You can now visit the famous sites of the Holy Land without worrying that custom officials in Israel will seize your iPad. Last week the country’s communications ministry announced that it had reversed its decision to ban the iPad in Israel.
Apple’s mobile tablet was originally banned because the device did not match Israeli Wi-Fi standards – the same standards that are in place in much of Europe. Some tourists visiting the country, and entering Ben Gurion Airport had their iPad’s confiscated by customs officials. The ban was lifted after harsh criticism from computer users in the Middle Eastern state.
What is interesting here is that Israel doesn’t often bend, but it doesn’t appear as if Apple has actually modified the device. That clearly shows the power of the pad.
When Anti-Virus Software Goes Bad
While it wasn’t on the scale of something akin to the backstory of the Terminator or Matrix films, for many it was close enough. Computers last week that were running the McAfee software to protect from viruses and hackers inadvertently identified a normal Windows file as a virus.
This caused computers to misidentify a harmless file as something harmful and thus some users found the machines needing to continually reboot! While this problem was limited to computers in larger corporations as well as hospitals and schools, it was a problem that struck around the world.
What was disturbing is that it required personal attention to each and every machine to solve the problem, something that would be worrisome to a small sized business that might not have a full-time IT person. Fortunately McAfee has already provided an update that should solve the problem.
The End is Near for the Floppy
Sony has announced that it will end Japanese sales of the 3.5-inch floppy disk in March 2011. It is surprising that the actually “not-so-floppy” discs are still around, and more surprising is news that the disks saw record sales in 2002! Yes, 2002, a time when CD-R was already well-established and recordable DVDs were taking hold.
According to reports, Sony saw sales of 47 million 3.5-inch disks in 2002, and the number has fallen to just 12 million in 2009. Of course that latter number is also astonishing, as this reporter can’t remember the last time I bought one! In fact, I’d venture to say it was probably sometime in the late 1990s.
While its end is in sight, this technology has thus lasted a long time. It was first introduced in 1981 as an alternative to the larger, and truly “floppy” 5.25-inch discs. The 3.5-inch versions were smaller but thicker and thus more rigid, and even more importantly held more data. But the amount was a fraction of what a CD-ROM could hold, and with the introduction first of the Zip disc and more recently the thumb-sized USB drives the writing was on the wall.
What is even more surprising about the fact that the technology lives on is that few computers are sold today that feature a 3.5-inch drive. Apple was the first to abandon the technology in 1998 when it released the iMac. Dell stopped including the floppy as standard equipment in 2003.