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Installing Linux: The Good, Bad and Ugly
January 29, 2014
Good or bad, useful or not, implementation of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface and Microsoft's Secure Boot extension might well foul the fuel driving consumer migration to the Linux desktop. It was not until I attempted to do a Linux installation on a new Gateway Series DX desktop with Windows 8 installed that I stared that UEFI monster down.
DoJ Throws a Couple of Bones, Tech Firms Back Off
January 28, 2014
The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced two new options for tech companies to report on government requests for information about their customers. In response, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn and Yahoo withdrew their lawsuits against the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court over the issue. The five said they would "continue to encourage Congress to take additional steps."
For IBM and Lenovo, System x Marks the Sweet Spot
January 28, 2014
In case you missed last week's announcement that Lenovo would be acquiring IBM's System x x86 server business -- rumors had been making the rounds for months -- here are some of the details: Lenovo is acquiring IBM's x86 server hardware business for $2.3 billion, approximately $2 billion of which will be paid in cash and the balance in Lenovo stock.
Google Buys DeepMind to Dig Deeper Into Data
January 27, 2014
News that Google is purchasing artificial intelligence company DeepMind for between $500 million and $650 million surfaced Monday. The first commercial applications of DeepMind are in simulations, e-commerce and games. "These are the areas most likely to benefit from -- and generate revenue from -- AI," aid Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.
Lenovo Rising, IBM Evolving
January 27, 2014
The new deal IBM and Lenovo announced last week showcases that the companies are on very different paths toward two widely divergent but equally powerful goals in what is a rapidly changing market. Lenovo is on a path to dominate the hardware side's second technology wave, while IBM is jumping to what may be the fourth technology wave. IBM dominated the first wave -- mainframes.
The Case of the Missing OS, or Did Apple Eat Pear?
January 27, 2014
Here in the Linux community, it's no secret that there are more flavors of our favorite operating system than most of us can keep track of. That doesn't mean, however, that one can just up and disappear without anyone noticing. Case in point: Pear OS. One day it's freely available for download, offering a remarkably Mac-like experience that's nevertheless based on Linux.
IBM Deal Propels Lenovo Into Enterprise Hardware Game
January 24, 2014
Lenovo has struck a deal to acquire IBM's x86 server business. The deal, jointly announced Thursday, covers System x; BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches; x86-based Flex integrated systems; NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and related software; blade networking; and maintenance operations. Lenovo is paying around $2.3 billion for the business.
Apple TV: From High Hopes to Has-Been
January 24, 2014
When it comes to TV, Apple is starting to recede into the dark corners of my mind. Its relevance -- and even potential relevance -- is waning. A fancypants Apple-made big-screen HDTV device that seems to float in the air and function like a delightful work of art... . It not only seems unlikely any time soon, but also unlikely to really matter to anyone but rich Apple enthusiasts.
Quirky Linux Gets More Pep Out of Puppy
January 23, 2014
Quirky is a very interesting Linux distro that is a developmental sideline of the main Puppy Linux family. I expected some quirks in Quirky's design and performance, despite its mature growth to version 6.1 released on Jan. 1. However, the few quirks I found did not mar its performance. Quirky was easy to set up and fun to run. It is just as reliable and complete as the main Puppy Linux distro.
LogMeIn's Free Service Permanently Logs Out
January 23, 2014
LogMeIn has announced that it will be shutting down its free service and unifying its existing portfolio of paid products in a single offering. Existing users of LogMeIn Free will be given seven days from the next time they log on to the service to upgrade to the premium service at a discounted price of $49. LogMeIn was an early pioneer in what's known in business circles as the "freemium" model.
How to Slim Down a Bloated Android Device
January 22, 2014
It's a good idea to prune an Android device periodically, for a few reasons. A mishmash of apps, some aging, have all kinds of on-device routines running that can negatively affect performance. Worse, some are continually accessing the Internet and eating into your data cap -- unlimited wireless Internet on mobile devices is practically nonexistent these days.
HP Urges Consumers to Give In to Their Win 7 Cravings
January 21, 2014
HP launched a marketing campaign over the weekend advertising that Windows 7 was "back by popular demand." On its website, HP highlighted a handful of devices that run on the older version of Microsoft's OS, and it is selling the Core i5 and i7-powered machines at a $150 discount. The marketing campaign caters to consumers who aren't ready to embrace Windows 8's significant changes.
Can Android Challenge Embedded Linux?
January 21, 2014
Is the Android OS morphing into a new form of embedded Linux? Android is a Linux OS derivative perched to make inroads beyond its growing user base in smartphones and tablets. Some auto makers are considering the potential for Android-connected communications systems in their vehicles. The Android OS is already available as an all-in-one desktop computer powered by System on a Chip circuitry.
Microsoft Struggles to Get Surface Pro Updates Right
January 20, 2014
Microsoft is rolling out a fix for a troubled firmware update for Surface Pro 2. Many of those who installed the December patch saw battery-life issues and trouble with the sleep and shutdown functions on the tablets. Some users reported that battery power drained more quickly, and that their Surface either did not charge fully or did not show it was actively being charged.
Cloud Powers the Internet of Things
January 18, 2014
The Internet of Things is a key driver of accelerated growth of cloud-based alternatives to traditional on-premises systems and software, and as the new year begins to unfold, it is gaining momentum. The idea of the IoT evolved from the more narrowly focused concept of machine-to-machine communications, which has been floating around for a while and is now getting more attention.
Obama's NSA Reforms Draw Tepid Response
January 18, 2014
In a keenly anticipated speech, President Obama on Friday announced reforms to the NSA's surveillance activities, but his pronouncements failed to please just about everyone. "We heard nothing in his speech or proposal that will repair the damage that has been done to the tech industry and the future of the Internet," said Matt Simons, director of social justice at ThoughtWorks.
What's Up With Tizen?
January 15, 2014
Consumers might soon have access to cheaper, more talented smartphones that could challenge the market dominance of Android and iOS. At least that is the promise from the Tizen Association. The growing group of phone makers and application developers recently launched a partner program with 36 companies from all segments of the mobile and connected device ecosystems.
Tech and the Art of Text
January 15, 2014
In 1999, Chris Baty was looking for inspiration to write a novel. He got together with some friends in coffee shops and started writing, with rewards of coffee for those who reached their word counts. It was the birth of National Novel Writing Month, which the following year would become NaNoWriMo, a Web-based community of writers who commit to writing a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.
AMD Unleashes Kaveri APUs
January 14, 2014
AMD is attempting to take computing to a new level with the launch of its 2014 AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Units. The A-Series APUs include AMD's Radeon R7 graphics technology and are codenamed "Kaveri." The chips mark the first time that AMD has used the Heterogeneous System Architecture in an APU -- a way to let the chip evenly allocate and give access to certain resources.
French Cabbies Attack Uber Vehicles
January 14, 2014
French taxi drivers reportedly attacked vehicles linked to Uber, a smartphone app that helps people find shared rides and drivers-for-hire -- or, from cabbies' perspective, erodes a time-honored business model. Protestors blocked traffic and went after the service's vehicles, reported one Uber-using witness, Kat Borlongan. The vehicle she was in suffered significant damage, including a flat tire.

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