SharePoint admins are abusing their privileged status to sneak a peak at classified documents according to a poll that shows consistent abuse of security in Microsoft's business collaboration server.
A third of IT administrators or somebody they know with admin rights have read documents hosted in Microsoft's collaboration server that they are not meant to read.
Most popular documents eyeballed were those containing the details of their fellow employees, 34 per cent, followed by salary – 23 per cent – and 30 per cent said "other."
Ironically, the poll found the jury almost split on whether the authors of documents themselves could be trusted to control the security privilege settings on their work.
IT admins are firmly in control of setting access rights within SharePoint; 69 per cent set the permission levels that say who reads what, by individual or by group. Read more...
Google is the limp-wristed liberal of certification authorities, allowing just about anything into its Android Marketplace. But it's that "just about" that has annoyed some folks in the CyanogenMod ROM team, who have started a discussion about hosting their own application store to fund the development of their alternative Android build.
Android applications aren't nearly as restricted as their iOS contemporaries, but there are still some things they can't do. Notably they can't grab a screenshot, something that prompts tech journalists (among others) to immediately unlock (or "root") their handsets. Applications running on a "rooted" Android handset can be granted access to resources otherwise unavailable.
Some Android users also want to strip out interface shells or spyware dropped in by the manufacturers and/or network operators. That means wiping out the entire installation and replacing it with an unmodified version of Android, with CyanogenMod being the most popular of such versions. Read more...
Larry Page's first nine months as the second-time-around Google CEO has been defined by his attempts to cut out the rot at Mountain View while pollinating the company's entire online estate with social goo.
That effort continued on two fronts late last week.
First, Google confirmed it was axing six more of its products. Separately, a blogger spotted that the world's largest ad broker had begun hooking all new Gmail signups directly into Google+ by default.
"As we head into 2012, we’ve been sticking to some old resolutions – the need to focus on building amazing products that millions of people love to use every day," said Google product management veep Dave Girouard in a blog post.
"That means taking a hard look at products that replicate other features, haven’t achieved the promise we had hoped for or can’t be properly integrated into the overall Google experience."
He then went on to list products on the Chocolate Factory's hit list.
It's taking out and shooting the little-used Google Message Continuity (GMC) service that was developed for Mountain View's enterprise customers who wanted to back up emails originally sent or received via an on-premise, Microsoft Exchange system. Read more...
As speculation turns to iPhone 5 comes news that Research In Motion (RIM) is dead. Sure, this might sound harsh but the company's move to replace its leadership seems unlikely to bring it back from the brink. Apple [AAPL] has unleashed forces RIM has been unable to match.
Fall of the giant
What’s the news? Company co-CEO's, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down. RIM now has a new CEO, ex-COO, Thorsten Heins. The fightback -- such as it is -- begins with two new model phones scheduled for introduction later this year, hopefully.
These moves reflect declining BlackBerry sales, declining satisfaction levels, decline across the board at the world's once leading smartphone company.
Think back and you'll recall a time when RIM devices seemed to exude rubber-clad cool: if you didn't have a BlackBerry you wanted one, and business users who did possess them loved them so much they'd work in bed with them, creating armies of BlackBerry widows in the process.
Apple made your widows smile
Apple's focus on users meant those BlackBerry widows ended up with their own electronic gadget to use at bedtime, and when their business-focused husbands saw what they were doing, they wanted a little iAction too. Read more...
On Thursday, Apple made it clear that one of the next industries it hopes to disrupt and reinvent is education. It's an arena the company has a long history of working with: schools have been one of Apple's biggest market since the days of the Apple II.
While there have been pilot projects and full-scale deployments of the iPad as an educational tool, you can't say yet that it has truly revolutionized learning. While it's made researching information, viewing video, and working with interactive content more portable and more tactile, for mainstream education, many of those tasks have been available to desktops and laptops in the classroom for a generation.
Now, Apple has clearly set its sights on making the iPad a more fundamental part of the school experience -- and is out to transform that experience in the process.
The newest version of iBooks offers students of all ages something that's more than the sum of its parts. In many ways, it simply consolidates all the learning tools technology had already brought to the classroom - audio and video, electronic texts, interactive quizzes, searchable indexes and glossaries, and the age-old ability to highlight and notate text for future reference. But, as Apple products often do, iBooks 2 not only consolidates features but pares them back to focus on the actual task at hand: learning.
This is what makes iBooks 2 and the handful of textbooks already available in the iBookstore unique among the many education tools that have come across computer screens over the past 30-plus years. There are features centered around the task of absorbing information, each tackling a subtly different way of learning -- visually through static and interactive graphics, by reading text, and through video clips. In typical Apple fashion, there are no unneeded bells and whistles.
The ability to highlight and take notes right in the text of a digital book is great by itself, and it certainly works better than scribbling in the margins or having to use a separate notebook because someone else will get the textbook during the next school year. Apple kept that feature relatively basic and focused on function. The ability to use notes as study cards is as simple and minimalist as it effective.
Having worked with schools and colleges for a decade as a technology professional, I'm most struck by the fact that no part of the iBooks 2 textbook interface is dumbed down or gimmicky. The experience respects that students are growing up as digital natives and don't need any Fisher-Price styling to learn. Instead, Apple stuck to its core minimalist aesthetic; the result brilliantly lets the content and the lessons take center stage, which makes the act of learning more effective and engaging. Read more...
Worries have been steadily growing among European IT leaders that the USA Patriot Act would give the U.S. government unfettered access to their data if stored on the cloud servers of American providers -- so much so that Obama administration officials last week held a press conference to quell international concern over the protection of data stored on U.S. soil.
Patriot Act Games
The unease over the reach of Patriot Act provision -- which expands the discovery mechanisms law enforcement can use to access third-party data -- has been amped up by the sales and marketing efforts of some European cloud providers, seeking to set apart their services as a way to keep corporate data out of the hands of the American government. The most blatant examples are two Swiss companies touting their cloud options as "a safe haven from the reaches of the U.S. Patriot Act," but it's become a popular topic at negotiating tables across the continent.
"I don't see how you have a pitch meeting with one of these European cloud providers and not have subject of the Patriot Act concerns come up," says Alex Lakatos, a partner and cross-border litigation expert in the Washington, D.C. office of Mayer Brown.
Anxiety was heightened last year when a Microsoft UK managing director admitted that he could not guarantee that data stored on the company's servers, even those outside the U.S., would not be seized by the U.S. government.
"Some of it certainly is companies trying to take advantage of the Patriot Act to market against U.S. competitors," Lakatos says. "Some of it is just the general concern Europeans have about the Patriot Act." While the 9/11-inspired legislation has been misused in a variety of ways, says Lakatos, some of those perceptions don't necessarily mesh with reality. Read more...
Sony said Monday it has developed new technology for the tiny imaging chips that power cameras in portable devices, which will allow for clearer photographs while using less space and cutting manufacturing costs.
The company said it has developed a method for building CMOS sensors, widely used in mobile phones and digital cameras, that will reduce their surface area and allow imaging circuitry to be produced separately from the supporting logic. Sony said it will also add new technology to reduce picture distortion in dark scenes and allow videos to capture a wider range of light.
Sample shipments of image sensors that use the new manufacturing method will begin from March, with mass production to start in the fall. The new imaging technologies will be introduced into broad production late this year or early next, the company said.
"Initially we will work to insure that these sensors can be used in all smartphones," said Yasuhiro Ueda, an executive in Sony's image sensor division. "After we have achieved success with phones, we are planning to expand into areas such as audio-visual products, surveillance and manufacturing." Read more...
The National Science Foundation (NSF) just released a bevy of reports detailing American investment in science and technology, and the picture's grim.
While the size of the U.S. science and engineering workforce grew 24 percent between 2000 to 2010, to reach 6.65 million, the number of Americans working in high tech manufacturing dropped by 28 percent, and it's still headed down.
Make no mistake about it, high tech jobs still drive the American economy. NSF's numbers show that "Knowledge and Technology Intensive Industries" in the United States account for 40 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, compared to 32 percent for the EU and 30 percent for Japan. But the U.S.'s share of the world revenue for knowlege-intensive service industries (business, financial, and communications) has fallen from 42 percent of the world total in 2000 to 33 percent in 2010. At the same time, China's world share has gone from 2 percent in 1995 to 7 percent in 2010, largely due to a 20 percent per year growth in China's communications industry. Read more...