TECH BYTES: Google upgrades Gmail

September 2, 2009 6:44:51 AM PDT
Google upgraded its e-mail service after a major outage. Service was knocked out for a majority of Gmail users for about two hours on Tuesday.

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The disruption affected free users and businesses that pay for the service. Gmail is the world's third most popular e-mail program with about 150 million subscribers. Google says it has added capacity and made other changes to prevent outages in the future.

Microsoft is promising more than just a performance boost from its new version of Windows. Windows 7 can also improve battery life on laptops. For example, when watching a DVD, newer computers running the software can expect to see 10 to 20 percent longer battery life compared to computers running Windows Vista.

Windows 7 hits stores on October 22nd.

If you are worried about an outbreak of swine flu in your area there is an app for that. Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have developed an iPhone application called "Outbreaks Near Me."

Users can track and report the swine flu and other infectious diseases and set alerts for when they enter an area where there is an outbreak.

Nintendo has announced the follow-up to its popular fitness game Wii Fit. Wii Fit Plus goes on sale October 4th. It includes 15 new mini-games using the Wii balance board. Some will also incorporate the Wii-mote for the first time.

The sequel will cost $20 for the disk alone and $100 as part of a package with the original game and balance board.

Finally, researchers have found that playing the game Tetris can be good for your brain. A study funded by the maker of the classic puzzle game finds that it actually alters the structure of the brain, making it work more efficiently.

The researchers say this could mean playing certain games might help fight off the mental decline that occurs with aging.

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