Just when you thought Adobe Flash was close to dying out on the web, none other than Google has stepped in to give the much-maligned rich media plugin a new coat of polish.
The latest stable version of the online ad-slinger's Chrome browser for Windows includes a redesigned version of the Flash plugin that Google reps say will not only make Flash content more stable and secure, but will allow Chrome to offer the best Flash user experience when browsing in whatever we're calling Windows 8's Metro mode now.
The new plugin ditches the ancient Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) that web browsers have been using since Raquel Welch fought the dinosaurs, in favour of Google's home-grown Pepper Plugin API (PPAPI), which the search giant says offers improved security by isolating plugins inside their own protected "sandboxes" of memory.
"Windows Flash is now inside a sandbox that's as strong as Chrome's native sandbox, and dramatically more robust than anything else available," Google software engineer Justin Schuh writes in a blog post detailing the change. Read more...
IBM has shown interest in acquiring the vital enterprise services business of struggling smartphone maker Research in Motion, according to a Bloomberg report on Friday.
The report cites two unnamed sources, including one person who said IBM has informally approached RIM about buying the unit. The unit is valued at at around $2 billion, industry experts say.
Officials from IBM and RIM declined to comment on the report.
However, one person with knowledge of the situation told Computerworld today that the report is "not true" and that IBM is not interested in buying RIM's crown jewel. Read more...
Two security organizations have released online tools that let Windows users check for possible infections by Gauss, the newly-revealed cyber surveillance malware thought to have been built by one or more governments.
Kaspersky Lab and the Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security (CrySys) at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics each published Gauss detection tools today.
Gauss, Kaspersky said yesterday, is a sophisticated threat that monitors financial transactions with Middle Eastern banks, perhaps as part of a wider investigation into the funding of terrorist groups. Kaspersky believes that Gauss was built by or under the auspices of a government, in large part because of coding practices that resemble those used in Flame, an advanced spying and data-stealing toolkit that targeted Iranian computers.
Flame, which was uncovered three months ago but may have been operating since mid-2008, was notable for its ability to fake the Windows Update service, then use that to infect up-to-date Windows PCs. Read more...
Corporate data stores are growing exponentially, nearly every tech vendor is positioning their products to help handle the influx of data, and IT departments are scrambling to find the right people to collect, analyze and interpret data in a way that's meaningful to the business. On the employment front, the big data deluge is creating a hiring boom across North America. Modis, an IT staffing firm, identified five cities in particular where big data is driving job growth.
San Francisco tops the Modis list, followed by McLean, Va., Boston, St. Louis and Toronto. The roles that companies in these cities are fighting to fill include data scientist, data analyst, business intelligence professional and data modeling/data modeler.
Business intelligence and data analysis have been core enterprise disciplines for a long time, but they're becoming more important to businesses as data volumes rise, says Laura Kelley, a Modis vice president in Houston. "We're in a new era in terms of how large the databases are, the amount of data we're collecting, and how we're using it. It's much more strategic than it's ever been." Read more...
Microsoft will use "Windows 8" or "Modern" as replacements for the now-discarded "Metro" label to describe apps and their environment in the upcoming operating system, according to reports yesterday and today.
Veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, citing unnamed sources, reported one possible substitute Thursday in her "All Things Microsoft" blog.
According to Foley, the phrase "Metro style application" will be replaced by "Windows 8 application." Other Metro references will also take on the new term, with "Metro user interface" morphing to "Windows 8 user interface" and "Metro design" changing to "Windows 8 design."
Last week, The Verge reported that Microsoft was stepping back from Metro as the label it's used for more than a year to describe the new tile-based environment and associated apps in both Windows 8 and Windows RT. Read more...