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Neil McAllister

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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
OneNote for Android

Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android

Microsoft has announced improvements to the mobile versions of its OneNote note-taking software, aimed particularly at those who prefer to do their jotting with a pen, rather than a keyboard. Most significant among the updates, the company has released a new version of OneNote for Android tablets that supports handwriting input …
Neil McAllister, 19 Aug 2014
Tools

EnterpriseDB chucks devs free tools to craft NoSQL web apps with PostgreSQL

Enterprise-class PostgreSQL database vendor EnterpriseDB has launched a free turnkey development environment designed to make it easier for coders to build web applications using PostgreSQL's new NoSQL capabilities. The open source PostgreSQL project has been adding NoSQL-like features for the past couple of versions, most …
Neil McAllister, 19 Aug 2014
Lock security

Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code

Beginning on Monday, the security of the Linux kernel source code has become a little bit tighter with the addition of two-factor authentication for the kernel's Git code repositories. Contributing code changes to the Linux kernel sources at Kernel.org already required more than just a password, even before the change. …
Neil McAllister, 18 Aug 2014
Angry woman on mobile

MongoDB tosses support lifeline to open source downloaders

Open source NoSQL database vendor MongoDB has added a new support option for customers who want to run the Community Edition of its software in production environments. "Our Production Support offering is now available as a standalone service – separate from our MongoDB Enterprise software," MongoDB marketing director Meghan …
Neil McAllister, 18 Aug 2014
usb-heated slippers

Microsoft Azure goes TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance)

Microsoft is struggling to sort out an Azure cloud outage that has today left users around the world unable to access various services. According to a message posted to the Azure service status page, the outage spans "Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery, HDInsight, Mobile …
Neil McAllister, 18 Aug 2014
Batteries

Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report

The debate over which battery brands work best is almost as old as dry cells themselves, but one US city has learned that it's definitely not a good idea to skimp when it comes to powering important municipal equipment. Cash-strapped Detroit, Michigan – once the capital of US automobile manufacturing – has been looking for ways …
Neil McAllister, 16 Aug 2014
Lenovo

US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo

US regulators have given the thumbs-up to IBM's sale of its x86-based System x server business to China's Lenovo, Big Blue announced on Friday. "The approval of the $2.3 billion sale to Lenovo enables IBM to focus on system and software innovations that bring new kinds of value to IBM clients in areas such as cognitive computing …
Neil McAllister, 16 Aug 2014
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure

New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first

The new CEO of US mobile operator Sprint says he's planning aggressive moves to regain market share starting next week, but the big changes he has in mind will make job cuts unavoidable. According to a report by telecoms industry news site Light Reading, Marcelo Claure, Sprint's newly minted chief exec, told employees at a …
Neil McAllister, 15 Aug 2014
Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Chrome update to raise alarms over deceptive download bundles

Google is planning to roll out an update to the Safe Browsing feature of its Chrome web browser that will alert users to a new category of suspicious downloads: ones that look like they're installing helpful software but could also include additional, unexpected payloads. Safe Browsing already issues alerts to known malware …
Neil McAllister, 15 Aug 2014
Monty Python Norwegian Blue dead parrot sketch

SpiderOak says you'll know it's secure because a little bird told you

Edward Snowden–endorsed cloud storage provider SpiderOak has added an additional safeguard to ensure that its users' data doesn't fall into the hands of law enforcement without their knowledge, in the form of a "warrant canary." The term takes its inspiration from the practice of bringing actual canaries into coal mines that …
Neil McAllister, 14 Aug 2014

Visual Studio Online goes titsup as Microsoft wrestles with database

Microsoft's Visual Studio Online services for software developers are in the midst of a total outage that has lasted for more than four hours. The Redmond giant has blamed a database snafu. The services, which were launched in November 2013 to coincide with general availability of Visual Studio 2013, are hosted on Redmond's …
Neil McAllister, 14 Aug 2014
Face recognition

Face-recog tech spots US fugitive wanted for 14 years ... from a photo

The US Federal Bureau of Investigations says it has captured a fugitive who has been wanted for the last 14 years on child sex abuse and kidnapping charges, and it credits modern face recognition technology for the arrest. The accused, Neil Stammer, originally of New Mexico, was arrested in 1999 but released on bond pending …
Neil McAllister, 14 Aug 2014
Broke - empty pockets

Marvell: NO WAY should we have to pay jumbo $1.54bn patent judgment

Fabless semiconductor firm Marvell has fired the opening volley in its appeal of the record-breaking $1.5bn judgment against it in its ongoing patent dispute with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). "No patent infringement judgment for more than a billion dollars has ever received this Court's imprimatur, and the $1.535 billion …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014
Zhang Xinzhu

Chinese regulator fires antitrust advisor over alleged kickbacks from Qualcomm

A Chinese academic has been booted from a government antitrust advisory committee amid allegations he accepted payouts from Qualcomm in exchange for giving testimony favorable to the company in an ongoing monopoly probe. State-run media outlet China News Service reported on Wednesday that Zhang Xinzhu, director of the Research …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014
CoreOS

CoreOS takes Manhattan with Quay container-hosting gobble

Cloud-friendly Linux vendor CoreOS has snapped up Docker container hosting startup Quay for an undisclosed sum, in a move designed to flesh out its offering for business customers. "We are building out a set of products to offer a complete solution for users who are running their infrastructure in this new, container-y way," …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014
apothekerCHANGES2

Autonomy ex-moneyman: 'Visionary' Léo would have made HP merger work

The former chief financial officer of Autonomy has struck back against HP's claims that he defrauded it and its shareholders, arguing that HP's execs were solely responsible for bungling the company's $10.2bn acquisition of Autonomy in 2011. "HP's Opposition swells with bile, but its sound and fury signify nothing," lawyers for …
Neil McAllister, 12 Aug 2014
Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Red Hat spruces up 2011's enterprise Linux with RHEL 6.6 Beta

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 hit general availability in July, but that doesn't mean Shadowman has stopped polishing the version 6 branch of its flagship Linux distribution, despite it being nearly four years old. RHEL 6.6, which went into beta testing on Tuesday, is a long-promised maintenance release that will be the …
Neil McAllister, 12 Aug 2014

WinPhone's Halo hottie Cortana to hit desktop in next Windows – report

Microsoft may be planning to graduate Windows Phone 8.1's Halo-inspired Cortana digital assistant from the small screen to a full-fledged desktop utility in the next version of Windows, if the Redmond rumor mill is to be believed. The snoops over at Neowin.com first noticed Cortana running on prerelease builds of Windows " …
Neil McAllister, 12 Aug 2014
Nokia 130

Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

Microsoft's Nokia division has revealed its latest mobile phone – but rather than the sort of high-end flagship number that's designed to take on Apple, it's taking aim squarely at the bottom of the market. It's no less than a plastic mini-mobe that will sell for no more than €19 ($25) before taxes and subsidies. Billed in the …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014
3D graphics

What's next for OpenGL for the desktop, mobile devices, and the web?

Graphics standards body the Khronos Group has called on industry players to help draft the next generation of the OpenGL spec, a major rewrite that's expected to help unify the OpenGL development model for desktop PCs, mobile devices, and the web. "Fast-paced work on detailed proposals and designs are already underway, and any …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014
Intel's 14nm package, codenamed "Broadwell"

Intel admits: Broadwell Core M chip looking a bit thin, no fans found at all

Intel disclosed on Monday technical details of its new microarchitecture for chips baked using its latest 14-nanometer process, known by the codename "Broadwell." "This new microarchitecture is more than a remarkable technical achievement," Intel VP and general manager of product development Rani Borkar said in a canned …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014
OpenGL

Khronos unveils OpenGL 4.5, broadens OpenCL 2.0 language support

As the 41st Siggraph computer graphics conference kicks off in Vancouver this week, industry standards body the Khronos Group has announced updates to two of its most important specs. The first is OpenGL 4.5, the latest version of the cross-platform, language-independent 2D and 3D vector graphics API that has enjoyed regular, …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014

eBay bans CD sales of metal band Burzum, citing offensive material

eBay has banned auctions of CDs and merchandise by Norwegian musician Varg Vikernes, on grounds that Vikernes holds views that the company deems offensive. Heavy metal fan site MetalSucks.net was the first to report on the ban, after an anonymous reader said that when he tried to list two CDs by Vikernes' one-man band Burzum for …
Neil McAllister, 09 Aug 2014
Space X Dragon in Orbit

Lawsuit claims SpaceX laid off hundreds without proper notice, pay

Former employees of Elon Musk's SpaceX filed a class-action lawsuit against the private rocketry firm this week, alleging it unlawfully terminated hundreds of employees without giving proper notice or payouts for back wages and benefits. SpaceX reportedly let go between 200 and 400 workers from its factory in Hawthorne, …
Neil McAllister, 08 Aug 2014
Running girls

Now YOU can build apps for Google's all-seeing gadgets for fat losers

Developers can now download an early version of the software development kit (SDK) for Google Fit, the Chocolate Factory's forthcoming health data platform that was announced at this year's Google I/O conference, although not all of the components are fully baked yet. When it launches this fall, Google Fit will include APIs for …
Neil McAllister, 08 Aug 2014
Dogecoin

Network hijacker steals $83,000 in Bitcoin ... and enough Dogecoin for a cup of coffee

Researchers at Dell's SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) have identified an exploit that can be used to steal cryptocurrency from mining pools – and they claim that at least one unknown miscreant has already used the technique to pilfer tens of thousands of dollars in digital cash. The heist was achieved by using bogus Border …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2014

Microsoft throws old versions of Internet Explorer under the bus

Microsoft has confirmed that it's ending support for old versions of Internet Explorer, and it's giving you just shy of 18 months to get up to date. Roger Capriotti, director of the IE team, blogged on Thursday that beginning on January 12, 2016, only the most recent version of IE on any supported version of Windows will …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2014
Good riddance to bad Java

Now even Internet Explorer will throw lousy old Java into the abyss

Internet Explorer will soon join its rival browsers by automatically blocking old, insecure add-ons – and it's got its eye set squarely on Java. Microsoft said on Wednesday that starting on August 12, Internet Explorer will begin alerting users when web pages try to launch ActiveX controls that are considered out-of-date and …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2014
HP cloud

Behold the HP Helion Lean cloud, and by Lean, it means not-OpenStack

HP has unveiled a new offering in its private cloud service portfolio that offers a basic level of cloudy functionality while keeping costs down for budget-conscious customers. The new service, dubbed HP Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Lean, is designed both to attract new customers with a lower price point and to …
Neil McAllister, 06 Aug 2014
AMD FirePro S9150

High five from AMD: New supercomputer GPU maxes out at 5.07 TFLOPS

AMD has upped the ante in its battle with Nvidia for the data center and high-performance computing (HPC) markets, with the launch of two new GPU cards for servers. The company's new big gun is the FirePro S9150 card, which maxes out at a blistering 5.07 TFLOPS peak single-precision floating-point performance and 2.53 TFLOPS …
Neil McAllister, 06 Aug 2014
Dev Ittycheria

NoSQL startup MongoDB names BladeLogic founder as new CEO

MongoDB has appointed venture capitalist and former entrepreneur Dev Ittycheria as its new chief executive, adding fuel to speculation that the NoSQL database firm may be planning to go public soon. Ittycheria, who most recently served as managing director of Openview Venture Partners, replaces outgoing CEO Max Schireson, who …
Neil McAllister, 05 Aug 2014

Microsoft KILLS Windows 8.1 Update 2 and Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has at last revealed the date when its second major update to Windows 8.1 will ship to customers: never. Despite months of speculation that the software giant has been planning to push out another major update roll-up for its latest OS this year, much like it did with the oddly named Windows 8.1 Update in April, …
Neil McAllister, 05 Aug 2014

Lawyer for alleged Silk Road kingpin wants all evidence thrown out

The lawyer for accused Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht claims the government's evidence against his client should not be admissible in court because it was collected illegally, in violation of Ulbricht's constitutional rights. In a 100-page Memorandum of Law (PDF) filed with the US District Court of the Southern District of New …
Neil McAllister, 05 Aug 2014

CloudControl to major chum: We'll gobble Docker's dotCloud

Docker has sold off its dotCloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering so that it can concentrate on its much-buzzed-about eponymous Linux application container technology. According to an announcement at the end of last week, the dotCloud PaaS will keep its name, but it will now be operated by German PaaS outfit cloudControl, …
Neil McAllister, 04 Aug 2014

HP says it will sue former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussein

HP has confirmed that it plans to sue Sushovan Hussain, the former chief financial officer of data analytics software firm Autonomy, whom HP claims "was one of the chief architects of the massive fraud" that forced HP to write down $8.8bn of the $10.2bn it paid to acquire Autonomy in 2011. In documents [PDF] filed with the US …
Neil McAllister, 04 Aug 2014
GoogleFloatingDatacenter

Google's mysterious floating techno barge SOLD FOR SCRAP

Google's hopes of operating a floating technology showcase in the San Francisco Bay appear to have sunk, with word that the online ad-slinger has sold off at least one of two mysterious – or merely hare-brained? – Google Barges. The San Jose Mercury News reports that Google has confirmed the sale of the barge that has sat idle …
Neil McAllister, 02 Aug 2014

Microsoft blasts sueball at Samsung over Android patent royalties

Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung in a US court on Friday, claiming the Korean firm was in breach of an earlier cross-licensing agreement relating to Android technology patents. The two companies sealed their licensing deal in 2011, back in the days when Microsoft was threatening to sue all and sundry over patents …
Neil McAllister, 01 Aug 2014

Microsoft: IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1 is TOO GOOD. So we'll cripple it like Safari

The forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1 Update will include plenty of tweaks and fixes for Internet Explorer 11, and while many of them are designed to improve the browser's web standards compliance, Redmond says others are designed to do exactly the opposite. The problem, to hear Microsoft tell it, is that IE11 on Windows Phone is …
Neil McAllister, 01 Aug 2014
PHP

What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

A group of Facebook developers has decided to break with 20 years of tradition and release a formal specification for the PHP programming language. The initial draft of the spec was released on Wednesday and is available via a Git repository hosted on PHP.net. Language specs, in and of themselves, are nothing new. Many of the …
Neil McAllister, 01 Aug 2014
Firing squad

Call off the firing squad: HP grants stay of execution to OpenVMS

In a surprise move, HP has granted OpenVMS a new lease on life, effectively reversing last year's decision to mothball the venerable server OS. HP hasn't changed its mind about its latest OpenVMS roadmap, which has it ending standard support for some versions of the OS next year and pulling the plug completely by 2020. Rather, …
Neil McAllister, 31 Jul 2014

Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers

Microsoft has lost the first round in its fight to stop the US authorities from seizing customer data stored inside its overseas data centers. Following a two-hour hearing before the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, District Judge Loretta Preska ruled that a US warrant ordering Microsoft to …
Neil McAllister, 31 Jul 2014

Oracle: That BUG in our In-Memory Option will be fixed in October

After much back-and-forth on blogs, Twitter, and online forums, Oracle has admitted that there is a bug that can cause its new in-memory database option to be reported as being in use when it's not, although the actual risk it poses remains unclear. As reported by The Register last week, database pro Kevin Closson was the first …
Neil McAllister, 31 Jul 2014
Partnership

Red Hat rallies hardware makers with 64-bit ARM server partner program

Red Hat has upped its commitment to support servers based on the ARM processor architecture, with the formation of a new partner program specifically for vendors of 64-bit ARM hardware for the data center. The Red Hat ARM Partner Early Access Program is aimed at both chipmakers and server builders, and its early members include …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jul 2014
Roger Bamford

Oracle cluster daddy jumps ship to NoSQL upstart MongoDB

Roger Bamford, a pioneering database engineer who spent 30 years at SQL stalwart Oracle, has jumped over to the NoSQL side and landed in a new job at MongoDB. Bamford joins the seven-year-old startup with the title of distinguished engineer and will be part of the senior engineering team that develops the MongoDB database. " …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jul 2014
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more

Amazon has laid out its reasons for wanting to drive the retail prices of ebooks downward, claiming that contrary to popular belief, the practice is actually beneficial for retailers, publishers, and authors alike. "With an e-book, there's no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out- …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jul 2014
TwitterIPO

Twitter shares balloon on another quarter of ho-hum results

Despite continued growth, Twitter's earnings report for the second quarter of its fiscal 2014 didn't look much better than the first quarter's results, with the company still bleeding money even as it continues to ramp up its advertising and user-engagement efforts. Twitter's earnings beat analysts' estimates at $0.02 per …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jul 2014