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How to restore the delete function to the Android Gmail app

Practical Technology - Mon, 10/06/2013 - 6:57pm
There I was, innocently fiddling with my Gmail while waiting for a movie to start Friday night on my Motorola Droid 4 Android smartphone, when I tried to delete a message… and I discovered that the latest update to the Android Gmail program wasn’t letting me delete messages. What the heck? How to restore the [...]

Don’t buy a cloud in a poke!

Practical Technology - Mon, 10/06/2013 - 6:53pm
If you buy cloud services without double-checking exactly what you’re getting and without a real service-level agreement (SLA) you might as well be buying a pig in a poke — in other words, you really won’t know what you’re buying until you’ve wasted your money. Let’s say you want to use a public cloud for [...]

How the NSA, and your boss, can intercept and break SSL

Practical Technology - Sun, 09/06/2013 - 1:19am
Is the National Security Agency (NSA) really “wiretapping” the Internet? Accused accomplices Microsoft and Google deny that they have any part in it and the core evidence isn’t holding up that well under closer examination. Some, however, doubt that the NSA could actually intercept and break Secure-Socket Layer (SSL) protected Internet communications. Ah, actually the [...]

WiSee: Gesture recognition tech is closer than you might think

Practical Technology - Fri, 07/06/2013 - 8:03pm
Thanks to technologies like Microsoft’s Kinect, we’re getting closer than ever before to being able to interact with our computers by simply waving our hands in the air. But what if you want to wave my PC on or off even if you’re not in front of a camera? Believe it or not, the technology [...]

Google re-opens CalDAV

Practical Technology - Thu, 06/06/2013 - 7:58pm
When Google announced on March 13th that it would no longer be supporting the CalDAV application programming interface (API), developers were not happy. In early June, Google reconsidered its position and re-opened CalDAV and, to top it off, Google said they’d be opening CardDAV’s API as well. CalDAV, for the non-programmers among you, is an [...]

2013: Welcome to the universal Internet

Practical Technology - Wed, 05/06/2013 - 8:49pm
Ten years ago the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started deregulating incumbent local exchange companies’ (ILECs’) broadband services. Shorn of jargon, that meant the telephone and cable companies were free to offer newer, faster Internet broadband services. The FCC  expected this move to bring tens of billions of dollars into residential broadband. It did. What they [...]

Foxconn backs Firefox OS play

Practical Technology - Mon, 03/06/2013 - 9:24pm
While Android and Apple iOS battle it out for mobile platform operating system supremacy, other minor mobile operating systems, such as Mozilla’s Linux-based, open-source operating system Firefox OS, are still trying to get a seat at the mobile operating system table. On June 3rd,  Firefox OS gained an important backer: electronics contract manufacturing giant Foxconn. [...]

Windows 8 continues to fail

Practical Technology - Sun, 02/06/2013 - 9:20pm
The real take-away from Net Applications’ May 2013 release of NetMarketShare monthly operating system statistics is that, as PC sales continue to collapse, Microsoft’s Windows 8 could be a factor behind the plunge. While Microsoft apologists focus on Windows continuing to be the dominant desktop operating system, they keep missing the two elephants in the room: [...]

Wireline networking groups merge to form HomeGrid Forum

Practical Technology - Fri, 31/05/2013 - 2:22pm
Wi-Fi is fine for ease of use and category 6 Ethernet cable is great for when you need real speed, but sometimes you just want to network a building without Wi-Fi’s perpetual security concerns and without dragging cable. For those times, you need wireline networking, which uses powerlines and other existing wired infrastructure for networking. [...]

Ubuntu declares bug #1 — ‘Microsoft has a majority market share’ — closed

Practical Technology - Thu, 30/05/2013 - 2:17pm
Give major Linux company Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth credit for chutzpah. In the Ubuntu bug-tracking system, LaunchPad, he just announced that bug number one “is now closed.” The bug, which dates from Ubuntu’s first days in 2004, was: “Microsoft has a majority market share.” Ubuntu declares bug #1 — ‘Microsoft has a majority market share’ [...]

The top two cloud-using companies are…

Practical Technology - Wed, 29/05/2013 - 10:26pm
Let me first define my terms. I’m not talking about who deploys the most cloud instances or who has the most customers. There’s no mystery there. For now, it’s Amazon with Amazon Web Services – and Google, Microsoft, RackSpace and VMware. But, no, what I’m talking about today is large companies that live and die [...]

Google revises Gmail inbox

Practical Technology - Wed, 29/05/2013 - 10:22pm
Google announced on May 29th that “Gmail is getting a brand new inbox on desktop and mobile that puts you back in control using simple, easy organization.” That’s a bit of an overstatement, but Gmail’s new cateogories will make it easier for some users to organize their mail. Gmail has long enabled users to organize their mail [...]

10 years of defending Linux’s legalities: Groklaw

Practical Technology - Tue, 28/05/2013 - 10:00pm
Ten years ago, SCO decided to sue IBM and started a series of legal attacks on Linux. Their cases were pathetically weak, but CIOs and CFOs didn’t know that. Thanks to paralegal turned legal journalist, Pamela “PJ” Jones and her Website Groklaw, executives who wanted to know what was really what with SCO’s multitude of [...]

Fedora 19 Linux, “Schrödinger’s Cat,” goes beta

Practical Technology - Tue, 28/05/2013 - 9:25pm
It’s official. Red Hat community Linux, Fedora 19, code-named “Schrödinger’s Cat,” is now available in beta. Fedora’s last release is infamous in Linux circles for its multiple delays. According to Robyn Bergeron, Red Hat’s Fedora Project Leader, Fedora 18′s delays were due to the major rewrite of Fedora’s Anaconda, its software installation and update program. [...]

Google moves away from the XMPP open-messaging standard

Practical Technology - Tue, 28/05/2013 - 9:23pm
When Google announced that it was consolidating its Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) instant messaging and video-conferencing services into Google Hangouts, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) noticed that Google had also sharply diminished “support for the open messaging protocol known as XMPP (or sometimes informally Jabber.)” Google has since admitted that it is indeed shrinking its support [...]

Microsoft’s Linux app, Skype, gets updated

Practical Technology - Fri, 24/05/2013 - 9:01pm
A few years back, Linux’s creator, Linus Torvalds said, “If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I’ve won.” By that standard, Linux won last year when Microsoft started shipping a new version of Skype, its then recently acquired Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) program, on Linux. In late May 2013, Linux is still winning as [...]

Build your own supercomputer out of Raspberry Pi boards

Practical Technology - Thu, 23/05/2013 - 10:45pm
When you think do-it-yourself (DIY) computing, you probably think of setting up a screaming gaming computer or putting together the best possible components for the least amount of money. You’re almost certainly not considering putting together a supercomputer. Maybe you should. Joshua Kiepert, a doctoral student at Boise State’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department, has [...]

Chrome 27: Talk to me

Practical Technology - Thu, 23/05/2013 - 2:20pm
While my computer still refuses to brew me a cup of Earl Grey when I talk to it, Google has made it possible to speak to its new Chrome Web browser, Chrome 27. It sounds like a great idea. When it works, it really is quite wonderful. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that often for me. [...]

Mint 15: Today’s best Linux desktop (Review)

Practical Technology - Wed, 22/05/2013 - 2:05pm
As the years roll-by, every new update of Linux Mint impresses me more. Other desktop operating systems, such as Microsoft’s Windows 8 may abandon the tried-and-true windows, icons, menus, and pointer (WIMP) desktop metaphor.  Others, such as Ubuntu with Unity try to keep some of the WIMP interface while expanding it for tablets and smartphones, but [...]

Google Voice integrating into Google Hangouts

Practical Technology - Tue, 21/05/2013 - 2:35pm
For years, Google had multiple Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP), instant messaging, and video-conferencing services. Now, Google is uniting those services under Google Hangouts. It wasn’t clear though  where Google Voice, its main VoIP program that crossed the gap between landline/cellular and Internet calls, was going to fit. We now know that it too is being integrated [...]

Google Glass will be a big deal, so deal with it

Practical Technology - Mon, 20/05/2013 - 11:18pm
Perhaps no group has earned a borderline obscene pejorative as quickly as the wearers of Google Glass. I mean, the product, not due for release until early next year, is seen in the wild today only on the few thousand who are its early testers. And yet we already have the term “glasshole.” Google Glass [...]

Cloud Classification for beginners

Practical Technology - Mon, 20/05/2013 - 11:06pm
OK, so by now you should know what a cloud really is — and at least one example of what a cloud really isn’t but you may still be wondering what specifically are all these cloud types floating about in the Internet. Well, let’s take a look. Let’s start with the highest level and work [...]

Yahoo pulls trigger on $1 billion-plus Tumblr buy

Practical Technology - Sun, 19/05/2013 - 11:08pm
The rumors appear to have been correct. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is reporting that on Sunday Yahoo’s board will approve buying Tumblr, the blogging and social networking platform, for $1.1 billion. Yahoo pulls trigger on $1 billion-plus Tumblr buy. More >

Love and hate: The New Google+ look

Practical Technology - Fri, 17/05/2013 - 2:59pm
A year after Google+’s  last remake, Google decided to give Google+ a radical new look and feel. Some users love it, some hate it, but no one’s indifferent to it. Love and hate: The New Google+ look. More >

Goodbye, Lotus 1-2-3

Practical Technology - Wed, 15/05/2013 - 4:00pm
The first killer app was VisiCalc. This early spreadsheet turned the Apple II from a hobbyist toy to a business computer. VisiCalc came with room for improvement, though. In addition, a new architecture and operating system, the Intel-based IBM PC and MS-DOS, also needed a spreadsheet to be taken seriously. That spreadsheet, released in early [...]


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