Testing shows SSDs are now more reliable than hard drives

This should come as to no surprise given SSDs (Solid State Drive) don’t have any moving mechanical parts which could fail such as those in the ‘old school’ Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). While SSDs do have a finite number of reads/writes, with an average lifespan of 10-years the SSD is likely to outlast the device which it is installed within. As speedy solid-state drives began to rise as a realistic alternative to the decades-old hard drive for consumers, early adopters worried that their new SSDs would fail faster and more frequently. But that might not be the case now, if…

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Hey Alexa! Don’t answer my question with a @#$% Ad!

It is bad enough when you are doing a search in your browser you get presented with ‘Sponsored’ (ad) results. At least if you asked Alexa something she would provide a generic and ad-free response. Depending on the questions asked that could soon change as early as next year. A new Alexa feature has been announced at the Amazon Accelerate conference called “Customers Ask Alexa,” which allows brands to submit their own answers to questions you may ask the device. One such example was “How can I remove pet hair from my carpet?” which would usually provide generic tips or…

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Microsoft Edge Users Beware: Tech Support Scam via Newsfeed

Microsoft’s Edge Browser is built off of Chrome is the default (and if S Mode is enabled only) browser for Windows 10 and 11. Some users are being feed fake stories in their Microsoft Edge Newsfeed which when clicked-on can bring up a fake Microsoft Defender Security Center landing page with a toll-free number to call Microsoft. Alternatively, clicking the ‘ad’ may bring the user to a decoy page. This is yet another variation of the ever evolving and popular Tech Support Scams. These fake ads/stories have a catchy headline and picture such as ‘Man Finds a Hidden Cave Inside…

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Google’s Fails to have EU Anti-Trust Ruling Overturned

While Google failed to get Europe’s General Court to overturn the Commission’s ruling on its Android antitrust case, they did manage to get their fine reduced from €4.3 Billion to €4.125 Billion (~$4.121 Billion USD). The Commission previously found that Google acted illegally by making it mandatory for Android manufacturers to pre-install its apps and its search engine. By doing so, the Commission said that the company was able to “cement its dominant position in general internet search.” Approximately 80 percent of smart devices in Europe as of July 2018 were running Android OS, and people tend to be content…

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HP Inc. to Settle with EU Printer Customers over Dynamic Security Issues

HP promoted their Dynamic Security System to their customers as a way to “upgrade their experience and maintain the integrity of its printing systems.” Instead many consumers found their Internet connected HP printers turned into an expensive paper-weight when their devices refused to work. According to a US Class Action Lawsuit: In or around late October and early November, 2020, HP caused to be transmitted a firmware update containing malware designed to lock out then-compatible third-party supply cartridges. HP wrote, designed, and transmitted the firmware or a portion thereof solely for the purpose of disabling third-party supply cartridges, which were…

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Volkswagen ID. Buzz (Electric) Microbus

Announced back in 2017, Volkswagen has released in Europe the long awaited electric version of the classic VW Type 2 or Bus. A US version will be released sometime in 2023. The primary (and at this time known) differences between the European and US versions of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Microbus are primarily the wheelbase length and seating configuration. The European version is more of compact SUV with two rows of passenger seating and a (small) cargo area in the rear. The US version will be more like the original Type 2 or Bus with a longer wheel base allowing…

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Intel shows off 80Gbps Thunderbolt

With the forthcoming USB 4 2.0 spec being announced earlier this month Thunderbolt users were wondering if Intel would followed suit. The answer appears to be yes  with a prototype 80Gbps Thunderbolt demo shown in Intel’s Israel facility. Intel is the key developer of Thunderbolt, which was co-developed with Apple. The I/O specification is the foundation of a small but growing ecosystem of Thunderbolt docks, which connect to a USB-C/Thunderbolt port on a PC and use the I/O bandwidth to connect to various peripherals, including displays and storage. Displays, not surprisingly, suck up the most bandwidth. The current Thunderbolt specification, known as…

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iPhone 14 Battery Replacement $99

While the future iPhone 14 does not include a charging brick and the battery replacement is going to run you $99 ($30 more than previous generations) at least you battery is replaceable. Most Android phones after 2010 switched to a non-removable battery mainly to make the phones thinner (by not having a removable back cover). Despite the name, non-removable batteries are removable, but not very easily. Most consumers will need to purchase specials tools or take their device to a repair shop.. However, many Android owners may not be aware of this or don’t want to bother with the hassle and…

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Your Search Data is Being Leaked to Advertisers

Ever notice how when you search for something on one site, you suddenly start seeing advertisements for that ‘something’ following you around wherever you go on the Internet? May be you don’t even really pay attention anymore because it is so common. Indeed it is very common: Security researchers have found that roughly eight out of ten websites featuring a search bar will leak their visitor’s search terms to online advertisers like Google. This practice has the implication of breaching the users’ privacy and leaking sensitive information to a massive network of third parties who can then use this data…

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The Big Problem with Electric Vehicles

During the first half of 2022 there has been lots of talk about pushing the folks in the US from our internal combustion engine (ICE) cars to Electric Vehicles (EV). California (and several other states who blindly follow California) have recently decided by 2035 no new gas cars can be sold in the state. This is not an out-right ban on ICE cars and not to say residents can’t purchase from a neighboring state that still sells ICE cards. General Motor’s wants their Buick brand to be EV only by 2030. GM is offering to buy-out dealers who don’t want…

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