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  • A Microsoft exec sheds light on the rationale behind the acquisition of cloud data protection specialist InMage. VMware played an indirect role in the decision.

  • From tornados to lightning strikes to hurricanes and earthquakes, each year the residents of the United States face a barrage of weather and environmental poundings that often leave death and destruction in their wake. Over time, official statistics are then compiled about such incidents that can then be used by federal, state and local authorities to compile disaster response plans, to improve first-responder training and to better educate residents about the potential dangers they could face from storms and the natural environment. In February, Google created its first-ever Google Maps Gallery, which aims to be a one-stop destination for everything from crisis maps to historical maps to maps of school districts and more that are being assembled to help users find just the information they are seeking. In the Gallery's crisis maps section, storm, wind and earthquake data (and much more) is available for analysis from across the United States. Here is a sampling of some of those maps and the fascinating data that they illustrate.

  • The company focuses on SQL Server 2014's in-memory capabilities in its bid to siphon enterprise database workloads from rival Oracle.

  • The company is offering customers bare-metal cloud servers that can be spun up as quickly as VMs and bring better performance.

  • Two months after YouTube was rumored to be buying video game streaming vendor Twitch for $1 billion, now the deal is really happening, according to the latest rumor.

  • REVIEW: The Amazon Fire Phone, packed with Firefly, Mayday and Dynamic Perspective, is totally neat but not all there yet.

  • NEWS ANALYSIS: Mobile advertising is poised to surpass newspapers and radio advertising in 2014 as the amount of time people work with their smartphones and tablets keeps rising.

  • The new button will make it easier for users to find interesting places to visit, dine and explore on their travels or while they are in their hometowns.

  • IBM and the California Department of Technology announced a new state government service platform known as CalCloud.

  • Making all the right moves? Microsoft reports that healthy demand for its cloud-based offerings is improving its bottom line.

  • The Challenge seeks designs for a smaller, better and more efficient solar power inverter, which is used to collect renewable energy to be used by consumers.

  • IBM announced that its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure now supports InfiniBand, which enables high-performance computing in the cloud.

  • Sprint is adding its support services to Google Apps for Business, in a move to help customers adjust to shifting work styles.

  • The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is among the most popular and long-lived open-source desktop environments for Linux and Unix users. Dating back to 1996, KDE is one of the earliest Linux desktop environments, predating the GNOME desktop environment, which got started in 1999. KDE has gone through multiple evolutions, the most recent being KDE Plasma 5, which was officially released on July 15. With the Plasma 5 desktop, KDE is providing users with both under-the-hood enhancements and user-facing improvements. Plasma 5 is powered by the open-source Qt 5 cross-platform user interface framework. Hardware acceleration for graphics is now supported with the OpenGL graphics API. With Qt 5 and OpenGL, Plasma 5 is able to provide users with not only improved graphics performance, but also a more fluid user experience. Plus, the new Kickoff application launcher enables users to rapidly find and access applications and content on a system. KDE as a desktop environment is available on multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, KaOS and openSUSE. In this slide show, eWEEK examines some of the key features of KDE Plasma 5.

  • NEWS ANALYSIS: There have been big changes to Google+ recently, and there are a number of things you need to do consistently to get the most out of this social media community.

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