Saturday, March 3, 2012
Distribution heavyweight Avnet Technology Solutions will look to help resellers succeed in the cloud market after bagging the IBM Cloud Builders Certification.
The badge will form part of the firm's SolutionsPath programme which contains four strands designed to help VARs build practices in cloud; storage and data management; datacentre optimisation and virtualisation; and unified communications, collaboration and mobility.
The cloud strand, dubbed CloudReady, aims to help partners skill up and start selling through training schemes, technology bundles and professional services.
Stephen Ennis, EMEA services business development director at Avnet, said: "The CloudReady practice encompasses a series of workshops, assessment services, briefings, universities and playbooks designed to help business partners architect cloud solutions based on the best technology services and solutions.
"This IBM certification endorses Avnet's and IBM's desire to help business partners quickly and successfully develop specialisation and take advantage of rapidly expanding markets while reducing the associated risks and costs."
Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, has unveiled a new add-on for the popular web browser that gives users an instant view of which companies are "watching" them as they browse, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.
The Collusion add-on will allow users to "pull back the curtain" on web advertising firms and other third parties that track people's online movements, says Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs.
Google's business is built on advertising - the company earned $28 billion from its AdWords service in 2010.
Mozilla's Firefox is the world's second most popular web browser, a position under threat from Google's own Chrome browser. The Collusion add-on is an official Mozilla product, and was unveiled at the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference this week by Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs.
On the heels of yesterday's launch of Windows 8's preview, new statistics show that Microsoft's decade-old Windows XP again plummeted in usage share and will be surpassed by Windows 7 in June.
According to Internet metrics firm Net Applications, Windows XP lost 1.8 percentage points last month to drop to a 45.4% share. The decline was the largest since December 2011, and the fourth time in the last 12 months that the aged OS lost around two points of share.
Windows XP also reached a milestone in February, for the first time accounting for less than half of all machines running Windows. Of the PCs powered by Windows, 49.4% of them ran XP.
Meanwhile, Windows 7 continued its charge, gaining 1.7 percentage points to end February with 38.1% of the desktop operating system usage share.
Assuming their paces hold steady, Windows 7 will take the top spot from XP in June, and has an outside shot of doing so in May.
It couldn't come too soon for Microsoft, which has been reminding customers that XP will stop receiving security updates in April 2014, and aggressively pushing Windows 7 as the next logical move.
Microsoft's problem-plagued Vista -- the 2007 edition that never managed to capture more than 20% of the market -- lost about one-tenth of a percentage point, dropping to 8.1%.
Windows overall share receded slightly to 91.9%, the fourth straight month that the operating system has grown share, stayed flat or lost less than two-tenths of a percentage point. The last time Windows dropped by more than half a percentage point was October 2011.
The Wednesday release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview will not immediately affect share numbers -- it's not expected to ship until this fall -- but if the radically-revamped OS catches on, it could mean the end of Windows 7's climb.
Vista, for example, peaked the same month that Microsoft launched Windows 7 and has been sliding ever since.
Windows XP users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8, assuming their PCs meet the low-level system requirements of the latter: a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. Most analysts, however, expect XP owners, especially businesses that still rely on the old OS, to migrate to Windows 7 rather than that edition's touch-centric successor.
During February, only 0.02% -- or two PCs out of every 10,000 -- ran Windows 8 Developer Preview, the September 2011 edition that Microsoft opened to all comers.
The next few months will show whether users are trying out Windows 8, and possibly predict its future adoption.
Three years ago when Microsoft delivered the public beta of Windows 7, that OS's share jumped to 0.2% the month after the preview's debut, and reached half a percentage point within four months. By the time Windows 7 shipped in October 2009, it had acquired a respectable 2.2% share.
The beta of Windows Vista was adopted by far fewer users, and the edition accounted for just 0.9% of all operating systems the month after it shipped. Vista didn't reach Windows 7's launch-month performance until a month and a half later.
If Windows 8's pre-release adoption rate is on Vista's scale Microsoft might be in trouble. However, if the Consumer Preview's usage share quickly climbs, the company may have another hit on its hands.
Like Windows 7, Apple's Mac OS X gained ground in February, growing its share by more than half a percentage point and ending the month with 6.9% of the usage market. It was the Mac operating system's biggest one-month increase in Net Applications' tracking history, and put Apple within spitting distance of its October 2011 record amount of usage share.
Amongst Macs, OS X 10.7, aka Lion, again boosted its share; in February, the mid-2011 edition accounted for 38.9% of all Apple desktop operating systems in use.
Snow Leopard, or OS X 10.6, retained its lead over Lion, however. The 2009 version powered 43.4% of all Mac desktops and notebooks.
Apple has also announced a 2012 operating system upgrade, dubbed OS X Mountain Lion, that it will deliver in late summer. If experts are right, and Apple offers a Mountain Lion upgrade free of chargeto some Mac users, that edition's share could climb much faster than either past for-a-fee OS X versions or even Windows 8.
Net Applications calculates operating system usage share with data obtained from more than 160 million unique visitors who browse 40,000 Web sites that the company monitors. More OS share data can be found on the company's site.
Google has released Android 4.0 design stencils to help developers create mock-up user interfaces in double quick time.
Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich brought a host of new features but the most noticeable was a change in the user interface with new icons, buttons and interface controls. Now Google has offered designers the chance to download stencils so that they can create interface mock-ups using Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Photoshop and Omni Omnigraffle.
Google has been placing increasing importance on the look and feel of Android applications. Recently the firm released a style-guide so developers can achieve the right tone with their instructions.
However Google's release of design stencils is a move to show that developing applications on its Android operating system need not be an extraneous process. Plus it should help developers use 'Android standard' icons and interface controls from a very early stage of development.
Google's Android had come in for some criticism due to its mish-mash of user interfaces from several versions of the operating system. However now that the firm has integrated both tablet and smartphone operating branches into Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, it needs to encourage uniformity in design across devices with different screen sizes.
Now Google needs to not to make any major user interface design changes with upcoming versions of Android, as rumours are claiming that Android 5.0 will be released before the end of the year.
Adata has released an 8GB DDR3 1600MHz memory module running at 1.35V.
Adata might not be as well known as Corsair, Kingston or Crucial, however the firm is one of the biggest DRAM and NAND vendors around and is starting to push further into the performance DRAM market. Its latest product, a 8GB DDR3 1600MHz CL9 module, is part of the firm's XPG Overclocking brand and claims to provide headroom by running at 1.35V.
Both Crucial and Kingston have memory that runs at 1.35V to promote energy efficiency, however Adata's units are being marketed in the same way that TDP-binned chips are often spun by retailers as having more overclocking headroom. Typically DDR3 modules run at 1.5V.
Alex Wu, DRAM project manager in Adata's Product Planning Department said, "The new XPG Gaming V 2.0 1600G 8GB single and 16GB dual kit memory modules use voltage of only 1.35V, with 9-11-9-27 timing, and are compatible with the latest [Intel] X79 four-channel platform. They provide gamers with the opportunity to significantly upgrade their RAM all the way to 64GB, in order to experience faster operation and performance of desktop computers."
Adata mounted the memory chips on an eight-layer PCB and slapped on a lifetime warranty for everyone except those who live in Germany, France and Austria. Those punters get only a 10 year warranty.
The Ubuntu Linux Team has taken the wraps off the first beta release of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Long-Term Support) desktop, server, cloud, and core products.
Codenamed "Precise Pangolin", Ubuntu 12.04 offers a number of new features and a few bug fixes including a new set of images for the ARMv7 "hard float" Application Binary Interface (ABI), denoted as armhf. The team confirmed that Ubuntu 12.04 for ARM will be based on armhf.
Ubuntu 12.04 includes technology that allows GPUs to go into a very low power consumption state when the GPU is idle and is now enabled by default for Intel Sandy Bridge systems.
This latest Ubuntu beta also offers a way to quickly search and access any desktop application's and indicator's menu, called the HUD, can be accessed by taping the Alt key and entering characters.
Another nifty feature is that Unity settings can now be configured by the System Setting panel, and Nautilus support has been added to the Unity launcher.
Support for Clickpad devices has been beefed up so that now when a button is pressed on the trackpad surface, a second finger may be used to drag the cursor.
On a slightly lighter note, the default music player has been switched to Rhythmbox.
In addition the CD image size has been adjusted to 703MB to squeeze in "every bit of package goodness" onto the installation CD images.
Along with Ubuntu 12.04, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and Ubuntu Studio were also released in Beta 1 status.
To upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1 from Ubuntu 11.10, check out the beta release upgrade notes.
IN THE WAKE of the sell-out launch of the Raspberry Pi PC, uncertainty reigns over when the thousands of geeks who have placed orders will actually get their sweaty paws on the miniature marvels.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation points out that the devices are available at either Element14, er, Farnell, or RS Components, but warns that punters should "please be patient".
A post on the Element14 website sums up the public mood pretty well. It says, "RaspberryPi.org gone quiet - any news? I suspect after a long sleep they are having a stiff word with Farnell & RS."
Element14 reports that its initial stocks sold out more or less immediately following the launch, saying, "We've seen incredible levels of interest. Our initial stock has-amazingly-already sold out! Those of you who have already pre-ordered will receive an email in the next few days about your delivery timeline, and we will be one of the first sites to have more Raspberry Pi's in stock for those who haven't ordered yet."
Meanwhile, over at RS Components the company is asking would-be Raspberry Pi owners to register and "express an interest" in the devices. Once you've registered you will be notified when the devices finally ship from China. "We are expecting to receive our first deliveries very shortly, so will be in touch soon with ordering instructions," RS Components reports.
We have asked the Raspberry Pi Foundation to comment, but at the time of writing, all we have heard back is a deafening silence. But then again it did say they were going to the pub after the launch, so maybe that explains it.
With a planned upgrade to its Hadoop distributed data processing technology, the Apache Software Foundation intends for the platform to run across much larger clusters and take on larger workloads, an Apache official said Thursday.
A key goal for the upcoming 0.23 release of Hadoop, which could eventually be called version 2 or 3, is to have it run across 6,000-node clusters; it currently has run on 4,000-node clusters, said Arun Murthy, vice president of Apache Hadoop at Apache and a founder of Hortonworks, which offers Hadoop technologies and services. Release 0.23 is currently alpha quality; it is due for more formal release later this year.
Hadoop has become popular for mining large data sets. Plans call for Hadoop 0.23 to run across 6,000-machine clusters, each with 16 or more cores, and process 10,000 concurrent jobs. Users will get more work done, Murthy said in a presentation at the O'Reilly Strata conference in Santa Clara, Calif. Performance, he stressed, is something users "can never have enough of."
Other capabilities eyed for the upgrade include HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) federation as well as high availability for HDFS. MapReduce, which is the programming model and software framework in Hadoop, will be improved as well. Called "Yarn," the MapReduce upgrade "is the first to take Hadoop and make it a much more general data processing system," Murthy said. Yarn is "a high-performance rewrite of MapReduce," with twice the throughput on large clusters, said Eric Baldeschwieler, Hortonworks CTO. Also, wire protocol compatibility planned for the 0.23 release will enable server and client upgrades to be done independently.
Also at Strata on Thursday, MarkLogic and Hortonworks announced integration between Hortonworks Data Platform and MarkLogic's operational database platform. The integration will allow users to combine MapReduce with MarkLogic's real-time interactive analysis and indexing on a single, unified platform, MarkLogic said. The arrangement is intended to help users better accommodate big data workloads. MarkLogic will certify its Connector for Hadoop against Hortonworks Data Platform.