Samsung's Tizen 3.0 to take on Android and iOS starting in September

Many alternative mobile operating systems like Firefox have fallen by the wayside while Android and iOS continue to dominate, but Samsung's Tizen has survived.After years of inactivity, Tizen is now back on the map with a major OS upgrade. A new version of the OS -- Tizen 3.0 -- was announced this week at the Samsung Developers Conference in San Francisco.Tizen 3.0 is a big technological upgrade that should make it compatible with some of the latest smartphones and tablets. Other improvements prime the OS for installation in smart appliances, wearables, in-car entertainment systems, drones, TVs, and virtual reality headsets.Tizen 3.0 will be a 64-bit capable OS, like iOS and Android. It will work on devices with some of the latest 64-bit ARM and x86 processors.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 3:36 pm

With some advanced preparation, you can survive a ransomware attack  

This column is available in a weekly newsletter called IT Best Practices.  Click here to subscribe.  You know it's bad when a cyber crime wave makes victims out of U.S. police departments. Law enforcement agencies in at least seven states have been blackmailed by cyber attackers using ransomware. Data on departmental computers has been encrypted by malware and held hostage, with the demand that a ransom be paid in bitcoins. Unaccustomed to giving in to criminals, many of the agencies refused to pay and subsequently lost access to their information forever.Cyber criminals also have been targeting U.S. hospitals. In one high profile case, a California hospital lost access to its critical patient records for a week until a ransom worth about $17,000 was paid. Experts estimate this particular facility was losing as much as $100,000 a day in just one department because it wasn't able to perform CT scans without access to its data.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 3:32 pm

OneNote gets easy video embedding and many more new features

Microsoft has announced a veritable bonanza of new features for its OneNote note-taking software across multiple platforms, providing added functionality for people who rely on it to organize their thoughts. First and foremost, Microsoft made it easier to save online videos for later use inside OneNote. Users can now add a link to one of a handful of popular video services inside OneNote for Windows 10, Mac, and iOS, and Microsoft's software will automatically embed the linked video into the notebook for easy playback later. Users of Microsoft's note-taking software on the iPad can now rearrange audio recordings, images, text, shapes, and any other item on a page by touching and dragging them. To help with that, Microsoft added a lasso tool so that users can select groups of objects and move them around as one unit. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 3:25 pm

CIA: Learn how to make invisible ink, photos – from 1918

The CIA unearths some pretty interesting materials and this week it was touting the oldest once-classified documents in is collection. The mostly cryptic documents, from 1917 and 1918 describe secret writing techniques are believed to be the only remaining classified documents from the World War I era. Any documents describing secret writing fall under the CIA’s purview to declassify, the agency noted. +More on Network World: The hot art in the CIA’s cool art collection+  The CIA website noted that one file outlines the chemicals and techniques necessary for developing certain types of secret writing ink and a method for opening sealed letters without detection. Another communication dated June 14, 1918 – written in French – discloses the formula the German’s used to produce invisible ink.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 3:17 pm

As tablet sales take a dive, analysts expect smartphone vendors to launch convertibles

The traditional tablet may not be dying, but it’s increasingly being relegated to the low end of the market, according to an IDC report released Thursday. Users are migrating toward convertibles instead, and the vendors are following.IDC said worldwide tablet sales fell 14.7 percent to just 39.6 million units during the first quarter of 2016. Excluding some seasonal holiday upticks, tablet sales have generally declined from their all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2013, when worldwide sales reached 78.6 million units. IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani said traditional slate tablets still dominate the market with 87.6 percent of all units sold. Increasingly, though, they’ve become “synonymous with the low end of the market,” IDC said in its report. The firm said it believes the market for iPads will continue, but only as replacements, not as new customers purchasing an iPad for the first time.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 2:59 pm

25% off Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse - Deal Alert

The MX Anywhere 2 from Logitech is designed to track accurately on virtually any surface you need it to -- from your desk, to an airplane seat, to even a piece of glass. Easy-Switch technology allows you to pair up to three Windows or Mac devices at the same time, and switch between them with the touch of the button. The sculpted shape supports your hand and is designed to feel comfortable for hours on end.  And the MX 2 Anywhere charges quickly. A one-minute charge gets you an hour, and a full charge can last up to two months depending on usage. Over 300 reviewers give this unit an average of 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon (read reviews), and with the 25% discount you can buy it now for $59.99. Learn more about the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 on Amazon.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 2:30 pm

IDG Contributor Network: What will customers buy next?

Finding the sweet spot for your sensors is a challenge in many IoT projects. Collect too little data, and there isn’t enough to act on. Collect too much data, and the costs might jeopardize your project. So, where is the sweet spot for your application? GoalA retail store chain was looking for an affordable retail analytics system. It needed to track people's movements to help improve the store layout and learn more about customers' shopping behavior. The solution had to be easy to deploy, be discreet and not require any changes from shoppers. The solution was designed on the fact that most shoppers would have mobile phones, which could be used as an approximate count for the number of people in the store and could also help track their movements as they moved from one Wi-Fi hotspot to another.A "People Sensor" was designed using the principle that mobile phones share their MAC address with Wi-Fi hotspots as part of the "handshake process" in order to obtain connectivity. ( MAC addresses are not associated with a specific individual or a mobile phone number, helping to preserve privacy. ) The sensor was built by modifying the firmware in low-cost Wi-Fi routers to count the number of MAC addresses from phones in the vicinity requesting connectivity and then send this information to the cloud for analysis. The People Sensor works in conjunction with existing Wi-Fi routers in the store, which provide shoppers with Wi-Fi connectivity and also the means to send sensor data to the cloud. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 2:12 pm

73% off Tribe Premium Water Resistant Cell Phone Armband - Deal Alert

Tribe's armband cell phone holder regularly lists for $29.99, but with this 73% discount you can buy it now for just $7.98. It averages 4.5 stars out of 5 from over 4,700 people on Amazon (read reviews). Tribe's band is designed for activity. It's water-resistant, ultra-light, and made of high quality neoprene so it can flex, twist and bend without stretching or losing its shape. It features a key holder, as well as a reflective strip for increased outdoor visibility. Your touchscreen remains fully functional and accessible through the band's plastic cover. The armband accommodates just about any arm size from 8 to 16-inches. Phone support as follows: Apple iPhone SE, 6/6S (4.7"), 5/5s/5c, Samsung S4, S3, S2, HTC.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 1:59 pm

Communications platform as a service is a digital enabler

Digital transformation has become a top-of-mind initiative for CIOs and business leaders for almost all companies in all verticals. It’s no wonder, as a recent ZK Research study found that digital organizations are 26 percent more profitable than their digitally immature peers.Another interesting data point is that by 2019, 65 percent of workers will use a mobile device first for business purposes. Going digital means shifting to a mobile-first strategy.Becoming a mobile-first organization is more than just building a bunch of standalone mobile applications that customers or workers can use. The process of switching between applications on a desktop is inconvenient, but most users manage. On a mobile device, having to constantly flip between applications while trying to remember data or cut and paste data is inefficient and can make users less productive.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 1:31 pm

Microsoft, Google sweeten cloud freebies

Microsoft and Google each this week increased incentives offered for joining their cloud platforms, highlighting the aggressive nature of this battle for market share.It’s not uncommon for cloud computing providers to offer free services. In the IaaS market all the big providers have free service tiers that allow customers to test their products before paying for them. The expanded freebies announced this week by these vendors goes beyond that though.+ MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Free cloud storage options | How to store all your photos in the cloud for free +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 1:26 pm

Developers leak Slack access tokens on GitHub, putting sensitive business data at risk

Developers from hundreds of companies have included access tokens for their Slack accounts in public projects on GitHub, putting their teams' internal chats and other data at risk.Slack has become one of the most popular collaboration and internal communication tools used by companies because of its versatility. The platform's API allows users to develop bots that can receive commands or post content from external services directly in Slack channels, making it easy to automate various tasks.Many developers post the code for their Slack bots -- some of which are small personal projects -- on GitHub, but fail to remove the bots' access tokens. Some developers even include private tokens associated with their own accounts in the code.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 12:53 pm

If I were the next CEO of Symantec – Redux

I just read a Bloomberg article proclaiming that Symantec cut its quarterly revenue forecast and announcing that CEO Michael Brown will step down. Unfortunately for Symantec, the company has had a revolving door of chief executives—four different individuals since 2008, and now onward to a fifth.When Symantec went through a similar CEO transition in 2014, I posted a blog to suggest what I would do as its next CEO, but surprisingly my phone never rang.  Nevertheless, I reviewed my two-year-old recommendations this morning and many of Symantec’s issues back then still need fixing. Given this, allow me to review and update my CEO action plan for Symantec:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 11:59 am

5 things containers need to win the enterprise

5 things containers need to win the enterpriseImage by PexelsContainer technology like Docker and CoreOS is growing in popularity as companies to realize the benefits of the flexible service and application delivery platform they offer. But the technology is not without its challenges in the enterprise.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 11:55 am

Nvidia GPU-powered autonomous car teaches itself to see and steer

During the past nine months, an Nvidia engineering team built a self-driving car with one camera, one Drive-PX embedded computer and only 72 hours of training data. Nvidia published an academic preprint of the results of the DAVE2 project entitled End to End Learning for Self-Driving Cars on arXiv.org hosted by the Cornell Research Library.The Nvidia project called DAVE2 is named after a 10-year-old Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project known as DARPA Autonomous Vehicle (DAVE). Although neural networks and autonomous vehicles seem like a just-invented-now technology, researchers such as Google’s Geoffrey Hinton, Facebook’s Yann Lecune and the University of Montreal’s Yoshua Bengio have collaboratively researched this branch of artificial intelligence for more than two decades. And the DARPA DAVE project application of neural network-based autonomous vehicles was preceded by the ALVINN project developed at Carnegie Mellon in 1989. What has changed is GPUs have made building on their research economically feasible.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 11:45 am

Thumb PC uses Google software to give computer vision to robots and drones

A new USB stick computer uses Google's machine-learning software to give drones and robots the equivalent of a human eye, and add new smarts to cameras.Movidius’ Fathom Neural Compute Stick isn't your conventional PC. It is instead designed to analyze pixels and provide the right context for images.Fathom provides the much-needed horsepower for devices like drones, robots and cameras to run computer vision applications like image recognition. These devices alone typically don't have the ability to run computer vision applications.Fathom uses an embedded version of Google's TensorFlow machine learning software for vision processing. The device can be plugged into the USB port of a device or a developer board like Raspberry Pi, which in turn can power a drone or robot. It needs a 64-bit Linux OS and 50MB of hard drive space.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 11:41 am

Meet the man behind Ubuntu MATE

Thus far, in my journey to interview the leaders of every major Linux distribution, I’ve talked with the people behind Ubuntu, elementary, Fedora and openSUSE. This time around, I talk with Martin Wimpress—the man behind Ubuntu MATE.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 10:51 am

Oracle sets its sights on engineering and construction with Textura buy

Oracle is spending $663 million to buy Textura, a company that offers cloud services for the engineering and construction industry.Textura's products will be combined with Oracle's existing Primavera project-management suite -- the result of a 2008 acquisition by the database giant -- in the Oracle Engineering and Construction Global Business Unit, Oracle announced on Thursday. The focus of that unit will be offering a comprehensive cloud-based project control and execution platform that manages all phases of engineering and construction projects."The increasingly global engineering and construction industry requires digital modernization in a way that automates manual processes and embraces the power of cloud computing to easily connect the construction job site, reduce cost overruns and improve productivity," said Mike Sicilia, a senior vice president at Oracle who will lead the newly expanded business unit.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 10:19 am

ISIS cyberattack capabilities are unorganized, underfunded -- for now

The U.S. and its allies should be concerned about cyberattacks from ISIS-affiliated groups, but the hackers are poorly organized and likely underfunded, at least in the short term, according to a new report.Several pro-ISIS hacking groups announced this month they are joining together to form the United Cyber Caliphate, but the groups seem to have limited abilities, according to a report from security intelligence research group Flashpoint. Still, with new coordination, "even limited success could inflate their notoriety and enable  them to continue to grow their capabilities and attract talent," Flashpoint said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 10:16 am

Estonian man gets over 7 years in prison for role in global DNS hijacking botnet

An Estonian man has been sentenced to seven years and three months in prison in the U.S. for his role in a cybercriminal operation that infected over 4 million computers with DNS hijacking malware.Vladimir Tsastsin, 35, from Tartu, Estonia, was one of the key players in a US$14 million click fraud scheme. He is the sixth individual to be sentenced in the case and has received the longest prison sentence. The sentence was handed down Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.According to the Department of Justice, between 2007 and 2011, Tsastsin and his co-conspirators set up companies that masqueraded as publisher networks and entered into agreements with advertising brokers to display ads on their properties.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 10:09 am

IDG Contributor Network: Pure pixie dust from Teridion. It's like Waze, but for the internet

Every now and then I get a product demo that makes me grin. One where the value of the product is just so obvious that I can't argue. That was the case recently when I met with Teridion and heard about what they're up to.Technically speaking Teridion offers a cloud-optimized routing platform. That is an uber-technical description and doesn't really do the product justice. But how about a description that is easier to understand? Like Waze, but for the internet? Or how about some results—a 20 times internet performance improvement?Teridion offers the Global Cloud Network (GCN) a new approach to content delivery that is both non-caching and secure—and required no hardware or pre-provisioning of servers. GCN is a globally routed overlay network leveraging cloud-optimized routing. Teridion deploys a number of Cloud Virtual Routers across the global data centers of multiple cloud vendors. These routers automatically sense localized traffic issues and route traffic to the best path for optimum speed. The net result is blazing performance.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 10:09 am

OpenStack then and now

Six years ago in July 2010 OpenStack held its first ever Summit; a group of 75 people, many from Rackspace and NASA, gathered in Austin, Texas to help launch the open source project.This week 7,500 attendees descended on the 14th semi-annual OpenStack Summit, which returned to its hometown since that inaugural event. Things are very different now than they were then.+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: OpenStack users share challenges, benefits of open source cloud computing | Cool products from OpenStack Austin Summit +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 9:46 am

Zuckerberg sees 'better than human' AI in next 10 years

Mark Zuckerberg expects artificial intelligence will progress to make computers better than humans at basic sensory perception within the next 10 years, and that Facebook will end up knowing a lot more about you than it does now.The prediction is the latest from a top tech CEO to indicate the fast improvement being made in machine learning systems that just a few years ago would have struggled to recognize a dog from a cat.The Facebook CEO was speaking about core things that humans do, such as seeing, hearing and understanding language and was careful to clarify that computers will still have limited abilities elsewhere."That doesn't mean that the computers will be thinking or be generally better, but that is useful for a number of things," he told financial analysts on a conference call on Wednesday.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 9:40 am

Microsoft is making big data really small using DNA

Microsoft has partnered with a San Francisco-based company to encode information on synthetic DNA to test its potential as a new medium for data storage. Twist Bioscience will provide Microsoft with 10 million DNA strands for the purpose of encoding digital data. In other words, Microsoft is trying to figure out how the same molecules that make up humans' genetic code can be used to encode digital information. While a commercial product is still years away, initial tests have shown that it's possible to encode and recover 100 percent of digital data from synthetic DNA, said Doug Carmean, a Microsoft partner architect, in a statement.Using DNA could allow massive amounts of data to be stored in a tiny physical footprint. Twist claims a gram of DNA could store almost a trillion gigabytes of data.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 8:28 am

Here's how slow your laptop's USB Type C port could be

USB Type C is the intriguing new port that began appearing in laptops, tablets, phones, and other devices well over a year ago, but we had no real way test its throughput performance until now. Thanks to Sandisk’s Extreme 900, we’re finally able to push that tiny reversible port to its limits. To do that I gathered up no fewer than eight laptops equipped with USB Type C ports, and threw in a desktop PCIe card for good measure too.What your USB-C port isn't telling you USB Type C is supposed to be a universal standard, but it’s just universally confusing. A USB Type C port can run at either 5Gbps or 10Gbps and still be labeled USB 3.1 by the laptop maker. USB Type C even technically supports USB 2.0 speeds at a pathetic 480Mbps. So when you see a USB Type C port, the only assumption you can make is that its transfer speeds can vary from as low as 480Mbps to as high as 10Gbps.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 8:26 am

10 Android apps developers will love

Android apps for app buildersWhen it comes to tablet apps, iPad vs. Android comparisons spark spirited debate. In the area of apps for developers, the Android tablet apps are more often free and less polished. On the other hand, there are plenty of Android tablet apps that will help developers in one way or another. While Android takes a lot of flack for “fragmentation,” in many ways it is now less fragmented than iOS from the viewpoint of a developer. It’s straightforward to create a single Android app that will work properly on a large range of devices, measured in operating system level, CPU power, available memory, and device size. On iOS, developers often find themselves writing separate iPhone and iPad apps in order to optimize both.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 8:25 am