Linux Product Insider: IronKey Secure Flash Drives

This "Linux Product Insider" features IronKey Secure Flash Drives, Jedox's Palo spreadsheet server, Tony Mullen's new Blender book, Hyperic's CloudStatus, Syuzi Pakhchyan's Fashioning Technology and Joel Spolsky's More Joel on Sofware.

Here is this week's Linux product news:

IronKey Secure Flash Drive
IronKey is bringing its secure flash drives over to us in the Linux camp. The drives will work on all Linux-based operating systems above kernel 2.6. IronKey offers a combination of security applications and services, along with military-grade hardware-based encryption to deliver "unmatched security for its USB drives, and protection of the data stored on them." The result, says IronKey, is reduced risk regarding lost, stolen or copied flash drives. The drives are available in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB models, and there is no need to install software or drivers.

Jedox AG's Palo
Though you will likely never experience a GPL'd Microsoft Excel, you can use the open-source Palo 2.5 from Jedox to serve up Excel spreadsheets. Palo is a multi-user, high performance data server application that allows workers enterprise-wide to access, change, and collaborate on multiple spreadsheets in real-time. Improvements in the new Version 2.5 include a newly-optimized MOLAP (Multidimensional OnLine Analytical Processing) engine, intelligent local data cache, faster multi-dimensional data processing, an enhanced multidimensional formula editor, and advanced query capability. The workstation-resident data cache uses an 'intelligent' technology to reduce calls to the central server. Palo is available in free, enterprise and government editions.

Tony Mullen's Bounce, Tumble, and Splash! (Sybex)
To our squeals of delight, Sybex is tearing off its Clark Kent-like demeanor to present Tony Mullen's Bounce, Tumble, and Splash! Simulating the Physical World with Blender 3D. Blender is an immensely popular, multi-platform, open-source 3D content creation suite. Bounce, says Sybex, is the only title to offer "step-by-step instructions on Blender's more complex features while showcasing the unique objects and characters that can be created in Blender." Topics include soft bodies and cloth, the Blender particle system, static particles and hair, fluids, bullet physics, the Blender Game Engine and plant simulation. The book's tone is "friendly but professional" and focuses on full-color examples with clear, in-depth explanations of how each step was taken and why each choice was made.

Syuzi Pakhchyan's Fashioning Technology (O'Reilly)
Geeks, start your...sewing machines! Such is the wish of Syuzi Pakhchyan, author of the new O'Reilly book Fashioning Technology that explores the integration of traditional sewing and assembly techniques with electronics and other new materials. The book is a guide to inventing creative clothing, housewares and toys that are fun, interactive, quirky and useful. Author Pakhchyan - an artist, roboticist, and teacher - explains how to use smart materials such as thermo- and photochromatic inks that change color by touch or sunlight, magnetic and conductive paints, polymorph plastic, fiber optics, and more. Each project, says O'Reilly, encourages readers to personalize and customize their own designs, materials, and craft skills.

Hyperic's CloudStatus
Hyperic says that its new CloudStatus, now in beta, is "first service to provide an independent view of the health and performance of the most popular cloud on the Internet, Amazon Web Services (AWS)." The new hosted service gives businesses that use the cloud perspective to determine the cause of performance changes in their cloud-based Web applications. CloudStatus beta is a free service built on the Hyperic HQ management platform and will expand to include additional cloud providers this summer. CloudStatus provides a comprehensive measure of service availability, latency and throughput for cloud-based infrastructure and application services. Users can drill down for detailed, service-specific metrics on any of the monitored offerings, which are limited somewhat in the beta release.

Joel Spolsky's More Joel on Software (Apress)
Joel Spolsky's sequel book More Joel on Software with Apress (this title just latched the word "More" to the original title) is not only a cool book, but it also should win the prize for best subtitle ever - "Further Thoughts on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity." Whew!! Joel's book is a collection of opinions and impressions on software development, software design, running a software business, and much more. It is targeted at anyone interested in the software business, but most directly at managers of technical businesses. Apress says that "Spolsky’s extraordinary writing skills, technical knowledge, and caustic wit have made him a programming guru."

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