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News Flash from Redmond: FOSS Causes Dissatisfaction!
February 24, 2014
Here in the Linux community, we're all familiar with the many benefits that come with using open source software -- customizability, interoperability, and freedom from vendor lock-in, to name just a few examples. Well, Linux Girl has shocking news to report. It turns out there's also a BIG PROBLEM associated with open source software that we've all apparently overlooked: dissatisfaction!
Spanish Woman's Twitter Musings Lead to Terror-Related Conviction
February 24, 2014
Twenty-one-year-old Spaniard Alba González Camacho was convicted of inciting terrorism thanks to some ill-conceived tweets about a far-left terrorist organization. She became the first person in Spain to be convicted of such charges for Twitter posts. González Camacho implored the terror group "Grapo" to murder politicians. Grapo was responsible for 80-some killings, mostly in the 1970s and 80s.
How Facebook Got Snookered in WhatsApp Deal
February 24, 2014
It's not often I see news that surprises me, but Facebook paying nearly $20 billion for an instant messaging app had me scratching my head. People have been paying too much for properties for some time, but this is crazy money for a class of product that stopped being trendy nearly a decade ago. I've come up with three reasons, none of which are mutually exclusive, as to how Facebook was tricked.
Samsung's New Galaxy S5 Might Ship Bathtub-Ready
February 21, 2014
Of all the Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors to hit this week, the one that had me sit up straight and pay close attention is the rumor that the new Galaxy S5 may be both waterproof and dustproof. This is a big deal, because it would be the first major flagship smartphone with wide and popular distribution to be waterproof. Of course, Samsung last year offered the somewhat waterproof Galaxy S4 Active.
French Teen in Hot Water Over Drone Footage
February 21, 2014
A French teen faces charges of "endangering the lives of others" over his use of a drone, which he sent skyward to capture impressive (and seemingly harmless) footage of the city Nancy. Eighteen-year-old Nans Thomas affixed an Internet-bought drone with a GoPro camera and then sent the contraption skyward. The ensuing video has been viewed more than 270,000 times already on YouTube.
Amazon and Apple's 'Tough Slog' on Madison Avenue
February 21, 2014
Amazon and Apple just can't seem to catch a break with the advertising elite on Madison Avenue. In fact, advertising sales are a "tough slog" for both companies, mourns a feature published this week. The problem? Apple and Amazon won't reveal enough information about their customers. This is the best news I've heard all year. In fact, it just reinforces my loyalty to both companies.
Transition State
February 20, 2014
The CRM market appears to be experiencing a transition state -- something betwixt and between, a time of high energy and great possibility, above all a time of change. A ball bouncing around a spinning roulette wheel is in a transition state; chemical reactions go through transition states as reactants become products. The key concept is indeterminacy.
WhatsApp Gives BlackBerry a Bounce
February 20, 2014
Facebook's $19 billion purchase of mobile-messaging service WhatsApp appears to have buoyed the value of BlackBerry Messenger -- and by extension, BlackBerry. BlackBerry shares went up nearly 10 percent in after-hours trading because, in the words of Reuters, Facebook's purchase "put a rough valuation metric around the smartphone maker's own BlackBerry Messaging service," also known as "BBM."
BlackBerry CEO Miffed With T-Mobile
February 19, 2014
John Chen, BlackBerry's new chief executive, lashed out at T-Mobile after it sent an email to BlackBerry users imploring them to ditch their current devices and switch to an iPhone. BlackBerry was not notified about T-Mobile's email blast beforehand, causing Chen to become "outraged" over what he dubbed a "clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion."
If You Were Apple, You'd Ignore Low-End Smartphones, Too
February 18, 2014
Smartphone sales have been rising. The 968 million smartphones sold surpassed feature phone sales for the first time, Gartner reported. However, sales actually topped 1 billion, according to IDC. What's the difference of 32 million between friends? Not much. Here's a more important point: High-end smartphone sales have been slowing fast, while low-end smartphone sales have been rising fast.
China Calls Kerry's Internet Comments 'Naďve'
February 18, 2014
Maybe they aren't fighting words, but they sure aren't friendly. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks about Chinese Internet freedom were, shall we say, a bit base. Kerry had a half-hour-plus chat with bloggers Saturday in Beijing, during which time he expressed support for more online freedom in China.
Recognizing and Defending Against Creeping Violence
February 17, 2014
I spoke last week with a woman who built a house in Belize. Apparently it was burglarized several times. After she moved away, her husband mysteriously died there -- he had stayed to protect the house before they sold it. Then I got a visit from a friend who'd retired to Brazil but badly wants to come home. He recently had his gold chain ripped from his neck while he was on a private beach.
High-Tech Suits a Suspect in Weak US Speedskating Performance
February 14, 2014
The U.S. speedskating team's high-tech suits -- which theoretically are supposed to help shave seconds and accrue medals -- have been identified as a suspect in the team's stunning faceplant at the Sochi Games. Before the Games, the suits, designed by U.S.-based sportswear giant Under Armour, were deemed to be on the cutting edge of racing technology.
Learning the Business Value of SaaS
February 14, 2014
Computer and software companies have been battling for the hearts and minds of students for decades, and now school administrators are becoming the target of smart Software as a Service and cloud computing service providers. The most notorious examples of using classroom marketing tactics to gain a long-term strategic advantage are Apple and Google.
iBeacon: It's Time for Mobile Marketers to See the Light
February 13, 2014
Never mind the Seattle Seahawks completely smoking the Broncos -- Super Bowl XLVIII may go down in history as the turning point for iBeacon. Apple's iBeacon is an indoor positioning system based on Bluetooth Low Energy technology. Its proximity-detection capabilities enable it to send relevant information -- including, most enticingly, targeted ads -- to a mobile device.
Microsoft Accidentally Applies Chinese Censoring Outside of China
February 13, 2014
Microsoft cited an "error in our system" for quirky results given to users making searches in Chinese on the company's Bing search engine. Chinese-language searches outside of mainland China were yielding results that mirrored those inside mainland China, where Bing filters in accordance with the whims of Beijing. This resulted in wildly different results for English vs. Chinese language searches.
Completeness Is the New Black
February 12, 2014
Are we collecting enough data? It seems like a weird question given the glut of it at most companies, and perhaps it is. Perhaps a better question is, are we collecting the right data? We could get into a long philosophical discussion of just what the right data is, but that would only happen if we made the mistake of thinking all data was the same.
US, France Team Up for Mars Mission
February 12, 2014
While the U.S. and France haven't exactly been chums when it comes to tech, the two countries are teaming up for a new mission to Mars. The plan is to send an unmanned lander to Mars to study the interior of the planet. The mission will launch in 2016, with the lander touching down six months later. At least that's the plan. France and the U.S. have had plenty of digital disagreements of late.
FBI 'Red Tape' Keeps Oscar Pistorius' Mobile Phone Locked
February 11, 2014
FBI "red tape" is preventing detectives from accessing the mobile phone formerly belonging to South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee known as "Blade Runner," who faces murder charges over the 2013 death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. South African investigators reportedly have been trying to persuade the FBI to back a request for Apple to unlock Pistorius' iPhone.
Apple's Sapphire-Screen iPhone Less 'If' Than 'When'
February 11, 2014
If the latest sapphire tech rumor is true, Apple's exclusive manufacturing partner, GT Advanced Technologies, is gearing up its Mesa, Ariz., manufacturing facility with enough furnaces to forge up to 200 million iPhone displays. Previously, most super-hard sapphire crystal rumors were limited to small component usage in Apple products, like scratch-proof Touch ID sensors or camera lens covers.

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