Facebook and Apple take top spot for encrypted IM [Portfolio]

Facebook Messenger has become omni-present in the lives of one billion people, and despite concerns over the years about what information it might be gathering from users, a report recently released by Amnesty International found it to be highly secure.

The human rights organization also found that Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage also excelled in terms of security, while other commonly-used messaging applications didn’t make the grade, including – and somewhat surprisingly – Blackberry’s BBM. Even as the popularity of its hardware dimmed, Blackberry had a reputation for strong security. However, Amnesty said that it is not taking the basic steps necessary to guarantee user privacy, along with more popular messaging services such as Snapchat and Microsoft’s Skype. Blackberry and China-based Tencent brought up the rear with Google landing in the middle.

Read my full article on ITBusiness.ca.

RONNIEE Card Shares Memory Across Networks [Portfolio]

EE TimesStartup A3Cube recently announced a new network interface card, dubbed RONNIEE Express, designed to eliminate the I/O performance gap between CPU power and data access performance for datacenters, big data, and high-performance computing applications. The company said that by turning PCI Express into an intelligent network fabric, it can exceed existing networking technologies such as Ethernet, InfiniBand, and Fibre Channel, and improve memory latencies. Read my full story on EE Times.

EE Times Roundup: Next Generation Memory [Portfolio]

EE TimesThere are a number of next generation memory technologies on the horizon that hold great promise to meet the evolving needs of consumer devices and enterprise storage systems and applications. Some have been in development for a number of years, and are close to a critical turning point that will see them widely adopted. Here’s a few that merit watching in the next year, including several DRAM alternatives. Read my full article on EE Times.

DDR4 Gets Update Before Getting Much Uptake [Portfolio]

EE TimesDepending on who you talk to, DDR4 memory may be available now, this spring, or not until the end of the 2014. Companies such as Samsung and SK Hynix began manufacturing their first DDR4 chips in early 2011, prior to the release of the JEDEC DDR4 DRAM standard in September 2012, and there are offerings out on the market available to design engineers. Micron-owned memory maker Crucial, for example, initially announced plans to sell DDR4 as early as December, but now commercial availability of its new DDR4 modules is not expected until the spring. Read my full article on EE Times.

Networking 2014: Putting SDN To The Test [Portfolio]

Network ComputingIncreased data center virtualization will drive enterprises to develop software-defined networking pilot projects in 2014, and network security will remain a priority as organizations grapple with the BYOD trend, experts said.

Infonetics Research’s “2013 Data Center and SDN Strategies: North American Enterprise Survey” found that respondents expect more than half of the servers in their data centers will be virtualized by 2015, and this uptake of virtual servers as well as switches will pave the way for SDN. Read my full article on Network Computing.

DDR4 Gets Update Before Getting Much Uptake [Portfolio]

EE TimesDepending on who you talk to, DDR4 memory may be available now, this spring, or not until the end of the 2014. Companies such as Samsung and SK Hynix began manufacturing their first DDR4 chips in early 2011, prior to the release of the JEDEC DDR4 DRAM standard in September 2012, and there are offerings out on the market available to design engineers. Micron-owned memory maker Crucial, for example, initially announced plans to sell DDR4 as early as December, but now commercial availability of its new DDR4 modules is not expected until the spring. Read my full article on EE Times.

Software-Defined Networking Market to Soar to $2B….But Not Yet [Portfolio]

Over at Network Computing, I write about the potential market for software-defined networking:

Software-defined networking (SDN) is poised for rapid growth and has the potential to solve specific business problems for enterprise networks–but it’s still early days for the technology, analysts caution.

IDC predicts software-defined networking will grow from a $200 million market in 2013 to $2 billion by 2016. The primary driver for the growth is highly virtualized network environments, and customers who need programmable networks, says Lee Doyle, group vice president, networking and security at IDC. “Customers have always wanted to tune the network, but network management tools have been poor or non-existent.” [Read the full article…]

Gary Hilson is a writer, editor and digital media specialist for hire. He lives in Toronto.

Resource Management Tools Dominate at Best of Interop Awards [Portfolio]

This year’s winners of InformationWeek Reports’ Best of Interop Awards highlight the need for resource management tools, particularly for virtualized environments.

NEC Corporation of America’s ProgrammableFlow Controller, the PF6800, was awarded Best of Interop Overall. V3 Systems garnered Best Startup for its V3 Optimized Desktop Allocation product, which improves availability of virtualized desktop infrastructures (see “Innovative Tools Help NEC, V3 Take Top Honors at Best of Interop”). NEC’s PF6800 also won the Management, Monitoring and Testing category. [Full story]

Gary Hilson is a writer, editor and digital media specialist for hire. He lives in Toronto.