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IBM woos cloud developers

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IBM is stepping up its efforts to atract cloud developers. Big Blue today announced a three-pronged approach that includes a new collaborative platform to help developers stay on top of open source technologies, the release of 50 tools and services …

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AT&T adds an activation fee for new Next subscribers

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Joining AT&T is about to get more expensive, thanks to a new fee on the carrier’s contract-free plans.

Starting August 1, new subscribers to AT&T Next will have to pay a $15 activation fee, regardless of whether they buy a phone from the carrier or bring their own. If you sign up for a new line of service with Next, you pay the fee.

For now, existing Next subscribers won’t face any new fees, The Verge reports, and AT&T has yet to add any fees when upgrading to a new phone on the Next plan. However, AT&T’s website no longer specifically says that upgrade fees don’t apply, as it has in the past.

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Send is Microsoft’s version of Facebook Messenger, but just for Outlook

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On Wednesday, Microsoft entered the instant messaging space with Send, an app that ties in with Microsoft Outlook to shoot quick, pithy messages to your coworkers.

Send isn’t a full-fledged Office app. In fact, Microsoft Garage released Send with a number of limitations. First, Send is only available for the Apple iPhone in the U.S. and Canada; the company will release a version for Android and Windows Phones in the coming months, according to Microsoft. Furthermore, it’s only available for workers with Office 365 and school email accounts.

Microsoft send 2

What it does do, according to Microsoft, is use your Outlook contacts to send short, brief “in and out” emails to your coworkers. You don’t need their phone number, just their name (which will be linked to their email address). No, you won’t need a subject line or signature. These are the kind of messages that need to be sent and responded to immediately: “Do you have the presentation?” “Is John running late?” “What’s the status of the Potts order?” and so on.

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JRuby upgrade promises better performance

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JRuby, a veteran among languages other than Java riding atop the JVM, will be upgraded Wednesday with the release of JRuby 9000.

Available for download at the JRuby website, JRuby 9000, “is going to [have] a lot of potential to increase the performance of Ruby,” said project co-lead Charles Oliver Nutter. “JRuby in general brings true threading, true parallelism to Ruby and everything the JVM has to offer for the Ruby world.”

Better performance in the new version is achieved by a rewritten compiler that serves as more of a classic, optimizing compiler. “Before, it was more of a direct translation from Ruby byte code into JVM byte code without a lot of optimization,” said Nutter. Subsystems like IO and process management now use the same native functionality as the C-based version of Ruby, improving compatibility with standard Posix and Unix behavior, according to a GitHub page detailing the upgrade.

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The Takeaway: Windows 10’s big change — 10 years of support from day 1

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Windows 10 users will get new features and functions for a full 10 years from the time the OS is purchased, a major shift in how Microsoft offers OS support.”Microsoft’s intention is that you will get 10 years minimum of updates for Windows 10, both…

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Surface’s boss now oversees all high-end Microsoft devices

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Surface’s boss now oversees all high-end Microsoft devices

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Belgian government phishing test goes off-track

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An IT security drill went off the tracks in Belgium, prompting a regional government office to apologize to European high-speed train operator Thalys for involving it without warning.

Belgium’s Flemish regional government sent a mock phishing email to about 20,000 of its employees to see how they would react.

The email purported to be a booking confirmation from Thalys for a trip from Brussels to Paris, including a stay in a fancy hotel. The cost—almost €20,000 (about US$22,000)—would be charged to the recipient’s credit card unless the person cancelled within three days, the email said. To cancel the trip, the email instructed recipients to send their credit card information to Thalys, Belgian media reported.

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Startup launches big data-as-a-service

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For many enterprises, big data is hard and slow. Procurement and deployment of data infrastructure can be both expensive and difficult to scale at the pace that data volumes can grow. A startup founded by former Netezza executives says that the answer to these data engineering woes is the cloud.

The startup, Cazena, came out of stealth today after two years of development with an enterprise big data-as-a-service offering intended to simplify and automate securely moving and optimizing big data processing in the cloud. It’s a managed service platform that founder and CEO Prat Moghe — who served as senior vice president of strategy, products and marketing at Netezza — says addresses the security and complexity challenges that have kept many enterprises from migrating their big data workloads to the cloud.

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FinalCode keeps files safe wherever they go

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Startup FinalCode secures files so permissions that protect them follow them around even when they are accessed outside secured networks.

The company’s FinalCode platform encrypts files and imposes restrictions on who can access them, when, for how long and with what privileges. So a person could be allowed to read a document but not copy and paste it, be allowed to open it only twice and only for 24 hours.

The company offers its platform as software entirely under control of the customer or as a service in which FinalCode handles the server side.

That is a big advantage for businesses that want this type of protection but don’t want to deal with the key management and infrastructure, says Eric Ogren, principal analyst for the Ogren Group. “They don’t even see the keys,” he says. “They can if they really want to, but why would they want to.” So the problems of scaling the number of files that are encrypted are handled by the service, not corporate staff.

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