August 08, 2013

Fighting the unknown unknowns: Building the network of the future
Of course, it's not just the core of the net that's feeling the pressure. It's also the data centre that's changing, turning into a private cloud that needs to respond flexibly to changes in demand, and to behave as a combination of compute and storage fabrics, all supported by a software defined network. It's a networking future that's fraught with unknown unknowns.

Cloud-based nearline storage adds features to adapt to big data needs
In the second of a two-part interview with TechTarget senior writer Carol Sliwa, Staimer discusses the distinction between nearline and primary data, decision points associated with choosing public, private or hybrid cloud storage for nearline scenarios, and data migration and security issues with large quantities of data.

Cloud computing will kill the IT department. True or false?
Gone are the days of companies needing large data centers, with thousands of servers and an army of people to manage them. Gone are the days of ridiculously complex software customizations, integrations, and teams to manage local applications. There will be no need for most of the IT roles that exist today. The technical experts and developers will mostly work for the companies who make the software or provide the infrastructure.

Are Data Quality and Data Science Polar Opposites?
Big data gurus have said that data quality isn’t important for big data. Good enough is good enough. However, business stakeholders still complain about poor data quality. In fact, when Forrester surveyed customer intelligence professionals, the ability to integrate data and manage data quality are the top two factors holding customer intelligence back.

A New Era of Computing Requires a New Way of Programming
The era that Backus and his contemporaries helped create, the programmable computing era, is being superseded by the era of cognitive computing. Increasingly, computers will gather huge quantities of data, reason over the data, and learn from their interactions with information and people. These new capabilities will help us penetrate complexity and make better decisions about everything from how to manage cities to how to solve confounding business problems.

IBM Research unveils new chip architecture inspired by the human brain
In a nutshell, the brain served as the inspiration for the groundwork to eventually support applications by using similar techniques and patterns in regards to human perception, action, and cognition. IBM researchers offered the example of the human eyes, which they posited could sift more than a terabyte of data each day. A system mimicking the cortex could give way to low-power eyeglasses to aide visually impaired users.

Forensic researchers develop undetectable method for tracking cellphones
Although phones are mass-produced, and each model contains the exact same hardware, there are still differences in the radio signal patterns they emit. It is those tiny unchangeable differences, or “inaccuracies” sent to cell towers that are unique enough to be used as identifying digital fingerprints, thereby allowing police to track the phone.

How to Map IT capabilities with Business Capabilities
“To justify their role, future CIOs must be able to relate to the industry they work in and the inputs they provide, the output and resources they bring in to enhance the capabilities of CFO / CSO / CMO or all of them,” says Matta. Pradeep Khanna, Senior IT Manager, Infosys, relates to the theory of cause and effect when he says IT is a ‘Karta’ and it is time we realised that IT exists to facilitate business and not the other way round.

Some Tech Firms Ask: Who Needs Managers?
GitHub says employees can join projects in whatever capacity they feel they are most useful and can switch roles depending on the project. Co-founder Tom Preston-Werner has declared that the company has no managers or organizational chart and says that performance feedback is offered informally by co-workers. But as GitHub has grown—it now employs about 200 people—its leaders are coming to terms with the need for some oversight.

Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
Andreessen wrote in The Wall Street Journal two years ago. "Many of the winners are Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not."

Quote for the day:

"It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference." -- Tom Brokaw