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Robo Brain Teaches a Robot to Fish
August 28, 2014
Researchers are building Robo Brain, a large-scale computational system that collates information from the Internet, from computer simulations, and from real-life robot trials -- and learns from it. That knowledge base will be used to drive prototypes for robotics research, household robots and self-driving cars. The researchers have begun downloading an assortment of images and documents.
Salesforce.com Engulfs Communities in Community Cloud
August 27, 2014
Salesforce.com on Wednesday announced the debut of the Salesforce1 Community Cloud. The product is launching as a new division for Salesforce.com, on par with its Sales, Service and Marketing Cloud offerings, said Lisa Hammitt, VP of business operations. Built on the Salesforce1 Platform, Community Cloud connects to Salesforce CRM and related business processes.
Amazon Pulls a Twitch on Google
August 25, 2014
Amazon has inked a deal to acquire Twitch Interactive, a real-time video platform for gamers. Prior to the disclosure, rumors had been building that it was on track to snatch Twitch from Google, which reportedly had been very close to buying it. The pending acquisition was rumored to be for upwards of $1 billion. However, Amazon said it was buying the company for $970 million cash.
Salesforce Stock Climbs on Great Expectations
August 22, 2014
Salesforce.com on Thursday reported a second-quarter loss of about 10 cents per share -- but hey, who's counting? Not investors, apparently, who drove up the price of its stock 7.6 percent by market close Friday. Certainly not Wall Street analysts like Deutsche Bank, which promptly raised its target price for the company to $70.00 per share, pointing to a potential 25.65 percent upside.
Dropbox's Mailbox Lands on Mac Desktop
August 20, 2014
Dropbox, which acquired Mailbox last year, on Tuesday announced the availability of a Mac-only desktop beta version of the program. The beta is free, but you need a "betacoin" to download it. Betacoins are being emailed to existing users of the program, as well as people who sign up at the Mailbox website. Desktop Mailbox has a number of new features not found in its mobile doppelgangers.
Scott Sanchez on OpenStack: Shifting a Mindset
August 15, 2014
OpenStack, which turned 4 years old this summer, began as a twinkle in Scott Sanchez's eyes. He was determined to turn the fledgling Infrastructure as a Service platform he helped create into a thriving resource for public and private clouds. OpenStack is an open source project. Its technology consists of a series of interrelated projects for managing public and private cloud operations.
Infor Aims to Fill a Gap With Saleslogix
August 15, 2014
Infor, a provider of business application software and cloud services, has agreed to acquire Saleslogix, a CRM application that is currently owned by Swiftpage. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks. Financial details were not disclosed. For Swiftpage, the reason for the sale is straightforward: It allows it to focus on ACT!, a less-complex CRM application.
Freedom Act Leaves IT Sector at Risk for Spy Program Costs
August 14, 2014
A recent U.S. Senate proposal to curb the impact of electronic surveillance conducted by the NSA could enhance privacy for citizens and benefit businesses as well. However, major information technology companies that help the government collect telecom and Internet data still will be vulnerable to the substantial costs of working with the NSA, even if the proposed bill becomes law.
Nvidia's Tegra K1 Stars in New Acer Chromebook
August 12, 2014
Acer America has rolled out a new Chromebook contender featuring a 13.3-inch display and an Nvidia Tegra K1 mobile processor. With a battery life of up to 13 hours, along with a light, fanless design, the Acer Chromebook 13 is available with a full HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 2 GB of memory and a 16-GB solid state drive for $299.99; or 1366 x 768, with similar specs, for $279.99.
Feds Struggle to Corral Data
August 11, 2014
U.S. government agencies are struggling to manage the huge amount of data they generate or process, despite the goals of a program designed to operate thousands of data centers more efficiently. The idea behind the FDCCI was to save space, energy and IT costs by consolidating woefully underutilized electronic data storage centers into fewer sites and servers.
Joining Forces to Harness the Internet of Things
August 08, 2014
A rising tide of interest has sparked a series of competitive moves among the widening array of software and technology providers vying for a share of the rapidly expanding IoT market. As with previous major IT industry trends, the enormous promise of the IoT has driven a growing number of large and small players to rebrand and reposition their product and service offerings.
A Fresh Look at OpenStack
August 06, 2014
The OpenStack project continues to be something of a lightning rod and also something of a dichotomy in the industry. On one hand, it has drawn the involvement of hundreds of supporting vendors and more than 17,000 individual members. It ranks highly among priorities, particularly for private clouds. Yet critics are quick to point out issues, such as installation and implementation difficulties.
Retailers Harassed by Backoff Malware
August 05, 2014
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security last week sounded an alarm warning retailers of a family of malicious programs aimed at compromising point-of-sale systems. Attackers used such software last year in massive data breaches that nicked millions of consumer records at Target and Nieman Marcus. Variants of the Backoff family have turned up in at least three forensic investigations.
Microsoft May Put an Attractive Price Tag on Win 9: Free
August 04, 2014
The "free Windows 9" rumor once again is making the rounds. The buzz over Microsoft's supposed plan to offer users of Windows XP, Win 7, Win Vista and Win 8 a free upgrade to Windows 9, which began in June, has been amplified -- once again, by unnamed sources. The second Windows 8.1 update will be delivered Aug. 12, which is Patch Tuesday, but it's expected to be a low-key offering.
Federal Cloud Adoption Blossoms
August 04, 2014
The U.S. government's foray into cloud computing could hardly be called "mature," but it appears to be moving from infancy to something akin to pre-teen status. Agencies increasingly are embracing the cloud, and the pace of acquisition reflects more comfort with the solution. Several recently launched initiatives affect federal agencies and technology vendors in the cloud acquisition process.
Google Hangouts Get Down to Business
August 01, 2014
Google has unveiled a handful of new features for Google Apps for Business designed to attract more enterprise customers. Google Hangouts, its video chat service, will be further integrated into Google's enterprise suite, entitling Google Apps for Business customers to 24/7 phone support and 99.9 percent guaranteed uptime, the same support level they get with Google Drive and business Gmail.
LittleBits Leaps to the Cloud
July 31, 2014
LittleBits, the maker of what might best be thought of as electronic Legos, last week launched cloudBit, a module that provides users with access to the Internet. LittleBits offers modules that are used, like Legos, to build gizmos with electronic capabilities. The modules are held together by magnets, and no soldering or wiring is needed. "This is serious cool," said tech analyst Jim McGregor.
The Slow but Steady March to the Cloud
July 24, 2014
The cloud is an idea that actually has been with us for many years before we gave it the name "cloud." All of a sudden, it is growing into a large and important space. Most companies are dipping their toes in the cloud -- however, many corporate customers are going only so far. Why the delay? Fear of the unknown is one reason. No doubt the cloud is going to be the way we do things in the future.
Cloud App Security: Foggy With Low Visibility
July 21, 2014
While the cloud promises faster time to market and reduced costs, it also presents a new landscape for hackers to attack and achieve their goals -- namely, to find and gain unauthorized access to data and information. Attackers follow the data they are after, and if that data is residing in the cloud, then they are going to start operating in the cloud as well.
Siri May Be Starting a Hope Chest
July 18, 2014
It may not be a marriage made in heaven, but the cloud is pretty close. Just hours after IBM and Apple announced their strategic partnership, speculation began to spread about two of their most well-known products: What if Siri and Watson were to hook up? Siri is Apple's voice-enabled digital personal assistant. Watson is IBM's AI software, perhaps best known for winning Jeopardy!
Here Come the Cloud-Based Big Data Management Services
July 16, 2014
The explosive growth of data is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations of all sizes across nearly every industry, and a growing number of cloud service providers are recognizing that they can provide more than just simple storage and economical compute power to their customers buried in data. They also can help them manage their processing needs on an ongoing basis.
Can EMC 'Redefine Possible' for Enterprise Clients?
July 15, 2014
There's no shortage of utopian visions in the IT industry, but the journey to cloud computing that some folks espouse makes the trip to Shangri-La look like a simple walk in the park. Why so? Because, like it or not, even in the best circumstances businesses must continue to support legacy applications and systems while they are adopting next-gen technologies.
New IoT Group to Get Devices Talking Among Themselves
July 11, 2014
Half a dozen companies this week launched the Open Interconnect Consortium to define the connectivity requirements and improve the interoperability of the 200 billion devices that will make up the Internet of Things by 2020. The consortium aims to define a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.
Nadella Spells Out Microsoft's Bold Ambitions
July 10, 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Thursday mapped out his vision for the company's future, emphasizing cloud and mobile computing, in a letter to all employees. "More recently, we have described ourselves as a 'devices and services' company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy," Nadella wrote.

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