Daily Tech Briefing: July 28, 2014

The Amazon Fire smartphone, which went on sale on July 25, comes with advanced features such as Dynamic Perspective, which is generated by four low-power special cameras, four infrared LEDs, a dedicated processor, real-time computer-vision algorithms and a high-performing graphics-rendering engine.

While this feature is certainly interesting, it is also very difficult to fix. The company iFixit gave the Fire a paltry 3 out of a possible 10 on iFixit's repairability scale.

Officials at iFixit explained that inside, the phone is a mess of cables and glue, which is very tough to repair. Earlier devices like Apple's iPad Air scored 2 out of 10 on the iFixit scale for similar reasons.

Microsoft says that it is working to integrate the recently-acquired InMage Scout data protection technology into the Azure Site Recovery service. In a July 24 blog post, Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Cloud and Enterprise discussed some of the factors that made InMage an attractive corporate acquisition.

Anderson wrote that he had been he had been impressed by a demo of InMage's disaster-recovery technology a few months ago. He also noted that the InMage technology can pull double duty as a data protection system and as a way to transfer VMware workloads to Hyper-V, Microsoft's virtualization platform.

Microsoft announced the release of SQL Server Migration Assistant 6.0 for Oracle. This is a free tool that enables organizations to migrate existing Oracle databases to SQL Server 2014. Oracle unveiled its new 12C Database In-Memory Option on June 10.

Oracle officials described the offering as being just as fast as SAP HANA, which is a rival in-memory database platform. But Microsoft is offering its SQL Server Migration Assistant as a competitive alternative to the latest Oracle database release.

On July 25 the House unanimously approved the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, following a vote of approval by the full Senate on July 15.

The bill is now headed to President Barack Obama for his signature, which will make it legal for consumers to "unlock" phones they own and use the devices on their wireless carrier of choice. President Obama applauded the members of Congress for passing the bill, calling it a step toward giving ordinary Americans more choices.

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