Intel is offering a safebox technology to internet users suffering from the arduous burden of password fatigue.
The firm has done this by spending money, which is as good a way as any, and has acquired Canadian company PasswordBox which, in case you haven’t guessed, makes a password repository.
Intel did not disclose any financial details about the deal, but said that PasswordBox will be rolled into the firm’s security unit.
“Everyone can relate to password fatigue. The PasswordBox service has already brought relief to millions of consumers who now enjoy simple, instant log-in,” said Chris Young, senior vice president and general manager of Intel Security.
“Intel Security and PasswordBox share the same goal of improving digital identity protection across all devices and platforms. We believe we have the technology, expertise and reach to bring simple, secure access to consumers worldwide.”
Intel research has found that people are lumbered with over 26 password-needing accounts and rely on a hardcore of five, which is probably a low estimate.
We constantly hear that passwords should not be shared across sites, and barely a week goes by without one provider or another telling its users to change their chosen passkey. Password management, then, is something of a nightmare for some.
Not so for PasswordBox – and now Intel – users, though, as they can rely on what is pitched as a secure vault that is better and more reliable than you are at staying on top of your security.
It offers a form-filling option that punters can effectively put in their pocket and swan around with.
PasswordBox is positive about its prospects. “PasswordBox has spent the last two years building a product that people love, trust and use around the world every day,” said Daniel Robichaud, CEO and co-founder of the firm.
“We share Intel Security’s vision of simple, secure access and identity protection across all platforms and devices.
“Together, we believe we can offer our customers world-class technology, expertise and support to bring such access anywhere – all backed by Intel.”
A McAfee security product that will use biometric technology to authenticate users will be available for download by the end of the year, said Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, last week.
“Your biometrics basically eliminate the need for you to enter passwords for Windows log in and eventually all your websites ever again,” Skaugen said.
Further product details were not immediately available. But one of the major inconveniences in using PCs and tablets is remembering passwords, which biometrics can tame.
An average user has about 18 passwords and biometric authentication will make PCs easier to use, Skaugen said.
Biometric authentication isn’t new. It’s being used in Apple Pay, where fingerprint authentication helps authorize credit card payments through the iPhone or iPad. Intel has been working on multiple forms of biometric authentication through fingerprint, gesture, face and voice recognition.
McAfee is owned by Intel, and the chip maker is building smartphone, tablet and PC technology that takes advantage of the security software. Intel has also worked on biometric technology for wearable devices like SMS Audio’s BioSport In-Ear Headphones, which can measure a person’s heart rate.
Intel also wants to make PCs and tablets easier to use through wireless charging, display, docking and data transfers. Such capabilities would eliminate the need to carry power brick and cables for displays and data transfers. Such capabilities will start appearing in laptops next year with sixth-generation Core chips code-named Skylake, which will be released in the second half.
The service, which is designed to do what Drive does for Google and what Office 365 does for software rental, has gained mobile apps for the first time as Zocalo appears on the Google Play store and Apple App Store.
Amazon also mentions availability on the Kindle store, but we’re not sure about that bit. We assume it means the Amazon App Store for Fire tablet users.
The AWS blog says that the apps allow the user to “work offline, make comments, and securely share documents while you are in the air or on the go.”
A second announcement brings Zocalo into line with the AWS S3 storage on which it is built. Users will receive an update to their Zocalo sync client which will enable file capacities up to 5TB, the same maximum allowed by the Amazon S3 cloud.
To facilitate this, multi-part uploads will allow users to carry on an upload from where it was after a break, deliberate or accidental.
Zocalo was launched in July as the fight for enterprise storage productivity hots up. The service can be trialled for 30 days free of charge, offering 200GB each for up to 50 users.
Rival services from companies including the aforementioned Microsoft and Google, as well as Dropbox and Box, coupled with aggressive price cuts across the sector, have led to burgeoning wars for the hearts and minds of IT managers as Microsoft’s Office monopoly begins to wane.
Qualcomm has confirmed that it will branch out from offering its Snapdragon mobile chips and will soon launch a line of server processors.
The firm’s CEO, Steve Mollenkopf, has remained tight lipped about the plans so far but, according to The Wall Street Journal, said during a meeting with financial analysts in New York on Wednesday that the company is working on chips for the data centre.
There’s no timing yet, either, although Mollenkopf said that his firm is currently “engaged with customers”.
Qualcomm is already the world leader in ARM chips for smartphones, and we assume that the company will develop server chips based on ARM’s 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture as rivals such as AMD have done.
The move will place Qualcomm in competition with chip giant Intel, which is currently one of the biggest server chip makers.
Qualcomm announced last month that it had acquired Cambridge-based chipmaker CSR for a hefty $2.5bn (£1.6bn), as the company looks to push further into the Internet of Things (IoT).
The buyout, which comes two months after CSR rejected a takeover bid from Microchip Technology, will see Qualcomm using the British company to push further into the IoT, automotive and mobile communications markets.
CSR rejected an initial bid from Microchip, but reports claim that the firm has until 5pm UK time today to make a better offer.
However, CSR’s board of directors has unanimously accepted Qualcomm’s offer of 900p a share. The closing price at the time of the offer was 660p.
Amazon has become the latest vendor to commission a customized Xeon chip from Intel to meet its exact compute requirements, in this case powering new high-performance C4 virtual machine instances on the AWS cloud computing platform.
Amazon announced at the firm’s AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas that the latest generation of compute-optimized Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) virtual machine instances offer up to 36 virtual CPUs and 60GB of memory.
“These instances are designed to deliver the highest level of processor performance on EC2. If you’ve got the workload, we’ve got the instance,” said AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr, detailing the new instances on the AWS blog.
The instances are powered by a custom version of Intel’s latest Xeon E5 v3 processor family, identified by Amazon as the Xeon E5-2666 v3. This runs at a base speed of 2.9GHz, and can achieve clock speeds as high as 3.5GHz with Turbo boost.
Amazon is not the first company to commission a customized processor from Intel. Earlier this year, Oracle unveiled new Sun Server X4-4 and Sun Server X4-8 systems with a custom Xeon E7 v2 processor.
The processor is capable of dynamically switching core count, clock frequency and power consumption without the need for a system level reboot, in order to deliver an elastic compute capability that adapts to the demands of the workload.
However, these are just the vendors that have gone public; Intel claims it is delivering over 35 customized versions of the Intel Xeon E5 v3 processor family to various customers.
This is an area the chipmaker seems to be keen on pursuing, especially with companies like cloud service providers that purchase a great many chips.
“We’re really excited to be working with Amazon. Amazon’s platform is the landing zone for a lot of new software development and it’s really exciting to partner with those guys on a SKU that really meets their needs,” said Dave Hill, senior systems engineer in Intel’s Datacenter Group.
Also at AWS re:Invent, Amazon announced the Amazon EC2 Container Service, adding support for Docker on its cloud platform.
Currently available as a preview, the EC2 Container Service is designed to make it easy to run and manage distributed applications on AWS using containers.
Customers will be able to start, stop and manage thousands of containers in seconds, scaling from one container to hundreds of thousands across a managed cluster of Amazon EC2 instances, the firm said.
“We’ve made Skype available on computers, mobile phones, TVs and even games consoles,” wrote Jonathan Watson, Skype product marketing manager for Microsoft, in a blog post. “Expanding to different platforms has helped us grow to over 2 billion daily minutes (that’s over 33 million hours) of voice and video calls…. Now, not only can Skype be used on just about any screen you lay your hands on, but you can also enjoy Skype on a browser.”
Skype for Web, which is expected to roll out in the coming weeks, will be available via Internet Explorer, Chrome on Windows, Firefox or Safari.
“If you already use Skype, go to Skype.com and sign in to see all your contacts and latest conversation history,” wrote Watson. “We’re making Skype for Web available to small number of existing and new users to begin with, and gradually rolling out worldwide in the coming months — look out for an invite when you sign in to your Skype account on Skype.com.”
Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said this is a good move for Microsoft because it opens Skype up to more users in more places.
“The requirement to have a client means one might not always be able to use Skype,” he said. “For example, if I’m on a shared computer, say in an airport, I can’t use Skype…. Maybe I can’t get on the airport Wi-Fi, but there’s a public Internet terminal or I might want to use a friend’s computer. But with Skype Web, now I can. So now Skype can be pervasive across all devices, not just ones that I happen to own.”
The tool, which allows former owners to disable iMessage even after they’ve disposed of their iPhones, was the first self-service option Apple has offered.
Because iMessage is enabled by default — and is the standard texting service for iOS-to-iOS communication — iPhone owners who had changed smartphones and kept their numbers were not getting texts from other iPhone owners. Apple, unaware that the user had deserted iOS for a rival smartphone ecosystem, was still routing iOS-originating texts to the recipient’s now-unused Message app.
Some called it “iMessage purgatory,” while others referred to it as the “iMessage black hole.”
The problem had existed since 2011, when Apple introduced iMessage and the companion Message app, and was partly technical: Texts sent between iOS devices via iMessage don’t transit a carrier’s SMS (short message service) network, but instead are sent over the Internet.
iMessage’s inability to reroute texts from iOS users — and since 2012′s OS X Mountain Lion, from Mac owners as well — prompted at least one federal lawsuit.
The new tool aims to solve the purgatory problem by letting former iPhone owners, even if they have disposed of the device, route texts to non-Apple smartphones. After entering the phone number for the Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone device, the user must enter the confirmation code sent to the smartphone into the Web form.
Apple Inc is embarking on its most aggressive push yet onto enterprise IT turf, hiring a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup Inc and working in concert with a dozen or so developers, two sources familiar with its plans say.
Experts say the company hopes to offset a gradual deceleration in growth – highlighted by iPad sales that have declined three straight quarters – by expanding its footprint in the workplace.
Three months after unveiling a partnership with IBM to develop apps for corporate clients and sell them on devices, the iPhone maker’s plans to challenge sector leaders Hewlett-Packard, Dell Inc , Oracle and SAP are starting to take shape.
Details remain scant, but some industry experts say that the tie-up with Big Blue gives Apple an opportunity to begin to challenge Hewlett Packard’s and Dell’s dominance of office IT, and Oracle and SAP’s command of work applications. Depending on its progress, it may hamper Microsoft, Samsung’s or Google’s own efforts in the nascent market for mobile work applications.
Apps developers and other sources familiar with Apple’s plans who could not speak publicly provided additional details on how the iPhone maker is working behind the scenes.
The iPhone maker has worked closely with a group of startups, including ServiceMax and PlanGrid, that already specialize in selling apps to corporate America. The two people familiar with the plans, but who could not speak publicly about them, say Apple is already in talks with other mobile enterprise developers to bring them into a more formal partnership.
The iPhone maker may be trying to replicate the model that served the iPhone well: hook the client on the software and content, then keep them coming back for the hardware, which is what drives the lions’ share of Apple’s bottom line.
On Friday, Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for the iPad were ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, on the App Store free download list.
Two days earlier, those same apps were ranked Nos. 14, 39 and 44 in the U.S., according to AppAnnie, a company that tracks app store market data for developers. Distimo, which AppAnnie acquired in May but still maintains its own listings, pegged Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the iPad at Nos. 12, 39 and 48 on the same day, Wednesday, Nov. 5.
The rankings surge was triggered by announcements by Microsoft that it was moving the boundary line between free and paid on the Office for iPad apps. Previously, consumers without an Office 365 subscription could use the Office for iPad apps only to view documents. Under the new rules, consumers may now also create and edit documents, although features Microsoft labeled “advanced editing,” as well as the unlimited OneDrive storage space, remained available only to Office 365 customers.
Businesses must still pay if their employees want to use Office for iPad, Office on iPhones and Android smartphones, and almost certainly Office on Android tablets when that ships early next year.
Office apps on the iPhone also pushed to near the top of the App Store chart on Friday: Word was No. 1, Excel No. 4 and PowerPoint No. 8. Those apps were new, so no direct comparisons were possible.
The iPhone trio had been spun off Microsoft’s earlier app, Office Mobile, which debuted in mid-2013. Initially tied to Office 365 — as was the iPad – the link was broken in March when Microsoft allowed consumers to download and use all Office Mobile features free of charge on their iPhones.
Dell customers who are exploring Windows 10 believe that the new OS takes care of some issues that Windows 8 failed to address, said Neil Hand, vice president of tablets at Dell.
The biggest advantage of Windows 10 is the ability to run programs across devices, be they mobile or desktop, Hand said.
“The ability to create applications that are super-scalable from phone to tablet to PC is the big step in a lot of ways,” Hand said.
Dell is in the early stages of testing Windows 10 with its customers and Hand said it’s premature to say whether the OS will succeed. Dell runs Windows on most of its PCs and will likely adopt Windows 10 for its tablets and PCs next year.
Microsoft previously offered different versions of the Windows OS for mobile phones, desktops and servers, but Windows 10 is designed to unite all those editions.
Microsoft also offers separate versions of Windows 8 for its Surface 2 and Surface Pro tablets, which run on different instruction sets. Programs written for Surface 2, which is based on ARM, won’t run on Surface Pro 3, which is based on an Intel chipset. Windows 10 will eliminate any such incompatibilities and also make it easier to write and export programs from one device to another.
“Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices — from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some of these devices have 4 inch screens — some have 80 inch screens — and some don’t have screens at all,” said Terry Myerson , executive vice president at Microsoft’s Operating Systems group, in a blog entry.
Windows 8, with its all-new tablet user interface, presented a radical transition at the time of its release two years ago and enterprise customers preferred to go with the older Windows 7. Business users, who are Dell’s target base, have mostly skipped Windows 8 and are still upgrading PCs to Windows 7.
However, Microsoft had the right idea in mind with Windows 8, which was to prepare customers for mobile, Hand said.
Dell has unveiled the DCS XA90, an “ultra-dense” storage server capable of holding 720TB of data in a single 4U chassis.
Described by CEO Michael Dell on stage at the Dell World conference as “the power of a diesel truck in a Mini Cooper”, the DCS XA90 storage server means that a single Dell modular data centre of these units would hold 220PB of data, nearly a quarter of an exabyte.
“In a world where we could download our memories into those servers, we could house the experiences of about 90 people, an entire neighbourhood of digital lives,” said Dell.
He explained that the development of the DCS XA90 was driven by the demand for data storage that is “speeding us towards an exascale future”.
“That is what drove Dell to develop the DCS XA90 for our customers seeking extreme storage density and flexibility as they build out the cloud infrastructure of the future,” Dell added.
The DCS XA90 also packs two independent server nodes featuring Intel Xeon E5-2600v3 processors into each chassis, which Dell said makes it better for data-intensive analytics as well as archival storage.
As part of the announcement, Dell also revealed its PowerEdge FX architecture, a 2U enclosure with six PowerEdge server, storage and network IOA sleds built specifically to fit into the FX2 chassis and support varying workloads.
Due to ship in December, the PowerEdge FX architecture is described as “next-generation convergence” and a game changer in the IT industry, offering the flexibility to build configurations to meet requirements while simplifying management.
“There are other vendors who talk about convergence purely by doing an architecture rack,” said Dell’s server marketing vice president Ravi Pendekanti .
For example, HP’s Moonshot platform “just puts a bunch of blades together”, while Oracle’s Exadata platform “does one thing, and one thing really well, which is run Oracle’s enterprise applications”, he said.
The PowerEdge FX, which stands for ‘flexible infrastructure’, comprises a specially designed 2U rack-mount FX2 enclosure that can be filled with a choice of sled modules offering differing capabilities, enabling customers to adopt a building block approach to their infrastructure.
At launch, the sleds comprise a handful of full-width, half-width and quarter-width compute modules that allow customers to pick the performance and density required for applications such as web hosting, virtualisation or running databases, plus a half-width storage sled that can provide direct attached storage for the compute nodes.
The two firms, which have been competing in the cloud storage and file sync market — Dropbox’s bread and butter, a feature rather than a business for Microsoft — will now team up, first on tablets and smartphones, then next year online.
Some analysts called it advantage Microsoft in the partnership, but still thought Dropbox got an important win. “What Dropbox gets out of this is survival,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analysts at Moor Insights & Strategy.
Microsoft will revamp its Office mobile apps — Excel, PowerPoint and Word on the iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones — in the coming weeks so that users can connect to their Dropbox accounts from within those apps. In 2015, Microsoft will add the same capability to the Office Online apps, the Web-based versions of its primary applications.
Meanwhile, Dropbox will modify its mobile app — available now for Android and iOS — so that Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents stored on its service can be opened using the Office apps. Dropbox also said it would create a native Windows Phone app, something it’s declined to do previously, that would offer the same connectivity to Office.
“That [commitment to a Windows Phone app] shouldn’t be undersold,” said Wes Miller of Directions on Microsoft. “That’s a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’”
In the first half of 2015, Dropbox’s Web-based interface will tie into the Office Online apps.
Both Microsoft and Dropbox touted the partnership, with the latter contending “an even more seamless experience on all platforms” would be the result.
Like those first fanless models, Intel’s new Core M processors are dual-core chips that support Hyperthreading in up to four threads and have thermal design power (TDP) ratings of 4.5W.
They’re faster than the initial Core M chips, with base clock speeds ranging from 800MHz to 1.2GHz and Turbo Boost speeds from 2GHz to 2.9GHz.
The firm’s initial Core M chips were also rated at 4.5W TDP but topped out at 1.1GHz and 2.6GHz under Turbo Boost.
These additional fanless mobile chips are configurable by system designers, in that OEMs can scale the chip speeds and power consumption up or down depending on the purpose and configuration of the device.
A compact tablet or notebook can conserve power by limiting processor speed, while a larger device can offer higher speed at the cost of higher power draw and heat.
Thus, these new Core M chips can be configured from 600MHz base clock speed and 3.5W TDP to 1.4GHz base clock speed and 6W TDP in the fastest model.
Intel has also boosted the integrated graphics processors in these latest Core M chips, offering GPU base clock speeds ranging from 300MHz to 900MHz, whereas the initial models supported 100MHz to 850MHz.
The detailed specifications of all of Intel’s Core M mobile processors are available on the firm’s website.
Intel said that these new fanless Core M processors will start hitting the market early next year.
Red Hat has released an updated version of its Cloud Infrastructure suite that combines several products to deliver a comprehensive OpenStack-based cloud platform, adding its Satellite 6 lifecycle management tool to the mix.
Launched at the OpenStack Summit in Paris on Monday, Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure 5 brings together the firm’s Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) OpenStack Platform, CloudForms for managing hybrid cloud deployments, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation, and now the Satellite 6 lifecycle management tool which was released in September.
The new release is a comprehensive solution available under a single subscription licence that provides organisations with the tools they need to transform their IT infrastructure from traditional data centre virtualisation to an OpenStack-powered cloud capable of linking with public cloud OpenStack resources, Red Hat said.
“Hybrid environments are simply the reality of today’s IT, and organisations want to get to the cloud on their own terms and timeline. Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure acknowledges that reality,” said Joe Fitzgerald, vice president and general manager for cloud management at Red Hat.
“By bringing software lifecycle and configuration management capabilities that span physical, virtual and cloud systems to users via the addition of Red Hat Satellite, we’re helping to establish Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure as one of the most comprehensive and premier cloud infrastructure solutions for enterprises.”
Satellite 6 enables provisioning and lifecycle management tasks for various Red Hat products, including RHEL, while CloudForms provides cloud management and orchestration capabilities such as self-service portals, chargeback and metering of services across private and public clouds.
Meanwhile, the RHEL OpenStack Platform 5 is itself based on the previous Icehouse release of OpenStack combined with the firm’s RHEL 7 operating system. Red Hat already offers a three-year software support product lifecycle for this platform.
According to Techeye, IDC said that the worldwide tablet market grew by 11.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014 and shipments totalled 53.8 million units.
Sales were boosted by the “back to school” season and the fact that Americans wanted to them.
It is not clear where this boost is happening. Apple is still the leader in tablets, but is continuing to see a decline in its sales. It shipped 12.3 million units in the third quarter, while Samsung shipped 9.9 million units and despite being second has an 18.3 percent market share. Asus displaced Lenovo from number three.
Asus, followed by Lenovo and in number five position is RCA, which got to its worldwide position by shipping 2.6 million tablets in the USA.
It would be a risky company which based its views entirely on what happens in the US. Everyone in Europe knows that if there is something crazy or strange happening in the world it will always be happening in the US. Our bet is that phones are getting bigger and are making tablets pretty useless.