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Chef, the company that provides commercial support for the open-source Chef configuration management and deployment tool, on Wednesday said noted agile development bigwig Jez Humble has joined the company as VP of engineering. Humble is the co-author of the book Continuous Delivery, which advocates for a kind of development process in which software can be rapidly deployed to production at any given moment. Since Chef promotes the devops school that aims to bring developers and operations staff together, this hire makes sense. Humble’s development skills and notoriety in the agile community could help bridge that gap. Humble was previously a principal at the agile consulting firm ThoughtWorks.

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Facebook announced Tuesday that 95 percent of the notification emails it sends out are now being encrypted using STARTTLS — the extension used to encrypt insecure network connections between mail providers. Facebook singled out Microsoft and Yahoo as being major email providers who have since backed the extension, which requires compliance from both the email clients that send emails and those that receive them. Back in May, Facebook released a study on whether or not mail providers were using the extension and found that only 28.6 percent of the company’s outbound notification emails were being encrypted, meaning not very many services were correctly using STARTTLS.

In Brief

Amazon has taken an undisclosed stake in Acquia, a startup that provides commercial services around the open-source Drupal content management system. Acquia relies on Amazon Web Services to help the startup handle the 333 terabytes of bandwidth it serves up each month, Acquia CTO Dries Buytaert wrote in a blog post; the startup runs on over 8,000 AWS instances. In late May, Acquia took in $50 million in a series F funding round, which brought total investment in the Burlington, Mass.-based company to $118.6 million.

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The big cloud storage companies like Amazon and the file-sync players like Box aren’t the only ones rolling out work-collaboration features; there’s a host of startups generating a lot of interest in the market and these companies are betting that improving upon chat is the way of the future. Read more »

In Brief

Hybrid cloud storage startup Cloudian has landed $24 million in funding, which the company said in a release that it will use to expand operations and ensure that its products are being more rapidly deployed. Cloudian’s object storage software specializes in setting up both public and private clouds atop the Amazon S3 storage service. The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Fidelity Growth Partners were new investors to this financing round along with current Cloudian shareholders, including Intel Capital.

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