SiliconANGLE Extracting the signal from the noise. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:04:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Splunk Conference 2013 DevOps Recap: Integrating Splunk DevOps platform to developers Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:04:20 +0000 Continue reading ]]> splunk-devopsThe 5th Annual Splunk Worldwide Users’ Conference is just around the corner. But before we get a chance to see what has been happening in the world of Splunk, let’s take a look back at some of the developers development at last year’s conference.

One overarching theme of last year summit was that Splunk continued to enhance its flagship machine data search engine so it can be used by business analysts and managers. The company advanced its portfolio of products including a new version 6.0 of its enterprise edition cloud service and adding more business intelligence capabilities to its namesake engine.

Integrating Splunk to DevOps platform

Splunk had captured a large market on analyzing log analysis and the company demonstrated its transition beyond machine log data at last year conference. The Splunk Enterprise 6 product is one such product where Splunk is building out applications to run on tops of its platform.

Pivot powered Splunk Enterprise 6 makes it incredibly easy for developers to build dynamic dashboards and fluid visualizations in addition to build to build insightful visualizations. The data model and pivot enable Splunk experts to create views of data that business users can easily interact with and analyze.

The web framework in Splunk Enterprise 6 makes it much faster for developers to build custom Splunk modules and applications. The web framework lets developers use existing skills to quickly plan and develop Splunk apps in JavaScript and Django, all without having to learn any new concepts.

Last year, Splunk opened up its DevOps platforms to outside developers with product launches, acquisitions, and partnership announcements. The company teamed up with Cloudera to tackle the regulated sector of government agencies, as well as Tableau for extended data visualization tools.

The log management company also released software developer kits to GA and three new SDKs–for C#, PHP and Ruby–providing developers new tools to build analytics applications on top of Splunk’s machine data indexing platform. These tools help Business Intelligence sector with enterprise-grade, cloud-ready analytics to seize an opportunity to democratize data.

Building big data monetization

Splunk’s broader strategy is to be known for more than just machine log data. Now, marketing, healthcare, accounting, retail and HR departments are only one step removed from the data they need to achieve better efficiencies within their groups. This was part of Splunk’s strategy for transitioning its brand beyond machine log data at last year conference.

Splunk is not only building analytics from machine data. Machine data comes from a lot of different devices and there’s an app for all those different devices. Splunk SDKs is trying to encourage third-party developers to build and sell apps on the Splunk app market. With the new – the Splunk marketplace – the company actually puts in better mechanisms for people to monetize the content.

Splunk is certainly changing the traditional analytics scenario for customers. Splunk’s approach is different, allowing users to input unstructured or structured data as is and receive structured analytics. In turn, customers save money from not having to build the infrastructure necessary for analysis.

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The all purpose future ready Modular 3D printer is here Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:11:50 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 3d-printed-burr-puzzle-amazoncomYou want to have a 3D printer but do not want to buy yet-another-printer for printing with different media? While numerous 3D printer technology companies allow for different types of plastic (and sometimes food) most printers cannot dramatically change media-type and a different machine would be needed to switch up materials. Upcoming is a 3D printer that can print on various media types such as plastic, wood, ceramics and even cake.

Mexico based MakerMex is raising funds for the MM1 Modular 3D Printer: Customize Your Printing Experience on Kickstarter. This printer has a modular design and extrusion head that can be replaced, as well as an additional accessory that allows the printer to accommodate most leading-edge 3D printing.

MM1 Modular 3D Printer

The so-called MM1 was created by the MakerMex company co-founded by Luis Arturo Pacheco, Sam Weatherly, and Juan Carlos Orozco, and supported by the Ministry of Sustainable Economic Development of the State of Guanajuato and Technology Park HUNDRED Monterrey Institute of Technology was rolled out officially in a presentation at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) Campus León institution where the project was first launched.

The main feature of MM1, which makes it unlike other 3D printers on the market, is that this is a printer with interchangeable modules. This enables the user to print pieces of different materials. The intention is to to design the MM1 platform to potentially be compatible with 3D printing possibilities that are not even a reality yet. Rather than being obsolete in a year or two, the MM1 Modular 3D Printing System will encompass advancements in 3D printing.

“Our MM1 is not just another 3D printer, it is a comprehensive 3D printing platform that eliminates the need to replace or update outdated printers,” says MakerMex on the Kickstarter campaign page. “What makes the MM1 unique is its modular design and interchangeable extrusion heads, and additional accessories that allow the printer to accommodate advances in 3D printing.”

It has a print speed of 300 mm/s, 30 micron resolution layer, in addition to 8,000cm volume printing. It has the dimensions of 49 x 37.5 x 49 cm and weighs only 11kg. The printer is compatible with any operating system such as Linux, MAC and Windows. It supports open source platform and comes with multiple printer connecting abilities.

The MM1 is ready for modification by the four existing extrusion systems offered – an extruder, a twin extruder, pasta extruder and extruder high temperature, each designed to be easily exchanged with one connector on the modular system.

Users can customize their 3D printer with accessories such as Wi-Fi capabilities, auto-leveling beds, heated beds, acrylic enclosed walls, and additional extruders that print paste, wood, single and dual extrusions and more.

MakerMex looking to have a presence throughout Mexico, implementing additive manufacturing in various industries and sectors in the economy. Currently the company has about 300 customers in the different states of Mexico, including businesses, individuals and institutions as Telethon, CICESE, La Salle University, and others.

MakerMex is emphasizing that the use of knowledge does not require a large capital investment, but the use of innovative capabilities to create technology-based global business.

Image: 3D Printed Burr Puzzle on made by CarryTheWhat; Image credit: MakerMex, MM1 Modular 3D Printer.

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Android Lollipop: What’s new for developers Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:01:35 +0000 Continue reading ]]> lollipop swirl candy sweetsLast week, the new version of mobile operating system Android Lollipop was revealed last week. The main objective of Lollipop is to standardize devices of any type from smartphones to tablets, from small display of smartwatch to the large panels of the TV– thanks to Google’s new design paradigm aimed at user experience.

Google has change the look of the interface, how it handles notifications, the Quick Settings parameters, and how information is displayed on the lock screen. These interface changes have also come alongside numerous performance boosts that affect the operating system to increase responsiveness.

Interface with Material Design

For many users, the most striking new feature of Lollipop will be your new look, based on a new paradigm that Google has defined as material design. This concept places a renewed emphasis on the use of graphic animations and color changes in response to user actions.

This is set of visual clues that help the user to understand what is happening in the app with very little screen real estate to work with. Another change is that Lollipop offers greater customization of how users want to receive notifications. This will help developers build apps for users to choose which ones should be prioritized and show up in the list. The idea behind is that the user can handle the volume of information according to preferences.

Google also introduced heads-up notifications that allow developers to add a small box that appears above full-screen apps. A user can then expand, act on, or dismiss the notification without leaving the app they’re in or opening the full notification shade.

Design developers will find Google has provided a simple resource page for numerous elements of design from templates, sticker sheets, the newest Roboto font, and color palettes.

ART runtime system

Google intends for the principles of this design to extend across a multitude of devices, uniting them into something of a cohesive whole. To do this Google replaced Dalvik with the new ART Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) compiling virtual machine. Dalvik is what’s called Just-In-Time (JIT) code compiling, while ART uses Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) compiling.

With ART, developers can create code to reduce the load time for apps and make things like scrolling and multitasking much faster. ART will not only improve app autonomy, but give more fluidity and smoothness. It also means that the Android OS can take advantage of 64-bit processors, which have the potential to support more RAM.

Apps written in the Java language run as 64-bit apps automatically—no modifications are needed. If app uses native code, Google extended the NDK to support new APIs for ARM v8, and x86-64, and MIPS-64.

Developer preview and SDK

The Android 5.0 SDK allows developers to start working on getting their apps ready for the new OS version. Lollipop comes with 5,000 new APIs and new Framework, including the new “Expansion Pack”, which will allow game developers to take advantage of the geometry shaders to create games of the level of a PC. It extends Android even further, from phones, tablets, and wearables, to TVs and cars.

Developers will therefore be able to begin modify their applications so that they can take advantage of all the technical innovations introduced by Lollipop – 64 bit support, new APIs for performance, taking pictures and videos or to improve the autonomy of devices.

Google says Android 5.0 adds new APIs that allow apps to perform concurrent operations with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), allowing both scanning (central mode) and advertising (peripheral mode).

In addition to reducing consumption energy, support for 64-bit devices, improved graphics rendering, the SDK supports OpenGL ES 3.1, the management of audio output devices via USB, as well as support for 15 new languages. This makes a total of 68 languages ​​supported on Lollipop.

OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android Extension Pack (AEP) brings Android to the forefront of mobile graphics putting it on par with desktop and console class performance. State of the art video technology with support for HEVC main profile to allow for UHD 4K 10-bit video playback, tunneled hardware video decoding to save power and improved HLS support for streaming.

Google is also encouraging developers to go ahead and publish their updated apps with support for Android 5.0 Lollipop to Google Play.

Save battery with Project Volta

Google introduced the power saving mode (Project Volta) in the last developer preview. Android now integrates Project Volta as the next big thing to squeeze more battery life on phones and tablets. With this feature, developers can better understand how apps impact device battery life and allows them to schedule code execution so that applications are optimized using the limited battery in the most appropriate manner.

Android Lollipop 5.0 also includes a new battery saving feature that promises to extend the length up to 90 additional minutes. Likewise, it will now be easier to see how much time is left before you have to charge your phone or tablet again; also shows you the time remaining to complete charging the device.

Enhanced security

New devices on Lollipop come with encryption automatically turned on to help protect data on lost or stolen devices. Developers can force SELinux enforcing for all applications means even better protection against vulnerabilities and malware.

Moreover, developers have the option to use Android Smart Lock to secure the phone or tablet by pairing it with a trusted device like your wearable or even your car.

Enhanced multimedia experience

Google says Android 5.0 introduces all new camera APIs that let you capture raw formats such as YUV and Bayer RAW, and control parameters such as exposure time, ISO sensitivity, and frame duration on a per-frame basis.

New MediaSession APIs for controlling media playback now make it easier to provide consistent media controls across screens and other controllers. Android 5.0 also adds support for multimedia tunneling to provide the best experience for ultra-high definition (4K) content and the ability to play compressed audio and video data together.

Developers can learn more about what’s new in the Android 5.0 platform highlights, download the SDK from here and get started here.

photo credit: Sister72 via photopin cc
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Market missing the boat on extracting Hadoop value | #BigDataNYC Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:02:35 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Sam Grocott EMC
While many organizations now look at Hadoop as an essential part of storage solutions, they are not adequately extracting the intelligence from the open-source tool for storing and processing large data-sets, according to Sam Grocott, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Product Management, ETD, EMC.

“The market is missing the post integration of how to use the tools and maximize return,” Grocott said during a recent interview on theCUBE with host Dave Vellante at Big Data NYC 2014. Companies must “set it up, install it, and then extract value out of Hadoop,” Grocott explained.

The amount of data under Hadoop will continue to grow. And as one of the biggest shifts going on in the storage industry today, according to Grocott, thought leadership around Hadoop will also grow and appointed specialists will weigh in on how to deploy and get the most value out of the intelligence.

From EMC’s standpoint, it wants to offer the best scale out and deliver exactly want the customer wants. It is also focused on helping CIOs find value out of the technology. “EMC has a need to move from product to solution-based selling,” said Aidan O’Brien, GM, EMC Big Data Solutions during theCUBE interview. “We work with CIOs to help them use analytics and reduce unplanned downtime for mission critical applications …”

Focused on enterprise-class storage, EMC’s data lakes allow for the use of all applications beyond Hadoop. So instead of sitting in a rigid silo, the data lakes become horizontal transports, resulting in a more dynamic solution.

Watch the full interview below. You can catch up on archived interviews on SiliconANGLE’s YouTube Channel here.

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Apple Pay 101: Setup, security and where it works Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:51:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]> iPhone 6 NFCApple Inc. has officially launched Apple Pay this week, a payments systems integrated with its Passbook app to centralize and simplify retail and online purchases. When Apple introduced Apple Pay alongside the new iPhones back in September, CEO Tim Cook mentioned that there are over 220,000 locations in the United States that have payment terminals with Near Field Communication which means over 200,000 locations are ready for Apple Pay. Apple has also garnered the support of over 500 banks in the U.S, and now Apple Pay is finally live for Fanboys to experience in the flesh.

But how do you use Apple Pay, how can you ensure its security, and where can you use the latest mobile payments tool?

Apple Pay 101


How it works

There are two things you need to know about Apple Pay: you can use it to pay for things in stores or restaurants with Near Field Communications (NFC) terminals, and you can use it for in-app purchases. In the future, Apple Pay functionality will be extended for use with online purchase from various merchants.

In stores, Apple Pay works simply by waving your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus over an NFC terminal. When the transaction is complete, your iPhone will beep and vibrate to confirm.

While only these two new iPhones are equipped with Apple Pay so far, the upcoming Apple Watch will come with an NFC chip. Scheduled to launch early next year, the Apple Watch will extend Apple Pay capabilities to other iPhones it pairs with, including the iPhone 5, 5c, or 5S.

To use Apple Pay for in-app purchases, just tap on the Apple Pay icon wherever you see it in a compatible iPhone app, and place your finger on the Touch ID. Apple Pay for in-app purchases is available on any iOS devices equipped with Touch ID, including the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 5S, and the recently announced iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.



Setting up Apple Pay is simple enough. Just add your credit or debit card from your iTunes account to Passbook by entering the card’s security code. You can also add other cards by taking a photo of the cards using your iSight camera, or manually entering the information to Passbook. The first card you enter in Passbook becomes your default payments card but you can change the default card in your Settings.



Apple claims that Apple Pay is more secure than handing over your credit or debit card, since your card information is visible. Apple Pay protects your full credit card number, assigning a unique Device Account Number to the cards you add. The Device Account Number is then stored in the Secure Element, a dedicated chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which separates that data from all the other data in your device.

To process a payment, a new transaction-specific dynamic security code is created, which prevents your information and your card information from being known by the other party. This security code, even when intercepted by a hacker, will be useless, as the whole payment process can only go through when it is paired with the user’s Touch ID fingerprint. Apple claims that the numbers generated are not stored in their system.

Major supporters


Major credit card providers such as Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc., and American Express Co., as well as debit cards from Bank of America Corp., Capital One Financial Corp., JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A, Citigroup Inc., and Wells Fargo & Co., all work with Apple Pay. Adding these card to Apple Passbook will also allow you to experience the same rewards, benefits, and security offered by your card provider.


Where you can use Apple Pay

As mentioned earlier, Apple Pay is accepted in over 220,000 stores, and that number is expected to grow. Some of the brick-and-mortar stores where you can use Apple Pay now include Apple Stores, Aéropostale, Inc., Bloomingdale’s, McDonald’s Corp., Nike Inc., Toys “R” Us, Inc. and RadioShack Corp to name a few.

For in-app purchases, apps from Airbnb Inc., OpenTable, Target Corp., Panera Bread (also known as St. Louis Bread Company), Uber Inc. ad Inc. are just a few apps that support Apple Pay, with more to come later this year.

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Investor insight on Asian IoT trends that will gain adoption in the U.S. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:58:14 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Woman with smart home device

Look to the East for technology trendsetters. Asian countries are not only ahead of the West in terms of time zones, but in tech adoption as well. Countries like Japan standardized their cell phone economies long before smartphones even hit the scene, while social gaming is particularly telling of Asian tech trends likely to pick up steam in Western cultures. Does Asia have the same bellwether effect on the Internet of Things (IoT)?

SiliconANGLE Senior Managing Editor Kristen Nicole recently spoke with Toshi Otani, cofounder and managing director of TransLink Capital, about global trends regarding IoT. TransLink, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, leverages proprietary Asia insight to invest in U.S. information technology start-ups, primarily those focusing on mobile, social and cloud applications; infrastructure; and services.

Otani possesses over 20 years of experience in management of and investment in high-tech companies and offered SiliconANGLE insights into Big Data and IT trends in Asian countries, the US, and Europe.


SA: Why has Asia become a bellwether for tech trends in the US and Europe?

Otani: Our process allows us to see those trends in Asia and hopefully allows us to make more of those investments in the future. We invested in a company two years ago — Chartboost Inc., an in-game advertising network. If you’re familiar with the Angry Birds game at all, the way its developers promote new games is to cross-promote their own successful games.

Similarly, Chartboost provides a platform to optimize that promotion. The founders are gamers, and the value proposition is very straightforward. The platform is free, but whatever inventory is left over can be bid on to push through our network. It’s a direct bidding process for ad space in a popular game. On the flipside, the game publisher has complete control and visibility to see who’s advertising in their game.

Mobile gaming is more advanced in pan-Asia, and we’re also anxious to expand to the U.S. We quickly moved to a series A funding round with Chartboost and took a board seat. In a matter of four quarters the company’s U.S. revenues went through the roof. They grew exponentially, 50 times and 100 times. It caught the eye of a very famous investor from Sequoia Capital and that led to a B round of funding, as well as an uptick in valuation for the U.S. market.


SA: I’m particularly interested in enterprise security, more specifically for wearables and BYOx trends. Any Asian insight here?

Toshi Otani, co-founder and managing director of TransLink Capital

Toshi Otani, co-founder and managing director of TransLink Capital

Otani: Speaking for Japan, the consumer adoption for gadgets and the willingness to try them out is very high. I’ve seen some data on the consumer adoption, and sophistication on mobile is through the roof. I think this will continue to be a market indicator.

I won’t say everything propagates, but certain trends from leading markets do [propagate]. I’d argue that Internet of Things trends will continue to do the same.

I think Internet of Things is going to be a collaborative effort. Asians are great at developing hardware but not software. There’s going to be a collaboration between US companies that spawn the idea, but work with hardware developed in the hardware region.

Speaking for China, the country is leaping in terms of information technology (Big Data management), because they don’t have the legacy information. This is the baggage that other nations, including the U.S., Korea, and Japan, have. If you go to a Korean apartment complex, all the keys are wireless. That’s a small example of Internet of Things, but how do you retrofit that into U.S. markets? Nest Labs Inc. is a different example. It’s a fascinating business model and it will likely spread through Asia, but it’s unique to the U.S. because of the way homes are set up here.


SA: How can startups address retrofitting infrastructure for IoT? Any indicators you’ve seen from around the world?

Otani: Setting up for the tech-savvy folks is OK, but for my mother, she’d never be able to set it up. Who’s going to do that? Geek Squad? Crowdsourcing companies? Is there a business opportunity here? Are there other parties that have the information that could move into those types of services? It’s a critical component to adoption, but you have no concrete answer.

As far as Asian trends go, some companies we see here may not be able to do business immediately in Asia because of the retrofitting requirements. Some [technologies] don’t translate immediately, but there can still be an opportunity for growth. What could happen is, look at Nest and transplant that business model into new areas. The Asian companies are great at building hardware, but aren’t good at business models. I expect we’ll continue to see that trend. I think to increase adoption, there has to be something to address that.


SA: Would you say that we’ll see IoT adopt a services model, as we’ve seen with enterprise cloud services?

Otani: Yes, probably. There’s a demand for a Geek Squad service type, especially as more devices and electronics make their way. The number of electronics going into the home is not decreasing at all. There’s an enormous business opportunity.

Cheryl Knight contributed to this article.
photo credit: samsungtomorrow via photopin cc
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What you missed in the Smart World: Siri for homes and more Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:28:34 +0000 Continue reading ]]> talk to house outline artThis week’s Smart World Series highlights the latest innovations in health monitoring, a new way for you to talk to your smart home, Asia’s influence in global smart city adoption trends, and new developer tools for analyzing and streamlining Internet of Things apps.

For those who missed last week’s Smart World Series, here’s a chance to catch up on the exciting developments in the connected world.  Each week, SiliconANGLE rounds up the top news trends regarding smart homes and cars, smart data centers and IT, smart infrastructure and all things related to the Internet of Things.

Smart toilets may soon detect diabetes


There are a number of available connected and wearable devices today to help us monitor fitness and health levels, from smartphones to smartwatches. But Michael Snyder, director of the Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine, believes health monitoring in the future can be as easy as using the toilet. Snyder believes everyday objects like toilets can be outfitted with health-monitoring sensors to provide more data to consumers and their healthcare providers.

In other Smart Health news, Philip Morris International Inc. will soon introduce the Marlboro HeatStick, a connected e-cigarette for automated orders and monitoring options to help smokers keep tabs on their habits.

Finally, a new thermometer makes it easy to monitor temperature changes over time. The Swaive Thermometer fits into the ear and also integrates with Apple Inc.’ Health app via Bluetooth, with alert options for healthcare providers and caretakers.

Find out more about these new devices and possible health innovation in out Smart Health roundup.

Siri for your smart home: Speak and it shall be


Android eyesDelivering the ease of voice-commands to the smart home, United Computer Intelligence Corporation launched Ubi, a device that allows people to talk to their homes. The plug-in device connects to your home WiFi and currently integrates with SmartThings and WeMo devices.

Meanwhile, if you’re worried about home security and think that current smart locks in the market aren’t for you, you might want to consider Haven, a door stop smart lock that blocks intruders. And if you have some spare smartphones lying around house, upcycle them for home security and more, with the Rico hub.

Find out more about these smart devices in our Smart Living roundup.

How Asia will drive Smart City adoption


Two studies have predicted that within the next five to ten years, the Asian region will be one of the biggest drivers in smart city adoption. MarketsandMarkets Inc. predicts that the smart office market will reach $43.31 billion by 2020. The Asia Pacific region is experiencing the biggest growth in terms of  compound annual growth rate (CAG), while Northeast Group LLC expects that Southeast Asian countries will invest $13.6 billion for smart city infrastructure between 2014 and 2024. China is getting a head start with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. entering an agreement with Royal Philips to greatly improve the IT infrastructure in the country.

Find out more about these studies and partnership in our Smart City roundup.

New IoT tools for app analytics and streamlining


Internet of Things (IoT) developers now have more avenues and tools to help them create apps for the connected world, as IBM launched a new service called IBM Internet of Things Foundation. The initiative enables companies to easily and quickly built IoT apps in a just a few minutes.

Another platform to help IoT developers emerges from the partnership between PubNub Inc. and Electric Imp Inc. The two have teamed up to allow developers to quickly deploy IoT solutions.

Lastly, if you’re a developer seeking insight to that app you created, AGT International GmbH has launched IoTA, a cloud-based IoT analytics platform which also boosts data management and visualization capabilities.

Find out more about these IoT platforms in our Smart DevOps roundup.

Tune in next week for more interesting stories, discoveries and innovations in the world of smart and connected things.

photos by: ImageMD and Stuart Chalmers via Flickr cc
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What you want: Top 10 requests for Windows 10 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:42:29 +0000 Continue reading ]]> windows-10Prior to Microsoft.Corp’s release of Windows 10, the company has opened its ears to users by allowing the public to give feedback on what new features they would like to see. Soliciting consumer expectations on the upcoming version of Windows, Microsoft launched a suggestion forum via the Uservoice site. Users can also follow the creation of Windows 10 by joining the Windows Insider Program. Below is the top ten list so far, each with an exemplary comment we have selected.

Top 10 for Windows 10

Add Persian Calendar to Windows: 10, 314 votes
“As most of the users inside Iran use the Shamsi/Solar (Persian) calendar in their daily tasks, it’s very important for them to have their device supporting this feature. Otherwise, the current native calendar / Task application cannot be as useful as it should be for them.”

Windows store for Iranian people: 8,006 votes
“We pay for the original Windows Software Pre-Installed on laptops and PCs but we can’t even download the free software… even the free ones… is it fair?”

Add tabs to Windows Explorer/File Explorer: 5,276 votes
“Working with multiple folders in tabs in single windows is much more straightforward than working with several windows, which is not ergonomic. It is the same situation as tabs in web browser, which are standard these days.”

Make Windows update the one-stop for all drivers: 3,712 votes
“They could do something similar to how Linux Distros do it. Have a source list which follows a strict format and windows update/drivers list reads from it and gets all available drivers. I know it would take a while to get this populated but all major manufacturers would happily set this up if it meant people were on their most up to date drivers.”

Make Windows free for everyone: 3,410 votes
“Windows 10 needs to better for all 8 users. 8 and 8.1.7 could use a free version as well. I’m sure it’ll work. Nobody is going to stop buying computers just because the OS is free. Do like Apple, and just give the device an expiration date so it can’t receive any more updates. It’s that simple. People are tired of upgrading to a new OS that don’t have a lot of money.”

Merge PC settings with control panel: 3,031 votes
“It’s truly unintuitive to have some settings split between PC Settings and Control Panel, and I know there are smart ways to categorize everything under Control Panel. Merging them is definitely a great idea, and makes for one-stop settings shopping.”

Redesign and replace all Windows icons: 2,565 votes
“This is really needed. Those icons look very out of place in the new interface!”

Bring back Aero Glass: 2,163 votes
“I would like Aero and Aero glass to be there as an option as well. To the comments that Aero is “resource heavy”, remember that this is not 2006 and most systems have good intel graphics that can easily handle Aero and its features.”

Add support for .rar.7z and .bz2 file types: 2,131 votes
“Unfortunately this WILL NEVER HAPPEN, even if it reached 1 million votes due to license issues.”

Provide a better Notepad application: 2,123 votes
“It is a valid request, did not cast a vote as I’ll end up using whatever other 3rd party replacement I choose at that time (like np++ or Context or .. whatever), same as is happening with Paint, but still, make it at least a little bit better. Add tabs. Add support for different charsets and encodings. Add line numbering. Add ribbon interface. Do what you did with Paint, just a small redesign and add few most common features at very least.”

photo credit: world leaks via photo pin
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What you missed in Cloud: Microsoft expands open source reach Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:18:22 +0000 Continue reading ]]> microsoft windows cloudMirroring the trend in the data analytics space, open source is emerging as a key driver of innovation in the cloud, where the big vendors are wasting no time jumping on the bandwagon. Microsoft Corp. is leading by example and throwing its weight behind Docker in a landmark move set to bring the most buzzed-about technology in recent memory to Windows.

Currently, the container engine only works on Linux, but the partnership between the Redmond giant and Docker Inc. will see that changed. The goal is to make it possible for Windows Servers shops to take advantage of the interoperability afforded by containers to move their application to the most appropriate environment. That can be anything from Microsoft’s Azure to a competing public cloud such as Amazon Web Services or a pilot deployment meant to explore the new capabilities of the latest OpenStack release.

Codenamed “Juno,” the tenth version of the open-source cloud operating system made its official debut on Wednesday, introducing some 310 new features and more 3,200 bug fixes. Two additions stand out in particular: a new network function visualization feature designed to accommodate the needs of data-swamped carriers and a project called Sahara geared toward data-swamped enterprises. Originally developed at Mirantis Inc., the technology makes it possible to provision Hadoop on OpenStack clusters in combination with third party management tools with considerably less tinkering than would be required otherwise.

Over in the opposite corner of the cloud landscape, MongoDB Inc. released a landmark upgrade to its cloud-based management platform that promises to make it easier for customers to manage their database environments. The MongoDB Management Service (MMS) deploys agents to each server that implement the user-specified topology on an automated basis and to adjust to any changes using a built-in policy engine.

The platform also extends that simplicity to MongoDB installations running on AWS and removes the hassle involved in provisioning instances. The management of on- and off-premise deployments are centralized in a streamlined interface that packs monitoring and other essential administrative functions.

Photo credit: visionshare via photopin cc
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Jail time proposed for Internet trolls with Chloe’s Law Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:02:51 +0000 Continue reading ]]> forbidden-151987_640Harassing tweets and Facebook comments might seem like a fact of life on the Internet, but they could soon carry a two-year prison sentence in the United Kingdom.

U.K. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told The Daily Mail  on Sunday that the current six-month penalties for internet trolls could soon be quadrupled.

Grayling spoke about his new bill just days after the recent online harassment of British TV personality Chloe Madeley. Madeley was the target of vicious rape and death threats on Twitter after her mother, Judy Finnigan, made controversial remarks about a Sheffield United athlete convicted of rape. Grayling called the harassment “crude and degrading.”

While the anonymity of the internet has given a voice to marginalized groups in countries suffering from strict government censorship, it has also created a platform for hate speech and harassment with seemingly no repercussions. Several anti-cyberbullying campaigns such as have been successful in raising awareness of the issue, but creating legislation against online harassment has not been easy. Earlier this year, a New York court ruled against an anti-cyberbullying law, saying that the law violated U.S. free speech laws.

Labour MP Stella Creasy, herself a target of Twitter trolls, believes that harsher penalties may not be enough to solve the problem, instead saying that authorities need better training to spot and assess online harassment. Creasy said:

It’s no good saying we’ll extend sentences if we’re still reaching that barrier where people say, ‘Well someone sent you a message online, don’t be offended by it.’

Grayling’s proposed bill, which is already being dubbed “Chloe’s Law,” is currently still under review in parliament.

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