AWS Adds New Auto Scaling Feature to DynamoDB Cloud Database

Today’s topics include Amazon Web Services offering a new auto-scaling feature for its DynamoDB cloud database; CA Technologies’ acquisition of specialized software company zIT Consulting; Kodak’s Photo Printer Dock that gives users a fast and easy way to print from mobile devices; and Turing Award winner Charles Thacker’s passing at 74 years old.

Amazon Web Services is helping customers automate cloud capacity management of their DynamoDB cloud database applications. The new Auto Scaling for DynamoDB capability assists users with automating capacity management of database tables and secondary indexes.

AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr wrote that administrators need only specify the upper and lower bounds for the read and write capabilities for their applications and also their target utilization rates. The NoSQL database service will take it from there.

"With Auto Scaling you can get the best of both worlds," Barr wrote. Organizations can get "an automatic response when an increase in demand suggests that more capacity is needed, and another automated response when the capacity is no longer needed."

CA Technologies is one of the few companies working today to help enterprises move their mainframes into the 21st century. To help them do this, CA is acquiring a specialized software company, the company told eWEEK June 15. Germany-based zIT Consulting makes software that helps administrators optimize the workloads on IBM System z data center mainframes.

CA has stated that helping its customers modernize their mainframe computers will help them attain improved long-term value from their investments.

CA claims the acquisition will enable users to automate capacity planning and real-time performance monitoring; deliver mainframe platform economics through an easy-to-use, fully automated and real-time-responsive dynamic capping; and deliver better and faster service with fewer skills and lower costs—all while preventing problems, instead of reacting to them.

Kodak’s new $139 Kodak Photo Printer Dock provides mobile device users with a fast and simple way to produce color prints of the images they capture on their smartphones and tablets.

The printing dock also works with digital cameras and USB memory sticks to print .jpg or .png image files, the company stated. In addition, the printer can charge up to two mobile devices at a time while attached to the dock. Once their devices are connected to the dock, users can control printing, as well as edit photos, using a Kodak Printer Dock app. The app also allows users to capture images from social media or video for printing, and includes a collage maker function, card templates, stickers and other creative capabilities.

The fast-drying prints are generated using "photo packs,” available for $20 for 40 prints, $35 for 80 prints or $47 for 120 prints.

Turing Award winner Charles P. Thacker, the lead designer of the world's first modern personal computer and a co-inventor of Ethernet, died June 12 of cancer at his home in Palo Alto, Calif., at 74 years old.

Thacker, whose inventions have had a lasting effect on the IT business, received the Turing Award—widely considered the Nobel Prize of computer science—in 2009. He was the lead designer of the Xerox Alto that eventually led to what became the Apple Macintosh.

Born in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 26, 1943, Thacker received his B.S. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1967. He would later become one of the core technologists in the Computer Systems Laboratory at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.