LJ Archive

New Products

James Gray

Issue #259, November 2015

EXIN Specialist Certificate in OpenStack Software Neutron

Building on its successful foundational certificate in OpenStack software, the independent certification institute EXIN recently released its first specialist exam in the series, dubbed EXIN Specialist Certificate in OpenStack Software Neutron. Neutron is a cloud-networking controller within the OpenStack cloud computing initiative that delivers networking as a service. This new advanced exam is aimed at experienced users of OpenStack technology who design or build infrastructure. The vendor-neutral content, which was developed in close cooperation with Hewlett-Packard, covers architecture, plug-ins and extensions, managing networks, and troubleshooting methodology and tools. EXIN's mission with the new exam on Neutron is to enable experienced professionals to advance their careers by demonstrating their specialist skills and knowledge related to OpenStack software. In 2016, EXIN expects to launch certifications for OpenStack Software Swift and Cinder.


TeamQuest's Performance Software

Carrying the simple moniker Performance Software, the latest innovation in predictive analytics from TeamQuest is a powerful application that enables organizations to assess intuitively the health and potential risks in their IT infrastructure. The secret to Performance Software's ability to warn IT management of problems before they occur stems from the deployment of lightning-fast and accurate predictive algorithms, coupled with the most popular IT data sources, including Amazon, Tivoli and HP. Customers also can perform data collection, analysis, predictive analytics and capacity planning for Ubuntu. TeamQuest calls itself the first organization that allows the existing infrastructure to remain entirely intact and augments the existing environment's operations with the industry-leading accurate risk assessment software. The firm also asserts that while competitors base their predictive and proactive capabilities on simplistic approximations of how IT infrastructure scales, only TeamQuest utilizes advanced queuing theory to predict what really matters—throughput and response time—not just resource utilization.


Linaro Ltd.'s Secure Media Solutions for ARM-Based SoCs

The embedded developer community is the target audience for Linaro Ltd.'s new open-source secure media solution for consumption of premium content on ARM-powered devices. In this solution, with support from Microsoft and the OpenCDM project, Linaro has successfully integrated several security features required by premium content service providers with the Microsoft PlayReady Digital Rights Management (DRM). Linaro's new solution enables application developers, silicon partners, OEMs, operators and content owners to use open-source technology to build feature-rich, secure products for the pay TV market. By bringing together all of the essential secure hardware and software elements into an open-source design, OEMs can reduce their time to market and provide new opportunities for service providers to deliver premium content across more consumer devices built on ARM-based SoCs. Essential security features include the World Wide Web Consortium's Encrypted Media Extensions, which enable premium-content service providers to write their electronic programming guide applications using standard HTML5 one time and run it on myriad devices. Linaro asserts that its new solution is “a key milestone that showcases how Microsoft PlayReady DRM works cross-platform in a standard way”.


iWedia's Teatro-3.0

By integrating AllConnect streaming technology from Tuxera, iWedia's Teatro-3.0 set-top box (STB) software solution lets users take full control of the connected home and share music, photos, videos, movies and TV content to any screen. Teatro-3.0 is Linux-based with a UI built with HTML/CSS and specific JavaScript APIs allowing access to digital TV features. The solution features DLNA (player and renderer), access to “walled garden” Web and OTT video services (CE-HTML portals, HbbTV applications), as well as DVR and Time Shift Buffer. The streaming functionality occurs when Tuxera's AllConnect App discovers and dialogs with the DLNA Digital Media Renderer embedded in Teatro-3.0. The app then streams any content chosen by the user to the Teatro-3.0 media player. iWedia states that its STB easily can integrate into any hardware or software and is “the only solution to the market compatible with all smart TVs and STBs”, including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV and Roku.


Mike Barlow's Learning to Love Data Science (O'Reilly Media)

The title of Mike Barlow's new O'Reilly book, Learning to Love Data Science, implies an inherent drudgery in the material. Bah! Most Linux enthusiasts will find magnetic the material in Barlow's tome, which is subtitled Explorations of Emerging Technologies and Platforms for Predictive Analytics, Machine Learning, Digital Manufacturing and Supply Chain Optimization. Covering data for social good to data for predictive maintenance, the book's format is an anthology of reports that offer a broad overview of the data space, including the applications that have arisen in enterprise companies, non-profits and everywhere in between. Barlow discusses—for both developers and suits—the culture that creates a data-driven organization and dives deeply into some of the business, social and technological advances brought about by our ability to handle and process massive amounts of data at scale. Readers also will understand how to promote and use data science in an organization, gain insights into the role of the CIO and explore the tension between securing data and encouraging rapid innovation, among other topics.


Scott Stawski's Inflection Point (Pearson FT Press)

If you can't beat megatrends, join 'em. Such is the advice from Scott Stawski, author of the new book Inflection Point: How the Convergence of Cloud, Mobility, Apps, and Data Will Shape the Future of Business. As the executive lead for HP's largest and most strategic global accounts, Stawski enjoys an enviable perch from which to appraise the most influential trends in IT. Today a hurricane is forming, says Stawski, and businesses are headed straight into it. As the full title implies, the enormous disrupters in IT—in cloud, mobility, apps and data—are going to disrupt, and those who can harness the fierce winds of change will have them at their back and cruise toward greater competitiveness and customer value. Stawski illuminates how to go beyond inadequate incremental improvements to reduce IT spending dramatically and virtually eliminate IT capital expenditures. One meaningful step at a time, readers learn how to transform Operational IT into both a utility and a true business enabler, bringing new speed, flexibility and focus to what really matters: true core competencies.


Introversion Software's Prison Architect

In one of its Alpha videos, the lead developer of the game Prison Architect quipped: “since this is Introversion Software that we're talking about, we're likely to be in Alpha for quite some time.” That's no exaggeration. Since 2012, Linux Journal received 36 monthly Alpha updates to the multi-platform game. In its 36th Alpha video, Introversion Software at last officially announced the full release of Prison Architect, a sim game in which users build and manage a maximum-security penitentiary facility. In the game, mere mortals must confront real-world challenges, such as guards under attack, prison breaks, fires in the mess hall, chaplain management and much more. Introversion takes pride in its independence from other game developers and promises a better game experience as a result. In addition to downloading Prison Architect for Linux, Windows or Mac OS, one also can become immortalized in the game as a prisoner. Sadly, the options to digital-immorto-criminalize your face or design one of the wardens are both sold out.


Sensoray's Model 2224 HD/SD-SDI Audio/Video Encoder

Video capturing and processing is what Sensoray's new Model 2224 HD/SD-SDI Audio/Video H.264 Encoder was built to do. The encoder's single SDI input supports a wide range of video resolutions—that is, 1080p, 1080i, 720p and NTSC/PAL. The Model 2224, featuring a USB 2.0 connection to its host CPU, offers excellent quality encoding in a convenient small form factor, says Sensoray. The Model 2224 encoder outputs H.264 High Profile Level 4 for HD and Main Profile Level 3 for SD, multiplexed in MPEG-TS (transport stream) format. The board's versatile overlay generators, integral HD/SD raw frame grabber and live preview stream make it ideally suited for a wide range of video processing applications, including High Profile DVRs, NVRs and stream servers. Furthermore, the encoder is Blu-Ray-compatible and allows for full-screen 16-bit color text/graphics overlay with transparency. The board can send an uncompressed, down-scaled video stream over USB, offering users low-latency live video previewing on the host computer with minimal CPU usage.


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