Put away the pitchforks for a moment, because that whole data loss thing involving the Sidekick and Microsoft's Danger unit might not be the Redmond company's fault after all. So who is to blame? Oracle, Linux, and Sun, Microsoft said in not so many words.
"Sidekick runs on Danger's proprietary service that Microsoft inherited when it acquired Danger in 2008. The Danger service is built on a mix of Danger created technologies and third party technologies," Microsoft explained to TGDaily. "Microsoft's other cloud computing projects are totally separate from the Danger Service and do not rely on the Danger Service technology."
There's actually a whole lot more to the story for anyone who cares to read through it all, including a possible sabotage scenario. In short, this could be a situation where it was simply easier to point the finger at Microsoft, justified or not. And more than just pointing fingers, the Redmond company finds itself on the receiving end of two class-action lawsuits alleging that it, along with T-Mobile, failed to "adequately ensure the safety, security, and availability of the data belonging" to Sidekick users.
It turns out that Sidekick users aren’t the only ones losing data this week. Several thousand Facebook users that have been unable to access their accounts since last week are finally seeing their profiles return. The only catch? The data from recent profile updates has been lost.
The outage was the result of, “a technical issue with a single database,” according to Facebook. Luckily, only a small fraction of Facebook’s users were affected. Unluckily, Facebook has so many users that the ‘small fraction’ works out to about 150,000. When the profiles were restored, Facebook presented users with a message that read in part, “We have done our best to restore your account to its most recent state, but some data and settings may not be current.” This could include pictures, status updates, and friend list changes, just to name a few.
Overall, the data loss was relatively minor. No profiles have gone missing entirely. So at least on that front they’re ahead of Danger/Microsoft. Most of the complaints arising from the incident seem to revolve around Facebook’s customer service. They said very little about the situation until just recently. A Facebook rep indicated that the company wanted to get the specifics figured out before providing potentially incorrect information. If you rely on Facebook, how much downtime is acceptable? Would you consider keeping important contact info or pictures on it?
The server-based gaming service promises to deliver the latest video games to any broadband-enabled PC or TV set without requiring any fancy gaming hardware.
The company is not willing to divulge the exact volume of funding. According to GamesBeat, one venture capital source speculates that funding in the third round may have topped $500 million.
“But we’re limited on what we can disclose. The valuation was quite high for a pre-revenue company. It is probably among the highest for a pre-revenue company getting funding this year. But the scope of the opportunity is high,” said Steve Perlman, OnLive’s founder and CEO.
Although a few other similar ventures are vying for what they all believe is an assured place in video game history, OnLive’s huge wealth of intellectual property – more than 100 patents and counting, coupled with the financial muscle of its backers gives it an obvious advantage. It is currently being put through its paces by beta testers.
Been having a tough time sending or receiving email through Gmail lately? Don't worry, you're not alone. We experienced some intermittent trouble yesterday as well, and Google is aware of the problem.
"We know many of you are having trouble accessing Gmail right now -- we are too, and we definitely feel your pain," Google wrote in its Gmail blog. "We don't usually post about minor issues here (the Apps status dashboard and the Gmail Help Center are usually where this kind of information goes). Because this is impacting so many of you, we wanted to let you know we're currently looking into the issue and hope to have more info share here shortly."
Unfortunately, that's all there is to go on at this point. For the time being, the search giant appears stumped on what exactly is causing all the commotion, but apparently knows enough to feel confident everything will be hunky-dory sooner rather than later.
Panda Security's free Cloud Antivirus, released in beta form just a couple of months back, has apparently been well received with "millions" of downloads. Based on feedback from those who have participated, Panda this week released the second beta for what it refers to as the first free cloud-based antivirus thin client.
Several new features and fixes have been added to the newest beta, some of which include:
Undo option for the Recycle Bin to recover deleted detections for a period of 3 days in case of false positives
Synchronous real-time Cloud scan
A response control mechanism that prevents programs from executing before they can be scanned
Background and on-demand scans no longer run simultaneously, improving overall scan times
For a full list of fixes of changes, as well as download instructions, see here.
No word yet on when the final release of Version 1.0 will go live, however Panda did say it plans to release a third beta sometime around September.
Google this week expanded its Google Docs service to now include .docx and .xlsx file formats for uploading, adding to its list of supported files, including.doc, .odt, .xls, .ods., .ppt, .csv, .html, .txt, .rtf, and others.
"To import a .docx or .xlsx file, simply click the 'Uploa' button in Docs List menu, select your file, and voila!, "Google wrote in its blog. "We'll upload an convert your document for use in Google Docs. This is another great benefit of Google Docs - you don't have to worry about what format the file is in. Just upload it and we'll figure it out for you."
Google had already allowed users to open up .docx and .xlsx file formats from Gmail and Google search results, but this is the first time they've been able to do so in Google Docs automatically. Viewed as an important inclusion, the 'x' variants are the default format in Microsoft's Excel and Word 2007. Curiously missing, however, is support for PowerPoint 2007's .pptx file format.
After nearly three years of development, Panda Security today released the public beta of its Panda Cloud Antivirus, which the company claims is the first free cloud-based antivirus thin-client. By taking AV duties to the cloud and combining it with local detection technologies, Panda says it can do a better job at protecting your PC than a traditional virus scanner.
"Thanks to Panda Security's Collective Intelligence malware and goodware online database, Panda Cloud Antivirus detects more malware than traditional signature-based solutions which take longer to detect the most recent, and therefore most dangerous, variants," Pedro Bustamanta, Panda Senior Research Advisor, wrote in a blog entry.
The local portion of the program takes up roughly 50MB of hard drive space while consuming about 17MB of RAM, according to a Cnet report. By the time Panda Cloud Antivirus exits the beta stage, Bustamante hopes to have the RAM consumption down to 12MB.
One potential downside to relying on the cloud for antivirus protection is that your PC would be left vulnerable without an internet connection. But not to worry, says Bustamante, who clarified that a local cache copy of Collective Intelligence is kept on the PC for just such scenarios.
Everyone of late has big plans for the cloud, including Mozilla, who on Thursday launched an open-soure project called Bespin. The basic idea behind Bespin is to offer a web-based programming framework that brings together the speed of desktop-based development with cloud computing. While in very early form, Mozilla has set some high-level goals for the project:
Ease of Use - the editor experience should not be intimidating and should facilitate quickly getting straight into the code.
Real-time Collaboration - sharing live coding sessions with colleagues should be easy and collaboratively coding with one or more partners should Just Work.
Integrated Command-Line - tools like vi and Emacs have demonstrated the power of integrating command-lines into editors. Bespin needs one, too.
Extensible and Self-Hosted - the interface and capabilities of Bespin should be highly extensible and easily accessible to users through Ubiquity-like commands or via the plug-in API.
Wicked Fast - the editor is just a toy unless it stays smooth and responsive editing files of very large sizes.
Accessible from Anywhere - the code editor should work from anywhere, and from any device, using any modern standards-compliant browser.
As it stands now, Bespin 0.1 is just an initial prototype framework with support for basic editing features like syntax highlighting, undo/redo, previewing files in the browser, and other low-level tasks. In the long-run, Mozilla hopes to "empower web developers to hack on the editor itself and make it their own."
Developers who want to give the early prototype a whirl can access the Bespin demo here.
Enterprise business applications still outnumber all other open-source projects, according to a survey of 380 Linux developers by market research firm Evans Data Corporation. But open-source is on the move away from traditional enterprise infrastructures and into the Cloud--the concept of data being stored "on the Internet" without a single entity or specific server to call home. Google's App Engine takes top billing as a Cloud provider, with 28 percent of Cloud-ready developers opting to use this service versus 15 percent for Amazon's Elastic Compute.
That's great and all, but where are open-source developers making their money? We've got the answer after the jump, but here's a quick hint: It's the exact same way that no-name application and game developers are cashing in on a critical consumer platform.
After the thrashing Intel doled out with its Core 2 and now Core i7 platforms, one might accuse AMD of having its head in the clouds for the past couple of years. Now AMD really is looking to the cloud, but not the way you probably imagined. The struggling chip maker announced at CES a plan to shake up the "deployment, development, and delivery of HD content" by building a massively-parallel supercomputer that will give home to the "AMD Fusion Render Cloud."
"Seven out of 10 of the world’s fastest machines, including the fastest two computers on the planet, are powered by AMD hardware,” said Dirk Meyer, AMD President and CEO. "Today, AMD is pleased to announce a new kind of supercomputer unlike any other ever built. It is being designed to break the one petaFLOPS barrier, and to process a million compute threads across more than 1,000 graphics processors. We anticipate it to be the fastest graphics supercomputer ever."
AMD says its scalable graphics supercomputer will make it possible for content providers to deliver videogames, computer apps, and any other graphically intensive application through the Cloud to mobile devices with a web browser, and without sucking the battery life out of the units since both the movie and gaming chores will be rendered server-side.
Looking at the hardware, AMD says its Fusion Render Cloud will include AMD parts (duh) like the newly minted Phenom II processors, AMD 790 chipsets, and ATI Radeon 4870 GPUs.
Do you see this as being a game changer for AMD, or game over for a company with enough on its plate already? Hit the jump and sound off!