Tiles Not Working After Updating to Windows 8 [Fixed]

I recently updated my PC from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and was surprised to see that the update went quite smoothly. There were no glitches, and Windows Update Assistant was honest enough to tell me upfront which programs would work, and which would not. Finally, after a long and painful hour-long process, my PC was ready with Windows 8 pro, and it felt good that nothing ended up broken in the process. However, my happiness was short-lived and I found that none of the tiles was working under Windows 8. When I click on a tile, it simply flashes the tile, but no application launches after that.

A quick search revealed that the problem was not with Windows 8, but with Avast Antivirus. Now, many people have had the same problem, and they have removed Avast Antivirus altogether to fix this issue. I use Avast Antivirus because it offers the best free protection available out there. It has a high detection rate, reports fewer false positives, and is good at removal too. Its low memory footprint makes its presence less intrusive, and overall, it is perhaps the best free antivirus. Removing Avast was not an option.

update-avast

The solution is not in removing Avast, but in updating the program. Head over to the update program section on the Avast dashboard (Maintenance -> Update), and perform a program update. Once the update is done, you will be asked to restart your system.

windows-8-tiles

On a successful restart, your Avast antivirus will show that it is updated completely.

avast-updated

Follow the discussion on this topic at TechNet forum. However, if you are not an Avast antivirus users, take a look at these possible causes for Windows 8 live tiles crash.

Windows 7 to Windows 8 Upgrade/Installation Guide

Microsoft has officially released the commercial version of Windows 8, which means that users will be able to digitally download a copy of Windows 8 with a genuine product key. In order to promote Windows 8, Microsoft has provided an upgrade offer for existing Windows 7, XP and Vista customers. That is, users can upgrade to Windows 8 for just $39.99. This offer is available only from October 26th to Jan 31st 2013.

Additionally, users who have purchased a new Windows based PC on or after June 2 will be eligible to avail Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99 or Rs. 700 INR. To avail this, head over to Windows Upgrade Offer to register yourself and get a Windows 8 Pro license copy for a discounted price.

Now, to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, you will require Windows XP with SP3, Vista or any version of Windows 7 running on your system. Microsoft has provided an easy way to download and install Windows 8, which is done by the Windows Upgrade Assistant.

Before we get started with the step-by-step Windows 8 install tutorial, you will need to download the Windows Upgrade Assistant from here. Run the upgrade assistant from your existing Windows install, which will perform an compatibility analysis of currently installed apps and devices.

Upgrading to Windows 8

Also, make sure your system meets the following minimum system requirements:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Step #1:

Once the Upgrade Assistant has completed the analysis, click the “Next” button. If you’re upgrading from Windows 7, then you will be provided with an option to keep your current Windows settings, personal files, and apps. However, this option is not available if you’re upgrading from Windows XP or Vista.

Upgrading to Windows 8

Upgrading to Windows 8

Step #2:

In the next step, click the “Order” button and then select the Windows 8 DVD option if you want to order the DVD separately. However, ordering a DVD is simply a waste of money as you can easily create your own bootable Windows 8 DVD in the later stages of the installation.

Upgrading to Windows 8

Step #3:

In the next screen, select your payment option — Credit card, or PayPal — and proceed further. Enter the necessary details along with the payment details. Make sure all the details provided are correct. Once done, click “Next”.

Step #4:

If you have a promotional code, you can enter it in the confirmation screen. Review your order, check the terms and conditions option, and click on “Buy.” After your payment is successful, you will get a new product key for your Windows 8. Along with that, you will also receive an email from Microsoft with the order details.

Upgrading to Windows 8

Step #5:

Start downloading Windows 8. This will take some time depending on the speed of your Internet connection. The download size is around 2.3 GB, so make sure you have an active Internet connection. Once the download has completed, the upgrade assistant will run a quick check whether all files have been successfully downloaded or not. This will also make the files ready for upgrade.

Step #6:

Now, you are provided with three options: Install now, Install by creating media, and Install later from desktop. Selecting “Install Now” will upgrade your current OS to Windows 8. The second option will let you create a ISO file, which you can burn into a DVD. If you’re selecting the first option, you can follow the onscreen instructions and skip the rest of this tutorial.

Upgrading to Windows 8

Step #7:

Finally, once the ISO file is created, use the provided option to open the DVD burner software, and burn the ISO image file. This will automatically create a bootable disc, which you can use it later to install Windows 8 from the boot screen.

Upgrading to Windows 8

Step #8:

Now, restart your system, and get into your BIOS and change the primary boot device to CD/DVD ROM. Save and restart your system again with the Windows 8 DVD inserted. The Windows 8 will begin its installation process and you can follow the onscreen setup instructions, which are pretty easy to understand.

Please note that you will have to create a new disk space if you want to keep your current OS (dual booting).

New DMCA Law Makes Jailbreaking and Rooting Legal, but Only for Smartphones

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was first passed back in 1998, at a time when the term “jailbreaking” did not even exist. It was passed mainly to prevent bypassing of Digital Rights Management technology. Back then, it was also established that DMCA could have its own exemptions. Yesterday, a new set of exemptions were announced for the DMCA, which will come into effect on October 28, and will continue to be valid for three years until 2015.

These exemptions announced by the DMCA are extremely arbitrary, and their poorly defined scope undermines the premise of having DMCA in the first place. Ars Technica puts together these discrepancies as-

The new batch of exemptions illustrate the fundamentally arbitrary nature of the DMCA’s exemption process. For the next three years, you’ll be allowed to jailbreak smartphones but not tablet computers. You’ll be able to unlock phones purchased before January 2013 but not phones purchased after that. It will be legal to rip DVDs to use an excerpt in a documentary, but not to play it on your iPad.

Apparently, Tablets were excluded from jailbreaking because the definition of tablets is too broad at the moment. The deadline of January 2013 for unlocking phones has no explanation as well, but the most disappointing news from this exemption list is related to unlocking of smartphones.

Jailbreaking of phones was already legal according to the DMCA. However, according to this revised law, phones cannot be jailbroken anymore without the permission of the carrier. DMCA’s argument against unlocking was a comparison with software purchase, which says that you are essentially licensing the software for use according to the EULA, but you cannot claim ownership on the software.

If DMCA can be so flexible that it takes concepts of software purchase and applies them to hardware purchase, how is it so rigid to allow the same freedom on one device, and take away that freedom on another?

Upgrade To Windows 8 Pro For Only $19.99/Rs 1,999

Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled its much-awaited successor to Windows 7 – Windows 8. The company has been working hard on Windows 8 for the last few months, and aims to change how people use a computer with its new Modern UI, inspired from its own Windows Phone 7 UI.

Unlike Apple which usually charges around 20$ for its operating system upgrades, Microsoft is known to charge a couple of hundred dollars for a Windows license. Thankfully, with Windows 8, Microsoft has kicked off a new promotional campaign that will allow existing Windows XP, Vista or 7 users to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $19.99 or only Rs 1,999 for us Indians.

The promotional offer is, however, only valid from October 26th to 31st January, 2013 and is limited to five licenses per customer. Keep in mind that this promotional offer is only for users who already have a genuine license of Windows XP, 7 or Vista and are interested in upgrading to Windows 8. The full terms and conditions for the promotional offer and other information are available here.

If you got a new Windows based PC after June 2 with Windows 7 pre-loaded, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99 or Rs. 700 INR. Head over to Windows Upgrade Offer to register yourself and get a Windows 8 Pro license copy for cheap.

Get the Right Tools to Conquer Your Day and Seize the Night!

Hey you! Yeah you, the one burning the candle at both ends. Between homework, friends, family, and the occasional party here and there, you barely have time to grab a meal. What you need my friend are some tools to help you out. With the innovation of Lenovo® IdeaPad U Series Ultrabook™ laptops and some cool apps, we’ll have you ready to conquer your day and seize the night!

Take Copious Notes with Evernote

Let’s face it, your life is moving fast. You don’t have 30 seconds for your laptop to boot up when you’re 5 minutes late for class. The professor is well into their presentation by now. With an IdeaPad Ultrabook™ that resumes from sleep mode in less than 2 seconds, you’re in business. Now all you need is a good note taking program. My favorite note taking software is Evernote! We have mentioned this software numerous times on this website and it is worth mentioning again. This software transcends the boundaries of the PC by being available as a desktop download, iOS or Android app, and also on the web from a browser anywhere in the world. Evernote is free with certain data limits per month. I have yet to hit any limitations. One of my favorite features is the ability to create notebooks so I can divide up my notes into categories. You can also take a picture of handwritten notes on a paper or whiteboard and Evernote will translate the written notes into searchable text. You can download Evernote for free at http://evernote.com/evernote/.

Evernote

Avert Disaster with Dropbox

Dropbox is another must-have application for the person on the go. The last thing anyone needs is to lose a critical document. Dropbox is a great way to protect your important files and make them available to you on any of your devices. You can download Dropbox simply by going to http://dropbox.com and downloading their free software. You get 2GB of free storage and if you refer friends, you get an additional 500MB per user up to 18GB. What I love about Dropbox is its simplicity. It creates a folder on your computer. Any file that you put in that folder is synchronized to the web and stored on Amazon’s secure servers. Those files are now accessible via a web browser anywhere, or from your smartphone or tablet as an app. You can share folders with other Dropbox users or utilize a public folder option to share a link to a file with those you don’t want to share an entire folder with. A really nice feature is the ability to restore previous versions of a file. This is great if you accidentally overwrite an important file. Just go to your Dropbox website and restore previous versions. Crisis averted!

Dropbox

One thing that has to be considered when you’re on the go is connectivity. We live in a connected world and we like to have instant updates. Even the aforementioned programs are at their best when they’re connected. That is another reason to consider the Lenovo IdeaPad Ultrabook™. They have a smart technology that syncs your email, IM, and social networks even in sleep mode.

The Art of the Invitation

The day is almost done, but there is so much to do tonight! The party starts at 7PM, but you forgot the invites. No problem, just download the FREE image editing software Paint.net. You can download it at http://getpaint.net. This free image editing software rivals the extremely expensive photo editing suites, with all of the familiarity of the Microsoft products you’re already familiar with. Pictured below, you can see the invitation I created, complete with a silhouette of an image I found on the web. It took me about 5 minutes. OK, so I am not a graphic artist, but I think you get the point. You can have a lot of fun with this software and it is free.

paint dot net

Make Sweet Music with Audacity

Audacity is another free program that I wouldn’t do without. You can use Audacity to record tracks and edit music. This is perfect for making music clips to go along with a presentation, or to make a remix of some of your favorite songs. You can also import audio files from your smartphone when you record meetings or class discussions. Audacity is extremely robust with all kinds of effects and filters for your music.

audacity-windows

Be the Life of the Party With VirtualDJ

Now that you have the crew together, you’re going to want to blast the music. You can have the power of a club DJ right at your fingertips with VirtualDJ. Free for home use, VirtualDJ is a cool way to DJ your party. It too is a very robust software with a lot of capabilities. There are paid versions of this software as well for the more serious DJ. They will integrate with turntables and projectors.

Virtual DJ

Get the Right Tool for the Job

For Those Who Do

You’ve seen the apps, now get the right tool for the job. Being highly mobile and connected requires a good laptop. The IdeaPad® U Series Ultrabook™, at Lenovo.com, has all of the right tools to keep you productive by day, and have fun at night. The IdeaPad weighs less than 2KG, so it won’t weigh you down. Depending on the model you choose, you get up to 9 hours of battery life. I encourage you to take a look at all the IdeaPad has to offer. See what you can do with the Book of Do, the IdeaPad® U Series Ultrabook™, at Lenovo.com.

Full Disclosure: This post contains sponsored content to promote the Lenovo IdeaPad Ultrabook campaign. Please feel free to visit their  website to learn more about their products.

Yahoo Acquires Stamped; Focused on Mobile

Yahoo seems to have made its first startup acquisition under the reign of its new CEO, Marissa Mayer. It has acquired Stamped, a new mobile recommendations app, which lets users save and share their favorite books, movies, music and restaurants etc with their friends.

It also allows users to follow the recommendations of other influential people like celebrities.

It seems to primarily be a talent acquisition, and a part of Yahoo’s major mobile push. With Stamped’s team, Yahoo will start building out a major mobile product development team in New York.

Stamped’s existing offerings will be discontinued soon.

Marissa Mayer clearly outlined in Yahoo’s Q3 2012 earnings call that it is focused on mobile now, and will have to pivot to a mobile-focused strategy in the coming months. This could be the first major move that shows where her priorities lie.

The exact acquisition amount hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s likely to be low.

Apparently, Stamped’s CEO, Robby Stein, has worked with Mayer at Google before, as an associate product manager, a program led by Mayer herself.

Yahoo seems to be on the right path with Marissa Mayer leading the charge. She might be the best person to make Yahoo a juggernaut on the internet again, a space which it dominated a decade ago.

Pocket Comes to the Mac. And it’s Awesome!

Pocket is probably the best “read later” app out there. It’s also the most used app on my phone. It was formerly known as Read It Later, and was a close second to Instapaper, but the developers have really improved the experience a lot in the last few months and raised additional funding too – $5 million. All apps are free, and they plan to monetize the service by somehow tying up with content providers.

Anyway, they launched a native app for the Mac today, and I’ve been checking it out. It’s really impressive, and much better than the web interface which was pretty good too. The biggest improvement with the native app is offline access for articles, videos and all types of content.

It offers a minimal, clean interface which minimizes distractions so you can easily consume your saved content. I use it mostly to catch up on my reading, and though I would still prefer the smartphone app, the Mac app does improve the desktop experience. Pocket might also launch a Windows 8 version soon.

The features are pretty much the same as the smartphone apps.

Here’s a list of the features Pocket offers:

  • Fast, seamless syncing across all devices
  • Keyboard shortcuts for key actions
  • Tweet attributions for any items saved from Twitter
  • The ability to share to Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, Evernote and email
  • Easy organizing and super fast search features
  • New ways to save from your clipboard and via drag and drop

Highly recommended. Just love the app.

Huawei’s Comeback: Offers Access to Its Source Code for an Independent Test

Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer, Huawei, has been slammed hard by Governments all over the world, and its biggest blow came from the US Government Congressional reports, which suggested Huawei’s possible ties with the Chinese government for spying on the US. Although the congressional reports came in much later after Australia had already rejected Huawei two months ago, it was the nail in the coffin for Huawei. Canada followed suit and threw out Huawei from its own Government network too. Soon thereafter, ZTE lost its Cisco sales partnership over illegal sales, and the world-dominant Chinese telecom hardware space started looking pretty messed up.

huawei_logo

Huawei realized that something had to be done to save its mega-projects and more importantly, its brand name. Huawei is here for business, and bad press can bring about bad business faster these days. The US congressional reports talked more about possibilities than factual evidences of Huawei spying, and the best way out of this fiasco for Huawei, was to let experts take a look at its internals.

In its first aggressive response since the starting of this blame game, Huawei is now challenging the Australian Government (the first one to cry foul) to look at its source code and have it tested through an independent testing facility. Huawei Australia Chief, John Lord says that Huawei feels strongly against state-funded spying. He has made it clear that the protectionism being practiced by the US is not going to ensure security. Lord goes to the extent of tagging this as part of a trade conflict between US and China.

The fiery rhetoric of the US Committee’s report may make good headline-fodder in an election year, but it should really be seen as a missed opportunity.

Cybersecurity infringements, violations are illegal and we would never allow anyone to do that and we haven’t. We would never allow our equipment to be misused and I make that point quite strongly.

Finally, Lord also states that over 70 percent of Huawei’s equipment comes from outside China, and this invalidates the whole premise of the purely apprehensive moves made by a series of Governments worldwide.

Yelp Acquires Qype for $50M, Set to Dominate Europe

Yelp may be a juggernaut in the US online recommendations and listings space, but it still has a relatively small presence in the global arena, which is crowded with local competitors. It has been trying to expand internationally in the last couple of years, and recently raised a lot of money through the IPO route to fund its international expansion.

Today, it acquired Qype, its biggest competitor in Europe, for around $50 million in a cash and stock deal.

Yelp is present in 19 countries so far, and acquiring Qype makes it the number one player in Europe.

Yelp has more than 78 million unique monthly visitors, while Qype has around 15 million.

Yelp will start working on integrating their products, starting with mobile first.

Check out Yelp’s official announcement:

Welcoming Qype to the Team

I am excited to share that Europe’s largest local reviews site, Qype, has agreed to be acquired by Yelp and become part of our fast growing company. Welcome!

Our mission is to become the defacto choice for local search globally, connecting people with great local businesses all over the world. We’ve built a great foundation, launching Yelp communities in 19 countries so far. Bringing Qype into the fold will enable us to accelerate our international growth and increase our benefit to consumers and businesses.

Qype’s contributors have written more than two million reviews of local businesses, resulting in more than 15 million monthly unique visitors to the service.

Combine that with more than 30 million Yelp reviews and 78 million unique monthly visitors, and you can see why teaming up will make us even better at helping you find that perfect restaurant/museum/dentist/hair salon/shoe store in Los Angeles/Memphis/London/Hamburg/Singapore. It’s a beautiful thing, really.

So, what’s next? As always, we don’t want to disrupt the consumer experience, so we are going to take a deliberate approach to integrating our products, starting with mobile. For today, we simply want to take a moment to celebrate this new union and welcome all the new members of our family.

via Techcrunch

Megaupload Preparing to Return as Mega

Speaking to Wired, Kim Doctom – the dynamic founder of Megaupload, detailed his plans for a comeback. Earlier this year, in a controversial move, the United States Department of Justice seized and shut down the file-hosting site Megaupload.com and moved criminal cases against its owners. However, Dotcom is already out on bail and working on his next venture – Mega.

Kim-Dotcom-Megaupload

Like Megaupload, Mega will be a cyber-locker that will be driven by a subscription model, allowing users to upload and share files with ease. However, there will be a few crucial differences. Having been burnt once, Dotcom is trying to work around the legal pitfalls that led to the Megaupload’s downfall. Mega will automatically encrypt all uploaded files with AES algorithm and provide a key to the user. Mega itself won’t have the key, and hence won’t have any idea about the content of the files uploaded to its servers. Dotcom hopes that this will allow Mega to avoid liability for the uploaded content. However, if a content owner discovers that his content is being illegally shared through Mega, he can file a complaint with Mega and get his content removed. Dotcom informed the Wired that according to his legal experts, the only way to stop such a service from existing is to make encryption itself illegal. “And according to the U.N. Charter for Human Rights, privacy is a basic human right,” he elaborated. The presence of encryption algorithms will also mean that de-duplication, which is a technique used by file lockers to identify duplicate files and store only a single instance on their server, is not going to be possible. So, copyright owners will have to remove infringing content one instance at a time. Fingerprinting content to automatically remove copyrighted material is also out of the equation. As with Megaupload, Mega will allow content owners special privileges to directly remove infringing material themselves. “But this time, if they want to use that tool, they’ll have to accept, prior to getting access, that they’re not going to sue us or hold us accountable for the actions of our users,” Dotcom added.

Dotcom believes that his new entity will be on the right side of the law. However, he is not taking any chances. He is also making sure that Mega cannot be brought down by a single raid as it happened with Megaupload. Mega will store all data on two sets of redundant servers, located in two different countries. Additionally, in the long run, Dotcom wants Mega to become a network hosted by thousands of different entities with thousands of different servers, in countries all over the world. “We’re creating a system where any host in the world — from the $2,000 garage operation to the largest online host — can connect their own servers to this network,” Dotcom says. “We can work with anybody, because the hosts themselves cannot see what’s on the servers.”

In the face of increased resistance from copyright holders and law enforcement agencies, the piracy ring has little choice but to grow up. Couple of days back, we saw The Pirate Bay switching to cloud hosting to protect themselves from server seizures. Now, Mega – which on paper is a legitimate service, but will undoubtedly be exploited for distributing warez, is preparing to launch one of the most sophisticated file lockers we have seen. The cat and mouse game between the law enforcers and the law breakers is about to get a lot more interesting.