HP Has Two More Tablets In Route

January 27, 2015 by admin  
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HP is about to put out two tablets later this year.

The names are expected to be the HP Pro Slate 10 EE G1 and HP Pro Tablet 10 EE G1 and they were found on the world wide wibble by Notebook Italia,.

Both tablets are powered by an Intel quad-core Bay Trail Atom Z3735F processor. Accompanying the processor package is 2GB of RAM, as well as 32GB of internal storage. Both the Pro Slate and Pro Tablet come with 10.1-inch displays, as well as 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC.

The Pro Slate sticks with Android, while the Pro Tablet opts for Windows 8.1. The tablets mean they will each come with a stylus, but it would appear that the stylus is just a stand in for your finger, rather than doing anything useful.

Pro Slate will set you back $400.00 and Pro Tablet cost $499.

HP has yet to officially announce either device.

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Net Neutrality Vote Coming Next Month

January 14, 2015 by admin  
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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will finally vote on new net neutrality rules in their February meeting.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will bring a proposal to a vote during the commission’s Feb. 26 meeting, FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart said Friday, following a report in the Washington Post.

It’s unclear, however, what form those rules will take. Hart declined to comment further on the net neutrality order Wheeler plans to circulate in February.

Many telecom policy experts had expected the FCC to take action on net neutrality early this year after a year-long fight over the issue.

Nearly a year ago, a U.S. appeals court threw out a large portion of net neutrality rules the FCC approved in late 2010. The court ruled that the FCC’s rules came too close to common carrier regulations when the commission didn’t take the step of reclassifying broadband providers as regulated utilities. The court, however, pointed to a couple if sections of the Telecommunications Act that the FCC could use to pass net neutrality regulations.

After launching a net neutrality proceeding in early 2014, the FCC has received nearly 4 million public comments about proposed regulations. Wheeler originally proposed that the FCC adopt rules that would allow broadband providers to engage in “commercially reasonable” traffic management, and in limited cases, charge Web content providers and services for prioritized traffic.

But many people filing comments, and groups like Free Press and Public Knowledge, called on the FCC to pass stronger rules prohibiting traffic prioritization deals. Many advocates of strong net neutrality rules want the FCC to reclassify broadband as a regulated public utility, while exempting them from some common carrier rules, like price regulation.

Recent news reports have suggested Wheeler is leaning toward so-called hybrid net neutrality rules that would classify a part of broadband service as a regulated public utility.

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Samsung Goes With Tizen

January 13, 2015 by admin  
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Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has announced that all its new smart television products launched in 2015 will be powered by the Tizen operating system, marking a fresh effort by the company to increase the usage of the software platform.

Smart TVs offer additional software and connectivity functions, such as video streaming and web browsing capabilities. Samsung demonstrated TV sets powered by Tizen at developer conferences last year.

“We are focusing our efforts on Tizen right now,” Kim Hyun-suk, Samsung’s president of visual display business, told Reuters in an interview. “We hope that other TV makers will also use it and help build an ecosystem that will help the platform grow.”

Televisions would be an addition to the modest stable of Tizen products, which consists of a few smartwatches and cameras despite years of development and support by the world’s top maker of smartphones and TVs.

The platform represents the most visible effort on the software front by Samsung, which has sought to free itself from Google Inc’s Android platform.

But Tizen has so far failed to take off, due in part to Samsung’s failure to launch a smartphone powered by the system. Some analysts are skeptical about the platform’s viability despite Samsung’s standing as top smartphone maker, especially as Android and Apple Inc’s iOS tighten their grip in the smartphone sector.

Developers say that until there is a meaningful user base for Tizen they will have little incentive to make innovative software applications for the system, deemed crucial if Samsung is to convince wary consumers to try it out.

While the launch of Tizen-based TVs will increase the platform’s user base, it is unclear if that alone will be enough to pique developers’ interest. Users of smart TVs tend to use fewer apps than they would on smartphones.

Still, the operating system is expected to play a key role in Samsung’s smart-home business. Tizen can also run on devices with low computing power such as refrigerators and washing machines, offering a way for users to monitor and control such devices remotely.

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Are We Moving Too Fast Into Cloud Computing?

January 7, 2015 by admin  
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Businesses need to take a hybrid approach when it comes to the cloud, Dell has said.

The firm’s cloud strategy leader, Gordon Davey, told V3.co.uk in an interview that cloud computing is “overhyped” and moving an entire IT infrastructure into the cloud would be an unrealistic goal.

Davey also believes that cloud vendors have enticed companies to make major shifts to the cloud without considering a model that works for their business.

“I think it’s definitely a case of cloud as a buzzword is overhyped. The idea of cloud for the sake of cloud doesn’t really stand out,” he said.

“The problem comes from customers that have seen the buzzword and want to get the benefits and are just jumping on the bandwagon because it is an industry hype thing, rather than actually evaluating the benefits that a true cloud can bring, and applying that to their business requirements.”

Davey outlined the need to take a more considered approach, adopting an IT strategy that mixes on-premise infrastructure with cloud components to harness the technology without escalating IT costs and complexity.

“The future is going to be hybrid. It’s horses for courses – putting the right workload on the right platform,” he said.

“It’s that balanced approach that I think we’re going to see much more often, rather than trying to put everything into the cloud and potentially failing.”

Davey’s position is unsurprising given Dell’s approach of acting as a ‘middleman’ between cloud service providers and end users, providing hardware, software, services and consultancy to enable businesses to use cloud computing in a way that works for them.

“We see our role as enabling the cloud industry, being that underlying technology,” he said, going on to detail Dell’s five pillar approach to acting as a cloud middleman rather than developing its own end-to-end cloud offering.

The strategy involves consulting on a customer’s cloud needs, helping provide cloud infrastructure, brokering deals between vendors and users, providing security, and managing how multiple cloud services are deployed in a single business.

Davey claimed that Dell’s strategy will help companies take a more tailored approach to cloud adoption, adding: “A properly deployed cloud for the correct workloads in hugely beneficial.”

Dell is not alone in promoting a hybrid approach to cloud adoption. Microsoft is adding hybrid cloud capability to the next version of Windows Server.

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Can Imagination Push IoT?

December 15, 2014 by admin  
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Imagination Technologies will take on the Raspberry Pi with the release of a single-board minicomputer for both Android and Linux developers.

In a bid to power a range of devices in the ever-growing world of the Internet of Things (IoT) space, the MIPS-based Creator CI20 can run both Linux and Android operating systems (OS) and is said to deliver both high performance and low energy consumption.

When it hits the market in January, the development board will target the likes of open source developers, the maker community and system integrators to provide them with tools and encourage them to create a wide range of applications and projects.

The Creator CI20 is based around a system on a chip (SoC) combining CPU, graphics and I/O circuitry, featuring an I/O connector block compatible with that of the Raspberry Pi, meaning it could be plugged into many of the same projects.

The board comes with a 1.2GHz MIPS32-based dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM with PowerVR SGX540 graphics for OpenGL 2.1 and ES 2.0 compatibility, meaning its capable of 1080p gaming at 30fps. It also features Ethernet connectivity alongside 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 plus 4GB storage onboard.

While it’s easy to compare the Creator CI20 to the Raspberry Pi, Imagination’s executive vice president of marketing, Tony King-Smith, told V3.co.uk that the develop board is not intended as a direct rival.

“We’re not trying to compete with devices like Raspberry Pi and Arduino, which many developers will already have, we’re giving them more options, and we believe this is a pretty rich offering,” he said.

King-Smith said that the Creator CI20 is ideal for the IoT revolution because of its embedded wireless capabilities, but also because it is capable of running mature OS such as Linux and Android that support graphical user interfaces.

“This will make IoT interesting, whether you’re looking at a thermostat or a sensor or whatever, it’s a compelling user interface that gets people excited,” he added.

Imagination has also launched a Creator Programme alongside the developer board to stimulate an IoT ecosystem around the device.

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Office 365 Goes Video Streaming

December 3, 2014 by admin  
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Microsoft unveiled Office 365 Video, a YouTube-like streaming service where enterprises and large organizations can post in-house video content for communication and training.

“Office 365 Video provides organizations with a secure, company-wide destination for posting, sharing and discovering video content,” said Mark Kashman, a senior product manager with the Office 365 team, in a blog posting.

Kashman touted Video as a tool for internal communications, citing the examples of new-employee orientation, management messaging and worker training. Employees will also be able to contribute to a “Community” section, though most companies will probably frown on cat antic clips.

The service rolls out over the next few days to companies that have registered for Office 365′s First Release early distribution program, then through early 2015 to others.

Video will be available only to subscribers of Office 365′s plans for enterprises — E1 through E4 — and universities (A2 through A4). It will not be offered to consumer subscribers or firms with small business-oriented plans like Business Essentials, Business and Business Premium.

Kashman also said Office 365 plans for government agencies will get Video at some point, but he did not proffer a timeline.

The other requirement is SharePoint Online, an off-premises component of the enterprise and academic plans, but missing from the increasingly popular Office 365 ProPlus, the rent-not-buy plan used by organizations that have decided to retain their back-end services, like SharePoint and Exchange, on premises.

Although Office 365 Video has elements of consumer streaming services like Google’s YouTube, it’s strictly an in-house affair: It will be available only to employees, and then only those whom IT administrators have assigned access rights.

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Will Google’s Algorithm Stop Piracy?

October 30, 2014 by admin  
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Nosey Google has updated its search engine algorithms in an attempt to restrict piracy web sites appearing high in its search rankings.

The update will mean piracy sites are less likely to appear when people search for music, films and other copyrighted content.

The decision to roll out the search changes was announced in a refreshed version of a How Google Fights Piracy report, which was originally published in September 2013.

However, this year’s updated report features a couple of developments, including changes to ad formats and an improved DMCA demotion search signal.

The move is likely to be a result of criticism received from the entertainment industry, which has argued that illegal sites should be “demoted” in search results because they enable people to find sites to download media illegally.

The biggest change in the Google search update will be new ad formats in search results on queries related to music and movies that help people find legitimate sources of media.

For example, for the relatively small number of queries for movies that include terms like ‘download’, ‘free’, or ‘watch’, Google has instead begun listing legal services such as Spotify and Netflix in a box at the top of the search results.

“We’re also testing other ways of pointing people to legitimate sources of music and movies, including in the right-hand panel on the results page,” Google added.

“These results show in the US only, but we plan to continue investing in this area and to expand it internationally.”

An improved DMCA demotion signal in Google search is also being rolled out as part of the refresh, which down-ranks sites for which Google has received a large number of valid DMCA notices.

“We’ve now refined the signal in ways we expect to visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites. This update will roll out globally starting next week,” Google said, adding that it will also be removing more terms from autocomplete, based on DMCA removal notices.

The new measures might be welcomed by the entertainment industry, but are likely to encourage more people to use legal alternatives such as Spotify and Netflix, rather than buying more physical media.

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What Will Facebook Do With WhatsApp?

October 21, 2014 by admin  
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Facebook, which closed its acquisition of mobile messaging service WhatsApp earlier this week, has said that it has no near-term plan to make money from it.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, who is visiting India to participate in an event to boost Internet usage, refused to say much more, but it does indicate that the company has not worked out a cunning plan yet.

Facebook’s final WhatsApp acquisition price tag has risen an additional $3 billion to roughly $22 billion because of the increased value of Facebook’s stock in recent months. This means that Zuckerberg is under pressure to make a bob or two from the deal.

WhatsApp works across different types of phones, across borders, and without advertising. The app only charges a 99 cent annual subscription fee, which is waived for the first year.

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Will Verizon Throttle Users?

October 15, 2014 by admin  
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Verizon Wireless backed away from a widely criticized plan to slow down the connections of heavy data users with unlimited LTE plans.

The carrier had announced in July it would extend a practice it calls network optimization to unlimited LTE subscribers starting in October. Network optimization targets the top 5 percent of data users on the network when a cell site is under the heaviest demand, and slows down those users’ network performance. Verizon had already applied the practice to the top users of its 3G network.

“We’ve greatly valued the ongoing dialogue over the past several months concerning network optimization and we’ve decided not to move forward with the planned implementation of network optimization for 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans,” the carrier said in a statement on Wednesday. “Exceptional network service will always be our priority and we remain committed to working closely with industry stakeholders to manage broadband issues so that American consumers get the world-class mobile service they expect and value.”

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler attacked the plan in a letter to Verizon, suggesting it was a ploy to get customers to switch from their unlimited plans to ones with a cap on monthly data usage. Verizon no longer sells new unlimited plans but allows subscribers with those plans to keep them.

“I know of no past Commission statement that would treat as ‘reasonable network management’ a decision to slow traffic to a user who has paid, after all, for ‘unlimited’ service,” Wheeler wrote in the late July letter to Verizon Wireless President and CEO Dan Mead.

Digital rights group Public Knowledge also attacked so-called data throttling, as well as practices by AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile USA.

The showdown demonstrated the tension over increasing demand for mobile data, which carriers say puts a strain on their networks. Among other things, that demand has led operators to seek ever more spectrum and apply network management techniques they say are necessary to keep serving all subscribers well. Though LTE makes much more efficient use of the airwaves than 3G does, LTE networks are serving a rapidly growing number of subscribers.

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Mobile Carriers Dash To Enter FCC Auction

October 14, 2014 by admin  
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Three of the four largest U.S. mobile operators and satellite provider Dish Network Corp plan to bid in the Federal Communications Commission’s November auction of airwaves, according to initial applications released on Wednesday.

As expected, the largest U.S. wireless carrier Verizon Communications Inc, No. 2 AT&T Inc, No. 4 T-Mobile US Inc and Dish appeared to be the largest companies to indicate an interest in bidding in the upcoming auction of frequencies known as AWS-3.

Applications from Northstar Wireless LLC and SNR Wireless LicenseCo LLC reported they had entered bidding agreements with Dish, which had indirect ownership interest in both companies.

Northstar’s disclosures showed direct and indirect ownership interest by Alaska Native corporation Doyon Ltd and indirect ownership interest by financial firm Catalyst Investors. Asset manager BlackRock Inc had membership shares in SNR, according to the documents.

T-Mobile and AT&T did not appear to plan joint bids with other companies, and T-Mobile’s Kathleen Ham, vice president of federal regulatory affairs, said the carrier had no such agreements with any company.

A Verizon spokesman did not respond to inquiries about potential joint bidding and Dish representatives declined comment beyond confirming the submission of its application, citing FCC’s anti-collusion rules.

A total of 80 entities submitted initial applications. Interested parties, which may or may not actually bid for wireless licenses in the auction, included smaller U.S. companies such as Bluegrass Wireless LLC, Guam-based wireless company Docomo Pacific Inc and individual spectrum investors.

Scheduled to begin on Nov. 13, the auction is expected to raise at least $10 billion and will include airwaves previously occupied by multiple federal users, including the Department of Homeland Security.

Dish applied to bid in the auction as American AWS-3 Wireless I LLC and disclosed joint bidding arrangements with SNR and Northstar, which in turn had to disclose ownership and other information.

SNR listed former FCC Wireless Bureau Chief John Muleta, now CEO of consulting firm Atelum LLC, as a contact. Muleta, reached late on Wednesday, declined comment, citing FCC’s restrictions.

Northstar’s disclosures listed Allen Todd, assistant secretary at Doyon, a Fairbanks-based Alaska Native Regional Corporation with numerous affiliates in various fields including oil and gas land drilling. Todd could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

SNR’s and Northstar’s, as well as AT&T’s, initial application appeared to be incomplete, which can be caused by small bureaucratic omissions. Of the 80 applications, 47 were deemed incomplete and have to be properly finished by Oct. 15 to allow the companies to participate.

All initial applications have to put down an upfront payment by Oct. 15 to confirm participation.

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