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ASUS Eee PC 1002HA gets official: $499 thin & light netbook

ASUS have officially announced the Eee PC 1002HA, which was first spotted back in October.  Borrowing some of the S101 luxury netbook’s stylings, including a brushed aluminum lid and wrist-rest, the 1002HA measures 1-inch thick and weighs around 2.6lbs.  Under the hood there’s the usual 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard-drive.

Connectivity includes WiFi draft-N, Bluetooth 2.0, a VGA port, three USB 2.0 ports and ethernet.  There’s also audio in/out, a 1.3-megapixel webcam and a 4-in-1 memory card reader.  ASUS claim you’ll get around 5hrs runtime in Windows XP from the two-cell 4,200mAh battery.

The ASUS Eee PC 1002HA is available from today, priced from $499.  Both Windows XP and Linux versions will be available, both including six months of 10GB online Eee Storage.

Press Release:

ASUS Introduces the Completely Redesigned Eee PC 1002HA Netbook

Slim, light, elegant; the new Eee PC 1002HA takes Netbook design to new heights while delivering the same legendary Eee PC mobility and ease of use

FREMONT, CALIFORNIA (December 1, 2008) – ASUS, a worldwide leader in notebook design and the fastest growing notebook brand, today announced the newest member of the award-winning Eee PC family – the Eee PC 1002HA. Featuring a redesigned chassis with a brushed aluminum LCD cover and palm rest, the 1002HA is a sophisticated, lightweight, easy to use netbook that brings a touch of elegance to every day computing.

Thin-and-light

The 1002HA was designed for maximum mobility, and weighs just 2.6lbs. while measuring 1-inch thick. To make the netbook as light as possible without sacrificing rigidity, ASUS chose to use brushed aluminum for both the LCD and the palm rests, which results in a beautiful look that allows the 1002HA to feel exceptionally solid despite its thin stature.

Super Hybrid Engine

The 10002HA features ASUS’ exclusive Super Hybrid Engine (SHE) technology, allowing it to both lower the CPU clock speed to increase battery life or crank the clock speed up even beyond the stock speed when maximum power is required. By pressing a button above the keyboard, the 1002HA can be quickly cycled through several performance states on-the-fly.

Eee Online Storage

In addition to its generous 160GB of primary storage, the 1002HA also includes 10GB of online storage via ASUS Eee Online Storage. This service allows users to share files with anyone, and to also have access to Eee Online Storage anywhere there is Internet access. Eee Online Storage is also very useful for backing up important files as well.

Wireless Connectivity

As the original netbook, the Eee PC is designed to keep users connected to the Internet and wireless devices at all times. To accomplish this, it features the latest wireless technology, including support for Bluetooth and blazing-fast 80211.n Wi-Fi, which is six times faster than standard 80211.g speeds.

Extra-long battery life

The ASUS Eee PC family of netbooks offer incredible battery life thanks to their power-saving design, and the 1002HA is no different. It uses a custom-made, polymer battery that boasts two high-capacity cells offering 4200mAh for up to five hours of unplugged computing time.

Availability

The Eee PC 1002HA will launch in the US on December 1st, 2008 with an MSRP of $499. It will be available through ASUS’s global network resellers. For full specs, please visit our website.

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Netgear Push2Tv Pvt1000 Widi Adapter Gets Official

Networking Leader Introduces Push2TV, Device that Transforms How Consumers View, Share and Enjoy Digital Content on the Big Screen TV

The capabilities of the new NETGEAR Push2TV and laptops with Intel Wireless Display powered by select 2010 Intel Core processors were demonstrated today as part of Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini’s keynote presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Show attendees can view Push2TV in Intel’s booth #7153 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, or in the NETGEAR suite #305 at the Las Vegas Marriott across from the Convention Center.

Later this month, Best Buy will be the first retailer to make this new networking solution available to consumers with the launch of an exclusive Blue Label 2.0 series consisting of three laptop computers developed in partnership with top PC OEM brands.

“Our customers are increasingly dependent on their laptops, and they tell us they’re looking for easy ways to migrate the content of their computers to their TVs more freely,” said Jason Bonfig, vice president of computing at Best Buy. “NETGEAR Push2TV is unique in how it seamlessly scales the viewing and browsing experience of the notebook PC to the TV along with an easy, intuitive way to connect and operate.”

The industry has taken several approaches to connect the TV to the Internet: network-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players; Digital Media Adapters (DMAs) and set-top boxes that connect to the Internet via the home network; dedicated home theater PCs or notebooks connected to the TV via HDMI or other cables; and other PC-to-TV applications. However, these solutions have multiple limitations, such as the websites they can access and the video codecs and file formats that they can play.

“Consumers have been frustrated by the existing solutions so we focused on ease of use during the design and collaboration process with NETGEAR,” said Erik Reid, director mobile marketing, Intel. “The result is that Intel Wireless Display, available on select laptops featuring Intel’s all new 2010 Core family processors, and the NETGEAR Push2TV adapter have taken the hassle out of sharing content, so consumers can sit back, relax and enjoy the content on their large screen TVs.”

The total solution consists of NETGEAR Push2TV connected to the TV and Intel Wireless Display preloaded on new-generation notebooks powered by the 2010 Intel Core Processor Family. Intel Wireless Display captures fully rendered display frames in real-time and sends the compressed video and audio directly to Push2TV via Intel My WiFi technology, the industry’s first commercially available Wi-Fi Personal Area Network (PAN) or Wi-Fi Direct solution, creating a protected short-hop high-bandwidth wireless connection between the laptop and Push2TV. When compared to other solutions where the TV adapter connects to the home network or gateway, Push2TV reduces the wireless bandwidth overhead by up to 50 percent.

“We are delighted to partner with Intel to be the first to bring Intel Wireless Display to the living room, providing customers with what is truly the easiest way to extend the PC viewing experience to the TV — wirelessly, seamlessly and over a protected link,” said Vivek Pathela, vice president and general manager of NETGEAR home and consumer products. “The combination of our Push2TV with a new-generation PC with Intel Wireless Display means consumers no longer have to crowd around their PCs to experience the infinite stream of Internet content with their friends and family.”

With a sleek black minimalist design, a very intuitive setup and Wi-Fi technology, Push2TV quickly beams the laptop screen to the HDTV over a protected link. Therefore, customers are able to easily access almost any content they would normally be able to access on their PCs.* More specifically, with Push2TV and a new generation notebook powered by the 2010 Intel Core Processor Family connected to the Internet and/or home network, consumers can:

— Sit back, relax and enjoy music, pictures and videos from their laptop, home network or the Internet in HD on their big screen TVs and home entertainment systems;

— Surf the web from the comfort of their couches, accessing many of today’s online movies and TV shows and going anywhere a web browser will take them;

— Easily move from room to room or take Push2TV on vacation or business trips due to its small, lightweight form factor.

Pricing and Availability

Backed by a one-year warranty and 24/7 technical support, the new NETGEAR Push2TV (PTV1000) will be available in the U.S. via Best Buy later this month. Push2TV will be bundled together with select laptop computers at promotional prices, or sold separately to end consumers at prices starting at $99.99 in the U.S. Best Buy Blue Label 2.0 laptops will retail starting at $899.99. In addition to wireless display, the Blue Label 2.0 laptops include features such as lighter weight and longer battery life.

About NETGEAR, Inc.

Copyright 2010 NETGEAR, Inc. NETGEAR, the NETGEAR logo and Push2TV are trademarks or registered trademarks of NETGEAR, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Intel and Intel Core are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries. Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance. Other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. Information is subject to change without notice. All rights reserved.

* Note: Intel Wireless Display requires a compatible Intel-based laptop PC, a third party TV adapter featuring Intel Wireless Display, and a TV with an available HDMI or Composite AV input. Compatible laptop PCs require a select 2010 Intel Core Processor Family CPU. For a complete list of requirements, visit chúng tôi Content requiring output protection such as Blu-ray and DVD movie playback is not supported. Check with your PC manufacturer for specific details. Wireless experience and transmission rates may be affected by external factors. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for NETGEAR, Inc.:

Asus Eeetop Pc Et2203T: 21.6

Solid performance, a 1080p touchscreen, and Blu-ray playback set the ET2203T up for success, but you might want to judge the display’s picture quality in person before you buy.

Although the 21.6-inch EeeTop 2203T all-in-one PC cuts corners a little here and there compared with other models on our Big Screen All-in-One PCs (Over 20 Inches) chart, Asus has done an excellent job of balancing features and price ($1050 as of February 1, 2010).

While the Aspire Z5610 might best the 2203T on performance, Acer’s all-in-one cuts total storage capacity from the 2203T’s 500GB to a less impressive 320GB. The Acer system also goes for a standard DVD burner, while the 2203T has a Blu-ray drive to complement its 1080p-capable 21.6-inch (16:9 ratio) display. The Aspire Z5610, even with a screen size of 23 inches, maxes out at a 1366-by-768 resolution. These are the trade-offs you need to watch out for.

In addition, the rival IdeaCentre A600 isn’t even a touchscreen PC. However, it does best the 2203T on total storage capacity with one total terabyte of space. The A600 is also extremely upgradable compared with the 2203T, if not the rest of the all-in-one category as a whole. You can’t change any part of the 2203T’s insides–at least, no provisions for doing so were shown in any included manual or guide. The A600’s connective offerings are anemic, as the system only features support for USB and FireWire 400 devices (it does have an integrated TV tuner).

In contrast, the 2203T’s rear comes with a single gigabit ethernet port (and integrated wireless 802.11 b/g/n connectivity), as well as four USB slots, an optical input, and an HDMI input. The side of the system features only two USB ports and a multiformat card reader. The 2203T’s total package isn’t a tremendous amount of connectivity for the all-in-one category, but it’s nevertheless a strong offering against competing systems in price and performance.

The “T” in EeeTop 2203T stands for touch, and it’s worth noting that a cheaper, nontouch version is available. Asus also offers touch and nontouch versions of the nVidia Ion-based EeeTop 2002, a budget 20-inch alternative. Like that model, I found the screen quality of the 2203T to be pleasant, but not overwhelmingly positive. The contrast and saturation of the display were slightly below what I’m used to seeing in all-in-one PCs. The raw details of images and movies weren’t quite as sharp as what I was hoping for, nor were the colors especially vibrant or eye-catching.

Worse, like many all-in-one PCs, the 2203T opts for a glossy panel. With a number of these systems, it’s impossible to watch darker scenes without being distracted by a reflection of yourself in the panel–unless you want to turn off all the lights in whatever room you happen to be in. At least the 2203T’s speakers are definitely stronger than your average all-in-one; I was more impressed with their sound than with the 2203T’s picture, for sure.

It’s difficult to find an all-in-one that truly has it “all” without summoning forth a serious expenditure. Asus’ EeeTop 2203T provides an excellent balance of performance, connectivity, and storage capacity for its more-than-fair price. While the actual display of this touchscreen-equipped system won’t blow you out of the water, you’ll at least be able to accomplish (and connect) more on this system than you would on competing all-in-ones.

London’s Cycle Hire Scheme Finally Gets An Official Iphone App

Cycling is definitely the fastest and most pleasant way to get around central London, and the large-scale cycle hire scheme – informally known as Boris Bikes, after Mayor Boris Johnson who launched the scheme – finally has an official app.

Named after the scheme’s new sponsor, the Santander Cycles App allows users to find the nearest docking station, check availability of bikes and obtain a release code to hire one. Transport for London has long made the data publicly available, allowing developers to create their own apps with limited functionality, but it’s taken five years to create an official app that allows you to hire the bikes.

There are more than 700 Boris Bike docking stations in London, with a total of 11,500 bicycles available. More than 10 million journeys were made by Boris Bike last year. Users pay £2 ($3) for a one-day membership, and can then make unlimited use of the bikes for journeys of up to 30 minutes each (which will pretty much get you anywhere to anywhere in central London).

The app is a free download from iTunes, and the full press release can be found below.

London’s newest red icon – Santander Cycles – today launched a revolutionary new App, making the cycle hire scheme easier to use than ever before.

The new Santander Cycles App for Android and iOS smartphones is free to download for both members and casual users. In addition to viewing the nearest docking station and bike availability, the new App is able to send a ‘bike release’ code straight to a user’s phone, which means they can hire a cycle without having to use the docking station terminal.

All customers need to do is register with their bank card, use the App to ‘hire now’ from a nearby docking station, and just tap the code into a docking point to release a bike for use.

Extra features of the Santander Cycles App

See up-to-the minute information about which docking stations have cycles and spaces available;

Users can log in to their membership accounts;

Buy 24 hour and annual subscriptions;

Receive notifications showing the cost at the end of a hire period;

View recent journeys and charges;

Tells users exactly when their hire period has started – and confirms the bike has been securely docked at the end of a hire period;

Plan a journey with an easy to follow map – Transport for London’s (TfL’s) real-time cycling Journey Planner is available at the touch of a button, which shows users where they can hire a bike and how many are available at any one of the Capital’s 750 docking stations;

Smart design means it can be constantly upgraded and improved by TfL and Santander with the latest app technology available.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

‘The new Santander Cycles App will make finding and hiring a bike in our great Capital city even more of a doddle. The App is packed full of handy new features and is part and parcel of our plans to take the cycle hire scheme to the next level and encourage more people on to two wheels.’

Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said:

‘This is just one of the exciting new developments we’re bringing to life with our new partnership with Santander. Together we’re working hard to make cycling an integral part of London life, so anyone can jump on a bike to get to work, the shops or discover the Capital. The new official Santander Cycles App will make hiring a bike much easier for both members and casual users by being able to find the nearest docking station and check how many bikes are available, and get an access code so you can just hop on and go without spending time at the terminal.’

Nathan Bostock, CEO, Santander UK, said:

‘We’re absolutely committed to growing and developing Santander Cycles together with TfL by making more bikes available, providing more docking stations and offering extra benefits in future to give Londoners and visitors to the Capital the best possible experience.

The new red-and-white livery of Santander Cycles is already widespread across London and the transition is continuing at pace as docking stations and distribution vans are rebranded.

Santander Cycles is the second-largest cycle hire scheme in Europe, and since it was introduced in 2010, around 40 million journeys have been made using the bikes, making it a popular and affordable way to travel around London for work or leisure.

Usage of the scheme rose by a quarter last year and is at a record high, with more than 10 million journeys made in 2014. Customer satisfaction is also at an all-time high, with over 80 per cent of members intending to renew their membership.

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Windows 8: The Official Review

Reviewing an operating system is an odd endeavor, because people don’t really use operating systems; they use applications. The OS should be as transparent as possible, acting as a platform for applications. In today’s cloud-driven world, however, the notion that your application will run in a single OS is tenuous at best. Toss in the increasing use of smart devices, whether phones or tablets, and the idea of a single-platform operating system is less relevant now than it was just a few years ago. These days we have “ecosystems”—Microsoft, Apple, or Google, take your pick.

That said, PC users still expect their Windows applications to run as before, and they want to have the same control over their laptop and desktop computers as they’ve always had. New software features should enable users to do more. And as the reaction to the late, unlamented Windows Vista illustrated, all the shiny new bells and whistles should not harm performance or require new hardware.

Can Windows 8 meet its goal of being one aspect of a new Microsoft ecosystem while maintaining its roots in the PC? Can existing computers run Windows 8 without the need for expensive new touch displays? Will the revamped Windows 8 user interface turn off existing Windows users or pull them into the ecosystem? I’ll try to answer those questions and others as I dive deeply into Windows 8.

This review is based on the Windows 8 final release—what Microsoft calls the “release to manufacturing,” or RTM, version. The final release is available to Microsoft TechNet and MSDN subscribers. Desktop PCs, laptops, and tablets ship with Windows 8 preinstalled on the official launch day, October 26.

We ran Windows 8 on a moderately high-end desktop system along with a standard (nontouch) monitor, mouse, and keyboard. We also used a Samsung Series 9 laptop with an Elan touchpad supporting full multitouch gestures.

The Windows 8 user interface

Windows 8 tries to get you to tie your Windows login to your Microsoft account; it’s optional, but if you do link the two, the Windows login and password serve as your Microsoft account login and password. Enabling this link allows tighter integration with the remote and cloud-based features of the new OS.

As mentioned previously, Windows 8 is designed to be part of an ecosystem, alongside Windows Phone and Windows RT. Microsoft believes in this idea so strongly that it has made the Windows 8 user interface (formerly called Metro) the primary interface for Windows users. PCs with the new OS installed will boot into the Windows 8 interface; the OS offers no built-in way to set it to boot to the traditional Windows desktop.

All applications show up as tiles on the Windows 8 Start screen.

It’s important to realize that the Start screen is no more Windows 8 than the Start menu was Windows 7 or Windows XP. The screen exists as a launchpad for applications, not as a desktop replacement. That concept is easy to forget, since the Start screen occupies the entire display. Even so, Windows 8 apps consume the entire screen, whereas desktop applications can still run in a window on the desktop.

Live tiles are among the key features of the Windows 8 Start screen. While normal (non-live) tiles measure 150 by 150 pixels, most live tiles are double-wide (310 by 150 pixels) and display dynamic information. The People tile, for instance, shows you tweets and Facebook posts from your feeds, assuming that you’ve set them up. As you install apps from the Microsoft Store, more dynamic tiles may appear. Live tiles first appeared in a broad fashion in Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360 updates, but will exist across all Microsoft platforms going forward.

Navigating the Start screen is easy. If you’re using a mouse with a wheel, moving the wheel scrolls left and right. If you’re using a touchpad, swiping left and right (with one finger) scrolls the tile list. You can drag individual tiles to any location.

Navigating the desktop

Microsoft now partitions applications into “Windows 8” apps (formerly known as “Metro” apps) and desktop applications. The latter are those programs we all know and love from previous versions of Windows, including Microsoft Office.

You cannot boot directly into the desktop, since Microsoft wants the Start screen to be users’ initial experience with Windows 8. For most people, this restriction may not be an issue, but certain vertical applications (specialized programs, such as those for point-of-sale PCs) need to boot directly into a desktop environment. Until Windows 8 versions of such programs become available, users requiring vertical applications should stick with earlier versions of Windows.

The desktop offers familiar shortcuts and pinned icons.

Connecting to networks is easier than ever, once you have installed the right drivers. Windows 8 enumerates and displays all of your networked devices—including DLNA devices, network folders you’ve set up, and other computers residing on the network—in any file manager window.

Ultimately, navigating the new desktop is similar to getting around the old version, but the absence of a full Start menu may throw you off at first. Using hotkeys, and customizing the desktop and Start screen, might help you become more comfortable in the short run. Once you get used to navigating the system, it’s as transparent as the old one—just different.

The touch experience

On the other hand, your next PC may very well have full ten-point multitouch support, even if it’s a stock desktop PC. Manufacturers are starting to ship desktop displays with touch capability; the first touch-enabled displays have built-in capacitive touch sensors, which work via a USB connection to the PC. Future touch displays might communicate through some flavor of wireless, including Bluetooth.

More likely candidates for built-in touch are mobile PCs, including traditional clamshell laptops and convertible units that you can transform into tablets, either by concealing the keyboard or by detaching the display, which can act independently as a tablet.

Windows 8 is a different experience with a touch-enabled display, even if you’re using such a display with a stock desktop system. At first, you don’t think you’ll use the touch capabilities. But then your kids come up and start touching the screen—after all, these days young users are growing up expecting displays to be touch-enabled. I’ve been running Windows 8 on a desktop PC equipped with an Acer T232HL touchscreen display, and although I use the mouse some of the time, I find myself reaching out to use gestures on the screen at other times.

As for other desktop-PC options, look to the emerging generation of all-in-one PCs, such as Sony’s 20-inch Tap 20 and the updated version of Lenovo’s A720, which are shipping with Windows 8. The Tap 20 is unusual in that it has a built-in battery, which allows you to move it around the home easily and use it as an oversize tablet.

SonySony Tap 20 All-in-One

Despite Windows 8’s new features, performance tweaks, and improvements over Windows 7, its touch support will likely be the defining factor. And despite some imperfections, the touch interface works smoothly. After you use it for a few days, the old way of using Windows will start to seem slightly cumbersome.

Windows 8 on tablets

One of the big reasons for the creation of Windows 8’s new Start screen is the emergence of tablets. Microsoft has tried and failed on several occasions to create a market for tablet PCs, but the models released during those attempts have always been clunky and difficult to use. The gargantuan success of Apple’s iPad—with its streamlined interface and its relentless focus on encouraging content consumption instead of serving as a general-purpose tool—seems to have clarified Microsoft’s goals.

Microsoft’s Surface comes in Pro and RT models.

Even so, Microsoft is planning to support two types of tablets. The first type, which resembles the company’s original Tablet PC concept, consists of convertible laptops running Windows 8. Even Microsoft’s Surface Pro is just a thinly disguised laptop that emphasizes touch interaction over keyboard input.

The second type will carry a slightly different flavor of Windows 8, dubbed Windows RT. This version runs only on tablets using ARM processors, rather than Intel or AMD processors. ARM doesn’t make its own hardware, but licenses its processor technology to other companies such as Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. These companies design system-on-chip (SoC) products, which typically consume very little power relative to their performance. (The iPad, for example, uses an ARM-based SoC that Apple designs and builds.)

Windows RT tablets will have a restricted version of Windows 8. Although such tablets will include the traditional desktop, you will have access to the desktop only on a limited basis, to run preinstalled applications such as Office. You will not be able to install desktop programs; instead, RT tablets will focus on the Windows 8 apps you buy through Microsoft’s Store.

In contrast, tablets with Intel-compatible processors can run the full PC version of Windows 8, and offer complete access to the desktop. They’ll probably cost more than RT tablets, too, as they’ll need broader expansion options, bigger batteries, and more memory. Intel-based tablets will almost certainly be heavier and bulkier, as well: For example, Surface Pro, which has an Intel Core i5 CPU, weighs about a half-pound more than Surface RT does.

The existence of two types of tablets on the market may end up confusing consumers, though the differences in price will likely drive shoppers in one direction or the other.

The Microsoft Store

Late to the game, Microsoft is adding a store to Windows, much like the marketplaces for Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. If you want to buy apps from the Microsoft Store, you need to create a Microsoft account.

In addition to playing tunes, the Xbox Music app sells songs.

Even more confusing, the app store is called just the “Store” while the music and video stores are named Xbox Music and Xbox Video. (Of course, both the Music app and the Video app are media playback tools as well, though they are less robust compared with Windows Media Player or the likes of iTunes. The new operating system’s lack of a unified Windows 8–style media player is a pretty significant hole.)

Navigating the Microsoft Store is similar to navigating the Start screen. Featured apps come in individual tiles, and are sorted by groups; each group also has a ‘Top Free’ tile and a ‘New releases’ tile. As of this writing, however, the Store listed only about 1000 apps, so Microsoft has a little catching up to do. The number of apps available at the official Windows 8 launch on October 26 will be more telling.

Personalizing Windows

If you don’t like Windows 8 out of the box, you can customize it, with some exceptions. Perhaps the most controversial exception (as mentioned earlier) is the fact that you can’t set Windows to boot directly to the desktop, though third-party utilities promise to enable this.

Since the Start screen consists of groups of tiles, moving your favorite or most commonly used tiles to the left side of the screen is pretty easy. You can also specify the tile size (normal or double-wide) and turn off live-tile updates if you find them distracting. In addition, you can group tiles by program type, such as business applications, games, and so on.

One configuration option that Microsoft has buried in the past is the startup configuration. In older versions of Windows, customizing which applications launched on startup required entering the Msconfig system-configuration utility. In Windows 8, you can select which applications launch at boot-up with the new Startup tab in Task Manager, which you can easily launch in the simplified Start menu.

The tile-based app store offers both free and paid items.

Desktop customization is also available, except for the obvious lack of Start-menu tweaks. The taskbar is present, as it was in Windows 7, and you can pin applications to it as before.

Graphics improvements

Nearly all of the desktop and Start-screen functionality now relies on acceleration from your machine’s graphics processing unit. Many of Windows 8’s windows subsystems use the DirectX API. HTML5 and SVG (scalable vector graphics) also depend on GPU acceleration, in the form of enhanced 2D geometry rendering. Applications tell Direct2D what to draw in the form of 2D objects, such as circles and rectangles, plus additional features such as color and style. The API converts the instructions into a format suitable for Direct3D, which passes the instructions to the GPU. As a result, normal desktop windows will likely see substantial performance increases.

Why, then, did Microsoft return to “flat” windows, eliminating the transparency and other 3D effects it used in previous editions of the OS? Direct2D and Direct3D will also work with Windows RT and Windows Phone 8, and removing the eye candy will help Windows perform equally well across diverse platforms.

Storage and file system

Windows 8 includes a new file system called ReFS (Resilient File System). It’s compatible with most NTFS file features, and, as the name suggests, it adds features to improve data integrity. Features left out include BitLocker, compression, and 8.3-format short filenames. What ReFS brings to the table is improved data verification and auto-correction: ReFS continually scans the file system, including rarely used older files, to ensure they haven’t become corrupted, repairing bad disk clusters and moving data as necessary. Note, however, that ReFS works only on secondary drives, not boot drives. Your boot drive will still be NTFS.

If you’re worried about encountering a problem that may force you to reinstall Windows, you’ll be pleased to learn that reinstalling Windows is now much easier; in fact, Windows 8 provides multiple levels of system repair.

The Reset option nukes the hard drive and reinstalls Windows from scratch. You can use this option to get the machine back to a factory-fresh Windows install, without the need for a new Windows key or the Windows setup disk.

If you prefer something less drastic, the Refresh option resets important Windows settings but maintains your personal files and installed Windows 8 apps. Note, though, that it doesn’t keep desktop applications, so you might wish to first uninstall or deregister software that will need reinstallation and activation.

Finally, you can customize the refresh process by using the “recimg” command-line tool. Using recimg makes an image of your current version of Windows—including installed desktop applications—and makes that the default image when you refresh your PC. Then, when you run Refresh, you’ll still reinstall Windows from scratch, but you’ll also retain your desktop applications. You will need to run recimg occasionally if you have desktop programs that you don’t want to reinstall all over again.

Windows 8 and SkyDrive

The new operating system ships with a Windows 8 app for the SkyDrive cloud-storage service. If you have a Microsoft account, you begin with 5GB of SkyDrive space.

Out of the box, SkyDrive shows up as a Windows 8 app, but it does not appear in the file manager on the desktop; to make that happen, you need to download and install the SkyDrive desktop application. Once you download the application, install it, and link it to your Microsoft account, both the Start screen and desktop become coupled to your SkyDrive.

Assuming that you’re logged in to your Microsoft account, SkyDrive is available as the default storage for many applications, but you can change that on a per-application basis. Of course, that default setting could cause you to consume your 5GB allotment of free storage pretty quickly. An additional 20GB costs $10 per year, while 100GB costs $50 per year.

SkyDrive can serve as the default storage for many apps.

SkyDrive has several important drawbacks that for many users may make it less viable than local hard-drive storage or competing cloud services. First, it imposes a 2GB limit on individual files, so the high-definition video you took of, say, your child’s soccer match might not copy to your SkyDrive if it’s bigger than 2GB. Second, Microsoft restricts the types of files you may upload: Illegally copied commercial content is prohibited, and so are files that contain nudity or excessive violence.

Microsoft has been vague when asked for the specifics of how it defines and detects prohibited content. Although it’s understandable that the company would ban the uploading of illegal content, Microsoft’s decision to serve as a moral authority on prohibited private material seems excessive.

Microsoft Office integration

Microsoft Office 2013, still in beta at this writing, is more tightly tied to Windows 8 than any previous version of Office was to any older OS. Like Windows 8, Office 2013 is closely coupled with SkyDrive: If you sign in with Office to your Microsoft account, you can specify SkyDrive as Office’s default storage location. This arrangement is handy if you’re constantly moving between a home system, a laptop, and a work computer.

Office 2013 is closely tied with both Windows 8 and SkyDrive.

Bottom line

Windows 8 is almost here, and system makers are readying new models. Some will be touch enabled or otherwise optimized for Windows 8, while others will be similar to existing PCs. For some time, PC sales have been down, partly because everyone has been waiting to see what Windows 8 will be like on new systems. Although we’ve delved into the RTM version, and we like what we see, the success of Windows 8 will depend on how rapidly customers adopt the new user interface and the hardware to support it.

Under the hood, Windows 8 offers performance improvements, a new file system, easier recovery from system problems, better cloud integration, and numerous minor enhancements. However, the Start screen seems to overshadow all the cool new stuff. Although admittedly the original Start menu created some controversy when it launched years ago, Windows 8’s Start screen seems much more polarizing. Toss in Microsoft’s overly aggressive stance in trying to sell apps and content, and some users will likely rebel. Of course, you can avoid much of that hard sell simply by using a local account rather than tying your Windows account to a Microsoft account. But in doing that, you’d miss a lot of what’s intriguing about Windows 8.

In some ways, Windows 8 also highlights Microsoft’s tribal nature; for example, “Xbox Music” stands alone as its own thing, rather than as part of the Microsoft Store. Internal company differences shouldn’t confuse users, as some of these moves probably will.

Love it or hate it, Windows 8 is ushering in a new era of cloud-connected Microsoft services, a unified user interface, and more-robust social media interaction. Younger users may find Windows 8 more attractive than some old-school computer users will. It’s a risk that Microsoft needed to take to try to remain relevant in today’s connected, mobile world. Only time will tell whether it’s the right risk at the right time.

Windows 8 isn’t for everyone. If you’re mostly a desktop PC user comfortable with Windows 7, upgrading to Windows 8 is probably not worthwhile. If you’re a mobile user who needs easy access to the complete Microsoft ecosystem, including SkyDrive, Windows 8 is definitely a good fit. If your needs lie somewhere between those two extremes, give Windows 8 a close look; the cost is low, but you’ll need to learn your way around the new Start screen and make sure that your existing software runs well in the new OS.

Stock Exchange Daily Official List (Sedol)

Stock Exchange Daily Official List (SEDOL)

A series of unique characters to each London Stock Exchange-based security that is used to identify publicly-traded stocks securely

Written by

CFI Team

Published November 12, 2023

Updated June 28, 2023

What is the Stock Exchange Daily Official List (SEDOL)?

The stock exchange daily official list (SEDOL) is a seven-digit code used to identify all securities listed and trading on the United Kingdom securities market. Companies and issuers use SEDOL to identify assets, such as investment trusts, insurance-based securities, and other common stock forms.

SEDOL is not to be confused with the CUSIP number, which is also a unique identification number assigned to all the U.S. traded stocks and registered bonds but offered by the Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures. The code also serves as a global security identifier, enhances the Systematic Transfer Plan (STP) efficiencies, and reduces cross-border trade failure costs.

Summary

The stock exchange daily official list (SEDOL) is a series of unique characters to each London Stock Exchange-based security that is used to identify publicly traded stocks securely.

The U.K. and U.S.-issued securities rely on the efficiency and uniqueness of SEDOL codes to enhance seamless and correct trading.

SEDOL codes are essential in the modern global marketplace as a secure and identifiable approach to track a stock.

The Context of Assigning SEDOL Codes

Several reasons underlie the issuance of new SEDOL codes. They include reclassifications, change of a company’s name, corporate merger, assignment of new International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) numbers, and corporate headquarter changes. After the changes made on January 26, 2004, new SEDOLS codes are issued sequentially.

Structure of the Stock Exchange Daily Official List

At each character position, vowels are not used, and SEDOL codes begin with numbers followed by letters. The alphanumeric code is represented by the first six characters, while the last character is referred to as the trailing check digit. Notably, SEDOL codes are only allowed to include letters from B to Z and numerals, starting from 0 to 9 within the alphanumeric part.

Until January 26, 2004, issued SEDOL codes contained numeric characters alone. However, the codes that came after the said date are issued sequentially, beginning with B000009 for both numbers and letters. While vowels are never used to represent a character position, numbers are always ordered such that they precede letters. It means that all SEDOL codes issued after the mentioned date start with a letter. Ranges with 9 as the starting character are reserved for user allocation.

A common method to ascertain the SEDOL code is to determine if the weighted sum of all the characters is a multiple of 10. The code includes a check digit that verifies its correctness. For the verification process, different numbers are assigned to letters. Each letter is equivalent to the number that matches its position in the alphabet, plus nine. For example, K would be equivalent to 20 (9+11).

Impacts of SEDOL

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) recognizes SEDOL as an important market-level security identifier and a global security tool. As a result, it minimizes the costs sustained during the cross-border trade failure and enhances trade efficiency and security transactions. Through SEDOL codes, the United Kingdom’s exchanges offer high service levels by curbing such failures and streamlining the transaction processing cycles.

Particular to such regard are the features of SEDOL codes. First, they are unique, and the identification of stocks becomes seamless through the assigned country-level numbers. Each country is usually assigned one number. In the same vein, SEDOL codes are prompt, abridging the issuance processing time frames.

Another feature of SEDOL codes that enhances the trade process is commonality. SEDOL codes are extended to every asset class, and every listed or unlisted security in a certain country is allocated codes, reducing the need for multiple identifiers.

Examples of SEDOL Codes

Traders can determine whether the assigned SEDOL code is correct by simply multiplying each digit by its assigned weight and summing them up. In such a case, (0) + (5×3) + (4×1) + (0) + (5×3) + (2×9) +(1×8) = 60. The SEDOL code is correct because 60 is a multiple of 10.

Special Considerations

In today’s global marketplace, trading assets need a secure and identifiable method to keep track. It makes SEDOL codes relevant for stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and hedge funds. The U.K. and U.S.-based securities contain SEDOL codes based on their efficiency and uniqueness in trailing assets, not to mention their ability to reduce confusion among investors and ensure they purchase the right stocks.

The SEDOL Masterfile service is an example of a service company that provides traders with information regarding securities and financial instruments. Various organizations use comprehensive and global reference data to identify business processes such as price feeds processing, portfolio valuation, and trade execution.

Additional Resources

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