. The fans at high speed are loud, mainly unnecessary, and have caused a lot of headaches for DIYers everywhere.
The reason the fans spin this way has to do with the iMac’s method of hard drive temperature sensing. Prior to 2009, sensors were placed outside the hard drive to gauge how warm the drives were – if they got too hot, the fans turned on to keep everything nice and cool. This method was simple, effective and made changing, exchanging, or upgrading the main hard drive a relatively simple task.
With the release of the Late 2009 iMac, Apple changed the way the iMac communicates with the drive for that heat-sensing information. Each brand of hard drive Apple used had its own specific thermal sensor cable which connected to certain drives that featured internal temperature sensing. We found that you could still change the drive, albeit with a limited selection. Seagate drives could be swapped with larger capacity Seagate drives; Western Digital could be swapped with other Western Digital Drives; and so forth. There were also reports of other workarounds which included replacing the internal sensor with an external sensor (like the one from the optical drive bay), controlling the fans with software, or purchasing a replacement cable that matched your brand of new hard drive. In any event, there were perhaps a few convoluted ways to upgrade your iMac’s main drive outside of Apple’s offerings for greater speed, more capacity or to quickly restore a machine from a drive failure yourself. This time around, Apple has changed the game again.
For the main 3.5 SATA hard drive bay in the new 2011 machines, Apple has altered the SATA power connector itself from a standard 4-wire power configuration to a 7-wire configuration. Hard drive temperature control is regulated by a combination of this cable and Apple proprietary firmware on the hard drive itself. From our testing, we’ve found that removing this drive from the system, or even from that bay itself, causes the machine’s hard drive fans to spin at maximum speed and replacing the drive with any non-Apple original drive will result in the iMac failing the Apple Hardware Test (AHT).
In examining the 2011 27 iMac’s viability for our Turnkey Upgrade Service, every workaround we’ve tried thus far to allow us to upgrade the main bay factory hard drive still resulted in spinning fans and an Apple Hardware Test failure. We swapped the main drive out (in this case a Western Digital Black WD1001FALS) with the exact same model drive from our inventory which resulted in a failure. We’ve installed our Mercury Pro 6G SSD in that bay, it too results in ludicrous speed engaged fans and an AHT failure. In short, the Apple-branded main hard drive cannot be moved, removed or replaced.
To add insult to injury, the latest iMac EFI Update 1.6 unleashed 6Gb/s speeds on two internal ports – and naturally, one of them is the proprietary, firmware-limited, 7200RPM main drive that can’t take advantage of those speeds anyway.
Now this isn’t to say that our Turnkey Upgrade Program isn’t going to include the new model iMacs. The external eSATA port, or adding hard drives or SSDs in addition to the main hard drive are still perfectly viable and working options in our testing so far. But it isn’t looking good at the moment to have the option to upgrade or even replace the main 3.5 hard drive as shipped from Apple.
It really begins to raise questions: Is this planned obsolescence at work, or is the freedom promised in 1984 being revoked?
Hard drives fail. It is not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when” your hard drive is going to fail. We preach this all the time in regards to having a proper backup strategy in place to prepare from when that failure happens. But it seems now, that when that happens to the main drive on your iMac, you’re left with two options – buy a new drive from Apple and have them install it via one of their Authorized Service Centers, or enjoy the rather large Apple logoed paperweight on your desk. Want a 3.5 drive larger than 2TB? Too bad – Apple doesn’t offer them.
As die-hard Apple users, we tout all the time that its OK that Apple machines cost more initially, since they’re built better and last so much longer than their PC counterparts. Besides, there’s places like Other World Computing that help keep those aging Macs still powering along as viable machines with upgrades and accessories designed to give you the most out of your Mac investment.
I actually purchased a 27 2010 iMac Core i5 earlier this year. I was a bit nervous about Apple’s apparent push toward making OS X more iOS like and wanted the option to upgrade or opt to stay with Snow Leopard for my home machine. I was feeling the buyer’s remorse, just a little bit, when Apple added, not one, but two Thunderbolt ports to the back of the latest model. That kind of speed down the line would certainly allow for plenty of future storage expansion. Once Thunderbolt equipped enclosures finally come to market and all the bugs are worked out, of course. I’m just not the “early adopter” type.
I gotta be honest, I’m not feeling one bit of that remorse anymore. I have a machine that I’m certain I can keep maintained myself with products from OWC for many years to come. If my main hard drive does fail, I know I have options available to replace it. If I need an overall speed boost, I know I can get an OWC Mercury Extreme SSD and install that as my boot drive. If I find I need a faster connection than FireWire 800, I can always add a high-performance eSATA port through the TurnKey Upgrade Program. In short, I have multiple options available to me to configure my iMac to my particular needs.
New iMac envy? NahI’ll take the freedom of choice over limitations any day of the week.
PITTSBURGH — A major furniture rental chain provides its customers with computers that allow the company to track keystrokes, take screenshots and even snap webcam pictures of renters using the devices at home, a Wyoming couple said in a lawsuit Tuesday. More business news
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Computer privacy experts said the firm has the right to equip its computers with software it can use to shut off the devices remotely if customers stop paying their bills, but they must be told if they're being monitored.
"If I'm renting a computer... then I have a right to know what the limitations are and I have a right to know if they're going to be collecting data from my computer," said Annie Anton, a professor and computer privacy expert with North Carolina State University.
But the couple who sued Atlanta-based Aaron's Inc. said they had no clue the computer they rented last year was equipped with a device that could spy on them.
Brian Byrd, 26, and his 24-year-old wife, Crystal, said they didn't even realize that was possible until a store manager in Casper came to their home on Dec. 22.
The manager tried to repossess the computer because he mistakenly believed the Byrds hadn't paid off their rent-to-own agreement. When Brian Byrd showed the manager a signed receipt, the manager showed Byrd a picture of Byrd using the computer — taken by the computer's webcam.
Brian Byrd demanded to know where the picture came from, and the manager "responded that he was not supposed to disclose that Aaron's had the photograph," the lawsuit said.
Byrd told The Associated Press in an exclusive telephone interview, the day before the suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Erie, that he believes the store manager showed him the picture because he "was just trying to throw his weight around and get an easy repossession."
That's when the Byrds contacted police who, their attorney said, have determined the image was shot with the help of spying software, which the lawsuit contends is made by North East, Pa.-based Designerware LLC and is installed on all Aaron's rental computers. Designerware is also being sued.
"It feels like we were pretty much invaded, like somebody else was in our house," Byrd told the AP. "It's a weird feeling, I can't really describe it. I had to sit down for a minute after he showed me that picture."
David Katz, an attorney at Atlanta-based Aaron's, said he was not familiar with the lawsuit, but was hoping to issue a response after reviewing a copy. The company's website says it has more than 1,500 stores in the United States and Canada.
Tim Kelly, who said he is one of the owners of Designerware, also wasn't aware of the lawsuit and declined to comment.
Two attorneys who are experts on the relevant computer privacy laws, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, said it's difficult to tell if either was broken, though both agree the company went too far.
Peter Swire, an Ohio State professor, said using a software "kill switch" is legal because companies can protect themselves from fraud and other crimes.
"But this action sounds like it's stretching the self-defense exception pretty far," Swire said, because the software "was gathering lots of data that isn't needed for self-protection."
Further, Swire said the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act "prohibits unauthorized access to my computer over the Internet. The renter here didn't authorize this kind of access."
Fred Cate, an information law professor at Indiana University agrees that consent is required but said the real question might be: "Whose consent?"
Courts have allowed employers to record employee phone calls because the employers own the phones. Similar questions arise as digital technology becomes more omnipresent, Cate said.
"Should Google let you know they store your search terms? Should Apple let you know they store your location? Should your employer let you know 'We store your e-mail?'" Cate said.
If the Byrds' claims are true, Cate said Aaron's made an error in not notifying customers.
"We always talk about deterrence value. Well it doesn't make sense to put (the software) on there" without telling people what it can do," Cate said. "That's why we all put alarm signs in front of our houses, even if we don't have alarms."
According to the lawsuit, the PC Rental Agent product includes components soldered into the computer's motherboard or otherwise physically attached to the PC's electronics. It therefore cannot be uninstalled and can only be deactivated using a wand, the suit said.
The couple's attorney, John Robinson, of Casper, said the computer is currently in police evidence. Prosecutors in Natrona County, Wyo., did not immediately return a call about the progress of any criminal investigation.
The Byrds want the court to declare their case a class-action, and are seeking unspecified damages and attorneys' fees. The privacy act allows for a penalty of $10,000 or $100 per day per violation, plus punitive damages and other costs, the lawsuit said.
"Crystal gets online before she gets a shower and checks her grades," Brian Byrd said. "Who knows? They could print that stuff off there and take it home with them."
He added: "I've got a 5-year-old boy who runs around all day and sometimes he gets out of the tub running around for 20, 30 seconds while we're on the computer. What if they took a picture of that? I wouldn't want that kind of garbage floating around out there."
Joe The Dragon writes: "First there was the news that students in American universities study a lot less than they used to. Now we hear, in a recent book titled "Academically Adrift," that 45 percent of the nation's undergraduates learn very little in their first two years of college.
The study, by two sociologists, Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia, also found that half of the students surveyed did not take any classes requiring 20 pages of writing in their prior semester, and one-third did not take any courses requiring 40 pages of reading a week.
The research has come in for some criticism. But a larger question is: Have colleges, in their efforts to keep graduation rates high and students happy, dumbed down their curriculums? If they have, who is to blame? What should parents and federal taxpayers do"
Part of this has to do with pushing to many people in to College and the lack of good tech schools / apprenticeships. For people who are not cut out for the old fashioned collage system.
community is good for some of basic stuff but alot of stuff in years 1-2 should be at the high school level.
also there to many filler classes that some are just blow off classes.
Joe The Dragon writes: http://tv.rightcelebrity.com/?p=4834 says "Rumors have been flying around for a couple of weeks now that MTV’s iconic couch-potatoes would be making a comeback. Well kids, it’s official: Beavis and Butt-head are back! For more info on the “new” show and what you can expect this time, keep on reading!
The 90s grunge and metal scene spawned a lot of music icons; Nirvana, Metallica, Headbangers Ball, just to name a few. But few were quite as popular than the minimalist late-night MTV cartoon Beavis & Butt-head. It followed the lives of two slacker teens whose favorite pastime was sitting on the couch criticizing the music videos of the day’s most popular bands. Sometimes they went to school. Sometimes they went to work. But most of the time they were, well, just idiots. But it was their stupidity is what made them so appealing.
Beavis & Butt-head made their series debut in 1993, and after a full-length movie, “Beavis & Butt-head Do America,” the show went off the MTV airwaves in 1997.
Creator of the phenom is Mike Judge, who has been plenty busy since Beavis & Butt-head left MTV. He is the mind behind many other cult classics including the film “Office Space” and the long-running Fox cartoon series “King of the Hill” which had its series finale last year.
Judge has been hinting for a while that he might bring back the (not so) dynamic duo, but now he has officially announced that he will be creating 30 all-new Beavis & Butt-head episodes set to air on MTV. Even though the format of MTV has changed drastically since the show went off the air in 1997, with more shows than music videos, Judge and MTV reps say that the show will stay pretty much the same: Simple animation with the pair commenting on videos. Except instead of ripping on 90s bands, they will take on today’s top artists including Lady Gaga, Katie Perry, and many others. "
The commercial, which feels tuned for these tough economic times, follows a woman on a quest to find a laptop with "speed, comfortable keyboard and a 17-inch screen" for $1,000 or less. "Lauren" walks into an Apple store — she calls it "the Mac store" — and then walks out and tells the camera, "For $1,000 they only have one computer available and that's a 13-inch screen." She ends up buying an HP for about $700. Here's the spot, set to air during March Madness:
Also can you get laptop systems with real video cards at $600+ and good ones with 15" or bigger screens at $900 — $1500. High end gamer systems at $1600-$2000 unlike apple where all they have is 9600M GT with 256MB and 9600M GT with 512MB for about $500 more.
Joe The Dragon writes: "http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Centrino-Montevina-delay,news-1488.html "Chicago (CA) — Sources close to Intel have confirmed to TG Daily earlier reports that Intel's Montevina notebook platform, referred to as Centrino 2, will see a substantial delay. Montevina will not make it to Computex next week and will miss its originally planned debut date later in June. Intel has decided to delay Centrino 2, providing AMD with an opportunity to pitch its Puma platform and Turion Ultra processor.
Intel's engineering and manufacturing engine has been running flawlessly over the past two years, taking away AMD's room to breathe. But, of course, mistakes are bound to happen at some point and Intel is now being confronted with an issue serious enough to officially delay the launch of Centrino 2. Our sources confirmed that information provided by American Technology Research analyst Doug Freedman is accurate, claiming that the company had a "mis-step in the completion of FCC certification" for the next-generation Centrino processor with support for the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard. Freedman said that 802.11n support may see a slower ramp as Montevina can only be shipped with support 802.11 a/b/g for now.
Freedman also noted that Intel faces problems with its integrated graphics chipset, which is causing failures in OEM notebooks. "We believe the potential impact is to lower-end systems as higher-end notebooks are designed with discrete graphics cards. In fact, the impact on [Intel] is a possible improvement in mix within the chipset business; however, it is offset by the yield loss related to the functional issues."
Our sources at Intel told us that Centrino 2 is no scheduled for a July 14 launch with "some chipsets". A "couple of weeks later" the company will be shipping the full line of chipsets, as the company needs "a few extra days" for tasks such as antenna testing.
Of course, that delay brings up the question of the state of the Echo Peak WiMax chipset. As we hear, this current problem is completely separate from the company's WiMax efforts. And realistically, as long as there is no solid foundation for a WiMax network in the U.S., it wouldn't make sense for Intel shipping a WiMax chipset anyway.
However, it will be interesting to see whether AMD will be able to take advantage of this situation and whether Intel's delay will be significant enough to allow AMD to capture a greater share of the H2 business. Puma, we heard, is ready to be rolled out and will aim mainly for the entry-level and mainstream segment of the market. It remains to be seen how Intel will be impacted, but there is no denying that the company needs its mobile platform to deliver: The mobile business brings in more than 40% of Intel's profits (57% if we count in the money-losing businesses such as flash)."
I think that Intel should give up there POS on board video and use nvdia or ati tech for on board video. Intel may have good cpus but there chipset's still are way behind. Why can't intel have on board side port ram like ati can in there new chipset?"
"Reader Michael watched incredulously as a Staples tech tried to convince a senior citizen that his computer wouldn't work properly without repairs costing almost $400.The senior, who had been lulled into Staples for a free tune up that suddenly cost $39.99, didn't understand why he needed to spend money on a "diagnostic screening ($49.99), virus removal services ($150), and more RAM (~$150)." Michael intervened and offered to look at the computer free of charge. He couldn't believe what he found when he popped open the computer."
That is what you get when you hire salesmen over real techs and you cut the hours of the people who know what they are doing and don't try to push unnecessary stuff.
Any ways Staples prices are a big ripoff in the first place.
LONDON — It was once scientific heresy to suggest that smoking contributed to lung cancer. Now, another idea initially dismissed as nutty is gaining acceptance: the graveyard shift might increase your cancer risk. ADVERTISEMENT
Next month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, will classify shift work as a "probable" carcinogen.
That will put shift work in the same category as cancer-causing agents like anabolic steroids, ultraviolet radiation, and diesel engine exhaust.
If the shift work theory proves correct, millions of people worldwide could be affected. Experts estimate that nearly 20 percent of the working population in developed countries work night shifts.
It is a surprising twist for an idea that scientists first described as "wacky," said Richard Stevens, a cancer epidemiologist and professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center. In 1987, Stevens published a paper suggesting a link between light at night and breast cancer.
Back then, he was trying to figure out why breast cancer incidence suddenly shot up starting in the 1930s in industrialized societies, where nighttime work was considered a hallmark of progress. Most scientists were bewildered by his proposal.
But in recent years, several studies have found that women working at night for many years are indeed more prone to breast cancer, and that animals who have their light-dark schedules switched grow more cancerous tumors and die quicker.
Some research has also shown that men working at night may have a higher rate of prostate cancer.
Because these studies have been done mainly in nurses and airline crews, bigger studies in different populations are needed to confirm or disprove the findings.
The idea that shift work might increase your cancer risk is still viewed with skepticism by some, but many doubters will likely be won over when IARC publishes the results of its analysis, the result of an expert panel convened in October, in the December issue of The Lancet Oncology.
The American Cancer Society said it would most likely add shift work to its list of "known and probable carcinogens" when the IARC makes its reclassification. Up to now, the society has labeled it an "uncertain, controversial or unproven effect."
Experts acknowledge the evidence is limited, but the "probable" tag means that a link between shift work and cancer is plausible.
"The indications are positive," said Vincent Cogliano, director of the Monographs program at IARC, which decides on carcinogen classifications. "There was enough of a pattern in people who do shift work to recognize that there's an increase in cancer, but we can't rule out the possibility of other factors."
The research suggests a correlation between people who work at night and increased cancer rates. But the cause of the cancer might still be something else that people who work at night do that is unaccounted for in the research.
Scientists suspect that shift work is dangerous because it disrupts the circadian rhythm, the body's biological clock. The hormone melatonin, which can suppress tumor development, is normally produced at night.
Light shuts down melatonin production, so people working in artificial light at night may have lower melatonin levels, which scientists think can raise their chances of developing cancer.
Sleep deprivation may also be a factor. People who work at night are not usually able to completely reverse their day and night cycles. "Night shift people tend to be day shift people who are trying to stay awake at night," said Mark Rea, director of the Light Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, who is not connected to IARC or its expert panel.
Not getting enough sleep makes your immune system vulnerable to attack, and less able to fight off potentially cancerous cells.
Confusing your body's natural rhythm can also lead to a breakdown of other essential tasks. "Timing is very important," Rea said. Certain processes like cell division and DNA repair happen at regular times.
But if the body needs to do something at an unusual time — like produce insulin in the middle of the night to help digest food — that can set off a chain reaction of biological mistakes.
Even worse than working the night shift would be to frequently flip between day and night shifts.
"The problem is re-setting your body's clock," said Aaron Blair, of the United States' National Cancer Institute, who chaired IARC's recent meeting on shift work. "If you worked at night and stayed on it, that would be less disruptive than constantly changing shifts."
Anyone whose light and dark schedule was frequently disrupted — including frequent long-haul travelers or insomniacs — could theoretically face the same increased cancer risks, Stephens said.
Scientists are now trying to figure out what might be possible to reduce shift workers' risk of developing cancer. Melatonin can be taken as a supplement, but experts don't recommend taking it long-term, since that could ruin the body's ability to produce it naturally.
Some companies are also experimenting with different types of light, hoping to create one that doesn't affect melatonin production. So far, the color that seems to have the least impact on melatonin is one that few people would enjoy working under: red.
With no answers at the moment, experts say it's best to avoid shift work in the long-term. But if that is impossible, there may be a simpler solution.
"The balance between light and dark is very important for your body," Stevens said, advising workers to make sure they sleep in a darkened room when they get back from work.
Joe The Dragon writes: "Moola is having Booster Blitz right now! " This upcoming Tuesday November 6th, from 6:00 pm to midnight (EASTERN), Moola will be holding its much anticipated fifth official Booster Blitz. More Game Boosters! Just like our previous events, you will be eligible for hundreds of bonuses in amounts of $2, $5 and $9 randomly. All players are eligible to receive these Game Boosters just for playing during the Blitz, regardless of whether you are on your first starting penny or if you already have a significant account balance. The more games you play during the Blitz, the greater your chances of receiving one of these Boosters." http://www.moola.com/moopubs/b2b/exc/join.jsp?sid=4d544d744e7a45304e6a593d-2"
For employees at Clarian Health, feeling the burn of trying to lose weight will take on new meaning.
In late June, the Indianapolis-based hospital system announced that starting in 2009, it will fine employees $10 per paycheck if their body mass index (BMI, a ratio of height to weight that measures body fat) is over 30. If their cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels are too high, they'll be charged $5 for each standard they don't meet. Ditto if they smoke: Starting next year, they'll be charged another $5 in each check.
Clarian has been making headlines for its aggressive and unusual approach to covering escalating health-care costs. Rather than taking the more common step of giving employees incentives for merely participating in its wellness programs, such as joining a smoking cessation group or using a health coach, Clarian is actually measuring outcomes. And unlike most employers, it is penalizing workers for poor health instead of rewarding them for taking healthy steps. — - —
This is yet another way that employers try to mistreat there works and some times the work environment can lead to people gaining weight like making them work 80/H + week with fast food working lunches + hours that don't give the works time to participate in wellness programs. In cases like that it is very unfair to change employees for poor health that sometimes comes from a poor working environment."
Joe The Dragon writes: "The I-phone may have blackberry level data rates at $40 a month with the lowest $40 voice plan. that will make the I-phone over 2 years cost $1920 + taxes and fees for the 2 year plan alone.
I-phone + plan may be $2520 / $2620 + taxes and fees.
Live on the PC is nothing like that mock-up demo a year ago. It's Vista-only, which I guess I can understand. They want to move Vista as the gaming platform, not just Windows PCs in general. Perhaps Vista's networking security stuff is actually necessary for Live, I dunno. Okay, fine...we need to buy your expensive new OS to use Live. Fair enough. I can still sit there browsing the web and get a game invite or a message over Live, right? Or set up a Live voice or video chat? Nope. Live on the PC only runs while you're actually playing a Live-enabled game. So in order for my friends to see me online on my PC, I have to actually have Halo 2 or Shadowrun running. This sort of defeats the point, and it's not the way the 360 has worked for the last 18 months. I can sit at the dashboard, watch a movie, listen to music, or do whatever other non-game stuff on the 360 and still be fully connected to Live. So from a very core level, you get a second-tier experience on the PC, even though Live is coming to it much later."