As the flu subsides some, I feel ever so cranky and, hehe, suspicious. So I look askance at the newest Gmail changes and ask my favorite question: "Who benefits?" By product manager John Rae-Grant's reckoning, you do. But Google gains more from plans to display remote images.
Yeah, images make your email look prettier, when Uncle Duck sends a collage of his vintage Winchester and new truck. But they also snazz up spam -- the stuff you don't want -- and advertising collateral you desire about as much but which is gold to Google and its partners. Stated differently, and I will explain why later: Gmail image changes make Google spam's middleman. Say, can some grifter give a con game's name in comments to this thing?
On Monday, a number of Yahoo Mail users started experiencing issues when accessing the service. The company said, yesterday, a hardware problem in one of its mail data centers is the culprit and, as a result, it assigned "dozens of people", who are allegedly "working around the clock", to get Yahoo Mail back on track.
If you are wondering why it took Yahoo so long to acknowledge the problem then you are not alone. The company initially said at 11 AM PST on Wednesday that the full functionality of its email service will be restored "by 3 PM PT", on the same day. Half an hour after the first, and only, deadline Yahoo was still working "hard" to fix the problem.
Everyone is familiar with Google Docs but the Sheets spreadsheet application always seems to have been a bit of a poor relation in terms of the search giant's cloud office portfolio. Now though there's a new release which brings more speed, more features and -- for the first time -- an offline mode.
The new version supports more cells so you can create bigger, more complex, worksheets. New features include Filter Views which let you save and share sections of the data, useful for collaborative projects.
Enterprise technology as we know it is changing. Several years ago, significant improvements in IT were viewed by the business as "nice to have" but not essential. Today many companies use their IT enterprise to deliver differentiated customer service, business intelligence (BI) and a more efficient supply chain. Still, some organizations lag behind. In fact, many businesses continue to rely on a loose federation of siloed applications and disconnected manual tasks to support their most critical operations.
Smart businesses recognize the short-sightedness of this outdated approach. These companies view IT infrastructure as a source of important competitive advantage core to business development. They use their enterprise to maintain -- and enhance -- their market position. Today IT success is business success. They are inevitably connected.
California-based SaaS security specialist Adallom has revealed the existence of an Office 365 token flaw in Office 2013 that could allow malicious web servers to intercept authentication tokens and remotely access a SharePoint site without any alerts being raised.
Writing on the company's blog Noam Liran, Adallom's chief software architect describes the attack as an "ice dagger" because it's the perfect weapon, leaving no trace. He says, "The vulnerability we've found and the security incident that used it have all the makings of a great crime mystery. Only through months of diligent research were we and the Microsoft Security Response Team able to piece together the elements of what might otherwise have been a perfect crime, totally invisible to existing perimeter and endpoint protection defenses".
The demands of mobile use in the workplace create extra challenges when it comes to ensuring information is shared effectively. This is a particular issue when it involves working on documents. Help is at hand though as content collaboration specialist Huddle has unveiled a new cloud tool enabling users to quickly and easily create document content in the cloud, share it with teams and collaborate on it with colleagues.
Huddle Note offers an alternative to legacy applications in order to speed up the document handling process. Once a note is created it can be shared with a single click and other users can review and offer feedback. All comments are time-stamped so it's easy to see the full history of a document. There’s full version control too so that you can track all previous versions and revert to an earlier one if required. Because it uses the existing Huddle platform your notes are protected by enterprise-grade security.
Business intelligence solutions, although they provide a wealth of information, traditionally rely on analytical techniques that take a good deal of time and effort to produce meaningful output. Birst has been a leader in cloud-based BI for a while and is now launching a visual discovery facility to streamline access.
Birst Visualizer sits on top of the existing Birst product's logical layer to provide accurate, business-aware enterprise data. It aims to combine a Google-like search with Amazon-style recommendations, allowing decision makers self-service access to data that might previously have needed specialist reporting skills.
I'm all for curbing government snooping, but what about corporations collecting information? Tech Giant's -- AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo -- reform rally is disingenuous and self-serving. These same companies collect mountains of personal information for profit. So, what? It's okay for them to snoop, but not governments?
The tech world seems to be slowling down slightly in the run up to Christmas, but there have still been a lot of stories over the past seven days. There are sure to be a whole new raft of sales to look forward to both before and after Christmas, but if the Thanksgiving sales are anything to go by they may not offer as good a deal as first appearances would have you believe. Whether you bag a bargain or not, it looks as though tech presents are going to be as popular as ever this year -- and if you buy a Windows device, you'll get a free gift card.
After Microsoft tried comparing the Surface to the iPad Air, Amazon decided to follow suit -- guess which was more popular! Microsoft kept its fire trained on Google, taking a swipe at the Chromebook. Tablet makers may be pushing their product in the run up to Christmas, but PC shipments have suffered the largest decline ever. New computers will have an updated USB connection in the near future. USB type C brings to an end a problem that has plagued anyone who has ever plugged in a USB cable -- this generation can be plugged in either way up!
Last month we reported on research showing that 65 percent of financial professionals were putting company data at risk by using unauthorized apps. New research carried out for anti-virus company McAfee shows that the figure is even higher across the enterprise as whole.
The study finds that of 600 employees surveyed across North America, the UK and Australasia, 80 percent admit to using non-approved software as a service (SaaS) applications in their jobs. These applications are referred to as "Shadow IT", meaning technology that hasn’t been approved by the IT department or acquired according to company procurement policy.
Most businesses by now will have heard of the Google Cloud Platform which lets developers run applications on Google's servers. The company today announces general availability of its Google Compute Engine offering scalable, secure virtual machines running Linux.
In its preview phase Compute Engine supported only Debian and Centos running with a customized Google kernel. It now supports any out of the box Linux distro so that developers can work with a familiar environment but also support software that needs a specific kernel or file system.
Increased use of mobile devices by consumers means that companies face challenges in terms of making their services and data available on a range of different gadgets. To give customers a properly interactive experience you need more than just a website. The key to doing this is APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) which allow connections to be established between your data and your customer's devices.
But developing APIs can be a complex and costly process. In order to streamline this StrikeIron has announced the public launch of its new hosted API management tool in the form of IronCloud.
Apple is a company that, generally speaking, likes to keep itself to itself -- but that's not to say it doesn't like to keep its finger on the pulse and learn about what others are talking about. This is demonstrated perfectly by the company's latest purchase. This time around Apple has invested a reported $200 million in Topsy Labs, a social media analytics firm that specializes in monitoring trends on Twitter.
Topsy has access to every single tweet sent since Twitter inception back in 2006, making it the most extensive database of the micro-blogging service. The information available through Topsy is the sort of data that would prove immensely useful to advertisers, but at this stage it is not clear just how Apple intends to use the information. Topsy Labs' tool can be used to monitor trends on Twitter, check the topics that are being discussed, as well as determining the success and impact of online campaigns.
U.S. Thanksgiving Day comes late this year for retailers, but makes more time for Google to count its blessings and to offer gratitude for them. Oh, they are bountiful, and there is still another month of them to come. The year 2013 will be remembered as one of the finest in Google history. The company has so much to be thankful for, I could have trebled the list.
But for succinctness, I whittle down to those things that mean more than others or that otherwise would be overlooked in the typical yearly review. The list goes from that for which Google should be least thankful to most. Gobble. Gobble.