October 31, 2013

Silent Circle, Lavabit unite for 'Dark Mail' encrypted email project
"The issue we are trying to deal with is that email was created 40 years ago," Jon Callas, CTO and founder of Silent Circle, in a phone interview. "It wasn't created to handle any of the security problems we have today." Silent Circle, Lavabit and at least one VPN provider, CryptoSeal, shut down their services fearing a court order forcing the turnover of a private SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) key, which could be used to decrypt communications.

Massachusetts grills Deloitte over large IT failures
It is striking to note that most personnel testifying were not present when the projects were begun, due to the long time frames. Therefore, the business case and underlying rationale were handed down, almost like folklore, from one administrator to the next, and metrics were ill-defined or non-existent. The lack of clear metrics governing expected outcomes helped Deloitte argue that these projects were a success.

Availability Group Listeners, Client Connectivity, and Application Failover (SQL Server)
If read-only routing is configured for one or more readable secondary replicas, read-intent client connections to the primary replica are redirected to a readable secondary replica. Also, if the primary replica goes offline on one instance of SQL Server, and a new primary replica comes online on another instance of SQL Server, the availability group listener enables clients to connect to the new primary replica.

Rise in Data Breaches Drives Interest in Cyber Insurance
"With no standard set of actuarial tables, insurance carriers are often left to their own underwriting standards and creativity when offering cyber insurance policies," they wrote. "A lack of actuarial data also makes cyber insurance less desirable to companies, while increasing the price." Insurers, though, have gotten better at quantifying certain kinds of cyber risks. "Where cyber insurance has gained some traction is in an area that's more quantifiable -- the data breach area," Andrew Braunberg said in an interview.

Talk networking strategy over technology
"Each of us carries two, three, or even four Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The heavy load of BYOD [bring your own device] and application volume is crushing conventional wireless networks, which is why we developed an architecture to deliver wired-like performance over Wi-Fi. Resellers must understand that application and device adoption is changing the rationale and choices IT managers make in implementing wireless,” Armstrong says.

Improve security through shared intelligence
While the value of sharing may be straightforward, security data itself is complex. Once an organization has made a strategic decision to join forces with other good guys, the difficulty lies in knowing what data to share and how to share it without introducing risk. ... Maximizing the benefits of shared intelligence requires more than simply feeding data into a system. Back-end analytics can help find needles in the haystack, and participants can collaborate when they spot anomalous activity.

10 hard-earned lessons from a lifetime in IT
Much of today's talk is about youth ruling development and IT. Sure, there are a lot of eager, bright young people in tech, and most of them like to think that they "rule," but the truth is we oldsters still run the show. Why? Because hard-earned lessons provide the wisdom to distinguish fantasy from reality, and the determination to do what's necessary, not just what's fun or cool. As a green programmer, I thought that coding was everything, that people were annoying and clueless, and that all my bosses had my back and would take care of me so I could just focus on the bits and be happy.

Juniper Launches MetaFabric Network Architecture, Switches
The capabilities found in the new MetaFabric offering are increasingly important to cloud providers and other companies that run multiple data centers in disparate locations and want to move their applications and network resources between them, according to Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager of Juniper's Data Center Business Unit. "Businesses have the need to move to an on-demand architecture," Davidson told eWEEK

New Algorithms May Give Keys to Predicting the Future
“The key insight,” explained Dr. Lionel Barnett in a statement, “is that the dynamics of complex systems – like the brain and the economy – depend on how their elements causally influence each other; in other words, how information flows between them. And that this information flow needs to be measured for the system as a whole, and not just locally between its various parts.”

How Organizations Are Improving Business Resiliency With Continuous IT Availability
As business demands for availability are increasing, so too are the risks. Every week there is news of another organization experiencing a major disruption. A company’s eCommerce website may be down for a few hours because of human error or a botched upgrade, or extreme weather like hurricane Sandy or even a severe winter storm can throw an organization into chaos. Why are there so many frequent disruptions and outages?

Quote for the day:

"The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism." -- Norman Peale

October 30, 2013

Why is Twitter spending so much on R&D?
There is no sign that Twitter is working on anything that cool. Twitter actually gives very little detail about what it spends its R&D budget on in the offering documents for its IPO. It says that R&D expenses are to "improve our products and services." And it doesn't appear that Twitter is building some kind of high-tech lab or supercomputer. In fact, the bulk of Twitter's R&D expenses go toward personnel-related expenses.

Three strategies to align organizational compliance and security goals
Compliance teams sometimes feel that their concerns go unheeded, for example, when a requirement remains unaddressed despite investment in other areas. By contrast, technical or security personnel may look at compliance activities as siphoning budget from investments that reduce technical risk. This can be a challenging situation, but there are strategies to help overcome these hurdles or even ensure that they don't arise in the first place.

A Hybrid Cloud May Be the Answer for Midsize Businesses
The hybrid cloud is essentially a mixture of two cloud computing solutions, most often one contained within the data center and one hosted through a public cloud provider. The mixture of these two types of solutions can vary, but it is most powerful when the private cloud is used for types of data that simply cannot be stored or processed through a third party. The public cloud is used for noncritical data storage and cloudbursting, in which the public solution is tapped if internal resources become stressed due to a spike in demand.

Do software engineers need adult day care?
So if work perks aren’t necessary why do so many companies insist on providing them? Surely, that’s a distraction from their business? And it’s not good for the surrounding community because they are competing with local small businesses trying to make a living providing basic services such as dry cleaning, etc. This is especially worrisome when a large company such as Google continues to expand its footprint in the middle of Silicon Valley, and its free food and services are pushing local business into bankruptcy.

Dell to show its first 64-bit ARM server this week
"This is a key milestone for customers seeking to run real-world workloads on 64-bit ARM technology," Dell executive Robert Hormuth will announce in a blog post this week, according to a copy of the post sent to the IDG News Service. Hewlett-Packard, meanwhile, is moving forward with its own low-power server plans.

The art of strategy
Good strategy isn’t easy. Yet we know vastly more today than we did even a year ago about how corporate strategies should be crafted and implemented. In this video, McKinsey principal Chris Bradley and director Angus Dawson trace the evolution of strategic thinking in recent years; outline a thorough, action-oriented approach executives can adopt; and discuss strategy’s next frontiers.

IT Spending to Grow More in Digitalisation
“What many traditional IT vendors sold you in the past is often not what you need for the digital future. Their channel strategy, sales force, partner ecosystem is challenged by different competitors, new buying centers, and changed customer business model,” Sondergaard said. “Digitalization creates an accelerated technology-driven start up environment across the globe. Many of the vendors who are on top today, such as Cisco, Oracle, and Microsoft, may not be leaders in the Digital Industrial Economy.”

Java under attack — the evolution of exploits in 2012-2013
Exploits still pose a threat even when the user knows they exist, is well versed in IT security and keeps track of software updates. That’s because when a vulnerability is detected it can take weeks until a patch is released to fix it. During that time exploits are able to function freely and threaten the security of Internet users. That risk can be reduced significantly if users have high-quality security solutions installed on their computers, including technology capable of blocking attacks initiated by exploits.

CIO vs CDO: There can be only one
"In government, as well as other industries, roles like chief data officer or chief digital officer are emerging in response to the increasing importance of enterprise digital assets," Gartner managing vice president Andrea Di Maio said. The chief data officer role is focused on ensuring that heavily-regulated industries handle data in a way that complies with the rules. Before these CDO and CIO roles swallow each other, existing CIOs and CTOs should form a close working relationship with both flavours of CDO, Gartner said, particularly if they don't want their roles to collide in the near future.

Bigger Data? Or Better Models? Or…..
If you work in the analytics world, you’ve probably either read or at least heard of the seminal book "Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think," published earlier this year. Authors Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier’s provocative point of departure is that the new data norm of N=all and a tolerance for simple correlation over causation is changing the analytics landscape, obviating the need for much of traditional statistical analyses.

Quote for the day:

"I think any man would be nervous if his liberty is at stake." -- Wesley Snipes

October 29, 2013

Stop chasing the rats, and protect the cheese
From our perspective we've seen many different threats to data, many different factors to it. I think the one that is being skipped over and over again is the insider, because it usually comes down to a question of trust. But it's not so much trust of the individual, but trust of the architecture that you have built. Do you trust how your users interact with your data, how they manage the data, and can those become compromised and used against you?

Taming Unrestrained Data Growth in the Big Data Era
Many organizations today are fully aware going in that the volume, variety, and velocity of data continue to grow at a nearly unprecedented rate. And yet they often attempt to handle this rising tide of data without a plan. Moreover, legacy, manual methods of discovering, governing, and correcting data are no longer practical for this tremendous growth of big data.

You Can’t Be a Wimp—Make the Tough Calls
Good executives don’t let concerns about the consequences make them indecisive, however. One midwestern CEO was outperforming by a mile in the late 1990s, when the top brass at Home Depot said they wanted his company to supply theirs. Volume would obviously go up, but selling to the retail powerhouse would have several negative consequences for the brand in the long run. The CEO didn’t think it was the right thing for his company and said so.

How to more easily upgrade your network to 40/100G Ethernet
“You see a lot more in-rack virtual switching, VM-based switching that is very application specific,” Walsh says. “New line cards in new backplane architectures mean different levels of oversubscription. There’ll be generational tweaks, configuration ‘worrying’ that has to occur. The biggest thing (testers) are running into is making sure you get the 40G you are paying for (with regard to) latency issues, hops, and congestion visibility.”

Enterprises Encourage Open Source Culture
Open source culture is ultimately collaborative, and expertise-driven. Developing a successful open source culture inside an organisation also means developing the skills and abilities of technical employees, so that they can produce high-value, reusable work, rather than be constrained to simple operational tasks. Ideally, organisations want IT administrators to automate tasks and control them via policy, rather than requiring manual intervention for every activity.

Smartphones: Business Risk or Opportunity?
Smartphones and tablets are the most popular and pervasive devices used by business professionals today. Their simplicity, flexibility and convenience make them as compelling for executives working on the road as they are for consumers playing and socializing at home. But now that the smartphone genie is out of the bottle, business owners, CIOs and IT leaders must work together to harness the efficiencies these powerful tools afford, while defusing the security threats they pose.

JSIL: Challenges Met Compiling CIL into JavaScript
One of the major challenges involved is actually somewhat counter-intuitive - generating good JavaScript from IL not only requires decompiling the IL, but reversing some optimizations performed by the compiler and then applying new optimizations of my own. Doing this correctly without manual guidance from a developer requires a very, very robust knowledge of static analysis and other related topics, as without that you cannot implement optimizations without introducing significant bugs into user code.

Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and Fuzzy Cloud Demarcation
Public, private, or community attributes specify how widely the cloud service is shared; a sharing dimension. Internal or external denote the consumer’s view of the Cloud’s service interface. The view is associated with a consumer’s responsibility for service development, operations, and management; a responsibility dimension. A third dimension, on-premise or outsourced, describes where the service assets are located; a location dimension. Many architects conflate the three dimensions.

Promote Your HR Leader, Reap Profits?
“We think what that says, based on this analysis and some other studies we’ve done, is that a chief human resources officer can drive an agenda within the executive board about aligning people to goals, and they can insure that performance appraisals are done,” says Karie Willyerd, vice president of learning and social adoption for SuccessFactors.

Exclusive Documents: State Department Lacks Basic Cybersecurity
These newly obtained documents add to the picture, revealing that the department lacks even a basic monitoring system to determine unauthorized access or modification of files. Security on the unclassified systems appears problematic, as there is potential access to classified information, even inadvertently, and back-door access to servers.

Quote for the day:

"All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary." -- Sally Ride

October 28, 2013

The three waves of disruptive trends
... there’s three waves you can catch around the same trend: the emerging wave, the differentiating wave, and the business value wave as shown below. That is, not only riding the wave around each disruptive trend, but riding the same wave of a particular trend multiple times during its journey to the shoreline. These three waves follow the adoption of the technology as it progresses from pioneers to mainstream adoption.

Broad Data - How to Use it and Where to Find it
Logically, we should expect competition to drive more adoption of broad data, barring regulatory or cultural barriers. A good case in point is in motor insurance, where insurance companies will try to gather more and more data about drivers, to help them form a more accurate view of the risk, and hence a more accurate premium. Where that accurate premium is lower than competitors’ premiums it will gain profitable business. Where it is higher than competitors’ it will lose unprofitable business.

Is Your DNS Server A Weapon?
DNS requests are an ideal mechanism by which attackers can increase the amount of traffic thrown at their victims, while hiding the origin of the attack. Many DNS servers on the Internet are configured as "open resolvers" that accept and respond to DNS queries from anywhere on the Internet. Sending very small requests to these servers can result in large replies that can be directed toward a victim's systems

ERP Comes to the Cloud and (Finally) Smaller Businesses
"In the midmarket, one of the big hurdles to greater ERP adoption has been the infrastructure. These businesses don't always have the funds or the technical ability to build their own data center, to have the infrastructure that can support a full-scale ERP solution," Stangeland says. But that requirement's going to evaporate with the cloud, he says. In addition, a per-user, per-transaction pricing model makes ERP affordable for any sized business, and those cost savings can be reinvested in the business to spur growth, Stangeland says.

Lean Enterprise Anti-Pattern: The Lean Waterfall
More and more enterprise scale companies are drinking the lean Kool Aid and starting to implement Lean Startup methodology. In doing so, they are failing at the most basic level. Lean methodology is not lean startup. An MVP is not learning. A Business Model Canvas is not business model innovation. These things are just artifacts. They are workarounds. These workarounds, applied poorly and/or inappropriately, can result in some wonderful anti-patterns.

Seagate announces Ethernet-enabled storage platform
Using a series of open application programming interfaces (APIs,) developers gain the ability to share data between drives, direct drive-to-drive transit of data without the need for an intermediate controller system, and built-in data integrity checks which the company claims will do away with silent data corruption once and for all. To the operating system, it's all transparent: applications make direct key-based requests to the storage platform, bypassing file system drivers and other overheads.

Cisco Dives Into Data Virtualization
We never thought of Cisco as having a focus on data, even though, if you think about it, most of what its technology does is transport data from device to device. However, there is a beguiling rationale for what Cisco may be planning in combining data virtualization with network virtualization. When you consider it, you quickly realize that a good deal of what happens in BI applications involves moving data around a network, from a database to the BI applications.

What is protocol spoofing as it relates to WAN optimization?
"Protocol spoofing" is actually a homonym, expert Ed Tittel explains: In the information security world, protocol spoofing masks a TCP packet to look like something legitimate. In the world of application delivery optimization, it is not malicious -- but rather helpful in optimizing traffic across a wide area network. Protocol spoofing is a WAN optimization technique that is synonymous with the term "protocol substitution."

Tearing down IT silos
Today’s IT infrastructures are more complex and interdependent than ever before. Hiccups in the infrastructure inevitably put business operations at risk. We’ve all seen the headlines of IT related outages that have real business consequences such as lost revenue and damage to a company’s reputation. These factors are driving IT organizations to rethink how they work.

Supercomputers Invade Corporate Datacenters
Other than the rapid spread of supercomputer architecture built on ranks of processors paired with GPUs that act as accelerators, the biggest surprise in the 2013 study was “the large proportion of sites that are applying big data technologies and methods to their problems and the steady growth in cloud computing for HPC,” according to Earl Joseph, IDC technical computing analyst, in a statement announcing the study.

Quote for the day:

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing." -- John Powell

October 27, 2013

Five reasons for master data management failures
When companies forge ahead with an MDM implementation without proper planning, the MDM program ends up not meeting business needs and not being used, and often needs to be re-implemented or modified, costing additional time and money. To help MDM program sponsors and leaders that are beginning their MDM journey, here’s five of the most common pitfalls of MDM programs—and solutions for how to avoid them.

Why Green IT Is Good for Business
Because the hype and excitement over green IT has diminished over the past few years, and the specter of carbon taxes has faded, organizations have begun to put sustainable IT initiatives on the back burner, or even dismiss them entirely. But successful green IT projects usually go hand in hand with operational efficiency initiatives, where benefits drop down to the bottom line while meeting corporate sustainability goals. "Did we make any trade-offs with efficiency versus cost? There were very few," Humphries says.

Global Trends in Financial Services - Strategy
... the need to innovate and compete effectively while reducing costs and meeting regulatory requirements will create job opportunities in the compliance, project and change as well as IT areas within the financial services sector. Big data, faster computers and more powerful analytics software will also offer new opportunities for financial services organisations to improve operational effectiveness, know their customers better and unlock new sources of value both independently and in collaboration with companies in commerce and industry sectors such as retail and telco.

You Can’t Avoid A Software Audit, So Make Yourself Less Of A Target
Organizations struggle to keep control of licensing issues related to technology changes such as virtualization, cloud, bring-your-own-device, and the increasing demand for anywhere, anytime mobile access. There’s a simple truth behind the auditing issues that we see: If you don’t monitor and manage your software ecosystem, audits can quickly become financial embarrassments. To make yourself less of a target,my colleague and I maintain in new research that firms must do the following:

Physical Identity and Access Management Software Can Address Many Challenges
Because of the intricacies involved – and also because of the inherent security concerns – many campuses are looking for a better way to manage these increasingly complex procedures using policy-based automation tools. In today’s education and healthcare environments these tools can increase consistency, reduce manpower related costs, provide better assurance of compliance and ultimately provide a more streamlined process along with an enhanced security environment.

How Software Defined Security Makes Compliance Auditing Easier
IT is flocking to the software-defined data center for cost-savings and agility. Software defined security offers the same benefits but is less well-known and subject to serious scrutiny. This talk will discuss the benefits of software-defined security to next-generation data center protection and compliance while noting the challenges to ITsec and auditors. Software-defined security: It's About Time (and Money)!

10 Myths about HIPAA’s Required Security Risk Analysis
With revamped HIPAA privacy and security rules now in effect that include higher emphasis on conducting a security risk analysis, the federalHealthIT.gov Web site dispels 10 pieces of misinformation about what the rules really require:

Rethink network design with next-gen network security architecture
In this video, Dave Shackleford discusses key initiatives and drivers for rethinking your current network security architecture. Some key points include traffic isolation and segmentation, sufficient security to ensure that the vast amount of data moving through channels is being protected, and software-defined networking, which could really transform network architecture and provide new ways to monitor traffic and perform isolation.

Addressing the Modern Challenges and Opportunities for Disaster Recovery
If done correctly, Disaster Recovery as a Service can decrease the time and effort it takes to store and retrieve data, and, in the event of a DR event, quickly reunite it with the systems businesses rely upon. Overall, it can often be cheaper. IT solutions and managed services provider Logicalis recently released a whitepaper (PDF) on the technologies that are making developing a DR plan “less scary.” What’s really scary, afterall, is that despite the options that exist, many businesses lack a DR plan.

Human Factors in ISMS: Goal Driven Risk Management
Driving forces are all forces that coerce for and elevate change. Senior management’s support and mandate is an evident example of driving forces (Marilynn and Bozak 2003). In contrast, the restraining forces are forces that functioning to hold back the driving forces and prevent a change from happening by creating obstacles and risks. For example, concerns over individual errors could be an obstacle in change goal ISMS strategy. Strengthening driving forces whilst the elimination of restraining forces, ensures succession of ISMS goals, which is preventing risks by providing cost effective control measures.

Quote for the day:

"Never forget to maintain stability while advancing, and never forget to advance while maintaining stability." -- Li Ka-Shing

October 26, 2013

Slash undesirable outcomes through risk-based testing
Identifying and assessing software risks that have the potential to wreak havoc on a software system, such as poor product quality and planning, is no small feat. Mitigating undesirable outcomes poses a challenge because of the breadth of risks and solutions designed to meet them. Using risk-based testing methods helps companies determine the order that features should be examined based on their risk of failure.

Cryptolocker: How to avoid getting infected and what to do if you are
Antivirus and anti-malware programs, either running on endpoints or performing inbound email message hygiene, have a particularly difficult time stopping this infection. Unless you have a blanket email filtering rule stripping out executable attachments, and that tool is intelligent enough to do so without allowing the user to request the item's return from quarantine, you will see your users getting these phishing messages attempting to introduce Cryptolocker.

Solving performance issues with self-adaptive software
While great strides have been made in the advancement of enterprise software and technology, a real gap still exists in the ability of software to be smart, self-adaptive and capable of initiating quality-control changes that can improve performance and functionality. In this discussion between Cameron McKenzie and JInspired Chief Technology Officer William Louth, we discuss the concepts behind self-adaptive software, the illusion of software control and the innovative ideas that led to Louth's JavaOne talk titled One JVM to Monitor Them All.

How Leaders Know When to be an Optimist, Realist or Pessimist
As a leader are you supposed to be an optimistic, a pessimist, an idealist, or a realist? The answer is “yes”. The key is knowing when to be which. The reality is, in some circumstances a leader must be a grim-faced pessimist, while in others it requires being a cheery-faced optimist. How do you know? Here’s a basic guideline to help you navigate this.

How the Next Generation of Databases Could Solve Your Problems
The Enterprise NoSQL is a document-centric database that structures the data in a tree-structure. Every entity is a document that can have a different tree structure and these tree-structures can support any-structured data ranging from full-text data to geospatial data and anything in between. The Enterprise NoSQL indexes what it sees meaning it is capable of indexing words, phrases, stemmed words and phrases (meaning linguistic capabilities), the structure of the document, values and collections (how the data is organised) as well as security permissions (which role has access to what data).

The HealthCare.gov Experience: Why Critical Systems Fail
“The experience on HealthCare.gov has been frustrating for many Americans,” said the Department of Health & Human Services in a blog post. “Some have had trouble creating accounts and logging in to the site, while others have received confusing error messages, or had to wait for slow page loads or forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion. Today President Barack Obama will announce steps to address the problems with HealthCare.gov, including additional phone support for enrollees and initiatives to fix the broken elements of the web application.

Microsoft Surface 2 And Windows 8 Slates Poised To Take Android Market Share In Q4
When you pick up a Windows 8.1 tablet for the first time, regardless of whether it’s Windows 8.1 RT or full Windows 8 Pro, it’s a very responsive, intuitive experience. Even unfamiliar users will get the gist pretty quickly once a few gestures are understood. From their it’s all about brand equity and the platform. You’ve got a Windows device that works with one of the most popular business software suites in the world – Microsoft Office.

Biggest myth - “Enterprise Architecture is a discipline aimed at creating models”
Guess what, it takes few months to create meaningful enterprise x-rays as a result; the architects are not able to spend time in diagnosis and treatment of enterprise problems. Is it because the "enterprise x-ray" a very time consuming work or is it that current architects not skilled at do diagnosis and treatment? The fact is that there is growing disenchantment with the current generation of practitioners.

Agile Information Governance for the new Data Economy
It is becoming an economic problem for organisations who already have more data than they can manage and are struggling with the cost of trying to manage an order of magnitude more. Agile Governance is knowing when and how to spend money on data. What happens if you clean, gut and cook a fish and then after the first bite realise it tastes terrible? If Big Data is like truck loads of fish being dumped on your desk every day how do you know how to find the best tasting fish?

El-Habya'a” or The Technical Debt
However technical debt must be paid back in a timely way because it has another similarity to its financial counterpart and that is: it has interest. This interest is the amount of effort we need to pay each time we maintain the system because of tight coupling, too large classes, untested code or any other form of technical debt which makes code and/or design maintenance especially difficult. From my observations, the interest amount on technical debt is not fixed but it rather increases with time.

Quote for the day:

"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome." -- Samuel Johnson

October 25, 2013

SAN Storage Best Practices for SQL Server
The SAN admin’s been telling you everything’s fine, and that it must be a SQL Server problem, right? Well, maybe – but to find out, you’re going to have to crack open some books – or blog posts, at least. This page is my favorite resources for: How storage works; How SQL Server connects to storage (pathing); How SQL Server uses storage; Vendor-specific SAN best practices for SQL Server; and General SAN best practices for SQL Server

Should Behaviors Drive our Personas?
The Simplicity is not in completing the map. The Simplicity is in understanding the customer and delivering each and every time with relevant communication that attaches to the customer work (CLEAR), their needs (Behavioral) and with desired outcomes (Know, Feel, Do). Do not complete this from your point of view but from the point of view of the customer. Here is my attempt at a Simplicity Persona.

Security tool delivers surprise insights to Domino's Pizza
But in the course of experimentation, Turner says it was discovered that the tool could also see and analyze some business data coming into the Domino’s website that would help the marketing department. “The user gives us information for pizza delivery and now we can pull a log of how many times a coupon was used,” says Turner about what he found out experimenting a bit with Splunk. Previously, coupon usage online was a lot harder to quickly present to marketing, he points out.

Financial services IT spend to reach £265 billion in 2014
"Bankers continue to be selective with IT initiatives, focusing on those that can deliver value to their clients and the organisation, while also satisfying the mandate of reducing costs and improving efficiency,” said Karen Massey, senior analyst for banking at IDC Financial Insights. “Expect to see projects around risk and compliance, core and infrastructure modernisation, customer experience and security, which are lifting our otherwise tempered forecasts."

16 Traits of Great IT Leaders
Being an exceptional leader is about more than getting the job done. You've got to balance your team's need with your goals and objectives as well as your emotions. You've got to think about things from other people's perspective and sometimes do things that, while are in the best interest of the team, might not be great for you. While there a number of different leadership styles, the best leaders share some common traits.

Only 39 percent of IT projects successful? That's a good start
There's actually nothing new in this finding -- in fact, 39% probably is pretty optimistic compared to other studies done over the years, such as Standish Group's Chaos report, which suggests that only 30% of projects meet their goals. Still, there are many areas where IT organizations don't seem to be cutting the mustard. For example, only 43% of the sample report that their IT organizations collaborate with the business on business.

Meet one of Steve Jobs' only bosses
Nolan Bushnell, co-founder of Atari, and founder of Chuck E. Cheese along with a couple dozen other companies, is no stranger to managing people. He was one of Steve Jobs' only bosses. Reining in creative talent and retaining it is a long-nurtured skill of Bushnell's, and his new book, Finding the Next Steve Jobs, aims to teach others how to do the same. Bushnell's advice often seems counterintuitive. Who would want to "hire the obnoxious," "ignore the credentials," "celebrate failure," and "encourage ADHD?"

Getting cloud capacity planning right in the face of oncoming growth
A cloud provider's success is tied directly to its ability to properly estimate resource requirements and to successfully scale its infrastructure without overcommitting and overbuilding. Because cost is such an important element in the competitive cloud equation, as are concerns about reliability and performance, providers need to have a firm understanding of their customers' expectations for Quality of Service as they architect their cloud platforms.

Cisco fixes serious security flaws in networking, communications products
Cisco also released updates that fix a known Apache Struts vulnerability in several of its products, including ISE. Apache Struts is a popular open-source framework for developing Java-based Web applications. The vulnerability, identified as CVE-2013-2251, is located in Struts' DefaultActionMapper component and was patched by Apache in Struts version which was released in July.

Mavericks: The end of Macs in the enterprise?
So, what's the problem? Well, I'll tell you what the problem is. If I'm a CIO, I'm being forced by security concerns to upgrade my users' Macs to an untested operating system. Maybe my company's programs will work with it, maybe they won't. I don't know. As a CIO all I really know is that Apple is forcing me to choose between opening my Mac desktops to attacks or taking a chance that everyone in my office is going to come screaming to my door with complaints about broken programs.

Quote for the day:

"One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak." -- G. K. Chesterton

October 24, 2013

Reasons To Use Postgres Over SQL Server (And Vice Versa)
The difference isn’t really that much if you’ve already decided to go down the paid RDBMS route. Not being able to install SQL Server on non-Windows machines is a bit of a letdown, but again, if that’s one of your top reasons, it’s not really much of a reason for most enterprises, as they’re already using Windows servers somewhere. Regarding arrays, it’s true that SQL Server doesn’t have them. There are better and worse alternatives, but aside from parameter input, if you’re using arrays, you’re thinking procedurally and that’s doing it wrong.

IBM Begins Integration of its Cloud Portfolio with Softlayer
The IT company said in June that it had formed a new cloud services division, and after the close of the acquisition in the third quarter, the new division would combine SoftLayer with IBM SmartCloud into a global platform. SoftLayer infrastructure will be the foundation of IBM's cloud portfolio, it said. IBM's Social Learning, a cloud-based global education technology platform, is already in use at Boston Children's Hospital to teach pediatric medicine using real-time videos via a hybrid cloud computing environment.

Predictive policing gets personal
Initiatives are already well underway at the local level in areas such as Los Angeles, where the PredPol algorithm developed by UCLA has been used to analyze seven years of incident information to predict where, within 500 foot by 500 foot areas, or "predictive boxes," certain types of property-related crimes are most likely to occur during an upcoming patrol shift. And then the department can concentrate on those areas during their shifts, or can redeploy police person-power appropriately.

ICANN starts rolling out new generic top-level domains
The first four gTLD strings are the Arabic word for web or network, the Cyrillic words for online and website, and Chinese for game. "It's happening -- the biggest change to the Internet since its inception," said Atallah in a statement. ICANN cleared the four new gTLDs earlier this week. Google, Amazon.com and Microsoft are among a large number of companies who applied for new gTLDs.

Better metrics for planning and tracking data center investments
TCO, ROI, and such are fine, but they measure the status quo in a world of great and constant change. They also presume that everyone wants basically the same thing: lower cost. In fact, business and IT leaders want a lot of things -- only some of which are cost-related. They want capabilities that make them effective, not just cost-effective. ... We need to take a broader, more systematic view and be more honest about what we really need and value, then make IT decisions accordingly. Consider the following criteria

Why and How KeyBank Has Become Big Data-Driven
The impetus for making Big Data a focus for the KeyBank came from CEO Beth Mooney, Bonalle notes. A few years ago, she reassessed the bank's strategy and decided it needed better analytics and insights. "The insight Beth Mooney had was, if we're going to serve our clients well, we need to understand what their needs are and who they are," says Bonalle, executive vice president and director of marketing and insights, who spoke at American Banker's Banking Analytics Symposium in Boston on Friday.

Don't trust a company on its word, trust it on its tech
LinkedIn has not disclosed whether its Intro service would work if a user has enabled two-factor authentication on their email service. Google, for example, has a modified login challenge when logging in via the IMAP protocol (which Intro uses to fetch mail). Yahoo's two-factor system can be circumvented completely due to how it is implemented. Although LinkedIn potentially has the ability to do pretty much anything it wants with your emails, its measure to protect users comes in the form of a pledge not to.

Microsoft and Symantec push to combat key, code-signed malware
Under the auspices of the Certificate Authority/ Browser Forum, an industry group in which Microsoft and Symantec are members, the two companies next month plan to put forward what Coclin describes as proposed new "baseline requirements and audit guidelines" that certificate authorities would have to follow to verify the identity of purchasers of code-signing certificates. Microsoft is keenly interested in this effort because "Microsoft is out to protect Windows," says Coclin.

IT distribution strategy: Distributors upping investments in enablement
"The best true value-added distributors have moved from the mechanics of operations management and channel partner activation to sales and channel enablement," said Kevin Rhone, practice director for the channel acceleration practice at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). In their efforts to provide more core value to their partner customers, IT distributors are adding new enablement capabilities for marketing support services, such as analytics support.

Deep Focus on Your Code with CodeLens
It's a new feature in Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate that shows you information about your code directly in the code editor. Before CodeLens, you had to dig through several different windows to retrieve information such as method references, tests associated with a method, the last time a line of code was changed or how many times the code has been changed. Researching and finding this information takes you away from the code editor, and away from writing code. CodeLens changes that by putting this information literally at your fingertips within the code editor.

Quote for the day:

"Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed. " -- Dale Carnegie

October 23, 2013

CISOs' Role Becoming More Strategic, But there Are Growing Pains
When it comes to business practices, the security leaders interviewed by IBM stressed the need for strong business vision, strategy and policies, comprehensive risk management and effective business relations to be impactful in their roles. Understanding the concerns of their C-suite is also critical. More mature security leaders meet regularly with their board and C-suite, thereby improving relations.

The Real Privacy Problem
Thus the balance between privacy and transparency is especially in need of adjustment in times of rapid technological change. That balance itself is a political issue par excellence, to be settled through public debate and always left open for negotiation. It can’t be settled once and for all by some combination of theories, markets, and technologies. As Simitis said: “Far from being considered a constitutive element of a democratic society, privacy appears as a tolerated contradiction, the implications of which must be continuously reconsidered.”

5 Reasons Hadoop is Kicking Can and Taking Names
Hadoop’s momentum is unstoppable as its open source roots grow wildly into enterprises. Its refreshingly unique approach to data management is transforming how companies store, process, analyze, and share big data. Forrester believes that Hadoop will become must-have infrastructure for large enterprises. If you have lots of data, there is a sweet

How leadership can rise above office politics
The confusion between politics and leadership is understandable because both require social interaction. In certain political relationships, there is an expectation that a negative response (failure to complete the circle) comes with a punishment: Do as I say or you’re fired. This kind of power seeks to alter someone’s behavior via threat, intimidation, or coercion.

Freedom is All That Matters
Free software concretely means that the users have the four essential aspects of freedom: Free-dom 1 - freedom to run the program as you wish for whatever purpose; Freedom 2 - freedom to study the source code and to change it to make the computing as per your wish; Freedom 3 – to redistribute exact copies to others and freedom 4 – to redistribute modified copies to others.

Traditional App Development Stifles Government Innovation
It is a pointless practice for government agencies today to code and build single-use applications, or to integrate a dozen different products to deliver a single, specific functionality. Technology vendors now provide efficient platforms to provide such services without the need for coding, creating ready-to-run applications that work on all devices, whether in the cloud, on-premises, or both. The applications built on these new platforms offer simple, intuitive user interfaces to improve collaboration and decision-making, and support better service to internal and external agency customers.

The ins and outs of extending DLP
That being the case, we have two options for monitoring outbound Internet traffic for the enterprise. The first is to install DLP network sensors at each office (or alternatively, to provision virtual servers at all of our remote offices). The problem with this approach is that it provides no visibility into what users do once they take their laptops off the network.

DevOps - Pivoting Beyond Pockets
“You can’t buy a culture transformation. It is hard work from within the Organization”. An uncalculated and solely engineering based approach to DevOps can be less effective and not so sustainable. Operations are generally locked in the fixed mindset with focus on "control" (controlling change, controlling risk, etc.) They often "harden" their controls, under the delusion that they can actually control change and risk. The more Agile the Dev mindset is (and it's always more agile than the ops mindset) - the more tension and the greater the friction.

Maturity models are proxies for value, not value itself
The heart of the problem is that “maturity” is not value. Value is an outcome, and maturity is not an outcome; it’s something we pursue in order to develop the capabilities that make an outcome possible. At best, increasing maturity is a leading indicator for value, not the thing itself. An IT organization that touts its improving “maturity” to an executive team is not talking about value, but about IT activities.

Dubai thinks big with plan to turn itself into a wi-fi connected smart city
Its biggest announcement is a project being driven by Dubai's ruling Sheikh, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and called Dubai Smart City. He wants pervasive wireless across the city. In a series of tweets, he said: "We launched a new project to transform Dubai into a smart city. Education, healthcare and general security will be managed via smart systems. The project aims to provide all Dubai residents with high-speed internet in public places, and live services and information."

Quote for the day:

"The person who seeks all their applause from the outside has their happiness in another's keeping." -- Dale Carnegie

October 22, 2013

Hack in the Box: Researchers attack ship tracking systems for fun and profit
AIS protocol “was designed with seemingly zero security considerations,” but is a mandatory tracking system “for all passenger ships and commercial (non-fishing) ships over 300 metric tons.” AIS works “by acquiring GPS coordinates and exchanging vessel’s position, course and information with nearby ships, offshore installations, i.e. harbors and traffic control stations, and Internet tracking and visualization providers.” By 2014, it is estimated that AIS will be on one million ships.

Lowering the cost of private cloud software
One of the biggest long-term costs in virtualization and private/hybrid cloud environments isuncontrolled, unmonitored growth in computing demand. Costly growth occurs when users, empowered by self-service provisioning, deploy and scale workloads and then eventually abandon unneeded workloads within the private cloud without scaling down or decommissioning them.

Winning ‘the War to Keep Your Employees’ Requires Re-Recruiting Your Top Talent
Much like married couples can re-energize their marriage by renewing their vows, managers should periodically change and update what the company has to offer during the re-recruiting process. Re-recruiting is necessary because even if your top performers are loyal and have not actively applied for a new job, they are still constantly being identified, assessed, and contacted by corporate recruiters and by employees seeking out potential employee referrals.

AngularJS on top of ASP.NET: Moving the MVC framework out to the browser
Mixing .NET code with HTML in views can soon get very messy. Wouldn’t it be nice if the presentation layer (HTML) could be pure HTML? Also, in the ASP.NET MVC model, some of the business logic invariably resides in the controller. It is tempting to use an anti­pattern like the one shown above ... In this article we will see how Angular JS, a new JavaScript framework by Google can be used effectively to build web applications where: Views are pure HTML; Controllers (in the server sense) are pure REST based API calls; and The presentation layer is loaded as needed from partial HTML only files.

5 Tips for Managing Clouds at Scale
At a recent panel of cloud users, one thing became clear though: Managing a public cloud deployment at small scale is relatively straightforward. The problem comes when that deployment has to scale up. "It gets very complex," says IDC analyst Mary Turner, who advises companies on cloud management strategies. "In the early stages of cloud we had a lot of test and development, single-purpose, ad-hoc use case. We're getting to the point where people realize the agility cloud can bring, and now they have to scale it."

Rakuten’s CEO on Humanizing E-Commerce
When people talk about “social shopping” or “social commerce,” they’re referring to the fact that people like to connect with others for advice about purchases. Some people think that friends—whether in real life or on social media—have a big influence on what we buy. I don’t believe they’re that powerful. The curators running our shops know quite a bit more about products and are a much better source of recommendations. If you want to buy a tennis racket, do you ask a friend or the pro at the shop? If you want to learn about wine, do you ask a friend or a sommelier?

Passing PCI firewall audits: Top 5 checks for ongoing success
If you are an information security professional whose organization handles credit card information, then unless you have been living under a rock since PCI DSS was first introduced in 2004, PCI compliance is a fact of life. Many love to bash the standard as the "low bar" for security, but when it comes to "Requirement 1: Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data," special attention to these five components

Managing virtualization machine security for in-house IaaS deployments
Many virtualization platforms offer specific controls for securing virtual machines; organizations should certainly take advantage of these. For example, VMware Inc.'s virtual machines have configuration settings that specifically prohibit copy and paste between the VM and the underlying hypervisor, which helps prevent sensitive data from being copied to hypervisor memory and clipboards. Platforms from Microsoft and Citrix Systems offer similar copy-and-paste restrictions.

Fighting Shadow IT: 10 Best Practices to Prevent Enterprise Data Leaks
Businesses are struggling to securely share files because employees are turning to consumer services outside the network to get the job done themselves without bothering to communicate to IT. Easy data access will win just about every time if it comes up against corporate policy. Since the single biggest cause of data leaving the network is a company's employees, guidelines need to regulate how corporate information is shared.

PCI SSC 2013 Community Meeting Takeaways
For PCI DSS v3.0, where segmentation is used to reduce scope and limit the network boundaries of the cardholder environment, penetration tests will be required to test the effectiveness of network boundaries. This means that internal penetration tests will need to include the internal network not just on the inside of the cardholder environment but also on the outside of the cardholder environment, from the vantage point of internal network zones that face the cardholder environment.

Quote for the day:

"Winning becomes easier over time as the cornerstones of confidence become habits" -- Rosabeth Moss Kanter

October 21, 2013

How using a test-execution model can improve software test results
Because the test passes, we'll never know, because we aren't going to investigate, ever. Similarly, fail doesn't mean there is a bug. The good news is that we're likely to figure out whether a bug was encountered, because fail really means we need to investigate. We usually eventually figure out whether the SUT behavior is expected under the circumstances.

Qualcomm’s Toq Is a Watch Smart Enough to Keep It Simple
The Toq can be paired with any Android smartphone by installing a companion app. You can then choose which of the apps on your phone can send notifications to your wrist. You can act on some of those notifications when they reach the Toq. For example, you can scroll through a text message on the device’s screen and reply to it in two taps, by selecting from a menu of canned or custom responses.

Living in a digital world.
No matter what business or service you deliver today, digitalization is changing it. Data collection and analysis are becoming highly sophisticated in this new era. Genuinely digitalized businesses are creating value and generating revenue through digitalized products and services. Technology will enable you to: optimise business processes; create new business models; and identify and exploit those business moments. That’s why every company will become a technology company.

IBM rolls “Internet of Things” starter kit
With the Internet of Things Starter Kit, a real-time operating system is integrated in Libelium Waspmote nodes to support more that 60 different sensors available off the shelf, letting developers build any application on top, IBM said. The Internet of Things SDK also includes the source code of the 6LoWPAN libraries so that researchers can modify and add their own algorithms and improvements.

Life in the cloud after Nirvanix
Nirvanix told customers to immediately seek a new service provider to host their data and to put no more data on its servers in the meantime. The announcement saw Nirvanix customers scrambling to find new service providers. On a wider-scale, it added to the concerns that many organizations already had about safety in the cloud. FierceCIO had the opportunity to speak with Ted Chamberlin, vice president of cloud market development at CoreSite, about the impact of the Nirvanix collapse. CoreSite helped some Nirvanix customers successfully migrate to other providers

Eight Things Leaders Need to Know About Speed
If you are leading a team with a significant crisis, speed may need to be increased, and fast! And there are other times when 70 mph just isn’t appropriate, necessary or safe. There are speed limits on the roads to take those factors into account, and we must look for the road signs with our teams as well – so that we set the current speed or pace based on what the organization and environment needs, not what we (or others) are comfortable with or like

The IT Role in Value Creation is Not a Technology
It is time to change the paradigm. IT needs to think of itself as a business organization that drives value rather than simply a delivery or technology organization. And transformational IT CIOs are doing just that. There are many who question IT’s ability to contribute to top line value. Based on the traditional paradigm, the question is well supported. However, in the new paradigm, IT can provide top line value creation through new revenue streams.

Information Governance on (or in?) the Data Warehouse – Does it Exist?
And so the extent of information governance in a data warehouse tends to focus on an exception, kicked out by an ETL or script, and IT chasing after business users who are “too busy to call IT back” to help solve the problem. In a nutshell, the work of information governance and stewardship is rarely, if ever, “operationalized” in the business process; it remains an IT effort. It does not become “how we do things around here”.

The Power of the Cube
There’s something to this. A big problem with BI is that its interaction model is very stilted: i.e., it makes us wait while it goes off and fetches data via SQL. In most cases, this means going out to a database and fetching some data and doing some calculations and – preferably in two to five seconds – bringing something back and displaying it on our screen. This approach works reasonably well for reporting, but not really for analysis where the user’s train of thought is important.

What CIOs, developers should know about the 'API economy'
A cloud-first [strategy] is appealing because it promises to lower costs and increase agility. However, CIOs should view their API strategy not just as the integration methodology that enables cloud-first, but also as a way to syndicate assets to new internal and external audiences. When considered this way, it becomes clear that a well-conceived and properly implemented API strategy also has the potential to drive innovation, increase productivity, and create new channels and markets.

Quote for the day:

"The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen. " -- Lee Iacocca

October 20, 2013

ATDD From the Trenches
In summary: Pretend that you have an awesome framework encapsulated behind a really convenient helper class; Write a very simple acceptance test for something that already works today; Write the acceptance test for your new feature. Make it run but fail; Make it green. While coding, write unit tests for any non-trival stuff; and Refactor. And maybe write some more unit tests for good measure, or remove redundant ones. Keep the code sqeaky clean!

Iceland and the Data Center Industry
It’s been five years since Verne Global announced plans to build a data center business in Iceland, which offers nearly ideal scenarios for power and cooling servers. The company’s facility on a former NATO base is now filling with customers, with a boost from cloud hosting provider Datapipe. The latest arrival is RMS, which specializes in modeling catastrophe risk for the insurance industry.

Adidas Runner's Watch Puts Diverse World of Wearables in the Spotlight
One of the big challenges in developing the watch was leaving out features and streamlining it for the task of running, Gaudio said. Synchronizing with a mobile phone was one capability the company determined many runners could do without. "At a certain level, they get to a point where they don't want to be bothered with carrying a phone," Gaudio said. It can be a matter of both reducing carried weight and escaping from the world of alerts and calls.

Common File Elimination Demystified
Common File Elimination ensures that the same data is never transmitted offsite more than twice, thereby saving the bandwidth to transmit only new, unique data. Customers often wonder why files are transmitted twice and not only once. Simply said, the system needs to see the file three times before it classifies it as common and moves it to the appropriate folder - common file library.

Data Discrimination Means the Poor May Experience a Different Internet
As Crawford and Jason Schultz, a professor at New York University Law School, wrote in their paper: “When these data sets are cross-referenced with traditional health information, as big data is designed to do, it is possible to generate a detailed picture about a person’s health, including information a person may never have disclosed to a health provider.”

Integrating Cloud and In-house Storage
Cloud storage makes disaster recovery significantly easier, and your data is backed-up offsite in a secure location. But there is also the additional security that most cloud storage providers can ensure. Many small businesses or remote offices use out-of-the-box solutions for data storage, which are typically much easier for hackers to gain access to. You can rest assured that these larger providers have a greater level of expertise protecting data than a local IT professional you have set up your system.

Learn From Your Failures and Build Something Great
What happens when engineers become leaders? That’s the question at the core of “Cultivate,” a new conference from O’Reilly focused on entrepreneurial leadership for technology companies. In this morning’s keynote, Tim O’Reilly examined the topic using an approach familiar to data center managers: the failure analysis. O’Reilly, the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, discussed the failures he experienced in building one of the industry’s leading brands for publishing and events, and what he learned from them.

5G Will have to Do More Than Send Speed Up Your Phone, Ericsson Says
More so than any previous generation of cellular gear, 5G will have to serve two masters, Nandlall said. Between wireless sensors, industrial equipment and an array of consumer gadgets, in a few years there are likely to be 10 mobile connections per person. If 5 billion humans join the mobile world, that's 50 billion connections that 5G networks will need to serve.

What Puzzles You Most About Functional Programming?
With so much diversity, it’s hard to define the exact scope of what exactly functional programming is. Is it a question of how to design your program, that is, using functions as the primary abstraction? Or is it about programming with mathematical functions, meaning pure functions that do not have side effects? And what are those monads again? In this InfoQ research, we ask you: what puzzles you most about functional programming? The following is an incomprehensive list of things that might puzzle you about functional programming.

Li-Fi Turns Every Lightbulb Into an Ultra-Fast Wireless Network
First, data are transmitted to an LED light bulb — it could be the one illuminating the room in which you’re sitting now. Then the lightbulb is flicked on and off very quickly, up to billions of times per second. That flicker is so fast that the human eye cannot perceive it. Then a receiver on a computer or mobile device — basically, a little camera that can see visible light — decodes that flickering into data.

Quote for the day:

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success." -- Henry David Thoreau

October 19, 2013

ODBC Rocks!
Both OLE DB and ODBC are true native APIs for SQL Server in that they map API calls directly into SQL Server’s network protocol, Tabular Data Stream (TDS). When Microsoft recommended best practices are followed, ODBC is a very thin wrapper over TDS with no intermediate buffering between network packet buffers and the application. It therefore has excellent performance and scalability characteristics.

Portability challenges for government agencies moving to hybrid clouds
A key report finding is that while overall cloud spending will accelerate, federal agencies in the near-term will continue to leverage different cloud types (private, hybrid, public) based on their specific agency needs and concerns. The leading category of government cloud service is private, but public clouds and hybrid clouds continue to gain traction. As a result, many federal agencies will be employing a multi-cloud architecture.

Graphics Chips Help Process Big Data Sets in Milliseconds
Known as MapD, or massively parallel database, the new technology achieves big speed gains by storing the data in the onboard memory of graphics processing units (GPUs) instead of in central processing units (CPUs), as is conventional. Using a single high-performance GPU card can make data processing up to 70 times faster.

IBM unveils computer fed by 'electronic blood'
But for IBM to truly match the marvels of the brain, there is a third evolutionary step it must achieve - simultaneous liquid fuelling and cooling. Just as blood gives sugar in one hand and takes heat with another, IBM is looking for a fluid that can multitask. Vanadium is the best performer in their current laboratory test system - a type of redox flow unit - similar to a simple battery. First a liquid - the electrolyte - is charged via electrodes, then pumped into the computer, where it discharges energy to the chip.

The Challenges of Cloud Security Deployments
The complexity of the security landscape doesn't make this easier. A quick glance at network security reveals a diverse array of often-siloed solutions, some software, some hardware. These solutions frequently add even more data to the pile of Big Data demanding analysis, and that's just if they integrate well into the cloud security architecture in the first place. In many cases, these solutions are simply confusing and problematic to deploy in cloud environments.

Cloud To Dominate Data Center Traffic Within The Year, Cisco Study Predicts
Approximately 17 percent of data center traffic will be fueled by end users accessing clouds for web surfing, video streaming, collaboration and connected devices. Another seven percent will be traffic generated between data centers, primarily driven by data replication and software/system updates. An additional 76 percent of data center traffic will stay within the data center and will be largely generated by storage, production and development data in a virtualized environment.

Watch out, PayPal: Amazon's following the money
"Login and Pay with Amazon," which allows you to pay on other Web sites using your Amazon account, builds upon the web retailer's earlier Amazon Payments effort from a few years ago. If Amazon can get third-party merchants to integrate its log-in feature into their checkouts, Amazon's payment system would technically have more users than PayPal.

Mobile middleware: Data movement and application design best practices
A critical question with your mobile middleware application framework is the exposure of APIs. If you expect to support browser access (which likely you should), the basic application must present a RESTful front end. It's also expected that most mobile device applications use RESTful APIs. If you also intend to use RESTful APIs, design all your applications for Representational State Transfer (REST). Doing so means you can't presume the application will maintain state. That will be important when you look at your application-to-resource

The Shift to I/O Optimization to Boost Virtualization Performance
While hardware price per performance costs continue to come down, performance improvements are not keeping up with the rate of data growth and the need to extract value from that data. This performance chasm forces enterprises to purchase ever-increasing amounts of hardware to handle the increased I/O. As IT buys more storage, not for capacity but to spread I/O demand across a greater number of interfaces, organizations cannot fully capitalize on the promise of virtualization and other important technology trends.

What Does Next-Generation MDM Look Like?
The MDM Institute's 12 strategic planning assumptions for 2013-14 present an experience-based view of the key trends and issues facing IT organizations by highlighting master data management, data governance and related areas Master data management is quickly broadening its attractiveness both as a key enabler of strategic business initiatives as well tactical P&L initiatives. As of 2013, MDM is no longer "fast follower" technology strategy but is clearly a business strategy for the masses.

Quote for the day:

“The day you realize that your efforts and rewards are not related, it really frees up your calendar.” -- Scott Adams

October 18, 2013

Using NFC, IBM brings dual-factor authentication to mobile
Here's how IBM's approach works, using an app for using your bank as an example: First, you load up the bank's app. It sends a special challenge number to your phone. Next, the app asks you for your password. But here's the catch: after you enter it, you tap your phone against the NFC-enabled card your bank gave you. Third, the phone transfers the challenge number to the card using NFC, the card transforms it through a calculation based on its own key, then sends it back to the phone, which sends it to the bank.

More about Microsoft’s plans to consolidate around ODBC and deprecate OLE DB
Though this is an older post, thought that these facts might be useful to read again. Microsoft's recent announcement that they would focus more on ODBC and deprecate OLE DB has raised a lot of questions. Amina Saify at Microsoft recently posted some questions and answers. Some interesting points were:

Is application virtualization the answer for users of XP?
Suppliers of application virtualization technology, such as AppZero, Citrix, Moka5, Spoon, VMware, and even Microsoft, have long been talking about the day that Windows XP would die and suggesting that their application virtualization products could make the transition easier. To a company, they suggest that Windows XP applications can be easily and smoothly moved over to a new operating environment without requiring changes to the applications themselves.

How the Walking Dead Uses Big Data to Make Life-Or-Death Decisions
The game operates as a type of choose-your-own-adventure story, asking the player to make quick decisions about what to say from the provided dialogue options. One of The Walking Dead’s greatest successes is that every choice is a new dilemma, eschewing “good” and “bad” options in favor of choices that are all a matter of perspective. Early on in the game, you have to choose between saving one character over another, and there’s no right answer.

15 Inspiring Videos for Web Designers
We believe it is absolutely fundamental to dedicate time to listening to the great visionaries of your chosen field who can help you see things from a different, innovative, and enriching viewpoint. These forward thinkers can help you attack projects with a renewed determination and encourage you to step out of your comfort zone - dive in head first to an unfamiliar sector, or experiment with the latest technology or programing language!

The 5 Common Characteristics of Ideas That Spread
Your success as a creative depends not only on coming up with great ideas and making them happen, but also with getting those ideas adopted by your target audience. Whether it’s the buying public, an art dealer, or just your direct supervisor, getting your work off of your hard drive and into the world is perhaps the most important (and scariest) part of creative work.

NuoDB Takes the Wraps Off Blackbirds Database
If version 1.0 was about getting the database off the ground, version 2.0 is about making it fly farther and faster. NuoDB CTO Seth Proctor recently explained the significance of Blackbirds in a telephone interview with Datanami. “We've worked very hard in this release to make it be something that feel like something very familiar, that has increased number of data types, functions, language features, and management capabilities… to really get the type of maturity that people want from a relational database,” he says.

Jokes aside, some IT managers say there's no option other than BlackBerry for security
"As for alternatives to BlackBerry, there aren't any," wrote Sandra Smith, an enterprise IT manager, in an email to Computerworld, although she didn't identify her organization. "Due to the Snowden revelations, we now realize that if you are running Microsoft/Google/Apple, you need to protect yourself from your OS and not use your OS to protect you." IT managers and analysts note that the strength of BlackBerry's security comes from the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) server software that is still used by thousands of government and enterprise customers globally.

Security: The genesis of SDN
The problem with all this rampant implicit trusting now is that "hackers take advantage of it routinely. SDN allows you to do trust consolidation and have a few trusted entities; everything else is untrusted," said Casado. SDN provides more control of the architecture and the distribution model of the control plane, which makes it possible to consolidate trust into fewer elements.

An Innovation Disconnect
So when a senior leader proudly proclaims, “We will achieve high performance through innovation … ” most of us, at least momentarily, suspend our disbelief. We let our enthusiasm for change overpower any cynicism left over from previous efforts to change the world. (“Reengineering,” anyone?) With our platitude filters temporarily disabled, we follow leadership’s directives down a path that is likely to fail.

Quote for the day:

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." -- M. Angelou