December 06, 2014

Low-hanging Cloud
After all, basing your foundational design decisions on the easiest use case is a recipe for failure. Chances are, that a bridge designed to get cyclists across needs to be completely redone when the more difficult twenty ton lorries have to be serviced. A bridge designed for heavy lorries, on the other hand, will probably carry the cyclists with ease. In enterprise architecture, this is true as well. Design and develop the easy stuff (such as the business process’s ‘happy flow’) first, and you will probably end up in serious trouble when the difficult work flows — such as all the exceptions (which as a rule are always there) — need to be supported as well.

Creating a Highly Available Windows 2012 R2 RD Gateway Environment
There are two ways RD Gateway can be load balanced, and we will walk through the configuration for both of these scenarios: Scenario 1: You have two load balanced RD Gateway servers, two on-premises MFA servers, and each RD Gateway uses its own local NPS (the typical configuration). and Scenario 2: You have two load balanced RD Gateway servers, two on-premises MFA servers, and both RD Gateway servers use a central NPS. (Companies might use a centralized NPS if they already have one in place in their network, and want to keep all things related to NPS in this centralized location.)

Eliminating Downtime: Six Key Considerations for Your Hosting Architecture
The good news is that eliminating downtime completely is possible. It starts with the physical infrastructure, but the software element is critical as well. By making the right hosting architecture choices up front, companies can ensure that their site will always be available with no interruptions to the end user experience. Even during scheduled maintenance the system will be up and running and available to customers. Eliminating downtime comes from properly architecting your system.

Making a Hash of Passwords
A decade ago, we were using the MD5 hashing algorithm. These days, MD5 is obsolete, so we use the SHA-2 algorithm instead, but the result is the same. When I wrote about this recently I called hashing a “tried-and-true technique” for developing authentication systems. I figured that by now, everyone would be doing it.  That’s why I was surprised, even shocked, that today’s developers are asking how to encrypt passwords for storage. They are still trying to save the user’s password in their databases, so they can decrypt them and compare the actual password value entered by the user to the stored password, instead of comparing hash values.

Big data brings new power to open-source intelligence
Two overlapping developments in particular have greatly influenced the growth of open-source intelligence. First, the explosion of social media has given us instant access to a wealth of user-generated content. From Facebook to Twitter to Google+, we are now only ever a few keystrokes away from a potentially global audience. And as these tools increase global connectivity, people seem increasingly willing to project their thoughts, opinions and observations into cyberspace. The process of information generation has produced what has been described as “new digital commons of enormous size and wealth”.

Neural Network Rates Images for Happiness Levels
Sentiment analysis is revolutionizing the study of communication with a numerous companies now offering it as a service. The idea is to study the patterns of words in messages such as tweets and blogs to determine to what extent they are positive or negative. That allows companies, organizations, and political parties to automatically track opinions about their brands. But while this technology has been evolving, little research has focused on the sentiment in pictures. Today, that changes thanks to the work of Can Xu at the University of California, San Diego, and a group of researchers from Yahoo Labs in Sunnyvale. These folks have developed a way to automatically assess the sentiment associated with a picture and say that it outperforms other state-of-the-art techniques.

Review: Designing APIs for the Web
As a distributed systems developer and architect, I find the diversity of voices and ideas in the expanding world of APIs enriching, daunting, and, at times, disconcerting. Something I have noticed is that the definition of the elusive “good” web API is highly influenced by one’s exposure to a plethora of successful and failed concepts evolving over the past 40 years. With the relatively recent rise of the “API Economy” fueling unprecedented exploration of opportunities, I am always looking for better ways to articulate the principles of API design.

Culture Can Make or Break Strategy
The word “culture” alludes to a softer side of the human personality where you have all the emotions that come into the picture. In reality, it is one of the most important drivers of success in implementing change and ensuring sustainable success. In his book, “The Culture Cycle”, Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus James L. Heskett argues that the impact of organisational culture on profit can be measured and quantified. He states that enabling purposeful organisational cultures can improve corporate performance by between 20 and 30 percent compared to culturally unremarkable competitors.

KPMG says businesses do not take IT risks seriously enough
Jon Dowie, said: "Technology is no longer a function in a business which operates largely in insolation. It is at the heart of everything a company does and, when it goes wrong, it affects an organisation’s bottom line, its relationship with customers and its wider reputation." The study found 7.3% of reported events resulted from human error. KPMG said this shows that basic investments in training are being ignored – at the employers’ expense. Dowie said: "With ever greater complexity in IT systems – not to mention the challenge of implementing IT transformational change – companies are running to stand still in managing their IT risks.

Automated Testing Of Web Pages Using Selenium-Web Driver
The WebDriver was introduced in Selenium 2.0 version it provides a simpler programming interface with well-designed object-oriented API. It directly calls to browser using browser’s native support for automation and features they support depend on browser you are using. If your browser and tests will all run on same machine and your tests only use WebDriver API, then you do not need to run Selenium-Server.

Quote for the day:

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." -- Arthur Schopenhauer