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Monday, May 18, 2015

Verizon's acquisition of AOL is a move to disrupt the TV market

iOS 9 rumor roundup | A requiem for AOL: Looking back on the web's first big company

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Verizon's acquisition of AOL is a move to disrupt the TV market
Faced with the FCC regulating its networks like a utility, Verizon steps up to monetize video and television. Read More


The Procure-to-Pay Process
Manufacturers seek new ways to partner with suppliers to ensure their health, strong performance and optimal delivery of inventory. IDC points out that P2P is a key step in achieving these goals by enabling better planning, execution and access to capital for suppliers. View now>>

In this Issue


3 Tough Business Challenges a Private Cloud Can Handle
More organizations are realizing that private cloud gives IT the right foundation to tackle three of their toughest business challenges. With the ability to leverage investments you've already made, a private cloud solution can be adopted incrementally and deliver a big payoff in the long run. Learn More

iOS 9 rumor roundup
With WWDC now less than a month away, it's only a matter of time before Apple takes the wraps off of iOS 9, the mobile software that will power Apple's next iteration of iPhones.While typical iOS updates involve the rollout of hundreds of new features, iOS 9 will reportedly be a bit different. Indeed, with a growing chorus of users complaining that iOS has become too unwieldy and a bit buggy, iOS 9 will purportedly focus more on under the hood enhancements rather than a bombardment of cool new features.In that vein, it's fair to look at iOS 9 as the mobile version of Snow Leopard, Apple's 2009 OS X release that was designed primarily to increase machine stability and improve overall system performance.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

A requiem for AOL: Looking back on the web's first big company
The dream is over.AOL is being purchased by Verizon for $4.4 billion, and while the dealmakers say AOL will become a wholly owned subsidiary that will remain under the leadership of current Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong, this clearly marks the end of what had been a truly iconic online enterprise. Analysts noted that AOL will account for just over 1% of Verizon's total value, making the former internet leader little more than a pimple on the nose of the giant telecom company.The demise of AOL seems like a good time to look back at what the company has meant to us all over the years. (I prepared a similar look back at Blackberry in 2013, but this one will be a wee bit different.)To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Microsoft introduces the many flavors of Windows 10
Microsoft has announced the different versions of Windows due to ship later this year, and the company is building out the number of products, reversing its trend toward consolidation and fewer SKUs.Tony Prophet, corporate vice president for Windows and search marketing at Microsoft, recently published a blog post repeating the stat that Windows will ship in 190 countries and 111 languages this summer, then breaking down the different versions. He noted that in addition to running on PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox One, Microsoft HoloLens, and Surface Hub, it will also run all sorts of random things, from  "elevators to ATMs to heart rate monitors to wearables."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

John Chambers bids adieu with Cisco on a roll
May 13, 2015 marks the beginning of end of the John Chambers era at Cisco. This week, the company held its quarterly earnings call with Wall Street, and Chambers was in an uncharacteristically combative and celebratory mood. If this had been an NFL football game, I would have expected to see Chambers grab the football, run to the center of Texas Stadium, and spike it in the center of the big star, a la Terrell Owens. Maybe post retirement we will see him run in the VMware parking lot and spike a Nexus switch?I've listened to many Cisco quarterly calls and I have never heard him chuckle as often as he did when referring to Cisco's place in the market or the momentum behind certain product like UCS, switching, wireless, and security. Not coincidentally, these are areas where many industry experts have predicted that Cisco would fail because of a lack of quality products and/or commoditization. After spending a couple of years revamping almost its entire portfolio, the company is seeing results, with the stock price having grown almost 30% in the past 12 months. This quarter was no exception, as the company set records for both revenue ($12.1 billion) and profits ($0.54 EPS).To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Google really keeps employees on the 'bench' like in HBO's Silicon Valley
When news broke last week about Google's "bench" program to hold onto execs who might not have a current role with the company, it immediately struck me as a case of life imitating art. Or the other way around, depending on how you look at it.According to news reports, Google keeps some execs on the payroll "for months or even years at a time," even when they're not currently involved in a project. From this Business Insider article on the practice: The bench system is an effective but little-discussed strategic tactic in Google's playbook as the company looks to expand into new markets and keep an edge over a growing crop of web challengers that are all desperate for seasoned internet business experts.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More


Monitoring Application Performance in Hybrid Clouds
This white paper will help you understand how you can achieve end-to-end visibility into application performance no matter where your application or parts of your application are running. Learn more.

Microsoft clarifies its Windows confusion, sort of
Internet news sites are hyperventilating over a comment made at the Ignite conference by a Microsoft executive that is not entirely accurate. The fault lies with the executive for not clarifying his comments and his choice of words in the first place, but for now, what's said is said and let's move on to the issue.Jerry Nixon's controversial quote came during his session talk entitled "Tiles, Notifications, and Action Center." He said, "Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10."Microsoft sent me the following statement: "Recent comments at Ignite about Windows 10 are reflective of the way Windows will be delivered as a service bringing new innovations and updates in an ongoing manner, with continuous value for our consumer and business customers. We aren’t speaking to future branding at this time, but customers can be confident Windows 10 will remain up-to-date and power a variety of devices from PCs to phones to Surface Hub to HoloLens and Xbox. We look forward to a long future of Windows innovations."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

IDG Contributor Network: Samsung launches Internet of Things boards
Samsung is getting serious about Internet of Things (IoT). Following up on its 2014 purchase of startup SmartThings, Samsung has just unveiled a set of modules called ARTIK, which it hopes companies will adopt in order to build IoT into their products.SmartThings is an app-controlled remote control for a smart home.ARTIK Three tiny circuit boards make up the ARTIK collection. They're about the "size of a ladybug," says Don Clark, writing about the technology in the Wall Street Journal. The smallest is 12 millimeters on each side.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Whistleblower claims cybersecurity firm hacks clients to extort them
The P2P cybersecurity firm Tiversa is making headlines again, but this time it's because a former whistleblowing employee claims Tiversa "faked hacks and extorted clients to buy its services."Who is Tiversa? The company overview states, "Tiversa provides P2P Intelligence services to corporations, government agencies and individuals based on patented technologies that can monitor over 550 million users issuing 1.8 billion searches a day. Requiring no software or hardware, Tiversa can locate exposed files, provide copies, determine file sources and assist in remediation and risk mitigation."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Zynga's data center troubles prove cloud computing isn't a game
Last week, embattled game maker Zynga announced $100 million in spending reductions. The hundreds of layoffs rightly garnered most of the headlines, but there was another important development as well – the company also said that it was abandoning the data centers on which it reportedly just spent $100 million to build. Zynga will return its infrastructure to the cloud.It seems that after being a big Amazon Web Services customer for several years (running a reported 80% of its computing load), in 2012 the company made a "dramatic shift" from the public cloud to its own network, called zCloud. At the time, Allan Leinwand, Zynga's CTO for infrastructure, told PC World that AWS was like a four-door sedan, and that, "we love four-door sedans, but it's a car that's used for a lot of things – doing the shopping, moving the kids. I like to think of zCloud as the sports car built for the Le Mans of social gaming. It's tuned for the track." (Of course, the company still ran some workloads on AWS using a hybrid cloud model.)To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

iPhone 6s to feature 2GB of RAM, Force Touch, sturdier aluminum frame and much more
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus incorporated what were arguably the most significant upgrades Apple's smartphone had ever seen. In addition to much larger screens, the iPhone 6 models also introduced to Apple Pay, Cupertino's take on mobile payments.Not surprisingly, iPhone 6 sales have been record-setting, which of course leads one to wonder what Apple has planned in order keep its iPhone sales momentum going strong.Well, thanks to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, we now know a whole lot more about what type of new features we can expect to see in Apple's next-gen iPhone models.One of the more exciting things about Apple's upcoming iPhones, according to Kuo, and originally relayed by GforGames, is that they will finally come with 2GB of RAM. With more RAM in tow, next-gen iPhones will likely run a bit smoother, a big faster, and will be able to handle more intensive apps from developers.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

WHITE PAPER: Alert Logic

Log Management Fundamentals and Checklist
This paper offers for consideration four fundamentals of automated log management, along with a checklist including 13 sources of log data that should be monitored on a regular basis. View Now.

AI experts building 'world's angriest robot' to constantly run 'what if' scenarios
We've all heard recorded announcements, such as "this call may be recorded for quality assurance or training purposes." Telecoms, insurance firms and one of Australia's biggest banks is handing over "reams of real-life customer interactions that have been collated over the past two years." The data will be fed into "the world's angriest robot" to help determine what causes customers to reach the breaking point and go nuclear.The New Zealand-based Touchpoint Group is investing $500,000 to develop "the world's angriest artificial intelligence machine." Data scientists will work on the platform and algorithms that, by the end of next year, "will simulate hundreds of millions of angry customer interactions that will help companies better understand the behaviors and processes that trigger customer outbursts."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

How China's smartphone market is evolving
The Chinese mobile market has long been described as the ultimate prize for smartphone handset makers and app developers. China has the most people, income is rising, and the population has an insatiable appetite for mobile technology.That's all true, except when the facts don't quite support the narrative.For example, the conventional wisdom holds that most Chinese mobile consumers are interested in inexpensive phones from upstart manufacturers like Xiaomi, Huawei, and ZTE. And that's true, up to a point. According to IDC's latest Mobile Phone Tracker, many of those brands are trying to move up into the mid- and high-end segments.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

IDG Contributor Network: This service sends experts to set up new tech products for free
Here's a new way for consumers to go shopping: if you buy a product from Enjoy's website, the company will send a knowledgeable expert along with the purchase.The idea is that the erudite pro helps set it up and show you how to use it.The customer gets a free hour with the delivery-toting maven, who can explain how to setup and connect devices like Sonos music systems or Lenovo laptops.Trendy Geek Squad? Isn't this like Geek Squad, the Best Buy-affiliated in-home tech installation service?Well it is, kind of, except that in addition to regular consumer technology like boring old Lenovo laptops as found in your average suburban Best Buy, Enjoy's sparkling website also sells a powered skateboard, pedal-assisted bike, and even the cutting-edge DJI Inspire 1 drone.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Self-driving 18-wheel semi truck gets first autonomous license for U.S. roads
If the idea of an autonomous 18-wheel semi-tractor trailer causes you to think of a Maximum Overdrive-flavored future, then you can relax for now, as you won't soon be glancing over and seeing no driver in the driver seat as you pass a semi on the highway."It is incorrect to refer to a vehicle in autonomous mode as a driverless truck," Daimler Trucks said about the Freightliner Inspiration 18-wheeler truck that it unveiled last week at Hoover Dam; the truck received an autonomous license for use on public roads.The big rigs won't even be fully autonomous. "We need an attentive driver," said Al Pearson, Daimler Trucks' chief engineer of product validation. He believes the tech will remove some of the driver's stress, but there is still "no texting, no napping while in motion." His claims about tech reducing stress are backed by a study of 16 truck drivers conducted by Daimler. The EEG brainwave measurement results proved "that drowsiness was reduced by 25% when the truck operated in autonomous mode and the test subject performed interesting secondary tasks (e.g. on a tablet computer)."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Tech giants throw their weight behind USA Freedom Act
After the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone records is illegal – that Congress hadn’t given its approval to indiscriminately hoover up all telephone calls by millions of Americans who are not suspected of committing any crime – seven tech groups including the tech giants in the Reform Government Surveillance coalition, sent a letter (pdf) endorsing the USA Freedom Act.“Public trust in the technology sector is critical, and that trust has declined measurably among both U.S. citizens and citizens of our foreign allies since the revelations regarding the U.S. surveillance programs began 2 years ago,” the group wrote. Regarding the USA Freedom Act, they said, “Critically, the bill ends the indiscriminate collection of bulk data, avoids data retention mandates, and creates a strong transparency framework for both government and private companies to report national security requests.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More


Inside CEO paychecks

Who got raises, who took cuts, and who knocked Larry Ellison off his perch as highest paid tech CEO.


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1. iOS 9 rumor roundup

2. 10 utterly wonderful technologies you shouldn't buy yet

3. What if Windows went open source tomorrow?

4. AI experts building 'world's angriest robot' to constantly run 'what if' scenarios

5. Five tips to comply with the new PCI requirements

6. 4 types of geeks you need and how to recruit them

7. 12 free cloud storage options

8. A feisty John Chambers bows out on his final Cisco earnings call

9. Peeping into 73,000 unsecured security cameras thanks to default passwords

10. 9 Common Spanning Tree Mistakes

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