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IDF2013: Intel's Evolution Hugs the Inside Track
September 30, 2013
Silicon Valley loves an underdog. That's partly because such tales feed the industry's self-mythologizing and the IPO culture that attracts fresh money. To be honest, IT can boast more than its fair share of such successes: Hewlett and Packard, Jobs and Wozniak, and Page and Brin all helped make the industry what it is today. However, mythic underdogs also serve as distractions from another truth.
Oracle Plays Catch-Up With In-Memory Database Capabilities
September 24, 2013
Oracle on Monday announced an in-memory option for Oracle Database 12c that will accelerate analytics, data warehousing, reporting, and online transaction processing for Oracle in-memory applications that "deliver extreme performance on Oracle Engineered Systems," according to the company. "This is a story about Oracle being a bit late to the game," said Infostructure Associates' Wayne Kernochan.
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.
A Satellite's-Eye View on Mobile Payments
September 17, 2013
Turn-by-turn directions have become a common technological enhancement to the automotive world thanks to a set of satellites dedicated to the task. To date, these radio positioning signals have been supplied to consumers primarily by the U.S. military through a satellite constellation called "GPS," or Global Positioning System. Essentially, receivers on the ground interpret the signals and tell you where you are.
Open Source Is Woven Into the Latest, Hottest Trends
September 12, 2013
We may not see or hear much about open source in the latest cloud or Big Data offerings, but it's playing a significant role in the most disruptive trends in enterprise IT. Just as we've seen with open source in cloud computing, it is an integral part of trends that currently are disrupting consumer and enterprise IT markets, including hybrid cloud computing, automation and devops, and Big Data.
VCE's Digital Factory Vision
September 11, 2013
Technology has always enabled the "factorification" of processes and skills for both users and suppliers of IT. The success of early computing solutions rested in replacing hundreds and thousands of Bob Cratchett-like professionals with systems that required few, if any, sick days and no vacations. Then businesses discovered they needed to hire hundreds or thousands of technical gurus.
PayPal Lights Beacon for Hands-Free Payments
September 10, 2013
PayPal on Monday announced new technology that aims to make paying for goods as simple as walking into a store. Specifically, PayPal Beacon is a contactless payment system that uses Bluetooth Low Energy to connect with customer handsets to send offers and complete transactions. The mobile wallet-like payment system lets consumers pay for purchases hands-free.
Amazon Dips Its Toe Into the Brisk WiFi Waters
August 26, 2013
Amazon has run tests on WiFi technology that could give Kindle users direct Internet connectivity, according to a recent report. The technology uses spectrum controlled by satellite communications company Globalstar, which is perhaps best known as a global satellite phone service provider. It is possible that the tests were part of a series conducted jointly by Globalstar and Jarvinian.
Facebook Aims to 'Friend' the World - With Benefits
August 21, 2013
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday launched Internet.org, a project with a goal no less lofty than to provide Internet access to everyone on the planet. With other founding members including Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung, the project aims to develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online.
Groklaw Shutters Doors Over Email Privacy Concerns
August 20, 2013
The continuing flood of news about the NSA's surveillance of Americans' communications, which has already forced secure email providers Lavabit and Silent Circle to shut down, has now claimed yet another victim. Specifically, award-winning tech legal news site Groklaw, which served the free and open source software community, on Tuesday announced that it is closing because of email security concerns.
IBM, Google, Nvidia and Pals Launch OpenPower
August 19, 2013
In parsing any announcement, it's good to keep an eye on 1) what is being done; 2) who is involved; and 3) how and why the world will be different if they succeed. In the case of the OpenPower Consortium, the effort is grounded in IBM's decision to make its Power microprocessor architecture and related technologies fully available to partners and customers.
Dismal Quarter Sheds No Light on Dell's Murky Future
August 16, 2013
Dell posted its Q2 earnings report Thursday, reporting a 72 percent drop in net income. The report comes in the throes of a long-running battle for Dell's future. Founder and CEO Michael Dell is leading an effort to take the company private through a $25 billion deal, but activist shareholder Carl Icahn has come out strongly against it, suggesting an alternate plan.
Putting Enterprise Risk Under the Microscope
July 29, 2013
Recent developments in the cybersecurity landscape have heightened interest in accurately anticipating and understanding risk, and using that knowledge to better manage organizations. Enterprises are better delivering risk assessment and, one hopes, defenses, in the current climate of challenging cybersecurity. Nation-state types of threats may have a very serious impact on organizations.
IBM's Smart CSL Buy
July 19, 2013
Over the past three-plus decades, it is hard to think of a business computing-related technology that's driven more fundamental value than virtualization, and it's for a very simple reason: Since hardware evolves at a far faster pace than software, systems tend to deliver far more performance than needed, meaning they are drastically underutilized.
SolePower: Stepping Away From the Grid
July 12, 2013
Here's a charging method that could make a lot of sense. It's one that isn't reliant on the sun to convert solar radiation into power; it also isn't reliant on heavy batteries for its mojo. Instead, SolePower's Kickstarter project aims to generate power kinetically with each step you take. That's via a shoe insert, specifically, and it uses the same principle as a hand-crank flashlight.
France Nixes '3 Strikes' Law for Copyright Infringers
July 10, 2013
France has abandoned a law that called for copyright infringers' Internet connections to be cut off upon a third offense. The law stipulated that letters be sent the first and second time people illicitly downloaded copyrighted material; the third time around, an offender's Web access would be disconnected. The change of heart reflects a shift in focus, according to a French spokesperson.
Love 'Em or Hate 'Em, There's IT Gold in Those FFEs
July 10, 2013
The policy debate that has been raised by the Obama administration's healthcare reform program continues to smolder -- and even break into heated rhetoric when political supporters and critics of "Obamacare" get into the fray. However, in the three years or so that the program has been under way, its information technology gears have been turning right along.
A Better Window on SaaS and Hybrid Apps
July 08, 2013
Managing applications sprawl has long been a burr in the IT saddle, and the popularity of Software as a Service applications hasn't exactly been a balm. As with on-premises applications, the key to SaaS and hybrid apps is getting better visibility and operational data on the applications' health, and then automating the processes across standardized methods and controls. Easier said than done.
Apple to Build Solar Farm to Power Huge New Data Center
July 03, 2013
Apple, which has a mixed history on environmental issues, will build a solar farm to power its data center in Washoe County, Nev. "SunPower is working with Apple to design and build this project," said Ingrid Ekstrom, spokesperson for SunPower. "We will be building a SunPower C7 Tracker system at the site." The farm will reportedly generate 20 MW of electricity.
In Space, No One Can Hear PayPal Cha-Ching
June 27, 2013
It was once virtually unthinkable for a company to operate on a global scale, but if a recent move by PayPal is any indication, this small planet of ours may soon be just the beginning. In fact, PayPal on Thursday announced the launch of PayPal Galactic, an initiative that's designed to address the upcoming need for universal payments from space.

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