April 18, 2014

Icehouse: New OpenStack cloud arrives
"Everyone we talk to wants cloud resources that let them move faster," said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation. "The evolving maturation and refinement that we see in Icehouse make it possible for OpenStack users to support application developers with the services they need to develop, deploy, and iterate on apps at the speeds they need to remain competitive." Approximately 350 new features and 2,902 bug fixes were added this time. The main focus was on testing, maturity, and stability.

Data encryption, notification and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework
As ubiquitous compromise and data theft raise urgent questions about adequate cybersecurity and risk management, are organizations doing enough to protect sensitive information? According to the2013 Global Encryption Trends Study sponsored by Thales e-Security and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, since 2005 more companies are investing in security programs that include enterprise-wide encryption strategies. Adoption of enterprise encryption strategies is highest in Germany, followed by the United States and Japan.

How to speak geek and influence nerds. Wait…what??
Not all creative marketing people are hipsters. In fact, a great many mature companies would avoid hiring firms that appear to be run by undisciplined cooler-than-thou "creatives." There's a tremendous amount of money at stake in marketing and marketing science is as important as artistic skills. ... Next, not all IT geeks are geniuses. Well, actually, that one is true. You're all friction' geniuses. Resolving driver conflicts, porting linux to anything with a display, configuring complex networks, prioritizing public vs. private cloud, and all the rest of the activities you do each day does show a level of smarts we shouldn't discount. Stipulated.

Turning the legal industry tanker around on cloud adoption
Despite adoption levels growing rapidly over the past few years, it is only recently that the legal sector has begun to give cloud services serious consideration. Due to the very nature of law firms, the storage of sensitive information in an external environment has naturally been met with some caution. While early-movers have been experimenting with cloud services for some time now, the majority of the sector has been hesitant to adopt until recently. In order to address the security and functionality concerns some firms still had, support and advice from respected industry bodies was needed.

Big Data Quality: Certify or Govern?
Big data is the catalyst. If you thought your data was challenging before, chaos and messiness takes on a whole other meaning with big data. Scale now forces us to rethink what we govern, how we govern, and yes, if we govern. This is to both better manage and govern process-wise, but it also drives us to ask the questions we didn't ask before. Questions about meeting expectations for data over meeting expectations to fit data into systems. What this means...orient data governance toward data certification.

IT security is national security -- but you're not alone
"If you don't have the support of the CEO, or the board, or the owners ... you will never get anything done. Period. It's amazing," Richey said. No technology alone can make up for attention to security at all levels of the organization, she said. "It's equally a business process problem," Richey said. "You have to be on it seven days a week, 24 hours a day," handling mundane tasks such as access controls, patches and passwords. Then there are those employees who just tend to lose things. "Some people shouldn't really be asked to protect anything," Richey said. If you're one of them, you should deliberately keep as little sensitive data as possible around you, she said.

Can you hear me now? NASA to test laser communication system
With lasercom, data is transmitted via laser beams; the technology potentially offers much higher data rates than the space agency is able to achieve with current radio frequency transmissions. "Optical communications have the potential to be a game-changer," said mission manager Matt Abrahamson, in a statement. "It's like upgrading from dial-up to DSL. Our ability to generate data has greatly outpaced our ability to downlink it. Imagine trying to download a movie at home over dial-up. It's essentially the same problem in space, whether we're talking about low-Earth orbit or deep space."

Exclusive: Google's Project Loon tests move to LTE band in Nevada
Loon is an ambitious attempt by Google to bring Internet access to vast swathes of the planet that currently have little or no connectivity. The project was unveiled last June, and Google said at the time it was experimenting with balloons flying around 20 kilometers (65,000 feet) above the Earth, using radio links in an unlicensed portion of the spectrum at around 2.4GHz. But in late September, Cyrus Behroozi, the head network engineer for Loon, quietly applied to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to test Loon across a large portion of Northern Nevada, in two chunks of radio spectrum that are used as a pair for 4G LTE services.

Mobile security: The battle beyond malware
Malware has received a lot of attention from the media and IT professionals alike, as it's a rather familiar foe. Android devices in particular have a reputation for vulnerability thanks to their ability to run applications delivered outside the Google Play store. Malicious actors have also come up with clever ways to bypass Google's security. Android malware dubbed BadNews was spotted in 32 Android apps available for download in Google Play last April. It circumvented Google's Bouncer server-side scanning and its local Verify Apps feature on Android devices because it was distributed to mobile devices "at a later date" via an ad network.

Connected devices will reach 6.5 times world population by 2020 (infographic)
This infographic looks at the growth of this internet of things and explores the barriers to its integration. The internet of things (IoT) is a concept first coined by Kevin Ashton, co-founder and executive director of the Auto-ID Centre at MIT, in 1999. As advanced technology can be packed into smaller and smaller spaces, chips and sensors can be added to all sorts of devices to track and measure data. This data can either be simply relayed back to users or can even trigger a device to take action. From smart home appliances to citywide infrastructure, the application of the internet of things knows no bounds – much like its forecasted growth.

Quote for the day:

"If you decide to go for it, do it with spirit: Sometimes success is due less to ability than to zeal. " -- Charles Buxton