Dragon will let you dictate edits on iOS and Android, and time is no issue

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Nuance Communications, the company behind popular keyboard app Swype, unveiled new dictation apps for iOS and Android on Tuesday that the company says will be much more powerful than anything offered by Apple, Google or Microsoft.

Dragon Anywhere, which will be available later this year, at long last brings the company’s desktop-level dictation capabilities to iOS and Android.

Dragon Anywhere is a note-taking app that allows users to create and edit documents with only their voices. Of course, iOS, Android and even Windows Phones already have free speech-to-text capabilities baked into their mobile operating systems, but Dragon Anywhere goes further than those offered by default. Read more…

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Gartner Magic Quadrant Report Shows Only a Race Between AWS and Azure

Gartner Gartner Magic Quadrant Report Shows Only a Race Between AWS and AzureThe annual report of research firm Gartner the market for IaaS cloud computing shows that no clear leader (Amazon Web Services) and someone who clearly defies (Microsoft Azure). And then there are all the others. The market is dominated by only a few suppliers, especially by Amazon Web Services, but also increasingly by Microsoft Azure.

Gartner’s interest is in computing power, storage and network available to customers. Amazon Web Services is distinguished by a capacity 10 times greater than that of its 14 largest competitors combined. AWS and Azure are the only two suppliers in the quadrant leaders of the report, which clearly states AWS has the leading role.

Other providers (Google, CenturyLink, Rackspace, VMware, Virtustream and to a lesser extent, IBM SoftLayer) received good grades, but none of them have the clouds to rival those of the big two. However, between AWS, Azure and all other providers, there are significant differences, Gartner says it is important to choose the best way to align with your needs.

AWS was the first to market with an IaaS offer, based on Xen virtualized servers and has not stopped since. AWS has a diversified customer base and the broadest range of use cases, including in business and mission critical applications. With its overwhelming dominance, it attracted a wide ecosystem of partners and software vendors. It remains the industry leader, extremely innovative, exceptionally agile and very responsive to the market. Although it begins to face more competition from players like Microsoft and Google, it retains a lead of several years after the others, says Gartner.

However, AWS can become complex. Pricing structures can be confusing and not transparent; individually charged for some services that other providers don’t charge. This means that many users employ AWS external management providers to help in the management of costs and deployments.

The significant market share of Microsoft in the enterprise IT market, combined with its continued investment in Azure, making it the main competitor of AWS. The company has a mandatory packaged offer – the public cloud is integrated closely with its management tools on the premises, such as Windows Server and Systems Center. Microsoft has a beautiful hybrid offering, but Azure had been struggling lately with considerable interference, something AWS years ago had to do with it. Gartner recommends to make critical applications on Azure; customers need to consider a non-Azure disaster recovery backup plan.

Gartner states that the IaaS market is dominated by Amazon Web Services, followed by Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine. And according to the study, these three giants continue to provide the majority of contracts to supply IaaS services in 2015. Gartner warns businesses that, given the competition in terms of price and scale of investments needed, many IaaS providers may have to interrupt their offer during the year.

Note that companies like HP are not even mentioned. HP continues to work on its IaaS offer (HP Public Cloud) but seeks only to promote and sell the service as part of a hybrid solution. With respect Google, the report says that Google needs to expand its sales capabilities, engineering solutions and support. Google lacks many important features for companies looking to migrate legacy workloads to the cloud.

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Hardware issue blamed for wireless and Internet outage in Southeast

A cell phone and Internet outage Tuesday evening in several Southeastern states was caused by a hardware problem, AT&T reported.

“Wireless and wireline service has been restored for all customers in parts of the Southeast affected by a hardware-related network issue,” AT&T said in a statement Tuesday. “Our engineers completed repairs and service is running normally. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

AT&T would not describe the nature of the hardware problem, and said it only could speak about service for its own customers.

However, the outage was reported on social media and other sources to have affected thousands of customers for all the major carriers, lasting from about 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET Tuesday. It hit customers in parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, and possibly other states.

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Review: The $180 Moto G isn’t a premium smartphone, but it acts like one in many ways

Motorola, owned by Lenovo, announced the new Motorola G smartphone at an event July 28. It’s one of a new wave of mid-priced phones that pull off some tricks usually found in premium phones, like the Samsung Galaxy s6 or the iPhone 6.

I had a good experience using the phone, and appreciated the cleanness and simplicity of the user interface, which is a lightly enhanced version of Android 5.1.

I based part of my review on comparisons between the $ 180 Moto G and more expensive phones like the 2014 Moto X and the iPhone 6. I found that it compared surprisingly well to those premium models in a number of areas.

IMG_8605

The last version of the Moto G was released in September of last year. This year’s model adds full HD video on its 5-inch screen, 4G LTE support, and a slightly faster Qualcomm processor.

The Moto G is great for doing the basics like email, photos, maps, and social media. Watching video on the phone is a pleasing experience, too.

The Moto G has an easily removable back cover, under which you’ll find slots for a Micro SIM card and a microSD slot for additional storage.

IMG_8601

Plasticky

The phone has some heft to it — enough to make it feel like something more than a toy. The shell is a little too plasticky for my taste, and, while the back cover does come off easily, when it’s on it still has some play to it and feels like it isn’t well attached. I realize that sacrifices need to be made to hit the low price point, but would it have been that much more expensive to provide a thicker, more sold back cover?

IMG_8607

Set-up

Motorola has designed something called “Motorola Migrate” that’s supposed to help you move all your apps, contacts, call history, and email. I suspect this works best when moving stuff from one Android phone to another, but it does allow you to “migrate” data from an iPhone. I had mixed results. A handful of the apps on my iPhone showed up on the Moto G, none of my call history, and my calendar entries moved over nicely.

IMG_8602

 

The phone is powered by a quad-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with 2GB RAM. The Moto G also runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Using the G side by side with the Moto X I found that the X might have slightly faster response time, but the G was no slouch. Navigation was speedy, and launching apps was smooth and fast.

Camera

On the back you’ll find a 13-megapixel camera, while the front sports a 5-megapixel version. Motorola says it added a new lens system to the G that captures more light, reduces glare, and aids color balancing.

The photos I shot  in good lighting conditions look sharp and color-balanced. The photo below was taken using the Moto G, and the one just below it was taken with the 2014 Moto X.

Moto G shot of J

Moto X 2014 shot of J

 

The Moto X shot appears to be a bit sharper, but not by much. I did notice that using the light control in the camera app, it was easier to arrive at the right light level on the Moto G than it was on the Moto X.

The 5-megapixel camera on the front of the phone produced some nice-looking photos, with more than adequate picture quality for my needs.

Video playback

Watching video yielded similar results. I watched the same HD video (by Taylor Swift) on the Moto G and an iPhone 6. That’s the iPhone on the top in the image below:

IMG_8612

The Moto G’s 720p display isn’t top of the line, but it produced a sharp and well-balanced look. While the image was bright, it wasn’t overly bright. The video image on the iPhone may have been a tiny bit sharper, but it wasn’t quite as bright. Again, the Moto G compares well with a much more expensive phone.

After using the Moto G for a couple of days, I found battery life to be in line with that of my iPhone 6. The battery in the Moto G, which is bigger than in the 2014 version of the phone, can probably power a couple days of normal use with no problem.

Bottom Line

I don’t have a lot of complaints about the Moto G. For $ 180 you get a phone that acts like a premium smartphone in many ways. Where you’ll notice the difference is in the design and materials: nothing fancy on the design, and the phone is banded in shiny gray plastic with a thin plastic snap-off back that feels flimsy.

Still, for people looking for a mid-priced phone with all the joys of Android Lollipop, the Moto G is probably a good choice.



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Slack starts accepting requests for beta access to its new Linux client

At Slack headquarters in San Francisco.

Team communication app Slack today announced the formal availability of a beta version of its app for devices running the Linux operating system.

“These builds may have some bugs or rough edges, but we won’t push out anything that we know to be extremely buggy or non-functional,” Slack says on the Google Forms page where you can sign up for beta access to the Slack Linux app. “We humbly ask only one thing of those who join: please give us your honest feedback so that we can make your Linux experience great.”

An open-source, unofficial Slack client for Linux popped up on GitHub back in April. “This Linux project, like most integrations, happened independent of our involvement,” a Slack spokeswoman told VentureBeat at the time. Now there’s a real Slack Linux client on the way.

Hey! You there! Linux user! Join our beta, won’t you? It’s SO Raven: https://t.co/wvYtCLu9Sl 😍🔧🔩💻🐦🎉

— Slack (@SlackHQ) August 4, 2015

Slack became available for Windows in beta in February and became generally available to all users within a month. So a general rollout of Slack for Linux should be on the way within the next few weeks.

Slack has been growing very quickly since the app launched in February 2014, and it now has more than 1.1 million daily active users.

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Netflix Will Let New Moms and Dads Take a Year of Leave

Netflix Will Let New Moms And Dads Take A Year of Leave

The new policy is consistent with Netflix’s larger mandate that employees should be free to figure out their own work-life balance.

The post Netflix Will Let New Moms And Dads Take A Year of Leave appeared first on WIRED.




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Apple Is Slipping in a Universe Where Success Is Relative

Apple Is Slipping In A Universe Where Success Is Relative

Take a peek at the stock market today, and you might get the impression that Apple wasn’t one of the most mind-blowingly profitable companies of all time.

The post Apple Is Slipping In A Universe Where Success Is Relative appeared first on WIRED.




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IBM to Acquire Cloudant to Strengthen Its Cloud Computing Portfolio

IBM to Acquire Cloudant to Strengthen Its Cloud Computing Portfolio
IBM to Acquire Cloudant to Strengthen Its Cloud Computing Portfolio

IAggressive investment and acquisition from Big Blue continues in the domain of cloud computing technology; the latest example is proposed Cloudant acquisition.

This was announced by the IBM corporation on this weekend that it is going to acquire the Cloudant, the provider of cloud computing based database as a service DBaaS. This acquisition is being made to strengthen the cloud computing portfolio of the company, who is aggressively seeking to establish itself as the leader in cloud computing technology. Although, the terms and conditions of the acquisition were not disclosed in the official statement from the company.

This acquisition came after the big announcement of the company to invest billions of dollars in this domain of business, acquisition of SoftLayer, and establishing the separate business units for cloud computing and cognitive computing.

In the official statement, it was further elaborated that the Cloudant company would be placed under the newly established business unit called Information and Analytics Group. This business unit is a part of IBM software and systems group. The services offered by the Cloudant will be integrated with the existing cloud computing service portfolios of the company running under the cover of SoftLayer.

The “Cloudant” offers the innovative, flexible and highly featured database related solutions for synchronizing and managing the data in different structures through its popular JSON cloud computing based data service. With the merger of Cloudant service into the IBM cloud services, the later one would be more featured, flexible, scalable and customer oriented.

According to the statement, the technology used in Cloudant database service would be integrated with the IBM’s Apps development platform for mobiles called MobileFirst, which will enable the developers to develop the web and mobile applications fully integrated with the structured and unstructured database. With the integration of the Cloudant’s cloud computing based data base services into the WorkLight platform of the IBM application development platform, the company would be able to leverage its influence to the developers and professionals to work on its cloud platforms.

Many analysts believe that with the acquisition of Cloudant DBaaS services with the cloud computing profile of IBM would strengthen the global data distribution and the geo load balancing, which will enable the company to offer highly efficient and robust cloud services to the enterprise customers and the developers in the marketplace.

Telstra Partners with Cisco to Extend Cloud Computing Capabilities

Telstra Partners with Cisco to Extend Cloud Computing Capabilities
Telstra Partners with Cisco to Extend Cloud Computing Capabilities

Cisco System will help Telstra to leverage its ambitions in the domain of cloud business by providing support to the enterprise customers to develop highly featured cloud computing solutions.

This was announced by the Telstra on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 that it is going to establish the world first global partnership with Cisco systems to launch the cloud computing based solutions for it medium to large enterprise customers. This partnership would be one of its kind in this marketplace, in which a large amount of investment will be injected from both of the partners to leverage their power in the domain of cloud computing services.

In recent years, the big providers and IT giants such as, IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Dell, Rackspace and many others have aggressively invested in this cruising field of business. Telstra has partnered with the Cisco systems after long in-house discussions and pondering.

While talking about the importance of partnership with Cisco systems, the executive director, Telstra Global Eterprise Services, Mr. Erez Yarkon said, “ We could partner with an Amazon or a Microsoft, but our first partnership is with Cisco for many good reasons and considerations”. “Under the partnership, Cisco will install and operate a local node of its global cloud platform inside the Telstra’s data centers. Telstra will be the first outfit globally to partner with Cisco in this way,” he added further.

In the statement, it was further elaborated that a huge money will be invested, but the figure was not disclosed. Meanwhile, the company informed that the targeted market of cloud computing services would be government sector and medium to large enterprise. The company will offer very featured cloud solutions based on the Cisco Cloud Platforms, which also offer a wide range of applications such as, ERP, Disaster Recovery, Application Management, Analytic support and many others. Yarkon maintained that our service would be a one stop shop for a complete solution.

The executive director further said, “This world first partnership sees us move from being a provider of enterprise-grade Cloud infrastructure and market-leading cloud solutions, to adding more value to our customers by helping them design the best cloud environment to suit their business – The Cisco relationship allows us to offer deeper and broader service capabilities to help our customers manage their critical applications, making the transition to the cloud simpler and more cost effective.”

European Cloud Computing Provider UpCloud to Start Personal Data Protected Cloud Services in the US!

European Cloud Computing Provider UpCloud to Start Personal Data Protected Cloud Services in the US!
European Cloud Computing Provider UpCloud to Start Personal Data Protected Cloud Services in the US!

The Finish cloud computing infrastructure provider UpCloud developed a comprehensive data security model that can legally protect the personal information of the customers from accessing by the intelligence agencies.

This seems to be a big thing after Snowden broke the news of spying a few months back that the US agencies are spying the customers across the globe that use the cloud based services. The European cloud computing infrastructure provider company ‘UpCloud’ has announced this weekend that it is going to start a new cloud based services that would protect the users from any intrusion of security agencies into their personal information.

 

The company has not disclosed the complete legal plan of this model of business, but it clearly indicated that the company is going to establish a data center in the United States and will start a new model of business, which will be legally protected not to allow security agencies to intrude into the personal information of the customers for spying purposes.

According to the company statement the Finish privacy laws will prove to be very instrumental in protecting the personal data from any kind of leakage or spying. Meanwhile, it was also maintained in the statement that this entire secure service would be under one account – so, the customer will not face any performance and speed issue in accessing the cloud computing based services offered by the company.

In his statement, Antti Vilppone, the General Manager of UpCloud company said, “Some of our European cloud computing service provider companies have solved the situation by building separate services into each data center. This basically protects customers from cross-border inquiries, but the customer experience in using these services is poor. They have different accounts to different data centers without the possibility to migrate servers easily. With UpCloud, you are able to manage all your servers with a single account — improving usability (in addition to the privacy of your personal data) immensely.”

It was further elaborated in the official statement of the company that, we are taking care of all aspects of both legal and technological requirements to make sure that customers get the most reliable, efficient and secure services without any exploitation of their privacy.

The company kept the mechanism of this model a bit secret, but it was clear from the statement that the company is fully confident to start over a new model of cloud computing based business that will address the privacy issue to a certain extent.