May 13, 2014

What are the best practices for data center cleaning?
The real key to keeping a data center clean: Control what comes in from outside. Never unpack or uncrate equipment -- and certainly don't store cartons -- inside the data center. You should have a place outside, preferably with a negative pressure environment, where you can unpack and clean all hardware before it comes inside. Create a "clean zone" outside your data center, such as a vestibule or corridor that is not regularly trafficked and is cleaned daily. When mechanics or electricians work inside the data center, insist that they wear clean clothing or clean cover-ups. Anything needed from the outside should be brought from the warehouse, unpacked, and handed off at the door.

The core components of the new generation of records management/information governance tools
When implementing such EDRM systems the records managers drew a 'line in the sand'. They aimed to implement a system that would manage records going forward in time. They did not attempt to deal with legacy content that had already accumulated on shared drives and in email. The weakness of EDRM systems was that end users did not move all or most significant content into the records system. Shared drives and e-mails continued to grow and continued to contain important content not captured into the records system.

As Patch Tuesday looms, Microsoft gives Windows 8.1 users a reprieve
On Monday -- and just a day before its May Patch Tuesday slate of security fixes -- Microsoft said consumers have four more weeks to move from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update before their devices would be barred from receiving further patches. The deadline change was the third in the past month, following an earlier Windows 8.1 Update extension for business users and a surprise update on May 1 for Windows XP after Microsoft had officially retired the aged OS. "We've decided to extend the requirement for our consumer customers to update their devices to the Windows 8.1 Update in order to receive security updates another 30 days to June 10," said Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc in a Monday blog.

HP pivots, says open sourcing SDNs is right
What’s interesting is that just last fall, HP dismissed open sourcing SDNs, and OpenDaylight. Ex-HPer Mike Banic had said when he was vice president of global marketing for HP Networking that open sourcing SDNs was “wrong” because it means passing the burden and investment of ensuring enterprise-class functionality, reliability and performance onto the customer. And Bethany Mayer, formerly senior vice president and general manager of HP Networking (who has transitioned to a new role at the company), said at that time she didn’t know why customers would use an OpenDaylight controller. “Using an open source controller in the enterprise can be tricky and dangerous,” Mayer said at last fall’s Interop New York conference.

RecruitiFi uses gamification to enhance the recruiting process
"It's like going fishing, eating one, and throwing the bucket of fish -- half a dozen -- away every time," he said. With RecruitiFi, the idea is that a recruiter could submit up to four of those candidates to an employer looking to fill a relevant position. For employers, McCagg said it's a better option than a job board, for example, because they can chose to work with recruiters based on location, expertise, or what level they focus on - the candidates are more likely to be on target for the job. "It's like yelling out across a city like New York, 'Hey I'm looking for this exact person,' but the only people that hear you are relevant recruiters," McCagg said.

NSA backdoors US hardware headed overseas: Greenwald
Greenwald wrote that the NSA puts backdoors onto devices and repackages them with a factory seal before sending the hardware onto its original destination. "A June 2010 report from the head of the NSA's Access and Target Development department is shockingly explicit," Greenwald said. "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." He said that part of the reason for the US banning Chinese hardware was to prevent the replacement of NSA-backdoored hardware. "Chinese routers and servers represent not only economic competition but also surveillance competition."

Cloud security policy exceptions thwart rogue usage controls
"Enterprises are blind to cloud usage," said Netskope CEO Sanjay Beri. "People will go off and work in silos, not because they're bad or malicious, but because swiping a credit card is easier than waiting three months to get everyone on the same page. … They don't even necessarily understand the risk, and the number of apps flying under the radar is growing." Beri said the cloud app sprawl plaguing large organizations is largely the result of a lack of coordination among different business units. He said the report shows that many of the apps present in enterprise environments are redundant, with marketing and human resources apps the most frequent culprits.

USB SuperSpeed will relegate Thunderbolt to a niche
Both USB SuperSpeed and Thunderbolt have recently undergone version upgrades - USB moved to v3.1 (SuperSpeed+) and Thunderbolt to v2. And both upgrades double the maximum throughput speed -- USB 3.1 to 10Gbps and Thunderbolt 2 to 20Gbps. But, the USB SuperSpeed specification has a lot of elasticity built into it. "This tech will scale well beyond 10Gbps," said Rahman Ismail, a USB 3.0 senior architect at Intel. "We believe we already have a protocol that will scale well past 40Gbps." Other than speed, Thunderbolt 2 has another advantage over USB 3.1 - 10 watts of power compared with USB SuperSpeed's 4.5 watts.

Want to Solve Problems More Efficiently? Do This.
Programmers always see the big picture and have to think abstractly. In an interview, Gates said that the most difficult thing about programming was “[simulating] in your mind how the program is going to work” and “[having] a complete grasp of how the various pieces of the program work together.” In a way, you need to think as a computer. Identify the input (requirements) and the output (problem). Then find a way to compute (connect) the two. This computation is broken down even further into smaller iterations, getting you closer to the output. As programmers do, you can break down projects into smaller, digestible chunks. Even if you’re not dealing with thousands of lines of code, compartmentalizing the process makes it easier to manage.

How Functional is Java 8?
Whether a language is functional or not is not a binary condition - instead, languages exist on a spectrum. At the extreme end are languages that basically enforce functional programming, often by prohibiting mutable data structures. Clojure is one example of a language that does not permit mutable data in the accepted sense. However, there are other languages in which it is common to write programs in a functional style, despite the language not enforcing this. An example would be Scala, which is a blend of object-oriented and functional languages. It permits functions as values, such as:

Quote for the day:

"The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective." -- Warren Buffett