Blog.Logitech | Making Small-Group Audio and Video Meetings Easy and Affordable

Your boss just challenged you to solve a tough problem by the end of the day, and you need to call a quick meeting between colleagues in three different locations, including two in your own office. A face-to-face meeting would help you collaborate quickly, but unfortunately all the video conference rooms are booked. There’s a webcam plugged into your PC, but it’s not really a great experience when three people huddle around your laptop. So what do you do? Read more…

A “real” user proves Windows 8 fails on the desktop | Geek.com

I’ve just finished watching the video for geek.com’s post of blogger Chris Pirillo’s dad and I have to say. I installed the developer release of Windows 8 and it appears that nothing has changed in Microsoft’s development plan for this iteration or their iconic OS. I echo the call of Pirillo’s dad when he says “Are they trying to drive me to a Mac!” Check out the video at geek.com.

With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft is attempting to change the way we interact with its operating system by introducing the Metro interface. The problem is, they aren’t just stopping at pasting a touch-friendly experience over the top of the more familiar Windows desktop. Microsoft has also broken the classic desktop experience in the process.The main issue? By default the Start button has disappeared. Anyone using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview check out our 5 days with Windows 8 feature is either figuring out how to work around that, or Googling to find out how to re-enable it.The thing Microsoft seem to be overlooking is the fact they already dominate in the OS market. That’s a great position to be in, but also comes with a few must-haves whenever a new version of said OS is launched. Top of that list is familiarity.Microsoft has introduced Metro because of the growing popularity of devices with a touch interface. However, that doesn’t mean millions of users will stop using PCs and laptops that don’t feature touch interaction. And yet, the classic desktop has lost the one feature everyone knows is the interaction start point: the Start button.The video above proves this. The person sitting at the computer is Chris Pirillo’s dad. Pirillo is well known for being the founder of Lockergnome. He decided to film his dad using Windows 8 for the first time to demonstrate to Microsoft the issue, and it clearly shows an existing Windows user struggling to do anything. He isn’t a power user, but neither are the majority of Windows 7/Vista/XP users.The message this video clearly sends is that Microsoft is at risk of alienating their existing user base due to a lack of familiarity. The good news is, they can easily solve the problem by reintroducing the Start button and adding a few more hints about how to switch between classic and Metro views. But will they?

via A “real” user proves Windows 8 fails on the desktop | Geek.com.

Team build world’s smallest hard drive › News in Science ABC Science

Hard drives could one day be the size of rice grains, powering music players so small they would fit inside your ear.Scientists at IBM and the German Center for Free-Electron Laser Science have built the world’s smallest unit of magnetic storage, using just 96 atoms to create one byte of data. Conventional drives require a half a billion atoms for each byte.The advance could lead to tiny hard drives able to store 200 to 300 times more information than they can today. Just imagine an iPod Touch that held 12.8 terabytes of music.

via Team build world’s smallest hard drive › News in Science ABC Science.

Prepare Yourself: Kinect is Coming to Windows Feb. 1

Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer announced on Monday the company’s gesture-recognition technology Kinect will come to Windows on February 1. It was the one intriguing nugget in a presentation more notable for its a capella tweet choir than its news.

Balmer didn’t elaborate on what Kinect for Windows would look like, but one can assume that it would allow users to control the operating system without touching a keyboard or mouse. Kinect has already been a game changer for gaming and television — allowing, for instance, a child to interact with Sesame Street. It’s overwhelming to imagine how it could change computing.

“Now I can bash my hands on the desk when it crashes, and it will respond,” joked one participant in Mashable‘s live blog of the event.

Joking aside, perhaps so. Balmer said that Microsoft is working with 200 companies on Kinect apps, and there’s no limit to what they might include. Will we be doing spreadsheets or photo sorting by gesture? We’re looking forward to finding out more on February 1.

Is there any way you would like to see Kinect applied to Windows? What apps would you make?

 

via Prepare Yourself: Kinect is Coming to Windows Feb. 1.

Linux turn OFF password expiration / aging

I’ve spent a bit of time setting and resetting passwords. The following article from nixcraft shows us how to  set this to custom settings.

/etc/shadow stores actual password in encrypted format for user’s account with additional properties related to user password.

The password expiration information for a user is contained in the last 6 fields. Password expiration for a select user can be disabled by editing the /etc/shadow file

However I recommend using chage command. The chage command changes the number of days between password changes and the date of the last password change. This information is used by the system to determine when a user must change his/her password.

To list current aging type chage command as follows:

# chage -l username

Output:

Last password change : May 22, 2007

Password expires : never

Password inactive : never

Account expires : never

Minimum number of days between password change : 0

Maximum number of days between password change : 99999

Number of days of warning before password expires : 7

To disable password aging / expiration for user foo, type command as follows and set:

Minimum Password Age to 0

Maximum Password Age to 99999

Password Inactive to -1

Account Expiration Date to -1

Interactive mode command:

# chage username

OR

# chage -I -1 -m 0 -M 99999 -E -1 username

via Linux turn OFF password expiration / aging.

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