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PayPal Lights Beacon for Hands-Free Payments
September 10, 2013
PayPal on Monday announced new technology that aims to make paying for goods as simple as walking into a store. Specifically, PayPal Beacon is a contactless payment system that uses Bluetooth Low Energy to connect with customer handsets to send offers and complete transactions. The mobile wallet-like payment system lets consumers pay for purchases hands-free.
Amazon Dips Its Toe Into the Brisk WiFi Waters
August 26, 2013
Amazon has run tests on WiFi technology that could give Kindle users direct Internet connectivity, according to a recent report. The technology uses spectrum controlled by satellite communications company Globalstar, which is perhaps best known as a global satellite phone service provider. It is possible that the tests were part of a series conducted jointly by Globalstar and Jarvinian.
Facebook Aims to 'Friend' the World - With Benefits
August 21, 2013
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday launched Internet.org, a project with a goal no less lofty than to provide Internet access to everyone on the planet. With other founding members including Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung, the project aims to develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online.
Groklaw Shutters Doors Over Email Privacy Concerns
August 20, 2013
The continuing flood of news about the NSA's surveillance of Americans' communications, which has already forced secure email providers Lavabit and Silent Circle to shut down, has now claimed yet another victim. Specifically, award-winning tech legal news site Groklaw, which served the free and open source software community, on Tuesday announced that it is closing because of email security concerns.
IBM, Google, Nvidia and Pals Launch OpenPower
August 19, 2013
In parsing any announcement, it's good to keep an eye on 1) what is being done; 2) who is involved; and 3) how and why the world will be different if they succeed. In the case of the OpenPower Consortium, the effort is grounded in IBM's decision to make its Power microprocessor architecture and related technologies fully available to partners and customers.
Dismal Quarter Sheds No Light on Dell's Murky Future
August 16, 2013
Dell posted its Q2 earnings report Thursday, reporting a 72 percent drop in net income. The report comes in the throes of a long-running battle for Dell's future. Founder and CEO Michael Dell is leading an effort to take the company private through a $25 billion deal, but activist shareholder Carl Icahn has come out strongly against it, suggesting an alternate plan.
Putting Enterprise Risk Under the Microscope
July 29, 2013
Recent developments in the cybersecurity landscape have heightened interest in accurately anticipating and understanding risk, and using that knowledge to better manage organizations. Enterprises are better delivering risk assessment and, one hopes, defenses, in the current climate of challenging cybersecurity. Nation-state types of threats may have a very serious impact on organizations.
IBM's Smart CSL Buy
July 19, 2013
Over the past three-plus decades, it is hard to think of a business computing-related technology that's driven more fundamental value than virtualization, and it's for a very simple reason: Since hardware evolves at a far faster pace than software, systems tend to deliver far more performance than needed, meaning they are drastically underutilized.
SolePower: Stepping Away From the Grid
July 12, 2013
Here's a charging method that could make a lot of sense. It's one that isn't reliant on the sun to convert solar radiation into power; it also isn't reliant on heavy batteries for its mojo. Instead, SolePower's Kickstarter project aims to generate power kinetically with each step you take. That's via a shoe insert, specifically, and it uses the same principle as a hand-crank flashlight.
France Nixes '3 Strikes' Law for Copyright Infringers
July 10, 2013
France has abandoned a law that called for copyright infringers' Internet connections to be cut off upon a third offense. The law stipulated that letters be sent the first and second time people illicitly downloaded copyrighted material; the third time around, an offender's Web access would be disconnected. The change of heart reflects a shift in focus, according to a French spokesperson.
Love 'Em or Hate 'Em, There's IT Gold in Those FFEs
July 10, 2013
The policy debate that has been raised by the Obama administration's healthcare reform program continues to smolder -- and even break into heated rhetoric when political supporters and critics of "Obamacare" get into the fray. However, in the three years or so that the program has been under way, its information technology gears have been turning right along.
A Better Window on SaaS and Hybrid Apps
July 08, 2013
Managing applications sprawl has long been a burr in the IT saddle, and the popularity of Software as a Service applications hasn't exactly been a balm. As with on-premises applications, the key to SaaS and hybrid apps is getting better visibility and operational data on the applications' health, and then automating the processes across standardized methods and controls. Easier said than done.
Apple to Build Solar Farm to Power Huge New Data Center
July 03, 2013
Apple, which has a mixed history on environmental issues, will build a solar farm to power its data center in Washoe County, Nev. "SunPower is working with Apple to design and build this project," said Ingrid Ekstrom, spokesperson for SunPower. "We will be building a SunPower C7 Tracker system at the site." The farm will reportedly generate 20 MW of electricity.
In Space, No One Can Hear PayPal Cha-Ching
June 27, 2013
It was once virtually unthinkable for a company to operate on a global scale, but if a recent move by PayPal is any indication, this small planet of ours may soon be just the beginning. In fact, PayPal on Thursday announced the launch of PayPal Galactic, an initiative that's designed to address the upcoming need for universal payments from space.
Federal Data Center Reductions May Not Shrink Costs
June 26, 2013
In a drive to reduce government computing costs, federal agencies have been required to cut and consolidate data centers. So far, agencies have reduced hundreds of operational centers -- but they still have fallen short of a five-year target set when the consolidation program was launched in February 2010. In addition to the consolidation target, the OMB set a financial savings goal.
Vaporizing Cloud Risks
June 24, 2013
The path to the cloud is strewn with risks, but Australian IT services provider Thomas Duryea Consulting has made a successful journey to cloud computing as a business. A cloud-of-clouds approach is providing new types of IT services to TD's many Asia-Pacific region customers. TD designed, built and commercialized an adaptive cloud infrastructure that aids users in reducing risks.
Getting the Best Out of IT Partnerships, IBM-SAP Style
May 21, 2013
There's no shortage of partner initiatives at most annual IT vendor events, but that was especially apparent at SAP's recent Sapphire NOW conference in Orlando, Fla. In large part, it's simply the nature of the event beast. Vendors work for weeks or even months on conference-related announcements, hoping to garner the attention of energized, enthusiastic attendees.
New IT Tools Untie Tangled Webs of Business Data
May 06, 2013
Information may indeed be power, but organizations large and small are finding that they have to expend more energy than ever just to keep up with the data streams flooding their infrastructures. It's not just the internal data that provides intelligence about their businesses. Organizations are also having to manage all that external Big Data that can help them land new customers.
Years Inside Intel Could Be New CEO's Biggest Handicap
May 03, 2013
Intel announced Thursday that COO Brian Krzanich will take the helm on May 16, replacing current CEO Paul Otellini, who will retire this month after 38 years with the company, eight of them as its chief. Krzanich has his own long history at Intel. The 52-year-old joined the company 31 years ago as a newly minted college graduate.
Report: Criminals Put a Bull's-eye on Web Infrastructure
April 29, 2013
Cybercriminals have begun focusing their malicious endeavors on the sinew of the Internet to reap greater rewards. For months now, Net bandits have targeted key infrastructure elements -- from the domain-naming service to certificate-issuing authorities to hosting services -- in order to spread cash-producing malware. "They're going after the infrastructure of the Internet," said Dave Jevans, chairman of Marble Security.
Report: State-Sponsored Cyberattacks Heat Up in 2012
April 23, 2013
State-sponsored cyberespionage incidents tripled over last year, according the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Report. 96 percent of those attacks were attributable to East Asia. Verizon's study, which analyzed 47,000 security incidents, expanded its contributors this year to 19, including a wider range of worldwide law enforcement agencies. Three key types of cyberattackers were identified in the report.
Microsoft Catches Activist Investor's Eye
April 22, 2013
Activist investor ValueAct Capital has invested US$2 billion in Microsoft, according to a report on CNBC Monday morning. Wall Street immediately reacted, driving the company's share price to $31.18 from its usual perch at $30.27 per share. That is the highest level the stock has since in the last seven months.
DDoS Attacks Hammering Targets Harder
April 17, 2013
The number, size and impact of distributed denial of service attacks increased sharply in the first quarter of this year, according to a new report from Prolexic. The average attack bandwidth in this period was 48.25 Gbps, 718 percent more than the 5.9 Gbps chalked up by attacks in the previous quarter. The average packet-per-second rate hit 32.4 million, and the average duration of an attack increased 7.14 percent.
Mystery Computer Problem Grounds All AA Flights
April 17, 2013
American Airlines created a nightmare for its customers for at least two hours Tuesday. Its electronic reservation system went down in the middle of the afternoon, forcing the carrier to hold all flights until after 4:30 p.m. ET. The incident may have exposed a rift between AA and Sabre, the company managing its computerized reservations system, which used to be part of the airline.

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