Stories rated highest by users

Microsoft bets Vista will have fewer bugs than Windows XP

Microsoft reported strong profits and revenue for the most recent financial quarter, amid better than expected sales of its much-maligned Windows Vista operating system.

Sales rose 32 percent to $14.4 billion, and the company's net income for the third quarter increased to $4.93 billion.

Has new standard weakened wireless?

A new high-speed Wi-Fi certification plan could actually mean reduced performance for Wi-Fi in future, a leading communications analyst has warned.

The Wi-Fi alliance this week announced that an interim standard for next generation wireless LANs has been approved. New products with the 802.11n draft 2.0 certification will be available from late June.

However, the Wi-Fi alliance has also said that some older 'pre-N' 802.11 wireless LAN products will also be certifiable under the new draft 2.0 certification.

Symantec offers free antivirus software to users whose PCs were crippled... by its antivirus software

One month after tens of thousands of PCs in China were disabled by a bug in its Norton antivirus software, Symantec has offered to compensate the owners. However, the compensation – more copies of the software that caused the problem – has sparked outrage on some online forums.

Exploding battery video shocks laptop users and hurts LG

Dramatic video of a notebook PC exploding in flames has shocked consumers and battered its manufacturer's share price. The explosion of the LG notebook's battery earlier this week was caught in video footage (seen here), which has now been broadcast on Korean television.

“People do need to be aware that there's a risk of very serious injury. If there's any sign that a laptop battery is overheating badly, stay well away from it”, said one doctor interviewed on Korean TV.

Games crackdown causes virtual inflation in Warcraft

Prices of some virtual items in online games, including World of Warcraft, have leapt more than 30 percent in China as the government prepares to restrict the amount of time gamers are allowed to play.

Apple invents iPod hearing protection technology

Apple iPod hearing impactApple acknowledges that portable media players, a class of products which includes the iPod, can cause hearing damage, according to a newly published patent application filed by the company. The application describes a method of reducing the risk of hearing loss. The document, which does not mention the iPod by name, was originally filed one month before a class action lawsuit which alleges the iPod series' design may exacerbate hearing loss.

Free Email is Worth Only $0.0025 per Month

How much income do Microsoft, Yahoo and Google earn from your free email account? Only about one quarter of a cent per month, according to new data from China, the world's largest online market.

The 470 million free email accounts registered by Chinese netizens generated $3.64 million in advertising revenue for service providers like Yahoo and Hotmail during the last three months of 2006, according to data from the Beijing office of research firm Analysys International. This indicates that the average income from a single account was only $0.0025 per month

PC Makers Can't Even Fix Their Own Machines, survey finds

Server destroyed by fire (photo: topato / flickr)Leading PC manufacturers are often unable to resolve problems with the computers they make, according to new research. They were defeated by more than 40 percent of user problems with Windows PCs, US investigators found.

Customers also say they're tearing their hair out over manufacturers' phone support hassles and delays, and that paid technical support is often little better than free service.

Xbox 360 maker super-sized by mega-merger

xbox 360Flextronics will acquire its rival, Solectron, to form one of the world's largest contract electronics manufacturers, the company has announced. Flextronics is the unsung maker of many famous products, including Microsoft's Xbox 360 games console.

PS3 price cut this month say Japan analysts

sony ps3 cheaper in july analysts forecastA price cut is 'likely' for Sony's PlayStation 3 games console this month, say leading analysts in Tokyo.