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Build Your Own Simple Linux Banking Tool
December 03, 2013
The Linux OS lacks an effective yet simple checking and banking tool. There are money-management tools for Linux users, of course, but most full-fledged offerings are overkill for monitoring spending patterns and balancing financial accounts. In general, Linux financial applications are either too complex to use without an accounting degree or too simple to be truly useful.
A Tale of Two Browsers: Chrome v. Chromium
November 26, 2013
If you've ever used Google's free Chrome browser, you may be aware that it's closely related to another, similarly named Google project called "Chromium." Chrome and Chromium share a heavy portion of their core browser code, but Chrome is a proprietary Google product, while Chromium is open source. Both serve Linux, Windows and Mac OS X platforms, however.
Digital Santa, Part 1: It's a Mall World
November 25, 2013
Red costume, white beard, ruddy cheeks, cheery voice and smiling, twinkly-eyed charm -- all are indispensable tools for any self-respecting Santa Claus. Nowadays, however, there's a lot more than mere lovable magic going on in the business of being Mr. Claus. Modern Santa has gone high-tech, and today he's all about things like Web landing pages, smartphone apps and ever-more-impressive techno-spectacle.
Technology's Artsy Side
November 20, 2013
Google Earth sometimes makes mistakes: Freeways look like they are upside down or waterfalls flow sideways. For engineers or programmers, these might seem like things to fix. For artists like Clement Valla, however, they're artistic opportunities. Valla's project Postcards from Google Earth, for instance, looks at these mistakes and asks not how to get rid of them, but what they mean.
Want Customization With That?
November 19, 2013
Enterprise software vendors want you to believe that they can customize their software to fit your company's particular needs. That promise is also one of open source software's chief claims to fame. So is the make-it-your-way vendor promise a better option than what the open source community offers? No solution involving tailoring versus customizing business software is really free.
Graphene: Have Strength and Conductivity, Will Transform
November 16, 2013
A developing technology using an ultra-thin layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb structure could start revolutionizing consumer electronics and many other industries in less than five years. Known as "graphene," the material's special strength and conductivity make it an ideal component of super-fast, very sensitive and low-cost devices.
The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Robots
November 13, 2013
Robotic instruments that could be programmed to play music, respond to human musicians, and even improvise were a source of fascination for Steven Kemper during his graduate student days. To bring to life his machine music vision, Kemper and colleagues Scott Barton and Troy Rogers founded Expressive Machines Musical Instruments, and began designing PAM.
How to Avoid Cloud Vendor Lock-In
November 13, 2013
Vendor lock-in has been such a standard part of enterprise IT over the years that it often goes unnoticed and unquestioned. Recently, however, that lock-in mentality has followed enterprises to the clouds. One might not think that vendor lock-in would exist for those who use open source software or open cloud solutions. Think again.
Insecurity and the Internet of Things, Part 2: Dangers Lurk
November 06, 2013
In early September, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's first action involving security and the Internet of Things came to fruition. The FTC came to a settlement with Trendnet, which makes Internet-connected video cameras, over the firm's lax security practices. The settlement was over intrusions that occurred in January 2012, when hackers posted live feeds from about 700 Trendnet cameras online.
FOSS in the Enterprise: To Pay or Not to Pay?
November 05, 2013
One of the big attractions behind the growing popularity of open source software is the ability to get it and use it for free. In a world of ever-rising costs in pretty much every other aspect of business and life, "free" is an offer that's increasingly difficult to refuse. Support is one area, however, where "free" may not be all it seems -- particularly for enterprises.
Social Media's Winning Educational Ways
October 30, 2013
Social media is changing the way teachers teach and students learn. When students from the Montclair Kimberley Academy visited Ireland a few years ago, they blogged on Wordpress, posted photos on Flickr, uploaded videos to YouTube, and tweeted. That social media engagement contributed to their education in new and profound ways, said their teacher, William Stites.
How to Choose an Enterprise Server Linux Distro
October 30, 2013
Discuss the merits of the many competing desktop Linux distributions out there, and you could fill several hours with heated debate. Turn the conversation to enterprise server distros, however, and the room can become quiet very quickly. The fact is, those on the hunt for the best or easiest or cheapest enterprise Linux distro have far fewer choices.
5 Traps to Avoid in Social CRM for Retail
October 17, 2013
It is difficult to overstate the importance of social CRM to retailers given the almost tailor-made suitability of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest et al. for reaching out and engaging with customers. What's less clear, however, is exactly how retailers should use social CRM to talk with those customers. Is it fair for customers to expect to conduct all of their business over social media?
Linux Gaming Is Cleared for Takeoff
October 16, 2013
Close to a third of all websites use Linux, according to W3Techs, and Linux system users are arguably second only to Mac users in their devotion to their platform of choice, yet Linux gamers have traditionally been the red-headed stepchildren of the gaming community. Xbox 360 was the top-selling console for the 32nd straight month in August, NPD's video games sales figures indicate.
Insecurity and the Internet of Things, Part 1: Data, Data Everywhere
October 15, 2013
The Internet is actualizing the vision of a global village today. Cars are becoming infotainment centers with online connections; printers, home appliances and even door locks are being connected to the Internet; and some cities have begun putting in hundreds of sensors to help them better manage their buildings and utilities. The world is fast becoming interconnected, in other words.
The Emergence of the Super-Smart Classroom
October 01, 2013
A teacher standing at the front of the room at a chalkboard is one of the iconic images of education. Smartboards and other digital technologies, however, are changing how classrooms are structured, how teachers teach, and how students learn. "We're all about increasing student engagement and achievement," said Neil Currie, director of education marketing with SMART Technologies.
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.
Hot Off the 3D Presses: A New Generation of Fitness Equipment
September 17, 2013
Health buffs today have no shortage of apps, gizmos, gadgets and devices promising to help them get and stay in shape. At the same time, new materials are enabling lighter, stronger and more diverse products. The next revolution in fitness, however, could come from a technology that seems to have little to do with athletics but is already being used daily in the development of new products.
Reinventing Play With Augmented Reality Toys
September 13, 2013
Augmented reality and other interactive technologies are changing what it means to play, read and interact. "For decades we have aspired to the holodeck as featured in Star Trek, whereby we can fully immerse ourselves in simulated surroundings," said toy consultant Steven Reece. This new breed of toys offers a kind of magic that kids -- and adults -- crave.
The Shift to a Subscription Economy, Part 2
September 13, 2013
Marine liability insurer The Shipowners' Club has signed up to get IT service management from Axios Systems on a Software as a Service basis. It is going with the subscription solution to remove the cost and complexity of security, backups, implementation and upgrades while retaining full ownership of its data. That, in a nutshell, is why companies are moving to a subscription-based economy.

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