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Dell Apex Sets High Bar for As-A-Service Offerings
May 10, 2021
Last week at Dell Technologies World, the most significant announcement was a massive as-a-service offering called Dell Technologies Apex. This promises to return the IT market to its long lost but fondly remembered IBM past. Let's talk about Apex this week. We'll then close with the product of the week, an impressive new WiFi 6E wireless mesh solution from Linksys.
Autonomous Cars + IoT, and Life or Death Decisions
May 3, 2021
An ecosystem is being created where cars and robots are autonomous and connected so they will be able to connect to other devices, sensors, and data repositories available to them. Let's explore some safety risks associated with this future connectivity on our roadways. We'll then close with the product of the week: a new tablet that is Amazon's first real effort to build a Surface-like laptop.
Nvidia and the End of Movies as We Know Them
April 19, 2021
GTC21, this year's Nvidia GPU Technology Conference, was terrific as always. The alleged focus was on AI and autonomous cars. But, as I watched presentation after presentation from folks out of the entertainment industry, I realized that if you started putting some of these various elements together, they effectively predicted the end of movies as stand-alone, costly entertainment.
A Linux Safari to Classify the Genus of This Penguin
April 12, 2021
Recently, I took an interest in poking at Gentoo a bit. In the eyes of many desktop Linux users, it's considered a rite of passage to install this historically significant distribution. This curiosity sent me on a much more interesting Linux safari to explore what truly differentiates distributions. What follows is the classification field guide I wish I had when I began my Linux journey.
A Cure for What Ails Social Media
April 12, 2021
Social media has become the home of fake news, unscrupulous advertising, places to dole out abuse, and disseminate alternative history. Let's talk about what is likely to happen to social media companies; and how they might work to prevent that outcome. We'll close with the product of the week, a category-busting new smartwatch from OnePlus.
Cisco, Microsoft and a Simulated Workplace Future
April 5, 2021
When technology is advancing very rapidly, the leading providers of an evolving class of products are on very different pages. I'm talking about Cisco and Microsoft -- and while neither's approach is wrong, neither is complete -- and together they can build what's needed for our hybrid workplace future. Let's talk about the advantages of a simulated workplace done right, and we'll close with the product of the week, a new graphics card from AMD.
Intel CEO Gives Unwarlike 'Going to War' Speech
March 29, 2021
Pat Gelsinger's Intel is looking like the very different company it needs to be. It is more collaborative than combative, more strategic than tactical, with a far more effective plan than it has had since Andy Grove left the firm. Let's talk about how Gelsinger presents Intel as an execution and partnering powerhouse, and we'll close with the product of the week, a new set of headphones from Lenovo.
Once the Big Tech Battler, Open Source Is Now Big Tech's Battleground
March 22, 2021
A cadre of tech giants have created the Rust Foundation. This is neither the first nor largest contribution to an open-source project by private tech vendors. Still, the creation of this new body marks another noteworthy instance in which proprietary software companies took the initiative to found and steward a nonprofit project. It's not groundbreaking, but it doesn't happen every day.
Nvidia + Arm and the Challenges of Building a New Type of Tech Company
March 22, 2021
Nvidia is in the process of working through regulatory approvals to buy Arm from SoftBank -- a technology holding company with mixed success husbanding its acquisitions. Let's explore this acquisition, the most significant regulatory hurdles the effort needs to overcome, and what might result once the two firms are one. We'll close with the product of the week: Nvidia's GeForce Now.
The EU's Cure for the E-Waste Epidemic
March 15, 2021
Globally, we throw out 50 million tons of electronics waste every year, which is the equivalent of 1,000 laptops every second. This month the EU addressed this problem with a comprehensive "right to repair" law to dramatically reduce this waste. Let's explore electrical hardware sustainability issues this week, and look at a laptop that seems to anticipate these new e-waste regulations.
Microsoft, Huawei Out-Innovating Facebook, Apple
March 8, 2021
Last week was particularly interesting. Microsoft had two big announcements with Mesh and Viva, while Huawei showcased a strategy for a universal OS that covers PCs, smartphones, tablets, TVs, and IoT devices to perfect integration across them all. Let's talk about both this week -- and work in Microsoft Mesh as the product of the week.
The 'Unix Way' Has a Right Way That's Almost a Lost Way
March 1, 2021
As I study tech sector innovations, I see signs that the old traditions are fading. I'm not one to sanctify tradition for tradition's sake, but I see merit in maintaining a traditional approach to computing tasks that encourages shrewdness. To illustrate what I mean, these are some ways we are straying from the Unix way, and my view on why we should return to the path.
An Update on the Fourth Industrial Revolution
March 1, 2021
We are in the midst of what many are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is a time of disruption, massive change, opportunities, and significant risks. Fortunes will shift, companies will fail, and new companies will rise from the ashes. Let's look at where we are in this latest Industrial Revolution, and where we'll likely be when this wave ends in 10 to 40 years. We'll close with the product of the week, a new conferencing camera/speaker from Poly.
It's Time to Consider 3D Printed Homes
February 22, 2021
This emerging building method is far less wasteful, far faster, and far cheaper to build much sturdier homes. The only real downside is that the skills and technology to build these houses aren't widely available yet. Still, a shift to 3D printed building could create many new jobs, and the training required isn't considered exceedingly difficult. Let's talk about 3D printed homes, and we'll close with the product of the week, the ARM-based HP Elite Folio.
The Evolving Future of the Office
February 15, 2021
I participated in a group analyst event several weeks ago about companies converting their offices into collections of meeting rooms. We couldn't picture people who have been meeting remotely for so many months suddenly concluding that the long commute to and from the office was worth meeting in person; given they are now okay with using solutions like Webex or Microsoft Teams.
Where Will the Penguin March From Here?
February 8, 2021
Linux began its life as a humble experiment in Unix porting, but from there it quickly became a popular kernel for server OSes due to its low cost and customizability. From there it morphed to power network appliances and Android, proving it was lean enough for a whole gamut of embedded systems. It's easy to forget that Linux's proliferation to every class of computing device has not concluded its evolution.
The Unforeseen Consequences of Amazon's Boardroom Switch
February 8, 2021
Jeff Bezos last week announced he will be stepping down from his role of CEO Amazon. Bezos is following Microsoft's lead and putting his cloud executive Andy Jassy in charge of the company. Given that Microsoft was exceedingly successful with putting Satya Nadella in the same role, it would seem that this would be a slam-dunk success. But the issue is that Amazon is not Microsoft.
High Time for Cyberlaw Enforcement and a Future of Work Strategy
January 25, 2021
Huawei has events where it pulls together key analysts to focus on problems it thinks are critical to the future. At its last event, Huawei spoke about two areas that need considerable work. Let's talk this week about the need for centralized cyberlaw enforcement, and the need for a clear vision on the future of work. We'll close with the product of the week, a new 40" curved monitor from Dell.
3 Helpful Networking Projects for Your Raspberry Pi
January 18, 2021
In spite of being a beloved companion to computer hobbyists the world over, the Raspberry Pi doesn't get enough credit. In fact, single-board computers of all stripes haven't gotten their due -- I just happen to have a Raspberry Pi. It was upon casting a stray glance into the corner of my room where my Pi is, churning away on the previous task I assigned it, that I pondered all the loftier projects I have in mind for it.
CES 2021: What Worked, What Didn't
January 18, 2021
We still seem to do these remote activities as we did when we met in person. Streaming and video conferencing tools we are using still don't allow us to do what we once did face-to-face, but they have other advantages that aren't being utilized to make the experience better. Let's talk about who did a great job, and what worked at CES; and then what sucked at the event. We'll close with a look at a promised new vehicle from GM: the Cadillac Lyriq.
How to Buy a Linux-Powered Laptop
January 5, 2021
Buying Linux-powered laptops should be easy, especially on big-name manufacturers' websites. But it isn't. You must employ workarounds to succeed or spend caches of money! Some computer makers sell Linux-only hardware. Only a few of the major computer manufacturers cater to providing Linux Inside. The challenge is finding both those that do and being willing to pay a higher buy-in price.
2021: The Year of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
January 4, 2021
While the pandemic has been painful, it has caused things to accelerate in several areas impressively rapidly. Two of those areas are robotics and artificial intelligence, which we'll see adapted broadly this decade with a considerable bump in 2021. Let's talk about all of that this week, and we'll close with the first product of the week in 2021, the Somnofy AI Sleep Monitor.
Standout Tech Products of 2020
December 21, 2020
TechNewsWorld columnist Rob Enderle looks back at all of the Products of the Week he selected during the year and picks the one that made the most significant impression to crown the Product of the Year. Let's look at the contenders that made the initial cut, and then he'll rank the top four products leading up to the 2020 Product of the Year.
Get No-Fuss File-Level Crypto With Fscrypt
December 16, 2020
This piece is a demonstration of one means of setting up file-level encryption which is widely available for Linux desktop users. To offer a similar encryption scheme to as many users as possible, we'll walk through how to use fscrypt to create an encrypted filesystem. While simple, fscrypt offers multiple configuration modes.
The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050
December 14, 2020
Sometime in the 2030s PCs and phones will merge, if they hadn't already. In the 2040s people and personal technology will merge as humans and robotics evolve into hybrids of each other. Since we're approaching the end of 2020, let's talk about what's on the way over the next three decades, and build up to what's in store for personal communications technology in 2050.
Qualcomm's Powerful Preview of 2021's Premium Smartphones
December 7, 2020
Qualcomm last week launched its Snapdragon 888 platform which will show up in premium phones next year. This promises to take the high-end of Android smartphones to levels of performance they've never seen before. Let's talk about what is coming to market in Android phones -- and likely iPhones -- next year, because you've got to believe Apple watched this launch and is now furiously working to create similar functions.
Tech Gift Ideas to Help Tackle Your Holiday Shopping List
November 30, 2020
Today is Cyber Monday, which doesn't mean as much this year because the related sales have been going on for much of November as retailers try to bring in every available dollar they can. This week, let's look at some of the best deals or products that stand out as game changers in their segment.
What Does the Penguin Say?
November 23, 2020
Linux users love to chat, and few topics are so prevalent among users as distributions. A big one is a distro's suitability for beginners. Drawing in eager new users is the only way to grow the Linux community. Successful recruitment often hinges on making sure that newcomers start with a distro that will give them an ideal experience.
Apple's M1 ARM Pivot: A Step Into the Reality Distortion Field
November 16, 2020
Last week Apple announced a partial pivot away from x86 to ARM with one of those claims so outrageous it could have only come from Apple. The company claimed its new ARM-based PCs would outperform 98 percent of those already in the market. No proof points, no material examples, no listed benchmarks. Just "trust us," this processor optimized for smartphones is magically better than processors designed to run PCs.
It Came From the Live-Boot: A True Linux Horror Story
November 13, 2020
Once in a blue moon, one will experience sheer terror at the hands of a buggy Linux system. No amount of battle-hardiness can keep you completely safe, either. I know this because not too long ago, a fear-inducing Linux bug came for me. I wanted to share this true Linux story, so that you may be informed and entertained.
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What was your initial reaction to news of the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack?
It demonstrates that all critical infrastructure sectors are at high risk of disruption by cybercriminals.
Everyone will be paying for this attack in the form of higher energy costs.
Governments need to work more closely with private industries to protect networks for the sake of public safety.
It's a global problem. An international alliance must be formed to hold the perpetrators accountable and prevent future attacks.