March 11, 2015

Big Data: A Brief(ish) History Everyone Should Read
Long before computers (as we know them today) were commonplace, the idea that we were creating an ever-expanding body of knowledge ripe for analysis was popular in academia. Although it might be easy to forget, our increasing ability to store and analyze information has been a gradual evolution – although things certainly sped up at the end of the last century, with the invention of digital storage and the internet. With Big Data poised to go mainstream this year, here’s a brief(ish) look at the long history of thought and innovation which have led us to the dawn of the data age.

Baidu ends support for Android platform
"Because of a company business adjustment, we have no choice but to painfully decide to suspend updates and support to the Baidu Cloud OS," the team said in an official forum posting. While the rest of Baidu's consumer cloud business will still be in operation, the Cloud OS and ROM design unit has been folded into a new company, the team added in another posting. It did not offer details about the new company. The Baidu Cloud OS, launched in 2012, marked the Chinese search giant's attempt to bring more company services to smartphones.

Most Innovative Companies 2015: A Q&A With SmartThings Founder Alex Hawkinson
The developer community has really continued to grow quickly, which is so incredibly exciting to me and for everyone involved with SmartThings. The last numbers we disclosed in January during my keynote at CES were that the number of developers had more than doubled since the time of our merger with Samsung last August. More than 10,000 developers had actually published a running app (we call them SmartApps) or integrated device (we call them Device Handlers) in our platform by that time. ... Usage is very diverse, as we've found that smart homes, as they deepen, end up reflecting the personality and uniqueness of the person who lives in the home. However, there are some big patterns where we see use cases that are popular across much or all of the customer base.

Free eBook! Software Defined Storage for Dummies
Software defined storage is a relatively new concept in the computing and storage industry and can refer to many different technologies and implementations. Software defined storage is part of a larger industry trend that includes software defined networking (SDN) and software defined data centers (SDDC). At its most basic level, software defined storage is enterprise class storage that uses standard hardware with all the important storage and management functions performed in intelligent software. Software defined storage delivers automated, policy-driven, application-aware storage services through orchestration of the underlining storage infrastructure in support of an overall software defined environment. Standard hardware includes:

Anatomy of a Successful SAP Implementation
Dougherty knows that a major reason the SAP program was a success was how they trained people on the system. “We took 55 volunteers from across the business and put them through Airgas SAP boot camp,” he says. “They each did more than 120 classroom hours of training and became our dedicated trainers. We took them out of their day jobs, and they went from business unit to business unit six weeks prior to each rollout to train those associates. They were also on the ground for two to four weeks during post-go-live to ensure the associates were using the system properly.”

A Journey to IoT w/Father, Son, a Laser and Cats…Phase One
... Kitten Interaction Terminal- Nano Edition, this version would employee much smaller and less expensive components and be in a convenient casing Happy to say that we made our goal of showing our Phase One project at the IoTPhx meet up and received great feedback. Our question to the group was how to get to Phase Two and connect KIT to the Internet. There were suggestions about doing it connected to a computer and/or doing it all on the board. There is some new code coming soon to provide TCP/IP connectivity within the ChipKit Boards that looks promising that could make it stand-alone…Good Times!

Keep It Simple With New Backup Technologies
If you are still on the fence over whether or not to move from legacy backup technologies to the new, virtualized technologies, I like to use this analogy: think of your backup system as a kitchen that needs to be remodeled. In one type of remodeling project, you replace the appliances and cupboards and maybe lay down new flooring. The kitchen looks very different, but the functionality is exactly the same, and any of the old frustrations (like a lack of cooking prep space or no room for a table) go unaddressed. That’s your legacy backup system.

Cybersecurity has a talent shortage
The demand for information security professionals is quickly exceeding the number of people who are capable of doing the job, said Peter W. Singer, former director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings Institute and a strategist at the New America Foundation, a public policy institute. "We don't have enough expertise in the right places now," said Singer, co-author of a recent book "Cybersecurity and Cyberwar". "We often frame cybersecurity as a technology problem. It is a human problem." While there isn't a single best solution to a complex shortage of candidates, Singer said, education should be a top priority in meeting anticipated needs. Many experts and policymakers also see institutional reform as a place to start.

10 surprising skills that will give IT job seekers the edge
Companies around the world are engaged in a fierce fight for talent. Especially in IT, the growth of new disciplines like big data, a need to understand the business and to be malleable in the face of change, and the impending retirement of legions of highly skilled baby boomers are presenting companies with unique IT hiring challenges. This is forcing companies to reevaluate what they look for in IT job candidates. Here are 10 emerging skills and qualities companies are looking for.

The Often Overlooked Skills and Responsibilities of a Technical Team Leader
Knowing the responsibilities, we may determine the necessary characteristics of such a key person in software development. First, I will point out several deficient views of a technical team leader, and why these views are incomplete and may not lead to team success. Then, I will categorize all the necessary responsibilities to be carried out by a technical team leader. Finally, I will discuss other functions in a typical software organization, and will explain why we shouldn’t overwhelm the team (and its leader) with such responsibilities.

Quote for the day:

"Never give an order that can't be obeyed." -- General Douglas MacArthur