Thursday, June 17, 2010

Apple's Snow Leopard patches include outdated Flash Player fix

Apple on Tuesday patched 28 vulnerabilities in is Snow Leopard operating system, including two in Adobe's Flash Player.

But in another example of the tension between the two companies -- sparked by Apple CEO Steve Jobs' rejection of Flash as slow, buggy and obsolete -- Adobe immediately countered by noting that Apple's Flash fixes were already outdated.


Memeo Connect brings Google-hosted cloud storage to desktops

Memeo Connect brings Google-hosted cloud storage to desktops

Demonstrating a seemingly small yet important evolutionary step from today's predominantly desktop-bound world of apps and storage to tomorrow's work of cloud-based IT services, Google partner Memeo has unveiled an intriguing upgrade to its Meme


What VMware sees from a possible buy of EngineYard

It's just a rumor for now, but EMC's VMware unit could be seeking new cloud technology as the company looks to further raise its profile -- in the cloud computing market generally and in the platform services space specifically. The rumored target, according to the GigaOm site: EngineYard.


Google gives admins more control with Commerce Search cloud service

Google will unveil on Thursday what it calls significant improvements to Commerce Search, a cloud-hosted search service that online retailers can sign up for to power their e-stores' search functions.


APB, Maple Story and the future of games

In Los Angeles and then at home this week, I've had a vision of the future of the games industry - and it's not great news for the console-makers. Everything about the industry is moving online - and while the likes of XBoxLive and Sony's PS3 online service are growing rapidly, a host of other players will be promising gamers that they can deliver a better or at least cheaper experience.

People like Dave Jones, who I met at the Los Angeles Convention Centre in a room packed with screens where his team were preparing to show off the fruits of years of work. Dave is a games industry legend, and I think I first met him in 1996, when I visited a small firm in Dundee which was then working on a new title called Grand Theft Auto.

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After selling the business behind GTA, Dave set up a firm called Realtime Worlds which now has offices both in Dundee and in Boulder, Colorado, and has won significant amounts of venture capital backing from Silicon Valley. For the last five years, a team of 200 has been working on a project in line with a philosophy outlined on the company's website like this:

"As avid game players, we believe the future of video games lies in massively multiplayer on-line gaming. Constantly evolving worlds with real players and communities offer an unrivalled experience that many players have yet to enjoy."

The result is APB - All Points Bulletin - which appears to deliver a similar experience to Grand Theft Auto, but exclusively online.

APB is stored in data centres in Europe and the United States and Dave Jones says making that run smoothly has been the biggest issue:

"There's been a great technology challenge to make it possible to have a seamless experience. It allows thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of players to connect and play together in a dynamic world."

When the game launches in July, players will pay £34.99 to download it with 50 hours of online play, and can then choose to pay a monthly fee or buy extra time in one-off payments.

It sounds like the model successfully pioneered by World of Warcraft, which has proved hugely profitable for its owners Activision. Realtime Worlds says it has got a twist, enabling gamers to earn extra hours by playing skilfully and by creating virtual goods that other players want.

There seems no reason why the 18-rated game should not win plenty of customers amongst the GTA and Call of Duty crowd, but younger gamers with less money to spend are also finding plenty to entertain them online.

I got home to find an 11-year-old asking me for help in spending £10 of his pocket money in an online world called Maple Story. This is a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) created in South Korea seven years ago, which has attracted millions of players around the world who battle monsters and complete quests. It has now apparently become a craze amongst British 11-year-olds, who are abandoning their Wiis to play this and other simple but compelling online games.

Maple Story is free but its makers are generating revenue through a virtual shop where players use real money to buy items for their characters. Anyone who remembers how keen they were at 11 to buy cards, stickers and all sorts of other ephemeral goodies will understand how powerful this kind of craze can be. Nexon, the Korean firm behind Maple Story and other free casual online games, earned revenues of nearly £400m last year.

So two examples of online games which are finding new ways of getting users to spend their money. But gamers do not have unlimited cash, and every pound that goes to APB or Maple Story is money that won't be spent on games for the Wii, the Xbox 360, or the PS3.


Starbucks to offer Wi-Fi for free (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - Dadgummit, I remember the old days when you had to bust out a credit card or buy a burger in order to hop on the Wi-Fi network at your local retail or dining establishment.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

20 Windows 7 quick tips and tricks for IT admins

Administrators are constantly learning these days. Server virtualization, desktop VDI, Exchange, SharePoint -- it's a never-ending barrage of new material to take in.


Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.4

As if releasing a new Mac Mini and accepting iPhone 4 pre-orders weren't enough, Apple on Tuesday also announced the release of Mac OS X 10.6.4, the latest update to its Snow Leopard operating system. The update includes a variety of enhancements, stability improvements, and security fixes that are recommended for all users.


Verizon to launch cloud storage service

Verizon Business is set to announce a cloud-based storage service on Tuesday, leveraging the formidable Verizon Communications global data network as a draw for large enterprises to subscribe.


Can you really replace Microsoft Exchange with Google Apps Premier?

The come-on is enticing: Replace that expensive, high-maintenance Microsoft Exchange platform -- and maybe some of your other Microsoft software -- with Google's Apps Premier service for a low, low price of $50 per user per year.


Eucalyptus expands private cloud to Windows

Eucalyptus Systems has released an update to the commercial version of its private cloud software, Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition.

Version 2.0 of the software can run instances of the Windows operating system in a self-provisioned cloud, in addition to Linux, said Marten Mickos, the former CEO of MySQL who became chief executive of Eucalyptus Systems in March.


HP's system tools can now manage public cloud

WASHINGTON - As Hewlett-Packard expands its galaxy of devices, from handhelds to large servers and new networking products from its recent acquisition of 3Com, it's increasing the automation and management capabilities of its systems tools at a similar pace.


Mobile video training reaches the cloud

With video from mobile devices expected to grow, a market for enterprise video applications such as training and instructional sales videos is emerging, analysts say.


Nintendo: Another console winner?

Los Angeles: When I last came to E3 I made a big mistake about Nintendo. It was in 2005 for the launch of Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360, and once we had finished filming I rang home and talked to my then 14-year-old son, an expert gamer. "Dad," he told me, "be sure to go to Nintendo's press conference, they're bound to come up with something special."

Nintendo 3DS launchIn my best patronising Dad tone I told him we had no time for the number three in the console market, a company now sure to be left behind by the stunning graphics capabilities of the high-end machines just launched by Microsoft and Sony. How wrong I was, as the Wii's emergence as the hottest console of the moment went on to prove.

So on the day I flew out of Los Angeles, I made sure I went along to the Nintendo press conference. Even though it involved standing in a queue outside the venue from 7 am, then going through airport-style security to get in.

Inside I found the same kind of slightly scary crowd you get at an Apple keynote, oohing and aahing, cheering and wowing at every demo, though it's Mario and Zelda who get the warmest welcome rather than a guy in a black turtle neck. The Nintendo demonstrators even managed to repeat Steve Jobs trick at his iPhone 4 launch, blaming wireless interference from the crowd of bloggers when things went slightly wrong.

Reggie Fils-Aime, the splendidly named boss of Nintendo's US division, welcomed us with a useful summary of his firm's philosophy. Yes, we'd seen all sorts of exciting new tech at E3, from 3D to HD to motion control, but that was only part of the story:

"It begins with technology -  but technology is only a tool. The thing that matters is the experience."

We then got quite a show - when an American game demonstrator appeared to be too clumsy, Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo's presiding genius, was magicked off a screen and onto the stage to loud applause to demonstrate how it should be done.

Shigeru MiyamotoWe raced through a series of new games for the Wii, accompanied by a blizzard of statistics designed to dispel the false assumption that it was now losing ground to its rivals. More games had been sold for the Wii than for any other console in a comparable period, Wii users played more game than other gamers, and the new crowd it had attracted certainly didn't just play a bit of Wii Sports or Wii Fit and then give up on it.

Fine, but we hadn't come to hear about the Wii, we wanted something new, and that of course was the Nintendo 3DS, the first 3D handheld games console. it seems an amazing feat of technology, promising not only 3D games but a camera which takes 3D pictures and the ability to show movies like Avatar without the need to wear special glasses.

"Wow" went the crowd but I couldn't help returning to what Mr Fils-Aime had said about the importance of the experience rather than the technology. We will have to wait and find out just how much 3D adds to the experience of playing or viewing on the small screen of a handheld console - but I'm just a little sceptical.

But what do I know? I contacted a real expert, my son, who is now a student and had watched the Nintendo press conference from his college room while revising for exams. He wasn't convinced that many of the new games would interest the casual audience that had been attracted by the likes of Wii Sports - but he was impressed by the new handheld console:

"The 3DS looks very exciting. It seems like they're trying to head off Apple, who've been trying to get into the game market with the iPhone and iPad. I'll definitely be getting one!"

Hmm, top quality analysis I'm sure. But wouldn't the meagre resources of a student be better spent on books - and maybe beer - than yet another gadget that will be obsolete within a couple of years?

Still we've seen over the past few years that Nintendo seems to have a better understanding of what gamers new and old really want from the experience than Sony, Microsoft or ageing technology journalists. So parents beware - next Christmas, or whenever the 3DS goes on sale, expect to be standing in a long line or spending many hours online trying to get hold of another must-have present. 


Redesigned Mac Mini boasts unibody design, HDMI port (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - Wondering what happened to the rumored Apple TV revamp? Well, if you've been craving a souped-up version of Apple's long-in-the-tooth TV set-top box, consider this: the new Mac Mini, now with an aluminum unibody enclosure and a full-on HDMI output. Too bad about the price hike, though.


Will T-Mobile make all handsets free on June 19? (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - Listen closely and you can practically hear Oprah exclaiming: "Everyone gets a free phone! Everyone gets a free phone!"


SecuGen Awarded Fingerprint Patents in Canada and Japan

optical fingerprint device vendor
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 16 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- SecuGen, the world's leading optical fingerprint device vendor, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded patents in Canada and Japan. In Canada, SecuGen was awarded patents for the inventions entitled "Method and Apparatus for Reduction of Trapezoidal Distortion and Improvement of Image Sharpness in an Optical Image Capturing System" and "Optical Fingerprint Image Capturing System." In Japan, it was awarded a patent for "High Contrast, Low Distortion Optical Acquisition System for Image Capturing."

SecuGen currently holds a patent portfolio consisting of 35 patents, most of which are at the core of SecuGen's fingerprint recognition technology. SecuGen's sensors are well known for capturing very high quality, high contrast images and for being rugged. They are made of a hardened glass that is extremely resistant to scratching. These sensors are used in all of SecuGen's USB fingerprint readers as well as SecuGen's OEM fingerprint modules.

SecuGen sells its fingerprint readers and OEM fingerprint modules through a worldwide network of several hundred partners, ranging from systems integrators and software developers to hardware manufacturers. As a consequence of its worldwide sales channels SecuGen products are being used in over 80 countries.

Won Lee, CEO of SecuGen said, "For more than a decade we have worked to develop and manufacture a suite of fingerprint biometric products that are targeted to the real world commercial and government implementations that our partners are so focused on. While we are very proud of these new patent grants and believe that they are a result of our effectively focused efforts, we are not resting. SecuGen continues to work hard to both improve our existing products and invent tomorrow's products."

About SecuGen:

SecuGen Corporation ( is the world's leading provider of advanced, optical fingerprint recognition technology, products, tools and platforms for physical and information security. SecuGen designs and develops FBI-certified fingerprint readers and OEM components, developer kits and software, including NIST/MINEX-compliant algorithms. Known for high quality, ruggedness, and performance in a wide variety of applications and environmental conditions, SecuGen products are used by world-leading financial, medical, government, educational and corporate institutions and are sold through a partner network of over 200 original equipment manufacturers, independent software vendors and system integrators around the world.

SecuGen� is a registered trademark of SecuGen Corp. in the United States and other countries.

NEWS SOURCE: SecuGen Corporation

This story was issued by Send2Press® Newswire on behalf of the news source and is Copyright � 2010 Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Microsoft Office Web Apps: Limited, mediocre, dismal

Is the era of desktop software over? With the general release of Office 2010 this week, Microsoft seems to be sending a mixed message. On the one hand, Office 2010 is the slickest, most feature-rich version of the suite to date. That's a clear challenge to Google, which offers a simpler, Web-based alternative to Office in the form of Google Docs.


Microsoft offers security guidance for Azure cloud

Microsoft began offering on Monday guidance intended to help developers make secure applications for the company's Windows Azure cloud platform.


Congress to probe the feds' cloud computing strategy

Vivek Kundra faces his first real political test after his push for cloud computing within the federal government: The House Oversight Committee will be holding hearings to discuss his IT reform efforts, including the use of cloud computing. Oversight Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Government Management, Organization, and Procurement Subcommittee Chairwoman Diane Watson (D-Calif.) don't seem to be as pumped about cloud computing as Vivek is, simply put.


Uptick in mergers sees IT turning to cloud to escape vendor lock-in

Hewlett-Packard's $13.9 billion acquisition of Electronic Data Systems in late-August 2008 was one of the last big tech mergers to close before the latest recession fully arrived.


The Brits Blitz E3

Los Angeles: E3 is gamer heaven, and also many people's idea of hell - a hall filled with deafening sounds and searing lights with sweaty crowds jostling to get to the stands.

But much of the real action takes place away from the Los Angeles Convention Centre. In hotel rooms across the city, developers are holding meetings with publishers and hoping they will come away just a little better placed to weather the uncertainties of an industry continually rocked by turbulence.

It was in the calm surroundings of a Japanese garden on top of a downtown hotel that I met one such developer. Philip Oliver and his brother Andrew are the co-founders of a great British success story, Blitz Games Studios. Over the last 25 years, they have built a business which has somehow managed to survive as an independent developer while just about all of their peers in the British games industry have fallen into foreign hands.

They now have a diverse stable, from arcade to casual to mature games, but it's family games, many based on popular American television shows, which are now proving their biggest money-spinners.

The company brought 10 of its 220 strong workforce over from the Leamington Spa headquarters and was preparing for battle, with meetings aplenty and a whole lot of networking to be done. They were in a bubbly mood, preparing to unveil a whole series of titles for use on Microsoft's new Kinect system, unveiled on Sunday evening.

As we sat at a table in the rooftop garden, squinting at laptop screens and mobile phones, the brothers enthusiastically pulled up videos of one game which involves a kind of acting karaoke, where players put themselves into scenes from famous movies.

Another, based on the a popular American TV show called The Biggest Loser, encourages players to get fit and lose weight, with their exercises scrutinised by the on-screen presenters.

But then things turned serious, as we talked about the rocky finances of the industry. Second-hand games, and the rise of casual gaming - simple games which cost little or nothing - are putting pressure on everyone's margins. Blitz's Philip Oliver was among those who lobbied the Labour government long and hard and finally won the promise of tax relief in the March Budget. Now he's telling the new government that support is vital:

"We compete internationally for games contracts - other governments around the world are actually subsidising their local developers and that puts us at a disadvantage."

Tiga, the body which lobbies on behalf of British developers rather than publishers, is also stepping up its lobbying with a report claiming the games industry can help fuel an export-led recovery in the UK. It says its research shows that 91% of British developers export, and have ambitions to sell even more overseas. Like every other industry pressing for government help, the games business claims tax relief will pay off in the long run. Tiga says its research shows that over five years the relief will generate an extra £415m in tax receipts for the Treasury.

Those figures, which sound remarkably precise, are obviously pure speculation - who's to say what other governments will do for their games industries if the UK joins the tax-relief party?

Blitz admits it would rather no country got government help - but if everybody's doling out cash, it wants a fair share for the UK.

By 0800, having finished our filming and grabbed a coffee, Philip Oliver and the Blitz team were heading out of their hotel to sell their wares. With government help still a distant prospect, British games developers are going to need to work long hours to keep ahead of the competition.

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Microsoft’s Project Natal becomes Kinect (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - The most anticipated product in computer gaming is at last becoming a reality, and with a new name: Kinect.


Judge limits Homeland Security laptop searches (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - The ongoing struggle of feds vs. gadgets has reached a new milestone, CNET reports: A federal judge has ruled that border security agents overstep their authority when they indefinitely hold and then search (without a warrant) laptops and other electronic devices seized from U.S. citizens.


At last: Slim, 'whisper-quiet' Xbox 360 announced (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - How long have we been waiting for a revamped, slimmer and (most of all) quieter Xbox? Well, looks like the wait is over.


ESPN channel is coming to Xbox 360 (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - College football, hoops, Major League Baseball and the NBA are all coming to Xbox Live, as the gaming console finally embraces live sports courtesy of a new ESPN channel. That's the good news. The bad news? No NFL, at least for now.


Controller-free Kinect games, Xbox interface unveiled (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - Starting in November, Xbox 360 gamers will be able to drive a sports car, get fit, video chat with relatives, or even fire up a streaming movie, all without having to touch a controller.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Windows XP SP2 users face end of IE patches

Barring an unforeseen patch in the next four weeks, users running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) have seen their last security update for Internet Explorer.


The unvarnished truth about VDI desktop virtualization

Will virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) finally grant IT the control over user desktops that many crave? The previous attempt -- thin clients -- to put the PC genie back in the bottle and give IT administrators full control over users' desktops didn't work out, as the cost was the same as managing regular PCs.


Enterasys looks to head off Cisco, Brocade data center plans

Enterasys, the networking division of Siemens Enterprise Communications, has unveiled a data center strategy that hinges on partnerships and multivendor inclusion as well as the policy-based management capabilities of its switches.


The coming rebirth of the desktop computer

Over the past few months, I've become increasingly convinced that we're on the cusp of a transformative cycle that will rival the rise of the Internet. And it's going to hit users where they live: the desktops, laptops, and mobile devices they use every day.


Will gamers want to Kinect or Move?

Los Angeles: If you want to see the future, head for a games convention.

The computer and video games industry has poured billions into innovation over the last decade, particularly since it became a new front in the battle for the home between giants like Sony and Microsoft.

They used their Playstation and Xbox platforms to experiment with rival high-definition video systems; Sony's Blu-ray won that battle.

At this week's E3 event in Los Angeles, both companies are unveiling innovative ways of interacting with their consoles. In that mission, they are trying to steal a march on Nintendo which proved with the Wii that new ways of playing games could be just as important as fancy graphics.

KinectMicrosoft last night unveiled the results of Project Natal, the hefty research project which promised to turn the bodies of game players into human console controllers.

It will now be known as Kinect, and is scheduled to hit the shops in November, just in time to give the video games industry a much-needed boost in pretty hard times.

The launch had lashings of Hollywood razzmatazz, with a bevy of stars parading along a red carpet into a performance by Cirque du Soleil. For some reason I still can't quite understand, I found myself interviewing Jack Osborne about the future of gaming.

Cirque du SoleilAnyway, down to business. The system centres on a sensor which you place above or below your TV - it has three cameras plus voice recognition built in, so it knows an awful lot about who you are, how far away you're standing and how you are moving.

We filmed Kinect just before the celebs flooded in to have their go, and I got a chance to play a couple of games. One involved steering a dinghy down through the rapids, another was a hurdle race, one of a series of sports games.

It was an enjoyable, if sweaty, half-hour, and I could certainly see the attractions of throwing away the control and just flinging yourself at the game.

But I was not quite convinced that Microsoft's technology would deliver for hard-core gamers. It seemed to work well on fun Wii-like games where you didn't need too much precision - I'm not so sure how whether it would deliver on a first-person shooter.

I've also had a go on Sony's Move motion control system, which is unveiled on Tuesday. Sony's solution is much less radical. It has retained the controller, now adorned with glowing spheres which interact with a sensor unit on the television.

This makes the whole experience less physical than with Kinect, but it also delivers a lot more precision. Sony showed us a table tennis game which seemed to mimic the real thing much more closely than I have seen elsewhere.

But everyone in the games industry, and particularly the developers, is hoping that these innovations get gamers excited enough to start spending money again.

They might prefer to see new consoles; failing that, an accessory which obliges the customer to get some new games may just do the trick.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Microsoft confirms critical Windows XP bug

Microsoft on Thursday confirmed that Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 contain an unpatched bug that could be used to infect PCs by duping users into visiting rigged Websites or opening attack email. The company said it has seen no active in-the-wild attacks exploiting the vulnerability.


Trade-in sites offering up to $320 for old iPhones (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - Leery of coughing up $200 or even $300 for yet another iPhone? Well, you can always sell your old iPhone on eBay. But there's another, potentially easier option: trading it in for cash. Some online trade-in sites offer up to $320 for iPhone hand-me-downs.


Leaked Motorola Droid 2 photos, specs surface (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - It looks like Moto may already have the successor to its best-selling, Android-powered Droid on tap. A series of leaked snapshots and specifications detail a revamped slider with a faster processor, an updated version of Motorola's "Motoblur" service and a (hopefully) improved slide-out QWERTY keypad.


Rock Band 3 brings keyboards to the gig (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - It had to happen eventually: With the next iteration of the rhythm game series, Rock Band 3 will at last add keyboards to the amazingly popular game, along with other enticing goodies.


Hands-on camera review: Fujifilm's FinePix HS10 (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - Consumers have historically had two choices when it comes to digital cameras: Get a cheap pocket camera that takes iffy pics, or pony up the big bucks for a DSLR that takes nearly perfect ones.


Apple seeks iOS-4-ready, multitasking-enabled apps (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - A little more than a week ahead of the expected release of the latest version of the iPhone OS, Apple is opening the floodgates to applications that take advantage of the latest iOS 4 features. Topping the list, of course: multitasking.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Vizioncore's vConverter 5.0 adds P2V support for Microsoft Hyper-V

How appropriate is it that while at the Microsoft TechEd 2010 Conference in New Orleans, virtualization management software provider Vizioncore announced that its upcoming vConverter 5.0 product is adding support for physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversions on the Microsoft Hyper-V platform?


Microsoft hopes Dallas project will become 'iTunes for data'

With its Dallas project, Microsoft seems to be exploring the idea of becoming a data broker. At the Tech Ed conference this week in New Orleans, the company discussed how its planned data broker service might operate.

"Dallas is a broker for discovering information," said Adam Wilson, a program manager working on Dallas. The data sets themselves, available by APIs (application programming interfaces), come from a variety of data sources.


O2: An end to unlimited

Earlier this week I wrote about the struggle that the UK's mobile networks were having to provide the kind of service that smartphone users demand.

O2 shopNow one operator has acted to try to control the flow of data across its network.

O2 has unveiled new smartphone tariffs, in preparation for the imminent arrival of iPhone 4, and the company has abolished the unlimited data allowance that was seen as a key feature.

Now the operator's monthly contracts will include a set amount of data - 500MB for a £35 two-year contract, 1GB for the £60 a month tariff.

Already some users are crying foul, and threatening to move to other networks. But maybe O2 won't be too unhappy if it does see some desertions.

It is claiming that 97% of its smartphone users will see no impact from these changes because they do not use more than 500MB a month, indeed it says they may even see an improvement in their service.

Why? The implication is that just a tiny majority of bandwidth hogs are using vast amounts of data, watching streaming video or playing online games. They are making the network less stable, and if they leave then things will improve.

Just to put this in perspective, mobile data use only really took off in the UK when unlimited tariffs arrived - before that everyone was terrified with some justification that they could pile up huge bills.

So will O2's move which seems likely to be followed by other operators - signal an end to the mobile data explosion we've seen in the UK in the last couple of years?

The mobile industry believes not, and there is a sense of relief that someone has made the first move.

One industry analyst, Thomas Wehmeier at Informa Telecoms, argues that unlimited plans were unsustainable:

"Whilst consumer appetite for mobile data seems unlimited, one thing that most definitely is not unlimited is spectrum. Spectrum will forever remain a resource both short on supply and high in demand."

In other words, there is a limit to the number of mobile super-highways you can throw open, but no limit to the traffic wanting to drive along them if you don't apply some road tolls.

That all sounds logical enough. But O2 has been telling its customers that it was the speedy network for smartphone users. Having applied the brakes, it must now show that it can deliver a decent mobile surfing experience for those who stay loyal.


Will T-Mobile make all handsets free on June 19? (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - Listen closely and you can practically hear Oprah exclaiming: "Everyone gets a free phone! Everyone gets a free phone!"


Trade-in sites offering up to $320 for old iPhones (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - Leery of coughing up $200 or even $300 for yet another iPhone? Well, you can always sell your old iPhone on eBay. But there's another, potentially easier option: trading it in for cash. Some online trade-in sites offer up to $320 for iPhone hand-me-downs.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Microsoft's server road map: Top 5 developments coming soon

It's that time of year again. TechEd 2010 is being held this week in New Orleans, and Microsoft has used it to give IT a preview of where its enterprise platforms are heading in the near term. For those of you not at the conference with me, here's what you should know.


Windows 7 and Mac OS X both hit by fundamental flaws

Windows 7 and Mac OS X each have a new, fundamental flaw that will be presented at the Hack in the Box conference in Amsterdam in July. These security holes are so close to the core operating systems that fixing them may be very hard.

Windows 7 has an issue in the 64-bit edition of the operating system.


Update: VMware, Novell partner on Linux, virtualization

VMware will distribute and support Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server OS and also bundle the Linux variant with software appliances, under an arrangement between virtualization provider VMware and Novell being announced on Wednesday.


Google's Postini has performance issues

Postini, Google's suite of email security, management, and archiving services, encountered service disruptions on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Google acknowledged the first problem shortly after 3 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time, saying that "a significant subset of users" had been rendered unable to access Postini services.


Twitter, Google Calendar struggling with availability

Popular Web applications Twitter and Google Calendar are having performance and availability problems, the companies said separately on Wednesday.

Google Calendar users started reporting difficulties logging into the service on Tuesday in its official discussion forum, but the company didn't acknowledge the issue until around 11 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Wednesday.


Jitterbit moves integration to the cloud

Integration services provider Jitterbit is taking its technology to the cloud. The company on Wednesday announced Jitterbit Enterprise Cloud Edition, a cloud-based version of Jitterbit's integration platform that runs on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).


The UK: The West Ham of broadband

If you work in the broadband or video games industries in the UK and want to know where government policy is heading over the next five years there are two men you need to know - Jeremy Hunt and Ed Vaizey.

Jeremy HuntThe culture secretary and his digital minister - at least I think that's what we call Mr Vaizey, were at a trendy London new media club yesterday to give a first glimpse of their policies.

We did not learn much that was new to anyone who had read the Conservatives' technology manifesto before the election. But there was one very bold pledge on broadband and some rather dispiriting news about tax relief for the games industry, promised by the last government.

Jeremy Hunt repeated the mantra about broadband that we've heard from just about every leading politician in recent years - that a superfast network is vital to our competitiveness and that we must be watchful in building such a network that we do not let a new digital divide emerge.

He made it clear that he thinks the market will do the job, with a little prodding from regulators to free up existing infrastructure and perhaps some cash from the BBC licence fee. But he did announce that he would trial this theory with three rural broadband market testing projects.

The jaw-dropping line in Mr Hunt's speech, however, was his pledge that Britain would have "the best superfast broadband network in Europe" by the end of this Parliament.

That means by 2015, with the spending of a maximum of £300m of public money, the UK will have soared to the top of the European broadband league.

I had a look at a recent study of global broadband performance by Cisco and Oxford's Said Business School to see how far we need to go to achieve this goal.

It puts the UK in 17th place in Europe, far behind the likes of Sweden and Switzerland, with even Slovenia and Latvia ahead in the table. So to use a football metaphor, Mr Hunt is in the position of the manager of West Ham, promising to win the Premier League within five years, without a big budget for new players. Even Hammers fans may see that as a little optimistic.

On tax relief for the games industry Jeremy Hunt and Ed Vaizey had warm words but then made it pretty clear that it would not be arriving in a hurry.

There was talk of the need for approval from Brussels, which could take up to two years, and more importantly of the battle to get the plan past the Treasury.

ELSPA, which lobbies on behalf of the UK games industry, put out a desperately cheerful statement welcoming the fact that Mr Hunt had not ruled out support, and hoping for help in the emergency budget on 22 June.

But the Chancellor George Osborne could have other priorities than helping out the makers of Grand Theft Auto and the like. Just like West Ham fans, the games industry bosses may need to be patient over the coming years.


For-pay Hulu reportedly due soon on Xbox, iPad (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - More rumblings about paid subscriptions for Hulu are surfacing: Reuters is repeating the rumor that the streaming video service could be coming to the Xbox 360 and the iPad within the next couple of months.


Google upgrades search index speed, freshness (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - Are you tired of searching Google for, say, a market share report and being handed data from 2009? Those days may be coming to an end, says Google, thanks to an update to its Web indexing system called Caffeine.


Is Apple ignoring the Mac? 'Yup,' says Fake Steve; 'wrong,' counters real Steve (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - Monday's keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference was nirvana for anyone focused on the iPad or the iPhone. But whither the Mac? Is Apple ignoring its old bread and butter? That's what the writer behind "Fake Steve Jobs" claims in a recent column; the real Steve Jobs, however, counters that the charge is "completely wrong."


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Making sense of Microsoft's mobile OS four-way

Let's say you're not convinced that the Apple iPhone or a Google Android OS-based device is appropriate for your business or as an enterprise app platform. You believe Microsoft isn't yet roadkill in the mobile world, so you decide to bet on the new Windows mobile OS. Which one do you choose?


Microsoft warns of drive-by downloads on Patch Tuesday

Microsoft and third-party security experts warned that users could be subjected to drive-by downloads because of flaws in Windows and Internet Explorer that received fixes on Patch Tuesday this week.


Microsoft: Features still missing in Windows Azure

Due to an early emphasis on getting the right architecture for its Windows Azure cloud platform, which went live in February, Microsoft's cloud computing service is still missing key features that are available in the company's standalone products, said Microsoft executives at the company's 2010 Tech Ed conferenc


Amazon encrypts CloudFront, but security comes at a price

Amazon Web Services' content delivery network service CloudFront can now transfer data over an encrypted HTTPS connection, but users will pay more than if they transfer it via HTTP, Amazon said on Monday.

CloudFront can be used to distribute all files that can be sent over HTTP, including images, audio, video, media files, or software downloads. The service, which is still in beta test, can stream audio and video, as well.


iPhone 4? Let's have 3G first

So yet another smartphone is about to hit the stores promising unlimited mobile connectivity.

The iPhone 4 will do many of the things that Android phones like the HTC Desire can already do - multitasking, flash photography - and Steve Jobs is even promising video calls, apparently convinced this will keep his firm ahead in its increasingly bitter smartphone battle with Google.

But remember the first 3G phones in the UK, and how video calls were supposed to be the killer app when they launched? They never took off, perhaps because the 3G networks were just not up to it back then.

The iPhone may deliver a better experience - but only over wi-fi for now because Apple hasn't persuaded the networks to play ball. Which brings us to the real problem with all of these smartphones right now - the technology on the phones is still moving ahead faster than the networks on which they run.

I am writing this from a business park on the fringes of Oxford, a place where you might expect to have great connectivity. Yet my phone tells me that it is struggling to get any kind of signal, yet alone the 3G I need to make use of its advanced capabilities.

Now that might be due to the fact that I'm currently using an iPhone 3GS, a device which is notoriously bad at getting a phone signal - it's a nifty little computer, but surprisingly poor at making calls. That is something which Apple promises to remedy with the new antenna on the latest model.

But even my mobile broadband dongle on a different network is barely managing to get my laptop online. Across the UK, and not just in remote areas, people using all kinds of devices on all sorts of networks are still grumbling about the struggle to get connected.

Of course the problem is that 10 years after we were promised that 3G phones would let us roam the web, make video calls and play online games on the move, we have all started to use these capabilities with a vengeance. And it turns out that the networks aren't ready for all that traffic.

It did not matter when clunky old phones with poor interfaces meant the mobile web was not worth the effort, but now millions of people are trying to drive what are the mobile phone equivalents of Ferraris down traffic-choked country lanes.

What makes it even worse is that the networks still give very patchy information about their coverage. I have just checked a place near my home where I know that one network's coverage is extremely poor - and its map tells me that it's of a high quality, good enough for video calls.

I sense from the messages I get that a consumer revolt about the state of 3G is on the cards - the more we are promised in the way of futuristic services by phone manufacturers, the greater the anger from customers who pay up only to find the network cannot deliver.


HTC Evo 4G users suffer Qik video chat woes (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - The situation was so bad that Qik, the makers of the primary video chat app for the Evo 4G, temporarily pulled the application while engineers scrambled to fix the problem.


Why are scammers targeting Windows Mobile? (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - Windows Mobile is a distant also-ran in the smartphone market, accounting for less than 20% of smartphones in use in the States and less than 10% worldwide.


Another use for front-facing cameras: gesture control (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - Most people think of video chat when they think of front-facing cameras on phones like the HTC Evo 4G or the upcoming iPhone 4. But an Israeli tech company has another use in mind: gesture control, such as answering a call simply by waving your hand in front of the lens. Interesting.


Microsoft Bing ends cashback feature (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - Some called it a move of the truly desperate: Paying users outright for using the Microsoft Bing search engine.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Microsoft slates Windows 7 SP1 public beta for July

Microsoft today said that it would ship a public beta of Windows 7 SP1 (Service Pack 1) in July, but did not set a release date during the month.

The company made the announcement from TechEd, the Microsoft IT and developer conference that kicked off Monday in New Orleans.


Can desktop virtualization save desktop Linux?

Desktop Linux has floundered for three main reasons: too few applications, limited desktop hardware compatibility, and too few tools (not to mention skilled people) to manage a boatload of Linux desktop systems.


Novell beefs up PlateSpin management with Linux support

Novell's NetWare business is no longer what it used to be, so it's no surprise the Linux distributor has been pushing forward in other directions such as its system management and monitoring solutions.


Microsoft emphasizes hybrid cloud at TechEd

As the technology industry moves toward the cloud, users can ease the transition by adopting a hybrid computing model, said Bob Muglia, Microsoft's president of servers and tools, at the kickoff keynote speech at the company's TechEd 2010 event in New Orleans Monday.


A librarian takes on Google Books

What's the point of a library or a librarian in the digital era? Who needs a physical space for books and archives, and librarians to police their use, when all that material will soon be available to anyone with a decent internet connection at the click of a mouse?

National Library of Wales in AberystwythOn a visit to the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth last week, I got a few answers to those questions. This is one of the UK's copyright libraries, able to ask for a copy of every book, newspaper and magazine published in the UK. It is housed in an imposing 1930s building perched above the west-Wales seaside town, and is home to collections of paintings, films and television programmes as well as as ancient and modern Welsh texts.

Like other such institutions, it is struggling to find a role in the digital age. The numbers turning up to visit the library and use its facilities are falling, and while millions are coming to its website, there's a sense that these are casual passers-by, and the value they get from the site is hard to measure.

The National Library is not however just sitting back and waiting for a graceful demise. It's plunging with enthusiasm into a massive digital project which could give it a sustainable future. A third of the staff now have roles in this project, so there's now a range of perhaps unfamiliar job titles, from Imaging Officer to Metadata Manager.

ScanningWhat they are engaged on is extremely ambitious, as Andrew Green, the Welsh-speaking Yorkshireman who runs the place, explained to me as we toured the building. The idea is to give free online public access to as much as possible of what he describes as "the printed heritage of Wales" from the 16th Century to the present day. So every book, periodical or pamphlet could end up online.

In a large room at the top of the library, I got a glimpse of the extent and the cost of this task. An imaging officer - I think that was her title - was carefully scanning page after page of a bound edition of a 19th-Century Welsh newspaper. The scanner used for this task was imported from Germany at a cost of £80,000, but the process doesn't end there.

NewspaperThe next stage involves OCR - optical character recognition - to turn the scan into machine-readable text. Then the output needs to be proof-read, and here there's the possibility of repeating a crowd-sourcing experiment used by an Australian library, which got the public to proof-read scanned texts, and found many people competing to do the most edits.

The National Library of Wales is also involved in a project which helps community groups - schools, sports clubs, even families - scan their archives and make them available online as a kind of living history document. The end results of this massive digitisation project could be an invaluable resource for historians, and for anyone interested in the culture of their country. But this will not happen in a hurry, partly because the money has to come from increasingly scarce public funds, but also because much of the work involves cutting through the complex thickets of copyright.

There is an elephant in the room for this and other mass digitisation projects by libraries around the world, and it is called Google Books. The arguments about the search giant's plan to make millions of out-of-print books from around the world available online are too complex to go into in this post; suffice it to say the project is far more ambitious than anything that could be carried out by a individual public-sector institution.

Library WalesSo why does not Andrew Green just hand over his digital plans to Google, and let a commercial company bear the cost rather than the public purse? The librarian puts powerfully his case against the privatisation of our printed heritage. "The people of Wales own this collection, they have paid to build it up over the years, why should it just be handed to Google?"

He points out that commercial companies - even those as powerful as Google - can come and go, while the National Library of Wales is likely to be around in the 22nd Century.

The librarian believes he has found a new cause for his profession, to give a secure home to digitised texts produced with the highest quality standards and available freely to all. "These are huge benefits," he says, "and should be fought for by all of those who care about unimpeded public access to knowledge." Google beware - the librarians are getting cross, and they are quiet but patient people.


Steve Jobs to crowd: 'We're having a little problem here' (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - Apple's chief exec and irreplaceable master of ceremonies has few if any equals when it comes to wowing audiences during product demos, but even Steve Jobs's famous reality-distortion field couldn't protect him from an embarrassing Wi-Fi snafu during the big WWDC keynote Monday.


Verizon iPhone, $99 Apple TV and other no-shows (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - Among the hot Apple rumors that failed to materialize during the big WWDC keynote Monday: a $99 Apple TV, a touch-sensitive "Magic Trackpad," iTunes in the cloud, and a final "Get a Mac" ad featuring the lost iPhone prototype. Oh, and no iPhone for Verizon Wireless, either.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sprint's jumbo HTC Evo 4G on sale at last (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - Apple is poised to hog the spotlight Monday with its more-likely-than-not unveiling of a spiffy new iPhone, but for today at least, it's Sprint's turn to take a bow with the eye-catching 4.3-inch HTC Evo 4G, the first phone in the U.S. to support 4G wireless data networks.


Friday, June 4, 2010

AppSense user virtualization solution helps desktop virtualization adoption

AppSense was recently named the Citrix Ready Solution Partner of the Year during Citrix Synergy San Francisco 2010 -- and for good reason. The AppSense solution provides a major benefit to Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp products, providing maximum user adoption and satisfaction.


Why private clouds are surging: It's the control, stupid!

An article by Steve Rosenbush, "Private cloud computing takes off in companies not keen on sharing," indicates that the interest in private cloud computing is outpacing interest in public cloud computing: "For now, though, big companies are going to spend a lot of money building their own private clouds because the comfort level with public clouds isn't high enough.


Engine Yard expands Rails apps cloud services

Engine Yard will extend on Thursday its services for cloud-based services for Ruby on Rails applications, giving users the option to deploy on Terremark infrastructure.

The company's xCloud service enables deployments of Rails applications onto Teramark. Engine Yard already has offered Rails application hosting on the Amazon cloud via the Engine Yard AppCloud service.


Microsoft opens cloud computing center in Taiwan

Microsoft opened a joint cloud computing center with Taiwan's economics ministry on Thursday at the Computex electronics show, and announced a plan to work with two local companies on new designs for servers meant specifically for cloud computing, the growing trend towards decentralized, virtualized computing services.


Update: Google App Engine's datastore falters under demand

Two weeks after announcing a business version of its Google App Engine application building and hosting service, Google is acknowledging that the performance of the product's datastore has been chronically deficient for weeks.


Dell's new Streak: Really big phone, or tiny tablet? (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - Set to go on sale next month, Dell's Android-powered, 5-inch, $500 Streak has been making the rounds in the past few weeks, most recently at the D8 tech conference in California. Rather than marvel at its jumbo-sized screen or its speedy processor, however, those who've poked and prodded the Streak have a question that's trumping all others: Is it a big phone, or a small tablet?


International Document Services Delivers Accurate and Compliant e-Signatures for Doc Prep Services

mortgage esignatures
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 3 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- International Document Services (IDS), a mortgage document preparation vendor for closing documents, initial disclosures and reverse documents, now offers its mortgage lender customers e-signature options through its flagship idsDoc platform.

The individual, state-based Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) and the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) enable completely electronic transactions, including e-signatures. This includes both consumers and commercial transactions. By automating the disclosure process, lenders can deliver documents faster and receive signed documents back in minutes.

"IDS wants its customers to receive their documents in the most expedient manner, while still being compliant and accurate, making their jobs easier and their processes more efficient," said IDS president Curt Doman. "Getting the job done with speed and precision - that's what makes the electronic signature option a perfect match for IDS."

IDS lenders apply e-signatures to documents by clicking a button, enabling system users to track document delivery and compliance. IDS e-signatures options have been developed and integrated within the idsDoc platform, creating a seamless, simple and straightforward process for all mortgage lending users. The e-signing service can be accessed from any laptop or computer with an Internet connection. Once the IDS e-signature has been executed, an automated e-mail notification is sent to all parties including a link to the final document. The result is a legally binding, fully E-SIGN-compliant document supported by a comprehensive audit trail.

About IDS Inc.:

IDS is a nationwide provider of mortgage documents and compliance. IDS services include closing documents, reverse documents, initial disclosures and fulfillment. IDS's solution, idsDoc, is recognized in the industry for its ability to be customized to meet specific lender needs. IDS backs the system with unsurpassed customer service, cutting-edge technology, compliance and document guarantees and a solid compliance team. Lenders looking to move forward when it comes to doc prep can visit the IDS website at or call 800.554.1872.

NEWS SOURCE: International Document Services Inc.

This story was issued by Send2Press® Newswire on behalf of the news source and is Copyright � 2010 Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Inside the mind of an enterprise architect

In previous columns, I've touched on the idea of tapping a Microsoft enterprise architect to help make the most of your existing infrastructure. But to get a better sense of what that process entails, I thought it best to present you with an inside look at what these experts do.


Microsoft counters report of Google's dumping Windows

On the heels of a report that Google will phase out Windows in its workplace over security concerns, Microsoft on Tuesday stood up for its operating system.


Project aims to halve cost of a data center

The island partly responsible for slashing the cost of personal computers has set its sights on the cloud, seeking to halve the price of the massive data centers required for the growing world of online services.

Taiwan's publicly funded Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) aims to create standards for building data centers inside 20-foot (6.1-meter) shipping containers, an idea popularized by Sun Microsystems in 2006 with its Project Blackbox.


Red Hat's CEO: Clouds can become the mother of all lock-ins

Cloud architecture has to be defined in a way that allows applications to move around, or clouds can become the mother of all lock-ins, warned Red Hat's CEO James Whitehurst.

Once users get stuck in something, it's hard for them to move, Whitehurst said in an interview. The industry has to get in front of the cloud computing wave and make sure this next generation infrastructure is defined in a way that's friendly to customers, rather than to IT vendors, according to Whitehurst.


Skype on the move: Does it finally add up?

It's the revolution that has failed to happen. A couple of years ago it seemed that internet telephony - Skype and the like - were going to prove hugely disruptive to the mobile industry, ushering in an era of free calls and forcing mobile operators to change their business models.

Skype application on iphoneAt Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, manufacturers like Nokia talked excitedly about putting Skype on the latest handsets. Operators, perhaps fearing that their income stream from calls would dry up, seemed less excited.

As well as Skype, a number of services such as Fring, Jajah,and Truphone started offering apps on smartphones which, in theory, made it possible to make free calls with ease from around the world. Having tried a number of these apps myself, it's my impression that they have failed to deliver the ease of use that would make them a mass-market proposition and hence a real threat to operator revenues.

At home it has made little sense to make Voip calls, unless you are a pay-as-you-go customer - anyone who has a monthly contract will already have paid for lots of ordinary phone calls, so why use a more complex alternative? Abroad, it seems more sensible - until you realise that you can only make calls over a wireless network, which in many places are only available to paying customers.

But now Skype has come out with an update to its iPhone app which, at first sight, could prove a real breakthrough. The key aspect is that it now allows calls over a 3G network as well as wi-fi. Not only can iPhone owners make calls via 3G to other Skype users - but they can also call mobiles and landlines around the world, with the promise of very low rates.

What's more, the audio quality of the calls is massively improved with what Skype describes as CD-quality sound. As someone who is always on the look-out for new ways of doing live radio broadcasts, this immediately piqued my interest - and a Skype call to the BBC control room confirmed that the audio was up to broadcast standard.

So if it's so good, why have mobile operators like O2, Orange and Vodafone allowed this app onto their networks in the UK, with its potential to show their customers a cheaper way of calling? Russ Shaw, general manager for Skype Mobile in Europe, said they had had no complaints so far, and his theory is that the mobile industry is learning to live with his company:

"We've found with the operators that we've worked with that it helps drive smartphone take-up, and that the Skype customers tend to spend more on other services."

Russ told me I was wrong about the company's failure to date to make a real impact on the telecoms industry - he pointed out that that 12% of international calls now go via Skype, and although the vast majority of that traffic is on the desktop, mobile use is now really accelerating.

But there's one catch which could make consumers wary about mobile Voip calls - and operators all too happy to see them take off. I noticed after making a 3G call to another Skype user that two minutes online consumed over 1Mb of data. That's fine on my unlimited data plan in the UK - but would cost me £6 in the United States. Not such a great deal.

So you can see why mobile operators may resist pressure to cut international data charges. For now, internet mobile phone calls only pose a limited threat to their revenues because the sums don't quite add up for consumers - if the cost of data roaming plunges, they will become no-brainers.


Steve Jobs holds forth on Flash, Gizmodo and ... er, his sex life (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - In a rare non-Apple keynote appearance, feisty CEO Steve Jobs told a rapt audience at this week's D8 conference in California that he "can't" just let the whole lost iPhone thing with Gizmodo "slide," that Flash "had its day but it's waning," and that his "sex life is pretty good."


PSA: Don’t eat lithium batteries (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - Kids will swallow just about anything, but some things, it turns out, are deadlier than others.


DataTrac Mortgage Lending Platform Integration with Document Express Enables Seamless Delivery of Loan Closing Products and Services

DataTrac mortgage lending automation
SAN DIEGO, Calif., June 2 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Del Mar DataTrac�, Inc. (DMD), the leading provider of affordable end-to-end mortgage lending automation solutions, and an industry pioneer in business intelligence, document imaging and management, and loan process workflow tools, now offers a seamless integration developed by its document preparation partner Document Express enabling DataTrac users to order their initial disclosures, loan closing documents, flood determinations and high-cost loan analysis without leaving the DataTrac screen.

DataTrac clients that use Document Express for document preparation can now order those services via the convenient DMD Vendor Services Platform drop-down menu. Additionally, the Document Express integration simplifies ordering flood determinations and high-cost analyses for all DataTrac users - even those that use another vendor for doc prep.

"Document Express' newest DataTrac integration enables us to flawlessly import all critical loan data without leaving DataTrac," said Rhonda DeRosa closing manager for the Mortgage Services III Oakbrook office. "Also, once the document package is ordered, data is 'written back' to DataTrac. As a result, we save valuable time, ensure data integrity, streamline the closing process and close loans more efficiently while allowing DataTrac to remain our point of record."

"Document Express is now able to provide an enhanced level of integration in connection with our Elite Series of closing services and products," said Lori Johnson, vice president of Document Express. "Concerns of inaccurate data, re-keying errors or learning the nuances of additional verification systems have been virtually eliminated. Clients enter loan data once in DataTrac, then order and get instant access to a wide array of loan closing products and services in seconds. Nothing could be easier."

"Increasing mortgage bankers' loan processing efficiency is critical for growth in a down market, and DataTrac is all about streamlining mortgage loan origination for our clients," said Rob Katz, president of DMD. "We welcome the Document Express integration that makes ordering their services easy."

About Del Mar DataTrac:

Founded in 1991, Del Mar DataTrac (DMD) is the leading provider of affordable loan automation solutions for mortgage lenders, banks, and credit unions. DMD offers a scalable end-to-end workflow platform that enables lending best practices by leveraging DataTrac as the back-office hub along with a sophisticated point-of-sale system, a web-based originator portal and commission engine, and a management dashboard - all in a paperless environment.

The DataTrac Suite is designed by mortgage lenders for mortgage lenders who strive to deliver extraordinary customer service, increase production and profitability, reduce risk, and streamline overall efficiency. For more information, visit

About Document Express:

Since 1992, Document Express has been bringing you the industry's most comprehensive array of document preparation solutions, DX Elite Series. By supporting and managing lenders' document needs, lenders can relax knowing we will ensure their documents are compliant and securely delivered on time, every time. Combining that expertise with state-of-the-art technology, we provide an engaging user experience with solutions that are truly best in class. We offer superior initial disclosures, closing documents, high cost analysis and flood certificates for lenders throughout the nation. For more information, visit

NEWS SOURCE: Del Mar DataTrac

This story was issued by Send2Press® Newswire on behalf of the news source and is Copyright � 2010 Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Google's security excuse for dumping Windows is bogus, say analysts

If a report is accurate and Google is urging its workers to dump Windows because of security concerns, the company's rationale is bogus and disingenuous, analysts said today.

The experts were reacting to a story published Monday on the Financial Times' Web site that cited several unnamed Google employees who said the company is phasing out the use of Microsoft's Windows operating system because of security concerns.


McAfee and Citrix simplify security management for virtualized environments

Two weeks ago at the Citrix Synergy conference, McAfee and Citrix announced a strategic partnership and collaboration with a goal of making virtual desktop security simpler and more scalable for large enterprise deployments.


The API is everything for cloud computing

I spoke at Glue Con last week, a developer-oriented conference held in Denver this year. What's the core message from the conference around cloud computing? You can answer that question with three letters: A-P-I.


WSO2 debuts cloud platform for apps

WSO2 is debuting on Tuesday an enterprise open source cloud platform, WSO2 Stratos, for application deployments.

Billed as a hosted platform-as-a-service offering, Stratos enables IT professionals to deploy applications and services on private or public clouds. Capabilities are featured for portal, enterprise service bus, and application server capabilities, WSO2 said. Identity management and governance are provided also.


Three men charged in massive malware fraud scam (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - An enormous multinational computer fraud allegedly perpetrated by just three men has been unraveled and taken down by the U.S. Justice Department.


Windows-powered tablets still in the pipeline (Ben Patterson)

Ben Patterson - First, Microsoft nuked plans for Courier, a two-screen tablet device that could have been a compelling competitor to the iPad. Then word began to circulate that HP had shelved its Windows 7-powered Slate. Yet other companies are plowing ahead with their own Windows-based tablets, and at least three interesting specimens surfaced at a Taipei tech conference over the weekend.


Victim of abusive voice mails gets $1.5 million jury award (Christopher Null)

Christopher Null - As election primary season in California runs headlong toward its gritty conclusion next week, not an hour goes by without my telephone ringing with some automated message from Meg Whitman, Steve Poizner or some other wannabe politico, wasting my time and clogging up my voice mail.


EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition Has Won Great Popularity

data recovery software
NEW YORK, N.Y., June 1 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- EASEUS Software, the provider of innovative and professional data recovery software, has been receiving widespread acclaim from almost all editors and users worldwide for the latest release of its free data recovery software, EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition. All the reviewers and users come to evaluate this freeware's ability to recover lost files from different storage media and give their thumbs-up after a test drive.

Since it is the first free data recovery software worldwide that provides almost all the features of paid software, and enables users to recover lost files from all data loss scenarios, it proves to be the best one that users really welcome. Its downloads from reach up to 20 thousand per week and 40 thousand in total since its release two weeks ago. It may be a historical highpoint, especially compared to only 5 thousand downloads (at most) per week for other data recovery software.

According to experts and editors' reviews, EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition is a comprehensive solution to solve all your file-recovery problems and contains most features needed for safe file recovery. You may like it more than other kinds of "free data recovery software," which can typically only recover limited files. One editor said: "The ability of this freeware to recover lost files is better than any product we've tested."

Users speak highly of EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition, which is "wizard driven" and lets them enjoy all the features of paid software -- and helps them recover important files -- for free. "YOUR SOFTWARE SAVED MY LIFE! This is by far the easiest and best data recovery software that I have ever used," said one user.

Pricing and Availability:

EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition 5.0.1 runs under Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, Windows 7 and is totally free for everyone. More information and free download is available from

About CHENGDU YIWO Tech Development Co., Ltd.:

The company specializes in data recovery, partition manager and backup software for Windows OS. Its major products are Data Recovery Wizard, Partition Table Doctor, EASEUS Partition Master and Todo Backup. For more information, please visit


This story was issued by Send2Press® Newswire on behalf of the news source and is Copyright � 2010 Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Metrology: Inspection at the Speed of Light

OASIS Inspection System
MIDDLETOWN, Del., March 26 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Industry leaders frustrated with high cost of inspection: push for speed in the quality department without sacrificing accuracy or adding complexity. These days, equipment is only as good as the software that runs it. According to Erik Adams, of George Products Company, "Customers don't want a collection of parts; they want a turn-key solution to their inspection problems that includes powerful software to drive the system."

The OASIS Inspection System is driven by its own proprietary software that powers the system to operate at very high inspection speeds. New to the system is a strobe light source that creates the part shadow to be measured, and is controlled by the OASIS software to pulse light in micro-second bursts that effectively stops action.

Couple that with a strobe rate of 6 bursts per second, synchronized with the shutter on the digital camera, and the result is the OASIS' ability to measure all external dimensions in under a second -- all without the part ever needing to stop.

In yet another newly released feature geared toward speed, one-click reporting now instantly takes all measurements and exports them to SPC programs or the OASIS report spreadsheet.

"The speed of the Oasis has reduced our inspection time to seconds per component; reducing the need for a dedicated inspector doing audits and allowing the operator to inspect each component 100 percent. This has resulted in real-time data acquisition that helps manage tool wear and keeps the process stable during operation. The Oasis is the perfect inspection system to reduce inspection labor and is a great tool to monitor process operations," said Daniel Proveaux, Quality Assurance Manager, Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, COQE Certified Quality Manager, Goodrich Corporation - Bamberg, South Carolina.

About George Products Company, Inc.:

Founded in 1951 and located in Middletown, Delaware, George Products Company is the manufacturer of the OASIS Inspection System. The OASIS is a full-featured machine vision inspection system designed to measure multiple profile dimensions on parts, accurate to +/- 0.0001-inches, with all the measurements done in less than a second.

For more information, visit:

NEWS SOURCE: George Products Company, Inc.

This story was issued by Send2Press® Newswire on behalf of the news source and is Copyright � 2010 Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.

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Five x Five Selected as Top 10 Innovative Georgia Technology Company

Five x Five
ATLANTA, Ga., April 1 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) has selected Five x Five, a marketing analytics company offering cutting edge marketing optimization technology, as one of the Top 10 Innovative Companies in Georgia. The TAG Top 10 are selected from the Top 40 list and chosen based on a number of criteria, including: degree of innovation; scope and financial impact of innovation; likelihood of success; and promotion of Georgia's innovative efforts nationally and internationally. Companies selected to be in the Top 10 presented at the annual Georgia Technology Summit to 1,000 of the state's technology leaders.

"Our congratulations to Five x Five for making this year's Top 10 list," said Tino Mantella, president of TAG. "The Top 10 finalists represent an exciting mix of companies that I'm sure we'll hear more from in the years to come."

"The Five x Five team is very pleased to be selected as one of the Top 10 Innovative Companies by TAG," said Dan Russotto, Chief Technology Officer and Partner of Five x Five. "It is an honor to be recognized by our peers in the technology sector for our dedication to innovation and analytics. We will continue to leverage our knowledge and expertise to deliver new and groundbreaking functionality and features to our suite of software products."

GridMap, one of Five x Five's premier optimization software products, was highlighted in a presentation at the Georgia Technology Summit, where Five x Five recently accepted its award. GridMap is an intuitive, web-based marketing tool that helps companies optimize their digital storefronts in a way that maximizes overall revenue and profit potential. The self-learning prediction engine forecasts sales for each product in each placement, while the optimization engine allows business constraints to be specified, thus ensuring an optimal plan that is realistic and actionable. GridMap simplifies the forecasting, planning and management processes for digital storefront marketers by blending predictive modeling and advanced analytic expertise with innovative technology.

About the Technology Association of Georgia:

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support its members by generating opportunities for personal, professional and business growth. By forging strategic alliances, TAG serves as a primary catalyst to foster a rich environment for economic development in Georgia's technology community. TAG is made up of 8,000 members representing technology leaders from over 1,500 Georgia-based companies, affiliated technology and business organizations. For more information, visit

About Five x Five:

Five x Five is an advanced analytics company that leverages mathematical methods and technology to help companies solve their most complex marketing problems. Leveraging the partners' backgrounds in complex analytical consulting services, the company is focused on building repeatable and easy-to-use solutions within a suite of analytics software and visualization tools. Team members work as trusted advisors to clients and partners, and incorporate an intensely collaborative approach towards problem solving. For more information, visit

NEWS SOURCE: Five x Five

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