snydeq writes: "Tech giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft were no-shows at CES this week in Las Vegas, which worked out just fine for Chinese vendors looking to establish a name for themselves with U.S. consumers, InfoWorld reports. 'Telecom suppliers Huawei and ZTE, in particular, have set their sights on breaking into the U.S. market for smartphones and tablets.... Whether these Chinese imports can take on the likes of Apple and Samsung remains to be seen, but as Wired quotes Jeff Lotman, the CEO of Global Icons, an agency that helps companies build and license their brands: "The thing that's amazing is these are huge companies, and they have a lot of power, but in the United States nobody has heard of them and they're having trouble gaining traction, but it's not impossible. Samsung was once known for making crappy, low-end phones and cheap TVs. Now they're seen as a top TV and smartphone brand."'"
snydeq writes: The InfoWorld Test Center has announced its Technology of the Year Award winners, chosen from hands-on testing of technologies aimed at end-users, developers, IT pros, and the businesses they serve. Pure open source projects and commercial products rooted in open source proved their mettle, accounting for nearly a third of the winners in categories ranging from mobile devices to cloud services. As for Windows 8? Not a winner.
snydeq writes: "Simon Phipps provides an in-depth account of an ongoing shift from a MacBook Pro to a Chromebook. ' My experiences using a Chromebook for a month have been so good I believe it deserves serious consideration.... The Chromebook line is probably the most successful Linux desktop/laptop computer we've seen to date. Most of the software on the device is open source and it relies heavily on open standards. The options for updating it yourself are openly discussed, and enterprising hackers have even loaded full GNU/Linux distributions onto it.... It reminds me very much of the experience of adjusting to thin client computing five years ago. I can imagine it fitting easily into a corporate environment, especially using the administrative control features Google sells for business users. Businesses open to using a thin client desktop should be evaluating Chromebooks and Chromeboxes — they are today's open source equivalent of yesterday's proprietary thin clients and Sun Rays.'"
snydeq writes: "Microsoft's plan to build its own Windows 8 tablets puts longtime allies in peril — and it may be the right thing to do. 'In announcing the Surface tablets, due to be released this fall, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer cited Apple's advantage (without mentioning Apple) of integrated software and hardware. "Things work better when hardware and software are considered together," he said. "We control it all, we design it all, and we manufacture it all ourselves."... Like Apple, Microsoft will hire a few PC makers to do the actual production work. But the need for 20 brands of me-too laptops, tablets, and convertibles is low. Manufacturing sophisticated electronics is a skill requiring manufacturing innovation. But all those branded-but-otherwise-undifferentiated PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones just aren't needed in the vision Ballmer sketched out yesterday.'"
snydeq writes: "IBM researchers have developed a prototype optical chip that can transfer data at 1Tbps, the equivalent of downloading 500 high-definition movies, using light pulses, the company said Thursday. The chip, called Holey Optochip, is a parallel optical transceiver consisting of both a transmitter and a receiver, and is designed to handle the large amount of data created and transmitted over corporate and consumer networks as a result of new applications and services. It is expected to power future supercomputer and data center applications, an area where IBM already uses optical technology."
snydeq writes: "The InfoWorld Test Center has announced the best business technologies of the past year based on extensive hands-on testing of enterprise hardware, software, and cloud services. 'Many of the winners — but far from all — are new to the list, but that doesn't mean they're new to us. One of the list's most distinctive features is how much it repeats the past, illustrating how much technology builds on what came before. Even the new entries are several years in the making. They didn't appear out of nowhere, but captured the strengths of trends that have been building for numerous years.' From Hadoop, to XenDesktop, to Node.js, to vSphere, this year's winners run the gamut of the IT stack, and include open source projects and proprietary offerings alike."
snydeq writes: "Two massive industry shakeups, a reworked Android ecosystem, and more are on the mobile tech horizon for 2012, writes Mobile Edge's Galen Gruman. 'Android smartphones will continue to grow in adoption, becoming the new cellphone for everyday users. I believe, however, that Android's reach into corporate environments will lag, as the chaos of the Android marketplace simply makes the cost too high for IT and users alike to let Android devices gain more than basic access to enterprise resources,' Gruman writes. 'Three stalwarts — RIM, Microsoft, and Nokia — will break through or fail this year. All three have been failing for several years, and they're all at the make-or-break point.... Also to be shaken out is the mobile device management industry, which has dozens of vendors chasing the same businesses.... At the same time, we'll see attempts to introduce the concept of mobile application management, which conceptually plays nicely into IT's fears and control desires.'"
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld surveys the latest shipping tech to determine which 10 emerging technologies will have the greatest impact on the future of enterprise IT. From client-side hypervisors, to distributed storage tiering, to Hadoop and continuous build tools, each of the highlighted shipping though not widely adopted technologies has the potential to weave its way into the fabric of business computing and lay the groundwork for future, long-lasting IT trends."
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Bill Snyder thinks he knows why products like Apple's iPhone 4S sell well despite lukewarm reception from the tech media: these days users know quality technology and are too smart to fall for bull from vendors or the press. 'There's no doubt that a software glitch is trashing iPhone 4S's battery life; after all, Apple has a patch on the way. And Siri, which Apple forthrightly calls a beta service, still has rough edges and odd quirks. But consumers apparently have a lot more faith in Apple than they do in the Chicken Little tech press that seemingly panics any time a user files a complaint on a vendor website — and despite my ink-stained DNA, I have to agree with them. Indeed, as the consumerization of IT takes hold, we must assume that users aren't stupid and in fact often exhibit better judgment than the companies trying to foist off inferior products. Or that IT gives them credit for.'"
snydeq writes: "HP's decision to go with ARM for its new Redstone server "platform" is a blow to Intel, but the real story is that AC power now costs more than hardware, InfoWorld reports. 'HP's new high-concept initiative, Project Moonshot, under which the Redstone project was launched... is actually a pretty bold plan: Push the data center toward extreme low-power servers and "hyperscale" architecture (another way of referring to a large private cloud). As a proof of concept, you're supposed to be able to squeeze more than 2,800 Redstone servers in a single rack. According to HP Labs, this configuration yields 89 percent less energy, 94 percent less space, and an overall cost reduction of up to 63 percent compared to traditional server systems.'"
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Desmond Fuller provides an in-depth comparison of five entry-level NAS storage servers, including cabinets from Iomega, Netgear, QNAP, Synology, and Thecus. 'With so many use cases and potential buyers, the vendors too often try to be everything to everyone. The result is a class of products that suffers from an identity crisis — so-called business storage solutions that are overloaded with consumer features and missing the ease and simplicity that business users require,' Fuller writes. 'Filled with 10TB or 12TB of raw storage, my test systems ranged in price from $1,699 to $3,799. Despite that gap, they all had a great deal in common, from core storage services to performance. However, I found the richest sets of business features — straightforward setup, easy remote access, plentiful backup options — at the higher end of the scale.'"
snydeq writes: "Flooding near Bangkok has taken about 25 percent of the world's hard disk manufacturing capacity offline, InfoWorld reports. 'Disk manufacturing sites in Thailand — notably including the largest Western Digital plant — were shut down due to floods around Bangkok last week and are expected to remain shut for at least several more days. The end to flooding is not in sight, and Western Digital now says it could take five to eight months to bring its plants back online.' Toshiba's Thailand plants have also been affected, as have key disk component suppliers, including Nidec and Hutchinson Technologies."
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp provides an in-depth tutorial on how he rooted and upgraded his Motorola Cliq XT, one of many Android phones made infamous for not receiving further Android updates beyond 1.5. 'It turned out to be quite an odyssey, with twists and turns I describe here in order to help those who wish to embark on a similar journey,' Yegulalp writes. 'Was it worth the trouble? Yes, in the sense that learning how to jailbreak your own phone is a valuable skill, and I got much more functionality out of the Cliq, when I was expecting to simply junk it. '"