A Twitter executive last night offered an explanation for the cause of an outage that twice knocked Twitter offline around the world on Thursday.
Twitter first crashed around 12:30 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday. The outage affected all platforms and took down both third-party and Twitter apps on the Android and iOS platforms.
The site returned around 1:15 p.m.
In a blog post on Thursday night, Twitter's vice president of engineering, Mazen Rawashdeh, said company engineers found a cascading bug in one of Twitter's infrastructure components. That means the bug didn't just hit one particular software element, but "cascaded" across the system, he said. "This wasn't due to a hack or our new office or Euro 2012 or GIF avatars, as some have speculated today," Rawashdeh added. Read more...
Symantec put out a report June 15 that caused a double-take.
Here’s what it originally said before it was revised:
“KNOWN ISSUE: Altiris Agent service is crashing on a high percentage of computers after upgrading from Symantec Management Platform 7.1 SP1 to 7.1 SP2.”[Emphasis added, not that high percentage needs extra emphasis.]
Altiris, which was acquired by Symantec in 2007, is an asset management tool. It is used to manage patches, maintain compliance with software licenses and remove unauthorized software, among other functions.
A user of this system alerted us to the problem. His Altiris agents, which are on the clients, were crashing after the upgrade. He has since been unable to patch his systems, something that is becoming increasingly worrisome.
When the user first sought help from the Symantec help desk, the support tech was unaware of the alert. That increased the user's concern. Read more...
There are lots of useful travel apps out there that can help you find everything from low gas prices and least 'agonizing' flights (considering both price and travel/layover time) to good local restaurants and nearby national parks -- and we'll show you some in a Computerworld roundup review coming next week. But if you're traveling abroad, there are some additional things you might want on your mobile device, whether to cut down on pricey data use, find a data connection or get help with a foreign language.
Here are some apps and podcasts I found useful during a recent trip overseas. Have other favorites? Please leave details in the comments section below.
Type: App & paid service
Price: App is free, Wi-Fi credits are $1.99 for iPhones and iPads
OS reviewed: iOS
If you're a tech-savvy professional in America, you probably don't need an app to get connected when in the U.S.; chances are you've already got a data plan to serve your needs. However, that might not be the case when traveling overseas, where data roaming can be quite pricey. Read more...
Adobe yesterday updated Flash Player to solve a weeks-long problem for users of Mozilla's Firefox browser.
The update, Flash Player 11.3.300.262, was released Thursday and applies only to Firefox on Windows.
Since Adobe shipped an update to Flash Player to 11.3 two weeks ago, users of Firefox, including older editions as well as the current Firefox 13, had reported crashes when trying to access Flash content.
Initial suspicions at Mozilla pointed to Flash Player 11.3's new sandboxed plug-in for Firefox, but yesterday Adobe claimed that there were "different causes" for the crashes, which seemed to be concentrated on Windows Vista and Windows 7 machines. Read more...
Ahead of its Red Hat Summit in Boston next week and the reporting of its financial results for fiscal Q1 yesterday, commercial Linux distributor Red Hat is pushing out its next iteration of the Enterprise Linux operating system for servers and workstations.
RHEL 6.0 launched in November 2010, and it was a major update, with more than 2,058 programs (twice as many as in RHEL 5) and a move to the Linux 2.6.32 kernel. With the RHEL 6.3 release available today, a big focus is the usual updating in the kernel and in the driver stack to take advantage of new hardware that has come to market in the past six months.
"Hardware enablement is a big piece of every release," Tim Burke, vice president of Linux engineering, tells El Reg. In this case, there are a number of optimizations that have been made explicitly for Intel's new Xeon E5-2400, E5-2600, and E5-4600 processors, which came out in March and April, as well as Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron 6200s, which launched last November. Read more...
Oracle has agreed to accept damages of $0 from Google in the Java case for the small bit of copyright infringement of which the judge found it guilty.
Judge William Alsup cleared the Chocolate Factory of most of Oracle's infringement claims last month and ruled that Google had copied only a few small bits of Java code. Oracle and Google met in court yesterday to decide what damages Google should pay, where their lawyers announced the firms had settled on $0.
It sounds a bit like Oracle has taken leave of its senses, but it's more likely that the firm just wants this trial over so that it can appeal and try to get Alsup's earlier decisions overturned.
Google has also signalled that it might look for legal fees from Oracle, since it basically won on most counts. Read more...
Did Microsoft finally get the memo on software licensing? While Microsoft's legal department continues to believe that software licensing is the industry's best business model, its mobile team now acknowledges that software is just one piece of an overall product, and not even the part that consumers buy.
With the launch of its end-to-end Microsoft-designed Surface tablet, Microsoft has declared what much of the rest of the industry already knows: software is dead.
Redmonk analyst Stephen O'Grady best explains this come-to-Jobs moment for Microsoft. As O'Grady points out: "The market has not generated a large technology vendor oriented around selling software in twenty-two years," as companies like Facebook, Google, Red Hat, and more have learned to sell services based upon or built around software. But the software itself? Free. Read more...
Flipboard is now available for Android. The app, which aggregates content in a magazine-like format, also integrates content from Google+ and YouTube, a Flipboard blog post said on Friday.
The application can be downloaded from Google's Play store, Amazon's app store for the Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook App Store.
In the U.S., Flipboard will come pre-installed on Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphone when purchased from carriers including AT&T. Read more...
Is 2012 the year app stores will break out in the enterprise?
The environment is certainly ripe for it. Over the past two years, there has been a proliferation of employees using smartphones and tablets to do work and more enterprises are implementing BYOD (bring our own device) programs that allow employees to use personal iPads, iPhones, and Android smartphones to access business apps.
The company app store, which follows a consumer trend started by Apple's iTunes App Store and Google's Android Market (now called Google Play), is a logical extension of the BYOD movement.
But whether businesses are providing company-issued devices or letting users bring their own, mobile app stores still offer the same value: to efficiently and securely distribute mobile apps to employees and take the burden off IT to migrate apps to individual devices or upload each app onto a public app store. Read more...
Bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, is a movement blurring the line between work and personal life. After all, BYOD is all about employees using personal smartphones and tablets for business purposes. So does this mean people check Facebook when they should be working or read job-related emails on weekends?
In other words, does BYOD help or hinder worker productivity?
The easy answer, of course, is both. But CIOs need to tip the scales toward worker performance gains if they're going to endorse a BYOD program, especially since many poorly managed mobile BYOD programs end up costing more than company-owned device programs.
Other CIOs may not have much of a choice with BYOD programs that act as a kind of rallying cry for people to demand certain tech gadgets at work. "The pressure on IT is intense," says Aberdeen Group analyst Andrew Borg. "The implied threat is, 'Give me what I know I can have, or I'll self-provision.'"
The silver lining, though, is that BYOD really does lead to net worker productivity gains.
Consider this likely scenario: A worker wants to turn in her corporate-owned BlackBerry in favor of her personal iPhone. She will enthusiastically personalize her iPhone with productivity tools and apps that deliver up-to-the-minute data, as opposed to the less-customizable BlackBerry.
In turn, the personal iPhone will accelerate her responsiveness.
"They are also more likely to have their device with them at all times, not only during work hours, which means they are more accessible and in-touch," Borg says.
BYOD also helps in recruitment and getting new hires up to speed quickly. Mobile devices have become very personal, like a wallet or purse, and so potential employees will want to work at a company that lets them use their personal devices. Since they are already familiar with, say, the iPhone, they don't need to learn the acrobatics and shortcuts of the BlackBerry.
"The way to give the greatest choice is through a BYOD program," Brandon Hampton, a founding director of Mobi Wireless Management, a software and services provider advising Fortune 100 companies on wireless strategies, told CIO.com. "This can be good for industries that are very competitive for the brightest employees, such as law firms. It's an extra perk."
CIOs prefer quantitative metrics to qualitative hearsay, yet clear-cut BYOD performance gains are somewhat elusive.
Aberdeen suggests looking at BYOD productivity gains in terms of how new devices can improve workflow efficiencies. "Although the temptation is to measure specific processes and estimate the number of minutes shaved off routine activity, it's advisable to look at process workflows that would otherwise have long bottlenecks without ubiquitous mobile access," Borg says.
The iPad, a popular candidate for inclusion in BYOD programs, recently changed the way Eaton Corp., a 100-year-old hydraulics maker, sold its products, basically upending the sales workflow process. CIO Justin Kershaw measures worker productivity gains by monitoring order intake rate and length of sales cycle, from opportunity to quote to the actual order.
"That used to take days and weeks in the legacy process, and now we're down to hours and minutes," Kershaw says.
The first release of Microsoft's Surface tablet computers will be Wi-Fi-only, two unnamed sources told the Washington Post.
When the tablets were launched Monday, Microsoft did not say whether the initial release of the Surface tablet on Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro would have cellular connectivity. Officials referred to a shortened spec sheet that left many details about the tablets unclear. The spec sheet lists both models of the Surface tablet as coming with various ports and a 2x2 MIMO antenna. Such antennas can be used in both Wi-Fi and cellular communications. Since the spec sheet was incomplete, it can't be assumed there will be no cellular connectivity, analysts said. Read more...