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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 [...]

Open Source Software Helped Obama Win the 2012 Election Campaign

Practical Technology - Wed, 15/05/2013 - 3:58pm
If you were to list all the reasons why Obama beat Romney in the 2012 presidential race, chances are DevOps, the cloud, and open-source software (OSS) wouldn’t be on your list. They should be. As Harper Reed, the CTO of Obama for America explained in his recent Palmetto Open Source Conference (POSSCON) speech, all these technologies played a major role [...]

There’s next to no cloud in the Adobe Creative Cloud

Practical Technology - Tue, 14/05/2013 - 3:20pm
Mea culpa. When the news first broke that Adobe was no longer going to be selling its Adobe Creative software line– Photoshop, InDesign, DreamWeaver, etc., etc. — as Adobe Creative CloudI thought Adobe had moved their creative professional product line to the cloud. I was wrong. My only consolation is that everyone else also seems [...]

Debian Linux now Google Compute Engine’s default OS

Practical Technology - Mon, 13/05/2013 - 9:27pm
Earlier in May, Jimmy Kaplowitz, Google Site Reliability Engineer and Debian developer, announced that Google would not just be adding Debian 6 and 7 images to the Google’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Google Compute Engine  (GCE) it was making Debian Linux it’s default server image. Debian Linux now Google Compute Engine’s default OS. More [...]

Anonymous MSFT developer admits Linux is faster than Windows

Practical Technology - Sun, 12/05/2013 - 9:24pm
Linux is far faster than Windows. That’s old news. It’s why Linux runs 90 percent of the world’s top 500 fastest supercomputers, while Windows runs 1 percent of them. What’s new “news” is that an alleged Microsoft operating system developer recently admitted that Linux is indeed much faster, and explained why that’s the case. Anonymous [...]

Ubuntu working on new Linux application installer

Practical Technology - Fri, 10/05/2013 - 9:06pm
Do you want to know how to tell real Linux geeks from people who just use it? Ask them what their favorite application packaging system is. Hardcore old-school Linux users will soon be telling you all all about RPM vs. DEB and before it’s over someone is sure to chime in about going straight to [...]

Open Compute to open-source high-end network switches

Practical Technology - Thu, 09/05/2013 - 10:01pm
Since Facebook started open-sourcing the data center in 2011 in the Open Compute Project (OCP), Facebook and its OCP partners have had some successes in making data-center computing more open and affordable. Now, the OCP takes on what may be its biggest challenge to date: Creating open-source, high-end network switches. Open Compute to open-source high-end [...]

Microsoft’s most profitable mobile operating system: Android

Practical Technology - Wed, 08/05/2013 - 8:40pm
To some, Windows 8 is a marketplace failure. But its flop has been nothing compared to Microsoft’s perpetual disaster in getting anyone to use its Windows Phone operating systems. You don’t need to worry about Microsoft’s bottom line though. Thanks to its Android patent agreements, Microsoft may be making as much as $8 per Android device. [...]

New software upgrade turns Nook HD into good Android tablet (Review)

Practical Technology - Tue, 07/05/2013 - 9:46pm
I was pleased that Barnes & Noble (B&N) had updated its HD line with Google Store. I knew this software upgrade would make the low-priced HD, usually $149—$199 until May 12—a truly usable Android 4.x tablet. What I hadn’t realized was that it would transform it into a good, albeit low-end tablet. New software upgrade [...]

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