In a bid to earn more money from small businesses, Google is lowering the cap on the free version of Google Apps from 50 users to 10 users.
Customers will also get a new monthly payment option, echoing Microsoft’s similar small business pricing plan for Office 365, although the Google offering is slightly cheaper.
Google announced the changes to Apps for Business pricing on Tuesday:
New apps customers will have to begin paying for the service at 10 users. Existing Apps customers are grandfathered in to the old plan, and can add up to 50 users without having to pay. (Google Apps for Education is still free with no limit on users.)
Customers who sign up online can buy a new flexible pricing plan at $5 per user per month. (Microsoft charges $6 per user per month for the cheapest tier of Office 365.) The new plan could save some companies money if they downsize or remove Apps users during the year. However, assuming usage remains stable, the annual plan of $50 per user per year is a slightly better deal.
Google has also introduced a new set-up wizard that will reduce setup time to less than an hour, and is planning to introduce a sign-up page that will take “minutes.”
We haven’t heard a ton about the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (or UEFI for short) since a rumor cropped up back in June suggesting that MSI would be introducing it on its Sandy Bridge motherboards, but Swedish website SweClockers has now actually gotten it hands on a motherboard with working version of the BIOS-replacing firmware, and delivered our first real look at it. The biggest difference, as you can see, is a significantly more user-friendly interface, but there’s also a few other considerable advantages over a standard BIOS, including faster boot times and the ability to boot from drives bigger than 2TB. Head on past the break to check it out in action, in Swedish.
China has unveiled the Tianhe-1A which is now the worlds fastest super computer.
The best part of this machine is it is made out of mostly consumer grade materials. Consisting of 7,168 NVIDIA Tesla M2050 GPUs and 14,336 Intel Xeon CPUs consuming 4.04 megawatts of power this machine can hit a whopping 2.507 petaflops.
No sooner does Apple release some news than scores of manufacturers roll out some must-have accessories to compliment the new arrivals. Last week amongst all the exciting new from Apple came the announcement that the Magic Trackpad, released mid-summer, will have a more dominant role in human-computer interaction, with news of Mac OS X Lionâ€™s adoption of iPhone-type touch scrolling.
The design of the Patent Pending BulletTrain Express Aluminum Keyboard is based on a laptop keyboard with trackpad and is an anodized piece of aluminum designed to fit with the Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard (latest model, without numeric keypad) and the Apple Bluetooth Wireless Magic Trackpad. The assembled trio looks tidy and can be easily stowed away. The product claims to be more ergonomic than regular keyboard use, due to its built-in wrist-rest, and hails the merits of killing the mouse.
Some other key features include compatibility with the iPad and the ability to use the BulletTrain Express Platform as a remote control if you have an Apple Home Theater. Available for $99 at BulletTrain
Only one place in the US can boast of having access to a 10Gbps symmetrical fiber-optic FiOS connection: the Elks Lodge in Taunton, Mass.
Verizon dropped by the Elks hall this week to test its fiber optic network with some new XG-PON2 tech at either end of the line. The special Optical Network Terminal (ONT) installed at the Elks can offer 10 separate gigabit Ethernet links or one dedicated 10G connection. To make the field test work, Verizon used the dedicated 10G connection and hooked it up to a standard PC containing a 10G Ethernet card; a similar computer was at the other end of the link in the company’s switching facility in Taunton. (Current FiOS GPON tech can reach 2.4Gbps, though that is split between all houses on the local node.)
When everything was in place, the team started transferring huge files over the new connection. A 2.3GB demo movie took a mere four seconds to copy, and the full 10G speed was available in both directions (Verizon has already done field tests of asymmetrical 10G over fiber).
Video of the Elks field test (source: Verizon)
Don’t expect to install this in your home anytime soon. The field test used “prestandard” gear from Alactel-Lucent and was more a proof-of-concept than anything else. Still, it handily demonstrated that while DSL may have a surprising amount of life left in it, it’s simply not in any position to compete with fiber on speeds in the long term.
Why does making the test symmetrical matter? “As more businesses adopt FiOS, we are expecting new applications to drive our customers’ upstream bandwidth usage on the wireline network,” said Verizon’s Vincent O’Byrne. “While the bandwidth demand today is highly asymmetric, applications such as telemedicine, remote file storage and backups, video hosting, remote computing and other cloud-based services, to name a few, will drive up the upstream bandwidth demand over our network.”
A new trojan horse has cropped up that affects Mac OS X (and Windows as well), primarily disguised as a video flitting around social networking sites. When users click an infected link, a Java applet is launched that downloads multiple files, including an installer that runs automatically without users’ knowledge.
The Trojan, dubbed trojan.osx.boonana.a by security firm SecureMac, appears as a message on social networking sites such as Facebook that reads, “Is this you in this video?” When the user clicks the link, a Java applet runs, allowing the system to download several files and install a program that can bypass the usual password verification OS X requires for installation.
The malware launches automatically on startup, communicates with command and control servers, and can also crack user accounts on other sites to continue to spread itself as spam.
SecureMac asserts that because the initial phase of the trojan runs on Java, it can spread itself to both Mac OS X and Windows. SecureMac doesn’t say explicitly how it differs on Windows, only that the payload includes “other files” that are directed at Windows.
Disabling Java in your browser can help you avoid infection, but the problem is solved easily enoughâ€”don’t click shady links. For those already under Boonana’s spell, though, SecureMac has created a free removal tool. The company also reminds Mac users that as Apple’s market share grows, they need to be mindful of increased attention from hackers.
These days many consumers and enthusiasts are looking for massive storage capacities, and for more than a year the largest capacity desktop hard drive that you could buy was 2TB. All that changed today when Western Digital announced the world’s first 3.0 Terabyte drive that is available for internal desktop use! These massive drives offer plenty of capacity for storage-intensive programs and space-hungry operating systems, like Windows 7 x64, with plenty of room left over for photos, music, and HD video content. It also makes perfect sense to use as a storage drive on a system that uses a Solid-State Drive (SSD) as the primary drive. The vast majority of SSDs are under 256GB, so it makes sense to have a nice storage drive to keep all that data you don’t need to open often. Another market that has been craving larger drives is network storage. These new 3TB drives offer 50% more storage capacity than anything on the market today, so that will greatly expand what can be stored on a NAS.
WD states that with a 3TB hard drive you can store the following:
* Up to 600,000 10MP digital photos
* Up to 750,000 4min long 128 kbps songs (MP3)
* Up to 75,000 4 min long songs (uncompressed CD quality)
* Up to 230 hours of Digital Video (DV) at 13 GB/hr
* Up to 1,150 hours of DVD quality video at 2.597 GB/hr
* Up to 360 hours of HD video at 8.3 GB/hr
As expected with the notification of the Kindle being on short supply, it has been announced that Amazon will be releasing a new Kindle on August 27th. The new Kindle is priced at $139 for a Wi-Fi only model, and $189 for a Wi-Fi with 3G. Both models will be on sale August 27th.