snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard offers up 12 wishes Windows' billion-plus customers would like to see fulfilled after the puff of white smoke comes from Redmond to announce the 'new Defender of the Windows faith': 'No, I'm not going to tell you how to run a bazillion-dollar company with 130,000 employees and a bewildering array of products. You have enough folks with green eyeshades running around already — no doubt with a nasty propensity to tell you, "Yes, sir!" I just want to talk about customers, especially Windows customers. If you can keep us in the fold, we can help you out of this fine mess Microsoft seems to have gotten itself into.'
snydeq writes: 30 years ago today Apple debuted the Macintosh, an iconic computer that among other things cost Steve Jobs his job. InfoWorld offers a retrospective of all the original reviews of the early Macintosh models, including the Macintosh ('will be compared to other machines not only in terms of its features but also in the light of the lavish claims and promises made by Apple co-founder Steven Jobs'), the Mac SE ('contains some radical changes, including room for a second internal drive and even a fan'), the Mac IIx ('a chorus of yawns'), and the Mac Portable ('you may develop a bad case of the wannas for this lovable [16-lb.] luggable'). Plus insights on the Macintosh II's prospects from Bill Gates: 'If you look at a product like Mac Word III on that full-page display, it's pretty awesome.... But the corporate buyer is never going to be a strong point for Apple.'
snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Dan Tynan offers an inside look at the hiring practices of top startups and dev shops when competing against the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter in the escalating war for developer talent. 'One of the worst things in the world you can do is build your first 10 employees with B-level people,' says Steve Newcomb, founder and CEO of Famo.us. 'You will end up with 100 C-level people. That's why we hire very slowly.' Meanwhile, Box SVP of Engineering Sam Schillace has a single word he uses when recruiting candidates who are considering a competing offer from Google: 'That word is "Microsoft." I think Google has had a pretty good run, but it's gotten so massive that it's difficult to be nimble any more.'
snydeq writes: InfoWorld has announced its 2014 Technology of the Year Award winners, recognizing the best tools and technologies for developers, IT pros, and businesses. 'There are several tangible objects on our list, but they're mostly hardware that lives in backrooms away from grubby hands. Anyone who buys them immediately hides them away from everyone, so the machines won't get hurt. The rest of the winners are pieces of software, many of which aren't even sold as software, per se. They're packaged as services, which are even more ephemeral and untouchable than the cloud servers they run on.' Included is an image gallery of the 35 winners.
snydeq writes: Between complex licensing and the cloud, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP have lots of ways to hike up prices. InfoWorld's Robert L. Scheier offers tips on how organizations can fight back against sneaky price increases. 'More vendors are building hidden price increases into complex new variations to on-site licensing models, as well as to their newer cloud and subscription offerings. Rather than having "clear-cut, outright, aggressive price increases," vendors are becoming "more subtle and devious," says Jeff Muscarella, executive vice president of the IT and Telecom Division at sourcing consultancy NPI.'
snydeq writes: With the four-year anniversary of Oracle's Sun Microsystems acquisition looming, InfoWorld reached out to Java founder James Gosling to rate how Oracle has done in shepherding Sun technology. Gosling gives Oracle eyebrow-raising grades, lauding Oracle's handling of Java, despite his past acrimony toward Oracle over Java (remember those T-shirts?), and giving Oracle a flat-out failing grade on what has become of Solaris OS.
snydeq writes: From the Web to the motherboard to the training ground, InfoWorld offers a look at what's rising in popularity among developers, and what's cooling off. 'Programmers love to sneer at the world of fashion where trends blow through like breezes. That's not to say programming is a profession devoid of trends. The difference is that programming trends are driven by greater efficiency, increased customization, and ease-of-use. The new technologies that deliver one or more of these eclipse the previous generation. It's a meritocracy, not a whimsy-ocracy. What follows is a list of what's hot — and what's not — among today's programmers. Not everyone will agree with what's A-listed, what's D-listed, and what's been left out. But that's what makes programming an endlessly fascinating profession: rapid change, passionate debate, sudden comebacks.'
snydeq writes: A knee-jerk no to Android in business is unnecessary, and an overly fearful security approach is actually risky, writes InfoWorld's Bob Violino, in assessing the actual security risks of Android in business. 'Depending on whom you talk to, you might hear horror stories about Android security that "prove" the need for multiple solutions to address. Or you might be advised that buying a single tool will obliterate all your Android fears. The truth is somewhere in between, and before making a serious commitment to Android as a mobile platform, it's important to determine where Android's relevant security issues are and how you can assess their actual risk and remediation.'
snydeq writes: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Innovation Act, dealing trolls a severe blow despite opposition from universities looking to protect patents, InfoWorld's Simon Phipps reports. The act cleared the House of Representatives with an overwhelming majority of 325 to 91 despite opposition from the organizations most likely to feed new patents to the trolls. 'So bravo to the Innovation Act. It's far from perfect, as the EFF documents and as I commented before the holiday. But it's a step in the right direction, and the tidal surge of support it's seeing suggests legislators' appetite for proper patent reform is finally growing strong enough for them to contemplate substantial change.'
snydeq writes: With eight qualified candidates for every 10 openings, today's talented developers have their pick of perks, career paths, and more, InfoWorld reports in its inside look at some of the startups and development firms fueling the hottest market for coding talent the tech industry has ever seen. 'Every candidate we look at these days has an offer from at least one of the following companies: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Square, Pinterest, or Palantir,' says Box's Sam Schillace. 'If you want to play at a high level and recruit the best engineers, every single piece matters. You need to have a good story, compensate fairly, engage directly, and have a good culture they want to come work with. You need to make some kind of human connection. You have to do all of it, and you have to do all of it pretty well. Because everyone else is doing it pretty well.'
snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Paul Venezia provides an in-depth review of Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and Salt — four leading configuration management and orchestration tools, each of which takes a different path to server automation. 'Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and Salt were all built with that very goal in mind: to make it much easier to configure and maintain dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of servers. That's not to say that smaller shops won't benefit from these tools, as automation and orchestration generally make life easier in an infrastructure of any size. I looked at each of these four tools in depth, explored their design and function, and determined that, while some scored higher than others, there's a place for each to fit in, depending on the goals of the deployment. Here, I summarize my findings.'
snydeq writes: Extensible, mutable, and rapidly evolving thanks to open source roots, the Web browser reigns as a platform for users and developers alike, making it as near a universal operating system as you can get, InfoWorld's Peter Wayner argues. 'Despite these very legitimate plaints from OS geniuses, the browser is the dominant layer, the one nexus for software, the one switchboard where all power lies. It needs from the operating system a rectangle to draw the Web page, a bit of storage space, and a TCP/IP feed. It does everything else in a cross-platform way that is, when all is considered, relatively free of bugs and other issues.... Here are 10 reasons why the browser is now king.'
snydeq writes: IT pros blow the whistle on the less-than-white lies and dark sides of the tech business, in Dan Tynan's 'Dirty Secrets of the IT Industry': 'Do sys admins wield power far beyond the CIO's worst nightmares? Are IT employees routinely walking off with company equipment? Can the data you store in the cloud really disappear in an instant? Are you paying far too much for tech support?... IT pros usually know where the bodies are buried. Sometimes that's because they're the ones holding the shovel.'
snydeq writes: CNET's Daniel Terdiman investigates an oversize secret project Google is constructing on San Francisco's Treasure Island, which according to one expert may be a sea-faring data center. 'Something big and mysterious is rising from a floating barge at the end of Treasure Island, a former Navy base in the middle of San Francisco Bay. And Google's fingerprints are all over it,' Terdiman writes. 'Whether the structure is in fact a floating data center is hard to say for sure, of course, since Google's not talking. But Google, understandably, has a history of putting data centers in places with cheap cooling, as well as undertaking odd and unexpected projects like trying to bring Internet access to developing nations via balloons and blimps.'