IDG Contributor Network: Welcome to the commercial Internet of Things

All right, you’re looking at the headline and asking yourself, “What is the difference between consumer, industrial and commercial IoT?” Good question. Here’s the broad answer: Commercial IoT (resisting the temptation to acronymize it into “CIoT”) is a term being applied only to those aspects of the Internet of Things that pertain specifically to enacting business. It’s this aspect of the IoT that is most meaningful for organizations, and it’s important to recognize that the three terms do not all describe this same business impact.

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IDG Contributor Network: Google offers Apps for free. Too late, Microsoft has sealed the deal.

Take your minds back a few short years to when Google first introduces its Apps product. Google Apps was a revolution. Cloud-based office productivity applications that delivered on all of the promises that we’ve heard for so long about the cloud: collaboration, real-time authoring, anywhere access, etc. Not surprisingly, Google got some early adoption since its was the only product that really fulfilled this use case.

Now come back to the present and things have really changed — Microsoft, under the vision of its fearless new leader, Satya Nadella, has rethought its office productivity suite and the solutions now all play nicely in the cloud (or mobile for that matter). Real-time authoring, seamless collaboration and integration with a raft of other tools is all now central to Microsoft Office 365.

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Attackers hijack CCTV cameras to launch DDoS attacks

We’ve reached a point that security researchers have long warned is coming: Insecure embedded devices connected to the Internet are routinely being hacked and used in attacks.

The latest example is a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack detected recently by security firm Imperva. It was a traditional HTTP flood aimed at overloading a resource on a cloud service, but the malicious requests came from surveillance cameras protecting businesses around the world instead of a typical computer botnet.

The attack peaked at 20,000 requests per second and originated from around 900 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras running embedded versions of Linux and the BusyBox toolkit, researchers from Imperva’s Incapsula team said in a blog post Wednesday.

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Ubuntu Wily Werewolf trots out easy-install OpenStack

If there’s one Linux distribution that has worked hard — overtime, even — to associate itself with OpenStack and all it represents, it’s Canonical’s Ubuntu.

And if there’s one message Ubuntu has been working hard to promote, it’s the company’s dedication to the painless deployment and maintenance of OpenStack — as is the case with Ubuntu’s 15.10 release, aka Wily Werewolf.

With 15.10, Canonical delivers the latest edition of OpenStack, Liberty, and the first generally available edition of a new deployment and management tool, OpenStack Autopilot. Using Canonical’s own Juju orchestration system and Landscape systems management tool, Autopilot distills the installation process to a few crucial admin choices. Technologies that are redundant or not meant to be deployed together are flagged during setup.

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Microsoft to pay up to $15K for bugs in two Visual Studio tools

Microsoft has started a three-month bug bounty program for two tools that are part of Visual Studio 2015.

The program applies to the beta versions of Core CLR, which is the execution engine for .NET Core, and ASP.NET, Microsoft’s framework for building websites and web applications. Both are open source.

“The more secure we can make our frameworks, the more secure your software can be,” wrote Barry Dorrans, security lead for ASP.NET, in a blog post on Tuesday.

All supported platforms that .NET Core and ASP.NET run on will be eligible for bounties except for beta 8, which will exclude the networking stack for Linux and OS X, Dorrans wrote.

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Microsoft to pay up to $15K for bugs in two Visual Studio tools

Microsoft has started a three-month bug bounty program for two tools that are part of Visual Studio 2015.

The program applies to the beta versions of Core CLR, which is the execution engine for .Net Core, and ASP.Net, Microsoft’s framework for building websites and Web applications. Both are open source.

“The more secure we can make our frameworks, the more secure your software can be,” wrote Barry Dorrans, security lead for ASP.Net, in a blog post on Tuesday.

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Storage giants are getting bigger, but prices will stay small

Hard-drive giant Western Digital’s planned acquisition of SanDisk is just the latest of several deals that could reduce the number of companies making storage gear. Will this trend eliminate choices and let manufacturers raise prices?

No, according to analyst Jim Handy of Objective Analysis. Buying hard drives and flash won’t get harder or more expensive, precisely because selling them will remain a cut-throat business for the foreseeable future, he said. 

The proposed $19 billion buyout, expected to close in the third quarter of next year, came less than two weeks after another big storage-related deal in which Dell plans to buy EMC for $67 billion. Storage silicon maker PMC-Sierra is still weighing multiple offers. And Western Digital has already helped to drive consolidation by buying Hitachi GST in 2011.

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Storage giants are getting bigger, but prices will stay small

Hard-drive giant Western Digital’s planned acquisition of SanDisk is just the latest of several deals that could reduce the number of companies making storage gear. Will this trend eliminate choices and let manufacturers raise prices?

No, according to analyst Jim Handy of Objective Analysis. Buying hard drives and flash won’t get harder or more expensive, precisely because selling them will remain a cut-throat business for the foreseeable future, he said. 

The proposed $19 billion buyout, expected to close in the third quarter of next year, came less than two weeks after another big storage-related deal in which Dell plans to buy EMC for $67 billion. Storage silicon maker PMC-Sierra is still weighing multiple offers. And Western Digital has already helped to drive consolidation by buying Hitachi GST in 2011.

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iOS 9.1 — download now, for 150 magical emoji (and longer battery life)

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