Computers in the News

You must like computers because you want to hear about them in the news!

This is the page where I expect to be posting about how computers are finding their way into the news these days. I will be writing short blurbs about articles that I find and then I will be posting them here.

The Top Ten Programs to First Install on Your PC

By Rachel Melillo


I read an article lately that shared their opinion of what should be the first ten programs to install on a Windows PC.


The first program was EASEUS Partition Master--a tool to create and manage disk partitions on Windows systems. The second program was PC Decrapifier. This is a program that is designed for new Windows computer owners to weed out junk software and make space for better stuff. Third, he suggested Macrium Reflect or Windows Backup and Restore so that your files are backed up and restored at least to some extent.

The author continued to say that the fourth program that should be installed on a computer is Ninite--helping you pick other software and making downloading programs easier. The fifth program he suggested was Revo Uninstaller since there will be programs and such that are downloaded accidentally or become unneccessary and uninstalling them is useful to make more room on the PC. Sixth, he suggested CCleaner to perform routine cleaning runs on the PC.

He next suggested that the owner install Microsoft Security Essentials to protect your PC from viruses, spyware and malware. Eighth, he mentioned Dropbox or Syncback SE to back up files. Ninth, he said that Recuva should be downloaded on to the computer to recover deleted files. Last, but certainly not least--the author stated that the computer owner should download VLC media player and Chrome or Firefox.

Article and Image Source: Ten Free Programs to Install on PC

Article Author: Abhijeet Mukherjee

The Electronic Right-Hand Man

By Rachel Melillo



Computers have been steadily increasing in complication and elaboration--complete with high-speed internet and voice-to-text technology. Though the average civilian appreciates this convenience, one can't help but wonder, "When will it end?"

Not yet. Computer programmers are in the process of fine-tuning technology that will enable your computer to learn as its life progresses. The program is called CALO, or "cognitive assistant that learns and organizes". The program is meant to learn about a user's work life and then filter information from meetings and other sources, interacting with people and even making decisions—for example, rescheduling a meeting if someone it knows is important can't attend.

This program is still in testing and a simple version is in evaluation for military use.

Article and Image Source: Computers That Learn Article

Article Author: Laila Weir

Google Shuts Picnik Down

By Rachel Melillo


"Preparing picnic baskets...planting grass..." picnikphoto

For a couple years, users of Picnik have become familiar with these illusions as they wait for Picnik to load their photos and allow them to use Picnik's photo editing software in order to enhance their photographs. Whether to take away red eyes, brighten dark photos, whiten teeth, or even change hair color, Picnik has been a popular choice for a broad variety of editing desires. Users have the option of adding text, cool effects, or even airbrushing their photos. Though some aspects of Picnik are free to all, others require a monthly payment.

However, Picnik is now coming to a bitter sweet end. As a final gift to all, Picnik is offering free premium photo enhancements to all. The company was bought out by Google in 2010 and now—like many of Google's services such as Google Health or Social Buzz—it is in the final months of its life. Instead, Google will be using Picnik's services to offer photo editing across Google products.

Article and Image Source: Google Closes Picnik Down Article

Author: Jay Green

World Wide Web: Privacy Re-vamp?

By Rachel Melillo


We've all been told that everything that we do on the Internet is being monitored. However, a future law may be passed so that Internet users can opt out of having their browsing habits monitored. google.compnews2

The advertising industry also committed to not releasing consumers' browsing data to companies that use it for purposes beyond advertising, such as employers making hiring decisions or insurers determining coverage.

The reaction of companies is positive so far and they have high hopes for the future for this bill.

Article and Image Source: Web Privacy Bill of Rights Article

Article Author: Gerry Smith

Tweets Not Worth Reading

By Rachel Melillo



Twitter, another social networking site, has become popular, but even so, those who sign up for it are not always satisfied with the results of information that they receive. Statistics show that users say that only a bit more than a third of the tweets they get are worthwhile. Paul André, a member of Carnegie Mellon University, says that if feedback was received, it would be easier to share that with members so that they could have a better feel for what readers want.

After a survey to determine the likability of tweets, it was determined that well-received tweets were not all that common. It was also recognized that a tweet was more likely to be successful if it incorporated the reader—such as with a question or a self promotion with a link. The results of the survey provided nine ways for tweeters to improve their tweets. This feedback was such as 'old news is no news', keep it short, limit Twitter-specific syntax--such as #hashtags, @mentions and abbreviations, don't whine, and for public figures—stick to professionalism.

Article source: Tweets Not Worth Reading Article

Article Author: Carnegie Melon University

Image source:

Last updated 29 April 2012
by Rachel Melillo.