We already know that Linux is changing the rules all over the computing world. Little by little, Linux and open source software is making its presence felt. As must occasionally happen, such gains must come at the expense of other technologies. And it's an interesting exercise to try to research and predict what specific commercial technologies will become victims of the open source movement. At the top of my list of early casualties are the Motif graphics library and the Common Desktop Environment (CDE), which is built on Motif. Not that they'll go quickly or quietly, mind you. Both technologies have monied backers who will defend them as part of the "official" Unix standard (as defined by the owners of the Unix trademark). But the writing on the root window is clear; these technologies are comatose at best. The Motif FAQ page hasn't changed since April of last year. And the Motif Zone, an e-zine supposedly dedicated to Motif development, features plenty of Linux stuff but its … [Read more...] about C.D.E. R.I.P.?
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It looks like the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) has died a slow death. DOPA was proposed during the height of last year's moral panic around the issue of child safety and sites like MySpace. The legislation would have banned the use of commercial social networking websites in US schools and libraries which receive federal IT funding -- therefore undermining much of the pioneering work being done by educators in the e-learning 2.0 space. A "commercial social networking website" was defined by the act as any web service that: "...allows users to create web pages or profiles that provide information about themselves and are available to other users; and offers a mechanism for communication with other users, such as a forum, chat room, email, or instant messenger." Despite opposition from teachers, librarians, internet activists (and a few politicians), DOPA was passed in the House of Representatives and moved up to the Senate. Then what happened? As Andy Carvin blogs: … [Read more...] about Deleting Online Predators Act: R.I.P.
We're so close here. So close to the point at which e-reader devices can be genuinely useful to students. So close to e-readers that can accommodate more interesting, dynamic content than 1984 or Wikipedia. So close to the point that textbook publishers might feel compelled to innovate a bit in their content delivery and make e-textbooks a reality. But as fellow blogger, Jason Perlow, points out, something is missing: killer apps. For those of you not familiar with the Nook, it's Barnes and Noble's first entry into the e-reader market. It's also the first such device to run Android, Google's open source operating system largely directed at mobile devices. Jason coined the term Kindroid for such a device a while ago and he and I have discussed it off and on, both in the context of the cool new mobile tech as well as in the context of education. Why? Because Android is wide open to developers; a decent community of coders with an interest in education could create some of those … [Read more...] about What does the Nook need to be Ed Tech’s e-book holy grail?
A USB controller made of solid gold is surprisingly impractical. Diamond-encrusted 3D glasses could scratch. A platinum iPad stylus could be mistaken for any old piece of aluminum. If you really want people to know that you care about your electronics way more than your bank account, the Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 is exactly what you’re looking for.Some of the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7’s features, like its built-in wrist rest and programmable buttons, are nothing special. Others, like the dramatic modularity of the unit and swappable keys, are fun but hardly drool-worthy. And the membrane keyboard designed to imitate a mechanical without the noise is very much a wait-and-see for those of us who crave a little finger soreness. But the OLED touchscreen with integrated software is so nifty is almost justifies the $300 that Mad Catz is asking for a keyboard.The touchscreen has some features you’d expect to be on buttons, like media playback and brightness controls. But it also features … [Read more...] about MadCatz S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 keyboard is as gratuitous as they come
The Jaguar F-Pace SUV is the brand’s fastest selling model ever, and more than 80,000 have made their way out into the world. It should come as no surprise, after hearing this, to find Jaguar has introduced another SUV, the Jaguar E-Pace. It’s actually the third Pace model from Jaguar, after the F-Pace and the concept electric I-Pace, which will become reality in 2018. The E-Pace is a compact performance SUV that sits below the F-Pace in the range, and rather than being aimed at Jaguar brand stalwarts, the company expects 80 percent of buyers to be Jaguar newbies. Perhaps for this reason, the E-Pace is fun, filled with high-tech cool — it even has it’s own wearable wrist band that wirelessly unlocks the doors — and great to look at.We’ll come back to that wearable shortly. Let’s look at the new E-Pace itself first. The first thing you notice from the front is the frowning headlights that characterise other Jaguar cars like the XF are … [Read more...] about Jaguar’s E-Pace may be compact for an SUV, but it’s no kitten
LAS VEGAS -- Hewlett-Packard looks to end support for OpenVMS, a system long valued for its reliability and break-through features, in 2020.There's an entire generation of people who were born, graduated college and are well into their IT careers, who may have no idea that this OS, introduced in October 1977 by Digital Equipment Corp., even exists. That alone puts a limit on the operating system's life expectancy.HP says it has about 2,500 unique customers running OpenVMS, but that count only includes customers with whom it has a relationship. There are other users who are either supporting themselves or using third parties to keep the 36-year-old OS in shape. DEC was acquired by Compaq and Compaq by HP.HP said Monday that it will continue support for OpenVMS on its Integrity i2 servers "through at least the end of 2020."The dates are not carved in stone, said Lorraine Bartlett, vice president of marketing strategy and operations for HP's Business Critical Systems unit. "While we do … [Read more...] about OpenVMS, R.I.P.: 1977-2020?
As of May 31, 2011, iFlow Reader and BeamItDown Software will cease to exist. The untimely demise of this small company is a tale of a company that played by the rules and achieved success--until Apple changed the rules and killed it.An open letter on the iFlowReader.com Website explains, "We absolutely do not want to do this, but Apple has made it completely impossible for anyone but Apple to make a profit selling contemporary ebooks on any iOS device. We cannot survive selling books at a loss and so we are forced to go out of business. We bet everything on Apple and iOS and then Apple killed us by changing the rules in the middle of the game." E-Reader Roundup: 8 Devices Compete for the Crown What is iFlowReader? iFlowReader is an innovative app for reading electronic books in the industry-standard ePub format. The iFlowReader app is...or was available through the Apple App Store for use on iOS devices--iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.The iFlowReader app and book business are a drop … [Read more...] about R.I.P. IFlowReader: How Apple Policy Crushed a Company
That's it. The old Twitter design officially is gone and the New Twitter look and feel is all that's left.Twitter unfurled a newly redesigned interface last fall, but the company allowed people to use the old interface until today.The microblogging site announced in a tweet this afternoon that after nearly a year the old interface is history."New Twitter rollout: complete! All users now have the same Twitter.com experience & can access our latest features," the company said.The newer version of the site, which is known on Twitter as #NewTwitter, has an expanded sidebar on the right with new features like maps of geo-location tagged tweets and embedded pictures and videos. The redesign also enabled users to click on tweets to drill down into them for more information.Early last week, the company alerted users that if they were still using the old version of Twitter, time was running out. "If you're currently using Old Twitter, we want to let you know that you'll be upgraded to New … [Read more...] about R.I.P. Old Twitter; New Twitter takes over
The netbook helped spark the move to mobile computing, and the exodus from the traditional office desk to a new "compute anywhere" model. But, the netbook has more or less run its course, and is being replaced by more versatile mobile computing platforms. Slideshow: A History of Portable ComputingIt may not have seemed like it when they launched, but smartphones and netbooks were in a competition for the future of mobile computing--like the epic VHS vs. beta battle. Each has gone through some evolution over time, but the netbook has more or less maxed its functionality and capabilities, while smartphones--and subsequently tablets--are just getting started.The netbook revolutionized mobile computing because it gave users on the go a way to continue working with the operating system and software applications they are familiar with, but in a form factor that won't cause permanent back damage, and with a battery life sufficient to last virtually all day without recharging. The netbook … [Read more...] about R.I.P. Netbook: Mobile Computing Evolves
Microsoft on Tuesday officially retired Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), the company's most significant service pack, several security experts said. Death of Windows XP SP2 Support a Security Risk "Windows XP SP2 was a game changer," said Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer of Qualys, a California-based security risk and compliance management provider."SP2 was a major, major course correction by Microsoft," added John Pescatore, an analyst who covers security for Gartner Research. "It was the first time that Microsoft could tout Windows as being secure."Microsoft set Tuesday as the end of support for Windows XP SP2 , and used the day to deliver its final security patch . To receive any further fixes, security or otherwise, users must run XP SP3 or upgrade to a newer operating system, such as Vista or Windows 7 ."Customers who have not migrated from [SP2] are encouraged to upgrade immediately, either to Service Pack 3 or to Windows 7," said Jerry Bryant, a general manager … [Read more...] about R.I.P. Windows XP SP2