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Mozilla Personas Gets a new Name (and it’s not BrowserID)

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 29 February 2012 7:00 pm

firefox personasFrom the ‘Obvious Choices’ files:

Last week, Mozilla officially decided to name its BrowserID effort for consumers as Persona. That choice left the existing Mozilla Personas community without a name, until today.

Personas is now being renamed…

Wait for it….

Themes.

Uh huh. I shook my head too.

Years ago, the Mozilla community (myself included) were educated that Personas was different than a regular theme. It’s a message I bought into and believed – even though Mozilla no longer does.

“After a lot of thought, including consideration of the community poll results, we’re planning to make “themes” the name for custom visual changes to Firefox, whether through Personas or existing themes,” Amy Tsay the new Mozilla community manager for add-ons wrote in a mailing list post. “We think it’s easiest for a user trying to change Firefox’s look to go to a single place without worrying about the  difference is between a “theme”, a “background”, and a “skin”.”

Amy’s view makes sense, except for the simple fact that it’s not what Mozilla itself has been saying for years. To add further insult to injury, Mozilla is not fully respecting the votes of its own community.Mozilla ran a poll to see what users thought the new name should be 41 percent voted for skins and only 22 percent said themes.

So Mozilla – why ask for the community’s view if you’re not going to respect it?

In any event, the name themes does makes sense even though it does dilute all the brand equity they have created in Personas. I’m still shocked at how poorly Mozilla has handled this whole process, they’re a group that normally knows and does a whole lot better.

 

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Mozilla Personas Gets a new Name (and it’s not BrowserID)

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 29 February 2012 7:00 pm

firefox personasFrom the ‘Obvious Choices’ files:

Last week, Mozilla officially decided to name its BrowserID effort for consumers as Persona. That choice left the existing Mozilla Personas community without a name, until today.

Personas is now being renamed…

Wait for it….

Themes.

Uh huh. I shook my head too.

Years ago, the Mozilla community (myself included) were educated that Personas was different than a regular theme. It’s a message I bought into and believed – even though Mozilla no longer does.

“After a lot of thought, including consideration of the community poll results, we’re planning to make “themes” the name for custom visual changes to Firefox, whether through Personas or existing themes,” Amy Tsay the new Mozilla community manager for add-ons wrote in a mailing list post. “We think it’s easiest for a user trying to change Firefox’s look to go to a single place without worrying about the  difference is between a “theme”, a “background”, and a “skin”.”

Amy’s view makes sense, except for the simple fact that it’s not what Mozilla itself has been saying for years. To add further insult to injury, Mozilla is not fully respecting the votes of its own community.Mozilla ran a poll to see what users thought the new name should be 41 percent voted for skins and only 22 percent said themes.

So Mozilla – why ask for the community’s view if you’re not going to respect it?

In any event, the name themes does makes sense even though it does dilute all the brand equity they have created in Personas. I’m still shocked at how poorly Mozilla has handled this whole process, they’re a group that normally knows and does a whole lot better.

 

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Amazon’s Kindle Lending Library touts indie writers

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 29 February 2012 12:57 pm

Now, with more than 100,000 titles in its lending library, the e-commerce giant says more independent books are being bought and read.

Can e-readers help independent writers and publishers? Amazon thinks so. The e-commerce giant announced today that not only did it top 100,000 titles in its Kindle Lending Library but also that more Amazon customers are reading independently published books.

“After a year of marketing ‘Whispers from the Ashes’ in book clubs, genealogical magazines, and local newspapers with steady, but slow results, I joined the KDP Select program,” author Patricia Hester said in a statement. “The results have been absolutely amazing – I have now accomplished every author’s dreams: worldwide interest, fan enthusiasm, and wonderful sales.”

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP, allows writers to self-publish books and make them available on e-readers and cell phones through KDP Select. In Hester’s case, after joining KDP Select one month ago she has since earned over $36,000 from paid sales of her books enrolled in the program. According to Amazon, KDP authors have earned $1.8 million in total from KDP Select.

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is available to people who own Kindle devices and subscribe to Amazon Prime, which costs $79 per year. These members can check out one lending library book at a time, once a month, with no due dates.

Since its launch in November, the library selection has grown by more than 2,000 percent to more than 100,000 titles; also, more than 1 million KDP Select books have been borrowed. Besides independent writers and publishers, mainstream books are also available including more than 100 New York Times bestsellers, according to Amazon.

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is separate from Amazon’s book borrowing program with local U.S. libraries.

Foursquare Dumps Google & Goes Open-Source for Maps

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 29 February 2012 6:46 am

foursquaredumpgoogle.jpgFoursquare just made what it called “a little announcement”, but it’s really not little at all. It’s switching away from the Google Maps API to OpenStreetMap. For the map images, it hired MapBox, a start-up that makes pretty maps out of OpenStreetMap data. Starting with foursquare.com, foursquare’s maps now use MapBox Streets.

Foursquare cites Google’s decision to start charging for access to the Google Maps API in October as the reason it started looking for alternatives. But it sounds like it just made more sense to the team philosophically, too. “We love the idea of open data,” the announcement says, “and were happy to try it out.”

Mozilla Personas Gets a new Name (and it’s not BrowserID)

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 29 February 2012 12:44 am

firefox personasFrom the ‘Obvious Choices’ files:

Last week, Mozilla officially decided to name its BrowserID effort for consumers as Persona. That choice left the existing Mozilla Personas community without a name, until today.

Personas is now being renamed…

Wait for it….

Themes.

Uh huh. I shook my head too.

Years ago, the Mozilla community (myself included) were educated that Personas was different than a regular theme. It’s a message I bought into and believed – even though Mozilla no longer does.

“After a lot of thought, including consideration of the community poll results, we’re planning to make “themes” the name for custom visual changes to Firefox, whether through Personas or existing themes,” Amy Tsay the new Mozilla community manager for add-ons wrote in a mailing list post. “We think it’s easiest for a user trying to change Firefox’s look to go to a single place without worrying about the  difference is between a “theme”, a “background”, and a “skin”.”

Amy’s view makes sense, except for the simple fact that it’s not what Mozilla itself has been saying for years. To add further insult to injury, Mozilla is not fully respecting the votes of its own community.Mozilla ran a poll to see what users thought the new name should be 41 percent voted for skins and only 22 percent said themes.

So Mozilla – why ask for the community’s view if you’re not going to respect it?

In any event, the name themes does makes sense even though it does dilute all the brand equity they have created in Personas. I’m still shocked at how poorly Mozilla has handled this whole process, they’re a group that normally knows and does a whole lot better.

 

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

MegaUpload founder to remain free on bail

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 28 February 2012 6:41 pm

Despite U.S. and New Zealand government lawyers’ efforts, Kim DotCom will remain free until his extradition hearing in August.

Kim DotCom, the founder of MegaUpload, is allowed to stay free on bail pending his August extradition hearing on piracy charges.

(Credit:
3News in New Zealand)

MegaUpload founder and accused pirate Kim DotCom will remain free on bail until his extradition hearing in August.

A New Zealand court today rejected an appeal by government prosecutors seeking to have DotCom returned to jail as a flight risk, according to media reports out of New Zealand. Dotcom, who is charged with operating one of the Web’s biggest criminal copyright operations through his file-sharing site, was released on bail last week after a month in custody.

Dotcom, 38, was arrested in January at the mansion he leases near Auckland, New Zealand, after the U.S. handed down an indictment for criminal copyright violations and racketeering. Millions in cash,
cars, and other possessions belonging to DotCom were seized during a sensational raid on his estate.

At earlier bail hearings, lawyers representing the United States said they suspected that DotCom, who is German, had hidden money that authorities weren’t able to find and he could use this to leave the country. In addition to DotCom, the U.S. government is seeking to bring six others associated with MegaUpload to this country to stand trial.

DotCom, who faces 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges, is confined to his Aukland home and barred from using the Internet.

Meanwhile, DotCom reportedly asked a New Zealand court on Tuesday to free up some of his seized assets so he and his family have money to live on. He has requested the equivalent of $180,000 a month to cover the costs of bodyguards and other staff.

CNET’s Greg Sandoval contributed to this report.

Facebook Expands Media Sharing on Timeline

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 28 February 2012 12:37 pm

One of the intriguing aspects of Facebook Timeline, ever since the initial launch last September, is how it highlights the media you consume. Music you listen to, videos you watch, newspapers and books you read, and (more recently) images you “pin” on Pinterest. Facebook termed the concept frictionless sharing, because it allows you to automatically share the media you consume with your friends.

Earlier this month, Facebook added new third party apps to its platform. Now, a change to Timeline itself has made media sharing even more prominent. The right-hand half of my Timeline is now dominated by my favorite third party media apps: Rdio, Pinterest, Goodreads. The question is: does this make Timeline too focused on media content, over socializing with friends?

Qualys Flies IronBee WAF to the Cloud

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 28 February 2012 6:27 am

Security vendor Qualys is now throwing its hat into the commercial WAF ring with a new WAF service in the cloud. The goal of the QualysGuard WAF is to enable more organizations to leverage WAF technology to protect their applications.

“We’ve noticed that traditional WAFs are usually hardware appliances and usually difficult to use,” Ivan Ristic, director of Engineering at Qualys told InternetNews.com. “The problem is that even for companies that can afford WAF tools, they’re only using them for their most precious assets.”

According to Ristic, that all means there is a long tail of websites that aren’t being protected by a WAF. The Qualys WAF only requires that a network is in control of its domain name in order to begin the process of setting up the protection. Administrators simply need to make a DNS change to redirect traffic to go through the Qualys’ global network of proxy servers.

“We see all the traffic and we’re able to screen it,” Ristic said. “Once we’re sure that it’s not malicious we pass it to the actual real site.”

The same process works in reverse to check all outgoing traffic from an enterprise for any potential unauthorized information leakage.


Read the full story at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet:
Qualys Brings WAF to the Cloud

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

The Google+ ‘ghost town’ has plenty of life left

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 28 February 2012 12:25 am

New ComScore stats are getting pressed into service as Exhibit A to sound the alarm over the future of Google’s social network. I’m not buying it.

For some reason — maybe it has to do with the limitations of human cognition — we have a predisposition toward making this-or-that characterizations: Ginger or Mary Ann? Bird or Magic? Facebook or Google+?

Facebook or Google+?

Yep. That one’s getting trotted out today by the Wall Street Journal, which seized upon new ComScore data to present Google’s (relatively new) social network as a “virtual ghost town.”

On the surface, this doesn’t look promising. The ComScore data indicate that users with personal computers spent only an average of 3 minutes per month on Google+ in the last six months compared with about 7 hours a month on Facebook. And though the piece includes the usual journalistic “to be sure” caveat, the dreary engagement stats put together by ComScore raise the question of whether it’s already game over.

This sort of horse race handicapping goes on all the time in the tech world, but it offers a misleading picture of what’s happening on the ground. The numbers are what they are, but people use the two social networks differently.

Facebook is an easy (and yes, superficial) way to keep up with friends and family on the fly. It’s a terrific product and that’s why the company’s upcoming IPO has inspired such frenzied anticipation.

The smash success of Facebook raised the bar for Google, which was unsuccessful with earlier attempts like Google Buzz and Google Friend Connect. The search titan was late getting a viable social network up and running, but when it finally did (last September), the company did a fine job. On Google+ — where I tend to lurk — the conversations are deeper and more varied, especially among people who are passionate about technology. Often you’ll meet someone new on Google+, a perfect stranger who has something smart to say about a topic you’re interested in. How frequently does that happen on Facebook, where you’re more likely to get friend requests from a guy in high school who you never liked in the first place?

Another anecdotal difference: On Google+ I’ve yet to encounter the Facebook phenomenon in which “friends” misuse the platform to kvetch about everything under the sun. Maybe that will change as Google+ gets more popular, but for now, at least, there’s no comparison between the depth of interaction on the two services.

An advertising exec quoted by the WSJ worried about the absence of “active engagement” on Google+. That’s a legitimate concern, but advertisers also need to weigh targeted demographics versus a shotgun approach that focuses on the sheer number of eyeballs.

These are still the early innings and whatever marketing weaknesses may exist, Google has the luxury of time to get it right. Unlike Facebook, Google+ was not designed as a destination site. Rather, it’s another service on top of the company’s other offerings. As a poster (on Google+) noted, what we’re talking about is a layer of social in between all the other things that Google touches. Sure, Google might still blow. it but the potential for something big to happen is anything but spent. That’s the real story here.

Google+: It’s friending, with benefits (images)

RSA 2012: VMware CTO Proposes Virtual Business Phones to Secure Real Ones

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 27 February 2012 6:19 pm

This post is part of our ReadWriteCloud channel, which is dedicated to covering virtualization and cloud computing. The channel is sponsored by Intel and VMware. Read the case study about how Intel Xeon processors and VMware helped virtualize 12 business critical database applications.

120227 Stephen Herrod - VMware 01.jpgIn a simultaneous announcement at the RSA security conference in San Francisco and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Monday afternoon, VMware Chief Technology Officer Dr. Stephen Herrod made two extraordinary revelations. One is that his company is working on a technology that would give businesses with “BYOD” policies for their employees a way to deploy virtual phones on virtual devices. This would maintain business assets on devices that employees purchase for themselves and use as their work phones.

“The idea is actually pretty simple,” explained Dr. Herrod to attendees of the Cloud Security Alliance Summit at RSA. “You have your phone that you go out and buy, and you go to an app store and download a level 2 hypervisor that’s going to be in place there. Then when you show up at work, what you’re able to do is, rather than get a work-issued phone, you’re going to get a work-issued virtual phone.”

VMware (blue, 150 sq).jpgVMware is currently developing the concept for Android phones, but did not show a working model Monday. The virtual phone may contain company-approved apps, which would still be downloaded to the device over the air, though they would then reside on the virtual envelope.

120227 Stephen Herrod - VMware 02.jpg

“Basically, think of it as having two personalities on that phone, separated by a hardware virtualization layer. What’s important is that, the corporate phone is owned by my company, not by me. I’m in charge of everything that’s on the personal phone, but when I start up that application, it’s all encrypted, it’s all communicating over automatic VPN… and only those applications approved by the corporation can actually fit on that corporate phone.”

A virtual corporate phone could revolutionize the way mobile devices are secured and administered by companies, and it could also have an impact on purchasing choices. Apple’s tight control over the apps distribution process makes it an unlikely candidate for following up on Android’s head start toward this feature.

But it also would give incentive for administrators to deploy some kind of corporate device virtualization portal, which sounds more like VMware’s bread-and-butter. Herrod didn’t specifically mention such a product, though he did allude to its existence with respect to another open experiment the company revealed today, one which would absolutely require such a tool for its existence.

120227 Stephen Herrod - VMware 03.jpgIt’s part of VMware’s multi-faceted “Project Octopus,” the existence of which was first revealed at VMworld last September. Think of Octopus as providing (among many other things) an alternative for DropBox, for all those enterprises that have come to realize their employees are storing corporate assets in public clouds through their private devices. Octopus, whatever it ends up being called, would give employees a cloud they could use instead, while staying within the policy boundaries of their employers.

“DropBox is an incredible app, a great way to get access to your files wherever you happen to be. It’s very convenient,” acknowledged VMware’s Herrod. “And enterprises don’t have an alternative for that right now.” Octopus would offer corporations the same file sync and share service as DropBox, while maintaining the data behind their own firewalls, and enabling richer policies. For example, admins would have the ability to revoke access to specific files within a set number of days. Or, if an employee leaves the company, the admin could make certain that person cannot use the company’s apps or access corporate data.

“I think you’ll see a lot of solutions like these that become different ways of containing the applications and the data, ultimately fitting into this broker concept that has to be third-party aware, but also with unique aspects that each company might need,” added Herrod. Obviously there will be more arms to the proverbial Octopus than just the two.

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In a simultaneous announcement at the RSA security conference in San Francisco and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Monday afternoon, VMware Chief Technology Officer Dr. Stephen Herrod made two extraordinary revelations. One is that his company is working on a technology that would give businesses with “BYOD” policies for their employees a way to deploy virtual phones on virtual devices. This would maintain business assets on devices that employees purchase for themselves and use as their work phones.nn”The idea is actually pretty simple,” explained Dr. Herrod to attendees of the Cloud Security Alliance Summit at RSA. “You have your phone that you go out and buy, and you go to an app store and download a level 2 hypervisor that’s going to be in place there. Then when you show up at work, what you’re able to do is, rather than get a work-issued phone, you’re going to get a work-issued virtual phone.”
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