FED pours $$ into MS CLOUD -- NSA data center melts down -- FOX NEWS goes big big screen -- ERIC SCHMIDT, jokester -- XP stays alive


October 8, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

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>> MS_CLOUD.GOV: Microsoft announces Azure for US government, Satya Nadella dodges the CEO question, by Alex Wilhelm: "At the San Francisco offices of Yammer, Microsoft's Satya Nadella today announced a new instance of its Azure cloud product built for U.S. government customers. The product, formally called 'Windows Azure US Government Cloud,' is a separate service, hosted inside the U.S., that will only be managed by U.S. citizens... screams with irony, given the current news cycles that discuss the encryption cracking, Internet surveillance, and other secret practices that the United States government is undertaking through its intelligence arms. To flip that and require a separate instance of Azure to protect government data from any form of snooping is somewhat grimly humorous." TechCrunch

>>>> Microsoft offers Azure discounts in renewed cloud push PCWorld

>>>> Microsoft embraces, celebrates enterprise roots in cloud push GigaOM

>>>> The Enterprise Cloud takes center stage Microsoft blog

>>>> Microsoft offers Equinix customers private Azure access InfoWorld

>>>> Ballmer's final Microsoft shareholder letter: The real money is in the enterprise GeekWire

>> DEPARTURE LOUNGE: Alcatel-Lucent to cut 10,000 jobs, by Leila Abboud: "Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent plans to reduce its staff by 10,000 as part of a cost-cutting drive to save $1.4 billion by 2015.... The group employs 72,000 staff worldwide." Reuters

>> STAND-UP MAN: Google's Schmidt: Android more secure than iPhone, by John Fontana: "Delivered with a spice of arrogance, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt on Monday declared the Android platform more secure than Apple's iPhone.... The comparison, made during a question-and-answer session at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, drew laughter from a packed-house audience." ZDNet

>> CULLING FROM THE PACK: AVG.com web site hacked, t/h Reddit: "AVG.com main page reads (as of 6:18 am EDT): 'Mission Completed / Hacked / KDMS Team / Palestinian Hackers ... Anonymous Palestine.'" AVG.com

>> INSTANT KARMA GONNA GET YA: Meltdowns hobble NSA data center, by Siobhan Gorman: "Chronic electrical surges at the massive new data-storage facility central to the National Security Agency's spying operation have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery and delayed the center's opening for a year, according to project documents and current and former officials. There have been 10 meltdowns in the past 13 months that have prevented the NSA from using computers at its new Utah data-storage center, slated to be the spy agency's largest... One project official described the electrical troubles -- so-called arc fault failures -- as 'a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box.'" Wall Street Journal (paywalled)

>> NOT DEAD YET: Despite looming end of life, study shows XP remains primary OS, by Steve Ragan: "Examining data from one million devices, Fiberlink, a mobile management firm, examined the often forgotten part of mobility in the workforce -- laptops. While IT and security vendors focus on Google's Android, Apple's iOS, tablets, and smartphones, Lenovo's ThinkPad and Dell's Latitude chug along, remaining a stable fixture in the workplace. According to Fiberlink, almost 50 percent of the laptops observed in their study are running Windows XP." CSO

>> BACKING UP THE SHOPPING CART: Samsung plays catch-up on software, by Jonathan Cheng, Evelyn M. Rusli, and Min-Jeong Lee: "Earlier this year, Samsung was among the bidders for Israeli mobile-mapping service Waze.... Samsung has plenty of other Silicon Valley software startups in its sights, particularly in games, mobile search, social media and mapping-related services." WSJ

>> THEY'VE GONE TO PLAID: Fox News and its big-ass touchscreens, by Jordan Crook: "The media outlet responsible for bringing 'fair and balanced news' into our lives has today released a video that shows off the network's brand-new Fox News Deck studio, a room filled with video walls and giant 55-inch touchscreens that will henceforth deliver the news to Fox News viewers... the remodel has lasted almost a month and the team has been training for 'weeks' in order to learn how to use 'new cutting edge computer programs' that are capable of showing three or even four tweets at a time. Some of the new tools include a 38-foot video wall… with a Wii-style remote, as well as another large display wall that shows tweets under investigation, and 'confirmed' tweets. But the real stars of the new Fox News Deck are the BATS, short for 'big area touchscreens.' These Windows 8-powered computers are constantly monitored and used to surf for and confirm news, which is then chosen by Smith to stream live on television. Why these computers need to be 55-inch touchscreens remains unclear." TechCrunch

>>>> Fox News anchor does Twitter wrong: Teases homicide story referencing Breaking Bad TechDirt

>> CUT OFF BY THE COOL KIDS: Microsoft updates YouTube app for Windows Phone, apparently surrenders to Google as web player returns, by Daniel Rubino: "A few months ago, Microsoft and Google had a brouhaha over YouTube and Windows Phone. Microsoft appeared to play by Google's rules in making an app for their customers, but Google said it wasn't good enough. Despite the differences, Microsoft famously released the app anyway to see what would happen. As it turns out, Google was none too happy and remotely killed the app through its access key... the app has finally been updated to version 3.2. Unfortunately, the app has reverted back to its old web-player days, meaning if you click a YouTube link in email, MMS messages, etc. it will open YouTube in the browser. In fact, tapping the installed YouTube icon on your phone will simply redirect you to m.youtube.com for that not so premier experience." Windows Phone Central

>>>> Waze for Windows Phone isn't cancelled, but has no ETA on the horizon Windows Phone Central

>> AMERICAN INVASION: Apple said to expand iTunes radio to UK before Pandora, by Andy Fixmer, Adam Satariano: "Apple plans to expand iTunes Radio to English-speaking countries outside the U.S. by early 2014, beating industry leader Pandora to the U.K. and Canada... iTunes Radio is also set to start early next year in Australia and New Zealand, where Pandora already operates... Nordic countries are also being targeted in the same time frame... Apple is moving faster than Pandora because it forged agreements for international rights with Vivendi SA (VIV)'s Universal Music Group and other record companies... Pandora, which doesn't have such deals, relies on rights granted by government entities, limiting service to the U.S., Australia and New Zealand." Bloomberg

>>>> Beats Music streaming service launching on iOS in the next few months 9to5Mac

>> WASHINGTON WIRE: Judge rules for Amazon Web Services over IBM in CIA cloud case, by Frank Konkel: "Amazon Web Services scored a major victory against IBM in the battle to build the cloud computing infrastructure for the CIA, NSA and the rest of the intelligence community... Judge Thomas Wheeler ruled in favor of AWS, which had challenged the scope of and need for corrective action taken by the CIA in response to recommendations made by the Government Accountability office in June... IBM issued a statement immediately following the ruling, stating that it plans to appeal the decision." Federal Computer Week

>> Molly Wood leaving CNet

>> Airbnb fights New York's subpoena for host data TechHive

>> Feds arrest alleged top Silk Road drug seller Krebs on Security

>> The straight truth about Samsung and LG's flexible smartphone displays Ars Technica

>> Excel VBA Password Protection is useless A Niggler's Niggles

>> Leaked video of Xbox One dev kit does not please Microsoft's Major Nelson Neowin

>> 802.11ac 'gigabit Wi-Fi' starts to show potential, limits Network World

>> Hands-on: Google's Metro browser preview sneaks Chrome OS into Windows 8 PCWorld

>> Google's new desktop strategy: Invade and conquer InfoWorld

>> Snapchat founder requires controversy-free interview Valleywag

>> Samsung seeks US veto of import ban just like Apple got Bloomberg

>> Why PHP persists David Stark/Zarkonnen

>> Groupon migrates from Ruby on Rails to Node.js Groupon

>> Free MongoDB course starts today, Node.js in a couple of weeks MongoDB t/h Reddit

>> Happy birthday, CITEworld

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "They are. @om: IT Spending to Reach $3.8T Next Year, as Billions of Things Get Connected -- please tell me @gartner is making this shit up." @MattRosoff

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