Saturday, January 30, 2010

10 Ways to fix your monitor problems

Computer monitor problems can be the result of a number of culprits, including electrical and cabling issues, interference, a problem with the computer's video adapter or drivers or a problem with the monitor itself. Use the following tips to help diagnose problems you may be having with your monitor.

Brief Troubleshooting Guide:
  1. First thing first! Check to make sure your monitor is on! Some monitors have more than one power button or switch - check to make sure they're all switched on.
  2. One of the most common problems is when the computer monitor fails to blink the green light, which indicates that the computer is not attached to any source of power. Most of the monitors normally include an activity light in their front which is automatically turned on as soon as the computer is switched on. However, if the monitor fails to blink the green light, it will not get turned on thus, indicating that the monitor is not able to receive any power. An individual can easily tackle this problem by checking whether the monitor plug is properly attached to the main power switch or not. Remove the electric cord from the back of the monitor, then put it back in place. Plug the monitor's electric cord into a different outlet. If you're using a UPS or surge protector, plug it directly into a wall outlet.
  3. Another computer monitor problem is that the lights are turned on, yet the monitor fails to work and connect with the power switch. In such situations where the green light is turned on but the monitor is not able to depict any images on the screen, it is better to check the resolution settings. It could be possible that the brightness and contrast settings were accidentally changed, thus turning the screen pitch dark. Remove the VGA cable from the computer and monitor and put it back in place. Make sure the connection is tight. Remember that each cable has two connectors and you should verify both of them.
  4. One of the main reasons why computer monitors go blank is - wetness. Believe it or not, when your computer monitor is exposed to humid air, sometimes water can condense and accumulate in the monitor. This causes the monitor to malfunction and go blank. I've had this happen to my desktop PC at least three times before. What you need to do is to leave the monitor alone for some time and allow the water to evaporate. That usually solves the problem.
  5. Attach the monitor to a different computer. If the monitor still doesn't work, replace the monitor's cable. Make sure the cable is less than 5 feet long. If it still doesn't work, the monitor will need to be replaced or repaired. If it works with no problem on the other computer, troubleshoot your video card.
  6. Unplug your computer from the monitor and power outlet. Remove the cover. Pull the video card out carefully of the slot on the system board. Push it back into place. Be sure the connection is secure.
  7. Poor picture quality is yet another common PC monitor problem which may seem frivolous but can actually hamper the user’s performance. The image on the screen may appear blurry or distorted at times. This problem can be easily treated by restoring the default settings of the screen resolution. Some computer screens are not able to clearly represent images which have a relatively higher screen resolution. In such situations, it is better to check the resolution settings once again so that the monitor can clearly depict the image.
  8. Determine whether the problem is caused by electrical interference. Electrical interference will make the monitor appear jumpy or wavy. Move any speakers, radios, fans or other items that can cause electrical interference away from the monitor.
  9. If after monitor connection, the picture is still bad, enter safe mode and uninstall the monitor there to let computer reinstall it upon reboot:
    1. Start the system in Safe Mode by rebooting the system and pressing the F8 key once per second while it is rebooting. Once you see the Windows Startup menu, select Safe Mode from the listed options. Press Enter.
    2. Go to Start>> Right click My Computer>> Properties>> Hardware tab>> Device Manager button.
    3. Click the plus (+) symbol next to the Monitors entry to expand it.
    4. Once expanded, right click on the installed monitor(s) and select Uninstall.
    5. Exit the Device Manager and restart your system.
  10. Another common monitor problem is that individuals do not take care of the safety instructions and end up cleaning the surface of the screen with liquid detergents which may harm the monitor again. It is better to use a dry cloth to clean the monitor screen and steer clear from liquid cleaners.
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Sources and Additional Information:
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbysymptom/ht/testmonitor.htm

Monday, January 25, 2010

How you can share High Resolution pictures online

Nowadays, there are multiple websites on the web, where you can share your pictures and entire galleries for free with your friends. But giving you limited or unlimited abilities to load your pictures, the host usually limits the size and the memory amount per image you can submit. That causes certain loss of the picture quality and constrains the observation of the small details you might be fond of. Sending these images as email attachment causes even bigger headache, since email clients have strict restrictions on the attachment size.

So, when you share a photo in e-mail or online, you generally need to shrink the image down to a manageable size, throwing away most of those pixels in the process. A few thousand pixels of unexamined background from the raw image are shrunk to a dozen indistinct pixels. And if your friends are going print the photo, the detail locked into the original photo are completely lost.

Closr, a new free Web2 online service, addresses this problem by letting you upload the photos in their full-resolution size. The only limitation is that the file must be under 100MB, while a standard 12-megapixel photo is just up to 5 MB.

Closr is also a great place to show off huge panoramic photos made by stitching several high-megapixel images together. Closr can easily accept 20MB and 30MB panoramas with no complaints.

To use Closr, you must register with a screen name, e-mail, and password. Then upload a photo. It will appear in a widget on the Website, which you can use for panning and zooming to see the details that your camera captured. The magic happens when you go full screen.

Click the icon in the upper right corner of the widget, and the photo will go full screen, so you can zoom in and pan around more easily.

You can share uploaded photos by sending the URL via e-mail. If you have a Web site or blog, you can embed the widget: Click Share at the bottom of an image, and then simply copy the script at the bottom of the next page and embed in your site or blog.

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The permanent link for the image, posted above, is http://www.closr.it/show/JV7hPfjaBE3. So, you can check the service capabilities there.

The posted image isn’t static. Rather, the widget is interactive, so you can click in the picture and drag it around or use the zoom buttons for a better view.

Main address: http://www.closr.it/


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Future of Technology: Scientific Predictions for 2010 -2014

Last year, I posted an article on the most famous predictions of the past, which failed. But it is nice to be smart thereafter and laugh on the old-time dreams. What about the future? Can we make our own forecasts on the base of our modern experience and knowledge? Let’s see.

Elon University posted timeline of predicted inventions, adaptations, developments and discoveries for the nearest future through its Pew Internet Project. Check and make your own assessment on how likely the prediction to fulfill in the offered time frame. And as time goes, you can come back and check how the presented estimate and your own points of view align with reality.

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2010 - An Improved Internet


The National Science Foundation is funding a program to develop a re-design of the next-generation Internet, creating a new network that will be suitable for years to come. It is called the Global Environment for Networking Investigations (GENI). The new Internet will focus on security as its main concern. It is expected to be able to handle the increase in Internet traffic expected as more people come online, and also be geared for the increase in content-delivery demands as more video and other large-scale projects are made available online.

The development got under way in August 2005 when the U.S. government provided six small planning grants to the National Science Foundation to begin the project. Internet pioneers support the NSF idea; Leonard Kleinrock said it must be built to handle the boom in internet demands from sources other than computers, such as cellular phones, GPS/RFID-type tracking and hand-held organizers; David Clark, a senior research scientist at the Laboratory for Computer Science at MIT, said while the turn-of-the-century internet is operating at an acceptable level, "There are some things where you say, 'That doesn't work right.'" He said he expects this project will go beyond current efforts such as IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6), which would only incrementally improve the internet.

Goals for the GENI initiative include new naming, addressing and identity architectures for the internet; advanced security architecture; a design built to handle a great deal more material at faster rates; traffic documentation; and new applications and services. The NSF announcement said GENI will "enable the vision of pervasive computing and bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds by including mobile, wireless and sensor networks."

2010 - RFID/GPS Can Track Anything


Radio-frequency identification detectors are already in heavy use today, but by 2010 they will be even more ubiquitous, woven invisibly into everything everywhere. As of 2006 companies were using RFID in: ID cards to track employees at work; pre-paid passes that record usage and deduct payments at mass-transit systems and tollbooths; tags that monitor student attendance and location in some schools; tracking of shipments of goods and delivery of services.

Global positioning systems (GPS) allow the calculation of the exact position of anything anywhere in the world. By 2006, these were being incorporated in car-safety systems and in cellular phones, making the devices tools by which people can be tracked and located.
By 2010, you may be able to skip going through any sort of checkout and payment process when you shop or travel. You and all items you intend to purchase will have RFID tags; as you pass out of the door, you will be instantly billed for the items you carry. Passports are also being equipped with RFID tags. Hitachi introduced the tags above in 2005. They are tiny when compared with the tip of a pen.

Some humans and animals are already carrying RFID devices implanted under their skin for identification purposes. Lost pets can be found and returned more easily when they carry such tags. Humans tie their medical records to the RFID number, and emergency personnel can access their identity and medical history (blood type, allergies, pre-existing problems) by using an RFID reader and matching a code number to a patient's file.

This can also be tied to the idea of "IP on everything," which network engineers use to explain that nearly all material items will be networked in the future, from shoes to toasters.

The sort of continuous tracking enabled by GPS, RFID and IP on everything has some negative implications in regard to freedom and privacy. These tools can be used by criminals or others to exert control over people and track them. A debate will continue to rage over the negatives and positives of the use of these devices and their networking.

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2010 - Interactive Guidebooks Educate


Innovators are developing interactive guidebooks tourists can use while traveling in vehicles or on foot, alone or in groups all over the world. These tools use GPS signals and allow travelers to hear a guided narration of what they are viewing along with related pictures and sound effects. Some of the places mapped to introduce the new guidebooks are Alcatraz in San Francisco, the Louvre in Paris, Edinburgh Castle and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. These types of guides will also be applied in other settings, including industrial training on special equipment, possibly even being used to train robots in future decades beyond this period of time.

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2011 - SUPER Supercomputers


Computational capabilities are accelerating rapidly, as indicated by IBM's announcement in 2005 that it had doubled the performance of the world's fastest computer, named Blue Gene/L (pictured at left), from 136.8 trillion calculations per second (teraflops) to 280.6 trillion teraflops.

Supercomputer speed rankings are released every six months, and there is a healthy competition among top computer scientists. The United States has plans to create a supercomputer with petaflop capability by 2010. A petaflop - which equates to 1,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second - is equal to 1,000 teraflops.

A supercomputer that will operate at a speed of 10 petaflops (or 10 quadrillion floating-point operations per second) is the 2011 goal of Japan's technology ministry. This would give it a capability close to the computational capacity of the human brain. High-speed computers are used to run simulations (for example, to study the formation of galaxies and to project the paths of hurricanes). Many scientists say they expect that computers will soon surpass the intelligence capacity of humans.

2012 - Food as Designer Medicine


Nearly everything we eat is derived from livestock, crops and microorganisms bred specifically as food. Humans have been modifying these products and redistributing the genes geographically for most of their history. Thanks to gene research, computer modeling and the sharing of new knowledge in science and technology through the internet, the positive attributes of modified foods will continue to be refined.

Crops will continue to be developed to be resistant to diseases, pests and herbicides; they will be developed to screen out allergens (such as the allergenic proteins found in nuts); vaccines will be bred into plants or possibly into livestock - for instance in milk in dairy herds. Fruit can be bred to carry additional essential vitamins and other medicines. People may be able to get necessary medical treatments just by eating.

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2012 - Intelligent Fabrics, Materials


By 2012, clothing may be equipped with sensors that can detect body warmth and send a signal to the thermostat controlling the temperature of the room to automatically decrease or increase the temperature of the room based on your body temperature. The sensitive fabrics may also be able to sense your mood and can be set to automatically adjust the lighting in a room.

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Clothes may eventually be able to sense and respond to the weather, monitor your vital signs, deliver medications, interface with information systems and automatically protect injuries.

E-ink and e-paper and flexible, foldable computer displays were already in testing stages in 2006 and by 2012 to 2015 they may be common. They can allow, for instance, the easy and instantaneous changing of the printed price tags on every item in a store; easy-to-change signage on trucks, inside and outside retail outlets and along highways; the constant updating of the stories and photos in a newspaper - with moving photos or video possible.

Other Possibilities by 2010-2014


The following are excerpted from the British Telecom Technology Timeline (information was compiled by Ian Neild and Ian Pearson from worldwide sci-tech reports in 2005):
  • Artificial Intelligence units used as classroom assistants
  • Toys have built-in tracking technology
  • People have some virtual friends but don't know which ones are virtual
  • Mood-sensitive home d├ęcor comes into use
  • First divorce due to virtual affair with computer game character
  • Addiction to online games seen as a major problem
  • DNA used to assemble electronic circuits
  • First bacterium assembled from scratch
  • AI soccer teams as TV entertainment
  • Chips with 10 billion transistors
  • Electronic prescriptions reduce fraud and improve speed
  • Quiz shows screen for implant technologies
  • 24/7 blood-chemistry monitoring
  • Laser-activated drug capsules
  • Ultrasound or radio-activated medicine capsules
  • Blood-analysis chips
  • Supermarkets used as major source of medical alerts
  • Remote control of insects by neural implants
  • Emotion detection used in businesses to select front-line staff
  • Instant electronic identification of pathogens
  • Lifestyle monitoring and insurance linked to medical records
  • Online surgeries dominate first-line medical care
  • Video tattoos
  • Cyber-drugs (electronically activated drugs)
  • Automated pain relief for soldiers
  • Bacteria in toothpaste to attack plaque
  • Antibacterial coatings on domestic appliances, phones, etc., especially in hospitals
  • Smells embedded in ordinary household objects
  • Flexible displays used for body monitoring and alerts
  • Emotional jewelry
  • Hand-held scanner to detect tumors using tissue resonance interferometer
  • Smart pill bottles remotely monitor medication taking and use alarms
  • Hotels offer some hospital services
  • Extensive remote-sensing use in environmental management
  • Effective prediction of most natural disasters
  • Chips on food packaging tell when food is at its best
  • Most homes have wireless networks
  • Smart paint available (contains microchips or nanomaterials)
  • Digital bathroom mirrors
  • Personalized response from household gadgets
  • Mood-sensitive light fixtures/bulbs
  • Smart, responsive home and work environments
  • Virtual windows open new worlds
  • 1 billion internet users in 2010
  • Automatic video capture of personal events
  • Electronically mediated tribes become major social structures
  • Viewers able to pick any angle or player view while watching sports events
  • Augmented reality at sports grounds to enhance spectator experience
  • Frequent use of multiple Net identities causes personality disorders
  • Cheap miniature cameras cause social backlash
  • Personal black boxes record everyday life
  • Ability to digitally replace or enhance people in your field of view
  • 3D "Minority Report"-style air display for information appliances
  • Projected augmented reality
  • Full-voice interaction with computers
  • Voice synthesis quality up to human standard
  • Data loss because of format changes becomes major business problem
  • Chips with 1 billion transistors
  • Quantum effect interferometer for flux measurement
  • Use of carbon fullerenes for on chip interconnect
  • Self diagnosis using gene chips for domestic use
  • Liquid drop lenses for camera phones, etc.
  • Terahertz scanners
  • Self-organizing adaptive integrated circuits
  • Molecular sized switches
  • Intelligent materials with built-in sensors, storage, and effectors
  • Smart skin for intelligent clothing and direct human repair
  • Use of bacteria to assemble small circuits
  • Optical neuro-computers
  • Simple quantum computer, 4 Qubits
  • 100GB memory sticks (typical 2005 HD capacity)
  • Ultra-simple computing - just-in-time OS
  • Bacteria used in detection of explosives
  • Autonomous weapons authorized to fire at own discretion
  • Household access by facial recognition
  • Criminal tagging augmented with video and audio sensors
  • Extensive use of electronics to monitor police behavior
  • Immersive VR shopping booths
  • 60 percent of internet accesses from mobile devices
  • Single address for emails, phone calls, etc.
  • HDTV over broadband
  • Assisted lane-keeping systems in trucks and buses
  • Most new cars fitted with positioning systems as standard
  • Pollution-monitor chips built into cars
  • Light-emitting fabrics used in clothes
  • Smell-emitting clothing, uses context
  • TV-quality video screens built into clothes
  • Jewelry that changes shape, color, and texture
  • Portable translation device for simple conversation
  • Shape-changing fabrics
  • Terahertz jammers in clothes as personal modesty shield
  • Dual appearance - you can change how you look with quick tech
  • Laws restrict what can be shown on video clothing

Friday, January 15, 2010

Automatic Distribution of your Pictures to all your Social Networks

Pikchur is a simple service that updates your social networks and microblogging platforms with pictures. Upload photos, made with your mobile devices while on the go. And do not have to spend any more time to spread them to your multiple profiles at popular social networks. Save your pictures at once and be sure that your friends will instantly get them.

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With respect to your privacy, you can choose making a Pik itself and or Geo location (place where it was taken) private. If you make a Pik private, it will not show up on our public timeline or your public profile. This does not mean that no one can view it; your friends will just need a direct link to do so. If you make your location private, the corresponding pik's geo location will be hidden from everyone but yourself.

No need to signup, just login with one of the many supported platforms and start sending your Piks.

The service is completely free, but if you are sending photos or video from your mobile device, please verify with your wireless carrier with respect to your MMS/email capabilities and related fees.

Currently supported services: Twitter, Tumblr, Jaiku, Facebook, FriendFeed, Identi.ca, Plurk, Brightkite, Totspo, Koornk, Flickr, OVI, and Posterous.

Updating your micro blogging and social networks "on the go" via your mobile device is easy and straightforward:
1) Login with one of the many supported platforms.
2) Create a pikchur posting email.
3) If you would like you can also sync all your other platforms under the "Accounts" tabs in your dashboard.
4) From your mobile device either by MMS or email send your photos and videos to your "posting email". If you are using MMS, the "posting email" goes where you would normally place the phone number of the person you wish to send the photo to. For quick access the next time be sure to add your posting email to your phone book!
5) Please remember to add a status message in the subject line of your MMS/email or leave the subject blank and enter your message in the body of your MMS/email.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Free Online PDF Unlocker from Lifehacker

If you are working with PDF files, you have probably notice that sometimes these files are equipped with certain security restrictions, not allowing you to perform regular editing operations. These files are protected with passwords, and you need certain software utilities to unlock them.

Lifehacker is offering you a simple on-the-run solution to unlock the files without extra software or password. Simply drag a copy-protected PDF onto PDF Unlocker's icon on the page http://lifehacker.com/396534/freeware-pdf-unlocker-enables-copypaste-functions-without-passwords, and a new, non-protected copy will be created.

The online utility will not remove the password, needed for more advanced operations with the file, but if you just need to unlock copy/paste and editing restrictions on a PDF, it will make a job.  

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Stydial: Voicemail as Free Alternative to Text Messaging

How the modern communication works? You call the number, and if the number is not available, you leave a voicemail. Sometimes, you feel even better, when the number is not available, since it is easier in certain occasions being able to deliver one-way message instead of being involved in the two-way conversation. Would not be great, if it will be in your power choosing to leave the voicemail directly without impatiently waiting if your counterpart is available? Yes, its like leaving voice SMS.

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If there is a question, Internet provides solution. Stydial free services have answer for your needs. Here are the list of potential situation, offered by Stydial, when provided solution might significantly helping you save time, money, and mental discomfort:
  • Give your fingers a break
    You need to get some pertinent, detailed information to someone quickly but you don't have time for the idle chit chat that would certainly follow if you called them. Typing it all out in a text message would just be agony! Instead just leave a quick voicemail and your fingers will thank you.
  • Maximize your time
    You are working on a dozen different projects and have as many calls to return. Instead of being stuck on the phone with just one, leave each a voicemail with an update and you may just have enough time to enjoy Happy Hour.
  • Create the illusion of communication
    You maxed out your emergency credit card the first week of school. Your parents are looking for some answers. A text message isn't going to cut it but a voicemail would mean that you tried calling them.
  • Let them know you care
    From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, your days are hectic! Friends and family call you and leave messages and you never seem to have enough time to call them back. Now you can leave a sweet voicemail for each and the sound of your voice will surely brighten their day.
  • Get your point across without interruption
    Upon your friend's recommendation, you decide to go to a resort in the Caribbean. What she neglects to mention is that it is under loud construction. Leave her a voicemail so she can hear the disdain in your voice and take an apologetic stance when she calls you back.
  • Have your cake and eat it too
    You desperately need to call your girlfriend but she is a talker and you don't want to spend an hour on the phone with her because you would much rather watch the game with your buddies. Leave her a sweet voicemail and get a reprieve for the night.
  • Play the field more effectively
    You are dating quite a few people at the same time. You don't want to leave them all text messages because there is nothing romantic about that. But a nice voicemail to each would score you points.
  • Don't cause a ten car pile up
    You are in your car on your way home. Normally you would maneuver through traffic as you text message people creating a potential recipe for disaster. Instead just leave a few quick voicemails so you stay between the lines and out of the emergency room.
  • Just call to confirm
    You have several meetings scheduled for the afternoon. You want to call to confirm but you don't want to disturb them or give them the opportunity to reschedule. Being able to just leave them a voicemail is not only polite but advantageous.
  • Appease your family
    Your Aunt June sent you a sweater for your birthday. You need to call her to thank her but you don't want to listen to her go on and on about her recent hip replacement. Instead just leave her an appreciative voicemail that she can share with her bridge club.
  • Just tell your side of the story
    You just partied hard last night and going to work is just not on your radar today. You dread having to call your boss and answering any awkward questions he may have. Instead just leave him a simple voicemail letting him know that you won't be coming into work today.
  • Let them know that you didn't forget
    You just remembered that it is your friend's birthday. You want to call her but it is really late and you don't know if she is still up. Don't take the chance that you might awake her from her beauty sleep. Instead just leave her a sweet voicemail.
  • Don't be a bother
    You just gave an awesome pitch to a potential client. You want to call him and thank him for the opportunity but you know he is in another meeting and don't want to bother him. Leave him a voicemail and this personal touch may just tip the scales in your favor.
  • Buy yourself some time
    You go to a week long convention for work in Las Vegas and blow $5,000 the first night at the roulette table. You need to call your wife and tell her why she should hold off on making the monthly mortgage payment. Her voicemail will be much more understanding than she will.
Using the Service
-        Dial 267-SLYDIAL (267-759-3425) from any landline or mobile phone.
-        At the voice prompt, enter the U.S. mobile phone number of the person you want to slydial.
-        You will be directly connected to their voicemail. Leave them a voicemail, sit back and relax.

To use the slydial services, there is no need to register on site, or sign in to start. However, with free basic service, you are exposed to the advertising in every dialed call. With paid MYslydial premium services, you can enjoy rapid connection to voicemail with NO advertising as well as all Advanced Features including our slydial Apps for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile smartphones. Note that you can still use the service directly from all mobile phones without special applications install, just dialing the general number 267-SLYDIAL.
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