August 07, 2014

Oracle hasn't killed Java -- but there's still time
By the time Oracle bought Sun, its troubles had leaked into Java 7, which took approximately 100 years (give or take) to be released -- and with far fewer features. Oracle started making promises about releases and tried to create a release schedule (good idea), However, it failed to fix Sun's semi-abortive attempts to open-source Java, which might have made it more responsive to the industry, or to create any new Java products that anyone wanted to buy. In fact, Oracle trimmed Sun's portfolio of immature products that no one was purchasing. It was probably a good move, but some of Oracle's offerings in those areas are rickety at best. Then Oracle continued Sun's late attempt to tick off its allies and sued Google with a position ripe with collateral damage for our entire industry. Needless to say it was sort of predictable.


What Does the Future of Work Look Like?
In the future of work, apps and operating systems will light up scenarios such that, whatever device you use, it's the functional equivalent to being on the corporate network. We saw some of this with the DirectAccess feature that Microsoft enabled in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, but this now extends in Windows 8 and beyond. No more user-initiated tunneling. No more clunky laptops trying to boot up. A user will take a computer, unsleep it within a few seconds, and use it like he or she is on the corporate campus. The takeaway for IT? Make the boundary between your network and your users as transparent as you possibly can.


5 Breakthrough DARPA Technologies Beyond GPS
"More worrisome is that adversaries can jam signals. GPS continues to be vital, but its limitations in some environments could make it an Achilles' heel if warfighters rely on it as their sole source of PNT information," DARPA says on its program website. In fact, illegal devices that jam GPS signals are becoming increasingly available. Some simple gadgets that plug into 12-volt car receptacle connectors and cost as little as $30 can render GPS systems inoperable for miles, according to GPS systems provider NovAtel. In its search for new technologies that offer an alternative to GPS, DARPA is particularly interested in systems that provide long-duration precision and accuracy in positioning and timing for global synchronization, secure communications, and cooperative effects.


I give the new Raspberry Pi B+ an A-
My two favorite B+ features are four USB ports (compared to two on the B board) and the micro SD card slot (compared to the full-sized SD card slot on the B board). Micro SD is the perfect platform for a board this small. That, and the micro SD card doesn't stick out too far from the board's boundaries. ... everything on the B+ board is more organized and better placed, although the camera serial interface (CSI) and display serial interface (DSI) didn't move very much. But the DSI is now situated very close to the edge of the board making it more convenient for cabling.


The big data architecture dilemma for CIOs
As CIOs architect for big data, they're likely to bump up against a common and longstanding IT dilemma: To build or buy? Today, big data infrastructure bottlenecks can be specific and ill-suited for the one-size-fits-all solutions that have dominated the market for years. The better fit may come from technology alternatives such as in-memory or NoSQL databases, cloud, open source or, as is the case for Facebook and Tesla, a custom build. But first, CIOs will have to parse through the ambiguity of the term "big data" itself, juxtaposing what has become a catch-all marketing phrase with the technical pain points the business faces. And in the end, they're likely to make surgical rather than sweeping technology investments.


Massive Russian hack has researchers scratching their heads
Some security researchers on Wednesday said it's still unclear just how serious the discovery is, and they faulted the company that uncovered the database, Hold Security, for not providing more details about what it discovered. "The only way we can know if this is a big deal is if we know what the information is and where it came from," said Chester Wisniewski, a senior security advisor at Sophos. "But I can't answer that because the people who disclosed this decided they want to make money off of this. There's no way for others to verify."


Run virtual machines on Windows 8.1 with Client Hyper‑V: A quick how-to
Many Windows users aren't aware of it, but a powerful virtualization tool is built into every copy of Microsoft Windows 8.x Pro and Windows 8.x Enterprise, Client Hyper-V. This is the very same Type-1 hypervisor that runs virtualized enterprise workloads and comes with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2. The virtual machines you create on your desktop with Client Hyper-V are fully compatible with those server systems as well. If you're a software developer and need to do testing, or simply want additional operating system(s) running on your computer, such as Linux, Hyper-V can be a great feature to have enabled on your PC.


Big Data and Biometrics: Why Your Face Matters More than Ever
The face recognition software that makes those Facebook tagging suggestions possible is part of a larger discipline called biometrics that includes fingerprints, retinal scans, and gait recognition, and the field is advancing fast. Combining those capabilities with big data analytics tools allows us to understand who you are simply by looking at you—whether you’re in a photo on Facebook, a video clip, or merely walking around in the world. So, is this good or bad? The answer is probably both.


HTML5: Doomed to fail or just getting started?
Developers want easy-to-use, powerful tools, but HTML5 yields them a somewhat fragmented platform that lags native tool-chains from Apple and Google. Developers need distribution, so they launch in the Apple App Store and/or Google Play Store (never mind that they quickly get lost in the clutter of millions of other apps....). They need monetization, and the major platforms provide an understandable -- if difficult -- route to money. HTML5 offers an open alternative to these platforms, but as VisionMobile points out, "The open nature of HTML5 doesn't intrinsically help anybody do their job better." It may keep developers free, but it doesn't pay the rent.


Internet of Things: A Big Use Case for Big Data
There are three types of data that we have in our study: transactional data, something that comes out of a point of sale system; there’s human-generated data that might be Twitter, a blog or a picture; and then there’s machine-generated data, which is log files, sensors, etc. The reason that machine-generated data swapped places with human-generated data is that from a sensor perspective it’s easy for me to look at the log files that come out of my environmental control system and say “If I raise the temperature in the buildings in the summertime from 71 to 72, I can affect a dollar change and a lowering of my costs.”



Quote for the day:

“To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.” -- Seneca