August 24, 2016

A Portable Hard Drive Made For Mobile Streaming

Unlike its very thick predecessor, the My Passport Wireless Pro could easily be mistaken for a portable optical drive (you remember those, right?). Except that this enclosure sports a micro-USB 3.0 connector, a USB 2.0 Type A port (for charging other devices from the drive’s battery), and an SD memory-card slot (for transferring files—automatically on insert, if you so choose. You can push a button if you don’t.) The new model weighs in at nearly a pound--that's four ounces heavier than the original--and we're pretty sure it's attributable to the 6400 mAh battery. ... Streaming was a mixed bag of easy and not so easy. This wasn’t the Wireless Pro’s fault, but the uneven implementation of streaming protocols across platforms.


Android 7.0, Nougat: The complete FAQ

The way split-screen mode works in Nougat is pretty simple, though the function is a bit hidden: While using an app, you press and hold the Overview key (the typically-square-shaped button next to Back and Home). That splits the screen in two, with your current app on top (or left) and a list of your most recently opened apps on bottom (or right). ... Updated appearances aside, notifications in Nougat are bundled by app -- so if you have, say, three new email alerts from Gmail, they'll all appear within a single card in your notification panel. ... Android's Quick Settings gets far more useful with Nougat, thanks to a new set of always-present toggles on top of the regular notification panel (illustrated above) and a newly customizable set of tiles when you swipe down from that view.


Google's Cloud Bigtable Database Handles Petebyte-Scale Workloads

Google this week alsoannounced general availability of its Cloud Datastore managed NoSQL database service and talked up its existing and forthcoming support for applications built in Microsoft's ASP.Net environment. Cloud Bigtable is a technology that Google has used internally for several years. It powers many of Google's most heavily used services, such as Gmail, Search, Maps and Analytics. It is designed to handle very large data sets at high speeds. According to Google, that makes it well-suited for analytical and operational applications, such as financial data analysis, internet of things and user analytics. Google has previously described Bigtable as delivering more than double the performance of other NoSQL technologies, such as Cassandra and Hbase, while running faster and delivering a lower total cost of ownership.


IT Investment Uptick Triggered By Productivity Goals

"In the long-run, productivity gains are mostly generated through innovations in technology and in the way that businesses manage people and technology," Ira Kalish, chief global economist for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, wrote in the report. "One problem is that new innovations, while always exciting, don't necessarily lead to productivity gains immediately. Rather, it can take years before innovations are absorbed into the way businesses operate, only then causing gains in productivity that lead to faster economic growth." Looking ahead, those companies surveyed noted that the greatest opportunity is in internet of things-powered technology that tracks business processes, with the ability to track customer behavior and the possibility of tracking employee productivity high on the list of capabilities businesses said they were pursuing in this area.


34 Most Disruptive Technologies of the Next Decade

For those who associate the term "hype" with failure, realize that that's what this report is bringing into focus. Instead, it highlights "the set of technologies that is showing promise in delivering a high degree of competitive advantage over the next five to 10 years," Mike J. Walker, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. The phases of the hype cycle, as outlined in a graph created by Gartner, are as follows: Innovation Trigger, Peak of Inflated Expectations, Trough of Disillusionment, Slope of Enlightenment, and finally, Plateau of Productivity. Basically: There's a breakthrough, a flurry of press coverage touting successes, a bunch of failures that ultimately contribute to disillusionment, then people start to understand the technology more, and it goes mainstream.


Deconstructing the development mindset

A development mindset is a pattern of thinking and a way of looking at the world that invites ongoing opportunities for continuous individual and organizational transformation. It’s an abundant perspective that recognizes significance that others might overlook. Those with a development mindset appreciate that development is a state of mind, not a series of discrete activities or classes. ... Given the environmental impediments to promoting a development mindset, it would be easy to simply throw our hands up and declare defeat. But savvy leaders who understand the long-term benefits to individuals and the organization can choose to take steps to create more hospitable and supportive conditions for their employees.


Cisco well positioned to dominate cybersecurity market

The “big data” approach is the foundation of Cisco’s “Network as a Sensor” and “Network as an Enforcer” strategy. Because of its dominant share in networking, the company has more devices in more places than any other vendor. Also, it has a wealth of information available to it, including log files, NetFlow, DNS information, identity, IP address records and other network-related data that can help it quickly find anomalies and breaches. Industry-wide, the average time taken to find a breach today is 100 days. Cisco’s senior vice president and general manager of networking and security, David Goeckeler, told me Cisco could find breaches in 17 hours. I challenged him on this point and said 17 hours is still far too slow.


How to get your network and security teams working together

So, for a team focused on speed and availability, security can often be seen as a roadblock in reaching those goals -- and vice versa. "This becomes a problem when network professionals feel that security measures are red tape getting in the way of their processes, and security professionals feel that network team's expansion and development of complex architectures are opening up the system to potential attacks," says Vigna. It's not that security isn't important to networking professionals, it's just that it isn't necessarily their focus. And the same goes for security pros. They don't want things to run slower or to create more steps for people, but it is their job to keep things as secure as possible. And as it becomes increasingly important for businesses to avoid any security breaches -- both teams will need to shift their priorities.


An iPhone feature has exposed a biometrics security flaw

The vulnerability is unlikely to present a serious threat to security, for now. Banks that employ facial recognition technology generally use it alongside other security measures — like requiring users to have a lock on their phone or only allowing a customer's account to be accessed from a single registered device. Exploiting the weakness would also require a hacker to have both the victim's phone and a Live Photo of them, which is an unlikely scenario. But this development suggests that banks should think carefully about how they use biometrics. Only 9% of UK consumers are happy to use facial recognition as a means of identification, according to Experian, and stories like this are likely to further dent consumer confidence. This implies that banks should continue to use biometrics as an additional or optional security measure, rather than a replacement for existing methods.


New report confirms you need NoSQL, and probably in the cloud

NoSQL is not an option—it has become a necessity to support next-generation applications. And increasingly, enterprises of all types and sizes are embracing NoSQL to support their business technology (BT) agenda. A key strength for NoSQL is the ability to support scale-out architecture leveraging low-cost compute servers that are clustered to deliver performance of large, high-end SMP servers. In addition, its flexible schemaless model offers the ability to store, process and access any type of customer and business data. ... NoSQL delivers one side of the business agility equation, allowing for disparate data types at high velocity and volume. Public cloud takes care of the infrastructure side of the equation, enabling enterprises to grow or shrink resources according to data demands.




Quote for the day:

"A vision needs to be shared in a consumable way and integrated into business plans, each decision, each procedure and each employees' tasks." -- @RichMcCourt