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8 Cool New Laptops

The last 6 months has featured the release of some truly cool laptops. Some of the coolest designs have come in the form of Ultrabooks and if you've done any laptop shopping in the past couple months you've probably undoubtedly seen them. PCMag has come up with a list of their favorite 8 new laptops (3 of them are Ultrabooks). 

It's bad form to beg for bookmarks, but you really ought to visit's laptop pages regularly. If you haven't been, you've missed a crop of fast, fascinating, and feature-packed portables in categories ranging from desktop replacements to media centers—cool new laptops like the eight listed here by way of example.

Thinner-than-thin and lighter-than-light laptops built to Intel's ultrabook specification have dominated the laptop news in recent months, first with 13.3-inch and now with 14- and 15-inch models reaching the market. We've included one of the first (from Toshiba) and one of the latest (from HP) ultrabooks in this roundup, and have new ultrabooks of all sizes in the review pipeline. 

Tim Cook = #1, Steve Jobs #2

In a new "anonymous" survey of Apple employees it was found that Apple employees rank new CEO Tim Cook slightly ahead of previous CEO Steve Jobs. Now to be fair both CEO's have huge approval ratings (Jobs at 95%, Cook at 97%) but the biggest news is that it appears that employees are accepting the new CEO who some thought was going to have a hard time winning over people. Gigaom has the full details on this story,

For all the handwringing over how Tim Cook could ever live up to his predecessor Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple, employees seem to think he’s doing well — even better than Jobs.

That’s according to anonymous Apple employee rankings of their chief executives on job hunting and review site On the site, employees have given Cook a 97 percent approval rating between March 2011 to March 2012. That just beats out Jobs’ ranking of 95 percent, which was calculated with Apple employees rankings between March 2010 and March 2011. (Note: While Cook wasn’t officially named CEO of Apple until August 2011, he had been interim CEO since Jobs went on medical leave in January 2011.)

Google makes more from iOS than Android

In a new lawsuit involving Google and Oracle it is being claimed by Google that they don't make much money off Android directly and in fact they make more money from Apple's iOS than their own operating system. Of course you can't feel to bad for Google as they have an annual revenue of 38 Billion. Also interesting to note is that Google makes approximately 30 dollars per PC user each year while mobile users only make them about 10. The Guardian has more details.

Android generated less than $550m in revenues for Google between 2008 and the end of 2011, if figures provided by the search giant as part of a settlement offer with Oracle ahead of an expected patent and copyright infringement trial are an accurate guide.

The figures also suggest that Apple devices such as the iPhone, which use products such as its Maps as well as Google Search in its Safari browser, generated more than four times as much revenue for Google as its own handsets in the same period.

Why one Mac user loves Windows 8

The reaction to Windows 8 has been a mixed bag due to the redesign of Windows that so many people have become used to over the past 17 years. One analyst over at CNN who has been a Mac user for the past 11 years is pretty excited about Windows 8 and shares why he thinks Microsoft has built a winner. The fact that one person is excited isn't news but its interesting to see how someone who stopped using Windows over a decade ago is willing to come back thanks to the new redesign. 

I've been a Mac user for about 11 years. And since I made the switch, I never thought the day would come when I'd say this:

I'm excited for the next version of Windows.

This fall, Microsoft will launch Windows 8, a radical redesign from the Windows you've grown accustomed to since Windows 95 made its debut 17 years ago.

Thursday Graphics Stack

As we kick off the hardware news today, we've got a stack of graphics cards to get out of the way.  If you've got a bundle - consider the new GTX 680 - it's darn fast.


No used games allowed on next PlayStation

PlayStation's next console codenamed "Orbis" (which is slated for a 2013 release) is rumored to be sporting a feature that will make you unable to play "used" titles on their new console. Basically when you buy a new game it will be tied to your PlayStation account and will make it unplayable if you sell it (or presumably if you lend it to your friend). GameSpot has the full story that will make console gamers a little more angry.

As for the first part of the rumor, multiple sources told the blog that the Orbis will sport some sort of anti-used-game measure. Full Orbis games will be available via Blu-ray disc or as a PlayStation Network download and will be locked to a single PSN account. Players will not be able to circumvent the system by remaining offline, as the source said users will be forced to be connected to the PSN to boot up their games. 

Now before you say "Screw Sony I'm buying an Xbox" you might also want to know that the next Xbox may also include some method of blocking gamers from buying used games as well.  Gamespot has that story as well.

Looks like you want used games you'll just have to stick with your N64...


Tweets into Toilet Paper

Finally a product that takes your Twitter tweets and turns them into a useful product.... toilet paper. A new startup will make you 4 rolls of toilet paper with your Twitter stream on them for the low price of $35 bucks. VentureBeat has the story,

What if you could take all those tweets you blast out during the day and ruminate on them in a place where your mind is free to wander and relax. A new startup for just $35, will turn your tweet stream into four rolls of toilet paper. The homepage tagline reads, “Social media has never been so disposable.”

How law enforcement hacks phones

This next article over at Forbes shows just how law enforcement can hack your iPhone or Android phone in order to get information on you if they need to. They've even got a 10 minute video that shows how they do it (even if you have a passcode on your phone). It's a pretty long video but worth a watch if you are interested in mobile security.

Set your iPhone to require a four-digit passcode, and it may keep your private information safe from the prying eyes of the taxi driver whose cab you forget it in. But if law enforcement is determined to see the data you’ve stored on your smartphone, those four digits will slow down the process of accessing it by less than two minutes.

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