BGR has exclusively learned that Horace Luke, former Chief Innovation Officer at HTC, has left the company as of April 30th 2011. “Horace Luke, HTC’s chief innovation officer, has left HTC for personal reasons. Horace nurtured a culture of innovation at HTC and instilled a strong consumer design-focus among our employees who continue to raise the bar in designing products that capture our customers’ imagination,” HTC told BGR in a statement. “We are grateful for Horace’s many contributions to HTC and wish him well in his future endeavors. Scott Croyle, HTC’s vice president of design, has taken over Horace’s responsibilities and will continue a tradition of design innovation at HTC.” Luke had been at HTC since November 2006 when he left his role as Creative Director at Microsoft to join the emerging Taiwan-based smartphone vendor. He was with Microsoft for a total of nine years, where he headed up the Creative departments for products including Xbox, Windows XP, Microsoft research and Windows Mobile.
Remember back in 2009 when it was a big security concern that Obama wanted to continue using his BlackBerry instead of a more secure Sectera Edge smartphone? The White House may begin relaxing its strict requirements to allow some employees to carry consumer devices, according to The Washington Post. Reportedly, lots of government employees already enter the White House daily with personal devices sharing a pocket with their government-issued BlackBerry smartphones. “The line between work and home in terms of technology is beginning to blur,” Vivek Kundra, the United States’ chief information officer said, noting that government workers “despise” government issued devices. Kundra has begun discussing the possibility of allowing government employees to carry the device of their choice, whether it’s an iPhone or an Android powered device; private app stores could then be used to install secure applications on those platforms. Similarly, the U.S. General Services Administration may look to other consumer technologies to save money — the group estimates that its plan to move 17,000 of its employees to Gmail could save 50% in expenses over the next five years. The switch to consumer devices is already proliferating on Capitol Hill: The Washington Post said that Congress already allows the iPhone and iPad on the floor of the House, about 300 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory employees have switched from a BlackBerry to an iPhone, and the ATF has roughly 50 iPhone/iPad units, and has plans to bump that number to 100. More →
Citing a growing number of employees who weren’t happy with the IT team or their aging company-issued gear, Clorox’s CIO Ralph Loura decided to move away from BlackBerry smartphones. Instead, Loura provided company employees with a choice: an iPhone, a Windows Phone 7 device or an Android-powered smartphone. “If you believe demographic studies, the workforce in their 20s and 30s isn’t going to accept black corporate PCs with black corporate mobile phones and not be allowed to run Facebook or Angry Bird apps,” Loura explained during a keynote at the SNW conference in Santa Clara, California on Thursday. So what phones did Clorox employees choose? Of the 2,000 new smartphones distributed throughout the firm so far, 92% were iPhones. 6% of employees chose an Android device while 2% took Windows Phone 7 smartphones. Loura said Clorox also replaced 6,000 of its desktop computers with thinner HP laptops. More →
If you’re a frequent Skype user, you probably noticed, or heard about, a massive outage that the service was experiencing last week. In a blog post today, the VoIP company’s CIO, Lars Rabbe, explained exactly what happened to cause the interruption.
On Wednesday, December 22, a cluster of support servers responsible for offline instant messaging became overloaded. As a result of this overload, some Skype clients received delayed responses from the overloaded servers. In a version of the Skype for Windows client (version 5.0.0152), the delayed responses from the overloaded servers were not properly processed, causing Windows clients running the affected version to crash.
Users running either the latest Skype for Windows (version 126.96.36.199), older versions of Skype for Windows (4.0 versions), Skype for Mac, Skype for iPhone, Skype on your TV, and Skype Connect or Skype Manager for enterprises were not affected by this initial problem.
However, around 50% of all Skype users globally were running the 188.8.131.52 version of Skype for Windows, and the crashes caused approximately 40% of those clients to fail. These clients included 25–30% of the publicly available supernodes, also failed as a result.
Along with its official mea culpa, Skype has begun sending emails to some of the affected users offering a $1 service credit. Skype asserts that it has taken measures to prevents such an outage from happening again. More →