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Faster Forward: September 19, 2010 - September 25, 2010

Troubled tablets? RIM's 'BlackPad,' HP's Win 7 slate

Now that Apple's shown how to make a tablet computer a mass-market phenomenon with the iPad (coming to Target Oct. 3), everybody else apparently wants to get into the market. But not everybody else will succeed. Google's Android operating system -- if manufacturers can resist the temptation to screw it...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 24, 2010; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Gadgets, Mobile, Windows  
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Notes on three new Android phones: Verizon's Fascinate and Droid 2, Sprint's Epic

This weekend's column started out as a comparison of a few different Android phones. Along the way, it turned into a different story, one much less likely to make me new friends in the PR departments of the wireless carriers. Here, I'd like to return to where I started: my...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 24, 2010; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Mobile  
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Facebook is down. No, it's up. Yes, it's down again.

Facebook is having some awkward moments today. First it wasn't responding at all. Then it returned, but a lot of functions--like, say, updating your status--didn't work. Now it's down again, throwing off "DNS" errors (meaning it's dropped off the Domain Name System map that lets you connect to a Web...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 23, 2010; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  Social media  
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Blockbuster goes bust

Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning, and the saddest thing about the news may be how many people respond by saying, "They're still around?" The Dallas-based company says this is a prearranged filing that will boil its debt down from nearly $1 billion to "$100 million or less."...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 23, 2010; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Video  
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Facebook etiquette: Let friends break their own big news

Last weekend, my sister-in-law got engaged. After I congratulated her on the phone, I thought it would be fitting to post a note to that effect on her Facebook profile -- but then saw she hadn't updated it with the news. Now what? There's only one thing to do in...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 23, 2010; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Digital culture, Social media  
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ZoneAlarm gives people a new reason to hate security software

You've probably seen this before: An alarming pop-up alert warns you that "Your PC may be in danger!" and concludes with an all-caps prompt: "GET PROTECTION." But in this case, the pop-up wasn't a "scareware" scam launched to frighten Windows users into installing Trojan horse malware. It came from CheckPoint...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 22, 2010; 3:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Security  
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Late-night experiment: Rooting an Android phone

I've been complaining lately about the increasing amounts of carrier-installed, un-removable junk apps on smartphones, and in particular those devices running Google's Android operating system. Last night I did something about it: I engaged in some entry-level hacking to remove some of this unwanted baggage from a Sprint HTC Hero...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 22, 2010; 9:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Linux, Mobile, Tips  
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Latest ACSI survey shows PC vendors doing better but still trailing Apple

Our computers' latest approval ratings are in from the University of Michigan's American Consumer Satisfaction Index, and for once they offer good news for both Apple and competitors who sell Windows PCs. The ACSI's results, based on phone surveys in which respondents are asked to rank their satisfaction with various...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 21, 2010; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Computers, Recommended reading  
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Twitter users hit with 'mouse over' hack

Because the Twitter attack's bait looked so innocuous -- it's not uncommon for Twitter users to play around with funny embedded graphics in their otherwise text-only updates -- many people fell for them.

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 21, 2010; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Security, Social media  
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4G forecast: More details on Verizon's LTE plans

Verizon Wireless will bring a next generation of wireless broadband to 30 "National Football League cities" by the end of this year--but you'll have to wait a little longer to find out just which places it has in mind and what its 4G service will cost, among other details. The...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 21, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Mobile, Telecom  
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Latest oddball tech rumor: The 'Facebook phone'

If you use your Facebook friends list as your phone book, why not get your next phone from the widely-used social-networking site? That seems to be the thought behind the weird story that Facebook is developing its own mobile phone. TechCrunch first posted a report on this Sunday morning, boldly...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 20, 2010; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Mobile, Social media  
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PostPoints tip: When in doubt, search by date

Despite what some of their creators might claim, search engines cannot, in fact, read your mind. As a result, their suggestions often fail to match what you had in mind or bury the right answer in a flood of less-relevant links. One simple way to steer around those problems is...

By Rob Pegoraro  | September 20, 2010; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tips  
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