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AOL sees revenue grow for the first time in almost a decade

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 7:30 pm

Who here remembers AOL? Yes that AOL, the one famous for bringing America on to the interwebs. Since the rise of broadband and the decline of the much slower 56k connection, AOL has fallen out of the limelight and pretty much out of the business world altogether.

 

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For the last eight year in a row, AOL has reported massive revenue losses that are attributed to its once popular, but now almost nonexistent dial-up internet service. Finical reports recently released show that for the first time in almost a decade, AOL saw revenue growth.

 

The company reported revenue of $599.5 million in December, a 4% increase from the $576.8 million it generated during the same quarter in 2011. "AOL returned to growth and generated significant value for shareholders in 2012," said Tim Armstrong, AOL's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "AOL has strong momentum entering 2013 and is positioned to continue on our growth path by executing our strategy to build the next generation media and technology company."

SpaceTT: NASA Astronauts to "hangout" in Google+ and answer your questions from space

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 6:19 pm

Let's face it; most of our readers would love the chance to talk to an astronaut who is orbiting the earth inside the international space station. In fact, Americans have long been fascinated with communicating with astronauts while in space.

 

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NASA has announced that U.S. astronauts Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn along with Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency will be fielding questions live during a Google+ hangout that will take place on February 22nd at 11AM US Eastern time.

 

It is becoming pretty common for astronauts to communicate with the public during their extended trips on the International Space Station. Recently Hadfield hosted an AMA on Reddit, and has had a back and forth series of tweets with William Shatner of Star Trek fame. I hope to be one of the lucky people to get a question answered during the hangout. Maybe I will see you there!

Microsoft's SkyDrive now hosting over 1 billion documents, following successful Office 2013 launch

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cloud Computing | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 5:13 pm

This morning Microsoft announced that its SkyDrive cloud storage service is now hosting over one billion documents thanks to a very successful Office 2013 launch. The success is credited to users being easily able to upload and download their files from within the new Office software.

 

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SkyDrive is the latest brainchild of Microsoft, and is billed as a cloud storage system for consumer, business and enterprise. Office 2013 is now able to save user documents to both the user's HDD as well as SkyDrive simultaneously, mitigating the need for frequent document backups. In a release Microsoft said:

 

Last week Office 365 Home Premium launched and we've seen a lot of enthusiasm over the seamless integration of SkyDrive for saving and sharing your docs. Recently we reached a big milestone; our customers are now storing over a billion Office documents on SkyDrive!

EA's Origin gaming software comes to Mac users today in the form of Alpha testing

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 4:14 pm

EA's Origin game management software (a competitor against Valve's Steam) features some of the biggest titles in PC gaming and up until now, it has been limited to Windows PC users only. That all changed today as EA officially announced Origin for Mac (Alpha).

 

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In a release this morning, Origin said "With Origin for Mac we'll be able to offer the same Origin experience and features that define our PC app - cloud storage, auto-patching, friends list, and more". While the alpha testing is open to the public, don't expect to download Battlefield 3 just yet. The game store is blocked until the official launch.

 

You may notice that the Origin Store tab is not yet live in this alpha trial; rest assured, the store will be live-with a great catalog of EA and partner titles-when we formally release the client. Additionally, we're not yet able to provide the same one-click streaming live to Twitch in Origin for Mac (we'll be adding this as soon as possible).

Continue reading 'EA's Origin gaming software comes to Mac users today in the form of Alpha testing' (full post)

BitRock's BitNami enables OS X to run popular open source CMS's

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 3:29 pm

OS X has a massive following of web developers who constantly used Linux based web server stacks to run their CMS stacks - it's actually a pretty common trend at the moment. Within Apple's OS X App Store, users can now find four of the most popular CMS's that run inside BitNami - Drupal, Wordpress, Joomla, and a generic MAMP stack (Mac, Apache, MySQL and PHP).

 

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The issues arise when developers wanted to dev on a CMS in the local environment, files would be stored all over the place instead of a simple single directory. BitNami solves this problem by "walling-off" the CMS software and keeping everything nice in neat in a single place. This single directory structure is essential when migrating a site from a local host development environment to a live server out in the interwebs.

 

Traditionally web developers mitigate this issue by building a development server that is hosted on a Linux server somewhere on their local network. I have one sitting beside me at this moment with no less than six Drupal sites in the development phase.

Mega file sharing service hires new CEO, Ex-head of InternetNZ, Vikram Kumar

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 2:59 pm

Just weeks after its successful launch, file-sharing website Mega has a new CEO. Kim Dotcom has brought on the ex-head of InternetNZ, Vikram Kumar, to run the quickly growing Megaupload predecessor. Kumar has been one of Mega's biggest supporters as well as its founder, Kim Dotcom.

 

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InternetNZ, the company Kumar once headed, up describes itself as a "non-profit open membership organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the Internet in New Zealand and fostering a coordinated, cooperative approach to its ongoing development." Kumar's experience and lack of a controversial legal record should bring a new sense of professionalism to Mega.

 

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"MEGA is delighted to welcome Vikram Kumar as its new CEO", said interim-CEO Tony Lentino. "I have assisted MEGA since its inception, putting time and energy into finding investors, setting up support staff and general overview of the company in its initial stage. Now MEGA runs on a day-to-day routine, and I am pleased to hand the role of CEO to Vikram who is an experienced leader in the Internet industry."

Maps of India need improving, Google launches contest to kick-start the process

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 2:35 pm

Google is hoping to speed up the crowd-sourcing cartography efforts in India by offering a contest with prizes to the top 1000 Map Makers. The contest spans from February 12th to March 25th with prizes including devices and Google branded merchandise.

 

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Google Map Maker lets people who know the area better supply edits to Google Maps, most noticeably in areas where government supplied data and Google's on mapping efforts have failed, or been blocked. Most recently, Google Map Maker efforts have greatly improved the accuracy of North Korea on Google Maps.

 

The very top participants in the contest will receive a Samsung Galaxy Note 8000, with Samsung Galaxy S II GT smartphones, gift coupons, T-shirts and certificated will be awarded to lower ranking participants.

Continue reading 'Maps of India need improving, Google launches contest to kick-start the process' (full post)

HP working to prevent student workers in its Chinese factories

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 10:02 am

The world's largest PC manufacturer is working to make sure its Chinese suppliers aren't using student and temporary workers in their factories. Similar to Apple's current supply chain problems, HP has discovered student workers among those employed by the Chinese factories that supply them with their products.

 

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HP isn't having one bit of it. According to HP's new regulations, a student's work "must complement the primary area of study." Also among the regulations is a cap that limits the ratio of student and temporary workers to 20 percent, though they plan to decrease that to 10 percent in the long run.

 

The labor issues in the supply chain affect all of the major electronics manufacturers. Apple has trouble with Foxconn and Samsung found unacceptable working conditions in its own factories in China. However, it remains to be seen if these companies will follow the example set by HP.

ReportTT: Obama planning to issue executive order dealing with cybersecurity

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 9:45 am

Bloomberg news is reporting that President Obama is near to issuing an executive order that would deal with the nation's cybersecurity. They cite two former White House officials who have been briefed on the Obama administration's plans. An increase in US cybersecurity is desperately needed as was demonstrated by the recent hack of the Federal Reserve.

 

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This executive order has apparently been in the drafting stages since last fall. It's widely expected to be released after Obama holds his State of the Union address on February 12. It reportedly will set up a voluntary program of standards for companies involved with vital US infrastructure such as, say, a power plant.

 

We'll definitely have more details after this executive order is released.

Dell's shareholders reportedly resisting privatization buy-out

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 9:20 am

Reuters is reporting that several major shareholders and investment firms of Dell are having issues with Dell's buyback terms. Southeastern Asset Management is holding out saying that the offered $13.65 a share is too low and thinks the number needs to be around the $20 mark.

 

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The pending deal has to pass a couple hurdles before the privatization can become official. Shareholders need to approve the deal by a majority vote, and regulatory agencies must sign off on it as well.

 

Voting against the deal is Alpine Capital Research president Nick Tompras. He manages about two million shares of Dell stock, and said "Let the fools sell low -- don't make us all fools." Schneider Capital Management President Arnie Schneider holds 350,000 shares and will also vote against the deal.

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