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News Technology

Openworld showcases cloud and virtualisation advances

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As Oracle OpenWorld draws to a close for 2012, the announcements filtering out from the event included headline-catching advancements from the world of business software.

However, the attendees’ attention was divided by the inevitable comparison with last years’ conference. That event unfortunately coincided with the death of Steve Jobs, the news spread during the closing speech by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, a close friend of Jobs’, who was comparing the similarities between Oracle and Apple.

Many reports continued after the 2012 OpenWorld to compare the difficulties both companies have faced throughout the year and the way each of the tech giants are led. Both companies combine hardware and software but Apple are viewed as innovators whereas Oracle is only just catching up with the crowd, particularly in areas previously dismissed by Ellison.

OpenWorld 2012 was generally considered a success by the IT sector even if a number of observers thought that it lacked innovation. The technologies announced highlighted a number of ways the roles within oracle jobs will be evolving as the firm advances with virtualisation and cloud computing.

One of the announcements during the conference focused on the new Exadata X3 Database In-Memory Machine. The role of this product is to compete against SAP and permit consumers to move their IT jobs to the internet from data centres.

Oracle - Manage many as one“You can access all of these services across the network,” Ellison said. “It took a long time to build a complete suite of cloud applications and the all-important platform, which we call Fusion middleware… We have a huge advantage in platform solutions in the cloud because we are the number one platform company in the world.”

Ellison’s own desires may have overshadowed the outcome of the conference.  In an interview with CNBC, a financial news channel, taken just before Oracle OpenWorld launched for this year, Ellison covered a number of topics ranging from Oracle to his Hawaiian island Lanai.

If the success of Oracle was ever in doubt, a browse through Ellison’s ambitions may clear the issue up.  With a current fortune of $41 billion, he recently bought 98% of Lanai, and also hopes to one day own his favourite NBA team; the Los Angeles Lakers. Previously Ellison bid for the Golden State Warriors and mentions liking the Chicago Bulls too.

Oracle Openworld 2012 proved to be a successful conference for consumers and businesses alike. The countdown begins for what Oracle can come up with for Openworld 2013.

Categories
Computers Internet Search Engines

The journey of an email – as told by Google

Today, when I opened up Google, I saw something new. In the past Google has used the space directly below the search box to notify users of holiday events, privacy policy updates, tributes to industry legends – such as the Steve Jobs tribute, among other things.

Google's Tribute to Steve Jobs
Google's tribute to industry legend - Steve Jobs

Today however Google is using this spot to advertise its new feature, which lets you follow the journey of an email: ‘The Story of Send’.

Google's homepage with a link to 'The Story of Send'
Google advertises 'The Story of Send: Follow an email on its journey.' on its homepage

When you click the link, you are taken to a page on Google’s Green website (.google.com/green) which tells you how you can

“Take a journey through Google’s data centers by following an email along its path.”

Click ‘Start the story’ and the journey begins! Google takes you through an interactive journey of a Gmail email, from when you hit send on your device, to when it arrives at its destination.

The tour takes about 5 minutes (around 50 if you watch all the videos) however, as we all know, the journey of a real email, takes seconds – if that sometimes.

It is evident that the project is meant to be promotional for Google, as it points out all the good points along the journey. For example, how they have ‘built an extensive Internet backbone across the U.S.‘ to speed things up; how they ‘protect your message with a wide range of security measures‘ and how their data centres use ‘50% less energy than typical data centers‘ etc.

What the journey fails to point out is the less desirable things that go on. One example being how your email is read (or spidered) by Google Bots/Spiders, keywords are picked out, and then relevant ads are displayed alongside the message. Another being how Google want not only to own the systems which deliver your emails, but also the infrastructure (the cables and power) which gets it there – is that not a bit of a monopoly?

I like Google, I think it does a wonderful job, and it is great that it offers us all so much for free, however they do also do a good job of covering up the stuff they don’t want us to here.

Check out the video below for more. I found it and tweeted about it a while ago, however never really found an article for it to go in.

So, have you taken the journey yet? Aside from the obvious PR (public relations not PageRank) stuffed in, it does make interesting viewing.

More interested in talking about the ethics of Google? Add your view below 🙂

Why not talk about them both!

Your views?

Categories
Fun Internet News

JibJab’s 2011 year review

As Christmas is just around the corner, I am trying to write more light hearted, fun posts, to try to get everyone in the festive spirit.

At the end of every year, JibJab publish their take on the year, in the form of a (usually very funny) video. The video tries to stuff as much news and humour into about two minutes as it possible can.

JibJab's LogoThe 2011 video has just been released, so I thought I would share it around 🙂

You have to watch the video three or four times to see how much they have included, as they really do put so much in!

This year gives mention to the Arab Spring, the collapse of the News of the World, the anti-capitalist protests, the London riots, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Americas loss of its AAA credit rating, Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, Rebecca Black, Justin Bieber, the Royal Wedding, Steve Jobs and so much more!

Here for your enjoyment is JibJab’s 2011 year review, called 2011 Buh-Bye!

%CODEYOUTUBEJIBJAB2011%

Good video isn’t it 🙂

What’s your take on the year? What have JibJab missed out, that probably should have been included?


If you really enjoyed that, head over to the JibJab originals page for more year reviews and fun 🙂

Categories
Media

Is paying for music a thing of the past?

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With the availability of streaming music services like Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio all available for free and unlimited access, there are fewer people than ever actually paying for their music. According to a recent article on TechCrunch, Tom Conrad, the CTO of Pandora, said that about 50 percent of Americans don’t pay anything for music while another 40 percent only pay $15 a year for it.

If you were to walk into a big retail shop ten years ago, one of the biggest sections in the electronic media department would have been a massive collection of compact discs. Today with the likes of iPhone, and Android, CD’s have made technologies like compact discs seem old and obsolete technologies of the past.

The biggest culprit to the recording industry has been the proliferation of bit torrents and peer-to-peer piracy software. According to Torrent Freak, the Canadian Broadband Management Company says that forty percent of all internet traffic in North America comes from either Netflix or Bit Torrent. While the original intention of this sharing software was to make it easier for business to transfer important files, most of the traffic from it today comes from the illegal trade of music, television shows, and movies.

While services like Pandora, Spotify, and Rhapsody have a paid-premium option available, their free services are so convenient that there is no real reason to purchase them. Unless you want a completely advertising-free experience or simply want an unlimited data cap on what you can access per a week, the free versions of these programs work just as well and include almost all of the features. Ironically, the only companies that actually have to purchase these plans are the small retail stores that are selling you the music.

Spotify's LogoThe RIAA is having an abysmal time selling digital copies of singles and albums to consumers. Not only are the versions that are available online cheaper and make less money, they are also much easier to steal, copy, and distribute illegally over the internet. Google is partially to blame for this widespread availability of illegally traded music.

According to an article in the Daily Mail, if you type in your favourite artist into a Google search, several unauthorized and pirated versions of the song will show up available for stream or download. While Google is not implicitly to blame for this, they are turning a blind eye to the practice by ranking them higher in search results.

The person who is most responsible for the digitisation of music is the late Steve Jobs. When the iPod first appeared on the market, Steve spearheaded the movement to make iTunes the ultimate way to purchase music online. In an article in the Inquirer, David Hughes (head of technology at the RIAA) claimed that Steve was a hypocrite for claiming to be a spiritual leader but not putting enough piracy protection on digital downloads.

There is no turning back from the digital way of selling and listening to music. We have come too far in our technological advances and reverting to older methods such as CD’s and cassettes would seriously hamper our tech advances.

The music industry will need to find new ways to make income such as advertising, product placement, and incorporation in order to continue to make a profit… or it could just go away and make music an art form.

Categories
News Technology

Will an Apple Television ever happen?

Since the release of the Apple TV set top box there have always been rumours that apple will try and break into one of the few corners of the entertainment world they are yet to conquer: the television market.

With the Apple TV set top box offering features such as streaming from iTunes to your television as well a streaming YouTube videos its a handy little device. However that functionality is in most television sets now a days, so what’s stopping apple joining the already quite competitive market?

Well for a start competition is already well established in the TV market with companies like LG, Sony and Samsung all offering so called smart TV’s. This means that apple would have to would have to do something very different to create a unique selling point. The features and the GUI of the Apple TV are already there, meaning that surely they already have the building blocks they need.

LG's LogoIf they were to add the Siri (their intelligent voice assistant) surely this would make a very effective home entertainment system. This is something similar to what Microsoft is already doing with the home entertainment system on the Xbox but it’s not quite as intelligent as Siri! The Xbox service can only follow commands and is not able to interpret them.

Rumours about an Apple TV are on the up again due to the pending release of Steve Jobs official autobiography. In an excerpt from a Washington times post Jobs has been quoted as saying to the author that:

“He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant,”

Walter Isaacson wrote.

Isaacson continued:

“‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’”

Apple hasn’t announced any TV based products in its line up and the blogosphere doesn’t appear to be covering it that much, however I personally wouldn’t be surprised if Apple decided to make the Apple TV into less of a hobby and more of a competitive product for the television market.

If they did they would probably do it with the same drive, determination and overall design quality that they have carried along with the Mac computer range, iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Categories
News

Steve Jobs – remembering a legend

Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman and chief executive of Apple – one of the biggest, most profitable and most well known brands around the world.

Unfortunately, yesterday, Steve Jobs has passed away, aged 56.

Many believe that Apple is where it is because of this remarkable man, and say that without him, Apple would most probably have failed many years ago.

Jobs was a one of the kind sort of man. He was for many years the face of Apple, as it seemed that nobody could ever really match his charisma, innovation or genius.

When the firm was struggling in the 1990’s, Jobs returned, and saved the business, setting it on its path to become the second most widely used global operating system.

In 2003 Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He took leave three times between 2003 and 2010, before finally resigning as CEO in August 2011, because of fears over his health.

Jobs was one of the richest men in the world when he died, and was also one of the most well known and influential people of modern times.

It is said that Apple’s marketing department used to consisted of Jobs looking in his mirror and asking himself what he wanted.

Apple’s competitor Google has paid tribute to Jobs on the home page of its global search engines.

Google's Tribute to Steve JobsThe link on Google’s home page leads to Apple’s homepage, which has a tribute to its maker, which takes up the entire page – just showing how important he was to the company.

Apple's tribute to Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs on the home page of Apple, as a tribute to the man who many believe made the company a success

If you click on his picture, you are taken to a page which pay’s tribute to the legend in the classic Apple way – a clear, white page, with just a paragraph of text paying tribute to him.

Apple's tribute paragraph to Steve Jobs
A paragraph featured on Apple’s site, paying tribute to Steve Jobs

Today the world has lost a great man, and has been left many unanswered questions.

Who will take over from Jobs? Will Apple now become just another technology giant, lacking in personality, eventually destined for decline and failure?

RIP Steve Jobs