January 12, 2015

Obama to propose new laws to protect consumer data, privacy
Obama will propose a new national standard that would require companies to tell consumers within 30 days from the discovery of a data breach that their personal information has been compromised, the White House said. The standard would need approval from Congress, where lawmakers have struggled to come up with a way to replace a patchwork of differing state regulations. As part of the law, Obama will also propose to criminalize overseas trade in stolen identities, the White House said. Obama will also resurrect a "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights" that the White House created in 2012. He will ask lawmakers to codify the bill into law.

Uptime Simplifies System and Server Monitoring
With its agents, Uptime also has the ability to automate some common self-healing tasks. You can set up profiles, for example, to detect when a Web server is down and can then automatically restart it without any need for operator intervention. This is a very powerful feature. You can also build scripts that can restart certain Windows services: these can run on the central monitoring station rather than as part of the agent code. Like other systems management tools, there is a wide collection of user roles that can be set up in a very granular way. These roles can be applied to specific elements or action profiles, with the ability to view, add new ones, or change existing ones

Wearables go niche and narrow in the search for consumer relevance
Thanks to Fitbit, Jawbone and a slew of new smartwatches, we tend to think of wearable tech as living on the wrist. But at CES, some wearable makers tried to distinguish themselves by moving their hardware to other parts of the body. In doing so, they stand less chance of being rendered obsolete by increasingly sophisticated smartwatches and fitness bands. The most oddball example is Belty, a smart belt that aims to track users’ waistlines and provide extra comfort. The belt’s mechanical strap automatically loosens and tightens as you sit and stand, and uses tension sensors to figure out your ideal level of comfort over time.

2015 Enterprise Dev Predictions, Part 2: Convergence, Security, Automation and Analytics
What this means for enterprise developers, Gardner said, is that they must contribute to the decision making process at the architectural level to ensure that developer requirements don't get short shrift. "They will have to advocate for themselves in a wider environment of decision making," he said, "so that concerns about things like security and deployment flexibility in the hybrid cloud don't obviate the needs and concerns of developers. They need to learn to explain their past decisions and current needs in such a way that they are respected in the larger picture." Which is not to say that you should go charging into the CIO's office with a list of demands.

Why Apple Pay won't be the death of Google Wallet
According to Jordan McKee, an analyst at 451 Research, Google's primary challenge is its name. The search giant is just that, a search giant, so most of its revenue comes from advertising. McKee said this can make merchants wary of Google's intentions. "Google is after data, and merchants remain hesitant to give that up," McKee said. "Many view working with Google as making a deal with the devil, fearing their data may be used against them for things like competitive offers." Both Apple and Google said that they do not share your credit card number with merchants who accept their respective payment systems.

Using Agile Retrospectives for Organizational Change
In agile, retrospectives are used for a team that works together and wants to learn from their joint past. For example it is a Scrum team wanting to learn from the last Sprint. Participants of a retrospective for organizational change are typically not members of the same team and do not share necessarily a joint past. Yet the retrospective for organizational change still allows them to bring different perspectives together, learn from one another’s past, and define experiments that allow dealing with complex change. Thus, a retrospective for organizational change is more about preparing for the future by enabling change than reflecting on the past.

Manjaro Linux: A few of my favorite things
Similar to the Gnome3 settings utility, but smaller and simpler, just a handy place where you can take care of things like administering user accounts, selecting the Linux kernel (more on this in the next point), checking hardware and configuring the keyboard type and language, and selecting what kind of notifications you want to get. This handy little utility is even customized with different content for the KDE and Xfce versions. I realize that this one might seem kind of trivial at first glance, but it has grown on me very quickly as I have been going through the initial setup and configuration of Manjaro on a number of different systems.

Peer into the Analytics Crystal Ball for 2015
We had a very good discussion on the call about how a CAO differs from a CDO and why an organization might look into putting both in place. We at IIA expect these roles to continue to proliferate in 2015. However, I have personally seen a lot of confusion with respect to these two roles. Many people seem to consider them interchangeable or accidentally mix and match the requirements of the two roles together so that it is hard to tell what exactly they are looking for.

Amazon Data Center Construction Fire Linked to Welding Mishap
The workers on site were welding roof components from inside the structure, “which ignited nearby combustibles,” the official statement read. The combustibles were construction materials stored on the roof. An AWS spokesperson confirmed this morning that the fire happened at the site where a third party contractor was building a data center for the cloud services company. The data center was not in production, so the fire did not affect any AWS users, she said. The contractor’s name was not disclosed.

3 Warning Signs to Watch for When Evaluating Vendors
Vendors become disingenuous for several reasons. The first is that circumstances change, they intended to do what they promised but conditions they had no control over caused them to change their minds. That is going to happen to everyone from time to time, change is a part of this industry. However, you want to look closely at how they deal with change because it typically goes one of two ways. ... The second reason is that often the folks you are talking to are out of the loop. In this instance, no one is being untruthful, but it does showcase a command and control problem inside the firm consistent with failure.  If the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing the company won’t execute well.

Quote for the day:

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light." -- Aristotle Onassis