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All Things Appy: Top 5 Map Apps for Firefox
September 11, 2013
This week, we look at the top five free map apps for the Firefox platform. These are power tools that will make it faster to look up addresses and gain new perspective on the locations you want to visit. We look at pop-up maps, unique map-related search add-ons and one alternative to common old Google. First up? Quick Maps, which adds in-page Google Map frames to website street address listings.
VCE's Digital Factory Vision
September 11, 2013
Technology has always enabled the "factorification" of processes and skills for both users and suppliers of IT. The success of early computing solutions rested in replacing hundreds and thousands of Bob Cratchett-like professionals with systems that required few, if any, sick days and no vacations. Then businesses discovered they needed to hire hundreds or thousands of technical gurus.
CherryTree Takes the Pits Out of Pruning Your Notes
September 04, 2013
Keeping track of my bits and pieces of information across several computers running Linux and Microsoft Windows has long been a problem. CherryTree is a sweet solution that keeps my information local and cloud-free. CherryTree is an outliner-style hierarchical note-taking application that features rich text and syntax highlighting. It stores data in a single XML or SQLite file.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Communication Apps for Windows 8
September 04, 2013
In this week's All Things Appy, we take a look at the five best, must-have free apps for communicating in Windows 8 and taking advantage of the tile-based layout that's native to the ecosystem. Voxofon's Voice-over-Internet-Protocol app, for example, lets you text and call. It works by placing the call for you and then ringing your phone to complete the call.
All Things Appy: Top 5 WiFi Helper Apps for iOS
August 28, 2013
It's almost like we're going backwards. What with the escalating price-gouging by mobile networks for wireless data on the move, it still behooves us to use WiFi hotspots whenever possible. Who'd have thought we'd still be using public WiFi in this now 4G-enabled world? The answer, however, is that we are, like it or not, and most likely will be for the foreseeable future.
Zero In on Research Control With Zotero
August 28, 2013
With countless high school and college students heading back to school at roughly this time of year, now is a good time to get acquainted with Zotero, a great cross-platform tool for collecting, organizing, citing and sharing research sources. I have spent considerable time working in academic settings helping students manage their research assignments.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Radio Apps for Android
August 23, 2013
Listening to radio on a smartphone or tablet via headset is one of the killer features of the mobile platform. In this week's All Things Appy, we take a look at the must-have, free radio apps for Google's Android operating environment, including ones for terrestrial and Internet-based radio aggregation, music, news and talk and public safety. No. 1 on our list this week is TuneIn.
US Widens Probe Into Microsoft's Overseas Bribes
August 22, 2013
The United States government is investigating bribes that Microsoft is alleged to have given to officials in Russia and Pakistan in return for contracts, marking the expansion of an ongoing probe. The Russia investigation apparently centers on software resellers funneling kickbacks to execs at a state-owned company in order to win a deal.
Gotta Access Linux Files? Paragon ExtFS Delivers the Goods
August 21, 2013
ExtFS is a cross-platform application that can make using Linux much easier in multiple-OS platforms. As much as I try to stay exclusively in the Linux OS world, every so often a work situation arises that puts the comfort zone of staying with Linux to the test. When I absolutely must cross the Great Divide, Paragon's Universal File System Driver in ExtFS comes to my rescue.
Google Puts Waze Traffic Data on the Map
August 21, 2013
Google on Tuesday announced that it is incorporating real-time traffic data from Waze into its popular Google Maps mobile application. "Users of Google Maps for Mobile will now benefit from real time incident reports from Waze users," explained Google's Brian McClendon. "This means when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures and more, the updates will also appear on the Google Maps app."
Reach Out and Touch Any Surface With Kinect-Based Ubi
August 16, 2013
Ubi Interactive, a graduate of the Microsoft Kinect Accelerator program, has begun taking orders for software that will turn almost any surface into a 3D touchscreen when combined with a Kinect device and a projector. Numerous companies including Microsoft and Intel have already been testing the software in a variety of applications for conference-room presentations and beyond.
All Things Appy: Top 5 Travel Apps for Chrome
August 14, 2013
Summer may soon be winding down in many parts of the world, but the upcoming holiday season promises a whole new world of travel opportunities. In this week's All Things Appy column, we take a look at the must-have, free, travel-related apps for the Chrome browser. Included in our app selection this week is a service for finding unique or quirky accommodations.
Netrunner Sprints Ahead of the Linux Distro Pack
August 14, 2013
"Enigma" may be the nickname of the latest release of the Netrunner Linux distro, but there's actually nothing enigmatic about it. In fact, Netrunner 13.06 -- also known as "Netrunner 5" -- delivers one of the most satisfying out-of-the-box desktop experiences I have had in quite some time. I spend an inordinate amount of time testing and using different Linux distributions.
Time for CIOs to Create Cloud-Based App Stores
August 10, 2013
I've been charting the evolution of the corporate app store idea in this column for more than three years. Until recently, most of the focus has been on how various service providers and other institutions can establish app stores to resell apps to their customers. Now, enlightened CIOs are discovering the advantages of implementing internal app stores.
IBM Creates Software Ecosystem for Thinking Chip
August 09, 2013
IBM on Thursday announced a software ecosystem tailored for what in essence amounts to a computing architecture that works like the human brain. It supports the programming cycle from design through development, debugging and deployment. The software ecosystem is the fourth phase of the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics, or SyNAPSE, project.
Xerox Copiers Found to Futz With the Numbers in Scanned Docs
August 07, 2013
Some Xerox copiers/scanners have produced altered copies, researcher David Kriesel discovered. A Xerox Work Center 7535 actually changed the numbers on scanned documents. After looking into the discrepancies, Kriesel posted his findings on his blog: The photocopier was resizing the room dimensions in floor plans, as well as changing prices quoted for the work.
UberStudent Pushes Users to the Head of the Class
August 07, 2013
Looking for an everything-included Linux distro designed for people who are just transitioning to Linux? Need an OS specifically tailored for students? Then look no further than UberStudent. I have used countless Linux distros, many with features for specialty users such as writers, artists and musicians. None of them had the user experience you get from UberStudent.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Lifestyle Apps for Windows 8
July 31, 2013
Today we dissect the top five, must-have Windows 8 apps within the Lifestyle genre. Need to check on the weather, monitor what those pesky celebrities are up to, wake up, control your games console or work out? Read on, then, for a look at our recommended, essential tools -- all with the wonderful, idiosyncratic slant that's available only within the app environment.
If You Like Guitar Hero, You'll Love Working Out?
July 30, 2013
The creators of the Guitar Hero video game franchise are looking to put down the plastic guitars and get pumped up instead. Specifically, RedOctane founders Kai and Charles Huang are teaming up with OpenLink founder Coleman Fung to launch Blue Goji, a new interactive fitness company. The company's mission is to transform gameplay into something that can help players get fit.
Is ScaleIO EMC's Next VMware?
July 30, 2013
On its face, EMC's recently acquisition of ScaleIO seems pretty straightforward. The company said the deal will further strengthen its Flash portfolio by combining ScaleIO's highly scalable server software with PCIe Flash card solutions, like EMC XtremSF. ScaleIO will operate within the EMC Flash Product Division, becoming an integral part of the XtremSW Suite.
Zynga Beats a Path Out of VegasVille
July 26, 2013
After placing its bets on real-money online gambling late last year, Zynga on Thursday announced that it is abandoning that initiative. The beleaguered company now believes that its best plan is to focus on free-to-play social games, it announced in its second quarter 2013 financial report. It will continue to evaluate the real-money gaming products it's testing in the UK.
How to Manage Email and Stop It From Overwhelming You
July 25, 2013
Email has been around since before the Internet, but while the email technology itself hasn't changed much since the 1970s, the volume of it has. Some people, in fact, receive hundreds of messages a day. That's a threat to a human's ability to process information. There are, however, ways to manage email. Here's how to go about it. Shut down your in-box if you find emails are distracting you.
Flipboard Tests the Web Waters in Read-Only Form
July 24, 2013
After launching as a mobile-only app for tablets and smartphones, Flipboard has landed on the desktop. Originally designed for the iPad when it launched back in 2010, Flipboard lets users create their own digital magazines from stories in the news. It used to be, however, that the only people who could view and browse those creations were other Flipboard users on mobile devices.
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.

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