March 09, 2015

The Modern JavaScript Developer’s Toolbox
JavaScript has evolved significantly since its birth amidst the early days of the Internet. Today it is a prominent and important feature of interactive web applications. The developer has also evolved significantly since 1995. Today’s modern JavaScript developer employs rich and robust frameworks, tools, and IDEs to work efficiently and productively. Building your first modern JavaScript application is easier than you may think! Just choose an IDE (I recommend Atom for beginners), and then install npm and grunt. If you get stuck along the way, Stack Overflow is an excellent resource. With just a little time spent learning the basics, you’ll be well on your way to releasing your first modern JavaScript app.

CIA plans major reorganization and a focus on digital espionage
The CIA will also create a directorate focused exclusively on exploiting advances in computer technology and communications. The Directorate of Digital Innovation will rank alongside the agency’s operations and analysis branches, and it will be responsible for missions ranging from ­cyber-espionage to the security of the CIA’s internal e-mail. ... A central aim, he said, is to eliminate “seams” in coverage that lead to confusion over which part of the agency is responsible for tracking a specific issue or threat. After the reorganization, Brennan said, the CIA should be in position to “cover the entire universe, regionally and functionally, and so something that’s going on in the world falls into one of those buckets.”

Technology across borders: CIOs' tips for international success
"In the US, there's a culture that it's normal to work as hard as you possibly can, including not necessarily taking holidays. In Europe, people really value their downtime and they want to take advantage of the opportunity to shut off from work for a period of time. "It's a strange situation and there's probably a healthy mix somewhere between the two positions. While many Europeans can't understand why US citizens don't take time to re-charge, many Americans can't comprehend how Europeans could possibly go on holiday from work for two weeks at a time." It is a balance that King has struggled to adjust to, since moving to the UK from North America two years ago. "I've had to actively learn how to take a two-week vacation," he says. "But I'm really keen to embrace the European approach and change my perspective."

Wireless Technology Defeats Paralysis
The task is very complex because the electrical patterns that neurons draw by doing something as simple as taking a drink vary each day. “We do not know exactly what causes the change. Something like being hungry may change the pattern. What we do is let the machine learn to interpret the different patterns as the same order,” explains Donoghue. The scientist explains that the process resembles how a TV screen activates its pixels: “If you looked closely at a TV, you would see the flash of one of the small squares that form the image. If you look at it closely, it is meaningless, but seeing the whole picture, it makes sense.

Emerging cyberthreats exploit battle between compliance and security
"Compliance regulations move slowly and can't keep up with the evolution of threats," said Desjardins. "Also, compliance initiatives tend to be focused on confidentiality and integrity, and overlook availability." Dave McCulley, systems engineer for Austin, Texas-based security analytics firm Click Security Inc., said that in addition to a focus on regulatory compliance, a big contributing factor to security lagging behind threats is the mentality of some organizations to implement security that is merely "good enough." "You're all in a race with each other, because attackers will go after the easier targets," said McCulley. "Good enough security is never good enough, because you always need to be better than someone else."

Google is developing a virtual reality version of Android, report says
The OS would be freely distributed, the report said, mirroring the strategy that made Android the most popular OS for smartphones. The report didn't provide any launch plans, and Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. With rivals investing heavily in VR, it would make sense for Google to build its own OS. Facebook has referred to VR as the next big platform after mobile, and it bought headset maker Oculus VR last year for US$2 billion. They see VR as the future because it provides an immersive experience for gaming, entertainment, communications, and perhaps other applications not thought of yet. It's still a way from mass adoption, though, and some people report getting nausea from VR systems, or just don't want a big display strapped to their head

Cloud Security Auditing: Challenges and Emerging Approaches
Although both conventional IT security auditing and cloud security auditing share many concerns, a cloud security audit must address unique problems typically not handled in traditional IT security audits. According to our interviews, the most immediate and obvious challenge lies in auditors acquiring sufficient knowledge of cloud computing. Effective cloud security auditors must be familiar with cloud computing terminology and have a working knowledge of a cloud system’s constitution and delivery method. This knowledge ensures auditors pay attention to security factors that might be more important in cloud security auditing processes, including transparency; encryption; colocation; and scale, scope, and complexity

IT Disaster or Data Breach?: 7 Must-Do Steps
Current and pending legislation worldwide demands that companies notify regulators of service outages and data breaches in a timely manner. As the old saying goes, “better safe than sorry.” For example, The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) guidelines require that financial institutions notify them “as soon as possible” and that procedures for these notifications be in place ahead of time. Like MAS, most current legislation contains ambiguous language around timing, and lacks direct penalties or fines. Still, with so many regulations being considered, it’s advisable to stay ahead of the curve in building rapid communication capabilities. Many regulating authorities require notification not only for institutions located in their areas, but also for all entities that control accounts or do business with their citizens and businesses.

Supporting serious software investment
Software is just as worthy of investment, yet has been viewed differently to hardware, with many companies also finding it difficult to fund through a financial package as often many finance providers will also view software as separate and different. There is no reason why this should be so, and there are opportunities to spread the cost of software investment through external financing, yet too often companies will try to cut corners in order to keep software costs down. These approaches are mistaken when alternatives allow software investment decisions to be made for business rather than spurious financial reasons. So what are the potentially harmful software investment avoidance practices that might be dealt with through proper financing?

STOP! Installing Java on a Mac? Don't just click OK.
For years, Oracle has tormented Windows users by bundling adware...using deceptive methods to convince customers to install [it]. ... Oracle has begun bundling the Ask adware...for the well, changing homepages. … As with its Windows counterpart, the Java installer selects the option to install the Ask app by default. [It] returns low-quality results...heavily loaded with ads, most of which are not clearly distinguished from organic [results].  … [This] comes on the heels of Lenovo's disastrous scandal with the Superfish adware. ... IAC, the parent corporation that owns a commission to Oracle.

Quote for the day:

"I believe it is important for people to create a healthy mental environment in which to accomplish daily tasks." -- Darren L. Johnson