Katherine Noyes has been an ardent geek ever since she first conquered Pyramid of Doom on an ancient TRS-80. Today she covers business and tech in all its forms, with an emphasis on Linux and open source software. More by Katherine Noyes
The current economic recovery may be proceeding far more slowly than most would like, but when it comes to IT hiring, two trends appear to be going relatively strong.
First is that systems administrators--a position some have said would disappear in the near future--are holding their own in terms of demand from employers, according to a September report from IT careers site Dice.
“The system administrator role is one employers are still trying to fill,” said Alice Hill, managing director for Dice.com. “I don’t see this position going away in the foreseeable future. Changing, yes. Eliminated? No.”
There's already been a fair bit of controversy over Microsoft's decision to make the “Do Not Track” (DNT) setting turned on by default in Internet Explorer 10, and recently the brouhaha got even louder.
Specifically, in a move that came to light last week, developers of the widely used Apache Web server application have added a patch to their software that ignores the DNT header altogether when it is sent by Microsoft's forthcoming IE10 browser.
“The only reason DNT exists is to express a non-default option,” explained the patch's author, Roy Fielding, an Adobe employee who is also cofounder of Apache and a contributor to the DNT specification. “It does not protect anyone's privacy unless the recipients believe it was set by a real human being, with a real preference for privacy over personalization.”
It's been possible for some time already to watch the progress of Firefox OS through nightly desktop builds, but on Friday Mozilla posted a new video on YouTube that offers a fresh, up-to-date look at its forthcoming mobile operating system in action.
Recorded last Thursday, the video--embedded below--demonstrates the latest build of Firefox OS running on a developer phone by Chinese manufacturer ZTE.
Visible in the demonstration are the open source operating system's dialing capabilities, contacts list, built-in Firefox browser, virtual keyboard, camera, photo gallery feature, and Marketplace app for finding and downloading additional software.
Just a few short months ago, back in June, Google executive Andy Rubin trumpeted the fact that more than 900,000 Android devices were being activated every day.
Roughly the same time last year--in June 2011--it was just 500,000 new units being activated daily. In 2010, a year or so earlier, it was more like 100,000 activations each day.
On Wednesday, however, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt announced at Motorola’s “On Display” event in New York that the platform has now reached a full 1.3 million new activations each day, according to a TechCrunch report, thus continuing steadily on its dramatic upward climb.
FreshBooks, a popular web-based invoicing and expense-tracking service for small businesses, today launched an iPhone app that integrates with--and delivers the same features as--the original desktop browser-based version.
FreshBooks started out as an invoicing app, but has since expanded to include features such as time and expense tracking, integration with major online payment gateways (e.g. PayPal), and reports.
One of its greatest strengths is its library of more than 70 third-party add-ons--apps that can automatically send data to FreshBooks.
QuickBooks Online, the Web-based version of Intuit's popular small-business accounting software, is getting an update that includes improved online banking features and income transaction tracking.
The online banking enhancements borrow technology from Mint.com, Intuit's Web-based personal finance manager. QuickBooks Online will now download transactions automatically every night, and assign them categories based on historical data or intelligence built in to the software.
Users can review the categorization when they log in, and (as before) override them as needed. The software will remember the approved category and use it on future transactions. Since QuickBooks Online supports transaction downloads from some 5000 financial institutions, automatic categorization should save customers time they'd otherwise spend entering data manually.