Archive for June, 2012

Cisco releases Connect Cloud software for Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers

June 29th, 2012

SimpleTapä allows consumers connect devices to their Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router with a tap of a button

Networking firm Cisco has released its Connect Cloud, a software platform for Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers that simplifies how consumers connect, control and interact with their connected devices.

The new software platform is designed to handle the complicated technical aspects of home network set-up and connecting devices to the network.

Cisco has also released Connect Cloud mobile app, which provides access to Cisco Connect Cloud on a smartphone or tablet, while at home or on the go.

Connect Cloud features SimpleTapä, which allows consumers connect devices to their Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router with a tap of a button or with a swipe or scan of a device or tag.

The company has also unveiled a set of mobile apps from third party developers that provide extended experiences to Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers.

The first six mobile apps for Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers include: Block the Bad Stuff, HipPlay, Gemini IP Camera Viewer, Twonky Video, Device Monitoring and Netproofer.

Block the Bad Stuff is developed by Fresh Consulting to bring safe web surfing to Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers in an easy way. It protect all users and devices from accessing content from security vulnerable sites, adult content and other non-family friendly sites.

HipPlay allows users to play, beam, share photos, music, videos on their phone, tablet, PC, Mac or TV easily.

Gemini IP Camera Viewer app for iPhone enables home monitoring at home and on the go for consumers on smartphones and tablets via Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

Twonky Video is a mobile browser for smartphones and tablets to browse online video services and “beam” them to your Smart TV or AirPlay devices.

Device Monitoring app “watches” user’s connected devices and gives him real-time status updates about the devices while Netproofer helps parents restrict access to specific websites for all users or per specific device.


U.S. firm fined for illegal software export to China

June 29th, 2012

The subsidiary, Pratt & Whitney Canada of Hartford, Conn.-based UTC, and another subsidiary also agreed to pay more than $75 million in fines in connection with the export violations and for providing misleading information to the U.S. government.

The U.S. attorney for Connecticut, David Fein, said Pratt & Whitney Canada knowingly committed the violations because it wanted to become the exclusive supplier for a helicopter market in China with projected revenues of up to $2 billion.

Beginning in the 1990s, China sought to develop its attack helicopter under the guise of a civilian program to secure Western assistance, according to U.S. authorities. Pratt & Whitney Canada delivered development engines to China for what become the “Z-10,” China’s first military attack helicopter, in 2001 and 2002 after determining on its own that the engines did not require an export license because they were identical to engines already supplied to China for a commercial helicopter, officials said.

U.S. authorities say the electronic engine control software, however, required a U.S. export license because it was modified for a military helicopter application. Authorities say the Canadian subsidiary had six versions of the military software, made by UTC subsidiary Hamilton Sundstrand, sent to China in 2002 and 2003.

Pratt & Whitney Canada pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act and making false statements in connection with the illegal export of software.

“PWC exported controlled U.S. technology to China, knowing it would be used in the development of a military attack helicopter in violation of the U.S. arms embargo with China,” Fein said.

At attorney for the company, Paul Beach, said in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport that the firm deeply regrets the violations and has taken substantial action to ensure it will not happen again.

The United States has barred the export of defense articles to China since 1989.

The fine to be paid by UTC, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Hamilton Sundstrand is part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. State Department. As much as $20 million can be suspended if UTC applies to remedial compliance efforts.


Apps Growth Pushes Need For Management Software

June 29th, 2012

The phrase “application performance management” might produce glazed looks or stifled yawns from many, but APM is a subject of mission-critical importance to information technology executives.

APM software and services monitor and manage the speed and availability of software applications across the Internet, from PCs to mobile devices. Its importance has grown as more companies rely on such applications to sell products and woo customers.

Companies spent about $2 billion on licenses for APM software last year, up 15% from $1.7 billion in 2010, says market tracker Gartner. The 2010 total rose 10% from 2009.

John Van Siclen, general manager of software and services provider Compuware’s APM unit, recently sat down with IBD to discuss application performance management.

IBD: Do we hear more about application performance management now because of the growth of mobile apps?

Van Siclen: Just about every one of our customers has a mobile initiative, and has had it for a while. Most of them started as side projects and they are now starting to move into the mainstream of the business. And there are some pretty cool ones, such as the one where you can take a photograph of a check and deposit your check that way. That is pretty business-critical.

IBD: Why is monitoring applications so important to businesses?

Van Siclen: The applications are in the face of the most important people related to a company, whether it’s consumers or high-level clients. Users could be shoppers or (financial services) brokers. Users aren’t happy if it takes 30 seconds to get something done or if they get kicked out of certain pages or if the credit card transaction has a hang-up and kicks you back to the beginning of the cycle. Even one to two seconds of extra response time can mean a lot in terms of lost revenue, so any disruption of service as perceived from those users is painful to the business in a much more dramatic way than ever before.

We have seen a marked rise in the volume of people using (mobile) apps and the criticality of these apps as they sweep into the mainstream of a business.

IBD: What role does APM play?

Van Siclen: It’s a performance management system to help companies identify bottlenecks and know when they are having issues.

IBD: Companies can’t rely on their data centers to track this?

Van Siclen: Very often less than 50% of the activity that (customers) see on a (smartphone or computer) screen ever get to the data center. Some of that (stays within) a content delivery network. Some is in other places. There are so many different components that make this up at the edge of the network that the amount of information I can monitor from my data center is becoming less and less. The complexity has gone up and my visibility has come way down — and that is why there is such an urgent need for monitoring systems.


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