Not everything at Computex is geared towards home users, there's plenty of enterprise fodder as well. OCZ is among those spreading the love to the corporate world, starting with the RevoDrive, a bootable PCI-Express based SSD designed for workstations.
High-end gamers with deep pockets will also be interested in the RevoDrive, which boasts read and write speeds that will make your SATA-based SSD crawl in a corner and assume the fetal position. We're talking about 540MB/s read speeds and 530MB/s write speeds, or about double that of performance-oriented SATA-based drives.
"Computex is always a good opportunity to showcase our latest solutions to both our clients and trade press and this year we have a complete range of solid state drive solutions that further push the envelope," commented Ryan Petersen, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. "At the show we will be demonstrating exciting new products, including a truly affordable PCIe SSD for consumer applications, ultra reliable enterprise drives and a first look at the HSDL (High Speed Data Link) interface that delivers far superior transfer rates over traditional SATA."
According to those on-hand at the convention, the RevoDrive comes equipped with two SandForce SF-1200 controllers. There's also a connection on the middle of the card for future expansion -- purchase one RevoDrive to start with, add a second one later.
OCZ has not yet determined pricing and availability.
Nevermind that the third Service Pack for Windows XP came out two years ago, or that XP itself is about two generations old. According to security risk and compliance management provider Qualys, out of the hundreds of thousands of PCs the company monitors, half of them are still running Windows XP SP2.
"The normal thing for IT is not to muck around with something that works," said Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer for Qualys. "I would expect that come August, SP2 will be getting hard and harder to defend. I expect to see reliable exploits of unpatched vulnerabilities three or four months later."
Kandek's outlook takes into consideration that Microsoft plans to retire Windows XP SP2 on July 13, at which point users will need to upgrade to SP3 in order to continue receiving security updates.
Looking further ahead, Microsoft will retire Windows XP SP3 in April 2014.
Application whitelisting company Bit9 is saying something IT admins already know: corporate and government PC users need to do a better job of protecting their computers from malware.
Bit9 surveyed 1,282 IT professionals and found that many enterprise and government desktops are littered with unauthorized software ranging from P2P software, to toolbars, Trojans, spyware, and ransomware, among other digital cruft.
"The results from our survey once again underscore the need for companies to adopt a more proactive approach to endpoint security to prevent unauthorized software from being downloaded and running in their organizations," said Tom Murphy, Chief Strategy Officer, Bit9. "Rather than scrambling to react to the latest malicious piece of software – costing time and money – IT administrators need to ensure that only approved software will run in their enterprise. This is a business critical need confirmed by the large amount of respondents that are dealing with malware across their networks."
A solution may not be so easy to come by. Even though 68 percent of IT staff surveyed said they have software restrictions in place, 45 percent said they still found unauthorized software running on more than half of their computers.
It's tough to enjoy the sand and palm trees when you're busy hammering out an email or text message to your boss, but for most, that's exactly what ends up happening when on vacation. According to the second annual Mobile Messaging Study conducted by Osterman Research, some 79 percent of respondents said they take their work-related devices with them to the Bahamas, or wherever else it is they're vacationing.
"Mobile messaging has become crucial to businesses and employees alike, but constant access to email makes it difficult for some workers to unwind," said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research. "Mobile access to email is certainly a critical aspect of how we do business now, but it is important to remember that there is a time and place for everything."
Nevertheless, work often gets in the way of finding some downtime. Almost half of all respondents admitted to traveling up to 10 miles to check email during a vacation, and more than one third even check their mail on a mobile device during vacation activities like skiing, horseback riding, and biking, Osterman Research reports.
In a new reported titled "A Landscape View of Online Software Purchasing 2010," the NPD group says that nearly two-thirds of all online software purchases in 2010 where digital downloads, up slightly from 2009. Digital downloads accounted for 23 percent of online purchases, compared to 22 percent one year ago. Online subscription renewals accounted for 34 percent, while trial-to-paid conversions accounted for 8 percent, NPD said.
"Consumers are willing to put their trust in an online purchase, but they still have some reservations about where that purchase comes from and how much they pay," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "Security software, one of the largest online categories, has a lot of direct sales but third party sales are growing faster. Consumers feel that they are getting better deals and a better selection from third party retailers than from manufacturers directly."
Most of the online subscriptions were for security products, though NPD notes that there has been "considerable resistance to auto-renewals." Just 5 percent of consumers were comfortable letting merchants automatically renew subscriptions, with unsolicited marketing ranking as the No. 1 reason why.
Virtualization and enterprise networking specialist Meru announced plans to add new features to its enterprise Wi-Fi diagnostics, monitoring, and security software. The updated applications run on the Meru Service Appliance, a standalone server that runs Meru's E(z)RF Network Manager and other applications.
"Wireless networking has infused virtually all aspects of the enterprise, as users from the remote office to the manufacturing floor have come to expect predictable yet untethered access to data, video and other applications services from their device of choice," said Ram Appalaraju, senior vice president of marketing at Meru. "We believe these expectations have placed considerable pressure on IT to create a networking environment that will be flexible and reliable, yet operationally efficient. With these new network management applications integrated into the Meru Service Assurance Platform and powered by our underlying Virtual Cell™ technology, we believe enterprises will be able to offer their users a consistently productive experience with the ability to proactively manage and mitigate application performance issues."
Meru also said it is introducing a wireless intrusion detection/prevention application with monitoring and verification capabilities able to detect unauthorized Wi-Fi access points. The software will be able to protect against DoS attacks, password hacks, and physical layer attacks, Meru said.
Despite the upcoming retirement of Robbie Bach and J Allard, the two founding fathers of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division, Steve Ballmer insists there isn't any discord behind closed doors regarding the company's mobile and game console strategies.
"Robbie Bach's been thinking about the possibility of retiring and spending more time with his family. He and I talked about whether we should go ahead and announce that now or wait until after Christmas," said Ballmer.
Back is to retire from Microsoft later this year, the company announced on Tuesday. His retirement comes at a time when Microsoft is getting ready to release Project Natal, Microsoft's answer to motion-sensor gaming.
NAS devices aren't particularly glamorous, nor are they intended to be, just don't tell that Mvix. That's because Mvix's new HDHome NAS box not only looks sharp, it converges home theater, gaming, and home computing into a single box.
"This high-end, comprehensive system fills a void in the market where users demand versatility and system flexibility. Our customers have been asking us for a device where they can store terabytes of their movie collection and have access to it from anyplace, anywhere. HDHome is a response to such a market feedback." Said VP of Business Development, Mike Mallon.
Mvix said the HDHome is targeted primarily at movie buffs and multi-taskers. By leveraging Windows 7 Media Center, HDHome owners are able to browse tons of Internet TV stations, watch Netflix and Hulu, and share media across the home network, Mvix said.
Hardware-wise, Mvix's flagship product comes with an embedded slot-load Blu-ray player, RAID-enabled, hot-swappable HDD bays, Wireless-N, media card slots, HDMI out, TV Tuner, Intel Atom 330 dual-core (S2) or AMD Athlon 4200+ (S4) processor, 2GB (S2) or 4GB (S4) of DDR2-800 memory, Nvidia ION GPU (S2) or ATI 3200HD graphics (S4), and Windows 7 Home Premium.
Pricing starts at $1,000 for the S2 and $1,600 for the S4.
Following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, some analysts have heralded Oracle as the biggest and baddest open source vendor on the block, but not everyone is buying it. Some, like Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies at Red Hat, don't even consider Oracle to be an open source company at this point, let alone the largest one.
"I wouldn't even consider calling them an open source company at all," Cormier said. "When you're making a choice as a company on what's open and what's closed then your customers suffer."
Cormier went on to accuse Sun of sometimes holding back "the good stuff" from the open source community in developing MySQL, claiming that "open is not just seeing the code. Open is also having a community of developer. OpenSolaris is not open. There is no community other than Sun people developing Solaris."
Cormier did admit that there are some parts of Oracle he would consider open, but nothing that approaches the level of openness at Red Hat.
Panasonic this week introduced several upgrades to its existing Toughbook 19 rugged convertible tablet PC, including the addition of an Intel Core i5 540UM processor clocked at 1.2GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 2.0GHz).
Other features include 2GB of DDR3 memory (expandable to 8GB), a 10.4-inch LED backlit touchscreen display, 160GB SATA hard drive (optional 128GB SSD), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, two USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot, and other ho-hum specs.
The real selling point here is the rugged design. According to Panasonic, the Toughbook 19 exceeds the MIL-STD-810G certification and can withstand a six-foot drop. The hard drive is shock-mounted and the magnesium alloy case has been certified for all kinds of nasty conditions, such as sand storms and heavy rain.
The Toughbook 19 is available now starting at $3,400 street.