Microsoft has tweaked the Windows 8 interface following feedback from last month's developer preview.
The company will let you customize the start screen in a move that'll likely favour the Metro UI-version of Windows 8 that Microsoft is targeting at fondleslabs, if we've parsed a lengthy blog post here correctly.
The lengthy post is larded with user reaction data that now forms the basis of the Windows group's justification of Windows 8 features and rebuttals to critics.
After weighing up the feedback, Redmond's developers have rather gently suggested that some of those objecting to changes in the Start Screen in Windows 8 are just reacting to change, no matter whether it's good or bad. Read more...
The High Court said that the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) had wrongly applied UK patent law when assessing four patent applications for computer simulations of designs made by oilfield company Halliburton Energy. The IPO had previously ruled that the company's computer simulations were mental acts which cannot be patented under the UK's Patents Act.
Under the Act, inventions must be new, take an inventive step that is not obvious and be useful to industry in order to qualify for patent protection. An invention cannot be patented, according to the Patents Act, if it is "a scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business, or a program for a computer ... as such". Other inventions that cannot be patented include "a discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method", according to the Act.
The IPO had rejected Halliburton's patent applications for computer simulations. The simulations related to improving designs for the workings of engineering drill bits used in the oil industry. Read more...
A Google+ post-gone-viral by Google engineer Steve Yegge includes both insightful and at times scathing observations about how his employer needs learn a lesson or three from his previous employer Amazon, as well as Facebook and other leading tech companies about the importance of building a services-oriented technology platform instead of cranking out stand-alone products.
Privacy concerns aside (Yegge did opt to remove his public-facing post at his own discretion), observers may be fascinated by the contents of the post (reposted here on ycombinator), in which Yegge provided some deep insights into Amazon's successful transformation into an SOA company, despite what he described as occasionally harsh and misguided direction of micromanagerial Jeff Bezos.
Further, Yegge opined that Google needs to learn a particularly critical lesson from Amazon, as well as Facebook, Apple, and other tech giants before it's "too late." "Start with a platform, and then use it for everything," Yegge urged, citing Google+ as a prime example of his employer wrongly creating a mere product instead of a Facebook-style platform upon which products can be added and connected, services-style. Read more...
As more companies allow employees to bring smartphones and tablets into work, Android device makers are building products and partnerships to secure them, and now Samsung is joining the fray.
Samsung hopes its efforts to secure its products will encourage executives to choose its devices over others, said Ken Daniels, senior director of strategic alliances at Samsung Telecommunications America.
It has some tough competition, particularly in the tablet business, where Apple dominates the market. But it hopes corporate IT departments will be on its side. Samsung knows that CEOs will bring iPads to work and ask the IT department to secure them. "What we're trying to do is have the IT guy say, 'Hey, boss, try this one out. The Samsung Galaxy Tab. Because it can do what you want and it's easier for me to manage.'"
Samsung is also adding a new enterprise category to its app store, making it easier for people to find enterprise apps, said Eric Moon, an executive in Samsung's enterprise group. Read more...
IBM next week plans to unveil software that will allow data to be automatically migrated between storage tiers on an array and between arrays -- no matter where they are in the world.
Speaking to Computerworld at the SNW conference here, IBM also said it plans to announce an upgrade to its midrange storage array - now the Storwize V7000 Unified - that allows it to perform file- and iSCSI-based, block-level data transfers using the same management interface.
"This is not two pieces of hardware with sheet metal wrapped around them. This is a single management interface for both block and file data," said Dan Galvan, vice president of marketing for IBM's Storage Systems and Technology Group. "The file side now looks just like [the] block side did on the array." Read more...
Taffet, the CIO of U.S. Gas & Electric Inc. in North Miami Beach, Fla., brought on four new staffers in the past six months and is looking to add 11 more to his current team of 20. His list of open positions includes an EDI programmer, a risk management programmer, a CRM programmer, a business analyst and an assistant IT manager.
Taffet says he doubts any new college grad could easily fill any of those roles. Undergraduate and graduate programs aren't able to keep up with the needs of enterprise IT shops, he says.
"It's a horrible statement to say, but there's just not enough time to [learn in college] all the skills that people need to be successful. We are expecting more and more, and universities are supplying more, but we're asking for still more," Taffet says.
What "more" do Taffet and other IT leaders want? They continue to value the "soft skills" -- particularly communication skills, customer service skills and an understanding of how to behave professionally -- that have topped their list for years. Read more...
Personal computer shipments continued to grow in the third quarter but at a sluggish pace, intensifying concerns about the industry's dimming prospects going into the all-important holiday shopping season.
New numbers reported Wednesday by market research firms IDC and Gartner Inc. are likely to dampen expectations for upcoming quarterly results from PC makers and their suppliers.
The biggest maker of PC processors, Intel Corp., is scheduled to report its third-quarter numbers on Tuesday.
The prospects already weren't bright.
PC sales have been in a prolonged funk as anemic demand and rival technologies such as tablets and smartphones have dragged down demand in the U.S. and Europe. Growth in Asian economies isn't enough to offset sluggishness elsewhere. Read more...
Today, Sony's PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment service are up and running in fine style, but if you rewind just a few months, you'll remember that it hasn't always been this way. Earlier this year, Sony suffered one of the worst cyber attacks on a company in recent memory. Millions of accounts were compromised, and Sony spent months cleaning up the mess. And according to a new press release by the company, someone is at it again.
Sony's Chief Information Security Officer (that's a title we wouldn't have wanted to have back in May), Philip Reitinger, revealed that someone with a large number of email and password combinations attempted to access the accounts of hundreds of thousands of PSN users. The attack resulted in roughly 93,000 accounts being fraudulently accessed, all of which have now been locked for security. Read more...
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has finally gotten the message and joined Google+. The former Google CEO wrote his served on Apple's board of directors until 2009, when the competition between Android and iPhone became a major conflict of interest).
I recently criticized Google's management for not eating its own dog food and using Google+. At the time, Schmidt didn't even have a Google+ account. Only two Google executives -- SVP of Chrome Sundar Pichai and SVP of Social Vic Gundotra -- were active users of Google+ (at least in public -- it's important to note that additional Google executives may have been more active privately).
Since that article, several Google executives have started posting publicly to Google+. They include SVP of Search Alan Eustace and SVP of Ads Susan Wojcicki, and Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora. Read more...
Apple Inc debuts its fifth generation iPhone this week minus its visionary leader for the first time. But CEO Tim Cook may already be thinking ahead to his greatest challenge: repositioning the company's fabled marketing apparatus to safeguard the brand.
With Google Inc Android phones gaining momentum, Cook is likely sticking to established battle plans at this critical juncture. But longer term, he may be better off moving the company out from under Jobs' gargantuan shadow. The Apple co-founder bequeathed a mystique and cachet to the brand that will be near-impossible to replace, cultivating a community of fans hooked on ease of use and rich content.
It's those perceptions Cook -- who in two months on the job has already shown Wall Street and Silicon Valley glimpses of what an Apple without Steve Jobs might look like --- must focus on preserving rather than the inimitable aura of the co-founder who died last week at the age of 56. Read more...