July 13, 2016

Linux Mint 18: The best desktop -- period

Mint uses the Linux 4.4 kernel. On top of that it uses the X.org 1.18.3 windowing system. While Mint's default desktop is Cinnamon, like I said earlier, you, not some company, get to choose your desktop. MATE, the GNOME 2.x clone, is already supported. Other desktops, such as KDE,LXDE, and Xfce, will be available soon. Despite these changes, Mint still runs on old computers you have sitting in your garage. You only need 512MBs of RAM to run it, although 1GB is recommended. You can fit Mint on a 10GB hard-drive, although 20GB is recommended. As for a display you can run it on 1024×768 resolution or even lower if you don't mind using the ALT key to drag windows with the mouse.

Angular versus React: Which One Will Reign Supreme?

They have some similarities which has led to numerous debates and discussion on which is the better tool for web development. Is Angular better, with its strongly defined structure and adherence to traditional coding rules? Or is React better with its flexibility and speed? Is Angular too rigid and strict for its own good to the point that it doesn’t really give developers the freedom to innovate? Or will the lack of a defined structure hurt React in the long run while its freeform mix of HTML and JavaScript results in lazy coders? Comparing these two has become even more exciting thanks to major developments to come out from both camps. Both React and Angular announced major releases for 2016. Angular just released Angular 2 while React promises major project website updates and more robust handling of animation.

Dutch Central Bank Prepares its Boldest Blockchain Experiment Yet

Like the bitcoin network itself, the experiment envisions how an FMI's internal operations could be distributed among participating nodes. To game the system – and break the financial market infrastructure — an attacker would need to gain more than half the computing power running the nodes. News of the experiment, scheduled to begin later this year, comes as financial market infrastructures are increasingly being targeted by hackers. Earlier this month, the chairman of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) went so far as to call for immediate action on potential solutions to the issue. Now in a new interview, De Nederlandsche Bank's head of market infrastructure, Ron Berndsen, explained why he believes blockchain could be the key to preventing more attacks.

IBM and Samsung achieve breakthrough on flash killer for wearables, mobile devices

NAND flash on average takes one microsecond to write data compared to MRAM's 10 nanoseconds -- meaning MRAM is 100,000 times faster than NAND flash on writes and 10,000 times faster on reads, said Daniel Worledge, the senior manager of MRAM development at IBM Research, in an email reply toComputerworld. "This is important because it now falls into the sweet spot compared to other memory technologies and this level makes it viable to manufacture," Worledge said. "This could never be done with in-plane magnetized devices — they just don't scale," Worledge said, referring to hard disk drives and NAND flash. "While more research needs to be done, this should give the industry the confidence it needs to move forward. The time for Spin Torque MRAM is now."

Microsoft Tests Natural Language IFTTT Alternative

The app automation service, which can be reduced to the more appealing abbreviation CAP, is similar to glue services IFTTT and Zapier that allow apps to interact with each other. It's also similar to another recently introduced Microsoft offering, Flow, so much so that it's tempting to wonder whether the company's various teams talk to one another. But conversational comprehension is CAP's reason for being. The experimental project from Microsoft's Technology and Research group offers a way to automate app interactions using natural language rather than code. CAP supports Flow's menu-driven programming model in which a user directs the service, for example, to send an SMS notification to a mobile device when an email arrives in Outlook. This is a proven method for interaction and is easy enough for almost anyone to manage.

Why Open Source Graph Databases Are Catching on

Open source graph databases are proving especially popular, as companies increasingly shun proprietary software and vendor lock-in for data management and storage. Open source also gives software developers more flexibility and makes it easier to control up-front costs. All of the major social networks use open source graph databases. Twitter created the open source FlockDB for managing wide but shallow network graphs. Google's Cayley was inspired by the graph database behind Freebase and its Knowledge Graph, the knowledge base behind its search engine. Facebook uses Apache Giraph, which was built for high scalability. "Remember back to Alta Vista before Google? Alta Vista was good, but Google was so much better because it actually understood how all the pages on the web linked together," said Quinn Slack, co-founder and CEO of Sourcegraph

All your IoT devices are doomed

They won't become "unusable", but a lot of functionality is in jeopardy. And there are a lot of these devices in existence. If you take into account the other models affected along with the iPad 2, such as the original iPad mini and the iPad third-generation, that accounts for about 40 percent of all iPad devices in the wild that cannot take an iOS 10 update. As an industry, I think we need to step back and think about the realistic lifetimes of IoT and smart devices, and what can be done to extend their lifetimes when they are at risk of abandonment. The expected lifetime of an IoT device should probably be based on the type of device. I like to think of these devices as belonging to three, distinct groups: endpoints, hubs, and clients. An endpoint is a device managed by something else. These are devices that if unmanaged should still be able to function without a working cloud service.

HTTP-RPC: A Lightweight Cross-Platform REST Framework

HTTP-RPC services are accessed by applying an HTTP verb such as GET or POST to a target resource. The target is specified by a path representing the name of the resource, and is generally expressed as a noun represented as a URI, such as /calendar or /contacts. Arguments are supplied either via the query string or in the request body, like an HTML form. Results are generally returned as JSON, although operations that do not return a value are also supported. For example the following request might retrieve the sum of two numbers, whose values are specified by the a and b query arguments:

Offshore And Cloud Service Providers Upset IT Outsourcing's Top Tier

While many offshore firms have continued to grow at double-digit rates, that arbitrage-fueled expansion is likely to slow as the relative importance of labor costs decreases. “The mid-tier of offshore firms will start to compete more aggressively on price and the larger firms will have to become more like traditional firms — firstly by changing the mix of skills they have and also leveraging technology they have built or invested in,” Snowden says. “The business model will be based more on IP they own and less reliant on lots of cheap labor.” Whether cloud providers will maintain their current growth rates is unclear. “The big debate in this space — particularly around AWS — is whether infrastructure-as-a-service is a commodity service or not,” Snowden says

As IoT Proliferates, The Role Of IT Keeps Growing

IT’s influence on purchases and deployments of video surveillance is a relatively new phenomenon. Deploying IP-based video has broad implications for network infrastructure requirements, bandwidth usage and data storage consumption. As an example, for a national retailer, the security and loss prevention departments might introduce tens of thousands of IoT-based devices to manage. And in a school or commercial operation, it might be thousands of devices. As these devices transmit sensitive information, they are vulnerable targets for hackers. IT needs to take steps to protect these network-based edge devices against cyber attacks and ensure that data is transmitted securely from edge to core. In addition, IT needs to collaborate closely with those departments responsible for physical security and facilities management to protect against physical tampering or sabotage of the devices.

Quote for the day:

"You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from." -- Cormac McCarthy