With XenClient 5, which was code-named Thunder if you follow such things, all of the user profile data for XenClient instances and for hosted images in XenDesktop are shared, and you can even store personal data in a ShareFile repository or use the Citrix User Profile Manager to coordinate data exchange between the two virtualized environments. And now, you can bop back and forth between XenClient on your PC and a XenDesktop hosted image in a transparent fashion, with all of your apps and data coming with you.The use of Personal vDisk with XenClient allows for the hosted operating system image to be separated from the application layer, just as is currently possible with XenDesktop. What this means is that end users can install their own applications in a layer on the local image on the XenClient hypervisor and in the event that it is corrupted by malware, then XenDesktop admins can reach in and nuke that layer.The rest of the operating system image running in XenClient remains unaffected and secure, and all that end users have to do is reinstall their own apps. The underlying operating system image remains a gold one maintained by and secured by XenClient and XenDesktop working together.The management of data and profiles across XenClient and XenDesktop are now unified, but administration of the XenClient and XenDesktop images is still done through separate tools. Sao says that customers have not been clamoring for an integrated management tool, but it is something that Citrix is working on.
XenClient is a bare-metal hypervisor and it has been tested on 345 different PCs. Version 5.0 runs on the latest Haswell Core processors from Intel and has been certified to run on Windows Server 2012.Citrix says XenClient 5.0 supports higher resolution Windows 8 instances and instances that can drive multiple monitors. You can also deploy Windows 7-alike images using the Aero skinning feature of Windows 8 and XenClient won't get confused.There is a variant of XenClient, called XT and currently at the 3.1 release, that only installs on Intel vPro clients and makes use of hardware security features in the vPro platform – trusted execution being the main one – to provide an even more ruggedized hypervisor environment for a PC image to run on. The current XenClient 3.1 has been tweaked to support Intel's Ivy Bridge Core processors and will presumably be updated to Haswell chips soon.You can buy XenClient 5.0 as a standalone product if you want to. It costs $175 for the license plus $39 for the tech support contract. But XenClient is also bundled into the XenDesktop Enterprise stack, which is a Swiss army knife of desktop and app virtualization. XenDesktop Enterprise costs $225 per seat. You might as well spend the extra $9 and get everything.
WeWi Telecommunications has built what it claims is the world’s first “fully solar-powered laptop”, which it says never needs to be juiced up at the mains.The SOL, a solar-powered Ubuntu machine on the Canadian telco’s blog here, is billed as “the all-terrain, off-road, sport-utility laptop.”SOL is for when you need to be “digitally empowered on the top of a mountain or in the middle of the desert” according to the David-Attenborough-inspired promo video.The SOL is ruggedised laptop running Intel and the Ubuntu Linux distro. The device comes with different I/O slots, presumably so you customise to the max. You get eight to 10 hours battery life on solar power - or at least you can once the machine's three solar panels are deployed. It takes them just two hours to charge. You can read the full specs here.The machine comes pre-loaded with productivity and creativity tools. WeWi’s site doesn’t say what these are, but it’s likely LibreOffice that comes with Ubuntu. Price is expected at $300.
Despite what WeWi says, there have been solar-powered PCs before – there was the NC215 from Samsung albeit a netbook. But that was running Windows 7 Starter, and took two hours charging to producw one hour's runtime. This is certainly the first Ubuntu - if not first Linux - laptop powered by solar juice. Beg to differ? The comments are below. Apple has been granted a patent for a projector technology that uses a mash-up of laser and incandescent light sources, which the patent document says could be used not only in standalone projectors, but could also be scaled down to pico-projector size for use in a laptop, smartphone, or other handheld device.US Patent 8,502,926, Display system having coherent and incoherent light sources, was filed on September 30, 2009, and granted on Tuesday.This is not the only pico-projector patent that Apple has in the works at the US Patent and Trademark Office. In February 2010 it filed a patent application, Projected Display Shared Workspaces, which was published in August 2011. That filing, however, focused on how laptops, smartphones, and tablets could share image data and combine them into one display.
Tuesday's patent, however, concerns itself with the projector itself, and how laser and incandescent light sources operating in concert can be combined to project a single image.The patent notes that although laser-based projectors can provide better resolution than projectors with incandescent light sources, lasers have their disadvantages – greater power requirements, for one. Because of their greater power consumption requirements, the patent notes, laser based display systems also may include complicated cooling circuitry and thus result in more bulky projection equipment.Illustration of pico projector–equipped laptop in Apple's patent, 'Display system having coherent and incoherent light sources'
Lasers also exhibit the so called 'speckle' problem, the patent asserts, referring to the fact that when coherent light strikes a rough surface, the image produced may appear grainy.And then there's the simple fact that lasers are more expensive than simple incandescent light sources. Accordingly, the patent reasons, display systems that embrace the desirable features of laser light sources while overcoming the undesirable features of non-laser light sources may be useful.Which is exactly what US Patent 8,502,926 does, in a variety of embodiments with varied wavelengths and intensities of the coherent and incoherent light sources, and with a variety of different control mechanisms.
Illustration of shared light-source projector schematic in Apple's patent, 'Display system having coherent and incoherent light sources'
Lasers and incandescent light sources, working together in harmony
While your humble Reg reporter may be unqualified to comment on the optics involved in the coherent-incoherent light interactions of Apple's newly granted patent, he feels compelled to point out that mobile devices equipped with pico projectors have suffered the same fate as 3D televisions – meaning loads of hype followed by dismal acceptance in the marketplace.As early as 2007, Texas Instruments demoed a pico projector intended for use in mobile devices. Taiwan's Computex was buzzing about pico projectors in 2009, and in 2010 LG stuck one in a smartphone and HP was said to be prepping a pico-projecting laptop. Needless to say, none of those products took the world by storm.Samsung demoed a pico projector–equipped phone dubbed the Show in 2009, launched the renamed Galaxy Beam in Singapore in 2010, and announced last February that it was bringing it to Western markets. A search for the Galaxy Beam on Samsung's website now returns merely the original press release, but no phone.
Cook & Co. may need a showstopper product – and soon – to bring a sparkle back into the eyes of the investment community, but we suggest that the solution to that challenge doesn't lie in Display system having coherent and incoherent light sources. Startup cloud company ProfitBricks has been lashed by a security researcher for some security screw-ups discovered after it revamped its prices to undercut Amazon Web Services.In a telephone call on Friday, ProfitBricks cofounder Andreas Gauger confirmed that the masterimage of one of his company's Linux images had been built on an internet-facing computer, and that the company was going to inspect all available OS images for any net nasties that may have crept in.The security howlers were highlighted by Kenneth White, who told The Register on Thursday that after hearing about ProfitBricks massive price reduction earlier in the week he began investigating the cloud, and stumbled on some serious problems.
White found that the 6.3 CentOS image had apparently been built on a public internet-facing computer.The fact that the equivalent of a trusted 'gold master' OS image was originally built on a public-facing box is unfathomable to me, White said via email. Imagine if you put a naked Windows XP/WIn 7 box on the internet and then ran Windows update, over the course of two days. Would you trust that build to hold your sensitive data?ProfitBricks has acknowledged the problem, and Gauger described it as a human error. ProfitBricks is putting measures in place to make sure it doesn't happen again, he said, stating that in the future we will enforce the security policy more.The company is inspecting all existing images, he said. We are going through all the images now and making sure they don't have any vulnerabilities. ... certainly we have now to go through all the images and take some time and make sure no vulnerabilities [are] in them. On Sunday, ProfitBricks confirmed in a blog post that the images were fine.
Upon further investigation, White also flagged a number of alarming (in)security measures in place on the cloud. Some of the perceived flaws include the fact ProfitBricks generates root passwords for each Linux instance and emails the password to the account owner, that there isn't a way to push public SSH keys and go password-less pre-boot, that there is no firewall in place on instances by default, and that to gain console access to the VM through the ProfitBricks GUI you need to install Java on your laptop.It's just madness to send passwords and to have everything enabled by default on the hostile web, White said.These policies jar with those present in the major clouds of Google and Amazon, for example, both of which have instances start in a secure non-listening state, with the admin opening up access manually.Both companies also use keys rather than passwords which is far, far more secure. This means Amazon never need create or send a password to an admin, and instead through the use of key pairs an instance can be secured with risk distributed across both Amazon and the admin.
On the other side here – for SSH, I think we can change this as soon as possible, Gauger said. We are working on a signup process anyway right now. I hope we can get this into this project.In the blog post on Sunday, ProfitBricks confirmed that moving to a private-public key pair is scheduled for a September 2013 release. However, the title of the post – ProfitBricks and Transparency – rather neatly leaves out any words likely to get a security-conscious admin to click, or indeed draw any kind of attention at all. CIO interview She might be CIO of IBM, but Jeanette Horan is just like you: replacing Windows XP with Windows 7, ripping out Internet Explorer 6 and floating a growing amount of software on the cloud.She also has to contend with staffers begging her for the ability to share information using third-party sync 'n' share apps like DropBox. Sound familiar?
OK, she's with tech behemoth IBM, so the scale is much bigger: Horan has shifted nearly half a million PCs off Microsoft's legacy OS and reckons up to three-quarters of the apps built by and for IBM - as opposed to product software - will be developed and tested on the cloud by the middle of next year.Horan has also done that browser migration differently: rather than swap out IE6 for a later version of Microsoft's browser – as most coming off Windows XP have done – she has forsaken Microsoft entirely, for Firefox.But there’s another important distinction to Horan's job.No, it’s not that Horan is a woman working in a male-dominated profession: as of January 2012, she has actually been working for another woman – Ginni Rommerty, the chief executive and president of IBM. Nor is it that she’s a Brit near the top of a US company. Horan crossed over to the US 30 years ago, joining her first company in Florida after graduating in mathematics from the University of London, ostensibly on a two-year sojourn.