US IT salaries rose by more than 4 percent in 2014

U.S. IT salaries rose by 4.25 percent in 2014, the largest increase in six years, according to a survey from IEEE-USA.The median income for U.S. electrical engineers, computer scientists and other information technology professionals rose from $124,700 to $130,000 between 2013 and 2014, according to the survey of 10,215 IT workers. The survey covers income from salary, commissions, bonuses and self-employment.The last time that IT salaries rose by more than 4 percent was 2008, according to IEEE-USA. Median salaries rose 4.87 percent that year, to $116,000, then dropped to $113,500 in 2009 as the U.S. and other countries faced an economic slowdown.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 3:06 pm

Cortana packs her bags, heads to Windows Insiders in India, Japan and elsewhere

People testing the latest versions of Windows 10 in Japan, Canada, Australia and India will soon be receiving a visit from Microsoft's virtual assistant, Cortana.Cortana will be available as an optional download for people running the latest beta of Windows 10 through the Windows Insider Program in Japan, along with English speakers in Canada, Australia and India, Microsoft announced Tuesday.English speakers in India will be getting an "early version" of the assistant that will be updated with an improved voice later this month, according to Gabe Aul, a Microsoft Vice President who has been the face of the Windows Insider Program. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 2:50 pm

Buffalo Bills' new starting QB a sweet marketing opportunity for carrier T-Mobile

Some are worried about embattled New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady taking a marketability and endorsements hit as a result of the NFL's ill-conceived Deflategate investigation into whether the player encouraged team personnel to mess around with footballs before a game. But let's focus on the positive NFL marketing story: Wireless carrier T-Mobile suddenly has a huge marketing opportunity to sync up with another Tyrod Taylor, newly named starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 2:31 pm

Windows 10 sets one-month OS adoption record

Windows 10 in August set a record for a one-month increase in user share for any operating system, an analytics firm said today.According to California-based Net Applications, Windows 10's user share -- a measure of the number of unique users who used the OS to go online -- grew 4.8 percentage points in August to 5.2% for the month.August was the first full month that Windows 10 was available to download and install free of charge by those with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 personal computers and 2-in-1s. Microsoft officially launched the upgrade on July 29.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 2:15 pm

Windows 10 usage off to a fast start, Edge not so much

Now that Windows 10 is a full month old, usage statistics from firms like StatCounter and NetApplications are starting to roll in. So far, there’s good news and bad news. Thanks to Microsoft’s free upgrade offer for consumers running Windows 7 and higher, Windows 10 usage is booming. StatCounter found that Windows 10 already accounts for 4.88 percent of worldwide Internet usage. By comparison, Windows 7 only reached 4.05 percent usage during its debut six years ago, and Windows 8 only achieved 1 percent of usage. In the United States and United Kingdom, the gap in early adoption between Windows 10 and previous versions is even wider, as you can see in the chart above.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 2:10 pm

Tech companies with the best employee satisfaction and work-life balance

Many high-profile tech companies and startups are known for their attractive employee benefits packages and working arrangements--things that help ensure they attract and retain top talent. When it comes to work-life balance and overall satisfaction, however, not all companies score well with their workers.Amazon, in the news recently for its "bruising workplace" conditions (according to the New York Times) scores worse than other tech companies, according to a study done by researchers at the University of Kansas. The team collected data on 993 companies from Glassdoor.com between 2008 and 2012.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 2:09 pm

Shadow BYOD runs rampant in federal government

Government CIOs have been struggling mightily with developing prudent policies to enable employees to use their personal mobile devices for work without putting sensitive information at risk or otherwise compromising the security of agency systems.[ All About BYOD: Strategies, Resources, News and More ]As it turns out, many federal employees haven't been waiting for those policies to take effect before introducing their devices into the workplace.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 2:08 pm

6 disaster recovery do’s and don’ts from Hurricane Katrina survivors

Ten years ago, the Gulf Coast was completely devastated by Hurricane Katrina, leaving thousands of businesses in New Orleans and the surrounding area under water and without power for weeks.But while most disasters — natural or otherwise — can’t compare with the magnitude of Katrina, there were some hard lessons learned that could help organizations be better prepared for the next catastrophe.IT leaders in New Orleans and nearby cities share how they maintained or resumed business operations in the wake of Katrina and what the experience taught them. Here are their disaster recovery do’s and don’ts — sage words of wisdom from the trenches.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 2:07 pm

SAP brings Hadoop into the Hana fold with Vora, a new in-memory analytics tool

A new tool from SAP will allow companies to analyze distributed Hadoop data alongside corporate data using the ERP giant's Hana in-memory computing platform.Announced on Tuesday, SAP Hana Vora is an in-memory query engine that taps the Apache Spark execution framework to deliver interactive analytics on Hadoop.By extending Hana's reach to include distributed data in the Hadoop ecosystem, the tool is designed to help data scientists and developers combine corporate and external data in their analyses. That, in turn, means that incoming data from customers, partners and smart devices can be integrated with that from internal enterprise processes, giving companies better context with which to make decisions, SAP said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 1:30 pm

Cisco Chairman Chambers reports to CEO Robbins

It’s rare that the chairman of the board of directors of a public company reports to the company CEO. It’s rarer still that a board director reports to the CEO – the CEO typically reports to the board of directors.Yet, that appears to be the structure at Cisco, an arrangement that was not disclosed publicly when new CEO Chuck Robbin’s executive leadership team and reporting structure was announced back in June. It was disclosed this week only after our story appeared – and after Cisco initially declined comment on its internal organizational structure -- revealing that key innovators and engineers still report to ex-CEO Chambers, and not to new CEO Robbins, raising questions on who actually makes decisions on important product and technology investments.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 12:43 pm

13 more big data & analytics companies to watch

BIG MONEY FOR BIG DATAImage by ThinkstockSo many big data and analytics-focused startups are getting funding these days that I’ve been inspired to compile a second slideshow highlighting these companies (see “13 Big Data and Analytics Companies to Watch” for the previous collection). This new batch has reined in some $250 million this year as they seek to help organizations more easily access and make sense of the seemingly endless amount of online data.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 11:19 am

IDG Contributor Network: Birst unveils networked BI to transform enterprise analytics

In a couple of weeks, around 150,000 people will converge on San Francisco for DreamForce, Salesforce's annual customer conference and extravaganza (disclosure - Salesforce is covering my travel and expenses to attend the event). Last year, Salesforce introduced a lightweight analytics product that many people pointed out was more of a visualization tool than anything else.Most commentators expect some big announcements from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff this year about Wave, the company's analytics platform. So competitor (and, confusingly, partner) Birst is getting ahead of the march and announcing some news of its own before the event.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 11:00 am

Popular Belkin Wi-Fi routers plagued by unpatched security flaws

If your Wi-Fi network is using the popular Belkin N600 DB router, be warned: it may have several vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to take it over.Remote unauthenticated attackers could exploit the vulnerabilities to spoof DNS (Domain Name System) responses and direct users to rogue websites or trick users' browsers to change the device configuration, the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) at Carnegie Mellon University said Monday in an advisory.Furthermore, attackers with access to the local area network could bypass an affected router's authentication and take complete control over it, CERT/CC said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 10:55 am

VMware and Google buddy up in the cloud

In what is a symbiotic relationship for both companies, VMware and Google have expanded their partnership in the IaaS cloud market this week. VMware released the general availability of its object storage service for its vCloud Air public cloud. The service is offered in two flavors, one of which is powered on the back-end by Google Cloud Storage. Customers also have the choice of using EMC’s ViPR software-defined storage service. +MORE FROM NETWORK WORLD AT VMWORLD: Pat Gelsinger talks the state of the SDN industry; feuding with Cisco and the state of the EMC Federation | Hottest products at VMworld 2015 +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 10:26 am

Cybercrooks quickly bypass Adobe Flash Player's improved security protections

As of today, Google's Chrome browser will automatically pause ads that use Flash by default. Most Flash ads were converted to HTML5 and those HTML5 ads will still work. Flash can quickly suck the power from a laptop battery, but even worse is the never-ending supply of Flash vulnerabilities.Supposedly, the version of Flash Player released in July had "additional protections to make entire classes of security flaws much harder to exploit in the future." The future is now then, because cybercriminals have wasted no time circumventing those extra security protections.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 10:03 am

Ericsson's next-gen LTE targets faster mobile networks and IoT

Ericsson is working on LTE with faster upload speeds, as well as using unlicensed spectrum to speed up downloads and customizing the technology for Internet of Things applications.The Swedish telecom equipment vendor is showing off some of the developments at the CTIA Super Mobility conference next week in Las Vegas.5G will likely be one of the hottest topics at CTIA, but LTE still has lots mileage left -- after all, the first two letters stand for Long Term. And it’s a lot easier to upgrade an existing network than roll out a new one.One of the more contentious upgrades is using unlicensed spectrum for LTE. Detractors fear it will affect Wi-Fi performance, which uses the same frequencies.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 9:59 am

The real reason everyone hates making phone calls today

It's a truism that people—especially young people—spend a lot less time talking on the phone now than they once did. I don't have good numbers to cite, but the personal and anecdotal evidence seems pretty compelling. Where once I made and received dozens of calls a day, those have now been reduced to just a few. I roll over so many minutes on my mobile plan it feels like I could talk nonstop for the rest of the year and not run out. But I probably won't.And it's not just me. This is true with most people I know, in both my personal and professional lives. Have phone, won't talk?! But why? It seems counterintuitive that now that we all carry telephones around with us 24x7, we spend less time talking on them than when they were tethered to our homes and offices (and the occasional phone booth).To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 9:41 am

Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski’s Waze voice option falls flat

Here in New England, the biggest non-Deflategate news surrounding the Patriots was yesterday’s announcement from Dunkin’ Donuts that Rob Gronkowski, the team’s star Tight End, would be providing his voice to GPS app Waze as part of a Dunkin Donuts/Waze partnership. In addition to providing driving directions, traffic conditions and other reports (such as hazards on the road, accidents and other traffic situations), Gronkowski’s voice is supposed to “remind users about Dunkin’ Donuts locations along the way where they can keep themselves running with the brand’s famous coffee, beverages and sandwiches,” Dunkin’ Donuts said in a press release.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 9:11 am

IDG Contributor Network: Your digital footprint reflects your personality, researchers claim

If you ever had the inkling that your presence on social media was giving away your game, you'd be absolutely correct. A Stanford behavioral professor says he has developed computer models to find links between social media users' online activity and their real-life personalities.Big Data mining can be used to interrogate your social media 'shares' and 'likes' to predict whether your parents were divorced or not; whether you smoke, drink, or take drugs; your sexual orientation and more, says Dr. Michal Kosinski, an assistant professor in organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 9:06 am

IDG Contributor Network: The wires behind wireless

Everybody loves wireless: It's the main impetus driving technology innovation and social and business communications today, and it will continue to drive innovation for years to come. Yet an under-appreciated reality is that wireless is very dependent on wired connections. In fact, wireless is only as good as the wires that support it.In a device like a smartphone, for example, a full ecosystem of internal wiring standards interconnects a couple dozen components, from the modem and application processor to the microphone, speaker, sensors and other peripherals. In this article I'll describe these wired connections and the interfaces and architectures that are used to build mobile and mobile-influenced devices. I'll also point out some key challenges engineers face when doing this work.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 8:41 am

Intel says GPU malware is no reason to panic, yet

Malware that runs inside GPUs (graphics processing units) can be harder to detect, but is not completely invisible to security products.Researchers from Intel division McAfee Labs teamed up with members of Intel's Visual and Parallel Computing Group to analyze a proof-of-concept GPU malware program dubbed JellyFish that was released in March.Their conclusion, which was included in McAfee's latest quarterly threat report, is that running malicious code inside GPUs still has significant drawbacks and is not nearly as stealthy as its developers suggested.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 8:39 am

Nest thermostat gets bigger display, can monitor furnace health

Google-owned Nest is releasing a new version of its thermostat that has a larger display and is a little smarter than its predecessor.The high-resolution display is 2 inches in diameter, or 40 percent larger than the second generation model, making it easier to read from a distance. The thermostat also has a slightly thinner profile.There's a new feature called Furnace Heads-Up, which allows the device check in on furnace activity. Twice a year, the thermostat will look at furnace shut-off patterns to determine if there's an overheating problem. If suspicious activity is detected, users will be notified on the display, through the Nest app and in their monthly Nest report.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 8:00 am

Microsoft launches new tools for building Office add-ins

Microsoft released a new set of tools on Monday to help developers make slick-looking add-ins for Office apps, at a time when the company wants to boost the ecosystem of third-party applications and services that work with its productivity suite. The new Office UI Fabric, which was released as an open-source project on GitHub, provides a set of tools that lets developers easily make their add-ins look more like the native Office user interface. Those add-ins allow companies like Salesforce, Smartsheet and Uber to bring their apps and services into Office apps, including Outlook and Excel, across a variety of devices including PCs, Macs and iPads. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 7:55 am

DARPA looking to sling and recover drones from aircraft motherships

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is moving forward with a program that will launch and recover volleys of small unmanned aircraft from one or more existing large airplanes such as B-52s, B-1s or C-130s.The Gremlins program has as a goal to launch groups of drones or gremlins from large aircraft such as bombers or transport aircraft, as well as from fighters and other small, fixed-wing platforms while those planes are out of range of adversary defenses. When the gremlins complete their mission, a C-130 transport aircraft would retrieve them in the air and carry them home, where ground crews would prepare them for their next use within 24 hours, DARPA said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 7:53 am

Wikipedia blocks 381 user accounts for dishonest editing

Editors of the English version of Wikipedia have blocked 381 user accounts for editing articles on the online encyclopedia despite being secretly paid to do so by various interests.The  editors also deleted 210 articles created by the accounts. Most of these were generally promotional in nature and were related to businesses, people in business or artists. The articles had biased information, unattributed material and potential copyright violations, the Wikimedia Foundation that runs Wikipedia said in a blog post Monday.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 1 September 2015 | 7:38 am