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Practical Technology
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Chrome OS security holes found, patched

Practical Technology - Tue, 18/03/2014 - 8:10pm
Linux is very secure. Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS, with its auto-updating and security sandboxing, is even more secure. But, neither is perfect. At Google’s own Pwnium hacking contest and HP Zero Day Initiative’s (ZDI) annual Pwn2Own hacking contest, three new sets of security problems were found in Chrome OS… and then immediately patched. Chrome OS […]

Google free public DNS services were briefly corrupted

Practical Technology - Mon, 17/03/2014 - 10:35pm
Without the Domain Name System (DNS), we’re all lost on the Internet. DNS provides the service that translates our human readable Web addresses such as to their real, but mysterious Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses, such as or IPv6′s 2001:4860:4860::8888. The problem with this master yellow pages directory to the Internet is […]

OpenStack’s top operating system: Ubuntu Linux

Practical Technology - Sun, 16/03/2014 - 4:01pm
While digging into the last OpenStack User Survey, I found that Ubuntu Linux was the most popular OpenStack operating system. No matter if users had dozens, or thousands, of CPU cores in their cloud, most preferrred Ubuntu. It was followed by the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone CentOS, which is now part of the […]

25 Years: How the Web began

Practical Technology - Fri, 14/03/2014 - 3:41pm
When I was a young man, we had it rough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o’clock at night and lick the road clean with our tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when […]

Crash, bang, boom: Down go all the major browsers at Pwn2Own

Practical Technology - Fri, 14/03/2014 - 2:02pm
If there was ever any doubt that security is a process and not a product, the results of HP Zero Day Initiative’s (ZDI) annual Pwn2Own hacking contest will lay those doubts to rest. All the major Web browsers—Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE), and Safari—were cracked by the end of the two day competition. Crash, bang, […]

Measuring Success in an Open Source Project

Practical Technology - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 3:37pm
Is Linux a success? Certainly. The Apache Web server? You betcha. Firefox, sure. But, what about smaller or newer open source projects? How can you tell if they’re on the right path or if they’re slowly spiraling into failure? This is a subject that was discussed at great length at the recent OpenDaylight Summit in […]

Red Hat gets serious about supporting container-style virtualization

Practical Technology - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:26pm
Red Hat has announced a new application certification program: LXC containerized applications. This Red Hat Container Certification (RHCC) program ensures that application containers built using Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) will operate seamlessly across certified software hosts. Red Hat gets serious about supporting container-style virtualization. More>

Do-it-yourself corporate cloud with ownCloud 6 Enterprise Edition

Practical Technology - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:17pm
OwnCloud, the company behind the open-source ownCloud Community Edition, announced on March 11 what the business claims is the “only fully self-hosted enterprise-ready file sync and share software, ownCloud 6 Enterprise Edition.” Do-it-yourself corporate cloud with ownCloud 6 Enterprise Edition. More>

Twitter goes down, and then rebounds

Practical Technology - Tue, 11/03/2014 - 10:12pm
Well, that was annoying. Twitter, the popular short conversation social network site, went down at approximately 2 pm EDT on Tuesday. By 3 pm, the service seemed, for the most part, to be back up. Twitter goes down, and then rebounds More>

Microsoft brings Office 365 data to Android apps

Practical Technology - Tue, 11/03/2014 - 6:09pm
Just the other day, I gave five reasons why Microsoft should embrace Android for its smartphone operating system. Little did I know that on that same day Microsoft Open Technologies would open source the Office 365 Software Development Kit (SDK) for Android. With this SDK, developers will be able to let their Android applications access […]

Xen brings its virtualization goodness to more ARM chipsets

Practical Technology - Tue, 11/03/2014 - 5:59pm
The Xen Project, once a Citrix project, and now a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, announced on March 10th the release of the Xen Project Hypervisor version 4.4 with enhanced ARM support. For both datacenter and cloud production managers this is big news. Xen is a very popular server-level virtualization program.  Xen brings its virtualization goodness […]

Google gets serious about office apps: Offers $15 for referrals

Practical Technology - Mon, 10/03/2014 - 5:55pm
Google just got serious—really serious—about taking on Microsoft Office, and Office 365 in particular. In a blog posting on March 10th Prajesh Parekh, a Google marketing lead, wrote “we’re offering a $15 referral bonus for each new Google Apps user you refer.” Google gets serious about office apps: Offers $15 for referrals. More>

Browser trench warfare: Early 2014 report

Practical Technology - Fri, 07/03/2014 - 10:24pm
As usual, NetMarketShare has Internet Explorer (IE) as the most popular Web browser with a global marketshare of 58.19 percent in February 2014. That represents a minute decrease from January’s 58.21 percent. Its rival Web browser measurement company, StatCounter, on the other hand, has Chrome as king of the world on the browser mountain with […]

Professional online Linux classes for all – and the first one is free

Practical Technology - Thu, 06/03/2014 - 9:09pm
More than nine out of ten IT hiring managers plan to hire Linux professionals in the next six months.. That’s great news… if you’re a Linux pro.. If you’re not, you’re out of luck. But The Linux Foundation wants to help you. On March 6th, the Linux Foundation announced it’s building a Massive Open Online […]

GnuTLS: Big internal bugs, few real-world problems

Practical Technology - Thu, 06/03/2014 - 9:04pm
According to some reports you’d think the security sky was falling. Yes, GnuTLS, an open-source “secure” communications library that implements \Secure-Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS), has serious flaws. The good news? Almost no one uses it. OpenSSL has long been everyone’s favorite open-source security library of choice. Red Hat discovered the latest […]

Red Hat brings Microsoft .NET Apps to its OpenShift cloud

Practical Technology - Wed, 05/03/2014 - 8:59pm
Talk about unlikely combinations. Red Hat, the leading enterprise Linux company, announced on March 5th that it’s bringing Microsoft .NET and SQL Server capabilities to its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service cloud. What’s even more surprising is that Red Hat is doing this without Microsoft’s help. Instead, Red Hat is doing this by collaborating with Uhuru Software to […]

Ubuntu Unity to bring back local menus

Practical Technology - Wed, 26/02/2014 - 10:29pm
Back in 2011, the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution made a major and controversial user-interface (UI) change. It moved from GNOME 3.x to its own GNOME-based UI design: Unity. One of its bigger design changes was to force all in-focus applications to use a single global menu. Things are different now. Marco Trevisan, one of Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent […]

Back on track again

Practical Technology - Wed, 26/02/2014 - 3:41pm
My apologies for Practical-Tech going dark for so long. I’ve been busy with other projects. I’ll be updating the site shortly with my newest stories and back-filling my older, missing tales. Thanks for your patience. Steven

Hello, MS-Android. Good-bye, Windows Phone

Practical Technology - Tue, 25/02/2014 - 5:47pm
One Operating System to rule them all;One Operating System to find them;One Operating System to bring them all and in Android bind them.* Or, some people would add, “in Google bind them.” But that’s not true: Android is much too open for Google to lock vendors in. Amazon proved that with its Kindle line, and […]

Windows 7 lives!

Practical Technology - Mon, 24/02/2014 - 5:50pm
More and more for Windows users, there’s no OS like an old OS XP fans might finally have to get over it. Their favorite Windows operating system is on its deathbed. Oh, die-hards can keep running XP, but that’s just asking for trouble. If you can’t bring yourself to give up on Windows — and […]

From Microsoft, more Windows fail

Practical Technology - Mon, 04/11/2013 - 11:30pm
Computerworld - Having seen Windows 8.1, I have a question I’d like to ask Microsoft: “Is that the best you could do?” My assessment: Windows 8.1 doesn’t suck as much as Windows 8. If you felt, when using Windows 8, as if you were banging your head against a brick wall, Windows 8.1 might feel […]

Mavericks: The end of Macs in the enterprise?

Practical Technology - Fri, 25/10/2013 - 2:36am
Macs have never been that popular in the enterprise office. Sure, people love their MacBook Airs and their MacBook Pros, but CIOs usually frown at their price-tags. Still, the shiny Macs laptops have induced some big businesses, including ZDNet’s own parent company CBS Interactive, to buy these high-end laptops and, thanks to the Adobe Creative […]

Arbor Networks, Google draw digital-attack map

Practical Technology - Thu, 24/10/2013 - 2:32am
How bad are Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks getting on the Internet? Arbor Networks, which specializes in DDoS defense and mitigation, has found that so far in 2013 the average DDoS attack now stands at 2.64Gbps, up 78 percent from 2012. Now, in concert with Google Ideas, a Google think tank, the two have […]

Gartner: By 2017, the hybrid cloud will rule

Practical Technology - Tue, 22/10/2013 - 4:25pm
Gartner is predicting that by 2017 half of enterprises will have moved to hybrid clouds. Yes, they’re serious. How things change. Only three years ago, the research giant found that most businesses still didn’t get the cloud. They looked at it as a way to secure the virtual data center. We’d now call that a […]

Ubuntu 13.10: A desktop tour (Slideshow)

Practical Technology - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 11:57pm
The most new-user friendly of all Linux desktop distributions, Ubuntu has a new, better release: Ubuntu 13.10, Saucy Salamander. Ubuntu 13.10: A desktop tour (Slideshow). More>


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