All posts on October, 2017


Home Tech

Google Assistant Shines in Pint-Sized Home Mini

The first wave of reviews touting Google’s Home Mini smart speaker surfaced this week, following reports that the company had to quash a top touch function to prevent the device from accidentally activating and recording conversations without users’ knowledge. Google has promised to update the device by Oct. 15. The Home Mini can provide reports on weather, traffic, news, sports and more.

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Web Apps

Apple Releases Retro Version of iTunes

Apple has made a retro version of iTunes available, 12.6.3, reviving features removed by the mammoth 12.7 overhaul it released last month. News of the release surfaced Monday in a post on Reddit by user vista980622. Apple was low key about the release, saying in an online post dated Sept. 23 that the retro version was for business partners who needed iTunes to mass deploy apps on iOS devices.

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Enterprise

Container Runtime Brings Greater Flexibility to Kubernetes and BOSH

The Cloud Foundry Foundation has launched Container Runtime as the default deployment and management platform for containers using Kubernetes and BOSH. The foundation announced Container Runtime at its annual European user conference. Cloud Foundry is an open source Platform as a Service offering used for building and managing applications in the cloud or in data centers.

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Vendors

Salesforce Gets Granular

If you need an example of digital disruption, you can’t do better than the retail banking industry. A byzantine collection of rules and regulations plus the overhang of many legacy systems have conspired to prevent banks from becoming more involved with their customers. Even innovations like the ATM, which entered the scene several decades ago, only serve to distance banks from their customers.

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E-Commerce

Walmart Throws Down Gauntlet to Amazon

Walmart on Tuesday outlined plans to grow its critically important e-commerce business in the U.S. by 40 percent over the next fiscal year. The company intends to leverage a series of key acquisitions and its more than 4,600 brick-and-mortar locations to mount a direct challenge to Amazon for millennial customers. Walmart is the largest retail operation in the world and the leading U.S. challenger to Amazon.

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Exclusives

LogicHub CPO Monica Jain: Focus on Results

“I was always interested in analyzing the data,” said LogicHub Chief Product Officer Monica Jain. “I was introduced to a company that was a pioneer in the market, and that’s where my career in security started. I fell in love with security because it’s all about finding and analyzing the data, and about crunching the data. That’s how I started with security. I’ve never left it since then.”

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Vendors

OpenWorld 2017

I spent last week at Oracle’s OpenWorld 2017 in San Francisco. When I wasn’t drinking from an information fire hose, it was alternately fascinating and exhausting. There were major announcements in database, blockchain, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and other stuff I’m associated with only tangentially. For instance, my eyes glaze over when they start talking about bare metal servers.

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Consumer Security

Android Devs May Follow Apple’s Face ID Lead

Apple’s use of facial recognition to unlock its iPhone X may open the gates for developers champing at the bit to bring the technology to the Android world. Face ID, which will replace fingerprint scanning in Apple’s new iPhone X, uses Apple’s TrueDepth 3D camera to verify the owner of a phone. Android developers have been working on similar systems, said Sensible Vision CEO George Brostoff.

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Tech Buzz

Google Pixel 2: 8/10ths of an Apple-Killer Strategy

What would it take to cause Apple to fail? While Steve Jobs was alive, the prevalent belief was that it would take his removal from the company. That has happened, but Apple’s valuation and reserves are higher. Although the foundational element was removed, no one really went after Apple hard until last week, when Google launched a comprehensive strategy that clearly targeted the company.

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Cybersecurity

Report: Russian Hackers Penetrated Elite NSA Hacking Division

Russian hackers reportedly exploited a vulnerability in Kaspersky Lab’s software to steal sensitive cyberdefense data from a National Security Agency contractor. The incident, which occurred in 2015, involved a contractor who loaded classified information onto his personal computer in order to work at home. The information included hacking tools and other sensitive NSA data.

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Software

With the Shell, You Can Go Wild(card) and Follow Your Pipe Dream

There is more to the shell than commands composed of alphanumeric characters. In addition to those familiar programs, there is a whole host of processing tools hiding behind the symbols of a standard keyboard. To say nothing of their incredible potency in combination, each one is so powerful on its own that it helps to take a methodical approach to get familiar with them.

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Tech Buzz

Gadget Ogling: Same Old Apple

Watching Apple’s product announcement showcase is a bit like celebrating New Year’s. People from all over the world are drawn to this annual event with the promise of something new and exciting, a vision of tomorrow and untold promise. Yet the more it comes around, the more disappointed we are. That promised kiss from a stranger at midnight is a dud. Our best intentions fall by the wayside.

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Emerging Tech

AI Ripples Through Google’s New Product Lineup

Google on Wednesday launched a bevy of new products into its growing hardware and software ecosystem at its Made by Google event. Many of the new devices are infused with artificial intelligence capabilities. “Since last year and since Google I/O, we’ve been working hard, continuing our shift from a mobile-first to an AI-first world,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the gathering.

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Under Eclipse, changes to Java EE begin

As part of the change in ownership of Java EE (Enterprise Edition) from Oracle to the Eclipse Foundation, how Java EE works and is managed are starting to change.

For one, Oracle is making the Java EE technology compatibility kits (TCK), which ascertain if an implementation is compliant with Java, available via open source. Eclipse Executive Director Milinkovich called this “a very fundamental change to the dynamics of this ecosystem.”

Under the open-sourcing of the TCKs, users themselves can test for compliance instead of relying on what Milinkovich termed the previous “pay-to-play model” to confirm compliance—with Oracle using the TCKs as a way to exercise control over the Java EE ecosystem, he said. This open-sourcing of the TCKs should hopefully bring other providers to Java EE table, building implementations, Milinkovich added.

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