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[VIDEO] Midokura CEO Dan Miahi Dumitriu

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 30 April 2013 4:34 pm

Midokura raised $17.3 million in Series A funding in April and announced that CTO Dan Mihai Dumitriu was taking over the CEO role. In an exclusive interview at the recent OpenStack Summit, Dumitriu told Enterprise Networking Planet what makes his company different and where it might be headed.

Dumitriu noted that MidoNet uses an overlay approach to provide multi-tenant isolation. That isolation can be integrated in an OpenStack cloud environment by way of the Quantum networking.

Watch the video interview below:

 

Read the full story at Enterprise Networking Planet:
Midokura CEO on OpenStack, SDN, and the Future of Network Virtualization [VIDEO]

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.

No Boys Allowed: Four Coding Schools Just For Girls

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 30 April 2013 3:37 pm
No Boys Allowed: Four Coding Schools Just For Girls

Programming has always been a bit of a boy’s club. Now four startups are turning the tables. 

As the coding education bubble swells, there’s room for some companies to target more specific audiences, including women exclusively. Fifty percent of the female population isn’t exactly a niche group, but it’s not a frequently targeted market in the technology industry, either. 

Even in the year 2013, we seem stuck on the stereotype of the typical “brogrammer.” Women and girls have always been some of technology’s most influential users (remember who fueled the rapid rise of Pinterest, anyone?) but they’re woefully underrepresented in professional tech jobs.

Directed at women and girls of varying ages, each school on the list has a secondary motive of expanding the coding population beyond the stereotypical “brogrammer.” Check them out:

Girl Develop It

Readwrite first covered this startup back in 2010 when it was called Girl Develop IT. (See what they did there?) Two years later, it’s still going strong. This woman-only school now has chapters in 16 cities in America, Canada and Australia. 

Founder Sara Chipps thinks the best way to shrink the tech job gender gap is to give women the resources to become “rockstar programmers” in a space where they feel comfortable. Girl Develop It classes are casual and low cost forays into coding. 

Black Girls Code 

Only one percent of technology startups are founded by African Americans, much less African American women. Founder Kimberly Bryant often finds herself to be the only black woman at tech events, and didn’t want the same life for her tech-savvy teenage daughter, Kai. So she founded a school where young black girls could learn to code surrounded by their peers. 

Black Girls Code targets girls of color aged seven to 17. Originally founded in San Francisco last July, this nonprofit now offers courses in seven American cities thanks to the help of several hundred volunteers. 

Girls Who Code 

Part of the gender gap in programming is a mental one. Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code not just to teach girls 13 to 17 how to code, but to convince them that it’s possible.

“At age 13 or 14 there is something that happens that makes girls think coding or engineering is not for them,” she told ReadWrite last year. “Part of our mission is pushing girls to go into these technical fields and overcome their aversion to risk.”

The startup is about to begin its second summer program, this year available in five cities. 

Girls Learning Code/Ladies Learning Code

Whether an aspiring female programmer is nine or 49, this Toronto-based nonprofit has a program for her. Ladies Learning Code invites women (and the occasional man) to collaborate on learning technical skills. All courses are currently at the introductory level in a variety of programming languages. 

The more recently launched Girls Learning Code program is, in its own words, “less about ‘code’ and more about changing the world.” Girls from nine to 13 are encouraged to explore programming as a means for exploring their creativity and get comfortable with computers.

Thanks to its wide age range, perhaps the nonprofit’s most unique program is a mother-daughter hack day. How’s that for a tech-forward Mother’s Day activity?

Photo courtesy of Girls Who Code

Intel CEO favors SoftBank to Dish for Sprint takeover

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 30 April 2013 9:34 am

Intel CEO Paul Otellini.


(Credit:
Dan Farber/CNET)

Intel CEO Paul Otellini is throwing his weight behind SoftBank in the bidding war for Sprint, according to Reuters.

Otellini sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski giving word that he favored SoftBank, a wireless carrier based in Japan, over Dish for the Sprint takeover offer.

Sprint has been in talks with SoftBank since last October regarding a $20.1 billion offer, but as the deal closing has neared Dish came in with a surprise counter offer of $25.5 billion. If Sprint were to accept SoftBank’s bid, the deal would close by the beginning of July.

According to Reuters, Otellini’s letter to the FCC said that the idea of SoftBank building a third U.S. wireless network was “very compelling.” He also added that there should be more national wireless carrier competition.

“We need this competition in the wireless space as the ATT/Verizon model is not giving that to consumers at this time,” Otellini said, according to Reuters.

While Otellini did not explain more about why he supported SoftBank over Dish, an Intel spokesperson told Reuters, “SoftBank is a business partner which is why there was an Otellini visit. His e-mail to the FCC reflects our view that the addition of a third competitor to the market will be beneficial to consumers and SoftBank has a reputation as being a market disruptor which can provide benefits as well.”

For its part, Dish has also sent letters to the FCC. Earlier this month, Dish wrote the agency and requested that the FCC suspend the review of SoftBank’s possible takeover of Sprint. Dish claimed that such an acquisition wouldn’t be good for U.S. national security.

CNET contacted Intel for more information. We’ll update the story when we hear back.

Ubuntu 13.04 Linux Raring Ringtail Debuts for Servers

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 29 April 2013 8:50 am

The Ubuntu 13.04, aka The Raring Ringtail release, is out this week and is a standard (non-LTS) release. The difference between an LTS release and a standard release is support length, which is a big deal for server users in production. LTS releases receive five years of support, while standard releases only get 9 months.

Mark Baker, Ubuntu Server Product Manager at Canonical, explained to ServerWatch that the ‘Raring’ release is an interim release where new items are brought in with the goal of them landing in a future LTS.

In the case of some of the new items in Ubuntu 13.04, several key ones will be made available to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS server users as well.

Read the full story at ServerWatch:
Ubuntu 13.04 Linux Server Debuts. Should You Upgrade?

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.

Samsung Describes Galaxy S4 As, "A Precious Stone Glittering In The Dark"

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 29 April 2013 2:49 am
Samsung Describes Galaxy S4 As, A Precious Stone Glittering In The Dark

A smartphone can be nothing more than just a phone. Or, it could be a companion that helps you navigate this crazy world. Samsung thinks that it has designed its newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, to be a life companion to help you with the intricacies of existence. The truth is a bit more complex.

Samsung says that the design of the Galaxy S4 was inspired by,  “A precious stone glittering in the dark, or countless stars sparkling in the night sky.”

That would be awesome if it made any lick of sense. 

It is hard to get inspired by the design of a smartphone that feels like a piece of plastic. That is not to say that Samsung did a poor job with the Galaxy S4, it is a quality phone (even if it has its faults). But it is difficult to put it up against some of its sleeker rivals (HTC One, iPhone 5) and say that Samsung knocked it out of the park in terms of design. 

In a video released by Samsung today, the company explains its design decisions in a very Apple-esque type of way. Samsung roles out its Korean design team to tell you how the Galaxy S4 was, “inspired by nature” and “plays to your emotions” and is a life companion. It would be funny if it was a parody, but Samsung released the video without a hint of sarcasm.

Life Companion

Once you get past all the platitudes and corporate speak of why the Galaxy S4 is super awesome (from Samsung designers’ point of view), the video does hit on one key notion that is increasingly relevant when a person interacts with a smartphone. Namely, smartphones have become “life companions.”

In many ways this is true. Smartphones are becoming truly smart with the ability to intuit where people are, why they are there and what they are doing. Your smartphone can help you find friends who are near you or the best restaurant to eat at in an unfamiliar neighborhood. It manages your schedules, sleeps when you do and you can talk to it. If you do not have any other friends, a smartphone indeed can make a decent life companion.

Yet, Samsung did not really come up with this idea. The notion of a “personal assistant” was popularized by Apple with Siri. Intuiting the world around you is a concept championed by Google as can be seen with Google Now and Maps. In many ways, these are some of the first mass-culture steps into the realm of artificial intelligence where a device you carry around with you at all times becomes an extension of your own body and mind. Companies like Nuance (which makes Dragon language software and helped develop parts of Siri) or Kimera are working on semantic software solutions that help your smartphone understand data that is inputted into the device to help you understand the world around you. An entire ecosystem has grown to provide life companion-like qualities that Samsung is touting as its own. 

Samsung’s role is to provide the vehicle for these types of solutions. It does that by providing a high-quality device where these semantic solutions can be integrated. The Korean manufacturer may like to think that it is the panacea of all things smart, but, as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a life companion. 

Square Register update could help quick-serve restaurants

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Sunday 28 April 2013 8:45 pm

Square Register on the iPad

Square Register on the iPad.


(Credit:
Square)

Quick-serve restaurants could start benefiting from Square’s mobile payments service thanks to an update to its Square Register service.

According to Square, the update is aimed at helping restaurant managers better serve customers — and process orders more quickly and efficiently — with a set of tools created just for them. Square said that the new features allow for quickly customizing orders with order modifiers, even as a line keeps moving. And the service helps with more accurate recording or orders, as well as easier communication between servers and the kitchen, the San Francisco startup said.

Among the new features is the ability to easily add a customer’s name to an order.

Square said that its food-related business has tripled in the last year, and the total amount of money those businesses process has quadrupled.

Pivotal Brings in $105 Million GE Investment

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Saturday 27 April 2013 3:04 pm

GE announced this week that it is investing $105 million in startup Pivotal. Pivotal was officially launched at a media event on Wednesday and is made up of technology assets spun out of EMC and VMware. Pivotal’s technologies include VMware’s CloudFoundry Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) as well as a Hadoop distribution called Pivotal HD based on Greenplug Hadoop. Pivotal is led by CEO Paul Maritz, who formerly led VMware.

So what is GE’s interest?

“GE is a 130-year old company, so we always like to be around you youngsters and help create the future with you,” GE CEO, Jeff Immelt said during the Pivotal launch event.

Immelt said that GE is focused on enabling its customers with the benefits of software analytics. For GE, it’s a movement that Immelt referred to as the Industrial Internet.

“It’s about smart machines, Big Data and analytics, as well as mobile workforces,” Immelt said. “Those will come together for airlines, utilities and Oil and Gas companies, to drive great applications.”

Read the full story at Datamation:
Why is GE Investing in Pivotal?

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.

Seesaw App Could Bring "Wisdom Of The Crowd" To Moral Dilemmas

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Saturday 27 April 2013 2:19 pm
Seesaw App Could Bring Wisdom Of The Crowd To Moral Dilemmas

The University of San Francisco launched a clever advertising campaign last year that stated, “There’s no ‘Moral Compass’ app.” Turns out that’s not exactly true.

I’m not even talking about the apps MoralCompass or Moral Compass: The former is a rudimentary flow chart and the latter is more of a daily delivery of famous quotes and self-help mantras. The real moral compass for your smartphone is Seesaw, an app that lets you crowdsource decision making. It launched back in February and Seesaw Decisions Corp. announced its first major update Thursday morning

Seesaw’s strength lies in helping users with basic queries aided by photos: Which hat should you buy, or what should you eat for lunch? The update loosens the chains weighing down Seesaw’s sign-up process (you now can sign up using social media instead of your phone number), and as Seesaw’s user base grows its crowdsourced decision-making assistance is beginning to expand into tricky questions about right and wrong.

Case in point: on Thursday morning one Seesaw user explained his groundhog problem and asked whether he should release the offending varmints or “make them vanish from the earth.” The crowd answered early on by voting for ‘eliminate for good’  (emphasized with a picture of a rifle), but eventually shifted towards ‘catch and release’ by 22-18. Groundhogs may be annoying, but killing is not the answer – at least that’s what Seesaw users say. 

Spanning Preference To Morality 

The original purpose of Seesaw was not to let you ask thousands of strangers whether should, say, put your dog to sleep or break up with your significant other. Its intended function was to help users get affirmation and organize advice based on the  opinion and who supplied it. 

“Often times I’ll ask my friends for feedback, and I’ll already know the answer. You’re just looking for moral support and encouragement. You need that reinforcement to do it,” explains Aaron Gotwalt, Seesaw’s founder. If you’re really trying to make a tough decision, you want input the people whose opinions you value. “There are the people that are important to you, and then there’s everyone else,” Gotwalt says. 

The new update lets you both sign up and log in through social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. (Because Facebook and Twitter don’t let Seesaw access the API that would let the app send invites, getting your friends to start using it is still handled via SMS.) Seesaw is working letting you split votes by social network so that you could compare what your Facebook friends think you should do against advice from other circles.

Can An App Provide A Moral Compass?

For me, Seesaw becomes truly fascinating when moral issues come unto play. Not only did Steve the potential groundhog exterminator get a lesson in animal ethics, he got valuable insight into what others might do in his shoes. 


 

My first Seesaw question addressed whether or not I should crowdsource my moral decision making. (How meta is that?) Not surprisingly, strangers on the app overwhelmingly think I should. But my query also expose flaws in the Seesaw’s ability to serve as a true moral compass. 

For one, as everyone knows, it’s far easier to tell someone else what to do than it is to make actually make a decision yourself. I have no reason to think people didn’t answer my question seriously, but they could have just found it funny. As for Steve’s groundhog problem, a yes-or-no question can’t possibly get at all the nuances of the situation.

Then there’s the follow up issue. Steve has no particular incentive to actually follow through on the crowd’s suggestion. It’d be an interesting if Seesaw could let users notify the crowd what they actually decided to do. 

Obviously, Seesaw is more focused on its ability to gather friends around simple decisions centered on clothing, accessory purchases or food, and the app is a solid decision-making tool for these relatively trivial situations.

Crowdsourcing moral decisions, on the other hand, is uncharted territory. Seesaw is inadvertently emerging as a leader in this space. At the very least, when it comes to letting a crowd make decisions for you, Seesaw is a better choice than turning yourself into a publicly owned company.   

‘Wintel’ on the wane: Intel goes Google

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Saturday 27 April 2013 8:03 am

A sign of things to come? A $99 Craig Android Netbook powered by Intel.

A sign of things to come? A $99 Craig Android ‘Netbook’ powered by Intel.


(Credit:
Craig)

The fact that Microsoft and Intel no longer rule the personal computing world isn’t news. But what happens next is.

I’ll start with a flashback from the early ’90s. I remember attending the launch of Windows 3.1 when I lived in Japan. Kazuhiko Nishi, former friend and business partner of Bill Gates, made a statement that foretold the fate of the Japanese PC industry as well as the global PC market.

I’m paraphrasing, but he said Microsoft was the chassis and Intel the engine of the personal computer. The point, of course, was that the two companies controlled the Windows PC and, as a consequence, controlled the digital computing world.

That was then. Today, Intel needs to be the engine powering the non-Windows world. That’s where the explosive growth is.

So Intel is turning to Google. I’ve been hearing from sources at Intel for a long time that
Android is the future. And Intel said as much to CNET this week.

Expect to see Intel-based Android laptops and hybrids priced between, let’s say, $200 to $500 in the coming months. (Likely, at first, from companies such as erstwhile Netbook vendors Asus and Acer.)

But those aren’t the only newfangled devices you’ll see. Intel’s Communications Group is also pushing hard into Android phones. The Lenovo K800 and Motorola RAZR I, and phonelike devices such as the Asus FonePad, come to mind. Intel will continue to expand this business in developing countries.

And Intel-powered Android tablets are also in the cards. If you don’t think that’s possible, just look at all of the Intel-Android tablets being sold in China.

Then there’s the Chromebook. Intel is inside most of these, including the Chromebook Pixel, Acer C7, and HP Pavilion Chromebook.

The question, of course, is how successful Intel can be when it’s not calling the shots with Microsoft.

I’ll be watching carefully in the next 12 months. Will consumers?

F5 Reports 2Q13 Earnings as BIG-IQ Release Nears

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Friday 26 April 2013 7:02 am

For the quarter, F5 reported revenue of $350.2 million, a three percent year-over-year gain, with $63.4 million net income, or $0.80 per share. Moving forward, F5 provided guidance for a third quarter revenue target in the range of $355 to $365 million.

“During the quarter, we experienced difficulties in closing certain forecasted deals, as customers hesitated to approve budgets and release purchase orders, causing us to adjust our internal forecast late in the quarter,” John McAdam, CEO of F5, said during the vendor’s earnings call. “In particular, we experienced significant weakness in our telco vertical, where sales were down significantly on both a year-over-year and sequential basis, as funding for several projects was delayed.”

McAdam noted that government sales were also down year-over-year, likely due in part to the U.S. government sequester. F5 isn’t the only networking vendor to report slowing government sales. In an earnings call earlier this week, Juniper Networks also reported earnings impacted by the U.S. Federal government spending slowdown.

 Read the full story at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet:

F5 Gears up for BIG-IQ

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.

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