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Practical Technology
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Some patents become less troll friendly

Practical Technology - Thu, 05/02/2015 - 10:29pm

In one small step for patent law interpretation, one giant leap forward for patent sanity, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has agreed to let the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer (IEEE) new Standard Association (SA) patent policy stand. This new policy, in turn, will reduce the cost of fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) patents [...]

The best open-source software for serious Linux users

Practical Technology - Wed, 04/02/2015 - 9:20pm

Everyone has their personal favorite programs, but some users are more serious about their software than others. One such group includes the people at LinuxQuestions. These are Linux experts who are kind enough to answer newbies’ endless questions. So when they pick out their favorite Linux distributions and open-source programs, I take their opinions seriously.


Rolling release vs. fixed release Linux

Practical Technology - Tue, 03/02/2015 - 5:57pm

Greg Kroah-Hartman, a leading Linux developer, recently announced that he had finally retired his “traditional” Linux distro for all “rolling-release” Linux systems. He’s not the only one; rolling-release distros are becoming much more popular. So, you ask, what the heck is a rolling-release Linux distro? Well, I’ll tell you.

Rolling release vs. fixed release [...]

DevOps theory for beginners

Practical Technology - Tue, 03/02/2015 - 5:49pm

You can treat your cloud just like it was a data center full of servers with system administrators cracking the whip over them, but that misses the point of how to get the most from your cloud with DevOps.

The real secret of clouds is that they enable developers and system administrators (operators) to work [...]

Know your clouds

Practical Technology - Fri, 30/01/2015 - 10:16pm

Private vs. hybrid vs. public and IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS. Here’s my primer on how to start figuring out what’s what with clouds.

First, you do get that a cloud is not just a bunch of servers, right? To refresh your memory, the key difference for users is that cloud computing services are delivered as [...]

How to watch the Super Bowl over the Internet

Practical Technology - Fri, 30/01/2015 - 10:02pm

In the United States, Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest holiday of the sports year. Watching it is easy. You just get together with your fellow fan friends at whomever’s home has the biggest HDTV and bring out the beer and chips. But, if you can’t get to a TV, or if you’re out of [...]

Seeing the cloud through Ubuntu-colored glasses

Practical Technology - Fri, 30/01/2015 - 10:01pm

What do 3,000 or so Ubuntu server and cloud users have to say about the cloud that you might care about? A lot. Besides having its own cloud offering, Ubuntu OpenStack, Ubuntu is the most popular operating system by more than two to one on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). In other words, Ubuntu [...]

Microsoft: The open-source company

Practical Technology - Mon, 26/01/2015 - 7:39pm

Microsoft has long used open-source software, like the BSD code behind its original TCP/IP network stack, they just didn’t admit it. That was in Bill Gates’ day. It’s a different story today. Recently , Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Microsoft loves Linux and Microsoft just acquired Revolution Analytics, which is the major open-source player [...]

Librem 15, the first free software GNU/Linux laptop, makes funding goal

Practical Technology - Thu, 22/01/2015 - 7:09pm

If you want a Linux on a laptop, it’s easy to install it yourself. You can also always buy one from a specialized Linux vendor such as System76 and ZaReason or even get a mainstream laptop, like the new Dell XPS 13 and 15 with Ubuntu installed. What you can’t do is get one with [...]

Sexism is alive and well in the tech world

Practical Technology - Wed, 15/10/2014 - 6:10pm
When I first heard what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had said at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, I assumed it had been misreported. Yeah, I know, me giving a Microsoft honcho the benefit of the doubt! What is the world coming to? But it was difficult to believe that Nadella, when asked […]

A shout out for the introverts

Practical Technology - Fri, 03/10/2014 - 6:07pm
Developers like to think they’re extroverted. Chances are they’re not. A recent IDG study, Introverts vs. Extroverts: Is There an IT Personality?, found that just over half of IT workers are introverts. Only those engineers who mistakenly think they’re extroverted would find that surprising. Now, before you take offense, to say that most IT workers […]

Microsoft heads back to the desktop

Practical Technology - Thu, 18/09/2014 - 5:59pm
Microsoft has flopped on smartphones and tablets. At the same time, its Windows 8.x has continued to be such an abject failure, with a mere 13.4% share of the PC market, that it’s trailing even legendary fiasco Vista in market acceptance. So what’s Microsoft to do? Why, go back to its old playbook and kill […]

Vault: The Linux Foundation’s new storage-focused tradeshow

Practical Technology - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:58pm
Here’s a secret that most server administrrators know, but few outside the datacenter and server room know: Most big data stores, and the cloud’s petabytes of storage, are all based on Linux. Amazon Web Services S3 storage and the like may look simple but behind the interface there’s a complicated web of storage devices, services, and […]

Reasons for Red Hat CTO departure still a mystery

Practical Technology - Thu, 28/08/2014 - 11:56pm
t’s still not clear why Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens left the Linux giant. However, it now appears that he left to pursue a new opportunity at a major California-based technology company. With the help of Stevens’ technical leadership, Red Hat moved from being one of many Linux distributors that were targeting the Linux enthusiast market […]

Red Hat CTO unexpectedly quits, amid rumors of executive ‘friction’

Practical Technology - Wed, 27/08/2014 - 11:54pm
No-one among the rank and file at Red Hat seem to have seen this coming. In a move the Linux giant’s staffers said was “shocking” and a “punch in the gut,” long-time Red Hat chief technology officer Brian Stevens has resigned. In a short press release, the company announced: “Brian Stevens will step down as CTO.” In […]

As DBMS wars continue, PostgreSQL shows most momentum

Practical Technology - Mon, 18/08/2014 - 9:51pm
It’s hard to tell which database management systems (DBMB)s are the most popular. DB-Engines gives it a try every month. And, by its count, Oracle is still the top DBMS, followed closed by Oracle’s open-source DBMS MySQL, which is just noses ahead of Microsoft SQL Server. As DBMS wars continue, PostgreSQL shows most momentum. More>

Patent trolls under attack, but not dead yet

Practical Technology - Fri, 15/08/2014 - 6:13pm
When I started covering technology in the ’80s, the last thing I thought I’d need to learn about was intellectual property law. But as Nicolai Tesla learned in his fight with Thomas Edison in the electrical-current patent wars of the 1890s, wherever technology goes, IP law is sure to follow. My moment of revelation came […]

ICANN offers fix for domain name collisions

Practical Technology - Fri, 15/08/2014 - 6:08pm
I recently got a call from a friend whose business was having problems with an internal network whose web server had a URL that included .guru. One day, their staff had trouble reaching it. They’d made no changes and you could still reach the server using its IPv4 address; it was a mystery. It took me […]

Why the Internet hiccuped

Practical Technology - Thu, 14/08/2014 - 6:06pm
The good news is that the Internet’s behaving itself today. The bad news is that by November we will see another burst of Internet slowdowns and sites becoming unavailable as we did on August 12. Here’s how it all went wrong and why we can expect it to happen again. Why the Internet hiccuped. More>

SUSE releases Icehouse OpenStack cloud

Practical Technology - Wed, 13/08/2014 - 9:16pm
When you think of Linux companies associated with OpenStack, you probably think of Canonical and Red Hat. SUSE would like to remind you that they’re also an OpenStack player with its release of SUSE Cloud 4. SUSE releases Icehouse OpenStack cloud. More>

Virtual servers: No safer than any other kind

Practical Technology - Wed, 13/08/2014 - 9:14pm
Once upon a time, we used to think in terms of one hardware server equals one server operating system. Then, along came KVM, Hyper-V, VMware, and all the rest of the virtual machine (VM) hypervisors and more recently Docker with its containers. Now the idea of a single server operating system on a solo box is […]

Internet hiccups today? You’re not alone. Here’s why

Practical Technology - Tue, 12/08/2014 - 9:11pm
If you found your Internet speed has been pathetic today and some sites wouldn’t load at all, you’re not alone. Many tier-one Internet service providers (ISPs), and in turn, the last mile ISPs they support, experienced technical problems that resulted in bad service throughout the US and some parts of Canada. According to postings in […]

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 beta is ready for testing

Practical Technology - Tue, 12/08/2014 - 7:37pm
It’s great that Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 is out and ready to run. But, some companies aren’t ready to jump to a major new release. For them, Red Hat will be releasing RHEL 6.6. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 beta is ready for testing. More>

Facebook Messenger: Much ado about nothing

Practical Technology - Tue, 12/08/2014 - 3:11pm
Enough already with all the whining about Facebook Messenger, Facebook’s new standalone mobile messaging app!  It’s Facebook! They make their money from watching everything you do on the net! What did you expect their new messaging-only app to do? Facebook Messenger: Much ado about nothing. More>

Nadella’s challenge: Saving Microsoft

Practical Technology - Mon, 11/08/2014 - 2:21pm
In my recent debate with Ed Bott over Microsoft’s future, the public bought Ed’s arguments that Microsoft will have a bright, shining future with Satya Nadella as CEO. The judge though gave me the win because he agreed that “Nadella’s challenges outweigh his support and time window won out. After all, there are a lot of […]


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