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New Products

The Linux Professional Institute's Linux Essentials Program

With youth unemployment around the world holding at crisis levels, the new Linux Essentials Program from The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) couldn't come at a more auspicious time. The new certification program, consisting of an exam and Certificate of Achievement, introduces new users and youth to Linux and open-source software. The program's main topics include the Linux Community, careers in open source, popular operating systems, important applications, licensing issues and the basics of the command line, files and scripts. Other program elements include regional links to employment and apprenticeship programs; support for skills competitions, such as Worldskills International; and support for teacher collaboration and sharing of learning exercises. A “low-stakes” exam is available on-line either through the LPI or Internet-based testing via partners. Linux Essentials currently is available at select LPI affiliate locations and IT events in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Sara Baase's A Gift of Fire, 4th ed. (Prentice Hall)

During its relatively brief history, our dynamic Linux Community has had an outsized interest in and influence on the public dialogue concerning the role technology in society. An outlet for us Linuxers to scratch our inner philosophical itch is to chew on the ideas found in the new 4th edition of Sara Baase's book A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing Technology. As indicated by the title, Baase's work explores the social, legal, philosophical, ethical, political, constitutional and economic implications of computing and the controversies they raise. With a computer scientist's perspective, and with historical context for many issues, Baase covers the issues we face both as members of a technological society and as professionals in computer-related fields. Baase's primary goal is to encourage current and future computer professionals to understand the implications of what they create and how it fits into society at large.


Brian W. Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman's Team Geek (O'Reilly Media)

People are rational and predictable. [Editor's note: Let's try that again.] Sometimes people can be irrational and unpredictable. As a trained software engineer, you're probably a whiz with computer languages, compilers, debuggers and algorithms. But how much real training did you get in dealing with the human side of software development? If your answer is a predictable “not much”, crack open Brian W. Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman's new book Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others. Authors Fitzpatrick and Collins-Sussman, producers of the popular video series, “Working with Poisonous People”, cover the basic patterns and anti-patterns for working with other people, teams and users while trying to develop software. Readers learn how to deal with imperfect people and discover why playing well with others is at least as important as having great technical skills. By internalizing the techniques in this book, publisher O'Reilly says that readers will get more software written, be more influential and happier in their careers.



Enterprises frequently experience a gulf between managerial needs and the ability of the human resources department to deliver appropriate talent to address those needs. “Problem solved”, says TalentSoft, thanks to the new TS Spring'12 release of its SaaS-based Integrated Talent and Competencies Management application, which now incorporates the best social networks practices into its collaborative talent management solution. Employees gain control over their careers; managers benefit from greater autonomy, and HR managers increase their productivity by focusing on high value-added tasks. TS Spring'12 adds two new core features: TS SocialConnect and TS TalentOffice. TS SocialConnect is a solution that helps employers leverage more than 300 social networks toward strengthening brands and attracting the best profiles. TS TalentOffice allows HR departments to draw upon their existing resources to generate customized spreadsheet-based reports and word-processing documents.


Logic Supply's LGX CT100 Open Chassis

Logic Supply designed the new LGX CT100 Open Chassis to solve the space and installation challenges involved with securing Mini-ITX (or 3.5") mainboards and other system components within larger enclosures, such as cabinets and kiosks. The CT100 is a “case option” designed to be an open mounting plate solution fitting into an existing electrical cabinet, kiosk or piece of manufacturing equipment. The result, says Logic Supply, is a compact, enclosure-free home for all the IT equipment with the benefit of convenient accessibility to those who need to maintain the IT over time. Absence of physical enclosure means that many different system configurations are available and the full range of Mini-ITX and 3.5" motherboards and power-supply options are supported. Logic Supply also designed the CT100 with bench-top configuration testing in mind: it holds all parts safely during system debugging and prototyping. A range of mounting provisions are available, with only a DIN rail or screw studs required for attachment of the plate to the enclosure.


Belongs Inc.'s Belon.gs Global Lost & Found Service

Losing stuff has long been accepted as a frustrating yet quintessential part of the universal human condition. A team of resourceful Finns—and who loves resourceful Finns more than we do?—is launching the Belon.gs Global Lost & Found Web and mobile service to help unfortunate folks worldwide recover lost important belongings. To utilize the service, customers register at Belon.gs and attach QR code tag stickers to their valuables. If an item should go missing, the finder can scan the tag's QR code with a smartphone or access the Web address on the tag. The owner is automatically notified and anonymous chat is established between the two parties to arrange the return of the lost item. To promote the returning of valuables, Belon.gs supports setting rewards for found items through PayPal, and the Belongs technology will streamline the transfer of the reward from owner to finder. The aforementioned Finns envision a better world with Belong.gs—a world without the unnecessary grief that comes from losing your valuables.


Cryptzone's AppGate MOVE

James Bond would effortlessly foil many a cyber threat if Q would slip him an AppGate MOVE (My Own Virtual Environment) from Cryptzone, a USB Flash drive that provides a portable way to access information and applications securely from virtually any computer. By working independently of the host device's operating system, the bootable AppGate MOVE allows secure remote working and eliminates risk from malware infection. Cryptzone says that the trend for increased telecommuting calls for a low-cost solution that allows for trusted access to corporate information from an untrusted computer at home or in a public space. Working in combination with an AppGate Security Server, this drive contains a full operating system, the AppGate client, a Web browser, a Microsoft-compatible Office Suite, e-mail client, a firewall and other applications required to complete daily tasks. There is no need for an expensive, dedicated corporate laptop. AppGate MOVE allows users to work securely because the configuration of the PC is irrelevant and untouched. Because the local PC hard drive is not used, no residue or evidence is left when the session to the AppGate server is closed. The AppGateUSB Factory allows production of unlimited copies of AppGate MOVE.



Multiple Web browsers are convenient for users but can be a nightmare for developers, who historically have had to create extensions according to each browser's unique requirements. A new company, Crossrider, with its eponymous, cloud-based cross-browser extension development platform, seeks to make life more pleasant for extension developers. Crossrider lets developers create cross-browser extensions quickly with a single JavaScript code and publish to potentially millions of end users immediately. All major browsers are supported, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. The platform also provides the tools needed to build and manage apps, including JQuery support, a powerful API and app-boosting Crossrider plugins, which allow developers to create custom code to extend the Crossrider API and enable code sharing within the Crossrider developer community. Crossrider also features a cloud-based IDE that allows developers to create extensions in real time without downloading a development package. The IDE is equipped with IntelliSense to enable autocompletion for all Crossrider API methods. Tools for monetizing and tracking extensions also are included in the platform.


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