Profile of Larry Seltzer
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Articles by Larry Seltzer
Switching from Google Apps to Microsoft Office 365, you will find good and bad surprises. But overall, Microsoft's Web apps make the migration worthwhile.
Here's the business case for why I moved from Google Apps for Business to Microsoft Office 365 -- and why you may want to do the same.
Do you want a physical keyboard on your smartphone? The new BlackBerry with a hard keyboard will be here soon, but there are alternatives. Here we show you eight phones, including six not from BlackBerry.
In a few weeks the BlackBerry 10 with a physical keyboard will be available to buyers. People love the BlackBerry keyboard, but is the device obsolete anyway?
"Bugging" in the context of politics raises images of burglars messing with telephones and clunky tape recorders in the Oval Office. Now you'd just use malware.
A Finnish newspaper reports about a Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone which got run over and buried by a 24-ton earth mover. The screen was cracked up and the frame bent, but it still worked!
40 years ago today, April 3, 1973, the first cell phone call was made by Motorola engineer Martin Cooper. He called his competitor at Bell Labs to gloat at having beat them.
For those of you expecting a major new version of Windows already, that's not the way the world works. Windows Blue, likely to be released as Windows 8.1, will focus on incremental improvements in the new Modern UI.
Formerly known as the "iPod Touch" Apple is recasting this product as an affordable, easy-to-handle micro tablet. "It's the best 4-inch iPad we've ever made!" says Apple's Phil Schiller.
The new Calendar and Contacts apps in Windows 8 will not synchronize with Google at all, and Google email is limited to IMAP from now on. Google users will probably have to use the browser versions because Google has no plans to write Windows 8 apps.
The BlackBerry Z10 is a good phone, but it doesn't get really cool until you use it as both your work and personal phone. BlackBerry 10 has a series of features the company calls "BlackBerry Balance," to make both roles work well and to protect each from the other.
A leak of an allegedly major revision of Windows 8 hit the web last week. Microsoft's focus seems to be on developing the Metro interface, but will they ever actually remove the desktop? Absurd!The desktop is a major strength of Windows!
Next up for BlackBerry is the Q10. It has a smaller screen than the now-available Z10, but also has the hard keyboard that made BlackBerry famous. Here we have a short video demo of the Q10 and its differences from the Z10
Mobile Application Management vendors all perform containerization, wrapping apps in a security management layer of code. 3rd parties like Box that distribute lots of apps would want to be able to distribute a wrapped version in the app stores, but every MAM vendor uses a different wrapper. Will one win out? Is there a role for standards?
BlackBerry 10 — not just the phones, but the BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 software — will make or break the former smartphone giant. BYTE obtained an BlackBerry Z10 for evaluation. We haven't yet tested the most interesting enterprise features, but some features of the phone, especially the predictive soft keyboard, have already won us over.
Until today — March 12, 2013 — Internet Explorer 10 in the new Windows UI allowed Adobe Flash content only when the site was on a special Microsoft-controlled whitelist. Now all sites are allowed except those on a special Microsoft-controlled blacklist. It's probably a concession to usability problems.
Following the BlackBerry announcement of BES 10 as a general-purpose mobile management solution, Samsung has expanded their SAFE program to include EMM features like MAM and business/personal partitioning. These companies are advancing the technology for customers. Where are Microsoft and Apple in this? Microsoft is doing a little, but Apple seems to think that management of their devices is not their problem.
The need for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server that's still in almost all large organizations has been declining, but BES 10 changes everything. Instead of being a legacy server to manage legacy phones, BES 10 can be the cental console for managing all mobile devices.
After detecting a coordinated intrusion into their network, Evernote forced a system-wide password reset today. The attackers were able to access Evernote user information, which includes usernames, email addresses associated with Evernote accounts and encrypted passwords.
Open public Wi-Fi networks are still very common in coffee shops like Starbucks, public libraries and other common areas, yet using them can compromise the confidentiality of your communications. We do have many ways for you to protect yourself, some stronger than others.
It's easy to come up with scenarios in which mobile devices can compromise an organization. On the spectrum of real-world threats, these are almost all outliers. Probably the most important thing for you to do is to make sure all your SQL queries are parameterized. This will eliminate the most important mass-attack technique used against large companies.
Mozilla says that 'Content Is King' and 'The Web Is The Platform'. This strategy is an old and failed one. Apple briefly, and insincerely, tried it. The whole history of personal computing, let along the history of mobile devices, shows that he who takes maximum advantage of the capabilities of the platform wins the market.
Are you an MLB.TV subscriber? In past years they have always asked you to renew. Not anymore. Check your credit card.
myIDkey is a secure USB device that acts as a hardware password manager. The device authenticates the user with a fingerprint swipe. It talks Bluetooth to your mobile device and you talk to it to get it to display secured data such as passwords. But you can't buy it yet; today they launched on Kickstarter for funding.
Microsoft Office for iPad makes perfect sense if you think Surface and Windows 8 are losers and even Microsoft doesn't believe in them. It's way too early to give up on Microsoft's new operating system which works with tablets as well as conventional computers, and the mythical billions it could make with an Office for iPad would lose them far more by undercutting Windows.
How do security regression errors happen? The key to preventing new code from breaking old code is proper testing. Improved automated testing helped Mozilla to cut regressions caused by security patches. In the case of the iPhone 5 lock screen bypass, a hole in the test plan may be responsible.
The 128GB Surface Pro from Microsoft sold out mere hours after becoming available for purchase. The much-maligned 64GB version is available. Microsoft says that this model has 30GB, not 23GB of built-in storage free, and another analysis shows that the 128GB Surface Pro's free storage compares to that of Apple's MacBook Air.
The iWatch, or whatever Apple would call its "watch-like device," had better do something really clever and useful. The Dick Tracy watch has been attempted and laughed off the market before. Surely Apple is thinking of what to do beyond the phone and tablet, but it has to be better than this.
The failure by telco carriers and hardware OEMs to provide updates to the Android versions on their devices has kept a strong base of users of old versions. But the latest data from Google show that the current 4.x generation of Android is approaching 50% of users.
The official rollout isn't until later this week, but the Surface Pro is starting to show up in stores, online and brick&mortar.
Too many people won't give BlackBerry 10 a fair chance because they're emotionally invested in other platforms, probably the iPhone. Those people are doing themselves and their companies a disservice. Observed dispassionately, BlackBerry 10 appears to be a compelling phone platform for business users, and if BlackBerry has earned anything over the years, it's the right to be taken seriously in meeting business needs.
BlackBerry, the company now formerly known as RIM (Research In Motion), formally announced the new BlackBerry 10 platform today along with two phones to run it. The software on these phones is radically different from the old BlackBerry OS and from existing smartphone operating systems. But many important details - technical specs like battery life and availability in the US - are still missing or unclear.
A new 4th generation iPad with Retina Display will come with 128GB of flash storage.
Samsung, Apple and the other handset makers have been racing for years to add new, power-sucking features to their phones with no concern for the impact on battery life. Now that consumers are beginning to realize that last year's model is still pretty good, it's time for the industry to raise the energy efficiency standards from "good enough" to "much better."
Mozilla's Firefox OS is continuing on in development, and a significant milestone has been achieved: Mozilla has announced their Firefox OS developer preview phones. The phones are being developed by Geeksphone in partnership with Telefonica, a major Spanish broadband and telecom provider with worldwide operations, including the US.
The Apple rumor mill has been very accurate in recent times, but the latest stories of a 4.8 inch mega-iPhone. almost an iPhablet, don't sound right. With the iPhone 5 screen, Apple rejected the "bigger is better" school of smartphone design. Could they be changing their minds?
25 years from today, January 19, 2038, at 03:14:08 UTC, a lot of software will fail if it's not fixed, and some has already begun to fail. It's not worthy of Y2K-level panic, at least not yet, but there are still many examples of programs that won't work, and the ensuing problems are beginning to crop up on us. As with Y2K, nobody really knows the extent of the problem and we will learn as time goes by, but with any luck, it will be as big a disaster.
IT folks normally can't track or manage devices once they go out on the cellular networks, but now there is a service that makes it possible. NetMotion Wireless's Locality service reports back to IT where their users are, what they are running, the quality of their wireless service, and many other data points that are otherwise out of IT's reach.
Corporate and government customers are lining up to prepare for BlackBerry 10 devices, servers and services, according to a RIM spokesperson.
Windows RT devices, such as Microsoft's initial Surface, lack the manageability features available in business versions of Windows or the forthcoming Windows 8-based Surface Pro. The solution for such devices so far, as with the iPad, iPhone and other BYOD devices, has been MDM (Mobile Device Management). But while Microsoft says it's coming real soon now, the company has yet to document an MDM API for Windows RT devices. Unless you're using certain Microsoft products, they are unmanageable for
The iPhone may never have been the majority of the smartphone market in units, but Apple was clearly setting the pace and the terms of the market for years through innovation and brand dominance. These days are clearly over. Apple is still a big, powerful player, but in many ways it’s are on the defensive and will have to fight for customers just like everyone else.
MDM company SOTI Inc. has announced a major revision of their main product. MobiControl V10 goes beyond classic Mobile Device Management into EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) techniques, such as Web Filtering, Real Time Antivirus and Malware Protection, Telecom Expense Management, and a Secure Content Library.
The Finnish tech company sold 4.4 million Lumia Windows Phones in the 4th quarter, but more than twice that number of their lower-end, not as smart Asha phones based on their older Symbian operating system. The Asha competes with low-cost Android phones in emerging markets.
The iPhone 5 and earlier models are available without subsidy, but with no commitment and a subsidized credit plan. Straight Talk Wireless no-contract plans start at $45 for 30 days of unlimited talk, text and data.
Strong sales of the company's Windows Phone-based Lumia products and effective cost-cutting measures result in a small operating profit for their mobile phone unit.
Internet Explorer has made great strides in recent years and is now an excellent, very fast browser. Yet it still gets second-rate treatment from developers for whom IE has the taint of "uncool," and it has a small presence on mobile devices. Perhaps the best thing would be for Microsoft to throw in the towel on their Trident browser layout engine and adopt WebKit, the emerging de facto standard. There are also plenty of reasons not to switch browser layout engines.
Microsoft has sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses since the product's launch and users have downloaded 100 million apps from the Windows Store, according to a top Microsoft officer speaking at CES 2013 today.
A researcher has found a way to jailbreak a Microsoft Surface or other ARM-based Windows RT system. Research to find a reason to do so is a much harder task.
Google's failure to come clean about the Google Maps Mobile site's treatment of Windows Phone is an embarrassing spectacle. The company's various explanations for why Internet Explorer on Windows Phone cannot visit Google Maps don't survive any real scrutiny, and the truth appears to be unflattering.
[2 UPDATES] Google must actually be afraid of Windows Phone, Windows 8 and the Microsoft services associated with them. The threat these pose to Google is serious enough that it doesn't just ignore Windows 8/Phone, but take active measures to make them less usable. The market will speak on this before the FTC gets a chance to deal with it.
Armed robbers took advantage of New Years celebrations to attack a Paris Apple store, stealing up to $1.3 million (€1 million) in goods.
With just about a month to go until the rollout of BlackBerry 10, RIM is reaching out to customers and the public about how great it will be, hoping, no doubt, that customers will hold off buying an iPhone or Android phone or Windows Phone. BlackBerry 10 could be the great, ironic BYOD product of 2013.
The FCC will establish a regular process and rules for approval of Internet services (basically Wi-Fi) aboard aircraft. The agency says that current approval system is ad-hoc and requires too much time.
The Nokia Lumia 810 is an excellent, if not top-of-the-line Windows Phone available on T-Mobile. It's reasonably priced, has a top-notch camera and intriguing software, including two music apps that stream free tunes, "augmented reality" to show you what points of interest are right in front of you, and Nokia's highly-regarded maps. It also has a screen that's clearly a class or two below the best ones on the market, such as the iPhone 5. If you want a better screen on a Windows Phone, choose th
Phone prices are being aggressively lowered by Apple's competition and Apple appears to be responding with price cuts, something we haven't seen before. Never mind that excellent Android and Windows Phones can be had for a lot less than the iPhone's $199 with a 2 year plan; more and more users are opting for older and cheaper iPhone models. The bottom line of all this is that Apple's average selling price for an iPhone is going down.
The Great Firewall of China is increasingly effective in stopping anonymous VPN-based access in and out of the country after a recent upgrade, and now the government is considering another attempt to strengthen authentication of users before obtaining Internet connections. The proposed law is being cynically framed as a privacy protection measure. As offended as I am at the ideas behind these proposals, I'm confident that they can't be implemented practically.
Thinner, lighter iPad coming on accelerated schedule. A new iPad mini is also on the way with a Retina display and A6X processor.
Google and Motorola are trying to make the hottest phone on the market and running into the problems that kept everyone else from making such a phone, such as poor battery life. The way they're going about it suggests that Google does not have the clearest vision of what they want to do or how to do it.
A new research report shows Apple with a majority of the smartphone market in the United States, but lagging behind Samsung and other Android vendors abroad. In spite of U.S. dominance, Apple is allowing discounts to its newest iPhone. The same research shows Nokia's fortunes turning in Great Britain, although less so among younger buyers.
There are many more malware-infected Android devices out there than you might think. It's all because the Android ecosystem and Google Play store are more friendly to malware and exploits than iOS and the Apple App Store or Windows 8, Windows Phone and the Windows Store. There's some, but not much reason, to think things will improve for Android in the near future.
A serious vulnerability in the Android kernel for their Exynos processors in many of their phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S3, has been found by the Android hacking community. It may be used by any application to root (jailbreak) or unroot the device, brick it or even silently modify arbitrary memory or other applications.
Apple Needs To Cut The Patent Nonsense. If Apple really thinks they need to sue the competition out of the market then they must think they're in worse shape than anyone else thinks. Recent legal setbacks, including the reexamination by the US Patent and Trademark Office of the 'pinch and zoom' and other patents, have the potential to embarrass Apple severely and embolden the competition. Now's the time to scale back in their settlement negotiations.
An update to Windows Phone 8 should be out soon sporting messaging improvements, the ability to text replies to incoming callers, bandwidth-saving IE changes and favorite Wi-Fi connections, among other improvements not yet specified.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the jury finding against Samsung for violating Apple patents did not merit enjoining sale of the products, only 3 of which remain on sale in the United States.
Enterprises never adopt new Windows versions right after they ship, right? Times may have changed. IT may now have good reasons to move quickly with Windows 8, at least for some deployments.
RIM (Research In Motion) has announced that a BlackBerry 10 beta test program called the Technical Preview Program is beginning today for a select group of 120 enterprise and government customers.
Google is ending several services, including Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) for free users and Google Calendar Sync for all users. If you use an iPhone or iPad for free Google services like GMail you have some headaches ahead. Google is pushing you hard to abandon the Mail app and switch to the GMail app. If you use a Microsoft Surface for them then you have a big problem. This Google calls "Winter cleaning."
$127 gets you a 16GB iPhone 5 at certain Wal-Mart stores, but not online, for the next 30 days. The cut-rate strategy, arranged with Apple's cooperation, is in contrast to Apple's premium image. iPads are also on deep-discount.
A survey by IDC and tool company Appcelerator finds that most mobile developers are not 'very interested' in writing apps for Windows 8 or Windows Phone. Developer interest in Android, iOS and HTML5 remains strong.
RIM has announced that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will test BlackBerry 10 phones and management software in 2013.
It's been another big year for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and the consumerization of IT. Apple moved boldly forward and yet lost a step in both market share and esteem. Microsoft staked a claim in the tablet and phone markets. Android came to dominate the smartphone market and make tablet inroads. 4G and the cloud have become more common and big companies stepped in to take control of mobile security.
The evidence is pouring in that there will soon be a Microsoft Office of sorts on the iPad. Just remember, that Microsoft will never give Apple their cut through the app store, so look for Office for iPad to be a free gateway to some for-pay service.
Microsoft will increase production of Surface RT and expand distribution to new retailers. Currently the device is available only in Microsoft stores and their online store. The company will also extend the life of their holiday stores, making some permanent.
Today is Patch Tuesday and the first security vulnerability fix from Microsoft for the Surface running Windows RT is out. The bug is in Internet Explorer 10 and affects all other versions of IE on other platforms. Unlike other patches, the Surface version is available only via Windows Update.
Motorists in Australia have been mistakenly sent by Apple Maps into a remote and hot desert region with no food, water or cell phone reception.
A YouTube trailer from Samsung entitled "Get Ready" promises a significant announcement at CES in Las Vegas next month. What is it? A phone? A tablet? Not a clue, but "Get Ready."
Citrix will acquire mobile security company Zenprise, the two companies announced Wednesday. Zenprise is one of the largest mobile device management (MDM) software vendors. Citrix sells related technologies for mobile application management (MAM). Both sell document management products.
Android leads the smart phone market with a 68.3% share, followed by the iPhone at only 18.8%, according to IDC's quarterly worldwide mobile phone report. IDC forecasts similar numbers for 2016, but with Windows Phone picking up significant share.
A vulnerability in Twitter would allow spoofed posts to a user's account if the account were enabled for SMS updates. Twitter said Tuesday that users in the U.S. are not vulnerable and that users abroad who are should configure their accounts to require a PIN for SMS updates.
Windows 8 Desktop Mode is not usable on conventional desktops and notebooks, but the problem is clearly fixable and Microsoft will see the wisdom of this before too long. Close your eyes and imagine that it's well into 2013 and Microsoft is preparing their first update to Windows 8, in which they address widespread complaints about it.
A Sunday rumor, based on a job posting, led to speculation that Nokia was working on an Android phone. Nokia denies the rumor. The company has jumped into the Windows Phone pool and is focusing there.
Who invented texting? Who sent the first text and what did it say? Why 160 characters? These and more fun questions are answered on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the first short message service (SMS) text message.
You can now buy an iPhone 5 from Apple with no carrier contract committment. There is no CDMA support and what LTE support they have is unclear. The phone should work on AT&T and T-Mobile, but perhaps not on Verizon and Sprint.
A new Microsoft ad for Internet Explorer entitled "Do you know this guy?" shows an IE-hating, "IE Sucks"-tweeting, basement-dwelling techno-geek finally moved -- a little -- by the progress made by Microsoft's web browser.
The Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro from Microsoft will look like the ARM-based Surface RT, only slightly thicker and heavier. On the other hand, unlike the RT, it will be able to run existing Windows apps. It will start at $899 and be available in January. These tablets are based on Intel Ivy Bridge chips, and so do not have the superior battery life of ARM or Intel Clover Trail systems.
Users of Windows Phones prior to the new generation of devices will not be upgraded to the new operating system, Windows Phone 8. Instead, they will receive an update early next year that makes their OS look like Windows Phone 8, but not get any of the other new features.
Test lab AV-Test finds only 6 corporate antimalware / endpoint protection solutions for enterprises. By contrast, they count 60 consumer anti-virus products available and compatible with Windows 8, including some big names -- like Kaspersky, McAfee and Symantec -- not yet available in corporate editions.
The 822 is a second-tier model in Nokia's Windows Phone resurgence in the market. It's inexpensive and has a top-notch camera and intriguing software, like a music app that streams free tunes, "augmented reality" to show you what points of interest are right in front of you and Nokia's highly-regarded maps. It also has a display that's clearly a class or two below iPhone quality. If you want a much better screen, you might want to move up to AT&T's Nokia 920.
The carrier had blocked FaceTime over mobile data for users not on their Mobile Share plans, generating outrage among some users and activists. A report says that some users are seeing the feature turned on for them, but we confirm that not all users have this feature available now.
Microsoft's official support lifecycle for Surface with Windows RT hardware ends 4/11/2017. They have not yet announced the end of support for the Windows RT operating system on Surface and devices from Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba and other OEMs, nor for Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which is bundled with Surface RT. The support lifecycle for Intel-based Windows 8 is longer and more complicated.
It's way too early to declare Windows and Surface failures in the market, although it would be foolish to expect it to obviate Windows 7 any time soon, especially in business and double-especially on desktops. In the meantime, its job is to recover market share for Microsoft that has been lost to Apple iPads and Android tablets, and there's reason to believe it's doing that.
I've never liked my iPhone. Apple's restrictions on interface customization, storage expansion, hardware interfaces and the battery make the experience disappointing. Chalk most of these problems up to Apple's arrogant design philosophy and its desire to make as much money as possible.
Garage Band, Keynote, Numbers, iPhoto and others for Android were all apparently for sale in the Google Play store, but it was not to be. The programs were fake and have been removed by Google.
Online backup services such as Carbonite, Acronis, IDrive and Mozy might be a bad deal for some users when compared to cloud storage services Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft Skydrive. The former usually just backs up files; the latter does backs up files and also gives you working access to them.
The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are investigating the use of patent-holding firms by tech companies to sue competitors. Many big companies, such as Apple, Sony, Nokia, Cisco, RIM and Microsoft, have been caught up in suits by such "patent trolls."
After the disastrous debut of Apple Maps on the iPhone 5, demand is sure to be high for the return of a Google Maps app on iOS.
The Mobile Device Management (MDM) industry is surely worried about the implications of Good Technology asserting their foundational mobile security patents. MobileIron and AirWatch may be big deals in MDM, but there are some much bigger companies -- Apple and Samsung are two -- who could get tied up in this in a really nasty way.
RIM has added a free voice chat service to the next version of their popular BlackBerry Messenger service. BBM Voice users will be able to make free voice calls over Wi-Fi connections to other BBM users. The new feature is part of BBM version 7, announced today, and currently in beta test.
A security vulnerability in Skype, in use for 2 months, allowed an attacker to hijack a Skype account if they knew the email address of the user. Skype has temporarily disabled the feature which allowed the attack.
The resignation of Microsoft Windows president Steven Sinofsky raises many questions about a platform that is going through perhaps its most radical changes ever. Is Microsoft unhappy with his work on Windows 8 and Surface? Or is this just a personal career move for Sinofsky?