Invest in Transportation Act seeks to raise money for US Highway fund
Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer from California, Barbra Boxer, and Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky have jointly announced a proposed bi-partisan bill titled the "Invest in Transportation Act of 2015" in Washington today. The bill would provide funds for the US Highway Trust Fund by encouraging the "repatriation" of funds held by US businesses overseas.
WorkMail hosted on AWS, provides 50GB storage for each user for $4 per month
Amazon is taking on Google, Microsoft, and other suppliers of remote workplace communications, with its own corporate email service. Dubbed WorkMail, the service is claimed to be a "secure, managed business email and calendaring service," hosted in the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and could be an easier and cheaper corporate email system to manage than current services like Exchange servers.
Source code mandated to be made available for inspection, other onerous rules
At the end of last year, the Chinese government approved a 22-page set of regulations for the sale of computer equipment to Chinese banks, but that will ostensibly apply to all enterprise sales. The rules require foreign companies to turn over source code, submit to audits, and build "back doors" into hardware and software so that the government can monitor devices. The new rules are expected to be the first in a series to be introduced across the next few months.
Updated interface, Copy Items enhancements, fixes, improvements
On Wednesday, Apple updated its Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) server/administrator software to version 3.8, the first major upgrade in well over a year. The new version primarily spruces up the app for OS X Yosemite compatibility, including an updated interface. The program was last upgraded in October of 2013, largely for the same reason, but for Mavericks (though two minor updates were issued later). In addition to an interface overhaul to match Yosemite's design language, a number of enhancements and fixes are included.
Rugged Toughbook 31 notebook lasts for up to 18 hours on single battery
Panasonic has made a few upgrades to its long-running and long-lasting Toughbook 31. The hard-wearing Windows notebook now uses a 5th-generation 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor, improved Intel HD Graphics 5500, expanded connectivity, and a bump to the battery life, but still manages to retain its rugged design and reliability.
Forecast for Q1 2015 places Netflix subscribers at over 61M
Netflix has grown its total audience by 4.33 million subscribers globally, the streaming service revealed in its financial results. The faster increase in viewers compared to the last quarter is reflected in additional subscribers for both US and international markets, 1.9 million and 2.43 million respectively, with the total Netflix audience hitting 57.4 million members.
Windows 10 device intended to simplify conferencing, communications
Microsoft's Surface ecosystem didn't get left behind in today's Windows 10 event. Unveiled at the media event was the Microsoft Surface Hub, which is either a 55- or 84-inch 4K display, utilizing a custom Windows 10 version, featuring touch and stylus input with voice and gesture controls.
Larger-capacity drives do well, 4TB Seagates a good value; 7200rpm drives problematic
In late 2013, cloud service provider Backblaze released information about hard drive failure rates used in their facilities collected over a three-year period. The study was one of the first real-world, comprehensive examinations on server-level claims of hard drive reliability, and drew a great deal of attention. An update with new information from between the end of the last study and December 31, 2014 was posted today.
Worker morale highest by far at iPhone maker; HP and IBM below average
Financial analyst UBS and its research offshoot UBS Evidence Lab has polled workers at a number of major tech firms, and found Apple and its enterprise partner IBM at opposite ends of queries about the management, values, culture and business outlook for the companies. In the report, Apple was -- by a significant margin -- the leader in all categories, while IBM came in last in all categories among the seven firms surveyed, said analyst Steven Milunovich.
Walls off Candy Crush, friend feeds to create social network for job collaboration
Social media giant Facebook has launched on a new service for the web, iOS and Android called "Facebook at Work" that is intended to give office communications a familiar interface. Offering a (literally) gray take on the usual Facebook interface, the service creates a variation of the popular social service that is limited to co-workers only, and intended for office communications, messaging, file sharing, and other forms of collaboration. The service is currently still testing with partners, but is available as an app on the iOS App Store.
Purchase could cost $7.5B, provide Samsung with BlackBerry patents
[Updated with BlackBerry denial] BlackBerry could possibly be the target of an acquisition, with a report claiming Samsung may be looking to buy the Canadian smartphone producer for a hefty sum. Details from a source, along with documents, were allegedly provided to Reuters, suggesting Samsung may be willing to pay as much as $7.5 billion to take control of the company.
Handles essential security, deployment tasks
JAMF has announced the general release of Bushel, a cloud-based mobile device management platform aimed at Apple devices. Unlike some MDM products, Bushel is aimed at small- to medium-sized organizations. It's in fact free to use for up to three devices, and costs $2 per device per month for every unit beyond that threshold.
May also play a part with Apple Watch
Apple has hired on a former HP executive, John Solomon, to help with enterprise sales, sources say. The people note that his exact position and duties are unclear, but the hiring is said to be core to the company's newfound rush to reach enterprise customers. Solomon may also allegedly be involved in international Apple Watch sales -- specifically in the Asia-Pacific market -- but some of the sources say this is unlikely.
Fully updated for latest OS X and iOS 8 point releases, update adds features
Apple has updated OS X server for Yosemite to version 4.0.3, adding a number of new features and minor improvements to the $20 add-on that provides enterprise-level tools to administer OS X and iOS devices running the latest respective OS releases. The update requires OS X 10.10.1 to run, and iOS 8 on remote iOS devices. The new version promotes SMB3 as the default protocol for sharing files, and updates Profile Manager to support the new features in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, such as Handoff.
New 10.1-inch tablet will be introduced at CES 2015
Arbor Solution will be introducing its new ruggedized Gladius 10 Android-based tablet for applications such as warehousing, transportation, medical, and mobile point of sale (mPOS) at CES this week. The ruggedized device will be available in the US and Canada beginning in May, with base models starting at $1,030. The unit meets MIL-STD-810G and IP-65 certifications, and offers four-foot drop resistance, a raised bezel for LCD impact protection, and hinged rubber covers over the I/O ports.
Edit PDFs as well as read them in this updated essential
Here's a true story about what PDFpen 2 does. A Windows-based firm produced a year-end report that was about 80 pages and most importantly took many, many hours to create. It was all highly complex, auto-generated figures -- and one huge spelling mistake. They didn't see the mistake until the final PDF was about to be sent out to clients. Fixing it meant re-running the whole process, re-calculating everything: it meant not sending the report until tomorrow. Luckily, one guy in the firm had PDFpen on his iPad. He opened that PDF, typed in the correct spelling, sent the PDF on its way. Total time: five minutes -- and three of those had been spent on panicking.
Two- and four-bay models kick off 50T, 51T lines
Taiwanese network storage solutions provider Asustor launched four new NAS devices today. The two- and four-bay models in each of two new lines come in advance of eight- and 10-bay models, which will be released at a later time. 'The new 50T and 51T series NAS devices feature high performance CPUs that can automatically increase their frequency when needed,' said Asustor Product Manager Johnny Chen, adding that the ability provided reliable transcoding and management under load.
Alipay app adds TouchID support amid talks between Apple, Alibaba
Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has updated its Alipay app for iPhone and iPad today, now including support for Touch ID. Mobile payments made with an iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus can now be verified with a fingerprint instead of a password, similar to Apple Pay. Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated in October that he and Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma would be discussing the potential for a partnership, with speculation at that time focused on Apple Pay and Alipay integration on Alibaba, Taobao and Tmall.
Options cover finance, retail, telecoms, other sectors
Apple and IBM have unveiled the first iOS apps produced through their partnership announced in July. Available under the "MobileFirst for iOS" banner, the apps target clients in air travel, retail, insurance, banking/finance, government, and telecommunications. Some initial clients include Citi, Air Canada, Sprint, and Banorte.
WorkForce Pro WF-8590, WF-8090 print at up to 24 pages per minute
Another two printers in Epson America's WorkForce line have been unveiled, this time offering A3 printing capabilities and cost savings compared to color laser printing. The WorkForce Pro WF-8590 and WF-8090 are heavy duty printing machines for small and medium-sized companies, with the pair using Epson's PrecisionCore technology for fast and accurate printing results.
Evernote for OS X releases updates for Yosemite
Evernote has released a major update for its OS X app, bringing support for Yosemite. Over-all performance speed has been improved, introducing a redesigned interface with a lighter color theme, and new icons. Users now have more control over tables they create, with new color and style customizations available. Notes can be searched for via OS X's Spotlight function, and sending notes to others can now be done while remaining in the app. Many bug fixes and crashing issues have also been resolved in the latest app iteration. Evernote is free to download, with premium subscriptions available.
Woz re-united with colleagues from Fusion-io, working on data virtualization
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has joined Primary Data, a data virtualization company made up of several colleagues from Fusion-io, as Chief Scientist -- the same title he held at Fusion-io. In his new position, Wozniak will be both advise the company on tecnology trends, vision and architecture as well as serve as the firm's ambassador. Chief Marketing Officer Rick White, who worked with Woz at Fusion-io, noted that "with Woz on the team along with [CEO] Lance [Smith] and David [Flynn], we now have the band back together."
Griffin Technology releases two new tablet stands composed of reclaimed railroad steel
Griffin Technology has partnered with Rail Yard Studios, offering the release of two new tablet stands made of railroad steel. Made of reclaimed rail stock installed on the original Louisville and Nashville Railroad between 1906 and 1908, the Rail Slice Tablet Stand and Rail Artifact Stand are built to hold a full or mini-sized tablet in both landscape and portrait orientation.
Yosemite update fixes serious Wi-Fi issues
Apple has released simultaneous updates for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. OS X 10.10.1 for Mac copes mainly with significant bugs, such as a glitch with Wi-Fi that would cause a system to repeatedly disconnect. It also solves problems with sending Mail messages, displayed updates at the Mac App Store, Mac minis not waking from sleep, and disappearing items like Actions, sharing services, and Notification Center widgets.
Social network for employees said to be used by Facebook workforce daily
Facebook is reportedly trying to push itself into the workplace, by making a service for communications within a company. Said to be called "Facebook at Work," the service is said to be able to allow employees and management to talk to other team members, connect with other professionals, and collaborate over documents.
Encourages customers to download from trusted sources, notes software warnings
Rebutting advice from the Department of Homeland Security and other sources that have sought to sow fear in users with regards to the "Masque" malware attack, Apple late on Thursday issued a statement saying it is unaware of any actual cases of the malware attacking iOS users. The statement comes on the heels of fast action by the iPhone maker to stop a similar attack dubbed "Wirelurker," in which a now-revoked Enterprise Provisioning certificate was being used to spread potential malware. Apple has not specified if it has fixed the flaw the Masque malware exploits.
Paid conferencing service from BlackBerry works with up to 25 participants
BlackBerry made another business-related announcement at its Enterprise event, one which involves multi-platform messaging. BBM Meetings lets users set up a voice or video conferencing session with multiple other users, with the service covering BlackBerry 10, iOS, and Android mobile devices, as well as computers running OS X and Windows.
Combination of Samsung Knox and BES12 said to provide end-to-end security
BlackBerry is working with Samsung to make its Android devices more secure for corporate users, the manufacturer has revealed. The partnership, which will be offered to enterprise customers from early next year, will see Samsung's Knox working in tandem with Blackberry Enterprise Service 12 (BES12), in order to provide a "tightly integrated, end-to-end secure solution" for communications.
EMV tech becoming standard in US by end of 2015
Retail payment service Square has opened up preorders for a new version of the Square Reader, designed to scan chip-based credit and debit cards. It supports older stripe-based cards as well, and the company is promising end-to-end encryption, as well as active tamper detection. It's compatible with iOS and Android, requiring only the appropriate apps and an account with Square for paying service fees.
Option now available in 26 regions
Apple has expanded its institution-oriented Device Enrollment Program to support devices bought through authorized resellers and carriers, and to cover a total of 26 regions. The DEP simplifies centralized setup and management of iOS and OS X devices, something critical for mass deployments. Businesses and schools can set up administrative accounts and management servers, and even have user profiles and configurations ready the moment a user activates their device.
Company establishing dedicated sales teams, partnering with developers
Apple is engaging in an "aggressive expansion" into the enterprise market, Reuters reports. Sources tell the newswire agency that Apple has hired dedicated sales teams to talk with clients such as Citigroup. Apple is, moreover, said to be working in conjunction with "a dozen or so" developers -- such as ServiceMax and PlanGrid, which develop apps for managing field technicians and sharing construction blueprints, respectively. Apple is reportedly in talks to bring other developers into formal partnerships.
Activations of iOS devices jump two percent, Android drops one in corporate environments
Even though the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were only available for two weeks at the end of the most recent quarter, the latest iPhones appear to have reversed some gains by the Android platform in enterprise buying, reports Good Technology. The business software company says that Apple's share of the corporate mobile device market is up to 69 percent, two percentage points higher than in the previous quarter. The Android platform, which had gained four percentage points (in part at BlackBerry's expense) in the June quarter saw a drop of one percent in the September quarter. Remarkably, the iPhone 6 models accounted for 17 percent of total smartphone activations.
NASA, Department of Defense among first to access Lytro developer kit
Lytro, the producers of the light-field cameras of the same name and the Illum, is giving interested parties access to its technology. The company is releasing the Lytro Platform and its first Lytro Development Kit for enterprise users to try using the technology in other ways, with the first customers including NASA and the US Department of Defense.
Move by Apple limits iOS infections to jailbroken devices
Apple has responded to the reports of the "WireLurker" malware infecting users in China. After revoking the certificate being used to install malware through enterprise provisioning, Apple confirmed that the malware existed, and noted that it has taken steps to rectify the situation.
New page suggests that official rollout coming soon, partnership going public
Following on from the partnership announcement Apple and IBM made in July, Apple has posted a new page to its website announcing a new AppleCare for Enterprise package that includes on-site hardware support from IBM, alongside a fleet of specially-developed apps for vertical markets. The new page is the most prominent sign that Apple and IBM's plans for enterprise are taking shape, built on a bed of strong on-site hardware support, software support and business services.
Three new options through Google Cloud Interconnect, including direct peering
Enterprise customers looking to get a boost to their Google Cloud services are in luck, as the company recently added some connection options to better tie customers to its network. Google has announced Google Cloud Interconnect, a new service that makes it easier for businesses to take advantage of a more direct connection to Google's infrastructure in one of three ways, including direct peering, carrier interconnect and a virtual private network (VPN).
Can affect non-jailbroken iOS devices; currently distributed through unofficial Chinese store
A new malware threat to iOS has been discovered that can invade the normally well-protected mobile system through a flaw in OS X and USB that allows packages to be installed through enterprise provisioning. Called "WireLurker," the malicious OS X application (once installed) will monitor for new iOS package installs, and then exploits a weakness in USB to install malware into the target iOS device. Once it is installed, the iOS malware tries to harvest personal data like contacts.
HP uses thermal inkjet arrays to create detailed, colored 3D-printed objects
At the same time as unveiling the Sprout PC under its "Blended Reality" ecosystem, HP reveals it is looking to improve its standing in industry by creating 3D printers which use a new printing process. The company's 3D Multi Jet Fusion technology is said to be able to print out physical objects up to ten times faster than currently-available 3D printing methods, while at the same time making the printing process cheaper, and creating more detailed and durable objects.
Shows Yosemite styling, Notification Center support, more
Images claiming to be from a leaked copy of the next version of Outlook for Mac have appeared on the Chinese site cnBeta, which may hint at an impending release for the long-awaited update to the Microsoft Office suite. The program is said to be called "Outlook for Mac 16," and may suggest that the next major Office revision for Mac may be be released alongside a new Windows version. The program appears to take on the design language of OS X Yosemite, and is said to be more unified with the Windows version.
Pocket Informant receives update, adds iOS 8 support, updated interface
Web Information Solutions has updated its iOS app Pocket Informant, a combined scheduling and task list manager compatible with built-in calendar data, Google, Toodledo, Evernote or Informant Sync. Free to download, by upgrading to its premium version ($15) users can sync with other calendars, utilize Rich Text Notes and Contact Management features, Task Smart Filters and more. Pocket Informant v4.5.1 integrates iOS 8 components like the Today Widget, TouchID Support, Alarm Actions, and the ability to create tasks and notes from Safari and the Notes app. Users can now log in to Google, Toodledo, or Informant Sync through the app using 1Password, and can now sync with Toodledo's latest API. Various fixes have been additionally included since the major update was launched. Pocket Informant requires iOS 7.1 or later.
Initiative adds EMV support to government channels, more identity theft protections, reporting
Last week, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order that will help consumers who are victims of identity theft, as well as speed up the adoption of the Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip standard for credit and debit cards. In the order, parts of the federal government will be adopting EMV measures, as well as strengthening the public's ability to monitor financial health or seek help when necessary.
Troubled brand suffers new blow
The Macworld/iWorld expo is being put "on hiatus," and will not take place in 2015, according to organizer IDG World Expo. The 2014 event was held in March. IDG hasn't offered an explanation for the decision, nor has it suggested how, when, or even if the expo will return. It does say that MacIT, its Apple-themed enterprise event, will still take place next year and have details announced "in the coming weeks."
Apple, Google, others will be affected by tax loophole closing in 2020
The Irish government is preparing to close a tax loophole that many technology companies are using to their advantage. The government has announced changes to tax law covering Ireland, which will prevent Google, Apple, and other large enterprises from taking advantage of current tax rules in what is commonly known as a "Double Irish" tax arrangement.
Update includes iOS 8 support for new management options, more
Following recent releases of developer betas for iOS 8.1, OS X Yosemite 10.10 and Xcode 6.1, on Wednesday the company also released an updated version of OS X Server 4.0 for testing. The new build, 14S323, mostly offers updates and improvements to keep up with the latter betas, but adds SMB3 file sharing to the mix for easier network transfers, as well as refinements to existing components like the server app itself and Profile manager, allowing administrators to work with devices on the latest releases.
Extensis announces availability of its new modular digital asset management system software
Extensis is launching a new digital asset management (DAM) system tomorrow, Extensis Portfolio. Aiming to provide a more affordable system for companies of all sizes, Extensis Portfolio allows users to holds millions of assets in one catalog or several, and can be used by multiple departments. Companies can choose what they will use with Portfolio's modular platform, with options for mobile DAM, single sign-on, web portals and more. The system's new "Restful" API provides simple integration with other third-party applications, such as eCommerce Systems, collection managements systems, and web content management systems.
Drive doubles the capacity of Samsung's largest drive, handles 10 drive writes per day
Samsung had upped the limits on its solid state drives (SSD) today, announcing a new 3.2TB drive for enterprise operations. The company announced that it was putting the SM1715 into mass production, a non-volatile memory express (NVMe) PCIe SSD that is capable of reads up to 3,000 megabytes per second (MB/s) and sequential writes up to 2,200MB/s.
Talks with HP stalled, resulting company would have held $130 billion market share
A report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that EMC Corporation has been looking into a possible merger under pressure from an activist shareholder. The cloud computing and data storage company was considering a merger with Hewlett-Packard, a move that would have created a resulting company with a combined market share of approximately $130 billion.
Fortune's annual list of Most Powerful Women in Business released, features IBM's Ginni Rometty, App
Fortune has released its 17th annual list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, with Apple's Angela Ahrendts making the top 30. The list, compiled by Fortune editors, produced the list with four criteria: the size and importance of the woman's business in the global economy, the health and direction of the business, the arc of their career, and social and cultural influence. Topping the list is Chairman, CEO and President of IBM Ginni Rometty, who in an interview with Fortune described IBM's recent partnership with Apple for developing services optimized for iOS and IBM support.
Life N Soul launches KiiTag Bluetooth item finder for iOS
Life N Soul has announced the launch of its new Bluetooth item finder, the KiiTag. Utilizing Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology, the KiiTag can track and locate up to 10 items within a 200-foot range. If users travel more than 200 feet away from one of their valuables, an "out of range" alert will appear on their phone. In combination with in-app purchases, the KiiTag can perform additional tasks, including sending automatic messages of the user's location in an emergency ($5), a remote camera shutter ($4), and a two-way phone finding function ($1). Available in three colors, the KiitTag item finder is priced at $20.
Finished code will likely be last Server release for Mavericks
Apple is seeding another preview of OS X Server 3.2 to developers. Changes are so far unknown, but the code is listed as build 13S5179. Server 3.2 is intended for Macs running OS X Mavericks, particularly 10.9.4 or later.