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Microsoft Gets a Lift From the Cloud
October 25, 2013
Microsoft on Thursday announced revenue of $18.53 billion and net income of $5.24 billion for its first quarter of 2014. The earnings, which outperformed what analysts had been expecting, were driven in large part by strong sales of Office and the company's server software. They came in spite of the company's search for a new CEO and its larger push to reinvent itself.
Cost Control, Security Top Federal IT Managers' Worry Lists
October 25, 2013
The tough political bargaining over the federal budget underscored by the recent government shutdown portends a continuing emphasis on keeping the cost of government under control. As federal agencies resume full operations after the budget and debt ceiling hiatus, it is clear that the goal of getting more for less" will continue to be a major theme for the IT specialists managing federal budgets.
AMD, Verizon Pump Each Other Up
October 22, 2013
Customer testimonials play an odd role in many IT industry announcements. At first glance, they offer proof that technologies are actually being used successfully as advertised, lending credence to vendors' sometimes lofty go-to-market claims. Even the most enthusiastic clients tend to guarded, though, for fear that they may injure relationships with other vendors or negate competitive advantages.
Strong Encryption, Natural Language Search Make Potent Cocktail
October 22, 2013
Strong encryption and natural language search can be like oil and water. That's because encrypted data can't be digested by your typical search engine. However, CipherCloud announced a solution to that knotty problem last week. The latest version of the 3-year-old company's cloud-based service includes something it's calling "searchable strong encryption."
Demo Fall 2013: Little Slices of Amazing New Technology
October 21, 2013
Demo's fall conference took place last week. This show has proven to be both a great and an expensive experience for me every year. Great because the technology shown is often truly amazing; expensive because I almost always end up buying one or two items, and my taste trends toward pricey. This year was no different, and my product of the week is the product I'd most like to personally own.
Turning Politics Into Political Science With Big Data
October 21, 2013
It's no secret that Big Data is changing the face of customer analytics, giving organizations new insight into customers' wants and preferences. A similar phenomenon is going on in the realm of politics. In the 2012 U.S. national elections, in fact, the Democratic National Committee leveraged Big Data analytics to better understand and predict voter behavior and alliances.
Cloud Providers Vie for a Government Edge
October 18, 2013
While the federal market for cloud technologies promises to be a prime opportunity for vendors, it is becoming clear that providers cannot expect the phone to ring with orders from federal agencies. Instead, vendors will have to make investments in product development, marketing and other activities related to the IT requirements of federal agencies.
Cloud Mate Makes iCloud a Breeze
October 15, 2013
For a company that prides itself on creating intuitive applications, Apple stumbled when it created iCloud. As a Dropbox user, I found little in iCloud that I needed. In fact, finding iCloud on a Mac can be adventurous, although it has a nasty habit of showing up as a default save location when I want to save a file from an app to my hard drive. Cloud Mate aims to take some of the mystery out of iCloud. It gathers up everything in your iCloud and displays it in a single Finder-like window.
MediaFire's Derek Labian: Cloud Storage Is an Everyday Need
October 15, 2013
Security and privacy concerns may be far outweighed for many users by the convenience and appeal of the cloud, but users need to view cloud access as more than just another storage utility on the desktop. That's according to Derek Labian, CEO of cloud storage service MediaFire. Instead, cloud users need to focus on cloud performance and application functionality, Labian suggests.
The Cloud's Untapped Vein of Gold
October 11, 2013
Although the cloud marketplace is growing rapidly, the current rate of growth will continue only if a broader set of strong channel companies emerge to extend the reach of today's cloud leaders into new industries and geographies. I've been suggesting for years that building more channels to market for cloud vendors is essential to the growth of the industry.
HP Seeks Chromebook Sweet Spot With $279 Device
October 08, 2013
Google and HP on Tuesday unveiled the latest addition to the Chromebook family: the HP Chromebook 11. Like its earlier counterparts, this Chromebook weighs next to nothing -- roughly 2 pounds -- and runs Google's Linux-based Chrome OS operating system. This new one, however -- priced at $279 -- comes with some high-end touches and enough power to stake out new ground in the low-cost mobile computing space.
Russia Going for Gold in Surveillance at Winter Olympics
October 07, 2013
Russia's FSB security service wants to ensure that every ounce of electronic communication is monitored at next February's Winter Olympics in Sochi, according to a team of Russian investigative journalists. The journalists reportedly unearthed documents and tenders from Russian communication companies that suggest the FSB will make liberal use of newly installed telephone and Internet spying capabilities.
The Dawning of the Predictive Business Era
October 07, 2013
A momentous shift in business strategy is taking place. Big Data, cloud computing and mobility, in tandem, are having an enormous impact on how businesses must act -- and react -- across their markets. The agility goal of real-time responses is no longer good enough. What's apparent across more business ecosystems is that businesses must extend their ability to react well into the future.
Dell Whisks the Wraps Off New Tablets, Laptops
October 03, 2013
Dell on Wednesday released new tablets and updates to its XPS line of laptops for geeks, less than three weeks after founder Michael Dell won a long and bitter battle to take the company private again. The company launched two Windows 8.1 tablets and two Android tablets under the revived "Venue" name. It also unveiled the XPS 11, XPS 13 and XPS 15 laptops.
Revisiting Risk Assessment in the Cloud
October 01, 2013
The case for cloud is compelling for a number of reasons, but one of the more compelling reasons from a technologist's point of view has to do with the ability to abstract lower levels of the application stack. Depending on the model of cloud employed, varying amounts of the underlying technology components move out of the scope of your direct control.
RealNetworks Banks on Cloud for Video-Sharing Comeback
September 25, 2013
RealNetworks on Tuesday announced RealPlayer Cloud, a new service that allows users to upload video files to the company's servers and then view and share them across devices. Billed by the company as the first integrated video player and cloud service, RealPlayer Cloud automatically transforms video formats in the cloud to give viewers the highest-quality experience possible, RealNetworks said.
Adobe to Give Creatives New Gizmos
September 18, 2013
Adobe will pair hardware devices with its creative software suite next year when it launches a cloud pen and a digital ruler that work with tablets. The company plans to release its Mighty digital pen, a thin-tipped stylus designed to help digital artists have more control over their creativity while drawing on a tablet screen. The pressure-sensitive pen comes with color and tip tools.
Federal Networks Can't Handle Planned IT Upgrades
September 18, 2013
Ambitious plans to improve federal information technology systems could easily founder on the shoals of deficient networks. Government agencies currently are striving to meet the challenges associated with initiatives in five major areas: cloud technology; Big Data management; cybersecurity requirements; data center consolidation; and, increasingly, mobile IT.
Reimagining Business Processes Drives the First Mover Advantage
September 18, 2013
It's easy to be blinded by the obvious. Something is right in front of you, but you attribute its effect to a different cause. The reason for a paradigm shift, for example, is not always the obvious causative agent. Dell became a great PC company, for instance, by mastering the logistics of just-in-time inventory, highly flexible manufacturing techniques and great logistics.
Box Unboxes Note-Taking App Beta
September 16, 2013
Cloud storage provider Box has unveiled a private beta of Box Notes, a real-time content creation and collaboration feature, as an add-on to its existing services. Box Notes is designed to let business teams capture and share ideas on the fly. "Box has gotten a reputation as being the most secure enterprise file-sharing service," said Gerry Purdy, principal analyst at MobileTrax.

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