The UpStream

Federal IT Now Powered by Former Microsoft Executive

posted Sunday Aug 7, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Federal IT Now Powered by Former Microsoft Executive

On August 4th of this year President Obama announced the CIO, Chief Information Officer, position of the Federal Government to be filled by Steven VanRoekel. The former Microsoft executive, the 2nd person to fill the position, is responsible for managing the $80 billion set aside for IT spending. He was considered after heading up the project to transform the FCC's previously terrible website into something much more manageable and much less 1990.

His Predecessor, Vivek Kundra, laid the groundwork for policies that are intended to streamline government operations by reducing the current 2500 data centers to 1700 by 2015 using a "cloud-first policy." He was also a big proponent of "open government," which VanRoekel plans to carry on as well, despite continuous budget cuts. The CIO is also responsible for cyber security, including working with other government agencies like the NSA and Homeland Security to combat the increasing attacks on government systems.

VanRoekel talks about his take on the real problem that needs to be addressed to bring the government up to speed after the break.

20 Years Ago the Web Was Born

posted Sunday Aug 7, 2011 by Scott Ertz

20 Years Ago the Web Was Born

20 years ago Saturday, August 6, 1991, the first ever webpage was published. It was done by a 36-year-old physicist, named Tim Berners-Lee at the CERN facility in the Swiss Alps and, obviously, was not very complex. According to CERN,

Info.cern.ch was the address of the world's first-ever web site and web server, running on a NeXT computer at CERN. The first web page address was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html, which centred on information regarding the WWW project. Visitors could learn more about hypertext, technical details for creating their own webpage, and even an explanation on how to search the Web for information. There are no screenshots of this original page and, in any case, changes were made daily to the information available on the page as the WWW project developed. You may find a later copy (1992) on the World Wide Web Consortium website.

While this was a major accomplishment, it went almost entirely unnoticed. That could be, in part, because only two people in the world had a web browser to be able to access it. In fact, it wasn't until 1993 when Mosaic was released that the general populace had the ability to access any of the web.

For more on the history of the web, hit the break.

Sony Says Vita Won't be Coming Home for the Holidays in the USA

posted Saturday Aug 6, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Sony Says Vita Won't be Coming Home for the Holidays in the USA

Sony had a powerful E3 presentation where Vita brought hope to all Sony fans and even myself that innovation had once again found itself ingrained within the Sony handheld's precious metals. While that seems to still be true, no one here in the US or Europe should expect to have their anxiety curbed this holiday season, according to Sony Executive Vice President Kazuo Hirai.

Despite the fact that Hirai announced at E3 the Vita would be available "starting from the holiday season this year," he made another announcement on August 4th that this would not be the case. The US and Europe but more importantly, the US, shouldn't expect Vita to grace store shelves until early next year. Missing out on the retail golden quarter might have certain ramifications for the Vita, more on that after the break.

Verizon's Future Available Now

posted Friday Aug 5, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Verizon's Future Available Now

Considering Verizon's big announcement that they will be reentering RadioShack stores, we weren't expecting to see any more information from them for a little while. Well, much to their surprise, and ours, a photo was leaked claiming to be Verizon's roadmap for the rest of the year. While this happens from time to time and often turns out to be only somewhat accurate, this one has a lot of interesting information to it, so we are hoping it is accurate.

Not surprisingly, Verizon is spending a lot of time and money on their true 4G LTE network. In evidence, out of 16 devices listed, 8 of them are full 4G LTE devices. Granted 3 of them are tablets, but that still leaves 5 new 4G handsets before the end of the year. Also, it seems that despite Google's fears, Android will play a major part in Verizon's year.

Want to know what is on the list (and what is not)? Hit the break.

Google's Angry Mistake

posted Friday Aug 5, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Google's Angry Mistake

This week, David Drummond, Google's Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, posted a blog entry on the official Google blog about how technology patents stifle innovation. Coming from a company who is built on stifling innovation, the concept seemed a little odd. However, the post started out on an odd note, talking about how Microsoft and Apple have been at each others throats for years, but Microsoft has held a stake in Apple for over a decade and was once the largest manufacturer of software for Apple devices. He seemed surprised that Microsoft and Apple may have teamed up for something, but I don't think anyone else was.

It all came about because of the recent Nortel patent auction, in which Microsoft, Apple and others banded together to purchase the patents jointly. Google did not want to bid jointly and, instead, bid on their own, obviously losing to the "Rockstar" organization. Drummond, and possibly Google as a whole, believe the team came together specifically to outbid Google to allow for a higher licensing fee for Android (a free OS), than Windows Phone 7, or allowing Microsoft to profit from Android.

Why can't this be the case? Hit the break to find out.

LimeWire Writes a Check for $12 Million to Warner Music Group

posted Friday Aug 5, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

LimeWire Writes a Check for $12 Million to Warner Music Group

We have finally reached the end of the small battle between RIAA and LimeWire this week, as they have reached a payout agreement. You may recall that LimeWire has been on the hook for $105 million from several record labels and RIAA was so proud of themself from putting that together, that they felt they could pretty much do anything, so long as they got help from the crazy legislators in California.

This week we learned that LimeWire had to write a check for $12 million over to the Warner Music Group. That might not be as close to the $1 billion in damages Warner claimed to have had done to them at the hands of the former P2P software, but I suppose that's better than nothing. However, $12 million is only 1.7% of the amount of revenue Warner does in a quarter. So in the end, it's more like a drop in the Atlantic Ocean.

No matter how much money would be issued to these labels, though, it feels like they'd never be happy. Warner may have claimed $1 billion, but you know they would complain until they saw $3 billion in their account. Good news for them is that they were up 5% in revenue for the second quarter, attributed to digital sales that were up 13%. The number that is important is that they still were able post a net loss of $47 million. Seems like that $12 million might have helped them out more than they thought.

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