Katherine NoyesSenior U.S. Correspondent, IDG News Service

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Katherine Noyes has been an ardent geek ever since she first conquered Pyramid of Doom on an ancient TRS-80. Today she covers enterprise software in all its forms, with an emphasis on cloud computing, big data, analytics and artificial intelligence.

La Conte's weed marijuana pot

High technology: How tech innovation is fueling the budding cannabis industry

The goal is to track every plant, product and person associated with the production and sale of marijuana and maintain legal compliance.

NBA Hackathon

The NBA is holding its first hackathon - should your company, too?

Companies large and small have already embraced the hackathon as a way to foster collaboration and innovation, and now the NBA has announced that it's jumping on board.

StegIbiza

A new algorithm can hide messages in your favorite dance music

It's long been known that secret messages can be included in music through techniques such as backmasking, but now a Polish researcher has developed an entirely new approach.

Linux Tux

It's time to say goodbye to Linux 4.6

If you're using a version of Linux based on the 4.6 series of the Linux kernel, the software's lead maintainer has a message for you: It's time to upgrade.

TmaxSoft

TmaxSoft is using clear licensing to woo Oracle database users

It's no secret that Oracle's aggressive licensing tactics can be a source of considerable pain for its customers, and that's just where TmaxSoft is betting it has an edge.

Data

Oracle targets B2B marketers with a new trove of audience data

It's difficult enough for marketers to stay on top of the latest data about consumers, but reaching the right people in the B2B world presents a whole host of new challenges.

HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman

HPE aims for a big-data boost with $275 million SGI buy

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is buying SGI in a $275 million deal it hopes will give it a major boost in big-data analytics and high-performance computing.

IBM Watson artifical intelligence cognitive computing

This new R extension gives data scientists quick access to IBM's Watson

Data scientists have a lot of tools at their disposal, but not all of them are equally accessible. Aiming to put IBM's Watson AI within closer reach, analytics firm Columbus Collaboratory on Thursday released a new open-source R extension called CognizeR.

Great white shark

Use the internet? This Linux flaw could open you up to attack

A flaw in the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) used by Linux since late 2012 poses a serious threat to internet users, whether or not they use Linux directly.

Box Zones

Box extends its global push with new Zones in Canada and Australia

Box has made no secret of its global ambitions, and on Wednesday it advanced them another step by announcing two new regional "Zones" in Canada and Australia.

intel nervana AI deep learning

Intel snaps up Nervana for a crash course on deep learning

Intel is buying deep-learning startup Nervana Systems in a deal that could help it make up for lost ground in the increasingly hot area of artificial intelligence.

Complaints

Brands, take note: Customers still struggle to reach you

In any given year, more than 80 percent of consumers try to reach a brand, and for most of them, it's an exercise in frustration, according to new data from The Northridge Group.

Adware security

Adware turns a tidy profit for those who sneak it into downloads

If you've ever downloaded software, chances are you've experienced an all-too-common surprise: ads or other unwanted programs that tagged along for the ride, only to pop up on your PC uninvited. Turns out there's a highly lucrative global industry making it happen, with "layers of deniability" to protect those involved.

GCHQ

UK government hit with new complaint about hacking abroad

A group of privacy advocates and internet providers has filed a new challenge to the UK government's use of bulk hacking abroad.

Microsoft Skype Spock

This new Skype bot lets you chat with Spock

Microsoft has made no secret of its grand plans for chat bots, and this week it rolled out five new ones for Skype. Surely the most fun is "Spock," a bot that promises to help you "learn the ways of Vulcan logic."