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To the space station and beyond with Linux

Practical Technology - Mon, 06/05/2013 - 10:47pm
Unlike my recent spoof story about a Linux-powered Iron Man suit you could build at home, this story isn’t science fiction. NASA really has decided to drop Windows from the laptops on the International Space Station (ISS) in favor of Linux and the first humanoid robot in space, R2, really is powered by Linux. To [...]

The new Debian Linux 7.0 is now available

Practical Technology - Sun, 05/05/2013 - 10:49pm
Debian Linux doesn’t get all the attention it once did, but as the foundation for other, more popular Linux distributions, such as Mint and Ubuntu, the release of a new major Debian version, 7.0, aka Wheezy, is still a big deal in Linux development circles. The new Debian Linux 7.0 is now available. More >

Iron Penguin: First open-source “Iron Man” suit within reach?

Practical Technology - Sat, 04/05/2013 - 10:48pm
Even before Tony Stark, billionaire technology genius, revealed that he was Iron Man in 2008, others were trying to build augmented fighting suits. Now that Stark has shown that Iron Man technology was within the reach of homebrew builders, work has started on the first open-source augmented fighting suits. Iron Penguin: First open-source “Iron Man” [...]

The CIA and the cloud

Practical Technology - Mon, 22/04/2013 - 2:22pm
If your company mistrusts the security of the cloud, it might want to take a look at what The Company is doing. “The Company” is a term that insiders have long used to refer to the CIA. Is there any organization that takes security more seriously? Perhaps, but probably not within the Fortune 500. And [...]

The biggest cloud app of all: Netflix

Practical Technology - Sun, 21/04/2013 - 7:28pm
Netflix, the popular video-streaming service that takes up a third of all Internet traffic during peak traffic hours, isn’t just the single largest Internet traffic service. Netflix, without doubt, is also the largest pure cloud service. The biggest cloud app of all: Netflix. More >

Why Windows fragmentation will blow Windows to smithereens (cough)

Practical Technology - Fri, 05/04/2013 - 10:24pm
Android fragmentation will wreck Android for smartphones and tablets just as much as Windows fragmentation ruined Windows for the PC. Why Windows fragmentation will blow Windows to smithereens (cough) More >

There’s a new bear in the clouds: OpenStack releases Grizzly

Practical Technology - Thu, 04/04/2013 - 10:18pm
If you like open source in your cloud, you have to be happy that the OpenStack Foundation has just released the latest version of its popular open-source Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud, Grizzly.   OpenStack, the so-called Linux of cloud computing, was founded by NASA and Rackspace software developers. Today, it’s supported by numerous [...]

Intuit brings Mint to your bank

Practical Technology - Thu, 04/04/2013 - 10:17pm
Intuit, makers of Quicken and QuickBooks, is making its popular online personal finance service Mint available to financial institutions. As Ron Shevlin, senior analyst at Aite Group, told American Banker, “I’m surprised it took so long“. Indeed, you could see this move coming at least three years ago when Aaron Patzer, Mint’s founder and then Intuit [...]

CyanogenMod Android privacy vs. developer wars

Practical Technology - Thu, 04/04/2013 - 3:11pm
It seemed like such a good idea. The developers of CyanogenMod, the popular alternative Android firmware, decided to require their users’ devices to report device-specific data so they could create better versions of CM. Who could argue with that? CM’s users could. CyanogenMod Android privacy vs. developer wars. More >

Blink! Google forks WebKit

Practical Technology - Thu, 04/04/2013 - 3:06pm
While some people may have been surprised that Google has finally made Blink, its own fork of the popular WebKit Web browser engine, in Web developer circles this move came as no surprise. While Apple and Google had long worked together on the open-source WebKit project for years, developers both inside and outside of Google wanted [...]

Web browser war: The early 2013 report

Practical Technology - Mon, 01/04/2013 - 2:57pm
The latest NetMarketShare browser numbers are in for March 2013. They reveal a three-way battle for the hearts and minds of PC web browser users, but on tablets and smartphones, Safari is leading by a wide margin. StatCounter, however, has Chrome and the Android native browser leading respectively. Why the differences? The two most popular [...]

Schmidt does not rule out Android and Chrome OS merger

Practical Technology - Thu, 21/03/2013 - 2:43pm
Numerous news stories, based on a single Reuters report, which state that Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, had said that Android and Chrome OS would remain separate products with possibly some overlap, appear to be incorrect. Schmidt actually did not rule out the new Linux-based operating systems eventually merging. Joe Wilcox of BetaNews found a [...]

Half-a-billion internet-connected devices and counting

Practical Technology - Thu, 21/03/2013 - 2:41pm
In my home-office, I have 36 internet-connected devices. That’s 12 PCs, 8 laptops, 5 tablets, 5 internet TV devices, 4 servers, an iPod touch and a printer. That’s a lot, but the rest of the US is catching up with me. According to market-research company The NPD Group, the average US internet household now has [...]

Practicing safe DNS with Google

Practical Technology - Wed, 20/03/2013 - 2:39pm
The Internet’s a dangerous place for an innocent Web browser to be searching alone for the right Web page, so the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) was created to make searching safer. That’s the good news. The bad news is that DNSSEC adoption has been lagging. Now, Google has announced that it’s supporting DNSSEC in [...]

Chromebook’s biggest fan: Linus Torvalds

Practical Technology - Tue, 19/03/2013 - 10:40pm
Google’s already popular Chromebooks are getting more popular than ever. Not only has HP recently joined in selling these Linux-based, lightweight netbooks, but now Acer, HP and Samsung Chromebooks are available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. Part of the reason behind this broader availability may because the Chromebook, especially the high-end [...]

Google’s Chrome OS partially hacked

Practical Technology - Mon, 18/03/2013 - 10:37pm
As computer security guru Bruce Schneier likes to say, “Security is a process, not a product.” He was proven right again when Google announced that, while its Linux-based Chrome OS hadn’t been cracked in its Pwnium Chrome OS contest, one hacker was successful in creating an unreliable exploit. Specifically, the hacker known as Pinkie Pie, [...]

The 5 things you need for the perfect smartphone

Practical Technology - Mon, 18/03/2013 - 10:35pm
What makes a “perfect” smartphone? Some of my fellow journalist buddies and I wrestled with the question, and here’s what we came up with: First, some part of “perfection” depends on the person. For example, I love QWERTY keyboards, so my personal favorite phone is a Motorola Droid 4. Most people could care less about [...]

RSS inventor doesn’t see what all the fuss is about closing Google Reader

Practical Technology - Fri, 15/03/2013 - 9:53pm
Google’s decision to shut down its popular RSS client service, Google Reader, has some people in an uproar. Dave Winer, one of RSS’s creators, has a different reaction: “I won’t miss it.” Winer, who created the first version of RSS in 1997, continued, “Never used the damn thing. Didn’t trust the idea of a big [...]

Android plus Chrome OS equals Google’s future operating system

Practical Technology - Thu, 14/03/2013 - 9:48pm
So, will Google call it hybrid Android/Chrome operating system? Will it be Chromezoid? Android OS? ChromeDroid OS? ChromeAndrogeny!? We still don’t know that Google will be marrying Chrome OS and Android into one operating system. But Sundar Pichai, the head of all things Chrome at Google is replacing Andy Rubin, Android’s founder, as Android’s top dog. [...]

Google: Do what you want with Reader, but don’t kill CalDAV

Practical Technology - Thu, 14/03/2013 - 9:46pm
I get why so many people are upset that Google is closing down its RSS Web service, Google Reader. There’s even a “keep Google Reader alive” petition that’s already crossed the 50,000 signers mark. But, you could argue that the decade-plus old RSS technology has already seen its best days. And, besides, there are lots [...]

Andy Rubin, Android’s founder, leaves project

Practical Technology - Wed, 13/03/2013 - 8:49pm
In a surprising move, Google CEO Larry Page said that Andy Rubin, founder of Android and Google’s Android chief, has decided it was “time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google. Sundar Pichai will lead Android as well as Chrome. Google, which acquired Android in 2005, made it the heart [...]

Ubuntu, Shuttleworth & rolling releases

Practical Technology - Wed, 13/03/2013 - 3:14pm
Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, has an ambitious plan with a short time-frame: One operating system for computers, smartphones, tablets and TVs by early 2014. One problem with this is how do you get there fast enough and one answer, rolling releases, has got developers upset. Now, Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has a [...]

Will the cloud replace the PC?

Practical Technology - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 4:58pm
Some people are still stuck in the idea that the cloud is just so much vapor. While they’re still sneering at the very idea of a cloud, others have moved on to the next logical step: That cloud-based computing will replace the PC. As Jason Perlow, Senior Technology Editor at ZDNet and Microsoft Technology Solution [...]

Five ways to save Windows 8

Practical Technology - Mon, 11/03/2013 - 4:53pm
Can the Windows 8 operating system be saved? In all seriousness, Microsoft should be asking itself this question. The numbers don’t lie. Windows 8′s market acceptance is continuing to fall behind Microsoft’s last desktop operating system failure, Vista. Asus, which had been a big Windows 8 booster, is now reporting poor sales and Samsung has [...]

Ubuntu Linux developer squabbles go public

Practical Technology - Mon, 11/03/2013 - 4:51pm
Ubuntu, the popular Linux distribution, like all Linux and open-source projects, has had its share of internal battles over the project’s directions over the years. Recently, though, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of both the operating system and its sponsoring company, Canonical, has taken the latest squabbles public in his blog. It all began when Rick Spencer, [...]

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