Google launches Cloud IoT Core service for enterprises

Google today unveiled a cloud platform service to help organizations collect vital data from billions of Internet of Things devices.

The service, Google Cloud IoT Core, is designed to help enterprises, including utilities and transportation agencies, securely connect globally distributed devices to the Google Cloud Platform. There, the data can be centrally managed and integrated with Google’s data analytics services, said Indranil Chakraborty, cloud product manager at Google.

One customer who has been testing the new service for two months is Energyworx, a company of 40 workers that has used Google cloud services since 2014. Energyworx provides data analytics to utilities to help them plan better and improve performance.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

University examines cloud phone service

Georgetown University is testing a cloud phone service intended to replace its 25-year-old system, which would cost millions of dollars to replace. The move, part of a broader telecommunications infrastructure overhaul, advances the private university’s plan to migrate to consumer-friendly cloud and mobile software, says CIO Judd Nicholson.

Georgetown University CIO Judd Nicholson. Georgetown University

Georgetown University CIO Judd Nicholson.

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Network World Cloud Computing

University examines cloud phone service

Georgetown University is testing a cloud phone service intended to replace its 25-year-old system, which would cost millions of dollars to replace. The move, part of a broader telecommunications infrastructure overhaul, advances the private university’s plan to migrate to consumer-friendly cloud and mobile software, says CIO Judd Nicholson.

Georgetown University CIO Judd Nicholson. Georgetown University

Georgetown University CIO Judd Nicholson.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Social media companies have a month to update service terms in the EU

Facebook, Twitter and Google have been given a month to make changes to their user agreements in the European Union or face “enforcement action.”

European consumer authorities put the social media services on notice last November that their terms of service did not comply with EU law, asked them to make changes and to address the problem of scams that misled users of the services.

The authorities and the European Commission met with the companies on Thursday to discuss their proposed changes, and gave them a month to make their final proposals, the European Commission said Friday. If those proposals don’t satisfy the authorities, then they could take enforcement action, the Commission said.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Social media companies have a month to update service terms in the EU

Facebook, Twitter and Google have been given a month to make changes to their user agreements in the European Union or face “enforcement action.”

European consumer authorities put the social media services on notice last November that their terms of service did not comply with EU law, asked them to make changes and to address the problem of scams that misled users of the services.

The authorities and the European Commission met with the companies on Thursday to discuss their proposed changes, and gave them a month to make their final proposals, the European Commission said Friday. If those proposals don’t satisfy the authorities, then they could take enforcement action, the Commission said.

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CIO Cloud Computing

MongoDB adds free tier and migration utility to its cloud service

NoSQL database specialist MongoDB unveiled a new free tier for its MongoDB Atlas database-as-a-service (DaaS) offering on Tuesday. The company also released a utility to support live migration of data to MongoDB Atlas, whether that data is on-premise or in the cloud.

[ Related: 9 MongoDB success stories ]

“Since we first introduced MongoDB to the community in 2009, we have been laser-focused on one thing — building a technology that gets out of the way of developers and makes them more productive,” Eliot Horowitz, CTO and co-founder of MongoDB, said in a statement Tuesday. “Now, with these updates to MongoDB Atlas, we’re tearing down more of the barriers that stand between developers and their giant ideas.”

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

‘Meet’ Google’s new videoconferencing service for the enterprise

Google appears to have accidentally revealed its new group videoconferencing service for businesses on Tuesday, a week before a big user conference.

The service, called Meet, appears to be its offering for businesses that want to do group meetings over the Internet. According to a saved iOS App Store listing captured by AppAnnie, it will support high-definition video meetings with up to 30 participants. That’s an upgrade over the company’s Hangouts instant messaging and video calling service, which only allows meetings of up to 10 people.

google meet merged Google/AppAnnie

A trio of screenshots shows Google Meet’s functionality on iOS

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Apple grabs icloud.net domain to solidify links to sync and storage service

Apple this week took administrative control of the icloud.net domain, the last notable web address it did not govern that users could have linked with its online sync and storage service.

According to WHOIS searches today, Apple acquired control of icloud.net on Tuesday.

Apple already ruled the primary top-level domains for iCloud, the cross-device, cross-OS service that stores files generated by iOS and macOS, and more importantly, synchronizes everything from Safari browser bookmarks to photographs between iPhones, iPads and Macs. Apple is on record as the owner of the domains icloud.com, icloud.org, icloud.us and icloud.eu, for example.

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CIO Cloud Computing

Splice Machine seeks to deliver hybrid RDBMS as a service

Splice Machine, which specializes in an open source relational database for hybrid workloads, wants to bring that database to the cloud as a service.

The company announced this week that it will release Cloud RDBMS, a database-as-a-service (DBaaS) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) this spring. It noted that Cloud RDBMS will be able to power applications and perform analytics, without the need for ETL and separate analytical databases.

CIO Cloud Computing

Cisco names 10 cities using its cloud-based smart service

Cisco, which has promoted its smart city technologies for more than two years, today announced that 10 cities, including Paris and Copenhagen, are using its cloud-based service to connect to traffic, parking and environmental sensors in real time.

Insights from the data collected from the Internet of Things sensors can help city agencies make operations more efficient, reduce costs and respond quicker to emergencies, Cisco said.

Cisco is showcasing the technology at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2016 in Barcelona this week. The networking giant calls its service the Cisco Smart+Connected Digital Platform.

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CIO Cloud Computing

IBM’s IoT blockchain service gets ready to set sail

A massive DDOS attack and weaknesses in critical systems have put security concerns front and center in the internet of things. IBM thinks a technology best known from the world of bitcoin could lock down at least one use of IoT.

The company is using blockchain technology to ensure that everything’s in order with IoT transactions. Just as a public blockchain makes bitcoin transactions traceable and verifiable, the private, cloud-based system that IBM will operate for enterprises will verify non-monetary interactions between some devices.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: From chatbots to Einstein, artificial intelligence as a service

The recent announcement of Salesforce Einstein — dubbed “artificial intelligence for everyone” — sheds new light on the new and pervasive usage of artificial intelligence in every aspect of businesses.

From consumer to business

Even without knowing it, the consumer world has long been using AI-based systems. Siri knows which movies are showing at what time and recommends the best theater based on the user’s location. Nest learns about household habits to optimize heating and cooling patterns. Facebook recognizes friends in photos with nearly 98 percent accuracy.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Google launches cloud service for understanding human language

Google’s intelligent cloud developer tools expanded Wednesday with the launch of a new Cloud Natural Language API. The service is aimed at helping developers create applications that understand human language.

It’s an important move for Google, as public cloud providers race to host new applications built with intelligent capabilities. Natural language processing allows developers to build apps that can tackle the challenging task of understanding how humans communicate. It is also key for building intelligent assistants and chat bots.

This API can provide information about a block of text back to an application, including the overall sentiment of a passage and an analysis of the structure of a sentence. The system can also identify entities mentioned, including people, organizations, locations, events and products.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: In search of a neutral top-tier cloud service

The last time Gartner published their IaaS/PaaS provider rankings Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure occupied the coveted upper right quadrant. To make it into Gartner’s magic quadrant both Amazon and Microsoft needed to demonstrate the quality of their services as well as completeness of their vision.

According to Amazon’s company profile on Reuters, they participate in a number of business segments. Amazon operates and markets an Android App Store, streaming video and music, mobile advertising, retail analytics, movie production, mobile devices (i.e. Kindle tablets), audiobooks and book publishing.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Amazon discovery service marks on-premises apps for assimilation

Sometimes the hardest part of performing a cloud migration is figuring out what has to be migrated in the first place. That’s one idea behind Amazon’s now generally available AWS ADS (Application Discovery Service), which polls existing on-premises systems and determines what apps they’re running as a prelude to migration.

Originally announced in April, ADS is yet another sign that Amazon is more interested in building a one-way bridge into its cloud than in creating a two-way street involving a hybrid cloud strategy.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Oracle pays $532 million to snatch up another cloud service provider

Hard on the heels of a similar purchase last week, Oracle has announced it will pay $ 532 million to buy Opower, a provider of cloud services to the utilities industry.

Once a die-hard cloud holdout, Oracle has been making up for lost time by buying a foothold in specific industries through acquisitions such as this one. Last week’s Textura buy gave it a leg up in engineering and construction.

“It’s a good move on Oracle’s part, and it definitely strengthens Oracle’s cloud story,” said Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

New AWS service helps companies to move their apps to the cloud

A new Amazon cloud service announced Tuesday could help companies with legacy applications have an easier time taking the leap to the cloud. 

Amazon Web Services General Manager Matt Wood announced the new Application Discovery Service, which will allow companies to easily analyze legacy applications running on their data centers. It will help companies start the migration of their application data up to the cloud, and then work with one of Amazon’s partners to get their applications running in AWS.

The service lets users identify their applications and the infrastructure dependencies of those applications and then measure a performance baseline of those applications operating on-premises before companies consider moving them to the cloud. 

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Vodafone readies pan-European virtual private cloud service for SMEs

Small businesses with global ambitions will soon have a new cloud partner — at least wherever Vodafone has data centers.

Vodafone Total Cloud Flex is a virtual private cloud service that can be managed via a self-service portal, and directly integrated with on-premises infrastructure via VPN or MPLS.

Telecommunications operator Vodafone unveiled the service in Hanover, Germany, on Sunday, on the eve of the Cebit trade show.

The service is scheduled to go live by the end of June in Germany, Italy, the U.K. and Ireland. Other countries will follow, half a dozen of them in the third quarter, including the U.S. and either Hong Kong or Singapore, said Nadja Risse, Vodafone’s head of sales for cloud and hosting in central and southern Europe.

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CIO Cloud Computing

Need machine learning? HPE just launched a new service with more than 60 APIs

CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: U.S. Postal Service will scan your mail and email you images before delivering

Who else has ambled down to the mailbox only to find it full of junk, or disappointingly devoid of eBay purchases?

I have, and although I enjoy the chance for a gasp of fresh air after an electron-infested session at the computer, the sojourn can often be a bit of a waste of time.

That may be about to change, though.

The U.S. Postal Service has caught on to this often-failed, bizarre ritual for possibly millions of people each day, and is now sending scanned images of the actual mail pieces as it processes them to some customers’ inboxes.

Those customers can see the outside of the actual items being delivered before they make it to the mailbox.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Amazon brings Microsoft users into AWS with Active Directory service

Amazon has launched an AWS Directory Service for Active Directory, a fully managed implementation of Microsoft’s authentication and user management service.

Using Active Directory in Amazon’s cloud will enable companies to bring applications including SQL Server, SharePoint and custom applications built with .NET onto AWS. That’s useful for businesses trying to move into the cloud from an on-premises deployment of Microsoft’s software. 

When companies start using the service, it creates a pair of domain controllers connected to a user’s virtual private cloud running Windows Server 2012 R2. Each domain controller runs in a different availability zone of a user’s choosing inside a single region, and Amazon will handle the nuts-and-bolts of managing things like host monitoring, data replication and snapshots.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Amazon brings Microsoft users into AWS with Active Directory service

Amazon has launched an AWS Directory Service for Active Directory, a fully-managed implementation of Microsoft’s authentication and user management service.

Using Active Directory in Amazon’s cloud will enable companies to bring applications including SQL Server, SharePoint, and custom applications built with .Net onto AWS. That’s useful for businesses trying to move into the cloud from an on-premises deployment of Microsoft’s software. 

When companies start using the service, it creates a pair of domain controllers connected to a user’s virtual private cloud running Windows Server 2012 R2. Each domain controller runs in a different availability zone of a user’s choosing inside a single region, and Amazon will handle the nuts-and-bolts of managing things like host monitoring, data replication and snapshots.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Amazon brings Microsoft users into AWS with Active Directory service

Amazon has launched an AWS Directory Service for Active Directory, a fully-managed implementation of Microsoft’s authentication and user management service.

Using Active Directory in Amazon’s cloud will enable companies to bring applications including SQL Server, SharePoint and custom applications built with .NET onto AWS. That’s useful for businesses trying to move into the cloud from an on-premises deployment of Microsoft’s software. 

When companies start using the service, it creates a pair of domain controllers connected to a user’s virtual private cloud running Windows Server 2012 R2. Each domain controller runs in a different availability zone of a user’s choosing inside a single region, and Amazon will handle the nuts-and-bolts of managing things like host monitoring, data replication and snapshots.

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CIO Cloud Computing

Apple killing music streaming service? Beats me.

Apple is killing its Beats Music streaming service. It all kicks off the end of the month, when Tim’s crew want you to be on Apple Music.

Did y’all think Tim’a let his dough freeze? Oh please.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers with no cheese listen up closely. Not to mention: bwk on pipes

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Richard Lawler mourns in anticipation:

Now that Apple Music is firmly in place…it’s time for Beats Music to go.

[It’s] a little over a year after Apple completed its acquisition of the music company.  MORE

Stephanie Mlot’s calendar says something slightly different:

Apple is officially shuttering the streaming service 18 months after acquiring it…for $ 3 billion.

Apple Music has since racked up more than 6.5 million paying customers.  MORE

Steven “meta” Musil thinks about Apple digesting Beats:

On November 30…all Beats subscriptions will be canceled. … Apple is encouraging subscribers to migrate…to Apple Music.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.  MORE

Is this bad news? Or good? Neal Ungerleider knows:

Well, Beats Music, it was good knowing you.

This isn’t too surprising. [Apple Music is] a late, but competitive entry to a listening landscape littered with the likes of Spotify, Pandora, and Google Play.  MORE

Romain Dillet agrees:

It was bound to happen, now that Apple Music is available on Android.

Apple waited for the Android release before actually shutting [it] down…for Android users who were using Beats Music.  MORE

And Finally…
Unix Pipelines (Brian Kernighan)

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

MariaDB pops up on Azure with new cluster service

Companies interested in deploying the increasingly popular MariaDB open source database on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform now have an easy way to do so, thanks to a new offering provided through the Azure Marketplace. 

Database administrators can deploy the new MariaDB Enterprise Cluster with MaxScale fairly simply by finding it inside Azure’s storefront for software vendors and going through a brief setup process. As the name implies, the system is set up as a system of three different MariaDB Enterprise instances, connected by Galera and MaxScale middleware. It’s provided by the MariaDB Corporation, a company built to help govern and make money off the open-source database of the same name. 

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Amazon launches managed Elasticsearch service

While Amazon Web Services made a name for itself by providing raw computing power and data storage at rock-bottom prices, the company has been moving toward providing services that do more of the heavy lifting for developers and administrators in exchange for a higher price.

Amazon Elasticsearch Service is a new product in that vein that’s designed to make it easier for developers to implement the popular Elasticsearch open-source search and analytics engine that lives in the AWS cloud. Users can set up an Elasticsearch service cluster using the AWS Management Console, command-line tools, or the Amazon Elasticsearch Service API. They can set up parameters like instance count and what sort of storage their search instance should use.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing