June 25, 2015

Refactoring with Loops and Collection Pipelines
A common task in programming is processing a list of objects. Most programmers naturally do this with a loop, as it's one of the basic control structures we learn with our very first programs. But loops aren't the only way to represent list processing, and in recent years more people are making use of another approach, which I call the collection pipeline. This style is often considered to be part of functional programming, but I used it heavily in Smalltalk. As OO languages support lambdas and libraries that make first class functions easier to program with, then collection pipelines become an appealing choice.

Security should be enabling, says HP strategist Tim Grieveson
“Information security professionals have an important role in helping organisations build a culture of security, so that everyone can make a contribution because they understand the value of data and the associated security risks,” he said. By raising people’s situational awareness, he said, they are more likely to be self-policing when dealing with company data and wary of things like “shoulder surfing” or revealing personal and business information during phone calls on trains. “Like health and safety, information security should be a concern for everyone, but changing an organisation’s culture is challenging. Security needs to be built into every new product, application and business process,” he said.

Can LibreOffice successfully compete with Microsoft Office?
"If a customer has a problem opening your files (created in LibreOffice) then they can always download a free copy of LibreOffice," he says. But while this is true in theory, in practice it's probably more likely that a customer will expect you to get a copy of Office if you want to do business with them, rather than download some software they’ve probably never heard of themselves. Meeks also works at Collabora – a U.K.-based company that provides commercial support and maintenance for LibreOffice – and he says the company uses LibreOffice software without any interoperability problems. "We run a multimillion dollar business using LibreOffice and we routinely exchange documents with lawyers – and it works fine," he maintains.

Office 365 – Common Exchange Online Hybrid Mail Flow Issues
There are a number of symptoms that might indicate that hybrid mail flow is not working properly even when messages are routing. If messages between environments occasionally end up in a user’s junk mail, that’s definitely a good sign there is a misconfiguration. Issues booking conference rooms or receiving the wrong out-of-office message are also symptoms. It basically comes down to whether the messages between environments appear as “internal” or “external”. So just like a conference room is not going to accept a booking request from a random Internet user, it won’t accept a booking from your cloud user if that message appears as external. The quick way to check is to look at a message received in each environment and check the message headers.

Succeeding with Automated Integration Tests
Automated tests that are never or seldom executed can even be a burden on a development team that still try to keep that test code up to date with architectural changes. Even worse, automated tests that are not constantly executed are not trustworthy because you no longer know if test failures are real or just because the application structure changed. Assuming that your automated tests are legitimately detecting regression problems, you need to determine what recent change introduced the problem — and it’s far easier to do that if you have a smaller list of possible changes and those changes are still fresh in the developer’s mind. If you are only occasionally running those automated tests, diagnosing failing tests can be a lot like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Dropbox Is Struggling and Competitors Are Catching Up
Stability may be in short supply in the company’s executive ranks. Ilya Fushman, the head of product for Dropbox for Business, became a venture capitalist in June. The company’s head of design, Gentry Underwood, has stepped down, too, though he remains with Dropbox in an unspecified capacity. Woodside hasn’t been able to hire an overall head of product management, the person who’d be trying to match the security and other features in place at Microsoft and Box. Box, which went public in January, is something of a cautionary tale for Houston and Woodside. Its total 2014 revenue was about 60 percent of Dropbox’s, according to IDC, but its market value is now only one-fifth of Dropbox’s private valuation, suggesting that the office cloud market may not grow fast enough to bridge the gap between investor fantasy and reality.

To 'fail fast,' CIOs need to think strategically from the get-go
It's almost like building out the framework. But unlike a house, where once you put a lot of the infrastructure in place, it's not so easy to tear apart and put new stuff in, with software, it is. We built an actual working product pretty darn quickly, and then we've iterated. As opposed to a pure design phase and build phase and then a customer test phase, it's almost been bunches of loops of that. Of course we had to think strategically in the beginning. What's going to be the broad framework for the technologies that we need to have in place to support what we want to do? But then when I saw that framework, I felt pretty confident that we could achieve the implementation. One of the challenges in failing fast and what's important is that you find that different languages need to be in place: the business language, the clinical language, the technology language.

Digital government 'a chance to build a new state'
Hancock also echoed his predecessor, Francis Maude, in emphasising the importance of building digital government around the “user” – that is, the citizen – rather than the mechanics of government. “In Finland, town planners will visit a local park immediately after a snowfall, because the footprints reveal the paths that people naturally choose to take. These ‘desire paths’ are then paved over the following summer. We too must pave the paths people travel,” he said. “Let’s take a small example. 'Registry offices' are officially known as 'register offices'. But everyone in real life calls them called 'registry offices', so no-one ever really searches for ‘register offices’ online. We’ve paved the path that people travel, so the Gov.uk page comes top of the search results, even if you search ‘registry’ office.”

Vitaly Kamluk tells how Interpol catches cyber criminals and other stories
Very often we use common techniques and tools for computer forensic examination: Encase, Sleuthkit, various data carvers, data format recognizers, and even standard binutils. We develop a lot of scripts and tools ourselves, sometimes just for a single case: unpackers, deobfuscators, custom debuggers, dumpers, decryptors, etc. Reverse engineering binaries takes quite a lot of time as well. We also may do mapping infrastructure, scanning networks, ports. Developping sinkholing software and log parsers is yet another important part of quality research ... The Internet is not owned by a single entity — it’s a network of equal participants. The solution is the union of all participants of the global network against cybercrime.

Phil Zimmermann speaks out on encryption, privacy, and avoiding a surveillance state
At a recent private viewing of the exhibition that features the Blackphone, Zimmermann pondered what the emergence of whistleblowers like Snowden says about the current state of privacy. "The moral problems with the behaviour of our intel agencies should give us pause, should get us to step back and question, 'What are we getting our intel agencies to do?' We should take another look at this. We should try to restrain them more," he told the audience. "This has been my motivation for my entire career in cryptography," he says. "The driving force is the human rights aspect of privacy and cryptography and ubiquitous surveillance, pervasive surveillance... We live in a pervasive surveillance society."

Quote for the day:

“Being confident and believing in your own self-worth is necessary to achieving your potential.” -- Sheryl Sandberg