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    Google buys Timeful to boost its apps' time management skills
    Google has acquired startup Timeful, whose iOS app uses machine learning to help users plan their days. People link Timeful to their calendars and then enter tasks, projects, events and hobbies into the app. For example, a user can tell Timeful he likes to jog four days a week, wants to finish painting a room by the end of the month and has a work presentation due on Friday.
    timeful google
    Timeful uses machine learning to create an optimal schedule for the user.

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    Microsoft picks security for the enterprise win
    The company has revamped its routine for supplying security patches and has unveiled data and system protections
    Cerf calls encryption back doors 'super risky'
    Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf argued Monday that more users should encrypt their data, and that the encryption back doors the U.S. FBI and other law enforcement agencies are asking for will weaken online security. The Internet has numerous security challenges, and it needs more users and ISPs to adopt strong measures like encryption, two-factor authentication and HTTP over SSL, said Cerf, chief Internet evangelist at Google, in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Recent calls by the FBI and other government officials for technology vendors to build encryption workarounds into their products is a bad idea, said Cerf, co-creator of TCP/IP. "If you have a back door, somebody will find it, and that somebody may be a bad guy," he said. "Creating this kind of technology is super, super risky."

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    Zuckerberg’s zeal for free Internet shows in Internet.org video
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg isn't an evangelical preacher, but his latest video promoting the new Internet.org Platform is filled with a missionary zeal for free basic Internet for the four billion people worldwide without access.The nearly seven-minute video is also partly an ethical appeal by Zuckerberg to the tech community to put those without basic Internet service before their interest in "the intellectual purity of technology."Even though the appeal is evidently heartfelt, almost spiritual, analysts noted that Facebook, the corporation, stands to benefit ultimately from its free basic Internet message.

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    Microsoft looks to empower IT in the cloud
    Microsoft is working to help its enterprise customers move their data, apps and operations to the cloud – specifically the hybrid cloud.At its first Ignite conference in Chicago today, the company unveiled Microsoft Azure Stack, a collection of the company's hyper-scale public cloud technologies that it uses for its own data centers.The new Azure Stack software makes both the Azure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) software available so enterprises can use it in their own on-premises clouds.Microsoft also took the wraps off what it's calling the Microsoft Operations Management Suite, a group of hybrid tools and software focused on managing enterprises' workloads, regardless of where they are – on the Azure platform, Amazon Web Services, Linux, VMWAre, Windows Server or OpenStack.

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    EU set to reveal digital strategy on Wednesday
    Google could face increased scrutiny starting Wednesday, when the European Commission outlines its strategy to make European companies more competitive online and to simplify online shopping and movie streaming across borders. Since the Commission outlined its Digital Single Market strategy in March, leaked drafts of the strategy have revealed details of how it aims to create one market for digital goods and services across all 28 EU countries. A major concern for the Commission is the growing power of the U.S. tech companies providing the search, app store, e-commerce and social media platforms on which many online businesses rely. The Commission will conduct a "comprehensive assessment" of the role of such platforms, according to a leaked document published by the Financial Times last week.

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    Will the next big thing come from startups competing at Disrupt NY?
    After watching some of the livestream for TechCrunch Disrupt NY, I headed over to the Startup Alley to check out the Day One Startup Battlefield to see who had what in the competition for $50,000 and the Disrupt Cup.What if you could pull power from the air almost magically to recharge your phone? Nikola Labs claims you can “download power from the air with our breakthrough RF energy harvesting technology.” The company’s tech “efficiently converts RF signals like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and LTE into DC power using its proprietary energy harvesting circuit. The result is usable energy that can provide power to mobile devices wirelessly.” It sounds pretty sweet, but there are no details about how much power it could supply.

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    BrandPost: Why Cloud Can’t Escape the Law of Entropy
    “Cloud makes everything so easy.” “Cloud computing is the great democratizer.” “Simplicity is the essence of cloud.” These are among the tried and true benefits that are trotted out in praise of cloud computing, and in many senses they have proven true. Hence, the now very mainstream adoption of cloud applications and computing platforms that we see all around us. But the laws of physics cannot be ignored, no matter how amazing the technology is. Recalling your high school physics class: things that begin in a state of simplicity and order devolve toward complexity and disorder, unless you apply work. (Witness Saturday mornings in my house as neatly organized toys and LEGOs inevitably evolve into a disaster zone—apologies for the not entirely accurate yet highly representative analogy.) And as cloud has become the norm, the law of entropy is now becoming apparent in the cloud realm, despite its initial breathtaking simplicity and ease.

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    IDG Contributor Network: 7 things that would make me want to hire Cortana

    News about a few new advanced features in Cortana, the voice-activated assistant in Windows 10, broke last week. We know she will be able to answer customer support questions and even analyze reams of data such as how many people registered for a conference. This goes well beyond the basic services Apple Siri provides such as setting up a meeting between you and the boss or texting a message to your spouse.

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    Microsoft expands Office 2016 for Windows public preview to consumers, more business workers
    Microsoft today launched a broader-based public preview of Office 2016 for Windows, expanding on the March sneak peek that was available only to subscribers of select business-grade Office 365 plans.The new desktop suite includes Access, Excel, Lync, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher and Word. It can be downloaded and installed by any consumer, whether they currently have an Office edition or Office 365 subscription or not, and by business workers whose companies subscribe to an eligible Office 365 plan that has Pro Plus as part of the deal.The latter range from Office 365 Enterprise's E3 and E4 plans and Office 365 Education's E3 and E4, to Office 365 Government's E3 and E4. Some plans, such as Office 365 Business, are not eligible for this preview but will be opened to the beta later, Microsoft said.

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    IBM's new Power Systems servers are just made for SAP Hana
    SAP and IBM share a long history dating back to the very roots of SAP, and on Monday that allegiance got a little closer with two new IBM Power Systems server configurations tailored specifically for SAP's Hana in-memory data platform. SAP's Hana is already supported across all POWER8 servers from IBM. The new series, which will launch initially in two configurations targeting data warehouses of different sizes, aims to offer tailored support of SAP Business Warehouse version 7.31 or higher. "The commodity servers used today by many organizations are increasingly stretched to their limits by new workloads, in the cloud or on premises," said Doug Balog, general manager of IBM Power Systems.

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    EMC's XtremIO gets bigger, packs more flash
    EMC says enterprises like its XtremIO all-flash storage array, so in version 4.0, the company is offering more of it. The latest software for the product it introduced in 2013 will let customers tie together more systems in a cluster and also include new features for replication, copy management and other capabilities. It's due out by the end of June. XtremIO 4.0 is a free software upgrade that will automatically boost scaling ability for clusters already in the field. Users who want to invest in new hardware will have another way to increase capacity, by using a new, higher capacity version of the X-Brick, the basic building block of an XtremIO system. Customers will be able to order that product by the end of June, though EMC hasn't said how much it will cost.

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