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Neil McAllister

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Smartphones

Xamarin sics army of 1,000 test devices on hapless mobile apps

Mobile app-dev specialists Xamarin have launched the Xamarin Test Cloud, an automated, internet-based service that lets developers test their code on more than 1,000 devices. "With Xamarin Test Cloud, you can create your own test scripts using our powerful testing framework, run them locally against emulators or devices, and …
Neil McAllister, 25 Sep 2014

Amazon shovels cash into hush-hush Lab126 despite Fire Phone fizzle

Amazon's much-hyped Fire Phone met a cool reception from consumers, but that won't stop CEO Jeff Bezos from doubling down on his consumer electronics ambitions, industry insiders claim. Citing anonymous sources, Reuters reports that the e-commerce giant plans to invest another $55m into its secretive Lab126 division, which …
Neil McAllister, 24 Sep 2014
ButterFly Labs 230GH/s Miner

FTC nails pin in Bitcoin mining rig maker Butterfly Labs

The US Federal Trade Commission has shut down Bitcoin mining equipment vendor Butterfly Labs over allegations that the company accepted as much as $50m in orders from customers but failed to deliver their purchases. Butterfly purported to sell dedicated Bitcoin mining machines, with its more powerful models carrying price tags …
Neil McAllister, 23 Sep 2014
Openstack log

Canonical, Oracle go two on one against Red Hat in OpenStack bout

While Red Hat is trumpeting that it wants to be the "undisputed" OpenStack market leader, its rivals Canonical and Oracle have teamed up to ensure that each's Linux distro plays well with the other's OpenStack implementation, even though they also compete. "As we have said in the past, while Oracle provides solutions for …
Neil McAllister, 23 Sep 2014

Puppet-wearing devs: There's now an app (or two) for that

Puppet Labs has taken wraps off new updates to its open-source DevOps-friendly Puppet IT automation software, along with a set of new company initiatives designed to grow the ecosystem around the tools. Puppet Labs CEO Luke Kanies made the announcements Tuesday morning at PuppetConf, the company's annual event that kicked off in …
Neil McAllister, 23 Sep 2014

Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone

Cloud hosting firm Rackspace has claimed victory over another patent troll, this time not merely by successfully challenging a patent suit, but by actually having the patent in question invalidated. "Rotatable Technologies is now an ex-patent troll," Rackspace VP of intellectual property Van Lindberg wrote in a blog post on …
Neil McAllister, 23 Sep 2014
Red Hat 100 Dollar

Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it

Not content with running the industry's largest enterprise Linux vendor, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst says he wants to make the company the industry's leading enterprise cloud vendor – and he plans to "win" that market before someone else does. "Right now, we're in the midst of a major shift from client-server to cloud-mobile. It' …
Neil McAllister, 22 Sep 2014
Samsung's Jong-Deok Choi

Want a Tizen phone to build apps for? Now's your chance – provided you don't need it to work

It's looking worse and worse for Samsung's Linux-based Tizen OS as a smartphone platform contender. Not only are we unlikely to see a consumer mobe running Tizen this year, but it seems even developers will be hard-pressed to get their hands on working kit. The Tizen Project emailed devs with information about the next round of …
Neil McAllister, 19 Sep 2014
Photo of Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop

Lumia rebrand begins: Nokia's new UK web home is Microsoft.com

Microsoft has quietly begun the process of transitioning its Lumia smartphones away from Nokia branding, beginning by moving the line's website to a new, in-house URL. Navigating to the UK version of Nokia.com now displays a landing page bearing the message, "Step inside our new home. Nokia devices and services have moved to a …
Neil McAllister, 19 Sep 2014
Red Hat 100 Dollar

Red Hat to Wall Street: I came here to chew FeedHenry and kick some ass. And I'm all out of FeedHenry

Red Hat surprised analysts with very strong earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal 2015 on Thursday, even as the Linux vendor looked to enter the enterprise mobile apps market with a €63.5m ($82m) acquisition. The Wall Street wizards were expecting Red Hat to report revenues of $437.13m but it beat that figure handily, …
Neil McAllister, 19 Sep 2014
Oracle headquarters

First day of Hurd'n'Catz at Oracle: It's dis-fur-pointing for Wall St

Oracle posted results that missed analysts' expectations yet again on Thursday, in a Q1 2015 earnings report that was all but overshadowed by the unexpected news that Larry Ellison has stepped down as CEO. Revenues for the quarter were $8.60bn, a scant 2.68 per cent gain over the same period a year ago and below even the lowest …
Neil McAllister, 18 Sep 2014
Larry Ellison, photo by Oracle Corporate Communications

Oracle's Larry Ellison quits as CEO – new bosses are Hurd'n'Catz

Oracle has, in the past few minutes, announced that company founder Larry Ellison has stepped down as chief executive, effective immediately. Outspoken Ellison will remain with the company in the capacity of chief technology officer, and he will continue to oversee all software and hardware engineering functions, Oracle said in …
Neil McAllister, 18 Sep 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft's axeman Nadella fills baskets with 2,100 fresh heads

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has brought down his axe again, sending off the next batch of the 18,000 employees he has promised will lose their jobs by the end of the year. The Redmond supremo issued about 2,100 pink slips on Thursday, the Seattle Times reports, bringing the total number of layoffs to approximately 15,100 and …
Neil McAllister, 18 Sep 2014
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket prepared fro launch in 2002. Pic: United Launch Alliance

Look out, SpaceX! Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin boffins tapped for US rocket launches

Blue Origin, the commercial space company formed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has inked a deal with the United Launch Alliance (ULA) to jointly develop a new, US-built rocket engine for future space missions. “This agreement ensures ULA will remain the most cost-efficient, innovative and reliable company launching the nation’s …
Neil McAllister, 17 Sep 2014
No Sale

NO SALE! Rackspace snubs all buyout offers, appoints new CEO

Rackspace says it has given up on plans to either sell itself or merge with another company, and to prove it the cloud hosting provider has named a new CEO to lead its next phase of independent operation. Rackspace had been considering "inbound strategic proposals" – meaning buyout offers – since May, when it brought in …
Neil McAllister, 17 Sep 2014
IBM Watson QA Power7 cluster

Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up

IBM's Jeopardy! star supercomputer Watson has turned its attention from trivial pursuits to even more mundane pursuits – namely, crunching sales figures for companies. Big Blue on Tuesday announced Watson Analytics, its latest attempt to pimp its "cognitive computing" tech as a cloud service, this time aimed at business …
Neil McAllister, 16 Sep 2014
Apple iPhone 6

iPhone 6 will make you fork over with Apple Pay if you want to BONK

NFC has struggled to get off the ground as a major smartphone feature. And despite Apple finally deciding to include it in the upcoming Apple Watch and iPhone 6, it doesn't sound like Cupertino will be doing the tech any real favor – because third-party app developers won't be able to access it. Citing an Apple spokesperson, …
Neil McAllister, 16 Sep 2014
B&W film still of man with electric drill.

Is your data boring? MapR wants you to bore it back with Apache Drill

MapR has given its customers a new way to use SQL to query their Big Data stores, with the addition of Apache Drill to MapR's eponymous Hadoop distribution. Drill is an open source project developed largely by MapR that aims to create a work-alike to Google's proprietary Dremel data analytics tool, which the Chocolate Factory …
Neil McAllister, 16 Sep 2014
Paul Ceglia

Tough luck, Zuck! Man who claimed to own half of Facebook has fraud trial delayed six months

The man accused of trying to cheat Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg out of half of the social network has had his fraud trial delayed by six months so he can take time to go over his case with his new lawyer. Paul Ceglia, who allegedly forged a contract he claimed gave him ownership of at least half of Facebook, was scheduled to …
Neil McAllister, 15 Sep 2014
Scrooge McDuck

Microsoft buys Minecraft for $2.5bn. Notch: I'm getting the block outta here

When Microsoft acquires Minecraft maker Mojang for a dizzying $2.5bn, the game's creator won't be coming along for the ride. Markus "Notch" Persson, who released the first version of Minecraft in 2009, said in a blog post on his personal webpage that he will be leaving Mojang following the acquisition, citing his desire to stay …
Neil McAllister, 15 Sep 2014
RadioShack

As bankruptcy looms for RadioShack, we ask its chief financial officer... oh. He's quit

The chief financial officer of struggling US electronics retailer RadioShack has resigned – as the company faces a fiscal crisis from which it has warned it may not be able to recover. John Feray, who had served as RadioShack's CFO for nine months, stepped down on September 12, a new filing with the Securities and Exchange …
Neil McAllister, 15 Sep 2014
Admiral Ackbar

Google to startup kids: Pssst, try our CLOUD ... the first $100K is FREE

Google is offering startups a cool $100,000 in credit if they're willing to power their apps using the Chocolate Factory's cloud services, rather than the competition's. The online advertising giant launched the new program, dubbed Google Cloud Platform for Startups, at its Google for Entrepreneurs Partner Summit in Mountain …
Neil McAllister, 12 Sep 2014

T-Mobile US goes gaga for Wi-Fi calling, AT&T to launch in 2015

Now that Apple has announced Wi-Fi calling as one of the major new features of the iPhone 6 series, multiple mobile carriers are scrambling to support the tech, with AT&T announcing that it will offer it for the first time starting next year. T-Mobile in the US and EE in Europe were the two carriers mentioned when Apple …
Neil McAllister, 12 Sep 2014
Gun and dollars

Ex-Autonomy execs: HP's latest wad blows apart fraud allegations

Another week, another round in the ongoing bunfight between HP and the former management team of Autonomy. This time, the ex-Autonomy bods have claimed that new court documents filed by HP prove the latter has misrepresented the reasons why it had to write down $8.8bn in its botched acquisition of Autonomy in 2011. In a lengthy …
Neil McAllister, 12 Sep 2014
HP cloud

HP gulps cloud upstart Eucalyptus, says Helion is all-in for ... OpenStack

HP has acquired open-source hybrid cloud software maker Eucalyptus, in a surprise move to bolster its Helion cloud offerings – but what that means for the Eucalyptus software is anyone's guess. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a Reuters report cited an unnamed source who claimed it went down for less than $100m. …
Neil McAllister, 11 Sep 2014
Two mobiles man

Movirt-who? BlackBerry gobbles maker of multi-line smartphone tech

In a bid to firm up its pitch to enterprise customers, troubled mobile biz BlackBerry has bought Movirtu, a maker of tech that allows a smartphone to have multiple phone numbers active at the same time using a single SIM. Movirtu says its Virtual SIM Platform is based on "standard network technology," rather than VoIP, and it …
Neil McAllister, 11 Sep 2014
Russian matyoshka dolls

Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps

To help bridge the gap between its two mobile platforms, Google has released a beta version of a technology that allows Chrome OS users to run Android apps on their desktops. Google OS boss Sundar Pichai first previewed the tech in March, during one of the less buzzed-about segments of his I/O conference keynote. Dubbed the App …
Neil McAllister, 11 Sep 2014
Intel's Kirk Skaugen at IDF 2014

What's an Ultrabook? Now Intel touts 2-in-1 typoslabs to save PC biz

The PC hasn't lost the race to mobes and fondleslabs, Intel says; far from it. It's just been waiting to be reinvented yet again, and Chipzilla is now ready with this year's flavor. "Phones and tablets have been outstanding consumption devices, but we are creation people at heart," Kirk Skaugen, senior VP of the chipmaker's …
Neil McAllister, 11 Sep 2014
Hadoop Elephant

Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP

How important will Big Data be to the typical enterprise IT department within the next few years? More important than any other workload, if you believe Intel. "Within a couple of years, Hadoop will be the number one application. It will be running on more servers than any other single app. It will be more common for enterprise …
Neil McAllister, 10 Sep 2014
gavel_judgment_channel

Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt

At Microsoft's own request, a judge has held the software giant in contempt of court for failing to comply with an order to give US authorities access to customer emails housed in a data center in Dublin, Ireland. Redmond's request was made jointly with government prosecutors, with the aim of expediting its appeal of the July 31 …
Neil McAllister, 10 Sep 2014
IE8 patch

Microsoft unloads monster-sized can of bug spray on Internet Explorer, again

True to form, Microsoft has released its latest batch of monthly security fixes, although as expected, September's Patch Tuesday update is a relatively light one. As Redmond warned us, the only critical patches this time around are included in a big roll-up of fixes for Internet Explorer, which addresses one publicly disclosed …
Neil McAllister, 09 Sep 2014
Brian Krzanich

Look! Look at me! We do wearables, mobile stuff too! says Intel today

While most of the industry's eyes were on Cupertino with its new iPhones and Apple Watch on Tuesday, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took to the stage at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco to explain how Chipzilla will be at the heart of mobility, wearables, and the Internet of Things (IoT). "If you believe Gartner, …
Neil McAllister, 09 Sep 2014
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon axes hated Fire Phone price: 99 pennies but a niche? Ain't none

Amazon's much-hyped Fire Phone was the talk of the town when it finally appeared in June, but the buzz died down quickly, and these days it seems like the e-commerce giant can hardly give the thing away – not that it isn't going to try. On Monday, Amazon slashed the price of its mobe to just 99 cents, provided customers sign up …
Neil McAllister, 09 Sep 2014

Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook

Microsoft on Monday began rolling out its promised social-networking features for Office 365, in the form of a product it has freshly dubbed Office Delve. The tech, which was first unveiled at Redmond's SharePoint conference in March under the codename "Project Oslo," aims to present Office 365 users with the information that's …
Neil McAllister, 08 Sep 2014
Intel Xeon E5-2600 package

Intel's DDR4-friendly Xeon workhorses bolt for workstations, servers

Intel's latest-generation Xeon E5 v3 processors first showed up in systems from the likes of Dell last month, but Chipzilla made them generally available on Monday – with all of 32 different parts heading for OEMs and the channel. The new Xeon E5-2600 v3 and E5-1600 v3 chips are all based on Intel's x86-64 Haswell …
Neil McAllister, 08 Sep 2014
DigitalOcean + CoreOS

DigitalOcean floats alpha images of Docker-happy CoreOS

Fast-growing hosting biz DigitalOcean on Friday released virtual machine images for CoreOS, the slimmed-down Linux distribution designed for running massive deployments of clustered servers. The company says it built the new images in partnership with the CoreOS development team, which will also be providing its CoreOS Managed …
Neil McAllister, 06 Sep 2014
Terror at 20,000 feet

'Everywhere I look ... it's bad': HP claims email shows Autonomy CFO panic, pre-buyout

In the latest court filing in HP's rancorous legal squabble with former Autonomy execs, the tech giant has revealed what it describes as a damning email from ex-Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain, prompting a spokesperson for the latter to again accuse HP of "smear tactics." HP is seeking to settle a lawsuit brought by its own …
Neil McAllister, 06 Sep 2014
Intel's 14nm package, codenamed "Broadwell"

Intel launches skinny nippy Core M – its new BRAIN for fondleslabs

Intel chose the IFA consumer electronics conference in Berlin this week to launch the Core M, its latest 14-nanometer processor aimed at high-end, two-in-one typoslabs. "Core M is the first of a new product family designed to deliver the promise of one of the world's thinnest laptops and highest performance tablets in a single 2 …
Neil McAllister, 05 Sep 2014
Asus EeeBook X205

Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

Microsoft has been promising dirt-cheap Windows 8.1 devices for months now, and as the IFA 2014 consumer electronics conference kicks off in Berlin this week, the first round of penny-pinching Windows kit has finally started to arrive. Acer, Asus, and Toshiba have each announced sub-$200 Windows tablets or laptops at the show, …
Neil McAllister, 05 Sep 2014
Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core-plus-one ARM processor

Nvidia blasts sueballs at Qualcomm, Samsung – wants Galaxy kit banned

Nvidia claims to hold patents on core graphics processor technologies found in mobile phones and tablets, and is suing Qualcomm and Samsung as a result. The graphics chip giant has filed lawsuits against the two semiconductor goliaths, seeking damages and an injunction blocking US sales of what Nvidia claims are the companies' …
Neil McAllister, 04 Sep 2014

Don't bother with Apple's 9 Sept hype-day: Someone's GONE AND BLABBED IT ALL

Apple's next big press conference is still five days away, but The New York Times has stolen some of CEO Tim Cook's thunder by spilling the beans on what it says will be the company's new product announcements. Citing "multiple employees for Apple and its partners" who spoke on condition of anonymity, the NYT report says …
Neil McAllister, 04 Sep 2014

eBay, Facebook, Tumblr ALL go TITSUP in me-too MULTI-FAIL

In what proved to be a frustrating day for online time-wasters everywhere, eBay, Facebook, and Tumblr all experienced brief service outages on Wednesday. Rather than being the result of a coordinated retaliatory strike by Russian hackers, however, it appears that the downtime was all due to IT cockups within the companies' own …
Neil McAllister, 03 Sep 2014
Isis mobile wallet logo

Isis Wallet, NOT an Islamist militant group, reborn as Softcard

In a bid to distance itself from a violent Islamist militant group, US-based mobile payment company Isis has said that it will change the name of its Wallet service to Softcard. The company announced the rebranding plan in July, in hopes of avoiding being linked with the ruthless Sunni jihadist fighting force known variously as …
Neil McAllister, 03 Sep 2014
Internet of Things

Internet of Things: Major players agree on goals, but little else

The whole industry seems to be going wild about the Internet of Things (IoT), but the hard part about making this bold new vision happen is going to be as much about getting the vendors talking as getting the so-called things talking. In their separate keynotes at the LinuxCon 2014 conference in Chicago last month, Cisco's …
Neil McAllister, 03 Sep 2014
Internet of Things

Sony backs AllSeen Alliance in Internet of Stuff standards slap-fight

Sony has cast its lot with the AllSeen Alliance in the ongoing standards squabble over the pervasive-computing future tech known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The Japanese kit-maker has signed on to the open source consortium as a premier member, joining such consumer tech competitors as LG, Panasonic, and Sharp, in addition …
Neil McAllister, 02 Sep 2014

AMD claims record with latest overclock-happy FX Series chips, again

AMD has claimed another overclocking speed record for its latest eight-core CPUs, even as it tries to broaden the market for its chips for gamers and hobbyist customers. The chipmaker said in a press release on Monday that the latest CPUs in its FX Series offer "productivity at superior price points," while also making AMD's …
Neil McAllister, 02 Sep 2014

GitHub.io killed the distro star: Why are people so bored with the top Linux makers?

Matthew Miller is a little concerned. As the new project leader for the Fedora Linux distribution, he thinks Fedora 20 is great and Fedora 21, when it ships, will be the best release ever. But he worries that to everyone else, Fedora – and Linux distros in general – are getting a little, well … boring. He doesn't just mean the …
Neil McAllister, 25 Aug 2014

Red Hat: ARM servers will come when people crank out chips like AMD's 64-bit Seattle

It's practically a given that the ARM processor architecture – so beloved by makers of small devices everywhere – will graduate to servers soon. But before ARM servers can ship in any significant volume, a standardized hardware platform that specifically targets the data center is a must. So sayeth Jon Masters, chief ARM …
Neil McAllister, 22 Aug 2014

Storage, chip slingers pledge allegiance to Linux, open source

As LinuxCon 2014 kicks off this week in Chicago, the Linux Foundation has announced that it has won new support from across the technology industry, including several hardware companies. The nonprofit organization said on Wednesday that SanDisk, Seagate, and Western Digital have become Linux Foundation members, all three of …
Neil McAllister, 21 Aug 2014
Robot wearing mortar board and brandishing certificates

Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable

The Linux Foundation on Wednesday introduced two new certification programs aimed at connecting employers with qualified Linux administrators and engineers. "The supply of labor has been far outpaced by the demand for Linux," said Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, addressing the audience at the annual LinuxCon …
Neil McAllister, 20 Aug 2014