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Neil McAllister

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Photo of the KitKat mascot among the Android lawn statues

Android to drop Dalvik VM for high-performance ART in next version

The next version of Google's Android smartphone OS may ship with a new code execution engine that improves performance and battery life, if a new report is to be believed. The current engine, Dalvik, is getting long in the tooth, and developers have long grumbled that it doesn't run their code as efficiently as it could. Google …
Neil McAllister, 20 Jun 2014

Microsoft to let customers know where Office 365 is going

Microsoft has launched two new initiatives designed to help its Office 365 business customers more easily anticipate forthcoming changes to the online service, including a public roadmap and a voluntary program that allows customers to receive some updates early. One benefit of using cloudy services such as Office 365 is that …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jun 2014
Red Hat Shadowman logo

Rising Red Hat reaps rewards of cloud growth

Open source software vendor Red Hat once again showed strong growth in the first quarter of its fiscal 2015, with rising revenues driven by strong sales to enterprise customers. "We now count 94 per cent of the Fortune 500 and 90 per cent of the Fortune Global 500 as customers," Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said in a canned …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jun 2014
Photo of the Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon's not-actually-3D Fire: Bezos' cash register in YOUR pocket

If you like smartphones and you like shopping, then you just might like the Fire Phone, the first handset to be released by Jeff Bezos' etail juggernaut Amazon - and as you'd expect, it's all about shopping. The announcement that Bezos' e-tail titan plans to release an own-branded mobe came as no surprise, but what was actually …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jun 2014

Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

Source code hosting provider Code Spaces has suffered the ultimate cloud nightmare, having been effectively forced out of business by the actions of an attacker who managed to gain access to its Amazon EC2 control panel. The devastating incident began on June 17 when Code Spaces – a company that claimed to offer "Rock Solid, …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jun 2014
BlackBerry and Android, together at last

BlackBerry inks deal with Amazon to get Android apps on its mobes

BlackBerry is shaking up its code store options in a bid to win new apps and content for its widely shunned BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Most notably, the Canadian firm announced on Wednesday that it has reached a licensing agreement with Amazon to allow BlackBerry users access to the Amazon Appstore. Amazon's store won't replace …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jun 2014
Nest Protect

Google's too-smart-for-own-good Nest Protect alarm is back on sale

Google's Nest smart smoke alarm is back on sale at a lower price after being withdrawn from store shelves for nearly a month because of a safety issue. "We're very pleased that Nest Protect is once again available to customers," Nest marketing chief Doug Sweeny said in a blog post. "And now, the price is $99 to make it …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jun 2014

Sneak peek: Microsoft's next browser (thanks, IE Developer Channel)

Taking a page from rival web-browser makers, Microsoft has launched a developer channel to give programmers an early taste of upcoming Internet Explorer features. The Internet Explorer Developer Channel comes in the form of a special edition of the IE browser that receives new features and updates before they become available in …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jun 2014
Screenshots of Facebook's Slingshot app

Slingshot: Facebook unwraps chat app to splat Snapchat brats

Facebook has officially announced Slingshot, its Snapchat-like phone app for sharing self-destructing photo messages, one week after accidentally releasing an early version on Apple's App Store. As everyone already knew because of Facebook's blunder, the standalone Slingshot app allows you to share photos and videos that delete …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jun 2014
Iphone_hard_case

Synaptics, longing for Apple's love, gobbles chip outfit Renesas SP

Touch tech kingpin Synaptics has agreed to buy Japanese chip firm Renesas SP Drivers for $475m in a bid to win a bigger presence in the exploding mobile device market. The Japanese company is a joint venture between Renesas, Sharp, and Powerchip that specializes in silicon for managing LCD displays – which, of course, are found …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jun 2014

Windows 8 leaker gets three months, booted back to Russia

Alex Kibkalo, the former Microsoft worker who pleaded guilty in April to leaking company secrets, is likely headed back to his native Russia in a week or so, having been sentenced to serve a brief stint in prison. According to court documents, Kibkalo was formally sentenced on Tuesday to a three-month prison term, per his plea …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2014
HP Chromebox

HP has Chromeboxes with Intel Core i7 chips, but they'll cost you

HP has started taking orders for its new line of Chromeboxes, but while some carry the low price tags we've come to expect from Chrome OS devices, others are surprisingly expensive. Intel spilled the beans last September that hardware makers would be offering desktop Chrome OS kit with Haswell processors this year, and Asus …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2014
Alienware Steam Machine

Alienware says it WILL ship a Steam Machine in 2014 – running Windows

High-end gaming PC vendor Alienware says it will still put out a Steam Machine console this year, even if it can't ship it with Valve's vaunted mega-controller – and it won't arrive running SteamOS. The Dell division's console, now officially dubbed the Alienware Alpha, still looks very much like the design that was revealed in …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2014

Container-friendly Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 hits general availability

On Tuesday, Red Hat announced general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, a version that it immodestly claims will "redefine the enterprise operating system." Following the typical six-month beta cycle and a release candidate that shipped in April, RHEL 7 delivers an enterprise-grade distribution of many of the latest …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2014
iOS 8

New Apple iOS to help fanbois thwart Wi-Fi network spies

Apple says it will tweak the networking stack in its forthcoming iOS 8 smartphone OS that'll put an additional stumbling block in front of advertisers, marketers, and other snoops looking to collect information about you from your mobile devices. The iPhone maker announced the change during its annual Worldwide Developers …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2014
Repo Man

Flying cars, submarine cars – Elon Musk says NOTHING is beyond him

Not impressed with Tesla Motors' line of all-electric cars so far? The company's billionaire founder, Elon Musk, says he's still thinking of new ways to wow you, as long as he can get the technological kinks ironed out. "Maybe we'll make a flying car, just for fun," Musk told The Independent during a launch event for the Tesla S …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jun 2014
Credit: katso käyttöehdot http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds#mediaviewer/Tiedosto:Linus_Torvalds_talking.jpeg

Everyone can and should learn to code? RUBBISH, says Torvalds

Outspoken Linux creator Linus Torvalds has taken issue with the oft-repeated assertion that in today's world everybody should learn computer programming, saying he just doesn't believe in it. In an interview with Business Insider over the weekend, the Linux kernel king said that even though he grew up with computers and he …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jun 2014
Google Doodle honoring Honinbo Shusaku

Whoops! Google's D-Day Doodle honors ... Japan

Google has apologized for publishing a Google Doodle honoring a Japanese Go player on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, blaming a technical glitch. "We always intended to highlight a new exhibition of imagery and archive material commemorating D-Day on our homepage," the online ad-slinger said in a statement. "Unfortunately a …
Neil McAllister, 06 Jun 2014
The 10.1 inch Galaxy Tab4

Here come Samsung's, er, Barnes & Noble's new Galaxy Tab, er, Nook fondleslabs

Bookselling giant Barnes & Noble is back in the tablet business – sort of – thanks to a new partnership with Samsung. The company announced on Thursday that it will soon offer co-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook fondleslabs that come preloaded with custom software for reading e-books, magazines, and newspapers provided by …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2014
Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen: Edward Snowden is a 'textbook traitor'

Netscape cofounder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has said that NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a "textbook traitor," even though he admits that his peers in Silicon Valley mostly don't see it that way. "Obviously he's a traitor," Andreessen said in an interview with CNBC. "If you look up in the encyclopedia, 'traitor', …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2014
SOURCE:  http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1412135

Samsung's 'OS of Everything' Tizen still has little to offer

The first smartphone running the Linux-based Tizen OS is here, even if it will likely be a long time before most of us can get our hands on it. But forget about phones – Tizen is also about cars, TVs, home automation, wearables, and more. At least, that was the message put forth at the third annual Tizen Developer Conference in …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2014
Hologram communication - Star Wars

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi! 3D HOLO-PHONE hinted in Amazon vid

Amazon plans to unveil a new device later this month, according to a video posted to the e-tailer's official YouTube channel. The cryptic clip features a series of people waggling their heads at an unknown product and saying things like, "that is really cool," "that's super awesome," and "oh, woo." "It's very real-life," says …
Neil McAllister, 04 Jun 2014

Google's Nexus devices get stealth Android update

Google has quietly begun rolling out a new version of Android to its flagship Nexus devices, but so far it has remained shtum on just what has changed. Support pages from US wireless player T-Mobile reveal that the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 handsets and the 2013 version of the Nexus 7 tablet all began receiving over-the-air updates to …
Neil McAllister, 03 Jun 2014
iOS 8

New iOS 8 SDK: Come in, apps. Get cozy, sip wine, swap numbers

For its latest software development kit (SDK) for the forthcoming iOS 8, Apple has adjusted the platform's sandbox security model to allow apps to provide services to other apps running on the same device for the first time. "This release is the biggest release since the launch of the App Store," Apple CEO Tim Cook said during …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jun 2014

Apple: We'll tailor Swift to be a fast new programming language

Apple stunned the audience at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday with a tool few expected: a new programming language for iOS and OS X software called Swift. There already is a programming language called Swift that was developed by the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory for use in …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jun 2014
Screenshot of Windows Phone 8.1 Files app

Microsoft lobs Files app at WinPhone users with lots of ... uh ... files

Microsoft on Friday shipped Files, its on-device file management app for Windows Phone, addressing a long-standing gripe some users have had with Redmond's smartphone OS. Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore first teased the app during a Reddit AMA on May 2, saying his team hoped to get it into the Windows Store "by the end of May …
Neil McAllister, 31 May 2014
Virgin Galactic's SpaceshipTwo

FAA: All systems GO for Virgin Galactic space plane to launch from US

Beardy Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is one step closer to opening its cabin doors for business, having secured authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to launch its rocket plane from US soil. The Virgin mogul's space tourism outfit announced on Thursday that it has reached an agreement with the FAA that …
Neil McAllister, 30 May 2014

Snowden shoots back: 'So you DO have my emails, after all'

Edward Snowden says the US National Security Agency is lying when it says it has no record of his emails to supervisors raising concerns about NSA surveillance programs, and that the release of one of his emails on Thursday proves it. The NSA has long maintained that Snowden never voiced his concerns through proper channels …
Neil McAllister, 30 May 2014
Sorry we're closed

USA! USA! ... Aw, screw it. Motorola to close Texas smartphone plant

Motorola Mobility's adventure in stateside manufacturing is coming to an end, with the Google subsidiary announcing that it plans to close its Fort Worth, Texas factory less than a year after launching its vaunted Moto X smartphone. The plant opened in May 2013 specifically to assemble the Moto X for US customers, but The Wall …
Neil McAllister, 30 May 2014

Ballmer SLAM-DUNKS $2 BEEELLLION bid for LA Clippers

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer might not be in the software business anymore, but he has reportedly still found a way to one-up longtime rival Larry Ellison: by outbidding the Oracle tycoon for a major US sports franchise in the form of the LA Clippers. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Ballmer has won a brief …
Neil McAllister, 30 May 2014

'Hello? Hello? Yes, I'm calling you on my WEB BROWSER'

Mozilla says it will soon begin experimenting with a new streaming video communications system that users can access using only their web browsers. "And that's all you will need," Mozilla's Chad Weiner said in a blog post on Thursday. "No plug-ins, no downloads. If you have a browser, a camera and a mic, you'll be able to make …
Neil McAllister, 29 May 2014
Edward Snowden

Snowden never blew a whistle, US spy boss claims

NSA leaker Edward Snowden says he repeatedly raised concerns with his superiors and with oversight groups that the scope of the NSA's domestic surveillance programs was too broad, but the government claims that isn't the case. In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams on Wednesday – the first time Snowden has appeared on US …
Neil McAllister, 29 May 2014
Steam engine

Valve says no Steam Machines until 2015, fingers crossed

Video-game kingpin Valve has announced that its Steam Machine console hardware will likely be delayed by as much as a year, owing to ongoing development of the device's ambitious controller. In a blog post on Tuesday, Valve developer Eric Hope said that a private beta program using prototype versions of the wireless controller …
Neil McAllister, 29 May 2014
IE8 patch

New dashboard gives eagle's-eye view of Microsoft's security flaws

Microsoft has launched a new dashboard service designed to make it easier for systems admins to view the latest security bulletins for a range of Microsoft software. The idea behind the service, called myBulletins, is to allow admins to subscribe to security bulletins for only those products that are in use in their environments …
Neil McAllister, 29 May 2014
orange hacked.jpg

TrueCrypt considered HARMFUL – downloads, website meddled to warn: 'It's not secure'

The website of popular drive-encryption software TrueCrypt has been ripped up and replaced with a stark warning to not use the crypto-tool. It's also distributing a new version of the software, 7.2, which appears to have been compromised. It's feared the project, run by a highly secretive team of anonymous developers, has been …
Neil McAllister, 28 May 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Mozilla launches Flame reference handset for Firefox OS

Mozilla has begun taking preorders for the Firefox OS Flame, a new developer handset that's a reference design for what the not-for-profit browser maker calls "mid-tier hardware" for its open source mobile OS. "Until now, there has been no 'reference device' and the options for getting something through retail were limited," …
Neil McAllister, 27 May 2014

Google clamps down on rogue Chrome plugins and extensions

Google is tightening security on its Chrome web browser by making it harder to install plugins and extensions that could contain malicious code. The web ad-slinger said in a blog post on Tuesday that it has begun strictly enforcing a policy, first announced in November, that Chrome extensions can only be installed from Google's …
Neil McAllister, 27 May 2014

Intel cutting prices, taking on all comers in fondleslab market grab

Intel is so desperate to gain a foothold in the fondleslab market that it's willing to slash its margins in exchange for market share, supply-chain sources claim. Industry insiders have told Taiwanese tech-news rag DigiTimes that Chipzilla has been cutting prices and offering marketing subsidies to tablet vendors willing to …
Neil McAllister, 24 May 2014

Bing's the thing in Microsoft's push for cheap Windows devices

Microsoft and its hardware partners are gearing up to push out a new wave of low-cost Windows devices, thanks to a new edition of Windows 8.1 that will be available to OEMs at a lower cost – or even for free. Redmond marketer Brandon LeBlanc announced the new version, dubbed "Windows 8.1 with Bing," in a blog post on Friday. But …
Neil McAllister, 23 May 2014
FBI badge and gun

Microsoft swats away FBI request for Office 365 subscriber data

Microsoft has successfully challenged a secret letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation ordering it to turn over data from one of its Office 365 customers, court documents made public on Thursday have revealed. The documents, which remained secret until they were unsealed by the US District Court in Seattle on Wednesday, …
Neil McAllister, 23 May 2014
Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the tarmac in United livery

Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal

After weathering a decade of delays, cost overruns, and technical difficulties with its latest high-tech aircraft, Boeing CEO James McNerney says the company isn't planning any more ambitious gambles like the 787 Dreamliner, but will instead focus on cutting costs and increasing production. According to a report by the Seattle …
Neil McAllister, 22 May 2014

Google Fiber says it's happy to let Netflix onto its 'fast lane' for free

In a clear knock on recent shenanigans by US broadband providers, the Chocolate Factory's Google Fiber division has said it doesn't charge extra for an internet "fast lane," and streaming-video companies are even free to host their servers in Google Fiber's own data centers. "We ... partner with content providers (like YouTube, …
Neil McAllister, 22 May 2014

Valve's Steam streaming service lets you play games on the toilet

Games maker Valve has launched Steam In-Home Streaming, a new service that allows Steam subscribers to view and play games that are running on their primary PCs on devices located anywhere in their homes. "When you log into Steam on two computers on the same network, they automatically connect, allowing you to remotely install, …
Neil McAllister, 22 May 2014

California gives green light to test self-driving cars on public roads

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has approved new rules governing the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads, making it one of the first states to adopt a formal policy on self-driving cars. California Governor Jerry Brown gave the state's blessing to autonomous vehicles in 2012, when he signed off on …
Neil McAllister, 21 May 2014
Internet of Things

Forget phones, BlackBerry's new Project Ion is all about THINGS

With its smartphone sales circling the drain, beleaguered BlackBerry has announced Project Ion, a set of initiatives aimed at delivering services and infrastructure for everyone's favorite hot-button buzzword, the Internet of Things (IoT). The project was unveiled in a brief presentation at the O'Reilly Solid conference on …
Neil McAllister, 21 May 2014

No such luck: Apple, Samsung say peace talks are off – way off

If you were thinking last week's patent settlement between Apple and Google's former Motorola division might lead to a similar détente between Apple and Samsung, you probably shouldn't get your hopes up. Although the Korea Times reported on Monday that the two rivals were close to settling all of their litigation – and there is …
Neil McAllister, 20 May 2014
Cisco CEO John Chambers speaking at Cisco Live! 2014

Cisco CEO Chambers: 'Infrastructure is commodity'

Cisco CEO John Chambers says customers should expect significant consolidation in the networking industry, even as his own company strives to move into new markets. Chambers, who has spent the last 19 years as Cisco's chief exec, used his Monday afternoon keynote address at the Cisco Live! conference in San Francisco to make the …
Neil McAllister, 20 May 2014

Samsung mobes to get an eyeful of your EYE in biometric security bid

Samsung is looking to kick its competition with Apple up a notch by swapping fingerprint scanners in its smartphones for more advanced biometric devices like iris scanners, a company exec has said. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Samsung senior VP Rhee In-jong, who heads the company's Knox security platform, …
Neil McAllister, 19 May 2014
channel_partners_deal_handshake

AT&T to buy DirecTV in $49bn mega-gobble

US telecoms giant AT&T has announced plans to acquire leading US satellite TV provider DirecTV in a deal valued at $48.5bn. AT&T already offers TV via its U-Verse service, which runs over its terrestrial broadband internet lines. The company says it will continue to offer this service once the DirecTV acquisition closes. For …
Neil McAllister, 19 May 2014
Aero-X

Real, hovering SPEEDER BIKE can be YOURS for cheaper than a house

If you've ever wanted to ride a hovering motorbike like the ones featured in Return of the Jedi, you'll soon be able to get one step closer to your dream – provided you have the spare coin lying around. A California company called Aerofex has come up with the Aero-X, a two-passenger vehicle that's something like a hovercraft …
Neil McAllister, 16 May 2014