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Patent Troll Reforms Crash and Burn
May 30, 2014
Information technology groups and a wide range of other businesses are so divided on proposed changes to U.S. patent law that a key U.S. lawmaker abruptly terminated work on patent reform legislation last week. The legislation addresses intellectual property protection practices, informally known as "patent trolling," that overwhelmingly affect computer software and IT components.
Next on the Open Source Horizon: 3D Printing
May 28, 2014
3D printing is not yet a mainstream business activity, but the technology has progressed to the point where users can print three-dimensional objects and manufacture their own prototypes and replacement parts with relative ease. Three-dimensional printing is much more than a hobby industry today. Home users can download design files from websites and print a variety of products for their own use.
Microsoft Opens .Net, Hops on Devops Bandwagon
May 23, 2014
Microsoft recently established a .Net foundation and open sourced substantial parts of the popular programming language, continuing to spread its newfound love for open source software. However, devops may be more of a driving factor. In establishing the independent .Net Foundation and making more key pieces of .Net open source, Microsoft was promoting collaboration and community, it said.
Easing Linux Into the Enterprise
May 22, 2014
The pulling points for migrating either to the Linux desktop or the Linux server often are reduced to two things. One is the cost of not migrating. The other is a decision to deploy Linux gradually -- or entirely -- throughout the office infrastructure. Individuals and businesses migrate to Linux for a variety of reasons. Some do it for cost efficiency -- others for greater flexibility.
Blue Pup Distro: Pride of the Puppy Linux Litter
May 21, 2014
It had to happen sooner or later. It turned out to be sooner. It is here. The Blue Pup Linux distro brings the Metro view to the Linux desktop. This arrangement is not a true Metro interface the likes of the much criticized Windows 8. Instead, it is a Puppy Linux derivative distro, or Pupplet, built around the Chromium Web browser with a Chrome extension.
Network Upgrades Key to Federal IT Agenda
May 21, 2014
The U.S. government could save billions of dollars in the management of IT resources by significantly improving outdated and overworked networks. Federal agencies are making progress on a series of five key IT initiatives designed to improve the management of IT resources: data consolidation, virtualization, cloud computing, remote access and infrastructure diversification.
The Inescapable Logic of Language Localization
May 20, 2014
Tailoring language translations for software documentation and GUIs can make or break an open source project. Localizing language is a unique undertaking, with a number of moving parts. The process of translating language in releases for different target markets presents costly cultural and language translation barriers that often are beyond the financial abilities of the open source community.
The Neverending Systemd Saga
May 19, 2014
Here in the Linux blogosphere, controversies come and go like the wind, leaving a trail of broken chalk and empty whiskey bottles in their wake. Most pass quietly into the annals of time of their own accord, however, so when a luminary such as Eric Steven Raymond weighs in with an opinion, it's a safe bet there's something big going on. That's what happened in March on the topic of Systemd.
Hiring Linux to Run Your Small Business
May 15, 2014
Individuals and businesses migrate to Linux for a variety of reasons. Disgust with Microsoft or Apple regimentation and software limitations are but two of them. For some, the greater flexibility that comes from open source software, as well as better cost and productivity controls, are the driving factors for a move to the Linux OS. The benefits vary depending on the use case.
Case Study: Software Security Pays Off for Heartland
May 14, 2014
Heartland Payment Systems has successfully leveraged software-assurance tools and best practices to drive better security within its IT organization -- and improve its overall business performance. In this podcast, Ashwin Altekar, director of enterprise risk management at Heartland, shares his insights and knowledge with Amir Hartman, the founder and managing director at MainStay.
GSA Follows Corporate IT Procurement Playbook
May 13, 2014
A major federal agency has launched a program designed to acquire information technology and other essential goods and services for the government the same way that major corporations handle procurement. The General Services Administration, which acquires a wide range of products and services on behalf of federal agencies, has initiated a category management acquisition process.
Linux Pros' Top Command Line Secrets
May 12, 2014
It was a relatively quiet week here in the Linux blogosphere, giving residents a long-overdue opportunity to enjoy a few Tequila Tux cocktails and take stock of all the FOSS-related happenings that have taken place over the past few weeks. Among the highlights were the awarding of the IEEE Computer Society's 2014 Computer Pioneer Award to none other than Linus Torvalds.
Making Linux Feel at Home
May 07, 2014
Migrating to a different OS is never easy. Keeping the Windows opened or not chewing on a MacIntosh can be a frustrating and costly experience. Buying new upgraded hardware to keep up with costly new software releases is often an exercise in futility. Running a Linux distribution at home or in a small office can be a productive endeavor that brings cost savings and increased efficiency.
GitHub Unleashes Atom Into Open Source Realm
May 06, 2014
After launching its Atom text editor into beta back in February, GitHub on Tuesday announced that the software is now fully open source under the MIT License. "Much of Atom's functionality is provided by packages, and every Atom package has been open source since the day we launched the beta," explained GitHub developer Nathan Sobo. "Today, we're open sourcing the rest of Atom."
EMC World 2014: Building a Company to Last
May 05, 2014
EMC World -- the company's annual customer, user and partner conference -- kicks off this week in Las Vegas. So it seems like a good time to compare and contrast EMC's current position in the marketplace to its competitors' positions -- and even to its own history. In fact, those points were clarified in its recent Q1 2014 earnings call.
Sexism in FOSS Rears Its Ugly Head Again... and Again
May 05, 2014
It seems there's always some kind of conflict at work in the FOSS community lately, whether it's based on race, on gender or something else. Most recently, it's the gender issue that has been felt most keenly. Not only have we seen the whole GitHub debacle unfold and explode, but then a certain post appeared online that got the Linux community upset all over again.
Security Pros Struggle With Cyberthreat Angst
May 05, 2014
As the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks increase, system defenders in the trenches are losing confidence in their ability to protect their organizations' information assets, suggests a survey released last week. The survey of almost 5,000 global IT security pros found that 57 percent felt their organizations were unprotected from sophisticated cyberattacks.
Snowden's Beloved Tails OS Reaches v1.0 Milestone
May 01, 2014
The volunteers who developed Tails, the open source operating system used by whistleblower Edward Snowden, this week released v1.0. This is the 36th stable release of the OS since the first public version, then called "Amnesia," was released in June 2009. Various security and bug fixes have been incorporated into v1.0. They include a Web browser upgrade and a Tor upgrade.
Federal Initiative Aims to Spur Software Development
April 24, 2014
The allure of Big Data stems from the ability to use advanced technology to manage and manipulate huge amounts of information. Not only that, Big Data offers the opportunity for unlocking information not previously available, and even not previously knowable. However, the software required to underpin Big Data and related IT advances may not be up to the task.
Going Gold - IBM's Mainframe Turns 50
April 22, 2014
Longevity doesn't get much respect in the tech industry, partly due to new technologies regularly entering and dominating industries and commercial markets. However, cultural factors play a part, too. Much of IT's vibrancy results from the startup mindset and youthful employees who willingly embrace crushing 80-hour work weeks for a chance to become millionaires -- or billionaires.
Google Mounts $100K Project Ara Dev Challenge
April 16, 2014
Google announced a $100,000 developers' challenge prize on Wednesday, the second day of its Project Ara modular phone developers' conference. The top two runners-up will get all-expenses paid trips for two or three people to the next Ara devcon -- there will be a few more held this year -- and guaranteed hardware for the project, said Project Ara lead Paul Eremenko.
Fun and Angst With Google Glass
April 15, 2014
Google Glass, which has been the focus of considerable controversy, went on sale Tuesday -- for one day only -- at $1,500, with Android KitKat and new features that include improved battery life, photo bundles, photo replies and voice command sorting. However, one feature -- video calling -- has been eliminated because fewer than 10 percent of Explorer beta users employed it.
Internet Leeches Drawn to Heartbleed
April 14, 2014
It's been more than a week since news of the Heartbleed flaw launched a frantic scramble on the Web, but security professionals' palpitations haven't subsided. The OpenSSL Software Foundation has issued a fix, and Google, Cisco, and hordes of other companies have begun patching their products. Predictably, scammers and spammers have climbed onto the Heartbleed solution bandwagon.
Why Is It So Hard to Think Different?
April 14, 2014
I've been having an interesting week -- first, with AMD, which has returned to profitability and stopped chasing Intel's butt to do some rather interesting different things, like merging x86 and ARM technologies. Then, with IBM, which also realized that chasing Intel wasn't doing it any good. It chose an even more unusual path for its processors, making them "open."

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