DCTech News and Views


Surface Pro 3 Released in U.S. & Canada

Surface ProMicrosoft’s Surface Pro 3, billed as “the tablet that can replace your laptop,” is now on sale in the U.S. and Canada.

Starting at $799, the 12-inch Surface Pro 3 is available through Microsoft stores, MicrosoftStore.com, and retailers like Best Buy, Staples, and Tiger Direct. Microsoft also announced that Intel Core i3 and i7 versions of the Surface Pro 3 are due to go on sale in the U.S. and Canada from August 1st.

The Surface Pro 3 sports a 2,160 x 1,440 display, which Panos Panay, head of Microsoft’s Surface division, said provides the “highest contrast ratios in the industry.”

China: New App Scans License Plates & Lets Users Text Drivers

License_PlateIf you reckon privacy is an issue in your country, spare a thought for the Chinese. The folk at GM’s China R&D division have produced a prototype app called DiDi Plate for Android smartphones. Using the app, drivers can snap a picture of someone’s license plate, which is then used with an identification database to send that driver unsolicited text messages.

To add even more fuel to the invasion of privacy fire, recipients of the messages do not need to have the app installed themselves, any driver with a cell phone can be texted simply by having a license plate on their car.

Hmmm, as if texting while driving isn’t bad enough on its own!


Kingston & PNY Caught Changing SSD Components

kingston ssdAccording to a recent report published by ExtremeTech, two leading SSD manufacturers, Kingston and PNY, have been caught baiting and switching components.

It works like this; the companies provide new model SSDs to reviewers for benchmarking and assessment. Then, when the favorable reviews have all been published, they swap out components with cheaper ones for general release. The SDDs performance then suffers and does not mach the becnhmarks reported by reviewers.

Kingston, and now PNY, are launching SSDs with one hardware specification, and then quietly changing the hardware configuration after reviews have gone out. Unhappy customers are loudly complaining that they’ve been cheated, tricked into paying for a drive they otherwise wouldn’t have purchased.”<source>

Hacked: Cupid Media Stored Passwords in Plain Text

heartsIn what must surely rate as the most irresponsible security setup ever, Australian online dating company Cupid Media has been found guilty of breaching the privacy act by storing its members’ passwords in plain text. Yes, plain text, no encryption or masking whatsoever. In other words, zero security.

The company, which operates over 35 niche websites, was investigated after members’ details, including full names, dates of birth, email addresses, and passwords were found on a server operated by hackers.


The end result – the company received no punishment whatsoever. Unbelievable!

Apple Cuts Prices Across its iPod Range

ipodtouchThe iPod has been struggling to survive in an increasingly smartphone-centric world. So, in an effort to prolong the life of its once ubiquitous music player, Apple has cut pricing across its iPod range and upgraded the popular 16GB model.

As of 26th June, the iPod touch 32GB model drops from $299 down to $249, while the price of the 64GB version has been slashed by $100, down to $299.

The 16GB model has been replaced by a version that now includes the same features as those with higher storage capacity. Until now, the 16GB iPod touch has only been available in one color and lacked a rear camera. It now includes the same 5MP iSight rear cam as its big brothers, and color options are unified for all models regardless of onboard storage.

The 16GB model’s price has also been cut, although rather more modestly, down to $199 from its previous $229.

 

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.