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RedHat Goes OpenShift

December 21, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

RedHat has announced the launch of OpenShift Dedicated, a cloud-based service targeting enterprise IT and development teams.

OpenShift Dedicated includes the recently released OpenShift Enterprise 3.1 and builds on the success of OpenShift Online, the service that allows developers to build, launch and host applications in the public cloud. Support includes Kubernetes and Docker containerisation.

The base offering includes single tenant isolation and a resource pool of 100GB of SSD-based persistent storage, 48TB network IOPS and nine nodes in which to deploy container-based applications. Customers can gain secure access to security and access controls using VPN and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud.

Also available is access to Red Hat JBoss Middleware container optimized services, integration and business access capabilities from OpenShift developed and deployed applications.

There’s no need for separate administrative support because Red Hat acts as the service producer, and the firm offers customers exactly what they need when they need it.

Ashesh Badani, vice president of OpenShift at Red Hat, said: ”We are pleased to continue to expand OpenShift’s portfolio of offerings, extending new support to users running OpenShift in the public cloud and enabling the power of an open source application platform to extend into more layers of cloud computing.

“New users signing on to OpenShift Dedicated can experience the same powerful combination of Red Hat-backed support, middleware services and container functionality they have come to expect in OpenShift Enterprise, now optimised for the public cloud.”

OpenShift Dedicated launches today in all regions where AWS supports third-party public clouds. Support for other providers will follow.

The launch follows a host of recent announcements from Red Hat. Last week the company announced CloudForms 4, the latest “manager of managers” package for distributed workloads. This came after the recent deal between Red Hat and Microsoft to partner on bringing Linux to the previously proprietary world of the Azure Cloud.

Courtesy-TheInq

 

Is Microsoft Pressuring Users To Migrate To Windows 10?

December 18, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

I am getting slightly annoyed. Why am I the only person in the world who is not being nagged my Microsoft to upgrade to Windows 10.

There are stories appearing about how Microsoft has increased pressure on users to upgrade to Windows 10. NeoWin says that Redmond has given it two choices, upgrade now or upgrade tonight.

Microsoft’s ‘Get Windows 10′ feature on its older operating systems – which is intended to make it easy for users to take advantage of its free upgrade offer – was recently updated with revisions that, at first glance, appear to give users very little choice over whether to upgrade or not.

Of course when the window appears you just close it but it is rather annoying: but not to me because I have never seen it.

Yet it seems that Microsoft does not want my custom, at least on my Lenovo NUC and Asus Note book. To be fair I already tried to upgrade the NUC when Windows 10 came out and it didn’t work so I have not tried it since the updates. But the Asus should be constantly nagging me and it isn’t.

Unlike the Neowin I have no problems with Windows 10. It works rather well on my main machine particularly after I put it onto an SSD. I am in no hurry to upgrade it onto the other machines; I am just disappointed that Microsoft does not consider me worthy of hassling.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Firefox 64-bit Finally Is Available For Windows

December 17, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

Mozilla has finally shipped Firefox 43, the first edition that lets users download a production-grade 64-bit version for Windows.

While Mozilla did not debut the 64-bit support with any fanfare, it was the biggest difference between Firefox 43 and its predecessors.

A preview of the 64-bit Firefox for Windows was issued more than nine months ago, when Mozilla’s usual schedule would have meant a May release.

The biggest advantage of a 64-bit browser on a 64-bit operating system — like Windows and Apple’s OS X — is that it can address more than the 4GB of memory available to a 32-bit application, letting users keep open hundreds of tabs, and run larger, more sophisticated Web apps, notably games.

The appearance today of the Firefox 43 ends Mozilla’s climb to catch up with rivals, who had offered 64-bit browsers long before, in some instances years. Google, for example, shipped a Windows 64-bit Chrome in August 2014 and one for OS X in November of that year, while Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) have had 64-bit editions on OS X and Windows since 2009 and 2006, respectively. Opera Software, the Norwegian browser maker known for its same-named desktop flagship, also offers a 64-bit edition on Windows.

Mozilla was the last holdout among the top five browser builders.

Its path to a 64-bit Firefox for Windows has been contorted. Although Mozilla has long had 64-bit versions for OS X and Linux, the developer shelved work on one for Windows in November 2012, only to recant and restart the project a month later.

A 64-bit Firefox was important for Mozilla if only because of its push to retain users switching to Windows 10, which like previous editions of Microsoft’s OS, comes in 32- or 64-bit versions.

Other improvements and changes in Firefox 43 include support for more intensive content-and-ad-tracker blocking using “lists” from San Francisco-based Disconnect, which also powers the “Private Browsing” mode introduced last month with Firefox 42.

 

 

 

Windows Phone Caught Up In Slowing Global Smartphone Market

December 8, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

Growth in the worldwide smartphone market is slowing, and will increase by just 9.8% this year — the first time growth has slowed into the single digits, according to IDC.

Earlier IDC forecasts for 2015 had been higher, but a Windows Phone decline of 10.2% for the year will help drag down expected growth. That decline comes despite the launch of Windows 10 this past summer.

The forecast of 9.8% growth rate is still healthy, but represents a big change from recent years; smartphone shipments grew by 27.5% in 2014.

IDC’s updated forecast for 2015 is down from its 10.4% growth prediction in August, and the even higher forecast of 11.3% growth from last May. At the 9.8% rate, 1.43 billion smartphones will ship.

Slower growth in smartphones will intensify slightly for the next five years, IDC added. A big factor in the change is IDC’s lower shipment forecast for Windows Phone and alternative operating systems other than Android and Apple’s iOS.

Shipment growth in China will actually reach the low single digits, IDC said. By comparison, the highest growth in 2015 will be in the Middle East and Africa, with an increase of nearly 50% compared to last year.

The Windows Phone fall-off means that for 2015, the OS will have just 2.2% market share, compared to 81% for Android and nearly 16% for Apple’s iOS.

“Despite all the effort Microsoft has put in the launch of Windows 10, IDC does not expect Microsoft’s share of the smartphone OS market to grow much over the coming years,” IDC said in a statement.

The 10.2% decline is a big reversal from what IDC forecast in May, when it said Windows Phone would see 34% growth for all of 2015 and would account for the shipment of 46.8 million phones.

With just 31 million phones shipped, Windows Phone will decline even further in 2016, although IDC didn’t publish a number for the next year’s decline. Over the next five years, Windows Phone is expected to post a 4.5% annual growth rate.

 

 

 

 

Is The Inventor Of Android Making A Smartphone?

December 7, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Mobile

The man credited with inventing Android is about to get back into the mobile industry with a smartphone company of his own.

Andy Rubin was one of the key architects of Android and worked on it until 2013. He left Google in 2014. Rubin was believed to have left Google because Android got so big there was not much of an innovation challenge.

Apparently he has been recently seen trying to recruit people to his new smartphone project. Rubin runs a venture capital fund Playground Ventures with $300 million in the bank. It is not clear if he is building the company himself or wants to financially support and mentor it.

In October Rubin was asked what he was going to do with his life after Android and he wondered if he was going to fight for a percentage of the market or make 10 more Androids.

Rubin might be looking to get more AI onto smartphones. He was quoted as saying that Mobile isn’t going away and in the future some form of AI will be the next computing platform.

Courtesy-Fud

 

HP Says Good-bye To Low Cost Tablet Market

December 3, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Time is running out to acquire a  low-priced tablet from HP because you soon will not be able to find one.

HP is exiting the low-end tablet market amid declining prices and slowing demand. Instead, the company will focus on detachables, hybrids and business tablets at the higher end of the market.

“We are going to focus where there is profitability and growth and will not chase the low-end tablet market. We are focusing on business mobility to deliver tablets built for field service, education, retail and healthcare,” said Ron Coughlin, president for personal systems at HP.

HP has already stopped listing many low-end Android tablets on its website. The remaining lower-end products — the US$99 HP 7 G2 tablet and $149 HP 8 G2 tablet — have been out of stock for months, and it’s likely they won’t be available again. They are however still available through some online retailers at cut-rate prices.

The least expensive tablet on HP’s site is now the $329.99 HP Envy 8 Note tablet with Windows 10. HP has Windows on most tablets now, with only a handful running Android.

There’s no shortage of low-cost tablets from other companies, though. It’s easy to find a low-cost Android tablet from little-known device makers for under $100, and big names also remain in the market. Amazon’s 7-inch Fire tablet is selling for $49.99. Lenovo, Acer and Asus also offer low-cost tablets.

HP’s change in tablet strategy came after the the original Hewlett-Packard split into two companies: HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Cutting ties with low-end tablets is among the first decisions of the new HP Inc. to generate more cash flow.

 

 

Is Toshiba Going To Split?

December 1, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Troubled Japanese outfit Toshiba is considering splitting off part of its chip business in a bid to help it raise the cash it lost on its accounting scandal.

Toshiba needs a restructuring after revealing a number of unprofitable businesses which were hidden by some creative accounting. It agreed in October to sell its image sensor business to Sony. However it has been placed on a Tokyo Stock Exchange watch list and the outfit faces difficulty raising funds through the sale of shares or bonds.

Chief executive Masashi Muromachi told a news conference he was considering flogging every asset possible. NAND flash memory chips was a core business and would not be sold, which effectively leaves system LSI and discrete chips as options to split off.

The semiconductor business requires continuous investment to maintain its competitiveness against rivals such as Samsung Electronics and the thought is that when the bank manager is not returning your calls it is best to cut back on it. Some of Toshiba’s chips end up under the bonnet of the smartphones designed by the fruity cargo cult Apple.

Tosh already announced that it was flogging of its Malaysian chip assembly unit to US-based Amkor Technology as part of its strategy to consolidate chip operations. At the time it hinted of a big restructuring, but not an actual sell off its chipmaking empire.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Dyreza Trojan Appears To Be Targeting Windows 10

November 25, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

An infectious banking trojan has been updated so that it supports financial mayhem on the freshly baked Windows 10 operating system and supporting Microsoft Edge browser.

Microsoft reckons that Windows 10 is installed on over 100 million machines, and this suggests prime picking for people who deploy banking trojans, not to mention the fact that most people will still be getting used to the software and its services and features.

The newest edition to the Windows 10 spectrum is a variant of the Zeus banking malware known as Dyreza. It is related to Dyre, a threat that we reported on earlier this year.

The warning at the time was that as many as one in 20 online banking users could be exposed to the threat, and things look as bad this time around. Heimdal Security said in a blog post that the malware has been strengthened in scale and capability.

“The info-stealer malware now includes support for Windows 10. This new variant can also hook to Microsoft Edge to collect data and then send it to malicious servers,” said the post.

“Moreover, the new Dyreza variant kills a series of processes linked to endpoint security software in order to make its infiltration in the system faster and more effective.”

The threat already has a footprint, and the people behind it have increased it. Heimdal said that, once Dyreza is done with your bank account, it will move you into position on a botnet. The firm estimates that this botnet is currently 80,000-strong.

“By adding support for Windows 10, the Dyreza malware creators have cleared their way to growing the number of infected PCs in their botnet. This financial trojan doesn’t only drain the infected computers of valuable data, it binds them into botnets,” said Heimdal.

Courtesy-TheInq

 

Will Microsoft Debut A Lumia Business Phone Next Year?

November 24, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Mobile

Microsoft surprised the world when its new phone range failed to contain anything to interest business users – now it seems it is prepared to remedy that.

Microsoft promised that its Lumia range would cover the low end, business and enthusiast segments but while the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 650 should cover the low-end segment as well nothing has turned up for business users.

This was odd, given that business users want phones that play nice with their networks, something that Redmond should do much better than Google or Apple.

Microsoft’s CFO Amy Hood told the UBS Global Technology Conference that business versions of the Lumia were coming. She said:

“We launched a Lumia 950 and a 950 XL. They’re premium products, at the premium end of the market, made for Windows fans. And we’ll have a business phone, as well.”

There were no details, but we have been hearing rumours of a Surface phone being sighted on benchmarks. It was thought that his would be a Microsoft flagship, but with the launch of the Lumia 950/950 XL, it is possible that this Surface phone could be aimed at the business user. The word Surface matches nicely with Microsoft’s Surface Pro branding.

 

 

Courtesy-Fud

Mobile OS Sailfish Continues To Struggle, Layoffs Loom

November 24, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

With Android and iOS controlling most of the mobile operating system market, it’s tough going for alternatives like Sailfish, now in survival mode as its maker, Jolla, moves to lay off a large part of its workers.

The first smartphone with the Linux-based OS shipped at the end of 2013. Adoption of Sailfish has been weak, however, and Jolla is selling only one smartphone model, via the company’s website, for about $303. It’s a Jolla-branded phone, made by a third-party contract manufacturer. A tablet is also available for preorder.

Jolla is restructuring debt in its home country, Finland, after a round of funding fell through. The company announced Friday that it will lay off “a big part” of its staff, without giving many details of future plans. The company did say it would be tailoring the OS to fit the needs of different clients, and that it has several “major and smaller potential clients.” It also said Sailfish is stable and ready for licensing.

For analysts, Jolla’s collapse wasn’t a surprise. In a copycat market, Sailfish offers cool customization features, for example. But it doesn’t have the backing of device makers or carriers, which is crucial for survival.

The China market was a big focus for Jolla, but Xiaomi took the country by storm with end-to-end offerings including OS, user interface and hardware, along with the creation of a developer ecosystem, said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research and head of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Many alternative mobile OSes like Ubuntu, Firefox, WebOS, Blackberry and others are in the same boat as Sailfish, trying to find a niche in a market ruled by Apple and Google. The biggest competitor to Android and iOS is Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which had just a 1.7 percent market share in mobile handsets, with 5.87 million units shipping during the third quarter this year, according to Gartner.

A Gartner analyst said Windows Phone could find adopters in the enterprise market. But Jolla doesn’t have the resources of Microsoft, of course, and this raises questions about the future of Sailfish.

 

 

 

 

SentinelOne Introduces Feature For Ransomware Victims

November 19, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

SentinelOne has announced a new feature for its endpoint detection products that can restore files encrypted by cybercriminals, a common type of attack known as ransomware.

The “rollback” feature will be available in the 1.6 versions of its Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) and the Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) products at no charge, said Dal Gemmell, director of product management.

SentinelOne is among several vendors that are trying to displace traditional antivirus vendors with products that detect malware using deep analysis rather than signature-based detection.

The company’s products use a lightweight agent on endpoints such as laptops and desktops, which looks at the core of the operating system — the kernel — as well the the user space, trying to spot changes that might be linked to malware.

The rollback feature leverages built-in capabilities in Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s OS X. Both operating systems take snapshots of files on a computer. In Windows, it’s known as Volume Shadow Copy Service and on OS X asjournaling.

The technologies are used for restoring systems. The snapshots of the files are kept in a secure area and wouldn’t be affected by ransomware if it infected a machine. Gemmell said. SentinelOne is also adding some anti-tampering defenses to make sure the snapshots aren’t affected.

SentinelOne monitors the files that have been changed on an endpoint, and if someone becomes infected by ransomware, can roll back the changes.

“There are a number of different ransomwares that we’ve tested it out on,” Gemmell said.

 

 

Will AMD Bring Two New GPUs To Market In 2016?

November 18, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

AMDs’ head graphics guy, Raja Koduri promised that AMD will have two new GPUs out next year.

Koduri was talking to Forbes about how AMD needed to get some new architectural designs and create brand new GPUs into the shops.

He added that this is something that AMD has been pretty pants about lately.

He promised two brand new GPUs in 2016, which are hopefully going to both be 14nm/16nm FinFET from GlobalFoundries or TSMC and will help make Advanced Micro Devices more power and die size competitive.

AMD’s GPU architectures have gotten rather elderly, he said.

AMD also wants to increase its share in professional graphics. Apparently this is so low that any competition it brings Nvidia could significantly help their market share in this high margin business. The company has hired

Sean Burke to help drive this forward. Sean was a president at Flex and Nortek and a senior executive at Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and Dell. For those who came in late he was the father of Dell’s Dimension and Compaq’s Prolinea.

Koduri’s cunning plan is to capture consumer and professional graphics will be by providing fully immersive experiences that range from education and medicine to gaming and virtual reality with plenty of overlap in between.

He is also interested in expanding into “instinctive computing” applications which involve medicine, factory automation, automotive and security. These are computing applications that are more natural to the environment and less obvious to the user and should come as natural user experiences.

Koduri has three make attack plans. The first is to gain discrete GPU market share in 2016 and 2017 as well as win the next generation of consoles, which will be 4K. Ironically the AMD chips in the consoles on the market at the moment can handle 4K but they don’t.

Koduri wants console makers will continue to stick with Radeon IP for their next generation consoles and give Advanced Micro Devices an even bigger advantage in the gaming space.

DirectX 12 in the latest shipping version of Windows does seem to give Radeon GPUs a significant performance uplift against Nvidia, he said.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Tim Cook Says No To iOS Powered Laptops

November 18, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

Apple CEO Tim Cook has again shot down the idea of following in the footsteps of rival Microsoft to develop a notebook that runs his company’s mobile operating system, iOS.

“We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad,” Cook told The Irish Independent, Ireland’s largest daily newspaper, in aninterview published Sunday. “Putting those two together would not achieve either. You’d begin to compromise in different ways.”

But take Cook’s comments with a grain — or more — of salt. “These are tactical communications, nothing about what they might do, or what they potentially will do,” noted Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, in a Monday interview.

Cook, who has been on a swing through Europe to meet with Irish officials about an expansion of Apple’s facility in the country, and in the U.K. to trumpet the iPad Pro, which went on sale last week, again took time to take a swipe at the competition.

“What that would wind up doing,” Cook said, referring to a notebook-slash-tablet analogous to Microsoft’s new Surface Book, “is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants.”

In earlier interviews while in Europe, Cook had previously bashed the Surface Book, a 2-in-1 with an integrated keyboard and detachable screen that reverts to a tablet when held separately. “It’s trying to be a tablet and a notebook and it really succeeds at being neither. It’s sort of deluded,” Cook said of the Surface Book.

Cook’s stance is not new: The CEO has repeatedly said Apple had no interest in 2-in-1 devices, at one point calling tablets with keyboards akin to a Frankenstein mashup of toaster and refrigerator. That, of course, was long before Apple decided to join the market with the 12.9-in. iPad Pro and its optional Smart Keyboard.

 

 

Microsoft Launches Office Insider, New Preview Program

November 17, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

Microsoft has launched a new preview program for consumers who subscribe to Office 365 that will give them an advance preview of new features slated to be added to the subscription service in the next one to three weeks.

Office Insider was opened to subscribers of Office 365 Home, Personal and University — the third is a four-year deal available only to college students — who are running Office 2016 on a Windows device. Office 365 subscribers who instead work with Office 2016 on a Mac are excluded for now, although Microsoft said they would be added in the “coming months.”

Like the already-established Windows Insider, Office Insider will serve as a feedback source for Microsoft’s developers.

Differences abound, however: Office Insider is accessible only to consumers and students with an Office 365 rent-not-own subscription — not to the general population as is Windows Insider — and more importantly, will preview new features just weeks, not months, away from landing on the production track. For example, the tools Microsoft touted as now available only to Insiders — including a pair of features for PowerPoint, and new “Send As” options for Word and PowerPoint — are slated to ship this month.

Windows Insider typically previews changes to Windows 10 that are as much as six to nine months away from reaching everyone in the next upgrade.

“The features are typically only 1-3 weeks out from general release and just need a bit of fine-tuning before becoming more widely available,” a company spokeswoman said in an email reply to questions.

Microsoft has committed to shipping monthly upgrades to Office 365 customers, something the company reiterated today. “Every month, the Office engineering team ships updates across the Office apps (mobile, desktop and Office Online), to include new functionality,” the spokeswoman added.

Subscribers to the eligible Office 365 SKUs (stock-keeping units) may join Office Insider by downloading the preview edition of Office 2016 from a new section of their Office 365 account dashboard, dubbed “Additional Install Options.”

 

 

 

Imagination Gives MIPS Warrior A Boost

November 16, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Imagination Technologies has introduced three new additions to the MIPS Warrior CPU family, updating its embedded 32-bit M-class CPUS with the new M6200 and M6250, as well as the higher performing P-class CPU with the 64-bit P6600.

The MIPS P6600 is touted as “the next evolution” of the P-class family and is intended to “pave the way” to future generations of higher performance 64-bit processors.

The MIPS P6600 builds on the 32-bit P5600 CPU, which was the company’s first CPU core based on the MIPS Series 5 architecture and announced about two years ago. The MIPS Series 5 was designed to accelerate compute-intensive applications and thereby appeal to the embedded and mobile markets.

The P6600 CPU boasts a higher performing 64-bit architecture while other improvements over its predecessor include a deep 16-stage pipeline with multi-issue and Out-of-Order execution to deliver better computational throughput for complex software workloads.

“The P6600 CPU is the most balanced mainstream high-performance CPU choice, enabling powerful multicore 64-bit system of chips with optimal area efficiency for applications in segments including mobile, home entertainment, networking, automotive, HPC or servers, and more,” said the chip firm, adding that customers have already licensed the P6600 for applications including high-performance computing and advanced image and vision systems.

 

Like the P5600, MIPS P6600 is an OmniShield-ready design that supports full hardware virtualisation and security features. It is said to be able to handle up to 15 guest operating systems running simultaneously in fully isolated and trusted environments, too.

“This unprecedented level of scalability for virtualisation and security gives the MIPS Warrior family another unique advantage in the battle for supremacy in the processor space,” added the firm.

The P6600 packs a faster SIMD engine for accelerating multimedia processing as well as branch prediction and a load/store instruction bonding mechanism: two technologies that Imagination said will provide a boost in real-world workloads while keeping silicon area and power consumption in check.

As for the MIPS M6200 and M6250 chips, these are the latest additions to Imagination’s less powerful M-class family processors for MCUs/MPUs, further broadening the M-class roadmap for high-performance deeply embedded designs in segments requiring higher performance and larger address space.

Imagination said this could include things like wired/wireless modems, GPU supervisor processors, flash and SSD controllers, industrial and motor control, and advanced audio voice processing.

Courtesy-TheInq