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New Products

The Tails Project's The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails)

Making delirious dictators worldwide quake in their boots, the Tails Project recently announced numerous improvements to its anonymity-obsessed Linux distro, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, aka Tails. Now in version 0.7, Tails is the spiritual successor of the well-known Incognito Live System and is developed with the support of the Tor Project, an onion routing project originally developed to protect US military communications. The live distro, which runs on any PC powerful enough to run Windows XP, is based on Debian Live and runs directly from CD and/or USB Flash memory. No trace is left after using Tails, thanks to many features, such as independent operation of all software and all hardware drivers from the PC's operating system, no permanent data storage and all the channeling of all Internet connections through the Tor anonymization network. “With Tails”, say the distro developers, “we provide a tongue and a pen protected by state-of-the-art cryptography to guarantee...basic human rights and allow journalists worldwide to work and communicate freely and without fear of reprisal.” The journalists of these pages humbly salute the valiant effort.


Rectiphy's ActiveImage Protector

From the ticker at the storage desk comes news from Rectify, announcing the new version 3.0 of the company's ActiveImage Protector (AIP) live data management backup solution for physical machines and virtual environments. Key new features in AIP V3.0 include disk-to-disk copy, bad-sector skipping and the ability to restore image files to new virtual or physical locations. AIP's Smart Sector Technology enhancements now enable the backup of Linux partitions (in Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 formats) from Windows. AIP Linux Edition now also supports hot imaging of a Linux server hard disk or volume. Rectify's ActiveImage Protector Family of backup solutions includes Server, Desktop, Hyper-V with ReZoom, Linux, Virtual Environment and IT Pro editions.


Tony Mullen's Introducing Character Animation with Blender, 2nd Edition (Sybex)

Blender is one of the slickest, most powerful, open-source 3-D graphics programs out there, and if you're ready to scale the learning curve toward mastery of animation, get your hands on Tony Mullen's Introducing Character Animation with Blender, now in its 2nd edition from Sybex. Written in a friendly but professional tone, with clear descriptions and numerous illustrative screenshots, the book's tutorials focus on how to accomplish actual animation goals, while illustrating the necessary technical methods along the way. These are reinforced by clear descriptions of how each specific aspect of Blender works and fits together with the rest of the package. By following all the tutorials, readers will gain all the skills necessary to build and animate well-modeled, fully rigged characters of their own. A full-color gallery includes sample characters and frames from animations by many of the Blender community's most talented artists, which help to illustrate the impressive potential of the software.


James Turnbull and Jeffrey McCune's Pro Puppet (Apress)

If you've mastered the basics of the popular, open-source Puppet configuration management tool, you might be inclined to delve into James Turnbull and Jeffrey McCune's Pro Puppet, an in-depth guide to installing, using and developing Puppet. The book, published by Apress, is a comprehensive follow-up to the publisher's previous and more introductory title Pulling Strings with Puppet. Puppet provides a way to automate everything from user management to server configuration. Besides exploring the essentials, readers will learn how to create Puppet recipes, extend Puppet, automate tasks, learn insider tricks and use Facter to gather configuration data from servers.


Eaton Corporation's Eaton 5PX UPS

Eaton Corporation recently unveiled its new Eaton 5PX UPS, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that allows for energy metering down to the outlet segment level, a feature that the company calls an industry first. The feature enables IT managers not only to control individual power outlets or groups of outlets across the network, but also to track and reduce the power consumption of the protected servers and other IT equipment. In addition, the 5PX provides 28% more wattage than a traditional UPS, allowing IT managers to protect a greater number of devices. Virtualization strategies are supported via seamless integration with Eaton's Intelligent Power Software Suite. The device is targeted at small- to medium-business data centers.


Zorin PC

After waiting like Job for the pre-installed Linux machines we deserved, we've arrived at a literal Garden of Eden full of worthy choices. A compelling new offering is the Zorin PC, a new mini-laptop that runs its own Linux distro, Zorin OS. On the hardware side, the Zorin PC's sexy selling point is its rotatable touchscreen display, which allows one to use the device as a regular laptop, a tablet device, an e-reader or a media center. The display rotates 180°, allowing one to share pictures or videos with friends. Folding it down as a tablet makes it feel like an Amazon Kindle. The touchscreen uses digitizer technology, which lets one take handwritten notes. On the software side, one can order a Windows 7/Zorin OS dual-boot option, the latter of which comes in Home, Educational and Business editions. A software repository is included for installing tons of additional software programs.


Camptocamp's Geolocation Component for OpenERP

Not only are maps cool and intuitive, they are—thanks to Camptocamp—a new geographic business intelligence tool in the OpenERP suite of business applications. Camptocamp's Geolocation Component for OpenERP allows users to place simple marks, graphs and colors by geographical area, calculate distances and surfaces, analyze sales figures by specified geographic area, optimize and visualize logistical flows, manage fleets and provide map data for other components of OpenERP.


Opsview Enterprise

The list of reasons to eschew proprietary monitoring applications just grew longer with the 3.12 release of Opsview Enterprise, an Nagios-based enterprise IT monitoring platform. The system helps organizations monitor their physical and virtual infrastructure, both on-premise and in the cloud. Opsview's automated configuration reduces deployment times, and its improved graphical interface provides organizations with a better single view of their entire IT environment. The upgraded edition of Opsview includes features such as improved cluster monitoring, Rest API, SUSE Linux support, SNMP aggregation and greater visibility and faster access.


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