itwbennett writes: "Having fruitlessly spent over $1 billion on an Oracle ERP system that failed to produce 'any significant military capability,' the Air Force has decided to scrap it. 'We estimate it would require an additional $1.1B for about a quarter of the original scope to continue and fielding would not be until 2020. The Air Force has concluded the ECSS program is no longer a viable option for meeting the FY17 Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) statutory requirement. Therefore, we are cancelling the program and moving forward with other options in order to meet both requirements,' an Air Force spokesman said in an emailed statement Wednesday."
itwbennett writes: "You've probably seen the leaks claiming that 'Office will be available on other operating systems,' but there's no evidence of Office for Android or iPad, at least not in the traditional sense of the word 'available,' writes Kevin Purdy. 'Available could mean, in this instance, slightly optimized for mobile browsers, or as a dedicated app, or as a subscription service for enterprise customers.'And Ballmer's proclamation yesterday that Microsoft is a devices and services company, 'does not imply a company looking to make millions through one-shot app store sales,' says Purdy."
itwbennett writes: "Slashdot readers are familiar with the Torvalds/de Icaza slugfest over 'the lack of development in Linux desktop initiatives.' The problem with the Linux desktop boils down to this: We need more apps, and that means making it easier for developers to build them, says Brian Proffitt. 'It's easy to point at solutions like the Linux Standard Base, but that dog won't hunt, possibly because it's not in the commercial vendors' interests to create true cross-distro compatibility. United Linux or a similar consortium probably won't work, for the same reasons,' says Proffitt. So, we put it to the Slashdot community: How would you fix the Linux desktop?"
itwbennett writes: "If you like to keep your to-dos, contact list, and photos in a spreadsheet, the Grid spreadsheet for iPhone and iPad, which launched in beta this week, may be for you. The idea behind Grid is that people use spreadsheets in all manner of ways other than how they're intended to be used — so why not give in and make one that's really good at the unintended uses? But there's one key thing that Grid can't do: numeric calculations. Which raises the question, is a spreadsheet a spreadsheet if it can't add?"
itwbennett writes: "A report released Wednesday by Oakland, CA city auditor Courtney Ruby finds that the Oakland Police Department spent 'about US$1.8 million in recent years on software and other crime-fighting technologies that they either never used or drastically underutilized'. One of the biggest single expenditures was for an in-car video management system that cost the department $1.2 million was never used because it 'did not work as expected.'"
itwbennett writes: "Forget issues of security or privacy, what's really holding back business adoption of SaaS is the constant updates, opines Brian Proffitt in a recent blog post. Having interface updates sprung on users 'is the most visible symptom for everyone, not just hard-core geeks like me that this isn't your own software anymore,' writes Proffitt. 'Think about this: even proprietary software has enough backwards compatibility to let you stay with a version of that software if you don't want to upgrade to something new. If I don't want to use Office 2010, I can stick with 2007. Not forever, I get that, but longer than I would if I use SaaS alternative.'"
itwbennett writes: "Long Beach, California has $17.6 million in outstanding parking fines. To blame: Old software that requires too much manual intervention, city auditor Laura Doud said in a report released last week. The ironically named AutoProcess system, which is also used by the city of Pasadena, 'isn't integrated with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, meaning that information about who owns a particular vehicle has to be manually loaded into AutoProcess,' according to Doud's report."
itwbennett writes: "News from the LibreOffice Conference in Paris is trickling out. Blogger Brian Proffitt has a roundup of the conference announcements thus far. Notably included are plans for a browser-based version of LibreOffice called LibreOffice Online; and ports of LibreOffice to the Android and iOS platforms."
itwbennett writes: "Working with researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, IBM has developed software that simulates behavior across tens of thousands of river branches at a time. The software can generate up to 100 hours of river behavior in just a single hour and could provide several days warning of flood conditions. Currently, the team is testing the model to predict miles of rivers and tributaries in Texas."
itwbennett writes: "Weak penalties and a lack of enforcement have made China a hotspot for software piracy, but it is possible to turn some pirated software into sales, says Vic DeMarines, vice president of products for V.i. Labs, a company that helps makers of engineering and design software track the unlicensed use of their products. Forty of V.i. Labs' clients use code to track when an installed application shows signs its a pirated copy. The data collected makes a record of what organizations in China are using unlicensed copies across how many different PCs. They can then use the data to reach out to those organizations, who might not be aware they are using unlicensed software. 'We think that's a better way to reduce piracy overall,' says DeMarines. 'You need to target the organizations that should have the ability to pay license versus going after individual users or the people who crack the software.'"
itwbennett writes: "Yesterday's release of the Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader brought to mind the bad old days of the browser wars, but with a new twist: while the app works on any iOS device, it only works on computers with Safari and Chrome. Blogger Brian Proffitt knows as well as anyone that 'this isn't a deliberate snub of the other browsers. Clearly the developers of this web app had to get it to work on Safari, because that's the only vector to get it onto an Apple device. And, since both Chrome and Safari have a shared ancestor in WebKit, it makes sense that what would work in one browser would work in the other.' But it raises an interesting question: 'If HTML5 and other web technologies are supposed to be open and standardized, then will web app developers have to continually tweak their apps in order to accommodate deficiencies or advantages between browsers, or will browsers have to constantly stay in sync with each other's features just to be able to run all the web apps out there?'"
itwbennett writes: "ITworld's Sandro Villinger has dug through the 'thousands of whitepapers, security updates and a glut of PowerPoint presentations' on TechNet, MS Research and Microsoft Downloads and found 15 truly useful free Windows tools. He starts with RichCopy 4.0, a UI frontend for Robocopy and ends with Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 2.0, which 'strengthens security for applications without having to recompile them.' And in between are a baker's dozen more hidden gems."
itwbennett writes: "Switzerland's Anti-PowerPoint Party (APPP) wants to ban the use of presentation software, saying it costs the Swiss economy 2.1 billion Swiss francs (US$2.5 billion) annually. APPP bases its calculations on unverified assumptions about the number of employees attending presentations each week, and the assumption that 85% of attendees find no value in the presentations."
itwbennett writes: "New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants the city to be reimbursed in full for the CityTime software project, a decade-long effort to overhaul the city's payroll system. Although New York has 'received a working system that will advance our management ability... because the project was apparently tainted by fraud and kickback schemes, the City must be made whole,' Bloomberg said."