Category Archives: Tech News

Editorial: Will Windows 8 Boost or Bust Office Productivity?

Windows 8 has opened up a whole new world of opportunities and speculation too. The pages of the Internet are completely flooded with new gadgets, tips, and speculation surrounding Microsoft’s newest operating system. I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about Microsoft’s prospects. In some ways, I feel like Microsoft represents the big bad corporate fat cat that tried every way it could to monopolize the software market. In other ways, I am really pulling for Microsoft to win on this one. Let’s face it, a lot of people make a lot of money because Microsoft developed a product they could support or develop apps for. With the U.S. economy in the tank, we desperately need a shot in the arm. As popular as Apple products are, how many people do you know who are making a great living off Apple products? I would wager that they are few and far between. Consumer oriented products are just not the boon to the economy in the long term that business oriented products are. I am sure Apple investors might disagree, but unless you have big bucks in the market, you’re probably not benefiting very much from Apple’s success.

Window 8 Logo

Now that I have had a chance to play with Windows 8 a little, I am starting to draw some of my own conclusions about it. I see that a lot of thought has been put into designing this OS, there are a lot of opportunities for both software and hardware makers, and I think this is going to be a royal nightmare for IT departments supporting business.

Thoughtful Design

Somewhere along the way, Microsoft started making assumptions that everyone was locked into their products and that consumers would hopelessly remain in the cycle of expensive software upgrades every few years. Unfortunately for Microsoft, they made a very decent OS when they made Windows XP. Windows XP simply worked. It worked fast as compared to Windows 2000. It was pretty simple to use. From an IT standpoint, it was very simple to administer on a domain. It wasn’t flawless, but it got the job done. This was a big problem for Microsoft because in order to keep the revenue stream alive, they decided it was time for everyone to jump to the latest and greatest OS. This is where Windows Vista entered the scene. Short of trying to sound insulting, Windows Vista was a poorly planned, poorly implemented flop. It was riddled with problems right out of the box. However, even it had been delivered in perfect working condition, it just didn’t offer anything upgrade worthy. As an IT manager, I would love to have had a Microsoft exec try to help me explain to my boss why I needed to upgrade 100 computers to Windows Vista because frankly, I saw no advantage whatsoever except for veiled threats that Microsoft would soon stop supporting Windows XP.

With the experience of the Vista debacle in their past, Microsoft seemed to take its time with the Windows 8 rollout and it shows. First of all, Windows 8 embraces a new age of technology based on tablets and smartphones. Though it is the nightmare of many IT security personnel, the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) movement has changed the way people interface with the company network. Employees are more than willing to go out and get the device of their choice and use it for company business. Of course, the consumer market cannot be ignored either. Microsoft recognized that Apple and Google were making a fortune in this area and that every day Microsoft didn’t have a product in that vertical was a day of missed opportunity. Microsoft also had to ensure that they got this OS right, or else suffer the same fate that Vista did. Windows 8 is definitely a tablet friendly operating system. The design is gorgeous and it is pretty intuitive as a touchscreen OS. It also doubles as a desktop operating system. By clicking the “Desktop” tile on the main screen, you can get to a more classic looking screen where you can setup shortcuts and pretty wallpapers. This dual personality, I believe, is going to make it the most flexible operating system on the market. I really don’t see how Android or IOS will be able to even compete against it unless they come up with something radical soon.

Google Celebrates Its 14th Birthday

It seems hard for me to fathom that Google turns 14 today. Google was officially incorporated on September 4, 1998 and the world has never been the same since. What started out so simply, as evidenced by the picture below, is now the driving force behind much of the web.

Google 1998
Google’s Beta Page 1998 (credit: Anakin101:Wikipedia)

Google started as a research project at Stanford University. Larry Page and Sergey Brin set out to develop a new page ranking technology that analyzed back links to webpages to score their importance. According to Wikipedia, because Page and Brin wanted to show that they were serving large amounts of data, they originally wanted to call the search engine “googol”. Googol is a large number represented with a 1 followed by a hundred zeroes. Somehow, through a misspelling the company became “Google” instead.

Google sure has come a long way since those early days of the web. I remember how impressed I was when I first used Google’s search engine. I was just blown away with how accurate the results were and with how many results were presented. It is obvious that I wasn’t the only one as the word “Google” actually became a verb to represent you were searching for something. Google grew exponentially and became the search engine of choice for most of the world. In 1999, Google came up with the genius idea to sell text-based ads on its website based on keywords. It was a great idea because it contextualized ad results to the consumer, but because they were text-based, they loaded quickly on the screen. For those of you who remember dial-up, speed was everything back then.

It’s hard to imagine a world without Google anymore. Since their initial IPO in 2004, Google has branched out to find new revenue streams and innovate in other areas. Their raging success has not been met without opposition, however. It seems they have been sued by every major player in the Internet industry for some reason or another. I guess that is the price for fame. Let’s just take a second and think about some of Google’s contributions to the world:

  1. Gmail – Google got into the webmail game in 2004. One of the biggest contributions it made to email was grouping messages into conversations instead of just listing messages as they came in. They also were the first to offer contextual ads based on content in your inbox. That was met with more than a little controversy.
  2. Adwords – Google has made a killing on pay-per-click and Adwords, but let’s face it, so have a lot of web sites. People participating in Google’s ad programs have prospered quite a bit.
  3. Chrome – Here is another September birthday. In September 2008, Chrome debuted as an alternative to Internet Explorer. Tabbed browsing and being able to search directly from the address bar were a couple of new offerings that Chrome made available. Though,  Firefox probably had tabbed browsing by then too. Chrome is a fast and secure alternative to Internet Explorer.
  4. Google Apps – There are so many apps, it’s hard to list them here. However, the main draw of Google apps is that you can create and share documents and spreadsheets on the web. They don’t require expensive desktop software to run and you don’t have to be tethered to your computer to use them.
  5. Android – As of this month, Android accounts for 52% marketshare of smartphones. The Android tablets and smartphones are simply dominating the market and giving Apple all the competition it wants.
  6. Google Doodles – How can I not mention the Google doodles? Google doodles started as a result of Page and Brin attending a festival and they redesigned the logo as sort of an “out of office” greeting. Their website http://www.google.com/doodles/about tells a lot about the history. I look forward to major birthdays and events when Google publishes their new doodles.

This just barely scratches the surface of all the contributions that Google has made to our world. Perhaps most notable is their commitment to their unofficial motto “Don’t Be Evil”. In a way, I believe the existence of Google has kept others in the industry honest. At the very least, they have busted up the Microsoft monopoly on the web. Hopefully, Google will continue to embrace a culture of doing good in our world and will achieve success for many years to come!

Twitter Based Earthquake Detection System Puts Behind Sensor Based Systems in Detection Time

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has created an earthquake detection system based on Twitter alerts. The system was being developed as a pet project by a student, and the USGS funded it later with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Clearly, the USGS saw a good future prospect in the project, and the funding is beginning to prove fruitful.

During the recent earthquakes in Philippines, the USGS’ Twitter Earthquake Detection (TED) system was able to give early warnings, much before any of the sensor-based systems in place. This is groundbreaking, as sensor-based systems take anything between 2 to 20 minutes to detect an earthquake, but the TED system is almost instant. The official page for TED describes it as,

@USGSted  (USGS Tweet Earthquake Dispatch) distributes alerts for earthquakes worldwide with magnitudes of 5.5 and above. We may modify this criteria in the future to tweet alerts for more earthquakes of potential interest. @USGSted earthquake tweets contain a magnitude descriptor, location, origin time, and a link to the USGS webpage with the most recent information about the event.

In the recent Philippines earthquake, the TED system detected tweets and the location of the earthquake in just one minutes and seven seconds. Systems like TED are good for augmenting traditional earthquake detection systems based on sensors. However, they also suffer the risk of being gamed by an overwhelming amount of tweets crying wolf.

This reminds me of an XKCD comic.

seismic_waves

You can follow the TED twitter account for latest earthquake warnings. Also read how Twitter is being used for emergency calls in Japan.

Twitter Launches Interest Targeting for Advertisers

Twitter has launched a new feature for advertisers called Interest Targeting. This new capability enables advertisers to target and advertise to the entire user base of Twitter, which is now over 140 million monthly active users through promoted tweets and promoted accounts, based on specific sets of interests.

You can either select from 350 different interest categories to target, or you can target precise sets of users by specifying a @username and targeting users which are similar to that user’s followers in terms of demographic profiles and interests.

Twitter has also lowered the minimum bid for ad auctions to one cent, which should increase participation while the auction format ensures that the ad rates stay competitively high.

Twitter is expected to earn hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue this year. With offerings like these, it is positioning itself as a premium advertising destination for advertisers looking to reach users based on their interests and preferences. Unlike Facebook, it may not face the pressures of being a public company just yet, but it still has to eventually become a wildly profitable company to justify its massive valuation.

You can create your Twitter Ad Campaigns here: Start Advertising – Twitter for Business

via Twitter

Facebook to Offer Email, Phone Based Ad Targeting Options

Facebook’s stock has been getting completely screwed in the stock market over concerns that it might not be able to deliver on its promise of social advertising, and effectively monetize its growing mobile audience.

It has continued to roll out additional features to its social ad platform, and is trying hard to demonstrate ROI to advertisers looking to advertise to its massive user base which is approaching a billion users.

Apparently, it will be launching some new features next week which will enable advertisers to target their ads to customers based on contact information they already have, like emails and phone numbers.

Businesses can upload lists of email addresses and phone numbers from their existing customer records or other sources, and target their ads at them, with additional targeting options aimed at certain demographic segments.

This option won’t have any privacy issues, as advertisers themselves provide the contact information and Facebook doesn’t store it in any way. While this may not turn around Facebook’s fortunes on its own, moves like these do prove that Facebook is trying hard to offer a viable social networking platform for users.

via Techcrunch

Google Doodle Honors Maria Montessori

Today, Google honors the life and work of Dr. Maria Montessori. She was an educator, humanitarian, and devout Catholic, who is best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name.
Montessori Google Doodle

Dr. Montessori was a controversial figure in her time and her philosophy remains somewhat controversial today. Mostly people are just not familiar with Montessori philosophy and often misunderstand what it’s all about. Some people believe it is very unorganized. Others think that Montessori is out of date. This is all untrue. A great resource for Dr. Montessori’s history can be found on the Montessori Foundation’s Website. Below, is a video that tells a lot about Montessori schools as well.

[video link]

I am particularly fond of this doodle because my own children have benefited from the Montessori approach to education. Montessori schools are a great way for children to explore their world and learn in a more natural and independent way. Hayfield Montessori school’s website sums up the Montessori method very well.

Montessori materials incorporate the child’s senses in the learning process. Materials in the classroom are for manipulating as we believe a child learns by doing. There is a direct hand to brain connection in the young child that is nurtured in a Montessori environment. Many Montessori materials also incorporate a control of error which enables students to correct their own mistakes without adult intervention.

I encourage everyone, especially those with young children, to take a moment and learn a little more about the life and work of Dr. Montessori. You may find that there is a real special resource to help your child just waiting to be tapped.

Kindle Fire is Sold Out – Is a New Fire Coming?

According to several news sources, Amazon announced that the Kindle Fire is sold out. This couldn’t have happened by accident. Many people are speculating that Amazon will reveal a new model of the Fire at a major press conference scheduled for next Thursday in Santa Monica, California. I’ve seen several suggestions that Amazon’s new Kindle will be bigger — possibly with a 10 inch screen — or that it will have more memory — or that it will have a new processor.

Amazon definitely hit the market at the right time and at the right price when they released the Fire in November of last year. The $199 Android based e-reader and multimedia device captured 22% of the tablet market in 9 months, but will they be able to come back for a repeat performance with a new Fire? I don’t think so, unless they hit a price much lower than Google’s new Nexus 7, which is selling for around $200. Amazon isn’t going to be able to keep selling 7 inch e-readers for $200, if tablets like the Nexus are widely available. Even a Kindle Fire with a 10 inch screen is going to have a difficult time competing unless it hits a very low price

I went to the Amazon Store, to see what was still available, and I saw exactly what’s been reported — there are no new Kindle Fires left. You will only see a message which says:

We’re sorry. There are currently no New listings for Kindle Fire, Full Color 7″ Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi.

I continue to use my Kindle Fire at home, and I’m almost sorry to see it go like this. However, the newer tablets are going to continue to get better, faster, and hopefully cheaper. Who can complain about that? Well, I’m guessing that Amazon will be complaining, unless they once again pull off a miracle win with a new Kindle Fire — and it ain’t going to be easy.

Here’s the Rundown of the New Windows 8 Tablets

Ever since Microsoft announced its Windows 8 platform, the industry has gone abuzz about the touchscreen capabilities of its new OS. Even now there is a huge consumer electronics show going on in Berlin, Germany called IFA 2012. All of the big industry names are rolling out Windows 8 devices faster than I can honestly wrap my mind around. I will say this Christmas season is going to be tough for the average consumer as there are so many variations of hybrid tablets coming out from all of these manufacturers. We in the tech industry are going to have our work cut out for us trying to muddle through all the specs and separating the good from the bad. So without further ado, here is a list of Windows 8 tablets that have recently been announced.

HP Tablets

HP announced today, its lineup of hybrid PC and tablets. Pictured below, you can see what they look like.

HP Lineup


hp
The HP Envy x2 is a hybrid PC. It is basically a laptop and a tablet built into one. The 11.6 screen attaches seamlessly to a magnetic base on the keyboard. Slide it off and you have a tablet. The tablet weighs 1.5 pounds and runs on Windows 8. It has a front-facing HD webcam and an 8 megapixel camera on the back. HP expects to have the Envy x2 available around the holiday season and has yet to announce the price. HP also announced two ultrabooks, the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook, and the HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4. 

Samsung Tablets

SamsungThe Samsung Ativ Tab seems to be getting a lot of attention and looking at the specs, probably rightly so. Pictured below, you can see it has a beautiful design. They put a Windows 8 button at the bottom of the screen so you can switch between Start screen mode and Desktop mode in Windows 8. It has built-in USB and HDMI ports so you can connect a mouse or printer without the hassle of special software. It also comes preloaded with Microsoft Office. Battery life seems to be incredible.

Samsung Ativ

They claim 13 hours battery time watching movies. It has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM. It also has a front facing 1.9 megapixel camera and a 5 megapixel rear camera with LED flash. Currently it is unknown when the tablet will be available or what the price point will be.

Dell Tablets

Dell announced today, its new lineup of tablets, touchscreens, and ultrabooks. The XPS 10, pictured below, is Dell’s new 10 inch tablet running on the Window RT OS and ARM processors. If you’re not familiar with that jargon, I will try to simplify it for you. The RT version of Windows 8 is basically a souped smartphone OS made for a tablet. You don’t get the full blown desktop experience like you do with Windows 8 however, you do get a lot of apps. So it is more like an iPad than a desktop. The ARM processor is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 processor, which is a mobile processor. This isn’t a bad thing, because these mobile manufacturers have learned how to make these mobile processors powerful but easy on the battery life. The XPS 10 comes with a dockable keyboard. When docked it can get up to 20 hours battery life. They expect to release this tablet in late October.

Dell XPS 10

Dell also announced a hybrid pc called the XPS Duo 12. Picture below, the ultrabook transforms into a tablet by rotating the screen and folding it down over the keyboard. The specs on this model are a little bit sketchy at this time. It too is expected to be available at the end of October.

Dell XPS Duo 12

Sony Tablets

Sony unveiled its new line of tablets at the IFA show in Berlin as well. Specs on this particular tablet are a little sketchy. It appears that it is intended to be a full blown laptop that transforms into a tablet. It comes with a stylus and the keyboard slides out instead of detaching like some of our previous contenders. The model they showed in Berlin sported an i7 processor and 8GB of RAM. That is some serious horsepower. They do plan to offer i5 and i3 processors as well. This is good because it is doubtful most consumers are going to want to spend the money for an i7.

Sony VAIO Duo 11


 

 

ASUS Tablets

ASUS unveiled the ASUS Tablet 810 and the ASUS Tablet 600 to the world. The 810 model is the full Windows 8 tablet. Here are the specs listed on their website:

Display 11.6“ Super IPS+ Panel with 1366×768 resolution,
Touch panel: 10 fingers multi-touch
Operating System Windows® 8 Release Preview
CPU Next Generation Intel® Atom™ processor
Memory RAM: 2GB
Storage 64GB eMMC
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Digitizer Wacom digitizer stylus
Camera Rear: 8MP Auto focus with LED Flash / Front: 2MP
Sensor G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-compass, NFC ,GPS

Asus 810

The Tablet 600 is the RT version of their tablet. It too has a removable docking keyboard. Below are the specs per Asus’ website:

Display 10.1“ Super IPS+ Panel with 1366×768 resolution,
Touch panel: 10 fingers multi-touch
Operating System Windows® RT
CPU NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 Quad-core
Memory / Storage RAM: 2GB / Storage: 32GB eMMC
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0C
Camera Rear: 8MP Auto focus with LED Flash / Front: 2MP
Sensor G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-compass, NFC ,GPS

Pictured below, you can see the ASUS Tablet 600.
Asus 600

As you can see, the selection is going to be pretty incredible this fall. The big question is how much are these things going to cost? Everyone seems to have their eyes on Microsoft as they are set to announce pricing for their Surface tablet in late October. I doubt we’ll get any ideas about these other tablets until Microsoft announces their pricing. Keep checking back with us as I am sure this list will increase with time. We’ll be sure to keep our eyes open for the latest and greatest as it comes out.

Facebook Personal Analytics Reports from Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha has made a name for itself during the past few years. It is an absolute favorite among programmers and science folks alike. Recently, it was found that over 25% of Wolfram Alpha queries are coming from Siri. Wolfram Alpha staff strength has gone up to 200, and perhaps, Apple is gearing up to drive Google out of the search business but that is another story.

facebook-report

A few days ago, Stephen Wolfram showcased automated data analysis capabilities released in Wolfram Alpha Pro, and used data from his personal life for analysis. The analysis told the story of his life from a new dimension, and it was exciting. Ever since, people have wanted to do the same, and Wolfram Alpha has brought yet another feature for them. Stephen Wolfram had collected an enormous amount of data from his life, which he put into this tool. For others, the next best source of data for your personal lives is the social network of your choice. Wolfram Alpha has a new feature that lets you analyze your personal life, using data from Facebook.

Stephen Wolfram announced the new Facebook personal analytics feature, saying,

And today I’m excited to announce that we’ve developed a first round of capabilities in Wolfram|Alpha to let anyone do personal analytics with Facebook data. Wolfram|Alpha knows about all kinds of knowledge domains; now it can know about you, and apply its powers of analysis to give you all sorts of personal analytics.

To use the feature, simply go ahead and search for “Facebook report” on Wolfram Alpha. Click on the “Analyze my Facebook data” button, and it will take you to an app. On the next screen, you can login to Wolfram Alpha, or create a free account. Within minutes, you will have over 60 reports to shuffle through, and know yourself better.

HP Envy x2 is Another Tablet-Laptop Hybrid

Samsung is not the only one who is trying to blend the notebook and the tablet. Hours after Samsung introduced the Ativ Smart PCs, HP announced its own hybrid device – the Envy x2.

HP-Envy-x2-Hybrid-Laptop-Tablet

The HP Envy x2 promises to deliver the power of a notebook and the freedom of a tablet owing to its innovative hinge with magnets that allows the display to be effortlessly detached from and reattached with the keyboard dock. The Envy weighs less than 1.5 kg with the tablet component weighing only about 700 grams. The detachable display unit features an 11.6-inch, multi-touch capable IPS display with a resolution of 1,366 x 768.

HP-Envy-x2-Side-View

Under the hood, the Envy is powered by a Clover trail based Atom processor. Both the display unit and the dock have a battery. When powered on, the battery embedded in the display unit gets charged first. Conversely, when running without power, the battery in the dock gets discharged first. The objective is to ensure that the tablet is ready to be detached and used as quickly as possible.

Other features include NFC, pen support, Beats audio, 8 megapixel rear camera, HDMI output, 2 USB ports, and expandable memory (SD in the dock, and microSD in the tablet). Launch date and price are not yet known, but HP is obviously hoping to have the Envy x2 ready for the holiday season.

Kim Dotcom Planning on Bringing Back a Bigger and Better Megaupload

The US Government vs. Kim Dotcom showdown is turning in favor of Kim Dotcom slowly. Kim Dotcom is an internet celebrity with a notorious reputation. He rose to fame during the dot-com bubble, and had one successful venture after another. He was arrested for insider trading in 2003 and served two years in prison. After his prison time, Kim changed his name from Kim Schmitz to Kim Dotcom in 2005. He also founded Megaupload Limited around the same time. Megaupload ran successfully for the next six years, becoming the 13th most popular website worldwide. However, the US government shut down the Megaupload business on grounds of copyright infringement, and his house in New Zealand was raided and his property seized.

megaupload-logo

This is the second time Kim Dotcom has been intimidated by police authorities, and this time, his Megaupload venture has been shut down as well. Kim Dotcom is very upset, and he has embarked upon a journey to take revenge.

This time, he is planning to relaunch Megaupload, but with an infrastructure that cannot be taken down easily. He is calling it the new Mega.

Kim’s plans are moving fast, as he is already offering early access to the Mega API for developers. The new Mega will use encryption to protect data from prying eyes. Kim Dotcom’s hearing is due next year, and he has all the time in the world until then, to focus on the New Mega. Recently, he claimed another victory as his frozen funds were partially released by the New Zealand court.

(Via)

Craigslist Testing Embedded Maps for Housing Ads

A few days ago, we covered the CLMapper extension for Google Chrome that lets you view maps for housing listings on Craigslist. Mapping with Craigslist house listings is getting serious by the day. There was an excellent service called PadMapper, which displayed maps against Craigslist house listings. However, Craigslist sent them a cease and desist letter, and put them out of the picture. Although not clear at that time, the move is making sense now as Craigslist is finally testing its own map integration with house listings.

craigslist_LogoCraigslist is testing its housing listing with maps from OpenStreetMaps at San Francisco, Oregon and Portland. The map view shows a simple map with a marker at the supposed house location. Compared to what PadMapper was offering, the Craigslist mapping test is quite bland and does not offer any advanced capabilities like searching in the neighborhood.

Craigslist, which is known for its openness and user-friendliness, took a detestable decision of filing a copyright infringement against PadMapper. It also sued 3Taps, the company providing data to PadMapper. When Craigslist learned that 3Taps gets its data from scraping Craigslist, it even went to the extent of declaring exclusive rights to user-posted listings. This meant that the same user could not put up a listing on Craigslist and any other classified website. This was a disastrous move and Craigslist backed down soon.

After this game of cat and mouse, Craigslist is finally testing its own mapping. Craigslist clearly saw the popularity of PadMapper and realized what it was missing. Perhaps, this whole episode was an eye-opener for Craigslist. Moreover, kudos to them for choosing OpenStreetMaps over Google Maps.

(Via)

VMware Joins OpenStack, Because Community and Collaboration is Obviously Better

Cloud Computing is emerging as a backbone infrastructure for all computing advancements of tomorrow. Most of the public services and APIs we use nowadays, rely on a cloud infrastructure. The public cloud lets us enjoy the same user experience across different platforms, which is critical for high user adoption. This seamless integration requires the cloud to be extremely resilient. Currently, Cloud Computing is seen more from a business perspective, with developments taking place behind closed doors. If this trend continues, the cloud will soon suffer from obfuscation and closed technology stacks everywhere, with different group of people repeating the same mistakes repeatedly.

VMware-logoThe field of Cloud Computing needs shared knowledge to sustain properly, it needs a community effort and that is exactly what many closed players have realized. This has led to the development and rise of a brilliant idea— an open source Cloud Computing platform called OpenStack. The concept behind OpenStack is so attractive, that companies that have never worked with Open Source, companies like Cisco, are also interested in being a part of this learning.

However, a big surprise arrives last weekend, as VMware decided to become a part of OpenStack. VMware was a primary competitor to OpenStack that had not jumped on the OpenStack bandwagon already. Undeniably, VMware’s server virtualization is state of the art, and already powers numerous infrastructures. Tech giants like IBM, HP and Microsoft are already part of this booming cloud community. Clearly, OpenStack is on a winning spree. After VMware, OpenStack faces its biggest competition from Amazon. Amazon has a strong cloud offering across multiple layers, with AWS and EC2 as IaaS and Amazon RDS as a PaaS. It will be interesting to see the showdown between these two cloud giants. It seems that while OpenStack will attract the public cloud, the enterprise will still go with Amazon’s cloud offering.

If you are an interested developer, you can start with OpenStack here. Also, do not forget to read this interesting perspective on reliability of cloud-based services.

Apple Wants 8 Samsung Devices Banned In The US

The biggest news coming out last week was Apple’s landslide win against Samsung in their patent trial. As jurors speak out and people go through the ruling, doubts have started cropping up. For one, the jury seems to have discarded any prior art claims from Samsung which was a major part of Samsung’s defense. The jurors also fined Samsung for Galaxy Tab which they found not to be violating any patents. Prima facie, it appears the jury was dependent on the “patent applicant” juror; poor call. No other court has given Apple a similar victory which only points to the Jobs Reality Field.

Anyhow.

Following the victory, Apple lawyers are taking their next step according to Bloomberg. In a developing story, Apple wants a ban on 8 Samsung devices:

  1. Samsung S 4G
  2. Samsung S2 (on AT&T, T-Mobile)
  3. Samsung Skyrocket
  4. Droid Charge
  5. Galazy Prevail
  6. Galaxy S Showcase
  7. Samsung S2 Epic 4G

More details as we get them.

Update: According to Bloomberg, Judge Koh is expected to follow up on this injunction around September 20th.

Facebook Acquires Threadsy; Looking to Bolster Social Ad Offering

Today has been a relatively slow news day, except for the Apple vs Samsung jury verdict, which is being lapped up by news outlets across the web.

There was one more interesting, though mostly neglected, development in the tech space. Facebook, which continues to acq-hire startups left, right and center, has acquired Threadsy, the company behind a social analytics tool called Swaylo.

Here’s the official statement by Threadsy’s CEO:

“Swaylo offers you the opportunity to see what kind and how much attention you’re getting for the things you post, share, and like on social media networks. Through an analysis of your social graph, Swaylo reflects your Sway – the impact your online activities have in your social circle and across the social graph.

Today we’re announcing that Threadsy will be acquired by Facebook. Threadsy is the company that operates Swaylo.com, provides people with their Sway score, and helps businesses, organizations and brands connect with their social influencers.

This is incredibly exciting for us! We built Swaylo because we believe Facebook and other social media services are the digital representation of our lives. There is no better opportunity to take Swaylo’s vision to the next level than at Facebook.”

Swaylo offered a visual interface which enabled customers to measure the impact of their social campaigns on Facebook. The product fits in nicely with Facebook’s advertising offering, and the team may build out Facebook’s analytics and reporting tools, contributing to its primary revenue engine — social ads.

Facebook’s stock is at an all time low right now. If Facebook is able to prove the value of its social advertising offering to advertisers in the next couple of quarters, it could easily be worth the $100 billion it was supposed to be worth just a few months ago. This seems to be a step in the right direction.

via TNW