May 04, 2015

Signs Point To A Coming Post-Cloud Era
DevOps today has an impact on how quickly and reliably businesses can develop new software and put it into operation. It seeks to eliminate the divide between software development and data center operations and to ensure that what developers produce will run efficiently in production settings. The main advantages may be improvements in business applications and better revenue as a result. But the purpose of improving technology goes beyond enhancing a narrow revenue stream. The real goal of technological progress is to do things more efficiently and to make possible services that had been impossible before. In the future, DevOps will allow frequent software updates on many other fronts, making Web services a more powerful vehicle for the intelligent use of fresh information, Weaver said. He ticked off several efficiencies that will be routinely pursued in the post-cloud world.


The Hackers’ New Weapons: Routers and Printers
NSFocus also recorded an increase in a technique that can trick devices such as routers and printers into participating in a denial-of-service attack without having to compromise them with malware. Such attacks work by exploiting a communication protocol called SSDP, which many devices use to check in with the company that owns or operates them. The protocol is designed in a way that makes it possible to ask a device to send information to a different server. That feature can be used to stage a denial-of-service attack by directing many devices to repeatedly send information to a server running a particular website. Rishi Agrawal, chief evangelist at NSFocus, says that the tactic is likely to become more common. Staging attacks that way can be easier to use than controlling compromised computers, and the supply of home and office devices that could be used is large and is likely to grow, he says.


How the Orlando airport went fully wireless
The primary purpose of the mobile application is indoor navigation. While the number of APs and beacons may seem like a lot, the public spaces in the airport covers over 3 million square feet over the five terminals. The mobile application allows travelers to quickly find their ticket counter, terminal, gate, a restaurant, baggage claim area, and look up flight information. The application is also the first airport mobile application to feature a "blue dot" experience, similar to what Disney offers, that indicates where a traveler is and provides a turn-by-turn path to the selected destination. In addition to indoor navigation services, the application now allows customers to select other services and find information about them.


Podcast: LeanUX and DevOps: A Match Made In Heaven
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jeff Sussna, Founder of Ingineering.IT. We discuss the parallels between LeanUX and DevOps, identifying how each can benefit from the other’s methodologies. LeanUX uses nimble processes to create a digital experience designed for the end user, while DevOps uses three ways to integrate feedback between development and operations teams. Listen in to learn how to successfully create a digital service offering by incorporating LeanUX and DevOps processes.


R.I.P., Windows Media Center
That decision shouldn't come as a surprise. Media Center, once a signature feature of Windows "premium" editions, has been on life support for years. The team developing Media Center features was broken up in 2009, shortly after delivering the final Media Center code for Windows 7. Microsoft grudgingly offered an extra-cost Windows Media Center Pack add-on for Windows 8, which installed the required codecs and Media Center features to that version, but it was a straight port that included no new functionality. It was introduced with a post that pointedly declared that Media Center was not part of "the future of entertainment." And with the rise of the "cord-cutting" movement, with consumers increasingly turning to streaming services and ditching cable subscriptions, it's hard to fault the economics of Microsoft's decision.


Staying Connected When Working Remote
All the advantages can be turned into disadvantages: no travel time might mean no separation between your leisure/home space and your workspace; no interruptions might mean loneliness and being out of touch; being able to work from anywhere means that work might turn into an addiction or a burden etc The one piece of advice I would give is that you define your ideal scenario – and ideal still means realistic and achievable considering your own circumstances. If you feel like your clients bombard you with emails, set some boundaries. If you feel like you have no control over your schedule, create a timetable and switch off your wifi during periods of rest. If you find yourself stuck in one location, find other places where you can work or take “creative thinking” time off while doing a physical activity.


Take Emotion Out Of Agile Transformation
Where delays and mistakes creep in, our estimates can be far from reality. Or, if teams aren't following processes or rules, we don't take time to figure out why. Kissler compared this "honor reality" work to being a student, in what she calls the need to "go and see" what's really happening. Kissler has gotten pushback on this idea from people who label it micromanagement. "No, it really isn't," she said. "You're going and helping the team; you're connecting to the work they're doing. You're showing that it's important. You're asking questions. You're not telling them what to do; you're actually becoming a student. You're getting connected to their reality." ... "Make the conversation as much about data as possible and not about emotion," Kissler advised. "A lot of the skeptics come around once they see it."


Nine questions for hybrid cloud integration
The good news is your organization has data and applications in several clouds. The bad news is very little of it is integrated. But you're far from alone. While market research firm Infonetics said 74% of the companies it surveyed had a hybrid cloud strategy by the end of 2014, the integration part of that strategy remains murky at best for many companies. We asked integration vendors, analysts and industry experts which nine questions companies should be asked when they're putting a hybrid cloud application integration strategy in place. Here is their collective wisdom:


Advisory boards: The when, why and how
Advisory boards of all companies should ideally be composed of individuals with various forms of experience and expertise. That is, the advisory board, like the board of directors, should be diverse. Frequently, the core of an advisory board will consist of someone with finance skills, perhaps a legal expert and another person who has marketing savvy. These are building blocks that are essential in any business. These diverse skill sets can provide the company with robust guidance and improved consideration of the various aspects of any dilemma or decision. The size of an advisory board, like a board of directors, varies. In both cases, it is more useful to have fewer but highly engaged and committed directors than idlers. Advisory board members should be selected for qualifications first and then for passion, commitment to the business and availability.


How fear and self-preservation are driving a cyber arms race
Hacking isn't new, but the attention paid to it is unprecedented. In 2014, The New York Times devoted more than 700 articles to discussing data breaches, up from 125 the year prior. Verizon, in its annual cybersecurity report released in April, concluded "data breach," had become part of the American public's psyche. In the past year, it's happened to police departments, banks, schools, the Ukrainian military and even some email systems at the US State Department and White House. And now it's terrifying corporate boardrooms. Facing that threat is costly. Companies and governments worldwide are expected to spend $80 billion on hardware and software to protect themselves against cybersecurity attacks this year, up from $74 billion in the last year, according to information technology research firm Gartner.



Quote for the day:

"Winners have simply formed the habit of doing things losers don't like to do." -- Albert Gray