Showing posts from January, 2010

Outsourcing and offshoring of IT infrastructure is emerging

Outsourcing and offshoring of IT infrastructure is emerging as one of the key growth engines for the global technology services industry and it is estimated that the remote infrastructure management (RIM) market is likely to exceed $8.6 billion in India by 2010. Hewlett Packard (HP), the global technology giant, will be scaling up the India operations for its IT infrastructure outsourcing (IO) business leveraging on the scale and labour arbitrage that the country offers, said Ludger Rohlmann , VP, ITO delivery operations, HP, in an interview.

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Endeavour begins the farewell tour

Image by PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE via Flickr The space shuttle program will begin marking off milestones as the fleet prepares for its final year before hitting the mothballs. The first of five flights in 2010 kicks off with a final night launch at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Feb. 7 on a mission to the International Space Station to deliver the Tranquility node, the final module of the U.S. portion of the space station. With the space shuttle fleet currently scheduled for retirement at the end of the year, Endeavour begins the farewell tour with a Feb. 7 launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center to the ISS (International Space Shuttle). Five shuttle missions are planned in 2010, with the last flight currently targeted for launch in September. The flight will be Endeavour's 24th mission and the 33rd shuttle flight dedicated to station assembly and maintenance. Liftoff is planned for 4:39 a.m., EST, making it the final scheduled space shuttle night launch.

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Startpage search doesn't track searchers

Search-engine company Startpage launched a service allowing users concerned about privacy to carry out Web searches and click on linked pages without being identified, tracked or recorded. Unlike mainstream search engines that gather commercially valuable information about user behavior, privately held Startpage ( has focused on privacy since 2005. Startpage -- also known as Ixquick outside the United States and Britain -- had already offered private searching, but users would leave the company's protection when they clicked on a search result and entered a third-party website. The new service offers use of a Startpage proxy that means the user is invisible to all websites, though pages load more slowly since Startpage must first retrieve the contents and then redisplay them. "My wake-up call came last year," says Katherine Albrecht, who runs U.S. media relations and marketing for Startpage and who says she noticed Google Inc had installed a program monitor…

Cadmus Organizes Your Social Streams by Topic

Cadmus Organizes Your Social Streams by Topic

If you're addicted to Twitter or FriendFeed, you know what it's like to wake up in the morning, check the updates to your stream from the previous evening, and see that there are so many new posts that it's difficult to go back and read them all. At the same time, you probably do anyway. Cadmus, a Web service that aggregates those updates and organizes them into trends and topics, is a better way to stay on top of what your friends are talking about without scrolling through pages and pages of new Twitter posts or FriendFeed updates.

Since Cadmus is a Web service, you have to give it your credentials for each of the social services you want to use it with. But if any of your social services have a public RSS feed of your friends' updates, you can add it and follow it as well. Once you have all your feeds added to Cadmus, the app will organize similar posts and trends into groups so you can see them at a single glance, wit…

iPad should have a few security issues

Apple's new iPad device looks like it will have some of the same security issues that affect the iPhone, such as weak encryption, a mobile security expert said on Thursday.

For one, if the iPad employs encryption the same way the iPhone does, sensitive personal data, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses, could be retrieved and viewed, says Daniel Hoffman, chief technology officer at SMobile Systems, which sells mobile security software.
"The problem with the iPhone security encryption is it is fundamentally worthless," he said. "It can be easily bypassed."
Secondly, if iPad users get their apps from the Apps Store, they are at risk of getting the occasional bad apple, Hoffman said, noting that there have been malicious apps found in the store.
In addition, the device is subject to man-in-the-middle attacks like any other device that uses unsecured Wi-Fi networks, he said.

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iPad launch, by sticking with AT&T

Apple surprised many people during its iPad launch, by sticking with AT&T, which faced quite a few jabs in 2009. AT&T says it’s addressing the issues of its two most problematic cities – New York and San Francisco – but will a successful iPad launch add new stress to these newly patched problems? The Apple iPad is one more device soon to be gobbling data on the AT&T network. During AT&T’s announcement of its fiscal fourth quarter results on Jan. 28, however, executives noted that progress has been made in New York City and San Francisco — two areas where AT&T has previously acknowledged having service issues. “We’re closing the gap against our immediate target, which is the performance level we achieve today in our top-performing markets,” John Stankey, AT&T’s president of operations, said on the call to investors. “AT&T is not alone in having service issues at hotspots in major urban areas,” analyst Neil Mawston, with Strategy Analytics, told eWEEK. “O2 in th…

Microsoft, Azure and 2010

Microsoft signaled during a Jan. 28 earnings call that a variety of initiatives, including Office 2010, Azure and Project Natal, would help power its revenues throughout 2010. However, Microsoft executives seemed less forthcoming about the possible debut of Windows Mobile 7, the smartphoneoperating system that could make or break the company's plans in the mobile arena, deferring instead to an announcement during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. Microsoft also stated that netbooks and a possible Windows 7 Service Pack were non-factors in affecting the company's Windows 7 revenue. Microsoft is betting its success in 2010 on a variety of initiatives, including the Azure cloud platform, the Project Natal gaming application, and Office 2010. However, executives during the company's Jan. 28 earnings call remained elusive about Windows Mobile 7, the long-rumored smartphone operating system that could potentially mean success or failure for Microsoft in that spa…

Google to stop support for IE 6

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Google Jan. 29 said it would cease fully supporting Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 for its Google Docs and Google Sites applications March 1. This pledge extends to other older Web browser versions, including Mozilla Firefox 2.0, Apple Safari 2.0, as well as Google's own Chrome 3.0. The move is Google's push to rid the messaging and collaboration world of the dated, insecure IE6 and put Google Chrome in its place. Chrome has 4.63 percent of the browser market and would love to chomp away at IE's 63 percent share. Google Jan. 29 said it would cease fully supporting Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and other older Web browsers for its Google Docs and Google Sites applications March 1. Google recommends that its Docs and Sites users upgrade to Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 or higher, Apple Safari 3.0 or higher, as well as Google's own Chrome 4.0, which the company rolled out Jan. 25 with a host of extensions. "Many o…

Microsoft will at least mention Windows Mobile 7

Image by Getty Images via Daylife Microsoft will at least mention Windows Mobile 7, its long-awaited mobile OS, in a few weeks at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings call on Thursday afternoon, Peter Klein, Microsoft's newly-appointed chief financial officer, tipped the tech world off. "On the mobile side our strategy remains the same, Klein said, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript. "As we have been saying from a product perspective, we are working very hard on the next version of Windows Mobile. As Bill indicated, we will be talking more about that in Barcelona in a few weeks." What will be discussed? Hard to say. But it certainly looks like we'll be receiving an update.

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WS-Security, SSL, encryption, digital certificates

WS-Security, SSL, encryption, digital certificates… We know the deployment and consumption of cross-enterprise and inter-enterprise services opens us up to all kinds of vulnerabilities, and there are all kinds of security protocols and solutions to address this in a multi-layered fashion. But we still can’t seem to get the most essential piece of the puzzle right: user passwords. Imperva, a security vendor, recently released an analysis of weak passwords used at a popular social networking site, which were exposed to public view by the hacker. ZDNet colleague Dancho Danchev, a well-known expert in all things security, also weighed in on this new revelation. As Imperva puts it, we have made precious little progress over the past two decades in improving passwords — long considered the Achilles heel of Web security.

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Cell phone ban hasn't changed the figures

According to new research from the Highway Loss Data Institute, fluctuations in rates of collision claims in jurisdictions with bans on using hand-held cell phones while driving or texting while driving didn't change from before to after the laws were enacted. The numbers aren't adding for the HLDI (Highway Loss Data Institute). Comparing insurance claims for crash damage in four U.S. jurisdictions before and after bans on driving and using hand-held phones, researchers found no reductions in crashes after the ban. HLDI researchers calculated monthly collision claims for vehicles up to three-years-old during the months immediately before and after hand-held phone use was banned in New York, Connecticut, California and the District of Columbia. Comparable data were collected for nearby jurisdictions without such bans. Month-to-month fluctuations in rates of collision claims in jurisdictions with bans didn't change from before to after the laws were enacted. Nor did the pattern…

SEO tactics

Unethical tactics employed by companies utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) tactics such as link farms and loading Web pages filled with irrelevant keywords, are not welcomed by search engine operators. This declaration was issued by Microsoft and Google.

Asked if organizations such as content farms are outsmarting its system by flooding the Web with low-quality content to earn high-click rates, a Microsoft spokesperson said the company "prefers quality over quantity" to manage its Bing search engine.

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Facebook: You're Not Allowed to Leave

Image via Wikipedia Facebook: You're Not Allowed to Leave

Facebook is beginning to look a bit like the mafia--once you're in, it's hard to get out.
In the past users have been able to easily suspend their accounts or delete them permanently. They still can with relative ease, but to borrow a phrase from Facebook, "it's complicated." Facebook has nearly 350 million users worldwide and is close to achieving "technological lock-in." This term encompasses the idea that the more society adopts a particular technology, the more unlikely they are to change their habits (i.e. the QWERTY keyboardlayout).
"The more people who come into the network, the more connected they become to each other and there actually becomes a greater cost to leaving the network," ComScore director Andrew Lipsman told
According to Lipsman, similar to how everyone needs a mobile phone to stay in touch, people now "need" Facebook.

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beta version of DiskStation Manager 2.3.

NAS solutions specialist Synology offers cost-conscious businesses a beta version of DiskStation Manager 2.3. Network attached storage developer Synology America announced the release of DiskStation Manager 2.3 beta, which introduces updated features for business and home users including backup to the cloud with Amazon S3, Volume Manager, live view of Surveillance Station with a DS cam iPhone app and additional features and enhancements. Existing applications receive a makeover in DSM 2.3 that add enhancements to File Station, Surveillance Station, Photo Station and Audio Station. The DSM 2.3 beta is available to download free of charge for users who own a DiskStation 7-series and onward. Additional features include SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) that helps simplify the RAID setup by optimizing the disk capacities with data protection when different size hard drives are used. Synology said the new SHR eliminates the worry about buying hard drives of different capacity at different times whe…

Verizon expected to layoff 13,000

Image via Wikipedia Land lines are not what they used to be, and telecommunications workers are feeling the pain. For the past two years, Verizon has been divesting legacy telephone-based services and moving toward a wireless and Internet-only business while finding smaller companies to take on its debt. As part of its Jan. 26 earnings announcement, Verizon said it expects to lay off 13,000 more employees to help alleviate diminishing revenues. While revenues are better in its wireless division, legacy land-line revenues continue to decline as more and more customers are dropping land lines, going solely wireless or finding Internet-based telephone services such as Vonage or Skype or the competing voice-over-IP products from cable companies. "There are three conditions that we are working very hard to offset: temporary economic pressures, ongoing secular changes, and incremental pension and benefits expense," John Killian, Verizon Communications' chief financial officer, sa…

Intel installing solar panels at eight locations

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Intel installing solar panels at eight locations in four Western states as part of its larger power conservation program. The new solar panel installations will generate bout 2.5 megawatts of power, and will all be online within the next seven months. The announcement coincides with Intel being named by the EPA as the country’s top purchaser of green energy.

Intel this year will continue its push to grow the amount of renewable energy its uses in its global operations.
The giant chip maker is installing new solar panels at eight locations throughout the Western United States, which will generate about 2.5 megawatts of power.
All the solar power installations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon will be online within the next seven months, according to Intel officials.
The new installations are part of a broader initiative by Intel to increase its use of alternative energy sources—including wind, geo-thermal and biomass—and reduce its carbon footprint.


48% of 22 million scanned computers infected with malware

48% of 22 million scanned computers infected with malware

The recently released APWG Phishing Activity Trends Report for Q3 of 2009, details record highs in multiple phishing vectors, but also offers an interesting observation on desktop crimeware infections.
According to the report, the overall number of infected computers (page 10) used in the sample decreased compared to previous quarters, however, 48.35% of the 22,754,847 scanned computers remain infected with malware.
And despite that the crimeware/banking trojans infections slightly decreased from Q2, over a million and a half computers were infected.

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Motorola turning profit

Motorola is making progress on its turnaround, but the company’s fourth quarter revenue total and first quarter outlook illustrated there’s a lot more work to do.

Motorola reported fourth quarter earnings of $142 million, or 6 cents a share. That tally includes 3 cents of charges. Revenue was $5.7 billion in the quarter. Wall Street was expecting fourth quarter earnings of 8 cents a share on revenue of $5.94 billion.
In other words, Motorola’s earnings were solid, but revenue fell short (statement). And the outlook wasn’t so hot either. For the first quarter, Motorola projected a loss of a penny a share to 3 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting a profit of 3 cents a share.
For the year, Motorola delivered a loss from continuing operations of $51 million, or 5 cents a share, on revenue of $22 billion, down from $30.1 billion a year ago.

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Surprisingly low price of Apple's long-awaited touch screen

Surprisingly low price of Apple's long-awaited touch screen tablet, the iPad, which starts at $499, makes it an affordable (and desirable) option for small businesses, an Apple expert argues.

After months of waiting, the Apple tablet, now officially known as the iPad, was released with much fanfare. Touted as a “magical and revolutionary device,” the iPad looks like a very large iPhone (it sports a 9.7-inch touch screen) and offers models with Wi-Fi and 3G capability. And it boasts a base price that is much lower than analysts’ expectations.
At the iPad's unveiling Jan. 27, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced a starting price of $499 (for a 16GB Wi-Fi-enabled iPad), with unlimited data plans for $30. The top-end model is a 64GB version with 3G capability, which would retail for $829 when it reaches store shelves in a couple of months. The question now is, Who will feel the need to buy one?

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IBM launches resources for software partners

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Technology giant IBM launches an initiative that includes sales and technical resources for IBM Software partners to help jump-start new business opportunities.

According to a Global Business Partner Profitability Survey conducted by Ronin Corporation and commissioned by IBM, 60 percent of IBM Software partners said they expect to increase profitability in 2010 and beyond by participating in Software Value Plus. The same percentage of IBM's top-tier Software partners said they see more revenue in the form of hardware, software, and services when selling IBM software as compared to revenue generated by other vendors' top- tier partners. From a growth perspective, 50 percent of IBM's top-tier Software partners report that cloud computing will be a leading driver of profitability over the next two years, and the same percentage of all IBM Software partners rank consulting services as their top cloud opportunity.
In response to these survey results, IBM is de…

Google’s Android mobile operating system will become the second most-popular

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Google’s Android mobile operating system will become the second most-popular mobile platform by 2013, according to a new report by IDC.

Who will continue to rule the cell phone roost? Symbian, according to the research firm.
By 2013, IDC forecasts that worldwide shipments of smartphones will surpass 390 million units, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 20.9 percent.
“Mobile operating systems have become the key ingredient in the highly competitive mobile device market. Although the overall look and feel of the device will still play an important role in the buying process, the wrong choice of operating system coupled with an awkward user interface can mean the difference between success and failure,” said Stephen D. Drake, vice president, Mobility and Telecom, in prepared remarks.
Key takeaways from the report:
Symbian will remain the No. 1 mobile OS worldwide, thanks to Nokia’s strength outside the U.S.
Android will experience the fastest growth of any mobile o…

Facebook, Twitter more than popular

Facebook Mobile picked up over 600 percent more unique users in 2009 than in 2008, according to FierceMobileContent.
That makes Facebook the most popular social networking site visited on mobile devices. Twitter, meanwhile, has jumped a staggering 2,800 percent in 2009--albeit starting from a much smaller number to begin with.
Facebook may be the most-visited social networking site on cell phones, but it's the second most popular Web site overall. The first? Google, with Yahoo, Wikipedia, and MySpace bringing up the number three, four, and five slots, according to the report.

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Oracle CEO expounds on a number of topics

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CEO expounds on a number of topics — and debunks a much-discussed rumor — as thecompany explains how it will integrateSun Microsystems and its 27,000 employees into itsbusiness model.

REDWOOD CITY,Calif. — Oracle CEO and co-founderLarry Ellison took turns discounting rumors, chidingIBM, and extolling the speed and scalability of combined Oracle-Sun Microsystemsdata center products Jan. 27 before a packed auditorium here on the bayside campus of the world’s second-largestsoftware maker.
Actually, Oracle from Jan. 27 on, will need to be described as a full-service IT products and services provider, along the same lines as IBM andHewlett-Packard.
The $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun, a nine-month-long legal headache for Oracle that ended earlier in the day, now qualifies Oracle to make a complete change in its business model.

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Sidescreen App

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Screen Adds Useful Data to Your Android Phone

If you're one of the many new Android users after the holiday season's spate of Android-based mobile phone releases on just about every major carrier, then you're probably just starting to get used to the way Android looks and feels. And you're probably wondering which apps can make it even more useful. For example, depending on the phone you have, the home screen is either a wealth of commonly used applications and widgets or a barren list of apps that you can launch.
Enter SlideScreen, an Android app that brings your mail, social feeds, weather, battery status, and other important information right to the home screen of your Android phone. Best of all, if you don't mind an ad at the bottom of the screen, it's completely free.
SlideScreen completely reorganizes your phone's home screen. That's the beauty of Android phones: You can download apps that totally redefine the user experience an…

AT&T filed an Early Termination Fee (ETF) settlement

AT&T filed an Early Termination Fee (ETF) settlement in a New JerseyU.S. District Court, offering customers who filed a class action complaint $16 million in cash and $2 million in other benefits.

AT&T has filed a class action settlement in a New Jersey U.S. District Court regarding customer complaints about the company’s flat-rate early termination fees (ETFs). Although the document is dated Sept. 15. 2009, those involved in the lawsuit were notified Jan. 26.
The carrier has offered $16 million in cash, plus $2 million in “non-cash benefits” as a settlement to those who submit a claim by June 14.
“The Settlement Class includes all current or former customers of AT&T Mobility or its predecessor in the U.S. who paid or were charged a flat-rate ETF at some time during the period January 1, 1998 through November 4, 2009; and/or who have or had a contract for service with AT&T Mobility that included a flat-rate ETF…” a document posted to a site not run by AT&T states.


AT&T may lose its exclusive rights to the iPhone on Jan. 27

AT&T may lose its exclusive rights to the iPhone on Jan. 27, according to one published report. Whether it happens this week or later this year, though, AT&T will have five new Android phones, including Dell’s Mini 3, to fall back on.

Is Jan. 27 the day Apple introduces its anticipated tablet — and AT&T’s exclusive relationship with Apple’s iPhone comes to an end?
According to Hot Hardware, which cites an “inside source,” the latter is seeming likely — though news of which additional carrier or carriers will gain access to the iPhone is still unknown.

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