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Black Friday Deal Sprawl Grows
November 13, 2018
Although retailers are slating some outstanding deals for Black Friday, the shine of the once-feverish shopping day has diminished, as product discounts have started to appear earlier and earlier in the holiday season. Discounts formerly found exclusively on Black Friday -- and on its online equivalent, Cyber Monday -- gradually have migrated to earlier in the fall.
Oracle, the Hardware Company
October 31, 2018
For all of the dazzle of its rapidly evolving software portfolio, which includes a self-monitoring and self-patching database that also configures itself, as well as numerous cloud applications, Oracle has begun showing its credibility as a hardware vendor. Hardware has commoditized and will not return to the prominence it had in the early days of the tech era.
Another Milestone Achieved: Run Linux Apps on a Chromebook
October 25, 2018
Linux apps now can run in a Chromebook's Chrome OS environment. However, the process can be tricky, and it depends on your hardware's design and Google's whims. It is somewhat similar to running Android apps on your Chromebook, but the Linux connection is far less forgiving. If it works in your Chromebook's flavor, though, the computer becomes much more useful with more flexible options.
Will Oracle Roil the DB Market?
October 23, 2018
When we write the history of the IT era, the big factor that has played an important but not well recognized role will be hardware -- specifically, the Oracle Exadata appliance that puts databases into memory. All of the cloud software starting with the autonomous database on view this week at OpenWorld would be vastly different if the database was still running primarily on disk drives.
Serious Efforts to Use Tech for Good Shine Through
October 15, 2018
For much of this year, technology companies have been showcased in a very poor light. Several firms have been moving aggressively to buck this trend, however. HP's latest effort, in conjunction with the Clooney Foundation for Justice, is an impressive initiative to supply and fund schools in places like war-torn Syria. HP also has provided substantial support to the Girl Rising movement.
PC Innovation Is Back
October 8, 2018
There were two interesting product launches last week. HP delivered what is pretty much a clean slate rethinking of the 2-in-1 PC with the HP Folio, and Microsoft unveiled a refresh of its Surface Line. Both firms made a big deal of the fact that their products were much better than their Apple counterparts -- but Apple has been treating PCs like a drunk uncle for some time now.
The Crypto-Criminal Bar Brawl
September 25, 2018
As if e-commerce companies didn't have enough problems with transacting securely and defending against things like fraud, another avalanche of security problems -- like cryptojacking, the act of illegally mining cryptocurrency on your end servers -- has begun. We've also seen a rise in digital credit card skimming attacks against popular e-commerce software such as Magento.
Apple Watch Goes All-In With Health and Fitness Focus
September 18, 2018
Apple aimed to stretch its lead in the smartwatch market when it introduced its Apple Watch Series 4 last week. The redesigned and re-engineered line features a bigger display, thinner and smaller case, an interface with richer detail, and some innovative health applications. "There's a lot of cool things to like about this," said Ramon T. Llamas, senior research analyst at IDC.
Apple Unveils Trio of New iPhones
September 13, 2018
Apple unveiled three new iPhones at a Wednesday in Cupertino. Along with the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone XR, Apple introduced the Apple Watch 4. "Our mission started with personalizing technology for the desktop," said CEO Tim Cook, and it's "now personalizing it for every aspect of our lives." Apple aims "to put the customer at the center of everything we do," he added.
Of Course Google Is Biased
September 3, 2018
I once took a market research class that focused on the identification and elimination of bias. My final paper was on an intentionally biased piece of research. It was far easier to introduce bias and then talk about the bias than it would have been to attempt to do unbiased work and defend it as unbiased. For that reason alone, it's almost certainly true that Google's search engine is biased.
Nvidia's Convincing Unreality
August 20, 2018
When I read the book Ready Player One, I really got excited about the future of virtual reality, but the movie really didn't do the book justice. Some blockbusters have succeeded in interspersing computer graphics with real people and making it hard to tell the difference. Still, a totally rendered movie still looks like animation and you just don't get the film quality you get from, well, film.
Nvidia's Turing Chip Opens Door to New Virtual Reality Realm
August 15, 2018
Nvidia has announced a powerful new graphics architecture with the potential to blur the line between virtual and actual reality. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang unveiled the new chips at the company's SIGGRAPH 2018 event in Vancouver, Canada. The Turing architecture enables a new generation of hybrid rendering that can be used to create cinematic-quality interactive experiences.
Virus Attack on Chipmaker Could Delay Next iPhone
August 7, 2018
A computer virus over the weekend disrupted the operations of the Asian manufacturer that makes chips for the iPhone and other devices offered by top shelf high-tech companies. TSMC said that a virus outbreak Friday evening affected a number of computer systems and fab tools at its facilities in Taiwan. The incident likely will cause shipment delays and create additional costs.
Microsoft Surface Go Earns Strong Marks
August 3, 2018
Early reviews of the Microsoft Surface Go two-in-one, now available in stores, mainly have been positive. "This Surface Go is far closer to what people seem to want in a small product that's more focused on productivity than the iPad has yet been able to deliver," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. Reviewers have compared it favorable to Apple's iPad and Google's Chromebook.
New MacBook Pros Get Major Power Boost
July 13, 2018
Apple has announced updated MacBook Pro 13- and 15-inch notebooks with a Touch Bar, 8th-generation Intel Core processors, support for up to 32 GB of DDR memory in the larger notebook, a True Tone display, and an improved third-generation keyboard for quiet typing. The 15-inch model comes with 6-core Intel Core i7 and i9 processors rated at up to 2.9 GHz -- with Turbo Boost, up to 4.8 GHz.
Dark Screen Mode Among New macOS Mojave Highlights
June 6, 2018
Apple on Monday gave the world a peek at macOS Mojave, the next version of its operating system for Macintosh laptop and desktop computers. The preview took place at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Mojave has a mix of new features that add to its good looks and utility as a productivity tool.
HP: Reimagining the Future
May 28, 2018
I got a view of the future at HP's Innovation Center in Barcelona. The company has made some aggressive moves to blend its printing and imaging technologies to create products that will redefine our near-term future. HP also showcased capabilities that are something just short of magic. When you can transform what you can imagine into physical products, what else would you call it?
Next-Generation 7nm Chips Headed for Fall iPhones: Report
May 24, 2018
Apple has ramped up production of its new 7-nanometer processor for its upcoming crop of iPhones. The new processor will be smaller, faster and more efficient than the 10nm processor in Apple's current iPhone line, according to a report. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, one of Apple's partners, has begun mass production of the chip, which is expected to be called the "A12."
Rhino-Saving Tech Also Could Protect Kids and Borders
May 21, 2018
Cisco has reduced the poaching of endangered rhinos in Africa by a whopping 96 percent. This success comes at a time when kids appear to be increasingly at risk from rogue school shooters and the United States government seems deadlocked on gun control. The focus of Cisco's tech is on catching the poachers who kill around 1,000 endangered rhinos a year, rather than on taking away their guns.
How to Back Up iPhone Data to an External Drive
May 16, 2018
A recent incident reminded me of the importance of backing up one's phone regularly. Soon after carrying my recycling out to the curbside, I realized I had misplaced my 6-month-old iPhone. Cue brief panic, followed by deep concern that I'd somehow tossed my device into that transparent bag I'd left outside for the world to see. That led me to yelling "Hey, Siri" until the familiar chime sounded.
'Holy Grail' Exploit Puts Nintendo Switch Consoles at Risk
April 25, 2018
Devices built on Nvidia's Tegra X-1 mobile processor are at risk of attack from a flaw security researchers have revealed. The exploit chain discovered by Katherine Temkin and others affects any device running the chip, including the Nintendo Switch gaming console. Called "Fusée Gelée," the vulnerability allows anyone to run code on the chip by overloading a critical buffer when a system boots.
The Electronics Industry: A Pawn in the US vs. China Chess Game
April 19, 2018
Rising tensions between China and the United States have led to growing concerns that a tariff war will have a negative impact on the electronics industry. Amazingly, the industry has been spared thus far, and with good reason. However, even if tariffs aren't imposed, there is a silent battle between the two countries that already has impacted the global electronics ecosystem.
New RHEL Locks In Hybrid Cloud Growth
April 12, 2018
Red Hat has announced the general availability of RHEL 7.5, which targets the needs of both Linux server and cloud deployment users. With the goal of providing a consistent foundation for hybrid cloud environments, RHEL 7.5 includes enhanced security and compliance controls, tools to reduce storage costs, and improved usability, as well as deeper integration with Microsoft Windows infrastructure.
Intel Hits the Gas Pedal With 8th Gen Core Processors
April 5, 2018
Intel has unveiled its latest family of 8th generation Core processors. "As with previous new-gen Core launches, these initial solutions are aimed at customers who value high-end performance and dynamic market segments," said Pund-IT's Charles King. The 8th Gen processors incorporate Intel Octane memory, a smart and adaptable system accelerator for desktop and mobile platforms.
New Raspberry Pi Packs More Power
March 15, 2018
The Raspberry Pi Foundation on Wednesday launched the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. The new release comes two years after the introduction of its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. The Raspberry Pi computer runs the open source Raspbian operating system. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is an incremental upgrade to a line of predecessors that have become entrenched in education, hobbyist and industry markets.
Suse, AWS Nudge SAP Customers to the Cloud
February 20, 2018
Suse recently entered an agreement to expand its relationship with AWS, allowing Suse Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications to be sold directly on the AWS Marketplace. AWS customers that are running SAP workloads on Suse Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications -- a leading platform for SAP Hana and SAP S/4Hana -- will get integrated and streamlined support from AWS and Suse.
The Ironic Weirdness of Apple and Intel vs. Qualcomm
January 29, 2018
I am not remotely religious, but recently it has become harder and harder to ignore that things have become incredibly ironic of late -- as if a divine being with control over the world decided to prank us. For example, take President Trump. During the campaign, everything he made fun of others for doing -- including drinking water badly, playing too much golf, slacking off and slurring words -- he has done himself, in glorious living color.
Free Linux Tool Monitors Systems for Meltdown Attacks
January 27, 2018
SentinelOne has released Blacksmith, a free Linux tool that can detect Meltdown vulnerability exploitation attempts. The company has been working on a similar tool to detect Spectre vulnerability attacks. Though free, Blacksmith is not open source. SentinelOne decided to expedite its development in-house to save time, said Raj Rajamani, vice president of product management.
Intel Reports Progress on Patch-Related Performance Issues
January 25, 2018
Intel appears to have encountered some daylight in its struggle to fix performance issues related to the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. The company has identified the root cause on its older Broadwell and Haswell platforms, according to Navin Shenoy, general manager of Intel's data center group. Intel has begun rolling out a solution to its industry partners for testing, Shenoy said.
CES 2018: Spare Human Bodies, a $54K HTC Simulator and Intel's People-Chopping Cuisinart
January 15, 2018
OK, I hate CES. It really is a horrible event, largely because of the timing -- and particularly this year, Las Vegas making it a nightmare to get around -- but man did they have cool stuff at the show. Among presentation highlights were Nvidia showcasing a whopping 65-inch gaming monitor TV. Lowlights included Intel showcasing a human-carrying drone as something out of a horror movie.
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salesforce commerce cloud
How do you feel about Black Friday/Cyber Monday this year?
I'm excited to find great deals and plan to do some serious shopping on BFCM.
I'll watch for BFCM sales, but I intend to drastically curb my spending this year.
BFCM has become a season -- I no longer feel driven to look for bargains on those specific days.
I plan to have most of my holiday shopping done *before* BFCM.
I detest the holiday sales hype and will avoid shopping on BFCM.