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Refracta 8.0 Is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse
December 2, 2016
Refracta is a somewhat obscure Linux distribution that offers exceptional functionality and stability. Obscurity is not always a bad thing when it comes to Linux distros. You can find some very worthwhile alternatives to your current operating system. Refracta is a big surprise in a small package. Many look-alike desktop distros are difficult to distinguish from run-of-the-mill garden varieties.
Gooligan Ransacks More Than 1M Android Accounts
December 2, 2016
More than 1 million Google accounts have been breached by Android malware dubbed "Gooligan," Check Point reported Wednesday. The malware roots infected devices and steals authentication tokens that can be used to access data from various Google apps including Gmail, Google Docs, G Suite and Google Drive. It potentially affects devices running Android 4 and 5.
Docker, Canonical Team on Enterprise Support
December 1, 2016
Docker and Canonical on Wednesday announced a commercial agreement to integrate support for Docker Engine. The partnership gives Canonical customers a single path for support of the Ubuntu operating system and CS Docker Engine in enterprise Docker operations. It provides a streamlined operations and support experience for joint customers by splitting the service obligations in four ways.
It's All Aboard for Linux Gamers at The Final Station
November 30, 2016
The developers of The Final Station, recognizing the growing market for the post-apocalyptic train ride in the open source community, have made their hot-selling title available for the Linux OS. The indie game, which Do My Best Games and TinyBuild launched for PC, Mac, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this summer, became available for Linux last week.
China's Business-Unfriendly Cybersecurity Stance
November 30, 2016
China's parliament earlier this month passed a law aimed at addressing the country's concerns about hacking and terrorism, which has spiked concerns among foreign businesses and human rights advocates. One interpretation of the new law is that it only codifies China's existing cybersecurity practices. However, 46 global business groups across a variety of industries didn't see it that way.
AV Linux Update: Good but Not Better
November 26, 2016
AV Linux could be a music and video lover's dream come true. AV Linux is a specialty distribution that can turn a new or old PC, or an Intel-powered Mac box, into a workstation for audio/graphics/video enthusiasts. AV Linux is one of the few available fully functional Linux distros to give audio and video enthusiasts a professional level collection of tools for handling of audio-visual files.
$5 PoisonTap Tool Easily Breaks Into Locked PCs
November 25, 2016
Proving once again that you can do a lot of damage with a little investment and a lot of ingenuity, security researcher Samy Kamkar recently managed to take down a locked, password-protected computer using a $5 Raspberry Pi. The low-tech cookie-siphoning intrusion is one of Kamkar's simplest hacks ever. He previously has unlocked car doors, garages, wireless remote cameras and other devices.
Gadget Ogling: Big Bendy Screens, Chatterbox Robots, and TV in the Cloud
November 22, 2016
I'm at long last about to start setting up my new home office. Goodbye, Ikea dining table. Hello, fancy new desk. When I actually have my new setup, I'd like to have a monitor at long last to complement my laptop. AOC's latest is under serious consideration. The AG352QCX is a 35-inch, curved behemoth with two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI 2.0 input, VGA, DVI, audio in and out ports, and DisplayPort 1.2.
Microsoft Goes All In for Linux
November 18, 2016
While not quite at the level of a parting of the waters, the news that Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation may seem miraculous to those aware of the past enmity between the company and the open source community. Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation as a platinum member, it announced Wednesday at its Microsoft Connect conference in New York.
JuJu Offers Speedy Model-Driven Software Approach
November 17, 2016
The JuJu cloud platform developed by Canonical integrates a wide variety of cloud services and servers on both public and private clouds using an innovative model-driven software approach. That success has changed fundamentally the nature of software operations as organizations move to cloud-scale services, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical.
wattOS Energizes Aging Hardware
November 15, 2016
wattOS is a stunning example of really great things coming in small packages. wattOS is a lightweight and fast desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS built around the LXDE. It uses the lightweight Openbox window manager as its default user interface. To credit this 8-year-young community of developers with birthing an energy-efficient Linux distribution is an understatement.
Google Insists Android Plays on Level Field in Europe
November 11, 2016
Google on Thursday fired back at the European Commission's charges that it violated antitrust law by imposing coercive rules on mobile operators and developers who use or write applications for its Android operating system. The EC this spring charged that Google's requirements to use its search engine and its Chrome browser on mobile devices running Android were coercive tactics.
AWS Gives Customers On-Premises Linux Option
November 10, 2016
Amazon Web Services recently expanded its menu of cloud services to give customers the option of using the Amazon Linux AMI on premises. Customers can use the Amazon Container Image on premises for the purpose of developing and testing workloads, AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr explained. The AMI provides a stable, secure and high-performance application environment.
Commerce Dept Signs Up Private Sector IT Partners
November 9, 2016
The U.S. Commerce Department recently launched a new effort to jump-start more efficient ways to manage the vast amounts of data that reside within the federal government and put it to productive use. The National Technical Information Service, a unit within the department, is leading the effort. NTIS has selected 35 joint venture partners, or JVPs, to support the program.
Google's Pixel Wins a Place in the Sun
November 8, 2016
Google's Pixel smartphone, which made its debut last month, has gathered some high praise from reviewers. "The Google Pixel is now the best Android smartphone you can buy," wrote Joanna Stern. "The other leading contender was disqualified due to spontaneous combustion," she added, referring to Samsung's doomed Galaxy Note7, which was recalled for safety reasons.
Ubuntu Releases IoT Core Platform
November 7, 2016
Canonical has released Ubuntu Core 16 for the Internet of Things to provide enhanced security and app store support for connected devices. The platform provides regular security updates and gives independent software vendors, manufacturers and enterprises control of system updates. Ubuntu Core 16 uses Ubuntu's snap packages technology to ensure that IoT applications access only necessary data.
Gadget Ogling: Mac's Back, Nintendo Returns, and Huawei Goes to the Edge
November 5, 2016
Apple has unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro, giving the company's core laptop its first full refresh in a few years. The design has metal on all sides, along with a Force Touch trackpad double the size of previous versions. There's a customizable OLED touch strip above the keyboard that responds to gestures and taps, useful for fast access to emoji or secondary controls within an app.
Microsoft Launches Teams to Foil Office 365 Poachers
November 4, 2016
Microsoft has launched Teams, a new collaboration offering designed to fend off Office 365 competitors. The new chat-based workspace product brings together people, conversations and content, along with some familiar productivity tools, to facilitate collaboration on projects. "With Microsoft Teams, we aspire to create a more open, digital environment," noted Microsoft VP Kirk Koenigsbauer.
AvePoint CEO TJ Jiang: Innovation Through Collaboration
November 3, 2016
The latest CRM trends "are part of the whole movement toward digitization of the workforce," said AvePoint CEO TJ Jiang. "We see much more integration and automation in the CRM space. We've been working, for instance, to digitize a social welfare organization, where caseworkers will go in the field to service underprivileged children. ... Historically, it's all been paper-based."
Microsoft Sees 3D Future for Everyone
November 3, 2016
Microsoft last week unveiled its new vision for bringing 3D to the masses through a modernized version of its Paint application for Windows 10. Paint 3D will be available in the Windows 10 Creators Update. Anyone who would like to start creating and sharing in Paint 3D can do so by joining the Windows Insider Program -- available for PC and Phone -- the company said.
Broadcom Sews Up $5B Deal for Brocade
November 3, 2016
Chip manufacturer Broadcom on Wednesday announced that it would buy Brocade Communications, a major supplier of fiber channel storage area networking technology to data centers, for $5.5 billion in cash and the assumption of Brocade's $400 million debt. That represents a 47 percent premium over Brocade's closing share price last week, said Brocade CEO Lloyd Carney.
Lenovo's Yoga Book Aims for Top Shelf
November 2, 2016
Lenovo's recently unveiled 2-in-1, the Yoga Book, is available in Android Marshmallow and Windows 10 Home versions. Reviews have been mixed, with some praising its look and feel, but some considering its capabilities not up to scratch. Its Intel Atom processor doesn't provide enough power for a workhorse device, they've argued. The Android version costs $500 and the Windows version goes for $550.
Q4OS+Trinity Gives New Meaning to Lightweight
November 2, 2016
Q4OS is a lightweight Linux distro that offers some worthwhile alternatives to more established distros. Q4OS version 1.6.1 "Orion," released this summer, has as its main claim to fame the developing Trinity desktop. Trinity is a breakaway fork from the KDE 3 community. I took a detailed first look at this new distro last year, primarily to assess the Trinity desktop.
Microsoft: Google's Policy Endangers Windows Users
November 1, 2016
Google on Monday posted to the Internet a previously unpublicized flaw that could pose a security threat to users of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Google notified both Microsoft and Adobe of zero day vulnerabilities in their software on Oct. 21, wrote Neel Mehta and Billy Leonard, members of Google's Threat Analysis Group, in an online post.
Apple vs. Microsoft: Remixing the Magic
October 31, 2016
What I think is funny in this market is that most people can look at two companies, see the difference in their performance, and not learn the fundamental lesson. The core magic is this: having someone who is running the company who both understands the technology and understands either the customer's current needs -- or how to manipulate customers to need what you make.
Apple Brings a Surprising Touch to MacBook Event
October 28, 2016
Apple on Thursday unveiled two new MacBook Pro laptops, adding a touch more power to the line. Both the new 13-inch and 15-inch models will be offered in silver and space gray. They have a Touch Bar that replaces the row of function keys found on laptops, as well as a Touch ID fingerprint scanner incorporated into the power button. They sport a Force Touch trackpad that's twice the size of the trackpad in previous models.
IBM's Watson Smartens Up iOS Enterprise Apps
October 27, 2016
IBM has announced that it will incorporate its IBM Watson cognitive capabilities into the MobileFirst for iOS ecosystem to help boost the productivity of the global workforce. It was a little more than two years ago that the company entered a groundbreaking partnership with Apple to enhance the mobile enterprise space. The move is part of an overall rollout of enhancements to IBM's Watson tech.
Microsoft's New Tech Targets Human Creativity
October 27, 2016
Microsoft made a slew of announcements at its New York City event Wednesday, focusing on the idea of user as creator. Among its new offerings: the Surface Studio, an all-in-one desktop computer with a touchscreen that's 12.5mm thick; the Surface Dial, a new input device that provides haptic feedback; the Surface Book i7; VR headsets for Windows 10; and a revamped Paint app with 3D capability.
Gadget Ogling: Magnificent Mics, Intriguing E-Ink, and Compact Computers
October 26, 2016
I've tried dipping my toes into the world of podcasting with a friend this year. We haven't found it easy to get together to record, but for the two trial runs we've had, I bought a Blue Snowball mic. I'm very pleased with the sound quality, so I'm fairly certain I'd be happy to have Blue's latest microphone, Raspberry. It's a gorgeous, portable little thing.
Google's Jamboard Aids Enterprise Brainstorming Sessions
October 26, 2016
Google on Tuesday announced Jamboard, a digital whiteboard for collaboration in the cloud. It's compatible with G Suite and Google Search, as well as Google Drive. Users can collaborate and broadcast their work globally through Google Hangouts. Jamboard has a 55-inch 4K display with touchscreen functionality, a built-in HD camera, speakers, and WiFi connectivity.
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