Ordinarily, this would not have been a problem, but an error in the construction of the EPO circuit let the signal through, which resulted in an outage. It turned out that the EPO bypass circuit was not constructed to the as-built drawing when the center was built years earlier.
"The designs and actions of engineers, architects, and installation contractors can have latent effects on operations long after construction," said Filas.
Filas believes that "outside forces can make or break the data center just as easily as internal forces." But he also sees risk levels rising, particularly as data centers rely more on external suppliers.
Electrical contractors, for instance, may not understand the specific needs of a data center. "We are frequently questioned on why we provide redundant power to racks," said Filas.
Jeff Pederson, manager of data recovery operations at Kroll Ontrack, looks at the root causes of data loss and sees problems caused by both internal staff and external providers. But, he added, service people attempting to get equipment up and running "tend to cause a lot of the damage we see." Read more...
Microsoft has released to the World near-final code for Windows 8 - its riskiest bet yet.
Officially called a Consumer Preview, but actually a beta, the next Windows 8 milestone will be the release candidate followed by release to manufacturing, Windows Division president Steven Sinofsky said Wednesday.
Microsoft chose the Android-dominated and telco, device and service-provider centric Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, to officially launch the Windows 8 beta preview.
So what is new since the Developer Preview handed out at the BUILD conference last September? More than 100,000 code changes, apparently, as well as a bunch of apps that have not been made public before.
Windows 8 has a dual personality, with the old Windows desktop alongside a touch-friendly “Metro” user interface, powered by the new Windows Runtime.
A common complaint about the developer preview was that usability of the Metro side was fine with touch, but poor with keyboard and mouse. All fixed now, according to Microsoft vice president Antoine Leblond. “We paid just as much attention to using Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard as with touch,” he told the press at MWC.
Windows 8 uses the four corners of the screen as hot areas, on the grounds that it is easy to move the mouse there, so bottom left becomes the Start button - although the button itself is missing - top left a kind of alt-tab for switching between running apps, and so on. Read more...
Google is hours away from changing its terms of service for its users, just as French data protection authority CNIL once again urged Larry Page's company to postpone its planned cut-and-shut tweak to its privacy policies.
It said in a letter (PDF) to Page that CNIL's "preliminary analysis shows that Google's new policy does not meet the requirements of the European Directive on Data Protection (95/46/CE), especially the information provided to data subjects."
The DP watchdog added that it was disappointed by Google's claim that it had "extensively pre-briefed" data protection authorities across the EU. CNIL countered that that wasn't the case.
Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure and development service experienced a serious outage on Wednesday, with the system's service management component going down worldwide starting at 1:45 a.m. GMT.
"We are experiencing an issue with Windows Azure service management. Customers will not be able to carry out service management operations," Microsoft said in an initial message on the outage on its Azure service dashboard.
The issue has been "mitigated and service management is restored for the majority of customers," Microsoft said in a message posted at 1:30 p.m. GMT. "We still need to work through some issues before we can completely restore service management."
The incident's root cause "has been traced back to a cert issue triggered on 2/29/2012 GMT," Microsoft said in a previous update. Read more...
Hewlett-Packard has cut 275 jobs in its webOS group, as part of its strategy to turn the operating system over to the open-source community, a source said Tuesday.
HP said last year that it would stop making devices that use the operating system which was developed by Palm for phones and tablets, and later decided to release the software under the Apache License 2.0. HP had acquired Palm in 2010.
As webOS continues the transition to open-source software, HP no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. "This creates a smaller and more nimble team that is well-equipped to deliver an open source webOS and sustain HP's commitment to the software over the long term," it added. Read more...
IBM never comments on the specifics of any cuts, and the only reason that the company's job action is noticeable is due to the Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701, which gathers its data directly from IBM employees.
The alliance keeps a running tally of cuts by business units while affected employees post comments on a bulletin board.
An alliance spokesman was uncertain as to how many employees will lose their jobs in this latest round of cuts. The employees are from multiple business units and locations in the U.S., and nearly half of the employees "are mobile or work from home," according to a union spokesman. Read more...
Apple would be making a "brilliant" move if it decided to give away OS X Mountain Lion to Mac users as a free upgrade, an analyst said today.
One clue that that is a possibility was buried in a July 2011 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in which Apple for the first time said it was deferring a small portion of the revenue from each Mac sale to account for "unspecified software upgrades and features free of charge to customers."
"I think it's a great idea," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research when asked about a potentially-free upgrade for OS X users. "It would be brilliant." Read more...
Having changed the underlying architecture of JavaFX, Oracle is discontinuing older versions of this platform for building RIAs (Rich Internet Applications). As a result, applications based on JavaFX 1.2 and JavaFX 1.3 will need to be updated to run on JavaFX 2.0 by the end of this year.
"Companies and developers who have JavaFX 1.x applications in use today are strongly encouraged to migrate their applications to the JavaFX 2," an Oracle blog post announcing the discontinuation stated. Read more...
The growth in worldwide server shipments was slower than expected during the fourth quarter due to a shortage in the supply of hard drives, and the trend will continue into the first quarter this year, Gartner said in a study released on Thursday.
Worldwide server shipments totaled 2.5 million units during the fourth quarter last year, increasing by 4.5 percent compared to the same quarter in 2010. However, server makers could not meet demand due to hard-drive shortages. Shipments fell short of demand by around 200,000 units during the fourth quarter, said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. Read more...
And indeed, until very recently, Android was Linux's main contender in the mobile world. Yes, there have been others coming and going -- LiMo, Maemo, Moblin, and MeeGo, for example -- but none of them have even approached Android in terms of traction.
That's why this year's Mobile World Congress has been so striking. Announcements coming out of the show have made it perfectly clear that mobile Linux's days of being more or less completely dominated by Android are coming to an end. Read more...
The move by Yahoo puts it in conflict with Facebook with which the company has a beneficial relationship, particularly in the area of integration of Yahoo News with Facebook.
Traffic to the mobile Yahoo News web app from Facebook Mobile has increased three-and-a-half times since Feb. 14 to 1.6 million visitors a day, according to a post last week on Facebook's developer blog.
In an e-mailed statement, Yahoo said, "Yahoo! has a responsibility to its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to protect its intellectual property. We have invested substantial resources into these innovations. Recognizing that, other major web and technology companies have already licensed some of these technologies. We must insist that Facebook either enter into a licensing agreement or we will be compelled to move forward unilaterally to protect our rights." Read more...
Google isn't offering much information about the forthcoming Android 5.0, even though there are rumors saying that the new version of the operating system will be available on a smartphone by early summer.
It's more likely that it will be rolled out in the fall, based on comments made by Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of engineering for mobile at Google. He spoke with Computerworld at Mobile World Congress here on Monday.
"After Android 4 comes 5, and we haven't announced the timing yet, which we're still sorting out," Lockheimer said. "There's a lot of engineering work behind it still, and there's also just the question of how to time it." Read more...
The operators of social networking sites, such as Facebook, would not be obliged to delete every piece of information about individuals that they host under proposed new EU 'right to be forgotten' laws, the European Commission has said.
The Commission said that the platforms would not have to delete information that users elect only to enable their 'friends' on the sites to access. The processing of that data would be outside the scope of the draft new data protection laws, it said, according to ZDNet.
Under the draft General Data Protection Regulation, published by the Commission in January, individuals will be given a qualified 'right to be forgotten' that will generally enable them to force organisations to delete personal data stored about them "without delay". Organisations that have made the data public will be liable for the data published by third parties and will be required to "take all reasonable steps, including technical measures" to inform them to delete the information. Read more...
A British voice-recognition app that works like Siri may be allowed to stay in Apple's App Store, if it makes some changes, says a report in The Verge.
Information app Evi was approved and launched in the iTunes store on 23 January 2012. But on Friday it seemed that Apple's App Store arbitrators had changed their minds and were going to pull the app, complaining it was too similar to Siri. Replicating the functions of native iOS apps contravenes the rules of the App Store.
But looks like the axe has been stayed: several reports today suggested that Apple might make an exception to its rules and work with Evi's developers to differentiate Evi from Siri while allowing the application to remain on sale. The app was still available on iTunes at time of writing. It would be a surprising volte-face for Apple, which isn't known for making compromises, especially not with small British start-ups like the Cambridge-based Evi-makers True Knowledge. Read more...
Apple has found a lot of success in adding the voice-activated personal assistant software Siri to its iPhone 4S. Apparently, other companies are taking notice.
At the Mobile World Congress this weekend in Barcelona, Spain, Mercedes Benz rolled out plans to integrate Siri into its “Drive Kit Plus” program. This will essentially allow drivers to access their iPhone apps using only their voices while driving.
The story comes from the International Business Times. Mercedes Benz, the publication reports, already has a software program that projects the iPhone screen onto an in-car system to allow users to make use of their smartphones without having to divert their attention from driving. Drive Kit Plus interacts with the existing systems to allow a hands-free method of accessing lots of different iPhone systems while driving, like music, text messaging and email. Drivers can even send updates to Facebook and Twitter with Siri’s help.
On the iPhone 4S, Siri also is capable of handling navigation commands, bringing up directions to specific places when asked questions as well as when given instructions. It’s not hard to see how well the technology behind Siri can translate into being used in a car, and it sounds like hands-free navigation will be one of the biggest selling points for Siri and Drive Kit Plus. Read more...