May 31, 2014

SAP and IBM Collaborate to Serve Transportation and Logistics Industry
“Like many industries today, transportation companies are responding to the imperative to treat their customers as markets of one. The experience a company creates for its customers has become a de facto element in their ability to compete,” said Raimon Christiani, global Travel and Transportation industry lead, IBM Global Business Services. “Using best practices in analytics and other core competencies from IBM together with SAP software, our transportation clients will be better positioned to provide their customers with experiences that form the basis of sustained relationships.”


How Mobile Reshapes The Way We Communicate
The irony here, is that we all have our head down, staring at our devices so much that we may just have missed this shift altogether. Bottom line, mobile devices and the trend of mobility is another trend that is greatly altering the way we communicate. In the past 5 years, really since the release of the first iPhone, mobile has been on a torrent pace to take over our lives. The aforementioned comment about people staring at their devices; sure that is said somewhat in gest, but if you actually stop and look around it isn’t even the slightest bit surprising to see people ignoring their surroundings to stare at their device.


The 6 Stages of the Enterprise Content Marketing Maturity Model
The research the Content Marketing Institute and others do every year is invaluable information for marketers. Unfortunately, the people surveyed run the maturity gamut – from stage one to stage six and are likely bottom-heavy. Challenges, goals, strategies, tactics, measurement and what’s considered awin at each stage of the model can vary greatly. Disappointingly, current research doesn’t address this and we’re left with very austere data. In the meantime, let’s look at what some of these challenges look like at each stage of the enterprise content marketing maturity model.


Stress Testing: A Must For Comprehensive Risk Management
Beyond the benefits stress testing provides,the practice is required by regulatory bodies, such as the Federal Reserve, and by legislation, such as the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review and the Dodd-Frank Act. Financial institutions should implement a stress testing discipline that establishes frequency, results measurement and supporting tools. Ultimately, the goal of stress testing is to determine the scenarios that could render an institution’s business model no longer viable, as a means of developing management plans to mitigate the risks related to these scenarios. Stress tests help quantify a firm’s risk appetite, and result in the creation of various risk management policies and limits.


Five questions your CFOs are asking about security and risk management
"A lot of these applications have audit trails," said Gil Zimmerman, CEO and co-founder of CloudLock Inc. in Waltham, Massachusetts. IT can either "weed through" the audits manually or invest in a tool to keep tabs on who's using what and where. But SaaS audits aren't just for employees making an exit."It's about people moving inside of your organization," Zimmerman said. When he worked at EMC and transitioned from managing investor advocacy programs to another department in 2003, he retained his original permissions, which gave him access to information he no longer should have had access to.


A Look at the Maturity of Vendor Risk Management
Despite this environment, for most organizations, understanding vendor risk and how to manage it appropriately has thus far been more art than science. This is changing in part with the development of the first comprehensive Vendor Risk Management Maturity Model (VRMMM) by the Shared Assessments Program. The VRMMM sets forth best practices for developing a comprehensive third party risk program and allows a company to evaluate its program’s maturity against development goals. The Shared Assessments Program recently partnered with Protiviti, a global consulting firm, to conduct a third party risk management benchmarking study based on this maturity model.


Compliance Solution Accelerators
These free resources will help your organization reduce the risks and associated costs of meeting IT governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) objectives by automating the configuration, monitoring, and validation of Microsoft products ... Data Classification Toolkit for Windows Server 2012 now available! This new Solution Accelerator helps organizations identify, classify, and protect data to enable governance of unstructured data scattered across a targeted number of file servers ... Updated with new materials and references to the latest MOF supplemental materials—this kit will help IT pros get up and running with MOF 4.0. Get MOF. Get to work.


How Augmented Reality Wants to Help You Shop
In the case of Augment, the company provides a mobile app for both iOS and Android that lets businesses upload and share previously rendered 3D models of retail items or other product displays. Cimagine does something similar, providing a way for consumers to see how those products would look in different parts of their house. The technology makes use of the camera in people's smartphones or tablets. Holding your iPad up in front of your kitchen counter, while viewing an item on a retailer's site, might super-impose the item on the counter, locked in place, even if you move your iPad around.


How Healthcare CIOs View the Data Analytics Landscape
Nearly all provider CIO respondents in a recent survey believe data analytics will play a big role in succeeding with accountable care and other value-based healthcare initiatives. But while 42 percent say they have a flexible and scalable analytics plan, more than three-quarters report only moderate or minimal commitment to integrating analytics into practice.


8 Great Java 8 Features No One's Talking about
If you haven’t seen some of the videos or tutorials around Java 8, you’ve probably been super-busy or have a more interesting social life than I do (which isn’t saying much). With new features like lambda expressions and Project Nashorn taking so much of the spotlight, I wanted to focus on some new APIs that have been a bit under the radar, but make Java 8 better in so many ways.



Quote for the day:

"No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it." -- Andrew Carnegie

May 30, 2014

Know your Data Lineage
You need to know what has been done to your data, where it came from, and who is responsible for each stage of the analysis. This information represents your data lineage; it is your stack-trace. If you’re an analyst, suspicious of a number, it tells you why the number is there and how it got there. If you’re a developer, working on a pipeline, it provides the context you need to track down the bug. If you’re a manager, or an auditor, it lets you know the right things are being done. Lineage tracking is part of good data governance. Most audit and lineage systems require you to buy into their whole structure.


Hackers put security tool that finds payment card data into their arsenal
"This is the unfortunate reality for all software vendors: It is common for criminals to acquire a copy of commercial software via unauthorized means and then reverse engineer that software to circumvent the licensing mechanisms that are designed to prevent its unauthorized use," Cavey said. Numaan Huq, a senior threat researcher for Trend Micro, wrote on Wednesday that a version of Card Recon dating from three years ago was being used to validate payment card details in a type of POS malware. When Card Recon is scanning, it has to be able to separate 16-digit numbers and other random data it finds from valid 16-digit credit card numbers. Credit card numbers can be validated by using a checksum formula called the Luhn algorithm.


The Proof is in the SDN Applications
What should an open SDN Ecosystem or strategy look like? HP’s SDN strategy is based on open standards and building an open ecosystem to deliver complete SDN solutions. HP is a founding member of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), and has adopted ONF’s standard definition of SDN, and has fully embraced the OpenFlow standard with over 50 switches and 10 routers comprising over 25 million OpenFlow capable ports. HP also participates in other standards consortiums such as ETSI, OpenStack and OpenDaylight with the vested interest in open, agile networking for all. Please read this Lippis Report for further analysis of HP’s open SDN strategy.


Engagement Is Driven By Good Managers With Rare Talents
If it’s not already apparent, the most effective managers seek to influence employees in ways we’ve traditionally believed were soft and even weak in business. They build personal relationships with their people, advocate for their growth – and routinely ensure they feel valued, respected and cared for. Just the idea that they want to make a difference in other people’s lives is a colossal change in our shared leadership paradigm. Were you to ask any of the people known-to-be disengaged in their jobs today (70% of our society) what they felt was missing at work, it’s almost assured to be some if not all of the things I just mentioned.


A beginner's guide to BitLocker, Windows' built-in encryption tool
The company says there are no back doors, but how can we be certain? We can't. Sure, if BitLocker was open source most of us wouldn't be able to read the code to determine if there was a backdoor anyway. But somebody out there would be able to meaning there would be a much higher chance of any faults with the program being discovered. So with BitLocker's closed source nature in mind, I wouldn't count on this encryption program defending your data against a government actor such as border agents or intelligence services. But if you're looking to protect your data in case your PC is stolen or other situations where petty criminals and non-government types might mess with your hardware then BitLocker should be just fine.


Documentation and Test Assertions in Databases
With Extended properties, one can get the best of both worlds, and even use them to put blame, praise or annotations into your VCS. It requires a lot of work, though, particularly the script to generate the table. The problem is that there are no conventional names beyond ‘MS_Description’ for the special use of extended properties. This makes it difficult to do splendid things such ensuring the integrity of the build by running a suite of tests that are actually stored in extended properties within the database and therefore the VCS. We have lost the readability of database source code over the years, and largely jettisoned the use of test assertions as part of the database build.


Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft Azure HDInsight
In Introducing Microsoft Azure HDInsight, we cover what big data really means, how you can use it to your advantage in your company or organization, and one of the services you can use to do that quickly—specifically, Microsoft’s HDInsight service. We start with an overview of big data and Hadoop, but we don’t emphasize only concepts in this book—we want you to jump in and get your hands dirty working with HDInsight in a practical way. To help you learn and even implement HDInsight right away, we focus on a specific use case that applies to almost any organization and demonstrate a process that you can follow along with.


Information overload: Finding signals in the noise
"The detection of an opportunistic Trojan, which happens to include a keylogger (e.g., the Zeus Trojan), occurs at a high frequency and may be considered to have low business risk to an organization (AKA - a noisy detection) because the presumed motivation of the attacker is to steal a user's credentials to personal accounts (e.g., shopping, personal banking)," explained Oliver Tavakoli, the CTO of Vectra Networks. "However, the same host may be used to login to IT systems or customer-owned systems, as in the case of an employee at Fazio Mechanical logging into a outside vendor support website at Target, thus resulting in the compromise of business-critical account credentials."


Between Cisco and VMware SDN, which will network engineers choose?
Network engineers will be much more comfortable with Cisco and its hardware-centric vision. After all, one of the three pillars of the Cisco ACI strategy is the Nexus 9000 series switch line, which runs a trimmed down version of the familiar Nexus operating system. ... Systems engineers, on the other hand, will be much more comfortable with the VMware vision of the future, as it brings the promise of network virtualization and control more directly into their world and the existing VMware product portfolio. It remains to be seen how much network control will truly be shifted to systems engineers in an NSX-centric version of the data center, but it is fairly certain that the likelihood of a power shift is much stronger with VMware than with Cisco.


A Random Walk in Finance
Malkiel's simple random walk is one in which each observation has a 50% chance of assuming a value of -1 and a 50% chance of being 1. The “problem” with an RW like this for the analyst is that its properties change over time – an RW isn't a statistically well-behaved “stationary” process. The RW's variance increases with the number of time points, potentially generating “patterns” that are in fact just noise. And indeed, realized RW's often can be confused with series having apparent patterns. Malkiel argues that market “chartists” – technical analysts who purport to time the market for profits by projecting future movement in stocks based on recent patterns -- are in reality being fooled by random walks.



Quote for the day:

"Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything." -- John Kenneth Galbraith

May 29, 2014

Federal CIOs, Take Open Data To Next Level
As usual, authorities tout the benefits of improved transparency, accountability, and innovation as the rationale for increased data transparency. But government CIOs are also in a unique position to provide additional benefits from open data, as government data analysis reveals countless opportunities to improve quality of life. These opportunities often are overlooked because -- unless you are the CIO of an agency with oversight responsibilities, such as the Government Accountability Office or OMB -- you are typically considered a "data producer" rather than a "data consumer." In fact, most stories immediately presume that innovation stemming from open data will originate in the private sector.


8 Key Attributes of a Data Center Infrastructure Platform
many companies have no software to see and control what’s going on across the entire data center footprint – or worse, numerous, different, non-integrated applications that can’t give an overall picture of performance. So, to be blunt, your ability to reach and satisfy your customers, to grow your business, and therefore a major portion of your enterprise’s business value, rests on this chaos. Unless you fix this, you’re potentially another Borders waiting to get knocked off by someone who sees how to deliver value to customers with a cohesive, unified, and more powerful digital infrastructure.


DBS Bank launches mobile wallet
The bank had launched another mobile banking app, called mBanking, in 2011 but this also saw slow adoption despite its focus on making user experience "seamless and intuitive", it said. DBS then introduced new features including investment services and card activation. To date, there are more than 800,000 mBanking users in Singapore, DBS said.  ...   Louis Foo, the bank's senior vice president of consumer banking group e-business in Singapore, said in the statement: "Mobile payment is on an upward trajectory. While our customers have become increasingly tech-savvy, mobile wallets remain a new frontier in the Singapore's payment landscape.


Launch Of Release 4.6 Of Test Management Software Zephyr
Zephyr which offers free community edition for upto 10 users is now releasing major release with lots of new features. This comes after release of Zephyr for Jira, available on Atlassian marketplace. Let us dive into few of the new features and enhancement to existing features Zephyr is Test management software that manages every aspect of the testing cycle to ensure what was delivered against what was specified. This includes managing teams and resources, designing test strategies and implementing their execution, organizing and reusing testing assets and environments, defining quality standards and processes, collaborating with the entire team and communicating with internal and external stakeholders.


What managers do at a company that’s trying to replace them with software
The focus is on making sure that those discrete tasks actually get done, people are accountable, and that managers don’t have to search for who’s working on what. That intense focus on tasks means that progress on those tasks is what managers track, instead of hours or any other metric of productivity. “That’s the really critical data source: What are people working on? What do they need help on?” Rosenstein says. “People look at things like how many lines of code someone wrote, and that’s just BS. Those sort of metrics give you really skewed understanding of the people’s value. The data that doesn’t lie is what work the person is accomplishing each week.”


Principle #3 of Capacity Planning: Matching Supply to Demand
The third principle of capacity planning, matching demand to supply, emphasizes the importance of making choices. It’s necessary to match overall portfolio demand with capabilities and capacity supplied by existing teams in the near-term, while shaping both the demand and supply sides of the portfolio for the long-term. Matching demand and supply must look deeper than just allocating resources to include the interactions between multiple sources of demand and the capabilities of the available teams. The net result is more effective delivery of value, aligned to overall business strategy by more clearly focusing on completing those things that matter most to the business.


UAE National ID Program: Model Worth Watching
One challenge, however, continues to undermine the progress of most countries' e-government initiatives: That's the need for a reliable system to manage the digital identities and private information of citizens securely -- and the need for infrastructure to integrate various government databases on the back end so that individuals receive all, and only, the services to which they are entitled. That's why a national identity card project making headway in the United Arab Emirates, and the project's leader, Ali M. Al-Khouri, director general of the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA), are both worth watching.


Decoding the language of Microsoft: What 'growth hacking' means to Redmond
One phrase that's going around is "growth hacking". Often seen as just a Silicon Valley way of talking about marketing, it's actually a technique for analysing products and marketing that's very close to the existing Microsoft data driven way of working. Instead of leaving marketing to marketers, growth hacking gives fast-moving product teams the opportunity to come up with a combined strategy that mixes product design with marketing; making hypotheses about feature uptake and marketing messages, and then testing them in the real world; quickly pulling back if they don't work. Measurement is key, and if you can't measure something, you can't manage it, so you can't try it out.


How can leaders get the most out of a professional business organization?
Some CEOs approach professional organizations as transactional marketplaces. Instead of thinking about what someone can do for you (or you for them) in the next month or year, brainstorm ways to interact and check up. From considering PEOs to hiring new employees, interacting over time as your businesses grow can be instrumental in learning from other CEOs. ... As a leader, you have to stay ahead of everyone in the organization in terms of your understanding of the market, visibility into future challenges and anticipation of future opportunities. Spend time looking to the future.


CISOs taking a leap of faith
Forewarned of her upcoming unemployment, Moskites went on the lookout for new opportunities, and decided to do something completely different. During a conversation with Jeff Hudson, CEO at certificate and encryption key security firm Venafi, she temperature-checked the idea of moving from being a security executive for an the enterprise--a role she had always played--to working on the vendor side of the business. "I know my role is going to get eliminated with the restructuring, and I'm very excited about the opportunity to possibly make a move to the vendor side," she said to Hudson.A "He kind of laughed at me," Moskites explained months after the fact. "And he then asked, 'Are you serious?'"



Quote for the day:

“It's not about how smart you are--it's about capturing minds.” -- Richie Norton

May 28, 2014

Oracle Weaves Fabric for MySQL Clustering
MySQL Fabric can help solve two pressing problems within the enterprise: increasing the reliability of the database service, which Oracle calls high availability, and scaling a database beyond a single server, to improve performance of the database server. For high availability, the user can elect to have one or more database servers act as a replicated backup to the main server. When the master database goes down, MySQL Fabric detects the outage and reroutes requests to the designated replicated database server, or servers. The application does not see the switch over.


FAST Leadership
It looks to answer the questions what, how, who and how far, which are related to the task, service or project that is to be delivered, or goal to be achieved. Focus is about the WHAT, what we’re doing, what is our objective, and what does success look like. Accountability is about the WHO, who is going to do the work, who will be accountable and how will we hold them accountable. Simplicity is about the HOW, what is the solution, how are we planning to deliver success. Is our solution simple or have we over complicated it. Transparency is about How Far, How Far we have come and How Far we have to go in order to be successful, it’s also about our honesty about our progress and capability.


Data-Driven Insurance Pricing: Not Gouging
The big lesson from the Great Recession is that insurers can't rely, or at least shouldn't rely, upon investment income. Today all insurers are looking to underwrite profitably. This may seem like an obvious goal, but for anyone who has lived through cash flow underwriting or worked for an insurer who looks to expand market share at any cost, underwriting profitability hasn't always been a top priority for insurers. Price optimization will be leveraged to not only anticipate what the price points are for insurers but will be leveraged to further segment markets into finer and finer slices. All of this will be leveraged to try and turn each segment into a profitable segment.


Ask Cisco, VMware if their SDN interoperates
It's important for us as administrators to consider a change in vendor messages carefully. The stakes have changed as the offered stacks from each company have become larger and affect more parts of the infrastructure. Extricating yourself from a non-optimal solution in your environment could be time-consuming and expensive. To be clear, I think both companies offer advantages depending on the network you're planning to SDN-enable. But some of the messaging now seems to be that they're both the best solution for any network and that's unlikely to be true.


How CIOs Can Lead Their Company’s Information Business
Senior IT leaders not only are well equipped to lead and shape these activities but also have a huge part to play in accelerating change across the enterprise. To lead this transformation, CIOs must reimagine their role, seeing themselves—and encouraging others to see them—as chief executives of an information business. Like any chief executive, the CIO should bring vision, direction, and organization to the company’s big data investment priorities. That means engaging internal customers on their biggest challenges while attracting the best talent and suppliers; most important, it means being accountable for execution and results. The CIO’s mission encompasses both internal demand and supply


Cloud creep: Is your business in control?
It might be tempting to think you can use technology to defend against cloud creep the way some organisations block access to social media, but it can be an uphill battle, and it will take work and money — work and money you could be putting towards more important IT needs. "You can use internet proxy policies to block certain categories of traffic, like file storage and sharing tools," says Pierre-Olivier Blu-Mocaer, Asia-Pacific head of IT for asset management firm Schroders. "Those categories and their lists of sites are managed by third-parties, and some blacklisting can be done internally. You can also implement desktop policies to prevent users from installing or using unauthorised software."


The smart insurer: embedding big data in corporate strategy
Could big data and advanced analytics be disruptive for the whole insurance industry? Insurers are looking at their data-driven business capabilities and trying to improve how they use existing and new data and analytics. Current efforts are focused on areas such as pay-as-you-go pricing, customized and individualized products (for example one-time insurance), enhanced customer insights and improved fraud detection. However a vicious cycle is slowing insurers’ efforts to innovate and grow. Based on client experience and leading-edge research, BearingPoint Institute has defined the foundation for success in terms of speed, partnerships, open data, skills and governance.


How big data supports your digital insurer strategy
Insurance organisations need to source data that enables analysis of customer behaviour, contrasting with the traditional or needs-based information that has historically been used. This behavioural information can then be used to develop propositions that fit with the consumer’s lifestyle and preferred behaviours. Insurance businesses will need to invest in mobile and interactive technologies for multimedia content creation and product distribution across multiple digital platforms. PWC research suggests that the role of the intermediary sales channel will reduce, and customers will demand a direct relationship using their own online and offline trusted network to guide their choices.


Data Stewards versus Subject Matter Experts and Data Managers
We need to understand how these three roles fit together. Either we should justify them as separate roles or recognize that they boil down to the same thing. The fact that many enterprises have only a fuzzy grasp of what these three roles involve is a major risk for the successful operationalization of data governance. This is because individuals will be assumed to have accountabilities that they have not been formally assigned, and which they are not equipped to carry out. To the extent that these accountabilities are assigned by a data governance program, it is data governance that will be blamed for lack of results.


Microsoft’s Nadella on ‘Post-Post PC’ Vision
“It’s time for us to build the next big thing,” Nadella said. “If along the way we have to buy things that’s fine, but we have to build something big.” He didn’t disclose precisely what that big thing might be. But he described a wide-ranging array of new programs and services in development at Microsoft during the hour-long interview, from new search technologies to a live translation service for Skype calls demonstrated onstage at the event. As computing moves beyond desktop computers, he said, Microsoft will work on technology that encompasses more than mobile devices–the products that caused people like Steve Jobs to talk about a “post-PC era.”



Quote for the day:

"Any experience can be transformed into something of value." -- Vash Young

May 27, 2014

It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane….it’s India's first pizza-delivering drone!
In perhaps the most audacious and value-for-money stunt that the city of Mumbai has yet seen, a once unknown hole-in-the-wall Pizzeria at Kemp's Corner in tony South Mumbai used a drone to delivery a Pizza to a location nearby (Worli), giving further credence to the notion that India can be both way ahead of its time and way behind it. While this is apparently not the first pizza in the world delivered by a drone—A Dominos franchise snagged that badge of honor by dong so in the UK last year—it certainly was the most attention grabbing.


Microsoft to the FBI: Drop dead
The FBI backed off, and agreed to call back the letter. Yesterday, documents related to the case were unsealed by a federal court in Seattle. You can read them here. What's noteworthy about the case, the papers show, is that involves a corporate customer using cloud-based Office 365 and cloud data. That's Microsoft's future, and likely one of the reasons it fought back against the FBI. In its petition against the FBI request, Microsoft wrote: "As more users migrate from locally installed software and locally stored data to cloud-based computing platforms, Microsoft increasingly is entrusted to store its customers' data safely and securely."


Strategic principles for competing in the digital age
Digital capabilities increasingly will determine which companies create or lose value. Those shifts take place in the context of industry evolution, which isn’t monolithic but can follow a well-worn path: new trends emerge and disruptive entrants appear, their products and services embraced by early adopters (exhibit). Advanced incumbents then begin to adjust to these changes, accelerating the rate of customer adoption until the industry’s level of digitization—among companies but, perhaps more critically, among consumers as well—reaches a tipping point. Eventually, what was once radical is normal, and unprepared incumbents run the risk of becoming the next Blockbuster.


IT Professionals Overworked, Losing Pride in Their Jobs
"While the majority of IT professionals are proud they chose a career in IT, the survey results point to the potential of a trend towards dissatisfaction or disengagement that organizations need to monitor," Jason Hayman, market research manager for TEKsystems, said in a statement. "The shift so far is slight, but if it continues and organizations do not prepare for and adjust their talent management and workforce strategies accordingly, they could face even greater turnover, possibly causing even more stress and increased workloads for those employees that stick around."


Technology Companies Are Pressing Congress to Bolster Privacy Protections
“Almost every American thinks that it is frightening that we have a law that suggests that the government has the right to read your email after only 180 days,” Mr. Lee said. “It’s an easy issue in which to achieve bipartisan compromise and consensus.” The bill would require a search warrant for access to electronic communications, with exceptions for some emergency situations. It would also require the government to notify individuals within 10 days that their information was being investigated. However, it does not address rules for location data, like GPS information from an individual’s cellphone.


Getting started with a mobility assessment
To craft a strong mobility policy, start by defining your business goals and the devices and users that fall within its scope. For example, is your objective to enable business access under BYOD? Is it to enable secure visitor access to the Internet or guest services? Or do you want to ensure that every employee's mobile device complies with an industry regulation? Clarify your policy's scope by specifying which mobile devices are included, such as smartphones and tablets that carry or access business data. You may also exclude certain endpoints, such as IT-owned or personal-use-only devices.


Next generation hotspots: The future of Wi-Fi?
The key to NGH is something called Passpoint. Passpoint is an industry certification that your device has 802.1x and 802.11u functionality. IEEE 802.1x is a way to securely authenticate to a network. It is used in many businesses as a way for workers to connect to corporate networks, making the network trust a certain device. 802.11u is what creates the seamless part of the network identification and authentication process. “With 802.11u, a Passpoint-enabled smartphone and a Passpoint-enabled access point (AP) can have a very involved conversation, without the user connecting,” said Gunning. “The smartphone sends out packets to see what’s around, which is a process called beaconing.”


Beginner's Guide to HTML5 & CSS3 - HTML5 API Grab Bag
Wow, the future of web landscape looks excitingly promising. However, reaching this stage is not without its challenges. For one thing, the supports of the current browsers must be improved and streamlined. For another, the awareness and education on HTML5 APIs among the web communities must be stepped up. Some would have argued about "the chicken or the egg" causality dilemma. I would argue that both can proceed in parallel. Over the years, HTML5 specification has added a bag full of APIs that cover a wide spectra of functionality and features that power the future web browsers and mobile devices.


Mint 17: The best Linux desktop to date
Unlike most of its Linux brothers and sisters, Mint also includes many proprietary programs. So, for example, you can play Adobe Flash videos and DVDs from your Mint PC without jumping through any hoops. Mint doesn't include proprietary drivers such as the ATI or NVIDIA drivers; it does make it easy to install drivers. Another nice feature, which Mint does shares with most modern Linux distributions, is that you don't have to commit yourself to it. You can try it out by running it from a live USB thumb-drive or DVD drive before actually installing it. In my case — since I know Mint like the back of my hand — I went ahead and installed it not just on test systems but on my production desktop and laptop. Yes, I'm a brave Linux user!


You could one day be driving on a solar-powered smart streets
The Sagle, Idaho-based Solar Roadways company is now running a crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo.com to raise more money to ramp up production of their hexagonal-shaped Solar Road Panel technology. The hexagon panels are made up of four layers. There's a half-inch thick glass surface, followed by a layer of LED lights, an electronic support structure (circuit board) and a base layer made of recyclable materials. The hexagon-shaped Solar Road Panels connect to make a grid. "We can produce three times more power than we use as a nation. That will eliminate the need for coal-fired power plants," Scott Brusaw said.



Quote for the day:

"People will follow you when you build the character to follow through.” -- Orrin Woodward

May 26, 2014

Talari WAN aggregation helps shake enterprise reliance on MPLS
Talari physical and virtual appliances make routing decisions based on the quality of each link and which path is the best available for the traffic. As businesses start to have more demanding applications and traffic -- such as voice and video -- flowing over their network, they need help making the most of their available connections in a cost-effective way, Christy said. "If a business had three networks – say, an MPLS, a cable modem and DSL [Digital Subscriber Line]-- APN uses all three links. We can steer around problems, like avoiding a down MPLS link or a congested link for latency-sensitive packets," Talari's Gavin said.


5 worst days in a DBA's life
Not long ago, a crack team of SQL Server experts was flamed for a crime against database normalization they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from the taunts of academic relational theorists. Today, they survive as website editors and software evangelists. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the DBA Team. "Our rivals are going to be sweating this weekend." Bruno laughed mirthlessly from the shade of the canopy of the cafĂ© and had a sip of the wine. "It's sure hot, boss." "It's not the heat that will make them sweat, but the nasty surprise I have planned, Gabriel."


Do We Still Need Database Design in the Era of Big Data?
Confusion over this issue usually originates from misperceptions regarding how special solutions execute big data queries. Simply put, in most cases your data will be physically stored in two places: your current production database management system (DBMS) and the new special-purpose appliance. Your current production processes that extract, transform, and load data into the current DBMS continue to operate as-is, with an additional step: at every point that you load data into a table you will also ensure that the new data is loaded into the appliance as well. Loading data into the appliance can be done immediately after your DBMS loads, or can be batched for later execution.


Is BYOC the New Buzzword?
Pattamatta says, “BYOD users will soon move into BYOC, as it has the potential to shake up the organisation in a good way, just as BYOD brought a whole new range of productive mobility options to the business. But, BYOC takes things to a whole new level. We’re not talking about data on a laptop or smart phone. Data that had previously been safe (more or less) behind the confines of our enterprise network will now be stored on remote servers deployed at innumerable places that the company may not be able to access and are open to their own security risks. BYOC will require much more IT management and oversight than BYOD ever did.”


8 new tech job titles -- grab 'em before they're hot
IT pros face a constant balancing act between jobs that are core to IT's mission, like tech support specialist or QA technician, and those that ride the wave of change overtaking the industry, like dataviz expert, UX guru or chief digital officer. With an eye toward your future, Computerworld polled tech industry watchers and analysts to get their take on the up-and-coming jobs that should be on your radar. Who knows? The job with the most potential might be one you haven't heard of yet.


Building a hybrid network with SDN, network virtualization
SDN and network virtualization are highly interrelated technologies with overlapping capabilities, especially in the data center context. Both have widely varied (and complex) cost models, including prices by software license, VM, subscription (monthly fee), bundled with hardware and software, free software, pay for support, and open source. Implementing them should be driven by a specific use case and may require significant customization to work well in your environment. For the purposes of this article, SDN and network virtualization are considered together.


Lifecycle of disruption: How Square scaled to $5 billion and stayed true to its mission
The first iteration of Square was a product that could deal with the issue that initially plagued McKelvey: give people an easy way to accept credit card payments. Folks such as food truck operators, local artists and artisans, and farmers at farmer's markets were the initial target audience. For the early customers, it was a no brainer. They had no way to accept credit cards without onerous monthly fees and a high percentage per transaction. Square gave them a way around that. The company gave away the reader for free, there was no contract or monthly fee, and there was a low, flat rate for processing


Virtual Panel on Reactive Programming
Reactive programming is a very hot topic: libraries for building reactive systems are mushrooming on many platforms and languages. Initiatives like the Reactive Manifesto (watch the InfoQ interview with Francesco Cesarini and Viktor Klang) are promoting the idea, and with Reactive Streams (also see Reactive Streams with Akka Streams on InfoQ) there are even efforts to provide interoperability between reactive libraries. But what does it mean to be reactive? How do implementations differ from each other? InfoQ brought together three proponents of reactive programming in a virtual panel to find out and learn more about the individual projects.


‘Social Physics’ Harnesses Big Data to Predict Human Behavior
“At every level of interaction, from small groups to large cities, social networks can be tuned to increase exploration and engagement, thus vastly improving idea flow,” asserted the editors in an overview of Pentland’s latest book. These trends in big data analytics and social physics research are being driven in large part by the proliferation of mobile devices and sensors that are generating enormous data sets. Add to that, devices themselves are being connected via ad hoc networks that have come to be called the “Internet of Things.” The result is a flood of unstructured data that researchers have just now began to probe for insights into things like consumer behavior and personalize health care.


Data Bloat? 6 Ways You Can Trim Fat for Lean Information Governance in 2014
IDC predicts that enterprise data growth will average around 50% each year through 2016 and storage costs are expected to consume close to 20% of the typical IT budget in 2014. What's more, the increase in the use of non-email communications such as instant messaging, enterprise social platforms and social media will drive up enterprise data volumes exponentially. According to Allison Walton, CEO of information governance consultancy Fortis Quay, "Many meaningful and material conversations are being conducted in these mediums and must be controlled, captured, and be discovery ready."



Quote for the day:

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood." -- Stephen R. Covey

May 25, 2014

Decomposing Applications for Deployability and Scalability
One way to think about microservice architecture is that it’s SOA without the commercialization and perceived baggage of WS* and ESB. Despite not being an entirely novel idea, the microservice architecture is still worthy of discussion since it is different than traditional SOA and, more importantly, it solves many of the problems that many organizations currently suffer from. In this article, you will learn about the motivations for using the microservice architecture and how it compares with the more traditional, monolithic architecture. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks of microservices. You will learn how to solve some of the key technical challenges with using the microservice architecture including inter-service communication and distributed data management.


10 things statistics taught us about big data analysis
Many cool ideas in applied statistics are really relevant for big data analysis. So I thought I'd try to answer the second question in my previous post: "When thinking about the big data era, what are some statistical ideas we've already figured out?" Because the internet loves top 10 lists I came up with 10, but there are more if people find this interesting. Obviously mileage may vary with these recommendations, but I think they are generally not a bad idea.


Facebook Moves to Stop Over-Sharing
Now, though, new accounts will be automatically set to only share with friends. The user can then change that if they want to. Facebook also said it plans to remind current users that they may want to rethink who can see their posts. "For people already on Facebook, we've also received the feedback that they are sometimes worried about sharing something by accident, or sharing with the wrong audience," Facebook noted. "Over the next few weeks, we'll start rolling out a new and expanded privacy checkup tool, which will take people through a few steps to review things like who they're posting to, which apps they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile."


Why a medical doctor decided to join IBM Research
With the number of examinations and tests increasing dramatically from year to year, and the number of MDs specializing in radiology going down, we need to help radiologists work with greater volumes while maintaining diagnostic quality and accuracy.  The use of imaging will become ever more critical as the use of smart contrast materials becomes more popular in diagnosis. For example, if we see a shadow in the lungs, we can’t always differentiate between an infection and a growth. With more accurate visual aids and smarter materials, we’ll be able to get a more accurate diagnosis without doing a biopsy.


Deploying SQL Server 2014 with Cluster Shared Volumes
With traditional cluster storage, each SQL instance requires a separate LUN to be carved out. This because the LUN would need to failover with the SQL instance. CSV allows nodes in the cluster to have shared access to storage. This facilitates the consolidation of SQL instances by storing multiple SQL instances on a single CSV. Consolidating multiple SQL instances on a single LUN makes the storage utilization more efficient.  Traditionally, the number of SQL instances that can be deployed on a cluster is limited to the number of drive letters (24 excluding the system drive and a drive for a peripheral device). There is no limit to the number of mount points for a CSV. Therefore, scalability of your SQL deployment is enhanced.


Will Intel Corporation’s Moorefield Be a Game Changer?
Intel's Moorefield looks pretty good from a CPU and graphics performance perspective, and it will likely be quite competitive with the best from Qualcomm on those fronts. However, when it comes to imaging performance, the Qualcomm and NVIDIA chips handily outpace the Intel processor. The good news is that Intel has its graphics and CPU performance/power stories down pat (something that bears usually cite as an Intel weaknesses in mobile), but the bad news is that Moorefield still isn't quite best in class when all vectors are considered. The relatively poor imaging performance will limit Moorefield's penetration in higher-end smartphones, but shouldn't be a hindrance in cellular-enabled Android tablets.


Can Predictive Analytics Prevent Mischief In Corporate Finance?
If startup Aviso has their way, sprawling corporate enterprises will turn to analytics dashboards and application programming interfaces (APIs) to handle their financial metrics. The company, which just left exited stealth mode last month, is backed by $8 million in Series A funding from Shasta Ventures, Bloomberg BETA, and several other investors. Their goal? Creating a dashboard that lets large companies understand their finances in real time--before quarterly reports are issued. K.V. Rao, the service’s cofounder and CEO, is best known for being the brains behind enterprise automation firm Zuora. During a phone conversation, he told me that Aviso’s mission statement is to “democratize quant science for the enterprise”


These 3 hot new trends in storage will blow your mind! Okay, maybe not quite. (2/2)
There were some rumblings in the Twittersphere about how knowing your competitor and not hiding them behind “Competitor A” or the like was invoking fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). And while it is a conservative, and acceptable, option not to name a competitor if you have a lot of them–Veeam chose this path in their comparisons, for example–that doesn’t mean that it’s automatically deceptive to give a fair and informed comparison within your competitive market. If Dave Wright had gone in front of the delegates and told us how bad all the competitors were and why they couldn’t do anything ri


Data Modeling in Graph Databases
Data modelling consists of using the property graph primitives — nodes, relationships, properties and labels  to build an application-specific graph data model that allows us to easily express the questions we want to ask of that application's domain. When building an application with Neo4j, we typically employ a multi-step process, which starts with a description of the problem we're trying to solve and ends with the queries we want to execute against an application-specific graph data model. This process can be applied in an iterative and incremental manner to build a data model that evolves in step with the iterative and incremental development of the rest of the application.


Enterprise Architecture & Avoiding tunnel vision
What I mean by “Tunnel Vision” is that the architect only looks at what is right in front of him/her (e.g.: The current task/project) , and does not consider the implications of how the decisions being made for this task may impact the wider I.T infrastructure and customer from a commercial / operational perspective. In my previous role I saw this all to often, and it was frustrating to know the solutions being designed and delivered to the customers were in some cases quite well designed when considered in isolation, but when taking into account the “Big Picture” (or what I would describe as the customers overall requirements) the solutions were adding unnecessary complexity, adding risk and increasing costs, when new solutions should be doing the exact opposite.



Quote for the day:

“Leaders who won't own failures become failures.” -- Orrin Woodward

May 24, 2014

WCF Routing Service - Part I: Basic Concept, Simple Routing Service & Content-based Routing
The Routing Service is a generic SOAP intermediary that acts as a router. The core functionality of the Routing Service is the ability to route incoming messages based on message content (in either the header or the message body) to the actual services hosted in the same machine as the Router Service or distributed across the network. Actually Routing Service acts as a front-end service that mirrors the target service(s). The main benefit of theRouting Service is to provide location transparency to the client (application) because the client is explicitly decoupled from knowing anything about the actual services that will actually perform tasks on its behalf.


Government to help UK business get cyber security basics right
“The Cyber Essentials Scheme (CES), aimed at raising the bar, which we assess to be pretty low,” said Giles Smith, deputy director, cyber security at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). The scheme is set to be launched on 5 June, he told a seminar on cyber risks and opportunities hosted by law firm Sidley Austin and the Association of British Insurers in London. “The role of BIS within the national cyber security strategy is to enable growth by helping UK businesses to operate safely in cyberspace,” said Smith. To do this, he said, businesses need to embed cyber security in corporate governance processes, treating it like any other business risk, and establish confidence that the basic controls are in place.


Digital collaboration goes deeper, gets lightweight and intelligent
The pace of innovation in digital collaboration itself appears to remain unabated. The number of e-mails I get about new collaborative tools for the enterprise even today is astonishing. While I will share a list of the most promising ones here soon, there is no let up in sight, even though most of these products will not succeed. In reality, most companies will end up choosing relatively mature offerings, from a short list of each of the types of tools outlined in the main figure above. These include file sync and sharing, content/document management, chat, SMS, instant messaging, teleconferencing (including voice, video, and Web), legacy groupware, wikis, blogs, enterprise social networks, and some specialty outlier tools.


Dazed and Confused About Big Data
Big data sources can reveal vital information for every aspect of the business. But first, organizations have to gain a better understanding of what "big data" is and why it might matter for business insight. Research firm Gartner has introduced 12 dimensions to clarify the many aspects of the confusing world of big data. Instead of "big data", Gartner opts for Extreme Information Management, to reflect the diversity of data formats that can be considered "big data". The various dimensions underscore the reality that "big data" isn't just one thing and isn't just 'lots of data'. Approaching big data through different dimensions can help companies understand whether or not big data holds any value for their business needs, and where their most valuable big data may reside.


Wireless Power from Across the Room
Energous is the latest in a long line of companies fixated on the idea that life would be easier if we didn’t have so many wires and gadgets to plug in. Yet many of the wireless charging products that have come to market have relied on special charging mats that juice up devices at a short distance, and they’re still not that popular with consumers. “There’s not very many people that want to take their phone and go leave it somewhere while it charges,” Energous CEO Stephen Rizzone argues. “If they’re going to leave it somewhere while it charges, they’re going to plug it into a wall.” The most common wireless-charging technology currently available is magnetic induction, which uses coils to transfer power over small distances via a magnetic field. This is the method used to recharge electric toothbrushes, for example.


eBay Demonstrates How Not to Respond to a Huge Data Breach
Eva Velasquez of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center compares the incident to the far-more-visible breach of Target last December. “Our phone lines were blowing up with people calling about the Target breach asking what to do,” she says. “This week, it’s been very quiet here.” Those serial acts of miscommunication signal that eBay, despite its role as one of the biggest ecommerce companies on the planet, may not have had a disclosure plan in place for the possibility of a breach. “For a company like eBay, this is one of the first tabletop exercises I’d ever do in an organization,” says data breach consultant Kennedy. “They’re all over the place and don’t seem to have prepared at all.”


Researchers find a global botnet of infected PoS systems
According to IntelCrawler, the Nemanja botnet included 1,478 infected systems in countries on most continents including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, China, Russia, Brazil and Mexico. An analysis of the Nemanja botnet revealed that the compromised systems were running a wide variety of PoS, grocery store management and accounting software that is popular in different countries. The IntelCrawler researchers identified at least 25 different such software programs used on those systems. This doesn't mean that the identified applications are particularly vulnerable or insecure for further use, but shows that the Nemanja PoS malware was designed to work with different software.


Fun with Unicode
All Unicode code points can be encoded in either of the 2 standard encoding formats: UTF16 and UTF8. UTF16 are mostly double byte encoding (except for surrogate pairs). The encoding for U+222B is hexadecimal 22 2B if the byte ordering is Big endian and hexadecimal 2B 22 if the ordering is Little endian. For encoding Unicode code points outside of the Basic Multilingual Plane, 2 sets of 4 hexadecimal numbers are used. See Surrogate Support in Microsoft Products for more details on how to do the encoding. UTF8 is an encoding standard that uses 1 or more bytes to encode each Unicode code point.


SAP mobile chief details market strategy & tactics
There are many challenges here including device OS versions and hardware choices. Most enterprises are eager to move to the cloud, but one of the top concerns is security and the related concern of privacy. A single security flaw can be cause significant damage to an organisation. Think about the issue of BYOD that has already pushed enterprises to confront the topic of security, and we know the next logical step is bring your own anything (BYOx) which raises a number of additional issues such as agility, compliance, complexity of app development, and integration across platforms and backend systems.


Kenya: Overcoming Challenges of the National Digital Register
The Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) a body looking at the welfare of consumers, added its voice to the on-going debate about the project: “Kenyans have not been told what exactly went wrong with a similar project where the IEBC was not too lucky with the Biometric Voter Register (BVR) after registering over 14 million people,” Cofek said in a statement. “Public trust level in such projects is fairly low given the unmet pledges on new generation IDs and security passports. Registering voters is anchored on different legislations as compared with registration of persons. The formats could also slightly vary.”



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

May 23, 2014

Different approaches to BYOD policies are recipe for success
Different approaches must be taken in part because of different laws. For example, Germany laws don't allow EnBW, an electrical utilities company there, to lock onto a device with full MDM. Instead, the company started a BYOD approach focused solely on MAM, according to Boris Schroeder, team lead for IT mobile solutions for EnBW. "We just want to take control of the applications we deliver and what the content of the applications is," said Schroeder. As part of that approach, EnBW recently pushed out its first Citrix Worx Home application, Worx Mail, which connects to its Microsoft Outlook email.


Strategy or Culture: Which Is More Important?
Strategy must be rooted in the cultural strengths you have and the cultural needs of your businesses. If culture is hard to change, which it is, then strategy is too. Both take years to build; both take years to change. This is one of the many reasons that established companies struggle with big disruptions in their markets. For example, all the major credit card companies are seeking to transition from traditional payments to digital commerce. This shift in strategy will be difficult to pull off. It not only requires a cultural change, but also a change in companies’ target customer, value propositions, and essential capabilities—the three most fundamental choices a business strategy comprises!


Promising a privacy-friendly successor to today’s internet
A more fundamental problem is the shift to mobile. It’s all very well for a PC user to leave their machine on 24/7 in order to earn as many safecoins as they can, but you simply can’t do that with today’s mobile technology and data pricing. The connections and local processing power can probably handle it, but the batteries can’t – there’s a reason phones are forever going to sleep – and data usage caps are too restrictive. Down the line these things may change, but for now they mean mobile users are only theoretical consumers, not contributors. MaidSafe could pin basic access to the possession of safecoins, but those will be scarce in the early days. It’s a fine line to walk.


Business Adapts to a New Style of Computer
The technology industry is preparing for the Internet of things, a type of computing characterized by small, often dumb, usually unseen computers attached to objects. These devices sense and transmit data about the environment or offer new means of controlling it. For more than a decade technologists have predicted and argued about the onslaught of these ubiquitous devices. “There is lot of quibbling about what to call it, but there’s little doubt that we’re seeing the inklings of a new class of computer,” says David Blaauw, who leads a lab at the University of Michigan that makes functioning computers no bigger than a typed letter o.


Money and Government in the Virtual World
In a way, Bitcoin is a business intelligence maven’s dream come true. You can actually mine money directly on your computer, and the process is even referred to as “mining Bitcoins.” To get into the game, you must participate in the Bitcoin network and contribute compute power to solve a cryptography problem that protects the integrity and the chronological order of the transaction chain, mainly finding the key that matches a hash number accompanying a collection of transactions.


Control Without Compromise Through Superior Data Center Protection
A key challenge is that many of today’s security solutions are simply not designed for the data center, with limitations in both provisioning and performance. The situation will likely get worse before it gets better as data center traffic grows exponentially and data centers migrate from physical, to virtual, to next-generation environments like Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Application Centric Infrastructures (ACI). To deliver the protection data center administrators need – without compromising the performance and functionality that these new data center environments enable – intelligent cybersecurity solutions must address five critical issues:


Coming soon to a fridge near you -- targeted ads
The Federal Trade Commission has acknowledged the need for a closer inspection of the potential security and privacy implications of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). "Consumers already are able to use their mobile phones to open their car doors, turn off their home lights, adjust their thermostats, and have their vital signs, such as blood pressure, EKG, and blood sugar levels, remotely monitored by their physicians," the FTC noted last November while convening a workshop on IoT privacy and security issues. "In the not-too-distant future, consumers approaching a grocery store might receive messages from their refrigerator reminding them that they are running out of milk," the FTC said.


Why Banks Still Struggle with Big Data
"The challenge is that banks have these silos of info, so your deposit data isn't necessarily in the same place as your loan data.... The inside information is so extraordinarily valuable from a marketing and communications standpoint, and yet they don't use it." "Overall for banks, especially the midsize and smaller banks, there are so many things on the table that the prioritization of what they should do next gets blurred." "The bigger banks are using digital information, and it's a very big concern to make sure they don't break any privacy rules or perceived privacy rules....


Healthcare data goes from big to great
Today, with the advent of "text analytics," organizations like Highmark can make sense of vast stores of unstructured data, not just information entered in a discrete format. (Pitts called this the "bag of words" method.) According to Pitts, computers now can look for "term concurrence" across multiple documents to search out patterns, such as evidence of patient dissatisfaction, according to Pitts, so people don't have to flip through hundreds of pages in hopes of stumbling across something meaningful. "Have machines find things," he said.


Exchanging Industry Experiences with Agile Methodologies
Becoming Agile is no excuse for doing no or bad project management. On the contrary, Agile teams do more and more frequent planning than a lot of traditional teams but in a different way. Agile planning focusses much more on the outcome (value) for the customer and how to deliver and track that. And also output is measured in terms of how much working and ‘done’ product is delivered instead of the percentage of work or effort that is done. In general Agile project management switches to real measurements of done product instead of estimates as soon as possible and makes risks and uncertainty explicit in the planning.



Quote for the day:

"The trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more" -- Erica Jong 

May 22, 2014

Oracle set to launch in-memory database option
The in-memory option will speed up both analytic and transaction processing workloads, Oracle has said. In-memory databases place information in RAM, rather than reading it off of slower disk storage, providing those performance gains. Oracle has had in-memory technology for years, such as TimesTen, but hasn't made the approach a central part of its database strategy until now. During Oracle's third-quarter earnings call in March, Ellison said the in-memory option could be launched as late as August, but the webcast's timing could indicate the company's development teams are ahead of schedule.A


Enterprise architects: Give them a bigger role in smaller firms
Misconceptions about the place of an enterprise architecture in smaller companies may also be down to much of the literature and research on the subject. "Most of what you read about enterprise architecture speaks to larger organisations and makes assumptions about the resources that they're able to commit," Burke said. "So small businesses need to be both realistic and selective about where they are going to focus their energy, because even large organisations struggle with building a full-out enterprise architecture." Burke said maturity in this area across organisations in general is relatively low.


Is it really a tech bubble, or is it something else?
People dislike Uber, not because some founder is going to become a billionaire; the discontent comes from the visible disparity between those who have it and those who don’t. Google buses get rocks and eggs thrown at them mostly because they are a reminder of digital feudalism. As an industry, we are very fortunate; and that is why it is important to remember why we need to have compassion and understanding about the fears of the rest of the world. We need to remember that our actions now intersect and influence those who are not of our industry. Trying to be in their shoes isn’t a bad place to start.


Glenn Greenwald: how the NSA tampers with US-made internet routers
The NSA routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers. The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal and sends them on. The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all their users. ... Eventually, the implanted device connects back to the NSA. The report continues: "In one recent case, after several months a beacon implanted through supply-chain interdiction called back to the NSA covert infrastructure. This call back provided us access to further exploit the device and survey the network."


Internet of Everything in the Public Sector: Generating Value in an Era of Change
IoE brings these elements together through standards-based IP networks, and Cisco projects that it will generate a staggering $19 trillion in value over the next 10 years. Public sector organizations can capture as much as $4.6 trillion of this Value at Stake (http://bit.ly/1aSGIzn). Already, some forward-thinking organizations — federal, state, and local governments; healthcare organizations; educational institutions; utilities; and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — are seizing the opportunity. They are using IoE-enabled solutions to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and, most important, improve the lives of citizens.


Hyperconvergence on the horizon for enterprises
Enterprise cloud computing is finally becoming more enterprise-focused. IBM's acquisition of SoftLayer signaled their entry into the enterprise cloud market, offering a bare-metal option that's firmly directed toward businesses. They're competing with Amazon, though not on price, says SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby; instead, it's their "enterprise-y" approach that marks IBM's renewed cloud efforts. Senior news writer Beth Pariseau discusses her interview with Crosby and his take on the cloud computing market in this installment of the Modern Infrastructure podcast, along with discussing who might turn out to be Amazon's closest rival.


American Express CEO Ken Chenault: 'There's a $25 trillion opportunity'
Here's what's key. If we look at how mobile devices are used, people who use mobile devices in the shoppers' journey are 40% more likely to convert to sales. Think about how people use information, how they leverage recommendations they get from social media sites. The key is to understand the different elements of the commerce journey. We want to be where our customers are. We want to deliver them benefits in the way they want to have those benefits presented to them. It goes back to a key message I give in my organization: This is an environment where you innovate or die. We want to be the company that will put us out of business.


Sizing Up Candidates for Cultural Fit Throughout the Hiring Process
The onboarding process is a time to ensure new hires receive the training and education needed for them to get up to speed, but it’s also the perfect time to stress the company’s cultural values. Folding a mentorship program into onboarding efforts can be a great way to connect new hires more fully to their co-workers and the company culture at large. Depending on the company and the staff, mentors might need to receive incentives. After all, mentoring a new hire is no small feat, so bonuses like extra vacation days, financial incentives and even free lunches can sweeten the pot. Great mentors can not only get new employees up to speed faster. They can also give new hires an on-the-ground perspective of how the company culture plays out in everyday office life.


Big banks' legacy IT systems could kill them
Sam Woods, a director in the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority, recently told an investigation into banking IT disasters that UK bank IT systems are far from robust. “I feel we are a very long away from being able to sit here with confidence and say the UK banks' IT systems are robust,” Woods told the committee at a Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster. Computer Weekly’s senior banking source agrees. “I think all banks have similar risks but RBS has suffered more than most. There is a fine between being just OK and just not OK," he says.  "The pressure on cost after 2008 has been significant and firms are also having to pay out large fines, compensation or cover trading losses, which does not help.


Restify and Mobilize Your Data
We examine two technologies that significantly reduce time to market. Executable Schema(builds on MDD and Convention over Configuration) creates a RESTful API and multi-table UI from existing schemas - literally in minutes. Declarative Behavior for logic and security bring spreadsheet-like power and simplicity - backed up by a fully programmable JavaScript model. In this piece, we’ll briefly review existing key technologies, to build on their advances and to benefit from lessons learned in the marketplace. We’ll then provide specifics for Executable Schema and Declarative Behavior.



Quote for the day:

"It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety." -- Isaac Asimov

May 21, 2014

CFOs get schooled on hope and hype of big data analytics
How many chiefs does it take to invest in big data? If you haven't already, it's time to add CFOs to that list. "We used to see big data as a CIO-IT cost consolidation problem. In fact, the debate has completely shifted. It's all about revenue, growth and enhancement," said Jo Tango, co-founder and partner at venture capital firm Kepha Partners. "I would argue [that], in the big data age, CFOs have even more power and leverage as the people who write checks."


Reactive Cloud Actors: An Evolvable Web of Events
In case of a Reactive actors, the sender simply publishes an event signifying the business process accomplished and other actors choose to subscribe to such events and perform their actions. In this case, actors can evolve independently and business processes modified with only change to a single or a handful of actors. This results in higher level of decoupling and is a good fit for developing both analytics and transactional systems on the horizontal scale provided by the cloud. Implementations of Reactive Actors already exist in the industry. Fred George's body of work on Reactive MicroServices is a prime example. Amazon Kinesis can be viewed as a coarsely granular Reactive Actor framework.


Security's future belongs to open source
The proof that open source, properly applied, is available. Studies, such as the one recently done by Coverity, have found that open-source programs have fewer errors per thousand lines of code than its proprietary brothers. And, it's hard to ignore the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), the group within the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) that assesses operating systems and software for security issues, when they said that that while no end-user operating system is as secure as they'd like it to be, Ubuntu 12.04 is the most secure desktop. On the other hand, the mere existence of Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday says everything most of us need to know about how "secure" proprietary software is.


Top Initiatives to Improve IT
Management consultancy McKinsey & Co. surveyed business executives from across functions to find out their attitudes about IT. One question asked what initiatives would be most important to improving IT performance. More than 738 executives responded, and the results were published in late March. McKinsey’s takeaway: “Surprisingly, more IT executives than business leaders see changing IT leadership as a priority to improve IT performance.” Here are McKinsey’s top nine initiatives to improve IT performance based on the results.


How To Fix Windows Server Network Performance Problems
More often than not, the network performance problems are the result of a Windows security feature. By default, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 digitally sign SMB packets. This digital signature helps to protect against spoofing, but it adds some overhead to the traffic stream. You can get rid of this overhead and improve performance by disabling the SMB packet signing feature. Keep in mind however, that disabling SMB signing does reduce security, so you should only use this fix if you are experiencing disruptive performance or reliability problems.


Businesses increase IT spending at fastest rate for eight years, say IT leaders
The survey shows that after five years of cost cutting, CIOs' number one priority has shifted to providing their business with an efficient IT service.Two-thirds of IT leaders are prioritising projects that make money for the business in an indication that more companies are focusing on investment in IT for growth rather than to save money. And more CIOs are more optimistic that their IT budgets will continue to grow than at any time since the survey began in 2005, with some 44% expecting more budget increases next year, the research revealed.


AT&T hacker wants government to pay him $13M
"I want history to record that I made an honest and public attempt to get reasonable compensation," from the government, Auernheimer said in comments via email to Computerworld. "Whatever I do in the future, I want people to know that I tried peaceful civil actions first." The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in March 2013 sentenced Auernheimer to 41 months in prison for violating provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Last month, the United State Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated that sentence on a technicality, holding that the case had been pursued in the wrong venue.


Hybrid strategies common as organizations strive for cloud GRC
Banks, for example, are required by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to have well-rounded third-party risk management, according to VanSickel. This includes initial due diligence on the third party's history, then extensive research on the security controls and services provided by the company, he said. Additionally, the organization procuring cloud services will need audit capabilities. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Payment Card Industry customers need to recertify yearly to ensure they are still complying with regulations, and the cloud provider should be able to meet these requirements.


China retaliates, nixes Windows 8 on government PCs
According to the Xinhua News Agency, an official press arm of the People's Republic, Windows 8 has been barred from government, but not private, PCs. "It's a good sound bite for the Chinese government, it goes well as a response to the DOJ action, and if sales are low -- even if they eventually use it -- they'll have a statement to back it up," said Michael Silver, an analyst with Gartner, in an email reply to questions. Silver referred to yesterday's charges by the U.S. Department of Justiceleveled against five Chinese hackers with links to the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's military. The DOJ accused the five of breaking into numerous U.S. companies' networks and stealing trade secrets and intellectual property.


5 Ways Your Business Can Benefit from Agile Engineering Practices Today
The key is the word ‘process’. It’s tech stack agnostic. And the key to getting the full benefit of Agile Engineering Practices is having the diligence to uphold a certain minimum level of process discipline when things get hairy. It’s like exercising. If you exercise 5 times a week when you’re on vacation and 1 time per week when you have a tough work week, then in actuality you exercise once per week. If you practice pairing and TDD when you have no deadlines and throw Agile out the window once you have a tight deadline, then you’re not diligently practicing the process of Agile. Five specific benefits that businesses can gain by using Agile Engineering Practices are:



Quote for the day:

"Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow" -- Robert Kiyosaki