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Did you know that, back in the Windows 3, 95, and 98 days, you could simply type in your password to log into your computer? It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s true. Since Windows XP, the process has become steadily more convoluted — picking your avatar from a list, or hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del before being allowed to log in (this was actually a security feature, believe it or not). Windows 8 is the worst offender yet, positively spitting in the face of keyboard users — but fortunately, it’s quite easy to disable the new Windows 8 lock screen.
In essence, the new Windows 8 lock/login screen is meant to act as a dashboard, flashing up notifications for new email, IMs, and so on. On a tablet, where you swipe the lock screen away and then begin typing, this makes perfect sense. On a desktop PC, though, the lock screen is clunky (you might say this is a bit of a recurring theme in Windows 8). Yes, theoretically you only have to tap a key and it slides away, but for some reason Microsoft introduced a delay so that you can’t immediately type your password. As a result, you often end up losing the first few letters of your password, waiting for Windows to tell you that your password is incorrect, and then typing your password in correctly.
gpedit.msc, and press Enter. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor.
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization
Enabledfrom the dialog that pops up. Click OK.
The change is immediate. Go ahead and press Win+L and admire your new, minimal lock screen.
In addition, if you’re feeling really sassy, you can also tweak your computer to boot straight to Desktop, either with Windows 8′s built-in Task Scheduler, or by using a third-party Start menu replacement, most of which include this functionality as a configurable option. This way, the Desktop will be the second screen you see, instead of the fourth.
Read more Windows 8 tricks at ExtremeTech
The Austrian capital with 1.7 million residents came top of the survey for the fourth year in a row, boasting of a vibrant cultural scene alongside comprehensive health care and moderate but rising housing costs.Its opulent architecture from the time of the Habsburg empire makes it a tourist magnet.
The reliable public transport system costs just 1 euro ($1.30) a day for an annual pass in a city governed by left-leaning Social Democrats and environmentalist Greens.
“The city is so international… I have been waiting for buses and heard over 10 languages being spoken at one stop,” said American Dawn Gartlehner, 42, a law firm manager who has lived in Vienna for more than 15 years.
“The city caters to all kinds of people, all ages and all walks of life. You can have a wonderful day here spending all the money in your bank account but have an equally great time spending nothing at all.”
Mercer conducts its annual survey to help companies and organisations set compensation for staff on international assignments. It uses 39 factors such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.
Anna Staribacher, a 24-year-old student, praised her home town’s safe streets and abundance of parks and woodlands.
“Austria is a wealthy country, we have low unemployment and free university access. Living is affordable and prices are still moderate by international standards. But I wonder why people are still so grumpy all the time?”
Despite its sovereign debt crisis, Europe has 15 of the world’s top 25 cities in the 2012 survey. Germany and Switzerland each have three in the top 10. The lowest- ranking city in western Europe was Athens, gripped by deep economic woes.
“Overall, European cities continue to have high quality of living as a result of a combination of increased stability, rising living standards and advanced city infrastructures,” said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer.
“But economic turmoil, political tension and high unemployment in some European countries and high levels of unemployment have continued to be problematic in the region.”
Canadian cities dominated rankings in the Americas region, with Vancouver at number five retaining the top spot and Honolulu at 28 the most pleasant U.S. urban centre.
“The ongoing turmoil in many countries across North Africa and the Middle East has led to serious security issues for locals and expatriates,” Parakatil said.
“Many countries continue to experience violence through political demonstrations that have sometimes developed into massive uprisings and led to serious instability within the region.”
This is a far cry from Vienna, which has held the top spot in the Mercer rankings since 2009.Yet the city is not without complaints.
Jennifer Stepper, an American designer who has lived in Vienna for 18 years, noted that visiting friends often comment about how unfriendly waiters and shopkeepers are. But it no longer bothers her
“Now I realise it is just the way of the Viennese. Like the rest of us, they have their quirks.” 🙂
The world’s largest solar power field has been switched on in India’s western state of Gujarat. Accounting for 214 megawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity, it becomes larger than China’s 200 MW Golmud Solar Park, which previously held the record.
The newly-developed solar power park will be a 500-megawatt system using state-of-the-art thin film photovoltaic technology and should be fully completed by the end of 2014. It now has an operational capacity of 214 MW and has already become the largest such single location in the world, spread over 3,000 acres of mainly wasteland. Gujarat environment chief S.K. Nanda says the state is ideal for the solar project because of its sparsely-populated desert in the north.
The project has become part of 600 megawatt solar energy addition to India’s power grid, including sections that were already operational.
Upon completion the park will reduce carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere to the tune of 8 million tonnes and save around 900,000 tonnes of coal and natural gas per year.It also gives a serious boost to India’s renewable energy ambitions. The country aims for solar power to account for 3 per cent of national capacity – or 1,000 MW – by 2013.
Overall, it wants renewables to make up 15 per cent of capacity by 2020, from 6 per cent today.The foundation stone for the Gujarat solar power park was laid in December 2010, as part of the state’s Solar Power Policy. The solar energy sector is expected to create about 30,000 new jobs in the state over a period of time.
The Gujarat government has already announced its next move, saying it will shortly come out with a rooftop solar power plant policy.
This would make the people self-reliant in power generation. The authorities hope it would also encourage residents to lease out their rooftops for solar power generation, which would yield additional income for the betterment of their life.
Astronomers from the University of Texas at Austin have measured the second-largest black hole ever discovered. It takes up some 14 percent of the galaxy’s mass and may lead to an overhaul of theories regarding the formation and evolution of black holes.
The black hole was studied using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at UT Austin, and resides in galaxy NGC 1277, some 220 million light-years away. Despite NGC 1277 being just ten percent the size and mass of our own Milky Way galaxy, the black hole at its center is around 17 billion times the size of our own Sun, making it more than 11 times the size of Neptune’s orbit around the Sun.
Up until now, the size of a black hole was thought to correspond to the size of the galaxy in which it resides (generally around 0.1 percent of the galaxy’s mass), with similarly massive black holes only being recorded in giant galaxies known as “ellipticals.” NGC 1277’s black hole turns this theory on its head, taking up 14 percent of its galaxy’s mass. Karl Gebhardt from UT Austin commented on the significance of the discovery, stating that “it leads us to think that very massive galaxies have a different physical process in how their black holes grow.”
The black hole measures a staggering 17 billion solar-masses
Dr Van der Bosch of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany told the BBC that the galaxy “seems to be very old … So somehow this black hole grew very quickly a long time ago, but since then that galaxy has been sitting there not forming any new stars or anything else.”
NGC 1277 is embedded in the Perseus galaxy cluster, some 220 million light-years away
Satellite measurements says rise in sea level at a rate of 3.2 mm a year.
The world’s sea level is rising 60 percent faster than the central projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says a new study.
Satellite measurements show the sea level is actually rising at a rate of 3.2 mm a year compared to the estimate of two mm a year in the IPCC report.
Results were obtained by taking averages from the five available global land and ocean temperature series, the journal Environmental Research Letters reports.
The study was led by Stefan Rahmstorf, professor of physics of the oceans at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. It included researchers from Tempo Analytics, US, and Laboratoire d’Etudes en Geophysique et Oceanographie Spatiales, France
The researchers believe the findings are important for keeping a track of how well past projections match the accumulating observational data.
“This study shows once again that the IPCC is far from alarmist. But in fact has under-estimated the problem of climate change. That applies not just for sea-level rise, but also to extreme events and the Arctic sea-ice loss,” Rahmstorf said.
The study involved an analysis of global temperatures and sea-level data over the past two decades, comparing them both to projections made in the IPCC’s third and fourth assessment reports, according to a Postdam statement.
After removing the three known phenomena that cause short-term variability in global temperatures — solar variations, volcanic aerosols and El Nino/Southern Oscillation — the researchers found the overall warming trend at the moment is 0.16 degree Celsius per decade, which closely follows the IPCC’s projections.
Satellite measurements of sea levels, however, showed a different picture with current rates of increase being 60 percent faster than the IPCC’s AR4 projections.
Satellites measure sea-level rise by bouncing radar waves back off the sea surface and are much more accurate than tide gauges as they have near-global coverage; tide gauges only sample along the coast.
Tide gauges also include variability that has nothing to do with changes in global sea level, but rather with how the water moves around in the oceans, such as under the influence of wind.