Novell and SUSE Linux may technically be separate companies, but they are owned by the same Attachmate conglomerate and they still have to work together on specific products, such as Open Enterprise Server, which bolts NetWare print and file services to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
In the wake of buying Novell for $2.2bn back in April, SUSE Linux was broken out as a separate division and its headquarters moved back to its Nuremburg, Germany, stomping grounds.
The identity management, security, directory, NetWare support contracts, and Open Enterprise Server, an amalgam of NetWare services ported to run atop SLES, were kept in a separate Novell division headquartered in Provo, Utah, which is Novell's old stomping grounds. An alien visiting earth would never even know the $210m Novell acquisition of SUSE Linux occurred in November 2003 and would think that the two units had partnered to create a hybrid that in essence makes Linux look like NetWare. Read more...
The marketing stunt - already given the hashtag #droidrage on Twitter - follows a run of publicity about android malware.
Ben Rudolph (@BenthePCGuy), the Microsoft Windows Phone "evangelist" behind the social network ploy, is offering the five people with the worst stories free Windows smartphones as an alternative. It's unclear if the Android virus victims will be either asked or required to take part in advertising campaigns.
The marketing initiative has already attracted comment from security watchers. Graham Cluley, senior consultant at anti-virus firm Sophos, described the move as a "somewhat below-the-belt" attempt to highlight the possible security deficiencies of Android rather than the benefits of Windows Phones. Read more...
It's too soon to declare that Hewlett-Packard has "dump[ed] webOS in the open source trash can", as my friend and mobile open source expert Fabrizio Capobianco insists. But it's also way too soon for HP to speculate on its action being any sort of victory, given the immense difficulties inherent in successfully open sourcing technology.
Open sourcing webOS is not an end, but a means to an end, and one that depends heavily on HP's ability to get out of the way and cooperatively construct a community around the mobile platform.
It's not for the faint of heart.
Just ask Nokia, which sought to sustain Symbian as a mobile powerhouse by turning Symbian into an open-source project. Except that it didn't. Not immediately, anyway. From the outset, the Symbian Foundation promised a long wait for the Symbian code, but it took years, and was eventually pulled back into proprietary software land.
In open-source land, the lack of shipping code is a deal killer. It is impossible to sustain interest in chimerical code. Read more...
Software-defined networking startup Embrane this week came out of stealth mode to unveil its product and strategy for virtualizing network services.
Embrane was founded in 2009 by former Cisco executives Dante Malagrinò and Marco Di Benedetto, Embrane's CTO. Malagrinò and Di Benedetto were early members of the Andiamo Systems team, a storage networking company funded and acquired by Cisco, as well as Nuova Systems, the company that provided Cisco with its unified computing technology.
At Cisco, Malagrinò helped develop and market Cisco's Data Center 3.0 strategy, which stressed virtualization and a unified fabric. Di Benedetto architected the core elements of Cisco's NX-OS data center operating system.
Other Embrane executives are from 3Com, HP, Juniper, Oracle, Alactel-Lucent, Array Networks, and Palo Alto Networks. Embrane has raised $27 million since its founding. Read more...
Shills -- the world's full of them.
A new study from UCSB explores the dark underbelly of shill services (PDF). In China, shills can be bought for pennies per review, comment, tweet, or email. Organizations operate on open sites, matching shill-seeking companies with individuals who have nothing better to do with their time.
Think of it this way. If you (or your competitor) could buy Facebook Likes and positive comments for pennies apiece, how many would you want? If you (or your competitor) is opening a new restaurant, how many Zagat stars can you afford? If you have a new piece of computer hardware, how much is it worth to get a dozen five-star ratings on Newegg?
All of the major crowdsourcing sites in the United States have systems to detect and (hopefully) deter blatant use of automated skewers: CAPTCHA codes, validating emails, even more sophisticated techniques such as monitoring how quickly you respond to messages. But those techniques fall short when there's a flesh-and-blood person sitting at a PC, working for pennies, and willing to jump through the hoops. Read more...
Enterprises can now use TwinStrata's CloudArray to access storage capacity hosted in OpenStack-based clouds, the company said on Tuesday.
CloudArray is a gateway used to add cloud storage and mix it with existing storage environments. OpenStack is the latest addition to a growing list of public and private cloud platforms the product can integrate with, including Amazon S3, AT&T Synaptic, Nirvanix and EMC Atmos.
The integration with OpenStack includes the ability to use the private beta of Hewlett Packard's upcoming Cloud Services, according to TwinStrata.
OpenStack is open-source software for building private and public clouds. The project was founded by NASA and Rackspace Hosting, and is backed by over 140 companies including Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Intel. Read more...
Microsoft has quietly launched a support website where experts charge $99 for one- or two-hour sessions designed to rid PCs of malware, speed up a machine or solve problems with Windows or Office.
Answer Desk debuted with no fanfare from Microsoft, which has not deigned to mention the new service in a press release or promote it on the front page of its domain, or even, surprisingly, on its consumer-slanted Windows website.
One of the few places the service does appear is on the Microsoft Store site, where Microsoft sells its own software, the Xbox game system and select OEM's Windows desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones.
The new support option is so low-key that Microsoft apparently scrubbed a Dec. 9 blog announcing Answer Desk. The blog, penned by Blake Morrison -- listed on LinkedIn as a Microsoft senior support escalation engineer -- no longer exists on Microsoft's TechNet blog network, although a cached edition was still available Tuesday morning. Read more...
Getting a read on how well Microsoft Windows Phone has been doing has been tricky in recent months, with each indication of momentum seemingly offset with one or more negative market share or news reports. But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's memo sent within the company Monday and published publicly by Microsoft indicates Windows Phone 7 probably isn't living up to Microsoft's expectations.
Ballmer (see full memo below) announced this week that Andy Lees is being replaced as head of the Windows Phone Division by Terry Myerson, who led engineering efforts on Microsoft's latest bid to succeed on the mobile front. Lees is being moved to "a new role working for me [Ballmer] on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8." Read more...
The FBI has denied a request for the release of information regarding its use of Carrier IQ's software, saying that releasing the information could interfere with ongoing law enforcement operations.
The response does not make it clear whether the agency is using Carrier IQ for investigative purposes, or whether the documents it has, are related to an investigation of the controversial software.
The request under the Freedom of Information Act was filed Dec. 1 by Michael Morisy, co-founder of MuckRock, a website that helps people file FOIA requests with the government. Morisy asked the FBI for any manuals, documents or other written material it might have related to the FBI's use of data gathered by Carrier IQ. Read more...
In 2011, the increasingly mobile and socially networked world of technology became more intertwined than ever with politics and the law. Patent wars shaped competition in tablets and smartphones, hacktivists attacked a widening array of political and corporate targets, repressive regimes unplugged citizens from the Internet, and the U.S. government moved to block the giant merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA. With the passing of Steve Jobs, the world lost a technology icon who redefined the computer, entertainment and consumer electronics industries. These are the IDG News Service's picks for the top 10 technology stories of the year:
-- The PlayStation Network hack, Anonymous and the rise of hacktivism
April attacks on Sony's PlayStation and Qriocity networks knocked out service for millions of users for two months, compromised personal data of some 70 million subscribers and cost Sony $170 million to clean up. The attacks were partly in retaliation against Sony's response to the release of code for its PS3 console that let the device run unauthorized software. Though it's unclear whether members of Anonymous or an affiliated hacker group, LulzSec, were responsible, the stakes have been raised for politically motivated hacking, or hacktivism. Anonymous, the most high-profile hactivist group, this year claimed or was believed to have launched attacks against entities as disparate as security firm HBGary, child-porn sites, Koch Industries, Bank of America, NATO and various government websites. LulzSec, Peoples Liberation and TeaMp0isoN are among the the groups claiming affiliation with the Anonymous collective. Though police have made arrests in the U.S., the U.K., Spain and elsewhere, the success of high-profile hacks has assured that politically oriented hacking is here to stay. Read more...