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HPC and AI Are Changing the World
November 30, 2019
During the recent SC19 supercomputing conference, the top semiconductor and systems vendors discussed and demoed the highest-performance computing solutions in the world. While it's easy to imagine these platforms solving some of the most challenging problems, and simulating everything from the human genome to climate change, there are thousands of other applications that can benefit as well.
You've Come a Long Way, Linux-Baby
November 27, 2019
When Linux first emerged from its cocoon in a frenzied Usenet thread, it is doubtful that almost anyone imagined the project would ascend to global prominence. Even more astonishingly, its dominance was driven as much, if not more, by its adoption by the private sector -- although it posed an antithesis to its business model -- as by any of its other notable traits.
How the Quantum Tech Race Puts the World's Data at Risk
November 27, 2019
The technology one-upmanship between the United States and China is fast becoming the new space race. There's been a lot of talk in the press about the competition to reach 5G, but little traction outside of the tech community about something more momentous: the dangers of computing in a post-quantum world. The recent news from Google about its quantum capabilities is exciting.
Consider Service Mesh as a Security Tool
November 26, 2019
If you're like most security pros, chances are you're starting to get frustrated with microservices a little -- or maybe a lot. Microservice architectures -- that is, architectures that leverage REST to build a number of small, distributed, modular components -- are powerful from a software architect's point of view. Want to make a change to a component quickly? Add new functionality?
Demystifying 5G - It's Real and It's Here
November 26, 2019
Every decade the wireless industry transitions to a new cellular technology, and every generation there are doubts about it. This continues with 5G. I have heard from consumers and even people within the industry that there is "no need for 5G," "5G is only for businesses," "5G won't be available until 2025," "mmWave is only for fixed wireless access," and "radiation from mmWave is harmful."
Cleverly Reimagined Slax Distro Pushes Portable Linux's Limits
November 22, 2019
Slax Linux is a handy portable operating system that can be a useful alternative to bulky, more complicated Linux options that install to a hard drive. However, it is far from a complete out-of-the-box solution. That is not a bad thing, though. Slax works. Copying just one folder from the downloaded ISO directly to a USB drive gives you a fully functional Linux OS.
GitHub Aims to Make Open Source Code Apocalypse-Proof in Arctic Vault
November 19, 2019
GitHub wants to make sure its entire warehouse of open source code survives an apocalypse by burying it deep within an Arctic vault as one of several preservation strategies. Microsoft-owned GitHub is creating the Arctic Code Vault as a data repository for the existing Arctic World Archive. The AWA is a very-long-term archival facility about 0.16 miles deep in the permafrost of an Arctic mountain.
Windows 7 End of Life
November 19, 2019
Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 on Jan. 14, 2020. Windows 7 will continue to run on Jan. 14 as it did on Jan. 13. So why is it so important to upgrade to Windows 10? The answer: cybercrime. End of support means that Windows 7 no longer will receive the OS patches or security updates that keep your IT systems safe. Uusing an unpatched out-of-date system is like leaving the door wide open.
ALT Linux: Worthy Linux Alternatives, With a Catch
November 15, 2019
ALT Linux offers a buffet of Linux distributions that meet a variety of specialized needs. Its inviting selections could be a good source of alternative Linux OS solutions if you take the time to sort out the menus. You might find navigating the poorly designed website a tedious chore. Still, persevering could get you a few tasty options to satisfy your computing appetite.
Salesforce and Microsoft in Another Deal
November 14, 2019
With Dreamforce approaching, it's no surprise that Salesforce is making a flurry of announcements. What is surprising are two big ones involving partnering with other vendors, mostly on infrastructure -- announcements that I believe make the idea of an information utility more real with each passing day. I see evidence of an information utility forming.
Google to Offer 'Smart' Checking Accounts
November 14, 2019
Google plans to launch checking accounts next year. "We're exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the United States to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools," a spokesperson said. "Our lead partners today are Citibank and the Stanford Federal Credit Union."
The Information Utility, Continued
November 13, 2019
I've been sharing my theory on the formation of an information utility for some time now. Various big vendors have announced alliances with that kind of aim. For instance, Oracle and Microsoft announced an effort to make their cloud databases interoperate, and Microsoft and others have announced common data model projects. Now Salesforce, AWS and Genesys have teamed up with The Linux Foundation.
'Nightingale Project' to Turn Over Millions of Medical Records to Google
November 13, 2019
A venture between Google and Ascension, one of the largest healthcare providers in the United States, will give the tech giant access to the sensitive medical information of as many as 50 million patients in 21 states. Its venture with Google, called "The Nightingale Project," would enable it to improve the experience of patients, consumers, providers and associates, Ascension said.
The Rise of Technology in Scaled Event Marketing Programs
November 11, 2019
The amount of data we create each day is astronomical. The digital universe likely will reach 44 zettabytes in 2020 -- 40 times more bytes than there are stars existing in the observable universe. To say that's a lot of data is a colossal understatement -- but is this truly surprising? After all, we can take phone calls from watches and stream music from refrigerators.
Tech Company Standouts for Giving Veterans Their Due
November 11, 2019
Today is Veterans Day. I got a note last week from Joe Sestak, one of the shrinking field of United States presidential candidates, reminding me that we should observe a moment of silence in recognition of our veterans today. We've asked these people to put their lives on the line for us, and we get a day to offer our thanks. Giving our thanks is the least we can do.
Calling All Retailers - Ready or Not, CCPA Is on Its Way
November 9, 2019
We're just a few short months away from the California Consumer Privacy Act going into effect. The regulation brings privacy rights to residents in California and gives them control of their personal information and how companies can use it. Any business that sells to a California resident needs to be CCPA-compliant. Nearly every brick-and-mortar store nowadays has an e-commerce site.
KaOS Linux Brings Order to the Desktop
November 8, 2019
The KaOS distro is an up-and-coming Linux OS that provides one of the best integrations yet of a refreshed KDE-based computing platform. Two types of users gravitate to this solidly maintained distribution: those who are frustrated by poor user experiences with Linux distros that are bloated and cumbersome to use; and those who want a better and more controlled KDE desktop environment.
Microsoft's Chromium-Based Edge Browser Available as Release Candidate
November 5, 2019
Along with unveiling its new Edge browser logo, Microsoft announced the official launch date of its nearly finished Chromium-based Edge browser and made its Release Candidate available for download immediately. The latest beta edition of the browser is stable enough for anyone to use, Microsoft said, and it will help IT admins prepare for the mid-Jan. 15 rollout.
Latest ExTix: Lots of Flexibility and a Few Flaws
November 1, 2019
ExTiX 19.10, released with the LXQt desktop on Oct. 23, is a customized Linux distro that leaves you wanting more but settling for less. ExTix is a lightweight modular Linux operating system that is part of the Exton Linux/Live Systems family of distributions hosted by The Swedish Linux Society. The ExTix distro line is perhaps the best known of Exton's Linux platforms.
Linux Inside Azure Sphere on the Horizon
October 30, 2019
Azure Sphere will be generally available in Feb 2020, Microsoft has announced. Its scheduled arrival highlights Microsoft's readiness to fulfill its promise for better IoT device security at scale. Microsoft first introduced Azure Sphere in 2018, opting to use its own version of a Linux operating system instead of Windows 10 to drive its new Azure Sphere OS to securely connect IoT devices.
Getting Sustainability Right
October 28, 2019
It seems strange to me that our governments haven't been more aggressive about protecting the environment, given that the cost of not doing so poses an existential risk to the human race. It seems insane to me as we watch parts of the country burn and other parts of the country drown that we're still arguing about climate change rather than coming together to do something about it.
Dragora Linux Is Anything But Simple
October 25, 2019
Dragora is a fledgling Linux distribution that neither works out of the box nor is user-friendly. That said, if you have an adventurous interest in practically starting from scratch and somewhat building your own computing platform, Dragora could be an interesting side project to learn how a distribution works on the inside.
Samsung's Support for Linux on DeX Fizzles
October 22, 2019
Samsung has called quits on its effort to provide a full Linux desktop platform for Android. In an email to beta testers last week, Samsung said it would not support its Linux on DeX beta program for future OS and device releases. Samsung's announcement coincides with Google's release of the Android 10 OS update and its rollout on Samsung phones. Neither company will provide Linux on DeX support.
Smart Speaker Apps Caught Snooping Around Homes
October 22, 2019
Flaws in Amazon and Google smart speakers can expose users to eavesdropping and voice phishing. Researchers at Security Research Labs discovered that developers could create malicious apps for the Amazon and Google platforms to turn the smart speakers into smart spies. Using the standard development interfaces for the platforms, the researchers found a way to request and collect personal data.
Zoho's Catalyst to Growth
October 21, 2019
Now would be a good time to put Zoho on your radar if for some reason it isn't there already. The Austin-based company just announced Catalyst, a developer environment that helps programmers and others to speed development of apps and microservices with capabilities inherited from Zoho's apps portfolio. Catalyst is based on the company's internal development tools.
Solus Brightens Computing Across the Linux User Spectrum
October 18, 2019
The Solus Project is alive and well and continues to offer a fresh approach to uncomplicating the computer desktop. That says a lot, given the sometimes sordid developmental path of the almost 5-year-old Linux distribution. Solus 4.0 Linux "Fortitude" was updated earlier this month. The Solus team provided improvements to the distribution's supported desktop environments: Budgie, GNOME and MATE.
Adopt a Maintenance Mindset: Protect IT
October 18, 2019
As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the National Cyber Security Alliance is advising all computer users to "Protect IT" by taking precautions such as updating to the latest security software, Web browser and OS. The nonprofit public-private partnership, which works with DHS and private sector sponsors, advised computer users on ways to protect their personal data.
Google Rolls Out Pixel 4 Phone, Pixelbook, Nest WiFi and Pixel Buds
October 16, 2019
A new flagship smartphone, a slick refresh of Pixelbook Go, some home gadget improvements and a revamp of its wireless earbuds highlighted Google's annual hardware event in New York City. The latest models of Google's flagship smartphone, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, base priced at $799 and $899 respectively, will have wider distribution, as they'll be available from all major U.S. carriers.
Safari's Safe Browsing Option Raises Privacy Concerns
October 15, 2019
An option in Apple's Safari browser that's supposed to protect Web surfers from malicious sites has raised privacy concerns in some quarters. The option, called "safe browsing," is turned on by default. Depending on where an Apple device is registered, the browser could be sending IP information to Tencent, a conglomerate with close ties to China's government.
Virtual Pets, Virtual People and Virtual Immortality
October 14, 2019
One of the interesting and somewhat underappreciated aspects of the recent Qualcomm wireless event is that 5G will make realistic AR avatars possible. This advance will be possible because with high bandwidth and very low latency, processing could shift from the device to the cloud. Coupled with the rollout of distributed data centers, this means you could have realistic virtual pets and friends.
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NICE inContact February 12 webinar
How do you feel about government regulation of the U.S. tech industry?
Big tech companies are abusing their monopoly power and must be reined in.
Stronger regulations to protect consumer data definitely are needed.
Regulations stifle innovation and should be kept to the barest minimum.
Over-regulation could give China and other nations an unfair advantage.
Outdated antitrust laws should be updated prior to serious regulatory efforts.
Tech companies should regulate themselves to avoid government intervention.
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