Around the IT Industry 2/4-2/8

by Modis on February 8, 2013

Arizona Politician Pushes to Make Online Impersonation a Felony

Anyone who knows their way around the Internet has undoubtedly seen Twitter accounts designed to parody certain celebrities or even religious icons but Arizona representative Michelle Ugenti is pushing to make such online impersonation a class 5 felony.  Rep. Ugenti herself and many other political figures have been targets of this practice, usually designed to publicly ridicule or exaggerate statements made by the person being impersonated.

Dell’s Downward Spiral

Dell has been fighting an uphill battle against Apple in an effort to dominate the PC marketplace for 10 years now and now finds itself in a life-or-death struggle to remain afloat after numerous failures.  Going as far back as the 2003 Dell Inspiron 8600, Dell products have been plagued with faulty hardware, prone to failure, and unintuitive design that served only to alienate customers and drive them towards the often more expensive but more reliable Apple products.  In 2010, after the company began to move towards the production of mobile devices, Dell VP Brad Anderson acknowledged that Dell is “no longer a PC company.”

Sprint Loses $1.32 Billion in Q4 2012

While third-place wireless carrier Sprint scored its highest quarterly iPhone sales record yet with over 2.2 million units, the company is still suffering crippling losses of over $1.32 billion from the final quarter of 2012 due to the shutdown of its Nextel network, Hurricane Sandy, and a host of other complications.  While Japanese carrier SoftBank is slated to acquire the struggling company, the acquisition has not yet been finalized but is expected to breathe new life into Sprint’s bottom line by mid-2013.

Android Devices Vulnerable to Hacking Due to Fragmentation

While most desktop operating systems and even gaming consoles these days receive software updates every few months in order to safeguard against security vulnerabilities and provide new features to consumers, mobile devices are not always so fortunate.  While Apple maintains a rigorous updating schedule for the company’s flagship iPhone devices, Android devices receive updates much less frequently due to many carriers’ overly-burdensome modifications to the OS that must be tested, analyzed, and re-tested before they can be released to customers.  As a result, depending on the carrier, Android devices can fall months or even years behind the latest updates and this exposes them to vulnerabilities that could be exploited by enterprising hackers and scammers.

Microsoft Looks to Release a Linux Version of Office in 2014

Microsoft is reportedly planning an unprecedented business move by releasing a commercial version of their wildly popular Microsoft Office suite designed for Linux.  Never before has the company dabbled in software for the open-source platform, but recent developments in producing an Android-friendly version of Office for use on mobile devices has made the transition to Linux much easier.  While the limited popularity of Linux means the software is unlikely to sell in large quantities, the mere availability of MS Office may usher in a Linux boom amongst businesses afraid to adopt the platform in the past.

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