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Facebook and Instagram are down (UPDATE: now back up, Lizard Squad takes credit)

Facebook and Instagram are down (UPDATE: now back up, Lizard Squad takes credit)

Update: services are back up after a one hour outage, and hacker group Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility, see updates further down. It's not just you: Facebook Inc. and Instagram services are down early Tuesday morning U.S. EST, and were inaccessible from anywhere on the globe. The site Facebook Is Down confirmed the outage. We are not sure at this stage what has caused the outage; the only official word has been a Twitter post from Instagram saying that "We're aware of an outage affecting Instagram and are working on a fix. Thank you for your patience." Gadget blog Engadget reported that the outage may be more... more »
Police accuse Google's Waze of stalking them, want the tracking feature gone

Police accuse Google's Waze of stalking them, want the tracking feature gone

Police are demanding that Google Inc. turn off the police tracking feature in its Waze app as they believe it could be used for stalking them. Waze, acquired by Google for 1 billion in 2013, offers GPS navigation with community information sharing, including a feature for users to report the location of police running speed traps or other law enforcement operations. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck complained in a letter to Google in December that the app could be "misused by those with criminal intent to endanger police officers and the community." "I am confident your company did not intend the Waze... more »
Surface sales up, XBox sales down as Microsoft books revenue of $26.5 billion in Q2

Surface sales up, XBox sales down as Microsoft books revenue of $26.5 billion in Q2

Microsoft Corp. has booked $26.5 billion in revenue for its second quarter with sales increasing in its Surface and Mobile divisions, while XBox One sales declined. Operating income was reported at $7.8 billion/ $0.71 per share, in line with market expectations. The real surprise in the figures was an increase in Surface sales, a product that many had written off.  Surface delivered $1.1 billion, up 24 percent, off the back of sales of the Surface Pro 3, which the company says is selling three times as many of as its predecessor. Microsoft's phone hardware division saw revenue fall to $2.3 billion, down from $2.6 billion in... more »
The deadliest altercations on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace

The deadliest altercations on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace

Many individuals treat social media outlets as a personal diary, venting frustrations and sharing all but the most embarrassing moments. Yet sometimes people abuse social media to start personal wars, some of which can turn deadly.   In my personal experience, I’ve seen friendships shattered because of a simple status update on Facebook. I’ve seen relatives fight with one another, and I’ve seen how individuals can be so judgmental just because one person offers a different view on life, religion or even more mundane topics like food preferences. It's easy enough to unfollow those we disagree with on social media platforms, but are all social media arguments really... more »
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Microsoft Project Spartan: What’s in store for developers

During the Windows 10 event last week, Microsoft Corporation revealed some features of Project Spartan, a new browser designed to ship with Windows 10. These features include the ability to annotate web pages, activate the reading mode and use Cortana for searches. The MSDN blog contains further information to help web developers understand the new features of Spartan and the current January build. Spartan is designed to provide the same user experience on all Windows 10 devices (PC, tablet and smartphone), allowing the user to interact with mouse, keyboard, touch, gesture, voice and sensors. The browser is reported to use a new rendering engine, originally... more »
Ford goes West for smart car development, opens new innovation center in Silicon Valley

Ford goes West for smart car development, opens new innovation center in Silicon Valley

What do you get when you combine one of the world's oldest automobile manufacturers with the advanced tech developments of Silicon Valley? Ford Motor Company's new Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, CA. Given the growing interest in smart cars, that all but turned this year's Consumer Electronics Show into a car show, Ford is adding a new research center in the heart of the tech world in hopes of gaining an industry edge. Ford's new facility joins the auto maker's growing list of research and innovation centers, which includes the Dearborn, Michigan location focusing on advanced electronics, human-machine interfacing, materials science, Big... more »
What you missed in the Smart World: Future-proofing smart homes and more

What you missed in the Smart World: Future-proofing smart homes and more

This week’s Smart World Series features the battery woes of the upcoming Apple Watch, a refrigerator that brews you a cup of coffee on a schedule, Canonical’s push into the Internet of Things (IoT) and more. 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. Future-proofing the smart home startup   We are approaching the era of Internet-connected everything, but... more »
Oracle claims new Exadata Platform is faster than anything in the industry| #datacenter

Oracle claims new Exadata Platform is faster than anything in the industry| #datacenter

Juan Loaiza, Senior Vice President of Oracle Corporation's Systems Group, said that Oracle Exadata Database Machines have never been faster -- in fact, they are faster than anything else currently on the market. He sat down with Dave Vellante and John Furrier on theCUBE at the Oracle Next Generation Engineered Systems Launch to offer insight into what Oracle calls the "new generation of database machines." In one of Oracle's "biggest releases ever," Loaiza said the tech behemoth has made "vast improvements to the hardware" and added "specific software features." For Exadata, Loaiza said this includes all flash memory, virtualization, columnar compression (a system of high... more »
Why the HoloLens should come with a warning label

Why the HoloLens should come with a warning label

The majority of tech critics have been doing adjectival cartwheels over the last week following Microsoft’s debut of Windows Holographic and HoloLens Augmented Reality headset.  Those who have tested the product have not just been giving HoloLens the thumbs up, but comparing the product to science fiction, a new world, or as Ars Technica put it after sampling HoloLens, ‘Flat-out magical’. Their technology editor Peter Bright opened his review by saying, “For the second time in as many months, I feel like I've taken a step into the world of science fiction—and for the second time in as many months,... more »
A $129,000 PS4 and two new releases, today in gaming news

A $129,000 PS4 and two new releases, today in gaming news

When Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced a limited run, twentieth anniversary edition of the PlayStation 4, there was speculation that the console could become a hot item on auction for buyers who were not able to nab one of the 12,300 units. Those predictions came true recently when one wealthy PlayStation fan shelled out close to $129,000 at an auction held by Sony for one of the rare gray consoles, making it one of the most expensive game systems in history. "We appreciate all who participated in the auction and are surprised at the highest bid price, which was higher than our expectations,” said... more »

Premium Research

- David Floyer

Industrial IoT, the largest segment of the Internet of things (IoT) with the highest potential value, will require a deep integration between modern IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operations Technology). Modern IT technologies, to be truly extensible to OT, will need a hybrid cloud approach, with by far the majority of data and processing residing at the so-called "Edge". Architectures and software written by industrialists for industrialists, such as GE Predix, are showing how that can work.

- George Gilbert

The big data arena is at a crossroads. Use cases and tools are proliferating faster than most big data teams are gaining experience. In establishing the big data business capabilities required to cut through the complexity, CIO’s must balance the accessibility of integration of traditional SQL DBMS’s versus speed of innovation in the mix and match open source big data ecosystem.

- Peter Burris

In the big data domain, businesses are trying to solve complex problems with complex and novel technology -- and often failing. Simplifying the packaging of big data technologies will streamline big data pilots and accelerate big data time-to-value. CIOs looking to establish differentiating big data capabilities need to consider Single Managed Entities to help solve the complexity problem.

- David Floyer

Oracle M7 technology is meeting or exceeding the announcement performance claims against previous generation. Even taking very conservative assumptions, the business case for migration from T5 to T7 servers is good. Wikibon concludes that for Oracle software and the servers they run on, the adoption of M7 technology (and T7 server technology) is best practice for these high value compute areas.

- David Floyer

The premise tested in this research is that high value applications and software should be run on more capable converged performance-optimized infrastructure, even when they constitute a small proportion of the total workload. In contrast, cost-optimized infrastructure will save on short-term hardware costs, but will incur much higher overall costs long-term. The conclusion strongly recommends IT executives adopt a default of performance-optimized converged infrastructure for all mixed workloads when even a small proportion includes high-cost software and/or high-value applications.

- George Gilbert

Big data pros need to identify which data feedback loops in their machine learning applications can deliver sustainable differentiation through network effects. Starting early is critical because getting to scale is likely to create the "winner takes most" competitive dynamics that have become so common in tech industries. The biggest sin is to wait for the tooling to become automated enough for all competitors to jump in.

- Ralph Finos

The public cloud competitive environment remains turbulent, but sectors show signs of crystallizing a longer-term market structure.. SaaS remains turbulent with SaaS vendors successfully gaining share vs. incumbent licensed software providers who must migrate their core products to cloud-friendly offerings and/or acquire native SaaS applications to shore up their applications leadership positions. Public cloud IaaS segment leadership is crystallizing to a handful of viable providers as a function of scale requirements. PaaS is just formulating and finding its way, but is likely to gravitate towards a wide variety of development models suited for different application types and public cloud platforms.

- David Floyer

For enterprise executives trying to achieve aggressive RPO and RTO SLAs , Wikibon believes that batch backup appliances (PBBAs) will give way to real-time, continuous data protection systems that aggressively support very large memory application memory. Practitioners requiring close to RPO zero and aggressive RTO SLAs should plan for an integrated data protection approach that effectively eliminates the concept of storage-led backup and shifts thinking to a application-led virtual point-in-time recovery model. The database and file system vendors will be the predominant suppliers of this technology, and understanding their roadmaps and commitment to support application-led recovery strategies is crucial to both database and data protection technology selection.

- George Gilbert

Mainstream enterprises are beginning to deploy machine learning applications that add differentiation to traditional products and services. But the complexity of their big data infrastructure is becoming a problem. Big data pros need to deploy a digital business platform (DBP) to support modern applications and then extend the DBP to machine learning applications.

- Peter Burris

IT shops that want to achieve modern IT status will have to address the "IT iron triangle" constraining transformation.