November 12, 2014

Open-source .NET, free Visual Studio, support for Linux, Mac, Android and iOS
As part of the change, Microsoft will give developers the ability to use the .NET runtime and framework to make server- and cloud-based applications for Linux and Mac. Microsoft is also releasing a new, full-featured version of Visual Studio 2013 that will be available at no cost to independent developers, students, small companies and others not making enterprise applications. And the company is releasing a preview of Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 2015 with new features for building applications that run on platforms including Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.

Dealing With the KPI Terminology Problem
And remember, ‘KPI’ is just one of the many performance management terms that does not have a standardised, universally accepted definition. I have no idea how this problem of varying terminology is going to be resolved, and that’s not the intent of this article. The intent of this article is to give you a contextual framework to make sense of where ‘KPIs’ – or performance measures, or whatever you call those quantitative pieces of evidence of our performance results – should fit. So let me tell you my definition of these terms, and then you can map your own terms to my meanings and thus avoid distraction and confusion when you try to make sense of your own strategy.

Alcatel-Lucent pins growth on R&D, enterprise
"Our customers need a network that can scale quickly, and break down silos in between the different technologies,' Combes said. "SDN [software-defined networking] makes network resource as easily consumable as compute and storage. We strongly believe that the answer to complexity is around NFV [network functions virtualisation] and SDN combined." Although Alcatel-Lucent was reducing its size globally, investment in the company's Bell Labs research division remains at €2.2 billion year on year, Combes said, with divisions opening in Israel and the UK. "You can expect a very strong Bell Labs in the next few years because that is a key differentiator for us," he said.

IT still not ready for IoT
Despite the benefits of connected devices, more than half (51%) of respondents believe the biggest challenge regarding the Internet of Things is increased security threats, while a quarter (26%) are concerned about data privacy issues. Two-thirds (68%) admit they are very concerned about the decreasing level of personal privacy. More than a quarter of respondents say the general public’s biggest concerns about connected devices should be that they don’t know how the information collected on the devices will be used (28%) or they don’t know who has access to the information collected (26%).

Update now, Windows users: Microsoft patches critical (and old) security flaw
Microsoft has issued emergency patches for a flaw that affects all supported versions of Windows. It’s a nasty one – a vulnerability in Windows’ implementation of the protocols for encrypting internet communications. The critical flaw lies in Secure Channel (Schannel), a security package – used by Internet Explorer — that implements the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols. While there’s no evidence of its exploitation yet, it allows attackers to remotely execute code on the target’s machine and take it over, so it is imperative that all Windows users run an update immediately.

IndependenceIT: 'Switzerland' Of Virtualized Desktops
IndependenceIT is trying to make it practical to provision and sustain virtualized end-users, a goal that has tended to recede about as fast as many companies have approached it. Implementing virtual machines for end-users who have varied needs, little tolerance for slow-functioning desktops, and a likelihood of being mobile at some point has complicated the deployment of virtual desktops and, in many cases, delayed it. Individualized desktops that each need to be stored drive up storage costs. Power end-users require a delivery protocol that prevents jitter in the multimedia and video they view. When the end-user disconnects from the corporate network, what then?

SDN meets the real world, part two: SDN rewrites the WAN manual
Wide-area networking (WAN), the part of the enterprise network between applications and end-users, is traditionally slow, expensive, and inflexible — and hence, ripe for innovative new approaches. SDN is broadly applicable to other parts of the networking requirement, so offering up a pool of resources that can be programmatically controlled by software should be explored in different contexts and settings. This report lays out a conceptual approach whereby SDN can be applied to the WAN to drive cost savings, agility, and flexibility for enterprise customers.

Samsung And SAP Partner On Mobile Devices For Business
“Increasingly, our customers are away from the desk and require a fundamentally new way to interact with the enterprise applications to align with how they work today,” said Steve Lucas, president, Platform Solutions Group, SAP, in a statement. “The applications that match the current trends in mobility must work to create a seamless experience as the work modality embraces mobile devices, wearables, Internet of Things and other alternative forms of mobile computing. Through our partnership with Samsung, we are working on plans to offer a premium mobile enterprise experience for customers.”

Lack of in-house skills stymies IaaS migration, says report
Reconnix CTO Steve Nice noted a “clear desire for business to move away from traditional environments and towards IaaS providers”. “It’s natural for many businesses to err on the side of caution, but this conservative approach can mean that many are missing out on the transformative benefits of the cloud,” said Nice. “It’s clearly a confidence issue, and the challenge is for IT departments to take the necessary steps to prepare themselves for inevitable change. “By failing to take action now, they risk putting themselves at a technological disadvantage to competitors, or being caught blindsided and forced to rush through a migration that could end up costing over the odds.”

Don’t Surround Yourself With Smarter People
Freedom is therefore implicitly freedom to win in a specific sense. This is not an accident. Any time you define freedom in terms of capacity for action (intrinsic and situational), you’ve defined freedom in a finite-game (Carse) way. Increasing freedom becomes a matter of increasing your capacity for victory over increasingly capable opponents, until you’ve defeated them all. Stated another way, freedom to win is freedom to get smarter in the sense of a given finite game. Freedom in a finite-game sense is always freedom-to-win (and therefore, freedom to stop playing at some point).

Quote for the day:

"Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine." -- David Ogilvy