Sources whispered to Bloomberg that Google was interested in the navigation firm - which is, of course, seeking a price tag of more than $1bn. What kind of tech company are you these days if you don't ask other tech companies to fork out at least $1bn for you?
Google told The Register that it doesn't comment on rumours or speculation.
Earlier this month, other sources claimed that Facebook was also interested in snaffling Waze and was unfazed by the billion-dollar price tag. Since Facebook was outed as an interested party, Google and other tech firms have approached the firm about a possible deal. Read more...
Controversial Chinese software vendor Qihoo 360 has its eyes on world domination after controversial founder Zhou Hongyi told the local press he wants to turn the firm into the planet’s biggest web security biz.
Qihoo made its name flogging free AV to bargain-seeking Chinese punters and has since gone on to build a successful business around products in several related areas including web browsing, search and internet portals.
Never one to resist an opportunity to engage in some blatant self promotion, Zhou was quoted in the Changjiang Daily News late last week arguing that just as products made in China are now sold throughout the world, so his firm should take the freemium web security model global. Read more...
Ring in open source and cloud apps, ring out old packaged software. That's the message relayed by Peter Yared, CTO for CBS Interactive, at this week's open source-focused Open Business Conference in San Francisco. And on a related software front, broadcasting giant CBS says it is not caving to patent trolls and is instead choosing to give them a fight.
"We love open source" and run a ton of it, Yared said. CBS Interactive, which includes CBS Web properties, has utilized open source software including the Apache Hadoop distributed computing system and the MySQL database. Read more...
Microsoft Office is the planet’s most ubiquitous productivity suite and Word and Excel still set the standard on personal productivity apps.
The way the software suite is embedded in each office's day-to-day business means that with each new update, Microsoft finds itself struggling to convince people to upgrade. After all, the enterprise in general is known for its tendency to cling to what it's used to.
This time, there’s a new challenge - and it’s not Google Docs: it's the web. Microsoft released Office 2013 with an updated Office 365, a package of webbified Office apps such as Word and Excel combined with Microsoft hosted versions of Exchange, Lync and SharePoint once found in the old Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Read more...
Home, which became available for download April 1, alters Android's look and feel but isn't a full-blown fork of the OS.
Google would not take negative actions toward Home, such as removing it from the Play app store, Schmidt said Tuesday during an onstage interview at the AllThingsD Dive Into Mobile event in New York.
"It would be counter to our public statements, our religion," he said. "The answer is no. It's called open source. They read the manual, they read the rules and adhered to them." Read more...
Mobile device security startup Averail makes its debut today with its "containerization" software and service intended to give IT managers control over mobile-device apps and their content.
The product, called Averail Access, is only available as client software for the Apple iPad at present but the company plans to add support for Google Android and the Apple iPhone in the second half of the year, with additional mobile platforms possible. Marc Olesen, Averail president and CEO, says the company's focus isn't specifically on mobile-device management but what's often called "containerization," the ability to place restrictions on mobile content down to the document level through policy settings. Read more...
Apple's slide-to-unlock patent has been ruled invalid by a German court because it's not really a "technological innovation" in the eyes of European patent law.
The Bundespatentgericht (federal patent court) in Munich ruled that the famous patent is invalid because European law doesn't allow for the patenting of software that doesn't represent a "technical solution to a technical problem", the Frankfurter Allgemeine (translated with the help of Google) reported. Read more...
In theory, if you're hoping to write that novel you've been thinking about for years, then you could just launch your favourite word processor and start typing.
In practice, it's not that simple. You'll need to prepare first, take notes and organize your ideas.
It takes time and effort to make sure your work is properly structured. And an editor you'll use to produce a letter, say, almost certainly isn't the best choice for a big writing project - opting for a more specialist tool could make a real difference to your productivity.
Don't give up just yet, though, this isn't as bad as it seems. There are plenty of excellent free tools to help simplify the mechanics of the writing process. And choosing the right ones will leave you free to focus on what really matters: bringing your ideas to life.
1. LibreOffice Writer
Every writer needs a good word processor for at least some tasks, and LibreOffice has one of the best free offerings around.
Auto-completion, auto-formatting and the spell checker work as you write, delivering great results with minimal hassle.
If you need a little more then it's easy to extend your document with embedded images, footnotes and endnotes, indexes, bibliographies and more. It's straightforward to export your work as a PDF file, ready to share with others.
And this is all presented in a familiar, Word 2007-style interface. You'll feel at home right away.
TheSage is a very powerful dictionary and thesaurus and a stack of useful features.
For example, a one-click lookup in most applicatons will get you a definition, an example sentence, a pronuciation guide (with matching audio to hear it spoken out loud), and any synonyms, hypernyms, hyponyms and meronyms.
You don't know how to spell a word? No problem, TheSage will offer Google-like alternatives if you get something wrong.
All your searches are stored in a history list for easy reference later. There's also an anagram solver. And the program can even run web searches on your term at Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Google.
Ideal for e-book authors, Sigil is a capable EPUB editor with a stack of essential features.
If you're new to e-books then you'll appreciate the WSIWYG Book view, for instance, which works much like any other editor. But experienced users can fine tune their project by directly tweaking EPUB code.
A powerful search tool helps you to update text and formatting; tools to create a table of contents and index give your project a professional touch; and the bundled FlightCrew EPUB validator checks that your book conforms to the EPUB standards.
TreeSheets is an interesting note-taking program which takes an unusual approach to organising your ideas.
It works a little like a spreadsheet, but each cell can contain lots of data, images, formatted text and more.
So you might have a list of items, each of which contains contains further tables and images, creating something like an outliner tool with an extra dimension.
The TreeSheets interface is a little unconventional, and that will put plenty of people off. If you like the basic idea, though, it's well worth persevering, as once you've mastered the basics the program is a great way to record and arrange your thoughts.
You've busy on an important project, and need to look something up. You turn to the web, of course - but your internet connection is down. So now what?
If you've installed and set up Kiwix beforehand then this doesn't have to be a disaster. That's because the program allows you to download huge amounts of content - like all the text of Wikipedia pages (though no images) - for viewing offline.
You'll need to be patient at first, because these are big downloads (5-10GB). And they're only updated every year or so. But the files will also be easily accessible, whatever the state of your internet connection, and that could be really useful.
Storybook is a versatile tool which aims to help you properly structure a novel, screenplay or other complex written work.
You'll start by creating strands, one for each plotline. These have multiple scenes, telling your story. Each scene will be set in a defined location, with your choice of characters or items. And you can add, edit or rearrange any of this whenever you like.
While this sounds like a lot of work, it does help you to visualise and better understand your story. It's easy to discover and fix problems. And the option to organise your scenes into chapters should help when you move on to writing the book.
Fully understanding your topic is a vital part of any writing project, and that's where wikidPad can help. The program is a personal wiki, an interesting offline tool which helps you to link your ideas, and it's surprisingly easy to use.
If you've just realised Steven Spielberg has to be covered in your piece, for instance, just type his name as one word, in mixed case - StevenSpielberg - and wikidPad will automatically turn your word into a link. Double-click this link at any time to create a Spielberg page, then repeat the process elsewhere to quickly build your own document outline.
The program can do much more, too - download it and see for yourself. (Please note, though, if you get an error message when launching the program then you should try running it as an administrator.)
Most editors have a cluttered interface, packed with buttons and toolbars - but FocusWriter is different. Launch it and the program gets rid of all distractions by clearing the screen entirely, so you can concentrate on your writing.
Move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, though, and menus appear with the usual editing basics: text formatting, search and replace, alignment, indents, spell check and so on.
Extra options include the ability to set yourself a daily goal (work for an hour, say, or write a certain number of words), while the program status bar shows you how close you are to achieving this.
If you need real editing power, then, FocusWriter won't be for you. But if you just need to write, and will sort out all the layout complexities later, its distraction-free approach could help. (Q10 [http://www.baara.com/q10] is another good example, while Writer [http://writer.bighugelabs.com] is an online equivalent.)
YWriter5 is a small but very comprehensive tool which helps you to plan your novel.
Set up your various deadlines, for instance, and the program's Work Schedule report will let you know how much you'll have to do, each day, to finish on time.
Enter your characters, locations and items and you can freely organise them into scenes.
Put these in the right order and you'll have a basic outline for the book, but you're still free to change anything you like. So you can move a scene back a chapter, drop one character, add someone else, whatever you like.
And if you decide you're going in the wrong direction, no problem - yWriter5 keeps all your previous scenes, and you can review or restore them as required.
If there's one essential research and note tool for writers (and everyone else, really), it has to be Evernote.
The program allows you to create detailed notes, with formatting and images, and save them to your online account.
You can also record web content: URLs, a snippet of text, a full page. And it's just as easy to include images and attach files.
Evernote runs on just about every platform there is - Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and more - and can be used from a browser for everyone else.
You can even share your notes with others, perfect if you're collaborating on a big project.
In the midst of its latest campaign to fight piracy in China, Microsoft has signed an agreement with Lenovo to ensure that its PCs ship with licensed versions of Windows software on its computers.
As part of the agreement signed Tuesday, Lenovo will also encourage its resellers to promote PCs with genuine Microsoft software.
Lenovo's pledge is notable, given that the company has long been China's largest PC vendor, with a market share of 36.7 percent. The company is also known to have a vast distribution network in the country that extends into China's smaller cities.
Microsoft has been fighting piracy in the country for years. In a recent survey, the company bought 169 PCs from the country's local electronic shops and found that all contained pirated Windows software. Read more...
Drupal's creator, Dries Buytaert has been talking up the open saucy projects latest offering in the style of Round the Horne's Julian and Sandy.
Buyaert, who probably has never heard of Round the Horne, has been saying that the new version of Drupal 8 will be "bold". If he had, he probably would not have used the phrase.
Buyaert said his bold new creation may not be out by the end of the year, and will be available whenever it's ready. Read more...
Antitrust watchdogs in Europe could soon slap Microsoft with a massive fine for the software maker's browser-choice gaffe last year.
The company was caught steering its Windows operating system users into loading up Microsoft's Internet Explorer even though Redmond had previously agreed - in an earlier regulatory ruling - to play fair by offering rival browser options to its customers.
According to Reuters, which cited three people whispering to the news wire, the European Commission hopes to issue a fine to MS before the Easter break. Read more...
Although it shares a name with a systems monitoring tool and a content management system, the Groundwork software development framework could make a name for itself in mobile Web development.
Microsoft has clarified the licensing for retail versions of its Office 2013 productivity suite, confirming that boxed editions of the software are licensed for a single PC only and that the license may never be transferred, even if the user upgrades to a new PC.
Over the past week, Office users around the web have expressed dismay over new, draconian-sounding terms in the Office 2013 retail license that seem to severely curb what customers can do with the software. Specifically, this paragraph raised the most eyebrows:
You may not transfer the software to another computer or user. You may transfer the software directly to a third party only as installed on the licensed computer, with the Certificate of Authenticity label and this agreement. Before the transfer, that party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software. You may not retain any copies. Read more...
Hewlett-Packard has launched a hosted offering called HP Service Anywhere, providing IT service management (ITSM) software over the Internet.
"We believe that SaaS as a delivery model and as a business model makes sense for many of our customers," said Lee Nackman, who is HP's vice president and general manager for the company's service and portfolio management software.
Like on-premise ITSM software, HP Service Anywhere provides a work area for help desk personnel to document and resolve IT problems within an enterprise. Typically, service desk personnel use ITSM software to document and help troubleshoot problems that occur in IT systems. Read more...
SAP is "actively discussing" ways to make its software licensing easier to understand, the software giant has told The Reg.
A spokesperson for SAP, the world’s largest maker of business software, said it plans to announce specifics “shortly.”
SAP didn’t provide any more details, but the statement follows a damning condemnation of the current state of SAP licensing in a user group survey.
An annual survey of 336 SAP users in 150 user organisations found near-universal dissatisfaction with confusing and expensive pricing.
SAP is expected to unveil the changes at next month's UK and Ireland User Group conference in Manchester.
Users in the group's survey called on SAP to introduce a licensing holiday, to let them park unused licences they’ve paid for, and for SAP to publish a clear price list. Read more...