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Microsoft buys Nokia

When Microsoft announced that it was going to become a "device and services" company a while back they didn't have any devices and their services certainly weren't well known or well supported.

Now with Office 365, Azure, the Microsoft surface (surface 2 hopefully being released on October 18) they really have reinvented themselves.

Windows PC's still represent 90 something percent of all PC's. To put this in perspective, Windows 8, which was released less than a year ago accounts for more "PC's" world wide than all the Apple "PC's" on the planet put together (yes that's JUST windows 8).

As if that wasn't enough Microsoft have announced today they have done some shopping and bought Nokia (Subject to all the legal stuff) for 7.2 billion US$. With windows phone climbing in market share each month and the Nokia Lumia 1020 flagship camera/phone kicking everything else on the market. (photos from the phone about to appear in national geographic) it will be interesting to see what happens next.

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Soundgecko

Do you need to consume a lot of web based textual material, if you like it to be read for you (like an audio book) then have a look at the free (or paid) service from http://www.soundgecko.com.

Sign up for a free account, email the link for the web page and they will send you back the link to the audio in 10 minutes or so. This is available in a number of different formats:

  • Streaming via the link in the email (Just click and listen)
  • RSS (subscribe to your personal “podcast”)
  • Phone app (including your Windows phone)
  • Download the MP3 file

 

There are a few limitations on the free version as follows:

  • 30 Articles per day maximum
  • 4,000 words
  • Random voice gender


In the full version you can also do things like send PDF’s and have them converted/read.

One final thing to consider is that it’s a computer generate voice and it does very well based on my experience but it’s a bit hard to listen to for long periods (over say 20 mins at a time) and there is also some content which doesn’t lead itself to being computer-read such as content with a lot of numbers, non-english words or perhaps industry/profession specific words. For example I don’t know how well it would handle Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis which is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust, causing inflammation in the lungs."

Happy listening

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Moving your Windows programs round the screen...

Moving your Windows programs round the screen using the Windows key and the arrow keys:

Pressing the Windows key and Left or Right arrow keys will dock the active window to the left or right-hand side of the screen. Pressing the Windows key and the Up arrow will maximize a window and pressing the Windows key and the Down arrow will "restore" and then minimize the window.

If you have multiple monitors use the Windows key + Shift + the Left or Right arrow keys to move the window to another monitor.

b2ap3_thumbnail_WinStartKey.gif

Recent comment in this post
digitalwelcomemat
Should have mentioned... this is Windows 7 (or Server 2008 R2) or later only
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:18
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Telstra ADSL price reduction

Telstra has recently reduced all their pricing for both home and business internet. If your with Telstra you should check what you're paying and see if you can pay less (and possibly get more data while you're at it).

50GB business ADSL is now $60 see the details at the link below:

http://www.telstra.com.au/business-enterprise/business-products/internet-data/ethernet-dsl/business-broadband-adsl/index.htm

For home services (Note that I don’t necessarily recommend bigpond home internet as there are some significant limitations you may want to be aware of with this service) it looks like they have reduced the prices as well. In addition they have introduced some high volume plans while I wasn't looking.

(Domestic only plans)

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Smartphone market share results

Apple's share of the global smartphone market fell to 13.1 per cent in the April-June period, according to research firm IDC...

Read more http://www.theaustralian.com.au

I know you all think I'm making this up, Steve Jobs's "reality distortion field" is still just working fine.

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Paul Thurrott’s Free Windows Phone 8 book

Paul Thurrott’s Windows Phone 8 eBook is complete and available for free at the following location. If you’re a Windows Phone user get your 600+ pages of Windows Phone goodness at the link below.

Thanks Paul!

http://winsupersite.com/windows-phone/paul-thurrott-s-windows-phone-8-complete

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Domain registrar, hosting, web site, email and cloud?

I get asked the same questions over and over again by new customers looking to setup a web site and also when the inevitable bills come in for your existing setup. Why do I have 4 or 5 separate bills for internet? Is a common one.

I have created the following diagram which hopefully illustrates the purposes of all the various “services” and approximate costs. Note that not all organisations will have all services but these are some common ones.

If you want the high quality printable PDF drop me an email. I hope this helps, if not let me know and I’ll bring my big black “Texta” pen and draw all over yours next time I see you :-).

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AU vs US pricing

Finaly we get confirmation of what we knew all along...  but will we actually get lower prices?

...parliamentary report into the "price gouging" of Australian technology consumers wants the lifting of restrictions on parallel imports, a ban on geo-blocking stopping Australians wanting to buy goods offshore, and the formal monitoring of IT prices....


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/personal-tech/australians-pay-50-per-cent-more-for-tech-goods/story-e6frgazf-1226687429151

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Nokia 1020 smartphone with 41 Megapixel camera

Once again leading the rest of the world in smartphone technology another windows phone has had its product launch in the last couple of weeks.

The Nokia 1020 is on its way, complete with 41 Megapixel camera, yes 41mp!

It’s hard to believe not only is it an extremely high resolution image but the excellent quality sensor, low light capability and image stabilisation make this not only unique but so far ahead of the rest it’s hard to believe and that’s not only the camera either. Even my Nokia 920 has wireless charging as standard, NFC (Near Field Communication to allow for visa payments via paywave/EFTPOS), it even works with gloves (for the ski field) and has a host of other unique features.

http://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/lumia1020/

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“Phishing” (What!?)

phish·ing
/ˈfiSHiNG/
Noun
The fraudulent practice of sending e-mails purporting to be from legitimate companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information.

The article below is a good timely reminder from AVG about blindly clicking on a link that you receive in an email.

“Phishing” is a jargon name for emailing you something that purports to be from a legitimate source and tries to get you to click on a link and then enter some security information which they can use for their own purposes.

Have a read though the article, it’s important.

My recommendation is to NEVER click on a link that you receive in an email for banking or any other important service. If you get an email from Westpac (for example) saying something needs to be done no matter how legitimate it looks, delete the email and open the Westpac website directly from your browser (preferably from a favorite item), if something needs to be done I’m pretty sure they will tell you.

Here is the link:
http://resources.avg.com.au/security_risks/warning-new-westpac-bank-email-scam

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Microsoft Autologon [to Windows]

Great for media centre or kids PC's but not for business PC's or sensitive data:

Microsoft Autologon enables you to easily configure Windows' built-in autologon mechanism. Instead of waiting for a user to enter their name and password, Windows uses the credentials you enter with Autologon, which are encrypted in the Registry, to log on the specified user automatically.

Autologon is easy enough to use. Just run autologon.exe, fill in the dialog, and hit Enable. To turn off auto-logon, hit Disable. Also, if the shift key is held down before the system performs an autologon, the autologon will be disabled for that logon.

(it works with windows 8 as well)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963905.aspx

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Windows 8 start button and desktop

The Windows 8 start button and "boot to desktop" (go straight to desktop rather than the start screen) will be back by public demand in a free update coming to windows 8 in the next couple of months.

While I didn't mind the new start screen (and I haven't had any complaints from clients after their 5 min training session) it has, once again, very much been "trial by media" on this.

However its always good to have options especially on non touch screen PC's.

IT pros such as myself will be testing this new update codenamed Windows blue and finally now named windows 8.1 which apparently includes additional features as well when it arrives from Microsoft. Ill post more information when I have it.

This will be one that you won't want to allow by automatic updates due to the size and the time it will take to install.

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Intel 4th Gen CPUs on their way

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57581633-92/intel-confirms-haswell-chip-intro-at-computex/

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Digitalwelcomemat provides IT consultancy and services for business customers on the NSW Central Coast in Australia.

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