Aug
30th

Microsoft Azure Computing Infrastructure has a Major Outage

Cross-posted from VirtZine: They are going to have to get this fixed before their “Cloud OS” version of Windows comes out. Can you imagine if you couldn’t use your PC for five hours!

Microsoft’s cloud-computing service has five-hour outage

Bloomberg News – By: Jack Clark – “Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing service, a critical part of Chief Executive Satya Nadella’s plan to remake the software company, experienced a major global outage Monday that lasted for around five hours.

Azure, which lets businesses access computing resources and run programs via the Internet, was restored after a disruption that affected at least six major components in multiple data centers, the world’s biggest software maker said on its website.

Microsoft’s cloud-computing service, which competes against rival businesses from Google and Amazon.com, also experienced some outages in August. It’s unusual for cloud-service suspensions to affect more than one data center at once, and this is Microsoft’s most severe Azure interruption since some storage tools went offline in February 2013.

Azure is a key part of the ‘cloud OS,’ a term Nadella uses to describe the different technologies Redmond, Washington- based Microsoft can bring together to give customers a consistent experience across different devices. The cloud division, which contains Azure, has an implied annual revenue of about $4.4 billion, Amy Hood, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, told Bloomberg in July.

Nadella, who built up Microsoft’s cloud-computing business before he was promoted to CEO in February, seldom misses an opportunity to promote Azure, which is part of his “Mobile First, Cloud First” strategy. Nadella’s latest plug for Azure was earlier this month, when he participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge and doused himself with ice-cold water to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He challenged the CEOs of Amazon and Google to do the same.

‘Oh man, oh my God, that is cold!,’ Nadella said after being drenched with water. ‘Now let me challenge Jeff Bezos and Larry Page. From personal experience, I can say it’s better to have your head in the clouds than in a bucket of ice.’

Azure has enabled Microsoft to partner with other companies. Last year, Microsoft and Oracle said businesses would be able to buy middleware and database products from Oracle on the Azure cloud. In May, Microsoft announced a similar agreement with Salesforce.com Inc.”

Aug
30th

Samsung’s Gear S to Get Nike First

Samsung Gear SWhy does everyone want a watch? What’s up with that? Or, maybe they really don’t. If that is the case, how embarrassing!

Samsung’s Gear S is the first third-party smartwatch to get Nike+

GigaOm – By: Kif Leswing – “The Samsung Gear S was only announced earlier this week and it’s already compiling a nice library of apps. Samsung announced on Friday that a Nike+ Running app will be preloaded on the Samsung Gear S when it goes on sale this October.

The Gear S comes with a curved 2-inch screen that will be used by the Nike+ app for giving feedback while running or displaying NikeFuel stats. An audio player will also be built in, so you can set your run to music with Bluetooth headphones — perhaps Samsung’s Gear Circle wireless headphones, which were announced at the same time as the Gear S.

The main claim to fame for the Tizen-based Gear S is that it comes with a 3G connection, so it doesn’t need to be paired to a smartphone at all times, unlike Android Wear. The fact that the Gear S will come with a robust running app pre-installed is bad news for the Timex Ironman GPS One, an expensive running-focused smartwatch based on Qualcomm technology that also comes with a cellular connection but lacks Samsung’s ecosystem clout.

Because it’s a pain to carry around a big phone when you go out for a quick run, run tracking could end up being one of the best ways to use a smartwatch with 3G connectivity. It’s an example of a user experience that’s well suited for the wrist, not a phone.

Nike laid off most of the wearable hardware team responsible for the Fuelband earlier this year, saying that it instead planned to focus on Nike+ software for multiple platforms. It’s kept that promise, releasing a Nike+ app for Android earlier this summer, although there is no Android Wear support yet. Still, I would expect to see Nike+ integration featured when Apple announces its wearable wristband as early as September 9.

Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatches were among the first to market, but they face an uphill battle competing with Google and eventually Apple for people’s hearts and wrists. If Samsung wanted to keep its Tizen smartwatches competitive, this is exactly the way to do it: Quality apps that Android Wear doesn’t have yet.”

Aug
30th

The Fabled Apple iWatch Won’t Ship Until 2015

So… not that I necessary WANT an iWatch, but hey! It is news!

Look Daddy! Santa Gave Me an iWatch Raincheck.

Recode.net – By: John Paczkowski – “So that new wearable device Apple is introducing on September 9? It’s going to be a while before anyone is actually wearing it. Sources in position to know tell me it won’t arrive at market for a few months. ‘It’s not shipping anytime soon,’ said one. So when does Apple plan to ship its eagerly anticipated wearable? That’s not clear, but my understanding is that we’re unlikely to see it at retail until after the holiday season — think early 2015. Disappointing news for anyone hoping to put the device in a stocking come Christmas, but not unprecedented. Remember, Apple didn’t ship the first iPhone until six months after its January unveiling. Which is not to say that the gap between announcement and ship date will be that long, just that it would be unwise to expect preorders for the device to begin on the Friday following its unveiling. Apple declined to comment.”

Aug
23rd

DrBill.TV #350 – Video – “The Phred is Back Edition!”

PlayPlay

Linus Torvalds ‘still wants the desktop,’ GameStop sales jump 25 percent in second quarter, Google to equip its driverless cars with steering wheels during testing phase, GSotW: SoftPerfect Network Scanner, SpaceX Falcon 9 test vehicle explodes over TX.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

SoftPerfect Network Scanner


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

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Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

You may also watch the Dr. Bill.TV Show on these services!

 

Dr. Bill.TV on YouTube Dr. Bill.TV on Vimeo

 


Aug
23rd

DrBill.TV #350 – Audio – “The Phred is Back Edition!”

Linus Torvalds ‘still wants the desktop,’ GameStop sales jump 25 percent in second quarter, Google to equip its driverless cars with steering wheels during testing phase, GSotW: SoftPerfect Network Scanner, SpaceX Falcon 9 test vehicle explodes over TX.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

SoftPerfect Network Scanner


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

You may also watch the Dr. Bill.TV Show on these services!

 

Dr. Bill.TV on YouTube Dr. Bill.TV on Vimeo

 


Aug
23rd

SpaceX Rocket Explodes!

SpaceX Rocket ExplodesSpaceX has had a lot of success of late, this past week was not one of those times! I like one of the comments to this article, “I don’t understand whey they had problems, it is not rocket science.” Yes, yes, actually it is. Grin!

SpaceX Falcon 9 test vehicle explodes during ‘particularly complex’ Texas test flight

The Verge – By Josh Lowensohn – “SpaceX’s rocket program suffered a setback today, with one of its three-engine Falcon rockets exploding in mid-air during a test flight in McGregor, Texas. The company says it triggered the action after onboard systems detected that something was wrong. Nobody was injured, local Central Texas news station KXXV reports.

According to SpaceX, the Falcon 9-R Dev 1 test rocket’s systems detected ‘an anomaly’ that led to an automatic termination of the test. A company spokesperson added that it’s analyzing the data for more information on what the anomaly was, and how it occurred. ‘With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program,’ a SpaceX spokesperson told The Verge. ‘Today’s test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test.’

The Falcon 9R was created to trim the costs of space travel and transportation with a design that can launch, deliver payloads, and land back on earth upright for rapid reuse. That includes payloads like satellites, as well as the company’s Dragon capsule, which can transport up to seven astronauts. The private space company has been testing the idea of hovering and landing since late 2012 with the Falcon’s predecessor the Grasshopper, which was retired last October.”

Aug
23rd

Geek Software of the Week: SoftPerfect Network Scanner!

Scan your network, find hidden shared folders, mount and explore network resources! This is link a Swiss Army knife for you network!

SoftPerfect Network Scanner

“SoftPerfect Network Scanner is a free multi-threaded IP, NetBIOS and SNMP scanner with a modern interface and many advanced features. It is intended for both system administrators and general users interested in computer security. The program pings computers, scans for listening TCP/UDP ports and displays which types of resources are shared on the network, including system and hidden ones.

In addition, it can mount shared folders as network drives, browse them using Windows Explorer, filter the results list, and more. SoftPerfect Network Scanner can also check for a user-defined port, and report back if one is open. It can also resolve host names and auto-detect the local and external IP range. It supports remote shutdown and Wake-On-LAN.

  • Pings computers and displays those alive.
  • Detects hardware MAC-addresses, even across routers.
  • Detects hidden shared folders and writable ones.
  • Detects your internal and external IP addresses.
  • Scans for listening TCP ports, some UDP and SNMP services.
  • Retrieves currently logged-on users, configured user accounts, uptime, etc.
  • Mounts and explores network resources.
  • Launches external third party applications.
  • Exports results to HTML, XML, CSV and TXT.
  • Supports Wake-On-LAN, remote shutdown and sending network messages.
  • Retrieves any system information via WMI.
  • Retrieves information from remote registry, file system and service manager.
  • Absolutely free, requires no installation, and does not contain any adware, spyware or malware”.
Aug
23rd

Google Wimps Out and Includes Steering Wheels on Driver-less Cars!

Google Driver-less CarWhat?!? Come guys, stand up to the man! Ah well, it is only during the “Testing Phase.”

Google to equip its driverless cars with steering wheels during testing phase

French Tribune – By: Bruce Totolos – “According to a statement issued by Google, the company’s driverless cars will be fitted with steering wheels during the testing phase.

About the addition of steering wheels to its driverless cars, Google said that the move comes in compliance with new California regulations – to be effective from September 16 – which necessitate that there should be a mechanism in place to take immediate physical control of a driverless car on public roads if required.

As such, to comply with the new regulations, Google will not just add steering wheels to its driverless cars while testing them, but will also equip these cars with brake and accelerator pedals.

Going by the information shared by Google, which has been testing its driverless cars for quite a while now, the company plans to build in a small temporary steering wheel and pedal system to continue the tests of its driverless cars on public roads.

In reference to the move to equip its driverless cars in adherence to the new regulations, Google said in a recent statement to NBC News: ‘During our testing we are equipping the vehicles with manual controls such as a steering wheel, brake pedal, and accelerator pedal. With these additions, our safety drivers can test the self-driving features, while having the ability to take control of the vehicle if necessary.’”

Aug
23rd

New Hardware Helps Gamestop Sales Jump!

GameStop StoresGamestop was “hurting” not so long ago. It was looking like the game business was getting weak. Now, don’t get me wrong, game sales are still outpacing the movie industry, but the bloom was beginning to leave the rose, until now!

GameStop Sales Jump 25 Percent In Second Quarter On Next Generation Console Launches

HotHardWare – By: Paul Lilly – “GameStop reported a 25.1 percent increase in total global sales to $1.73 billion for its fiscal second quarter of 2014, up from $1.38 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 21.9 percent, and new hardware sales skyrocketed 124.8 percent as demand for Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 consoles continues to be ‘very high.’

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that there was ever any concern over GameStop’s immediate future, but there was. Prior to the Xbox One launch, Microsoft flirted with tying game discs to Xbox Live accounts and leaving the fate of the used games market up to publishers. That didn’t happen, and not only is it business as usual for GameStop, but business is booming.

GameStop’s new software sales grew 15.6 percent in Q2, which is the result of recent releases such as Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs and Nintendo’s Mario Kart 8. According to GameStop, each of these categories outperformed the market as a whole. As for the pre-owned/value category, that part of GameStop’s business saw 5.5 percent growth for the second consecutive quarter.

‘The second quarter demonstrates the power of the new console cycle and all of our business units, including Technology Brands, positively contributing to the company’s sales and profits,’ stated Rob Lloyd, chief financial officer. ‘The back half of the year is filled with exciting games and products coming to market and I am confident that we are prepared to capitalize on these opportunities.’

After paying the bills, GameStop was left with a $24.6 million profit, up 134.3 percent compared to net earnings of $10.5 million in the prior year quarter, with diluted earnings per share coming to $0.22, up 144.4 increase from $0.09 from last year.””

Aug
23rd

Linus Still Wants the Desktop… He Has Conquered Everything Else!

Linus TorvaldsLinus is determined to get the desktop on Linux, and when you think about it, that desire is getting closer to reality every day… why? As I have mentioned before, Chromebooks, run the Chrome OS, which is basically a Linux distro!

Linux Founder Linus Torvalds ‘Still Wants the Desktop’

eWeek – By: Sean Michael Kerner – CHICAGO – “The Linux faithful gathered today at LinuxCon to hear core Linux developers, especially Linus Torvalds—and the audience wasn’t disappointed. In a keynote panel session, Torvalds spoke of his hopes and the challenges for Linux in 2014. Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman moderated the discussion and commented that Linux already runs everywhere. He asked Torvalds where he thinks Linux should go next. ‘I still want the desktop,’ Torvalds said as the audience erupted into boisterous applause. The challenge on the desktop is not a kernel problem, Torvalds said. ‘It’s a whole infrastructure problem. I think we’ll get there one day.’

Torvalds also discussed the issue of kernel testing overall and noted that testing drivers on real hardware is problematic. He sees a need to encourage the Linux user community to be part of testing recent kernels. ‘That’s the only way we find the strange hardware quirks,’ he said. ‘Most developers have something modern, and the rest the rest of the world has older stuff.’
The issue of kernel code bloat was also addressed as Linux is now being run in small-form-factor embedded devices.

Torvalds said he’d love for Linux to shrink in size ‘We’ve been bloating the kernel over the last 20 years, but hardware has grown faster,’ he said.
Torvalds wants to push the envelope for the embedded market despite some challenges. He noted that some of the small-form-factor device vendors have their own operating system technologies in place already, and those vendors don’t always make hardware readily available to Linux kernel developers.
One of the big successes for Linux on small-form-factor devices in recent years has been the rise of the Raspberry Pi device; the mini-computer has been great at seeding the Linux development community for small-form-factor devices, he said.

Maintainers

The issue of Linux code maintainers was another hot-button topic addressed by Torvalds, who noted that some Linux kernel code has only a single maintainer and that can mean trouble when that maintainer wants to take time off.
Torvalds said that a good setup that is now used by the x86 maintainers is to have multiple people maintaining the code. It’s an approach that ARM Linux developers have recently embraced, as well.

‘When I used to do ARM merges, I wanted to shoot myself and take a few ARM developers with me,’ Torvalds said. ‘It’s now much less painful and ARM developers are picking up the multiple maintainer approach.’
Torvalds also discussed big code rewrites within Linux. Although rewriting code is a challenge, it’s also a benefit, he said.

‘It’s a sign of life that old code gets rewritten,’ Torvalds said. ‘Even things that we thought were done sometimes aren’t; it keeps my job interesting.’”


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