September 30, 2012

5 Signs for CIOs that Their Cloud Service Provider Can't Handle Tier 1 Apps
Picking up the right cloud, handling and relocation of the applications, all contributes to the hectic task. The best way to deal with this problem is by bringing in some cloud providers, who focuses on developer services.

Managing Enterprise Risk in the New Environment
For many years complying with government standards and industry regulations has been seen as a check box in the lengthy list of IT security tasks. However, most recent changes in the environment and increased cyber security threats have led to a rethinking of this approach. In this bright talk webcast, you will know more ...

Big Data Architecture at LinkedIn
In this interview at QCon London, LinkedIn’s Sid Anand discusses the problems they face when serving high-traffic, high-volume data. Sid explains how they’re moving some use cases from Oracle to gain headroom, and lifts the hood on their open source search and data replication projects, including Kafka, Voldemort, Espresso and Databus.       

Building Secure Applications
Developers believe that that security is something that the IT Infrastructure team will take care of. On the other hand, the IT infrastructure team believes the other way. Then, whose responsibility it is to ensure building a secure application?

8 Little AWS Billing Oddities You Might Want to Know
As part of working on a purchasing and scenario planner for CloudVertical, I’m going over all the EC2 pricing variables – instances types, cost by region, cost by life cycle (on demand, reserved type and time, or spot), and I noticed a few small oddities I thought were interesting.

“Drilling” Through the Big Data
Drill is not trying to replace existing Big Data batch processing frameworks, such as Hadoop MapReduce or stream processing frameworks, such as S4 or Storm. It rather fills the existing void – real-time interactive processing of large data sets.

Meg Whitman’s Toughest Campaign: Retooling H.P.
At 56, Ms. Whitman, the eBay billionaire who spent a fortune unsuccessfully trying to become the governor of California, has found her Act III. She has been chief executive of Hewlett-Packard for a little more than a year, and many people are still waiting for her to get her message out about the place.

8 Principles of Better Unit Testing
Not many software professionals recognize that they need to follow different rules for writing unit tests, and so software developers continue to write bad unit tests, following best practices for writing production code that are not appropriate for writing unit tests.

Why Data Centers Need a Performance Review
Your data center is a critical part of your IT infrastructure; it is the engine that drives and facilitates the delivery of applications and services throughout your organization. Here are the top five things IT managers and CIOs should ask themselves when evaluating their data center's performance.

Why Apple Had To Release Its Terrible Maps App Now
Maps is the child of a nasty divorce between two of the world’s most powerful companies, and it has many industry observers trying to understand how Apple could enter the mobile maps market so late with a product that is so bad.

Quotes for the day:

"Time is our most valuable asset, yet we tend to waste it, kill it, and spend it rather than invest it." -- Jim Rohn

"Appreciation is like an insurance policy. It has to be renewed every now and then." -- Colonel Dave McIntyre

September 29, 2012

TDWI E-Book: Big Data Analytics
Download this TDWI E-Book to learn how to overcome obstacles, maximize business value, and get started with big data analytics. You’ll also read expert Q&A on misconceptions about big data analytics as well as a forecast of its future.

Is IT as a Service the Next Big Shake-up?
What AWS announced was its Reserved Instance Marketplace. In simplest terms, this marketplace is a secondary market for trading/selling/buying reserved instances of AWS’ Cloud-based IT services.

New Asus Transformer Pad combines LTE, quad-core processor
 Asustek's latest Transformer Pad TF300TL has a quad-core processor and LTE capabilities to go along with a 10.1-inch screen, the company said on Friday.

Calif. law passed to halt employer snooping on social media
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown took to social media today to announce that he signed two privacy laws protecting employees and students from bosses and universities wanting to snoop on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts.

Shape Strategy With Simple Rules, Not Complex Frameworks
Simple rules represent the beating heart of strategy. When applied to a critical bottleneck, carefully crafted, and used in a mindful manner, they can guide the activities that matter. In a world of hard trade-offs, they are one of the few ways managers can increase alignment, adaptation, and coordination all at once.

Twitter Helps Build Social Data Ecosystem
Twitter's Certified Products Program is a step in the right direction toward improving data quality, analysis, and social business decision making. Let's hope Facebook and LinkedIn follow suit.

BYOD in Health Care: A Unique Range of Risk
Failure to properly implement a BYOD program can be a costly error because the HITECH Act also put teeth into HIPAA enforcement efforts in the form of increased penalties for violations and expanded enforcement authority at both the federal and state levels.

Selected data modeling best practices
Many of these practices apply generally, but the list excludes some concerns specific to other data modeling efforts like enterprise, data warehouse, datamart, or other non-operational models. Also, the focus of these notes is on logical modeling.

Google's Sergey Brin: You'll ride in robot cars within 5 years
"You can count on one hand the number of years it will take before ordinary people can experience this," he said at the signing of SB 1298, which establishes safety and performance standards for cars operated by computers on California roads and highways.

Quote for the day:
"How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind." -- David Joseph Schwartz

September 28, 2012

Mayer Tells Yahoo Employees Products Must Ship In 6 Months, Or Don't Bother (YHOO)
Mayer's rule: If a new product can't be shipped in six months, and if it doesn't have a realistic shot of reaching 100 million users or generate $100 million toward the company's top line, then Yahoo will no longer bother.

Quantcast releases bigger, stronger and faster Hadoop file system
It’s not for everyone, but if you’re storing petabytes of data Hadoop, Quantcast thinks it has the cure to your woes. Its newly open sourced Quantcast File System promises smaller clusters and better performance, and it has proven itself over exabytes of data inside Quantcast.

CIOs Shouldn’t Let Big Data Rule Their Decision-Making
We’ve been reading and hearing a lot about Big Data lately, and it’s a very real consideration for CIOs. But all this talk reminded me of some first-hand experiences with executives who used technology as a crutch in their decision making.

Clover Trail tablets pitched as workplace-friendly
Taking on Apple will be tough, but emphasizing how Windows tablets fit well in an office environment is the best hope for PC makers, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.

Gartner Says India Will Be The Worlds Fastest Growing Enterprise Software Market through 2016
According to Gartner, Inc. India’s enterprise software market is forecast to maintain its strong performance, with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.6 per cent from 2011 to 2016 – the highest growth rate in the world.

Strategic Plan...And Why Do You Need One?
Competitive advantage doesn't come from reactive cultures; it comes from awareness, deliberate action and careful sculpting of organizational and human capabilities to achieve what your competitors cannot. Most of all, it requires executive leaders who understand systems thinking and who are capable of crafting organizational systems to achieve the aim of the business.

Scala upgrade improves tooling, sheds runtime overhead
Version 2.10 will emphasize a futures abstraction. With futures, values are produced at some particular time in the future. Futures provide a lightweight abstraction to deal with asynchronous programming challenges over the Internet.

Trying to fill 6,000 jobs, Microsoft pitches $10,000 H-1B visa
Microsoft said Thursday that it has some 6,000 open positions in the U.S., and is creating new jobs faster than it can fill them. The company is now using its own workforce needs to make a case for a new type of H-1B visa as well as a permanent employment visa.

Majority of Indian companies looking at big data: survey
By a greater than two-to-one margin, organizations today view big data primarily as a business opportunity rather than an IT challenge and are moving quickly to do something about it, according to a recent survey of over 200 Indian IT and business professionals conducted by Informatica Corporation, an independent provider of data integration software.

Top 15 Strategies for Leadership Success
Check out Dan's 15 strategies for success in your leadership career.

Embrace Your Constraints to Create New Markets
How do you produce a $1 pair of glasses? How do you make a profit on it? Intentionally imposed constraints are mechanisms actively used to force inventiveness — "necessity is the mother of invention" turns out to be not just a great quote but a powerful tool.

Quote for the day:

"Though bitter, good medicine cures illness. Though it may hurt, loyal criticism will have beneficial effects." - Sima Qian

September 27, 2012

Enterprise architecture in the age of cloud services
In reading this article, an IT architect will learn how to use EA notations and IBM Rational System Architect to communicate effectively with business users and other stakeholders, including the service provider.

What do cloud and cloud management mean for enterprise architecture?
The main question in enterprise IT is often whether to move to a cloud architecture at all. There is a lot of value in the work that has been done over time to build and adapt an IT environment to suit the business, and a corresponding reluctance to change anything too quickly.

Google Apps axes export support for .doc and other old Microsoft Office formats
The cloud-based office suite will, from 1 October, only be able to export to newer Office Open XML formats such as .docx. This will affect anyone collaborating with users of pre-2003 Office versions, although Microsoft does have a compatibility pack to help out users of some earlier iterations

High Performance Computing (HPC) in the Cloud
High performance computing is no longer limited to those who own supercomputers. HPC's democratization has been driven particularly by cloud computing, which has given scientists access to supercomputing-like features at the cost of a few dollars per hour.

Embracing the Engineering Side of Software Engineering
Drawing from 20 years of research and industrial experience, the author argues that now is the time to make software engineering a true engineering discipline. (with video extra)

Expectation is reality
We hear about perception being reality in service management space. When you are dealing with projects, expectation become the be all and and end all. How your project is perceived is proportional to the level of expectation about the outcomes that you have built.

Analytics Lead Insurance CIO Wish List
Given a $3 million-to-$5 million bump in budget, almost one-third of insurer CIOs would put the money toward analytics, despite already investing heavily in that area, according to “If I Had $5 Million… Where Insurer CIOs Would Spend Money They Don’t Have and Why,” a survey from Novarica.

Europe ready to charge Microsoft over browser choice, eyes Google action
European antitrust commissioner JoaquĆ­n Almunia said in a speech today in Warsaw that both "world brands" were in the Commission's sights – Microsoft over its failure to properly offer users a choice of browser, Google over its fears it "had used its dominance in online search to foreclose advertisers and rivals".

How "Big-Data-as-a-Service" Can Help Smaller Companies Compete
The common perception of how big data is used centers around giant multi-national enterprises spending millions trying to fine tune their business strategies to eke out every last penny from their customers. But in reality, big data is worming its way into businesses large and small, often as a service instead of on-premises software.

Predictive Analytics: Classification Using Decision Trees
When assessing a candidate’s propensity to act in the desired manner, one can use the classification model to review the critical characteristics’ values to get a probability of achieving the desired result.

NetSuite talks 'Appstore' for everyone
Zach Nelson, CEO NetSuite was in London this week talking SuiteCommerce. Rebranded e-commerce or something new? E-commerce has been around for many years but in recent times, the market has become extremely complicated.

Quote for the day:

"Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets." - Nido Qubein 

September 26, 2012

Huawei sees smartphones leading growth in consumer devices
Huawei expects to ramp up its Android-focused product range with Microsoft Windows 8 phones and tablet PCs, and possibly also so-called phablets - phone/tablets. It is also considering developing its own smartphone operating system to distance itself from Android

How Good Technology Is Opening New Doors with NFC-Enabled Samsung Smartphones
So the company jumped all over the opportunity to become one of the first large enterprises to pilot the use of Near Field Communications (NFC) enabled smartphones for physical access to buildings and offices.

When Did Yoda Start Writing CEO Speeches?
Many business leaders speak using sentences that put key information at the end, Andrew McAfee of the MIT Sloan School of Management writes. "Instead of saying 'Our costs are rising' they'll say 'Things are not great right now, from a cost perspective,'" he explains. This isn't wrong grammatically, but it is unpleasant to listen to, he writes.

Law enforcement to identify & store millions of voices via Russian biometric software
The FBI believes voice biometrics will be a “reliable and consistent means of identification for use in remote recognition.” Deploying voice recognition requires no “special equipment” other than a good quality microphone which most of us have thanks to our mobile phones.

Hitachi claims glass data storage will last millions of years
Company researchers displayed the storage unit, consisting of a sliver of glass 2cm square and 2mm thick, which can hold 40MB of data per square inch, about the same as a standard CD. The data is written in binary format by lasering dots on the glass in four layers, but the researchers say adding more layers to increase storage density isn't a problem.

Reducers - A Library and Model for Collection Processing
Rich Hickey discuses Reducers, a library for dealing with collections that are faster than Clojure’s standard lazy ones and providing support for parallelism

The Story Behind Cloudera and Big Data
A talk with Doug Cutting, the founder of Apache Hadoop and creator of numerous successful open source projects, including Lucene and Nutch about his role with Cloudera and learned more about Big Data,training options for IT professionals interested in Big Data, and how Cloudera compares to Red Hat.

The Age of Big Data and the Death of Theory
Is the World Wide Web and modern technology… replacing the human mind? Knowledge today is not a set of theories, but instead just Data, and the machine is a better place to store data than the human mind.

Autonomous vehicles legalized in California
California has just joined Nevada and Florida among the states that now allow autonomous vehicles to drive on the states’ roads

Stand Out in Your Interview
You've just landed a job interview for a position you really want. Congratulations. Now, you know you only get one chance to impress, but how exactly do you do that? Given all of the conflicting advice out there and the changing rules of getting a job, it's no wonder that job seekers are confused about how to best prepare for and perform in an interview.

Quote for the day:

"Anger is never without Reason, but seldom with a good One." - Benjamin Franklin 

September 25, 2012

Five content filters suitable for both home and business
When you need to block content, it’s a relief to know there are plenty of tools out there that do the job. Here are five such tools that I believe can do the trick for anyone willing (or needing) to take the time to get these products set up and running properly.

IPv6 traffic rises in U.S., but remains sliver of overall Internet
 ISPs are reporting a significant rise in IPv6 traffic during the last three months, even though the overall numbers remain tiny -- less than 1% of Internet traffic.

Oracle releases free ADF Essentials
"This [release] allows the ADF framework to be used outside of the Oracle stack," said Bill Pataky, vice president of product management in the Oracle Fusion team. The package, called Oracle ADF Essentials, promises to be "a really powerful way to create rich Web applications very quickly," Pataky said.

Oracle databases easy to hack, says researcher
"It's pretty simple," Martinez Fayo told the security blog Dark Reading. "The attacker just needs to know a valid username in the database, and the database name. That's it."

Oracle and Big Data
Here are Oracle's big data resources, which includes webcasts, white papers for the Architects and the Analysts.

A Startup Tries to Make a Better Artificial Brain
Vicarious hopes to combine neuroscience and computer science to create a visual perception system inspired by the neocortex, the wrinkly outer portion of the brain that deals with speaking, hearing, seeing, moving, and other functions.

Data Analytics and the Information Transfer Gap
“The biggest problem corporations face, whether it’s customer service, whether it’s sales, whether it’s an airline rep, is that they’re asked to make critical decisions for the corporation, but the information they’re provided is very, very hard to consume and use,” said Opera Solutions founder and CEO Arnab Gupta.

Service, function and capability (again)
Quick background: business-folk tend to use the terms ‘business service’, ‘business process’, ‘business function’ and ‘business capability’ as near-synonyms, which leads to all manner of confusion when we try to build common understanding across an organisation or enterprise.

Mobile Application Architecture with HTML5 and Javascript
HTML5 with JavaScript has opened the door for device-independent user interfaces. This means that user interfaces can be created using JavaScript component libraries that render interactive user interface widgets using HTML5 elements. HTML5 has many new features that support mobility and rich user interface development.

A Better (& Cheaper) Way to Motivate Employees
Most start-ups don’t have much in the way of cash to pay big salaries and bonuses. They might offer stock options to keep a carrot dangling in front of their key people as they spur them to work every waking hour.

Quotes for the day:

"A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery." - James Joyce

"If you can dream it you can do it." -- Walt Disney

September 24, 2012

IT departments warned: Evolve or die
“It’s almost an adapt or die moment for a lot of the IT profession, if you don’t start being able to articulate and contextualise technology’s value add to service delivery then why are you there?” he told the Efficient ICT 2012 conference in London.

Dresner Study Reveals Current Realities in Cloud-Based Business Intelligence
Over the past five years, business intelligence has seen less adoption in the public cloud than other applications. But our recent 2012 Wisdom of Crowds Cloud Business Intelligence Market Study® of 859 respondents found current strong investment in cloud-based BI and growing interest in tapping into the cloud’s benefits.

FEATURE-'Intel Inside' ignites mobile branding war
Intel is leading the charge by extending its hugely successful "Intel Inside" marketing campaign beyond personal computers. Launched in 1991, "Intel Inside" stickers turned commodity electronic components into premium products, and eventually became ubiquitous on laptops.

How the Cloud is Changing Backup Vendor Strategy
So as this happens, the astute executive is going to want to have a backup of all their data, no matter where it is, to one or more locations, even if the various providers are doing their own backup.

Converged infrastructure will require some compromise
All-in-one IT environments offer benefits in terms of simplified management, but companies must map their own requirements and decide whether this model makes more sense than best-of-breed systems.

Portrait of a Micro-manager
Most people I’ve asked say they’ve worked for a micro-manager. Their frustration shows when they talk about the person who drained joy from their career and under-utilized their skills.

10 tips for speeding up Outlook
Of course, some of these suggestions might seem to have a bit more “‘duh” factor than others. But you never know what level of skills you’re dealing with, so we’ll cover all the bases. In the end, you should have a much faster Outlook experience.

Management Skills: Three Ways to Build Empathy
Empathy as a management skill could be seen as a little bit ‘pink and fluffy’. After all, isn’t empathy what therapists, psychotherapists and counsellors use? Isn’t it a step too far so say it’s one of the key management skills?

Data privacy issues present new data governance challenges
"As information security professionals, we should want to assume these [privacy] responsibilities; that's good for our profession," Northrop said. "And by good for our profession, what I really mean is, you can make more money, and money's good."

Why a Star Hire Isn't Your Ticket to Success
Magic Person Syndrome (let’s call it MPS) leads a company to believe that the absence of the right executive is at the root of some core business problem. And if they can just hire a new executive, the problem magically will be solved. Have you heard (or said) anything like this?

Quote for the day:

"Continuous effort not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

September 23, 2012

The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues For 2013
As you’ll see, each of these 10 is rooted in change, and calls for the CIO to be a leader instead of a follower; a disrupter instead of a go-alonger; and a business-driven executive instead of a tech-focused manager.

Lessons learned from real world BigData implementations
The real driver however is a different one. Business analysts discover Big Data technologies as the means to leverage tons of existing data and ask questions about customer behavior and all sorts relationships to drive business strategy.

Improve Yourself By Embracing Your Dissenters
One of the only ways for us to improve is to be aware of our shortcomings and then choose to embrace them. But where does this awareness come from? ... often the best way to become aware is to listen to the feedback of others. People are often not hesitant to criticize so if you listen attentively I assure you a whole dose of reality will come your way.

How the U.S. Chief Technology Officer Is Making Data Awesome
“It’s about turning government into a platform for open innovation. Data by itself is useless. I can’t feed my baby daughter data, as much as I’d love to because I love data. It’s only useful if you apply it to create an actual public benefit. You need appliers — you need entrepreneurs to know data’s there available in order for them to turn it into awesomeness.”

Working with Sockets in C#
It provides a simple way to exchange data over the network. It's used, as an example, to exchange messages between users. You can go further more to tranfer files and play "distributed" games and communicate multiple programs. Thanks to its powerful features, sockets are becoming a must to learn technology for developers.

The Rise of Coworking Office Spaces
Benjamin Dyett, one of Grind's three founders, describes their members as "free radicals," or people who "network endlessly and collaborate constantly. They choose when and how they do what they do, on their own terms. They don't want job security, they want career fluidity."

Benchmarking mobile maps
A mapping experience is a must-have feature for many of us. In fact, a recent survey by IDG found that 77% of respondents are using smartphones for GPS navigation. No wonder that many of our readers are closely following the recent development and changes of mapping apps and the user experience on the newest smartphones.

The potential pitfalls of data mining
We should be constantly asking these questions. Do they opt in? Or opt out? Which one is the reasonable default setting? Do we market this information to third parties? If we do, how and when do we inform our customers? Are we acting in a transparent way? 

Big Ideas: Demystifying Hadoop 
Another video in Patricia Florissi's (EMC Americas/EMEA CTO) "Big Ideas" series. This one explains Hadoop. It covers the history, the architectural principles, functions (like the name node, MapReduce).

Greenplum’s Gavin Sherry on Remaining Agile Within the Enterprise
One of the greatest challenges for an enterprise is iterating while delivering quality products as teams grow in size and projects become increasingly complex. Unchecked, a nimble startup can become burdened with well-intentioned procedures and management models that nevertheless slow the pace of innovation.

Quotes for the day:
"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself." - Wayne Dyer
"Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker." - Zig Ziglar

September 22, 2012

How to build a Roadmap – Define Current State
This post will provide a little more exposition and insight into one method, which if done well, can provide an honest and objective look in the mirror to successfully understand where we truly are as an organization and face the uncomfortable truth in some cases where we need to improve.

40 Percent of Insurers Suffered Security Breaches in Past Year
25 percent of financial institutions suffered a breach in 2011—within insurance, that percentage is even higher—making security is a top priority for the financial services industry, according to Deloitte’s “2012 Global Financial Services Industry Security Study.”

Cloud Computing - Governance Challenges
In today’s world, with increasing cloud adoption and outsourcing activities, we could see business organizations are in almost in the same state as it is described of DoD, i.e. System-of-Systems

Oracle's engineered systems focus: A cloud distraction?
Wall Street was expecting Oracle to deliver first quarter hardware revenue of $899 billion and got $779 million. In other words, the rate of decline in Oracle's hardware business is accelerating.

Small Business Strategies: How to handle that adrenaline
No wonder so many entrepreneurs suffer adrenaline addiction. We thrive on risk-taking and love challenges. We juggle many tasks at once. Heck, when things are really bad, we're able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

6 steps to embedding organizational culture
Changing a company's culture is a slow and difficult business, writes Mary Jo Asmus. It's important to start by thinking clearly about what sort of culture you want, and to communicate that vision clearly before starting to make big changes.

Meet the young boss with a digital & global mindset
"Born-digital, new-age leaders bring a global mindset and have an innate desire and ability to collaborate," says Lakshmi Narayanan, vice-chairman, Cognizant.

Why culture is more important than strategy
The most important thing about culture is that it's the only sustainable point of difference for any organisation. Anyone can copy your strategy, but nobody can copy your culture. So why would you leave it

PayPal chief scientist on cracking the code for big data analytics
In a wide-ranging Trailblazer interview, Oh talks about the state of big data analytics. He actually is trying to fathom the human subconscious by looking at who buys what, when and why.

Google Spans Entire Planet With GPS-Powered Database
According to Google, it’s the first database that can quickly store and retrieve information across a worldwide network of data centers while keeping that information “consistent” — meaning all users see the same collection of information at all times — and it’s been driving the company’s ad system and various other web services for years.

Quote for the day:

"The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers." - Brian Tracy

September 21, 2012

Hadoop, The Cloud, and Big Data
What mistakes does IT make beginning a Hadoop project, and what best practices can you follow to avoid those problems and be successful? For advice, ESJ asked Jack Norris at MapR Technologies; the company produces its namesake advanced distribution for Apache Hadoop, MapR

Samsung plans to drag iPhone 5 into patent suit against Apple
Samsung Electronics intends to drag the iPhone 5 into an ongoing patent lawsuit with Apple, according to documents filed with a U.S. court on Wednesday. Apple, for its part, expects to extend its suit to include the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean.

10 social media methodologies that are changing how IT works
Major IT work challenges continue to revolve around project management, technical problem resolution and consultation, accuracy and timeliness of information, and the responsibility of running 24/7 operations. This is where social-style methodologies that incorporate peer-to-peer networking and information sharing are beginning to pay off. Here is a brief rundown on what’s “socially” working in IT.

Chip manufacturing race between Intel, ARM tightens
The race to manufacture the most power-efficient and fastest chips is gaining momentum, with contract chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries on Thursday announcing technology advances that analysts said could allow the company to catch up with Intel's chip-making capabilities by 2014.

Using The Roslyn Scripting API in C#
In this column learn how to utilize the C# Roslyn Scripting API to execute expressions , code blocks and classes from a string or file.

Is IT Ready for a Seat at the Table?
So against those demands, is the business side attempting to gain a better understanding of IT’s undertakings? Is IT doing a good job of managing the business side’s ever-expanding expectations?

It’s Not Your Leadership, It’s the Cause
“People naturally aspire to be part of something bigger than they are, to not just draw a paycheck but find meaning in their work.” Douglas Conant

How Will Today’s ‘Skills Shortage’ Impact Tomorrow’s CIO?
Interim European research shows 83% of industry professionals believe there is no IT skills shortage. However, many other reports contradict these findings. Kathryn Cave, Editor at IDG Connect discusses whether there really is a skills shortage and what impact this is likely to have on tomorrow's CIO.

What's New in Microsoft Test Manager 2012
In this article we’ll introduce some of the new features in Microsoft Test Manager 2012 (MTM) that are used and “dogfooded” by the Visual Studio ALM Rangers.

Top Business Intelligence dashboard design best practices (Part One)
“The business intelligence dashboard is often confused with the performance scorecard. The main difference between the two, traditionally, is that a business intelligence dashboard, like the dashboard of a car, indicates the status at a specific point in time. A scorecard, on the other hand, displays progress over time towards specific goals.

Quote for the day:

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly know how far one can go." - T.S. Elliot

September 20, 2012

The Human Face of Data Science
DataKind, a band of self-titled "generous geeks", share their skills with non-profits. Analyzing a range of data, from fertilizer use in Uganda to policing patterns in NYC, they're determined to use Big Data to make a better world.

Japan confirms cyberattacks over island dispute
At least 19 Japanese Web sites were hit by cyberattacks, reportedly from China and over the two countries' territorial dispute involving islands in East China Sea, says Japan's National Police Association

Big data rewrites the CMO’s role
With the mass of customer insight available to brands adding another weapon to a chief marketer’s arsenal, David Burrows asks whether their job titles should reflect this

Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century
If capitalizing on big data depends on hiring scarce data scientists, then the challenge for managers is to learn how to identify that talent, attract it to an enterprise, and make it productive. None of those tasks is as straightforward as it is with other, established organizational roles

How good are we at lessons learned?
One of the PRINCE2 principles is to learn from previous lessons. Good in theory. How well is it done? Not very well in my view. Lessons learned is something that is left to the end of the project in my experience

When to Use Offline VDI

The common reaction from many end users and administrators alike is, "I would love to use VDI, but what if I'm not connected to the network?" To answer this common use case, the industry has developed several approaches to offline, or local, VDI.

Salesforce talks security: From passwords to animatronic ponies
It has a full-time internal red team of penetration testers trying to break in. It's proactively looking for insider threats, and fewer than 20 employees at the entire company have access to the database of customer passwords

APAC enterprises more susceptible to external threats
More organizations in the region experience external security issues and lose sensitive business data, due to rise in technology adopters who are not familiar with best practices.

Measuring Employee Morale Over Time
If your office includes employee-selected music playing, you can instantly gauge the morale by what's playing on the speakers. Generally, people are not going to be playing upbeat, happy music if they're depressed or upset.

South Africa carves its outsourcing niche amid flurry of acquisitions
Companies from India and the UK are snapping up South African business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, as the country asserts itself as an offshore outsourcing destination.

Quotes for the day:

"A leader needs enough understanding to fashion an intelligent strategy." -- John Kotter

"The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." -- Ralph Nader

September 19, 2012

Intel sets Windows 8 tablet event with HP, Samsung, others
Intel is going to kick off the season of the Windows 8 tablet by hosting an event next week attended by virtually all of the major PC players. The September 27 event will highlight products using Intel's "Clover Trail" Z2760 (PDF) power-efficient system-on-a-chip (SoC) processor.

1010data builds a big data bartering platform
1010data has launched a new service called the Analytical Dataspace, which is essentially a marketplace for buying and selling data and accessing analytics applications. 1010data has been providing a cloud-based analytics service for years, but this is a chance to add value by adding data.

IBM Beats Oracle, Microsoft With Big Data Leap
IBM introduced its InfoSphere BigInsights software in May. The software package includes a distribution of Apache Hadoop, the Pig programming language for MapReduce programming, connectors to IBM's DB2 database, and IBM BigSheets, a browser-based, spreadsheet-metaphor interface for exploring data within Hadoop.

Australian govt guides agencies on cloud adoption
... The guide states that agencies should also prepare exit strategies in case they then decide to move away from the selected cloud vendor. Agencies must consider what data needs to be archived, how it will be transferred or destroyed if required, and what liabilities exist.

The dog and the frisbee and data quality management
Andrew Haldane, the Bank of England Director of Financial Stability has questioned whether the Emporer (in the form of ever increasing, ever more complex regulations such as BASEL III and Dodd Frank) is naked.

AMD Tunes SeaMicro Servers for Big Data
Last week AMD’s Data Center Server Solutions Group unveiled the SM15000 server, which extends SeaMicro’s networking fabric beyond the chassis to connect directly to massive disk arrays, enabling a single 10 rack unit system to support more than 5 petabytes of storage.

Oracle launches solution for Indian analytics market
The company has introduced Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine, the industry's first high-speed engineered system featuring in-memory business intelligence (BI) software and hardware to deliver extreme performance for analytical and performance management applications.

Story from a company that built "the best software testing tool"
The best software testing tool is always the human brain. It can operate in "non thinking" mode too and unfortunately seems to be the popular mode among most testers since they are paid for it.

Undercover cops secretly use smartphones, face recognition to spy on crowds
An undercover cop can often be spotted in a crowd due to wearing an earpiece or talking into a microphone hidden under his or her sleeve. But by using smartphones and tablets loaded with specialized apps, these same undercover officers mingled with demonstrators, took photos and transmitted “real-time video of protesters as they moved about the streets.”

UniFlash for Android Flashes, Manages, and Installs ROMs From Your Desktop
UniFlash is a Windows utility that lets you download, flash, back up, restore, and install new ROMs on your Android device, all from the comfort of your desktop.

Quote for the day:

In motivating people, you've got to engage their minds and their hearts. ---Rupert Murdoch

September 18, 2012

Twitter hires security expert Charlie Miller
Twitter is creating a security dream team. Charlie Miller, famous for his hacks on the iPhone and MacBook Air, finding holes in iOS and devising ways to hijack Android phones with NFC, will be starting his new job at the microblogging company next week.

Is Quality Job One? 3 COBIT quality processes make it so!
COBIT 5 says the quality management process is about defining and communicating quality requirements including controls, ongoing monitoring, and the use of practices and standards in continuous improvement of efficiency efforts.  Please notice that quality is not just about testing. Pause and think about this.

Germany proposes ban on surveillance software exports to totalitarian regimes
Germany's foreign minister Guido Westerwelle has told a conference that the country hopes to ban the export of tools that could allow repressive regimes to monitor their own citizens.

Google pictures a better photo-tweaking tool with Snapseed
San Diego-based Nik Software, a 17-year-old developer of digital image editing tools, is now part of Google. The search giant did not reveal details of the acquisition, but the move is likely part of Google’s endeavors to make its Google+ social network more competitive with Facebook

Motorola announces RAZR i in the Europe
The RAZR i will be running on one of Intel's latest mobile chips (2GHz processor), differentiating it from what we saw from the Google-owned phone-maker a few weeks earlier.

5 ideas to help everyone make the most of big data
Although their use cases don’t always align with what more-traditional businesses are doing, they know enough about the science and technology to save big-data newcomers a lot of frustration.

Case study: ING Direct taps big data to understand customers
The bank has already invested heavily in data analys, and the next step is to implement a big-data strategy to speed up the process of understanding a torrent of customer data.

Identity is the new perimeter
While we cannot control the whole security stack for every SaaS application, we can leverage new identity standards to fill the gaps left by the disappearance of the traditional perimeter as we know it.

9 key career issues software developers face
Whether you're an independent contractor or a cubicle loyalist with a wandering eye, programming want ads abound, each stirring its own set of questions about how best to steer your career.

Microsoft confirms hackers exploiting critical IE bug, promises patch
Microsoft on Monday issued a security advisory that confirmed in-the-wild attacks are exploiting an unpatched bug in Internet Explorer. The software maker is working on a fix.

Quote for the day:

"It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure." --Bill Gates

September 17, 2012

New Big Data Project Drill Joins Apache Incubator To Make Hadoop Faster
Drill is a distributed system for interactive analysis of large-scale datasets. With a design goal to scale to 10,000 servers or more and process petabytes of data in seconds its being designed to efficiently process nested data.

How Disney built a big data platform on a start-up budget
The big data world is full of small, scrappy startups using their ingenuity to build complex systems out of open source software, but the Walt Disney Company is not one of them. Here’s what goes into building a big data platform in a Fortune 100 company.

Microsoft wants to turn your lounge into a Holodeck
A patent filed by Microsoft describes technology that will convert your space into a full 3D gaming environment.

Ultrathin teardown! Asus ultrabook vs MacBook Air
Are Windows-based Ultrabooks built to the same engineering and manufacturing standards as Apple's now-legendary MacBook Air? We removed the shells from both an ultrathin Asus Zenbook Ultrabook and an Air to find out.

Google tool bridges back-ends for iOS and Android apps
The J2ObjC tool converts Android-friendly Java source code to Objective C, which is used to build iPhone and iPad apps. It can't be used as a shortcut to building iOS app user interfaces, though.

Who’s the Character in My Character-Based Leadership Style?
We usually talk about “character” as personal qualities, like self-awareness, collaboration, wisdom, empathy. All these things do make up “character” but not a living breathing character, which is what each of us is!

Google and Mozilla's web cryptography API gets first working draft
The programming interface, being developed within the W3C, could lead to more secure web apps. Possible use cases include cloud storage and secure messaging.

You could be charging your laptop via USB cables soon, thanks to new USB PD technology
The new USB Power Delivery (PD) standard was shown off last week at IDF 2012. It can provide the 60 watts of power needed to recharge a laptop battery, and may be available starting later this year.

Intel unveils Rosepoint—CPU and WiFi on same chip
Roseoint, a System on a Chip (SoC) that has a dual core Atom processor along with a WiFi radio transceiver. It's the culmination of ten years of research.

Q&A: Author Susan Cain on “the power of introverts” in business and beyond
With their quiet, reflective natures and preference for alone time, introverts are often overshadowed by the more outspoken, extroverted half of Americans.

Quote for the day:

"Management is the art of making problems so interesting that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them." -- Paul Hawken

September 16, 2012

When Mergers Meet MDM and Data Governance
The challenges of instituting data governance for master data management in a single enterprise are manifold, as anyone assigned to manage the task can relate. And, when policies and enterprise standards are expressed as goals, they inevitably run into existing ways of working at the departmental and line of business levels.

IDC expects maturing cloud services to generate $100 billion in revenue in 2016
A recently released IDC report is enthusiastic about the growth of public cloud services, predicting $40 billion in spending in 2012 that will grow to $100 billion annually by 2016. Their expectation over this five year time period is that annual compound growth rate of the public IT cloud business will be five times greater than the growth of the IT industry

Creativity and IQ, Part I: What Is Divergent Thinking?
... positive moods tend to enhance divergent thinking and creative problem solving, particularly when the solutions looked for are not ‘optimizing’ (ideal) ones but ‘satisficing’ (‘do the job’) ones....

Data Is Useless Without the Skills to Analyze It
the advent of the big data era means that analyzing large, messy, unstructured data is going to increasingly form part of everyone's work. Managers and business analysts will often be called upon to conduct data-driven experiments, to interpret data, and to create innovative data-based products and services. To thrive in this world, many will require additional skills.

Importance of Schedule and Cost Control
Without the schedule and budget baselines plans, one does not know where the project stands relative to planned schedule progress or planned budget performance.

Why the lessons of the Past Are Not Enough!
The new competitive edge is neither a product nor a service; it is the people who make them. While innovations can be replicated …innovators cannot.

Without radical change in patent law, Android's ecosystem will die
Only the invalidation of Apple's utility and design patents will save Android from possible extinction as a widely-used mobile device platform.

Microsoft Applies For the Patent on Beating Your Phone Into Silent Submission
There are plenty of high-tech phone features to yearn for, but Microsoft is applying for the patent on one so simple, primitive, and awesome you'll be amazed you didn't think of it yourself: the ability to smack your phone and have it shut up.

It’s Official: The Era of the Personal Computer Is Over
The moment came during the second quarter of 2012. For the first time in a generation, according to the firm’s reckoning, PCs did not consume the the majority of commodity memory chips, also known as DRAM

IT Risks Fumbling Cloud Governance
Lines of business (LOB) are going to reassert their spending power, and the opportunities they're chasing will create new challenges for you.

Quotes for the day:

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." --David Brinkley

"A leader is someone who can do everything him(her)self, but let's other people help him(her)." -- Don Rittner

September 15, 2012

Finding the Dollars in Big Data
“We cannot sell a platform to business, we can only sell solutions to people with a business problem, so we packaged a good sales template for salespeople, a good marketing version, a subscription version almost like apps for mobile.”

Pen and Paper: Killer Productivity Apps
When we take notes, however, we engage another part of the brain that connects to the incoming content, but only for the content that we put into notes. It works for classroom lectures, sales presentations, team meetings, conference calls and task management. Writing it down helps us remember it.

12 must-have Android apps
Narrowing it down to just 12 is a surprisingly difficult challenge, but it's an interesting and enlightening one. So without further ado, here are JR Raphael's must-have Android apps of the moment

Data Science U
This fall, prestigious Columbia University in New York City is offering a course entitled “Introduction to Data Science,” taught by a team under the direction of Google Statistician and Columbia Assistant Professor Rachel Schutt.

EnterpriseDB - competing with giants
EnterpriseDB has been working with the PostgreSQL open source community to make the technology better, faster, more reliable and better able to address customer requirements. Now is the time for the company to take steps to reach out to the suppliers that influence the selection of database product rather than just reaching out directly to customers' technical staff members

Microsoft finds new computers in China preinstalled with malware
Brand-new laptop and desktop computers sold in China contain preinstalled malicious software, which has infected millions of computers around the world, according to an investigation by Microsoft revealed on Thursday

IT spending to grow in 2012 despite economic woes, says IDC
Growth in emerging markets is still relatively strong, but has also been negatively affected, according to IDC. In China, IT spending is now expected to grow by 14 percent, compared to 25 percent in 2011. IT spending is also expected to grow by 14 percent in India and Brazil, according to IDC.

Study highlights importance of security in a virtualized environment
“End users need to be made aware that virtualizing a business environment without implementing adequate security measures may be counterproductive, as it could increase costs and reduce agility,” said Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Cathy Huang.

7 Deadly Sins Of Big Data Users
There's a good chance you're familiar one or more of the Deadly Sins, which include Sloth, Negligence, Gluttony, Polemy, Imprudence, Pride, and, of course, Torpor.

Who's Really Using Big Data
First, the people we surveyed have high hopes for what they can get out of advanced analytics. Second, it's early days for most of them. They don't yet have the capabilities they need to exploit Big Data. Third, there are disconnects in the survey results — hints that the people inside individual organizations aren't aligned on some key issues.

Quote for the day:

"In a time of rapid change, standing still is the most dangerous course of action." -- Brian Tracy 

September 14, 2012

Brian Marick on 4 Challenges and 5 Guiding Values of Agile Software Development
Brian Marick talks about several challenges for teams transitioning to Agile and 5 guiding values that successful Agile teams share. The major challenges covered are: courage, working software, naivete, and slicewise design. Successful teams share these guiding values: reactive, ease, solidarity, decency, and joy.       

Testing Mobile Apps
In this presentation Julian Harty covers various challenges and practices for testing applications for mobile devices.      

This Indian Founded Startup is Built to Scare Dell, NetApp and EMC
The company’s mission is to pack a lot more of data for enterprises in tinier spaces without losing any performance. The company gained its popularity as it saves tons of money over traditional systems offered by Dell, NetApp and EMC.

iPhone 5: Why no NFC?
Apple's critics included a U.K.-based communications marketing company called Proxama. "NFC is going to progress at a pace without Apple," said Miles Quitmann, managing director of Proxama, in a statement. "This could be Apple's loss."

Helium-filled WD drives promise huge boost in capacity
Western Digital is preparing to launch a line of hard drives filled with helium gas that is said to drastically reduce internal friction and thus lower power consumption by 23% while increasing capacity by 40%.

Java-Based Apache Wicket Gets an Update
Version 6.0 of the lightweight, Java-based framework comes with a revamped AJAX JavaScript library, out-of-the box JQuery integration, and OSGi-compatible packaging, among other improvements.

SaaS: 5 Trouble Spots
As the market evolves quickly, and ahead of vendor’s Dreamforce conference, we point out a few of the obstacles rising to the top with software as a service implementations. Here are five lingering challenges with enterprise software as a service implementations.

Are You Making Management Too Complex?
In this world of increasing complexity, the best opportunities are for those firms, products and services that are minimally complex (simple). The same goes for those of us leading others and managing our organizations.

Finding the business value in big data is a big problem
Business leaders often "don't know what they don't know," said one frustrated IT manager, and therefore they are incapable of explaining to IT shops what to do with all this data that's being accumulated.

Managing Blind: Interview with Peter Benson
Peter has a vast amount of experience in Data Quality and Data Governance and has helped the industry move on considerably with his leadership of the ISO 8000 Data Quality standard. Here is an Interview with him.

Quote for the day:

"We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment." -- Jim Rohn

September 13, 2012

Haswell: Intel's key for unlocking the post-PC world
Haswell is set to be Intel's key processor for mobile devices right up to servers and its combination of thrifty power consumption and advanced graphical capabilities could power a new generation of post-PC devices.

Your resume vs. your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile should complement your resume, not mirror it. Take the time to create a strong profile that provides more depth about your unique skills and experiences to reach a broader audience.

43 Technologies that will impact Indian cos in next 10 years
“Some technologies, such as cloud computing, data deduplication and virtualization, enable new ways of doing business across industries, which will result in a major shift in industry dynamics and will also lead to the creation of a new and improved — and sustainable — ecosystem.

Oxygen Cloud Breathes Life into Content Virtualization
The underlying technology is a virtual file system and that's the key to it all. It is the basis for the synchronization, and then a number of management and policy elements kick in. So, in a way it is the best of both worlds.

High Performance Computing (HPC) in the Cloud'
High performance computing is no longer limited to those who own supercomputers. HPC's democratization has been driven particularly by cloud computing, which has given scientists access to supercomputing-like features at the cost of a few dollars per hour.

Microsoft axes many of its Forefront enterprise security products
Microsoft is ceasing development of many of its Forefront products, choosing, instead to integrate more security capabilities into a number of its other products and services.

Visual Studio 2012 bends to shifting IT landscape
Today's workforce employees expect to do their jobs across a wider range of devices, not only PCs and laptops, but also tablets and smartphones. And they expect their data to be accessible to all of these devices.

Ten ways to spot an egomaniac in business
Do you have an egomaniac in your firm? Just how damaging can this type of personality be in business? And how do you spot them? Here are ten signs that someone is being driven by their ego —and suggestions for a better way.

Yet Another Court Says You're Not 'Negligent' If Someone Uses Your Open WiFi To Infringe
 In July, a district court in New York rejected this argument quickly, noting that the position was "untenable." And now a California district court has ruled similarly, completely rejecting the negligence theory on three different points.

Introducing Creating Value
Whatever the motivation, at the end of the day, it all comes down to creating value, whether it’s business value or personal value. Surprisingly, though, not enough business owners think about this.

Quote for the day:

Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great  -- Mark Twain

September 12, 2012

Ultrabooks with iPhone Siri-like voice interaction to come in Q4
Ultrabooks will come with Nuance's Dragon Assistant Beta voice recognition software, which will enable direct interaction on ultrabooks based on voice commands, said Dadi Perlmutter, vice president and general manager of Intel Architecture Group, during a keynote at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

Get what you want: 4 new negotiating tips
In Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life, author and negotiation expert Stuart Diamond shares the tips he teaches to his students at The Wharton School and executives at the 200 Fortune 500 companies for which he's consulted. Here are four of his tips for never-fail negotiating

Microsoft Rolls Out Mobile Cloud Services for Windows 8 Developers
The first public preview of Windows Azure Mobile Services is designed to provide an on-ramp for Windows 8 developers who want to build connected applications--without the learning curve.

Dramatic Price Increase for EA License Renewals
For instance, an EA for Windows may have started out with a price of $125.31, but it jumps to $179.31 at renewal, according to Software Licensing Advisors' calculations. For an organization with 2,000 computers, that amounts to "an extra $94,000 over a three-year renewal, due to this pricing sleight-of-hand," according to the consulting firm.

Measuring the Business Value of Projects with Agile
Measuring business value is a challenge regardless of the methodology you use. Our Agile Architect explains how agile principles and practices can be used to ask the right questions.

10 Habits of Remarkably Charismatic People
 They build and maintain great relationships, consistently influence (in a good way) the people around them, consistently make people feel better about themselves--they're the kind of people everyone wants to be around...and wants to be.

Intel's even thinner ultrabook of the future
At its annual conference today, Intel released a slide (above) showing a touch screen ultrabook with a thinly-sliced 2.5mm keyboard (Microsoft's Surface tablet has a keyboard that is 3mm thin by comparison), a sub 0.5mm touch panel, and a 5mm hard disk drive.

Feature-Oriented Software development (FOSD)
In this two part episode of Software Engineering Radio Sven Apel the Eclipse-based FeatureIDE which covers important phases of the FOSD process, namely domain implementation as well as configuration and generation.

Apple's iPhone 5- Start Walking!
According to media reports, Apple's newest iPhone is expected to offer 4G wireless technology for the first time, and a 4-inch display, up from the current 3.5 inches.

Why CIO's need to embrace data quality management
... data quality management should be firmly on the agenda of every CIO for the reasons listed above and many more. Data quality improvement has been proven time and time again to help the business become far more agile and better able to cope with new situations.

Once upon a time: The importance of storytelling in leadership
Stories work for leaders as a successful communication technique for several reasons. Storytelling translates dry and abstract numbers into compelling pictures of a leader’s goals. Stories convey emotion effectively, and emotion united with a strong idea is persuasive

Quotes for the day:

"There is no such thing as an insignificant improvement." --Tom Peters

"A champion is someone who gets up when he can't." -- Jack Dempsey

September 11, 2012

GM to hire 10,000 IT pros as it 'insources' work
The announcement is part of far-reaching GM plan to hire as many as 10,000 IT workers worldwide over the next three to five years as the automaker takes work back from outsourcers, the company said.

VMs and backups: are yours securely stored, or indexed in Google?
Through recent research, I've unearthed an alarming number of VMs and backups in Google's index from companies, universities, and home users. Make sure your directories are protected!

Big Data: The perils of past performance
With Big Data especially, pundits and vendors imply that if we throw bigger and better data at a faster platform, we’ll eventually be able to predict the future with near certainty. Here’s why this is wrong.

Power, people and enterprise-architecture
People are great at transforming between energies – converting excitement and motivation into physical work, for example, or gaining aspirational satisfaction from resolving a technical challenge. But they’re also great at avoiding the work – and that’s where the problem really lies.

Are Application Frameworks Obsolete?
Frameworks aren’t obsolete, but most organizations often get it wrong when building them. Why is this? Often it's because frameworks are derived from a successful project and repurposed (often bringing too many characteristics of the original project with it), or designed by committee, with not enough consideration to how they might be used by a family of actual software products.

Google brings Big Query down to earth with Excel Connector
Google designed BigQuery as a cloud service for running fast queries against massive datasets, but with lofty ambitions there’s always room to take a step back. Now, users that don’t require super speed can run batch queries, and can connect to the service using Microsoft Excel

Enabling Big Data Analytics Inside of Hadoop: A Spotlight Q&A with Justin Borgman of Hadapt
This BeyeNETWORK Spotlight features Ron Powell's interview with Justin Borgman, Co-Founder and CEO of Hadapt. Justin explains how Hadapt integrates SQL and Hadoop in a single unified platform – no connectors, complexities, or rigid structure, and he shares the resultant benefits of that approach.

Step Into the Office-Less Company
The company has a San Francisco office for occasional use, but project management, brainstorming and water-cooler chatter take place on internal blogs. If necessary, team members fly around the world to meet each other face to face. And if people have sensitive questions, they pick up the phone.

U.K. Finally Gets 4G Mobile As Everything Everywhere Arrives
Britain today got its very own 4G mobile network as new provider EE launched with a promise of Nokia flagship smartphones and veiled hint that the new iPhone might also be on its books. The service will be switched on in London, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham today, and will envelop another 12 cities by the end of 2012.

25 tech toys for $25 or less
These items are useful, innovative and sometimes offbeat in a geeky way. So go ahead -- dig deep between the sofa cushions, and check your change jar. Chances are good that you'll find more than one budget-friendly gadget to buy.

Quote for the day:

"People are persuaded by reason, but moved by emotion; the leader must both persuade them and move them." - Richard M. Nixon