October 20, 2014

Is your Ethernet fast enough? Four new speeds are in the works
Work is also beginning on a 50Gbps specification, which could be the next speed offered for linking servers in data centers. Both servers and high-performance flash storage systems will drive a need for something more than 25Gbps in the biggest data centers in a few years, Weckel of Dell’Oro said. At Thursday’s event, attendees debated whether to seek a 50Gbps standard or go all the way to a single-lane system for 100Gbps. A 50Gbps specification is more within reach, said Chris Cole, director of transceiver engineering at Finisar.

How Microsoft's expected fitness band fits into its new wearables game plan
It's the Microsoft side of the wearables equation that interests me the most, however. I'm expecting the coming fitness band to have a Windows core inside the device, given Microsoft execs' insistence that Windows 10 will run "everywhere," meaning from the smallest Internet of Things devices, to datacenter servers. The Operating Systems Group team at Microsoft is building a common set of graphics, gaming and media consumption/creation services that will work on PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox consoles and wearables. .

Q&A with Futurist Martine Rothblatt
The data for evolution is so compelling that to deny it seems to me to be denying reality. Evolution is either a consequence of a material world or it’s the result of some kind of supernatural act. To me, it’s the same thing with consciousness. Either you think that consciousness is something metaphysical, or else it’s the result of physical interactions of matter. It’s because people’s brains have a series of connections, of atomic interactions, and computers could have that. To me, to deny cyber-consciousness is to deny we live in a physical universe.

Internet Of Things Will Turn Networks Inside-Out
The point where these two networks connect -- the "come hither" enablers of IoT and our current, manicured data center plumbing -- is going to be a bit like that creepy scene in Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence, where Gigolo Joe is explaining to a wide-eyed 10-year-old David what he does for a living. Neither had a clue what the other's world was really like, and fortunately neither David nor data center admins really need Joe's icky details. However, the firewalls between these networks will need something entirely new, something that Software-Defined Networking only begins to offer: intelligence.

Sacrificial Architecture
Knowing your architecture is sacrificial doesn't mean abandoning the internal quality of the software. Usually sacrificing internal quality will bite you more rapidly than the replacement time, unless you're already working on retiring the code base. Good modularity is a vital part of a healthy code base, and modularity is usually a big help when replacing a system. Indeed one of the best things to do with an early version of a system is to explore what the best modular structure should be so that you can build on that knowledge for the replacement. While it can be reasonable to sacrifice an entire system in its early days, as a system grows it's more effective to sacrifice individual modules - which you can only do if you have good module boundaries.

Big Data for Finance – Security and Regulatory Compliance Considerations
Many of the traditional point security solutions that are deployed add complexity and management costs, and leave gaps between systems and applications that are highly vulnerable to attack. The increasingly global nature of the financial services industry makes it necessary to comprehensively address international data security and privacy regulations. Financial institutions are top targets of cybercrime. While all types of businesses are vulnerable to attacks by criminals, it’s the security breaches at financial firms that elicit the most media attention, public scrutiny and legislator consternation. When threats occur, it’s more than financial loss at stake.

Oracle v. Google at the Supreme Court: Industry Watchers Weigh In
"If Google wins, the status quo prevails; if Oracle wins, then Google will either have to strip out Oracle-patented IP or pay Oracle for the right to use its IP," he said. "In the latter case, Google will 'own a piece of Android,' a nice position given that Java ME is a nonstarter among smartphone and tablet OSs." Martijn Verburg, CEO of jClarity, a startup focused on automating optimization for Java and JVM-related technologies, and co-leader of the London Java Users' Group, is also sanguine about the effect of the rulings on the Java community so far.

How Microsoft is taking on the cross-platform challenge with Office
With a common C++ core, a thin native UX layer and evolving PALs, Microsoft is building its Office apps so they work on different OSes with fairly little tweaking required. Zaika cited PowerPoint as an example, noting that only four percent of its tens of millions of lines are unique to the WinRT/Universal version of Office (the touch-first Office release some of us have been calling "Gemini"). If the XAML code is excluded, the amount of shared code is 98.6 percent he said. The PowerPoint for Android code base includes 95 percent shared code, Zaika said.

Jonas Bonér on Reactive Systems Anti-Patterns
A Reactive approach is able to first isolate and contain the error to avoid it from spreading out of control—which can lead to cascading failures, taking down the whole application—and instead capture it at its root allowing fine-grained failure management and self-healing. Second, it allows you to reify the error as a message and send it to the best suitable receiver—the component best suitable for managing the failure (usually called the component’s Supervisor)—not just right back to the user of the service. Now, if the error is just an ordinary message then it can be managed just like any other message; sent asynchronously, to one or many listeners, even across the network for full resilience.

James Comey, F.B.I. Director, Hints at Action as Cellphone Data Is Locked
But F.B.I. agents see the encryption as a beachhead they cannot afford to lose. With the latest software, the new phones will be the first widely used consumer products to encrypt data by default. If that is allowed to stand, investigators fear other technology companies will follow suit. If all desktop computers and laptops were encrypted, it would stymie all kinds of criminal investigations, they say. Mr. Comey’s position has set up a potentially difficult struggle between law enforcement agencies and the nation’s high-technology manufacturers, who have rebuffed the government’s demands for a way to decode data.

Quote for the day:

“The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.” -- Steve Maraboli