January 27, 2016

Cyberwarfare in 2016: The Virtual Battle for Your Information

Regardless of how closely the treaty is followed by either country, it’s clear to the world that this is a unique issue that deserves special attention. Your main concern shouldn’t be corporate espionage as such; attacks on corporations are your biggest danger should cyberconflict arise in any capacity. Chances are that you or an immediate family member works for one. In the rare event that isn’t the case, you absolutely trust your personal data to one or do regular business with one so they have your financial information. Cyberconflict between any organizations large enough can result in corporations being caught in the crossfire.


Windows 10 at six months: Ready for primetime?

One of the most controversial design features in Windows 10 is its new update model, which removes the ability of consumers to control which updates get installed. Businesses have more knobs and levers, thanks to the November 2015 addition of Windows Update for Business, but those tools are made for IT pros and are either invisible or frighteningly complex for less sophisticated users. Still, this is a vision of where the future of computing has to be, and there really is no pain-free path. Asking users, even technically sophisticated ones, to make individual trust decisions over dozens of updates per month is ludicrous. The result, historically, is predictable: many users succumb to information overload or bad advice by disabling updates completely.


The real reason Microsoft open sourced .NET

.NET itself is changing, as the recent name change for the open source version (from .NET Core 5 and ASP.NET 5 to .NET Core 1.0 and ASP.NET Core 1.0), underlines. .NET Core doesn’t cover as much as the full .NET 4.6 framework. The same goes for ASP.NET 4.6 and 5 (which has the Web API but not SignalR, VB or F# support yet). The newer versions don’t completely replace the current versions, although they’ll get the missing pieces in the future. They’re also built in a new way, with faster releases and more emphasis on moving forward than on avoiding breaking changes. That’s the same shift you’re seeing across Microsoft. Over the last decade, building Azure has taught the company a lot about the advantages of microservices for what would otherwise be large, monolithic applications.


Wear your world

If you’re one of those who constantly complain about clothes bought online not fitting right, technology is here to help. LikeAGlove makes leggings that measure the shape of the wearer and provide the details in an accompanying app, which helps users filter out clothes that would not fit right. Workout freaks get to invest in shorts that track running statistics and Radiate makes T-shirts that glow to display the muscle groups that you just used in that last set. Scientists are also working on clothing that can maintain temperature according to the ambient conditions, using everything from pockets of liquid and air to studying how squids modify the wavelengths of light they reflect.


Service-oriented business: Maritz transforms IT culture

Learning was a key part of the Maritz IT overhaul. Paubel said Maritz's IT personnel received training on soft skills, sales and marketing. That process began at the highest level within IT. "We trained the management first," Paubel said, noting that the objective was to help the top IT managers understand what the new IT organization would look like. ... As the cultural shift continued, the Maritz IT group changed its values. The department reworked the management templates that define how employees earn merit increases and promotions. Employees are no longer rated on how many projects they complete, or how many tickets they close, but on how customers perceive them.


Microsoft Open Sources Deep Learning, AI Toolkit On GitHub

Microsoft attributes the surge in interest to the growing number of researchers running machine learning algorithms supported by deep neural networks -- systems modelled on the processes in human brain. Microsoft says that many researchers believe such systems can enhance artificial intelligence applications. The rapid improvements over the past few years in the speech recognition capabilities of applications like Apple's Siri and Google Translate, and in the image recognition capabilities of Google Photos, suggest that belief is well-founded. As mobile and Internet-connected devices proliferate, AI can be expected to become even more important as a way to facilitate function without traditional keyboard-based interaction.


Creating Your Enterprise Cloud Connectivity Strategy

The goal is to create optimal business agility, where the business can adjust or scale according to market demand. Enterprise cloud connectivity uses a variety of secure (and fast) connection protocols to allow organizations to integrate with network, storage, compute, and even user environments. The biggest difference has been the ease of creating these connections and how they can help transform a business. In the past, these connections were made manually and required a lot of administration. Today, major providers are offering easier ways to integrate with their cloud resources.


Microservices in the Real World

Self-Contained Systems (SCS) describe an architectural approach to build software systems, e.g. to split monoliths into multiple functionally separated, yet largely autonomous web applications. The key point is that an SCS should be responsible for its own UI as well as its own data store. The system’s boundaries exhibit a vertical split along what in Domain Driven Design (DDD) is called “bounded contexts”. The integration of each SCS into the overall application happens in most cases within the browser via links and transclusion. These systems don’t share a common UI code nor common business logic. Each system may be maintained by a separate team using their very own preferred technologies.


Major Telcos Join Facebook's Open Hardware Push

It's also about innovating faster. Gagan Puranik, director of SDN/NFV architecture planning at Verizon, said the OCP's collaborative model should help Verizon get new technologies into production more quickly, including future advances like 5G. He expects Verizon to buy equipment from "a mix of traditional and non-traditional" suppliers, he said. Facebook has already developed a pair of powerful OCP switches for cloud and enterprise use, and the new telco equipment could add to the pressure on traditional vendors. Those companies aren't standing still. Nokia, which just bought Alcatel-Lucent, was among the new OCP members announced on Wednesday, and says it will incorporate OCP designs into future telco products.


The Mindful Board

Mindfulness in the boardroom refers to the capacity of a group of people to think in a deep way together. In assessing a current challenge, the mindful board looks to the past, present, and future. Deliberations encompass the impact of a decision not only on the enterprise, but on industry, society, and the planet. And the board considers how the decision will play out in both the short term and the very long term. Mindful boards intentionally look out at the world through multiple windows — technology, politics, sociology, environment, and economics. To leverage the power of using multiple windows, members of the mindful board hone their individual capabilities while practicing three interdependent disciplines as a governing body: leadership by the group, expanded consciousness, and fearless engagement.




Quote for the day:

"Technology has the shelf life of a banana." -- Scott McNealy