Neil McAllister

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Project Spartan screenshot

Microsoft's Project Spartan browser is HERE (unless you build apps or run VMs, that is)

Microsoft has shipped a new build of Windows 10 that offers a first look at its much-hyped Project Spartan web browser, but the software giant has cautioned that developers may want to hold off upgrading. In a Monday blog post, Redmond man Gabe Aul said Project Spartan is the main feature of Windows 10 Build 10049, which is …
Neil McAllister, 30 Mar 2015

Motorola Mobility loses another patent suit to über-troll Intellectual Ventures

Motorola Mobility has suffered another defeat at the hands of patent hoarder Intellectual Ventures, with a Delaware jury finding that Moto infringed a patent describing a way for handheld devices to connect to docking stations. Law360 reports that the jury only deliberated for about an hour before deciding in Intellectual …
Neil McAllister, 30 Mar 2015

Microsoft: Office 365 IT admins get free device-wrangling controls

Microsoft has begun bundling basic mobile device management (MDM) capabilities with all commercial Office 365 subscriptions, as it said it would at last year's TechEd Europe conference. Beginning on Monday, companies with Office 365 Business, Enterprise, EDU, or Government subscriptions can manage Android, iOS, and Windows Phone …
Neil McAllister, 30 Mar 2015
Paul Winchell and dummy

Chip rumor-gasm: Intel to buy Altera! Samsung to buy AMD! ... or not

Rumors flew fast and furious on Friday about possible acquisitions in the chip industry, with both Intel and Samsung said to be eyeing purchases that could strengthen their positions against rivals. First up, Intel is thought to be planning to gobble specialty chipmaker Altera, in what could become the largest acquisition in …
Neil McAllister, 27 Mar 2015
Confused computer keyboard

Did we just wake up in an alternate universe? BlackBerry turns a profit

BlackBerry actually made money in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2015, but the bigger picture for the ailing smartphone maker is far from rosy. The Canadian firm reported net income of $28m for the three months ending on February 28, compared to a loss of $423m for the same period a year ago. As a result, it was able to post …
Neil McAllister, 27 Mar 2015
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Surface Pro 3 update has so much new stuff for sysadmins, we can't fit it all in one headline

Microsoft has released a significant new firmware update for Surface Pro 3 fondleslabs, the second to arrive this month. As explained in a blog post by Redmond's JC Hornbeck, the latest update to the Surface Pro 3's Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) adds new features for enterprise customers but only minor …
Neil McAllister, 27 Mar 2015
Anthony Hopkins as Odin in Marvel's Thor

By Odin, Parallels thinks cloud service providers should buy Odin

Parallels is changing its branding again – partly – this time to help customers better distinguish between its virtualization software and service provider businesses. The desktop virtualization and management side of the company will be keeping the Parallels brand. But the service provider side – which offers automation, …
Neil McAllister, 26 Mar 2015
Node.js 'hello world' webserver

Want a full-blown IDE for Node.js? You'll need a Windows machine...

Microsoft has doubled down on its support for the Node.js server-side JavaScript framework with a new set of tools that turn Visual Studio into a full-fledged Node.js IDE. The Node.js Tools for Visual Studio (NTVS) have been in development as an open source project for around a year, but Wednesday's 1.0 release marks them ready …
Neil McAllister, 26 Mar 2015
Terminators

When will ROBOTS start chatting on WhatsApp? Don't hold your breath, says co-founder

F8 2015 As much as developers might want WhatsApp to publish APIs to allow other software to access its popular chat service, the Facebook subsidiary has no plans to do so. That's the word from WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton, who took the stage at the Facebook F8 developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday to participate in a …
Neil McAllister, 26 Mar 2015

Facebook hopes devs will 'Like' how mobile SDKs, Graph API have scrubbed up

F8 2015 Facebook has used the occasion of its F8 developer conference in San Francisco this year to roll out a major update to its software development kits for Android and iOS, in addition to a new version of the API for accessing its social graph data. "This is our first major update to the iOS and Android SDKs in more than two years …
Neil McAllister, 26 Mar 2015
Internet of Things

Facebook welcomes THINGS to its network with Parse IoT push

F8 2015 Facebook was founded with the goal of connecting people online, but on Wednesday the company said it is branching out into connecting stuff, too. Speaking at Facebook's F8 developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Ilya Sukhar, CEO of the social network's Parse subsidiary, said his firm has launched a new line of SDKs …
Neil McAllister, 25 Mar 2015
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the 2015 F8 conference

Facebook's phone KILLER: Messenger will replace TALKING, says Zuck

F8 2015 Facebook is giving businesses a boost in its Messenger chat app, by making companies and brands first-class citizens on the social network. Developers will soon be able to integrate their own apps with Messenger via a new facility called Messenger Platform, while businesses will be able to enhance online shopping via an offering …
Neil McAllister, 25 Mar 2015
More flaws found in Java

Azul tackles Oracle with open-source Java for Internet of Stuff

Azul Systems has added a new, ultra-compact entry to its portfolio of alternative Java environments, taking a run at Oracle for the lucrative mobile, embedded, and Internet of Things (IoT) markets. Zulu Embedded is a stripped-down sibling of Zulu, Azul's certified, cross-platform build of OpenJDK – Oracle's open source reference …
Neil McAllister, 25 Mar 2015
IE for Win 10 preview

Make up your mind: Microsoft puts a bullet in Internet Explorer after all

Microsoft has changed direction slightly with regard to how Windows 10 will handle web browsing, in a move that suggests development of Internet Explorer has finally come to an end – as has been rumored. We've long known that Redmond has a new, standards-compliant web rendering engine in the works called Project Spartan, which …
Neil McAllister, 24 Mar 2015

Joyent's Triton ships Docker containers on cloudy bare metal

Cloud outfit Joyent has launched Triton, a new software and service offering that provides what Joyent describes as "container native infrastructure," where the Linux container – not a server or a VM – is the atomic unit of hosting. "In a sentence (albeit a wordy one), Triton lets you run secure Linux containers directly on bare …
Neil McAllister, 24 Mar 2015
Imagination Technologies' MIPS tablet reference design

Imagination touts cheap Firefox OS MIPS slab to Chinese kitmakers

No longer content to cede the mobile processor market to ARM, British chip firm Imagination Technologies has unveiled a new reference tablet design powered by a CPU based on its MIPS architecture. Although designed to cost less than $100, the 9.7-inch device is more demo than actual product. Built by Chinese ODM Ingenic, its …
Neil McAllister, 24 Mar 2015
Pair of pliers with other tools

Windows 10 apps to rule them all – phones, slabs and PCs: Microsoft pulls out 'universal' tool

Microsoft has released technology previews of new developer tools and an SDK for Windows 10, giving coders their first taste of what it's like to build Windows Universal Apps that run across PCs, phones, and tablets. The tools are available now at no charge to members of Microsoft's Windows Insider program. Like Windows 10 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Mar 2015
Microsoft on Android

WinPhone? PAH! If you want Microsoft's mobe apps, grab an Android

Microsoft, still struggling to gain a foothold in the smartphone market, is pressing to have its software bundled on Android devices from major manufacturers, with Samsung as its first partner. We first heard murmurings about Sammy's deal with Microsoft at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, earlier this month. "We'll have …
Neil McAllister, 23 Mar 2015

Judge OKs HP's cash-free settlement plan in Autonomy investor suit

HP has won court approval of a deal that would settle a lawsuit brought by shareholders over HP's botched acquisition of software maker Autonomy. US District Judge Charles Breyer has granted preliminary approval of the latest version of HP's proposed settlement, Bloomberg reports, despite having rejected similar proposals twice …
Neil McAllister, 13 Mar 2015
Cyanogen

Cyanogen said to be hoovering up cash, but NOT from Microsoft

Sources say Android alt-firmware outfit Cyanogen is close to closing a new round of funding, but Microsoft reportedly won't be among the investors. Bloomberg reported on Friday that Cyanogen is close to an agreement that would see it raise $110m from a group of financiers including PremjiInvest, the investment firm of Wipro …
Neil McAllister, 13 Mar 2015

Studying humans for science? Wrap your eyeballs around our fine print, says Apple

Apple has updated its App Store developer guidelines to include new restrictions on apps that gather health data for purposes of medical research. The revised guidelines include a new paragraph aimed specifically at developers who want to take advantage of ResearchKit, Cupertino's new framework for health research. "Apps …
Neil McAllister, 13 Mar 2015

Microsoft hints at faster release cadence for Windows 10 previews

After admitting that it hasn't been seeding new builds of Windows 10 as often as many testers had hoped, Microsoft is gearing up to increase its release cadence. Redmond man Gabe Aul tweeted on Thursday that the software giant will have new builds of Windows 10 available soon, and even went as far as to suggest that risk-averse …
Neil McAllister, 13 Mar 2015
Bloodbath!

Pathetic PC sales just cost us a BILLION dollars, cries Intel

Intel has lowered its revenue forecast for the first quarter of its fiscal 2015 by nearly a billion dollars, citing a weaker than expected PC market. While previously the chipmaker had said it expected to bring in $13.7bn (£9.21bn) during Q1, plus or minus $500m, on Thursday it revised that estimate to $12.8bn (£8.6bn), plus or …
Neil McAllister, 12 Mar 2015
Sorry we're closed

Google MURDERS Google Code, orders everyone out to GitHub and co

Google killing off its own software projects is nothing new, but the Mountain View goliath will soon kill your software projects, too, if you host them on Google Code. The online ad titan said on Thursday that it was shutting down its code collaboration service, which was launched in 2006, effective immediately. The service …
Neil McAllister, 12 Mar 2015
A kite

Docker snacks on Mac app chaps: Kitematic to put UI on container tools

Linux container outfit Docker has expanded its staff yet again, this time by gobbling up the creators of a GUI Docker management tool for OS X. Kitematic, which became an official Docker product on Thursday, wraps Docker's command-line container wrangling tools in a point-and-click interface that simplifies the process of …
Neil McAllister, 12 Mar 2015
Chromebook Pixel 2015

Google gives spit n' polish to world's most expensive Chromebook

Google has released a new version of the Chromebook Pixel, its upmarket Chrome OS web terminal, cutting the price of the device in the process. The revamped high-end Chromebook is the first product to be showcased in the Mountain View Chocolate Factory's new online store, billed as "the new home for the latest products made with …
Neil McAllister, 11 Mar 2015

Stuxnet Redux: Microsoft patches Windows vuln left open for FIVE YEARS

While most of the attention this Patch Tuesday has been focused on the FREAK encryption vulnerability, Microsoft's latest batch of fixes also addresses another longstanding threat to Windows: Stuxnet. What's that you say? You thought Microsoft already issued a patch that stopped the Stuxnet worm from spreading all the way back …
Neil McAllister, 10 Mar 2015
HP Cloudline 7100 server

HP battles back against white-box with Foxconn-built Cloudline servers

Open Compute Summit HP has made its bid for relevance in the modern data center with a new line of servers aimed at "rack scale" and "cloud scale" deployments. The HP Cloudline servers, unveiled at the Open Compute Project Summit in San Jose, California this week, are the fruit of a collaboration between HP and Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn …
Neil McAllister, 10 Mar 2015

Microsoft: You'll get the next Windows 10 build when we're GOOD AND READY

Champing at the bit for the next build of Windows 10 Technical Preview? Microsoft says that although it has been silent for several weeks, a new release is coming ... soonish ... but you probably shouldn't hold your breath. "Today is 3/9 and we've not set a date for the next build," Redmond's Gabe Aul said on Monday in a lengthy …
Neil McAllister, 10 Mar 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Microsoft offers checkups for Java web apps with Azure-backed code profiling service

In its latest nod to cross-platform application development, Microsoft has opened its Visual Studio Application Insights cloud software telemetry service to Java developers. The software giant announced the new Applications Insights SDK for Java in time for the EclipseCon North America 2015 conference, taking place in San …
Neil McAllister, 09 Mar 2015
Good riddance to bad Java

Minecraft debuts new block – one that blocks Java crapware, that is

Oracle may be sticking with its plan to bundle unwanted software with its Java installer and updates, but Minecraft players soon shouldn't have to worry about it, thanks to a new launcher for the popular Java-based game. Minecraft maker Mojang – now a division of Microsoft – has been rolling out the new launcher over the past …
Neil McAllister, 09 Mar 2015
An angry mob

Grab your pitchforks: Ubuntu to switch to systemd on Monday

The Ubuntu Project is set to move forward with a plan to make a controversial system management tool a key part of Ubuntu Linux. On Monday, March 9, the Ubuntu maintainers will reconfigure code base for the forthcoming version of the OS so that it uses the much-debated systemd suite of tools to handle core initialization tasks …
Neil McAllister, 07 Mar 2015
A truck disabled by Lockheed Martin's ATHENA laser

In assault on American values, Lockheed BLASTS PICKUP with RAYGUN

Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a new laser cannon prototype by using the weapon to punch through the engine block of a small truck from a mile away. The device, dubbed ATHENA (Advanced Test High Energy Asset), was – according to reports – able to burn through the vehicle's engine manifold "in a matter of seconds," disabling it …
Neil McAllister, 06 Mar 2015
Lightning

Microsoft fluffs Azure cloud with search, data storage, faster compute

Microsoft is rolling out multiple upgrades to its Azure cloud, including new search and data-storage services and cheaper compute-oriented virtual machine instances. The two new services, Azure Search and DocumentDB, have been available as previews since August but are now making their way into general availability. Azure …
Neil McAllister, 06 Mar 2015
Docker Red Hat

Red Hat seeks cloud critical mass with Atomic Host

Red Hat says its stripped-down Linux variant for containerized cloud deployments is ready to roll, giving Red Hat customers a simplified, easy-to-manage platform for hosting Docker containers. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Atomic Host was first announced at the Red Hat Summit in San Francisco last April and it has been in beta …
Neil McAllister, 05 Mar 2015
gavel_judgment_channel

VMware sued, accused of ripping off Linux kernel source code

Linux kernel developer Christoph Hellwig has sued VMware in Hamburg, Germany, over alleged violations of the GNU General Public License. Hellwig's suit, which is backed by New York-based advocacy group the Software Freedom Conservancy, alleges that VMware's proprietary ESXi hypervisor products use portions of the code that …
Neil McAllister, 05 Mar 2015
Containers

Docker hires'n'acquires to cure its security, networking headaches

Application container firm Docker is staffing up, having brought on new talent to further its security and networking development efforts. On Tuesday, Diogo Mónica and Nathan McCauley, two former engineers for mobile payments outfit Square, jointly blogged that they had joined Docker to lead its security engineering. "We've …
Neil McAllister, 04 Mar 2015
Good riddance to bad Java

Oracle's piping hot new pot of Java takes out the trash (faster)

Oracle's latest update to the Java Development Kit doesn't add any new language features or change any APIs, but it still includes a number of enhancements that should please Java developers and users. Released on Tuesday – a couple of weeks ahead of Java SE 8's first birthday – Java Development Kit 8 Update 40 (JDK 8u40) …
Neil McAllister, 04 Mar 2015
Unity-based game running in a browser via WebGL

Unity, Mozilla team up to bring PEW! PEW! PEW! to browsers, too

GDC 2015 The latest version of the Unity cross-platform game development toolkit is helping to bring advanced 3D graphics and gaming to the web, albeit in baby steps. Unity 5, released to coincide with the Game Developers Conference taking place in San Francisco this week, includes a preview version of an exporter for WebGL, an evolving …
Neil McAllister, 03 Mar 2015
HP cloud

HP adds Eucalyptus to Helion cloud, but OpenStack still reigns

HP has restored Amazon Web Services compatibility to its Helion cloud product line, just over a year after it dropped support in favor of focusing on a mix of OpenStack and its own, in-house technology. The reinstated features come in the form of a new version of Eucalyptus, the AWS-friendly open source cloud-building software …
Neil McAllister, 03 Mar 2015
management regulation2

IBM sued for talking up semiconductor business it couldn't give away

A US public pension fund has filed a class-action lawsuit against IBM, claiming the company misrepresented the value of the semiconductor business it offloaded to GlobalFoundries in October. The suit filed by the City of Sterling Heights Police & Fire Retirement System in Michigan accuses IBM of having inflated its own share …
Neil McAllister, 03 Mar 2015
Cloud security

Xen bug latest: Cloudpocalypse averted, says Amazon

Amazon Web Services now says that despite the recent security vulnerabilities discovered in the Xen hypervisor, the vast majority of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) customers won't need to reboot their virtual machine instances after all. Last week, AWS and Rackspace both said that customers should prepare for a mass reboot of …
Neil McAllister, 02 Mar 2015
Panic button

New Xen vuln triggers Amazon, Rackspace reboot panic redux

Newly discovered vulnerabilities in the open source Xen virtualization hypervisor have once again sent major public cloud companies scurrying to patch and reboot their systems before attackers can pull off a massive exploit. Amazon and Rackspace have both announced that they will need to reboot some of their servers to address …
Neil McAllister, 28 Feb 2015
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

He's baaack: Microsoft's axeman Nadella to give Chinese staff the chop

More Microsoft staffers will lose their jobs next month when the software giant closes two smartphone factories in China, according to reports. Japanese business daily Nikkei was first to report that the software giant plans to shutter its manufacturing facilities in Beijing and Dongguan by the end of March. A Microsoft …
Neil McAllister, 28 Feb 2015
Qualcomm

Make room, Wi-Fi, Qualcomm wants to run LTE on your 5GHz band

Qualcomm says it will begin shipping new chips later this year that will help relieve mobile network congestion by routing LTE mobile broadband traffic over short-range, unlicensed radio frequency bands. The new system-on-chip (SoC) components include support for LTE Unlicensed (LTE-U), an extension of the LTE Advanced protocol …
Neil McAllister, 27 Feb 2015
IBM Headquarters, Armonk, NY

If in doubt, blow $4bn: IBM says it will fatten up on cloud, mobile, Big Data cake by 2018

IBM is betting billions that it can claw its way back to growth by focusing on what it calls its "strategic imperatives," including cloud, data analytics, mobility, social networking, and security. During Big Blue's annual meeting with financial analysts on Thursday, CFO Martin Schroeter said IBM plans to shift $4bn of spending …
Neil McAllister, 26 Feb 2015
Gerard Butler in 300

Microsoft man: Internet Explorer had to go because it's garbage

Microsoft says it decided to start from scratch with a new web rendering engine for Windows 10 because keeping up with web standards while maintaining compatibility with older, noncompliant versions of Internet Explorer had simply become too much of a burden. "Fixing long standing interoperability bugs with other modern browsers …
Neil McAllister, 26 Feb 2015
html5_logo

Flash flushed: Google's AdWords to convert ads to HTML5 automatically

In the latest blow to Adobe's little-loved Flash graphics format, Google has begun nudging customers of its AdWords ad network to wean themselves off Flash by offering automatic conversion of Flash ads to HTML5. "Over half of time spent online is now spent on mobile devices," the Google Ads team said in a Google+ post on …
Neil McAllister, 26 Feb 2015
Sorry we're closed

Google deal means game over for mobile payments firm Softcard

Google may not have bought Softcard – not exactly – but the online ad-slinger's deal with the mobile payments firm has apparently left Softcard with nothing to do but shut down its service. Google announced on Monday that it had acquired "some exciting technology and intellectual property" from Softcard, but it didn't say what …
Neil McAllister, 25 Feb 2015
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Google tackles enterprise BYOD with Android for Work

Google is making a bid for the enterprise with its new Android for Work program, which aims to give businesses more control over the apps and data that employees store on their smartphones. "With a group of partners, we're helping businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform …
Neil McAllister, 25 Feb 2015